Author's Note: First, if you didn't see my profile, I set up a twitter for my writing. It's easy, ffsienna27. Given how loopy the site can be (FYI, check the main page, they're deleting all of our PMs at the end of July) I wanted to start branching away from them. I have no plans to stop posting here (though I will start my own site at some point) but I wanted to have another way to reach people beyond the frigging messaging system that seems to crash every couple months. For now I'll use the twitter basically for story announcements, but we'll see how it goes.
So back to the story. This is another entry in the 'kiss & kiss off' challenge. The challenge struck an unexpected nerve in that I've started stories for basically all the couples I don't generally write. Or more specifically the ones that I don't write but I have no personal objection to :) So you know there won't be any Emily/Reid pairings because there isn't enough Dramamine in the world for me to get through that without hurling. I really got a little queasy just writing the sentence.
This one is JJ and Emily. Different for me, perhaps for some of my regular readers as well, but please give it a chance if you can. I worked hard on it. Yes, it's a female love story of two (apparently) hetero characters, but really who is to say that they were exclusively hetero their entire lives? Exactly. So this relationship is worked within canon dynamics as realistically as any of the fake relationships that we write here for couples that aren't really together. All I ask is that you please make that leap of faith once again :)
Because this is the exact same challenge as the Morgan/JJ posting (and I'm sure at least a couple of you out there read that one) I wanted to make sure this one was a very different tale. So it's still narrative, but it's all first person. And we open with them already broken up and Emily's writing a letter.
Due credit to the secondary prompt which really gave me the legs for this one.
Bonus Challenge #30 - Potpourri Times Three
Show: Home Improvement
Title Challenge: The Kiss & The Kiss-Off
Prompt Set #10 (February 2011)
Show: Elizabeth Scott
Title: Love You, Hate You, Miss You
Shades Of Blue
There are days now when I look back and remember only good things. I tell myself that for most of our relationship we never fought, that we laughed all the time, and that every day spent with you was a happy day.
Of course that's complete bullshit.
I'm just lying to myself. Trying to smooth over the rough edges of our past before I cut myself again. But in the process I'm doing a disservice to what we really had, trying to remember our relationship as something different than what it was.
As though the reality wasn't good enough.
The reality was wonderful. You should know that some of the happiest days of my life were the ones I spent with you. And we were so good together for so long.
But then things started to change.
You . . . started to change. You didn't want to go out alone together anymore. You'd say you were tired, or it was too late . . . or my favorite . . . maybe some other day.
But those other days didn't come.
And then you started behaving differently when we were out with the team. They had been our safety zone. The one place out in the world where we could always feel completely comfortable being ourselves. After all the team . . . well, Hotch anyway . . . had known about us by then for almost a year. The others for at least six months. They supported our relationship. Defended it. And they were happy for us, and we were happier still being out with them.
For a time anyway.
But then one night we went out for a beer, and I put my hand on your shoulder . . . and you shook it off. Then you slid just a little further down the booth and turned away. That hurt. I didn't tell you that at the time, but that first night you did that . . . I almost cried. But then I told myself that you were just upset about the case, that it wasn't me.
It was just the day.
For a little I believed that . . . the next three times it happened anyway. But pretty soon you were sitting on the other side of the table, and then you were making conversation with everybody but me. And that's when I started to see that it was me. All of a sudden you were ashamed of me.
It started there . . . with the little things that weren't . . . and then it got worse. The life that I thought we'd been building . . . the family that I thought we'd been planning . . . you said that you didn't want it anymore. Of course initially, it wasn't exactly in those words.
Honesty didn't come until much later.
No, at first when you began to pull away from our future it was through deflection. You said it wasn't the right point in our lives. That it would hurt our careers, not only to take the time off, but to take that step to out our relationship. That we'd be labeled by our friends and colleagues that didn't know we were together.
That they'd call us dykes.
As soon as you said that horrible word I'd felt a dagger in my heart. Because that's when I could truly see the problem for what it was.
