She's teetering just on the edge of consciousness, her eyes open just enough for her to make out the blurry shapes of the furniture in the bedroom. Her hand reaches out lazily, grasping around for the warm body that shares the bed. When her hand meets cool, crinkled sheets, she becomes more aware, forcing herself to blink once more. One hand comes up to wipe the sleep from her eyes, the other she uses to prop herself upright. She keeps the sheets around her upper chest, even as she looks around and notes the empty room.
JJ ruffles one hand through her hair, using her fingers to run through the tangled strands of blonde as a meager attempt to tame them. She glances around the floor, reaching down and plucking Emily's shirt off the floor and slipping it over her head. She swings her legs off the side of the mattress, digging around in the small dresser until she produces a pair of shorts. She quickly slips those on, finally standing from the bed and muffling one long yawn with the back of her hand before she starts the process of locating her absent girlfriend.
(It's not hard—she hears the muffled voices of both her girlfriend and her son coming from the kitchen.)
She smiles to herself sleepily, quietly making her descent down the steps, the voices becoming more distinguished as she gets closer.
"—Another one? Isn't one enough?"
"No way! That's not enough chocolate chips, Emmy!"
There's a pause and then Emily sighs dramatically. JJ has to stifle a giggle with the back of her hand.
"The pancakes are made from bananas! It balances things out!"
JJ can't see them, but she can practically picture the scene in her head as she pauses on the steps: Emily standing at the counter with Michael balanced against her hip, the toddler leaning his head tiredly against the crook of her neck, Henry standing beside her on his stepping stool with his hands on his hips as he reasons with the older woman the best way a nine year old could.
It brings an actual, honest to god smile to JJ's face.
There's another pause.
"Okay, fine," Emily relents.
"Yes!" Henry hisses in excitement.
"But if your mom asks, we tell her—"
Okay, JJ couldn't pass up the opportunity to make herself known at that exact moment, sneaking down the last few steps and popping into the kitchen, leaning on the doorway with a tired grin. "Tell her what?"
Emily starts, dumping the half cup full of chocolate chips into the bowl on the counter. Michael shifts his head on her shoulder, mouth barely moving from the sippy cup full of a pink tinged liquid from his mouth. Henry looks up from the bowl and gives JJ a wide smile, raising a hand up in the air before he sips at the straw dangling from his cup, no doubt full of the same drink. His straw makes a satisfying slurping noise as he sucks from the cup, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, beaming again over at his mother. "Morning, mommy!"
"Good morning," JJ replies with a low chuckle, scooping up Henry when he bolts over to her and plants a kiss firmly on his temple. She adjusts Henry in her hold, situating him against her hip before she saunters over to Emily and Michael. She leans over, pressing a softer kiss to the back of her toddler's hair, musing it up gently in greeting. "Morning, baby," she murmurs softly into his hair, pressing another kiss to his forehead when he hums in response.
She turns to Emily, meeting her lips in a chaste kiss, sleepy smile breaking out on her face.
Emily's cheeks are slightly flushed with embarrassment, as if she had just been caught elbow deep in a cookie jar. She clears her throat, gently bouncing Michael in her arms. "You're not supposed to be awake," she murmurs, unable to stop herself from leaning in and giving the younger woman another kiss. Henry groans at their display of affection, which makes Emily grin. "You're supposed to be taking it easy today and resting."
JJ laughs at her son's reaction, gently poking his sides and popping her mouth playfully at him. "And miss out on this chaos? Not a chance in the world," she grins, turning to face Emily instead of a still giggle Henry. "So, uh, what am I not supposed to know about?"
Henry squirms in her hold until she lets him back down on the ground. He reaches up and grabs his cup from the counter—now that JJ's closer, she can tell by the fruity scent wafting from the cup that the boys are enjoying strawberry (mango, maybe?) smoothies. He leans in and grabs the straw between his teeth, looking innocently, like he has no idea what's going on.
Emily grins bashfully, raising up her free hand to rub at the back of her neck. "Well..." she draws out.
"There may or may not be a cup of chocolate chips in the banana pancakes," she finally gets out with another sheepish grin. "Oops?"
"Emmy did it," Henry says, using his freehand to gesture accusingly at the brunette.
"Whoa, whoa. To be fair, the pancakes are made from bananas and the boys have spinach and baby kale in their smoothies!" Emily defends herself, one palm up.
Michael hums in agreement, pulling his empty cup from his mouth. Emily carefully takes it, laying it down on the counter before wiping the excess smoothie from the corner of the toddler's mouth with her thumb.
Henry stares down at his cup, finishing it off with a loud slurp and a huge grin. "Yeah, and they were really good!"
JJ chuckles at the absurdity of the situation, shaking her head at her girlfriend. "Babe, the recipe calls for a cup anyway," she reminds Emily patiently.
