Review @ Monkeywand
Summarize : She'd never been this nervous before. What makes tonight so different? Maybe it has something to do with a certain raven-haired agent who was supposed to be dead. One-shot. JJ/Emily.
Disclaimer: Y'all know the drill...
A/N: I have never been to France so thanks to Stars for her help with all things French. Big thanks to ThursdayNext for beta-ing this. Set sometime after "Lauren".
Note: Macaron is the French word for Macaroon and in this story means a meringue-based sweet confectionery with buttercream filling, not the coconut macaroons that can be found.
In The City Of Light
She rubs her hands upon the towel wrapped around her thighs, hoping to dispel the clamminess. She'd never been this nervous before, not even standing in front of the cameras for the first time. Inhaling, then exhaling deeply, she pads over to the makeshift closet, pulling open the doors. Undecided, she holds up different outfits, shaking her head at each one.
Sighing in frustration, her eyes flicker back to the simple white summer dress. Making a decision, she slips on the dress, adjusting the strapless top to fit snuggly around her breasts. The hem falls loosely just below her knees, and she gives a little twirl, watching it flair out from her body.
Fishing out a pair of gold strappy heels, she inspects herself in the full length mirror attached to the closet door. A little make up, accenting her blue eyes, and a thick white and gold bangle, she is almost ready.
Now for her hair. She debates on whether to tie it up or leave down. A knock at the door decides for her. Palming a small handful of mousse into her hair, she twists the blond strands into loose curls.
"Coming," she calls, as a second knock sounds at the door. Breathing deeply, she pulls open the door. Her jaw drops as she takes in the woman on the other side.
"Wow," she breathes. Dressed in a red spaghetti strap dress, the hem falls mid-thigh accentuating the woman's long legs, ending with red heels to match. Her once long brunette hair is now honey-colored and cut short. Only a single drop pendant adorns her neck, no other jewelry in sight.
"I think that's what I should be saying to you," the second woman says. She laughs, a rich sound that warms the insides of the blond. She finds herself chuckling too, and together they laugh, a scene neither have encountered in too long. Silence falls, and there is a slight pause before the blond launches herself at the former brunette.
"Oh, Emmy," the blond murmurs, the pet nickname spilling out. Emily wraps her arms around the smaller woman, holding her body close.
"Jayje," she murmurs back. JJ squeezes her friend tight then steps back, albeit reluctantly. A few unshed tears threaten to spill but she blinks them away.
"Are we ready?" Emily nods, wanting nothing more than to take the blond back into her arms. She knows she has to play it slow, moving too fast could push JJ in the opposite direction. "Great." JJ grabs her clutch, shoving her ID, purse and keys inside after locking up.
"So, where are we going?" JJ asks once they are outside the hotel. Emily turns to face the blond, a twinkle in her chocolate eyes.
"Wait and see," she says mysteriously, and JJ refrains from stamping her foot. For someone who hated surprises, Emily sure liked surprising others.
They walk in comfortable silence, falling into step with each other as if nothing were amiss. Stealing glances at the former brunette, JJ notices the little differences between the Emily before and the Emily, aka Camille, now. Her shoulders seem to appear a little more weighted and there are dark circles beneath her eyes, expertly covered up with make-up.
"We're here," Emily says, breaking the silence. JJ looks up in surprise.
"I said, we're here." She gestures to the large structure before them, hiding a smirk as JJ's jaw drops.
"The Eiffel Tower?"
"Not what I expected," the blond says simply. Emily raises an eyebrow, a gesture that is so ingrained into her being, it brings tears to JJ's eyes. Emily, fortunately, misses the rogue tear that escapes and continues on.
"The tower or the fact that we're here?"
"Both. More the fact that we're here. I mean, the Eiffel Tower? How much more French can you get?" she teases Emily. Emily laughs and hooks her arm around the other woman's.
"Come on. I want to show you something." She leads them inside, through the crowds of people milling about. They bypass the restaurants and other attractions, heading straight for the out of service elevator.
"Emily?" JJ is confused.
'Shh." She digs out a key from her purse, inserting it into the elevator. A short ride later, they emerge at the top.
"Emily!" JJ gasps. She looks around in wonderment. "How...?" She doesn't finish the sentence, too amazed. The room is void of people, tourists and locals alike. A few stray balloons and streamers are attached to the walls but otherwise the room is dressed in simple browns, golds and creams.
