A/N: Sorry, I've been on vacation in the Mts. and the only thing I did was write this. I know I'm not the greatest writer when it comes to Profiler, but I love the show so much I can't stop! I own no one, and nothing...it's sad, really. Anyway, I had a dream and came up with this story line. That happens more often now, and a lot of my stories (from my dreams) usually turn out okay. Hope you enjoy this!

Summary:

Welcome to Rookieville:

John Grant makes a rookie mistake, and believes he's ruined the entire case. Can he collect himself long enough to find the killer? Will the team ever figure out why he screwed up something so simple?


"I screwed up, Bailey! I'm never this stupid, it was a rookie move!" shouted John Grant as he paced irately in his boss's office.

The older man loosened his tie as he reclined in his chair, raising a large hand to stop his young agent in the middle of his tirade.

"John, everyone screws up once in awhile." Bailey claimed softly, his baritone voice reverberating in the cramped office. He raised a half empty glass of whiskey to his lips and sipped at the amber colored liquid. He continued eyeing John wearily.

"Come on, Malone! I cost us this case!" exclaimed John, stopping short of Bailey's desk to catch his breath.

Bailey eyed John up and down. He noted the young man's disheveled look and darkening stubble, whereas John was normally immaculate and clean-shaven. Bailey stood and rounded the desk, clamping a large hand on John's broad shoulder in order to steer him towards the worn couch.

"Relax, breathe John." He said slowly, sitting on the couch, dragging an unwilling John down with him.

John turned towards Bailey; unshed tears of an unknown emotion bright in his blue eyes. Bailey, slightly taken aback by John's sudden upset, proceeded to rub John's shoulder in a fatherly manner.

"I'm sending you home," Bailey began, ignoring the way John was shaking his head roughly once the words escaped his mouth, "I'm sending you home to rest, you could use a shower and some sleep. And I mean it John."

"Bailey, I need to be here. I have to catch this guy!" he insisted, gesturing with his hands as his blue eyes clashed with Bailey's dark brown ones.

"You're going home, that's the end of it."

John, mouth slightly parted, darted his eyes back and forth between Bailey's. Bailey released his grip on John's shoulder, before patting him on the back gently and standing up.

"Fraley, can ya come here?" Bailey called out from his doorway, nearly blocking the entire space with his large size. His deep voice echoed in the nearly deserted building.

The intelligent, mousy looking George strode into the office and cast a concerned glance at John's unmoving figure perched on the edge of the couch.

"Can you take John home, make sure he cleans himself up and get him to bed?" Bailey asked, clamping his hand on George's shoulder now.

"Sure thing, Bail." George said, nodding his head before making his way over to his fellow agent's side.

John looked up and shook his head in disgust, standing up quickly and stalking out of the office. He brushed by the other men scowling, his eyes vibrant with anger and a good amount of hurt.

George and Bailey exchanged matching half smiles of concern as Bailey thanked him. George nodded, gave him a half hearted, mock salute and strode out.

Bailey sighed and rubbed the nape of his neck, "I need another drink."


John rested his forehead against the cool pane of the passenger window. His unseeing eyes blinked whenever bright lights of various buildings of Atlanta whizzed by, blinding him.

George glanced every so often at John, concern etched into every line on his face as he continued to drive towards John's apartment. When they had arrived, George cut the engine and started to get out. However, John's arm shot out and grabbed his wrist, pulling him back.

"John, I was told to make sure you shower and rest. So I intend to do so, and even though it isn't mandatory for a case like this...I'd like for you to give me your gun." George said, heaving a sigh.

John exhausted as he was, managed to muster up a gawking expression. He furrowed his dark eyebrows and glared at George. John's blue eyes became darker and darker with anger with each passing second.

"George, I don't need a babysitter, I don't need help or to talk and I sure as hell do not need my damn gun taken away from me when I'm not suicidal!" John growled, his voice raising an octave with every word.

George raised his hands and shook his head slowly as he spoke softy to his angry co-worker, "You're my friend, John. And I certainly hope I'm yours. Trust me okay? Just hand me the gun, take a shower and catch up on some sleep."

John glared a few moments more before jerking his jacket open, grabbing his gun from the holster, and thrusting it butt-end first at George violently. He quickly undid his seatbelt and shoved the door open, slamming it shut before he stalked across the street.

