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AUTHOR'S NOTE: My appreciation to the lovely and talented tremblingmoon, semi-beta reader and complete treasure. Thanks, sweetheart!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Blind Leading the Not So Blind
"Do you think that it's possible that they don't know that they're flirting?" Penelope Garcia, the resident tech goddess of the B.A.U., twirled her pink feathered pen between red tipped nails as she leaned on the edge of Derek Morgan's desk. The hour was late and the room was empty except for the four team members, and the passing, mercurial shadows of some of the office staff, leaving for the night.
"Please. A half-blind, eighty-eight year old nun could tell that they're flirting," Morgan replied, his handsome face sporting an incredulous look.
"And yet, there are none so blind as them that will not see. Ba-dum-dum. So, if they do realize what they're doing, do you think that either of them will ever get up the nerve to do anything about it?" Garcia queried, watching as the duo in question filled mugs of coffee on the far side of the bullpen.
"I've seen Prentiss take down a suspect by kicking his legs out from under him and putting a knee in his back, but ask JJ out? Ain't gonna happen, baby girl," Morgan mused, his eyes also fixed on the conversation taking place across the room, which, from where he sat, consisted mainly of shy smiles and longing glances. "What about JJ? Think she might finally want to find out if Emily's lips taste as good as they look?"
"You think Emily's lips look good?" Garcia asked, the question about JJ's courage forgotten as she tried to maintain the twinge of jealousy she felt at Morgan's words, only to give in to curiosity and the knowledge that Emily's lips actually did look pretty amazing.
"JJ does. Haven't you noticed that the fifty percent of the time that she's not gazing into Emily's eyes, she's watching her lips? Of course, Prentiss does the same thing to her. Especially when JJ puts her fingers up near her mouth and smiles at her. I really thought Emily might pass out the other night on the jet," Morgan chuckled as he recalled the expression on Emily's face as JJ smiled at her, one finger just resting against her full bottom lip.
"So, we're just going to sit back and watch them flirting, knowing that they're both too chicken to do anything more?" Garcia asked, her tone making it clear that she found this unacceptable. "That's so sad. We should do something, shouldn't we?"
"We can't force them out on a date," Morgan stated, his demeanor changing as the topics of their conversation made their way back towards Morgan's desk.
"Hey, guys, what's up?" JJ asked, blue eyes bright and crystal clear. Emily slid onto the edge of her own desk next to Morgan's and took a sip of the coffee steaming in her mug.
"Not a thing," Garcia answered a little too quickly, a wave of guilt washing over her at gossiping about two of her friends. In her eagerness to appear innocent, she dropped the oversized pen she had been holding, the pink feathers with which it was crowned fluttering fiercely as it plummeted to the ground.
JJ grinned at her, bending to retrieve Garcia's prized possession. As she did, she flipped her straight blonde locks to the side, revealing a portion of the nape of her neck usually hidden by her hair. Garcia let out an involuntary gasp of surprise as she caught sight of what could be nothing other than a rather prominent hickey, just below the hairline.
Before she could stop the words from spilling out like jelly beans from a torn paper bag, Garcia exclaimed, her voice unaccountably loud in the empty room, "Oh my God, JJ, where did you get that tremendous hickey?"
As soon as the words left her mouth, Garcia's hand clamped over it, as if trying, unsuccessfully, to shut the barn door after the horse had run off. Morgan tucked his tongue into his cheek and looked at the two women, his face as expectant as a child on Christmas morning. This just might be good.
JJ straightened abruptly, her mouth gaping at Garcia in shock, a rising crest of red staining her cheeks. Of their own volition her brilliant blue eyes swung around and latched onto Emily's brown ones. For her part, Emily had clearly discovered a bone of some sort in her coffee, because she was coughing spasmodically as the hot liquid attempted a detour down her windpipe, her own cheeks quite rosy.
Glancing back and forth at the faces of her two, not so innocent friends, realization sank in, and Garcia's expression went from humiliation at her outburst to a sudden awareness that all was not as it seemed, sailing straight on through to an odd combination of pleasure at the knowledge and irritation that no one had told her. JJ watched the progression, knowing with a dull certainty that this definitely wasn't the end of the conversation.
