DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've taken liberties with the story line and characters. Things are not in the order that they happen on the show. This is my first time writing so be gentle with me. Thank you Emma for beta reading this…it would not have been readable otherwise.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Once and Again
By Taylor


It started as a normal enough day at the BAU. JJ was going over cases that the team would potentially be taking over in upcoming weeks. There were faces of mutilated children, rape victims, women that had been tortured, families that were murdered. All the world's evils sat before her to decide which one take on. Leaning over her desk with her hands in her hair JJ wondered, how do I decide which monster we try to take off the streets. This really was too much for me sometimes.

When JJ first had visions of joining the FBI this was not what she thought that she would be doing. She never envisioned that her life would be surrounded by so much death, by so much pain. Somewhere in the far reaches of her psyche there was the fantasy of marriage, kids a small furry white dog…but when ever those thoughts entered her conscious mind JJ pushed them away, knowing better.

She had given up those fantasies years ago, right after she left training at Quantico.

Now all that consumed her was work. Tracking down the most evil of the human species. From afar JJ was the pinnacle of "togetherness," she had a great job, worked with a great team she even managed to procure a good date every once in a while. No one really knew the pain she carried with her everyday.

Hearing a knock at her door JJ looked up in time to see Reid slip in and close the door behind him.

"They will be here any minute, aren't you coming out of your dungeon for the meet and greet?" Reid asked as he sat in one of the chairs facing her desk.

"Who, what…what are you talking about?" JJ stood as she began to neatly pack pictures and information into their perspective folders. One picture of a dark haired girl caught her eye as she looked to Reid for an answer.

"Our new team member joins us today, word from Garcia is she comes to us straight from a desk, no field experience, her parents are some rich hoity politicians or diplomats…" Reid paused as he watched all the blood drain from JJ's face "what's wrong?" he asked moving around the desk, putting a hand on her shoulder.

It can't be. JJ thought. After all these years, just like that, this is how she walks back into my life. She leaned into Reid putting a hand to his chest wordlessly telling him that she was ok. It just can't be.

"Nothing…Nothing's wrong. Sorry about that. I think that the hours that we have been keeping lately have been getting to me." She hoped that he believed her lie, there was nothing worse than being profiled by one of your own colleagues. "Now, what were you saying, who is the lucky one joining us today?"

As quickly as the question left her lips there was a knock at her door. "It's open, come in." Morgan stuck his head in, "Come on in Morgan, join the party." JJ put a little distance between herself and Reid as she noticed the look on Morgan's face.

"Rossi wants us in conference, I think we got ourselves a new pretty face."

"Yeah, Reid here was just filling me in… well, lets go boys you know he hates it when we're late." JJ slipped past Morgan and out the door, leaving both men slightly confused -- for different reasons.

JJ knew before she entered the office that this was not going to be good news for her. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she felt nauseous. It just can't be, she thought again as she entered the conference room. Then everything stood still.

There, standing before her, was a face that she hoped she would never see again. Emily Prentiss.

JJ smiled, nodded and took a seat at the far end of the room next to Garcia. She felt that all eyes in the room watched her as she walked. She felt that they saw the pulse beating frantically at the base of her throat. She felt that they heard her struggle to take back the breath that was taken from her at the sight of Emily standing before her. She felt they knew that she was so close to breaking down right now, right in this moment into tears that she had not shed for over six years. She felt they knew it all.

JJ reverted 100% to her training and took all the emotion out of her eyes, she concentrated on calming her heart rate and breathing. She smiled as she turned to Garcia "First day of school introductions huh."

"You don't know the half of it, she's never been in the field."

"Hhmp," was the only response that JJ could manage at the moment.

As the rest of the team assembled Rossi began his introduction of Emily and the part that she would play on the team. JJ noticed that not once did Emily look directly at her. For reasons that she was not ready to think about, it hurt to know that Emily couldn't even look at her after all this time had passed. Anger mixed with her already present anxiety and she felt like she had to get out of the room as soon as possible.

Rossi continued with general information about the team, while JJ drifted back to the first time that she met Emily.


Six years ago…

It was the first day at NATU (New Agents' Training Unit) when I first laid eyes on her. I was in the parking lot getting my things out of my trunk for the FBI seventeen-week training program that I hoped to complete at the top of my class. As I closed my trunk and got ready to head to the dormitory unit, there she was. She was stepping out of what appeared to be a brand new black BMW convertible. She was wearing black jeans that did nothing to hide her figure, a burgundy T-shirt that said "take me to Santa Fe" and a thin black leather jacket. As she exited her car our eyes met and held for what seemed to be hours. I smiled and nodded a hello and continued to the entrance pausing as I considered whether I was supposed to introduce myself or not. Choosing not to, I continued on.

