Review @ DarkBard0
Summarize : JJ and Emily confide in their friends about each other but end up crossing paths and finding out the truth! Just a light and easy few chapters set in the early days of Emily! Femslash, don't like don't read!
Title: Sound Of Silence
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairings: Emily Prentiss/Jennifer Jareau
Warnings: Mature adult themes and bad language.
Disclaimers: All things Criminal Minds belong to people other than me. I just write stuff.
Author's Notes: I wrote this some time ago, mostly just light and easy. Early timeline. Not sure still if it worthy but my girl likes it and says it is and to post so I is!
Thanks: To heidimaggs22 for betaing me this and getting me to post!
The street was unsurprisingly quiet, given that it was so early in the morning, as Jennifer Jareau navigated her SUV down it and then pulled up outside of a familiar house. After she had pulled up, the blonde left her engine running, reaching for her blackberry as she stifled a yawn, pressing a number on her speed dial. As she placed the phone to her ear and waited, the young FBI Agent moved to turn the sound down on her iPod that was jacked into her car stereo.
''I'm outside. Okay.''
Satisfied with the limited exchange, JJ disconnected and placed her phone back into its holder. She smirked a little, remembering the teasing she suffered for how protective and obsessive she was with the blackberry. It had even been suggested that her life would fall apart without it. Although there was some truth to that, given that JJ used it personally, she also reminded her team that it would actually be the BAU that would fall apart without it. She and her trusty phone did a lot more than they thought.
As she waited, JJ began to drum her fingers on the wheel softly, as she looked around at the street sedately. There was no one else around. Most of the houses hadn't seemed to have even woken up yet. How she envied them sometimes. There had been many jobs she could have accepted, a lot of them without the early wake up call. A lot of them where she didn't get called in on her days off. Or that didn't require her to drop her life to go to this state or that state. Jobs that didn't mean she got woken up at 2am or any other twilight hour. Jobs that would earn her more money for less work, were a lot more glamorous and a lot less stressful.
Yeah, right. She would have been bored out of her brain.
Sighing softly, JJ continued to eye up the street, continuing to drum the pads of her fingers along the wheel. That was until the passenger side door opened. The blonde turned her head to watch Morgan climb into the previously empty seat, turning to shove his ready back into the back seats.
He greeted casually, looking as tired as she did. Both of them were obviously yet to shake off the last vestiges of sleep. They had only arrived home from the other side of the country late last night, giving them only a limited opportunity to get some shuteye. JJ had basically returned home, lapsed into a coma, and gotten up only to leave again this morning. She had a feeling that her sleepy friend had done much the same.
''Hey. You ready?''
She made sure, watching Morgan nod as he buckled up his seatbelt and made himself comfortable.
''Good to go. Thanks for giving me a ride, JJ.''
The charming, older man smiled along with his gratefulness. By the time that he had gotten to his car last night, JJ had already left. Surprising, seeing as she and Hotch were usually the last ones to leave. Morgan had been left with a dud car, and had gotten a ride home from his road recovery service before they took his vehicle off to the garage. He had called to ask the blonde Agent for a ride into work, thankful that JJ at least lived in the vicinity to him. No one else did.
''No problem. You wanna stop and grab some coffee?''
She suggested with a light shrug, turning the wheel as she steered back out onto the street and moving down it easily. She had always loved driving; she loved being behind the wheel. It was no secret that she was maybe just as attached to her car as she was to her phone.
''Girl, you read my mind!''
Morgan almost cheered, making them both chuckle. The profiler pulled in a large, slow breath, letting it out just as slowly as he leant his head back onto the headrest.
''I'm so glad its Friday.''
He breathed, for once letting the exhaustion show. Through the last case, he had tried his best to keep it hidden. Because he was working and because he didn't want to burden the rest of the team. They were all just as exhausted, everyone was in the same boat together. And when that happened, they relied on each other to get through it.
''I hear ya!''
JJ drawled, bugging her eyes out for a second as she nodded. She kept her concentration on the road but knew when Morgan turned his head to look at her.
''Got any plans for the weekend?''
He enquired curiously. JJ shrugged nonchalantly, flicking a few of her fingers from the steering wheel as she turned it easily.
''A couple. Going out with a couple of friends tomorrow night, should be good.''
The plans had originally been for tonight. However, when the case she had selected had gotten even more so grizzly, JJ had known that it was going to stretch out. She had called her friends and told them that she probably wouldn't be able to make it. However, when they had found out she had been on her way home yesterday,
They had insistently demanded her presence, and moved the outing to Saturday, so that she could have Friday to get some rest. It had made her smile, put a bit of warmth back into her stomach to know how much they cared about her. And to be honest, she knew she could do with letting off some steam. These guys would definitely help her with that.
''Oh yeah? Out on the prowl?''
Morgan teased lecherously, wagging his eyebrows up and down, sticking his tongue out as he grinned widely. JJ scoffed as she glanced over at him.
She squeaked indignantly, her pitch having raised a fair few notches. Both the exasperation and the fact that his younger friend had let the tiniest of pink flushes to hit her cheeks made him laugh. Both of them began to feel the change of atmosphere, as it became more lively and warm.
''What? The blonde hair, baby blues and innocent puppy dog smile doesn't make me completely forget that you're not quite the sweet –as-candy type my friend!''
He insisted, raising his eyebrows as he stated his analyses. However, it only made JJ scoff dismissively, drawing her head back slightly in disbelief.
''Whatever! Works like a charm on you and anyone else I want it to, and you know it.''
She objected knowingly, a firm confidence harboured within her tone. Morgan laughed again, shrugging before he nodded, thinking that maybe, she was actually right. There had been so many times that JJ had gotten away with murder using just those attributes. Everyone fell for it, hook line and sinker. She had even gotten around Hotch with it. The girl knew exactly how to read people and act accordingly with them, knowing what would fly and what wouldn't. In all seriousness, she was one hell of an Agent and fantastically intelligent. She tended to downplay it in an effort to make sure she slipped under people's radars, but he saw it.
''You know, you should really be a profiler. All you do is make yourself blend in, disarm people and observe the hell out of them. I bet you have us pegged down.''
He pointed out seriously, making JJ grin mysteriously. That majestic and elusive smirk she had, along with its very own eye sparkle.
''Yeah, I do Hotshot. But I like what I do. Besides, who else is going to put up with all your crap, cover your ass and generally run the unit?''
JJ agreed to his last statement, but then shrugged a little as she dismissed his claim that she could be a profiler. It wasn't about whether she could be. If she wanted to be a profiler, she would have been a profiler. Just like she told Hotch once, she liked what she did. She admired the rest of them for doing what they did, she really did. But they already did that. No one else did what she did. And they didn't have the faintest idea of what her job consisted of. But she was okay with that. It was part of the reason she loved it.
''I thought that was Hotch's job?''
Morgan asked a little confused. JJ just snorted lightly.
''You're kidding me, right? Do you even know what it is that I do?''
The blonde demanded, though already she knew the answer. As much as she liked that her job was elusive to her teammates, she did like to call them on it every now and then. Because what she had just said was true. She was the one that covered their asses, and pretty much ran that unit. If put to a test with Hotch, she would bet her house that she would beat him in her knowledge of everything and everyone in the BAU. She knew exactly how each and every cog worked and turned.
''Do I want to know?''
Morgan posed, cringing slightly as he waited for the answer. Of course he knew that JJ did a hell of a lot, but he could tell, especially right now, that if she told him he'd get a headache.
''Probably not. Trust me though, you wouldn't want to swap.''
Relieved as his friend let him off the hook, Morgan put his hands together and rubbed them like he was plotting something.
''I don't doubt that. So, back to this on the prowl night…''
He was definitely more interested in hearing about JJ's upcoming night on the town. Since they had started working together, Morgan had found JJ to be a great source of entertainment and friendship. They had gotten even closer after Elle had been shot, closer still after she had quit. The event had slammed into them, making them highly aware of how easy it would be for any one of them to turn around and take out an unsub, rather than go through the process of getting enough evidence on them to go to court, where some scumbag might get them off again. Given that they saw exactly what these monsters were capable of, and how they had to look them in the eye as they laughed about it, it was hard to walk down their paths instead of Elle's.
He respected JJ, had a lot of time for her. She was honest and genuine, compassionate and fiercely loyal. When you got under the surface, when she really let you in, there was a hell of a lot to discover. Morgan had thought plenty of times that he was honoured to be let in, and he knew he had adopted her as somewhat of a little sister. That's how he would describe a lot of their relationship, sibling like. He trusted her, and she trusted him.
''I'm not on the prowl; it's just a night out at a club, letting off a little steam.''
JJ denied, shaking her head enough to make her ponytail move with her.
''And how better to let off steam than getting laid?''
He posed, a knowing tone filtering into his voice. This was possibly another reason why they were so close. Plus they had the ability to spar with one another. It was why they could go out drinking together, and act like college guys.
''Isn't that your motto?''
The blonde shot back none defensively, but also knowingly, letting the hint of a smirk tug at the ends of her mouth.
''Isn't it yours?''
Touché. It wasn't as though JJ thought she could get away with that comment. Actually she had known that was exactly what he would say. Because for both of them, it was very true. That's why they could say it. They knew it of the other, respected that, and it wasn't a problem. They understood one another.
''As much as I'd like to, that's not what I'm planning on.''
JJ answered honestly, but rather flatly. She drew in a breath and with a sigh let it out, narrowing her eyes and staring off into space as the SUV sat at an intersection waiting for the lights to change. The mood changed a little bit, becoming a little more serious as JJ grew thoughtful, biting down on her bottom lip lightly.
The older Agent asked softly, immediately knowing that JJ had something that she needed to get off her chest. He had become very good at sensing that over the time he had known her. And given their comfortable friendship, it was usually him out of anyone in the team besides Garcia that she would choose to talk to. Of course, it didn't mean she didn't trust anyone else. He was aware that JJ had a slightly different relationship with Garcia, and the two were even closer like sisters. He knew she looked up to Hotch, saw Reid like a little brother and really liked Emily too.
''I'm just…sick of it.''
She stated, making her friend drop his jaw and frown in shock.
''Sick off sex?''
He almost gasped, obviously appalled at such a notion. JJ looked at him, not being able to let a glimmer of a smirk cover her lips in amusement for a second. Then, she shook her head to indicate that she hadn't lost all sense of being and had forsaken sex. Because that prospect would make her as appalled as Morgan.
''No. Sick of meaningless sex.''
She clarified, portraying her disheartened feeling over it. It had been something that had been creeping up on her for a little while now. Something that she had tried not to think about. But she couldn't stop it. The longer she continued like she had been for most of her life, the emptier things were starting to feel. And that was a scary feeling for her. For someone that didn't tend to get involved, that stopped complications by keeping things short, simple and sweet. She had done relationships before of course, but they had definitely not sold her so much as pushed her even further from the idea. Commitment was just not her style, it seemed. And yet, here she was. Sick of the game, longing for the thing she saw in some of her friends, in strangers even. If she really compared her lifestyle to her personality, she knew they didn't quite match up either.
''Well, are you interested in anyone?''
At the unexpected question, JJ side glanced toward him again. She was surprised that he had specifically asked that question to hide the truth in her eyes. The truth that screamed 'yes' to his answer, becoming traitors as they sold her out. She however, didn't say a word. Not that she needed to. From the look on Morgan's face, she knew that he had taken it in.
So, maybe there was a person that had helped that feeling creep upon her a little faster.
''If you are, why don't you say something?''
This was it. This was the moment that Morgan would never let go; the moment that he knew there was something to harass her about. There was no way he would forget that she had feelings for someone, and would start to wheedle out information until he figured out who it was.
''I can't. It's complicated…we're friends…we…''
JJ stopped herself before she gave away anything more, taking in a breath and holding it as she clamped her mouth shut, cringing slightly at the slip she had almost made. If she had voiced what had been about to come out, the profiler would have been hot on her heels.
The blonde sighed, trying to regain some of her composure. The truth was, it was hard to talk about, even to Morgan. Because there was nothing to tell. This was the end of the story. She was interested, but it would never, ever happen. Case closed.
''It doesn't really matter. It's just never going to happen.''
Morgan drew his head back at JJ's resigned, flat statement. He could hear that it hurt her to sad, and she said it like she was trying to reinforce it to herself.
Yet again, JJ just sighed, starting to get a little tense and irritated over the situation.
''Because she's not interested in women.''
She responded cryptically, also trying to reinforce that little fact to herself. Her eyes glanced over to Morgan again for a second, then back to the road. There was a flash in her eyes that told him not to question her further about it, one that she didn't want to vocalise. She was beginning to feel like a suspect in the hot seat. Plus, she was tired, and it wouldn't do her any good to drag this all out. Especially as they were on their way to work.
''Do you know that for sure?''
Seeing the flash but blatantly ignoring it, Morgan persevered anyway. It was in his nature to think about all avenues of possibility, including this mystery woman that JJ had taken a shining to. She must have been something for JJ to become so interested over, to have her sounding so hollow at the thought that she wasn't into women.
That had been an interesting little titbit to find out. Back when JJ was still quite new, and when he thought she was still innocent. They were out for a drink, having a great time. He had discovered pretty quickly that he had a lot in common with the blonde. They had talked enthusiastically over their beers, throwing back peanuts and laughing over jokes. They had talked extensively about football, about soccer and basketball; even ice hockey. He remembered being surprised that she was a sports fan. He had been surprised that she had wiped the floor with every contender that challenged her to darts, including himself. And pool, for that matter.
She was pretty much a dream girl. Hot, intelligent, modest, funny and into sports. She wasn't offended by guy jokes, and she could certainly hold her own. However, there had been one other thing he had discovered that night. They had a very similar taste in women. They had found that out at the pool table, as they had both been distracted by a hot brunette that had walked by. JJ had actually missed her shot because of her.
''No…but like I said, we're friends. I'm sure she would have said something.''
JJ admitted, yanking Morgan from his reverie. At least she had the good grace to sound timid as she confessed that she didn't actually know what she said she did.
''Like you've said something to her, you mean?''
He challenged immediately, raising his eyebrows at her.
''Okay, fair point.''
Morgan sighed, rolling his eyes a little as she shuffled in her seat.
''JJ, does she actually know you're into women?''
''Not so much.''
''I thought you were friends?''
He demanded, his voice going a little higher only to cause JJ to flail an hand in the air at him.
''We are. We just…I don't…you know how private I am.''
She snapped when she lost her words because she couldn't give him a valid reason.
''JJ, you're only private with people you don't trust, or that you work with.''
He pointed out making her shift uncomfortably as she grimaced.
''That is not true.''
The nervous blonde countered, gulping a little as she did. Her heart began to thump against her chest, and she really, really wished that Morgan didn't know her as well as he did.
''Yes, it is. And that's why I know, it's why Garcia knows and it's why Reid knows. Elle knew too.''
He stated confidently. Garcia had been the first to know about JJ's sexuality, and once he had found out she had become more comfortable in being open about it. JJ was a private person by nature, not ashamed but quiet. She didn't want her personal life interfering at work. So hence, she only told the people that she trusted most. So that had been Garcia and himself. And it had become Reid, and even Elle. Actually, Hotch and Gideon both knew too. Because they were a unit, they were like family. And even though there were other people that worked in the BAU, they were not in on that family.
