It had started out as such a good day. Jennifer Jareau had awoken before her alarm clock had gone off, realized she fit into her skinny pants, and beaten rush hour traffic on the way to work. So, it was with an extra bounce in her step that she walked into the glassed in office of the BAU on that particular Friday morning. Stopping along the way to exchange morning greetings with Garcia and Reid, she'd made it to her office just in time to watch the automatic coffeemaker in her humble domain begin to percolate her morning brew. Smiling at how her day was shaping up, Jennifer turned to find Section Chief, Erin Strauss darkening her doorway.
Mentally recoiling, Jennifer managed a cool smile in the other woman's direction. "Director Strauss, to what do I owe the pleasure?" Jennifer said pleasantly, fighting the urge to run screaming from her office.
"Agent Jareau, I just wanted to make sure everything was in order for the tour today," said the Director with a haughty overtone.
"Tour, ma'am?" asked Jennifer, confused.
"Yes, Agent Jareau. Tour. The tour of second grade students set to come to this office today and talk to a real, honest to goodness FBI agent. Specifically a senior profiler. We went over this two weeks ago, Agent Jareau."
"Yes, ma'am, we did. And on Monday I sent you an email explaining the Agent Hotchner was having an emergency deposition today regarding the Leonard case and would be unavailable to speak to the children. In said email, I noted that if you had a problem rescheduling the field trip to please let me know by Wednesday. I didn't hear anything and assumed you'd contact me with a later date for the field trip," Jennifer explained.
"I never received any email, Agent Jareau! Furthermore, those children will be here in half an hour expecting to see an FBI agent…specifically a senior profiler. My nephew is in that class, Agent Jareau and he has bragged to all his little friends that his Auntie made this happen especially for him. If it doesn't, Agent Jareau," the Director said, taking a meaningful step toward Jennifer, "I will be VERY disappointed. Am I making myself clear, Agent Jareau?"
"Crystal, ma'am. If you'll excuse me, I have some arrangements to make," said Jennifer through her clenched teeth.
"Very well. I'll leave this matter in your very capable hands," said Strauss, looking down her nose at the younger woman.
Jennifer watched as the older woman left the room. Shit!! Okay, she thought to herself, glancing at the clock on her desk, she had twenty-nine minutes to make this happen. And she had limited options. Hotch was in a deposition. Prentiss was teaching a class on the Quantico campus. Reid would frighten small children. Morgan would flat out laugh at her request. And, Garcia, while entertaining, well, she wasn't a profiler. That left one option, and God, she only hoped she could convince her sexy older co-worker to go for this.
Flying out of her office and running up the steps to the upstairs offices, Jennifer paused to catch her breath at David Rossi's office door. Smoothing a hand over her neat ponytail and glancing down to make sure her clothing was straight, JJ drew a deep breath and raised her hand to knock on the office door, just as she heard a deep familiar voice from behind her say into her ear, "Something I can help you with, Jennifer?"
Jumping straight up in the air, Jennifer felt Dave slide a warm, sure hand to her waist to steady her.
"Damn it, Rossi! Don't sneak up on me like that!" Jennifer gasped, pressing a hand to her chest in an effort to still her raising heartbeat. Raising from the scare or proximity to the very secret object of her desire, she wasn't quiet sure.
"In case you didn't notice, Jennifer, you're standing at the entrance to MY office, dear. I'd hardly say that I was sneaking anywhere," David returned with a grin.
"Be that as it may, I still just lost five years off my life! So, I'd say you owe me, wouldn't you?" asked Jennifer, turning to look into the dark, twinkling eyes of one SSA David Rossi.
Reaching around her to grasp and turn the doorknob of his office door, Rossi stared down into the bottomless blue eyes of Jennifer Jareau. "Maybe we should continue this conversation inside, JJ," he suggested, nodding to the interior of his large office.
Taking a step backward into the inner sanctum of the BAU's most legendary and notorious agent, JJ grinned. "Come on, Rossi…say you owe me," JJ said, a note of longing in her voice.
"I wasn't born yesterday, blue eyes…I know that tone. You need something from me. Something that I'm fairly certain you know I'll want to say no to. The only question is what," said Rossi, backing her up into his office.
"Sometimes, I really hate working with profilers," JJ grumbled under her breath.
"It IS somewhat of an occupational hazard, isn't it?" he asked her, propping a jean clad hip against his desk, crossing his arms over his chest and winking at her.
