JJ is laying on the couch, watching TV, when the alarm of her phone rings. She sighs uncomfortably at the thought of what is waiting for her tonight.
She has to go to a dinner party to celebrate that Elizabeth LaCroix, a well-known diplomat and the direct descendant of the duchess Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans, is retiring from all her duties.
As an FBI's communication liaison, JJ should've been more thrilled to be invited to these kinds of events. After all, it is an excellent opportunity to network, and everyone she meets ends up loving her effortlessly. But it is also exhausting. She always has to be nice and perfect to everyone when sometimes, if it were up to her, she would punch them right in the face and leave.
The last couple of weeks, the BAU had been busier than usual, so she had to sacrifice a few weekends and put in a few extra late nights to make it all in time. So the last thing she planned on doing on the first Friday afternoon she had for herself this month was to go to this event. So when Hotch asked her to come as his plus one, she had to think twice before accepting. But of course, she accepted.
JJ looks at the time and realises how late it already is. Hotch is picking her up in half an hour, and she still looked like a couch potato.
Finally, she decides to go with a strapless light-blue dress that matches the colour of her eyes and accentuates her delicate collarbone, with some darker tone high heels and a purse.
As soon as she finishes applying some light makeup, the doorbell rings.
She lastly takes one last look in front of the bathroom's mirror, grabs her purse and her keys, and she opens the door.
"Woah, JJ. You're beautiful." Hotch says.
"Thank you. You too". She responds with a sincere smile on her face.
He guides her to his car while he slightly curves the line of his lips. It's barely noticeable, but for Hotch, it's a big smile.
They drive for forty-five minutes while talking about the recent cases they've had without letting the conversation get too personal until JJ asks him how he got invited to LaCroix's party.
"A while back, I worked a few cases with Elizabeth, and we've been keeping in touch since then." He says without taking his eyes from the road. "And I'm also close to her daughter."
JJ glances at him, surprised.
"Close, huh?" She insinuates, but Hotch doesn't reply to that comment.
"We should try talking to as many people as we can. Everyone who's attending tonight has a big influence over the governor and his peers. Lately, they've been talking about budget reduction, so if we could nudge them into the right direction towards the BAU, the better."
JJ nods. "Got it."
When they arrive at the La Croix's mansion, JJ is blinded by how beautiful it is. It has a Victorian look, with its gabled roof and huge windows, and it's surrounded by the greenest grass and perfectly cut wall bushes.
After they enter the building, they see the salon, which's divided into two parts. The first one is where the stage is, with a podium stand right in the middle and, in front of the stage, there are ten circular tables that can fit up to ten people. The second part is solely composed of a few appetiser tables scattered around the room and a little orchestra playing in the background.
JJ scans the room and, soon enough, she finds Elizabeth and (what she guesses to be) her daughter, Amèlie. The older woman is on a stunning black dress with tiny diamonds attached to it, talking to a group of people who seemed entirely mesmerised by her presence. And the younger woman is wearing a black jumpsuit with also tiny diamonds attached, listening carefully to her mother.
"And for the lady?" A young waiter's words bring JJ back to the present.
"What would you like to drink, miss?" The waiter politely repeats.
"Uhm... Nothing, for now, thank you" She gives him a warm smile, which makes the waiter flush a little.
"Okay, I'll be back with your drink, sir." He says and leaves.
"Is everything alright? You seem... off." Hotch asks with his brows slightly furrowed.
"Yeah, I'm just tired," she answers, not making eye contact with him. "And it's been a couple of long weeks."
"Do you want to go and freshen up? I'd like to catch up with a few of my old colleagues anyway, so we can meet later if you want."
"Hmmm, no, but I saw a few canapés in our way in here that I'd like to try, but you can go ahead, I'll just be around here."
Hotch nods silently and leaves.
JJ starts walking towards one of the appetiser's tables and grabs a canapé. Next to her, there's a young man in what JJ guesses to be his 30s.
"Mmm... Good choice. The salmon is a little bit too salty for my taste, though." The man says, looking at her canapé.
"Good, I like salty." She says in a cute voice and looks at him.
"I'm Jennifer Jereau. But everyone just calls me JJ." They shake hands.
"Oh, nice. And nice to meet you, JJ." He says with a big smile.
"Likewise." She politely replies.
"So tell me. Who do you know?" He says with a smug smile on his face.
"Who got you in? Because you're clearly not royalty, nor a diplomat, congresswoman..."
"And how do you know I'm none of these things?" JJ definitely doesn't like this man.
