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24 January 2010 @ 03:09 am
Fanfic: [CM] Broken  
Title: Broken
Author: drftngwy
Rating: T
Pairing: Hotch/Prentiss
Summary: And perhaps she is. Broken. Just like them. H/P;  Oneshot; post-"100"
Spoilers: "100" and anything before

Author's Note: Well, this has been stuck on my computer for months, and I've been hoping to get some miraculous epiphany and write like crazy to improve it. But alas, I have lost hope. It probably wouldn't have gotten very far anyway, so here.

---

He’s decided that it’s nothing.

Lust.

Grief.

Guilt.

He’s decided that what he sees in her isn’t anything but this inane desire to escape—it isn’t anything at all.

Except it is.

Because he gets up from this floor that he’s been shoved onto for three reasons.

His child.

His job.

And her.

Because she doesn’t look at him like she’s waiting for some sort of nervous breakdown. A “major depressive episode” as Reid says. She’s not like the others, unable to contain this anxiety they feel. They’ve been dragged through hell, beaten, kidnapped, and forced to soldier through the wreckage of their job with straight faces. They’ve lost the strength to hide their worry now.

It’s all in repair for them because Haley was their breaking point.

They’re too broken to fathom the calm to conceal and compartmentalize. They can’t carry on with a moment’s pause and a running start back into work like they did with Elle. With Gideon.

She wasn’t one of them, but she might as well have been. With what it did to him, what it did to them—forced to hear a monster take his victim, forced to watch as their unit chief fell apart— they can’t bear another burden.

So he comes to work overlooking the glances and whispers they field each other because he can’t help but feel responsible for the damage that’s been done to them. He can’t ignore the guilt. Because he could’ve done what Shaunessy did, prevented this all. He could’ve looked the other way.

And he swears they’re thinking the same thing.

Except he knows they’re not. He knows they’re his people, physically unable to harbor any ill will towards him.

It doesn’t stop the guilt.

The grief.

The doubt.

But she does.

She lets him breathe. She convinces him that he’s not this fucked up, washed out agent better off retired. She doesn’t force smiles and strain for calm when he walks through the door in the morning.

But it’s her specialty.

She could be just as broken as they are, repairing what Foyet broke. What he let Foyet break. She could be feigning this calm of hers, suppressing anguish and suffering and whatever the hell the rest of them feel. And perhaps she is. Broken. Just like them.

Except he knows she isn’t because he knows her. He’s known her. And he knows that the calm is genuine.

Because he sees past her shield. He’s seen past her shield. With Silvano. Dante. Arnold. He sees her anguish when they can’t. He sees her lips twitch, her fingers curl when they don’t.

He knows this skill of hers doesn’t mean she’s cold, stoic. She’s nothing like he is. And he knows it. And he finds solace over the twitches and curls because it’s her way of letting him know she hasn’t lost to them. It’s her way of telling him that she’s feigning control, refusing to play into a monster’s game.

So when she offers a smile, tells him that he’s gonna be fine, that Jack’s gonna be fine, he believes her. He believes this calm of hers because it’s genuine. Her lips don’t twitch. Her hands don’t hide.

He needs her because she convinces him that they’re going to be alright. Because this calm of hers is genuine.

It’s genuine.

Or maybe he’s just too broken to see.

FIN
 
 
mood: happyhappy
 
 
 
Clo: Criminal Minds - Hotch and Prentisscitymusings on January 25th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Wow. That's deep. Well done.
jessicadrftngwy on January 26th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
thank you :)
_nextboldmove__nextboldmove_ on January 26th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Prentiss is awfully good at holding up that front, isn’t she? Almost to a point that it pisses me off!!! Thanks for sharing1
jessica: dk .:. smilesdrftngwy on January 27th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
Aw, but it's what I love so much about her. Although at some point, I hope she breaks down, loses control like she did with whatshisface a few episodes back. Always fun to watch. :)

thank you :)
dragonladyk on January 26th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
Interesting, and an accurate commentary on Emily's reaction to Hoch on the show.

DragonLady
jessica: iced ♥drftngwy on January 27th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Why, thank you.

It always means a lot when people comment. :)