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Hair was blown into Emily's face as she got out of the car, and no sooner had she lifted her hand to push the brown locks aside, she noticed that the front door of the house had opened. An older version of JJ stood on the porch, to who she smiled and raised a hand in an odd wave-like gesture before turning toward JJ.
The blonde had retrieved Henry from his car seat and set him down on the dusty ground. The small boy ran as quickly as he possibly could on his small wobbly legs towards his grandmother, who kneeled down and gathered him in her loving arms.
JJ quickly followed Henry and soon found herself wrapped in her mother's arms; "Jenny, it's been way too long again, look at Henry! He's grown so much!" Her mother's voice raised in complete awe at the little boy's changes since the last time she saw him.
"I know, mom. He's growing up way too fast." The blonde smiled happily, her mother released her hold on her and stepped backwards. She gave her daughter the once over. JJ looked happier than she could remember seeing her daughter in a while, usually she only saw that kind of happiness when the blonde was talking about her son. But lately she had been hearing the happiness over her voice while they were on the phone or on the computer whenever they skype'd.
"Mom, this is Emily Prentiss?" JJ said while she turned towards the brunette who stood leaning against her car watching the scene in front of her unfold in front of her through her dark sunglasses. The elderly woman made her way towards the brunette, and Emily Prentiss who had been raised with all the right etiquette from a young age, immediately pushed herself off the car and lifted her sunglasses up into her dark hair. She held her hand out to shake the older woman's hand; "Mrs. Jareau, it is so good to meet you." She said sincerely.
However the elderly woman was having none of it. She handed Henry back to his mother and pulled Emily into a slightly awkward hug; "Thank you for being such a good friend for my daughter when she needed someone."
"She'd do the same thing for me, Mrs. Jareau." Emily answered with a shrug.
"Now, now ... stop calling me Mrs. Jareau. Call me Mary instead, I insist." The elderly Jareau woman replied with a smile. The older woman and her daughter had a lot of similar traits and the brunette took an instant liking to the older woman and the feeling seemed to be mutual. She just hoped that JJ's parents would still like her when JJ broke their news to them. "Let's go inside for a nice cup of steaming hot coffee and baked goods, just the way you like them." The older woman smiled at her daughter; "You're father should be home soon, darling."
"Just go inside with your mother, I'll retrieve our bags from the car and bring them inside." Emily said before she turned back around to the car and popped the trunk.
"Emily, leave them till later." The blonde knew that Emily was stalling. She understood that it couldn't be easy to meet the parents, especially if you were raised by her parents, judgemental know-it-all's who couldn't stop proclaiming their own ideas as the only possible truth. It wasn't that hard to imagine what the brunette was fearing right now. "Everything is fine, trust me." JJ talked softly while she pushed the button to close the trunk. "Just breathe and follow me."
Normally, the situation would have been amusing, but not today. She swallowed hard, breathed in and followed the blonde into the house. Like any other house she entered, the profiler scanned the rooms she was led through, taking in every detail. A regular person wouldn't notice it because she wasn't too obvious about it, but JJ knew that she did it. After all she had seen her do it a thousand times before and to be honest, she herself would probably do the same.
She guided Emily down to the living room and gestured to the couch, Emily sank down, sitting a little straighter than usual, but that was also something that other people wouldn't notice. Nevertheless, JJ saw it and she put Henry down on the floor to explore the room.
Mary Jareau had disappeared into the kitchen while the two women settled on the couch side by side. "Where's your father?" The brunette asked the blonde.
"Mom said he'll be home soon. He's probably somewhere out back but I'm pretty sure that mom already called him to tell him we've arrived." JJ smiled, briefly turning her head towards Emily before she refocussed on Henry; "He'll be here soon."
"Knowing my daughter I take it that you too love a good cup of coffee, Emily?"
"Yes, Mrs. Jareau." The brunette replied politely; "In our line of work you need coffee to keep going most of the days, so on our odd day off we'll crave it."
"It's Mary, Emily." The older Jareau woman insisted with a smile, while she placed a tray with steaming hot mugs of coffee on the table along with pieces of pie, home baked pie which smelled deliciously.
"That looks and smells absolutely delicious, Mrs... Mary." Emily said, changing her tune half-way through the sentence when she once again wanted to address JJ's mother in a proper way, the way she had learned to respect older people from and early age on. But it helped that Mary stared at her when she didn't say her name and didn't stop staring till the brunette pronounced her name. The woman erupted in a bright smile and picked the tray up to bring it back to the kitchen.
As soon as she left the table, Henry took his chance and made a run for it. Before anyone could react to his actions he was already swinging his hand towards the pie and mugs on the table. However before he had a chance to grab anything and potentially burn himself, JJ grabbed his hand and picked him up.
"Henry, do not take anything off the table without asking me, you know the rules." The blonde spoke sternly to her son while she reprimanded him. The small boy put out his bottom lip in a nearly perfect pout while he looked up at her with his big blue eyes. "Do not use that face on me, I invented that face!" JJ mocked the small child with a chuckle, soon Henry and Emily were chuckling along with her.
"Serves you right, honey." Mary replied while she sat down in one of the recliners; "That's what you get for using that face on your father and I countless of times when you were growing up. You had that face perfected at a young age but Henry, he beat you."
The front door opened and JJ's father stepped into the hallway greeted by the laughter of all three women. "Jenny, welcome home sweetie!"
"Daddy!" JJ said while she quickly got up and soon found herself wrapped in the warm and loving embrace of her father. The love between the two of them was obvious. Henry found himself squished between his mother and grandfather but he didn't mind, he embraced both of them as best as he could with his small arms. JJ let go of her son while she stepped back allowing her father to spend some time with his grandson. "Hi Henry, how have you been?"
"Good!" The small child exclaimed loudly, clasping his arms around his grandfather's neck. The older man hugged the small child before his eyes seeked out his daughters friend.
"You must be Emily." He said with a welcoming smile while he held his hand out.
"Yes, Emily Prentiss. It's good to meet you, sir." The brunette said while she stood and took his hand to shake.
"Nice to meet you too, Emily. Please call me William." His smile was genuine - Emily only hoped that it would stay that way. William Jareau sat down in a chair next to his wife across from Emily and JJ with Henry in his lap. The small child settled down easily when his grandfather shared his piece of pie with him. They talked for a while about little un-important things while they shared their coffees and pie.
"Hey sweetie, how about we get the bag with your toys out of my car. Would you like that?" Emily said while she looked down at the small child seated on her lap. He nodded his head with his thumb in his mouth and squealed a happy laugh when the dark haired woman picked him up and excused herself to the other adults before she left the room to retrieve the bag with Henry in her arms. Henry waved happily at his mother and grandparents over Emily's shoulder when they rounded the corner.
When JJ turned back towards her mother she couldn't help but notice her mother's cocked brow and without saying she knew what she wanted to ask. "We'll talk tonight when Henry's in bed." She promised her mother, while her father looked up questioningly.
Soon Emily returned with Henry, who was after her while she carried the bag that contained his toys and his diaper bag; "I figured you might need this one as well." She said with a loving smile directed towards the blonde before she sat down next to her and handed Henry some of his trucks.
After a while JJ's mother got up; "I'll better get started on dinner."
"Mary, is there something I can do to help?"
"You're a sweetheart, but that is not necessary."
Emily smiled; "I would love to help, I really enjoy cooking and JJ told me you do as well."
"Well, okay then I guess that we can give these two some time to catch up." Mary said with a smile while Emily followed her, they both retreated to the kitchen.
After dinner - when JJ put Henry to bed in her old room - they all sat down in the living room. JJ was nervous and she knew that Emily was doing no better, so she decided that she was just going to bite the bullet. She knew that her mother was already convinced that something was going on, and there was no use in worrying the older woman any more than necessary. She had seen her mother eying her more than once over the last couple of hours. "Mom, dad, I told you that I broke up with Will, and that I met someone new."
"Yes, honey why? Is something wrong? Did something happen to you or Henry?" Her father asked worriedly. "Last time you gave us a phone call to tell us that you were pregnant and in a relationship and now you drove all the way here?"
"Honey, that sounds so serious. What's going on?" Her mother asked almost simultaneously.
"No, mom, dad, nothing is wrong. Don't worry everything is exactly the way I want it to be. Emily and I ... we've been together for a while now." JJ took Emily's hand in hers and smiled lovingly at the brunette; "I've never felt this way before, not with anyone. Not even with Will. I know that it's sudden and that it may come as a surprise, but I hope that you can accept this."
"Sweetheart, when did this happen?" Mary asked her daughter softly while she observed them.
"A few months ago." JJ made a point of looking straight at her parents while she spoke; "Emily and I have been friends for years as you know. But recently, I realized that I felt something deeper for her, everything started to change. I made sure that I dealt with Will before I tried to figure out what it was that I was feeling."
"Does this mean that you never loved Will?" William asked his daughter, he had a straight face not showing what he was feeling at all when he looked straight at JJ.
"I loved him, but not the way I should have loved him, which is why I never agreed to marry him. It felt like love but not like the mind blowing kind of love that will last for the rest of my life. You know that he repeatedly asked me to marry him before and after Henry was born. And I declined each and every time, and it didn't make things easier." JJ sighed; "But we kept going nevertheless, struggling on. It didn't feel right and it wouldn't have been fair to him to marry him."
JJ's father nodded before he stood up; "I need to think about this." He turned and disappeared into the kitchen, seconds after he left they could hear the screen door slam.
It was no flat out rejection, but it hurt nevertheless. Emily hadn't said a word but she saw the blonde's usual confidence crumble in front of her. She wrapped her arms around the younger woman and held her close. Her mother watched the two of them intentely. Her daughter sobbing in the arms of her new lover - a woman - something she had never expected her daughter to find.
Love in another woman, it was sudden but somehow she had expected it when she watched the two of them interact. The glances - when they thought no one watched them. And the way Emily had stuttered when she'd asked her if she had a family of her own - the way she'd turned bright red and stared toward the living room where JJ was talking to her father before she asked a completely ridiculous question about the food that they were preparing. One she was sure Emily knew the answer to before she asked it.
Emily's eyes crossed with Mary's, the older woman got up and for a moment the brunette was afraid that she would walk out of the room after her husband. The older Jareau woman sank down on the other side of Jennifer and wrapped her arm around her daughter's shoulders. "Honey, don't worry about your dad. You know him, he needs some time to process all of this. He .. we just want you to be happy and it doesn't matter with who, as long as they treat you right." The older woman smiled at the brunette; "We aren't homophobic, you know that. You just have to understand that it is quite an adjustment. You've never shown any interest in women, and after thirty two years you come home with a - if I may say so lovely - woman."
"Do you really think that daddy will be fine with it?" The blonde sounded almost child-like while she spoke, as if she was really scared out of her mind that she had caused her father to love her any less.
"Honey, you may be a gun carrying FBI agent who can silence a room filled with reporters in an instance and who has a child herself. You'll always be your father's little girl." JJ's mother lifted her chin making eye contact with her daughter; "He knows it's a cruel world out there and he's just worried for you, and he needs to process what you told him in his own way before he reaches out to you. Which I am sure he will."
