Disclaimer: I don't anything, except for who or what I make up.
I have another Criminal Minds story going, but I just couldn't get this out of my head, so I'm going to give it a whirl. I've seen seasons 1-9, but I'm on Netflix Time, so I haven't seen any of season 10 at all :(
Last thing—this is set in season 3, but before Will shows up.
All JJ wanted to do was sit quietly in her bedroom and think about how topsy-turvy her life had been lately, especially the last week alone. She really needed to sit down and sort out her priorities.
Only an hour ago, she and the BAU team had returned from a case in Oregon that had involved the disappearance of a family—a young couple and their infant daughter. The case had ended without any deaths, but even still, there had been a point when baby Zooey had been recovered before her parents were.
Although they never found out who had brought Zooey to safety, JJ found her at the police station where the BAU had set up camp. She was wrapped up in blankets and sleeping soundly in a small cardboard box on one of the benches in the main hallway. Zooey woke up when JJ picked her up, and because of that, the baby bonded with her immediately.
JJ couldn't help but return the favor, but it was almost with reluctance.
It wasn't that JJ disliked children—she loved them—but it seemed like babies or toddlers were everywhere she turned these days.
Normally, she didn't think twice about children unless she was interacting with a child or daydreaming about having her own, but because of recent events in her life, everything was different now.
Just before getting the call from Hotch that they'd be going to Oregon, JJ had been in the middle of telling her boyfriend, Baylor, about a very pressing matter: she was pregnant.
JJ had only known for a few hours beforehand, and she was in complete shock because she'd always wanted to be a mother, but she just didn't know if she could have Baylor's baby.
The two of them had met at the gym when she had been been kickboxing, and interested (mostly in her), Baylor offered to hold her punching bag steady for her while she got her energy out. JJ had been extra irritable that day because she'd just had a bad breakup—she'd caught her partner cheating on her.
Infuriated, JJ went straight to the gym.
Baylor cheered her up a great deal, and they ended up sleeping together that night, in more ways than one. JJ normally didn't go looking for hookups or even revenge sex, but she'd been spurned so badly that she threw caution to the wind and gave herself to Baylor.
They turned into friends with benefits because of that first sexual encounter and they got together twice more for that reason because they both enjoyed it, plus, neither of them had any other kinds of relationship commitments that they were tied to.
After a month or so, they decided to start dating. That soon turned out to be a mistake, though. Baylor was a nice enough guy when they were at the gym or out with his friends from the law firm, but behind closed doors, he was a totally different guy.
Baylor McMath was an abuser.
Never in a million years had JJ expected to find herself at the mercy of a man who was not only equipped with a horrible temper, but who also liked to use her as his personal punching bag when he was drunk… and lately, because of the way things had been going at his law firm, the drunk thing had been happening more than JJ cared to see. Or experience.
Now, JJ could defend herself well and good because she'd always been a strong believer in self-defense, and she always had to ready at a moment's notice in the field. But ever since Baylor had switched from taking his anger out on JJ's face to targeting mostly her body, JJ had become so very bruised that her body was constantly aching. Keeping up appearances, especially because she spent almost all of her time with a team of profilers and a very observant tech analyst was a project all by itself, and that almost drove her to exhaustion.
JJ wanted to give up and lie down.
But now she had a baby to consider in the middle of this mess. She didn't know what she was going to do about it yet, but she still had to be responsible for the time being.
The second she entered her home, and dropped her keys and bag on the table next to the door, she heard the TV in the living room. Baylor was there, and it sounded like he was watching ESPN, his channel of choice.
"Baylor?" JJ called out as she entered the living room and stood behind his chair, which would force him to look at her. "I'm back."
"You're late." he switched off the TV set and walked around the chair to face her. "You can be on time to work when you get calls at random hours, but you can't be on time when you come home to me from your jet-setting?"
"Okay, first of all," JJ fired back immediately. "The 'jet-setting' as you put it, is a regular part of my job description, so if you want to make this relationship work, you're going to have to get used to that part. Second, I'm not a profiler like most of the team is, Baylor. I'm a communications liaison, part of which means that ninety-five percent of the time, I decide where it is that we're going to, and because of that, I always have a little more paper work than the others do. And third—this isn't your home because it's mine! It's my name that is on the lease, and your place is downtown!"
Baylor just stared at JJ evilly, almost delighted. JJ had inadvertently opened a door, and since Baylor wasn't drunk this time around, he was really going to enjoy himself.
JJ immediately realized her mistake and began to apologize immediately. "Baylor, I'm so sorry—I'm tired, and I slipped! Please don't make me do it!"
