DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: JJ's POV is in plain text; Emily's POV is in italics.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: JJ's storyline for season 3/4.

Parallel Lines
By gilligankane


You feel a kick and then there's a puddle at your feet, a wide look in your eyes. You stop mid-sentence, the rest of the "Hot-Fire Salsa" recipe hanging in the air, and Garcia glances back to see you standing in the middle of the bullpen, one hand covering your mouth and the other pressed against your stomach.

"Jay-J, is it…" But you shake your head viciously, because it's more painful then you thought it was going to be and it wasn't supposed to be for another couple of weeks. Apparently, the baby inside of you has a different opinion.

"Garcia, we've got to…"

"Say no more princess," she cuts you off, her hands already full with your coat and your bag and her cell phone pressed to her ear. Her words don't register in your mind, but she's suddenly looping an arm around your waist and shooing Morgan away and Hotch is smiling like a proud grandfather.

"Wait, where's Emily?" you ask, almost frantically. Garcia looks at Morgan, but Morgan is too busy jamming his finger at the down button on the elevator and when she looks back at you, she's smiling brightly and squeezing your fingers as the pain hits again.

"We'll have someone call her, don't you worry." She smiles again before she turns to Morgan and you wonder who's left to call her.

She's racing through the city, because her phone rang and it usually screams "Run!" at her, and now she's trained. The phone rings, and she goes.

It's almost pathetic.

She swerves around a stationary vehicle, hurling an expletive to the empty air around her, the sound of her voice being drowned out by some ridiculous CD one of her cousin's kids made for her: Vivian something-or-other. She usually lets the CD just run through once, tell them she loves it, then puts in something good like The Rolling Stones or The Who. But those kids mean the world to her, so as the CD lapses into silence, she pulls it out of the console and tosses it into the backseat where mix CD's fill the entire passenger side.

Her phone rings again. "Hey," she says, not looking at the caller ID. "Yes, I know, I know. I'm on my way." She swerves to the left again. "Well, tell her to calm down, because I'm only…ten minutes? Yeah, ten minutes away."

The caller clicks off and she hits the gas even harder, propelling her vehicle into the darkness.

She decides to make those ten minutes eight or less.

"Ah!" You scream out as the pain hits – hard. It was supposed to be easier than this; you remember reading somewhere that this was supposed to be easier. "Garcia," you whimper gracelessly. "Oh, fu…"

"There'll be none of that young lady," Dr. Holly declares cheerily as she strides into the room with a breezy smile. "How are we doing?"

You glare up at her and try to keep your scream in at the same time and end up biting down on your lip you feel blood between your teeth. Some people ask the stupidest questions, you think as the contraction pain settles. But you do like Dr. Holly. She's Amazon-ic – all tall frame and broad shoulders, and her smile seems to make your pain go away. Her eyes are dark and deep, and maybe it's because Emily looks the same way as Dr. Holly when she frowns. Maybe that's why you like her.

"Well, you're looking great. How bad is the pain?" Reflexively, your hand clamps down on hers the moment she gets close enough, so she can feel how bad the pain is for you. She only chuckles. "That bad, huh?"

You grit your teeth and get ready to shoot back an angry retort when it occurs to you that Emily still hasn't gotten here. "Garcia!" Your best friend is in the room instantly, her eyes wide and her smile expectant.

"What's shaking sugar doll?" She goes for adoring and comes off nervous and you can't help but wonder why her smile isn't as bright as it usually is.

"Where…is…Emily!" A contraction bowls you over, your question coming off as a demand, and you feel a little awful for the way you're screaming. It helps that Garcia only barely flinches and that Dr. Holly smiles.

"Breathe, JJ. Breathe," is all she tells you, scrambling down to your side, gripping your hand. As the pain grabs every fiber of your being, you forget she avoided the question.

At the last minute, she takes a left instead of a right at the light and ends up in front of a toy store, all rational thought gone for an instant. A stuffed animal, a stuffed animal, is the only thing she can process at the moment. She needs a stuffed animal, because every newborn baby should have a good, solid stuffed animal to help them through the dark times in their lives.

She smiles absently at the thought of the conservative teddy bear she's had since birth, a respectable brown Mr. Bear with all-seeing eyes and a wide string smile. That bear had gotten her through sleepless nights and being dumped for the first time and her parents' divorce and losing the under-seven soccer championship in Morocco.

