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27 January 2013 @ 12:56 pm
Fic Post: I Know This World Is Killing You  
Title: I Know This World Is Killing You
Author: Montiese
Category: AU/Drama/Family/Humor/Romance
Characters: Emily Prentiss, Jason Gideon, Spencer Reid, Ashley Seaver, OFC
Pairing: Gideon/Prentiss
Rating: TEEN
Summary: “You're going to have to stop being Supergirl. You have to say no sometimes. You have to talk to Jason and the kids about this.”
Author’s Note: This story is written in the Thicker than Water universe where the BAU are kids and teens. This is the 111th story I've written in this series and I'm a month and a half away from my three year anniversary with these characters.


Emily looked down at her black Doc Martens boots as her legs swung off the side of the exam table. She was trying to breathe like a normal person but her heart was beating so fast. Her blood pressure was elevated when she came in this afternoon.

“Emily, you need to calm down.” Natalie said.

“I can't…I've tried. The past three nights I haven’t been sleeping well. I keep having bad dreams. In school I'm distracted and people keep asking me what's wrong. What if I'm…?”

“Its 1999 and you have a lot of options.”

“I have three options, none of which I find appealing at the moment.”

“You should try to be positive.”

“Don’t say positive right now.” the teenager ran her hand over her face.

“Have you and Jason talked at all about this?” Natalie asked.

“Absolutely not. He’s already a nervous Nellie, if I told him I'm sure he’d never touch me again. I'm flying by the seat of my pants in a lot of life but one thing I know from television is that you don’t involve a guy until you're sure. Maybe you don’t even involve him then.”

Natalie nodded. The doctor walked back into the room and she couldn’t tell from the look on her face what the test results might be. Whether it was superstitious and silly or not, Natalie crossed her fingers. Not many people knew Emily well but she did. The young woman was carrying enough on her plate…she was carrying too much. This was something she needed a pass on.

“Both the urine test and the blood test are negative Emily. You're not pregnant.”

“Thank you God.” She murmured. “Well what's wrong with me?”

“The solution to that conundrum isn’t as easy to figure out. You’ve been on birth control for almost a year now.”

“Yes.” Emily nodded.

“Is this the first time you’ve missed your period?” Dr. Saunders asked.

“I missed one in September and I was losing my mind. I decided to wait and see; it came on the next month.”

“Does your boyfriend use protection when you have sexual intercourse?”

“Yes, every single time. He’s like a walking condom advertisement and very adamant about protecting me. Can I just say something Doc?”

“Of course you can.” She nodded.

“Jason and I are not sex-crazed teenagers who go at it like bunnies. I know you're not judging me but I had to say that. We have sex sporadically…he says no more than he says yes.”

“How many hours do you sleep a night, Emily?”

“Um, I usually try for seven but don’t always get there.”

“Do you exercise?”

“I have P.E. in school three times a week. We actually play sports and work up a sweat for 40 minutes. I don’t have time for much else except my brother and I do try to take evening walks sometimes.”

“I know you care for your younger siblings. You also have a rigorous academic schedule. If you keep going at this rate you could collapse. The elevated blood pressure really concerned me. I'm seeing more and more girls in their late teens pushing themselves past the limit.”

“What can I do?” Emily asked.

“You have to stop. I want you getting seven to eight hours of sleep nightly. You need to eat three square meals a day at normal times…no dinner at 9 p.m. One hour in the evening needs to be quiet time. I want you meditating, taking a bath, breathing, even reading.

“Whatever you're doing you need to do it alone, in the quiet, and take it seriously. One day on the weekend, or at least half a day, shouldn’t be spent doing homework, running around, or catering to your siblings or anyone. You’re going to have to talk to them about this. You can let them know that there are little ways they can help you.”

“OK.” Emily nodded.

“I know a little about your situation; I know it’s unique. But you're beating up your body and your mind. When your cycle skips it’s a way your body tells you that something isn’t right. Teenagers can have sporadic periods yes, but rarely once birth control comes into play. We need to work on getting you feeling better. I want you to take a multi-vitamin if you're not already.”

“OK.”

The doctor scribbled several things on her prescription pad before tearing off the sheet and handing it to Emily.

“I want to see you back in 30 days. I want you to take care of yourself and then we’ll reassess. The things you're working on will be something that can grow and change as you do. This is advice to help you for the rest of your life.”

“Thank you.”

“Do you have any questions or concerns?” she asked.

“Well sometimes it'd be nice if I had someone I could talk to about my stress and you know…” Emily sighed. “I don’t know if I'm ready yet but I want to be ready.”

