Prompt: Character A’s best friend rigs the Secret Santa, because they know Character A has a crush on Character B. (But, I’m giving this prompt a little twist).
A/N: This is my first fanfiction for this site, so ratings and reviews are appreciated and welcomed!
I do not own Criminal Minds nor the characters associated with the show.
The annual BAU Secret Santa tradition was something that Penelope Garcia looked forward to every single year. She just loved the idea of surprising people with presents, especially if the people were her crime-fighting best friends. She sighed in content as she thought about Christmas, it was one of her favorite holidays.
Unlike Penelope, Emily Prentiss was dreading the commencement of this tradition for the sole reason that she did not want to disappoint the person she was selected to gift. Emily nervously picked at her fingernails, her foot bouncing on and off of the floor. Derek looked at his partner and shook his head.
“Don’t do that,” he simply said, laughing internally as her head snapped up. She put her arms onto her desk and sighed.
“I have to, Derek. Secret Santa assignments go out today, you know they make my stomach ache!”
“Your nerves always get the better of you, Princess. Besides, who knows? You might get JJ this year.” He winked suggestively. Emily buried her face into her hands. Derek heard a muffled groan from the other side of their fleshy barrier. He got up from his desk and approached her own, taking a seat on the ledge. He put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed, knowing she liked the comfort, but she’d never say that out loud.
She looked around the bullpen before propping her head onto her right hand. “This stupid crush is getting out of hand,” she muttered. Derek gave her a meaningful look and shook his head.
“That’s what you should’ve said a month or two after discovering you’re into her. How long has it been, Em?” He asked with a gentle tone, one without any hint of judgment or disgust.
“More than a year.” She whispered. “I mean, it just happened, you know?” He studied his friend for a few moments and mentally noted the way her eyes softened and face seemed to glow while talking about the blonde. Derek’s eyes widened as he came up with his conclusion. He had known Emily for years and knew exactly how to read her, how to read her actions and words.
“Holy shit,” he exclaimed, “you’re in love with her!” Her eyes widened and she began to aggressively shush him.
“Shut up, Morgan! Someone could have heard!” Emily squeaked in a voice that was entirely different than her usual tone. He simply rolled his eyes and sat up. He checked at his watch and noticed that the rest of the team would be coming back from their coffee run, thus meaning Penelope would be there to deal out Secret Santas.
Morgan returned to his seat and stared at his friend, who was now engrossed in her stack of paperwork. He sighed and thought about everything. He had watched his friend admire the other agent from afar for months, he even knew the look on her face whenever she’d even think about the other woman. He was also fairly certain that JJ had felt the exact same way, and had even caught her giving Emily looks of longing. Derek instantly knew what he needed to do.
The dark-skinned man abruptly jumped up from his seat and ran towards Penelope’s lair, leaving behind a confused brunette profiler in the bullpen. Without knocking, Derek busted open the door and put his hands on top of Garcia’s shoulders.
“Chocolate God, are you okay?” she asked, but he just shook his head. He had a mischievous glint in his eyes, one she was all too familiar with. “What’s going on?”
“I need you to make JJ’s secret Santa Emily and Emily’s Secret Santa JJ.” He rushed out. She looked at him with a face that screamed: “Tell me more details and you’ve got yourself a deal.”
“Emily is into JJ and is too scared to talk to her about her feelings.” Derek supplied. Penelope nodded her head understandingly.
“Those girls are just dancing around their feelings, aren’t they?” she joked as she moved towards her desk in order to get the paper slits. Derek murmured a response and thanked Penelope with a kiss to her cheek. She brought her hand to the spot and smiled at him.
After leaving Garcia’s lair, Derek made his way back to his best friend’s desk. He heard chatter coming from the bullpen and assumed that the rest of the team were back, and as he predicted, seconds after he noticed his team, the distinct sound of heels approaching him from behind. He turned to back to look at Garcia and simply nodded his head. This Christmas, Emily, and JJ will finally get the present they deserve, he thought to himself. Ew… So cheesy, I gotta stop hanging out with Pretty Boy. (Like that would ever happen).
“Alright my lovelies!” Penelope energetically called out to the other agents. Their conversations halted as they all gave their undivided attention to their bubbly friend. They all knew how important carrying out BAU traditions was to the tech analyst. “Are you ready to get assigned?” After seeing the head nods, and ignoring the low groan from Emily, Penelope went about giving each person their own piece of paper.
