Author's Note: Merry Christmas/Merry Christmas Eve! (depends on where you are). I have two stories for you in the next 24 hrs. This one (the next in my companion stories with Chiroho), and the next Girl. No, really, I'm serious the next Girl will be going up before midnight EST on 12/25! But I do have a life and a family and like stuff to do for Christmas so I can't say exactly what time it's going up. But I promised I'd save a Girl for Christmas so you're getting a girl for Christmas :)

This is my follow up to Chiroho's Victoria Secret piece. It takes place the next night (Christmas Eve their world) and I'm taking point on this story so Chiroho will be writing his own companion of this from Hotch's POV. Now keep in mind Chiroho also has a life and a family and stuff to do but he is also just about done with his portion here so he might (emphasis on might) get it up today too :) And I'm working solely off the laptop so ignore any possible typos please, if they exist I'll tidy them up later. I always think I catch them all but the damn track ball is a creation of the devil.

Prompt Set #13

Show: Golden Girl

Title Challenge: Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas

Being Aaron Hotchner and Being Emily Prentiss – Story 4

Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude

My eyes shift over to the little clock in the corner of my computer for the third time in the last ten minutes.


Grrr. Hotch has again been kidnapped. Well, witchnapped to be more accurate. Though as it is Christmas Eve, and the witch has allegedly procreated (though perhaps she just lured some small children into her gingerbread house), I'm expecting that she should need to get going at some point soon too.

Still though . . . my brain bounces back indignantly . . . it's freaking Christmas Eve! So why the hell she felt the need to drag him down for ANY reason I can't begin to fathom! Like people wouldn't have plans. Plans to exchange their goodies. And by goodies I mean absolutely nothing to do with anything involving crinkly paper and ribbons.

Though . . . my eyebrow twitches as a thought occurs . . . I could maybe slap a bow on something. A few somethings actually.

Yeah . . . that sounds like an excellent idea.

I make a mental note to stop at my place and get some leftover bows. This way I can at least be sure Hotch will get to open something he likes for Christmas Eve and not just Christmas Day.

Though there is sadly no nudity involved with the other gift, he is already getting a fine present tomorrow morning.

I figured given what happened last week, and the invitation from him to come over tonight because he doesn't have Jack until tomorrow afternoon, meant that a gift exchange was very much implied.

Of course I'd planned on giving him a gift anyway. But the bottle of Jameson's seemed a little impersonal given how very personal our relationship had now become.

Not that he wouldn't enjoy the whiskey, he would, but I wanted to give him something else too.

Something special.

And then I remembered that he was a big Red Sox fan, a passion he'd developed when he was in college. So I checked the schedule, and sure enough the Red Sox were again scheduled next year for interleague play with the Nationals.

Tickets to that event sounded like the perfect present.

So I called in a few favors (okay I called my daddy and my daddy called in a few favors) and now I have sitting in my bag for Hotch, behind home plate tickets(!) for all three games next July between the Sox and the Nats.

How the hell my father got me these seats I do not know. They're like the baseball equivalent of Wonka's Golden Tickets. But Daddy knows everyone, and everyone knows (or owes) my father. And all I had to give him in return (in addition to the cash) was the promise that I would "cheerfully" attend (cheerfully was bold and underlined in the email) three family dinners with him and my mother.

The "and your mother" was also bold and underlined.

Given what Hotch had already given me, and given that was, by all indicators, just the beginning of a very personally 'fulfilling' relationship, it had only taken me ten seconds to initial the email in the three places my father had flagged and fax it back to him.

I was now legally obligated to cheerfully attend three family dinners with both of my parents prior to the start of the first game next summer. And I'm fairly sure that if I don't fulfill my contractual obligations here that daddy will have Hotch put on a watch list and picked up when he walks into Nationals Park.

Now the threat of having my boss/new very special playmate arrested and strip searched is certainly a sufficient motivator for slapping a smile on my face as I ask my mother to pass the butter.

Hotch should be happy with his present though and that's all that matters. Initially (as in two days ago when I emailed my father from Grand Rapids) I was a little bit worried that the gift was 'too much.' Like Hotch would think I was trying too hard. But then I remembered the outstanding evening he gave me last week and decided that when weighed against the half dozen mind blowing orgasms I really couldn't go 'overboard' on the thank you gift.

I had been MORE than correct in my assumption that Hotch would be FABULOUS in that area!

And the only reason that our activities had thus far been limited to just the one day . . . well two days if you count 'sleeping in' time, which I most CERTAINLY did . . . was because we were called away on a case the next day.

Damn serial killers screwing up my sex life.

But now were home, or really had been home for a day, it was Christmas Eve and I had somebody warm and cuddly to play with tonight.

I was . . . as my old friend Gemma used to say . . . 'right chuffed.'

Now if only we could go home and play "what's under the ribbon" my world would be complete.