"Don't you guys have a code against not profiling your co-workers?" Jennifer asked, exasperated.
"Only applies to other profilers, honey," David told her, gleefully.
"That rule sucks," JJ said flatly.
"I'll lodge a complaint for you with our union," he told her conversationally.
"Gee, would you?" JJ asked sweetly, batting her long eyelashes for added effect.
"I'll see what I can do," Rossi chuckled. "So, what do you need, Jennifer? I know you'd never just pop in to visit."
"Now, that's not true…I brought you coffee on Wednesday," JJ said quickly.
"Along with three files for my review," he reminded her, smiling.
"Can I help it if you're THAT good?" JJ said, blinking wide blue eyes at him.
"You might be surprised what else I'm good at," David murmured.
Jennifer paused. Wait! Was the great David Rossi flirting with her? Surely not. Certainly not. God, she hoped so, though. And, not only for purely selfish reasons. Jennifer had been attracted to the magnetic man from the moment he'd taken her hand to shake at their brief introduction in Aaron Hotchner's office months ago. Of course, she hadn't acted on it. Or pursued it. And neither had he…until now?
"Jennifer?" David said loudly, drawing her attention back to him.
"What?" she asked, trying to regain her line of thought.
Smiling at her, David said, "I was again asking what brought you into my office this morning? Business or pleasure?"
Suddenly, Jennifer had an idea. Licking her lips, Jennifer narrowed her eyes on David. "Maybe both," she finally said. "You were right, earlier. I do need something from you, David. But I willing to pay for it," JJ told him, smiling a bit.
"Sounds intriguing. Tell me more," David said, narrowing one eye as he took a step toward the petite blond standing in his office.
"Before I tell you what I want, perhaps, I should tell you what you'd get in return for this little favor," she said softly.
"I'm listening," David said deeply, taking another step toward her.
"Didn't you tell me last week that you didn't know the last time you'd sat down to a freshly made home cooked meal, Agent Rossi?" asked Jennifer, with a note of coyness.
"I did," David nodded, confirming her recollection.
"Hmmm," Jennifer said nodding, "Well, what would you say, if tonight I offered you a meal of savory, mouthwatering meatloaf, freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, old fashioned mashed potatoes, and an a cherry pie for dessert at my place?"
Leaning forward to whisper in her ear, David said, "I'd say, make it an apple pie, and you'd probably get me to agree to anything you wanted, honey."
"Anything, Agent Rossi?" Jennifer asked, looking up into his dark eyes.
"Anything," David confirmed for her.
"Wonderful! Then," she said, glancing down at her watch, "in fifteen minutes, I need you in the bullpen with your best confident agent smile."
"And, why is that, Jennifer?" asked Rossi, grinning.
"That's where you'll be meeting our guests," she said brightly.
"Our guests?" Rossi faltered.
"Uh huh," JJ nodded, "Thirty-two bright-eyed second graders are going to be waiting to meet a real, honest to goodness FBI profiler. Exciting, huh?" JJ smiled.
Rossi's smiling face fell quickly. "Damn it, Jennifer. THAT was entrapment!" Rossi yelled.
"No, Rossi, THAT was pure malevolent GENIUS…and it worked!" JJ said happily, grinning up into his dark face.
"You know that I'll get even, right? When you least expect it, I'll be there," he said wickedly, leaning over her, doing his level best to intimidate.
Without thinking, Jennifer reached up to pat the side of his face. "There, there! Think of the meatloaf. Think of the pie!" she consoled.
"This better be one hell of a pie!" Rossi said, watching her shapely figure walk to the door. "And, JJ?"
Turning to grin at him, she replied, "Yeah?"
"The pie had better not be the only thing you have planned for dessert after this little maneuver, little girl!"
Smile slightly wavering, JJ returned, "I'll try to think of a little something extra, Agent Rossi."
"See that you do, Jennifer. See that you do!" David replied, eyes gleaming wickedly.
"I'll see you downstairs in a few minutes," Jennifer replied, quickly closing his office door on his evil laugh and wondering what exactly she'd just promised David Rossi. But, she knew exactly why she looking forward to it.
Five minutes later, David Rossi strode down the stairs into the bullpen, his eyes immediately zoning in on Jennifer Jareau. Quickly approaching, David gently took her arm to turn her to face him.
"I've been thinking about this little ambush you pulled off, blue eyes…I think you owe me at least three home cooked dinners and a breakfast, too for this little favor," he told her bluntly, dark eyes glittering.
