Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds. If I did, JJ and Emily would be together. End of story.

A/N: I'm looking for a beta for this story. Any volunteers? E-mail me at soccerchickgs2004 (at) yahoo (.) com if you're interested. I'll need help not only to get things right, but to keep motivated. Thanks!

A/N: I've never written for Criminal Minds before. I've actually only just started watching reruns. If I get anything wrong, please let me know. I want to be as accurate as possible. I will say there will be no Will in this story. It's just too hard to write him in and then take him back out so JJ and Emily can be together. At lease in a way that hasn't already been done a thousand times. So I'll explain little Henry's past later.

-FI-

Exhaustion gripped her tired body as she stumbled into the empty condo. It had been a long case, longer than usual. Dropping her go bag by the door, tossing her keys onto the coffee table and sticking her gun into its place in the gun safe, she made her way slowly upstairs. After being away for eight days, there was nothing more she wanted than to soak in a hot bath and then fall into a coma-like sleep.

Once inside the bathroom, the brunette began filling the tub with scalding water. It was going to be a while before the tub filled to the desired level, so she decided to trek back downstairs to pour herself a glass of wine. Not one to indulge in alcohol on a regular basis, she figured that after the week and half she just had, it was well deserved. When she returned, the water height was just right. Shedding her clothes piece by piece, the brunette finally slid her weary body into the welcoming embrace of the steaming water.

Alone and in the tub, Emily Prentiss reflected on the recently solved case. Although there was still a lot of paper work to complete, the hard part was at least over. The unsub had been caught and would no longer be hurting anyone else. The case, not only longer but also more difficult than normal, had taken a toll on each of the team's members. The unsub, who was now known to be Bradley Sawyer, was not just a serial killer, but also a child molester. He had taken eleven little boys, sexually assaulted then, murdered them, and then dumped their poor little bodies in a local park. He had not only been vicious, but also damn good at staying hidden. They found him simply by accident. Bradley had been speeding and in turn was pulled over. His fatal mistake? He didn't subdue his latest victim. Bradley had taken a twelfth victim and when the police officer walked up to the car, he heard the child crying from the trunk.

JJ and Hotch had the hardest time with the case, both having children of their own. While Jack was in protective custody with Haley, Henry was staying with JJ's mother and father in DC. This didn't stop JJ from calling almost incessantly while they were working the case. Everyone knew the guilt JJ harbored from being away from the feisty four year old. Throughout the case, the brunette could tell that the blonde was hurting. It was written all over her face, was on display in her body language, and could even be heard in every word that came through her tired lips. It didn't take a profiler to see that the blonde was not sleeping. And when JJ was hurting, so too, was Emily. That's what best friends were for, to share pain, happiness, love, memories, and so much more. But as Emily drank a little more wine, she had to confess that her apparent sympathy pains appeared to go slightly deeper than just friendly feelings.

Finishing off the glass of red wine and slightly shaking her head, Emily refused to divulge any further into thoughts of a certain blonde agent she was in contact with nearly every day. Deciding that the water was starting to get too cold for comfort, the brunette climbed out of the tub, dried off and put on her night clothes. Nothing too fancy for the exhausted agent tonight, she wore boxer shorts and an oversized FBI t-shirt she got while in the academy. After finishing her nightly routine and draining the tub, Emily slowly walked back into the master bedroom.

Climbing into her king size bed and getting settled right in the middle, the brunette's final thought before she fell into a deep sleep was, "Finally."

-FI-

"What is that incessant noise?!" was Emily's first thought as she was pulled from her deep state of dreamless slumber. As she adjusted to her surroundings and focused her senses, she realized that she was still in the king size bed in her condo. As she threw an agitated glare at her bedside alarm clock, the glowing red numbers seemed to scream 4:23am. Not only was it an ungodly time in the morning to be awake, but she had only gotten about five hours of sleep at this point. And after the case the team just got off of, that was not adequate time to recuperate. As she sharpened her dull senses once more, she became aware of the fact that her cell phone is what interrupted her sleep.

