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Characters this chapter: Jennifer “JJ” LaMontagne, Will LaMontagne, Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, Derek Morgan, Penelope Garcia,
Relationships this chapter: Jennifer “JJ” LaMontagne/Will LaMontagne, Spencer Reid/Tony DiNozzo/Brian O’Connor, Derek Morgan/Taylor Kitch, Penelope Garcia/Kevin Lynch
Chapter Warnings: Anti-JJ
Word Count: 5,297/112,298
Chapter Summary: JJ and Derek get busted gossiping about Tony by Spencer who has to decide if he’s going to avoid the situation or confront it. Hotch then decides that he needs to have a talk with Tony about JJ before he loses someone important to his team. Which one of Tony and JJ that important agent is though, might be a surprise to the Very Special Agent. Rossi then throws a barbecue for the team, only JJ’s actions come out to bite her. Things finally catch up with her, and she can’t avoid the consequences. Will also finds out that he has more support than he imagined.
Chapter Notes: This is what I think of in my head as the JJ chapter. We get an insight into the things she’s done. We get a glimpse of how Spencer and Hotch feel about it, and how it ends. We also see a glimpse of how Will is affected by her actions.
Chapter Eight: Worse than a Mad Hotch, Accepting your Place, and Time for an Exit
~~*BAU Early January 2011*~~ * ~~*Worse than a Mad Hotch*~~
Reid walked up to the break room carrying not only his coffee cup, but also Tony’s and Prentiss’. The liaison was helping Emily with a consultation that she was stuck on, and Reid had offered to get them more caffeine. As he entered the room he saw JJ and Derek standing in front of the coffee machine, their backs mostly toward him. When he heard their conversation topic he almost turned around, and walked off. He wanted to do it so bad, but something inside of him wouldn’t let him.
Reid had spent most of his life fighting against and standing up to bullies. Sure most of the time he came out on the worse end of it, and sometimes he was scared shitless and crying. Sometimes his tactics may have been less along the lines of confrontational, and more closely resembling avoidance. He’d never actually just given in, and given up though.
This moment didn’t feel as one where avoidance would be appropriate. He tried to ignore the part where he’d just called his two closest friends bullies. It hurt his heart to think he’d trusted people who were so easily capable of such a thing. Mind made up he stayed where he was a moment. This thing between him and Tony was too important to walk away from bullying words. He also knew that if their roles were reversed, there was no way Tony would just walk away.
Especially when it seemed as if one of them was trying her best to wrangle the other into being on her side. He stood and listened to JJ’s spiel. She was giving Derek all of the reasons why Tony was a horrible person, and not to be trusted. Apparently she’d heard some rumor about Tony being seen out and about somewhere or other flirting with someone. It was baffling to Spencer how these things seemed to take on their own life, leaving most of the truth behind until even he had no idea what they were talking about.
Derek seemed to be waffling between weak hearted agreement, and even weaker defense of the man. Spencer was pretty sure he was worried that Rossi would finally follow through on his throat punching threat. Reid had never actually been punched in the throat, but he couldn’t imagine that it was a fun experience though. As a detractor he supposed it worked. While Spencer appreciated the older man’s feelings, it was somewhat disheartening that it was the threat of violence that was making him pause.
For the life of him, Spencer didn’t understand this almost vendetta that JJ seemed to have against the Italian. It was disappointing to say the least. He’d always considered her someone that he could depend on, someone who was a good person. Recent events however were making him question the things that he’d always believed about her. It was baffling how not just JJ, but Derek as well, seemed to carry this continued belief that he was completely clueless. Spencer knew he may not be the most socially apt person in the world, but he was a profiler in the elite Behavioral Analysis Unit. If he couldn’t read someone enough by now to know when he was being played, he had no business being on Hotch’s team.
Their poor hapless Spencer shtick was even more ironic considering technically he had been the one to approach Tony, not the other way around. Spencer was 98% certain that had he been left to his own resources, Tony would never have initiated anything between them. His old team had simply left too many scars from their betrayals, and then there was his pseudo brother Gibbs’ Rule #12 that had to take into consideration. If Tony’s insecurity wasn’t reason enough to stand up for his new relationship, then Spencer wasn’t sure one existed. Settling on his course of action, Spencer cleared his throat drawing their attention. He then walked between them and turned to stand on the other side and in front of JJ and Derek frowning at the two of them.
