It started with a bang... by LilP7

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Story Note:

My two pence worth of re-writing that god awful piece of rubbish, aka 16x06.
Well the bit abt Garvez anyway ????
Yep, a solid two fingers up at CME writers/runners.
The bloke that shan't be named is implied, but not spoken of, cos I am not there yet(!).

??–???–???–?Garvez Lives??–???–???–?

Acknowledgment and thanks to Bow_is_best_boi as I continue to use (her) Pablo
***in these dark times I think our shared bits from each other fics help support one another…
What? Too dramatic!?!
Fine I shall tone it down a wee bit ????????????
But still…

??–???–???–?Garvez Lives??–???–???–?
Prentiss had rounded Rossi and Tara up on her way to the elevator, just telling them to follow her.
At last, even that limp fish Bailey couldn't prevent them from rushing to save their friends and gather any important evidence left behind.
Well she hoped there would be some at least. She prayed that she'd find her people, her family, alive!
As the elevator's doors closed she couldn't help but smirk and utter "wheels up!".
Rossi and Dr Lewis now understood and rejoiced with their boss.

As they made their way to the airstrip the mood was somber.

"Hey, where was Garcia? I wanted to speak to her before we left but I couldn't find her". Posed Emily to her colleagues.

"She said she had an important call to take and an errand to run-." Replied Lewis, still puzzled by how the Tech Analyst had reacted to the phone call earlier and how cagey she had been when asked questions.

As they arrived and boarded the plane, Prentiss spoke with the Captain just to confirm they were all on and to reiterate their earlier telephone conversation. Time was of the essence, no pleasantries required.
She was glad and thanked him for having conducted all pre flight checks and any admin with the tower as they were en route, driving to the strip as she had asked. The jet might have been new, but Captain Kim had been their trusted pilot for quite a few years and knew the drill. Knew the team. He too was eager to get them to Georgia and back promptly, all of them.

As the plane took off, they had settled in the seats, each at a different end of it. It was such a small space, and yet they had managed to isolate themselves from one another.
Each thought about how harrowing it had been to realize that there was a bomb in the container.
Each thought how traumatic it had been to witness the explosion, the cameras going offline and what that could mean.
Each thought of their relief at seeing JJ's feed coming back on. Her speaking to the team.
Each thought of the solace that washed over them, she was safe.
Each thought of the dread her next words instilled.
"I can't find him. Alvez? Where are you? Luuuke?"
They could hear her fear as she stumbled through the wreckage shouting for him.
Smoke engulfing the site.
Distant sirens and lights approaching.
Everything had been as if in slow motion on a movie set, not real.
Not their friends' lives in the balance.

They were all startled back out of their thoughts to reality by the toilet door opening.

An uncharacteristically attired and drab Garcia walking out of it, a 'G.A.' monogrammed tatty duffle bag in her hands.
She stood there for a couple of minutes.
As she took her friends' surprised faces in, she finally said "Hello fellow Crime fighters!" hoping Em wouldn't bite her head off.

Rossi was the first to reply "I thought you had an errand to run, kitten" He smirked.
He had had that call first.
The one Tara mentioned Garcia being cagey about.
He knew who was at the other end.
Just like with the rescue kitten, he had a hand in stirring things up a bit.
He knew what it was like to find the love of your life later in life.
How the fear of that realization could paralyze even the most daring of people.
What the thought of the one you longed for having their job meant.
How much time could be wasted thinking there would be more, allowing oneself to procrastinate and delay any meaningful steps that eventually were left untaken.
He knew though that that was just wishful thinking.
That any time with 'the one' should not be squandered, so he had meddled a little bit. Hoping she would realize it too.
Realize who had been there for her for the past seven years.
Supporting and encouraging her.
Being happy just because he could help make her so.
No expectations, nothing ever asked in return. The boy even had a standing allergy prescription just in case he would need to cat sit. That was unwavering resolve!
So he hoped that at long last she could see that yes, there were other guys out there, but that that was a moot point by now as there was some one already in her heart.
He had been there all along, hanging on as stubbornly as she tried to shake him off.
So he was glad she had decided to allow herself to see it, him, and that she had decided to board the plane with them.

