Howdy! Yep, I'm back. I had so much going on in this one I about drove myself insane. Hope you like this crazy little trip into the worlds of arson and obsession. Oh, and Mitchell Reese.
Sunday morning JJ gets up when she hears Henry stirring. It hadn't surprised her the night before when Emily had reluctantly taken a pain pill. Between the impromptu trip to Wyoming and their long night of making love added to Emily's worry before the trip and her fear of Garcia after, go figure her arm was aching. The surgeons had told her to avoid tension. JJ stares at her sleeping wife for a few minutes. She leans over and kisses her cheek.
"You are crazy, impulsive, at times frustrating but I could not love you any more if I tried, Emily Prentiss." She strokes a hand through dark locks, chuckling when Emily moans happily in her sleep. "My big love bug. Now I know where Rocky gets it."
She kisses Emily once more then gets up as she hears Henry moving even more. Any moment now he will call out to them and JJ wants to make sure Emily gets as much sleep as she can. She grabs the baby monitors and goes into the bathroom. Just as she finishes Henry and Rocky both start calling to her.
"Perfect timing, sweethearts," she whispers.
As she starts out of the bedroom she hears a croaky voice. "Need help?"
She glances over and sees Emily's eyes are barely open. "I'll send them to you when I'm done. You just rest, baby."
Emily's eyes close again. "Um'kay," she mumbles.
JJ just rolls her eyes wondering if her wife will even remember the brief conversation. She pokes her head into Rocky's room. "Good morning, Rock Star."
"Mommy!" the little girl squeals, waving with both hands as she stands in her crib.
"You wait here just a minute and let me get Henry on the potty, okay?"
"He loves you, too, Rock."
JJ walks on down the hall and pokes her head into her son's room. "Morning, Henry."
"Hi, Mommy. Ska and I gotta potty."
JJ chuckles. "Okay. You know where to go."
Henry hops up. "C'mon Ska."
Alaska follows Henry down the hall to the bathroom. After he finishes, she smiles at him.
"Why don't you go cuddle with Mama? She could use a very gentle Henry Hug this morning."
Henry smiles. "'Kay, Mommy!"
He and Alaska run down the hall to the bedroom as JJ makes her way to the nursery. She starts in and comes to a stop in shock. Rocky stands in the middle of the floor…naked.
"Mommy!" the little girl says happily.
"Uh, how did you get out of your bed, Little One? And why are you naked?"
"Great…of all the things I've taught you you've mastered dodging the question." She lifts her up and gives her a hug. "Morning, Rocky."
Rocky gives her a hug and kiss. "Love Mommy," she reiterates.
"I love you, too, my little Houdini."
JJ gets her into a fresh diaper and pajamas and carries her down to the master bedroom. She finds Henry cuddled up to Emily, patting her stomach softy. He looks at his mother and sister.
"Shhh! Mama s'eeping!" he sort of whispers.
"You keep whispering that loudly she won't be. How about we let her sleep and go get breakfast?"
Henry scrambles off the bed. "Breakfast! Yum!"
"Yum!" Rocky echoes.
JJ chuckles and takes them downstairs. She puts Rocky in her high chair as Henry scrambles up into his booster seat.
"So, what sounds good today?" JJ asks them as she gets Rocky buckled in.
"Cakes!" Henry cheers.
"Cakes! Cakes!" Rocky chimes in.
JJ laughs. "You two are going to turn into pancakes if you're not careful." She kisses the top of Rocky's head and goes about making breakfast for her children, smiling as she imagines getting breakfast ready for 4 little ones. She rubs her stomach. "Can't wait, guys."
JJ has just settled the kids in the living room with an episode of Blues Clues when Emily appears in the kitchen, her eyes still heavy from the pain pills.
"Morning, sweetheart. Heard you stirring so I flipped on the coffee pot."
"Thank goodness," Emily grunts. "I fucking hate pain pills."
JJ quickly glances over her shoulder and sees the kids had not heard. She can't help but smile knowing that Emily is usually so careful about cussing in front of them. It had to be the pill. Emily fixes up a mug and turns to her wife.
"Jen, I really want to make it to church today. I just…after what happened in Wyoming and knowing where I will be on Tuesday I just…need to."
JJ nods. "We have time. The kids have eaten."
"Good. Mind loosening…wait…I need to try something."
Emily sits her mug down. She loosens two of the straps on her brace but the last one is impossible.
"Crap. How do I do this in Arizona?"
JJ frowns. "Maybe whoever goes with you can loosen that strap enough you can get it off to change clothes?"
"Maybe. But then how do I tighten it again?"
"For the night just brace yourself with pillows. Then when you get dressed in the morning your lawyer can tighten it," JJ suggests as she loosens the strap that goes around Emily from front to back.
Emily nods. "I guess that will work." Emily grins at her. "What if it's that new woman up there?"
JJ smiles, picturing the beautiful redhead. "Then you will be a lucky, lucky agent…especially if you remember that Garcia can tap into any camera feed in the world at my request."
Emily laughs and leans over to kiss her wife. "I am a lucky woman because I have you. I am a smart woman because I remember you have Garcia."
JJ's laughter follows her wife upstairs.
In the bathroom, Emily gets the contraption off. She winces a bit as her arm straightens out. She flexes her fingers gently, hating the muscle tone she can already see she is losing.
