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"Touch", Hotch/Prentiss, PG
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woodchoc_magnum wrote in woodchoc_fic
Title: "Touch"
Author: woodchoc_magnum
Pairing: Hotch/Prentiss
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,230
Warnings: Spoilers for Season 7
Summary: A continuation of the Hotch/Prentiss scene at the end of the fourth episode of Season 7 (aka the writers' gift to us all FINALLY).
Author's Notes: I think this could turn into a series of fics, so this would be Part 1. This is pre-romance stuff.



She wanted to touch him. Comfort him actually, though she wasn’t really sure he needed comforting. Reassurance maybe – so he was aware there were people who cared about him and wanted to know about his life. He was so solitary.

--

He wanted to touch her. He didn’t have an especially good reason. Her hands were resting on the table and he could see them there, and he wanted to put his hands over hers. To thank her, maybe. He knew she had always cared, but he never really knew how much.

--

She lingered longer than she thought she would. Morgan and Reid were still engaged in their childish prank war. Rossi was indulging them, and JJ was talking on the phone to Garcia. So she stayed with Hotch, though she probably would’ve stayed regardless of what the others were doing.

She told him about her time in Paris, leaving out the parts about her miserable and crippling loneliness, her boredom, her feelings of isolation and deep, dark depression that she’d spent a good two months wallowing in.

She didn’t tell him how sometimes she took a walk along the River Seine and wished he was there beside her.

--

She lingered longer than he thought she would. He could hear Morgan threatening Reid and Dave laughing, so he imagined she’d want to get back to see what all the fuss was about. But she seemed mildly annoyed by the commotion, and stayed seated across from him, her hands still resting on the table in front of her.

They talked about her time in Paris. She made it sound a lot happier than he knew it was. He’d spoken to her on the phone once, briefly, and her loneliness was so palpable it seemed to reach through the phone line.

He’d never been to Paris. He’d always meant to go, but life had gotten in the way. He didn’t tell her that, or how he’d alleviated his boredom on flights by looking up Paris hotels on the internet. He’d almost booked one, once, with the crazy, irrational thought that he was going to fly out and see her.

He would’ve liked to have taken a stroll along the river with her, just once, maybe.

--

An hour passed by. Hotch had made them both cups of tea, and they sat there talking quietly. Their light was the only illumination in the cabin. The rest of the team were all sleeping soundly.

She was tired, but underneath it still a little anxious. She’d been beside Hotch in some pretty tense situations, but today was the first day she’d been really worried that something might happen to him. She supposed it was because she was still getting used to being back on the team, and she was grateful to be back, and she didn’t want anything to go wrong.

But she was lying to herself, because it really boiled down to one simple truth:

She cared about him. Deeply.

More so than she’d ever admitted to herself. Before, it had been daydreams and naughty fantasies, because he was her boss, and he was married, and he was a stand-up guy. But things had changed. He wasn’t the same man whose couch she’d camped out on, waiting for him to return from a case. He wasn’t the same man who had survived a car bombing with a temporary hearing problem and some scrapes and bruises.

Or maybe he was the same man, and she just felt differently about him. Maybe being away for so long had opened her eyes up, made her see the bigger picture. She’d had relationships – some bad, a couple good, but nothing serious. She wasn’t in her twenties anymore. She’d had her world ripped apart by a ghost from her past, and now she had it back. She didn’t want to waste her life wondering, and fantasising. She wanted to experience something real.

--

She’d been silent for a couple of minutes, a faraway look in her eyes. She was looking in his direction, but not at him, and she was obviously lost in thought. He let her have her moment.

Her eyes came back into focus, and her attention was trained on him. He met her gaze, and felt a flutter in his chest. Something had changed in the last few minutes. She was looking at him differently - assessing him, maybe? He wasn’t sure. He didn’t look away, but raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Everything okay?”

“You could’ve been killed today,” she replied, her voice low.

He nodded. “Yes, quite possibly.”

“That doesn’t bother you?”

He sat back in his chair thoughtfully. “We all make our peace with that. It’s part of the job.”

“But does it bother you?” she asked, her tone suddenly deathly serious.

He lifted his shoulders in a slight shrug. “What do you want me to say?”

“I want you to say that you don’t want to die,” she said. There was an edge to her voice.

He silently gazed at her for a moment, and then said, “I don’t want to die, but I accept it as a possibility. Don’t you?”