"Garcia, as much as I appreciate you being worried about-. "

She couldn't have Prentiss dismiss her, not now. Of course she wouldn't be throwing her out of the plane in a chute back to Quantico, but she couldn't allow herself to be benched at some local LEOs headquarters either.
So, she held back the tears fighting to be let out and used her best 'I mean business' voice as she started her rant.
"Listen, Boss Lady, I love and respect you and all, but I am coming along. All the way. I am going to be in that field looking for him, I mean them. Well I know technically we have found JJ but I need to see them. I need to touch them I need to tell him I lov- tell them I love them"
As she saw her friends' smirks turn into outright laughs she let herself slump in the seat next to Tara.
"Ok, fine, whatever. But I am not going to be left in some dinky police station when he is out there. As much as it would destroy me to find him d… find him -"
"That's ok PG, we'll find him. Alive." Stated Tara emphatically. She too held it barely together. That jerk. Her lil bro. The one she loved to tease. The one she couldn't lose.

"How can you be so sure?-." She asked trepidantly.
The hard held back tears now streaming down her face, Penelope just needed some reassurance, even a lie, to get her through, get her into that field and find him.
"I'm sure, cos he knows that if he makes me into a liar, I will kick his ass. You know how he's scared of me!" She winked and smiled at the blonde.
She hoped she could reassure herself as much as she did her friend.
"You're right." Replied Pen wiping her tears away as she allowed Tara's embrace to lull and soothe her "He knows we would all be mad at him and one thing Alvez doesn't like is to have people mad at him".
She could live with this, this line of thinking could sustain and drive her until she found him.
Until she could finally tell him how he made her feel every time he spoke to her, they were in the same room, they were apart.
How he completed her.

How, though he was a dog person and she was a cat one, they were both animal lovers.
So, really, the same.

How his stupid dimpled smile always brightened her day.
How she had been so wrong that fateful night three years prior.
Just friends!
Who was she kidding?

How the fear of losing him had made her keep him at arms length all this time.
And now that she had possibly lost him…

Yeah, how did that work out for you PG!?!
She admonished herself.

Keeping him away had accomplished nothing.
Less than nothing.
Not only would she have to deal with the loss.
She would have to deal with the regret of not having ever had him.
Experience what his strong arms would feel like around her, not just in a friendly hug, but truly hold her as his own.
How those delicious lips would feel on hers, not just for a quick peck. But in a hungry and feverish kiss.
A kiss that wouldn't hold anything back.
A kiss where his tongue would seek and find hers. Where their tongue lashing each other, moaning into each other, would then lead to his tongue to trail down her jaw, her neck, until he reached the top of her breasts where he would place light bites and kisses. Then continuing on with its journey around her body.
Just like he did in her dreams.

Her dreams of him. Of them. Together.

She shook herself out of her thoughts as she joined her colleagues looking at the map and discussing the information they had available, planning for the search ahead.

There would be time to make those dreams a reality.
They would find him. Alive.
She would tell him.
They would be together.
No more fears!


As they reached the field and she witnessed the destruction and seeming confusion around her, her optimism crashed.
Hours had passed, and still no sign of him.

All that was left were debris and broken dreams.

How stupid had she been to think she could make a difference in this.
That she could find him.
As she stood just out of the SUV, taking the sight in, dejected and sobbing, she hadn't realized someone was holding her.

"Pen, don't worry, we'll find Alvez"
She finally turned slightly.
She held on tightly.
"Ow, Pen, I'm ok. Maybe a little looser! " She smiled at her best friend.
"Oh, JJ, I'm so happy you are ok. Will and the kids will be so glad to hold you." "Wait, did you say something about Alvez?" A smile started taking over her face.
"I said we'll find him, he's gonna be ok. He pushed me out of the way to make sure I was ok. He-. "

"Sure" She sniped back "Of course he had to be the hero. Much good it's done to him-."
She couldn't help the disdain dripping out, coating her worst fears.
"Oh, I'm sorry JJ I didn't mean to-. Of course I'm glad he pushed you out of the way-. " Penelope let her shame overtake her.
That was after all another reason why she loved him so much. He knew JJ had kids, a husband and he would do his best to keep her safe, even at his own expense.
Oh Newbie!
Frack him and his perfection!

