A/n this was written as an answer to a challenge form OliviaElliotFan4ever.
Warnings: This story is rated for language violence and mention of rape and abortion. Please turn back now if you are offended by such things.
Disclaimer: I own nothing of CM. No profit is made from this posting and no copyright infringement is intended.
The BAU jet descended rapidly out of the night sky. The blackness overhead, and around the plane was full of stars that no one noticed because they were in various stages of waking up, or stowing headphones and playing cards in their packs.
JJ had been in a deep sleep, which was unusual for her. She hadn't the energy or the will to decide which case in her stack needed the team's attention. The last case had been tough on all of them. A religious cult had sprung up in the deserts of New Mexico. The leader had raped and killed several young women that had tried to leave the cult. They had gotten to him in time to prevent a mass suicide on the level with Jim Jones.
She felt the last familiar turn of the plane lining up with the landing strip. The sensation in her stomach always reminded her of going to the fair grounds with her aunt and cousins. Smells of treats like cotton candy, popcorn, hotdogs and French fries invaded her memories. They would play games and lose their pocket money to the carnies. Her favorite ride was the Tilt O Whirl. The feeling of floating in the middle of a storm tossed lake, and the dizzying spin put the same sensation in her gut as the descent of the plane.
She was yanked from her thoughts by the jolt and high pitched scrape of the landing gear kissing the tarmac. She jolted forward a bit as the jet engines screamed, and the brakes and reverse trust engines kicked in to slow the plane down to a stop.
She looked around and noticed that everyone looked a little shell shocked and very exhausted. Emily was sitting to one side with a book tucked in both hands. She was staring into space and didn't respond when the plane stopped and Morgan stood up. He said good night to her, and just grinned and shook his head when she ignored him.
"Hey JJ… you awake." He said to her as he passed her chair.
"Yeah… I was just thinking."
"Well don't think too much. Go home girl… and get drunk or vegg out in front of the tube. That's all I'm up for at this point." He grinned at her, but she heard the unspoken dregs of anger and sadness in his voice. His smile didn't reach his eyes.
"Yeah… I guess you're right." She sighed and stood up to leave.
"Can I have everyone's attention please?" Hotch said as he slapped his phone shut. They all turned toward his voice.
"You can all stop looking so paranoid. I have good news." JJ was stunned to see her boss smiling a wide smile that lit up his dark eyes and made them dance.
Hmm… did the Lakers win the Championship and no one told me or has hell frozen over?
"I just got off the phone with the Assistant Director. Unless something high profile happens we're all off until after Labor Day."
JJ and the others looked at each other before Reid asked in a highly suspicious tone. "Why?"
"She knows how difficult this last case was for us and how hard we've been working over the last year. She's dividing up our work load to the other teams in the BAU." Hotch explained.
"Come on Reid don't look so suspicious!" Morgan said wrapping an arm around the younger man's thin shoulders. "Let's get the hell out of here and go celebrate."
"I thought you said you were going home and getting drunk?" Reid commented thoughtlessly.
"Oh… so you were eavesdropping on the lovely JJ and I." Morgan said conspiratorially. Reid flushed crimson and avoided JJ's eyes. Normally she would have laughed, but surprisingly she felt irritated with Morgan's teasing.
"Leave him alone Morgan." She found herself saying as they all began to deplane. Gideon was the first out. He headed to his car calling a distracted goodbye over his shoulder. He was probably envisioning a trip to his cabin for the week. She wondered if he had anyone to go with him. He was extremely closed lipped about his private life.
Aren't we all?
Morgan opened his mouth to comment on her unprecedented defense of Reid, and then closed it with a snap when he saw the look on her face.
She exited the plane after everyone else. The exhaustion she felt masked any happiness that they had a week's time off. All she wanted to do was sleep. She turned right and walked as fast as she could to her car.
"JJ," Reid's voice called out to her.
She sighed and her shoulders slumped. Ever since their "date" to the football game, they had become good friends. She loved to play cards with him on the plane even if it was like shooting fish in a barrel for him. It was still fun to see if she could fluster him into losing just one hand. It didn't work very often, but every once and awhile she was the victor after a well placed comment. He always covered by saying he let her win, but she knew better then that. Another ritual they had that no one else knew about, was coffee after disembarking the plane no matter the time of day or night. Funny, she wasn't up for it that night.
"Hey Spence… if you don't mind, I'm not really in the mood for Starbucks."
She almost caved in when she saw the look of sheer misery and disappointment on his face. Then he rallied and smiled shyly at her.
"Ah… sure I understand I just… Ah - have a good vacation."
He turned to walk away and the slump in his shoulders made her wince with guilt. He asked so little of her and she had refused to have a damn cup of coffee with him.
He turned back with a hopeful look on his face.
"I really am beat tonight, but how about lunch tomorrow?"
His face lit up like a small child that had just received the best birthday gift ever. She felt her own mouth turn up in the first genuine smile she'd been able to produce in days.
