I have no idea where this came from, I just started writing and this is what came out. Before anyone tells me morning sickness isn't that bad, it can be. I did not exaggerate one little bit. Which is one of the reasons I'll never do it again. Anyway...
Emily Prentiss knew what it was the moment she began to feel uneasy. It hadn't been a problem earlier though, she just avoided eating a heavy lunch before heading out into the field. Now as she stood over the latest victim, smelling the latest victim the small amount of food she managed to consume was threatening to reappear. She swallowed the urge to vomit and succeeded three times until the wind changed and she directly inhaled the sweet putrid scent of rotting human flesh.
"Oh God!" She burst then rushed away, leaving an extremely confused Derek Morgan behind.
"Em?" He called after her but she didn't stop until she was far enough away to not contaminate the body dump site.
She heaved for what felt like an eternity. The violence in the heaves brought her to her knees. She panted and clutched her stomach and her face felt like it was going to explode. Tears welled up in her eyes, but she was determined not to actually cry. At least not until she was back in her hotel room.
"Jesus, Em. What's going on?' Derek asked as he came up behind her. She felt him kneel down next to her. She was so grateful for him as he handed over a bottle of cold water. She sipped it slowly and he waited patiently for her to answer.
"Something I ate." She answered, giving him a weak smile. She had no idea if he bought it but that was all she wanted to tell him. It was all she was going to tell him, at least for a long while.
He frowned, "You sure?" She nodded and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. Her stomach felt like it was fighting with what little water she managed to swallow. "I'll call Hotch. I think you should go to a hospital, in case it isn't just food poisoning." His tone suggested it wasn't up for a debate.
She nodded as she turned away, retching again into the grass.
She stayed on the ground until Derek told her Hotch was there to take her to the hospital. She had hoped that Rossi could be the one to get her, and then she wouldn't have to look weak in front of her Unit Chief.
The two men helped her into the SUV, Derek found a paper bag and placed it in her lap as he buckled her seatbelt. She smiled at him, loving him for the surrogate brother he was acting like. She kept her head down as Hotch got into the drivers' seat. She waited until Derek closed the door and they started to drive away before turning towards Hotch. "I don't need to go to the hospital…" She started.
Hotch reached behind her seat, his sunglassed eyes still forward. "I know." He placed a plastic grocery bag on her lap. She frowned at him then looked into the bag. Her eyebrows shot up when she saw the saltine crackers and 150 ml bottle of Pepsi.
Her head turned quickly to him, but he was paying attention to the road. "I can't drink Pepsi, the caffeine." She replied not bothering to pretend he got her secret wrong.
"It has the electrolytes you need. The caffeine is minimal. It was one of the only things Haley drink that helped keep food down, when she was pregnant with Jack." He took his sunglasses off as he pulled the vehicle over onto the side of the road and he looked at her. He looked worried, and it made her want to cry. "How far along are you?"
She lowered her eyes, feeling ashamed, she was more worried now about what he was going to think of her then she was when she was pregnant at fifteen. "This is the beginning of the seventh week."
"Who?" He asked. She didn't point out that it was none of his business because he sounded truly concerned.
"It was a guy I was sort of dating for a few months. The condom broke, I was taking antibiotics so I went to the clinic after to get the morning after pill, but it only stops ovulation. If fertilization already took place there was nothing the pill could do." She sighed, picking at the crackers box with her thumb nail. She felt an urge to defend the guy, it had been her idea to cut it off, before he decided to end it. She found out about the pregnancy a few days later. She wanted to look at Hotch but she didn't think she could handle seeing disappointment on his face right now.
He didn't say anything, he just put the SUV into drive and pulled back out onto the road. They sat quietly for a long while, he put his sunglasses back on then turned his head towards her. "Eat the crackers, they'll make your stomach feel better."
She nodded and did as told. She sipped the Pepsi when the crackers were too dry and when the tears that fell without her permission made her mouth even drier. After just one cracker she was feeling better. She managed to get down a quarter sleeve of crackers by the time they reached the hotel. She packed everything back up before getting out of the vehicle.
Hotch held open the door of the lobby for her. She gave him a tight smile but kept her face away from him for the most part. He walked her up to her room. She was glad she didn't have to share with anyone since Garcia hadn't accompanied them on this case and male and female agents weren't allowed to share rooms.
