|Breakfast in LA
Author: JuliaB PM
Post Somebody's Watching [ElleJJ pairing]: After leaving Lila’s villa, Elle and JJ have breakfast together and JJ feels there’s more to it than just two friends spending time with each other.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Words: 2,242 - Reviews: 5 - Published: 09-25-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3802840
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds and there is no infringement of copyright intended.
Summary: This is set after Somebody's Watching, but there are no spoilers.
After leaving Lila's villa, Elle and JJ have breakfast together and there's something more to it than just two friends spending time with each other. (This story has an Elle/JJ pairing, because I think it's being terribly neglected!)
Title: Breakfast in LA
When they had finished at Lila's villa, it was past 4 am in the morning. JJ was the one who had the most work to do after the killer had been caught because paparazzi were soon swarming all over the place. She gave a detailed statement, leaving out everything that was too personal for Lila, but those camera swinging maniacs wouldn't stop asking questions. LA reporters were a real pest.
When JJ had finally gotten away from the horde she fled behind the police line and hid behind an SUV. It was the place where Elle found her five minutes later.
"Hey", the brunette woman said, smiling at her. "What are you doing here all alone?"
"Hiding from the reporters", JJ whispered. "I fear they might try to eat me alive."
Elle chuckled before taking a sip from the paper cup in her hand. She wrinkled her nose in disgust. "God, this shouldn't even be allowed to be served in a coffee cup", she complained.
JJ, who couldn't come up with a smart or at least slightly funny remark, just smiled at her. Like any other time when she was alone with Elle, she felt a bit self-conscious and couldn't think of the right things to say. In the beginning she hadn't been able to explain to herself why she was reacting so strangely to Elle, but by now she was almost entirely sure that it had something to do with the other woman's eyes. When their gaze fell upon her, each and every smart remark seemed to be magically wiped from her mind. It was frustrating, really. Because normally she never had problems forming deeper contact with other people. She had a lot of friends. And she would really like to add Elle to that list of friends. But sometimes, the way the other woman was looking at her disturbed her in a way that made it difficult for her not to stutter, let alone have a decent conversation.
"Gideon says we can leave", Elle informed her. "But we're flying back to Washington at 8 am, so I guess it's already too late to get any sleep."
JJ sighed. "It's a good thing we're used to staying up all night."
"Yeah. But, I was thinking we could go somewhere for a very early breakfast. Get some decent coffee. Only we girls?"
"Sure", JJ answered, before even wondering what Elle's motivation for this invitation might be. "Where d'you wanna go?"
"I think I saw a nice diner near the hotel this morning. We could go there, then we needn't worry about getting to the hotel in time."
"Okay", JJ agreed and smiled when Elle produced the keys for the SUV seemingly out of mid-air.
"Mind if I drive?" Elle asked.
"Not at all." JJ smiled and climbed onto the passenger's seat.
They drove through the deserted streets while the eastern sky slowly started to show first signs of daylight. They had the radio on, listening to a station that was playing oldies, and talked about when they had first heard each of the songs.
When they reached the part of town where their hotel was located, JJ was definitely feeling the lack of sleep wearing on her. "I need coffee", she groaned. "And food." She was starving.
"Hmmm … Pancakes", Elle said. "With blueberries."
"Yeah, and muffins!" JJ added.
They soon spotted the diner they had been looking for and pulled into the small parking lot next to it.
"Are you cold?" Elle asked, when they had both climbed out of the car and JJ started rubbing her arms with her palms.
"I'm always cold when I'm tired", JJ explained.
Elle smiled at her, making JJ feel warmer almost immediately. "Come on", Elle said, placing a gentle hand on her back. "Let's get you some hot coffee."
They walked into the almost empty diner. There was only one very old man sitting at a table in the corner. The waitress, a matronly middle-aged woman, smiled at them. They sat down at a table near the still dark windows, facing each other. JJ smiled and Elle answered with one of those looks.
"Coffee?" the waitress asked from behind the counter and they both nodded.
The woman placed to big cups in front of them and filled them from a pot. "You're lucky, I just brewed it", she said, smiling at them.
JJ watched as Elle lifted the cup to her face and inhaled the scent of the dark liquid. She sighed in pleasure and closed her eyes. JJ shuddered, but told herself that she was still cold.
"Do you want breakfast, sweeties?" the older lady asked.
"Do you serve pancakes?" JJ asked.
"Best pancakes in LA", the woman, Martha, according to her name-plate, said. "And I have fresh blueberries, what do you say?"
"Perfect", Elle said. "For two, please."
When Martha was gone to make the pancakes, Elle and JJ looked at each other for a long moment of silence.
JJ, who always had problems with long silences and felt very uncomfortable, finally came up with something to say: "I worked in a place like this when I was still on high school."
"Impossible!" Elle said, feigning shock.
JJ grinned. "I guess I asked my dad for money one time too often. One evening he said 'Young lady, you want a new dress, you're going to have to do something for it'." She had tried to make her voice sound deeper than usual to imitate her father's baritone. She almost blushed when she managed to make Elle laugh. "So I went looking for a job", she continued. "What?"
Elle just didn't seem to be able to wipe the grin from her face. "Sorry", she said. "It's just … I really can't imagine you as a waitress."
