I wrote this at New Years, and abruptly discarded it. I read it again and decided I was happy enough with it to post it, so let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!
Reid chuckled as Garcia teased Kevin, who handled it like a pro, whispering something in her ear that none of them could hear. Garcia leaned back quickly, mouth open wide as she looked at her boyfriend, before she gave him a gentle push and smiled.
They were gathered at a bar, waiting to start the countdown to midnight. Only Hotch was absent from the team gathering, preferring to spend time at home, celebrating with Jack. Even JJ had come, Will with her, leaving Henry with a babysitter for the evening. Reid was nursing a scotch on the rocks, and feeling pretty happy. He'd called his mother earlier that day, and she was having a good day, and even seemed in good spirits.
"So Morgan, which one of those ladies are you going charm into a midnight kiss?" Emily asked teasingly from beside him.
Morgan glanced beside him, at the bar full of celebrating and mostly inebriated twenty and thirty somethings. There were plenty of young women that would be more than willing to lock lips with a guy like Morgan. He turned back and offered her a cocky smile. "I don't know, but I'm not worried."
Emily rolled her eyes. "Of course your not."
He chuckled. "And what about you, Prentiss? Which of these guys is going to get lucky in ten minutes?"
She shrugged. "Don't know." Then she smiled slightly, "But, I'm not worried."
"Touché." Reid was suddenly his focus. "Who are you kissing at midnight, kid?"
Reid simply shrugged. "Probably no one."
"Oh, come on, Spence you've got to kiss someone," Garcia insisted.
He frowned. "I don't have to. It's just a custom, not a written law."
"Reid, have you ever had a midnight New Year's eve kiss?" JJ asked.
He shrugged again, and spoke quietly. "No, I guess not."
Emily turned to him incredulously. "Seriously, you've never had a New Year's kiss?"
"No, why is that so shocking?" He demanded.
"Reid, you need to pick of these fine ladies to plant your lips on in," Morgan glanced at his watch, "Five minutes."
He shook his head. "No, I don't. I mean, is Rossi going to kiss anyone?" He gestured to the older man.
Rossi turned to him, smirking. "As a matter of fact, there's an attractive blonde groupie at the next table that I promised a kiss too." He nodded to the table, and winked at a woman that couldn't be more than 25.
"Nice job, Rossi," Morgan complimented.
"You do realize that she's young enough to be his daughter?" Emily asked.
"Yeah, that's a little icky." Garcia looked at Rossi apologetically.
"I'm not sleeping with her, I won't even use tongue. And, I'm not so old that I've started rotting," he insisted.
"Ignore the girls, enjoy it man," Will commented, earning a little chest slap from JJ. "Have I told you I love you today, sweetheart?"
She rolled her eyes while the rest of them chuckled. "Love you too, dear."
"So, how's the DOD been treating you Jayje?" Emily asked.
The blond sort of shrugged. "It's less horrifying than the BAU, but I have colleagues, not a team. I miss that."
Garcia squeezed her hand. "We miss you too, honey."
"10…9…" The countdown started, surprising all of them. The four of them without significant others scrambled to quickly grab kissing partners. At least, Morgan and Rossi did. Reid was surprised to find Emily not even trying. "3…2…1…"
The bar erupted in a chaotic mix of flying confetti, the trumpeting of noisemakers, and a hundred people yelling New Years greetings and well-wishings at the top of their lungs. When the noise died abruptly, Reid watched people begin to kiss all over the bar, saw Rossi smooching his young groupie.
Then suddenly, soft lips were on his, gently caressing his, and Reid stopped breathing. He froze, but didn't resist the kiss, his brain taking in every sensation as those lips slid along his, tasting and teasing. Then those lips were gone, and Reid found himself staring at a rather amused looking Emily Prentiss.
"Happy New Year," she said, and found her way back to her seat.
He finally breathed, cleared his throat and pulled his gaze away. Rossi settled back in his seat, the couples in their group parted from each other and settled into their seats, and Morgan came back to the table, looking rather satisfied.
"You find a nice girl to kiss, hotstuff?" Garcia asked him.
"Yeah, gorgeous girl with olive skin and dark hair down her back, even got her phone number."
"Well, that's why you look so proud of yourself," Emily teased him.
