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Flight of Fancy
Emily smiled warmly at the doorman as he took her coat.
It had been a few months since she'd spoken to her mother and now that she had some time off from work she figured she should put it to good use. Emily didn't normally visit the Ambassador without notice; she hardly visited her mother at all, their relationship having always been a strained one, but even so, Emily had some serious things to discuss with the Ambassador this time. Due to the seriousness of said discussion, Emily didn't want her mother to expect her just in case the profiler chickened out at the last minute. It was time for Emily Prentiss to come out of the closet.
Today would mark the day that Emily told her mother about her relationship with JJ. They hadn't been together for more than a few months, but Emily knew that JJ was 'it' for her and she was willing to risk everything she had for the press liaison. Emily couldn't remember being happier at any time in her life. Every time her thoughts drifted to JJ her heart felt as though it might burst from an intensity of feeling.
The profiler wasn't sure how her mother would react to the news so she decided to confront her without JJ present. If Ambassador Prentiss was going to freak out she didn't want JJ to see her get disowned. The brunette had never said anything to the Ambassador, but she suspected that her mother had figured it out a long time ago. If she did know, her mother certainly never let on and had never responded to Emily in an overtly negative way- at least not regarding her personal life. However, there were times when the Ambassador would ask her whether or not she had found a man yet. These interrogations would often end with some hostility from her mother's end. Emily could never tell if she was upset because she knew that her only daughter was a lesbian or if she were angry at Emily for not trusting her enough to confide in her.
"Welcome home, Emily. I'll inform the Ambassador of your arrival."
"That won't be necessary. I'd like to surprise her."
"I believe she's upstairs."
Not wanting to wait for her mother to come to her, Emily opted to seek her out. The Prentiss' estate was quite large and locating her mother would give her a little more time to work up the nerve. Emily made her way up stairs and made a beeline for the study; her mother spent most of her time there, but she was disappointed to find her absent. Then she heard voices coming from one of the rooms down the hall. It sounded like shouting.
Her mother needed help!
Emily raced down the hall and opened the door and froze at the sight before her. Well, she was mistaken about the Ambassador needing help, at least the kind Emily could offer. Her mother was with someone...
They were having sex!!
She didn't even know her mother had sex! Not that she ever wanted to know, it was just too wrong. The image of her mother on her back in the throws of ecstasy while someone made oral love to her would be forever burned into her mind. Thank god the sheets shielded Emily from most of it.
Emily screamed involuntarily at the shock.
"Mother!" The profiler tried to get her mind-body connection functioning again so that she could retreat from the horrors before her. Of all the sick things Emily had seen during her time with the BAU this could easily rival most of them; it was a crime scene of a different sort. She didn't even think this could be compartmentalized.
"Emily!?" Ambassador Prentiss shrieked at the interruption.
The mystery lover came out from under the covers and glared at her. "Agent Prentiss!"
If the shock of seeing her mother in such a state wasn't enough to keep Emily's therapist employed for the next ten years then her mother's taste in people certainly would. Emily's mouth fell open at the sight of the BAU Section Chief, Erin Strauss, her normally neat hair was flying wildly all over her head. Then, just like in the movies, time seemed to move in slow motion and Emily heard the warping of her own voice as she howled,
As Emily awoke she could make out voices in the room.
"You said you'd be alone this weekend."
"How was I supposed to know Emily would decide to visit me like this? Lord knows she's never done it before." Ambassador Prentiss complained. "Shh. She's waking up now."
Emily slowly peeled her eyes open. She was lying on the couch in the sitting room with a cool cloth draped over her forehead. Her mother and Erin Strauss were seated on a love seat opposite the couch wearing matching bath robes. She cringed at the implications- love seat, ugh.
"Emily?" Her mother asked. "Emily, are you alright?"
Emily muttered as she stared straight up at the ceiling, "I don't think I'll ever be alright, Mother."
The Ambassador replied angrily, "I know, Emily. You never should have seen that. But you should have called before showing up or at least knocked."
Emily sat up and turned to face them, but she didn't think she'd be looking them in the eye anytime soon.
"I know. You're right." She put her hands up in defeat; she wanted to end this fight before it began, "I shouldn't have barged in on you like that. I'm sorry."
The Ambassador raised an eyebrow as she scrutinized her daughter, "I..." She acknowledged Strauss, "We accept your apology."
