This was written for the CCOAC Heat Wave Challenge, and this is my first challenge fic, so I'm hoping it goes well!
My first character was Spencer Reid, and my assigned character was David Rossi.
The prompts were melting ice cream cone - swimming pool - a bikini top - swim trunks - a thunderstorm - soaring temperatures, of which I managed to cram all of them in here. This is the result!
Of Iced Tea and Thunderstorms
Quantico was unpleasantly hot and sticky, and of course, the air conditioning in the BAU had managed to break earlier in the week, leaving the members of Aaron Hotchner's team – and everybody else – fanning themselves desperately and trying to cope with the stifling heat.
Spencer Reid delicately peeled the collar of his wilting dress shirt off his neck, and absently fanned himself with a spare document. He'd tried just spare paper from his printer, but the stiffer paper of file folders was far more effective at generating a breeze. He sighed, wishing the BAU dress code allowed men to wear shorts, although he was pretty sure Morgan would have a field day if he showed up in ancient khaki Bermuda shorts with his unfashionably pale legs bared.
He had to admit, the upside to the whole shorts rule was the fact that JJ and Emily had taken to wearing pencil skirts, and not that he was looking, but the tight black fabric made Emily's ass look really, really good. Spencer cleared his throat, and closed his eyes. It was time for a mental cold shower. Or, a mental dip in a cold swimming pool. Yeah, that sounded good. Except for the part where we was envisioning her lounging by the pool, wearing nothing but a navy blue bikini top and matching bottoms. He was beside her on a chaise, exposing his pale chest to the sun, wearing only swim trunks and flip-flops, and sipping a virgin margarita. Damn it, images were not helping him cool down! He needed a distraction.
He stood up, pants clinging to his legs, and stretched, swiping his wallet from his desk drawer. It was time for lunch. Or a popsicle. Or both.
The hot air hit him like a brick wall as soon as he opened the front door and emerged into the light, diffused from the heavy cloud cover. Thunder rolled like a distant drum, and the air was charged with electricity. It was going to storm soon, of that he had no doubt. The air was thick on his skin.
Spencer sat outside the FBI building ten minutes later, licking a dripping strawberry ice cream cone. It was really too hot to be hungry, and he'd never been a big eater at the best of times. The cone was dripping already, pooling in sticky-sweet rivulets between his knuckles. He licked faster, trying to wipe the residue with a napkin, and only succeeding in spreading the tacky leftovers all over his hands. He hurried back inside, reveling for as long as he dared in the air conditioned foyer before heading slowly back upstairs. It was too hot to think, even for a genius.
The storm broke an hour later, when he was slogging through a mountain of paperwork that he'd been studiously avoiding. He looked up in alarm as the lights flickered with a particularly loud thunderclap, and allowed himself to breathe out when they stayed on. There was absolutely no way he could handle a power outage right now. Putting pen to paper, he took a sip of his ice water, and tried to get back into the paperwork mindset. After all, almost everybody in the bullpen was gone on their lunch break, and all was quiet. There were no shuffling feet, rustling papers, or random beeps and ringing phones. It was one of the best times of the day for focusing, as far as he was concerned.
Twenty minutes later, Spencer was sticking to his chair, dripping with sweat, and feeling as though he were possibly melting. The logical side of him knew that this was not possible, as human flesh melted at considerably higher temperatures than 33° Celsius, but it still felt like he was going to be reduced to a puddle of skin and other viscera on the floor by the end of the day.
Shaking his head to clear it of that appetizing image, he stood and shuffled towards the break room, as lightning flashed, lighting up the bullpen and thunder cracked outside, as the clouds burst and rain poured down in torrents.
Hands skimming the coffee, Spencer went to the fridge instead, where some practical genius had taken to making iced tea instead of coffee. Made with about ten bags of black tea, the stuff was a murky dark brown, and just as lethal as the BAU coffee, thus guaranteed to keep the chronically sleep deprived agents awake. Grimacing, he slopped some tea – if you could call it that – into his favourite chipped FBI mug, and turned around to find David Rossi entering the room behind him, holding a Tupperware container and fork in one hand, and humming tunelessly.
"What is that?" asked Rossi, eyeing the pitcher of liquid with distaste. He liked his Starbucks, and never drank BAU coffee.
"Iced tea. I think." Spencer took a sip, and tried not to taste it as it ran down his throat, bitter, but refreshingly cool.
"Hmm." Rossi snorted and removed the elastic from his container, and picked a can of fruit nectar with 'DAVID ROSSI – DO NOT TOUCH' sharpied on it, and sat at one of the tables to eat. He poked the fork at the salad, and gingerly raised a forkful of something – Spencer recognized quinoa – to his mouth, and chewed thoughtfully.
Reid was just about to leave and go back to mind-numbing busy work, when there was an almighty flash, a bang, and then the lights flickered, and went off. There was a collective staticky snap as all the desktop computers shut off, and he groaned. He'd forgotten to save. Good bye, monthly reports.
"Well, I guess you can't go and finish reports in the darkness," Rossi said pleasantly, from somewhere in the darkness.
"Guess not," he grumbled in reply, forcing down another sip of iced tea.
"What a shame," commented Rossi lightly. "I'm sure whatever you were doing was interesting."
