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04 February 2013 @ 06:41 pm
Fic Post: Early to Bed, Early to Rise  
Title: Early to Bed, Early to Rise
Author: Montiese
Category: Drama/Family/Humor/Romance
Pairing: Rossi/Strauss
Rating: TEEN
Summary: Raising a toddler wasn’t easy and they surely weren't spring chickens. Even a relatively good kid like Noah was still quite a handful. The strain was starting to show. Dave just didn’t know what to do about it.
Author’s Note: This is #15 in the Family Man series.


“You went overboard.”

“No, I didn’t.” she shook her head.

“I'm sure you went overboard.”

“I could have, just a bit.”

“We can get the stuff in now. Noah and Luke took the dog for a walk so…”

“It might take more than one trip.” Erin closed the car door and started walking toward him.

“You ought to be ashamed.” Dave opened his arms for her.

“I am…horribly. I'm also freezing, something is wrong with the heat in my car.”

“I have so many ways to warm you up baby.” He kissed her nose. It was cold so he kissed it again.

“I was thinking more about coffee and maybe some soup. I was also thinking about you getting my car fixed.”

“Let’s get you in the house and get some coffee. What are we going to do about the free for all in your trunk?”

“I figured you could come and get everything when he’s sound asleep.” she put her arm around him as they walked into the house.

“You promised me that you would be OK alone.”

Erin thought she would be. She really did. She didn’t even make a list because she knew that going overboard was not something that either one of them wanted to do. They didn’t want to buy Noah’s affection or overindulge him.

But it was Christmas and she always had this way of going overboard on Christmas even when her intent was to do nothing of the sort. Erin wasn’t just shopping for one child anyway, she was shopping for four. Noah got the majority of the purchases but there were bags in there for Nora, Mary Kate, and Ted. There were even a couple of bags for Dave.

“I was fine.”

“You were fine?” Dave looked at her as they walked into the kitchen together. “You bought out Toys R Us.”

“I didn’t just buy toys. I got him puzzles and books and movies and…I'm talking myself into a hole aren’t I?”

“Mmm hmm,” Dave laughed as he went to the cabinet and grabbed coffee filters. Erin sat down at the counter and smiled. It had been a long day; she was considering taking a nap. “Put on some decaf, it might be better.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. I think I might want a nap after this. I’ll be right back.”

Dave nodded and went about making the coffee. Erin left and when she came back in she was out of her coat, winter accessories, and boots. Then she was sitting back at the counter. She had her cigarette case and a lighter with her but didn’t think she was going to light up. She didn’t want Noah to see her smoking even though she needed one bad.

The mall was like the eighth gate of hell. The toy store was the ninth gate. There were people everywhere and Erin Strauss had never been one for people in large groups. She wished a million times that afternoon that Dave could be with her. Going Christmas shopping together was supposed to be fun.

Doing it alone, even when she smiled thinking of how much the people she loved would love their gifts, made her sad. She promised Dave the afternoon to work on the short story he might be writing for Detective magazine. It wasn’t often he got a weekend off. Sometimes she felt that she might be too accommodating.

“Marjorie called while I was out and invited us to dinner next week.” Erin said. “I don’t even know if you're going to be in town but I accepted.”

“Where are our reservations?” Dave asked. He was looking in the cabinet for Erin’s favorite mug but it wasn’t in there. It wasn’t in the dishwasher either. He frowned and just grabbed another.

“Kirk is going to cook. I think this might be an ambush of some kind.”

“An ambush by the Deputy Director of the FBI? What's going on?”

“Well I was thinking that they might…”

“Mama!” Noah came busting through the back door with Mudgie and Luke in tow. All three of them looked happy. “Hi Mama!”

“Hi sweet potato.” Erin turned on her stool and scooped the boy up in her arms. Dave smiled as he put her cup of coffee on the counter. “How was your afternoon?”

“Good.” He grinned, putting his arms around her neck.

“Did you have fun walking the dog?”

“Yeah. What did you bring me, Mama?”

“You are too much.” Erin smiled as she kissed his face. Then she put him back on the floor. “Your present is in the den.”

“OK.” He rushed out and Erin turned back to her boyfriend.

“What did you buy him? You don’t have to buy him everything.”

“I don’t buy him everything, I just…”

The conversation was interrupted by Noah’s piercing wail. Erin ended up dropping her mug on the floor, coffee and glass splashing everywhere as she rushed into the other room. Dave was right behind her.

“Mama!” he wailed. “Mama, Muddy took…” he pointed at the dog as he ran away with something in his mouth. “Mama!”

“Its OK, kiddo.” Luke tried to comfort him.