“I have a list of names. I specialize in women’s health so that’s what most of these mental health workers focus on.” Dr. Saunders went over to her desk. She pulled a piece of paper from a drawer. There were seven names on it.

“Is there one that you recommend?” Emily asked.

“Rachel Howard does wonderful work. I don’t recommend jumping in until you're ready but she should be your first call.”

“Thanks so much.” Emily folded both papers and put them in her messenger bag.

“You're welcome Emily. You know if you need anything then I'm here.”

“I know.” She put on a smile while jumping off the table.

“Schedule your 30 day appointment with the nurse before you leave. Natalie, you're not off the hook either. I want you here in the next 60 days for your physical.”

“I’ll make an appointment.” Natalie nodded.

000


“You look sad for someone who just got good news.” Natalie said as they walked through the parking lot to her car.

“What's good about being so stressed that I miss my period?” Emily tightened her scarf around her neck. January in the DC Corridor could be brutal. “That’s a big deal, Nat. My body is turning against me.”

“It’s better than being pregnant and having to deal with the stress that comes with that.”

“Don’t thwart me with your reasonableness.” Emily mumbled.

Natalie laughed, putting her arms around the teenager’s shoulder.

“Everything is going to be fine.”

“How?”

“You're going to have to stop being Supergirl. You have to say no sometimes. You have to talk to Jason and the kids about this.”

“I know.” Emily nodded though she had no real plans to do so.

“Are you hungry?” Natalie asked.

“I'm starving.”

Emily missed lunch at school. She had an early dismissal so that she could go to the doctor. It was important for her to be home by 3:30 for homework, snacks, and everything else. She was stretched pretty thin though Jason always did his part plus more. Truthfully they had taken on more than any person should have to at 17 and 19. The family was the family though. Emily would no more give them up than her own life.

“I could eat a whole bacon cheeseburger.” She said.

“That sounds great.” Natalie smiled. “I think I’ll have the same. Georgetown Diner here we come.”

“I should probably thank you.”

“For what?”

“Oh c'mon Nat…” Emily sighed. They finally got to the older woman’s Jaguar XJ8. The parking lot was huge. Natalie unlocked the doors.

“What do you mean c'mon? Get in the car; it’s cold.”

“You don’t have to do all of this for me. I wish I had all the words to thank you.”

“It’s been my pleasure.” Natalie replied. “It’s been a pleasure to know you and your family, Emily. You’ve bestowed great gifts on me as well…the thanks goes both ways.”

“OK.” She nodded.

There would probably never be enough words. Emily made sure that she reminded herself never to take Natalie for granted. She needed to remember just how easily she could be alone. She wasn’t anymore and was thankful everyday. Stress was breaking her down but it wouldn’t always be that way. It might be more so without Natalie and the other people she loved in her life.

***


“Are you alright?” Jason poked his head into Emily’s room later that evening.

“Mmm hmm.” She replied, not opening her eyes.

She was sitting Indian style on her bed, eyes closed and not moving at all. The lamp in her nightstand burned a low watt bulb and several scented candles were lit. Music was playing; Jason thought it might be Van Cliburn. His father loved classical piano and violin; much of the music was familiar to him.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I'm clearing my mind and spirit…I think.”

“OK.”

He didn’t know what was going on but knew something was up with Emily. A million times he gathered the words to talk to her but never did. She was tired; seemed to running on fumes. Nothing in her life seemed to be suffering but her. And here he stood like an idiot doing nothing. Jason wasn’t starting off 1999 off as the best boyfriend.

“Do you want to sleep in my room later?”

“No thanks.” Emily opened her eyes as she turned him down for the first time ever. “I just need a little breathing room, Jason. I have a lot on my mind.”

What did breathing room mean? Jason struggled to breathe and keep it together. Never had she turned down sleeping together, or doing anything together. Not that he wanted to toot his own horn but Emily loved to spend time with him. If she didn’t want to do that anymore, what did it mean?

Saying no one night was well within her right…saying no anytime was. But Emily loved being with him and he felt the same. Since they were always so busy nighttime was their time. Now she told him that she wanted breathing room. That meant that she could breathe without him. Jason wasn’t sure if he could do the same.

“You don’t have to go through anything alone.” He said.

“I know, and I'm so thankful for that. I just have to figure out all the words and how to express them before someone can help.”

“I understand.” Jason nodded. And he did even if he was hurt and worried. “I love you so much, Katya.”

“I love you too. Come and give me a goodnight kiss.”

He smiled some as he walked around the room. Leaning down to kiss her, Jason smiled as Emily wrapped her arms around him and pulled him deeper into the kiss.

“I totally deserve an awesome guy like you, you know.” she said.