"Sure… ah do you want me to pick you up or should I meet you some place?"
"Let's just meet at the open air market on Lexington. I love their sandwiches." She pushed a tired hand through her hair, pulling it off her face.
"Ok… they have great food." He turned to leave again and she bit back a laugh.
"Hey… what time?" She called after him. He stopped so suddenly and wheeled around so fast that she did let out a small chuckle. She couldn't help herself.
"Oh yeah… ah - is one o'clock okay?" He asked uncertainly. One hand pushed back the bangs that always fell into his eyes and that simple gesture righted her universe again.
"Perfect… I'll see tomorrow." He gave her a little wave and dashed off to his car.
She took off to her own car and once in the driver's seat she began to laugh. He really was adorable when flustered. If they had been playing cards, she definitely would have won.
On the way home she wondered at her sudden impulse to ask him out. This felt more like a date then simple coffee between friends. He was cute and sweet and obviously the smartest one in any room, but did that mean another date was wise? Had sleep depravation and mental exhaustion gotten to her and made her do something that might mess up their friendship? She knew he had a terrible crush on her, it was obvious. You didn't have to be profiler to get that he was fathoms deep in love with her. What about her? What were her feelings?
Come on girl… stop second guessing yourself. You wouldn't ask him out if you didn't want to take the next step.
She told herself as the car moved through the night quiet streets that this wasn't a date. It was a simple meal with a friend.
You don't believe that and neither will he.
Damn it, had she made a mistake? She pulled into the driveway of her small rental house and sighed heavily. No! She was not going to analyze this to death. They would meet up tomorrow and everything would be fine. Their friendship didn't have to change because of one little meal!
Hello denial much!
She forced her internal voice to shut up as the door to the garage closed behind her. She turned off the engine and got out of the car. The garage was a mess. She decided that this was a chore for her week off. Maybe she'd con Emily, Morgan and Garcia into helping her out.
The damn voice wouldn't shut up! She was obsessing and that wasn't good. It was time to think about something else. She fumbled open the lock on the door to her utility room. The bright lights stung her eyes when she flipped them on and she squinted against the glare. Her coat went on the hook next to the door. She slipped off her shoes and pushed them to one side. She wiggled her toes and sighed. Sometimes dressing for her job was a pain in the ass. The tile floor was nice and cool on the soles of her feet and she stood there for a moment enjoying the sensation.
She removed her holster and gun, along with her badge and carried them in her free hand. The kitchen light was less bright now that her eyes had adjusted. She turned left, went down the hall and dropped her badge and gun on the entry way table. She checked the door to see that it was locked and shut out the light.
The message light was glowing on her phone. She hurried over to see if her aunt had called. The older woman had a thing about calling JJ on her cell phone. She said she did want to disturb her niece at work. JJ tried to tell her that was absurd, but Aunt Sarah was stubborn and old fashioned.
She pushed the play button and heard nothing but dead air. Right… how could she have forgotten? The same person had called her again. Actually he'd call her seven times since she'd left. Her hands were beginning to tremble. She had to do something about this. It wasn't possible to laugh it off as a mistake or a prank anymore. This had been going on for weeks.
She sat down in the chair next to the table and tried to quiet her heart. It was slamming against her ribcage like a frightened bird. He never said anything. How could she know that he wasn't a she? Something told her that is was a man; women don't do these types of things, do they. She should talk to Gideon; he would know what to do. No! She couldn't do that, what if he said it was nothing, or thought she was overreacting.
She sat there for a long time listening to the creaks of the settling house and the noise of an occasional car passing by on the road outside. Then an idea struck her. She would call Garcia in the morning and have her trace the number. Yes… that was the best thing to do. She could explain to the computer maven the calls and hang ups and Garcia would find him. Then she could go to Hotch and figure out what to do next.
Feeling considerably better, she stood up and went into the kitchen. She was going to make a snack and watch a movie. Thoughts of Spence entered her mind again as she worked and she convinced herself to forget the fear this caller had put into her heart. It would be okay!
Ten minutes later she was in bed with a steaming cup of hot chocolate in her hands, a large bowl of popcorn at her side, and her favorite movie in the DVD player. It was midnight before the movie ended and her eyes were closing fast. She picked up the remote and shut off the television plunging the room into darkness. She turned over and moved her pillows into a comfortable position. All thoughts of the calls had been pushed back in her brain.
Despite the fact that she was very drowsy, it was tough to get comfortable and to stop thinking about the events at the airstrip. Her initial trepidation at the thought of escalating her relationship with Reid had turned into excitement. Waiting to see him at lunch seemed too far away for her. She shifted again and reached out an arm for the bedside lamp. She would call him and… She screamed when someone grabbed her out stretched arm and flung her over onto her back. A hand came down on her mouth and a gravelly voice warned her.
"Scream again and you're dead!"