4. Fools

Rating: T

Author: rogueandkurt

Fandom: Criminal Minds

Okay, I know I haven't updated any drabbles recently, but that's because (in addition to R.L. craziness) I was working my tail off trying to finish this one in time for today. I hope it was worth it :)

This fic is probably a little goofy at points, but it's all in good fun. Happy April Fool's!! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds, or any of the recognizable characters contained within this fic.


Fools

Emily Prentiss brushed her way into the bullpen of the BAU, nodding to coworkers and fellow agents as she walked. Reid and Morgan were already hard at work filling out their respective consults and case reports, only Reid bothering to spare her a glance as she took her seat at the desk across from him.

"'Morning, Emily."

"Good morning," she greeted in return, setting down her bag.

Morgan paused his writing, looking up from his work.

"Hey, do you have that Lee file for me?" he asked.

Prentiss furrowed her brow, thinking for a moment. "Uh...Yeah. Hang on, I've got it right here," she said, bending down to open her bottom drawer. Her fingers had barely wrapped themselves around the drawer handle when she recoiled, feeling something slimy between her fingers.

"Ugh! What-?" she exclaimed, looking at her grease-covered hand in disgust and causing Reid to glance up in surprise. Across the aisle, Morgan burst out laughing.

"Did you do this?" Emily demanded, glaring at her co-worker suspiciously.

"Come on, Prentiss," Derek replied happily, grinning at her expression. "You should know not to let your guard down on April Fool's Day."

Reid watched the two of them with all of the interest of a fan at a sporting event, his work forgotten.

Emily narrowed her eyes - the significance of the date had escaped her notice until now, but she didn't feel like informing her colleague of that fact. He was looking decidedly too pleased with himself as it was. She couldn't remember Morgan observing the pseudo-holiday last year, but she quickly remembered the string of West-Coast arsons that had taken place around that time, occupying all of the team's resources.

"The origins of April Fools are largely unclear, with many urban legends still persisting today," Reid informed them eagerly. "In some countries, the jokes only last until noon, and someone who plays a trick after that time is called an 'April Fool.' In other countries - such as Ireland, France, and the U.S. - the pranks last all day."

Prentiss scoffed, still glaring sidelong at Morgan as she reached for a tissue to wipe off her hand. "This is your idea of a prank? I thought people stopped greasing handles in grammar school."

"Worked on you," Morgan retorted confidently, resting his hands behind his head, his mirth still evident at the success of his prank. "Admit it - you're just upset because I got you."

"Good morning, everyone," Hotch acknowledged them distractedly, saving Emily the task of responding as the unit chief made his way down the steps from his office, heading straight for the coffee machine.

Emily glanced back at the desks across from her. Morgan and Reid had both returned to their consults, the former still wearing a grin that was far too smart-alecky for her tastes. She smirked, pulling a file out of her bag and starting in on her work, looking the very picture of innocence and professionalism.

He wouldn't know what hit him.

- ~ April Fools ~ -

"Sorry about the hassle, Morgan," JJ repeated as the pair of them walked back into the bullpen. "The clerks in archives have been breathing down my neck lately. I just wanted to make sure I had everyone's reports right before I handed it over to Hotch."

Morgan shrugged, smiling. "No problem, JJ. It happens."

They walked back to his desk as they talked, approaching just in time to hear his desk phone start to ring. Derek reached across the desk to answer it - he'd been expecting a call from the Atlanta P.D. - frowning in surprise as the entire cradle came along with it.

"What the--"

He shook the handle of the phone, confused as it refused to separate itself from its cradle. A quick glance at Prentiss' desk told him why.

Emily sat across the aisle, her legs crossed and her phone to her ear as she chortled, waving the fingers of her other hand at him smugly. Both women burst out laughing at his expression.

Morgan narrowed his eyes. "You glued my phone?"

Behind him, JJ snickered. "Don't worry - it comes off," she assured him, pulling a small bottle of solvent out of her pocket and tossing it to him.

Morgan pointed to her in surprise.

"You got her to help you?" he asked Prentiss, brow furrowed, an almost hurt expression on his face at the fact that he'd been teamed-up on.

"What's the matter?" Emily retorted, hanging up her phone. "Ashamed that 'the girls' got the better of you?"