"Oh really, Agent Rossi," Jennifer said, looking up from the report she was scanning.
"Yeah, and you can't leave me during this little event," he added.
Stifling a laugh at his uncomfortable demeanor, Jennifer calmly said, "Fine, Rossi. I'll hold your hand through this terrible ordeal."
"And the meals?" he asked, bending forward to level her with a look of pure determination.
"All right! Yes! Three home cooked dinners and a breakfast!" she laughed, secretly delighted. It certainly did appear that the man wanted to spend some time in her company.
Satisfied, Rossi straightened to his full height. "Okay, then," he said, adjusting his suit jacket, "When do these rugrats get here? And how long do I have to entertain them for?"
"Their bus just pulled into the parking garage. And, approximately an hour. We'll give them a tour. You know, the war room, Garcia's inner sanctum, the target range," JJ told him, eyes traveling down his body. "David, where's your gun?" she asked, eyes stopping at his waist.
"My gun? Upstairs in my desk drawer where it usually is when I'm working in the office," he replied.
"David, go put your gun on," JJ said, looking him in the eye.
"Why?" asked David, confused. "You expect one of the second graders to get out of line?"
"No, but these kids came to see a full blown agent. And full blown agents wear a gun," she said, frustrated and pointing down at her tiny waist where her own weapon was holstered.
"Aww, come on, JJ," David whined, eyes traveling slowly back up her body.
"No arguments, David. Get. The. Gun. Now, please! They'll be here soon!" JJ said, giving him a little push toward the stairs.
"Damn it, woman!" Rossi growled. "Have you always been this bossy?"
"Always," JJ confirmed, nodding and pointedly pushing him toward the stairs leading to his office.
"You are sooo lucky I have a thing for a certain blonde that can cook," Rossi grumbled, climbing the stairs.
Jennifer could only smile as she watched him retreat in obedience to her request.
Fifteen minutes later, JJ stood in the bullpen surrounded by thirty odd jittery children. Recalcitrant media had nothing on excitable children and once again, JJ thanked her lucky stars she'd changed her college major in her junior year from elementary education to communications.
"Okay, kids," she said, watching David Rossi fidget uncomfortably out of the corner of her eye, "My name is Jennifer Jareau and I'm an agent here at the FBI. Today, you're going to meet someone who has learned how to think like a bad guy so that we can catch them. How cool is that?" she asked, listening to the children's exuberant cheers. "Okay, this," she said, indicating David, "is Special Agent David Rossi. And, he can do those things I just described. Feel free to ask him any questions about being an agent or what he does. Just remember to raise your hand first and wait your turn. We're going to start our tour today with what we call the bullpen. Agent Rossi, you ready to take over?" JJ grinned, looking over at him above the heads of the excited second graders.
Smiling tightly at her and shooting her a look that clearly said that he'd get her for this later, David stepped up beside her to take over the group. "Hey, kids! I'm Agent Rossi. Although, I think I'm among friends here, so you guys can call me Dave. Right now, you guys are all standing in the bullpen, and a lot of really cool stuff can happen here. This is where we track down leads, do a lot of our brainstorming and generally this is where a lot of our cases start," Dave began.
As JJ watched Dave interact with the children during the next half hour that they toured the building, she had to give the man credit. He knew how to give an interesting tour. She hadn't even known some of the interesting tidbits he'd told the kids. Returning to the bullpen, Dave looked out over the children and said, "Okay, kids, I'm done talking now. It's your turn to ask questions to myself and Agent Jareau. We'll do our best to answer your questions. So, let's begin."
Jennifer watched as thirty hands went up in the air and she watched as Dave drew in a deep breath and shot her a look that clearly stated that dinner had better be REALLY REALLY GOOD! Stepping forward to stand beside David, she felt him lean toward her to whisper in her ear, "Changed my mind, again! Five dinners, Jennifer! Five!" Giggling softly, Jennifer pointed to a little blond girl with pigtails.
"Why'd you decide to be an FBI agent, ma'am. You're too pretty to catch the bad guys!" the little girl said.
"Well, thank you for the compliment. I think you're pretty, too. But I became an agent because I wanted to help stop bad people from hurting good people."
Dave pointed his finger at a dark haired boy of what looked to be Indian descent.
"Do you make a lot of money?" asked the child bluntly.