In the lobby I got my room assignment and found out that I was to be in a lecture hall in 15minutes, giving me no time to drop of my things and prepare my mind for the grueling training ahead of me. Rushing down the hall I found the room number I was looking for and entered. I sat in the first seat I could find towards the back of the room noticing the girl from the parking lot next to me, minus any bags "how did she manage that?" I wondered.

Again our eyes met and for the life of me I could not look away. I'm not a lesbian by any means of the word, but I could not help but think that this was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Her ebony hair looked soft and inviting to touch. Her eyes were the deepest cocoa brown and I felt as if I were being pulled into them, looking right into her soul. But it was her lips that had me question myself, I wanted to lean over and pull them to mine and feel their softness. Never before have I felt such a strong pull to someone.

Not letting my hormones get the best of me I leaned over and whispered "I'm Jennifer. Jennifer Jareau."

"Emily Prentiss" She whispered back.

Neither one of us spoke again until we were dismissed with massive amounts of reading materials and schedules that we had to adhere to for the next few months. Therein lied my problem as I got up to leave. There was no way that I was going to be able to carry my personal belongings as well as the new material I just received.

"Need a hand with that," Emily asked

"Ahhh" I paused looking around for another option "Sure, I don't want to put you out of your way. I'm headed up to the fourth floor. You?"

"Same one." Emily grabbed my duffle bag and started out the room towards the elevators "coming?" She turned back to me with a smile on her face that made me lose my breath.

I didn't realize that I hadn't moved an inch. This was so unlike me, never before had I allowed someone to distract me. This was just the first day of NATU and this WOMAN was affecting me this way. This could not continue. I had spent too much time trying to get into the FBI just to throw it away over nothing. I decided as I walked to the elevators that I would not be spending any more time around Emily Prentiss.

Ten minutes later I found out that we would be rooming together.

Emily took a chance and looked over at JJ while Rossi was finishing up. Her eyes were glazed and distant, and Emily knew that she was not present mentally or emotionally. Could she possible be thinking or feeling any of the things that I'm feeling now. Does she remember?

As each member of the team greeted Emily, she noticed JJ speaking to Rossi. Seconds later she was walking out of the conference room. Not once did she stop to look at Emily.

After a week of working together, JJ found the most ingenious ways to avoid Emily. Emily for her part still had not found the courage to approach JJ. Both knew that they could not work like this.

Towards the second week Emily found herself outside of JJ's office. After knocking twice she was invited to come in. Slipping into the office and closing the door behind her she found JJ behind her desk frozen.

"Hi Jennifer."

"Emily?" was the only response she received with a slight nod "Can I help you with something?"

"N-no…yes…well, I was thinking that we needed to talk. We should talk."

"Talk!?" JJ questioned with more anger than she wanted to show. She wanted to scream "fuck, you Emily!" but knew that she couldn't at work. Letting out a sigh JJ looked Emily straight in the eyes and told her, "If it's not a work related matter I have nothing to say to you, and you made it very clear to me six years ago that you wanted nothing to do with me. Now if you will excuse me I have a press briefing to deal with in 10 minutes. Please see your way out."

"Jennifer, please let me explain. At least speak with me for the sake of our working relationship."

"Hopefully we don't have to worry about that for much longer. I put in for transfer and I should hear something by the end of next week." JJ gathered a few files and her briefcase and left Emily standing in her office, stunned.

Emily knew that she had to do something to remedy the situation. She was also very aware that all of what was going on now was her fault. If she were a stronger person six years ago things in both their lives would be very different right now.

She remembered the moment when things began to change for them. Well she remembered when things began to change for her.


Six years ago…

The moment that I set my eyes on Jennifer I knew that I was in trouble. When I found out that we would be rooming together for the seventeen week NATU training I just couldn't help myself. I let my guard down. It was not a conscious choice; it was just something that my soul wanted.

I have always known that I was attracted to women, but I had always tried to fight it. Not just for myself but for, and because of, my family.

When I was sixteen my mother found a journal entry where I wrote about a crush that I had on a girl I went to boarding school with. She made me promise that I would never do anything to jeopardize the precious Prentiss name. Being a political family she insisted that the public would not take kindly to finding out that one of them was gay. At the time I would not have considered myself gay, I just knew that I liked this girl.

My word was not good enough for her so I went through years of anti-gay counseling along with weekly meetings with the priest from our church listening to how wrong my feelings were and how badly I would burn in hell if I walked down that path.

It was enough to scare my straight all through high school, college, and the brief time I spent with the police department before I decided to join the FBI. It was enough until the moment my eyes met Jennifer's.

Enough until we spent practically ever hour of our day together. Enough until I realized that Jennifer stirred emotions in me that I never even knew were there.

During the day we would complete our training exercises and at night spent our time either studying or talking. She was just as dedicated as I was and we both wanted to place at the top of the class.

But it was during those talks that I found myself being lost in her blue eyes. Found myself wanted to run my fingers through her hair.

