[7x12 – "Unknown Subject"]
"I know the memories are rushing into your mind
I wanna kiss your scars tonight, baby
'Cause you gotta try
You gotta let me in
Let me in
Oh, I feel your heartbeat
And you're coming around, coming around, coming around
The Fray, "Heartbeat"
Derek had looked everywhere, but he couldn't find Emily. She had rushed out of the police station after taking statements. He had become so worried about her after overhearing her interview with Regina that he knew had brought up her memories of Doyle.
He had rushed to the hotel to find her but JJ told him she had already left. He knew what happened when Doyle came back to haunt her memories – awake and asleep - and he didn't want her to be alone any longer than she had too. He hurried to pack his things and tried to make his way to the airport, but he was stopped by Reid who slowed him down with questions about wrapping up the case and then he asked for a lift to the airport. They finally got on the road but a flat tire put rather a kink in Derek's timetable. He didn't think he'd ever make it to the airport.
Emily had escaped the police station as quickly as she could. Just when she thought she could control her emotions – hide them away as she always did – something brought them right back out again. So she had packed her things and gone to the airport because all she wanted to do was get out of this place.
She sat on the plane, alone with her thoughts until Hotch appeared, catching her unawares. She was close to losing all control when told him she was having a bad day. Hotch asked her what she needed but Emily insisted once they left this place, still attempting to control herself. But she held on, still mustering up enough strength to hold it together until she was home alone – terrified and scared of a ghost who haunted her every day. But one man was not going to let that happen.
Prentiss obviously didn't want to talk anymore so she put in her headphones, pulled out a book and planned to hold in her emotions for only a few more hours until she could lock herself away at her home and wallow in self-pity. Hotch excused himself to call Jack to let him know his dad would be home soon.
Everyone on the team arrived early except for Morgan and Reid who were running behind because of the flat tire. Morgan was furious at the turn of events and their lateness, which he claimed was because of Reid's inability to help change a tire. He may be a genius but working on cars were not his strong suit.
Morgan noticed Prentiss as he boarded the plane, but she merely looked at him for only a second and returned to her book, she was trying to hold back the tears welling in her eyes but he noticed immediately. He became discouraged as he looked at her and realized instantly that she had retreated deep back into her walls of protection. But he vowed to do everything in his power to make sure those walls didn't go up permanently. As a result, he started to form a plan in his mind of just how he would help to break them down.
The plane landed and Emily again rushed off before Derek could catch her. But he wasn't about to give up that easily. He jumped in his car, raced to the store and then on to Emily's place. Her lights were on and he prayed she would let him in.
Emily sat staring blankly at the cheesy romance movie on her television screen – scoffing at the storyline of a couple so in love that she had dreamed of as a little girl but long since given up on. She was attempting to forget the past case but failing miserably when she heard a knock from behind her. She was startled at first but got up, turned off the TV ad made her way towards the door. She looked out her peephole to find Derek Morgan flashing his brightest smile.
"Morgan, what do you want?" Emily asked in a half-joking and half-annoyed manner as she opened the door.
"Is that really the way to greet the man who came all this way to bring you his Chunky Monkey ice cream to share?" Derek mocked.
"Really?" Emily exclaimed in excitement and disbelief. "Wait. What's it going to cost me?" she asked skeptically.
"Can't a friend bring another friend the most delicious ice cream on the planet just because?" Derek smiled.
Emily knew Derek had a very particular reason for coming here but conceded anyway. "Fine," Emily laughed half-heartedly but gratefulness still showed on her face. They made their way to her living room when she turned to him with her hand outstretched and said, "Hand it over and no one gets hurt."
"Yes ma'am," Derek laughed. He went to get two spoons from the kitchen and soon joined her on the couch.
"Thank you for this." Emily began. "But I know you too well, Derek Morgan. What is your hidden agenda in all of this?" Emily asked, a little afraid that his answer would be exactly what she didn't want to talk about – not now, not ever.
"I came to see if you were all right." Morgan said.
Emily put on her best diplomatic face, feeling a bit too much like her mother, and answered, "Of course I'm all right. It was a long case but nothing I couldn't handle."
"Emily," Derek began softly. "I know this case hit really close to home with you. I saw how it affected you. I saw you on the plane. I know those memories are still as fresh as the day they happened – they are for me." Derek stopped, trying to compose himself as he remembered one of the worst days of his life – he was struggling so hard to keep it together. But Emily's walls were also breaking down with every word he spoke. She had tried to hide it from everyone but as usual, Morgan had seen straight through her. He continued, "Emily, I heard what she said. I heard what she said when she gave you her statement,"
"You did?" she whispered.
"She demanded to only talk to you. I didn't know what would happen. So I made sure I was right outside that door in case anything went wrong. Emily, I know it's still hard for you. I know you still think of the terrible things Doyle did to you. But he's gone Emily. He can't hurt you anymore."
Emily's head was down, but Derek held his stare on her, willing her to speak to him. She finally began to whisper, sounding as if the tears would begin to fall any moment. "But he does. He hurts me every day, every night because I can't get him out of my head. Those memories, what I did, what he did to me – it ruined my life. And he didn't just ruin my life… he ruined me." Emily sniffed as she whispered those final words.
