JJ woke to the comforting feeling of Blake's protective arm draped across her stomach. She lay on her side, facing the door. Blake lay on her side too, her index finger grazing lightly over a small patch of exposed skin on JJ's abdomen. The touch was feather light but it stirred something inside of her. It chased away the demons of the night before.
Afraid to move and wake Blake, JJ remained on her side, her eyes fixed on the wall. Her mind began to drift. First to the events of the previous night and the unsub. The terror and the fear she had felt followed by the anger and the guilt for not having seen the danger sooner. But then they drifted further back, through the recent weeks and months. Her life had changed so much, more than she had even realised. Her life had changed because of another unsub, the one who targeted all of them as a team. Because of that, she and Blake had somehow found each other in the midst of chaos; a safe haven in a crazy storm.
The day of Erin's memorial was a dark day in her past. They had lost members of their team before but never in this way. She'd seen what the loss of Emily had done to her friends and to know that she was alive was a heavy burden to carry. Erin Strauss was the first true death to hit them so close to home since Hailey and it had left a deep and open wound.
She'd driven Blake home and Blake had invited her in, offered her a glass of wine but she settled for coffee. They'd talked. The hours just faded, and it had felt like only minutes had gone by. Blake told her about the aftermath of the Amerithrax case and how it affected her. JJ opened up about the loss of Emily, both when the team perceived her dead and after she took the job at Interpol. Somehow the conversation had led them to James, after JJ insisted calling him.
Blake's confession that their divorce had been finalised without the team even noticing had shocked her. She knew the dark haired woman was a private person but she didn't know the extent of how deep this really went. But the confession made her feel comfortable enough to talk about Will. It had never been a secret he didn't like her job, didn't like the long days it kept her away from home. They argued more and more, whenever she was home. Eventually she didn't look forward to going home anymore because she knew all that was waiting for her was more regret.
JJ didn't quite remember how it had happened or who had moved first but somehow she had ended up kissing Blake. Blake had kissed her back. They were hesitant and very much aware that there would be no way back from this but they were both willing. It all just happened from there. Blake took her hand, led her up the stairs and quietly closed the bedroom door behind them. In the dim light of the lamp on her bedside table she had looked like the most beautiful thing JJ had ever seen.
She still looked like that when she woke up at three in the morning with Blake's arm draped around her waist, their naked bodies tangled up together, wrapped up in the soft cotton bed sheets that smelled of lilac. Somehow she had managed to slip out from underneath Blake's arm without waking her and in the dark she managed to find her clothes.
What some people would have called a walk of shame, JJ didn't see. In fact, she wasn't ashamed at all. She hovered for a little while in the bedroom doorway, watching Blake sleep, before crossing the room again and softly kissing her goodbye. She then left and went home. Driving through the dark and quiet streets of D.C, every part of her screamed to turn around and go back but she knew she couldn't. Not with Henry still at home.
She fell asleep on the couch. Climbing into bed with Will wasn't an option. She didn't sleep much, instead lying awake and thinking about Blake. She'd picked up her phone and sent her a message, saying she was sorry to have left but that she had never felt more safe and warm in her life. The next day, when Will took Henry to go and buy some new clothes, she met Blake in the park.
She and Will hadn't talked about why she came home late. If he knew then he didn't ask but there were many nights where she came home in the early morning. They somehow completed a morning routine that fitted perfectly around Henry and after that they went their separate ways. It was Blake's idea to meet in the park and they walked for a little while, in silence, before finding a bench to sit on. They didn't talk about what happened the previous night but about what could happen in the future. JJ had kissed her without thinking. It answered the question for both of them; they didn't want to move away from this.
Their next case took them to Michigan and the sharing of hotel rooms began. When they returned home, JJ spent most of her time trying to find an affordable place to live that wasn't in the most crime ridden part of town and eventually found a small apartment that, although it made her commute to work longer, was still in a great place for Henry. That same day she told Will she was moving out. Again he didn't ask. He watched her leave.
"Jayj?" Blake whispered into her ear and JJ was snapped out of her thoughts, turning her head a little so she could look at the brunette.
Blake, still somewhat sleepy, smiled. "Just checking you're awake." Her grip on JJ's stomach tightened a little. Her fingers now fiddled with the hem of her shirt. "How are you feeling?"
"Better," JJ answered, her blue eyes coming to life the longer she looked at Blake. For a moment she wished she could stay in this precious moment forever. "Because of you."
Blake cocked her head a little as she propped herself up on her elbow and kissed JJ's shoulder blade. The unnerving feeling of Will being in Boston and JJ not knowing he was here crept back up on her. She knew she had to tell JJ sooner rather than later as he expected to see her at some point today.
