To celebrate Halloween, I wrote a small team-fic, coda to 6x06 "Devil's Night", were the team find out about Jack's costume. I know, a year later, but I just had this idea recently. Anyway, enjoy it and remember, any comment or criticism will be appreciated.
Also, thanks to Nebula2 for the beta.
I don't owe Criminal Minds or any of his characters.
Title: Photos, Costumes and Family.
"Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice." - Author Unknown.
Penelope Garcia walked excitedly through the bullpen. She was wearing a bright pink dress with purple stripes. Her blond hair loose and decorated with a matching purple flower, bright purple bead necklace and high heels in the same color completed the outfit.
She was carefully holding a colorful album in her right hand as she walked straight to Prentiss' desk.
"Oh my lovely stuffed friends, I think I'm gonna explode after see so much sweetness today."
Prentiss, Reid and Morgan looked at her, thankful to have a little distraction from work, but it was Morgan who replied, with a smile.
"Were you looking at baby panda photos again, Baby Girl?"
She gave him a flirty smile before answering.
"No handsome, baby panda photos are cute, but this is one hundred percent better." Penelope said, raising her hand and putting into view the small album.
Reid wrinkled his nose, looking at the colorful object.
"This, my lovely Boy Genius is the evidence of the first real Halloween of our little BAU Baby."
"Umm, Garcia. Are you talking about Henry? Because this isn't his first Halloween. I mean, he was born November 12, 2008, so technically this is his second Halloween."*
Garcia arched an eyebrow at him.
"Did you just suggest I don't know the date of birth of my own Godson, Doctor Reid?"
Morgan and Prentiss shared an amused look at the panicked look on Reid's face.
"What! No, of course not, I was just ..." Reid started, just to be cut off by Morgan.
"I think you should stop talking now Pretty Boy," the black agent said, giving Reid a pat on the shoulder.
"Thank you handsome." Penelope said, giving Morgan a bright smile.
Prentiss cleared her throat, efficiently stopping the exchange and looking at the eccentric technical analyst.
"What were you saying about Henry?"
"Riiiiight, back on topic. As I was saying before being cut off by a certain person I shall not name," She gave a not-so discreet glance at Reid's direction, who just lowered his gaze, embarrassed. "This is the first real Halloween to our small Sugarlump because Jayje finally agreed to buy him a costume this year and I have all the evidence right here."
Penelope raised the little album with a flourish.
The album was covered with a cute baby blue paper that was almost completely covered with stickers, ribbons, some kind of blue fluff and little colorful dangles of different shapes like stars and butterflies. It had a big dark blue ribbon on the side. In the center, with big shiny golden letters was written Henry.
Penelope had two more albums just like this one, both made by her.
A light green one was of Jack, with considerably less pictures, because there was no way she could convince her boss to give her pictures of little Hotch, so all the pics that were in the album had been taken by her in the few occasions she had been around Jack, most of them of when she acted as babysitter for little Jack.
The other album, a colorful one was of his family, the team. It was full of photos she had taken over the years, there were even pictures of Elle and Gideon. Most of the photos on it had been taken on the Christmas parties that were held every year in the BAU, or in the few moments they had the chance to relax a little. She had learned quickly that such moments could happen at any time, so she had made herself the promise of always have a camera nearby whenever she was around her cupcakes.
"Wait, wasn't Halloween just yesterday? How did you get the pictures so fast?" Prentis asked, suspicious.
"Well, when Jayje told me she and Will planned to buy a costume for our little bambino, I told her that as Henry's godmother, it was my duty to see the photos as quickly as possible, and that if she didn't sent them first thing in the morning I would be in the unfortunate position of having to hack her Photobug* account to see them." Penelope said, giving them her most innocent and sweet look.
Morgan shook his head with a smile. "You Baby Girl, are a powerful and dangerous lady."
Garcia gave him a flirty look.
"You don't wanna know just how dangerous I can be handsome."
Reid cleared his throat weakly, and looked away.
