DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was all atfm’s fault; so as punishment, she got to beta. Thanks, Maxi. :) This one is dedicated to a very special group of ‘elderly’ individuals: eclecticfan, fewthistle, ralst, and shaych_03.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Agent Jennifer Jareau walked down the hallway toward her office, an extra bounce in her step and a perpetual smile plastered on her face. Today was the day Emily Prentiss returned from her week-long vacation, and JJ couldn't wait to lay eyes on the other woman. The past week had been the longest of her life, completely insufferable, without her 'Emily fix' every morning. Looking across the table at Spencer Reid and Derek Morgan just didn't have the same effect. No, she craved those gorgeous dark eyes and that amazing smile that only Emily could give, the one that filled JJ with delight and wonder. And in just a few moments, JJ would finally have the cure for what ailed her. Increasing her stride, she hurried to retrieve the files for the briefing.
In the conference room, Reid fiddled with the ends of his tie while Morgan and Penelope Garcia, analyst extraordinaire, exchanged their usual flirty barbs as they waited for the arrival of the rest of the team.
"Uh-uh, Baby Girl, that was so not how it happened and you know it."
"Well, it certainly sounded like that little mouse got the better of you." Garcia turned toward Reid. "You were there, Reid; give us your take on it." Garcia winked at the nervous profiler, urging Reid to play along.
"Um, well, you did kind of squeak when it ran up under your pants leg." Reid tilted his head and shrugged at Morgan, the corners of his mouth threatening to turn up into a grin.
"I do not squeak!" Morgan's voice took on a lower tone than usual, almost as if he was unconsciously adding to the defense of his manhood. Garcia's resulting rich laughter floated across the room and out into the hallway, catching the attention of the woman who was poised to enter.
Emily strode through the door and grinned at the familiar sight. She'd really missed the playful banter, the round table discussions, the profiling of the cases, but most of all, she'd missed seeing JJ on a daily basis. A single smile from the media liaison was all she ever needed to make it through even the most difficult of days. She walked further into the room and took her usual seat.
"So, what's this about a mouse?" asked Emily, raising an eyebrow in question and swiveling her chair toward the one person she knew would spare no details.
Garcia didn't miss a beat as she launched into the tale of Morgan and the mouse as Emily sat back in her chair and smiled. Her vacation had been relaxing, even enjoyable most of the time, but it was great to finally be home. She was so involved in Garcia's rendition of the hulk and the mouse that she didn't notice JJ's arrival, but upon entering the room, JJ hadn't missed the profile of the familiar form, perched back in the leather chair, arms resting comfortably on the polished wood, giving every appearance that Emily had had a very relaxing vacation.
JJ's face broke out in a full-fledged smile as she made her way toward the front of the room. Walking around the table behind Emily's chair, JJ positioned herself on the other side of the round table so that she was directly across from the other woman, her need to recreate the familiar scenario greater than her need to meet Emily's gaze. She wanted everything to be perfect when she looked into Emily's eyes. Placing the stack of files down on the table, JJ finally turned her focus on the chair that had been empty for far too long.
As if sensing someone watching her, Emily fought the urge to swivel her chair away from the very excited Garcia, who was just getting to the part where Morgan had frantically removed his pants, to turn her attention on JJ. So, she very politely continued to enjoy the charades being performed before her, chuckling aloud when Morgan put his hands on his hips and looked down at the floor, shaking his head as he met his fate with resignation. When Garcia moved to give Morgan a teasing hug, Emily finally gave in to her needs and swiveled around, rolling her chair closer to the table. Still amused by Garcia's tale, the smile she wore was genuine, and she took advantage by turning it full force onto JJ.
The moment JJ had been waiting for was upon her. This was it - dark, shining eyes and that gorgeous smile, both being focused directly at her, and only her. Emily was really here, sitting just across the table, completing the image JJ had been playing in her head. She knew she should've been overjoyed with the defining moment, but instead, JJ found herself staring slack-jawed at the very woman she'd been looking forward to seeing. Blue eyes slammed shut as she desperately tried to erase the picture before it could take shape in her thoughts, but it was too late, the image had already been burned into her mind.
JJ quickly conjured up every image of Emily she'd ever had, whether real or imagined, in hopes that she could overlay the likenesses over the one that was currently taking center stage in her mind. But, instead, the opposite effect took control, spreading through her thoughts like a virus, superimposing the Emily of today over the Emilys of yesterday. Everywhere JJ looked in her mind's eye, the very last image she had of Emily was smiling back at her. Even one particularly wonderful, amazing fantasy of JJ's had morphed into a virtual nightmare. JJ screwed her eyes closed tightly, trying to hold on to her favorite image, but it, too, had been ruined. Now, when she imagined herself lying naked on cream-colored silk sheets, perspiration coating her firm breasts and taut stomach as she focused her gaze on the space between her bent knees to spy Emily's smiling face looking up at her, all she could see was . . . BANGS!!!