An awkward silence descended on the room.
The profiler fidgeted as she heard the clock roaring at her.
Emily directed her eyes to her mother's feet as she rocked back and forth nervously.
"So... how bout this weather?" Emily mumbled.
She heard Strauss snicker at her discomfort. Her mother spoke up, "Emily."
"Mhmm?" Emily mumbled, eyes wide open and glued to the floor.
"Emily!" Emily's eyes snapped up to meet her mothers. Now that she had her daughter's undivided attention, the Ambassador continued, "I'm sure there's a reason you came here without notice. As a matter of fact, I think it would have to be something pretty damn important for you to actually go out of your way to see me."
Emily slowly nodded her head."Yes, yes it is."
"Are you pregnant?"
Emily balked at the accusation, "I'm not pregnant."
"Are you out of money?"
"Trouble in the office?" The older Prentiss implied Erin Strauss.
"Then what is it?" her mother asked impatiently.
"I'd like to explain if you'd let me get a freaking word in!" Emily yelled at her mother. This is why she and the Ambassador always had a strained relationship.
"Language, Emily!" Elizabeth Prentiss chastised. She stared at her daughter expectantly. "I'm waiting."
Emily's mouth went dry. Realistically, it shouldn't be that hard to tell her mother she's a lesbian- hell, it obviously ran in the family, but did she really need to have this conversation in front of her boss' boss? Its not like her mother couldn't make her feel awful all by her lonesome.
"Does she have to be here? I'd rather tell you in private." She indicated the Section Chief.
Ambassador Prentiss frowned, "Anything you want to say to me you can say in front of, Erin."
The profiler recoiled at her mother's casual use of her boss' first name. Emily was suddenly struck with an intense need to claw her mother's eyes out. Wow, now she was having psychotic urges to go with sexualized images of her mother, this could turn her into an unsub for Christ's sake!
The Ambassador crossed her arms, "Spit it out, Emily!"
At that point the taciturn Strauss allowed a smirk to appear on her face. "How cute, Elizabeth." She sounded positively amused, "I think she's coming out of the closet!"
The Ambassador clapped her hands together incredulously, "Is that why you came up here? To tell me about you're little girlfriend at the BAU?"
Emily was feeling rather stupid now. The Ambassador had always been good at making her feel stupid. Granted, it didn't surprise her that her mother knew she played for the other team, but how in the hell did she know about JJ? She could swear her mother had only met her that one time. Emily became defensive at the mention of her lover.
"How do you know about her?"
"Erin told me about you two ages ago."
Emily looked back and forth from her mother to her boss. "Ages ago? We've only been seeing each other for a few months now."
Erin laughed, it was a foreign sound and Emily couldn't help being startled by it. "Is that so? I thought you started banging my press liaison soon after you transferred to the BAU."
Emily's train of thought ground to a halt as her brain cut out on her again. Had her boss used the term 'bang' in relationship to JJ? Emily filed that dreadful memory away for her psychiatrist.
"Why is that so shocking to you?" Emily asked icily.
Erin shrugged apathetically, "You're such a go getter in the workplace. I just assumed you'd apply that same ambition in your personal life. Besides, I could see it a mile away. The two of you just ooze lesbianity and frankly, I find it a little offensive."
Both of the older women laughed at that.
Emily raised her voice and said with disgust, "We do not! We do not ooze..." Emily knew that statement could set her up for a traumatic punchline so she gave into her more childish urges as she blurted at her mother, "you shut up!"
Erin stopped laughing and said seriously, "Really though, Agent Prentiss, all that unnecessary touching and hugging- if I figured it out in the brief time that I've spent with the two of you professionally I'm sure those profilers have by now."
Emily thought she might have turned green as her stomach churned uneasily. She took deep breaths as the room began to spin once more.
"So..." Emily squeaked as her mouth became even dryer. "How long?" How long had this crime against nature been occurring? She demanded to know!
"Oh, about three years," her mother answered lackadaisically.
"Three years!" Emily stood up and directed her anger at the Ambassador, "You kept this from me for three years?"
"We met at a fund raiser." The Ambassador huffed defensively, "And since when have you ever taken an interest in my personal life? And who are you to judge me anyway? You..." She said the last part contemptuously. "You closet case!"
