This is my story for the Dealer's Choice Challenge :) My pairing was Rossi/Garcia and my three items were pineapple, sunscreen, and pepperoni pizza. I've never written Rossi and/or Garcia and had a blast!
Thank you for the challenge, Ladies!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Although I'm pretty sure there's no Thomas Jefferson Children's hospital in the greater DC area. I also made up the Sherwood Riverside Park.
David Rossi was never one to yell or even speak up beyond a common argument. So when his voice made its way all the way across the BAU hallway and through the closed door to Garcia's lair, the tech analyst spun her chair around, raced for the door and hastily pulled it open.
"It's about JJ-"
"Oh God, what about her? What happened?"
Rossi was actually a bit breathless. "I swear, I had nothing to do with this! Strauss made me do it and-"
"Made you do what? Run JJ over with a car? Raid her office? Eat her leftover lunch?"
Taking in the intense glare the tech analyst was giving him Rossi decided to let her see for herself instead of fueling her anger any further. So as an act of self-preservation he handed her the note as an answer.
Fundraiser for the Thomas Jefferson Children's Hospital
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
in anticipation of the 50th birthday of the Thomas Jefferson Children's Hospital which will be coming up on September 3rd the FBI has decided to hold a fundraiser and raise money for children in need.
As a government agency it is one of our goals to ensure the well-being of our citizens regardless their age. The Thomas Jefferson Children's Hospital has done tremendous work in developing new treatments for children who suffer from illnesses and conditions that keep them away from their homes and families.
In recognition of those efforts we have decided to ask our Senior Agents to participate in a fundraiser on August 22th. It will deviate from the galas normally hosted by the Bureau. Instead, it will take place in a much more relaxed and casual setting. The event will be held at Sherwood Riverside Park. Starting at 10 am there will be a picnic combined with a raffle to raise money for the hospital. We invite you along with your spouses and children to be a part of that special event.
To make it a special and personal day for you and your families, please pack a picnic basket to bring along for you to enjoy.
We ask for your RSVP to be given to us by August 15th.
Garcia was sure she would find more information on the back page. Afterall, this did not justify the reaction that she was seeing from the normally calm and controlled Senior Agent. When she found the back to be empty she raised wary eyes to meet Rossi's distressed look.
"So... this relates to JJ how exactly?"
"I don't have a spouse, Garcia."
"... and I'm still staring at you, Sir."
Rossi sighed as Garcia watched him open the door further and push his way past her and into her cave. He came to a halt in front of her chair and turned to face her.
"Ok, here it goes. Strauss came to see me this morning regarding this fundraiser thing. She said that since I'm one of the agents with the highest seniority she expected me to make an appearance at the event and leave a good impression. I told her that I don't have a spouse and actually currently no woman in my life whatsoever. She didn't leave a chance for discussion though. She just told me that she'd take care of it and left me standing there."
As Garcia could still see the dumbfounded look the agent in front of her was wearing she figured that even though he usually had a grip on the Section Chief, the conversation with her hadn't gone over well.
"So, thirty minutes later I received and email from her telling me that I am to attend the fundraiser with JJ and talk to her about further arrangements."
"Have you talked to JJ, yet?"
Rossi slowly sank down in the analyst's chair and if there had been another seat available in her small office she definitely would have followed suit. That way she was forced to ponder their next actions while remaining standing in front of him. At least that gave her leverage. Well, height-wise anyways.
"Alrighty! Since the storm of the century is about to roll into these premises any time now and we don't want anybody to get hurt we should definitely get a handle on this situation before that happens. Now. What do you have planned for her?"
And there was that dumbfounded look again.
"What do you mean 'who'? JJ of course! Our resident media liason that you're about to take on a date!"
Rossi quickly pulled himself out of his self-pity as he slowly realized her implications. He jumped up and pushed the chair back. That it hit her desk and nearly tipped over her trashcan in the process was something that Garcia would ignore for now. One storm had to be enough for the next hour.
"Date? No, no, Garcia! There won't be a date! Because I won't take her on one and there is no way on earth that she'll ever go with me!"
"Ha! There you have it! It's not that you don't want to take her, it's really that you don't think she would let you take her. But fret now, my Italian casanova, that will not be a problem. You'll just have to make the right promises and actually stick to them."
If the impatient look and the hands on his hips were any indication Garcia was sure that the man in front of her was slowly but surely getting annoyed. As she watched him lung for the door to fling it shut she even made it as far as betting to herself that he was close to being really mad.
"No way, Garcia."
"But Sir, orders!"
