Title: A Morning At Home
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Emily Prentiss/JJ Jareau
A/N: Written for the Summer '09 FSAC calendar, although it started life as a fic for LGBTfest on LiveJournal. The original prompt had something to do with the most important day in a queer person's life other than coming out or a first kiss.
"Wah?" JJ's response was muffled by the toothbrush in her mouth. She spat and swished some water around to rinse her mouth before walking back into her bedroom. "Bathroom's free. What's wrong?"
Emily was standing next to the bed, half dressed and scowling. "Remember when that kid dropped me in the mud last week?"
JJ nodded and busied herself with getting dressed so that Emily wouldn't see her smile. "What about it?" They'd been in Wisconsin interviewing potential witnesses in a case, and the thirteen year old son of one of the women had seen their sidearms and badges and assumed they were police there to bust him for pot possession. After he'd sent Emily flying as he bolted out the front door, Emily had been sorely tempted to arrest him, jurisdiction or no jurisdiction.
Emily picked up a blouse that had been laying across the bed and lobbed it at her. "It's not funny."
"Yes, it is," JJ said, snickering. "Em, that boy was a head shorter than you and twenty pounds lighter. Reid could've taken him."
"Reid's taller than I am, and it is not," Emily repeated. "Look at the sleeve."
JJ picked up the blouse from where it had fallen on the floor and winced as she examined it. Most of the mud was gone, but the outline of the stain was clearly visible across the right sleeve and back. "The dry cleaner couldn't get it out?"
"The dry cleaner claimed to have gotten it out," Emily replied as she hauled her go bag up onto the bed and started to dig through a neatly folded stack of dirty laundry. "I didn't think to check before I left."
JJ winced in sympathy and checked the tag. Linen. Emily usually sent it to the cleaners just to avoid having to iron it. "Leave it here... I'll try to do something about it next time I do the wash."
"Thanks," Emily said, tossing the blouse into a laundry basket in the corner with a sigh of disgust. "Would you mind if I borrow something today? That was my last clean top."
"Sure." JJ buttoned her last button and and and nudged her shoes out from under the corner of the bed. "My closet is your closet."
"Well, yes," Emily said. "Why else would I be sleeping with someone who wears the same size as I do?"
JJ yanked a pillow off the bed and threw it at her, but Emily had timed her comment well and the pillow bounced off the closing bathroom door. "See if I bother to make enough coffee for both of us!" she called after her, but she was laughing as she said it.
JJ listened to the sounds of Emily getting ready as she puttered around the kitchen, gathering some files together that she'd brought home the night before and waiting for the coffee to brew. It was nice, having someone to wake up with in the morning. Their relationship was still almost new, but she already hated the nights they spent apart. She made a mental note to clear out a drawer and some closet space for Emily over the weekend. The beauty of having jobs that took them out of town so frequently is that it was business as usual to carry an overnight bag in their trunks, but one of the benefits of being at home was supposed to be not living out of a suitcase. She wanted Emily to feel at home in her apartment.
Not that there weren't certain benefits to living out of suitcases, JJ mused as she watched the coffee drip. They had to be so careful at work to present an image of being nothing more than colleagues and friends that there was a certain thrill in walking through the bullpen and seeing Emily at her desk, wearing something that would give their secret away if only the boys paid a little more attention.
Fifteen minutes later, Emily walked into the kitchen. "JJ?" she asked.
"Hmm?" she replied, paging through the front section of the paper.
JJ dropped the paper, looked up, and blushed furiously when she saw what Emily was holding. "Where did you find those?"
"They were sitting on top of your shoe rack. I wasn't trying to snoop," Emily hurried to say. "But they were—"
"—Right under my work blouses," JJ said, finishing the sentence along with her. She remembered now that she'd put them there when she'd been digging for her strappy sandals the week before. She thought she'd put them back where they belonged, but evidently not. "What about them?" she asked in what she hoped was a nonchalant way.
"I'm not sure," Emily said, studying her. "I brought them out here to tease you about how you've obviously been hiding your butchier tendencies from me, but you tell me, Ms. 'I just pulled out my press conference mannerisms'... what about them?"
