[I'm kind of sad to see this story over, but I'm overall glad with the way it turned out (:

Leave me a review and let me know how you liked it.

Hope you enjoy the last chapter(:

PS. It's just strong friendship, but if you're a Demily shipper, you will probably see some hints there, couldn't help myself, haha;)]

"We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death." - Leo F. Buscalgia

One Month Later

She looks around the familiar bar, taking in the atmosphere, the people.

God, she never thought she'd miss this place; with its dingy tables and chairs that were falling apart. With the old worn out pool table, and Joe, the bartender who was overly cautious and would take your keys after only two drinks.

But she had. In that cellar, all she had thought about was being back here, with the team. She'd wished she was here, smelling the beer and sweat, hearing the douchebags in the side booth dog whistle and hit on everything with a pulse. She never thought she would be here again.

Running a hand through her hair, now cut in a short bob just above her shoulders, she scans the room for her team.

She notices Garcia dancing animatedly, trying to get Reid to join her. She sees Dave and Hotch at the pool table, and JJ at the dart board, surrounded by guys. She doesn't seem to notice though, as she orders another drink and hits the bulls-eye again. Emily reminds herself to go get her friend soon; two more drinks, and that's it.

Looking at the bar, she sees Derek talking to a petite Hispanic woman, smiling.

She catches his eye, and he looks at her. Actually looks at her, and starts to make his way over. God, was she glad they worked things out. She didn't think she could stand him not being able to look at her, like the first couple weeks.

One Week Ago

The four of them stepped into the elevator, silent.

Emily looked up. Garcia gave her a smile so fake, it just about shattered her heart. Reid gave an awkward nod. But Derek; he didn't even look in her direction. He just stared down, as if he was overly interested in the shoes he was wearing that day.

The ping of the elevator interrupted her thoughts and everyone stepped out, heading in the directions of their cars.

"Morgan, wait!", the words inadvertently slipped out of her mouth.

He turned around slowly, head still down, and she walked up to him.

"Morgan.", she said, attempting to get him to look her in the eyes.

He just gave a shrug of the shoulders, still not moving his gaze from the ground.

"Morgan, look at me.", she pleaded. He didn't know how much this was hurting her. She'd missed him; his laugh, his voice, his friendship. Emily was deathly afraid they would never get that back.

He didn't budge, just tilted his head up, his eyes still fixed on something else.

"Derek, please.", she said, using his first name on purpose, her voice breaking on the last syllable.

Finally, his gaze locked with hers. By that time, there were tears in her eyes.

He looked at her for a second, before turning away completely.

"I'm so sorry Emily.", he said quietly.

Slowly, deliberately, her hand made its way onto his shoulder.

"It wasn't your fault.", she responded simply, truthfully.

Pulling his arm away, he turned to face her, his eyes glazing with tears.

"I know. I know it wasn't, but I- I can't look you in the eyes. It's a constant reminder of how I didn't protect you. I just... I can't, Emily.", his voice broke on her name.

She just stood there for a second, her eyes burning holes into the ground. She couldn't say anything to make him feel better, she realized. As much as this was hurting her, it was probably hurting him more. She couldn't imagine having that on your conscience. And yet, some small part of her felt like he was ignoring her, like it was something she'd done.

"You can look at Garcia.", Emily noted quietly, almost ashamed at the remark.

She had noticed though, how Derek and Penelope had gotten almost back to normal. He even drove her to therapy, which she needed now, because of her PTSD.

He was the one she called in the middle of the night when she had nightmares, Emily knew. He was the one who's shoulder she cried on.

Emily couldn't help but feel a bit jealous at that.

He was helping Garcia so much, they were normal, maybe even closer than before, and he wouldn't even look at Emily. Maybe it was just her, she thought.

"We saved her... She- she didn't get hurt.", he responded, looking at her again.

Emily felt a tear roll down her cheek as she saw his hurt expression. How could this, just looking at her, cause him so much pain?

Maybe her transferring would be better. Everyone had treated her like she was made of porcelain since she'd gotten back to work. Her own partner would not even look her in the eyes. Maybe the team would just be better off.