Emily blinks in surprise, wiping her thumb off on a damp paper towel before using it to dab off the remaining smoothie from Michael's mouth before pressing a kiss to his forehead. Michael rubs his eyes, lifting his head from Emily's shoulder and finally reaching for JJ.
JJ reaches out and takes him gently, fingertips grazing across his stomach to lightly tickle him. Michael giggles, stuffing his face in his mother's neck. The blonde turns back to Emily, biting her lip to hold in another giggle, especially when Henry exclaims, "I told you so, Emmy!"
Emily sticks her tongue childishly out at Henry, smiling when he laughs. "Okay, okay, you told me and I forgot," she admits. "But we still need the mommy stamp of approval."
"Patent pending," she adds after a moment, grinning when JJ teasingly nudges her side.
Henry clammers back up his stool, using the red rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips into the eggy, banana batter before gesturing to it proudly with a toothy grin. "Tada!"
JJ peers into the bowl from behind Henry's shoulder, resting a hand lovingly on his shoulder. "Looks good, guys!" she praises gently, leaning over and kissing Emily's shoulder. "Do you need help cooking them."
Henry shakes his head. "Nope!" he assures, making a popping sound with his mouth when he says the "p".
"I got this," Emily promises, laying her hands briefly on JJ's forearms. "You and the boys—" She pauses, glancing over at Henry before correcting herself. "We got this," she says, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and giving them a comforting squeeze. "Don't we, piccolino."
Henry beams at the nickname, nodding excitedly. "Yeah!"
"You and Michael go wait in the living room and we'll call you when it's ready," Emily adds, smoothing her palm against the side of JJ's waist.
"Okay," the blonde agrees softly, leaning in for one more kiss. Her heart flutters at the soft, soothing circles Emily's thumb makes in her side, sighing happily against her lips.
"Moms," Henry groans, tugging on Emily's shirt gently. "Gross."
Emily laughs against JJ's mouth, heart swelling at the name. She tucks a stray lock of golden hair behind her girlfriend's ear, eyes full of nothing but completely adoration and love. "There's coffee already made for you," she murmurs softly.
"I love you. All of you," JJ sighs happily, melting when Emily and Henry repeat her words. She leans over and plants one more kiss on her girlfriend's lips before giving Henry and Michael another kiss, breaking away to make herself a cup of coffee. She places Michael down on the ground, stroking through his hair when he grabs onto the bottom of her shirt. She places her coffee in a travel mug, snapping the lid shut so none spills out as she carries her toddler out to the living room.
Michael leans up into her side, watching the TV when she flips it on and turns the channel to Bubble Guppies, still not entirely awake yet. JJ holds the cup opposite of him, gently laying her hand on his head and stroking through his hair as she sips at her coffee. She glances down when Michael rests his head on her lap, eyes glued to the shenanigans occurring on the screen. She smiles softly to herself, carefully setting down the coffee on the side table to focus more on the toddler in her lap.
She peers over into the kitchen, smile only growing as she watches her girlfriend and son work together on breakfast. Emily is extremely gentle and patient with Henry, helping him measure out the right amount of batter into the pan and teaching him how to flip the pancakes. Henry watches with intense fascination, letting Emily lay her hands over his to help him flip the pancakes. Emily praises him with a proud grin, pressing a kiss on his head and giving the excited child a double high five.
JJ turns back to Michael, propping her free hand on the back of the couch and resting her cheek in her palm. She really can't believe this is her life, that she's lucky enough to spend it with the three people who she's certain she loves most in the world every day (sans when the boys went to Will's, but still).
Her heart never feels more full than these mornings, the mornings she wakes up and gets to spend with her amazing, incredible sons and her equally amazing girlfriend. She loves that her sons love Emily as much as Emily loves them, can't help but tear up when she hears Michael or Henry call the brunette "mom". JJ never expected Emily to fall into the role of a mother so easily, so willingly but the brunette dived in without hesitation. She's a complete natural when it comes to the boys, takes care of them so well it makes JJ's heart clench in the best ways.
(Some of her favorite moments are walking out in the living room to see Henry and Michael both on one of Emily's sides, all three asleep. Henry will be leaning against her shoulder, glasses skewed and mouth hanging wide open in silent snores. Michael will have his head in Emily's lap, feet tucked up to his chest. Emily always has her arms on the boys, one wrapped around Henry's shoulder and one draped over Michael'e tiny frame (the toddler often has his tiny arms wrapped securely around her arm.)
JJ has a few pictures she managed to sneak of these moments on her camera, one framed on the side table drawer on Emily's side of the bed in their bedroom.)
JJ swallows audibly, eyes burning with tears at the amount of unconditional love, it's overwhelming in the best way possible.
God, how the hell did she end up so damn lucky?
She wipes her eyes with the back of her fingers, starting when Emily calls out for them. JJ lets out a chuckle of disbelief, gently placing a kiss on Michael's cheek before letting him walk off to the dining room.
She grabs her cup, leaning against the doorway and taking in the scene before her with a wide smile.
