Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing: Emily Prentiss, Ian Doyle - gen
Summary: Emily looked around the bullpen for what she knew would be the last time. Post Valhalla.
A/N: Just a one shot. Emily's fate is left to the imagination.
Emily couldn't quite stop the tears as she looked around the bullpen for the last time.
No matter what happened, there was no coming back. No matter what happened, she couldn't live with the things that she'd done – couldn't live with the guilt of knowing that she had lied to them.
So even if she did make it away from Doyle unscathed, it was doubtful that she would ever set foot in the BAU again, except maybe to pack up her desk. The way things were going, though, she'd be lucky if she died quickly.
Over the past day, she'd said what farewells she could – they might not have been goodbyes in the strictest sense of the word, but they still had the air of finality to them. The only thing she never really got around to saying was, "I'm sorry."
I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I'm sorry you got dragged into this.
I'm sorry that I had to leave.
Deep down, she knew – the killings would stop, if she turned herself over. CWS might have taken Doyle to Kwan-li-so, but Emily was the reason he'd been captured in the first place.
Nobody noticed as she walked out of the bullpen – they were all too busy listening to Hotch's summation of events. Emily had heard that summation before, only nine years previously, and that time, it had been Sean McAllister giving it. They'd caught Doyle then, but that hadn't stopped him from escaping prison, seven years later.
Part of her wanted to leave a note, but nothing she could say would even begin to explain.
You gonna run away? Yeah, you're good at that. Clyde's words echoed in her mind. But no – this wasn't running. Emily wasn't going to hide from Doyle. She was going to take the fight to him. If that meant putting her life in danger, well – it was a price Emily knew she had to pay.
The team had a trail – what she'd left in the safe was enough to fill in most of the missing pieces. The ring, she'd flushed, because what they didn't need to know was just how close she'd gotten to Doyle. Some things needed to stay in secret.
Her phone rang, as she made it into the parking garage – as expected, it was Morgan. There was a small part of her that wanted to answer the call, and tell him everything, but she didn't. There was another part that wanted to throw the phone away, cutting any ties that Doyle might take advantage of, but she didn't do that either. Instead, she left it, along with her badge, in the back seat of her car. The car, they'd find in a lot somewhere, GPS intact.
Just another breadcrumb.
Right about now, Reid might be pulling up the surveillance footage from Doyle's Tuscan villa, and just like that, everything would fall into place. It would become abundantly clear that the number one person on Ian Doyle's list was Emily Prentiss.
Maybe one day, they'd forgive her, even if she wasn't going to be around for it.
Emily parked her car - not far from her place, so the team could easily find it when they did come looking. Then, she found a payphone, and called the safehouse where Clyde was.
'Tsia's dead,' she told him when he picked up. There was a long silence on the other end of the line, and Emily couldn't help but hear the blame in it.
'Are you sure?'
'I saw the body.' Emily bit her lip. 'I got paranoid, and it got her killed.'
'Don't worry about that – where are you now?'
'I'm going to him,' Emily said, which was probably not the answer Clyde wanted to hear, but it was the answer that he needed to hear.
'Are you insane, Emily, he's going to kill you.'
'People are dead because of me,' Emily argued. 'Tsia is dead because of me. I can't let that happen to anyone else.'
I can't let that happen to the team, was what she really meant, and Clyde knew it.
'Let me come with you,' he said, 'We'll take him down together.'
'He'll kill you straight away, and we both know it,' Emily said bluntly.
'And what makes you so sure he won't do the same to you?'
'If he wanted to just kill me, he would have done it already. The fact that he hasn't means that something else is on his agenda.'
Emily did have ideas, but none that she was going to share with Clyde Easter.
'They're going to contact you,' she told him. 'Once they figure out what's going on. Help them understand, and maybe we can bring down Doyle for good this time.'
'I promised you that you wouldn't get hurt.'
'Yeah, well it's a little late for that.' Emily hung up the payphone, and sighed. The city was locked down – there were only so many places that Ian Doyle could be, and she had no doubt in her mind that he would be somewhere where she could find him.
Everything Emily Prentiss had ever done was just preparation for this moment.
It might have been a profound or poetic moment if it wasn't so depressing.
'I'm sorry,' she whispered to herself, but in reality, she wasn't talking to her herself at all. 'I'm so, so, sorry…' In reality, she was talking to Morgan and Reid, to Garcia and Seaver, to Rossi and Hotch. She was talking to her mother, to Tsia, to JJ, to Matthew – to every damn person that had ever been important in her life.
Ian Doyle was waiting for her, in her apartment.
She didn't know how he'd gotten past the alarm, or the locks, and she didn't ask. He sat in the loveseat, thumbing through a copy of Mother Night.
'Vonnegut was always too fatalist for me,' he said casually. Emily had her gun out in half a second, but judging by the sudden sensation of a cold steel barrel against her neck, that probably didn't matter at all. 'I still read you Player Piano when you were in bed with the flu.' He gave a mirthless chuckle. 'I guess that's the kind of guy I am.'
'What you are is a ruthless killer,' Emily spat back.
'That didn't seem to bother you when we were together.'
'That was an act.'
He gave her a knowing smile, and nodded towards the man standing behind her. For a split second, she was so sure that he was going to pull the trigger, but instead, the barrel dropped. Emily could guess what was coming next.
The first blow to the head was stunning, but Emily kept a grip on consciousness. Apparently, that wasn't what Doyle was after, though, because his henchman followed the pistol-whipping up with a kick to the head.
With all the insomnia she'd been having lately, unconsciousness was almost a relief.