This story is a missing scene between Garcia and JJ that should have been in episode 5x21 "Exit Wounds". Needless to say, this has been a long time coming. The idea formed right after I had watched the episode but the last part of the story just wouldn't feel right until after the third or fourth rewrite.
As I said, I think this scene was missing. It would have been awesome to actually see it on the show.
Disclaimer: Not mine :)
"Pen? Can I come in?"
Garcia had hoped to be able to just ignore the knocking after she had locked the door behind herself and sat down on the bed facing the window.
"Come on, Sweetie, it's just me. Open up."
Maybe, if she didn't move...
"Pen, I saw you entering this room and unless you've climbed out the window I know that you can hear me."
"I can bring reinforcements, you know?"
Oh, she really wasn't ready for the invasion of the troops. "Jayje, I'm fine. I just wanna shower and head to bed."
She heard JJ's defeated sigh out in the hallway. "Alright. Well, Em and I are two doors down, so let us know if you need anything."
Garcia heard footsteps and finally felt herself relax a bit. It's not that she minded being looked after every once in a while but she felt ridiculous. The others experienced what she had gone through on pretty much every other case. It basically came with the job. An occupational hazard really. And for them it never seemes to take more than a coffee and a plance ride home to have a full recovery.
They would be stuck here until they solved the case so the plane ride really wasn't an option. But coffee was a treat that was available pretty much everywhere. No strings attached.
Except that this wasn't a four-star-hotel in New York City but the Tavern Inn in Franklin, AK. Whick meant: no coffee in the room.
So she decided to make her way downstairs and to the fireplace where the team had set up for briefings and research. She knew for a fact that that's where she'd find the liquid that might help her through the nightmare.
She walked over to the door and listened for footsteps that would give away members of her team hovering by her door. When she felt safe to step out she opened the door.
And almost crashed into JJ.
She found her sitting on the floor across from the door, back against the wall, legs outstretched with one ankle on top of the other, arms folded across her chest and a look of serious business mixed with compassion on her face.
Garcia stopped dead in her tracks and stared at JJ. The staring turned into a careful smile when she saw two big paper cups sitting next to her friend. JJ's face lit up when she saw the red-head relax.
"You don't have to feel bad, you know? It's completely normal to react the way you did."
JJ had eventually decided to break the comfortable silence. Both of them had let it settle - Garcia because she needed it and JJ because she knew her friend well enough to let her have it. It served the scene they had found themselves in upon re-entering Garcia's hotel room: sitting on the floor, leaning back against the side of the bed and staring out the window at the trees that were being lit up by some streetlamp across the road.
"Is Derek mad at me?" Garcia's voice came out hesitant and scared.
JJ looked at her incredulously. "Are you kidding? The guy could never be mad at you. He loves you way too much."
Garcia nodded and took another sip of her coffee. It was actually quite good.
"You know what I did when this first happened to me?" JJ started warily. When she saw her friend shake her head she continued. "I went home, got a bottle of wine and a glass from the kitchen and turned up my music to the highest volume. It was the only punk rock CD I've ever owned. And I'm pretty sure it annoyed my neighbors to no end."
That got a small chuckle out of Garcia.
"After ten minutes I was half way through the bottle, picked up the phone and called my parents. And then a couple of friends. And then my parents again. I didn't tell any of them what had happened. All I did was ask them to tell me about their day. Theirs seemed so normal. By the time I was done I had emtpied the bottle and went to bed. I felt like crap the next morning but when I got into work Morgan had left a freshly brewed coffee and a bottle of aspirin on my desk. And by the end of the day I felt better. And at some point everything was back to normal."
She turned to the right and watched Garcia trace her thumb around the rim of her cup and nod. "Did Derek ever go through the same thing?"
"And? What did he do?"
"He went to the gym and spent about an hour and a half beating up a punching bag like crazy. And there was music, too. Although I think it was Hip Hop for him."
Garcia smiled. "Yeah, that sounds like him."
It became quiet again as both of them watched the darkness that covered the world outside. Eventually, JJ decided to speak again.
"We've all had them, Sweetie. You know, those moments in which you feel a life, an innocent life, slip away right under your nose. And we've all made the experience that everybody needs to find their own way to deal with them. Dave went on a date that very night. I think you can imagine where they ended up-"
"Yuck, don't tell me!" They both laughed at that.
"Em was lucky. We were on stand down for a couple of days after it happened to her. She turned off her cell, left it on her desk in the bullpen and took off for two days. I don't know where exactly she went but when she left she was wearing very high heels in a very hot red.
"We all know what Reid did. Please don't do that," JJ said smiling sadly.
Garcia took her friend's hand in her own. It was silent support for both of them.
"What did Hotch do?"
"Huh..." JJ looked up at her narrowing her eyes. "That's a good question. You know, he never actually told me," she said shaking her head slightly.
Garcia smiled at her before turning her gaze down to her cup again. JJ heard her sigh and squeezed her hand, telling her to look at her again without uttering any actual words.
"I know it's hard, Pen. And I wish I could tell you that you will have forgotten all about it soon. But unfortunately, you are cursed with being the most caring and compassionate person I have ever come across in my life. So you'll just have to find the best way out for yourself."
Suddenly, Garcia's face turned into an impish grin. "I think I'm gonna drink to that," she said raising her cup and guiding it towards her friend's.
JJ looked puzzled. "To what?"
"To us sitting in a tiny room in a tavern in Alaska in complete darkness sharing probably the only decent coffee there is around here."
"And to the fact that... I actually do feel a lot better already." She smiled softly at her friend. "Thank you, Jayje."
"Hey, that's what friends are for, right?" JJ replied with her own grin. "Now, my cup's empty and it's really cold in here so I'm gonna get going and look for Morgan." She pushed herself up from the floor and turned towards her friend still sitting on the ground. "You know, you actually scared him quite a bit down there."
Garcia flushed a bit at that comment. Suddenly, she was really glad that the hadn't bothered turning on the lights when they had entered the room earlier. "Really?"
"Oh yeah. So he'll be happy to hear that your spirits have lifted. I'll send him up as soon as I find him."
"Thank you. And after this I might even be able to sleep tonight."
JJ stopped at the door and turned around. "You know, even if there're nightmares, I wouldn't worry about them too much. With Derek around, I'm sure he'll have hundreds of ways in his mind to make you feel better that I myself would deem completely inappropriate-"
I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave me a comment if you like :)
Have a great rest of the weekend!