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Waiting in the Wings (Hotch/Haley, Rossi/Hotch pre-slash)
Belong to Me – Taylor Swift

you're on the phone with your girlfriend, she's upset
she's going off about something that you said,
she doesn't get your humor like I do

Rossi sits on the bed, some of his attention on the case notes in front of him but if he's really being honest, most of him is not-so subtly eavesdropping on Aaron who is, by the sound, mid-argument with Haley. She is clearly not pleased about the fact that the "easy" case that took them to Idaho had dragged on for a week more than promised.

"It's not that easy, if I weren't here we might miss the next part of the profile… we think he's using one of his children as bait for the victims…"

An overly loud sqawk through the phone showed what Haley had to think of him sharing that detail, and Rossi winced. Haley, for all her good points (he supposed she HAD good points, even if he wasn't about to admit them to himself) didn't understand the stress they were under, the things they saw. Better for her, but where did that leave Aaron, always torn between being on the job and home?

It was times like this that made Dave wish that Haley would just cut and run and maybe he could show Aaron that there were people who understood.


Exception(al) (Reid/Morgan, PG-13 for mentions of child abuse)
Only Exception – Paramore

And I've always lived like this
keeping a comfortable distance
and up until now I had sworn to myself that I'm content with loneliness

Derek's mom always told him to never let the sun go down on an argument, to never leave things til tomorrow, because who knew. So that was the background behind always making sure he kissed his dad before he left for work, for awkward apologies after knockdown dragout fights with Des or Sarah that left him shaking and curled fisted.

I love you, Dad, he'd said one morning. Then there was the store, and the hold-up. The next time he saw his dad was in a coffin.

He promised himself that just because you said it doesn't it make it not hurt when you can't say it ever again.

Carl Buford told him he loved him, whispered endearments that made Derek's stomach turn and his skin crawl. When he would get home from a weekend at the cabin that he could only stand because it was his ticket out, away, free from this city, he would stand in the shower and shake, fists curled so he wouldn't scream.

Derek promised he wouldn't believe anyone when they said they loved him. Love was a lie.

But Spencer was different. He understood what it was to have people leave even if you loved them, to understand rage and fear that kept shaking you awake at night. Derek wanted to hope.


A Sorta Fairytale (Rossi/Prentiss)
One – U2

Did I disappoint you

or leave a bad taste in your mouth
you act like you never had love

and you want me to go without

Emily wished she could have grown up one of those optimistically innocent and naïve kids who believed that fairytales were true (at least in part) and that sometimes things could work out perfectly and that love, true love, hit you between the eyes and bowl you over love, could happen.

But even before Rome, before her belief in the goodness of people and beauty in the world was fractured by disapproving stares and cold shoulders, Emily saw too often the sharp-edged arguments of political discussion, the empty chairs at a dinner table because her mother was away on assignment or her father worked late at the office. It was easier not to believe, to take that anger and hurt inside and push it into a box. By not allowing herself to believe meant that doubt was no longer an option, making every decision blissfully black and white.

Unfortunately, Dave has faith enough for both of them, and retells the old fairytales until Emily can see the girl she was never allowed to be, feel the happiness she never knew she missed. Dave believed in happy endings, which meant that Emily finally could too.


A Matter of Perspective (Hotch/Haley)
King of Anything - Sara Bareilles

all my life I've tried to make everybody happy
while I just hurt and hide
waiting for someone to tell me it's my turn to decide

Hotch wished he had some bitter yet appropriate retort to Haley's argument, but he had to agree that she was right. And wrong.

From her perspective, he had failed, failed as a husband and a father, failed to be a productive member of their family in the only way that mattered. No matter what he said, he couldn't dispute that.

But another part of himself knew that there were sides to this that Haley would never see, wasn't built to see. That sometimes it was more about the people they'd become than the choices they'd made, that somewhere along the way Hotch grew out of being the shy boy hiding his father's bruises who fell for the blond cheerleader whom everyone loved. That they grew apart.


A Fresh Set of Eyes (Reid, Prentiss, PG-13 for mentions of drug use)
When I Come Around - Green Day

I'm a loser and a user, so I don't need no accuser
to try and slang me down because I know you're right.

Prentiss (Emily, maybe she'd rather be Emily, he should check, some people are very particular about the name they're called) was smart, no one made it into the BAU otherwise, family connections or not. And Spencer was pretty sure she'd hadn't used those, her behavior whenever Hotch mentioned her mother made him sure. Or would have, if he hadn't been settling into a dosage of Dilaudid at the time, which gave everything a kind of fuzzy haze that made real profiling hard. She was an extremely competent agent, and smart, which was really the root of the whole problem.

Of course it would be a new perspective that would trip him up, a new person who Spencer hadn't already learned how to think around who'd see the discrepancies and behavior changes and call him on it. How the rest of them hadn't seen his addiction, he didn't know. But Emily had.


Respite (JJ/Will)
Sound of Sunshine – Michael Fronti

here I am, waiting for this storm to pass me by
and that's the sound of sunshine coming down

It wasn't until the plane was in the air that JJ let herself really breathe. Not that they couldn't track her down mid-flight (she damned the technology that stuck phones on commercial flights even when cells were turned off) but barring disasters, she and Will and Henry were on their way to the small beach condo that a friend of Will's had on the coast of Florida for two whole weeks and there wasn't anything stopping them.

