This chapter is the last one. It's set before season 7 premiere and answers some of my questions about why JJ went to Rossi and the closeness between JJ and Hotch that I wanted to see and never got in season 7.
Not that anyone is probably interested but my thoughts about them not looking into JJ and Hotch's friendship and distancing the two characters, is because a) Paget knew she was leaving and Morgan needed a new female buddy to work in the field with because he's the flirty/macho one and needs a female partner :S b) During Prentiss' "death" JJ and Hotch got too close and decided to spend less time together so nothing developed further! c) Beth and Will... nuff said...
I'd like to think reason b) is the main issue but know it was most likely a) and the shipper in me just wants to get rid of reason c)...
Thanks for reading this story. If you have the time, leave a review and let me know what you think.
"As you know, the Behavioural Analysis Unit is undermanned at the moment, with so many staff changes and budget cuts. We have a position open for a junior grade profiler. The profiling duties we require asks for a dedicated and seasoned agent. The position will include almost continual travelling, paperwork and consultations and nearly 24/7 contact with the office 365 days a year. It's not for the fainthearted."
He took a deep breath before continuing. "It's a tough job. Not everyone is cut out for it. We demand a lot from our profilers, and in return there is a generous pay package, a close knit, supportive team and often rewarding case outcomes."
"I see you've applied through the internal database. Everything seems to be in place." Hotch clicked his pen lid back into place, after signing his name at the bottom of the crisp white document.
Leaning back in his seat, his eyes remained on the file in front of him even though he could feel her eyes on him. "So, you were in the Bureau for eight years?"
"Is this really necessary?" The impeccably dressed woman asked pointedly.
Hotch met her shining blue eyes dryly. "Just answer the question, please."
"Fine." The blonde agent huffed. "I was in the Bureau for nearly nine years. I spent eighteen months in the Public Relations Office in New York City, six months in Quantico's Public Relations Office and then the seven years following as the Communication Coordinator in the Behavioural Analysis Unit."
The team supervisor pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. "You do realise that there will be little to no media responsibilities for you as a profiler. While we experienced a void with the loss of our media liaison, we managed to share responsibilities of the position in house, and loaned out a lot of office duties back to the PR department. Communications was run with military precision and we struggled to overcome the departure of our former media liaison, but I realised how much responsibility landed on that office and I wouldn't want to put that much stress on any one person again, if I can help it."
"As long as there have been satisfactory changes, then I'm fine with that." The polished agent remarked.
"You attended The University of Pittsburgh and Georgetown University?" He queried.
Clearing her throat, the young agent nodded. "Yes, through scholarships and part-time work. I did my undergrad in Pittsburgh studying Communications with a minor in Psychology and Business Studies. My Masters at Georgetown was in Multimedia Communications and Public Relations."
"Georgetown is an excellent University. I studied there myself." Hotch revealed with a wide smile.
"Really, I had no idea." She quipped sarcastically.
He nodded once. "You've spent the last eleven months with the Department Of Defence."
"Yes, I was transferred to the Pentagon on the Deputy Director's request." The suited woman retorted while smoothing a crease in her pencil skirt.
The profiler raised a curious eye as he asked his next question. "And what did that job position entail?"
The former liaison groaned at his prying. "Are you serious?"
"These are all valid questions, Agent Jareau." Hotch replied smugly.
Scoffing, JJ glanced into the bullpen where Reid, Morgan, Seaver, Garcia and Rossi were sitting, pretending not to be watching the interaction between herself and Hotch. "Fine. I liaised with military departments and other agencies, namely the State Department and the CIA."
"For what purposes did you liaise with those specific agencies?" He prompted curtly.
JJ held his eyes as she replied. "That's classified."
"As is most of the information in your file from your time away. I wonder why that is?" Hotch closed the personnel file, hiding the lines of black bars that was threaded through the several pages within it.
JJ smirked slightly. "I'm sure you can fill in some of the blanks with your imagination."
"Unfortunately." He muttered under his breath.
