A/N #1: It's shorter than I wanted, but I'll give you something better in the not too distant future. I promise.
As the first to enter the jet, Emily took a seat near the window and gazed outward, unwilling to face the prospect of JJ sitting next to her. Instead, it was Derek who chose the seat next to her. Calling after her several times, he settled on using his muscular hands to grasp her inward facing shoulder, the left one.
Pain shot through her like a lightning bolt and she jumped. Just as quickly as the pain coursed through her, it left and she offered an apologetic smile toward Morgan. "Sorry about that. I guess I'm just a little jumpy."
Morgan chuckled at her, "yeah, no doubt. Is everything okay with you Prentiss?"
Emily nodded while reasoning, "yeah, I'm quite sure I just wasn't expecting anyone to sneak up on me."
With a smirk, Derek shot back, "You're somethin' else Prentiss. I'm a 6 foot 3 inch tall black man standing directly in front of you in a narrowly confined jet. I hardly snuck up on you."
Finally feeling the comfort return to her form, she relaxed. "If you'd been standing in front of that window I'd have seen you. Now sit down, would you?"
"That's my girl."
The remainder of the team boarded shortly thereafter, en route to Las Vegas. After discussing the case specific details for much of the flights duration, Hotch advised, "Its 114 degrees today; carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go. No excuses. You're all much too important to this team to not take precautionary measures."
Emily closed her eyes and instantly began replaying those words as if they'd been handpicked with the purpose of being hammered into her skull.
Paired with Dr. Reid, Emily went to the first two crime scenes to try to obtain any additional information before meeting with the family of their most recent victim. Finished for the evening around 8:00, Emily decided to turn in early instead of grabbing some dinner with the team. After turning out the lamp next to her bed, she thought back on the day. 'Too important. Precautionary measures. Team.' Hotch's words clearly still at the forefront.
Frustrated with herself, she turned on the television to find something, anything really, to take her mind off of her procrastination. She settled on Save the Last Dance after seeing a momentary conversation between Sean Patrick Harris and Fredro Starr. It seemed like a good choice; light-hearted banter and a laid back storyline. It was something she'd seen enough times that she didn't really have to pay attention to, but would ultimately serve its purpose to detract her mind.
That was, until Julia Stiles appeared on screen and she was flooded with memories of conversations she'd had with JJ. About the movie the Prince and Me. About how she'd once told JJ that she found her to be a classy individual for her work with Habitat for Humanity or that she'd been fascinated to learn that even though she's an actress and has been since middle school, she still had desire to go to college and obtain a degree from Columbia University. She couldn't remember for sure if it Columbia, or even that she'd graduated and mentioned as much. She recalled JJ later bringing it up and informing her that she was right, she did go to Columbia and she graduated with a degree in English Literature.
Emily mumbled rather inaudibly, "Fuck my life. Seriously. This girl has infiltrated every aspect of my life. What the fuck am I going to do? There's probably nothing in this world we haven't discussed."
Completely unsure what to do, she went to take a shower. It seemed like the most obvious option. Maybe after she'd washed the sweat and emotion of the day off of her skin, she'd be able to sleep. It didn't help and she resigned herself to finding something else on the television; preferably without any pretty girls.
She soon realized that sports are safe haven; her and JJ don't watch sports. After 5 minutes of watching baseball, the reasoning behind why it's never made its way into their conversation entered her mind. Muttering out loud, "this shit sucks." It was boring enough to put her to sleep and that's what mattered most.
She woke at the appropriately early time of 6:45 am to meet in the hotel lobby by 7:30. For the first time since arriving in the desert, Emily was thankful for having such hefty travel requirements. Taking into account that Vegas time is two hours behind DC, she'd be able to make an appointment without any of her team members having to find out. She took out her phone and dialed her primary care physician.
A middle aged sounding female answered politely, "Internal medicine, how can I help you?"
Emily quickly hung up the phone and closed her eyes. Startled from her thoughts by the return of Hotch's words, she decided that she'd have to back. She had no choice; the appointment was the only way to confirm that nothing was wrong with her.
The same female answered the phone in the same professional manner, "Internal medicine, how can I help you?"
Emily cleared her throat before speaking, "Yes, um, I need to make an appointment with Dr. Koritzinsky please."
"Have you been here before?"
Emily replied, "Yes, I have."
The receptionist questioned, "Okay, can I get your name please?"
"Oh yeah, sorry. I'm a little scatterbrained today. Emily." A brief pause later, she continued, "Emily Prentiss."
Probing for further details, "Alright Miss Prentiss, it does not appear that you're due for your annual yet; what is the nature of the visit?"
Emily became instantly nervous upon discerning that this would be the first time she'd say it out loud, "A lump. I have a lump between the bones of my left shoulder and shoulder blade."
After several moments, the receptionist seemed satisfied with the limited amount of questioning required and exclaimed, "It looks like the next opening that we have is on Thursday, July 22nd at 1 pm. Will that work?"
"Do you have anything early in the morning or near the…" Emily delayed and silently asked herself 'what the fuck are you doing? It's an unexplained lump, not the god damn breakfast club; you're derailing, so stop it. Just take the appointment. Remember, precautionary measures.' "On second thought, just forget what I was asking. Yes, that will work. The 22nd at 1."
"Okay Miss Prentiss. We've got you down for July 22nd at 1 pm."
Emily smiled at the genuinely polite manner of this encounter, "Got it. Thanks. And have a wonderful day."
The intense heat began negatively affecting Emily over the following days and she was more than pleased when the Las Vegas case was wrapped up Monday. She couldn't wait to finally be home, sleeping in her own bed. Before she went home though, she stopped by Hotch's office and gave a rather timid knock.
His head eased up and he announced, "Come on in Emily. What can I help you with?"
She sat in a chair fidgeting mildly while biting her lower lip. Suddenly she stopped, squared her shoulders and looked him in his eyes. It's time to be an adult and act like an adult about the possibilities, "I found a lump. I've made an appointment for this Thursday at 1 pm to have it checked out. I know, it's in the middle of the day and I should have tried to find a better time, but I've known about it for almost a week now and I need to have it looked at. It was the first available appointment. If we end up on a case and I have to take a commercial flight back, I will, I just can't miss this. I hope you'll agree."
Hotch's expressed his concern, "You're right, you need to have it looked at. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask, and please do keep me informed of what you find out. I'm asking that of you as your friend, not your boss."
Emily twiddled her thumbs together, "Also, I've not told anyone on the team, and so if anyone asks why I'm not around Thursday afternoon, tell them I'm at the dentist or something."
A/N #2: So, the next chapter should be the the appointment, the subsequent wait and finally the results. My Inbox enjoys reviews almost as much as I do, so you should make us both happy with some love. :)