JJ sensed the change in Blake's demeanour and her eyes narrowed. "Alex, what's going on?"
Blake heaved a sigh and her brown eyes connected with JJ's blue. "When you were kidnapped, Garcia went through your file to contact your next of kin…"
She didn't need to finish that sentence for JJ to understand what she was trying to say. Her face fell and her blue eyes lost a little of their shine. "When will he get here?"
"He's already here."
Blake watched how JJ's face changed from sadness to shock. "He got here yesterday, managed to get on a redeye out of Dulles."
JJ swallowed hard. The whirlwind of emotions that had started inside of her didn't show any signs of settling down. "Does he know?"
Blake shook her head. "No, Hotch only told him that you were seeing someone. He had to tell him because of the unsub's reasons to take you. He never told Will who that person it was."
The calm and peaceful feeling JJ had experienced lying in bed wrapped up in Blake's arms was gone. She felt restless and unsettled. Irritation crept under her skin. She was annoyed at herself for not having changed her file but at the same time she knew it wasn't her fault. She and Blake hadn't gone public with their relationship at the time. Making a change to the file would have drawn Garcia's attention without doubt.
Blake slowly withdrew her arm, allowing JJ to move more freely. The blonde almost immediately slopped out of bed, dressed in a pair of grey shorts and a tank top she had borrowed from Blake the previous night. They fell a little loose around her frame but it somehow suited her. The blonde hair fell freely down her shoulders, framing her face. The clothes barely covered the bruises on her skin and it seemed that some of the bruises had grown bigger and darker overnight.
Blake sat up and the bed sheets pooled at her feet. She followed JJ with her eyes. "What do you want to do?" she asked softly. The blonde stopped in her tracks. "JJ, whatever you think is the right thing to do, I'll do. If you don't want to see him then I'll go tell Hotch to send him back to Washington. If you do want to see him then that's fine too."
"He needs to know," JJ said quietly. The thought of talking to Will about her relationship with Blake weighed heavy on her heart. "Because I want you to spend time with Henry. I don't want to keep hiding this relationship anymore. We're grown adults." Her eyes found Blake's. "I want Henry to get to know you, to know that you're the one who makes his mommy happy now." She looked down at the floor. "I can only hope that Will understands that."
Blake weakly smiled. "Do you want me to come with you?"
JJ shook her head. "No," she said. "This is something I need to do alone." She looked up. "But thank you."
"No need to thank me," Blake said and patted the mattress. She'd glanced at the alarm clock and was surprised at the time. She felt like she'd slept forever when in fact ut had only been a few hours. "Now come back to bed. It's still early."
"Alex, it's almost nine o'clock." JJ rolled her eyes.
"That is early!"
"You're impossible; you know that, don't you?" JJ said with a smile as she climbed back into the bed and wrapped the sheets around her. Her body ached and the bruising on her back was sore. Her muscles protested against most movements but she bit the pain away. She rested her head against Blake's shoulders and relaxed when she felt the older woman's fingers thread her hair.
Blake smiled. "Yes, I know," she answered as she kissed the top of JJ's head. "But you don't mind."
"How did you even get through the Academy?" JJ asked, raising an eyebrow in question. There was a hint of sarcasm in her voice. "Or don't I want to know?"
"My lips are sealed."
"Now there's a first." JJ grinned as she pushed herself up to kiss Blake.
The sound of a phone vibrating interrupted them and Blake reached around on the bedside table looking for the device. She picked it up, checked the caller ID and saw Hotch flash across the screen. She sat up as she answered.
Blake looked down at the blonde woman beside her. "She's fine," she answered, smiling a little. "What's the news on our unsub?"
"BPD got a full confession out of him last night and early this morning," Hotch replied. "Rossi mentioned going for breakfast at this place around the corner from the hotel. Apparently they do great coffee."
He extended the invitation without literally saying the words but Blake could read between the lines. "Coffee sounds fantastic," she said as she looked back at JJ. The blonde nodded. "We'll meet you down in the lobby in twenty minutes." She hung up, threw the phone somewhere on the bed and leant in, capturing JJ's lips with her own.
"Come on," she whispered when she felt JJ's hands begin to sneak underneath her shirt. "They're waiting for us."
JJ smiled as she kicked the sheets away from herself and watched as Blake walked around the room, peeling her shirt away from her skin and rummaging around in her bag for something to wear. She couldn't take her eyes of the other woman. She was drawn in, like a moth to a flame. This was the woman who made her heart beat faster, who made her feel alive and happy at the same time.
It didn't matter what Will had to say. JJ was already happy and nothing was going to change that.