George, staring after John's retreating back, sighed and shook his head, "I hate his sulky mood swings."


Emerging from the bathroom, water glistening all over his fit body, John rubbed his dark hair with a towel vigorously. John tossed the towel on his bed and was about to remove the other towel wrapped around his waist when someone knocked on his open door and cleared his throat.

John jumped and turned on his heel angrily to see George leaning in the doorway with a sheepish expression.

"You wanna dress me too?" snapped John, wrapping the towel tighter around his trim waist.

"I wouldn't do anything to upset, Rich." George half joked, though he knew he was treading on thin ice with his temperamental pal.

John finally motioned towards the door with his right hand, "Will you give me a minute? I promise not to hang myself with a towel."

George shrugged and reluctantly closed the door, ambling towards the expansive living area. He lounged on the nearest sofa waiting for John to emerge. When John did emerge, dressed in a pair of loose fitting gray sweatpants and a snug, black tank top, George startled from his reverie.

"So, what happened John?" George asked, uncharacteristically pushing John's buttons this evening.

John clenched his teeth, ignoring the shooting pain up his jaw.

"I. Screwed. Up." He bit off.

"How? What did you do that was so bad?" inquired George, feigning innocence.

"I ruined the only chance that we had of nailing this guy. I smudged a fingerprint by mistake. It was the only clue that could have led to us IDing this sick guy." He muttered.

George raised an eyebrow, waiting for John to continue.

"I grabbed the damn railing without gloves on, I smudged the print beyond recognition...no way we could have gotten any ID from it." He growled as he made his way down the few steps he had located near the front door and entered the living room.

"So? You screwed up. We all do it John. God knows I do it all the time."

"Don't give me the same bullshit line, George. Come on, that guy is still out there killing innocent women because I didn't follow basic procedure! I forgot to put on a damn pair of gloves, and that's the difference between saving and killing another woman out there. I let him get away, and we were so close! I shot our case to hell!" John fought back tears of anger as he stood shakily, his hands clenched tightly at his sides.

"You'll get 'im, John, you always do. I mean come on, I'm just some computer geek who rarely sees any action."

John gave George an exhausted smirk, kneading the back of his neck. "You are not just some computer geek, George. You're the greatest, an asset to the team. Now go home, George, I'm fine."

"You sounded like Bailey, there." George pointed out as he stood from the couch, "See you tomorrow, John."

"Later." John said softly as George let himself out.

After a few moments, John walked into his bedroom and pulled out a bottle of whiskey from his closet. Shrugging when he saw he didn't have a glass, he screwed the top off and gulped the burning liquid.

After the initial head rush, John lay on his bed, staring up at the ceiling blankly...thoughts running to and fro through his head. Finally, after battling with the extreme need to sleep that had settled on his eyelids, making them heavy with exhaustion, John drifted off into a fitful sleep.


Bailey Malone, sitting at the head of the table in the conference area of the VCTF, checked his watch once again. He was growing agitated with worry and annoyance; John had yet to arrive to work.

Samantha Waters, their profiler, clicked the top of her pen slowly as she watched Bailey's shifty movement with a skilled eye. George, clicking away at his computer, also looked up at Bailey every so often.

"Where the hell is he?" muttered Bailey under his breathes as he checked his watch for the umpteenth time.

"Probably shaking off a nasty hangover." Suggested George, shrugging when Sam, Bailey and Grace, their own little "coroner," stared at him expectantly, "I said probably."

Suddenly John, slightly out of breath with his jacket draped over his shoulder casually, trotted into the conference area. He nodded to everyone and gave Bailey a guilty grin, "Sorry, Bail, traffic."

"Right." Bailey said simply, shaking his head in disapproval after John took his regular spot near the top of the table, "Well, George, what do we got?"

"Well," he started, clicking away once again at his computer," We have seven Jane Does within the local Atlanta area, all with two common links."

As George continued speaking, pictures appeared on the large screen placed on the wall directly across from the end of the table. They were all pictures of the deceased women found, murdered by the same man. They had come to this easy conclusion by the common appearance of burn, and ligature marks on the women's wrist and ankles. Plus, the way of death was common...

"Strangulation." Sam said aloud, clicking her pen repeatedly once again, her head cocked to the side as she stared up at the gray faces of the deceased.

