A/N okay, this is an idea that's been hovering around inside my head for a while now, and I had to get it off my chest now. It's a new concept, but I hope you guys enjoy it, and I see so many places I could take this story. It will follow the basic CM canon, except for one thing; Emily Prentiss never had an abortion! I may not be able to update this as often as my other story, What a Difference a Day Makes, what with the new school year approaching and such other realities, but I will try to keep it regularly up to date. As a warning this story will mention sexual abuse, cutting, and some coarse language, so consider yourselves forewarned, the rating may change to M in the future because of it. I hope you like it!
I don't own Criminal Minds, the only thing I own is my new OC and a crazy mind!
I staggered down the stairs of the jet behind Reid and Gideon, the weight of the day finally making itself known. I hadn't planned on spending my first day jetting off to Guantanamo to help interrogate a known terrorist, but if this job had taught me anything in the first few hours, it was to be prepared for anything. My hand subconsciously rubbed at my temple, trying to combat the building headache that was brewing like a gathering storm, with each rumble of thunder and flash of lightning a dull slap of pain. After the long and stressful day I had, the only things I wanted right now were a long soak in my bathtub and a good night's rest. Unfortunately, there was still a mountain of paperwork I still had to fill out before the day was done. I arrived at my desk in the bullpen area, hardly able to hold my eyes open to read the file in front of me, making it equally difficult to discern the blurry shape of a cup placed in front of me on my desk. My tired eyes fixated on the angelic face of the communications liaison, Jennifer Jareau smiling down at me, holding the cup of steaming hot coffee out to me.
"Hey, you looked like you needed this" simply her close proximity woke me up faster than coffee ever could, sending a bolt of adrenaline through my veins. I licked my lips subconsciously as I casually fixed my hair, blinking multiple times to make sure this wasn't some hallucination caused by my overtired mind.
"My God you are a lifesaver!" I moaned, eagerly welcoming the rousing effects of the caffeine. It took a few seconds for the professionalism that my parents had instilled within me to snap me back into my 'Agent Prentiss' mindset. "Thank you Agent Jareau." I gave her a cool smile and nodded professionally, trying to suppress the fluttering of butterflies as I caught the light, floral scent of her skin.
"Hey, it's JJ to you." she fake-scolded, wagging a friendly finger at me as she leaned over my desk, inadvertently giving me a much better view of her erm, assets.
My God, does this woman know what she's doing to me? Keep a handle on it Em, she's your colleague, she's straight, and it's your first day at this job! The team is just beginning to trust you, and I've worked so hard to get here, you don't need to screw this up for yourself by falling for your co-worker!
I snapped out of my mental conversation to see JJ still standing there expectantly, waiting for me to respond.
"Of course, thanks JJ. I'm just…" I trailed off, trying for the right word.
"Exhausted? Yeah this job will do that to you. But how did you like your first day?" she asked, her blue eyes soft with empathy. Everyone here knew how overwhelming the first day at this job can be.
"Okay, it's not every day that you get to help stop a terrorist plot and save hundreds of lives, I count that as a pretty good first day." I sighed, fiddling with the files on the desk in front of me to occupy my mind away from less than professional thoughts about the stunning blonde beside me.
"Well hold on to it, it's these cases that help us through all those that don't end as well. Here, you're falling asleep on your feet, head home, I'll finish these up." She offered kindly. My heart melted at the kindness and generosity of her offer, but then my rational, and slightly defensive, side leapt into action
"Hey, just because I'm new doesn't mean I need to get special treatment!" I replied, perhaps a little too strongly, but I felt the overpowering need to prove I belonged here.
"It's not special treatment, you can't work effectively when you're this tired, so go get some rest. It's no problem; these will take me five minutes at most to finish up. Go home Em." She placed her hand on my shoulder in a friendly gesture. The rush of butterflies at the contact distracted me enough that I didn't notice her snatch the files up off my desk and walk away, not giving me much choice. She gave me a mischievous wink out of the corner of her eye before heading into her office.
"Damnit Jareau." I chuckled to myself, secretly delighting in the many meanings the phrase had while gathering up my bags and leaving the new desk behind. On my way out, I noticed the fact that everyone else was gone; even Hotch's office was dark. It told me something about my blonde coworker that she stayed later than the boss. I allowed the profiler in me to run with that tidbit of knowledge as I got in my car and drove to my apartment. I walked up the steps to the entrance, trying not to trip over my own feet out of pure exhaustion. The room was empty, void of all the hustle and bustle of the BAU, and I savored the silence. Just the simple peace and quiet that accompanied the sense of home numbed my pounding head and aching feet. My first impulse was to head to the marble bathroom and draw a steaming hot bath before looking for a bottle of my favorite red wine. I had barely picked up the glass before the telephone let out a shrill cry that echoed through the empty air. Slightly miffed at the relaxed atmosphere being destroyed, I searched it out, sweeping the phone off the cradle and into the palm of my hand in one swift motion.
