Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Happy Holidays everyone! This is my present for Jekkah for the CCOAC Christmas Gift Exchange. Her prompts were a ceramic Santa, candy canes, christmas lights, and the song "White Christmas." This is a JJ/Hotch romance, as per Jekkah's request. Enjoy and have a great holiday :)
Jennifer Jareau rarely hated decorating for Christmas, but right now, with the amount of back pain she was feeling, she wanted the decorations to be up and finished. She winced as she picked up a box of multi-colored Christmas lights from Reid's desk and handed them to Kate. Christmas music filled the bullpen, and the notes of "Santa Baby" trickled into the women's ears.
"The weather said we were supposed to get some snow," JJ mentioned to Kate as she handed the lights over. "Something like six inches."
"I hope so," Kate muttered. "I'd take a blizzard at this point. My last few Christmases had maybe a dusting of snow. I'd like to for once be able to form a decent snowball so I could use Rossi as target practice." She laughed wickedly.
JJ laughed. "When I was growing up we used to get blasted with it," she said. "Pennsylvania winters got cold, but small town Pennsylvania winters got colder." As she stared hopefully outside, praying for the first snowflakes to fall, another back pain struck her. She winced.
Kate noticed and arched a brow. "You okay?" she asked, a laugh on her lips. "You seem a little…tense." She began undoing the twist tie holding the lights together so they could stretch them across the banister.
"Oh, I'm fine," JJ mumbled, waving her hand nonchalantly in front of her face. "Baby's just kicking up a storm, that's all." She rubbed her distended belly and sighed. "More like a hurricane. It wasn't nearly this bad with Henry this far along."
Beginning to wrap the lights around the banister, Kate asked, "Speaking of Henry, when are you picking him up from Will's? You and Hotch have him this Christmas right?"
JJ smiled fondly at the thought of a Christmas with her son. This would be the first year she would have Henry with her, Hotch, and Jack since Will had gotten to have him the previous year. "We get to pick him up tomorrow morning," she answered. "We're going to decorate the tree, then going to that team dinner at the Morgans'."
"What time are we supposed to be heading there anyway?" a voice asked from behind the women asked.
Both of them turned around to find Hotch walking toward them with a wrapped gift in his grasp. JJ smiled as he approached and pulled her into a kiss. He rested his free hand on her belly and smiled one of his rare, but heartwarming smiles. "How're you feeling today?" he asked.
She patted his chest and smirked. "Oh, I feel just wonderful," she exaggerated, sarcasm thick in her voice. "And to answer your question, we're heading there tomorrow at six."
He chuckled. "Okay," he murmured. Looking to Kate, he arched a brow. "Can you do these lights with Rossi? I need to borrow my wife for a few minutes."
Kate winked. "Of course," she said. "I'll just holler for Rossi to get his ass out here…whether he wants to or not." She grinned wickedly.
Linking her arm through her husband's, JJ followed him up the steps to his office. She closed the door behind them and planted herself down on the couch. She kicked her shoes off. Putting her feet up on the coffee table, she looked up at Hotch and grinned. "Thanks for the break," she purred as he sat down.
Hotch leaned over and kissed her temple. "Always," he murmured.
She nodded to the package still in his hands. "Who's that from?" she asked, taking the elegantly wrapped present from his grasp. Her fingers traced the shape of the silky red ribbon as she searched for a "To/From" card.
"There's not a card because I got it straight from the person it's from," he said, reading her mind. "It's from Cruz. He says it's for the baby's first Christmas."
JJ arched a brow and laughed. "Uhh…you did explain that she isn't due for another three weeks right? Her first Christmas won't be until next year."
Hotch shrugged. "Well, it's the thought that counts," he said. As JJ started undoing the ribbon, he frowned. "Why're you opening it now? It's not Christmas yet."
She continued to unwrap the package and then opened the small cardboard box inside it. Carefully, she produced a ceramic Santa from the box and smiled. The mini Santa fit in the palms of her hands. Sparkles covered the expanse of the ceramic that was the red suit. She held it up so she could observe it closer, and a grin spread across her face.