''Are you trying to say I don't trust Hotch, or Gideon?''
She snapped defensively, hoping to god that he would get sidetracked any second then.
''I know you trust them. And you're even friends with them, we're all family. But there's being friends and being friends. You know what else I've noticed?''
She cringed, knowing exactly what was coming next.
''You didn't mention Emily.''
She tried ever so hard not to react, to keep a straight face and look nonchalant about it.
''Well, you go drinking with her. You talk, you do…girly stuff…and all that crap. I would think she'd constitute as a pretty good friend.''
He started to spell out, gearing up to make a point.
''But you don't talk about women in front of her. You don't let us talk about women in front of her. And she never brings it up. And whereas you'd get us out to some gay bar you like, you always suggest general bars when she comes out.''
He continued, making it rather evident what he had concluded. Jesus she hated him sometimes. This talk was just a bad, bad idea. She should have cut it off at the first chance she had gotten. Should never of let him see that she was interested in someone. He was relentless.
She said warningly, giving him that look again that told him to drop it. He didn't.
''Is it Emily you like?''
Yet again, her voice rose a few thousand pitches, eyes widening in panic at his question.
''The squeak in your voice says different.''
''Do you want to walk to work?''
She threatened, now gripping her steering wheel hard enough to make her knuckles go white. She didn't want to do this, she didn't. Morgan just simply held his hands up, aware that he had provoked his younger friend. But he thought, for good reason. Whether she knew it or not, she needed and wanted to talk about it.
''Hey, I'm just trying to be a friend here. You can tell me about it, you know.''
''No, I can't.''
JJ shook her head, staring out onto the road as she breathed heavily for a moment, feeling the well of emotion that she had over this rush up through her.
''Because then it becomes real. Then I really do have feelings for her, I really do want her. It makes me thinking about her every damn second have meaning, it makes the fact that I want something substantial now real, so I have to do something about it. It makes me have to be a grown up, face my fears and actually do something outside of my comfort level for once. And I just can't do that. I can't risk losing that friendship, I can't risk losing that work relationship, and I can't risk her looking me in the eye and telling me she's not interested, that she's sorry but it won't affect our friendship only to watch how it does. It puts an end to the looks, the touches and the talks, okay? And sometimes, that's all that keeps me going in the cases we deal with. I'd rather carry on like this than have that taken away. Friendship is the only thing I can have with her, and that's just the end of it. Please don't make this any harder than it is for me.''
Her outburst started heatedly and rushed, having no seeming control over it as it was finally given a voice. The thing he had been pushing for her to do, of course. But then it eased out a little bit, and the rest followed. How upset she sounded, how she obviously desperately wanted the opportunity for something to happen but gutted at the fact that it wouldn't. And her fear, it over shadowed everything. The difference between them, was that JJ didn't tend to have the highest opinion of herself, especially when it came to women. Or more specifically, playing the field with women, where as he had always been comfortable with that. But her fear had always kept her from doing anything else, and it was obviously making her uncomfortable at having to stare it in the eye. So, sounding drained by the end of her rant, she begged him not to push her further.
He agreed evenly, although he had no intention of leaving it there. Only for now. She had gotten something out at least, and now other things would follow. Maybe not immediately.
''But thanks all the same. I know you're only looking out for me.''
She offered with a weak smile, but appreciative eyes. Telling him that she knew exactly what he had done, exactly why and that she was grateful for it.
''Always. So, what you got playing?''
He nodded in understanding, taking the cue that they didn't need to continue on with the subject. Instead, he took a breath in and looked over at her iPod. Yet another thing that JJ rarely did was without. She was music obsessed, another thing she got teased over. But he had seen her collection, and it was worth bragging about. Her taste was surprisingly varied and eclectic, leaving her to be somewhat more of an enigma to people. You just couldn't pin this girl down, so he had stopped trying.
''Turn it up and have a listen.''
Doing so, Morgan leant forward, just listening to the different music for a moment and frowning at the iPod screen.
''Apocalyptica? Are they classical?''
He wondered, trying to distinguish the sound.
She offered up with a wince, knowing that he was certainly not going to get that.
''Nope, you've lost me. And can I just say, you have the most surprising music collection of anyone I've ever known!''
He reminded her, yet again. It only made her grin idiotically though.
''Thanks! Okay, so Apocolyptica, in a nutshell…''
The rest of the ride was filled with talk of music, with them both sparring teases about each other's tastes before they stopped for coffee. After they had ordered the whole team their usual preferences, the two were off again, and all too soon found themselves back at work.
Stepping off of the elevator, the two Agent's walked out, continuing their friendly banter as they did. They had been chuckling away about one of the latest rumours that was circulating which JJ had gotten wind of. Neither of them put much stock into rumours, and both were disinterested in gossip. What they were doing in actual fact was mocking the rumour and making crude and suggestive remarks out of its contents. Clearly, they could amuse each other but neither of them would repeat it.
It was JJ that carried the tray of coffee, Morgan carrying his own take out cup. He stopped to pry out one of the cups on the try , indicating that he was going to go find Garcia in her little computer domain and give it to her. JJ just nodded, continuing alone.
After backing into the BAU bullpen, JJ turned again, smiling at the rising early buzz that she found there. There weren't too many people about yet, but just enough to give it that air. Both Reid and Emily were sat at their desks, chattering away casually about something or other. From the looks of things it was something geeky. JJ could always tell when they were talking about something geeky. They got this…look.
''Hey, fancy a better kick start than that sludge?''
She interrupted as she walked over, nodding toward the coffee cup sat on Emily's desk that had obviously been poured out from the unit's coffee pot. It wasn't especially bad coffee, but it wasn't fantastically wonderful, either.
JJ smirked widely as both of her friends looked at her eagerly, obviously both excited and relieved that she had come bearing caffeine goodness.
''Ooo! Jennifer Jareau you are a goddess!''
JJ chuckled, highly amused and raising her eyebrows as she watched Emily outstretch her arms and wiggle her fingers demandingly. The pure look of innocence and childlike joy covered every inch of her features, making her gloriously deep chocolate eyes sparkle brightly. It gave JJ flashes of her niece, and made her laugh even more as she picked one of the cups out of the tray and handed it over, rolling her eyes.
''You're worse than my 8 year old niece!''
She admonished playfully, still chuckling and shaking her head. This is exactly why she liked Emily so much. 'Liked' was actually an understatement, but seeing as she was still trying to shake off the conversation in the car and think of Emily as just a friend, that was the term she rolled with. Emily had a lot of different sides to her, and as she had become more and more comfortable within the team, they were getting to see more of those sides.
Personally, JJ loved watching Emily geek out. She loved her laugh, loved seeing her eyes sparkle so freely. Because so rarely did they get to do that in their line of work, and it was inspirational to see that it hadn't been beaten out of the older woman. She did what she did every day, and still found room to laugh. Still had a wonderfully innocent essence, allowing her to be carefree and sweet. JJ knew that Emily had a lot of complication surrounding her life. Being the only daughter to an Ambassador and a high level politician did not tend to be easy. But somehow, Emily had come out of it as Emily. JJ respected that.
As the blonde moved to give Reid his coffee, not wanting to linger on Emily in case it was suspicious, she saw the thoughtful frown inch over his forehead.
''Your niece drinks coffee?''
He asked honestly, sounding a little lost but not knowing whether to be anything else in case he offended his friend. Not wanting to look or sound too disapproving. The question got a snicker from Emily, as JJ gave him one of those looks, obviously amused.
''No, genius, my niece is impatient.''
She corrected, using a little of her 'duh' tone as she did. Behind her, Emily huffed, causing her to turn around. Again, a smile hit her lips as soon as she saw Emily glowering up at her from over the top of her coffee cup, mouth wrapped around the lid.
''Hey, I object to being compared to an 8 year old!''
The profiler complained, trying her best to sound offended and mad. It only made her look cuter, like an annoyed puppy, and made JJ snicker lightly.
''She says from around her coffee cup with what can only be described as a childish glower!''
''That all you got?''
JJ challenged mischievously, knowing her own eyes were sparkling now. They usually did when she was interacting with Emily, especially when they were fooling around, sparring words and doing something akin to flirting. JJ knew it was just playful banter though, to relieve the tension. But she enjoyed it nonetheless, it brightened up her day.
''At this time in the morning after a restless night, yeah.''
Edging more into seriousness, Emily nodded, not being able to find the words quick enough to exchange like she usually did with JJ.
''Why couldn't you sleep Emily?''
Reid enquired curiously, looking over at his friend. The woman who he had come to adopt as a big sister, a little like JJ. Just in different ways. He had certainly given Emily a rough ride not long after she had entered the unit. Not that it had been his intention to, of course. He lashed out at her because she had been the one to call him on his downward spiral aided by drugs. She had been a practical stranger, who had been willing to draw light on it. He had hated her for it then, but he appreciated it now.
''I don't know. Lot on my mind I guess. It's been a tough week.''
Her voice got a little lighter as she drifted into thought, flashes of the case coming back to all of them as both JJ and Reid nodded in agreement. Certainly it had been a rough week. And it was likely that not one of them had slept well. At least, no one had slept near long enough anyway.
''Well, at least it's Friday and if we plead hard enough maybe Hotch will let us go early.''
JJ said optimistically, offering her two colleagues a hopeful smile trying to cheer them up a little and pick up the mood around them. Emily cast her with an enquiring look.
''Did you get coffee for him too?''
''Well I'd consider that a damn good start. Honestly, if you manage to get us out of here early, I will buy you dinner.''
She offered seriously, annunciating her words. She didn't take her eyes away from JJ, and for a split second, the blonde thought she saw something behind it. It made her stall for a second, really feeling the implication of Emily's offer. But it wasn't really what she thought it was. She was looking for what she wanted to be true, Emily was just being nice, and saying it as a friend.
As JJ aimed to reply, she was stopped as she saw Hotch stride in through the bullpen, a staunch look on his face as he aimed toward his office quickly.
''Well, I can try.''
JJ said quietly, following her boss with her eyes. He smiled less and less these days.
''This is where the sad, beautiful blue eyes come in handy.''
At the comment, JJ's eyes snapped back onto Emily, reeling in surprise of what she had said. She expected Emily to be looking at something else, like she said it in an offhand way, but she wasn't. She was looking right at her, right into her almost. Neither flinched at the sudden rise of something between them.
''You think my eyes are beautiful?''
Before she could stop herself, the words tumbled out of her mouth. Her heart pounded against her chest for the second time that day, a buzz of excitement running through her as Emily continued to look at her sincerely. With those smouldering, piercing eyes of hers. JJ was aware that Reid was still there, but at the moment, she didn't care. She was encouraged by the soft, genuine look that Emily continued to give her before she nodded lightly.
''Yeah, I really do.''
Right then time seemed to stop. Everything else seemed to fade well into the background, leaving only the two of them. But it only lasted for a moment. JJ cleared her throat and looked down, not noticing that Emily had done the same.
''I'll go give Hotch and Gideon their coffees.''
The blonde said sheepishly, avoiding any other real eye contact and trying to hide the faint blush that had risen up. Emily and Reid nodded, and Emily let her eyes follow the younger woman across the bullpen until Reid cleared his throat pointedly.
''You okay Em?''
He asked softly as Emily whipped her head around again, trying not to look guilty as she cleared her throat again lightly and pulled a tight but completely see through smile together.
''Yeah. Yeah, I'm good.''
She staggered, almost breathlessly, trying to act normal but coming nowhere near close. Reid just smirked a little.
''You seemed a bit…stalled, for a moment there.''
Emily shook her head quickly, widening her eyes a little. She looked like the kid that got caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
''No, I erm…I guess I'm just more tired than I thought.''
Again, Reid nodded before dropping his eyes onto his desk for a second, breathing in, still with a small smirk on his face.
''I know I can be kinda…naive, I guess, sometimes. But there are times when I pick up on certain things too.''
He started, his boyish tone making Emily narrow her eyes slightly in confusion.
''I don't know what you mean.''
''I've seen the way you look at JJ.''
Surprised, and of course guilty, Emily drew her head back, breathing in and huffing as she did. Her jaw dropped slightly, as her narrowed eyes turned into a scowl.
''What? I don't look at JJ in any way.''
She insisted quickly, using a hushed and panicked tone as she did.
''Are you trying to convince me or yourself about that?''
Emily continued to glare at the young man petulantly, fighting the urge to cross her arms and tut at him. How the hell did she slip up enough to let Reid see through her? Like the kid said, he was naïve to a lot of things. She was supposed to be good at compartmentalizing, what happened?
Thinking maybe that she just couldn't compartmentalize JJ, and perhaps that she didn't want to, Emily accepted that it didn't matter how Reid had picked it up, she was still busted. The look in his eyes told her he wasn't going to drop it, and she sighed dejectedly as she looked down at the desk.
''Am I that obvious?''
She mumbled quietly.
''No, not really. You should tell her, ask her out or something.''
Emily looked up at him again quickly, shaking her head adamantly.
''I can't do that.'
''Why not? You practically just did.''
He squeaked in return, not being able to understand why she seemed so reluctant. It was obvious JJ liked her too. How could she hold back on doing something they both wanted?
''That was joking around with a friend. And that's the only thing she is, a friend.''
And then it hit him. Emily didn't know that JJ was gay. How that was possible, he didn't know. The two of them were friends. And between the looks, the touches and the flirting, he thought they should have been able to work out the chemistry between them. It was glaringly obvious, for crying out loud.
Still, he found himself in a jam. Emily didn't know about JJ, and clearly JJ didn't know about Emily. He was both of their friends, he couldn't tell one about the other. That means that he had to try and do some good old fashioned manipulating. The only problem was, he didn't know how to do that. Garcia was much better suited because he was useless.
''You could change that.''
He smiled; silently proud of himself for being so mysterious. Though Emily just shook her head.
''No, I couldn't. For starters, she's clearly as straight as a ruler. And even if she wasn't, she wouldn't be interested in someone like me.''
At that, Reid's eyebrow shot up immediately both in curiosity and surprise.
''Someone like you?''
Emily grimaced, holding back a slur of active emotion in her eyes that seemed years old.
''I'm almost a decade older than her, I'm awkward and geeky, I never know what the right thing to say is. Plus, we come from two entirely different places, our backgrounds are worlds apart.''
She insisted, a self deprecating tone running through her voice as she listed off the reasons why she wasn't good enough. He could tell she honestly believed that she didn't think JJ would ever look at her as anything but a friend because she wasn't in the same league as her. And yet still, he was very interested in her last comment.
''You think you're too good for her because she grew up on a farm out in the sticks?''
He squeaked, a little admonishment coming through, earning him a death glare of epic proportions.
''No, of course not Reid. I think she's too good for a girl that grew up in a ridiculously rich and powerful political family.''
The disgruntled woman corrected, both pissed at Reid for assuming she was a snob and that as always, held her back from things. People often thought the worst of her, assumed that she was an elitist.
She had been raised in an old money family, and surrounded by old money families. She had grown up around the world which was wherever her Mother was posted at the time. Had been given infinite opportunities, seen the world and learnt a hell of a lot as she went along. She had been sent to the best schools, and walked into an Ivy League college. She didn't need to work if she didn't want to.
That was all behind her. She was networked to high heaven, because she was Ambassador Prentiss' daughter. But she hardly ever used them. She kept in contact with the people she liked, but only because she liked them. Emily was certainly not Elizabeth.
