Title: Crash and Burn
Summary: The team is heading home after case, but when their plane goes down in the Rocky Mountains, they have to battle injuries, the elements, and a forest fire in order to survive. JJ-Centric, but still involving all the team.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Criminal Minds peeps. (If I did, I'd give JJ more to do…) I'm just playing with them.
1 – Crash
Reid's mouth dropped open in indignation. "I do not cheat!"
"He counts cards," JJ chimed in from where she was in the back of the plane getting a bottle of water. The team –minus Gideon, who had stayed behind because he had to teach, and, of course, Garcia because she rarely left her computer lab– was returning home from a rather nasty case in Oregon involving the kidnappings and murder of seven young women. The unsub had ended up being a dejected and hapless man in his late twenties who had snapped after the only girlfriend he had ever had and wanted to marry, broke up with him to date one of his coworkers. The case had been rather brutal on all of the team and while they were happy they had solved the case, they were even happier to be going home.
"I…well, only sometimes…" the resident genius conceded, shooting JJ a look, one in which she returned with a cheeky smirk.
"And that's cheating," Morgan declared, also smirking, as he took the deck of cards from Spencer and then leaned back in his chair to shuffle them himself.
"Well, the actual counting of cards isn't necessarily cheating, not if that's just how your brain works," Reid pointed out. "It's the intent in which you count them that determines whether or not the act is actually immoral."
"Yeah, yeah." Morgan shook his head and continued to shuffle.
JJ began to move back to her seat beside Reid when the plane suddenly lurched, sending her stumbling into the back of Emily's. Turbulence continued to rattle the jet for a few more seconds before it finally calmed.
"You ok, JJ?" the brunette woman asked, looking over her shoulder at the blonde.
JJ nodded. "I hate it when it does that."
"Maybe you should sit down," Hotch suggested, momentarily glancing up from the book he was reading to raise an eyebrow at her.
"I will," she replied, "after I check with Hampton and Cannon that rattling and rolling won't be a constant facet for the rest of the flight." No one protested as she crossed the rest of the cabin to the divider and headed into the cockpit. They all knew she wasn't exactly a fan of bumpy rides. Not that the rest of them were either, but JJ in particular seemed the least fond of them. The others theorized it had to do with some sort of motion sickness she might have, but she utterly refused to admit to anything of the sort. Typical JJ –always seeming to have the need to be constantly strong in front of everyone else.
"Hey boys," JJ greeted the two pilots, James Cannon and David Hampton, as she entered the cockpit, "Are we having a little turbulence trouble?"
David looked over his shoulder at her. He and Cannon were two of the Bureau's pilots and were, for the most part, assigned to fly the BAU around. It wasn't uncommon for JJ to come up and "harass" them about a little bumpiness, and he found it rather amusing. "It's nothing to worry about, Ma'am," he assured her with a smirk.
"Uh huh, you know that confidence I'm now supposed to be feeling? Yeah, not feelin' it," she retorted dryly.
"Hey now, we haven't crashed yet, have we?" David replied, grinning. He was a married man with two kids, but that didn't stop him from flirting with everyone female with two legs and a head.
JJ raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. "There's a first time for everything, Dave."
James shook his head. He was definitely the less jovial of the two pilots. "We had to alter course slightly to avoid a bad storm. That put us over some of the higher peaks of the Rockies and the turbulence is just a little bit of wind blowing up from there."
Pulling a face, the blonde woman leaned against the dividers frame and continued to look at the two men. "So, I'm assuming that means there will be more turbulence then?"
"Nothin' you need to worry your pretty little head about," was David's reply.
JJ rolled her eyes.
"He's right, Agent Jareau," James stated, "The turbulence shouldn't be a problem for much longer. Just go back into the cabin and try to relax."
"Yeah. Maybe take a nap?" David suggested, smirking again. "You look like you could use it."
"Oh, thanks, Dave," JJ deadpanned. "Your powers of flattery would astound even James Bond." Each word was dripping with sarcasm.
"Yeah, that's what his wife tells him before sending him to sleep on the couch," James decided to input, showing just a bit of his humor.
"Ha ha, we've got a funny guy here," David grumbled, narrowing his eyes at his copilot.
With the corners of her lips curling up just a bit, JJ reached forward and patted both men on the shoulder. "Ok, I'll leave you two to it, then," she said before making a quick retreat.
As she passed through the divider again, she couldn't help but wonder about how tired she really looked. Surely if David could see it, her teammates had to as well. Was it really that bad? Ok, yeah, she hadn't slept well in…well, a while, more so after her run in with the dogs in the barn when Reid had gone missing. She used to have nightmares before, sure. She had started having them after her first real case with the Bureau, but none so terrifying as the ones she had been having recently. She actually dreaded sleeping now and generally tried to avoid it until the last possible moment.
It was only then that she realized that someone was talking to her. She looked up, blinked, a blank look on her face. "What?"
Morgan frowned and glanced at Hotch for a quick moment before returning his attention to the blonde woman. "I asked, 'What's the word?'"
"The word?" JJ still looked confused.
"…On the turbulence."
"Oh." JJ made a conscious effort to wipe the befuddled look off of her face before adding, "Cannon says it shouldn't be a problem. Just some wind off of the Rockies." Just as the words were out of her mouth, the plane shuddered again, jolting JJ forward. She would have fallen flat on her face if she hadn't caught herself on Hotch's chair.
"I think that was a more than just a little wind," Emily said, gripping her armrests tightly.
Morgan gave the brunette a look. "Ya think?"
"JJ, maybe you should sit down?" Reid suggested in concern, repeating what Hotch had said to her earlier.
JJ gave the genius an 'Uh, yeah,' look in return as she straightened up and moved towards the seat next to him, but before she could reach him, the earsplitting noise of what sounded like metal tearing reverberated through the cabin and then the jet suddenly began to plummet. JJ had no time to react before she was thrown backward and cracked her head hard against the divider corner. The next thing she knew was blackness.
(A/N: Hope you liked the first chapter! Remember to CLICKY CLICKY the little button and let me know what you think! Need reviews to survive! More to come soon!)