"It's adorable," she murmured. "I really should go and thank Matt." Before she could stand up though, another bout of back pain struck her. She thought better of rising to her feet. Smiling sheepishly, she set her future daughter's present on the coffee table. "Maybe I'll do it later."
Hotch leaned over and kissed her cheek. "I think he'll understand." He observed her closer and arched a brow. "You okay? You seem…uncomfortable."
She nodded, but winced in the process. "Oh, I'm okay," she muttered. "Like I told Callahan, the little girl is kicking up a storm."
"You know, Penelope had this same problem right before she had Arya," Hotch remarked. "You don't think —"
JJ waved his concerns away. "Oh ho!" she exclaimed. "After last time, I think I'd know if I was going into labor." She rubbed her belly, but then she rose to her feet. "C'mon. Reid and Morgan are helping Kate and Rossi with the lights." Offering her hand to him, she pulled her husband to his feet. She winced as another sharp ache flared in her back.
"You're sure you're okay?" he asked her, cupping her cheek. "You —"
She cut him off. "I'm absolutely fine," she insisted. She gestured to the door. "Let's go help the others."
"Is Rossi bitching and moaning about having to decorate?" Hotch asked, amused.
Looking closer out the window of Hotch's office, JJ burst out laughing. "See for yourself," she said with a giggle, pointing out into the bullpen.
Hotch looked out the window and smiled once again. Out in the bullpen, Kate and Reid grinned wickedly, laughing as they draped lights around Rossi. Rossi crossed his arms over his chest and glared at them both while Morgan howled with hysterical laughter.
"I've got to get in on this!" JJ chirped, opening the door. She darted for the door as quickly as she could with her huge belly.
As they entered the bullpen, Rossi looked up at her and clasped his hands in front of himself like he was praying to her. "JJ!" he pleaded. "As the 'Mom' of the group, I'm begging you…make them stop!"
Kate cackled and crowned Rossi with more rainbow lights. "Even JJ can't save you now!" she crowed.
JJ giggled and shook her head at Rossi. "Sorry, Rossi," she said, pulling Aaron's phone out of his breast pocket. "Not only am I not helping you, I'm capturing this on film."
"A real Kodak moment," Morgan joked.
Rossi scowled as JJ snapped a photo. "Pfft, shut the hell up, Morgan." He rolled his eyes and checked his watch before looking back up at Morgan. "And hey! Isn't my beautiful goddaughter supposed to be showing up soon?"
JJ looked at her watch and nodded. "Garcia said she was picking Arry up from the daycare half an hour ago and bringing her up to watch the lights get turned on," she said. Nodding to Rossi, a smile lit up her face. "Although judging by the fact the lights are around Rossi and not the banister, I'd say she's not missing out on much." She glanced back at her husband. "Did our gorgeous technical analyst tell you when she would be back?"
Hotch shook his head. "No idea," he replied. "But —"
"Sorry we're late!" a voice sang in interruption. "I got caught up chatting with Anderson as he was picking up his kiddos."
Looking away from Hotch, JJ saw her best friend strolling into the room with her and Morgan's seven month old daughter, Arya in her arms. The little girl was dressed up in a red and white striped shirt and a sparkly red tutu. A Santa hat sat upon her head. Penelope grinned at all of them, laughing at the lights adorning Rossi's head.
"She looks like a candy cane," Reid observed, looking away from Rossi. "Did you dress her like that on purpose?"
"Yeah, I did. 'Tis the season, Boy Wonder! Now, what's going on here?" Penelope asked as she halted beside Morgan with their daughter. Arya, JJ's goddaughter, giggled in her mother's arms as she was transferred to Morgan's grasp.
JJ laughed as Morgan started making faces at his daughter. Looking back to Penelope, she said, "Callahan and Reid decided Rossi needed a makeover." She rubbed her belly a few times as an ache tickled her back once more.
Penelope snickered. "You look great Rossi."
As Rossi started grappling to remove the lights and the others gathered around him or Arya, Hotch wrapped his arm around JJ's waist and pulled her close. He kissed her cheek, and JJ relaxed into him. "How're you feeling now?" he murmured, running his hand up and down her arm.
