Author's Note: As you all know by now, we are in full swing on the Profiler's Choice Awards hosted on "Chit Chat on Author's Corner". And we'd like to offer an extra incentive to get those nominations rolling in. For the next five people to complete the nomination ballot in its entirety, I would be happy to write a oneshot of your pairing preference (hetero, slash or femslash, doesn't matter!). We have an abundance of incredible stories and authors to choose from this year and we have already received many wonderful nominations. Just to refresh your memory though, tonnie2001969 and myself (ilovetvalot) have removed ourselves from eligibility in the interest of avoiding all appearances of self-promotion. But, we want to make this an incredible experience for each one of you and give you a well-rounded final voting selection to choose from. So let's all put on our reading caps and pick our favorites!
Also, don't forget to sign up for our newest challenge at the forum. We're honoring Halloween with our first ever "Candy Land Challenge" and signups run through September 30th! Details are at the forum!
We also have a great new interview with another fellow CM author this week. Come and get to know THUNDERBRAT.
As always, guys, Happy Reading!
The Kismet Connection
Prompt: Mona the Vampire - Men in Dark Suits
She was surrounded, on all sides, by the men and their dark suits. Granted, they were her men in dark suits, but as a conglomerate, they were driving her crazy.
Honestly, if she heard David Rossi plead once more, "Just pick something, Kitten," she was going to lose the last fry left in her Happy Meal. Shouldn't the man be more attuned to the shopping habits of women? Honestly, he had been married three times, hadn't he?
And Derek Morgan was no better. During the eight hours that she and the rest of her merry band of brothers had been on this very real fishing expedition, she'd lost count of the number of phone numbers he'd collected from various so-called salesgirls. Apparently there was some sort of homing signal that beeped when Mr. Tall, Dark and Dangerous came within twenty feet of the opposite sex.
Which one of the male morons had said early this morning that it was a mistake to buy the first car she liked? Thinking back, she was fairly certain it was the young Doctor Reid. She couldn't be sure of anything at this point, however, since the well-meaning man had rambled all day regarding one safety standard or another.
If she heard one more word about impact collision tests, she was going to volunteer him as the next Detroit test dummy.
Glancing to her left, Aaron Hotchner was characteristically quiet, as always. Every once in a while, he'd ask a question or shake his dark head as she'd point to a car that caught her eye, but by and large, he'd kept to himself.
But, looking at the faces of her collected colleagues, she knew their collective engines were running out of steam. But was it her fault that she hadn't felt that kismet connection with any of the tin cans on four wheels that she'd been shown? Why was it so difficult for these so-called experts to understand that car shopping and shoe shopping were first cousins in a woman's purchasing tree? She had to try on every one before she made her final decision, didn't she?
Looking around morosely at the latest car lot's meager options, she shook her head. Nothing. Again. The afternoon sun bounced off hood after hood, all to no avail. She was in an automobile wasteland.
"Ah, hell, Baby Girl," Morgan groaned, shifting impatiently on his feet as he watched her colorful hair bounce from side to side. "I know that look."
"I'm sorry, guys," Garcia moaned, flapping her arms in frustration, "None of them are speaking to me!"
"What the hell do you need them to say?" Rossi muttered, running a frustrated hand down his weary face. "Buy me, buy me?"
Pursing her lips, Garcia rolled her eyes. "Of course not! Any vehicle that says that would be way to ostentatious for me anyway," she shrugged, her eyes tracking up and down the lot. "But there has to be a connection. When Esther and I met, it was like I'd found an extension of myself."
"Garcia," Hotch said patiently, letting out a short sigh, "you realize we're talking about a car here. Not a person."
"I know that," Garcia snorted, wondering if the man had been out in the sun too long that day. "But my future car has to have a personality. It can't just be some boring old sedan," she said with a glare toward a parked Cadillac, its four doors and perfect trim screaming sedate. "Or something so overt as a sports car," she said, her hand fluttering toward the used Camaro in the corner of the lot. "It needs character," she insisted vehemently.
"What it NEEDS is a running engine and four wheels," Dave countered grouchily, glaring tiredly at the all-too-peppy woman. "Damn it, Kitten, my feet ache. Do you know how many years it's been since my feet have actually ached?"
"May I suggest the Intrepid again?" Reid said tentatively, gesturing toward the parked green car. "It's safety rating is phenomenal, Garcia."
"No!" Garcia said, stomping her foot against the pavement, her heel connecting with a decisive click. "I have to feel that personal pull, Reid. I have to feel the symbiotic relationship between woman and car. I need to..."
Stepping between his two employees as Reid cowered behind him, Hotch held up a hand. "He gets it, Garcia. Don't you get it, Reid?" he asked over his shoulder as Morgan and Dave took a step back from the frazzled woman.
"Got it!" Reid yelped, his eyes wide as Penelope's blistering gaze threatened to ignite his body in flame.
"Okay," Penelope huffed, crossing her arms over her chest. "That's it. All of you, scram. Make yourself scarce while I take one more look around this pitiful excuse for a car emporium. I need to channel Esther's spirit. She'll guide me toward the car I was meant to have.
And thirty minutes later, Esther's spirit must have screamed. Because Penelope Garcia's squeal could be heard three blocks away.
"I found her!" Penelope shouted victoriously at the top of her tiny lungs.
"Found who?" Reid panted, running up to Penelope, his eyes scanning the lot around them for signs of another person.
"Mimzy!" Penelope declared excitedly, clapping her hands.
"Who the hell is Mimzy?" Rossi grumbled, hobbling toward Garcia. "And why the hell are you screaming, woman?"
"Garcia?" Hotch called, jogging toward the gathering group. "You okay?" he asked, frowning at Reid and Rossi in confusion.
"I'm better than okay," Garcia exclaimed, beaming. "I'm ecstatic. Meet Mimzy," she said, gesturing with a flourish toward the beat up pale pink Ford Escort sitting in the far corner of the lot.
"Mimzy?" Hotch echoed weakly, eyeing the vehicle with a skeptical eye.
"Oh, God! You guys let her name it?" Morgan groaned loudly, stalking toward a bouncing Garcia as he stuffed a small piece of paper in his pocket. Looking from the car then back to Garcia, he declared, "Mama, that thing looks like a wreck waiting to happen."
Draping herself against the car protectively, Garcia shook her head. "Don't listen to him, Mimzy. He's just a meddling male," she mock whispered, stroking her fingers against a rust spot on the hood. "I know you'll do Esther proud even if the rest of them don't."
"Oh, Jeez, she's already defending that tin can's honor," Morgan sighed, rubbing a hand over his bald head. "It's a done deal guys."
"But, the safety rating," Reid mumbled, raising a faltering finger to point at the dilapidated car.
Pushing his hand down, Rossi rumbled, "It'll be your safety in jeopardy if you don't stop quoting safety standards, Genius."
"This is it, boys," Penelope said firmly, her voice determined. "This is that kismet connection I told you about," she said, patting the car's hood fondly. "And this, is the newest member of the Garcia family.
And turning, Penelope uttered the words each member of her special squad had been waiting to hear.
Author's Note 2 - Also guys, please don't forget that if you'd like to advertise the awards on your own profile pages or stories, there's a short blurb on my (ilovetvalot) and Tonnie's (tonnie2001969) profile page for you to copy and paste if you choose! Thanks again for reading!