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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 10:37 pm
Title: Light, Not Darkness
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Emily Prentiss/Jordan Todd
Rating: PG
Word count: 1,738
Summary: After the Shrader case, Emily just wants to go to sleep next to her girlfriend.
Notes: Post-ep to 5.11 Retaliation, and it continues my aparent trend for writing fic for new fandoms that takes place almost entirely in one character's bed yet has no sex (I've done it for both of my Trek Reboot fics as well).

Light, Not Darkness

JJ and Morgan both offer to drive Emily home when they finally make it back to DC. She turns them down, and not just because, as she tells them, she doesn't want to have to cab it in after the weekend.

She knows neither of them would say anything if she gave them Jordan's address – they know, same as Garcia and Rossi, and she doesn't kid herself that Hotch or even Reid are that oblivious, even if she hasn't told them. It's hard to work with six of the most observant people she's ever met and keep her bisexuality secret, and anyway, she doesn't want to. Didn't need to, with Jordan gone back to counter-terrorism before they ever started sleeping together.

She winces as she changes gear, every part of her body aching and stiff, thanks to Muller's physical anger, then a four hour plane ride home. That's maybe part of the reason she didn't want anyone to know she's going to Jordan's – because she bounced right out of the hospital, helped solve the case and reunite Muller with his family, and she doesn't want to undermine it all by saying that she needs her girlfriend.


Jordan's apartment is mostly in darkness when Emily lets herself in, but she knows it plenty well enough to navigate by the dim glow of a laptop screen left on, screensaver spinning out endless spirals. Jordan's really good about leaving a lamp on when she knows, or even suspects, that Emily will be coming over, but calling her girlfriend from the plane is another thing that Emily doesn't do.

She unlaces her shoes, leaves them to the side of the door next to Jordan's running shoes, hangs her jacket on the empty hook. Thinks about making some coffee, or maybe finding a glass of wine, even if it is the early hours of the morning.

"Forget it," she says softly, bypassing the kitchen door and heading down the hall to Jordan's bedroom.

She opens the door quietly enough for it not to creak and smiles for what feels like the first time in days, maybe weeks, because Jordan's curled on the far side of the bed, just the top of her head visible in the faint light getting through the curtains, breathing deep in sleep. She won't even wake up when Emily climbs into bed next to her, will just roll over and put her arm around Emily's waist, and in the morning, Emily will wake up to Jordan smiling, warm and pleased to see her.

She's thinking about that as she makes her way over to the dresser for something to sleep in, and maybe that's why she misjudges the gap between the bed and the vanity, bumps the corner with her hip. A couple of bottles rattle and she hisses a sharp breath of pain as she steadies them.

Behind her, Jordan's voice, thick with sleep, says, "Em?"

"Yeah," Emily says, swallowing down a sigh. "Go back to sleep."

The covers rustle, then the lamp clicks on, so Emily turns, watches Jordan sit up, shove her hair out of her face. Her frown smoothes out into a smile. "Hey. Wasn't expecting you."

"It was sort of a snap decision," Emily admits.

"S'okay. You need anything?"

"No, thanks, Agent Todd," Emily teases. She'd love to know if that's Jordan, or if she picked it up from JJ, but even Jordan doesn't seem to know.

Jordan scrunches her face up. "Come to bed. You look tired."

"Now that's what a girl wants to hear," Emily says dryly, turning back to the dresser and digging out blue shorts and the faded EMILY's List t-shirt that she's had since a feminist friend gave it to her in college. "I'm just going to brush my teeth," she adds, pulling her shirt over her head as she heads for the bathroom.

"Whoa," Jordan says, sounding more awake. "What happened?"

"What?" Emily asks, twisting to face Jordan. It makes her shoulder twinge, sharp and sudden pain, and she remembers the bruises painted across her body, the diagonal red line of her seatbelt. "Oh. That."

"Yeah, that," Jordan says. She comes over to stand in front of Emily, her fingers light and warm against the bruising. "You were in a car accident?"

"Sort of," Emily hedges. For a moment, she's back in the car, trapped and sure she was going to die. She forces her thoughts away before they can drift to Bunting in the driver seat, how he sounded as Shrader killed him.

"What does 'sort of' mean?" Jordan asks. She's frowning again, and this is what Emily wanted to put off until the morning, until she was warm and half-awake.

"Can I tell you tomorrow?" she asks. It comes out too quiet, almost pleading. "I just – it's been a long few days, I just want to sleep." Jordan doesn't say anything, her head tipped down as she studies Emily's bruises. "I just want to fall asleep with you," Emily adds.