"Garcia, listen to me, it's not too late. The explosion was delayed, so I'm sure he's made it out too. He was closer, so it may take him longer to regain consciousness and call out for help".
This was SSA Jareau, not JJ, reassuring her, letting her know there was still a chance.
As they looked at each other, an unspoken understanding had been reached.
Neither would give up until he had been found.
As they hugged one last time, they heard a commotion by one of the ambulances in one of the corners of the field.


As he laid on the gurney being fussed over by EMTs, he was finally regaining consciousness.

His face had been turned to the left, staring into the busy field.
As his sluggish eyes strived to focus and make sense of the scene in front of him, he could've sworn he saw an Angel drifting towards him.
Drifting through the smoke.
A serene feeling enveloping him.
Maybe this was it.
The infamous light at the end of the tunnel beckoning him.
Though for him, it was less than a bright light.
More of a soft blue and red intermittent lights flickering amidst the fog.
The Angel not wearing the expected white robes, but - a tracksuit!?!
That was a weird get up…

He was snapped out of his dazed thoughts by Prentiss gently tugging at his arm and speaking to him.
"Alvez, Agent Alvez! Can you hear me? Are you ok?"
As the real world started to sink in once again, he blinked a couple of times at his boss.

Not heaven. Not an Angel. Not yet.

"Yeah, mm, yeah, I'm fine, Prentiss. Just pissed at this guy taking shots at us!" "JJ, how's JJ?" He asked groggily.

"She's fine, she's walking around, looking for you. She's gonna be very relieved you are ok" She smiled back.

"Well I am." He was relieved to be ok, but annoyed about all the fuss the EMTs were making about him. He wanted to get on with searching the site. He didn't want to lose any more time than he probably had already by just being unconscious. He tried to swat the medics away as graciously as he could, as he failed he huffed "Guys can you please, just let me be. I'm fine. I've had much worse!"
As he sat up and was about to get on his feet he heard a familiar voice breaking through.

Sirens, people talking at each other loudly across the field, cadaver dogs barking and sniffing, small after explosions in the distance (small gas canisters probably strategically placed to obliterate evidence he thought) could not drown out her dulcet tones.

"Luke Pablo Alvez! What do you think you are doing? You almost blew up like a fountain firework, you need to be checked out. Get back on that gurney this minute! And you two, don't let his macho stupidity intimidate you from carrying out your work-. "

Yep, not a conventional Angel.
But his Angel nonetheless!
His fluffy armor wearing, Queen of Ice jabs shooting kind of Angel.

And - she was here?, in the field, screaming for him to be taken care of?
All he could do was just sit there mesmerized at her.
Wondering whether she was really there or just a vision.

Her hands trying to gently push him back into a reclining position, assured him she was in fact there.
"What are you doing here Chica?" " It's not safe. There could be more booby traps anywhere here. Prentiss, how could you allow her to come out here?" The joy of seeing her, now overshadowed by the real possibility of danger.
His only thoughts for her and her safety.

"Well nice to see you have your priorities straight. And thanks for demonstrating the same level of care for all of us, Alvez!" Prentiss snarked back.

He could only blush at his obvious faux-pax, still he could only think of her.
Had she come all this way just for them?
She didn't like to 'go with'.
He knew she was very tight with JJ, but he couldn't help but allow himself to hope. JJ was fine and Garcia seemed to be laser focused on his well being. Everything hurt, but that knowledge just made him feel a lot better.

Under her supervision, Luke had finally allowed the EMTs to carry out proper checks and to bandage the few scrapes that were still lightly bleeding out.
A clean, well as clean as someone just having been blown up could expect, bill of health given, the medics left them once assurances were given by Penelope that he wouldn't be left alone in case he had suffered a concussion.
Her hand had been in his hair the whole time, gently stroking his curls.
He was still laying down, blissfully enjoying her touch when the rest of the team had gathered around him to express their relief.
"Hey, weren't you the one saying he wanted to get up and look for clues asap, insisting that you were ok? "
Teased Tara.
He glared at her as he was about to reply, but he was beaten to the punch.
"Tara! His body just went through a traumatic event, of course he would be discombobulated and confused. He needs to rest!"
As she had turned to address and scold her, Garcia missed Luke sticking his tongue out and grinning widely at Lewis.
In response, Tara just threw her hands up as if giving up and lowered herself to whisper a promise in his ears "she's gonna leave your side eventually, then we'll talk".

The rest of the Team then fanned out talking to the local responders and taking in the site and possible clues.

