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SPOILERS: Season 2-3.

Here's Everything I've Always Meant To Stay
By gilligankane



There is never a real introduction – you're thrown into the fray and expected to scramble to the top, without so much as an ally. The young one – the Doctor with the big brain and the even bigger vocabulary – looks at you with such hatred, such loathing, like he just found out that you were the someone who ran over his puppy.

She's the light in the room, clearly. She isn't really a profiler, at least not according to her file, but when she opens her mouth, standing in front of the room, her low voice carrying horrible words that just don't sound so bad coming from her mouth, everyone stops and listens. She's respected and cared for and loved by this group of people.

You – the imposter – have no place here.

Until her. Because when she smiles at you, even if you never really said hello, it seems like you found yourself a place in this tightly-knitted family you have no business being a part of.

It makes you wish you had the courage to say something in Hotch's office that first morning, because if you had, then maybe you can be a part of this light.

"If only" seems to be the mantra of your life.


The question hangs in the air, completely suspended for a moment in time before you open your mouth and it comes crashing down with the light in her eyes.

"It's only drinks Em," she says, scoffing, as if her question doesn't hold any weight at all; as if her question is only about drinks, not the underlying words in her voice that she doesn't say.

Because her question isn't just about drinks – not with that look in her eyes.

"JJ, I just want to go home," you try to explain, but she still looks guarded; still looks like you shattered her heart into a million pieces, even if you don't have her heart at all.

You've only known each other for months now, but there is something there between you too, something you can't put a name on, that pulls you to her and makes you want to be someone better – for her.

She turns on her heel, tosses a smile at Reid and a shrug at you, and heads out the door, conveniently forgetting she's your ride home.

She leaves you with your unspoken words and you leave her with her unguarded trust.


You know, in the moment that you say "the job" that she's going to go the complete opposite direction, just to spite you, and you can't help but feel that this is going to end badly for someone.

Probably you.

Definitely you.

"What's more important?" She asks in that voice of hers, the one that cuts you to the bone; the one that means you should know the answer.

You have two choices; she stands so that you can see both of them: the job, or the boy.

The boy, who stands in the doorway of the hotel room with his cocky grin and his intriguing accent.

"What's more important?" she repeats and you chose the job, because you're hoping that she'll agree, then later tell you that you're more important.

She stares at you before her eyes go dark again, and you realize almost instantly that you've forgotten what her eyes look like with the light in them – they've been dark for so long now.

Ask me again! The voice inside your head screams, but she doesn't ask.

She leaves.

With him.


She stands on the threshold – physically in the doorway; metaphorically in her heart – waiting for a single word, but you can't seem to get your mouth – your teeth and tongue and lips – to move around the word.

You can't seem to do anything useful right now: can't speak, can't think, can't remember. You can't remember if you have the right to tell her exactly what you want to – it occurs to you that you don't.

She's not yours, you have no right, she's not yours, you have no right…

The thoughts filter through your mind, but the way she's looking at you – the way her eyes are asking you what she should do – makes you think that maybe you have a chance to make her stay when she should clearly go.

Will can offer her everything you can.

You know that. She knows that.

And still, when she asks you what she should do – which is a question she asks you too often – you can't make yourself tell her what you're really thinking.

So there she goes again.


You should be letting her leave, because you're too late. You're always too late when it comes to her, always a step behind. But the dam broke and the flood came and it's just too damn late to stop it; too late to stop her from sliding between your sheets and into the folds in your heart.

She rolls over and props her head up under her arm, her eyes boring into yours.

"What are you thinking?" You close your eyes as her breath hits the column of your neck.

"That I should make you leave" you say to yourself before you say "Just how beautiful you look right now" out loud. It's not a lie, but it's not the truth either, and maybe that's alright, because you've never been the kind of person to fall on one side of the fence – you were always the one stuck right on the middle until it was the last chance to choose a side.

Her face splits in a smile. "Yeah?" she asks, as if she doesn't believe you. Maybe she doesn't. Maybe Will never tells her that she looks like an angel when the light catches her hair; maybe he never tells her that she looks her best right when she wakes up, when sleep clouds her eyes and her voice is low, gravelly; maybe he never tells her because he thinks he'll always have her.

You'll never really have her, so you'll tell her all of those things, instead of telling her that she has to leave.


Déjà vu all over again, except this time, she actually listens to you and goes after him, chases him down, kisses him, and suddenly she's gone.

In your mind, you're stretching your arm forward, and you catch her right as she rounds the corner, and you change your answer. Because you didn't really mean it when you said "choose him."

You thought she would choose you. But apparently, you didn't get the message, didn't see how she wanted to you say she should choose you. Instead, you said him and she went with it.

"You know what?" Those words will haunt you forever; they'll sneak into your dreams and make them nightmares; they'll hit you right in the solar plexus during every happy moment that follows this one.

"You know what?"

She doesn't turn to back to face you as she kisses him, and you're glad, because if she didn't you wouldn't be able to be this stoic, and Morgan is already looking at you like he's trying to profile you. She doesn't turn back and maybe it's for the best, because this way, she can't see your heart breaking.

"You know what?"

No, you don't know.

You wish you did.


"I'm fine" you tell her as you place your shaking hand over hers and you're not sure who you're trying to convince.

She asks again, but this time, she's doing that thing again – asking one question, but meaning something entirely.

This is your chance. You can tell her the truth. There's no Cajun here in this moment, no big brother Morgan, no Hotch to frown at you disapprovingly, no Reid to explain everything too, no Rossi to smile in his creepy old man way. There's nothing here stopping you from telling her exactly why you're not okay.

And yet, you freeze up and choke on the words.

"I'm fine," you repeat again, slowly and deliberately, except you don't mean too.

She opens her mouth and you're terrified she'll ask you again because this time you'll never be able to tell her the truth, but her mouth pauses and her eyes lock down and she nods – slowly and deliberately.

"Alright Emily," she whispers, rising off the couch, already miles away from you.

"I'm fine," you tell the empty room, and you sit there for a couple of minutes before the tears come.

"I'm not fine, I'm not fine," you eventually sob.


When the ground shakes it feels likes your world is ending, so you run towards the screaming instead of from it, until you realize that you're the one crying for help.

She's standing in the crowd, one hand over her mouth and her eyes wide and round and she's just standing there while the world in front of her burns. You desperately want to go to her, pull her into your arms, tell her it's going to be alright – that Hotch is only bleeding a little bit, and that it's nothing to get all worked up about.

(You'd have to convince yourself of that first.)

When it's him who gets to her first, you realize it's over.

When that runaway terrorist grabs you by the back of your collar, you realize it's over.

She doesn't see him drag you away, because she's too busy crying into Will's shoulder; she doesn't see how you completely give up, limbs loose as this terrorist drags you back into a dark alley.

And this makes sense. You never said "hello" to her, why should you say "goodbye" now?

But then. She looks up. Her eyes catch yours and she doesn't move. She stands in his arms, completely frozen, completely lost to you forever, and this guy keeps dragging you back and back and back and you don't fight it.

You only hope it's a quick – one shot to the head.

That'd be the nicest thing that's happened to you in a while.

The End

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