AN: This story was written in response to a prompt from SW1984. The prompt was a story in which JJ is hurt or kidnapped, and a police officer is the one to find her, unsure if she is still alive or not; the story being told from the police officer's point of view. This is not a JJ/OC story, although it may read that way a little, simply a friendship/officer doing his job story. I know this may not be up everyone's alley to read, but I love all things JJ, and the idea so I took the challenge. Please enjoy!

Twigs snapped and leaves crunched beneath his feet as he moved through the forest. The air was cool but heavy; dusk had officially arrived bringing with it a light fog.

Officer Alex Springs continued surveying the area as he trudged forward, only recently realizing that he had accidently strayed a little too far from the rest of the search party. He could still hear the distinct movement of footsteps off in the distance, but after spending the last two hours in the woods it was becoming harder to distinguish the movement of his fellow officers and FBI agents, from the movement of whatever animals may be out on the prowl.

Alex sighed, trying his hardest to remain on high alert even as his mind began to wander and his concentrated focus began to wane. The fact was there was a killer in these woods, and with him, potentially, his latest victim.

They had found the serial killer's cabin; easy to find after the man's most recent, most daring, abduction. The "unsub" as the FBI had referred to him had likely suffered a psychotic break. He had taken an unnecessary risk after the press conference used to both taunt him, and coax him, out of hiding. The press conference had done its job, but with an unintended consequence. It had put the FBI's pretty, innocent, media liaison right in harm's way and the unsub had struck unexpectedly.

Looking back, Alex wasn't sure how any of them hadn't foreseen the potential consequences of having the beautiful woman hold the press conference; even if it was her job. The unsub after all was targeting women. Still, it had been a shock to them all when the woman, Agent Jennifer Jareau, had been discovered missing from the precinct, the precinct of all places, just over twenty-four hours ago.

Alex was a younger officer, he had only been on the job for about four years now, and while this was the biggest case of his life so far, he knew the timeline very well from the profile the FBI had given. They had forty-eight hours to find Agent Jareau, tops, before it would be too late.

Having found the cabin so quickly had brought hope to them all, but when they had kicked down the doors and thoroughly searched the cabin only to find nothing, the dread on the face of every person in the room could be read clearly. They all knew this was a different situation; she was different, especially after what she had said at the press conference. It was all very possible that the unsub had moved up his timeline and was currently searching for his next dumpsite. The timeline to find Agent Jareau had suddenly collapsed on them all; it was now or never to find her alive. That is how Alex found himself in this current situation; a member of a massive search party that had spread out for almost a mile, traversing the darkening woods from an east to west direction.

Alex heard a louder crunch behind him and flinched, turning with his weapon drawn quickly. He moved his flashlight from side to side slowly, but was met mostly by a wall of fog. He strained to hear the movement again, but all he could hear were the footsteps in the distance and his own labored breathing.

After what felt like an eternity he moved to turn back to his previous direction, when he suddenly heard a rush of movement. Tracing the movement with his light as best he could, Alex just caught site of the hind quarters of a deer as it ran startled in the opposite direction from him. Alex breathed a little easier as he turned back, happy that the sound he had heard was simply a deer, and not the dangerous unsub.

Turning back and resuming his path, Alex's mind began to drift further, thinking about the woman he was searching for. She was beautiful, clearly, but she also had a very nice personality; she was friendly and compassionate. Because her job appeared to be to primarily hang back at the precinct to deal with the media and act as a go between for her team and the police department, Alex had the opportunity to talk to her a couple of times. She was always friendly and inviting, even kind enough to laugh at his lame attempt at a joke that had fallen flat. He'd be lying if he didn't admit that he felt something towards the blonde, but he was more professional than that.

While Alex maybe wasn't as confident and gun-ho as some of his co-workers in the department, he was still handsome in his own right. And smart. Smart enough to know that if he hit on or flirted with Agent Jareau too much, then he would be just another in what was no doubt a long line of men who had tried, and failed, to get her attention in an unprofessional manner. For this reason he had stuck to what he knew; a friendly, professional personality, careful not to hover and make things awkward when he was around her, simply focused on doing his job.

