[4x09 – 52 Pickup]
"When I look into your eyes, one word leaps to my mind every time: Forever."
-Lara Adrian, Veil of Midnight-
"Which one?" Emily asked the technical analyst on the screen before her as she held up a dress in each hand.
"Oh sweetie why do you do this to me? I love them both! It's too hard to choose!" Garcia exclaimed.
"You're the one who made me buy these!"
"That's why it's just so hard to choose!"
"I just need one Garcia. Please? I'm running late enough as it is. The red one or the black one?" Emily pressed.
Garcia was about to answer before both women were cut off by a voice from behind Emily. "The black one," Morgan said as he walked into the room, still looking down to stir his coffee. He hadn't even seen the dresses Emily was holding but he knew exactly which ones she was talking about. She had worn both to team dinners. He thought she looked gorgeous in anything she wore, but the black dress was certainly his favorite.
"Saved by the voice of my Chocolate Thunder Divine. The black one it is dearest," Garcia smiled at her friends. "And don't forget to curl those raven locks baby doll."
"Yes, Garcia," Emily agreed. "I'm going to be late enough as it is since someone just couldn't make up their mind," she commented with a sarcastic smile.
"You'll have every male in that club falling weak at the knees - especially that creepy Viper character."
"She's already got him drooling over her," Derek responded, looking none too pleased. He couldn't remember a time when he had been angrier than when Viper had spoken to Emily the way he did. He didn't even care about the insults the man had thrown at him. But if Hotch had not of been there to keep Derek in check, he would have probably sent Viper to the hospital after what he said. Morgan wouldn't stand for any of his BAU ladies to be spoken to that way, but for some reason, especially not Emily. He knew he didn't have a right to be, but he was jealous nonetheless.
"Ugh," Emily moaned, pulling him out of his thoughts. "I'll just be glad when it's over.
"Please sweetie. Hotch told me what that man said to you. You are just the independent, beautiful woman he needs to put him in his place. Show him he's no real man like our perfectly sculpted gentleman, Mr. Delicious Derek Morgan."
"Well I'll try."
"Don't forget to curl your hair!" a voice from the computer exclaimed.
"Garcia, if I didn't love you," Emily mockingly threatened.
"That's my cue to say adieu," Penelope smiled. "And don't forget to take notes. I want a minute-by-minute overview of your night. Keep an eye on her baby love," she said as she turned to face Morgan on the screen.
"I always do," Derek smiled.
"Goodbye Garcia," Emily said with a smile as she turned to wave at the computer screen.
"Goodbye my loves," the tech responded.
"Thanks for the help," Emily turned to her partner as she spoke. "As you can see Garcia wasn't exactly helping my indecisiveness."
"Anytime Princess. You'll look perfect," he said genuinely. "Are you sure you're up for this though?"
"I guess I have to be, don't I?" Emily responded.
"Yeah, I guess so. Just be careful okay? I know you can handle yourself but that guy is a creep. He trained our UnSub after all."
"You know I will. But I was thinking of asking Hotch if Jordan could join me. We could give him a taste of his own medicine, you know? And she needs a chance to prove herself after that stunt she pulled earlier when she lied to the family," Emily explained. "Plus, I'll need someone to back me up since you've already got Reid as your wingman," she added with a wink.
"Don't remind me," Derek responded with a chuckle. "I think that is a good idea though. She certainly seems on edge after what happened earlier. And I'll feel better without you there alone anyway."
"I'll ask him," she said.
"Hey, but even if you were there alone, I will always be here to back you up," he smiled.
She smiled back as they shared another of the hundreds of little moments where so many words were left unspoken. They were partners and friends, but they knew each other so much better than that. Both of them just weren't ready to understand what that really meant, no matter how much they thought about it.
"I should go get ready," Emily broke the silence.
"I'll see you later. The clubs are so close to one another that we can all take the same SUV," Derek responded and made his way to find Reid.
Emily made her way to get ready and was hopeful in asking Hotch it Jordan could join her. She understood that she had made a mistake but Emily knew better than anyone that everyone needed a second chance. She enjoyed having a female agent on cases with her now that JJ was on maternity leave. The team had too much testosterone as is. Emily smiled as she thought back to the first day she and the team had met JJ's temporary replacement.
"I'm taking the stairs," Reid exclaimed as he walked away. Morgan had just shut the elevator doors on the two of them and Emily was still standing before them looking dumbfounded.
Reid had just walked away when the doors opened again and her partner was standing there with a lazy smile. "Come on Princess," he gestured as he held the door open for her.
Emily made her way inside. "Boy wonder took the stairs."
"Then it looks like it will just be you and me then. You still up for dinner?"
"As long as you clue me in to what is going on lover boy," Emily giggled.
