Author's Note: St. Patrick's Day story! Yes, a few days late, but still I believe this is the closest I've actually posted a holiday story ON the actual holiday. And you know I take these sad little achievements where I can get them, so yay, go me and my ability to almost read a calendar correctly! :)
Moving on to the story, as much as I have (repeatedly) stated my aversion to writing them, this is just a straight up standalone one shot. The scene came to me and, (to my chagrin), there was just nowhere to stick it in any of my other worlds. So I wrote it out as it was and then realized when it was done, that something about the festivities of the day actually made the stand alone idea appealing for a change.
For purposes of timeline, obviously we'll just consider canon no longer exists and this is the crew still together another year or so down the road.
TV Bonus Challenge #32 - Prompts Go Braugh!
Show: Glory Daze
Prompt: Shamrock You Like A Hurricane
Some Overdue Sowing Of The Wild Irish Oats
Emily tossed back her second shot of Irish whiskey and then slammed the little glass down on the counter.
"Another!" She yelled over the din to the bartender staring down at her with an amused eyebrow.
Immediately another jigger appeared in front of her . . . it instantly went the way of the first two. After she'd spun that glass over on top of the last, she looked up at the bartender again and grinned.
"Okay, I'm good for now," she pushed her twenty across the bar, "thanks."
The kid chuckled as he slipped the bill into his pocket and dropped two ones down in return.
"All right lady," he called back over his shoulder, "I'm here if you need me!"
Emily watched him move on to the next customer with a little smirk on her face . . . God he was cute.
But of course . . . she pushed the change back over the bar as a tip . . . that was probably half the alcohol talking. Three shots on top of the four beers she'd already had over the last two hours were making her feel, well . . . to be as crass as Morgan . . . she'd really like to get laid tonight.
Not with the bartender though.
Not that the kid wasn't cute . . . she eyed his ass appreciatively . . . he most definitely was. But he was also exactly that . . . a kid. Even by her slightly buzzed estimate, he appeared to be about twenty-three years old.
And that was about fifteen years too young for her.
No . . . she turned around to eyeball the raucous crowd in the backroom of the pub . . . she definitely had a very different pick in mind to take home with her tonight. Not that she'd gone drinking just looking to have sex . . . that was a thought that came to her much later. No, she was out tonight because it had been another hellishly bad week on the job. Actually the whole team was out tonight for that exact reason . . . well, that and that it was St. Patrick's Day . . . but Emily had slipped away from the larger group because she'd figured the line for drinks wouldn't be quite so bad away from the main bar.
She'd been correct.
It was still busy, but not crazy. And she really wasn't looking for crazy. Having not been a kid herself since the first Bush administration, St. Patrick's Day had stopped being a major holiday in Emily's life not longer after she'd joined the FBI. So she'd kind of forgotten just how insane the bar scene was on this particular night of the year. It wasn't that she minded really . . . it was nice actually after a week of making death notifications to just be around happy people again . . . but just getting together with the whole team tonight would have been enough for her.
Actually . . . she chewed the inside of her cheek as she looked over at a group of women playing darts . . . it wasn't just being out with the team that made her happy. It was the fact that she'd gotten Hotch to come out with them that had really made her night.
And he was the one that she was hoping to be tumbling into bed with a little later.
Hence . . . she turned back to the bar and eyeballed the little glasses in front of her . . . the need for the shots. After years of one step forward, two steps back with him, Emily had decided that enough was enough. Yet again . . . for the umpteenth time in her career with the BAU . . . one of them had nearly gotten killed on the job this week.
This time it was Hotch's turn, again.
Last night when they'd served the arrest warrant on their UNSUB, Hotch had set the two of them covering the rear exit. Then seconds after the primary team had slammed through the front entrance, they'd heard all hell breaking loose inside the apartment building. They'd tensed up at the exchange of gunfire, and then thirty seconds later the UNSUB had coming flying out the back door, his Colt practically still smoking in his hand.
