“Is my fabulous god-child off the tit?” Garcia asked, hands on hips.
JJ gave her one of those patented Jareau ‘I’m not laughing at you, really’ smiles. “Yes, I finished weaning him off breast milk last week. I didn’t really want to, but with Jordan going back to Anti-Terrorism, you guys need me, and I can’t exactly bring him into work.”
“Aw…I could watch him while you’re out in the field. We could get a little cradle and put it under my desk so I could rock him and type at the same time.”
“While I don’t doubt your multi-tasking skills, that still wouldn’t solve the breast milk problem.”
“But since there’s no chance of you passing harmful-to-baby chemicals to little Henry,” Penelope said, reaching out and grabbing two handfuls of JJ’s hair, “We can finally dye this red like we’ve always talked about.”
JJ turned her eyes up as if she could possibly see her own hairline. “You think?”
“Trust me, mamacita, you’ll make a devilish redhead. Why don’t you and Henry come over tomorrow after work, and I’ll bring the hair dye and a babysitter?”
The promised hair dye turned out to be a good old Irish red (for a horrible minute on the car ride over JJ had pictured herself with fire engine red and almost turned the car around) and the babysitter turned out to be Morgan who took Henry out of her arms before she was even in the door and headed off to couch, already cooing over her son.
JJ and Penelope took a moment to appreciate the sight of Morgan fussing over a baby.
“That’s never going to not make me gooey inside” Garcia mused; JJ elbowed her.
Garcia’s apartment bathroom was about the same size as a restroom you’d find on a plane, but they both piled in. “Take your shirt off,” Penelope ordered, tossing JJ an old brown towel. “Trust me, it’ll get ruined.”
JJ unbuttoned the blue shirt she’d stolen from Will, revealing a peach-colored nursing bra with just a bit of lace trimming the edges. She might have weaned Henry, but her body still got confused and nothing was more embarrassing than a leak. As she tied the towel like a cape around her shoulders, she took a look around the bathroom, noting the pink, green, and blue stains around the sink. There was even a dash of fuchsia across the ceiling.
Garcia saw where she was looking and snorted. “That was not a good color on me. As an accent, maybe, but not as a full head of hair.” She gestured to the toilet seat and its frog face cover. “Your throne, milady.”
Penelope’s gloved hands working through JJ’s hair felt sinfully good. JJ closed her eyes and leaned into the touch, wishing the directions on the box didn’t strictly forbid massaging the dye into the scalp. When the dye was fully applied, she snuck a glance in the mirror as Garcia set the timer. “I look like an idiot.” Her hair, piled up in a goopy swirl on top of her head, looked more maroon than red. “And my head smells like hamster pee.”
“It’ll look different when we wash it out,” Garcia assured her.
JJ spent the twenty-five minutes while the chemicals cooked her hair sitting on Garcia’s ottoman, watching the Food Network. Morgan and Henry had both dozed off watching Iron Chef, her son’s tiny, chubby fists curled in Morgan’s t-shirt and one of Morgan’s broad hands resting across Henry’s back, holding the baby protectively to his chest. Laying a finger to her lips, Garcia dug her phone out of her purse and snapped a quick picture for “posterity”.
When Penelope’s Hello Kitty watch beeped that it was time for the dye to be rinsed out, the two of them piled giggling back into the bathroom and stuck JJ’s head under the tub faucet. Rinsing out hair dye apparently involved half-drowning JJ in the process, and the laughing only meant she got water up her nose.
“Seriously, I’m taking away Morgan’s Man Card. Two sexy girls shut in the bathroom with water running and this much giggling, and he doesn’t come running?” Penelope joked as she toweled JJ’s hair dry. “Ok, time for the big reveal…” Putting her hands on JJ’s shoulders, she spun her so JJ could see her reflection in the mirror.
At first glance, JJ thought she was looking at a stranger. Then, no, that was her as a redhead.
Garcia hooked her chin over JJ’s shoulder and beamed. “Looks good on you.”
“You think so?”
“Trust me—I know these things.”