"So, baby," Emily said casually, reaching over to stroke JJ's long blonde hair as she focused on the dark highway in front of them, "I was thinking I might write a book."
JJ snorted. "You've been saying that ever since we met and all you do is type on your stupid laptop for hours, editing other people's books, with absolutely nothing of your own to show for it."
"Not nothing," Emily replied defensively. "I write."
"Oh, yeah? What do you write?"
"Well ..." She hesitated. "I write erotic fiction for websites under a pseudonym. I don't get paid for it, but they're - OK, do you remember Fifty Shades of Grey?"
"You know I read about ten pages of that trash before throwing it away." JJ rolled her eyes.
"But did you know it started as fanfiction about the Twilight book series?"
"As .. what?" JJ asked in disbelief. "You mean ..."
"Yep, darling. It started as a little, innocent story about Bella and Edward's ... how shall I say it ... proclivities for BDSM and became a best-seller a hundred times over," Emily responded triumphantly, reaching behind her head to pull her black hair into a loose ponytail. "I write for those sites. You have no idea how many followers I have, how many reviews my stories get! Personally, I'd choose that over cash any day of the week."
"So you write about the Twilight characters having ..."
"Oh, no!" Emily interrupted her, relishing the wide-eyed look of incredulity on JJ's face. Relishing the knowledge that, at some point, JJ would log onto those sites to find the fanfiction she'd been secretly writing for years after Garcia had excitedly introduced her to the concept one day at work. "I write about Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. About the soft yet tough ADA Alexandra Cabot being seduced by the secretive, irresistible Olivia Benson."
"It sounds ... it sounds like us," JJ stammered, keeping her eyes fixed in front of her.
"That's why I started writing it," Emily cooed, forcing herself to suppress any unnecessary side remarks about profiling. "I wanted to express all of my fantasies ... um, and all of our experiences, of course ... on paper so I could return to them again and again when you worked those agonizingly-late nights."
"So which is your favorite? I mean, your favorite one you've written about us?" JJ wanted to know, her voice a throaty whisper.
"Probably ..." Emily paused, mentally reviewing the numerous fantasies she'd written about them using the two television characters as a barely-concealed disguise. "Probably the time it was my birthday and I said I wanted to skip my normal tiramisu and have you for dessert instead. When I covered you in melted chocolate, whipped cream, and strawberries and took about an hour licking it all off of you. Remember? You kept begging me to skip the rest of your body and you were trembling so much the strawberry on your pussy kept falling down onto the carpet."
"And then when you finally got there ..." JJ prompted her, shivering slightly.
"First I took the strawberry in my mouth and rubbed it against you. Slowly. You pushed my head against you so hard I almost choked on it!" Emily laughed. "After that, I ate the strawberry ... and then I ate the very best part of my dessert."
JJ shivered again, goosebumps visibly appearing on her skin, and Emily asked innocently, "Alexandra, are you cold?"
"No." JJ swallowed hard. "I'm too ... I'm too hot, actually."
Emily leaned back in her seat and put her hand on JJ's leg. "We're almost there, sweetheart. We'll be there in about half an hour, according to these directions. I know you can wait. Think about how much more amazing it will be if you wait."
After a short period of silence, JJ eventually spoke, briefly glancing over at Emily. "Do you want to know what my favorite memory is?"
"The first night we were together," JJ whispered, her knuckles tightening against the steering wheel. "When you invited me over to your apartment, and I asked you, Ms. Cook, what does it feel like with a woman? and we started kissing. It was like those kisses ignited some flame deep within me, like you'd started a forest fire that I knew I'd never be able to contain from that moment afterward. I was so scared - I had no idea what to do - but you did everything, at first. It was only when I heard you touching yourself next to me that I began to wish it was my finger instead of yours. So I leaned over and I ... and I was so nervous about not doing it right ..."
"But you did it perfectly," Emily reassured her, leaning over to gently kiss her cheek.
"And I woke up early the next morning, torn between putting all of my clothes back on, running away, and pretending like nothing had happened, and between wanting to taste you like you'd tasted me the night before."
Emily could hear the change in her voice instantly; it was no longer the business-like affect of Alexandra Brewster but the uncertain and still somewhat-ashamed JJ speaking.
"I tasted you, thinking I wouldn't like it. But I liked it ... I liked it so much that I ... that I ..."
"That you kept going until I woke up and had an orgasm," Emily broke in.
"Yeah," JJ added wistfully, lost in the memory. "And that's when I knew that nothing would be the same between us ever again."
Emily frowned, uneasiness running through her veins at a rapid pace. Why did she say that nothing would be the same between us ever again? Why didn't she say that nothing would be the same for her ever again? she wondered, furrowing her brow anxiously. If not for this assignment ... would that night in the hotel room truly have been the first and last night we spent together? If not for this assignment, would she have actually forced herself to forget those feelings, to extinguish that "fire" she spoke about earlier, and return to her unhappy life as a wife and mother as though it had never happened at all? Is that what she's determined to do once this case is closed and we return to Quantico as Emily Prentiss and Jennifer Jareau?
JJ's voice broke into her thoughts. "That's when I knew I had to be with you, no matter what."
Those words should have come as a relief to Emily, but they didn't. Because JJ's tone had changed: she'd once again transformed herself into Alexandra. Different voice, different posture ... different person?
