DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By sHaYcH


The sharp chill of the ice as it slipped over the turgid rise of her flesh set off a fury of fireworks in her gut. Heaving out gasps of air even as the tortuous cold was replaced with the heavenly warmth of lips feasting delicately at the ...

"Garcia? Garcia!"

Startled into dropping the folder where she'd secreted her guilty pleasure, Penelope Garcia, tech goddess extraordinaire, looked up to see Special Agent Emily Prentiss staring at her with one dark eyebrow canted in an amused expression of impatience.

"If I've got your attention now, Penelope?"

Head bobbing erratically even as she pushed her glasses back up on her nose, Penelope said, "Yes, of course. What can I do you for, Little Miss Emily?" Affecting a comical southern twist to her tone, she brazenly lifted her own eyebrow and waited for the agent's response.

"I need the results of the trap and trace from the Meyer case. The file's done, and I'm so ready to get out of here for the weekend." Emily rolled her eyes and heaved a blustering sigh. Not even the most expensive coverup from the Macy's counter could hide the dark circles that had taken up residence under the brunette agent's warm brown eyes.

Garcia smiled understandingly as she turned to dig around in a mass of files and paperwork to find the requested documents. "I so hear you. My happy butt has a date with the beach, a towel, a hunk or twenty, and couple of smooth, cold brewskies. What about you and..." Leaving the remainder of the query to dangle unspoken, Penelope cocked her head back to catch a fleeing expression of unbridled joy flittering over Emily's face.

"Mother offered the use of her cabin. All the relaxing with nature a body can handle," replied Emily nonchalantly. It was her ready answer for anyone that asked. Most of the team knew that the Prentiss family had a variety of getaway homes, including one very rustic cabin that Elizabeth, Emily's mother, was always trying to inveigle her daughter into using.

"Ooo, I've never been to Montana. Send me a postcard?" Even though the "weekend" the members of the BAU – the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit – were going to enjoy would last little more than three days, getting any time off from their hectic schedules was a true blessing.

But after their last case, a little decompression time was warranted. And it was yours truly who broke it wide open, the analyst thought a little smugly. It had taken every one of her ten fingered talents to smash through the firewall on the UnSub's computer and discover that he'd been stashing his victims in the bowels of a ship sitting just inside of the boundary of U.S. controlled waters.

And then the cavalry went rushing in and before you could say, "Derek Morgan is a megahunk," the bad guy was caught, the girls were home safe, and we get to have a little well earned vacation. Not bad for a week's work. Finding the papers she wanted, she turned to hand them to Emily. "You still haven't said whether..." Again, she purposefully did not complete the statement. In their office, one never could tell who might be eavesdropping, and Garcia loved her friends far too much to risk tanking their careers with a careless comment. However, that didn't mean that her curiosity had to go unsatisfied.

Again, there was that flash of joy, only this time it lingered long enough to leave a ghostly smile tracing Emily's lips. With a hint of a chuckle lining her full, rich voice, the brunette agent said, "Do you honestly think I'd go alone?"

After nearly six months, it was still odd dancing around the subject of her love life. Of course, the fact that she had a love life to be cha-cha'ed around was still quite the surprise to Emily, but who was she to spurn the gifts of fate? However, she was also savvy enough to understand that fate was fickle and that to go courting disaster would only invite the darker half of luck's nature to wrap its tentacles around her life. So, vagueness was the name of the game at work when faced with discussions of her private life.

Garcia grinned. "Good. Be sure you make a couple of wishes on falling stars for me, okay?" Oh bless you, Reid. You came through again! Scuttlebutt, gossip, and rumor trading had filtered back to Penelope, but one could never be too sure about the veracity of such claims. Now that she had heard it from, as it were, the horse's mouth, Garcia could rest assured that her plans would enjoy a perfect fruition.

With a wave and a nod, Emily left the analyst's office.

As soon as she was sure that the agent had gone, Penelope scrambled to find her book, and then leafed through the dog eared pages until she found her place.

...join of her neck and shoulders. Unable to contain the moan that escaped, she leaned back into the touch, whispering, "More. I need more." The light from the computer monitor neatly illuminated the look of rapt attention that settled on the analyst's face as she was once again lost in the pages of her book.

