Summary: Hotch easily recalled Rossi saying once that their jet rarely made pleasure trips and after doing his job for so many years he could attest to the truth in that. Very, very rarely did these curved walls see anything positive. It made these moments more special. Short and fluffy, slight pre-slash Reid/Morgan, Hotch's POV.
I was just in the mood to write something happy and cute that made me (and you) smile, so I hope it does! :) I apologise if it doesn't really go anywhere... just a short team!fic with a bit of Morgan/Reid and Hotch's introspection... and a bit of Go Fish...
Hotch easily recalled Rossi saying once that their jet seldom made pleasure trips and after doing his job for so many years he could attest to the truth in that. It was the vehice that flew them directly to some of the worst things humanity was capable of and it had seen the quiet evidence of their rawest emotions that they held on to until the cases were over. This jet saw horrific images and reports delineating some of the worst cruelties imaginable presented in their factual entirety, heard theories that tried to explain the kinds of people that might do such things while they prepared themselves for the latest lives being ruined. Very, very rarely did these curved walls see anything positive. It made these moments more special.
The Unit Chief watched his agents closely from where he sat against the opposite wall. Morgan lazed in his window seat, chuckling at the bare table in front of him and shifting in his seat every once in awhile. Prentiss sat next to him grinning smugly and across from them sat Reid and JJ, the blonde trying not to laugh at the expression Emily was wearing and the agitated movement of Reid's hands.
His youngest agent was sprawled in his seat at the window, shuffling the playing cards that had already won him several games and, Hotch noted with great amusement, pouting because the last game had been won by Emily. Morgan shifted again and Hotch watched Reid's face as the pout flickered into a smile, despite his trying to maintain his disgruntled expression. Reid continued fluidly shuffling the deck. He shifted in his seat when he'd finished, ostensibly adjusting his position. Hotch saw Morgan's breathing hitch in a supressed laugh.
"Is there any point in continuing?" Emily asked, trying not to laugh. "We all know who's going to win."
"You only won because you cheated," Reid muttered, trying to pout again but Morgan shifted and his lips quirked into a smile. JJ laughed and Morgan smirked.
"We can't all be from Vegas, pretty boy," he said, shifting and – far more obviously – kicking Reid under the table. Reid's face scrunched up and he had that look about him that told Hotch he was about to start spouting statistics. "Now are you gonna deal or not?" Morgan jumped in, cutting him off before he could get started. Reid huffed and started counting out cards for each of them.
Hotch looked up when Rossi passed in front of him before sitting opposite with a freshly steaming mug in hand. He mirrored Hotch's position against their window, watching the four younger agents and their games. Rossi's eyes flicked down to the table between himself and Hotch.
"Never ends does it?" He asked. Hotch looked down at the open case file, eyes straying as they always did to the photographs of unspeakable things. He closed the file.
"I think we've done enough for today," he said, ignoring a surprised Rossi's rising eyebrows in favour of watching the current game across the thin aisle. He couldn't explain the sense of comfort he felt in hearing the banter between his agents as they played. They were all safe, they were on their way home and all of them were still capable of smiling. It was enough that happiness was still attainable. This job ate at them all but each of them, no matter the horrors they'd seen and the individual trials they'd faced, were able to smile and laugh. Hotch felt that they had surely proven that they were all able to face anything and still find saftey here, in this jet, in the company of these people.
"Go fish!" Reid called with a grin. Jostled from his thoughts, Hotch had to smile at his childish expression as Emily took a card from the deck; Morgan and JJ already having used their cards – both with less pairs than the two still playing – and happily watching.
"What possessed them, do you think?"
Hotch looked at Rossi, thinking the man's quiet question was referring to the file on the table between them, but the man's eyes were on the game. Hotch huffed a laugh.
"JJ refused to play Poker because Reid always wins," Hotch murmured lowly, not wishing to distract the four from the game the two older men were so entertained by. "Emily wouldn't play Blackjack after last time – she's still convinced he tampered with her cards. Morgan thought they should try something different and JJ suggested Go Fish because Will's been trying to teach Henry and he liked it well enough 'so his godfather should too'."
Rossi chuckled quietly, eyes fixed on Reid's hands. Hotch suspected he was looking for evidence of any sleight of hand but Hotch was watching JJ. Reid was losing and any second now he'd realise why.
Everyone erupted into laughter while Reid looked like he was fighting his amusement, trying to stay firmly consternated.
"I was just scratching my face!" JJ tried to say through her laughter while Emily counted her pairs, still grinning.
"I do believe I win, Doctor."
"I saw you cheating!"
"Ah, but did you?"
Rossi leant back, making himself comfortable as he watched the 'argument', JJ and Morgan trying not to laugh and failing as Emily attempted to convince Reid he hadn't seen what he thought. Hotch's smile became softer when Morgan shifted again and Reid's face changed accordingly, becoming warmer somehow, eyes crinkling just slightly at the corners.
"I don't think he realises."
Hotch looked at Rossi, properly examining him as the other man watched Reid and Morgan; noticing the way they looked at each other, the way their feet nudged each other's under the table. Hotch's eyes fell to the table in front of him and he smiled gently, this time because of his own thoughts.
"I don't think either of them do yet," he replied. Their tones dropped, both speaking even quieter than they had already been conversing. It wouldn't do to be overheard. "Morgan may have some idea that his feelings are changing."
Hotch huffed a laugh.
"No," he agreed, smiling still. "He'll need to be told. Probably convinced. I don't envy Morgan." The two profilers met eyes over the table and shared a look full of fond amusement.
He'd once told Elle that the job they did would eat anyone up if they let it. He still believed that, though a lot had changed since then. It's why he encouraged all of them to spend the sporadic hours out of work focussing on their own lives; on family and fun and love. It's why, when Morgan and Reid eventually discovered what they had – if they ever did – he wouldn't do anything to obstruct it. Because in their jobs, their lives, on this jet... they rarely made pleasure trips.
Positive cute fluffiness... why can't the episodes just be full of these moments? (Not that I'm one of those people that watch the eps purely for those tiny bits of funny – often bromantic – cuteness... nope, not me...)
Thank you for reading!