PROMPT: Ye Olde Dating Game (That's So Raven)
It had been a long time since Aaron Hotchner had gone out on an honest-to-God date, let alone planned one. The last woman he'd charmed, he'd married and Haley had most definitely not been his sophisticated and worldly subordinate in the FBI.
Emily Prentiss, on the other hand, was his subordinate and the woman he was currently trying to come up with the perfect first date for. He'd been out of the game for so long, it was becoming a truly trying endeavour. What kind of date thing was appropriate for this kind of situation? Heck, he wasn't even sure what was appropriate for a first date anymore!
"Everything okay, Hotch?"
He looked up to see Dave in the door to his office. He hadn't meant to struggle with where to take Emily in the office, but it was currently really the only thing he'd been able to think about.
"Fine," came his answer, if a little choked.
Dave raised an eyebrow in question. "You don't seem fine. Consult?"
Hotch shook his head, even though it would have been an excellent way out of sharing the details of his thoughts. In actuality, his brain had begun to wonder if Dave could actually be a really big help in his current predicament.
Dave stepped into the office, closing the door behind him, a serious look on his face. "It's not Haley, is it?"
"No," Hotch replied. "Not Haley." A different woman entirely and he couldn't seem to stop himself from glancing out into the bullpen and finding Emily's dark head.
"Emily?!" Dave's voice was laced with surprise and incredulity. "Why on Earth would you have Emily Prentiss on the brain? Unless…" Dave's eyes lit up and Hotch had a very good idea of where this was going. "You didn't!"
"Sleep with her?" Hotch deadpanned. "No." He considered for a moment before blurting, "I'm taking her out on a date."
"A date?" Dave repeated one eyebrow rising. "Where?"
"That's the problem," Hotch replied. "I have no idea."
Dave leaned back in his chair, the files he'd brought along forgotten. "It's Emily."
Which was part of his problem. Emily was a smart, funny, beautiful woman and he was a man woefully out of practice in the art of dating. But Dave wasn't finished.
"She's deceptively simple."
Hotch's brow knit together of it's own volition at that particular statement. "Deceptively simple?"
Dave nodded. "She's the type of woman you'd think would want nothing more than the whole deal, the fancy restaurant, the dozen roses, chocolate, maybe a refined symphony… But really she'd be happier with a single daisy and a picnic in the park on a lazy Sunday."
Hotch managed not to blink stupidly. Hadn't he overheard Emily saying to Morgan once something about how she was sick of getting dolled up for a crappy date? And he already knew daffodils were her favourite flower, not roses. A smile started to bloom across his face. "Dave, I think I have the perfect idea."
He was gut-wrenchingly nervous
It was that simple.
The elevator dinged his arrival on the floor of Emily's condo and he felt his hands start to sweat. He wasn't some schoolboy but this was his first date in probably over twenty-five years, so he allowed himself a little bit of leeway. Still, the extent of the nerves in his system was both mind-boggling and irritating. He knocked and she opened the door a split second later with a flourish, pink-faced and slightly out of breath. Her hair, left in loose curls, was delightfully dishevelled and Hotch discretely pinched his thigh to keep himself focused. She looked casually beautiful.
"Hey. I promise I'm almost ready," she said, stepping back into the apartment and leaving the door wide open for him to step inside.
He found himself smiling almost indulgently at the absolute female-ness of Emily being almost obsessively on time when it came to the Bureau and her work, but late when it came to her personal life.
"I'm missing a shoe," she explained, looping her hair behind her ears as she dug into the hall closet again.
"We're in no hurry," he promised, watching the rounded slope of her behind admiringly. Get a grip Aaron!
"Ooh," she responded, throwing a couple of shoes out behind her. "No hurry? Sounds intriguing."
He felt his lips curve upwards again. He'd deliberately kept their destination a secret though gave in on providing the dress code. And he could still remember the pleasure in her voice when she realized it meant there wasn't going to be the usual wining and dining she was used to. Which also meant none of the formalities that coloured her regular first dates. That had pleased him. He wanted to be different.
He resisted the urge to chuckle at the absolute pleasure on her face as she triumphantly held up a heeled boot. She used his shoulder as a support while she slid the boot on, zipping it up before doing the same for its twin.
"Okay," she declared. "I'm good." She smiled up at him, now less than half a head shorter than him. This was the height he was used to.
It was then that she saw the single daffodil he held in his hand. Her eyes lit up and she smiled. "Is that for me?"
He grinned his agreement, handing over the single blossom.
Emily blushed, her fingers brushing his as she took the flower. He knew she was seeing a different side of him, a side that wasn't her boss and wasn't her friend. "You didn't have to."
"I've been out of the game a while, Emily, but not long enough to forget to bring a beautiful woman flowers on the first date," he said as Emily took the blossom back into the kitchen he'd stood in a handful of times since begging her to return to the Bureau.
"But still," Emily replied. "You didn't have to."
In a bold move, he took her hand. "I wanted to."
She blushed a deeper shade of red. "Alright, smooth talker, let me grab a vase for this and we can head out.
Hours later, Emily was laughing hysterically at a story Hotch had just finished about his early days in the Bureau with Dave, a stuffed dog snuggled under her arm. He'd taken her to a carnival, one of the classic ones with rides and games, and he'd gone as far as to win the stuffed dog she now cuddled close. As if she didn't already know that he was a better than excellent shot.
Finally, they paused outside her door. Her laughter died down, but her smile didn't fade. "You know," she said as she slid her key into the door. "For someone who claims to have been out of the game for a while, you certainly know how to treat a girl on a first date."
He graced her with a wide, unadultered, full-dimpled grin. "Thank you. You're not a bad date to have," he replied.
She laughed, turning the key before facing him again. She chewed her lip, looking up at him. He stepped closer, easily reading her body language as she tilted her head up in invitation. He knew what he was going to do next as surely as she saw it coming. He leaned down, his hand sneaking up to cup her hip and pressed his mouth softly to hers. The kiss was innocent only in it's duration, managing to convey a deep attraction in the brief time. When he pulled away, her eyes were still closed and he brushed a hand sweetly over her cheek.
"That's a perfect cap to a rather fantastic first date, Agent Hotchner," she whispered. "We should do it again some time."
"We should," he agreed as she stepped back and into her apartment.
"I'll have my people call your people," she said, leaning against the doorframe. "Good night, Aaron."
He couldn't stop the shiver that raced through him at her use of his given name. "Good night, Emily."
He waited until he heard her deadbolt click into place before starting off down the call, uncaring about whether there was an extra spring in his step. Because it seemed like he wasn't as rusty at dating as he'd originally thought.
I almost wrote them at the carnival, but then I had to go and do something, so the idea slipped my mind completely and I couldn't find a good way to write it. I apologize if Hotch seems extremely OOC, especially for me, this is the just the way my muse wanted to write him.
Feedback, as always, is appreciated!!