Jordan sighs, but when she looks up, her eyes are clear, no recrimination. "Okay. You should take a shower, then you won't be so stiff. Do you have pain killers?"

"I took them a couple of hours ago," Emily says. "I'll shower in the morning. I'm actually a little afraid I'd fall asleep in there."

Jordan opens her mouth like she's going to argue, then just nods. "Go brush your teeth then."

Brushing her teeth carefully under the harsh bathroom light, Emily's tempted by the shower, if only to get rid of the grubby feeling that comes from wearing the same clothes for two days. She's sure they smell of the hospital.

She compromises, dumps her clothes in the laundry hamper and slips into her sleeping clothes.

When she gets back to the bedroom, Jordan's shifted to the far side of the bed, the covers folded back for Emily. She slides under them gratefully, lets Jordan stretch over her to turn off the lamp. She expects Jordan to curl against her, but Jordan just settles back down – on her back, Emily thinks, though it's hard to make out in the dark, her eyes still adjusting.

"Come here," Jordan says, tugging gently at Emily's arm, until Emily goes, lets Jordan position her until they're pressed together, no weight on any of the places that Emily hurts.

"That's nice," Emily admits.

"I know," Jordan says quietly. She kisses Emily's forehead. "Go to sleep, baby."

"Don't call me that," Emily says. She closes her eyes, feels Jordan's hand settle against the back of her head, then comb gently through her hair. It's soothing; repetitive motion that she thinks should remind her of being a child. She's pretty sure this is what mothers do – what JJ does for Henry when he can't sleep, or has nightmares – but it just makes her think of nameless, easy comfort.

"Close your eyes," Jordan says, softly. "Just relax."

Emily tries, focusing on each muscle group and consciously trying to relax it. It sort of works, if she concentrates on the motion of Jordan's fingers through her hair. Jordan smells of something fruity, she can't make out what, that must be her shower gel. A new one then. Emily loves showering at Jordan's before work, how she'll sometimes catch the scent of Jordan on her own skin and think of her.

"Go to sleep," Jordan says.

It's always warm in Jordan's bed, except for the very foot, where the sheets are always cool, because Jordan's a tiny bit smaller than Emily, and likes to sleep curled up on herself. Emily tucks her feet up against Jordan's shins, instead of stretching out. They've been cold since she ran after Shrader through the woods, and Jordan shivers a little at the contact but doesn't move away.

When Emily takes her next breath, it catches.

"Em?" Jordan asks softly. The hand stroking Emily's hair doesn't stop.

Emily's eyes burn. Bunting's dying right next to her, inches away, and there's nothing she can do.

"Don't say anything," she says.

"Okay," Jordan says, soothing. "It's okay now. I've got you."

Bunting, and Karen Otey crying in her kitchen because her husband was killed and she'd always known that was coming. Maybe this is the adrenaline crash from the collision, finally. She blinks her damp eyes open, and all she can see is the lights of the truck, all she feels is the car flipping the first time, how sure she was that they'd all be killed, then that Shrader would shoot her, that she was going to die in that car, or running for her life through the woods.

She's clutching at Jordan's t-shirt, too tight, her breath coming short, not quite crying, but close.

"Calm down," Jordan says. "You're safe now. Whatever happened, it's over, you're safe. You're going to be fine."

"I have to send flowers," Emily says. She knows Jordan won't get it, but they left before Bunting's funeral, and she has to do something. Something to say how sorry she is that she couldn't save him.

Something to put an end to the sound, the sight, of him dying, every time she closes her eyes.

"In the morning," Jordan says. She hugs Emily closer with the arm around her waist. "Sleep now. It'll all look better in the morning."

"I know," Emily says. She wriggles one hand free to wipe at her eyes, feeling calmer. She's over-tired, she knows, and still shaken from the crash. It will all look better after she's slept.

"Of course you do," Jordan says, a smile in her voice. "My profiler."

"Yeah," Emily says. Her eye lids feel heavy, and her eyes are sore when she closes them, but Jordan's warm all around her, exactly what she wanted. "I'll tell you in the morning," she says. Her voice sounds very far away, and it takes her a while to put together the rest of the words. "I promise."

"I'll be here," Jordan promises. "I might even cook breakfast for you. I could make pancakes. Letty sent me a star-shaped cutter. Apparently, that's what kids buy on trips to the planetarium these days. Or scrambled eggs, I think I have enough fresh eggs…"

She keeps talking, soft and low in Emily's ear, about breakfast, weekend plans, her niece Letty, a counter-terrorism agent's wedding plans, and Emily falls asleep with no sound in her head except for Jordan's voice.

