calleigh_j: (EmilyNorthernLights)
[personal profile] calleigh_j
Title: On Some Idle Tuesday
Author: [livejournal.com profile] calleigh_j
Fandom: Criminal Minds/The West Wing crossover
Pairing: Emily Prentiss/Kate Harper
Characters: various from both shows, but with a focus on the pairing
Rating: R
Warnings: none that I can think of
Spoilers: all aired episodes for both shows
Word count: 19,952
Disclaimer: the characters from both shows belong to NBC and others and are definitely not mine; title taken from 'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen' by Baz Luhrmann; quotes from within story from Brandi Carlile and Inara George
Betas: [livejournal.com profile] twtd and [livejournal.com profile] llyfrgell
Summary: Emily Prentiss and Kate Harper meet in a bar; therein follows the progression of an accidental friendship to something neither of them ever expected to have
Artwork: [TBA]
Author's notes: a thousand million thanks to my betas; also thanks to [livejournal.com profile] racethewind10 and [livejournal.com profile] oparu for telling me I could do it; massive props to the organisers of this awesome challenge which finally got me to write more than a couple of thousand words and actually sort of like it


Nine - Writing To Reach You

"Hi Kate, it's Emily. Sorry - I meant to phone you earlier but we got called in. I'm going to be out of town for a few days, somewhere in Iowa. Give me a call when you get this. Oh, and I hope there was nothing too serious going on this morning."

"Hey Emily. I guess you're probably on the plane. Um, I'll try you again later."

"Hey Emily, it's Kate again. Call me back?"

"Hi, sorry, I'm so sorry. My phone died on the plane and I left it charging at the station and then...well, I'm sorry is the point. We're going to be here at least until Monday, I think. Everything's pretty frantic here, so I'll give you a call when I get back. Sorry. And it's Emily, by the way."

"Hey Kate, it's Emily. We're back - just got back in a few hours ago. I have some paperwork to do, so I'll be in the office for a couple of hours, and then I should be at home, so give me a call."

***

The phone rang, and Emily lunged for it, leaning over the side of the couch to grab the receiver from the end table.

"Hello?" she said breathlessly.

"Emily?" The voice on the other end of the line seemed uncertain.

"Kate?" Emily checked.

"Hi," Kate said and Emily could feel herself smiling, "When did you get home?"

"A few minutes ago," Emily replied, "The paperwork took longer than I thought it would, and then there was traffic, and god, I'm just so glad to be back."

"That's good."

There was a long, awkward silence.

"Uh, I'm glad I finally got you," Kate said.

"Yeah, I'm sorry it's been so difficult to speak," Emily agreed.

A sigh on the other end of the line was followed with, "We really need to talk about what happened the other night."

Emily winced; she'd been looking forward to speaking to Kate but dreading this conversation.

"How about Thursday night?" Emily offered.

"I have a late meeting," Kate said, "Can you do Friday?"

"I think so," Emily said.

"Look, I have to go - there's a...thing," Kate said quickly, "I'll see you Friday at eight at mine - it's probably better if we talk somewhere private."

"Sure, I'll see you then," Emily started to say, but Kate had already hung up. Emily sighed; she couldn't shake the feeling that Friday was going to be a particularly bad day.

***

Emily knocked softly on Kate's front door. She was nervous, more nervous than she had been since the first time she and Kate had had dinner. She had no idea where they stood with each other and knew the things they said tonight would either make or break their relationship.

Kate opened the door and the hesitant smile on her face told Emily that she was equally as nervous as Emily herself.

"Hi," Emily said, holding out the bottle of wine she'd brought with her.

"Come on in," Kate said, standing back to let Emily in through the door.

Though she'd been to Kate's house a few times before, Emily felt unpleasantly out of place now. She followed Kate through to the kitchen, staying a couple of steps behind when she really wanted to wrap her arms around Kate's waist and hold onto her. That kind of reaction was new to Emily. She was never one to be clingy or possessive, but Kate made things different.

"It smells amazing," Emily offered, hovering in the doorway between the hall and the kitchen as Kate stepped over to the stove and stirred something in a large saucepan.

"It's nothing much," Kate said, gaze fixed firmly on whatever it was that she was stirring, "just pasta and a sauce."

"Still," Emily said lamely, "It smells really good."

"It'll be ready in a few minutes," Kate said, pulling two plates from the oven, followed by a tray of garlic bread.

"Can I help with anything?" Emily asked, still standing awkwardly not quite in the kitchen.

"There are glasses on the table," Kate said, "if you want to open the wine."

"Sure."

There was a corkscrew on the table beside one of the glasses, and Emily twisted it into the cork. She pulled it out with a pop and poured two glasses of wine. She was about to offer help again, but when she turned round, she saw that Kate was already dishing up pasta and a rich tomato sauce.

"Sit down," Kate said as she carried the plates over to the table.

They ate in awkward silence. Emily kept looking up from her food, but every time she did, Kate was looking down at her plate. The meal was finished quickly and Emily declined Kate's offer of a second helping.

"I have dessert if you want," Kate offered, picking up the empty plates from the table and putting them on the counter beside the sink.

"I'm pretty full, actually," Emily said.

"I'll make some coffee then," Kate said.

Emily watched her hover around the coffee machine, fussing with cups, milk, and sweetener. Emily wanted to help but Kate was giving off decidedly unapproachable vibes. It seemed to take forever to get the coffee made, but then Kate was sitting down at the table again, both women looking down into their coffee cups rather than at each other. Finally, Emily spoke up.

"Okay, this is awkward."

"You can say that again," Kate said wryly, still avoiding Emily's gaze.

"This is awkward," Emily repeated, and Kate looked up from her coffee, unable to hold back a smile.

"We have to talk about this," Emily said firmly.

"I know," Kate agreed, "However awkward it may be."

"We slept together," Emily said bluntly, earning a raised eyebrow from Kate before adding, "And that was probably a bad idea."

"I'd go so far as to saw it was definitely a bad idea," Kate said emphatically.

"But it..." Emily said, concerned at once that she'd dramatically overestimated how their night together had gone, "You know, the sex, that wasn't actually bad, right?"

"God no," Kate said firmly, "That was...definitely not bad."

"Then I guess we need to work out where we go from here," Emily suggested.

"I think," Kate started hesitantly after a moment's pause, "I mean, I don't know, and this might just be me and probably this is an even worse idea than sleeping together in the first place because if anyone can completely ruin something like this, then it's me, but, and I realise I'm rambling here," she added, seeing the amused look on Emily's face, "but the thing is..." She faltered, took a breath, and tried again, "The thing is, I like you. I like us. We're good together and there are so many reasons why we should just pretend the other night didn't happen, but I don't want to." She took another deep breath and wrapped her hands around her coffee cup.

"Maybe this is a really stupid idea," she said softly, "Or maybe we can make it work."

Emily was lost for words. She'd come here prepared for some awkward conversation about how it was probably best if they didn't see each other any more. Instead, Kate had said what Emily had been thinking all week - that just maybe, they could make it work.

"I'm sorry," Kate said suddenly, getting up from her chair, and Emily realised it had been a few minutes since Kate had stopped speaking and Emily hadn't said anything.

"I guess I completely misread..." Kate was saying as she picked up her now empty cup.

"Kate," Emily said, wrapping her hand around Kate's wrist as she started to head over to the sink. Kate stopped and Emily could see the tension in her body.

"You didn't misread anything," Emily said sincerely, "Everything you said was almost exactly what I'd been thinking since last week, but I'd convinced myself there was no way you would feel the same."

Kate looked down at Emily's hand on her wrist, and then up to Emily's face.

"You're serious about this?" Kate asked, caution clear in her tone.

"I'm serious if you're serious," Emily confirmed.

She pushed back her chair and stood up so she and Kate were face to face.

"I can't believe we're actually talking about doing this," Kate said, slightly dazed laughter bubbling in her throat, "I mean, you know the Navy's rules on things like this, and it's not like your team even knows you're gay, and we both work all the time..."

Kate's panicked rant was cut off by Emily kissing her. Fumbling between their bodies, Kate managed to put her cup back down on the table so she could slide her arms around Emily's waist. They kissed for a long moment, all the awkwardness of earlier gone now.

"I think we can do this," Emily said as they broke apart.

