A/N: Three fics in three days. My muses are definetly back. So, my lovelies, again, JJ/Emily angst. Once again, let's pretend that the wedding never happened, because in my universe, it never did. I cannot stand the character of Will. I think he is pointless. However, I will have my fun with him eventually. This is my way of also dealing with the fact that my favorite character, Emily Prentiss, and my favorite actess, Paget Brewster, will not be back next season. I love the character of Emily and I love the character of JJ and I think the actresses that play them are vastly underrated.
The next fic I post in a couple of days will focus around my two lovely ladies and Morgan/Garcia, my other favorite characters on the show.

I do not own Criminal Minds. I do not own anything in this story except the plot. The fic is loosely based off of "The Safest Place," by Leann Rimes.

~I wanna be strong, but I don't wanna be along tonight
I wanna believe that I can save the world and make it right
But I believe in, and you've got a heroes face
Right here in your arms is the safest place
The safest place~
Leann Rimes, "The Safest Place"

It's the nights that seem the longest. When the sun is out, you can pretend that everything is normal, that everything is fine. When it's daytime, you have work to keep you occupied, to keep you from thinking of your time when Ian Doyle captured you. You don't want to think about that, but you know you have to eventually. You can't run from this forever. During the day, you can bury yourself in other things.

Night, night is when the terror comes. When locked in the recesses of your own mind, you dream. Dream is too nice of a word for what you experience. You experience night terrors so severe that you wake up in a cold sweat, your gun in your hand, wondering when he is going to come back for you. You know that he's dead, but you realize also that he could have other people out there, hunting for you. However, you know that you cannot share this burden with anyone, as you have to be strong. Being strong is in your nature. You were taught never to show emotion, so you don't.

You have thought time and time again about reaching out to her, telling her all this. But you know you have to be strong. You're Emily Prentiss, you can do anything. You can save the world and make it right. You can save the world from people like Doyle, Tobias, and all those who you have helped capture or kill. You know she worries about you, but you ignore it, burying yourself behind your walls, never letting anyone get too close. Even Morgan, your partner who you trust with your life, knows nothing about this. He suspects, but as a rule, none of you profile each other.

You sigh, knowing sleep is a lost cause yet again. You quietly get out of bed, as to not wake the sleeping blonde next to you. You head towards the kitchen, knowing that this is going to be long, sleepless night yet again. You smile slightly, thinking of the blonde upstairs, curled up naked, under your blankets. You think how she's protected you, held you when you've had your nightmares and refused to talk about them afterwards. She quietly holds you, brushing the tears off your cheeks, but you know also that she's worried about you. You don't know how to stop that, except to pretend to be strong.

Setting outside on your patio, you let the cool night breeze soothe you. This is your calming place, the place where you think the best. Setting your coffee down beside you, you draw your knees up to your chest, thinking. Thinking back to that time in Paris, when you were exiled. How you missed everyone. The nightmares and the terrors that you faced, by yourself, every night alone, made you stronger than ever. How you knew if you would get back to here, somehow, someway, you would let people in, see the real you.

But who is the real you? After all the undercover work, do you even know anymore? You sigh and take a deep, shuddering breath, trying not to cry. Tears are for the weak, and that is one thing you will never be is weak. Doyle tried to break you, yet your still here. He raped you, tortured you, and tried to kill you, but yet, your still here. Suddenly, you feel a hand stroking your hair, but you don't turn around.
"Baby?" she asks, hesitantly. "What's wrong?"
You shake your head, unable to trust your voice. She comes around and kneels in front of you, pushing your hair out of your face, and you look down. She places her hand underneath your chin and slowly raises it, making you look at her. "Baby, what's wrong?"
You don't say anything, retreating behind your walls more. She looks at you and you break down, the tears flowing freely down your cheeks. She takes you into her arms and strokes your hair, talking softly in your ear. You don't understand what she's saying, but you know that you feel safe. As your tears subside, you rest your head on her chest, saying softly, "I'm tired of being strong."
"Then don't be. You don't have to be strong all the time."
You look at her and say quietly, "But if I'm not, who will be?"
She looks at you with a small smile and says quietly, stroking your hair, "I will."
You look at her, your brown eyes locking onto her blue ones, and you realize she's serious. No one has ever said that to you before and meant it. She looks at you and says, "I know your nightmares are about Doyle.
You wake up, screaming. You wake up sweating and shivering and looking around wildly, like he's going to jump out of the shadows and harm you. He's dead, baby. He's never going hurt you again."

"He raped me; beat me, when he took me hostage. I thought I had the upper hand when he stabbed me. He told me I deserved everything, that this is what I had coming to me." You pull back and look at her. "He told me I deserved nothing but heartache and pain, and that's what he's done."
She strokes the side of your face and you lean into her touch. Her thumb runs across your cheeks, wiping away your tears. "He's wrong."

"My mother used to tell me the same thing growing up. When I went against what she wanted, I was no good, worthless; I would never amount to anything. She told me the other day that I was a murderer for doing my job."

She looks at you and says, forcefully, "I want you to listen to me. You don't deserve what happened to you. Any of it. You are one of the strongest, most intelligent, caring woman I have ever known. Every day, you go out and save people by putting people like Doyle away. Yes, we may have to kill them, but its part of our job. We don't go out looking to kill them, you know that. You once asked me what makes us different than the people we hunt. Simple. Ours is part of our job. You did your job. You tried to save the world when you went after Doyle by yourself. You did it to protect the team, never giving a thought of what would happen to
you."

You remember back to that, sneaking out, trying to take him on your own. The pain of having to fake your own death so that he wouldn't go after the team. You look at her and say softly, "He found out about my feelings for you and threatened you mostly. I couldn't let him take you away from me. You mean more to me than anything in the world. You got through my walls when no one else could. I just wanted you to be safe."

She looks at you and says quietly, "You think you're lost, but you're not lost on your own. You'll never be alone again. I once told you, I'll stand by you. I love you. I will fight your fight. Just like you've fought for me and everyone else, it's my turn to fight for you."

She leans up and wipes away your tears and brushes her lips across yours. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe you are worth something after all. After all, the blonde haired woman in your arms thinks so. She pulls away and starts to stand up. You look at her, wondering if she's going to leave. She sees your look and says quietly, "I'm not going anywhere. I just want to get a blanket." Grabbing a blanket, she moves you up so she can sit behind you. Sitting between her legs, she wraps her arms around you and you lean back against her chest, feeling for the first time in a long time, that your safe. You close your eyes as she starts to hum a soft song. As the breeze gently caresses both of you, you realize that you're done running.

You don't have to be a superhero and save the world. You just have to be in this moment, right now.