Emily was a geek. Emily was socially awkward. Emily was compassionate and witty. Emily wanted to make a difference. Emily was kick ass when she had to be, and soft when she needed to be. Emily was always searching for answers. Emily felt the suffering of others, and would take it on herself to relieve them of it. Emily just wanted to be herself.
But with the force of her family behind her, Emily rarely got to show herself. Even Hotch had thought that strings had been pulled for her to get in the BAU, and that she had asked for them to be pulled. But it wasn't so. This was what she had worked, and worked hard for. Emily wanted to earn her own right, that's just who she was. She hated it when it was presumed otherwise. And all of that led her to believe that JJ's world was far above her own. It wasn't where people traded in secrets and lies, in gossip and rumours. It wasn't where people used knowledge against each other to propel themselves further.
''Do you think JJ is the kind of person to take that into account?''
Reid asked, forcing her out of her thoughts.
''Yes…no…I don't know. Would she? Doesn't everyone? That's what everyone thought, right? When I got here? That I was just some profiler wannabe with influential parents that landed her the job?''
She challenged, her voice a few pitches higher as she spoke rather indignantly.
''Emily, who was the first person to make you feel welcome and talked you?''
''Don't you think that speaks for itself?''
Emily sighed, rolling her tongue across her lips as she did so, frowning in thought.
''Maybe. I don't know. I'd appreciate it if you'd keep this quiet. I don't want to ruin my friendship with her, or spoil the dynamic of the team.''
Completely confused, Emily gave up. This wasn't the place to be thinking or talking about this anyway. It was complicated and she was tired. It wasn't like there was any point, either. JJ was not batting for her team.
''I wouldn't betray a confidence.''
She smiled lightly, tiredness showing through before another thought visibly came to her mind.
''Thanks Spencer. Can I just ask you one thing though? Why are you advising me to go for it with her?''
''What do you mean?''
Her expression softened a little as she tipped her head, looking at the wonder boy affectionately.
''Reid, everyone knows that you have a crush on JJ.''
She pointed out seriously but quietly. Immediately, Reid cleared his throat sheepishly, blushing that she had said it. She hadn't meant to embarrass him, but it confused her as to why he would be encouraging her if he liked JJ too.
''Had. Had a crush on JJ.''
''But, didn't you guys go on a date together?''
It hadn't taken long for her to hear about that when she had first arrived. She had overheard a couple of women talking in the bathroom, one of them gushing over Reid as the other expressed her almost revulsion of how anyone could find him attractive. JJ's name had come up, as the mean one told the nice one that they had apparently gone on a date together, but no one had heard anything of it since. In fact, they acted like it never happened. So the mean one obviously found that proof enough that Reid was not worthy of dating.
''It wasn't really a date; we just went to a football game. She spent most of the time trying to explain what was going on and letting me down easy. She sees me like a little brother.''
What in actual fact had happened was JJ spending most of the time explaining that she was attracted to women, not men.
''Doesn't that upset you?''
''No, not anymore. We're friends, I look up to her. I guess there will always be a soft spot, but I've moved on.''
He replied honestly and smiling sincerely. He had gotten over it pretty quickly, figuring that he shouldn't dwell on it. JJ had been good about it, she had been caring and told him that she thought he was a great guy, and she could think of a lot of girls that would be happy to go on a real date with him. It had actually turned out to be a nice day; they had talked a lot and just hung out.
Emily smiled, accepting the answer and pushing Reid no further, already hearing and seeing what she needed to know. As Morgan and Garcia entered the bullpen, not so discretely, both of them dropped quiet, listening instead to the usual flirty exchange between the pair. With Garcia making plenty of sexually based remarks, and Morgan gladly showing off.
Emily noticed JJ come out of Gideon's office, and wondered when the blonde had crossed from Hotch's to his. It didn't matter. She smiled faintly as the younger woman gave them a hopeful look, making a thumbs up gesture to signal that things were going well. Holding her coffee, she made her way out of the bullpen and into the corridor, obviously aimed for her own office.
As it swung around to the middle afternoon, the primary team of the BAU seemed to have logged onto autopilot. Mechanically each one of them went about their paperwork, each having little stacks on their desks.
Emily had tucked away her conversation with Reid, but she couldn't stop the flashes of JJ entering her head every now and then. In those moments she would sigh, staring at nothing in particular on her desk as she would listen to the words echoing around her head. Words that had come from JJ herself, not just from today, but any other time they had talked. They were always followed up by what Reid had said. You could change that.
It was tempting to believe, but truly, she knew that she didn't have a shot. It was pointless thinking so much about it.
After her mind had wandered yet again, Emily shrugged herself out of it and concentrated on the profile she was advising on in front of her. The information was set out all over her desk, pictures to boot. She glanced at each one, continuing to put the finishing touches on her report. She hoped that they would catch the guy. She hoped that all of them were caught; anything she could do to help that happen was good with her.
That said, when Hotchner announced that they could leave early, Emily was beyond relieved. She heard Morgan and Reid both sigh and groan a little as they began to shrug themselves out of the trance like state they had all been in, stretching and looking pleased that they got to go home and get some rest.
''I definitely owe JJ that dinner.''
Emily mused quietly, smirking as she leaned back in her chair, and stretching a little. She had been hunched over her desk for far too long.
Morgan grunted, ever so eloquently, which made Emily smirk mockingly at him as she flicked her eyes in a small roll.
''She's been working on Hotch to get us out of here early. I said if she managed it I'd buy her dinner.''
She explained quickly. Indeed, trying not to think about JJ hadn't helped when the blonde had been in and out of the bullpen and Hotch's office. The girl had an obscene amount of work to do, Emily knew that. Which was why she was so frequently on her feet and moving around. What exactly she was doing, Emily didn't know. What she did know was that when JJ found herself having to be in Hotch's office, she was definitely taking the opportunity to get everyone home early.
Upon hearing Emily's explanation, Morgan quirked an interested, thoughtful eyebrow. Staring at his friend, a small, plotting and mischievous smirk crawled onto his face as he thought about all the ways this could work. He saw a flicker of something in Emily's eyes upon talking about JJ.
''Really? Well yeah, seems like you need to pay up Prentiss.''
He encouraged trying to seem nonchalant, knowing that if he could aid the two women into the right circumstance, then something just might happen. Maybe they would stop being completely oblivious to one another and see what was really there. Hell, even if it gave one of them, mainly JJ since he definitely knew where she stood, a chance to tell the other about their orientation.
''Yeah. I'll go see if tomorrow works.''
''Oh, she's got plans for tomorrow.''
Morgan's rushed words caused Emily to stop midway through pushing herself out of her chair, grimacing a little as she looked over at him.
''Yeah, she mentioned something about hanging with a couple of friends.''
The profiler watched his friend as she let out an almost silent breath, looking nothing short of crestfallen. Like someone had just suitably rained on her parade. Her eyes instantly reeled as she looked down at the floor, letting herself sit back into her chair properly again.
''What about tonight Emily?''
Reid suggested helpfully, thrusting forward in an effort to try and make sure Emily didn't completely back out. He wanted to help. Wanted, unbeknownst to the other man, do the same as Morgan. He knew JJ was attracted to women, and attracted to Emily. So if they went out together, it would improve the odds significantly of one of them giving themselves away to the other. It had to happen.
''Yeah I guess tonight could work, If she's not too tired.''
Emily reasoned, a little bit of hope coming back to her, but not too much given that everyone was still tired from the case they had just arrived home from. She greatly suspected that JJ would pass on the offer in favour of going home and getting some much needed rest.
''One way to find out.''
Morgan urged relentlessly. He was relieved when Emily nodded, silently getting up and wandering off toward the glass doors leading out into the corridor. He rolled his eyes a little, sighing as he smirked knowingly.
''JJ…you're so damn oblivious sometimes…''
He muttered softly, thinking that his friend needed to be smacked upside the head for being so blind. Clearly, Emily liked her. How in the hell could she miss it? Seriously, he thought women just knew these things. Women's intuition and all that. JJ and Garcia harped on about it all the damn time. And didn't JJ supposedly have that gaydar working for her? That girl needed some fine tuning, obviously.
Morgan looked around at Reid, seeing him frown in confusion, like he hadn't quite heard but maybe heard JJ's name. Morgan knew that he couldn't say anything about JJ's feelings for Emily, even though the kid knew about her. JJ would rip him limb from limb, literally.
''Oh, nothing kid.''
He internally crossed his fingers that JJ would accept Emily's invitation. Even if it wasn't an outright date, it couldn't hurt. He would just have to wait and see what happened.
Author's Note:- A huge thank you to my awesome girlfriend who keeps encouraging me and betaing for me, wouldn't have posted without her. Loves and hugs to my girl!
It was odd that JJ's door was closed. Emily frowned lightly, biting her lip softly as she looked at the name plate on the door. Jennifer Jareau. Even her name caused something to stir within her. But she hesitated for a moment, because JJ's door was hardly ever closed. If it wasn't wide open, it was usually ajar. The blonde liked to hear the comings and goings of people. She liked a little life to seep into her little office. She didn't like to be trapped in there with all of that sickness and depravity surrounding her. Emily couldn't blame her for that. JJ had to deal with every single case request. Whereas she got a certain amount assigned to her, the elusive blonde had to sift through every single one.
Still hesitating, Emily wondered if JJ maybe was in a consultation or on the phone. If she was, then she shouldn't disturb her. But saying that, she couldn't hear any voices on the other side. Plus, JJ knew that they were able to leave early, so she doubted that she was talking to anyone personally. Unless it had been sprung upon her.
As she got an odd look from an Agent that walked down the hall, Emily smiled nervously, knowing that it looked suspicious for her to be hovering out of the liaisons office. Taking a deep breath, she lifted up her hand and knocked lightly.
Emily pushed back her nerves as she opened the door, stepping in but keeping a hold of the handle. JJ hadn't looked up; she was still busily looking through a file and writing notes. Her hair fell forward a little as her head bent forward, and it shone under the lights overhead. Emily had always wondered if her hair was as silky as it looked.
Hearing Emily's voice, JJ looked up immediately, brandishing a wide and warm smile as she did.
''Em, hey. What's up?''
''I thought seeing as you sprung us home early, I owe you that dinner I promised.''
JJ blinked a little, her jaw dropping ever so slightly as her breath caught in surprise. She hadn't thought Emily had really meant that it earlier. She had thought that it was just a joke, something you just said. But the blonde couldn't deny her rush of happiness at the fact that it was a real offer, which caused her to gush a little.
''Really? I erm…I mean, you really don't have to spring for dinner. I didn't really do anything.''
Cursing herself for acting like a smitten teenager, JJ gulped and tried to calm herself so she didn't appear to be too overjoyed at the prospect. She tried to play it cool, flipping off the praise and letting Emily know that just because she said it she didn't have to go through with it. After all, she was a busy woman. She had a life. JJ suspected that when she walked out of Quantico, Emily had many things that she could be doing and many people that she could be hanging out with. Friends, probably not family, maybe a guy or something.
''Yes, you did. Besides, I think it'd be a good way to relax and shrug the week off, don't you?''
Emily insisted lightly, the wonderful vibrations in her voice making something stir in JJ. God how that woman could talk, so raw and sultry. She didn't even know it. JJ would often prompt stories out of the brunette, just so that she could listen to her.
''Yeah, okay sure. Let me just sign off on these and I'll be right out.''
Smiling tightly as she found herself accepting the invitation, JJ nodded as her body froze up and her eyes widened, still desperately trying not to tip her hand. But the truth was, she was beyond excited that Emily wanted to go to dinner with her. Add that to her raging hormones, Emily's lilting voice and the fact that she looked incredibly gorgeous as usual, and she was pretty much a goner. That shirt wrapped itself around Emily just so; add that to the snug pants and that belt. God that off centred belt...
JJ gulped again, secretly biting down on the inside of her lip.
''Great, no problem. I'll be in the bullpen.''
The blonde nodded quickly in acknowledgement, and sat in perfect silence until Emily had gone. When she was sure enough time had gone for the brunette to go back down to the corridor and through the glass doors, she exhaled loudly and groaned, practically knocking over her chair as she stood up.
Feeling the mess of feelings, mainly excitement and nerves, in her stomach, the usually cool and collected Agent rushed down the hall herself, making a beeline toward Garcia's office. A place of refuge. She turned into the office at breakneck speed, shutting the door loud enough to make the analyst jump in her seat.
''JJ! What have I told you about knocking?''
The quirky blonde admonished, shooting her friend a scowl as she twirled in her chair. They had had the discussion about knocking before, after JJ had scared the living snot out of her a handful of times. Unintentionally of course, but still. It led to her heart jumping into her throat, as it had that time.
''Calm me down.''
JJ ignored both the admonishment and the scowl, flailing her hands out in the air and giving Garcia a desperate look as she began to pace the floor, trying to take in deep breaths to calm down.
''Just…say something to make me focus or something.''
Garcia frowned as her head followed JJ's back and forth movement.
''Honey I love you, but have you lost your ever loving mind?''
''I think so.''
The perturbed young blonde nodded, still not making much eye contact as she continued to pace like a caged animal, clearly wound up. More so than any other time Garcia had seen her, she thought. That's why it worried her. JJ didn't often get so wound up. At least, she didn't express it like this. If she was wound up about a case, she became even more focused and even more intense. She would aim her pent up frustration at the unsub themselves, or just become silent until someone made her talk. If she ever talked. This was completely different.
''Seriously Jayj, you look anxious. What's going on?''
''I've made a huge, huge mistake Penelope. And now I'm in over my head and I don't know how to stop it.''
JJ admitted, flailing her hands again before resting them on her hips. She frowned, obviously becoming angry at herself, seemingly lost and fearful at the same time.
Immediately, JJ opened her mouth, not even wanting to stop the spew of words from gurgling up.
''I've let myself fall for someone I shouldn't have. God I'm such an idiot. I've been through this before. There's one basic, simple rule; don't fall for straight women. Ever. And you know what, that isn't the only one. How about the one that goes don't fall for a co-worker? Clearly I have absolutely no reign over myself because…''
''Whoa, whoa, whoa…rewind!''
JJ frowned upon being interrupted in her rant, blinking in surprise as she finally stopped pacing and turned to the smaller woman. Garcia still sat in her chair, giving JJ her undivided attention but now raising her eyebrows questioningly.
She repeated, a pitch higher as her mind began to speculate. Out of JJ's word vomit, she had picked that one out immediately.
Tipping her head back lightly, JJ closed her eyes for a moment as she sighed.
''Emily, Garcia. Emily is the co-worker.''
She droned out, tired and frustrated. There were only so many times she could go around this circle today. All of a sudden, she needed to say the thing she had been keeping a secret over and over.
Garcia snickered, using a dumb and mocking tone as she screwed her face up knowingly, flailing her own hands a little which made the fluff on the end of her pen wiggle.
JJ demanded, eyes snapping open as she righted out her head and glared at Garcia for all she was worth. Then again, it was Garcia.
''I do have eyes you know. So, what's the big dilemma that's sending you into a very cute meltdown?''
JJ almost growled at the description, still a little angry at the whole situation.
''It's not cute. I need to focus. I need to keep my friendship with Emily in that friend box, I can't give myself away. And I nearly did that in my office when she asked if I wanted to go for dinner tonight.''
