The rain trickled down the glass of the window causing rivets and patterns of water that was transfixing to the eye. Mesmerising even. It was fluid and calm and almost hypnotic. The day had been sunny, generally warm and pleasant. On any other day it would have been perfect to go for a walk in the park, maybe have a late lunch some place quiet. It would have been nice to have cooked some dinner and have it on the wooden table out on the deck in the garden, maybe with a little wine or a beer. After all that had happened, Emily had been looking forward to that time. To that day with her wife and her son.

Emily had planned on doing just those things. She had thought about sleeping wrapped up with JJ, finally able to get some solid rest after everything that had happened in Canada. All she had been able to think about on the plane was getting home, as she had been sat in the relative silence of the plane. She had watched as JJ had moved seats to go and sit next to Garcia, as the quirky blonde hadn't been able to hold back a few tears that managed to escape her. JJ had moved over to her, silently pulling her close and wrapping her up to comfort her. As a team they were used to being in harms way, in the middle of the depravity they saw, though maybe not like this. But Garcia was usually at a safe distance, now yet again she had been put in the midst of blood and pain and guns. Yet again, she had been thrust into that world, JJ had stepped in front of her brandishing her weapon and being a human shield, yet again ready to use whatever force she had to to protect her friend. She couldn't protect her from the sight of someone's head being shot off by a shotgun though.

Both JJ and herself had offered Garcia to stay with them for the night, but the hacker had politely declined, needing some time and space to think. Everyone seemed to need that. At least they had each other, and at least they had Henry. That's all that mattered now; there was nothing more she could do about the situation. She had just wanted to focus on her family. And the first order of business, after saying hello to Henry and taking a shower, was to get some sleep. After that she'd had it planned out. Get some rest; take Henry out to the park and then lunch, just somewhere quiet where they could enjoy being a family and talk and laugh. Then they'd take it easy, and she'd decided that she'd cook fish. It was one of JJ's favourites, and a good meal with some wine and music out on the deck sounded perfect.

But of course, all that had been shattered when her blonde beloved had been called to a crime scene. And the day that had transpired, which left her standing here in the middle of the night watching rain steam down the windows, was entirely different from the day that had been planned in Emily's head!


''Oh my god! Fuck off.''

The irritated muffled mumble came from beneath the pillow as the peace in the bedroom was disturbed by the annoyingly familiar tone of her wife's blackberry. The one she had thought about throwing out the window many a time. Despite she knew that it was important it still didn't take her right to be pissed off sometimes when it jack hammered into their personal life. The look on JJ's face when it had interrupted her feeding Henry the other day had been saddening and right now it was pissing her off considering that they had only just gone to bed. They were exhausted for crying out loud and they were supposed to be on stand down to get some rest after the ordeal in Canada.

The blonde reached out her arm toward the nightstand not being able to open her eyes yet so reaching blindly for the offending object her wife had just sworn at. She had just been in a nice sleep until this.

''Agent Jareau…''

Emily sighed irritably from her position underneath the pillow she was sprawled out on her front with JJ next to her who was laying on her back. Emily wasn't quite sure how she had ended up with her head under the pillow. They had crashed not long after getting in and seeing Henry all snuggled up asleep he had woken up briefly to be changed and fell happily back to sleep. Annette was in the spare room where she still was now.

''You have got to be kidding me? Our team got back just over two hours ago…''

JJ cringed and sighed as she tried to push the cobwebs out of her head and ran a hand over her face and then her hair before sitting up. Blinking she tried to adjust to the light in the room and then looked down at the lump under the covers that was her wife.

''I will, bye.''

JJ leant down and lifted the pillow up slightly before pressing her lips against Emily's cheek.

''Go back to sleep, I'll try to sort this out.''

''I can't believe this…''

JJ knew Emily was angry not just at being interrupted because it wasn't fair but because she had to leave and she would worry about her being so tired.

''It's my job, Em. It's okay.''

''It's not okay. They're supposed to leave us alone. There must be someone other than you that can sort this out, whatever it is.''

JJ scoffed lightly and shook her head.

''Not likely. Go back to sleep baby. I love you.''

''I love you too.''

JJ smirked lightly at Emily's sleepy voice and put the pillow back again. Then she got out of bed and hauled herself across to the bathroom to get a cold wash to wake her up and proceeded to get dressed. Her blackberry vibrated silently a couple of times to signal that she'd received some information to review. There was no way she was getting out of this but she'd know more when she got to the scene she was being asked to go to. If it was possible she was going to try and keep her team at home and in their beds but the feeling in her gut that she wasn't going to be able to. They wouldn't have woken her if it was trivial and the other teams were out.

