Disclaimer: Criminal Minds belongs to CBS and I am only playing in their universe. This story has a femslash theme. If this is not your thing, please find another story to read.

If anyone had been watching Emily running through the brush, they would have thought she was deranged. Pulling her shirt over her head, she tucked it into the small of her back down into her pants so it would not fall out. Whipping around to glance down the main path, she could not see JJ and Rogers, but she doubled her efforts anyway. Pawing at the tape she had put around her middle, she pulled it from her skin to wrap it from wrist to elbow. She reached the rock and then heard the sound. "Damn it," she growled as she recognized it immediately as the crashing of surf.

Not one hundred yards from the ambush point was an observational platform that looked off over a cliff down to the sea below. They had been moving steadily uphill, but she had not given a thought to what might be at the end of the path. Frantically she searched the ground and found a stick. Wrapped one end of the tape around the wood, Emily wedged it into a split in the rock. She glanced down the path, and knew it was just a matter of time before they would be able to see her. Pulling back she began shredding and then weaving the tape. She only hoped there would be enough time.

JJ had tried to look for Emily, but Rogers had her held tightly to him obstructing much of her view. Her eyes had adjusted to the darkness and the nearly full moon helped. She started searching for anything along the path to help her, but nothing caught her attention. Rogers was not breathing right and was laboring more than he should. Her leg had recovered from the punch she had taken, but she played like it was still slowing her gate. She asked, "What are you going to do? If you run for it, you can get away. This is just prolonging the inevitable. They will make you play for killing Emily."

Rogers laughed and spit out harshly, "But you miss the point pretty lady, I am already dead. This shell of the man I was is just waiting to punish the rest of you." He stopped and swung her around and ran the barrel of the gun down her cheek. His destroyed face gave her what JJ thought was a look of appreciation, "The lot of you are only alive because I wish it. I could have taken you all out anytime." He yelled. Then he chuckled, "But you," he shook the gun at her, "You have been tempting me using yourself as bait." He crushed her to him in a weird type of hug. JJ shuttered. "You kept me interested by testing my resolve. Your daily runs made me feel alive. I have lost so much as punishment for allowing my brother to die." He pushed her back, keeping a vise like grip on her arm, and ripped off the bandages at his neck.

The mangled flesh was raw and angry looking even in the dark. "But you showed me, I had control of my mind. I still could think as a predator. I would track you and plot all the ways to kill you. I could taste it, you were so close at certain times." Rogers slammed her into his chest and pressed the uninjured side of his face to the top of her head. JJ swallowed down her disgust. Rogers loosen his grip just a small amount, "They will be so sorry when I take you with me to see my brother. Your people will see us just in time for us to die." he growled in satisfaction and started pulling JJ up the path again.

JJ pulled away, but Rogers seemed to be renewed by their little chat and again had her press against him. Dropping her head down a bright green strip of tape caught her eye. "Had she really seen that?" thought JJ. Then she saw another one, and her spirits soared. Emily was still with her and nearby. She had never seriously doubted it, but the evidence was reassuring. Rogers was clueless to the importance of the tape. He would think nothing of it only bits of trash or markers left by hikers. JJ gapped and then had to bury a shocked laugh in a cough as she saw a taped arrow pointing down at an "X". "Baby," she thought, "I don't know what you are planning, but I'm ready."

Emily peered down the path from atop the rock outcrop. Finally they were in her sights, and she was breathing again. She thought that she would be short on time, but they had not come, and Emily was beside herself with worry that Rogers had changed direction. Things were going to be okay now. JJ had to have seen the tape. "My girl notices everything." thought Emily proudly. Rogers still held her tight, but the element of surprise had to count for something. Emily was counting on JJ stopping the assassin on the right spot. That would give them the best chance. She tightened her grip and crouched low.

They approached the rock formation, and JJ could hear the crashing of the waves. This idiot was going to try to pull her off a cliff. JJ stiffened, coming to a stop at the thought. Rogers laughed as he pulled her to him and then for the first time pushed her in front of him. As she stumbled forward, what appeared to be a roughly drawn arrow appeared in the path ahead of her. JJ swallowed another laugh as she slowed again trying to get her adrenalin rush under control. Rogers shoved her forward again. She fell to the ground, and he roughly pulled her to her feet. He gave her more leeway as he once again shoved her forward as if daring her to run. JJ started playing to Rogers need to cause fear, moving with halting steps and jerky nervous motions. She finally saw the large "X" scratched in the dirt under the rock outcropping.

