Title: For Recreational Use Only

Original Challenge: The Great Alphabet Meme 2: R is for Recreational

Prompt by pumpkin_pixi

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Rating/Warnings: FRT/PG-13 (profanity)

Characters/Pairing: Hotch/Reid, pre-slash and pre-series

Summary: The last thing Hotch wanted to hear at three in the afternoon was Reid's insatiable curiosity about a sex toy still in its box.

Word Count: ~580

ARCHIVING: my LJ and FFNet account... anyone else? Please ask first.

April 2011.

COMMENTS: Unbetaed. This didn't turn out the way I wanted it to and I've tried to go back and rework it without any luck.

Feedback always welcome.

DISCLAIMER: The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television own Criminal Minds. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.


"Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it." - E.B. White


"It says 'for recreational use only,'" Reid read aloud, clearly intrigued by the tilt of his head and the tone of his voice. He set the box down, nodded a little, and raised his hand as he took a deep breath.

Hotch had only worked with the kid for four weeks, but already knew the signs of a one-sided discourse about something. In those same four weeks, he had also developed a way to effectively cut the younger man off. The last thing Hotch wanted to hear at three in the afternoon (okay, anytime) was Reid's insatiable curiosity about a sex toy still in its box. So Hotch sharply called his last name (Reid closed his mouth immediately). He closed the door so the locals wouldn't overhear.

Then, Aaron Hotchner explained in concise, blunt details just what the toy was and how it was used. He could feel his own cheeks flush, because he shouldn't have to explain things like this to a twenty-one year old guy. Hotch then reminded himself that he was talking to Spencer Reid. Genius on paper but not so much in life experiences.

Hotch finished his explanation and then pinched the bridge of his nose. He dreaded asking the next question, but he felt obligated to. "Do you understand?"

There was a long period of silence. Hotch looked up and was surprised to find himself the recipient of a look that made him feel, of all things, tremendously stupid. It had been a while for Hotch to have that particular feeling and he certainly never thought Reid was capable of delivering such a stare, let alone to a superior. Reid's left eyebrow was raised. His lips were pursed. His arms were folded tightly across his chest.

"I know what that particular sex toy is, sir," Reid informed him with an edge of condescension that Hotch had never heard before. There was no shyness in the man's tone. No hesitation. None of the stuttering or windmill-hand-thing that Hotch now associated with Reid's nervousness. "My point was that the instructions said, 'for recreational use only.' How else would it be used except for recreation, sir?"

And Hotch swore that 'sir' sounded suspiciously like, 'Fuck you, you asshole. I'm not the clueless moron about these things that you seem to think I am.' Hotch winced and shook his head. One thing that he prided himself on was admitting when he made a mistake. "I'm sorry, Reid. I made an assumption."

"Yes, you did, sir," Reid replied with uncharacteristic boldness. His gaze didn't waver. "Are we done here, sir?"

All Hotch could do was nod and wave his hand toward the door. He knew a few facts, and one of them was that Reid respected the chain of command a bit more that he initially expected. So for Reid to fire back the way he had … You insulted his intelligence, Hotch's mind primly informed him. What else did you expect?

Reid opened the door and took a few steps. He stopped and looked over his shoulder. Hotch met his gaze and gone was the imperious anger, replaced by a sheepishness that Hotch was used to seeing. "I'm not very good with spontaneous jokes," the kid explained with a lopsided smile and then went back out to the main part of the house.

Hotch stood there for a few seconds, shaking his head. "I'm not good at listening," he murmured and vowed that he would try his best not to make the same mistake again.

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