She clasped her hands on the table in front of her, turning towards the window. A dark lock of hair fell across her cheek. “I already died.”

Without even realising it, or hesitating, he reached out and placed his hands on top of hers. “We didn’t let that happen.”

She turned back to face him quickly, taking in his hands on top of hers before meeting his eyes. “We didn’t let that happen? Or was it you who didn’t let that happen?”

He swallowed. “It was me.”

Her eyes softened, and she looked down at their hands again. “If anyone could do it, it would be you. It’s no surprise your son thinks you’re a superhero.”

He smiled, a little modestly. “Jack is too young to understand what I do.”

“He’s not far wrong, you know. You may not wear a cape, but what you do is pretty heroic.”

He shrugged slightly. “We do the same job, Emily. Do you think what you do is heroic?”

“No,” she said after a moment. “I’m just doing my job.”

“So am I,” he said, and squeezed her hands once before pulling away.

--

She wanted to tell him how when she heard that gunshot in the boiler room, for one horrible second she thought he’d been shot. She wanted to tell him how reassuring it was to know that he was only a phone call away, and if she ever really needed him, she could call him and he would answer.

But she didn’t. He squeezed her hands and then moved away, respecting her personal space, not overstepping any bounds.

She smiled at him, because it was so very Hotch-like – to move one step closer, and then two steps back. He was careful, and cautious, and hell, he probably didn’t even realise that she was having inappropriate-for-the-workplace feelings towards him.

But she wanted him to notice. She really wanted him to notice her.

--

He smiled back at her, relieved that his dark portion of the conversation was over, even though he didn’t quite know what had brought it on. He never could figure out what she was thinking sometimes. He could profile just about anyone, but Emily Prentiss was still a mystery.


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Truly loved. It has the feel of the episode!


Nice fic. I especially like the conversation towards the ending!!

FINALLY A HOTCH/PRENTISS FIC THAT DOESN'T LEAVE ME GOING "WTF IS THIS CRAP?! IT SAYS H/P NOT DHARMA/GREG IN THE HEADER, I SWEAR I CHECKED" AT THE END.

IN CHARACTER. USE OF CANON EVENTS. UST. DEEP EMOTIONAL CONNECTION. PROFILING. HOTCH BEING HOTCH. EMILY BEING EMILY.

Someone needs to take away my capslock key before I hurt myself squeeing over this fic.

To make this constructive criticism, I will over one suggestion for improvement:

MORE.

DragonLady

Fangirling? Over me?

I'm so flattered!

Your comment just made my day. I definitely know this isn't finished yet, so at this stage I'm confident there will be more.

Thank you. ♥

Great story. You have both Hotch and Emily so very much in character in this story. If we didn't hear what they were thinking, it could easily have been a conversation on the plane with nothing more between them than colleagues. But you stretched this very well, with both of them wanting more and yet for different reasons not able to read the other, to see what they want.

Very nice job.

(*meep* Forgive me for this tardy response?)

I love your beginning. I've been thinking a lot about what I do and do not like in fics, and part of that is the slow-burn attraction rather than the instantaneous jarring 'I WANT TO STRIP YOU OFF AND DO YOU AGAINST THE WALL' thing. Don't get me wrong, smut is good in its place, but so often it's just A to B with no development in between. And I really love how you have the focus on touch here but with it still being immensely in-character. Wanting to show comfort, show appreciation, gratitude, just because her hands are there. (I occasionally really want to squish people and it's only my awkwardness that keeps me from doing that *sigh*)

The contrasting perspectives is also really well-done! I like how you show something from her pov and then flip it and show his. From 'she lingered longer than SHE thought' to 'she lingered longer than HE thought'. It seems so oddly...intimate, how their thoughts parallel each other, how they're that in tune even though they don't voice it.

, it had been daydreams and naughty fantasies, because he was her boss, and he was married, and he was a stand-up guy

YES, OMG, THIS. Anyone who would work with Hotch and not fantasize about him...is inhuman, lol. I can so see her having those fantasies because he's attractive and unavailable and a safe guy to focus those fantasies on. Totally fits Emily's MO, methinks.

And UGH, their conversation, YOU RIDICULOUS GENIUS. I love the undertones, the subtext, how there's all these things going on under the surface. I love those convos where it's not all straight and forthright but meandering and ambiguous and...

Just the way she sees him as heroic, but then he flips that back on her to ask if she thinks SHE's heroic, since they work together, and she downplays her own role. I think that says a lot about how she views him, but in a really subtle way and I LOVE IT.

