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12 March 2012 @ 12:11 am
Time and Understanding  
Title: Time and Understanding
Author: digitaldesigner
Word Count: 1320
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: None.
Pairing/Characters: Will/JJ, team
Summary: When the unthinkable happens, how does JJ get through it?
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Jeff Davis. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: Written for crimeland.

Will watched silently from the doorway as JJ's heartbreaking sobs filled the room. He quietly made his way to her, pulling her into his arms as his own tears slid down his face. After a few more minutes of simply holding her and letting her cry in his arms, she found the strength to pull herself together.

He pushed a strand of golden hair behind her ear. "Are you up for visitors?"

"Who?" she asked softly. "I can't take more well-meaning neighbors or people I barely know."

Will nodded, silently agreeing with the sentiment. "Well, I'd say they know you almost as well as I do."

She looked at him, a question shining in her blue eyes. "Who?"

"The family," he told her simply. Most people would probably assume he was talking about either of their parents or extended family, but she knew that was not the case. There were only six people in the world that he would refer to as the family.

She nodded, answering his earlier question. "Yeah, I need to see them."

He kissed her cheek. "I'm going to go check on Henry and take a shower. Take your time."

"Give him a kiss for me."

Will nodded and left the room as JJ took a deep breath and tried to control the tears that wanted to burst forth once again. She picked up the photo from the side table, her mind taking her back to the moment they first placed Lizzie in her arms.

"Congratulations, it's a girl," the doctor told her, handing over the newborn to her exhausted mother. Exhausted, but so incredibly happy. She finally had the perfect family she'd always dreamed about.

"JJ?" a soft voice asked, breaking her out of her thoughts. "Can we come in?" In the doorway stood Garcia and Emily and she could see Hotch, Rossi, Morgan and Reid just behind the two women.

She nodded. "Of course. Come in, have a seat," she said, indicating the couch and chairs in the room. Emily and Garcia sat on either side of her and the men took the chairs.

"How are you doing?" Emily asked.

"I'm fi--" she started, but stopped herself. "I'm a mess," she admitted. "All I do is cry."

"JJ, it's only been two days. Cut yourself some slack," Rossi told her. "This will take some time."

JJ could feel the tears welling up in her eyes again. "I know. I just don't know how I'm going to go on without her."

"It'll get easier in time," Hotch told her softly. "Though I'm not sure if that's a blessing or a curse."

"You sound like you're talking from experience, Hotch," Morgan observed.

Hotch sighed, remembering. "I am. When Haley and I were still in college, she got pregnant. We were so excited."

"Did something go wrong with the pregnancy?" Garcia asked.

Hotch shook his head. "No, Haley had the perfect pregnancy. She did everything right and we had a perfect little girl."

"What happened?" JJ asked softly.

"When Sarah was almost two months old, Haley kissed her and put her down for her afternoon nap. She never woke up. They said it was SIDS."

"I'm so sorry," JJ told him, knowing he truly did understand her pain.

One lone tear fell down Hotch's cheek, an extreme display of emotion from a man who didn't often show a lot of it. He reached into his wallet and pulled out a photo of a very young Hotch and Haley, holding a dark-haired infant. He handed it to JJ. "We were so happy."

"She's beautiful. She looks just like you," she said, handing it back to him.

He nodded. "For the short time we had her, she was Daddy's little girl."

"How did you get over losing her?" JJ asked softly.

"I didn't. You never really get over it. You just learn to go on. It's almost impossible at first, but you eventually realize that she wouldn't want you to give up living. And there are other people who still need you."

"But I don't even know how to do that," JJ whispered. The pain in her voice broke all their hearts. "I can barely make myself take a shower and eat. How am I going to be able to do things like work and laugh again?"

"It'll take time. It's not something that can be rushed. One day you'll wake up and realize that it doesn't hurt so much to think about her. Eventually the good memories will be the ones that come to mind first, the way she died will be second," Hotch told her, unconsciously stroking the photo in his hand. "It won't come all at once and you will still have days where you cry at the drop of a hat or when something reminds you of her."

"Does that part ever truly go away?"

Hotch shook his head. "No. For me, it usually flares up when we get a case involving babies or little girls with dark hair."

She nodded, knowing it would be blonde-haired little girls with blue eyes for her."

"And when something inevitably triggers those days, you have my permission, right now, to do whatever you need to. If you need a hug, ask for it. There are six members of this team who would gladly give it to you. If you need a dark room so you can cry in peace, it's yours. You don't have to explain why and you don't have to apologize. Ever."

JJ looked up at him, tears glistening in her eyes. "Thank you," she whispered, wanting to express how much that meant, but she didn't need to. He already knew. She glanced at the picture on the side table once again. Looking at that sweet little face, knowing she would never again hear her laughter or hold her in her arms was more than she could take and the tears came out in sobs.

"Shh, it's okay, JJ. Let it out. We're here," Garcia told her, wrapping her arms around her friend.

When she pulled herself together a few minutes later, she opened her mouth to apologize, but Morgan held up his hand. "Don't even think of apologizing, JJ," he told her gently. She nodded gratefully.

Her exhaustion was evident on her face so they left a short time later after hugging her and promising to check in with her in a few days. "If you need anything, let us know," Reid told her.


It took almost six months for her to feel anything like her old self again, but she found Hotch was right. It took time, but the good memories were starting to take over the bad ones. She remembered the laughter and the hugs over the pain and misery.

And then one day, they got a bad case. Little girls were being abducted from their homes, tortured and left for dead. She'd been fine until the second day. They'd found another body with blonde hair and blue eyes and looked almost exactly like Lizzie would have. She managed to keep herself together until they got back to the police station. Once there, she found a quiet room and lost it. It was like losing Lizzie all over again. She was so lost in her misery that she never heard a sound. Not the click of the door, not footsteps as they made their way to her, nothing until Emily wrapped her arms around her and let her cry in her arms. When the tears finally stopped, she looked up at her friend with a small smile. "Thank you."

"There's no place I'd rather be," Emily told her, handing her a tissue.

When they emerged ten minutes later, Reid looked up from the file he was studying. "Are you okay?"

JJ shook her head. "No. But I will be."

And for the first time, she realized she really would be.
Current Mood: tiredtired
ficdirectoryficdirectory on March 12th, 2012 01:12 pm (UTC)
This is really well done! I had no idea you wrote fanfic!
Aimee: CM • JJ • Bluedigitaldesigner on March 12th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D Lol yeah, I've been writing fic for over 10 years now. :)
layla_aaronluscious_words on March 12th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
Totally heartbreaking and so well done!!!
Aimee: CM • JJ • Watchdigitaldesigner on March 13th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D