“How are you? Really?” Will asked as he stood in the kitchen, prepping a tray of snacks; a bowl of Cheetos, some cookies and chocolate and popcorn. Emily swiped a handful of popcorn and shrugged her shoulders.
“Adjusting. I guess.” Emily muttered. It had been a month since she had come back from Paris and things weren’t as she expected. Will was about to answer before he heard JJ hollering from their bedroom.
“Will! We’re waiting!” JJ called and he could hear her drunken laughter.
“Yeah! We want food!” Garcia chanted and Will shook his head. He picked up the tray and walked up to his and JJ’s bedroom. JJ and Garcia were sitting up in bed and cheered as he set the tray on the bed. Will kissed JJ’s forehead and quickly checked on Henry before he returned down to Emily.
“What were they drinking?” Will asked as Emily shook her head, smiling wryly. She hadn’t been able to drink as much due to her healing ulcer. Plus, she hadn’t felt like going out so the night hadn’t been as fun as she had expected.
“Pretty much a little bit of everything but mostly some absinthe.” Emily explained as Will flicked the kettle on. “What are you making?”
“Coffee, can you drink some?” Will asked and Emily shrugged her shoulders. It wasn’t ideal, especially due to her ulcer. Will turned the kettle off and turned to the fridge. “Guess I’ll make some coco then.”
“You don’t have to.” Emily protested as she watched Will rummage through the cupboard and pulling out hot chocolate powder, marshmallows and flavoured syrup.
“I ain’t getting any sleep tonight anyway. Garcia took ma bed.” Will commented and Emily smiled.
“Yeah, she does that.” Emily replied. Before everything had gone wrong, it didn’t matter whose house they crashed at after a night out; somehow Garcia got dibs on the bed. Will set the mug on the table in front of her; the mug was piled high with marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles and a flake. “This is too much Will.”
“Nah, this calls for chocolate.” Will replied as he sat down across from her. “Come on, tell me what’s wrong.”
“It’s just hard, getting used to being back. I spent so long thinking about it and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I just didn’t think it would be this hard.” Emily explained as she let the warmth of the mug seep into her hands. She had spent many hours in her apartment in Paris, daydreaming and imagining coming back to the team. In those fantasies; it had been a lot easier. She hadn’t considered Reid’s anger, Morgan’s distrust, Garcia’s overprotectiveness and the constant awkwardness that surrounded the team. In those fantasies, she had been happy.
“It was a long seven months for everyone. They know that it was done for the right reasons and it was a huge shock. As irritating as it is, they just need more time.” Will reassured her. He knew the cliches were annoying but there was nothing else that could be done.
“I know. I just missed so much too, especially with the boys. Jack’s gotten so tall and he’s in grade school now and Henry’s so lively and cheeky.” Emily said; the two boys had reminded her so much of Declan when he was that age and had helped keep her going throughout her time away. She needed to keep the three of them safe. It was the same promise she had made when she realised who Declan was; when Henry had been born; when they had arrived at Haley’s house just a few minutes too late; that she would do whatever it took to keep them safe.
“He gets that from his momma.” Will quipped. “He’s the spittin’ image of her.”
“And still without your accent.” Emily joked as Will rolled his eyes playfully. At least that hadn’t changed; she may have come back from the dead but Emily still insisted on making fun of his accent.
“C’mon, that joke’s like three years old.” Will said as Emily dismissed it.
“Still funny.” Emily said as they heard JJ and Garcia summoning her to join them. “One minute.”
Emily walked up the stairs but before she could reach the bedroom, a bleary eyed Henry emerged from his bedroom. “Mommy?”
“No Sweetie, it’s Emily. Are you OK?” Emily asked as she picked Henry up. He was taller than she remembered, heavier too but she shifted her grip and Henry latched his arms around her neck.
“Noisy.” Henry replied as Emily stood in the doorway of JJ’s room. “Mommy!”
“Oh my baby!” JJ called from her bed. Garcia, who seemed to be half asleep, stirred at the sight of Henry and Emily and beamed at them. JJ leaned over the bed to try and reach for Henry but fell onto Garcia, causing both of them to start laughing.
“Mommy’s silly!” Henry commented as Emily led him away.
“Mommy and Auntie Penny were drinking their Silly Juice.” Emily explained as she rubbed Henry’s back. “Do you want to go back to bed?”
“Can I have juice?” Henry asked and Emily took him down the stairs. Will smiled at the sight of him as Henry wriggled in Emily’s arms and rushed over to give his dad a hug. Emily went to fetch a cup and a carton of apple juice for Henry.
“Hey lil’ man. What are you doing up?” Will asked, perching Henry on his lap as Henry reached for a marshmallow in his mug.
“Mommy and Auntie Penny woke me up. They had their Silly Juice.” Henry explained as Will chuckled at the comment.
“And that’s why you’re not allowed Silly Juice until you’re twenty one.” Will quipped. “Thanks, Emily. What do you say?”
“Thank you,” Henry beamed as he drank his juice.
“Look, I know it’s tough now, but things will get better. It’s been one hell of a year for everybody but we’ll get through it. We always do.” Will reassured. “Besides, I’m here if you ever need some hot chocolate and a talk in the middle of the night.”
“Thanks Will,” Emily replied as she sipped her hot chocolate. She had to admit, even if she didn’t feel like talking, the hot chocolate would be worth it.