You don't even flinch. You've never blinked.

As Emily lay down in the dark bedroom to try and rest as Hotch had ordered her to, his and JJ's words came back to her.

If she hadn't been so drained, she might consider it funny that Hotch had been the one to comment on blinking. She'd never seen him blink either.

It wasn't that this situation didn't hurt her; that she wasn't terrified for Reid being held by Henkel. She was, so much so that she was physically hurting. But she was the newest member of the team, which meant that she was hurting the least, right?

If that was so, she couldn't imagine walking in JJ's shoes right now, didn't want to.

Hotch and JJ were right though. She never blinked or flinched. She had learned a long time ago that when you blinked, that was when the tears began to fall, the ones that you worked so hard to keep at bay, hidden and unseen. She never flinched, because that showed the enemy that you were weak, and when you were weak, that only made them stronger.

She coped by helping the others. She was Hotch's right hand man on this case. She was Gideon's voice of reason against his guilt. She was JJ's gal pal, someone who wouldn't tell her to quit crying, because she really needed to cry right now. She was Garcia's sunshine, when the analyst's own spirit darkened. She was Morgan's partner, staying by his side as always, even while he boxed up his emotions and hid them away to let out elsewhere after the case.

She was there. She was helping. She was hurting. But not once would she flinch, let them see her be weak. Not even when the next video of Reid came. Never if she could help it.

She closed her eyes to try and sleep, but behind her eyelids the only thing she could see was Reid in those videos, beaten, haggard, and helpless.

And there, in the darkness of the bedroom, with no one around, she flinched.


I wrote another stand-alone CM one-shot, Shared, and nobody really likes it. I don't know that, though, because NOBODY has reviewed it. My theory is that it's because of the character (Strauss), so I decided to do another one and see what response I get. And what better to cover than the most-watched episode of CM (Revelations)! So please review! Thanks!