Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds nor do I intend to. Although, if I could have AJ/JJ and maybe TG/Hotch, that would be beyond awesome. (I know I can't, just… let me delude myself for a little bit longer.)

A/N: This was going to be a chapter in Rise From the Ashes, but I seem to have stalled on that. There's one chapter I just can't get past and as a result have worked on later chapters like this one. Then I figured that this could work by itself, so here it is. It's essentially a chronicle of JJ/Hotch friendship moments.

JJ/Hotch is my OTFP: one true friendship pairing (if that even makes sense). There are a couple of scenes in which Hotch may seem uncharacteristically light, but I justify it by (1) the fact that Hotch definitely smiled more in the earlier seasons, and (2) if anyone can make Hotch smile, it's JJ (even if Hotch says it's gas).

Also, there are a lot of references to how young JJ looks. Please don't tell me I'm the only one that sometimes thinks she has a baby face… right? Anyone? And that picture of AJ standing next to the Simon figure (Alvin and the Chipmunks)? She looks like a teenager. It's not right. It's like she's found the fountain of youth and decided not to share it.

There's also a brief mention of Megan Reeves for you Numb3rs fans out there.

"You're kidding me, right?"

Hotch's eyebrows furrowed. "Not that I know of."

"We have one case together, during which we fight and grudgingly make amends, and all of a sudden, you want me to join the BAU?"

"Yeah," Hotch said hesitantly knowing it really did sound ridiculous. But when he'd told Gideon about her, Gideon had said she'd make a good addition to the team.

"Right, cause that makes sense," JJ muttered under her breath. Then to Hotch, "I thought the BAU is supposed to be for the elite."

"You don't think you're elite?"

"I went through the FBI academy less than two years ago. In what universe does that qualify me as elite?"

"It didn't stop you from arguing with me," Hotch smirked.

"That's different," JJ said, crossing her arms.

"Oh?" Hotch said, eyebrows rising. "How so?"

"It just is."

"Everyone, you remember Agent Jareau from the Mindhunter case? She'll be joining our team as the Communications Liaison."

"Good to see you again, Agent Jareau," said Agent Megan Reeves, who stepped forward to shake JJ's hand.

"Likewise, and please, call me JJ."

Morgan flashed her a charming smile. "JJ it is then."

A balding, Latino man waved at her from the table. "I'm Diego Hernandez, the team's technical analyst."

JJ smiled. "Nice to meet you."

"All right, let's get started," Hotch stepped in. He saw a look of uncertainty flash across her face and gave her a reassuring smile. And with that JJ picked up the remote to start her very first briefing.

Hotch sighed as he looked at his watch. He really should've left hours ago with the rest of the team.

On his way to the elevators he noticed that JJ's office light was still on. He frowned to himself and detoured to her door.

"JJ?" Hotch simultaneously knocked and opened her door.

"Hey," she greeted, her voice laden with false normalcy.

"You're still here."

"Yeah," JJ said and gestured around her office. "There are a lot of files to go through."

"They'll still be here tomorrow," Hotch said looking at her with concern.

"What if I can't do this?" JJ asked so quietly he could've believed he'd hallucinated it.

"Do what?" he asked.

"How on Earth do I choose which case we take?" She picked up a series of files. "No matter which one of these cases I choose, we'll be saving a few people compared the tens to hundreds that are still in danger from the others. Who am I to say who lives and who dies?" Her voice had been steadily getting quieter and quieter until he had to strain to hear her. "What was I thinking? I'm only twenty-five. Why am I choosing cases for the BAU?"

"I wouldn't have asked you to join the team if I didn't think you could handle this," Hotch said kindly. "I know this job isn't easy. In fact, it's probably harder that the rest of the team's. But I also know that you're both stronger and smarter than people would give you credit for. You're the first agent I've come across whom I actually believed could handle this job."

JJ shook her head. "You think too highly of me."

"No," Hotch responded immediately. "I'm not. Tell you what: give this job some time. If you can't find a way to make it work for you, then I'll help you get into whichever branch or unit you'd rather be in. But for now, just keep giving it your best shot. Deal?"

JJ didn't say anything, but nodded in response.

He opened the door, but before walking out said, "But JJ, you're an extraordinary agent. If anyone can do this, it's you. I truly believe that."

"Thanks." JJ smiled slightly. "Good night, Hotch."

