Raising her gleaming blond head at the knock on her door, Jennifer Jareau looked up to see her best friend, Penelope Garcia framed in all her zany glory in the doorway.
"Gum Drop, we gotta do something," Penelope announced, striding through JJ's door.
Fighting a grin at the way Pens through herself in the office chair across the desk, JJ asked, "What did Morgan do, now?
"For a change, nothing. My chocolate iced mocha god is perfectly innocent for a change. It's Reid. He needs a life. And a date," Garcia informed her in a tone that defied her to deny it.
"Don't look at me," JJ said, shaking her head and lowering it back to her file to hide her smile. It was a well known fact around their close knit group that since Penelope had found happiness eternal with Kevin Lynch, she expected all her friends to get with the program and fall into line. Morgan was constantly trying to avoid the blonde tornado's attempts at matchmaking and Prentiss still hadn't forgiven her for the disastrous setup with another technical analyst last month. Hence, now Garcia was enlisting a coconspirator in her endeavors.
"No, not you, angelfish. But, I need your help," Garcia pleaded.
"Nope. Nuh uh! I've seen the looks Em is giving you. I'm still half convinced your days among us may be numbered," JJ told her friend without looking up.
"Come on, my little love bug, I'm even willing to negotiate on this one. If you'll help me with this, I'll make you the last on my list of people I need to fix up. And, it's a long list. The Boss Man is going to take forever when I get to him. You won't have to worry about me dropping men into your lap for at least six months….Come on, please! Otherwise, you may be the next on my list."
The temptation was great. It really was. All the team lived in fear that Garcia would turn her big eyes on them next. And, Reid really did need a life.
Sighing, JJ looked up at her friend. "What would I have to do?" JJ grumbled.
"You need to pay a visit to a certain legendary profiler and sweet talk his little black book out of his hands. Nobody in Morgan's fit's the bill….too trampy for our little boy," Garcia explained.
"You want me to get Rossi's little black book?" JJ asked. "I'd have more chance getting the Pope to say abortion was an acceptable solution to an unwanted pregnancy."
"Well I seriously doubt Hotch even has one! And, everybody knows you're Rossi's favorite. I have faith you can do this, Jayje," Penelope said enthusiastically.
"Yeah, right," JJ said sarcastically. Sighing, she rolled her eyes. "I'll give it a try. But, no promises."
"That's all I'm asking for, ladybug! Toodles. I've got lunch with Kevin," Garcia said on a smile, quickly exiting.
Staring after her, JJ had to wonder how she got herself into these things.
Thirty minutes later she stood in front of the one and only David Rossi's desk.
"You have to have one!" JJ begged.
"JJ, I promise you, I have no little black book. Those days were over a long time ago, little girl," Rossi grinned, enjoying the embarrassed flush that had covered her face as she'd stammered out her request.
"Fine, give me your PDA then! I know you've got women!" JJ said, hands landing on her hips.
"My what?" he asked, confused. "And, no, I don't!" Rossi said, shaking his head as he attempted to keep up with the conversation.
"David Rossi, I know you have a black book!" JJ said, striding around the desk. "ALL men like you have a little black book. It's a freaking requirement for men like you," she said, pulling the black leather chair he was sitting in away from his desk and bending to open the center drawer of his desk.
"Look all you want, Jen, you ain't gonna find one," Rossi said, eyes drawn to her bent rump as she fumbled through the drawer. "And what do you mean - men like me?" he asked absently, enjoying the view.
Slamming the center drawer closed, she opened another. "Men like you means just that. Men. Like. YOU. Playboys. Hell, don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about," she said, flashing him a look over her shoulder as she closed that desk drawer and opened another.
"I have a feeling somebody has been listening to the rumor mill," Rossi said, fighting a grin. Jennifer had actually sounded irritated. As if the thought of him with another woman might just bother her. Smile widening, he licked his lips before saying, "Any luck yet?"
"Damn it! NO! Where is it, Rossi?" she asked. "All I want is one little name for our resident genius! Otherwise, Garcie is going to turn her sights on me! I hate blind dates, damn it!" she said, fixing him with a stony look. Eyes suddenly widening, she shouted, "Hah! Your briefcase!"
