let it out
pairing: jennifer jareau x emily prentiss
summary: jj’s not feeling the best and emily tries her best to comfort her.
warnings: hurt/comfort/angst/fluff? lets go with that :)))
it was almost midnight at emily's condo, making the brunette clean up the kitchen and turn the lights off downstairs. her girlfriend was upstairs, currently working on something that had to do with a case but she didn't really know. when emily walked upstairs to the bedroom, she thought she would've heard the soft lo-fi music coming from jj's laptop but they were replaced with sobs and whimpers.
emily's brows furrow as she knocked on the door, but gently, not trying to further upset the younger girl behind it. "jj? baby, are you okay?" there was no reply, so emily swung open the door to see jj, curled in a ball and sniffling. her eyes were red and there were a few stray tears on her cheeks. the brunette's heart shattered when she saw how broken her baby was.
"oh, my jayje." emily whispered, closing the door and walking over to the bed and sitting across from the smaller girl. "what's got you so worked up, sweetheart?" emily asked so sweetly, making jj almost burst into tears again. "i-i didn't want you to s-ee me like this," jj chokes on a sob, burying her face into emily's pillow. "baby, it's okay. you're okay, i'm not mad at you, it's okay to cry." emily presses a kiss to the back of jj's head, petting her hair.
"do you want to talk about it?" emily asks and jj instantly shakes her hed no, making emily sadly smile and continue to pet her hair. "that's alright, sweet girl. you don't have to, you're okay." jj leaves the pillow for emily's lap, laying her head in it and burying her face into her stomach. she takes a deep breath before bursting out into tears again. emily just lets her cry, only rubbing her back.
when the smaller girl calmed down, she looked around the room. she saw the hung paintings, the television that was playing a comedy sitcom with bad jokes and that painful audience laughter playback. she smelled the cinnamon and vanilla candle that spencer bought her, which calmed her breathing down. then, she saw soft brown eyes looking down at her, you could get lost in them. emily smiled at her, wiping the fresh tears from her girlfriend’s red cheeks.
"hey, pretty girl." emily whispered, but shook it off when she didn't get a response. jj was non verbal sometimes when she would have episodes like this, and emily figured out that she would just let it slide. there was a pause of silence before jj spoke. "it just feels like i-i'm in a room and the walls are closing in on me, like it's gonna crush me." she exhales, "i just feel so small when that happens."
emily sighed as well. "i'm so sorry angel, i didn't even realize this was happening to you. whenever this happens again, i want you to tell me, okay? so i can help you next time. so you won't be alone, alright?" emily lightly scolded, brushing her thumb against jj's eyebrow. the blonde nodded, rubbing her eyes and yawning. emily looked at the digital clock on the bedroom table. 12:18 am.
"looks like you tired yourself out, didn't you? do you wanna go to bed?" emily whispered again and jj nodded. the blonde got up and went to the bathroom, while emily gathered up all of jj's paper and put them in a neat stack on the side table and deleted all of the laptop tabs except youtube, turning back on the lofi music but putting volume a bit lower that it was before. she turned off the tv too because she didnt what it to clash with the music.
after what felt like hours to the brunette, her girlfriend had finall came out of the bathroom and walked over to the closet. "em, can i wear one of your hoodies to bed, please?" jj squeaked out and emily felt her heart do backflips. she ducked her head down, blushing a little bit. "you don't even have to ask, baby. which one would you like?" she wrapped an protective arm around the girl as they looked thru the hoodies.
jj picked a navy blue gap hoodie, which was emily's favorite. they sat back on the bed, and emily put the hoodie on her girlfriend, helping her get her arms and head through. she helped smooth her hair out of her face, giggling at how big the sweater was on her. they settled down, jj's head resting on emily's shoulder, the brunette rubbing her back. "my gorgeous girl, i love you so much." she kissed her nose and jj scrunched it up, tucking it back into emily's neck.
emily almost cooed as the blonde was drifting off to sleep. her slow breathing sounds filled the room snd it made the older woman smile, happy that her baby finally had some peace.
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Chapter 7: Details
Every word comes out in gasps. The heat of her tears could be felt in her throat, the pain of crying burning her voice. Her body aches from lack of sleep and from trying to keep her eyes open. She has been crying for days. Out of guilt, disbelief, and missing.
