DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special Thanks to the wonderful mrswoman for the beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Make Believe
By Ann


The bank of computer monitors lined the room length desk, each screen filled with different images: two with running text and the rest with camera-like views of various areas of the building which changed every couple of seconds. The sole occupant of the room had her focus on the closest screen, and specifically, the current game of online poker. She didn't notice her visitor until a flash of grey caught her eye. Reluctantly, she closed the screen and moved her gaze to the newcomer.

"Shoot me now, Garcia." Agent Jennifer Jareau plopped down rather ungracefully in a nearby chair, and, leaning forward, she placed her forehead on the only available clean surface the table had to offer. A pitiful groan accompanied her words.

Penelope Garcia, technical analyst extraordinaire, smiled widely. She knew exactly what was troubling her friend. "I don't own a gun, JJ, and even if I did, I certainly wouldn't shoot you." She reached out and gently patted JJ on the back. "Now tell Garcia all about it."

"Ugh, I'm not going to make it through the day." JJ never lifted her head. "Maybe I can tell Hotch I'm not feeling well and just go home."

"This wouldn't have anything to do with the very lovely Agent Emily Prentiss, now would it?" Garcia was just able to hold back the chuckle that threatened to escape. JJ's head had snapped up so fast, the computer guru had thought it was entirely possible that it would displace itself from JJ's shoulders.

"Yes, damn it! She's got on that red shirt! You know the one." JJ ran her hand through her hair in frustration. "It clings to her like a glove; and that neckline...jeez."

Garcia nodded knowingly. "V-neck, plunging quite low, complimented with those tight fitting grey pants, black belt with silver buckle off center to the right side, black boots, and that sexy man watch. I hear ya, JJ; I hear ya. I feel the same way when Morgan wears um . . . just about anything."

"How did you . . ." JJ started, noting Garcia's smirk. She followed her friend's gesture towards the various monitors.

"I'm better than the Amazing Kreskin. I'm the all-knowing, all-seeing Garcia."

A blonde head thudded back onto the desk. "What am I going to do, Garcia? I can't get any work done when she's around."

The ever-observant Garcia glanced at the far monitor, picking up movement just down the hallway. She shifted her chair closer to JJ. "I've got an idea."

"What?" JJ turned her head towards Garcia slightly. She shifted an arm underneath her head and waited to hear what her friend had to say. Garcia smiled and moved a loose strand of blonde hair from JJ's forehead.

"Tell me what you can't tell her."

JJ frowned. "What good will that do?"

"Maybe, if you get your feelings off your chest, it'll make you feel better." Garcia shrugged. "It's worth a shot, isn't it? If it doesn't work, then you can use your 'sick' excuse."

"I don't know, Garcia. I don't see how that'll help. I'd think it would just make things worse." JJ shifted her head to a more comfortable position. Just talking about the possibility of verbalizing her feelings already seemed to be helping.

"Just humor me, JJ."

JJ hesitated for a moment. Garcia was already aware of her attraction to Emily, so what could it possibly hurt to try her friend's suggestion? Perhaps Garcia was right, and she just needed to say aloud what she was keeping bottled up inside.

"I'd tell her . . ." JJ began, only to stop her confession when Garcia held up her hand.

"No, pretend you're talking to her. Pretend I'm her."

"But you're not her."

"JJ, just do it."

"I can't." JJ never liked role-playing. Even as a child, she refused to play the make-believe games her friends always tried to drag her into. When the fantasy ended, the real world was still there, only life was even more miserable.

Garcia gentled her tone. "Yes, you can; just close your eyes and imagine it's her sitting in this chair instead of me."

Sighing loudly, JJ closed her eyes, knowing Garcia wouldn't stop until she'd complied with her wishes. Conjuring up a most delightful image, JJ began.

"I can't stop thinking about you; you inhabit my dreams. You . . ."

Garcia halted JJ's words once again. "Talk to 'her,' JJ. Say her name."

So caught up in what she wanted to say, JJ closed her eyes more tightly and nodded her head in understanding.

"Emily, from the moment you walked into the first briefing, you captivated me. With each passing day, I became more and more enamored with you. You tried so hard to fit in, but the truth of the matter was you were meant to be in the B.A.U., you were the perfect choice for the team, you are perfect for the team."

JJ paused, gathering her thoughts. She still hadn't said what she needed to say. Her next words came from her heart.

"I watch you. I follow you across the room with my eyes. At first, it was to see how you were reacting to the job; to see if you were going to be able to survive the unspeakable horrors that come with each and every case. Then, I found myself just watching you; not the agent, not my colleague, just you. Now, I can't take my eyes off of you. I know when you enter a room. I know when you're there. I know when you leave, and when you do, leave that is, I want to go with you; I want to be with you all the time."

A hand slid into JJ's and took hold. JJ squeezed back. "What am I going to do, Garcia? She doesn't know how much I truly want to be with her."

"She wants to be with you too, JJ."

JJ froze and squeezed her eyes shut tight, refusing to open them even with the slight pressure of the hand that held hers.

"Open your eyes, JJ."

The voice was like a Siren calling out to her. Not able to resist the pull, JJ slowly opened her eyes until she was looking into dark eyes full of understanding. She shifted her gaze to the joined hands, immediately noting the short unpainted nails. Neither the eyes nor the nails belonged to Garcia.

"Emily?" JJ's voice was filled with a flurry of emotion; confusion, fear, and elation melded together to give understanding to JJ's current state of mind.

Emily smiled easily to try to alleviate the other woman's fears; however, it was her reply that JJ clung to.

"I want you too, JJ; I truly want you."

Garcia took one final look at the scene before easing the door to and tip-toeing away. Out of all the planning she'd done to find a way to get the two women to open up to each other, this impromptu moment had been perfect. She'd always loved playing make-believe games.

Away from prying eyes and surrounded by the hum of computers, blue eyes gazed into brown; fantasy had finally become reality.

The End

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