The first one to figure it out was Garcia because on a team full of profilers, she was the one who knew what to look for when it came to love. Or like, in this case. You weren’t exactly sure how she worked it out, it was on one of the days the team was ordered to stay at Quantico and to only leave if it desperately called for it. After the past cases, paperwork was a welcomed break. You and JJ had just gotten back from lunch, talking and smiling as you made your way back to your desks.You were laughing at something she said when Garcia had grabbed onto your elbow, apologized to JJ, and dragged you to her cave. “Garcia- what are you?” JJ’s laugh was cut off as Garcia quickly closed the door, her mischievous gaze on you. You swallowed, suddenly nervous. “Yes?”
“How long?” She stayed in front of the door, making sure that you wouldn’t make a run for it.
“How long? What are you talking about?” You tried to fake obliviousness but you knew that there was no way you’d get out without Garcia getting the information she wanted.
Garcia stepped towards you, a smile on her face. “How long have you had a thing for JJ?!” She slapped you excitedly as she said it and you couldn’t help but laugh. She pointed at you before you answered, “And don’t you try and deny it, I saw your face.”
You rubbed at your neck and mumbled, “A couple months.” Garcia gave you a look. “Ok, maybe it’s closer to a year or so.”
Garcia squealed excitedly, jumping as she did. You quickly shushed her as best you could, hoping that no one heard and start to wonder what was going on. “How can you possible try to shush me right now?” She talked fast but still tried to be quiet. “This is astronomical! Who else knows? Does she know?”
“No one else know’s including JJ and I’d like it to stay that way please.” You weren’t really planning for anyone to figure it out though Garcia always had her ways.
Garcia locked her lips and threw away the key, promising to keep it to herself. “But I do think you should tell JJ.” She stage whispered.
You shook your head violent, “No no no no. That’s not happening. I’m perfectly fine remaining in a platonic relationship with her.”
Garcia gave you a look that was as much pitying as is was disproving but she moved away from the door nonetheless. Before you could walk out, she grabbed onto your elbow again and whispered, “I’m always here to talk.”
You nodded, “Thank you Pen.” She smiled and let go.
You walked back into the bullpen and sat at your desk. JJ walked up, laughing, “She seemed excited. What was that all about?”
You answered smoothly, “She finally managed to break me and I agreed to a movie marathon.”
“Ahhh, that explains the shriek.” JJ smirked.
You grimaced, “You heard that?”
Morgan laughed, entering the conversation. “We all heard that.” Before the conversation could continue, Hotch called for a meeting. Together the team sighed, “So much for a break.” You all trudged up to the meeting room and began talking about the new case. Garcia only side eyed you every now and then but nothing that was too obvious. In a way, you were glad that Garcia was the one to figure it out, you at least knew that the secret was safe with her and that it wouldn’t come up again unless you brought it up. It was a nice feeling and you might even take Garcia up on talking about it. But until then, you had a case to solve.
Penelope Garcia could be trusted with many things but, sadly, a secret was not one of them. Especially not when it had to deal with two of her favorite people. It had lasted the exact time it took for the team to find the unsub and return home. She had snatched Reid as he passed by and shushed him the entire time he tried to get back to the team. “I need to tell you something but I can’t tell you but I need someone else to know.”
“Garcia, I really don’t think you should-”
“Yea, I know! But!” She poked him with the end of her pen, a somewhat manic smile on her face. “If you guess then it’s not my fault. I mean you’re one of the best profilers out there, right?”
Reid looked at her hesitantly but smiled nonetheless and agreed, “Right.”
“Exactly! Okay, so, it has to do with two of our favorite people.” When Reid’s face remained blank, Garcia sighed. “On the team.”
Her pen was pointed to him again, but this time in threat, “Don’t you pull that on me baby genius. Favoritism is alive and well here and you know it! We all have a favorite, now who’s yours?”
“JJ?” His voice was quiet and confused as if he was almost guilty saying it.
“Yes! Ok, we’re halfway there. Also don’t worry, I know you love us all and if it weren’t for the whole godson thing I’d definitely be at the top.”
He laughed, “You got me.” He tilted his head. “Is the other person Morgan? Did something happen between JJ and Morgan?” The grimace on his face at the thought was possibly the cutest thing ever, Garcia regretted the fact that she didn’t have a camera in her hand at that very second.
“No, oh god, no. But you’re close, you’re soooo close.” She pinched her fingers and practically begged him to connect the dots before it exploded out of her.
His eyebrows raised in shock when he remembered the last person she had dragged into her batcave. “Y/N?”
“Yes!” Garcia jumped but refrained herself from hugging him just yet. “Now what about them?”
