Fic: A safe place
A/N: My first Criminal Minds fic… Please let me know if what you think. Should I continue?
Begins just as ep6x14: Sense Memory is ending.
After leaving Sergio with her neighbor, Emily got in her car and drove. She wasn't sure where she was going until she ended up at the gated community where Rossi lived. She showed her FBI badge/id to the security guard and was allowed in. Moments later she knocked on Rossi's door. She hoped he was here, not up at his cabin for the weekend.
She heard a dog bark, and Rossi's voice; too muffled to make out the words, but she assumed he was telling the dog to be quiet.
"Prentiss? Come in," he invited, stepping aside. "Mudgie, friend."
The wagging tail seemed to indicate the dog understood, as she began to sniff the new visitor.
"She probably smells, Sergio," Emily noted.
"My kitten," Emily clarified, as they walked into the living room.
Taking a look at her, and seeing the tension and fatigue, he offered, "Would you like tea? Something stronger?"
"Do you have any hot chocolate?"
He smiled. "I even have marshmallows," he offered. If Prentiss was wanting chocolate – her comfort food – this was serious.
She sat on the couch, and Mudgie, curled up on the floor at her feet and Dave went into the kitchen. As he made the drinks, Emily looked around. Rossi obviously enjoyed his money – everything was of the highest quality – but just as obviously didn't feel a need for tacky ostentation. The house whispered of refined elegance and taste – luxury. He returned a few minutes later.
"I have lasagna cooking. It should be ready soon," Dave said as he handed her a mug of hot chocolate.
"I'm not really hungry…" Prentiss replied.
"Whatever is going on, you not eating isn't going to make it better."
Prentiss nodded. She did need to eat, and keep her strength up.
"So am I about to find out what's been upsetting you lately?" Dave asked, between sips of his hot chocolate.
"I'd rather wait and tell everyone at once tomorrow…" Emily admitted.
"Okay," Dave agreed, not wanting to push her. "But I would like to ask one question?"
She nodded. After just showing up on his doorstep he was entitled to a lot more than one question.
"Why me? Why here?"
She gave a soft smile, and answered. "Technically, that's two questions… I trust you. I knew I'd be safe here." That trust had grown exponentially when he'd defied Hotch, and the FBI, to help her find the Priest who killed her friend. When she'd told him her darkest secret, and he'd kept is safe.
"You are safe," he reassured her.
The buzzer rang from the kitchen. Emily cut the bread and put garlic butter on it, placing on a cookie tray and in the over for a few minutes to toast as Dave set the table.
Dinner was quiet, but comfortable.
"You cooked, I'll wash the dishes," Emily offered once they were done eating.
"You wash, I'll dry," Dave agreed. The dishes were soon done. Once that was done, Emily went into the guest room to shower, then they watched a movie.
While Emily prepared for bed, Dave took his shower, then appeared in her doorway, with Madgie beside him. "Is there anything you need?"
"No. Thanks, Dave."
"Madgie, guard," Dave directed. Madgie licked his hand then walked into Prentiss's room, and curled up between her bed and the door. "Night, Emily."
Emily tired to sleep, but couldn't. After almost an hour, she got up. Madgie followed her as she walked to Dave's room.
"Dave?" she called softly.
He sat up in bed. "Emily?"
"I… Can I… Would you…"
He seemed to understand, and pulled down the covers on the other side of his king size bed in tacit invitation.
"Thanks," she whispered, as she lay down, and pulled the covers up over her. Madgie settled on the floor.
Seeing Emily's hand resting on top of the covers, Dave slowly moved his hand, to rest over hers. He was pleased when instead of pulling away, she turned her hand under his, so their palms met, and curled her fingers so they entwined with his.
Feeling safer than she could remember since she was a child, Emily fell asleep.
She woke to a wonderful warmth, and strong arms around her. Her eyes opened. The vast expanse of bed in front of her told her she couldn't blame their position on Rossi. She'd moved over to his side of the bed, and nestled in against him. Her mind screamed that she needed to get out of his bed, or at the very least move, before he woke up. Her body and soul refused to move. She felt safe, content, and even… cherished, lying in his arms; his warmth and strength surrounding her. Emily felt like she would fall apart if Dave released her. His strong arms supported and protected her; offered her shelter, and a comfort that could be found no where else.
It was far from the first time David Rossi had woken with a woman in his bed, and arms, but this time felt different. Memory of last night came back, and he realized it was Emily he was holding. Something he'd dreamed of many times, but never thought would really happen. But he hadn't been holding her when they fell asleep… He inwardly cringed. She'd come to him for comfort and protection, and here he was taking advantage of that…His sleeping mind had sensed that what he wanted was so closed, and pulled her to him… Opening his eyes, he saw raven hair. From her breathing he could tell she was awake… and she hadn't pulled away. Hope soared. He also noticed that she'd moved to his side of the bed. Had she moved closer to him of her own choice? He didn't dare let himself hope that. At least his head didn't. His heart was another matter entirely. It felt perfectly right to be holding her. Her soft warmth felt like heaven to him – a heaven he wasn't sure he deserved, but couldn't refuse.
They stayed that way for almost and hour. Then the smell of coffee, from Dave's automatic coffee machine, drifted into the room.
"We should get up," he said, his tone soft, and not able to hide his reluctance.
"Yes," she agreed, reluctance also in her tone.
"I'll call Hotch, and have her gather the Team."
"We could wait 'til Monday… No need to ruin their weekend," Emily said, wanting to put off explaining things to her friends – her family. The lies and unsaid truths she didn't want to confess.
