Thank you all very much for the reviews on my last few stories, I will update Broken Camouflage tomorrow. One more story on the Prentiss-Doyle arch before 'Lauren' airs tomorrow, though I expect I'll be writing a story or two based off that ep. Thanks for reading!
Her bloody fingers curled inward as pain shot through her body, flexing outward as it briefly receded. She inhaled, wincing at the pain, an involuntary whimper slipping from her mouth. She couldn't move, couldn't get up.
It wasn't that 'hurts too much to bother pushing yourself up' feeling. She could push through the pain, she'd always been good at that; it was the strength that was the problem. She literally didn't have the strength to force herself to move. So she laid on the cold, cement floor of the warehouse, staring up at the ceiling with eyes that could barely focus. She'd lost a lot of blood.
Doyle had lost more.
The son of a bitch was dead, she'd made sure of that. At least she could take that knowledge with her to the grave. Her team was safe, and this nightmare was finally over. They would mourn for her—after they forgave her for all this shit—and then move on; they would be there for each other. She could be satisfied with this result.
Of course, that didn't explain the tears slipping from her eyes.
She'd wanted to say goodbye. Especially to Reid, she didn't want to leave him the way everyone else left him. The others would be upset, but they'd understand, Reid wouldn't, and she really didn't want him to hate her forever.
She whimpered against the pain that was slowly beginning to numb. She couldn't focus on the splotch of water damage she'd been staring at, it was harder to make out the edges and the shape. The smell of blood was almost overwhelming, the salty-sweet assailing her nose, and turning her stomach. Between Doyle's and what she was coughing up onto her own face, there was a lot. And, the bruises were going to make her a hell of an ugly corpse. She wondered if her mother would opt for a closed casket to hide the damage, or just tell the undertaker to use all the concealer he could find.
Broken ribs were definite, at least one bruised kidney was probable, certainly a concussion, fractured cheek bones maybe, and then everything else just fucking hurt. Doyle hadn't actually needed a bullet to kill her, just his meaty fists and seven years of rage. She had needed three to end him, and a fourth in the center of his forehead to insure against any horror movie scenarios.
If there was ever a man who could pop back to life it was Ian Doyle.
He was a parasite. A soul-sucking, sweet-talking, 100% evil psychopath who preyed on anyone and everyone, and was entirely without morals. He was also a psychopath that she'd been rather intimate with in the deepest cover assignment she'd ever had at Interpol. The assignment that earned her the Medal of Bravery.
She could have lived without the medal. She could certainly lived without ever knowing Doyle's touch. And, god help her, Emily wished she could have lived the rest of her life without the team every knowing about this little chapter in her existence.
Her sunk her teeth into her bottom to lip to bite off another whimper, and her fingers clenched as pain seared through her chest. Fuck.
It was getting harder to breathe. And, that spot on the ceiling was looking awfully blurry. She was kind of wishing she'd just fucking lose consciousness already.
A door slammed somewhere outside the room, and she heard the very familiar sounds of boots hitting the floor. The team or Doyle's people? One could mean her life, the other would most certainly mean her death. Emily was feeling disturbingly apathetic on the matter.
The boots were coming closer. When they made it to the door, the swishing sound of a windbreaker sent a wash of tears pouring down her face. That was not a sound she ever thought would make her cry.
"Shit…I found her! I found her!" Morgan shouting. "Prentiss? Prentiss?" He slid down beside her, and his face barely made it into her view. "We need a bus!"
More boots getting closer, the rest of the team. Morgan was scanning her body, probably trying to find the source of injuries. He whipped off his windbreaker as people suddenly filled in around them, and he covered her with it.
She was just trying to keep breathing.
"Where are you hurt?" Hotch asked. It took her a minute to find him, her mind moving slow like a slug.
She opened her mouth, and just that felt like yanking a bear trap open. She tried to move it, put her mouth in position to make words, but all she managed was a strained moan.
"It's alright, you don't have to talk," Morgan was quick to say.
"Seaver, go meet the paramedics," Hotch directed.
The blonde by her head, that she assumed was Seaver, didn't move, but she still heard boots smacking against the ground as someone went to meet them. Emily slowly moved her focus to the blonde, and had the sudden, terrifying thought that she was hallucinating all of this. Why else would JJ be here?
"Hey," her friend's soft, tear-filled voice greeted, shaking fingers barely grazing her head, stroking her hair. "The DOD gave me a temporary pass to play with the Bureau."
Was she hallucinating?
Pain seared through her chest again, and she squeezed whoever's hand was in hers, whimpering against the agony. It left her panting.
"Hang on, Emily. Help's on the way, you'll be alright." Rossi's voice.
Where was Reid? If she suddenly now had the chance, she needed to do what his father, Gideon and Elle Greenway never did, and say goodbye before she left him. She tried to speak again, and ended up only yelping in pain. Wait.