Emily carefully serves Henry a few pancakes, making sure he's eating before turning her attention elsewhere. She has a small plate of pancakes for Michael, checking the temperature of the bite sized pieces by picking one up and plopping it in her mouth. Her eyes light up in delight, picking up Michael and feeding him a piece before buckling him up in his high chair. Michael squirms excitedly, letting out a loud "yum!" which Emily repeats enthusiastically. She meets JJ's gaze with a soft grin, ducking her head when she flushes.
It makes the younger agent grin wider—hardly anyone got to see this side of Emily. She considers herself very lucky that the brunette trusts her and the boys enough to let her guard down and let them see the real her.
God, JJ loves her so much.
Breakfast is chaotic as it normally is with a nine year old and a nearly two year old; Henry still manages to get melted chocolate on his face and hands, Michael definitely gets chocolaty-banana goop all over his face and hands and he becomes a lot more louder as he wakes up more, but JJ wouldn't trade this for anything in the world. She finds herself just watching her little family, hear swelling with more and more love for them as the seconds pass.
Her eyes land on Emily throughout the meal— they always land on her. She watches as Emily playfully teases Henry. Her expression turns serious she intently listens to him talk about his schoolwork and his friends. She gives him a kiss on the cheek after he cleans up his plate, watching him head off to play in the living room. She turns her warm smile and gaze when she turns to Michael, gently talking to him in a soft voice as she wipes off his face with a damp kitchen towel. She makes faces at him, eyes gleaming in delight when he laughs at her. She cleans off his hands, gently giving each one a kiss before she unbuckles him from the high chair and places him in the room with Henry so he can play. Her eyes light up, body relaxing at the sounds of the boy's giggling.
God, JJ loves her so fucking much.
She stands from the table, helping Emily clean in a comfortable silence. They work together effortlessly, taking turns peering into the living room to check on the boy's (they're playing with Mega Bloks while Blue's Clues plays on the tv in the back). Emily washes dishes, JJ dries and puts them away.
She strides up to her girlfriend after putting away the remaining dish, gently grabbing her hips and pulling her into a passionate kiss. Emily immediately reciprocates, melting into the gesture with a soft loving sigh. When JJ finally pulls away, she has a soft, loving smile on her face. "What was that for?"
JJ bites down on her lower lip, sighing softly. "I love you," she murmurs honestly, biting down on her inner cheek when she feels the same tears burning in her eyes. "I love you so much."
Emily smiles again, but slightly furrows her brow in confusion at JJ's tone. She reaches up, uses her pointer finger to stroke through the blonde's hair with a reassuring smile. "I love you," she repeats softly, but firmly. Her eyes ask what she won't out loud: Are you okay?
JJ curls her hands around the back of Emily's neck, answering with another deep, passionate kiss instead of out loud because she's not quite sure how to put what she's feeling into words. Her head is spinning, heart pounding because she's never, ever felt so happy with someone like this before and Emily needs to know that. She deserves to know that.
"Marry me," JJ murmurs out thickly against Emily's lips, the words even surprising herself when they escape her mouth. She breaks the kiss briefly, mouth opening and closing in shock.
JJ freezes at Emily's reaction, opening her eyes. Her hands interlock tightly together out of nerves because she can't believe she just said that. God, did she really just say that?
"What did you say?" Emily stares down at her, eyes shining with disbelief, but her lips are curved ever so slightly into a smile and— and suddenly JJ finds her courage again.
She swallows audibly, the tears she had been holding back all morning finally escaping. "God—marry me," she whispers out, her own lips curling up into a smile of her own because those words sound so good, so right, on her tongue.
She lets out a small laugh of disbelief, shaking her head at herself.
"I—" She lets out another laugh, another wave of tears falling down her cheeks. "God, I just love you so much and I just... seeing you like that with the boys, how you always are with them..." She bites down on her lip, sniffing through a heartfelt smile. "And I realize that this is how I want my life to always be snd that I can't go another day without you beside me for it."
JJ wipes her tears with her palm, backpedaling a bit. "This... it doesn't even have to be a real proposal, because, god, you deserve a proper one, but I just... I want the promise of forever with you, Emily Prentiss."
Emily smashes their lips together, swallowing JJ's surprised gasp in her mouth. Their tears mingle together, the kiss tasting like a mic of salty, chocolate bananas but neither woman can find it in themselves to care.
Emily grins happily on JJ's lips, laughing in delight. "Ask me again," she beams down at the blonde, resting their foreheads against each other. Her thumb trails the blonde's lips slowly, swiping at the stray tears on her cheek carefully. "Ask me."
JJ melts under Emily's warm and loving gaze, sighing happily into the room. She grins when the words leave her lips again. "Will you marry me?"
Emily leans in, planting the softest, most gentle and loving kiss on JJ's lips, tugging her close by the waist.
"Yes," she whispers emotionally, swallowing thickly. "At any time, on any day, at any place, I will marry you."