"We'll have to be quiet about it," Kate said, sliding her hands into the back pockets of Emily's jeans to pull them closer together.

"Then we'll be quiet," Emily agreed, curling her arms behind Kate's neck, "We'll make it work."

"We'll make it work," Kate echoed, pulling Emily in for another long kiss.

***

There were no phone calls this time, and no alarms either. It was a Saturday morning, early still because they were both used to early starts, and it was quiet. Kate woke slowly, squeezing her eyes shut and willing herself back to sleep. She was firmly awake though and sleep would not return. She shifted a little, trying to get rid of an itch on her back, and suddenly remembered that she wasn't alone. She was lying on her back and there was an arm across her stomach that didn't belong to her. The entire right side of her body was pressed up against Emily. Kate turned her head to the right and her eyes met Emily's.

"Hi," Emily said. Her voice was hoarse and it was only seeing her smile that made Kate realise she was smiling too.

"Hi," Kate said back. The arm across her stomach moved slightly and then Emily's fingers were tracing circles over Kate's hip.

"Are we crazy to be doing this?" Emily asked softly.

"Probably," Kate replied, still smiling, "But maybe a bit of crazy could be good for us."

"If it's anything like last night's crazy, I could definitely get used to it pretty easily," Emily said, her voice light and teasing.

Kate pulled Emily into a slow, deep kiss. Emily was right - getting used to this certainly wouldn't be difficult.

***

Ten - Interrogation Techniques

"What?" Emily said sharply, turning on her chair to face Garcia as she suddenly realised someone was talking to her.

"I asked if you wanted to go for lunch with me and JJ," Garcia said, looking curiously at Emily, "Are you okay? I had to say your name three times before you even realised I was standing here."

"Sorry," Emily replied with a wince, "I was just...uh...thinking about this case." She waved her hand vaguely in the direction of the stack of files on her desk. Garcia just raised an eyebrow and Emily grimaced.

"So, lunch," Garcia said again, "Are you coming?"

"Yeah, let me just save this and I'll be with you in a second."

Garcia went off to join JJ by the elevator and Emily saved the documents she'd been working on, or at least trying to work on. All morning she'd been distracted by the memory of her conversation with Kate over the weekend.

With jacket in hand, Emily headed across the rotunda and stepped into the elevator. JJ had her finger on the button that kept the doors open; she released it when Emily was on the elevator and pressed the button for the cafeteria on the first floor. She and Garcia were deep in conversation - Emily caught something about morning sickness. Since JJ had told the team about her pregnancy, Garcia had been plying her with books and files of printed information from the internet. By this point, Emily was sure JJ probably had information about what ought to happen from one hour to the next as her pregnancy progressed.

It was odd to think that just a few months ago, JJ had still been pretending that she wasn't flying to New Orleans every other weekend to see Will LaMontagne and Emily had been happy to let her pretend that because while the relationship was still secret, Emily could hope that it wasn't that serious and that maybe something could happen. Now, Will had moved away from New Orleans to live with JJ in Quantico, they were having a baby together, and as of two days ago, Emily had her own secret relationship to distract her.

When the elevator reached the cafeteria, Emily followed JJ and Garcia across the crowded room. They picked up trays and made their way down the line, collecting what they wanted. They paid and then looked around for a table. JJ spotted one in a far corner and they headed over. As they sat down, Garcia turned her attention from JJ to Emily.

"So..." she started, clearly hoping that Emily would pick up the conversation and talk about whatever it was that Garcia wanted to know about. Emily was used to Garcia's favourite method of extracting information though and just looked at her friend with an expression that said clearly 'If you want to know something, you're going to have to ask me'.

"So," Garcia started again, "You've been awfully busy lately. You haven't been out with us in three weeks and you were so out of it earlier I'm surprised you ever heard what I was saying."

"Come on, Em," JJ said, getting in on the act as she rested her elbows on the table and fixed Emily with a piercing glare, "Spill."

"Spill?" Emily echoed, playing dumb, "About what exactly?"

An upbringing in the political arena combined with a ten-year career with the FBI had given Emily a world-class poker face. She rarely felt as guilty about employing it as she did now though. She was sure she could trust her friends with her new secret - the secret relationship that sent a shiver across her skin whenever she thought about it - but she and Kate had agreed that they wouldn't tell anyone at all, even the people they trusted the most.

"About what's got you so distracted," Garcia said explicitly.

"I've just been really tired lately," Emily said, massaging her temples with her fingers as she spoke to emphasise the 'tiredness', "It feels like I haven't had any time to myself in ages and I just really haven't felt up going out."

Garcia looked at JJ, at Emily, and then back at JJ before saying, "Secret boyfriend."

"What?" JJ and Emily asked in unison.

"Clearly she has a secret boyfriend," Garcia said, directing her answer at JJ, "I mean, this is what you did when you were pretending you weren't seeing Will, so it makes sense."

"Guys, there's no secret boyfriend," Emily protested, but it was too late. JJ was nodding her agreement with Garcia's suggestion, even as she flushed a little at the mention of her earlier secrecy over Will.

"We'll find out eventually," Garcia said. Emily opened her mouth to protest again but Garcia shook her head and Emily closed her mouth again. Arguing with Garcia when she'd made up her mind was pointless. Thankfully now that JJ and Garcia had uncovered the supposed reason for Emily's distraction, they were happy to move on to other topics and Emily was more than happy to let them. It wouldn't have to be a secret forever, she hoped, but she would live with the secrecy to have a chance of something with Kate.

***

Eleven - In This White House

It was a little surreal. Emily had been in some of the most important and architecturally interesting buildings in the world and held no illusions about the romance of politics, but somehow the White House seemed bigger than those buildings and more than politics. She looked at her friends and they all seemed to be similarly awed by their location, though Hotch and Rossi were doing better jobs of hiding it than the others.

"Agent Hotchner?" asked a tall woman, looking straight to Hotch, "I'm CJ Cregg."

CJ Cregg was, Emily thought, taller in person than she looked on television. Emily considered herself on the taller side of average, but with CJ Cregg standing beside her, she felt short.

"Ms Cregg," Hotch was saying, "We're honoured to have been invited here this evening."

"The President is very impressed with the work that you and your team do," CJ said, "He wanted to personally thank you all for your service and commitment. He's busy right now, but I'll come and find you as soon as he's free."

There were a few people Emily recognised. One, she thought, was the Belgian ambassador. Another had been the US ambassador to France when Elizabeth Prentiss had been stationed in Italy. She followed absentmindedly behind JJ and Garcia as they moved further into the crowd once CJ had gone. JJ was subtly pointing out someone on the other side of the room; Emily glanced in that direction, and then continued her search for Kate. She wasn't sure if the other woman was actually going to make it - Kate had told her on the phone earlier that she had a meeting which had the potential to go on long into the night, besides which her presence wasn't officially required at these sorts of events - but that didn't stop Emily from looking for her.

Neither of her teammates appeared to have noticed her preoccupation, or if they had, they hadn't commented on it. Unable to spot Kate, Emily tuned back into their conversation just as the rest of the team came over, CJ walking beside Hotch.

"The President would like to see you now," CJ said and gestured for them to follow her across the room. There was a brief, bizarre moment where something about Emily seemed to catch CJ's eye, making the Chief of Staff hesitate briefly. The moment passed though and Emily fell into step with Rossi.

"Mr. President," CJ said as they reached the incredibly familiar figure of Jed Bartlet, "This is Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner and his team from the Behavioural Analysis Unit at the FBI."

Once Hotch had shaken President Bartlet's hand, CJ introduced the rest of the team.

"The Deputy Director has singled out your work for praise on a number of occasions and I would like to offer my sincere thanks for the work you all do," the President said.

Emily stood between Garcia and Rossi as the President spoke to each of them individually.

"Agent Prentiss," he said once he'd spoken to Rossi and reached Emily, "Your parents are the Ambassadors Prentiss?"

"Uh, yes, sir," Emily replied and found that talking to the President was actually vastly more intimidating than she'd imagined it would be.

Emily was barely aware of what he was actually saying to her, but hoped that she'd managed to say the right things in the right places. He moved on to speak to everyone else else before thanking them all once more.

The team watched as the President walked away with CJ.

