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Criminal Minds: "Café Americano" (Gen)

Title: Café Americano
Author/Artist: Koren M. (cybermathwitch)
Disclaimer: Not mine. If they were, there'd already be a Black Widow/Hawkeye movie.
Pairing: none, but full of Prentiss-centric Team!Feels.
Rating: All Audiences
Warnings: none
Spoilers: spoilers of 06x18 "Lauren"
Type: vignette / Summer Bingo 2013
Word Count: 532
Summary: You can tell a lot about a person by their coffee. (A little bit of Emily-introspection, post ep, so, spoilers for 6x18.)

Author's Notes:
So, kadollan and I decided to make our own Bingo fun because we're bad at deadlines and rules and stuff. This fills my "Cafe Americano" square, and is the result of my sister and I mainlining all of the trainwreck that is season six of Criminal Minds in just a few days. Thank G-d that's over with.




The Parisian streets are cold and damp, and the trench coat she wears isn't nearly enough to keep her warm. She stops at a cafe that's open late and spends a long time looking at the menu.

It's nothing like home.

She's actually spent more of her life abroad than in the States. She should be at home here in France, in the hustle and bustle that's strangely relaxed, compared to the intensity that is Washington D.C. Softly spoken French wraps around her while she stands a few steps away from the counter - a couple having a late night rendezvous, a woman on the phone with someone who is probably her child, if the tone and gentle endearments are anything to go by. A man reading a paper, a cup of something steaming at his elbow. The owner of the place is wiping down the display cases, and setting a handwritten sign next to the few items that remain declaring them day-old remnants at a discounted price.

The coffee menu lists cappuccino and espresso, café au lait and macchiatto, but the variety isn't anything like at home. Here there are no pumps of syrup or choices between five different kinds of milk.

"Half-caf, extra shot venti, two pump nonfat, hold the whip caramel macchiatto," Emily remembers reciting, and her heart aches to be back in that night, on that street where none of this had ever happened.
Garcia would love it here, anyway.

Emily's never had a real preference for one drink over another, she's equally happy with any number of caffeinated drinks.

The only thing she's drunk since she got to Europe is cafè Americano. She knows the history of the drink, how homesick American soldiers attempted to create some semblance of home, and she wonders if they felt like she feels: detached and adrift. Alone.

She orders it again in flawless, unaccented French. She can pass for a native Parisian when she wants to.
Even this is a far cry from the over-heated, strongly brewed, industrial brand coffee in the pots at the BAU. Nothing she's found yet quite matches the stiff, bitter, scalding drink that she barely tolerated and now misses so much it hurts.

Just like she misses the way that Spencer always forgot he'd just poured it and jumps when he takes his first too-big swallow of burning hot liquid.

Or how she misses the way Rossi does everything in his power to avoid it, by bringing in an extra-large cup from home and by running out at lunch everyday to pick up another from down the street.

The way Hotch takes his black and plain, but always gets the ratio of milk and sugar just right in JJ's, and how Morgan also prefers his coffee plain but will stop and get the most elaborate creation Garcia can dream up because he knows it'll make her smile.

The way JJ always gets herself a second cup with so much milk it's beige because one cup straight is all she can stand in an hour.

She watches the way the espresso melts into the water, and it looks like she feels - a little like she's drifting away.

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