Author's Note: We have a few announcements for year today. First, don't forget we have a new challenge open on the forum, "Chit Chat on Author's Corner". Sign-ups for our January challenge, "The Happy New Year's Challenge" is open through December 30, 2010. We'd love to have each one of you. 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.
Thank you so much to everyone that participated in the first year of our CM Christmas Fic Exchange! We had a blast reading each really fabulous story!
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!
Not A Word
"Not a word." David Rossi held up a stern hand as he met the amused gaze of his best friend. "Not. A. Single. Word."
Aaron Hotchner was not a man that smiled often. And even when he did, it almost never reached his eyes. Life was hard, and in his mind, there was precious little to find funny.
Of course, there was an exception to every rule. He might have denied it before David Rossi's frantic phone call tonight, but now, he had unequivocal proof.
There was, indeed, a higher power. And Erin Strauss was right; it evidently hated David Rossi with a fiery passion. Tonight was living proof of that very maxim.
"Where's JJ?" Dave asked, his voice clipped and irritated as a purple-clad nurse fussed with the strings on the back of his hospital gown.
"X-ray," Hotch choked, his lips twitching uncontrollably as he attempted to regain control of the laughter threatening to escape. "They want to make sure her wrist isn't broken."
"It's not funny," Dave growled, his eyes narrowing as he glared across the small examining room.
"Really?" Hotch asked, voice choking, barely able to form words as the hilarity of the situation flooded him.
"Yes, really. She could be hurt," Dave retorted impatiently, his eyes moving toward the doorway as if attempting to see around the sharp corners.
"The doc thinks it's a sprained wrist at most," Hotch assured the older man, well aware of Dave's stubbornness and the fact that he would storm the halls until he found JJ. "He's just playing it safe. His words, not mine," he added before Dave could bite off another caustic retort. "What about you?" Hotch asked, gesturing at the distinctly disgruntled older profiler, who was currently wearing a thin well-used hospital gown…and probably not much more. "You look so..."
"Undignified?" Dave grunted, glaring at all occupants of the room as the nurse readied her syringe.
"That's one word for it," Hotch murmured, desperately trying to keep a straight face.
"Strained back," Dave growled, wincing in shock as the nurse's needle pierced his ass. "Shit! Son of a bitch, that HURT," he yelped, shooting the nurse an accusing look as he reached back to rub his injured skin.
"It's a muscle relaxer," the elderly nurse said, shooting Dave a censorious glare as she recapped the needle and dropped it into a nearby red plastic box. Obviously she knew how his injuries had been incurred. "It had to go into the muscle for it to work," she continued archly, her eyes condemning him.
"Whatever," Dave snarled, shifting slightly on the gurney as he attempted to move another inch away from the evil woman . "Can I have my clothes back now?"
"Not yet," Nurse Ratchet said primly, reaching for the clipboard lying on the nearby rolling table. "You still need to be released by the staff physician on call."
Moving out of the way as the nurse departed through the doorway, her head turning to give Dave one last disapproving glare over her shoulder, Hotch shook his head as he took a step closer to the bed. "You know, Dave, I've picked you up from a lot of places over the two decades of our friendship...for a lot of different reasons."
"Don't go there, Aaron," Dave muttered under his breath, tugging futilely on the unforgiving gown. Why in the world couldn't hospitals invest in actual clothing instead of this torture item that was probably made by under-aged children in some third-world country who made two pennies an hour?
"But...and I've wracked my brain here...I do believe that this is the first time I've ever needed to pick you up from the emergency room for a sex-related injury. Correct me if I'm wrong," Hotch suggested magnanimously, tucking his hands in the pockets of his slacks.
"Damned IKEA bed," Dave complained, turning aggrieved eyes toward the tiled ceiling. "A guy tries to get a little rambunctious and..."
"I don't want to know," Hotch cringed, his mind conjuring images of Dave and JJ that he definitely did NOT want to think about. How the hell active did a couple need to be to break the wooden slats of a bed?
Huffing out an impatient breath, Dave muttered, "It's not as bad as it looks. We were...involved when the cell phone rang unexpectedly at a rather pivotal moment. It startled JJ and she jumped. When she landed, it broke the slats...and jarred my back." He stopped for a moment as he rolled his eyes and added, slightly sheepishly, "I sort of bucked her off me when the pain seared up my spine."
"A bucking bronco." Hotch couldn't help laughing at that moment, the unavoidable mental pictures currently searing his mind providing him with far more entertainment than anything Hollywood could have produced.
"Very funny," Dave said dryly, shifting on the bed and wincing against the pulling of his muscles. "Needless to say, she landed in the floor and her wrist took the brunt of the impact."
"Do I even want to know how your foot came to be bandaged?" Hotch asked, shaking his head incredulously.
"Empty wineglasses in the floor when I realized she was hurt," Dave said, as if that explained everything, gesturing for Aaron to fork over his nearby crutches.
"God, I'd so pay to see the insurance adjuster's face when this claim comes across his desk. I'm fairly certain our HMO doesn't cover sexual catastrophe," Hotch gasped, unable to stop laughing, his eyes crinkling as he stared in amazement at the older man.
Eyes narrowing, Dave huffed, struggling to be heard above Hotch's latest guffaw, "I do believe I can speak for both myself AND JJ when I say, I think we both hate you right now."
Wiping his eyes filled with tears of mirth, Hotch shrugged as he regained control. "Could be worse."
"How?" Dave snorted, crossing his arms over his chest as he glared at the obviously insane man.
"You could have had to call Strauss."
"I was wrong," Dave replied with a growl, lips pressed tightly together. "I know I hate you now. With friends like you, who needs enemies?"
And as Hotch tried to control his chuckles, he shook his head. What Dave didn't realize is an enemy would have taken pictures.