She spots the old rabbit on a shelf in the back and her eyes lock on it, decide immediately that that is the one she wants. She probably pays double for it, but tucks it under her arm anyway and dodges four-year-olds and irate mothers, gets in her car, and drives.

Her phone rings again. "Prentiss." She sighs. "Would you hold onto your panties? I'm on my way."

A glance down at the rabbit with the sad smile. "Yeah, I made a stop. I'm on my way though, so tell her to keep that kid in until I get there."

She hits the "End' button and tosses the phone into the passenger seat, next to the rabbit. "I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming," she whispers to the empty car.

A deep breath, exhale.

A deep breath, exhale.

A deep breath, exhale.

You turn to Garcia with a red face, trying to smile through the pain. "I'm never having anymore kids. Ever," you repeat with emphasis, willing her to understand how much this is killing you.

She only laughs at you, her pink-tipped pigtails bouncing with her head motions. She thinks you're kidding, but you've never been more serious about anything in your life.

"I…mean…it," you say between breaths, the sentence hitching up at the end as another contraction hits you.

"Hey baby girl…" Morgan starts to say.

"No! No, no, no!" you scream at him. "You cannot be in here!" Garcia turns to frown at you, but you ignore her. "Men equals sperm and sperm equals babies and I really, really, really want to kill ALL men right now."

"Ah, JJ…"

"Morgan," he halts at the low tone of voice. "I swear to God, I will castrate you if you take another step closer." He hastily retreats and leans against the doorway casually, as if his manhood hadn't just been threatened by a 5'4 pregnant woman. "Thank you," you add as an afterthought. Dr. Holly strides back in before you can say anything else.

"Alright!" she says as she claps her hands together once. "Let's see where we're at."

She understands she'll never find a parking spot in the overcrowded parking lot, so she parks two blocks away, glad that she's in jeans and a hoodie and a good pair of running shoes today. She's going to run the rest of the way, with the rabbit tucked under her arm and her cell phone at the ready.

She skids to a halt when she reaches the doors, sliding past them a little, but she manages to catch the closing door and with a few quick steps, she's already climbed the stairs and stopped at the nurse's station.

"Maternity ward?" she manages to pant out. The young nurse behind the counter smiles warmly and points her down the hallway to her right.

"Good luck!" the nurse calls out as she takes off down the hallway.

"Push JJ, I need you to push!" You screw your eyes shut and tighten your vice grip on Garcia's hand, pushing as hard as you can.

"Alright, JJ, you're doing great, really, really great. I need a couple more big pushes, okay? You can do this!" You want to shove something – like your foot – into Dr. Holly's mouth, or up her ass, you think to yourself.


You push hard.

Time slows down as she stands outside the window of the room, the screams echoing off the walls. She can hear screaming, nothing much else, but she's smiling involuntarily, because in that room, a little life is being born and there's just something unique about that.

"You the father?" A male nurse jokes as he takes a stand next to her. She finds it ironic that a male nurse is asking, but she smiles politely.

"Yeah, something like that," she tells him as she grips the rabbit harder.  

There's a bit of dizziness, and you're light-headed for a minute or two, but then Dr. Holly places a small, warm, fuzzy bundle in your arms and the world stops spinning long enough for you to look down and smile at the little boy.

"It's a boy," you whisper to Morgan as he edges cautiously into the room, followed by Reid and Hotch. Your entire family surrounds you, welcoming your new one. "A perfect little boy."

"He's so little!" Garcia squeals and you laugh loudly as the room breaks the precious silence, each of them oo-ing and aw-ing your son.

"He sure is perfect," comes a warm voice by your side that makes you glance up and give a small smile.

"Emily!" the woman in the bed calls from where's she's sitting up, forehead sticky with sweat, her face tired and relaxed. She moves silently into the room, clutching the stuffed rabbit to her chest. "You're here," the other woman says, almost awed.

She chuckles and stretches her arms out, feeling ridiculous. "Wouldn't miss it for the world." She hesitates. "I got you something. Well, I mean, I got the baby something."

"Well, bring it over here. I'm not moving anytime soon, and these things aren't born with motor skills." She laughs a little deeper this time and ends up half-sitting, half-hopping down onto the empty side of the hospital bed.

