Disclaimer: I don't own the characters.

AN: Ok, something a little bit different this time. This one is being written for a friend as a little Christmas present. The title sucks but just ignore that. :op Enjoy :o)

A Christmas Tale

JJ sighed as she sat back at her desk, reaching her hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose as the signs of a headache began to form. It had been a long day for the young agent. They had only returned from a case the night before…There was always something worse about a case that ran through a weekend. Possibly the fact that it felt like their job was intruding on their personal time. She'd spent the day reading through case files and searching for the next case the team was required to consult on.

She was pulled from her thoughts by a quiet knock on her office door. She opened her eyes and glanced over to meet the concerned gaze of none other than Emily Prentiss. "Hey, I was on my way to get some coffee…You want one?"

The blonde frowned slightly. "The break room is the other way Em."

"Yeah but I'm thinking some 'real' coffee from the coffee shop down the road." The brunette smiled at the younger woman.

"Why if I didn't know better Agent Prentiss, I'd think you were just trying to avoid that stack of reports still sitting on your desk." JJ winked at the older woman. Settling into the banter they so often enjoyed. A welcome distraction from all of the horrors that sat in brown files stacked on her own desk.

Emily feigned being wounded by JJ's words but couldn't keep the smile off her face. "That would be telling. So…Caramel macchiato?"

JJ returned the smile as she heard her two favourite words slip from the brunette's lips. "You know me so well."

JJ couldn't help but feel the brunette knew her better than the man she lived with. She suppressed the urge to sigh about that. Lately things with Will had been strained. JJ knew deep down that the relationship just wasn't working but she just couldn't find the words to tell Will. He'd given up his job and his home, everything for her and Henry. There was no easy way to say she wasn't in love with him anymore, so she didn't. She waited and hoped that one day she would love him like he loved her. However, it was moments like this, when Emily did something as simple as knowing her favourite coffee that reminded her how little she had in common with the person everyone expected her to spend her life with.

"Be right back." Emily slipped away from the blonde's office. The look that had clouded those normally clear blue eyes hadn't been missed by the brunette. Not a lot about the blonde agent slipped by the older woman unnoticed, for one very simple reason…Emily Prentiss was in love with Jennifer Jareau. She had given up on trying to deny that simple truth a long time ago, finding it far easier to just accept her feelings. It didn't mean she held out any hopes that the blonde would ever reciprocate those feelings. There had been a time when she thought it possible but a lot had changed since then. Emily was very aware of the changes in the blonde over the past few months. No longer did she speak of her time at home with Will. If anything, Emily could barely remember the last time the southern detectives name had even been mentioned. There was something about the recent changes in JJ that worried Emily.

It had taken all of her will power not to push the blonde for answers to all the questions swirling in her mind. She knew that trying to force the blonde into talking would only lead to her clamming up more. One thing the brunette could not ignore was the sadness that always seemed to linger in the blonde's gaze these days. It was one thing that Emily never wanted to see in those ocean blue eyes and yet at the moment, she was confronted with it on a daily basis.

As Emily stood in the queue in the coffee shop, she considered the possibilities of ways to eradicate the sadness that clung to the young blonde. It was as her eye caught sight of an advent calendar hanging behind the counter that she came up with her plan. A plan that she hoped would restore the smile that had been absent for too long. Emily smiled to herself as she thought through the details of the next few days.

Emily returned to the BAU and headed straight to the blonde's office. "One caramel macchiato." Emily watched as the blonde took the offered beverage and then sat back inhaling deeply, a quiet moan escaping her lips.

"You Emily Prentiss are a life saver." JJ looked over at the brunette who was leaning casually against the chair in front of her desk. There was something about the older agent that had captured the blonde's attention from the first time they met. In the early days of their relationship, JJ had been tempted to cross the line between friends and what promised to be so much more. She had always been afraid. Afraid of getting too close. Afraid of letting someone see her completely. Afraid of getting hurt. Then, just as she was ready to take that next step, Emily had pulled away. It was in rare moments like this that JJ allowed herself to imagine what could have been if she hadn't waited too long.

"For you Jayj…Anytime." Emily smiled back at the blonde, part of her hoping that the younger woman would understand that her comment didn't just relate to coffee. Emily took a moment more to look at the blonde before she made her way out of the office.

Instead of heading back to her desk in the bullpen she stopped by Garcia's office. "Hey Garcia."

The quirky blonde spun around in her chair to face the door. "Ah Emily the Strange…Are we lost, dark or bored today?" The analyst greeted her with a smile and a wink.

"None of the above. I need your help though."

"Ooo…Is there a sneaky plan afoot? Please let it involve my smouldering hunk of chocolate, a cowboy hat and digital camera."

Emily couldn't help the laugh that escaped her at the image of Morgan in a cowboy hat. She dreaded to think about what actually went on in Garcia's mind. Perhaps even scarier is what could be made to happen in the world of Garcia's photoshop. "Not this time."

Garcia pouted at the brunette. "Ruin my Christmas fun. What's on your mind then sugar pie?"

"A bit of a Christmas plot of my own actually."

Garcia sat forward in her chair, tenting her hands in front of her mouth as she quirked an eyebrow. "Tell me more."

Emily leant against the edge of the table as she considered how much she needed to tell her friend. "I want to cheer someone up who has lost her sparkle a bit on the run up to the holiday. So I have an idea but some of it, I'm going to need your help with."

"I'm listening."

"First of all, this is a top secret project. Nobody else can know." Emily waited for Garcia to nod her agreement before she continued. "Ok, I need you to use your magical techno powers to track down a couple of items for me." Emily reached into her pocket and pulled out a slip of paper before handing it to the blonde.

Garcia looked down at the list she had just been given. "Consider it done."

Emily smiled at her friend. Glad that Garcia hasn't probed her for more information before agreeing to the project. "Thanks Garcia."

"Not a problem my little love struck puppy." Seeing Emily's jaw drop open, Garcia couldn't prevent a smile from breaking out on her face. "Come on Em…I'm your best friend and I have eyes you know. So stop looking so shocked and go put the sparkle back in those gorgeous blue eyes."

Emily just stood, staring at Garcia unable to move. Her friends words had shocked her. Garcia had never mentioned anything to her before about knowing that she had feelings for the young blonde. Before she had a chance to regain the power of speech, Garcia had stood and ushered her out of the door with a comment about work to do. It was only after the door to the analysts office clicked shut that she regained her ability to move. She slowly moved down the hall to the bullpen, her mind trying to get over the shock at how unphased Garcia had been by the whole thing.

As she sat at her desk, she pulled a second piece of paper out of her pocket and looked down the list. Shaking her head slowly to clear her thoughts, she then read down the list before checking her calendar. She had 2 days to get the first part of her plan ready. The case files on her desk faded into the background as there was a new case that had her complete attention.