Hotch knocked on JJ's door and stuck his head in. "Hey. Everything ok?"

"Why do the local LEOs always insist on treating me like a child?"

"You need to look more…" Hotch searched for the right term. "…grown up."

"I look grown up enough, thank you very much."

"Says the person who got arrested a couple cases ago for breaking curfew and then impersonating a federal agent."

"Are you ever going to let that go?"

"The officer thought you were in high school!"

"Oh, shut up."

"Is that any way to talk to your boss?"

JJ responded in the most childish way she could think of: sticking out her tongue.

Hotch smiled, but then turned serious. "Look, you're young, the youngest on our team. You don't act like it, but you definitely look it. As you're now the face of the BAU, that can pose a bit of a problem." JJ groaned and slouched back in her chair. "So I'm sending you out with Haley."

JJ leaned forward again. "Haley as in your wife?"

"She's agreed to take you out and about, give you a mini-makeover."

"Do you think he's cute?"

JJ was thrown by the question and tried to think quickly to formulate the proper response. She was saved by Hotch.

"Haley!" exclaimed Hotch, who nearly choked on his drink.

"What? I can't ask a simple question?" She turned back to JJ. "So, Agent Jareau?"

"I-I don't know. I guess," JJ finally managed.

Haley's lips quirked up into a sly smile. "I think he likes you."

"Haley, stop." Hotch didn't think she would, but he was really hoping that she would just this once.

"I think you two would make a really cute couple."

JJ was blushing furiously.

"It's against regulations." Hotch said. If they got together, one of them would have to leave, and he'd really had enough of looking for replacement agents.

"Don't be such a killjoy, Aaron," Haley replied slapping him lightly on the arm. "What if she likes him?"

"I don't," JJ said, her coherence finally returned to her. "Not in that way, at least. Spence's cute in a little brother kind of way."

JJ let herself into Elle's house. She quickly found Hotch who was so focused on scrubbing that he didn't notice her entrance.

"Need any help?"

Hotch looked over in surprise. "No, it's all right. I got it."

JJ nodded her head, but walked over anyway and began to help.

They scrubbed in silence, until Hotch asked, "You ok?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." JJ tried to keep her tone as normal as possible, but Hotch didn't buy it.

"You don't look fine."

JJ gave him her best poker face.

Hotch relented, but only slightly. "Ok, you don't seem fine."

"It's nothing." She kept her response short, hoping that it would prevent her feelings from bubbling up.

"It's not nothing, JJ, not to you," Hotch pushed.

JJ closed her eyes and let her chin fall to her chest, one hand resting on the wall. "I just – I feel guilty about the press conference."

"Don't do that, JJ." Hotch tried to stop her.

She continued on anyway. "I know it's stupid, but press conferences are my thing, and it nearly got Elle killed."

"And Gideon shouldn't have asked for the press conference in the first place, and I shouldn't have actually let it happen. And what was everyone else thinking for going along with it?" Hotch paused and then gently continued, "If we continue like this, JJ, it'll never end. All of us would spend every moment blaming ourselves but convincing each other that they're not to blame. I know that. You know that."

"Yet here we are trying to wash away Elle's blood and our guilt," JJ said, gesturing to the wall.

"Knowing doesn't make it any easier to let go." Hotch's voice was quiet.

"No, it doesn't," JJ said equally as quietly.

"Sir, is it all right if we ask you a few questions?"

Inside the house, a dog barked, and despite her best attempts not to, JJ flinched.

"Yeah sure. Why don't you guys step inside?" the man said, already turning back into the house.

As Hotch stepped forward, he noticed that JJ remained still.

"You ok?"

"Hmm?" Though she hid it well, Hotch could tell her voice was slightly strangled. "Oh, yeah. I'm fine." And with that she stepped around him and entered the house.

Thankfully for JJ, the dog stayed in another room, the questions were short and few, the man was open and seemed honest-enough, and within a few minutes, JJ and Hotch were out the front door.

Hotch looked concernedly at JJ, but before he could ask her if she was all right, she spoke.

"Hotch," JJ said pleadingly.

"I just want to make sure you're ok."

"I'm fine," she said, but her attempts to reassure him fell flat.

"No, you're not. The team's so concerned about Reid, barely any of us have thought twice about you."

"Good," she said and got into the SVU.

