Title: Broken Faith
Rating: PG-13
Fandom:
Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing:
Morgan, Prentiss, team - gen
Genre: Hurt/Comfort/Friendship
Summary:
"Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath." ~ Solon.
Warnings:
Spoilers for 6x18.

Part Seven

Three Months Later

Emily tried not to yawn.

It was a little past eight o'clock in the morning, but she'd spent the night tossing and turning. It had been a long time since she'd felt this nervous. After all, it wasn't every day you were reunited with the child whose death you faked eight years previously.

She had seen him since then, of course, but things had been hectic enough that she hadn't really had a chance to talk to him much. A whirlwind of grief and frustration. Declan might have been almost a teenager now, but Emily would never forget young boy that had loved his father. The boy that had been like a son to her.

Of course, the reason for that did not go unmissed. He would never replace the child she had lost, but that didn't prevent the hollowness inside of her every time she thought of it.

No.

Not today.

You are not going to think about this today, Emily.

Emily pushed the thought out of her mind as she went downstairs to make coffee. Breakfast would have been ideal, but she wasn't entirely sure that she'd be able to keep it down. She hadn't been this nervous in a long time.

You can stare down serial killers, but an eleven-year-old boy scares you?

'I must be going insane,' she muttered to herself. The tension wasn't exactly helped by the sound of a knock on the door. 'Fuck.' Boiling hot coffee went everywhere, and Emily dove for the dishcloth. 'Just a second,' she called out, mentally cursing whoever it was that was so insistent on calling at this time of morning.

Of course, she knew who it was.

'Hey,' Morgan said, when she let him in. He had an air of nonchalance, as though he was just stopping by for a visit, and had absolutely no idea about what day it was.

Emily gave him a look. 'What are you doing here?' she asked.

'Flight gets in at ten – I would have thought you would have been up and ready three hours ago, pacing the apartment.'

'I got to sleep late,' she told him. She hesitated. 'It's just…I don't know if I'm ready for this.'

He put a hand to her shoulder. 'Trust me, Emily. There is no-one else on this planet who is ready to be a mother more than you.' She almost rolled her eyes at the hyperbole, but appreciated the gesture. 'Beside – you really think the team is going to let you go through this alone? Declan's going to have seven people watching out for him. And that's just us.'

The words were comforting, even if deep down, she had already known that it was true. But she accepted his offer of company to the airport, if only so she didn't freak out too much.

Seconds ticked by slower than they ever had before. Emily felt like a kid waiting for Christmas.

When she saw him, it was like time had stopped altogether.

He was taller, certainly, and his hair had darkened slightly, but there was still that veil of pure innocence that seemed to cover him eight years ago. She was sure she'd feel differently in a month or two, when he was refusing to brush his teeth, or not doing his homework…but now, he was a symbol of the only decent thing that had come out of her time with Doyle.

Declan's expression split into a wide grin. He ran up to Emily and wrapped her in a tight hug. Emily closed her eyes and hugged him back.

A puzzle piece clicked into place. More than anything else in the world, this felt right.

'Hi,' Declan murmured. Emily choked out a teary laugh.

'Hi,' she said back.

'I missed you, Lau—' He paused, frowning. 'Emily. It still feels kinda weird to call you that.'

'Yeah,' she nodded. 'But…Lauren was still me. Mostly. There were a few things that were different, but it was mostly just the name.' Declan nodded, but he still seemed unsure. Emily wasn't surprised. After everything that had happened over the past few months, Declan had the right to be a little confused. 'This is Derek,' she told him, gesturing towards Morgan. 'We work together.'

'At the FBI?' Declan asked.

'At the FBI,' Emily confirmed. 'Catching bad guys.'

'Like my dad?'

Emily paused, shooting Morgan a helpless look. She didn't want to keep Declan in the dark, but there was a limit to how much she could tell him. 'Like your dad,' she said, swallowing.

'Want me to drive?' Morgan asked, when they reached the car. Emily nodded, fishing the keys from her pocket. She put Declan's luggage – a single duffel bag – in the trunk, and then got into the back seat.

There were so many questions she wanted to ask – eight years was like an eternity in the life of a child, and there was so much she didn't know about him. Last time, her focus had been on Doyle. Now, she could give Declan the attention he deserved.

He seemed distant, but Emily couldn't exactly blame him.

When they returned to her apartment, Morgan showed no signs of wanting to leave, something for which Emily was eternally grateful.

She showed Declan to his room, which looked far too bare for Emily's tastes. There was a bed, a bookshelf and a desk in addition to the built in wardrobe, but if things went the way they were supposed to, then soon enough there would be dirty jeans strewn across the floor.

'You hungry?' Emily asked. 'I could make some sandwiches, and we can put on a movie, or something.'

'I guess,' Declan mumbled.

'Better make it something actiony,' Morgan joked. 'I don't think he wants a chick flick.'

'I'm pretty sure I don't own any chick flicks,' Emily said matter-of-factly. 'I do, however, have it on good authority that there is absolutely no-one in the world that dislikes Star Wars.'

And that was how, ten minutes later, Emily found herself watching A New Hope with Declan and Morgan.

'Hey,' she said, in a stage whisper, punching Morgan softly on the arm. 'Thanks.'

He grinned. 'Anytime, princess.'