Takes place before the absurdity of season 6's casting.


The sun was shining, the BAU's case had ended well, and everyone was in a good mood.

Well, not exactly.

It was pouring buckets of rain with thunder and lightening, the BAU had only managed to catch their UnSub after he had killed himself and three victims, and everyone was exhausted and in a foul mood.

"I don't think you guys will be able to leave," the head deputy sighed. "I wouldn't feel right sending y'all out there in this weather."

"The radio forecast just said the wind's picking up again and that it's only going to get worse," Garcia supplied sadly. "I think he's right, guys."

"We can set up an office room for your team," the deputy offered to Hotch.

The section leader sighed and rubbed his forehead. He had been looking forward to going home to Jack, but now that hope was long gone. He wanted too badly to hit something- or someone…. "Yeah, that would be great," he nodded instead.

"Sorry about this," the deputy said sincerely, "after a case so bad I assume that you guys would've preferred to go home."

"Sadly, that wasn't even one of my top 20 worse cases," Reid muttered when the deputy left the room. His team looked sympathetically at him, all of them knowing that it was all-too true for all of them. A few minutes later, the deputy came back out and ushered for the BAU members to follow him. Halfway down the hallway, though, the lights went out.

Reid immediately stifled- thunderstorms and darkness was a bad combination for him. His actions didn't go unnoticed by Rossi, but he refused to acknowledge the older man's gaze. Instead he focused on keeping his breathing from hitching and his eyes opened. Like the rest of the team, he was exhausted and would have probably been sleeping by now given different circumstances.

The team was escorted into the dark police office as the deputy lit a candle. "I'll bring in some flashlights for you guys as well as any spare blankets and pillows we can find."

"Thank you," Hotch nodded, "we appreciate whatever small extras as long as your men are-"

"My men have their own supplies," the deputy smirked. "This ain't our first power outage at the station; we've learned to be prepared for it now. It's no trouble, so please don't worry about it."

"Sounds good to me," Rossi smirked.

Within minutes, the office was filled with six blankets, two pillows, a few more matches and candles, and four flashlights. Morgan gave a pillow to Garcia and JJ as Prentiss passed out the blankets. Hotch and Rossi both refused a blanket, though, and most of the team decided to use them as a pillow instead. It wasn't too cold, anyways. Rossi made sure that Reid was given the first flashlight, but as he went to pass it to him, he was shocked to see that the younger man had fallen to sleep. Reid had his blanket curled tightly around him, and even in his sleep the young man shivered. Frowning, Rossi placed his own blanket on top of the thin framed man and continued passing out the flashlights.

"It's almost ten-thirty," Hotch whispered. "We should all try to sleep."

"Uh, no offense Hotch, but I doubt we'll be able to fall to sleep as easily as Reid," JJ grimaced.

"I wouldn't call that falling to sleep- it was more like passing out," Rossi grumbled.

Suddenly, Reid let a whimper escape through his lips. The younger man huddled in closer to himself, softly moaning as another thunder strike echoed through the police headquarters. Even as he slept he continued to shake because of the storm.

"Aw, my poor boy!" Garcia cooed. "Morgan, hug him!"

"What? No! He's a grown-ass man-" Morgan glared, but he was cutoff by Garcia's glare.

"He's a grown-ass man who's shaking like a leaf and crying in his sleep! Hug. Him," she demanded.

"Better do what she says," JJ warned. "You know what she can do."

Then, as if on cue, another burst of thunder blasted through the sky, and Reid in return whimpered again. Finally, not being able to take it anymore, Garcia abandoned her spot next to the other women and made her way over to Reid. By the time she made it over to him, though, he was awake and still shaking profoundly. He rubbed his eyes tiredly and looked up at Garcia, obviously confused. "Come here, Boy-Genius." Garcia forcefully lowered Reid's head back down and started petting his head. "Go back to sleep, alright?" The statement was unnecessary, though, as he had already fallen back into unconsciousness. "Poor baby," she sighed.

"Think he'll be okay?" JJ whispered to Prentiss.

"Why don't you ask him?" Reid grumbled sleepily.