"You know, I think I left that file in the conference room," Emily rasped, her voice still a little ragged from her lost battle with the coffee. She started to make a fast beeline for the ramp and the briefing room, only to be brought up short by JJ's voice.
"Emily Elizabeth Prentiss, get back here," JJ ordered, her tone making it evident that she wasn't about to face the music on her own.
Emily, a slightly chagrined look in her eyes, took the few steps back and resumed her position on the edge of the desk, an apologetic smile aimed at JJ.
JJ turned back to Garcia, ignoring the amused grin on Morgan's face, and half-smiled, half grimaced, her eyes crinkled at the corners.
"We were going to tell you, but we didn't want to put you in an awkward position of feeling like you needed to cover for us," JJ began, her tone contrite and intended to stem the flood of recriminations that she could see hovering like a swarm of angry bees around Garcia's head.
"Hello? Family? Remember? That's what families do, they take care of each other, they make sure nothing bad happens?" Garcia accused, a few of the pink feathers from the pen flying south on an unexpected migratory journey as Garcia shook the pen for emphasis.
"I know. I'm sorry. We're sorry," JJ replied, her expression sincere, as her glance included Emily in the apology. "There's also the fact that this is all pretty new, and we didn't really want to share just yet. Does that make sense?"
Garcia found it impossible to stay angry at the lovely blonde, her eyes melted puddles of blue.
"Of course it does. I'm sorry for blurting that out like that. Good thing that everyone else has gone home," Penelope assured, her own expression suitably understanding.
"Yeah. That is a good thing," Emily agreed, speaking for the first time since her aborted getaway. "I don't even want to imagine the look on Hotch's face if he had been here. Talk about turning people to stone. The Gorgons have nothing on that man."
"You know, since you and Derek know now, about me and Emily that is, maybe the four of us could go out sometime, have some dinner, go dancing?" JJ inquired, turning her face towards Emily just enough that Morgan's sharp eye missed the all too innocent expression on her face, or the ghost of a smile that touched Emily's lips.
"Cool beans," Garcia agreed, pleased at this point to be the keeper of a special secret and happy that the equilibrium had been restored between her and JJ. "What do you say, hot stuff, feeling brave enough to hit the town with three gorgeous women?"
"Well, technically, JJ's with me," Emily supplied, grinning at the lovely blonde. "Besides, I have a feeling that three might be a bit more than even the great Derek Morgan can handle."
"Ewww. Challenge," Garcia giggled, her eyebrows rising in amusement.
"Hey, Prentiss, you just worry about your woman, and let me handle the rest," Morgan smirked, dark eyes twinkling. "Tomorrow? Around eight? I know a great sushi place and then get out on the floor? What ya say, baby girl? You up for a little dancing?"
Garcia sucked in a deep breath, her face aglow in anticipation. "I'm up for anything you have in mind."
"Deal," Emily smirked back, her own dark eyes amused. "Tomorrow."
Later that night, lying in the darkness of JJ's bedroom, breath still coming in fractured gasps, a light sheen of sweat just visible along silken skin, Emily laid her head on JJ's chest and tried to calm her racing heart.
"So, do you think that they suspect?" JJ asked, her fingers combing through Emily's dark hair.
"That it was all an elaborate set up? Not a chance," Emily answered, rolling onto her back. "Although, I can't believe that it was that easy. I was expecting to have to really work at it. I could have lived without choking on the coffee, however."
"Well, granted, I wasn't expecting Garcia to notice the hickey," JJ agreed, poking Emily in the ribs with the tip of her finger. "I told you to be more careful."
"Sorry," Emily said, not sounding the least regretful. "Still, I don't feel bad about plotting. God knows, they've taken flirting to a whole new level. And after all, they're our friends and if they don't know enough to make a move on their own, then the least we can do is give them a little shove in the right direction."
"Right into each other's arms, you mean?" JJ laughed, the low chuckle reverberating against Emily's ear.
"Speaking of arms, come here," Emily responded.
"I thought that you were all tired out," JJ said softly, reaching out to run her fingers along the length of Emily's side, just brushing the curve of hip and breast.
"I've recovered," Emily told her, "I'm an FBI agent, remember? We're very dedicated," she laughed, covering JJ's lips with her own and effectively putting an end to the discussion.
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