“They’re together?” He was hesitant again. He knew they were close. you were practically inseparable the moment you joined the team. But if there were any romantic feelings, the two of you had hid them well enough that he didn’t detect them at all. Garcia tapped her nose, vibrating with her excitement. “Garcia can’t you just tell me-”
“No! No because then I’ll break my promise and I do not break my promises!” She gestured wildly, “Just think about it, use that genius brain of yours.”
Reid did as she said and actually thought about what Garcia might know. Since it obviously had to do with Y/N and JJ but Y/N was the one dragged away- “Y/N likes JJ?”
Garcia shrieked happily and hugged Reid, the weight of the secret no longer on her shoulders. She pulled away and sighed, “This whole secret business is way too much stress. “
“I’m not exactly sure what you want me to do with this information.”
“Well for one, keep it a secret, obviously.” Garcia ignored the look Reid gave her, “And two, you’re gonna help me convince Y/N to ask JJ out!”
It was pretty easy to tell that Garcia hadn’t kept the secret completely to herself. If it wasn’t because of Reid’s side glances whenever you talked to JJ than it was the fast pace she’d take to get away from you. You had somehow caught her quickly enough to ask if she wanted to go to lunch. She happily said yes but when you asked Reid to join you as you were walking out, the smile fell off her face.
The three of you went to the sub shop close by and decided to sit down and eat. There weren’t any cases so there was time to sit down and talk. The waitress set down your drinks and after she left you watched the two of them squirm as they waited for you to say something. You took a sip of your drink and smiled, “So how long has the secret been out.”
Garcia immediately jumped to her defense, “I didn’t tell him!”
“How many hints did it take for him to get it?” You replied.
She slumped into her seat. Reid answered, “Five.”
You chuckled and grabbed Garcia’s hand to comfort her. “I’m not mad babe. I know you don’t like keeping things from people.” She smiled and squeezed your hand. You leaned back into your seat. “I’m actually pretty surprised you didn’t tell everyone else.” You looked to Spencer, “I’m guessing that’s because of you?”
He smiled, “It seemed like the best option. I know how it feels to get teased by Emily and Morgan.”
The conversation fell from there and into everyday things, all while ignoring mentioning your job at all costs. You ordered your food and when it came, you ate in silence. It was nice, to just sit at a table with two of your closest friends and just enjoy their company. “We should do this more often.” You said as the three of you walked back towards Quantico.
“We definitely should, statistics show that having a closer relationship with work colleagues leads to a more productive and stress free environment. Not that we’re not close but in our field it’s easy to forgot the normal aspects of a friendship.” You and Garcia nodded in agreement.
“Speaking of which,” Garcia smirked mischievously, “Maybe a way to remember being normal is to date.”
“Here me out!” Spencer smiled as she stopped the two of you from walking any further. “Spencer has talked to JJ, he didn’t say anything!” Your head whipped towards Reid at the new information.
He put up his hands in defense, “She had asked me about my love life so it was only fair that I asked about hers.”
“Yea, see!” Garcia pointed excitedly, “And from what boy wonder says she’s ready to start dating someone.”
“I should probably mention that I think she has someone in mind already.” Garcia glared at him. “I mean I don’t know that she does. It was just how she held herself when she talked about it.”
Garcia turned back to you, “But that doesn’t matter because you’re amazing and who wouldn’t choose you?”
You stared at the hopeful smiles in front of you and couldn’t find it in yourself to tell them you wouldn’t at least try. “You guys really think this could work?” They nodded. “Fine, I’ll tell her.” Garcia jumped in excitement and hugged you, when she pulled away Reid gave you a side hug. You shook your head and the three of you finished your walk to Quantico. When you got back to your desk, you started to plan when you’d tell her and how. Even if she didn’t reciprocate your feelings, you wanted everything to be as perfect as they could be. She definitely deserved that much.
In the end, it didn’t really matter how much you planned because, just like the rest of your friendship with JJ, everything happened when you least expected it. She had invited you to a day out with her and Henry, which wasn’t that rare. You and the young boy had gotten along amazingly when you first met and the rest was history after that. What was rare was that the two of you had a day off at all but you didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, so you didn’t question it and just enjoyed the day. The three of you went to the zoo. JJ wasn’t sure who was more excited; you or Henry. Together, you zipped from one animal to another and you tried your best to answer every question that Henry could think of. You were a genius for a day all because you could read the little signs they had put up, it was great. You and Henry were in the reptile house heading towards the chameleon while JJ was still ogling at the turtles.
“I don’t see it.” Henry pouted.
You ruffled his hair, “It’s okay bud, That’s because it’s camouflaged.”
“Camouflaged?” He said it slowly, trying his best to pronounce it correctly.
You nodded, “Yea, it means it’s blending in with it’s surroundings. Quick! Let’s try and find it before mommy comes!” You and Henry stared intensely into the glass, trying to find the lizard.
He jumped up and pointed to a branch towards the top, careful not to touch the glass. “There it is! I found it! He moved his eye.”