David reached down beside him to grab his leather briefcase. Handing it to her, he grinned. "Look away, honey. But you ain't gonna find one."
Flipping the latches, JJ quickly rifled through the contents. "Rossi, I'm asking, no make that begging, just hand it over. I'll return it in good condition."
Shaking his head at her, he said patiently, "Honey, there is no black book! Hasn't been since I came back to work here. Threw it away, JJ."
"Why the hell would you do something like that?" she moaned. "You are the reason we take classes in anti- fraternization . Your exploits are the stuff of legends. You can not possibly tell me that you do not have a little black book! Why the hell are you holding out on me!" JJ said, throwing her hands in the air, showing a tantalizing sliver of midriff to an already aroused Rossi.
Lifting his eyes to meet hers, Rossi said evenly, "I have no need of a little black book, Jennifer."
"It's at the mansion you call a cabin in Little Creek, isn't it? Believe me when I tell you that I am fully prepared to toss your house to find that book, David," JJ threatened, bending over to pick up a file that she'd knocked to the floor during her search.
Watching as her skirt rode up the back of her thighs, David muttered, "There are worse things I can think of, JJ."
Slamming the file back on his desk, she turned desperate eyes on him. "You are infuriating, Agent Rossi. Absolutely infuriating! You are condemning me to Penelope Garcia's wrath, damn you! And that woman is vindictive when crossed. I had one assignment. Retrieve the little black book from Agent Rossi," JJ said, pausing for breath and running a hand through her hair. "He'll give it to you, Jayje…you're his favorite…he likes you best," JJ said, mimicking Penelope Garcia's voice.
"Well she had all that right," David smiled. "I would give it to you if I'd bothered to keep it, you are my favorite and I do like you best."
"Then give me the damn book!" JJ pleaded.
"I don't have a damn book, honey," David said in the same tone as he rose to tower over her.
"Then give me a phone number to one of your many conquests. I know you must have one of those somewhere," JJ said, hands going back on her hips.
"Why the hell do you think I have conquests?" David asked, raising his hands in the air in exasperation.
"You ARE David Rossi - as known for your skills as a lover as your skills as a profiler," JJ said as if he was brain damaged in some way.
"And you have listened to WAY to many rumors, Blue Eyes," David told her gently.
"Fine, no black book," JJ snorted in disbelief. "Then I suggest you put on your thinking cap for Reid because there is no way I'm becoming Garcia's next victim in her quest to find us all love eternal," JJ said, crossing her arms across her chest belligerently and throwing herself into his office chair. "Just a little side note, I'm not leaving your office until you think of something," she added, raising her chin in determination.
And, that's when he knew - watching her tap her foot with crossed arms and a defiant expression plastered across her face. David Rossi was head over heels in love with Jennifer Jareau.
"You don't want to find love eternal?" Rossi asked, leaning back against his desk to look at her.
"I didn't say that. But I refuse to be thrown at every available man Garcia finds in a thirty mile radius. Have you learned nothing from Emily's debacle," she tsked, shaking her head, causing her hair to shift against her shoulders.
"The Emily debacle?" Rossi asked, drawing his brows together.
"Have you been living under a rock lately? How have you not heard about this?" JJ asked.
"I've been here every night, working on book edits. Fill me in," David invited.
Well our addle minded technical analyst decided that Emily needed to meet her soul mate so she set our friend up with a technical analyst from Sex Crimes. The man took her to a comic book convention, Rossi. Our Emily was forced to spend the evening in the company of a man dressed as a Vulcan. There are pictures, Rossi. Posted on the guys webpage. Garcia is still ducking from Emily in hallways. And, yet, she's determined to fix Reid up. This should tell you something about her level of determination. And, I'm her next mark if I fail in my objective," JJ told him, leaning her head back against his chair. "I will not fail in this objective," she told him with a meaningful stare.
Wiping tears of mirth at the Emily story from his eyes, he admitted, "Garcia does seem to have a one track mind."
Cocking her head to the side, JJ said wickedly, "You know I could throw the focus off me by offering up you to the alter of blind dates. According to you, you have no little black book., you poor thing," JJ said with false sympathy.
"Don't even think about it, Blondie," Rossi warned with a stern glare. "I know where they'll never find the body."
