Author's note: Felt like posting a story...but I wasn't quite sure of what. I wrote this about a couple weeks back, but I just rediscovered it and decided to post it. Unfinished, that is. If it does well, I'll post a second chapter. If it doesn't...then it'll die alone. Haha. Thanks guys for reading! P.S. SO excited for season six!
P.S. Those of you who have read my story Even Angels Fall, I apologize for not writing a seventh (it stopped at the sixth chapter, right? Wow...I don't even remember.) and I promise you I will eventually get around to it. Sorry for the hiatus! I've just had a writer's block on that story. Want to keep you guys entertained!
We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.
"Hey Hotch," JJ knocked as softly as possible on his opened office door with her knuckles. She waited until he looked up from his file to talk again. "Can I come in for a second?"
Hotch nodded, which JJ took as an invite to step inside, so she did, shutting the door behind her. The first thing she did was peek around his office only momentarily. It seemed a little darker than she remembered. Not that she ever remembered really looking before, but now that she was, it seemed much darker, scarier. Even the wood on his desk looked two shades of darker brown. It wasn't until she felt Hotch's confused look that she realized she was taking too long.
"Okay, this is going to sound really stupid, but Garcia really wanted me to ask you this..."
Hotch raised his eyebrows expectantly.
"See, we're kind of having this thing for Halloween."
"A party?" Hotch guessed.
JJ nodded and smiled. She was surprised to hear him even say that word. She didn't realize PARTY was in Hotch's vocabulary. She continued anyhow. "Sort of, yeah. I mean, it won't be a huge thing, but we're going to invite the whole team. Morgan is helping Garcia with the costumes tomorrow and I managed to talk Reid into going, and of course Rossi and Prentiss are going, now there's only...you, left." She raised her eyebrows. "What do you say?"
Hotch paused and glanced down at his file, then closed it and put it on his desk. "JJ, we're not even sure we'll have Halloween off. I mean, Halloween is the most appropriate holiday to start killing." he drew his bottom lip in shamefully. "Not that that's ever a good time, but you know what I meant."
JJ paused and nodded. Was her disappointment incredibly obvious? It felt incredibly obvious. It felt like she was wearing the disappointment from head-to-toe, like a shadow cast over her. She was already mentally shopping for costume ideas for Hotch, and she thought it'd be a really good thing for him to get out with adults outside of work. "Yeah, but you could say that about any day." she tried.
"I'm just saying, I don't think it's such a good idea to invest so much into this thing you guys are throwing when we might have to work anyway." His face stayed as hard as always and almost even more uninviting than usual. JJ nodded what felt like for the hundredth time and turned on her heels.
"I wouldn't know what to wear, anyway." he mumbled under his breath. JJ stopped sharply on her leather heel and turned.
"What was that?"
Hotch shook his head. But JJ heard him. She fought the urge to smile. He would only take that smile as a teasing gesture and get mad.
"Don't even worry about that. Us girls could go with you."
That idea frightened Hotch, which was very obvious. He shook his head rapidly. "I've got to watch Jack anyway."
JJ scrunched up her face, catching Hotch in a lie. "I thought you said Hailey's sister was taking him to see his grandparents in Florida?"
"Yeah, but who wants to go there on Halloween? He should stay with me."
JJ sighed, trying not to interfere. And also trying not to let her own selfish desires get in the way. It's not like she should want Hotch there anyway, since she's with Will and all. "Does Jack want to go?" she asked delicately.
Hotch shrugged and looked down, keeping his eyes fixated on a screw inside the desk. "I'm sure he'd like to..." he paused, realizing the truth in his own words then sighed. "I should let him go. He needs this."
She bit her bottom lip hesitantly. "I think you need to come to this party."
He looked up, his dark eyes soulful and full of sadness. They were glistening. "I'll consider it." he sighed.
That wasn't enough though. That wasn't a yes. She dug her fingernail into her palm, ashamed. She shouldn't want him to go this bad. She shouldn't be fighting this hard. "How 'bout this? Instead of Garcia and Prentiss tagging along on the costume trip, we could just go."
Hotch raised his brows. He just stared at her for a moment. She felt exposed. She felt like checking her teeth for food or readjusting her bra, she felt like she was being measured up. "I'm not wearing anything ridiculous." he clarified sternly.
JJ nodded and raised her hands. "I wouldn't ask you to do that." she said honestly, her eyes bright and excited.
"Or anything bright."
"Do you even own anything that's not black or gray?"
"No, and I'd like to keep it that way."
JJ smiled. She raised her own hand. "Scout's Honor."
