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Take My Hand and Show Me the Way
The sound of a two-by-four making contact with a human skull is surprisingly quiet, more of a hollow thwump than anything else. A little wet, perhaps with a quiet crunch where bone caves under the force of violently swung lumber, but certainly not the loud, explosive sound you would expect from such a devastating connection of bone and wood.
"Fuck! Prentiss is down!" Morgan yelled as he jumped over his partner who had dropped to the dusty, scarred hardwood floor, obviously unconscious from the blow. He paused for a moment as he stood protectively over his partner, surveying the now deserted living room carefully, each of his senses on high alert for another attack when he caught sight of a plaid shirt disappearing around the corner and knew right where the suspect was headed. "He's going out the back, through the kitchen!"
"Go," Aaron Hotchner, who had entered the house from the back door with Rossi before turning into the adjoining dining room, ordered as he dropped to a knee beside his fallen agent, his fingers automatically gliding over the woman's neck in search of a pulse. "Go get him Derek. I'll take care of Emily."
Reid and JJ had taken a route through the open garage that was full of dismantled electronics and stacks of yellowed magazines and came into the house the moment Morgan started yelling. The door from the garage entered directly into the worn, grimy kitchen so JJ immediately caught sight of Jameson Quinn, the unsub they'd been hunting in this quiet fishing hamlet for the last three days, running through the grungy room toward the back door that was standing wide open.
"I see him!" JJ yelled as she took off at a sprint, more determined than ever to take down the man responsible for the murders of seven visiting fishermen.
Spencer Reid followed, but stopped when he was only a few feet into the kitchen, unsure as to what he should do, as he watched JJ take off after the Quinn. "Reid, in the living room, now!" Hotch's voice broke through his confusion and he immediately turned toward his boss' voice.
JJ, having a fast first step that had served her well in her playing days, was racing out the backdoor mere seconds after Quinn. She wasted no time leveling her weapon on the man as she jumped off of the porch and began to give chase, pushing herself to go faster as she raced after the suspect who was making a beeline toward the dense tree line that framed the patchwork lawn. "FBI!" she shouted as she ran, her arm steady, her heartbeat even. She could run for miles before she would lose her breath, she could chase him all day before her aim wavered.
"Give it up Quinn!" Morgan bellowed as he gained ground on JJ and the man she was chasing. He grunted softly as he forced his legs to pump faster, as he drove his feet harder into the ground, desperate catch up to JJ, who had a head start on him, to make sure that he got between her and Quinn. He knew that Emily would shoot him from her hospital bed if he let anything happen to the team's communications liaison, and the big-brother protective side of him wanted nothing more than to take the man down, and take him down hard for the attack on Prentiss.
"Fuck you!" Quinn yelled over his shoulder as he tried to put on an extra burst of speed.
That snarled curse was enough to spur Morgan onward and he found that fifth gear he'd been racing toward as he sprinted past JJ to close that final distance and take the other man down with a perfectly-timed flying tackle. "You're under arrest," he grunted as he pushed his elbow into the man's back, making sure to grind the point into his spine. "You have the right to remain silent. And I sincerely fucking recommend you utilize that right."
Quinn grunted and flailed, spitting as he fought to force the dirt out of his mouth that he had taken a bite out of when the bigger Agent had landed on him. He writhed and fought as his hands were roughly pulled behind his back, but he also understood the unspoken promise of pain in Morgan's voice and wisely opted to shut up.
"Suspect is in custody," JJ reported into her radio as she watched Morgan slap his cuffs onto Quinn and cinch them a notch tighter than was really necessary. Once the line was closed, she turned the full weight of her gaze onto Emily's partner. "I heard you yell, what happened to Em?"
"Big man here," Morgan grunted as he pushed down onto the still wriggling suspect's back, "thought it'd be fun to play t-ball with Prentiss' face. Caught us by surprise as we rounded the corner and smacked her with a two by four."
JJ felt her heart clench in her chest and she had to fight back the suddenly overpowering urge to take her gun back out and shoot the man. "Is she awake?"
Morgan shook his head. "She was unconscious when I left her," he shared. He looked up at the blonde, easily reading the distress and anger in her sparking blue eyes. "I got this, go check on our girl."
Wanting nothing more than to check on Emily, JJ did not argue with him. Instead, she gave him a small, thankful smile and a curt nod before she turned on her heel to run back into the house. Adrenaline combined with her training had made her take off after the suspect, outright fear and terror had her sprinting back toward Emily. She was so focused on getting to Emily that she barely noticed Rossi and the local cops as she passed them, the entirety of her focus was leveled on finding the dark-haired woman who had occupied her dreams for months and making sure that she would be okay.
"Where is he?" Reid asked as she thundered into the old house, her footsteps falling loudly against the old wood floors as she hit the dining room. She never slowed until she could see Emily, and, even then, her gait only slowed to a hurried walk as she approached the spot where the brunette lay unmoving on the floor.
She crouched down beside her fallen friend, her eyes raking over Emily's injuries. The right side of the brunette's face was already purple and swollen with a distinct red line cutting across her brow and up over her forehead which JJ assumed was from the edge of the board Jameson Quinn had used to knock her unconscious. "Derek's got him," she answered distractedly as she ran her fingers softly over the curve of Emily's brow, gently moving dark silk away from seeping crimson as she studied the wound. "I passed Rossi and some of the local PD when I was coming back inside. They're probably frog marching him out to a cruiser now. Where's Hotch?"
"Clearing upstairs. I already called for a bus," Reid informed her as he watched her appraising the extent of Prentiss' injury. "Two, actually, just in case we find Zach."
"Good thinking," JJ murmured as she let her fingers rest upon Emily's lips, drawing strength from the feeling of warm air moving against her fingertips. Emily was breathing. Emily would be okay.
Emily had to be okay.
"I got him!" Hotch's triumphant voice echoed down the stairs. JJ and Reid shared a look of relief, and she nodded at him to go upstairs to help their boss.
"Where's the downed agent?" a bodiless voice called out from the foyer.
"Living room!" JJ yelled as she looked up to watch the paramedics approach. "There is also a victim upstairs with Agent Hotchner and Dr. Reid."
"Got it," the younger of the two men confirmed as he took off up the stairs to find the agents.
"What happened?" the older, sandy-haired paramedic asked as he dropped to a knee beside Emily and wasted no time taking her vitals.
"The suspect ambushed her with a two by four," JJ shared as she watched the medic slip a penlight out of his breast pocket to check Emily's pupil response.
"Any other injuries other than the head wound that we need to know about?"
"No," JJ answered. "No preexisting medical conditions, no allergies to medications."
"Alright," the paramedic said as he reached into his bag to retrieve a neck brace. "I'm assuming you've had basic field medic training. Can you help hold her head as still as possible while I fit this?" he asked as he turned toward JJ for the first time.
JJ's eyes automatically flicked down to read the medic's nametag, Thompson, and nodded as she moved from Emily's side to above her head. She gently cradled Emily's head in her hands as she watched him fit the white plastic brace around Emily's neck.
"Is she going to be okay?" she asked, as she watched him lean in closer to have a good look at Emily's wound.
