Welcome to story #31 in my AU series. :o) I'd like to first thank Darxe and the other anonymous readers who nominated me as best new artist in the Criminal Minds Authors Chit Chat forum. I am so touched you all have enjoyed these stories as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Now, this story is (again) sort of different. It touches on a real but as yet untouched part of life for FBI agents. Some have been sent overseas to help fight on the front of the war on terrorism. I hope I do justice showing the true dangers that they face alongside our service members in Afghanistan. They all have my upmost respect, admiration and thanks for the job they do.

For those that are unfamiliar with the term, "TDY" is the acronym for Temporary Duty. Enjoy!

-AR


Mack gives JJ a predatory grin that Morgan doesn't like. JJ looks back up at the woman's face.

"What are you doing here?"

"Ziva found out she's pregnant. So, since I know Pashtu, Dari and Egyptian, here I am. Like Emily, I am very good with tongues." She winks at JJ, who fights the urge to throw-up. "We'll be working veryclosely together."

JJ stiffens. "You're right. Working, Brewster. That's all. Just. Working."

Mack grins. "We'll see."

Before JJ can respond, Hotch and Andrade enter the room. Hotch pulls up short as he sees Brewster standing there.

"Agent Brewster?" he questions.

She smiles at him. "Good to see you again, Chief. I'm filling in for Ziva. She's pregnant so she can't head out into a war zone."

"I…see," he says uncomfortably. "After this meeting, you and I will need to have a chat."

She nods. "If you wish, Chief."

"I wish," he confirms.

For the next 2 hours, the four agents and 2 chiefs work up game plans for the way things will be run in Afghanistan. They agree that the NCIS agents will do the main interrogations with the FBI agents in contact via earbuds to let them know the changes in expressions and other tells that can confirm or refute statements.

When they finish, Hotch heads out of the room with Brewster following him. Though he leaves via the hallway room door, Emily sees him and Brewster. Her eyes get wide and her mouth drops open. She glares at her old nemesis, who can only smile. Emily turns towards the round table room and sees JJ standing in the doorway. Emily storms towards her.

"No. No. No. No. No. NO!" Emily says as she shuts the door.

"Yes, Em, she's the one going. The other agent got pregnant." Emily starts to pace, her face bright red. JJ reaches out to her. "Em, your blood pressure…"

"IS THROUGH THE FUCKING ROOF!" Emily screams.

JJ grabs her. "HEY! STOP! Emily, calm your ass down! You're hurting Rocky!"

Emily stops pacing as if JJ had smacked her. "Right…Rocky…but Jen…"

JJ guides Emily into a chair. "I know her game; I know her fucking obsession with besting you. It won't even be something I'm worried about." She frames Emily's face with her hands. "And you shouldn't be worried about it, either. I love you, Emily Prentiss. And you are 100 times the woman she is. She never stood a chance with me before and she sure as hell doesn't stand a chance now." She grins. "And if she doesn't take a hint, I'll shoot her in the foot to get her sent back States side."

Emily stares into JJ's eyes a minute then grins. "You really would, wouldn't you?"

"In a fucking heartbeat," JJ assures her wife.

Emily pulls JJ down into her lap…as much as Rocky will allow. "I'm sorry, Jen. Just…I am more than a little stressed about this whole thing. Seeing her here…knowing what that meant…it sort of…" her voice trails off.

"Sent you out of your mind?" JJ finishes for her. Emily nods. "Yeah, I noticed." She moves her fingers to Emily's throat. The woman's pulse is still racing. "Em, we need to check your blood pressure. You're still beet red and your pulse is racing."

Emily nods. "Yeah…okay."

JJ walks out to her desk and gets the blood pressure kit. Not to her surprise, Emily is in the red zone.

"Baby, you need to go home. This is way beyond just taking a break."

Emily stares at the read out and reluctantly agrees. JJ pulls out her cell and calls Hotch.

"Hotch, Emily's blood pressure is through the roof." She pauses as she listens. "Exactly. I'm going to run her home. Be back in about an hour." She listens. "Right. Thanks, Hotch." She hangs up and looks at her wife. "Hotch said he's explaining the way things are going to work to Brewster and for you to not worry about anything."

Emily grunts. "Did he tell you howI not worry about anything?"

JJ shakes her head. "Nope. I have a bad feeling that's something you're going to have to figure out yourself, sweetheart."

"Right. Well, let's get out of here before I see Brewster and do something to make sure she doesn't go with you."

JJ grins. "Okay. Come on, baby."


Hotch stares at Mack Brewster over his desk.

"Agent Jareau is taking Agent Prentiss home right now. Seems seeing you drove her blood pressure into the stratosphere."

Mack shrugs. "Look, Chief Hotchner, I can't help that Emily hates me. I had thought after what happened in Norfolk she could put the past behind us."

"Right. I heard your suggestive comment to Agent Jareau. In case it has escaped your notice, you're going into a hot zone. You will both need to be worried about potential danger from outside sources, not from each other. I will warn you right now: if I even get a hint that you are doing something to put her on edge, I'll get your ass yanked back to the States and will do everything in my power to see you never work for NCIS again."

She leans forward, her eyes narrowing with anger. "I don't take kindly to threats, Chief Hotchner."

He doesn't even blink. "It's not a threat, Agent Brewster."

The two stare each other down. For the first time in many years…Mack loses to a man. She sits back in her seat.

"I'm going over there to stop terrorists and protect our country." She stands, straightening her suit jacket. "Don't blame me if Agent Jareau's mind is on a brunette instead of on the job. I assure you, it won't be me she's thinking about."

Brewster turns and storms out of the office. She is furious. As far as she was concerned, Agent Jareau is fair game…unless a better game is to be had.