A.N. - I had just finished watching the episode where Haley died and had started the next episode when this idea came to me. It's ANGST all the way, but I felt inspired to write it. Please enjoy!


I Want, But I Can't

He remembered walking out of the conference room, getting onto the elevator, heading back to the BAU bullpen and up to their meeting room…

And he'd seen the team with Jack.

But, for some unknown reason, his eyes and thoughts had strayed directly to JJ.

Maybe, he reasoned to himself, maybe it was because of what Haley had told him. Of how she had told him to love again, to show their son that love still existed in the world…he couldn't think of anyone else who showed that quality more than JJ.

Her eyes had caught his, as did everyone else's, but his thoughts remained firmly fixed on her.

He had then scooped Jack up into his arms and let himself be surrounded by the love and support of his team. Where would he be without them?

But still…his thoughts went to her.

And what had followed three weeks later had not be planned, it had not been scripted.

She was with someone else, she had a son with someone else, and yet she had comforted him in a way that he had needed so desperately on that one night. He knew that had she not been there, he might not have made it through the pain.

Even though Jack was alive, the guilt over Haley's death seemed to be like an acid that was eating him from the inside out.

And then she had knocked on his door, a bag of cookies in her hand for both him and Jack.

He had invited her in…

…and things had spiraled out of control from there.

Every piece of that night was etched into his memory like a tattoo on his skin, and he knew that it would always seem as fresh in his mind as if it had happened only hours before. Every look and movement that had let up to the act was burned into his skull.

The feel of clothes sliding off, of fingers pulling at buttons and tugging at seams, of skin meeting skin in the most silent of acts but the most passionate of moments in his life.

Her beneath him, her above him, her completely surrounding him in every way possible…

His solace in the time of emotional turmoil.

His grace.

He remembered weeping at the emotions that had overwhelmed him, and he remembered her taking him into her arms and simply holding him in the aftermath, whispering soft reassurances of love and devotion into his ear.

And he knew that she had meant every single word that she'd said.

And it was killing him.

To have the knowledge, carnally and emotionally, that she was dedicated to him and always would be, was torturous. Because it meant that they both knew that she was with someone she didn't love…someone she could never love…and could do nothing about it.

Their hands were tied either way, to tell the truth of the situation.

Even if the father of her son wasn't in the picture, they were still colleagues, and he her superior.

They were damned.

He would give anything to be the one waking up to her every morning, to be the one who held her when she went to sleep at night. He wanted to be in her heart and in her home, and he wanted even more just to be with her.

But, as it all stood…he couldn't. They couldn't.

The closest they could ever come would be lingering glances when no one noticed.

Sitting next to each other whenever they could, but not too often for fear of alerting their fellow profilers.

But, his most treasured moments occurred on the jet, after everyone else had fallen asleep and they were the only two awake. During those stolen seconds they could sit as close as they wanted to, and place a hand over the other's in a silent attempt to reassure and reaffirm what they knew to be true.

That they would always, forever, be dedicated to no other person, and that their heart was in the other's hand.

And that they would both want…but they never could.


THE END