It was after the first month when the subtle touches began. Fingers touching as notes were passed, shoulders pressed together as we studied. I realized that I could not help myself. It was as if our bodies swayed naturally together of their own accord.

One afternoon after spending hours on the shooting range, I found myself placing my hands on the small of her back as we entered our room. I felt her shiver at my touch and quickly removed my hands. I chastised myself for being so foolish and careless. I never questioned that she might not be as comfortable as I was with our new found closeness.

"Sorry," I said, suddenly finding the floor very interesting.

"It's okay Em." She reached over running her hand up my arm, "You surprised me."

"No, I shouldn't have felt so free to…umh…"

"Don't worry about it, it really isn't that big a deal." JJ walked further into the room dropping herself onto her bunk. "I'm exhausted, and to think that we have three more months of this…but I wouldn't change any of it. I really can't wait to get out there."

Noticing that I hadn't said a word JJ sat up and looked at me.

"What's wrong?" she asked, her voice filled with concern. After I did not answer she stood and came to me. Standing just inches from me she reached for my hands and held them in hers. "Tell me," she coaxed, her voice almost a whisper to me.

The feel of her hands in mine was driving me crazy. After hours of shooting, and punching, and lifting her hands were the softest I've ever felt. There were no rough spots, no calluses. I felt heat radiated from them and worked its way up my arm and down my spine. I never wanted to let go. But there was that voice in the back of my mind telling me that this was very wrong. I should not be feeling this way.

"It's really nothing, just a little tired. I have a lot on my mind right now…don't worry about it, ok."

I gave her hands a final squeeze, pulling away, but she wouldn't let go.

"Does it have anything to do with this?" she asked looking down to our intertwined hands. She was standing so close to me that we were breathing the same air.

"Oh no," I lied, "I'm… I …it's just that…"

She didn't let me finish. Within seconds her lips were on mine. There was nothing that I could do but to surrender to her touch. Her lips molded softly against my mouth and I felt the warmth of her lips. I didn't realize that I was pulling her closer until we were pressed firmly against each other. My ears were ringing, my head was spinning, and then I felt her tongue parting my lips for a tiny glorious second. I heard someone moan, not sure if it was me, or her. When her hand reached around to the back of my neck pulling me closer moaning into my mouth, I didn't think, I couldn't think, I let her in. I was lost.

When we finally drew apart, minutes or hours later, we were both breathing hard as if we'd just completed a 10k marathon.

"Em…" she whispered in my ear, more a question than just saying my name. I pulled back and looked into her eyes, hooded and cloudy with desire.

"I want to touch you." She whispered. I shivered at her words, closing my eyes I leaned against the door. "I feel like I need you to touch me." I responded, my voice so low, barely a whisper.

"But I can't do this, I can't let this happen," I responded as I tuned and walked out the door.

Emily was lost for a moment in her memories. She was not sure how long she stood staring at the door that JJ just walked out of, thinking it ironic that she was always the one running before.

She did not know that she would be working so closely with the woman that changed so much in her life. Would I have still taken this position if I knew she was here, she wondered.

After leaving the academy Emily spent years behind a desk fighting her own demons and trying to break down the barriers put in her way by parents who didn't want her in the field. They felt that if she was so determined to be in law enforcement they would see to it that she stay behind a desk where she would be safe and somewhat respected in the eyes of there aristocratic friends.

Emily let it happen because she felt that if she was not ready to fight for the right to live her life as she pleased, or fight for the woman she loved then she was not ready to go out there and fight for those with far bigger issues.

Knowing that she could no longer hide behind her fears, Emily went back to her desk logging onto the database where she knew she would find personal information about anyone. Jotting the address down, she grabbed her things and left the office.

As she pulled up in front of the small town house, Emily looked around taking in the neighborhood. It was quiet, she noted, so much like Jennifer, not too much not too little, but very comfortable.

Taking a moment to collect herself, Emily exited the car walking briskly to the front door before she lost her nerve and went home. Ringing the doorbell, Emily stood back and waited.

When the door opened the sight that greeted her was not what she expected. She gasped, all thought of why she stood at JJ's door gone from her mind. Before her stood the most beautiful sight that she had ever laid her eyes on. JJ wore a form fitting spaghetti strap black dress, and black heels that made her taller. Her hair was loosely curled and pulled back from her face. She had the perfect amount of makeup on, bringing out her blue eyes.

"Emily? What are you doing here?" JJ asked more forceful than she intended. "how do you even know where I live?" JJ stepped out looking both ways up and down her street before she finally looked back to Emily for an answer. She did not expect her night to take this turn.

"Well, what kind of agent would I be if I couldn't find out where someone lived," Emily smiled hoping to lighten the mood. "can I come in?" Emily asked. She noticed the pause and the questioning look in JJ's eyes before she answered.

"Come in," the annoyance in her voice could not be missed and it hurt Emily.