"Honey, no what if's ... he will." JJ's mother said almost sternly.
Emily got up; "Let me go talk to your father." She quickly turned on her heels and left the room before either woman could say something to her.
She pushed the screen door open and allowed her eyes to adjust to the darkness outside. Once she was able to see past the veranda into the garden, she could see William Jareau sitting in a chair staring into the darkness. "Sir, can I talk to you?" Emily asked politely.
He looked up at her, he seemed surprised but gestured to the chair next to him before he looked straight ahead into the darkness. Emily sank down into the chair. "Sir, I know that this is sudden but I want you to know that I have loved your daughter for years. And I..."
"What do you mean, years?"
"Ever since I started working with the BAU." Emily admitted for the first time to someone who wasn't JJ or Garcia. They sat in silence for a while, Emily contemplated her next move carefully before she spoke up. "My parents, we never had a good relationship. My mom is an Ambassador, she was always busy with her job and keeping everyone happy in whichever country she was working. Everything always revolved around my mother's work. My father was hardly ever around and if he was he and my mom fought about his infidelity."
"Why are you telling me all of this?" William Jareau asked while he looked at the woman besides him.
"Because I know how much you love your daughter and I know how much she loves you. I would hate it if me loving her would cause a rift between you and JJ. She doesn't deserve that, and neither do you or Mary. You're not like my parents, not by a long shot. My mother has known for years that I'm gay, still she denies it and every time we do meet she asks me if I finally found Mr. Right. And whenever she has a chance she will try to set me up with a friend of the family, a son of an Ambassador or a divorced man or a widower. She won't stop and while I'm used to being ignored by my mother, it hurts each and every time."
"Emily, this will not cause a rift between me and my daughter. I love her, nothing she does can ever change that. Nothing." He sighed; "I just know how difficult it can be, to be ... different, not everyone will accept you as a couple. There are so many things that will make life difficult for JJ, Henry and for you. Don't worry, I am not out here because I'm ignoring Jenny. It's quite a lot to take in, especially if there have never been any signs before."
Emily nodded in silence.
"Let's go inside." The older man said while he got up and waited for Emily to follow him. As soon as they entered the living room JJ stood up and closed the distance between them.
"Dad, I'm sorry for ..."
"Stop, sweetie. You have nothing to be sorry for." JJ sighed in relief and fell into her father's arms.
"Honey, don't say your sorry. You have nothing to say sorry for." His arms wrapped around his adult daughters small frame, and like she would have done when she was still his little girl, she sunk into his embrace. Her nerves finally calmed down while the tears she had attempted to hold back flowed freely down her cheeks, and with it she released the last bit of tension left in her body. "It might take some time to get used to you and Emily dating. But she's a wonderful person who loves you very much from what I've seen. And that is all I ever wanted for you, to find love like I did with your mother."
JJ's mother smiled at her husband's confession and nodded in agreement. Emily leaned against the door frame, she blushed deeply at the compliments she received and was glad that the area in which she was standing wasn't well lit. She watched the father and daughter bond in a moment she never had with her father, and she doubted she would ever have such a moment. From across the room JJ's mother caught her attention and mouthed 'thank you' to her. The brunette shrugged with a smile, downplaying what she did.
She quietly sat down on the couch and JJ sat down next to her as soon as she and her father broke apart. Soon, everyone was seated again and the conversation picked up. "So how long has this been going on?"
"Since Will and I broke up, I didn't feel right anymore, and my feelings for Emily changed. They had been changing for quite some time when I eventually became aware that I no longer saw a future with Will." The blonde corrected herself, turning toward Emily. Smiling at her, the brunette answered the gesture and took JJ's hand in her own, entangling their fingers. She pulled their joined hands into her lap. "It turned out that I wasn't the only one who was having these feelings."
JJ's mother mirrored the gesture while she looked up at her husband; "That is all we ever wanted for you." She spoke softly, yet clear enough for everyone to hear. He smiled at his wife before he turned towards JJ and nodded his head in agreement.
"Why's everyone staring at me?" Emily asked between gritted teeth while her eyes flew over the other patrons of the diner they were currently sitting in. The only diner in East Alleghany, as JJ had explained to her with a roll of her eyes. Only to be corrected by her father who told her that they now had two diners, the blonde had rolled her eyes again but kept her mouth shut while the two of them left the house.
Her mother had asked her if she was sure that she wanted to go to the diner in town, where everyone would know who she was. Her mother hadn't meant it in a bad way, merely as a warning. Living and growing up in a small town had taught them all a few things.
"They might not be looking at you specifically. They haven't seen me in a long time, which could also be a reason why they're watching me. According to my parents, I'm somewhat of a 'legend'. After all, I do appear on television quite often and as you may have noticed, my parents are quite proud of that fact." The blonde teased with a smile.
"Well, Miss Small-Town-Celebrity, maybe that might be part of it, but that still doesn't explain why the people behind you keep looking at me." The brunette chuckled.
"You just hit the nail on the head, it's a small town and everyone knows everyone's business. That's the way it is and if you're dating me you just have to deal with it."
"So what you're saying is that they know..." Emily asked gesturing between the two of them, her eyes widened when the blonde nodded her head. "But how? We arrived yesterday afternoon, and besides your parents we've seen no one."
The media liaison shrugged. "Don't ask me, I have never figured that one out. But if something happens, within minutes everyone seems to be informed. I don't even try to understand it or claim to know how it happens, but some people seem to be occupied with what goes on with who on every given moment. Chances are that mom and dad ran into someone this morning when they took Henry with them."
"What?" The blonde looked up straight into the confused expression of the brunette. "What do you mean, when did that happen and where was I?"
"In bed, with me. Sleeping." The blonde answered with a smirk. "I thought you knew. I woke up and went to check on Henry when mom was getting up as well. Since dad retired they've made a habit of getting up early in the morning to take a long walk. Mom told me that they would take care of Henry and she sent me back to bed, she told me to enjoy my vacation."
JJ shrugged before she shifted her eyes back to the menu in front of her. "I'm pretty sure that they talked to someone this morning, and by the time we got up, the whole town was probably already aware of our arrival." It didn't bother her; she knew that this was bound to happen, that's just the way it worked in a small town. JJ snapped the menu shut and stared at the brunette.
"What are you going to have?" Emily asked JJ who was obviously done studying the menu.
"I don't even know why I bother checking the menu, it's been the same for as long as I can remember." The media liaison sighed in frustration.
"Which would make it that much easier to recommend something to me." The brunette replied with a smile.
"True. I'll order something for you, I'm sure you'll love it." The blonde got up from the table and retreated to the counter quickly, where she spoke to the cook for a while before she returned to the table and sat down with a smug smile on her face.
"What did you do?" Emily asked, raising her brow at the blonde across from her. The younger woman just grinned but didn't elaborate any further, and she redirected the conversation into some random small talk while they patiently waited for their lunch. Or at least in JJ's case it was, not so much in Emily's case though.
"Of course I know all about your guilty pleasures. You do know that I receive all of the bills from the hotels and that I have to file them for accounting? I've noticed that when we have a particularly gruelling case, you'll order this. It's like you'll let yourself have it because you're working a difficult case, one that takes everything from you. I noticed the trend, and when you asked me to help you figure out what you should order, I got this for you because I think that you should treat yourself more often to something you love so much.''
Emily smiled gratefully. "Thank you."
"I'm supposed to know what you like." JJ shrugged the comment off with a smile.
"Since everyone already seems to know about us maybe I should show you around town. Give you a taste of small town living." JJ said while she opened the door of the diner to step outside.
"Okay, show me all there is to see in East Alleghany!" Emily replied with a smug smile. "So that'll take about five minutes, what are we going to do the rest of the afternoon?"
JJ swatted Emily against her upper arm. "Even in a town like East Alleghany it'll take longer than five minutes. I know that it's not nearly as impressive as multiple countries all over the world, but it is what it is."
"Well then lets start the grand tour. What will be our first stop, nursery school?" The brunette asked with a quirked brow.
"Actually, no. I don't think that we had one back in the day. And, Miss Prentiss, as if you ever went to nursery school, you probably had nannies who took care of you."
"Ouch!" Emily feigned hurt, before she smiled. "I guess I had that coming, didn't I."
The blonde shrugged. "You bet you did. I guess we can start with elementary school. Do you really want to see this?" She asked her girlfriend while she hooked her arm into Emily's.
"Of course I want to see where you grew up, why wouldn't I want to see that?" Emily took a hold of JJ's hand and raised it to kiss on the top of her hand.
JJ led the way, she pointed out where she used to hang out with her friends and the all too famous bar where she learned to kick ass at darts. For the next hour or so they walked around town, where JJ showed Emily where she grew up, when they ended up in front of the soccer fields that where part of the high school.
"The soccer fields, where you became a true legend to this town." Emily spoke with a teasing smirk while she looked out over the field trying to imagine the younger version of JJ, the one she saw in the pictures at her parents, home, dressed in her soccer uniform and running around the field stealing the ball from the opposite team to score.
"Yes, we were good. I played in an amazing team." With a dreamy look JJ gazed in the distance. Playing for the team had given her some of her best memories of her youth. She loved to run around the field, steal the ball from the opposite team with a fast, unexpected trick and score while the other player were still trying to figure out what happened to them.
"Rumour has it that you've were quite the star. According to legend and your parents house, you where quite the talented young player."
"They are my parents." JJ rolled her eyes. "They're just proud of me." The blonde downplayed her talent a bit.
"They sure are. But I heard that you got a full scholarship. They don't just hand them out because your team is good." Emily answered with a smile.
"How do you ... you know what there is only one answer to that question. Garcia." Another eye roll and a smile crossed over JJ's face before she became serious again. "There is one place left I want to go."
"Okay, where is that?"
"The cemetery." JJ said softly, her head bend down looking at their joined hands.
"Okay, do you want me to go with you?" Emily asked while she lifted JJ's chin with her finger. The blonde's eyes where filled with un-shed tears.
"Yes. Yes, I want you to go with me."
"Then I will. If you want me to wait outside of the cemetery I will do that too. It's all up to you." JJ leaned forward and kissed Emily, grateful for the understanding that the older woman had for the situation.
Together, hand in hand, they reached the large iron gate that gave entrance to the cemetery, when JJ halted. She bit her lip while she gazed past the serenely looking entrance. "You sure about this?" The brunette asked the blonde gently.
JJ raised her eyes to Emily's and stared into the dark brown orbs that she trusted with all her heart. She nodded, the grip on Emily's hand tightened while she stepped forward. She led the way through countless graves on either side of the path.
JJ stopped in front of a well-kept marble stone stating Amy's name. The media liaison let go of Emily's hand and kneeled down, her fingers touched the sun-warmed stone. "There have been so many times that I wished you where still here, and this is surely on of those. I wished that you where here to tease me about falling in love with another woman. I'm sure you would have teased me and told me that you had known all along because I was always mentioning Emily on the phone. I wished that you where here to meet her just like I wanted you to meet Henry."