After two more minutes of pointlessly attempting to review my report for typos (of which there were none, it was the third time I checked it) I decide maybe a little change of scenery would do me some good.

My brain was getting mushy just sitting there so I was starting to get kind of tired.

But of course there's really nowhere to go but Garcia's Bat Cave, Dave's Playboy Grotto and Hotch's Fortress of Solitude.

The options had barely bopped across my brain before I realized there really was no contest.

Fortress of Solitude.

Though Garcia has three different kinds of chocolate and Dave has three different kinds of liquor, that couch has some good memories for me.

So up the stairs I go. Fortunately there's no one else around to wonder why I'm going up to hang out in Hotch's empty office. It would look kind of strange. And nobody seems to have picked up on the change in our relationship, and that is very much the way we'd prefer it stayed.

The second I walk through his door I smile . . . it smells like him. And then I roll my eyes as I realize that I've become a complete chick if something like his office just smelling like him is enough to bring a smile to my face.

Oh well . . . I plop down on his couch . . . there are worse things in the world than being a chick.

I could be a guy.

A shiver runs through my body . . . the horror.

Once I shake that bizarro world image off, I sit there for a few minutes just looking at Hotch's stuff.

. . . plaques

. . . commendations

. . . pictures of Jack. My lip quirks up as I stare at his son . . . God he's such a CUTIE!

After I'm done admiring Hotch's offspring for longer than I care to admit, my gaze runs over the room again. It's so . . . official. And rather cool. And yes, I know that Hotch is himself is rather official and cool, but also at times . . . with certain people . . . he's also (as previously stated) warm and cuddly.

Okay he's probably just warm and cuddly with me and his son but still, I don't think that changes the fact that his office is not fully reflective off all facets of his personality.

I wonder if he'd mind if I brought him in a plant.

It would spruce the place up and they're supposed to be good for your stress. Ooh! Maybe I could get him a goldfish! Those are supposed to be good for stress too

Suddenly I picture the look on Hotch's face if I plopped down a fishbowl on his desk.

Maybe not.

As I check the time I see it's now after four, and I'm feeling even sleepier than I was downstairs. After doing a mental check of how many hours I've already worked this week . . . 87. . . I decide that I am indeed entitled to a nap on what is technically work time.

More importantly though. . . I kick off my boots and pull my feet up . . . I need to be well rested for the evening's activities. I ball up Hotch's little blanket under my head as a pillow. And then I reach over to grab his overcoat off the end of the couch . . . we were on our way out when Strauss called . . . and I use that as a blanket.

Again I smile as his scent hits me. The man smells better than fresh chocolate chips cookies.

And . . . I sigh as my lids fall shut . . . that's really saying something.


My lashes begin to flutter against my cheek as I hear Hotch's voice softly calling my name.

"Emily, Emily wake up."

My eyes pop open directly onto his and he flashes me a dimple.

"Get kicked out of the shelter?"

I give him a sleepy smile as I reach up to pat his cheek, "you're back."

Hotch is most definitely the cutest alarm clock I've ever had.

"I am," he says softly as he brushes my hair back, "are you ready to go, or," his lip quirks up, "did you want to finish that dream?"

For a moment I stare blankly at him and then my eyes pop.


My face begins to get warm as I remember that I was indeed dreaming a VERY good dream! One I most definitely would NOT wish to ever have within the confines of the FBI! And as much as it kills me to ask I really need to know what it was he heard.

So cringingly slightly, I look over at Hotch and whisper, "what did I say?"

Please God don't let it be too embarrassing!

His lips twitch for a second before he answers, "well, suffice it to say that it's lucky that was me you were dreaming about or I might have had to reassess our plans for the evening."

Feeling my face getting even hotter, I croak, "how do you know I was dreaming about you?"

Of course it was about him, but MY GOD, HOW DOES HE KNOW THAT?!

His eyes dance mischievously for a second before he leans down to whisper in my ear, "well for one thing I heard that same sequence of prayers as you panted in my ear last week," he leaned back and grinned, "plus there was the repeated chanting of 'oh God Aaron, oh God,'" he tipped his head, "really, that was my first clue."

My eyes bug out just before my hands slap over my now burning face.

OH . . . MY . . . GOD!!!

I'd always thought it was just an expression, but I'm pretty sure that I could actually die of embarrassment right now!!!

"Please kill me," I beg quietly, "please take out your gun and kill me."

I feel his warm fingers encircle my wrists before my hands are gently pulled away from my face. Through my squinting I see him mock scowling at me, "now do you know what a mess that would make on my nice leather sofa? Not to mention, your present is nonrefundable and most likely sitting on your front steps as we speak." When I don't respond beyond a pout, he leans down and plants a quick kiss on my lips before he adds in a whisper, "but most importantly, we have big plans for tonight and you're kind of a key player there."

His words are intended to make me feel better but I can feel the heat still burning my face. So I roll over and mumble into the cushion, "find another girl."

