Title: Creative Changes
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Universe: The Criminal Minds Metaverse
Characters/Pairing: Team - gen
Summary: The review board is back, and this time, none will escape unscathed. The team are determined to fight back.
Author's Note: I'm pretty sure you're all aware as to why I'm writing this. It probably won't do a lick of good to help, but it will make me feel better anyway.
Author's Note the Second: This probably comes across as a little cynical. You can understand why. No offence is meant towards the people that didn't make this "creative change." To everyone else, well…yeah.
The show was in the off-season, and the team were playing Canasta in the bullpen when the review board came. They were wearing harshly pressed suits – which was not so uncommon in this fictional FBI building – but their ties were starched to the point where even Hotch was surprised.
'The spinoff cast isn't here,' he frowned, eyeing the leader of the group with a look that would have killed puppies.
'We're not here about the spinoff cast,' the man replied in a monotone voice that told everyone present that his heart had long since dried up into a shriveled walnut. 'Theodore Fredrickson, Fictional Characters Review Board. We're here to announce "creative changes."' The way he spoke those two words let Hotch know that "creative changes" really meant "budget cuts" and he readied himself for the announcement that he would have to give up wearing clothes altogether, due to the character's sudden desire to join a nudist colony. It was bad enough that he had lost his underwear the last time creative changes went through.
'JJ, you're out,' Theodore said, pointing his thumb over his shoulder.
JJ frowned. 'Excuse me? Do you want to talk about me behind my back, or something?'
'No. You're out. You're gone. They have no idea what to write for you, so they're kicking you off the show.'
There was a long, deadly silence.
'Prentiss,' Theodore continued. 'You're being cut down to only being in two thirds of the episodes – that's enough to remind people that you still exist without having to pay you for it.'
Disbelief showed in the eyes of every team member present.
'Are you fucking kidding me?' asked Morgan, rubbing the black eye that he had to keep until the start of season 6. 'They're part of the team. You can't just…cut them like this.'
'We're the Fictional Characters Review Board,' said Theodore. 'We can do whatever we damn well want to.'
'You don't think a move like this could be seen as…I don't know…sexist?' pondered Rossi, an undercurrent of range hiding beneath his features.
'Yeah,' added Morgan. 'Who's going to rock the seriously hot Kevlar look?'
'Oh, don't worry. We're bringing in someone else. Someone…fresher.'
Just like "creative changes" had a double meaning, Hotch was sure that "fresh" did too: someone younger, cooler, and with more form-fitting clothing. It was "edgy as fuck" profilers in leather all over again.
'You're cutting two female characters to bring in a new one?' Prentiss frowned. 'How is that not the most insulting thing you could possibly think of? Maybe we're not the ones that need replacing.'
'It's a creative decision,' Theodore reiterated.
'Last season, the show received 13,527,000 viewers under the Nielsen ratings system,' provided Reid. 'That's in the top 20 shows for primetime television. How does alienating an entire gender help with ratings? Not everybody watches this show because of the bodies, or the gore. They've come to know and love the characters.'
'In spite of screentime issues,' JJ added, with hasty look towards Reid, whose eyes widened in surprise. 'What? You get three times as many plotlines as I do. Maybe that's why I'm not "interesting" enough.'
'Perhaps you should show a little more skin,' Theodore commented, which earned him seven death-glares.
'Maybe you should fall off a cliff and die,' suggested Garcia. 'This team is a team. We don't work too well when our members get fired or cut back for stupid executive decisions. You know, I think I might come to work wearing just a bikini on Friday. And all of my computers will probably stop working.'
'I can't tackle anymore,' said Morgan suddenly. 'I have…antitacklitis.'
'I hit my head in a skiing accident and reduced my IQ by 70%,' added Reid. 'I'm practically functionally retarded.'
'What we're trying to say is,' Rossi provided, unless it had been unclear. 'Let's see what kind of ratings you get when none of us show up.'
'You're going on strike?' asked Theodore, seemingly infuriated by the thought. 'You can't do that.'
'We're the Behavioral Analysis Unit,' said Hotch. 'We can do whatever we damn well want to.'