"You look nice… beautiful actually," Emily commented, taking a moment to make a quick sweep of her surroundings.

JJ's heart was beating out of her chest. She did not expect to see Emily so soon after the confrontation in her office earlier today. She was fighting with everything she had not to wrap her arms around the woman that stood before her, just as much as she was fighting not to scream at her, asking the questions that she should have had answered years ago.

"What do you want Emily?" JJ asked

"Jennifer, we need to talk."

For a moment JJ took in the sound of her full name and the way it sounded coming from Emily. She always loved that Emily called her by her full name, she was the only one that did, and she loved the way it sounded coming from her lips.

Just as she opened her mouth to respond the doorbell sounded. "shit" JJ mouthed.

"Listen Emily I really can't do this right now. To be honest with you I don't think that we need to do this at all. From where I stand there is nothing for us to talk about, so can you please go." JJ noticed the hurt that flashed in Emily's eyes before she looked away. For a minute she felt guilty and wanted to apologize for her tone; no matter what had happened between them years ago she couldn't stand the thought of Emily being hurt.

The doorbell sounded again and she turned from Emily to answer it.

Emily watched horrified as a gorgeous dark haired woman reached over and kissed JJ on the lips presenting her with a bouquet of flowers. Lilies, JJ's favorites. Emily felt as if her heart had been ripped from her chest and trampled on by the force of 300 African elephants. She did not know what she expected when she decided to come here tonight, but this was certainly not it.

Walking into the room with her new friend in tow JJ made quick introductions "Aeryn this is my colleague Emily who was just leaving, Emily …Aeryn."

Speechless and hurt beyond reason, Emily forced a smile at Aeryn and walked out the door slamming it on her way out, not wanting either of them to see the tears forming in her eyes.

"What was that about?" Aeryn asked noting the tension in the room as she entered. She knew that something was going on that was far beyond the boundaries set by colleagues.

"Oh, nothing… just a case that she wants us to take on that I refuse to consider," the lie slipped past JJ's lips faster than she had time to think about what she was doing.

"Must be some case." Aeryn looked at JJ for a sign of something that would give her more information to prove her gut feeling. But she saw nothing, and that frightened her.

"Well shall we get out of here, I've heard amazing things about this play and I can't wait to see it."

JJ lay in bed that night after her date with Aeryn. She had been trying desperately for the past three hours to fall asleep but had been unable to. Leaning over she looked at the clock by her bed noticing that it was 2:45am. She pushed the covers back and headed to her kitchen for a drink hoping that would calm her enough to drift off to sleep, and get Emily out of her thoughts.

Her time with Aeryn had been perfect. Aeryn was perfect. Gorgeous, successful, sexy as hell, both wanting the same things out of life. But for some reason she could not let herself enjoy the time with her. Every time that she touched me I thought of Emily. Every time that she looked in my eyes I saw Emily. By the end of the night JJ knew that Aeryn picked up on her distant behavior, she didn't push when all she received was a kiss on the cheek goodnight.

It made JJ angrier than she already was with Emily for ruining what could have been a good thing. It made her angry with herself for leading Aeryn on, that was out of character for her.

This was not fair to Aeryn. This was only our second date, JJ thought. A second date that she only accepted today to help her forget the confrontation with Emily earlier in the day. Aeryn was only the second woman that she had dated, well really the first. Her time with Emily could not be considered dating after all. She remembered when Emily returned to their room after the first kiss they shared.


Six years ago:

I made the decision that when I saw Emily again I would tell her everything. I would tell her exactly how I had been feeling for the past month. How every time that she touched me I lost all train of though. I felt warm all over. I felt like every cell in my body was on fire.

It was about four hours later when Emily finally entered the room. I was lying in bed staring at the bottom of the bunk above me. Emily's bunk. She walked right over to me and knelt on the floor next to my bed. She reached over and held my face in her hands and looked into my eyes. It was as if she was searching for something. Some answer to a question that she did not voice. Her right hand moved up and touched my hair and the hairline and stroked backward. Her touch felt like velvet on my skin and her breath drifted warmly over my face. I felt electric currents running over my body and up my spine from her touch. Both her hands were now slowly moving through my hair and I closed my eyes, this feeling was making me struggle to breath. When her lips touched my forehead, a hard steady throbbing began between my legs. I let out a shaky breath and felt my body tremble.

"Are you okay?" she whispered close to my ear causing another shiver to course through my body.

"I'm okay. I'm just very excited by you. I've never felt like this before," I whispered back.

Not stopping her hands from moving through my hair she pulled away and once again looked in my eyes. "You… are…. So….. beautiful," she whispered. It was then that I noticed how puffy her eyes were, and the redness that was a tell-tale sign that she had been crying.

Pulling her close to me I wrapped my arms around her and hugged her with everything that I had. I felt her body quiver and knew that she was crying before I heard the quite sobs.

