Having a drink or two after work wasn’t that peculiar. In fact, it was pretty common for members of the BAU to share a drink or two once they’d closed a rather stressful case. What was strange is how this particular night went off the rails.
When they returned to Quantico from their latest case in Chicago, Reid informed the team that he’d gotten a text from Morgan asking if they would be down to grab drinks. Garcia didn’t think twice before screaming “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” and running to get her office situated so she could leave.
Tara and Luke, who had a score to settle, both agreed they were in. Matt called Christy, as JJ called Will, both to check in with their spouses and make sure a night out wasn’t going cause any strife. Neither of their spouses seemed to care, so they were both in. Prentiss looked to Rossi to see if he was in. He nodded, and she told Reid to count them in.
They agreed to meet up in the bullpen in 30 minutes to head out. They all wanted time to freshen up and change into their more casual clothes. At the designated time, they piled into their cars and went to their favorite dive bar in Arlington called “Ted’s.” It had long been one of their favorite spots because it was a sort of centralized location. It was also the kind of place that knew their names, but they didn’t know what they did—nor did they care so long as their money was good. Though, they could tell that their usual bartender, Ted, suspected that there was more to the story than just a group of friends who stopped in for drinks occasionally.
Morgan was already there waiting for them when they arrived. He came early to stake out enough space for them. Morgan seemed to be the man of the hour after they greeted him warmly. After hugging him, Emily re-introduced him to their newest team member, Matt. The two men shook hands. JJ came and pulled Emily away.
“All right. What are we doing?” Rossi asked.
“Why are you asking? First round on you?” retorted Morgan. Even being away from the team for some time now, he still never missed a beat.
“I suppose I could pick up the first round. Does that mean you’re getting the second?” Rossi responded to Morgan who smirked as Rossi squeezed his shoulder.
However, while the two men bantered over who would pick up the first round, they noticed Tara, Emily, and JJ approach with several shot glasses in their hands.
“First round is on me,” said Emily. “Rossi and Morgan can arm wrestle for the next round.” She playfully rolled her eyes at the statement. Spencer smirked. He loved this Emily, the one who let her hair down and had fun. As the BAU Unit Chief, these opportunities now happened less frequently.
“And what do we have here?” asked Luke.
“Patrón, my friend,” responded Tara with a hint of flirtation in her voice. Emily could never figure those two out. The gossipy side of her wanted all of the details, but the boss side of her didn’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole.
Emily gave the toast. “Ok, cheers to Morgan for getting us all here. Here’s to an evening with friends….”
“And remember: what happens at Ted’s, stays at Ted’s,” piped up Rossi to several chuckles from the group. JJ noticed Emily licked her lips and laughed. Not like we haven’t been here before, thought JJ.
“Cheers!” They all exclaimed as they slammed back their first round of shots.
Derek picked up the next round of shots while Rossi got beers and cocktails for the group. Rossi bought the round of shots after him. Then, after losing a bet to Tara, Luke got the next round. They set drinking, talking, and catching up as old friends do for a bit before they started to scattered around the bar.
Garcia sat with Morgan, plying him for photos of her godson. She loved his little chubby cheeks so much. She was so happy the day he learned to say “Auntie P.”
As usual, JJ’s eyes had lit up the moment they entered and she saw the dart board. Spencer and Emily always teased her about her love and affinity for darts, asking her if she had ever thought about catching an unsub that way. JJ always responded with a very sarcastic, “Ha Ha.” However, she made her way to the dart board as soon as the group started to peel apart some.
There were a group of guys, all wearing some variation of flannel with jeans playing. “Hey guys, can I get in on this?” JJ asked. Of course, they obliged her. She learned they were a group of construction workers who had come here after finishing a big project today. They quickly absorbed her into their group when they saw what a serious darts thrower she was. When they got beers, they made sure to get her something too. It was also kind of obvious that in spite of her wedding ring, a few of them were smitten with her.
Tara and Luke sat in a booth discussing some of their favorite comedy specials. That was something they shared in common. As they both fancied themselves comedians, they usually kept the team laughing, lightening the mood where appropriate.
Likewise, Spencer found a table of fellow nerds who were talking about Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, which was his latest obsession. He was having a pretty animated conversation with folks who appeared to be grad students. Surprisingly, Matt had joined him. This was a side of Matt that the team didn’t really know about. This made Emily smile. She was happy to see Spencer having a good time. He had a hard couple of years, so it was nice to see Spence shining through again.
Emily and Rossi sat talking about all kinds of things. At first, it started with work. Then, it moved on to topics about their personal lives. Emily wanted to know what was up with Krystall. Rossi wanted to know if Emily was seeing anyone new. As usually, Emily was very coy about her dating life. Rossi could tell she was hiding something. They kept drinking. They were the drinkers of the team, and they could keep pace with each other. They traded off on buying rounds.
