She turned her head to the sound of his voice, his attempts at normality. He babbled on as he always had, and she wondered who he was trying to convince- them or himself? He was a fool if he thought he could deceive a roomful of profilers, and he certainly was no fool. She heard the note of falseness in his voice, and that note testified to the change in him Gone was his innocence, his naivete. He had seen so much, but nothing changed him like this.
She mourned what he had lost; what they had all lost.
Wherefore Art Thou
"No matter what happens this time, we don't split up. Clear?"
She didn't know what it was about the resident genius; he didn't have the strength of Morgan or the experience of Hotch, but she never felt quite right in the field without him by her side. She felt safer with him than with anyone else on the team. She felt a need to be near him that she didn't feel with the rest of the team; a need that had nothing to do with physical strength, and everything to do with a remembered fear.
"Reid, may I speak to you in my office?" JJ asked, walking in that direction. Reid looked around at his co-workers, shrugging his shoulders as he followed her up the stairs.
"Shut the door behind you," she called, moving towards her desk.
The tone of her voice left some eyebrows raised as the profilers in the bullpen looked at each other, wondering. They heard the door shut firmly, and were left with their questions and curiosity.
"Think they suspect?" Reid asked, voice indicating his confidence in their deception.
JJ laughed softly, indulging him.
"No, Spence, they don't suspect a thing."
Babes in Arms
"Why would anyone bring a child into this world?"
"Everyone thinks it'll be their child who saves the world."
"Yeah, but I'm sure that's what Hitler's mom thought, too, look how that one turned out."
" I didn't say they were right, I said that's what they thought."
"So many children, so few world-savers. The darkness and destruction of this world, why bring new life into it?"
"That's what I thought, too, until I learned I was pregnant. Then I couldn't think of a reason not to have a child. And who knows, Spence, ours might actually be one to save the world."
Walking the Line
They think I don't see it. That I don't know exactly what's going on. Shameless flirting. Arriving at the same time. Sitting together in briefings. Lingering glances. Small touches. Coffee dates. Disagreements that don't seem to be about evidence at all. Coldness that lasts for days. Lunch dates. Private jokes. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a Supervisory Special Agent in leading an elite team of profilers, or a high school principal turning a blind eye to romantic goings-on. I can only ignore it for so long. I dread the day they force my hand, when I have to do something about this.
Our Strongest Link
Who could we survive without? That's a question that runs through my mind every time we're in the field, every time there's a dangerous situation that could cost us a member of the team. Who could we sacrifice and still function? Reid- our resident expert on everything? Garcia- our brilliant technical analyst? Morgan- our strength? Prentiss- our heart? JJ- our connection to the world? Me- the one who keeps them from killing each other? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, but I can't find one in our team.
What's left when it all falls apart? When you have something great, and then you don't anymore? We knew from the beginning it was a long-shot, knew the statistics were against us; even logic itself said it was a bad idea. And I am nothing if not logical. I don't regret what we had, and I certainly don't regret the memories I have now. But what comes next?
She interrupts my musing with a brisk "Good morning, Reid." And in that moment I know with absolute clarity that I will never again hear her call me Spence.
"Reid, honey, I like you, so I'm going to say this as nicely as I can. Ask the girl out or stop flirting like you're in high school and she's the cutest girl in class."
I stare at her for a moment, trying to figure out how I'm supposed to respond.
"There comes a point in every flirtation where someone has to step out, take a chance. Ask her out, see what happens."
"How did you know…?"
"Oh, handsome. I know. She knows. Heck, Hotch knows."
"So when is Morgan going to ask you out?"
He looked half-wild when we found him, crouched over Henkel, hunched as if to protect himself. I held him, offering what I could. I whispered "I'm sorry"- not because he needed it, but because I did. For the first time in my career, I had no words of comfort, nothing to give. I clung to him, but I felt like I couldn't reach him, as if he had gone somewhere I couldn't follow, and I couldn't find him. Those days had changed him, taken him away from us, and I don't know if he'll ever truly come back
Our relationship started by making a mundane task more interesting. It started with a foolish wager on a card game- loser did laundry. Or perhaps, it started a week before that, when Spence's washing machine was broken and I offered mine. We spent a pleasant evening doing laundry, sharing a bottle of wine and easy companionship that had nothing to do with work. It quickly became a routine- a card game would decide who did laundry and who got to choose the movie we watched. Evenings of companionship slowly evolved into something much more. An unusual romance, perhaps, but it worked for us.
"JJ, may I speak with you?" Hotch asked one quiet, paperwork- filled Friday afternoon.
"Of course, Sir."
She followed him out of the bullpen and up the stairs to his office.
"JJ, I didn't want to have to have this conversation with you. I was willing to turn a blind eye, you know that. Unfortunately, it seems that Strauss has learned of your relationship with Reid, and she wants one of you transferred, immediately."
"Transfer me, Sit," JJ answered without hesitation. "This team needs him too much, I'll find a place with another team."
"Funny," said Hotch. "That's exactly what he said."