Their silence was sort of split in his head evenly between being amusing and irritating. While it was nice that they at least waited for their little bitch session until Tony was otherwise occupied, Spencer knew it could have as easily been the NCIS liaison who came to get the coffee though. That only fueled his irritation further at what he perceived their complete lack of care if they hurt the other man or not. The more he thought about it the more irritated he became by their continued theory that he was some naïve child who needed protected usually from himself.
“You two do realize that I am a grown man, right? While I appreciate your trying to protect me, I am a little aggravated that I am going to have to give you details of my relationship with Tony that frankly is none of either of your business.” Scowling, Spencer turned to fill up the three mugs he was carrying to each person’s preference.
“While it’s true that I was a child when I started college, I was there a long time with other genius’ my age. I had plenty of time to learn about all kinds of people. I, also, had plenty of time, and enough experiences to decide what I wanted and didn’t want out of a relationship. I am not some helpless virginal princess stranded in a tower you know. Tony isn’t playing me.”
Turning with his three mugs made perfectly, Spencer scowled at his fellow profilers. “He isn’t taking advance of poor little Reid. If anything, I took advantage of him. I asked a highly sexual, emotional, and affectionate person, who was in a highly vulnerable point in his life, to conform to my lifestyle. Anything that Tony does is with my full knowledge and approval.
“I have heard the numerous rumors floating around, and ignored most of them because they are completely vague and without merit. Tony flirts with anything that breathes, the same I would like to point out as Derek does. I can assure you that Tony doesn’t fuck even a tiny fraction of those people. Derek I am not so sure about. Was there an incident where we went out, and he picked someone up? Yes. However, I was also there, and frankly that is all I am sharing with you about the experience, because frankly it’s none of your fucking business!” Scowling Spencer glared at them both noting that only Derek seemed to be ashamed of his actions. JJ just held onto her uppity ‘I know better than you’ expression that was rapidly beginning to make him understand Rossi’s obsession with Throat Punching.
“I love you both, although I will be honest your recent actions have made me question that feeling along with your place in my life. That being said stay the fuck out of my relationship!”
When Spencer realized that he was shouting, he took a deep breath, and passed back between the two, pausing in the doorway, and turned to look back at them again. “Maybe you should spend more time being a friend to Tony, whom you both have now hurt needlessly, and less time worrying about what is or is not going on in my bedroom.
“I don’t know how I got so lucky to have Tony like this in my life. I never thought that I would have a chance at someone that gorgeous, funny, intelligent, and amazing. He seems to not just like me, but want a future with me. If you two mess this up for me, I won’t ever forgive you. To be frank, even if you don’t mess this up for me, I am not sure I will forgive you. To be even more frank, your actions from this point forward will be a huge determining factor in whether we remain friends or become simple co-workers.”
“Pretty boy,” Derek started only to stop when the expression on Spencer’s face clearly showed he wasn’t interested in words.
“Unless the words ‘I am sorry I was a complete and total dickhead, and I plan on begging on my knees for Tony’s forgiveness’ are about to come out of your mouth, I don’t wanna hear your bullshit, Agent Morgan. You two are my best friends, or you were. Frankly you’re fucking this shit up. I am highly disappointed in you both. I expect one of you at least will let me down. It’s a shame, but I have found that pathetic bullies just don’t have a place in my life.”
Turning back around, Spencer nodded to Garcia as he moved back to his desk. The silence he left behind was thick. Finally Morgan swore, and ran a hand over the top of his head. “That was worse than any Hotch scolding I’ve ever gotten, and could possibly give my mamma a run for her money.” When Garcia just scowled at him, tapping her foot, Derek knew his misery was not going to end anytime soon.
“No shit,” JJ said shaking her head. “This is a mess. Spencer’s perception is so clouded that he has no clue the danger he’s in.” Garcia just gaped at the woman, then marching into the break room snatched Derek’s ear and pulled him toward her lair, while lecturing him on judging people he doesn’t even know. JJ stood watching them leave wondering when the BAU had gone mad, but knew that filthy Italian was to blame.