JJ darted a few steps forward moving under the rock, and then just a little past her target. She turned quickly to Rogers. She held her hands out in a pleading gesture, "Please just wait," she took a small step back, "I just need you to stop and wait." She cried taking another small step back.

Rogers leered with predator instinct flashing in his eyes. This woman feared him, as broken as he was, she was pleading for her life. She had taunted him over and over, but he had refrained. The joy at again being the hunter surged through him. This brave woman had her wish. He was taking the bait. It was almost sad to have to kill the thing that had restored his reason for living. He straightened with a growl, and took a step forward to land right on the "X." JJ smiled at him and with a sharp tone said coldly, "You should have stopped." He stared at her and then his foot was ripped out from beneath him.

Emily jumped from the rock gripping tightly to her make shift rope of duct tape. A loop of the sticky neon green material snapped around Rogers leg as it was pulled from its buried resting position up the rock face. The snapping of Rogers' knee being pulled out of its socket, and his scream of pain spurred JJ to action. She rushed the man and kicked away his gun and then kicked him for good measure. Emily who had hit the ground and rolled was on her feet. Moving up beside JJ, they grabbed Rogers, yanking his arms to a position to wrap the rope around his wrists then down to his legs where they pulled his limbs together and tied them off as well.

Emily recovered her shirt and put it on. It was pretty torn up. She had used it to ease the path of the duct tape rope sliding around the rock. She joined JJ who was sitting on the ground a good distance from Rogers. They looked at each other both still a bit stunned. They were beaten up, exhausted and overwhelmed by this whole experience. It was as if this lack of threat was too unreal for them to take in. "So we're down to the old "X" marks the spot plan." said JJ after a few quiet moments.

"Yep, it's a classic." replied Emily with a quiet grin. After a moment of silence Emily questioned, "Wait, please wait, and I need you to stop?"

"Honesty is the best policy." said JJ returning the grin.

They looked back and Rogers was thrashing around on the ground fighting against his bonds. Emily called back, "Hey Rogers please stop that. You might hurt yourself."

"Kill me! Damn you, Kill me!" He screamed in rage and continued to thrash. They had enough tape rope around his arms and legs that he was going nowhere.

"Don't think so," called JJ with a bite to her voice. "We are not like you and never will be." More softly to herself she said, "Thank God!" They sat in silence for a while longer.

Emily looked down then turned to look at JJ and said, "Do you still love me?"

JJ raised her eyebrows and looked back into Emily's eyes, "Well you didn't want to talk about that now did you." she teased.

Emily was quiet for a moment and then said, "Yep, I said that." She paused for a few more moments of silence and then cleared her throat, "But you should know that I love you too. I am so in love with you, I can't even express it properly." JJ let out a little laugh and leaned in, Emily stopped her motion, "Oh no, please don't kiss me or touch me or anything like that."

JJ looked confused and opened her mouth to ask why, but Emily interrupted, "Every time I get to kiss you I get shot at or a killer dog chases me or…." JJ grabbed Emily and kissed her between laughs as the sounds of Hotch and Rossi's voices and other voices of help started to drift through the air.

FINAL TOUCHES

The next two weeks were a blur. The D.O.D and the F.B.I did interview after interview with the team. There were intense interrogations of both Emily and JJ. The amount of paperwork involved in taking down a domestic terrorist organization was staggering. Emily and JJ had seen each other less than two hours total in the whole of the time they had returned. Both were too tired to do anything but eat and talk about the next meeting topic when they were in each other's company. Emily took over several of the general briefings to allow JJ to have an extended time with Henry.

The team was finally found to have been victims of this plot. All reviews of their actions reported that they had gone above and beyond in service to the country. Emily and JJ were given credit for the capture of the serial killer called Rogers, who it was reported that on his first appearance in court attempted to attack the judge and was killed with three shots to the head. They were also given credit for taking down a plot against the government, taking out Dr. Mary Harlow who was on the most wanted list and Fleming a rouge agent of the D.O.D.