Laughing at him, JJ begged, "Come on, help me out here!"
"Sweetheart, my days of a swinging social life with fast women has been over a long time. I've got my eye on the prize these days," Rossi informed her smartly.
"Really?" JJ asked, intrigued and a little jealous. "The prize, huh?"
"Mmm," Rossi replied, nodding. "I've finally figured out what I want now and won't settle for less."
"And you didn't have this figured out with any of the previous Mrs. Rossi's?" JJ asked, with a grin.
"Hey, experience teaches you a lot," Rossi said easily. "Besides, I don't like immature socialites, gold digging tramps, or lowlife cheaters and that's what I was married to the first three times. Those three were all found in my little black book."
"Ouch! Maybe I understand why you threw out the black book after all," JJ replied with a tilt of her head.
"You think?" he said, winking at her.
As JJ was about to reply they heard the commotion developing in the hall.
"I'm not going anywhere with anybody, Garcia! You can't make me!" they heard Reid yell.
"You need a life, my little genius. But before I get you a life, hon, I gotta get you a date," Garcia was patiently saying.
Exchanging a look with Rossi, JJ asked, "Is there anywhere to hide in here?"
"'Fraid not, honey," Rossi shook his head regretfully as his office door burst open.
"How is Operation Little Black Book going?" Garcia asked, sticking her head in the door.
"He says he doesn't have one, Garcia. Says he threw it out somewhere.," JJ said, pointing accusingly at Rossi.
"Impossible," Garcia said flatly, eyeing Rossi. "You know, Agent Rossi, I have this beautiful neighbor, she's a artist and I bet she'd love to meet a legend like you."
JJ watched as Rossi's eyes widened and had to stifle the urge to giggle. Leveling JJ with a steely gaze, he ordered, "Be at the cabin at seven. We'll find that damn book if it kills us both!"
"Thanks for your help," Garcia said, popping her gum before closing the door.
Staring at the door in horror, Rossi muttered, "That woman is scary."
Biting her lip to prevent a smile from escaping at the thought of an evening in David Rossi's company, JJ nodded and agreed as she said, "And unstoppable when she decides something."
At precisely seven o'clock that night, Jennifer Jareau climbed the steps to the wraparound porch of "the cabin". Her ass, a cabin. This place was a friggin' mansion if she'd ever seen one and she'd never been shy about telling the older man behind the door ahead of her that. David Rossi didn't know how to do anything small. It was part of his charm. And charm, was something the older man had in spades. With a sheer look alone he could make her melt - but when you added his persuasive voice into the mix - it was lethal. Ringing the doorbell, JJ reminded herself for the ninety-ninth time that the man inside was out of her league. Far, far beyond her reach. Now, if her brain would just explain that to her heart, her whole body would be in business.
He opened the door with a smile. Dressed in faded blue jeans and an open necked button down shirt pulled sloppily out of his jeans. Waving her inside, he closed the door.
"Did you find it?" JJ hopefully asked.
"Haven't even started looking. Have you eaten?" he asked, helping her off with her coat.
"Uh, no…but I don't expect you to feed me," JJ said nervously.
"Too bad. I cooked and you should feel honored because I don't do that for just anybody," he said, leading her into the large kitchen.
"Smells good," JJ replied, climbing up on a bar stool.
"Spaghetti Balognese," Rossi murmured, pulling a pan from the oven. "You, little girl," he said, putting a loaf of crusty bread in front of her, "can slice the bread and baste it with the butter in that bowl."
"Oh, so you're bossy at home, too. You don't just save it all for work," JJ laughed, picking up the knife.
"You say bossy. I say authoritative," Rossi said, smiling at her as he tossed a salad.
"You know you didn't have to feed me, too," JJ replied, looking up from the bread.
"Honey, when you see what we're gonna have to go through to find this book…if I even still have it…you'll realize that you're gonna need the strength."
"Now that just sounds ominous," JJ laughed.
"You'll see, Blue Eyes," Rossi smiled.
After a leisurely meal, David guided JJ back into the entry way. "Here's where you work for your supper, Blue Eyes. Up the stairs, Blondie." he said, turning toward the stairs and allowing her to proceed him.
