Bonus Challenge #8: Spin City - Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve Makeout Party '99
Bonus Challenge #7: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Doppelgangland
Prompt Set #2: The Andy Griffith Show - The Case of the Punch in the Nose
Author's Note: This is a New Yea's Eve piece that came into existence solely because of the bonus prompts, and possibly because I was procrastinating over doing work related stuff last night. I wasn't specifically trying to hit the trifecta of challenge prompts here, but it just seemed to work out that way.
This story is complete AU, because it was the only way to get Emily and Hotch into Times Square on New Year's Eve 1999. And I'm sorry, but that's the only couple I'd seriously consider writing. :)
This is a one shot, but because I've had thoughts about an AU "wartime love story" as per one of the the Bonus Challenge #7 suggestions, that may well end up taking place in this universe. That will be a completely separate story though, not a continuation of this one.
NYPD Black and Blue
Detective Second Grade Emily Prentiss, NYPD, huffed as she bounced on her toes and looked out across barricades at the corner of 7th and 44th at the seething masses of people filling the Times Square area in preparation for the biggest party of the century, if not the millennium. It wasn't that cold, at least by New York in the winter standards - the temperature was right around freezing. But there'd been a few flurries in the air, and it had been years since she'd spent this long just standing around out in the cold. However, she'd apparently pissed someone off enough that she found herself pulling an eight hour detail in Times Square on New Year's Eve, 1999. Yes, Emily knew that about a quarter of the entire NYPD was probably within a few blocks of where she was standing, but so were the best part of two million other people! It was just plain crazy.
And of course, that meant the crazies were out in force. She'd already made four arrests, handing the perps over to some uniforms for transport back to the precinct, but as the year slowly wound down things were getting worse, and Emily Prentiss wasn't happy.
She was cold, hungry, and desperately needed a bathroom break!
Emily knew the Starlite Deli wasn't even a hundred yards down 44th, but with these crowds there was just no way in hell that she was going to get there inside the next hour, and that just plain sucked. So she was stuck here, busting drunk and disorderlies, hoping that nothing serious was going to happen in the next thirty minutes until the brand freaking new Waterford crystal ball dropped, and people finally started thinking about going home.
Of course her shift went until three, so it wasn't like she'd be getting much of a break just because the streets emptied out a little.
Still, things could be worse, Emily supposed. At least she'd dumped her loser of a boyfriend a few weeks ago. She and her partner had been interviewing leads for a robbery investigation, and had ended up canvassing in a club in Soho. They'd caught their suspect, but Emily had also discovered one Paul Thomas, her supposed boyfriend, working on some sort of pickup routine with half the women in the club! She'd dumped him on the spot, and immediately had the locks changed on her apartment. Last she heard he'd been headed to Atlanta, though frankly she didn't give a damn about where he ended up. All she cared about was the fact that the philandering bastard was out of her life!
However, the problem with having no boyfriend was that there wasn't anyone she was going to be able to kiss on probably the biggest New Year's Eve of her life! Okay, so she was only 28 and there would be plenty of New Year celebrations in the future, but how many of them had been declared a "Makeout Party" by none other than the legendary Dick Clark himself? The man had been hosting New Year's Rockin' Eve almost as long as Emily had been alive, and she still couldn't get over the fact that he looked about the same now as he did when she'd first stayed up until midnight at age 13. That Far Side cartoon about the Devil looking for the lost Dick Clark contract certainly seemed appropriate!
Emily searched the crowd again, trying to see if there was anything unusual going on. Over to her left was a clump of green, and she saw a number of what looked to be US Army regulars very excited about being in Times Square. While servicemen tended to be a bit boisterous, for the most part they were well behaved. It was the whole thing around not disgracing the uniform – something of which she adamantly approved. Unfortunately, some other nearby members of the crowd were less enthusiastic about having members of the United States Armed Forces so close to them, and they were yelling some quite colourful epithets in the general direction of the solders. The solders, she noticed as she breathed a sigh of relief, chose to ignore them.
Apparently fate was playing a different game though, because as Emily watched an empty beer bottle floated serenely above the crowd before slamming into the head of one of the taller solders, who immediately disappeared behind his friends.
SHIT! This was going to get nasty.
She immediately plunged forward into the crowd, yelling "NYPD! MOVE! GET OUT OF THE WAY!" Beside her, she heard Officers Miller and Lowen doing the same thing. As Emily pushed her way through mass of bodies, she could see that at least a few of the soldiers had taken matters into their own hands and were now pounding on a couple of what appeared to be stoned college kids. FUCK! Like she needed this with just twenty five minutes to go until midnight!