Reaching blindly to her nightstand, Emily fumbled around for the cursed item. Before she came into contact with the small device, she managed to knock off half of the items littering the top, including the alarm clock. Not wanting to miss the caller, she quickly unplugged the phone from the charger and answered it before glancing at the caller id. If she was being honest, she doubted she could even read the name right now anyway. "Prentiss," she answered in a raspy, sleep riddled voice. Silently cursing the way her voice sounded weak and lazy, Emily waited silently for the person on the other end to respond. Maybe they would get the hint and hang up. The brunette simply wanted to go back to sleep.

Taking a deep breath to steady herself after a shudder of something akin to pleasure rippled through her body, Jennifer Jareau was acutely aware that she loved the way Emily's voice was raspy and deep when she had just woken up. This was not the first time that JJ had to call Emily in the middle of the night to awaken the brunette for one reason or another. Nor would it be the last time either. But she knew that every single time, her body responded in much the same way. Finally deciding that she had delayed long enough, JJ finally spoke up, "Emily, its JJ." It was the way she always introduced herself on these late night calls to the brunette.

Emily heard the soft voice on the other end of the line. Immediately, her senses kicked into overdrive, as they usually did during any and all interaction with the blonde. "Jen, is everything okay? Are you and Henry alright?" Though she was sure that she would not be the first person the blonde called in an emergency, Emily's overprotective streak never failed to kick in.

JJ didn't miss the fact that Emily had called her Jen. Usually, she hated the name. No one ever used the shortened version of her name except for Emily, mainly because she forbade them to. Besides, the only time Emily ever let it slip was in these early morning hours during these phone calls. JJ thought it had something to do with Emily not having fully constructed her compartments quickly enough and throwing all of walls back up after being asleep. It made JJ feel special, that she got to share even a small moment of unrestricted time with Emily. She had a feeling that few, if any, people got to experience the brunette without some walls built around her tender heart, or without her putting every emotion into a compartment to be bottled up inside. There was never a moment that Emily Prentiss didn't have a tough exterior present. Except for these moments in the early morning hours. And JJ loved every second of it. The blonde never corrected Emily on the name, because truth be told, she loved the way it sounded coming out of the brunette's mouth in that raspy voice that made her shiver.

Even though they had shared many a late night phone calls, and never had any of them been an emergency in which JJ or Henry would not be alright for any reason, it never failed to warm the heart of the blonde that the first place that Emily's mind went, was to the well-being of her and her son. Speaking softly so as to calm the brunette, JJ replied, "Yeah Emily, everything is perfectly fine. I'm just calling because we've been called in again."

Groaning out of exhaustion and frustration, Emily rolled onto her back and stared into the black towards the ceiling. After a moment of silence, she finally responded, "Are you serious JJ? We just got back from Oregon. Can't they call another team? You know as well as I do that we're all exhausted." Even though, just a few minutes earlier, she wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep, she knew now that there was no way that was going to happen, even if JJ did let her go. Her body was now aware that there was a possibility that she would be seeing the blonde agent soon and that alone would keep her awake.

Sighing slightly into the phone, JJ hated being the one to have to call everyone in. She had just been alerted to the unfortunate news herself, at which time she had had much the same reaction as Emily. "I know Emily. Trust me, I know. But all the other teams are on a case in another state. If it's any consolation, this case is here. It's local so we won't have to leave DC." Trying to sound happy about the prospect of being close to home for a change, it still didn't account for the fact that the team was overdue for a break. They were supposed to have the next few days off.

Knowing that she was fighting a losing battle in the argument, that the directives came from above JJ, Emily groaned into the phone. She couldn't help but feel sorry for JJ. She had obviously been woken up even before Emily had, meaning that she had probably gotten even less sleep than herself. This of course was not good because she was probably the member of the team who needed sleep the most. "Okay JJ, you win, as usual. Where do we need to meet and when?" The brunette agent started to get out of bed and move about the room to get ready for the new case. Still groggy with sleep, Emily neglected to turn the bedside light on as she staggered into her bathroom. Before reaching her destination, she managed to stub her toe on the door jam and drop the phone to the ground.

