A/N hey! I'm terribly sorry for the wait, but between homework and whatever cold-type thing I've come down with, I've been a bit busy. I've been running on caffeine fumes and willpower for the entire week, and I just haven't been able to fit in writing time. But I'm here now, and I hope you enjoy what I have to write!
I don't own Criminal Minds
"C'mon, just a few more steps Emily!" JJ urged, as I limped down the hallway, trying to push past the searing pain currently raging through my side. If I had the energy I would glance down, make sure it wasn't on fire or something, it hurt that badly.
"Mother of-" I groaned, each step intensifying the agony. I had been told that I needed to be up and walking if I was to be released soon, and if it nearly killed me, I was getting released.
"Are you sure you don't want my help?" the caring blonde offered, stepping forward to help me support my weight.
"I-I'm fine." I insisted, determined to make it down this hall by myself. It was just a hall, after all I'm Emily Prentiss, badass, unsub-chasing, door-kicking superwoman! Right?
"I love that you're so determined, but I don't want you wearing yourself out." She crooned, stepping in closer to back me up against the wall I had been leaning on.
"You love me?" I rasped out happily, remembering her sleepy confession the other night. JJ's eyes were scanning my face, trailing from my forehead to my eyes, to the spot on my cheek where her hand lay, to my lips, following her finger as she traced their periphery lazily. My already tired knees were so weak I didn't think I'd be able to stand if she actually kissed me. All of a sudden, a flirtatious glance flicked through her eyes, as she strode over to the end of the hallway. I let out an audible groan of disappointment at my expectations being let down.
"Hey, get back over here!" I sighed. She let out a mischievous chuckle before answering.
"Nuh-uh. You insisted on it being this way. When you get your pretty little behind over here, then you get the kiss." Well, she sure knew how to get my attention. I continued my painful journey down the hallway, urged on by the encouraging words from JJ. I finally made it to the end of the hall, hugging the rail on the wall for dear life.
"I did it!" I gasped out, trying to catch my breath. As soon as I thought my tired legs would give out under me, Jennifer's slim arms were around my waist, holding me up against the wall. A gentle hand guided my face upwards, before my lips were met in a gentle kiss. Her plush, satin lips were placing fluttering, soft kisses upon mine, never staying in one place for too long, like a butterfly. I let out a loud moan as her tongue tentatively traced my lips, politely asking for entry.
"God Em, if you keep making noises like that I may have to forget that we're in a hospital hallway, and consider that all you're wearing is a thin hospital gown and a very small, insignificant pair of panties." She groaned, that simple, feral sound sending my heart into a fluttering fit of butterflies, each beat made up of the delicate flap of a painted silken wing. I did pull back, grasping the wall desperately so my weak knees didn't collapse beneath me. I tentatively looked up, feeling the blush blazing from my cheeks. When I met Jennifer's eyes, I was almost toppled over by the overwhelming blue gaze radiating one single emotion. Love. She looked not into my eyes, but into my very heart, the distilled purity of the emotion causing my heart to swell, butterflies blooming from their cocoons and exploding into a cacophony of delicate paisley wings, flying to one uniform beat. The words spilled from my lips before I could stop them, shaken free from that secretive room inside of me by the glee blossoming in my chest.
"Come with me?" I offered, before taking the proffered arm to support my weight. I led her to Tegan's room, the flirty, sexy atmosphere lost, in its place was a stronger bond, an intimacy, a trust, devout, infallible. She stood beside me, supporting me as we looked in through the wall of windows at her frail form.
"She was so much better yesterday." I whispered, suddenly worried by her new pallor. JJ rubbed my shoulder reassuringly.
"She used to be taking drugs remember? Now that her liver's healed she's gonna go through withdrawal." She reminded me, as I gave a distant nod. Tegan finally noticed the two of us standing there, and gave an exasperated eye roll. JJ and I shared a "Here it comes" look before stepping inside the room.
"So, you're a new face. Gathered from the fact you two have been unable to stop the whole eye-sex thing since you've got here, I'm guessing you're the girl who Emily's been pining for. I'm Tegan. I'd shake your hand, but these pretty little bracelets here are in the way." She held up her wrists to display the shiny new padded restraints around her wrists.
"You pined for me?" JJ crooned before moving her gaze to Tegan. "I'm Jennifer." Tegan's piercing grey eyes scanned her face, and it was obvious what she was doing, to JJ and I it had been second nature, and apparently my daughter inherited it, profiling. Before she could make any guesses about Jen I spoke up, sounding like a scolding mother to her child.
"And how did you get the restraints?" I asked, my question answering itself when Dr. Sayles entered, sporting a reddish-purple bruise around his left eye. He had obviously overheard the question.