"Well, that was...an experience," Garcia said, a slightly shocked look on her face.

"You can say that again," Morgan muttered from his position next to her.

Having met the President, their reason for attending the event, the team split up. Emily sought out the bathrooms and took a couple of moments to relax away from the busy crowd, as well as check her hair and make-up. Despite all the similar events she'd attended with and on behalf of her parents, she still felt incredibly uncomfortable around these groups of people, all with their own agendas and so often saying one thing and meaning something completely different. Taking a deep breath, she went back into the ballroom.

She was just looking for one of the many waiters circulating with trays of crystal flutes filled with champagne when a voice behind her said, "Fancy seeing you here."

Emily smiled and turned to face Kate who, unlike Emily in her black ballgown, was wearing a dark grey suit. A waiter came around and both women took glasses from the tray he offered.

"You met the President already?" Kate asked.

"We did," Emily replied, sipping her champagne and adding, "He's shorter than I expected him to be."

Kate snorted inelegantly.

"Seriously though," Emily continued, "he's very charismatic."

"He's pretty amazing to work for," Kate said as she nodded her head.

"I can imagine," Emily agreed.

They stood for a moment, looking at the many small groups and the odd person alone who filled up the ballroom.

"You wanna get out of here?" Kate offered.

"You have somewhere in mind?" asked Emily curiously.

"I was going to try and impress you with a private tour of the West Wing," Kate suggested with a smile.

"Well, you really don't need to impress me," Emily replied, "But I wouldn't say no to that tour. I've actually never been here before."

Kate looked surprised, "You've never been here? Not with your parents or anything?"

Emily shook her head.

"You definitely need that tour then," Kate said decisively, "We can go out over there." She pointed to one of the doors along the side of the room.

Emily looked around once more and, when she couldn't see any of her team looking for her, followed Kate towards the doors.

***

"...and that completes our tour of the West Wing of the White House," Kate said, opening the door and gesturing for Emily to walk through into the ballroom ahead of her.

"Is it weird?" Emily asked, "Working in the White House, I mean."

"It's a little surreal at times," Kate admitted with a nod of her head, "Sometimes when you think about what you did at work and you realise that you spent two hours in the Oval Office briefing the President, then you met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss the Middle East and after that you were called into the Situation Room...that's not what most people do at work."

Emily grinned, "You should write a book."

"I'd have to shoot anyone who read it," Kate pointed out as they hovered inside the door, "so I can't see it selling particularly well."

Emily's laughter felt out of place here. Here was work, and Emily was nothing to do with work. Kate was careful to keep work and Emily separate and having them together in one place seemed almost decadent: these were the two most important things in her life right now and to have them peacefully co-existing seemed more than she deserved.

"Emily!" Both Kate and Emily looked up at the sound of Emily's name being called. It was Garcia who'd called Emily's name and she, Morgan, JJ, and Reid were walking over towards them.

"Where did you disappear off to, Prentiss?" Morgan asked, a glass of champagne in one hand and his other hand on Garcia's hip.

"This is Kate Harper," Emily answered, "She's a friend of mine, and she was just giving me a quick tour. Kate, this is Derek Morgan, Penelope Garcia, Jennifer Jareau, and Spencer Reid."

"You're the Deputy NSA," Spencer Reid stated and Kate couldn't keep an impressed look from her face.

"Not many people recognise me," she said and he shrugged.

"I have an eidetic memory," he explained, "So I..."

"Kate." It was CJ interrupting them, approaching the group with a serious expression, "We need you in the Sit Room."

Apologising hurriedly to Emily and her friends, Kate followed CJ out of the ballroom. CJ briefed on the basic details of the situation as they walked purposefully through the White House.

"Emily Prentiss," CJ said suddenly, seemingly at random, "How well do you know her?"

"Uh, fairly well, I guess," Kate hedged as they reached the top of a flight of stairs, "Why do you ask?"

"You seemed pretty friendly earlier, giving her a personal tour of the White House," CJ said, "That, and the fact that she was wearing a watch that looked exactly like the one I saw you wearing a few weeks ago - the one you said had been a graduation present from your parents."

Kate kept her face as neutral as she could, but she knew where CJ's train of thought was heading. As Chief of Staff, and previously in her role as Press Secretary, it was CJ's job to notice things and to be aware of anything that could potentially affect the administration at large. Had it been any other person, Kate could probably have convinced them that they were overreacting, that Emily just happened to have a very similar watch to the one Kate owned. CJ was a different matter though; CJ was suspicious of coincidences like that. Kate remembered the conversation they'd had the morning after the first night she'd spent with Emily - "You've been out a lot lately. Is there a guy?" - and knew CJ would remember it too.

"Is this something we need to talk about?" CJ asked as they reached the door to the Sit Room. It was phrased as a question but the tone said 'This is something we need to talk about'.

"When we've dealt with this," Kate said, cursing inwardly her stupidity in borrowing Emily's watch and Emily's stupidity in wearing the same watch to the White House, though she recognised that as irrational - how could Emily possibly have known that CJ had noticed her watch on Kate's wrist and that CJ would notice it on Emily's own? "We can talk about it when we've dealt with this."

***

Twelve - Consequences

CJ finally caught up to Kate as the deputy NSA was making her way from the Oval Office back down to the Sit Room.

"My office, now," CJ hissed as she adjusted her pace to walk alongside the shorter woman.

"CJ, I really have to get down..." Kate started evasively. She didn't need to be anywhere particularly quickly, but she'd managed to avoid the conversation she knew CJ wanted to have with her for almost three days and would've been quite happy to continue avoiding it a little while longer.

"You have to get to my office," CJ said emphatically, fixing Kate with the kind of stare that had suggested to journalists and cabinet members alike that they should probably do what CJ wanted. CJ headed in the direction of her office and Kate followed reluctantly.

"I'm waiting for a call from the Chinese ambassador," CJ said to Margaret as she and Kate paused in the doorway to her office, "Hold everything else."

Margaret looked curious but said nothing more than, "Sure thing," before turning back to her computer.

Inside the office, CJ sat down behind her desk and gestured for Kate to take a seat across from her. Kate did so, feeling uncomfortably like she was back in Annapolis, about to getting a dressing down for something she would maintain hadn't entirely been her fault or, if it had been her fault, was entirely justified.

"So," CJ began, flipping open a manila file on her desk, "What exactly is going on between you and..." CJ scanned the file, "Supervisory Special Agent Emily Grace Prentiss?"

"We're...uh...we're dating, I guess you would say," Kate replied, looking away from CJ's piercing gaze.

"Just so I'm sure I have this right: you, a Naval Commander, the deputy National Security Advisor to President Bartlet, are involved in a relationship with a female FBI agent whose parents are both ambassadors for this country."

"That would be correct," Kate said and wished for the hundredth time that she'd never lost her watch at Emily's.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" CJ exclaimed, clearly having to work very hard to keep her voice down.

"I don't know," Kate said defensively, "I didn't mean for this to happen."

"If this got out..." CJ started.

"You don't think I know what would happen if people found out about this?" Kate snapped angrily, interrupting CJ before she could get going, "I would lose my job here; be discharged from the Navy; lose my pension and everything I've worked so hard for. I'm not stupid, CJ - I didn't go into this with my eyes closed."

"Well, it sure seems like you did," CJ retorted, "I mean, how could you think no-one would find out?"

"No-one had until you did," Kate pointed out, "Why would anyone suspect anything? I'm not you or Josh or Toby - I'm not in the public eye like you are. Most people don't even know my name, let alone recognise me. I go out and I have dinner with another woman. We don't hold hands, we don't walk around arm in arm, we don't play footsie under the table - we're just two friends enjoying a meal together."

"And if someone saw you leaving her house, or her leaving yours?" CJ asked, her voice a little less harsh now.

"Then we had dinner, had a bit too much to drink, and decided to crash on the couch or in the spare room rather than drive home drunk," Kate said, "Look, CJ, I know it's not a good situation. I know the consequences if we were to be found out. I know it would be bad for me and it would be bad for this administration, but we're careful."

"How long have you been seeing her?" CJ asked, closing the file and leaning back in her chair.

"A few months," Kate replied.

"How did you meet?"