Smirking a little, her eyes softened as she thought to herself that JJ looked cuter than cute right then, all petulant and stressed. The young woman had no idea, and it was kind of sweet. Dumb, but sweet.
''Jayj, you need to breathe. You've never let on that you have feelings for her, and you do stuff together all the time. Why is today different?''
She spoke softly, trying to take the sting out of the air for JJ, make her de-stress a little bit. It was true; JJ didn't often let it show just how she felt for Emily. There were some signs of course; no one could ever stop those when they were interested in someone. But nothing overtly obvious. Or at least, nothing overtly obvious to Emily. Another dumb but sweet gorgeous goddess.
''Because Morgan interrogated me in the damn car this morning and it's been on my mind.''
''Then JJ, maybe you should just tell her.''
Garcia suggested plainly, again, a little 'duh' showing through her voice, kind of like she was talking to a child. A very tall, beautiful and intelligent child. One that shook her head adamantly, frowning and almost sticking out her lip in response. Garcia had to clamp her mouth closed just so she didn't laugh.
''No. No way. Absolutely not.''
''Even if she's not interested, don't you think she would appreciate the honesty?''
She stressed, trying to prove her point anyway she could. Even though she damn well knew that Emily was more than interested. She was this close to knocking their heads together and locking them in a room. She wasn't beneath using a blatant guilt trip to accomplish her task. JJ was a loyal person; she was honest to a fault, so she knew getting to her through the lines of being honest with a friend might work. Who cared if it resulted in awesome lesbian love?
''Garcia, the last time I was honest about this with a friend, she promised me faithfully that it was fine until she gradually pushed me out of her life. You have no idea how painful that was, I don't want it to happen again.''
JJ stated, wincing as a flash of residual pain shot through her eyes. Garcia felt for her, knowing how hard it was for JJ to let herself care so deeply for someone. And especially to express it. She didn't tend to let anyone get through her walls, so that girl must have been wicked special.
''When was that?''
''Junior year at college.''
Tipping her head slightly Garcia breathed in, frowning lightly as she sighed.
''Oh honey, give Emily a little more credit than a 20 year old, would you?''
''I…I just can't. She doesn't even know I'm gay, Garcia. Wouldn't 'hey, I'm totally head over heels with you' startle her just a little bit?''
JJ countered miserably, making Garcia think about it. She supposed JJ was right; Emily seemed to be clueless that JJ was a ladies lady. She just wished she could intervene properly, but she knew that they had to discover this on their own. Stupid love rules, they sucked.
''Well, yeah I guess it would. So why don't you start a little slower. Tell her you're a skirt chaser!''
She cooed excitedly, beaming up at her shocked friend.
JJ squeaked, making Garcia shrug, still beaming happily.
''Well you are!''
Flopping down on the other chair in the room, JJ sighed as she began to rub her head slowly, feeling the headache starting to arrive. Somehow though, she managed to look vaguely amused and distressed at the same time. Garcia had always had a way with words, and internally, she was very amused, and kind of touched. The woman always made her feel special, just by the way she could describe something like that.
''Thanks for putting it so colourfully.''
She pretended to grumble, though actually finding it sweet. Garcia had a lot of 'colourful' names to call her, which she did. Often.
''That's what I'm here for.''
The analyst chirped before leaning forward and putting her hands over JJ's knees, managing to establish eye contact again with the slumped blonde.
''Look, sooner or later, you'll have to tell her. So it might as well be sooner, right? And then you can play it by ear as to her reactions, okay?''
She suggested in compromise, speaking to JJ's logical side. Because really, it was about time JJ put Emily in the loop anyway, whether this was the situation or not.
''Kinda makes sense, I guess.''
''You know it. You've been hesitating over this for too long, JJ. It's getting redundant. If she's any kind of friend, she won't give a rats ass about who you date. And anyone would be lucky to have your affection focused on them, even if they weren't interested.''
Garcia stated affectionately, thoroughly believing what she said. She knew her friend, knew who she was beneath the walls and the complication. Anyone would be lucky to gain her affection, the girl was a gem. Even if Emily was straight, which clearly she was not, Garcia knew that she would have been okay about it. Because she was a good person, and she was kind and just as loyal as JJ. The good thing about this was, if they let themselves be honest, it was a win win situation. If they both stopped being so afraid of themselves and each other, they could be happy together.
''You think so?''
JJ asked quietly and hopefully, looking at Garcia with big blue puppy dog eyes.
''I know so.''
Uplifted a little, taking Garcia's words to heart, JJ smiled. Sometimes it was nice to hear something like that. It was nice to have someone remind her that she was a good person deep down, because she could forget it sometimes. She knew she was a good person generally. She worked had, cared about people, helped them, helped bring a little justice into the world. She did her part. But when it came to women, JJ was both confident and unconfident. She knew how capable she was at attracting women, because she did so, a lot. She played the field, extensively. However, she could never figure out just how she did it, and that's where the lack of confidence came from. She thought for sure that even if she could get over certain fears about commitment, no one would be crazy enough to look over her past and trust her enough to be with. But it was nice that Garcia believed it.
''You're welcome. Now get your sexy ass out that door, and go out to dinner with Em and have a good time. Stop worrying so much.''
The shorter woman ordered, fetching in a bossy and no nonsense tone and expression that made JJ raise her eyebrow.
''And when did you become the boss of me again?''
Garcia just grinned cryptically, an elusive smile reaching her lips as she looked at JJ like the answer was both obvious and a foregone conclusion.
''Oh my girl, I've always been the boss of you. Now scoot!''
Chuckling, much calmer and clear headed, JJ stood up and leant over to cup each side of Garcia's face before placing a thankful kiss on her forehead, making her chuckle lightly. Then, with an appreciative smile, she turned and walked out of the office, going in search of Emily.
She found her, of course, where she said she would be, in the bullpen. The older woman looked radiant, laughing freely over something that Morgan and Reid were bickering about, happy just to watch the show.
Emily turned, still laughing a little from the boys' shenanigans as she watched JJ walk over.
''Hey, you got everything sorted?''
''Yeah, I think so.''
''Great. Well, I thought about this place around the corner from my apartment.''
The brunette suggested, having been thinking of good places to take JJ since this morning. She hadn't been able to help it. And if she was completely honest with herself, she had often thought about it should the opportunity ever raise itself. They had eaten out together before, but not really a dinner, dinner. She wanted to impress JJ. Not through picking a fancy restaurant, because that would be too much like what would be expected of her by some people. Throwing money at the situation to aid her in her quest.
No, she wanted somewhere that was comfortable, that had great food, somewhere they could relax. Not too busy, but not quiet either. And somewhere that could be romantic, but also friendly. Just so that it could fit any mood or expectation. If JJ really wasn't into her, she would see that the place she had thought of was friendly, but if she was, then she'd be able to pick out the romantic side too.
''Okay. I'm going to swing home first, get changed and stuff. Plus, I gotta give Morgan a ride home.''
''I can grab a ride from Garcia if it's going to cause any trouble.''
Morgan spoke up, not wanting to come between this dinner and the two unaware women.
''Morgan, I'm the only one that lives in your direction, remember?''
She reminded him with a quirked eyebrow, making him grimace in realisation. Bothturned to Emily as she nodded.
''Besides, I wouldn't mind going home and freshening up myself. It'll give me time to do that.''
She intervened, therefore putting an end to the dilemma. JJ nodded once, definitively, thankful that she would have at least a little time to prepare herself. After her little meltdown in Garcia's office, she needed a little time to herself. She didn't often lose it like that, prided herself on keeping things just a little more contained. Keeping herself level headed. But she was human, right? Still, preparation time was good.
''Okay, does 7 sound okay?''
Emily nodded enthusiastically.
''7 is great.''
''See you then. C'mon Morgan, if we go know we'll beat traffic.''
JJ said in an authoritive tone, making Morgan widen his eyes at Emily and Reid who snickered as JJ turned and started to walk away. He saluted and pointed after the retreating blonde as he started to walk backwards after her.
''Yes Ma'am! See you guys, have a good weekend.''
The remaining two Agent's waved him off, and Emily sighed lightly as she watched JJ leave, shoving her hands into her pockets as she did. She didn't glance at Reid as he stepped in next to her, but knew he had.
''Sounds almost like a date to me.''
He mused, getting a rather pathetic grunt out of his troubled friend.
''One that she doesn't know about if it was.''
''Are you going to say anything?''
Emily sighed again, still staring at the glass doors even though JJ was long gone. Was she going to say anything? Could she get past her anxiety about it? Could she put herself on the line like that? There were many things that Emily was confident about in herself, but when it came to matters of the heart, she knew she was a cop out. When it came to stepping up and taking that big of a risk, she never knew whether she would or not. Not until it happened. There had been times when she had chickened, out, and other times when she had taken that risk. But with JJ?
''I don't know.''
They hadn't really talked about it, during the ride home. JJ had kept her thoughts about Emily to herself, and Morgan had obviously picked up that she seriously didn't want to vocalise them. So they had talked about unimportant things, and once again Morgan had told her that she had a strange taste in music as he had rummaged through her iPod. More music seemed to appear on it every time he looked.
Upon saying goodbye as JJ pulled up outside of his house, Morgan had given her one of his charming and sincere smiles, silently telling her that she could do what she wanted to do. She herself wasn't so sure, but again it felt nice to have that belief given to her.
Both JJ and Emily tried to relax in the time between leaving work and getting ready for dinner. The pair of them made themselves busy and at the same time thought about different things. Either way, they both valued the friendship with the other, and that's what they were supposed to be going out as. They were friends, there to provide each other with some company to wash off the remnants of work as the weekend started. So both decided that they would be a friend to the other, have fun, and see where things went.
Having forgotten to ask Emily whether the place they were going to was casual or not, JJ chose to wear some jeans that worked for practically any situation. Just, not work. They were definitely not suitable for work. Going for simple, she chose to where a white t-shirt with it, that fitted her well and she knew the front of it could ride up a little sometimes. She let her hair down, and grabbed a casual suit styled jacket, light brown and suited to the jeans and t-shirt. Simple.
Emily also went along the same theory as her friend, unbeknownst to her. She too opted for jeans that would never be suitable for work, and a rather low cut shirt with elbow length sleeves. Deep red. She too left her hair down, adding the loose curled affect at the ends.
When JJ had arrived at Emily's apartment, the brunette had let her in, collecting a couple of things and wanting to grab a jacket. Also, she had wanted to catch her breath. The sight of JJ like that, it had pressed very specific buttons inside of her. Not that she didn't think JJ was utterly gorgeous all of the time, she did. But she didn't always get an opportunity to see the blonde in this kind of dress. She would wear jeans and shirts out in the field, t-shirts too, but not like those. The simplicity of it was affectively striking.
Little did she know the blonde was thinking much the same, having to clear her throat discretely, hardly being able to rip her eyes away from the exquisite brunette. Again, she'd seen Emily wear jeans, but those jeans? No. That shirt too, with the plunging cut, she had almost groaned in frustration. All it made her want to do was to get rid of it, slowly.
This was going to be harder than she thought.
Seeing as the restaurant was so near, they decided to walk to it, talking lightly about Emily's building, the surrounding area and the restaurant itself. JJ smiled as she listened to her friend wax lyrical about it, and found herself getting hungrier and hungrier. She knew Emily tended to have great taste in restaurants, and she was sure this was going to be no different.
Emily had definitely been right; the place was lovely. It had a cosy and warm feel to it, very friendly and atmospheric. It was a little hidden, so it was just that perfect balance between quiet and busy. You could really relax in here, unbothered by the masses. A little of a hideaway. It also had its romantic overtures. JJ wasn't sure if that meant anything, however, given that a lot of restaurants could feel like that.
Either way, she pushed that out of her head, settling into the table they were seated at. Almost immediately, that banter between them started up, and she let herself stop thinking. Before she knew it, they were deep in conversation. Had been all throughout dinner, which was delicious. It seemed that time just oozed by comfortably, leading them to be sitting and finishing up the wine that they had ordered. JJ obviously had only opted for a glass, as she had to drive home.
''You did not!''
Emily gasped in shock, chuckling at the revelation that JJ had purposely dyed her hair brown in college. She couldn't imagine her as anything other than blonde, but maybe that was because it was just how she had always seen her. What she couldn't believe though, was that JJ would do it. In actual fact, true blondes were not as common as they seemed. So it was surprising to her that JJ had dyed it brown, when most people would kill to have her hair.
''Oh, unfortunately, I did!''
The younger woman grimaced as she laughed, shaking her head and rolling her eyes at herself. After a moment she breathed in, calming a little as she sipped her wine and began to look out at the passers by down the street.
''I was dating this…soccer player, and I was just completely besotted. God, I look back on that and cringe. But you know, I was barely 18, fresh in college, first time away from the farm. I was so damn naïve.''
She mused quietly, yet seriously. Her eyes continued to watch the strangers' pass by, realising that she had just purposely missed out the vital information that this soccer player had been a girl. Not the first girl that she had been with, but the first that she had actually loved.
''So, he was your first love?''
Emily broached, aware of the change in the air. JJ faltered, blinking as she looked away from the window and back at Emily again, taken off guard by the presumption. But then, she had never given her reason to presume otherwise, had she?
''Urm…yeah, I guess. If we're talking about real love, and not the silly high school love, then yes.''
Emily nodded in understanding, knowing the difference of feeling that JJ was referring to. She had never heard her talk about this kind of thing much. There had been general comments of course, but never anything too specific.
''So what happened?''
She watched JJ shrug lightly; looking down at her wine she had left in her glass, her fingers beginning to twiddle it around in little circles. Obviously whatever had happened still had some impact on the younger woman. And it was obviously not easy for her to talk about.
''I let myself get dragged into something I wasn't expecting. Let myself be changed, bit-by-bit. Resulting in the dyed brown hair for most of the year! I guess it's not really funny in that context. When I realised it was starting to get pretty bad, I resisted. And then…''
Pretty bad was more or less an understatement. And it still got to her to this day that she hadn't stopped it before it had gotten out of control. But she had been in love, and having no real experience with the magnitude of that feeling, she had made excuses for her controlling girlfriend. She had gone along with it. And she had been changed. What was worse was that she had let it happen. For someone that had always been in control of herself, that hadn't been easy to deal with.
Realising that she had drifted off, knowing she didn't really need to say anymore, she looked up at Emily again, offering her a sad smile. The brunette looked at her intently, having no judgement in her eyes, only understanding and empathy.
''Then followed the heartbreak?''
JJ widened her eyes in a flash, nodding as she released a breath.
''Yeah. In a big way. Took me a while to pick myself up from that one. Never really let myself do it again, you know? The relationship thing? I mean, I've been in relationships since. But I don't know if I gave my everything, you know? They say I didn't, when they were over. I just, I've always been so private. It takes a lot for me to trust people, takes even more to hand over my heart.''
She admitted, not letting herself think about the disaster that had happened only two years after that relationship. The one she had mentioned to Garcia. That also had put her off relationships, having recoiled like whiplash. In high school it had been sweeter, a lot more innocent. More experimental. She hadn't been so closed off, hadn't been so jaded. College had been the trigger. It wasn't actually that she was jaded. She was just terrified. Playing the field had come easy to her, and it had seemed the best way to keep things simple. To keep herself safe.
