The Road Not Taken

By Acathla

Drama / Romance

Chapter 12

Chapter 12

Emily had been working for two days when the team was given a new case. Emily, without thinking, took the paper with the Arabic message on it and translated it out loud. When she was finished, she looked up at the team sitting around the table looking at her in surprise, Garcia she noted, also looked a little impressed.

Emily said, modestly, “I lived in a few Middle Eastern countries growing up.”

The team nodded and continued the briefing and Hotchner decided that Gideon and Reid would go to Guantanamo Bay to interview the ghost detainee they had there that was tied to the terrorist safe house the police had raided earlier that day.

Emily headed to her desk and pulled out her go bag and set it on her desk. Something told her that, given her display of fluency in Arabic, Hotchner might try to test her skill by sending her with Gideon and Reid.

Sure enough, Emily soon found herself heading for the SVU that would take them to the airstrip to board the jet they used for cases.

Emily was settled into the backseat, having happily given up the front seat to the young Dr. Reid, and once they were on the road, she took out her cell phone and dialed Katie’s number. When Katie’s voicemail came on, Emily began to leave a message, “Hey honey, I’m just calling to let you know that I have to go out of the country for maybe a day or two for work. I’ll call you as soon as I get back. Take care, I love you.” Emily hung up the phone and looked forward only to notice Reid looking at her. She didn’t smile or nod, she just looked right back at him.

Dr. Spencer Reid hadn’t meant to eavesdrop on the phone call in the back seat but he had still heard the message. He silently wondered to himself who Emily had been calling to inform of her plans to be out of the country. He would never ask her because even he knew that wasn’t socially acceptable given how short a time he’d known this new agent, but he was still curious. He spent the rest of the ride to the plane coming up with various explanations for who Emily called, but the most obvious one was that Emily had called her boyfriend to inform him of her absence. The loving tone in her voice ruled out a parent or even a roommate or friend. Spencer didn’t know why the thought of Emily having a boyfriend made him frown and he decided not to dwell on that.

Emily sat on the plane to Cuba watching Gideon and Reid playing chess and mentally playing Reid’s end of the game, since Gideon was clearly the better player. In her mental version of the game, there were already three moves Reid had made that she wouldn’t have, and in her game, she would’ve beaten Gideon in two moves by the time the plane banked a hard left to land at the GITMO airstrip.


Katie Prentiss walked into her dorm room after her last class and dropped her book bag onto her bed. She reached for the cellphone she had forgotten on her desk that morning and noticed she had two missed calls and two new voicemails.

As she kicked off her shoes and got comfy on her bed to rest for a few minutes before starting on her homework, she checked her voicemail. The first one was from her mom and she frowned when she heard that her mom was going out of the country for a day or two. She knew that meant she couldn’t call her so she hoped that nothing happened to her wherever she was going.

The second message was from her grandmother, who had a house in D.C near the Capitol building. “Katie, honey it’s your grandmother. I was wondering if you wanted to come over for dinner tonight. I have something I’d like to discuss with you. Call me anytime before six to let me know if you can or if we need to reschedule. Love you!”

Katie smiled, she loved spending time with her grandparents and since her mom was out of town, she wasn’t busy tonight. She checked her watch and noticed it was only five so she called her grandmother back and let her know she would be at her place by six.

Katie decided that, since her grandmother lived close to her mom’s place, she would bring her books and stuff with her and crash at her mother’s place after dinner. She’d seen a few fliers in the halls advertising a dorm party for later that night and she did not want to be here when that started. Katie wasn’t your typical college student. She much preferred to spend her time studying and hanging out with her small circle of friends or her mom than getting drunk at some party.

So, she quickly changed her clothes to something more suitable for dinner with her grandparents and she grabbed her books and was out of the dorms by five-thirty. She arrived at her grandparents’ house with ten minutes to spare and smiled as she hugged them both when her grandfather opened the door.