"I had a little help from a friend. He and his crew are supposed to be doing a maintenance check tonight. I just persuaded him to close it a couple of hours earlier. Helps that his daughters love Camille." She says her new cover name with only a hint of sadness, thinking of all those she'd left behind.
"Hey." JJ's soft voice penetrates her brain, bringing her back from her thoughts.
"Sorry." Emily blushes.
"Yeah. Just thinking." JJ raises her eyebrows but the other woman shakes her head. She lets it go, knowing
Emily would speak about it in her own time. She continues to walk around the room 'ooh-ing' and 'ahh-ing' at the different sights. Emily watches the blond woman carefully.
On the outside, to anyone who didn't know the media liaison, JJ looked as if nothing was amiss. But to Emily, JJ looked as if she held the weight of the world on her shoulders. She knows it is partly her fault, pretending to have died, and disappearing from their lives. She knows she never should have made contact, knowing it could really get her killed but a moment of weakness had led her to this moment. And she is thankful.
JJ glances up, noticing Emily was watching her. She gives a confused look. Emily shakes her head, indicating everything was okay.
"Bonjour?" a deep male voice calls, rapping on the wooden doorframe simultaneously. JJ spins to see a dark-haired man standing in the doorway. Two young girls peek out shyly from behind. She flashes them a smile as Emily greets the man in rapid French. She picks up her own name and wonders if Emily is introducing her. Emily stops and reverts back to English.
"Jayje, this is Sébastien and his two daughters, Lucie and Amélie." The girls curtsy as their name is spoken.
"Bonjour Jennifer," they chorus with identical grins. Sébastien mutters something and the girls step forward, a large basket slung between them.
"We made this for you and Camille." Lucie speaks in perfect English with only a hint of accent.
"I made the macarons," Amélie pipes up.
"Non, Tante Marjorie did," Lucie points out.
"Oui, I helped." Amélie is insistent.
"Filles," Sébastien warns. The girls stop at the sound of their father's voice.
"Merci Lucie. Merci Amélie," JJ thanks. The girls giggle and curtsy again. Waving, they join hands and skip further into the room.
"I guess that's our cue to leave then," Emily mutters. She grabs the wicker basket then says goodbye to Sébastien.
"Au revoir, cheeky monkeys," Emily calls, teasingly to the girls still skipping about.
"Au revoir, Camille. Au revoir, Jennifer," they chorus.
Gesturing to the door and the elevator beyond, Emily follows the blond out.
"You didn't have to do this, you know," JJ points out once they are alone again.
"Hey, don't look at me. The girls thought up the picnic idea after I mentioned to Sébastien if I could use the top room." JJ narrows her eyes at her friend. "Scouts honor, I swear."
"You were never in Scouts."
"Still applies." JJ rolls her eyes. There was no arguing with her when she'd made up her mind.
Outside the tower, they hail a cab and Emily directs the driver in rapid French. She settles back into seat, a small smile on her face.
"What?" JJ is suspicious.
"Nothing." Emily keeps her voice light. JJ glances at her. Emily's face is now poker blank but there is still a slight twinkle in her eyes. Shaking her head, JJ changes the topic.
"So, where are we going?"
"You'll just have to wait until we get there," Emily says mysteriously.
"Emmy," JJ whines, reminding Emily of Jack or Henry when they wanted something desperately. Her heart pangs at the thought of the boys. She wonders what they'd be up to. Jack would probably be spending time with Hotch or his Aunt Jessica and she knew Henry was spending time with his father.
"Please?" She bats her eyelashes.
"Nope," Emily answers cheerfully. JJ pouts, her bottom lip stuck out. Emily bursts out laughing.
"Now I know where Henry and Jack get it from." JJ glowers, turning to face out the window. Emily refrains from laughing more.
"I'm sorry," she says, reaching out one arm. She tries to pull JJ into a hug. JJ resists at first, but ends up allowing herself to be cajoled and laughs along with Emily. They sit for a moment, Emily's arm around JJ's shoulders, the blond fitting herself perfectly into the older woman's embrace.
"I missed you," JJ murmurs after a bit. Emily stiffens, hearing JJ perfectly. She didn't want to do this, not now, not when the afternoon was going so well. JJ continues on, knowing the can of worms was open now.
