Written 由 dancerindisguise on fanfiction.net.

I think politics makes people distrustful.

Emily Prentiss was ten years, nine months and twenty-seven days old. She wasn’t blind, she wasn’t deaf and she most certainly was not stupid. She could tell what was happening, even if she hadn’t already heard from the majority of the staff and her mother’s mindless 晚餐 party guests who very often forgot that she understood what they were saying, a fact that her mother often attempted to take advantage of. Ambassador Prentiss was back in the States in between assignments after a particularly demanding assignment to Ukraine. This made Emily glad; she enjoyed being ‘home’ – it was a novelty to be around a mass population of people who spoke the same language as her, for as much as she tried, Russian and French just weren’t her best languages.

But it didn’t matter any 更多 whether she could ask for twenty-two 金牌 bracelets and a glass of water in Russian (she could, 由 the way); she was home. Back in the land of overblown, semi-weekly 晚餐 parties which she detested, but which were almost essentially all she did, ever. She had been sat 下一个 to one important colleague after the other, under instructions to keep quiet unless talked to, be polite, and listen very carefully, following which her mother tried to bribe the 答案 out of her. Emily didn’t see the point in tattling, but her younger brother Eric certainly did. He was now three 冰激凌 treats and a train track ahead of her as far as ‘gifts’ went.

Emily thought it was disgusting the way her mother wanted her to sit 下一个 to someone and listen to everything they 说 and then secretly 报道 it back. It made her feel sick to her stomach, and made her wonder why on earth her mother didn’t just go right out and ask them herself what they thought.

She wondered if her mother was suspicious of everyone she knew, and she promised herself that she would never become like that.

I think it makes them hate themselves.

Emily Prentiss was twelve and she had just witnessed something extremely alarming. It was about one in the morning and Emily had woken up because she desperately needed to pee. Her room had a bathroom attached to it, but something had broken in the flush, so she had to use the one down the hall 下一个 to her parents’ bedroom. She was avoiding the squeaky board in the middle of the hallway when she heard the first of the argument. They were talking in hushed tones. Emily heard fragments – “who is she” and “doing together” on her mother’s part, and “workaholic”, “uprooting our family” for her father – and she knew. She knew that she should leave her parents to talk it out like they usually did, but she also knew that this argument was different from the rest of them. It was 更多 severe, 更多 deep-rooted than the petty ‘who left the empty 牛奶 carton in the fridge and didn’t tell the maid’ fights.

So she stayed, and she listened as her parents tore her life apart. Cowering behind a column supporting a potted plant, she heard her mother’s redoubtable fortresses fall. She heard her father’s accusations, that her mother had been the one who had been the cause for the moving, and that he couldn’t handle it, that she hadn’t been there for him when he needed her. He 说 that he would leave if they went to Barcelona.

Her mother 说 nothing.

Shaking, she stumbled back into her bedroom and flung herself onto her bed. She knew it was all her fault for wanting to go to Spain. She shouldn’t have told her mother to accept the assignment; if she hadn’t, her father wouldn’t have gotten angry. If she hadn’t, he wouldn’t be leaving.

And she hated herself for wanting to go.

I think it tears families apart,

Emily Prentiss was not a happy person. At thirteen, her family had already managed to all but dissolve itself into four separate entities. Her father had left when they moved to Barcelona, and Emily had found herself despising the museums and crumbly Roman artefacts that she had longed to see simply because they had crushed her family to bits.

At dinner, Eric sat 由 her mother and engaged himself in dishing the latest dirt he had heard from the maids, 或者 any number of other 老友记 he had made himself. The Ambassador looked like she was paying attention – often injecting nods and general movements of approval into Eric’s speech – but Emily could tell that her mother wasn’t really listening to which Frenchman had slept with who’s ex-wife. She could tell because she had focused her attention wholly on getting to the bottom of her mother’s feelings. She knew already that her mother did not like it when she showed weakness, and sought to hide it in her diplomacy skills, which were inherently abundant. She knew that when she was worried, her eyes took on a vacant, intrinsically empty look. And this look had been plastered on her mother’s face for a long time now.

And this had all happened because she wanted to come to Barcelona. She hated Barcelona now, and she hated the way her family had degenerated into ashes. She hated the pregnant silence that had filled the house, that filled her life, that filled the 表 except for Eric's incessant babbling.

Emily Prentiss hated what she had done to her family.

It was at this moment that she realised she loved her mother. Despite the differences the two of them had, despite the fact that after she had tried to convince her mother not to come to Barcelona in the days following the argument, she had been adamant on coming, despite the 查看 that her mother held her in contempt of – being a lady, sitting gracefully at tables, being seen and not heard, and most importantly, being politically adept – despite all of that, she loved her mother.

But even the 爱情 she now knew she had for he mother would never stitch her family back together and she knew it.

and damages people.

Emily Prentiss wasn’t good enough. She knew that was what her mother meant. She hadn’t actually gone out and 说 it, but she had certainly insinuated enough of it. She had reminded her of her failed grades, of the fact that she dressed in skinny leather pants and revealing t-shirts instead of skirts and shirts. She had reiterated her disapproval of Emily’s smoking and how she should be 更多 like her brother.

It wasn’t that Emily didn’t want to be the good girl – she wanted to so badly, but she wanted her mother to 爱情 her for who she was. She knew she was 表演 out so that her mother would see her, would notice her, and that it probably wasn’t doing much good, but she did it anyway. If anything, it was because that was what she had been doing for a very long time. She was the black sheep, the one that everyone looked to when something broke 或者 went missing, and Eric was the perfect angel.

She smoked because she had been doing it since she was fifteen and couldn’t stop. She snuck out of the house and went to bars because she didn’t know what else to do. She ran away periodically because she needed to know someone would look for her if she ever did go missing.

And she hated that she was that girl.

At some point she must have realized that she was always going to be 秒 fiddle to her brother’s inherent perfectness, and decided that if she couldn’t be the best at being the best, she’d be the best at being the worst. So she took up sneaking her mother’s bottles of scotch up into her room and playing metal, and running with the Goths. And at some point they all started doing crack, so she decided what the heck.

Right now, lying half-conscious in some 随意 room somewhere, she regretted doing that.

She regretted being who she was.

And she regretted ever being born a Prentiss.


And as Emily Prentiss lay in bed, she hated what being a Prentiss had done to her, but she knew that without it, she wouldn't be who she was, 或者 where she was today. She knew that being a Prentiss was an intrinsic part of her, and that she would have been so different had she not been born one.

She knew that despite her hate of politics, she could play the game.

And most of all, she knew that she would just have to deal with the rest of it.