"Well? Which one was it this time?" asked JJ as Emily joined her in the hallway.

"Island of Passion's Desire," replied the brunette with a shake of her head. "With quite possibly the most lurid pink and orange cover I have ever seen. Honestly, I don't know how she can stand to look at it. I'd need SPF 50 for my eyeballs after just a few minutes."

JJ chuckled. "It's not the cover she cares about, Em." Technical analyst Penelope Garcia's love for bodice rippers was only slightly eclipsed by her love for computers, a fact that amused Emily and JJ to no end.

Shuddering delicately, Emily said, "How can she read that supermarket porn anyway? Isn't it just the same five storylines being infinitely recycled?"

"Do I really need to spell it out for you, Emily?" said JJ, arching one golden eyebrow imperiously. "Have the cobwebs gotten a little too thick again?"

Flushing scarlet, Emily smacked the other agent on the arm with the stack of files. "JJ!"

The blonde laughed, and then said, "You're the one who wanted to know."

"The question was entirely rhetorical."

"Then why ask it?"

"I don't know. Maybe I was thinking out loud."

"Talking to yourself, you mean? See, there you go again – cobwebs. It's a sure sign that things have sat around undisturbed for far too long." The emphasis she placed on the word "things" made the blush heating Emily's face burn even darker.

They stopped at JJ's office. As the team's Communications Liaison, Special Agent Jennifer Jareau's job was to act as a bridge between the BAU and the media, other law enforcement agencies, and oftentimes, the families of the victims. It was also her task to sort through hundreds of cases to find the ones that most needed the special focus of the BAU. Balancing her workload took a special kind of patience and perseverance that often left the young agent feeling as though she was the ball in a never-ending game of soccer.

"Let me just leave a note for Paula." Agent Paula Calloway was JJ's assistant, and whenever the agent needed time off, or had to be in the field for more than a few days, it was Paula who took on the burdens of being the BAU's communications liaison. Hand picked by their boss, Aaron Hotchner, Calloway had done well for herself, earning a place among the FBI's best profilers.

"Sure, I'm going to head over to records and drop off this file. How about I meet you at the door?"

Nodding absently, JJ sat down to begin writing the note to her assistant. The blonde was very grateful to Hotch for pulling a few strings so that she had someone to cover for her whenever she and Emily wanted to spend a little time together. In the beginning, it had been difficult for her to approach the older man and timidly explain that Emily's mother had invited them for Easter, or that Emily wanted to spend the weekend in Vail, but Hotch had never balked at letting them go. To him, the team was all that mattered, and as long as their personal lives didn't interfered with the dynamics that made them so good at their jobs, then he would do whatever he could to facilitate their happiness.

Or maybe he's just angling for an invitation to the wedding, JJ thought as a rakish grin settled on her lips. Of course, to have a wedding, there must first be a proposal. Wistful now, JJ wondered if it was time for her to bring home the small, velvet and gold box that occupied a tiny nook at the back of her desk drawer. Glancing up, she surreptitiously eased the drawer open, pulled out the box, and peeked inside. The overhead lighting was just bright enough to catch the sullen glitter of a ruby so dark, that it was nearly black.

Part of a dream that had lingered lovingly at the back of her mind since she was six years old, marriage with all the trimmings of dresses, cakes, beautiful rings, and expensive floral arrangements had morphed into a simple wish to look at her lover's hand and see the mark of their life together worn openly. Sighing heavily, JJ closed the box and slipped it back into the drawer. Not this time. I want more than three days to celebrate. A slow, wicked grin curved her lips. Though that will be plenty of time to show her just how much I love her.

...Thigh thrust into thigh, hot flesh meeting and melting together under the silken sheets even as hotter mouths dueled for dominance...

"Baby Girl, are you reading that crap again? I thought I told you that stuff would rot your brain!" Special Agent Derek Morgan toed over a nearby chair and spun it around so he could straddle the back. Resting his chin on his crossed arms, he watched as Penelope first turned ghostly pale, then bright red.