"No. It can't wait," he said. If it was serious enough to drive her from her own home, it needed to be dealt with as soon as possible.
Just then Mudgie came back in, having used the dog-door to go outside.
Breakfast was quick, and quiet.
"What's going on?" Spencer asked, once they were all gathered.
Emily stood up. "There are things in my past I haven't told you. That I haven't been allowed to tell you. I didn't want to lie, and wasn't trying to deceive you. I wanted to protect you. And it was a very classified 'Need to Know' situation. They said you didn't need to know, and ordered me to stay quiet. But now… you need to know. You have to know what's going on, since you might be targets. Anyone close to me is a target…"
Emily was relieved to see concern and understanding in their eyes, rather than the anger and accusations she'd feared. She explained her history with Doyle. The undercover assignment, and its end. She took care to give them any and all details that might help build a good profile of him.
"He called me. Left a message of empty air. Then he left a… reminder on my door step. A flower that he knew had significance for us."
"Telling you he found you, and knows where you live," Morgan commented.
"Where are you staying?" Hotch asked, sure she hadn't stayed at her own place last night, and already guessing the answer from it having been Dave who called him this morning.
"She's staying at my place," Rossi answered for her. "It's secure." He'd chosen his words carefully, knowing what good profilers his friends were, he didn't want to give them any reason to be suspicious.
"Okay. But I'll make sure a safe house is on stand-by, just in case," Aaron said. "Garcia, see if you can trace that call, or the flower he sent. Reid, you and Morgan look over the Interpol files that might be useful."
"They will be classified," Prentiss said.
"I'll take care of it," Hotchner said.
"And if he can't, I'll just hack them," Garcia said.
As Hotchner continued to give directions, Emily's mind wandered. At least she'd made sure her Team – her friends – knew who they were dealing with. And Doyle had no idea who he was dealing with. Doyle had never faced a group like their Team. Hotchner's relentless determination. His refusal to give up. Garcia's technical expertise. Her ability to find any information in the electronic realm she ruled. Reid's genius intelligence. His ability to make connections and see patterns no one else did. Morgan's fierce protectiveness. His skills and amazing capability. Rossi's experience. His understanding and insight. All that was missing was JJ, with her ability to play the media like a finely tuned violin. But this wasn't something they'd involve the media with anyway.
Half an hour later Garcia returned. "The cell phone he used is turned off. If he turns it on again I'll have the location. The flower shop said the order was made online. I've traced the computer used to a public internet café. Also, I made sure our security people have Doyle's picture, so he won't be able to sneak in."
"Please send it to the Security where I live as well," Rossi requested.
"Already done," Garcia replied before leaving.
"Emily, stay here with Morgan and Reid. Dave, we're going to that café," Hotchner said.
Hotchner gave Morgan a look, and got a slight nod in return. Emily assumed it was an order not to let her leave the building under any circumstances, and Morgan's agreement.
That night Emily didn't even make the pretense of getting into the guest bed. Neither spoke as she entered the room, and climbed into the bed. She slowly moved towards him, giving him a chance to tell her if it wasn't want he wanted. He simply held up an arm, then draped it over her middle once she'd settled.
There was noting sexual in their sleeping together, but with the slightest provocation on either person's part, there could have been. No matter how much he wanted Emily - more than he'd ever wanted anything or anyone else - David refused to make a move, and take advantage of her when she was vulnerable. She'd come to him for comfort and safety, and that was what he'd give her. And he wasn't sure she saw, or wanted, him in that way. He was something like 20 years older than she was – with three ex-wives and a reputation. Emily was equally unsure of how Dave felt about her. Considering his reputation, she was sure if he'd wanted her romantically, he'd have made his move. The knowledge that she was the only woman to have ever shared his bed, without it being sexual, made her feel special, but also frustrated, since she wanted him so much.
Dave knew he was becoming addicted to having Emily around all the time. Waking up with her in his arms. Seeing her over the breakfast table. Making dinner together. Watching TV or a movie with her curled into his side in the evening. Walking Madgie together. Falling asleep holding her close. He didn't realize she felt the same about him, and wondered how she could ever go back to her lonely apartment.
On Friday they'd still had no luck, and Hotchner called Emily into his office. "I have an idea. I've been hesitant to use it, and it is up to you whether or not we try it. Only you and I will ever know about this conversation, and I won't think any less of you, whatever you decide," he assured her.
"What's the idea?" she asked, willing to try anything to end the stalemate.
"We use you as bait, to draw Doyle out. You'd be protected. Every precaution would be taken, but it's still dangerous. If you don't want to do it…"
"I'll do it," she said. "I've been wondering if it would come to this," she admitted.
Hotch nodded. "How do you think Dave will react to this idea?"
"I'd be more concerned with how Morgan will rect. He tends to be more protective of the Team," Emily replied. She knew perfectly well Hotch was fishing for details about her relationship to Dave, now she was staying with him, and wasn't going to take the bait. If he suspected she was actually sleeping in Dave's bed – even though they weren't doing anything but sleeping – he'd have in a safe house instantly, and she wasn't sure she could handle that right now.
Hotchner gave her a look, but didn't reply.
"We're friends, Hotch. His place is the most secure. I feel safe there. Nothing is going on. I'm well aware of his reputation, but he's been a perfect gentleman."
"Ok. Let's tell the others the plan."
A/N: So, I was going to make this a real cliff hanger and end it before Hotch shared his plan, but just couldn't be that mean…