I reached over and pulled her off the floor and into the bed with me. She lay on my chest and I held her as she cried.

I kissed her on the forehead and knew in that moment that I loved Emily more than I had loved anyone in my twenty-four years of life.

It was after that night that we really began to know one another. We never really went on a date because of all the time we had to put into our training. But each night after studying we would curl up in my bunk and talk for hours before we would drift off to sleep in each others arms.

Neither of us being with women before, we were both apprehensive about taking things to a more sexual level. Sometimes I felt like we were still teenagers, fumbling with buttons, neither one of us knowing what to do with all this passion. As hard as it was at times, I felt that Emily was not ready to step over that line. If we kept things at just kissing, and cuddling then we really weren't lesbians…were we? I hoped that we both had an understanding that we would consummate our relationship after graduation. I didn't think that I would be able to remain focused or control myself if we had sex. I knew I would want her all the time. More than I already did.

But after graduation I never saw Emily again. All I got was a note saying that she couldn't do this and she did not want to see me again, telling me to stay away from her. That's exactly what I did.

Now six years later she walks back into my life.

JJ sat in her living room nursing her drink as her mind was flooded with memories. The same feeling that she felt years ago when Emily disappeared rushed back to her and her eyes filled with tears. She felt foolish for thinking that they could have made a life together, for wanting a life with Emily. She used to harbor dreams of having children, owning a home, dog, the whole nine yards. But without Emily none of it had any appeal to her.

Since Emily, JJ tried to convince herself that she was not gay. She went back to dating men for a while, but soon realized none of them made her feel the way that Emily did. It took about five years, but better late than never she told herself. While no one that she dated in the past few months stirred any of the passion that Emily did, they came far closer than any of the men she dated. It had only been in the last month that she had decided that she would date women exclusively.

JJ hoped that she would eventually grow to feel some thing more for Aeryn, but now that Emily had walked back into her life she knew that would never happen. Emily still held a huge part of her heart and she hated to admit it.

Waking up a few hours later, JJ prepared to go on her morning run. Opening her front door, a small white envelope fell from between her door jam. Picking it up JJ saw her name printed on the front. Looking around hoping to find the sender JJ saw no one, but already knew who left her this note. When was she here, JJ wondered.

Stepping back inside JJ sat and began to read the letter left by Emily


I wish that I could do this in person, but you refuse to talk to me and I don't know what else to do but to respect that. I can't say that I blame you for not wanting to talk to me or for not wanting to work with me.

I want to start by saying that you should not leave the BAU; I know how much a position here means to you and I don't want to be the reason why you will give up your dream and leave. If anyone should leave it should be me, so if after you read this you still do not want to work with me, I will understand and leave.

I would not have taken the position if I knew that you would be there. I can't say how sorry I am for causing you so much distress, so much so that you would leave what you love.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for every thing Jennifer. I wish that you would give me a chance to explain. I'm including my address and phone number if you ever want to talk, but I will understand if you don't. Please reconsider your decision to leave. We are both professionals and I know that we can find a way to work together.

This situation is not very easy for me either, you must know that Jennifer. It has not been on me for the past few years, but I've finally reached a place where I'm ready to do the work that I was trained to do and live my life how I please.

JJ did not read the rest of the letter; she crumbled it and threw it in the far corner of the room. Fuck you Emily, she thought. She needed a run now more than ever.

Monday morning JJ sat reviewing cases for the upcoming week pushing all thoughts of her personal issues with Emily out of her mind. There was one file in particular that held her attention. In North Dakota someone was killing eighteen-year-old teens. There had been six victims so far and local law enforcement was no closer to finding the killer.

Each victim had the number 23 branded into the sole of their left foot. All victims we carefully decapitated and staged at various places along I-94 in the surrounding areas of Bismarck.

Getting all her information together JJ headed to the morning briefing, thinking that this may be the last case she worked with the BAU.

Walking into the room her eyes met and held Emily's for a moment before she took her position and began going through the slides of victims and pertinent information sent over from North Dakota.

"The bodies look as if they have been left in the cold for quite some time," Morgan commented.

"No…" Emily began getting up from her seat to take a closer look at the slide. "it looks as if the blood has been completely drained from these victims."

"The local ME is still examining the bodies, we should have some answers by the time we get there," JJ answered trying not to be distracted by Emily's closeness.

"What information do we have linking the victims," Rossi asked looking at JJ.

"Nothing yet, local PD is expecting us there later today if the weather holds up. They are expecting a pretty big snow storm."

Morgan turned to the LCD panel in the middle of the table "Baby girl, it sounds like you are going to be busy," he said with a smile winking at Garcia.

"Anything to make you happy handsome," Garcia responded, "I'll get right on it."

"Alright people, let's get going. It looks like this is going to be an interesting one."

Emily stopped JJ on their way out, making sure that everyone else had left the room before she spoke. She was looking for any excuse to be close to JJ.

