Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds or any of the characters.
A/N: Stop yelling! I couldn't update- I was in the hospital! Grr! Nothing major though, just a sickness that came really quick and WOULD NOT go away! Hence the hospital and the five days admission.
On a fantabulous note, we hit over 200 reviews! 204 to be exact. You awesome readers are amazing and keep me going even when I'm in a hospital bed- that's how awesome you are. This one's for all of you!
The next morning, Hotch glanced at his watch for the fifth time, irritated. He checked to make sure Reid wasn't having any trouble handling Emily in the bullpen before picking up his cell phone and punching in Morgan's number, pressing the keys harder than he intended to.
The phone rang, rang, rang, and then beeped off.
The number you are calling is not responding. Please leave a message after the beep, or try again later.
His heart stopping, he dialled again, willing there to be nothing wrong.
Brrrring! Brrrring! Brrrring! The number you are calling is not responding. Please leave a message after the beep, or try again later.
Getting worried, he pressed the re-dial button, his hand reaching for his car keys.
Brrrring! Brrrring! Brrrring! Brrr-
"Good morning, Morgan," Hotch said icily, neither appreciating the snappy answer, nor pleased about his slight overreaction. "Where are you, exactly?"
"I'm in the car, but there's lotsa traffic..."
"Hi, Hotch!" He heard JJ's shout through the phone. "He's a liar!"
Hotch rolled his eyes. "Morgan, if you remember, Strauss called a meeting today? In half an hour? About the prank the girls pulled, which according to her was us?"
He heard something which sounded suspiciously like a slapped forehead. "Shit, I forgot! I wasn't planning on coming in today, I-"
"And when were you planning on informing me?"
Morgan groaned over the phone. "Come on, don't give me that now Hotch. JJ's giving me trouble-"
"-No I'm not!-"
"- And I wasn't planning to come in to work today, seeing as she's my responsibility."
Hotch frowned, staring at the little ticking hand on his watch. "Strauss will blow a fuse if you don't show up."
"You think I don't know that? Why do I have to sit here and babysit anyway?" Before Hotch could answer that he didn't have to, he add, "I mean, it's my job, right? I can show up if I want to. So what if I have a stupid little kid hanging onto me?"
"I'm not stupid and little!" JJ yelled, louder than she had to- Hotch assumed that she assumed he couldn't hear her through the phone. "Hotch! Tell him I'm not stupid!"
Morgan went on, "You know what? I'm coming in today. And I'm dragging her lazy butt in with me. And she's not going to complain when I give her some work to do, and she's gonna sit silently like Emily does and I'm not going to hear a peep out of her the entire day!" He slammed the phone down.
Hotch was left staring at the receiver in his hand.
'Like Emily does'?
Apparently Morgan was in a terrible mood- Hotch chalked it up to him having a bad day. But really, how terrible could his day have been? It was only eight, after all. The lecture at the end, Hotch suspected, was aimed at JJ, who he could practically hear sulking on the other end of the phone.
He walked out of his office and into the bullpen, making his way over to Reid's desk.
Reid and Emily were at that precise moment engrossed in a conversation about dental hygiene in the BAU.
"No, I don't agree," Reid was saying, shaking his head. "While Garcia and JJ's hygiene is commendable, it's not the best."
"What?" Emily threw her hands up as Hotch inconspicuously strolled over to their desks, leaning against the wall. "Are you kidding? They're neat freaks!"
"Um, not true. You only have to walk into either of their offices to prove that," Reid said, tapping his pen against the arm of his chair. "And you're forgetting the men."
"Ooh, yeah!" Emily cried, clapping excitedly. "Rossi?"
They looked at each other for a second before simultaneously wrinkling their noses. "Nah."
"Hmmph." Emily thought for a second. "So that leaves Hotch or Morgan."
"I say Morgan," Reid immediately put in, ignoring her flabbergasted expression. "His teeth are ridiculously white."
"No way! Hotch's teeth are so freakishly shiny, I swear I saw my reflection in them once! And I bet Morgan whitens them." She wiggled her eyebrows at Reid. "He does it for the lai-dez..."
Reid's eyebrows knitted together. "He probably does. I never thought of that! And the Hotch thing doesn't stand, because he doesn't smile enough for us to get a good look at his teeth."
"Fine," Emily admitted grudgingly as Hotch's eyebrows rose up into his forehead, and he decided to put an end to their discussion, insightful as it was. "But we're forgetting ourselves."
Hotch broke in with an "Ahem."
Both agents turned in fright, wearing identical deer-in-headlights expressions.
"Morgan is in a terrible mood. I just thought I should warn you." They relaxed, nodding as he turned away. "And as someone with freakishly shiny teeth, I can tell you that yes, Morgan does whiten his teeth."
Reid flushed scarlet while Emily didn't look even the least bit bothered. "So then Hotch wins!" she announced brightly, following the unit chief out of the bullpen. She frowned as they neared the elevators. "Why are we here?"
"Morgan should be here soon and I need to brief him as soon as- ah, there he is."
Morgan stepped out of the elevators, carrying a briefcase in one arm and JJ in the other. "Hey, midget, Hotch."
Hotch raised an eyebrow. "Can't she walk?"
Morgan dumped his briefcase in Emily's hands, ignoring her protests. "She can, but she doesn't want to. She has a fever- not high- and she hasn't let me forget it."
"Morgan..." Hotch tapped his watch. "Strauss...meeting...ten minutes...does any of this sound familiar?"
Morgan tried unsuccessfully to pry JJ's hands off his neck. Eventually he let go and held his arms out, leaving JJ clinging to him like a monkey. "You see?"
