sparsenicjade
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Thank you to Kara Vanmalssan and ljfullofgrace for sharing your photos with the world and allowing non-profit use of them.


***


Hotch had assigned Rossi and Emily to the crime scene, so they went there from the airstrip. They were met at the tape by a woman with sharp eyes and only a hint of acceptance of their presence in her expression. Emily didn’t think the woman disliked Feds, per se, but rather that she was used to handling her crime scenes alone. Emily couldn’t blame her.

Emily tried to soothe any ruffled feathers by directing her questions to the woman—Detective Reese—whose eyes kept following a red-haired man, also in plainclothes. Finally, Emily asked, “Partner?”

For a second, Reese looked surprised at having been caught, but she covered it quickly. “He wanders off sometimes.”

Emily thought of Reid. “I know the type.”

Reese kept her eyes on her partner. “Sometimes, he takes things personally.”

Emily was careful not to raise an eyebrow, despite the fact that the woman was not looking at her. “Don’t we all? Sometimes?”

Reese looked at her then, cautious, assessing. After a bit, she nodded, and walked off.

*


Emily tried, as a general courtesy, not to profile the people they worked with on cases. Sometimes it was a necessity, but otherwise, she made an effort not to automatically collate the data she had, work it into a narrative that told her more than she had any right to know. There were people she couldn’t help it with, people whose stories were just waiting for her.

Reese was an addict. Emily could guess at what kind, but she didn’t want to. Reese’s partner had been giving off the vibe of an ex-con, which for a few seconds had Emily doubting her profiling skills until she took a moment to Google it.

Emily knew most of the time people made far more sense in context, even if the majority of people preferred their context not to be known. It helped Emily, though, to understand why Crews came at a problem from a different direction than she would, why Reese always had a third perspective, why the two of them protected each other in little ways not all partners chose to.

The case was a messy one. Reid couldn’t get a geographical profile, Garcia was at wit’s end trying to find information connecting the victims, and Hotch was getting stonewalled by jurisdictional politics. All in all, it took well over two weeks of little sleep and horrendous coffee to catch the unsubs, and by that time the body count was in the double digits.

Emily came back to the precinct to pick up a few items when it was all over, to relay the team’s thanks. JJ would have already done so, but Emily had spent a fair amount of time with Reese and Crews, she wanted something a little more personal. Crews had already gone for night, so Emily told Reese, “It’s-- You’ve made the job as easy as it was going to be.”

Reese tilted her head and asked, “You like good coffee?”

It was late and Emily had to be on the plane early and she hadn’t seen a bed for more than four hours in well over ten days. She smiled. “Yes. I do.”

*


Emily almost laughed upon finding herself at a hookah bar that looked as though it had been transported straight from mid-80s. Reese said, “It’s worth it.”

Emily believed her. Her faith proved well-founded when she received her Turkish coffee. Reese warned her, “You won’t sleep until three days from now.”

Emily took another sip. “Worth it.”

Reese smiled. The expression was fleeting, but it was the first time Emily had seen it, so she took note. She asked, “Why share your haunt with me?”

“You’re leaving tomorrow; not much of a sacrifice.”

Emily waited. She knew Reese well enough to know that wasn’t the whole story, even if it was part of it. After a few minutes, Reese relented. “You’re unbothered by me and Crews.”

It took Emily a bit. It shouldn’t have, if she’d been paying more attention to her coworkers and less to the case, she would have seen it immediately. “Not so much the rest of the precinct, huh?”

Reese shrugged. “We make convenient pariahs.”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’d say you’d be better pariahs if you sucked at your job.”

Reese blinked and then barked out a laugh. “Probably.”

Emily smiled knowingly. Reese tilted her head and then nodded, seeing whatever she needed to see in Emily’s expression. Reese said again, “Yeah, probably.”


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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile