DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fic lost part of its intended spoof, although had I stuck to canon and included Will and baby, it would have been the queen of all spoofs. Written for Passion & Perfection LJ Community's 2010 Easter Spoof Challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To darandkerry[at]yahoo.com
Race of a Lifetime
"JJ, I am sooo sorry," Emily apologized for what seemed like the hundredth time in the past half hour. She checked her mud-stained watch and glanced toward the white screen that separated them from the other patients in the ER. "What's taking them so long?"
JJ worked to pry open her mud-caked eyelids and tried not to moan when the harsh, bright light shone down into her eyes. Pin pricks to her pupils couldn't have possibly hurt worse. "It's only been a few minutes, Emily."
Emily wrung her hands and began to pace as best she could in the tiny space, leaving behind a muddy footprint with each step. Covered almost from head to toe in mud, she looked like a female version of the Swamp Thing.
"I should've just stayed on the course," Emily said, just able to keep from cursing, but failing with her next breath. "I shouldn't have let that damn George Boston get to me like that."
JJ wanted to agree, but she knew it would only make Emily feel worse. Besides, Special Agent Boston was a real asshole. "It's over, Em, let it go."
"I can't let it go, JJ," Emily replied, her guilt beginning to gnaw at her insides. She eased a hand to her hair and attempted to run it through, but the dried mud on both snared her fingers, trapping it like a fly in a spider web. She grimaced and struggled to free her hand. "I keep seeing the tears in Josh Boston's eyes." The tow-headed little boy's blue eyes had stared up at Emily with big ol' crocodile tears welled up in the corners, right before he burst out crying, and all because Emily and JJ had nosed him and his dad out of first place in the sack race at the department's Easter festival. Of course, that hadn't stopped Emily from accepting the winning prize.
JJ hadn't actually seen the boy's tears; she'd only seen stars. The last thing she remembered about the race was being forced to dive face first into a huge puddle of water and then sliding free of the sack to cover several more yards along a muddy path. When Emily had decided to go airborne, JJ had had no other choice but to follow.
"You know," JJ said, finally closing her eyes to relieve some of the pain. "At first, I'd thought that you'd only veered off the edge of the course to pass Agent Boston because you wanted that giant chocolate rabbit."
Emily pulled a guilty face and was ever so grateful that JJ had closed her eyes. She had veered off course for the first place prize and it really was one big-ass chocolate bunny - but it had been Boston's final taunts at the very end of the race that had led her to take one final leap and angle back toward the course and the right corner of the finish line. Leaving her feet had been pure instinct.
"I still think you should have given the boy the rabbit," JJ continued her line of thought, having heard from Garcia that Emily hadn't surrendered the grand prize to the crying boy. JJ had been too busy trying not to lose consciousness to pay attention to anything other than her pounding head and ringing ears.
"Hey, I earned that rabbit!" Emily defended her right to chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. Her hang-dog expression melted from her face and left behind dried streaks of mud. "I gave the kid those boxes of Peeps that I won at the shooting gallery. That should count for something."
JJ braved lifting a right eyelid. "You hate Peeps."
Emily shrugged. "Yeah, well, he seemed to like them."
"Probably because he knew you weren't going to give up the rabbit," JJ said knowingly. She raised a muddy, gray-colored eyebrow and dared Emily to deny her claim.
"I might have," Emily fibbed weakly and toed the floor with her right cross-trainer, looking every bit like a child who'd been caught red-handed doing something she shouldn't and then had hurried to defend her actions, no matter how feeble it might sound.
JJ didn't reply; she just gave Emily a look, one she'd perfected over the years to use whenever she needed to call the other woman on her bullshit. There wasn't a chance in hell that Emily would freely hand over chocolate to anyone.
"Okay, so I wouldn't have given it to him." Emily immediately caved; she never could get anything past JJ. "I'm sure he'll get enough chocolate in his Easter basket to rot out the rest of his baby teeth."