"Hard to tell. Depends on if there's any intracranial bleeding," he told her honestly. "I've pulled people out of car wrecks that have looked worse that did just fine, so I'm optimistic," he replied as he began cleaning the area around the cut.
JJ stayed by her head as he continued to take care of Emily, feeling tears build in her eyes as he checked off some of the brunette's potential injuries. Part of her was glad that he was including her, but a larger part of her wished that he'd just shut up. The details were scary.
"Grade three concussion," he rattled on, "looks like a possible break on the zygomatic bone, definite break on the inferior orbital rim, from what I can tell that's where the board first made contact so that area took the majority of the force."
"Oh god," JJ murmured as she followed Thompson's pointing finger toward Emily's cheek.
"Frontal bone looks intact," he continued as if she had not spoken. "Breathing is even heartbeat is regular all things considered she's doing as well as could be expected."
"Unit oh six on scene," Thompson's radio crackled to life causing the medic's weathered face to break out into a relieved grin. "Thank god," he muttered. "Billy, is that you?"
"Yeah," the voice answered.
"Great. John is upstairs with two agents and the victim. We're going to need all hands on deck."
"Hank?" a voice called from the foyer.
"Finally," Thompson sighed, as he looked up and offered JJ a reassuring smile. "Living room Charlie."
Charlie bounced the stretcher topped with a backboard and yet another bag of supplies over the uneven planks of the floor and dropped the bed to its lowest setting as he came to a stop beside Emily.
"Help me get her on the board," Thompson instructed before he began rattling off the details of Emily's injury as he moved to Emily's side. "Do you still have her?" he asked JJ as he placed his left hand on Emily's thigh and his right on her side in preparation to roll her up enough to slide the bright yellow backboard under her.
JJ nodded. "Yes." Always.
"Good, on three," Thompson instructed. "One two three, easy now," he murmured as JJ stabilized Emily's head and Charlie slid the board into position. "Good," he muttered as they settled Emily into the center of the board. "Alright, let's get her secured."
JJ refused to leave her position at Emily's head, her fingers smoothing over the brunette's face distractedly as she watched the paramedics begin strapping Emily to the rigid slab of plastic with four fat straps of Velcro across her body. Foam blocks were stuck to the board on either side of her head to keep it still and the head strap was tightened over those so that the abrasive fabric did not come into contact with Emily's head.
Just as the last strap was cinched into place, Reid and Hotch appeared at the top of the stairs with Zachary Paulson standing between them. The young, wiry fisherman had a hand on each of the agent's arms for support and the paramedic JJ assumed to be John was standing behind them keeping a careful eye on the victim. "Thank god," JJ murmured as she took in the sight of the man they had been working to save for the last seventy-two hours.
"Well done," Thompson muttered as he smiled at the sight of the missing fisherman before he turned his attention back to the agent under his care. "Let's get her up onto the stretcher Charlie, you ready?"
Charlie nodded and JJ held her breath as she stood and backed away to allow the paramedics to move Emily. She chewed her lip to keep herself from warning the paramedics to be careful as she watched the two men carefully lift Emily onto the stretcher. She only let the breath out once they started buckling her onto the gurney.
"We're taking her to Memorial," Thompson informed them as he snapped the stretcher up to its full height.
JJ nodded as she moved in closer to place her hand on Emily's stomach as she watched Hotch guide Zachary Paulson toward the new paramedic team that had just raced up the walk and into the house. "I'm going with her."
"Ma'am," Charlie started to argue, but the moment he saw the fire sparking in JJ's fierce blue eyes he knew that his arguments would mean nothing to her. He'd seen that look before, the nearly rabid, fiercely protective look that people got when the person they loved was injured, and knew that he could argue with her seven ways until Sunday and she would still jump into the back whether they wanted her to or not. "Okay."
JJ nodded and turned to look at Hotch when she felt his hand land lightly on her shoulder. "We're going back to the precinct with Quinn. Call us when you know something. We'll be there as soon as we can."
JJ nodded again and turned her attention back to Thompson. "Let's go!"
"I called ahead already, they're expecting us," Charlie shared as the two men got the stretcher moving toward the front door with JJ following closely behind.
"You have to be okay, Emily," she murmured to herself as she watched the paramedics roll her friend toward the open, waiting bay of the ambulance. She stood back and watched as the guys got the stretcher locked into the back and as soon as they gave her the okay, she hopped up into the back and immediately took her position beside Emily, reflexively reaching out to cradle the brunette's hand in her own.
"She should be fine," Thompson assured her as he busied himself with starting a line.
"She better be," JJ husked as she looked down at their joined hands and began to gently rub the pad of her thumb over Emily's knuckles.
"Mmmm," Emily's soft voice punctuated the quiet that had fallen over the cab as the ambulance raced toward the hospital.
"What's that?" JJ yelped as she looked from Emily, whose eyes were still closed, to the paramedic who had pulled out his penlight and was checking the brunette's pupil dilation.
"Active REM," he reported as he watched deep brown eyes flicking wildly from side to side. "She's dreaming."
"Dreaming?" JJ repeated.
The paramedic shrugged. "It's not uncommon, and it's actually a good sign."
"Two minutes," Charlie's voice called over the speaker.
JJ turned her attention back to her hand wrapped protectively around Emily's. "What are you dreaming about Em?"
She smiled as her fingertips slid easily over the smooth fabric of JJ's dress to wrap around the beaming blonde's hips and pull her in closer as the music began to play softly in the background. The majority of their guests had already said their goodbyes and left, leaving them alone on the dance floor, clinging to each other, swaying to the music the five-piece band was playing for them. The day had been perfect, everything that they had hoped for and more, and now they were enjoying their last dance of the evening before they headed out to their private bungalow on the beach.
She brushed her lips against a rosy cheek en route to JJ's ear, holding the blonde tight as she whispered, "I love you so very much, Jennifer."
Her heart took flight in her chest as she felt JJ pull back so that the blonde's silky-soft lips ghosted over her own. "I love you too, Em."
She moaned softly as Jennifer's lips descended upon her own, her grip on the blonde's trim hips tightening as the kiss grew from soft and adoring to deep, hungry, and full of desire. The music filling the small hall disappeared as she became focused on the way JJ's lithe body molded to her own, as she lost awareness of everything beyond the taste and smell of her wife.
"How did I get so lucky?" she murmured, her voice full of awe, as JJ pulled back to look at her.
"Babe, trust me, you haven't gotten lucky yet," JJ husked, her twinkling blue eyes growing noticeably darker with desire.
She could not help but smile at her lover's words. "Yeah," she teased, running one hand down to grasp Jennifer's ass while she ran the other over the string of buttons running along the blonde's spine. "But how long is it going to take me to get all these buttons open? Couldn't even give me a break on our wedding day, huh Ms. Jareau?"
"Mmm," JJ hummed, smiling as she leaned in to lay a chaste kiss to her lips. "It's Mrs. Prentiss, thank you. And I did make it easy on you, love. The buttons are for show, there's a zipper hidden underneath the seam."
"God I love modern tailoring," she hummed as she immediately dipped a finger under the seam to check for herself. Sure enough, there was a zipper track hidden under the fabric. "I would hate to just tear this beautiful dress off of you."
She shivered as JJ's hands slipped down off her shoulders to palm her breasts through the material of her jacket. "I wouldn't mind," the blonde purred seductively.
