A/N: Thank you all for coming along for another ride in my JEmily universe. In the last story, the bad guy got away and I mentioned that there was an episode of the series that let the same thing happen. The question was posed to me by several people wondering what episode I meant. It was episode 6x09 "Into the Woods" about the Appalachian Trail child killer. Maybe someday they will catch that guy.
And maybe someday my version of the team will catch Mitchell Reese. But then again…most people never notice the janitor! :o)
The plane ride home is a subdued affair. Gone is the light-hearted teasing, the jokes, the sense of a job well done. They had caught one man who probably didn't even fully understand the ramifications of his actions. But another man, the true monster, had disappeared with a final taunt to the team. Four women's families would get a semblance of justice. Another woman's family would not. At least not yet.
Emily sits in the window seat, staring out at the sky, wondering if she could have said something else. Could the public have helped if she said the right thing? What if she had used the peephole before opening the door? They might have been prepared for the bastard.
JJ snuggles up against Emily. What if she had held onto the man she had tumbled down the stairs with? Maybe this would have been over if she had been just a little stronger, better able to take the beating from the risers. What if she'd reached her gun in the hotel room? What if she'd made one more training session? She could have protected her wife and stopped a madman.
Morgan and Hotch both know they paused briefly to check on JJ. Maybe if they had trusted Reid and Rossi to see to the agent they would have caught the unsub. Maybe then Rickey wouldn't have died. They could have stopped him in the hotel and had a true, satisfying ending to this damn case.
Rossi sits staring at his computer screen. He is scanning a database of like cases, both solved and unsolved. He'd had a lot of misgivings through out the course of their investigation and knows if he just looks a little harder, a little deeper he might finally be able to shake the feeling that the answer was looking right at them.
Reid's eyes are closed. To most people they would assume he is sleeping. But the jerky movements of his hands, the rapid flickers of his eyelids tell his teammates he is shuffling the case around like giant playing cards, trying to find the right combinations to lead him to the answer they are missing. What the hell had they missed? How had a man gotten into the police station twice, disabled the security cameras twice, and not been on their radar?
Too many fucked up moments; too many lost chances; too many things left unsaid; and way too many fucking what ifs.
Needless to say, it is a grumpy, frustrated group that walks into the bullpen a few hours later. Garcia meets them. It's apparent she has also been pouring through her databases to try to find the missing link.
"Sir, I've started a program to try to find like cases. I may have to refine it some in the morning but I just can't keep my eyes open," she tells Hotch.
He nods. "We're all in the same boat, Garcia. Head home." He looks at the whole team. "I don't want anyone in here before 10 tomorrow. Debrief will be at 11."
"Beer and whiskey at noon?" Rossi adds.
The team shares a needed chuckle. After checking their inboxes and dropping a few files off, everyone heads out for the night. As JJ and Emily reach the Lexus, Emily spins JJ around and pins her to the side of the vehicle. Before JJ can react Emily is giving her a deep, passionate kiss. When it finally ends, JJ is breathless. Emily leans her forehead against her wife's.
"I love you, Jennifer Prentiss. I don't know what I'd done if he'd gotten away with you. I swear I will do my best to never let him get near you again."
JJ wraps her arms around her wife. "I love you, too, Emily Prentiss. But promise me," she caresses Emily's stomach, "you will not take any chances, not put yourself or our child in danger no matter what. Please promise me that."
Emily covers the hand on her stomach with her own. "I promise, Jen. I promise."
They get in the vehicle and head for home. They know Henry will already be asleep but they still can't wait to see him. When they walk in Francesca greets them.
"Good evening, Ladies! I am so—Oh, Jennifer! You promised no bumps or bruises, cara! Oh, my poor girl!"
JJ smiles, the love she feels from the woman warming her on this cold February night. "It's just a small bruise. It doesn't even hurt if I don't rub my face."
Francesca pulls her into a hug. "I will make you an ice pack and leave it in your bedroom. I know you want to see your little angel right now."
"Thank you, Francesca. I don't know how we got along without you," JJ gives her a kiss on the cheek.
Emily gives the nanny a hug and follows her wife upstairs. Dropping their go-bags in the hallway, they ease into Henry's room. As they look down into to the crib they both chuckle. He lies with his head and shoulders down and his little bumble up in the air. His hands are tucked in under him and his toes are turned in towards each other.
