averita: (jayne: happy)
Title: Some Days
Author: [livejournal.com profile] averita
Summary: It's not a problem.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~580
A/N: I don't actually watch Criminal Minds except for the episodes Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson) is in, but I'm intrigued by this little twist to her character and this is what happened. Still not sure how I feel about this particular plot point, but if it gives Jayne a decent storyline, I'm all for it! Spoilers for 7x09.
Disclaimer: Not mine.

It's not a problem.

It's just that it's hard to get out of bed, some mornings, even harder than falling asleep in a room that's still too quiet after six years. It's hard, sometimes, to look in the mirror and see the gray lining her temples and the lines that make-up don't quite fill in anymore.

The kids are nearly grown and gone more often than not, but that's fine, because she's done a good job with them and knows it. It's fine, and if she misses the days when she kissed them goodbye at the door, it's nothing that a quick sip won't fix, nothing that isn't dulled with an extra tablet or two with breakfast.

She fought tooth and nail for this job and now she's fighting to keep it, but whenever she starts to wonder why she gets a headache.

It's not a problem, but sometimes she needs something to help her sleep, and the old pills aren't doing the trick. Her dreams are vague but sometimes she wakes up shaking.

The days aren't getting longer but the meetings are, or maybe she's just not taking as much in. One morning she excuses herself, barely makes it to the bathroom before losing the meager breakfast she ate on the way in, and hopes that no one notices the cold sweat beading her brow.

She takes a week off after that.

When she returns the director asks her about the BAU; she tells him they have her full support, and swallows away the tiny part of her that wishes she had theirs.

She's been to too many funerals, but there's something solid in them, a sense of closure. Now she passes Prentiss in the hall and it's like she's never been gone, except for the odd urge to touch her shoulder or squeeze her hand, tight enough to feel the pulse underneath.

It's not a problem but it could be mistaken for one, and when Hotchner asks again, she breaks. It's just been a rough few months, she says, I'll be fine. There are tears in her eyes and sympathy in his; she isn't sure she deserves it.

She's good at her job but some days that's not enough, and somewhere along the line, some days turn into most days. She's tired, and feels her joints creaking when she stands. Once, she wanted to be a field agent.

She would have liked to have been part of a team, but that time's long past, and this is better, it is. She has her own office and a nameplate and drawers where she can stash whatever she needs to get through the day, and if it's a little more than it used to be? At least it's doing the job, and letting her do hers.

One night she dreams of a woman with long blonde hair that she steps on. It wraps around her ankle and pulls her on top of the woman, whose eyes are cold. When she wakes up she has trouble catching her breath.

She joins the BAU in the field and something snaps, something in her stomach that she hadn't even noticed growing tight. Morgan pulls her aside and this time she feels it, a heavy weight under her ribs that chokes her when Hotchner enters her office.

It's not a problem, she tells them, but it sounds weaker when she says it out loud.
Mood:: 'bored' bored

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