She licked her lips as she studied the woman in her arms for a moment, savoring the feeling and the knowledge that JJ was hers forever before she leaned in and claimed the blonde's lips in a searing, soul deep kiss. One kiss turned into two, turned into twenty, and somehow, without either of them really knowing how, they found themselves in the moonlit bedroom of their bungalow.
She smiled lovingly into JJ's twinkling blue eyes as she flipped the tab of the zipper to the blonde's dress out of its hiding spot and began to pull it down slowly, tooth by tooth, reveling in the emotion she could see swirling in her wife's eyes. "I can't believe you're mine," she murmured as she dipped her head to claim JJ's lips in a slow, languorous kiss. The zipper she had been releasing hit its end and she took a small step back to allow the gown to puddle at her wife's feet. "My god you're beautiful Jennifer," she murmured as she drank in the sight of JJ, Jennifer, her wife, standing before her in a surprisingly seductive lingerie set complete with garter belt and thigh high stockings.
"You like?" JJ asked playfully as she looked down at herself as if she weren't too sure about the ensemble.
"I love," she corrected as she took that step back toward her wife and gathered the younger woman in her arms. "I love this," she ran her hands down the blonde's back, brushing her fingers over lacy lingerie indicatively. "I love you," she murmured as she allowed her eyes to drop to JJ's lips that were already swollen from their earlier kisses and parted, waiting in anticipation for her. "For the rest of my life, until my very last breath, I love you," she swore.
JJ's eyes fluttered closed for a moment, struck breathless, as she often was, by the brunette's eloquence.
"And longer than that, if the schematics for the regeneration capsule Reid and I are working on are successful," she joked in an attempt to lighten the mood.
Which it did perfectly.
"My god, Emily!" JJ laughed.
She wrapped her arms around her wife and held her close. "You are my life, Jennifer Jean Prentiss," she stated, smiling like a fool at the sound of her last name attached to JJ's. "Without you, I am nothing. Thank you for making me the happiest woman in the universe."
"Wow," JJ breathed, and she shivered slightly as the blonde's hot breath tickled her neck. "I love you too, Em."
She smiled and ran her hands over the delicious swell of her wife's ass, delighting in the juxtaposition of textured lace and silky smooth skin. She gathered the perfect globes in her hands and squeezed them gently. "Can I show you how much I love you?"
JJ looked up into her eyes and smiled. "You better."
She was helpless to contain the moan that tumbled from her lips as she leaned in and kissed her wife hungrily.
"She's moaning again," JJ pointed out as she watched the Emergency room doctors transfer Emily from the paramedic's stretcher onto a rolling hospital bed.
One of the doctors surrounding Emily, a redheaded woman who introduced herself as Doctor Harrison, pulled a penlight from her pocket and quickly checked the agent's pupils. "Still dreaming. Hank said she was making some noise in the bus on the way here too?"
JJ nodded. "Yeah. I just hope she's not in too much pain."
"Well," the woman replied, "it sounded like a happy moan to me, so hopefully whatever she's dreaming about is a good thing," she offered, hoping to ease some of the blonde's obvious distress. "Jack, we all set for the MRI?"
"Yeah," a harried looking intern answered. "Just like you asked. We have the machine waiting on us."
"Great," Doctor Harrison replied. "Let's get her back there then. Agent Jareau, you'll have to wait out here. Do you have her MPA?"
JJ shook her head. "I'm having our team's technical analyst send it over now, but I'm her designated medical power of attorney. Where should I wait?"
"Good. As soon as it gets here, we'll add it to her file. Jackie can show you to the waiting area, the test we need to run will take at least an hour."
"Okay," JJ whispered. "Can I talk to her for a second?" she asked, tilting her head at Emily.
"Of course," the doctor nodded. "But you're going to have to walk with us. You have until we hit the swinging doors, after that it's hospital personnel only. I want to get her into the MRI as fast as possible to assess the damage."
"Thank you," JJ whispered as she moved between the doctors to whisper in Emily's ear. "You're strong, Em, you can beat this. There is so much I want to tell you, so much I should have told you. Come back to me," she murmured quietly, so quietly that her words were barely louder than a breath. She pressed a soft kiss to Emily's brow and backed away, wiping her tears away with a shaking hand as she watched them roll Emily down the hall.
She spotted JJ the moment she entered the kitchen. The blonde was standing at the window, nursing her single cup of caffeinated coffee that she was allowed and looking out over the backyard, watching the day break over the eastern horizon. Even thirty-five weeks pregnant with twins, she was an image to behold.
"Good morning gorgeous," she murmured as she slid in behind her wife and wrapped her arms around and under the blonde's swollen belly. "How are my three favorite people doing this morning?"
"Thing One and Thing Two have finally stopped fighting with each other and gone back to sleep, I'd assume, by the peace and quiet in there; and, as for me, I'm tired."
"You're beautiful," she countered, smiling as JJ tilted her head back to look at her. "You are. I can't believe this isn't a dream."
"Mmm," JJ hummed, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "Trust me, not a dream. I was having a rather spectacular dream before these two," she rubbed her belly affectionately, "woke me up."
The look in her wife's eyes was unmistakable. "Who was in this rather spectacular dream?"
JJ smiled and kissed her softly. "You. And me."
She smiled and captured her wife's lips in a little bit deeper, definitely hungrier kiss. "Anybody else?"
"Well, then since it was just the two of us, if you tell me about it maybe I can make it happen," she suggested with a smile, knowing that Jennifer's pregnancy cravings tended to run toward more carnal activities than anything else.
She grinned as JJ spun in her arms, the blonde's pregnant belly forcing them far enough apart that she could really look at her wife. How in the world did I get so goddamn lucky?
"We were in bed," JJ husked softly, watching her closely, delighting in her reaction. "Naked."
"I see," she nodded. "Were we doing anything in particular?"
"Well, I was doing quite a bit of moaning," JJ husked. "And you were doing that thing with your tongue that you know I just love. Think you can recreate that?"
She literally whimpered at JJ's words and nodded. "Absolutely. Your wish, my command."
"Did she say something?" the MRI tech asked, looking up at Doctor Harrison for confirmation as the second scan finished to show a clear image of the front of Emily's skull. Hank Thompson, the paramedic who treated her on scene, was correct when he guessed that she had a fracture to her inferior orbital rim, and his suspicions about her zygomatic arch proved to be correct as well. "Damn, how does he always know the breaks before we get the films?" he muttered
"She's been making some noises off and on since she got here," Doctor Harrison replied as she studied the picture and let out a small sigh of relief. So far, no major brain damage was visible. "The Agent who rode in with her said that she started doing it in the bus on the way here," she elaborated as she listened to the thwumping start back up as the next scan began. "And," she smiled, "I don't have a clue of how he always seems to know, especially on head injuries like this, but he's usually right. Eerie, isn't it?"
"Damn freaky, if you ask me," the tech responded. "Do you think she'll stay out while she's in there?" he asked, tilting his head toward the other room where the patient was now fully encased in the white plastic tube.
"We'll see. I would rather she woke up just because the longer she stays out the greater chance there is of her having some serious trauma," Doctor Harrison replied. "She'll wake up when she's ready. I just hope it's soon."
