Author's Note: Thanks so much to Kavi Leighanna and Sienna27 for their Television Prompt Challenge.
And please, check out our writing challenge on our forum on "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" (you can find the link on my profile page.) In order to expand our horizons and stretch our writing wings, everyone who joins the challenge will be writing an exciting new pairing. By signing up, you'll get to suggest a pairing for someone else to write in addition to agreeing to write yourself. The story can be a drabble or an epic, romantic or friendship, AU or canon, angst or comedy…or anything in between. As the author, it is your choice to determine the direction and plot…we'll just be providing the pairing. Thanks to everyone who has signed up so far….and it's not too late for YOU, too! Feel free to email, PM or post to the forum thread if you'd be interested in participating.
Apologies and Other Necessary Evils
Prompt: The New Adventures of Old Christine – "How I Hate Your Mother"
Staring out the window of his office into the hazy, humid August day, David Rossi contemplated his current predicament. Fifty four years on the planet had taught him an important lesson or two along the way. First and foremost was that when you didn't have a fucking clue what to do in any given situation, go with your gut. It rarely fails you.
And right now, his gut was telling him to find her. Find her fast. Before irreparable damage was done to an already floundering relationship.
He wanted to find her. God, how he wanted to. But chasing after her now would make their relationship blatantly obvious. Hell, that was if the raised voices that had echoed down the outside corridor a few short minutes ago hadn't already done so.
He never had been quite adept at expressing his anger in a productive way. He was more a yell-his-way-through-the-pain kind of guy. But while he was certain he could outshout Emily Prentiss in a battle of wills, he wasn't nearly as confident that he could outlast her.
The woman defined tenacity. And that just might be his downfall.
Damn it! This was crap. He was going to be forced into apologizing for something he had actually meant with all of his slightly charred heart. Who knew that six little words could get a guy in so much trouble?
"Oh, how I hate your mother."
Damn it, he hadn't even made a big production of the statement. It was simply a fact. That he'd foolishly verbalized. To Emily. The she-devil's one and only daughter.
It didn't matter that said daughter didn't have any more use for the uptight diplomat than he did. It didn't matter that he had heard the very same words come from her mouth just a week prior. Evidently, he'd broken some unwritten rule. What was it she'd said before storming out the door? Something about the only person allowed to give her mother hell in her presence was her. Apparently, he didn't rate such consideration.
Sounded like a fucking double standard to him. And didn't she hate those?
Sighing heavily as he finally pushed away from the window, he knew he needed to find her before the anger cemented into bitterness. Been there, fought that battle many, many times before. Glancing at the clock, he realized with a sinking heart that she'd probably simply left for the day. With only fifteen minutes left to the workday, he honestly couldn't see Emily willingly returning to her desk and seething in front of an audience.
And peeking out his window, his suspicion was confirmed. No Prentiss.
Which meant, much to his dismay, he'd be groveling on her turf. Great, he thought sullenly, he wasn't even to have the home field advantage this evening. On the off chance that he could manage to dig himself out of the grave he'd accidentally fallen into, he was going to be forced to spend the night in a frilly bedroom with a bed two sizes too small for him. Christ, that was punishment enough, wasn't it? Didn't that earn him a free pass on all of the emotional crap that was bound to occur?
Tightening his lips as his hand reached out to flip off his desk lamp, he knew his procrastination wouldn't help the current situation. Emily's ire normally didn't decrease with time. Grabbing his keys and jacket, he was out the door seconds later, raising a hand in farewell to those unfortunate souls left toiling in the bullpen.
Meeting JJ at the elevator, her briefcase in hand, Dave smiled tightly at the friendly blonde, impatiently tapping his foot as they both waited for the elevator.
"In a hurry, Rossi?" JJ asked knowingly, arching one well-defined eyebrow at him as she shifted her bag to her other hand.
"Just don't wanna get caught in a rush hour snarl," Dave replied smoothly, the lie rolling off his tongue easily even as he snuck another glance at his watch.
"Uh huh," JJ smirked, stepping into the elevator as the steel doors parted. "Sell it somebody that's willing to buy the party line," she chuckled, pressing the down arrow as he followed her inside the car.
Sighing heavily, he mentally kicked himself for missing such an obvious sign. He should have known Jareau would have already figured them out by now. In addition to being one of Emily's best friends, the woman was nobody's fool, her flawless skill well proven time and again. "So how long have YOU known for?" he asked sardonically, slowly banging his briefcase against his thigh.
"Before either of you did," JJ smiled, her eyes never moving from the numbers above the door.
"Anybody else figure it out?" Dave asked dryly, his voice low in the confined space even though they remained alone. Hell, with his luck, this conversation was being recorded to be used against him at a future time and date. For all he knew, Emily had the security guards tucked firmly in her corner just for instances such as this.
"Maybe Hotch," JJ shrugged, the strap from her bag shifting against her jacket, "but, you'd know that better than I would. You're safe on the rest of the team. At least so far. Too many more arguments like today though and you guys won't need to make a public announcement," JJ warned as she glanced over at his darkening face.
"How many heard?" Dave groaned, inwardly cringing at the prospect of having Emily mad at him for multiple offenses. The one he'd already been found guilty of was more than enough.
"Half the floor, but I played it off for you two. If anybody asks, I brought you a sensitive case that you both vehemently disagreed on," JJ said flatly, mentally chalking another mark in the favor file that she kept on all of her colleagues.
"Thanks, JJ," Dave replied gratefully. Leave it to JJ to cover their collective ass. Nothing new for her; she'd been doing it for as long as he could remember. He refused to dwell on the fact that he might very well owe her half his fortune if she ever chose to collect on all of those good deeds.
"You do realize that people like you are why people like me need medication, don't you?" JJ asked with a wink, the joke filled with more truth than either of them wanted to admit.
"Send me the pharmacist's bill," Dave returned with a lopsided grin as the elevator dinged again and the doors slid open with a whine.
"Will do," JJ nodded, stepping out into the parking garage. "Good luck," she called over her shoulder as she jogged toward her own car, halfway considering placing an informative well-timed call to a certain brunette.
And he might have imagined it, but he could have sworn she muttered "You'll need it" as she slipped out of sight.
Sweet mother of God, what had he gotten himself into this time?