Watching her hips sway before him, David was transfixed. Shaking his head, he heard her ask, "Where am I going exactly?"
Grinning wickedly, David savored his reply. "My bedroom."
Freezing mid-step, she felt as David crashed into her back. "Wh-What?" she sputtered.
Wrapping an automatic arm around her waist to steady them both, she heard the laughter in David's voice and felt his breath fan against her neck as he said, "Specifically to the walk-in closet in my bedroom. It's where I store old papers and such."
Turning within the circle his arm had made around her waist, JJ glared down at him from her perch a step above him, "That was mean!"
Smiling evilly, he laughed. "I couldn't resist."
"Try," she said with a final glare before flouncing up the remainder of the stairs.
"Now, honey, what else would you think I meant?" David couldn't resist asking.
Pointedly ignoring the question, JJ asked, "So do you have any clue which box you might have thrown this thing in?"
"Not a clue. I'm telling you, honey, I'm not even sure that I didn't throw the thing in the trash," David replied, opening the door to his bedroom.
JJ's heart stopped as her eyes were drawn immediately to the big bed in the center of the room.
"That thing is huge," JJ breathed.
"Definitely designed for more than just sleeping," he whispered in her ear.
"David Rossi!" JJ turned, shocked.
"Get on the bed, Jennifer," David ordered quietly.
Eyes widening, Jennifer turned completely around and looked at him. "You'd better not be thinking-," JJ stammered.
"Get your mind out of the gutter, honey," David chided. "I'll bring the boxes out to you. You can go through them on the bed."
"You - You…," JJ sputtered.
"Yes, dear?" David asked pleasantly.
"Get the boxes, Dave," JJ commanded, kicking off her shoes.
Fighting a laugh, David nodded. "Your wish is my command."
Following him with her eyes, JJ bit back a smile as she climbed on the great David Rossi's big bed. Unless she missed her mark entirely, David Rossi was interested in her. But, she was determined to make him work for it. After those remarks, he deserved it.
At 1:30 that morning David Rossi flopped back against the pillows of his bed beside Jennifer Jareau. "That was it, honey. The last box. We're out. I must have thrown it away," he told her, tiredly.
Barely able to keep her eyes open, JJ mumbled, "I can't believe you threw the little black book away! We need that book! Or we need a woman!"
Rossi laid staring at the ceiling for a moment as inspiration struck, "What about that little girl from the mail room? Reid's always following her with those puppy dog eyes of his. She's cute for a kid," Rossi said, elbowing her awake.
"Who?" JJ mumbled.
"The mail room girl! I think her name is Cindy or Mindy…something like that," Dave told her.
"It's Cindy. And Reid's been watching her?" JJ asked, groggily sitting up.
"Seems to…I mean I don't spend a lot of time watching him, but he does seem to stop whatever he's doing whenever she's around," Rossi replied.
"It could work," JJ said, grabbing her cell phone from beside her.
"Who are you calling at this time of night?" Rossi asked.
"Garcia. Trust me, she's awake. The woman exists on three hours of sleep," JJ yawned.
Dialing the phone, JJ waited. Upon hearing Garcia's annoyingly perky voice, JJ told her they hadn't found the book, but they had an alternate idea. After filling Garcia in, JJ cringed as she received their next assignment. Saying she understood, she hung up the phone and again flopped against the pillows behind her.
"Now what?" Rossi asked, seeing the look of distress on her face.
"She went for it. Said she'll set it up. But, we have a new mission to accomplish or we become her next victims. We have to prepare Reid for this date. And, we've got to enlist Hotch's help because you two are going to have to teach him appropriate behavior. Good luck with that by the way," she said, shooting him a tired smile.
"And, your mission, little girl?" David asked, turning his head on the pillow to look at her.
"I have to handle appearance," JJ sighed. "And, I have to talk him into a haircut," she added morosely.
"Sucker," Rossi snickered.
Sitting up again, JJ moved to get off the bed.
Grabbing her arm, Rossi asked, "Where do you think you're going, Little Girl?"
"Home. It's after two in the morning," JJ mumbled, glancing over the side of the bed, searching for her shoes.
