A/N - This story is a continuation of "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors". It is a post-ep for "The Performer". It will be two chapters.

A Mood Apart

Chapter One

Freaking vampire freaks, JJ grumbled to herself as she rested her head against the thin pillow behind her head, squinting up at the glaring light above her head. She had a freaking head wound for God's sake, you'd have thought these so-called medical professionals could dim the glaring fluorescent lights overhead. Squeezing her eyes closed, she reminded herself to breathe as another wave of nausea flowed over her.

She really ought to have hit that sick bastard harder with the shovel. No, scratch that…she should have just shot him, she mentally groaned. Straining her ears, she heard voices in the distance growing louder as they approached her room. And one of those voices was distinctly familiar…and she cringed for an altogether different reason.

Because the man she loved was scared. And pissed. Two emotions that she knew the larger than life legend did NOT respond well to…especially when she was the one in pain. She still remembered his pale face and trembling hands reaching for her as he'd knelt on the cold ground in front of her in the unsub's backyard. She could still hear his hoarsely ordered, "Prentiss, get her out of here," as he'd stroked her cheek gently before turning his gun on her attacker.

It seemed as if only moments later he was crawling into the ambulance beside her as she'd argued with the paramedic to just release her from care. One glare from him was all it had taken to quell her complaints. He'd held her hand silently all through the ride it took to travel the short distance to the hospital, never releasing her once as he'd sat on the uncomfortable looking bench seat clenching his jaw, staring down at the caked blood on her face.

She'd wanted to know how the apprehension had gone. But honestly, she'd known anything she asked him at that moment might snap what was left of his tenuous control. So, she'd wisely kept her mouth shut, simply allowing herself to be comforted by the feel of his strong, warm hand surrounding hers.

Things had moved quickly after they'd arrived at the hospital. The doctor had insisted Dave wait outside while he performed the necessary examination and ran the obligatory tests despite Rossi's very vocal opposing protests. But, evidently, for once, the doctor's will was greater than her lover's. Or rather, in the interest of time, Dave had simply surrendered to inevitability. Brushing a tender kiss against her lips, he'd promised that he wouldn't be far and he'd be back by her side as soon as humanly possible. And with one last glare at her doctor and a harshly ordered, "Take care of her!" he'd left the room.

Which carried her forward to this particular moment. Hearing his deep voice just outside in the hallway, she sighed. She knew he was questioning and re-questioning everything the doctor had already told her. It was his way. And given the fact that she'd probably managed to steal ten years of his life from him this afternoon, she knew she wouldn't have the heart to chastise him for it.

Hearing the door swing gently open, she turned his head toward him as he crossed the room to her in two long strides, his hand immediately capturing hers. "You scared the shit out of me, Jareau," he said with his characteristic soft bluntness.

"I'm sorry," she murmured, her words sounding loud in her ears in the small room. "I told Reid where I was going."

"Yeah," Dave nodded once, tightening his fingers around hers. "And I'm gonna kick the kid's ass for allowing you to go alone."

They both knew he wouldn't, but nevertheless, she felt obligated to try and soothe his ruffled feathers. "It wasn't his fault. He…we….had no indication that she was our unsub," JJ said, trying to sit up as she defended her friend.

Easing her back down against the thin mattress of the bed, Dave shook his head. "Don't try to move, Jen. The doc says you need to stay still for another hour or so," he whispered, smoothing his hand over her hair gently. Seeing her pained grimace as his fingers eased over her injured skull, he winced, pulling back his hand quickly. "Morgan and Hotch should have let me shoot that bastard."

"No need. He was unconscious. I knocked him out," JJ said proudly.

"Yeah," Dave winked, smiling faintly. "You did, babe. Although, I think a bullet would have been more effective," he shrugged.

"We're supposed to take 'em alive it at all possible, Dave," JJ muttered with a roll of her blue eyes.

"There are exceptions to each and every rule, sweetheart," Dave murmured, leaning forward and brushing her forehead with a gentle kiss. "You had no business going in there alone, Jen. No business at all," he added, his tone hardening as he spoke.

"Dave, I thought I was talking to a grieving friend of the deceased, not an unsub," JJ said, trying to justify her actions valiantly.

"That assumption very nearly got you killed," Dave growled low in his throat , his memory still fresh and full of visions of the blood running down the side of her face. "Shit, woman, you didn't even have one of the local LEO's with you, damn it."

"I didn't see a reason for it at the time," JJ replied evenly. "You have to admit, none of us saw this plot twist coming."

"Is that what I'd have had to tell Henry, Jen?" Dave asked sharply, his fingers tightening on her wrist unconsciously. "Mommy didn't come home because nobody thought anything appeared suspicious? You think he'd settle for that?"

"Stop," she whispered as tears filled her eyes. It was bad enough with the pain in her head…using her son against her was cruel. She knew she'd made a mistake. She didn't need Dave to drive the point home for her. Unfortunately, the man that loved her had other ideas and he wasn't shy about sharing them.