[7x16 – A Family Affair]
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself
(for God did not need to create it). It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things which give value to survival."
JJ opened the door to her house with Garcia only inches behind her. Both had enormous grins on their faces as they saw their fellow FBI agent and friend, Emily Prentiss smiling back at them. They had waited a long time to have their girls' night out and tonight was finally their opportunity.
"E, you look stunning!" Garcia exclaimed as she took in the tight red dress Emily was wearing.
"Please," Emily cried with embarrassment. "You look fabulous! How did Kevin ever let you out of the house? And JJ, didn't I tell you that dress would look perfect on you?" Emily said to her friends as they made their way into the house, all remembering the shopping trip they had gone on only a few weeks ago before dinner and a movie with Kevin, Will, Reid and Morgan.
"Thanks," JJ began to say, but was cut off by Henry jumping up off the couch by Reid and running towards the new arrival. Emily picked the little boy up and spun him around, both laughing.
"Hi, little man," Emily said as she still held a laughing Henry in her arms. "Are you excited you get to hang out with Uncle Spencer tonight?"
"Yes," the little boy grinned.
"Good," Emily said as she placed him back down to run in his godfather's direction. "Just don't beat him in chess. He gets really upset when that happens," she winked at Reid.
"Alright Spence, we're off. We'll only be gone a couple of hours but let me know if you need anything!" JJ said as she kissed her little boy goodbye and patted her friend on the shoulder.
"We'll be fine. Have fun!" Reid called as the three girls made their way back outside.
They made their way into Emily's car as she had offered to drive for the night, knowing she needed to be careful about how much she drank since she was still on medication ever since the Doyle incident.
The trip to the bar was a quick one, passed with energetic conversation between the women about their excitement. They quickly took the car to the valet station and made their way inside.
Each of the girls ordered a drink. As they waited for the waiter to return they continued their discussion from the car. However, Emily was focused on her cell phone rather than the girl talk unfolding at the table.
Have a fun night with the girls, Princess. But don't get too crazy – we've got a workout date tomorrow ;)
Emily smiled as she read the text from her partner. Derek had teased the girls the entire flight home about their night of fun, pretending to mope because he wasn't invited.
Thanks, we'll try. I'll see you tomorrow - and how could I forget… I'm going to school you in hand-to-hand combat as always.
The conversation at the table continued between JJ and Garcia as Emily focused on her phone, smiling at her own conversation.
Well then I'll take that as a challenge. Just don't cry when I prove you wrong.
You've been warned. So what are you up to tonight?
"Well since my normal Friday night dinner and a movie buddy is ditching me for other friends," she smiled at his reference to the increasing amount of time they had been spending together. "I'm picking up a pizza for me, Reid and Henry. I told him I would come over and help him watch Henry for a bit. Someone's got to teach that kid about sports, and we both know it won't be him."
"Good, well we can watch a movie tomorrow after training. We still have to finish Harry Potter you know. I think we're on The Half-Blood Prince now."
"Oh, that's my favorite of the books – Well I'll let you get back to the girls – Don't let some bar-hopping player steal you away ;) And keep an eye on Miss Penelope for me. I'll see you tomorrow Princess!"
"Okay, well have fun with Reid! See you then :)"
"We need to find Spencer a girlfriend," JJ responded to the on-going conversation between herself and Garcia. She turned to Emily, only to discover it was not herself that her friend was smiling at, but at the screen of her phone. "Em, Emily… Prentiss!" JJ finally said, startling Emily out of her trance. She looked up, wide-eyed at her friends with an apologetic smile on her face.
"Did you even hear what we said?" Garcia asked.
Emily's mind ran back through her thoughts trying to remember the last part of the dialogue she remembered, "Sure, I'd love to go to the mall next week if we don't have a case."
"No silly, we passed that subject a long time ago. We were talking about our doctor boy wonder's need for a girlfriend before you were so intently distracted by your phone," Garcia said, trying to peek at whom Emily was talking to.
"Oh sorry, it's nothing. I'm all yours now," she smiled, still embarrassed.
"Oh Pumpkin, you aren't getting off that easy. Who is it? Is it some tall, dark, handsome stranger you've failed to tell us about?"
"No, no," Emily assured, attempting to move Garcia on to another subject.
"Emily," JJ pushed, and Emily realized she wasn't going to win.
"It was just Morgan," Emily conceded. "We were just planning our training date for tomorrow."
"Your date?" JJ winked.
"No! It's not like that. Ever since I got back we train on the weekends, just to practice," Emily protested, reaching for her drink out of embarrassment.
"Every weekend?" JJ asked. "I mean I knew you'd both been spending a lot of time together outside of work…"
"Oh a lot of time!" Garcia interjected. "Those two are always together. My chocolate thunder divine is with this pretty lady 24/7," she pointed at Prentiss. "It's like he can't get enough of her since she came back."
"Well are you surprised?" JJ exclaimed. "He was a different person when you were gone," she said to Emily. "I've never seen a man so broken," thinking of Morgan's reaction to Prentiss's supposed death.
