A tragedy happens on Hallowe'en.
Her and Derek had taken Henry out Trick or Treating and then they had driven him to Will's house. Will and her had been divorced for almost 2 years but they had remained good friends, it wasn't just for Henry sake, it was for her own sanity as well. She had to know that if anything happened to her that Henry would have someone to take care of him. That wasn't saying that she didn't think that his godparents couldn't or wouldn't take care of him, it was just a matter of principle. Once they had put her son to bed, they had decided that they would go out and enjoy a nice dinner together, but like so many of their plans it was put on hold. They had been driving when their car was in a head-on collision with what she would later find out was a drunk driver.
She had called the rest of the team and she knew that it would only be a matter of minutes before most, if not all the members of the team were there. Then she would have to relate the story again, for what would seem like the one hundredth time. She didn't know how she would be able to handle that but she knew that for Derek's sake that she had to remain strong. Derek would want her to do that much, she also had to prepare for the worse and start to make arrangements if it came to that.
She smiled as remembered the first time that they had gone on a date. He had been so nervous around her that it took him almost a month to get the nerve to even ask her out. She had never pegged him for the type of guy that would get nervous or tongue tied around women. Then again, he had admitted that neither was he but for one reason or another that was what happened to him when he was around her. She thought that it was adorable. It was that type of vulnerability that attracted her to him in the first place. It was supposed to have been a double date between her and Morgan and Garcia and Kevin. Garcia and Kevin had backed out at the last minute. She had had a feeling that somehow that had been set up.
Derek had been so quiet. She had never seen him like that before.
He sat in his chair at the restaurant thinking that when this night was done and over he was going to find Garcia and Kevin and strangle them. He had agreed on this double date because of what it was….a double date. Not to say that he didn't want to be alone with J.J. it was just that he was terrified that he was going to say the wrong thing or come off as a complete idiot. This was, by no means the first date that he had been on but this date had broken one of his personal rules. He never, ever dated anyone that he had to work with. He knew, by watching others that if for some reason the relationship flopped it could make their working conditions very awkward. But from the moment he had seen her walk out of Hotch's office he knew that J.J. was different. He didn't think that she would ever do anything to hurt him and he knew that he would never hurt her.
She sat across from him. She had never really found coloured men attractive, but so much of what made Derek sexy was his attitude and the way that he carried himself. Of course, the excellent shape that his body was in did help with that. She had always been attracted to a certain type of man. And as corny as that sounded, Derek fit. She had to remind herself that this had only been one date and who said that there would be others. Maybe he would decide that she wasn't right for him. Maybe they had just seen too many awful and monstrous things together to make this thing work. She knew that she was getting ahead of herself but she couldn't help it. It was just the way that she was.
Once they started talking, it was like floodgates were opened. They talked into the early hours of the morning. It was almost like they had known each other for their whole lives and J.J. knew, in that instant, that she had never been meant to marry Will. She knew that she was talking to the man that she was going to spend the rest of her life with. If she had said that thought out loud, she would not have been surprised to learn that he felt the same way.
She was brought back to the present situation by people talking to her. She had been so lost in her own thoughts that she hadn't even noticed that most of the team had arrived. Reid had seen the blood on her clothes and had thought that she was hurt. Hotch was kneeled in front of her chair trying to get her attention.
"J.J.?" He smiled as he saw her eyes become focused again and she looked at him. "Are you okay?"
She wiped the stray tear from her face that she hadn't even realized had fallen. "No, I don't think so. No one has come to give me an update on Derek. I don't even know if he made it through surgery." She took a deep breath, trying to regain her composure. The only thing that happened was that she burst into tears.
For the first time since his wife died, Hotch wished that he wasn't so emotionally detached. He wished that he knew the right words to say or even how to act in situations like this. He just wished that he knew how to comfort her or get her to realize that everything was going to be okay and if everything wasn't, she still had the rest of the team to lean on. Instead he stood up, put his hand on her shoulder and gently squeezed. There was nothing else that he was able to do and he knew that if he even tried it would prove to be useless.
Spencer was about to say something when their little group was interrupted. One of the doctors came by holding a chart. Almost immediately J.J. stood up, she was hoping that the doctor would say that everything was alright and that Derek would be able to go home within the next 48 hours. Her courage grew stronger when she got a good look at the doctor's face. She had seen the expression that they usually wear when they have bad news. This doctor just looked sympathetic and relieved.
"Which one of you is Jennifer?"
J.J. looked up and had grabbed Spencer's hand. She had needed support just incase she had read the doctor wrong and Spencer was the closest to her. "I am."
"Agent Morgan is awake and has been asking about you. I suggest that you go in there before he upsets the entire staff." The doctor smiled as he spoke just to let her know that it was nothing serious. She smiled back, squeezed Reid's hand and all but ran into Derek's room.
Derek was half lying, half sitting in his hospital bed. His arms were crossed and he had the look of a man that just wanted to go home. The wires for the monitors that he had been hooked up to were lying in an untidy heap on the floor. She sat on the edge of the bed, making sure not to jiggle it too much.
"Derek you scared the shit out of me. Don't ever do that again."
He leaned over and pulled her close. "Baby girl, it scared me too. But don't worry I would never leave you and Henry. Not in a million years. Trust me, if something does ever happen to me, even if you can't see me, I'll always be there for you."
She laid her head against his chest and listened to the steady beating of his heart. If to accomplish nothing but the fact that he was there, alive and that she hadn't lost yet another important person in her life. He let her stay like that for a few minutes, knowing that she needed to be near him. When she seemed to finally calm down he gently pushed her away so that he could look into her eyes.
"I was going to give this to you when we were in the car but we all know why I didn't." He kissed her forehead, reached behind him to grab something out of his coat. He handed the small package to her and smiled.
She immediately smiled back when she realized what it was. It was a small package of Skittles. When they had first started dating she had mentioned how Skittles were her favourite, she couldn't believe that he had remembered that. There was a note attached to the candy and she read it out loud.
I just wanted you to know that I love you. I wanted to thank you for allowing me into your life and making me a part of Henry's. I know that you love Skittles and at first I was going to get you roses but then I remembered that one of our first dates was on Hallowe'en, and it just seemed more appropriate. I love you and always will. Happy Hallowe'en.
She hugged him tightly. "Derek. I don't know what to say. Except that when we get home we will have to make up for lost time. Happy Hallowe'en honey." She lay back on his chest. She had started to fall asleep and Derek knew that the doctors would want to wake her up but for the moment he could relish in the moment. Despite the fact that he was laid up in the hospital he decided that that was the best Hallowe'en ever.