"Emily!" JJ's slightly panicked voice echoed through the house.
She looked up from the sandwiches she was preparing and, noting the edge to her wife's tone, immediately dropped the knife she'd been using and hurried out to the living room where she'd left JJ on the couch. She wiped her hands off on her jeans as she half-walked, half-ran through the dining room until she was finally able to catch sight of her wife. "What's going on, baby?"
JJ grimaced and placed a hand over her belly. "The babies are happening. I think my water just broke."
"Oh." She nodded. "OH! CRAP! Okay, right, let's get to the hospital," she said as she turned toward the door.
"EMILY ELIZABETH PRENTISS!"
She spun around wildly at the frantic edge to JJ's voice. "What?!"
"Help, please?" JJ asked with a teasing smile in spite of her pain. She always loved watching her normally cool and composed wife act anything but.
"Right, I'm an ass," she murmured as she ran back to take JJ's arm and help the blonde up off the couch. "Sorry, Jennifer," she murmured as she gently led her laboring wife through the house toward the garage.
"You're cute when you're flustered, Em," JJ laughed until a contraction hit and she doubled over in pain.
"Jennifer?" she squeaked, half in concern for her wife's well being, half because the blonde's fingernails were digging painfully deep into her arm.
"It's okay," JJ huffed as she straightened back up. "Wow, I knew they would hurt, but that I think I want the drugs, Em."
"Whatever you want Sweetie," she agreed quickly. Anything to keep her wife from suffering. Maybe I can get some for me too.
Once she got JJ settled as comfortably as she could in the passenger's seat she hurried back into the house to grab their 'baby-go-bags' that they'd purchased and filled for just this occasion. She chucked them into the back of her Range Rover she could not help but grin, even though her heart was pounding so fast in her chest that she thought it might literally burst from her chest.
"We're going to be moms," she murmured to herself as she slammed the hatch closed.
"Her heart rate is spiking," the tech announced worriedly as he studied the wounded Agent's vitals on the small screen beside the monitor showing the different views the MRI machine was gathering. "Breathing, blood pressure, all of it."
Doctor Harrison read through the numbers quickly before she leaned over the tech's shoulder to look out the window into the MRI chamber. She could see that the wounded agent was still unconscious. "She's not in the danger zone yet," she clipped. "This is the last scan, right?"
She nodded. "All right. How many minutes left on it?"
"I want this picture," Doctor Harrison murmured, almost to herself as she let her gaze bounce back and forth from her patient to the woman's vitals and back again. "Let's see if we can finish this scan. If her numbers get too high I'll go in and pull her out, but for now she's doing okay."
"You got it," the tech muttered as he watched the last picture come into focus with every thwump of the machine in the other room.
"Just in case though," Doctor Harrison sighed and reached for the phone. "Yeah," she snapped into the handset once the nurse on the other end picked up. "No alarm necessary, but I want a crash cart brought to MRI."
"Goddamn it," she seethed as she wove through the typical DC traffic. "Get out of the way!" she shouted at the car in front of her, as she literally had to fight the urge to lay on the horn.
"Em," JJ drawled. She was between contractions at the moment and torn between being amused with her wife's antics and wanting to reach over and smack the brunette upside the head. "We have time, Sweetheart. Just let the nice civilians live and we'll be at the hospital in a few minutes."
She ground her teeth together as she was forced to stop at a red light. "Why are you laughing?"
"Because you're so freaking cute," JJ answered. "Relax Prentiss, they're not coming right this minute. We'll be fine."
"You better be," she murmured as she reached across the center console to cradle her wife's face in her palm. "I love you," she swore softly as she stared deep into Jennifer's eyes.
"Love you too, babe," JJ whispered. "Now, go."
JJ pointed at the traffic light. "Green means go."
"Done," the tech reported.
"Excellent. Get her out of there," Doctor Harrison ordered as she bolted from the control room to get a hands-on look at her patient.
She had her stethoscope in her ears before the table holding Agent Prentiss had even come to a full stop. She gave the woman a quick once-over just to double-check that she wasn't in any major distress, and as soon as she was convinced that the brunette was doing as well as could be expected she called for the tech to help her get the woman back onto the bed that they could wheel into a private room. So far there did not look to be any reason to send the agent to ICU, so for now they would place her in a private room and just monitor her closely.
"Told you we'd make it in time." JJ smirked as she reclined back onto the bed after the anesthesiologist had finished administering her epidural.
She grinned a little self-consciously and nodded. "As always, you were correct."
"Are you sucking up to me because I'm in labor?"
"Smart woman," the anesthesiologist laughed as he made his way out of the room. "You'll feel the drugs start to work in a few minutes," he told JJ. "Good luck. The nurse will call me if there are any problems."
"Thank you," JJ answered. "We're going to be moms," the blonde thought aloud as she watched her dark haired wife move closer.
"We are," she murmured. "You ready for this?"
"I'm ready to meet them," JJ answered.
She smiled and leaned in to kiss her wife softly. "Me too. I love you so very much for doing this Mrs. Prentiss."
JJ smiled. "I love you too, Mrs. Prentiss."
"She has two fractures. On her zygomatic arch and then on her inferior orbital rim," Doctor Harrison reported to JJ who stood silently beside Emily's bed, one hand wrapped around the brunette's and one hand lightly stroking the uninjured side of the woman's face. "Basically, a broken cheek," she simplified what she'd just said in case the Agent was not fluent in human skull anatomy. "Her scans look good though."
JJ took a deep breath and asked the one question that was weighing heaviest on her mind. "Why isn't she waking up?"
"She has a serious concussion," Doctor Harrison replied. "The swelling of her brain on her MRIs seems within safe limits though so I'm not too terribly concerned about that. As with any brain injury though, we won't know exactly what's going on until she wakes up. Which will be when she's ready," she continued, seeing that the agitated blonde was about to press for a more definite answer. "I don't know when that will be, but judging from her vitals it could be any time now. Just sit with her, talk to her, let her know that you're here for her, and when she does wake-up call the nurse and she'll page me immediately."
"Okay." JJ nodded. "Thank you, doctor."
"My pleasure," Doctor Harrison assured her. "Thank you two for coming up here to catch that guy. Now, I'll leave you two alone. Talk to her, remind her why she needs to wake up."
"I hate you Emily Prentiss!" JJ screamed as she pushed through another contraction. She was halfway through delivering the first of the twins, and the drugs were not helping nearly as much as she had hoped they would.
She just gritted her teeth and took the pain as her wife's nails dug into her arm. "Breathe baby, come on Jen, you can do this," she replied evenly, knowing that her wife did not truly hate her.
"Don't patronize me, you did this to me and you damn well know it!"
The doctor looked up at her and smiled. "Really?"
"Goddamn syringe full of sperm," JJ grunted as she forced her body into another agonizing crunch.
"Head's out," the doctor reported, trying hard not to laugh at JJ's outburst. "Come on Jennifer "
"Don't call me Jennifer," JJ snapped. "Only she calls me Jennifer and right now even she's not allowed to do it."
"Sorry," the doctor replied evenly, knowing better than to argue with a laboring mother. "JJ, the head is out. One more big push and we'll be able to welcome this little one into the world."