Baylor advanced towards her, unbuckling his belt buckle. "If you think I'm going to let you off the hook because you're tired, then you are sorrowfully mistaken!"
JJ continued to plead with him as he continued to advance on her, which in turn made her back towards the couch, but all JJ could see was Baylor continuing to undress himself. The blond fought back a shudder—sometimes, when Baylor finished with her, she couldn't walk without feeling sore. Though she could usually hide that, it was getting harder now, and one of these days, it was going to draw out a question from one of her teammates.
"Please don't! I'll do anything, but just not this! Not tonight!"
"You know the rule—get to it."
Feeling even more shame than she usually did these days, JJ undid her own pants and laid down on the couch to let Baylor have his way with her.
She was finally broken.
After taking his time and spending himself inside JJ twice, Baylor eventually rolled off her, panting heavily for a moment before getting up and heading off to the bathroom for a shower. He abandoned JJ on the couch without a second thought, and it made her feel cheap, dirty, and used. JJ felt her stomach churn, though, when she remembered that there were still times when she and Baylor had consensual sex. She missed those times.
She honestly didn't know what to do, because the last time she'd come close to explaining her home life to Emily over the phone, Baylor had come over, drunk as a skunk, and she'd had to end the call to look after him.
Laying there on the couch as she tried not to cry in self-pity, JJ already knew that this was was going to be a too-sore-to-move night.
Emily, though. JJ needed to get herself together and call her because Emily made her feel safe… and in the back of her mind, JJ knew Emily would protect her. JJ also had the feeling that Emily would have her back in whatever choice she ultimately made about the baby. Penelope would, too, but she'd probably buckle and cry first. Emily would be steady all the way through, and that was what JJ really needed right now.
Emily, JJ thought as she stood and made herself decent. If I can just get my things together and leave before Baylor gets out of the shower, then I'll be safe.
JJ's hand was almost on the doorknob when…
"And just where do you think you're going?" Baylor had finished his shower and spotted her leaving. "We still need to finish that chat you started before you went to Oregon. Shut the door and come here."
JJ sighed and did as she was told, but when she approached Baylor, she leaned against the wall because the soreness was beginning to kick in.
"So," Baylor started. "You've been gone for a week—have you decided what you're going to do about the baby?"
JJ thought back to all of the time she'd spent with baby Zooey in the hospital. As far as she and the others had figured, sometime between being taken from her parents and then being brought to the station, Zooey had been left to the elements for awhile, and that was a bad thing not only because she was tiny, but also because it was winter, and temperatures dropped quickly throughout the day, even on the west coast.
That meant that after being tasked to stay with Zooey until she was up to par, JJ had done everything she could to get the baby's body temperature in order, including holding her skin-to-skin. JJ even went on to give Zooey kisses and cuddles, and even tell her stories and sing to her until she was comfortable enough to take a bottle from her. JJ loved that little baby and would always remember her, especially the way Zooey had managed to wrap her around her finger immediately when she wasn't even strong enough to hold her own head up all the way.
Truth be told, up until her encounter with Zooey, JJ had seriously been considering an abortion.
But now… that option was in doubt.
"No, Baylor." JJ finally said. "I haven't decided anything."
"Well, I'll give you money for an abortion or to go off somewhere and have it quietly, but we can't have this kind of inconvenience ruining our life together!"
"Don't you treat me like this is the 1950s, and I'm some scared, broke teenage girl! I'm not sure what I want to do—if I want to raise it, give it up, or have it at all—but I'm staying put in my home while I figure something out, since you clearly aren't invested in this!"
"Oh, really?" Baylor sneered. "Then where were you going just now? To your precious Emily?"
The color drained from JJ's face; she'd always been very careful not to talk in too much about about her colleagues in the five months that they had been together because she was the kind of person who preferred not to mix business with pleasure. Not sharing with Baylor the names of the people she worked with, saw the most and loved most was inluded in that preference.
"How do you know that name?"
"How else?" Baylor asked, as if the answer was blindingly obvious. "You say her name in your sleep all the time."
Baylor nodded. "Yeah! Don't tell me you're one of those dykes that swings both ways!"
JJ didn't know what to say to that because she did 'swing both ways,' and two relationships ago, she'd been in a relationship with a woman. Things hadn't worked out, so they ended things on good terms, and that had been that. But… even still, that had been almost a month before Emily had joined the BAU, and that had already been six months ago.
"I resent the term dy—oof!"
Out of nowhere, Baylor had sucker-punched JJ.
"Baylor, what the hell?" she gasped as she righted herself. "What was that for?"
