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Cold Case

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Therese thought the bar was tacky to say the least, trying for some kind of Tiki Island, dive bar mix.  At least the DJ was playing a decent dance mix and the first round had been on Rossi.  Therese sat at a small round table with Dannie and Phil who were once again discussing some sporting event.   Rossi, J.J., Gen, and Garcia were all out on the dance floor and she marveled at how different it was to see everyone out of their work personas.  Therese, however, was still her quiet and withdrawn self. She sipped on her vodka tonic and let her mind reflect on the afternoon and the conversations about protective details, police patrols, and Carol's confession. Therese had refused them all.

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Hotch, Carol and Therese were once again in Carol's office.  Carol stood, looking out the window, her body still tense. Therese sat in one of the office chairs and Hotch was now seated at Carol's desk. 

“I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself!” Therese argued.

“I know that you are a very capable agent and I have no doubts about your ability, Agent Belivet, but we still need to ensure your safety.  And I'm sure I don’t need to point out that you fit the physical description of all of our victims. You are his type.” SSA Hotchner explained, his voice remaining steady and calm.

“We don’t even know if I am being followed or if it’s Harge, but assuming that it is, we can use me as bait.” It seemed so rational to Therese, why couldn't the others see it?

Carol spun around quickly from her position by the window. “Absolutely not! We will not risk your life!”

“Again, I can take care of myself.” Therese looked up at her with a cold glare. “I’m not saying I’m going to go troll gay bars and make myself a target.  I’m just saying that IF he is, we let him continue to follow me. If you put a detail on me and he sees that, he will stop and we lose our best bet of catching him.”

Carol stared at her, disbelieving everything that was happening. “Therese, please…” Her voice was pleading. 

“You know I’m right, Carol.” Therese’s eyes started to warm.  She knew that Carol was worried about her, but she also had a job to do. 

“I’ll agree to skip the protective detail, but I insist on extra police patrols in your neighborhood.” Hotch paused for a second before he continued, “We also need to discuss what is going on between the two of you.  I need to know how far your relationship has gone.”

Carol’s eyes went wide and Therese looked down at the floor.  “We aren’t in a relationship,” Therese said, the coldness returning to her voice.

Carol turned from the window and looked down at the brunette and felt her heart shatter.  “Aaron…I...I need you to promise that you won’t pull me off this case.”

“You know I can’t promise anything. If the unsub is your ex-husband, I will have to pull you and you know that.”

“I understand that.  What I'm saying is don’t pull me because of my feelings for Therese.  We work well together, Aaron.” Carol’s eyes welled with tears that never fell as Therese’s head shot up and the green eyes met hers in surprise.

Aaron thought to himself for a few minutes while Therese and Carol’s eyes remained locked.  "Technically, you are only with us temporarily as a consultant, so I won’t pull you…yet.  But I need you both to ensure me that you will remain professional while on the job.”

Therese nodded her head in approval, never acknowledging what Carol had said as she stood and returned to her desk in shock.

 

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Therese was two drinks in when Hotch and Carol finally walked into the bar.  The rest of the group shouted at their arrival, but Therese simply sighed and felt her face blush when she saw the blonde across the room.  God, she is so beautiful.  Regardless of the distance that had developed between them, Therese realized that she would never look at another woman the way she looked at Carol. It would always be Carol. 

Carol’s eyes scanned the room until her eyes locked with Therese’s and they held each other’s gaze.  Within their eyes were a thousand words they had yet to say to one another. Therese was pulled out of her hypnotic state when Garcia’s arms wrapped around her and pulled her onto the dancefloor.  “Come on newbie!” Maybe it was the alcohol or the company, or maybe it was Carol's earlier confession about her feelings, but Therese found herself swaying with the others on the floor with a smile on her face. Carol couldn’t draw her eyes away from the brunette, watching her move her slender and athletic body to the music. Therese could feel her eyes on her, almost like they were physically caressing her body.

J.J. and Penelope exchanged a knowing look and then quickly went to work.  “You should go talk to her,” Penelope leaned down to whisper in Therese’s ear. Therese stopped dancing, a look of shock on her face.  “I’m not saying make out with her on the bar, just talk.” Suddenly, J.J. grabbed Therese by the hand and led her to the bar, dropping her off next to Carol.  “I believe you lost something.” She yelled over the music and winked at Carol as she walked away. 