She leaned in close and brushed her lips across her wife's sweaty brow. "Come on Sweetie, I know you can do this. One more big push. On three?"
"Fine." JJ nodded. "One two three AAAAAH FUCK!"
"Congratulations," the doctor smiled as he guided the baby out and cradled it in his hands. "It's a girl."
She looked up as a tiny scream filled the room. "A daughter," she murmured, a huge smile lighting her face as she turned to her obviously already exhausted wife. "We have a little girl."
"A girl," JJ smiled as she leaned back against her pillows to rest.
"Emily?" the doctor called her attention.
"You want to cut the cord?"
She grinned. "Absolutely."
"The doctor says I'm supposed to talk to you," JJ whispered as she hooked a leg of the rather uncomfortable visitor's chair with her foot and pulled it closer. "Like that's an easy thing to do," she chuckled as she lowered herself to a sitting position and looked up at her friend.
She twined her fingers with Emily's and studied the way they fit together, unable to keep from thinking that they fit just as perfectly as she'd imagined they would. She took a deep, shaky breath and lifted Emily's hand to her mouth so she could press a soft kiss to the brunette's knuckles.
"Please wake up Emily," she murmured as she set their hands back down on top of the thin hospital blanket. "I had promised myself that after this case I would try and find the courage to tell you how I feel and now you're lying here and I am so afraid that I may be too late. I need you to wake up, Em, so that I can embarrass myself properly, with your full attention. Come on Sweetie, open those beautiful brown eyes and look at me," she cajoled softly.
"Here we go again!" JJ gasped as the contractions started up again. "Why the fuck couldn't I have had a c-section?"
"You didn't want one," she answered automatically, smiling hesitantly when JJ's flashing blue eyes focused on hers. "Love you."
"I love you too, but I am never doing this again," JJ grunted as she automatically curled around her stomach to begin pushing again.
"This little one's hopefully going to come a little easier for you," the doctor offered. "Do you have a name picked out for your daughter already?"
"Yes," she answered, looking down at JJ for the blonde's agreement that their earlier decision still stood. "Zoie Jean."
"Beautiful," the doctor smiled up at them. "Okeydokey JJ, I can see the top of the head, so give me two good pushes and we'll see if we can't get this one out to meet you two as well."
"You can do it Jennifer," she encouraged her wife gently. "Let's meet Zoie's brother or sister."
JJ nodded and bore down, giving the doctor the two solid pushes he said that it would take and before long there was a loud cry punctuating the second baby's arrival.
"Congratulations, it's a boy," the doctor reported as he clamped off the cord and handed her the scissors again.
"A boy," she murmured, her voice awed and her eyes teary as she looked at her son for the first time.
"Welcome to the world Sean Ryan," JJ murmured.
She cut the cord and handed the doctor back the scissors as she watched a nurse swoop in to take him away to be weighed, measured, and all the normal things babies have to endure when they first enter the world. Now that she was no longer needed at JJ's bedside she was torn between staying with her wife, and following their children. "What do I do?"
JJ laughed softly. "You come give me a kiss, and then you keep an eye on the kids."
She smiled and leaned in to capture her wife's lips in a deep, loving kiss that said better than words ever could exactly how happy she was, and how much she loved her. "You are an amazing woman Jennifer," she murmured before she reclaimed her wife's lips. "I love you."
"I love you too," JJ laughed. "Watch over the kids Em, I'll be here waiting for you once they get all cleaned up."
JJ jumped as her cell phone started to vibrate in her pocket. Since Emily was on a regular floor she did not see need to keep it off completely, but she set it to the silent notification so that way it would not ring and disturb anybody else on the floor. She glanced at the screen and saw that it was the team's self-proclaimed 'Technical Goddess of Quantico', Penelope Garcia.
"Hey Pen," she answered in a hushed whisper as she turned her focus back onto Emily who was still out to the world.
"How's our brown-eyed girl doing?"
JJ sighed heavily and frowned. "The doctor seemed to be okay with her test results, but she still hasn't woken up yet," she reported, not bothering to try and hide her unease. Penelope was the one that she vented to, so the quirky computer guru knew exactly how she felt about the stoic brunette.
"I'm sure she's just waiting for her one true love to give her a kiss to wake up," Pen quipped. "Have you tried laying a big ol' smackeroo on those pouty lips?"
"Penelope," JJ groaned, smiling in spite of herself. "Not on her lips."
"Whoa there, sweetness. That answer implies that you did lay one on her. Where was that, pray tell?"
"You are hopeless," JJ grumbled. "Her forehead, right before they took her back."
Pleased to hear the smile in her friend's voice, Penelope started to dig for details. She might be unflinchingly loyal to JJ, but she also had a rather large soft spot for the guarded brunette. "What're the results?"
"Broken cheek, basically," JJ summarized. "And a major concussion, obviously. The doctor said that there wasn't any significant brain swelling to be concerned about at this point and that we're just waiting for her to wake up."
"How's she look?"
JJ drew a ragged breath as she looked over Emily's bruised and battered face. The brunette's right eye was swollen shut and the gash on her forehead that required stitches was taped up. She was still beautiful, she would always be beautiful to her, but she was certainly the worse for wear at this point. "She's just Pen I "
"Shh," Penelope soothed. "Okay. I'll pass the word on to the guys and you stay strong for our girl. I'll have Morgan call you when they're on their way. What room is she in?"
"Three twenty four."
"Jennifer?" Emily rasped softly from the bed.
"She's waking up," JJ reported into her phone. "I'll call you later," she continued before she hung up distractedly. She popped up from her chair too look Emily in the eye as she took hold of Emily's left hand with one of her own. "Hey, Em," she whispered, pleased to see a somewhat glassy looking brown eye staring back at her. She smiled warmly at her friend as she hit the call button for the nurse.
"Hey." Emily smiled as she gave JJ's hand a gentle squeeze. "What happened?"
"You don't remember?"
Emily shook her head and winced as the movement caused her headache to pulse viciously and a wave of vertigo to roll over her. "Whoa."
"Easy there," JJ murmured as she smoothed a hand over Emily's brow, carefully avoiding the brunette's stitches. "Quinn used a two by four to play baseball with your face," she explained.
"That would explain the headache," Emily grunted as she looked around the typically sterile hospital room. "Did we find the missing fisherman? How long was I unconscious?"
"I see our brave FBI Agent is awake," Doctor Harrison drawled with a smile as she strode purposefully into the room. She caught JJ's questioning gaze so she explained, "I was standing at the nurses' station when you buzzed so I figured I'd come check on you two myself."
Emily offered the doctor a small, tired smile, watching as the woman flipped her chart open.
"Do you remember your name?" Doctor Harrison asked as she clicked her pen open and prepared to take notes.
"Emily Elizabeth Prentiss."
"Good," the doctor murmured as she scribbled in the chart. "Do you know the date?"
"March twenty fourth, two thousand and eleven," Emily answered.
"Good." Doctor Harrison nodded as she made another note in Emily's chart. "Do you remember what happened?"
"Not really." Emily frowned. "My wife hasn't been too much trouble, has she? She hates when the kids or I get hurt."
JJ's head snapped around so fast she was certain that she would have whiplash. "Wife?" she murmured. Kids?