He'd slammed chest first right into Hotch.
Both of their weapons had gone flying. Emily had kicked them out of reach as she'd watched helplessly while they grappled on the ground. Body parts were flying too fast for her to even consider taking a shot.
She could have killed the man that she was in love with.
Then she'd watched in horror as Hotch's skull cracked on the sidewalk . . . and though the sound had been sickening enough to turn her stomach . . . seeing him momentarily stunned was actually what had saved his life.
The eleven times over child murderer had been the only body moving. And as his head had snapped up, their eyes locked and she'd fired. Five bullets straight in the chest.
It was text book.
That was if the books covered anything like a regular day in her life.
The UNSUB's blood had splattered all over Hotch still lying beneath him, the back garden where he'd been shot and then the ambulance that tried to patch him back together. He'd lost at least two liters of blood before he'd even arrived at the hospital.
Somehow though . . . the bitterness crept into her thoughts . . . the fucker had still lived. Or at least he was still living on life support right now. But . . . she consciously pushed away the now omnipresent darkness in her brain . . . she was willing to let that one go. It was okay that he had lived when he deserved to die . . . because Hotch had lived too. He had a small bump on his head, but fortunately no fracture or concussion. And as the doctor looked him over, Emily had stood in the hospital corridor holding his gun and blood smeared vest and windbreaker. That's when a different version of the afternoon had begun to flash through her mind . . . the one where her shot had come too late.
The one where Hotch was dead.
Her eyes had begun to sting as her stomach churned. And she'd decided then and there that she was done with their dance. That when they got home she was finally going to make her move. Of course she might end up making a royal ass out of herself, but . . . she tensed up as the man himself stepped up beside her . . . she thought that was an unlikely outcome. Because she was positive that Hotch cared about her . . . wanted her . . . just as much as she cared about and wanted him. And she was sure that all he needed to act on his desires, was a little more liquor and a green light from her. She turned to look over at him.
And tonight he was getting both.
Hotch's eyebrow went up as he looked at the three empty shot glasses on the bar in front of Emily. Then his gaze shifted over to her face.
"Did you eat anything?"
Emily took a moment to openly roll her eyes at his question before turning around to wave her finger at the cute bartender.
"Three more shots of Jameson please!"
Hearing Emily's order for more liquor, for a second Hotch was too stunned to speak . . . THREE more shots! She'd obviously just HAD three shots!
And as the bartender started lining up three fresh little glasses in front of them on the bar top, Hotch's astonishment turned to actual anger. This would be six shots on top of FOUR beers!
Was she NUTS?
"Emily, no!" Hotch yelled as he put his arm down between her and the little cups of amber liquid, "you can NOT drink that much liquor in an hour and a half! You'll get alcohol poisoning!"
What the hell was she thinking? Yes, it was St. Patrick's Day, and yes, they were out attempting to drink away the last horrific case, but the plan was not to spend the evening in the EMERGENCY room!
Ignoring Hotch's little overprotective rant for a moment . . . he'd know what was happening soon enough . . . Emily instead focused in on the effects of the whiskey that she had consumed minutes before. In proper doses . . . as in not so much that you get a hangover . . . hard liquor was a wonderful thing. And right now the wonderful thing it was doing was pushing her worries about making a fool out of herself out of her head, it was lowering her inhibitions.
It was time to jump off the cliff.
So she turned to Hotch with a seductive grin. And seeing the look on his face . . . a mixture of concern and irritation . . . she leaned up to purr in his ear.
"Those shots are for you Aaron. Come on and join me on the dark side."
At the last second . . . just as she was pulling away . . . Emily felt another little burst of liquid courage. So she leaned back in again, letting the tip of her tongue slip out before she ran it along the shell of Hotch's ear. She nibbled on his lobe for a moment before pulling away with both a racing heart and a racing libido.