"And, what about you? You find someone to kiss, Prentiss?"
She offered an enigmatic smile. "Yep."
"Oh, I want to know," JJ said, already looking around. "Which of these guys?"
"None of them." She nodded toward Reid.
He saw universal surprise register as they turned to him. Morgan looking dubious. "You kissed Reid?"
"Awww!" Garcia squealed. "You gave him his first New Year's eve kiss!"
Reid shifted uncomfortably. "She's a friend, so it doesn't really count."
Emily turned to him slowly, looking annoyed. "I don't count?"
And, then the stuttering began. "Well no, I didn't mean it like that. I meant like, you know, you're supposed to be kissed by…by, well it's traditionally a romantic kiss, and, and…uh, it was a good kiss, but it wasn't romantic." Emily didn't look impressed, a little amused, but not impressed. "Uh, a really good kiss?"
Everyone was started chuckling. Rossi had to comment. "So, it was a good kiss then?"
"Definitely one of the better I've had," he answered without thinking. It was a good kiss.
"Nice job, Em," Garcia said, holding a hand up for a high five. Emily delivered, if somewhat reluctantly.
Morgan grinned. "Who knew you had hidden talents?" She rolled her eyes. He shot her a flirty smile. "I've got to test this, how about you come over here and plant some of that sugar on me, princess?"
Emily picked up her empty margarita glass. "It takes far more than this to get me drunk enough to start passing out kisses."
Rossi suddenly smiled and looked at Morgan. "That sounds like a challenge."
The other man chuckled. "Yes, it does."
"I'm going to ignore you both now." And, she turned slightly, giving JJ and Garcia her attention.
"Hey Reid, between the little Hollywood starlet, the bartender, and Prentiss, who wins?" Morgan was having far too much fun with this.
He shifted uncomfortably. "It's not a contest."
"Didn't say it was, I'm just curious."
Garcia answered for him. "Oh please, Emily could easily kick both their asses."
JJ chuckled. "Not what he was asking, Pen. How many of those have you had?"
The redhead was sipping one of many cosmopolitans. She gave JJ a sideways look. "It's New Years Eve, and there's plenty of cabs out, I can drink as much as I want."
A hour and a half later, they were all yawning and throwing money on the table. There had been no talk of New Years resolutions for them, they were old enough to know none of those were ever kept. Besides, who has the time to try and change when you're busy hunting serial killers?
Kevin had to half steer Garcia out, while simultaneously keeping her from pawing him, because apparently she got touchy when she was drunk. Will had an arm around JJ as they walked out, looking the picture of the perfect happy couple. Rossi downed the last of his own scotch on the rocks, and threw on his coat, and Morgan was shaking the sleepiness from his head, and counting out cash. Emily was already heading toward the door, on her way to flag down cabs.
He followed her out, and they stood together at the curb, watching cars go by and their breath come out in foggy puffs. She suddenly turned to him, her body tense with the cold. "I didn't embarrass you in there, did I?"
"No, of course not," he said quickly. "It was a nice gesture."
She smirked. "Honestly, it was as much for me as it was for you."
He looked at her curiously.
"Kissing random drunk guys is for when you're in college and too stupid or naive to wonder where they've been before you. But, I know your mouth is clean and disease free."
He chuckled. "Morgan and Rossi don't seem to have the same scruples. But, I guess that's a gender disparity, actually sexual politics is very interesting. I took a course in it while I was getting my psychology BA, and it's the differences between what men and women find acceptable and unacceptable are surprising. If you-"
"Reid," she cut him off. "Dating as an adult is the only sexual politics course you'll ever need."
He grinned. "True, but then I don't date much."
Emily snorted. "That makes two of us."
"Who's sharing with who?" Rossi asked, he and Morgan appearing behind them.
"I'll share with you, your place is on the way to mine from here," Emily answered, finally managing to flag a cab.
Before she climbed in, Reid grabbed her arm. "Emily, thanks for…you know."
She smiled, and hugged him. "Happy New Year, Reid."
Then she disappeared inside, Rossi behind her, and the cab took off.
Morgan looked at him. "Now, seriously kid, Prentiss and that kiss…just how good was it?"
Reid rolled his eyes, this was going to be a long ride home.