"For talking about a woman in your sleep!"
He punched her again. THWOK!
"I'm done with you!"
"Good riddance." JJ muttered under her breath.
Angered by the backtalk, Baylor threw JJ against the base of the living room bookshelf, and while it didn't fall on her, a few of her heavier books fell off and landed on her left arm. JJ cried out in pain because of course it hurt, but she was also sure she felt something break.
In the distance, JJ heard the front door slam shut, meaning that Baylor had left and that she was finally alone.
Soon, JJ summoned the strength to move the offending objects off her arm, and when she dared to look at it, she almost passed out because it was a bright red shade that could be associated with bone breaks. Thankfully, the bone wasn't sticking out of her arm, but the limb in question was bent at a shape most unnatural.
Do not barf, JJ told herself as she got to her feet and focused on making her way over to her go bag, her goal being to retrieve her phone. Do not barf, do not barf. Call Emily.
She achieved her goal, although she sank to the floor and leaned against wall as she dialed Emily's number and held her phone to her ear with the hand that wasn't on fire.
Emily answered on the third ring, already in a happy mood because of some news she'd found out a doctor's appointment she'd gone to almost as soon as they'd landed.
"JJ, hi! Boy, do I have something really exciting to tell you!"
JJ said nothing, her heart sinking when she heard Emily's joy. How could anyone else been happy when she'd just gotten the tar beaten out of her?
"JJ?" Emily asked cautiously. "You still there?"
JJ responded, although she sounded miserable. "It was a mistake to call. I'm sorry to bother you."
Panic mounted in Emily's own heart just at the sound of her friend's tone, so she quickly said, "JJ, you are not a bother to me—never ever! Calling me tonight was not a mistake, sweetie! Are you at home?"
"Yeah, but it's bad and I'm really scared…"
"I'm already in my car, and really close to your street; keep talking to me and I'll come get you!"
The story came tumbling out, but Emily made it to her before she got to the parts about the baby and the broken arm. When Emily saw her, she fussed over her like a mother hen, and that already made JJ feel safe.
"That bastard broke your arm?" Emily gasped when she saw the wound. "That's what happened when he threw you against the bookshelf?"
JJ nodded, although a wince immediately followed that because she had a splitting headache. "Emily, I'm pregnant."
Had this conversation been anything other than what it was, Emily would have hugged her friend and congratulated her, so instead, she proceeded with caution.
"JJ, is this a good thing?"
"I don't know," JJ leaned against Emily, trying to relax. "Because until I was with baby Zooey, I seriously been considering an abortion…"
"Woah, hey!" Emily patted JJ's cheek with one hand when she started drifting off in mid-sentence. "You stay with me now, sweetheart! Stay with me!"
"Arm hurts…" JJ mumbled.
"I'm going to call for an ambulance now," Emily said as she dug her phone out of her jacket pocket. "But you've got to stay with me!"
The EMTs arrived quickly, and as they heeded Emily's words about JJ's pregnancy, they loaded the communications liaison onto a gurney and began checking for signs of a concussion as they stabilized her arm before they made their way out of the apartment and boarded the elevator out in the hallway.
"Where is Emily?" JJ managed to ask. "I need her."
"She's here." the first EMT told her as the lift began to descend from the seventh floor to the first. "Can you tell me your name?"
"SSA Jennifer Abigail Grace Jareau, badge number 20385."
"FBI, huh?" the EMT asked her. "What unit do you work for?"
JJ knew the EMT was asking her these questions to keep her focused on the situation, but she was currently on a single track.
"Emily?" she tried again as the second EMT outfitted her a nasal oxygen tube and an auxiliary oxygen supply. "Where are you?"
Emily appeared in her line of sight, immediately smoothing JJ's hair out of her face as she spoke to her.
"I'm right here, JJ." she cooed. "I have your bag, and everything, but you have to let the EMTs take care of you! I promise I'll be there when you wake up!"
The pain JJ was experiencing was already weighing her down, but still, she tried to protest. "I'm not tired…"
"Yes, you are, and that's okay." Emily told her. "Let them take care of you and the baby."
At the mention of her offspring, JJ finally shut down and laid back, retreating inside herself.
Did she want this baby? Did she want to raise it and love it?
Or did she want to abort it and pretend that she'd never gotten pregnant with an abuser's baby in the first place? She wasn't even sure how far along she was…
Did she want to be a mother, or did she want to go to bed at night knowing that she'd made the choice to snuff out an innocent child's life before it had even had its first chance to breathe?
JJ didn't know at all anymore.
Those were her last thoughts before finally passing out.