Disclaimer: They're not mine, but oh how I wish they were.
Spoiler Alert: Season 3 – Damaged and Season 5 – The Reckoner
A/N: This is an episode tag for Damaged, but I use info from The Reckoner. What if Hotch wasn't the first person that Rossi told about Emma. My story takes place before we found out Will was still in the picture, so there will be no mention of him. In my world, he never came back.
I found a love for Rossi and JJ through fan fiction. I never thought of them as a couple until I started reading stories about them on this site. As a result, I've been going back and watching past episodes. I thought of this story last night while I was watching Damaged on DVD and then again today while I was watching The Reckoner.
Don't Want To Wonder
Jennifer Jareau had taken a pass on getting drinks with the team. Along with Rossi, Morgan, and Prentiss, she had just returned from Indianapolis. They had worked together to solve a case that had haunted Rossi for over twenty years.
Upon their return, Hotch had been served divorce papers, and then walked out.
JJ assumed the others would still be going out for drinks, and returned to her office to catch up on paperwork. The supply of cases to screen was never ending. She looked at her desk, shook her head, then just sat on the couch in her office and stared into space.
She knew she needed to work, but thoughts of what Hotch was going through raced through her mind. More truthfully, thoughts of what it meant for her raced through her mind. If Haley and Hotch couldn't make a marriage work, how on earth could she? It was obvious to everyone that the couple stilled loved each other, but they couldn't keep their marriage together. His career had gotten in the way.
JJ wanted marriage and children some day. It was something she had always dreamed of, but wasn't sure she would be able to attain. Now, not only was she not sure she could attain it, she wasn't sure she would be able to maintain it if she ever did find it.
The knock on her opened door jarred her from her thoughts. David Rossi leaned one shoulder against the door jam, arms crossed. He looked at peace for the first time since he had re-joined the bureau.
"I thought you were going for drinks."
"I was, but I changed my mind," he said. "Did you take a pass just to sit here and stare at the walls?"
"No, I just needed a minute before I got started." She started to rise, but he entered the room, shut the door behind him, and with a gesture to remain where she was, sat down beside her.
"Take another minute." He looked at her curiously. "What were you thinking about when I interrupted you?"
She thought about brushing him off, but decided against it. From working with profilers, she knew he wouldn't let her off the hook that easily. Besides, she liked him and considered him a friend. They'd gotten off to a rocky start, but having gotten passed that, they worked well together. And if she admitted it, she more than liked him.
"Hotch and Haley," she admitted.
"What about them?" he pressed.
"They still love each other, but if they can't make it work, what kind of hope is there for me?"
"You can have whatever you want," he assured her. "You just have to determine what that is, and then go for it."
"What do you want out of your life?" she asked and he remained silent for some time. "You don't have to answer that. I shouldn't have asked."
"No, it's okay. I was just thinking about my answer." Again, there was silence between them. Each was thinking about what they wanted out of their own lives.
"I guess I should start by telling you about Emma."
"Who is Emma?" JJ asked hesitantly. She wasn't sure if she wanted to know about the woman in his life. Since his return, JJ had been drawn to David Rossi. There was something about him that called to her, despite the rumors of his past.
"I met Emma when we were twelve-years-old. I knew then I would love her for the rest of my life, and she said that we were doomed to be star-crossed lovers; destined to wonder what might have been. She was right. I went into the Marines, and we lost touch. Then I was recruited by the Bureau, got involved in starting the BAU, and before I knew it, a lifetime had gone by. I've been married three times, and she married someone else."
"Do you ever see her?" she asked with trepidation.
"No, she actually died not too long ago; hit by a drunk driver. A part of me will always love her, but now it's more a regret I have than anything else. I got obsessed by the chase and hunt of the bad guys. I will always wonder what would have happened if I had married her, and I wonder how my life would have turned out. Would we still be together? Would we have had a family? I've always wanted a family."
"Oh, Dave," JJ said softly.
"The thing is, I don't want to wonder anymore. I don't want to wonder what might have been."
"What are you talking about?"
"You, Jennifer. I'm talking about you." His statement caught her off guard.
"Me? What about me?"
Rossi turned towards her and cupped her face with one of his hands. "Since I've been back, I've worked with you, and I find myself drawn to you," he said softly. His words echoed JJ's own thoughts from a moment ago. "I think that you feel it, too."
JJ closed her eyes, and leaned into his hand. "I do," she said, her voice just above a whisper. Rossi leaned in to place a kiss on her forehead; then he sat back, and dropped his hand to take one of hers in his own.
"I've learned some things in my life and throughout my many marriages. It takes work, attention, and communication to make a relationship work. I learned you need to be able to share what is important to you. The women I married didn't want to know about my work, and I thought I should keep it separate from them. However, what I do is who I am; how can I expect a relationship to work if I can't share who I am?"
"I want to continue to go after criminals, but I also want someone to love. A family. Children," he murmured as he played with her fingers. "What do you want out of your life, Jennifer?"
"I want the same things as you," she told him, and this time she cupped his face. "What are you saying, David?"
He lifted his eyes to meet hers. "I want those things with you. I know it won't be easy, but I think we could make it work. Are you willing to try? I know this all seems to be coming out of left field, but I've been thinking about it since we met, and I don't want to wonder anymore."
"I want those things with you, too. I don't want to wonder either," she said with surety. Then she laughed unexpectedly.
"What's funny?" he asked.
"It's just that, even though we've never said anything, we've both wanted to pursue something, but never acted on it until now. Now, after one talk, we're talking about a family and children together."
"What's so funny about that?" he asked indignantly.
"We've never even kissed or been on a date, and now we're planning to try for a future together."
She meant to say something else, but she never got the chance. David Rossi kissed her.
It was tentative at first, but after a moment, it changed. The kiss was tender and gentle, with a touch of heat. It wasn't like other first kisses. It came natural to them. It was like coming home. Eventually, Dave pulled back and rested his forehead against hers with a sigh.
"That certainly was a kiss," JJ said breathlessly, and he hummed in response.
"Now, how about a date?" He grinned at her, and rose to his feet. She smiled back, and took the hand he held out to her.
"If the date is anything like that kiss, I don't have to wonder if it will be a good one or not," she said cheekily.
He pulled her close, and bent his head next to hers. "It only gets better from here," he whispered into her ear.
JJ grabbed her bag as he led her out of her office, and together, hand in hand, they walked towards their future. They each wondered not what might have been, but what the future would bring, and content with the knowledge that they would find out.
Well? Let me know what you thought. This was my first Rossi/JJ story. I've written other stories, but not for this ship.
Also, many, many, MANY thanks to Jenny, who was my beta on this.