A/N: Again, many thanks to Kavi Leighanna and Sienna27 for inviting writers into their TV Prompt Challenge. It's a wonderful way to stretch our writing muscles. I advise everyone to visit their profile pages and give this a try. As always, thanks to my wonderful beta, partner and friend, tonnie2001969. Check out her offering to this challenge in "Right Here Next to Me". As always, I do not own Criminal Minds nor any of its characters.
Anomalies and Other Aberrations
Prompt: The Agency - "An Isolated Incident"
They all thought he was such a badass. And he did nothing to still the swirl of that rumor. No, if anything, he perpetuated that false ideology. But, as I watched him through slit eyes, my lips twitched and fought a smile. My suspicions were being confirmed right before my very tired, gritty eyes. David Rossi had a heart. It might be surrounded and protected by layers of pointed barbs and caustic wit, but it WAS there.
Watching him pick the earpiece of Morgan's IPOD off the floor and gently push it back into place within the profiler's ear, I knew that unless any of my co-workers ever saw Rossi do this, they'd never believe it. Dave took a moment as he stared down at the BAU's answer to Hugh Hefner. I knew Morgan's exploits outside the war room were quickly becoming as legendary as Rossi's. And for a moment, I wondered if each of them truly exhibited the intimate prowess that they were both rumored to have. With Rossi, I could believe it as I stared down the narrow aisle at the still handsome older man. With Morgan, who would never be anything more than a brother in arms to me, I had to doubt it.
As he moved to straighten the files that Hotch had left scattered haphazardly on the tray table in front of him, I saw Dave's lips quirk slightly. Those two men were definitely more alike than either cared to admit. Both couldn't stand for others to know that they actually cared about something other than the job. Privately, I was glad Hotch now had someone to rely on besides himself. Gideon had been excellent at the job he did…but there had always been an absence of camaraderie. With Rossi, there was a kinship between the two men. A sense of commonality that had been missing from Hotch and Gideon's interactions.
Dave had moved his ministrations to Emily when I had pulled my thoughts back onto the BAU jet. As Dave gently tucked Emily's long dark hair behind her ear and took the precariously perched book from her slack hands, I felt a rush of envy. Dave and Emily shared a special bond…ever since that serial killer masquerading as a priest. And I was ashamed to confess that I envied it. I knew Emily would never blur the lines between professional and personal. But Rossi…Rossi could tempt even the staunchest agent, if his history was anything to go by. As happy as I've been with Will and our life together, I couldn't deny there was something about the older profiler that pulled at me. That tug had been there since the day I'd listened to him read from his book at my old college bookstore. Feeling a pang of bittersweet regret as I watched Dave tenderly brush his hand against the top on Em's head, he moved on to Reid's seat.
Now, those two, they were polar opposites. The young man that spoke in literals and his older counterpart that often spoke in riddles. It had definitely made for more than a few fireworks in their close knit little group of intrepid crime fighters…Good God, I'm channeling Garcia! Seeing Dave lift the door on the overhead compartment above Reid's seat, he pulled out a blanket and draped it over Spence's huddled lanky form. As he gently shook out the blanket, I was reminded of how the man before me had easily shifted into protector mode in Vegas a few weeks ago. Up until then, I'd really thought there was no hope of a bond forming between Reid and Rossi. But, not for the first time, Rossi had amazed me. He'd stepped up once again for a member of the team. His shift into father figure for Reid had been so gradual that it had barely been noticed. But the shift HAD occurred and I, for one, was grateful. As smart as Spencer was, he still held an innocence within him that hadn't yet been shattered. And I was gratified to know that David Rossi recognized it, too.
Slamming my eyes shut as Dave turned toward me, I heard him move softly to my side and felt his hand lower to rest lightly against the rise of my swollen belly briefly. Briefly, I wondered why this bigger than life man had never procreated. As he pulled the throw that had slipped to my waist over me, I opened my eyes.
"Go back to sleep," he murmured quietly, "You're dreaming."
Smiling gently, I shook my head. "Nope," I whispered. " I caught you. You, David Rossi, are a closet softie," I accused.
Shrugging, he eased into the seat across from me. "I don't know what you're talking about," he denied softly. "I think you must be seeing things, JJ."
"You take care of us when we're sleeping," I argued softly.
"You must be really tired," Dave said negligently. "I do nothing that doesn't further my own agenda, you know that," he chastised gently.
"Liar," I replied softly, my tone amused.
"You can't prove otherwise," he said, raising a brow at me. "Besides, no one on this plane would believe you anyway," he said with an arrogant confidence that I recognized well.
"So, you're telling me that I witnessed an isolated incident."
"A complete aberration," he said, smiling slightly.
Closing my eyes and leaning my head back against the leather seat, I murmured, "Your secret's safe with me."
There was a long pause and I wondered if he'd gone to sleep himself. But finally, I heard a grateful whisper. "Thank you, JJ."