Again, she realised what she had just said, having no idea why she had said it. Why on earth would she tell Emily something like that? She didn't just say things like that to people, especially when she wanted that someone to think highly of her. Plus, they had been having a really nice conversation and she had just brought it down. Rolling her eyes, she snickered irritably.
''God, why am I even talking about this? Way to piss on the parade, huh?''
At the bitterness in JJ's voice as she began to look away, obviously upset and angry at herself, Emily reached out and covered the young woman's hand, squeezing it gently.
''Not at all.''
The gesture, and the softness in Emily's voice made JJ look at her again. Emily eyes were so deep, so intense. JJ felt like she could fall into them and happily drown. The light behind them was penetrating, and she felt as though she couldn't look away. Felt the air shift slightly; beginning to think that there was a charge there between them. The moment seemed to slow down, Emily didn't retract her hand, didn't flinch or look away. But JJ knew it was only her. Emily was trying to be a good friend.
''I'm honoured that you trust me enough to be able to talk about this, or anything else. And there isn't a time when I wouldn't listen, I'm your friend.''
The brunette continued, also feeling as though there was a charge, but she dismissed it quickly. JJ had opened up to her; she shouldn't be reading into that, it wasn't fair.
Clearing her throat, JJ looked down slightly, trying to hide the wounded flinch at having what she thought very much confirmed. Friends. Not that it wasn't valued, it was. She loved Emily's friendship. But it had just been clearly stated that it was exactly the only thing they were and would be.
She mumbled quietly, still reeling a little but also still very grateful for Emily's support.
''And for the record, JJ? I don't think you need to change anything about yourself. And if anyone tries to make you, you don't need them in your life.''
Emily stated unwaveringly, having nothing but sincerity and respect in her voice. The intensity in which it was said made JJ blush lightly, smiling nervously and awkwardly.
There was no room for doubt in the simple answer, not in her voice and not in her eyes. Emily said exactly what she meant. She was at a loss as to why anyone would want to change JJ in the first place, because she was fine as she was. She wouldn't be JJ otherwise. Emily could tell that the experience had deeply affected JJ, she knew how strong she was and how prided upon being in control that she was. It must have been hard. And she was sure she had learnt from that experience. Was sure that if anyone got that close again, if she let them, JJ would recognise the signs and stop it from being repeated. There was one thing Emily definitely knew for sure. She would never dream of making JJ change for her.
As JJ smiled appreciatively, the moment grew lighter, and they moved on to a more comfortable subject. Not long after, the last of the wine was finished and Emily paid for dinner, leaving them to grab their jackets and head outside to walk back to her apartment. They walked slowly, trying to make the time linger.
''You know what I just realised?''
Emily said, breathing in as a thought occurred to her as they ambled along the street.
''I haven't thought about work tonight.''
She mused, sounding a little shocked at the notion. JJ frowned thoughtfully, recalling the conversations in her mind they had had, and her own thoughts along with them. Work had seemed to be absent from her mind too, thankfully.
''Me neither. It's nice to just forget about it sometimes.''
Emily grunted squeakily.
''Yeah, it is. What do you usually do?''
''How'd you mean?''
''To forget work, when you're alone I mean?''
Breathing in, JJ thought about what she did do, and what was safe to tell Emily what she did.
''I dunno really. I love music, I like to get lost in that sometimes. I run, I go driving. What about you?''
What she hadn't said were her nights out when she let off steam. Or she would be invited to a party by one of her friends. Where she would just dance to get rid of something that had built up in her. Dancing wasn't the only stress reliever though. There were the girls. It was one of her major weaknesses. Like she couldn't say no to coffee, she very rarely could say no to women, either. She loved them. Everything about them. Even though she wasn't exactly sure why she attracted them, she didn't argue with it. She was honest with them. She told them, every one of them, she wasn't looking for anything. She refused to lie. Refused to offer them something she wasn't prepared to give to have her needs satisfied.
''Same really. I drive too. Read or something. I like the museums. Horses.''
Emily replied, tucking her hands into her jeans pockets. She too didn't express all the things she liked to do to let off steam. Didn't mention her own fascination with women.
''Guess we all have our different outlets, even if we don't realise that they are.''
''Well, what we do is…''
Emily grimaced as she trailed off, suddenly not being able to find a word. How the hell did you express something like that? She was a linguist, she loved words. She loved languages. Yet all her knowledge of them couldn't help her pick a word out. Yet still, JJ nodded, knowing exactly what she meant.
Rounding the corner to Emily's building, both women stopped, hovering by JJ's SUV.
''Well, thank you for dinner. You didn't have to do that, but it was much appreciated. Especially considering I have absolutely nothing in my fridge!''
JJ joked nervously but seriously, making Emily laugh.
''Seriously, I've got to go by the store on the way home. I could possibly starve to death otherwise!''
Yet again, Emily laughed.
''That's pretty dire, JJ!''
''Tell me 'bout it. But what with our time away this week, there's just been no time. I trashed everything in the fridge when I got home today. I was going to swing to the store then, but I fell asleep for an hour. Then I figured I'd be okay until this evening, seeing as you were feeding me!''
JJ had absolutely no idea why she was telling Emily this, but at least it was making her laugh. And JJ did love to hear Emily laugh.
''Well, I'm delighted I could be of assistance. I may text you later to make sure you're still alive.''
She joked, making JJ laugh this time as she nodded whilst wincing playfully at her situation.
''Okay! But seriously, thanks. I had a good time.''
Actually, JJ had had more than a good time. This had been the best none date date that she had ever had. Things had been so comfortable, so natural. Even with the deeper talk. It had actually felt good, she didn't open up too often and it had felt good to have done so. She was glad that Emily knew that she trusted her.
''Yeah, so did I.''
Emily nodded, an almost whimsical tone in her voice. She had thoroughly enjoyed their time together, as she always did. It was nice to be out just the two of them, having the freedom to really talk. Still, if only it had really been a date. If it had of been, she would consider it a fabulous one. One of those perfect dates you saw in movies and always wished to experience.
''Good. I should get going, the evening traffic from here to my place can be a bitch.''
She didn't want to leave. She wanted to stay and be around Emily more. Wanted to go back upstairs. Didn't want to drive home to her empty house.
''Okay. Drive safe. See you Monday.''
Emily didn't want JJ to go, but declined on asking her for coffee. Especially with JJ saying that she needed to leave. It probably would have seemed inappropriate anyway. So instead, she stood in the awkward silence that came between them as neither of them didn't seem to know what to do.
After a moment, JJ pressed the button on her keys to open her car and got in. Quickly, she buckled up and started up the SUV, waving with a smile, which she got in return, before she pulled out and drove down the street. And then she was gone.
Sighing heavily, Emily looked dejected on the side of the street. Although it had been a great dinner, there was one thing she had come out sure of.
''Well…she's definitely straight. Damnit.''
By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, JJ had finally managed to relax. After her dinner with Emily, and even though her feelings were a tangled mess around that, she felt pretty good. Like she had told the older Agent, she had picked up some essentials from the store on the way home. When she had gotten home however, she had been so tired that the only thing she had done was shower and crawl into a much missed bed. She had slept the whole night through, and allowed herself to have a rather good sleep in.
Now, JJ found herself responding to the sound of the doorbell being pressed insistently. Moving through the house, she got to the door and pulled it open to be greeted by a light brunette woman, who immediately dropped her wide grin as she took in her state of being in some cotton pants and a vest.
''You're not ready. Why aren't you ready?''
Came the immediate demand as her friend gawked at her with something nothing short of dismay running through hazel eyes. JJ was used to her friend's abrasiveness, but she still raised an eyebrow at the greeting. Plus, why the hell would she be ready now?
''Be-cause we have 2 hours before we meet the girls?''
She answered lightly, showing her confusion and adding a simple tone to her voice. Bella liked to be ready early, she knew. But two hours was a little over the top.
JJ rolled her eyes and turned away from the door, beginning to walk down the hallway back toward the kitchen, leaving the door open for her friend.
''Don't call me Jennifer.''
She warned, hearing the door close behind Bella.
''…that is no excuse. You're a woman. A very hot woman that is seriously in denial that she needs to sleep with me, but a woman none the less. Take this time to groom!''
Bella completely ignored JJ's warning, breezily continuing on as she followed JJ back into the kitchen. Sometimes she just couldn't understand her sassy blonde friend. JJ would always leave a stupidly small space of time to get ready in. And although she always got ready within that time, and always looked gorgeous, Bella still did not approve. It wasn't as though she was some girly diva herself or something, but they were hard working women that deserved to pamper themselves once in a while.
Getting back into the kitchen, JJ went to the breakfast counter where she had been, then simply quirked an eyebrow at the brunette. She had met Bella a few years ago when some mutual friends had had a party, and they had gotten along like a house on fire. There was something about her that was just captivating. Something underneath the bluster and bravado, the cockiness and the arrogance.
''You're full of shit. And I am not in denial, I just don't want to sleep with you!''
JJ responded dryly, rolling her eyes gently as she smirked a little. That had also been an ongoing theme since they had made friends. Bella was a beautiful girl; actually if JJ was honest she was more than that. However, the attraction wasn't there. And if it ever had chance to be, becoming such good friends had made her blind to it. She loved Bella, loved all that sweet talking confidence, how cocky she was, loved seeing the heart of gold underneath. She was fun to be around, and she had always been there for her.
''See, right there! Denial baby!''
Bella insisted, pointing at JJ with a huge smug grin on her face. JJ just scoffed in amusement, rolling her eyes again as he shook her head before picking up the last half of the bagel she had been eating as she was flipping through the afternoon paper. Out the corner of her eye she saw Bella shrug before making herself comfortable on one of the stools on the other side of the counter.
''Well, seeing as we'll be cooling our heels for a while, you got any beer?''
Nodding, JJ walked over to the fridge and pulled out two bottles, handing one to Bella as she returned to her position at the counter.
''Amber should be here soon.''
''Another chick that wants to sleep with me!''
Bella grinned, wagging her eyebrows suggestively before taking a mouthful of her beer. Sometimes Bella would remind JJ of Garcia when she was being perverted and lecherous, because Garcia got that same look when she was drooling over Morgan.
She responded flatly, sipping the beer before turning a page in the paper, knowing full well that Bella was watching her thoughtfully.
''So, what has your fine self been up to today? Taking it easy I hope, seeing as you worked like, a gazillion hours this week.''
JJ just nodded simply.
''I slept in, cleaned up some, went shopping for the old lady across the street…''
''Awww, you can take the girl outta the farm but not the farm outta the girl!''
The brunette teased sweetly, her whisky voice mischievous.
''Shut up! Did some stuff. Talked to my niece on the video chat. I just came back from a run, which is why I'm not dressed.''
Bella nodded, thinking that was as good a rest JJ was going to have. She never sat still for long, so that was pretty much a light day for her. At least she had slept in. And she knew that she enjoyed talking to her niece. Despite certain family issues, JJ missed them, that much was pretty obvious. Especially the kid.
She blinked a little as JJ began to move, absently pottering around and putting things in the kitchen away. As she reached up to put something in one of the higher cupboards, Bella propped her head up on the counter and sighed dreamily.
''Stop looking at my ass.''
JJ ordered, not even having to turn around to know that was exactly what Bella was doing.
''Can't help it.''
JJ turned around again, eyebrows quirked.
''How long have we been friends?''
''And you still think it's going to happen?''
She questioned lightly. It wasn't as though she thought Bella was going to stop any time soon thought. Her friend was incorrigible. They always fooled around with one another, trading in comments like that. But deep down, they both knew that for Bella, the attraction really was there. Had always been there.
''Hey, a girl can dream, right? We're entitled to our dream woman fantasies, thank you very much.''
JJ looked up quickly, somewhat surprised at the comment. The soft sincerity behind the jokey tone had rang clear in her ears, and as she looked at Bella she could see the truth of her statement somewhere deep in her eyes.
Scoffing, Bella flailed a little, an almost pained look appearing on her beautiful face as she rolled her eyes, straining to make her point. Straining to try and get it into JJ's head for once. God her friend was seriously in need of a reality check.
''Oh c'mon, check yourself out in the mirror sometime JJ. Why do you think women fall over themselves to be with you? Some of them even know your reputation and they don't care.''
''I do not have a reputation.''
JJ huffed defensively, glowering across the counter.
''Honey you damn well do and you know it. You're the elusive, mysterious heartbreaker.''
Bella countered, knowing that JJ already knew about that. For some reason JJ could never accept the state of her unbelievable hotness, or why said women flocked to her. It had been something Bella had been trying to get through to her since they met, but it had never worked. JJ was too modest, didn't really have the capacity to be brash and arrogant about it, which she clearly could have been. But that's why she was such a cool person. Bella didn't think it would suit JJ if she adopted an attitude like hers. The blonde could be confident with women whilst she was with them, but overall, it just wasn't there. She was too stoic for that, too pleasant. She saw too much out there in the world, and hurt a lot because of it. She was the laid back girl from a small town, had taught to be humble.
There was something else that Bella had become highly aware of this last year or so. Especially in these last few months. JJ was in pain. Not an obvious, screaming pain, but it was there nonetheless. She knew her friend better than she thought; those eyes of hers betrayed her sometimes. And when once there had been a certain something in the pools of blue when she met a girl someplace; now it was just emptiness. Now it was replacement for something. Now it was about the need to be with another person, like she was trying to fill this void inside, but actually would never let herself connect with anyone long enough.
''Yeah well, that may be coming to an end.''
''JJ don't swear.''
Bella gasped in mock horror, knowing that JJ was not in a position to talk about most of it. And if Bella let on that she knew more than she had said, it would make her recoil. So she played her roll of the one track minded player.
''I mean it. I'm sick of it. I've been sick of it for a long time.''
''So why do you do it?''
''Because it's the only thing I can do. It doesn't matter, just forget I said anything.''
JJ gazed at the counter, trying to push the image of Emily's hand covering her own out of her head. On her run earlier, she had come to some conclusions. That this wasn't her anymore. This lifestyle wasn't her anymore. And she could accept that. Because she was Jennifer Jareau, and she didn't back down from challenges, no matter how hard they were. She had made it all the way to the fricking FBI. Into the BAU, of all things. The work she did there was full on and exhaustingly hard. But she didn't back down. If she needed to move on in herself now, then she would work on doing that.
This wasn't her anymore, but she didn't regret anything. She didn't regret the girls, the lack of complications, the reputation. She had made choices, she had lived those choices, and she was still a damn good person. She was still surrounded by the best friends anyone could ask for.
However, she had also acknowledged that unless it was with Emily, she wasn't quite ready to take a step forward yet. If she couldn't have Emily, which she knew she couldn't, then she wasn't interested. It would take someone worth moving on for to get her to do it, she was sure of it. There were little things she could change in the meantime.
''JJ, if you need to talk…''
''I'm fine. Just a tough week at work, is all.''
She brushed off quickly, visibly shaking the mood away from her, looking back up as Bella grunted grumpily.
''I hate your job. What's more, I can't believe I hang out with someone so responsible as you. You're like, really grown up. With an important job and everything! Shit, you carry a gun for crying out loud. Which is just beyond hot, by the way. But sometimes, you're on my TV screen and I'm like 'damn, that's one of my best friends', you know?''