Alex stopped to catch his breath, running a hand through his thick brown hair as his green eyes scanned the area around him. There was still no sign of the unsub, or Ms. Jareau. The sounds of footsteps were now distant enough that he had to strain to hear them.

Moving his free hand to his hip, Alex was comforted to find the walkie-talkie he had brought with him was still there. It had chirped to life intermittently when the search party had first begun the search, but now it was mostly silent minus the occasional chatter or sound of static. He knew the rest of the search party had to be getting as weary and nervous as he was.

They all knew what this unsub's signature was. He liked to torture women, sure. He liked to prove to them, and himself, that he was superior to them. But, above all, the main theme of the FBI profile was the unsub's penchant to degrade his victims before he killed them. It was the thought of this, that this could be happening to Agent Jareau, that this potentially did happen to Agent Jareau, her of all people, that made Alex sick to his stomach. He wanted more than anything to find her safe and in one piece, completely unharmed. But as time continued to silently tick by, Alex knew the odds were further decreasing; especially with no sign of the unsub, or the missing agent.

Taking another deep breath, he trudged forward, continuing his straight line even if he really didn't know where he was headed. Time seemed to crawl and speed up all at once. How that was possible, he didn't know. But after what had to be another half an hour, he felt no closer to finding anything. And this scared him.

What if the unsub had a second location that nobody had known about? What if he had already killed Agent Jareau and was now searching for his next victim? Or, bolting for the state line? Or, most frightening of all, what if the unsub was tracking them, watching him?

A cold shiver ran through Alex's body and he stopped abruptly, whipping the flashlight in a circle around himself, in search of potential threats. He continued his movements, even after coming up empty after his first, second, and third sweeps with the light. Finally, he forced himself to stop.

'Good job completely scaring the shit out of yourself man. Pull it together.' He spoke to himself harshly.

Closing his eyes he took another deep breath, the cool, damp air rushing in through his mouth and nostrils. Suddenly, the walkie on his hip buzzed to life and an excited voice boomed through the silence.

"We have him! Thomas Russo is in custody!" Alex was able to make out through all of the sudden, loud chatter over the radio. His heart was still racing after being startled once more, but he was more than thrilled to hear that at least the unsub had been caught. The main potential danger was gone.

Alex listened intently as the lead agent, Agent Hotchner, demanded control of the radio airwave.

"Is Agent Jareau with him?"

"No, sir, there is still no sign of her."

"That pretty little bitch." Alex could hear a dark voice say near the responding officer.

"Shut up!" Another officer yelled at the unsub.

"Too bad I didn't have more time with her; then I really would've made her my bitch!" Russo cackled.

"Somebody shut him up will you!?" The reporting officer yelled at his colleagues.

What sounded like a minor scuffle ensued, and the unsub was heard from no more.

"What are your co-ordinates?" Agent Hotchner resumed once the disturbance had been handled.

"Uh, about half a mile west of where you are I think. The group has broken apart a little in all this fog." The officer responded.

"Ok, we'll keep a close eye out. There's a good chance that Agent Jareau won't be far from where you found Russo. We will try to concentrate more of the search in your general vicinity." Agent Hotchner directed.

Alex sighed, tilting his head up and looking into the dark canopy of trees. He had strayed too far from the others, he knew this. He had to start walking more in a perpendicular path, rather than a parallel path, in the direction of where he had originally started. If he didn't, he would more than likely fall farther from the group and potentially risk becoming lost himself.

There was something nagging at the back of his consciousness though. It was encouraging him to continue on his path for a little longer, that the risk was worth it. Taking a glance at both of his two options, Alex pondered the thought a little longer. Finally, he decided to follow his gut, and continue on his current path. If he still didn't find anything after another fifteen minutes or so, then he would have no choice but to change direction.