"Hello?" I asked right after picking it up, trying not to show my tension.
"Hello, is this Emily Prentiss speaking?" an unfamiliar voice asked.
"Yes, it is." I replied. This person didn't sound like a telemarketer, so the exact motive of the call was unknown to me. That sixth sense inside my head told me there was more to this call than someone trying to sell air conditioners or a wrong number.
"I'm calling from St. Jude's Hospital, you were the only next-of-kin we could find, and it took us a while to track you down. Your daughter was brought in by a civilian, she was found on the street coughing up blood-" the female voice continued, not really seeming like the type to stop and let the other person take in the information she was currently spewing like a fountain.
"Wait a minute, daughter? I think you may have me mistaken. I don't have a daughter." I was thoroughly confused. I don't have a daughter. And having a kid running around isn't one of those things you just forget.
"Yes, the name on the adoption records is Prentiss, Emily Prentiss. Are you saying I have the wrong Emily Prentiss?" Adoption? Adoption… like a row of dominoes, a chain reaction set off within my mind, taking me back to the faded memories of my childhood, and the incident overseas that was the undoing of it. That single word transported me back twenty-two years. To a mansion in Italy where I shamefully told my mother I had gotten myself pregnant at fifteen. To the argument we had where she told me to "take care of it." And get an abortion before people began finding out, and where I flat-out refused, because I couldn't bring myself to kill the defenseless life within me. To the plane ticket she gave me, told me to go back home and stay with my father in Washington D.C. because "It looks bad for an Ambassador to have a daughter who's fifteen and pregnant." To the days in the D.C. high school where I cowered from the insults hurled from my fellow students as soon as my belly began to show. To the hospital room where I lay after an excruciating thirty hours of labor, when they took my baby away without even letting me see it, without even letting me know whether it was a boy or a girl. A wave of heartbreak and shock washed over me as I relived the pain of having my child taken from me and sent away. Everything about that was painful, and I had buried it so deep that I hardly even remembered it.
What kind of crappy human being forgets that she gave birth to a child?
The little voice inside my head taunted me, before reasoning with itself seconds later
The same kind of crappy human being that buries all her troubles so far that it's impossible not to forget about them.
Like earlier in the bullpen with JJ, I was snapped out of my mental conversation by the woman on the other end of the telephone waiting for a response. In an ashamed voice not unlike the one I used when I admitted the pregnancy to my mother so long ago, I spoke up.
"Yes, you have the right Emily Prentiss." I was struggling so hard to fit all this into my little compartments. "What's wrong?"
"Like I said she was brought in off the street coughing up blood, we're still running tests." I couldn't quite hear her voice, it had become a tinny buzz in the back of my head, completely overwhelmed by the information I was given. Coughing up blood was bad right? It was really bad. How could I have a child, then have her nearly die, all with me barely knowing? I could feel the room slowly sway like a carnival ride as I began to hyperventilate out of pure shock. There was one piece of information I had yet to discover.
"Excuse me, before you hang up, what's her name?" my mouth was dry, and I could barely stand any longer, let alone talk. I had never named her, I didn't even know she was a her, and I felt like such a horrible person for having to ask. Of course that horrible feeling wasn't helped at all when the person on the other line gave a disapproving grunt.
"Tegan." Tegan, Tegan Prentiss. The line went dead, and I assumed that meant I should go to the hospital. I couldn't believe it, it was all so surreal. I was going to meet the daughter that was taken from me twenty two years ago, and I had no idea how it could go. And that scared the crap out of me.
A/N so there you have it! I felt like the beginning was a little rusty for me, but fear not! I know where I'm going with this! As a sidenote, I have no idea if the hospital I mentioned is real or not, I made it up. it does have a meaning though, it's kinda like an Easter Egg (I have a thing for dropping little tidbits with deeper meaning like this into my stories) St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes. Ominous and foreboding much? Until next time,
A/N how was that? I'm a little uncertain about it, so I'm gonna let your reviews tell me if it was up to par. Please review, I love your feedback!