Almost before she can believe it, Emily has weaned Rocky off of breast milk…and is getting ready to start traveling with the team again. She is sitting in the nursery as her daughter sleeps, her mind on what could happen if they get called away on a case.

"It was hard when we had to leave Henry but I don't think I realized just how fucking hard it was for Jen. Did I? I was supportive, right? I wasn't a complete ass about it, was I? I mean, it hurt to leave him but it wasn't like this. I think I'm going to be sick."

Emily races out of the nursery and into the master bedroom. JJ, who had been on her way to check on her wife, sees the run and follows her.

"Em? Oh, EMILY!"

JJ holds Emily's hair as the brunette throws up her breakfast. When the retching stops, Emily falls back against JJ's legs. JJ reaches over to the sink and wets a washcloth.

"Emily, what's wrong?"

Emily sighs as JJ puts the cool cloth against the back of her neck. "I was just thinking about having to leave Rocky for a case. Suddenly I was just…sick." She looks up at her wife. "Jen, was I an ass about your troubles leaving Henry behind?"

JJ kneels down beside her wife. "No! Never, Emily. What you told me is exactly what I will tell you: if you can't go, if you have to change your job for our child, there is no shame in any of that. I will support you 100% in whatever you decide to do."

Emily sighs and leans into the hug her wife offers. "Thank you. I'm scared I won't be able to leave her. Hell, tomorrow just leaving her here instead of taking her to day care is going to tear me apart. How the heck do I leave town for days at a time?" Suddenly she buries her face in her hand. "Oh, shit! Fuck me! That makes it sound like I don't love Henry! Fuck, fuck, fuck."

JJ smiles and lifts her wife's chin. "I know you love Henry. And he knows you love him." JJ sighs. "I get that it's different with Rocky. Your whole mind and body has been about her for over a year now. Of course it's going to be harder for you to leave her than it was to leave Henry. That doesn't change your love for Henry. Something tells me it will actually make it harder for you to leave him, too. You just haven't had time to think about that yet." JJ turns her wife around and stares into her eyes. "You once pointed something out to me and I'm going to point it out to you. We have an amazing support group around us: Francesca, Garcia, our families, and all of them will step in to help us when we need them. Our kids will be safe and loved even when we are not right here with them."

Emily slowly nods. "Keep telling me that?"

"As many times as you need me, too, baby. I swear." She seals that vow with a kiss to Emily's temple. She smiles. "I'll give you a real kiss once you rinse your mouth out."

Emily chuckles. "Understood." She strokes a hand down JJ's cheek. "Thank you."

"Anytime, Mrs. Prentiss. Anytime."


Monday morning Emily pokes her head into Garcia's office. "Hey, Pen, got a second?"

"Sure, Emster, what can I do you for?" she asks with a grin.

Emily walks close and leans down, her hands on the arms of Garcia's chair so she can get right in her face. Her brown eyes are cold. "If our first case away from my daughter is in Alaska I will get you banished to a land that would consider a rotary phone space age technology. Got it?"

Garcia swallows nervously. "Right. No Alaska. Got it."

Emily nods. "Good." She leans forward and kisses Garcia's forehead. "Now that I've made that threat and you've agreed," she sighs, "if Alaska needs us, they need us. Do what you think best."

Garcia smiles as Emily stands up. "I promise to try to keep us close. Just depends on what twisted unsubs come through to me."

"I know. Just really, really hurt to just leave her at home today. I can't imagine…ugh…can't even say it. I'll see you later, Pen."

"See you, Princess. I love you, you know?"

Emily smiles. "I know. Love you, too, Pen."


Wednesday morning just before noon, Emily gets a text message from Garcia. "Boise. Sorry. At least it's not Alaska."

Emily sighs. No, it wasn't Alaska. But it was still a horribly far distance away from her kids. She takes a few minutes to gather herself, thankful Garcia had given her advance notice of the case that needs the BAU.

When Hotch calls for the team a few minutes later, JJ looks at her wife.

"You going to be okay?" she whispers.

"I'll let you know. At least it's Boise not Alaska, right?"

JJ smiles. "Pen gave you a heads up?"

"Yeah." Emily smiles. "I can do this, Jen. If I could leave Henry I can leave Rocky. Right?"

JJ takes her hand and stares into her eyes. "Whatever you decide, Em, I support you."

Emily nods and grabs her tablet to head into the briefing, still warring with her emotions. Garcia turns on the big screen.

"Boise, Idaho. Women have been turning up dead with a toe missing."

"A toe?" Reid repeats.

"Yes. To be specific, either their big toe or their little toe on their right foot. So far there have been 11 women in the last year. Police are at a loss to figure out how the women are linked other than this missing digit. They hope we can point them towards an unsub and stop him before woman 12 shows up."

"There are extensive case files to go through which is why we need to go to them. The only signature other than the toe is the dump site and method of death. We'll brief more on the jet. Wheels up in 30," Hotch states.

Everyone gets up to get their things and prepare for the flight across country. Emily moves slowly. JJ and Reid both study her. She stares down at her desk, studying the electronic picture frame scrolling through pictures of her children. With a shaking hand, she lifts it up and stares at it.

JJ slides her briefcase onto her shoulder and lifts up her go bag. She walks over to her wife's desk.

"Well, Em?"


A/N: Due to a bout with the flu it will be a few days before we find out whether or not Emily decides to go on this trip with the team. Sorry, guys, but trust me when I say abou 75% of what I wrote while sick would be a mystery not even the Criminal Minds team could decifer. Note to self...no more trying to write coherent thoughts while on drugs that make me drowsy. :o)

Oh, and I do have to say...GO REDSKINS! They are just doing SO good this year! (Sorry Doodle19.) :o)