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Every time, the same argument. The same words, just as honest as the last time you said them, yet they couldn’t penetrate his thick skull, no matter how many times you said them.

You throw your hands in the air exasperatedly. “I want this, Dad. I want to stay home and take care of my girls, I want to have more time to write, and I don’t want to waste my life behind a desk!”

Dad shakes his head, pinching his lips together. “I didn’t raise you to be a mere housewife,” he says disdainfully. “Is it Jennifer? Is she making you do this?”

“Oh, now you’re blaming JJ? Jesus christ, J is more apprehensive about this than I am! “ You cross your arms over your belly, eyes narrowed. “Why don’t we just talk about your real issue with this situation, hm?”

“The hell are you talking about?”

“‘The hell are you-’” You repeat in disbelief. “God! We both know that you don’t want me to depend on JJ financially because that means I can’t leave her, doesn’t it?” His jaw tightens. “That’s why you didn’t want me to move in her, why you didn’t want me to marry her, and why you certainly didn’t want me to have kids with her! You still want me to wake up one day and suddenly realize I like dick!” He flinches back at your combination of language and raised voice, neither of which he’s ever been used to. But after twenty-seven years of your life spent trying to please him, you’re done.

“So sorry I’m not your perfect, independent, straight daughter. Now, if you can choose whether to get your shit together and stop criticizing me because I’m in love with JJ or you walk out that door and know you’re being cut out of your granddaughters’ and daughter’s life.”

You set your jaw, chin up, eyes narrowed.

He stares at you, eyebrows furrowed, body tense, hands shaking.

And then he turns and strides out the door.

You stand there, body shaking. Everything intensifies- the heat in your cheeks, the buh-bump! of your heartbeat, the tears stinging your eyes. You’d never had a great relationship with your father, but you’d had hope that after your mother died he’d come around and stop holding your sexuality against you.

Guess that didn’t happen.

JJ finds you curled up on your shared bed that night when she gets home from a case, watching Mary Poppins and gorging yourself on Skittles and popcorn.

“What’d your dad do this time?” She questions as she pulls her hair out of its ponytail, tugs her jeans off.

You’re quiet a moment as she slips into bed beside you, spoons you, rubs your stomach. “He left me.”

She pauses. “What do you mean?”

Sighing, you roll over to face her. “I told him he would have to get over my sexuality if he wanted any sort of relationship with me and the girls. He could either stay here and talk it out with me or he could walk out. And he just…” You trail off. The words choke you.

You watch her jaw tighten, note the way she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Y/N.”

You shrug. “I know I’m better off without him and his dictatorship, but he’s my dad, you know? It just- it hurts.”

JJ reaches over, runs her fingers through your hair, pulls herself closer so she can hug you. “I know. But think of it this way: he’s the one who’s missing out. You’ve got our friends and your writing and the girls. And me, of course,” she adds, coaxing a laugh out of you.

“Of course.” You pull away, smile. “Thanks, JJ. You’re really amazing, you know that?”

“Aw, you flatter me,” she drawls, grinning brightly. “Now, why don’t we watch The Christmas Chronicles again?”

You glance at your laptop screen, the nanny you used to watch with your father filling the screen. Within moments it’s switched to Kurt Russel dressed as Santa Claus, rocking out. “Yeah, let’s.”

~o~

“They’re almost here!”

You freeze at the sound of a voice inside your apartment. JJ’s face pales. “Jennifer Jareau, is someone in our apartment?”

She smiles sheepishly. “Act surprised, okay? Penelope is really excited about this.”

Shaking your head, you hoist the carrier, adjusting your grip. “This is ridiculous.” Yet you can’t help the excitement bubbling in your chest.

“Thanks!” JJ presses a kiss to your cheek before stepping forward and pushing the door open, allowing you to step inside first.

“Surprise!” Various voices whisper. You smile at the set-up. “WELCOME HOME, DANIELLE AND ANNABETH!” painted on a banner stretched across the wall. A feast spread across your dining room tables. And gathered around the room sporadically, your friends and the boys.

“Mommy! Mama!” Henry exclaims, running towards the two of them, Michael toddling behind.

“Hi babes!” You say, setting down the baby carrier and scooping Henry into a hug as your friends swarm.

“I call being the first to hold a baby!” Penelope exclaims, bouncing on the balls of her feet, eyes lit up with excitement.

“No way! I’m a godfather, I get to hold one first,” Rossi argues, crossing his arms.

Morgan rolls his eyes. “I’m a godfather too and I’m not fighting for first rights to holding them.” He eyes you, smiling widely. “Though I would certainly appreciate them.”

“You know what?” JJ interrupts, smirking. “I think Henry and Michael should hold them first, given they are their brothers.”

“Really?” Henry questions, eyes wide. He turns to look at you as if there’s a chance you’ll say JJ’s joking.

You shrug. “As long as you sit on the couch, I’m fine with it.” You glance over at Will, who’s watching from the side. You’re friends, but that can’t make this entire situation any less awkward. “Will you help Michael?”

Will visibly brightens. “Of course, Y/N.”

And when you’re standing off to the side, watching your friends fawning over your two baby girls, Reid rattling off facts about childcare and Emily teasing Will over the way he’s cupping Annabeth’s head in his palm in an effort to help Michael, you can’t help but smile, especially when you lock eyes with JJ. This beautiful family you’ve made for yourself is the best one you could ever have.