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A Very Happy New Year
Ah, New Years. Of course there's a party. Of course it's at Penelope Garcia's, the girl would never pass up an opportunity to get all of her closest friends drunk and take pictures. Not that that's a bad thing, she's got some pretty amusing ones of Derek and Reid from last year (each with a lampshade and a cup of her wicked concoction) hanging on her walls. Could be they serve as a warning to unsuspecting party-goers to avoid Garcia's drink mixing skills-, could be she just likes to tease them and this is a very easy way to do that, either way the pictures are hilarious.
Emily didn't know how Garcia had done it, but the whole team was here, even Hotch and Rossi had shown up for a short time before excusing themselves and returning to family. It looked as though Garcia had invited her whole building to the fun and on top of that half of the FBI, and it looked as if they had all come. The festivities had spilled out of Garcia's actual rooms into the hallway and her neighbors' rooms. People would come and go visiting Garcia's buffet table and party kegs (yes, kegs. They were already working on the third and that doesn't even take into account all the liquor Garcia was mixing up special for her really brave guests).
One of those brave party guests was none other than Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau, Garcia's best friend and press liaison for the BAU. JJ was wandering around in all her glory, slightly tipsy in a completely endearing way, sober enough to not do anything stupid though, and making friends left and right with people who would probably regret that sixth drink come morning. JJ was also fending off some of the more forward gentlemen in the room, easily guiding their hands away from her ass and onto some convenient furniture or even just letting them drop, always in the kindest way possible. Emily was watching all these slightly drunk men hit on JJ with jealously festering in her gut, wishing she could just go up to JJ and take her off the market so to speak but knowing she'd never have the courage to (firstly because she wasn't too sure how JJ would react to something like that, and secondly because Emily hadn't had anywhere near enough alcohol to try it). She'd fallen for JJ almost as soon as she'd met the girl, but it hadn't really struck her how strong the feelings were until she saw JJ in that barn after she'd been attacked by the dogs in Georgia and realized she wanted nothing more than to take care of her. The feelings had only grown since then, fueled by their interactions; little touches, secret smiles, and shy glances. But she knew that it could never happen for them, Emily's luck just wouldn't permit it. So Emily settled in to discontentedly watch JJ move through the crowd gently turning down any and all advances while nursing her drink.
JJ had noticed her friend watching her; it was hard for JJ not to notice. She doubted anyone else in the room would know Emily was watching her, but JJ could feel Emily's eyes on her as solidly as though the gaze was in fact a caress. She didn't mind it, she was used to people watching her, but she wished like hell that Emily would do something about it. JJ knew Emily had feelings for her, she had always known when people were harboring romantic feelings for her, but she was puzzled as to why Emily hadn't yet approached her. She was positive she'd given Emily all the right signals, returning the longing gazes, touches that lasted a little longer than normal, smiling at her just to be smiling, and all those whispered conversations and assurances the two had shared on many a dark plane ride. So why the hell hadn't Emily asked her out yet? She couldn't believe she was thinking it, but maybe Emily didn't know how JJ felt and was scared to find out. JJ wanted to dismiss the thought as ridiculous, Emily was one of the bravest people JJ knew, but she couldn't quite put the idea aside. Yes, Emily was indeed brave when it came to risking life and limb in the pursuit of criminals, but she was one of the most emotionally remote people JJ had ever met. Emily always distanced herself; never talked about her feelings if she could avoid it, never put herself out there emotionally. At least, she never did any of that with her words but JJ knew how to read it in her eyes. Emily's eyes spoke volumes, dark and soulful; one just had to learn how to read them. JJ had learned a long time ago, which was how she'd come to fall for Emily in return. JJ took a sip of Garcia's mixed brew and came to a decision: if Emily wasn't going to do something about this then she sure as hell was!
Emily felt a shift in the air and peeled her eyes from JJ's form long enough to look at the time, nearly midnight, the new year was about to begin. When she looked back she couldn't see the blonde agent anywhere. She frowned; she really wanted to go looking for her but knew that would look suspicious, so she slumped back against the wall she'd been leaning on.
"Boo." Emily nearly spilled her drink when she jumped; she managed to save it just in time and look over at who had spoken. Her breath caught in her throat, it was JJ smiling prettily and leaning her shoulder against the wall.
JJ waggled her eyebrows and said "Hi, haven't seen you much tonight," almost a lie, JJ had known exactly where Emily had been (she hadn't really moved from this spot on the wall) and had snuck glances without Emily noticing.