"In a bar," Kate answered and CJ looked curiously at her, "I went in for a drink, she was there, and things...happened."

"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" CJ was less Chief of Staff now and more just Kate's friend and Kate was grateful for that.

"We're being careful," Kate said quietly, starting to feel like a broken record, "And we'll be more careful - no sharing watches again, certainly," she added with a smirk, "But I'm not ending it. I know that would be the safest thing to do, but it's not a question of safe."

CJ was looking straight at her now and Kate held her gaze.

"She makes me happy, CJ. She makes me smile and laugh and leave work on time and it's been a really long time since I had someone like that in my life."

There was a knock on the door and CJ called, "Come in."

"The Chinese ambassador's on line one for you," Margaret said, stepping just inside the doorway and looking with great interest at Kate.

"Are we done?" Kate asked as she sat forward in her chair, ready to leave.

"We're done," CJ replied.

***

"How did she take it?" Emily asked as she and Kate lay in bed that evening.

"She was actually pretty okay about it," Kate said, rolling onto her side so she could look at Emily, "She yelled a bit, or came as close to yelling as she could given the fact that we were talking about me dating you a few feet away from the Oval Office - did I know what I was doing, did I know what would happen if we got found out, that kind of stuff. And I told her that, yeah, I knew what would happen if we got found out and yeah, I knew what I was doing when we started this, and that I wasn't going to give this up."

"This is going to be difficult, isn't it?" Emily asked quietly, "I mean, who knows how long we could have to keep this quiet?"

"It could be a long time," Kate agreed.

"I've never been much for sharing personal things with people," Emily said, and Kate could hear something in her voice that sounded wrong, "But this feels different from just not talking about it - we're actively lying about it..."

"We have to," Kate said, sitting up and putting a little more distance between herself and Emily, "Look, are you still okay with this? Are you having second thoughts?"

"No, no, not all," Emily said quickly. She sat up and closed the distance Kate and put between them, resting her hands on Kate's bare upper arms, "I am absolutely not having second thoughts about this. That is not for a minute what I meant. This..." She gestured between them, "This is amazing. This is incredible. I guess...god, I'm really not good at talking about things like this," Emily said with a shake of her head.

"I love you," Kate said suddenly, and then clapped a hand across her mouth, "I'm sorry, I don't know where that came from," she said through her fingers. She couldn't believe she'd said that out loud: she'd barely even thought the words to herself. But there was something about the moment of fear when she'd been convinced that Emily was going to announce that they should break up, coupled with the flood of relief when she realised that wasn't the case, and the words had just come out.

"I love you too," Emily said, her sincere tone bringing Kate out of her own thoughts.

The couple lay there for a minute, grinning stupidly at one another and basking in the warm glow of the shared admissions.

"What I was trying say earlier," Emily began, "is that I know this is hard, and I know it must be harder for you because it's you who would be the most affected if the wrong people found out about us. But I understand that, and I understand how important your work is to you and no matter how hard it gets, I would never ask you to give that up for this."

"Thank you," Kate said softly, leaning in to kiss Emily.

This was the first hurdle their relationship had faced and they'd cleared it with feet to spare. Kate was starting to really see a future with Emily and for once, she wasn't scared, she wasn't thinking of running or throwing herself further into work until she was simply left alone. She was thinking of Emily.

***

Thirteen - Out Of The Bag

"I'm fine," Emily had said earlier that evening as she brushed off the invitation to drinks with JJ and Garcia, "I'm just tired and it would be nice to see the inside of my own apartment for more than the time it takes to shower, change, and repack my ready bag."

She was tired, and she was happy to get back into her own place after four weeks of almost constant travel, but she was also happy to be seeing Kate again. They'd known from the start that there would be times when their jobs would keep them apart, but one night and a few scattered phone calls over four weeks had been harder on Emily than she'd imagined. She was so used to being on her own that missing someone when she was away was a novel experience. So she was tired but more than willing to ignore that for a few more hours in order to spend some time with the woman who had rapidly become an integral part of her life.

She showered and dried her hair, pulled on a pair of jeans and a black sweater, and headed down the stairs just in time to buzz Kate up. While she waited for Kate to come up from the lobby, she pulled the bundle of takeout menus from a kitchen drawer and flicked through them, searching for the one for the Thai restaurant a couple of blocks over. She found it at the bottom of the pile and tossed it onto the counter before putting the other menus back into the drawer, shutting it just before there was a knock at the door.

Emily hurried over and opened the door to see Kate standing in the hallway, wearing a suit that told Emily she'd probably come straight from work.

"Hi," Kate said, leaning against the doorway.

Emily stepped aside to let her into the apartment and Kate pulled her into a brief kiss.

"God, it feels like I've been away forever," Emily commented as Kate hung up her jacket and dropped her work bag by the door.

"But you have time off now?" Kate asked.

"We have the weekend for sure," Emily replied, "and hopefully Monday too, unless anything comes up."

"Let's hope it doesn't," Kate said before her stomach rumbled loudly. She blushed and added, "Yeah, I haven't eaten since this morning. Today's been crazy."

"It's going to be takeout again," Emily said apologetically, "I think the only thing still edible in this kitchen is coffee. Is Thai okay with you?

"Thai sounds good," Kate said and Emily picked up the phone to call the restaurant.

Emily dialled the number and was put through on the first ring. She placed the order - the same as they always had - and hung up.

"I can never get over that view," Kate said, leaning against the couch as she stared out at the bright lights of Washington.

"It's pretty spectacular," Emily agreed, standing beside Kate.

They stood side by side for a few moments, gazing at the city outside the window.

"I missed you," Emily said softly, turning away from the view to look at Kate. She really had missed Kate while she'd been away, but saying the words aloud was oddly nervewracking.

"I missed you too," Kate said and Emily felt her nerves disappear.

The window provided a convenient surface for Emily to push Kate back against as she kissed her. Kate slid her hands up to tangle them in Emily's hair and Emily slipped her leg between Kate's, her knee resting against the window.

As Emily's hands were inching up the back of Kate's shirt, they were interrupted by a knock at the door and Emily reluctantly pulled away from Kate, saying, "That'll be the food."

"Worst timing ever," Kate groaned, leaning her head back against the cold glass.

There was another knock, this time more impatient, and the women laughed as they stepped away from the window. Emily headed over to the door, stopping by her purse to find her wallet.

"I'll get plates," Kate called as she went into the kitchen.

Emily was still laughing when she opened the door, wallet in hand.

"Oh," she said with surprise. It wasn't the takeout, as she'd expected, but JJ and Garcia instead. Self-consciously, Emily ran her fingers through her hair, trying to straighten it out from the mess she suspected it must be in.

"Ah ha," Garcia said triumphantly, turning to JJ, "Secret boyfriend. I was right."

Emily winced before she could stop herself and then hoped, just for a second, that they wouldn't catch it.

"What?" JJ asked, and Emily knew they'd seen her expression change, even if it was just for a moment.

"Come on," Garcia persisted, shuffling past Emily and into the apartment, "You knew you would have to introduce us eventually."

JJ followed Garcia in, looking half amused and half curious. There was a long pause, and then Kate stepped into view from the kitchen.

"Hi," she said with an awkward wave, "I'm Kate, the secret boyfriend."

There was a moment of silence, in which Emily wished she had a camera to capture the looks on Garcia and JJ's faces, and then Garcia said, "Wait, Kate Harper? From the White House thing? Kate Harper the National Security something? Kate Harper the naval commander?"

Kate nodded, "That would be me."

"Well, now the secret part makes sense," Garcia said, putting the bag Emily had just noticed she had in her hand onto the floor.

"What are you guys doing here anyway?" Emily asked, remembering that the arrival of her friends had been completely unexpected.

"We were worried," JJ said, and there was something in her voice that told Emily she wasn't happy, "You pretty much just disappeared once we got back. Will's looking after Henry for the evening and we figured you might want some company."

"We brought food," Garcia added, picking up the bag again.

The doorbell rang again.

"I'll get that," Kate said, stepping past them and heading over to the door. This time, it was the Thai they'd ordered.

"Do you want us to go?" Garcia asked quietly.

"No," Emily said uncertainly, "No," she said again, this time more firmly, "Stay. There's plenty of food, and it's probably time I told you about...this," she finished weakly, gesturing between herself and Kate.

