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Our Kingdom (Or, Six Times Andrew Mendoza Fell in Love With Emily Prentiss)

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So I asked in my CuriousCat on Twitter for some prompts, and I got a few, so I combined a few of them into one big fic, instead of a few little ones. This combines: Emily dancing around with Hazel to calm her, Andrew realizing he loves Emily, Hazel's first breaths, and more Keely! (if you want to submit a prompt, my twitter is filmprentiss!!)

-.-.-.-.

1. 2019 - 2020

Andrew knew early on that he was in love with Emily. He knew from the moment he met her that she was something special — and it turned out he’d been right. He’d of course heard about her years before meeting her; the legendary agent who’d come back from the dead. Many stories circulated around the bureau, but from what he understood, Emily Prentiss was an unstoppable force that would do anything to protect the people she loves.

When he heard she had taken over as the BAU Unit Chief after Hotchner, he can’t say he was as surprised as some of his colleagues. “A woman, though?” Some of them questioned. He just frowned and questioned why they thought that was strange. She’s an upstanding agent, he thinks they should all take a page out of the book of Prentiss. She just wants to make the world better, safer. She wants people to live full lives, and she seems to stop at nothing to make sure that happens.

He never considered what it would be like to work with her. The machete killer case they worked had been a hard one. The pressure is always on, but this time it was amplified. They had twenty seven minutes between murders — a very limited time to catch a killer. Of course his main priority had been cracking the case, but he admired her determination, her dedication. He didn’t miss the way her brow furrowed when she was deep in thought, or the way she would pick at her nails when she was anxious.

He never thought the case would end with him getting hurt — sliced with a machete, no less. What a story. Although a majority of that final stand off with the unsure is a blur, he thinks the image of Emily Prentiss decking him in the face will stick with him for the rest of his life.

He thought that might be their last encounter, so he was surprised when she came to see him in the hospital. He’d been watching the news, where her face was plastered. She was not super comfortable on camera. She anxiously bit her lip, stuttered a little, and blushes when the news anchors call her a hero. It amazes him that someone as accomplished as Emily Prentiss blushes when complimented or praised, but she does. He thinks it’s adorable.

So when she visits him, and he tells her of her legacy, he never expects her to ask him to take her out. He blinks in confusion, smiling a little. He’d be stupid to turn down Emily Prentiss.

And though it takes a long time, and several rescheduled first dates, eventually he gets to go out with Emily. When he shows up at her apartment to take her for dinner and finds her flustered over a ruined pasta dish, his heart flutters. He could love her. Sure, they barely know each other and this is their very first date, but he thinks that he will fall in love with Emily Prentiss.

He proves himself right a few months later. By then, he’s learned that Emily isn’t a fan of sporting events (but she goes with him, anyway), she prefers ordering in to dining out, and that she claims she doesn’t like to drink caffeine but makes herself a cup of coffee every morning anyway. He knows she’s been through a lot, that she’s got a hard time trusting people, letting people in is not her forte.

She gives him a key to her apartment. She’s not the best at expressing her emotions, so it’s little awkward. She does it casually, one night when they’re having dinner at her place like that do every Friday night they’re in town.

She slides the key across the table, wordlessly. He’s confused but he picks it up.

“It’s … a key.” She says.

“That it is.” Andrew agrees.

“For my place.” Emily clarifies, smiling. He loves her smile.

He just kisses her in response. He doesn’t say it yet, doesn’t want to scare her. But that’s the moment he knows he’s in love with Emily Prentiss.

-.-.-.-.-

 

2. February 2020

Though they hit a couple of rough patches in their relationship, they never break up. Not even when he’s sure she wants to. He’s a little shocked but pleasantly surprised when she says she doesn’t want to break up after she takes the long distance relationship a little harder than either of them expected.

Other than the distance, another fork in the road had come in the form of a fourteen year old girl. Keely visited Andrew quite often, and it had been true a few times that Emily really wasn’t in town to meet her. He had told Emily about Keely pretty early on, not wanting to keep her a secret. He loves being a dad, and if Emily couldn’t understand that, she wasn’t for him.

But when he told her he had a daughter, her eyes lit up. So it was strange to him that she kept putting the meeting off, not wanting to commit. Then, he remembered how hard it had been to get her to go out with him in the first place. He was patient, and it paid off.

When she surprised him at home after the BAU caught a case in Denver, he couldn’t contain his excitement. Finally, the two most important people in his life were going to meet. As expected, she and Keely really hit it off. Immediately, Keely gushed over how much Andrew talked about her, how beautiful he always says she is (which is true; she is and he says it constantly).

After dinner, Keely insists that Emily stay just a little longer.

“Oh, no. I don’t want to take up all your time with your dad.” Emily says.

Keely rolls her eyes. “Oh, please. I see him all the time now. Stay?”

