Author's Note: Thanks to everyone who has been patiently waiting for our stories to be posted. We appreciate your support and apologize for any delays. Real life, however, has taken precedence! We always want to be able to provide you with quality stories and chapters, so our postings may be a bit sporadic over the next month.
Please check out our most recent challenge on our forum – March Madness! The guidelines are simple: You suggest a pairing and choose a TV title from the list provided (shows are from the 70s, 80s, and 90s). We'll assign out the pairings & suggestions by March 4, and you have until March 31 to create just the perfect story based on the prompts you receive. Your final story does NOT have to be about the TV show prompt, but you do have to use the TV show title in the story somehow. Check out our forum, Chit Chat on Author's Corner, for details and to sign up…you can find a link on our profile pages.
And please, check out our new forum topic: A Fanfic Glossary! We want to know if you guys find it helpful and our topic thread "Our Stance on the 2010 Criminal Minds Fanfic Awards".
As always, we do not own Criminal Minds or any of the characters that we so enjoy writing. If we did own them, we would have never had JJ leave!
The Beautiful Sound of the Rain
Her stricken eyes filled with tears as she spotted him across the crowded room, his lips pressed to some woman she had never seen before.
He was fine, her mind screamed in horror, her eyes unable to stop staring at the one man that had stolen her heart.
He was FINE, and yet she was suffocating amid a sea of laughing, smiling faces. Swallowing, she stumbled toward the door just as his eyes met hers. She could see him open his mouth...taking a step in her direction.
No! Flee, Jennifer, her jumbled mind ordered her as he progressed across the room.
She wasn't ready. Not now. Not for a confrontation that she was fairly certain would flay what she had left of her confidence. Stumbling toward the terrace door of the banquet room, she jerked it open, hoping that the dark night and expanding crowd would swallow her whole. She had to run...she had to put as much distance between her and her pain as possible.
Skirting couples standing on the covered dais, she found a deserted corner and sank to the iron bench against the wall. She just needed to catch her breath...give the crowd a moment to absorb David Rossi and whatever flavor of the week he'd currently had latched his arm...then she could leave with as much dignity as she'd arrived with...which wasn't much. Not anymore. Her dignity had evaporated when she had allowed him to decimate her life.
Damn him for looking well...damn him to hell. He'd been as handsome as ever, clad in a dark tuxedo that seemed to have been tailored specifically for him. From what she'd seen during the brief moments her eyes had found him, he appeared to be fine...like they'd never loved and lost at all. She envied him that...she who hadn't slept through the night in weeks. She, who still woke up reaching for him...crying out his name. She, who still cried herself to sleep every night, her pillow bearing the brunt of her emotions.
Folding in on herself, her flowing gown swishing against her legs, she felt the familiar prick behind her closed eyes. Please, not here...don't let me lose control here, she prayed almost pleadingly. Inhaling deeply as the sound of falling rain fell outside, beyond the covered alcove she sat in, she smiled bitterly. The sound mocked her. It used to be music to her ears, the sound of falling rain. She could sit for hours in the swing on the porch of David's cabin listening to the soothing plop of raindrops descending from the sky. Now, each plop against the damp lawn shattered something inside her soul.
Why had she come tonight? She'd known seeing him was a possibility. Of course, he'd bring someone. It was a charity gala hosted by Ambassador Prentiss herself, and the entire team had made plans to support Emily, whose attendance had been mandatory. Originally, they'd planned to come together. But that had been weeks ago, well before their combined lives had all fallen apart.
She'd trained herself not to react to his nearness at work, building a thick impenetrable wall around herself while on the job, professionalism trumping any desires that might attempt to overtake her. There, she could stare right through him. There, she could pretend that nothing ever happened. There, you didn't have to watch him wrapped in another woman's arms, her mind taunted her as visions from just a few minutes earlier refused to fade.
Why the hell hadn't she considered the possibility that he'd moved on before she'd come here tonight?
Hell, she knew why. It was because any kind of contemplation regarding David Rossi beyond their working relationship threatened to send her to the brink of insanity. And she knew that if she ever crossed that line...it might be her point of no return.
And as she found herself sinking deeper and deeper into the overwhelming thoughts, she barely heard the steady plopping of footsteps approaching her self-imposed exile.
"I figured I'd find you out here," a deep familiar voice drawled from behind her.
And closing her eyes against a fresh wave of pain, Jennifer Jareau slowly felt something die inside her…once again.
Quickening his footsteps as he skirted another gathered group of people milling about, David Rossi's eyes searched frantically for her. Just a glimpse, that was all he needed...just a small glimpse to satisfy the gaping hole in his soul.
Inhaling deeply, he forced himself to slow down and to think logically. He knew her well, and she couldn't have gotten far. After all, he'd been standing between her and the door when he'd met her anguished eyes across the room, so her avenues of escape were limited.
Silently cursing Vivian LaRue and her overeager lips again, David shook his head. Of all the times for his ex-wife to lay one on him...her timing certainly hadn't improved since the divorce all those long years ago. And he knew to his core the assumption JJ had made when she'd seen him….it had been obvious as she had stared in horror at him.
It had been her greatest fear. Oh, she had never truly voiced it to him, but in all the months that they had spent together…lived together…loved together, he had easily learned to read between the lines that was the book of Jennifer Jareau. And he had known that she was positively wary of his reputation for chasing other women, which he had attempted to overcome at every juncture.
But he had honestly and truly believed that he had proven to her his faithfulness…his love for her and her alone. From the first moment he had laid eyes on the beautiful blonde, he had been enamored with her very being. He had left the Bureau that night only to awaken from his dreams…dreams filled with her. And slowly but surely, he had taken every possible step to find a way to make the first move into Jennifer Jareau's life.
And what a move it had been. Lost in his thoughts, Dave let his mind wander back in time as he remembered the very first time he had convinced the beauty to take a chance on him…on them. It had been an event much like this one, a political function where they each were forced to make an appearance in order to satisfy the powers that be. But for them…together as a couple…it had been much more. It had been the start of something amazing….wonderful…life changing.
But life changing was not always a welcome thing, as he soon found out.