"Wow," she says as she gets her first glimpse of the little boy. "He sure is perfect," she adds for clarification. The woman looks up at her and smiles widely.

"He is, isn't he?" She can only nod and smile softly in wonderment.

"He sure is, isn't he?" you respond softly, gazing down at the perfection in your arms. He looks likes the future and the possibilities and potential. He looks like potential.

"Yeah, he is." The voice pauses, and you look up again, catching Garcia's eye and the last couple of hours seem like a blur to you. "You know, he kind of looks like my dad; around the eyes."

You rest a warm hand on the arm next to yours, aware of the sadness permeating the sentence. "I just wish…" you squeeze as the words continue. "I just wish he could have been here, you know?"

"Do you want to hold him?" the blond asks, already passing the tiny life into her hands.

"Well, sure, I guess." She takes him and cradles his little head, rocking him back and forth, smiling down at the little smile.

"He's so little," she whispers and the blond laughs softly.

"They usually are Em, they usually are." She moves around the room in a sort of pattern, rocking the baby back and forth. The male nurse comes back in and watches her before he speaks up.

"You look good with him," and she turns to smile her gratitude at him. Her smile feels like it's going to fall off her face, but it's the first genuine smile she's worn in a long time, and while it feels a little different, she could get used to it.

"Yeah, I think I do."

"He looks like my father," the blond says nonchalantly from the bed. She turns with the baby in her arms and smiles again, this time a little sadder.

"I think he does a little too." She turns in a slow circle.


"Yeah" she asks, looking towards the blond with a distanced look, her gaze instantly straying back to the baby.

"Thanks for coming."

"Amy, you're more like my sister than my cousin." She drops her voice, a low, serious tone. "I wouldn't have missed this for the world."

"I think…I think your father would have loved to see this," you say softly as the room continues to congratulate you. You turn towards him and smile. "Will, your father would have loved to see this," you repeat, suddenly remembering how human Will can be when you're not paying attention. He smiles abashedly and wipes a hand across his face sheepishly, excusing himself to hallway.

The minute he leaves, your smile drops. "She didn't come, did she?" you ask Garcia, even as you know the answer.

Garcia sighs and shakes her head slowly. "No, sweetie, she didn't."

Garcia will never tell you that she didn't even call Emily; she won't tell you her first and only call was to William LaMontange Jr., who has been holed up in a motel outside of the city while he tried to convince you to marry him; she'll never tell you that Emily asked to never be told about what happened with you and your baby when she left the BAU; she'll never tell you that Emily begged and pleaded to be kept out of all of this, because it hurt just too much.

She'll never tell you that she didn't call, and she'll let you believe that Emily just gave up on you, and that she wanted you to forget her, and you'll end up marrying Will and having another kid and settling down and somewhere along the way, you'll forget that you ever lived a life with Emily Prentiss in it.

Amy will smile at her from the bed and promptly drift off into a deep sleep and you'll get permission to walk the halls with little Noah in your arms. She'll glide down the tiled halls, letting the old women smile at the newborn and old men to bestow their old-time wisdom on her, assuming she's more than just "Auntie Emily."

She'll show Noah off at the nurse's station and she'll turn the instant she hears the low crying, and she'll investigate, poking her head around the corner and she'll see the man crouched down on the balls of his feet, his hands in his head, his sobs louder here. She'll think about asking him if he's alright – even if he's clearly not – or maybe offer him an ear to listen, but Noah will squirm a little in her embrace, so she'll head back to Amy's room.

She'll think she sees a woman with pink-tipped pigtails, and she'll immediately think it's Garcia, and that JJ finally had her baby, but then she'll remember that the odds of JJ having a baby the same time that she's in the same hospital are just out of the realm of possibility.

She'll be wrong, but she'll never know it. And she'll forget about the man crying in the hallway, and the pigtailed woman and she'll help Amy raise Noah and the part of her life where she was an FBI agent and in love with a small town girl will just disappear under a pile of refrigerator art and field trip permission slips and Little League and summer camp, and she'll never remember she used to be someone else other than a mom to a little blond haired boy with blue eyes.

(Maybe someday, Henry will makes friends with a little boy named Noah, who has two mommies, and they'll grow up together and become best friends and someday they'll realize just who they are to each other - how their parent's lives intersected in way they couldn't even begin to imagine and they'll set out to fix the broken lives their parents lived. Maybe not.)

The End

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