"No, it's not," Hotch said, sliding into the driver's seat. "And despite all appearances to the contrary, you're not fine."

JJ sagged back into the seat, rubbing her left forearm. "I'm dealing."

Hotch quirked an eyebrow. "Really?"

"Really," JJ insisted. "Look, I'm dealing on my own, and I'm doing better. Ok? Besides, if I need to, I'll talk to you. You know that."

Hotch looked into her eyes and then relented. "Fine. But really make sure you come to me if you need help."

"Yes, Daaaad," JJ drawled, and Hotch couldn't help but just be grateful that he wasn't called Mom.

"Oh and JJ?" Hotch said before she could walk out the door.


"If Rossi gives you any problems, let me know," he said, already continuing on his paperwork.

"Problems?" JJ asked, confused.

"There's a reason the fraternization rule exists."

"Because of him?" JJ very much doubted that, but if Hotch said it…

Hotch finally looked up and gave a slight smirk. "Let's just end the details here, and you never heard any of this from me."

"No one would believe you're my biggest source for office gossip," JJ said, amused.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," Hotch said, looking back down at his paperwork.

JJ laughed and left the room.

It was another late night, and Hotch and JJ were going over case files.

"Looking these over, I've chosen the Oregon case, but I just wanted to go over the other case files with you to make sure."

"Before you do that, briefly give me your reason for choosing that case," Hotch said shutting off his phone.

JJ noticed the strange behavior but let it slide. "Each of the others I can confidently redirect to another unit and know they'll be able to handle it."

Hotch nodded his head in approval. "Good."

The next hour and half passed by in quiet discussion until JJ's phone interrupted.

JJ answered and didn't bother looking at the Called ID, assuming it was a case-related call. "Agent Jareau."

She was, however, in for a surprise. JJ pulled the phone away from her ear as Haley's voice came through loud and clear demanding to know if Hotch was still in the office. A confused JJ shot Hotch a look, looking for some sort of cue. He mouthed to her, "In an important meeting."

JJ nodded and replied to Haley, "He's in an important meeting right now. Yes, I know it's late, but – Haley, listen, I'm sure – Ok, I'm sorry. Mrs. Hotchner it is then. I'll have him call you when his meeting's finished. Yes, I'm still at the office too. Good night, Mrs. Hotchner."

JJ put her phone down and smiled sardonically. "Haley would like you to call her."

"JJ, I –" Hotch tried to explain, but JJ stopped him.

"Hotch, you don't have to."

Hotch nodded, but continued anyway, "You know Haley asked for a divorce." JJ nodded. "I just can't bring myself to sign the divorce papers."

JJ gave him a sympathetic look. "You've been together for a long time."

Hotch was silent for a moment and then whispered, "I still love her."

"And I'm sure she still loves you."

Hotch shook his head, stood, and began to pace. "I think she was having an affair."

"Sorry," JJ said quietly.

"No, I – Maybe it's my fault. She was right. I haven't been there for her or Jack. She was probably lonely."

JJ got up and walked to him. She seemed unsure of herself, but then put her hands on his shoulders. "Whatever happened – It's not your fault." She looked up at him, and blue eyes met brown. "You need to know that."

Hotch looked into her sympathetic eyes, and they stayed like that for a couple seconds before Hotch broke away.

He cleared his throat and said, "I'm sorry. This never should've come up. I'll make sure she doesn't call you again. I'll sign the papers."

"Hotch, don't. Don't sign them out of guilt, and certainly don't do it so she won't call me. Take time to think about it, and make sure that if you sign them you're doing it for you, not her. Besides," JJ smiled gently. "After dealing with annoyingly persistent press and bureaucrats, dealing with Haley is practically nothing."

Hotch couldn't help but laugh.

His expression quickly sobered. "You shouldn't have to do this for me. I feel like I'm taking advantage of your PR skills."

"You're not," JJ reassured him. "I'm just one friend helping out another."

Hotch responded with a heart-felt "thank you." He then took a deep breath and tried to switch tracks back to their original one. "I guess we should get back to these." He gestured to the case files still strewn about his office.

"I think we're done for the night, don't you?" JJ looked at her watch.

"I guess I should call Haley," Hotch sighed.

JJ gathered all the files together and said, "I'm sure that can wait 'til tomorrow. Good night, Hotch."

"Good night, JJ," he responded as she gave him a smile and walked out of his office.