If JJ was at her head, Morgan was holding her right hand, and Rossi and Hotch were standing nearby…she struggled to fix her gaze to her left. Reid sat there, holding her hand and watching her with frightened, tear-filled eyes. She tugged, or at least, tried to tug on his hand, and he felt something, because he suddenly focused on their hands. She feebly wiggled her fingers in his grip, hoping by some miracle he'd know that she was saying goodbye. When he wiggled his fingers back, she wasn't quite sure what it meant, but she'd take it.
She heard people clambering into the room, and moved her gaze to Morgan. She never saw him. Her brain finally gave in, and the sounds of them calling her name faded as she lost consciousness.
The next thing she did see was white. An enormous quantity of bright, clean white. For the moment she considered the possibility that she'd actually made it to heaven, and she was less than enthusiastic about greeting Saint Peter. Then as she blinked her eyes, her vision slowly clearing, she caught a whiff of antiseptic.
Hospital. She didn't die. That was almost as big a surprise as making it into Heaven.
Emily coughed. Then she really began to cough, because some foul, plastic object was shoved down her throat.
"Emily?" Heels clacked on the floor, and Garcia suddenly appeared in front of her, tears in her eyes. Then the tech rested a hand on her shoulder. "Calm down, sweetie. Let me find a doctor to remove that thing."
Then the tech was gone, and Emily was struggling not to yank the tube out herself. Garcia returned as promised with a doctor, and at least two nurses, and then with a hand squeeze, moved away to let the medical professionals do their thing. They got the tube out and fed her ice chips, and that alone was incredibly exhausting.
Garcia appeared again. "Hey superwoman, the team is on the way."
"Ho—" She coughed, and accepted more ice chips. "How long have—" She was cut off by another cough. Garcia held up a hand.
"How long have you been here?" She asked. Emily nodded. "About a week and a half. They had you in a medically induced coma so your lung could heal-it was punctured by one of your broken ribs-and just stopped it last night."
She closed her eyes, and whispered, "Didn't die."
"No, we found you in time…barely. You gave us all a hell of a scare, Em. You just disappeared, and then he had you, and they didn't think you'd make it…" She trailed of in sniffles and tears.
Emily reached a hand toward her, and Garcia took it without hesitation. "Sorry."
"You don't have to be sorry, just don't be a martyr, alright? Next time, trust that your five armed friends can protect themselves, and that Hotstuff will take care of me, and let us help you."
She shook her head. "Not your," she paused to eat a few more ice chips and clear her throat. "Not your demon t-to fight."
Garcia's hands went to her hips. "Honey, part of being in a family means if it's your demon, it's our demon."
"Not this time," Emily said. A Foyet-type of situation, sure, she'd be happy for their help and support. But, Doyle was before she met them, and his rage was all at her. She couldn't and wouldn't risk their lives, not because of what she done in her past.
"You're too damn stubborn for your own good, you know that?" Garcia asked.
"Don't tell me she's already arguing with the doctor's?" JJ suddenly appeared, amused smirk on her face.
"No, no arguing," Emily said.
"No, she's still convinced that Doyle was her problem to deal with and no one else's." Garcia was not terribly happy.
JJ glanced between them, and opted for a less tense subject. "How're you feeling?"
She thought about that for a minute. "Drugged."
"Morphine will do that."
Emily nodded, then remembered something confusing. "You were there?"
JJ looked confused. Wow, did she really hallucinate that? "Where?" JJ asked, and then she got it. "Oh, the warehouse?" Emily nodded. "Yeah, Hotch and Rossi requested my help, and I threatened to tell my boss's wife about his mistress."
Emily looked at Garcia and then they both looked at JJ. She shrugged. "It worked."
"Knock, knock," Rossi said, drawing their attention. He walked in, followed by the rest of the guys, and she wondered if they'd used lights and sirens to get there.
Emily looked at Hotch, fully expecting him to be extremely pissed at her. He didn't seem happy, but he didn't look like he was about to fire her either. That was good…except that it was very quiet, and she realized she didn't know how to handle this part. She didn't expect to have to handle this part.
She didn't plan on surviving Ian Doyle.
That thought hit her like a sledgehammer to the head. She'd walked away from the team, fully expecting to be executed by Doyle or one of his men. She hadn't even really hesitated. Contrary to what Doyle thought, there were some things more important to her than her own life.
And, now they knew. Her deepest darkest secret was just suddenly out there, and somehow they were all still here, running to her side in the hospital. Her odd little family knew what she'd done, what she was capable of, and they didn't walk away.
Suddenly she closed her eyes, and just focused on breathing around the emotion. Hot tears slid down her cheeks, and she had no control over them.
The nightmare with Doyle was really over, and her family was still with her.
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see."
-Amazing Grace, John Newton