Author: elekanahmen aka Jax
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Hotch/Emily (IKR???!)
Disclaimer- I don't own them, as they're clearly NOT chained up in my closet. Title isn't mine either, it's a Christmas song.
Rating: R (for now)
Warnings: Het (yes, from me, that is a warning,) Body piercings, tattoos and smoking. Emily is secretly a heterosexual bad girl. Rawr.
Summary: Hotch's ear problem is bothering him after an explosion in the field. Emily takes it upon herself to get him back to Quantico safely and Shenanigans ensue.
Prompt: hotch_prentiss December Challenge Phrase: "Road Trip"
Author's Note: Okay, so I admit it. I've been reading Hotchily. Beyond that, I've been co-writing it with babyfirefly... And, well, mcgarrygirl78 too... And so I joined hotch_prentiss and in the recently posted Challenge list, mcgarrygirl78 made a very poorly disguised jab at the fact that while I'd co-authored no fewer than four chapters and one short, I've yet to write some Hotchily of my own. So here I am, traitor to all things JJ/Emily... writing a three-part, role-play based Hotch/Prentiss fic... co-written by mcgarrygirl78 my digital muse and encouraged heavily by babyfirefly my irl muse and girlfriend. OH yeah, and hopskotch_hotch, you didn't help anything either by being blindingly fabulous.
AN 2: Broken into 3 parts because it came from nearly four hour aim/text based RP with mcgarrygirl78 which with my wordiness, the first 1/3 of it is already nearly 3k words. I know people who wrote less in a day for NaNoWriMo...
Emily zipped up her rarely worn jeans that she kept in her ready bag. They’d wrapped up their case in Phoenix the night before, complete with a spectacular Morgan tackle launched across the room at the unsub who’d just blown up the police cruiser that he thought a key witness was in. To his dismay, it was an empty dummy but the explosion had left Hotch reeling. He had tried to mask it as if it was nothing, but she knew better. She knew that concussive ear and head trauma took longer than a few months to shake off, to truly heal and the explosion probably set him back a few weeks. Besides that, she cared about him… more she was apt to admit out loud. The last thing she needed was anyone—especially her mother—thinking that she’d now slept her way into being recognized by the team, especially after being under Aaron Hotchner’s constant scrutiny for the last two years.
Shifting the ready bag onto her shoulder, Emily stood up, slipping her room key into her pocket, walking across the hall to the Unit Chief’s room, knocking heavily on the door. Her breath hitched as Hotch opened the door, giving her a curious look. “Good morning,” he said.
“Morning. You know, Hotch, you should really tell us when your ears are bothering you,” Emily put her hands on her hips, her left shoulder cocked up to hold her bag up, “not try to hide it like Mr. Tough Guy.”
Hotch shook his head, turning to walk back down the short hallway toward the dresser and his still-steaming coffee cup. “I’m fine, Prentiss.”
“You’re not. If you’ll forgive the expression, sir, I’d go so far as to say that’s bullshit.”
Straightening his tie, Hotch looked up at her. “Please don’t stand that way.”
“Stand what way?” Emily glanced down at herself, seeing no problem with standing the way she was.
“Like my wife used to before, if you’ll excuse the expression, she was ready to eat my balls for breakfast.” A small, rare smile crept across Hotch’s lips, curling up to a sparkle in his eyes. “At ease, soldier.”
Emily shrugged her bag down onto the ground with a laugh, hooking her thumbs into the front pockets of her jeans. “Hotch, you’re in no shape to fly and it’s a three day drive back to Quantico.”
Dark hazel eyes met brown across the room with raised eyebrows. “Drive? You can’t be serious.”
“As a heart attack. I’m not letting you on that plane.”
“Not letting me?” Hotch laughed incredulously. “And how do you plan to stop me?”
Emily nudged the ready bag with her foot. “Well, I have handcuffs, should the need arise.”
“Be careful, Prentiss. In some circles that might get you kissed,” Hotch quipped without thinking. He sat down on the bed, tightening his tie. “So, I drive three days alone… I don’t like he idea even if my ears do.”
Emily scoffed. “I said absolutely nothing about alone.”
A jingling of keys drew the Unit Chief’s eyes up to the Tahoe keyfob hanging from Emily’s index finger. “No.” He shook his head. “No, no, absolutely not.”