"Are we going to be okay on this?" she asked.

"I'll be fine. You?" JJ busied herself with papers left on the conference table so that she could avoid looking at Emily. She was not sure how much longer she would be able to hold up this façade. I don't want to do this anymore, she thought. I'm tired of being angry at her when all I want to do is love her.

"Yeah, I don't want to pressure you, but I would really like to have a chance to talk to you. Explain things." Nervously playing with the fabric on the chair in front of her, Emily couldn't look up. JJ couldn't help but think how cute she was when she was nervous.

"Emily, I really can't deal with this now," she walked passed Emily on her way out of the room and paused outside the door. Letting out an exasperated breath JJ said, "maybe …" she began and stopped, looking around making sure that they were still alone. "maybe when we are done with the case I can fine some time."

That was the best news that Emily heard in weeks. She couldn't help the wide grin that spread across her face. Gathering her things she prepared for the flight to North Dakota.

After arriving on site and briefing the press Hotch assigned JJ and Emily to check out the scene where the first two victims were found to west of I-94. Reid and Morgan checked out the scene to the east of the highway.

"Alright people, we've got a few hours before the weather gets bad, let's see what damage we can do. Report back here in four hours for debriefing. We want to get this unsub before he kills again."

Making quick work of the first scene, Emily and JJ decided to take a chance and go on to where the second victim was found. It surprised JJ how easy it was for them to work together. They easily collected information and discussed possible motives and suspect characteristics as if they had been working together for years. The underling tension that they both felt was not visible to outside observers.

Pulling up to the motel where the second victim was found, Emily looked to the sky as the first of many snowflakes began to fall. She looked to JJ for assurance that they should continue.

"It doesn't look like it's going to be too bad." JJ responded to the silent question "the body was found in a ditch around back, I'll check that out and you can talk to the manager."

Without waiting for a response JJ headed under a balcony to the back of the motel.

Emily watched her go wishing not for her first time, that she could be as in control and confident as JJ was. God did she wish that she handled things differently all those years ago. She wondered if JJ even knew how much she loved her. They never spoke of love, but Emily thought she showed it in her kisses, and touch.

The wind began to pick up as she made her way to the motel manger's office forcing Emily to once again look to the sky.

"FBI," she identified herself to the manager. "we are here investigating the murders in the past few weeks."

After spending a half hour with the hotel manger JJ pushed through the door, shaking her head free of the snow that now coated it. "It's coming down really hard out there, we need to get back."

"Get back?" the hotel manager got up turning up the small television hidden discreetly under his desk. "you gals are gong to experience the beauty of a North Dakota blizzard. You won't be going anywhere for at least a day."

Emily and JJ exchanged worried looks as they listened to the local anchor man give a run down of the streets that were currently closed and how much snow was expected to fall. It seemed like a normal occurrence to get upwards of a foot of snow here.

"I've still got a room available, it looks like you are going to be here for a while," the manager reached around for a key presenting it to Emily. "there are vending machines through there," he pointed to his left "and laundry through there, your room is at the top of those stairs to the left." He pulled out a stack of candles and a small flashlight handing them to JJ. "We tend to have black outs when the weather gets too bad, ya'll need to be prepared. I would hit the machines now."

"Just fucking great," JJ muttered, flipping her phone open to call Hotch about their situation.

About one hour later Emily and JJ opened the door to the room that they were given. JJ stopped dead in her tracks causing Emily to slam into her back dropping the food and drinks that they got from the vending machines.

"What's the problem?" Emily asked, bending to pick up the junk food that she dropped.

"Nothing," JJ responded, trying to wipe the look of horror off her face at the sight of the one bed in the room. There was no way that she would be able to share a bed with Emily. Looking around the small room she noticed that there was an old recliner sitting in the corner. It had definitely seen better days, but JJ felt that it would be more comfortable for her than having Emily so close.

Setting the candles and flashlight on the dresser JJ's phone began to buzz.

"Jareau," she answered. "Hi, Aeryn, I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to call you back last night."

At the mention of Aeryn's name Emily immediately began to pay attention to what was being said on the other end. She noticed the side ways glance JJ gave her before making her way over to the bathroom and gently closing the door. Emily couldn't help the burning sensation of jealousy that coursed through her. She knew she had no right to feel this way.

Walking over to the large floral print drapes that it seemed all hotels used, she flung them back letting some light into the room. The sun was setting and the heavy flakes of snow plumbing out of the sky were masking its light. Leaning against the large rectangular window, Emily looked down at the parking lot below noticing that already visibility was down to just a few feet. The heavy snow was already accumulating on the ground, pristine and white untouched by anyone or anything. It was hard to believe that just a week ago a decapitated body was found in this same area.

Her body shivered fiercely from leaning against the cold window and all she could think about was climbing into bed with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a warm body to hold her.