"Hardly," Derek said as he made a face at her. "Okay, so here's the truth. This morning, I saw Jordan at the coffee shop on Wilson. And I kind of... Okay I flirted with her."
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Emily smiled.
"Hey, it's not what you think. Remember last week when I told you we'd have to go see that movie on Saturday night instead?"
"Well it was because I went out to the club with my buddy Mike from college last Friday. I wasn't exactly excited but I promised him I would be his wingman," he gently placed a friendly hand on her back to lead her out of the elevator doors to the parking area while he continued. "He said that I wasn't on my game. We were always competing for the same girls in college. So he bet me who could find a girl for the next Friday. So when I saw Jordan at the coffee shop, I thought it might be a nice way to get him to stop bothering me about it. But that's not really going to work now. And I guess I'm kind of glad. I'm just not too excited about what Mike will have to say; I'll never hear the end of it. Unless…" Derek eyed Emily with a twinkle in his eye and a pleading look.
Emily merely shook her head and smiled. "Alright, alright. Pick me up at 7:00 on Friday. I just couldn't bear for you to lose your reputation," she chuckled. Sure, she would do this favor for any friend but she had to admit that any excuse she could find to spend time with her partner, she would take it.
"I owe you big time," Derek sighed with a grateful smile.
"Yes you do, so I expect a rather expensive dinner Morgan. And drinks, lots and lots of drinks," Emily joked.
"Anything you want Princess," Derek winked as he walked her to her car before walking to his own. "I'll see you at the burger place on Main."
"I'll beat you there," Emily responded playfully.
"Oh you're on." And the race began, Emily winning as usual.
So that Friday night, Derek did take Emily out. Sure it was supposed to be a dinner between friends but as Emily was getting ready in her new black dress, it began to feel more and more like a date to her, and Derek felt the same.
They had a very enjoyable dinner with Mike and his date Sarah. Surprisingly she was an English professor at the university where Mike coached and Emily's inner nerd instantly came out, one of Derek's favorite qualities about his partner. The girls talked nonstop about their favorite authors with the boys chiming in whenever they could. Of course, the girls when to freshen up together, giving Mike and Derek a chance to talk.
"Man, you've got a keeper there," Derek told his friend. "Sarah's great."
"I think so too. I have to say this is the best bet I've ever won. I can't stop thinking about her," Mike agreed. "Who would have thought I would turn into one of those guys?" he laughed. "But I like it. It's your turn next my friend."
"Oh I don't think so," Derek brushed off the comment. "You won the bet, I'm buying your dinner. Go ahead, rub it in."
"No man, really. I know Emily is just your partner but I've never seen you like this. You know each other so well. You're always together. You can't tell me you haven't at least thought about it."
"Mike, she's my partner. That's all," Derek admitted, but couldn't ignore the slightly sad feeling he felt as he said it.
"Whatever you say," Mike conceded, though he was clearly unconvinced. "All I'm saying is, sometimes the right one can be right under your nose all along. I've known Sarah for four years and never thought about her like that. I'd see her all the time but one day I realized I couldn't stop thinking about her. So what I'm saying is that maybe if you stop looking, you'll realize that what you've been missing has been right in front of you all along."
To Derek's thanks, the girls were just making their way back to the table and he avoided any further conversation on the subject, for now. What he didn't realize was that Sarah had been giving Emily a similar speech in the ladies' room.
"So who wants to dance" Sarah asked excitedly.
"Let's go," Mike smiled as he took her hand and led her to the floor. "Come on you two," he called back. The agents looked at each other awkwardly, as if asking for permission and wondering if they were crossing a line.
"Would you like to dance?" Derek asked, never one for awkwardness around women but he suddenly felt a wave of it coming on. "Unless you don't want to."
"Don't be silly. I just hope you can keep up with me," Emily laughed as they moved onto the dance floor. It was an upbeat song at first but soon, the beat became slow and the tension rose. Mike and Sarah remained on the floor so Derek and Emily felt obligated, not that either one of them minded of course.
They stayed at a safe distance but hands intertwined as Emily delicately rested against her partner. Each one told themselves it was for protocol but it was truly because if they got any closer, all protocol would be broken in a second. Derek's heart was pounding and Emily's face was flushing, but they both ignored it, both breathing a sigh of relief as the song ended and they made their way back to the table. Yet, they suddenly felt cold and secretly longed for the feel of the other. They would continue this dance many more years, but one day, when it was their song and it was their turn, everything would finally change.
Still smiling at the thought, Emily was interrupted by her unit chief's presence before her thoughts went too far and she finally received permission to take Jordan into the field again. She finished getting ready and made her way upstairs to wait alone until it was time to go.
