God, I love the mystery surrounding Emily right now - it's a little surreal, considering I've never even thought about her past in such a way (rather the more sordid details like her abortion...), but it's fascinating nonetheless. I'm curious to see where the show will take us!
Now, this story is a bit of a continuation from where the episode ends. Just felt there could be more to it :)
For full disclosure I should say that in my story, she left her cat Sergio with her neighbour, because I couldn't be bothered writing him in xD (and because it's really the more sensible thing to do if you're going to be wandering about for God knows how long).
For full disclosure I should also inform you that if I hadn't read tfm's Are You Now or Have You Ever Been (read it, it's awesome!), I wouldn't even have thought of writing this... I like to think that, besides the obvious similarities, my story isn't like hers (his?), so I hope nobody will mind :)
Oh, also, I have no clue what DC looks like, so besides the street names Google helped me with, I have no idea if anything is correct ;-)
Now, please enjoy!
She stared at the city lights ahead of her. Out of all the places in DC, she couldn't think of a more public one; and so she'd sat here for an hour now, looking at the lights of a city she thought she'd found a home in.
Now, it seemed, somebody didn't like the way her new home looked.
She wasn't surprised by the present he'd left, the voice mail with only dead silence; she'd played a vital part in his life for a while, and she'd always known that she'd pay for it.
She just hadn't thought it would be now, of all times, when she had finally settled somewhere. For a while, she had imagined that this time would be different; no unpleasant interruptions from the past. And, barring Matthew, she had succeeded.
It seemed her lucky streak was over now.
She realized, sitting on the bench, that the square behind her was getting quiet; people were leaving, going home and leaving the square for the night. It meant that she'd have to leave, too.
She tried to think about where she could go, but her mind was unwilling to cooperate: instead, she kept flashing back to those days in Belgium, the flowers and the life she'd lived. It hadn't even been a very important mission; nobody had expected it to turn out the way it did. It hadn't been the most exciting mission she'd ever been on; and yet, now it turned out to be the one to ruin her. She'd laugh at the irony, if she still had the ability.
With effort, she pulled herself back from the past and into the present. She needed to leave this place, now – a quiet square meant more opportunity for him, and she'd do anything to avoid that.
She had to avoid giving him a chance to see who she was close to in this city. She knew his style; he'd go after them, and she knew she'd never be able to forgive herself if anything happened to them.
After a while, she decided on checking in to a motel on the edge of town. The motel was shady at best, but it was her best option; an expensive hotel would raise flags, and she didn't want to risk exposing her coworkers and friends.
It was nearing midnight when she finally stretched out on the thin mattress, her hands beneath her head. She should sleep; she needed it. But she didn't feel safe, and she resigned herself to another sleepless night.
Unless… she checked her watch. She knew he'd headed for his cabin after work; she also knew, paranoid as he was, that it was one of the best secured cabins out there. It was worth a shot.
He picked up on the fourth ring. "Emily, hey." He sounded surprised and she understood; they rarely socialized outside of work.
"Hey, I was wondering if I could take you up on that offer of a tour around your cabin?" she hoped he'd remember. He'd offered to take her there once, when he'd caught her staring at her reflection in the window, nearly crying, thinking about the past. At the time, she'd declined, but it seemed the best option she had right now. Maybe, he would remember that moment, too, and realize the implications of her reminding him of that now.
He was silent for a while, and she could practically hear his mind whirring, but she didn't say anything.
"Sure," he finally said evenly, his voice carefully devoid of any emotion. He knew, just as well as she did, that this wasn't a normal call, nor a social call. "Do I need to pick you up?"
She silently blessed him for his discreteness, his ability to say the right things at the right time. "Uh, if you don't mind…" she'd left her car at home; it was traceable. "I'm at sixteenth and Blagden Avenue. "
"I'll be right there," he promised and he hung up without further ado.
She pulled her jacket tighter around her as she glanced around. It would take him about twenty minutes to get to where she was, and she didn't want to move around while she waited. She walked over to the shop across the street and stood against the wall; it gave her a good vantage point of whoever was coming or going. At this late hour, it was still surprisingly busy: mostly cars. She knew he wouldn't arrive by car, and the fact that there were almost no pedestrians somewhat comforted her. Still, she kept her eyes on the roads until a car stopped in front of her. Rossi.
"Hop in," he told her, opening the passenger seat door for her. She nodded and stepped inside without further words.
"Uh, could you take a bit of a detour?" she asked him as he pulled up. Once again, he complied without question, but when they were on the main road again, he finally opened his mouth.
"What's going on?"
She kept her eyes firmly on the rearview mirror; somehow, it made it easier to talk.