Hours passed. Ted’s filled up considerably. The team was still hanging out, when Morgan and Garcia came over to Dave and Emily’s table. “Hey, we’re taking off, guys.” Emily got up to hug them goodbye, which took a little more effort than normal, but she was just a little buzzed. They saw them off, and Emily looked around the bar to see where everyone else was. Matt and Spencer were still talking to their new pals, JJ was still playing darts and had amassed a fan club of young men, and Luke and Tara were making out. Wait, what? Thought Emily as she swiveled to stare at them. Shocking. Dave noticed what she saw and they started laughing together.
“I’m not surprised, but I didn’t see shit,” she slurred slightly.
“I’ll drink to that,” responded Rossi.
Eventually, Matt and Spencer rejoined Emily and Dave. Matt was especially excited to be back and tell them what they’d talked about. It was a rare side of Matt Simons.
The group talked for a bit longer, until Matt and Dave both determined they were hungry. They came up with a plan to go search for some food and reconvene. They told everyone goodnight, ordered their Ubers, and left. Emily noticed that Tara and Luke had also snuck out at some point. Well, I know two people who are getting lucky tonight. She thought. I’ll eventually get those details from Garcia, even if I can’t really know those details.
When they left, Spencer and Emily sat at the table alone, talking about some classic films. Film was their special thing. Then, Emily changed the tide of the conversation.
“You know, Spence, it’s been great seeing you out tonight, having a good time and being like your old self.” She said.
Spencer took a moment to think and said, “I was kind of thinking the same thing about you, Emily.”
“What?” She asked.
“You don’t really smile anymore. I know you’ve taken on a lot of stress, but I miss this. I miss us hanging out together and just having a good time, but I also love having you as a boss.” He said. That made Emily smile and go in for a hug. She stumbled a bit and ended up falling into Spencer’s arms instead. Yep, there it is. I’m drunk!
“Sorry, Spence!! You know we can still hang out. Just maybe not with so much alcohol,” she said as she snorted into his neck and tried to stand up.
Spencer laughed. “Maybe a little less alcohol. We should catch a movie next week.”
“Sounds incredible.” Emily still hadn’t made it upright quite yet. Spencer didn’t mind. Just like the old days. He thought as he giggled internally.
“Hey, Emily. Is everyone else gone? Maybe we should go. I can order you an Ub….”
“YOU FUCKING BITCH!!” They heard a man scream, and then, they heard a familiar voice shouting back at the man. “Well, maybe you shouldn’t have put your goddamn hands on me. I SAID NO!!”
Emily’s and Spencer’s eyes met as they both came to the same conclusion and exclaimed: “JJ!”
“Come on, Spence,” Emily said as she made her way to her feet and took his hand, leading him to the source of the shouting.
When they got over near the dartboard, they saw a man holding his nose, which was leaking blood.
“I told you not to touch me, and you grabbed my ass?” JJ shouted at him. His friends looked pissed. This didn’t seem like the kind of guy who knew how to accept “no” or take a hint. “I’m married! And I’m certainly not interested.”
“Yea, well you didn’t say that when I was buying you drinks. And dressed that way? You’re asking for it, you fucking bitch!” he said. Emily saw the rage flare up in JJ’s eyes as Spencer tried to move toward JJ to get her out of there. It was clear she was drunk, but now, she was also pissed off.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you owned because you bought me a shitty draft beer. Here, have it back.” As she said it, she tossed the beer from her cup on the man. “And never call me a ‘bitch’ again you shitty, sack of shit, sorry excuse of a man.”
That set the man off. Maybe it’s because she’d been drinking, but JJ never saw the blow coming until she was falling backward. He hit her in the face, hard.
Now, it was Emily’s turn to see red. Spencer tried to hold onto her arm, but she made her way through the crowd, and cold cocked the son of a bitch who’d just hit JJ. She didn’t even have time think before she did it.
“What the actual fuck? How dare you hit her, you piece of shit?” She screamed as she proceeded to pounce on the man with the broken nose.
She saw JJ get off the floor and also go after the guy. Then, two of his friends joined in the melee to break it up, but they weren’t successful as Emily and JJ went into full defensive mode. If only these idiots knew they were fighting women with combat training and who’ve taken out much more frightening men than them! They will take out every last one of them if I don’t stop them. Spencer thought.
Spencer made his way through crowd to try to break it up. He honestly couldn’t believe none of the other onlookers had tried to stop this, especially with the guy initially attacking JJ. What is the word coming to that people would stand and watching as a burly guy assaults a young woman? His goal was to get Emily and JJ and get the hell out of there. When he got to the front, one of the guys grabbed him and tried to hit him. He ducked. He wasn’t the best fighter, but he was good at evading. Emily and JJ were kicking ass, but he wasn’t surprised.
However, that’s when Spencer saw the red and blue flashing lights. He knew they were in trouble. He could feel it in his gut. The cops broke up the fight, and they handcuffed everyone involved, including Emily, JJ, and Spencer. Though they had been drinking, they still had the wherewithal not to pull the FBI card because they’d be in deep shit if they did—especially Emily.
