December 24, 2007
There was something new in the air of the BAU as they did their paperwork the next day and each and every one of them knew it had everything to do with the little green and white sprig tied with red ribbon over the glass doors of the bullpen. People had been getting caught under the mistletoe all morning and it had created quite the playful and nervous atmosphere.
But along with that nervous atmosphere came a tidbit of jealousy. After all, there was only so much kissing one could take before someone was going to get annoyed enough to get angry, especially if the guy you wanted to kiss was Derek Morgan, apparently.
Penelope had been on her way to JJ's office for one thing or another, when she'd glanced over at the BAU, having caught a flash of dark skin. There, in the doorway, was Derek leaning over to kiss a woman's cheek. That wasn't the problem though, the problem was that he was there with someone else when she came back. This time, however, she didn't get off easy.
"Baby Girl, there you are," he said happily. "I haven't seen you today."
"I've been busy," she said evasively, hiding her eyes, knowing he'd be able to figure everything out.
"What's wrong, Pen?"
Oh yeah, she remembered suddenly. He'd recognize evasive behaviour too. Nice work Penelope. "Nothing," she answered. "I just had to drop something off for Jayje."
He nodded. It was a good enough reason to be heading by. He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "Merry Christmas Eve, Baby Girl," he said, his voice a low rumble in her ear. Then he straightened. "When do you want me over tonight for dinner?"
"Whenever you guys are done here," she said vaguely.
Derek seemed to consider that for a moment. "Deal, but I have something for you first."
"Derek!" Penelope admonished, but the corners of her mouth twitched in an excited grin.
"Secret Santa's on until Christmas Day," he pointed out. "Your rules."
For once in the entire span of her life, Penelope cursed her overly happy Christmas spirit. With a sigh she followed him into the bullpen, waiting anxiously by his desk. She wanted to get back to her office where she could semi-sulk in peace. Yet it kicked back in when she caught sight of the small box wrapped in colourful paper. She opened it quickly, tossing the paper into his garbage can nearby.
"Derek," she gasped at the velvet box she withdrew. "You spoil me."
He grinned. "Open it first," he encouraged.
She did slowly, grinning like a maniac at the gift inside. Much like her earrings, this bracelet was made entirely of bells, though tiny bells of all sorts of Christmas colours. She pulled it out of the box immediately and held it out for him.
"You like?" he asked with a grin as he fastened it to her wrist.
She laughed brightly as she shook her arm, making the bells jingle softly. "This is fabulous!" She bounced up on the balls of her feet to kiss his cheek.
"It's very you," he agreed, his grin wider than he thought it could ever get. His cheeks were going to start hurting in a moment, and all because she looked oh so happy and excited about the little trinket.
"You know me too well. And you spoil me," she said as she watched Derek gather up an armload of files. "Where are you going?"
"These have to be dropped off, I figured I could walk you as far as your bat cave then officially finish these babies," he answered as he put a hand on her lower back to guide her out of the room. Before he could actually step out the doors however, someone called his name and both of them paused, turning, to find Emily grinning slyly. "Yeah Em?"
The brunette shrugged. "Nothing," she said nonchalantly. "Just… mistletoe."
Penelope blushed bright red, her hands clenched together around the box in her hands. She felt her neck get even hotter at the twinkle in his eye when he returned his gaze from the sprig on the door.
Derek smiled at her. "It's tradition," he said softly.
"It is," she agreed, bouncing on her toes again to kiss his cheek then continue on her merry way.
However, Derek had other ideas and pulled her back to him cupping her face and briefly brushing his lips against hers. He grinned at her gasp. "You didn't think you were going to get away that easy, did you Mama?"
Penelope blinked up at him, surprise still written all over her face. A million things were racing through her head. Why hadn't he settled for that kiss on the cheek? Why hadn't he just moved on? Why did he get her the most thoughtful gifts? Why was he doing all of this? Then he kissed her again, this time just a little bit more forcefully than the last.
"Merry Christmas, Penelope."
Then he was gone, leaving her behind in the bullpen to Emily's knowing look as she strolled over.
"Oh back off," she said snappishly.
Emily only patted Penelope's shoulder. "You know, out of all the girls that have deliberately caught Morgan under the mistletoe, you're the only one he's really kissed."
As if she didn't have enough to think about.
Spencer looked at JJ's door apprehensively. In her Christmas spirit, she'd hung a sprig of mistletoe from her door and the only thing it could remind him of was how much he wanted to kiss her. Mistletoe would be the perfect excuse.
Psyching himself up, he knocked gently on the door, files under his arm. She looked up as he entered, expecting to find another delivery of potential files for her to look over. Instead, it was Spencer Reid that stepped into her office, looking slightly sheepish but proud of himself.
"These are yours," he said, handing her a stack of files. "The ones you left on my desk before we left for Annandale."
She blushed. "We're just playing you know," she said softly. "We didn't necessarily mean for you to do them all."
Spencer shrugged. "It's okay," he said. "It was a challenge."