"What would I do without you?" he whispered to her retreating figure.

"It doesn't help to blame yourself. You told me that." Hotch was facing away from her, but she could still see him lightly shake his head. JJ continued, "Kate's death wasn't your fault."

"I don't want to talk about it," Hotch said, turning away.

"But you'll need to," JJ insisted. "Hotch, I just want to help."

"No," Hotch spun around to face her. "Let's talk about you."

"Me?" JJ asked, eyebrows rising in confusion.

"Why didn't you tell me you're pregnant?" Hotch's tone was once again hurt.

JJ looked guilty. "The same reason I didn't tell anyone else, I guess," JJ shrugged. "I'm so used to trying to keep my personal life out of the office that I – I guess I just didn't quite wrap my head around the fact that this wasn't something that could be left out."

Hotch seemed to deflate. "I'm sorry. I didn't really mean to snap at you or make you feel guilty. I don't want to talk or even think about Kate, and I'm lashing out. I know that. I'm sorry."

"It's ok, Hotch. And just remember, when you want to talk, all of us are available to you."

"Does everyone else know you're volunteering them?"

"Of cooouuurrrse," JJ said in a tone that clearly indicated she was lying.

Hotch and JJ shared a small smile.

Then JJ's voice became serious once again. "We really are all here for you, Hotch. Just say the word when you're ready.

Hotch very much doubted that he'd want to talk, but he still gave JJ an appreciative smile and said, "Thanks, JJ. I'll let you know."

"Sure you will," JJ quipped. "Just like you always do."

"I'm not that bad," Hotch fruitlessly tried to defend himself.

"Of course you are," JJ replied. "But that's what makes you the sternest looking, yet still very cuddly teddy bear on the planet."

"I'm no teddy bear," protested Hotch, astonished at the ridiculous idea.

"Uh-huuuuh," JJ said, giving him a sly look. "I'm sure Jack would say otherwise."

"Would not."

"Would too."

"Fine… maybe he would," Hotch said, smiling.

JJ smiled back. "Feel better?" she asked gently.

Hotch nodded. "Thanks. And JJ? You'll be a great mother."

As Hotch approached JJ's hospital room, he heard quiet murmurings. He paused and considered the possibility of returning later but decided against it.

"Hi," Hotch said, softly knocking on the open door. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything."

"No, not at all," said a still-glowing JJ. "I was just trying to convince this one" – she jerked her thumb at Will – "to go home and rest."

"I just want to be here with you and Henry," Will said, looking to Hotch for support. "You understand that, right?"

"Yes, of cou–" Hotch stopped short when he caught JJ glaring at him. "Will, maybe you should go rest or something. I'll sit with JJ."

"I don't need a babysitter," JJ muttered.

"I'm just here to visit a friend," Hotch said, holding his hands up in an I-come-in-peace sort of fashion.

"All right, cher," Will said, kissing her on the cheek then making his way to the door. "I'll be back in an hour."

"You really can take longer, Will," JJ said exasperatedly. "I'm not going anywhere."

"I know," Will said, winking from the doorway. "That's why I'll be back so soon."

JJ groaned to herself as Will walked away.

"How're you feeling?" asked Hotch.

"Would you believe that I now hate that question? Or that as much as I appreciate all the love and support, I'm feeling slightly suffocated?"

Hotch smiled. "Yes and yes."

"Other than that though, I couldn't be happier. I just – Henry is – It was completely love at first sight. You know?"

"Yeah, I do," Hotch said, smiling at the memory of holding a newborn Jack.

They maintained a continuous, light conversation until, true to his word, Will showed up an hour later.

"All right then, I'll take off," Hotch said, rising from JJ's bedside.

"Thanks for coming," JJ smiled.

Hotch replied with a smile of his own before stating, "You are under strict orders to get the BAU out of your head for the time being. Understood?"

"Sir! Yes, sir!" JJ gave him a sloppy, mock salute.

Hotch responded with an equally sloppy salute to JJ and a wave to Will before walking back out to the hallway.

"Hi, Daddy," Jack said happily as Hotch opened the door.

"Hey there, buddy. Why don't you go put your toys away?" Turning to JJ and Will he said, "Thank you for looking after Jack."

"No problem," JJ patted Jack's head before he scampered off to put away his toys.

"He's a good kid," Will said, bobbing Henry up and down. "Henry had the greatest time with him." Henry happily gurgled in response.