About twenty minutes later, Derek came into the station again as the SUVs were ready. He spotted his partner near the coffee station and walked over to Emily. Her back was turned to him but he already knew what she was doing and why. He walked to her side and reached for the hand she was biting the nails of before she could pull it back. "Hey," he whispered. "It's okay. You don't have to be nervous."
"Sorry, I'm not nervous or scared. I guess I'm just dreading going head to head with such a creep like Viper. I mean I've dated worse guys, I've told you that. I really just want to stay here and take care of the tip line like Reid said."
"I would give anything for you not to have to interact with that jerk anymore. But you're not just the best at the job so you can figure out the information we need, you can challenge him – you intimidate him. And we all know he needs that. With a gorgeous woman like you, he won't stand a chance." Emily merely gave him an amused smirk as she tried to ignore her blushing cheeks. She quickly pulled her hand away when she realized he was still holding onto it, but he continued nevertheless. "Come on, it's time to go. I told you the black dress would be perfect. You really do look beautiful," he added, creating an awkward silence between them as they stared into each other's eyes, both thinking thoughts they knew they shouldn't.
The agents drove to the club, Derek and Reid dropping the girls off first and then moving on to their assigned club; but not before Morgan told Prentiss to be careful once more.
Though they thoroughly despised it, Jordan and Emily finally pried the information they needed from Viper with their charm. They changed at the station but were back on the road again after the UnSub struck once more.
Emily and Jordan were driving the SUV, still talking about Viper's crazy tricks and what they still tried to do to get a man's attention. "You shouldn't worry about getting noticed you know," Jordan commented to Emily in regards to their earlier conversation. "There were plenty of guys checking you out at the club. You had three guys ask for your number, one practically try to kidnap you to the dance floor, not to mention all the eyes watching you. Didn't you see Viper getting jealous?"
Emily simply laughed off the compliment, but her self-confidence low as always, deflected the compliment as usual. "This is coming from the girl who had three drinks purchased for her in the first ten minutes we were there.
Prentiss was right but Jordan continued her praise for her fellow agent whom she admired as a mentor and was thankful she had allowed the opportunity for her second chance with Hotch. "Ugh, all Viper cloned creeps. But really, you did. Not to mention the way you had Morgan falling weak at the knees before we left."
"Oh please," Emily shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
"But that's not different from any other time I suppose. You always do," Jordan continued.
"Hardly," Prentiss replied, wanting to move on from the subject that was making her blush so unwillingly.
"Come on. Don't you see how he follows you around with those puppy dog eyes every chance he gets? I saw how he talked to you before we all went out tonight. You're always together. Everyone can see that you two are the closest on the team. You can't tell me, woman to woman, that you haven't at least thought about it," Jordan said with a pointed gaze in the agent's direction.
Emily kept her eyes on the road as she tried to find a way out of the conversation. Sure she had thought about it, far too many times than she would ever like to admit. But she knew protocol, and more importantly, she knew how distant and complicated she was.
"No, it's not like that," Emily began. She was about to continue but was thankful beyond words that Jordan's cell phone started ringing as Hotch called them and the conversation was abruptly ended. However, the thought still lingered in Emily's mind throughout the rest of the case.
The plane ride home was a short one, but long enough for Jordan to prove the point she had been trying to make earlier. As she sat across from Reid, she looked over to the seats by the window where Morgan and Prentiss sat, and smiled.
"So is this your card?" Morgan asked with a hopeful grin for the third time as he turned in his seat on the plane towards his partner. Reid had let him borrow a deck of cards and attempted to teach Derek some of his tricks. However, by the disheartened smile on Emily's face, Morgan wasn't quite catching on. In fact, he was failing miserably.
"Umm yes?" Emily tried to lie but Derek knew her too well.
"I give up. I can't believe that boy's got more skill than me."
"Don't be too hard on yourself," Emily chuckled. "At least you know how to have a normal conversation with a living, breathing female unlike our resident genius. And we all know you've got more moves than Viper," she scoffed at the thought.
"That's true. And I'll prove it. Team dinner tonight?" Morgan asked. "Reid, Jordan, are you up for it?" he asked towards the other end of the plane.
"Sure," Jordan smiled, already thinking of how to prove her point about her two fellow agents. She was filling in for JJ in more ways than one.
Later that night, they all met at a bar for dinner in the city. Garcia and Kevin joined them as well and after much insistence, Emily had worn Garcia's other favorite dress, the red one.
After dinner and a few too many drinks later, Garcia was begging her fellow female agents for details of Viper's supposed lady stopping moves. Jordan and Emily started to tell about all of his tricks and Jordan saw this as her perfect opportunity. But Garcia beat her to it in her excitement.
Jordan began thought of the trick Viper used on them. She explained how you were supposed to stare into the eyes of one another and after fifteen seconds, if your eyes were dilated, you were attracted to that person.