"And who would you be if you backed down from a challenge?" JJ agreed with a laugh. They fell silent after that, neither really sure what to say. The tension was palpable and while part of JJ revelled in it, it was also a slightly uncomfortable feeling.
"Anyway," he said haltingly. "I should… get back."
JJ sighed as she lowered her head as she listened to his footsteps fade. Just a file, not another Secret Santa gift, nothing to acknowledge their conversation in the car the previous day. Then she caught sight of a folder she didn't think he'd meant to leave. It was half finished and it was most definitely his.
"Spence!" she called, getting up from her chair. They met at the door, Spencer just returning to see what she'd called him about and JJ rising to meet him half way.
"This one's yours," she said, offering it to him with a smile.
He took it, holding it in the air for a moment after she'd let go.
His eyes darted to the mistletoe on her door before meeting hers. "Does this count as being under the mistletoe?"
JJ's eyes widened as he took a half step forward. She swallowed. "I guess so."
Then he was kissing her and while JJ had expected awkwardness, there was none. Spencer kissed her like she was the only meaning in his life, like she was the only thing that mattered and though she kissed back, there was very little she could force her body to do with her brain screaming two different things. He pulled away, both of them panting.
"You know what?" she murmured, her hands still wrapped around his neck, the tips playing with the hairs on the base of his neck.
"What?" Spencer asked distractedly. That had been a lot better than he had even been able to fantasize.
JJ pulled him further into her office, for once glad the wall into the building was solid. She turned herself so her back was to the door and pulled him to her again. "I don't think we really need the mistletoe."
Spencer grinned, meeting her as she leaned towards him. Finally, finally, they'd taken that step they'd been fighting for the better part of four years. And he had to admit, it felt good.
Aaron sat at his desk, his eyes darting over the handwritten note for the millionth time. He'd found it on his desk, on top of a stack of files he needed to sign off on for Emily. He'd recognized her handwriting before he started reading the words, but it was the words that had shocked him a little bit.
Emily had asked for time, and he was comfortable enough to give it to her, even if it destroyed almost every ability he had to think when he was around her. This, however, spoke of a very different Emily Prentiss. There could really be no doubt left in what the words meant.
don't want a lot for Christmas
There's just one thing I need.
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree.
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true,
All I want for Christmas is you.
His heart beat harshly in his chest, knowing she was out there in the bullpen, that he could see her through the cracks in his blinds. What was their next step? Did he go out there? Did he call her in? Did he write her back? He was out of practice in the dating game, that much was for sure.
He didn't get a chance to say anything to her until it was almost time leave for the day and she popped her head in to see if he'd finished with those files. He waved her in, not surprised that she knew enough to close the door behind her. He'd closed the blinds hours ago, the only light in his office now from the artificial ones.
"You told me you wanted time," he repeated, having said that to her the last time they kissed.
"I did," she answered. "I know what I want."
"The risks could very well be worth it in the long run," she answered with a shrug. "I've wanted you…" she chuckled self-deprecatingly. "For a long time. I just wasn't ready for it to be real."
Which, ironically, was the part he didn't understand and he told her so. "You're beautiful, intelligent, charismatic… why would you think a man wouldn't want you?"
Emily shrugged. "Side effect, really," she answered. "As I explained to Morgan once, I'm a nerd. I can hide it for so long, but eventually, something comes out and I ruin my cover."
"I know that," he said softly. "It doesn't make a difference to me."
"It's still not easy to overcome," she pointed out. Then she shrugged. "Does it matter in the long run?"
Aaron stood, coming around the desk to stand with her. "No."
She stepped closer, the space between them diminishing substantially. "Didn't think so."
Who leaned in first would be an argument to be hashed out later. This time when they kissed it was worth so much more, felt like so much more and the thrills that shook Emily's body were the same ones that made Aaron's hum. Eventually they both broke away, aware they were in the office and fraternization, especially between unit leader and member were frowned upon.
"Come over tomorrow," he said, holding her hands in his. They'd put space in between to try and stave off the urge to kiss again.
"Yeah. For dinner. Jack will be back with Haley by noon."
"I thought you had to take him back tonight?"
"I talked with Haley, since we were off on a case. I'll open presents with Jack tomorrow morning and take him over around noon."
Emily nodded. "I don't know…"
He stroked her hair, closing the distance between them without really thinking about it. "No one should be alone on Christmas."
A smile slowly blossomed over her face. "Okay."
Aaron grinned, leaning in to kiss her quickly. "Tomorrow."
"Tomorrow," Emily agreed blushing. Then she left, closing his office door behind her.
For the first time in a long time, since his last good Christmas with Haley, Aaron felt his face split in a grin, one he never showed at work. Slowly, he started whistling as he made his way back to his desk, the words circling in his head.
I just want you here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
What more can I do
Baby all I want for Christmas is you.
I feel like Hotch is OOC and for that, I apologize, but I'm actually rather happy with this chapter, so no matter how odd he may be acting, I won't be changing it! LOL.
Thanks to everyone that's reviewed. I'm off to do something Christmas-y. I'll try and have the last chapter up before midnight EST.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!