She opened her door and stepped inside, Hotch stayed at the door frame. She held up the bag. "Thanks." She said lamely, feeling awkward.
She chanced a glanced at him but she couldn't read his face as he stood in the doorway. She didn't know what to think of him not leaving. She was beginning to think he was planning on sending her home. "Do you know what you're going to do?" He asked finally breaking the silence.
Emily sagged in relief but hid it by setting the bag on the floor next to the bed. "I want to keep it, the baby…" she let her voice drop, she was about to say 'this time' but she realized only Rossi knew and she hadn't told anyone else. At the time, when she told Rossi, she felt relieved having someone else know besides Mathew. It was the only secret she had. Except now she had this secret but this one was going to impossible to keep to herself.
Tears welled up and spilled down her face before she even knew she was crying. Hotch crossed the room in two long strides and lightly placed a comforting hand on her upper arm. Not knowing what came over her she threw her arms around him tightly. He was rigid in her arms but then soften quickly. She clutched at him like she was dying and he was the only thing that could save her. "It's alright. It's scary, I know." He said as his warm hand rubbed her back. He held her close until her sobs subsided and he let her go when she pulled back.
"Sorry." She sniffed, wiping the tear tracks away. She noticed she'd gotten mascara on his white dress shirt collar. She was about to tell him when her throat convulsed, she clamped her mouth shut and rushed to the bathroom.
Her stomach muscles hadn't had the chance to recover from the first bout of retching and she felt like she'd done a thousand stomach crunches and was being forced to do another. She tried to hold onto the toilet seat but her knees were weak and her arms didn't have the strength.
The floor tiles felt blessedly cool against the over heated skin of her face. She retched again but nothing came up and sobbed in pain. She was only vaguely aware that Hotch had followed her into the bathroom. She couldn't find the will to care that he could see her right now. She wanted to die, not from embarrassment but so the dry heaves would stop.
She wished he would go so she could die in private but he proved he wasn't going anywhere as he moved around the bathroom, flushing the toilet, wetting two washcloths, one he placed on her forehead, the other he used to clean her face off with. He disappeared for a moment, and then returned with the comforter off the bed. He draped it over her as she realized she was shivering from the cold. She wanted to get off the floor but her body wouldn't move. She wondered how he knew. She wondered if there was something seriously wrong with her, if she was actually dying because the first time she was pregnant it was nothing like this. She hadn't even felt the slightest bit nauseous. "Do I need to go to the hospital?" She asked, her throat was sore and her voice was rough like she swallowed 120 grit sandpaper.
Hotch sat on the floor beside her with his back resting on the side of the tub. He gave her a tight lip smile, but his eyes told her he was concerned not worried. "Haley was sick like this too. When you're strong enough I'll take you to a clinic and get you something for the nausea."
"I thought only crackers and ginger ale was the cure." She closed her eyes as the thought of food made her stomach protest. Tears welled up fresh, dreading another round of retching.
"No, they have medication now. It's perfectly safe for the baby." He reached forward and flipped the washcloth over so it was cold again. She smiled weakly at him as the cold stilled her gag reflex.
"I've never heard it could be like this. I was expecting morning sickness but this is ridiculous." She snuggled into the blankets, she wanted to get off the floor but she still couldn't move.
"If they told you it could be this bad do you think any woman would want to get pregnant?" He asked, a shadow of a dimple appearing on his cheek.
She chuckled but it made her abs flex and the pain made her stop. She closed her eyes and groaned. Once the pain was gone she felt exhausted but she really didn't want to sleep on the bathroom floor. She tried to get up again, her arms were shaky but she got them under her. Hotch moved and she thought he was going to insist she lay back down but his hands went under her arms and helped her to stand.
He got her to the bed and helped her get comfortable. He took her shoes off, placing them neatly next to the door and covered her up with the blanket. He re-wetted the washcloth and handed it back then went and grabbed her go-bag. "Do you have anything more comfortable in here?" He asked, his jaw flexing signaling his discomfort with having asked a personal question.
She shook her head. It was all business clothes, a silk nightgown and underwear. She owned a few pairs of jeans and casual shirts but she always brought her work clothes when they went away. "No, just work clothes." She didn't elaborate. He probably did the same thing and left the jeans at home.