~~*BAU January 2012*~~ * ~~*Accepting your Place*~~
Hotch sat behind his desk in his home office, looking at his subordinate. He’d invited the younger man over under the guise of strengthening their work relationship by spending personal time together. He really though had wanted to address JJ, and knew that he couldn’t do it in the office where he ran the risk of being overheard.
The situation was completely juvenile, and unfortunately out of his hands, as JJ it seemed had some high powered people in her corner. They weren’t yet ready to call her on her behavior, insisting that she would come around. Although, after a year and a half of the situation, Hotch wasn’t sure what ,more there was to give hope. Fortunately, Tony had some equally high powered allies who wouldn’t let the situation continue forever. Hotch himself was trying to find a path for the irritating blonde off of his team, and possibly moved back to the State Department. This time with his full approval and good riddance.
“What I am about to say stays in this house.” Hotch warned and waited to continue until Tony nodded. “You and I both know JJ’s jealous mainly because you won’t try to get in her pants. This being despite the fact that she’d slap you into next week if you so much as tried. There is a secondary reason though that I believe you need to be made away of. If for no other reason, than for your own peace of mind. I refuse to lose you from this team because of her antics. Look at this picture.” Hotch pulled a photo out of a folder on his desk and showed it to Tony.
When Tony’s eyes got big, Hotch continued. “His name is Logan Cale. As you can see you could be his twin. Garcia found absolutely nothing to suggest you two are related. It appears that Mr. Cale is simply that mythical twin people say everyone has. Logan was JJ’s boyfriend for all four years of high school. From what Penelope tells me, they were nearly inseparable, and split up only because she was going to college. He was staying home to work the farm with his father. She was… less than impressed by that. Apparently she felt that he was too smart for such work, and that he should have taken one of the scholarships he was offered.
“I think, and this is just my opinion as a profiler, that she was hoping he’d get tired of the farm life, and go to school after a year or two. Only instead he had an accident her sophomore year during harvest season. This resulted in him ending up paralyzed from the waist down. The thing is that even then he wouldn’t leave the farm. Instead, he just kept on doing what he loved. He’s apparently come up with several ways to do chores that he normally wouldn’t be capable of. Instead of being proud, JJ just gave up. I’m not going to tell you that she doesn’t love Will, because I think that she does. However, I have found that feelings can’t always be turned off by ambition and small minds.”
Hotch sighed and took a drink of his tea before continuing. “This thing between you and JJ is not on you. Frankly, I am impressed that you’ve been so restrained. I would appreciate if you kept up your appearance of calmness as long as possible. I know it’s a lot to ask, but technically she’s done nothing that I can remove her from the team for at this time. Especially not when someone above me will simply overturn the decision, and possibly use that action as a reason to split the team up. That is something which I will avoid and prevent from happening at all costs.”
Tony waved a hand in the air. “Look, Hotch, no team is perfect. There’s always going to be someone that you don’t like or get along with. Yeah, she’s a class-A bitch. The difference between now and when I was at NCIS is… well, it’s you.”
When Hotch arched an eyebrow, Tony took a drink of his beer turning his attention to look out the window. “I know that Angelo thinks I am blind to Gibbs’ faults. I’m not though. I guess it would be closer to beggars can’t be choosers. As a boss, Gibbs sucks. As my friend though, as my big brother now that I don’t work under him, I can’t lose him. I’ve lost too goddamned much, Hotch. Every fucking person that’s important to me leaves. Gibbs never has when he was in his right mind. When the chips are down, and I really and truly need him, he’s always there. I don’t have a lot of that. I don’t have a ton of people I can say I’ve been able to count on for years.”
“While he’s a good friend and brother, he’s a really damned crappy boss. Despite being a marine, he seems to know next to nothing about command structure and order. He loves to pit his people against each other, and as his SFA I had little to no support when it came to making command decisions. Hell most of the time he didn’t even act like I was his SFA. You though…” Tony shook his head, still unable to believe the night and day difference between the two team leaders.
“You leave no doubt who you consider in charge when you aren’t there. You never pit your people against each other like some twisted human cock fight. The first time Prentiss deferred to me, when you and Derek weren’t in the room, I almost didn’t know how to act. The difference between me and JJ here, and me and say Ziva at NCIS, is that I know I have you backing me up. I never felt like my boss Gibbs backed my play with the team.” Tony sighed and turned his gaze back to Hotch.
