Horror Movies, Statistics, and a Lifetime…

(A very very rough, quick oneshot that just hit me right between the eyes…enjoy)

"Statistically, if this was a horror movie, the only one guaranteed to survive would be Emily." Reid said. "And maybe Morgan or Hotch."

"What the hell you talkin' about now, kid?"

"In the majority of horror movies, there's a certain order to the characters' deaths."

"So who's first?" Rossi asked, willing to humor the young genius. "According to these statistics of yours?"

"Most likely JJ. Young and blonde—she'd go early in the movie."

"Spence, that's not exactly reassuring." JJ said from her place beside Emily. "Especially now."

They were lost in the South Dakota woods. The one SUV they'd been sharing having been disabled by nothing more simple than a dead battery. A small cell of militiamen were also loose in the woods, but they had no way of knowing whether they'd be hostile to the Feds or not. Hotch was erring on the side of caution, so instead of searching for help, they'd chosen to hole up in an abandoned barn a mile from their vehicle. They had two small blankets between them—from JJ and Emily's ready bags—a box of glucose fortified cereal bars from Emily's bag, and their weapons.

For Rossi and Prentiss, it really wasn't that unfamiliar of a situation—being comfortable in the woods was something they'd both found they had in common. For everyone else—city born and bred--it was much harder.

"It's going to get pretty cold." Emily warned. At least she, Morgan, and Rossi were dressed appropriately—cargo pants, boots, and long sleeved shirts. Hotch, Reid, and JJ weren't so lucky. JJ sat shivering in her thin skirt she'd worn for the evening's press conference. Hotch's suit had to be uncomfortable, but he never let on. It was something she both admired and abhorred about her supervisor—that unflappable cool.

"We'll just have to stay close." Hotch said, bluntly.

"That's fine, but no offense—I am not sleeping next to Emily. She kicks like a mule," JJ said, pulling her blanket tightly around herself. "Last time, I had to share a hotel room with you—and Garcia-- I woke up black and blue."



"None taken, I think." Emily said, ruefully. "I told you and Garcia that I'd better take the couch, but she insisted!"

"When was this?" Morgan asked, a small smile on his face as he imagined the three women sharing a room with one bed between them. It was (almost) every man's fantasy, after all.

"The St. Paul case." Emily said. "Remember that shack of a motel?"

"Oh yeah, that's the one where Hotch ended up sleeping in the bathtub in our room." Morgan said. "I got the pleasure of bunking with Reid. He doesn't kick—but he talks incessantly."

"That place really was a sight right out of a horror movie." JJ said, emphatically.

"Well, we've seen worse." Hotch added, "I think we should get some sleep. Morning will come early around here."

A few minutes later and they'd all arranged themselves as close as possible, to share body heat. Because they'd been smart enough to pack the blankets—and because their smaller frames would lose body heat faster—Emily and JJ were at least covered by the blankets. Hotch and Reid had somehow ended up on each side of Emily, the former being crowded in a little closer than Emily would have liked.

She was always so aware of him. How was she supposed to sleep beside him?

Apparently she wasn't the only one uncomfortable with their new sleeping arrangements. Everyone lay their obviously wide awake for several moments until JJ spoke. "Em? You awake?"

"Yeah Jay? What do you need?" Emily asked, shifting slightly, elbow inadvertently catching Hotch midchest. She hastily apologized and he smiled at her through the darkness.

"Last minute bathroom break." JJ said, and the entire team could hear her embarrassment in her words.

"Come on. Let's go." Emily said, rising to step over Reid. The two women opened the barn door and slipped outside.

They'd been gone less than a minute before Reid spoke. "See, it's just like a horror movie."

"Kid, I swear…why is it just like a horror movie? It's just a bathroom break—women do that all the time. And they always go in little packs." Morgan said irritably. "Trust me, my sisters are the same way."

"Yeah, but they've went out into the dark, alone. If this was a horror movie—JJ wouldn't be coming back at all."

"Spencer, Prentiss and JJ will be back shortly, go to sleep." Hotch said, much as he would if Jack was fighting bedtime.

"Why do you do that?" Reid asked, "Call Emily by her last name, but everyone else is a first name basis when we're not working."

"I wasn't aware that I did."

"You do man, and let me tell you—she's noticed. Thinks you don't think of her as part of the team."

"I see." Hotch said, thinking over all their interchanges. Her strange arrival, his confronting her about her agenda, her quitting rather than spreading dirt about him and the team—she certainly was a part of the team. And one he was definitely very aware of.

And he'd been even more aware of her since he and Hailey had called it final quits a few months earlier. But he couldn't let her know that—it wouldn't be right. He couldn't put that kind of pressure on her shoulders. He knew her career meant as much to her as his did to him.