Oh. Crap. Even though they'd had some near misses over the last few years . . . the near kisses that one or the other had chickened out on at the last second . . . that was the first time that either of them had done something that unmistakably overt. And even though she had deliberately planned to move things forward tonight, it was still terrifying to actually DO it!
Planning and doing were most definitely not the same thing!
Hotch froze as he felt the shot of desire go right from Emily's tongue on his ear directly to his groin.
What the FUCK was that? That was NOT normal behavior for them!
As she pulled away, he looked down at her in astonishment. And though he could see a slight tinge of pink in her cheeks . . . which could be liquor, heat, or embarrassment . . . she didn't really seem to be all that fazed over the fact that she had just SUCKED on his ear!
In PUBLIC no less!
"What the hell was that Prentiss?" He sputtered in disbelief.
Okay, hadn't meant to call her Prentiss there. He hadn't called her Prentiss off duty in at least two years . . . not to mention he hadn't thought of her as "Prentiss" for at least twice as long as that. He'd considered her as "his Emily" for awhile now, but obviously she'd rattled him a bit. So it wasn't that he hadn't enjoyed her little move, because he had. But Jesus Christ . . . he shot a nervous look over his shoulder . . . the team was just around the corner!
Yes, he'd wanted Emily for himself for quite some time now, but whatever developments happened in their relationship should be a private matter between the two of them alone. God knows he didn't want anybody else in the group to know about the depth of his feelings for her.
That was personal business and nobody else's to know.
Though Emily was feeling a little wave of terror over what she'd just done, she tried to push down her fears to keep on plowing through it before she sobered up. In fact she couldn't help the little grin that slid across her face when she saw Hotch's adorably shocked and befuddled expression. Somehow just the fact that she'd managed to shock this man who had 'been there done that' ten times over on every level of hell imaginable, gave her another little boost of confidence. She was definitely breaking down his little barriers tonight.
So she picked up the first shot from the counter.
"That was me doing what one of us should have done a long time ago. Now," she shoved the glass into his hand, sloshing the amber liquid slightly over the side, "hurry and catch up with me. I'm trying to get us good and wasted so we can do stuff we don't usually do. And, uh," she stammered slightly, "my plan's going to completely backfire if you don't drink up."
Though a second ago shocking Hotch had given Emily a boost, the fact that he hadn't recovered yet was starting to throw off her game slightly. And then seeing him ignoring the shot to keep gaping like an open mouth bass, she started to feel the first flicker of embarrassment. The false bravado slipped away as she bit her lip. Then she reached up to stroke her fingers along his jaw.
"Please Aaron," she pleaded softly with him, "please don't let me stand here feeling embarrassed and stupid. I have feelings for you," her eyes started to burn as her voice faded, "strong feelings. And I think that you might feel the same way that I do. And we have miserable jobs and no personal lives to speak of. But," the tears started to pool, "I think that we could have fun together. I think that we could make each other happy." Her fingers stilled on his cheek.
"So how about it," her voice got husky, "do you think that you might like to try and be happy with me?"
There, she'd finally got it all out.
Now what was he going to do?
Hotch felt his expression immediately softening as he stared down at Emily baring her soul to him. As shocked as he'd initially been about what she'd done . . . and said . . . that all faded away as he looked into her watery eyes and felt the warmth of her soft fingers on his skin. She just looked so vulnerable and exposed that he wanted to wrap her up and bring her home with him.
He wanted to make love to her.
And as he thought about her words, it was hard to resist the appeal in what she was proposing. Of moving things forward rather than always chickening out and taking that half a step back. Because it wasn't just that he wanted to try to be happy with her.
He already was happy with her.
That's why he partnered with her more often than he did anyone else. That's why he accepted her invitations to come over for dinner on Sunday nights. That's why he'd agreed to be her date last month at her least favorite cousin's wedding. And of course that's why he'd come out with the group tonight.
He was there simply because she'd asked him to be there. And he liked to make her happy.
He just liked to be with her.
