He watches as she hunts around in the freezer built specially into one of the cupboards in her office. From the grunts and sighs of frustration, he knows she is not successful in finding whatever she is searching for. He stifles his laughter at the mess she is making. Never did he think he'd see Section Chief Strauss with a messy office.
Lovingly patting the cooler at his feet, he glances around, making sure there was no one else in the break room. Opening up the communal fridge and freezer, he grins at what he sees. Four large tubs of ice cream lay nestled amongst the ice cubes and what appeared to be frozen rhubarb. He shakes his head at the rhubarb and transfers the tubs from freezer to cooler box.
Glancing at his watch, he calculates the time it takes to travel from Strauss' office to the break room. Adding in the fact that she was a woman on a mission, even in heels, he realizes he only has a few moments to escape. Flicking the door and lid shut, he jogs out of the room, barely leaving before she enters.
"Argh," she groans, realizing there was no ice cream in this freezer either. "Damn agents," she mutters. Sitting heavily on one of the stools, she drops her head into her hands.
"Think, Erin, think. Where else could there be ice cream in this godforsaken place?" Her head shoots up comically as she thinks. She dashes off, much to the confusion of Morgan who enters the room simultaneously.
"Chief Strauss?" Hotch asks, confused as to why his boss was digging around in the mini fridge in Rossi's office.
"Ah!" she screams, jumping and banging her head on the door of the freezer. "Ow!" Hotch winces, but waits for her to turn around. Slowly, she backs out, rubbing her head and dusting her skirt suit free of ice shavings.
"This man really needs to clean out his fridge. I mean, how can anyone find anything in there?"
"Ma'am?" He gives her a confused look.
"Ice cream, Agent Hotchner." Each word is enunciated slowly. He refrains from rolling his eyes.
"I do believe, Agent Rossi does not keep ice cream in his freezer. Have you tried the break room's freezer?" She shoots him a look that almost rivals one by JJ or Emily.
"Of course. Why do you think I voluntarily came here?"
"As a desperate attempt to annoy us?" The words slip out before he can stop himself. Fortunately, she does not appear to be listening.
"If it is any consolation, I believe Doctor Reid may know the whereabouts of the supply of ice cream," Hotch offers.
"Thank you, Agent Hotchner, and, ah, just forget about all, um, this," she stutters, waving her arm at Rossi's fridge.
Uh oh, he thinks, overhearing his name and the word 'ice cream'. He makes a mad dash for the break room where he hid the cooler. Glancing around, he heads for the nearest supply closet. Luckily, he had the sense to choose a cooler on wheels so that he didn't have to carry the several tubs of ice cream. Barricading himself inside, he waits for his eyes to adjust before getting comfy. Flashing a thumbs up to the camera in the corner, he opens the cooler.
"Vanilla or Pistachio?" he muses. "Ooh, Chunky Monkey," he says excitedly, spying the Ben & Jerry's tub at the bottom. Grabbing a spoon, he digs eagerly into the previously unopened tub of banana-with-chocolate-flavored ice cream. And now to wait, he thinks.
"You, Agent Anderson," Strauss calls. Anderson stops and gulps.
"Have you seen Doctor Reid?"
"Uh, I do believe he, ah, disappeared that way." He points down the hall leading to more offices and another elevator. Strauss has the sense to thank him before heading after the ice cream stealing doctor. Anderson shakes his head, grateful that he is not Doctor Reid.
He hears the click-click of her heels coming closer. Licking the spoon, he wills her to pass straight by him. No such luck. The door opens, and for a moment, he is blinded.
"Hi," he squeaks as his vision returns. "Ice cream?" There is an awkward beat as she stares at him.
"Move over," she orders, taking the offered spoon. He shuffles over and opens the cooler.
"Butter Pecan or Tin Roof Sundae?" he asks with a grin.
"Tin Roof Sundae, of course. I need the chocolate-and-caramel goodness."
"So," she asks after a few moments, and a third of the tub is gone. "What are you going to do when she finally catches you?"
"Plead innocence?" he jokes, taking another mouthful.
She raises an eyebrow, then shakes her head. Let Strauss stress for a little while longer. There was ice cream to be had.