"Oh, my God." JJ's pitiful plea, coupled with her closed eyes and pale face, prompted Emily to stand and quickly move around the table. She spared a glance at her colleagues and was relieved to see the three still engaged in a teasing match. She gently placed her hand on JJ's forearm, gripping carefully.
"JJ," Emily whispered softly as she slowly led the blonde to the far corner of the room. "Are you okay?"
JJ could only shake her head back and forth, knowing if she opened her eyes the abomination would still be there the fringe of dark, shiny hair cut short and straight across Emily's forehead. Bangs ranked right up there with the dreaded mullet, and the sudden, frightful image of the dark hair morphing into the very hairstyle JJ had been thinking of brought a groan from her lips.
"Do you need to lie down?" Emily was becoming concerned but wasn't quite ready to call the others' attentions to the possible problem. She was just glad that Hotch and Rossi had been held up for some reason, giving her more time to see to JJ's needs.
Fighting to regain control of her senses, JJ wasn't quite willing to face what she knew to be the truth. She'd fought off a pack of wild dogs and even shot a man through the glass of the B.A.U.'s bullpen without flinching, but facing Emily Prentiss with bangs was simply too much for her to bear. In fact, she'd rather see Emily cut her silky locks into a shorter hairstyle. This more preferable image caused yet another groan, but the utterance sounded much more pleasurable. Just the thought of running her hands through the shorter hair brought a dreamy smile to JJ's face.
"C'mon, JJ, let's go to your office for a bit." Emily guided the other woman toward the door, smiling at Garcia to assure her that everything was okay. The analyst just nodded her head and made it a point to keep Morgan and Reid occupied; however, Garcia kept an eye peeled on the door, watching as the two women stepped through the doorway. It hadn't escaped Garcia's notice that JJ was doing everything in her power to keep from looking at Emily. Chuckling, she continued to tease Morgan about her pet mouse.
JJ leaned her head heavily against Emily's shoulder, effectively blocking her view of the other woman's face. She was so close to Emily, the only way she could possibly get a peek at the dreaded bangs was if she were to pull herself around in front of the profiler. She did occasionally take a moment to glance at the passersby, extremely grateful not to see the face of either Aaron Hotchner or David Rossi. Concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, JJ allowed Emily to lead the way.
"Okay, we're here. Do you think you can sit without toppling over?" Emily walked around the desk and eased JJ into the chair. "Have you been feeling ill?" She reached over and placed her hand gently on JJ's forehead. JJ leaned into the touch and closed her eyes once again, knowing that if she were to touch Emily's forehead, she'd feel nothing but bangs. She was definitely ill now.
Emily slid her hand lower and cupped JJ's cheek. Turning the blonde's face toward her own, she said, "JJ, look at me." JJ scrunched up her face and blew out a slow breath, finally opening her eyes to gaze directly into Emily's face, the nearness to the horrible bangs causing JJ to flinch.
"JJ? What is it? You're starting to worry me." Emily leaned even closer. "Are you in pain? Tell me."
"Your bangs!" The words were out of JJ's mouth before she could call them back. She flinched again.
Emily slowly removed her hand from JJ's cheek. "My bangs?"
"Um, yeah," JJ said sheepishly. "I don't like them."
"You don't like bangs? Or, you don't like them on me?" Emily hadn't really been too keen on changing her hairstyle, but her mother had gone on and on about how Emily needed to do something different with her hair. Emily had hoped that perhaps the change would get JJ's attention, and apparently, it had.
JJ watched as Emily's face fell, and she reflexively reached out and took the other woman's hand. "I'm sorry, Emily; I didn't mean to blurt it out like that." JJ forced herself to look into the sad dark eyes, just managing to keep from flinching yet again. "It's just a style I've never cared for."
Emily looked down at their joined hands and squeezed gently. "Me neither."
"What? Then why would you allow some moron to give it to you?" JJ kept her tone light and further softened her words by interlacing her fingers with Emily's.
"Would you believe I just wanted to shut my mother up?"
JJ remembered her short time with the Ambassador, and she nodded her understanding. "Actually, I would believe that."
The two women stared at each other for a moment and then burst out in laughter. JJ was the first to regain control.
"Okay, what do you say we go finish up the briefing? It's just a bit of paperwork anyway. And then, you and I will ask for the afternoon off so that we can go find someone who can get rid of those hideous bangs."
Emily smiled and pulled JJ from her chair. "You've got a deal."
With their hands still entwined, the two women started for the door, but stopped abruptly when another image made its way into JJ's thoughts. Reaching over, she fluffed Emily's bangs and grinned widely.
"Jeez, you look just like Kate Jackson."
Return to Criminal Minds Fiction
Return to Main Page