Upon reading the piece of paper she was given, Emily’s eyes widened and breathing stopped. Of course, she had been JJ’s Secret Santa. I can’t believe my luck. She rolled her eyes and signed down at the paper. She felt herself sink back into her chair’s cheap leather.
Meanwhile, JJ smiled at the paper she was given and exhaled as she read “Crazy Cat Lady.” She snuck a glance at the raven-haired profiler and smiled in adoration as the older woman seemed to be pouting at Derek. She took a glance at Garcia and rolled her eyes as the bubbly woman winked at her.
“So, what do you think she’d want?” Derek questioned his partner. It was two days after Derek’s Secret Santa meddling and the pair still didn’t have any ideas. Emily didn’t answer right away as she was way too engrossed by her Chinese takeout, and based on the look on her face, engrossed in her own thoughts as well.
“I’m not really sure.” Emily answered and it wasn’t a lie, she genuinely did not know how she was going to pull this off. “We…I need to go big on this one.”
“Alright, so let’s list some stuff out,” Derek suggested. “How about getting her some makeup and girl things?” Emily’s eyebrows furrowed.
“She doesn’t need makeup, Morgan.” She told the man. “I mean, I’m not sure about her wanting makeup but she’s perfect without it… And besides, I know nothing about it.” Derek nodded.
The conversation went like this for over thirty minutes. After at least three minutes in, Derek realized that this was going to be harder than he had thought due to the fact that he wasn’t as close to the blonde agent as his best friend was, and even so Emily was overthinking the entire thing. All he could do was wish for a miracle.
“What if,” Emily started, “What if I get her all of the things that make her who she is… That I really admire about her.” She nervously chuckled. “It sounds stupid out loud,” she quietly added. Derek smiled and nodded his head.
“I think I see where you’re going with this… Do you need my help?”
“No, I’m good for the most part, but if I do need it I’ll ask. Thank you, Morgan.”
The next day, Emily went to all of JJ’s favorite places to shop. Finding clothes for the blonde wasn’t too hard, as she had been over her apartment countless times and knew her size. She bought a few cute blouses that she knew the blonde would look incredible in, as well as pajamas with cartoon foxes and bunnies on them.
She smiled as she thought of JJ and her pajamas. Every time she hung out with the younger agent in her apartment, JJ would dash off to her room and return wearing pajamas with cartoon animals on them and hand Emily a pair to change into. One day, JJ had given Emily her designated pajamas and after observing how comfortable the older agent looked, she asked if she’d like to keep them. Emily only smiled, no verbal answer but JJ knew, she always understood what she meant.
And that’s the problem with people like her, she thought to herself, they always seem to understand people like me.
The only thing that scared Emily Prentiss was her own emotions, years of suppressing your feelings can do that to a person. It wasn’t that Emily thought that JJ would completely cut her out of her life, the blonde was far too caring to even consider doing that, but if she had to admit, she’d prefer that to the alternative.
JJ was the embodiment of a good person, which is why confessing her feelings was just simply not an answer. It’d keep Emily up at night if the way she felt for the blonde make her feel uncomfortable in the slightest, just knowing that made her feel sick. She shook her head and focused back at the task at hand.
She continued shopping for the blonde when she felt her stomach grumble. She paid for the clothes and other items that she hoped JJ would like. She returned to her house and realized that she almost forgot about JJ’s Cheetos addiction and ruled that she’d pick up one of the jumbo boxes tomorrow before heading to Garcia’s apartment.
Every year the team would sleep over at the technological genius’ apartment on Christmas Eve and open up their presents from one another on Christmas day. It was nice to be together on the holidays, especially since they truly were a family.
She was drawn from her thoughts as she felt something softly bump into her leg. She looked down and smiled at Sergio.
“You must be hungry, Babyboy,” She affectionately told him. He brushed against her leg. “How about this, after we eat you can help me with wrapping these gifts and Jayje’s other surprise.” Sergio energetically meowed in response.
The night passed by faster than Emily had expected, mainly because she had stayed up the majority of the night putting together the gift collection. Emily groaned and rubbed her eyes.
She picked up her phone and turned it on to check the time. Her eyes widened as she looked at all of the text messages that were displayed on the screen. She checked the large numbers at the top and instantly scrambled out of bed.
“Shit!” she yelled as she ran outside of her room. Sergio needs to eat! She instantly thought. What she found in her living room didn’t surprise her, though.
