DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This one smacked me in the head, out of the blue. Seriously, I don't know where this came from. Thanks to Sofia_lindsay for betaing and listening to me whine. You so rock! ;)
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Skippin' the U-Haul
Emily sat in her car playing with the hem of her jacket. It was simple, black, understated not the typical look you would wear to a wedding, but this wasn't any wedding. This was JJ's wedding to Will. She had been avoiding the blonde as much as possible at work for the last week, which was a little hard when you're flying through the sky in a metal tube. At those moments, she opted for the earbuds and an indulgence in her rediscovered love...80s metal rock, particularly the ballads. It reminded her of her high school days and it seemed fitting for the childish feelings she'd been having ever since she practically shoved JJ into Will's arms. She was angry at herself for being so stupid and even angrier at JJ for being so easily led.
She looked at her watch realizing that she had wasted as much time as possible. The ceremony starts in fifteen minutes and she was expected to show up the same amount of time earlier. She was putting off the inevitable. She knew it. Closing her eyes, she mentally opened the box in her heart labeled JJ and neatly stuffed her feelings away and locked it behind her. Taking a deep breath, she stepped from the car.
"You can do this, Emily Prentiss."
The chapel was small and very non-descript. Emily eyed the guest sign-in book. There were exactly ten names already on there, half of those were the BAU team. The profiler quickly deciphered that JJ's parents weren't on the list. She vaguely recalled an on-the-plane conversation JJ was having with Garcia about not inviting them. It was one of the many pre-wedding Garcia gush-fests that Emily tuned out with her IPod. She had come to dread seeing Garcia board the plane because she knew she was trapped for hours of schoolgirl giggling. It took all the brunette had not to strangle the tech goddess because she was pretty damn sure that Garcia had an inkling of Emily's feelings for JJ, and that thought just pissed her off more.
"Speak of the devil," the blonde techie was acting like she had drunk a couple dozen double venti mocha frappucinos.
"Not in church you don't!"
"This is technically a non-denominational chapel, not quite as sacred in my book."
"Yeah, well, you're a heathen," the brunette crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow at that comment, "Look, the pre-wedding jitters have got JJ in a tiz. Go talk to her, please."
"Why me? I'm not good at this stuff."
"Oh, maybe because she keeps asking for you, hotshot. Are you sure you're a profiler?"
"Haha!" Garcia chucked her on the arm, as if she was going into the game to throw the winning touchdown, leaving Emily to finish her dirty work.
Emily softly knocked on the plain wooden door. A part of her hoped that JJ would yell for her to go away. That small part of her didn't think she could handle seeing JJ right now. The rest of her couldn't stand the thought of never seeing her again.
"Fuck," Emily muttered before putting on a stoic face.
The brunette cracked the door open and peeked in. JJ faced the mirror with her back to Emily, head bent over diligently fighting with some unknown piece of material.
"Hey," JJ spun around at Emily's voice and Emily nearly passed out on the spot. Standing before her was the most beautiful vision of a woman she'd ever seen, and it took her breath away. JJ's long blonde hair was pulled up loosely in a clip and strands of blonde hair fell softly around her face, scrunched into curls all over. The dress was a traditional white but with bare shoulders and a deep V in the front that ran well below the bra line.
"Em! I'm so glad you made it!" She hugged Emily and the brunette allowed herself the momentary luxury of burying her face in the soft curls of JJ's hair and breathing in her scent. She pulled back before the ache in her chest threatened to overtake her.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world," the enthusiasm of the words didn't quite reach her eyes, but JJ didn't notice since she'd already started pacing and studying the fascinating pattern on the carpet. "Wow, you're nervous, huh?"
"No, not really," blue eyes jumped up to catch chocolate brown, "not about that anyway." JJ paused, gathering her thoughts, but her eyes never left the brunettes. Emily felt a moment of hope make her heart flutter. "I haven't told anyone this and I'm scared of how this is going to completely change everything."
"It's fine, JJ. You can tell me," Emily reached for JJ's hand.
