David Rossi's bitching and moaning could be heard all over the BAU's offices. Looking at the peacemaker of the BAU, Morgan said in a pleading voice, "Jayje, you gotta do something! Come on!"
"Send Emily," JJ said, shaking her long blond hair.
"Tried it. He asked her about her mother," Morgan said with a shake of his bald head.
"Garcia, then," JJ replied patiently.
"He threatened to cut off her trolls heads if she came in his office one more time," Morgan retorted.
Morgan's only response to that suggestion was a disbelieving look.
Catching his eyes, JJ shrugged. "Okay, stupid, I know. What about Hotch?"
"He threw a lamp at him," Morgan said sadly.
Biting back a giggle, JJ strangled out, "A lamp?"
"Yeah, Hotch told me he wasn't going back near the Chief until either he got back from the damn lecture or his funeral, whichever came first. And between you and me, I think Hotch was hoping for the funeral!"
"Well, what about you, Morgan?" JJ asked, frustrated.
Pointing to his face, Morgan asked, "Do you see this face? The strong cheekbones, the perfect nose…ain't know way I'm chancing this," he said gesturing at his face, "for that," he said pointing at Rossi's closed office door through which more audible curses could be heard.
"Morgan-," JJ whined.
"Look, I know you guys haven't talked much since that case last week when you fought the whole time, but…"
"Oh, you mean that case where he overrode my authority, doubted my abilities, and basically dogged my every step?" JJ asked sarcastically.
"You were too close, Jayje," Morgan said quietly. "You knew one of those rape victims. Hell, she was your college roommate. And, in case you've somehow forgotten, you love Rossi."
"Shut up, Morgan!" JJ hissed. "I do not! I care about him just the normal amount. Or I did, up until he decided to treat me like a brainless blonde on the last case!"
Rolling his eyes, the handsome black man tried again. "Jayje, babe, that man was TRYING to protect you! He was trying to help you!"
"Even if that's true, I don't need protection!"
"Christ, girl, we all need protection sometimes. We all need help! And, right now, the man you LOVE needs your HELP! He'll listen to you, Jayje, or at least he won't threaten YOU with bodily harm. Either way, someone has gotta get him to ease up. Interns are threatening to quit!"
"They are not," Jayje snorted.
"Oh really?" Morgan asked, picking up a sheet of paper and proceeding to read from it. "Beverly Rains, Paul Smalls, Ashley Britt-".
"What the hell is that?" JJ asked cutting him off.
"Oh, this?" Morgan asked, holding up the paper. "This is the petition being circulated among the interns asking Strauss to reprimand Rossi for his treatment of the unpaid labor."
"You're kidding," JJ gasped, snatching the sheet away from him and scanning it. "Good God! You were serious!"
"As a heart attack. You gotta go talk to him, JJ. Look, he's pissed about this lecture thing. But, honestly, he's been in a mood ever since you started avoiding him and only speaking to him when you had to. Look, girl, if you're doing it to guard your heart then that's one thing. That I can get. But, if you're doing it because you're pissed about the case….listen, he did it for your own good. You KNOW you were out of control….talking to the local cops like you did. If he hadn't done something, Em or I would have. And, better for Rossi to rein you in than Hotch, if you ask me."
Swallowing, JJ looked guiltily away. She HAD been out of control and was damn lucky she hadn't been formally reprimanded for her behavior. Putting the petition back on Morgan's desk, JJ asked, "Why is he so angry about this lecture anyway? It isn't like he hasn't given them before."
"Smart money is on the fact that Strauss didn't ask him to do it, she ordered him to do it," Morgan said, breathing a silent sigh of relief when it appeared he was actually getting somewhere with the petite woman.
"Strauss ORDERED him to do it? Rossi writes his own ticket. Has from the start," JJ said confused.
"I don't know the details, Jayje. But I did go on a date with Strauss' new assistant last night and she was a witness to the entire conversation. Evidently, Rossi owed Strauss a favor for something and this is her chosen form for payback."
"Huh. Even if I wanted to go up there and-…what am I supposed to go up there and say, Morgan?"
"Weeelllll….he does need an assistant to go on this trip with him," Morgan said in a small voice.
"You want me to offer to go WITH him? Are you nuts?" JJ squeaked.
"It's not like anybody else is gonna volunteer for this. Listen to him!" Morgan said, pointing to Rossi's door again where a string of four letter words and a loud crash had just sounded.
"Crap," JJ muttered.
"JJ, did you ever think that maybe you could take this time to try and tell him how you feel about him," Morgan said softly. "You might find that the feeling is reciprocated."
"I'm just saying that you deserve to be happy."
"Rossi isn't known for lasting relationships. David Rossi is, however, known for one night stands and affairs. I couldn't handle that. You know I couldn't. Being one in a line? That's not me, Morgan."
"JJ, how many one night stands or affairs have you seen the guy have since he's been back?"
"He's fifteen years my senior and a superior," JJ reasoned.
"He's a co-worker, Jayje, not a superior. And, maybe that age difference means he's learned a thing or two not to do in a relationship. You, my fabulous friend, are making excuses."
"It could never work," JJ said quietly.
"You're scared," Morgan accused softly.
Meeting her friends eyes, JJ confided, "I'm terrified."
Nodding, Morgan looked at the upstairs office door as another crash sounded.
"Morgan, does anybody else know how I feel about him?"
"Nah," Morgan said, meeting her eyes. "You hide it well. Hell, I wouldn't know if we hadn't gone out to that bar three months ago and drank WAY too much."
Nodding, JJ sighed. "Okay, I'll go up there and throw myself under the bus. But if he kills me, you make sure that the undertaker hides the skid marks."
Smiling widely, Morgan hugged her. "I knew you'd come through for us, JJ."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just call me "Saint Jennifer"", she said, slowly heading for the stairs.
Watching his friend walk away, Morgan only hoped that his matchmaking skills paid off. But, if he was any judge of character, he had a sneaking suspicion that David Rossi was as crazy about JJ as she was about him. At least it had appeared that way when he'd hidden outside the doorway and eavesdropped on Rossi's conversation with Strauss a few days ago. If he wasn't sadly mistaken, the older man had it bad for their little JJ.