Then something occurred to Emily. "Wait. Is this," She gestured between the two of them, "why I'm at the BAU? Is this why you tried to get me to spy on Hotch?" Emily wanted to cry, but she'd be damned if she'd let them see her do it.
The Ambassador answered diplomatically, "Emily, before you get started on this, you should know that you are more than qualified to be a BAU profiler. Isn't that right, Erin?"
"You got me my job, didn't you?" Emily tried not to sound as hurt as she felt. She needed to feel that she'd achieved something without her mother's connections.
"It doesn't hurt to know the right people, but its like I said Emily, you're already qualified to do whatever it is you do and the fact that I happen to know the BAU section chief... well just think of it as a lucky coincidence."
Emily stood up quickly; she couldn't hear any more of this, "Well, I'm sure glad that's settled. I think I'll be going now. It was so nice to see you...Mother and..." Emily talked more at the floor than the two women in front of her, "Ma'am-"
"Call me mom."
Emily sat bolt upright, her face glistened with sweat. Where was she? She glanced around the darkened room and cried in relief when she realized that she was at home in her own bed and everything about her mother and her boss had been nothing more than a horrible nightmare.
Feeling exposed, she pulled the covers up to her neck and she leaned back against the headboard. She heard her lover waking up. Emily was pleased to see JJ's familiar blond hair tumbling over her pillow.
Emily smiled happily, relief evident in her features. "Jennifer, I just had the craziest dream!"
"What's that darling?" Strauss sat up in bed with Emily; she was equally naked.
Strauss looked at her oddly. "Agent Prentiss?"
Emily kept screaming and struggled to get away from her.
JJ felt the dark haired agent stir beside her. She put her file down and turned to check on Emily. She was obviously having some sort of bad dream. JJ put a hand on her shoulder to try and rouse her, but instead of waking her up she started screaming and batting at the blond's hands. "No!"
This got the attention of everyone else on the plane.
Hotch got up and moved over to where the two women were sitting, "Agent Prentiss?"
Derek and Reid stopped their card game to stare at Emily.
"Emily?" JJ kept trying to wake her friend up. Emily had always struck the press liaison as a light sleeper, it shouldn't be this hard to wake her even with the head injury... not that she watched her sleep or anything.
The brunette was so agitated that JJ was hesitant to shake her for fear that she might get punched, "Wake up, its okay."
Emily awoke with a start. Emily wasn't sure what was real anymore. Perhaps she had walked in on her mother and maybe it had caused a psychotic break or made her dissociative.
Her mind filled with questions. Where the hell was she? When was this nightmare going to end? Why was her head killing her? Still feeling groggy she sat up in her chair and observed her coworkers. They all wore concerned expressions on their faces, even Strauss who was on the other side of the aisle. Strauss!
The Section Chief frowned and scrutinized her, "Agent Prentiss, are you well?"
"You!" Emily accused the woman quite irrationally as she jumped to her feet.
"Excuse me, Agent?" The Section Chief was obviously bewildered by her hostility. She must have hit her head harder than they all thought.
"Stay away from my mother!" If it were physically possible Strauss' eyebrows would have retreated into her hair line. She wasn't the only person wearing a shocked expression.
Hotchner grabbed her shoulders and forced her back down in her seat, "Prentiss, get a hold yourself."
Strauss added, "Agent Prentiss, I think I speak for everyone when I say that you should take a day off before you return to work."
"Wait, you mean all of this is real?" Emily asked with genuine surprise. "You're all really here?"
Derek snickered, "Yea, there's no place like home, Dorothy." Derek and Reid started to laugh.
JJ and Hotch shot them both a look, which only seemed to make them laugh harder, but at least they did it silently.
"Like, really real?" Emily mumbled more to herself than the others this time.
Hotch raised an eyebrow, "We'll make that a week."
JJ winced, Emily so did not just yell incoherently at the Section Chief. The press liaison grabbed Emily by her shirt as if poised to shake her. "Emily, look at me. Are you alright?"
"I...where am I?" Emily's hands were trembling slightly. God, she was disoriented.
"We're flying back from Milwaukee. We just finished a case remember?"
"A case..." Emily thought for a moment, then the memories hit her like a tidal wave. A house. A little boy with a gun. A wooden board swinging towards her head. Her pink shirt. A paramedic telling her she had a mild concussion. Well, that explained the headache. Emily reached up and touched her right temple to confirm it was covered by a bandage.