Shining the light in front of him, the wall of fog beamed the light back into his face. At this point the fog had become thick enough to turn the flash light almost into more of a hindrance than a help. Alex continued on, contemplating shutting the flashlight off. After a few more minutes he did, figuring once his eyes adjusted to the darkness he would be able to see better than he could now.

As his eyes tried to adjust Alex stubbornly, blindly walked forward. A couple of light branches brushed across his face; enough to irritate his skin, but not enough to open any wounds. Alex lifted his arm to brush a branch out of his face just as the ground in front of him suddenly sloped downwards.

Unprepared, he lost his footing and tumbled awkwardly down the hill. Cursing as he went, he felt the gun in his hand jar loose, lost behind him. His fingers clenched the metal of the flashlight even harder, determined not to lose it too, grunting as his side bruised at the contact of a small rock to his rib cage.

Tumbling a few more times, he heard what sounded like a quiet whimper as he crashed into a soft mound that slowed most of his momentum. Coming to a stop, Alex lay flat on his back as he tried to catch his breath and take stock of his body.

Determining that he hadn't suffered any major injuries, he cursed himself for being so clumsy and unaware. Pulling himself into a sitting position after a few moments, he looked to his scratched hand, the one that was still gripping the dark flashlight for dear life, as he remembered the sound he had heard. He knew whatever he had practically rolled over was too big to be most animals that were out there. It was also too soft to be the natural terrain of the woods.

Flicking the flashlight on, he turned to his left and looked back up the hill from where he had come. The light only carried about five feet, but it was just enough to reveal what he had crashed into.

Unable to find the strength in his feet, Alex crawled up the hill on his hands and knees, almost like a little child. Reaching his destination, he felt an almost nervous relief.

There, face down on the ground in front of him, was a blonde woman.

He knew almost immediately that it had to be Agent Jareau; she was still wearing the same clothes as the previous day that she had gone missing. Not missing a beat, Alex brushed her tangled, blonde hair to the side and felt for a pulse. Not only did he find one, but it was surprisingly strong. Breathing a sigh of relief, he felt for his walkie as he spoke to her.

"Agent Jareau, can you hear me?" He asked quickly.

He struggled to hear anything, but he was almost certain that he heard a quiet murmur pass through her pursed lips. This was enough for Alex. He didn't know what kind of shape she was in, but he at least knew she was alive. He had to get help to them as soon as possible.

"I have her! I found Agent Jareau!" Alex called into the walkie abruptly, wasting no time on formalities.

A long moment of silence passed, and for a moment Alex wondered if perhaps his walkie had been damaged in his tumble down the hill. But just as his doubts began to take form, a voice responded back.

"You have her? Where are you? How is she?" Replied the unmistakable voice of Agent Hotchner.

"Uh, I'm not sure…." Alex began as the radio began to cackle and buzz threateningly.

"Shit." Alex cursed, whacking the radio against the palm of his hand. As if by some divine fate of bad luck the radio was beginning to cut out almost on cue.

"…you hear me?" The radio finally cut in.

"Yes, yes I can hear you. Agent Jareau is alive. She has a pretty strong pulse but she isn't too lucid. I'm probably about a mile, mile and a half, east of your location. I'm not entirely sure; I took a stumble down a hill and came across her." Alex said quickly, so fast that his words almost blended together.

"Slow down son, I can barely hear you." Agent Hotchner came back calmly.

"I'm sorry sir. It's just that my radio is damaged. It keeps cutting out…" The radio began to buzz ominously again.

"What is your name?"

"Alex, Alex Springs."

"Ok Alex, don't worry, we'll come find you. Just hang tight with Agent Jareau. DO NOT leave her side, do you understand me?"

Alex went to respond when the radio cut out again. Whacking the radio a few more times, it cut on briefly.

"Understood sir, I'm not going anywhere."

"Good. We'll be right…"

Alex looked down, seeing that the radio was indeed dead again. He tried a few more times to get it to kick back on, but finally gave up. The radio had done its job; he had been able to communicate the most important information. He knew it would be only a matter of time until the search party found them. Until then, he had to do his best to keep them both alive.