"There's no way in hell I'm letting you drive home as tired as you are. We'll set the alarm clock early and you can go home in the morning and change before work," Rossi told her firmly. "I'll even be a gentleman. If you insist I move, I'll go find the couch.
Too tired to even argue, JJ crawled back in bed. "Not necessary. I'll be unconscious in thirty seconds."
"Thought so," David said, sitting up to pull the blanket at the bottom of the bed over her. By the time he had the blanket up to her neck, David saw that she was asleep. Shaking his head and smiling gently, David kissed her temple. Curling his body around her, David had to grin. The first time he got Jennifer Jareau in his bed and she passed out on him. Oh, well, there was always next time, he thought with satisfaction.
"Reid, I just want to have a little taken off the length," JJ pleaded.
"We are NOT cutting my hair, JJ. My hair is my signature," Reid said determinedly. "People notice my hair!"
"No, Reid, people notice your IQ! The hair needs to be cut!" JJ argued as Rossi and Hotch walked into her office.
"Oh, forget it! Phase two is here," JJ said, standing and heading for the door.
Snagging her arm in a gentle grip, Rossi asked, "Where do you think you're going, Blue Eyes?"
"Away, David. Far, far away. I finally got him to agree to a suit that doesn't look three sizes too big. Now, I've got to go pick it up from the tailor. You boys have fun," she said, patting him gently on the cheek. "Oh! And Spence, we're not done talking about the hair," she said closing her office door.
Leveling his eyes at his two immediate superiors, Reid hissed, "I hate Garcia."
"Right now, son., we all feel that way," Rossi sighed. "Now, let's get to work, kid."
"I still don't understand how Garcia could choose the two people with the worst track record with women for this job," Hotch grumbled.
"Morgan refused," explained Reid.
"Well, that says it all," muttered Hotch.
At seven o'clock that evening, JJ laid stretched out over David Rossi's office sofa with a glass of scotch resting on her taut stomach while he reclined in his big black office chair watching her.
"How did we get ourselves into this?" JJ moaned.
"You made the mistake of befriending Penelope Garcia and I made the mistake of letting you into my office to search for a non-existent black book," Rossi informed her with a smile.
"Ooops," JJ murmured. "Sorry for that," she muttered unapologetically.
"Yeah, I can tell you're besieged with sympathy," Rossi said, raising his glass to her. "I don't think I've been this tired in, well, ever. Do you realize that kid didn't know the names of any modern bands and his idea of appropriate dinner conversation was telling a girl what made a sadistic killer tick," Rossi said, shaking his head.
"I can top that. Do you realize Spencer had never been in a stylist's chair before. He cut's his own hair and didn't handle a woman coming at his head with scissors very well. Not very well AT ALL," JJ replied, raising her head to finish off the scotch in her glass.
Rising with scotch bottle in hand, Rossi walked toward JJ's prone form, saying "That's nothing. Hotch is so rattled from our afternoon with our young Dr. Reid that he will no longer speak in person with Garcia. He's in hiding from our resident technological goddess. He's living in fear that he's going to be next. He sends an intern with any messages he has for her now."
Lifting her glass for Rossi to refill it, JJ laughed. "Hotch is scared, huh? This IS bad!"
"Do you think," Rossi said, looking down at her with twinkling eyes.
"You know, I blame you for this. If you'd have kept that damn book, we could have handed it over and been done," JJ said, pointing an accusing finger at him.
"I told you," said Rossi, shrugging his shoulders, "I didn't need the book anymore. Didn't feel the need to keep it. One thing about me, Blue Eyes, once I make my mind up, it's a done deal."
"Okay, enough with the mystery," replied JJ, snagging Rossi's sleeve and pulling him down beside her on the sofa. "Tell me what paragon of virtue enticed you into throwing the black book of love away."
"So you want me to start telling all my secrets, now, huh?" asked Rossi with a grin.
"I'm very good at keeping my mouth shut," JJ said, raising an eyebrow.
Nodding once, David returned, "I'm sure you are, but right now, I'm going to take you out to eat. Twenty year old scotch and an empty stomach is a catastrophe waiting to happen."
"But it's such good scotch, David," JJ said waving her glass in front of him.
"I know, honey, I paid a very good price for it," he said, catching her hand and the glass.
