"Baby, I'll try but mommy can't promise ok?" JJ ran her hand over her eyes, already so exhausted but the pile of files waiting for her review just seemed to keep growing no matter what she did. If she wanted to spend any time this weekend at home, she had to stay late and work her way through the stack. Problem was how do you explain that to a four year old who wants to go to the fair. Especially when you already promised he could, and have bailed twice already. This is when being a single parent was the hardest.
"I know Henry. I know I promised but mommy has to work, next time ok? I swear."
Emily watched from across the room as JJ broke yet another promise to Henry. She knew that each time she had to do that, it ate her up a little inside. She got up and slowly worked her way to where JJ was sitting, trying not to look like she had been eavesdropping.
She had been dating JJ for about seven months now, and usually when work interfered with JJ's home life, Emily was working also. This time was different. JJ felt compelled; no make that driven, to read each and every case file that came across her desk. She lived in fear that she would miss something and someone would get hurt or worse as a result. It was a commendable trait; it was just who JJ was.
Emily's heart ached for her girlfriend when she saw her eyes mist up with tears. She would do anything for JJ, anything to make her smile. She walked slowly over and sat down across from her.
"Hey. You okay, sweetie?"
JJ blinked a few times and tried to pretend there was something in her eye.
"Yeah, Yeah, I'm fine. Eye strain."
Giving her a skeptical look, Emily lightly touched the back of her hand, "Now you know I know you better than that. What's wrong? Anything I can do?"
Shaking her head, "No, it's nothing big. I just had to tell Henry he couldn't go somewhere I promised to take him. I'll make it up to him...somehow."
"Well, if it's because of these case files, I could stay and review them for you. That way you could go ahead and do what you planned."
As much as JJ trusted and loved Emily, as well as the rest of the team, she just felt better if she did the reviews herself. Others may not see a pattern that might jump out at her.
"That's sweet Em, but I need to do this myself. You understand."
Sighing in frustration, sometimes this woman could be so stubborn, Emily nodded her head.
"What had you planned to do tonight with Henry anyway?"
"Take him to the fair. He saw the signs last week and has been begging me ever since. I've already let him down twice now, and tonight's the last night before it leaves town." JJ sighed and thought, not for the first time, that she wouldn't be winning any 'Mother of the Year" awards any time soon.
"I could take him."
JJ looked at her like she had lost her mind, "You could take him? Why on earth would you want to spend a perfectly good Friday night with a four year old?"
Emily shrugged, "Because he's your son. Because I like him and we really need to spend more time together." With a shy smile, Emily softly said, "Because I really have this thing for his Mother, and it would make her happy."
Searching the older agent's eyes, JJ blushed, then smiled at her.
"It would be nice if the two of you got to know each other better. But Henry on sugar and adrenaline might not be the most productive way to do that. But it's so sweet of you to offer, Em. Thank you."
"Aw C'mon, Jay. Let me take him. I haven't been to a fair in...Well, ever actually."
"You've never been to the fair? Never? Not even as a child?" JJ was amazed anyone could grow up and not go to at least one carnival or fair.
Emily shook her head, "Nope. Not a lot of time for that, and with all the moving around and foreign countries..." Emily just shrugged in explanation. "It'll be both our first time, so we can discover stuff together. Please....I wanna go on rides and eat cotton candy and funnel cake. I have no idea what funnel cake is, but I want some." Emily joked. "Please, JJ. Huh? C'mon please. Can me and Henry go to the fair? Please..."
"Okay. Okay. Silly woman. But don't blame me when he runs you ragged."JJ giggled with a bright smile on her face.
Emily's grin was a mile wide as she gazed into those gorgeous blue eyes. Nothing could be better than seeing this woman smile. "Call and tell him I'll be there in one hour. K?"
JJ nodded, still smiling at her as she picked up the phone. "Insane. You are just completely insane."
"And you love it." Emily shot back as she got up.
"Yeah, I do." JJ replied softly making Emily's grin bloom into a bright smile.
JJ put the key in her door at midnight. She was exhausted but had made quite a bit of headway with the stack of case files on her desk. She saw a soft light coming from the living room, and headed that way. She smiled at the sight that greeted her, Emily half sitting, half lying on the couch. Her head all the way back, mouth slightly open as she softly snored. Lying in the crook of her arm, cuddled up against her chest was Henry, sound asleep and looking for all the world like he had found the most comfortable spot on the planet. She just stood there and looked at this beautiful tableau, as tears stung her eyes.
She quietly moved over to them and went to pick up Henry. Emily came awake with a groggy, "Huh?” rubbing her eyes with the back of her hands and blinking rapidly. She was just adorable and JJ wanted to kiss her silly.
"Hey," JJ whispered. "Just me."
Emily grinned at her, "Hey." She turned her head and looked at Henry sleeping in her arms and blushed. "Sorry. He wanted to wait up for you. I thought with it being Friday night, it would be okay. Guess we both nodded off."
"Of course it's okay. Here, let me put him to bed." When she picked up Henry, he woke in the same manner Emily had; little hands rubbing his eyes and a groggy, "huh?"
Once his eyes locked onto her though, he was awake and jabbering. "Mommy...mommy. Me and Emmi had fun! Emmi...Emmi canz eatz three funntle cakes all byz herself! She took me on allz the widez and...and..we...we..."
"Shhh...you can tell me all about it in the morning, okay buddy? It's way past your bedtime."
Already beginning to fall back asleep, Henry nodded. Looking over to Emily, he held his arms out and gave a little whimper, reaching for her. Emily looked at JJ, confused as to what he wanted.
"He wants a good night kiss, Emmi." JJ said with a light laugh in her voice.
"Oh." Emily got up and awkwardly hugged Henry, who instantly wrapped his arms around her neck.
"Night night Emmi."
"Night night, little man." She kissed him on the cheek and again on the top of his head.
JJ tucked him in, kissed him goodnight and headed back downstairs. Emily was sitting on the couch, a goofy grin plastered on her face.
"Looks like you have a fan. He wasn't much trouble was he?"
Emily shook her head, "None at all, he was the perfect little gentleman. Thanks for letting me do that Jay. I really enjoyed myself. He's a great kid." Emily got up and reached for her jacket. "I'll let you get on to bed; you must be dead on your feet."
JJ took the jacket from her hands and tossed it over the chair. "You don't have to go yet." She stepped closer and treaded her fingers into Emily's soft black hair and kissed her softly on the lips. "I want to hear about your night. Did you really eat three funnel cakes all by yourself?"
Emily shrugged, "I was hungry. And they're really good! You didn't say they would be really, really good."
"Silly woman." JJ laughed and pulled her into another kiss.