She found Derek sitting on her couch, stroking a sleeping Sergio’s jet black fur. Derek glanced up at her and smiled.
“You look like shit,” he commented with a smile. She rolled her eyes and flipped him off. “The team got nervous because you weren’t answering their texts earlier. I came to check up on you since only JJ and I have a key. Don’t worry, Serg’s been fed.”
“How long have you been here?” She asked him. He shrugged.
“A few hours, thought you needed the rest and didn’t want to leave you and the man alone.” He gestured towards the sleeping cat. “Now come on, go get ready. I already put the giant bag of presents in my SUV.” Emily nodded and smiled appreciatively at her best friend. Even on her off days, the man could always make her smile.
It took her a little over twenty minutes to get ready, and fifteen minutes for the trio (because they weren’t just going to leave Sergio there), to arrive at Garcia’s apartment. The colorful woman instantly opened the door as soon as Derek knocked on the door. A bright smile formed on her face as she saw the three standing there, well, Derek and Emily were standing there. Sergio was comfortably being held into Emily’s chest.
Garcia quickly rushed them inside and gestured for Derek to leave the bag of JJ’s presents under the tree, which was in direct view of the dining room where the rest of the BAU team were.
“Wow, kiddo,” Rossi commented with a smirk, “Whoever that’s for is lucky. Hopefully, it’s filled with fine wine.” Emily rolled her eyes.
“You are just in time for Truth or Dare!” JJ called from her seat. The blonde woman had to resist herself from launching off of her seat and hugging the brunette. “Reid said that he’d only play if you’d play, so get your cute butt in here!”
Woah. Cute butt? Emily thought to herself as she felt her cheeks heat up. JJ was obviously joking around with her, casual flirting happened between the two, but this time was different than the rest for an unknown reason. Perhaps it was because she finally labeled her intense feelings for the younger woman. She gently placed Sergio on the floor.
“How about we play in the living room,” Garcia suggested. “No reason, no reason, but let’s say if someone did want to inspect that bag…”
“All will be revealed tomorrow, Penelope,” Emily said in a teasing voice. “But, you have my vote to play in here. I want Sergio to feel included.”
“Of course.” Hotch smiled. The team relocated to the living room and split up. Half were sitting in a circle-like shape on the floor, and the other half were sitting on the couch. Garcia was practically buzzing with joy.
Derek instantly sat next to his best friend and shot Garcia a look. They had a silent plan in motion and were ready to get to work. JJ looked at him and then Emily, who was giving her an unreadable look.
“Morgan, can I sit next to Em?” she asked the profiler. Derek smiled and nodded, switching spots with the blonde and cracked a joke about being able to be next to his pretty boy.
Ten minutes later, Garcia decided it was time to spice things up, and so when it was her turn she knew just the question to ask.
“So…. Jayje, truth or dare?” she asked her friend. JJ looked at her and shook her head.
“You know I’m afraid of dares, Garcia. I only do truths!” Garcia wickedly smiled at her, making JJ gulp. She suspected what was coming.
“Do you currently have a crush on anyone on the team?” She inquired, an innocent look upon her face. The question caused many eyes to widen, especially Emily’s. JJ’s face immediately went red as she opened her mouth to speak.
“Yes.” She hesitated, nervously glancing around the room. Rossi raised an eyebrow and Hotch just sat there and gave a small smile.
“I heard nothing,” he said.
Emily didn’t know what to think. JJ had just admitted to having a crush on somebody in this room. The small amount of hope that was filling her body quickly died as she realized that JJ was incredibly straight, and it was probably Reid or Hotch who she admired. She turned her head and looked at the blonde, only to have caught the other agent staring at her. JJ gave her a shy smile and averted her gaze.
Just being near JJ caused butterflies to form in her stomach. The smile she had just gotten out of her almost made her heart leap out of her chest.
After the Truth or Dare incident, the team resorted to watching Christmas themed movies. JJ, Emily, and Garcia were sitting on the floor with their backs gently touching couch, while Hotch, Reid and Derek were on the couch. Rossi had opted to take the armchair.
During the second movie, JJ rested her head-on Emily’s shoulder, causing Emily’s heart to swell. She smiled at JJ and continued to watch the movie. When it was over, JJ had ditched Emily’s shoulder and had resorted to being curled into her side. Penelope ordered pizza for the team, and they all ate with smiles on their faces. After Emily was finished with her pizza, she checked Garcia’s cabinet for the cat food that she left there. She was relieved to find the container in the exact same spot as she put it all those months ago.