Emily stood behind JJ watching the younger woman. She wanted to do something, but she wasn't sure what she could do for her girlfriend. Should she say something, do something or should she just give JJ this moment to work through everything she was feeling? But when JJ's shoulders shook with sobs the brunette stepped forward and helped JJ into a standing position before she wrapped her arms around the younger woman. She whispered sweet nothings to the media liaison, and soon the blonde calmed down considerably. "I never talk about Amy." She admitted softly.
"I know, but things are different now. You got me, if you feel the need to remember her you can talk to me." The brunette offered with a simple shrug. She didn't want to downplay JJ's feelings; she just wanted to make it a topic they could talk about easily.
In fact, in a way, even though the subject of Amy's death was painful for JJ, Emily hoped that talking about Amy would open up a dialogue about their pasts. She wanted to know everything there was to know about the blonde and she was sure that JJ wanted to know about her past too.
Emily and JJ walked back to her parents' house, hand in hand. When they arrived they found JJ's father and Henry playing with a soccer ball outside, while JJ's mother was sitting on the porch watching them. JJ smiled and let go of Emily's hand to join her father and son.
Emily walked across the grass and sat down next to Mary Jareau, who greeted her with a warm smile. "Did you two have a nice lunch?" She asked while she watched her husband, daughter and grandson play soccer on the grass in front of her. The two adults had given Henry every advantage possible and the small child cheered loudly when he passed his grandfather and his mother with the ball before he picked it up and ran off, not fully grasping the full effect of a soccer game.
Emily laughed at Henry's antics before she answered the question. "Yes, we did. Thank you, it was really nice of you to watch Henry for us."
"No need to thank us darling, we would love to see him more often than we have. But with JJ's work it has been difficult to find a time where we could come to Washington or she could come here. Of course the fact that we didn't really get along with Will didn't really help all that much either. But that is all in the past now." Mary added with a content smile.
The brunette chose to ignore the last statement of the older Jareau woman. She had never heard anything about unresolved issues between Will and the Jareau's, she just knew that it had been quite a while since JJ went home. "JJ showed me around town, it's beautiful. It's so nice and quite, the complete opposite from where I grew up." She had actually enjoyed the small town with the beautiful farms the surrounding areas. Though she could understand growing up here as a teenager would have been quite different from the way she was looking at the town right now.
"Where did you grow up, Emily?"
The question that Emily hated so much was asked, and usually she kind of avoided answering it, but not today. "All around the world actually. My mother is a US Ambassador; she has been stationed all around the world. So the Ukraine, Italy, France and the Middle East mostly."
"That sure sounds like an exciting life, more exciting than living in a small town like East Alleghany."
"Most people think that, but when you live it it's actually quite hard. You can't plan anything too far ahead because you won't know if you are still living in that part of the world once that date arrives. Just when you start to feel at home, you're told to pack up your stuff and move to a new country, all with their own customs and habits. You're always the one that doesn't fit in, just when you're used to Tel Aviv and learned enough Hebrew to get around, you have to speak Italian."
Emily shrugged. "It would have been great to grow up in this town, but I guess that if you live here you see it from a different viewpoint." Honesty, that was the key.
"I guess you're right." Mary laughed when JJ picked Henry up as she passed the ball around her father and scored. Together with Henry, she cheered loudly for the goal she made.
"William taught both of our girls how to play soccer, but JJ was a real talent. I'm sure she showed you the soccer fields where she used to play her games. The local high school, the one that JJ attended, still has her picture up because she's the top scorer even after all of these years. Lots of girls have tried to pass her record but no one even came close. If you and JJ stay together, I foresee many soccer games in your future."
Both women laughed genuinely. "I think you are right about that, I'm planning on sticking around." Emily admitted sincerely.
Unaware of the conversation that had been going on between her mother and her girlfriend, JJ called out to them to join in on the soccer game. Soon everyone was running around the field after the ball.
It had been a couple of days since JJ and Emily arrived at JJ's childhood home, and they were settling in perfectly. After the often high stress cases they worked the peace and quite of the small town came as a blessing, even JJ reluctantly admitted that living in a small town had it's own charm. Though both just as easily agreed that city life had a lot more to offer.
Emily had made a joke about coming here once she retired, which in her case could be any day now if she cracked open that trust fund of hers. JJ had raised her brow but didn't say anything. They never really discussed money; JJ knew that Emily was rich; that she might not even really need her job if push came to shove; yet they had never talked about it.
But now that JJ thought about it she wondered if Emily was just making fun about it or if it was the reality, could she really retire if she wanted too? And where would that leave her and Henry? Since JJ didn't want to start this discussion around her parents, she decided to push it to the back of her mind, but she knew that if they got more serious they would have to discuss it.
Both of them were enjoying their free time together with Henry and JJ's parents. JJ and Emily visited Pittsburgh one afternoon while JJ's parents watched Henry. They had a lovely dinner together in one of the many fine establishments. However, since they only had a week off the end of their holiday was approaching fast.
One afternoon, Emily and Henry were playing in the backyard when JJ stepped outside holding two mugs full of steaming hot coffee. She sunk down in one of the chairs on the back porch and watched her girlfriend and her son play together.
She loved the carefree laugh that erupted from Emily's throat - one that she didn't hear all that often when they were working, not even when they were going out with Garcia. Sure the brunette laughed, but not the way she was laughing right now while playing with her son. The blonde praised herself lucky because she knew that many women who had children had trouble finding a new partner.
The brunette didn't see that JJ came outside and sat down on the porch and the blonde didn't make herself known. She just wanted to enjoy watching them together without her interrupting them. If she wanted them to live together as a family she knew that she needed to give Emily her alone time with Henry, just as much as she needed her alone time with her son - something which Emily seemed to notice often before JJ did, and Emily made sure that she had that time whenever she could. For now she would just enjoy watching them play together. It was awesome to see her girlfriend and son bonding the way they were. It made her feel even more secure about the future.
The screen door opened and Mary stepped outside; the older woman sat down next to her daughter and smiled while she watched her grandson and her daughter's girlfriend. "She's really good with him."
"Yes, I know." JJ replied with a proud smile, she reached down and picked up the coffee mug; "I brought it for Emily but I decided that I didn't want to interrupt them, I'll get her a new one when she's done playing."
"Thank you!" Mary smiled gratefully while she took the mug from her daughter. "How are things at work?"
"Good. You know, difficult cases but I like what I do." JJ smiled – she knew that her mother didn't understand the reason why she choose this job, nevertheless she knew that her parents were proud of her after all what she did made the world a little bit better - her eyes still fixed on Emily and Henry.
"What about your relationship with Emily. Do they know?"
"You know that's not what I meant, Jennifer." Mary smiled; "She's your best friend and from what I heard, also Emily's friend. I would have been surprised if you would have been able to keep this from her. Besides that, she told me she's known as your teams' personal oracle last time we visited you. The woman is very talkative and not at all shy, I would have been worried if Penelope hadn't known about your relationship with your other best friend."
JJ rolled her eyes; "You're right, there is no way we would have gotten something like this past our local oracle, besides that Pen has been helping us out whenever we needed some alone time or when we wanted to go on a date. It's been difficult asking Will to take Henry solely because I want to go out on a date with my girlfriend. He accepts it, but he's not happy about it and he claims that he's always suspected that Emily wanted something more."
"Yes." The blonde answered in honesty.
"You knew her before you knew Will, why did your relationship change only recently?"
"I guess ... no, I know that Emily never thought that I could love her in that way. She was the one who told me to go after Will in Miami when we worked his friends case, she specifically told me to go after him." JJ smiled, knowing now what she'd missed all of those years, she almost wished that they had figured it out earlier, but she knew that there was no use living with 'what if's' because they could never happen thus useless pondering about.
"Emily settled for being my friend and you have to believe me that she never tried anything. She's an honourable person." Mary nodded and smiled while she watched her daughter, a silence fell between them, a comfortable one, both nursing over their own thoughts as they sipped their coffee.
"Jennifer, if the two of you are happy, why did you not tell your friends? You always tell me that they're your family away from home." Mary sounded curious, not resentful. She knew that JJ loved her and her father but that she also needed her friends and that she found a wonderful surrogate family in her co-workers.
"We have been talking about it, since we work on the same team our relationship could potentially cause problems. It's difficult, we have the same rank so that isn't the problem per say. If either one of us had been a superior one of us would have certainly lost their job, definitively. Since we have the same rank we don't know what might happen, especially due to the fact that our Section Chief is not a fan of our team. One, or maybe both of us might loose our jobs and we don't want to force our team to lie for us so that we can keep our jobs. So for now we decided that we keep quiet and see where this leads and we will make a decision regarding our future together in a little while and act accordingly."
JJ turned her attention back towards Emily who was still playing with Henry on the grass in the backyard. "I love her. I really do and she understands me. She knows that I'm an independent woman and she accepts that from me, so when we were talking about the future and our jobs, Emily told me that she would resign to make sure that I could keep my job. She knows that I want to earn my own money to take care of myself and Henry. I don't want to lean on her or trust that she'll pay for our expenses. Will never got that, it bothered me that he would continue asking me to quite my job.
The way that he assumed that I would become a stay at home mom and even after he claimed that the stress at work induced my labour, he used that as a reason of why I should be at home with Henry. Emily isn't like that, she either knows what I want or she listens to me. Because there is only one me, while there are five profilers. And as much as I love her for being that selfless I can't let her do it, she fought to get that job, really fought. She has risked so much to keep it. I can't take it away from her." JJ bit her lip while she thought about what she had just confessed to her mother. She really did love Emily and she didn't doubt that they had a future together.
Mary watched her daughter intently; she wondered if she should ask what JJ meant by Emily having to fight to keep her job. The choice was made easy for her, when Emily - with Henry in tow - approached them on the back porch. A little out of breath, her hair in a messy ponytail and her jeans were actually covered in grass stains. JJ smiled at Emily's appearance, she had never seen the older woman looking quite like this.
Emily stepped up onto the porch; "Hey, I didn't notice you come outside." The brunette said a little out of breath, before she leaned down and kissed JJ who eagerly kissed her back.
"I've been here for a while, I watched you and Henry play, it was cute. I didn't want to interrupt you. Oh, by the way I had some coffee for you but since you were playing and my mom came out I gave it to her. Sit down. I'm going to get you some now."
Emily stopped JJ from getting up; "Sweetie, I'll get the coffee. Do either of you want a refill?" JJ certainly didn't get her love for coffee from a stranger, both Jareau women held up their empty mugs for Emily to take. The brunette quickly disappeared into the kitchen to return minutes later before she sat down in one of the empty chairs.
A day later Emily was organizing their bags in the back of her car while JJ was inside the house talking to her parents, promising them that they would visit them more often than she had in the past and extending an invitation to visit them in Washington DC soon.