And the last few paragraphs, ugh, you are a master of subtlety. I love the hand-holding, it treads that line between appropriate and inappropriate oh-so-deftly, showing a bit of feeling without it instantly becoming ZOMGLOVE and it is perfect. How she wryly thinks about him taking that step forward and two back and prob not even realizing she wants more, and then how he thinks how she's a mystery and he has no idea what she's thinking, lol. THEY COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER SO MUCH, ACK.

Okay, whoops, that ended up being more me paraphrasing what you wrote, but IDK, I can't explain, I just love so many parts of this because it totally suits the characters.

In conclusion: YOU ARE FABULOUS AND CAN DO NO WRONG.


I love you.

I'm overwhelmed.

But I seriously love you.

Ooh, that was good! I like the back-and-forth between their points of view.

So I only come to LJ to check to see if you have posted more stories (I find the format on this site really complicated to use - probably doesn't help that I hardly ever visit it) and then I see this fic *SIGH* Absolutely lovely and beautiful and heartwarming. I truly love your style, how their thoughts mirror each other, how much in character they are, how just the one touch says so much.

Can I say that I truly admire you, I myself am incapable for keeping them in fully character, I'm definitely in the "Strip you off and do you against the wall" camp of H/P writers (as borg princess said) LOL. So this was gorgeous. Thanks for sharing :)

So I only come to LJ to check to see if you have posted more stories

Wow, colour me flattered! *beams*

I find the format on this site really complicated to use - probably doesn't help that I hardly ever visit it

I did at first as well, but it gets a lot easier when you're using it every day. :)

I truly love your style, how their thoughts mirror each other, how much in character they are, how just the one touch says so much.

Thank you very much, that means a lot. :)

I too have toyed with the "strip them off and do them against the wall" type of writing, which admittedly has its place at times (when you just want some smut, dammit! Only smut will do!), but I try really hard to keep them as in character as possible.

I am in the middle of writing a sequel to this fic, so hopefully I'll have it posted soonish. Thanks for your lovely comment!

He never could figure out what she was thinking sometimes. He could profile just about anyone, but Emily Prentiss was still a mystery.
And seeing how dissapointing S7 was in terms of anything Hotly, besides a small convo on the plane and that gorgeous Dance they shared in the last episode, I can see why you don't write them anymore. At least, I think that it's why you haven't written about them.
You are a remarkable writer that really knows how to tell a story. Really stays in character as I see them on the show and that was very nice to read.
Thank you so very much for all the wonderfull stories you have done for this truly amazing pair.
Thank you....

I can see why you don't write them anymore. At least, I think that it's why you haven't written about them.

It's just a bit too painful, you know? They are one of my all time favourite OTPs and I just feel cheated about the way it ended. I'm not sure I can write another fic about them, I'm just so bitter about it.

Thank you very much for all your comments. I wish I was still motivated to write but at the moment I'm really not. You never know what might happen in the future though. :)

I do understand why. I have a couple of other Author friends who have written some of the best Hotly stories. One has not watched CM since the start of S5 and created her own verse completely and is still on it but the other did keep on watching on & off but is, like you, so let down by the show. She was nearly fininshed with a fantasy style story but lost all incentive to write.
She, like me, never wanted to see the actual romance on the show itself but we both loved the subtext. The little looks, minor touches, interactions etc. But they took it all away with S6, and S7 has not been able to repair that. For me, Erica Messer as showrunner was a huge mistake. She says one thing but does another. Messer is quite messy. I think we all would have been better off not getting any hints in advance. Plus Mr Gibson, who used to be an avid Tweeter has all but stopped since the end of S6. Like it was a demand of the producers he would not tweet that much any more or divulge anything. There use to be a plethora of tweets by him of him & Paget or of Paget but nearly non this year. Not even feets on Tuesday anymore. I really wanna kick his butt for letting his fans hang like that. Why not be honest about it and say you don't want to tweet so much any more or that Messy doesn't like it.
I will keep on watching the show but I hope the writers & producers do realize it is all about the crime & the Unsub (one I do NOT want to see right from the start) and that it is not a soap opera.
Loved the hinting of a probable romance but this. .. .. ..
Oooh well.
This was never meant to become a mini rant! LOL!
Suffice to say, I adored your stories and I will re-visit your LJ site many times over. Including giving the links to friends. You are to good for not the be read.
Again, thank you so much *hugs*

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