If his interest would even matter to her, that is.

His musings were interrupted by the door opening and the women returning to their spots on the large pile of hay.

"See, kid. Told you they'd come back." Morgan said, lying in his place between JJ and Spencer. The loft they were in was narrow, with just enough room for the entire team to lay side by side. Hotch and Rossi were on the outer edges with the younger agents arranged between them.

Hotch could smell her perfume—even though it was light—over the musty scent of old barn. It tightened his gut.

"Of course we came back, Derek. Why wouldn't we?" Emily asked, rolling on her side, putting her back in Hotch's direction.

He swallowed quietly, wondering if she was deliberately trying to shut him out from her consciousness. He wouldn't blame her if she was. He hadn't exactly been the most welcoming person to her. If he was honest with himself, she was probably the one who got the shortest end of the stick with him. She was always the one he had do the odd jobs, the small, meaningless tasks, the grunt work.

And she always did it perfectly, exactly as he needed it, and all without complaint.

He used that to his advantage, that, and the fact that he knew she'd do it without complaining.

But he could see where she'd possibly misunderstand his reasons. He did trust her, he really did. But in the back of his mind was always the thought that it was his job to keep her as safe as he could. If that meant giving her grunt jobs, then he'd do it.

When he did have to send her out in the field he made sure she was with him or Morgan—the two of them, he thought, could keep her safe.

It wasn't anything personal. He did the same thing with JJ. Though not as often, of course, since the younger woman's job often required her to remain at the police stations.

But Prentiss—Emily



--was different.

"Kid's convinced himself that this is a low budget horror film and that you two found some trouble out there." Rossi said, quietly.

"I've not convinced myself of anything." Reid said indignantly, as Emily settled around on the hay beside him. "I was just making a corollary between works of fiction and this instance."

"Go to sleep, kid." Morgan ordered, starting to get impatient. "You girls ok?"

"Hmm. Stuck in the woods with possibly crazy militiamen nearby—and Reid's horror movie statistics in my head—yeah, I'm fine. Having the time of my life. You, JJ?" Emily said, sarcastically. Morgan threw some straw over Reid to silence the woman, but he overshot and it soared over Emily and hit Hotch mid chest.

"Thanks, Derek. Just what I needed." Hotch said, flatly, though in the dark no one could see his mouth quirk.

"Let's not forget that in this particular movie—I'm most likely already a goner." JJ said. "Of course, you don't have to worry, Em. According to Reid's stats, you're the only one guaranteed to survive."

"Gee, statistics are so reassuring." Emily replied, not aware that Hotch was watching her every move, every wiggle with a heated eye. No one could see, the darkness of the barn made it impossible.

But Hotch knew exactly where and what she did.

"Hey, Reid. Why did you say, one of Morgan or Hotch? Why not both?" JJ asked softly, after she'd settled back down between Morgan and Rossi.

"Because depending on the class of movie—action or psychological thriller—the main hero is either the athletic and intelligent guy, or the coolly intelligent, slightly older reluctant hero type. Prentiss would survive because she's the older, brainy, attractive female."

"Thanks, Spence. So I'm the nerdy girl, and JJ is the—"

"Cheerleader." Morgan and Emily finished together, laughing at JJ's indignant snort.

"There's nothing wrong with being a nerd, Em. Apparently, nerds survive the longest." Rossi said around a yawn and a laugh. "So what would I be, kid?"

"You're ambiguous, Dave." Spencer said enthusiastically, "Either you're the villain or the last good guy to die. Older, supposedly wiser, you'll prove indispensible and will die saving the heroine from the villain. Or you're the villain who she'd need saving from."

"What kind of movie is this again—couldn't she just save herself?" Emily asked. Hotch could hear a slight laugh beneath her words.

"Only on Lifetime Network." JJ said, snottily. Emily laughed fully then.

"Shut up, cheerleader. You're already gone, remember. You didn't even make it ten minutes past opening credits."

"Yeah, but apparently you have to depend on either Hotch or Morgan to save your helpless ass, nerd." JJ shot back in a whisper.

Hotch listened to the teasing, more than a little nonplused. Did the two women always rib each other this way? If so, he was extremely surprised. JJ had never warmed to Elle that way.

"Naw, I think I'll save my own ass—no offense, Derek or Hotch." Emily squirmed around again, and Hotch had an inkling of what she'd be like asleep. She hadn't been still for more than thirty seconds since laying down on the hay beside him.

"None taken, chick." Derek said. "You're too much trouble for me to baby-sit a whole movie anyway."

"You'd be lucky to be my hero, Morgan. I'd probably end up saving your ass on more than a few occasions." Emily said. "So, tell me, Reid. If Rossi is the villain—or the last to die—JJ is long gone, either Hotch or Morgan and I survive…what about you and whomever is not the hero? What about Garcia?"