He furrowed his eyebrows. "Your not a scout."
"Never was." she admitted, heading for the door.
"Then that means that oath means nothing."
She tried to conceal her evil grin, but she winked at him, informing him silently that he was in for a long day tomorrow.
"What on earth are you doing in there for so long, JJ?" Will said grumpily outside the bathroom door, tapping his feet on the wood floor. "You've been in there, what?" he checked his wrist, but his watch was laying sleepily on the bedroom nightstand. "Fifteen minutes?"
She ignored his complaints. It wasn't like her spending an exceedingly long time in the bathroom was an everyday occurrence, so why was he being so dramatic about it? It's also not like going costume shopping with Hotch was an everyday occurrence, or something she imagined happening in five lifetimes, so he should at least give her time to prepare for that.
It took the five-hundredth groan to escape his mouth soundly until she swung open the bathroom door, a bright lipstick smile on her face, welcoming him to go inside. "All yours." she said happily, as if she was doing him a huge favor.
Will fought the urge to give her an eye-roll. He walked inside and ran his toothbrush under hot water. "Why were you taking so long, anyway? I thought you were off today."
JJ nodded, exchanging purses. She was trying to decide which purse to decide on. The fact that she was putting so much precious time into her makeup, hair and outfit made her feel extremely guilty and dirty. Disgusting, even. She felt like she needed a second shower. How horrible she was. But that didn't make the decision any easier.
"Don't tell me," he mumbled through a mouthful of toothpaste. "Another case came in?"
She shook her head, deciding on a cherry red purse. Maybe it was kind of bright, but it called to her. In her basic outfit (V-neck white long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and black heels) the purse brought a distraction. A good, sexy distraction? That was debatable. She grabbed the red purse and turned, holding it to her chest.
"Will, do you like this?" she asked.
Will turned, green toothbrush dangling from the side his mouth and shrugged.
She frowned. Then she realized what she had just done. She was asking her boyfriend if he liked the purse she was trying to decide to wear on her outing with her boss. She felt like she really needed a scrub-down. She stuffed her things in it, anyway.
"Where are you going, babe?" Will asked clearly, now that he was done brushing his teeth.
"Just out. Shopping." she replied so simply. Not an ounce of hesitation or reluctance in her tone. Ah, what a good lawyer she'd make, she thought.
"Why so early?" he pressed, ruffling through the closet through a strong yawn.
She dug her hands in her back pockets. "Halloween's coming up and I'm supposed to pick out costumes with my team." She bit her bottom lip, catching her own self in a lie.
"The whole team are going costume shopping?" he chuckled. "What, are you guys gonna be the whole Wizard of Oz clan?"
JJ laughed too, but that actually didn't seem like such a bad idea. Hotch dressed as the scarecrow seemed hilarious, and she couldn't control the large laugh that left her mouth. She cupped her hand over her mouth to disguise it, but it was all too late, Will was already shooting her a confused look.
"What?" he laughed too. Probably at how ridiculous she was being.
"Nothing," she choked back a guilty laugh that was coming up. "I have to go though, we're supposed to meet up at the store. I'll see you when I get home."
Will walked over, pulling her in for a goodbye kiss. She pulled him into a hug instead. "What, no kiss?" he laughed.
She tried to hide the guilty smile, but it was clear as a sunny day. He smiled back, probably taking her smile as a happy one. But her heart was breaking inside. It ached when she pulled him in and felt his kiss. Her heart ached even worse when she thought of Hotch.
JJ had agreed to meet Hotch down at the local plaza, that wasn't a lie at least. Seasonally, in the plaza, they open a little Halloween store cramped in between a Starbucks and a Payless Shoe Store. They have the workers dress up in demon costumes and have them pop out of unexpected places and scare you. They've scared Garcia numerous times previously, but never JJ. A couple of times JJ's even given them dirty looks that made them avoid her almost every visit.
She pulled into the parking lot, and almost immediately spotted Hotch's car. Of course Hotch wasn't late, it was Hotch. She got out of the car, pulled her sunglasses on the top of her head and searched the plaza. Hotch wasn't in his car. She walked inside the store, instantly getting scratched in the face with itchy streamers and decorations. She already spotted a red demon hiding in the corner excitedly. She felt like hiding somewhere and popping out and scaring the demon instead, to get revenge for everyone else he's scared in the past and for ruining a purple sweater that Garcia had ruined when she spilled a mocha latte on when one of them jumped out in front of her. But that idea vanished when she saw Hotch behind a few aisles, scanning across cheap masks. She made her way over to him, put her hand on her hips and stood by his side.