Doctor Harrison looked from Emily to JJ as she realized what was going on. "Agent Jareau," she started, choosing to ignore the frown that her patient shot her, "can I speak to you in the hall?"
"Of course," JJ replied. "Em, I'm going to go talk to the doctor for a second, okay?"
"Alright Baby," Emily agreed hesitantly. "I love you."
I love you too, JJ thought, but did not say aloud. Now was not the time for such a confession. "I'll be right back."
"Okay," Emily sighed and closed her eyes.
JJ gently pulled her hand away from Emily's and made her way across the small private room to the hall. She closed the door after herself, effectively blocking Emily from hearing the conversation the doctor obviously wanted to have with her out of the brunette's earshot.
"I take it from the look on your face that you are not her wife," Doctor Harrison said.
JJ chewed the corner of her lower lip and shook her head slowly. "No I'm not."
"So there are no kids."
JJ nodded. "No. No kids."
"Okay," Doctor Harrison sighed as she ran a hand through her hair. "Well, then it would appear that Agent Prentiss may be suffering from amnesia."
"I thought amnesia was when you forgot things."
"It is," Doctor Harrison agreed. "But, in this case, Emily's symptom seems to be confabulation false recollections, or false memories."
"So what do we do?" JJ asked as she glanced toward the closed door to Emily's room. She could see that the brunette was now sitting up in the bed and watching them carefully through the tiny rectangular window set in the door. She smiled reassuringly at Emily for a moment before she turned her back to the door and forced her attention back onto Emily's doctor.
"I expect this will be a temporary condition. Agent Prentiss' films do not show a significant amount of swelling, I am hopeful that when what little swelling she does have goes down that this symptom will disappear."
"Do I correct her?" she asked as she again glanced at Emily through the window in the door. She was relieved to see that Emily had laid back down and was no longer sitting up and watching them.
Doctor Harrison bounced her head from side to side, as she frowned thoughtfully. "It depends on how you think she'll react. Some patients get extremely agitated when their false memories are challenged, some get upset, some "
"So what do I do?" JJ interrupted.
"It's up to you and how you think she'll react," Doctor Harrison answered. "The key here is to keep her calm so that she doesn't aggravate her head injury. You know her better than we do, especially if she thinks you're her wife."
"I wish," JJ muttered sardonically before she caught sight of the doctor grinning at her. "I mean it's not "
"Hey, don't feel the need to explain it to me," the redhead held her hands up defensively. "Just take care of her. It's hard to say for sure, but I don't expect this little stage will last too terribly long. Keep her quiet, and hopefully the swelling will go down so that she's back to normal memory wise soon. Then we just have to worry about the breaks and the more typical concussion recovery issues."
"Okay," JJ sighed. "Thank you, Doctor."
"No problem. Don't hesitate to page a nurse if you need anything. I'll let them know that visiting hours don't apply to you or the rest of your team, and that you are allowed to stay the night with her if you want to. The bigger chair in the corner of the room folds out to a cot, if you decide you don't want to leave her," she offered knowingly, having picked up on the depth of the blonde's attachment to the wounded woman when they first rolled through the emergency room doors.
"Thank you," JJ repeated.
"Again, my pleasure." Doctor Harrison smiled. "If she does fall asleep, she cannot sleep for longer than an hour at a time due to her concussion. Do you want to wake her up every hour or should I have a nurse pop in to do it?"
JJ, having no intention of leaving Emily's side while she was in the hospital, replied, "I can do it."
Doctor Harrison nodded. "I thought you might want to do it yourself. If you decide to try and get some sleep as well, just let the nurses know and they'll pop in to wake her up so you can rest."
"Standard routine then. No problem. I'll make sure to let the nurses know if I decide to catch a nap," she assured the doctor. Unfortunately she and the team were well versed in how to handle concussions, so she knew pretty much everything the doctor had just told her.
"I'll check back in before I leave tonight."
JJ nodded before she opened the door quietly, half hoping that Emily had fallen back asleep so that she wouldn't be faced with the decision to correct the woman or not; but, as she stepped into the room she saw that Emily was looking right at her with a soft smile and a look in her eye that was pure adoration.
"What did the doctor have to say?" Emily asked as she watched JJ pause in the doorway.
"Um " JJ stalled as she tried to figure out how to react to Emily's false memories. She did not want to just play along and feed the delusions, because that is what they were, really, but at the same time, she just did not have the heart to shoot Emily down completely. "Just that they want to keep you overnight to monitor your concussion," she lied, as she finally decided that careful evasion would be the best way to handle this.
"Oh." Emily nodded slowly. "Okay. I'm sorry."
JJ frowned and crossed the room to perch herself lightly on the edge of Emily's bed. "Why are you sorry?" she asked softly.
"I don't know." Emily shrugged as she reached out and twined their fingers together. "For getting hurt."
"Em, it wasn't your fault."
"Still, I'm sorry if I worried you. Lord knows I'd be absolutely beside myself if it was you in this bed instead of me," she murmured as she lifted JJ's hand to her lips to press a soft kiss to the blonde's knuckles. "Are the kids at your parents?"
"Mmm," JJ hummed noncommittally, figuring that she would let Emily take her answer however she wanted to.
"Good." Emily smiled. "It's so much easier going out of town now that they've moved close by to watch them. Hopefully Zoie isn't giving them too much trouble."
She thinks we have a daughter, JJ thought to herself, unable to keep from smiling at the idea of children.
"I see that smile, Jennifer," Emily chuckled. "You know you're the one who's going to get in trouble from your parents if she kicks her little soccer ball in the house and breaks something."
"It's a good thing Sean takes after me and is more mellow," Emily chided playfully. "So at least only one of the twins is likely giving them fits right now. Can you believe that they're going to be two in September?"
"No," JJ answered honestly.
"Me either," Emily sighed. "Seems like only yesterday you were pregnant with them sending me to the market for pickled ginger and waking me up in the middle of the night to make love to you."
JJ was saved from responding to that bit of information by her phone. "My phone's buzzing," she shared as she pulled her Blackberry from her pocket. She glanced at the screen and saw that it was Hotch. "It's Hotch, I should take this."
"Probably," Emily agreed.
JJ nodded as she lifted the phone to her ear. "What's happening Hotch?"
"Just calling to check in on Emily. Is she awake?"
"Yeah, woke up about ten minutes ago," JJ answered.
"Good. How's she doing?"
"That's a little tougher to answer," she said as she looked over at Emily. "Em, why don't you try and rest a bit, I'll just finish this call out in the hall."
"You don't have to leave," Emily argued gently. "I love listening to you talk."
JJ smiled. "The feeling is mutual, but I can't hear him well because of the static," she offered as a little white lie to explain why she was leaving the room. "So I'm just going to go wander to see if I can find a better signal."
"Okay," Emily sighed. "Love you."
"I'll be right back," JJ murmured as she popped up off the bed and headed out to the hall. "Hotch, you still there?" she asked as she closed the door carefully behind herself.
"Did Prentiss finally tell you that she loves you?"
"What do you mean 'finally'?"
"JJ, I am a profiler," Hotch answered with a chuckle.
"Be that as it may," JJ deflected the implications of her boss' words, "she seems to be suffering from a mild case of amnesia with confabulation false memories she thinks we're married with kids. Twins, by the sounds of it."
