Prompt(s): #90 Home and story_lottery #29 Home Sweet Home
Summary: Prentiss hasn't felt at home for a long, long time.
Author's Notes: I'm using this for the Home ff100 prompt and the Home Sweet Home prompt on Story Lottery. To do otherwise would seem redundant. Standard disclaimers apply: I own nothing; suing would be pointless and cruel.
Emily Prentiss was an ambassador's daughter. On paper it was an impressive fact. In her head the words had always rung…hollow. Old bells long-neglected clanging for no purpose other than to cause a stir. That's what her mother's title usually did when people heard it: caused an empty, meaningless stir. "Oh, that Prentiss, of course…"
Emily hated politics. She hated the wheels her mother's title had tried to grease for her as she fought her way up through the FBI. She said tried, because in reality she never traded on her mother's position to get ahead – people just assumed she did. That was perhaps more frustrating than anything.
Her childhood had been rootless, nomadic, but she rarely had it in her to regret her upbringing. True, sometimes she heard stories from her colleagues about dinners around a table, or afternoon ball games, and she felt a pang. But mostly she was grateful. Now, after one of those cases that left her feeling like her soul had been sucked out of her with a straw, she could walk through the door of her ruthlessly neat apartment (her mother had left that impression, if no other) and feel that elusive, intangible, all-important sense of homecoming. It wasn't a sensation she ever got used to. It wasn't something that dulled over time, or lessened, or became somehow diluted.
Every trip from the hallway through her front door packed the same emotional punch as the last one had, and Emily knew it was because she had grown up feeling like she had no place to call home. Now she could hang her pictures on the walls. She could buy furniture she liked, rather than just pick a pre-furnished place. She could buy…tchotchke!!
Emily Prentiss, ambassador's daughter, had never owned a tchotchke in her life, Garcia had been horrified to learn. Within minutes of snooping out the alarming fact, whirlwind Garcia had made plans for BAU ladies to spend a Saturday at the local flea market. Emily had felt vaguely alarmed, but Garcia and J.J. assured her she'd have a good time.
They'd been right, and she'd come home with enough tchotchke to impress Garcia and send her mother into catatonic shock. She'd bought mismatched plates. Jelly jars to use as glasses. Small figurines of varying sizes with no discernable purpose. A wind chime made of reclaimed sea glass and driftwood (it was pretty). And, best of all, several different salt and pepper shakers shaped like any number of random objects. They were so delightfully, wonderfully, epically tacky that she couldn't help but grin like a cat lapping up cream every time she looked at them.
Her mother would be traumatized.
Emily's goal in decorating her home wasn't to thwart her mother's taste…per se…but there was a sort of grim satisfaction in doing so. An ambassador's home was, after all, something of a showplace, and for the active little girl she had been, living in it had always been difficult. Once she realized she would be in northern Virginia for a while – long enough to get comfortable anyway – she had been determined to make her place of residence something closer to the heart.
It was Friday night. Emily could be out with the girls…or with a man…but instead she was at home, alone, and she didn't regret it for a second. She poured red wine into a jelly jar; Dino beamed at her with his uneven, goofy grin, and she returned his smile without thinking. She preferred Flinstones grape jelly jars to Waterford crystal. She ran her fingers over the milky sea glass to hear its tinkle as she passed through the living room. Settled down on the cream-colored sofa and tugged the umber chenille throw over her legs.
She could do some paperwork, but she hated bringing work here. This was her sanctuary away from all that, her oasis and escape. After a few moments' debate, she fired up The Last of the Mohicans on the DVD player. Daniel Day-Lewis was always a good companion for a cozy night at home. She hoisted Dino in salute, and settled back to enjoy her peace.