On a Burning Beach by Calleigh_J and Until it Disappeared by Thrace

As someone who is constantly wishing/looking for lengthy, well-written Criminal Minds femslash, I highly recommend the following stories. Both are extremely well-written and offer more than just angst-filled introspection that is the hallmark of many Emily/JJ one-shots and drabbles. If that’s your cup of tea, that’s fine; but I enjoy efforts that are character-driven, have a plot and use dialog and action to advance the story. Both of these qualify.

On a Burning Beach by Calleigh_j

This is an A/U story where Emily Prentiss is a veteran CIA agent who meets FBI media liaison Jennifer Jareau when the two agencies must work together on a case. The author deftly uses omnipotent narration to get in the heads of both characters, although the focus is slightly more on Prentiss and offers an intriguing background for her that mixes canon with new possibilities.

One true test of a story for me is if my attention wanders when it’s not focused on the romantic pairing and this story passed with high marks. The case was not the point, but interesting enough. The use of flashbacks to establish Emily’s background and the development and interaction of secondary characters were all interesting and relevant. I also appreciated the author’s attempt at realism in how she handled the two main characters’ actions and dialog, managing to convey attraction, angst, doubt, etc., in a believable way without having to resort to questionable behavior or scenarios.

Although the author wraps things up nicely, the A/U setting would make for an interesting series with Emily and JJ balancing different and sometimes conflicting careers with a new romance. Hopefully, the author could be persuaded with positive feedback to continue.

Until it Disappeared by Thrace

This may well be my favorite Criminal Minds story. I consider it pretty much perfection, with the only flaw being that it had to end. Hopefully the author will add a sequel and pursue the myriad of directions the story could take.

It begins in the canon Criminal Minds universe but diverges when FBI agent Emily Prentiss abruptly leaves the Behavioral Analysis Unit and relocates to California for a new job. In this aspect, the author skillfully manages a crossover with the television show Numb3rs and its characters. Former teammate Jennifer Jareau is shaken by Prentiss’ departure and her own persistent need to find out why her friend left. The story is written in first person from JJ’s point of view as she pursues Emily to California, desperate for answers to questions she hasn’t let herself ask.

What follows is very nicely written and includes some lovely elements of courtship that you don’t see in most fan fictions, regardless of origin. I don’t want to give any specific developments away, but the two leads are appealing without being perfect, their tentative romance is sweet without being saccharine and it’s all presented very believably and, dare I say it, maturely.

For Garcia-lovers, the quirky analyst has some nice moments and is the only other member of the BAU who really plays a part in the story.

For Ambassador Prentiss-lovers, Emily’s mother is involved and is presented realistically but in a mostly positive light.

I can’t say enough about these stories. Do yourselves a favor and read them today.

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