|A Nudge in the Right Direction
Author: Graveygraves PM
"Leave it to you and you would never be ready. It's time to get back on the bike Aaron. I've just popped the stabilisers on until I know you're not going to take another tumble." Written for the Valentine's Challenge on CCOAC, beta'd.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Friendship - A. Hotchner/Hotch & D. Rossi - Words: 1,532 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 8 - Published: 02-17-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7843522
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Nudge in the Right Direction
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the ideas.
This is my story for the Valentine's Challenge on Chit Chat on Author's Corner. I picked Rossi as a character and was assigned Hotch. I then had to picked the three props from the six listed. I have chosen: Candy Hearts, Chocolate Syrup and a dozen red roses. In addition my amazing beta Flashpenguin helped get one of the song prompts in – I'll let you find which one!
. . .
Aaron rubbed his eyes as he tried to focus on the pile of work in front of him. It wasn't particularly late, but it was late enough. Later than he wanted to be. Glancing at his watch he huffed out a frustrated lungful of air.
The sudden rap on his door shook him from his thoughts.
"Come in," he called absentmindedly, as he tried to look busy.
"Ah, I thought I would catch you before you left," David Rossi's cheery tone called from behind an elaborately tied bouquet of deep blood red roses.
Aaron stared at his friend as he placed the dozen red roses onto his desk, tossing a heart shaped box of chocolates alongside. Slowly Aaron glanced down at the items and then back at the owner. Confused by the gesture Aaron had to ask.
"I am dreading the answer to this, but why have you just placed roses and…" Aaron grabbed the rich chocolaty brown heart shaped box, flicking over the label on the scarlet velvet bow, "Praline hearts on my desk?"
Dave had made his way over to the cabinet, his smile widened as he poured two neat Scotches from Aaron's hidden stash. Placing one in front of his colleague as he returned to the desk side, he took a seat opposite. Taking the time to get comfortable, Dave adjusted his position, resting the tumbler of amber liquid on the arm of the chair and his head on his other hand.
"Dave," Aaron voice held an edge of trepidation, brought on by the lack of response from his former mentor.
"Well Aaron, I'll be honest, there is something I have wanted to tell you for a while," Dave's eyes glinted in the dim light as he teased his friend. Watching as Aaron's normally stoic face contorted and his eyes widened in disbelief.
"Dave?" Aaron questioned, a slight reddening flushing his checks as his mind tried to process the information he was receiving.
Dave leant forward, placing his glass on the smooth desk, as he stared into the fear filled pools of Aaron's eyes. To say he was enjoying the moment was an understatement.
"I am not sure you are going to appreciate what I have to say," Dave spoke with a calm control.
Aaron inserted a finger in to the collar of his shirt, making a vain attempt at loosening the plain navy tie. Gulping he begun to wish he had gone home and completed his reports there.
"Dave, I ask that you think carefully before you proceed."
Dave threw his head back and laughed out loud. It had been a long time since he had managed to wind Aaron up so convincingly, though it may soften the blow when he told the truth.
"Aaron," he spoke solemnly, catching his colleague's eye, "I may have interfered where I was not welcome."
Aaron let out a half sigh, still unsure what was to come, but not liking the sound any more than what his over active imagination had been visualising.
"Go on," he choked out the words
"Beth," Dave let the word settle between them.
Aaron's eyebrows raised. "What have you done?"
Dave took a large swig from his drink before he settled back, folding his arms across his broad chest. Allowing the malt to warm him before he spoke, Dave levelled his eyes on Aaron.
"Seeing that you have done nothing to encourage further liaisons I decided to take fate into my own hands. You have a table booked at eight. Beth will meet you there."
Aaron fought hard to stop his mouth dropping open.
"How?" he finally managed.
"Oh…the how was easy. A little word with a certain Tech Kitten and all the necessary information was instantly right at my finger tips. From there I laid on the Rossi charm and invited Beth to a candle lit dinner on your behalf."
"She agreed?" Aaron asked, incredulously.
"Of course she did," Dave replied with some indignation. "Who is going to turn down a fine Italian meal with the mysterious FBI agent she met in the park? Trust me I sold you to her. You can't spend as much time with PR teams as I do and not have some of it rub off."
"Dave, I appreciate the offer, but it just isn't possible," Aaron started shuffling papers as he regained his full senses, no longer willing to meet his friend's eyes. Becoming acutely aware of the how uncomfortable he was with the situation.
"What 'isn't possible' about it? I have covered all bases," Dave said smugly." You have enough time to get home, shower and change, and get to the restaurant. I have arranged a cab to collect Beth. JJ has collected Jack for a sleep over. I bought the roses and candy hearts so you have no need to fret over a gift. Hell I have even given orders for the meal to go onto my account. There is no way you are getting out of this one."
"I can't," Aaron bit out. "I'm not ready."
"Not ready my ass," Dave hissed in frustration. "Leave it to you and you would never be ready. It's time to get back on the bike Aaron. I've just popped the stabilisers on until I know you're not going to take another tumble."
Aaron folded his arms, fixing his stare on Dave. He had overstepped the mark this time, well and truly. Aaron was furious. He didn't like being backed into a corner.
"You had no right . . ."
"Oh save it Aaron," Dave interrupted, batting the air with his hand. "Now pack up and leave, or will I have to call Derek to make you?"
Standing Aaron knocked back the drink that had been placed on his desk. He didn't know why, it just felt right at that moment. Turning his back on Dave, Aaron collected his thoughts as he stared out of the pathetic excuse for a window.
"Dave, I don't know if I can."
"It's a quiet little hole in the wall restaurant where the two of you can get to know one another better. Hell, Aaron, with a little luck, you might decide to have dessert at your place afterward."
"What did you do?" Aaron felt a bit of fear tinged with excitement course through him.
"Nothing," Dave admitted. "But if JJ hadn't talked me out of it, I would have gone all out with the seduction. You know…candles, champagne, 'I Wanna Sex You Up' playing on the stereo…" he recited teasingly.
"I'm not going," Aaron interrupted. "I can't."
Aaron's words hung in the air between them. Slowly the seconds ticked by.
"You're really going to leave her stranded at the restaurant all alone?" Dave asked softly.
The loud sigh that escaped from Aaron filled the room. He had made no attempt to move on from Haley, only coming close after the divorce in New York and look how that had ended. He had kind of taken that as an omen. That he had had his chance at happiness and blew it.
"It's not as easy for me as it is for you," Aaron settled with as an excuse. "You don't have children. I need to think of Jack and how it would impact on him."
"What? Having a happy father who learnt how to relax every once in a while? That is sure to have a very positive impact on him," Dave replied carefully.
Turning to face each other once more, Aaron's eyes narrowed. "You know what I mean."
"Yeah I do, but didn't you make Haley a promise that you would show Jack what love was? Make him believe?"
"Dave that is not fair and you know it."
"What? Not fair to remind you of your own burden? Face it Aaron, you know I am right and you are running out of excuses," Dave spoke, pausing to glance at his watch, "and time."
Aaron placed the glass heavily back on his desk, looking Dave directly in the eye.
"Don't say another word," Dave cautioned, "Just go."
Aaron picked up the flowers and chocolates from his desk, after retrieving his briefcase and jacket. Glancing once more at the older profiler, Aaron nodded his acceptance and left.
Watching him go, Dave stood to pour himself another shot. Smiling widely he was glad he never mentioned the Chocolate Syrup he had got JJ to leave by Aaron's bedside when she picked up Jack. Maybe that had been a step too far.