Turning back to Agent Jareau, he could see that she was breathing, but her eyes remained closed. Looking around him, he found a small tree right near where both of them were situated on the hill. He wanted his hands free in case he suddenly had to resuscitate her. He also wanted to try to create some form of signal if possible.

His best solution to the situation was to jam the light into the small tree, tilting it at such an angle that it allowed Alex to see her, but also allowed the light to shine up the hill. He knew the hill was steep, he just hoped that because the tree was towards the very bottom of the hill, that the light may be able to shine above the crest of the hill. He chose to ignore the fact that the fog was now like a deep white reflector sheet to the light.

Turning his attention to Agent Jareau, he looked at her more thoroughly this time. He couldn't only see part of her face, and it was pressed rather snuggly to the ground. He wanted to move her, but he didn't know what injuries she may have sustained. His eyes scanned downwards slowly, starting with her head as he tried to assess if she had sustained any serious injuries that would prevent him from moving her.

Her hair was tangled, but he didn't see blood. He realized for the first time that her blazer was missing. Her cream colored blouse wasn't as pristine as before, and looking closely he could see that it was dirty and covered with leaves. The way the leaves were spread told him it had likely been caused when he had rolled over her, and not from an attempt to bury her.

Moving lower, he noticed her blouse had lifted up a little, revealing a red line across Agent Jareau's lower back. It wasn't bleeding, but it did appear to be an abrasion. Looking just a little lower, Alex noticed that her belt was missing. Putting two and two together, Alex could hypothesize what the belt had been used for. He had little doubt that if he lifted her blouse further up, he would find more red lines like the one on her lower back. The thought turned his stomach, and he tried to clear his mind of the pain she must've been in at the time she received the abrasions.

Looking lower, her slacks weren't as clean or neat, but again no sign of blood. When he reached her feet, he noticed Agent Jareau's shoes were gone. Her feet were bare; dirt and moist leaves clinging to the bottoms of her feet. Anyone who was in law enforcement, let alone had ever watched a procedural in their life knew why an attacker would take someone's shoes; so it'd be harder for them to escape. And yet from seeing her, that is exactly what this determined woman had appeared to have accomplished. Alex was amazed. He couldn't be sure, but he was pretty smart, and the evidence suggested that she had been able to escape, somehow.

Having established that Agent Jareau wasn't seriously injured from what he could tell; Alex decided it would be best to try to move her and revive her.

"Agent Jareau?" He called softly.

When she didn't respond, he tried again. He waited a minute, listening for a response, almost certain he heard her grunt. His hand hovered over her, ready to shake her just a little, but he hesitated, remembering the abrasions he suspected on her back.

"Agent Jareau can you hear me?"

This time he could hear her groan distinctly.

"Stop calling me that." She mumbled.

Alex felt confused.

"I'm sorry?" he replied.

"Stop calling me Agent Jareau, it's 'JJ'." She said a little labored after a moment.

"I thought you said only your friends called you that?" He replied, not thinking about how unimportant his question was considering the situation.

"You found me didn't you? I think that qualifies you as a friend, Alex." She replied, catching him off guard. When he focused his eyes, he could see that her left eye was now open, staring straight at him. If her eyes weren't such a gorgeous shade of blue it probably would've startled him. In some ways it still did.

"You look, surprised." She huffed out, still not bothering to move.

"I-I'm just a little surprised you're awake."

"Not that I remember your name?" The corner of her mouth turned up slightly in amusement.

"Sure, that too."

"I have a good memory."

Alex couldn't help to smile. The fact that she was still able to small talk and practically toy with him even in her current state, whatever that was, proved to be quite impressive, and endearing.

"How are you feeling? Do you have any major injuries I should know about?" He asked, getting back to business.

"I don't think so." She sighed, revealing frustratingly little to him. Seeing the look on his face, she let down her shield a little.

"I am feeling pretty cold, to be honest."

Alex looked at her and saw the sincerity in her statement. She was letting her guard down, just a little, showing him that she was indeed vulnerable. Alex unzipped his jacket and pulled it off.

