Author's Note: Written as a birthday surprise for PancakesAndSunshine. Happy birthday, my fanfic daughter/sister! Hope you have a wonderful day!
"She hasn't called you?" Hotch asked, nearly incredulously as he and JJ walked into the lobby of Prentiss' apartment building.
"Not for the last month or so, but she told me she was going to be busy," JJ replied, rolling her eyes. "She hasn't called you either."
Hotch hit the elevator button. "Yeah, but you two are a lot closer than we are."
JJ shrugged. "You two have gotten closer since she's come back from the dead." She noticed the uncomfortableness in his face over the mention of Prentiss' "death" and muttered, "Sorry."
"It's okay," he mumbled back. "But if we really were closer, she wouldn't have blindsided me with her resignation from the Bureau."
"She might have had a good reason," JJ offered, stepping out of the elevator on Prentiss' floor. "Besides, you're here to help celebrate her birthday."
He paused in front of Prentiss' door. "Because you called me. Why did you call me?"
She sighed. "Because I didn't want to do this alone. Because I thought you'd want to check up on her, too."
Hotch nodded, accepting her reasoning. He glanced at the flowers in his hand that JJ made him pick up and the wine in her hands. He opened his mouth to try to convince her to switch gifts when she cut him off.
"Don't even think about it, Hotch. I'm giving her the wine." JJ chuckled at the stunned expression on his face. "You going to ring that doorbell?"
"Yes," he grumbled before hitting the doorbell. They heard Prentiss swear loudly from inside the apartment before racing to the door.
Her hair was wild and there were dark circles under her eyes when she flung the door open, asking, "Can I help you?" Prentiss' eyes grew wide, taking in her friend and former boss. She hugged them both. "JJ! Hotch! What are you guys doing here?"
"Happy Birthday, Em!" JJ replied, excitedly. She hit Hotch with her elbow to get him to also wish her a happy birthday.
"It is my birthday?" Prentiss question, her face going momentarily blank. "Yeah, I guess, it is."
JJ glanced at Hotch before looking back at Prentiss. "Are you going to invite us in?"
Prentiss cringed. "Um..."
"Maybe, she's not alone in there," Hotch suggested to JJ, blushing at the thought. Prentiss was an attracted woman and it was rather presumptuous of them to assume she'd be alone on her birthday.
"Do you have a guy in there?" JJ tried to peer over Prentiss' shoulder for any clues. If she did have a guy in there, JJ thought, they must be serious given Prentiss' attire: gray sweatpants and a navy sweatshirt with a hole at the bottom.
Prentiss shook her head. "Not a guy..."
"A girl?" JJ's eyes were lit up with mischief.
"Not in the way you're thinking." Prentiss sighed. "Come on in. I was going to share this news with you soon anyway."
Hotch shot JJ a questioning look before following the women inside the apartment. She led them to the living room, cluttered with small blankets, fuzzy toys, and other baby items. The confusion grew on both their faces. Prentiss leaned over a small bassinet in the corner and picked up a cooing infant in a purple and white striped pajamas. Prentiss cradled the baby in her arms.
"This," she shifted so that they were able to see the soft face of the baby. Tufts of dark hair covered her head, "is my daughter, Megan."
"Daughter?" both JJ and Hotch repeated at the same time.
Prentiss nodded. "My cousin, Maggie's middle daughter, got pregnant. She's just fifteen. They asked me to adopt her."
Hotch cleared his throat. "And this is why you left the BAU?"
"Partly," she admitted, "and partly for all the reasons I told you when I left."
"Why didn't you tell us?" JJ asked, her voice hushed. She was completely enraptured by the tiny angel that looked just like Prentiss.
Prentiss gave off a small sigh. "Honestly, I was afraid that it would fall through and I didn't want to put up with all the pitying looks, not after everything this last year. This is kind of my last shot at motherhood. I just brought her home three days ago. We were going to show up at the BAU for lunch next week as a surprise."
JJ handed Hotch the bottle of wine and took the baby from Prentiss, breathing in the baby's scent. "You are going to be a wonderful mother, Em." She kissed the top of Megan's head. "She's very lucky to have you."
"She is," Hotch agreed. He uncharacteristically leaned over and kissed Prentiss' temple. "Let us know if you need any help. It's been awhile, but I think I remember how to change a diaper."
"Actually, there is something you can help with, if you're up to it." She smirked at his raised eyebrow. "Could you put the swing together? It's been a bear."
Hotch nodded, standing a little straighter. "I'll see what I can do."
Prentiss and JJ giggled as he strutted over to the swing. JJ bumped her with her shoulder. "You look good."
"I look like crap," Prentiss blew out. "I haven't showered in four days. I think this is the third day in a row I've worn this outfit. I couldn't tell you the last time I brushed my hair."
"And yet, this is the most beautiful I've ever seen you," JJ told her, confidently. "Motherhood agrees with you."
Prentiss took the baby back from JJ. "Thank you. That means a lot coming from supermom."
"Happy Birthday, Em. I'm glad all your wishes are coming true."