Emily smiles and agrees. They play board games in the living room, and by the end of the night Keely and Emily have really bonded. Emily stays until Keely falls asleep between them on the couch while a movie plays on the tv.

And though Andrew was already head over heels in love with Emily, he somehow fell even deeper watching her interact with his daughter as if she’d known her forever.

-.-.-.-.

3. April 2021

Having a baby with Emily was something Andrew had fleetingly thought about throughout the year and some odd months they had been together. It was something they’d discussed, something he knew she wanted. Watching her with Keely, he knew she would be a fantastic mother. She was already a wonderful, supportive step-mother to Keely and was always there when she needed her, and the thought of raising a child with Emily was something he couldn’t wait to do now that it was happening.

He will always remember her pure joy of finding out she was pregnant. How she cried, and though he could tell she was terrified, she was genuinely the happiest he thinks he’s ever seen her. Watching her throughout the pregnancy has been one of the greatest joys of his life. She cries at nearly everything, which she hates, but he finds incredibly endearing. She’s more beautiful than ever, somehow, despite already being the most beautiful woman in the world to him. She has this glow about her that seems to get brighter the more the baby grows.

He’s been there for it all, the morning sickness, the mood swings, the cravings, the doctor’s appointments, and the bed rest. It hasn’t been an easy pregnancy, surely. There were days that Emily would be in so much pain and be so uncomfortable that all she could do was cry, and those days broke his heart.

But now here they are, in their own hospital room waiting for baby Mendoza to make her appearance. Emily had listened to the doctors about how important it was for her to take care of herself, and because of that Hazel was carried almost to full term. She was a couple of weeks early, but she was big and strong enough to thrive outside of Emily’s womb.

He sits by her side for hours, letting her squeeze his hand as hard as she needs to as her contractions get closer and closer together. He doesn’t mind that he’s pretty sure she’s broken one of his fingers, maybe two. He reminds her how strong she is, how she’s the reason their baby is already so strong and healthy.

Just when Emily convinces herself that it’s too much, there’s no way she can continue, he brushes her sweat-soaked bangs off her forehead and reminds her that he’s right here, that she can do anything, that she is the strongest person he’s ever met. Somehow, she musters the strength for one more push that sends their daughter into the big, wide world.

The baby cries almost instantly, and she is dried off and is placed on Emily’s chest. Emily holds the baby close, tears streaming down her face.

“Hi, baby. Hi, Hazel.” She coos.

He wraps an arm around Emily and stares at the baby, she’s beautiful. He can’t believe she’s finally here after all this time.

Hazel cries for a while, but settles in her mother’s arms and nurses easily — something Emily had been stressing about. She spent a lot of time wondering what the “right” choice was, breastfeeding or formula feeding. She would research pros and cons in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep. Finally Andrew just asked her what she wanted to try, and Emily had settled on trying to breastfeed, but understanding it may come down to formula only.

Soon, Keely meets Hazel. She sits on the side of the bed with Emily and holds the baby, smiling brightly and promising to be the best big sister.

Andrew sits in the corner of the room, taking stealthy photos and watching his girls interact. He watches as Keely holds Hazel and Emily wraps an arm around Keely and kisses her cheek. Seeing Emily’s motherly side makes him love her even more, he feels his heart swell with an overwhelming amount of love for his family.

-.-.-.-.-

4. April 2021

Not long after they bring Hazel home from the hospital, Andrew finds Emily propped up on their bed, dozing with Hazel sleeping peacefully on her chest.

He slips into the bed next to her, her eyes flutter open. Her hair is falling out of the messy bun she tends to keep it in all the time now, and there are spit up stains on her shirt, but he swears she has never looked more stunning.

“What?” She whispers softly, noticing him staring.

“You’re beautiful.” He says simply.

She blushes slightly, looking away.

“I’m covered in baby vomit and I think I put my hair in this bun three days ago.” She says.

“Yes.” Andrew agrees. “And that’s beautiful to me.”

She rolls her eyes.

“You should put her in the bassinet, get some sleep.” He reminds her.

“I know. I just … never want to put her down. She’s only going to be this tiny for a really short amount of time.” She sighs.

He smiles, kisses her forehead. “She will still be this little in two hours when she wakes up hungry. Get some sleep, Em.” He says, gently taking Hazel from her arms and placing her in her bassinet. She never makes a peep.

Emily bites her lip. “I think I would rather shower.” She says, noting her stained shirt. “Care to join me?” She asks, eyebrow raised. They aren’t to partake in certain activities for a few more weeks, still, but there’s no health risk to having fun in other ways.

“Oh, hell yeah.” Andrew agrees. He's never loved her more.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-

5. September 2021

Hazel starts teething just before she’s six months old, and she wants everyone to know what an unpleasant experience it is to grow teeth. Needless to say, it had been a rough few days for the Prentiss-Mendoza household.