A few minutes later, the four of them were sat around Emily's coffee table, cartons of food spread out across it along with four bottles of beer.

"So, how long has this been going on?" Garcia asked, reaching across the table for a carton.

"About seven months," Emily replied.

"Why didn't you tell us?" JJ asked, and the hurt tone in her voice irritated Emily.

"For the same reason you didn't tell any of us about you and Will," Emily snapped, "Because I wanted to have something to myself, something that wasn't anything to do with the BAU. Because I wanted to have a life."

JJ looked slightly embarrassed by Emily's mention of her secrecy over Will.

"Look," Emily said, her voice softer now, "I didn't mean to lie to you guys about anything. We didn't mean for this to happen, but it did and by the time we'd sorted it out for ourselves, I felt awkward about bringing it up. Besides, with Kate being in the Navy, we knew we needed to keep things quiet, and it just seemed easier this way."

"And you didn't tell us you were gay because...?" Garcia prompted with a smile.

"Because I didn't see why I should," Emily replied, "It doesn't affect how I do my job..."

"But you could've told us," JJ said, "I mean, did you think we wouldn't understand? Did you think we'd...I don't know...shun you or something?"

"Of course I didn't think that," Emily responded, "But it's not something I tell people; it never has been. It just didn't even occur to me say anything, especially before Kate. It always seems such an odd thing to bring up without reason - you know, you're sitting there talking about sports or the weather and then suddenly it's 'Oh, and by the way guys, I'm gay'? And on top of that, do you really think it would make things easier for me at work? It's bad enough once people find out who my parents are; I don't want to give anyone any more ammunition."

They ate silence for a while, only speaking to ask someone else to pass something across the table. Eventually, Garcia spoke up.

"So, Kate, tell us about yourself."

"You don't have to," Emily said to Kate, knowing how private Kate could be, and how much there was that, even if she'd wanted to, she wasn't allowed to talk about.

"It's fine," Kate said, "What do you want to know?"

"Let's start with where you're from," Garcia suggested, shifting to get more comfortable on the couch, as if she were preparing to watch a movie or something.

"I'm from Florida originally," Kate said, "But my father was in the Navy, so we moved around a lot."

"Family?" Garcia asked next.

"Garcia?" JJ asked suddenly, "You didn't do this to Will, did you?"

"Of course I did," Garcia said with a breezy tone, "It's my job to check out the people you guys date. Anyway, please continue, Kate."

Emily couldn't help but smile: it was like some bizarre job interview but, as awkward as it was, she was incredibly touched that Garcia cared so much.

"Like I said," Kate began, "My dad was in the navy. My mom stayed at home and looked after me and my brothers and sister."

For the next thirty minutes, while JJ and Emily watched with awkward fascination, Garcia quizzed Kate about everything from her school to her favourite music to her work with the CIA. Emily was surprised by how much information Kate gave up. Obviously when it came to her work, there was very little detail she could legally reveal, but she told Garcia, albeit briefly, about her two failed marriages and answered an assortment of questions about how she and Emily had met. Finally, Garcia ran out of questions.

"So, does she meet with your approval?" Emily asked, half joking and half serious. Although she had no doubt that her friends would like Kate, and at any rate wouldn't have ever considered ending their relationship if her friends didn't approve, it was nice to have them finally know and she wanted them to be happy for her.

JJ and Garcia exchanged looks.

"I pronounce her suitable," Garcia announced grandly, and everyone laughed.

"I'm glad I passed," Kate joked.

"And on that note," JJ said, looking at her watch, "We should get going."

Garcia protested for a moment but JJ shot her a pointed look and she relented.

"Yeah, JJ's right," Garcia admitted, "We interrupted earlier and we should let you get back to..." She waved her hands vaguely in the air and everyone knew what she meant.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you," Emily said as she walked JJ and Garcia to the door, "I really am."

"We understand," Garcia assured Emily, pulling her into a hug, "And your secret's safe with us."

JJ and Garcia said their goodbyes, and then Emily was shutting the door behind them.

"That was...unexpected," Kate said.

"Very unexpected, but I'm sort of glad they know," she admitted, "I mean, we're hardly going to be talking about it work or anything, but it's nice to have someone else know."

"I know what you mean," Kate agreed, grinning as Emily yawned, "Come on, I need some sleep, and it looks like you do too."

Emily nodded and, turning out the lights as they went, they headed upstairs.

***

Fourteen - The End Of An Era

"Who got it?" Emily called from the kitchen as she stacked the dinner plates into the dishwasher.

"Glenn," Kate called back from the lounge.

"And you're sure he won't keep you on as deputy?" Emily asked.

"He hates me," Kate said, bringing the two empty glasses from the coffee table in the lounge through into the kitchen.

"He hates you?" Emily echoed, looking disbelievingly at Kate.

"He hates me," Kate repeated, nodding her head, "There is absolutely no way he wants me working with him."

"What about Santos?" asked Emily as she stuffed the empty takeout containers into the trash.

"I met with him this afternoon," Kate answered. She opened the fridge door and pulled out two bottles of beer. Emily handed her the bottle opener and Kate cracked open the first bottle and handed it to Emily.

"He wants me to stay on for a while," Kate continued, "Certainly while the Russia/China situation is so volatile. After that, it's not up to him."

"It's up to Glenn," Emily finished.

"Exactly."

Kate leant back against the counter, supporting herself with one hand while the other hand held her beer. She lifted the bottle to her lips and took a long swallow.

"So what are you going to do?" Emily asked. Her voice was soft and even after all this time, Kate found herself oddly choked up by the concern clear in Emily's eyes.

"I guess I'll stay on for as long as Santos needs me," Kate said, "And then...I don't know."

With a hand on her hip, Emily nudged Kate away from the counter and they went back into the lounge. Kate curled herself into the corner of the couch and rested her bottle on her knee.

"What do you want to do?" Emily asked, looking at her intently.

"Honestly, I just don't know," Kate replied with a shrug, "It's never been a case of what I want to do. I was eighteen when I joined the Navy and that was it: I went where I was needed and did what I was told."

"There wasn't anything you wanted to do when you were little?" Emily questioned, "I don't know - be an astronaut, be a ballet dancer, be an artist or an actress or in a band?"

Kate fixed Emily with a sincere look and said, "I wanted to be like my dad. I wanted to join the Navy and see the world and solve all kinds of international crises. I was going to be a one-woman army."

"Well, I think it's safe to say you've done all those things."

"I know," Kate agreed, "So the question is, what do I do now?"

***

Fifteen - Inauguration Day

The team was in Oregon on Inauguration Day. Three children were missing, all taken from playgrounds they had been visiting with friends. When Emily and Rossi arrived at the first scene, still blocked off with yellow tape and guarded by two uniformed officers, the streets all around were empty.

"I'm glad we're not in DC," Emily mused as she walked slowly around the perimeter of the play area, alternating between looking down at the ground for anything that might have been missed by the crime scene unit and then up at the area around, trying to get an idea of where the abductor might have come from, "I mean, can you imagine how busy it must be?"

"According to the news this morning," Rossi said, standing in front of the swing set the child had last been seen on, "they were expecting crowds of upwards of one million."

"And I think most of the rest of the country must be watching on TV," Emily said, opening the gate and walking into the playground. She walked around the perimeter again, this time inside the fence.

"Local residents say that kids often play here unsupervised outside of school," Rossi said as he opened the small notebook he always carried around and flipped to the page on which he'd been making notes about this case, "There were two adults here when Jamie was taken but both were looking after large groups of children and neither noticed any other adults in or around the playground."

"It's got to be someone who looks as if they belong here, someone who fits in," Emily said, abandoning her search of the edge of the playground as she completed a circle of the interior.

Rossi's phone rang and he answered it with a brisk, "Rossi."

Emily busied herself examining the playground once again until Rossi had finished his call.

"Hotch wants us back at the station. Apparently Reid and Morgan got something from the third crime scene."

***

Later that evening, Emily found herself alone in her hotel room. A little after ten, Hotch had suggested they go back to the hotel and try and get some rest. They'd spent the day examining crime scenes and poring over all the personal information the families had provided about the missing children and, so far, there were no commonalities any of them could spot. It was shaping up to be a difficult case.

