Monday morning the team meets for their 9 a.m. meeting. It doesn't go unnoticed that both Reid and Garcia are rather subdued. JJ puts her hand on her best friend's shoulder, stopping her before they walk into the conference room.
"Didn't go well?"
"Jayje, I even wore, like, human clothes to look uber-professional," Garcia whines with frustration. "They acted like we were fools since we couldn't tell them the exact fucking cabin where the pictures were taken. JJ, I had charts and graphs and satellite images and the records of all the dead girls and they acted like we were just…just…sickos looking to prove they had a killer in their midst."
"I know, Pen. Trust me, I know."
Garcia stares at her. "Yeah, I guess you do know. But, JJ, Reid was awesome! He didn't ramble! Didn't spew random stats. He was…was almost Hotch-like in his delivery." She leans close and whispers. "Kinda sexy, too!"
JJ's eyes widen. "Really? Spence was sexy?"
"Oh, totally! Got all up in this one's guys face. And the jerk totally deserved it because he was acting like Reid was too young to know what he was talking about and Reid just verbally let the guy have it by profiling him right there on the spot. Oh, yes…sexier than even my god of chocolate thunder!"
"Whoa! Who would have known?"
"Yeah, really! This is all part of his new attitude since Emily got back. He's turning into super-Fed!"
"Then the world is definitely tilting on its axis. Maybe everyone around us really is turning into pod people."
The two giggle and finally enter the room to get the week started. As the meeting ends, Hotch asks JJ and Garcia to stick around for a minute. Once they are alone, he closes the door.
"Garcia, as you know in July JJ will be transitioning to full profiler. We'll need to divvy up some of her duties and I've asked her input in what she thinks people can contribute. She and I both agree you can help us not only filtering cases as they come in but also actually choosing which cases we respond to."
Garcia is shocked. "Wh—wh—what? How? Why? I don't…I don't…"
JJ takes her hand. "Easy, Garcia, you're not starting today. How often do I come to you to get quick runs to help me narrow down my choices? Who helped me come up with a database that can help us filter cases easier? You can do this, Pen. I'll help you. I promise."
"But…but what if I choose the wrong case? What if someone somewhere else dies because—"
"Pen, unfortunately that's still a question I don't have an answer to. I just have to trust my gut most times. And trust Hotch, too." She gives her a supportive smile. "He still looks at me sometimes like I've lost my mind. Sometimes he's right, sometimes I am. It's just…the job."
Garcia is very uncomfortable. She looks at Hotch. "Can…can I think on this a bit?"
He nods. "Of course. But know I wouldn't have agreed with JJ if I didn't believe she was right. If there's nothing else?" The women shake their heads and he leaves.
JJ looks at her best friend. "You can do this, Pen. You are so much more a part of our cases than you know or that we give you credit for. You saved our asses more times than any of us can count. You can do it."
Garcia finally smiles. "Well…if you have that much faith in me…who am I to argue?"
JJ nods. "Exactly."
Tuesday Emily and JJ leave work just a little early. They have a lacrosse game to get to. Declan is a starting defender for his team. Francesca meets them at the school with Henry.
JJ smiles and takes the boy. "Hey, Little Man. Ready to cheer on Declan?"
"NO!" he says happily.
JJ laughs. "Are you ever going to learn the word yes?"
"NO!" he says, a mischievous glint in his eyes.
She shakes her head. "Yep, your grandmother has to be happy that you're as much an imp as I was."
They settle down to watch the game. Declan plays great! Unfortunately, his team doesn't win but Emily, JJ, Francesca and Henry still had a great time. When it ends he runs over to them, his face disappointed.
"Hi. Sorry we didn't win."
Emily pats him on the shoulder. "Dec, you played great! Just a couple of bad luck bounces made the difference. You'll get them next time."
Declan looks at Henry in surprise. The little boy is stretching his arms towards the teen. "DEEK!"
Declan's face lights up. "Hey! Henry, are you saying my name?"
JJ grins. "Yes, I believe he is."
"Cool!" Declan says proudly. Henry reaches for him. "Uh, sorry, Henry, I'm kind of dirty and sweaty. Probably not a good day for a hug."
Emily ruffles his sweaty hair. "Good call."
"Declan! Come on, son!"
Declan looks over his shoulder and nods. "That's the coach. We have to meet after games to discuss stuff. I'm really happy you all came. Can you come on Friday, too?"
"We'll try, Dec. Promise."
"And if they cannot, Henry and I will be here with bells on! This is a much exciting game!" Francesca enthuses.
"Cool! Well, thanks again. I have a Skype with Dad tomorrow. I can't wait to tell him you all came."
"Well, tell Tom we said hi," Emily says. "We'll see you next time, Dec."
Ignoring the dirty, she gives him a hug and watches him run off to join his team.
Wednesday just after 1:30 the team gathers in the conference room. JJ turns on the screen.
"Ten people in the past 7 months have been killed in the Norfolk area. Since different departments are involved they only just tied the m.o. to the 10 deaths."
"Men and women?" Reid notes.
"Yes. Different ages, different jobs, different incomes, lots of differences. But each of them was strangled with a piano wire and then their tongues were cut out. A few cases were initially sent to our Organized Crime division because they looked like potential mob or gang hits. But that has been eliminated. The locals want this guy stopped and want us to come in to see if we can figure out what they are missing."
"Full cooperation from each department?" Morgan asks.
"Yes," Hotch answers. "I made the calls myself and explained we can only do it if they let us take the lead and coordinate everything. They agreed to that as long as one officer from each department was part of our so-called task force."
"Task force? We're a profiling unit, not a task force," Emily points out.
"To keep them happy we'll use the TF designation but you're right. We do the job our way. Any problems with the locals filters directly to me. Any questions?" No one answers. "Good. We'll be taking 3 SUV's and driving." When the team groans he just rolls his eyes. "Budget cuts, guys. Deal with it. We leave in 30."
The team gathers their things and prepares to leave. As they get to the elevator Emily whispers into JJ's ear.
"At least this time we won't have to worry about phone sex."
JJ turns bright red as Emily steps on the just arriving car, laughing her butt off.
"You are a twisted, twisted woman, Agent Prentiss."
"And that's why you love me, Agent Jareau."
JJ just grins and joins her wife on the elevator. "One thing, Em?"
"Do NOT forget the ban on anchovy pizzas in the hotel room."
The door closes on Emily's laughter.