Tag, they were it.


So here she was, hours after she had been desperate for sleep, not being able to. So much had transpired in mere days, it was frightening just how much. What had been lost was momentous, it was inexcusable. And that was the thing that really got to her.

Sometimes she really fucking hated her job. Sometimes she wished that they led simpler lives. That perhaps she and JJ had met as their eyes met over a crowded room, perhaps at a mutual friends party. They'd have started talking after shyly getting a drink together, and end up spending hours talking and laughing together. JJ would have been a media consultant, and she would have been a translator. They'd have busy lives of course, but not so busy as to eclipse a good personal life outside of work. They'd date, eventually get married, have Henry, and they'd be home at decent hours, untouched by the evil that went on in the world. They wouldn't get called up at random hours in the morning. They wouldn't have to see people die, see the monsters that killed them, they wouldn't have to shoot people. They wouldn't have to see their friends' lives shatter into a million shards on the floor as it was taken away from them.

It would have been so much easier.

So engrossed with her thoughts Emily didn't hear JJ roll over in bed. Despite the rain it was still warm and they had only a thin sheet over the bed. JJ rolled over with her arm reaching out to where she thought Emily was but upon finding the space empty the blonde was roused and an eye cracked open. Although her vision was blurry at first she saw enough to see that Emily wasn't in bed and after forcing her eyes to open a little more she noticed her shadowy figure by the window. JJ immediately knew from the air and Emily's stance that there was something troubling that head of hers, and most likely it would be about what happened.

Breathing in sleepily before letting it roll out JJ pushed the cover off and rolled out of bed. With her hair still mussy and as she rubbed her eyes, the blonde padded around the bed and across the expanse of the room toward her wife. Getting there, she slipped up behind her, breathing in deeply and sleepily again as she wrapped her arms around Emily from behind as she rested her cheek on the brunette's shoulder.

''How long you been standing here?''

JJ whispered with that sleepy crack in her voice. Emily had relaxed in her arms and leant back into her slightly.

''Not long.''

JJ quirked an eyebrow.

''Your side of the bed is cold Em, how long?''

''I just…I couldn't sleep.''

The brunette sighed, her eyes still focused on the raindrops.

''Talk to me Emily.''

There was silence for a few moments, but JJ was patient. She knew Emily was just thinking how to say whatever it was that was stopping her from sleep.

''I just…I hate him right now.''

Eventually came the hushed, raw whisper, full of the firy anger that she was feeling.


Emily shook her head slowly.

''No, Hotch.''

JJ was surprised at that answer, and she knew that Emily really meant it she could hear it in her tone of voice. It was surprising because she knew her wife respected Hotch a lot and she had been the one to find what had happened at his apartment and was with him at the hospital.

''What do you mean baby?''

Emily's hand moved up to her face, and although JJ couldn't see properly, she was pretty sure her wife was crying. She could feel her body tense again; shake even just a little bit.

''I hate him JJ. I am so, so fucking angry all I want to do is yell at him. Shake him even.''

JJ had never heard Emily talk this way even about her Father, sure she'd heard the anger and the hurt and bitterness before, but she'd never heard her talk like this. So it was concerning to say the least that she was talking this way about a friend, about a man they all respected who lead them admirably. Especially after he had been stabbed and lost everything he had.

JJ pulled back just enough as to try and turn Emily around, though the brunette resisted.

''It's okay sweetheart, turn around. C'mon.''

Eventually Emily complied, and JJ blinked slightly as Emily wrapped her up tightly, seemingly no longer bothered about hiding the fact that she was crying softly. JJ didn't understand what was going on yet, but she didn't need to. All she needed to know what that Emily needed her right now, so she hugged her back tightly, was there to be held onto.

So much had happened that maybe it was all catching up with her.


As soon as she pulled up JJ knew that there would be no rest for her team today the police badly needed their help and it definitely couldn't wait. She had called each of her sleepy coworkers in the midst of the busy crime scene and taken the hassles from them as she told them they needed to come out. No word from their boss however which struck her as very peculiar she had already rung him a couple of times and he usually answered right away. She had promised Emily that this was urgent and the brunette trusted her judgment and Emily had rolled out of bed to change and leave her son with Annette to join her wife at the crime scene. She arrived first but not too long before Rossi and then a grouchy Morgan.

''JJ said the police told her it was urgent.''

She said as she walked up to them.

''4 hours of sleep after what we went through in Canada it had better be.''

The disgruntled beefcake grouched before turning toward the building that Officer's were streaming in and out of continually. JJ had only been brief as she needed to call everyone quickly but they had gathered that shots had been fired at the scene and there must have been more to it than an average shooting the blonde didn't agree to call them in for nothing.