"Oh I know, I was so worried about him," Penelope jumped in. "But ever since you came back… honey, it's like he's a new man. My Derek Morgan got his heart back; he's finally happy again, and that's because of you. We really are the luckiest family in the world," Garcia concluded, reaching out and squeezing each of her friends' hands.
At that moment, and much to Emily's delight, their waiter appeared carrying a tray full of interesting looking green drinks in shot glasses. "A round of the green fairy, ladies?"
"Yes, yes, absolutely yes!" Emily said enthusiastically, ready to end the uncomfortable discussion. "Just put them on my tab."
Their second round of drinks were soon delivered but the girls were barely able to take a sip when a very tipsy Garcia insisted they take the dance floor. So JJ, Emily and Penelope took the floor just like old times.
They danced for almost an hour, smiling and laughing. Though men were certainly interested, JJ and Garcia were already taken and. Besides, the two girls were sure that the only man they thought she should be interested in was a certain FBI agent. So they all simply danced together, enjoying the fact that they could again.
Time passed and the ladies were getting thirsty again so they moved back to their table. The waiter returned to them with another round of the green fairy drinks which Garcia instantly accepted.
"Oh I really shouldn't…" Emily began to protest, thinking of the lecture she was sure to get from her doctor if her medications reacted.
"We are not doing this without you!" Garcia said in Prentiss' direction.
"Go on Em, one won't hurt!" JJ joined in.
"Alright, alright," Emily conceded, reaching for the shot glass of green liquid as she pushed away the thoughts of the medicine. They all took the shots in their hands.
"A second round to second chances," Garcia winked at Emily as she raised her glass in cheers with the other female agents. Emily looked at her friends, overwhelmed with gratefulness at her second chance that had given her back the only family she had ever really known and loved – the only family who she had needed and who needed her in return – and she was the happiest person in the world.
The shots continued along with the dancing, the smiling, the laughing and the girl talk until more than a couple of hours had passed. The BAU agents had become sufficiently wasted – close to forgetting anything about the events of that night but finally remembering Reid and Henry. Emily, JJ, Garcia and even the valet all knew she was too far-gone to drive, so he called the group of beyond tipsy women a cab.
Derek and Spencer sat on the couch watching television. Though Reid was close to nodding off, he tried his best to stay awake, expecting the women home any minute because of the lateness of the hour.
Though he sat in front of the TV, Morgan's only focus was on looking at his phone. He knew it was getting later than the girls had planned to stay out, especially since the team had all agreed to go to Hotch's race early the next morning. He knew he shouldn't but he couldn't help but worry about the three women he was closer to than anyone else other than his real family – especially Emily. He worried about her constantly ever since she had returned – he was so afraid he might lose her again. He was tempted to text her again – maybe even call her, but he couldn't
So the moment he heard three singing voices from outdoors, his heart leapt with relief. "Well finally," Reid said, looking at his watch before standing.
The boys made their way to the front door, greeted by the three women swaying precariously as they walked arm in arm, singing the theme from Titanic rather off-key as loudly as they could. "Shhhh…" Reid whispered, "What about Henry?" he reminded.
"Oh you calm down pretty boy," Garcia slurred as she leaned into Reid. "Have a little fun my little boy wonder." However, Reid did not look amused.
"Yeah Spence, learn to have a little fun!" JJ laughed, resting her arm over his shoulder to prevent herself from swaying any more.
Derek couldn't help but laugh at the women in front of him even if Reid was still pouting.
Before more words could be spoken, Kevin appeared. He explained that he had received drunken texts from his girlfriend, which had caused him to find the location of her cell phone so he could come pick her up so she wouldn't drive home in such a state.
So after hugs from the girls, a hug from Spencer, and a kiss on the cheek from her "Chocolate Adonis," Kevin guided a singing Penelope back to his car and he drove her home.
Spencer then stated he should go get some rest as well before the race the next morning, so he made his way to the door.
"Your turn, Princess," Derek nodded in Emily's direction. She was far too drunk to protest and after more goodbyes, allowed herself to be led outside by the arm by her partner. She began to sway on the way to his car, which prompted him to insist she lean on his shoulder until he opened the car door for her to allow her to get in.
Derek made his way to Emily's house – fully entertained by a drunk Emily who was singing and telling jokes from the moment they got into the car. But by the time they walked into her house, her giddiness had quickly been replaced by nausea, dizziness and a headache from too much to drink. And not even an hour since the girls had returned so did Derek's worry…
**One hour later**
Derek hated to see his partner like this. It may have been funny seeing his three BAU ladies walking into the house singing ridiculously; but now, Emily's silliness had worn off and illness had taken its place. She was miserable – and because of that, so was Derek.
He knew this had been her first real night drinking heavily after the Doyle incident, and just as he feared, the medications she was still on mixed with whatever it was Garcia had forced her to drink, had not worked out well. He heard Emily throw up in the toilet for the third time and made his way back over to her.
