"Okay, my lovelies," Garcia called out as the BAU team hastily made to leave for the weekend. "Don't forget that Dave and Penelope's Halloween Extravaganza is next Saturday. That leaves you exactly one weekend left to shop for your costume."
With a wave of her hand, Garcia was through the door followed by a chuckling Morgan, Prentiss, and Reid. JJ turned to her right when she heard an audible groan. Hotch was standing just outside his office with a pained expression on his face.
"Everything okay, Hotch?" Concern filled her eyes.
Hotch nodded, embarrassment tinging his cheeks. "Yeah, I just forgot all about the Halloween party. I still need to get a costume."
"I love costume shopping. It's a chance to try on different personalities."
"I hate Halloween shopping. Everyone pretending to be someone they're not."
Hotch and JJ looked at each for a minute before bursting into laughter.
"Are you bringing Jack?" JJ asked, when their giggling had gotten under control.
Hotch shook his head. "He has a Halloween sleepover that night with some friends. What about you? Bringing Henry?"
"No, he's with Will that weekend." JJ shook her head to clear her thoughts. "What do you say you let Henry and I take you and Jack out Halloween shopping tomorrow? We can do lunch and everything... unless you have plans."
"Well, I have some laundry to do and the fridge needs cleaned out, but I think we can forgo that for some shopping." Hotch flashed her a rare smile, making her melt just a little inside.
JJ pulled her coat on a little tighter, feeling her body react to his grin. "We'll be at your house tomorrow morning at 10am. That will give us some time to shop before lunch and time afterward if you need it."
"Sounds like a plan."
"See you tomorrow, Hotch. Good night."
"Good night." Hotch watched as JJ dropped files off at Reid and Prentiss' desks before making her way to the elevator. He felt a warmth spread across his abdomen when she turned and flashed him a smile before getting on the elevator. Spending time with JJ away from the BAU? Suddenly, his weekend was looking up.
"Daddy, I think you should go as cookie," Jack told Hotch the next morning.
Hotch was trying to pick up the living room while getting Jack's tennis shoes on his feet. He paused at Jack's comment. "A cookie?"
Jack nodded, emphatically. "A chocolate chip cookie. Or a dragon. You could be a dragon!"
"Jack, could you sit still so I can finish tying your shoe?"
"What about a fireman? You can carry an axe. Or you could be Paul Bunyan! He had an axe, too."
Hotch finished tying Jack's shoe as the doorbell rang. "No axes."
"What about a pirate?" Jack called out to Hotch as he opened the door to reveal JJ standing there with Henry.
She raised an eyebrow. "A pirate?"
"At least it doesn't have an axe," Hotch told her, leaving her thoroughly confused.
"You guys ready to go?"
Jack skipped to the front door, putting his jacket on. "Hi, Miss JJ. Hi, Henry. Are we leaving now?"
JJ held her hand out to Jack. "Let's go."
Jack tossed out ideas for costumes the entire ride to the store. Henry even got in on the act, though his suggestions were limited to "dog," "frog," and "Caillou." Hotch needed JJ to explain the last one. Both boys were practically vibrating with excitement by the time JJ pulled into the Halloween store parking lot. Jack dragged Hotch through the front doors while Henry bounced in JJ's arms, calling out "Ghost! Ghost!"
"Jack, do you have your costume picked out yet?" JJ asked, as she combed through the picked over adult costumes. She had put Henry into a cart and distracted him with a pumpkin flashlight.
Jack danced beside her, his eyes roaming over every costume she touched. "Yep. Aunt Jessica got me a transformers costume."
"No, no!" JJ said, abruptly, startling both Jack and Henry. She marched a few feet down the aisle and snatched a costume from Hotch's hands. "You are not going as a cop. You need something a bit more inventive then that."
"I was just looking," Hotch mumbled. "What about this?"
He held up a vampire costume. JJ scrunched her face, scrutinizing the costume. "Maybe. Vampires are a little overdone, though."
She tossed it into the cart anyway. She grabbed a red devil costume from a nearby shelf and held it up. Hotch snatched it from her hands.
"I can't wear that!" he hissed.
"Because it's skin tight!"
JJ bit her bottom lip, trying to keep her thoughts clean. "Exactly. No one would expect you to show up wearing it. That's part of the fun. Besides, it's not like you don't have the," JJ raked her eyes over his body, "assets to pull it off."
Hotch felt his neck burning up, though he was secretly pleased. He turned and grabbed the nearest costume to tear his eyes away from hers. "What about court jester?"
Jack and JJ both began to laugh. "Put it in the cart. I want to see you try it on."
"Yeah, Daddy!" Jack agreed. "Try it on!"
