DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Will never should have happened. This was an entry in the The FemSlash Advent Calendar :: Dog Days of Summer 2010.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ceej4[at]yahoo.com
The first time it happened was by accident. Emily and J.J. were sharing a room on a case in Kentucky when J.J. emerged from the bathroom wearing a towel and a sheepish smile.
"Sorry," she said as she rummaged through her bag, her back to Emily as she explained, "Forgot my shirt. I'm too tired to remember my own name."
As she was hurrying back to the bathroom, Emily was trying, unsuccessfully, to erase the just-seen image from her brain.
Since she had already been struggling with her attraction to the liaison, seeing J.J. so scantily clad was not what she needed in order to brindle her desire.
Whimpering, she slid under the covers and closed her eyes. Maybe sleep would envelope her quickly, devour her whole until not even dreams could find her.
She was not that lucky. She heard the bathroom door open and the light click off. Scrunching her eyelids tightly together did not keep J.J.'s sweet soapy scent from reaching her nor did it ward off the soft sound of J.J.'s feet patting around the room.
"Good night, Em," J.J. whispered before slipping into her own bed and turning off the lamp.
Emily opened her eyes a moment later to the welcoming sight of darkness. Sighing, she glanced at her roommate already asleep snuggled securely in bed. And even though she was exhausted, Emily knew she would not be following J.J. into slumber any time soon. Instead, she got up and pulled the curtains back just enough to allow the moon to illuminate the blonde's features.
J.J. stirred but did not wake, and Emily sat down on her bed to watch the gentle rise and fall of J.J.'s breathing until she was convinced she could look at J.J. without picturing her wrapped in a towel.
The second time had been anticipated. A party at Morgan's new property, which had a pool, meant swimsuits. Emily knew this and tried to prepare herself mentally. She had been working at the B.A.U. for over a year and was slowly opening herself up to the friendships she was making. Even though she had accepted her attraction to J.J. months earlier, she was still timid about her personal life.
It was an unnecessary precaution and one she was quickly learning was useless, especially where Penelope Garcia was concerned. She had no sooner arrived at the party wearing her respectable one-piece suit in a predictable black that Garcia had bounced over to her with drink in hand.
"I'm so glad you're here!"
Emily's smile was real as Garcia hugged her. "Me, too," she said and realized she meant it.
"Have you seen my hunk of chocolate?" Garcia asked. "He's going to melt on my fingers."
"Has he let you get that close?"
"Don't worry. I'll have him eating out of the palm of my hand." Garcia winked at Emily and then noticed Emily looking around. "She's not here yet."
Just as Emily was about to protest, she glanced at the house as the door slid open, J.J. appearing in a red bikini that fit her as if it had been custom made. Emily did a double take, her words dying in mid formation as her eyes greedily memorized every line of J.J.'s body. She heard Garcia laughing and forced her attention back to her bubbly friend.
"What?" she asked, a blend of irritation and desire making her voice a pitch higher than usual.
Garcia just grinned and motioned with her head to where J.J. was standing talking to Haley Hotchner. Emily didn't have to look to know who Garcia was referring to, so she gathered her strength in an effort to keep her gaze on the woman in front of her.
"She is a hottie," Garcia said as she twirled the straw in her neon pink drink. Emily opened her month to question Garcia's statement but a raised eyebrow had her swallowing her own denial. Instead, Emily practically deflated, her shoulders slumping as she sighed.
"She has no idea," Emily almost whispered. Again, Garcia laughed.
"Oh, honey, you are both so blind."
Emily shot her a smoldering glare but Garcia just smirked.
"My sweet, clueless brown-eyed girl. You should just ask her out."
"She's my best friend," Emily squeaked. She cleared her throat and then continued, "We work together. She's straight. It's not ever going to happen."
Garcia clucked her tongue. "So instead of taking a chance, you're just going to stare at her from afar?"
"Yes," Emily said with a firm nod.
"Well, that's not going to work for long," Garcia stage whispered.
"What are you two gossiping about?"
The voice stopped Emily, and she scowled at Garcia before turning to face the new arrival.
"Just the basic party chitchat," she answered with a noncommittal shrug. "Nothing life changing." She was proud of how steady she sounded, but she had to concentrate in order to keep from scanning J.J.'s body from head to toe.
