DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to my beautiful partner and beta sauciloo for getting me over the "hump."
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The hotel bar and restaurant looked like a million others. Same oak paneling on the wall, same random objects hung in a mishmash along the walls and ceiling, same menu. It was almost midnight, and the team was scattered at a few tables in the otherwise empty establishment, going over information and grabbing the first meal since breakfast. Although everyone sat at their own small table, paper strewn across the surface in most cases, they were close enough to speak without shouting.
Hotch and Reid argued conflicting victimology back and forth between their tables, while Rossi scribbled in his notebook. JJ nibbled on a sandwich as she read, and at the table next to her Emily gazed distractedly out the darkened window. Morgan seemed content taking large bites of his hamburger.
JJ looked up from her notes at the sound of a chair being pushed back. As had been happening for most of the day, her eyes were met and held by warm brown ones. The quick, though lingering look directed back at her caused JJ to smile and heave a small wistful sigh.
Unnoticed by either woman, one of their colleagues snorted under his breath at the moonstruck picture the blonde presented; chin in one hand, forgotten sandwich in the other, elbow planted on several open FBI files, eyes drinking in the dark haired agent. It shouldn't have been that funny, but it was. Discretely he flipped open his phone and sent a text message. He gave another wry grin as JJ followed Emily across the room with her eyes, and went back to his dinner and own stack of folders.
JJ watched as Emily headed toward the restroom. Try as she might, she couldn't seem to make her brain refocus on the case files before her. It had been a long trying day, and although they had maintained a professional and appropriate distance since arriving at the BAU this morning, JJ's ability to not think about Emily's kisses some nineteen hours ago had long since abandoned her.
The blonde turned away from the hallway Emily had disappeared down, and gave her attention to Morgan.
"You all right there?" Morgan raised an eyebrow and glanced meaningfully at the underside of JJ's table.
JJ realized that she'd been unconsciously tapping her foot, and the sound was echoing throughout the small empty space. She stopped immediately.
"No problem. You just seem nervous. Distracted." Morgan gave her a concerned but friendly look.
"No. I'm fine." JJ covered, embarrassed by her body's betrayal. "Actually, I think I might head up to my room. I'm exhausted." She pushed her half-empty plate to the side and loaded the stack of folders into her bag. "Have a good night Morgan."
"You too." He couldn't keep the smirk out of his voice, but JJ was too busy saying goodnight to the rest of the team to notice. Once again, the handsome agent pulled out his cell and sent a quick text. The response he got moments later made him laugh out loud.
Emily Prentiss had always considered herself a controlled person. You couldn't spend your childhood surrounded by political plotters and schemers without developing firm self-control. It was a necessary survival skill, and one that Emily excelled at.
Why was it then that Emily found herself hiding in the ladies room, afraid that if she sat for just one more moment within touching distance of Jennifer Jereau that her precious self-control might shatter? The need to touch JJ, run her fingers over soft lips, feel the blonde molded against her, was becoming overwhelming. She'd already realized that even the little touches she'd come to take for granted, a brush of fingers across the small of JJ's back, a reassuring hand on her shoulder, were now laced with a deeper and more intense response.
Emily took a deep breath, held it, and let it out in a long controlled exhale. The face that looked back at her in the mirror was flushed. Emily frowned and turned away. The best solution was to call it a night and head back to her room. While she knew this would do little to help her control her wayward thoughts, at least she would be alone, and not in danger of simply grabbing JJ and kissing her senseless. The possibility of sneaking into JJ's room was not one she would allow herself to contemplate. Much.
A smile formed on her face. The truth was - she could contemplate it, fantasize about it really. She just couldn't act on it. Images of JJ's body laid out across crisp white sheets as Emily ran her hand down the curve of a hip, over the lace cup of JJ's bra, of lips open and inviting, tortured Emily. Perhaps she should return to her safe, stoic, pre-fantasy state.
The brunette balled her hands into fists, and tried for a settling breath once again. She was still trying to slow her fast beating heart when she reached for the door. The walk back to the restaurant gave her the chance to gather her professionalism. Only Morgan and Reid remained at their group of tables. Emily couldn't help but be disappointed that JJ had retired for the night. She tried to stamp down on it. After all, what could she have done? She was fairly certain that a goodnight kiss might have drawn the attention of their colleagues.
Emily picked up the paperwork on her table and pulled her bag over her shoulder. "Night guys," she waved at the last two occupying the dining room.
"Good night," came Reid's slightly distracted salute, his eyes not leaving the computer screen before him.
Morgan's "Sweet dreams," seemed laced with irony. Emily only raised an eyebrow at him, not certain if he was being flirtatious or if she was reading far too much into the two little words.
She could have sworn he chuckled as she left the restaurant.
Emily was tired. Tired, but keyed up. It was going to be a long night. She rode the elevator up to her floor, and spared a longing glance at JJ's door before keying in to her own room next door. She dropped her bag by the door and collapsed face first on the bed, not even bothering to turn on a light.
She lay that way for a few minutes. Self doubts were swirling through her mind. It was stupid really. Just because JJ hadn't waited to say goodnight to her, didn't mean that the blonde was rethinking anything. Two days ago they had been nothing more than colleagues and friends. They still weren't more than that, Emily told herself rationally. A few kisses, waking up in each other's arms once, did not a relationship make. Just because Emily couldn't get JJ out of her mind, didn't mean JJ was suffering from the same problem.
"Should I assume that smothering yourself into your sheets is a nightly ritual, or "
Emily shot up from the bed before JJ finished, blush racing hotly across her cheeks and down her neck. She raised a hand to her cheek, pushed a few tendrils from her eyes and looked everywhere but at JJ.
Who wasn't all that successful at muffling a laugh.
"Oh, no, I was, that is, the uh, I usually, hunh. What?" Emily bit her lip in total mortification and only just forced herself to look up - in time to see JJ push herself away from the door jamb, make her way, slowly, over to the bed. Emily's eyes quickly looked at the floor. Holy Christ on a Crusade. In Algiers. During the rainy season. She did not need to witness JJ sauntering sauntering towards her in a hotel room. An empty hotel room with no colleagues loitering about, no press, or random passersby who might secretly spy for her mother. A rare empty room where, giddy from the freedom, she might indulge the need to look, to touch, to soak up those eyes and that hair and fingers and, omigod, hips. She bit deeper.
"Hey," a fingertip brushing underneath her chin, moving up to chase away teeth, "Don't." JJ smiled reassuringly and bent her head, hand still cradling Emily's face, "I have a vested interest in these." She soothed the swollen lip, licking and sliding softly across the bruised surface.
Emily's breath hitched. For one brief moment, her brain was too paralyzed to direct her body. JJ's tongue slid past her lips, and Emily groaned. She pulled the blonde even closer, wrapping her arms around a small waist.
She felt delicate hands slide down from her collar to the buttons of her shirt. JJ's lips pulled back enough to whisper, "Emily?"
Emily leaned in, connecting their lips once again. JJ had released two buttons on her shirt, and Emily shivered as her fingers brushed over the tops of her breasts.
"Do we really have to have the discussion first?" came the breathless voice of the blonde a moment later.
Emily gave a small laugh before taking JJ's face in her hands. Brown eyes looked into blue. "I want to make love to you JJ," a slow sweet kiss, "I want you naked and writhing," another kiss. "I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all day."
"Oh, God yes." The rest of the buttons on Emily's shirt went flying as JJ ripped the fabric from Emily's body.
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