An hour and a half later found Hotch no closer to finding a costume. He was uncomfortable in anything outside the standard, boring costumes, and JJ refused to let him wear the same old thing. They were both getting frustrated. Jack was getting restless and Henry was starting to whine.
"Okay, I say we take a break for lunch and try at another store," JJ finally said.
"What are you going as?" Hotch asked as they meandered through the store. JJ muttered a response so low he couldn't hear her. "What?"
"A fairy princess," she replied stubbornly. She sighed, agitated. "Henry picked out my costume."
"Mama's a princess," Henry told Hotch, solemnly, his blue eyes watching Hotch intently."
"She certainly is," Hotch acceded, his voice pitched lower than normal. He stopped suddenly when a costume caught his eye. "Why don't you guys go out to the car and I'll meet you there? I just remembered that I promised to pick Dave up a couple of decorations. It won't take me long."
"Okay," JJ said, distracted by the check-out lane where she needed to buy Henry the pumpkin flashlight and Jack a toy sword he had been playing with the last ten minutes. She had just gotten both boys into their seats when Hotch came out of the store with a large bag.
JJ put her hands on her hips. "What did you get?"
Hotch smirked at her. "I found my costume."
"Well, what is it? Let's see!"
"It's a surprise. You can see it at the party."
JJ moved her hands from her hips to fold her arms. "Really? After spending the last hour and half looking at costumes, you're not going to let me see it?"
"Nope." Hotch flashed her another smile before hopping in the car. JJ pleaded and prodded with him for the rest of the day, but Hotch refused to budge. She tried bribery, flattery, mock anger, sneakery, and even flirting to no avail. The last part Hotch enjoyed just a bit too much and wasn't overly concerned with hiding it.
Hotch walked JJ and Henry to her car at nearly nine that night. They had ended up at Hotch's after lunch and spent the afternoon and evening together. Hotch took Henry from her to put him into his car seat.
"You're really not going to tell me?" JJ asked one last time, standing with the car door open.
Hotch shook his head. He tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. "You're just going to have to wait like everyone else. Night, JJ."
"Good night, Hotch." JJ drove away into the night with a silly smile plastered on her face that remained until after she fell asleep that night.
"Wow, Jayje!" Garcia breathed out. "You look beautiful."
JJ blushed as she walked through the door of Rossi's house. Her costume with a sky blue satin with blue sparkles. The skirt fell just above mid-thigh. She had a scepter, a tiara holding back blond curls, and a pair of matching wings. She wore a pair of white leather boots on her feet.
"Thank you. You look pretty great yourself." Garcia was dressed as a witch; the most fantastical witch that JJ had ever seen. JJ glanced around and saw most of the BAU team milling about as well as a dozen or so party-goers she didn't recognize. "Is Hotch here?"
Garcia eyed her suspiciously. "Not yet. Why?"
"Henry, Jack, and I took him costume shopping last week, but he wouldn't let anyone of us see which costume he finally picked," JJ replied, nonchalantly, trying to downplay the trip.
"Sure." Anything further Garcia had to say was stopped by Prentiss and Reid joining them.
Prentiss, wearing a cat costume, looked JJ up and down. "I have to say, JJ, that while I love your costume, it's not something I would pick out for you to wear."
"That's the whole point of Halloween, darling," Garcia chastised.
JJ pulled at her skirt. "I didn't pick it out. Henry did. He was just so excited, I couldn't say no."
"What are you?" Reid asked he. He was dressed as a half-eaten zombie.
"A fairy princess, of course." JJ bent her knees in half a bow.
Garcia linked her arms with Prentiss and Reid. "We are going to have to find our fairy princess a prince."
"Um, Garcia?" Reid said, timidly. "I think he just walked in."
All four heads turned to the front door where Rossi was letting Hotch in. Hotch shook Rossi's hand as he glanced around. He shrugged when he met JJ's eyes. JJ left the group to meet him, everyone in the house fading away. Rossi moved quietly away, seeing Hotch watching JJ keenly.
"You're a prince," JJ whispered in awe. He wore a dark blue prince costume with a gold crown.
Hotch leaned his head down next to hers. "You're a princess. The princess always falls in love with a prince. It's in every fairytale. I want to give you a fairytale tonight."
JJ reached up and caressed his cheek. She pulled him down for a kiss that sent a jolt of electricity racing from their lips to their toes and all places in between. JJ broke the kiss, pulling back just far enough to see his eyes.
"There's just one problem," JJ told him. He looked at her with worry in his eyes. "This princess was already in love her prince. She doesn't need a fairytale."
Hotch grinned widely, pulling her flush against him for another kiss, knowing their fairytale had just begun.