blue flamingos

Light, Not Darkness

Fandom: Criminal Minds

Category/Rated: Slash, PG

Year/Length: 2010/~1,738 words

Pairing: Emily Prentiss/Jordan Todd

Spoilers: Post-ep to 5.11 Retaliation

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Summary: After the Shrader case, Emily just wants to go to sleep next to her girlfriend.

Author's Notes: 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).

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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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.

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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.

sequel: Breakfast In Bed


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