A/N: Here is my contribution to the Christmas Gift Fic Exchange. This goes to TheTruthBetween who had prompts for a Hotch/Prentiss story that would include: Silent Night, snow, fireplace and stockings. This story will be about three parts and I hope to have it done on Christmas Day. There's humor, romance and oh yes, S-M-U-T. It's why it's rated "M"! Hope you enjoy!
Emily Prentiss blinked at Derek Morgan in disbelief. She heard JJ make a strangled noise beside her. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Reid open and close his mouth several times, at a loss for words. Somewhere behind her she could hear Rossi try to smoother a laugh, making a noise like a cat being strangled instead. She simply could feel Hotch's annoyed stare as they all looked at what Morgan held in his hands.
"I am not wearing that!" Prentiss sputtered. She glared at Morgan. "Of all the things you had to get, you pick that?"
"Hey! It's not like I had any choice!" the African-American man responded indignantly. "I went to five, count them five costume shops and this was the only thing they had left. It's too close to Christmas and all the other holiday get ups were gone."
"But that, Morgan?" JJ protested. She looked despairingly at Emily. "I guess it has to be one of us unless one of the boys is willing to dress in drag."
"I am not wearing that," Emily said flatly. "And will they even let us into the mall?"
The "that" which had caused such consternation among the BAU team was a very feminine, short, red velvet dress with white fur trim and a black belt. It was a Mrs. Claus outfit if Mrs. Claus was a young, hot thing. The dress came an inch or two above the knee and it had a rounded neckline. On JJ, it might look less provocative but with Emily's long legs and larger chest, she knew immediately she would look more appropriate for Sinful Santa's Adult Play Ground and not the Heritage Mall in Great Plains, NY.
"Oh no! You are not sending me in with blondie!" a voice boomed out.
JJ and Reid cringed as Emily rolled her eyes. The entire BAU team turned to look at the speaker. A tall man with gray hair and blood-shot, pale blue eyes regarded them disdainfully until he saw Emily. His expression morphed into a leer as his eyes flicked back and forth between the comely brunette and the sassy looking costume still in Morgan's hands.
"I think that get up has Agent Prentiss' name written all over it," he drawled out in an oily voice.
Emily wrinkled her nose up in distaste, but remained silent. Hotch stepped forward to get between her and the man's beady eyes.
"Mr. Brown," the Unit Chief said in his quiet, but firm voice. "We appreciate your willingness to help us capture our suspect, but we will decide who will be doing your protection detail. Agent Jareau is an extremely capable agent."
"She's a rookie," the man said flatly. "If my neck's on the line, I want an experienced agent watching out for me." He looked around Hotch and gave Emily a suggestive look. "And I know I'll be real fine in Agent Prentiss' hands."
Emily's lip curled slightly at the man while Hotch tried to keep his temper in check. His voice took on a colder, harsher tone as he spoke Brown. "Be that as it may, I make the final decision on assignments."
"Hey! I get Agent Prentiss riding shotgun for me or I don't do this at all. And you know you ain't going to catch your man without me." Brown poked Hotch in the chest with his finger to emphasize his point.
Hotch looked down at the offending finger and suppressed the urge to break it. Unfortunately, Brown was right. They had been in Great Plains for nearly two weeks chasing a killer who was killing Santa Clauses. It was a frustrating case that put a serious damper on not only the FBI agents' holiday cheer, but how were you supposed to explain to kids that someone was killing Santa Claus. Repeatedly.
A lucky break led them to Scott Brown, the leering man's son and it didn't take long for the BAU agents to figure out that Scott was killing men dressed as Santa as surrogates for his father. After meeting Mr. Brown, the agents almost couldn't blame Scott. Harry Brown was a drunken, abusive, misogynistic, perverted piece of human waste who had taken an immediate shine to Emily Prentiss. The man was constantly leering at her. Any other time, the others would have teased her good-naturedly about it, but Brown was such a repulsive man, that the males of the team had taken to physically making sure he was kept away from Emily.
Unfortunately, it seemed like fate was going to mess with that plan.
Scott Brown had been quickly devolving and they deduced that he was likely going to go after his father next since Mr. Brown was continuing his yearly tradition of being Santa at the Heritage Mall in downtown Great Plains. The man was adamant about it, having never missed a year. It was also likely the root of Scott's issues with his father as Mr. Brown took his Santa duties to other children very seriously. He just never extended that same consideration to his own son saying after all, "My boy learned quick Santa wasn't real. After all, he saw me in the get up every year!"
