Title: Bitter Brew

Pairing: JJ/Emily… sort of

Rating: R to be safe

Disclaimer: I don't own them. No infringement intended, no money made.

A/N: This one goes out to Maxi HAPPY BIRTHDAY! She asked for "Criminal Minds fic. Angsty, but still sexy, and there is a cup of steaming coffee as a prompt."

Archive: The usual suspects, anyone else, I hunt you down and use your scalp as decoration on my wall.

Warnings: Angst alert! And written rather late at night, so apologies for any mistakes.

The early morning sun that struggled through the perpetual summer haze blanketing D.C. was just strong enough for the blonde woman to look away from where it attempted to stream through the window.

Her body still heavy and listless with the last vestiges of sleep clinging to it, the slender, attractive woman with sleep tousled hair reached a fine boned hand across the granite counter top and grasped the handle of the shiny black coffee pot. The smooth plastic still felt vaguely unfamiliar in her hand after all this time and she almost hesitated. The knowledge that the other occupant of the house would be up soon and in desperate need of caffeine however, was enough to force the hand through the once-automatic reactions of pouring the strong, dark liquid in the royal blue FBI mug: her royal blue FBI mug, because her partner got a kick out of drinking from it.

Since Special Agent Jennifer Jareau could no longer bring herself to drink from that mug, she had no real grounds for objection.

It wasn't the mug itself that was the problem, or at least, not the whole of the problem. The mug itself was merely an innocent bystander; caught in the crossfire of memory and longing, past and present, fantasy and reality.

Pushing the mug and its treacherous contents across the small island that served as the breakfast table carefully, JJ did her best to avoid looking at what the mug contained.

It was an odd action, but most who knew the agent would simply assume that post pregnancy, JJ's system still couldn't handle the caffeine, or that she was being careful while breast feeding.

They wouldn't be entirely correct.

JJ hadn't given up coffee solely because of the baby. It was certainly a reason: willing to admit if only to herself she had been terrified of having a child, the agent could no more endanger the life inside her than break her oath to her country. That wasn't who she was.

It just wasn't the only reason.

In truth, the blonde agent hadn't been able to stomach the rich, dark liquid that had been a nearly ubiquitous part of her life for some time before the little line showed blue and she was ambushed by the knowledge she was to become a mother.

No, the full truth was that JJ had given up coffee because it reminded her too much of her past; of missed opportunity and regret, of might have beens and should haves. Coffee reminded her of Emily Prentiss and that was a reminder JJ's heart simply couldn't bear every morning.

As if bound and determined to thwart her best attempts at avoidance however, a tendril of sweet, velvety scent found its way to her nose and the blonde agent couldn't stop the involuntary drawing of breath any more than she could hold back the cascade of images and thoughts that the tiny wisp of steam brought with it.

More than any other food or drink, JJ had quickly come to associate coffee with Emily. It was more than just the older agent's nearly obsessive devotion to her first cup in the morning – black, of course - "Latte's are for wimps." And it wasn't simply the way that Emily's eyes were the very color of the richest French roast or the way her home always smelled just faintly of fresh ground beans.

It was because the sharing of the hot drink became a small ritual for them. All the times they had shared a small table at Emily's favorite hole in the wall coffee shop before work, simply talking or not as their moods determined. All the times working a case when the search for a halfway decent cup o' jo became a much needed distraction from the blood and fear and the fragility of life. And all those times they had sat in each other's kitchens or living rooms, especially in winter, where outside snow blanketed the capital and inside hands wrapped around smooth, steaming ceramic and eyes met twinkling over gentle twists of fragrant steam. .

Each moment, each memory was a drop: a single, rich, heady part of a wonderful whole that had been indelibly poured into JJ's memory with the scent of coffee, fresh ground or just brewed

And it didn't stop with memory, because Emily and coffee were inevitably a part of JJ's fantasies as well.

How many times had she watched the taller woman raise her black mug to her mouth and wondered what it would be like to touch those lips with her fingers…with her own mouth. How often had she wondered if with that first taste – which would be gentle and nearly chaste – she wouldn't find the flavor of Emily's favorite roast there; a flavor that would vanish quickly when JJ pressed forward and brought her tongue across Emily's lower lip. Her tongue would slide into the welcoming heat of Emily's mouth and she would find a flavor that was all Emily and so, so much more intoxicating than anything brewed in a pot.

Those thoughts had inevitably been followed by curiosity as to what Emily's skin would feel like under her fingers. When she undid the buttons of that red silk shirt Emily loved to wear so much, would the creamy flesh she found be as smooth as she imagined? In JJ's fantasies it was always more so. The wondering didn't stop there of course, because Emily Prentiss would be addictive. Much more so than any hit of caffeine, trailing her lips and fingers across the curves and hollows of the other agent's body would be a rush like no other and when JJ finally gave in to the soft pleading that would come from those full red lips with their hint of coffee flavor and took Emily into her mouth, her taste…her taste would be so much richer than anything JJ had ever experienced, and she would lose herself in that taste and that heat until Emily cried out again, and again and eventually begged her to stop.

Depending on how much time JJ had, the fantasy rarely ended there and on many occasion, a simple cup of coffee had led to the blonde agent's need for a cold shower.

It had been that way once.

Now all those delicious fantasies tasted bitter, like the cheapest squad room brew too old and reheated and burned, they made JJ grimace and her stomach rebel even as her heart ached deeply.

The liquid in the cup on the counter held nothing but pain now.

Standing in the middle of her brightly decorated kitchen, JJ turned off the coffee pot and put out the milk and sugar. Long practice had made pushing the past away easy.

Nothing made it less painful.

Carefully avoiding looking at the innocuous mug again, Special Agent Jennifer Jareau continued with getting ready for her day. Emily was gone and nothing could change that. She had a job to do and a baby to take care of and Will would be up soon, looking for his coffee.