An Alternative for Emily

Disclaimers: Joss Whedon owns Buffy. Mark Gordon own Criminal Minds. I own nothing and no one. Therefore, no profit has been or will ever be made from this story.

Rating: PG

Summary: JJ arranges for an alternative for now 'dead' Emily, rather than leaving her out in the cold.

Author's Note: This won't be very long, as there really isn't anything to work with

Emily Prentiss stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She wondered how long it would take this time for that now-familiar haunted look to fade from her eyes. Despite everything, both then and now, a part of her had truly had loved Ian, and what he'd forced on her the last few months had been tearing at her so badly, that there were moments where she'd wished she stayed dead on that surgery table.

With a sigh, she finished drying off, then carefully removed and changed the bandages from her surgery, before wrapping the fluffy towel around her body and leaving the bathroom.

She glanced at the envelope that she had gotten from JJ two days ago, but decided that she still just wasn't ready to deal with yet. The last few months had been so stressful, that the sleep that she did manage, had been restless and filled with disturbing dreams.

She had no idea what she was going to do with herself now. She wished to every god and goddess that she could think of, most she knew of due to her association with Buffy, Faith and Dawn, the latter who tended to invoke obscure deities into her curses when she was drunk, that she had managed to kill Doyle, that she didn't have to go through with this.

Although she still didn't know what organization they were 'officially' with, or what they did, she and Buffy had become fast friends that first time they'd met in Vegas, and tried to get together whenever Emily had some significant time off. She couldn't imagine how Buffy would react when news reached her of Emily's 'death'.

Sighing, she decided that she'd get one more night's sleep, and deal with things in the morning.

The next morning, she found herself once again staring that the package JJ had given her. Taking a breath, she finally tore it open and dumped everything on the bed. As expected, there were three sets of passports and bankbooks rubberbanded together. What she didn't expect, however, was matchbook from one of the nightclubs she had gone to with Buffy on their last outing. She flipped it open cautiously and read the words writing on the inside.

As soon as you've read this, go answer the door.

Before she could even puzzle the words, she heard a sound outside and then a knock on the front door. Startled, she reached underneath her pillow and gripped the handgun she had there. Already loaded and cocked, she pointed it at her bedroom door. Moving slowly, carefully, she glanced out the window as she eased around the side of the bed, but she saw no sign of life anywhere on the street below.

She moved slowly and silently, checking carefully around every corner, until she was in a position to look down at whomever was standing at the door. Her jaw dropped when she saw who it was.

She was immediately wary. She had no idea how the blonde could have possibly tracked her down, much less appeared practically on her front lawn out of thin air.

"Unarmed and not wired." The 'visitor' said, obviously aware that she was nearby. "I'll strip right here to prove it to you." Then, almost in afterthought. "Oh yeah, and I'm alone."

Emily couldn't help the smirk that curled her lip. That was so Buffy. It disappeared a second later. Buffy or not, there was no way she should have been able to track her down, much less appear out of thin air on the front porch of a safe house that she had just purchased.

Moving carefully down to the door, she cracked it open just wide enough to point the gun at the smaller blonde. "Hands out to either side where I can clearly see them, and take two steps back."

Buffy did as ordered.

Emily opened the door completely and her eyes flew around the yard, looking for any signs of other intruders. Keeping the gun pointed at the point between the other woman's eyes, she motioned for her to come in, slowly.

"Close it." Emily said once she was inside.

Buffy gently kicked the door closed, then turned when the skittish agent motioned for her to.

Emily frisked her 'friend' quickly and efficiently, then finally lowered the gun. "How did you find me?"

"Magic." Buffy answered.

Emily gave her a look that clearly indicated that this was not the time for jokes.

"I'm serious." Buffy said. "There was a locator spell on the matchbook that was activated as soon as you opened it."

"I don't understand."

"Come with me, and I'll explain it all to you." Buffy grinned, well acquainted with her friend's insatiable curiosity. Then she turned serious. "JJ told us what happened. She wanted you to have an alternative rather than leaving you out in the cold with no friends or family. We can provide that."


Now it was Buffy's turn to give the former agent a 'don't be stupid' look. Emily just shrugged.

"We can even protect the boy, since we all know there is no way in hell you'd kill an innocent kid, even under orders."

"You're saying that your Institute can protect me from Ian Doyle?" Emily was understandably skeptical, and it resounded clear in her tone.

"We can protect you, the boy, and if you like, we can find Doyle and remove him from the equation permanently." Buffy knew that Emily would assume that meant killing the man, but she really hoped that was the option that the other woman chose. Buffy had the perfect Hell dimension all picked out already. He'd find out how much he liked being hunted. Go after her friends, would he, she snarled in her head.

Emily leveled a studying gazed on her friend, weighing all possible pros and cons of accepting the invitation.

"C'mon, Em," Buffy cajoled with a sly smile. One that usually lead to interesting adventures during their infrequent get-togethers. "You always wanted to know just what we did. Now's your chance to find out."

Just like that, her decision was made. Her curiosity had always been her greatest weakness.

Besides, if necessary, she could always disappear again.