The Secrets of Thanks
I do not own Criminal Minds. I couldn't of paid for it.
The whole giving thanks assignment concept was lent to me by emberelle; check out her NCIS: Los Angeles story called Falling Leaves and Crumbling Walls!
Chapter 7: Epilogue
Mick cleared his throat awkwardly. He had just called their local Chinese place, and now they were on their way to pick the food up. After he and Gina got into the car, their ride was filled up with small talk. Weather, work, and small mentioning of holiday plans. But now, the car was mostly silent with nothing to talk about or distract them. He coughed a little again.
"Hey you okay?" Gina asked, trying to say something.
"Um yeah." He replied back. If it wasn't dreadfully uncomfortable then, it was now. He quietly cursed the stupid assignment that somehow caused him to over share on his feelings and what not. It was not like he didn't mean them. He really did. He did consider her his partner. And he did really enjoy her presence and everything. And trust her he guessed. But those thoughts were too personal. They just wasn't like him. The thoughts were never meant to be shared. And this whole tense situation confirmed it. He and Gina had never once had such a painful car ride. And they were just a couple minutes in. He stole a quick look at his colleague. Beautiful as always, but she looked just as uncomfortable as he did.
Meanwhile, Gina was sitting around thinking in the passenger seat. She knew that they couldn't just forget about this. But she didn't know if they should talk about it. It would just change way too much between them. And she didn't know if it was for good. If it weren't then she would forever miss their amazing dynamic. There was just too much to lose, and she did not know what to do. She took a quick peek at Mick just as after he did. Sighing quietly, they both went over each situation and conversation in their heads, trying to figure out what their next move would be. Or should be. No one really knew. Finally, one spoke up.
She too wished that she had the guts to say more. But as she finished, they were already at the Chinese place.
They both got out of the car and walked across the parking lot together. And then had an awkward door thing, when they decided who would step in first and hold the door and everything. Usually they would just laugh at this, Mick would say something about being a gentlemen, and Gina banter back. Finally, with people talking in the background, one of them spoke up.
"So… some assignment eh love?" Mick asked. He figured that since he was the one who over shared, he should be the one to speak up first. Plus Mick Rawson, the cocky, egotistical bachelor, had a hard time waiting for Gina to speak up. It was just too unbearably embarrassing for the both of them.
"Yeah," Gina said, following along. "I can't believe someone in the psyche department would think of that."
"Yeah." Mick replied back, still thinking of what to say. "So listen, about our letters… They were something right?"
"Uh yeah, they definitely were." Gina said. She couldn't think of what to say after. And both cringed at the silence that settled between them while they thought of what to say.
"You are my partner though." Gina spoke up again, looking out the restaurant window. Might as well get a little serious now and get the whole thing over with.
"Yeah. Same here." Mick replied back, trying to focus on something else. "And you know that I do trust you right love? " He added as an afterthought. "And don't worry. I'll try not to get killed. But I would take down a whole army for you. I guess." He stopped before he could ramble on. There was a lot to say, but he didn't know how to say it. Or if it should be said in the first place.
"Yeah. I know." She answered back. And then finally looking at him, she said, "The feelings are mutual." And then she quickly added, "And umm, thanks for the compliments. I would take an army just for you too."
"No problem love." Mick responded back quietly.
They finally had the guts to look each other in the eye. And somehow, all the awkward tension went away. It was strange to both of them, but it seemed like they figured out the issues telepathically. Usually either Gina or Mick would say something, but there was already too much awkward tension for one day.
"Number 69." The guy at the register called out, breaking their eye contact. As they went up to pay and collect everything, both kind of thought that there was something more there. But like they both thought earlier, it had been one long day already.
"Mmmm. Smells good right?" Gina commented, trying to get the conversation back up again. "Here give me a couple of bags, we don't want to spill them all or anything."
"Fine take these two." He gestured to his left hand. "And yes, they do look nice. Prophet and Beth wouldn't mind if we sampled eh love?" Mick answered back. He was glad that there was finally something to talk about.
"Woah there, you want to disturb Beth the serial killer?" Gina laughed jokingly, also happy with the conversation.
"Yeah you are right. Don't want to die over Chinese food." Mick smirked back.
"Wait… Did Mick Rawson admit someone else is right?" gasped mockingly, while they got into the SUV.
"Come on love. Don't ruin a moment." Mick replied back smiling. "Besides, if you mention it again, I will deny it." He turned on the car and they started their quick drive back to the office.
Beth and Prophet
"Well, that was interesting right?" Prophet started as they walked towards their somewhat office. There wasn't anything else to make conversation of. Cold cases were boring.
"I know. It sucked. You know how we all love sharing." Beth snorted back.
"Yeah. I'm a bit suspicious over the whole psych department thing though." Prophet wondered. "I've never heard of them do something like that before."
"It is weird. I don't think Coop came up with it himself though." Beth answered back. "It didn't look like he was excited to read his letter aloud too."
"Yeah. Whatever man. It is over with. While I love compliments, the whole thing had too much sharing." Prophet stated. "Plus we all know what the other was usually going to say."
"I know right? Beth agreed. "You know that we all trust you, and we always will have your back after the whole jail thing right?" She said a bit quieter, diverting her eyes to her computer screen. She really hated going into the sappy subjects, but after today it seemed better just to get them over with.
"Yeah." Prophet replied back. "And if you ever go missing, the team will find you." He added while fiddling with something across the room. Might as well say something nice in return. He hated doing these things. Even though they were profilers who could read emotions and whatnot, they still weren't good with talking about feelings and whatever.
"And so everyone else's interpretation of everyone was fun to listen to too." Beth changed the tone. Those couple of seconds of voluntarily being nice to each other was good enough for her.
