Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing: Team - gen
Summary: It's inspection time, and backstory inconsistencies are going to bite them in the ass.
Author's Note: Trying to finish off as many stories as possible. Tell me what you want to see.
Part Seven: David Rossi
David Rossi was not overly perturbed by the looks of worry on the team's face as he entered the conference room. Of course, it would have been much easier to avoid the meeting entirely, and just have coffee with Swift's boss to smooth things over, but in all honesty, he wanted to piss this guy off as much as possible.
That was something he was pretty good at.
Swift was already seated at one end of the circular table, making notes against the file on his clipboard. When Rossi stepped in, Swift hurried to finish off his sentence, before flipping the page.
'Agent Rossi, it's a pleasure to meet you,' the man said, in a voice that indicated it was anything but a pleasure. 'I'm sure you know why I'm here?'
'You're doing the requisition orders for the new office fittings, right? I was going to repaint, but do you think we could get the skirting boards replaced? They don't really go so well with the rest of the room.'
'And then there's the desk. You know, I just don't think it's…grandiose enough for a man of my importance. Could we get something a little bigger? Maybe with a solid gold edging?'
'I can see how you earned your status as a Deadpan Snarker, Agent Rossi,' Swift said, unimpressed. 'Now if you're finished playing around, I would like to assess the inconsistencies in your backstories.'
Rossi grunted, and turned his attention away from Swift to the phone in his hand.
'First of all, there's an inconsistency with the Galen case.'
'Don't care,' Rossi interjected, not looking up from his phone.
'Agent Rossi, if you would please give me your attention – these backstory concerns are not something to be laughed at.'
'Oh, I know,' he said, without looking up. 'For the good of the show, keep the fans invested, yadda yadda. Sorry, I'm just trying to beat this high score on Angry Birds. Have you played this level? It's the one with the yellow bird and all the dynamite and—you know what? It's probably easier if I just show you.'
He turned the screen so that Swift could see it properly, and the other man did not take the bait. Instead, he frowned and made what were probably very disparaging remarks about Rossi on his clipboard.
'Your uncooperative behavior has been noted. You should expect disciplinary action sometime in the next three to ten seasons.'
'Excuse me for just one second,' Rossi said, giving Swift a smile that had no humor behind it whatsoever. 'I have to make a very important call.' He dialed a number on his phone that had been dialed so many times before in the past. 'Hi, Rudy, it's Dave. Yeah, I'm good – you? How's the wife? That's good. Can I get a deep dish Italian sausage with mushrooms and bell peppers, hold the onion.'
Swift stared at him.
'Very important,' Rossi repeated, pointing at the phone. He knew they wouldn't ever get rid of him. The team needed a gruff, but loveable senior agent who had seen it all, or something like that. Mostly, he was concerned that this so-called "inspection" was going to cut in on his Guitar Hero time. 'We're done here, right?'
Swift exited haughtily, and Rossi grinned to himself.
That, folks, is how you get rid of the canon inspector.
'He didn't seem particularly happy,' Morgan commented, when Rossi shut the door of the conference room behind him. Swift was standing by Hotch's office, apparently waiting for a signature.
'Well, I wasn't particularly forthcoming,' Rossi said, to which Emily snorted out a laugh.
'It's unlikely that any action will result from this,' Reid said, matter-of-factly. 'Even in shows as continuity-sparse as Doctor Who, consequences rarely come from backstory infractions. There's too much red tape, and the appeal avenues are too varied. It's just easier to remind us that they're watching, and most shows keep to their backstories from fear of repercussions.'
'Here he comes again,' Garcia whispered, and they all straightened. Before Swift even made it halfway down the hallway, he stopped, catching sight of someone – or something – just past them.
'Paul Swift?' The latest arrival from the Council of Fictional Characters Review Board was wearing a dark suit, and dark sunglasses. If he wasn't some kind of canon inspector, Rossi might have pegged him as a CIA agent – fictional, of course. Real spies that played up the suave suits and expensive sunglasses tended to get their asses killed pretty quickly.
'Director Sodder.' Swift straightened, adjusting his tie behind the clipboard pressed to his chest. 'I'm just finishing up my interviews now – I should have my completed findings to you by—'
'Enough of that,' Sodder interjected sharply. 'There are some very serious accusations in question, here.'
'As I said, my findings—'
'Not accusations regarding them, Swift,' Sodder said, sternly. 'Accusations about you.' He pulled out his own clipboard. 'I have a list here, from the Department of Fandom Communications. There have been an influx of reports describing you as a jerk, a douchenozzle, and…' He frowned. 'An assclown. Whatever that means.'
'With all due respect, sir, those don't sound like "allegations." Just insults.' Swift's voice had taken on the same indignant tone that Rossi recognized in his colleagues. It was almost ironic.
Sodder flipped over a few pages of the clipboard. 'Trust me on this, Agent Swift, there are more than enough pages of response for us to get through, allegations included. This is what happens when you upset the Department of Fandom Communications. Do you know what kind of power they have? You cancel Jericho, and they send ten million dollars worth of peanuts to the network. If you're going to conducted a canon inspection, then at least do it subtly! Now come with me, before someone decides to write you in as a murder victim.'
'"Who inspects the canon of the canon inspectors?"' Garcia lamented, staring after Swift and Sodder's retreating forms.
'Qui inspicit...' Reid frowned, as if trying to search for a Latin equivalent to the word "canon."
'Did someone order a pizza?' A voice called out from the elevator bank: a young man in a blue polo shirt, looking thoroughly confused about how he'd suddenly ended up in the FBI building at Quantico.
'Over here,' Rossi called out. 'I hope you all like deep dish pepperoni.'
'I think I'm a vegetarian,' Garcia said, frowning. 'I'm not sure.'
'I'm not even sure I like pizza,' Morgan added.
'You're from Chicago, I'm pretty sure it's impossible for you to not like pizza.'
'Alright, what's our next crisis?'
It was Hotch who had the answer, any anger he might have had at Swift's interruptions masked with a face of pure stoicism.
'I understand that some of the concerns of the Department of Continuity in Fictional Media were unfounded, but there is one specific issue that I would like to address.' There was an awkward silence, and the team looked at him, unsure. Thanks to Swift's thinly veiled hints, they knew that something was coming up next season. Had Hotch finally gone over to the Dark Side?
'This is something a long time coming, and frankly, I know that not everyone will be pleased about it, but it has to be done.'
He took a deep breath.
'We're giving Reid a haircut.'