JJ watched Emily from the doorway of the bathroom that she just exited. She wished that she could cross the space between them and wrap her arms around Emily. Warming her, loving her. Rolling her eyes to the ceiling she groaned. Loving her, she thought to herself, after all this she's still able to get me to love her.

"So it looks as if we are here for the night," she made her presence know to Emily.

"Yeah, under different circumstances this might be romantic," Emily smirked, still looking out the window. Dammit, why did I say that!

"Aeryn and I were supposed to go skiing in Vermont this weekend. I'm sure that they are having similar weather." JJ knew that was a low blow to bring up Aeryn, but she did not care. She wanted -- she hoped -- that Emily would feel jealous.

Emily didn't move. That comment hit her to the core. If there wasn't a storm raging outside she would throw the doors back and walk out.

"As hard as it was for me to hear that, I realize that it's something that I'm going to have to get used to," Emily turned to face JJ raising her hands slightly from her waist. "Whether you stay with BAU or not, we're both in the same field and I'm sure that we will have to work with one another again in the future."

JJ stood with her head hung down, looking at her feet. Emily took this as a sign that she did not want to hear what was being said. Letting out an exasperated breath Emily began to walk by JJ into the bathroom.

"NO!" JJ exclaimed, frustrated. She grabbed onto Emily's arm stopping her in her tracks. "Emily you don't get to keep walking away from me," she said in a softer tone.

Emily looked at JJ and saw the tears threatening to burst free of her eyes. With quivering lips, JJ let go of Emily and turned away, bringing trembling hands to wipe her eyes.

Rooted in place Emily did not know what to do. Her heart told her to go to JJ and comfort her, but she was also scared of being rejected once again. As that thought passed through her mind she realized that she was the one that had been doing the rejecting and she, in some way deserved it now that the tables were turned.

Slowly she walked forward and stood behind JJ. Raising her arms she wrapped them around her once friend, her soul mate, her everything. She felt JJ stiffen at her touch, and for a moment she wondered if she made the right decision.

In that moment JJ relaxed into her touch, letting out a breath she did not realize that she was holding and letting the tears fall freely down her face.

Emily did not stop the tears that moved over her cheeks. She turned JJ to face her and wrapped her arms around her in a fierce hug. They both cried tears held inside for far too long.

"The past six years of my life seemed like some horrible nightmare that I just couldn't wake up from," Emily whispered through tears. "Jennifer, walking away from you was the worst think that I could every do and I am so sorry, I'm so sorry." She cried.

Time seemed to stand still as the two women held each other. Both scared of the conversation that they knew needed to be had at some point, but not wanting to let the other go.

Through it all the tears continued to flow. Tears washing away the years of pain, anger and frustration. Tears that opened a new door of healing for both women. Tears that showed vulnerability and love.

"Emily, I don't know if I can ever forgive you. You hurt me so much when you left. It took me years to get over what you did you me. I broke down after six months and did a search for you to make sure that you were still alive. And as sad as it sounds I was even more hurt to know that you were alive and well and just didn't want anything to do with me. All I wanted to do was love you Em. Just love you. Was that so bad, so wrong?"

JJ pulled away from Emily and sat on the bed. Emily was relieved that JJ held on to her hand, pulling her into a space next to her.

"I spent so long preparing what to say to you and now that I have the opportunity I don't know where to start," Emily looked into JJ's eyes and saw encouragement to go on, she will listen this time. "First let me say that nothing I say now is an excuse for what I did. It was inexcusable and I want you to understand that I'm not looking for a quick fix here."

JJ again nodded her permission for Emily to continue. She waited for so long to hear the reasons why this woman that she loved more than life itself hurt her so much.

"I know that when we were at the academy we talked a lot… talked about a lot of things," Emily began. "But I never told you much about my life after I was sixteen and before I became a cop. I had this crush on a girl at the boarding school that my parents sent me to. My mom found out about it and made me promise that I would never get involved with a woman. She took me out of that school immediately and put my in a school closer to home. But the real reason was because she wanted me to go to therapy to take the gay out of me.

"I went to this guy three times a week, where he was pretty much telling me that something was wrong with me for loving women. At the time I can't even say that I loved women. I had a crush on a girl, that was all it was for me. I guess that me parents saw something else.

"I had to meet with a priest once a week and hear the same message except in his he added all the lovely visuals of burning in hell and disgracing my family. I went through this all until I went to Yale."

JJ couldn't keep the look of pure shock and indignation from her face. Not in her most angry state would she wish this on anyone. How could parents do this to their child and claim that it's out of love? From deep within she felt a primal need to protect Emily assure her that what was done to her was wrong. She pulled Emily closer as if to hug her, but was daunted when the dark haired woman put her hand up to stop her.

