DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks audiopineapple for the beta!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Open your eyes, I'm right here
It's a quiet night at the bar that night, a few people drinking and dancing, others are in their separate booth with friends and you just sit and observe. Nothing special, just the way the energy is flowing in the place and it soothes you that tonight you don't have to catch a serial killer, you can just be JJ, an average girl with an average night out. Except that you are alone and wondering why the rest of the team is not here yet.
However, soon you spot Garcia and Reid coming through the door, followed by Derek, who is a bit grumpy after the last case - a bullet that scratches your shoulder can piss you off, not to mention the cocky unsub - but they are here at least and it means finally you can start to relax and get lost in the security of the presence of your friends. This case shook you up as well, hit a bit too much close to home but you reassure yourself that it's over. You can loosen up a bit now.
You are surprised that Hotch turns up as well after an hour, although he is not alone: a tall brunette woman follows him and they make a stop at your table. Everybody is eyeing the woman but she doesn't seem to be intimidated by that. Hotch finally speaks and introduce us to the brunette.
"Everyone, this is Emily Prentiss and she will be working with us from now on, she was transferred from Portland today. Emily, this is Penelope Garcia, our technical analysist, Jennifer Jareau, media liaison, Derek Morgan and Dr. Reid Spencer. Tomorrow, you will get the official tour and everything that concerns your training but I saw a great opportunity tonight to introduce you to the team before that."
You knew that someone would take Elle's position but you didn't know that it would be this soon.
Now, half an hour later you all are sitting at the table and it seems that Emily Prentiss will fit in the team perfectly: everybody is curious about her and she is willingly answering every question. She makes a good impression on every team member, even Reid is accepting her almost immediately, which is rare so she is doing really well.
You catch her eyes several times while she answers to one of those questions and all you see is pure honesty there. Her eyes are so alive, dark and smiling, encouraging. In your line of work, you don't see this often and you are taken aback. Something else is in them as well, you just can't put your finger on it yet but it fills you with a warm feeling. You know that you can trust her and she will be a good addition to the team. You will get along.
When the team decides to call it a night, you all say your goodbyes and you stay behind to pay your drinks at the counter. Everyone is gone and you are ready to leave as well when you meet with those vivid eyes again: it's hers. She smiles at you, says that there wasn't too much chance to talk with you during the night but she would like to know you better because after all you are the heart of the team, as Garcia put it that way earlier.
You swallow hard, all of a sudden you feel she is too much to take in, you can't look at her and you don't know why you are acting this strange. But you manage to pull yourself together and shift back your eyes to her face: you are looking at her, she is looking at you and it's like she is seeing you, all of you, inside of your soul, your very core what you tried to lock with great awareness from everybody and the feeling is alien for you. It doesn't frighten you because you know you are safe with her.
One thing is for sure, you want more of it, you want to be in her presence because she makes you feel good, wanted.
"Do you want a drive home?" She asks and without a word you nod and start for the exit.
She is following you without a missing heartbeat.
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