A/N - Written in response to Kavi Leighanna and Sienna27's TV Prompt Bonus Challenge for Halloween! Great prompts, ladies. And of course, this couldn't have been written without my co-author tonnie2001969. Please read and review. Feedback is always appreciated. As ever, we don't own Criminal Minds.
The Halloween Spirit
Prompt: Will & Grace "Boo! Humbug."
Gazing at his uncle across the round wood table he sat at, Jack Hotchner propped his chin on his hand as he stared at the newspaper David Rossi held in front of his face and sighed. Deeply and loudly. And the man didn't even look at him. That always worked on the grownups, didn't it?
Aunt JJ was right. This was gonna take some work.
Leaning forward a bit as he tried to scoot the big chair closer, Jack rocked slightly as he repositioned against the table.
"You know what, Uncle Dave?" Jack asked, his voice rising on the end.
"Hmmm," Dave grunted, noncommittally as he continued reading, keeping the paper over his face on purpose. God knows he loved that kid of Hotch's like a son, but he was about as subtle as an avalanche.
"You're a Scrooge," Jack said conversationally, emphasizing the title in a way that only a five-year-old voice could.
Dropping his paper a few inches to peer over the top at the five year old youngster with a raised brow, Dave asked, realizing exactly why the little spy had been sent his way, "You've been talking to Aunt JJ, haven't you?"
Aunt JJ hadn't said a thing about not telling, so Jack knew he had to tell the truth. Nodding dutifully, Jack muttered, "Yep. And she agrees with me. You're a Scrooge."
"You realize it's Halloween, not Christmas, right?" Dave asked defensively, wondering how he was going to make his wife, his team, and this Hotch-in-training realize that very fact.
"Don't matter," Jack shrugged belligerently, wondering why adults always tried to bring up things like that. "You gots that big old house and all that land, and you won't have one measly hayride." Snorting, Jack shook his head dolefully. "What a waste," he snorted, casting his eyes downward in disgust.
He was wrong. This was not a Hotch-in-training. This was a full-blown, already developed Hotchner ready to take out his own prey. And his beloved Jennifer was apparently taking advantage of every trick in the book, including child labor. Looking derisively at the youngster in front of him, Dave asked, "Okay, kid, how much did she pay you for the guilt trip?"
"I'm doin' this one for free for Aunt JJ cos she's right, Ebenezer," Jack replied indignantly, knowing he got the name right since he had just watched the movie again with his Daddy a few weeks ago. Daddy said he was doing something called "making up for lost time," but Jack just knew that he was getting to celebrate a lot of fun things all at once.
"Well, BOOO Humbug!" Dave said, sticking his tongue out at Jack, biting back a smile that threatened to break at the corners of his mouth.
"Real mature, Uncle Dave," Jack said, issuing a glare to rival any his father had ever delivered.
"Where the heck do you get that vocabulary of yours?" Dave asked in shock, shaking his head at the junior G-man. "Are you five or fifty?"
Shrugging again, Jack met his uncle's level look as he said simply, "I read a lot." Waiting a moment to see if his uncle was going to comment on that, Jack measured Dave with an assessing gaze. "So, will you do it? A hayride, I mean. This IS my first holiday home, Uncle Dave."
Yes, it was, Rossi thought with an inward sigh of relief. The whole team had celebrated when Hotch had carried Jack into the BAU for the first time in almost a year. Raising the paper back in front of his face, Dave fought a growing grin as he grumbled, "I guess, kid. But, you owe me."
Pumping a fist into the air, Jack smiled widely as he twirled in the chair, bouncing to the floor. "Nope, Aunt Emily owes ME! A whole five dollars!" he whooped running out of the room.
Dropping his paper to gaze after the child currently scampering out of the room, Dave grinned. Hotch's kid had game. He had a hell of a career in profiling ahead of him.