DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once again, atfm has rescued me from the typo monster.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Fourth Day of Christmas
Two figures stood closely together at the end of the hallway as one dark head and one light one peered intently at the contents of a file. Neither woman had read a single word that the profile had to offer.
"And you said yes?" Emily's voice actually squeaked.
"What could I say? Sorry, I've got plans to spend Christmas Day in the arms of my girlfriend?"
Emily pointed to a line on the top page of the file. "Well, no, but couldn't you have come up with some other excuse?"
"Emily, we're talking about Garcia. She can sniff down a lie faster than a bloodhound."
"So, that's it then? You spend Christmas Day with Garcia, and I spend it alone? I can't believe I'm going to say this, but that sucks, JJ."
"You could come as my date. I'm sure Garcia wouldn't mind."
"That would definitely tip her off. We've got to figure a way out of this."
JJ narrowed her eyes in thought. Seconds later, a smile began to form. "I've got an idea."
Morgan knocked lightly on the door and strolled in to find Garcia hunched over a computer monitor. Stepping closer, he could easily make out the faces of his colleagues as they talked over a file.
"Whatcha doing, baby girl?"
Garcia practically jumped out of her skin as she leapt away from the screen. "Oh, Morgan, don't sneak up on me like that!"
Morgan gestured towards the screen. "Why are you watching Emily and JJ?"
Moving towards the door, Garcia stuck her head outside to make sure no one was loitering in the corridor. Once she was certain the two of them were alone, she closed the door and walked back towards her monitors.
"Something's going on between those two, and I'm going to find out what it is."
"Going on? What do you mean?" Morgan moved closer to the screen and watched JJ lean into Emily and point to the file. From all appearances, she looked to be explaining some vital piece of information from the file's contents.
"Look at them; it's like they know something that the rest of us don't."
Morgan tilted his head left and right, but the image remained unchanged. "I don't see anything. JJ's just going over something with Emily. We do that sort of thing all the time."
Garcia rolled her eyes. "So, whenever JJ and Emily fill you in on important information, they press into you closely?"
Morgan shook his head. "Well, no."
"And, whenever you walk across the room, JJ's eyes follow you every step of the way?"
"I don't think so." Morgan tried to recall if he'd ever noticed JJ even glance his way when she relayed information.
"You want to know why?" Garcia smiled widely.
Morgan shrugged, studying the women more intently.
"Because your ass, although extremely fine, isn't the ass JJ's interested in."
"Oh, c'mon, baby girl, I think you've been spending too much time in front of these monitors. There's no way JJ's interested in Emily."
"Care to place a wager on that, hot stuff?"
Morgan grinned; this was going to be easy money. "You're on. How much are we talking?"
"A hundred bucks; I've got a foolproof plan, and you, my hot stud muffin, are going to help me get to the bottom of their little secret."
Morgan frowned. "And, how exactly am I going to do that?"
The two voices chimed in perfect harmony. JJ gestured towards her friend.
"You go first."
Garcia smiled. "No, that's okay; it can wait. What did you need?"
JJ pasted on a smile and ran her lines through her head, just as she'd practiced with Emily the night before. She just hoped her delivery didn't come across as forced or rehearsed.
"I've been thinking about your invitation to Christmas dinner. You're doing all that cooking for just the two of us, and there's going to be all that food. Perhaps we should invite "
"Morgan!" Garcia blurted out the agent's name before JJ could suggest her own ideal dinner companion. Garcia quickly continued her train of thought. "That's a great idea, JJ. I'll go find him now."
"But " JJ's words trailed into thin air; Garcia had already fled the room. Dejected, JJ returned to her office where Emily was waiting.
"So, did you get things straightened out?" Emily jumped from the chair when JJ walked in.
JJ brushed past her lover and moved behind her desk. "Um, not exactly."
"What do you mean, not exactly? Did you finagle an invitation for me or not?"
"I managed to add another person to the guest list." JJ's smile was less than reassuring.
"Another person? That's me, right?" Emily plopped back into her chair.
"Not unless Garcia refers to you as her burning hunk of man-flesh."
"Morgan? You suggested asking Morgan?"
JJ leaned back in her chair and glared at her lover.
"Okay, so you didn't suggest asking Morgan. How exactly did his name come up?"
Before JJ could explain the misunderstanding, the person in question knocked on JJ's doorframe. "Hello ladies, mind if I come in?"
Emily, the normally in control profiler, almost fell from her chair. Only Morgan's quick reflexes kept her from falling onto the tiled floor.
"Whoa! Watch your step there, Emily."
"Oh, how clumsy of me; I must've overbalanced." Emily pushed to her feet, readying her escape. "I was just on my way out. I'll leave you two to discuss . . ." she glanced at JJ, "um, whatever it is you need to discuss."
"Actually, Emily, I was looking for you." Morgan offered his patented all-American smile. "How would you like to accompany me to Christmas dinner at baby gir um, Garcia's?"
This time it was JJ who almost fell from her chair.
"I can't believe you accepted his invitation!" JJ stomped back and forth across the room while Emily sat calmly in the same chair she'd fallen from earlier.
"I don't see the problem. Now, we can have Christmas dinner together."
"No, Emily; you're having dinner with Morgan. I'm having dinner with Garcia."
"Don't be silly, JJ, all four of us will be dining together."
Emily rubbed her temples. "But, isn't this what we planned?"
"No, Em, our plan was for you to accompany me to Garcia's."