They were to be honored at an evening ceremony later that night, a cocktail party thrown by several of the directors of various agencies. This whole event had ruffled a bunch of feathers between groups and this was a feel good event to help smooth things over. They also were to be given a month off to recuperate from what they had been through.

The team all headed for the elevator together. Penelope and JJ stood in front of Prentiss and Morgan in the elevator. Hotch, Reid and Rossi on the other side. Everyone was talking about the party and the month off. JJ said to Penelope, "The time will be relaxing because Will and Gloria have taken Henry to New Orleans to visit some friends. To recover from these meetings, I think I might just have to spend at least a week in bed." Emily's breath pulled in so quickly she choked herself. Morgan slapped her on the back and she shot him a look, but he was smiling so large it had to hurt his face.

"JJ, can I get a ride to the party tonight," asked Penelope. "My car is in the shop."

Emily's head shot up, she screamed to herself, "No, no, no."

Morgan spoke up, "Baby doll, you are going with me. I'm picking you up." Garcia looked at Morgan in confusion. The doors opened, and he led Penelope out of the elevator but not before whispering to Emily, "Gotcha covered."

"JJ," Emily gently touched her arm. "I would be happy to pick you up."

"Thought you would never ask, see you at 7:00." JJ replied with a smile and walked to her car as Emily watched her go.

There was not any thought to the dress for the evening, they had to be in professional black and whites. When JJ met Emily at the door, she looked wonderful as usual. Emily did not linger, and they moved to the car with a let's get this over with attitude. They drove mostly in silence just sharing a few comments here and there, but nothing substantial. It was almost as if they were waiting for the other to break the ice again. As they pulled up to the valet Emily said, "Does Will have Henry for the week?"

JJ tilted her head and with a half grin said, "Yes, do you have any plans?"

Emily grinned back, "I do now."

The party was as they all predicted, a nice show for the big guys. The team was as careful of their comments in this setting as they had been in their debriefings. Everyone was looking to blame someone for Fleming's breach of national security. When the powers that be finally decided that the team really had not been hiding anything more they acknowledged the team. The party lasted another hour before Strauss gave the team the high sign to take off. Rossi waved to them all and then walked to join Erin. Hotch and Reid each ran to catch their respective train and plane. Derek and Penelope were nowhere to be found as JJ and Emily looked to say goodbye.

So Emily smiled to JJ, "Let's hit the road." They walked out to the front and JJ headed for the valet station. Emily caught her by the hand and then nodded her head back towards the pickup location. A beautiful black limo was driving up. When it parked an older driver stepped out and tipped his hat to Emily and she smiled back, "Hey Frank thanks for the pick-up. How's the ambassador?"

"She's out of town," He gave Emily a wink and tossed her a set of keys, "for at least two months. But I think you knew that." He grabbed the door and opened it. He smiled at JJ. "Good evening ma'am." JJ looked to Emily, but she just motioned to the door and JJ moved into the car. As Emily followed JJ, she shared a look with the driver who just nodded his approval.

They settled as the car moved away, "Emily is there something you want to tell me?" asked JJ as she looked to her companion.

"No," said Emily "I so would rather show you." She slid over to JJ and gently touched her face then leaned in and kissed her. They both sighed and relaxed with the contact, but Emily pulled away faster than JJ expected. Reaching for a bottle of water, she offered one to JJ.

They sat back, sipped their water and enjoyed being moved along without the stress of dealing with the traffic themselves. Emily placed a hand on JJ's knee and began drawing small circles. JJ smiled and laughed softly. Emily moved up JJ's leg just a little then gave a small tug on JJ skirt. JJ looked at Emily an then up towards the driver. Emily leaned over and said, "Don't worry, Frank almost never looks back here." JJ looked up in alarm and Emily giggled. "I'm kidding."

Emily got serious then and reluctantly pulled her hand away from JJ. Reached out JJ took Emily's hand in hers. "What is it?" she asked and pulled Emily's hand to her mouth and kissed it.

Emily moaned softly. "JJ," she swallowed. "I don't want to pressure you. If I do something that makes you uncomfortable or move too fast you have got to let me know." JJ was struck by the seriousness of Emily's demeanor.