Morgan chuckled at the remark, shaking his head. "Okay. Okay, so you guys are trying to start something, is that it?"

"We're just going off what you initiated," Prentiss retorted, a challenge in her eyes. Beside her, Reid was trying very hard to be invisible.

Derek flicked his nose, looking between the two of them. "All right, so how's this sound? Prank wars - from now until quittin' time. Losers buy the drinks tonight."

"You really think you could beat us?" JJ wrinkled her nose jokingly.

"Oh you're both going down," Morgan assured her. "And no more team-ups. From now on, it's one-on-one. Best agent wins."

The two female agents exchanged a glance, each gauging the other woman's response. JJ shrugged her shoulders, a barely-contained smirk on her face.

"Okay, Morgan," Emily agreed, sitting straighter in her chair. "You're on."

- ~ April Fools ~ -

JJ burst into her office, an armful of files balanced on her hip as she took a sip of her coffee. Her office was its usual state of ordered chaos, with towers of paperwork building a fort around her work area. Few people understood the filing system that she had in-place, but despite the mess, she knew the location and contents of every file and consult under her care. Agent Todd had moved some things around during her short stay, and after a few weeks of being back, JJ had finally succeeded in returning things to the way she liked them.

Adding the pile in her arms to one of the shorter stacks, she moved around to the other side of her desk, cautious for booby traps. Growing up with an older brother, she'd learned most of the secrets of a good prank. There was no real doubt in her mind that she'd beat the others in the end. Still, that didn't mean they wouldn't get one or two good ones in against her. JJ had a decent handle on Emily's pranking skills, but she wouldn't put it past Morgan to pull something simple just to throw her off-track. She couldn't afford to get careless.

Agent Anderson passed by her door, stopping to look in.

"Hey, JJ," he greeted briefly. "I'm stopping by I.A., and you said you needed that inquest form sent up?"

She nodded, taking a seat. "Right. Hang on, I've got it right here."

Leaning over, she pulled open the top drawer of her desk, pushing back in her chair in surprise as she discovered that the drawer had not only been placed in upside-down, but had been stuffed full of pink packing peanuts, which promptly came pouring out onto the ground under her feet.

Agent Anderson looked on in surprise, unsure of how to react.

"April Fool's prank?" he guessed, watching her expression carefully.

JJ narrowed her eyes, reading the note that had been taped to the drawer:

'Thought the place could do with some redecorating.

- Morgan'

"Yeah," she rolled her eyes. Just like she'd thought - simple. "Never mind about the file, I'll send it up myself later."

The other agent took his leave, giving JJ time to plot her revenge as she began the task of cleaning up.

- ~ April Fools ~ -

Morgan tapped his pen on the desk, his eyes growing weary from the seemingly endless stack of paperwork. He'd made a promise a long time ago never to begrudge the days where the worst thing they had to deal with was the crappy Bureau-brand coffee of the bullpen, rather than the death of an innocent civilian, but he'd be lying if he didn't admit that the rush of profiling an active case far outstripped the monotony of filing a business expense requisition form.

Sighing, he decided to take a break, turning to his computer. Desire had promised to send him photos of the car their mom had bought last month, as well as a shot of Sarah's elusive new boyfriend. He typed in the password for his e-mail, clicking the 'login' button.

'You have 98 new messages.'

Derek's eyes flew wide open - he'd just checked his mail that morning. At most, he averaged ten or twenty messages a day. How could he have gotten so many?

He clicked on his inbox, eyeballing the message titles with increasing confusion.

'From: Hot_Mama1971

Re: PIX!!!'

'From: LeighLeighLady

Re: We shou;d meet'

'From: TrekkerFreak64

Re:Ur Profile

'From: SMBabeh

Re: greAt Picz = call me!!1!'

'From: Spock'sBoy

Re: Episode 28 - Opinions?'

'From: FLuckynLove

Re: Wanna chat?'

"What the hell?"

"Oh, Morgan, hey," JJ called from behind him, a satisfied smile on her face, and a fresh handful of files in-tow.

"I wanted to thank you for that little bit of office redecorating you did earlier, so I thought I'd give you a hand in return," she informed him, her tone rife with amusement. "I know the dating scene's been a little rough lately, so I decided to help out by putting an ad for you on this great dating site I'd heard of. Don't worry - I made sure to mention your huge Star Trek obsession, and your strong desire for something 'long-term'."

