Chapter 14 - Approval in All Forms
The weekend came and went, and JJ found herself unable to stop grinning even as she stepped off the elevator at the BAU and walked into the bullpen.
Of course, her smile did not go unnoticed by several people, but at that moment she could honestly say that she didn't care. It had been a long time since she'd found anyone like Aaron Hotchner, and now that she had the man in her grasp, she was not going to let him go.
Oblivious to the look that was exchanged between Prentiss, Rossi and Morgan, she leisurely ambled her way to her office, coffee in hand, her thoughts still focused on the kiss.
In silent agreement between the three other agents, Derek stood from his desk and walked up to her office, casually leaning in the doorway, and rapped on the doorframe, trying to catch her attention, but she didn't look up.
"JJ," he said in a sing-song voice, and her eyes suddenly snapped up and he withheld the grin that wanted to surface at her surprised, deer-in-headlights look at seeing him in her office. It was amusing, and what was even more amusing was the fact that her shirt wasn't even properly buttoned. Her head was certainly somewhere else today.
"Derek? Hey, what do you need?" she said, absently moving papers around on her desk, trying to hide the fact that she was barely aware of his presence.
Letting out a small chuckle at the sight, he slid his hands into his pockets, still leaning against the doorframe and just shook his head.
"Man, girl…you've got it bad, don't ya?"
The blonde shook her head, her expression one of confusion.
"I don't know what you're talking about…"
His smile softened somewhat, and he then stepped fully inside her office, closing the door behind him, knowing that this was the only way he was going to get her to tell him anything about what had happened that weekend that had made her so happy.
JJ gave him another confused look, and his mocking smile turned soft, his eyes softening slightly as well.
"JJ…it's obvious you're happy. I just want to know why," he said softly, and then he added, "But I have a feeling it has to deal with a certain Unit Chief..."
At his words, he watched as a faint blush crept onto her cheeks. She ducked her head slightly, avoiding his gaze, and he waited for several long moments before she finally lifted her head and looked him square in the eyes and said,
"Yeah, it kinda does." She then paused and he watched as she looked back down towards her hands in her lap where she was twisting her fingers around nervously, and then she finally said, in voice that was barely audible, "He kissed me."
At hearing that, a broad grin crossed his mouth and he let out a quiet incredulous laugh.
"Really, JJ?" She nodded. "Well, then…good for him. I'm glad he's finally showing you how he feels."
At that, JJ's blush returned, and Derek smiled at her good-naturedly and then pulled his hands out of his pockets, walked around her desk, sat on the edge of it, and then placed his hand over hers, giving her a small, reassuring grin in the way that only Derek Morgan could.
"Good for both of you," he said, his voice soft, and she looked up at him at hearing his words.
"Thank you, Derek…you have no idea how much this means to me. Having your support…well, it means a lot."
He just nodded, and then slowly stood back up, removing his hand from both of hers and then walked back to the door. But just before opening it, he turned his head slightly and said…
"You two both deserve to be happy, JJ. I'm glad you could find it with each other."
And with that parting statement, he walked out the door, leaving her door open wide enough for her to see knowing smiles on both Rossi's and Prentiss's faces. Reid had just walked into the bullpen and JJ couldn't help but laugh to herself at the look of confusion that crossed his face at the other agents' smiles and his question of, "What? Is there something on my back, again? Damn, Carter…"
She then watched as he attempted to get rid of a sign on his back that wasn't even there, and then Morgan walked over to him, clasping a firm arm around the young profiler's shoulders and just shook his head.
"No, Reid," JJ heard him say. "We're just happy to see you, that's all…"
Morgan then looked back up to JJ's office and gave her a small wink and she gave him a nod in return.
Seeing the team's reassuring smiles was all that she needed to feel complete relief from anxiety she might have had about telling them about her and Hotch…Aaron, she corrected in her mind. They supported it, and that was all that really mattered.
Feeling impulsive, however, she stepped out of her office and walked down to Aaron's, ignoring the slightly suggestive look that Prentiss cast in her direction as she knocked on his door, rolling her eyes in response to the glance.
"Come in," she heard him say, and she quickly stepped in, closing the door behind her, and JJ was pleased when she saw his eyes light up when he saw her.
"Hey," he said in a soft voice, one he usually only used outside the office. "What brings you down here so soon?"
She slowly walked into the room, and was surprised when he stood from his chair and positioned himself so that he was leaning against his desk in a casual manner, arms crossed casually in front of his chest.
Feeling almost paranoid, she glanced to the windows of his office that looked out into the bullpen, but inwardly sighed in relief when she saw that they were firmly closed. Hotch, seeing her glance to the windows, let out a small chuckle.
"What? You think I'd let them see anything?"
She let out a breathy nervous laugh, and then gave him a small shrug of her shoulders.
"No, of course not…the thing is," she said, pressing on, "I just wanted to tell you that Morgan knows…actually, the whole team knows," she amended. "Besides Reid, of course, but that's not the point. The point is….he approves. And, I think Rossi and Prentiss do, too."
At hearing this, he leaned back slightly and then let out a small sigh.
"Not surprised about Dave, or Emily, for that matter…" He then paused, taking in a deep breath, and then said, "But, I have to admit, I was worried about Derek."
She looked at him in surprise, and he quickly explained.
"He's the one who's usually the most worried about team dynamics and effectiveness…" She gave him a look, an eyebrow raised. "Besides me, of course," he quickly amended, and a faint smile crossed the corner of her mouth.
He slowly stood from his leaning position, and walked towards her, his hands in his pockets.
"JJ," he said softly, and she felt her heart jump slightly at the intimate and low tone that she remembered from the night that they…they'd kissed.
Slowly, because her eyes had dropped as he'd approached, she lifted her eyes to his and found herself filled with some great feeling as she looked into the eyes of the man that was her Unit Chief, her best friend…and now, something more.
A smile crossed the corner of his lips and she was shocked as he leaned down and pressed a chaste kiss to her lips that was warm and soft and all too brief.
He gently pulled away and then noted the look of shock in her eyes and let out a small chuckle.
"Have a great day," was all he said before walking over to his door and opening it for her, showing her out.
In a slight daze, she left his office and stopped as soon as she'd walked outside of it, and stared dumbly at the Unit Chief's closed door, trying to figure out what had just happened. What had just happened? She tried to figure it out, but could not seem to come to any logical conclusion.
Vaguely realizing that the team was staring at her, she forced herself to walk back to her office, going on automatic, closing her own office door behind her and then leaning against it for a moment, before heading to desk and sitting down.
Aaron Hotchner was a very confusing man…but, she thought to herself, he's worth every second.