Therese didn’t know what to think at that moment, so she just leaned against the bar and let the alcohol settle her nerves. Carol took a sip of the martini she had just ordered before turning to look at the beautiful young agent.  “We really should talk,” Carol leaned in close to speak in Therese’s ears, “but not here. Too loud.”

Therese could feel goosebumps rise on the back of her neck as Carol’s breath moved against her cheek. She turned and set her empty glass on the table and walked out of the bar.  Carol downed her drink and followed her outside.  Therese was walking down the street when Carol called to her, “Therese, wait!”

She stopped and spun back around and practically stalked back towards Carol. She felt so conflicted. She wanted Carol so desperately, but she was terrified of being hurt and pushed away again. “Well? What do you need to say?” 

Carol was so taken aback by her nearness, her mind went blank.  Words were meaningless anyway.  She grabbed Therese by the waist and pulled her into her, kissing her harshly.  Therese tried to pull away, but found herself melting into Carol’s body as she was as slowly pushed against the outside wall of the bar. Carol's hands moved up Therese’s arms until she reached her neck and pulled her in closer, kissing her more deeply.  The kiss escalated as their tongues fought for control and Therese’s hands pulled desperately at Carol’s jacket.  They stayed there, passion overtaking sense, until a car horn in the background snapped them back to reality.  Carol pulled back just enough to look into Therese’s eyes, but did not release her from her grasp.  “I do have feelings for you, Therese,” she said still breathless from their kiss.

“Then why did you push me away?” Therese said in a hushed, shaky voice. Her arms still wrapped around Carol’s waist. 

“When I saw that video, I got scared and I started to question everything I knew about my life. But I need you to know I never meant to hurt you.” She let her fingers run through her hair and down her cheek. “Therese, if Harge is involved in this, I’ll be pulled from the team. I won’t be able to protect you.”

“Carol, I don’t need you to protect me.  I just need you to let me in…don’t shut me out.” 

“I can’t help but try to protect you, Therese.  My feelings for you are already so strong and it’s making me a little crazy.” Carol smiled and pulled Therese’s body as close as she could.

Therese shivered despite the warmth outside.  “It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I feel like I’ve known you forever.”

“It scares me…how much I feel already. It’s so different, Therese, from anything I’ve ever experienced before” Carol was searching her eyes, looking for some sort of understanding and when she saw it she leaned in for another searing kiss. “Therese,” she whispered as she came up for air, feeling desperate for her touch. She needed to feel every inch of her.

“I’m sorry, Carol.” Therese pulled her into a desperate hug.  “I overreacted and I—“

Carol hushed her with a finger over her lips.  “Whatever happens, Therese, know that this is real and I won’t let you go.  Do you understand?”

“I understand.”  Therese leaned up and placed another kiss on Carol’s lips. Their kisses now slow and gentle, yet passionate. 

Carol finally pulled away and took a step back, immediately feeling the loss.  “If I don’t stop now I won’t be able to…and we should get back inside.  Clearly J.J. and Garcia already sense something between us, but we should try not to advertise it to the others.”

“I think Gen suspects, too.” Therese grinned. 

“Oh yeah, she does.” Carol agreed.

“You know, I think I’m actually going to head home instead of going back in.  I’ve already had a few and it’s been an exhausting week. And honestly after that kiss there is no way I’ll be able to keep my hands off of you.”

Carol felt a wave of heat wash though her body.  She wanted Therese’s hands all over her, but she also knew they needed to be careful.  “Are you sure? Are you okay to drive?  I mean, I could take you home.”

“Carol, if you drive me home, things will…continue.” Therese looked at her with lust filled eyes.

“Yeah, they will.” Carol nodded with a mischievous smile.  “I am going to make sure you get to your car, though.” 

Therese’s car was parked a few spaces down on the street and they walk hand in hand, still needing to feel connected.  “Text me so I know you got home,” Carol said as she leaned down and placed a sweet kiss on Therese’s cheek.  She waited for the car to start before turning and walking back in to the bar. 

Therese took a deep breath and let the buzz of their kisses flow through her.  It was stronger than the alcohol.  She shook her head and slowly pulled out, too happy to notice the headlights that came on a few cars behind her.