"You're not playing along are you? You know she's going to be embarrassed about this when she finally gets her real memory back."
"I know," JJ sighed. "And I'm not playing along, per se, but I'm not correcting her either. I don't have the heart to do that to her right now. Do you think I should?"
There was a pause as Hotch considered the available options. "I think you're right to just roll with it, but don't encourage her it'll make it harder for her in the long run."
"Okay. How are things going at the station?"
"We're just wrapping up. Morgan and Rossi got a full confession, so we're just cleaning up and we'll be out of here. I expect we'll be at the hospital in an hour or two, tops. I know Derek is anxious to get down there, I might let him head off first while we finish up."
"Tell the guys what is happening so they know what to expect," JJ told him.
"I will," Hotch assured her. "Be gentle with her JJ, her memories might be false but I'm pretty sure that the emotions behind them aren't. She's not going to take this well."
"I will. I ," she paused as she considered her words. "I care for her too."
"I know," he replied. "I probably saw it before you two did. I know we've agreed not to profile each other but it honestly didn't take any profiling to see what you two felt. Take care of her Jayj. We'll be there as soon as we can."
JJ nodded as she listened to the dial tone hum in her ear for a moment before she tapped the 'End' button and slipped the phone back into her pocket. She walked quietly back into Emily's room and let out a sigh of relief when she saw that the brunette was asleep again. She glanced at the clock on the wall opposite the bed as she reclaimed her seat, and settled in to wait until it was time for her to wake Emily up.
JJ looked up as the door to Emily's room swung open slowly. She smiled as she saw Derek Morgan's head poke through to look hesitantly into the room. "Hey," she whispered as she waved him in, mindful of the fact that it'd only been about fifteen minutes since Emily had fallen back asleep after her first wake-up.
"How's she doing?" he asked as he stepped into the room and handed her a bag of food and a Diet Coke.
JJ shrugged. "Okay, I guess. She woke up okay when I checked on her, but she fell right back asleep," she shared as she peeked into the bag he had given her. Inside was a cellophane wrapped deli sandwich, a pickle, and bag of chips. "Thanks."
"No problem, figured you wouldn't be leaving to get some dinner." He shrugged it off. "Hotch said she thinks you two are married, huh?"
JJ nodded as she unwrapped her sandwich. She had not realized how hungry she was until she saw the bag of food. "Thankfully she didn't say anything about it when I woke her; I hate lying to her, but we both know she wouldn't handle it well if I told her she was wrong."
"Probably not," he agreed as he pulled up another chair to sit beside the blonde communications liaison. He knew that Emily harbored deep feelings toward JJ and he was feeling more than a little protective of his partner's heart. "Do you want me to stay here with her?"
"No!" JJ answered quickly. Perhaps a little too quickly, she realized, as she caught sight of the devious smirk Morgan was shooting her. "I mean its fine, really. I don't mind staying with her. I actually can't imagine being anywhere else."
Morgan studied JJ carefully as she ate her sandwich and studiously avoided his gaze. He could tell that the blonde was nervous about something but did not know if it was because of what Emily was thinking, or something else. His read on the woman changed daily sometimes he was certain she returned Emily's affections, other times he thought it might just be playful flirting with nothing substantial behind it. "Jayj "
JJ looked up and gave him a tired smile. "Hmm?"
"Emily's just " he started and stopped as he tried to figure out a way to give the blonde some idea of Emily's feelings without completely betraying his partner's trust. This could be just the push they needed, but, at the same time, the potential for disaster was huge as well.
"I know," she assured him. She could see that he was genuinely concerned for his friend and felt it was only fair to let him know that she understood. "Believe me, I know. I'm not going to hurt her, Derek."
He studied her for a moment before nodding. "Okay. Since it's late and she's in here anyways, Hotch said we're going to wait until tomorrow to leave. With the whole memory thing, I think it's probably a good idea for her to stay overnight here anyways. If she needs further hospitalization we can always get her switched to a hospital at home. How's she handling the pain?"
"What pain?" JJ drawled with a smirk. Emily was notorious for taking a hit and 'walking it off'. "I'm surprised she's not clamoring to be released."
"Maybe she thinks her wife would raise holy hell if she tried," he winked playfully.
"Shut up," JJ retorted, rather enjoying the feeling of being referred to as Emily's wife, even if it was in jest. "Look, since you're here, do you mind if I go for a little walk and stretch my legs for a bit?"
"No problem. What time does she need to be woken up again?"
JJ glanced at the clock on the wall. "Um, in about half an hour."
"Got it. Go do what you need to do and if you're not back I'll take care of it. She'll probably handle it better if it's one of us waking her up rather than some poor unsuspecting nurse."
JJ laughed and nodded knowingly. Emily really was the world's worst patient. "That's why I told the doctor that I'd handle wake-up duty. I'll have my phone if you need me."
"Take your food with you, there's a nice little bench outside you can sit on to finish it. Good cell reception there too," he told her. "Garcia wants you to call her."
JJ groaned. "You told her about the memory thing, didn't you?"
He grinned. "I like my credit score the way it is, thank you very much. I know better than to withhold information from her. Get a move on Jareau, I'll keep an eye on your woman for ya."
JJ stood and grabbed her food. "Thanks Derek." She smiled warmly at her friend.
He just smiled and nodded his understanding, and leaned back in his chair as he watched JJ leave. "You have jumped right into the fire, my friend," he informed his sleeping partner once the door had closed behind the object of her affections. "I don't know how to get you out of this one but I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised by her reaction."
JJ found the bench Derek had told her about and sat down with a heavy sigh. She groaned as she pulled her phone out of her pocket and pulled up Penelope on her speed-dial. She reached into the bag to grab her sandwich as the call rang through, and was not surprised when she got one of the quirky blonde's signature greetings.
"You've reached the All-Knowing Loooooove Goddess."
"Hey Pen," JJ sighed before she lifted her sandwich to her mouth and took a small bite.
"Gumdrop," Penelope cooed. "I hear you got married since we last spoke."
"God, not you too," JJ muttered around a mouthful of sourdough and turkey. She looked at the sandwich more carefully as she chewed, it was actually really good.
Penelope laughed lightly. "Couldn't help myself. Besides the memory thing, how's our girl doing?"
JJ finished chewing, taking her time, knowing that Penelope would wait, and swallowed before answering. "Fine. I think. Her doctor doesn't seem too concerned, they're just keeping her overnight as a precaution because she was unconscious for so long. And the confabulation."
"That is such a fun word," Penelope quipped in true Penelope fashion. "How are you doing?"
That is the million-dollar question, JJ thought to herself. "I don't know," she replied honestly. "I'm confused. Scared. She looks terrible, Pen. I'm nervous about how she's going to react once she realizes that we're not actually married. I mean, I know I'd said I was going to talk to her after this case, but now all this has happened and I don't know what to do. Hotch basically flat out told me that she has feelings for me and Derek "
"My Chocolate Adonis," Penelope interrupted, and JJ could hear the smile in her friend's voice.
"Right, him," she conceded. "He was weird when he came into the room just now kind of like he was warning me to not break her heart."
"That's because he's the strong-sensitive type. Seriously Jayj Derek and Emily are close, I'm sure she's talked to him about stuff."
