She watches, from a distance. Brown eyes flit, fast and subtle, catching each movement, each facial twitch, each glint of light reflecting off of honeyed tones. She watches from behind long lashes, dark eyes finding blue, darting away whenever she is caught, a bashful smile on her dark lips, an embarrassed blush creeping up her pale cheeks. But she needn’t be embarrassed. She listens, longing for the lilt of a light, carefree laugh. Her eyes are down, but her heart lifts when she hears it. It’s followed by the click of heels across the bullpen floor, and all too soon, she’s floating past, leaving a cloud of the perfume Emily knows so well behind her. Emily watches her go, watches her hair bounce as she walks with confidence, shimmering like liquid gold. She knows her movements so well by now, that she knows that walk, and the sense of urgency behind it. They have a case.
It’s nothing new, but the pain of being shot still takes her breath away. Just another scar to add to the ones that already play dot-to-dot over her skin. The hand on her shoulder is warm, the fingers that brush at her collarbone delicate and long, feminine. She knows it’s JJ before she touches her, though, by the scent that has engulfed her. It’s fruity, the top notes remind her of spring, of the sun; cherry and maybe there’s some vanilla in there too, somewhere. She doesn’t know, and she can’t figure it out because she’s being pulled away from the crime scene by a strong arm around her shoulder, and knows it’s Rossi, that the others have gone after the Unsub, the bastard who shot her.
There are more shots, and she tears away from him, her feet moving of their own accord. Because she’s scared, now. More scared than she thinks she’s ever been. JJ is in that building, and there were more shots fired. She can feel her spring coming to an end, as a burning pain that feels like the hottest, driest, most suffocating summer races towards her heart. For a moment, she feels a fear she thinks might drown her.
Then she’s there. And she’s not shot, just winded from running. She frowns, as though confused by the relief on Emily’s face, and then makes some remark about shouldn’t you be getting that seen to? Before she’s gone, heading to a car with Hotch and their unsub, without a glance back. But she’s safe. And that’s what matters. That, and the smell of her that lingers, long after the car has driven away.
It’s days later that they’re in the bar. Emily can’t drink, because she’s still on her meds, but the rest of them are already merry. For once, they’re jovial and weightless, not dragged down by the weight of their job. It’s easy and it feels good, and it’s harmless, Emily tells herself, when JJ, a little too drunk, leans her head on her shoulder. She’s wearing that perfume, and it assaults Emily’s senses. She muttering something about you’re so strong, I wish I was more like you. Emily can barely hear a word she’s saying, so overstimulated are her other senses. Her skin erupts into goosebumps where JJ’s breath breezes across her collarbone, her eyes trace JJ’s hand as it grasps for her own, and Emily lets her take it, because she wants it. She gets whatever she wants. It’s nice, when JJ interlocks their fingers. More than nice. Emily hopes she can’t hear the way her heart is trying to beat out of her chest.
Then she’s gone, and it’s cold. It takes her a moment to adjust, and when Emily turns, she’s just in time to see the kiss JJ presses to Will’s lips, to see his arms wind around her narrow waist and his hands settle at the small of her back, pulling her flush against him. Emily turns away, quickly. There’s something very private about that moment that she shouldn’t be watching. It’s cold, now. She grabs for her bag, mumbling her excuses to the rest of them, and passes the happy couple as JJ leads Will back to their table.
are you going? there’s something like disappointment in the blonde’s eyes, but it’s nothing compared to the crushing weight of emotion in Emily’s chest. She nods, forces a smile. i’ll see you monday. She turns to leave, but she’s not fast enough, and JJ has her arms wrapped around her in a hug. It lasts only a moment, and then the blonde is turning back to the table full of their friends. And then she’s gone, stepping out into the night, shivering against the rain that has started to fall, with tears in her eyes, and the scent of her perfume on her skin.