"Not nearly enough, son." Rossi stated firmly. "But, trust me kid, we don't do this for the money. We do it because the bad guys have to caught."
JJ pointed to a cute African American little girl.
"Can you be a mommy and be an FBI agent?" she asked.
"Well, I'm not. But I have friends that are. You can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough," JJ answered honestly.
Rossi pointed to another little boy.
"Do you carry your gun everywhere?" the kid asked.
"I try not to, but SOME people," he said with a pointed look at JJ, "seem to think it's important that I do!" Rossi told the boy, smiling.
Rolling her eyes at him, JJ pointed to a little blond boy.
"Do you always catch the bad guys?" he asked.
"Not always, but we try really hard. And, most of the time, we're successful." she told him.
Rossi pointed to a red haired little girl. "What's your question, honey?"
"You're really old! I thought FBI agents were supposed to be young like the pretty lady," she said pointing at JJ.
Strangling on her snort of laughter, Rossi shot JJ a look that could have frozen water in hell. "Well, I'm not sure how to answer that question."
"Agent Rossi is a very seasoned and experienced FBI agent. He may be older, but he's a lot smarter than the rest of us. With age comes wisdom, honey," said Jennifer, recovering.
Leaning toward her, Rossi muttered, "We're now up to seven home cooked dinners, Jennifer. At this rate, you may be better off marrying me…it'd save you on the grocery bill."
Fighting down her laughter, Jennifer asked, "Who's next?"
Rossi nodded to the freckle faced boy standing in front of them. "How bout you, kid? Whatcha got for us?"
Jennifer watched as the boy turned wide eyes on David Rossi,
"Ya ever shot 'n killed anybody," the boy excitedly asked.
JJ's eyes widened on the boy as Rossi slowly said, "Unfortunately, yes. But we only do that as the VERY last resort."
"How'd it feel?" asked the boy, delightedly.
"Well, aren't you just a little serial killer in the making?" David murmured.
"David!" hissed JJ. "That's Director Strauss' nephew," she murmured into his ear.
"Figures," David muttered back before focusing his attention on the youngster. "To answer your question, son, it made me feel terrible. It's not something you ever really get over."
"Why not?" asked another child. "They were bad guys, right?"
David took a moment before he answered. "Just because people are bad doesn't make it easy to shoot them. Guns and violence should ALWAYS be a last resort and their use should NEVER be taken lightly."
Jennifer stepped forward and smiled at the group. "I think that's all we have time for today, boys and girls. It was a real pleasure for both of us to spend time with you and we hope you come back and visit really soon."
Jennifer listened as the children all clapped and yelled their thanks. Both she and David briefly shook the teacher's hand as the children filed out of the office.
As soon as the last child cleared the door, David placed a hand on Jennifer's arm and pulled her to him. "We need to have a little discussion, Agent Jareau. I think we have some plans that need hammering out."
Biting her bottom lip to keep from laughing, Jennifer followed Rossi up the stairs into his office, trying all the way not to notice the way his jeans hugged his butt.
Holding the office door open for her, David allowed Jennifer to proceed him into the room.
Shutting the door behind him, his first words were very clear. "You owe me, Jareau."
"And, I plan on fulfilling my end of the bargain. I believe you were up to seven dinners, was it?"
"AND a breakfast," Rossi clarified, stepping toward her.
"And a breakfast," JJ agreed, nodding.
"I deserve something extra, too. Especially after dealing with being called OLD and having to talk to Strauss' miniature serial killer down there!" David said, grinning wickedly.
"That's not nice, Agent Rossi," Jennifer murmured, watching David carefully.
"No one has ever accused me of being nice, Jennifer," David said quietly.
"Ahh. What have you been accused of then?" JJ asked, curiously.
"Lots of things, actually. Being determined. Being single-minded. Knowing what I want," he expanded, walking slowly to stand directly in front of her.
"Is this where I ask you what you want?" Jennifer asked, smirking.
"It is," David confirmed, smiling.
"Okay, Agent Rossi, I'll bite. What do you want?" asked JJ, tilting her head.
"That answer is really quite simple, Jennifer. I want you," he said, bending to kiss the blond haired beauty for the first, but, by far, not last time.
And so, several years later, when Madeline Rossi looked at her mother with six year old innocence and asked how she and daddy fell in love, it was with much fond remembrance that Jennifer Rossi smiled and said, "Well, sweetie, it all began with this favor I asked your daddy to do for me…".