A/N – Please review and tell me what you think!
Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss stood up from her seat at the table in the conference room as her phone began to ring. The team were currently debriefing from a case where a sadist was kidnapping and brutally killing women across the state of Texas.
"Sorry, I've gotta take this." Emily informed her team as she stepped out of the room after a slight nod from Hotch in understanding. "Hello," Emily answered the phone when she reached the hallway. "Mother, not now!" She hissed angrily in the phone. Elizabeth Prentiss had been calling Emily a lot recently trying to badger her into vacationing with her BAU team at an old country house their family had owned for generations. At first it seemed a kind gesture from her mother, but now she was nearing unbearable calling almost every day for the last two weeks trying to change her stubborn daughter's mind.
"Emily, is everything okay?" Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau asked her, as the rest of the team began filing out of the conference room. The whole team had heard Agent Prentiss arguing over the phone and she wanted to make sure her colleague and close friend were okay.
"Yeah JJ, everything's fine." Emily smiled at her reassuringly as she hung up the phone, but even though the media liaison wasn't a profiler she realized it was not as 'fine' as her friend was making out. JJ gently tugged on her elbow and led Emily to her office. Sitting down at her desk, and pointing to the other chair indicating Emily to do the same she spoke.
"Spill." Emily sighed, knowing that her friend would force her with any means necessary until she shared the news that had been recently plaguing her mind.
"My mother keeps calling me and is trying to force me into inviting you guys to stay with me in this old country house we own."
"That seems quite nice, what's wrong about that?" JJ asked, knowing that there must be some sort of reason.
"That place is full of some bad memories for me, and Mother knows that better than anyone. If she wants me to go there that badly she must have some sort of motive." Emily replied. Her mother never did something out of the kindness of her heart and the fact that she was being forced to relive some feelings she had locked up a long time ago were the icing on the cake.
"Oh, Em. You could have just told us, we could have helped. But don't you think that if after all this time she suddenly asks this that it could be important?" JJ worried for her friend. Although strong, she kept all of her emotions bottled up, and that can't be good, can it?
"I guess." Prentiss agreed reluctantly.
"It would be kinda nice to have some time off too. Talk it through with Hotch and we'll see. Okay?" JJ prompted.
"Yeah, okay" She half smiled at the blonde agent.
Emily walked out of Hotch's office not knowing what to think. Admittedly, she half wanted him to say that they were too busy to take a week off, but he hadn't. Unfortunately.
After telling the team – who seemed a little overenthusiastic, by the way, she called her mother, who was overjoyed that her daughter finally let up and agreed to going. Since the BAU was having a slow couple of weeks, they were to be going to the country house the following week.
Unfortunately for Emily, Monday came around all too fast and soon enough she was standing by one of the two SUV's the team were taking, waiting for Morgan to show up.
"Hey guys." Derek greeted them casually, but their glares soon caused him to be quiet.
"We've been waiting for fifteen minutes." Garcia told him.
"Sorry, baby girl, the traffic was hell."
"Yeah, who would have known, we've only been driving to work in it for years." JJ retorted sarcastically.
After loading up Morgan's suitcase, Emily, Hotch and JJ got into one SUV whilst the others got into the other. Hotch was driving, but Emily was in the passenger seat to give him the directions. Soon they were driving past rich green pastures and rolling hills. After sitting in silence JJ decided it was time to talk.
"So Em, did you stay there much while growing up?" It was safe to say that no one apart from Emily knew about the house, but soon enough she was sure everyone would know plenty.
"Yeah, from when I was about seven 'till I was about ten we lived there full time." Emily replied, making sure not to give them any major details. What had actually happened was when she was seven her mother wanted to leave her father, but he forced them to stay there. He had never hurt Emily himself, but she always heard that familiar smack of flesh upon flesh when her parents had a row, although once he had come pretty close to hitting her, her mother intervened.
"I never knew that. Is it nice out there?" Hotch joined the conversation.
"Yeah, but it's kinda in the middle of nowhere, so there weren't anyone my age to talk to."
The rest of the journey settled into an uncomfortable silence, only split up when Emily gave Hotch directions.
"Okay Hotch, just turn right down the road and we'll be there." She told him, dreading the upcoming few minutes. As they drove down the grand, tree-lined driveway, the country house came into view.
"Wow, Em, this is amazing! It's so big." JJ exclaimed.
"Uh-huh, it's definitely something." Emily covered her words with a nervous laugh as she shifted in her seat.
The two SUV's parked up alongside each other in front of the steps leading up to the white front door.
"Whoa Prentiss, your mom's got style." Morgan told her as she looked up at the building, apprehension building.
"Actually this belonged to my dad." Emily corrected him, waiting for the response – she'd never said anything about her Father before.
"Your dad?" Reid asked.