Still yelling 'NYPD', Emily finally closed to somewhere in the proximity of the fight, which she saw actually wasn't so much of a fight as a complete ass whipping being handed out by the soldiers. Unfortunately, just as she reached out to try and restrain a soldier participating in the altercation, who she noticed was wearing an 'Airborne' patch on his shoulder, an elbow appeared out of nowhere and slammed into her nose.
'Oh yeah, this is a lot of fun.'
Major Aaron Hotchner, 2nd Battalion S3, 187th IR (Raider Rakkasans), 3th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, wasn't normally the sort of man who would show up in Times Square on a whim for New Year's Eve. In fact, 'Hotch' doubted that he'd done anything much at all on a whim since he'd graduated as a Cadet Major from The Citadel ten years ago - but here he was, thoroughly enjoying himself. NOT!
The reality was that his best friend Ted Nolan, recently promoted to Major, had wanted to do something to celebrate that promotion. And because a few members of his battalion had wanted to come to New York City for the end of the millennium, he'd offered to tag along as a chaperone of sorts. Not that he had anywhere better to spend a ten day pass. That was because his marriage to Haley Brooks, his high school sweetheart, had ended in divorce six months ago. He'd tried to keep it together, but his transfer from the 75th Rangers at Fort Benning, to the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell on making Major two years ago, his third relocation in five years, was a change Haley simply refused to make. It had taken eighteen months of acrimonious bickering for the paperwork to go through, but gone through it had, and he was once again a single man.
Being single sucked.
Still, there wasn't much he could do about it, and Hotch certainly wasn't looking to pick up some random woman while in New York – though the same didn't seem to be true for most of the Screaming Eagles that he'd accompanied on the trip. To each his own, he guessed.
Looking around, he could see that they were somewhere near 44th and Broadway, and he could make out the Service Green uniforms of some men from Golf Company, who seemed to be pushing forward to get a view down 7th Avenue so they could see the ball on top of 1 Times Square. Grabbing Ted's arm, Hotch pointed with his free hand at the group of soldiers, then nodded in their direction. Ted nodded in return, normal conversation being practically impossible with the noise around them, and both began moving that way.
Hotch noticed that behind Ted was the Battalion Sergeant Major, Frank Griffen. With six foot three of solid muscle, Griffen had biceps and triceps as large as most men's quads, quads as big as many men's thighs, and was a man that only a fool would argue with. In his two years with the 506th, he had come to trust Griffen implicitly.
While the crowd didn't seem generally antagonistic, he certainly noticed some dirty looks as he, Ted, and Griffen pushed towards the group who now seemed to be fairly close to 7th. He sighed to himself.
Eight years ago everyone had been over the moon about the success of Desert Shield and Desert Storm, but now they seemed to be about as popular as in the post Vietnam years. And all this "don't ask, don't tell" stuff that the Clinton administration was on about had nothing but a negative impact on the morale of the average serviceman. After all, it's not like he didn't pretty much know not only the sexual orientation, but also the sexual fantasies, of most of the men he'd served with. When you had to get in a foxhole with someone and be prepared to give your life for some decision made ten thousand miles away in a bunker, you needed to know everything about the guy sitting on your left - because his life could be in your hands, and yours in his. He wished the politicians would just stick to politics.
Not that he'd ever say anything. That would be bad for his career, and he was hoping to make O-5 'below the zone' next year. All his OER's had been 'firewalled' since he'd earned his butter bars, and Hotch wasn't going to do anything to jeopardise that. After all, the Army was all he had left now that Haley was gone.
He was about thirty yards away when he saw the beer bottle take PFC Riggs in the head. CRAP! Within seconds Privates Collins and Harrison, followed closely by Specialist Wimer, had turned to their left, and were making a beeline straight into some college kids, who were probably about the same age as the three soldiers.
"TED?" He had to yell just to be heard. "YOU GET RIGGS." He shoved Ted in the direction of the soldier on the ground, currently being assisted by Private Pepping. Turning his head slightly, he gestured towards the fight. "GRIFFEN? GET ME OVER THERE!"
