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By Kassandra Luem
It's late, well past midnight and still you can't sleep. You're wide awake, staring at her face as the moonlight makes her honey hair shimmer a pale, almost silver colour.
She looks like a vision, like some enchanted creature from another world. In this light, at this time of night, she almost looks insubstantial to you. Like a ghost. Like she would fade the moment you try to touch her, your fingers only slipping through chilly night air.
Which is ridiculous consideringhow very there her body was when you touched it only hours before.
But in some ways, it's so true it makes you ache all over. In some ways she's already gone even though her warm, breathing body is still lyig next to yours. If you tried to touch her in the morning; if you woke her up right now and moved to caress her, she would flinch away. And your fingers would only be slipping through chilly night air instead.
So you don't reach out. You don't wake her up and You. Don't. Touch. Her. You content yourself with simply lying next to her, watching her breathe. Because you want to pretend to yourself just a little while longer that she's really there, all of her: Mind, body, heart and soul. Not just this shell and the void she needs you to fill.
Everytime she appears on your doorstep without a smile on her face, but that hunger in her eyes, you silently hope that this time, it will be different. This time, there will be cuddling after and breakfast in bed.
But it's always hard and fast. You giving her what she needs and she giving you what she thinks you want in return. Come morning, she'll open her eyes, ignore the way you're staring at her, gather her clothes and be out the door within a few short minutes. And you'll be left with nothing but the ghost of her scent on your sheets.
You wonder what she feels.
You wonder what makes her come to your doorstep every second night or so.
No. You know what makes her come to your doorstep.
What you don't understand is: What makes her come to your doorstep?
Is it that obvious that you want her? Do you have a sign hanging above your head, saying: 'I'm ready whenever you are'? Maybe it's the strange familiarity/distance you still hold in the team. She knows you well enough to be comfortable around you, but she doesn't know you well enough, or care enough about your opinion to be embarrassed when you meet at work on the morning after. Maybe it's that mixture in between 'The new girl' and 'The almost friend' that makes her come to you for comfort.
No, it's not comfort you're sharing. It's not even comfort sex. It's just sex. Quick fill-the-void sex that doesn't mean anything.
Except, it means the world to you.
You don't know what you were expecting when you joined the team, but you know for sure that you weren't expecting this. You didn't expect to fall in love and you sure as hell didn't expect the woman you fell in love with to appear on your doorstep three nights after you buried your youngest colleague who was like a brother to her. She had tears in her eyes and she smelled of smoke and the second you opened the door she kissed you hard on the mouth. You didn't even make it to your bedroom that night.
She was gone when you woke up in the morning and you were puzzling the whole day long, whether you had only dreamed the whole thing. And then swhe stood at your door the day after that. And the day after. And you started to realize that you hadn't dreamed it after all. Her hunger, her emptiness, her confusion and fear, they were definitely there.
Still, part of you wonders if she ever was.
You wonder who it is you're lying next to almost every second night.
You want to get to know her again, because this JJ is so very different from the JJ you got to know the first time.
Grief can do that to people, you know. Grief can change people and make them blind to everything going on around themselves.
You just wish she wasn't quite that blind. You just wish you didn't feel like more and more of her emptiness stays with you everytime she leaves your apartment without a word. You don't know how much more of this emptiness you can take before everything you are slowly disappears into the bottomless void. JJ's like a black hole and your beliefs, your integrity, your confidence and your soul are the asteroids being sucked into it.
You know the two of you need to talk.
You know you have to tell her that it wasn't her fault Reid got taken in the first place. That Henkle got him addicted to Dilaudid. That Reid just couldn't kick the habit after. That he ended up overdosing and dying alone in a cold motel bed.
But you can't.
You don't know how to.
You firmly believe it wasn't JJ's fault Reid got taken. But how can you convince her it wasn't her fault she didn't notice he was still taking that stuff when you beat yourself up over the very same thing every single day? You know she would see it in your eyes, you know she'd see the pain and the guilt and the blame and she would ask you the exact same question: 'If it's not my fault I didn't notice, then how come it's yours?'
You can't do it.
What you're doing is not healthy, it's slowly destroying you both, but you don't know how to talk to that ghost that's lying beside you. You're too afraid that she'll fade, that she'll dissolve in the cold, humid air once you open your mouth.
And sadly you realize that you'd rather have her here as a ghost than not have her at all.
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