Exit Wounds – Part 01
Summary: When JJ comes back to the BAU she has to face more things then she thought, she has to face Strauss, Hotch, Seaver, the truth about what really happened to Emily Prentiss and even herself. JJ finds out the hardest wound to heal is an exit wound.
Authors Note: I hope you like this. I had a bit of writers block over the past few days and it really hit me a few hours ago. It really hurts your brain.
I really hope you like this. This is my take on how JJ came back and why she was in Strauss' office
Please let me know what you think by leaving a review :]
"People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it."
The one thought that never left Jennifer Jareau's mind when she was forced to take the job at the Pentagon was how unfair it was. But after seeing what happened to her former colleague and best friend, Emily Prentiss, she realized life was unfair. Only her and Aaron Hotchner know Emily Prentiss is somewhere in Europe right now and not buried under the ground like her former colleagues and even the world knows. All they know is that a loyal, amazing woman was buried March 7, 2011 because Ian Doyle stuck a post into her stomach. All they know is that Emily Prentiss never made it off the table, when in fact, Emily Prentiss did make it off the table, but the second she made it off the table she was no longer Emily Prentiss and could no longer be. All Ian Doyle knows is that he won and he can go about his merry way. All Jennifer Jareau knows is that she can't help Emily, or whoever she now is, because life is unfair.
Jennifer Jareau was shocked that night to get a phone call from Chief Erin Strauss, a phone call was far more sincere and more urgent then a letter in the mail which was more conditional, but this call was urgent. After JJ went back to the BAU to help out with Emily's case Strauss realized how much of a vital member JJ was. She never went through as much trouble as she did to get JJ back, how many people Strauss had to call was a never ending amount. How many 'okay's she had to get, how disappointed they were that JJ was leaving. She is one of the best media liaisons the FBI has ever had. After she worked at the BAU, any other job would be a piece of cake. Working at the Pentagon was a breeze, even though she got around the same pay, better work hours and less work that took such a huge toll on her, she still missed the BAU.
Erin Strauss never liked to admit defeat or that she was wrong. And in fact, Erin Strauss was wrong, she was wrong for ever forcing JJ to leave, but it made her look bad. Now she didn't care how bad she would look for declining the transfer and getting her back. She finally realized the team needed JJ, and JJ needed the team.
That's why Jennifer Jareau is sitting in Erin Strauss' office, biting her thumb nail nervously. Any meeting with Unit Chief Erin Strauss was always nerve-racking. Even if she was about to admit she was wrong for making Jennifer Jareau transfer in the first place.
"Jennifer," was the first thing Strauss said as she walked into her own office, arriving 5 minutes later than she should have. Strauss was never on a first name basis with anyone, except Aaron Hotchner when she was sympathizing for his wife that had past. Which made JJ understand by the way she said her name an apology was coming up.
"Ma'am." JJ said with a nod as Strauss sat down at her desk. She looked at JJ for a moment, then let out a sigh as she pulled her rolling chair forward so her legs were under the desk, she intertwined her fingers together and looked at JJ again.
"I should start by asking you if you're up to coming back to the Bureau, under the same circumstances before you left." Strauss said, JJ looked at her. "Before you were transferred." Strauss corrected herself.
"I am," JJ said with a nod. "I wasn't too happy about leaving in the first place, even though I'm sure it was under good intentions. Maybe before Emily" she paused for a moment. "passed away," she continued, hating the way it felt coming out of her mouth. "The team no longer needed me, which makes perfect sense. But after what happened to Emily, I think you decision to ask me back is a good one. Just like your other decisions." JJ told Strauss, even though she might not have entirely liked the idea of it, she knew it was true. Before Emily Prentiss passed away, the team was doing okay without her and that was a fact.
"I'm glad you understand." Strauss said as she leaned back in her chair with a piece of paper in her hand as she put her reading glasses on. "I had to make a lot of phone calls to get you into this office," she said, just so JJ would think highly of her. "Grant Frost said you were doing a phenomenal job there." Strauss read off JJ's evaluation sheet as she glanced over at JJ. "Are you positive you want to leave that job- with a small difference in pay, a 9 to 5 day, and a flexible schedule for this job?" Strauss asked, even though she knew JJ was in fact positive. JJ nodded. The difference in pay wasn't much, but she was happier at the BAU then anywhere else.
"Of course, ma'am. I am one-hundred percent positive that this is what I want to do." JJ told her with confidence, Strauss let out a sigh as she set the paper down on the desk along with her glasses as she let out a sigh.
"I just don't see why you would give up such a great opportunity- they were going to give you a raise- a little less then what you'd earn here, but it will still give you the necessities you need, even things you don't need." Strauss said, if she had a opportunity to get out and earn a couple hundred less than what she earns more and a 9 to 5 job, she'd take it, even though she makes more than a field agent and has set hours, but she's still on call, which she doesn't appreciate.
"Working at the Pentagon was a great experience, don't get me wrong... I am glad I got the experience, but it's not as rewarding as it is working here. The BAU is a completely different place, I feel like I'm in a completely different world here. At first, I liked not having to bring my work home with me every night, and it definitely didn't have such a big toll on me as working here does. But at the end of the day, I went home thinking about what I could have done to make someone happy or bring closure to someone, and I can't do that at the Pentagon. I want to work here because I want to see the smile on a families face when they get their daughter back, or the gratitude in someones eyes when we catch a killer or abductor, or whatever it may be. When I worked here, I came home with a smile on my face, knowing I helped someone. I want to feel that way again." JJ explained, Strauss let it sink in for a moment, not really knowing what to say. She let out another sigh.
