Title: Mending Fences
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't claim, no money made here.
Summary: JJ realizes she has a lot of fences to mend. Why not try and start with Garcia? Post-ep for 7.01 "It Takes A Village".
Anger wasn't an emotion Penelope Garcia was used to. Oh, of course seeing all the horrible things the sickos they chased on a daily basis did made her sad and angry, but not the anger she felt bubbling up inside her. This was an anger born out of hurt and betrayal. Three of her closest friends, no family, she corrected herself had betrayed her. They'd let her grieve for a dear friend, a sister who hadn't actually died. At the memories of all the painful days that followed Emily's "death" she felt herself start to cry again. She brushed at the tears irritated. She didn't want to cry anymore. She was angry more than she was sad, so why was she crying?
"Damn it! Why can't I stop crying?" she asked clearly frustrated.
"Because no matter how angry you are, you're also sad," came a voice from the doorway. The computer tech jumped at JJ's voice. Turning to face the other woman, Garcia decided to get all her feelings out in the open.
"Can I be completely and totally honest with you?" she requested.
"Of course you can. Hotch, Emily, and I deserve anything any of you want to throw at us. We fucked up royally and now it's time to face the music. Before you start, though, I need to apologize for everything. I know that Em apologized and I'm sure if he hasn't, Hotch will as well, but I just needed to apologize to you as well," JJ explained.
"Should your apology be worth something to me right now?" Garcia spat. JJ flinched, the other woman was definitely angry. Angrier than JJ had ever seen before. She struggled to come up with a response.
"I guess that's up to you to decide if my apology is worth something. Even though, I can promise you that it comes from the very bottom of my heart." Tears filled JJ's eyes and she didn't try and fight it. She knew Garcia was crying as well.
"Oh, Jayje, I'm so sorry. I promised myself I wasn't going to lash out at you without giving you a chance to defend yourself."
"If lashing out at me is the only way we can work through this and I can eventually regain your trust, then go for it, Pen. I promise I won't hold anything you say against me. No matter how much it hurts, and I don't think you're capable of being any more hurtful than Derek," the blonde profiler replied sadly. The pain in the other woman's eyes broke Garcia's heart and she reached out and took JJ's shaking hand into her own.
"He's pretty mad, huh?" Garcia commented.
"That would be the understatement of the century; no the millennium," JJ said a tiny smile flickering across her face.
"We all know why you did it, but it still hurts. Derek's going to have a harder time forgiving all of you because he found her in the warehouse. He has a lot of guilt, and it's eating him up inside. Finding out that his partner, his best friend is alive is only going to make the emotional rollercoaster he's been on lately even rougher."
"I know, and even though these last seven months were some of the hardest and worst of my life, I can't say I wouldn't do it all over again. Only because Emily's primary interest was to protect all of us. I just hope I never have to be put in that kind of position again. I'm sorry for taking over the conversation. Now it's your turn. Go ahead, let me have it," JJ said sitting back and staring into Garcia's devastated eyes.
Taking a deep breath she gathered her thoughts before beginning to speak.
"The day you told us that she was dead nearly killed me. Hell, it damn near killed all of us. It didn't, though. Eventually we worked through the worst of our grief and began putting the pieces of our shattered lives back together. Until yesterday that is. When Hotch told us that Emily was alive and that she hadn't died as a result of what Doyle had done to her in that warehouse all those months ago, I was confused and in shock. I desperately wanted to believe him, but I was afraid to. At first I didn't catch on to the fact that you both knew she was alive and in fact had helped fake her death I just thought the higher-ups made the decision and didn't inform you two until yesterday. Once I realized you both knew and were in on it with Emily I was angry but most of all hurt. You guys are my family, the only family I have," Garcia stopped as her voice broke and sobs took over. Picking up the box of tissues on Garcia's desk, JJ took some before handing the box to Garcia.
"Thanks," Garcia sniffled.
"You're welcome," JJ answered. Taking a moment to compose herself, Garcia continued her speech.
"You guys are the only family I have. When I lost my parents, I also lost contact with my brothers. I haven't spoken to any of them since. When I became part of this team, I found something that I didn't even realize was missing. I found a family. When Hotch made his announcement yesterday I felt like my family had been yanked out from under me. The three of you had this giant secret that could ultimately destroy everything and I'm not sure how to stop that from happening." At the end of her speech, Garcia placed her head into her hands and sobbed until she had nothing left.
JJ sat silently after Garcia's speech. She knew all of it was true. What she didn't know was how to fix it.
"How can I fix this? At least my part of it? Please tell me what I can do. I'll do anything, Pen."
"Honestly, I'm not sure. We're just going to have to take it one step at a time. There are a lot of fences that need mending, but as long as were honest with each other and we both put a lot of effort into it, we'll fix it. I'm not saying it'll happen overnight, but eventually, we'll be okay again, Jayje."
"I love you so much, Pen, and I'm so, so, so, sorry," JJ responded reaching out and pulling the computer tech into a fierce hug.
"I haven't forgiven any of you, and probably won't for a while, but I will always love you. After all, that's how family works, right?" Garcia asked.
"Right," JJ agreed.
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