"Because I would've known. I'm a reporter, and I know everyone here except you." He says, pointing at her, failing at trying to make it look cute.
"Okay, you got me. I work at the FBI as a Supervisory Special Agent in the BAU, and I'm also their communication liaison expert." She says proudly.
"Oh damn, a feisty woman! I'll have to be careful then!"
He laughs at his own comment and starts talking about how he has a few friends who are also FBI agents and how he's well-connected within the FBI grounds and other fields.
JJ decides to grab another canapé while Will tells her a story about how he met...someone. She might have disconnected from the conversation for a while. Instead, she's just shifting her eyes back and forth, looking around the salon. Not that she was consciously searching for anything in particular. She was just so bored.
But just as she was going to eat the canapé, she sees a raven-haired woman wearing a wine coloured dress. The woman suddenly laughs at some joke tucking her hair behind her ear, making JJ smile, even though she is too far to hear what they're saying.
Suddenly, as if the brunette could feel the blonde's stare, she turns her way and, for the first time, the stranger's eyes meet JJ's. An unfamiliar sensation goes through her body, though it didn't feel hostile at all. She still couldn't put her finger on it. And, instead of just embarrassingly looking away like any other person would do, she doesn't dare to move one muscle, afraid to break the enchantment.
Then, the stranger just turns back and continues with her conversation. The interaction didn't even last more than five seconds, but it was enough to make JJ's heart start pounding in her chest.
"Hey, are you okay? You look like you've gone away up there." Will says, pointing to the blonde's head bringing her back to herself.
"Yes, sorry. I should go and find my friend. Hope you don't mind." And she leaves overhearing Will's "Okay, talk to you later" reply.
Thankfully, she sees Hotch pretty fast and joins him in a light conversation with the people around.
After a few minutes, Hotch and JJ are left alone talking until a voice calls Hotch's name.
"Aaron!" The woman from before approaches him and touches Hotch's arm. "How are you doing?" She says with a playful tone while hugging him.
"Oh, hi Emily. It's been a long time." Hotch says with a smile. "Didn't think you were around this time of the year. I thought you were in Paris."
JJ is very weirded out by Hotch's behaviour. He looks so relaxed now, very comfortable with that woman's presence, so un-Hotch like.
"Yeah, but you know me, I always have time for an old friend! I just wish we had met a couple of times before to catch up. It's been what, a year, a year and a half since the last time I saw you?"
"Yeah. I should've called you. I'm sorry." Hotch says, with a bit of embarrassment in his voice.
"Oh please, don't apologise. It takes two to tango, doesn't it?"
"I guess it does." He agrees, with a warm smile on his face. "Oh, and by the way, this is Jennifer Jereau. She is an agent in the BAU as well and is also the communication liaison of the team."
"Oh, nice to meet you. Emily Prentiss." Emily says while stretching her arm for a handshake.
JJ, still very surprised by this whole interaction, forgot she was also in the conversation.
She reaches for Emily's hand, and as soon as they touch, she feels a spark going through her body, leaving her a bit out of place.
Before, she couldn't get a good look at any of her features since they were a few meters away, but now, she could see every detail perfectly. Not that she could stop looking at her eyes and focus on anything else, by the way.
Everything about Emily screamed exhilarating, but her eyes were what JJ found more bewitching and intriguing, almost enigmatic. And luckily, JJ wasn't known for running from a good mystery.
"Nice to meet you too." She finally says. "And everyone just calls me JJ."
"JJ." She repeats. "I like the sound of that." Sliding a tender smile.
"Hey, Emily," A man in his fifties joins the conversation as if he were there from the beginning, and JJ notices how quickly he puts his hand on Emily's back, breaking whatever spell she found herself in. "I hope I'm not interrupting or anything, but I'd like to present to you to someone."
"Oh, hi, Avery. I'll be with you in a second."
She looks at Hotch. "Well," She sighs, "it was very nice seeing you again, Aaron." And she looks at JJ again, touching her arm. "And nice to meet you, JJ. I hope to see you both around."
She walks away with Avery, leaving the two agents alone again. And even though the brunette was no longer with them, JJ could still feel her electrifying presence. Emily was a walking magnetic force alluring everyone in her radius. It was pretty intoxicating. And now that she knew how it felt being around her, she never wanted to leave her side.
The next hour or so, JJ spent it talking with a few of Hotch's contacts. Diplomats, reporters, congressmen... All kinds of people. And, to her surprise, it didn't exhaust her as much as she had previously thought. In fact, she felt recharged, with enough enthusiasm to talk to strangers and make the connections they so needed.
