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!
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Prompt: Mona the Vampire - "Flu-topia"
David Rossi noticed two pertinent facts as he stepped off the elevator to the BAU's appointed floor. First, there were no people milling in the normally busy hallway. And second but just as important, there was none of the usual god awful music filtering out of Penelope Garcia's office.
Strange. Definitely strange.
Walking down the deserted corridor, he was met with an empty bullpen; none of his team anywhere in sight. Automatically glancing toward Hotch's office, he immediately realized that it, too, was darkened, indicating that nobody was home. In all of his time back on the venerable BAU team, Dave could only remember one time when Aaron Hotchner had taken an unscheduled leave day…and that had not turned out well for any of them. Shaking his head at that thought, he reminded himself that if the worst had happened, then he would have already found out about it. That's why JJ insisted he carry that damned PDA, wasn't it?
Frowning, he headed toward the conference room next. Perhaps, they had received a case at the last moment. That would certainly explain their absence, he thought reasonably. Reaching the door, he found it locked despite the shuffling of papers he heard inside. Knocking loudly on the door, his confusion increased as he heard Spencer Reid's decidedly nasal voice say in an obviously suspicious tone, "Who's there?"
"It's Rossi," Dave replied gruffly, shaking the brass handle again. Up until this moment, he had never realized that the door actually had a lock on it. "Let me in, Reid."
"Are you infected?" Reid asked warily through the still closed door, though, this time, his voice was decidedly closer.
"Infected with what?" Dave snapped, pounding his fist against the wood in frustration. Never a man that liked being kept waiting, he hoped that Spencer Reid realized he was treading dangerously close to his threshold of patience.
"The flu, Agent Rossi! It's like flu-topia out there," Reid sputtered, his eyes widening behind the closed door as he stared at the heavy walnut currently providing his only shield from the attack of mutant virus genes intent on destroying humanity. "The news is calling it the worst outbreak in a decade. The entire city has been blanketed. Congress has had to take an unscheduled recess. Schools are closed...hospitals are at capacity...it's..."
"Reid, slow down," Rossi said calmly as the younger man babbled on, his nasal voice growing higher in pitch with each frantic word. Thinking back, he did remember reading something in the Seattle newspaper about that. But two weeks away on a book signing always dulled his memory a bit. "Is that where everybody is? Home with the flu?"
"Most everybody," Reid said, opening the door a crack and extending his arm to jiggle a paper mask underneath Dave's nose.
"What the hell is that?" Dave yelped, recoiling from the flimsy thing hanging on the doctor's gangly arm.
"Mask," Reid replied, his voice muffled by his own mask. "Trust me, you'll need it. How do you think I made it this far without getting it?" His eyes widened over the top of the folded covering as he declared, "Oh, they all laughed at me two weeks ago...but who's laughing now?"
Taking the offering from between Reid's fingers, Dave frowned as he tried to peer into the conference room. "Is anybody besides you here, Reid?" Dave asked, desperate for a person that wasn't quite so...demented… to get his information from. For all he knew, the young genius had finally cracked from the strain and taken out his entire team when he wasn't looking. Either way, he wasn't about to be trapped in the BAU with the germophobe of the century if he didn't have to be.
Nodding, Reid gestured toward the metal rolling cart packed with haphazardly stacked files sitting just outside the door. "JJ's been keeping me supplied in here," he explained, his breaths causing the mask to concave. "Could you please roll that to me?"
Rolling his eyes, Dave pulled the cart toward Spencer's hand and watched as the door opened just wide enough to get the cart inside the room. Stepping forward to enter Reid's commandeered fortress, he unexpectedly found the door slammed in his face.
"Sorry," Reid apologized, his voice sounding anything but, once again on the other side of the safe and secure portal. "But even if you aren't infected, you've been exposed. It's every man for himself, Agent Rossi," Reid's muffled voice intoned through the closed door. "I'm sure you understand."
Staring at the door, Dave pursed his lips as he jiggled the door knob again. Locked. He ground his teeth in frustration as the sound of a spraying aerosol can filtered out. Glaring at the heavy dark wood, he demanded, "Now, what the hell are you doing, Reid?"
"Disinfecting the cart! You and JJ touched it!" Reid explained quickly, holding his breath from behind his mask as he depressed the trigger to his can of Lysol again and blasted the cart. He must remember to send the makers of this very germicide a letter of congratulations for creating such an effectual product.
Shaking his head in disgust at that answer, Rossi yelled, "You say JJ's still here?"
"In her office," came the muffled reply, the sound seeming to fade as Reid obviously moved further away from the door. "Or at least, she was. She looked pretty peaked to me this morning in the short time I saw her."
Staring at the room Reid had walled himself off in, Rossi thought it was somewhat fitting. If the world DID, indeed, end, alarmists such as the young man behind the door probably would be the ones to survive. And that may just explain what good ol' Darwin was attempting to describe all those years ago. Survival of the fittest apparently also depended on who has the largest supply of Lysol at his disposal. "Good luck, kid," he called out as he retraced his steps toward JJ's office.
God, please let her be more reasonable than the youngest member of his team.
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!
And thanks to everyone that continues to read, review, favorite and alert! You guys and gals are awesome!