"Besides, Penelope needs me.", Derek added, still looking at Emily with that broken face that she'd come to know over the last couple weeks.

"I need you too.", she all but whispered.

Couldn't he see that? Didn't he realize how true that was? She missed him; she missed them, how they used to be.

More tears overflowed and rolled down her cheeks, and she didn't even bother wiping them away.

Seconds later, his arms were wrapping around her, and she let herself cry.

His hand ran soothingly through her hair, and she found herself afraid to let go.

Because if she let go, she was afraid that he would start ignoring her again, that he would put his walls up and she would never be able to get through. No, this couldn't be all she got. One hug couldn't be all she got.

So he was the one who pulled away, sensing her hesitation, understanding.

He looked into her eyes then, sensing just how much he'd hurt her, just how much she needed him. And so he swallowed his feelings and his guilt, for her.

"I'm not going anywhere Princess.", he said then, pressing a kiss to her temple, much like when he'd found her three weeks ago. He pushed those memories down though, and tried to focus on the one they were making right now.

"Thank you.", she said, burying her face in his chest. And suddenly, it felt just like nothing had changed.

"Always.", he replied, holding her close.

Present Day

He reaches the table and places the beers in his hands down with a loud clunk.

Motioning for Emily to scoot over, he sits next to her in the booth, looking out into the crowd dancing. He spots Reid and Garcia then, and smiles.

"Looks like they're having fun.", he motions with his head to the dance floor.

Emily nods. It does; even Garcia. She'd been getting better lately – Emily guessed the therapy was helping. Yeah, the tech was still not back to her usual clothing selections, but her personality was back, for the most part.

"You don't wanna go dance?", Derek says again, motioning this time to the man sitting at the bar, eyeing Emily intensely.

"This would make it kind of hard, don't you think?", she says sarcastically and motions to the hard cast on her right arm. She can't believe it still has to be on. But apparently the injury had 'healed incorrectly', and now it needs to be repaired. Bullshit. Emily just wants to get back to work.

They sit in silence for a couple of minutes, both nursing their beers, enjoying it. It's a comfortable silence; like the ones they had shared before this whole mess. Derek starts wiping off the condensation on his glass, watching Emily.

She's selfishly comforted by the fact that he's there, with her, just sitting on silence, when he could be no doubt dancing with a girl and enjoying himself.

"Hey, Derek, let's go dance.", she says unexpectedly, causing him to look up and shoot her a confused look.

He waits a moment and then responds, careful not to say something wrong. Usually, he was quite the smooth talker, but Emily could twist his words around in an instant.

"I'm not complaining Princess, because, I would just love to, but may I ask what brought this on?", he asks, satisfied with his question.

She grins and looks away, her cheeks flushing slightly.

"What?", he asks, now curious, as he leans toward her.

"You'll laugh.", she responds, looking him in the eyes, almost like issuing a challenge.

"I won't.", he says. Challenge accepted. "Promise."

"Okay.", she takes a deep breath. "Well, when I was down in that cellar with Bobby,", she begins, and tries to ignore the anger on his face when she mentions that, "I thought I was gonna die. So, I got to thinking about my regrets, and the only thing I could think of... was that I never got to dance with Derek Morgan.", she says, looking to his face, testing for a reaction.

He breaks out into a wide smile, his eyes crinkling in the corners.

"It might've just been the drugs though.", she adds, smiling back at him.

"Well, lets find out.", he says, already getting up and practically pulling her out of the booth and onto the dance floor.

As Emily dances, can't help thinking that she'd been right to talk to him that day, to make things right, not to leave the team. Because then this wouldn't have happened, and she would've lost the only family she'd ever known.

We all have to make choices in life, that's inevitable. And when you make the wrong choice, mistakes can't be avoided. But this time, she'd made the right choice. The universe had worked out for her, the planets aligned, or whatever, and she was here. Alive, here, dancing with Derek Morgan in some dingy bar she can't even remember the name of. And yet she wouldn't have it any other way.

"Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice." -Ayn Rand