"Daddy!" Jack called out, racing back into the room. "Can Henry stay, so we can play some more?"

"I don't know, Jack," Hotch said, looking to JJ and Will. "JJ and Will might want to take Henry home."

"Nah," Will said and JJ nodded. "We can stay."

"That is, if you're fine with it," JJ added to Hotch.

"Sure. And why don't you guys stay for dinner too, if you don't mind take out."

"Not at all."

Will noticed JJ's worried glances towards the Unit Chief and said, "I'll supervise the boys. Nothing's safe around Henry these days." He kissed JJ lightly on the check and led the children out of the room.

"I'm sorry," Hotch said almost immediately. "I didn't mean to make you stay for dinner. I just –"

"Hotch, it's ok." JJ stopped his apology. "It's ok to need a distraction from everything."

"I can't keep using you like this," he said as he led her to the kitchen.

JJ placed a hand on his arm. "You're not 'using' me, Hotch. I want to help."

"When I was making the funeral arrangements with Jessica earlier, I – I couldn't register that it was real." He scoffed, "Denial, first step of grieving. How textbook."

JJ took a good look at him. "It's ok to lose it every once in a while. Now's the perfect time."

"No," Hotch said adamantly. "I need to be strong for Jack."

"And people need to know you're human."

Hotch couldn't help but let out a short laugh. "Are you using my own words against me?"

JJ smiled. "I learn from the best."

Hotch scoffed again. "The best… I couldn't even keep my own wife from being killed."

"I know you're not going to believe me when I tell you now, but one day you'll be able to accept that you did everything you could."

"I could've taken the deal. I've been thinking about it," Hotch admitted quietly. "What if I had just taken the deal?"

"That's not you."

"But Haley would've –"

JJ took Hotch's hands in her own and said, "Hotch, look at me. You saved probably dozens of people. Yes, Haley died in their stead, and I know that if I were you – if it were me and Will – I don't know that I'd consider that worth the sacrifice. I know there's nothing I can say to make you feel better about things, to make you stop thinking about what could have been. But I also know that letting Foyet continue to kill other people wouldn't have been any easier for you."

Hotch's quiet voice nearly broke her heart. "So I was doomed from the start?"

"That's not what I'm saying, Hotch, and you know it," JJ said gently. "You still have Jack, Jessica, the team. Focus on that. Foyet's gone, and you're still here to move on. Jack's still here for you to move on with. And if you need me to be, I'll be alongside you every step of the way."

"Thank you," He said with utmost sincerity. "But you're already doing so much."

JJ shook her head. "There's no such thing as so or too much. I do whatever it takes to protect my family. That includes you. I will do everything I can to protect you from metaphorically drowning in sorrow or guilt or anything else that comes your way. Got that?"

Hotch nodded.

"Good," JJ said trying to change the mood of the room. "Now, what should we have for dinner?"

JJ sighed as she packed the last of her things into a box. She really didn't want to leave the BAU. She was contemplating sneaking out when someone knocked on the door. She had locked her office door (though, she thought to herself, it really wasn't hers anymore) to prevent people from dropping by. It really was making leaving so much harder.

She opened the door and was surprised to find Hotch standing there.

"Hey," he greeted.

"Hey," she responded and let him into the office.

He glanced around the room. "You're done packing."

"Just finished," she said and sat down.

Hotch followed suit, and they sat in comfortable silence.

Finally Hotch said, "You can't hide in here forever."

"I'm not hiding," JJ protested. Hotch gave her a penetrating gaze and she relented. "Ok, fine. Maybe I am."

She stood to get her boxes. "I hate saying goodbyes."

Hotch stood up and wrapped a surprised JJ in a hug. "I really will miss you."

JJ let herself relax into his arms and whispered, "I'll miss you too."

They awkwardly broke apart.

"And I thought I was going to have to settle for a handshake," JJ laughed and broke the awkward atmosphere.

"The blinds were open at the time. I can't let the rest of the team know I give out hugs," Hotch said with a mock sincerity.

They shared a laugh at that.

"I suppose I really should get out there." JJ's tone was resigned.

"Just remember," Hotch said gently, opening the door for her. "It's not necessarily goodbye. I will get you back."

It was a bright autumn day, and Hotch and JJ sat together on a park bench.

"The team misses you."

"I miss them."