“Today was a lot of fun,” JJ sighed as her head hit the pillow of the air mattress she would be sleeping on for the night. Garcia squealed her agreement and started to giggle.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow!” the bright woman exclaimed. JJ yawned and rubbed her eyes. After a few seconds, Penelope decided now would be the time to question her friend about Emily, considering the two women were alone at the moment. “So, who do you think is getting your girlfriend’s massive stock?”
“She’s not my girlfriend!” JJ instantly denied. She jolted up from the mattress and glared at her best friend. “Did you see her reaction to your stupid truth earlier?”
“Did you?” Garcia shot back. “Her eyes were filled with hope for a few seconds, then it seemed almost like… sadness? I’m not too sure about the last part, but you and sugar plum need to wake up!”
“Garcia…” JJ tried to interject but Garcia silenced her with a few hand gestures.
“No, Jennifer. I’ve listened to you talk about Emily for months and I’m not saying I’m tired of it, because I’m never gonna be tired of you babies, but I’m tired of seeing you ignore what’s right in front of you. You’ve spent months trying to analyze all of your interactions when in reality you almost missed what’s been in front of you this entire time.”
Garcia sat beside JJ on the mattress. Garcia had always suspected Emily had feelings for JJ. However, what sealed the deal was about a month or two ago when she noticed that when JJ playfully rustled Emily’s hair, the raven-haired profiler’s face turned red and stared up at her with almost cartoon-like heart eyes. Of course, JJ didn’t notice, as she was already halfway back to her desk.
The room became silent for a few minutes. Garcia assumed that JJ had been reflecting on what had been said. Moments passed and the two heard a knock on the door. After calling out to whoever was out there, the door opened. Emily entered the room and shut the door behind her.
“Hey, everything okay in here?” she asked. Garcia and JJ nodded. Garcia got up from the mattress after shooting her friend one more encouraging look. Emily yawned loudly, moving her arms above her head as she arched her back to stretch. She made a small face after, which made JJ smile. At this point, JJ didn’t even bother hiding it. “I changed in the main bathroom, everyone else is asleep except for Derek.” Penelope nodded and darted towards the door.
After she left, Emily settled onto the air-mattress next to JJ. The room was quiet, both women didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. JJ turned her head to look at Emily and was blown away by how intensely the older agent was looking at her. She blushed as Emily mumbled an apology, but JJ quieted her by placing her hand over the other woman’s and giving it a light squeeze.
“So,” JJ started, “who’s the bag of presents for?” She wriggled her eyebrows. Emily smiled and shook her head.
“Tsk, tsk, Jayje. You’ll find out tomorrow,” she faux scolded. JJ rolled her eyes and shifted her body, allowing her for her to lay down on her side. Emily did the same, seeing as the look on JJ’s face indicated that the blonde wanted to talk. “Is everything alright?”
“Yeah, everything’s good…” She trailed off. Emily looked at her counterpart with a soft expression, one that JJ had always adored. “I’ve just been thinking about stuff a lot, about people and everything. Things from the past have been resurfacing for some reason.” JJ took a breath. Emily stayed quiet but gave JJ a look of encouragement. Emily wouldn’t push the blonde to tell her, when she was ready she would do that on her own, but she’d always listen.
“I’ve been thinking about my sister a lot,” JJ said after a few moments of silence, “I normally do during the holiday season to a certain extent but now a lot of things involving her and I have just been coming back to me… Especially how during the night we would… I mean I miss it… Even though it happened all those years ago…”
Without thinking, JJ scooted towards Emily and wrapped her arms around the raven-haired profiler’s muscular abdomen, causing a blush to form on Emily’s face. As soon as JJ recognized what was happening, her eyes immediately widened as she jolted back, only to be held in place by Emily’s strong arms. After a few seconds, she relaxed into the embrace and got closer to her friend.
“I-is this okay?” JJ asked, her head resting on the older woman’s chest. Emily’s answer to the question was a simple kiss to JJ’s forehead.
Twenty minutes after the altercation between the pair, Garcia slipped back into her bedroom only to find the two fast asleep, curled into each other. She smiled fondly at the sight and got into her bed. She had taken a peek at the items in the bag and felt herself smile.
Christmas morning came faster than everyone had expected. Especially since Garcia paraded around the apartment saying, “Wake up my children!” JJ groaned and attempted to sit up but was stopped by a pair of arms around her. She smiled at Emily, who was still asleep and was unconsciously pulling her back into her chest.