Emily sat down on the bed, switched on the TV and navigated away from the hotel's welcome page and onto the first news channel she could find. Unsurprisingly, the inauguration was the focus of the coverage. Turning the sound down, Emily pulled out her cellphone and scrolled through her phone book for Kate's number. She pressed 'call' and leant back against the pillows. Kate answered the phone after a couple of rings.

"Hey, it's me," Emily said.

"How's Oregon?" Kate asked.

"I'd rather not talk about it," Emily said, grimacing even though she knew Kate couldn't see her, "How're you doing? How's Washington coping with its new leader?"

"So far, everything seems to be holding up okay."

"What did you do after the ceremony?" Emily asked, "I know you said you had to be out of the building."

"I went to the movies," Kate replied.

"Seriously? In the middle of the afternoon?"

"I know - it was pretty weird. I went with Will and Charlie and we were pretty much the only people there."

"What did you see?" Emily questioned.

"Honestly, I don't even know," Kate admitted and Emily thought she could almost hear her smiling on the other end of the line, "I fell asleep about ten minutes in. Good sleep though."

"So, what do you do tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow I have to brief the new staff," Kate said, her tone resigned, "And then brief Santos and the new senior staff. After that, it's paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork."

Emily was about to comment when there was a knock at her door.

"Hold on a sec," Emily said quickly, holding the phone against her shoulder as she hurried to open the door. JJ and Hotch were standing outside and from the pinched expression on JJ's face, Emily knew something bad had happened.

"Another child's gone missing," Hotch said gravely as JJ continued down the corridor, knocking on the doors of Morgan's, Reid's, and Rossi's rooms.

"I have to go," Emily said, bringing the phone back to her mouth.

"Go," Kate said, "Be safe."

"I'll call you when I can," Emily finished, snapping the phone shut and grabbing her coat to follow her team out.

***

Sixteen - Endings And Beginnings

It was six days into President Santos' first term when the BAU team finally made it back to DC. When they got back to Quantico, Emily was barely in the building long enough to drop off her files from the case and pick up the few things she needed from her desk before she headed down to the parking garage and out to Kate's. The roads were blissfully empty - it was long past rush hour and the traffic lights seemed oddly cooperative and Emily was grateful for that. It had been a long, difficult case and she was desperate to get back home. When Emily reached Kate's house, she saw Kate's car parked on the street outside. Emily got her garage door opener out of the glove box, pressed the button to open the door, and drove straight in. She put the car in park and grabbed her go bag from the foot well of the passenger seat before climbing out of the car, locking it, and opening the door that led into the main house.

Emily could see lights on in the lounge and she walked across the hall and into the brightly lit room. Kate was asleep on the couch, the TV quietly playing CNN in the background. Emily walked through the room as quietly as she could, but Kate stirred and opened her eyes.

"Hey, when did you get back?" she asked, her voice hoarse from sleep.

"Just now," Emily replied, dropping her bag next to the couch and sitting down beside Kate.

"How was Oregon?" asked Kate, sitting up against the arm of the couch.

"Not good," Emily answered, shaking her head, "He killed six kids before we could work out where he was taking them. We got to the last one just in time, but there are still six sets of parents out there planning funerals for their children."

"You did what you could," Kate said softly. She shuffled along the couch to wrap her arms around Emily.

"Sometimes it just doesn't feel like enough," Emily said, her voice muffled by Kate's hair.

They sat in silence for a few minutes before Emily pulled back.

"Anyway," Emily said, "How's your new life of unemployment?"

"It's...bizarre," Kate said with a smile, "Apart from going in a couple of times to discuss China and Russia with Santos, I've cleaned the entire house, sorted out all the junk in the guest room, and fixed the broken shelf in the garage. I had lunch with CJ yesterday as well, and I've been to the store a lot."

"Very productive," Emily teased, earning her a nudge in the side from Kate's elbow.

"There was one other thing I did," Kate said, her voice suddenly serious.

"What?" Emily asked as she turned on the couch to look at Kate.

"I've submitted my request for retirement."

Emily's eyes widened and she knew the surprise she felt was written clearly on her face.

"I've done my twenty years," Kate continued, "And after doing what I've been doing for the past two years, being in command of a ship again or doing paperwork on a base somewhere doesn't seem quite as appealing as it used to."

"Are you sure this is what you want to do?" Emily asked carefully.

"I've been thinking about it for a while," Kate admitted, "I never thought I'd actually say this, but I don't think being in the Navy is what I want any more, not for my career and not for my life."

Emily opened her mouth, about to ask again if Kate was certain that she really wanted to leave the Navy. She couldn't help but think back to when CJ had found out about them and how she'd promised Kate that she would never expect her to give up her job to make things easier for them, and she wanted to remind Kate of that, but Kate stopped her with a finger on her lips before she could get the words out.

"I'm not doing this for you," Kate said firmly, "Yes, it will be nice to go out and have supper without having to act like we're just friends and it'll be nice to be able to tell other people, but I'm doing this for me."

"Good," Emily said, wrapping her hand around Kate's and moving it away from her face, "I can't deny that the thought of not having to hide this any more is nice, but I said I would never expect you to give anything up for it."

"It won't happen immediately," Kate began as she shifted on the couch to sit more comfortably, "It could be as long as nine months before everything's sorted and it becomes official, but the process has been started and hopefully it shouldn't be that long."

"I can't believe you're leaving the Navy," Emily said with a shake of her head.

"I can't either," Kate said. She rested her head back against the couch and looked up at the ceiling, "I'm retiring. I'm leaving the Navy. I will no longer be a member of the United States Navy."

Emily got the impression that Kate hoped if she kept saying the words out loud, they might actually sink in.

"Do you have any idea yet what you're going to do?" asked Emily.

"I'm not sure," Kate replied, "I've decided to embrace the freedom and opportunities of my new position."

Emily looked at Kate with a raised eyebrow and Kate shrugged.

"Yeah, I don't know," Kate said, "I'll work it out." She paused and grabbed Emily's hand, "We'll work it out."

Emily leaned forward and kissed her.

"Do you want to move in with me?" Emily asked as they broke apart.

"What?"

"I don't mean you just move in with me - I mean we could get somewhere together. Somewhere for us," Emily elaborated, "When your retirement's official."

"You sure you want to give up that view of yours?" Kate's question was light-hearted, but Emily recognised the undercurrent of apprehension, the worry that hovered at the back of her own mind every time she thought about their future together. Can we do this? Are we strong enough? Will I hurt you like other people have hurt me? Will you look at me one day and forget why you love me?

"I'm sure," Emily said, a calmness in her tone that belied the nervousness she felt asking such a big question.

"Are you sure?" Kate asked again, this time without the superficial concern for Emily giving up her apartment.

"We can make it work," Emily replied with a confidence borne from what she hoped was the truth rather than any strong belief in her relationship skills.

"We could get somewhere bigger," Kate said after a few moments' pause.

"We could have a library," Emily suggested with a grin.

"You can give your Vonnegut collection pride of place," Kate teased. She stood up and stretched. Emily found her eyes drawn to the strip of skin made visible by the movement of Kate's top before her view was obscured by a hand.

"Come on," Kate said, smirking as she offered Emily her hand. Emily took it and let Kate pull her upright. "I think we ought to celebrate."

"Now, how do you suggest we do that?" Emily asked, doing a poor job of feigning ignorance.

"I have a few ideas," Kate said, hooking her fingers through the belt loops of Emily's pants and kissing her.

Emily fumbled around blindly on the arm of the couch for the remote and after few moments, managed to switch the TV off. They backed awkwardly through the lounge, separating only when Kate's heels hit the edge of the bottom step of the staircase.

Kate lifted her hands to frame Emily's face.

"I'm so glad I met you," she said softly.

"I'm glad I met you too," Emily said as she wrapped her hands around Kate's wrists, feeling slightly bemused at Kate's sudden contemplative turn

Kate shook her head, "I mean...I'm just happy, I guess. Happy with all this, happy with you, and it's...I'm not used to it."

Emily smiled, "I'm not used to it either, but I think I can learn."

"Oh yeah," Kate said, an expression of faux seriousness on her face, "It's going to be tough though, getting used to being happy."