"Spoil sport," JJ pouted.
"Come on, honey," Rossi said, taking her hand to pull her onto unsteady feet. Falling against him heavily, he murmured, "I think we'd better get that food in you fast."
Giggling, JJ told him, "We have to sneak out. If Garcia finds us, we'll be in her sights next."
"I'll protect you," David said, looking down at her.
"See that you do, I don't think I could handle a date that dressed like a Vulcan. I have my limits," JJ laughed, as he drug her out of the office.
"So, where are we?" JJ asked as Rossi opened her car door.
"We are at a little restaurant called The Cove. It has the best seafood in town. I even shared this little secret with Reid today. Although, I have to admit, I told him I didn't think he was ready for a romantic little restaurant with our mail girl yet. I advised him to stick to Applebee's for the first date," Rossi told her with a grin.
"Good advice," JJ nodded, accepting the hand he held out to her.
Walking into the restaurant, Rossi requested a table for two as JJ scanned the room and gasped.
"Oh. My. God. It looks like Reid took your advice…at least on a nice restaurant," she muttered.
"What, honey?" Rossi said, turning around and following JJ's pointing finger with his eyes.
Followed that finger all the way to Reid and an unidentified woman. "That's not the mail girl," David mused.
"No, it's not. THAT'S the stylist from the hair salon," JJ groaned. "Garcia is never gonna believe this."
"Well, technically we held up our end of the bargain. We got him date ready. He just jumped the gun," Rossi reasoned.
"Yeah, but now she'll need a new victim," JJ muttered as the waiter came forward to seat them.
Glaring at Reid across the restaurant, JJ told Rossi, "I'm gonna need a big, big glass of wine. Huge. Bottomless."
"After the week we've had, I suppose we deserve that," Dave laughed.
"It's not funny," JJ hissed. "With him happily taken, Garcia will be moving on to her next innocent victim. Emily is still threatening to disembowel her. Morgan is too quick. Hotch is the invisible man. And you're just too much a man to tackle. That leaves me!" JJ explained. "ME!"
"Not if I have anything to say about it," Rossi muttered under his breath as Reid and his date passed their table.
"JJ! Agent Rossi!" Reid said excitedly. "Allow me to introduce you to Bitsy. JJ, I owe you big! If you hadn't dragged me into that salon, I'd never have met this wonderful lady next to me," Reid informed her proudly.
Grabbing her arm under the table, Rossi held firm when JJ would have risen to claw out the young doctor's eyes. Quickly, David asked, "Did you enjoy your dinner?"
"It was excellent. Thanks for the tip," Reid winked. "We need to get going. We're gonna see a movie. See you guys later!" Reid said, wrapping an arm around Bitsy.
"Bye," Bitsy waved brightly.
As they sat their watching the duo leave, JJ muttered, "Completely freaking unbelievable. He found his OWN friggin' date!"
"It happens, honey," Rossi told her.
Turning back to face him, JJ said, smiling, "Okay, so you never told me. Why exactly did you throw the black book out? Or should I say, WHO exactly did you throw the black book out for?"
"Oh, now, that's a long interesting story. I'm not sure we have time-,"
"Oh we've got time, Dave, and I've got all night! I've earned this story," she told him stubbornly.
"Well, it all started when I met this certain beautiful, intelligent blonde about nine and a half months ago," he began, watching her face closely.
"Really?" JJ said, still smiling with a jaw clenched as she listened to him talk about this mystery woman.
"Yeah, she's fiesty and stubborn and evidently willing to do anything to avoid a blind date," Rossi grinned.
Eyes widening, JJ's smile widened. "Oh, really!"
"Yeah, the damn fool woman tore apart my house looking for my old little black book," Rossi said with twinkling eyes.
"Oh, shut up and come here," JJ whispered grabbing his tie and pulling him to her.
"Took you long enough," Rossi said before covering her lips for the first time. And that night, David Rossi showed Jennifer Jareau yet another use for his bed.
Two years later as JJ was cleaning out a closet in the guest bedroom in preparation for the upcoming nursery, she found that elusive little black book, buried in a box beneath some old photographs. As she flipped open the cover, there in her husband's bold scrawl was her name written across the first page with a circle around it.