You looked up to see the brown chameleon stuck to the branch. “That’s so cool!” He gave you a high five and turned to show his mom. She was already looking towards the to of you, a smile on her face. He ran towards her and she immediately picked him up when he made it to her.
“Mommy! The chameleon was camouflaged but I found him!” He leaned away from her but still hung on to try and guide her to the chameleon.
JJ laughed at his excitement. “Good job bud, show me where he is!” She let him down and he happily showed her where his discovery was. You stood up from your crouched position and stepped aside so they could get close.
Before you knew it, Henry was dragging JJ to the next animal and you were the one trailing behind. You started to walk towards them, you knew how fast the young boy went from animal to animal and you didn’t want to lose them. A lady smiled at you as you past by her, you smiled politely back to her and made a funny face towards her daughter when you noticed she was looking at you too. The woman’s smile widened even more at the sound of her daughter’s laugh. “You’re really good with kids.” You shrugged and took the hand she had extended towards you. “Sara.”
The little girl extended her hand above her head, “Cindy.”
You smiled and shook her hand, “Very nice to meet both of you. I’m Y/N.”
“You have a very cute family.” You stared at her confused. Her gaze went to JJ and Henry having a staring contest with a snake.
You laughed awkwardly, “Oh no, we’re not- he’s not my- we’re just friends.”
Her eyes widened, “Oh! I’m so sorry, I just assumed that was the case.”
You smiled reassuringly, “Don’t worry ma’am, it was an appreciated compliment. Thank you.”
She nodded and waved goodbye as her daughter tugged her away. You made your way back to JJ and Henry. Henry waved towards you without looking away from the snake, “Y/N, look! I’m winning.” He whispered.
“I think I just saw him blink.” You muttered. Henry stepped back and pounded the air, celebrating his victory while JJ gave you a grateful look.
She clapped her hands, “How about we get something to eat?” Henry nodded and the three of you headed towards the zoo’s restaurant.
Henry sat with JJ across from you. When she finished setting everything up fro Henry she turned to you, “Did you know that woman back at the reptile house?”
You weren’t surprised she saw that, she was a profiler after all. You shook your head, “Not at all. She just stopped me to talk for a bit.”
“What’d she say?” Henry looked at you with a curiosity in his eyes that you couldn’t ignore. It didn’t help that JJ was next to him, staring at you expectantly.
There was no way you could lie to them, especially since JJ knew your tell. “She said that we were a cute family.”
Henry smiled and nodded as if that was just common knowledge. “We are.” He continued to eat his food while your heart swelled at the simple admission. He saw you as family. You cautiously looked towards JJ, only to see her with a soft smile on her face.
She nodded, “We are.” She took your hand in her without saying anything and the three of you continued to eat as Henry excitedly talked about all the animals. It was the closest to perfection you had ever been.
By the time you had driven the two home, Henry was knocked out in the backseat. JJ invited you inside, so you carried the souvenirs from the day and she carried her sleeping son. You unlocked the door for her and while she headed towards his bedroom, you placed the stuffed animals you couldn’t help but buy for Henry on the couch. You headed to the kitchen and poured a glass of wine for you and JJ, she smiled gratefully at you as you handed it to her. She toasted you before taking a sip. You looked into your glass, you couldn’t shake the feeling that there was no better time to tell her. After many talks with Garcia and Reid and the entire day, you had fully realized your feelings for JJ. And, without you knowing, they had grown far past like. She was already smiling at you when you returned your gaze to her, she had moved closer. You gulped, suddenly wishing your phones would ring and you’d have to run to Quantico. No such thing happened. JJ was the one to break the silence, “Thank you for coming with us today, Henry had a blast.”
“What about you?” You never understood how someone could get lost in another’s person eyes, always assuming it was just another cliche, but as you stared in JJ’s eyes, you finally understood what it meant.
“Seeing you and him, laughing and smiling, is something I’ll never forget.” Her honesty surprised you but your heartbeat sped up nevertheless.
You took a deep breath, “I have feelings for you JJ.” There was no need to drag it out anymore, it was out in the open and you waited for her response with shallow breath.
The soft expression was back on her face. She tilted her head, “What kind of feelings?” She stepped closer, taking your glass and placing both of them on the table
“Oh, you know,” Your gaze flickered to her lips, “The love kind.”
Her smile was more refreshing than the sun. “Good,” She whispered and dragged you into a kiss. She held onto the sides of your face as you placed your hands on her hips, the kiss soft and almost sweet with a warmth that took over your body. It wasn’t fireworks, it was something quiet and beautiful as if you had captured sunlight. You pulled away, a dopey grin on your face. “I love you too.”
At the same time you asked, “Go to dinner with me sometime?”
She laughed and hung onto you as you pulled her into a hug. “Oh darling, I think we’re way beyond that.”