"Very tough," Emily agreed, adopting Kate's teasing tone, "But I think we'll get through it."

"Definitely," Kate said, nodding.

"Now, what happened to celebrating?" Emily said.

Hand in hand, they went upstairs.

***

Two women meet in a bar. Things end well.

Part One

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-16 12:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
I freaking loved this. It's rare to find a 'relationship' fic that doesn't compromise the characters, and this really lets them shine through. (I don't know West Wing, but I do really like the character of Kate as written here (if that makes sense).)

I love the way you write Prentiss (yay!), I love the way you incorporate both characters' lives into their story, and I love this:

Can we do this? Are we strong enough? Will I hurt you like other people have hurt me? Will you look at me one day and forget why you love me?

so much I choked up. Beautiful.


(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I was really trying to keep in character and I'm so happy you think it worked.

Prentiss lives in my brain, so I'm always happy when people like how I write her.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-16 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shatterpath.livejournal.com
This was really good! On a whim, I decided to read, because really, who can resist Kate Harper? Luckily, I've read enough CM fic to have a handle on Emily and they work well together. This piece read very honest, for lack of a better word. The progression of events, the keeping of secrets, the moments of honesty, all were lovely. Thank you for the lovely journey!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you! There really isn't enough Kate fic in the world so I'm happy to add to it. Glad you enjoyed it!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-16 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bessemerprocess.livejournal.com
This fic made me so happy. It's just joyful in that quiet, content way of two people building a life together.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you! I was really going for that - no drama, no explosions, just how I think it would work between them.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-16 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heart1e55m00mba.livejournal.com
Great fic! I loved how you brought their work lives into the relationship, the missed calls and emails were perfect. I also really enjoyed the slow building of their relationship from friends to something more. You handled the aftermath of the drunken night together really well. Totally loved this fic.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you!! I was a little concerned about doing the morning after the night before stuff, but I'm glad it seems to have worked okay.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-17 01:32 am (UTC)
twtd: TWW: Kate Harper in the sit room (The West Wing- Kate map)
From: [personal profile] twtd
I really love how this fic turned out. I think you did a lovely job of making the shows fit together and Emily and Kate's personalities just click. The whole story just works so perfectly and I love that you pay so much attention to building their relationship before they get together and how once that happens, everything isn't automatically happiness and light. You have a great handle on the characters.

I liked it so much I wrote you a comment fic. I hope you like it:

Just two more clicks, a couple of the right key strokes, and Garcia was in. The White House mainframe was stretched out before her, perfect little icons twinkled on her screen. Point and click and she could know anything she wanted. Of course, some files were so highly classified that they shook even her bravery. They weren't what she was after though, and she carefully skirted around them. She was after the folder labeled "Personnel", specifically one Kate Harper.

She opened it and... It was empty. Well, jinkies, that was odd. Emily was dating someone without a personnel file? She switched over to the Navy's database. That's when things started to come together. Oh, Kate's service record was complete enough, but Garcia had seen enough government coverups to know that at least part of the file was completely fake. Well, she was working for the NSA now. Garcia poked around there long enough to know that the good stuff was somewhere else. Finding that somewhere else led her straight to the CIA.

"Whoa boy," she muttered to herself. For some reason, she didn't think that there were going to be any welcome mates here. It was with a bit of trepidation that she placed her hands back on the keys of her keyboard.


In Washington, D.C. proper, another woman stared at the monitor of her computer, following the trail of a hacker as she jumped between government databases. She could end the hacker's quest with the press of button, but she was intrigued. Why would someone at the FBI be interested in Kate Harper? The hacker was at the CIA's figurative doorstep. She had to stop her. She pressed the button and all over the White House computer monitors flashed off and then back on.

"Margaret!" Cj's voice rung through the corridors, "If you took down the mainframe forwarding LOLcats again, I swear to God..."

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Comment fic! I heart this so much! I'm thinking about writing more in this universe and I think Garcia could definitely be awesome in it. And Margaret with LOLcats - I can totally see that!

Thank you so much for all your help - I think I would've just given up without it!

Also, your icon is *gorgeous*.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 11:03 pm (UTC)
twtd: (Default)
From: [personal profile] twtd
Thanks! It's one of the few icons from when I was first making icons that I'm still happy with. And I'm glad I could help.

I swear, Margret was not supposed to be some super-secret government agent, but it just happened and the little fic just got that much more cracky. Of course, everyone still thinks it was LOLcats.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] racethewind10.livejournal.com
LMAo ok, that was awesome! omg I can just HEAR CJ yelling :)

Awesome!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-17 02:40 am (UTC)
ext_17679: (Default)
From: [identity profile] netgirl-y2k.livejournal.com
I've been intrigued by the prospect of this fic ever since the preview was posted, and I'm delighted that it didn't disappoint. It was absolutely marvellous, brilliantly written, and I don't know how you came up with the idea of Kate Harper/Emily Prentiss but now I'm shipping them so hard.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Hee, I'm not really sure how I came up with it either - I think massively fangirling both Paget Brewster and Mary McCormack probably has something to do with it - but I kind of love it now. Glad to know it makes sense to someone else!

Brava

Date: 2009-07-17 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anonobody.livejournal.com
A well told tale. Hopefully sometime soon you'll tell another one.

Re: Brava

Date: 2009-07-19 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thanks! More writing is on the way, although probably not in this universe for a while.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-18 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nike-ravus.livejournal.com
Awesome!

I would say it needs more drama, except that i've apparently tortured Emily enough that every time she goes out the door i'm like "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, don't die!"
So this was pretty wonderfully drama free.

Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you - I'm not good at writing drama so I'm glad I managed to make a long fic work without it.

Also, I've just started reading your Emily/Emma Frost series and I'm loving it! Reviews to come soon.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-18 07:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celievamp.livejournal.com
I was looking forward to this from the snippet that you posted, Kate and Emily wasn't ever a pairing I had imagined but you made it work wonderfully (anyone who can convince me that maybe Kate Harper and C J Cregg aren't destined for one another is doing really well). I loved all the little cameo appearances from the West Wing and the BAU and... well, great job!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Hee, I'm still fairly convinced that Kate/CJ happened at least a little bit, but I'm always slightly intimidated by the idea of writing CJ because she's so very awesome. I'm really happy it worked for you though!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-18 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raf-51.livejournal.com
I loved your story. They both fit so weel together. Amazing pairing.
There's only one thing I missed, is that you should have put a little drama on it, but it's okay, I will keep an eye on your stories, waiting for more K.Harper/E.Prentiss, hoping for some drama.

Thank You

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you! Yeah, I'm really not good at writing drama, which I knew might be an issue in a long fic, but I think it worked out okay. Glad you enjoyed it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] youreyesaregems.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this - it was a well-paced, relaxing read with plenty to keep me interested. I think there were two or three points where I laughed out loud - mini golf! Garcia! - and a few bits where I just went "aww."

I don't know West Wing at all, but I love CM and I'm glad Emily got to be happy for once =)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Yeah, I really enjoyed writing the mini golf, if only because it's been hilarious every time I've ever played it. And I knew before I started I wanted it to have a happy ending because I heart Emily and her angst, but sometimes I just want her to be happy. Thank you for the lovely comment!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-19 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mcgarrygirl78.livejournal.com
I really liked this. I still cant bring myself to be a Kate Harper fan but the realism of this story is amazing. Two people fall in love and then real life happens. Especially two women with the jobs they have, I love how they hold it together, sometimes by the tips of their fingers. I also love Garcia in this....the coming out scene is fantastic. This was a very visual story for me, the gestures, the looks, the moods...I dont know if I am saying the words right but I really liked it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 07:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Hee, I forgive you - thank you for reading it even though you don't like her! The coming out scene was fun to write, and I'm glad it was visual for you - I'm not always good at showing rather than telling and worry that stuff ends up being to heavy on exposition and stuff.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theagonyofblank.livejournal.com
I really loved this. It was well-written, and I thought the way their relationship progressed seemed very natural and not rushed. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you! That's exactly what I was going for - no fuss, no drama, just what I think would happen if these two women met.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] racethewind10.livejournal.com
Ok, how the hell did I miss this?! *TACKLES*

You ROCK! seriously. I adore this pairing, and you write it terribly well. I have a stupid grin on my face. (Also, am very very impressed you managed to make that length of fic out of "two women meet in a bar. Things end well... SRSLY impressed :)

*bounces*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
*IZ TACKLED*

Yeah, you're not the only one impressed with that. I remember when we were posting summaries and everyone else had these amazing action-packed cracky summaries and mine was literally 'Um, they meet in a bar?'. I really think I'm going to have to write more (right now, I'm thinking Josh and Donna bump into Kate and Emily when they're in a grocery store buying champagne to celebrate the shiny new house they just bought).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] racethewind10.livejournal.com
Yes! omg there needs to be Josh and Donna hilarity!! And CJ needs to run into them when she's NOT COS. ;p

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-28 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
I have so many things to write, and I want to write them all, yet instead I'm faffing around doing nothing useful on the interwebs. This is not good - J/D hilarity is necessary to my continued existence!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-21 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freakykaethe.livejournal.com
I don't know anything about West Wing, but I really like the Kate you wrote here, and she fits perfectly to Emily :)
This fic is very beautiful written, very nice, I liked it a lot :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-28 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you very much - I hope my Kate is at least a reasonable approximation of canon Kate! I'm glad you liked it, and thank you for commenting.

