Spoiler Alert: Possible spoilers for the preview of 6x04. Definite spoilers for 6x02.
For awhile, they sit in silence. She's got her eyes closed, but both of them know she's not going to be sleeping for a long time. Sleep is going to be that elusive devil that dances before her eyes before fading from view, giving her just enough of a glimpse to taunt her endlessly. This is what Reid knows of insomnia. This is what he's known of insomnia since a cornfield in Georgia. Yes, Reid knows insomnia, and he knows pain, too.
He knows where she's been, even though it's different for her. For him it was a three day game of torture, but for him, his family was still intact when he got out. Oh no, not his biological family. His biological family was never intact. That's just the truth of it. But when Reid left Georgia, when Reid was in that hospital, he had the BAU that was intact and whole. He had them.
What Prentiss has now is a family that's been shattered by bureaucracy, a family that's struggling to pull together to pull her back up. What she has now is a family torn by recent tragedy.
"This isn't going to be easy." He tells her, because he's sure she's listening. She's listening even though her eyes are closed. Emily is always listening. "It's never easy, Emily." And he places his hand on hers. What Prentiss has now is a group of people struggling to pull themselves together for her after the unthinkable happened.
What she has now is the BAU, broken and shattered, but strong enough to survive this even if they'll leave it even more damaged than before.
"You're going to be okay, Emily." He says, because it's true. "We're going to take care of you." He closes his fingers over hers. "You did a good job today." And he's run out of words, again, because that's just who he is. He's a man of so many words but when it comes right down to it he's not able to put them together. He's not able to put them together when it means something.
She opens her eyes.
"Hey, Reid." She says, and his words – words that are sometimes fumbling over themselves despite his brilliance – his words are forgiven. "I …"
He offers a smile. "Yeah, I know."
And it's awkward, and it's tentative, but it's a start of what everyone had before. He's going to be there for her, and so are they. He knows how this is. He knows where she's been. And he knows how to get back, but it's going to take work. This isn't going to be easy for her. It's not going to be easy for any of them. It never has been.
But he knows how this is. And he knows the road to recovery – it's paved with good intentions, but so is the road to hell – and he knows the good intentions to avoid.
He knows how to do this. And he's going to help her.
This is nowhere near what I usually write, and I'm still not that thrilled with it - but for what it is, I like it well enough. Now, I don't know of course if that really was Emily in that preview between the two unsubs - at the end of the preview, where there was a dark haired woman struggling. It could have been. And this, as you probably have guessed, is a scene written as if it had been. I've got a friend who's a fan of Reid/Prentiss - and while this isn't them in a pairing - I thought I'd write this for her. And it seemed like the perfect chance since Reid has, indeed, "been where she's been" in a sense.