"Yeah, he left when I was ten. Haven't seen him since." She shrugged.
"I'm sorry to hear that." Rossi spoke for the whole group.
"It's fine," Emily looked up at their skeptical faces, "Really, guys. We left here straight after. Come on, let's go." She prompted when the situation became unbearable, so they all picked up their suitcases and headed to the front door. Hotch knocked using the big brass knocker on the door and a maid answered and they shuffled inside.
"Hi, Brenda." Emily greeted the maid she hadn't seen in a few years.
"Nice to see you Miss Prentiss, I trust you're well." Without waiting for a reply she continued. "Your mother sends her apologies, but was recently called out and had to leave the area for a few days."
"Of course she did." Emily huffed to herself, but by the looks of surprise she received from her team, they had heard too.
"She told me that you have your old room with another bed in for someone else too and four more rooms ready down the hall. I trust you can show your guests around?" Emily nodded.
"Thanks Brenda," She said to the retreating maid. "There aren't enough rooms for all of us, so we'll have to share. Is that okay?" Emily asked although they often share at hotels so she didn't think it would be too much of a problem. Everyone nodded.
"I'll share with you." JJ volunteered and Emily smiled at her.
"Okay. I guess we should go and dump our things and then I'll show you around. This way." She began scaling the grand staircase to the left of the door and they all followed, in awe at the size of the place.
Emily showed each of them to their rooms and then stopped at the last.
"This is us," She said to JJ as she opened up the door. "We can move rooms if you don't like it or you could share with someone else…" JJ stopped her with a hand on her arm.
"It's lovely Emily." They both smiled at each other.
"The kitchen is just through there…" Emily pointed out a door, "And the basement is just there, but I've never been down there – my dad never let me for some reason." She shrugged.
"I wonder why." JJ spoke and Emily agreed, although she neglected to mention that that was the room her father always had their arguments in.
Because they didn't want to bother the staff, the team ordered in pizza for dinner and watched a couple of movies. Emily stretched and stood up.
"I think I'm gonna get some sleep." The rest of the team readily agreed and they all trudged up the stairs and into their rooms, tired from the long drive. Emily got ready for bed, then JJ had a quick shower in the en-suite and when she stepped out Emily was already fast asleep in her bed. Jennifer smiled and turned out the lights before getting into her own bed. It was only minutes later when JJ was fast asleep too.
Agent Jareau woke up suddenly in the night after hearing something. Not sure if it was in her dream or not, she closed her eyes again when she heard a moan from the bed next to her. Getting out of bed she flicked on the light and made her way to Emily's side.
"Em, wake up honey, you're dreaming." Still Emily didn't wake, but started talking in her sleep.
"No… Stop it… Don't hurt her…" She mumbled, rolling around in the bed.
"Em…" JJ reached out and shook her shoulder, but Emily reacted and struck out with one of her arms, hitting Jennifer in the eye.
"Ouch… Shit, Emily." She grumbled slightly and took Emily's arms so she couldn't hurt her or herself again.
"No… Nooo!" Emily said again, only louder this time. A piercing scream echoed around the room as she reached the climax of her nightmare and woke up, panting. JJ pulled her into a hug to settle her down.
"Emily, it's just me, JJ."
"Sorry did I wake you?" Emily was ashamed for her actions, although she was expecting the nightmares to return the second she returned to this place. The room was filled with the sound of knocking on the door.
"Emily, JJ, is everything okay in there?" It was Hotch. Emily groaned.
"How much noise did I make?" She asked as JJ made her way to the door.
"Errr…" That was all the answer Emily needed.
JJ opened the door and the rest of the BAU team spilled inside.
"What's going on?" Morgan asked JJ who looked at Emily.
"Sorry guys, everything's fine, I just had a nightmare." Emily told them.
"That was one hell of a nightmare…" Rossi said as Garcia walked over to Emily and gave her a hug.
"JJ what happened to your eye?" Reid asked her, confused. Emily's eyes widened in shock.
"Oh God, JJ did I hurt you?" Everyone turned to JJ.
"Em, it wasn't your fault and it's fine." Reid stepped forwards.
"Let me have a look." He told her and began gently touching the skin around her eye. JJ tried to cover her pain, but hissed involuntarily when Reid touched a particularly sore spot.
"I'm so sorry JJ." Emily apologized profusely.
"It's fine, don't worry about it." Reid stepped in.
"That's going to leave you with one hell of a black eye." Emily sighed and rubbed her face with her hand.
"Guys, it's fine, everyone go back to sleep." Agent Jareau instructed the group so Emily didn't feel any worse.
"Sorry," Prentiss yelled at their retreating forms, "And sorry to you, JJ."
"It's fine, honey, go back to sleep." She told her, flipping off the lights.
That must have been one hell of a dream. JJ thought as she drifted off to sleep once more.