AN/Thanks for the awesome support that we've gotten through our collaborations. SSBAILEY is an awesome writer, and writing with her has been a blast. Hope you enjoy this!
They stood there in semi-silence, watching as Derek bounced JJ's small son. JJ looked up at him closely, noticing the small smirk that graced his lips.
"You're smiling." She said, stating the obvious.
"Gas." He replied, intoning the joke that had been previously made. "We miss you around here." He added, careful to keep his voice impersonal and professional. He had lost the right to be personal with her a long time ago. Suddenly, he couldn't bear the pressure anymore, standing so near to JJ while the son that she had with another man was drawing the attention of the entire team, watching while the family that he wished he had been brave enough to start with her, stood happily in the room. The only thing that was missing was her boyfriend, fiance, he corrected himself after remembering the Southern man's brief announcement months before.
"I've got work to do, I want to finish up my report tonight, so I had better go. It was good seeing you JJ." He excused himself, not realizing that he had left his phone on the Conference Room table.
Making quick work of the files in his office, he left while the group was still in the 'BAU Room' as Reid had now dubbed it. Riding home in silence, he thought of the woman that had surprised the team today. He and JJ had always had a special connection, one that hadn't been explored at all while he had been married. Following his divorce, she had been there for him and he wondered if something more could happen. But then came the day when he felt like his heart had been ripped out of his chest. When he found out that not only was JJ seeing someone else, but she was pregnant with his baby.
Laughing sarcastically at his own luck, he reached the cold and empty home that he had once shared with Hailey. It had been in his family for years, Sean had actually lived here while he attended high school, and it had been one of the few things that Hailey conceeded in the divorce. He sat, silently in his front room, fingering the wedding announcement that he had gotten the day before flying to Southern California.
"I guess really do Hotchners prefer blondes." He said softly to himself as he looked at the picture of his younger brother and an attractive blonde woman to his side.
Hotch startled when he heard a light knock on his door, he rarely got visitors since Hailey left. When he opened his front door, he was surprised to see JJ standing on his porch, trying to juggle her squirming baby and his cell phone.
"Hey, you left this in the conference room, I thought you might want it." She said unsurely, switching her weight from foot to foot. "You will need it to be able to find us new serial killers to catch." She said with a light laugh.
"Someone needs to, it isn't like Jordan is doing your job." He teased, something he only really did with JJ.
"She's trying her best. Most people can't live up to my memory." JJ teased back, then adding, "Wow, I sound like Garcia." She was slightly surprised with her little joke, it was almost actually funny. While JJ was many things, a comedian was never one of them.
"You may want to see a doctor, one Garcia is plenty for the BAU." Hotch laughed, "Oh, do you want to come in?" He asked, noticing that it was a little cold outside and he was not ready for her to go.
"No, I really should put Henry to bed." She said regretably.
"And Will is probably waiting for you." Hotch conceded, although mentioning the man brought a pit to his stomach.
"Nah, he's gone. He's a great dad to Henry, but he's doing that from his own apartment across town." JJ said, instantly wondering why she would tell her boss this information when she hadn't even told her own mother yet.
"Any particular reason?" Hotch asked, promising himself that if Will cheated on her that he would hunt the DCPD's newest Detective down.
"After Henry was born, I just realized that while he was a great boyfriend, he's just better for someone else. I just couldn't live a lie, and I wasn't really in love with him. I was so ready for a long term relationship after everything that we see at work, that I was willing to have it with whoever was in my life at the time." JJ told him quietly, she felt guilty for leading Will on like that, but she couldn't do it anymore.
"I thought you were engaged..." Hotch said confused, but relieved. He felt his spirits rising more and more every second she was with him.
"We were talking about getting married, but that really isn't in the plans anymore. We're just working on co-parenting Henry so we get equal time with him. Well, I really should get this little guy home, he's getting a little fussy and tired." She told him as she turned to walk away. "Bye Hotch. See you soon." She called behind her.
"Bye JJ." Hotch replied softly, his mind already spinning at her admission. Maybe life wasn't so bad after all.