Derek just looked at Emily, she was so broken, so hurt – and his heart felt as if it was being crushed by the weight of the world. "Emily!" he began. "He can't hurt you anymore… You're not ruined…"
"No!" Emily cried. "I can't sleep through a whole night without waking up screaming because he's always there – you know that better than anyone. But do you know what else? I can't look at myself in the mirror without being disgusted at my ugliness because of the scars he left on me." She placed her hand on her stomach right where Doyle had hurt her. "But those scars go even deeper than that, Derek. I can't have children… The doctor said I have a 16% chance of getting pregnant. 16% percent! And even if some miracle happened and I did, the complications that could come from my injuries would put the baby's life in too much danger. But it doesn't matter anyway because no man has ever been willing to even consider me ever since my mission with Doyle because I'm just distant and closed-off – emotionally, physically, mentally…and I'm scared and I'm ugly and ruined and it's all because of him!" She was crying now, her body wracking with sobs she couldn't contain. She'd never broken down like this, it wasn't how she was raised. Emily Prentiss had never been allowed to show her feelings – but she had finally had enough, and this was her breaking point because if anyone could come close to understanding, Derek Morgan could.
Derek's heart ached for Emily as he processed all she had told him. But he looked at her and lifted her face with a finger under her chin so he could look her straight in the eyes. "Emily, don't you ever think that you are ugly for a moment." Derek protested with all sincerity.
"You haven't seen them." She replied defensively, avoiding his gaze once more.
"Then let me see..." he began.
"What!" she cried in disbelief.
"Let me see them," he whispered softly.
"Why?" she asked weakly.
"I need to prove something to you."
She looked at him with eyes filled with tears and confusion, not budging an inch.
"Emily, trust me." Derek spoke softly as he touched her face to wipe away a tear.
She was hesitant but she trusted Derek Morgan with every fiber of her being. So she gradually moved her fingers towards the bottom of her shirt. She grabbed for it hesitantly and slowly lifted it to expose only her stomach area. Her hands were shaking, her heart was racing and her breathing was becoming fast and heavy – scared and embarrassed of her scarred form.
But Derek was the picture of calm. He looked into her eyes with strength until she exposed her abdomen, and then cautiously looked down. His eyes welled with tears as his fingers moved to delicately trace the large scar across Emily's pale skin. Her heart began racing even faster now, she was embarrassed and scared but she also felt something else - Derek's touch felt warm – full of tantalizing electric shock waves that made her feel dizzy.
"Do you know what I see when I look at this? When I look at you?" Derek asked as he moved his gaze to look directly into the tear-filled eyes that stared back at him like those of a lost child. He didn't wait for her to answer as he continued, hands still resting on her stomach. "I see a brave, strong, beautiful woman. And that scar is one of the most beautiful features you have." Emily only scoffed at him in disbelief. "Don't you know why? Because it's a reminder of the way you love – the way you loved your family, the way you were willing to do anything to keep that little boy and us safe. And it's a reminder of the way you fought to hold on and stay alive that night even when I thought I'd lost you. That scar is the most attractive thing to me because it's on you – a beautiful, breathing you that I never thought I'd see again after that night except in my memories and my own nightmares. Emily, that scar proves to me that you're alive and that I got my wish - you're here with me again."
Emily was speechless, sobbing, but with gasps of disbelief that anyone could see her like that. She had been in her darkest state but somehow, someone pulled her out of it and she felt, for the first time since she could remember, that she could do anything and not feel ashamed because of her past – and that someone was none other than Derek Morgan. The very man who had saved her from her darkest state that night in the warehouse, and helped give her a reason to hold onto life.
"Oh Derek," Emily whispered through her tears and flashed him her widest smile. She leaned forward and hugged him as tightly as he had held onto her the very night she got that scar. "Thank you," she whispered in his ear. Derek wrapped his arms around her even tighter, both shedding tears cleansing the pain and relishing in their joy. They stayed like that for what felt like forever, but still too short of a time for the both of them.
"It's getting late," Emily began, wiping her tears.
"Yeah… I guess I should go." Derek began hesitantly, not wanting to leave at all.
"Or you could stay?" Emily said questioningly, with a hint of hopeful expectation in her voice. "Derek… would you stay?
"I thought you'd never ask." Derek winked.
"I know they'll come again tonight." Emily said, still ashamed of the way Doyle haunted her nightmares.
"No they won't." Derek responded as he reached out for her hand to lead her. "Because I'll be right here with you. And if they do, you'll wake up and I'll be there and you'll know there is nothing he can do to hurt you anymore."
So they made their way to the bedroom, assuming their now regular positions in the bed side by side – not touching – but acutely aware of the other's presence. However, as Derek reached to turn off the lamp, he slid onto his side and snuggled in closer to Emily as he placed his hand on top of her stomach – exactly where her scar was. Emily simply smiled and snuggled closer into Derek as she placed her own hand on top of his, inhaling his intoxicating scent, listening to his steady heartbeat and feeling safer than she had ever felt before. And they both drifted off to a night of peaceful sleep– something that only came when they were together, in each other's arms.
They both knew their relationship had grown since she returned – and that it was growing far past the professional level the FBI expected of them. But they told themselves that they had unique circumstances – there was no FBI manual on how to deal with the death of your partner and then how to deal with finding them alive again. They were unsure themselves of how one was supposed to handle a situation like that. However, all they cared about was that their team was back together, that they were back together – that their relationship had become twice as strong and as deep with the healing of their own scars.
They were back together: if not simply as partners, even more so as friends. And if they were honest with themselves, they each secretly hoped they were finally becoming something more.