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On Appropriate Remuneration For Mortal Peril

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"If anyone had bothered to inform me about the increased level of mortal danger involved in this job, I would have told the Bureau to shove their offer. I'm an academic, for chrissakes." Blake huffed as she dropped into the chair behind her desk.

She was cranky; she had shot at someone today.

"At the very least, you should have asked for more generous compensation." Reid rambled around a mouthful of chocolate. "That's what I did after I was kidnapped for the fourth time..."

"Fourth?"

Reid looked up in alarm, as if he couldn't fathom why she was so incredulous.

"Reid gets kidnapped a lot." Morgan smiled and leaned against Blake's desk. "If it wasn't so disturbing, we could almost turn it into a drinking game."

Reid shot Morgan a calculating look, popped two more pieces of chocolate into his mouth, and went back to his paperwork.

"What aren't we turning into a drinking game?"

Everyone turned at the sound of Hotch's scowl. The man could sneak around like a ninja but his look of disapproval could be heard from anywhere in the building.

"Reid's penchant for being a kidnapping victim..." Morgan reiterated.

"I object to the term 'victim'." Reid was waving a instructive finger at them all. "Sometimes you have to put yourself in harm's way to achieve your goals."

"Are you saying that you've allowed yourself to be kidnapped on occasion?"

Morgan and Blake were giving him tandem we-know-you-are-a-genius-but-that-doesn't-mean-you-are-not-crazy looks. Even Hotch leaned in a little and crossed his arms, clearly not buying what Reid was selling.

"Listen, guys, I'm not saying that I'm volunteering to be kidnapped. I think the only context in which I'd be comfortable being kidnapped is by a band of baby sloths."

That stopped the conversation in it's tracks.

Hotch went stone-faced and rigid as if he were having a heart attack. "Excuse me."

The others watched as he calmly climbed the stairs to his office, and closed the door behind him. There was a beat of silence and then the miraculous sound of muffled laughter. Reid, Blake and Morgan looked at each other with undisguised shock, and then they all scrambled up the stairs to huddle around the closed door to listen as their boss completely lost his cool.