“Ditto…well an awesome girl.” Jason kissed her nose. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”

After a hug, Emily let him go. She watched him walk out of the room before closing her eyes again. This calming, centering thing wasn’t quite working. It was just the first night though. There was a long way to go. There was a long, long way to go.

***


“That’s a great job separating the whites and colors guys.” Emily said with a smile.

“Are you sure this isn’t racist, Emily?” Ashley asked. “My teacher says you can't separate things because of color. It’s mean and racist.”

“That’s just people Ashley.” Spencer said. “Clothes are inanimate objects and can't be subjected to human flaws and feelings.”

“Are you super sure?”

“We are.” Emily nodded. “For laundry this is the only way to do it. We don’t want the colors to mess up the whites.”

“That still sounds fishy.” Ashley crossed her arms.

“Pay attention Ashley.”

“OK I am.”

“Take the clothes from the basket and put them in the machine.” Emily did that. “Make sure they're not all on one side. Then you close the lid.”

“What about soap?” Spencer asked.

“Its coming I promise. So, after closing the lid you select a size. I usually leave it on medium unless it’s a small load. We rarely use large because that means we’re overloading.”

“OK.” Both the kids nodded.

“After size you need to choose a temperature. I prefer warm-cold because it saves water.”

“What does warm-cold mean Emily?” Ashley asked.

“The washer washes with warm water and rinses with cold.” Spencer said. He showed just as much enthusiasm in answering the washer temperature question as he would Einstein’s theory of relativity.

“I asked Emily.” Ashley drew the words out.

“Eyes front guys…I need your attention. Size and temperature are done so then you decide which cycle to put the clothes on. Six minutes is always enough so turn the knob to six. Then pull out the knob.”

“Ooh, I can hear the water.” Ashley smiled.

“Now can we add the soap?” Spencer asked.

“Yes.” Emily smiled and nodded. “You take just one capful, open the washer lid, and pour it in. When you close the lid again you're washing.”

“That’s a lot of work.” Ashley said. She seemed quite unimpressed with washing clothes.

“We can do it Emily.” Spencer said. “I can help Ashley.”

“Thank you. Do you want a lesson on the dryer?”

“I already know how to use it; Jason showed me.” the little boy replied.

“Why do we have to do this?” Ashley asked. “You don’t want to wash our clothes anymore?”

“C'mon in the den guys, I need to talk to you.”

Emily walked out of the laundry closet and through the kitchen with the kids in tow. They both plopped down on the couch and looked at her. Emily sat down in the chair across from them.

“You might not understand everything I'm going to tell you so if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask OK?”

“OK.” Spencer and Ashley spoke and nodded in unison.

“The doctor says I'm experiencing some stress. I'm going to be fine, I promise, but I've got to relax more and not do as much work as before.”

“I have a question.” Ashley raised her hand. “Does that mean you won't read us stories anymore at bedtime?”

“We’re always going to read stories. This is more about things like laundry, making sandwiches for lunch, and cleaning up after yourself in the bathroom. I just want you guys to be able to do things for yourself. It’s really important as you grow up.”

“And then you can relax more.” Spencer said.

“Yes. Everything is going to be fine but there will be more working together. When we do that there's less stress on just one of us. As my munchkins, I expect you two to work together and always have each other’s backs. Will you do that?”

“Yes.” They nodded.

“I want your hands on it.” Emily laid her hand on the coffee table. Spencer put his hand over hers and then Ashley put hers on top.

“Are you sure you're OK Emily?” Ashley asked.

“I'm fine.” She nodded.

“Cross your heart?”

“Cross my heart.” She did it and smiled. “When the washer is done, Spencer will help you load the dryer. Then you can wash the color load. I'm going upstairs to relax.”

“We won't bother you at all.” Spencer said.

“Hey, you never ever bother me. If you need me just come to my room.”

“Important stuff only though,” Ashley said. “No stressful stuff we promise.”

“OK guys, I’ll see you later.”

“Bye Emily.”

She headed upstairs and took Rosemary’s Baby from her nightstand. It was a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon in the house. The snow outside, DC was expecting 8 to 10 inches, made the world outside the same. Emily barely made it through two chapters before she was sleeping. It wasn’t because the story wasn’t good; it was because she was exhausted.

***


“What did you bring me?”

Emily smiled when Jason came to her room. The family had dinner together as they always tried to do. They made homemade pizza, which was a bit messy but still a lot of fun. Then Emily watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with JJ, Penelope, Spencer, and Ashley. After baths and pajamas, they started reading Anne of Green Gables. Spencer thought it was a tad simplistic but dealt with it for Ashley’s sake. She loved the story.

“I made hot cocoa and marshmallows.” Jason said. “Can I come in?”