“And why not? I have an exemplary driving record and it’s my name on the requisition sheet for this bad boy.”
“Because I’ve seen Thelma and Louise, that’s why.”
Emily countered her boss’s smirk with a raised eyebrow, “What if I promise not to send us into the Grand Canyon?”
“And you won’t blow up any tankers?” Hotch’s smile slipped onto his lips again.
“Not if I can help it, sir.” Emily smiled back, her dimples deepening.
Hotch took a deep breath, slipping on his Italian leather shoes. “What will you tell the others?”
Emily had been prepared for this and she simply smiled. “I already informed them, they’ve been at the airfield for twenty minutes now. You’re in no shape to drive, Morgan’s already done this with you once, Rossi has a meeting with Strauss in six hours, you’d probably eat Todd alive… and, well…” She snickered, “We’ve all seen Reid’s driving. The flight might be less traumatizing… so I was the natural choice.”
He looked at Emily Prentiss with wonder and a hint of newfound respect. The woman had as much leadership skill as him with fewer years in the Bureau; she clearly had some of her mother’s skill at handling people. She’d managed to get the whole team to follow her lead. If he wasn’t careful, she’d be taking his job from him, though there were some mornings where he considered handing it to her on a silver platter. “I’m driving.”
Emily scoffed again, her ponytail shaking from side to side, falling with a curl around her neck. “Oh, no… I’m not stupid, sir, I know about ear trauma and the correlation with dizzy spells.” She smirked, pocketing the keys. “You’re not driving.”
Hotch raised both eyebrows, standing up, finishing his coffee with a long sip. “So not only are you a top-notch profiler on the Bureau’s best team, you also have a medical degree.” He smirked, walking into the bathroom to rinse out his empty cup. “I don’t recall seeing that in your file.”
“I don’t have a medical degree, sir, but I do read. I read up on concussive ear trauma after your diagnosis.”
He had to hold back a chuckle. “And why on earth would you do that?” He asked, poking his head out of the bathroom.
“Consider it keeping an eye on you.” She leaned against the doorframe, unconsciously canting her hips in an effortlessly sexy way.
Despite his best efforts to resist, his eyes swept over her frame, taking her in. He tried to bite back the smile that forced its way onto his lips as he wondered if Prentiss had any grasp of her own innate sexuality, if she knew the things that such a simple whisper of body language could do to a man—could do to him. He finally looked away, reaching for his ready bag and briefcase. “Well, we’d better get going, then. I want to get as far as we can before stopping for rest.”
“I’m bringing my iPod because we’re not listening to NPR the whole way.”
“Hey, I don’t listen to NPR all the time.” He gestured toward the door, nodding. “Ladies first.”
With a swish of hips and pony tailed hair, Emily hoisted her bag and turned on her heel in one smooth motion, leading Hotch down to the concierge to check out of their rooms before leading him to the Tahoe. She popped open the back hatch, tossing her bag and laptop case into the back, fishing her iPod and sunglasses out of her purse. “Mind if I smoke in the car?”
“Smoke what?” Hotch asked with an eyebrow quirked.
“Cloves, Hotch.” She smirked, thinking to herself that a little something else might loosen him up enough for a bit of fun. “Though I do also smoke regular cigarettes sometimes. This road trip just feels clove-y.” She smiled
“I didn’t know you smoked.” He shrugged, tossing his own bag into the back. “No, I don’t mind. That is, if you don’t mind me telling you the millions of ways you’re shortening your life span while you do that.”
Emily sighed dramatically, “Arsenic and nicotine are far more romantic than slit wrists or heads in ovens.”
“Is that Dylan Thomas?”
“Not quite,” she smirked, “Emily Prentiss.” She climbed into the driver’s seat, plugging her iPod in, tucking her cigarettes and sunglasses into the cup holder before buckling her seatbelt.
Hotch made a face as he climbed in, adjusting the seat for his height. “Who sat here last, one of Santa’s Elves?”
“Agent Todd, sir.”
“Hmm…” He nodded, buckling his seatbelt. “You know, I feel…”
“Over dressed for a road trip?”
“Perhaps,” he replied, loosening his tie before slipping it over his head, tossing it in the back seat. He then unbuttoned his sleeves, rolling them up, unbuttoning the top two buttons of his oxford. “I haven’t done this in a very long time… too long. And please,” his eyes met hers, pleading, “stop calling me sir. It drives me crazy, my father was sir.”