Emily had really enjoyed her stay at the Jareau home and she had felt extremely welcome. Mary and William Jareau took her into their family without doubting their daughter's sudden change of heart when it came to who she loved. The brunette felt more at home with JJ's parents than she ever felt with her own parents, it was strange the way some things seemed to work out.
Emily made her way from the car to he house and stepped inside the hallway where JJ just took Henry from her mother's arms. Emily halted by the door, though not for long; "Emily, honey come here." Mary Jareau said before she enveloped the brunette in her loving arms. "I trust you to take good care off my daughter and grandson. And we'll see you soon, or so my daughter promises me." Mary said with a mock glare directed at her adult daughter who always promised to come by more often but with her busy work schedule never quite seemed to make it.
"Mom, I can take perfectly good care of myself, thank you very much." JJ replied a little embarrassed by her mothers comment while her cheeks coloured a deeper shade of pink.
"Yes, I know you can and I am sure that Emily knows that too, but if you two are together, taking care of you and Henry becomes one of her tasks. Just like I am asking you to take care of Emily, honey." Mary answered with a smile; "You're a family now and it's important that you both see it that way, especially since my grandson is involved."
"Mom! We know that. You have seen it with your own eyes, Emily is really good with him." JJ exclaimed; "She loves him, there's nothing she wouldn't do for him. What more can I ask for?"
"It's just a reminder for the both of you because I know that Emily doesn't want to take Will's place, but no matter how you turn it if you two are moving in or at least spending time at your place Jennifer, Henry is bound to see Emily more than Will. So she becomes a part of his family. That is unavoidable. I am just reminding the both of you that you are a family and that you should act as one." Mary smiled - little bit of mother's advice had never hurt anyone before.
Emily's skin tone matched JJ's before she spoke up, tears glistened in her eyes; "Thank you for the trust you put in me and I promise that I will take good care of your daughter and grandson." Emily stepped forward and hugged the older woman while a tear of relief rolled down her cheek.
She felt loved and accepted by people who she didn't even know a mere week ago. JJ's father was next in line for a hug, his large calloused hand stroked up and down Emily's back in a caring gesture before they released their hold on each other. Emily stepped back and smiled, quickly wiping away another stray tear before she offered to take Henry from JJ. The blonde took her turn to hug her parents and thank them for the wonderful week they had before they headed out to the car. At the end of the driveway they waved at JJ's parents and their drive home started.
JJ and Will had agreed beforehand that JJ and Emily would drop Henry off at his apartment once they arrived back in Washington. JJ had all too happily agreed to that - she was glad that Will and she were able to talk about Henry in a civil way and that neither one of them felt the need to keep the other away from the small child, she hoped that their relationship would always stay that way - so once the city skyline came in sight in the early afternoon she turned towards the back seat and smiled at a still sleeping Henry.
"He's still out for the count. Well at least he'll be awake when we drop him off at Will's. It would have been a shame if he slept all afternoon when he's there." JJ spoke softly before she turned back to the front seat and smiled at Emily. "It'll be weird not having him around for the next three days when we spend almost a full week with him." She mumbled softly.
"I suppose. I think that I'll be able to come up with a thing or two to keep your mind off it." Emily smiled while she wiggled her brows in a teasing manner.
"I'm sure that you can, Prentiss!" JJ replied with a chuckle.
"Oh, don't act like you don't like what I am talking about Jayje! No offence but after spending a couple of days in your parents house, in your childhood bedroom I think that it is safe to assume that you just like me might have ehm ... certain needs that need to be taken care off." The brunette said stopping mid-sentence to check the rear-view mirror before continuing.
"You bet I do." The blond answered turning slightly pink at her admission before she turned to gaze outside the window while increasingly familiar looking streets flowed by. Emily parked the car when they finally reached Will's neighbourhood and waited till JJ returned.
Her fingers where impatiently drumming on the steering wheel to the beat of the song she was softly singing. It took maybe five minutes for JJ to return but Emily's impatience was growing by the second, she wanted to go home, the long drive had taken its toll on her. She was ready to go home and drop down on the couch, call a restaurant for a food delivery and relax, preferably with JJ in her arms. The brunette was lost in thought and she didn't see JJ approach the car, she jumped a little when the door opened and the blonde sunk down into the car seat next to Emily.
"He'll bring Henry back on Sunday night, around seven." JJ said while she fastened her seatbelt. "How about we call Pen and see if she would like to get some dinner with us? I want to thank her for all her help these past months."
"I like the plan but I would really like to spend the evening with you, just the two of us, can we please do that?" Emily said with a smile. "I know that Pen deserves a thank you, a really big one at that. Without her it would have been nearly impossible to have a regular date and she saved us quite a couple of times from revealing our secret." Emily said with a grin.
"What do you want to do tonight?"
"Order some food and settle down on the couch, watch a movie. Go to bed early..." Emily said clearly stating the meaning behind her words with a wiggle of her brows.
"I think I like your idea." JJ agreed with her lover.
Once they returned to work on Monday after their week off, the team was soon consumed by the constant flow of cases. Days turned into weeks and just as easily into months. Before they really knew it they had celebrated their six-month anniversary and Thanksgiving was just around the corner. Emily had been making plans for Thanksgiving, their team would be off as long as there where no new cases that needed their immediate attention. Which was always a gamble, but since it was their first Thanksgiving together Emily wanted to make sure that it would be a memorable one.
As far as JJ knew they were going to celebrate it with just the three of them, as a sort of family. But that wasn't what Emily was planning, she had been browsing websites with recipes for days now and she had finally put together a menu that she was content with. While she was growing up her mother always made sure that their family was cared for by nannies and housekeepers. When Emily was a little older Maria, their housekeeper, had taken great pleasure in showing Emily - who was eager to learn - how to cook and she was eager to start.
JJ was out to the store with Henry, which gave Emily the time to take care of the last remaining tasks on her to do list. Emily had made sure that JJ and Henry would be out of the house on Thanksgiving day so Emily would have enough time to start dinner and get ready for the evening. Garcia was - as usual - the friend she could always count on, once again she was in on the secrets surrounding the ideas for Thanksgiving. She had just finished the last phone call on her list when she heard JJ open the front door and Henry barrelling down the hallway towards the kitchen. "We're back, Em'ly!" The little boy exclaimed when he rounded the corner into the kitchen.
"I can see that! Did you have fun shopping with mama?" Emily asked while she picked Henry up and sat him down on her lap, his brightly smiling face was covered in some kind of sticky substance. Emily reached behind her and grabbed the box with wet towels, which stood on the counter top behind her and started to clean Henry's face off when JJ stepped into the kitchen with a grocery bag in each hand.
"Someone is doing her mommy duties, I see." The blonde said with a smile to her lover before she bend down and kissed her on the cheek.
The brunette chuckled; "Well someone had to do it, the kid is sticky and I didn't want him to rub it on me when he tries to hug or kiss me." Emily exclaimed loudly, she didn't react to the fact that JJ called them 'mommy duties'. She didn't see it as duties, she loved the little boy and she didn't mind taking care of him.
"Remind me to never let him have ice cream on his own again, especially not when I've forgotten to take the wet towels with me." The blonde chuckled while she ruffled Henry's hair and started putting away the groceries one by one.
"Can I hug you now?" Henry asked giggling loudly while he wrapped his arms around Emily's neck and hugged her.
"What were you doing?" JJ asked pointing at the laptop in front of her.
"Looking up some recipes for Thanksgiving, you know doing some research." And not telling you that I just made the last few arrangements with your mother. Emily thought with a smile.
"Yeah about that, I called my mother and she told me that they can't come because she had already agreed to seeing some friends. She didn't think that we would have Thanksgiving off, so she went ahead and agreed to meeting some friends and everything has already been taken care off." The blonde sounded a tad bit disappointed and Emily felt almost obligated to tell her about the surprise, almost.
"I guess I kind of brought that upon myself, after all these past years I haven't been home all that much, I can't expect them to not make their own plans in the off chance that I'm going to ask them to come to me. Oh and Garcia is going to meet Kevin's parents so they won't be able to come either but I'm going to meet her beforehand at the mall."
"Good, that gives me time to prepare dinner. We'll see your parents soon, just not with Thanksgiving." Emily pulled JJ closer to her and wrapped her arm around the blonde.
"Why you sad, momma?"
"I am not sad, honey. You're here and Emily is here, how can I be sad." JJ answered her son's question with a bright smile but the sadness was still present in her eyes. Emily felt kind of bad for JJ's sadness but she wanted to keep this a secret till, well till her parents where here in front of their door.
Garcia had picked JJ and Henry up hours ago and Emily had been working on her dinner. The brunette was preparing several different dishes and the kitchen was filled with delicious smells, unfortunately the counters and the breakfast bar looked like a disaster area. Emily was trying to clean it all up before JJ and Henry returned but she failed miserably when she heard the familiar sound of the front door opening.
She stepped out into the hallway and greeted them happily. JJ immediately commented on the smells that flowed into the hallway. The brunette smiled; "Thanks, we'll its still going to be some time till we can eat. Henry, did you have a nice day with Aunty Pen and momma?" She asked the little boy who was bouncing around - obviously on a sugar rush - in the hallway.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Henry squealed loudly; "Aunty Pen gots me a car." He said holding up the toy car for Emily to see.
"Oh wow! That's a nice looking car." Emily replied in awe while she inspected the car.
"NO! It's a cool car!" The little boy replied with raised brows.
"You're right, it's not a nice looking car it's a cool one. My mistake, sweetie." Emily quickly gave in, and who could really argue with an almost three year olds logic.
"Damn Emily! Who did you invite the orphanage or the homeless?" JJ's voice exclaimed the moment she entered the kitchen, just out of the brunette's eyesight.
"What do you mean?" Emily asked innocently while she entered the kitchen behind JJ with Henry in her tracks.
"There is so much!" The blonde exclaimed while she peaked into the oven and the fridge.
"Not that much, its Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for and it's better to have too much than too little especially on a day like today." The brunette shrugged.
"Well this is an awful lot." She said pointing around the kitchen.
"Don't worry about it, we can always put it in the freezer and reheat it later." She checked her watch and continued cleaning the kitchen up. "I need about thirty more minutes and then I'm done."
"What can I do to help?"
"You? Go play with Henry or watch a movie with him or something. I got this under control, completely."
"No really, I can help." The blonde stated with a smile.
"Jayje, please just take thirty minutes to play with Henry and I will be done here and we can enjoy a nice family dinner."
"A family dinner, I like the sound of that." JJ mused softly while she stepped forward to Emily; she leaned in closely and kissed the older woman.
"That is what we are, right?" The brunette asked between kisses. The blonde nodded and smiled into the kiss, confirming what Emily already expected her to answer. JJ smiled before she took Henry with her into the living room, leaving Emily on her own in the kitchen. A smile played on her lips while she was putting the finishing touches to the meal. Ten minutes before JJ arrived home she had received a text message telling her that JJ's parents where about forty minutes away from their home. She was eagerly waiting for the bell to ring and even more for JJ's reaction.