JJ chuckled into the phone as she heard Emily gasp and curse as she retrieved the phone from the ground. "You alright there Em? Did you stub your toe…again?" JJ couldn't hold her laughter in any longer. This was also a regular occurrence. She imagined that Emily would remember the layout of her room by now. But apparently exhaustion didn't bode well for memory at 4:30am.

Emily smiled and started laughing too. She absolutely loved it when JJ called her Em. It was something that she only did when no one else was around. It was like their own little secret. She had never, in her life, allowed anyone to refer to her as anything but Emily. But when the blonde had first used the endearing term, it had just felt right. And to top it off, there was just something about hearing JJ laugh unguardedly that brought joy to her own life. She couldn't help but join in when she heard the ringing laughter of her blonde friend. "You know? I'm glad that you find humor in my physical pain. I mean here I am, getting up and ready at 4:30am, basically at your beck and call, and all you can do is laugh at my inability to walk straight. What a friend you are Jennifer Jareau."

JJ couldn't help but laugh a little harder at Emily's statement. She could hear the smile in the older woman's voice. Only the brunette could make waking up at 4:30am for a case seem fun. "Well, what can I say? You would think that after living there for a few years, you would learn where your own bathroom door is Em. Your inability to walk straight through said door is simply entertainment for me until you learn. So if you want this torment to cease, I suggest you either start using your lamp which I know is untouched on your bedside table, or just don't run into the door. Until one of those two things occurs, you will be forced to suffer through my loving fits of laughter at your expense."

Emily broke down and started laughing just as freely as JJ. Once the two women finally regained control, they knew it was time for business again. JJ began, "We need to meet at the office in an hour. Is that enough time for you, Em?"

"Yeah. That's plenty of time. Have you called anyone else?"

JJ smiled as she answered, "Nope. As always, you were my first call." Technically, JJ was supposed to call Hotch since he was their boss. But Emily lived the furthest away from Quantico, being that her condo was in the heart of Washington, DC. JJ wanted to make sure the brunette agent had enough of a head start to get to work on time with everyone else. At least that is what JJ told herself. If she was being honest though, she just liked hearing Emily's voice first thing in the morning before she had to talk to anyone else.

Emily loved that JJ called her before anyone else. It was not something she had asked the blonde to do; it was just an unspoken understanding. It was nice to feel like JJ was taking care of her in a way. It was nice to feel special. "Okay JJ, I'll meet you there. You want your usual?" On these early morning meetings, Emily always brought JJ a coffee from her favorite place in DC. It was a hole in the wall coffee shop that wasn't near Quantico.

"Yeah, that'd be great Em. Thanks. I'll see you soon. Bye."

"See you in a bit. Be safe. Bye Jen." It never failed to amaze JJ how the simple statement be safe made her feel when muttered from Emily's mouth.

After hanging up with JJ, Emily went about getting ready for the long day she knew she was about to have. While having the blonde near did make the time go by faster, it didn't mean that she didn't get tired. The brunette agent quickly changed into a nice pantsuit hanging in her closet, tied her hair back, and made her way downstairs. Being eternally grateful that she wouldn't need her go bag, Emily grabbed her keys off the coffee table, removed her gun from the gun safe, and made her way to the garage.

Climbing into her black Range Rover SUV, Emily made her way to the coffee shop, and then headed toward the office. Not knowing what the case was about and although it was going to be a long day, she couldn't help but be happy that she would get to spend it with her blonde friend.

-FI-

A/N: I know it's a little short but the next chapter will be longer. Please tell me what you think. I would like to continue but I'm not sure if I should. Also, give me any ideas on where you want this to go. I have a basic idea, obviously Emily/JJ, but I'll take requests and try to implement as many as possible into the story!