Emily knows her first stop should be Hotch's office. So she of course goes to JJ's office instead. She knocks lightly on the door.
"Come in," JJ says without her usual chirpiness.
"Hi," Emily greets her nervously. JJ sits back in her chair, her face an unreadable mask. "Gee, I thought I was the only one to pull that face off." JJ just raises an eyebrow. Emily closes the door and stares into JJ's eyes. "I'm an ass, Jen. I swore if I made it out of your office I would be open with everyone and the first chance that I could be open I run. And it was from you I was running! How dumb is that? You know more about me than anyone in my life. I want you to know even more. And still I ran. I swear I am trying to get better if you can see it in your heart to be patient with me. And to start, I plan to give everyone a copy of my goodbye note. They need to know how I feel about them. And I want to continue to learn how to open up to you and to them to everyone. So, um, I think that's about it. For now. About that at least."
Emily stares at JJ, still unable to read what's going on in the liaison's mind. JJ leans forward on the desk.
"Is that all you're going to show them?"
Emily steps closer. "I'd also like to show them your engagement ring. If you'll still have me?"
JJ sees the flicker of doubt in Emily's eyes. She stands and moves around the desk. "If you ever push me away like that again, ever run out of the house with barely a word to me like you did this morning, I will have Garcia erase your existence. Got it?"
Emily smiles. "Got it."
The two share a deep kiss and firm hug. As it ends, JJ removes her necklace and slides the ring off. She hands it to Emily who slips it back on JJ's finger. Emily raises the hand up and places a kiss on it. "I love you, Jen."
"I love you, too. Tell Hotch we need a meeting in 5. I'll make copies of this," she takes the goodbye note from Emily's pocket.
"Okay." Emily turns to go, then turns back. "Uh, on everyone's copy but Reid's can you cross off—"
JJ starts to laugh. "Oh, hell no! I want everyone to know you really, truly are a nerd!"
"You're a cruel, cruel woman, Jennifer Jareau."
JJ's laughter follows Emily down the hall. Em taps on the door to Hotch's office.
"Prentiss. All good?"
"Yep. You should have the official clearance later today."
"Good. Anything else?"
"Yeah, JJ needs us all in the conference room in 5."
Hotch nods. "Okay. Let everyone know."
Emily nods and heads down to her desk. She sees Morgan, Rossi, and Reid gathered in the break room. By the time they had gotten back to Quantico on Friday Emily had been gone. Morgan is the first to see her.
"Hey, Trouble, how you doing?"
Emily smiles at him. "I'm good, Morgan. Really good." She takes the time to look each man in the eyes. "Thank you all for what you did. I knew you all wouldn't give up until you solved it or, well, you know. I was glad to have you out there for me."
Rossi pats her on the shoulder. "We were glad to do it."
"And we know you'd have worked just as hard if we'd been the one in the office," Reid states sincerely.
"You know it," Emily agrees. She glances at her watch. "Look, Jayje needs us in the conference room right about now."
The men nod and follow her to the round table room. They greet JJ, who stands near the plasma TV holding several file folders. Instead of taking her regular seat, Emily stands up beside JJ. Garcia and Hotch enter a moment later, the unit chief closing the door."
"So, is this a new case?" He asks JJ.
"Actually," JJ grins at Emily, "I'd say it's more like the last chapter to the last case."
"Oh?" Hotch questions with a raised eyebrow.
JJ steps to the side and Emily steps forward. She takes a second to gather her thoughts and looks at each person at the table. "We've all been in some pretty ugly situations. But I don't think I've ever been as scared as I was last week." She sees the shocked look in several sets of eyes at that admission. "I knew in my heart that if any team could get me out of that mess it was you. And I knew that, as my family, you would be fighting for me until time ran out." She can't stop the tears that well up in her eyes. "You didn't let me down. You were as amazing as always."
"You were worth fighting for, Princess," Garcia offers. Emily smiles at her.
"Thanks. I know I tend to hide my emotions and feelings from you." She glances at JJ. "All of you." She looks back to the others. "But in that room I made a deal of sorts with myself. If I got out of there I'd do my best to be more open with you. As time wound down and things looked, well, looked bad, I wrote essentially my goodbyes to each of you." She watches as they all glance at each other. "I was mad that I never said these things to you so I want to make sure you know how I feel. JJ?"
At that, JJ passes out the folders to everyone. As Emily expected, they read the note through once, then went back and read their portion again. Emily nervously shifts from one foot to the other waiting for a response from someone. Reid is the first one to stand. He walks up and pulls Emily into a hug.
"You've always been there for me, Emily. I wasn't going to give you up without a fight."
She gets hugs from Garcia and Morgan next. Rossi walks up, a sly grin on his face. "Does this mean I don't get the wine?"
Emily laughs, "Uh, maybe I'll let you choose a bottle or two from my collection."
Rossi nods, "Molto bene!" He pulls her into a hug.
Finally Hotch stands and looks into Emily's eyes. "Emily…the fund…"
"Already set up. Just hadn't told you about it. And no, it's not going away so don't even ask."
Hotch manages a rare grin. "Thank you." And he gives her an even rarer hug.
As he steps back, JJ moves up beside Emily. They clasp hands. "There is one more thing you all need to know." All look at JJ, wondering about a certain part of Emily's goodbye to the liaison. JJ smiles at them. "Tell them, Emily."
Emily smiles. "JJ has agreed to be my old ball and chain."
Everyone erupts in cheers as JJ slaps Emily on the shoulder. JJ brings her left hand up. She had turned the ring upside down so the diamond was concealed by her palm. As she unveils the rock, Garcia squeals in delight. Derek punches Emily lightly on the shoulder.
"Nice one, Slick."
"Wow, I bet that left a heck of a crater when it landed," Rossi jokes.
"Actually, diamonds don't come from meteors. They are made when—"
"REID!" four different people say to stop the drawn out explanation about where diamonds come from. He just chuckles and steps back nervously.
Hotch is the last person to congratulate the engaged couple. "I'd say you two went through a trial by fire last week and have proven your personal relationship will not adversely affect this team. I hope that continues to be the case. If not, I will make sure one of you is reassigned as Straus' personal assistant." He cracks another grin as everyone laughs at the threat. "Now, I hate to be the big stick in the mud, but I do believe we have some work to do."
The group slowly leaves the conference room until only Emily and JJ remain. JJ wraps her arms around Emily's waist.
"Are you okay?"
"Better than okay. You do realize I'm not completely cured of my issues, right?"
"I know. You do realize I'm not going to let you build up walls without a fight, right?"
"I know. Thank you, Jennifer."
"Any time, Emily. Any time."
The two share a kiss, then head out to get started on another week at the BAU.