Hazel didn’t sleep much, and when she did, it was fitful. Nothing seemed to be making her feel any better. She wasn’t fond of the teething rings they’d bought, and she especially seemed to hate the ones that are put in the freezer to soothe the gums. Hazel had definitely inherited her stubbornness honestly.

Because Hazel wasn’t sleeping, neither were her parents.

Andrew comes in the third evening of Hazel not feeling well after picking up dinner to hear music playing from upstairs.

He heads upstairs, thinking maybe Keely is playing her music too loud and ready to ask her to turn it down, but then he realizes it’s coming from his and Emily’s room.

The door is cracked a tad, so he pushes it open the rest of the way. He finds Emily dancing slowly around the room, with Hazel in her arms. Hazel’s cheeks are stained with tears, and she’s still hiccuping softly like she does after she cries.

“What’s going on?” Andrew asks.

“The only thing that stops her from crying is moving.” Emily says. “If I stop, she starts again.”

He chuckles. “So you’re introducing her to 80s rock?”

Emily scoffs. “What else would we start her on?” She asks.

“Oh, of course. How long have you been doing that?” He asks.

Emily shrugs. “Since you left.”

“Aren’t you tired?”

She shrugs again, moving a little quicker as the song changes from a slow ballad to a more upbeat one.

“Not really. It’s actually kind of fun.” She insists.

He laughs, but joins her. It’s not long before Hazel starts to giggle at her parents, watching their dance moves get more and more ridiculous. When they add in funny faces, Hazel really starts to laugh.

The commotion causes Keely to come in and see what’s going on. She joins in, and soon the whole family is laughing and dancing. Hazel begins to laugh like the three of them are the funniest people in the entire world, babbling along to the music.

I have never loved anyone more, he think as he watches Emily swing Hazel gently on her hip and playfully dip to one side, sending Hazel hysterically laughing as she’s turned halfway upside down on her mother’s hip.

During a slower song, when Emily begins to gently rock Hazel, the baby finally falls asleep. Andrew turns the music down and Emily carefully walks the baby to her crib, where she mercifully doesn’t wake up.

The three of them head downstairs for dinner, a little out of breath from all the dancing. From then on, any time they can’t seem to calm Hazel down, impromptu 80s music dance parties become the norm.

-.-.-.-.-

6. May 2022

Andrew anxiously checks the time on his phone as he sits in an airport, waiting on his delayed flight for DC. A bad patch of weather along the eastern seaboard has delayed the flight multiple times now, and he’s getting frustrated. He’s been away on a case for almost a week, and he’s most likely going to miss Keely’s championship soccer game. It's her first year at this new school since the move, and she became quite the star on her school's soccer team. She pretty much led them to the tournament, though she humbly says it's a team effort when anyone brings that up with her. He sighs. He hates when work causes him to miss out on things. Keely has always been a pretty understanding kid, but he knows she was really looking forward to this game.

He checks the weather report again, not even sure he will be able to fly out at any point today.

He calls Emily to check in, and she assures him that while yes, Keely is disappointed, she understands that it’s not his fault and she isn’t upset at him. She knows he would be there if it weren’t for the weather.

As expected, Andrew’s flight gets cancelled til the following morning, so he heads back up to his hotel room for a night of sulking.

An hour or so later, as he’s eating dinner, his phone goes off.

It’s Emily, video chatting with him from the game.

“Hey, you.” He says, smiling despite his sour mood.

“Hey!” She says loudly, trying to be heard over the crowd. “I thought since you can’t be here, I would bring us to you.” She says. He hears JJ laugh behind the camera, she’s the one holding Emily’s phone. Emily is sitting on the bleachers, with one year old Hazel sitting happily on her lap, never wanting to miss a minute of action.

“What’s that?” Andrew asks, referring to the giant poster board at Emily’s feet.

“Oh, this?” Emily asks, awkwardly maneuvering the sign around Hazel. She holds it up, smiling proudly. It’s a sign for Keely, her name in big, bold letters with glitter and stickers and her jersey number displayed prominently.

Andrew laughs. “That’s great, Emily. She’ll love it!”

“You think so? I haven’t shown her or held it up yet, I didn’t wanna embarrass her.” Emily says unsurely, biting her lip.

“Absolutely, Em!” Andrew encourages.

They stay on the phone for the whole game, and Andrew watches as Keely plays maybe the best she ever has, and Emily and JJ cheer Keely and her team on. He laughs when JJ has to explain some of the rules of the game to Emily.

Once the game is over and Keely reunites with Emily, Andrew is able to tell her how proud of her he is and how he’s so sorry he couldn’t have been there.

“But you were here.” Keely reasons. “You saw all of it!”

Andrew smiles. “Well, yes. That’s true.” He agrees.

Emily knew how upset he was, and made sure that he could still be apart of the day. Something his ex-wife never really attempted when work pulled him away from Keely.

Who knew high school soccer could make Andrew fall in love with Emily all over again?