JJ sighed. "Probably. But what do I do now Pen?"
"What you were going to do before now you just have to wait until she's thinking straight. Or, hopefully not straight, in this case but I think you know what I mean."
"Penelope," JJ groaned.
Garcia just laughed. "Look, Jayj, you know I love you like a sister she tripped your gaydar the first day she got here, and now you know for a fact that she's interested in you; because if she wasn't, she wouldn't think you two are married. Look at all of this as a good thing and a sign that you two are meant to be. And I call dibs on Maid of Honor."
"For who, me or her?"
"Please, you know my hunk of burning love is going to stand with her when the day comes. Now, go make me proud and take care of your woman."
"Right after I finish my sandwich," JJ replied as her stomach growled. "And, Pen thanks."
"My pleasure honey," Penelope answered softly. "Talk to her when you can Jayj, I really don't think you need to worry about risking your friendship anymore."
"I will," JJ promised before she hung up and looked out across the parking lot toward a copse of pine trees lining the road, thinking that she really hoped that Penelope and Hotch were right and that the vibe she was getting from Morgan was the correct one. "Please, please, please let this work," she muttered to whatever deity was listening, before she set to finishing her dinner so she could get back up to Emily's room.
Morgan looked up at the clock and sighed as he prepared himself to wake his partner, unable to keep from hoping that this 'married' version of Prentiss took to such things better than she normally did. Marriage was supposed to mellow a person out, right?
"Hey, Prentiss," he said softly as he reached out to grasp the brunette's upper arm and give it a careful shake. "Come on, Emily, time to wake up."
He tried again, squeezing her arm a little bit harder, and shaking her a little more forcefully. "Emily Elizabeth Prentiss," he ordered in his most authoritative voice. "Time to wake your ass up."
Still nothing. If anything, he could have sworn he heard her growl at her.
"Goddamn woman!" he swore softly. She always was a pain in the ass to wake up. He crossed his arms over his chest as he appraised his sleeping partner. When all else fails, there is nothing left to do but pull out the big guns. "Hey, Em, JJ is looking damn fine in that itsy bitsy string bikini."
Emily's good eye flashed open as she bolted upright in bed. "Bikini?"
Morgan laughed. "Knew that would work."
"You ass," Emily groaned as she laid back down and looked up at her smirking partner. "Where is Jennifer, anyway?"
Jennifer? he mused, carefully concealing the smirk that wanted to erupt. "Pen wanted to talk to her so I told her to go stretch her legs, eat the dinner I brought her, and call Garcia."
Emily nodded slowly. "Did you get a confession out of Quinn?"
Morgan let out a soft sigh and nodded. "Yeah," he replied as he leaned back in the uncomfortable chair and laced his fingers behind his head. "Full confession. He's being transported to his new home as we speak."
"Good. Did he give you guys any idea of why he did it?"
"Daddy issues," Morgan summarized, knowing that even severely concussed she would understand.
"The good ol' daddy issues." Emily shook her head. "Only surpassed by the monumentally crippling mommy issues." She was interrupted from questioning her partner further by a soft knock on the door before it swung open silently on well-oiled hinges. "Hey, Hotch," she greeted.
"Emily." Hotch smiled as he walked into the room carrying two nearly identical black go-bags, which Emily immediately recognized as belonging to herself and JJ. "How are you feeling?"
"Like I got whacked upside the head with a two-by-four."
"That's because that is exactly what happened," Reid quipped as he followed Hotchner into the room. "Where's JJ?"
Hotch watched Emily carefully, noting the softening of the brunette's features just from hearing the blonde's name.
Emily waved a semi-annoyed hand at Morgan. "Muscles, here, sent her away."
"She'll be back," Morgan defended himself. "Trust me Prentiss, you don't want her sitting in this chair nonstop, they are not comfortable at all. My back is already starting to hurt."
"That's because you're a wuss."
"Well, technically, the back pain he's experiencing can most likely be attributed to the "
"REID!" Emily and Morgan growled.
"Sorry," the young genius apologized quickly.
"Hey guys," a new voice entered the fracas and Emily looked up at its source with a smile that did not go unnoticed by anybody in the room. "Hey, Em," JJ greeted Emily softly. "How are you feeling?"
"Better now," Emily murmured as she caught the blonde's gaze. Those bright blue eyes never failed to suck her right in, and she was a little concerned about the hesitancy she saw swirling in them. "Come sit by me?"
JJ looked around the room quickly, noticing that the guys had taken the three chairs available before she nodded and made her way over to Emily's bed. She watched Emily's face carefully as she perched herself lightly on the edge, wanting to make sure that she was not jostling the brunette too much.
"Come on, Jen," Emily murmured as she reached out and tugged at JJ's hip, urging the blonde further onto the bed.
JJ sighed and scooted back a bit further so that she was now actually sitting on the bed beside Emily. "Better?"
"For now," Emily drawled as she began rubbing light circles on the small of JJ's back.
JJ bit back a groan as she fought to keep from relaxing into Emily's loving touch, and decided that the best way to control the situation was for her to ignore the suddenly wide-awake brunette beside her. "Derek said the plan is to fly back tomorrow?"
"Thank god," Emily sighed. "I hate hospitals."
The group laughed and nodded knowingly.
"Am I too late?" Rossi asked with a laugh as he sauntered into the room. "Sorry, I got lost. There weren't any crying nurses for me to follow to her room this time."
"One time, I made a nurse cry," Emily said exasperatedly. "One time! And you have never let me live it down!"
JJ laughed and turned to look at Emily. "Em, it might have been one time, but it was three nurses and a candy striper," she recalled, her eyes twinkling with amusement. "In an hour."
"Hey now," Emily mock growled as she reached out and tickled JJ's side playfully. "You're supposed to be on my side Jennifer."
JJ laughed and easily batted Emily's hand away. "Watch it Prentiss," she threatened as she turned to face the brunette again. She felt her heart literally skip a beat as she caught sight of Emily's one good eye looking back at her, full of love with all of the brunette's infamous walls torn down. "I mean it," she murmured a little breathlessly as Emily continued to hold her gaze captive.
Hotch cleared his throat. "You know, I think we'll head back to the hotel now."
Reid looked confused. "We just got here."
Morgan jumped to his feet. "Yeah, I wanna grab a soak in the hot tub. Come on Doctor Reid," he wrapped an arm around the skinny man's neck, perhaps a little tighter than necessary, "you're going to come with me and explain the whole red shirt thing again."
Reid perked up at the prospect of being able to discuss Star Trek. "Okay!"
JJ stared at Morgan. "Be nice to Spence. I'll call you guys in the morning."
The men all said their goodbyes and left in a single-file line out the door. Hotch was the last to leave and as he pulled the door closed behind him he looked back at JJ who was watching them leave and Emily who was focused on the small circles she was drawing on the blonde's back. He gave JJ a wink of encouragement before he shut the door tightly, hoping that he was not doing his two obviously enamored agents a disservice by leaving them together in this situation.
"They are being rather thick about this whole thing, aren't they?" David Rossi asked as Hotch fell into step beside him.
Hotch nodded. "I just hope this doesn't push them further back into their shells once Emily gets her memory back."
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