"Yeah, something thick and round...like a pipe." Grace added, pointing out the bruise marking on the women's necks.

"That all? All we have is common cause of death, and ligature markings?" Bailey asked his team, disbelief evident in his deep voice.

John grumbled something to himself, his head propped up by his hand, with his left elbow resting on the polished table as he stared up at the gruesome pictures of the murdered young women.

Bailey glanced at him, having inkling that John was still angry with himself from the day before. Uncrossing his legs, Bailey sat up and propped both of his elbows onto the table, looking around at his team.

"Anything else, Georgie?" he asked his computer expert when his dark eyes landed on the quiet man.

"Nope, sorry." He responded, shrugging once again.

Bailey clasped his hands together and mused to himself, ignoring the expectant stares from his team. Bailey sighed and turned to Sam, "Sam, anything?"

Sam looked around at her fellow agents before tossing her blonde hair over her shoulder and looking back at Bailey.

"Well, without much to go on I can't exactly give a detailed profile but...I'll try," she glanced at the pictures once again then turned towards Bailey, "We're looking for someone who likes to be in control, judging from the ligature marks."

Sam paused, deep in thought before sighing, "Without much more to go on, except for the strangulation by pipe...I'm not even sure what that signifies at the moment."

John furrowed his eyebrows and gestured towards the screen, "We don't have much Sam, and we need something from you to help us along."

Bailey gave John a warning look before nodding at Sam, "It's fine Sam, and we don't have much. We need to go back over the crime scenes and reports and see if we can't find something new."

John, giving Bailey a frightened look, shook his head and muttered, "I can't Bailey."

"You can, John. And you will. All right, Georgie, see if you can follow any leads we come up with. Gracie, mind going over the bodies again?"

She shrugged and grinned, swiping a curly strand of hair from her cherub face, "What I do best Bail."

"That's my girl. Sam, join me at the scenes while John combs over the reports?"

She nodded and gave him a soft smile, "Sure thing, Bailey."

"Good, let's get to work everyone." Bailey concluded, pushing his chair away from the table and standing in one fluid movement.

George started to tap away on the keyboard; Grace and Sam followed Bailey out whereas John remained where he was, his slightly pale face gaining color once more.

"Reports..." he muttered, finally pushing himself away from the table and striding out of the expansive room.


Two hours later, Bailey tapped a sleeping John on his shoulder, causing the younger man to jump up from his desk with wild doe eyes. John looked up with a guilty smile, a habit of his, before looking down at the mess of reports on his desk.

"You didn't drool on any of these, did you?" asked Bailey, the twinkle in his eyes apparent as he picked up a piece of paper.

John smirked and shook his head, grabbing for the paper in his boss's outstretched hand. When he finally managed to retrieve the paper, he smoothed the wrinkles out and placed it back on the messy desk.

"You ought to clean this up some, John." Bailey added over his shoulder as he walked towards the conference area, "Meeting in five."

John nodded and waved his hand in understanding, whirling his chair around to place his legs back underneath the desk. He shuffled some papers on his desk, frowning in confusion as he placed pieces of one report with another.

"Perfect." He moaned, placing his head in his hands.

"Problem?" a soft female voice asked, directly behind John's chair.

He jumped once more and whirled to face Sam, grinning down at him with a thick manila folder underneath her arm. He gave her a fleeting smile before he motioned towards the conference area with a jerk of his head, "Meeting in five, Bailey's orders."

"Yeah, I know, but I came over here on another set of Bailey's orders."

John groaned inwardly, tilting his head to the side and giving Sam a false grin as he said, "What orders?"

"One free session, if you will, with me." She said, pointing to herself with a half smile as John sighed.

"Mandatory?" he asked.

Sam nodded, trying to gauge his reaction as he cocked his head to the side and tried to drill a hole into the floor with his flashing blue eyes.

"How many sessions?"

Sam put one finger the air, trying to catch his eye by lowering her face to be level with his, "One."

"Fine," he sighed dejectedly, glancing at his watch, "Any particular time? Because we have a meeting we're going to miss in like, one minute."

"Whenever you're free." She said simply, following him towards the conference room as he stood and started walking.

At the entrance of the meeting room, John paused and glanced at Sam askance, "Tonight, here, say eight or so? One quick, free session and we're done?"

"See you then." She said, dipping her head with a hint of a smile on her oval face.