That's what they'd called us that awful day a few months before. And apparently that word had been festering in your brain . . . eating away at our future.
Do you remember that day? That day when you told them that I gave you a ring and we were planning on starting a family. I remember it like it happened this morning.
They screamed at you and said that their tolerance of your little experimentation was one thing. That they understood it was just a result of all the testosterone in your work environment . . . women doing men's jobs . . . but that eventually you'd grow out of it and move on to find a "normal" relationship with a man. And as though that wasn't bad enough, then they said that if you went forward with starting a "new age family" with "that woman" . . . speaking about me as though I wasn't in the room . . . you'd be ruining your life, your career and any possible future you might have with a man.
I'd like to add in here now that your parents are complete and utter morons. I hope you know that now . . . or maybe you don't. If you did then I think you'd still be sleeping next to me at night. But either way, that needed to be said because I didn't say it before. Before I was trying to spare your feelings.
We're beyond that.
So I want you to remember that day now for what it really was, cruel and hateful people masking their ignorance and fear under the guise of love and concern for your well being. That's all that was. And I wanted to tell them to fuck off, to go to hell and rot there . . . but I'd promised you that I wouldn't. Because you promised me that you'd handle it.
You just stood there and took it. These people who professed to love you were shitting all over the woman that YOU had professed to love just an hour before they'd arrived at our home. How could you do that to me? Again.
But then, what made all of that even worse, was days later when you tried to pretend that it hadn't happened. That it was all in my mind and that their reaction hadn't been that bad.
It was just normal parental concern.
That's when I should have seen the writing on the wall. But I hadn't. Not then.
Not until you said the D word a few weeks later. That's when I realized that they were brainwashing you just like they had for the twenty plus years before I came into your life. And I want to tell you something now Jen, something I want you to remember always . . . you can't remake the past simply by saying it didn't happen.
It's not fucking Orwell.
Still though . . . on that day . . . even with your obvious denial about how badly things had gone, at first I thought we'd work through it. That it was just a rough patch, that every couple has them. And a female couple in conservative jobs, with conservative families . . . though mine are the flipping Kennedys compared to yours, my mother offered to pay for the wedding if I promised to wear a dress . . . who suddenly announce that they want to get married and have a baby, well, they're going to perhaps have a few more rougher patches than most.
But we ended living in briars for months.
And those happiest days . . . they started coming further and further apart. First it was your interactions with me in public, then with the team . . . then us at home. I'd walk into the living room, you'd go into the bedroom. I'd ask if I should make dinner, you'd say you grabbed a bite in your office. You were becoming quieter and more distant.
That was the worst of it . . . the point where my heart started to break. I could see you, not only physically, but mentally disengaging with me. And I was helpless to stop it. When I look back at how things were towards the end, I can see that I started picking the fights on purpose. To see that ocean of blue in your eyes swirl and darken from sky to sapphire.
Sometimes with no stops in between.
Because once we were at sapphire you'd be screaming at me over something like the dishes that I purposely hadn't done just so you'd be forced to talk to me. And I'd find myself simply responding to your accusations by rote. All I wanted was your attention . . . some acknowledgement that I still existed. But there was no longer any point in bothering to truly engage.
It was over by then.
So the end of our relationship was just me staring into that cerulean abyss, remembering. Remembering how things were before your parents planted those seeds that destroyed everything. For that there will be no forgiveness.
For that I'll hate them always.
Things limped along for a few more months, but then one day it all came to a full stop.
One Wednesday afternoon I flew out to Cincinnati with Hotch, and then that Friday I came home from a perfectly routine prison interview to find a very unroutine note sitting on our kitchen table. You said no more. That you were done. That you weren't going to live your life constantly on the verge of an all out war. That if I couldn't respect the life that you wanted to lead . . . apparently the one where we were living in shame and darkness . . . then you owed it to yourself to leave before things got worse.
