Garcia was the first to know. It had happened one morning, (incidentally, one 'morning after') as she'd been getting into her car. As usual after a heavy night out drinking the first thing she did upon preparing to drive to work was to check the backseat of her beloved 'Esther' for traces of inappropriate litter and/or vomit. Mercifully, today, she found none. What she did find, however, was a purse and, incapable of remembering which one of her friends had brought it (or, indeed, the majority of the evening) she was forced to find and open a wallet for signs of identification. Head pounding, an unwelcome reminder of the night before, she almost dismissed the identity issue immediately upon seeing the photo: JJ, staring blankly at the camera in the photo shop downtown, but she happened to glance across the information, shocked by what she found.
Jennifer J. Prentiss.
Shaking her head to clear it, Garcia wondered why the words didn't morph back to their original form as she looked at them. She couldn't still be drunk, could she? One way to find out…
"Hey, JJ?" Garcia said into her cell phone, voice shaking as she tried to bypass the limitations her pounding head was imposing on her. "You're not already at work, are you?" She strained her ears to hear the reply, breathy and muffled, but couldn't make out a single word. "JJ?"
"One— One sec, Garcia," JJ said, a little louder, and the loud thwap that followed indicated that she was now covering the mouthpiece. Time passed. Two voices spoke indistinctly. "Hey, sorry about that. What's up?" She sounded breathless.
"You're not at work yet, are you?" Garcia asked again, though if she had just heard what she thought she'd heard, she guessed not.
"No, no, I'm not," said JJ, and her voice sounded distracted again. A mirthful, high pitched giggle sounded in the background and JJ shushed loudly.
"Jayj, is this a bad time?" Garcia asked, raising an eyebrow slightly.
"Kind of," JJ admitted. "I'm going in to work soon, can it wait?"
Garcia grinned, seeing her chance. "Actually, that's what I wanted to ask you," she mentioned. "I don't know if I'm right to drive yet, and you left your purse in my car last night before we walked to the bar. I checked and your car keys aren't there, so you must have them. Is it okay if you pick me up on the way?"
"Uh, yeah, sure," JJ agreed in the same distracted tone as before. "I'll be there, say, 8-ish?"
"Sounds good. See you," said Garcia, and she jumped as, just as she hung up the phone, Morgan appeared behind her, floating his arms around her waist possessively.
"Going already?" he asked quietly. "It's not even seven thirty and we haven't got a case…"
"Can you think of anything better to do around here?" asked Garcia, swiveling in his arms and looking up at him mischievously. "I don't know if I can…"
"Ouch woman," Morgan exclaimed quietly, sultry in tone, staggering back with a hand to his heart. "Unless you want what happened last night to become a distant memory, you'd better start padding my ego, baby girl."
"Come on, you don't need to be told that you're sexy as hell. Both of us already knew that," Garcia replied, grinning. "Fact is, I've got even more exciting news this morning."
Morgan was suddenly very close to her face, demanding sexily to know exactly what was better news than a night of hot, steamy, passionate sex with him.
"JJ," Garcia said, grin transforming into a cheek-to-cheek beam. She flashed the driver's license at him and then put her fist into her mouth, biting down to muffle her excitement.
"Hold up, woman. Why've you got JJ's driver's license?" asked Morgan, reaching for it so he could see it properly.
Garcia opened it again and pushed it in his face. "Jennifer Prentiss??" she pointed out, glee evident in her tone. "She's taken Emily's last name! I told you something was going on between them! I told you!"
Morgan snatched the ID and held it up himself, at a reasonable distance from his face. "Jennifer J. Prentiss…" He read all of the other information. "This is our girl all right…" He wolf-whistled. "Never would've figured… Come on, babe. I'll drive us in to work if you're so keen."
"No, Morgan, I called JJ to take me in. I wanna question her… I also wanna confirm my suspicions that Emily will be there when she comes around, even though Emily's apartment is further than mine and it would be ridiculous for her to pick up Emily first and then come get me."
"Unless," Morgan pointed out, just to be difficult, "She was already on her way to Emily's house when you called her… or if she'd stayed the night there." He grinned widely.
"You had better not be picturing it, Derek!" Garcia chastised, mostly in jest. "Besides, I know that they're at JJ's because I called her home number— her mobile is in her bag, right here."
"Do you want me to scoot before she gets here, baby girl?"
"I don't know…" Garcia trailed off, a suggestive lilt to her tone. "She'll be here in half an hour… What'll I do in that time if you leave?"
She didn't have to say anymore. Within seconds Morgan had taken hold of her hand and was leading her back into the building…
It was almost 10 past 8 by the time JJ arrived, and, sure enough, riding shotgun was none other than Emily Prentiss. Garcia waved brightly, conspiratorially, as she got into the car. "Thanks for picking me up, girls," she said, a bright smile on her face. "Here's your purse, JJ. You might want to check that everything's there."
