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She's barely looked at me.
It's been six weeks. Six empty, arid weeks. She's hardly even spoken to me.
All she thinks about is him. And what's so surprising about that? All any of us think about is him.
I could flay Foyet. I mean it literally. If they want a volunteer to administer cruel and unusual torturous punishment, I'm their woman. I'll do it with a blunt knife and a dirty rolling pin. I'll peel him by inches and wind his skin around the wood like a scroll, fresh and bloody...
Yes, I could torture Foyet to death with methodical ease. I could shred his sick hide for focusing all our attention on him.
Rossi should know better, surely. He's all We have to let Hotch know we're here for him. Garcia lets Hotch verbally smack her around. Reid hardly notices his own crippled knee. Morgan... Morgan has gone alpha but looks like he might swoon. I think he's fighting Emily for him.
Emily. My Emily. She's groomed herself into Hotch's bodyguard. She drives him to work, she hovers at his apartment, she doesn't let him out of her sight here or in the field. No wonder Morgan's wound up like a spring. His testosterone spill can't compete with her.
It's a mess. It's upside down. He's our boss. He's the one who's supposed to be looking after us, not the other way round. He can't. Am I the only one who sees it?
Why doesn't Emily see me?
Morgan told me what Hotch did at the unsub's house. My God, if one of us ran in like that, Hotch would have us keelhauled. Why didn't they call him on it? What about the next time?
But they don't, and I can't. I feel peripheral.
It takes every last ounce of my tact and guile to get Emily alone. I persuade her she needs to relax for an hour. A quiet drink, that's all. As I guide her down into the dim alcove I brush my lips against hers, reminding her of what I taste like, reminding her that I'm here. She smiles, distracted, as though she really had forgotten for a while; but as her eyes find mine over the glass of wine I see the familiar flicker of desire.
I wonder if Morgan knows he owes me now.
We drink and talk. I control the subjects carefully. I don't want any glimmer of Hotch here, and if we discuss anything work-related he will be, somehow. I make sure she has another glass but I don't touch my own refill - I want to drive her home.
'It's okay.' She waves my offer aside. 'I promised Hotch I'd check on him before I go home.'
I can feel my jaw tighten. Something prickles behind my eyes. I point to her large empty glass on the table.
'You shouldn't drive. I'll take you to him.'
I know what I'm doing as I negotiate the dark streets to Hotch's building, with Emily relaxed in the passenger seat beside me. I know exactly what I'm capable of. I could skin Foyet alive, so this should be easy. I park close to the street light and I'm out of the car first she's not quite sober, after all. I move round quickly to open the door for her, but I don't step back as she stands. I place my hands on her shoulders, and hers rest on my waist in response with practised ease. Our hips draw together instinctively. Our kiss is unhurried, tender... and unmistakeably familiar.
Tiny hairs rise on the back of my neck. It's him. I smile into her mouth when I feel his eyes pierce me between my shoulder blades. I deepen our kiss, prolonging our caresses. It's several long, sweet moments before I slip back and release her from the confines of the car. She whispers as she slides past.
'I've missed you, JJ.'
Emily trots towards the building a few moments later and I turn around lazily. I lean back against the vehicle, folding my arms with a confident air. I let my gaze drift up towards his window and linger on his silhouette. For once his stare doesn't faze me.
I wait for her outside the car. The cool night air is refreshing, and she's not going to be long.
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