"I just need a place to stay tonight." She hoped it would keep him satisfied, at least until they reached the safety of his cabin. Maybe, though, she'd better tell him that. "Can we do this at your cabin?"
"Sure, depending on what 'this' is," he told her, but he said it in a teasing tone and she knew that he'd stop asking for the moment.
For the rest of the journey, they were silent, and she was glad to see that no cars followed her – none that she could see, anyway, but she figured that through the years she'd become pretty good at spotting a tail.
"So, what's going on?" he asked again once they were inside, his earlier no-questions-asked policy clearly gone. "Emily, are you in trouble?"
In her mind, she weighed her options. She could tell him and risk spilling the secrets of a classified mission. She could not tell him, and he'd wonder and bug her about it until she told him anyway.
In the end, she settled for the middle way.
"Somebody from my past is after me." He looked at her and in her eyes she could see the question, but she shook her head. "Not from Rome."
"Then what?" he asked. She knew that he knew there was more to her past than she'd told her, than she'd told anyone, but nobody knew what it was exactly.
"I can't really tell you," she avoided the subject. "It's… classified." She flashed back to another time when she heard those words, in happier times, in a bar with JJ and Garcia. But this was now, and there was nothing funny about the situation.
"Classified?" he asked sharply. She could see he was thinking hard. Considering their line of job, their security clearances were quite high; and, she imagined, that of Rossi might be the highest of them all.
"Figures," he muttered, more to himself than to her. She watched him walk to the couch, making an inviting gesture, and she followed him. Once she had sat down, he continued his questions.
"How do you know he's after you?" He knew she could answer that question, at least, and she did.
"He's been in my home. He's called me on my home phone and he's left me a …" it wasn't exactly a present. "… a reminder of the past." She looked at him a little helplessly. "Your cabin was the safest place I could think of, Rossi. You can see anyone coming a mile away here."
He nodded. He'd chosen it for that exact reason.
"You think you're safe here?" She knew the question behind it; he was asking her how powerful the man that was after her was.
"He's got a lot of contacts," she said. "He'll probably know soon enough."
He nodded again. Considering the safety of his cabin, it seemed that this man was a serious threat. Although he really already knew that, because Emily would never be here if it wasn't serious.
"You can stay here all you want," he offered and she smiled gratefully. "Can you tell me anything else?"
She was silent for a while as she stared at the wall ahead of her. Could she tell him anything else?
"He's dangerous," she finally settled on. "And he's got a good reason to hunt me down."
He regarded her in silence, and the look in his eyes, compassion and understanding and quiet contemplation, unnerved her. This was different than she'd expected.
"Can you tell the rest of the team?" A distant part of her registered that he'd just included them both into the team, making this a team decision; making this their responsibility. The realization both warmed and frightened her.
There were so many conflicting emotions inside her; she wanted to tell them, because it would mean that she wasn't alone in bearing it, that she wouldn't have to deal with this on her own. She'd done things on her own for too long.
But could she really burden them like that? It would put them in danger, and she knew they could protect themselves, but she had thought she could protect herself, too, and look where she had ended up.
Still, they'd probably find out anyway. There was a reason they were the best BAU team in the country: they worked together. If she ruined their flawless cooperation, she might risk more than just their own lives: it could potentially endanger any case they worked on.
She knew that if she chose not to tell anybody, to just continue her life as usual, they would still know something was wrong, and they would not forget. Did they ever forget anything when it came to their own?
He could see the confliction emotions in her eyes and after a moment, she felt the warm touch of his hand on her much colder one.
"You know we could help you," he murmured, and she nodded. They could help, in a way; she was sure that if she asked, they'd all stay in her house, guarding it. Hell, they'd all take an absence of leave just to protect her. But could they protect her against this, really? It was above their heads.
"We've been through more than you think, you know," he murmured again. She smiled at the irony; she was well aware of that fact, especially now that she was in that very same position.
"We might understand," he continued. His voice had softened into something which was compassionate as well as understanding, and she found it hard to look at him.
"It's not you guys understanding that I'm worried about," she muttered.
"You know classified means nothing here," he said, his voice a little harder. "We've all been in classified situations, and besides, Garcia could hack the entire Pentagon if she wanted to."
"What happened, Emily?" he asked once more and he sounded more urgent. Maybe he was starting to realize that this did not just involve a bad choice made years ago.
She looked at him, willing him to understand. "It's… you've got to trust me. I can't just say it, it's bigger than me or any of us. Just … just help me?"
She never asked. Never had she asked him, or any of them, anything in such a way, and he knew this would have lasting implications for all of them.
Whatever it was, it was dangerous.
To all of them.
Liked it? What do you think is the connection between Doyle and Emily? (I have no idea, which is part of the reason why I let Emily be extremely vague - frustratingly so - in my story.) Please tell me!