Summary: Emily held the bear in both hands, glanced from it to Reid, and then set it on the bedside table.
Prompt: "teddy love" for my love_bingo card.
Note: Spoilers for "JJ", "Corazon", and "Sense Memory".
Migraines. Reid had been having migraines for months—for months—and no one had put it together until he’d dropped stone cold, cracking his head against the counter in the break room and becoming unresponsive.
JJ hadn’t expected to have anything pleasant to say to her former co-workers when she’d shown up at the waiting room, stylish heels hanging from her hands by the straps and her hair falling out of its smooth ponytail. But when she saw Morgan with his head in his hands, saw Hotch standing off to the side with that drawn look on his face, her anger dissipated.
“How is he?” she asked, setting her shoes down on the chair next to Morgan. The broken heel—which had caught in the space between the floor and the elevator during her flight from the Pentagon—dangled from the edge.
“He has a concussion from the fall,” Hotch said after a moment. She’d known him long enough to recognize the small amount of tension that had gone out of him when he’d seen her. “They ran tests on the migraines, but nothing has shown up so far.” He answered her next question before she could ask. “Dave’s in with him now. Garcia went for coffee, and I’m not sure what happened to Prentiss.”
“Emily kicked me out,” Rossi said, walking up. He gave JJ a nod, his usual wry smile tinged with genuine concern. “Welcome back, JJ. He’s sleeping.” She opened her mouth and he cut her off by raising a hand. “There’s a chair in the hallway outside his room with your name on it, kiddo.”
It didn’t take much more than that to have JJ padding down the hall, her badge on display to ward off the questions from anyone who might object to her walking barefoot through a hospital. Yep, I’m not wearing shoes, keep walkin’.
She slowed when she reached the room. The lights were off and the shades were drawn, but the glow from the hall lights assured that she could see Reid and Emily. Reid was asleep, as Rossi had told her. There was a bandage obscuring his forehead. JJ almost announced her presence to Emily, but she stopped at the expression on her friend’s face. Emily reached down and pulled something out of her bag—a worn-looking teddy bear wearing a t-shirt.
Emily held the bear in both hands, glanced from it to Reid, and then set it on the bedside table. She was sitting in the chair next to Reid’s bed, feet planted firmly on the ground. She fidgeted with her hands—picking at her nails, JJ knew without having to see. Emily’s gaze settled on Reid’s chest, watching the steady rise and fall. JJ watched as she reached forward and took one of Reid’s hands into her own. Her thumb traced patterns into the back of his hand, a gesture so intimate that JJ knew she was intruding.
What have I missed in the past few months? She’d always known that Spence had a crush on Emily—it had been obvious to her since Colorado. She hadn’t realized that Emily reciprocated. The last she’d heard, Emily had turned Reid down for a date—though JJ had chided Reid for finding a five-hour sci-fi marathon romantic, earning her one of his wounded looks, and God, she needed him to be okay.
Reid’s face scrunched up in pain for a moment, and Prentiss leaned forward, saying something—his name, maybe. Reid’s eyes fluttered and he squinted up at her, his expression softening after a moment. They exchanged a few words, and Reid reached up with his free hand to cup her face, his thumb resting on her cheek. JJ could nearly hear the words I’m fine as he said them. She’d heard them from him too many times.
Reid glanced over and seemed to notice the bear on the table. He shot Emily a curious glance and sat up, wincing a little. Emily stood up and moved the window shade up a little, letting in just enough light for JJ to see that there was a blue phone booth screen-printed onto the bear’s t-shirt. Reid smiled, looking up at her with a tenderness in his eyes that JJ had never seen from him.
“Look at that puppy love.” Garcia’s voice, a little hoarse, jarred JJ from her thoughts.
JJ pulled her eyes away from her friends and smiled at Garcia, who was holding out a cup of coffee like a life preserver. She took the cup from her and, with a quick glance to Reid and Emily, thought that maybe puppy love wasn’t the right word for what she’d witnessed.