DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 2x17 Jones, 3x20 Lo-Fi

Breaking The Girl
By gilligankane


Her jacket is still hanging on the hook by the door. Her keys are still laying on the small desk in the back room. Her briefcase is still sitting on the arm of the couch, just sitting there. She can't bring herself to move any of it. So, she leaves it there.

The keys are starting to collect dust. The jacket is beginning to stiffen in its form. The briefcase just lies in the same spot, beginning to melt into the couch's fabric. But there is no way she can move it.

It'll mean she's really letting go.

If she puts the jacket in a box, and the keys on her own key ring, and the briefcase in the closet, it means that she's really going to admit the truth. She doesn't think she can handle the truth; it hurts too much right now. And she's just so tired of the pain.

Everyone tries to comfort her; tell her that it's going to be all right. Morgan gives her a reassuring smile; Reid pats her on the back awkwardly; Garcia won't let her go anywhere without keeping tabs in her; Hotch gives her a few days off; even Rossi gives her a sad smile. They tell her that she just needs time, she'll be fine. Well, she doesn't want time. She wants to go back, to go back and try to fix it. They tell her it's not her fault.

She doesn't believe them.

She keeps thinking, if she hadn't told her she hated her, if she hadn't said the things she said, maybe she would have never left. Maybe she would still be sitting here, curled up on the couch watching a Brat Pack marathon; maybe they would be eating the ice cream in the freezer. It's her favorite: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Just maybe.

But on the other hand, she knew that it really can't be blamed on her. JJ was leaving anyway, headed to see Will. That's why they fought, after all.

Emily fingers the scar above her left eyebrow lightly. JJ had thrown the TV remote at her head in anger. Emily hadn't been expecting that. Yelling, yes. Throwing things? No way. But it sailed towards her head nonetheless and she hadn't been prepared, so it hit her square above the eye. JJ had paused for a minute while Emily was bent over and whimpering.

When the brunette straightened up, blood poured from the cut, blurring her last vision of the blonde.

Now, all she had left was a scar.

It was her fault the argument started though. She should have kept her mouth shut and minded her own business. But she was Emily Prentiss, and she couldn't keep her mouth shut when it came to JJ. So, it didn't seem like that big of a deal when she had made some snide comment about that lousy Cajun. JJ disagreed.

She can't even remember the comment she made now. It was petty and stupid at the time but she was so angry and livid that it didn't matter if she sounded like a wronged teenager. She was just jealous. Of William LaMontange Jr.

Why did he get her? He didn't deserve her. Who sat up with her when she cried at night? Who ate ice cream and watched scary movies with her? Okay, maybe Will did watch scary movies and eat ice cream, but he certainly did not hold her and rock her and whisper how it was going to be okay when she couldn't sleep at night because she was crying to hard.

He was the reason she was crying.

He was the reason she wouldn't look Emily in the eyes after she moved into the brunette's apartment. When Emily asked her anything, she shook her blonde head and stared into space, a wistful look playing across her face. They both knew what she was thinking, as if the way JJ constantly touched her flat stomach wasn't a constant reminder. She felt bad about the questions she asked, the pressure she placed upon JJ, but the blonde needed to talk to someone – anyone – about what was going on, even if Captain Crawfish didn't want her to.

But JJ had retorted well, mentioning the way Emily had abandoned JJ in the process, piling the guilt on Emily so hard and fast that the brunette couldn't breathe for a moment, suddenly struck with the brutal truth. That had hit home hard, and JJ knew it. That's why added insult to injury, telling Emily that it must be a family trait. Her parents had abandoned her, and even though Emily vowed never to do that to anyone ever, she dropped JJ faster than she could blink the minute the blonde mentioned Will's name.

Low blow.

That was when she screamed: "I hate you!" It was immature, petty, pathetic, but her mouth sometimes moved faster than her brain and that was the end result. JJ was silent for the longest time.

Enter remote controller.

It came whipping across the room, and Emily felt the world spin, but she righted herself and screamed it again.

Eventually, they managed to get down to what was really bothering them; New York; JJ and Will; Emily; Emily and JJ, not being together.

And for a moment, when she looked at JJ, who was halfway out the door, she thought she was going to break. If JJ went to Will tonight, Emily knew she would lose her forever. She didn't want that. She wanted to keep JJ for herself, as selfish as that seemed.

But JJ seemed to be reading her mind, and she knew what was going on inside Emily's head; could read the expression in the chocolate eyes.

So when she stepped forward, she knew why JJ stepped back.

The fear of betrayal weighed heavily on the both of them, and only one of them seemed to care. So Emily said it again – "I hate you" - softer though, because this time, she meant something completely different.

"I hate you." JJ was out the door, racing for the car in the downpour, not watching the way Emily slumped against the side of the doorway, completely lost and destroyed.

Later, as JJ laid in a hospital room and Emily watched the heart monitor made an annoying noise and the beeping stopped, she tried to tell the blonde just one more time how much she didn't hate her; how much she wished she could have said everything else; how she wished everything had turned out differently; how she wished Will LaMontange had never dropped into their world.

The numbers on the beeping, blinking machines hit zero, and Emily couldn't let go of JJ's cold, lifeless hands.

Her jacket is still hanging on the hook by the door. Her keys are still laying on the small desk in the back room. Her briefcase is still sitting on the arm of the couch.

Her face was fresh in Emily's mind, the way she looked the night she showed up on the brunette's doorstep, her bags in one hand and Emily's heart in the other. JJ's words still lull her to sleep each night: "I hate you too."

She can't bring herself to move any of it, so she leaves it there, keeping alive the only thing she has left: the possibility.

The End

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