"I was kind of hoping you had a blanket in your back pocket." JJ mused as she watched him take it off.

"Sorry, no blanket." He replied as he spread the jacket out in his hands. He immediately felt the air penetrate through the two layers of shirts he was wearing, but right now he was more worried about JJ. Her shirt wasn't exactly heavy and he already knew she wasn't wearing another shirt underneath it.

Gently, he placed the jacket over her. His fingers grazed the fabric of her blouse and he noticed that it felt damp. It was a good thing that she had been honest with him, the cool damp air had to have done a number on her core body heat. Hopefully he could warm her up a little before she began to catch pneumonia.

"Is there a reason you are laying like that or can I roll you over?" Alex asked as he tried to pull his jacket more snuggly around her.

"Tired. Couldn't run anymore." JJ replied in fractured sentences.

Alex nodded, taking a moment to gather himself before he made his move. Putting his hand on her shoulder, he gently turned her so he could roll her towards him. JJ let out a pained gasp as Alex gently pressed his hand to her back to keep the jacket from shifting.

"I'm sorry. It's ok, you're ok." He soothed her as he slowly eased JJ into his lap so that her tender back was pressed gently to his chest.

"Ok? Are you ok?" He asked after he had found a comfortable position for them both, his back leaning against the small tree for support.

"Yeah, I'm ok." JJ said through labored breaths again.

"You're not going to fall asleep on me are you? It's kind of lonely out here and I need someone to talk to. I know you like to talk…" He teased, getting her to nod her head and smile just a little.

"Watch it. If you're not careful I might do just that." She teased back.

"At least you still have a witty sense of humor." Alex smiled a little, trying his best to keep her spirits up.

In the back of his head he was starting to wonder how close the search team was. He could tell the temperature was still dropping and he knew how cold the nights in the forest could get. If it became too late they could both be in some trouble.

Shaking the thought from his mind, Alex turned his attention back to JJ. Her blond hair had fallen sloppily into her face, and she hadn't made much attempt to brush it aside. His eyes found hers, noticing they were closed again.

"Hey, are you ok?" He asked nervously as he shook her just a little.

"What? Yeah, sorry. I just started drifting off. He wouldn't let me sleep." JJ explained, making Alex realize that she had hardly slept in almost two days considering when she had been abducted.

"Just hang in there a little longer; can you do that for me?" He asked as he carefully brushed her dirty hair to the side, doing his best to pull some of the leaves and twigs out of the strands.

JJ swallowed, wincing as she nodded. Eyeing her pretty face, he saw how the side that had been resting firmly on the ground had dirt from the moisture of the soil stuck to it. Gently, he did his best to wipe her cheek clean with his thumb, noting the raised bruise just below her eye.

"The bastard hit you didn't he?" Alex asked with more concern.

JJ sucked on her split bottom lip, catching herself before she said more, and simply nodding in affirmation.

"Are these scratches from him too?" He asked, pointing faintly to the thin scratches that lined her face, neck, and top of her chest in places. JJ shook her head no.

"They're from when I was running through the woods. He chased me for a while before I was able to lose him when it began to get darker." She explained.

"I can imagine how sore your feet must be." Alex replied after a moment. JJ almost chuckled.

"Not really, they're mostly numb now."

Alex looked at her. Carefully shifting her from his lap just a bit, he leaned forward so he could take his boots off.

"No, please it's fine. You don't have to do that." JJ protested as she watched him try to fit her feet into his boots.

"You need something on your feet, you're losing body heat."

"You will too." She replied as her first foot slid into one of the boots.

"You've been out here longer than I have. My socks should help a little." He finished, putting the other boot on her foot like a slipper.

He had considered giving her his socks too, but his feet were a little sweaty and he was sure trying to shove socks on her feet would be more painful than helpful. When they were back in their previous position, JJ looked up at him.

"Thank you, I mean it." She said, staring into his eyes.

"You're welcome." He replied simply, telling himself that he was simply doing his job even if deep down he felt something more.