A few hours later, after dinner had been eaten, Katie and Elizabeth retired to the home office that her grandmother kept at the house while her grandfather had adjourned to his study to work on his next book for a bit before heading to bed.

Katie was sitting in one of the armchairs next to the fireplace and Elizabeth sat across from her. For a few moments, they just sat in silence, enjoying the warmth of the fire and the silence of the room.

Elizabeth cleared her throat and began, “Katie, there was something I wanted to talk to you about.”

Katie turned to her grandmother, curious, “What is it Nana?” Katie still used the name she used to call her grandmother when she was a child.

Elizabeth smiled at hearing the pet name, “As you know, Christina is going to be taking maternity leave in two weeks. I was wondering if you would be interested in filling in for her while she’s gone?” Christina was Elizabeth’s personal assistant and the woman was about to take her leave to have her first child. Elizabeth saw this as an opportunity for Katie to see if she could see herself in the diplomatic arena. She had hoped that Emily would one day follow in her footsteps and join the state department but when that didn’t happen, she started to think maybe Katie would be her legacy.

Katie thought about her grandmother’s offer. She already knew she didn’t want to have a job in politics, but she would also love the chance to spend more time with her grandmother. “Um, that sounds like a great opportunity, but I think I should probably talk it over with mom first. Is that okay?”

Elizabeth smiled, knowing how close Emily and Katie were. “Of course. You have two weeks to decide. Just let me know as soon as you can, so that I can have time to find someone if you decide not to take the job, okay?”

Katie nodded, “Okay.” Katie then realized the time, “Oh wow, it’s getting late and I should really get going. Thank you for dinner Nana.”

Elizabeth thought about asking Katie to spend the night there, but she knew her granddaughter valued her independence so she simply walked her to the front door and hugged her goodnight before watching her get into her car and drive away.


Katie let herself into her mom’s condo a few minutes later and, after locking up for the night, she climbed the steps and headed to the room her mom kept for her here. She flopped down on the bed and pulled out her books and notebook and began working on the assignments she needed to finish for her classes the next day.

Katie worked into the night and passed out among her books. It wasn’t the first time and when she woke up the next morning with a stiff neck she knew it wouldn’t be the last time.

Katie was in the kitchen waiting for the coffee to brew while she made toast with jam when the door opened and her mom walked into the apartment.

Emily jumped a little when she saw Katie in her kitchen but she soon relaxed and smiled at her daughter. “Hey sweetie, what are you doing here?”

Katie grinned at her mom, “There was a party at the dorms and I needed a quiet place so I came here.” Katie knew her mom wouldn’t have minded, she had her own key after all. “So, how was the…um…business trip?” Katie wasn’t sure what to call her mom’s last minute trip so she settled for something safe and simple.

Emily grinned, “It was…a challenge but in the end, it worked out okay so…yeah. No regrets.”

Katie nodded, “Good. I’m glad. Hey, you want some breakfast? I have a late morning class so I can make you something real while you shower and change.” Katie sensed that there was more her mom wasn’t saying and that it had taken its toll on her so she wanted to do something nice for her.

Emily softened, “Actually that would be great if you’re sure you have the time that is.”

Katie just grinned, “I’m sure. Go on upstairs and get changed for work. I’ll have your breakfast ready when you get back down here.” Katie waved in the direction of the stairs.

Emily went upstairs and took a quick shower before she dressed for the day. She was supposed to be back at the BAU by ten am to hand in her report on what happened in GITMO.

Emily made it back downstairs twenty minutes later and smiled when she saw the plates on the table that held pancakes, sausage, toast and scrambled eggs. The glass of orange juice sat next to the mug of coffee and Emily couldn’t help chuckle to herself. Katie’s idea of breakfast always had to include orange juice and toast. Everything else was optional.

Emily sat at the table with her daughter and they both enjoyed their breakfast together. Emily felt like it was going to be a good day today as she felt her misgivings about this last case melt away.

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