Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds and intend no copyright infringement.

~ for Socks ~

Visiting Reid had been a lot more fun before he took Sergio in. Granted, visiting Reid had been a lot more fun before the Emily/Doyle ordeal forced her to keep a secret from him, but the cat didn't exactly help.

Seeing the animal approach smoothly like a lean panther, pretty much the way Morgan would sneak towards an unsub, hopping on the sofa unabashedly like Garcia, resting its eyes on her thoughtfully like Rossi did lately and then slightly tilting its head in true Reid-fashion when he was studying a puzzling case file was downright nerve grating. "I can't tell him", JJ told Sergio emphatically. "I really can't."

"I thought you'd like it", Will said later that evening when she was back home, a little crestfallen at her expression as she unwrapped the present he had bought her. "It's Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess."

JJ did her best to look happy and grateful. But the thing looked exactly like Sergio! Not only that it was just as black as he was, the statue cat also sat exactly like he had sat in front of her during her visit at Reid's – front paws placed parallel to each other, the tail resting elegantly curved along the body, UNRELENTING STARE….

Hotch's phone rang in the middle of the night. He answered it right away. "I keep seeing Emily's cat everywhere!", JJ told him, tear-stricken and slightly choking but still keeping her voice down so neither Will nor Henry would wake up.

"That's just your mind playing tricks on you, JJ", Hotch tried to calm her. "Keeping the truth about Emily from the team is a severe burden on the conscience. The image of her cat serves as a subconscious outlet to lessen the pressure."

His explanation calmed JJ a little and she said good-night. Before Hotch turned off his bedside lamp for some more hours of staring into the darkness, he took another look at the picture Jack had painted for him today.

A black cat, sitting upright on a pillow and staring knowingly at the onlooker.