JJ was trying to familiarize herself with the case of a man executed on death row, whose MO had suddenly appeared again. The people in town were scared. There was talk of ghosts. There were other cases, but this one screamed urgent.
The jet was quiet. Morgan and Hotch were driving back to Quantico, because Hotch wasn't cleared to fly. Reid and Rossi were asleep, and Garcia had been quiet all flight after Morgan's stunt with the ambulance. JJ guessed it would take a while for Garcia's heart rate to return to normal.
It would take a while for all of them. It didn't escape her that it could just as easily have been her almost killed in an attack as Hotch. Kate didn't make it. It could have been her. JJ wasn't naive. She knew the job. She knew the risks. She still chose it, though. What kind of person did that make her? To be so cavalier about a decision? She sighed, feeling exhausted, but too anxious to sleep. The idea of a guy back from the dead, killing people was just too weird.
JJ was doing her best to focus, when a strange sensation hit her.
"Holy shit..." she breathed, glancing down at her expanding belly. "Oh, holy shit..." Sometimes, she forgot she was pregnant. It still felt like a dream. Like something that couldn't possibly be happening to her. Even as she had to get used to wedging her ever-expanding girth behind the tiny tables on the jet.
The forgetfulness made getting kicked for the first time a truly frightening experience.
"JJ. You okay?" Emily called quietly.
But JJ was distracted, softly talking to the baby inside her. "Don't do that, okay?" she laughed. "Not when Mommy's reading about ghosts. It freaks me out."
"What are you two discussing?" Emily asked, coming to sit across from JJ. She tried to ignore the twinge of envy. The pang of regret, when she looked at her friend's growing abdomen. If things had gone differently, Emily could be a mother now. As it was, there remained no chance of her ever conceiving.
"He kicked me!" JJ exclaimed in a low voice, still looking shocked and more than a little pale. "I'm reading about this totally creepy case and then...he kicked me. I didn't even know he could kick..."
"I didn't know he was a he..." Emily mused.
"I don't either, not for sure. Just a feeling."
"All right. Well, I'm gonna get some sleep. Don't scare your mom," Emily said. She slipped into a sweet maternal tone JJ had never heard as she scolded JJ's unborn baby.
"I think I'll turn in, too," JJ yawned. "Pregnancy's turning my brain to mush. I can't focus on anything..."
"Night," Emily said, curling against the window.
Amazingly, the couch was free, so JJ gratefully sprawled on it. Almost instantly, she felt herself drifting off. Just then, she felt a tiny hand probing her from within. Her breath caught.
"Love you," she whispered, placing her own hand over the tiny one inside her.