"If you don't mind my asking, is there a reason you haven't really moved your arms?" Alex asked cautiously. JJ shook her head a little.

"My shoulders are on fire. He had my hands tied above my head for quite a while. One of my wrists is kind of swollen too." She said, lifting it just a little so that Alex could see for himself. He grimaced as he noted the angry red chaffing around her thin wrist.

"I'm sorry." Was all he could think to say, immediately cursing himself when she turned away.

A few minutes of silence passed between them, and all they could here were the bugs in the forest. For a moment Alex thought he could hear voices in the distance, but when nobody appeared after a few more minutes, he decided that it was just his hopeful imagination. If it became much longer he would start yelling to try to draw the search party's attention to them, but right now he thought the situation didn't warrant it. They still had time before things became desperate, and more than likely he would be wasting his breath if the group were still too far away.

Alex's body shook a little as he felt the blonde suddenly shiver against his chest.

"You ok JJ?" He asked as he looked down at her.

"Yeah, just a little cold again." She replied quietly.

Alex felt bad when he realized he had been a little lax in his duties. The jacket had slipped a little off one of her shoulders and he hadn't adequately brought it around to fully cover her front. It was then he also realized he hadn't completely checked her for any further injuries.

Praying he wouldn't give her the impression that he was 'checking her out', Alex pulled away from JJ just a little so that he could get a better view of her. He noticed a small blood spot on the left knee of her pants, but it looked like the bleeding had stopped, it was probably just a cut. Glancing over her, Alex noted that while her clothes were dirty, for the most part there weren't any major injuries to be seen. A couple of the lower buttons on her blouse had come loose during some part of her ordeal however.

"Here, let's button you up fully. We need you to preserve as much body heat as possible." Alex said, using his eyes to non-verbally direct her eyes to what he was talking about. He didn't want to startle her or touch her anywhere she may consider too intimately without her consent first. JJ smirked at his implication and simply nodded.

"Such a gentleman." She threw out casually as she watched his numbing fingers fumble with one of the buttons a little.

When he was finished, Alex moved his eyes up her until they came to a stop at the next open button at the top of her chest. Without hesitation he buttoned that one too, ignoring the small stain near where he threaded the button together. One more button and even her collar was now buttoned tightly around her neck.

"Hopefully that helps a bit, even if it isn't the most fashionable." He chuckled as he pulled the jacket more fully around her.

"I've never been the most fashionable, but who knows, maybe I'll start a trend." JJ shot back.

Alex chuckled, shifting as his back was beginning to feel a little sore. As he did, it caused him to inadvertently shiver now too. JJ noticed but said nothing on the matter.

"Hopefully they find us soon." She offered, trying to somewhat change the subject.

"They should be here soon, I think. I kind of wandered from the group a bit." Alex admitted.

"Well, I'm glad you did."

"Yeah, me too." He replied sincerely.

Swallowing, JJ remembered the dry and somewhat salty aftertaste in her mouth. It had been too long since she had something to drink.

"I suppose it'd be too much to ask that you would have some water on you?" She asked, trying her hardest to not sound too hopeful.

While he didn't have much with him, Alex did have a small can tine. Shifting, he pulled it out and held it to her lips. JJ's eyes lit up immediately.

"Wow, you are taking this hero thing to a whole new level." She smiled after taking a deep, refreshing sip. Alex simply shrugged.

"Just doing my job I guess." He replied modestly.

"And a modest hero at that? I didn't think that was even possible with guys, at least not anymore."

"We're a dying breed." He provided the first answer that came to mind.

Before JJ could reply Alex shivered again. He was now certain that he could see his breath every time he breathed, but he cursed that he couldn't hide how cold he was from her.

"I think it's your turn with the jacket." JJ sat up a little, ready to take it off and give it back to him.

"Don't. Don't, they'll be here soon." He answered.

"Is that before or after one of us freezes to death?" JJ replied a little snarkiliy.

"I think I can hear them." Alex lied.

JJ stopped her movements, straining to hear something. When she didn't she protested.