"The Scream mask, really? I don't think it'd suit you."
Hotch turned, scared almost, then sighed. "I thought you were someone else." he grumbled.
JJ smirked. "Lemme guess, you got attacked by some guy in a costume?"
Hotch didn't flinch, but she took that as a yes. She patted his shoulder reassuringly. "Don't worry, we've all been victims of that attack." she peered over her shoulder secretively. "I say, next person he comes up to and scares, we should get him back."
Hotch broke a smile, still staring at the masks. JJ didn't know if that half-smile meant yes, but at least he looked like he considered it. She eyed the masks for a moment also, but not nearly as intently as he was.
"You have an idea for a costume?" she finally asked.
Hotch shook his head. "No."
She sighed through her closed mouth. "Are you getting an idea?"
"Then why are you looking at these masks the way you are?"
He pulled a Scream mask from the rack and ran his fingers through the hard plastic cover, then broke another smile. This smile looked sad though. "Jack wore this last year. It mortified me. I mean, who would want to dress as a serial killer for Halloween?"
JJ nodded understandably. "Yeah, I know. Will tried dressing Henry in a Michael Myer's costume last Halloween, just to break my balls. I was pretty upset. We settled on a Power Rangers one instead."
Hotch broke into a chuckle, his eyes still on the mask. JJ tilted her head to the side, trying to catch an image of his face. "What?" she asked, crinkling her nose.
"I can't believe you just said 'break my balls.'"
"I can't believe you just said 'break my balls.' And anyway, you know what I meant." she defended.
Hotch brought his face to hers finally, and looked jokingly shocked. "I hope not, because that would mean -"
She rolled her eyes and put her hand on her hips. "Could I really hide a pair in these tight of jeans?" she scoffed.
Hotch scanned his eyes from her eyes, to her waist to her hips. He actually had to look. JJ slapped his arm and laughed. "Thanks a lot, Hotch! I'm not a guy!"
Hotch laughed, then pulled the Scream mask on his face and turned to her. JJ smiled.
"What do you think?" he asked, his voice muffled.
She paused. "Hmmm. Too scary, I think. I think you need something lighter than that."
Hotch pulled it off and scratched the back of his neck. "Good thing, it itches."
"Will you just try it on?" JJ pleaded, grasping the scarecrow costume and shoving it to his chest.
He shook his head decisively. "Uh uh, I draw the line at that."
"Oh come on, Hotch, you tried on the Dr. Evil costume and that was okay?"
He grinned, putting his hands in his jeans pocket. It wasn't until he did that that JJ even realized he had jeans on. Hotch in jeans? What an unusual picture. Then her eyes scanned the rest of his outfit choice: a plain blue t-shirt with some white text in the back. At least he left his suit home. "Yes. I draw the line at the yellow brick road."
"How come?" she screeched, still clutching the costume lovingly.
"Because! I want to leave this place with as much dignity as I walked in with."
She scoffed. "Sorry buddy, but I think you lost a good percentage of that when you decided to raid Austin Power's closet."
Hotch gave her a puppy dog face. "It wasn't Austin's, it was...Dr. Evil." he couldn't help but laugh at the end of that sentence. Even he could hear how ridiculous that sounded.
"Yes, exactly." she flashed him an eager smile and held the costume out to him one last time. Hotch never knew how stubborn JJ could be. It was kind of irritating. It was kind of sexy. "So, please?" she batted her lashes at him. "I'll try on any costume in here that you pick out if you just try on this one."
Hotch took it in his hands and gave it a once-over. The material was alright, not too uncomfortable. He assumed the straw hat would cause some discomfort, though. Although, it did seem easier to put on then a bald cap.
"Alright," he decided with an exasperated sigh. "But I get to decide if you get to see it on or not."
JJ pondered this idea, not liking it, then gave in. "Fine! Just try it on!"
Author's note: First off...I just totally realized something...I'm always for JJ/Hotch even though she's with Will in my stories. I'm so bad. I swear, I don't accept cheating under any circumstances. And if I were JJ, I'd handle things differently. That said, this is my story and I'm handling things the way I want JJ to handle them. ;) Oh yeah, and here's a fun fact for ya: The halloween store in the plaza I mentioned? I actually took that from a place where I live. I went to this halloween store in a plaza about fifteen minutes from my house and a employee in a demon costume jumped out and tried to scare my dad and me. It annoyed me, and he didn't scare my dad at all, but the whole time I avoided him thinking he would. Bastards. :P