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New Beginnings

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JJ let out a sigh as she finished signing her documents. The BAU had just come back from a case in Iowa, and the newly promoted Unit Chief was exhausted. She stacked up her reports and shut off her computer for the evening. All she wanted was to go home, take a long bath, and sleep.

It had been a stressful six months for JJ. After Hotch took over as Section Chief, he offered her the position of Unit Chief. It would have gone to Derek because he had seniority, but he would be leaving the team soon due the birth of his son. It was still a well-earned promotion for JJ, and she knew she couldn't turn it down. It was a big adjustment, but she settled into her new role well, and the team supported her immensely.

Unfortunately, that promotion came with a downside. The new responsibility required longer days at the office, and more time away from home… away from Will. Their marriage hadn't been the most solid as of lately, but the promotion was the final straw.

Will wasn't happy when JJ took the promotion. He tried to talk her out of it, but it was to no avail. Five months after that, Will was finished. He gave JJ an ultimatum… him or the job.

JJ chose the BAU. That had been her life for twelve years. She couldn't give it up, the work she did was too important. She worked hard to get where she was. If she was being totally honest with herself, she had fallen out of love with Will, and she knew their relationship wasn't going to last anyway. So, she stayed with the BAU, and her and Will were officially separated.

That was another big adjustment. Will was currently staying at a friend's place until JJ could find an apartment. He offered to let JJ keep the house, but she really just wanted a fresh start… so, this weekend, she was going to hunt for an apartment.

Sure, JJ was upset about her marriage ending… she loved Will, she just wasn't in love with him anymore. Ultimately, she knew this was for the best.

Pushing those thoughts out of her mind, JJ stepped out of her office, locking the door behind her. She turned on the walkway to address the agents down in the bullpen. "Hey guys. If you haven't finished your report, you can do it in the morning. I know you are all tired, so go home, get some rest. Good job out there."

Morgan jumped up from his desk, eager to head home. "You too, blondie."

"Thanks JJ. Have a good evening." Reid smiled up at his friend.

JJ smiled back, and nodded her thanks to the two agents. "Derek, give my love to Savannah and Hank." She then turned to Alvez. "Let me speak to you for just a minute before you leave."

Alvez nodded and ascended the stairs, go bag slung over his shoulder. He had joined the team five months ago, filling the open spot in the field since Hotch's promotion. It was initially meant to be temporary, but JJ knew they would need extra help since Morgan was leaving. Alvez was a good agent, and JJ had no problem making his role permanent. She had already spoken to the rest of the team, and they agreed to it. Now, all that was left was getting Luke's opinion. "What's up, boss?"

JJ smiled, and gestured to the now empty bullpen. "How's this working out for you?"

"You mean, being on the team? Working with you guys?" He continued after receiving a nod from JJ. "I love it. Working for the BAU, I didn't think I'd ever get the chance. This has been an awesome experience."

"That's good to hear. You've been a really great addition. How would you feel about making this permanent?"

Luke's eyes widened. "Are you serious?"

"Yeah, I am. We all want you to stay on the team. If you need to think about it-"

"No, I-" Luke cut her off before wincing, realizing he was talking to his supervisor. "Sorry. I just, I really want this position, ma'am."

JJ laughed. "How many times do I have to tell you not to call me ma'am?" She was grateful that Luke, as well as the others, respected her, but as far as she was concerned, nothing had changed.

Luke laughed along with her. "Sorry, JJ."

"Okay. Well, head home for tonight. We'll deal with the official paperwork tomorrow."

"Okay. Thank you for this." He reached out his hand, and she shook it.

"Have a good night, Alvez."

CMCM

It was late that night when JJ got a call from Hotch. She was just stepping out of the bathtub when she heard her phone ringing. Wrapping a towel around herself, JJ grabbed her phone off of the bathroom counter. "Hotch?"

"JJ, I'm sorry to bother you, but I need you and the team in the office. There's been a prison break." Hotch's tone was, understandably, urgent.

JJ's eyes widened. "In DC?"

"Yes. I'll explain when you get here." With that, the other agent hung up the phone.

JJ immediately got to work. She called the team before getting dressed and driving to the office. As soon as she got there, Hotch met her coming off the elevator. "How bad is it?"

"Twelve escaped from DC Correctional facility, seven have been caught. We're not exactly sure how it started yet. Right now, it's all hands on deck, but this unit put away three of the five that are still missing. I need you to get in touch with SWAT, we could use them with us on this." Hotch gave his subordinate a grim look. "We've got the worst of the worst back out on the streets. Let's get this taken care of quickly."

JJ nodded. "I'll call Hondo. We'll head over to HQ when the team is here and debriefed." Pulling out her phone, JJ dialed the number of SWAT Sergeant Harrelson, and made her way to her office.

"Hondo."

"Hondo, it's JJ. Wish I could say I was calling for a friendly chat, but…"

Hondo let out a chuckle. "Not gonna make it easy on me, are ya JJ?"

"Not a chance. Did you hear about the prison break?"

"Oh yeah. Most of my team is already on standby. You guys need us?"

"We do. My team is on their way here. After Hotch and I get them up to speed, we'll come invade your HQ."

"Okay. Most of my guys are here, ready to roll, but I'll get the rest of them back by the time you get here."

"Thanks, Hondo. See you soon." JJ hung up the phone and let out a sigh of relief. It was always good to have SWAT on their side.

CMCM

The rest of the BAU showed up less than twenty minutes later. JJ called them into the conference room right away. "Hey guys. Sorry to ruin your night, but we have a big problem. There's been a prison break at DC Correctional. Twelve inmates escaped, seven are back in custody. We are taking the lead on finding the remaining five, seeing as how we put three of them away."

Before JJ could continue, Rossi spoke up. "How'd they escape."

"Right now we don't have all the details. Hotch is working on getting more information." The blonde turned to look at Luke. "Luke, I sent extra files to your tablet since you weren't with us for the three arrests." She grabbed a remote and turned on the screen behind her. Five mugshots popped up. "Okay, everyone, please direct your attention to the screen. I'm sure you recognize the first three: Eric Daniels, Darren Roberts, and Colby Anders. As you know, we arrested Anders almost five years ago, after he murdered three young women. He abducted and tortured them for several days, before killing them with a stab wound to the chest. The women were surrogates for his ex-wife." After receiving a nod from all of her agents, JJ changed the screen.

"Our second fugitive is Eric Daniels. We arrested him two years ago. He abducted four women after he thought he was done wrong by his female boss. She ended up being his first victim, and along with three others, was strangled to death. Then we have Darren Roberts, arrested by our team a little over a year ago."

Derek, after looking at the picture on the screen, turned to the Unit Chief. "He's the one that got into a shootout with us and local authorities, right?"

"Right, after stabbing three businessmen to death."

"Because he got fired from his job one week prior."

JJ nodded at Reid. "Exactly. Now we have to catch him again." She pressed the remote, and two more pictures appeared. "Our other two fugitives were picked up by DC police, nearly three years ago. Fredrick and Jonathan Hayes, they're brothers. After the death of their sister, they went on a killing spree, shooting everyone they blamed for her drug overdose. They ended up killing six people. "

Morgan looked down at the information on his tablet. "So, what's our plan?"

"Every law enforcement agency in Virginia and DC is working on this. Garcia is compiling a list of names and addresses we need to check out. Our team is going to coordinate with one of the DC SWAT teams. We're going to HQ now, let's roll."