|A Moment on the Edge
Author: ilovetvalot PM
Had he finally pushed her too far? THREESHOT!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - D. Rossi & Jennifer J./JJ - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,420 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 09-27-11 - Published: 09-23-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7406182
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
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A Moment on the Edge
He knew where he would find her. After all, most people were creatures of habit, bound by some preset route in their brains to repeat certain behaviors, especially under crisis.
And his Jennifer was no different.
It took him less than five minutes to reach his barn, dusk seeming to settle deeper around him as he purposefully walked through the ankle high grass. The barn door squeaked as it always did when he pulled, announcing his presence, whether he wished for the forewarning or not. But as much as he knew where she would be, he also knew that she would know that he wouldn't leave her there alone. He never had before.
His habits were just as ingrained as hers.
Glancing up to the right, he nodded to himself as he saw a pair of blue-jeaned legs hanging over the edge of the top loft. Her favorite spot indeed. You could take the girl out of the country, but it was obvious that you couldn't take the country out of the girl.
Turning toward the wooden ladder leading up to the loft, he sighed heavily as he glanced down at his expensive suit. There was no help for it now. Taking the time it would have cost him to change would have only allowed her mere anger to cement itself into rage. And that was a threshold he tried to avoid crossing with this particular beauty whenever he could. Anger was bad enough, but it was manageable. Rage was another kettle of fish altogether, he thought silently as he climbed upward, carefully feeling each rung to see if it would tolerate his weight.
Reaching the top, he exhaled a grateful breath of relief as he spied her. "You know, I really wish you'd choose a place more conducive to conversation as your hiding spot," he remarked as he bent his head, carefully shuffling his body over to where she was seated, tucking the package he had carried with him behind him.
"The whole point of having a hiding spot is so that people will leave you the hell alone," JJ retorted, tossing her hair over her shoulder to glare at him. "And by people, I am specifically referring to you, Rossi."
Damn, she was using his last name. Not a great portent of things to come for him. "When have I ever not come looking for you, Jareau?" he asked, deliberately last naming her as well. Scooting to sit beside her, he made sure to keep the requisite six inches between them that she demanded when she was pissed. Touching her now might earn him a bullet, and he wasn't overly anxious to visit the ER and explain his way out of a gunshot wound.
The paperwork alone would be a nightmare.
Determinedly staring ahead, JJ murmured darkly, "Fine. Don't bitch to me later about another ruined suit then." She shrugged, shifting angrily away from him.
Watching her jerky movements, Dave cringed. The woman he loved was clearly beyond merely annoyed at him. "I won't," he said softly, letting out a sigh under his breath. Met with stony silence from her, he simply sat studying her profile for a few moments, giving her time to get used to his presence. "Jen, talk to me," he urged quietly when it became glaringly evident that she was not going to breach the silence between them. "We can't solve anything if we can't discuss it like adults."
"I don't think you want me to say anything right now, Rossi," she replied, her voice low and alarmingly devoid of any emotion at all.
Heartbeat accelerating slightly as he recognized just how close to the edge he must have pushed her today, Dave frowned. "Yeah, I do. I wanna talk this out. I want to fix it, Bella," he said earnestly, taking a chance and inching closer.
"How many times have I heard you say that lately?" JJ asked bitterly, her shoulders stiffening at his statement.
Wincing, Dave silently admitted she had a point. Lately, it appeared that his aptitude for suave and charm had deserted him. Whether it was a side effect of the grueling caseload the unit had been facing lately or simply because they'd reached the stage in their relationship where he'd devoted less time and energy to maintaining the open lines of communication they'd once shared, mistakenly assuming that she'd forgive him his errors, he didn't know. Whatever the case, it was more than obvious that the woman he had fallen in love with had reached the limit of her patience. "Jen," Dave said hesitantly, uncertain how to even begin to mend the fraying threads of their relationship.
Holding up a hand, JJ shook her head. "Don't. Just don't. I'm not interested in your excuses anymore. I don't want to listen to you making promises you have no intention of keeping."
Shaking his head, Dave wondered if he could even reach her any longer as he said, "I never intended to not keep my promises, Jen. I love you too much to ever do that to you."
Rolling her eyes as she picked at a strand of brittle hay, JJ snorted as she said, bitterly sarcastic, "Yeah, I could see the love this afternoon, Rossi. You were just exuding it in that so-called interview." Kicking out a leg, her foot connected soundly with his ankle as she added angrily, "What was she, Dave? Twenty-two? Twenty-three?"
"I didn't ask her age, Jen," he replied, careful to guard his tone...although he really just wanted to howl loudly. "It was a professional interview. She asked questions and I answered them. We've all done hundreds of them in the past. This one was no different."
Damn it, how many times would the two of them travel down this fucking road together? For months, this alternately infuriating and captivating woman oscillated between hot and cold. One day, guarded and aloof, and the next a paragon of amour in feminine form, Jennifer Jareau was determined to drive him insane by slow degrees. And as much as he loved her in all her various forms, he was headed toward a case of severe whiplash.
"No different," JJ sneered, turning her head slowly and eyeing him incredulously. "Are you seriously going to try that on me of all people? You're forgetting, Rossi, I used to be the recipient of those charming smiles and suave demeanor. Believe me, I know the signature Rossi flirtations when I see them in action."
Blinking, Dave's jaw dropped. "First, I don't have any signature moves," Dave sputtered, growing angrier by the second. "Second, since when is being courteous and polite grounds for accusing me of flirting. And EVEN IF I WAS, how many times have I had to stomach watching you bat your eyes at some damn cop or reporter in order to get your way?"
"Not the same thing," JJ retorted, glaring at him as she scooted farther away. "Not by a long shot. When I use my so-called charms, it's usually in an effort to get you or one of the team information you need. YOU were trying to sell a book. Big difference."
Running a hand down his face, Dave shook his head. They couldn't be having this argument. Not again. Not for the third time in two months. "Jen," Dave sighed, keeping his voice low, "I don't want to have this fight again. I really don't. I feel like I'm listening to a broken record. You accuse me and I defend myself. I haven't DONE anything to warrant this level of suspicion from you."
Stiffening as his words washed over her, JJ swallowed tightly. "Then maybe this should be the last time we have this discussion," JJ said softly, forcing the words past her thickened throat as she began to push off the hay strewn loft. "Maybe we need to cut our losses and..."
Frowning, Dave captured her thin wrist quickly. "Don't you dare finish that sentence," he growled. "You don't quit a relationship because of a disagreement...a difference of opinion, Jen."
"You think that's what this is, Dave? A mere difference of opinion?" JJ laughed, the sound hollow and empty in the vacant loft.
Author's Note: Hello, Friends. A couple of announcements for all of you. First, you still have approximately SEVEN days to sign up for "The Masquerade Challenge" for October's on "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum. We also have a "Freaky Friday" mini-challenge in progress for those interested. Details for both can be found at the forum. We'd love to have all of you sign up. I think we'll have a lot of fun this Halloween Season.
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