DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Short. Next to nothing. An unorganized retrospective. Find me at email@example.com.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The day after, she gathered up her books and slipped like a wraith from the room, unable to avoid catching the eye of the students at the tables near her. They looked up, glanced quizzically for a moment, then returned to their note taking, the oddity of her behavior a fleeting blip in their lives. They were concerned with grades, with perfect notes and the upcoming test and coming out on top. They were not concerned with her.
As she strode down the hallway, door flinging open behind her, she could still hear her voice. It was calm, the cadence engaging, the tone rising and falling. She was a skilled orator, had a way with words that made them more than they were. Falling from her tongue, they became witticisms, bon mots, hints of brilliance.
The voice followed her longer than she had thought it would, trailing along behind her as she put the classroom farther and farther away, resisting the interference of the droning tones of others.
The voice had been so cool that night before. "Jennifer, have you met my fiancée?"
Of course JJ hadn't met her fiancée. She hadn't known there was a fiancée, though in retrospect it seemed impossible that she hadn't. The communications department was small and she was a prized pupil, given access to the professors' lives in a way that other, less prominent students were not. It was why she had been at the party, one of a handful of non-faculty who had received a coveted invitation to celebrate the spirit of the holidays with the department chair at his home. She'd spent an hour agonizing over her outfit. She wanted professional yet alluring, wanted to entice Madeline away from the festive crowd to a semi-isolated room, wanted to feel her fingers gripping tightly in her hair and hear her whimpers as she tried to stifle that glorious voice. She wanted to be worldly and exciting.
A closed office door, a warm hand on her knee, and an oddly intimate look in Dr. Dries eyes. "Your work shows such promise, Jennifer. Have you thought about what you're going to do after graduation?"
And JJ had found it hard to breathe, let along think, when that hand began to inch ever so slowly up her thigh. Dr. Dries, Madeline, had been watching her intently, dark eyes growing even darker, edging on black. Her lips had been poised on the verge of something a smile, a smirk, an apology, an entreaty and the promise of what that might be drew a whimper from deep in JJ's throat.
She'd let that hand unbutton her jeans and slip inside, had braced her palms on the arms of her chair and pumped her hips up to meet long, slim fingers. She'd bitten her bottom lip and let her hair fall forward to obscure her eyes until she couldn't hold the rhythm any longer. Then she'd thrown her head back, biceps shaking with the strain of holding herself up, and she'd let a hiss turn into a pained, strangled cry. Under her clothes, she'd been sweaty, skin almost too sensitive.
Madeline, Dr. Dries, had smiled, and for the briefest moment, JJ had imagined a falcon carrying away its well ensnared prey.
"Why don't you let me counsel you, Jennifer?" she'd said. Her words were always clear and perfectly enunciated. It made her seem untouchable. Other students whispered words like aloof and elitist, but JJ saw poise, reserve, and perfection. "Together we'll find the right path for you."
And then the smile had turned almost affectionate. "I don't normally take such a personal interest. I like to avoid the implication of favoritism, but you're such a sublime specimen. I would hate to see your potential go to waste."
JJ's heart had still been racing and her ears had still been buzzing and she couldn't look away from the teasing sheen of moisture on Madeline's fingers. All she could manage was, "I would too."
"You'll understand, then, why we need to keep this to ourselves."
JJ wasn't stupid. She knew why Dr. Dries said that, knew it had little to do with the appearance of favoritism. She knew, also, that she wouldn't have talked to anyone about it anyway. She didn't need the reminder. She didn't need the warning.
She wanted to see Madeline naked. She wanted her in a bed, wanted to watch her elegant reserve crack and to be the cause of it. She wanted to see her sweat and hear her moan, wanted to run her fingers through long, dark hair and sit in class and watch Madeline lecture with the knowledge that she had been inside her. She wanted to come to mean something. If others knew, those things would be denied.
Over time, she checked through her list. Madeline naked was like heroin. She had long legs and a long torso and breasts that were small but full. She had a natural grace that made every move seductive. Her eyes reflected a confidence and knowledge that stole JJ's breath. Unlike the handful of partners JJ had been with before, she was never shy or self-conscious. She was powerful and knowing and reveled in it, and somehow that almost arrogant self-awareness made her even more compelling.
When she had her in a bed, and it was rarely, JJ committed the time to memory. She savored it pressed and took and worshiped. She took pride in the nails that dug into her back like claws, in the near crazed look in Madeline's eyes, in the way her dark hair clung wetly to her face.
Her fiancée was perfectly acceptable. He was cute, in a polished, academic sort of way, and painstakingly crafted. He had stylishly funky hair and geek chic glasses. Whatever else he might be, he looked the part.
JJ shook his hand, tried not to crumble into pieces at his feet.
"What did you think was going to happen?" Madeline asked her later, the two of them alone in an upstairs bathroom. It wasn't the way JJ had pictured things. Instead of hunger, she saw hints of pity reflected in Madeline's eyes.
And Madeline saw, in JJ's eyes, what the blonde had thought was going to happen. "You're so very young, Jennifer," she had said with a sigh and a hint of bemused affection. "It's best if we don't see each other again outside of class.
It was almost the end of term, and JJ made an 'A' in the class even though, when given the final, she stared it at for almost an hour without writing. In her mind, she had seen long legs and felt sharp nails, but she never felt guilty about the grade. She'd earned it. Whatever else, she'd learned a lot.
She learned enough to know when to be cautious.
Emily is reserved. She has dark eyes and a smile that hardly ever reaches them.
JJ tells herself that she doesn't have a type. She doesn't have a special weakness, a predisposition, or a predilection. She will not let history repeat itself.
Even so, she sometimes finds herself wondering what it would be like to see Emily naked, to have her in a bed and to make her sweat and moan. She wonders what it would feel like to watch her question a suspect and know that she's been inside her.
She's not stupid. She knows it's not a good idea and she knows why.
She wonders if that will be enough to stop herself.
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