"Too freaking cute!" JJ whispers.
Emily slides out her Iphone and snaps a picture. As she puts it away she wraps her arms around JJ from behind, resting her chin on her wife's shoulder.
"He's such a treasure, Jen. Thank you for letting me be such a big part of his life. He means more to me than you'll ever know."
JJ leans back into her wife. "I know, baby. I really do know. He's your son as much as he's mine and Will's. Don't you ever doubt that."
Emily kisses JJ's cheek. "I don't. I just don't want you to think I take for granted the gift you and Will have given me."
They watch him sleep for about half an hour. Emily is more content than she feels she should be considering how the case ended, especially with the threat levied against JJ. But holding her wife, staring down at her son, praying she is pregnant, she knows everything important in her life is in that room. She doesn't even realize she is crying.
JJ feels the tear hit her cheek. She turns her head. Bringing a hand to her wife's cheek she asks with concern, "Em? Baby, what's wrong?"
Emily smiles. "Tears of joy, sweetheart. I just love you two so much. And, God, I'm trying to stay calm and cool but I really, reallywant to be pregnant. I so want to add to the love in this house."
JJ smiles. "I'm fighting to keep cool, too. I so want this for us." She kisses Emily gently. "And I really believe it will happen when it's meant to; be that now or later. And you will experience what I did with Henry. Just wait until you're 8 months along and he or she starts kicking your bladder in the middle of a budget meeting."
Emily chuckles. "Oh, no, my pregnancy will have no bad moments like that. It will be smooth and calm and complete perfection."
"Oh, really? And how do you figure that?"
Emily grins. "I'm a Prentiss and we only do things perfectly. For example, we always pick the perfect spouse."
JJ laughs. "Oooo, smooth, Prentiss. I can't even argue with you without insulting myself. Nice job. But you just remember this conversation the first time you sneeze and wet your pants!"
Emily chuckles. "Oh, hell no! Not going to happen!"
"Twenty bucks says you're wrong."
"You're on, Agent Jareau."
"Keep a twenty handy, Agent Prentiss."
Emily smiles and pulls JJ close once more. They stare at Henry a few more minutes but then both women yawn. It's time to head to bed. Entwining their fingers they head out. They roll their eyes as they see Francesca has carried their go bags to the bedroom when she brought in JJ's ice pack.
As they start to get ready for bed, JJ hears Emily gasp.
"Oh my God," the brunette exclaims.
JJ rushes into their bathroom to find Emily pale. "Baby? What's wrong?"
Emily slowly looks up at JJ. "I'm spotting."
JJ stares at her wife a moment then breaks into a big grin. "Really? Are you sure?"
Emily slowly nods. "Yeah. And it's not that time of the month. Oh, God, Jen, it could mean the egg is really taking. Which means…which means how the heck do I wait another week and a half for that blood test?"
JJ smiles and pulls her wife close. "We can do it, baby. We can make it. I'm not sure how but we can. But damn I am so fucking happy right now!"
She pulls Emily down into a deep kiss. As the kiss starts to deepen the women push away from each other at the same time.
"No sex for 2 weeks," they both say.
JJ runs a hand over her face. "Oh, that really sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks!"
"Uh, Jen, can you maybe not say 'sucks' so many times?" Emily requests with a grin.
JJ chuckles. "Uh, right. Damn. I, uh, better get a shower. A cold shower."
"Okay. And when you're done let me know so I can get some BioFreeze on your bruises. Trust me, you'll appreciate it after the case and the plane flight."
"Sounds good, baby."
Emily gets in her pajamas and gets a book out of her nightstand. She stares at the motherhood book she had been reading bits and pieces of the last few weeks. Some of it she didn't need thanks to Henry. But the early chapters on being pregnant and the changes to her body are the things she's been perusing. She bites her lower lip as she stares at it. She shakes her head and puts it away.
"Not tonight. You'll never sleep if you get too excited. And you need sleep. Henry's birthday party is Saturday and you've got family arriving tomorrow.
"Em? I'm ready," JJ calls.
Emily glances at the clock. She had been zoning out for 20 minutes. With a chuckle she heads into the bathroom to help her wife finish getting ready for bed.