Emily didn't have to wait long though, JJ had ventured into the kitchen again, she was sipping from her glass of wine while she was watching Emily - since Henry was engaged in a 'Cars' movie on the television and the brunette didn't allow her to help - the blonde leaned against the counter while they where softly talking.
JJ was just telling Emily that Garcia was freaking out all afternoon - even though she and Kevin had been dating for quite a while - she was officially meeting Kevin's parents for the first time and she was nervous, which according to JJ's claim was an understatement. She told the brunette that she had never seen Garcia act like that, she was usually very sure of herself. The doorbell rang immediately stopping their conversation, JJ looked up confused; "Are we expecting someone?"
"No, I'm not expecting anyone. You?" Emily asked, looking completely innocently at JJ.
JJ turned on her heels and stepped into the hallway to open the door, Emily followed stealthily leaning against the door frame of the kitchen while JJ reached her hand out to open the door. The moment she caught a glimpse of her parents on the outside a squeal escaped from her deep within her throat. "Oh my God! Emily! My parents!" She turned around towards the brunette who was still leaning against the door jab with a broad smile. "You knew and you didn't tell me!" JJ turned back towards her parents; she fell into her mother's arms and hugged her. Henry, who had heard the commotion came running into the hallway as well, was immediately wrapped in a bear hug courtesy of his grandfather.
"Look Em'ly, grandma and grandpa!"
Emily moved closer; "I know! Isn't that great!" The brunette smiled at the small child before she hugged Mary Jareau.
"You knew!" JJ exclaimed again before she hugged Emily. "I knew that something was going on, but not this! That is why you prepared such copious amounts of food."
Emily simply answered with a nod and a smile while she took Marie and William's coats from them before she returned to the kitchen to continue her work on the Thanksgiving dinner, which was almost done. Soon everyone was seated around the dinner table, Henry proudly between his grandparents in his highchair and JJ across from them. She had been shoo-ed out of the kitchen three times by Emily before she had finally relented and taken a seat. Emily brought in the different dishes and placed them on the center of the table.
Dinner went well, without a single hitch. The delicious smells didn't do justice to the food; actually tasting it was even better. Emily's cooking skills surprised everyone, even JJ - who thought that she by now had been very familiar with the brunette's skills in the kitchen, which far exceeded her own cooking skills even though she wasn't bad either.
Marie Jareau couldn't stop talking about the turkey stuffing and Emily had to promise her to give her the recipe. And Marie told Emily that she better keep next years Thanksgiving free to come up to East Allegheny because they would be cooking Thanksgiving dinner together. It wasn't a request, but it made Emily feel like she belonged - she had her own place in the Jareau family. Finally she felt like she belonged in a family, she promised Marie that she would be there. JJ and her father where smiling at the interaction between the two other women at the table, JJ smiled mischievously at her father and winked; "Is it okay if I come too?" The blonde asked with her perfectly serious media liaison face.
"Jennifer honey, you never need an invitation to come home you know that." Marie answered her daughters question with a smile knowing that she was only kidding.
JJ smiled at Emily and her mother glad that things between them where working out so well. Even though they had only seen each other twice and talked a couple of times on the phone.
Emily had made sure that JJ's parents would be set up at the best room at their hotel and once they where ready to leave she had called them a cab after all they had been drinking. The two of them had said goodbye to JJ's parents and promised to pick them up in the morning for a day trip. JJ and Emily wanted to show JJ's parents around the city, which would also allow them to spend the day with their grandson. Emily had returned to the kitchen and started to fill the dishwasher. JJ pitched in and together they were finished quickly.
Once they where in bed, JJ - who had been reading in one of her novels - placed the book on the bedside table and before Emily could realise what was happening the blonde was already on top of her. Smiling down at her, both hands placed firmly on the brunette's shoulders. "How come you didn't tell me that my parents where coming over for Thanksgiving, Emily?"
"I ... we wanted to surprise you." Emily smiled; "Remember a few weeks ago when we came home with Henry, the phone was ringing and I picked up. Well your mother was calling and we talked while you put Henry to bed. That's when we got the idea to surprise you, because your mother told me that you hadn't been home for Thanksgiving for the past two years and I knew how important it was to your parents." The brunette raised her hand up to the blonde's face and caressed her gently, she guided a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "I told her that this year was important to me too because I have a lot to be thankful for and I invited them to visit us."
"Okay, so that explains how this conversation started but why did you leave me in the dark?" The blonde asked, wanting more clarification on the matter.
"It was a surprise!" Emily exclaimed, with a roll of her eyes before she turned serious." I love you, I love the life that we share with Henry, and your parents are the sweetest people I have ever met. You've met my mother. She can't accept me for the choices that I made for my life, even though I'm her daughter. However, your parents didn't know me when I stepped out of that car and they took me in. I feel like I have a family now and I wanted to share this 'Thanksgiving' with the people that I love, with my family." The brunette spoke softly afraid that her voice would break if she tried to speak up. "I love you, Jennifer."
"I love you too, Emily." The blonde replied still looking down on her lover; "No one ever did what you do for me, you always seem to know what I need, sometimes even before I know it."
"Ah yes it's a true gift." Emily answered with a mischievous smirk playing on her lips and a sparkle in her eyes. The confident way of speaking threw JJ off for a second, and in the split second that her concentration faltered Emily switched their positions around. Suddenly she was the one looking down while JJ looked up. Now that she had full control the brunette made quick work of seducing the younger woman.
A deep moan escaped from the younger woman's slightly parted lips, a moan which only spurred Emily on even more.
The next day started early, Emily and JJ had promised to pick up JJ's parents from their hotel for a day in the city. Emily had set up a schedule catering to everyone's specific needs and wants. Some things where meant specifically for Henry while other were more interesting for JJ's parents or grown-ups in general. She had made an effort to find the time to fit something in for everyone and yet she had also kept enough free time for a nice lunch and dinner during the day. They had little time after all the next day would be the day that Mary and William Jareau where returning to East Alleghany.
The BAU team had finally closed their latest case; the team took it hard - like they always did when a case involved missing kids. Four kids went missing in a matter of days, the families kept hope because they didn't find any bodies. But when they finally found the unsub, they also found the lifeless bodies of three of the children. In finding the unsub and one of the children alive they counted themselves lucky, gruesome as that may sound.
They honestly didn't expect to find any of them, for the most part of the week the unsub had been a complete ghost. He came in, snatched away the kids, and left no evidence to speak of. Thousands of people had joined up to volunteer in the search since the news about the missing children broke. Though it wasn't people that found the Unsub, nor was it the BAU team - they where still trying to figure out where their Unsub was hiding out when a broken tail light in a simple traffic control revealed the Unsub's true identity, he was caught red handed with one of the children in the back seat bound and gagged covered by a blanket.
While they didn't find all the answers themselves, the team let out a sigh of relief when the news reached them. It was now to the counsellors to help the families of the murdered children to grieve and to help the ones that survived to move forward. The little girl that survived was left in the capable hands of the doctors at the hospital she was taken to and her parents. The unsub was in jail while the case against him was being built, and it was strong. He was not getting out for a long, long time if even at all.
However, the team was exhausted and they couldn't have been happier to go back to their hotel rooms and grab their go bags. They where used to living out of their bags and most of their belongings never left their it hence they were packed quickly. Everyone had been eager to leave and Emily and JJ had been no exception. They wanted to go home and sleep in their own bed. Even though they had shared a hotel room on this case, it was always different than being home - they needed to be pro's if they ever wanted to get a chance to stay together and keep their jobs.
JJ had been tired all week, feeling like she was running on fumes. She was simply exhausted by the time they started to pack their luggage and when they reached the airport she'd been half asleep in the back of one of the SUV's. Emily had to nudge her gently before it even registered that they had arrived.
The two of them followed the others to the small aircraft and sat down next to each other. Soon the blonde was passed out against Emily's shoulder. Reid, who noticed, smiled at the brunette and handed her a blanket, which she draped over JJ's sleeping form with a thankful smile. The lanky doctor shrugged and smiled back before he sunk into a chair as well and averted his attention on the book he retrieved from his brown leather book bag, it took mere seconds before he was completely consumed by the words in front of him.
Derek returned from the kitchen area of the plane with a mug of coffee and sat down across from Reid with his signature headphones perched on his bald head, and soon his eyes were closed as well. No one knew if he actually slept or if he was just listening to the music, no one ever asked him either. Rossi and Hotch sat in the back of the plane silently discussing the case or something of that nature. Emily looked around the plane one last time making sure that no one was paying attention to them before she placed a kiss on JJ's head and relaxed into her seat as well. She wrapped her arm around JJ's body underneath the blanket, hidden for anyone with wandering eyes.
Once they set in for the landing usually everyone would wake up, but JJ didn't wake up when the pilot warned them to fasten their seat belts - like she usually did - and when Emily finally managed to wake her up she was really out of it. At first the brunette figured that the blonde had just been in deep sleep when she woke up, but it didn't get any better.
All of them where exhausted but no one seemed as affected by the case as much as JJ was. Emily flung her own bag over her shoulder and helped JJ up, Derek grabbed JJ's bag and followed the two women out of the plane. Once they reached the parking lot Emily spoke up to the team before anyone else could make any suggestions; "I'll take JJ home, I'll stay at her house tonight to make sure that she's okay. It's not like we haven't shared a room before." The brunette replied with a smile. JJ just smiled weakly, she didn't even try to object. The team nodded in agreement, all were of course thinking that JJ was single since Will and she broke up, except for Garcia none of them was any the wiser.
Soon the brunette was driving them home, with trouble she helped JJ up the stairs and into bed. She was worried about the blonde's demeanour - it wasn't like her at all. As soon as the blonde hit her bed she was out cold, Emily undressed her as much as she could without waking the blonde up again knowing that it wouldn't make much of a difference anyway and placed the blankets on top of her.
The brunette decided to take care of their go bags and their laundry before she went to bed herself, at least that way she could keep an eye on JJ. She gathered their go bags from the car and brought them to the laundry room where she started to divide their laundry and turned on the washing machine before returning to the bedroom upstairs.
JJ was still sleeping and seemingly hadn't moved and inch since Emily had left the room. Emily readied herself and crawled into bed next to JJ, she couldn't help but notice the heat that radiated from the blonde's body. JJ seemed to be resting comfortably however, so she let her sleep.
The next morning however, Emily woke up to the not so pleasant sound of JJ throwing up in the en-suite bathroom. It jump started Emily's reaction, she was out of their bed in seconds and into the bathroom where she found the blonde next to the toilet. She responded quickly by holding her hair back and handing JJ a glass to rinse out her mouth. Emily placed her hand against the younger woman's forehead. "You're burning up, here brush your teeth and then it's back to bed for you." The brunette said in a gentle voice. JJ looked miserable enough and she wouldn't be surprised if the other woman had a pounding headache.
JJ just nodded her head and started to brush her teeth after which she made her way back to the bed under the watchful eye of the profiler. The blonde mumbled something softly which Emily couldn't hear because of the ruffling from the blankets she was placing on top of the blonde and the softness of her voice. "What did you say?"