The Arlington Police threw all of them in the drunk tank for the night. Emily woke up to a body curled into hers, but her eyelids were too heavy to open and see who it was. Finally, after hearing some groaning, she looked. She saw JJ curled into her side, holding onto her arm. She didn’t know why it was so bright, until she realized they were in a jail cell. Oh, fuck me! I’m so getting fired.
“Jayge…” she whispered. “Wake up.”
“Hmm?” moaned out JJ. Emily could see that JJ had a bruise forming on her face.
JJ thought she was leaning on Will, but when she heard Emily’s voice, her eyes shot open. Sometimes, she still dreamed of Emily coming to her rescue, so she couldn’t be sure that she wasn’t dreaming. Her head was so heavy, but she opened her eyes, looked next to her, and saw Emily.
“Em...what’s going on? Where are we?” She asked slightly panicked.
“It looks like we’re in jail...and maybe we’re drunk.” Responded Emily as she burped. God, I hope I don’t have to throw up. She closed her eyes again to try to make her head stop spinning.
“Are you joking?” asked JJ.
“Hmm. Well, that sucks,” said JJ as she fell asleep again. Emily leaned her head in on JJ’s and also fell back to sleep.
Some time later, Emily heard the cell opening. “Come on, ladies let’s go!” shouted the guard. I can hear you. Why are you so loud? She was a bit more aware of her surroundings now. She woke JJ up, and they helped each other to their feet. When they got out into the waiting area, they saw Spencer, Rossi, and Will standing there.
“What in God’s name happened?” asked Will as he took in JJ’s current state. Her shirt was half way up and her hair was incredibly messy. She and Emily looked like they were holding each other up, and Emily didn’t look much better off than JJ.
“Will?” mumbled JJ. “Did I get him, babe?”
“Looks like he got you, darling.”
“That asshole grabbed and sucker punched, Jayge. We got his ass and let him know not to fuck with us.” Stammered out Emily.
“Yea, don’t grab me! Em defended my honor.”
Will just stared at them with mouth agape. I guess this is like the old days. I wonder who grabbed them. That’s when Will saw an officer lead three men who looked like they’d been in a fight out to the waiting area. They were large, and they looked like the kind of guys who did manual labor for a living. They looked awful, worst than JJ and Emily. One of them looked like he’d soon have two black eyes, and the other had some bruising with a packed nose. And they were glaring daggers at JJ and Emily. These must be the guys. I guess you did get them, babe.
Rossi came in with Reid and shut the door.
“Jesus! Not so loud, Dave!” shouted Emily, startling JJ.
“Just wanted to make sure I had your attention,” Rossi said, playing innocent. “Here’s what’s about to happen. We’re all going to walk away from here and forget anything happened. The Arlington Police has no recollection of responding to any event at Ted’s tonight, and they don’t recall any of you being here. Whatever happened, I say it’s settled. Do we agree?”
“But that bitch…” started one of the men, but he stopped when he saw Will’s gaze turn onto him.
“How about this? If it’s not settled, then I’ll settle it for you,” interjected Will. Rossi put a hand out to stop him. Not that I wouldn’t mind beating on these punks some, too. Anyone who so casually treats a woman this way, in a public place no less, is no good.
“There’s no need for that. I’m sure that they don’t want anyone to know two women got the better of them because if you pursue this any further, that’s what will happen.” Rossi said. He saw them think about it some. He knew he had them. Misogynists who think they owned women all think the same way.
“Fine,” spat the man with the packed nose as the others nodded in agreement.
“Good. This all stays here,” said Rossi. He didn’t wait for Emily and JJ to respond; he knew they’d be on board. “Let’s go, ladies. Em, I’ll drop you off.”
Will helped JJ out of the station, while Rossi led Emily out. When they were in the car, Rossi looked at Emily.
“Don’t ‘Emily’ me, Dave,” she said like she were a teenager about to be regaled by a parent.
“I wasn’t. I was gonna say good job knocking the shit out of those punks. They deserved it, but what the hell were you thinking? It’s a good thing Spencer called me.”
“Spence called you?” she asked.
Rossi nodded before speaking. “Yes, he called me from jail. I called Will, and we came down. I’m glad he called because I was able to smooth this all over without any mention of the FBI.”
“So you used your celebrity status?” Emily teased.
“Hey now! I sprung your ass out, didn’t I?”
“Yes. Dave, those people were just going to stand there and let that guy attack JJ. She held her ground, and I had to help her.”
Rossi sighed. He knew Emily was right, but he only worried about her now as their leader. “You’ve gotta be more careful, Emily. I’m just glad you and JJ are ok.”
Rossi got Emily home. Miraculously, both Emily and JJ called out sick the next day. Garcia was happy she’d been able to see Morgan and her godson. Matt looked dead. The kid could’ve used much more sleep. Tara and Luke tried to be conspicuous, but it was obvious that they woke up together this morning. Rossi just smiled and chuckled. I guess whatever happens at Ted’s really does stay at Ted’s!