"As you know, Agent Seaver is now working with the team as a Probationary Agent. Now, the team isn't going to have another Probationary Agent. You will be going back to your job as if you never left." Strauss told her. "There are case files waiting in your room." Strauss said, the corner of JJ's lips turned up slightly as she stood.
"Thank you ma'am." JJ said with a nod.
"I know I'm not going to regret this." Strauss said as she stood up with her and shook her head. "So you need to prove to me I'm right." she told her as they let go of each others hands, JJ nodded as she returned her hand back to her side. "Get to work, please." she said with a nod. JJ nodded.
"Thank you, again, ma'am." JJ said as she walked out of the office. She looked at her watch. "Wow, that's probably the earliest Strauss has ever been in here." she said as she walked down the hall towards her office. It was 8:15am, their meeting was at 8am. JJ used to come in at 8am, as opposed to 9am, when everyone else on the team shows up. Besides Hotch, who goes in fifteen minutes before everyone else, just so people thinks he's there forever. JJ smiled at her name tag that was on the door as she walked in the office, shut the door and sat on her desk. She let out a sigh of relief, it was still sort of unreal that she was back there. But she got straight to work, grabbing a pile of files from the pile behind her, she set them on her desk and got to work.
x x x
"Are you just getting in? It seems a little early for you, usually you come in around 10 or 15 minutes earlier than everyone else.." JJ said to Hotch after seeing him walk into the glass doors after taking a short break, then she went over to see him in his office, putting his things down at his desk. His door was open, otherwise she wouldn't have barged in on him. Hotch looked over at her.
"I've been coming in earlier ever since you left." he said with a small ounce of amusement in his voice that JJ could pick up. JJ smiled.
"All right, well you can now resort back to coming back 10 minutes before everyone else, because I'm back." she said with a small smile. "And I have some files for you. I was just about to make my rounds." JJ told him as she walked in and dropped a few files on his desk, Hotch looked at the files and then her.
"It's nice to work with you again," he told her, JJ smiled slightly before walking out of his office. His welcome was nicer than his goodbye, which JJ hated when it was happening. She wished he would at least touch her shoulder, that would have made a difference. JJ walked down to the bullpen and dropped files off at their desks, first Spencer Reid's, then Derek Morgan's. She paused at Emily's desk that was now vacant before she dropped files on Ashley Seaver's desk as she mumbled each of their names, as she always did.
"JJ?" she heard a familiar voice say as she turned around, she saw Spencer Reid walking over and pulling his bag from around his shoulders, dropping it down on the floor, she nodded and smiled.
"Hey," she said as she walked over to him after dropping the last of the files off onto Ashley Seaver's desk. Spencer looked at her for a moment.
"You're back?" he asked, even though the logical answer was yes because she was putting case files onto each of their desks like she always did, JJ smiled and nodded.
"Ya know, Spence, for a genius you seem to miss the obvious." she said with a small laugh as she walked past him, she lightly touched his shoulder on the way by him, then she walked over to the glass doors and opened them. On her way over to her office, she saw the elevator doors open and Ashley Seaver was making her way out, JJ walked over to her. "Hi, Ashley Seaver.." JJ wasn't quite sure on how to address her, they only met once, Ashley looked up at her and paused. "We met about a month ago when I came to help on that case," she didn't like the idea of bringing it up. "I just wanted to let you know that I'm working here again as the media liaison. If you ever need me my doors always open, but I'm usually never in there so just give me a call. I left my cell phone number on the pile of files on your desk." JJ said with a smile.
"Right," Ashley said as she nodded. "Thank you..." she paused for a moment, where they on a first name basis? She couldn't be sure by the way JJ called her Ashley Seaver as opposed to Ashley or Seaver.
"JJ," JJ said with a smile, Ashley nodded. JJ had no doubt in her mind that Ashley forgot her name, she was just bombarded with what JJ said and wasn't sure whether to call her Jennifer, Agent Jareau, Jennifer, or JJ.
"JJ, I look forward to working with you." Ashley said with a smile, causing JJ to smile and nod, she could have talked about a few more things with her, but decided she was better off leaving it at that.
"Likewise." JJ said. "I'm going to get back to work, I'll see you around 10." JJ told her before making her way back to her office, briefings used to be at 10, and she guessed that hadn't changed because Hotch didn't say anything about the time changing to her. JJ walked back to her office and continued working until 10 o'clock rolled around and she went down to the conference room to brief over a case Hotch gave her earlier.
"Well, well, do my eyes deceive me? Or is the fabulous Jennifer Jareau back in the house?" Derek Morgan asked her with a slight smirk as he got himself another cup of coffee as she walked into the conference room.
"Do my eyes deceive me? Or is the inattentive Derek Morgan actually on time to something? Early for that matter." JJ said, it was 9:55, Derek usually made his way there around 10, which got him there about a minute later because he sometimes gets distracted. The room filled with 'ooo's as Derek smiled and shook his head; he was a good sport.
"Now that we all know JJ is back, let's get on with the briefing." Hotch said, trying to hid the fact that he had smiled at the situation a mere two seconds ago. JJ nodded at him as he handed her the remote. There was no more time for joking, now she had to get down to business and present this case to the team with all the knowledge that the detective owning the case knew, and that's exactly what she was going to do.