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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 3 x 01 (Doubt)
Emily sat back in her cosy seat on the jet as they flew back from Flagstaff, watching amusedly as JJ kicked Reid's ass in Gin. More watching JJ intently as she kicked Reid's ass but... details. These days, it was hard for Emily to watch anything but the cascade of long blonde hair, the sparkle of blue eyes, the smile on soft pink lips... She could hardly focus on anything. She bit the inside of her cheek gently, looking down at the floor of the jet. Then again, she thought, with shit like what Strauss is putting me through, you can't blame a girl for a little harmless school-girl crush sublimation... now that conjured up all kinds of images of JJ in High School and College... they'd all seen the pictures around her office, her friends from college, her soccer days. Something JJ had said while they were walking across the campus back in Flagstaff... "trying to figure out who I was..." The comment had sat at the back of Emily's mind, nagging at her like a bad hangnail, wondering if maybe JJ was figuring herself out in the same way that Emily had...
1990, New Haven, CT
Finals week was drawing to a close and so was Emily's freshman year of college. Of course, the Ambassador would be satisfied with a year of straight A's at Yale but Emily was exhausted and mentally worn out. After all, that could be the only explanation for the reason her best friend--and roommate--Anna looked so enticing. Why she couldn't stop staring at the shorter girl, her waist length blonde hair and bright green eyes... her soft supple skin and her long neck that ached to be kissed. Right? And it would completely explain why Emily hadn't dated a single guy all year. Too busy. Too stressful. But... then, that wouldn't explain why she'd caught herself staring at more girls than just Anna... or why whenever Anna got dressed, Emily looked away but was drawn to glance at the mirror to catch a moment of flesh and on the chances she did, her whole body would catch fire burning from her toes to her head, but most especially the fire raged on between her legs. Which is what it was doing right now as Anna laid her head on Emily's shoulder. Emily reached into the popcorn bowl absently at the same time Anna did and when their fingers touched, her heart started racing. But when Anna grasped Emily's hand and squeezed it gently, Emily looked down and Anna was looking up at her, green eyes flashing as she leaned up, capturing Emily's mouth with her own. Neither of them could recall what movie they were watching, but Emily could still remember every sordid thing they did that night.
Emily was so lost in memory, she didn't even feel JJ pounce on the seat next to her, a little high off of the feeling of beating Reid at anything, despite the fact that she beat him at Gin on a regular basis. She snapped out of her reverie when JJ leaned over, lips hovering mere inches from Emily's ear and whispered loudly, "And what's going through your head that has you smiling like that, Miss Prentiss?"
Emily jumped a little, "Jesus, JJ, you scared me. I was just... having a college flashback."
"You too? Gosh, being back there made all the memories just come flooding back. But that memory looked particularly good... care to share?"
The plane dipped gently, indicating their descent into Quantico had just begun and so Emily smiled and replied, "How about over drinks after we land?"
"It's a date." JJ grinned and walked back over to where Reid was organizing his cards by suit and number as he put them away. She ruffled his hair and gloated a little bit more about beating him. Emily smiled, watching her as she walked back to where her ready bag was and flopped down on the chair.
Once again a voice close to her ear snapped her out of it, "You know, Prentiss, you stare any harder at her, you'll burn holes in her cute little ass."
Emily jumped again, "Derek!"
Morgan slid into the seat next to her with a cocky grin, "Seriously, Emily, you're gonna need a bib in a minute the rate you're drooling," he said lowly.
She swatted him playfully, "Shut up, someone will hear you!" She whispered back.
"Oh, come on Em, you're on a plane of profilers. You think we didn't all notice you've been drooling over her? She's probably the only one who hasn't and that's just because she isn't a profiler!" Emily glanced around nervously, no one else was really paying attention. Hotch was fiddling with his cell phone, his face expressionless as usual, his eyes were distant. Reid was still attentively organizing his cards at the speed of light. JJ was staring off into space, her finger playing at her lips in the way they always do when she's lost in thought. Gideon was flipping slowly through an Audubon bird book that looked quite possibly older than him. Her eyes settled back on Morgan who was looking at her with his head cocked. He was right, they could all read each other easily, despite the moratorium on inter-team profiling. It was second nature. Morgan patted her knee gently, "It's okay, Emily, it happens. She's a beautiful girl and you're close to her. Just don't let it affect your game and go on get yourself some."
Emily scoffed, "Yeah, right, like Miss Pennsylvania over there would ever..."
"Ohhh, sweet girl, you shouldn't count your chickens before they hatch. Talk to her. Or I will." He grinned as the plane swept lower and everyone slipped their belongings away and prepared for landing.
JJ slid into the secluded corner booth that Emily had chosen, handing a beer over to her, "So... College memories, huh? You mean you had time at Yale for something besides studying?"