“I like being here, Hotch. I need this to work. I’m getting too old to keep having to start over. If I may get personal for a second?” When Hotch nodded, Tony continued.
“I love Spencer more than I can imagine. I don’t know if I could make it not being able to see him every day. I know they say it isn’t good for people who are in a relationship to work together, but… it seems to work for us. I need him. I need the team. I need Angelo in my daily life. I need you to be my boss. I need… this sense that I actually finally belong, and I am appreciated.”
Tony hung his head and studied his hands. “I can’t go back to before, and I won’t let some fucking High School Mean Girl chase me away from this. I’ve earned it. I’ve bled and starved and suffered for this chance. I will be damned if Ms. Jennifer LaMontagne is going to chase me away from it. So, I can ignore her no sweat.”
Hotch nods smiling. “I appreciate that, and I won’t forget it. The good news is that eventually she’ll get offered a position that she won’t be able to pass up. Either that or she’ll say the wrong thing in front of the wrong person, and her house of cards will come tumbling down. Just keep your chin up, and remember I do have your back. Some cards just have to be played where no one can see them.”
Tony nodded understanding, and when Jack ran in excited waving a copy of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, he launched into all the facts he knew about the Disney Classic for the young boy. Hotch leaned back in his chair and smiled listening wondering how NCIS could not have understood what they had in the man entertaining his son so patiently.
He was a true irreplaceable resource on the team. They’d only gotten better with his addition, and had never argued over the scrutiny that he and Spencer went through to keep their relationship going while on the team together. The man seemed to pull case breaking connections out of thin air with an ability Hotch had previously believed only someone of Spencer’s IQ capable of. JJ on the other hand had become a complete disappointment.
Hotch understood that everyone had that person that made us crazy, and we had a problem being open minded about. However, as a profiler it was critical that you be able to overlook your personal prejudice and see into the reality of the person.
The bigger issue that this whole fiasco had brought to light was the fact that if she could be this blind to someone she saw every day, what was happening when on a case with people she’d only known for days or even moments? How were her poor decisions and people reading skills impacting the team, and case resolution speed? How many people were suffering and possibly dying because she had quickly made up her mind based on her own prejudice and refused to back down? That was something that was completely unacceptable. He hoped that the higher ups would recognize his concerns as not just hot air before she literally caused someone’s death.
In the meantime he was going to do everything within his power to make sure that her damage was limited, and Tony’s abilities were allowed to shine. It was his goddamned team, and he was going to run it as he saw fit. If someone didn’t like how did it, then they could just take his recommendations and move the biased woman off his team. He hoped that happened soon, but knowing how politics worked, he doubted it would.
~~*BAU June 2013*~~ * ~~*Time for an Exit*~~
Tony could feel his chest heaving. The arms wrapped around his chest were the only thing that was keeping him from attacking, and making a mistake that he would later regret. He was pretty sure that if it wasn’t his lover’s steadying presence behind him there would be no chance of holding himself back. He didn’t give a fuck anymore about man and woman, right and wrong, or putting on a good face.
JJ was no longer eligible for such protection. Her most recent antic had pushed her way over the line of protection women got in Tony’s brain that he like a good man understood as being the right thing to do. He’d never hit a woman in his life. Right then, after what she’d just admitted to doing, he wasn’t sure that he would be able to refrain from such an act if she made one more wrong move or spoke one more wrong word.
She’d gone too far this time. Contacting his father and revealing personal information about his relationship to the man. Giving him additional details of Tony’s current life was a betrayal that not even the worthless voids of humanity at NCIS had managed. Tony had spent his life in fear of when his father was going to strike next with good reason, and JJ had given Senior all the information the bastard needed to hurt the people that Tony loved the most.
He couldn’t help but wonder if she was the one that revealed his new job to the old man a couple years back when he got the letter at work. At the time he’d never suspected someone on the team, but now it appeared that it was likely that she was the culprit. This time he’d gotten one at not only his home, but at Angelo’s. It had been accompanied by both Spencer and Brian reporting seeing odd people lurking, and appearing in places they visited regularly, but hadn’t noticed before. To find out that one of his co-workers was behind it might be a worse betrayal than the coms incident back at NCIS.
