I shut down. I felt the sting of Will's hand on my cheek. I backed away from him. I half ran to our room. I threw my clothes in a bag. I moved to Henry's room. This time, Will came after me. "Jennifer, can we talk about this?" He asked sweetly. I threw an empty bottle of Henry's on top of some diapers and closed the bag.
"No. I'm tired of talking about it." I picked up Henry, holding him close. "I'm done. We're done, Will." I roughly pushed passed him. I left the house. I threw the bags in the backseat of the car. I gently buckled Henry into his car seat. He was watching me. Despite my tears, I managed to smile at him. "I love you baby."
I closed the car door, I walked around to the driver's side, startled to see Will watching me. "You'll come back. You always come back." He said. I shook my head.
This time I would not, could not, turn around.
I climbed into the driver's side. I started the car and drove away. I didn't look back. I found myself with no where to go, driving around pointlessly. I thought of Emily, of Garcia, they were such good friends. I decided on Emily, she didn't fuss as much as Penelope did. I felt confident in my decision, and only wanted to reach my friend's place. Which is why I was completely surprised when I ended up in front of Spencer Reid's.
I stopped the car and climbed out. I grabbed our bags and lifted Henry out of his seat. I was surprised that he had not made a sound. I gave him a squeeze and kissed his cheek. "Mama's good boy." I whispered as I knocked, still not sure of why I was motivated to come here of all places. I would have been less surprised if I was knocking on Hotch's door.
The door opened. Spence was peering at me curiously. "JJ?" His voice was raspy, and I instantly felt bad, he'd probably been sleeping.
"Can I come in?"
"Yeah, of course." Spence stood aside to let me and Henry through. Not knowing where to put the bags I just sat them on the table. Spence herded me toward the coach. I went willingly enough, sinking into it gratefully.
"What are you doing here?" Spence asked as Henry yawned. The couch sank a little under Spence's meager weight as he sat down opposite me.
I rocked back and forth a little, trying to get Henry back to dreamland. "I left Will. I never want to go back. He was so sweet and kind at first, but lately . . ." I gingerly touched my face. "I've been slapped a lot." I admitted. Spence said nothing, but he moved closer and hugged me. I leaned into him and tried to hold back my tears. I felt so tired, the events of the past half hour fell on me like a bag of bricks.
"You can stay as long as you want." Spence told me.
"Thanks Spence, you're such a good friend."
He smiled, and I couldn't help smiling back.
He led me to a spare room, and after making sure that I was settled in, went to bed himself. I closed my eyes, concentrated on Henry's breathing, and tried not to think of the night's events.
I woke up in a panic. Henry wasn't in our room. I tossed open my door and flew toward the kitchen, where I heard music. I skidded to a stop, about to start screaming hysterically about how someone had stolen my baby, when Spence looked at me, Henry in his arms.
I let out a sigh of relief, grabbing Henry from Spence. "I thought someone had taken him," I admitted.
"Nope," Spence shrugged and smiled, but there were traces of guilt on his face. "I wanted to let you sleep." I looked at him. "We made breakfast." Spence motioned to the table where bacon and an omelette, accompanied by a glass of orange juice, was waiting for me.
My mouth watered, and I heard myself say, "You're forgiven."
Spence sat Henry on a blanket on the floor, surrounded by the toys he must have pulled out of Henry's bag. Henry gurgled and bashed a duck's head into the floor. "Did you feed him?" I asked, the thought suddenly occurred me.
"Of course, do you think I'm some sort of idiot? Even little humans have to eat too." He teased.
I laughed, and took a bite out of my omelette. "Oh my god, Spence, this is delicious!" I exclaimed. "What's in this?"
He winked and said, "old family recipe."
I spent the rest of the meal trying to convince him to give me the recipe, but he always refused, so I made a mental note to do some snooping later.
Spence and I were splayed out on the couch, watching Henry clap along to a show on Treehouse.
"How I love days off," I sighed.
"Mmm," Spence agreed. "JJ, what happened last night?"
I was reluctant to say anything, but he deserved to know. "Will and I got into an argument. Nothing major, just a little argument. He slapped me, which, like I said last night, he's gotten into a habit of doing. I was just so sick of it, and I knew that if he hit me one more time, I would do something drastic, so I left. I almost felt like a coward, running away, but it was the only option. And I had no place to go, and somehow I ended up here," I broke into sobs, and Spence wrapped his thin arms around me. I cried into his shoulder.
"It's okay, JJ. You weren't a coward. You did what you thought was best for you and Henry, and that's the bravest thing you could have done." He soothed.
"Thanks Spence. For everything."
"I couldn't just turn you away, JJ." Spence whispered in my ear.
I looked up at him, and he softly cupped my cheek, his hand so gentle compared to the sting of Will's. His eyes caught my own, and I was instantly paralyzed. The world slowed down around me, my heart sped up, as did my breathing. I leaned in closer, and he closed the gap.
His lips caught my own, and I felt a warmth spread through me. A delicious feeling that made my toes curl and my heart light. We were startled into jumping apart when Henry shrieked. I smiled, leaning down and scooping my baby off of the floor.
"Someone has a dirty diaper," I sang, standing up. Spence followed me, his hand resting on my waist, and his lips on my ear. I felt content, like I had finally found my family.
I am having an argument with my family: they say that Jason Gideon is dead. I say that he's alive. So, people, I need you to review and tell me who's right, so I can finally lay this to rest.
I do not own Criminal Minds or Treehouse (nor would I want to own Treehouse. It's . . .ugh).