Author's Note: Hold on folks, this is a long note today! First, Tonnie and I would like to announce that signups for Chit Chat on Author's Corner's January Challenge-The Happy New Year's Challenge are open thru December 30, 2010. Simply swing by the forum (you can link to it thru our profile pages) and sign up with the pairing you'd like to see written and three prompts associated with the holiday. On Jan 1, 2011, you'll be assigned a random pairing (not the one you usually write) and three prompts to write by January 30.
Second, I have a question for my readers. I truly enjoyed last night's CM episode, "What Happens at Home" and the introduction of the character Agent Ashley Seaver. I intend to do some stories with her character incorporated into a pairing and I'd like to know who you guys would like to see me pair her with. I know the obvious choice is Reid, but what about Hotch or Rossi. Anybody that knows my work knows I'm a sucker for older man/younger woman pairings. So, shoot me a pm or review and let me know what you think. I think the world of you guys and value your opinions!
Just a reminder, December 25th is right around the corner. Everyone that signed up for the CM Christmas Fic Exchange, please remember your stories. We want this to be a WONDERFUL gift experience for all involved. If you have any questions, feel free to pm either myself (ilovetvalot) or tonnie2001969.
In other forum news, please check out our newest discussion thread, "Serious vs. Light - Which gets the most response?" It is a discussion of serious vs. light stories and the response they get from readers. We also have new interviews with Clarebones and musicxlife4 up for your reading pleasure.
Also please check out the discussion thread entitled, "The Fine Line Between T and M ratings". There's a great ongoing discussion there, too.
Finally, if any of you have any idea for issues/activities that you'd like to see "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum tackle in the form of discussion threads and/or challenges, please let us know. We want to bring you all some really fun threads in the New Year!
As always, thank you to every reader, reviewer, and person that favorites or alerts one of our stories. Hearing from each of you means a great deal to each of us. We truly value your thoughts and opinions. Now, on with our story!
This story was based on the Tim McGraw song, "The Cowboy in Me"...and if any Good Samiritan wants to make a fan vid to that song (which really fits each member of the team, I think), I would be forever grateful!
"Yes, Director," Erin Strauss murmured tiredly into the phone, her free hand massaging her aching temple. "Yes, I'll make sure the message is delivered, but I can assure you that Alpha team has a proven record of getting the job done in any given circumstance. This was merely a demonstration of that skill, however questionable it may be. At the end of the day, they got the job done when no one else could."
She paused as the Director droned on and on regarding FBI protocol and procedure, his tone heavy and deep. How many times had she endured this same spiel where the BAU's A team was concerned? Tens? Hundreds?
"Yes, sir," she finally said when the Director finally wound down and she could be heard over his latest diatribe. "I'll convey those exact sentiments, Sir," she said respectfully, dropping her phone back to the desk.
Breathing deeply, she pressed her lips together as she mentally willed the pain in her head to abate. Of course, that was a wasted effort.
Aaron Hotchner and the rest of his band of merry brothers were going to kill her. Slowly and painfully.
Shaking her head and wincing against the rush of pain slamming her temples, she spat aloud, "A bunch of fucking cowboys!"
And they were. And Aaron Hotchner was the biggest one of all. His John Wayne swagger aside, his attitude spoke volumes. For a man that had a life most would envy, from a son that adored him to a team that would quite literally face hell itself if he asked, he regularly took risks that would curl the hair of most normal God-fearing people. Of course, over her years of overseeing his team, she'd become immune to his antics. Penchant for risk aside, Aaron Hotchner was a damned good agent and he got the job done. Like any good cowboy, he always nabbed his outlaw. And as long as he could do that, who was she to judge his methods?
Then, of course, there was David Rossi. If Aaron Hotchner was John Wayne, David Rossi was certainly a convincing imitation of Dean Martin. The former playboy had that cocky grin down to a fine art. Too bad that his so-called heart was half made of stone. One too many bad choices had left a lasting impression on him, and now, the hunt for justice was all he had left. His primary motivator was the pursuit of his prey. Thankfully, that drive and passion worked in her favor. Otherwise, she'd have been hard pressed not to simply shoot him herself and do the women of the world a favor.
Derek Morgan personified the restlessness of the American cowboy. Always struggling to be better... faster...stronger than the newest hired gun. And so far, he'd succeeded. But she had to wonder what the indomitable man would do when he finally was bested. Would he fold? Or, would he simply persevere to do better? If she was a betting woman, she'd say that wager would define the term even odds.
Then, like every pack of cowboys, they had the "Kid", cliché as it was. Dr. Spencer Reid was a genius in his own right, fully competent and qualified as an agent within the Bureau. She'd made it her business to know that. That said, she couldn't deny that she'd watched the younger man's efforts to emulate his mentors for years, often using them as the bar by which he set his own standards. Grudgingly, Strauss admitted to herself that his examples were stellar. In spite of her own intense personal dislike of the team, they embodied the qualities he needed to hone.
Hell, the small posse they'd formed even had their own personal Annie Oakley. Agent Emily Prentiss might come wrapped in a small, demure package, but the window dressing was deceptive. Her prowess with a gun was a well known fact. But, while the weapon she carried might be a deterrent to others, it was her mind that was the truly fatal advantage she carried. And anyone that knew Emily would agree with Strauss's decidedly professional assessment.
Singularly, each man - or woman, as the case may be - characterized dangerous. But together, they were purely lethal, each poised in unison to strike their enemies down with cunning, skill, and deadly accuracy.
And her job in this convoluted Wild West show was clear. Despite the fact that there wasn't a line she'd drawn in the dirt that each of them hadn't crossed with relish and ease, it was her job as Marshal to make sure her cowboys lived to ride another day. And they would. Each of them.
Unless she chose to shoot them herself.
Now, wouldn't the Director find that interesting!