DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 3x20 Lo-Fi

Reason To Rush
By gilligankane


This isn't happening. This can't be happening. Things were supposed to go a certain way and the plan was tossed out the window, trampled by speeding cars and swept into a small, dark, damp sewer so carelessly that it leaves JJ standing there repeating the same word over and over again.

This can't be happening.

White-hot heat surrounds the area, pinning her breath in her lungs and scarring her eyes. She feels hands, rough calloused hands, pulling on her arm, pulling her away from the wreckage and debris. The owner of the hands – the wrong hands – is yelling in her ear desperately. Jay-jay, come on!

She's never hated Will's accent so much before. She hates the way he drawls out JJ, saying it slowly, like it's something only he's allowed to do. She hates that he's trying to keep her away from the smoldering pile of twisted metal and melted rubber.

He's pulling her away from Emily.

Oh God. Emily. "Emily!" And she's running, breakneck speed, towards the car – what remained of the car – ignoring pulling hands and restraints.

It's Morgan who grabs her around the waist, low and hard, pulling her into him, one hand behind her head, pressing her into his shirt.

"Stop JJ, stop."

"Emily!" She yells urgently, but Morgan muffles her voice with his body.

"JJ, you need to let them get to her," he tries to say calmly, motioning to the paramedics she didn't see before, clothed in fire gear, attempting to pull Emily out of the rubble.

"Emily!" Her fists beat into Morgan's chest and he pulls her in tighter, his own tears clouding his vision. "I can't…Emily! Let me go! Let me go!"

Will is by her side again – god, why can't she get rid of him – debating whether to take JJ from Morgan's arms or to leave his overly emotional, frightened fiancé in the arms of another man. JJ is twisting and screaming like a drunken man, arms flailing as this hulk of man tries to hold her back, tries to protect her.

"Jay-Jay, try and calm…" His words die in his mouth as he sees the look of desperation, of defeat, in her eyes.

"Emily! Goddamnit Morgan! Let. Me. Go. Let me go!" Morgan staggers back from a blow to the chest just as a gurney comes into view, effectively stopping JJ in her tracks. Will places a heavy hand on her shoulder, but she shrugs it off, arms wrapped around her waist, cradling her stomach reflexively.

A medic is blocking her view, but JJ can't force herself to move, to step one foot to the right, to know if the person on that gurney is alive or dead. She has horrible images floating around in her head:

Emily, gasping for breath, only to have fire filing her lungs.

Emily, buried under rubble and debris so hot, so thick, she can't scream for help.

Emily, strapped onto the white bed on wheels, one limp hand hanging helplessly off the side, small drops of blood marking her trail.

Emily, dead.

The gurney gets closer and closer to where she's standing and she realizes that even if the men in white push her aside, force her from their path, she'll still see the body, dead or alive. She'll still see lifeless eyes, dulled and glazed.

She thinks about everything Emily will miss: her baby's birth, the upcoming Christmas party, Garcia's date recaps. Emily will miss everything; everything that matters, and everything that doesn't.

The gurney is five feet from her now, and she still isn't moving. Please let her be fine, she begs silently, achingly. Please let her be okay. "Please," she whispered.

"Hey JJ." Emily appeared out of thin air, all smiles and twinkling eyes. JJ smiled back, the excitement of seeing the other agent betraying her.

"Hey back." JJ glanced down at the file she was reading, but a moment later, she looked back up to see the brunette still looking at her intently. "Sorry," she pulled her attention away from the manila folder and focused it completely on Emily. "Did you need me for something?"

Emily fidgeted with her hands, moving her watch up an inch and back down slowly and methodically. "I just want to say congratulations. Again, I mean," she added, frowning slightly.

"Uh, thanks." JJ smiled again.

Emily turned and started to walk away. "So, I'll see ya later." As she reached the door, she stopped and looked back at JJ. "Are you happy?"

To say she was surprised at the question was an understatement. "Excuse me?"

"Are you happy, with Will, and the coming baby and all?" Emily repeated the question slowly, hoping she wasn't intruding and being too personal. JJ just stared at her and blinked, once, twice, three times.

"Yes," she said slowly, as if she was convincing herself as well as Emily.

"You're going to be a great mom," Emily said, changing topic gears so quickly, JJ thought her head was spinning.

"Why are you asking me?" Emily smiled softly and JJ could tell she was trying to think up a good reason for asking such a blatantly personal question.

"Deciding whether or not I have to give Will 'the talk,'" was her creative-lacking response.

"Why are you asking me?" JJ asked adamantly, her face set in determination. Emily leaned her head out into the New York Precinct hallway and ducked back inside, shutting the conference room door soundly behind her.

"I've thought about this for a long time. And this morning, when I found out about the baby, I decided what I was going to do." Emily smiled at her, but the smile didn't reach her eyes – not this time. "I understand that this is entirely rash and seems like I didn't think this through, but I did. There's so much I'm jeopardizing here and I needed to make sure…you're happy, right? Cause if you're not then…"

"Em, where are you going with this?" JJ wasn't ready for the way Emily's eyes fluttered shut at the sound of her nickname.

"You the one who's good with words. Me? Not so much." She noted the look of urgency in JJ's eyes and tried to wrap her whole "speech" up. "If you're not happy with him, I guess I just wanted you to know that if you want, I mean, not to push this on you, but I could be there for you, and of course the baby, and I just wanted you…to know that," Emily finished lamely, her gaze focused on a point directly past JJ's head.

"Uh, thanks," she repeated, feeling nothing like the press liaison she was. Emily nodded her head emphatically.

"I'm gonna go, see if Hotch or Morgan needs anything. Do you want something to, I don't know, eat or drink or…yell at, whatever pregnant women do?"

JJ laughed, involuntarily holding her waist yet again. "Emily, I…" The brunette agent looked at her skeptically. "What if I did say that I wasn't happy?" she asked softly.

The older woman unconsciously straightened her posture. "I'd do whatever it takes to make you happy," she promised, so much conviction laced in her words.

"Kiss me." The demand is simple, compact, and honest. Emily nods once and crosses the distance between them in a stride and a half, her hands instantly settling on the blonde's hips, JJ's arms wrapping around Emily's neck, ridding themselves of any space between their bodies. Lips met and JJ felt her knees tremble; felt the world shake right under her feet, and it was all she could to hang on and hope that Emily held her up.

The ride to the hospital is horribly tense and drawn out, each bump in the road tightening the knot in JJ's stomach, cutting off her air supply. Her hand is wrapped around Emily's, their fingers intertwined tightly. Her head is close to brunette hair and she's whispering soft words into Emily's ears.

"You make me so happy," she whispers again and again. "You make me so, so happy Emily."

I love you, she says in her head, her blue eyes boring into brown ones, trying to get her message across, trying to make Emily understand just how much JJ loves her.

Her stomach turns again, the knot tightens desperately, and her free hand rests on the growing bump. The ambulance turns a corner slowly, careful not to disrupt the two women in the back.

They're not rushing to the hospital.

There isn't a reason to.

The End

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