Bella flailed in her exasperation, still having an air of bewilderment that she actually knew someone like JJ. It was so weird to see her be all authorative and assertive with the press, be all Agent Jareau like, when she had seen her as JJ. She had been to parties with her, seen her drink grown men under the table, seen her pick up girls, seen her dance, seen her fooling around playing air guitar to music. She had seen her hung over in the morning. She knew her likes and dislikes. And yet, there she was. This tough, kick ass FBI Agent that went from place to place helping to stop serial killers. Who knew people like that? So responsible and grown up.
''You're a nurse!''
JJ pointed out incredulously, laughing when Bella laughed too.
''Well…yeah. But I'm an immature one. And really, let's be honest…the uniforms made me do it!''
She reasoned, making JJ laugh and shake her head. The thing was JJ could absolutely buy that if she wanted to. Bella must have hit up half the hospital at least. But she knew that it wasn't the only reason. She had wanted to help in her own way too.
''I don't get shot at, or see the things you see. I don't hunt serial killers. That's just…that's just wow, you know?''
The brunette continued, reminding JJ of Emily's words last night. Or well, the lack of being able to find a description for it. Like it was just so beyond surreal that there was simply never going to be a word for it.
''Yeah. It's a little surreal for me too sometimes. The kid from the farm in the most elite unit of the FBI. I feel like I shouldn't be there sometimes.''
JJ admitted, taking in a breath. Somehow, it always seemed like the others had a reason for being there. Hotch had been to Harvard, studied law to become a prosecutor. And when that hadn't been enough for him, when he started thinking his job came too late to help, he joined the FBI. And Hotch, everyone knew, had had an abusive Father.
Reid had a mind that never stopped, allowing him to gain the three PhD's he had and the handful of BA's too. He was so young, so innocent, that it horrified him what went on in the world. And his experience with his family, his Father abandoning him and his Mother being a paranoid schizophrenic had spurred him in this line of work. So jarred by the world that he needed to do something about it. Needed to put his genius to use.
Morgan had grown up in Chicago, surrounded by gangs and crime. His Father had been killed, leaving his Mother to raise him and his sisters alone. And as though staying on the right track hadn't been hard enough, the man that was supposed to be a Father figure had abused him. And when he had blown his knee out in college, he hadn't stopped. He had joined the Chicago PD, and made his way to the FBI.
Gideon had such a profound insight into people that it could literally hurt him. In many ways, he was damned. And like Reid was horrified into making sure he used his knowledge to help, Gideon had done much the same. She was sure there was something else, under the surface. Some trauma that had hit him like the others, but he was so private that she couldn't tell what it was. But his family breaking apart surely hadn't helped.
Garcia had lost her parents to a drunk driver, leaving her life in a tailspin. Leaving her to realise that even good people suffered at the hands of terrible things and terrible people. She'd had part of her life stolen away. The people that had taught her, had raised her, had loved her, gone forever, leaving her permanently scared.
Emily. God where did she start with Emily? She was a Prentiss. That statement alone could cover it. In many ways, the brunette would never recover from the abandonment she had suffered as a child. Not the same abandonment that Reid had suffered, or Garcia had suffered. But an abandonment all the same. In fact, it might have been worse. Her parents had been right there in front of her, but never been there for her. Dragged her around the world, and although Emily clearly had made the best of everything, it had still hurt her deeply. Left her with an almost cruel insight into people.
Her? She had grown up with her brothers and her parents on a farm out in rural Pennsylvania. The land was beautiful, and the people although nosey and therefore irritating, tended to be good people. Nothing had ever really happened there. She had suffered no trauma. Her Father wasn't abusive in any way; her Mother was warm and affectionate. They had taught her many things. Playing soccer had been the only pressure she had really felt in high school, when everyone had pushed and pushed. But that was it. She had gotten her scholarship to Pittsburgh, worked hard, made friends, and accepted the offer from the FBI.
Flying through the academy and gaining high praise from her teachers, she had been offered a few positions. And she had taken one that she knew would lead her onto the BAU. Why?
Why indeed. She couldn't think of anything that had happened to explain it, other than that she wanted to help people. Other than that she knew she was capable of it.
''I don't know. God, I need to get drunk. I've been in a weird mood for a couple of days.''
''Are you okay? Really, are you doing okay?''
Narrowing her eyes, Bella looked worried as she asked, wondering what the thoughts were in troubled blue eyes.
''I'm fine. I just need to let off some steam, is all.''
As JJ looked at her, she could see the blonde silently asking her to let it go, and help her do that. Instantly, she granted the wish. Grinning widely, she held her arms out a little, as though she was pulling a pose, and wiggled her fingers toward herself.
''Well baby, you've come to the right girl!''
JJ laughed before Bella thrust her beer bottled toward her, wiggling it slightly in order to get her to clink it against her own. As she did, Bella grinned further and raised her eyebrows both questioningly and knowingly.
As they started to talk about random things, JJ let her mind switch off from work and the complications she had been feeling. Still, there was something she couldn't quite brush off. Something that was causing her to feel a little out of sorts, a little disconnected. She had a sneaking feeling that that feeling was all centred around Emily. Friday had actually been pretty hard for her, due to the domino like affect that had happened. Morgan had interrogated her in the car in the morning, advising her to do something about it. Emily had looked at her in that way, offering her dinner and had actually lived up to it. Garcia had told her to tell her, or at least, tell her she was gay. And then that dinner had been amazing. But JJ had still chickened out of telling her anything. Had missed the perfect opportunity when Emily had said 'he'. It had all happened in the same day. And she was absolutely sure that the brunette was straight after it. So in the space of a day, she went from having a little hope to having that door slammed in her face. Leaving her to try and shake it off, but not quite managing.
Still, Bella helped. Catching her up with their circle of friends' goings on and making her laugh so hard that her stomach actually hurt. It hadn't been long until their other friend Amber had arrived, and the banter had really started going. JJ had found it easier to be part of that, fooling around with her friends and starting to get ready much to Bella's relief.
Eventually, after relaxing and messing around, also modelling a variety of outfits upon her two friends' insistence, they headed out to their favourite and regular club. It wasn't very well known. Actually, it was a little hidden away, making you have to know where to go to get to it. Of course, that had been done on purpose, making it an intimate little place that was more word of mouth than anything. Particularly among professional women. It gave a lot of women anonymity, letting them be themselves without any hassle. You could definitely just relax and have a good time there, that's why JJ liked it so much. And even the times that she had come face to face with a reporter she recognised or two, there hadn't been a problem.
The club played a lot of rock, the heavier beats. Anything you could dance to, really. Songs with the dirty bases that ran straight through your person, adding to the heat that you never failed to find in there. The atmosphere was thick and raw, one you could get lost in, but one that was actually comfortable too. If you weren't in that frame of mind, there were more chilled areas to take breathers in.
Apparently, they were the last three to arrive, given that the other girls were huddled around together near the bar with some drinks. Immediately, JJ felt herself relax a little more as they group welcomed them, hugs being given all around. She was beginning to feel a little better, being around this group made you feel energetic.
JJ had dressed like she had been ordered to dress, but secretly, she had been intending to wear what she was anyway. She just let Bella and Amber think that they had control over her wardrobe choices. Again, another pair of jeans that would never in a million years been suitable for work. Low cut and rather fitting with one of her favourite belts. Along with those a red strappy top, something that again, fit rather snugly. And the white tribly hat that Bella had insisted that she wear to complete the outfit. It didn't even register to her for quite some time that the ensemble turned a lot of heads, too interested in her friends to care right then.
After the marathon catch up, many sexual innuendos, introductions to a couple of new girlfriend's of a couple of her friend's and a few drinks, the group had hit the dance floor. She found it easy to go with the beat, as she usually did. It was heavy and powerful, and she found herself able to just shut down her thoughts and let her body move how it wanted to. She danced either with a friend, or on her own, lost in the feel of the flow, letting the case wither away from her bit by bit. It was intense and cathartic, and exactly what she needed. She stayed like that, song after song, letting herself get lost.
Eventually though, when she came back to herself, JJ indicated that she was heading over to the bar, wanting a little time out. A little time to herself. After exorcising a few things out on the dance floor, she just wanted to breath for a little bit. Now that she had come up for air as it were, she realised that she was still left with that feeling she had earlier. It was harder to shake off than she had thought it would be.
Still, the blonde was still a lot happier. Had still vented some things, and was actually having a good time. She smirked as she passed her friends, rolled her eyes as she spied Bella making out with some girl off in a corner. Shaking her head as she chuckled to herself, JJ made her way over to the bar. Looking down it, she knew it would be a few minutes until she got served, so she turned back to watch some of her friends. Amber was doing some pretty funky dancing on the dance floor, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. That made her feel good. It reminded her just why she did what she did. So people were free to be themselves and do what they wanted to do.
As someone cleared their throat pointedly behind her, JJ snapped out of it and turned around to sheepishly face the waiting bartender. A highly disgruntled bartender actually, that she was surprised would serve her after the…miscommunication that they had had.
The redheaded woman nodded, moving off silently to go and grab a bottle of water from one of the fridges. As she did, a dark brunette woman slipped up to the bar beside the waiting Agent.
''Hey there. Sam.''
Upon being offered a hand from the woman, JJ shook it politely.
Immediately, JJ couldn't help but take notice of the striking woman. She was perhaps an inch or two taller than her, putting her somewhere around 5'8, 5'9. She seemed slender, athletic even. Her hair was a nice shade of dark brown that matched her eyes, and her facial features were beautiful. Generally, the woman was just hot.
''I've been watching you tonight.''
The stranger said, smirking a little as she made no effort to hide the fact that she was letting her eyes move up and down JJ's body lustfully.
''Oh really, why's that?''
The blonde replied coyly, gaining that strange air of confidence she held with women. It helped when she definitely knew they were interested, and there was no doubt that this woman was interested.
''I like the way you move.''
Sam stated, simply yet also seductively. JJ took the water bottle that the bartender came back with, handing over the money for it but keeping her attention on the brunette. She felt the familiar signs of attraction wrapping themselves around her. Instantly thought about how good it would be to taste those lips and explore that body.
''No problem. You run, don't you?''
JJ quirked an eyebrow, smirking a little as she did.
''Amongst other things. How closely were you watching, exactly?''
''Close enough. You wanna dance?''
Like a moth to a flame, JJ followed the brunette back toward the dance floor, desire having filled up both her eyes and her body. As she passed her friends, she thrust her bottle at one of them carelessly, ignoring the round of knowing laughs as she passed them by, moving into the mass of grinding bodies.
Sam turned, smirking as JJ stepped into her personal bubble as they both followed the music. The bass moved through them both, and the surrounding heat hit them. As they moved freely, enticingly, they gravitated closer still, until they were moving as one. Until the movement became more of a grind, with hands on sides and hips.
It was Sam that made the next move, closing the small gap between them to kiss JJ, who readily accepted it. Who had been waiting for it, because she wasn't willing to give an inch right now, wanting to make Sam do the work.
It was deep and hungry, matching the want in their eyes and the heat of the moment. Tongues roamed, duelled and explored intently, making bodies respond and throb as it was felt along every inch. It made the rest of the world disappear, made the thundering music fade away. And oddly enough, it made JJ have a moment of clarity. Enough so that she pulled away from Sam's mouth, panting heavily as a small frown covered her face.
Her moment of realisation was confirmed as she just looked at the other woman intently, even almost darkly. Sam was a striker for Emily. Freakily so.
''What's the matter?''
Shaking her head, JJ stuttered as she unwrapped herself from the stranger, mind clouding over in shock as she tried to step back. There wasn't much room to move, and she was finding it hard to breathe.
''Nothing I just…I'm sorry, I can't do this.''
Sam's shocked, and slightly pissed of question made JJ stall her ultimate panic for a moment, enough to look at her apologetically. She at least owed the woman an explanation at why she had run from hot to cold.
''You're beautiful, and on any other night before this…but I'm just not into it.''
JJ sighed, internally wincing at that damn realisation. Sam was a dead ringer for Emily. But she wasn't Emily. And Emily was the one she couldn't get out of her head. The one she wanted. The one that she, evidently, could not replace.
''You remind me too much of someone.''
She answered honestly. That's what everyone always told her she was, right? Honest. The honest heartbreaker.
Leaving the floor and Sam standing dejectedly in it still, JJ walked back to her friends, taking her water as she once again passed them down. She didn't need to look at them to tell how confused they were, and concerned. But she strode on, definitely wanting to be alone this time.
Climbing up the stairs by the end wall of the club, she came away from the noise and the heat, the mass of bodies and chattering voices. She moved up onto the walkway to seek solace, still thrown by what had just happened. She had never copped out like that before, ever.
Leaning on the railing, JJ breathed deeply, looking upon the hustle beneath her. Unscrewing the top of her water, she took a long drink in an effort to help calm her down a little. The quietness helped too.
Okay, so maybe what she had thought earlier was wrong. Maybe the change inside of her was happening without her control. Maybe she wanted Emily more than she thought. Maybe she really didn't want to play the game anymore, with or without the older brunette. What she seemingly certainly didn't want was some replacement. It wasn't fair to her, it wasn't fair to Emily, and it wasn't fair to the girls like Sam. In fact, it was just plain wrong.
Garcia's words began to echo in her mind. Maybe this was her way of telling herself to be honest to the one person it counted on. She was with everyone else, so why not Emily? Maybe it would help her resolve some feelings. If she talked to her about it, maybe she could move on?
Pulling out her blackberry, JJ was so tempted. Seeing however, that she had missed no calls and there were no unread texts, she sighed and replaced it into her pocket. Now was certainly not the time. Emily would just think she was being stupid, that she was drunk and not thinking properly. Emily would probably think a lot of things if she really found out about the choices she had made.
Honestly, even if there was a chance, why would someone like her actually want her? She was just a farm kid that liked to screw around, and Emily was so much more than that. But deep down, somewhere very deep down, JJ knew that she was more than a farm kid that liked the screw around. That only made it worse.
''Get your ass out of this rut Jennifer. You can't have her, move on.''
Emily squeaked, full of suspicion, doubt and disbelief. She couldn't help stop the training kicking in as she and two of her friends walked along the alley that diverted from the busy street, absolutely sure that most clubs didn't veer this far off the beaten path. It was a little odd, in her book.
One of the women replied, a smug and knowing smile covering her face. Like the redhead, Sarah, had some secret that Emily wasn't clued into.
''Looks a little shady to me.''
The Agent responded, observing all she could about the dark alley surrounding them, looking out for points where someone could hide and make a surprise attack.
''Oh, stop being such an FBI Agent!''
Sarah insisted in a sigh, rolling her eyes and shaking her head almost in dismay. They could never take Emily anywhere without her falling into her Agent mode about something. Granted, this was a little unusual. But they had talked about this club to her before, plenty of times. And she trusted them. Why on earth she thought they'd take her somewhere shady was beyond her.
''Yeah Em, don't worry. It's just out of the way, is all. It's a cool place. Pretty anonymous though. A lot of women come here because it's not well known. You don't know it's here unless you're in the right kind of circle.''
Emily looked at her other friend, Claire, who was walking on the other side of her, fingers tucked into her form fitting jeans as was her habit.
''Well, I'm in your circle…so how come I never knew it was here?''
She wondered, with a tone similar to that of a child when a toy had been taken away.
''You're always working!''