“Sorry, Hotch,” she laughed. “It just feels so much like I’m still on the clock.”
Looking at her seriously, Hotch shook his head. “Well, we’re not. We won’t be until we get back to Quantico, alright?”
She nodded her affirmative. “Yes, s—” she caught herself, “I mean, of course, Hotch.”
“We’ll work on it… Emily.”
He grinned impishly and Emily blushed a bit. “Alright then…” She reached over, hitting play on her iPod. Bowie poured through the Tahoe’s speakers as she pulled out of the hotel parking lot, following the GPS’s chirpy cues to the highway.
Hotch reached over, turning down the volume a bit, tapping his ears to remind Emily exactly why they were in the car to begin with. “I knew it.”
“You’re Thelma and I refuse to be Louise.” Hotch laughed, feeling strangely comfortable letting his stoic façade down around the curvy brunette.
“I always pictured you as more of a J.D. than a Louise…” She laughed, her pony tail swaying again. Hotch tried not to be mesmerized.
“Yeah, that might work,” he nodded. “But you’re still not allowed to blow up any tankers,” he quipped, leaning back, crossing his arms.
“Yeah, well, then you’re not allowed to steal the money.” She stuck out her tongue playfully.
“None of it? Not even a little?” He teased.
“Well, then, I guess I will just have to find other ways to entertain myself,” Hotch declared, laughing softly. My God, he thought to himself, I’m joking around with her. I’m joking around period. This banter… I almost forgot what it felt like.
“You certainly will, J.D.” Emily grinned, “Who knows, maybe you can teach me how to rob a bank while we’re at it…”
“Once you’re with me, there is no turning back.”
Emily smiled, watching the road ahead of her, reaching over idly some time later to turn the air conditioning on. “Damn Arizona… it’s always so hot.”
“The heat never bothered me, I grew up in Virginia. Didn’t you spend time in the Middle East as a child?”
“Yes,” Emily smiled wistfully, “and I complained the entire time. Then again, when I was five, complaining got my father to dote on me more.”
“A daddy’s girl?” He was surprised, Emily never struck him as one to pout for attention from anyone, rather command it from everyone.
“Breathe a word of that to the team and I’ll make good on that handcuff threat.”
Hotch laughed, holding his hands up in mock surrender. “What happens in the Tahoe stays in the Tahoe. On my honor.”
It was Emily’s turn to laugh. “Let me guess, scout’s honor?” She smirked, her dimples deepening again, “Were you an Eagle Scout, Hotch?”
“That is nothing to be embarrassed about… except that it probably sounds like I’m embarrassed. I’m not. It’s a distinguished honor.”
“Awww,” Emily teased, “It’s cute. Nerdy… but adorable.”
Narrowing his eyes, Hotch murmured, “Adorable… humph. Yeah well, we nerds must just recognize each other when we’re up close. Kilgore Trout ringing any bells?”
Emily rolled her eyes, “Own a few first edition Vonneguts and you’re suddenly as nerdy as an Eagle Scout.”
“Yes,” Hotch agreed, “you are. Live with it.”
Hotch closed his eyes as her soft laughter filled the SUV. “Well, then, we won’t mention that ‘a few’ means ‘nine’ or that I’ve been to more than a few comic book conventions in my time. My nerdiness is stealthy… like a nerd ninja…” She smirked.
“No, it’s… adorable, actually.” Hotch turned his head, looking out the window.
A shiver ran down Emily’s back at his words and she blushed, goosebumps spreading and softening over her arms and chest, her nipples stiffening against her already tight and clingy tank top making her normally hidden nipple ring painfully evident against the soft cotton of her shirt and the thin lace bra between. Emily rolled her eyes as the gas gauge blinked, reminding her that she was now low on gas. “My god, this Tahoe gets shit mileage.”
“Hmm?” Hotch turned to look at her, his eyes catching sight of the state of her tank top, his eyes lingering on the now visible nipple ring. He tried to turn away but couldn’t, his eyes wide as surprised and surprisingly naughty thoughts fluttered through his mind. Emily groaned, putting on the blinker, easing off the highway. Hotch shook free the cobwebs that her state had spun in his head, looking up at her. “What are you doing, Prentiss?”
“Getting gas. Didn’t you hear me? This Tahoe has shit mileage.”
