FROM MY DAD

PROMPT: The Pom Pom Incident (Sabrina)

She swore violently when she tripped over Henry's travel bag in the front hall and sighed when the contents came tumbling out. She knelt down and made quick work of putting everything back in the wheeled suitcase. She'd specifically told her boys to make sure when the suitcase was moved that it was zipped up. If Henry had something else he wanted to add for his annual trip to New Orleans, he could unzip the suitcase to put them in, apparently, that hadn't been the case.

She paused when she caught sight of the white bear that had skittered across the hardwood floor of the house. Sitting back so she could cross her legs, JJ smiled affectionately at the worn stuffed animal. Dave had ceremoniously presented her with the bear on Henry the day the little boy was born. She'd been cuddling her new infant child when Dave had walked in. Reid had gone off to find that coffee the rest of the team had wandered away for and she'd been talking quietly to Henry when he walked in, bear in hand.

"Hey, Jen."

His quiet greeting had caught her attention immediately and she looked up with the widest smile she could bring. "Hey. I wondered where you'd gotten off to."

There was something in his eyes that she couldn't read. "Sorry."

Silence fell between them, and for the first time in a long time it was actually uncomfortable. JJ wasn't used to uncomfortable silences with David Rossi. Since they'd reconciled over his very first case with the BAU, JJ had actually found herself enjoying Dave's intelligence and wit and more often than not, her fights with him, which had become legendary around the BAU, gave her a thrill like nothing else.

"I, uh... I brought this for your son." He held out a white teddy bear.

"Henry," she said, her smile decreasing slightly. Like his eyes, there was something in his voice she didn't recognize, but it unsettled her a little bit. "Thank you." She slid the infant into one arm as she accepted the bear and set it on her legs. "Um... did you want to hold him?"

Dave paused for a moment, then skilfully lifted Henry from JJ's arms. She picked up the teddy bear, inspecting it. She arched an eyebrow at him. "I didn't take you for the pom pom type, Dave."

The bear held an ice cream cone one red, one brown and one white pom pom creating the illusion of the sugary treat. Dave smiled as he cuddled Henry to his chest. "What can I say? I know Neapolitan is your favourite ice cream."

She laughed heartily. "I could do with some," she sighed, "Apparently my cravings don't go away now that Henry's graced us with his presence." Her heart swelled as she watched Dave rock her son. He was good with kids, something she'd never expect from a man like Dave.

"He looks just like you," Dave said quietly, sparkling eyes and gentle smile on the infant in his arms.

"Well, let's hope that doesn't mean he's completely Will in personality."

He looked up at her, his eyes almost sparkling. "Things are good between you two?"

She could only nod. She'd told him all about the pressure she felt from Will giving up his job and moving to Washington. He knew everything about her pregnancy down to how annoying she found the stretch marks. He knew all about how swollen her ankles got. In fact, since she spent so much time in the office, there had been a few times he'd willingly massaged her aching feet while they talked about files. There was something disturbing about it, but since their reconciliation it had become something different. There was no one else JJ felt comfortable allowing massage the aches and pains out of her feet and ankles. There was no one she trusted more.

Slowly, he handed her son back to her. "Everything's good?"

"He's a healthy, apparently happy baby boy," JJ replied with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.

His gaze told her that wasn't the answer he was looking for, nor was it the question he was asking. "I'm glad to hear that."

"It's a lot to adjust to," she admitted knowing there was no way she was going to get away without telling him the whole truth. She never had. He'd never let her. Still, she couldn't meet his eyes.

She heard his quiet sigh, but didn't comment. If he'd wanted to catch her attention, the sound would have been louder. Dave had a flare for the dramatic when it suited him.

"You know if you every need anything, I'm here."

This time, her smile was wide and directed right at him. "I know."

"Anything, Jen."

She nodded. "Anything," she repeated back to him.

He looked like he wanted to do or say something more, but instead, he just leaned over and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Congratulations, Jen. He's beautiful."

That something had come to head when JJ had told him that she and Will weren't going to work out after all. She knew it pained him to think about it. He had been the one to walk her down the aisle and hand her off to Will and that had been because her father had passed away years ago. It had hurt him when she looked so down and depressed.

"Is it a mutual decision?" he asked quietly as they sat on the couch in his office.

She nodded. "We've talked about it. It was the best decision for both of us and for Henry."

He wrapped his arm around her shoulders for a moment, tugging her tightly to him for a split second. "I'm sorry."

"It's for the best," she said with a shrug.

"Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt."

She smiled.

Things, really, had only grown from there. They started spending more and more time together. Dave started picking Henry up at daycare and holding him in his office until JJ found time to go home. She leaned on him more because her son was at stake until eventually, friendship just wasn't enough.

Much to Dave's surprise, JJ hadn't been looking for that diamond ring, nor had she really been looking for anything more than creating a family without the hassle of marriage. She'd tried with Will to make things work, but in the end, between her job and his need for more, it hadn't worked. JJ had hated going through the process of the divorce and, when things between her and Dave escalated beyond friendship, she made sure he knew the score going in. She knew he was torn between waiting for her to change her mind and vaguely wondering if he would be the first one who wanted more.

"Is there a particular reason you're sitting on the floor, Jen?"

JJ smiled as she held out her hand for Dave to help her up. She showed him the bear. "You gave him this."

"When he was born," Dave agreed with a nod.

JJ echoed his nod. "You know, Will got him a stuffed dog the same day," she said conversationally.

"Oh?"

JJ nodded. "But he never touched it. The only thing that could ever calm him down was this bear."

Dave kissed her temple. "He knew something it took his mother a little bit longer to figure out. He's always been a bright kid."

"Who?" came Henry's little voice.

"You, little man," Dave said, reaching out and snatching up the boy he considered as good as a son.

Henry laughed loudly as Dave's fingers dug into his sides.

"Henry William, what did I tell you about zipping up your suitcase?" JJ asked her son, putting one hand on her hip, the other holding the bear under her arm.

"That if I needed to pack anything else I could unzip it later," Henry said obediently, almost falling over when Dave set him back down on his feet again.

"So then explain to me why I just repacked half of your suitcase because I tripped over it," she continued.

Henry bit his lip. "Sorry, Mom."

"Uh huh. Have you double and triple checked your list? We're leaving in five minutes."

"Yes Mom," Henry said with a roll of his ten-year-old eyes.

"Hey, don't roll your eyes at your mom," Dave scolded half-heartedly.

"Okay," JJ broke in, "Get your shoes."

The next five minutes were a whirlwind of activity, but they managed to get into the car and to the airport on time. JJ and Dave checked the little boy in, both of them rolling their eyes when the clerk asked if someone was picking Henry up at the airport when he landed in New Orleans. JJ grinned as Henry, his bear under his arm, gave a huge smile to the assistant in charge of making sure he got on the plane safe and sound.

"You must be the parents."

"Something like that," Dave agreed, shaking the man's hand.

"He's in good hands, I promise you that," the agent assured him.

"Thank you," JJ said, leaning down and meeting her son's eyes. "You be good."

"Of course, Mom," Henry agreed, wrapping his arms around her. "I love you. I'll miss you."

"We'll call," Dave promised. "Check up and make sure you're not causing any trouble."

Henry rolled his eyes, but hugged Dave too. Just before the agent and Henry walked out of earshot, JJ and Dave left behind with his arm wrapped around her waist, JJ heard the agent ask Henry a question.

"Where'd you get the bear?"

"When I was a baby," Henry responded easily. "My Dad gave him to me."