Sarah pointed out shoving the brunette lightly as she smiled, making Emily roll her eyes. God did she cop a lot of shit for that.
''C'mon, you'll have a blast. There's plenty of eye candy.''
Emily refrained from saying anything, thinking that the only 'eye candy' that she wanted to look at was JJ. She didn't even know why she had agreed to come out tonight. All she actually wanted to do was sit at home with some wine and ice cream and mope. Never the less, the couple accompanying her had insisted. And well, when Sarah and Claire tagged teamed you, you just didn't stand a chance. They were pretty scary when they wanted to be.
Upon walking in, the profiler was immediately struck by the atmosphere. It was hot in there, but not particularly in an uncomfortable way. She stripped off her jacket, letting Claire take it as she had taken Sarah's to go and check them into the coat storage. Sarah gestured if she wanted a drink, and Emily nodded, distracted with looking around the unfamiliar surroundings; watching the sea of moving bodies on the dance floor.
The brunette moved her hands from her front pockets to her back pockets as she scanned the vicinity, just taking everything in, completely unaware of the appreciative looks she was getting. It wasn't surprising given both her choice of jeans, and a black fitted camisole/corset type top. It definitely accentuated.
Taking in a breath, still on the walkway, JJ made a decision. She had to stop moping. She had to do something. She realised that if she didn't actually do anything, she would always regret it. What's more, that's why she was feeling like this. Whether it hurt or not, she had to step up. She wasn't someone who let things slide, didn't watch things pass her by. She wanted Emily Prentiss, damnit, and she was sure as hell going to make sure she did everything to get her. That way, she could always say she tried. No regrets.
Having only just arrived at this new state of mind, JJ thought that she was actually seeing things when three women entered the club. A pretty gorgeous redhead, a light blonde and…Emily? No, that wasn't Emily. It couldn't be, could it?
Following the dark brunette with her eyes, JJ watched her intently. Watched her slip off her jacket and give it to her friend. Watched her nod to the redhead when she offered a drink. Watched her watching everything else. And then, she watched her put her hands in her pockets. There was no doubt about it, that was Emily. Emily who looked fantastically hot. Emily that she had just a moment ago decided she was going to go after. Emily who was in a gay bar.
Not even feeling a little panic, JJ smirked as she dug her blackberry from her jeans pocket. Still watching the blissfully unaware older woman, she dialled her number then cleared her throat as she put the device to her ear and waited. It was kind of amusing to watch Emily falter as it started ringing, and fish in her pocket to get her phone.
JJ's smirked got wider at the loud answer, watching Emily cover her ear with her spare hand, her head bowed now to concentrate on listening.
''Hey, it's JJ.''
She greeted nonchalantly.
''Hi. Are you okay?''
''We don't have a case, do we?''
''No, don't worry. Where are you, it sounds loud.''
JJ had to bite down on her bottom lip a little to stop herself from laughing as she saw her friend tense up a little at the question.
''Oh erm…I'm just out with a couple of friends, is all.''
''Really? Where? Sounds like a club.''
''Yeah, yeah it is. But erm…you wouldn't know it.''
JJ stopped grinning now, feeling like she should bring her little game to a close. It was time to do something about this.
''You know Em, I just might.''
''What do you mean?''
''You look good.''
She said seriously, once again, seeing Emily freeze. There was a small silence, and JJ felt her breath catching in her chest. Emily turned to look left, then right, obviously having caught on to the fact that she was here.
''Where are you?''
Immediately Emily complied, looking straight up and locking eyes with the younger blonde woman. JJ stood leaning on the railing, and wiggled her fingers around the bottle she was holding in gesture of a wave.
''This is a gay club, JJ.''
Emily pointed out slowly, somewhat annoyed at being played with. Somewhat annoyed at being busted. But then, it wasn't as though she had been forthcoming with JJ either.
''I'm well aware of that. Kind of a regular here.''
''Why didn't you say anything?''
''Why didn't you?''
Opening her mouth to respond, Emily stalled. She had to admit defeat. Or at least, mutual defeat. They had both been busted, and now it meant a lot of doors had opened up. The rest didn't matter, she didn't care why JJ hadn't said anything. What she cared about was the chance to do something about it. And she couldn't do anything down there on the phone.
''I'm coming up, hold on.''
Disconnecting the call and shoving the phone back into her pocket, Emily managed to weave through the throngs of people to get to the stairs. Making her way up quickly, she cleared her throat, trying to stop her heart from pounding. It was kind of hard when it was assisted by the loud thumping of the drums overhead.
When she got up onto the walkway, JJ was waiting for her. She had turned slightly, but still leant one elbow on the railing casually.
Emily moved closer, until they were stood face to face a few inches apart. And for a moment, nothing happened. They just stood there, looking at each other. Letting the situation sink in. Letting everything shift inside, letting the feelings change and settle.
''I've been meaning to tell you. I thought I was going to at dinner, but I copped out.''
JJ finally said, making Emily nod in agreement.
''Me too. I thought…after that story, I thought for sure you were straight.''
''I'm sorry, I should have corrected you when you said 'he'. That was probably a good time to bring it up.''
''I should have noticed you didn't actually specify. Sneaky.''
''Thanks, I practice. So erm…''
JJ flailed her hand in the air, trying to find a word for the situation. It seemed there was a definitive lack of useful words in the world lately.
Emily rolled her tongue along her lips, taking in a breath as her eyes first flickered down, then as she ran her hand through her hair, then nervously looked back up at the blonde.
''Are you here…with anyone?''
She was painfully aware that she couldn't hide her hopefulness, or her nerves. In fact, she knew that she probably had no business to ask. They were friends, and even if JJ was into women didn't mean she was into her. And like she had told Reid, she didn't know if a girl like JJ would be interested in someone like her. But she owed it to herself to give it a shot.
''No, just friends. You?''
JJ nodded, internally smirking at Emily's quick answer. Like she was desperate to know that she wasn't with anyone. That was a good sign. A very good sign, in fact. That confidence started to inch back. She could do this. She was good at this. And this was Emily. She wasn't scary, wasn't going to go off like a bomb. So she cleared her throat, looking down before she looked up.
''I can't stop thinking about you.''
Although her voice was low, it was quiet enough on the walkway, and there were standing near enough together for Emily to hear it. Within the statement poured out all the truth behind it, her voice made husky with the emotion and the want.
''Maybe I should have been a little smoother about that!''
JJ laughed tightly, nervously, as Emily just looked at her. She felt a blush rising up her cheeks and she bit down on her bottom lip before looking down, mentally kicking herself.
''That's okay, it was a lot smoother than anything I was thinking of saying.''
Emily chuckled, getting kick started by the blonde's nervous statement. She hadn't meant to stare at her, but for that second, she just hadn't been able to say anything. Now though, JJ looked back up at her with a sweetly hopeful expression.
Emily scoffed lightly as she nodded, her eyes flashing wide for a moment as she tried to push back the cringe at the thought of the things that had just been flying through her head. JJ had definitely been a lot smoother. She didn't know what it was about this blonde that tipped her slightly off balance, but she liked it. Emily had a sneaking suspicion that it was a damn good sign. A sign also of how much she wanted her. She just wished she had acted earlier on her feelings, Reid had obviously been right the day before last.
Then it struck her. The realisation hit her like a tons of bricks. That damn sneaky little sucker of a boy! Emily could have almost slapped herself. How could she not have seen it? It wasn't like Reid wasn't as obvious as the plain of day! He'd been trying to tell her all along, with all his subtle hints and everything.
''Reid…you sneaky little sucker!''
JJ smirked in amusement though did raise a confused eyebrow. She could practically see the cogs turning in Emily's eyes, and liked the soft light that swirled within them.
She was definitely intrigued as to why Reid's name was coming up in this particular conversation. Here they were, at a gay club, realisation sinking in that they were attracted to each other, the hopes, fantasies and dreams now not just being wishful thinking anymore but something tangible. JJ couldn't keep her eyes away from Emily. Her friends were now forgotten, the only thing on her mind was the beautiful brunette in front of her, the one that had an adorably geeky look on her face with a gentle smile and raw magnetism that was driving her wild. And Emily was cursing Reid's name!
''He told me to ask you out. So I presume he knows, but didn't want to betray your confidence?''
Honestly she could've kicked herself. She should have known Reid wouldn't say anything like that without a good reason. And truthfully Emily was a little impressed at his stealth tactics, he was so genuine and honest that it seemed like he wouldn't be able to even know how to employ stealthy sneaky tactics! He was bordering on having aspergers he was so literal!
''Wait…you were talking to him about asking me out?''
JJ squeaked as she cocked a questioning eyebrow and folded her arms across her chest, eyes sparkling playfully. It was definitely amusing to her that Emily had been talking to Reid, of all people, about asking her out. It also gave her a boost of confidence. It told her that Emily had been thinking about her. That was good. And it was good that the older woman turned a soft shade of red at being busted too.
''Well, he kinda caught me looking at you yesterday…dragged it out of me.''
Emily muttered as she cleared her throat, still uncharacteristically blushing a little bit. JJ however loved it. Regaining her confidence a little, the blonde leant back onto the railing again, propping both elbows onto it and she pinned Emily with her most playful, flirty look she had. And she knew for a fact it was working because Emily had already started to stare at her. The way she was leaning offered Emily a pretty damn good view, and it made her all the hotter that the brunette couldn't stop herself from letting her eyes rake up and down her, that look of hunger and want welling into darkening eyes.
''You were looking at me, huh? The same way you're looking at me now?''
JJ drawled, trying her best not to sound breathless due to that gaze. Her skin was on fire because of it. She saw Emily change slightly as she snapped out of it a bit, coming too from her little drool stare to instead look directly at her, eyes boring deep into her own. JJ's breath was stolen from her chest as Emily did, and she gulped at the purely smouldering, seductive smirk that the brunette shot her, eyes completely unapologetic as she purposefully looked her up and down again, her tongue gliding over her lips as she did before looking into her eyes again.
''Well, maybe not exactly like this. It would've been rather inappropriate for the work place, don't you think?''
The lilt in Emily's voice was seductive and sexy, so raw and mesmerising. Whatever happened from here on out, JJ knew she would be a slave to that voice. She wanted to see exactly what it would sound like in the countless imaginings in her head that she had fantasised about.
Maybe this was it. Maybe this was her chance, their chance. One random, chance meeting and a countless many doors for them had opened up within an instance. JJ had thought she was doomed to be a one trick pony all her life. To want something she'd never have. She thought about all her experiences so far, her past relationships, her flings and she had to say it, conquests. She thought about the pain she'd been through, and the pain of her imposed isolation. She thought about what her friends told her, what she had been thinking lately. She thought about a lot of things. And maybe this was her chance.
It was time to stop running. It was time to let someone in, and let someone see what she was really capable of. She couldn't make her past disappear but she could start fresh from this point on. She wanted Emily Prentiss to be the one to see things she had never shown anyone before. And she was going to take that chance. With both hands and everything she had.
''I'd say a little more than rather. Something you like?''
The blonde challenged teasingly, biting on her bottom lip lightly to try and stop the grin from spreading across her face.
''Definitely. But I…I mean…do you…is this…''
Emily looked across from the younger woman with a soft frown of questioning across her forehead as she stalled for a second. It wasn't that her confidence had dropped, just…this was JJ. Not only was it JJ, it was SA Jennifer Jareau. She had to be absolutely sure before she messed things up. Before she messed a friendship and a working relationship up. It was dangerous territory for her. For both of them, really. She didn't want to offend JJ by just assuming she wanted something with her, that she was even attracted to her like she was to her.
''Emily? If you want to know, why don't you step up here and find out?''
Emily dropped her head and scoffed lightly, licking her lips as that bout of insecurity passed at JJ's invitation. Because that's definitely what it was. Not just for a kiss, that much had been made clear through those amazing blue eye of hers. But that's where this started. Right here.
Emily stepped forward, right into the blonde's personal space. They were impossibly close, and JJ made no move to draw away. Emily could feel the heat between them, and for a moment she stole the chance to just enjoy being so close. To feeling JJ's presence all around her like this, to enjoy the anticipation running through her. Things were at a turning point, she could feel it. She felt like this was going to be an opportunity of a lifetime. She lifted her hand up to stroke through a strand of silky blonde hair before letting her fingers move up to stroke the side of JJ's face softly before cupping it.
It felt like the club just vanished from sight, they couldn't hear anything else, nothing else was there. It was just the two of them within this moment. Breathing slow, everything forgotten. Consumed in anticipation and acknowledging that right here was where the collision happened. It's where things changed for them both, its where things would become impossibly entwined. It where something new was created.
And finally, Emily leant in and brought their mouths together. It wasn't a fleeting kiss, but it wasn't crushing either. It was powerful and firm, yet gentle at the same time. Starting out slow, letting their mouths get used to each others as their bodies pressed together, JJ's hands slipping onto Emily's hips. One of them requested entrance and it was granted, their tongues dancing together gloriously in the perfect first kiss.
After a few moments, Emily pulled back a mere couple of inches, her eyes gazing along JJ's face, both of them a little breathless even though it wasn't a fast kiss.
''Is this okay?''
The brunette whispered, feeling the excitement shoot through her. Her lips tingled, and her skin was flushed with heat where it had been in contact with the blonde in front of her. It was the most alive she had felt in a long time.
''More than okay.''
JJ smiled and nodded, voice a hushed whisper. She put her hand around the back of Emily's head and pulled her forward, drawing her into another kiss. It started out as it had before, deep and slow and powerful. This time however it was getting stronger, the need to devour becoming overwhelming. Emily effectively had JJ pinned against the railing, their bodies now having no space between them. The blonde kept one hand at the back of the brunette's head, fingers tangling in her hair, as she snaked her other to the small of Emily's back, fingers sprawled out over her skin underneath her top and the hem of her jeans.
It was only after a long make out session and the dire need for air that they pulled apart, very breathless after being so consumed in the kiss.
JJ muttered, flushed from the make out session. She realised where they still were, with the thumping music and heat around them. Clearing her throat lightly she tried to catch her senses, but it seemed like most of them had run away with Emily and that ground shaking kiss.
''You have no idea how long I've wanted this to happen.''
Emily smiled softly, her hand continuing to play with some of JJ's hair, body unwilling to move too far apart from hers.
''Actually I probably can. You're…god, you're stunning. You just…when you walk into a room you completely eclipse everything, do you know that? And not just because you're beautiful, or because…well you have one of the hottest bodies I've ever seen! But because you're you. It's just everything about you.''
JJ spoke with a hush of awe in her voice not just because of the kiss but because of what she said. Emily really was stunning to her, not just physically but in every way. All the spirit she had along with her strength and quirks and intelligence. Just her whole presence and personality. She was drawn to her like a moth to a flame and she really didn't want to fight this anymore. She was sick of running, and she definitely didn't want to run from Emily. There was a lot to talk about, but she was willing to be totally honest and give it her best shot. She wanted this so badly, wanted Emily to know exactly what she thought of her, what she felt for her.
''So…you like me huh?''
The older woman joked with a playful flippancy, trying to hide the blush at JJ's words and duck her head down. But she got shoved gently by the blonde and she looked up again, this time seriously.
''I feel the same.''
Leaning forward Emily kissed JJ again, not seeming to be able to stop herself from her new favourite hobby.
