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Cuts Like a Knife

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Emily is quiet when JJ meets her at the café in Paris.

She's not her usual self. Not at all like JJ is used to her being. Not at all like JJ was hoping she would be.

The threat of Ian Doyle is behind her for now. Again. But JJ can tell that Emily is no where near ready to let her guard down. She's not about to make the same mistake twice.

Her nails are gone. Emily has chewed them down until there is nothing left and the skin at the tip of her fingers is red and swollen. She jumps at the slightest sound, practically spinning in her chair when the door of the café closes a bit too loudly.

JJ lets it continue for a while. Lets Emily simmer in her own silence. But when Emily goes to get up and walk away something snaps and JJ can't let her walk away like this.

If she does, something intangible will die between them and things will never be the same again.

Too much has changed recently for JJ to be able to withstand any more.

She grabs Emily by the wrist, her eyes boring into Emily's – pleading with her to understand.

JJ stands, throws too many Euros on the table, and leads them off the street.

She's not supposed to have accessed the file, but she had to know where Emily would be staying – at least for the time being. She had to keep tabs on her as much as she could. Someone needed to.

Neither of them speak as they make their way to her apartment. JJ is sure that the only reason Emily hasn't pulled away and run is because she knows she won't be there come morning. She'll have moved on, found someplace else to squat, and disappeared from the grid as far as anyone with less than Penelope Garcia's capabilities is concerned.

But none of that seems to matter as they peal away the layers, letting their guards fall away with each article of clothing.

JJ sits on the edge of Emily's bed, stripped down to her bra and panties, and runs a hand down Emily's side. Emily's face is blank – expressionless – and for a moment JJ isn't sure if it's shock or hesitation.

Her fingers smooth across the skin of Emily's side, watching for any signs of discomfort, any signs of agitation. Seeing none, she lets her fingers explore the roughened skin of the scar.

She lingers there, tracing and retracing over the newfound swirls and ridges. She wants to be able to have this part of Emily as memorized as she does the rest of her body.

JJ urges Emily onto the bed, going slow yet enjoying her unusual role as instigator in this little endeavor. She crawls next to Emily on the mattress and kisses the middle of her stomach. Making her way over to the scar, exploring it with her lips and tongue the ay she previously had with her fingers.

It's then that she watches Emily start to break.

Emily's eyes close, her bottom lip pulled between her teeth as she attempts – unsuccessfully – to hold back the tears.

JJ moves up, straddling Emily before brushing their mouths together.

"There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with."

Emily's right hand grasps at JJ's neck, pulling her closer, deepening the kiss.

JJ can feel the urgency behind Emily's actions. They both know that it will be quite a while – if ever -- before they get this close again.

But JJ doesn't want to dwell on all of that, instead she palms Emily's breast through her bra, and runs fingers down her side. Emily arches into her and JJ is surprised as strong, delicate fingers slip beneath the fabric of her underpants.

JJ has always felt like Emily knows her better than anyone else, and tonight is no different.

Gravity is working in her favor as JJ tilts her hips, moving herself against Emily's hand. She wimpers; her body finding a rhythm against Emily and pleading for more.

Emily leans up, her hand trapped between their bodies as she curls her fingers, and JJ arches over her. JJ's palms land flat against the mattress, her mouth covering Emily's as she moans out her release.

JJ shudders, her breath coming out in ragged gasps once they break the kiss. Her forehead rests against Emily's shoulder, when she feels a shudder of a different kind run through Emily.
JJ kisses Emily's shoulder and moves down across her chest, before Emily's hands come up to stop her movements.

"Stop."

Emily's voice sounds distant, throaty not at all like JJ is used to hearing it.

"Just… don't make this any harder than it already is." JJ pulls back and tries to meet Emily's gaze, but Emily won't look her in the face. Her eyes close. "I need for you to leave."

JJ sighs and wills the tears to stay at bay for the moment. She leans forward and kisses Emily's forehead briefly before backing up and moving off the bed. She collects her clothing and dresses while she listens to Emily move into the bathroom.

The running water in the bathroom interferes with her ability to tell what is going on in the other room, but JJ is dressed and ready before Emily shows any sign of coming out. JJ pocks up a pad and pen and jots a quick note down before picking up her purse.

Chances are Emily won't use the number or email address that JJ wrote down, but there's no telling what the future might hold for either one of them. She takes a final look around the room, closes her eyes and inhales deeply. The only thing that she can do right now – the best thing that she can do for all of them – is walk away and not look back.

As JJ exits the apartment and closes the door, she pauses for a moment, because walking away is hard enough, but never looking back is impossible. For the moment, all she can do is hope that it won't come back to bite them all in the ass at some point.