“Brielle, I know this is difficult for you”, Hotchner said, empathy clouding his judgement, “but I need you to tell me what you can remember about that night and Daniella”.
She looks up at him, noticing his attentiveness. She shuffles in her seat.
“She was visiting me. She was stressed and just wanted a break”, she starts, wiping her nose on her sleeve, “She just wanted a break and to come home. It was my idea to go to Larkin’. She’s gone because of me”.
She muffles her cries in her arms. Hotchner’s body softens along with his eyes, as he inches closer to her. Placing a hand on her knee, he convinces her to look up at him.
“Brielle, this is not your fault. The only person to blame is the person who hurt Daniella. But we cannot find this man without your help.”
The young woman wipes her tears with her shirt sleeve, stuttering out some breaths. Aaron’s knees gently touch the floor as his hands move to the girls biceps. After a few minutes, Brielle had resumed a normal breathing pattern, prompting Aaron to ask, “Do you want to tell me what she’s like”?
Brielle blurts out a humorous scoff saying, “She was hilarious. Such a firecracker”, before she looks to the side to find the right words.
“She wouldn’t take crap from anyone, never afraid to put someone in their place. She was uh, was talking to this guy online once, and she called it off because he kept asking her to ‘visit’ him, even though she wanted to meet in a public place first to make sure he wasn’t a creep”, she chuckled.
“She seemed smart”.
Brielle takes a deep breath. Her eyes squeeze shut, in an effort to keep the tears away. Her face shifts toward her lap, as her hands engulf each other. In a voice barely stitched together, she asks, “How did this happen to her”?
Hotchner’s heart slips into his stomach, the same way it did when he had to tell Jack his mother would not be home anymore. The pain of losing someone you love drains you, but seeing your child go through it? That damn near killed Aaron; and seeing it unfold for someone else brings those sleepless nights back.
“That’s what we’re going to figure out”, he told her, his lips curling up slightly. He hopes no one on the team sees, he would not hear the end of it.
Soon after, the door to the room creaks open. The man who enters is tall, medium build, with a tattoo on his right arm. Initially, he startles Brielle.
Hotchner notices and says, “Brielle, this is my colleague Matt. He and I want to try a cognitive interview to help you remember the night you last saw Daniella, would that be alright”?
Although unsure, she nods, prompting Matt to sit across from her.
He says, “Alright Brielle, let’s start by closing your eyes”.
She folds them shut as she listens to Matt speak. “Take a few deep breaths...relax your body...good. Now I want you to think about that night, what were you guys doing before the bar”?
The evening chill dances across her skin with the memory, “We had just left a restaurant, we ordered appetizers”.
“Was it happy hour”?
“It was”, she laughed.
Matt asks more trivial questions to make her immersed and comfortable. After some affirmations, Matt asks, “Okay, Brielle, is anyone there who is bothering you two? Or just one of you”?
She thinks about the bar, the red hues of the lights not helping her tipsy vision. The firmness of multiple bodies pressing on her back as she and Daniella squeezed past the crowd. How the sweat of others lingered longer than desired. One of the bodies was a guy, sporting a white tank top and blond hair. He bumped into Brielle and apologized.
“There was one guy who wanted to buy her drinks. He was really persistent, and drunk”, she started, her face contorting to find the answers.
“How did Daniella react”?
“She flirted with him a little bit, but he got too handsy and she told him to back off”, Brielle rambled, “But another guy pushed him away”.
“Did this other guy pursue one of you”?
“No he just left, I think he apologized on behalf of him. He seemed nice”.
Hotch nods and asks, “How persistent was the first guy”?
“He started getting loud. Practically threw a temper tantrum”, Brielle said, pausing as the color slowly left her face, “Oh my god, it’s him isn’t it”?!
“It’s possible, but it’s too soon to know”, He assured, keeping his voice gentle and steady.
“Do you know what he looked like? What he was wearing”?
“Yes, he was wearing a black t-shirt. He had brown hair, white. Built. Just looked like a drunk frat guy”.
Aaron provides a nod, thanking Brielle for her time. “We are going to find him Brielle”, he reassured, standing up with her and escorting her out of the room.
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