The Calm Before the Storm
Hotch sat in his bed feeling restless with no one to talk to. The manager from the Green Valley Inn had personally dropped off their go-bags at the hospital, not without giving Hotch her best wishes, an overly eager smile and her phone number. The rest of the team had left to get washed and changed. Even Rossi had been allowed out of bed and he had hobbled off to get cleaned up, although, in fairness, Hotch had been the only one to have major abdominal surgery. He looked out on to the ward and watched the real doctors and nurses trickle back in to replace their counterfeit duplicates while the cops collected their guns and headed off the ward. When Hotch looked back to the door, he saw JJ standing there leaning against the doorframe in a fresh set of clothes, her hair dust-free and back to its usual vibrant blonde.
"Hey," she said.
"How did it go with Robert Fox?" she asked, entering the room and sitting on the end of his bed.
"Suicide by cop," he said. JJ looked over to the far wall and the floor beneath it which were both still damp with cleaning fluid.
"Yeah, I heard the gunshots." She glanced over to him, as though gauging his mood before continuing. "I would have seen all the action if my Unit Chief hadn't sent me upstairs." Hotch frowned, unsure how irritated she was. He didn't regret ordering her away, but he could have been more tactful about it.
"I've heard your Unit Chief can be a bit of an ass," he said. She glanced away, poorly disguising a smile as he foiled her attempts at being annoyed.
"He's not an ass, really," she said. "He's a good man and he was only trying to keep me safe…" She paused for a moment. "Listen, Hotch - " The door was pushed open and Rossi entered, followed by a nurse. Hotch felt a rush of annoyance. He couldn't seem to have an entire conversation with JJ without someone interrupting.
"There we are Agent Rossi, I need you to hop in to bed and keep that foot elevated. And Agent Hotchner," the nurse said, "I need to take a few more blood samples from you." Hotch barely registered her words, he was still watching JJ intently, waiting for her to finish what she was saying but she seemed to have changed her mind.
"Look, I'll come back later," JJ said. Hotch watched her hurry out of the room, with an unusual feeling of worry and disappointment.
JJ sat on a plastic seat out of sight of Hotch's room feeling a headache build in her temples. With her eyes shut, she felt Emily sit next to her and she could sense her watching her. Emily had found out about her pregnancy and spent the last hour pestering her for information and clearly she wasn't finished yet.
"Well?" Prentiss asked.
"I didn't tell him."
"I was interrupted!" JJ opened her eyes and looked at Emily who was looking a little skeptical. "Rossi came back before I could tell him." A doctor appeared a few feet away from them at the coffee machine and JJ pulled Emily in to the empty room behind them, not wishing to be overheard.
"Does Hotch know it's his baby?" Emily asked.
"He must. It's not like I've been sleeping around since Will left. It was just him. It's always been him."
"So what's wrong?"
"Well, he's obviously going to do the proper thing and offer to support me and the baby but I don't just want his support. I want to be with him," she said, trying and failing to keep a note of desperate panic from her voice.
"Then tell him," said Emily. JJ couldn't help but feel worried. It had been a long time since she had felt comfortable laying her feelings bare to anyone.
"He wants the same thing," Emily pressed.
"How can you know that?"
"Because he loves you, JJ. You can see it every time he looks at you."
"No he doesn't," JJ said.
"Yes I do."
Hotch was standing in the doorway behind JJ, leaning heavily on the door handle and looking at her with such intensity that it almost knocked the breath out of her.
"I'll leave you guys to it," Emily said, flashing JJ a knowing smile as she left.
"So, we're having a baby," he said pushing the door shut and transferring his weight on to the arm of a chair.
"Yeah," she breathed, trying to measure his reaction.
"You could have told me sooner," he said. His expression barely changed but JJ could see a little sorrow in his eyes.
"I know, I wish I had told you as soon as I found out but I was scared and confused and I didn't know what you would think."
"This is pretty scary for me too, you know," he said. He finally managed to stand upright and he closed the gap between them. She wrapped her arms around him, wishing she could hold him closer but scared she would hurt him. Hotch put his one free arm around her and pulled her tightly against him regardless.
"I want us to be family, JJ," he said, his voice muffled by her hair. The feeling of relief was immense as though her entire body had been tensed up for the last five months, like she had been holding her breath worrying about Hotch's reaction and now she could finally breathe.
"Me and you, Jack and Henry and the baby. We'll make it work."
"I know." Hotch kissed the top of her head and put his hand on the little bump that was barely visible under her loose blouse.
"When are you due?"
"And he's okay?" Hotch asked.
"Totally fine," she said. "You think it's a 'he'?"
"I don't know. Do you know?" he asked.
"I don't know either. I got a scan earlier but I wanted us to find out together." She pulled out a piece of paper on which the doctor had written down the gender of the baby and suddenly realised that she was quite nervous. She shifted the paper between her fingers for a moment and felt her hands get a little sweaty. "I can't do it," she said, handing the paper quickly to Hotch as if it were radioactive. "You look." Hotch looked like he might collapse any minute and JJ made a mental note to get him straight back in to bed as soon as they were done. He opened the piece of paper slowly. Once it was unfolded, JJ really thought he was going to pass out until a bright smile crossed his face.
"How do you feel about having a daughter?”
"Prentiss, you said you would do it," Morgan said.
"I know but -"
"No buts Scarface, get your ass in there." Morgan grinned as he shoved Prentiss in to the room where Rossi was sitting reading a book. They had made a deal and she was going to hold up her end whether she liked it or not.
"Hey, Rossi," she said.
"Hey," he said, lowering his book. She sat on his bed and, although she was disguising it well, Morgan could practically feel the embarrassment radiating from her.
"Okay, listen," she said. "I made a deal with Morgan down in the mines when, frankly, I assumed I was going to die, so please don't read anything to in to this."
"I won't," he said. He looked unfazed but Morgan thought he could see the shadow of a smile on his lips.
"We were comparing how many people we had slept with, and we both assumed the other person was a little more promiscuous than they really were..."
"You want to know if I really do live up to my reputation," he said with a laugh, putting two and two together. He looked as though he was contemplating telling her for a moment but the he sighed. "I would tell you, Emily, really I would, but a true gentleman never reveals that kind of thing."
Prentiss laughed. "Well, I tried! I made good on my dare. You want to get a coffee, Derek?"
"Sure," he said. Prentiss walked out first and as soon as she was out of earshot, Rossi spoke.
"Want to know the truth?"
"Hit me," Morgan said.
"I lost count a decade ago."