"I don't know why Mick said you weren't a stick in the mud." Prophet teased, while filing away some paperwork.
"Don't forget Prophet, Gina said you were a really big softie." Beth retorted back.
"Hmm yeah. I don't know why we said you weren't like a serial killer." Prophet countered back childishly. It was nice making fun of each other he thought. It was normal.
"And don't forget about our resident blonde and Brit." Beth smirked. She knew there was something going on there. But both too stubborn to admit it though she thought.
"I know. Especially Mick's and Gina's." Prophet laughed thinking over their letters.
"Even I have to admit that was funny." Beth laughed back, remembering. "Mick is totally a stalker or something. Gina is right with all the clothing and similarities."
"Yeah." Prophet said thoughtfully. "You know I do feel a little third-wheelish when I go out on the field with them."
"Hey Prophet," Beth mused with a scheming glint in her eye. "How long do you think it would take before they got together?"
"What? Is that a bet?" Prophet grinned. "I'm going to say a couple of months."
"Really?" Beth responded. "You know I could see them ignoring everything. I mean Mick isn't the one to ask a girl out on a date. He is too used to girls throwing themselves at him." Beth snorted thinking over her foreign coworker.
"Good point." Prophet agreed, spinning around slightly in his chair. "And Gina is too shy and a bit goody-goody. She isn't going to launch herself on him. But I still think it will happen eventually."
"Okay, $100 each. You say 4-5 months, and I say we live in their uncomfortable tension forever." Beth stated. "Deal?"
"Deal." Prophet agreed. "Come on, let's go get plates and stuff. They'll be back with lunch soon."
Sam Cooper was still sort of confused about the whole assignment. He wasn't really sure how those letters got back onto his desk. Or why the psyche department didn't contact him or anything after he sent the letters. But in the meantime, he decided to find an envelope to stuff the letters in, while going over them one by one.
First there was Prophet. His was very neutral, he commented on everything. Coop bet that everyone really liked Prophet's. There was no drama, no revealing secrets, but the whole thing still made everyone feel good.
Chuckling a little, he thought of Beth's assignment. It was her usual sarcastic self. He didn't like profiling his team, but it seemed like she needed someone to reassure her that she was welcomed on the team. And everyone's letters did so he didn't have to worry about that.
Gina's letter seemed very natural. Their youngest member had no real issues complimenting the team, which was good and reassuring. Except for her little part on Mick, she wasn't fidgeting in her seat while he read hers. Sam could bet that something between his youngest agents. Hopefully Red Cell teams have different fraternization rules for their sake. And that they could stay professional if anything happened.
Speaking of Mick, his letters were more rambled than the rest. Almost like he was trying to avoid the question. But Sam knew that he considered the team family, so there was no need to worry. The whole Gina thing was uncomfortable for everyone though, and he hoped the two would work it out while they got lunch.
For his own letter, it was pretty formal. He was the team leader and all, and he had to sound formal. He was pretty okay with what he said and it was pretty easy to write. He liked his team, trusted them and that's why he picked his raggedy group. Prophet from jail, Beth off from multiple other teams, Gina straight from the academy, and Mick from overseas. And he knew that the team knew he respected him.
Coop stuffed the letters into an envelope and stuck them on a shelf. He would give them up if the department asked. He looked at the time and was surprised to see a lot of time had gone by while he reflected on the letters. His eyes drifted towards the window that led to the offices. Gina and Mick had come back with lunch, seeming okay with each other. Prophet and Beth were fighting like normal too. So there were no problems. Everything was good.
Ms. Penelope Garcia was sitting in her seat, almost squealing with delight. She had just hacked into the Red Cell team gym/offices' security tapes and watched live as a certain team talked about their feelings. "I knew this was a great idea." She whispered to herself.
She loved all of the FBI teams that she was assigned to, but they all were really bad about talking among themselves. She googled it and found this little ruse, and decided to experiment first with her Red Cell team.
Penelope recalled, she sent out the email guised as someone from the psyche department to the team leader. And of course he wouldn't have suspected anything out of the ordinary with her email; she was one of the best hackers of course. She had sent the letters he emailed back to her own personal devices, and told him to read it aloud to the team. And then had gotten some snacks to watch.
She watched everyone get all squirmish and cute as they listened to their compliments. Everyone had their insecurities she thought, and the letters had all reassured everyone that they were wanted on the team. Not to mention she could now press Mick and Gina together. "That would be a fun side project." She mused. With a couple of clicks, she then also checked up on them in their office. For a second she analyzed them eating lunch, smiling as she saw no negative repercussions.
Penelope switched her screen back to her regular team's cubical, deciding quickly that she was going to try her idea once again.
AN: First of all, this is the last chapter sadly. I lied lol. I was going to have each of their conversation things be a chapter each, but I just decided to squish it all into one. It's funny how the epilogue is longer than most of the chapters. So anyways, this last chapter was just all their reactions to what happened. If you don't really know already I kind of ship Mick and Gina together. I like kind of writing their awkward should we or should we not get together relationship. Not the best at it, but it is still fun. And then Prophet and Beth were there too because I was planning to write about Sam, and I felt bad about leaving them out. I think I really like the Garcia ending. Just because she is part of the team too and I needed to put her somewhere.
Anyways, gosh this is done. And again, thanks to emberelle for letting me use her prompt. Thanks to Lover of Reid, priestessofwords, Yeto, Yammy1983, jbperkins322, K., diana17over, angel1983, and abcdefghijjigfedcba, for reviewing, favoriting or alerting this. And also then everyone else who read this! Thanks for putting up with my writing and grammar skills lol. Again, thanks for reading!