John looked as if he wanted to say something more, but instead he cleared his throat, shook his head, and trotted down the steps before taking his usual seat.


Sam and Bailey watched John working aimlessly at his desk from the latter's office. Sam, perched on the edge of Bailey's desk, stood up and adjusted her wrinkled suit. Bailey grinned, waving his stub of a cigar in the air.

"He agreed, without much of fight?"

"Yep," Sam stated, nodding as they watched John moving about at his desk.

"The stubborn Irish streak diminishes?" joked Bailey, reclining back in his chair as he blew a few smoke rings and placed his feet on his desk.

Sam chuckled and shook her head, "Doubt it."

"One can only hope," chimed in George, poking his head into Bailey's office.

"Do you know what we're even talking about?" Bailey asked, grinning wider.

Stepping further into the office, George shook his head and placed his hands deep within his pockets and shrugged, "Nope, but one can easily deduce that it's about John."

"How do you figure?" Bailey asked, lifting one thick eyebrow.

"You two are staring at him like a bunch of school girls."

Sam bit back her laugh as she placed a hand on George's shoulder, "You know, I think Bailey would like great with pigtails."

George laughed as Sam escaped slyly.

"Pigtails, huh?" Bailey demanded jokingly, feigning menace.

George realized Sam wasn't there and laughed, "Sneaky little thing, isn't she?"

Bailey nodded and motioned towards John, changing the subject.

"How's he, by the way?" Bailey asked, sitting up.

George glanced at John before facing Bailey once more, "Beating himself up, of course."

"Keep an eye on him, will ya?"

"Course, Bailey. You know, Sam's right." George claimed, cocking his head to the side as he stared at Bailey.

"How's that?"

"You would look fantastic with pigtails." He quipped, laughing as darted out of Bailey's office.

Bailey smirked and shook his head slowly, "Pigtails."


At five past eight, there was a hesitant knock on Samantha Water's office door. She looked up, glanced at her clock on her desk and called out, "Come on in."

John opened the door slowly, peering in as if he was a troublesome child being sent to the principal's office. Sam laughed and motioned him in with a flick of her hand.

"John, come on in."

John sighed and opened the door open further with a single push. He looked around as if he was never in her office before and suddenly everything was interesting again. He took a seat in the chair across from her desk, looking anywhere but at her.

Sam tried to make eye contact with him, but he was a black belt in avoiding eye contact with others. She sighed and finally started, "So, John, how have you been?"

John smirked and finally looked at her, "Peachy, how about you?"

"I've seen better days." She answered, shrugging as well, "Is there anything specific you'd like to talk about? Or should I continue leading until I trick you into opening up more?"

John laughed and gave her an appreciative smile, "Don't bullshit a bull-shitter, I like that."

Sam shrugged once again, "I'm a quick study."

John made an "Hmm," noise as he nodded.

"Well..." Sam trailed off, watching his movements.

"I guess I'll start then, huh?" he finally asked, giving in.

"Why don't we talk about this past week?"

"Why don't we..." he sighed, folding his arms across his chest.

He's defensive, crossing his arms as if to protect himself. Sam thought as she waited for him to speak.

"You seem to be beating yourself up over something, for what?" she asked.

"Sam, come on. You know why. What happened to no bullsh-"?

"Fine. What I really want to know is why that happened. Why did you forget something as simple as putting on a pair of gloves like you've done for the past eight years?"

John sighed again, visibly tensing as he pulled his arms tighter against his chest.

"I was tired." He claimed softly.

"Lack of sleep? Too much sleep?"
"Lack of. I had a nightmare." He rolled his eyes in annoyance at himself when the mention of his nightmares, that he kept well hidden for many years, slipped out.

"Nightmare? What about?" Sam asked, not just curious as his co-worker but as his friend as well.

"I've had the same recurring nightmare since I was a kid, I've always kept it under wraps until we neared the anniversary of her death." He murmured, flicking his eyes downwards.

"Your mother," Sam whispered, noting she was right when John nodded slowly, "And...?"

"I've never, not once, believed that her death was an accident." He stated boldly, his blue eyes flaring with many emotions as they finally met her own.

"You're having nightmares of her death...of your father?"

John nodded again, tensing up once more at the mention of his notorious father.

"Patrick O'Doyle." She stated, mostly to confirm with him.