Tonight was the last night Harry Brown was appearing as Santa for the year. They were going to have as much law enforcement around him since he refused to not appear tonight. Morgan had been tasked with finding some holiday appropriate costume so at least one agent would be very close to Brown. Unfortunately, he came back with something only one of the women could wear and Brown had nixed the idea of JJ.
Hotch steeled himself to argue Brown into not appearing at the mall. It was dangerous to do so not only for Brown, but all the innocent shoppers and children who would be in close proximity. And Hotch not letting Emily near this man who had done nothing but sexually harass her since they met.
He was just about to open his mouth when he heard from behind him, "Fine, I'll do it."
Hotch spun around to look at Emily in surprise. She met his eyes and sighed. "We need to capture this guy and the sooner, the better." She glared at Brown who was smiling smugly at her and turned her glare towards Morgan who was looking apologetically at her. "Just give me that monstrosity."
Emily was going to kill Morgan. Scratch that, she was going to kill their Unsub first for even putting her in this position, then she was going to kill that leering creep Harry Brown and then she would kill Morgan.
She stared unhappily back at her reflection. As she anticipated, the dress stopped several inches above her knees, exposing much of her long, shapely, stockings-covered legs. The rounded neckline was pulled further down by her chest, exposing more cleavage than was appropriate in a family setting. The black patent belt emphasized her tiny waist, but also showed off her Barbie-esque figure of long legs and large chest.
Without looking away from the mirror, Prentiss responded, "Come in JJ."
JJ poked her head into the women's locker room and saw her friend. She blinked her eyes and let out a low whistle. "Wow! Emily, you look fabulous!"
Prentiss scrunched up her face. "I don't think I look particularly appropriate for a Mall Santa setting."
That wasn't something JJ could argue with. Her friend did look beautiful and sexy, but in a setting typically populated with elves covered in head-to-toe fleece and an older man in a full red suit, Emily will stand out. However, the outfit was by no means risqué, just a bit more revealing than what one would expect, especially if the wearer had a body like Emily Prentiss.
"I think you'll be fine," JJ reassured her. "Just don't bend over." A thought occurred to her and she picked up a pair of short, red boyshorts that accompanied the costume. "Why didn't you wear these?"
"Did you see what was printed on the back of them? I swear I'm going to get back at Morgan one way or another."
JJ flipped the shorts over and her lips twitched as she tried to suppress a smile. On the back, written in gold letters was the word "naughty". She could understand her friend's consternation, but there was one thing Emily hadn't considered. "Uhm, Em, you might want to wear these."
"No way," the brunette said in an adamant tone. "I am not wearing something that says "naughty" stretched across my ass."
"So I guess you brought something else to wear with you besides thongs?" JJ knew her friend's dressing habits and while a thong was no problem when wearing pants, in a short skirt, Emily might want to reconsider.
Prentiss blinked at the blonde. Shit. She had totally forgotten about her underwear. She hadn't been anticipating wearing a skirt or a dress. Hell, she had only brought pants and jeans with her, so why would she think she would be in a dress? She let out a frustrated and resigned sigh.
"Give me those damn things."
The disturbance at the end of the long hallway caught even Hotch's attention in the small conference room the Great Plains police had leant them. He, Rossi, Reid and Morgan were going over the strategy for tonight's operation when they heard the sound of many feet shuffling and hurrying out towards the hallway. A few murmurs could also be heard, but what made them realize what was going on was when they heard a wolf whistle. Exchanging chagrined looks, they all went out into the hallway as well where they could see a sea of Great Plains' police officers filling the corridor as they looked towards the end opposite of the BAU team.
She cut a swathed through the men, making them part and provide her with a clear path as she walked towards Hotch and the others. The men of the BAU could only stop, stare and have strictly impure thoughts as they watched her approach.
Hotch stood there mutely as Emily slowly walked towards him. Miles of silky, white skin was exposed for his eyes to feast on. That delectable décolletage of hers was framed perfectly by the white faux fur trim of her dress. Her mile long legs moved her sinuously forward on the short, high heeled black boots that covered her feet. Her hair fell in a black curtain around her lovely face, swishing gracefully with every step she took.
As she moved forward towards him, Hotch thought every one of her movements was a symphony of seduction. Graceful, sexy, every tiny action luring him into her, making him want her in the most basic of ways. His eyes glanced around and he saw this sentiment reflected back at him in the hungry stares of the men who watched his Emily's movements. He barely suppressed a possessive growl in his throat and fought the urge to throw her over his shoulder and rush out of there where he could have her in all the ways he wanted.