Morgan's expression turned incredulous, glancing back at his email browser, which was still 'ding'-ing with new replies. JJ peered over his shoulder in mock interest.

"Wow, they really seem to like you. You were so popular, I decided to add some pictures, too."

Derek eyed her in disbelief. "Were you always this evil?"

JJ grinned. "You brought this on yourself. And hey, there's still five-and-a-half hours left."

She placed the files in her arms on top of the ones already sitting on his desk. "By the way, these just came for you. Hotch would like them done by lunch."

- ~ April Fools ~ -

"Come on, Baby Girl," he pleaded, resting his hands on her shoulders. "You'd hardly have to do a thing."

"I said no," Garcia replied resolutely, turning to face him. "Reid told me all about the little war you three have going on, and I refuse to help you get back at them."

"Not even for your chocolate Adonis?" Morgan begged, his expression hurt. "They wouldn't have to know you were involved. What happened to the beautiful, brilliant, fun-loving hacker I fell in love with?"

"Flattery will get you nowhere," Penelope insisted, though her frown had lessened slightly.

"You should 'a seen the stuff she wrote about me on that site," he informed her, crossing his arms. "Now I've got 340 emails from people asking me if I prefer Kirk over Picard, and would I like to discuss it over dinner! Not to mention the comments about the pictures she posted."

"I refuse to get involved," she reiterated. "I cannot betray the bonds of sisterhood, not even if JJ did post a profile detailing your intense love of all things Muppet-related."

He raised an eyebrow. "You didn't happen to help JJ with that website, did you?"

Garcia turned back to the screens, her voice raising an octave. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Derek looked unconvinced, leaning over her shoulder.

"Oh, really? So, that wasn't you, with the screen name 'TechGoDdess32', asking for nude photos?"

"I have no knowledge of this dating site of which you speak!" Garcia exclaimed, her voice speeding up. "I have been very, very busy today doing productive and hard-working things, and would have no time for such childish pranks."

She picked up a pink teddy-bear pen, scribbling notes down from her computers, refusing to face him. "And I also will not help you get even with Emily and JJ. You'll just have to figure something out on your own."

- ~ April Fools ~ -

Lunchtime came and went, with JJ still in the lead and the office pool predicting a last-minute underdog victory for Morgan, with Emily as the long shot. Agent Freitas, in Counter Terrorism, had put $100 on each of the female agents, claiming that they would most certainly be tied by three o'clock, with Derek admitting defeat by four.

Morgan sauntered back from his lunch, locking eyes with Emily.

"Less than five hours left, Prentiss," he goaded playfully. "Looks like you're falling behind."

He pulled his desk chair out to sit, jumping back as a container of pens, an organizer, a paperweight, an ink blotter, a box of Kleenex and two case files immediately went flying off his desk, scattering themselves across the floor.

Emily smiled sweetly, crossing her arms. "Or maybe," she commented," I'm just getting warmed up."

Just at that moment, Rossi chose to stroll by, his walk slowing to a halt as he caught sight of the situation. Silently, he raised an eyebrow at a stunned Morgan, gloating Prentiss, and mess of office supplies decorating the floor between them.

"Do I want to know?"

"Probably not," Reid replied, not even bothering to look up from the file he was writing in.

Rossi nodded, continuing on to his office.

"Just how the hell did you do that?" Derek asked, his hand still resting on the back of his chair as he eyed Prentiss with newfound appreciation.

"Fishing wire attached to the legs of the chair," she answered gleefully, turning back to her work. "Less than five hours left," she reminded him happily. "Looks like you've got some catching up to do."

- ~ April Fools ~ -

"No way," Prentiss argued, walking back from the break room with Reid in-tow. "Tom Baker was the best."

Reid shook his head, as if amused by her ignorance. "David Tennant clearly beats him out as best Doctor of all-time."

Emily scoffed as she took her seat. "Why are we having this conversation? You weren't even alive when Baker was at his finest - you couldn't possibly understand his appeal."

The genius frowned, considering this argument.

Prentiss smiled in victory, scooting her chair in closer to her desk as she reached for a sip of her coffee. A second later, she spat it back into the cup, coughing.

"Yeuchh!" she exclaimed, a sour look on her face.