“I hate you. You are a horrible person. I have never been anything but polite to you. You act like Spencer is a helpless child. You act like you are so fucking perfect, and morally superior to the rest of us. You act like I’m fucking forcing him into something. I FUCKING LOVE HIM!!”
“I PUT EVERYTHING I HAVE INTO THIS GODDAMN RELATIONSHIP. YOU DON’T KNOW JACK SHIT ABOUT ME, OR WHAT GOES ON IN OUR LIVES. SO, BACK THE FUCK OFF! Do you have ANY IDEA what kind of danger you have put him in by giving my father information about him and Brian? Do you know what kind of danger you’ve put the TEAM in by giving my father information about how I fit into their lives? How could you be on the premiere profiling team, and not understand what kind of monster Anthony DiNozzo, Senior is? He’s a convicted murderer for fuck sake! His mob and underworld ties are WELL documented! If you don’t believe me or Rossi, go visit one of the guys down in Organized Crime for fuck sake!”
Tony could tell he was falling apart, but he didn’t think that he could hold it in any longer. He was trying so hard not to interfere in Spencer’s relationship with JJ, or what little was left of it, if for no other reason than Will was awesome, and Henry was an amazing kid. He needed her to stop though. He was beginning to feel like he would never be good enough for anyone. “Enough,” Tony heard and felt the bottom of his stomach drop. This wasn’t supposed to have been anything but fun. Somehow he’d managed to ruin it again. He just couldn’t…
“JJ, that’s enough. You’ve been warned more than once to keep your nose out of it.” She opened her mouth to protest at Hotch’s order, but was stopped by the quiet tone of her husband’s voice.
“Jennifer, stop. It’s enough, cher. You’ve damaged your relationship with Spencer enough don’ you think?” JJ blinked surprised at her husband’s words, and closing her mouth, bit her lip. Will walked around to stand in front of her looking sad and disappointed. When she opened her mouth to speak, Will just held up a hand. “Non, Cher.
“Dave graciously invited the team here t’get some relaxation time in t’gether. Now, look aroun’ you, Cher. Look aroun’ and tell me what you see. Since you seem to be unable to see Tony for who he really is, leave him for last. Look at the people you know first, an’ see how they feel ‘bout your actions.”
Her eyes landed first on Prentiss who was standing with Derek, and his guest and Will’s partner Taylor. No one was quite sure what was going on there, but JJ just knew somehow that DiNozzo creep was involved. The man had come to see Tony the day he’d appeared in their lives, and now they were stuck with him.
Emily was normally one of her favorite people on the team. She had a quick sarcastic wit that JJ enjoyed. Currently though her friend was glaring at her as if she’d committed a crime. Derek’s jaw was clenched, and his arms were around Taylor who was watching her appearing highly unimpressed. Pfft, what did he know anyway?
Next she turned her attention to Hotch and Rossi. Hotch had his hand on Rossi’s arm, and the senior profiler looked like he wanted her anywhere but his backyard. Hotch honestly didn’t look much happier. His look of unhappiness created a pit of unease in her stomach. She didn’t understand what in the world he saw in that playboy.
Rossi was obviously letting his personal feelings interfere with the good of the team. She was disappointed in him personally. She had previously thought that he was a better profiler than that, and questioned if he still deserved to be on the team. She made a mental note to bring it up with Mateo. Maybe he needed to be prodded back into retirement. It would be for the good of everyone.
She heard a snuffle, and looked to see Garcia dabbing her eyes with Kevin holding one of her hands. She was sure that it was that asshole that had upset her. “Garcia,” she called out only to have her friend turn her head, and wrap her arms around Kevin’s waist. “I don’t think she wants to speak to you at the moment, Agent Jareau.”
JJ opened her mouth to comment, but quickly closed it when she realized that she didn’t know what to say. Spencer walked up to stand next to Tony holding Henry in his arms. Her son was hiding his face in his Pencer’s shoulder, and Reid was rubbing his back.
She was disappointed, but not surprised to see anger in his eyes. She wished that he could see that she was doing this for his own good. Everyone knew that he was too naive to understand a relationship like what DiNozzo had conned him into. It didn’t matter how many times or who told her the relationship had been initiated by Spencer. That didn’t matter. In the end, the point was that bastard DiNozzo had manipulated poor innocent Spencer into a relationship that he didn’t truly understand.
