THINGS YOU LEARN FROM COHABITATION
PROMPT: I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For (Deadwood)
Aaron Hotchner was a slob. You'd never know it from the impeccable neatness of his suits or the way his office was immaculately organized, but he was an absolute snob. And Emily Prentiss hadn't really found out just how bad it was until she'd moved in with him. She sighed as she picked his socks up off the floor, tossing them in the nearby hamper. How had Haley put up with all of this? Most of the time, she thought the ex-Mrs. Hotchner to be an idiot for letting a man like Hotch go. Then there were times like these where Emily totally understood Haley's frustration. It was like he had multiple personalities!
They'd moved in together almost six months ago after dating for eighteen months before that. She wasn't naive enough to say that their relationship had been a picnic from the beginning, but it was less terrible than a lot of people thought. It had taken time for both of them to remember that they didn't have to compartmentalize as often. But he put up with her slight OCD tendencies and she put up with his hero workaholic complex. But she couldn't put up with things everywhere.
She grumbled and expletive under her breath. She was already cranky, she didn't need this on top of it.
"What was that, honey?"
She looked up as the bathroom door opened, smiling as he exited the bathroom. "You are a closet slob."
He looked so adorably confused, but Emily wasn't about to just let it go. "Your desk is immaculate, you are never in the office with a hair out of place and yet the minute you walk through that front door you turn into Mr Hyde," she said as she made her way to the bed, settling against the pillows.
He made his way over to the bed where she sat, towelling his hair with the towel he'd brought with him from the bathroom. He wore a pair of boxers and a confused frown as he dropped the towel to the bed. "I am not."
She snorted in amusement and as a way to say 'yeah right'. "Hotch, you leave crap everywhere. Even after six months of living together. Which leads me to the conclusion that you are a closet slob."
"I do not leave crap everywhere," he denied.
"Uh huh. Is that why I found the Wai-Young file spread out over the dining room table last week when you a) promised it wasn't going to come home and b) that it was time for bed?"
"It was the dining room table, I didn't think much about leaving things there. We only use that room when guests are coming over," Hotch said, dropping the towel to the bed and crawling towards her.
Emily shook her head. "Hang the towel in the bathroom," she ordered. "It'll get the comforter all damp."
"I was planning on it," he said with a wry smile. "And I'm not a slob."
She arched an eyebrow. "You just procrastinate on cleaning up?"
His lips were a straight line when he met her eyes across the bedroom. "Emily, I clean up. Just because I don't do it right away, doesn't mean I don't do it."
"Sweetheart, you put the dishes on the counter or in the sink instead of moving them the extra six inches into the dishwasher. And we have a study for your paperwork, you don't have to do it in the dining room and you can leave it there for as long as you want," Emily replied. "And it makes life easier for both of us if you just put everything in the hamper the first time."
He moved and sat on the bed by her side. "This is your OCD kicking in."
"It's not," she swore.
"Then you're picking a fight. Or nitpicking. What's going on, you've been cranky all day."
Emily sighed. "I have no idea," she replied. "I hate being cranky."
Hotch knew that the best thing to do in situations like this was just to try and calm her down. Tomorrow, she wouldn't mind if his dishes were piled on the counter or if he left his socks inches from the hamper. She would shake her head affectionately when she found him working on the table past the time he'd promised he'd come to bed. But today, for some reason, had been a bad day.
"I'll make sure I hit the hamper next time," he promised, as he moved to his side of the bed and crawled in.
"And you won't use the dining room table as your desk?"
He pulled her close. "And I won't use the dining room table as a desk."
"Good. Because your pens are marking up the surface."
He chuckled as he kissed her hair. "Goodnight, Emily."
She kissed his chin. "Love you."
"I love you too. Neuroticism and all."
She slapped his chest. "Don't push it, Buddy."
For me, this is crazy short, but hey! Fun all around anyway!