"I will be."
"No, you won't, Emily. You'll be riding with Morgan. You're his date."
Emily suddenly saw the problem. "Oh."
Just down the hallway, Garcia and Morgan watched the conversation taking place in JJ's office.
"Oh, this is good. We've got them on the ropes now." Garcia tilted her head towards Morgan and smiled.
"This doesn't prove anything. They could very well be having a disagreement over a case file." Morgan stood and rubbed his lower back. He'd been leaning over the monitor for the past twenty minutes.
"They're arguing about you asking Emily to dinner."
"What? Now, you can read lips?"
"No, I can read body language, and JJ's not one bit happy about Emily going on a date with you."
"Date?" Morgan's eyes got huge.
JJ wheeled next to the curb in front of Garcia's apartment building and turned off the engine. Neither she nor her passenger made a move to climb out.
"Why do you think Morgan asked you to meet him here?" Although ecstatic that she hadn't had to watch Emily walk into Garcia's apartment on Morgan's arm, something didn't quite sit right with JJ.
Emily shrugged. "I have no idea, but I'm certainly not unhappy about it." She turned towards her lover. "You shouldn't be either."
"I'm not, but if I'd asked you to dinner, I'd have personally escorted you to the apartment."
Emily smiled. "You just did."
"Oh." A shade of pink colored JJ's cheeks. "Well, then, I guess we should go on up." JJ reached for the door handle.
"JJ?" Emily waited until her lover turned towards her. "Be sure and eat all your vegetables. You're going to need your strength later." Winking, Emily stepped from the car and started up the walk. JJ slid from her seat and hurried to catch up.
From the window, two pairs of eyes spied on the women.
"Before those two leave today, I'll have undisputable proof that there's more to their friendship than meets the eye." Garcia stepped away from the curtain and moved back into the room.
"Well, before I hand over a c-note, I'll need physical evidence."
Garcia smiled. "And you shall have it." Winking, she walked to the door to await the expected knock.
"I didn't know you were such a wonderful cook, Garcia." JJ was quite impressed with the culinary delights which filled her plate.
"JJ's right, Garcia. This is excellent." Emily took another bite, barely able to keep from moaning out loud. Garcia truly was a master chef.
"Why thank you, ladies. Just wait until you see what I've cooked up for dessert."
JJ's head snapped up, and Emily smiled to herself. Her lover definitely had a sweet tooth.
The rest of the conversation strayed to office rumor, but by obvious design by all parties, no mention was made of possible relationships that may or may not exist between any of their co-workers. Garcia bided her time and waited for the perfect moment which soon presented itself in the form of a lull in the conversation.
"Morgan? Would you help me clear away the dishes?" Garcia raised an eyebrow at her co-conspirator. Morgan's determined nod signaled the setting of the trap.
Garcia smiled and turned to address her other guests. "JJ, why don't you and Emily move to the den? We'll join you in a couple of minutes."
"You sure you don't want us to help? More hands will speed up the process." JJ pushed to her feet and reached for her empty plate.
"As small as my kitchen is, we'd constantly be underfoot."
"Okay, if you insist." JJ shrugged and waited for Emily to join her. Garcia watched the couple turn to leave the table before racing into the kitchen with Morgan close behind.
With the flip of a couple of switches, the monitor came to life as Garcia and Morgan crowded around the screen. Garcia clutched a remote in her hand as she tracked the progress of the two women, and just as they stepped under the low beam of the entrance to the den, she pressed the green button on the remote. She and Morgan laughed aloud when JJ practically leapt into Emily's arms.
"What the hell is that?" JJ pointed towards the spinning greenery above their heads.
Emily squinted and focused on the brightly lit decoration. As the object took shape, she began to chuckle.
"It's mistletoe. No one but Garcia would add lights and motion to mistletoe."
JJ relaxed. "Mistletoe?" The words had barely left her lips when the spinning began to slow and the lights stopped flashing. The mistletoe came to a complete stop and looked perfectly normal as it rested against the beam.
Emily glanced over her shoulder. "JJ, you do realize that we're standing under mistletoe on Christmas Day, don't you?"
"Yes, but " JJ's objection sounded weak at best.
"It's not very Christmassy to let it go to waste." Emily moved closer.
"Is Christmassy even a word?" JJ smiled.
Of their own volition, hands sought each other out, and dark eyes fastened onto blue ones. The rest of the room faded from sight; there was no one else, no Morgan, no Garcia, only JJ and Emily, two lovers who were spending their first Christmas together.
Emily slowly lifted her hand to JJ's face and smiled. She still couldn't believe that this beautiful woman had chosen her, and what was even more surprising, she was totally oblivious to the fact that JJ harbored the very same thoughts. Leaning forward, she gently pressed her lips to her lover's.
In the kitchen, Morgan watched the monitor with eyes wide open; almost as if he was scared he'd miss something if he blinked. Garcia canted her head to the side and grinned like a fool as she uttered the occasional 'ahh.'
"Damn." Morgan finally found his voice as he shook his head in disbelief.
Garcia simply chuckled and held out her hand. Following a loud sigh from Morgan, the face of Benjamin Franklin slapped down into her palm. Keeping her eyes glued to the monitor, Garcia slid the bill into her pocket. Her next words were whispered directly to the blonde on the screen.
"Atta girl, JJ; you go, girl."
Placing her hand on her lover's hip, JJ pulled Emily closer and did just that.
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