She turned her eyes to DiNozzo and his surfer boy disdainfully. The blonde’s eyes were filled with hatred and anger. If she cared what some misplaced beach bum thought of her, she might be upset. It was a little harder than she’d expected to ignore Tony. His eyes were clearly filled with equal parts anger, pain, and what appeared to be devastation. Righteously, she tried to tell herself that he was just playing the victim. Another part of her gloried that she’d caused the little weasel pain. Finally, she’d hit a bullseye on the jerk. The Mean Girl in her hoped that he was suffering.
It was that thought that made her brain come to a stuttering halt. That wasn’t supposed to be the point to all of this. She wasn’t supposed to be that person anymore. She was supposed to have… she was supposed to be different. She was supposed to be kind. She was… fuck.
“I think you need to take that State Department Job, Jennifer that they keep asking you to return to. I think that you’ve lost yourself, and you’ve lost your friends. Th’way you’ve treated Tony is wrong. M’not asking. M’tellin y’to take at position M’also gonna insist on some counseling. You weren’t always this way, JJ. Somethin’ has happened, an’ you need to get past it. I won’t let your ugliness affect our son. I certainly won’t agree t’that second babe y’re wantin’ until I know your head is right. I think you’ll see that it’s the best for everyone this way.”
Wordlessly, JJ nodded and, after looking around the group seeing only disdain and hostility, headed toward the car not bothering to say goodbye. She was pretty sure they wouldn’t miss her anyway. To be honest, she wasn’t sure how much she would miss them. A small part of her sneered in her head that she’d be better off without that filthy broken Italian to cloud things around her. This would be better. Will would come around, and someday they’d regret when they threw her away. Someday they would regret letting that filth into their lives. Someday they’d see Logan wasn’t worth it.
Back in Rossi’s yard, Spencer lay his head on Tony’s shoulder. When Tony wrapped an arm around his waist, Spencer turned his head to look at him, letting Henry slip to the ground. “I think we need to get that suite in the penthouse finished.”
The other two were nodding as Will came over, pain clearly evident on his face. “DiNozzo… Tony, I….” He started, only to be cut off by the Italian.
“I’ve told you a million times, Will. This is not on you. You are a good decent man. I may hate your wife as much as the worst people I’ve experienced in my life, but her actions in my eyes only reflect on her. I hope for your sake that things work out. I want you to know though that if they don’t… you have a place with us. There will be room for you and Henry any time you need it, and for as long as you need it.”
Will blinked at them, the relief and gratitude clear on his face. “Th’room you’ve been workin’ on that you keep showin’ me? That’s… it’s for me an’ m’bebe? I don’t…” Shaking his head, Will stepped forward and gave Tony a hug, shuddering with relief when Brian and even Spencer joined in. “This means more than I can ever express. M’so far away from home, an’ I jus… I don’t have the resources here. I don’ wanna take Henry away from his mamma or Spence or his friens’, but I can’t… I can’t do this forever. I have to give it one more shot, but…”
“We understand, Will,” Brian assured and Spencer nodded his agreement.
“If it comes to that, you’ve got a place for as long as you need it. As you’ve seen it’s isolated enough that you and Henry will have your open space big enough that you will essentially be separate from us other than eating.”
“You’re our friend and brother, LaMontagne,” Tony pointed out, patting his friend on the back as they all straightened. “If you need we can keep Henry tonight. It… might be best that he not be there when you get home.”
Will nodded and after taking a shuddering breath. Sticking his hand out he shook Brian and Tony’s hands, giving Spencer a pat on the shoulder. “Y’re generosity will not be forgotten, mes amis.”
After watching him say his goodbyes to Hotch and Rossi, the three men watched Will leave, each feeling varying levels of relief and regret. They were relieved that this mess was finally over, but they regretted that for Will, the end wasn’t quite in sight yet. When it did come though, they were determined to support their brother.
Bebe = Baby
Mes Amis = My Friends
End Notes: I know on the show Will doesn’t have much of an accent. I felt that it would come out more if he was upset. The final section was definitely an emotional moment for Will, and it seemed right that his Cajun would come out more.