"Apparently you're going a little loopy too. If you won't take your jacket back then I guess we'll just have to share body heat." JJ shifted until her body was pressed flush to his, pinning Alex between her and the tree he remained against.

He felt his blood begin to rush a little. Her head was just below his chin and he could still smell a very faint scent of her perfume. Her body was so close to his that it was almost intimate, too intimate in fact. Suddenly Alex's thoughts were almost solely focused on controlling certain parts of his body. Almost on cue JJ spoke up again.

"Don't go getting any ideas. You may be my knight tonight and while I most certainly owe you a night out, if you try any moves I'm still quick enough to put you in your place." She said half teasing.

"I wouldn't dare." Alex laughed in reply.

He felt her shift a little more, settling into a more comfortable position. They sat like that for a while, finding the quiet sound of the other's breathing soothing. Alex's closed his eyes for just an instant, his thoughts drifting off until he heard the distinct rustling of leaves and the sound of footsteps. He tried to sit up, but he felt a weight holding him down.

Looking down, he remembered JJ in his lap. Her eyes were closed and for a moment he panicked. It wasn't until he noticed her breathing and felt for a pulse that he was put back at ease.

"Hey JJ, wake up. I think the rescue party is here." Alex said quietly, stroking her tangled hair gently.

When she started to stir, he began to call out, drawing the search team to them. Before long a group of people appeared at the top of the hill, their lights pointed directly in their eyes. Alex shielded both his and JJ's eyes with his hand.

"Down here." He waved as a rush of people came down the hill to meet them.

"How is she? JJ you ok?" Agent Morgan asked nervously as he got there first.

"I'm fine. I'm ok." She replied weakly.

"I think she needs a stretcher. She doesn't appear to be hurt too bad, but she's too tired to walk." Alex stated, meeting Agent Morgan's concerned eyes.

"I'll carry her up the hill. It'll be too awkward to get a stretcher down here."

"I'll help." Alex offered quickly as Morgan went about gathering the small blonde up.

"No it's fine. You've done more than enough." Morgan replied. He looked thankful, but there was also a protective glint in his eyes as if he didn't trust Alex with JJ.

His legs stiff, Alex still surprised himself at how quickly he was able to stand up.

"Seriously, let me help. I don't want you to drop her." He continued, feeling as if his duty wasn't done until he saw Agent Jareau, JJ, safely in that ambulance.

"I'm bigger than you are. Trust me I…" Morgan began to scoff.

"Morgan its fine let him help. He saved my life." JJ interrupted quietly.

Morgan glared warily at the man, but conceded to JJ's wishes.

"I think you should be checked out too Officer Springs." Alex's captain said as the group of three passed him.

"Yes sir." He answered simply, too tired and cold to suggest otherwise.

It seemed like an eternity, but they made it out of the woods and to the waiting ambulance. As JJ was laid carefully on the gurney, Alex took one last glance at her.

He was more than happy that she was ok. That she had survived and that he had found her, helped her to survive. It would go down as one of the best days of his life, even if he was really just doing his job, and nothing more. Turning to leave, almost certain that this would be one of the last times he saw her, he stopped when he felt a small hand grip his wrist. He turned back to JJ, looking questioningly at her.

"You should ride with me." She said simply, hopefully.

Morgan arched an eyebrow that Alex caught out of the corner of his eye, but JJ ignored the agent, her eyes focused solely on him. Alex couldn't hide his smile as he nodded his acceptance. Sitting down beside her, she maintained her hold on his wrist.

Suddenly, maybe even improbably, Alex's day had gotten just a little bit better.

AN: I know this was a little long for a one shot, but I didn't feel like there was enough content to stretch it into multiple chapters. I know I could've explored exactly what happened to JJ further, but I actually liked the ambiguity of it so you the reader can decide just how bad she was harmed. I sort of hinted in both directions (bad and not as bad). I do have some other ideas for stories, but prompts are always welcome. Unfortunately I am short for time lately so one-shots/short stories are probably the best I can do right now. Thanks again for reading!