His eyes had wandered back to her breast, losing all focus. He shook his head again, still unable to snap way, “I’m sorry, what?”
She spoke slowly, as if speaking to a deaf child. “We. Are. Out. Of. Gas.” She glanced over at Hotch, his eyes jumping up to hers as she did. “Is your hearing giving you trouble?”
“No! … No…” Hotch shook his head, coming back to reality. “I’m okay.”
Emily raised an eyebrow as she pulled up to the gas pump, hopping out. She opened the back hatch to fish out her wallet and the Bureau issue credit card for work purchases. Hotch looked up just at the exact second that Emily was reaching up to close the hatch. His eyes swept over her body appreciatively in the security of the passenger mirror, his eyes pausing on a flourish of Arabic script tattooed on her left hipbone before being distracted by a sparkle just above, a small barbell tucked into the younger agent’s belly button. Hotch could hardly believe his eyes as he stared, blinking and shaking his head as he tried to will away the sudden pressure between his legs. A strangled groan escaped from deep inside of him as he struggled to free the seatbelt holding him in the passenger seat. He scrambled out, making double-time into the mini mart, as if scrambling from a burning car. Emily watched him, both eyebrows arched. “You alright, Hotch?” She yelled after him, watching as he shrugged haphazardly, nearly colliding with the sliding doors before they had a chance to open for him. Emily shook her head, starting the pump before sauntering into the mini mart after him.
While she was busy outside, Hotch had discovered the calming effect of standing in front of an open refrigerator, the cold air taking the flush from his cheeks and taking care of other certain discomforts. Dear God, he thought, Why now? Why this… this woman? Anyone but this woman. I don’t want to think about Emily that way and now I can’t help it. A nipple ring? A navel ring? A tattoo? You are so cruel. He cursed, looking up at the ceiling. He looked ahead, grabbing two of the bottles of Vitamin Water before him and a pair of Snickers bars off of the door. He turned and walked toward the counter, not realizing Emily was standing a few feet away, nearly mowing her down as she skimmed the headlines of the day’s paper. He dropped the two bottles and candy bars, his hands instinctively grasping her hips as she lost balance. She laughed, stumbling, turning in his grasp. “Oh, God, I’m… I’m so sorry…” He trailed off, feeling the sudden tingle in his fingers where they were pressed against her hips.
She smiled shyly, regaining her balance. “It’s okay, Hotch…” she trailed off, looking up into his eyes.
“I didn’t mean… I got you a vitamin water. And a snickers.” He smiled.
A blush flushed her cheeks and Emily looked away. “It’s… thanks... Hotch.” She smiled again, wider.
Hotch dropped his hands away from her waist, taking a couple of steps back, kneeling to pick up the fallen bottles and candy bars, standing slowly. “I’d better pay for this… you want that paper?”
She shook her head, folding it and depositing it back on the stack. “Nah,” she smiled, “Just seeing what the headlines were.”
“Right,” he nodded, turning quickly away. Good Job, idiot, he thought to himself, she probably thinks you’re insane now.
Emily shook her head, taking a deep breath as Hotch walked away, pressing her palm lightly against her forehead. Whoa there, hormones, she thought, how about we don’t jump the boss in the middle of a redneck seven eleven, hmm?
Hotch turned to her, walking toward the door, bottles and candy bars in hand. “Ready?”
“Yeah,” Emily looked up, smiling with a weak nod, her body still electrified from Hotch’s touch.
“You okay?” He paused, cocking his head, eyes awash with concern.
She nodded, smiling widely, “Perfect. You?”
“Just fine.” He held out a bottle of “Focus” water and one of the Snickers bars. “I can take over driving if you’re not up to it.”
Emily nodded, trading him the keys for the offering of food and drink, “We can alternate by tanks of gas. But if you feel off… Hotch, swear you’ll pull off and we’ll switch.”
“I’ll be fine,” he insisted. “I’ve been driving for over two decades… I can handle it.”
“Riight, sorry,” Emily smirked. “I nearly forgot that, old man.” She hung the pump back up, closing the tank.
“Thanks kiddo.” He grinned, climbing into the driver’s seat.
Emily stood for a moment, staring at the Tahoe, a hand instinctively rubbing over her stomach, trying to ease the deep coiling tingle beneath. “Down girl…” She murmured before climbing into the car, her eyes settling on Hotch as she fastened her seatbelt.