At A Glance
Prompt: Star Trek – The Next Generation : "Who Watches the Watchers"
Trudging wearily down the long hallway leading to their apartment, JJ fished in her deep black bag for the key to the door. God, she'd never been more thankful that she actually had someone to go home to after a case like today. Actually, she had two very special somebodies. She was quickly learning that they were the only thing that allowed her to do this job and remain sane. Although, she thought, pushing her key into the lock, staying sane had been a stretch today. Especially, today.
Pushing open the heavy oak door, she called out softly, "Will?" Pausing a moment as she dumped her bag on the kitchen counter and kicked her sensible black heels off beside the door, she smiled as she heard soft footfalls approaching.
"Chere?" he called quietly.
"I'm here, Will. In the kitchen," she replied, hoping against hope she'd made it home before Henry had gone down for the night.
Appearing in the doorway, Will Lamontagne smiled that lopsided grin of his as he propped a hip against the doorway. "Get lost on the way home, baby?"
Rolling her eyes at him, she asked, "Did I miss it?"
"He just went down, JJ." Seeing the hurt look shining in her eyes, he quickly added, "We can wake him back up. He's only been out for a minute, honey."
Shaking her head silently, as she reached up to loosen her ponytail, she muttered, "This is why I really hate my job sometimes."
"Hey, hey, hey," he murmured, moving forward to loop his arms loosely around her hips, "I thought you got the bad guys."
"We did. Sorta. We got one. The other two…" she trailed off.
"Suicide by cop," Will finished for her. "I saw you on the news," he murmured.
"You know, I hate violence," JJ grunted, leaning forward to rest her head on his strong chest. "But senseless violence…that just sucks."
"Yeah," he whispered, rocking gently back and forth with her in his arms.
Drawing back, JJ sighed tiredly.
"What else, babe? Something else has you down. I know what those little sighs of yours mean by now," Will prodded, pulling her by the hand toward the living room.
Collapsing on the couch, JJ shook her head. "It's nothing really."
One look at JJ's beautiful face had Will shaking his head. "Try again, chere."
"It's just…I spent today watching."
"Isn't that usually how it goes? You do the media relations, hon."
"No, Will. I wasn't watching the case. I was watching my team. And I've got to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about what I'm seeing," JJ muttered.
"Tell me," Will urged, dropping a comforting arm around her as she snuggled against his side. "What did you see today, JJ?"
"I saw our Unit Chief relating yet another case to George Foyet. That unsub is clouding every case I bring him, Will. Hotch watched the police detective like a hawk today. He told him he was too close and he needed to take a step back."
"At least he can still recognize the need to do that. That's a positive sign, right?" Will asked gently.
"Yeah, I suppose," JJ hedged. "I just can't help feeling like Hotch is a ticking time bomb. The only thing we don't know is how long it's gonna take him to detonate." Shrugging, she nodded, "You're right though. It is a somewhat positive step. It just worries me that he's looking at everything with a pre-colored outlook."
Watching her silently for a moment, Will nudged, "You said that you watched the whole team today. What else did you see, babe?"
"Emily, huh?" Will murmured.
"Yeah, big time. The thing is, Hotch doesn't see her that way, Will. He's loved Haley since they were eighteen years old. I don't know if anybody will ever measure up to her memory in Hotch's eyes. You should have seen Emily at the hospital after we found Hotch. Especially after Haley showed up. It was killing her. I mean, you know Emily. She tried to put on that impersonal mask. But it never reached her eyes. There was so much hidden pain there. And it's no different now. In fact, it's worse. These long soulful looks Dave keeps shooting at Emily…"
"What!? You're kidding?" Will said, jerking his head to look at JJ.
"I WISH I was, Will. Dave and Emily, well, they bonded over Hotch. They love him in different ways, but they both love him. And I think that sparked something for Dave. He studies her. Almost like he's trying to piece together a puzzle."
"They'd make a good couple...Dave and Emily, I mean."
"One small problem, my love. She's in love with Hotch. It's gonna end badly, Will. Any way you slice it, somebody's gonna get hurt," JJ groaned.
"And as the den mother to the unit, it falls on you to be the strong shoulder," Will sympathized, stroking her long hair.
"Yeah," JJ snorted. "At this rate, they're gonna dislocate the son of a bitch. Oh! Then it gets better. I haven't gotten to Morgan and Garcia yet."
"Jeez, are they watching each other again?" Will asked on a half laugh.
"If only it could be that easy," JJ moaned. "But no…they're actually why I'm late. Garcia ambushed me on the way out of my office to vent."
"What's going on?" Will asked, curiously.
"I saw it, too," JJ began, smoothing a hand over Will's broad chest. "Morgan's getting involved with a victim's sister."
"Bad move," Will said with a slow shake of his head.
"On so many levels," JJ agreed. "Ethics aside, it's not a good idea to start up anything with somebody that's grieving and Morgan knows it! Garcia tried to talk to him, but, as usual, Morgan went defensive."
"That's his default position, isn't it?" Will noted absently, massaging the tense muscles in JJ's neck.
"Yeah….just not usually with Garcia. Morgan is holding firm to the party line that he's only doing his job. Being supportive of the victim's family. I saw the way they were together at the station though. There's more to it than that. Garcia is right."
"And it doesn't help that Garcia's half in love with Derek herself," Will added knowingly. "It's gotta be killing her to watch all that unfold."
"Especially when Morgan won't listen to reason," JJ nodded.
"You haven't mentioned Spencer," Will grinned, thinking of the lanky genius.
Groaning, JJ rolled her eyes. "I spent the day watching Spence's crutches, trying to avoid tripping over them and hearing him lament that he couldn't be out in the field. It was like listening to a three year old whine."
"Getting anxious, is he?" Will chuckled.
"That's a nice way of putting it," JJ mused. "If he doesn't get back out there soon, I may find a way to wrap those crutches around his neck." Leaning her head back against the couch cushions, JJ asked, "So, who did you watch today?"
"Our son. And we both watched mommy on television," Will grinned.
"And was I a hit?" JJ asked, returning his smile.
"All but the shirt. I did not like the shirt, Babe," Will teased, shaking his head. "They showed a clip from that press conference yesterday. The shirt was just not you, babe."
"In my defense, I wasn't expecting to be on television when I got up that morning," JJ sighed. Closing her eyes tiredly, JJ murmured, "Some days, I don't know if this job is worth it."
"The job might not be…but your family is. Those people that you're so concerned about are family. You wouldn't worry like this if they weren't."
"I guess," JJ muttered, cracking open one eyelid, "and as long as I get to come home to you and Henry, I can keep going."
"JJ, look at it this way. At least you HAVE us to come home TO," Will whispered, squeezing her gently to him. "The others only have each other."
"And I'll be grateful for that miracle for the rest of my life," JJ sighed, finally relaxing fully against the man she loved. "Forever, Will."