"Because she disagreed with my professional opinion of weaning her off the drugs." He answered, in a professional voice, with a hint of humor peeking through. JJ let out a loud chuckle before fixing me with a glance.
"She is definitely your daughter." I quirked my eyebrow questioningly.
"She's punched out a few doctors as well?" my daughter asked, with a hint of surprise in her eyes. JJ gave me a look that clearly asked "Have you?"
"No!" I exclaimed before being given twin looks of "I don't believe you" from Tegan and JJ. "Not recently…" the bemused silence hovered still. "Okay fine! It was a twenty years ago and he wasn't a doctor! He was some stupid kid in my AP calculus class who accused me of being a wimpy little rich girl who paid people to fight my battles, so I hit him." The two women in the room burst into laughter, probably just at my irritated facial expression, before Tegan spoke up.
"Alright, I guess I can see the resemblance there." She admitted, and just the simple acknowledgment that we were similar made my heart leap into my throat.
"Well Miss Vanner, I just came to check and see how you were doing." The doctor piped up. Tegan grasped at the blankets around her skinny arms, pulling them up over her figure.
"Fine." She answered curtly, obviously not wanting to talk to the doctor. He gave her a stern look before passing me a pair of clipboards.
"These are discharge papers for the two of you, provided both of your physical exams check out, you'll be out of here by tomorrow." Matching looks of relief washed over both Tegan's and my faces "Except there are a few strings attached." He added, silencing the room again. "It would be negligent of me to release Tegan unless she was under the custody of a guardian who could make sure she gets the proper treatment and rehabilitation. So legally and ethically, the only way I can sign off on Tegan's discharge, is if she will be under the care of a legal guardian. Emily, as her biological mother and next-of-kin, that guardian is you." the entire room stood shell-shocked, like a bomb was just dropped, changing the entire landscape and climate of the area. I began to speak before I was cut off.
"I would be fine with tha-"
"No." the hoarse, hollow voice of my daughter spoke up. "No I don't want a babysitter. I don't want a mother. You can't keep me here if I refuse." She belligerently insisted.
"No, we can't keep you here forever, but we can keep you here until we find a spot open in a group home or halfway house to place you in until you have healed completely. Your choice." She seemed to mull over the options, and I was slightly hurt by the fact that she was finding a group home, which is practically a prison by another name, more appealing than living with me. The slightest flicker of an idea sparked to life behind those hardened, street-smart grey orbs, and she fixed the doctor with a calm look.
"Fine, I'll stay with Emily." She agreed reluctantly. We signed our forms and were escorted out of the room by the doctor, telling us how Tegan needed her rest and we would be returning tomorrow to pick her up. JJ helped me back to my hospital room and tucked me under the covers before lying atop them, playing with loose strands of my hair.
"You don't have to stay for this you know. I know you didn't sign on for all this, and I'm certain you never signed on to be a part of my twenty-year old delinquent's life." She placed a delicate finger on top of my lips, shushing me.
"I was aware of all this, trust me, and I'm okay with it. Don't second-guess me, or push me away, because you need me here just as much as she needs you, neither of you can just accept that though. You two are more alike than you realize, which is why I can't leave you and your twenty-year old delinquent. She's a part of you." she affirmed. I was given a light kiss before the blonde ordered that I get some rest. The next morning I was up early, packing my bags so I could be out of here as soon as possible.
"I'm so glad I don't have to wear a hospital gown anymore!" I announced, admiring my figure in the mirror on the back of the hospital bathroom door, wearing street clothes for the first time in what felt like forever. "I was getting tired of having to hold the back shut so my ass doesn't show" JJ came up behind me, resting her chin on my shoulder and her hands around my waist.
"I dunno, I for one, appreciated that feature." She pressed teasing little kisses behind my ear and jawbone as her hands trailed from my waist downwards. They caressed the outer part of my thighs before their presence was gone, instead moving to swipe the suitcase out from my hands.
"Tease." I muttered beneath my breath as she began to head down the hall before adorably peeking her head back into the room.
"Are you going to get that hot little hidden ass moving, or have you developed an attachment to the place?" she joked, knowing my dislike of hospitals. I bolted from the room as fast as possible, earning a chuckle from the blonde. She sidled up beside me, placing a quick kiss to my cheek.
"I'll go drop off these last few forms at the nurses' station, you go fetch your daughter." I walked the familiar path to Tegan's room, and swung open the door in a flourish.
"Tegan, your ride is here-" my voice fell flat on its face when I actually looked into the room. The bed she had once taken up residence in was wrinkled and unmade, any of her few personal belongings were gone, and the entire room radiated emptiness and abandon. It was if she had never existed. She just disappeared.
A/N un-oh, she's been in Emily's custody for a few hours and she's already in the wind, Tegan's a crafty one!