“Em, we’ve got to get up now or else Garcia will throw her shoe at us!” She quietly laughed. Emily grumbled and curled into JJ more. JJ laughed louder as she saw what seemed to be a pout form on Emily’s face. “C’mon, Em. I wanna get to these presents!” Emily’s eyes finally opened and for once, they were completely unguarded.
The amount of love that she saw in those dark orbs made her cheeks hot and made her hands sweat. She now realized what Garcia had been talking about. How could she have missed the way Emily had been looking at her this entire time? They spent the next few seconds staring at each other before Penelope burst into the room and practically dragged JJ off of the air mattress and into the living room.
Emily followed suit a few minutes after. She noticed that everyone else was awake and happily sipping their mugs of coffee. She noticed that on the floor next to JJ, there were two mugs. Emily silently asked the blonde if that was for her and smiled at her appreciatively when JJ merely nodded.
After sitting down next to the blonde, Emily sighed contentedly while she sipped her coffee, amazed at how great it tasted. Before she could ask JJ how she knew the way she preferred her coffee, Rossi spoke up.
“Presents time?” He questioned with a smile. Garcia clapped her hands together and smiled widely. “I nominate Emily to go first.”
“Hey! I need to get my speech in order!” She nervously chuckled. Garcia glared at her but nodded, allowing everyone else to give their presents to one another. Everyone, that is, except for JJ.
“Your turn, Princess.” Derek probed. Emily picked at her nails before grabbing the gigantic bag and carefully unloading all of its contents. She placed them in front of JJ and nervously awaited the blonde’s reaction.
JJ smiled, truly smiled and threw her arms around Emily’s neck, kissing her cheek before resting her head on her shoulder. She pulled back and still had the smile on her face. Emily blushed and okay she decided she was going to start counting how many times she blushed around the blonde.
“Em, I can’t- this is amazing!” She examined all of the items in front of her. She grabbed the Cheetos and the book labeled “Our Story” and lay her back against Emily. She flipped through the pages and didn’t realize the tears that sprung into her eyes as she looked at everything inside of the book. There were pictures from years ago and just a few days ago with captions and inside jokes littered throughout the pages.
Some pages didn’t have pictures, merely stories and thoughts from Emily’s head about how Rosaline would be so incredibly proud of her baby sister among other things. More than halfway into the book, the memories and captions abruptly end and the rest of the pages were blank. JJ knew that this meant more memories were to come and smiled again at the thoughtfulness of her friend.
It was standard BAU procedure to give your person their gift(s) and then explain your thought process behind it, which for Emily, was the most nerve-racking part. She could barely understand what her own thoughts meant, so vocalizing them could end up being a nightmare. She sighed and gently grabbed JJ’s hand before beginning.
“I had a really hard time figuring out what I was going to give you. Derek and I had actually gone back and forth about it for a few hours- “
“Wait, you and Derek? That’s cheating!”
“Well, I came up with the gift ideas myself! Anyways. You are such a special person to me, so of course, I was thinking about everything you’ve done for me while attempting to sort the good ideas from the bad ones, then it hit me. Why not collect and put together all of the things I love about you, and really try to show how much you mean to me.
“You were the first person on the team to welcome me and to warm up to me. You’ve helped me during times that I thought I would’ve completely shut down and I truly thank you for that. Every day, when I look at you it all comes back to me and it makes me want to cry because I can’t help but think how lucky I am to have you in my life and I’m not entirely worthy of you, but I really do appreciate you. We’ve gone through so much and my future is a million times brighter with you by my side. It doesn’t really make sense out loud but I love you, Jennifer. Merry Christmas.”
Emily looked up to find that JJ was intensely watching her. The blonde once again wrapped her arms around Emily and whispered words of appreciation into her ear. As they pulled away from each other, their eyes locked. When they looked into each other’s eyes, they seemingly looked into each other’s hearts because everything around them disappeared and within moments JJ’s lips were on Emily’s.
Their kiss was sweet, loving and wasn’t rushed in the slightest. It wasn’t a duel or a one-sided occurrence, but it was simply perfect. Simply them. When they broke apart, they shared a look that conveyed their emotions, and Emily placed an affection kiss on JJ’s forehead. The two laughed as the room broke into cheers and whistles.
Emily and JJ looked at each other and smiled. They could survive everything that life threw at them, and Emily knew that everything would be okay with JJ standing beside her.