Title: Invitation

Word Count: 321

Rating: G

Fandom/Pairing: Criminal Minds slash starring Aaron Hotchner/David Rossi

Disclaimers/Warnings: No real spoilers. No own. I just borrowed them for a second:)

Author's Notes: Written for *staringout* prompt #611: a bottle of red, a handwritten invitation and a broken watch.

Summary: Hotch takes a chance at happiness.

David Rossi, you are cordially invited-

Hotch shakes his head. Too formal. It's not supposed to sound like a wedding invitation.

Dear Dave, please grant me the honor of your presence-

He's not sure why that one doesn't work either, but it definitely doesn't.

Dave, please come-

Too informal. If he gives him that he's fairly certain Dave will think it's a prank. Hotch closes his eyes briefly, thinking. The last time he asked someone out he married her. He really doesn't know how to date anymore. And now, with all that's happened, he can't imagine how to start things off. Especially with David Rossi, who he's known and been friends with for so long. Dave knows him. The good, the bad, and the ugly. How is he to tell the man that seeing him with Jack, the hugs, the shoulder to cry on and the borrowed ear when he has to talk or implode, has somehow attracted him? Dave's always been like this. Always there. That hasn't changed. But something else has. Hotch finds his loyalty appealing now, his strength, his wisdom and dry sense of humor.


I have a bottle of Merlot, some soft jazz and a steaming pan of restaurant-delivered lasagna with your name on them. Tonight at 7?


He makes sure to write the note clearly before slipping it into Dave's jacket pocket and hopes for the best. Dave shows up at his apartment at half past 7, complaining of a broken watch and traffic. Although his face does spread immediately into a grin when he realizes that Jack is at the babysitter's. Hotch blushes sheepishly, half-smiling. He is on a date with his best friend. If the twinkle in Dave's eyes as he drinks the wine is any indication, it's a successful one. Hotch lets a full-blown grin slide over his face. It's been a while but he still remembers. This is what contentment feels like...

The End