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
I LOVE Jordan/Emily!! Awesome fic. Hope there's more where this came from. :-) -Semerket
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
I loved this pairing, especially since the "52 Pickup" episode in season 4. I don't know why we don't read more about this pair, given that canon has destroyed any J.J/Emily fanfic, other than AU or a dead Will, or a bad Will or a crazy Will.
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
Very nicely done. You capture them both well, Emily in particular, with the combination of the strength she usually shows and the vulnerability that she usually manages to hide.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
Oh this is just warm. Gorgeous. Comforting and just so much AWESOME.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 03:12 am (UTC)
I love how you write the intimcay between them. The little details, like Jordan leaving the light on for Emily or how Emily likes to shower at Jordan's, the simple things that speak to their closeness.
This was a beautiful story and I really enjoyed reading it.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
I love how you write the intimcay between them. The little details, like Jordan leaving the light on for Emily or how Emily likes to shower at Jordan's, the simple things that speak to their closeness.
This was a beautiful story and I really enjoyed reading it.

and I just loved this part. It was just so very Emily.
because she bounced right out of the hospital, helped solve the case and reunite Muller with his family, and she doesn't want to undermine it all by saying that she needs her girlfriend.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
This was so sweet. I love Emily/JJ fic but it gets harder and harder to do.

I love the chemisrty between Emily/Jordan and always love Emily feeling save and loved as well.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
Oh how lovely. I was never incredibly fond of Todd, but I do love Emily, and mostly I love slashing her. And sadly I hate voting Will and Kevin off the island so to speak to do so :)

So, it's fab to see a Post-Todd Todd pairing! :) It gives me hope, and bunnies. :)
wonderful job <3
topetine @livejournal.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
Awesome fic! I love jordan/em fics!
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
So comforting and heart-warming. This is exactly what I wanted to read after watching that episode...
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Brilliant, an Emily/Jordan fanfic! I have an inexplicable love for this pairing, given that Jordan was only on the show for about 8 episodes. You've really written them beautifully, and also quite realistically. I love the little details about Jordan's home and Emily's memories of it. I also like how you can express both Emily's pain and her relationship with Jordan without being melodramatic or cliched - Emily's not bursting into tears, Jordan's not going into panic mode over Emily's bruises (because she knows the job, thank god, and what's more is that she knows her girlfriend), and you've illustrated their physical intimacy brilliantly without even needing to put in any sexual overtones - because let's face it, that's probably the last thing on Emily's mind.

You haven't made them say "I love you" or spent the whole fic explaining that they're soulmates or something; rather you've shown how comfortable they are around each other, and what they mean, to a point where I could just say "Who cares if they won't always be together? They're exactly what they want now", and that's a kind of realism I don't often see in fanfic.

Also found Emily's "don't call me that" amusing, if only because it made me think for a moment about whether Emily really didn't like it (because then I'd wonder why Jordan called her 'baby') or just pretended to or something. I have no idea why that thought crossed my mind.

In short: amazing fic. I look forward to reading more of your fic, especially if it's about Emily (and Jordan!).

- MiniShrink from livejournal
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they make me a little uncomfortable when I hear them too. I suspect that she'll grow to like it from Jordan, because, well, who wouldn't? :P So, don't suppose you've got any other CM fic brewing? Like I said, I'd love to read another Emily/Jordan one.
Friday, May 21st, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
But - so much unchartered territory! Y'know, since we barely know anything about Jordan. You could even have a fic with JJ trying to matchmake them. . . Right, I'll stop now. I suppose I shall have to content myself with JJ/Emily. It's not really bad or anything, just that I've somehow fallen in love with Jordan/Emily within her 8 episode stint. But seriously, I'm sure your story will be as awe-inspiring as this one.
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
And now I regret my use of the word 'trying'. Ah well. I am, nevertheless, excited. Especially if we get some more build-up on Jordan, following on from the lovely tid-bits you've given.
Thursday, May 20th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
Awwww. Jordan/Emily is totally my Criminal Minds OTP, never cared much about JJ/Emily, although I was willing to read. (and ended up having to, since there's so little Jordan/Emily out there) This fic is so sweet! I love how you describe all the little details of how Jordan and Emily sleep, and how like, everyone on the team knows. Cute.
Thursday, May 20th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)
Oh, poor Emily, so desperately (and understandably) needing to appear strong to her team, even when she knows they can see through her. I love the fact that she has a source of comfort that she actually feels she can turn to. And this is lovely.
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
The bit I loved the best was when Emily just starts to crack--because she's with somebody who's also competent and can hold it all together, she can let go a little. That's the best thing about this pairing, right there.
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
This was really lovely :)