"I'm transferring to the New Orleans office," Emily was sure the earth was opening up and swallowing her because there was nothing under her feet to hold her up.
"Oh, um, that's " she started to say 'great' but she didn't mean it, "that's JJ, are you sure?" JJ let go of Emily's hands and walked towards the mirror. She looked at her image before training her eyes on Emily's reflection. "Isn't that what's supposed to happen when you get married? Someone has to go. Nothing stays the same."
There was a knock at the door, "Are you ready, JJ?" It was Hotch's voice on the other side.
"Just a couple more minutes," Emily made a move to leave but stopped with her hand still on the knob.
"He can move here," Emily's voice caught. This was too much. This hurt too bad. For a brief moment, the profiler had thought that it would hurt less to have JJ leave, but she realized she was wrong.
"He doesn't want to, too cold he says. Besides, all of his family is there and they can help with the baby," the blonde had stopped looking at Emily's reflection, instead she looked down at the diamond on her finger thinking that she should be happier today than she is.
Emily turned back around. "We can help with the baby, JJ. We're your family too," she could feel the tears welling up in her eyes, and she tried to fight them back for JJ's sake. JJ turned and looked at Emily, the blue eyes that once danced with joy were dull with resignation.
"What other choice do I have?"
The desolation in JJ's eyes gripped Emily's heart like a vice. The tears that had been threatening to come fell unashamedly down her face. Something told Emily that this was it, this was the last time she would ever see JJ. The last image she'd have of the blonde was one of utter emptiness. If this was to be her last memory of JJ, she wanted to make it one worth remembering, one that would lay all the truth bare.
In two long strides, Emily crossed the room and kissed JJ solidly and gently, letting all of her feelings for the blonde be told in the connection of their bodies. When she stepped back, JJ swayed before opening her eyes. The dull blue was vibrant again, a look of wonder etched into her beautiful features. This was the way Emily wanted to remember JJ. Without a word, the brunette turned and left the room before her common sense was permanently sent on vacation. It was better this way.
JJ stood shell-shocked in the room, a shaking hand touching her still tingling lips. The closing of the door roused the blonde out of her stupor.
"What the ?" She bolted from the room, racing down the hallway behind Emily.
"Emily!" The brunette brushed at the tears flowing down her face. She ended up in the parlor outside the chapel doors, suddenly panicking not knowing where to go, when she felt herself spun around by her arm.
JJ's brows were furrowed and her blue eyes had turned the color of ice, "What was that about?"
"I ," Emily stumbled before JJ continued.
"You kissed me, like really kissed me."
"JJ, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have. I have no right to ," JJ pulled her in for a kiss, effectively shutting up the rambling woman. Emily let a little moan escape her at the surprise, but pulled back to look at the blonde.
The flinging open of the chapel doors startled both women causing them to jump apart.
"JJ, are you ready?" Hotch looked particularly dashing in his tux, playing the role of pseudo-father perfectly.
"Um, yeah, I guess," she reached for the arm that Hotch extended and hooked her own through it. Emily was standing there her mouth open when Garcia came rushing past the two entering the church.
The blonde grabbed at Emily's arm, "Come on, Em, we're starting." Emily, however, didn't budge causing Garcia to screech to a halt in mid yank. She saw the lost look in the brunette's eyes and found herself taking her hand, squeezing. Suddenly, she felt incredibly guilty for rubbing JJ's engagement in Emily's face. It wasn't meant to hurt. If anything, she had hoped that Emily would deal with this long before the day of the wedding.
"Hey Emily," Garcia gave a gentle tug, making the profiler look at her. Emily brushed away a fresh tear, feeling a rush of exhaustion overtake her. Her shoulders slumped.
"Garcia," the taller woman started to try to explain.
"No, don't. Emily, I've kept quiet long enough, but don't you dare mess this up. You got it?" Garcia poked a finger into Emily's shoulder for emphasis. The desolate agent just nodded, "Now, come on, we've got a wedding to attend."