"So, the pictures?" Prentiss said, slightly annoyed.
Garcia opened the album and Prentiss, Morgan and Reid moved close to see it, forming a half circle.
"God Pen, this is beautiful!" Prentiss exclaimed, the moment she saw it.
Garcia had made a collage with all the photos JJ had sent her, decorated with glitters and colors.
In the middle were four photos. The first photo was one of Henry, sitting in what looked like the living room couch, he was laughing at the camera (which JJ was holding), dressed in his cute lion costume. The second one was outside, with JJ holding Henry in her arms, he was giving his mother a kiss on the cheek. There was another one, with Will and Henry. They were both laughing looking at each other. And then there was one of the three together, (Penelope's personal favorite) JJ and Will were holding Henry among them, the three smiling happily. There were some more pictures, posted around.
"Isn't he the most beautiful and cute boy in the wide whole world?" Penelope said, smiling at the pictures.
Prentiss laughed. "He definitely is. Can I have one of these too? I'm sure it could be quite useful to chase away the bad dreams."
"Of course you can sweetcheeks, I'll make a copy for you as soon as I returns to my Castle of Information and Knowledge. What about you Genius? Don't you want one of these sweetness too?" Reid opened his mouth to answer, but Garcia spoke before he could say a word.
"Just remember, every good godfather should have every major and significant moment of his godson's live properly documented."
"Umm... yes I would like a copy too."
Before Garcia could ask Morgan, Hotch walked toward the group, an empty coffee cup in his hand.
"Everything okay?" Hotch asked, frowning slightly looking at the small group.
"Yeah, everything's okay. PG was just showing us some photos Jayje send her." Prentiss answered, nodding at the album in Garcia's hands.
"Here," Garcia said, walking toward Hotch's side and shoving the album into his hands. "Jayje made me promise I would show all my crime fighters these lovely photos."
Immediately a small but genuine smile appeared on Hotch's face, at the sight of the little boy in his lion's costume.
"Isn't he the cutie cute cutie child in the whole world?"
Hotch's smile widened by the always bubbly attitude of his technical analyst.
There was a hint of humor in his tone, almost imperceptible, that made Penelope look at him more closely, then it hit her. ´Oh´ Right, he had a little boy too, which he probably thought was the cutest child in the world.
"Well, one of the two cutest boys in the world, Sir,"
Hotch smiled at that, handing the album back to Garcia.
"Oh! and how did it go this fine Halloween day for the two Hotchner's boys, O Captain, My Captain?"
"Yeah, you told us on the plane he didn't want to dress up as Spider-man." Prentiss recalled interested.
"Wait! What? I just saw my little butter cup last week and he was thrilled to be Spider-Man, he even showed me his costume! What happened?" Garcia asked the Unit Chief a little too fast.
Hotch shrugged. "I don't know, he just told me he didn't want to be Spider-Man because he was not a real superhero."
After Hotch said it there was a moment of silence in which slowly, a smile appeared on the face of each one. Each of them proud of that smart little boy they all saw as their nephew.
It was Penelope Garcia who broke the silence, drawing the attention of everyone.
"You are responsible for this, aren't you Doctor Reid?" Garcia said, pointing her index finger in Reid's direction.
Reid's eyes widened at the accusation. He looked at his sides, giving a slight panicked look to his teammates, before swallowing hard and looked up at the upset technical analyst.
"I ... what?"
She narrowed her eyes.
"Don't try to play games with me young Doctor. Maybe I don't have an eidetic memory, but I still remember the tragic episode of the tooth fairy."
Morgan tried to cover his laugh, remembering all too well what Penelope called ´the tragic episode of the tooth fairy´.
It had happened at Henry's last birthday party where Reid had, with his usual way of speaking, told Jack the tooth fairy did not exist.
Thanks to a quick intervention of Prentiss, and Will's clever suggestion that Jack should ask his father they had gotten the situation under control.