Struggling to think fast, Garcia blurted, "I, I – it's research! For, for, oh fiddlesticks, Morgan. You know they're the only thing that keeps me sane during the sweep and scan." She was referring to the daily, nearly hour long process her computers underwent to search for viruses, spyware, and other nasty surprises that might be trying to crack their way into the hallowed hard drives of the FBI's mainframes.

He chuckled. "I know, I know, believe me, I've done my share of thumb twiddling during down time."

With an uncharacteristically shy smile, Garcia said, "So, was there something I could do for you, my little chocolate dream surprise, or did you just stop by to gaze worshipfully upon the goddess of your wildest fantasies?"

"You seen Prentiss lately? I need a copy of the Stevens file. Hotch wants to check something against the old McMurtry case."

"You're outta luck, me boy-o. She just left." Pointing at the screen of her laptop, which displayed the feeds from all of the building's CCTVs in a never-ending loop of images, Garcia waited until she spotted the backs of Emily and JJ as they exited the building. "See?"

"Damn. I hate to reel her back now that she's finally escaped, but this can't wait." Pulling out his cell phone, Morgan punched the button for Emily's line and waited.

On the CCTV image, which Garcia had placed in a window by itself, they watched as Emily answered, and then turned to face the building. Cradling the phone in that awkward, arm across the body fashion that Garcia found so endearing, Agent Prentiss' expression went from irritated to relieved within minutes of Derek's query.

"In your desk, second drawer, green folder. Got it. Thanks, Prentiss. Have a good weekend." He waited until Emily replied, then chuckled and ended the call. "Well that was fairly painless. So," he said, as he stood up and headed for the door. "We still on for the beach?"

"Me? Miss you in swim trunks? Not on your life, Hot Stuff." The crazy, silly nature of their relationship left many people wondering whether the two were just good friends, or something far deeper. Neither would ever say, preferring to let people just wonder while they joked and teased their way through the questioning looks and concerned stares.

"All right, you bring the beer, I'll bring the sexy," he said, teasingly.

"Don't forget the hot dogs!" Garcia called out as Derek left the room. The other agent paused long enough to raise his hand in acknowledgement and then continued on his way. Smiling contentedly, the analyst turned back to her laptop, calling up another window.

This one displayed the inside of a car, as seen from the tiny lens of a lipstick camera cleverly hidden in the cap of a pen clipped to the driver's visor.

"Hmm, things should be getting interesting right... about... now." Two shadows darkened the image briefly and then were replaced by a flash of daylight as both the driver and passenger doors were opened, allowing Emily and JJ to enter the camera's frame. The women quickly settled into their seats, buckled their safety harnesses, and were clearly prepared to leave when JJ spotted a brightly wrapped package wedged between their seats. Prizing it out, she frowned at it briefly until noticing the card that was affixed to one side.

Garcia already knew the contents of the card, for she had spent several minutes searching the novelty store for the perfect image. Choosing a garishly colored blank card that was covered with a bevy of scantily clad men, on the inside she wrote, "It's raining men, but you don't care, oh me, oh my, oh what shall I wear?" Under the text was a sketch of a puzzled young woman carrying a bucket and wearing a cartoonish version of sexy lingerie. On the other side of the card, however, Garcia had sketched in stick figure versions of Emily and JJ holding hands and staring into each other's eyes. Dozens of tiny hearts erupted from between the figures, indicating the utter mushiness of their affection.

JJ read the card, laughed, and then shared it with Emily, who rolled her eyes and pulled out her phone. Within seconds, Garcia's line was ringing.

"Behavioral Analysis Unit, this is technical analyst and walking Ouija board Garcia speaking."

"Garcia, you're a nut," said Emily, even as she mumbled, "Walking wee-gee board," to JJ.

"Alas, but I am out of Almond Joy today. You'll just have to make do with my Mounds."

This got a bark of laughter and then, a squawk of surprise. Glancing up at the screen, Garcia saw that JJ had opened the package, revealing its contents. Lacy lingerie, candles, and a bottle of liquid lay spread out on the liaison's lap. Trying very hard not to chuckle wickedly, Penelope waited for the eventual query to work itself past the muttered imprecations that Emily was trying so hard to contain.