JJ opened her mouth to respond, but the arrival of a doctor saved Emily from a verbal chastisement. "Ms. Jarreau, I'm Doctor Guidry. Sorry for the delay; it's been rather busy today." A tall, gorgeous brunette moved into the room and stepped next to JJ's gurney, smiling sweetly at her new patient. Emily glared at the woman and moved to JJ's other side.
"Actually, Doctor, I'm feeling much better. Just a bit of a headache," JJ said with a slight smile.
The doctor looked from JJ to Emily and then back again. "Mud wrestling accident?" she teased as she removed a penlight from her lab coat pocket to check JJ's pupil responses.
"No, more like Olympic sack racing," JJ replied and glanced toward Emily. "Some people can be quite competitive."
Emily eased her hand into JJ's, glowered at the pretty doctor, and showed just how competitive she could be. "It was an accident," she said as she moved her other hand to JJ's shoulder and rubbed gently.
JJ's pupils widened perceptibly and not because of the light that was being directed at them. A shiver raced down her spine and she fought to stay in the present, wanting nothing more than to just close her eyes and imagine how good it would feel if Emily were to move her hand lower and slightly to the left.
The doctor laughed. "I'd have loved to have seen that race," she said, placing her fingers on the inside of JJ's other wrist. "I hope you won." She counted the beats of JJ's pulse and waited to hear about the outcome of the sack race, although she was actually more interested in knowing if the two women had ever acted on the feelings they so obviously shared. From their nervous exchanges, she'd bet they hadn't.
"We did," Emily answered proudly and looked over at the tips of chocolate bunny ears that stuck out of her bag. She couldn't wait to bite into the solid milk chocolate.
"It's certainly good to know that your efforts didn't go to waste," the doctor said, jotting down a few notes on a chart. "Well, I think you're just fine, Ms. Jarreau," she paused momentarily to gauge Emily's reaction to her purposely chosen words, and the harsh glare aimed at her almost made her laugh. "I'd like to do a CAT scan to be sure. I'll send a nurse in right away so that you can go home and wash off all that mud."
"That'd be great," JJ replied gratefully. The dried mud had really begun to itch.
The doctor nodded and started for the door, turning at the last minute to issue instructions to Emily. "Oh, and Ms. Jarreau really shouldn't be alone tonight. You'll need to wake her every couple of hours, just as a precaution." With a nod, she hurried from the room. A little push certainly couldn't hurt.
Great minds, or rather nervous women, really did think alike. JJ looked up into dark eyes and smiled. "I can ask Garcia to come over."
"That's okay; I don't mind," Emily said quickly, stilling her rubbing motion. Her thumb, however, didn't seem to get the signal as it continued to ease back and forth along a mud-covered t-shirt. "If you don't mind, that is."
JJ read between the lines. Maybe it was time that they finally had that much needed talk, but not now, not here. "Depends," she gestured toward Emily's bag. "You gonna share your chocolate?"
Emily sighed dramatically. "Hmm, I don't know," she said with an added hint of uncertainty. "I guess you deserve at least a taste." If Emily had her way, JJ would be tasting far more than just chocolate, but first she had to make sure that the other woman was truly okay. "My place or yours?"
"Yours," JJ answered without a moment's hesitation. "I've got a change of clothes in my bag." Emily frowned, but before she could ask why JJ had felt the need to pack an extra set of clothing, a nurse came bustling into the room.
"Ms. Jarreau, I'm here to take you for your scan." She moved to the end of the gurney and jockeyed it into position to slip around the screen. "You can wait here," she said to Emily. "We won't be long." Expertly maneuvering the gurney, she rolled JJ from the room.
Her adrenaline wearing dangerously thin, Emily plopped down into a chair and exhaled tiredly. She glanced at her bag and reached for her chocolate bunny.
She'd need all her strength when JJ returned. The real race the one she'd been training for all her life - was about to begin.
An eighth of a giant rabbit ear disappeared, and Emily stared down at the asymmetrical bunny. She just hoped there would be enough chocolate to sustain her on what she hoped would be a very long journey.
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