"I need to get up soon." The blonde mumbled.
"Honey, I'm not telling you what you can or can't do, but I don't think that you should get out of bed any time soon, you're sick."
"Will's expecting me to pick Henry up soon."
"Jayje, don't you think that it's better that Henry sees you when you're feeling better?" Emily asked, it didn't feel right telling JJ what she should or shouldn't do in regards to her son, but she knew that she had to step in if she thought that it was in Henry's best interest. She thought that it was what she needed to do if she wanted to be considered as a caregiver for Henry.
"No, I want to see Henry. After this case ... I just need to." For the first time since they took their seats on the plane JJ actually spoke up and for a moment her usual spark returned.
Emily considered her answer for a couple of seconds before she replied; "Okay, but then I'm going to pick him up and bring him home while you stay in bed." Given the case that they had worked, she always knew that these type of cases where even harder on agents with children. But now that she lived with JJ and Henry she could now truly understand how important it was to come home and wrap your arms around your own child. She had always known that it was a given that Hotch and JJ wanted to go home to hug their sons as soon as they arrived, now that she was living with JJ and Henry she herself was actually feeling the same way.
"I can't let you go, you and Will..."
"Jayje, Will and I have to manage we can be civil, it'll be the first time since we got together that I'm picking Henry up on my own, but if we stay together - which is certainly what I'm planning on – I'm pretty sure that it won't be the last time. We're both adults and I'm sure that we won't say or do anything to each other in front of Henry. I'm sure that we'll be fine, don't worry about it. And if he does get in my face I will just have to show him whose boss." Emily rolled her eyes and grinned at the blonde with a twinkle in her eyes trying to lighten the mood; "When did you tell Will you'd be there?"
"Don't mock me! I'm sick, worried and ... Eleven this morning, he would have Henry ready for me to pick him up." Emily checked the clock on the bedside table and nodded.
"Sorry sweetie, I won't mock you again." Emily said leaning down and kissing the top of JJ's head. "I'm going to take a quick shower, do you want me to get you anything?"
"No ... yes ... sleep but you can't get that for me."
"Okay, then sleep." Emily replied before she retreated to the bathroom. She didn't take long, but by the time she returned to the bedroom JJ was fast asleep. Emily adjusted the blankets around her lover and went downstairs when she was dressed to make herself some breakfast. She still had some time left before she needed to pick Henry up and she decided to go check on JJ one last time.
With a steaming mug of tea in her hand she ascended the stairs to their bedroom. She placed a plate of crackers and tea on the bedside table and wrote a note to JJ telling her that she was on her way to pick Henry up and that she would also go to the store to get groceries and medication. And to call if there was anything she needed. She quietly left the house and locked the door behind her hopping that JJ would be okay for the time that she would be away.
Luckily it didn't take her long to pick Henry up, Will didn't like the fact that JJ was sick but insisted on seeing Henry. Emily had to explain to him the nature of their latest case so that he would understand why it was so important for the blonde to see her son. Given that he was a police officer he could understand how important it was for JJ to see her son. To make sure with her own eyes that he was safe and happy.
Facing the cruelty of mankind - especially directed at kids - would do that to an agent, they needed to hold their kids in their arms to really comprehend that they were safe. His own knowledge as a cop made Emily's argument easier. Soon she was on her way to the pharmacy and the grocery store with Henry in his car seat.
The little boy was talking about his week with his dad; though his stories were at times hard to follow, nevertheless it was nice to hear him talk in an enthusiast tone of voice. She helped him out whenever he didn't know how to say a certain word; sometimes figuring out what he wanted to say was more like a guessing have than anything else. "Where's mommy?" Henry asked after a minute of silence. Emily's stopped the car in front of a traffic light and turned slightly in her seat to give her answer to the little boy.
"Mommy's feeling a bit sick. She wanted to come pick you up but she was really tired so I told her to sleep just like when you were sick a while ago, remember that?" She smiled at him when he nodded before she turned back to see the light turn green. "The two of us are going to the store and get some medicine for mommy to make her all better and then we go home. Does that sounds like a plan?"
"Yes. Good plan." Henry answered with a determined nod of his head, which made the brunette smile because Henry was so much like his mother when he acted so overconfident, way too overconfident for a almost three year old boy.
Emily smiled while she averted her eyes from the rear view mirror. She pulled into the parking lot at the grocery store and retrieved the little boy from the back seat. She placed Henry in the kids seat on the cart and entered the store; she quickly gathered what they needed. It took Emily a while, especially because Henry kept asking for stuff and grasping at items whenever they were within reach. JJ had learned to deal with her son's grabby hands but Emily was struggling, she was not that experienced with it and it took her longer to get the groceries and deal with Henry.
When she was collecting the last items on her list and turned back to the cart to place them inside, the small boy started to squeal 'Unca Derek!' loudly from his seat in the grocery cart. Emily's head snapped up looking around to see if it really was Derek that Henry saw or just someone who looked like him. "Where is uncle Derek?" She asked the little boy. Who happily pointed his hand in the direction of the FBI agent who raised his hand and waved at them with a broad grin.
Emily spun around on her heels and looked guiltily up at Derek, both JJ and Emily knew that Henry might as well be the one who told their secret, especially with him getting more and more talkative by the day. "Hi Derek." She said with a smile when he reached the two of them.
"Well well well, if it isn't my lil' man Henry and Emily." Derek said with a smile while he raised his hand at the small boy; "High five!"
Henry slapped his small hand against the inside of Derek's much larger hand and giggled loudly, it had been a thing between the two of them ever since Henry was old enough to kind of understand what was asked of him.
"Seeing you here with Henry and no JJ in sight means that she's still not feeling well?" Derek asked while he picked Henry up into his strong arms.
Emily nodded; "Yes, she's sick. Probably the flu or a stomach bug or something similar. Henry was with Will but after the case we had she insisted on seeing him, so I picked him up. That plus a nearly empty fridge sent me on my way." Emily told Derek as a way of explaining what happened earlier in the morning.
Derek nodded; "You gonna stay with her all weekend?"
Emily occupied herself with pushing the cart towards the check-out counter before she answered; "Yeah, I think I will, it's hard being sick and having a child to look after and doing it all on your own." Her cheeks turned a deeper shade or red; but right now was not the time nor the place to come clean about their secret.
"It's good to know that JJ has someone looking out for her now that it's just her and my lil' man Henry here." Derek said with a smile.
"Oh, stop it any one of us would have done the same." Emily declined the comment Derek made, knowing that it was true. The line of work had made them more than friends - they all found themselves in a way estranged or too far from their family and had taken each other on as a surrogate family - and they would do a lot more than regular colleagues would. They had to trust each other with their lives, which put them in a unique situation to begin with.
Derek shrugged; "True, but you didn't hesitate you stepped right up to the plate and actually did it."
Emily shrugged and didn't say anything - what could she really say. That moment however, Henry choose to speak his mind; "Mama." He said while he reached out towards Emily. The brunette snapped her head up at him in shock, which she quickly hid behind a blank facade - usually reserved for work - while she reached her hands out to take Henry from Derek. "Mommy's home buddy, we're going there soon, remember I told you she's sick."
"Mama." Henry mumbled against Emily's neck while he laid his head down on her shoulder, resting heavily against her chest.
The brunette placed her hand on his head and gently ruffled his hair; "He must be really tired."
"He must be." Derek said with a smile; "You know what, let me help you with this. Is there anything else you need?"
"No, I was just retrieving the last items when we ran into you."
"Okay then, lets get out of here so you can get Henry to his mommy."
"Thanks." Emily replied with a thankful smile.
Emily led the way to her car in the parking lot with Derek next to her pushing the grocery cart forward. Emily unlocked the car and wanted to place Henry in his car seat when she remembered that she needed to pick up some medication for JJ at the pharmacy. "I need to get some medication for JJ at the pharmacy."
"Okay, go take care of that and I'll put the groceries in your car and bring the cart back and give you your keys at the pharmacy if you're not back when I am done." Derek offered with a genuine smile.
"Anything for my favourite people." Emily smiled and turned on her heels, she quickly walked towards the pharmacy to buy the medicine JJ needed and to get back home.
Luckily it wasn't busy and it was quickly her turn to pay and she was back on her way to the car when she saw Derek approach with a broad smile on his face. "I was actually kind of surprised to see your car here, I figured that you would have taken JJ's car because of the car seat. Those car seats are not easy to install into another vehicle, I tried it once or twice." Derek said, handing her the keys back.
"Oh .. yeah no, I was with JJ when we were called in on our last case so instead of driving separately, we used my car. Will promised to check out some issue JJ was having with her car for her while we were gone. So the car seat was still in my car." Emily quickly explained, occupying herself with Henry - hoping that Derek wouldn't see through her lies.
"Okay, well I better get going, I was going to do some work on one of the properties. See you on Monday, bye bye big man!" Derek said with a grin while he held his hand up once more for Henry to slap. "Tell Jayje to get well soon." Emily smiled and thanked him once again before saying goodbye to him.
She quickly made her way back to her car and placed Henry in his car seat before she drove the two of them home. She checked her watched when she parked the car, noticing that she had been gone for almost two hours, she hoped that JJ had been alright on her own. She turned around in her seat and addressed the small boy; "Henry sweetie, mommy's sick so we have to be really quiet when we go into the house, she might be sleeping. We can be really silent, right?" For good measure she raised her finger to her lips.
Henry mimicked her and nodded before he whispered back; "Silent."
"Exactly, silent." Emily whispered back before she got out of the car, she took Henry out too. "Stay with me, honey." The brunette told JJ's son before opening the trunk and retrieving the grocery bags from it, they made their way to the house.
She slipped the key into the lock and turned it, Henry ran inside towards the stairs where he waited impatiently for Emily to follow him, jumping from one foot to the other. JJ had taught him that he wasn't allowed to climb the stairs on his own. The brunette placed the grocery bags on the floor and followed the impatient child up the stairs, keeping a close eye on his movements and helping him out when ever he needed a hand.
When they reach the top of the stairs Henry rushes off to the master bedroom tentatively reaching for the doorknob, which is just out of reach for him. The brunette smiled at him and opened the door, Henry pushes his little finger against his lips and raises his head to look up at Emily. "Go ahead." The dark haired woman whispers to the young boy while she pushed the door open.
Emily pushed the door open and Henry tiptoed inside, his finger still against his lips while he approached the bed, she smiled at his adorable antics. He quickly crawled onto the end of the bed and on hands and knees he made his way towards the top. Emily was sure that JJ was awake but pretending to be fast asleep, knowing that Henry loved being able to wake someone up. "Wakey, wakey!" He said much louder than a whisper, placing his small hands on top of his mother's upper-arm while he pushed her onto her back. JJ pretended to wake up, wrapping her arms around Henry who buried his face in JJ's neck. "You sick, mommy?" He asked her softly.