"We are gathered here today " the words of the preacher droned in Emily's head without really being heard. She was completely focused on keeping herself together that she had to be elbowed by Garcia to stand when Hotch walked JJ down the aisle and gave her away.
Emily was trying to make sense out of the recent events. She kissed JJ. JJ kissed her back, and she could feel it between them. She knew she wasn't crazy. JJ wanted this too, her heart told her that she did. Then why was JJ marrying someone else.
Garcia leaned over and whispered, "She's so beautiful, isn't she?" The techie's words drew the brunette out of her stupor to really look at JJ, to stand here in this moment and watch the woman she loves walk out of her life.
She could only nod at Garcia's comment. The words were lost on her on how to describe JJ, as the blonde faced Will holding his hands. The movement made JJ's line of sight land directly on Emily. It literally felt like the air had been sucked from her lungs and her heart had stopped beating. But it hadn't. If anything, Emily's heart was racing and her stomach was on the fastest rollercoaster known to man.
"If there is any reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace," pleading blue eyes locked on brown, the dull lifeless look that Emily had hoped to eradicate had returned, and Emily felt frozen, terrified at the thought of losing JJ and of the outrageous image running through her head, until an elbow in her ribs set her in motion.
"Wait!" All eyes turned at the brunette's outburst.
"Is there an objection to this marriage?" The preacher was confused and perturbed at being interrupted.
Another jab in the ribs, "Ow! Damn it, Garcia, would you stop poking me!" Turning back, she zeroed in on JJ's smiling blue eyes. Suddenly she felt like the world was back on its axis and she could finally focus, "Yes! Yes, there is." Emily stepped forward, her eyes never leaving JJ's.
"And what is this objection?" The brunette swallowed hard.
"I love her," Emily smiled at the small twinkle she saw in JJ's eyes. It was a tear, yes, but not one of hurt, anger, or even fear. "Jennifer, please tell me I'm not crazy. Please tell me you love me too 'cause if you don't this is going to be really embarrassing."
JJ actually laughed through her tears. Leave it to Emily to crack a joke at such an emotionally overwrought moment.
The blonde took Emily's hand, "I do, Emily. I do love you!"
"About damn time!" Garcia muttered, making both women turn to look at her, "What!?"
"Wait a minute!" Will finally piped up. "What the fuck, JJ?! Are you kidding me?"
"Um, no. I'm sorry, Will, I can't marry you," he looked at her incredulously.
"But, why not?" He whined.
"Dude, where have you been?" Reid announced from behind the group, making Hotch fight down an uncharacteristic smirk.
"Ummmmm, I don't love you?" JJ gave the obvious explanation and shrugged her shoulders.
"Are we having a wedding or what?" Morgan asked from behind Will, who looked up at the towering profiler like he was crazy. Morgan smirked at the smaller detective and slapped him on the shoulder, "Sorry, buddy. That's the brakes!" Will, his manhood barely intact, left in a huff.
"Emily Elizabeth Prentiss," JJ's husky voice drew the brunette's attention back to her, and the look in her darkening blue eyes sent a shiver down her spine, "You didn't really think you were going to kiss me and just walk away, did you?"
The profiler could only shake her head, "Good, remember that!"
Both women moved as if in slow motion, eyes drifting to lips then back before finally touching again in a slow, lingering kiss. Emily tilted her head, deepening the kiss, and snaking her arms around JJ's waist to pull her in flush to her body.
"Whoa! Morgan, get me a hose. We need to cool these two off," Garcia fanned herself.
Morgan leaned closer to the pair, still lost in their kiss, "Ladies, I think this is supposed to happen AFTER the vows." Emily couldn't stop herself from laughing, forcing her and JJ to come up for air.
"Come on, let's get on with this shindig," Rossi announced, "I'm ready to get out of this monkey suit." With that the team turned to face the preacher who was still in a state of shock at the turn of events. Emily raised her eyebrow, giving him a death glare that told him he better get on with the show.
"Oh, yeah, um dearly beloved, we are gathered here today "
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