John cringed at the mention of the man's name.

Fear? Anger? Questioned Sam to herself, calling upon old stories and rumors of John's infamous father.

Patrick O'Doyle, ruthless Irish mobster of Boston, married and fathered young. He was known as a drunk, beating on his son and wife periodically for no other reason but to instill discipline and order in his household as his father did to him as a young boy.

Sam, from different sources, learned that her younger co-worker's mother was killed in a car crash when he was sixteen years old. From the rumorville, John and his mother had moved from city to city around the United States in an attempt to hide from Patrick and his unmerciful ways till her death. As soon as John was able, he joined the police academy, with high hopes to put men like his father away for life.

"So, you've had these nightmares for years and did nothing to stop them?" she asked, leaning forward in earnest.

"Drinking count?" he asked, a lame attempt at a joke.

"John, you need to talk to someone-"
"I am, am I not? I'm talking to you." He pointed out.

"That doesn't count J-"

"Why not?" had he not been so serious, she would have kidded him for acting so childish and stubborn.

He's not losing anything from the Irish department, Bailey.

"Because you need profes-"

"Of course. Look, I certainly hope that the length of this discussion is decided by me too, because I think we're done here." He snapped, his eyes flashing as he stood up quickly and stalked towards her doorway.

John paused, and turned his head around to face her, "Thanks for the chat."

Sam nodded and gave him a half smile, watching as he retreated quickly through the deserted building. She sighed and shook her head, John's problems were worse than she thought.


The next morning, Sam was surprised to see the usually late John Grant working quietly at his desk as she came in. The rest of the team, shocked like Sam, chalked it up to another Grant mystery. But unlike Sam, they knew bits and pieces of the young agent's life. Sam herself wasn't sure she had the entire puzzle completed herself, but she was determined to fix that by confronting Bailey on the latest news.

Before Sam could reach Bailey's office, John seemed to come out of nowhere and stop in front of her. He quietly looked up at her like a mournful puppy and asked her quietly not to bother Bailey with his personal life.

"Bail's got his hands full with the higher ups, and Frances plus running this whole department...he doesn't need me mucking up his life even more." John nearly begged.

"I have to tell him something, John. He worries about you, we all do. It obviously affects your job, too."

"Just tell him we had a nice chat, and that I will no longer let it get to me in the workplace so he, and everyone else, should stop worrying."

"How do you plan on keeping it from effecting work?"

"Counting to ten?" he tried sheepishly.

"John."

"Come on, he really doesn't need this, Sam. You know that as well as anybody."

Sam sighed and finally said, "Fine, I won't until I have an absolute reason too."

John gave her a white-toothed smile and thanked her profusely the John Grant way, a kiss. However, they were friends and co-workers, so he just placed a peck on her cheek before walking off somewhat happier.

Bailey emerged from his office then, his deep voice booming as he shouted," Another victim, perp suspected to still be within the area! We got a live one this time, everyone let's move!"

John started to go, when a hand shot out and grabbed his wrist. John turned abruptly to see George standing there.

"George, I hafta go." John stated quickly, watching the other agents file out.

"I have to give you this, John." He said with a smile, handing John his weapon back. John smiled, and grabbed it. He holstered the gun and thanked George.

"Be careful, Johnny!" George shouted after the eager young agent.

John turned, waved with a grin, and turned back all the while jogging to catch up with the few other agents.


A showdown, that's what any passerby would have called the sight before them. A showdown...or a hostage negotiation... They were in a large, packed parking lot with the only people around being the agents ducking and hiding around cars, as they surrounded the large man that held a gun to a young agent's head.

"F.B.I.! Put the gun down, sir! Put the gun down! One last chance before we open fire, put the gun down!" shouted an agent.

The large man looked around wildly, pressing the gun harder against the temple of the agent he had in a tight grip. He started to back up, only to realize he was fully surrounded by guns, all trained on his large figure.

"Put. The. Gun. Down!"

"Stand down! Stand down!" a deep voice ripped through the air as Bailey emerged from behind a truck.

Bailey holstered his gun and held up his hands, "Please put the gun down, and we won't be forced to shoot you. You have a federal agent. We will not risk injury to our man, so please just slowly put the gun to the ground."

The man nodded once, then continued nodding, as he slowly leaned down to place the gun on the ground. His grip tightened on agent, who started to struggle when he realized that the man was no longer armed.