She was so smart and beautiful and strong, how could he not want to spend all of his time with her? But the problem of course was that he didn't do things like that . . . fall in love with his subordinates . . . that was not in the Aaron Hotchner code.
It was unprofessional.
So he had tried to resign himself long ago to simply staying friends and nothing more. Though that plan began to unravel when he realized just how God damn jealous he got every time he saw another man so much as look at her, let alone take her out on a date. As far as his heart and his head were concerned, she was already his.
He just hadn't known what the hell to do about that fact.
But now she had made a decision for both of them. She'd decided that it was time to transition them from friends to something more. And he knew that after putting herself out there so openly like this, that if he said no, it couldn't work with their command structure, he'd not only be hurting and humiliating her, but he'd also be destroying their friendship as well.
She'd transfer out tomorrow.
And feeling a horrible ache in his chest at that possible future . . . the one where she went away . . . Hotch knew what he needed to do. As his hand came up and took the shot glass from hers, her fingers immediately fell away from his face.
He missed their warmth.
They stared at one another for a moment, both ignoring the crowd pushing against them as Emily waited on pins and needles to see what Hotch would do with the whiskey. Drink it down, or put it down. One road to happiness.
One road to hell.
Hotch's gaze fell away from Emily's as his eyes snapped down to the little glass in his hand.
He was Alice in Wonderland holding the magic bottle in his fingers. And the question before him was simple . . . did he want to be happy? And though he'd spent the better part of two years . . . hell, ten years . . . trying to figure out how much of his life he was willing to give up for this job, apparently when push came to shove, the answer to that question was pretty simple too.
Yes, he did want to be happy with her. And if this is what he needed to do to prove that to her . . . he tossed back the first shot . . . then so be it.
Feeling the elixir burn his throat, Hotch looked down at Emily. And seeing the grin that spread across her face . . . that image of pure happiness . . . he had his own proof that he'd made the right choice. This was a woman that brought joy to a heart so battered that once he hadn't believed he could ever really be happy again. But she'd changed all that . . . his lip quirked up ever so slightly as he accepted the second sticky shot glass from her trembling fingers . . . and now he was accepting that he had definitely fallen down the rabbit hole with her.
And he didn't want to find his way out again.
But to reassure Emily of that fact, he made sure that the second shot disappeared just as quickly as the first. As she reached for the third whiskey, his fingers came down to tangle with hers. She froze. And as her worried gaze shot up to meet his again, he tried to tell her without words . . . this one he needed to do for himself.
So still holding her fingers in his, he picked up the last glass with his free hand. Then he blinked once as he looked away from the beautiful brunette in front of him.
The last bit of whiskey disappeared.
As the little glass slammed back onto the counter, his eyes again locked with hers. Her face was flush from the alcohol and the heat from the crowd, and really . . . she just looked gorgeous. And he could see the anticipation on her face as she worried her bottom lip. She was wondering what he was going to do next.
He was rather wondering that himself.
Because though he knew in his heart that this was the right choice, he also believed just as firmly that this was absolutely the wrong place to take the next step. They really needed to go before somebody else on the team wandered back and saw them together this way. But he wasn't quite ready to leave just yet.
Not before he'd reasserted his control of the situation.
Of the relationship.
After all he was the man here. And really, he should have been the one that had taken these steps tonight. He shouldn't be the one playing catch up.
It wasn't good for his ego.
So after shooting a quick glance over his shoulder to see if anybody else on the team was coming up behind them . . . no . . . he said fuck it and hooked his arm around Emily's waist, yanking her to his chest.
They were pressed together now in a way that they never had been before.
Emily's hands splayed out flat on Hotch's white dress shirt as she looked up at him with a mixture of terror and excitement. Just because she'd been all cocky and in fake control ninety seconds ago, didn't mean that he hadn't totally stolen that power back from her. He had a way of doing that.
That was okay though . . . she bit her lip as she felt his hard muscles pressing against her body. . . she was very okay with him doing anything he wanted to do with her right now.
And she did mean anything!
