DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything, I'm just a fan and borrowing the characters.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Missing scene from "Derailed" [1x09], takes place right after the episode. JJ visits Elle at the hospital.
SPOILERS: Obvious spoilers to "Derailed". Pre-slash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Moment of Weakness
By lysachan


She lies in a big hospital bed, absent-mindedly fiddling with the corner of a dazzling white bed sheet; the nasty cut on her forehead has been covered with a clean bandage. She doesn't seem to notice me standing in the doorway and I curiously observe her for a while. It's obvious she feels uncomfortable in this weird environment, and I don't blame her: nobody enjoys being probed and poked at – especially Elle. She lets out a heavy sigh and turns to stare out of the window.

I clear my throat and within seconds her eyes are on me. Encouraged by her breathtaking smile, I step inside and walk to stand next to her.

"Hi," she says, still smiling that irresistible smile of hers.

"Hi," I say back, noticing the exhausted look on her face. "How are you doing?"

"Would be better if I wasn't stuck in here," she snorts, tapping her fingers nervously on the side of her thigh.

"It's just for one night," I say, trying to sound positive. She glances at me, rolling her eyes. "Okay, I would hate it too," I finally confess and sit down on a chair beside the bed.

"Where're the others?" she asks casually, rubbing her eyes. She must be tired as hell; all the adrenaline has probably disappeared from her body by now.

"Wrapping up the case. Gideon wanted to close it today, so we can fly out with you tomorrow." I flash a brief smile, secretly happy for being able to travel home with Elle.

"That's thoughtful," she says to no one in particular and turns to stare at the ceiling.

"You sure you're alright?" I ask gently, details of past hostage cases I've been involved in filling my head; I can only imagine how the earlier events affected the woman before me. She's always so strong and determined, but even she will carry a haunting memory of the incident for the rest of her life.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine," she assures me, but the smile doesn't quite reach her eyes. "They gave me a sedative or something earlier. So, in case I fall asleep, it's not your company." Her smile is a little more genuine this time, and I can't help chuckling.

"Well, that's good. You should sleep," I say, wondering when exactly I started to sound like my mother.

"That's what they said." She nods, but her voice is full of something I can't quite decipher.

"You don't agree?" I frown, subconsciously placing my hand on hers – or, that's what I tell myself anyway. She seems to startle at the sudden contact, but doesn't pull her hand away. In my mind I let out a sigh of relief.

"I-," she begins, but stops almost immediately. I don't say anything, giving her time to find the words she's looking for. "It's ridiculous, but-," she tries again, but fails. "I'm not sure I want to sleep," she finally blurts out. I can tell she's deliberately avoiding my eyes.

I don't need to ask her to be more specific; I know exactly what she means. And to my eyes that little moment of weakness makes her much more appealing and beautiful than she's ever been. At this very moment she's not the kick-ass FBI agent who catches psychokillers for a living – she's just Elle.

"I can sit here with you." The words are out of my mouth before I've had time to think rationally. "If you want," I add quickly. She swallows hard and I can see she's mentally fighting with herself. Finally a faint and sheepish smile appears on her face.

"Thanks...Jennifer." It's the first time she calls me by my real name instead of "JJ", and I love the way my name sounds when she says it.

I pull the chair closer to the bed, keeping my hand firmly on hers. She sighs contently and closes her eyes. I watch her breathing become more and more regular as she falls into a peaceful slumber. She's so incredibly beautiful when she sleeps. I stretch out and brush a lock of hair off her forehead, trying to memorize every little detail of her innocent features. I know there's something special happening between us - it's been there basically from the beginning - and it's becoming harder and harder for me to deny. I know she knows it too. But as much as the idea of it excites me, I'm not ready to go there just yet. Neither of us is.

I hold her hand in mine, thinking that it's enough, for now.

The End

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