2x20 – Honor Among Thieves
It is so rare...to find a complete person, with a soul, a heart and an imagination; so rare for characters as ardent and restless as ours to meet and to be matched together, that I hardly know how to tell you what happiness it gives me to know you. -Hector Berlioz
Emily walked through the doors and onto the elevator of the FBI building and pressed the button for the floor that held the BAU offices. The building was dark and quiet because of the lateness of the hour and also the fact that it was a Friday, but Emily Prentiss - always the dedicated worker - wanted to come back to her office to grab some files to work on over the weekend... because her social life outside of her friends at the BAU was almost nonexistent.
She was lost in her thoughts as she had just returned from dinner with her mother - a rare occasion indeed - but surprisingly enjoyable for Emily - a rarity as well. Elizabeth Prentiss had finally tried to be more open with her daughter, rather than her typical, guarded self. And Emily had finally seen a side of her mother she had never seen before - a side she wished she had been exposed to during her childhood and perhaps causing her to be less guarded herself.
Emily made her way to her desk through the dimly lit room, still deep in thought, when a deep voice from behind her said, "Well hello, Princess."
Instantly, Emily gasped while simultaneously spinning around, preparing herself for an attack.
"Whoa... Em, it's me!" the voice exclaimed. Instantly, Emily relaxed as she took in the image of the source of the voice. Her partner Derek Morgan was standing across from her, hands up to protect himself from the only woman he knew could successfully take him down if she wanted to.
"Morgan!" Emily yelled as she poked him on the shoulder, clearly not amused. "Don't do that! Haven't you learned from our job that lurking in dark corners and popping out at people is not normal!?" But Derek only laughed, enjoying the rare vision of his shaken partner who was usually so calm and collected. "It's not funny," she continued.
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry. But haven't you learned not to walked around late at night in dark, creepy places where 'not normal' people can pop out at you?" he threw up his hands in quotations to mock her but she only rolled her eyes, still shaken but she knew she could never be mad at him. "What are you doing here anyway?"
"I just finished having dinner with my mother and I needed to grab some files to work on this weekend because I'm drowning in work," she answered, as she leaned against her desk as Derek stood close to her while he rested a hand on her desk, turned in her direction. "What about you? Shouldn't you be at some club getting your 'groove thing' on or something?" she smirked at him.
"Is that really all you people think I do?" he joked. "Contrary to popular belief I was working because I'm swamped with overdue paperwork - not to mention new paperwork too - so I thought I'd try to finish it."
"Now that I am definitely not surprised by… I can't remember a time when you got a file turned in on time… probably because of all that clubbing," Emily continued the joke. She was one of the only ones who knew the true Derek Morgan.
Sure he went to the clubs occasionally, he knew how to get a girl's attention – and he liked people to still think he was a player even though it was the farthest thing from the truth – deep down, he was one of nicest, most caring men Emily Prentiss had ever met. And she knew first hand, particularly after the first time they had spent together as friends not too long ago after they had bonded over their favorite novel and spent an evening together - which was followed by spending an increasing amount of time together after cases. Turning the team members into close friends who eventually became to see themselves as inseparable partners. So after all that, Emily knew there was so much more to him than people knew. And she was lucky enough that she was getting to know the real man behind the image.
"Oh very funny," he nodded with a smile. "So... dinner with your mom…" he smirked a bit. "How did that go?" he asked, being the only one on the team Emily had really opened up to about her relationship, or lack thereof, with her mother.
"Surprisingly well, actually," Emily offered a smile.
"Really?" Derek asked in a surprising tone.
"Yeah," Emily responded with equal surprise. "I finally feel like I got to spend time with her and not feel scrutinized for once. Tonight she wasn't Ambassador Prentiss – she was just… just my mom. I had a genuine conversation with her. She actually opened up to me more than she ever has before. She actually told me she was proud of me! My mother!"
"Well of course she is. How couldn't she be? You're so much like her…" Emily looked confused before Derek quickly continued.