Still though . . . her breath caught for a second as she felt his hands slide down to lock at her waist . . . this was a REALLY big deal. A huge shift. And just because she wanted it . . . just because she'd initiated it . . . didn't mean that she wasn't still terrified of what it was going to mean for the future.
They were changing everything.
Seeing the little twinge of fear suddenly appear on Emily's face, Hotch's own expression softened . . . she was scared.
He was too. But of course she didn't know that. So he leaned down slightly to whisper in her ear. "It's okay Emily. I know it's scary. And in case you're worrying that this is only happening because of the alcohol," he pressed a kiss to her cheek, "you're wrong." His eyes crinkled slightly as he pulled back to look down at her, "it's happening because it was meant to. Just because I've been trying to ignore my feelings didn't mean I didn't have them. I just thought it was safer for both of us to stay with the status quo. But if want to do this, if you're ready to do this, then I am too. But if you change your mind, that's okay too. We won't do anything that both of us aren't ready to do."
The alcohol was a good excuse for having this conversation tonight, but it really had nothing to do with anything.
It was just a little extra courage.
Emily was still in his arms for a moment before he felt her hands rub across his chest. Then she leaned up to whisper back, "I don't want to change my mind."
And his eyes crinkled as he patted her back. "I don't want to change my mind either." He leaned back slightly to look down at her again, "so we're really doing this?"
A shy smile spread across Emily's face as she nodded back, "yeah, whatever this is, we're doing it."
His lips twitched at her word choice . . . whatever this is. Thank God he wasn't the only one that was flying blind. He hadn't regularly dated anyone for, well, best not to dwell on the numbers. The point was, it had been awhile since he'd had to 'woo' a woman . . . though he did still remember one key element of the process.
Nothing romantic was going to happen in the middle of a bar packed with drunken revelers.
So after doing a mental rundown of what they'd left back at the table . . . jackets and bags with case files . . . Hotch stifled a groan . . . he was going to have to go back in there.
Yes, jackets they could get from lost and found tomorrow, but unfortunately case files they could not.
Still though . . . he quickly checked his watch . . . that could wait a few more minutes. It was barely ten o'clock so there was no chance of the rest of the team heading out anytime soon.
Their stuff was still safe for now.
So Hotch pulled out his wallet and dug ten bucks out of the fold. Then he realized how many shots he'd just drank and threw another Hamilton down on the varnished wood. Once he was sure that he wasn't being a cheapskate, he spun Emily around in his arms so she was facing away from him. To his amusement she started to giggle . . . he was sure that was the liquor . . . and his mouth quivered slightly as he wrapped his arm around her waist. Then he started shuffling her through the crowded room and over to the side exit. Though it was chilly out tonight, they had a bit of momentum going at the moment so this one thing couldn't wait for him to get their jackets.
Once they stepped out into the crisp March air, Hotch felt a shiver run through Emily's body . . . the temperature had dropped more than he'd expected. So he tucked her closer to his chest as he rubbed his hands along her bare forearms. He knew that she was cold . . . he was too actually . . . so they couldn't stay out for long. But he didn't need a long time to do what he needed to do.
A few minutes would cover it.
So he walked her away from the smokers out sneaking a butt, and slipped the two of them around to the back of the building where the pub had overflow parking.
Not ordinarily the safest place for a canoodling couple to hang out, but considering that this particular canoodling couple was carrying four handguns between them, Hotch wasn't particularly concerned about getting mugged at the moment. He huffed slightly to himself as he pictured Emily's smooth dispatch of the UNSUB last night . . . his new girlfriend would protect him.
And once they were out of sight of the other shivering patrons, he stopped moving, leaning down to nuzzle Emily's neck. Slowly he worked his way up, one kiss at a time along the curve of her throat. And when she sighed and tipped her head to give him better access, he returned the favor she'd paid him a few minutes earlier.
Nibbling and licking that little spot between her cheek and her earlobe until she started squirming in his arms.
