DRUNK AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT

CHAPTER 5

Realizing that he wasn't going to turn loose of the issue, JJ growled in resignation, "Fine, Rossi! Why did you get drunk tonight?"

"Because I was sick and tired of going home night after night to an empty home, where there's no one to share any of this shit that we see on a regular basis," he said readily, his eyes never leaving hers. "For once, I wanted to forget this crap, to forget everything." He then added, much softer, " I wanted to forget you."

"What the hell…." JJ asked, her eyes snapping to his, surprise flitting behind her gaze. "David…."

"I wanted to forget having to work beside you day after day, night after night, and knowing that somehow, you're off limits. I wanted to forget your beautiful smile, the way you instinctively know exactly what to say, the soft lilt in your voice, the rare touch of your hand." He shook his head then, snorting as he cursed, "Dammit, I'm getting soft in the head to tell you all of this, cause I can tell you ain't listening to a word I say."

"And now, I KNOW you're drunk," JJ groaned, placing a hand on his chest and walking him backward to the sofa. God knew they needed the distance right then, she told herself resolutely. "Lie down, Dave, and I promise, I'll never remind you of a thing you've said tonight tomorrow."

"You still think I'm just blowing smoke, don't you?" Rossi muttered, dropping to the sofa in agitation. He was far more sober than he had intended to be, damn it.

"I think you're intoxicated. How much of that stuff did you actually have," JJ murmured, shooting a questioning glance to the bottle on her desk.

"Evidently, not nearly enough," Dave muttered, taking his own lingering glance at the bottle in question. Sighing, he asked, hoarsely, "What'll it take, JJ? How do I convince you? Hell, it took nearly half a bottle of liquid courage to say anything at all to you!"

Licking her lips, JJ stared at the man in front of her. Propping her hands on her hips, she eyed him seriously, the words suddenly coming out of her mouth. "If you can tell me all the things you did tonight in the cold light of day...SOBER...we'll see," JJ offered, pushing Dave back into a reclining position, resisting the urge to curl up next to him and wait for morning with him.

Feeling his eyes growing heavier, Dave nodded, willing to take whatever olive branch she was offering. Rooting his head against the leather, he mumbled, "You're on, Jareau. You're on.

Backing away silently, JJ shook her head as she turned off her office lights and gathered her coat, purse and keys. Sparing one last longing glance at the man slumbering on her couch, JJ shook her head with a touch of unexpected sadness. It was a nice thought. But there was no way David Rossi would remember any of this in the morning.

***

As JJ walked into her office at 7:30 the next morning, she did what she always did. She started the coffee in the break room, trudged down the long hallway to her office and flipped on the office lights. In other words, everything that she always did, running into no unexpected challenges along her way.

But what she didn't expect to find was David Rossi, awake and alert, sitting on her sofa, staring back at her. Watching as he raised his finger to her before she could even speak, she saw him lift his other hand, holding a breathalyzer. Blowing quickly into it, all the while still holding up one finger, he waited as the machine beeped.

Rising he crossed the room to where she stood, braced against her office door. Showing her the device in his hand, his deep voice resonated off the walls as he said, "I'm sober. And I believe we had a deal, Jareau."

And for that moment, JJ felt herself start to smile as she stared up into his serious face, knowing that David Rossi was about to keep his promise.

And when his lips suddenly touched hers, this time she didn't push away.

FINIS