Author's Note: Thanks for the prompt, Tonnie. As ever, I don't own Criminal Minds. Please read and review. It's like chocolate, a girl can't get enough of it!
I'd just picked up my bag from the floor when I heard the phone on my desk ring. Glancing at the clock, I grimaced. 11:43 pm. Looking at the phone as it rang again, I knew that call could only mean one thing. And, thirteen minutes later, I was proven right. Why hadn't I just left at nine when I'd gone to get yet another cup of coffee? I'd been so determined to finish up those last media releases from our last case, that's why. Now, it appeared that sleeping in my own bed for any length of time tonight would be an impossibility. We were up to bat. Again. Another case in another town…this time in Alaska. Alaska of all places. Inwardly groaning, I knew the clothes contained in my go bag weren't quite going to be suitable for the cold temperatures we were going to be confronted with. Hell, I didn't think I even had a coat here. Sighing deeply, I reached for the phone. I was going to have to call in the team. We needed to be wheels up in an hour.
Hotch was my first call, as always. As the leader of our intrepid team, it seemed only natural I ruin his weekend first. Wincing as he answered in a hushed tone, I quickly glanced to the desk calendar on my desk and realized that this was his weekend with Jack. Regretfully explaining that we currently had an unsub running around the wilds of Alaska dissecting Eskimo women, I paused after finishing my diatribe and waiting for his response. It took only seconds.
"Damn," he said softly.
"You've got Jack," I said, already knowing his answer.
"Yeah," he said flatly. "I'd promised him the zoo tomorrow. Guess dad's about to break another vow," he said under his breath.
"It isn't your fault, Hotch. One day, Jack will understand," I tried to console him.
"Unfortunately, JJ, I doubt it. I'll see you at the office in thirty," Hotch replied before gently disconnecting.
Resting my head in my hands for a second, I took a moment to hate my knack for ruining my co-workers time with their families. It was one of the many reasons that I didn't have one. I didn't want to feel like I was shortchanging another person. Drawing a breath, I mentally shrugged off my melancholy. This was my job, crappy as it might be at times and feeling sorry for myself wasn't going to get the calls made.
I decided that I'd start with Reid this time. At least I knew he wouldn't mind my phone call. Reid lived for the job. For him, solving the puzzles was still fun. Hitting Speed Dial 4 on my phone quickly, I waited only two rings before our boy wonder picked up.
"Hey, Reid. It's JJ," I began.
"Hey, Jayje," Reid said pleasantly.
"I hope I'm not interrupting anything but we caught a case - in Alaska. Pack appropriately, Reid."
"Appropriately?" Reid asked curiously, as he began shutting down the online chess game he'd been competing in. "I'm always clothed."
"Think layers, Spence. Thermal underwear. It's sub-zero temperatures up there," I reminded him. Our boy Reid, while he might be a genius of epic proportions, had absolutely no common sense when it came to the joys of living everyday life.
"Oh. Okay," I'll repack my go bag and be there in half an hour," Reid nodded.
"See you then, Spence," JJ smiled, ending the call.
Shifting in my seat, I decided to make my second easiest phone call. Garcia was always awake - it never seemed to matter what time I called the woman. She was always a chipper call away. Dialing quickly, I smiled as she answered, "Queen of All She Surveys, state your desire, mere mortal!"
"Hey, Garcia. It's me," I said tiredly.
"Gumdrop! Tell me you aren't still locked up in that dreary office of yours!" Garcia chastised lightly.
"Sorry, but I am. And soon you will be, too. We caught a case. Alaska. We're gonna need you to come in and run things from this end. You up for it?"
"Like the Energizer Bunny on crack, sweetness. I've just been cyber flirting with a German hottie all night. No great loss, trust me! Be there in twenty, 'kay?"
Smiling gratefully, I replied, "Thanks, Garcie. Any chance you know what Derek's doing tonight?"
"Oh, my God of chocolaty goodness was gonna hit the clubs tonight, angel. I think he said he was going to hit that new one. I think it was called Verve," she replied.
"Okay, maybe I can catch him before he picks up the cocktail waitress this time," I laughed.
"Good luck with that," Garcia laughed. "Did you see the jeans he was wearing when he left today? You could crack an egg on that ass…move fast, Jayje, before some woman snatches him up and we don't see him for three weeks."
