|A Shadow Cast
Author: ilovetvalot PM
Written in response to Kavi's TV Prompt Challenge Bonus #11 - Frontline "The Shadow We Cast". Co-auth'd w/tonnie2001969. Chapters 4/5 are rated M.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - D. Rossi & Jennifer J./JJ - Chapters: 6 - Words: 8,061 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 04-01-10 - Published: 03-27-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5846232
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: I've played with the timeline here some. Slight spoilers for Season Five. Written in response to Kavi's TV Prompt Challenge Bonus #11 Frontline - "The Shadow We Cast".
A Shadow Cast
Peering through the open window blinds of his office, she found him just where she expected, dark head perpetually bent over some countless file spread on his desk. If not with the team, profiling a case, this is where she always found him. Working. Always working. As per usual with a bottomless cup of black coffee at his elbow.
Tapping gently on his open door, keeping her touch light and unobtrusive, she waited for him to look up, his dark obsidian gaze welcoming her. It never failed to fill her with warmth, that gaze. It was, always, slow and unhurried. Not overtly sexual, but neither was it innocent either. It was aware...and filled with a promise she had only to ask for. Not that she had. She hadn't blurred the lines. Not yet, at any rate.
"Hey," he said, leaning back in his chair as he dropped his fountain pen casually onto a stack of papers. "You're here late."
"Just trying to wrap up some loose ends," JJ shrugged, easing into his office, her feet following the same path she'd taken many times before.
"I know the feeling," he nodded, rolling his shoulders slightly, working out hours of kinks in those simple motions.
Dropping easily into the leather chair at the corner of his desk, JJ let herself relax for a moment, the weight of the day having finally caught up with her. Smiling wearily, she watched as he brought a hand to the back of his neck, massaging obviously tight muscles. Cocking her head to the side, she murmured, "You've had a long and busy day."
"I'd say we all have," Dave replied easily, his eyes glued to the way her shimmering blonde hair fell perfectly over her shoulder as she tilted her head.
"Par for the course, I'd say," JJ replied with a slight nod, pushing the mental pictures of the last case from her mind. Letting out a sigh, she smiled as she said, casually, "I got an interesting email today."
"You gonna make me play twenty questions again to get the details? Do I need to remind you how badly that went the last time?" Dave grinned, cocking one brow as he leaned forward, his fingers wrapping around his pen.
"I vaguely remember you threatening some kind of atrocity against Garcia's troll dolls. Then I sorta recall her threats to put you on the Department of Homeland Security's no fly list. It gets fuzzy after that," JJ laughed lightly.
"Well, you got the gist, anyway," Dave chuckled, tapping his pen against the blotter as he ignored the surge he felt at the sound of that beautiful tinkling laugh. "So," he asked casually, settling back in his chair as he crossed his ankles, "Who'd you hear from?"
"A very excited little girl," JJ smiled, tapping her fingers against the wooden armrest, shifting in her seat to turn toward him. "Seems she was very excited about the BAU's generous donation to her college fund in honor of her confirmation into the Catholic Church. Know anything about that, Rossi?" JJ asked, arching one perfect brow as she stared across the desk at him.
"Kid got a hell of a curveball thrown at her," Dave muttered noncommittally, avoiding her direct gaze as he sunk a bit more down into his seat. "Just trying to ease the load a little. It was nothing."
"It was a lot of money," JJ said quietly, unwilling to allow him to sidestep her with his usual natural ease.
"Green paper," Dave grumbled, shrugging as he waved a negligent hand in the air. "That's all it is. And I've got a lot of it. That kid is gonna have a hard enough road to travel without a father."
"Why do you always do that?" JJ asked curiously, watching his face flush as he averted his eyes to his computer screen, the soft light only serving to illuminate the blush creeping over his cheeks.
"What?" Dave growled uncomfortably, wondering how she always managed to make him feel that she was looking into his soul.
"Try to downplay what you do for other people," she charged quietly, crossing her legs as she settled deeper into the comfortable chair. "You'd rather I came in here and chewed your ass than listen to me give you a compliment."
"Maybe you're just more adept at the ass chewing. Or maybe I just enjoy the bite of pain...or maybe..."
Pursing her lips, JJ asked, interrupting him easily, "You done yet? Or is this little comedy routine of yours gonna go on a while longer?"
"Writing a check didn't qualify me for sainthood, okay?" Dave huffed, shifting under the scrutiny of her gaze. "It was just a little money for a kid that lost her dad."
"Kinda like the trust fund you set up for Henry after Will died last year," JJ charged, her voice barely a thread of sound as she watched Dave lift shocked eyes to hers. "Yeah," she nodded, with a soft smile at his obvious surprise, "I knew."
"Well, hell!" Dave sighed, looking away again as he felt himself suddenly exposed. "Who blabbed?"
"Doesn't matter," JJ murmured with a soft shake of her head. "Why didn't you tell me? And why did you do it?"
Licking his lips as he stared at the print hanging on the wall, Dave tried to think of a reason he could give her that she'd accept. And every response that ran through his mind, he rejected, knowing she'd demand more. Finally, he asked, gruffly, "Can't we just chalk it up to anonymous generosity and leave it alone."
"And the surprise life insurance policy wasn't an insurance policy at all, was it?" JJ asked evenly, watching his face tighten guiltily at her knowing words. "And the department didn't pay for his funeral, either. I checked."
"All right, enough," Dave said quietly, leaning his head back against the tall leather backrest. "And by the way...I didn't handle the funeral alone...that was all of us."
"Why, David? Why do you hide things?" JJ asked, keeping her voice level as she waited for his answer.
"Everyone needs their secrets, Jen," he shrugged, casting his eyes to the side as he tried to avoid her all-seeing gaze.
"But secrets are hidden. These are no longer hidden, therefore they are no longer secrets," JJ objected easily, no condemnation in her tone as she stated her facts. Cocking her head to the side, she added, softly, "Well, they are still secret to most. But I know the truth, Dave."
"I wish you didn't," he said with a sigh, shifting uncomfortably in his chair, the slight spotlight she was dropping on him far brighter than any searchlight ever thrown into the midnight sky. "It was easier when you didn't know."
"That I didn't know what?" JJ picked up on that last phrase, leaning forward in her chair as she let a small smile play on the edge of her lips. "That I didn't know that underneath that gruff exterior you've perfected so well lies a soft heart capable of great generosity? That the man that is alternately feared and reviled by reporters and press agents on all seven continents willingly gives away countless amounts of his vast fortune for orphaned children who have no connection to him? That I didn't know that?"
Feeling his jaw clench as he swallowed hard, he shook his head as he mimicked her pose, leaning forward to press his elbows into his desk. "You think that's all there is, Jen? That it's all about giving away money?"
"No, I don't, Dave," she answered softly, her deep blue eyes meeting his flashing dark gaze. "I know it's more. I just wonder if you realize it."