DISCLAIMER: Criminal Minds and its characters are the property of CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is part of my make-believe world of Will-less, baby-less JJ and before the recent heartache that has befallen Hotch.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
David Rossi stood silently between two of his colleagues, sipping on his drink and half-listening to their Star Wars debate. He smiled around the rim of his glass as he watched Penelope Garcia sneak up on another unsuspecting prey, armed solely with a sprig of mistletoe and a fresh coat of cherry lip gloss as her weapons. The Behavioral Analysis Unit's technical specialist had proven to be an equal opportunity kisser at the annual Christmas party, even giving Strauss a peck on the lips when the section chief had stepped through the door. The look on the older woman's face had been priceless, although Rossi, being a trained profiler, had noticed a fleeting glint in Strauss's eyes and it had had nothing to do with surprise at practically being accosted by Garcia or because she'd seemed weirded out by the feel of another woman's lips pressed against her own. In fact
"No way, Reid, Chewbacca is the best of the supporting players, hands down," Derek argued, the vehemence in his tone distracting Rossi from creating a profile that may have very well kept him up at nights.
"But if it weren't for R2-DT, there wouldn't be any record of the Skywalkers. He's the most essential of all the others," Reid countered, "In Revenge of the Sith, "
"Whoa," Rossi interrupted Reid's defense of the droid and the path of his own drink, his glass stopping inches from his lips as he stared, wide-eyed, at the door. "Would you get a load of Prentiss..." Swallowing hard, he quickly downed the amber liquid and looked around for more.
"Holy " Morgan's brain disengaged and kept him from finding an appropriate modifier for his adjective.
"Cow!" JJ finished, her jaw almost hitting the beige carpet, as she'd walked up to overhear both Rossi's and Morgan's comments. In reality, however, the costume Emily donned was as far from bovine in nature as possible. There was no cow suit: no black and white spots, no headpiece with cute little cow ears and horns, no hooves or tail, and no sign of udders anywhere. Or, at least, the cow variety of mammary glands. It was quite apparent to anyone who drew breath - although quite a few were having difficulty at the moment - that Emily Prentiss wasn't at all lacking in that department.
"Is that Prentiss?" Hotch asked as he stepped next to Rossi. He tilted his head and squinted slightly as he focused fully on his agent. It hadn't escaped his notice that every single person in attendance had done the same.
Emily straightened her Santa hat and moved further into the room, her shiny silver LaDuca shoes and nude Danskin tights leading the way, but they were only bit players to what had drawn all eyes in her direction. Her bright red velvety jacket hugged her body in all the right places, its plunging neckline and long sleeves ending in fluffy white fur cuffs, with a wide black belt cinched tightly around her waist. The world's shortest red shorts completed the ensemble and showcased a pair of legs that seemingly went on forever.
"Girlfriend, you look hot!" Garcia exclaimed as she dashed over from having quenched her thirst at the punch bowl. She hadn't realized that kissing would be such hard work.
Emily grinned. "You look pretty damn good yourself," she remarked and gestured toward her friend's bright red and green dress and a red Santa hat that sat atop thick blonde curls.
"So, you ready?" Garcia whispered softly and struggled to keep from looking over to where their friends and colleagues were standing. She knew the others were watching and she really wanted to see their initial reactions firsthand, but she restrained herself, knowing she'd have a taped copy that she could watch whenever the mood struck her. She took a step closer to Emily.
"As I'll ever be," Emily replied with a slightly nervous grin just as the background music grew louder with Happy Holidays nearing its last refrain. A brief pause was followed by a series of familiar notes and then by Garcia's very in-tune and breathy voice.
"Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me. I've been an awful good girl.
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight "
Garcia grinned confidently and continued her song as she slowly danced around Emily, leaning in and dipping a shoulder toward her friend every now and then, while Emily moved her hips in time with the music and rotated around with Garcia's every step.
Across the room, five hands reached out blindly and grabbed a glass of wine from a passing waiter's tray, and in almost as perfect synchronization as their dancing and singing colleagues, the team raised their glasses to their respective lips, gulped down the contents, and just as blindly, returned the stemware to the tray before the waiter could move to the next group.
JJ eased closer and closer to the action as the three men stood frozen to their spots, not even noticing that their colleague had strayed from their little circle. Their focus, and everyone else's, remained solely in the center of the room.
Garcia was in her element and she knew it. Lifting a hand high enough for all the onlookers to see, she paused dramatically to point to her empty ring finger with her other hand before singing the next verse.
"Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring I don't mean a phone. Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight," she sang amidst a host of chuckles as she readied to wrap up her performance with a flourish. "Hurry down the chimney tonight " she sashayed around Emily once more and huskily breathed out her last line. "Hurry down the chimney tonight."
Leaning forward with the obvious intent of kissing her Santa baby on the lips, Garcia was tugged away at the last possible second, the interruption appearing as if it had been played out in slow motion a la one of those oldie movies where the male lead reaches for his costar's arm, spins her around, and allows several long and overly dramatic seconds of eye gazing, before sweeping her into his arms and kissing her with a passion so intense that it could be literally felt by the audience. Kevin's performance was almost as good as Garcia's had been.
A light spattering of applause with more than a few chuckles filled the room, the staged routine even drawing a slight smile from Erin Strauss. She shook her head at the antics and returned to the bar for another drink. Neither she nor any of the others had noticed except for Hotch and Rossi, who'd purposely chosen to be clueless - that Emily had been tugged in the opposite direction at exactly the same moment Kevin had made his move; only instead of being pulled into the limelight, Emily had been led through the exit, down a long hallway, around a corner, and into a secluded alcove, far, far away from the prying eyes of partygoers.
"Um, JJ?" Emily found her voice when she and her abductor finally came to an abrupt stop. "What's wrong?" She kept her tone light and concerned and as hope-free as possible.
JJ swept a hand through her blonde hair and tugged on its ends. She'd just reacted to the situation, plain and simple, but how could she explain to Emily that if anyone was going to kiss 'Santa baby' it should be her? Still fully in the moment and figuring she may as well finish what she'd started, JJ opted to use her lips in a much more expressive way other than trying to form words that couldn't possibly articulate what she felt for the other woman. Pressing her lips gently against Emily's, she poured herself into a much clearer and more enjoyable - form of communication and hoped Emily would reply in kind.
Smiling against warm, soft lips, Emily slipped her arms around JJ and deepened the kiss. She really had to hand it to Garcia: the woman was an absolute genius.
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