Title: Saints, Sinners and Handholding

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Rating/Warnings: R (profanity, sexual situations)

Characters/Pairing: Rossi/Garcia, AU to Season 5

Summary: It wasn't supposed to be this, really

TIMELINES/SPOILERS: Season 5. An AU. This *so* wasn't supposed to happen. This is what happens when Rossi calls Garcia, "Kitten."

ARCHIVING: my LJ & FFNet... anyone else? Please ask first.

Feedback always welcome.

DISCLAIMER: The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television own Criminal Minds. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.

VERSION: Ahhh… vino. Started April 24, 2010. Updated November 2010.

COMMENTS: Yeah. Whatever. It just hit and forced me to write it.

***/***

"I'd rather laugh with the sinners and cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun."

Billy Joel

***/*** Saints, Sinners and Handholding***/***

Rossi wasn't quite sure how it all happened. One minute, he was flashing his badge at the head nurse at St. Sebastian's—snarling that HIPPA didn't mean fuck-all because Aaron Hotchner was his best friend and he was with the goddamn FBI—and the next minute, grasping Aaron's limp hand and going through every damn prayer he knew.

He even called Father Jimmy to come down because, God damn it (I'll confess next time about that, Lord) they needed every advantage that they could get. There was a parade in and out of Aaron's room; if the man had been awake, he would have been thoroughly pissed to be on display like this.

"Oh!"

Her gasp was unmistakable. Neither was the crash of her oversized purse as it hit the floor. Penelope Garcia, decked out in a floral print only she could wear, held her right hand to her mouth and her left trembling at her side.

Aaron, of course, didn't move. Three cheers for morphine. Because if awake, Aaron would be slurring how he was just fine and how, really, all this was no big deal. How they shouldn't be sitting here, fussing over him, when they should be tracking down Foyet.

Rossi immediately moved to her side, picking up the purse (Christ, what the fuck did she weigh the damn thing down with?) and shuffling her over to his vacated chair. "Drugs have him out of it," he told her with a reassuring pat to her shoulder. A stupid and obvious statement, but worrying like this did that to him. "But he would be glad that you're here."

She sat down heavily, tears spilling unashamedly down her cheeks. Of the team, Rossi supposed, only she was allowed to shed them and no one think lesser of it. Sad that in the FBI, tears were still considered sign of weakness, even when weeping over the horror of the nearly-slain.

"Hey, hey," he said. Three ex-wives meant experience dealing with crying women. But Penelope Garcia faced down the worst of the worst on a daily basis. Tears were not something that just…happened.

Her hand tightened on his. Christ, she had an iron grip. "He's not supposed to be…" she trailed off, looking away briefly before meeting his eyes. "This is doesn't happen to Hotch."

But she wasn't looking for comfort. She wasn't looking for some bullshit 'everything's gonna be okay' line. She was angry. Furious. There was a certain glint that a woman got in her eyes when her man was hurt and Garcia had it. If Foyet had walked into the room just then, there was nothing on the Earth that could save that bastard from whatever savagery Penelope Garcia could come up with. Hell hath no fury, and all of that.

"We'll find the son of a bitch," Rossi told her, not to assuage her fears but to declare his own conviction. "We will find him and we will make him pay."

"We will," she agreed.

***/***