"This is worse than when I was in the damn coma. At least then Jen could work my arms and legs for me each day." She looks at herself in the mirror. "No more missing therapy, Emily. No more. Get better. That's the only way you can be here for Jen the way she needs you to be. She is in week 14 and she needs you whole. No more excuses, no more panic attacks when she is not in front of you. Be who she needs you to be. She deserves that."
Emily finishes undressing and gets into the shower. By the time she gets out, JJ is ready to get in. They exchange a kiss as Emily starts to dry herself off. When JJ goes to help, Emily shakes her head.
"Unless you want my lawyer doing this on Tuesday I better practice," Emily points out with a grin.
JJ smiles. "True."
JJ steps back into the bedroom where the kids, ready for church, watch another episode of Blues Clues. And though it takes longer than normal, Emily does manage to get dressed and get the immobilizer back on, only needing her wife to tighten the strap around her body. Emily smiles, confidence in her eyes JJ is happy to see.
"I can do it, Jen. I will be fine in Arizona."
JJ nods and gives her a kiss. "I knew you would be."
Emily goes out to watch the show with her kids so JJ can get ready, too.
That afternoon Henry runs up to Emily. "Play ball!" he holds up his wiffle bat and ball.
Emily sighs. "I…I can't, Champ. Maybe Mommy can play."
Henry stomps his foot. "NO! You play, Mama!"
Emily runs her sling. "I can't because of my boo-boo, remember? It means I can't play and- -"
Henry throws his things down. "Fine." He starts to stomp away.
"Hey! Henry, come here for a minute," she says to him.
He stops but does not go back to her. He doesn't even turn to her. Emily's heart is breaking. She kneels down.
"Henry, there is nothing I want more than to go outside and play with you. I promise. I love you and love playing with you. But until the doctor says I can get this off I can't."
Henry sighs. "Fine. Go now."
Emily opens her mouth a couple of times but doesn't know what to say. She just nods. "Okay," she whispers.
Henry stomps out of the living room and to the playroom. Emily pulls herself up onto the couch and stares at the wall. She had put him through a lot this year: the coma, walking out on the family, the bullet wound, and just going away on cases. No wonder he is upset. She has not exactly been a parent he could count on this year.
Emily jumps as she realizes her wife is standing right in front of her. JJ sits down on the coffee table, studying her wife.
"Em, what's wrong?"
"I, um, haven't exactly been a good mother lately. Definitely not the mother Henry needs."
JJ frowns. "What do you mean? What brought that on?"
Emily sighs and stares at the ground, not wanting to see the disappointment in the blue eyes in front of her. She tells JJ about the confrontation and the realization she has had. She shrugs.
"He hates me right now, Jen. I can't be what he needs. I have been…been letting him and you and Rocky down so much and I- -"
JJ grabs Emily's hand. "Hey! Stop! You have not been letting us down. Honey, he is in his terrible two's. This is just a tantrum."
"No, Jen, it's not. It's disappointment. It's…it's hurt. I could handle a tantrum. I can't…can't handle this. I love that little boy so much and he has no way of trusting that right now. He hates me right now, Jen. And he has a right to."
JJ moves to the couch and pulls Emily into a hug. "He may be hurt but he doesn't hate you, Em. He couldn't. I'll talk to him."
"It's going to take more than that. Jen, I'm going to ask for the week of Thanksgiving off. Maybe he and I can do things a couple days. I need to…to prove myself to him again. I need to show him I'm…not my parents."
JJ kisses Emily's temple. "You aren't, Emily. Not even close. I think your idea is perfect."
Emily relaxes into her wife's arms, hoping JJ is right. And that night when Henry asks for his lullaby she is sure she still has a chance to make things right before losing him for 30 or more years like her parents had lost her.
That evening Emily tries several different outfits before settling on black pull on slacks and a red sweater to wear on Tuesday. She frowns.
"I really wanted to wear a blazer. It's more…more…FBI, you know? But it's just not possible with this damn sling."
"I know, sweetheart. It's like your suit of armor." JJ frames her wife's face with two hands. "But you won't need a suit of armor. You can face him, Emily. You know the games he will want to play. You know him better than he knows you. You'll be fine."
"I hate appearing weak in any way. He'll try to make this injury about…about the one he did give me."
"Then you look him in the eyes and say you're fully recovered from that old injury. This is a new one you got saving the life of a child."
Emily sighs. "I'll try to remember that." She reaches up with her good hand and takes one of JJ's. "I promise, Jennifer, no more skipped therapy sessions, no more skipping whatever they give me to do at home. I am going to get better so I can take care of you the way you deserve." She gives her wife a small smile. "I'll even make peanut buttered dill pickles for you."
"Emily, I just care about you getting better not about all that."
"But I care about it, Jennifer. I promised to walk with you start to finish this pregnancy and I've done a pretty crappy job of it so far. After Tuesday I rededicate myself to you and our nesters. Te amo, Jennifer."
JJ smiles. "Now and always, Emily."
The two share a deep kiss. They finish getting Emily packed for Arizona. When they go to bed that night, JJ cuddles close to Emily. Neither woman sleeps well, their dreams haunted by the unsatisfactory end to the Wyoming case and the looming specter of Emily's meeting with Mitchell Reese.