Before you grew to truly hate me.
Then you said that you'd gotten a job at the DEA and that you'd left your resignation on Hotch's desk while we were away in Ohio.
That you'd already cleaned out your desk.
And all of that hurt . . . it hurt so much . . . but not as much as seeing your ring lying there next to the five hundred dollars you left for the rent. But worse still was how you signed the letter. Just one word.
You wrote goodbye. Not I love you, or I'll miss you, or I'm sorry for being a coward and not standing up to my parents and then leaving you when you aren't here to stop me. That's what you should have said. That's what my Jen would have said.
But my Jen was already long gone.
And the woman that was left just wrote "goodbye" and dropped a stack of cash on the table. Like I was your fucking landlord and you were just settling up accounts.
You hateful, self centered, prissy little bitch. Even though I suspected the end was coming, I hadn't seen it coming like that. I'd thought so much more of you. I'd hoped that eventually the woman that I'd fallen in love with would come back to me. That she'd tell her parents to go screw, and then she'd tell me she was sorry for how she'd treated me. Then she'd put my ring back on her finger and we'd be happy again.
What an idiot I was.
Nobody gets the girl in the end. That's only for fairytales and simpletons.
And now as I sit here typing this letter to you I'm filled with anger and bitterness and self loathing. And I hate you for that. For ruining even my memories of the beautiful girl with the beautiful blue eyes, who had brought me more happiness in our two years together than I thought I deserved.
Apparently I didn't deserve it.
But I didn't deserve what you did to me either. You broke my heart, you spit on our relationship and you tainted my memories. And you didn't even seem to care.
Or if you did . . . you didn't care to show it.
When you get this I hope that you read it, and you see it for what it is . . . the truth that you tried to avoid. The last words that I deserved to have. Here they are.
I miss you.
I miss us. I miss our life before. I miss the baby we didn't have, and the old age that we planned and the life that we won't live. And as much as I hate you for how you left, I hate myself more for loving you still. I hope you grow up. I hope you find your true self again. I hope that someday maybe you'll be happy and stop hating yourself for what you really are. Because what you are is not what your parents said. You're not a deviant or an embarrassment. You're beautiful.
And for our time together I was so proud that you were mine. And that's the truth that you didn't want to hear . . . that our life together was right. Now you live with that. Accept it.
And please . . . be stronger for it.
A/N 2: So yeah, there you go. Though the challenge is the same as JJ/Morgan, I wanted this second entry to be a very different breakup for very different reasons which is why I cleaned up the same sex relationship before any others. It gave a unique set of new pitfalls for them to traverse. And even as we move further and further into the future, there are still many people very stuck in some very ugly mindsets so I didn't find that at all a stretch. There are people still poisoning their children. And with JJ a decade younger than Emily . . . and I can say without a doubt I am not the same person in my thirties as I was in my twenties . . . of the two of them, for this fictional version, I saw her being the one more likely still in that place to be manipulated by her parents into thinking there was something wrong with her life. Because really, if you hit the right nerve, we're all still in that place. For good manipulation or bad, your family will always be able to push your buttons. They installed them. And really, I can't recall (in the time that I was watching CM) any very special episodes covering JJ's relationship with her parents. But here in this world, they're schmucks. And I see Emily as older and more comfortable in her skin taking that other road, but still torn between her hurt and her knowledge that what JJ had done was coming from her own demons and she needed to be understanding of that.
The title, dual meaning, it's half straight forward 'what happens after the breakup,' and then half inspiration from the site 'after Ellen.'
This was kind of hard to write. Which is good actually, I've found if it's harder to write then I feel like I'm investing more. So, whether you're into the pairing I or not, please let me know what you thought.
I have JJ's portion sketched out in my head but it might not go up for a week or so. My brain's in bouncy ball mode from story to story. Thanks everybody for the reviews on the last post. This new PM system has me all thrown off but I'll try and sort out my responses tomorrow :) And again, twitter!