Her hands still ache in memory of gripping the podium while she gave the cameras the profile of the men out hunting young girls in New Jersey, her shoulders still carry the strain of seeing Mr. and Mrs. George collapse after their daughter was found dead.

But now Henry is a warm weight on her chest and Will is dozing next to her, his fingers circling her wrist to rest on her pulse and she feels it slow, ease.


Broken Rules (Rossi/Prentiss)
Rhythm of Love – Plain White T's

when the moon is low
we can dance in slow motion

David Rossi, as a rule, does not dance. There was one time with wife number two and a copious amount of red wine, but no. No dancing.

But Emily's convinced him to come out for a drink after a rough case and the café is outdoors and they're a bottle and a half of wine down when the band inside tunes up.

He doesn't recognize the tune but Emily is humming along and tapping a foot. Rossi should recognize the signs, but he still stares she's standing a offering him a hand.

"Dance with me," and she's smiling, the light from the streetlight making her eyes shine.

David Rossi doesn't dance. Except he lets Emily pull him to standing and after an awkward moment he rests his hands on her hips, lets her shift them back and forth until he can feel the rhythm of the song, guide them in a slow circle.


Fired Up (Garcia, Prentiss, gen)
Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani

so I'm ready to attack, gonna lead the pack
gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out

Garcia had heard the rumors, the laughter and, after a moment of sheering blinding fury, went to work. She didn't even wonder if it worked, she knew it would. Because, honey, she was the best there was.

Sure enough, just after lunch, she heard a knock at the door. Bingo.

"Enter the Den of Perpetual Intelligence and Genius, mere mortal!"

"Hey Garcia," said Emily, not even pausing at the statement. "I was wondering if you knew (song ended, but here's the rest because Garcia wins forever) why Karlson and Danning are acting so odd?"

Karlson and Danning—or Larry and Joe, smug and overly confident agents in White Collar—had been spreading rumors about the ladies of the BAU, everything from the reason JJ got so much airtime is because she was sleeping with Hotch and the real reason that Emily was a profiler is because her mother was paying off Strauss.

"I believe both of them are a little preoccupied with putting in for overtime," Garcia said, not even trying to hide a purr of satisfaction. "Their credit scores seem to have taken a bit of a plunge."

Emily looked at her for a minute, opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again.

"Remember me never to piss you off, Garcia."

Penelope simply smiled. That would teach them to mess with her family.


Both Sides Now (Morgan/Reid, PG)
Half of My Heart – John Mayer (feat. Taylor Swift)

half of my heart has a grip on the situation
half of my heart takes time

Derek rubbed a hand over his eyes, feel the strain starting to set in. He'd been doing paperwork at the dining room table for the past three hours and he was finally ready to call it quits.

He checked the locks and turned off the lights, on autopilot through the whole bathroom routine of brushing teeth and putting on pajamas. Spencer was laying on the bed in a mess of paper and marking pens. Derek took the time to stand and the door and watched him, lost in his own world.

For all his insecurities, Spencer had given him time. Every time he expressed doubts, worried they were going too fast, Spencer had reassured him and given him space. Derek had felt like he was too different people, ready to fall fast and terrified to even move forward. But Spencer loved both halves and Derek loved him for that.


Just Say Yes (Hotch/Reid, trying like hell to get to PG-13, but really only one hot PG kiss)
Don't Stop Believing – Journey

For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on

They're both gasping, breaths loud in the empty room.

"I don't think…" Spencer began and Aaron could hear him, feel him pulling back, analyzing again.

"Stop." And there was enough command, enough Hotch, special agent in charge, in the word that he could feel the starch go back into Reid's spine, feel him freeze. "Stop worrying. Stop thinking. I want this. I want to feel you. Feel this, instead of…" and now Hotch paused, feel the anger and fear and shame that he'd carried ever since Foyet, ever since forever, if he was really being honest, pull up tight in his stomach. He breathed and felt the ghost of Spencer's breath hot against his cheek. "Just, for right now, be here with me."

"Okay," said Spencer, and then "okay," one more time and he was moving forward again, kissing Hotch messily, all insistent tongue and wandering hands.

Hotch gave himself up to the feeling of it, the heat of the two of them forcing the memories and the aches and the doubts far away, no room for them in the broken gasps of their breathing.



The first time I wrote a fic for "Don't Stop Believing", it didn't make any sense. I mean, it made sense in a linguistic way, just not in reference to the song or... anything else, really. So I did it again and wrote the story above, which ties in better. Still, here's the original story, which would probably fit in well as a piece of a bigger-CM fic...

"I know this seems overwhelming, but trust me, it gets easier." Garcia said rapidly as she guided the new analyst down the hallway.

"Really?" Joyce, all perky smiles and slightly frazzled eyes, said.

"Well… no," Garcia was forced to admit. "But eventually you'll find your place and then the crazy stuff won't seem so bad."

They'd paused where the hallway branched and Joyce pointed.

"Who are they?"

Penelope looked towards the elevators, ready to answer, but had to pause for a tender smile.
"The tall pale one is Spencer Reid, a sweetheart. Tall, dark and gorgeous behind him is Special Agent Derek Morgan. Emily is the dark-haired one talking to Rossi, with the Mafia goatee. Special Agent Hotcher is the cranky looking one at the back, and JJ is the smoking blond."

She remembered when each of them were strangers, nervous and out of place and unsure. Not anymore.