"Aaron," she panted breathlessly as his hands moved across her body, "if you don't stop that doing that I'm going to jump you right here in the parking lot."
He began to chuckle against her skin.
"It's a little cold for that, don't you think?" He asked in amusement as he turned her around in his arms.
"Maybe," she smirked back, "but there's a perfectly good backseat not ten parking spots away."
Not that she wanted her first time with Hotch to be in the backseat of a four door sedan, but if that man kept up with the licking and the sucking she was not going to be in control over her actions!
"Emily," Hotch scowled in disbelief, "we're not having sex for the first time in the CAR!"
Emily snorted at his look of righteous indignation.
"Hotch," with an amused sigh she tucked her head against his chest again, "I was just kidding. Well," she jiggled her head slightly, "mostly. But if you didn't bring me out here to have sex," she tipped her head back to look up at him questioningly, "what did you bring me out here to do?"
"This," Hotch whispered as he leaned down to press a kiss to the corner of her mouth. "And this," he placed a matching kiss on the other side. "And then most importantly this," he murmured as his lips finally met hers.
As Hotch deepened their first . . . proper . . . kiss, he heard Emily moan in contentment. And a few minutes later as their tongues tangled together . . . he did too. But realizing that taking things any further, was going to get them into a state of affairs that they'd already determined couldn't be addressed in the parking lot, Hotch reluctantly broke away.
They could finish that up again later tonight.
He could see that Emily's eyes were bright and shining as his hand came up to cup her cold cheek.
"Good first kiss?" He asked seriously. To which she nodded back happily.
"Uh, huh," she patted his cheek with a goofy smile, "GREAT first kiss!"
And now she was kicking herself for breaking off the half dozen other ones they'd nearly had over the last two years!
"Good," he shot her a dimple, "I agree. And now," his eyebrow rose slightly in amusement, "given that you just made me suck down three shots of whiskey, we can't go home until my buzz wears off. So," he tipped his head towards the McDonald's across the street, "how about I buy you a Happy Meal while we wait?"
It wasn't exactly a classy first date, but . . . his eyes crinkled as Emily started to laugh . . . somehow he didn't think she'd mind.
"That," she leaned up to place a quick peck on his lips, "sounds like a fabulous plan to me."
"Excellent," Hotch said as he tucked Emily back under his side and started walking them around the building, "so let's just get our stuff and we'll tell the team that we're heading out."
It wasn't a lie, they were leaving the building. And the others didn't need to know that they were taking a sixty minute detour before they went home.
As they headed up to the back door decorated with a giant green shamrock, Emily had a thought. She tipped her head back to look up at Hotch.
"You think they'll have Shamrock Shakes over there?"
"What's a Shamrock Shake?" Hotch responded with a slight wrinkle of his brow. And seeing that he wasn't kidding, that he apparently was not familiar with one of mankind's greatest artificially flavored inventions, Emily gave a mock sigh of exasperation.
"Oh Aaron, Aaron, Aaron," she tsked dramatically as she rubbed his stomach, "I have so much to teach you."
Hotch snorted as he leaned down to press a kiss to Emily temple.
"Can't wait Em," he squeezed her side with a huff, "can't wait."
A/N 2: So there you go. Random little harmless get together in a random little alternate world. Hope you had fun! Actually I have another St. Paddy's story that I'll hopefully get up later tonight. Another one shot but that one actually fits into an established universe. You'll have to wait and see which one ;)
I'm a little behind on thank yous, (shocking, yes) so I'll do a broad, "thanks very much everybody," just to make sure I don't miss anyone :)
And Shamrock Shakes, if you don't know them, they ARE one of mankind's greatest artificially flavored inventions. I was in the car with my niece the other day and we saw the sign for them out in front of McDonald's. We both yelped. Unfortunately we were going in the wrong direction and six lanes over in traffic so it wasn't really feasible to just "swing in there." But I'm going back this week before they're gone! And that's a little snapshot of my big plans for the week :)