''Emily, I know we've got some things to talk about. A lot of things. And this is a quick turnabout. But, can we just leave all that tonight? Can we just relax, and dance, and get used to this tonight?''
JJ looked down momentarily as she played with a strand of Emily's hair, thinking about the things that they had to talk about. Hard things, she thought. Although she was willing to confess all her 'sins' to Emily, to bare her soul and all of that, it wasn't going to be easy. She had never done it before, not truly. The other times she had attempted she'd had her heart handed back to her in pieces.
But Emily was different. She wasn't going to break her heart, she was going to heal it.
''I think that's a good idea.''
So they did exactly that. They spent the rest of the night relaxing together, getting used to being close like this, kissing and talking about random things, holding hands and dancing. And they left each other at the end of the night with plans for the next day for Emily to go over to JJ's around lunchtime to do their talking.
Emily had practically leapt out of bed upon waking up. Briefly she wondered if last night had just been a dream, but her gut told her that it was real. There were butterflies flapping around her stomach and a massive grin that seemingly had taken up permanent residence on her lips. She felt like a giddy love stricken teenager again!
So giddy, and so excited and nervous too, that she ended up setting off to JJ's early after she had almost slapped herself for climbing the walls of her apartment. Everything she had done to try and distract herself hadn't worked so she had just ended up annoying herself!
So here she was, pulling up into the driveway of JJ's house behind JJ's car. It was a nice looking house. Exactly what she expected in some ways of JJ but not so at the same time. From even the outside though it was warm and welcoming. The front garden was tidy and there were tended plants and flowers around the edges of the neat lawn. There was a large gate between the side of the house and the wall, which must have been gating the way into the back. Automatically Emily knew this gate would be locked securely. They had seen enough to know that bad things happened in even the nicest neighbourhoods. The house itself was neat and well kept, it wasn't small or large, it just seemed to fit for JJ. Like it was just perfect for her. It seemed to fit that she had a house rather than an apartment too, Emily wasn't sure why.
Taking in a deep breath to try and steady herself, as the excitement of everything last night and everything to come was welled up inside of her, Emily got out of her car. This was it. This was really it. She honestly didn't know how this had happened so far. One minute thinking JJ was as straight as they came and the next finding out that not only was she gay but she was attracted to her and wanted much the same things as she did. Exciting times! Part of her wanted to slap herself still for not realising before and not catching on that Reid would never have encouraged her without a reason, but maybe it was true when they said all things came in due time. Maybe they'd just needed that extra time. Needed it to get their heads around the things they needed to. In the end it didn't really matter. What was more important was that it was happening now.
After straightening herself out a little and pressing the alarm button on her car keys as she walked toward the porch of the house, Emily took another deep breath in. It was coming close to lunchtime and the weather was nicely warm and still warming. It made her feel a little bit more relaxed for some reason. Only for a few seconds. Because then she found herself knocking on JJ's door! And then all that giddy, excited and nervousness came flooding back into her. All she wanted was JJ and here she was being given just that opportunity.
It was only a couple of moments before the door opened wide and the blonde haired Agent came into view. Somewhat surprised but also with swirling, glowing blue eyes and a gentle smirk tracing her lips. God those lips, they made every kiss ghost along Emily's own.
''I'm early, I know. I'm sorry.''
JJ smiled a little wider, almost like she knew why Emily was early. Which she did. She shook her head as she stepped aside slightly to let Emily in.
''No, it's fine. Come on in. I'm just on the phone with my Mom, I won't be a minute.''
JJ turned and started to walk through the open space of her house, almost getting through the living room that was attached to the hallway at the door, before she noticed she wasn't being followed. Turning around she looked at Emily who was still hovering by the door awkwardly, a soft shy look covering her face.
''Emily, you don't have to stand by the door. Come inside, it's okay. Make yourself at home.''
JJ encouraged gently. God that woman was beyond sweet sometimes. How the shy, awkward geek and the confident, kick ass Agent and the smooth, knowing seductress all lived within the same bag, JJ had no idea! But that was just Emily. Emily was many, many things and she personally loved it. She knew that the dark haired Agent hadn't wanted to invade her space. This was so very new. Almost a mammoth task, but not so at the same time. And even if it was, the outcome was damn well worth the effort.
As Emily stepped into her home, which immediately brought a sense of warmth, the blonde moved into the kitchen and picked up the phone she had left there on the kitchen counter.
Knowing that Emily was in her place made the butterflies in JJ's stomach flutter. She moved back out of the kitchen and instead went to lean on the archway to the living room, fascinated in watching Emily. She watched and smiled in light amusement as the older woman was looking around, not knowing yet that she was being watched. It was good to have her here like this, very good. And immediately images of the future popped up into her brain. Cuddling up on the couch as they talked or watched TV or listened to music, maybe even read to each other. Doing silly things like chasing each other around. Making love in front of the fire. Even having arguments as they moved around the house. It didn't matter, all of it was good for her. She wanted everything, the good the bad and everything in between. And what was more surprising was that she wasn't afraid anymore.
''Yeah, okay. Well I can but try, right? Is Tom going to be there? I'm not being awkward, I just want to know. Mom, don't start…''
JJ sighed slightly, the moment she had been having in her head shattered by her Mother. It came as no surprise. Emily looked over at her briefly, until she began to retreat more toward the kitchen again. The subject of her family was…soar, at best. Particularly when it came to her Uncle Tom. She had stopped calling him Uncle when she was 16. That was around about the time that she had stated her intentions to make Captain, earn a scholarship and get herself to college. He hadn't been the greatest supporter of her 'lame' ambitions. And announcing to her family she was gay hadn't really helped all that much either. So he hated her and she hated him, and ever since family get togethers had become somewhat troublesome. JJ could leave well enough alone, she could say hello and goodbye and stay at the other side of the house or something. Tom however could not. He had to drag it all up and make a scene. And somehow she always got the blame for it.
So this was definitely something she didn't want to think or talk about right now. Not when things with Emily were literally beginning. Not when everything she wanted, not only in terms of Emily but of a relationship and the grand abstract things that came with it and she had always run from, was literally in her front living room waiting for her to say 'go'.
''I'm your daughter, that's why. You're supposed to be on my side, not his. Yes you are! You know what, I don't have time for this. Well, I have company and I don't want to fight right now. 'Kay. Love you too. Bye.''
That was one way to get rid of her Mother and her gentle insinuations. She loved her, and her Dad, really she did. But they were so iffy and wishy washy over all of this. It bugged her. It annoyed her that they couldn't see that Tom was the trouble causer and not her. But again, she didn't want to think about it right now. JJ acknowledged that she had issues surrounding all of that, maybe that had even contributed to her running away from emotional relationships and such, but one thing at a time.
After taking a moment and trying to shake it off, the blonde left the phone on the counter and decided that now was the time to get back to focusing to the here and now. To the tangible and immediate. And that was Emily. Walking back into the living room she spotted the older woman by her rather sizable music collection.
''Sorry about that.''
Emily stood up straight having been a little startled from prying around JJ's rather huge music selection.
''No problem. Everything okay?''
She enquired lightly but meaningfully, letting JJ know that she was there but she wasn't going to push if she didn't want to talk about it. The blonde simply grunted lightly as she rolled her eyes, folding her arms as she approached closer.
''Oh, usual family crap. My Mom is trying to get me to go home in a month for their anniversary party.''
''You don't want to go?''
JJ nodded with an almost sad and longing glint within her eyes, though she refused to let it come fully up to the surface.
''I do, actually. But my Dad's brother is going to be there, and he usually causes trouble if I show up.''
As JJ quirked her eyebrow with the answer in her eyes and a light smirk on her lips Emily immediately understood the silent answer. It was one really she could recognise.
JJ simply shrugged neutrally, comfortable with Emily's presence here.
''S'okay, not your fault.''
''Are your parents okay with it?''
''I guess. They're not completely comfortable with the idea, but they deal with it. They 'love me anyway'.''
The younger blonde used the air quotes that emphasised her quiet bitterness over the situation of awkwardness between her and her family over the sexuality issue. Alas though, they were still her folks.
''Anyway, let's move on!''
JJ grinned, now more upbeat, and it made Emily grin too. In another other situation she might have felt uncomfortable to find something to change the subject to but with JJ she felt natural. More like herself than any other time. She pointed toward the collection of music.
''You weren't lying about the music, were you?''
She stated with impressed amusement, making JJ chuckle as she glanced over it rather proudly.
''Not one bit. Do you want a drink?''
Emily followed JJ toward the kitchen, stopping to lean against the island as she watched her move about her space and start to pour out some coffee. Everything about her was natural and smooth.
The brunette smiled again lightly as JJ turned around.
The words came out a little more playful than she had anticipated, but there was a glint in her dark eyes and the nerves she had been feeling before, all that giddiness and such, it all settled within her stomach. JJ had this presence about her that just calmed her, soothed her.
''I'm not even sure where to start.''
''How about we start from last night.''
Emily suggested. She took the offered coffee that the blonde gave her, and for a moment there was a soft silence between them. It was a thoughtful silence. A slow but comfortable one. It was JJ that cleared her throat and looked down, one of her hands on the counter top around her coffee mug as the other brushed through her hair as she thought. She swayed ever so slightly as she did, her foot nudging none existent dust or something. Emily could tell that there was something on her mind. Something particular.
''I kissed another woman last night.''
Okay, so that type of particular something Emily hadn't expected.
JJ looked back up, the soft trace of a frown etching into her soft features. There weren't butterflies in her stomach anymore there was a churning. It rose up into her chest where it squeezed, and further up into her throat where it grew dry and formed a lump. Because right now she had to level with Emily, about everything. Maybe she couldn't tell her every detail of everything, could just plop her life story out in one go, how she had been with women and relationships, but she had to give her the summarisation. And it made it harder to breathe because Emily could really decide that she didn't want to deal with all of that and walk back out the door.
''Before you arrived. She hit on me at the bar, asked me to dance. She looked like you. So I danced with her, and she kissed me. I kissed her back, but…I just couldn't do it, that's why I was on the walkway when you came in. I hid up there to think.''
''Why couldn't you do it?''
JJ gazed at Emily almost wearily but saw that she hadn't flinched or retreated away from her. She didn't seem angry but just curious and interested.
''She wasn't you. I told you, I can't stop thinking about you. But, before anything else happens Emily, I've got to make this clear. I am not a saint. By far. I've been a player for a long time, with a few here and there exceptions. I've gone out there and played the game, and I have a reputation for it in a certain circle. I can't hide that from you, I shouldn't if I expect you to trust me. I just…I've been with a lot of women Emily, and if that's a problem then…''
Emily could see JJ working herself up a little bit, her cool and calm exterior flinching slightly as she spoke. It had never occurred to Emily before that JJ was so worried about telling her this, so worried it would change anything between them, anything she felt toward her. It had never occurred to her that it actually scared the blonde that it might stop anything happening between them at all. And it was the first time that she had seen JJ look…not haunted…but she let show the enormity of everything she held inside within her eyes.
But before she could continue on to doom their fate, Emily stopped her from talking. Effectively cut her off by leaning in and kissing her suddenly. JJ was surprised, even stunned, for a moment, but it didn't take her long to fall into the kiss, her words and worries being forgotten. Instead her hands moved to hold Emily's hips as she felt the brunette's hands in her hair as she kissed the socks off of her. JJ began to get the silent, powerful message that Emily was trying to tell her.
When they eventually pulled apart they were breathless and Emily smirked ever so slightly.
''It's not a problem. Sorry, I just couldn't think of any other way to shut you up! I appreciate your candour, thank you. But you're insane if you think I'm going to be scared off by that. It's not like I'm an angel, JJ. The only thing I'm bothered about is honesty, and you're honest to a fault.''
She declared simply and sincerely. JJ didn't question her because she knew she didn't need to. Still a little breathless, she nodded before leaning forward to rest her forehead on Emily's. It was still a little bitterly ironic that she could still be seen as so honest.
''An honest heartbreaker.''
She whispered lightly.
''I'll take my chances, I have a feeling my odds are pretty high.''
JJ laughed lightly as she pulled her head back but the rest of her didn't stray away from the warmth of Emily's body, their arms and hands still wrapped around each other.
''Little confident there Prentiss!''
Emily just beamed her best shit eating grin at her.
''Am I wrong?''
''No. No, not in the least bit. I'm serious about this…about you, and us if you want there to be an us.''
The air became more serious again, with JJ wanting her intentions absolutely clear. She looked at the slightly taller woman, still a little awed that she was actually stood here in her arms wanting to be with her. It was almost a surreal moment.
''I do, I want nothing more than for there to be an us.''
''We'll handle work. I want to be with you, I'm serious about that too. And we're adult enough to have the two coincide, right?''
It could work. They were professionals and they could make it work if they wanted to have it so badly. Emily honestly thought when it came to the BAU, things would be okay. She knew office romances were dangerous, particularly in a field like theirs. And also particularly because the FBI wasn't the greatest encourager of relationships. And honestly Emily wouldn't have even tried if it weren't with Jennifer Jareau. If she weren't so absolutely sure that it would and could work for them.
''Well I think so, yeah.''
One or both of them leant in again, and a slow but deep kiss was initiated. Something powerful and seductive and wanting. Something that bound them together, drew each other impossibly closer.
Emily muttered without breaking the contact of the kisses.
''How fast or slow are we taking this?''
Still the kisses didn't stop, both of their mouths refusing to really part.
''I don't know, why?''
''Cos if we keep kissing like this, I don't think I'll be able to stop.''
''Then don't stop.''
That's when they did stall a little, and Emily pulled back just enough to see JJ properly.
''I think we've both been waiting long enough, don't you? I want you.''
The blonde pointed out, thinking of the time they had to make up for. She knew what this was, and it wasn't the same as with anyone before. She wasn't trying to bury herself in sex to run or hide. She wanted this for them, because this was safe. This was her and Emily and neither of them was going anywhere, and they were set.
''I want you too.''
It was quite some time, a considerable amount of time after, that two very satisfied FBI Agent's finally rolled off of each other to flop on the bed properly, trying to regain their ragged breathing.
''Right back at you.''
''I don't even…I can't even…''
Emily stuttered, her brain still not able to work after what JJ had just wreaked through her, such delightful and addictive and powerful pleasures!
''We're good together.''
Emily quirked an eyebrow.
She corrected in a squeak, making JJ chuckle lightly.
''I can't even believe this is happening.''
She laughed, definitely buzzed from everything that had happened in such a short time. Beside her Emily laughed too, the knowing running between them. She'd never been with someone that really got her, that really understood and was intuitive and she had to say, as deep and unflinching. Emily wasn't afraid of any of it.
''Well…it's been happening for…wow…like 5 hours!''
''Time flies when you're having fun. Or…well…earth shattering orgasms!''
The blonde quipped as she turned to lean into her lover. God, Emily Prentiss was her lover.
''We should get something to eat. Keep our strength up.''
JJ patted Emily on the stomach with a coy smirk tracing her lips and a devilish look gleaming in her eyes.
''Keep our strength up?''
''Yeah, expect to be tired tomorrow, 'cos this is going to go on all night long.''
Emily didn't get chance to really laugh as JJ rolled onto her properly, moving to kiss her again, coaxing her into open mouthed glorious kisses.
''Good thing my ready bag is in my car!''
This had been the quickest turn about in friends-to-lovers history, but damn was it freaking fantastic!
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