"I'd advise for you to stand still!" barked Bailey to the agent, dark brown eyes flashing dangerously in the sunlight.

"Now," Bailey continued, "Let the agent go, and we'll try to sway the judge to axe the attempted murder charge on our man. However, we can't do shit on the seven counts of murder and one count attempted murder on the women."

Everyone could almost hear the gears grinding in the man's brain as he pondered over his choices. Finally the man shouted, "Don't shoot!" and let the agent go.

The agents watched for Bailey's go ahead, annoyed when he shouted, "John, your collar."

John, grinning from ear to ear, ran up to the large man and kicked his legs out from underneath him. He made sure the man was prone and checked for other weapons before cuffing him and hauling him to his feet with aid from Bailey.

Once the man was hauled away, Bailey clamped onto John's shoulder and shook his head, "I must be in rookieville. You see that kid run in there and try to take that big guy on his own?"

"I'm sure he crapped himself, and learned a lesson all in one day." Remarked John, feeling exceptionally happier for the first time in a long while.

"Damn straight." Quipped Bailey, shaking his head as they entered an unmarked F.B.I. vehicle.


"Sam, can I talk to you for a sec?" Bailey called out from his office, as he saw Sam walking by.

"Sure, what can I do for you?" she asked, taking a seat across from Bailey.

"Just wanted to know how it went with John." He informed her, loosening his tie and unbuttoning the first two buttons of his white shirt.

Sam chewed on her bottom, avoiding Bailey's twinkling gaze.

"Sam?"
"It went alright. I learned about more about his childhood, by connecting the pieces of the John Grant puzzle."

"Finish that puzzle yet?" he asked, he already knew all about John and his childhood.

"It's a big puzzle, Bailey." She said with a laugh, widening her eyes to emphasize.

Bailey chuckled and nodded in agreement.

"Any insight on why he screwed up the other day?" Bailey asked, leaning forward heavily on his elbows, his large frame still towering over Sam even from across the desk.

Bailey's just a big teddy bear. Sam thought as she said, "I told him I wouldn't tell you unless it started to affect his work here."

"Hasn't it already?" Bailey demanded, his thick eyebrows connecting in the middle as he furrowed them in confusion.

"It has once, he promised it wouldn't again. Bailey, you know him...if there's a problem, trust him to come to me. Trust me to come to you."

Bailey heaved a long sigh, reclining back into his chair once again as he pulled out a cigar and clipped it. He placed it in his mouth, lit it up and took a long puff, careful to blow the smoke away from Sam.

"Sorry, bad habit. Hard to kick." He said, smiling sheepishly as he flicked the cigar holding hand.

Sam nodded, not really looking at Bailey or the cigar, her mind once again drifting into another world. Bailey watched her intently, not one to startle someone out of a reverie...unless they were sleeping at their desk, in a federal building, on important documents.

Sam shook her head gently, smiling when she saw Bailey watching her.

"What?" she asked, tilting her head like she always did.

"Nothing."


"Hey, Grant! Wait up!" someone shouted, their footsteps echoing in the hall as they ran towards the startled agent.

"George? What's up?" John asked, fiddling with his pockets as he looked for his keys, certain he just had them.

"Just wanted to see how you're doing, now that you've caught the bad guy and all." George explained, slightly out of breath.

John raised an eyebrow and pursed his lips, pausing in his frantic search for the keys, "Really?"

"Yeah, so how are you?"

"I'm, fine George, thanks." They both stood in the corridor in a awkward silence until John cracked a smile and held out his hand, "Cough 'em up, Georgie."

George laughed and pulled put John's keys from his back pocket, "You left them on your desk, ace."

"Thanks." He quipped, plucking the keys from George's outstretched hand, twirling them around on his finger.

"No problem, see you John."

John gave George a two-fingered salute before tossing the keys from one hand to the other, turning on his heel to continue his trek towards the elevator.


John rested his head on his arm as he lay on his sofa, flipping aimlessly through the channels of his TV. He paused on one channel for a moment, slightly amused, until he shook his head and continued flipping.

John, unable to find anything on the TV to hold his attention for more than five minutes, turned the TV off and sat up. He ran both of his hands through his thick, brown hair with a yawn.