"Emily I…" said JJ.

Cutting her off, Emily continued not meeting JJ's eyes, "Without the stress of the fight your feelings may not be as intense as they were. The middle of that mess had emotions rolling, I understand if you have changed your mind about us and I will take you home." the car came to a stop. There was silence in the car. The door opened, and neither woman moved.

"Get out of the car Emily." said JJ softly but firmly. Emily slid over, and they both were out the door and heading to a covered entry way. Emily turned and chatted with Frank for a moment then joined JJ who looked to Emily, "Where are we?" she asked.

"This is a place I keep off my family's estate. It's my happy place you could say." Emily pulled the keys from her pocket and unlocked the door. "Frank helps me take care of the place when he is not on duty for the ambassador." She pushed the door open, and they entered. A few lights were on, but it was not brightly lit at all. Emily turned and pushed the door closed and was about to suggest drinks when she felt JJ's body push up against her pinning her against the door.

JJ's hands drifted around Emily's waist, and she turned her so they were face to face. Emily felt JJ's hand slowly slide up her body until it rested on her heart. "Not so long ago you said this heart was mine." JJ leaned in and kissed Emily to prevent her from saying anything, then pulled back and continued, "For as long as I wanted." She kiss Emily again, "Did you lie?" she said quickly.

"No," breathed Emily, "It's just…" JJ lips again met Emily's with searing heat.

JJ pulled back, "You said that you loved me. Did you mean that?"

"God yes," said Emily overwhelmed at JJ's intensity, "I just… oh man, JJ I…" JJ had moved her hand and was slowly undoing the buttons on Emily's shirt one by one.

"I appreciate your concern for my feelings." JJ leaned down and kissed Emily's neck and then move to where the first button had been and kissed the revealed skin. She kept her lips against Emily's body and traced a path back up so that she was right under her ear. "You are right. Being away from the fight has changed the intensity of my feelings." Emily stilled, JJ continued, "I love you so much more…" Emily claimed JJ lips in an instant. JJ made that little sound in response and Emily lost all control.

They moved from the doorway, in a series of embraces marked by small piles of clothing. Emily directed them to the bedroom, and they fell against the cool sheets an intertwined body exploring with touch and taste. There was no fight for control between the women; the natural flow of action versus response guided their movements. Each received as much pleasure from providing the sensations, as reveling in them. Skin tingled, and bodies tensed with desire to be released and built again and again by the skills of their partner.

Hours later they found themselves watching the sunrise in Emily's kitchen. They were drinking some coffee and finishing up some eggs and toast. Both had on T-shirts and boxers from Emily's closet. JJ had raised her eyebrows at the boxers, but Emily said that they were comfy and beggars can't be choosers. Besides if JJ wanted to walk around with no pants on it was fine with her. That had earned her a kiss and a giggle.

There was an easy feeling between the two. Nothing awkward or strained, no this was as natural a situation as either woman had ever been in. Putting her dishes in the sink, JJ moved to lean against Emily. Emily quickly placed her plate and mug on the counter and folded her arms around the beautiful woman next to her and pulled her into a tender kiss. After a moment, they pulled back and looked at one another.

JJ said, "You are so beautiful," Emily blushed and JJ felt the emotions in her start to well. "There is so much I don't know about you. So much I don't even know about our little adventure."

Emily chuckled, "Oh, I think you know me pretty well after last night." JJ punched her lightly.

"No," said JJ, "I mean we haven't even talked about what happened. Like for example, how did you stop that dog from attacking you on the ridge?"

"Okay Madam Mystery, how the hell did you end up with that RPG by the munitions trucks I would like to know?" said Emily

JJ smiled a sly grin, and Emily felt her stomach tense with anticipation at that look. Stepping away back towards the bedroom, JJ turned and said over her shoulder, "Well I guess we will just have to spend the day getting to know each other that much better." Emily moaned and then found a new reason to appreciate the boxer. They slide off in just a matter of seconds.


Author's note: Thanks so much for making this story so much fun to write. As a first time author your comments kept me going more than you know. Think I might even be brave enough to give it another go but first will spend some time reading all of your great stories. Thanks again for the support.