Garcia wasn't surprised when Emily took the bag for her and started rooting through it as JJ pulled out onto the street. After a few minutes she looked up.
"Is your wallet supposed to be in here, Jayj?"
JJ shot a worried look at Emily before forcing herself to look back at the road. "It's not?" she asked anxiously.
"No, I don't think so… The black one?"
"Yeah. It's not in there?"
Garcia sat in the back seat patiently.
"Pen, you didn't see it in the car or anything?"
Garcia feigned innocence at Emily's question. "No, I'm sure I would have noticed!" she said, perhaps too innocently. "But it may have fallen into my bag. Let me check…"
"Find it?" asked JJ after a while.
"No… You say it's black?" asked Garcia, though of course she already knew.
"Well, this is mine…" said Garcia, opening JJ's and pretending to check the ID. "Penelope Garcia… Oh! But is this yours here?" She put her hand back in the bag and withdrew it again, still holding the same wallet. "Let me check… Jennifer J. Prentiss, JJ?"
The two women in the front seats exchanged an awkward look.
"Pull over here," Emily suggested, pointing over to a spot near the park to their right.
"Okay, okay," JJ sighed. To Garcia she said, "Yes, that's it." When they'd stopped, JJ unclipped her seatbelt and motioned for the others to do the same. "Come on, let's talk a walk. We've got time enough."
Undoing her seat belt, Garcia grinned triumphantly at the success of her plan. "Sure thing."
As they got out of the car, she saw Emily take and squeeze JJ's hand briefly before letting it go. "We would have told you," she said guiltily, as she saw Garcia watching. "In fact, we planned to, when the baby starting showing, or when…"
"Whoa, kitty, rewind!!" Garcia exclaimed, stopping dead less than 10 feet from the car. This was something that even she had been oblivious to. As the queen of all knowledge, she considered it a personal affront. "You guys are dating, no surprise there. You guys are married, okay getting a little surprised now... A Baby!" Garcia threw her hands in their air uncomprehendingly. "Which one of you is even pregnant?"
JJ smiled awkwardly. "Em is."
Beside her, Emily proffered a guilty smile as she touched a hand to her as yet still flat belly. "Surprise?" she offered lamely.
Garcia stood still, silently, for a few minutes more. Then, without warning, a smile tore itself across her face and she stepped forward to embrace them both at once. "You should have told me. I'm so happy for you guys!"
Awkwardly, the three-person hug persisted until finally Emily tugged her limbs back in toward her own body. The others followed suit.
"Are we ready to go to work now?" asked Emily, brushing herself off professionally.
"Are you kidding?" asked Garcia, eyes wide in horror. "I just heard the best news I've heard in forever! I want champagne!!"
"You didn't drink enough last night? It's only 8 in the morning," JJ laughed. "Besides, you were the one who said you weren't fit to drive half an hour a—" JJ froze as it dawned on her. "You set us up!" she exclaimed belatedly. "You found my wallet and then set us up so we'd have to tell you the truth!"
Garcia smiled guiltily. "So, uhh, Emily… How'd it happen anyway? Tell me everything!"
Emily raised her eyebrow at Garcia and shook her head, exchanging glances with her fiancée. "Do you reckon she needs to be punished for her dishonesty?" she asked mock-seriously, but then laughed at how it must sound coming from her.
"It's been almost eleven months," JJ acknowledged, walking off further into the park, trusting the others to follow. "I moved in with Em six months ago."
Emily cut in before Garcia could express surprise. "You may think I'm rushing into this with the baby, but I'm not. We're not. You don't know how long I've loved her in secret."
JJ blushed prettily at that. "Same here," she admitted. "I don't think it's too soon at all."
"You guys are too cute!" Garcia exclaimed. "So tell me, how did it happen???"
"Uh, actually, Garcia, it was you who brought us together," JJ told her, laughing at the look on her face. "You and Morgan actually."
"We were talking about you," Emily explained. "JJ said to me 'I don't understand how Penelope can be so oblivious to how much Morgan really loves her. And Morgan too!'' She insisted that if it were her she'd know it immediately. I told her 'Yeah right.'"
Both of them laughed at the memory and Garcia grinned uncertainly.
"So Em told me 'I know for a fact that at least one person in this unit has a crush on you'," JJ continued. "She said that she'd only take me seriously if I guessed correctly who it was."
"She guessed Reid and I told her she was an idiot," Emily went on, "And after scads more wrong guesses, she laughed and picked me as a joke."
"She told me I needed to work on my people skills," JJ giggled, "Which is ridiculous because relating well with people is what I do. It's one of the most important parts of being a liaison. Anyway, she walked off and I followed her, not realizing I'd got it right and spinning off every name I could. Finally we got to the elevator, I was out of names, and right before the doors closed to separate us, she leaned out and kissed me."
"She avoided me for the next week," Emily grumbled humorously. "Not the response I'd been looking for."