"I missed you so much, knowing you were here and I couldn't see you, couldn't be with you. I couldn't even tell the others you were alive. I still can't. Only Hotch knows. But you know what he's like." She pauses for a moment, getting her thoughts organized. Emily smiles sadly. She knows the consequences of being 'dead'. Nobody was supposed to know she was alive. JJ was taking a big risk by being here. One Emily was grateful for.
"Hotch says the team is dealing in their own way. I think they're all angry, and sad, and feeling helpless. They miss you, Emily. You were just part of the team. You were part of our life. You still are a part of our lives. At least in memory." JJ's voice is soft, neither angry nor accusing. Tears glisten in Emily's eyes, threatening to spill.
"I like to think you are still apart of mine, too. I know Henry misses his Aunt Emmy." A slight pause. "Do you miss me, Emily?"
Emily opens her mouth to speak, to say, "Of course." but instead, a sob escapes. JJ spins, gathering her friend up in her arms. Sobs fill the backseat of the taxi, dying down to quiet sniffles.
"I'm sorry," Emily croaks.
A lurch of the taxi and a knock on the window separating the front and back, informs the girls they'd reached their destination. Emily thanks the driver, thrusting a few Euros at him before scooting out.
Basket in hand, JJ asks, "Which way?" Emily points to the top of the hill, heading into the trees.
"This way," she replies.
"Uh, Emily? Slight problem?" JJ points to their heels which would most likely cause them to fall over and break an ankle if they tried to climb the soft grass in them. Emily laughs.
"There's a path just over here," she points out.
"Oh." JJ blushes, feeling silly for asking.
Once at the top, Emily instructs JJ to close her eyes. For once, JJ complies without complaint. Making quick work, the former brunette sets out her surprise.
"Okay, open your eyes." JJ does so slowly. She gasps. On the picnic rug spread out on the grass, a bottle of sparkling wine lays nestled against freshly baked baguette sandwiches, alongside a bowl of mixed green salad and a container of what appeared to be Tabbouleh. Her belly gurgles, making Emily smirk.
"Hungry?" Emily teases.
"Just a little bit. It all looks so good though." She sits down, eyeing the baguettes. Emily pours the wine as JJ fills two plates worth of food.
Holding up her glass, Emily says, "To us."
"To us," JJ echoes without hesitating. They take a sip, then dig into their dinner. Comfortable silence covers them as the two women satisfy their hunger for food. Cheeses, along with more wine are dished out. Laughter fills the air as JJ fills Emily in on how their friends are. They stick to happier moments, staying away from thoughts of witness protection and fake deaths.
"Come on," Emily pleads, holding up the chocolate macaron. "You know you want to. And it's chocolate."
"I'm full. I can't believe we ate so much," JJ laughs, waving away the sweet.
"Please? For me?" Emily gives the blond her puppy dog face. JJ melts, never being able to resist her friend. She opens her mouth, then bites down on the sweet confectionery Emily places in her mouth. She moans as the texture assaults her taste buds. Something tightens deep inside Emily, and she bites her lip, keeping herself from groaning aloud.
Eyes closed, JJ slowly finishes the macaron. Emily, entranced, watches as the blond misses a glob of buttercream on her lower lip. Without thinking, she leans forward, rubbing her thumb against the younger woman's lips to wipe away the piece of food. JJ's eyes flash open with surprise. Her eyes meet Emily's for a silent conversation.
Their lips meet, causing internal sparks to ignite. Hidden hang-ups give way to passionate embraces.
JJ pulls back, realizing exactly where she is. She breathes heavily, not wanting to break contact. Emily looks at her with worried eyes. She relents, kissing the former brunette softly.
"Not here," she murmurs. "Later." Spinning, she settles back into Emily's arms, cherishing the contact.
A loud bang fills the air followed by the crackling of multi-colored static lights in the sky. JJ jumps, caught unaware. Emily runs her hand up and down her arm, soothing the blond. Together they lay as their senses are assaulted by rapidly appearing and disappearing sparks of light and the sharp crackles and lingering echoes as the fireworks boom.
"Emily?" JJ murmurs once the show is over.
"Yeah?" Emily is slow to answer, too content to move.
"This is the best non-date date ever," JJ says, capturing the older woman's lips with her own once again.
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