On Thursday Reid sees someone getting off the elevator. He leans across his desk to whisper to Emily.

"Emily…the elevator. Straus."

Emily wants to turn but knows the chief would not appreciate the stares. She watches Reid a moment.

"How does she look?" she whispers.

"She looks…different. And she's walking pretty stiffly. Not sure if it's injury or…shit, here she comes." He holds up a folder. "So when you have a chance, look this over. I'm just stumped."

Emily reaches for it, appreciating the cover he's given. "Alright. Let me finish this one and I can take a look at it."

"Agent Prentiss, can I see you a moment?" Straus asks from beside Emily.

The brunette looks up as if she has just become aware of the chief's presence in the office. "Oh, yes, ma'am. Welcome back."

Straus nods to her and to Reid. "Dr. Reid, I'd like to see you after I speak with Agent Prentiss."

Reid nods. "Yes, ma'am. Glad to see you back."

Straus raises an eyebrow. "Of course you are," she says doubtfully.

The older woman turns and limps from the bullpen. Emily raises her eyebrows at Reid and follows the chief down the hall. JJ is just coming out of her office. She had been so focused on a folder in her hands she had not seen Straus.

"Emily, I have a case I think needs your immediate attention," she says handing it to Emily.

"Uh, sure," Emily nods. "But I have a meeting first. I'll take a look at it right after."

"Okay." JJ finally looks down the hall and sees Straus' back. "Oh! Uh, okay. Sure."

Emily just smiles and continues to follow the chief. She hears her wife hurry towards the bullpen. Once they reach the chief's office, Straus gestures to her sitting area versus her desk. Surprised, Emily sits down on the edge of the couch. Straus sets her briefcase down on her desk before moving to the matching wingchair.

"Agent Prentiss, to say I was slightly out of it on Saturday is an understatement. In fact, I was no longer aware of my situation, only of the pain I was feeling. It was not until Dave…uh, Agent Rossi, explained to me on Sunday all that had happened that I realized the sacrifice you were willing to make on my behalf." She takes a deep breath. "No words can thank you enough for what you did."

Emily nods. "No need to thank me, ma'am. I'm sure you would have done the same for me."

Straus chuckles and raises an eyebrow. "Are you really sure?"

Emily manages a chuckle. "Well…let's say I hope you'd have done the same for me."

Straus just nods. "Agent Prentiss, I know it's common knowledge I've had no true field work. I have always wanted to be on the bureaucratic side of the agency. I think now I may finally understand the true horrors you and your team face on a regular basis. Can you tell me something?"

Emily shrugs. "I…I'll try."

"You're a mother now. And I know you and Agent Jareau are planning to add to your family soon." Emily blushes, not knowing Straus knew. "Tell me, Agent Prentiss, why the hell wouldn't you two take safer positions with the Bureau?"

Emily sighs and stares at her hands a moment before answering. "This is what I am meant to do; meant to be. It's the same for Agent Jareau. We are making some…adjustments to our positions with the aid of Agent Hotchner. But we can't just walk away from the BAU any more than you could walk away from this office into field work. It's who we are, ma'am. It's as simple, and yet as complicated, as that."

Straus stares at the agent a moment. She finally removes her glasses and nods. "I think I understand. Anything you need from my office over the next few months you'll have, including my support." She stands, ending the meeting. "Please send in Dr. Reid."

Emily stands, stunned. "Yes, ma'am. Of course, ma'am. Thank you." She starts towards the door and stops. "Chief Straus, it really is good to see you back and okay."

Straus just nods as Emily leaves her office.

"Great…another freaking pod person in my life," Emily mumbles as she goes to send Dr Reid into the Twilight Zone known as Straus' office.