"What's wrong?" Reid asked, concerned.

"Yeah, Prentiss," Morgan chimed in from across the aisle, grinning. "What's wrong?"

Emily turned to glare at Derek.

"What did you do?"

Morgan smirked, holding up a small bottle of Tabasco sauce. "I thought you'd like to try a new 'magic ingredient,'" he laughed.

The female agent scowled, tossing the rest of the drink in the trash. Time was running down - she'd have to work quickly if she wanted to beat the both of them.

- ~ April Fools ~ -

Derek Morgan sighed, looking again at the paper in his hands. He was sure he'd read the room number right, but he'd been wandering the corridors of the Bureau's lower levels for almost ten minutes with no sign of it.

Heaving another sigh, he spotted a young, bored-looking woman seated at a nearby desk.

"Excuse me, Miss," he approached her, holding up the handwritten message. "Do you know where office 401B is?"

"Morgan?"

He looked up, surprised to find Prentiss walking down the hallway towards him, confusion evident on her face.

"What are you doing here?" She asked, her expression turning suspicious.

"I got a message from an Agent King saying I needed to come down here. Something about not properly filing my ID-tenT form," Morgan informed her, holding up the offending message again.

"I got the same message from an Agent Darrell Moore," Emily replied, glancing at the woman at the desk.

Morgan folded his arms. "Is this what I think it is?"

"Probably," Emily agreed, looking at the message in her hand again. She let out a disbelieving scoff. "ID-tenT. I can't believe I didn't see that before."

Derek frowned. "What, what is it?"

She held out the handwritten message, pointing at the form name. "ID-10T spells 'idiot'. She got us with a fake form."

Morgan shook his head incredulously.

"Are you agents Prentiss and Morgan?" the woman at the desk interrupted. Morgan had forgotten she was even there.

"Yes," Emily sighed, defeated, as she ran a hand through her hair.

"I'm supposed to give you this," the woman at the desk replied, handing Emily a piece of paper.

"What's it say?" Morgan asked, leaning over her shoulder.

Prentiss rolled her eyes, reading the neat scrawl that marked the page. "'Hope you both enjoyed your excursion. Feel free to surrender at any time. P.S. - I think I'll have a gin and tonic to start. Signed, Agents 'Joe King' and 'Darrell B. Moore' - Jeez, JJ's really into this stuff, isn't she?"

"You didn't know?" Morgan raised his eyebrows. He smirked. "Oh, we gotta get her back for this."

Emily looked up at him in surprise. "What happened to all that talk about 'one-on-one' and 'no team-ups allowed'?"

Morgan shook his head. "That was before JJ started kicking our butts. Desperate times call for desperate measures." He raised his eyebrows, nodding to the paper in her hands. "Come on, you really want to lose to JJ?"

Prentiss thought it over, looking at the prank names JJ had left for them. She smirked, meeting his gaze. "What did you have in mind?"

- ~ April Fools ~ -

"You sure this'll work?" Prentiss asked, checking her watch.

"Trust me," Derek assured her, folding his arms as he leaned back against his desk. "JJ never goes anywhere without her 4 o'clock cup of coffee. Same time every day."

"It's not too mean, is it?" Emily worried, glimpsing at her current partner-in-crime.

Morgan gave her a sidelong glance. "Relax. It's not like it's permanent - it's just enough of a hassle to put us in the lead, and put JJ back in her place."

Right on-cue, JJ entered the bullpen, making a beeline for the kitchenette.

"It's show time," Morgan chuckled.

"Agent Jareau! Do you have a minute?"

The communications director paused, turning to talk to the middle-aged agent who'd called her.

"...But organized killers are more inclined to take totems from their victims, meaning that they're likely dealing with someone who plans his crimes in advance," they heard Reid commenting as he made his way into the bullpen alongside Hotch, who was listening intently.

"Maybe," the unit chief conceded, "But I'm not entirely convinced that the weapon was brought with him to the crime. It's far more likely he's relying on objects available at the scene."

Morgan and Prentiss watched, horrified, as the pair headed straight for the coffee machine.

"Uh oh."

Reid frowned, seeing that the pot was empty. He raised a hand to the cupboard above the sink, in search of a fresh filter.

"Wait- Reid--!"

