A/N: this starts out a couple months after "Don't Mess With Exes." The wedding is fast approaching! Hopefully our BAU agents can stay out of trouble. But probably not. ;o)
Just a warning, my vacation is over and I'm back to work this week. May not be able to post as much but will try my best. Luckily my job entails a lot of driving around and time to think up ways to play with the cast of Criminal Minds.
"TOUCHDOWN! YES!" Jennifer Jareau leaps up and down in the luxury box at FedEx Field. She is high-fiving all the people crowded up at the windows as the Redskins take on their NFC East foes the New York Giants. She starts to rehash the play with a couple of the guys up there as they watch the in-suite TV screen showing the instant replays.
Leaning against the wall at the back of the box, Emily Prentiss just smiles and sips her wine. Her mother stands beside her, chuckling.
"She really loves football, doesn't she?"
"Mother, our wedding was planned around the Redskins bye week. What do you think?" Emily jokes.
They watch as JJ and the men up front gather around the window for the ensuing kick off. Elizabeth glances at Emily.
"You know those men are all dying to ask her out," she states.
Emily smiles smugly. "Yep. But she's mine and I know it."
Elizabeth nudges her daughter's arm. "Now, now, Emily, conceit is not ladylike."
"Pfft…when have I ever been ladylike, Mother?" Emily laughs.
Elizabeth pretends to think about it. "Well, there was that time when you were 4…"
"My point exactly." Emily takes another sip of wine.
"Are you getting nervous?" Elizabeth asks.
"About what?" Emily responds, confused.
"Your wedding! I remember being a nervous wreck before I married your father."
Emily turns and looks at her mother. "Really? You are always so…so controlled. I figured it was just another appointment to keep for you."
Elizabeth smiles. "To anyone looking it was just another day for me. But inside I was all butterflies. I wanted it to be perfect."
"Why?" Elizabeth echoes. Emily nods. Elizabeth considers her answer for a moment. "Well, because I had always had this image in my head of just how the day would go and I had done everything I could to make it so. But at some point I had to put it in somebody else's hands and trust it would all happen. I'm not very good at trusting others."
Emily nods, looking at her mother sympathetically. "That's really sad, Mom. I hope…I hope that's changed for you."
Elizabeth takes Emily's hand and squeezes. "I'm trying to change it, Emily. I really am. And I think it's helped getting to know the Jareau's. They really don't care about the whole 'Prentiss' thing. It's really quite refreshing."
Emily chuckles. "I know what you mean. They accepted me with open arms. And even after…" her face darkens a bit, "…after Weston…they still love me. Did I tell you that Alan said he already considers me his daughter?" Emily's eyes glisten with tears.
Elizabeth smiles and rubs her arm. "Yes. He told me, too. He's a wonderful man. I wish your father could have been like him."
The two watch JJ for a couple minutes. After a sip of wine, Emily glances at her mother. "Do you ever talk to Dad?" Emily asks softly.
Elizabeth shrugs. "Only if I have to. Emily, I cared for your father. Part of me always will because I have you. But I never loved him the way you love Jennifer. I'm glad you refused all our attempts to set you up with men from the so-called right families. Even if you had been straight I have a feeling you'd be marrying a man just like Jennifer."
Emily looks back down at the blonde, who is again discussing play strategy with a couple of guys. She smiles, a wave a love washing over her. "Trust me, Mom: there is no one like Jennifer."
Elizabeth gives Emily a hug. "I know, dear. I know. Come on let's top off our wine glasses. Can't let all this free stuff go to waste."
Emily chuckles and follows her mother over to the wet bar in the suite. At half time, JJ drops down into a seat beside Emily.
"This game is awesome! They are actually winning!"
Emily smiles at JJ. "Maybe you're their good luck charm."
"Maybe I am. Thank you for this, Elizabeth. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying the game and the box and, well, everything," JJ says sincerely. The media liaison had been beyond excited when Elizabeth had offered a chance to watch the game from the box of an old friend.
"My pleasure, JJ," Elizabeth responds, patting JJ's hand. "I think this is the first time I've had fun at one of these games and it's because of how happy you are."
"Thank you," JJ smiles. She then leans forward and gives Emily a quick kiss. "I need food now."
She gets up and heads over to fill a plate. Emily looks over at some of the guys who had been drooling over JJ. She winks and gives them an "eat your heart out" look. Disappointed, they turn and walk away.
"Emily, that look was down right cruel." Elizabeth leans towards her and winks conspiratorially. "I loved it!"
Emily and Elizabeth are still laughing when JJ returns. The three women eat and chat until the second half is ready to begin. JJ grabs another beer and heads back to her spot at the window. Emily was content to just watch her but someone steps in front of her. She hears her mother's intake of breath. Emily looks up and pales.