"Hey, I happen to know how to have a good time, Jayj... What about you Miss Penn State? What were you like in college?"
"Oh god... I was torn between so many things in college... I was in the pre-law program but I was on an athletic scholarship so I had to choose so much between sports and studying... My mother just wanted me to get my degree, come home, find a big, hunky man and settle down to be a housewife, just like her. I had other ambitions. Anyway, I ended up dropping pre-law and soccer and going into the communications program." JJ sipped her beer slowly, her eyes never leaving Emily's.
"So that's what you meant by finding out who you are?"
The younger girl laughed softly, her eyes sparkling, "Sort of... but you know... I mean, college is such a time of self-exploration, learning how to handle money, learning how to be independent, how to think for yourself..."
"I know what you mean," Emily nodded, "I mean, I went into college as an English major, trying to distance myself as far from my mother and being a diplomat as possible. I rebelled loud and hard against my mother while still working as hard as possible to get straight A's and make her proud."
JJ watched her, listening intentively, "So what was that memory that had you grinning and blushing on the plane?"
Taking a swig of beer, Emily smiled and blushed, "My first kiss... among other firsts that night."
Blue eyes widened and JJ gasped, "My, my, Emily... so, tell me all about him, I want every sordid detail, leave nothing out."
Emily braced herself emotionally for the worst possible reaction as she said slowly, "Her name was Anna... she was my roommate freshman year and after a year of terrible sexual tension and questionable sexuality we ended up... last day of school making out and doing... just about everything. I'd love to say we were drunk but we weren't."
But JJ didn't make a disgusted face or jump up and run away screaming from the crazy dyke, rather a small smile slowly spread across her face, "So you experimented?"
"Ohh, I'd say it was more than just experimentation... Anna and I dated for two years. She's the one who convinced me to change programs to the Language program and enter into the FBI in the Linguistics program. She ended up dropping out of Yale at the end of our Junior year because her grades were slipping... we lost touch years ago but..." Emily trailed off, looking up at JJ who was smiling.
"You know, I never would have thought we'd have that in common."
"Have what in common?"
"Falling in love with our roommates freshman year. Only mine wasn't the one to kiss back and become my cuddle buddy... as I recall, I kissed her, she slapped me across the face and called me a sinner and stormed out. I got a new roommate about a week later. That's what I meant by figuring out who I was. Who I am." JJ leaned forward, chin resting on her open palm, fingers playing at her lips, "Sooo. Now that those skeletons are out of the closet... literally..."
Emily laughed and smiled, "I would have never guessed..."
"Yeah, the one time I went to a lesbian bar, I dragged Garcia with me and everyone was hitting on her until finally the bartender had an 'Ohhh YOU're the lesbian!' moment. I was mortified. I mean, I've had a few girlfriends, but I've also had a couple of boyfriends. Mostly to be able to keep my parents from figuring things out... or from trying to set me up with my mom's best friend's single son. I felt so bad letting Reid down after we went to that football game for his birthday. He tried to kiss me and he was so adorably awkward and I had to explain to him that I think he's sweet but... He's just not my type and I don't mean that in the I don't like smart guys kinda way... What? What's that look for?"
"Do you want to dance?" Emily couldn't believe the words actually came out of her mouth... and couldn't believe she was being so bold.
JJ grinned and slid out of the booth, "I thought you'd never ask."
On the dance floor, they started out dancing a few feet away from each other, and as the night grew later, more people arrived and they grew closer until Emily grew bolder still and taking JJ by the hips, pulled her flush against her so they were dancing against one another. JJ smiled up at Emily, slipping her arms around her neck, rising up on her toes, kissing Emily gently. Their bodies still moving slowly against each other, Emily kissed back slowly, running her tongue hesitantly along JJ's lower lip, feeling that familiar flame as JJ's tongue eased against her own and they kissed slowly but hungrily, releasing a good year of sexual tension and want into each other.
They broke the kiss slowly, realizing that people were watching and slowly worked through the crowd back to their table, JJ scooting in next to Emily on her side of the booth, cupping her face and pulling her close for a quick, short, but still undeniably hungry kiss. Emily slowly ran her fingers through the long blonde hair she'd so longed to touch and smiled, "So... what now?"
JJ bit her lip, smiling, running a finger over the soft dimple on Emily's right cheek that only showed when she truly smiled, "We date... we make sure this is real... and we go with our hearts... But... work..."
"Oh, they've already figured me out... the whole me drooling over you part anyway... I'm sure as long as we don't let this get in the way of our work... and don't let on to Strauss... we should be okay." Emily kissed JJ's forehead tenderly. "Come on, I'll drive you home."
The two slid out of their booth, grabbing their purses and Emily slipped her arm around JJ's shoulders, holding her close as they walked out of the bar and into the unknown.
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