"Jennifer please let me finish. I need to tell you this," she chuckled looking to the ceiling as a tear slipped down her face "I need to tell you this for myself too…Th – The funny thing was at the time I really thought that it was nasty for two women to be together; I never thought that I was gay, it really confused me more each session that I had. The therapist would show me pictures of women having sex and tell me that it was unsanitary, and list all this medical conditions that lesbians are prone to. At sixteen it was the most horrifying thing I'd ever heard.

"I was still a virgin and it turned me off from having sex with men and women. I wanted nothing to do with it.

"By the time I got to college I was dealing with some pretty serious sexual issues as you can imagine. Every time I would get horny I'd fine a suitable guy and fuck his brains out. But it meant nothing, I didn't feel anything.

"After taking a few psych. classes my freshman year I realized how fucked up I was in the head about sex and started to see someone to help me set things right. I also had big career goals and knew that I had to get my head straight …no pun intended… if I wanted to come close to getting into the FBI.

"I thought that I pretty much had it together, I was even getting comfortable with the fact that I may even be bi-sexual. But the moment I met you things just got out of control for me. All the good therapy went out the window and I couldn't help thinking how wrong it was for me to feel the way I did about you."

"Em, stop," JJ placed her fingers to Emily's lips silencing her. "I think that I'm starting to understand."

"Jennifer there is so much more that I need to say to you," Emily pleaded.

"I know and you will get to, but I think that we have both been put through the wringer emotionally for a while. Let's just eat some of that junk food over there and … I don't know. I think I need a moment for this to sink in."

JJ reached over and ran her thumbs under Emily's eyes. Wiping away tears that seemed to have no end. She was finally starting to see what this woman was going through that made her run. While Emily never said the word love in their time together, JJ knew that the dark haired woman had very strong feeling for her. It had to be something severe that pushed her to walk away from that.

"I do need you to know that I have thought about you every day, every second for the past six years. I have written you hundreds of letters that I never mailed because I thought that you wouldn't want to hear from me. I even knew where you lived and thought about coming to see you or calling, but I thought that you would be mad because I violated your privacy and because I thought that you would not want to see me…before I knew it so much time had past and I just thought that it was best that I try to forget you and move on with my life."

JJ ran the back on her hand across Emily's cheek. She knew that she should be angry, and a part of her still was. She did not want to forgive Emily so easily. But she had another need that was stronger.

Their eyes met and locked for what seemed like an eternity. JJ felt her body rise to meet the woman before her, their gaze never breaking. It was as if she was coming into a fresh new life. A life waiting for her in Emily's arms.

Emily knew that she was coming home, she felt like she was finally alive. She was hungry for the taste of the lips that finally met hers. Both women were surprised by the sounds of their kiss. The low moans, the heavy breathing, each sound filling them with more passion as they fed on each other, sweetly, deeply.

Pulling apart JJ couldn't take her gaze from the swollen lips before her. Emily's hands ran through her hair, stopping at the base of her neck pulling her into another kiss. This one softer, slower filled with emotions held captive for far too long.

This was nothing like kissing Aeryn, JJ thought. This was nothing like I've felt for anyone before. These feelings, this passion was held for Emily. Her Emily.

"Jen…" Emily murmured against her mouth before pulling the blond into another kiss. "Should we be doing this?" Emily asked.

"I think that we've waited long enough. Don't you?" JJ responded immediately unbuttoning Emily's shirt as she spoke.

"Jen…" Emily's body rose to meet her touch. Nipples hardened under her black bra and her whole body tingled with excitement. She opened her mouth to protest once again and found a warm, soft tongue pressing against hers. "Mmmmm." Under gentle insistence, Emily relaxed and let JJ take control. The blond felt her surrender and eased up the pressure of her lips. Her free hand traveled of its own accord, gliding over warm skin, toned abdominal muscles and further still to meet firm breast. JJ's hands wondered over the cup of her bra and squeezed gently causing Emily to gasp with pleasure.

Encouraged by Emily's reaction JJ gave the other mound a firm squeeze delighting at the pleasure she was able to give the other woman. Playing with a nipple through the fabric JJ lowered her head until her lips were against Emily's.

"Emily, I love you. I've loved you for over six years and I want to make love with you." She began sucking on her companion's ear lobe sending fierce tremors through Emily's body.

With trembling hands Emily removed her shirt and bra freeing her breasts for JJ's touch. For a moment JJ let her gaze feast on their warm smoothness before she reached out, hands slowly brushing over each erect nipple. Then she lowered her mouth, sucking on one nipple and then the other. She let her tongue roll over each swollen peak and Emily moaned, pulling JJ closer.

Emily's body was on fire she was struggling to make sense of where the night had gone and the divine sensations cruising through her body. Pulling JJ away to look into her eyes she leaned in and kissed her deeply. "Jennifer, I love you. I loved you then, I love you now. I want to love you forever."

Grinning from ear to ear JJ whispered, "Kiss me again."

The two were lost after that bringing each other pleasure that neither had known before. While the blizzard raged outside a different storm brewed inside.

The End

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