“Get in here mister.”

“Spencer said you're stressed.” He sat down on the bed and handed her the mug.

“I'm fine Jason.”

“Did you tell Spencer that you were stressed?”

“Yes.” She nodded. “I think it’s important that he and Ashley know the truth. They needed to hear it directly from me.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Jason tried and failed to hide how upset he was. It wasn't anger he felt, he was concerned.

“I planned to.”

“When?”

“It’s complicated, Jason.” Emily sighed. She drank some of her cocoa and then put it on the nightstand. “Strangely it was less complicated with an eight and ten year old than it is with you.”

“I don’t want to push. I just want to take care of you. I love you and that’s what I'm supposed to do. No, it’s not because I'm supposed to…I want to. It's what I want to do.”

“I thought I was pregnant.”

“Oh my God,” he reached for her hands. “Katya…”

“I missed a month of my cycle. The only thing I know to cause that is pregnancy.”

“Are you…?” Jason could barely spit out the words. He could barely breathe.

“No.” Emily shook her head.

“Are you sure?”

“I went to the doctor on Thursday afternoon; Natalie went with me. My doctor believes it was caused by stress. And before you even get it into your head I am not stressed because we have a sex life. That’s something that actually relaxes me. I just stretch myself too thin.”

“I know. Some things definitely need to change around here. I need to step up.”

“You do so much.” Emily drank more cocoa. “Please don’t sell yourself short. We’re both stressed and I just need to relax a little.”

“I can still do more. We can split the baths and stories duties. I can help the munchkins with the things they need. I can open my door and let the girls know they can talk to me too.”

“Jace…”

“Yes, I know they won't talk to me about their girl things. But there are other things they can talk to me about. In a lot of families mom gets the brunt of everything while dad sails through. I'm not going to let that happen. I’ll always have your back.”

“I know.” She nodded. “I'm going to do my best to relax and do what the doctor tells me. I also asked her about doctors I can talk to about other things.”

“You mean psychiatrists?” Jason asked.

“Yeah.” Emily could barely say it. She wasn’t ready but knew that the time was coming.

“You don’t have to be ashamed.” Jason took her face in his hands. “You’ve been through so much and you survived Emily. You thrived. There’s nothing wrong with needing a tune up or needing to talk to someone objective about feelings. I hope you always know that you can talk to me. Still, I'm not going to be upset that you talk to a professional.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” he kissed her.

Jason held her close, exhaling when his arms were around her. He was worried but tried to focus on anything else. Emily was going to be fine. He was going to do more.

She was going to relax and maybe soon talk to someone. There would always be stress in their lives. Learning to cope with it now was a good thing. Being together and working together would always be a good thing.

“I don’t want you worrying about me.” she said.

“That’s what you do when you love someone. You also massage their shoulders, listen to them ramble about anything they want, draw their baths, make them cookies, and just be there when they need you.”

“Love is kinda awesome.” Emily smiled.

“Yes it is.” He nodded.

“Wanna stay with me tonight?”

“More than anything.”

“Well my doctor says I need to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. She would actually prefer eight. Since tomorrow is French toast Sunday I know some of the house will be up early. We might want to go now.”

“How was your cocoa?” Jason asked.

“It was awesome.” She smiled. “I'm going to finish it and then cuddle with my favorite guy. Jason, you need to know that when you hold me I don’t have a problem in the world. I know they’re still there but the calm that comes over with me when we’re together…”

“I feel the same way.”

“So promise me that you're always going to hold on. It’s not about sex, though I enjoy that as well. It’s about being together. Being with you is what means the most. I want to make sure you know that I don’t care how many times you turn down sex. Holding on to you, loving you makes this whole world so much better.”

“I'm here.” He squeezed her hand.

When most of the cocoa was gone, Emily put the mug on her nightstand. She got up from bed and went over to the stereo on her dresser. She turned the radio off and put on her three disc changer. Pressing play and random, Emily smiled when the sound of Breathe filled the room. She checked the volume before turning out the lamp in the corner.

The only light in the room now was the 40 watt bulb on the nightstand. Jason smiled as she walked back across the room. He pulled the blankets down and they both slipped underneath them. In his arms, Emily sighed. When she rubbed his belly, Jason sighed too.

“If you were pregnant we would've handled it together.” he whispered.

“Now couldn’t be a worse time to have that conversation.”

“I know the decision you would've made. Don’t ever think I wouldn’t always support you and love you to the ends of the earth.”

“I know you think you mean that.” she held him tighter.

“I know that I know I do. I just needed to say it out loud. Goodnight Emily.”

“Goodnight Jason.”

***

 
 
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