Hotch walked up to her, trying the Jack Tactic- which he'd found worked on criminals as well as his colleagues. "JJ, I know you don't want to, but I would really appreciate it if you let Morgan go- and I'll buy you an ice cream from the cafeteria, okay?" Seeing Emily's face, he quickly amended, "Ice cream for you and Emily."
JJ just gripped tighter. "I don't want to walk. I feel sick."
Emily's shoulders drooped. "Can I still have ice cream?"
Hotch sighed, glancing at Morgan. He felt JJ's forehead. "Well, she is slightly feverish. We could postpone the meeting, and get on with some paperwork. We've barely gotten through any of our weekly workload this week..."
Morgan shrugged. "Yeah, sure. Sounds good," he answered, strolling over to his desk. To Emily: "Minion, follow me and put my stuff on my desk. Then we'll go get you some ice cream."
"Hi, JJ!" Emily waved at her friend who was slumped over Morgan's shoulder, as she skipped after him, running through the different ice cream flavours in her head. JJ smiled at her but didn't wave back.
"Alright," Morgan directed, pointing at his chair. "Briefcase goes there. Carefully! And then we go to the cafeteria."
Emily bounced up and down on the balls of her feet, her eyes sparkling. "Can we have cookies too? And brownies? And can Garcia come with us?"
"Um, you can have either a cookie or a brownie with the ice cream. I'll get Garcia," Morgan answered. "JJ?"
She lifted her head up. "Hmm?"
"Do you want to come?"
When she shook her head, he worriedly checked her forehead again. "You're just a little warm, so I'm gonna put you in your office to rest for a while, okay?" He carried her up the steps to her office and put her on her chair. Morgan noted with satisfaction that given her size, her already-big chair served as a small bed.
"Come on, midget. I'll just tell Hotch she's in here and then we can go." He and Emily made a quick stop at Hotch's office before heading out to the elevators, meeting Garcia along the way. She was delighted to learn their destination, because apparently there was an excellent new dessert guy in the cafe next door.
"My online friend told me all about it!" Garcia gabbled. "She said their brownies are the creamiest, most scrumptious heavenly creations of man ever created, and their ice cream is awesomely terrific!"
"I prefer our BAU cafeteria..." Morgan said.
"The internet does not lie, Derek. And the internet says his ice cream is fabulously, amazingly supa-bangin'!"
"But he won't have peanut-butter-and-orange-mixed-with-bubble-gum ice cream!" Morgan whined as she forcibly dragged them both out of the elevator, and out the doors of the BAU.
At the ice cream parlour, Garcia stood staring at the wide selection of treats, which Morgan did have to admit looked tasty. "Let's see..." She read the ice cream man's name tag. "Okay, Matt, I'll have...hmm...I'll have a brownie with three regular scoops of...butter pecan...dark chocolate, and coffee with... chocolate syrup, sprinkles...and Oreos." She paused. "Oh, and nuts."
The ice cream man looked slightly overwhelmed as he filled her order. Satisfied, Garcia turned to Morgan and Emily. "So what do you want?"
"I'll have...I'll have two regular scoops of dark chocolate in a cone..." Morgan decided, as Garcia nodded approvingly. "With nuts."
"Coming right up sir," Matt said, handing Garcia her huge cup of ice cream. He smiled at Emily. "And you, miss?"
Emily, who had been staring at the 42 flavours, looked up decisively. "I'll have a chocolate chip cookie with extra-large double-scoops of vanilla, strawberry, and that swirly blue and pink ice cream-"
"-Cotton candy," Matt supplied.
"With chocolate syrup on the vanilla and one scoop of the cotton candy, caramel on the second scoop of cotton candy and both scoops of strawberry, and rainbow sprinkles, Oreos, Kit Kat topping and M&Ms on all of it. Oh, and in a cone." She smiled brightly at him. "Thank you!"
Morgan's mouth dropped open.
Matt held up the largest cone. "I don't think that will fit in a cone."
Emily shrugged. "Never mind. A cup's fine too."
"Uh, ma'am?" Matt looked questioningly at Garcia, who looked back at him expectantly. "Is that alright with you?"
"Of course it is!" Garcia said haughtily. "She asked for it, didn't she?"
"What? No it is not okay!" Morgan spluttered. "That's SIX extra-large scoops and a cookie! You want her to have a heart attack?"
Garcia snorted. "She is not going to have a heart attack, Derek. Don't be an idiot. Don't you remember when you were a kid, and how amazing ice cream tasted? You could eat as much of the sugary goodness as you wanted and never worry about anything..." She stared off dreamily. "Now's her chance to feel that again!"
Emily nodded fervently. "She's right! Don't you want me to feel that?"
Morgan directed his comment at the ice cream man. "She can have three tiny kid-size scoops of whatever flavours she wanted with one topping..."
Emily rolled her eyes. "Oreos."
"...with Oreos and the smallest cookie you have."
"Laying down the law." Garcia purred. "Hot."
Morgan grinned at her as he took his ice cream and Emily's. "You know I am."
"Oh look, they have those spinny chairs shaped like hands!" Emily cried, running to the other end of the ice cream parlours, where four or five rotating plush chairs, along with couches, were set out for customers. Emily immediately jumped on one, ice cream momentarily forgotten, shortly followed by Garcia.
Morgan dithered, looking from the door to where Garcia was letting Emily do belly flops off her onto the couch. "We really should get back..."
Garcia sat down on a hot pink chair. "Relax hotstuff," she said, licking her spoon contentedly and leaning back in her chair. "The Bureau's not going to go up in flames without you." She thought for a second. "Although now that I think about it, that is a very appealing image."
A/N: I think I'm going to wind down Cookies and Lollipops, unless you REEEAAAALLy don't want me to. Otherwise, next chapter will probably be the second to last.
Laura Beth loves Jesus: I knew when you said SUPA-BANGIN'! I had to include it in the story. So that was for you =)