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Shut Up and Kiss Me
"There was a plan," Dave hedged uncomfortably, once again regretting every single decision he had ever made concerning this entire situation. "I didn't realize how well it would work...but, I never meant for it to be quite that bad." Seeing her merely raise an eyebrow in response, Dave shifted in his seat. Until this moment, he had never realized exactly how much JJ had in common with Sister Bertha Clarence, his high school English teacher. Both of them had the ability to render him speechless with just a single glare. "As I was saying, I don't share well...and when I heard Emily mention something about getting you back in the dating game last week, I panicked. And that got me to thinking that if I could control the circumstances of your foray back into the dating world, I might have a chance of keeping you."
A pale hand waved in the air suddenly. "Wait a minute. You were manipulating me?" JJ asked, aghast.
"I was manipulating the situation," Dave quickly corrected, shaking his head. "Not you."
"Semantics," JJ snorted, pursing her lips.
"Did I not just say thirty seconds ago that I was desperate?" Dave asked, exasperation filling his voice. "Look, honey, when I guy feels everything he's waited for...everything he's ever wanted slipping out of his grasp, he'll do anything he has to, no matter how insane, to try to keep it," he tried to explain, well aware that his words might be falling on deaf ears. But he had to try, didn't he?
"You were trying to keep me? When was I missing?" JJ asked, shaking her head, growing more confused with each passing sentence.
"You weren't," Dave replied, pausing. "Yet."
"And doing all this," JJ said, sweeping her arm out, "seemed easier than just telling me how you felt?"
"Did I mention the desperate part?" Dave grumbled, staring morosely at the salt shaker in the center of the table.
Lips twitching, JJ quickly schooled her face into a neutral mask. "Dave?"
"Yeah," Dave mumbled, keeping his eyes away from hers, afraid of what he might see.
"You still haven't told me how you feel about me," JJ pointed out evenly, not at all adverse to forcing the man to admit everything at this point. She wasn't going to risk her future and her son's happiness for anything less than the full truth.
"Do you seriously need to ask that question, Jennifer?" Dave remarked deeply, finally turning his intense gaze to hers.
"I think you seriously need to answer that question before I say anything else," JJ answered quietly, leaning forward to rest her elbows on the table, never once taking her eyes off of him.
Jesus, was she trying to rip his dignity from him, he asked himself. Hell, bearing his soul had never been something that he'd excelled at. But that's what she was asking him to do. Anything less than full disclosure wasn't going to cut it. Not anymore.
"Do I really need to say that I'm in love with you, JJ?" Dave asked gruffly.
"You do if you want me to know it," JJ replied softly, warmth growing in her chest as she met his eyes. Oh sweet Lord, she thought to herself, a sense of shock starting to overtake her. This was far more than she had ever hoped for…and she wasn't about to lose it now.
Do or die, Rossi. It was time to sink or swim...and damn he really wanted to stay afloat. "I love you," Dave said softly. "I love you and I love Henry like he was mine. And the idea of not having either one of you in my life does things like make me want to send you out on horrible blind dates just so you'll be happy to come home to me."
"You didn't need to send me anywhere to make me happy to come back home to you," JJ denied gently. "And I'm not interested in seeing, let alone dating, anybody else. I went on the stupid date because you sided with Emily and pushed me into it...not because I wanted to go. Why would I want to go anywhere when I love you?" she said simply, finally allowing herself to release the thoughts that she had held captive for so long.
"What did you say?" Dave breathed, his ears catching her last statement. Hell, she'd said it as simply as asking him to pass the salt...like it was a statement of fact that she assumed he knew instead of a startling revelation that had rocked his world.
Smiling gently, JJ leaned forward in her chair, coming nose to nose with the handsome man that had consumed her every dream for months. "I said, I love you. Do we need to look into a hearing aid for you? You seem to have a little trouble comprehending the simplest ideas lately," she teased.
"Trouble comprehending...SIMPLE IDEAS!" Dave echoed incredulously. "How the hell was I supposed to know that you loved me? You never said anything," he accused, his voice growing louder with each passing word.
"Don't play the victim, Rossi," JJ admonished lightly, grabbing their glasses and rising to move smoothly across his kitchen to the dishwasher, popping them inside. "It really doesn't suit you. It's not as though you were walking around making proclamations either."
Rising, Dave stalked toward where she stood, leaning against the dishwasher. "I don't believe you," he muttered, overwhelmed.
"Hey, don't blame me for your obstinate nature. We could have had this discussion months ago if you'd said something," JJ smiled, her eyes dancing. "Now, is there anything else you want to tell me?"
Stopping in front of her, Dave returned her smile. "You mean other than the fact that you're about ten seconds away from being stripped naked in my kitchen and we're about to find an alternate use for the stove? Can't think of a thing."
"Then may I make a suggestion, Agent Rossi," JJ asked happily, draping her arms around his shoulders as his arms slipped around her waist, pulling her flush against him.
"Anything," Dave replied, too pleased to deny her anything.
"Shut up and kiss me," JJ whispered, tugging his face to hers.
And he did. Repeatedly. For the rest of his life.