Title: My Funny Valentine
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing: David Rossi/Emily Prentiss
Summary: Emily hated Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day when she was injured and under the care of Rossi was another matter altogether.
Midnight on the 13th found the team halfway back to Quantico, jet lights dimmed, and Morgan's soft snores the only sound piercing the silence.
Emily couldn't sleep, pain radiating from her right arm where the bone had cracked. A stand-off with their unsub had resulted in a tackle that would have been impressive, had it not culminated in a tumble off a second story balcony. If the unsub had been conscious when they landed, Emily was almost positive that a fistfight would have ensued, but he wasn't and it didn't, so the only injuries sustained were the broken arm and a myriad of bruises that would make her body ache for days.
Even then, there would still be a physical fitness test before her return to field duty. Until that time, she'd be stuck behind a desk, and inside police stations doing victimology.
The pain was persistent, and there was a tiny bottle of pills inside her messenger bag that the doctor had prescribed, but if she took them now, she would be fast asleep by the time they made it to Quantico, and she didn't even want to think about getting home in that state.
Of course, getting home was going to be a pain in the ass anyway. It wasn't impossible to drive one-handed – while Emily could, technically drive stick, she always seemed to end up driving cars with an automatic transmission. In any case, she suspected that there would be no shortage of offers to give her a ride home. There was some small part of Emily that dreaded that fact; she would much prefer hiding behind those carefully positioned shields than letting anyone coddle her.
The people on this team seem to have coddling down to a fine art, and on any other day, that would have frustrated Emily but right now, all she wanted was to go home and sleep. When they landed though, and Rossi grabbed her go bag with a look that said, quite plainly, "you ready to go?" she gave him a look right back, because there was just something about David Rossi that always made her want to challenge him.
Maybe it was the fact that he was just that little bit arrogant (major understatement, some days) and she didn't want him to get comfortable bossing her around. Maybe it was the fact that he seemed to love it.
'What are you doing?' she asked him, in spite of the fact that she knew exactly what he was doing, and she was pretty sure that he knew that too.
'Leaving without you if you don't hurry up, and trust me when I say that you do not want to get stuck in traffic with Spencer Reid.'
'I live in the District,' she told him, as if he didn't already know. She wasn't exactly sure where Rossi lived, but it sure as hell wasn't D.C.
'It's two a.m.'
'I do have a watch, Prentiss.'
'You're a pain in the ass.'
He grinned. 'You say that like you only just figured it out.' He started walking towards the elevator, both her go bag and his own in hand, in a way that supposedly left no room for argument.
'What if I wasn't going home?' she argued, still pissed (or maybe just pretending to be) as she stepped inside the elevator after him. 'What if I was going…somewhere else?'
'You have plans for tomorrow?' he asked, curiously. The words sounded almost non-sequitur.
'Tomorrow?' she stared at him, nonplussed.
'Valentine's Day, Prentiss,' he said with a grin. 'Don't tell me you forgot. I thought all women had a sixth sense to remember birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine's Day no matter where they are or what they're doing.'
'Isn't that kind of chauvinist?'
'It was a joke, Prentiss.'
'A sexist joke.'
'You're doing this on purpose.'
'You wouldn't have any respect for me if I didn't.'
There was a long pause, before Rossi said, in a deadly serious tone. 'That's not true.' And it wasn't. At least, she hoped that it wasn't. Maybe Emily was just used to thinking that way. That's what her childhood had been like, and that's what it had been like when she first joined the BAU. Neither Hotch nor Gideon had been particularly enamored of her presence, and if they'd had their way then, she'd probably be at home asleep right now. 'I'm sorry if I insulted you.'
'I'm not insulted,' Emily said, with a sigh, because her whole damn body ached, and she was tired, and this wasn't really a conversation she wanted to be having. 'I just don't really like Valentine's Day that much.'
He didn't push the issue, for which Emily was grateful, because she didn't really want to be getting into this conversation at two in the morning with David freaking Rossi.
By the time they actually made it to her apartment, it was almost three a.m, and no matter how much he tried to save face on the matter, Emily was fairly sure that he didn't particularly want to be doing any more driving.
'I have a spare bed,' she told him, it wasn't exactly a clear-cut offer, and she was fairly sure that he could read between the lines, but she still added, in a more hesitant tone, '…if you wanted to stay the night.'
He didn't deliberate as much as she would have thought, and part of her wondered if he had ulterior motives for accepting the offer, like being able to check on her throughout the night. 'Bathroom's upstairs on the right,' she directed him, adding, 'And since you'll probably wake up before me, the manual for the coffee maker is in the cupboard above the stove. Let me find you some sheets, first…' He stopped her, mid sentence.