"I thought I'd fucked up my chances! I was embarrassed!" JJ protested. "More than anything, I thought she was just kidding to rile me up…"
"So what did you do?" asked Garcia, entranced.
JJ and Emily exchanged glances and shrugged together.
"We hung low a few months," JJ admitted.
"That's code for: she ignored the hell out of me every time I tried to explain," Emily elaborated, raising an eyebrow at her fiancée. "It was like talking to a little kid singing 'LALALALALA' with their fingers in their ears 24/7."
JJ blushed at being compared to a child. "Eventually there was occasion for us to be alone together outside of work… We talked, mostly about trivial things, and when she suggested we get take out and watch a movie I thought that would be safe. A nice distraction. We ended up making out on the couch. Not that I'm complaining..." JJ grinned as it was Emily's turn to flush red.
"So, tell me about this baby. How did that come about?" asked Garcia, nudging Emily playfully. "Where there's a will there's a way? Or was it more like, where there's a Will there's a way." She smirked at JJ, who looked faintly nauseas at the mention of her ex-boyfriend.
"There were a few different 'ways' available to me, actually," Emily replied mysteriously. "In the end I had IVF. We were waiting until we were absolutely sure everything was going to be okay to tell you, but so far it's definitely viable." She smiled at her spouse lovingly. "It was a bit awkward starting the conversation that first time, suggesting it, but Jayj was so receptive… I love to think there's a kid in there just growing peacefully, safely, no worries in the world..."
"Well strike me down if you aren't more sentimental now than I've ever seen you," Garcia exclaimed brightly. "When are you going to let the team in on this little masterpiece here?" She tapped Emily's stomach lightly.
"If all goes well at my appointment next week, then soon after that."
Garcia beamed. "I suppose I can't tell Derek, though? Not until then?"
"We'd prefer you didn't, honestly, but there's no harm in it, I guess," JJ told her. "Don't feel bad if you can't hold it in. I feel like shouting it to the world myself… 'Hey everyone! My wife is pregnant!'"
"I'll wait," Garcia promised. "I'll enjoy holding your secret over his cute little head for a week anyway." She giggled. "He'll hate that."
JJ and Emily smiled at each other conspiratorially.
"So, Pen," JJ said teasingly, "How is Morgan? I mean… Derek."
"Hot, steamy, gorgeous…" Garcia admitted shamelessly, causing JJ and Emily to baulk in shock.
"You mean you've finally…?"
Garcia grinned, relishing the weight of her words. "…Yup."
"Oh my God, Pen! That's fantastic!" JJ exclaimed, latching onto her friend excitedly.
"Sure is," Garcia agreed, her tone implying just how fantastic her new relationship with Derek Morgan really was.
"Ah! Look at this gorgeous day!" Emily exclaimed enthusiastically. "The sun is shining, the birds are singing, Penelope's with Derek, I'm with you, Jayj, there is a baby growing inside me—"
"—We're almost late for work…" JJ continued in a singsong voice.
Emily grinned ruefully, with a little helpless sigh. "You're right," she acknowledged. "Let's go."
Keeping it in, Garcia found immediately upon entering the office, was going to be harder than she thought.
First it was Hotch giving them a look for being late to the briefing. How dare he? She was pregnant for crying out loud! You don't give looks to pregnant women! They're very fragile!
At lunch it was Reid's initiative to bring them all takeaway coffees from down the road in order to avoid actually drinking the ridiculous cop coffee in the break room (which were actually in quite high demand considering how many members of staff were still suffering killer handovers). Garcia wanted to slap the drink out of his hand and tell him that, duh, pregnant women weren't allowed coffee!
Most of all though, when Morgan asked her how the drive to work/friendly interrogation had gone, she just wanted to scream out "I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNTY" at him more than anything in the world. Instead, she did as she'd told herself she would.
"…Oh, it was very interesting, sweetie," she replied coyly. "Truly enlightening…."
"You want me to ask, don't you?" asked Morgan, shaking his head in amusement. "Go on then, baby girl. Tell your man what's up with Jayj and Emily."
"Oh, I couldn't do that," Garcia replied, eyes crinkling in mirth. "Silly man, I've been sworn to secrecy!"
"Sworn to secrecy, huh?" Morgan repeated, scratching his head as he closed the door to her little lair and stepped closer to her. "Must be pretty important… You must be going crazy not being able to tell me…"
He was so close she could feel his breath on her cheek. Garcia gulped audibly. "Nope, I'm lovin' it!" she corrected him, a little too quickly. "Just like I'm gonna love the look on your face when they tell you next week!"
"Next week?" Morgan repeated, unable to hide the frustration in his tone. "What on earth is—"
"Morgan, I am a terribly important person with a lot of work to do. Get the hell out of my lair."
Morgan just grinned and popped a kiss on her nose. She couldn't help but smile at him as he left the room. Once he'd done so, she collapsed into her chair, head on her desk. This was going to be harder than she'd thought.