Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters: Jennifer Jareau
Summary: JJ is well aware of both the disadvantages and the advantages inherent in the way she’s perceived by people who don’t know her.
Word Count: 340
Written For: mirrored_illusions’s prompt ‘Criminal Minds, Jennifer Jareau, sometimes it rankles that there are places she can't go, things she can't do by herself, and that people presume any fighting or shooting was done by the nearest male because she's female,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Criminal Minds, or the characters. They belong to their creators.
Jennifer Jareau knows her looks are against her in her chosen profession; she’s blonde, slim and pretty, not exactly tall, and nobody would ever accuse her of being muscular or butch. Appearances can be deceptive though, and that can be both a good and a bad thing.
Many of the police officers the team work with in the course of their investigations assume that because she’s the liaison officer, she’s nothing more than the pretty public face of the BAU. They want to keep her out of danger, away from the front line of the investigation, which gets annoying. She doesn’t need their protection; she works as liaison because she has a talent for diplomacy that most of her colleagues lack, but she's still a fully qualified FBI agent. She's had the same training as all of her male counterparts, both with firearms and in hand-to-hand combat. She can more than hold her own in a fight, and she's every bit as good a shot as any of the cops she meets on the job.
Then again, it’s not just local police who underestimate her; so do the men and women it’s the BAU’s responsibility to identify and apprehend. Whenever suspects immediately dismiss her as not being a threat and turn their attention to her colleagues she’s quick to take advantage of their distraction. She’s taken down a fair few by using their perception of her against them; in this job, you learn to utilise whatever advantages you have.
Even though the way she’s perceived by others outside her unit sometimes rankles, JJ would never want to change how she looks, because most of the time it’s more of a help than a hindrance. It’s just that sometimes it would make a welcome change to be shown the respect she deserves. The FBI doesn’t accept just anybody; she’s earned her position there and she’d appreciate it if once in a while people would look past her face and figure and see her as the capable and experienced agent she is.