Word Count: 1,406
Warnings: Potential hopefulness of a H/P hookup in Season 7. Does that count as a warning?
Summary: Prentiss comes back and things are different.
Author's Notes: I don't even know where the hell this came from. I'm jonesing for some Hotch/Prentiss. I'm like a junkie that needs a fix.
His hand lingers on her face a second too long.
He retracts it, quickly, and backs away. Their eyes don’t meet, but she can still feel the touch of his skin on her cheek, like a ghost, and then it’s gone.
He walks away.
She stares at her reflection in the mirror. Dark hair. Dark eyes. Pointed nose. She can faintly see the clover scar on her chest, and she adjusts her shirt, trying to hide it. She doesn’t want to remember him. Not living, anyway.
He’s dead now. One bullet to the brain was all it took. She still remembers the way the blood splattered on the wall behind him, and the noise he made as his body hit the floor. Lifeless, dead. Finally.
She gazes at her reflection in the mirror. It’s cracked in the corner, and there are water spots dotting her reflection. She flexes her hands repetitively.
She wanted to have been the one to kill him.
Things have changed now. Everyone is different. Everyone looks different. Everyone looks at her differently, except for him, of course. He never changes. He still gives her that same assessing, careful gaze, and she always wonders what he could possibly be thinking about when he looks at her.
She wishes she could read minds.
Things are tense. They look at her suspiciously, as if they’re waiting for something else to be revealed about her past – some other bad guy she fucked into trusting her, maybe. They don’t know the half of it. Sometimes, they look at her like she’s the bad guy.
Sometimes, she wishes she’d kept running.
And then she looks at him, and he at her, and she’s glad she didn’t.
She walks into his office, frustrated. She slams the door shut behind her, and he jumps. He actually jumps, which makes her angrier.
Everyone else has left. They all went out to dinner, or a movie together, and they didn’t bother inviting her. They don’t trust her anymore. They don’t want to be around her.
She sits across from him, her head in her hands. “Don’t you see,” she says to him, her voice breaking. “I would change it if I could. I would go back and undo it all.”
She hears his footsteps, and feels his fingers brush the back of her hand. She looks up, and he’s standing right there, gazing down at her.
“I know,” he says simply.
“Don’t tell me we just need more time.”
He shakes his head. “I don’t know what to tell you.”
At least it’s an honest answer. She closes her eyes, and for a moment enjoys the way his fingers stroke her skin. This is what he was talking about – they need to keep a professional distance.
His hand pulls away abruptly, and she looks up at him questioningly. He’s moving away, back behind the safety of his desk. The walls that separate them are back in place.
She knows those walls will come crashing down eventually.
She’s not happy here, not anymore. It’s been three months and they still don’t trust her, still won’t let her back in. She sits at her desk with her head on her hand and thinks about the bench alongside the River Seine, the way she’d sit there and read a book and feel the wind flow through her hair.
She thinks about the Trevi Fountain, lost in a sea of tourists, completely anonymous. She thinks about that hotel in Barcelona, the ornate gold carvings and the smell of coffee wafting through the lobby.
She hears his voice, and her thoughts turn to him, and how she spent most of those times wishing he was there with her.
He always said he wanted to go to Europe. She wonders why he never has.
They’re on a case in Milwaukee. It’s cold, wet and miserable. Her breath comes out in little puffs of smoke. It might snow, or it might not. She hopes it won’t.
He’s there as well, buttoned up in that black overcoat he likes so much. He’s talking to the police, questioning witnesses, and defusing situations.
She’s meant to be scanning the crowd, but she can’t stop looking at him.
That night, she knocks on the door to his room. She doesn’t care that the whole team are in rooms right beside each other. They haven’t spoken to her, really talked to her, in months. But she knows he’ll be happy to see her.
And he is, inviting her in, offering her a cup of tea, passing over the file. They flip through it together and talk about the case. She’s occasionally distracted by his hands, or the way he swallows, and he smells really nice – warm and clean with a hint of cinnamon, because he loves sticking cinnamon sticks in his tea. She doesn’t know where he developed that habit.
She doesn’t want to leave the cosiness of his room and go back to her own. She wants to stay here, with him, and wrap around him and sleep – oh, she just wants to sleep soundly, for once, and she knows if he let her stay, she’d be able to close her eyes and just drift away, and all anxieties and thoughts and worries will be gone.
She knows it will never happen, but he keeps staring at her as well, and sometimes his hand brushes her, and a couple of times their knees bump together, and she tries to sneakily shift a little closer to him, just to feel that warmth of another person. She’s just so cold. She feels like she’s been cold forever.
He bumps his tea, and it spills on the table and onto the floor, and he’s pulling away and reaching for a towel to mop it up. She leans over as well, trying to stop it from spilling completely on the carpet, and he leans over her to wipe off the bench and she looks up, and he looks down at her, and she opens her mouth and it comes out in a ragged moan before she can stop herself, before she can even think - “Oh Christ, Aaron.”
He makes a noise, deep in his throat, and the towel slips out of his hands and onto the floor, and he leans down and presses his lips to hers, and finally - finally - she’s enveloped in that warmth she’s been wanting, and she pulls him closer to her and opens her mouth, and silently begs him not to pull away, not to think rationally, just to go with it.
And mercifully, he does.
They’re on the bed before she can even breathe, and his whole body is pressing against hers and she can feel him, hard, pressing her just there, and she remembers someone is in the room right beside them and she’s trying to stop from moaning, but really, she wants to scream his name and thank the angels and the gods and shout it from the rooftops that this is finally fucking happening, and all she can think to do is grab his shirt and rip it, just to get rid of the stupid thing.
He gasps, a little, but he doesn’t pull away, and his hands are all over her and she lifts her hips up, willing him downward, willing him to touch her, and he does, finally, and she bites his lip and he shudders.
“Emily, oh god. Emily,” he whispers into her ear, and starts shedding her clothes in earnest, and when they’re finally naked, and staring at each other, and the room is so bright and she feels like she can see every little detail on his body, he pushes inside slowly, and she wants to scream out from the pure joy of it because she has been waiting for so fucking long.
It’s over, and he flips out the lights in the room and climbs back into bed with her, pulling her to him. She curls up, burying her head under his chin.
“You’re so beautiful,” he whispers, stroking her hair.
She murmurs her approval.
“I’m so glad you’re back.”
She brushes her lips against his throat in reply, feeling his Adam’s apple move beneath her touch.
“I missed you.” His voice is quiet, hoarse.
She pulls away, looking up at him. “I missed you too.”
They kiss, and she’s warm. Finally.
The fanfiction archive of woodchoc_magnum
- "Warm", Hotch/Prentiss, probably R