Title: Broken Faith
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing: Morgan, Prentiss, team - gen
Summary: "Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath." ~ Solon.
Warnings: Spoilers for 6x18.
Trust not him that has once broken faith.
William Shakespeare – Henry VI
His first clue came when they didn't get to see the body.
Morgan didn't particularly have any inclination to see it himself – he'd held her hand until the last. That was enough pain. But no-one else had been given the chance to say goodbye, and that was just plain weird.
Reid and Garcia, he could understand. Seaver, even, he could understand. Hotch's disinclination was confusing, and Rossi and JJ were both oddly silent on the matter.
He cornered JJ on the way out of the hospital. 'If Emily were still alive, you'd tell me, right?'
She looked at him, face straight. Jennifer Jareau could lie her way out of an execution, and Morgan reminded himself not to forget that. 'If Emily were still alive, then we'd be putting her in danger by doing something about it,' she said.
His heart sunk with realization.
Emily had gone into hiding, to protect them.
She – and JJ, it seemed – had faked her death, so that Doyle would not take his anger out on the remaining members of the BAU. He was hurt, and yet he knew that if he were in that situation, he would have done the same damn thing.
He wanted to find her, and tell her that everything was going to be okay, but that was a death sentence for both of them.
Instead, he waited.
Instead, he trusted that Ian Doyle would be found, and that Emily Prentiss knew how to take care of herself.
Instead, he looked at her picture every day, and reminded himself of her bravery, and her strength, and how, if she really was dead, he didn't think he'd be able to cope with it.
That was how long it took for JJ to return to the BAU, and drag them into the Bullpen and tell them that Ian Doyle had been shot and killed by an Interpol agent in Belgium.
'Where is she?' he demanded, and Garcia gave him a quizzical look.
'What are you talking about?'
Morgan looked at Hotch and JJ, who shared a look between themselves, as if deciding which of them was going to break the news to the team.
'Emily's still alive,' Hotch announced, and there was a long silence.
'If Doyle knew, then he would have gone after her, as well as anyone close to her,' JJ continued. 'So she went into hiding.'
'Where is she?' Morgan repeated. 'She's coming back, right?'
'I spoke to her this morning,' Hotch revealed. 'She's going to take care of some things first, but she will be returning, yes.'
Garcia let out a choked sob, and it wasn't long before the tears were flowing rapidly down her face. 'Oh my God.' Morgan pulled the technical analyst into a hug.
'It's okay, baby girl.'
Garcia thumped him on the shoulder. 'You knew? You knew, and you didn't tell me?'
'I guessed,' he admitted, giving her a guilty look. 'But I didn't know for sure, and I didn't want to get your hopes up.'
'I could have found her.'
'And that was the reason you weren't told,' Hotch said evenly. 'If anybody found out, the information would have made it back to Doyle.'
The next day found the entire team waiting at Dulles – actually at the gate, thanks to their badges.
Emily was the last one off the plane.
From the look on her face, it was evident that she'd done it on purpose – that she knew that they'd been waiting for them, and that she didn't want for them to see how ashamed she was. She'd grown out her bangs, and her hair was pulled back into a braid. Morgan was twenty feet away, but he could still see the tears in her eyes.
Morgan walked right up to Emily, and wrapped her in a tight hug. 'I missed you so much.'
'Missed you too,' she mumbled into his shoulder. 'So sorry.'
'I know,' he reassured her. 'I know.' He let go, knowing that he wasn't the only one that wanted to greet her. Garcia was bawling her eyes out, even as she took Emily in a death grip.
'I got your voicemail,' Emily revealed. 'You have no idea how much it helped me.'
'You are never leaving my sight again,' Garcia admonished the former profiler. 'I don't care if I have to spend the rest of my life handcuffed to you.'
'Kevin might care.' Emily paused, frowning. 'You are still with Kevin, right?'
'Actually,' Garcia said, a wide smile breaking through the tears. 'We're engaged. And to be honest, he would absolutely be okay with that, if you know what I mean.'
Emily gave a laugh, and Morgan felt a strange warmth in his heart. He'd never realized how much he loved Emily's laugh until he stopped hearing it.
It was kind of surreal.
'Your things are in storage,' Hotch told her. 'Your mother does know that you're alive, but we couldn't keep the apartment without arousing suspicion.'
Emily shook her head. 'I don't care,' she said. 'All I care is that I'm back, and that Doyle's dead, and I can go back to living my life.' Her voice had a sadness to it, and Morgan couldn't blame her. After everything that had happened…going back to living her life wasn't going to be easy.
'I've also requisitioned the paperwork to have your death certificate rescinded,' Hotch said. Emily bit her lip.
'You can stay with me, if you want,' Morgan told her as they walked towards baggage claim, and she stared at him, surprised. 'I mean…it'll be more comfortable than a hotel room.'
'Also, you're probably going to need to fight Kevin to the death to get Sergio back,' Garcia told her. 'That adorable kitty of yours was moping just as much as the rest of us.'
Since they all had the day off – something that hadn't happened since the leave they'd taken after the funeral – their motley procession drove back to Morgan's house.
'So, where have you been?' Morgan asked, in what he hoped was a casual tone, as he turned out of the airport parking lot.
'Oh, France, Spain, Costa Rica…' she started. 'Like a six month vacation, really.'
He gave her a look. 'You were looking for Declan, weren't you?'
'I needed to make sure Doyle didn't get to him.'
'He's safe, then?'
Emily bowed her head. 'Doyle got to Louise. I'm petitioning to get him back to the States so I can take care of him, but…The paperwork is a real clusterfuck.'
'Did you love him?' Morgan asked, and Emily started.
'Doyle – did you love him?'
'I…' She frowned, shoulders dropping. 'I don't know.' The words were almost in a whisper. 'He acting differently, when he started to fall for me. Sometimes it was so easy to believe that there was a heart of gold, deep down. But there wasn't.'
'Were you involved in the takedown?'
Emily shook her head. 'No. Clyde made sure I was well out of the way. Seems like they did a much better job than I did.'
'You know, it wouldn't have come to that, if you'd told us earlier.'
Emily sighed. 'Look, Morgan, I understand you're upset about…everything. But I just got off a nine hour flight. Can we please not talk about it right away?'
'Okay,' Morgan agreed. 'But we will talk about it.'
Emily was back, but there was a long way to go before he ever trusted her again.