The Telling of Christmas 2005

He was sitting at his desk, going through the last few files left before Christmas break. That break wasn't the same as it would be in another occupation simply because it wasn't truly a break at all. They didn't have to come in to do files, but there was always the chance that JJ would get the call of a case, and that they'd all be dragged in over the holidays. It simply wasn't something that they could escape.

Hotch ran a hand through his hair, opening one of the files. It was simple, really, mindless, but it didn't mean he had to like them. They were monotonous, but at least he'd get home early that night.

Or, at least, he thought that he would. It was around that time that he turned to the desktop computer and scrolled to his email, collecting new messages. The first one was from Strauss, information on break and wishing him a Happy Holiday – sent to every agent in the Behavioral Analysis Unit. The second message was from Penelope Garcia, and the heading was in all capitals, labeled as IMPORTANT.

He moved the cursor over the message and opened it, with no clue of what was inside. Anything important – a new case, for instance – he would have heard about already, and he honestly couldn't think of anything else that important on their last day of work.

Unless something was wrong, of course.

He began to read the message inside, his heart pounding.

Important!

You're invited!

This is a special message from the likes of Jennifer Jareau and Penelope Garcia. She, dictating, me, Penelope, writing. She didn't say to put that part, but I did anyway. This message is going to everyone on our happy little team.

Time: Today, 6:00 PM

Place: The hotel next to the law office. JJ'll send directions.

Bring: Your furry little selves! And holiday cheer.

We know it's short notice, but it's not like we could plan this early. It was all too easy to be called away on a case at the last minute. Now that that's nearly improbable, the ballroom's decorated and you're all invited! So let's go.

Oh, and this isn't negotiable. Bring some damn holiday cheer.

-JJ (with some Garcia.)