Author: elekanahmen aka Jax
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: JJ/Emily, mentions of past relationships for both.
Disclaimer- I don't own them, as they're clearly NOT chained up in my closet
Rating: G. Pure, unadulterated Disney sappy fluff.
Summary: Two moments in time, finding solace in the familiar.
Note: Inspired by the Bing Crosby song "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" (also covered by Bugs Bunny =P) which my roommate played for me for the first time yesterday. If y'all haven't noticed, I have a thing for songfics. To lostnfoundcause for nudging me to write it. Also, jessi_08 and gilligankane, my girls need to get well soon
1976, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Five-year-old Emily Prentiss jumped up in her bed, sweat beading on her cheeks, dark hair matted to flushed skin as thunder cracked and rumbled deep in the unseasonably hot October night. The power flickered and Emily pulled her stuffed rabbit tight to her chest. Lightning ricocheted across the sky, lighting up the unfamiliar room in their new Arabian home, casting jagged shadows across the walls, wicked grins and clawed hands grasping across the darkness at her, fading as quickly as they were cast.
In a blur, the bundle of wild black tangles and white cotton nightdress flew to the door, grasping the handle, pulling it open to reveal an equally dark and ominous hallway. Tears welled in chocolate eyes as she padded quickly down the hallway, hearing her mother’s voice, loud and shrill on the phone with some diplomat or another, growling and screeching in Arabic, her tone cross, worse than that morning when Emily had accidentally broken the vase that Lady Fahd had given them as a welcoming gift.
She continued down the hallway, tracing her fingers over the polished marble walls, a glimmer of light catching her eye from a door not fully closed. The sounds of muted trumpets and the crackle of old records wafted out with the smell of pipe smoke and Emily smiled, she’d found her Papa.
Pushing the door gently, she peered in, her father sitting in a tall, wing-backed chair, newspaper in hand, the smoke curling up from behind it. “Papa?” She whispered, her voice timid and meek, choked with the tears welling in her eyes.
The paper folded down and dark green eyes met tearful brown across the study, “What is it, mon bijou?”
Emily sniffled and clutched her bunny tightly to her chest, stiffening as the lightning and thunder crashed loudly again, the lights flickering. She dashed across the room, throwing herself into his arms. “I’m scared, papa.”
Emile Prentiss chuckled, pulling his daughter close, the laugh rumbling against Emily’s cheek, a softer, warmer rumble than the cold, angry thunder from moments before. “Is my little girl afraid of the thunder?”
She shook her head furiously but her body betrayed her again, jumping and tensing when another crack of thunder and blinding light sent the room crashing into darkness, the record player silencing as the thunder shook itself out. The power slowly flickered back on and the old jazz record started up again with a skip. Emile picked up his trembling little girl in his arms, carrying her over to the book shelf, pulling out an old, yellowed album, switching out the one that was playing for an old Bing Crosby record. With a crackle, a blare of trumpets and a roll of snare drums, he braced Emily on his hip and swung her gently, slippers gliding over the parquet wood floor. Emily giggled, watching her father with awe-wide eyes as he began to croon softly along with Crosby, “You must have been a beautiful baby, you must have been a wonderful child… When you were only starting to go to kindergarten bet you drove the little boys wild…”
Emily leaned her head against Emile’s chest, listening to the low melody of her father’s voice, her eyelids slowly drooping until she fell asleep against his chest. “There, there,” Emile whispered, kissing the dark mess of curls, “you just sleep, mon bijou… no monsters will harm you tonight…”
2010, Dumfries, VA, USA
Emily ruffled a towel through her hair, fresh out of the shower. She smiled to herself as thunder rumbled low in the distance. “Hurry up in there, Jayj,” she pressed a hand against the bathroom door, “there’s a storm coming in.”
“I’ll be out in a bit, honey, I just need to relax a bit…”
Smiling at the sound of her girlfriend’s voice, Emily turned from the door, slipping into a tee shirt and flannel shorts. She started to sit down on the bed, jumping a little at the sound of a familiar whimper over the baby monitor on the dresser. “Momma…”
Emily closed the distance back to the bathroom door, “Babe? Lily woke up…”
“Can you go check on her?” JJ’s voice sounded hopeful as she tacked on, “Please?”
“Alright… but you know she’s gonna want you.” Turning, she slipped on a pair of slippers, walking quietly into the two year old’s bedroom. “Hey there beautiful…”
Lilly looked up at Emily, “I wan’ momma…”
Emily lifted Lily in her arms gently, running a hand through the downy blonde curls, looking genuinely into her deep blue eyes, “I know sweetheart, but momma’s in the shower… what’s wrong?”
Resting her head against Emily’s shoulder, she pointed a chubby finger at the window, lightning flashing on cue, the toddler burying her face in Emily’s shoulder. Cradling Lily closer, Emily kissed the top of her head. “You know what, Lil?” Blue eyes peered up from behind the mop of Shirley Temple curls. “I used to be afraid of thunder storms, too. Wanna see how my daddy made me feel better?”
The curls bounced as Lily nodded.
“Alright then. Lets go out to the living room, k?”
Another nod. Emily carried her out and kneeled next to the couch, digging around in her computer bag for her iPod, tugging it out. Placing it in the cradle attached to JJ’s stereo, she swirled her finger over the pad, pulling up Bing Crosby, pressing play. Lily looked up at her, nose scrunched as the music crackled. “Is it broked?”
Emily laughed, “No, baby, it’s not broken… it’s just old music. Let’s dance.” Twirling, the little girl snug in her arms, Emily sang softly, much the way her father did with her so many years ago. Resting her cheek gently against Lily’s forehead, she found herself lost in the moment, singing softly, “Does your mother realize the stork delivered quite a prize the day he left you on the family tree?”
JJ leaned against the doorway, watching, smiling softly to herself as her lover waltzed around the room, singing softly to her daughter along with the old jazz song, Lily watching Emily with wide, innocent eyes, forgetting entirely about the storm growing outside.
“I can see the judges' eyes as they handed you the prize, you must have made the cutest bow.” Emily kissed Lily’s nose, watching her eyes droop shut, looking up, catching JJ’s eyes across the room as she softly sang the last line, “You must've been a beautiful baby, ‘Cause baby look at you now.”
JJ blushed and smiled, biting her lip. What did she do to deserve this beautiful moment, she wondered to herself as Emily closed her eyes, kissing the top of Lily’s head gingerly.