Prompts for this story were, JJ/Morgan, hot chocolate, ice skating, a bet, Elton John, a boat and a prison.
A Sucker's Bet
It was official.
She was trapped in a hell of her own making.
Leaning her aching back against the leather headrest, she sank deeper into the bucket seat on the passenger side of Derek Morgan's SUV. At this point, she wasn't certain which horrendous torture was worse regarding her decision to rejoin the BAU's team as a profiler.
Was it being forced to listen to Derek's off key rendition of Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" for the last half hour of their ride back to DC? Or, had it been being trapped in the holding cell of the prison with serial killer, Paul Hanson, listening to his gruesome recollections of murdering fourteen women and dismembering their bodies on his boat?
Endurance, thy name be Jennifer Jareau.
Grimacing as Morgan's deep voice attempted to reach an unfortunately high note, JJ squeezed her eyes shut as she swallowed a sip of her hot chocolate. Less caffeine than coffee, but just enough to keep her from praying for a mercifully quick death.
Or maybe she should just give in and head straight to the great beyond now. Caffeine could only go so far, you know.
"What's your problem over there, Special Agent Jareau?" Derek asked in a sing-song tone, offering his profiling partner in crime a sidelong glance.
Clearing her throat, JJ cracked on eyelid to look at her mentor of the day. "Just wondering when you developed a fascination with Elton John," she commented, carefully keeping all form of judgment from her voice.
"Are you kidding me, Pretty Girl?" Derek asked, affronted as he swiveled his head completely in her direction. "Listen, anybody that can rock a pair of shades as well as my Sweetness is alright in my book."
"I see," JJ forced out, turning her head to stare out the window to hide her wince as Derek resumed what she felt like must be the fortieth chorus of the song since the drive had commenced over an hour ago. "Morgan," JJ said, interrupting his passionate rendition, "do you think we could listen to one of his more popular songs?" she asked hopefully.
"More popular?" Derek snorted, rolling his eyes. "This IS Elton's most popular jam, Jayje. Bennie and the Jets is classic!"
"As true as that may be, I'm pretty sure it isn't the song that catapulted him to icon status," JJ disagreed as Derek flipped on his blinker, passing yet another semi on the crowded highway.
"Care to place a friendly wager on that little piece of trivia?" Derek smirked, raising a challenging brow as he glanced at his companion. Tossing the CD case into her lap, he continued, "That there," he said, gesturing at the case, "has every single one of Elton's hits for the past twenty years. I dare you to find one that's more popular," he defied her, arching a dark brow.
Glancing down at the jacket of the CD carrier, JJ snorted. "Pick one," she muttered as she shrugged. "Candle in the Wind...Your Song... Can You Feel..."
"You pick one," he ordered, smoothly passing a lagging Ford Taurus as he merged onto the interstate.
"Fine," JJ conceded, tapping her finger against the silver CD. "Candle in the Wind."
"Alright, Miss SmartyPants, name your terms," he goaded with a smug grin as he waved a hand in the air between them. "Anything you want."
"Oh really," JJ drawled, raising her eyebrows and turning slightly in her seat. "Anything?" she asked for clarification, well aware of Derek Morgan's penchant to change the rules mid-stream. His bets and wagers with Spencer were legendary, and Spence was still smarting from the last encounter when Morgan had managed to finagle a win on a so-called technicality…which was that Reid didn't have anything in writing to verify the exact procedures and Derek would not allow Reid's eidetic memory to be included into the official record.
"No skin off my nose," Derek stated, obviously unconcerned at JJ's hesitation. "Won't matter to me. You ain't winnin' anyway," he taunted.
Oh, this was like taking candy from a baby, JJ thought happily. So, he wanted her to name the stakes, did he? "You know you're awfully sure of yourself. Some might even say you look a little bit arrogant. Are you sure you wanna make this bet, Derek?" JJ asked, almost perversely eager to wipe that conceited smile off his lips.
"Oh, that ain't arrogance, baby. What you see right now is confidence," he chuckled, propping one elbow on the car door. "But if you're gettin' cold feet..."
"Oh, my toesies are nice and toasty." JJ shook her head as she crossed her legs. "I just wanted to make sure you were positive before I anted up."
Derek nodded as he snickered. "It's go time, girl."
"Fine." JJ nodded amenably. "First, if I win, we get to change the stereo to whatever I want to hear."
"Is that all?" Derek grunted in disgust. "Child's play." He shook his head as he clucked in disappointment.
Knowing she had him hooked, JJ hid a smile behind her cup as she took another sip of her hot chocolate. "Oh, so you wanna up the ante...Okay," she said agreeably, "Well, there's this ice-skating party in the park that Henry wants to go to this weekend and I'm really not looking forward to it," she began, keeping her voice hesitant.
"Hell, I'm from Chicago, JJ," Derek replied as he rolled his eyes. "Ice skating is in my blood." He shrugged as he offered magnanimously, "No problem. I'll escort the little mini-you."
"You're sure?" JJ raised an eyebrow. "I wouldn't look favorably on my son's Uncle Derek disappointing him," she warned, adjusting her seatbelt over her chest.
"Positive," Derek replied, clearly unworried. He had this in the proverbial freakin' bag.
"Okay." JJ smiled sweetly. "What do you want if you win?" she asked evenly, completely secure in the knowledge that this was one wager the great Derek Morgan was going to lose.
"Hmmm, what do I want?" Derek drawled, tapping a finger against his lips. Snapping his fingers a moment later, he grinned. "When I win..."
JJ laughed as she swatted at his arm. "Don't you mean, "if"?"
"Oh, no," Derek said with a haughty smile, "I mean when. When I win, you have to give every man in the BAU a kiss. With tongue."
"Ewwww!" JJ frowned, rolling her eyes. "That's disgusting, Derek!" she scowled, shuddering at the thought of being forced to French kiss men that she mostly considered brothers. "You really are a hound dog!" she accused.
"It's meant to teach you a lesson," Derek said superiorly, narrowing one eye. "You don't bet against the master."
"Fine," she declared tersely, privately thinking that watching him lose was going to be one of the sweetest victories she'd tasted in a long time. "So would you like to dial the oracle, or shall I?" JJ asked, dangling her cell phone between her fingers.
"Call 'er. Put it on speaker phone. I wanna hear this," Derek said, his tone oozing smug delight.
Rolling her eyes, JJ tapped the phone with one finger, dropping it in the center console as she waited for Garcia's perky voice to greet them.
Neither of them had to wait long.