So much for the good Christmas Eve, I'd like to crawl into a little hole right now. The kind that drops through to China. Okay, yes, I know there are no holes to China, but that's really what I'm looking for at the moment.

Transportation to another land far, far away.

A second later I feel his hand rubbing my back as he says in the same soothing tone, "okay, well, do you know where I can find another girl who can arch her back until her head touches her . . ."

That bastard! I roll over to scowl at him for trying to get a rise out of me.

The scowl cuts off his question, but it really doesn't seem to do anything else. Apparently he's still immune. Because he just chuckles as he picks up his coat and puts his hand out.

"Come on, you can sulk in the car."

But I don't want to sulk in the car . . . I yell in my head . . . I want to sulk HERE! So I try to hold his gaze until he leaves me here to rot in peace and quiet.

After another second of our staring contest . . . I'm the only idiot that ever tried to win a staring contest with Hotch . . . his left brow rises expectantly and I blink.

Of course . . . he's won.

With a huff I finally allow him to pull me off the couch. I'm standing right in his space but I don't look up at him, I'm just staring at the white button in front of me. I got caught having a SEX dream in his office!

That's just humiliating.

We've only been doing what we've been doing for a week. It's a little soon for that level of personal intimacy. And yes I do see the irony in being embarrassed about the sex dream when I plan to be naked with this man for a good portion of the next twelve hours.

But that's how the chick brain works. There's no rhyme or reason there.

That thought arrives and in the next moment my cheek is pressing against that white button as Hotch pulls me against his chest. Then he tips his head down and whispers, "last Thursday morning you got me so worked up in that red sweater that I couldn't get up from behind my desk for ten minutes. That's why I was late for the briefing."

My mouth quivers as I lean back to look at him, "you got a woody just from LOOKING at the red sweater?!"

Wow! That was . . . unexpected! I thought our little encounter in the elevator was just the result of two hours of close quarters. I can't believe I got him that far gone with just the morning teasing.

I feel a burst of pride . . . GO ME!

A slight tinge of pink touches his face as I see him roll his eyes, "unfortunately yes. So you see, this office hides a multitude of dirty little secrets," he brushes my hair back as he says softly, "there's nothing to be embarrassed about."

Now feeling infinitely better about what just happened, I grace him with a little smile of gratitude as my hands finally encircle his waist, "thanks for telling me that."

"Yeah, yeah," he fake grumbles, "but if you ever tell anyone else I'll . . ."

He trails off and I can see that for a second he's at a loss. His obvious retaliatory measure (theoretically speaking of course because he knows that I would NEVER repeat that story) would be to say he'd tell everyone about my dream. But of course he couldn't do that, for two reasons.

One, he was too much of a gentleman, and two, it was about him!

That would kind of blow our top secret relationship wide open if he went around telling people that I had a sex dream about him in the office.

Though the idea of Hotch discussing his/our sex life in the office . . . or anywhere else on planet earth . . . is on its face quite hilarious in its absurdity.

The man would sooner go on a couples retreat with Morgan than discuss anything so personal.

After a few seconds of him scrunching his eyebrows in frustration I take pity on the man. After all at some point this evening I'd like to go home and have sex. So I smile as I lean up to kiss him.

"How about you threaten to send me to Juneau?" I suggest helpfully, "it's cold up there and you know I hate the cold."

He nods firmly, "right, Juneau. I'll send you to Juneau if you ever tell anyone that story."

For a moment we stare at each other, both of us trying to hide our amusement, and then I grin and one of his dimples slips out and I feel a warmth spread through my chest.

And as he slips my hand into his and tugs me towards the door, I have but one thought.

Without a doubt, that red cashmere sweater was the best eighty bucks I ever spent.

A/N 2: Chiroho has sent me his final version of the Hotch piece (it's funny) so I have it on pretty good authority that Santa might be dropping that in your inboxes sometime over the Christmas Eve/Day as well. Though I do believe I need to read it over first so I promise I will get on that now. I changed a couple pieces of dialogue and he kind of needs to know that :)

Chiroho and I have decided that we're going to take them forward in their relationship beyond the holidays. Though we'll probably wrap Christmas over the next 2 or 3 stories and then jump ahead in time to other events. As you can see in mine (and again in his) we're moving them to something more substantive than the humor/lust we started with. Sorry. But that's kind of my fault, you know I can't help writing relationship stuff. As I told Chiroho, 'it's how I roll' :) But we're not looking to make this a heavy series so it's going to morph from just funny to funny/sweet/romantic. We will definitely keep the funny. Though I'll throw it out there now before anybody asks, no smut! You'll just have to use your imagination kiddies :)

Okay, I have to go read his chapter, mix up some cookies and wrap some presents (really all the presents) but again, I'll be back tomorrow with a Girl, and Chiroho will be turning up at some point with the next chapter in this story.