Damn. Too nonchalant. Occasionally, she agreed with Garcia's oft-repeated sentiments - she hated profilers. She took the shoes from Emily and ran a finger over the leather of the scuffed toe. They were dusty, she noted absently. Sense memory of the smell of shoe polish rushed over her, and a picture flashed through her mind of she and her father each holding a much smaller t-strapped dress shoe as he showed her exactly how to use a cloth to make them shine.
"Jayj?" Emily said after a moment, bringing her back to the present.
"Hmm? Oh. Sorry. They were, uh..." she cleared her throat and set the shoes down on the table, then took a sip of coffee to loosen her suddenly too-tight throat. "They were a gift from my dad, my sophomore year of college. I know they've seen better days, but I couldn't get rid of them."
"From your father?"
"For my birthday." It was obvious that whatever explanation Emily might've been expecting, this wasn't it. JJ watched her, smiling softly, and she could see the moment when realization crossed Emily's face.
"Wait, your sophomore year?"
JJ nodded. They'd spent a night not long before swapping college stories, and JJ had told her about the nightmare that was Parents' Weekend at Pitt her second year. Building security wasn't quite the concern then that it was now, so the first inkling she had that her parents would be early was when they opened her dorm room door and let themselves in. It hadn't been quite the way she planned on telling her parents that she and her roommate were sleeping together.
"And your dad... huh. Interesting."
"Yeah... you know I don't think he spoke ten words to me the rest of that weekend. Mom was ranting and raving about sports and the big city corrupting me, and Dad was just sort of... there, watching. I couldn't afford much of a phone bill, so I hardly talked to them at all until Mom insisted that I come home for my birthday the next month. The whole topic was pretty much an elephant in the room, and then it was time to open presents and I unwrapped those."
"From your father."
"From my father." JJ grinned widely, picturing the scene around her parents' dining room table. "Let me tell you, 'interesting' was not the word Mom used when she saw them. She'd bought me a few new skirts and a gift certificate for a manicure, and then Dad goes out and gets me the ultimate in lesbian footwear."
Emily snorted and had to quickly put down her coffee before she choked. "That's... Jayj, how did he even know what to get you? Were there a lot of lesbians in East Allegheny that you've never bothered to mention?"
"Not as such, but he always said that a library card and a little work would get you most things you need in life. He wasn't sure what to do about a gay daughter, so he went to the library, figured out how to use the internet, and researched. He never did tell me exactly why he settled on these, but I guess it was easier to get me a present than to come out and say that he didn't mind what I did with my life. Anyway, it was a good choice. I got a lot of use out of these."
Story finished, JJ finally noticed the odd look that had appeared on Emily's face. "What?"
Emily shook her head as if to clear it, and smiled. "He sounds like a great guy," she said, reaching out to squeeze JJ's hand. "I wish I could've met him."
"Yeah, he was," JJ said fondly. "I think he would've liked you." She refilled her coffee mug and snapped the travel lid into place, and when she looked up again, the same expression was back on Emily's face. "What?"
Emily was still smiling, but eyes that had previously held affection were now decidedly lustful. "Nothing, nothing... I was just trying to picture you in college, all dressed up for a night out."
JJ gave Emily a skeptical look. They were just shoes. But if she was that interested.... JJ set her coffee down and deliberately moved into Emily's space. "You like that idea? Me, in jeans and a tank top and boots? I used to wear my hair braided back then. Maybe this weekend if we're in town we can go out for drinks. There's gotta be a bar or two in Georgetown worth checking out."
Emily nodded, swallowed, and completely failed to get any words out. JJ smirked, and she ran her hand over Emily's shoulder and tickled the back of her neck with her fingers before pulling her down into a kiss. It was soft and sweet, and JJ pulled back just as passion started to build between them. Emily groaned, and JJ responded with a sunny smile and one more quick peck on the lips. "I think I still have my leather jacket, too," she whispered in her ear, and she spun away to grab her coffee and her keys as Emily whimpered, watching her go. She really did love Emily in the mornings.