"Yes sweetie, I am. But I'm feeling a whole lot better now that I got you're here." The blonde smiled and mouthed 'thank you' to Emily who was leaning against the doorframe. The brunette could see that the blonde wasn't really doing any better, she was probably still feeling just as miserable as she had been feeling when they first woke up early in the morning. In reply she shrugged at the blonde and approached her, she sat down on the bed leaning in to kiss the top of JJ's head - which felt warm, warmer than usual - but the blonde pushed the other woman away gently. Emily watched JJ with a confused look on her face; she wasn't sure where JJ's reaction came from.
"Are you running a fever?" She asked the blonde who shrugged in reply. "You sure, you feel hot."
Henry was still sprawled out on top of his mother, clutching his little arms around her neck. Emily wanted to reach her hand out to feel if JJ had a fever but the blonde slapped her hand away mid-air. "Don't." She said as sternly as she could muster.
"I just want to know if you have a fever." She sighed; "Can I get you anything? Tylenol, something to drink or eat?"
"Take Henry." Was all JJ could get out, clapping her hand over her mouth. The second Emily picked Henry up JJ pushed herself off the bed in the direction of the bathroom. The brunette could hear her loose what was left of her stomach contents into the toilet and was unsure what to do; stay with Henry or help JJ. In a split second she decided that JJ at this point had her priority; "Henry, stay here. Don't go anywhere while I go an check on mommy, okay?" For a second she wondered if she had closed the gate at the top of the stairs when she came up but there was no time to check it.
Henry nodded his blonde head in an exaggerated gesture and dropped his body back onto the centre of the bed, cradled between the pillows and the fluffy sheets. Emily approached the bathroom door quickly, she checked back one last time to see that Henry was still in the same spot on the bed and opened the door. Within a split second she found herself in the same position she had been in this morning when she first woke up, holding back JJ's long blonde tresses while her free hand reached for the glass on top of the sink. The stale smell of the vomit rose to her nostrils, almost making her gag as well but she turned her face away and breathed through her mouth. She wasn't used to taking care of another person like this, she never had too.
Finally the noises beneath her stopped and she dared to watch, JJ leaned back against the wall and gratefully took the glass the brunette held in front of her, while she reached out to flush the toilet.
"Go away." The words out of JJ's mouth stopped the brunette's hand mid-air, at first she thought that she must have misheard it so she continued to push the flusher, but the blonde repeated it, this time there was no doubt; "Go away, Emily. You did not sign up for this."
"Did not sign up for this? What are you talking about?" She was confused as to what JJ was referring too.
"Me being sick, having to take care of me and Henry. You didn't sign up for this." The blonde looked miserable, extremely miserable. Leaning her head in her hands, her hair hanging in front of her pale face. She looked frail, sitting on the white bathroom tile with hunched shoulders.
"Then tell me, where should I sign up, Jayje?" The brunette was annoyed; "I told you. Promised your parents that I would take care of you and Henry. Do you really think that I will run away from you when you're sick? That I will go to my apartment and come back when you feel better, or maybe not at all because I realise that you and Henry are too much of a hassle? Did you really just assume that I am that shallow?"
JJ opened her mouth to say something - she was feeling quite miserable and seeing the full force of her statement reflect in Emily's dark brown eyes - made her feel even worse. She knew that she had hurt the brunette by doubting her but she couldn't take her words back, the harshness of her own statement was ringing in her ears. With Emily's family history and her experience with previous relationship's JJ should have known how much her comment would hurt Emily. It wasn't that she didn't love her because she did; it was just that she didn't expect her girlfriend to take care of her when she was sick.
She had noticed that Emily almost lost her own stomach contents while helping her and she didn't want the brunette to get sick like she was and maybe, just maybe it had been a stupid idea to ask Emily to pick Henry up for her just because she wanted to see him, no - needed to see him. She now exposed Henry to whatever she was having and she really didn't want to pass it on to anyone else.
When she heard the distinct sound of Emily gagging she remembered all the times she had puked her guts out when she was pregnant with Henry, and all the times that Will turned his back on her and told her that he couldn't deal with the stale smell, even though he had been part of the reason why she was feeling so miserable. He hadn't been helpful at all.
She was afraid to hear the same disgust in Emily's voice, so in her mind it had seemed easier to ask her to go away. But now that she looked up at the woman slumped down on the edge of the tub besides her she doubted her whole thought process. Emily wasn't like that, she would be there to help her if only she would let her help, and even if she didn't want the brunette to stay JJ was sure that she would even if it was just to keep an eye on Henry.
The blonde wanted to say how sorry she was but her train of thought was interrupted by Emily's phone. The dark haired woman jumped, she had been so focussed on JJ that she didn't expect something like that. She quickly retrieved her phone and without looking she answered the call. "Seriously girlfriend, you and I got a huge problem!"
Emily frowned - first JJ and now Pen, she was starting to get annoyed really fast - she pulled the phone away from her ear when the high pitched comment reached her ear; "Get in line..." She mumbled through her teeth, hardly loud enough for anyone to hear. "Pen, what are you raving on about?"
"What am I raving on about? Really Emily, really do I need to explain to you how this works?" Emily stood up from the bed; she left the room and stood in the hallway.
"Pen, what are you talking about?"
"Jayje of course, my poor sweet boo is sick and you don't even call me!"
"P, it's probably just the flu or something, she's looking a whole lot better than she did this morning." Emily said, knowing that it was hardly the truth but she really didn't feel like dealing with Garcia right now, not after being chewed out by JJ for trying to do the right thing.
"I don't care what you call it, even if it is just the flu as you put it I should know about it! Heck, a broken nail is reason to let me know, that is my Jayje you are talking about!" The blonde on the other side of the line exaggerated.
"Broken nails ... right. Sorry Pen, I think I need to change my phone speed-dials because right now I have my lady on number one while it should have been you all along. I apologize; I didn't think that the flu was a good enough reason for you to be called out of your bed. Believe me it won't happen again." Emily spoke in mock congruence while she rolled her eyes, no reason to let Garcia know that JJ and she just got into an argument.
"Do not role your eyes at me, missy!"
Emily pulled the phone away from her ear and stared at it for a couple of seconds before she reattached it, making sure that the camera wasn't working. She had after all seen Garcia pull a lot of technical mumbo jumbo to take control of computers before, so there was no reason to think that she couldn't hack a phone; "Pen, can I just tell you how she's doing?" She said more than a little annoyed.
"You better or I'll come over there and see for myself." The blonde claimed loudly and Emily knew not to mess with her because she would do it - she would stand at their door within twenty minutes, which was exactly how long it took from Garcia's apartment to their house if there wasn't any traffic, and that was something Emily really couldn't use.
"Alright alright, hold your horses. Jayje's doing fine, well not fine but better. She probably caught the flu or something but she slept most of the night and morning." Emily frowned; "I went to pick Henry up and I just arrived home with him. Which you probably already heard from your chocolate hunk."
"I never reveal my sources." Garcia said in a serious tone of voice.
"Maybe you shouldn't make it so obvious if you don't want a trained FBI agent to figure out the truth." Emily joked lightly, loosing a little of the anger she had been feeling because of JJ's comment.
"I don't know what you mean." The blonde stated on the other side of the line.
"We didn't see you last night, nor did we call you. About thirty minutes ago I left the parking lot of the supermarket where I ran into Derek, and now with just enough time to get home you call me. It's a simple game of elimination, if you had known before you would have called sooner. You didn't call the land-line because you didn't want to risk waking JJ up, neither did you want to call me on my cell if there was a chance that I was still on my way home with your Godson in the car." Emily smirked; "In fact if I had picked up the phone you would have ripped my head off for reckless endangerment or something since Henry was in the car with me. They didn't just give me the title of 'profiler' because they like me so much."
"Okay, I guess I'm busted." The blonde giggled; "Is my poor Jayje awake, can I talk to her?" Emily looked around the doorframe and noticed that JJ was still in the bathroom since the bedroom was empty. She made her way across the room and glanced around the corner. Henry had crawled onto his mother's lap who was still seated on the floor with her back against the cold tile. She wasn't able to see the younger woman's face because her long blonde hair was blocking it from the view. But every now and then Emily noticed that her shoulders shook.
"Can I let her call you back, P?" The brunette spoke fast but urgently.
"Yeah, I guess, tell my little Sugar Plum to call me asap."
"Sure will, P." Emily said while disconnecting the phone.
Emily watched JJ from the bedroom, the younger woman hadn't moved from her position against the cold bathroom tile. Henry had made his way to her and crawled up against her, his arms wrapped around his mommy. The blonde stroked the young boys hair absentmindedly while she tried to hide from him that she was crying. However, she wasn't able to keep a pained sob from escaping her lips every now and then, and each time Emily's heart broke a little bit more.
Maybe she was doing the wrong thing but she knew that she had to do something. She at least had to try and get JJ from the cold bathroom tile and back into bed with a couple of Tylenol preferably, even if the blonde didn't want her here or claimed that she hadn't signed up for this she wasn't going to leave. There was no way she could ever justify doing something like that to herself. She stepped forward with a fake smile on her face; "Henry, sweetie it's nap time."
"No, don't wanna!" Henry exclaimed loudly.
"Well you have to, honey." Emily insisted while she picked him up and carried him to his room. JJ pulled her knees up to her chest; her face was still hidden behind a curtain of blond tresses.
"No, Em'ly don't wanna! Mama!" Emily made quick work of undressing the small child and placing him in his crib.
"Just for a little while sweetie, you can see mommy when you wake up, okay." The boy sniffled but nodded. Emily kissed him on his forehead and made her way over to the door, she looked back at him and he stubbornly sat up in his bed, his little arms crossed in front of his chest. The brunette had a hard time closing the door on him but she knew that she had other matters she needed to take care off. She almost reluctantly made her way back to the master bedroom and sighed when she noticed that JJ still hadn't moved from her spot on the floor in the bathroom.
Emily approached JJ; she leaned down and helped the blonde back up on her feet. The blonde broke down; Emily wrapped her arms around her and mumbled soothing words to her. "I'm sorry, Em. I am so sorry, please don't leave."
"I'm not leaving. But you got some explaining to do, I never figured you to be so insecure. I thought that I had been clear about my intentions." The brunette said while she guided the younger woman back to the bed. She made sure that JJ was comfortable before she returned to the bathroom and cleaned up the paper towels that where on the floor and rinsed out the glass and the sink. She opened the window to make sure that the stale smell of vomit could leave the small room and returned to the bedroom. The second she set foot in the room JJ tried to get up, she rushed to her side and sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Emily, I am sorry, so sorry." The brunette smiled weakly and brushed her hand along JJ's face.
"I know. It's okay." She replied softly, she stared straight ahead she didn't want JJ to see the pain in her eyes.
"No it's not. I hurt you." JJ's own tears had dried but the tear streaks where still visible on her face. For a split seconds Emily let her eyes glide towards her face and she noticed that JJ's blue orbs where filled with the same pain and humiliation to boot. She wanted to turn away, she couldn't look at her; she knew that she was not to blame for what happened but it was too difficult to look at JJ right now. The self-doubt was excruciating. But the media liaison was fast, she reached her hand out and stopped Emily from turning her head away. The brunette focussed on a point above JJ's head, it was easier to compartmentalize when she focussed on a blank point instead of a face filled with emotion.