"Hello. If you all could listen to me for a second." A man with a mic says. "Dinner will be served in approximately 30 minutes, so you should be seated in 20 minutes. There are little cards on the tables with everyone's name on them. If you require a change of sitting, it can be arranged. Just talk to me or any of my colleagues with the red vest, and we'll help you. Thank you for your attention."
After the announcement, JJ and Hotch continued talking with some of the party guests before trying to find their seats.
"Hey, I'm going to the restroom before dinner." JJ mutters to Hotch.
"Okay, I'll find our seats in a minute, and I'll text you where they are."
"Perfect." She responds. "Excuse me, gentlemen." She says to the other members of the conversation and exits the salon to look for the ladies' restrooms.
When she finally finds the restroom, she opens the door.
The first thing JJ notices is her posture. She has her hands on the sink, grabbing that piece of marble as if her life depends on it. She can feel the rigidness of Emily's muscles, totally stiff. She also has her chest aggressively moving up and down, hyperventilating. And she facing down, not being able to look anywhere but the bottom of the sink.
"Emily, are you alright?" She approaches her slowly, waiting for an answer, but the only thing JJ hears is Emily's heavy breathing.
Something in JJ's mind clicks. She grabs the brunette by the arm and puts herself between her body and the sink, feeling the coldness of the marble in her lower back. On another occasion, JJ would've flinched, but that was the least of her concerns right now.
"Hey, hey, hey, hey. Look at me."
She gently touches Emily's face, but the latter doesn't respond.
"Emily?" She slightly lifts Emily's head to try to make her look at her.
"Hey, it's okay. You're having a panic attack, but I'm here now. Everything will be alright, do you hear me?" She repeats. "Everything will be alright. Just look at me, okay? Eyes only on me."
She looks for a response on Emily's face. Nothing. As if she were staring blankly into an abyss. But at least she got her to lift her head up and look at her, and JJ's certainly not giving up yet.
"Okay, now I need you to give me big breaths, alright, Emily? Big, deep, slow breaths. Can you do that for me?" JJ takes her hand and slowly places it over her own chest.
"Just like this." And she proceeds to inhale and exhale as deeply as she can. "See? Easy. Do you think you can do it?"
But, of course, Emily doesn't reply to her question.
"Alright, why don't we do it together, huh? C'mon." She inhales again.
"In and out, in and out." To JJ's surprise, Emily does what she is told. "Okay, good. Carry on. In and out. In and out. In and out."
Slowly, JJ sees how Emily's eyes start to look lively again, and she starts regaining her posture.
"I–" Emily tries to speak, but she doesn't seem to be able to finish the sentence.
"Hey, it's okay. Just focus on your breathing, alright?" And JJ takes her by the arm to sit on a couch nearby the sink.
They spent a few more minutes just looking at each other, holding hands and doing the breathing exercises until all the accumulated tension fades away completely.
"Better?" JJ asks with a soothing tone.
She nods slightly. "I'm sorry you had to..." She looks down, unable to finish the sentence and brings her hands to her forehead, slightly massaging her temple.
"Hey, no. You don't have to apologise for anything, okay?" She grabs Emily's hand again. "I know these parties can get stressful. I'm just glad I caught you when I did."
JJ's eyes search for Emily's, but the only thing she receives is a shy, embarrassed look. She wants to ask her about the panic attack, but she decides it's better not to pressure her. So instead, she lets go of Emily's hand to grab a little bottle of water from her purse and hands it to her without saying a word.
She takes a tiny sip. "Thank you." And shyly smiles at the blonde and gives the bottle back.
JJ puts it away, but before closing her purse, she grabs one last thing.
Emily, who still is looking down distraughtly, looks at JJ out of the corner of her eye.
"Is that a... food container in your purse?" She says with a sceptical tone.
"Yep". JJ replies, emphasising the "p".
Emily waits for the blonde to explain herself, but no response comes from the other woman.
"Why?" Emily asks, surprised. "I mean, not to be judgemental but, why would someone bring–" And before she can finish her sentence, JJ opens it.
"For this." And she grabs a bag of Cheetos off the container, showing it to the brunette as if she were a little kid showing off her new toy.
JJ opens the bag, and a cheesy smell surrounds the two women.
"Want one?" She says, offering the bag.
Emily, who is still processing the situation, decides to take one.