Mentally, Hotch shook his head. This was Prentiss he was lusting after! How could he? She was his subordinate and friend. She trusted him and would be shocked and horrified to find that he was no better than Harry Brown who's only thought was to get into her panties. Emily's panties. He couldn't help allowing his eyes to drop slightly downward and imagine what was beneath that red velvet dress and imagine her panties soaked with desire for him.
This time Hotch mentally slapped himself in the head. He viciously tramped down all inappropriate thoughts. There was a job to do and that job wasn't objectifying his agent as some sex object for his pleasure. He scowled, trying to get his head back into the game.
As Emily walked down the hallway towards the conference room, she could feel the heat of the stares from the men around her. Though her cheeks were starting to turn pink from embarrassment, she held her head high and walked calmly towards her fellow team members. She saw Rossi, Morgan and Reid looking appreciatively at her, each of them giving her an encouraging smile, but her step almost faltered when she saw Hotch frowning at her. No, it was more of a scowl than a frown.
What was he upset about? Emily wondered if Hotch was unhappy she was causing such a disturbance in the police station but how was that her fault? She didn't want to wear the costume and she sure as Hell didn't pick it out. Why was he mad at her?
Emily felt her own face beginning to settle into a frown and she quickened her pace and reached the rest of her team in a few seconds.
"Looking good, Princess," Morgan commented with a smile.
"You'll be breaking some hearts tonight, Emily," Rossi told her.
"You look great, Emily, though not really like Mrs. Claus," Reid piped in.
She smiled at the last comment. "I guess I'm just an overgrown elf then, Reid."
"We need to discuss assignments for tonight and where everyone will be stationed so neither Prentiss nor Mr. Brown are in any danger," Hotch broke in stiffly. His voice came out a little curt, but he was still trying to get his raging hormones under control. She looked even more desirable up close and he could smell her now, a warm vanilla scent that made his gut tighten and his blood heat up. "Come on, we don't have much time," he snapped out as he turned on his heel to go into the conference room.
The others looked after Hotch in surprise and after a second, Morgan and Reid followed him. Rossi glanced at Hotch's back and then turned to look at Emily. She didn't hide it in time and he saw a flash of surprise and hurt in her eyes. The older man looked at her kindly and squeezed her arm. "He's just nervous about this operation," he told her in a low voice.
Emily smiled at him wanly but suspected there was something else going on. She really thought her relationship with Hotch had gotten to the point where they could be called close friends. He had, after all, faked her death and lied to the team to protect her, but lately, he seemed to be distancing himself from her and really the rest of the team. That weird woman Beth whom he dated for a short time had something to do with it, but they had broken up weeks ago. Still, it didn't explain why he was suddenly treating her the way he did when she first joined the team.
She gnawed worriedly at her lower lip. Maybe he resented her because she was the reason he had to lie to the team in the first place? Perhaps he was doubting her abilities since her return to duty? She didn't know what it was, but something about her was bothering Hotch, that she was sure of.
She started, realizing that Hotch had been calling her name for a while now and she had totally missed out on the discussion for tonight's operationg. Her cheeks flushed bright pink, realizing her lapse and she saw Hotch's frown deepen.
"I'm sorry," she murmured. "What were you saying?"
Hotch glared pointedly at her. "Just stick close to Brown. The second you spot his son, give us the signal and we'll move in. Try to keep the bystanders away. We'll all be in the crowd near you watching so even if for some reason the comm. system doesn't work, we'll see you if you need our help."
"Right of course," she murmured, embarrassed by her lapse. She needed to get her head back into the job. Hotch and whatever set him off could wait.
"Let's go then," Hotch told the others, clearly dismissing them. He fell into step next to Emily as everyone else filed out in front of them. He looked down at her, frowning. "Are you okay? Because if you're not or are having second thoughts about this assignment, tell me now so I can pull you out." He was worried. She seemed distracted which wasn't like Emily. The last thing he needed was for her to not be 100% in this very dangerous situation. He didn't want to risk her in any way. Even Emily operating at a 100% left him worried. There were too many variables in this situation what with the mall crowds and Harry Brown himself. If it was up to him, he would yank her from this assignment right now because he didn't feel he had enough control over it to ensure her safety.
She could hear the doubt in his voice and Emily's spine stiffened. If Hotch was doubting her abilities, then she was going to show him and not give him any room to think otherwise. "Of course I'm okay. I can do this, no problem at all." She looked up into his face and saw a slight frown still there. She almost sighed in irritation. "I'm fine, Hotch," she said in a terse voice. She picked up her pace and moved ahead of him.
Hotch watched her go and while a part of him appreciated the view Emily presented as she walked away, the larger part of him was still worried about her safety and his doubts on whether he could adequately protect her tonight.