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SPOILERS: 3x17 In Heat.

Can't Kick The Habit
By gilligankane


It's always right before dawn; right before the sky brightens with the rising sun and when the stars are just fading into the abyss of the sky.

That's when you leave, closing the door quietly behind you, as if you're afraid of waking someone up.

It's always right before dawn when you leave and you try to think that it has something to do with new beginnings; like if you leave with the start of a new day, you'll get another chance to live the life you used to dream about.

But it feels like you start over more than you should, and when you meet JJ, you think: this is different, I won't run from this.

Because JJ is the light to your dark; the dawn to your dusk and you think that maybe this is the dawn you've been searching for your entire life. All your running and restarts have led you to this woman and her life and her love and you don't have to run anymore, because there could be no better place than this.

And then the world falls to pieces, in a police precinct in Miami, and you can't catch your breath or keep your eyes closed.

You can't break the habit, and so, when you see Will wrap his arms around JJ and pull her close and follow with the inevitable kiss, you're already planning how you're going to pack your bags and your heart and your belongs and be out the door before the dawn, right as the sky brightens with the rising sun.

You've done it so many times before that the packing seems almost systematic. This shirt goes in this bag, that shirt goes in that box. It's like a one man assembly line and it takes you less time than usual. Most of your clothes are at JJ's and they're going to stay there, because he's probably over there, running his hands down JJ's body, just like you did the night before Miami, the night before everything…

Someone knocks on the door and you freeze, because packing boxes litter the floor and this has never happened before. You've never had anyone care before.

There's the sound of a key scraping a lock and you're too stunned to move at all, to try and shove the bags into the open closet where you got them from, and by the time that thought makes it to your mind, the door is open and JJ is standing there, all blonde hair and wild blue eyes.

"What are you doing?" The younger woman blurts out, instantly clamping her hand over her mouth, because you both know she shouldn't be asking.

"I'll need that key back," you say in a whisper, thinking how ironic it is that you're both saying things you shouldn't be saying at all.

She should be at home with him.

You should already be gone.

"I need you to understa…" But you don't want to. It might be selfish and it might make you sound like you're five years old again, but you don't want to understand that this was a mistake and that it's over now and it never meant anything.

You know all these things and you don't want to think about them anymore.

"JJ. I need…" You. "that key."

But she's coming closer and closer to you, eliminating the space between you and the key is behind her on counter. She pushes herself against you and you forget how to breathe. She helps you, forcing air into your mouth along with tongue.

It's desperate and fast and filled with nothing but broken promises and you could care less. But you break it, because it's wrong and because you're on a time schedule here and it's already almost 5 AM.

As you're driving away, with the rising sun in front of you and her behind you, it takes you a minute to realize that she's still standing outside of her car, her own bags littering the pavement, because she was coming to be with you.

You never could break that habit of running, and she gets smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.

The End

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