"Scientifically, there is no connection between love and an ocular reaction. Alcohol can also have a large affect. However, physical attraction plays a huge role in…" Reid had begun but was quickly cut off.
"Love and science don't mix Dr. Reid. It's just magic," Penelope commented dramatically. "Did you do it?" Garcia asked excitedly as she turned back to Jordan.
"Unfortunately yes," Jordan answered. "Of course my eyes didn't dilate like he wanted them to, but he made up some excuse that I had my mind on someone else."
"Like Carter in the bomb squad unit?" Emily winked causing Jordan to blush at the thought of the man she had just started seeing.
"No?" she responded unconvincingly, earning "mmmhhhmmmsss" from Garcia and Prentiss.
"Come on Kevin, let's do it!" Penelope exclaimed. "I have to make sure you don't have your mind on someone else," she joked.
"Should I be the one who's worried," Kevin nodded towards Derek.
"I have enough attraction for the both of you." And so the contest began, leaving both the tech lovebirds' eyes rightfully dilated.
"Your turn," Jordan turned to Prentiss.
"No way," Emily quickly responded.
"Oh come on, we're all going to do it. You didn't have to do it with Viper at the club so you owe me," Jordan offered.
Emily merely sighed. "Fine."
"Okay, Emily with Derek, Jordan with Reid," Garcia interjected excitedly.
All the agents started to argue but they knew they'd never win against Garcia. The contest began, Jordan staring Reid down much like she did Viper while Reid just looked like a lost child.
Emily and Derek however had more trouble, not because they didn't enjoy it. But because they could both see the flickering in the other's eyes, knowing their own were doing the same.
Penelope called time not a moment too soon. She stated that Jordan's eyes were unaffected, clearly because her mind was on Carter, while she claimed Reid's pupils were unchanged because he probably had his mind on some book or math equation.
Yet when she turned to Morgan and Prentiss, she smiled with joy. "Do their eyes deceive my own or do I see a flicker of dilation?"
"It's like Reid said, it's just the alcohol." Emily quickly interjected.
"No, I don't think so," Jordan added with a satisfied grin.
Garcia moved to further examine Derek's eyes and claimed the same. "Of course babygirl, because I'm looking at you," he winked, trying to shake off the uncomfortable situation.
"Oh be still my heart," Garcia responded, the dilation trick forgotten as quickly has it had come. Derek asked her to the dance floor while Reid and Kevin were lost in geek talk, leaving Emily and Jordan alone at the table.
"I know it wasn't the alcohol," Jordan began with a knowing smile.
Emily merely rolled her eyes. "It's a stupid trick. It means nothing."
"Look, all I know is, the first time I met Derek Morgan, which was only for a brief moment, I was kind of attracted to him – before I met Carter of course," Jordan explained. "But the moment I met him at the BAU, I realized that that man is already taken and has been for quite some time."
"Jordan," Emily said with annoyance.
"I know you may not see it but one day you will. The man is head over heels for you. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong. But that's a risk I'm willing to take because I've seen that look before and I know what it means." Emily thought deeply, still trying to hold in her confusing feelings. "I'm sorry," Jordan began again, sensing her friend's concern, but knowing it was fear. "I won't bring it up anymore."
"Hey it's okay," Emily said. "I might disagree with you but it's still nice to have another girl on the team. Listen, Garcia and I were going to go shopping at the mall for JJ and the baby this Saturday afternoon. She's got a convention that morning and I'm working out with Morgan," she abruptly stopped as she earned a pointed look from Jordan. "Anyway, would you like to join us?"
"I'd love to!" the new agent exclaimed, happy to finally feel a true part of the tight knit team.
"Garcia, Jordan is coming shopping with us Saturday," Emily said as she and Morgan had walked over to the table after the dance.
"Oh good!" Penelope squealed with excitement.
"Kevin, you better use that tech guru magic and deactivate their credit cards now," Derek laughed.
"Well it looks like you won't be getting anything on the shopping excursion my love," Penelope joked towards Morgan.
"Oh you'll love me again tomorrow."
"I already do," she replied. "Well baby cakes we should go," she turned to Kevin. They exchanged hugs and went on their way.
"Em are you ready?" Derek asked.
"Yes," she answered and gave more hugs before they began to walk out. The whole time, she was attempting to ignore Jordan's smile in their direction. "Thanks for offering to drive me since it was on your way."
"You know I'd do it even if it wasn't," Derek offered warmly.
Jordan heard the whole conversation and her smile grew even bigger.
"What is it?" Reid asked.
"Nothing. I just realized I was right about something that's all." she replied, not wanting to oust a secret until they had come to their own conclusion; which they would, slowly but surely. However, for now, their mutual attraction was proof enough for everyone else, they just had to realize it themselves.