"And since when do you care about orders? Especially from Strauss. Garcia, you've always been great at ignoring orders and moving the exact other way. Can't you just think that way now?"
Garcia had never seen Rossi beg. Looking at him with his hands put together in front of his chest and pleading eyes she hoped that the security camera in her office was storing this on tape safely somewhere. It would make a great bribe for later.
"Sir, you're wasting your time. You know as well as I do that she's not gonna change her decision. So, instead of begging and pleading you might as well put what time you have left of sanity and good health to good use and come up with something to put in that picnic basket."
When she heard his defeated sigh and watched his shoulders slump she sheepishly added "I'll even help you with that."
It had taken another three minutes of discussing, ranting, reasoning and two or three rounds of strained silences until Rossi had finally given in. That had given them the opportunity to use the ten minutes following the three before that to compile a list of foods and beverages that would make their way into the picnic basket.
Unfortunately, they hadn't gotten anywhere past numbering the otherwise still stark white piece of paper. Garcia had never thought that David Rossi would actually require help with this. For reasons unknown to her it seemed to be an unsurmountable task for him. So after having rebutted all his suggestions so far she had decided to take up residence on her office floor.
She almost jumped right back up when Rossi excitedly offered his newest idea.
"... Chocolate-coated strawberries."
"Whoa, you really are from the old school, aren't you? It's Pineapples, Sir. You'll definitely wanna go with pineapples. Plus, don't you think that chocolate-coated strawberries would be just a tick too much?"
"And pepperonei pizza! She loves pepperoni pizza."
"Are you sure?" he questioned while she was jotting down her two items. After that she took a deep breath and smiled at him.
"My beloved Agent Rossi, not only you but also your Italian suit and meticulously cut mustache should know by now that I'm omniscient. Not to mention her best friend." She put her hand on his left shoulder and smiled at him confidently. "Trust me, you can't go wrong with pineapple and pizza."
"But I can't put a pizza in a picnic basket! Are you sure a salad wouldn't be a better idea?"
Garcia put pen and paper down and leaned backwards propping herself up on both of her arms. "Agent Rossi, what does JJ have for dinner when you guys are out on a case?"
"Sir, you do work with JJ, right? She's the blonde one. The media liason?"
"Yes, Garcia. Thank you for enlightening me."
"You're very welcome, Sir." she added with a hint of a smirk. When she noticed his insecure look she couldn't help asking. "How on earth did you make it through three marriages?" Garcia was genuinely flustered.
"That's exactly it, Garcia. I made it through them by definition."
She couldn't help but shake her head. She was actually beginning to feel sympathetic for him.
But they were on a mission. "...Well?"
"I... I don't know what she has. You'll need to help me out here."
"Well, it's never just a salad! She's a pizza, burger and french fries addict."
"But she's tiny! Where does she put it?"
"She doesn't put it anywhere. She works and it never goes anywhere. Man, I wish I could do that. But that's never gonna happen. You know why? Cause I'm stuck in here all day, rolling around on a comfy desk chair. I don't even need to move! I should convince my captain to bring me out more. I should-"
"Sorry, Sir, back on topic. So, pizza it is then."
"Huh, I never would have pegged her for the junk food girl."
"That's because JJ is not one to be pegged but to be figured out. And trust me when I tell you that it takes years to get to the point where I am today."
Garcia picked up her notes and got back on her feet. "Now, I'll have you know that if you let it slip that we had this conversation you will die a sorry and miserable man. ...Sir."
Rossi eyed her from his spot still on the floor and slowly raised himself back up as well.
"You better be right about all this, you know?"
Was that a genuine smile she was seeing? Maybe mixed with a hint of nervousness, but she had definitly seen the corners of his mouth tilt upward.
"And you better tell me afterwards how things went."
"I will." He opened the door but turned back around for a moment. "Thank you, Garcia. I really appreciate it."
"You're very welcome, Sir. I love to be of help."
She gave him an honest smile and watched him walk out of the room leaving the door open. That made her running after him easier as she thought of one last thing.
"And don't forget the sunscreen!"
He turned around to look at her again and Garcia was sure that if she received just one more death glare today she could pick out a coffin after work.
"What? It's just that it could be really clear that day..."
As Rossi made his way back towards the bullpen he felt a satisfied grin crawl up his face. He felt like he had been run over by a very small but very REAL steamroller. Still, it had helped.
"David Rossi! If you do not stop this instance I cannot guarantee for my actions in the next ten minutes!"
Thinking about it though as he watched the blonde liason race towards him from her office he could only hope that the second steamroller wouldn't be the end of him.
There you go :) I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it!