"Passion fruit, Garcia? Passion-fucking-fruit? There is no way in Hell, Hades, or the Seven Levels of Perpetual Darkness that I am ever letting that crap anywhere near my skin."

If anything, Garcia's grin got wider. "Oh Emily honey, would you have preferred the Sultry Strawberry Surprise or Peking Plum Passion?" she said, all sweetness and innocence. "I just figured you enjoyed the simpler things in life."

JJ's voice now filtered in, though it was very soft as she growled, "Crotchless underwear? What next, patchouli candles?"

Garcia snickered even as she watched Emily and JJ dive for one of the tiny votives resting in the box. Twin groans confirmed that the analyst had, indeed, chosen that very scent.

"Just what is it you think we plan to do, Garcia? We're not exactly seventeen year old boys, you know," said Emily even as she tried to fight off a snicker of laughter.

Beside her, JJ was holding up the panties, playing with the fabric as if they were large, lacy versions of Pac-Man.

"Well, you know they say that keeping the laughter in the relationship is the hardest part of staying together. I'm just contributing a little levity to the bedroom." Garcia snickered. "Can't blame a girl for wanting to see her friends happy now, can you?"

"No, I guess not," Emily said and then shook her head. Laughing softly, she added, "Thanks, Garcia. It was a nice change from all the crud of this past week."

"No problemo, my friend. Have fun on the vacation." Hanging up the phone, Garcia reached over to shut off the lipstick camera, letting her finger hover over the keys just long enough to watch JJ stuff the gifts back into their box and chuck it into the backseat. Be good, Penelope. You've had your fun, now let them have theirs. With a decisive move, she ended and then deleted the program that connected her computer to the pen-cam.

"Can you believe her?" asked JJ as Emily successfully navigated her car out of the FBI headquarters parking lot and onto the nearby freeway.

"Who, Garcia?"

JJ laughed ruefully. "Yes, Garcia. What was she thinking? It's not like we're off to some sordid little sex retreat, right?" She glanced at her partner, who grinned sheepishly. "Oh my God - Emily Prentiss, please tell me we are not heading off to some sleazy little love shack in the middle of nowhere."

Emily's grin widened as she reached over and placed her hand on JJ's knee. "Why Jennifer Jareau, one would think you're mortally opposed to spending a little quality time with me." With just the tips of her fingers, the brunette began to rub gentle, but firm circles on the inside of JJ's thigh.

Inhaling sharply, JJ replied, "Well, no, but – Emily, what are you doing?"

Continuing to massage slowly up the inside of JJ's leg, Emily ignored the question and said, "Did we, or did we not discuss exactly what we were going to do this weekend?"

As the tantalizing touch continued gliding inward, JJ found it increasingly difficult to concentrate. Unaware that her eyes had half closed and that she had begun to slide forward encouragingly, JJ whispered, "Home, we were going to stay home." Her throat suddenly went dry as Emily's hand reached its very, very welcome destination.

"Yes," Emily purred. With her hand cupped intimately over JJ, she continued to describe lazy circles with the tips of her fingers. "I have exactly three days all to myself Jennifer," said the brunette softly. "And I'm going to spend them, with you, in exactly one of three places."

Barely able to breathe, much less think, JJ whispered, "Where's that?"

"In the kitchen, in the shower, or in bed," Emily replied deadpan. "Naked."

Covering Emily's hand with her own, JJ turned an indigo gaze on Emily and said, "Drive - quickly."

If the brunette's smile was a touch smug, JJ was quick to forgive her for it.

Luck, fickle fate, or whatever demon of destiny one wanted to accuse of standing in the way of the ardent lovers, stepped in to make what would normally have been a twenty minute commute into a two hour long drive from Hell. First, a four-car pile up necessitated a diversion that added twenty minutes to their drive, and that wasn't counting the thirteen minutes it took just to get to the diversion. Both women muttered a slew of curses against rubberneckers as they finally entered into a free-flowing stream of traffic.

On the heels of the vehicular fiasco, they encountered not one, but two separate public works projects, one of which had something to do with an open sewer, which put a considerable damper on any libidinous shenanigans. One hour and eighteen minutes into a twenty minute commute, Emily was about to suggest pulling over for a meal, but the look in JJ's eyes forestalled the idea before it was even voiced. Instead, she flashed a cheerful, loving smile at her partner, which earned her a soft grin in response.