Also, gorgeous icon!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-28 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freakykaethe.livejournal.com
Thanks, it's one of my favorites :D
I like yours as well! I just love Lena Headey ^^

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-28 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
She's the awesomest! And somehow I have only one icon of her? This is very wrong. Note to self: find more Lena Headey icons.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-23 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] insidethestars.livejournal.com
I read this the other day, and have had the tab open basically since then to comment.

I love this! Usually I'm a very canon-pairings kind of girl, because a lot of the time I feel like you have to change the characters to put them in a relationship outside of what's portrayed in canon. But you did an absolutely fantastic job of keeping Kate (I don't know Criminal Minds so I can't comment, but I'm sure Emily is the same) in character. I really liked the e-mails and the messages, and the honest desire you could feel between them to make things work in spite of their jobs and everything.

I also love how you tied the end of TWW into it. LOVE. I'd love to see outtakes (like the one written for you below) with other TWW cast members (CJ, J/D etc.) because there's just so much potential for hilarity with them. Anyway, love the fic, you did an awesome job! :) (And you made me miss Kate! Must watch some West Wing ASAP!)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-28 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Yay - I'm so glad I could make it work for you! I used to pretty fairly canon-pairings oriented as well, and then at some point my brain went 'From now on, you will write only the crossover fic' and then crossover pairings took over my brain.

I really must write deleted scenes for this. I think J/D is the first one on the list because I was thinking about writing it for an epilogue and then didn't. But yes, thank you so much, and indeed you should go and watch TWW. Personal suggestion: 'Drought Conditions' - was just watching it earlier.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-28 08:35 pm (UTC)
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
From: [personal profile] havocthecat
Okay. Yes. I finally get a chance to glee at you over this, because I adored Kate Harper, and while I haven't yet gotten to Emily Prentiss in CM (I'm only a few eps away, but have been super busy), I think I'm going to adore her as well. Plus CJ gets to be her usual amazing self, and I love Garcia and JJ's friendship with Emily, and--

Anyway, this is wonderful, and I love the way you wrap up the story along with the finale of TWW, but leave it with enough of an opening for us to know that this relationship could go on behind the scenes of Criminal Minds as it airs.

I'm so glad you signed up for this challenge! *glomps*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-28 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Argh, your comment here reminds me that I have all the [livejournal.com profile] thelittlebang fics I've read favourited to actually comment on (was reading them in Word because I had no interwebs).

Anyways, thank you so much, and I'm so happy you liked it and liked Emily - I read so much JJ/Emily fic before I ever got to Emily eps in CM I was determined I was going to like her whatever happened, and thankfully Paget and the writers didn't let me down.

I have some more fic planned in this universe and possibly some episode tags for various CM eps. And god I'm so glad I signed up as well - I never thought I could actually write the 15,000 words, and now I've gone big bang crazy and am writing stuff (or at least attempting to write stuff) all over the place. You guys are awesome for running it. *glomps back, goes to review your fic, which is totally awesome, btw*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-30 05:55 pm (UTC)
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
From: [personal profile] havocthecat
I have a bunch of TLB fic saved and uploaded to my Kindle, and I hadn't left feedback on any of them until a couple days ago. Then I posted and made sure to mention feedback, and figured I'd better go and leave some myself!

You have more fic planned in this universe? AWESOME. *cheers*

How goes the X-Men: Evolution bb story, by the way?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-30 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Yeah, that's the problem with reading whilst not at a computer connected to the internet - remembering to actually leave feedback.

I do indeed! I really ought to make some notes on what I'm planning to write otherwise, knowing me, it'll never get written.

It goes...well, it exists. I have about 500 words so far and that's it. I have an August 16th deadline for my [livejournal.com profile] bau_bigbang fic, but that actually needs to be finished closer to the beginning of the month since I'll be going back to England and then having friends over, so that's taken priority. Plus, I signed up for the Evo fic really having very little idea of what to actually write. I'm stuck in my usual hole: I know how the character-focussed bits are going to go, but I have absolutely no idea what to write for the actual plot that holds those bits together. *headdesk*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-01 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] g-ww.livejournal.com
Amazing. I really, really loved this. Just read both parts back to back.
I was a dedicated West Wing watcher (until it moved to a channel I didn't have) and only a tangential Criminal Minds watcher - but I love the voices you've given these characters, even the supporting faces.

I though the occasional change in tone with the emails and voicemails was smartly done: they fitted in well with the episodic style.

I usually don't read long(ish) relationship fics, but your writing just drew me in. This is such a sweet piece - well done for such accomplished story-telling, and for weaving together the two worlds these women live in without losing anything from either.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-25 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! TWW and CM are two of my favourite shows so I really enjoyed putting them together.

It was a real challenge to myself to write this and try and make it work and I'm so glad it worked so well for you.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-21 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mozzdi.livejournal.com
Absolutely loved this story! I can't believe I have never read your stories before today. Emily is my all time favorite tv character and I loved how you portrayed her, perfectly. She has such a vulnerable side but I like how she took the chance to explore what did become a loving relationship....great writing and I definitely will be looking out for more stories by you.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-25 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Hee, I'm not a particularly prolific or regular author and this is pretty much the biggest challenge I've ever given myself. I adore Emily as well and I'm so glad my interpretation of her worked for you. Thanks for the lovely review.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-18 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oparu.livejournal.com
Things that I liked particularly:

It was Emily's turn to pause this time, weighing up the answer she wanted to give (Yes, of course, I'd love to) and the possible implications of that, and the distinct idea that she was thinking much too hard about a simple dinner invitation.

This amuses me, because it's just so...true. it's so awkwardly adorable and sweet.

With uncharacteristic nervousness, Kate had left for the restaurant a good fifteen minutes before she really needed to and then, again due to the nerves, had walked considerably faster than usual and consequently ended up at the restaurant almost half an hour early

This sets an entire scene absolutely brilliantly with a wicked use of repetition.

"And when you do, it's always vague, always 'this person' and 'they.'"

so true this.

"I went to put on my normal watch this morning and the battery had died. This was...uh...a graduation present from my parents. I don't wear it very often..."

I love CJ, I love this. it's good.

I'd convinced myself there was no way you would feel the same."

awkward dorky relationship stuff wins at life.

you know, you're sitting there talking about sports or the weather and then suddenly it's 'Oh, and by the way guys, I'm gay'?

also so damn true. and it sounds very Prentissy. I really enjoyed it.

I definitely loved CJ each time she showed up, the realism of both characters and how awkwardly they fell into an incredibly believable and compelling relationship. Very very well done. Totally worth my nine chapters of political theory.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-18 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calleigh-j.livejournal.com
Hee, thank you so much!! Awkward was definitely the name of the game given the two characters and it was so much fun to write (except when I hated it all). Nine chapters of political theory though? Sounds painful.

And this? Is the fic I'm AU-ing for [livejournal.com profile] apocabigbang.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-18 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oparu.livejournal.com
PolyTheory is....mind ouching? I'm doing okay though. Can't believe it's week 4 already.

it should be interesting. falling in love among the ruins is always good.

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