J.J. studied her for a second, but then she smiled, dazzling and carefree, and Emily lost her breath for an moment. Luckily, Garcia chose to save her by picking up the thread of conversation. Emily was grateful, and although she never thought it possible, she was even more appreciative when J.J. finally put on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Wonders of wonders, Emily found herself thanking the heavens for cloud cover.
The third time it happened Emily was almost positive J.J. was testing her. They had gone out for lunch at the mall, J.J. promising a chocolate-covered pretzel if Emily would agree to stop by one of J.J.'s favorite shops. She didn't need to bribe Emily, and Emily suspected J.J. knew that, but the playful banter was worth the trouble.
So, Emily and J.J. spent most of their lunch hour trolling the stores and discarding various items until J.J. had found three outfits she thought would work for a friend's wedding.
"Do you like this one?" J.J. asked as she held up a green plaid blouse with a wide collar. Emily scrunched her nose in distaste, and J.J. laughed as she put the shirt back. She reached for Emily's hand, winding her pinky finger around Emily's as she pulled the other woman toward the dressing room. "You can help me decide," she said as they entered the back room.
J.J. let go as she turned to lock the door, and Emily slumped against the wall, repeating silently to herself that J.J. was her friend. It had become her mantra in the last six months. Just friends were becoming Emily's least favorite words in the English language.
Still, when J.J. began to undress, Emily had a flash in her mind of the same occurrence happening in much different circumstances. She shook her head in an effort to ignore the image and turned her attention to the clothes J.J. had brought in to try on. Pulling one flimsy, knee-length garment from its hanger, she regarded it with focused eyes. It was azure, made of silk and chiffon, with cup sleeves that would leave her shoulders mostly bare. J.J. didn't even have to try it on because Emily could picture her in it, and she was suddenly jealous of anyone else who got to see J.J. wearing it.
"You okay?" J.J. asked, and Emily glanced at her to see her slipping into another of the dresses, sun-touched skin being covered by the pale lavender material. Emily nodded, too afraid to speak. When J.J. presented her back to Emily and scooped her hair from her neck, Emily put the dress she had been holding to the side. "I hate zippers in the back," J.J. said.
"Admit it. This is why you really brought me along," Emily finally retorted.
"You caught me," J.J. said and leaned back into Emily, letting her hair fall, brushing Emily's cheek. Emily smiled despite knowing it was dangerous to get this comfortable with J.J. Resting her chin on J.J.'s shoulder as they observed each other in the mirror, Emily snaked her arms around J.J.'s waist. "You could come to the wedding with me," J.J. said. She pulled the other woman closer, resting her hands on Emily's.
Emily met J.J.'s eyes in the mirror, surprise making them mocha. "J.J."
J.J. smirked. "We have time to have a first, second, and third date beforehand." J.J. cocked her head to one side, her glance considering. "Can a wedding be considered a date?"
"I...I." Emily tried to move back, but J.J. stopped her and turned in her arms to face her, winding her own arms around Emily's neck.
"I could be way off base, but I honestly don't think I am. I've been waiting for you for almost a year to make a move. What's taking you so long?"
Emily blushed and ducked her head in an effort to hide the heat she could feel moving along her throat.
"I wasn't sure. I didn't want to be wrong."
J.J. lifted Emily's chin, forcing Emily's gaze back to her own.
"You aren't wrong."
Emily stared at J.J. for a long moment before a realization struck her. "You've been teasing me," she accused.
J.J. sighed. "Yes. For months."
Emily laughed. "Sweet, kind Jennifer Jareau has quite the evil streak."
"No, she just ran out of patience." J.J. pulled back. "Now, can we please pick out a dress so that we can start discussing more important matters?"
Emily shook her head. "You..." She laughed again. "Wow."
J.J. held the two other dresses up, one on either side of her. "Which one?" Astounded, Emily just looked at J.J. until the blonde shook the dresses. "Which one?"
Finally, Emily grinned. "Well, how about the lavender and the blue?"
"Okay. Why both?"
"The lavender for the wedding."
"Our first date."
Return to Criminal Minds Fiction
Return to Main Page