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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Season 3

Goodbye Again
By gilligankane


It happens every September, right around the time the baby was supposed to be due. Every September, the first week or so, she shows up at the front door of the only person who ever really knew what was going on, the only person who understands the things she does.

She knows it not fair, to him or…or to her. It's not fair to the brunette who takes her back, every September. It not fair to have to hold her only for a few weeks, a month, until October rolls around again. But it's September again, and her she is, pressing the buzzer, waiting until the door is opened. It always opens.

"Hey." Emily looks the same as she did a year ago, all dark eyes and dark hair; such a contrast from her blonde hair and blues, such a contrast from him. It's what she needs.

And suddenly, September is over, the leaves are falling and in the morning, she'll be leaving for New Orleans, and he'll be waiting for her to come home. All JJ wants to do is stay in D.C., stay with Emily, stay where she feels loved, where she isn't blamed, where life is easy.

She knows the Emily resents her; resents the way she shows up, the way she leaves. She knows that Emily deserves so much better than what she's giving, but still, the brunette takes what she can get, when she can get it.

And still yet, Emily knows that look in JJ's eyes. The blonde hasn't actually said that's she's leaving in the morning, but JJ knows that Emily knows.

"Stay." It's a plea, but JJ won't let herself break, even if it catches her off guard. This has never happened before. Emily always let's her in, just like she always let her in.

"I can't." But Emily is already stationed in front of the door, blocking the exit, hoping to keep JJ with her forever.

"Yes, you can. We can stay here and everything will be just like it was before. You remember before, we were great before. It can be jut like that." Two words to describe Emily right, JJ muses, are frantic and reckless. It's almost like she has nothing to lose.

And then it hits her, smacks her so hard in the face, that she truly believes, for the first time in her life, that she is a blonde. Because, the only thing that Emily has to lose is her, is JJ.

That's when the memories hit her, just as hard as her last little revelation. It wasn't always the Will and JJ show.

Before that, it was the Emily and JJ show and it was good.

And it's not just hope and longing in Emily's eyes anymore. It's the past, reflected back in her own blue eyes.

It's the first meeting (in the briefing room).

It's the first long, intentional glance (when Emily was so dead set that Morgan wasn't a killer).

It's the first touch (in the back of the ambulance as that one medic is wrapping her arm up in white gauze).

It's the first kiss (only on the forehead this time, as Emily held her close, her only real hope since Reid had gone missing).

It's the second kiss (a real one, in New Orleans, when JJ thinks no one is watching them, even though, months years later, she finds out that Will had seen the whole thing).

It's their first time (on the plane, when Emily shows up with Hotch even after "quitting" the BAU).

It's their second time (a whole lot less bumpy, in a bed, when they finally get back to D.C. and Emily is officially reinstated).

It's their first fight (after Emily explains how the unsub was just trying to be a good daughter, like she would know something about it).

It the first time JJ imagines a future with Emily (on the plane, when JJ says "I could see it, you and kids" and Emily smiles).

It's the first time Emily kisses her in public (when Penelope is out of surgery, and it just seems like the logical thing to do).

But just as fast as they come, they're over, like the end of the movie, and now the sequel is playing and it's not very good.

It's the first time JJ says no (to Emily, when Will suddenly appears out of thin air).

It's the first time Emily pushes JJ away (towards, incidentally, Will, the backwoods boy with a heart of gold).

It's the seventh time they fight don't bother to try and make up (after Emily takes a low jab at Will's ego).

It's the first time JJ tells Emily she's pregnant (and Emily doesn't believe it, even though JJ tells her it's the truth).

It's the second time JJ tells Emily's she's pregnant (and Emily believes her).

It's the first time Emily walks away (when JJ chooses Will).

It's the first time Emily doesn't actually look back (because JJ knows she has nothing to look back for).

It's the first tremor of the Earth (when the car explodes twenty feet away and even though no one is inside, JJ still worries that it's Emily – or Will).

It's the first time she realizes that the baby stopped kicking (after she is knocked backwards from the blast of the car).

It's the last time she feels happy (when Emily holds her hand and says, in a whisper, "I love you").

It's the first time she realizes how bitter she is (when she shows up that first September, on Emily's doorstep, and doesn't say anything before viciously attacking Emily, because she needs to).

All of that is reflected in Emily's eye, showing her that her own blue orbs are mirror images. She knows how much her eyes give both of them away, even when their smiles and words tell another tale.

Emily wants the JJ of yesterday, the persuading, sweet, small-town girl with corn silk hair.

But JJ's changed, not for the better, or the worse, but she has changed. And JJ isn't the JJ Emily wants.

She tries, because she loves Emily, so much that it hurts. She tries to be that JJ, the one who shot three tormented dogs, and felt horrible about it; the JJ who still got upset about choosing cases and leaving others to their own devices, until they ended up in supply closest or got so bad that the BAU had no choice but to take a trip.

Instead, she feels like an imposter, watching the movie of someone else's life.

Emily's eyes are telling her: "I know you're leaving, but please, please, stay this once."

Emily's mouth has given up though. Instead, it's saying: "Fine. I'll see you when I see you then." Next year, when you decide you need for a little while, she doesn't say.

JJ's got her façade down so well that she manages to get her eyes and her mouth and her smile to all say the same thing: "I guess so. See you then."

Her heart wants to say: "I'd stay with you until the end of time."

Her mouth is saying: "Could you move out of the way, please."

Emily wants the JJ of yesterday, the persuading, sweet, small-town girl with corn silk hair, the honey voice and a heart of gold.

JJ can't remember where she left that version of herself.

The End

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