"Emily, what did you guys drink tonight?" Morgan asked as he kneeled over Emily's sick form, delicately resting a hand on her back while handing her a cold cloth with his other.
"I don't know…" she whimpered as her head fell in her hands, exhaustion completely overtaking her body.
"Come here," Derek whispered comfortingly. He reached down further, scooping her up off the floor and into his arms. Normally, she would have protested… well, normally before she had returned from the "dead" that is. But ever since she had come back, and really, ever since she had known him, Emily had grown closer to Derek than any other man she knew – because they trusted each other on the deepest emotional levels.
So, as he held her close against his chest, she lazily wrapped her arms around his neck, resting her dizzy head with her eyes closed against his shoulder. Derek rested his cheek against her head and walked them both from the bathroom into Emily's bedroom. He gently laid her on the bed, pulling the covers over her body. Then, he laid down beside her, propping his head up on his hand so he could face her. "You need to get some sleep," he whispered.
"You don't have to stay if you don't want to," she said.
He didn't answer her at first; he merely looked at her with a look that said it all. Of course he wasn't leaving – what if she got sick again? But more importantly, hadn't this been their arrangement for so many nights before? They knew exactly where they each wanted to be – right there with each other – to bring comfort when the nightmares came. But now, it was simply to bring comfort. Yet, they were still too stubborn to be honest with each other, and themselves. "But I do want to," he breathed softly, earning a tired smile to fall across her face.
"Thank you," she said, sleep finally overtaking her form.
"Always," came the now standard response from his lips as he put his head down, never taking his eyes off of her.
As the sun rose over the city early the next morning, Morgan dragged himself out of the bed even though it was the absolute last thing he wanted to do. However, he knew they had to support Hotch. So he walked around to Emily's side of the bed. He almost didn't wake her because she looked so peaceful, and he knew she desperately needed sleep. Nevertheless, he leaned down and gently ran a hand along her arm as he softly said her name.
Eventually she opened her eyes, looking up at him with a glare as she moaned, "Five more minutes."
"Sorry Em, but we've got to go. I'll make you coffee though – decaf of course. I'm pretty sure you're going to need it after last night," he told her as she precariously made her way out of the bed, trying to gain control of her wavering balance.
"I swear I might never drink again… Well, anytime soon that is…" earning a chuckle from Morgan. "I used to have such a higher tolerance. I'm losing my touch. Ever since I had to stay in the hospital and be on so much medication, it hasn't been the same."
"I knew this would happen," Derek said. "I was worried about you last night – all of you."
"I'm sorry," Emily said sincerely as she rubbed her temples to rid her head of the pounding within. "I should have listened to you. I don't think I've ever felt this badly. Thank you for staying with me even though I don't remember much."
"What are partners for right?" he winked and she smiled at the words he had spoken once before and they both remembered a case they had in Vegas years before. It was another experience like this one, when he had taken a very drunk Emily up to her hotel room after she had one too many while they were in the casino together. He had made sure she got to bed but not before she thanked him, to which "But I will find out what you girls drank – and I will make sure none of you ever drink it again."
"That's fine by me," she moaned.
"Well you get ready. I'll get the coffee," Derek smiled and made his way to the kitchen.
Later that morning, they went to Hotch's race and Derek put an official ban on "The Green Fairy" for all members of the BAU. After they all had breakfast together, Derek took a still very hung-over Emily to get her car.
"Don't forget about our workout date," Derek called out to her. "And don't think I'll go easy on you this time!"
"I think you are the one who should be worried, remember," Emily said as she got into her car.
That afternoon, Derek knocked on Emily's apartment door, expecting to hear his partners footsteps hurry to the door as she always did when they had plans. But after the second knock, he began to worry about her since he heard no movements inside.
"Emily?" he called out, but still received no answer. So he quickly pulled out the spare key she had given him in case of an emergency... but he really just used it for their movie or dinner nights, early morning workout dates, having to fix a leaky faucet but most frequently, whenever they needed to see each other in the dead of night because Doyle had returned to their dreams.
He opened the door and made his way inside. He passed the kitchen but still hadn't found her. He almost went to the bedroom but stopped in his tracks when he looked into the living room and saw Emily curled up on the couch. She was in her typical training clothes, but only one sneaker was on her foot while the other had seemingly fallen on the floor when Emily had fallen asleep.
Derek made his way over to her, smiling down at her as he put his workout bag down on the ground. He reached for the blanket that rested on the side of the couch and laid it across Emily's sleeping form. Though he tried not to wake her she sensed his presence and opened her eyes in a startled manner. "Morgan! Oh no… our training session. I just sat down for a minute to rest," she exclaimed out loud as she popped up off the couch. "I can't believe I fell asleep! I can be ready in 2 minutes!"
"Whoa, whoa," Derek stopped her before she ran off. "It's okay. Look, I've got a better idea," he said as he reached down into his bag and pulled out a Harry Potter DVD. "I don't really want to work out anyway. What do you say to this instead?" he asked with a wink.
"I think you just might be the best training partner ever," Emily smiled. And so the rest of their night was spent together and neither one could be happier.