"Yea," she sounded dazed, "I remember now. I just had the most insane nightmare..." She risked a glance in Strauss' direction and gulped, "Sorry, ma'am."
Strauss had already gone back to her reading.
Derek and Spencer watched her carefully for the next few moments, but they eventually went back to their card game. Hotch seemed to relax and took his seat on the plane.
JJ continued to watch Emily prudently. Feeling self conscious, Emily broke their silence, "Giving me the 'crazy lady' look huh, Jayj?"
JJ smiled, "Sorry. Its just..."
"I've just never seen you like that." She was concerned now.
"Yea, well between getting my head bashed in and flying on pain meds, I'm hoping this will be a one time event.
"That's not what I meant." She clarified, "I've never seen you afraid." Jennifer reached up and brushed a few strands of hair away from Emily's face. "Were you dreaming about what happened today?"
Emily laughed, "I wish!"
JJ was surprised at that and if it were possible she appeared even more concerned. She couldn't imagine a dream that would be worse than being assaulted by a psychopath intent on carving one's heart out.
The blond smiled now that her friend seemed to be feeling better, "What could be worse than today?"
"You don't want to know." Emily chuckled. Then she frowned as it hit her- JJ was not her girlfriend. She felt as though she'd been punched in the stomach. Her feelings had been so genuine in the dream... they were genuine now! The brunette was overwhelmed by an incredible sense of loss, and when she thought it couldn't get any worse reality slapped her again. Was she even gay? Emily took a moment to evaluate whether or not she could be attracted to women. Oh well, it was just a technicality, Jennifer was the only one she desired.
JJ saw the shadow pass over her friend's demeanor and she put her hand over Emily's. "Are you sure you're okay?"
Emily lowered her voice so the others wouldn't hear, "Um, Jennifer?"
"Yes?" JJ lowered her voice in kind.
"Would you um, maybe like to go out with me sometime?" There. She'd said it and there was nothing she could do to take it back.
JJ was bewildered. She whispered to her friend, "Emily, did you just ask me out? Like on a date?"
Emily nodded and blushed.
"You hit your head harder than I thought."
Emily's mind replayed the events of the day as she ambled, tiredly into her condo that evening. What an awful fucking day. She had almost been killed by a unsub, but never mind that; it wasn't the worst part. She'd made a complete fool of herself in front of JJ! At least she was able use the head injury or medication as an excuse for any impropriety. It was going to be a long night. Emily was almost afraid to go to sleep in the event that you-know-who was waiting for her. Emily wanted to die. She wasn't sure how long she'd been staring out her window, but as she turned to head upstairs she heard a light knocking at the door.
She checked through the peep hole and saw a nervous JJ on the other side. She opened the door, "Hi." she said weakly. Emily feigned a smile as her heart began to rip in two. She avoid JJ's eyes. She felt like such a dumb ass.
"Hey." JJ seemed nervous.
"What is it?" Maybe Emily had forgot her wallet or something.
"Can I come in for a second?"
Emily stood back and let her in, shutting the door behind her.
JJ continued, "I just wanted to apologize for what I said tonight on the plane-"
"Jennifer, its okay. It was dumb of me. I'm sorry if I offended you."
"No! It wasn't dumb." She gestured nervously as she tried to express herself, "I just... you just caught me by surprise and I didn't know what to say and there were people- there were bosses around and... I got nervous." JJ blushed sweetly. "I'd like to go out with you, if the offer is still open."
Emily shrugged. On the outside she appeared calm and unaffected, but on the inside her heart was having a gala. "Seriously?" She was afraid that JJ was still kidding.
"No, Emily. I came all the way over to your house in the middle of the night to reject you a second time."
Emily stared at her blankly.
JJ smiled and rolled her eyes playfully, "I was being sarcastic, silly. I'd love to go out with you!"
"I know." Emily returned her smile. There was a playful awkwardness as they both wondered what to say to the other. The nature of their relationship was changing and they were both excited by the prospect. "I could pick you up tomorrow at seven thirty?"
"I'll look forward to it." JJ winked suggestively. "You're buying though."
Emily returned her smile. "Oh, I think that can be arranged."
It was time she made part of that dream a reality.
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