AN: I really have no idea where this is going but JenJen was begging for a story and this is the first idea that popped into my head. I want to state for the record that I don't hate Will. I really tried hard to once upon a time, but I just can't seem to do it. Also, for those of you who aren't reading my NCIS fic, Sebastian is on the fritz right now so there may be long gaps in updates and/or I may be flying solo on some chapters.
MN: She says I'm on the "fritz" like I'm a computer. I'm just having problems with writer's block is all. Again for those not reading our NCIS story, we now have a Facebook page. You can find the link on our profile. You can get updates there, send us feedback, and get priority for fic requests and participate in a change to our name. Check it out!
Disclaimer: If I owned Criminal Minds, William LaMontagne Jr. would have been a scoundrel that it was easy to dislike.
Spoilers: All through Season 8. I mean, literally some of the events of S8 are the basis for this fic.
"I don't want to have this fight with you again." JJ fought to keep her voice from rising. Henry was asleep and she preferred to keep it that way.
"We never had this fight to begin with. You weren't here enough for us to have it! All I asked is if this is going to be like last time and the time before?" She had to admit that Will wasn't yelling, but his tone of voice was harsher than any shout.
"Exactly what do you mean, Will? What about 'last time'?"
"The middle of the night phone calls and visits. You not coming home after a case. The way you acted after Prentiss 'died' and then again with Maeve. Are Henry and I in for yet another repeat performance?"
That was enough to make her blood boil. "That was different. Spence is different than Rossi. And, he's my best friend. But if Dave calls me at 2am, yes I am going to answer. And if he wants to grab dinner and talk after a case, I'll do that too. I thought you had come to terms with how close my team is."
"So did I. But I got a taste of how life with you could really be, and it was better. And I thought I could handle it when you went back, but after the past year…Things are different."
She bristled even more. "You mean I'm different, right? And you know what, I am different. In the last two years I've watched Rossi lose first Caroline and now Strauss. I watched Spence lose Maeve. And I watched us all lose Emily all over again. But you know what? They're still my family."
Will physically turned away from her and walked toward the doorway that led from the kitchen to the dining room. He paused there and turned back. "They are, but what about me?"
He exited the room before she had a chance to respond. She needed to get out of the house, and fast. She charged through the doorway to the living room and to the front door, pulling her keys from the hook by the door as she went. It took a decided effort not to slam the door behind her.
She hadn't made a conscious decision to go to Spencer's apartment, but when she realized she was outside his building, it made sense. She knew he would probably still be up. It was Friday night and they had the weekend off so if he was home he would be reading or watching sci-fi movies she didn't understand.
She pulled her key from the ignition and opened the car door before she could change her mind. She knew the door code by heart and in a few short minutes she was standing outside his door. With a sigh she raised her hand and knocked lightly, determined not to wake him if he really was asleep.
She heard movement inside almost instantly, followed by her best friend's muffled voice. "I'm coming!"
He wretched open the door a moment later, the remote still in his hand. "JJ! What are you…" he seemed to notice the look on her face at that point and his smile faded. "What's wrong? Is Henry okay?"
She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes and tried to force them back. "Henry's fine. Will and I got in an argument." She knew better than to say 'fight' to him. Last time she had done that she'd barely managed to clarify things to him before he'd gone to confront Will.
He stepped back so she could step through the door then closed and locked it behind her. He turned off the TV just as she dropped herself onto his couch. "Spence, I didn't mean to interrupt your movie night. I just needed somewhere to go. You can finish watching."
He shook his head. "I've seen it before. What did you and will argue about?"
JJ sighed and curled herself up as he sat next to her. "Everything and nothing? It's the same old thing. I spend too much time with the team and not enough at home. Except at the moment the problem is when one of you is hurting I take care of you. After work tonight, I went to dinner with Rossi. He just needed someone to talk to that wasn't Hotch. When I got home, Will was mad."
"Did you call and let him know you'd be late?" Of course he was going to ask questions. He had to gather all of the facts before he rendered judgment.
"I called him at lunch. I thought he was okay with it. He said he was okay with it. He can be hard to read over the phone sometimes. But tonight I read him loud and clear. It was like he was giving me an ultimatum. If I sacrifice time at home to take care of the team, he's done." She hugged her arms a little tighter around her knees.
Spencer looked at her for a moment then raised one eyebrow. "So, what are you going to do?"
She shrugged. "What can I do? You guys have been my family for longer than he has. And the team would never ask me to choose. If he wants to make me, I'll choose the team, every time."
Spencer was absentmindedly stroking JJ's hair as she slept with her head in his lap. After telling him her conclusion on her disagreement with Will, she had broken down in tears. He had held her and comforted her until she calmed and then had turned the television back on.
He had flipped through the channel guide before settling on 'Ghost', but she had fallen asleep before Sam was shot. Now the credits were rolling and JJ still slept.
He slipped out from under her carefully, sliding a pillow under her head, and pulled the fleece throw blanket from the back of the couch. Normally, he would have insisted she sleep in his bed while he took the couch, but he didn't want to wake her. He turned off the lights in the living room and kitchen, leaving the low glow of several nightlights and headed down the hall toward his bedroom.
He changed and climbed into bed, but laid there staring at the ceiling, thinking. He had wanted to ask JJ more questions about what she meant by saying she would 'choose the team' but had sensed that it wasn't the best time.
Whatever it meant, he was sure of one thing. No matter what, he would be there for JJ and Henry, in any capacity they needed him.
AN: Okay, that is the groundwork folks. This is a prologue, so there will be a time jump for the next chapter. I don't know when it will be up as I am going to alternate updates between this and "Freedom".