"I always carry a bag of Cheetos wherever I go. You never know in what situations you might be in, you know?"
Emily can't hold it anymore, and she bursts out laughing.
"What!?" JJ joins Emily laughing. "As an FBI agent, do you know how many life-threatening situations I've been in where a bag of Cheetos has marked the difference between life or death?" She says with a funny tone.
Emily still can't stop laughing. "Yeah, you're definitely right. I'll start implementing that protocol from now on." Emily answers while eating another cheeto. "And more than ever, coming from an FBI agent."
JJ chuckles. "You really should cause, even though it doesn't fix every crisis, it certainly can't make it worse." She grabs a bunch of Cheetos and stuffs her into her mouth.
"Okay, but really, do you always carry them with you?"
JJ takes a second to answer. "Anywhere I can. Usually at places where I know I'll need them."
Emily looks at her, confused. "Why would you need them for a dinner party?"
"I don't know, I just––" She doesn't know how to finish the sentence. "Let's just say that I had other plans in mind for tonight that maybe involved a lot of fast food, some old, rusty pyjamas and my favourite TV show. And since I couldn't do that, I thought I would bring them just in case. And they did serve their purpose, so I guess I made the right decision." She says, pretty proud of herself.
"Huh," Emily tilts her head. "You know, I've heard about people bringing their own stash of alcohol to spice things up at a party, but Cheetos... That is a first."
JJ giggles at the brunette's comment while taking her sight off of her.
"Are parties really that boring for you?"
"No, I love parties. It's just that not these kinds of parties, you know?" JJ looks at Emily, but she doesn't seem to get what the blonde is saying.
"I'd just rather have a drink with my friends at home or at a bar with some music. This party seems more like an excuse for rich people to get together and talk about who has the most glamorous life. That's just not me."
"Woah, that's a big statement. You think rich people are that shallow, huh?" Emily says, lowering her voice a bit with a smirk on her face.
"Well... technically, I didn't say that. You did." JJ smirks as well.
Emily chuckles. "True."
There's a brief pause.
"I think there's more to people than what they show. Luckily, appearances are just a small fraction of who we are."
Emily looks directly into JJ's eyes.
"But of course, you're a profiler. I'm pretty sure you can read people like an open book with one single look."
"Yeah. You get pretty good at judging people. After all these years working in the field, I've learned that you should always go with your gut. And usually, my gut feels is right about appearances. After all, it's your choice what to show to other people."
"Yeah, I guess."
Emily stays quiet for a second.
"So what about you? What do you think people assume when they meet you?" She asks.
"I don't know," And she smirks at Emily. "You tell me."
"Really?" Emily replies, doubtful.
"Sure." She says, leaning on to her. "It'll be fun not to be the one who profiles, for once."
Emily smirks mischievously. "Alright."
The blonde feels how Emily's gaze go through all her body and, for a moment, she feels self-conscious.
"Bright blonde hair, big blue eyes, slim body constitution... You have the girl-next-door kind of vibe, the ones from cheesy movies. You look sweet, kind, innocent... the perfect girl overall. Definitely the dream daughter-in-law of every suburban mom." Emily says, making JJ laugh.
Now she looks directly into the blonde's eyes as if there was the world's most complex riddle in them, and she was the only one who could solve it.
"Despite your icy blue eyes, your stare feels warm, cosy, extremely comforting. People must trust you very easily, which probably helps you a lot being an agent and all, and you are the communication liaison of the BAU, so you definitely know how to handle the different types of crowds."
JJ slowly nods in agreement, processing all the accurate information the other woman has said, smiling at her.
"Also, you look incredibly charming, maybe a little shy at first, but I don't think you are."
That statement caught the young FBI agent off guard. What did she mean by that?
"I think that ounce of shyness is what makes others fall in love with you the moment they lay eyes on you. You have that classic 'pretty-girl-but-doesn't-know-it' vibe, you know? But you're clearly aware of it, and you make it your advantage."
JJ is shocked at everything the brunette has said. It was all true. She did use her physique and her charms to her advantage. It was one of the first lessons she learned as a child. As a little girl, she used to throw one innocent look paired with a sweet smile and, with those big blue eyes of hers, she got free candy every time she went to the store.
"And lastly, I think you're a very vigilant person. You're always controlling every move you make to try to stay as perfect as possible. And from one perfectionist to another, that is exhausting. Keeping a facade always up is like..." Emily moves her hands, gesticulating as she tries to find the correct words. "...like putting a suit of armour. It protects you during the day. But when you've been carrying it around for so long, that extra weight makes even walking unbearable."