'Just tell me where they are, and I'll sort it out,' he assured her. 'You have something to eat, and then take those painkillers.'
'Well you can't take them on an empty stomach,' he said bluntly. It wasn't the point that she was arguing against, and they both knew it.
'Fine,' Emily sighed. Arguing with Rossi was eating up the little energy she had left, and as much as it pained her, she knew she had to concede. 'Linen closet is next to the bathroom – there should be towels in there as well.'
She made a show of looking through her pantry, until he left, satisfied that she wasn't going to ignore him completely. There were leftovers in the freezer that would have made something approaching an appetizing meal, but the effort was something she wasn't quite ready for. The bread in the freezer was still good, so she made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that looked like a hyper-energetic toddler's artwork.
'I would have spread your peanut butter for you, if you'd asked,' Rossi said from the hallway, and Emily jumped.
'Jesus Christ, Rossi,' she breathed. 'I'm armed.'
'One-armed, for the moment,' he said with a raised eyebrow. 'And since I'm fairly sure you weren't going to attack me with the butter knife.'
'I can still kick your ass with a broken arm.' She stared at the butter knife in question. 'And I wanted to give myself some semblance of independence, even if it means getting peanut butter all over the kitchen.'
'Touché.' He grabbed a clean glass from the dishrack. 'How about I do the water so we don't end up with broken glass all over the kitchen?'
'That's probably a good idea,' Emily agreed. She found her bag, and withdrew the small bottle, shaking out two pills. 'Fair warning,' she said. 'I usually get nightmares after taking these, so don't be too surprised if you hear some strange things.'
He raised an eyebrow, as if the thought of strange noises coming from her bedroom amused him somehow. 'If you need anything…' He let the offer hang in the air.
Emily smiled. 'Good night, Rossi.'
When Emily woke – nightmare free – the sun was streaming in through the window. The alarm clock on the nightstand told her that it was almost noon, and her arm was starting to throb again.
'Fuck.' Emily sat up, rubbing her eyes. She rarely woke up past 8am on a weekday, and while she didn't need to be going into work today, it still felt kind of like a waste. Rossi had probably gone home by now, and was sitting on his expensive leather sofa smoking a cigar and drinking scotch, or whatever the hell guys like David Rossi did on Valentine's Day.
What she did not expect, was to find him sitting on her sofa, watching the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, of all things. Considering it had been in the DVD player from the last time she'd used it, she doubted that it had been his choice.
'Afternoon,' he said, with a laugh in his voice as she sat on the sofa beside him. 'Sleep well?'
'Not too bad.' Emily gave a one-armed shrug that still sent a pulse of pain down her arm. 'Enjoying the show?'
'It's…not what I expected,' Rossi said, which meant that he probably hadn't made up his mind yet. If he hated it, he would have said so. 'Are you hungry?'
'Yeah,' Emily admitted. 'Starving, actually. I don't know what I have, though.'
A guilty look crossed his face. 'I may have already had a look, and decided to go shopping.'
Emily stared at him. 'You did my grocery shopping?'
'Nothing big,' he amended. 'Just enough for lunch – if you want, though, we can do a full shop later. Carrying bags with a broken arm will probably be a pain in the ass.'
'I can shop online,' she countered.
'You could,' he agreed, voice carrying a little less bravado. For one brief second, Emily wondered whether he was offering just because he wanted to spend time with her.
After all, he didn't need to stay overnight. He didn't need to buy her food, or sit on her sofa and wait for her to wake up. He didn't need to offer to take her grocery shopping.
Rossi paused the DVD. 'So – breakfast at noon; bacon, eggs and pancakes?' Emily's mouth started watering before he'd even finished talking.
'You sure know how to get a girl's heart racing on Valentine's Day.'
'I sure hope so,' he said with a grin, and Emily wasn't entirely sure how to respond to that. Was he referring to past experiences, or was he making a specific reference to today. She didn't know which alternative she preferred.
Still. Emily wasn't going to turn down an offer of breakfast, even if it was Valentine's Day. Rossi, as it turned out, made fantastic pancakes.
'Thank you for this,' Emily said, as they sat at her kitchen table, eating breakfast. The words didn't seem adequate. 'For being here, and for…for being you.'
He reached across the table and put his hand atop hers. 'Maybe this is where I want to be, Prentiss.'
She stared at him, waiting for some kind of confirmation that he meant what she thought he did. 'We take a lot of things to the grave, Prentiss,' he added with a shrug. 'I didn't want this to be one of them.'
Emily bit her lip. 'I'm glad you didn't,' she said softly, taking his hand in hers.
'Happy Valentine's Day, Emily.'
'Happy Valentine's Day,' Emily echoed.
And it was.