DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 3x08 'Lucky'.

In the Interim
By Ann


Emily glanced across the aisle of the jet to find JJ, lying across the seats, fast asleep. She gazed appreciatively at the blonde, taking the rare opportunity to feast upon the other woman's beauty. At rest, JJ was even more beautiful than Emily had thought possible.

Sighing, she slumped further into her seat. She'd given up all hope of trying to get any rest. Every time she closed her eyes, she imagined how the small Florida community would react when they discovered they'd consumed the very woman they were searching for. Emily clamped a hand over her mouth to keep the bile from rising, but she wasn't able to keep the slight gag from escaping. JJ awoke at the sound and fastened sleepy eyes onto her colleague.

"Hey, you okay?"

Embarrassed, Emily avoided eye contact, needing time to compose herself. She looked past JJ towards the front of the plane to see Rossi and Morgan in conversation. A second glance spied Reid dozing near the two men while Hotch was focused on the contents of a file. Satisfied no one else was aware of her inner turmoil, she turned her attention back to JJ.

"No, not really; this whole cannibalism thing is getting to me." The urge to wring her hands was overwhelming; she clasped them together instead. "Even Hollywood couldn't come up with a script more sadistic."

JJ pushed to her feet and moved to sit next to Emily. "Not unless Hannibal Lecter joined the cast of Fried Green Tomatoes."

"Thank you so much for that image." Emily's expression brought a whole new meaning to the word grimace.

"I'm sorry; I was just trying to lighten things up a little." JJ patted Emily on the knee. She noticed the slight shiver but chose to ignore it; now wasn't the time to broach the subject of their attraction. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Emily shook her head. "No. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat meat again as it is."

"I've got an idea." JJ kept her hand on Emily's knee. "When we get back to the city, why don't you let me take you to my favorite restaurant? My treat."

"I don't think I'll be ready to eat for awhile." Emily placed her hand on top of JJ's. "But thanks for asking."

JJ offered a disarming smile. "Oh, c'mon, you haven't eaten all day. Besides, the restaurant specializes in vegetarian dishes."

"Well," Emily looked down at their joined hands, her trained eye noting the perfect fit, "I guess I could eat a little something."

"Then it's settled. We'll sneak away when we land. I don't think Hotch will schedule a debriefing tonight anyway." JJ leaned back in her seat, but she never released her hold on Emily's hand. "Why don't you try to get a little sleep? I'll watch over you."

Emily spared another glance towards the front of the plane. The soft tones of conversation could barely be heard. Giving into her exhaustion, she laid her head on the nearby shoulder and closed her eyes. Safe in the knowledge that she was being protected, she allowed herself to drift into slumber.

JJ leaned her blonde head against the dark one and smiled.

"So, was I right?" JJ motioned towards Emily's spicy Asian salad with her fork before taking a bite of the asparagus tip that clung to its tines.

Emily moaned her appreciation. "Yes, you were; this is positively orgasmic."

"Save some of that feeling for later." JJ winked saucily. Their easy, flirting banter had returned the moment they'd stepped from the plane.

Emily chuckled, but her comeback reply was interrupted by the ringing of JJ's cell. The agent smiled almost apologetically as she grabbed for her phone.

"Agent Jareau." The smile dropped from JJ's face just as the fork slipped from her grasp, falling helplessly onto her plate with a loud clatter. "What? When?"

Noting the obvious distress, Emily reached across the table and took JJ's hand, offering support the only way she could. She held her breath and waited patiently for the call to end. Moments later, JJ flipped the cell closed and stared down at it in disbelief.

"What? What is it, JJ?" Emily squeezed the other woman's hand.

"We've got to go, Emily." JJ jumped to her feet, motioning for the waiter. A confused Emily snatched her purse from the chair and stood as well. Their joined hands were clasped tightly together, neither woman willing to let go of their lifeline.

Taking advantage of their connection, JJ pulled Emily closer to explain; she could barely keep the storm of emotions from her voice.

"It's Garcia, Em. She's been shot."

The End

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