Emily, who was so focused on giving a good analysis, gets out of her own trance and sees JJ's shocked face.
"Oh God, did I make you uncomfortable? I'm so sorry." Emily looks down and starts scratching her temple with one hand. "Sometimes I get carried away with my own thoughts, and when I'm saying them out loud, I sometimes forget when to stop." She chuckles awkwardly.
"Hey, no." JJ, who was still perplexed that the brunette could read her that well in a matter of seconds, reaches for her hand. "I'm fine. I just–– I didn't expect that ." She looks down, kind of embarrassed. "Are you sure you're not FBI or something?" She awkwardly chuckles as well.
"Oh no," Emily says. "I just took a few psychology classes when I went to college, and I'm a pretty good judge of character too, I guess."
"Well, your guesses about me were scaredly on point." She says, smiling, which makes Emily smile as well. "Just do me a favour, please. Remind me to never in a million years play poker with you."
"Oooh, really?" She says. "I'm not that good at poker, just so you know."
"Emily Prentiss, is this an invitation to a poker night, so I lose all my money to you?" She asks in a silly voice.
"Okay, okay. What about without money." She says. "Would you?"
JJ makes her 'thinking face' (not that she needed to think about a response to Emily's proposal), but before she can say anything, the brunette has another idea.
"Or..." Emily smirks mischievously. "What if I do you one better, an offer I know you won't be able to refuse?"
JJ gives her a defying look. "What is it?"
"What if, instead of money, we play with snacks? Let's say, Cheetos for example." Emily says with a sneaky tone.
"Mmmm, right into my Achilles heel, huh?"JJ chuckles. "I guess I don't have any other choice but to up my poker game then."
As Emily was about to say something, her phone starts ringing, interrupting her. She picks it up and sees the caller. "Oh no." She looks at her watch. "Oh no, oh no, oh no." She stands up.
"Is everything alright?" She asks, worried, standing up as well.
"I have to take this. I'm sorry."
"Hey, I know." Emily starts speaking over the phone.
JJ couldn't understand what the other person was saying, but she sure knew they were mad.
"Okay, relax, I'll be there in 5 minutes... Yes. Okay, then. Bye." She hangs up.
"Is everything alright?" JJ repeats.
"Yeah, I'm sorry, but I have to go." She pauses briefly. "Thank you for... well, everything."
And without any more explanations, Emily leaves in a hurry.
JJ stays another minute in the bathroom, replaying their conversation over and over again in her head. And, as she was about to exit too, she sees the empty Cheeto bag on the couch she shared with Emily, and before throwing it away, she can't help but smile at it.
Being with her felt so familiar and cosy but also so exciting and adventurous. As if she'd been with her since forever and, at the same time, as if she had been waiting for her her whole life.
At that moment, she knew that the butterflies she felt weren't going to go away any time soon. But thankfully, she didn't want them to go away either.
"Hey, is everything alright?" Says Hotch when he sees JJ approach. "You were gone a long time."
"Yeah, I was talking to Emily in the restroom, and we kinda lost track of time" She sits in a chair next to him, with a dumb smile on her face as she remembers their conversation.
"Mmm." He smirks.
"Nothing. I'm glad you got a chance to speak to her. She's great."
Suddenly, all the salon's lights dim except the ones from the stage, and Elizabeth La Coix appears with a microphone.
"Hello everyone! If I could have a minute of your attention, please?" She waits until the room empties out of any sound.
"I just would like to say that I'm delighted to see so many familiar faces present to celebrate my retirement. There were good times and some-not-that-good times, but I loved working with every single one of you. And even though I desist of my position, I am glad to announce that my own blood and my pride, my daughter Aurèlie Emily La Croix, will be my successor. Please, give her a warm welcome!"
Emily steps onto the stage with a big smile on her face. She's Elizabeth's daughter?! JJ doesn't understand anything right now.
She definitely didn't see this coming. There wasn't any moment where Emily had shown signs that she was the La Croix heir. Even when JJ said rich people were shallow, Emily responded with kindness and respect. And even though they ended their conversation on good terms, she felt guilty.
Usually, if it were another person, JJ wouldn't mind. A slightly negative comment wouldn't make much of a difference, and most people wouldn't even waste two seconds thinking about this, but she didn't want to screw it up because she knew how special the woman was.
Well, she didn't consciously know, but the irrational part of her, the one that doesn't function with anything but impulses, knew.