"Yeah, and that might be for the same reason – which is still a mystery to me – why I was the worst waitress in the history of this country."
This time, Elle laughed out loud. "What did you do?" she wanted to know.
"I kept confounding the orders. And if I managed to pick up the right dish for the right table – which didn't happen very often, believe me – then I was just bound to drop it on the way. I think I spilled more milkshakes over the guests than I actually managed to serve." JJ was very aware of how amusing Elle found her story, and she was pretty much enjoying herself here. Were her inhibitions towards Elle finally wearing off?
"I would so much like to have seen this", Elle chuckled.
"Well, after some weeks my boss decided that he didn't want to see it anymore."
"Aw! Did he fire you?"
"Yes. And I was glad. I decided to live with the clothes that were already in my cupboard and spent my pocket money more carefully."
"But I guess your boss lost a lot of customers with you."
"What do you mean?" JJ asked confusedly.
"I always thought good looking waitresses are the main reason why boys in a town choose a diner. Your admirers must have filled the place."
JJ hoped that her face wasn't as red as she feared it was. It wasn't so much what Elle had said, it was the look that accompanied the words. Starting to feel self-conscious again, JJ tried to get out of the situation by making a joke.
"Having a milkshake spilled down your shirt is not a thing high school boys accept easily, even if they think the girl who did it is pretty."
Elle smiled at her and JJ blushed even more. Luckily, the waitress chose this moment to serve their pancakes. She placed two plates piled with food in front of them. There were pancakes, different sorts of fruit, whipped cream and syrup.
"Wow", Elle said. "I knew I was going to like this place."
They started to eat and it was silent between them for a minute or two. JJ, feeling uncomfortable again, finally spoke: "What was the worst job you ever had?"
Elle thought about the question for a moment, then she started to grin. "Oh my god, I haven't thought about this in ages! The worst job I ever had was babysitting Joely Carter when I was fifteen. I swear that boy came directly from hell!"
JJ smiled into her coffee, looking over the rim of the cup at Elle, who was now describing how little Joely had eaten her lipstick in order to pay her back for not letting him eat cake for dinner and had to be taken to the doctor. Elle had never seemed to like talking about her past, but today JJ could see that she was enjoying herself. She was having fun. Her eyes had brightened and her features, which often wore a very serious expression, had softened considerably. She looked very beautiful in that moment – even more beautiful than usual.
No! JJ said to herself. Not these thoughts again! Elle was her friend and colleague and what she was feeling – thought she was feeling, sometimes – was just ridiculous. She wasn't even sure if what she thought she saw in Elle's eyes when she looked at her was really there. She could be imagining things, she was no profiler after all!
"JJ? Hey, JJ?"
"Huh?" JJ asked. She had been completely lost in thought.
"Is everything all right?" Elle asked, sounding a little bit worried.
"Yes, of course", she hurried to say. "I'm sorry. Please, continue."
She could see that Elle was confused by her strange behavior, but she continued her story about Joely Carter anyway. JJ forced her twirling thoughts and doubts to the back of her head and focused her attention on Elle. And while she felt herself relax more and more in the other woman's presence and her sleepiness was chased away by the coffee and the sudden excitement that ran through her body every time Elle's eyes met hers, she started to think that maybe, only maybe, she might not be imagining things.
"Geez, look at the time!" JJ exclaimed.
Elle looked at her wristwatch and raised her eyebrows. "Can we pay, please?" she called over to Martha, who nodded and came over.
It was already half past six. They needed to get to the hotel and get their stuff to be at the airport in time. They had spent more than two hours in the diner and JJ hadn't even noticed how time had passed. The place was filled with people by now and the sun was shining outside.
JJ reached for her purse, but Elle quickly reached across the table and placed one hand on her forearm. "Don't", she said. "I invited you."
"No, you only asked if I wanted to have breakfast. We didn't talk about who's buying."
"Yeah, but now we do and I want to invite you", Elle said firmly. "Please?"
"Okay", JJ sighed. "But I want a possibility to pay you back when we're back at home."
"Sure", Elle said rather cheerfully. "I'd like that."
Wow, JJ thought to herself. Did I just ask her for another meeting? But what's the big deal! We are friends.
Back at the hotel they walked down the corridor to their rooms together. When they reached Elle's door they stopped and JJ felt the sudden need to say goodbye, which was ridiculous because they were going to see each other again in less than half an hour.
"Thanks for coming with me", Elle said. "I was having a great time."
"Yeah, me too", JJ said. "It was a good idea to have breakfast together." She smiled nervously, before adding: "And we really should repeat that – some day, before work."
"That would be great", Elle agreed. "Well … I guess we should pack now."
"Yes", JJ nodded, but neither of them moved.
Slowly, Elle started to smile, and JJ couldn't help but smile back. And then Elle took one step forward and hugged her. She felt warm and soft and JJ liked the way she smelled, a mixture of a fruity shampoo and coffee. JJ's arms had encircled Elle's waist and their cheeks were touching.
Elle was the one who let go first and now she really reached for the doorknob. She smiled at JJ one last time. "See you at the parking lot in …", she checked her watch, "… twenty minutes."
"Okay", JJ said, barely bringing out more than a whisper. She waited until Elle had closed the door, then slowly walked to her own room.