The crowd may have been packed, but nothing was going to get in the way of 231lbs of highly motivated Sergeant Major, and Hotch grinned to himself as he followed in Griffen's wake, covering the distance to the brawl in a little under a minute. As he approached, he heard a female voice faintly over the din. Looking to his right, he saw an attractive woman wearing an NYPD windbreaker, closely followed by two uniformed officers, pushing her way to the same place he was going. Unfortunately, as she approached, Hotch saw one of the college kids stumbling back from a massive crack on the jaw delivered by Ralph Wimer, arms flailing as he tried to maintain his balance. The woman obviously didn't see the kid, so was completely blindsided when his left arm slammed into her face, sending her straight to the ground.
What a cluster!
He immediately moved to help the officer who was down, realising as he got close that she had a detective badge on her belt.
"MA'AM?" She was moving, but seemed a little woozy. "ARE YOU OKAY, MA'AM?" He knelt down next to her.
In the background he could hear Griffen dealing with the fight, his best parade ground voice most likely audible half a block away.
Emily tried to shake the cobwebs out of her head. Why was she on the ground again? Oh right, she'd been wacked in the nose by someone's elbow. And her nose hurt! "OW!"
She reached her hand up and gingerly felt her nose. She'd probably have a lovely bruise come the morning, but as she lifted her fingers to eye level she could see that she didn't seem to be bleeding. Thank goodness for small mercies!
She could vaguely make out a voice nearby, and as she lifted her eyes she was greeted with the sight of some incredible cheekbones, burning hazel eyes, and a maroon beret. Huh? Glancing down, she saw the service uniform – military. He was probably part of the same group who had been in the fight, as they'd also had maroon berets on. Then she saw the gold oak leaves on his collar - maybe he was their CO.
"ARE YOU OKAY, MA'AM?" There was a delicious, though slight, southern drawl to his accent.
Emily stifled a laugh. She didn't think she'd ever been called ma'am, and certainly not by someone who was older than she was.
Hotch saw her half smile, and wondered what was so amusing, especially as this rather attractive woman seemed to be gazing into his eyes. "ARE YOU OKAY?"
She nodded, and he extended a hand which she accepted, allowing him to pull her to her feet. She was taller than he'd anticipated, perhaps only four or five inches shorter than his own six foot two, though some of that may have been because of the boots she was wearing. She had long dark hair, currently back in pony tail, gorgeous dark eyes, and very fair skin. Um . . . what the heck? Since when had he started sizing up women he met on the street?
Turning he saw that Griffen had the situation completely under control, just as he'd expected. However, he couldn't help but glance at the attractive Detective now standing by his side.
As the officer pulled Emily to her feet, she noted the ease with which he did so. Not that she was heavy, but the man, Hotchner according to the badge on his chest, had barely seemed to exert any effort. He was also very easy on the eyes, though seemed to have a very serious expression on his face. She idly wondered what he'd look like if he smiled. He didn't seem too much older than she did, perhaps only three or four years. And then he turned away to look at what they'd both apparently been heading towards – the fight.
Which was now over completely.
Miller and Lowen had the college kids in a group, looking significantly the worse for wear, and the three soldiers involved were standing in a row, receiving an incredibly loud dressing down from a solder a lot bigger than Major Hotchner. A dressing down which seemed to involve a lot of expressions that even she'd never heard before in six years working on the streets of New York!
Hotch turned and looked over towards where Riggs had initially gone down, and saw Ted and Pepping helping him over towards the scene of the fight. There was a small cut on Riggs head, but it didn't look to be anything serious. He breathed a sigh of relief, and turned back to the female Detective.
"What needs to happen now, ma'am?"
Emily looked up at the question. She didn't really feel like pursuing this, especially as her nose was still rather sore, but she supposed she had to do something. At least those college kids needed to be arrested for being drunk and disorderly, but she'd let the uniforms take care of that. Right now she just wanted an ice pack for her nose. Wasn't there an ambulance standing by on 44th?
"Is there an ambulance where I can get PFC Riggs' head looked at, ma'am?" It was almost as though he could read her mind. But this ma'am thing had to stop.
"Detective Prentiss, NYPD." She stuck out her hand, and found it enveloped in a strong grip.
"Major Hotchner, 101st Airborne." He smiled, and Emily was almost floored when two dimples appeared. He looked so much younger when he did that. She saw him glance over at the college kids being led away. "I can assure you, Detective, these soldiers will be reprimanded for their actions tonight, and will be on latrine duty for the next month!"