"I feel exactly the same as I did the last time you asked me," she teased, pecking his lips. As if on cue, another ache shot through her. She winced and tried focussing on something other than the constant irritation in her back. Her eyes danced to the window.
Her heart leapt with joy, and her back pain disappeared for a moment. Snow flakes floated down from the grey sky. She couldn't see how thick they were, but every part of her felt excited.
As if on cue, the stereo switched songs to something more fitting.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow
Closing her eyes, JJ leaned her head against Hotch's shoulder and let out a happy sigh. She might get her white Christmas after all.
As she leaned against Hotch with closed eyes and hummed along with the music, her husband shook her shoulder. "JJ!" he said, frantic.
"Hmm?" she mumbled. "What is it?" She kept humming the tune of the song.
"Honey, your water just broke!" he said, forcing her to open her eyes.
JJ gasped and looked down at her pants. Gulping, she cringed at the next back ache she felt. She hadn't even realized her legs were soaked. Eyes growing wide, she looked around at her team wildly. "Oh my God!" she cried, one hand clutching Hotch's arm and the other grasping at the nearest desk. "Shit, we need to get to the hospital! And someone needs to call Will and let them know they're going to pick up Henry and —"
Penelope held up her hand and waved JJ out the door. "Buttercup, get out the door!" she urged. "I'll call Will. You just have to get to the hospital so you can have the baby girl Hotchner." She grinned. "Go!"
Kate grabbed her coat and held up her keys. "I'll drive," she offered, sliding her arms into the coat. "That way Hotch can sit with you in the back."
Nodding, JJ looked at Hotch. "Let's get going, why don't we?" she gasped.
Hotch nodded vigorously and began guiding her away toward the elevator. "Yeah, I'm fine with that!" he said anxiously.
"You've got a visitor!" Rossi boomed, poking his head into JJ's hospital room. He opened the door wider so a young blonde haired boy could dash inside. With a smile, he shut the door behind Henry and allowed the family a few moments of quiet.
"Mom!" Henry whisper-shouted as he dashed into the room to join his family.
JJ looked up from her arms where she held her newborn daughter, Delta. She smiled at her son and motioned for him to come to her side so he could see his new sister.
"Hey buddy," she murmured, keeping her voice soft so as not to wake the sleeping baby in he arms. "You finally got here okay."
Henry nodded and looked down at Delta. "Yeah," he breathed. He looked up at Jack and grinned triumphantly. "She looks more like me! See her hair?" Gently, he touched one of their sister's curls.
Jack rolled his eyes, smiling as he went to the other side of JJ's bed. "Whatever," he scoffed. "I bet her eyes will look like mine."
Hotch and JJ exchanged amused glances. "Uh…guys?" Hotch asked. "Did you make a bet or something about your sister?"
Henry looked up at his stepfather and nodded vigorously. "Yep," he exclaimed proudly. "Whoever she looks more like gets to take one of the other's Christmas presents!"
JJ chuckled and shook her head. "Yeah, that's not happening," she said. "You aren't taking one of Jack's presents."
Frowning, Henry crossed his arms over his chest and shot a scathing look toward Jack's gleeful expression. "Well…then what do I win?" he asked, impatiently.
"How about you get to hold her first?" she asked. Glancing over at Jack, she arched a brow. "That sound good to you, Jack?"
Jack shrugged. "That's fine with me," he said, going over to the same side as Henry. "As long as I get to hold her right after!"
JJ nodded and allowed Henry to gently hold Delta. As she watched her sons "ooh" and "ahh" over their new baby sister, she looked up at Hotch. He sat on the edge of the bed and kissed her soundly.
She giggled. "What was that for?" she asked.
"Oh, nothing…I just love you," he said, pulling her close. "You know what we have to do now that Delta's here, right?"
She frowned. "Uhh…" she said. "No? No, I don't know."
"We have to rewrap Cruz's present and put it under the tree for her," he said. "She's having her first Christmas this year after all."
JJ threw her head back and laughed. "Merry Christmas, Aaron," she whispered, pulling him into another kiss.