"We're almost home, Jennifer." The sultry, purring tones of Emily's voice combined with the use of the blonde's full name had its intended effect as JJ's fingers tightened their grasp on the brunette's wrist.

Putting a little lead in her foot, Emily took a hard left toward home, only to have to slam on the brakes a minute later to avoid smashing into a semi. The rig was backing out of the parking lot to a local grocery store and was moving slower than a winter bound river. Cursing softly, Emily drummed her fingers on the steering wheel, and flashed a quick glance at JJ.

The communications liaison now seemed resigned to their extended journey. Relaxed in her seat, the urgency had left her bearing, and what remained was a sleepy, sloe-eyed kind of sensuality that poured oil onto the fire burning in Emily's belly. JJ returned the brunette agent's gaze, smiling a slow, teasing grin when she noticed the discomfited look on Emily's face.

It was a kind of game now. How long would they have to wait before there was nothing between them but air and heat? Dragging the very edges of her fingernails up and down Emily's arm and watching as the fine hairs rose behind the trail of her caresses, JJ murmured, "Patience, love."

Emily started to withdraw her hand, but JJ clutched it tightly, holding it against her warmth and moaning softly.

"No," she whispered, and ground her hips into Emily's fingers.

Heart hammering a jagged beat, Emily looked up to meet JJ's gaze and was surprised by the naked need that flared in her lover's eyes.

Unable to contain a small whimper of desire, Emily whispered, "JJ…" A flood of warmth against her hand made her gasp. "God, you're so-"

"I know," JJ interjected softly. Indicating the window with her jaw, she said, "Take me home, Emily."

Emily never would recall how she made it home so quickly.

The front door was their final impediment, but Emily had planned ahead by making sure the house key was out and ready to use. She had hardly finished turning the latch when JJ breezed in, dropped her gun, badge, and cuffs onto the counter, and then tossed her jacket onto the back of a nearby chair. Barely waiting until Emily had finished closing the door before similarly divesting her partner, JJ wound her fingers into the brunette's long, silky hair and kissed her with an almost restrained tenderness.

Emily groaned, and the sound unleashed JJ's needful fury. Pushing her lover against a wall, she began to press fierce, open-mouthed kisses along the line of Emily's throat and collar bone, stopping briefly to suckle the brunette's wildly pounding pulse point.

Caught in the wave of their need, they forgot about time and place and fell into a new universe painted by their shared desire.

Three days later, when they found one of JJ's shoes wedged between a bedraggled fichus and the wall, neither woman would recall how it got there.

A wild scatter of garments traced the path of their frenzied loving, winding from just beyond the door to the foot of the staircase. Pictures pushed askew by a flung hand, a carelessly thrown back head, or the slam of a body against the wall, tracked their journey up the stairs and to their bedroom.

Pale flesh, silvered in the moon's last light, entwined in the ancient lock of limb and love, trembled as the lovers feasted upon the need that had crashed them together.

Feeling as though she were about to incandesce from the heat of Emily's touch, JJ surrendered to the exquisite pleasure of her lover's mouth.

Later, when bodies were sated and they could lie together trading, slow, unhurried caresses meant to maintain the fire of their love, JJ murmured, "So what was Garcia's little present about, anyway? She seemed to think we were going away somewhere."

Emily chuckled softly. "Mmm, well, I might have told a few people that Mother offered me the use of her cabin in Montana."

Knowing how in tune Garcia was with the office gossip, JJ groaned softly. "Emily, that place has been in mothballs since your great grandfather was born!" Rolling so that she straddled the brunette, JJ bent down and kissed the tip of her lover's nose.

The soft, unguarded expression that flared to life in Emily's eyes was only a little at odds with the cocky grin that curved her lips. "I didn't want us to be interrupted." She dragged teasing fingers across the small of JJ's back, drawing a hiss of wanton longing from the blonde.

"Good thinking," whispered JJ as she leaned in to close the distance between them.

Any response Emily made was soon lost in the renewed fervor of their lovemaking.

The End

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