The first thing Emily becomes aware of is an annoying beeping noise. "What kind of alarm clock is that?"She wonders. She then realizes she is cold. Colder than she has ever been in her life. Her mouth aches as her teeth chatter uncontrollably. She hears a strange voice.
"Keep the I.V. warm. Anything to get her temperature back up."
"Temperature? I.V.? Who's hurt?" Emily wonders. She tries to open her eyes to see but they are too heavy. "Why am I so tired? And why won't someone turn off that damn alarm?"
Sounds fade around her as Emily drops back down into the void.
The next time Emily starts to come around again she remembers what has happened. She struggles to open her eyes. She feels a hand on her cheek.
"Come on, Em. That's it, baby, open your eyes for me. Let me see those gorgeous brown eyes of yours."
"J—Jen," Emily croaks, her eyes still closed.
"Yes, baby, it's me. Come on and wake up for me."
This time Emily manages to get her eyes open. She sees JJ's worried eyes staring down at her.
"M—Mar—Mar—," she fights to ask.
"Marielle Rogers will be fine," JJ answers. She tucks a lock of hair behind Emily's ear. "You saved her." Emily is exhausted. She can only nod. "Do you remember what happened?"
JJ's smile broadens. "Yes, baby, that's right. Oh, God, you're really back with us. We've been terrified."
Emily frowns. "H—how long?"
"You've been in and out for 3 days. They had never seen someone so cold make it before." JJ leans forward and kisses Emily's forehead. "We told them they'd never met anyone as stubborn as you." Emily gives a small smile. "In addition to the cold, your right ankle is broken. You've got 3 broken ribs. And more cuts and bruises than I've ever seen before. But the cold was their biggest fear. They were worried that…that…" she chokes off as tears well up in her eyes.
Emily tries to reach out to JJ but notices for the first time that she is completely tucked in. "Jen…I'm…'kay. Don'…cry."
JJ leans down, her forehead on Emily's. "When I realized you were in the river I wanted to throttle you. You didn't need to come out so injured to make me change my mind, you know."
Emily smiles. She moves her head enough to bring her lips to JJ's. They share a chaste kiss that warms Emily more than any of the medical gear surrounding her. "Love you, Jen."
"I love you, too, Emily." Emily's eyes close, her body still too tired to stay awake long. JJ caresses Emily's face. "You are the bravest, craziest, most wonderful woman I've ever met. And you may just be the death of me, Emily Prentiss," JJ says to her sleeping lover. "But I wouldn't trade you for anything."
Two days later JJ and Emily are boarding a commercial flight, the team having had to return to Quantico before Emily had awakened. Emily had upgraded the FBI standard coach tickets to first class, claiming there was no way she was going coach with her injuries. They are not in the air long when Emily falls back asleep, her head on JJ's shoulder. JJ holds her lover's hand, the entire flight, too aware of how close she came to losing her.
When they arrive at Dulles International they are surprised to see Derek Morgan bringing the wheelchair on the plane for Emily. He glares at Emily.
"I flashed my badge to be allowed to do this so I can dump your butt on the ground for scaring the crap out of me."
Emily smiles up at him. "I love you, too, Derek."
He walks over and kneels down beside her. "You scared the hell out of me, Prentiss. Let's not do that again, okay?"
She takes his hand. "I'll do my best, Morgan."
JJ and Morgan get Emily situated in the wheelchair. When they arrive at baggage claim Emily smiles as she sees her entire BAU family, Sandy and Henry, and, to her surprise, her mother waiting for them. Henry starts bouncing in Sandy's arms and JJ races forward to take him, peppering his face with kisses as he giggles happily.
Elizabeth Prentiss steps to her daughter and kneels down in front of her. "You have a family to think about, Emily. Please leave the cliff diving to the professionals."
Emily is shocked that her mother made a joke. "I promise, Mother, no more cliff diving if I can help it."
"I guess I will have to accept that. Now, let's get you home."
Emily just nods, then thinks about her condo…and the stairs she'll have to take. "Oh. Damn. I guess I'll be sleeping on the couch for a while."
JJ turns and smiles at her. "Not that you don't deserve to after scaring us like you did but we've got something else in mind."
Emily raises an eyebrow. "Oh? What do you mean by 'we'?"
Looks are exchanged among everyone standing there. Emily sighs nervously. "Why do I think I have been ganged up on?"
Garcia steps forward and gives her a hug. "Because you are still a bad-ass profiler even if you are a little bruised up."
Emily laughs. "Okay. Well, let's get going."
Forty-five minutes later, Emily is staring out at a large house with a nice yard about 30 minutes from Quantico. "What's this?"
Her mother reaches over and squeezes Emily's hand. "Your engagement gift from me."
Emily's eyed widen. "What?" she screams and immediately regrets it as it jars her broken ribs. Holding her chest she tries to choke out some questions. "Mother…what…how?
"Henry is getting bigger and needs a nice yard to play in. Plus once you and JJ decide to have more kids you'll need the extra space," the ambassador answers.
"More…kids?" Emily squeaks.
"Oh, yes. Sandy and I agree we'd love to have 3 or 4 grandkids. And with you both being women you can pop them out even faster than most families. This is perfect!"
Emily stares at her mother as if she's grown a second head. She slowly turns and looks at JJ.
"Am I dead? Is this some sort of weird afterlife thing?"
JJ shakes her head. "Nope." JJ lets Emily panic a second longer then starts to laugh. "Actually, it's just a rental. You'll be in a leg cast another 5 weeks so this is just temporary until you're back in one piece."
"You are a sick, cruel woman, Jennifer Jareau," Emily mutters as everyone laughs at her.
As Morgan begins to wheel Emily into the house, the profiler hears her mother's voice.
"Sandy and I weren't kidding about the grandkids, Emily."
Emily shudders. "I still think she's been taken over by a pod person."
JJ laughs and rubs Emily's shoulder as they head into the house to continue the healing process.
A/N: Thank you all for your reviews and following notices. I am so glad you all have been enjoying my stories and I hope I have done justice to the cast and writers of Criminal Minds. They have created characters so wonderful it is fun to play with them a little and see what trouble I can get them into. :o)
Also, I did some online research into Denali National Park but still took a few liberties with the Nenana River. No offense intended I just had to make it work for my story.