''Oh, you guys over here. You guys remember Detective Walker?''

Emily guessed she wasn't the first to arrive and an eager Reid was already in the scene with JJ reading through the case file. They shook hands with Detective Walker and exchanged brief pleasantries and it seemed JJ had made him aware that they had had limited sleep after a nasty case.

It turned out that JJ really did agree to call them in for a reason. They listened to the quick brief of the situation about Dr Tom Barton and his son being threatened and innocent bystanders being killed over him. The son was in grave danger but the Dr and them were in an impossible position. Innocents were going to be killed if they didn't stop this unsub before he killed again or got his hands on an innocent boy. They definitely had a situation on their hands and quickly enough everyone was starting to forget that they had only had a couple of hours sleep. Soon enough they were heading over to Dr Barton's house.


''Talk to me Emily, what's going on in that head of yours?''

Emily sniffed a little, moving her head to rest on JJ's shoulder as she tried to breathe so that she could talk.

''He shouldn't have left.''

JJ frowned.

''Your Dad?''

Emily shook her head lightly.

''Hotch. He shouldn't have left them. He abandoned them.''

JJ started to slowly understand what was on Emily's mind.


''Don't. Don't make excuses. My Dad was a son of a bitch and by god I was glad to see the back of him, but Hotch had a choice. He had a choice JJ and he didn't choose his family. He chose this job, this fucking life of shit without them. They love him, and he loves them, and he's made them go out there on their own, afraid. Who knows how long it could be, Jack might never remember him. What's worth that JJ?''

JJ sighed softly, closing her eyes for a second but opening them as Emily looked at her properly. She held her wife's head in her hands and kissed her softly along the face a couple of times before resting their foreheads together.

''It's not worth it, but he's trying to protect them.''

''If he wanted to do that he'd be with them right now. Instead he's playing the martyr. He thinks he needs to catch the bad guy to save them, but he doesn't. He needs to be with them to save them. And I'm so angry at him for not getting that, for not seeing what he has right in front of him. He thinks his son will understand but he won't.''

''He might.''

''He won't. His Daddy chose this over him, its an abandonment. And trust me, its not a nice feeling to carry around. Sure, Hotch's reasons are more sincere than my Dad's, but effectively its still the same and if that's something they have in common, the worst man I know and one of the best men I know…where does that leave the rest of us?''

JJ pulled back, startled.


''Are we so addicted to this that we'd leave families behind? That we won't trust the people we work with everyday, to do their job and catch that son of a bitch?''

''He trusts us Emily, and you know he's doing what he thinks is right. He's doing it because he wants Foyet to focus on him, not Hailey and Jack. He's trusting us to work with him Em, to keep him strong, to keep him focused.''

''But it's not right, is it?''

Emily's voice got a lot softer, almost childlike. She looked at JJ with the same look, the feelings swirling in her expressive brown eyes that shone in the limited light from outside.


JJ whispered, in one respect guilty for saying that when Hotch was facing the worst time of his life and trying to do the best thing, but in another, she could entirely understand where Emily was coming from. They could have done this without him, he could be safe with his family somewhere right now. They had already lost so much with the divorce, and it was so obvious they still loved one another deeply. It was this job getting in the way, and now it had stolen everything.

''I know it's the strong thing to do, to stay and find the bastard that's going after your family. But if that happened to us…if leaving and going into WPP is considered weak, then colour me weak because I'd rather be with you and Henry. I'd rather have a life, JJ.''

JJ smiled faintly, nodding as she sniffed too as she caressed the side of Emily's face.

''I'd do the same, Em. I'd choose you and Henry too. But we have to support him now okay? You know his reasons, and you know what he's feeling. He's blaming himself, he doesn't feel like he deserves to be with them. And it may be a little self indulgent, but he's still our friend. And you can hate him right now, but this is killing him and we're the only family he has left now.''

Emily nodded slowly.

''I know. It just…it scares me what we're capable of. What we're willing to give up.''

''You're not your Father Em, and we're not Hotch. Remember? We're us.''

Emily nodded, putting her hand over JJ's heart and relaxing in feeling the steady beat underneath as she remembered the times that JJ had done this, been there for her like this.

She did hate Hotch right now, and she did want to shout at him and shake him for being selfish enough to stay behind. But JJ was right, they were his family, and they had to support him. He wasn't like her Dad, he was a better man. And she'd be there just like everyone else to support him. She'd do anything to help him, because when she thought about this happening to her family, she got the flashes of the horror it must have caused.

They'd get his family back one way or another.