Sienna practically begged me to write something for this specific prompt...so, I have obliged.
TV Prompt Challenge
The Andy Griffith Show: The Case of the Punch in the Nose
It wasn't a wholly unusual sight. Now that he thought about it. It had happened before, it would happen again. But this time, perhaps, what was so unusual, what was stranger than the norm, was the fact that it had been Hotch. Not Reid, or Garcia, or JJ, or even Derek. It wouldn't have surprised him had it even been Emily. But the fact that it was Hotch was astounding. This kind of thing just didn't happen on a regular basis. In fact, David Rossi was pretty sure this had never happened before in his entire knowledge of the man called Aaron Hotchner.
It was common knowledge to be careful around a laughing Reid. The boy just too odd. He didn't understand conventional humor. No, that wasn't completely the truth. He understood conventional humor; he just didn't find it funny. When he told his jokes, nobody tended to understand them, except Emily. And most of the time, she didn't laugh, merely smiled, made some comment that had Reid's eyes light up with the realization that someone at least knew what he was talking about, and then the group moved on. Politely of course, but still they moved on.
The team had been 'delicately' reminded by a secretary that Section Chief Strauss intended to see them all at the annual gala ball. They usually managed to escape it, whether they were out of town, busy with a case, leaving for a case or returning from the case. They somehow, mostly due to Hotch's foresight, were absent from this get together. The main reason; they were avoided by the other agents.
True, the FBI put them on a pedestal, made them a shining beacon for all FBI entrants. They were the show ponies. They swooped in to rescue the lowly law enforcement agencies. They were the pride of the Bureau, but nobody actually liked them. Okay, possibly individually. But the stigma of being able to read behavior lead most agents to the conclusion that they could read minds. Secrets weren't safe and the Behavioral Analysis Unit. Rossi shook his head. Would they never learn?
They spent the first two decades of the BAU (granted it wasn't called that back then) trying to prove the validness of the profession, the scientific thought. Now they were ostracized, left behind, avoided, all because he had proved it worked. That you could approximate subsequent behavior from current behavior, or even past behavior. He sighed. He really hated these functions. Only when he wasn't the center of attention, of course.
Hotch, he knew, hated them even more. Hotch just wasn't the kind of man to be able to the see any point to these functions. He was a doer. He didn't do anything else. The job was the most important part, he didn't do the politics, kiss ass, climb the rungs. Hotch got to where he was today because he was competent. He was exceptionally competent. He knew the business, he knew the science, and he knew his job. He was a leader, simply because he was a competent doer.
So at approximately seven o'clock they had arrived. Together. It was a mass ensemble entering the building. Safety in numbers and all that. Garcia trailed along behind them; she wasn't one to give up a good party. He could tell JJ and Emily didn't have the heart to tell her the BAU weren't welcome. But seeing as Garcia was a Technical Analyst, at least she would have other people that she might know. If they all wore their call signs. On second thoughts, Rossi decided, she was probably here alone too.
The team had spent the majority of their time together, pinned down in a corner, watching. It seemed Emily, Reid and Morgan had decided to see how many young agents they could freak out. Eventually though, Morgan tried to mingle. He seemed to do quite well, but he never strayed too far. Apparently – No, Rossi had decided, it wouldn't do to profile members of the team.
As the party had gotten louder, alcohol flowing more freely, agents relaxing (probably forgetting the BAU were in attendance). The team had taken to profiling subjects.
"Agent Strong Jaw over there, by the fern…" Emily had announced, tilting her head in the direction of the fern.
"Ah…that's Bob McCleary." Reid supplied. He'd memorized the attendance list; Garcia had found the matching photos.
"Okay so what about him?" JJ had asked.
"Is anyone's Gaydar tingling?" JJ and Garcia both turned to the man in astonishment.
"I don't know Em…he is metro-sexual enough though." Garcia responded.
"Trust me. Definitely." She nodded her head in finality but Reid had no desire to let the subject go.
"How do you know? I've never understood this concept. Even with all my behavioralist training I still cannot decipher the clues that lead you to be able to pick up on it."
"It's in the eyes." She answered sagely. This had caused both himself and Morgan to listen to the conversation more closely. Dave couldn't really remember if Hotch was listening in or merely using their conversation as cover for not getting involved in the festivities.
