Relationships-of all kinds-are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost. – Kaleel Jamison
The team stepped out of the elevator and walked back to the bullpen. It had been a very trying case for them. They had caught the unsub but there had already been so many lives taken and so many more damaged by his actions that the victory seemed hollow.
"Anyone want to head to the bar after work?" Morgan asked the team. Some cases just needed that reconnection after them. Time spent talking about lighter things and surrounding yourself with people who didn't know what people were really capable of doing to one another. There was a chorus of agreements from various people. "JJ?"
"Thanks guys but I'm gonna head home and spend time with Henry."
"Come on Jayj, one drink?" Morgan turned his best puppy dog eyes on the blonde. She sighed. "One drink, no more." He flashed her the biggest smile before they all parted ways to fill out some paper work before heading to the bar.
The bar was busy that night but the BAU team still had their own table. They all sat talking and laughing. Simply enjoying time out with friends. They weren't BAU agents tonight. They were a group of friends just having a good time. Despite JJ's earlier conviction that she would only be staying for the one drink, when she was there she didn't want to leave straight away. She knew Henry would be asleep by the time she got back home and so she saw no harm in staying for a while with her friends and blowing off some steam. They had danced and talked for a couple of hours when JJ's phone rang. Seeing Will's name flash up on the screen she worried that something was wrong with Henry.
"Will, what's wrong?" JJ struggled to hear what he said with the music of the bar in her ear. She gestured to the others that she was just going to step out to talk on the phone before heading out the front of the bar. "That's better. What's wrong?"
"Where are you?" Will sounded annoyed. JJ frowned at the tone in his voice. She had sent him a message to let him know she was staying for a couple more drinks.
"I'm at the bar with the guys."
"Fine. I know where I stand." She heard the click of the phone being hung up at that point. She stood just looking at her phone in disbelief. She hadn't known Will to be so short with her before. Up until now, he had always been a complete gentleman. JJ walked back into the bar in a bit of a daze, still unsure about what had caused the sudden change in Will's behaviour. She took her seat back at the table and just stared at her drink, lost in her thoughts.
"Jayj? You ok?" Emily had been watching the blonde since she came back in. Her whole body language had changed in the short time that she had been out of the bar. It made something stir inside of Emily. She had this urge to protect her from any harm or sadness. Emily knew the route of that feeling but wasn't going to admit it. When greeted with further silence from the blonde she gently reached out and placed her hand on JJ's. The blonde jumped slightly at the contact and then seemed to snap back to reality.
"Yeah, I'm ok. Sorry." The brunette searched her blonde counterparts face, trying to work out what was going on behind the mask that had been thrown up. Part of her hoped that JJ would open up to her but as she had found in the past, that was a rare occurrence.
JJ kept replaying the conversation over in her head. She couldn't work out what had happened over the past few days that they had been away on the case to trigger the change in the man she had planned to spend her life with. Part of her mind was occupied by a nagging feeling that something bad was coming. That was something she chose to ignore. Probably just the burn out after the case making her worry about things that were trivial in reality.
The rest of the team had gathered around the table again when JJ next dragged herself out of her thoughts to notice her surroundings. "I'm going to call it a night guys."
"Ok Jayj. Take care and see you tomorrow." Emily bid her friend a goodnight and watched her get up to leave. There was a chorus of goodbyes from the rest of the team and Emily watched as the blonde made her way out of the bar.