The two of them sat silently, watching Will, Jessica, Henry, and Jack kick the soccer ball around.

"I'm still trying to get you back."

"Hotch –"

"I've been calling around, and –"

"Hotch!" JJ laid her hand on his. "I'm needed where I am."

"We need you."

JJ tried to find the right response.

"Mommy!" Henry called out. "Play!"

"Yeah, Aunt JJ!" Jack concurred. "Help us kick grown up butt!"

JJ looked to Hotch. "Am I still not considered a grown up?

Hotch smiled. "I don't know if you ever will be."

"All right! I'm coming." JJ yelled back. She turned to Hotch. "That means you have to play too."

"No fair! Having JJ is like having five more people!" Jessica mock-whined for the children's benefit.

"Hey, I'll play on your side," Hotch offered.

"Thanks, Aaron, but I don't know if you'll be enough."

"Ouch," Will said sympathetically. "Don't worry, man. I'm looking forward to your help."

"Thank you. It's nice to be appreciated."

Hotch and JJ exchanged smiles as the game began.

"How's the team doing?" JJ asked, looking around the empty diner. It was 2 AM, but it never hurt to be careful.

"They're coping the best they can," sighed Hotch.

"And you?" JJ knew it couldn't be easy for him to lie to them everyday.

"Morgan asked me who I talk to, and Rossi tried turning the tables on me."

"And?" JJ asked, curious to know what transpired.

"I have you," Hotch said simply.

JJ's lips formed a sad smile. "I'm not sure if that's a blessing or a curse."

"You went to Rossi instead of me?"

The hurt look on Hotch's face reminded JJ of the time she'd neglected to tell him she was pregnant.

"You have your hands full. Besides, it can't always be just you and me vs. the rest of the world, can it?"

Hotch's reaction was a nearly childish, petulant look. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"We need to branch out, so to speak," said JJ hesitantly.

"Branch out?" Hotch's brows furrowed.

"You know, rely more on the other members of the team rather than just each other," JJ tried to explain.

"Are you strategizing?" Hotch asked incredulously. "About our team dynamics?"

"I don't want to, Hotch. But you have to face the fact that we have to. It's about perception."

"I can't have this team run on perception. I need our dynamics, our back-and-forth to be genuine."

"I know that. But if/when Emily comes back, what do you think will happen? They may be happy that she's alive and welcome her back with open arms, but that doesn't change the fact that we lied to them. A breach of trust. It won't do the team any good to believe that you and I are always the two running things behind the scenes, pulling strings as if they're marionettes, without a single regard to what they want or feel."

"We did this for the greater good."

"I know that, and I hope they'll know that too. But that'll take time. We can shorten that time with the right preparation."

Hotch sighed. "Fine, but I don't like it."

"Neither do I," JJ conceded.

"JJ," Hotch said knocking on her office door. When he got no response, he tried the doorknob and found it unlocked. Stepping into the lit office, he saw JJ slumped over her desk. She was sound asleep.

Kneeling by her chair, so as to be eye-level with her, he gently shook her awake. "JJ, wake up."

"Hotch?" JJ asked, groggily trying to open her eyes. "Wha…?"

When he saw both of her bright blue eyes finally staring back at him, he said, "It's 8 o'clock."

"What?" JJ sat up quickly, eyes skating over the mess of paperwork on her desk.

"Will called me, told me you got called in to the Pentagon at 3."

"Part of the deal, Hotch," JJ responded distractedly as she riffled through papers. "I get to be on your team again if they can call me in when they need me."

"At 3AM?"

"Just because it's 3AM here doesn't mean it's not 3PM halfway around the world." JJ was still shuffling through papers. "Have you seen the Bradford file? I told the Director I'd have it for her this morning."

Hotch took the papers out of her hands, placed his hands on hers to still them, and looked her in the eye. "Go home. Get some sleep. There are no big cases on deck, and if something comes up, I'm sure we can survive it without you. Go home."

"Were you not listening to me? I have to finish the Bradford file and send it up to the Director."

"I'll finish the file."

"No, Hotch. You have other –"

Hotch cut her off. "Go."

JJ slowly got up and on her way to the door said, "Thanks, Hotch. What would I ever do without you?"

A/N: And as there has yet to be an end to Criminal Minds (and I hope there isn't one for a long time), I'll just end this here. Hope you've enjoyed it.