"Look at me." The blonde begged.
"I am." She replied softly.
"No, you're not. Dammit Emily, look at me!" She sighed and changed her line of sight to the blonde's face. "I am sorry, I was out of line, I should have never said the things I said to you because you are right, there is no reason for me to believe that you will walk out on me the first time something doesn't go as planned. I never should have compared you to Will because you're not like him."
"No, I'm not..." Emily felt drained, so much had happened in a short amount of time.
JJ sighed; she wrapped her arm around Emily's shoulders and eased them down on the bed. She spooned Emily and wrapped her arm around her, her face buried against Emily's neck; "I am sorry. Will was an ass when I was sick during my pregnancy; he told me that he couldn't deal with someone who was sick. When I heard that you gagged, I ... I made my own conclusions and told you to leave out of self-preservation."
Emily didn't say anything, but she took a hold of JJ's hand and held it close to her heart. She could understand JJ's reasoning now, but every time she learned a new detail about Will she liked him less and less. If you loved someone wouldn't you do anything for them? Wasn't that what love meant?
"I don't walk away just because you're sick."
"I know that ... can we please call it a lapse of judgment."
"Yeah, let's call it that." Emily replied softly, a relieved sigh sounded in her ear a smile appeared on her face. She pushed herself up on her elbow, JJ immediately wanted to pull her back down; "I'm not going anywhere, let me just get rid of my shoes." The brunette explained with a chuckle; while she reached down to unzip the boots she was wearing. She carelessly dropped them next to the bed and reached back to pull the blanket over them while she eased back into JJ's embrace.
They where both exhausted and it didn't take long before sleep took over. It wasn't until Henry crawled into the bed with them and snuggled against Emily that she woke up, only to find that they had all been asleep for two hours. She made a mental note of the fact that Henry once again had managed to climb over the railing of his crib. JJ stirred behind her and rolled onto her back. "You awake?" She mumbled softly while she covered her eyes with her arm.
"Yes, Henry climbed over the railing again." Emily sighed while she tickled the small child who shrieked before he started giggling in that very infectious way only children can chuckle.
"I know, we should get him a real big boys bed soon."
"Are you feeling any better?"
"Yes, I am feeling better." The blonde lifted her arm a little bit, just enough so that she was able to look at the other woman who had turned towards her. She smirked when she noticed that her son had crawled on top of Emily looking back at her with a huge accomplished grin. "What do you think sweetie, should we get you a real big boy's bed?"
"Yeah! I'm a big boy I'm three!" He answered happily while he held up four fingers. Emily and JJ laughed while the brunette corrected the number of fingers and Henry reached out his arm towards his mother for good measure to show her how old he was.
"Well yes, three fingers. You are a big boy." JJ replied happily. Emily knew that she was faking it - it was what mother's did.
"Is it okay if I take a quick shower? I'll make something light to eat, we'll see if you can handle it." Emily asked JJ, pushing a strand of hair out of the blonde's face.
"Yeah sure. How about we go downstairs to watch a movie, sweetie?" The blonde asked Henry. He jumped up and was already on his way out of the room when JJ called him back. "Henry, get back here. You know you can't go downstairs alone." Henry sulked and came back to the bed, leaning his arms on the bed and cradled his head in his hands while he watched JJ and Emily move through the room. The blonde pulled her robe on while the brunette grabbed a change of clothes and a towel.
"Jayje, you might want to call PG back before she comes knocking down the door. She was pretty pissed that I hadn't informed her that you where sick." Emily said before she closed the door to the bathroom behind her.
JJ picked up her phone and told Henry that she was ready to go. The little boy actually sighed in relief when he pushed himself off the bed. The blonde rolled her eyes while she unlocked the gate at the top of the stairs and patiently waited while Henry sat down at the top of the stairs and took the stairs one after another sliding down on his butt.
JJ prepared a sippy cup for Henry and placed the DVD in the player before she sat down and dialled Garcia's speed dial number. The phone was picked up in a matter of seconds as if the technical analyst had been waiting for her call. "JJ! Thank God! I swear if you hadn't called me I would have come over. I swear I told Em I would! I told her that she should tell you to call me as soon as possible ..."
"PG!" JJ had tried to get a word in a couple of times but she couldn't so she just sat by and waited for the rant to end. When Garcia finally stopped talking she attempted to explain why she hadn't called sooner; "PG, I am sure that Emily would have told me to call you sooner ..." But she wasn't able to finish her sentence before the tech started rambling again.
"What do you mean would have called sooner, do you mean that Em didn't tell you that I asked her specifically to tell my sweet boo to call me ASAP! I told her! I knew I should have come by, I should have just gotten into Esther and drive over there."
"P! It's not Emily's fault. It's mine ..."
"Jayje, sweetie pie what's the matter?" Henry was sitting on the couch completely engrossed in the movie that was playing on the screen. The blonde rubbed her forehead - a headache was throbbing behind her eyes - she got op and walked into the kitchen where she sat at the counter from where she could keep an eye on Henry.
"I said something stupid, Pen. Real stupid."
"But you are alright aren't you, and Emily is too, right Jayje?" Garcia was silent for a couple of seconds waiting to hear what JJ had to say but when she didn't say anything she urged the blonde a little more; "Jayje, you two are alright, aren't you?"
"Yes, yes we are ... now." JJ replied barely above a whisper.
"For God sake, Jayje could you be any more vague please!" The tech analyst exclaimed in a high-pitched voice.
"We are okay. I just made a really bad judgment call this morning. It was stupid, we talked about it. We are fine, but I can't get the hurt look in her eyes out of my head."
"Jayje, Emily loves you. I have never seen her the way she is with you. Don't doubt her." The tech analyst spoke seriously.
"I know, Pen! I just snapped at her and I was so out of line ..."
"You want to tell me what happened?"
The blonde sighed - she rested her head in the palm of her hands, her fingers entangled in her long blonde tresses - she wasn't sure where to start, so the beginning would be as good as anywhere; "I woke up this morning feeling really nauseous, so I got out of bed and went into the bathroom. Emily must have heard me because she was behind me within seconds - holding back my hair, giving me a wet towel and water. She was perfect. Will and I had agreed that I would pick Henry up early in the morning, Emily offered to do it for me even though the two of them don't really see eye to eye. She also offered to take Henry with her to the store to give me some time to allow the medication to work and to get some more sleep. I was still exhausted. Like I said she was perfect."
"Okay, so far so good. She's an angel. I always knew that she was special, a real catch. I never understood why she was single."
"P! Make me feel even worse, why don't you?"
"Okay, sorry. Go ahead, because so far I have not heard anything horrible from your side."
"Right, so Emily came back with Henry. I had just woken up and I was so happy to see him but the second I moved my stomach turned and I ran off to the bathroom again. Emily made sure that Henry stayed where he was before she came after me. The same thing as before happened, but Emily gagged and turned away from me. You know how I told you about his reaction."
JJ said checking if Henry was still engrossed in his movie - Will and she had agreed to never bad mouth the other in front of Henry - before she continued; "How he told me to never bother him when I was struggling with my morning sickness or whenever Henry or I were sick. How he couldn't handle sick people. At that moment when I heard Emily behind me saw her turn away I just flashed back to that moment. I promised myself to never allow someone to treat me like that and I snapped. I told her to go. Literally told her to leave me. I told her that she didn't sign up for this."
"Jay, what do you even mean by that, didn't sign up for it? She's being this awesome person and you tell her to go. Anyone would be hurt by that!"
"I don't even know what I meant by it!" JJ looked down at her hand. "I guess that for a moment I just wasn't thinking straight ..."
"Honey, from where I am standing you haven't been thinking straight for a while now." The technical analyst chuckled loudly from the other side of the line.
Despite the way she was feeling she had to laugh at Garcia's comment. "True. But P how can I fix this. I mean really fix it."
"You just take care of yourself and let her take care of you and Henry, and when you're better I will babysit Henry and you can show your lady some good lovin' and I am sure that she will forgive you. Let's be honest here. all you really have to do is look at her with those blue orbs of yours and she is putty in your hand." Garcia babbled on, JJ was too emerged in the phone call to notice anything besides the patterns on the counter top blurred by the tears in her eyes and Garcia's voice in her ear. That was until a pair of strong arms wrapped around her from behind, she could feel the brunette's breath tickle her ear and waited for the words to come, breathlessly.
"You have nothing to fix, we're fine." The brunette said loud enough for JJ to hear but not for Garcia. JJ turned towards Emily and smiled weakly, the brunette wiped away a stray tear that ran down her cheek. She reached for the phone and took it from JJ; "PG? I don't know what JJ told you but we are fine, more than fine. I will take care of her and you will see us on Monday at work all bright and shiny."
"Em'ly you better make sure that's right or you'll have to deal with me!"
"Yeah, yeah. Talk to you later PG!". Emily answered completely unimpressed with the Tech Analysts threat before she disconnected the call. "Jayje, don't worry. Relax, watch the movie with Henry and I will make something to eat."
JJ got up from the stool, she reached out her hand and touched Emily's cheek lightly; "Why are you so perfect?"
"Ohhh, I'm not. But just for future reference remember this moment when I'm having one of my less than perfect moods." The profiler answered with a chuckle. Before she turned to the counter and opened the fridge to see what she could prepare for a late lunch only to remember that she left the groceries in the hallway when she came home with Henry - who was eager to see his mom. She retrieved the groceries and started placing the items in the cabinets and fridge before she made a jelly sandwich for Henry - cut up in little squares and brought it to him in the living room. The little boy sat down on his knees in front of the table and dug into his sandwich.
Emily returned a couple of minutes later with two plates handing one to JJ before she sat down herself and started munching on the toast she made. The rest of the weekend was spent comfortable in their house. Either lounging on the couch watching a movie, or in bed. JJ was gradually feeling better, and by the time Sunday night came around she was determined to go to work come Monday morning.
Whatever it was that JJ suffered from, neither Emily nor Henry caught it. The weekend at home being pampered by Emily and Henry had done wonders. But by Garcia's reaction upon the healthy return of JJ you would have thought that she had faced death on her weekend off. That was at least what the reaction of their whirlwind known as Penelope Garcia ran into the BAU bullpen and wrapped her arms around the frail blonde in a bone-crushing hug.
"So did Emily stay with you all weekend?" Morgan asked from his position perched on the edge of Reid's desk - with a little bit more interest than he usually would have - with a smirk on his face.
"Yes, she did." JJ smiled; "Emily refused to leave while I was sick, especially since I had Henry with me."
"It's not like I had anywhere else I needed to be." The brunette answered with a shrug.
"Good thing you where available for all of JJ's needs." Morgan answered with an even bigger smirk.
It took a few minutes and a glare from Hotch to finally calm down all the commotion in their bullpen. Everyone returned to their desks and pulled the first file from their respective piles to start processing the paperwork.
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