“The team want an orgy.”
Gideon blinks, opens his mouth, closes it, blinks again.
It’s his Wednesday afternoon meeting with Hotch, the one they have every week that they’re not in the field. They use Hotch’s office, the unit chief behind his desk, Gideon on the other side, and it’s two hours set aside to discuss how the team is functioning – any concerns Gideon himself or Hotch might have about the team, about recent cases. It’s been a fairly uneventful meeting thus far, until Hotch’s blunt, utterly matter of fact statement, as if he was reporting a dodgy case report or the office natter from around the water cooler.
Gideon blinks again, very fast. “Perhaps you could repeat that for me,” he requests, almost sure he’s either had a stroke or a psychotic break. “I didn’t seem to catch it.”
Hotch, to his credit, looks very slightly uncomfortable, which on him probably means he’s drowning in embarrassment. He shifts a little in his chair, the leather creaking. “It’s that ‘profiler sandwich’ thing again. From last month?”
“I remember,” Gideon clips out tersely.
“They won’t let it go. They have requested a team bonding night, just like, and I quote directly here, ‘Gideon, Rossi and Ryan used to kick it in the old days’.”
Gideon sighs. “That never happened –” He cuts himself off at Hotch’s quelling look. Sometimes a man has to know when to quit.
He tries another tack. “If they’re looking to hook up, I know a few decent bars they can go to,” he suggests. Hotch shakes his head almost violently.
“It’s not about that,” the younger man snaps. Gideon spreads his hands.
“Then they can sort it out amongst themselves. I don’t see why I need to know about it. By all means, they can’t want an old man like me lurking in the corner reading while they get up to mischief. I’m of no appeal to our younger colleagues, of that you can be assured, Hotch.”
Hotch drags in a deep breath. Gideon watches him, curious. “It’s the complete opposite, you ass. It’s all about you. When you were gone for six months – it was like we were walking blind, nothing felt right. Christ, Jason, don’t you know how much they look up to you? How much we all want to earn your respect and your praise, not just here at work –” Hotch cuts himself off, but the damage is done. His ears are pink.
Gideon sits back in his chair, removing himself just a touch, giving Aaron his space. It takes him time to find the words.
“You said we,” he prompts gently. “Even you, Aaron?” Hotch flushes scarlet in lieu of a reply, and Gideon shakes his head fondly. “Aaron, it’s been a long time since you needed to look to me for reassurance,” he says, equally as gently as before. “You’re an exceptional agent, and a better profiler that I’ll ever be.”
Hotch, of course, waves away the praise at once. He’s not good at receiving compliments gracefully. “You know that’s not true,” he says sharply. Gideon arches an eyebrow but lets it go. “You’re the best. Everyone knows it.”
“We never stop learning, every day of our lives,” Gideon replies. He’s a bit hot under the collar himself. It’s not unusual for sex to be discussed in and around the office, sometimes banter, sometimes the abnormal psychology of unsubs. Morgan and Garcia have an almost unhealthy interest in which celebrity couple is cheating on each other in any given week and like to keep everyone appraised. Sex isn’t new. They’re all adults.
It’s just not often for the sex talk to be about Gideon himself. Gideon prefers to project an utter lack of sexual interest when at work. He’d thought it was effective. “The team is united in this?” he asks, dreading the answer.
Hotch nods, his skin starting to return to its usual hue now that his own feelings aren’t being discussed. “Across the board,” he reports dryly. “The information was passed to me directly by one individual, appointed by the rest as a sort of spokesperson. I’m not telling you who it is,” he adds, and Gideon closes his open mouth. He’d been about to ask that very question. “I have discreetly verified it with every member of the team. The consensus is yes, and in two specific cases, ‘hell yes’.”
Gideon winces. He has no doubt who those two are. “The logistics would be a problem,” he points out. “There are seven of us, including Garcia, who would be very hurt to be left out.” He eyes Hotch dubiously. “Unless the lone married member of the team would prefer not to attend. No one would expect him to be involved, given his… prior commitments.”
Hotch is shaking his head before Gideon even finishes the sentence. “As the leader of the team, of course I intend to be there,” he replies tartly. Gideon shrugs.
“It’s your choice. What about Haley?”
Hotch’s mouth firms into a thin line. So this is to be another of the secrets Aaron keeps from his wife, Gideon thinks, resigned to his colleague’s secrecy, but not to the proposed event they are discussing. “I’ll make it all right with Haley.”
“Which brings us back to logistics,” Gideon replies. “So unless you have previously hidden knowledge about how seven people can manage to form a bizarre pretzel of combined sexual positions, the point is moot. What do you expect me to do, ask the team for suggestions on how they’d like to do it?”
Hotch’s face brightens, and a wicked glint comes into his eyes. “Actually…” he begins.
Gideon curses. He’s very sure he’s not going to enjoy this.
To: Garcia, Penelope; Greenaway, Elle; Hotcher, Aaron; Jareau, Jennifer; Morgan, Derek; Reid, Spencer
From: Gideon, Jason
Subject: Team bonding event
I have been advised by SSA Hotchner that suggestions have been made to incorporate an out of hours activity into our schedules to foster cooperation, trust and bonding within the team.
Any submissions regarding this activity are to be handed into me in person, by no later than 1600 next Monday.