"But I'm not like my mother," Emily protested. "I was never bold or outgoing the way she has always been. She's great with people and I'm just awkward… unless I'm interviewing them for a case. And I wasn't really even a great daughter – First I was a bookworm when she always expected me to be a mini version of her but I'm a nerd. My dad was always the one I could talk to – I guess I was always more like him. He was a great businessman so he was away a lot but when he was home, we would spend hours together – talking about books or history… anything really. Anything I could never talk to my mom about. So when he died such a short time after my grandfather, I was lost – and I responded by rebelling. I really think this is the first time my mom has ever been proud of me."
"I really doubt that. How could she not be proud of you? You're smart; you're a strong, and independent woman. But the best thing about you is that you never give up – no matter what. Of course she loves you for that – because she is the same way. I saw that first hand on this case. She's stubborn, she's determined and she's a fighter for what she wants – what she knows is right. And so are you. And that's why she's proud of you. And those things are also why you're the best partner anyone could ever have."
"Really?" Emily asked, her normally indestructible protective walls temporarily down to expose her true lack of self-confidence.
"Would I lie to a profiler?" Derek smiled to which Emily instantly returned. "Come on Miss Prentiss… grab those files. I'll walk you out. And maybe we'll even stop at that 24 hour ice-cream place I keep telling you about."
"Oh yes, please! I may have had a great dinner with my mother but you wouldn't dare eat junk food in front of her. I need sugar!"
"Well Princess, your wish is my command," Derek gestured mockingly toward the door with his arm. And when he brought it back up, he let it rest around Emily's shoulders as they walked out together.
They agreed to pick up the ice cream and take it back to Emily's place, where they attempted to work on case files but rather, talked, laughed and enjoyed each other's company late into the night.
Derek finally made his way to the door, as he began to speak. "I really had a great time tonight."
"So did I. Thank you for listening. I really needed it."
"Always," Derek responded – not yet realizing just how much that small word would mean to them in the future. "If I couldn't go clubbing then I guess you're a nice substitute," he laughed.
"Hey!" she laughed as she hit him playfully on the shoulder.
"No really, I like spending time with you. I feel like I can open up to you. You're different than any partner I've ever had. I mean that," Derek said sincerely.
"I feel the same way. I was so worried when I joined this team that I wasn't going to fit in, but it already feels like my family. And I really have you to thank for a lot of that," Emily responded with equal sincerity.
"I'm glad you feel that way. This team is a family and we protect our own. And I know everyone absolutely loves you," Emily smiled, finally finding the feeling of being a part of something meaningful, where lives, hidden pasts and above all, Doyle had no place. "So, we still have to finish those files…"
"Excuse me, I finished mine. You on the other hand…" she smirked.
"Well, I was going to ask if you wanted to finish them sometime this weekend. But I've got to go get some hours in at the FBI training gym. You could join and then we could go grab dinner at that Chinese place like we did last time," But suddenly Derek was second-guessing himself, something that never happened. He almost felt nervous, his charms didn't work on Emily Prentiss like they did on other women – which was just another reason he was so intrigued by his partner. "But if you have plans or you don't want to I understand… I mean…"
"I'd love to!" Emily responded. "Remember, I'm an FBI agent. I have no life," she laughed. "But even if I did, I would love to. So I'll meet you around 3:00 at the gym?"
"Perfect," Derek said with excitement. He moved to look at his watch, realizing the lateness of the hour. "Well, I'll see you tomorrow so I had better get going. Say, do you think any of the clubs are still open?" he asked with a wink.
"Oh just get out of here," Emily laughed, pushing him out of the door.
"Goodbye Princess," Derek grinned as he turned around once more, and held up a hand in a wave.
"Goodbye Derek." Emily said as she flashed a toothy grin in his direction that radiated through her entire face, before closing the door… never losing the smile on her face as she made her way to bed.
And Derek never lost his own. Excitement filled him as he drove home, continually looking at the clock, calculating the hours until he got to see his new favorite team member again.