Alex and James stopped off in London after leaving the States. The rest of the team had some things to give Emily that they didn't want to ship, so the brunette offered to drop by Prentiss' flat and give them to her. She'd wanted to meet the legend anyway, meet her properly.
"I'm sorry if this is an imposition," she said for the fourth time. She and Emily were ensconced on the couch, and the Interpol agent had opened a bottle of wine. Sergio was sunning himself in the weak light of the English afternoon. "It probably would have been easier to just mail those things. I hope I'm not taking up your whole day."
"It's fine, believe me," Emily said with a head shake. "It's always nice to see someone from home. I can't stay in touch as much as I'd like. I miss everyone, so it was a huge favor to me that you'd volunteer to come by."
The wine was very good, and Alex settled back against the arm of the overstuffed couch. She'd had her own reasons for offering to do this. Emily was her last link to the friends she'd made at Quantico, and after this she didn't know when she might see any of them again. She was looking forward to starting fresh, but at the same time she was terrified of leaving what was familiar behind.
They talked for a long time, snorkeling deeper into the bottle, and when it was empty Emily cracked open a second one. Alex wondered if the other brunette had a slight problem, but she was a little high herself by then and decided not to ask. She was a guest, and that meant she shouldn't be rude. Besides, she was with a friend, sort of.
"I miss them," she said at one point, and she must have been well into her cups by then because she sniffled a little. "But I can't go back. It costs too much. It's cost e a lot already, I don't want to lose anything else."
"Preaching to the choir here," Emily replied, speaking into her glass. Either she was drunk, or Alex had gotten sexy in the last half hour. It was good to talk to someone who had walked away from the battlefield mostly intact. She envied anyone who could do that kind of work and have some semblance of a normal life as well, but it was a hard balancing act to manage. If the linguist had walked away from it on her own terms, more power to her.
"So what's life in London like? I always wanted to teach at one of the universities here, but it never happened."
"Lots of theater, lots of culture. Too much rain."
Alex snorted out a laugh. She'd kicked her shoes off, and her sock-clad feet were tucked underneath her. James was due to pick her up here later. Her head lolled to the side, and she smiled at Emily a little dopily.
"You're cute. I just noticed that."
That was enough for a kiss, and the combination of the wine and the mutual sense of loss had them putting their arms around each other uncertainly. Alex had promised herself she'd never do this again, but by the time she remembered that Emily was on top of her, pressing her down into the couch cushion. And it felt good.
"I thought you were married," Emily said, halfway between a giggle and a gasp. Her hand slipped under the other brunette's shirt. Alex had fine lines around her eyes and mouth, but right then she was the hottest thing she'd seen in a while.
"I am, but it's a long story." The linguist tipped her head back, dragged her fingers through long dark hair. If this would help her chase away the ghosts, so be it. Emily's open mouth was on the hollow of her throat, sucking on her pulse point. "You've done this before, haven't you?"
The knock at the door caused them both to freeze, and the cat woke up and stretched lazily. Alex reluctantly opened her eyes. There was a clock on the coffee table. She let out a frustrated sigh, hit the backrest of the sofa with one hand. James was early.
Emily disentangled herself, licked her lips. Savoring the last of the taste of the other woman's mouth. They were both tousled, and she smoothed her hair before getting unsteadily to her feet. Way too much wine this evening. She looked back at the couch before she opened the door to let Alex's husband come in. The linguist was sitting up, feeling a dull ache between her legs.
At least she'd stopped before she'd gone too far. Before they'd gone too far. James kissed her on the cheek, smiling tolerantly when she kissed him in kind, sloppy and overly affectionate. She hadn't cuckolded him again. That counted for something, right?