"I'll be right back." He said, nodding. He placed the bag on the floor and went for the door. He paused with his hand on the door knob. "I'm going to call Derek and Rossi, to let them know you're ok. Rest, I'll be right back." He closed the door behind him and she continued to stare at it until she couldn't see it anymore as her brain went over how caring and sweet her boss had just been with her. She wasn't worried that he would tell them what really was wrong with her, she trusted that he would keep her secret. She wondered what he was going to tell them and hoped he told her before the rest of the team could ask so they could get their story straight.
Emily hadn't realized she's fallen asleep until Hotch closed the door. He had obviously tried to be as quiet as possible and frowned when he looked over and she was watching him. He had his go-bag in his hand and another grocery bag. "How do you feel?" He asked setting his bag next to hers and sitting on the bed near her knees. She watched as he took out a bottle of ginger ale and a plastic cup.
She swallowed, her throat hurt but she was thirsty. "So far so good." She accepted the cup and sipped it slowly even though she wanted to drain it in one gulp.
"Good." He went for his go-bag and unzipped it. She tried not to look inside despite her curiosity of what she might see. He searched around then took out a t-shirt and fleece pajama bottoms. She didn't want to jump to conclusions but it was looking like he planned on staying in her room. "Here, these will be more comfortable than work clothes." She accepted them awkwardly, feeling foolish at her initial response.
"Are you sure, what are you…"
"I don't…" he interrupted then stopped, his face flushing slightly. She guessed what he was going to say and just smiled and nodded gratefully.
She sat up slowly, testing to see if she could stand without needing to vomit. When she was standing she felt triumphant but cautious. She made it to the bathroom and closed the door behind her but didn't lock the door just incase. Once changed into Hotch's baggy FBI t-shirt and warm fleece pants she looked at herself in the mirror. She suddenly wished she hadn't. Her eyes were blood shot and there were little red dots around her eyes and neck. She leaned in closer to get a better look. Little blood vessel in her face had ruptured from she guessed the force of her vomiting. It looked like she'd been strangled. Honestly at the time she was throwing up she sort of felt like she was being strangled.
She decided not to worry about Hotch seeing her like that, since he had already she came out of the bathroom intent on going back to bed.
Hotch was still there, sitting on the bed. He looked at her long enough to see she was ok but looked away quickly and she felt ashamed again. She wanted to ask what he thought about her but dreaded the answer. Of course he was disappointed that she would get into this kind of situation and mess up things for the team. The last thing they needed was one less team member.
Self-conscious, she fidgeted with his shirt as she sat gingerly on the end of the bed adjacent from him. "What did you tell them?" She asked tucking her right foot up under her left thigh.
"I told them the doctor said it was a mild allergic reaction to something you ate, that you would be fine in a day or two. Derek said you told him as much before he called me to pick you up."
"Ok, just so we have our story straight." She looked at her cup and smiled when Hotch handed it to her, intuitively knowing what she wanted. She couldn't believe that Haley had divorced him. Aside from a slight chauvinistic steak, he was everything a woman was looking for in a partner. Well everything she was looking for in a partner. It was just a shame he was her boss and not at all interested in her romantically. What was also a shame, as she sipped her drink, she was beginning to fall further for him and she was pregnant with another man's baby.
"You should try to get some more sleep. We'll have to wait to get the prescription and fill it until tomorrow because nothing is open this late in this town." He sounded truly irritated, she glanced at the clock that blinked six p.m., and right fully so.
"What about the case? Where are we on that?" She asked finishing the ginger ale and longing for more.
Hotch shook his head and went for the bottle. "No, you are not going to worry about that right now. Reid, Derek and Rossi can handle it for the moment."
"But..." She started to protest.
"No, I'm not arguing about it, Agent Prentiss." he filled her cup and handed her the open sleeve of crackers. He was taking the 'Boss' tone with her and it seemed strange considering the circumstances. She huffed, knowing she could at least help with the profiling. "Now, lie down and get some rest. I'll be back in the morning." He set the bottle of ginger ale on the nightstand and helped tuck her in as if she were a sick child. While normally she would have been irritated by the fussing, which was why she hated hospitals, she relished in his care. It was a side of him she never thought she would ever see.
He hovered for a second as he pulled the blanket up to her shoulder. She thought for a brief moment he was going to kiss her on the forehead until he straightened up and grabbed his go-bag. "I'll see you in the morning." He said then left quickly.
She didn't have much time to dwell on his actions before the exhaustion took her under and she was fast asleep.