After Emily's speech, JJ and Hotch ate their meals while chatting with the rest of their table members, and everyone was moved to the dance floor.
She scanned the room for the brunette multiple times, but she couldn't find her anywhere. She was getting impatient.
"Hey, are you alright?" Hotch says.
"Mmm?" JJ looks at him, distracted.
"Is everything okay?" Hotch asks.
"Yes, I'm fine. I'm just trying to spot Emily. I'd like to talk to her again." She responds without giving much information.
"Well, given tonight's events, everyone here will want to talk to her as well, so I don't know if we'll have the chance."
After half an hour of just talking to other guests, she finally sees her, surrounded by a group of people. JJ can't help but smile, and as much as she wants to go talk to her, she patiently waits for her to be alone. Slowly, people start stepping out of the conversation, leaving Emily and another woman in her late thirties together. JJ decides to go in now, so when she starts walking in her direction, the woman gently touches Emily's arm and smiles at her. Even though she tries not to, the blonde can't help wondering whether Emily is in a relationship or not. To be honest, the thought had never even crossed her mind until this moment.
Luckily for her, the woman says goodbye to Emily, making JJ stop spiralling any further.
"Hey, Emily. Or should I say, miss La Croix?" JJ says in a mocking tone.
"Hey," Emily answers in between chuckles. "Emily is fine. I only use the 'Amèlie' and the 'La Croix' names for the family and the title stuff." She pauses. "And I owe you an apology. I should've told you who I was when I realised you didn't know."
"Nah, it's okay. I should be the one to apologise. I shouldn't have said rich people were shallow and boring. It wasn't right."
"Well, technically, you didn't say that. I did. So, officially, there's nothing to apologise for." Emily smiles at her, reaching for the blonde's arm.
"I guess not." JJ says, feeling so much better now that they've cleared that out of the way.
They both stay quiet for a moment, with their eyes at each other's saying everything and nothing at the same time. And just like clockwork, they both hear their names coming from two different people.
"Emily, the new representative of the La Croix family I see, huh?" A man in his sixties approaches. "Congratulations, beautiful."
"Thank you, Thomas." She responds. "I guess we'll be working side by side from now on, won't we?"
At the same time, Hotch appears.
"JJ, we have to go. We have a case in Arizona this weekend."
"Really? But I thought we had the weekend off." JJ says.
"I know, but it's an emergency. Garcia just called me. I'll get the car. Meet me at the entrance." And Hotch leaves.
JJ looks at Emily, who is still talking to that man. She knows she has to say goodbye to her, but she clearly doesn't want to leave now that she was with the brunette again.
"Hey," She says, touching her arm interrupting their conversation. "Mhmm... I kinda have to go. A new case just came through, and they need us."
"Oh, really?" She says with a sad undertone.
"Yeah, sorry." JJ says while not taking her eyes from Emily.
"Well, I guess that's one of the cons about being one of the good guys. You always need to be ready to fight the bad ones." She gives her a soft smile.
JJ smiles back. "Yup. Sadly, murderers don't tend to respect the FBI's schedule. So rude, right?"
"The rudest." Emily chuckles. "Well, I guess this is a goodbye, then." She looks down, tucking her hair behind her ears.
JJ inhales deeply. "Yeah."
And, again, they limit themselves to just look at each other, hoping to stay in that moment for a little longer. But of course, that isn't possible, and they're interrupted by JJ's phone.
"JJ. Where are you?" In hearing Hotch's voice, she snaps out of the little bubble she and Emily created.
"I'm almost at the door." She lies while taking a few steps towards the door, but lastly, she turns around and looks at Emily one last time.
"Go." She mouths, smiling.
And without hesitation, JJ turns back and exits the salon.
"Hey, I've already made the hotel reservations. The rest of the team is joining us at the BAU. Do we need to go get your travelling bag in your apartment?" Hotch says as soon as he sees JJ.
"No. I have a bag under my desk in my office."
"Good." Hotch lastly says, and they start driving to the BAU.
The whole way, Hotch briefs JJ on the new case. And even though she acts like the professional she is, in the little moments she has to herself, her thoughts always bring her back to Emily, alongside a soft smile and a warm feeling in her chest.
It seems like they already found their place in JJ's life. And, from the looks of it, they don't plan on leaving anytime soon. Or, at least, not until she sees her again.
Now, she can only hope Emily feels the same way about her and, with a little bit of luck, maybe this night will turn into a story worth telling among thousands more.