To say Garcia had been angry was a total underestimation. She had acted as if the younger agent had just killed a puppy, or better yet, had done some damage to any computer in the analyst's lair. Penelope had been ready to destroy Pretty Boy in the best way she knew. In the cyberspace.
JJ and Morgan tried to calm the technical analyst with some success. The fact that after talking with his father, Jack wasn't really upset helped even more. Finally, Garcia had forgiven Reid after the Boy Genius had sworn over and over again, that he wouldn't do anything like that ever again. Neither to Jack nor Henry.
Looking at the angry face of his usually bubbly friend, he hoped, for Reid's sake, that the Boy Genius hadn't had anything to do with the sudden change of Jack Hotchner's costumer.
"I didn't do anything. I haven't even seen Jack since that gathering you organized three months ago." Reid defended himself awkwardly.
"He's right, he hasn't seen Jack since then." Hotch corroborated quietly, earning a relieved sigh from the younger agent.
Penelope looked at him a bit more, eyes narrowed, before returning her gaze to the Unit Chief, smiling.
"My Junior G-Man didn't want to be Spider-Man because he isn't a real superhero, so, what was his costume? He couldn't dress like me, the goddess of all known and unknown, because well, he's a boy. So which was it? A firefighter maybe? They're real heroes."
"He chose the best costume, if you ask me. He dressed up as his father."
Dave's voice answered from where he stood, on the platform outside his office, hands resting on the railing.
Hotch turned, giving him a look to which Dave just shrugged, a smug smile on his face.
One would think that after all these years, he should know that if he didn't want people to know something, he shouldn't tell David Rossi.
In the morning, Dave had come to his office, asking how things had gone with Jack the night before. Hotch had told him what Jack had said and the costume he had chosen to wear. And along with that, he had confided Dave his doubts, the ones that always plagued him, but were stronger that night after returning and putting Jack to bed.
Dave hadn't told him anything then, but knowing Dave, he guessed this was his friend's way of reassuring Hotch's doubts. Great.
Hotch hadn't wanted to tell the team, he had planned to just tell them Jack had dressed as an FBI agent and nothing more. It wasn't that he was embarrassed or anything like that of course, the truth was that he just didn't feel he deserved the way in which his little boy admired him, it didn't feel right. How could a parent who was barely at home be the hero of his son?
The rest of the team, unaware of the exchange between the oldest agents, only grinned broadly.
"Oh my god, he's the sweetest little boy. I can totally imagine him with his little suit and tie. He must have looked adorable." Penelope squealed excited.
Dave grinned, walking down the stairs and into the bullpen where everyone was.
"I have to agree with Dave here, he couldn't have chosen a better costume." Prentiss commented, smiling.
"They're right man," Morgan added from where he was, with Reid at his side.
Hotch ducked his head at the recognition, feeling a faint blush emerge on his face.
Emily looked at Dave with raised eyebrow, as Dave came to stand next to Hotch.
"I cannot wait to see my little pumpkin again, I'm gonna give him lots of hugs and kisses and make him put on his costume again to take hundreds of pics." Garcia told the team.
Hotch cleared his throat, lifting his head and looking at the team.
"I think you all should go back to work." Hotch said before turning around, heading to his office. Effectively forgetting the coffee he was going to get from kitchenette.
They all watched him go, and then Garcia returned her gaze to Rossi.
"Is there any evidence of that moment, Agent Rossi?"
Rossi shrugged. "I don't know, probably."
"He didn't want us to know, did he?" Morgan asked, a mischievous smile on his face.
Rossi ignored the question, nodding to the album in Penelope's hands. "What's that?"
Penelope passed him the album distractedly, her mind already working on a way to know if there were pictures and a way to get her hands on them.
"You will find that if you really try to be a father, your child will meet you halfway." - Robert Brault.
*We don't know the date of birth of Henry, so I just take the date in with the episode of his birth was aired.
*In the episode 5x08 "Outfoxed", JJ admited she used the site Photobug. Thanks to SunnyInOregon for the correction.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who read it. I hope you all have enjoyed, and as always feedback is appreciated. Thank you.