"I told you to sleep," Garcia scolded.

"Well, I can't now," he sighed as he sat upright.

"Neither can we," Morgan agreed. "So, what should we do?" he asked.

"Hmm…How about a game?" Prentiss suggested.

"What kind of game?" Rossi had a feeling he had an idea about what type of game they might want to play, but he figured it was still worth asking.

"Truth or Dare?" JJ supplied. "I haven't played that game in years!"

"Yeah, well, don't be shocked if you have to wait a few more years before you play it again," Morgan grumbled. "Besides, we are in a police station, after all. That fact alone is enough to limit about 48% of what we could ask or do."

"True," Prentiss nodded. "Any other suggestions?"

"Have you Ever..?" Garcia proposed.

"How about Would you Rather?" Hotch counter-offered. "Seems to be the safest alternative," he added with a mumble. Both JJ and Rossi smirked at that.

"Alright, Boss-Man starts the game since he suggested it," Garcia said excitedly.

"Rossi- would you rather remarry an ex-wife or date Strauss for week?"

"Ex-wife!" Rossi immediately replied. "There's no way in hell I'd ever date that woman!"

"Good choice," Morgan snickered.

"JJ- would you rather be stuck in an elevator with Reid or Hotch?" Rossi asked.

"Hmm.. Well, I know Spence hates elevators, but at least he would talk…" she mused. "Yeah, sorry Hotch, but I think I'd take Spencer over you," she shrugged. "Morgan- would you rather be with a playboy bunny or spend time with your mom in Chicago?"

"Remember, be honest!" Garcia smirked.

"That's a toss-up," Morgan sighed with a smile. "No offense to the sexy ladies of playboy, but family comes first," he finally decided. The reluctant tone in his voice didn't go unnoticed, though. "Pretty Boy- would you rather be a professor or work for some other high-profile agency like NASA?"

"Professor," Reid yawned. "I don't think I could handle working with numbers and statistics all day," he admitted.

"But don't you do that now?" Rossi frowned.

"Not really- our job still holds that human aspect, that aspect of helping people, that those other jobs don't really offer. Professors help change lives in a way by offering guidance to students and helping them understand things. I'd rather be doing that than making more money at a place where I would be used merely as a human computer," the tired man explained.

"Good answer," Prentiss nodded.

"Uh…Garcia- would you rather have your computers taken away for a week or have a broken leg or arm for four months?"

"Bite you tongue!" Garcia hissed. "My babies always come before me," she grinned. "Emmie- would you rather go on one fantastic date with a fairly average guy or a string of okay dates with really hot guys?"

"One fantastic date," Prentiss nod. "I think I'd enjoy that a whole lot more!" Then, without skipping a beat, she said, "Hotch- would you rather Strauss quit the BAU or get a week off with your son around 24-7?"

"Well, if Strauss quit the BAU, we would all more than likely get more time off," Hotch mumbled, "and after she quit I could always claim to the new director that I was going through some emotional trauma or that my son was super sick…." He paused as if weighing his options carefully. "As much as I like you guys and think you would all benefit from the extra vacation time and the break from Strauss, I'll be selfish and take a week with my son."

"If it ever came down to that, we'd all hope you'd take it," Morgan nodded.

"Um…Prentiss- would you rather spend two months with your parents or do all of the team's paperwork for two months?" Hotch asked.

"As much as I hate to say it, I'd go with Momma and Papa Prentiss," she sighed. "Paperwork…? Eh, it just doesn't mix well with me," she added with a shrug. "Uh, Reid- would you rather-" But she stopped herself and smiled instead. "You guys, I think he fell to sleep again," she whispered. The rest of the team turned to see the sleeping agent.

"We should stop playing," Hotch said quietly. "I don't want us to wake him."

"Agreed," Rossi and Prentiss nodded. After that, the police office became quiet other than the sound of thunder. Garcia wrapped her arms around Reid and resituated the man into a more natural position while the rest of the team settled down for the night. Flashlights were turned off, candles were blown out, and the BAU laid out on the floor.

Then, about two hours after they all had gone to sleep, the power came back on.