"I'm on it," I told her, disconnecting.
Hitting Speed Dial 3 on my phone quickly, I prayed I got Morgan before he found his lady of the evening - and that's pretty much the staying power of the women he chooses - an evening. Then quintessential commitiphobe, I had few regrets about interrupting Morgan's night. Whoever she was, she'd be replaceable in his eyes. He answered on the fourth ring and I released a sigh of relief as I heard loud drumming music pounding in the background. The last time I'd made this call, all I'd heard was a woman whining for him to hang up.
"Morgan," I yelled into the phone, knowing he'd have a difficult time hearing me in the club.
"JJ? That you, Baby Sister?"
"Yeah," I yelled.
"Hang on a sec," I heard him yell back and by the decreasing volume of background noise, I knew he was heading outside.
"Hey, girl? You still with me?" he asked.
"I am," I nodded. "Listen, hate to ruin your adolescent fun, but-"
"Don't say it!" he begged. "Come on, Jayje! I've got the hottest honey in the bar ready to leave with me," he whined.
"Well get her number to go," I advised unapologetically. "We've got a case. Alaska," I smiled, secretly enjoying giving him the location. Morgan hated cold weather.
"Aw, shit, JJ! You couldn't have gotten us some time in sunny Hawaii, could ya?" he moaned.
"Hey, I just take 'em as they come," I laughed. "Get your ass in here," I ordered.
"See ya in twenty," Morgan muttered, hanging up.
Shaking my head as I reached for my cup of coffee, I scanned down my list of contacts for Prentiss' number. Hopefully, I wouldn't be interrupting a date or something. If ever there was a woman that needed company, it was Em. Such a sweet woman…and an excellent agent. I knew she yearned for a family, even if she'd never admit it out loud. Dialing quickly, she answered on the third ring.
"JJ?" she said by way of greeting.
"Yeah, it's me. Three guesses why I'm calling and the first two don't count," I drawled.
"Where to?" she asked.
"Alaska," I answered.
"Seriously?" she laughed.
"Unfortunately," I groaned. "You don't happen to have an extra coat hiding in your closet, do you?"
"Actually, no…most everything I have is still in storage," Em replied.
"I forgot," I said. "You're still getting moved in to your new place, aren't you?"
"Yeah, with all the cases, it's been a slow process. You caught me just as I was coming in from the gym. Give me half an hour to grab a shower and I'll be there," Emily explained.
"We'll be waiting, Em. Bye," I said, hitting "end" on my phone quickly.
Rubbing my eyes sleepily, I mindlessly dialed Rossi's number last. Mentally kicking myself, I knew I should have called him first - after all, he had the furthest to drive. Waiting the three rings it took for him to answer, I heard his groggy, "Hello."
"It's me, Dave, your friendly wake up call," I said, forcing my voice to inject itself with a cheer that I didn't particularly feel. "I'm sorry to wake you, but we caught another case."
I could almost see him rubbing his eyes as he hoarsely asked, "Where, Jen?"
"Alaska," I replied, unhappily.
"Bad memories in Alaska, JJ?"
"No, nothing like that. I'm just not exactly prepared for the cold climate."
"You forgot your coat again, didn't you?" Rossi laughed.
"You profilers are real know-it-alls, aren't you?" I snapped, laughing lightly.
Chuckling, Dave said, "I'll grab one of my hunting coats for you on my way out the door. You need anything else?"
Looking at my lukewarm cup of coffee, I replied hopefully, "A decent cup of coffee wouldn't be amiss."
"I'll see what I can do," Dave rumbled in his deeply familiar voice.
"And don't forget your blood pressure medicine this time. I played hell in Utah last month finding your prescription for you," I reminded him quickly.
"You sure we haven't been married before? Nag, nag, nag," Dave teased.
"We'll know for sure when I ask you to hold my purse," I laughed. "Thanks, Dave."
"I'll be there soon, JJ," Dave said quietly, "With a coat, coffee, and pills," he said softly, disconnecting.
Staring at the phone in my hand, I knew the first leg of my mission had been completed. Now, all I had to do was call the pilot and we'd be good to go - again. Off to stop another unsub from committing unspeakable acts in another nameless town. This part, I was familiar with.