"Garcia would most likely go right before Rossi—as a good guy--because her technical skills will come in handy to the hero/heroine. I'd probably be after JJ. Wonder into an incredibly stupid, and dangerous situation and the hero/heroine would narrowly miss saving me. As for Morgan or Hotch—non-hero—he'd probably go about midway through the movie. But only after he'd been mistaken for the villain. It will be a particularly brutal death as well." Spencer explained. "But this is only a movie, after all."

"But Emily would survive." JJ snickered. "How unfair."

"Get over it, Barbie. We nerds are entitled to something, too. Especially from you cheerleaders. " Emily said, yawning, as she leaned inadvertently toward Hotch's radiating warmth. "Good night, JJ, everybody. I'm going to sleep now."

"Good night, Em." JJ said. "Good thing we're not fictional characters, huh?"

"Sleep, JJ, Emily." Hotch ordered finally, sensing the two women would chatter all night—out of nervousness, he thought. He could tell that Morgan and Reid were already out.

Five minutes later he learned exactly what JJ meant about Emily kicking like a mule. She would move a bit and settle, and he'd relax, then she'd move an arm or a leg, or her head. He knew he'd most likely be awake all night—and bruised in the morning. Every time she moved, she got closer to him and further away from Reid. Her hair brushed against his chin, catching the days worth of beard growth. It was soft and silky and smelled like her.

All of a sudden none of it mattered—the cold, the musty barn, the hay, the kicking and squirming. All that mattered was he was lying beside her.

"My second ex was the same way." Rossi's whisper came through the darkness, startling Hotch so that he jerked, unintentionally bumping Emily's shoulder.

He held his breath, hoping she didn't wake. When he was sure she was completely out, he replied. "What way?"

"Squirmer. Took me six months to get used to sleeping with her. By then we were headed for divorce. She had nightmares, couldn't seem to settle. I found that if I held her, pulled her against my chest, she'd go still and we could both sleep. I kind of miss that."

"I'm sorry." Hotch said, understanding exactly what the man meant.

"I know why you don't use her first name." Rossi continued.

"Why is that?" Hotch could hear the defensive tone in his voice.

"You're afraid of letting her get too close. And she could, much closer than JJ or anyone else. Probably even Hayley. And you know it, too. It's why you act as if you don't trust her, when in reality—it's yourself you don't trust."

"You're wrong." Hotch said.

"Really? I can't see you, but I know you're lying there beside her hoping she'll move just a little closer, close enough that you can hold her, but don't have to admit to anyone or yourself that it's because you want to. You're hands are clenched, your hyper vigilant, aware of her every sigh, her breath, her scent. You want to touch her, but know you can't, you shouldn't. Am I right?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." Hotch denied, though everything the other man said was dead on target.

"Keep on with the denial." Rossi went on, though he could sense his friend's irritation. "But if anything I've learned from three failed marriages, Aaron. Take your chances when their presented to you."

"Now you sound like a movie." Hotch snapped, as Emily moved even closer, almost tucking her head beneath his chin. Her knee rose and came precariously close to hitting him between the legs. It was a sure sign—to him, anyway—that she wasn't used to sleeping with someone. It inexplicably pleased him, that thought. "A Lifetime Movie."

"Could thing we're not fictional characters, isn't it." Rossi snickered as he parroted JJ's earlier question.

"Good night, Rossi." Hotch said, blocking his groin with one hand when Emily moved yet again, turning on her side facing Reid.

She stayed that way for a while, long after Rossi's soft snores began to fill the bar, the blanket tangled around her in what had to be an uncomfortable position. No matter how much he tried, he couldn't just leave her like that. He carefully pulled the blanket free, then spread it over her, tucking it around the side closest to Reid. He looked down at her, seeing the moonlight coming in through the cracks in the walls and reflecting off the midnight of her hair. Rossi's words about his ex trailed through his mind as she started to squirm yet again and he cautiously dropped one arm over her stomach and slowly slid her back toward him. He tucked her tightly against him—much the way he used to with Hayley, and settled down behind her.

It wasn't long before he relaxed enough to sleep, there curled around her, keeping her warm, keeping her safe—keeping her still.

Rossi sat up, wide awake, as he had been since his and Aaron's conversation. He looked at his friend and colleague, and then the woman sleeping tucked in his friend's arms, and he had to smile. It was the first time he could remember seeing just that look of contentment on the younger man's face and he wondered briefly just what would come out of this night.

After all, didn't movies imitate real life on occasion?

This might not be a horror movie—but it might definitely be a romance.

And he, Rossi, probably wasn't the villain after all.