The pair of pranksters surged forward, trying and failing to catch the genius' attention. They grimaced as the cupboard opened, raining a small tidal wave of glitter down upon the unsuspecting young agent.

Reid sputtered in surprise, jumping back and shaking a cloud of sparkles onto the floor. The entire front of him was covered in twinkling bits of glitter, his hair a shimmer of silver flecks. He stared down at himself, aghast, as many of the agents in the bullpen turned to watch, JJ disregarding her conversation with her fellow agent to see what all the commotion was about.

"Reid, I am so sorry," Emily began, moving forward to offer him a paper towel. "That wasn't meant to happen."

"Me too," added Derek, watching as Reid tried to shake the glitter from his hair like a dog, succeeding only in further showering his shirt with the sparkly substance.

Hotch eyed the trio of jokesters, placing his fingers on the bridge of his nose as if to ward off an on-coming headache.

"Reid, you should have another shirt in your ready bag that you can change into," he placated.

Reid nodded distractedly, still wiping at the ever-present sparkles in futility, sparing the trio one final glance before heading off in search of a change of clothes. Morgan and Prentiss watched him guiltily, all three agents frozen in space as they awaited Hotch's next words.

Agent Hotchner turned his attention back to the pranksters, his mouth a thin, tight line.

"As much as I appreciate the need for the team to let off steam, I think this competition has run its course. It's time you called it a 'tie' and returned to your work," Hotch advised them, his tone serious. "I expect this mess to be cleaned up as soon as possible."

"Yes, sir," Prentiss replied immediately, the others nodding their agreement.

Hotch held their expressions a moment longer, before turning in the direction of his office, leaving the three of them to figure out how best to get glitter off of a carpet floor.

- ~ April Fools ~ -

The remainder of the day had passed in quiet busywork, the three pranksters doing their best to avoid Hotch while each offering an additional apology to Reid for his unintended involvement in their war. By the time seven o'clock rolled around, they'd decided to head out for drinks after all, each of them splitting the rounds evenly as a condition of their truce.

JJ pressed the button for the elevator, pulling her coat over her shoulders.

"You guys were really going to try and cover me in glitter?"

Prentiss snorted - it seemed pretty childish now - offering her an apologetic smile. "We had to come up with some way of getting you back for the wild goose chase you sent us on."

"Yeah," Morgan agreed with a laugh. "Not to mention the sacrilege you committed on my reputation. I can't believe you signed me up for that dating site - I've never gotten so many crazy emails in one day."

"Don't worry," JJ assured him, "I had Garcia wipe the ad from the site's web history, and remove your email and photo. She said to let her know if any of the, uh, 'dating hussies' get pushy."

The elevator dinged, the doors sliding open for the three agents to enter.

Emily followed the others in, turning back to face the closing door. "I'm glad Reid was such a good sport about it all. I thought he'd be really upset."

JJ nodded. "We should make it up to him. Ask him along."

"Yeah, you're right," Morgan agreed. "I don't think he's left yet. I'll give him a call and tell him to meet us in the parking lot."

He pulled out his cell phone, pausing when it began buzzing of its own accord, informing him it had received a text. Curious, he flipped it open, reading the message on the screen.

'I win.'

Morgan frowned, confused. "What the--?"

All of a sudden, the elevator shuddered to a stop, the three agents tossed about slightly as the lights in the small compartment flickered off.

"Guys?" JJ's voice sounded out from the dark. "...What just happened?"

- ~ April Fools ~ -

Outside of the elevator, Reid put his cell phone away with a smirk. He looked up, watching as the light above the elevator began flashing, before promptly going out. It'd take about thirty minutes for the maintenance crew to figure out there was something wrong. He reminded himself to thank Garcia for her help later.

He turned and headed for the stairs, shoving his hands in the pockets of his slacks as he walked, a trail of glitter marking his steps.

Fin.


Well, you know I couldn't let them get off scot-free after what they did to Reid lol.

Anyways, hope this one gave you a laugh (or at least a chortle. A snicker? An involuntary upwards twitch of the lips??). And to those who engage in such things (I rarely have time to come up with good ones), happy pranking today! Keep it clean, folks - remember, it's all fun and games until someone winds up covered head-to-toe in glitter ;)

Keep Smiling! ;)

rogueandkurt