Emily found a smile pulling at her lips of its own accord and she knew her eyes were glittering when she replied, "Hi." She didn't know exactly how to respond to the second part of JJ's statement so she ignored it and asked instead, "Been enjoying yourself?"
JJ wrinkled her nose, knowing Emily was avoiding her unasked question but she decided to play along anyway, "Kind of. It would be better if I didn't have to keep taking guys' hands off my ass every thirty seconds."
Emily quirked an eyebrow and said with a straight face but a teasing voice, "Aw, JJ, they can't help themselves. Your bum is just so damn pretty. It's almost like handing a carrot to a horse and expecting it not to eat it."
JJ laughed, teasing flirtation she could do though she'd much prefer to skip it and get to the whole I-like-you-and-you-like-me-so-let's-kiss-now phase of their relationship. She wasn't sure if she could handle just flirting with Emily if nothing more was going to come of it. "I just wish they didn't feel the need to touch. Looking, fine. I'm not so big on the touching. I mean, it is my butt and it's not like it's got a sign on it saying 'rub me and I'll be yours.' My butt is my butt and the only people allowed to touch it are me, my doctor, and my significant other." She ended her little speech with a firm nod and sipped some more of her drink.
Emily had listened, trying not to laugh, and she couldn't help but ask while looking into JJ's cup "How many of these have you had?"
JJ beamed, "Just the one. With Penny mixing them up that's all you need."
Emily could hardly believe that. She looked into JJ's cup again and noticed it was over half full, so it couldn't be the alcohol freeing JJ's speech like this.
"I'm not drunk, I promise. I'm barely even tipsy. My faculties are all in tact. I could recite the alphabet backwards for you if you'd like while standing on one leg and touching my nose with alternating index fingers." JJ's smile had just gotten wider and wider as she teased.
Emily laughed, "I don't think that will be necessary, thank you." Emily smiled at JJ gently, "It's good to see you in such high spirits."
Looking into Emily's eyes and reading what they were saying JJ found a gentle smile of her own, "You too, Em." Without thinking about it she leaned forward and put her head on Emily's shoulder while snaking her free arm around Emily's waist. Once she settled there she let out a sigh.
Emily was shocked, her heartbeat had doubled, and she didn't know what she was supposed to do. JJ had moved a little to take both their drinks and set them on a nearby table then rewrapped both arms around Emily. Eventually she shook off her shock and let her arms curl around JJ. She relaxed a little and questioned "JJ?"
10! JJ didn't acknowledge the question but did say, "Your heart's beating so fast, Em."
9! Emily, deciding on truth, said only, "I know." She felt JJ smile against her collar bone.
8! "I know, too, Emily."
6! "I know how you feel about me." Emily stiffened and tried to pull away, but JJ wasn't letting her go just yet. "Shh, it's alright. I've known for a while now. I've read it in your eyes a thousand times and I'm glad."
5! Emily, still stiff but slowly relaxing again, asked "You are?"
4! JJ looked up and into Emily's eyes, pulling back a little from her to do so but not letting her go, "I am."
3! Emily could hardly believe what was happening, she was ecstatic. She stared into JJ's eyes with a goofy smile on her face, completely unaware of anything but baby blues and the feel of JJ's body nestled against her own.
2! JJ pulled her out of the happy dreamland she'd unconsciously fallen into when she asked with a fond smile and a little exasperation, "Soooo, are you going to kiss me now, or what?"
1! Emily was shocked at herself, but recovered well. She smiled widely and said, "You bet your pretty little behind I am!" And she did. No more words were needed between them. For the next several minutes they were lost in a world consisting only of the two of them and their kiss, and everything was warm and soft and so very perfect.
All around them party revelers were shouting "Happy New Year!" and sharing brief kisses of their own. They never noticed Garcia sneak up and snap several very good shots of their first kiss, they didn't notice her show them to Derek and Reid before uploading them to her computer, and they certainly didn't notice Garcia emailing every member of the team copies of the pictures with the words 'About Damn Time!' captioned in the message.
They wouldn't know about all of that until they next went into work when they would realize that Garcia had changed the computer screensaver to be a slideshow of pictures she'd taken at the party featuring each member of the team and some funny shots of drunken antics, beginning with the peck Garcia herself had received from Derek and ending with a shot of JJ and Emily lost in their first kiss. They would then demand print outs of the pictures and make Garcia change the screensavers back with bright red blushes covering their cheeks and huge happy smiles pulling at their lips.
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