Alone at last.
She was trying to psyche herself up to follow through with her own promises to herself.
To have an honest and direct conversation with him.
As she was preoccupied, she hadn't realized she had taken her hand away from his head.
"Hey, I was enjoying that" He whined as he reached for her hand now fidgeting and clasping her other one.
"I- I wanted to say something."
"Ok, I'm not going anywhere," He smiled "I'm listening"
"Well, that is actually it. You almost went somewhere. Somewhere I wouldn't be able to follow- somewhere I wouldn't be able to see you, speak to you, tell you how annoying you are, tell you how much I l--. Somewhere-. "
She had been trying her best, but those pesky tears came back with a vengeance.
The reality of him being there, alive, within her reach - making it harder to follow through with her resolution.
Making it harder to breathe.
What if he didn't feel the same?
He had at a certain point, but she had allowed so much time to pass.
Would he still be interested?
Where was the brave PG now?
The one that vowed to make him hers?

She was pulled back from her reverie by his movement to sit up.

"Hey, talk to me. What's wrong? I'm here. I didn't go somewhere else. I can hear you. You can tell me anything-." An anxious look in his eyes, a hand moving to wipe her tears.

She took him in, his open awaiting smile.
He had almost been blown up and all he was thinking of was her.
She shook her head.
Courage PG!

"I'm in love with you." She blurted out as she felt herself blush all over as she longingly looked at him.

"Oh, I know that!" He smirked.

"Wh- What? What do you mean you know? I didn't even know. You know you are sooo smug, that is why I- no one likes to be nice to-. "

Her words were cut off by him pulling her to him. The mere close contact, inhaling him in with every breath, rendering her speechless.

His hands, those arms she had dreamt about, holding her in that yearning embrace.
Unyielding, strong, safe.
He had her flush to him, in between his legs as he still sat on the gurney.
His strong muscular legs provided a safe haven, a steady support keeping her upright.

His right hand traveled from her waist to her neck. Gently holding her, fixing her into his intense gaze.
His left hand splayed, so that his long fingers reached both her waist and the top of her derriére.
"I knew you loved me the moment I saw you standing in front of me, like a weird Angel, wearing Anderson's garish powder blue terry cloth sweats and non matching snickers" He declared "And just so there are no misunderstandings. I am in love with you too. Never stopped loving you just because a pandemic hit or because you got scared-."

"I didn't get scared. Well, ok, fine,I was, I had always been scared of losing you-."

"So what changed? Why now, after this, of all times. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but what if, what if you get scared again and run away-."
He feared it, but needed to know the answer. Needed to know she wouldn't pull away again.
He didn't think he would be able to recover this time. He barely had the last.

"I can't promise I won't get scared, that's just how I am- but I can promise I will not run away. That if anything, I will hold on to you even tighter-. And after this experience… " She raised her foot as she nodded at it to underline her point "I will never wear running shoes ever again, ugh. They are ridiculous and-."
She was interrupted again. This time by the song of his loud laughter as he threw his head back, his hold on her unfaltering.
He quickly resumed his gaze into her eyes. Peering through the depths, reaching her aching soul.

"So, are you going to kiss me anytime soon, Newbie?" She ventured. "Cos you are already holding me, like - you know like you want to-"

He smiled, a contented smile as he pressed his lips to hers.
His tongue licking her lips, imploring to be let in at long last. Her lips eagerly parted. The taste and feel of him on her tongue was so much better than she could have ever imagined.
Their satisfied moans into each other leaving little doubt that they were both enjoying one another.
Their hands freely moving around each other's body, squeezing and feeling, leaving little doubt that they wanted, needed, more.

Prentiss' shout to the Team of "we've found something" Breaking them out of their consuming passion.

They beamed at each other as they begrudgingly parted.
"I think we need to, umm discuss, this elsewhere" He said optimistically.

"Well, you have been entrusted into my care, so, I think we'll have plenty of time to discuss when we get back to my place. Don't you?" She retorted playfully.

"I most certainly do!".
He gave her a small peck on her lips as she helped him to his feet and to walk towards Emily and her find.

Both were aware this was the start of something great.
Both mused at the fact that their relationship had started with a literal bang!
Endnotes: Thanks for reading. Comments and constructive feedback are always appreciated.
And did I mention!?!
??–???–???–?Garvez lives??–???–???–?
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