Just as John was about to stand and shuffle towards his bedroom, his cell phone started to ring and vibrate on the coffee table. John groaned, waited for it to ring once more, then picked up with a simple, "Grant."

"John? It's Bailey, you want to meet up for a drink of something?" came the deep voice on the other line.

John sighed and nodded, before realizing Bailey couldn't see him.

"Sure, Bail. Any place in particular?" John asked, standing to head towards his room and change.

"How about O'Malley's, in thirty?"

"Alright, see you then." John stated, flipping his phone shut as he pulled out a white t-shirt and tan sweater.

Tugging on a pair of black boots, and pulling the sweatshirt over his head as he grabbed his keys and phone, John made his way towards the front door. He holstered his gun at his waist, pulling on a long black sports coat to conceal the weapon before he left his apartment.


Bailey, sipping at a steaming cup of coffee, looked around the dimly lit diner. He glanced at his watch once more before he realized that the shadow that crossed over his table was in fact John.

"Sorry I'm late, again." John sighed, plopping himself down in the booth, across from Bailey.

"You're right on time, John, don't worry. In fact, I'd only worry if you started coming in on time." Bailey joked, earning a grin from John.

John ordered a coffee as well when the waitress came around, then turned back to face Bailey with a curious expression.

"So, any reason for the late night coffee? Or we just hanging out?" John asked, watching Bailey sipping at his drink casually.

Bailey placed the cup back on its saucer, his hand never leaving the handle as he looked at John with his big brown eyes. John tilted his head as he waited for an answer.

Bailey shrugged, "A little of both, I guess."

"You want to know how it went with Sam, don't you?" John accused, squinting his eyes as he studied his boss.

"Guilty." Bailey stated, sipping his cup once again.

"Did you already talk to her?"

"Of course."

"And?" John pressed, leaning forward.

"And what? She told me nothing, that's why I'm here with you." Bailey concluded lifting the cup, once again, to his mouth.

John pressed his lips into a tight line, crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back. He stared at Bailey before shaking his head, "You already know everything I told her. Well, almost everything."

"What are you not telling me, John?"

"Nothing, important. Nothing that will affect my job again." John assured him, fanning his hands out.

Bailey nodded slowly, looking askance out the window to watch the passing cars. John looked out as well, before he had to smothered a yawn with his hand.

"I guess it's past your bedtime, Johnny. You ought to get home and get some sleep." Bailey noted, watching the young man try to smother another yawn.

John shook his head and rubbed his eyes with the palm of his hands as he answered, "Nah, you seem like you need someone to talk to."

Bailey gave John an appreciative smile, tipping the Fedora he wore on his head.

"Thanks kid, but I should get home too. I need to check up on Frances."

"How is she by the way?"

"Better, she's doing better." Bailey sighed thinking of his eldest, troublesome daughter. John chuckled to himself, that girl was indeed a handful.

"That's good." John said as he gulped a good amount of his lukewarm coffee.

"I'll pay for that." Bailey claimed, pulling out his wallet as he gestured towards John's coffee.

"Sure?"

"I'm sure, John." Bailey said with a smile, placing some money on the table for the waitress and laying his credit card on the little piece of paper she gave him a few seconds earlier.

When the waitress came around to grab the credit card and tip, she gave the handsome young agent a flirty smile and waddled off. Bailey laughed at John's blush, and shook his head.

"John, you dog." He joked.

"I didn't do anything this time, Bailey." John protested, baby blues wide.

"I'm joking, John. You really do need some sleep. Come on, let's go." Bailey stood to leave, nearly bumping into the red headed waitress as she placed his credit card back onto the table. The napkin with her number that she had slipped to John didn't go unnoticed by the trained agent either.

John gave the young woman a white-toothed smile as he tucked the napkin into his back pocket, dipping his head to her in a gentlemanly manner as he stood to leave as well. Bailey shook his head and chuckled, patting John on the back as they exited the near empty diner.

They stood on the sidewalk and exchanged matching looks of amusement before Bailey said, "Well, good night John. Get some sleep."

John bit his bottom lip before smiling. "Of course Bailey, see you tomorrow," then he and Bailey parted ways into the cool night.


TBC...?

I never get enough REVIEWS for my other Profiler fics, so it depends on how this one goes. I hope to continue it, although I ran out of ideas up in the Mts. PLEASE REVIEW!