Title: The Times Dave Rossi put on His "Dad" Shoes

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Rating/Warnings: FRM/R (profanity because it is Rossi after all, adult situations)

Characters/Pairing: Rossi and the BAU

ARCHIVING: my LJ... anyone else? Please ask first.

Feedback always welcome.

DISCLAIMER: The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television own Criminal Minds. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.

VERSION: November 2009

TIMELINES/SPOILERS: The early days of the BAU, Seasons 3 through 4. Direct quotes from "Penelope" and references to "In Heat"

/***/

"We each have the kind of children we deserve."

Nachman of Bratslav

/***/ If the Shoe Fits...

Dave wasn't sure what the hell had finally set him off: the UnSub making a second attempt at Garcia, the dead cop outside her apartment building, or the fact that the team—including Hotch—danced so delicately around her with the questions. It was probably a combination and the fact that this son of a bitch, James Colby Baylor or whatever the fuck his name was, continued to be a step ahead of them.

There were times to treat a situation with kid gloves, and there were times just to dive right in and get a damn answer.

"All right, let's cut the crap. You need to be straight with us," Dave said as sat down in front of Garcia. She flinched and he could hear the rest of them shifting on their feet. "Right now. Look at me, not them."

"I'm not hiding anything," she blurted out, which meant, of course, that there was something else out there.

"You got shot. Most people get shot for a reason," he retorted. When she gave a pleading look to Morgan, Dave snapped, "Eyes here!"

"Ease up, Rossi!" Morgan warned, like an over-protective big brother coming to the defense of his baby sister.

As much as Dave hated to, because Garcia's looking at him with wide eyes and that certain color of fear—plus, why were they acting like he was a the bad guy?—Dave continued, "You got a roomful of people here willing to believe that an FBI agent has tried to kill you. We need to know everything you do on company time that we don't know about."

It wasn't pleasant. It wasn't pretty. But they got the answers they needed. They had a starting point.

Finally.

As Dave, Hotch and JJ crossed the courtyard to the SUV, Hotch commented quietly, "You were pretty harsh back there."

There was no mistaking the disapproval in his tone. Dave found himself rolling his shoulders forward, anger piqued again. JJ trailed behind them, pace slowing just enough for the illusion of privacy.

"We needed answers," he replied gruffly. "I know she's been through a lot, but we were getting no where."

Hotch favored him with the "You could have handled it better" look.

Dave glared. Christ, it wasn't as if he'd actually interrogated the woman. No. He'd pressed when no one else had been willing to. He opened the door to the SUV and climbed in, wondering why he was now the bad guy.

The words were out before Dave could stop them: "Well, someone has to be the Dad."