Everyone looked at Strong Jaw closely.
"I don't see it Em." JJ had announced sadly, as if she were betraying Emily.
"Me either." Said Spencer.
"I don't know what you see girlie, but I do agree with you. He's got the vibe." Garcia added.
Rossi just looked he wasn't at all sure. Just as it looked like Emily was going to reveal her secret knowledge of what made a Gaydar tingle, Hotch interrupted.
"Twenty bucks says someone walks headfirst into a pole before the end of the night."
They quickly turned to scope out the possibility of someone crashing headfirst into a pole. There were a couple of poles throughout the room, big sturdy pylons, so big and sturdy it would be impossible for someone to not see them. But it was rare that Hotch would instigate such silliness. Dave could tell the women were all in. JJ and Garcia on the 'no one will do it' side, but to Dave's surprise Emily added her twenty to Hotch's pot. Morgan and Reid joined the women and out of sheer numbers, Rossi decided to go with Hotch and Emily. It would interesting to say the least.
They spent the next two hours people watching. Hands would grasp forearms as a new victim would walk precariously close to a pylon, only to suddenly (and probably with awareness) swerve to the side, missing the headfirst crash into a pole scenario.
Rossi reflected it was highly unlikely that anyone would actually walk into the pole. It was about as likely as someone walking headfirst into the glass walls and doors that littered the BAU hallways. But it was entertaining, and the laughter coming from their section was causing quite a few agents to turn their heads speculatively. They probably thought all their secrets were being outed and laughed at by the evil mind readers of the BAU.
As the night was drawing to a close, the Emily/Hotch/Dave team seemed to have chosen the losing side. The Garcia/JJ/Reid/Morgan team started to gleefully count their winnings.
$140.00 split four ways was $35 each, not bad for one night's worth of entertainment.
Just as all hope was about to be lost, something extraordinary occurred. In the mass of bodies hugging the floor, one solitary woman wormed her way through the crowd. She was talking to someone, a dignitary perhaps? Was it a high-ranking member of the FBI, a banker? Rossi couldn't tell, all he was aware of was that no one save the BAU team was watching. In the strange noisy silence, this woman walked (while talking) straight into the pylon.
Nobody moved, nobody breathed. It was too horrifying, too brilliant.
It was Strauss.
Liquid spurted from Hotch's nose.
Choking and gagging noises soon followed, he tried desperately to change his chortles into coughs. It was bad enough Strauss had walked into a pylon. It was doubly bad that Strauss had walked into a pylon in a roomful of her subordinates. It was triply bad that Strauss had walked into a pylon in a roomful of her subordinates with the entire Behavioural Analysis Unit watching her. It would have been catastrophically bad if Strauss had walked into a pylon in a roomful of her subordinates with the entire Behavioural Analysis Unit watching her AND the Supervisory Agent in Charge laughed.
Emily quickly moved in front of Hotch, shielding him from view. Garcia made a show of coughing too, to disturb Strauss' death glare from incinerating Hotch. Morgan and Reid quickly began having an animated discussion about the Green River killer, effectively drawing attention from the really young agents, whose admiration of the team had yet to wane into jealousy and resentment.
Rossi handed Hotch a napkin. Focusing on keeping his face straight. This was why he played poker. It helped in the field.
After Strauss had managed to pick herself up off the floor and rearrange her clothes, she made a beeline for Hotch.
David Rossi reflected.
While she walked across the floor, he reflected. Out of everyone on the team, he would never have picked Hotch as the snorting drink through the nose, laughing guy. He'd seen Reid do it on occasion. He presumed the others had at some point in their life done it. He knew Emily had trained herself not to. She could laugh while drinking, that took serious training. But Hotch, it was unheard of.
Strauss finally appeared before them. Glaring intently at Hotch. The man she had been talking to had followed her. Dave wasn't sure if she was aware of that fact. Before she had the chance to de-badge and de-gun Hotch, the man stepped forward, over-shadowing her a little.
The man pointed toward the plastic cup held in Hotch's hand, "Would you like some more punch?"
There you go, my challende attempt :)
Please review. I love to know what you think.