You can't fake who you are while you're having an orgasm, Emily thought, trying to suppress the panic rising in her chest, and I never enjoyed sleeping with Ian Doyle, not once. I certainly never had an orgasm with him. But if that's the only part that JJ's not faking, then how do I make her fall in love with me? How do I make her fall in love with the real me and not with this persona I've created? All of the orgasms in the world won't accomplish that. She knew that this was her last chance. Her last chance to break cover and tell JJ how she truly felt.
Emily took a deep breath and hesitantly murmured, "JJ?"
At hearing her real name, JJ abruptly sat up straight, her blonde hair whipping across her face as she turned to stare at Emily, hissing, "What are you doing? We left 'Emily' and 'JJ' by the side of the road three states ago, remember?"
"I swear to you, this is the last and only time I'm going to do this," Emily replied quickly, biting her cuticles. "But I need you to know something. I need you to know something really important before it's too late to tell you."
JJ's posture softened. "OK, Emily. I'm listening. What is it?"
"I need you to know that ... that everything I've said to you as 'Vivian Cook' has been the truth. My truth. JJ, I really am in love with you and I'd give anything in the world for this undercover assignment to be real." She exhaled raggedly. "OK. That's it. That's all I wanted you to know."
"I ... I don't know what to say," JJ stammered, visibly uncomfortable. "I'm not sure how to respond to that."
Emily turned her head toward the window so JJ couldn't see the tears shining in her eyes. "Then don't say anything," she managed to choke out.
"Oh, Emily. Oh, god ... I'm so sorry, but ..."
"No," Emily stated firmly, wiping the teardrops from her cheeks. "Don't be sorry. I'm the one who's sorry. I never should have thought that this was anything more than just another assignment to you. I never should have hoped it might be."
"Emily, I -"
"We're almost there, Alexandra," she practically spat out. "So let's just listen to some music and enjoy the rest of the ride."
When JJ tried to take Emily's hand in her own - a gesture of comfort, of friendship - Emily harshly pushed it away, sending JJ's hand flying into the compartment box in front of her.
"Ouch!" JJ cried out, rubbing her knuckles against her jeans. "That hurt!"
Despite herself, Emily couldn't stop the anguished words from bubbling up in her throat and leaving her glossy pink lips.
"You're right, JJ. That did hurt. That hurt more than you'll ever, ever know."
Fifteen minutes later, following a long period of silence so loud it was deafening, they pulled into the driveway of the beautiful two-story house they'd be calling home for the next few weeks.
"Well, we've arrived, Alexandra," Emily announced, unable to hide the traces of bitterness in her voice. "Our dreams have finally come true."
She didn't wait for a response, just looked underneath the doormat, finding two sets of keys, and unlocked the front door, collapsing on the couch in the living room with her eyes closed. Waiting. Not waiting for JJ, but for this feeling to go away. Praying that it would go away. And yet knowing, deep down, that it wouldn't. Knowing that the best she could do was merely to pretend that her heart hadn't just been torn out of her chest and shattered into a thousand pieces. And, worst of all, knowing that she'd have to express her love - Vivian's love - to someone who was just faking it. Just doing her job.
Behind her, Emily heard the door close and lock before JJ sat down next to her on the couch. "Vivian? Hey, Vivian?"
Emily opened her eyes, prepared to feign exhaustion and suggest going to sleep, until she saw the expression on JJ's face. The honesty in her eyes.
"I know we fought in the car about whether or not this was what I really wanted," JJ murmured, grabbing Emily's hand and intertwining their fingers. "But I do. I'm just ... I'm just scared. This is all so new to me. Like ... like when I found out you were a lesbian and you touched me and ... um, and when I stopped going to class ... It wasn't because I didn't want you. It was because I did, and that terrified me more than anything. So this ... this terrifies me more than anything."
She leaned forward and kissed Emily with passion, with intensity. "You were always better at adapting to new situations," she continued, brushing her lips briefly against Emily's. "I need you to teach me. Will you do that? Will you teach me how ... how to be brave like you?"
Emily sat up and cupped JJ's face in her palms, gazing up with adoration underneath her long, dark eyelashes. "I'll teach you," she promised. "I'll teach you everything you want to know."
There was no resistance, no hesitation, when Emily pressed her lips against JJ's, their hot tongues meeting lightly and briefly before JJ herself deepened the kiss, her tongue exploring the inside of Emily's mouth with a newfound desperation, an urgency that she'd never exhibited so wantonly before.
"Let's go upstairs," she panted, "and really make this place our own."
Emily smiled to herself and took JJ's hand in her own, trailing behind as JJ hurried to the bedroom, forcing Emily to skip some of the plush carpet steps just to keep up, and began haphazardly disrobing.
And then she said it.
JJ actually said it.
"After our first night together, I knew I'd never be the same again. I just never imagined it would be this good, that I'd want you this much. I never imagined that I'd ... that I'd love you this much."
Emily stepped forward and held JJ in a tight, fierce embrace, running her hands down her lover's bare back and kissing her shoulder to obscure the tears of joy brimming in her eyes.
She never could have known that, by turning her head away to hide her own emotions, she'd missed one crucial clue about JJ's:
The conflicted reluctance on her face.