Tilting her head to side, the soon to be profiler smiled reassuringly. "I'll still have some responsibilities with the DOD if you rehire me. They won't interfere with my role here but it's in our interest if I still remain in contact with my associates over there. For the time being at least."
"Have you heard anything more about the last case we worked together?" Hotch asked in seriousness, alluding to their former colleague and friend, Emily Prentiss who was in hiding for her own safety as well as the first BAU team's safety, after they were targeted by a former IRA officer with a grudge against the brunette profiler.
"Everything is as fine as it can be, right now." JJ answered calmly. "It's not ideal but it's in everyone's best interest that the details concerning that case, stay as quiet as possible for the time being."
"I agree." Hotch glanced down into the bullpen briefly.
"Is there anything else you need to know?" She prompted impatiently.
Hotch glanced back over the file. "You have very impressive references. Your last FBI Supervisor, sung your praises."
A comfortable silence overcame the room as they watched each other's warm expressions.
Feeling her smile widen, JJ placed a lock of her hair behind her ear. "So, are you going to let me come back?"
"Have you got any questions for me?" He asked with a small smirk. "Do you need to know the team's routines? What the process is for court appearances? Where the coffee is?"
"You know, I think I'm more than aware of the daily workings of the BAU, but if I think of anything I won't hesitate in asking you." JJ hid back a smirk.
"How are the classes going?" Hotch wondered out loud in curiosity.
"They're going fine." She shrugged her shoulders and groaned. "Although, sometimes, it feels like I'm back in college, even then I didn't do half the reading I'm doing now. Most of it I already know the basics of, like the case studies and profiling techniques. I worked on several of the cases in the first place which is a little disheartening when I sit next to a perky, disillusioned twenty two year old."
"Is Rossi still being useful?" Hotch queried.
"If you class giving me a signed copy, of his first book useful, then sure." JJ chuckled. "What were you thinking when you decided to make him my, and I quote, mentor?"
Hotch laughed dryly. "It was our only option with my trip to Pakistan looming."
"So you've decided to go?" JJ raised her eyes nervously.
He nodded solemnly, sensing the change of atmosphere. "I don't really have an option in the matter. I haven't been briefed about the details yet, but I leave at the beginning of next month."
"You'll be safe out there right?" She said worriedly.
Hotch smiled at her concern. "Of course I will. I feel a lot better going, knowing that you're coming back to the team."
"So you're signing off on hiring a rookie profiler? What happened to this place being an elite division?" JJ pursed her lips in humour.
Hotch feigned a stern expression. "Do you want to come back, or not?"
"You need me and you know it." JJ giggled at his eye roll.
Hotch raised his hands in surrender. "You're right, and I've missed you around here."
JJ made a loud tutting sound. "Bringing me back through nepotism, Agent Hotchner, I don't know what's happened to you in the time I've been away."
"I've been desperate." He said deadpan.
They both laughed before JJ's eyes softened. "Thank you for keeping your promise and bringing me back."
"Thank you for coming back." Hotch replied sincerely. "I honestly don't know why you would. You have a pretty cushy position over in the DOD."
"I still have a few weeks there to complete my contract. But honestly, the work they have me doing makes me feel less human than my lowest day here." She revealed darkly.
He smiled warmly. "You're going to be a great profiler, JJ. I've always known that."
"Becoming a profiler is my only way to come back Hotch. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be back, but profiling wasn't really on my, to do list." JJ said dryly.
He laughed heartily. "I know that, but I'm sure we can change your mind."
"Profilers!" JJ scoffed. "They're always so sure of themselves."
"Welcome back to the BAU, Agent Jareau." Hotch closed the agent's personnel file and stood. "Do you have time to grab a coffee?"
"Sure, you can help me with my next load of exam revision." JJ followed his to the door with a smirk.
Hotch held the door open and grinned. "It would be my pleasure, Agent Jareau."
I was going to write a 4th chapter and have it be a shipper/suggestive/future interview but I might do that one as a separate story if anyone is interested.
Thanks for reading!