Casualties of War
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds, nor do I make any financial profit off of writing this.
Spencer Reid was in a state of horrified disbelief… There was only one person on the face of the planet who could get him into this situation… Penelope Garcia could play him like Tetris…
It had all started simply enough… Reid and Morgan had gotten into a Prank War. Again. The team had been thoroughly entertained. But when Garcia had been caught in the midst of a prank, courtesy of Morgan, she assured Reid that she would help him get revenge… Which got him where he was right now.
Hotch had overheard them planning, but just sighed and shook his head. Morgan had overheard them too, however, and had informed Hotch of his intent to defend himself. Hotch had just told Morgan to leave him out of it, and walked away.
The next morning, Garcia had watched the GPS on Morgan's phone, and when he reached the elevators, she and Reid put themselves into position, each with a large water balloon in their hands. JJ, Emily and Rossi were standing at the door of the bullpen, watching eagerly… When the light blinked and the elevator dinged, Reid and Garcia raised the water balloons… the doors opened.
"WATERBOMB!" Reid and Garcia howled, the flung the balloons all over the lone occupant of the elevator.
"WHAT IN GOD'S NAME?!" Came the exclamation. Reid and Garcia both froze, eyes wide. JJ, Emily and Rossi were also looking horrified, as was Hotch, standing behind them.
The other elevator dinged, and the doors opened.
"Got the wrong target, didja?!" Morgan crowed, and leapt out. "PAYBACK'S A BITCH!" And Reid and Garcia screamed and howled as they were soaked with streams from two Super Soakers.
Morgan froze, and then whirled. His eyes widened and he thrust the Super Soaker's behind his back.
"… Chief Strauss."
The woman was GLARING, dripping wet…
"All three of you in MY office RIGHT NOW!" She commanded. "Agent Hotchner! You too!"
A look of worry crossed Hotch's face, but only his team caught it before he schooled it into his stern SSA Hotchner look. He gave a curt nod and gestured Strauss to precede him. Then he shot his agents a glare, and they followed him.
"Sit." Strauss commended, jabbing a finger at the chairs before her desk, as she moved behind it, pushing her sopping wet hair out of her face. Reid and Garcia sunk into the chairs, while Hotch and Morgan stood behind them. Reid was slouched down, wanting to disappear, and Garcia was trembling. Both of them were also dripping wet.
"… What the HELL is going on?!" Strauss demanded to know. No one answered. "Well?!"
"… I knew what they were going to do." Hotch admitted, and Strauss' eyes blazed in fury. But then Hotch lowered his gaze to burn into the backs of Reid and Garcia. "What I DIDN'T know was that they were going to do it here at work." Strauss watched as Reid and Garcia both flinched in unison and slid down even further in their chairs. And then, to her dismay, she saw tears rolling down the Technical Analyst's face, and Agent Reid didn't look like he was that far behind her in the waterworks department.
"… I want an explanation." She growled.
"It was my fault." Morgan suddenly announced. Reid and Garcia's eyes widened in shock. "I started all of this about a week ago."
"Really." Strauss stated, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms.
"I uh… I put hot sauce in the kid—uh… in Agent Reid's coffee."
"So I rigged up a booby trap in his desk drawer that flung jelly beans in his face when he opened it." Reid confessed.
"So I put some black grease paint on his phone and he got it all over his face when he answered it." Morgan continued.
"So I handed him a soda that I had shaken up and it exploded over him." Reid added.
"So on the next case, I hid his glasses and gave him wrong directions and sent him to the Ladies Room." Morgan admitted.
"So I put a rubber band on the little hand sprayer of his sink at home so when he turned on the water, it sprayed him."
"So I gave him a gag glass of water that dribbled all over him and made it look like he had wet himself."
"So I put baking soda into his ketchup bottle so it exploded everywhere when he opened it."
"So I balanced a bowl of flour on my office door and called him in…" Morgan sighed. "I didn't know that Garcia was with him, so they were both covered in it."
"So I came up with the idea of the water balloons." Garcia finally chimed in.
"And I overheard it, so I brought the water guns…" Morgan finally finished.
"They were all harmless pranks." Reid whimpered. "You just got caught in the crossfire…"
"And we encouraged them!" Everyone jumped and looked at the door as Rossi, JJ and Prentiss all came in, Prentiss leading the charge. "We were getting a kick out of everything so we encouraged them and even gave them ideas. So it's our fault too!" Rossi and JJ were vehemently nodding their heads.
There was a moment of silence, and then nearly all of the agents were apologizing profusely. Hotch watched them, and just sighed. He looked slightly amused, but also feeling sorry for them. Rossi smirked and shrugged. Strauss finally lifted a hand to silence them.
"Come on, Erin." Rossi finally said. "In this line of work, there's so much darkness and horrible things, it weighs on you. You know that. It's no secret that you turned to alcohol." Strauss' eyes widened and she turned red in anger. "I turned to sex." Rossi admitted, shrugging. Strauss flushed even darker at that, and now she looked embarrassed. "They just engaged in a bit of harmless fun to help… lighten their lives a little. Is it really that reprehensible?"
And then, before their eyes, Strauss deflated.
"No." She admitted. "However… Keep it out of the office from now on. If I hear of another… civilian casualty… You WILL receive a formal reprimand and it WILL go in your file. Am I understood?"
"Yes Ma'am." Came the mumbled chorus.
"Dismissed." Strauss nodded. "I believe you have a case that requires your attention." And the team all shuffled to the door. And as they walked down the hall, she watched as Hotch smacked Morgan upside the back of his head.
"OW! What the hell, man!?"
"That was for starting it in the first place. Now go get the Whoopee Cushion off of Reid's chair before this all starts over again."
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