She couldn't help but smile. That was probably far worse than the fine and hassle they'd go through if she had them booked. And it had been in self defence anyway – kinda. But as it was New Year's Eve, and this handsome man in a uniform seemed to be more than capable of handling things, she figured she'd let it slide just this once.
All of a sudden she felt a little woozy, and stumbled slightly, only to find herself quickly caught by Major Hotchner.
"Are you alright, Detective?" He sounded genuinely concerned.
"I think I should head over to the ambulance myself. It's a block up, by the Marriott."
Emily felt a warm arm wrap around her waist, and before she knew it she was being helped up 7th Avenue away from Times Square, following the large soldier who'd been doing all the yelling.
Hotch looked at his watch – 23:57. It had taken the best part of fifteen minutes to find the ambulance and get Riggs' cut stitched, and an ice pack for the Detective's head. They'd also given her some ibuprofen, but it would be a bit before that kicked in. So he found himself standing by the back of an ambulance, watching as Detective Prentiss sat in the open doors, holding an ice pack to her head. She definitely seemed better, and he used the opportunity and brighter lighting to examine her further.
She was younger than him, but not too much. Her hair was thick and lustrous, completely different to the thin, blonde look Haley had always favoured. It was hard to tell for certain under all the layers, but she seemed to have a slim, attractive body, with curves in all the right places. He'd confirmed that somewhat as he'd helped her to the ambulance, but it never hurt to assess things with the good old mark one eyeball. He wasn't sure what it was about her specifically, but there was something simply intoxicating about her – something he didn't think he'd felt since he'd first met Haley in high school.
As Emily held the ice pack to her nose and face, she couldn't help but feel the scrutiny of the Army Major, and she surreptitiously returned it. He was tall, dark, and oh so very handsome. The thought had crossed her mind during the last ten minutes that if there were more soldiers who looked like him, the Army wouldn't have any issues with meeting their female recruiting guidelines! Though she'd had to laugh at herself for that thought – was she twelve again or something, to have a crush on a man in uniform? Six years on the force had helped cure her of some of those thoughts, but that was just for men in blue. This man was in green.
Pulling the ice pack from her face, she stood up slowly. At least her head wasn't pounding anymore! She turned gradually so that she was looking directly into his eyes.
"Thank you for your help tonight, Major." Why was it she longed so much to call him something other than that?
"You're welcome, Detective." It sounded so stiff and formal, and Hotch wondered what her given name was.
They both spoke at once. He looked at her and couldn't help but laugh, and it was only a second before she was laughing as well. She came alive when she laughed, and it made her absolutely gorgeous.
Emily noticed that his dimples appeared out of nowhere when he smiled, and it gave her a bizarrely warm feeling inside, especially as the smile spread to his eyes.
Suddenly she realised that she could hear the crowd counting down in the background. She'd been so preoccupied with the man in front of her that she'd not even realised how close to midnight it had become. Now there were just seconds until the year 2000! Not really sure what to do, she looked past Aaron to the crowd – they were all focusing on the ball which had nearly fallen all the way. Then she looked back to his eyes, and wondered why she'd been looking anywhere else.
She vaguely heard the crowd cheering wildly, and then his lips were on hers pressing a chaste but memorable kiss. It was only for a few seconds, and then he'd stepped back slightly.
"HAPPY NEW YEAR, EMILY!" He grinned.
"HAPPY NEW YEAR, AARON!" She felt warm and tingly all over, in a way that her last three boyfriends had never made her feel – and that was just over something chaste!
They just stood there staring at each other until the noise volume slowly diminished so that it was possible to talk without shouting.
"What time does your shift end?" Hotch wasn't sure she'd be receptive, but she'd definitely seemed to enjoy the kiss, and certainly hadn't backed away afterwards.
"I'm done at three." She was smiling as she answered.
"Would you like to grab something to eat?" He couldn't help but smile back.
"I'd love to." Where had this woman been his entire life?
Well this had certainly been a memorable trip. There'd been a fight, New Year's Eve near Times Square, and he'd quite literally picked up a beautiful woman off the street. Hotch didn't think he could have planned any of that, which actually made what had happened wonderful. And even though he'd not made a New Year's Resolution in years, he was making one now – he wanted to get to know one Detective Emily Prentiss a whole lot better.
A/N 2: I was trying to think of something interesting to say here, but I'm currently completely at a loss for anything to say. Yes, that's totally unlike me, I know. :) So for now, if you like the story, please let me know using that little green button down the bottom. Go on, you know you can click it. See, that wasn't so hard, was it? :)