Spencer ignored his blatant sarcasm, and slid to the floor as a precaution against blundering into something in the dark. He reached up and felt around for the drawer that held cutlery, and opened it, wincing as his arm twisted up awkwardly. There was some banging and clinking as he tried to find the spoons, and then he located one with his fingertips, smiled to himself, and began to stir his iced tea.
"So how've you been?" asked Rossi, voice issuing from somewhere to Reid's left in the darkness. There was a small click of metal against plastic, and the sound of chewing.
"I'm doing pretty well. The soaring temperatures are getting me, though," Spencer replied, forcing down another sip of liquid just because it was cold and he was practically dripping with sweat.
"Are you sure it's not just the soaring temperatures?" countered Rossi, eyes twinkling.
Reid's eyes trailed up to the ceiling. "I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," he said, innocently.
"Don't play dumb with me, Spencer. You can't lie to a profiler," Rossi said, grinning. "I can see right through you."
"No you can't. It's pitch black in here."
Rossi rolled his eyes. "It's Emily, Reid. I see how you look at her." He waited, listening as the younger man's breath hitched. Ice cubes clicked against the mug as his fingers tightened on the handle.
"Well, I guess I wasn't hiding it as well as I had hoped." Spencer smiled a crooked grin in the darkness.
"It's as obvious as Garcia and Morgan," replied Rossi, fingers finding his cuff links and twisting them absently. "Does she know how you feel?"
"Probably not," replied Reid, with a shrug, taking another sip of his iced tea. "She'd never be interested in me. I'm a nerd. She's – not."
"You're selling yourself short, Reid," said Rossi, taking another bite of his salad. "You don't know that. You just need some confidence."
"What would you know?" laughed Spencer, bitterly. "You were never a nerd."
Rossi chuckled softly in agreement. "No, I wasn't. But I do know a little bit about women."
"Oh?" Spencer raised an eyebrow, skeptically.
"They like flowers. You should buy her flowers. Lilies or roses are good choices. But not red ones, because then she'll think you want to sleep with her, which of course you do, but not yet. Try pink, or yellow flowers," he advised calmly, folding his hands on the table.
"Flowers? Dave, even I could have come up with that! I've read 'Dating for Dummies'," Spencer said, snorting into his iced tea.
"It's true, I swear. Cheesy, but true. Women love flowers," Rossi said, as he forked a little bit more of his quinoa salad into his mouth.
"Okay, then what?" asked Reid, leaning forward ever so slightly. He was glad that Rossi couldn't see his piqued interest in the dark.
"Ask her if she wants to go to dinner with you. Or if that's too much, ask if she wants to get lunch, or coffee," Rossi replied, smirking.
"Lunch seems like a good start," murmured Reid, twisting his fingers together nervously. "Then if she says yes, we can upgrade to dinner."
"Exactly," said Rossi, looking rather pleased with himself. Reid was actually starting to catch on, and he was enjoying being able to help out the younger man with an area that he had absolutely no expertise in. "I think you can take it from there."
"Well, maybe I'll have to bring her flowers if lunch goes well."
"Or before," Rossi prompted, grinning again. "A little romance goes a long way. Trust me, I'm Italian. You never know, she might reciprocate."
"Great, thanks, Dave. I guess I know what I'm doing tomorrow," said Reid, smiling sheepishly. "Do you know where the nearest flower store is?"
"As a matter of fact, I do. Mattie's Flowers on Main and Prince," Rossi said. "They do a great lily bouquet for a relatively low price."
"Your definition of relatively low is different than mine, Rossi," quipped Reid, taking in another mouthful from his mug, and forcing it down.
"No, it's actually affordable, and the arrangements are beautiful," Rossi insisted, twirling his fork into his salad and trying to maneuver a bite into his mouth without spilling quinoa down the front of his expensive sapphire dress shirt.
"I guess I know where I'll be going after work," he said, draining the last of his mug and reaching up to set it on the counter with a small thud.
"She strikes me as a lily kind of girl," Rossi said, closing his Tupperware container with some difficulty.
"I'll keep that in mind," Spencer said, spinning his spoon between his long fingers.
There was a small popping sound and a flicker of lights. Both sets of eyes were immediately drawn to the ceiling, as there was another stronger flicker, and then the lights stayed on.
Reid scrambled to his feet, straightening his button-down and stretching. He washed his mug and spoon, and put them away neatly. He turned back to Rossi, who was throwing his can of mango nectar into the recycling bin and fastening the elastic band around his half-eaten salad. "Thanks for your advice, Rossi."
"No problem, son. I hope everything works out for you," said the Italian agent, turning at the door with a smile.
"Yeah, me too," sighed Reid, heading out the door on Rossi's heels.
The next morning, Rossi arrived in the bullpen a little bit earlier than usual, and sat down at his desk to wait.
Five minutes later, Spencer Reid walked in, carrying a beautiful – and large – bouquet of stargazer lilies and a note attached to it. He tiptoed over to Prentiss's desk, and gently set the bouquet down in front of her keyboard. He looked up, and caught Rossi's eye. The older agent winked.
Ten minutes later, Emily Prentiss walked through the BAU doors, hips swaying in a tight grey pencil skirt, with a peach-coloured blouse tucked into it. Spencer licked his lips as he watched her catch sight of the lilies on her desk, and from his vantage point, he could see her dark brown eyes light up as she turned over the note, scanning the three words on it quickly.
Grinning, she looked up, caught Spencer's eye, and nodded.