Author's Note:This is just a one shot idea I had in my head. It wouldn't go away. Here's a little Emily one shot. :) And I know the rest of the team doesn't know about Strauss, but hey, it's fan fiction. =D

Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds in any way, shape or form.

"What was all that about?" Emily whispered as JJ came over to her. She jerked her head up towards where Hotch and Morgan had gone to speak to Strauss.

JJ leaned in closer, her blonde hair tumbling down. "Strauss has a drinking problem and Hotch is dealing with it," JJ looked a bit guilty, she shouldn't know. But it was hard not to.

Emily tried to prevent her mouth from dropping open in shock. Erin Strauss. Drinking problem? She'd have never expected it from her. Then again, no one would expect it from her either.

She gulped a bit when she remembered the anger on Hotch's face as he'd walked up the stairs. She shook her head. "I best be going home," she trailed off as she left JJ standing there. JJ was looking upstairs, her expression appearing defeated and worried. JJ nodded that she'd heard Emily. Emily forced a feeble smile as she gathered her things to leave.

Erin Strauss had a drinking problem. Just like her. Erin was being removed from her post. Emily continued to take small breaths all the way to the parking lot. Feeling the panic rise in her chest, she paused when she made it to her car. If Hotch found out about her problem, she could say good bye to her job. She squeezed her eyes shut briefly before starting her car.

"How did you get by in Paris?" Hotch had asked as he sat across from her.

She smiled briefly, "well, I played a lot of online scrabble with some girl named 'Cheeto Breath.'

That had been her response. She hadn't dare told him the truth. The truth that she'd begun drinking. That truth, the real truth on how she got by. The feeling of losing all her friends. She hadn't been sure she'd ever be able to see them again and if she did if they'd even talk with her after she betrayed them. She'd told herself it was just a one time thing. Then the next time that it was the last but now it was to the point where she sneaked bathroom breaks just to drink. She used so many mints and gum to hide it, but she was constantly afraid they would find out. She should have stopped, right when she got back...

She had a drinking problem. She knew it. She needed to stop. Her brain had a hard time functioning now. She had no idea how many times her team members had asked if she was okay. How long could she keep saying that she was tired or still adjusting? And Hotch, if he knew... She'd seen the disappointment on his face when it was Strauss, she couldn't bear the thought of that disappointment having to do with her. After all him and JJ had done to ensure her safety. After how much her team had suffered because of her 'death.' Not only was this not fair to her, it wasn't fair to her team.

Even while thinking these thoughts, she took a gulp of the drink in her water bottle. It was dangerous, she knew. She could already see the lines on the road blurring. She had to laugh to herself. No one would ever think of Emily Prentiss as the type to become an alcoholic. Anyone could become an alcoholic. Especially when they feel alone. That's the worst. Near death experiences don't help either. All these things and now here was Emily Prentiss driving home while she drank.

She'd said several times that it was her last one. She knew she had. Every night. And every night she went over these regrets and guilt in her head.

I'm so stupid. I'm not alone now. I don't need to drink now. I have my family back. That's what she'd told herself. Then when she'd seen how angry Reid was with JJ, how much it hurt JJ, one of her best friends. And it was because JJ had been helping her... This had caused her to take another 'last' drink. There was always a reason for a 'last' drink. What she needed now was a reason to not have that last drink. Her team. For them. Could she do it?

When she got home she was barely able to walk, she stumbled into her house and somehow managed to get into her bed. She was still fully clothed but she made it to the safety of her bed. She managed to keep herself controlled in the field but the drive home and getting home was a different story. There was no one there to see her demons laid out in front of her. To see her drink that poison. How many drunk driving deaths were there a year? She was sure Reid could tell her. A small smile touched her lips as she fell into a deep sleep. Yes, it was time to stop drinking. She'd remembered what the drugs had done to Reid. His poison. And now she was poisoned. No more. It was over, she was done.

Hours later the nightmares hit. Doyle, in her dream, after her. He'd been murdering her team one by one. Sergio meowed softly from the bottom of the bed as she thrashed, her sheets covered in sweat, the tears causing her hair to stick to her face. She got out of bed. She pulled down the glasses and her wine.

Just one more. Just one last drink.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!