Erin sat down on the couch and pulled the crying boy into her lap. He was sobbing and sniffling and she just held him. She cradled him, stroking his hair and whispering calming words in his ear. And when Noah finally started to come down from the height of his misery, she pulled a pack of Twizzlers out of her jeans pocket.

“It’s magic!” he exclaimed.

“Mama’s always make magic.” She kissed his cheek and started to wipe his messy face.

“Muddy was bad.” Noah frowned.

“Yes he was but we’re not gonna be too upset about it. He likes Twizzlers too. You know he loves you so much but he's a puppy…he can't help himself.”

“He's 60 pounds ma'am,” Luke said. “He weighs more than Noah.”

When Erin shot him a look he shut up. Then she put on a smile for Noah. He was smiling too, carefully opening his candy as she sat him back on a couch cushion.

“You can only eat a couple; I don’t want you spoiling your dinner.”

“OK Mama.”

“After that, Luke will take them and put them in a safe place where Mudgie can't get to them.”

“Promise?” Noah asked as she got up off the couch.

“I promise. Now what do you say Noah?”

“Thank you.” he was smiling from ear to ear.

Erin went back into the kitchen. She immediately lit a cigarette; she couldn’t do anything but. Dave cleaned up the mess of ceramic and liquid and then made her another cup of coffee.

“I need a Valium.” She mumbled.

“Whoa, that’s something I've never heard you say before.”

“We weren't together the last time I was the mother of a toddler, David.”

“No.” he shook his head. “Luke is going to leave before dinner so after we eat you just leave Noah to me and you can relax a little.”

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“I'm sure.” he nodded. “We’ll watch some cartoons and chat while Mama lights the good candles, puts on the sexy music, and has a relaxing bubble bath. Then you can turn in early. We’ll be fine.”

“I love you.” Erin took one last puff of her cigarette. She put it out and then laid her head on the counter.

“I love you more.” Dave stroked her hair, kissing it. He leaned to whisper in her ear. “Maybe while you're in the tub you can lean back, close your eyes, think of something sexy, and bring yourself to the most satisfying climax.”

“David…”

“What? I read a study that said masturbation and climax help improve sleep, boost you mood, and can even reverse the aging process. Those are all incredibly good benefits.”

“You need to get dinner on.” Erin laughed some.

“It’s going to be delicious tonight.” Dave kissed her head once more before going to the fridge. “You know I don’t usually go for Italian if I can't make it from scratch but I've heard good things about this company so I'm going to give them a try. Also, the idea of feeding us in 30 minutes or less was too appealing to just cast aside.”

“What is it?” Erin sat up and sipped her coffee. It was just warm now but it would do.

“Its three cheese tortellini. I have some homemade marinara in the fridge and I'm going to add some Alfredo to it for the sauce and voila, dinner.”

“I'm going to tell Luke it’s OK to go home.”

She got up from the stool and Dave looked at her. She looked tired, at the end of her rope; he knew her well enough to see it. Raising a toddler wasn’t easy and they surely weren't spring chickens. Even a relatively good kid like Noah was still quite a handful. The strain was starting to show. Dave just didn’t know what to do about it.

“Before you go, you indicated earlier that Marjorie and Kirk might be up to something with the dinner invitation next week. What did you mean by that?”

“I meant what I said.” Erin replied.

“Are you going to give me a hint or let me go in and get clubbed over the head?”

“That might do you some good, Rossi.”

“Erin…”

“They're going to put the pressure on to get married. It’ll be subtle, sweet, and sound as if it’s no pressure at all. But it will be.”

“And what do you think about that?” Dave asked.

“At the moment I'm doing my best to think about nothing at all.” she blew him a kiss and walked out of the room.

***


“Then what happened Daddy?” Noah asked. “Did they get eaten by the octopus?”

“We’ll finish the story tomorrow night.” Dave replied. His son had mangled the word octopus but he knew what he meant. “Put your arms under the covers buddy.”

“I wanna know now.” Noah did what he was told. Like Erin, he didn’t really care for sheets so he just had a soft gray blanket that Erin’s mother knitted for him and a Buzz Lightyear comforter.

“Suspense is the best part of it. And you'll get to have awesome dreams about submarines and sea creatures.”

“Is Mama gonna come and kiss me goodnight?”

“Mama was really tired so she went to bed early. But here is a kiss from her.” Dave kissed his cheek.

“So no song?” Noah asked.

“Not tonight but tomorrow, I promise. Here’s another kiss. Goodnight, Noah.”

“Night night Daddy; I love you.”

“I love you too.” Dave kissed him once more and then pinched his nose. “Sweet dreams.”

He got up from the bed. Dave petted Mudgie’s head and walked out of the room. The house was so quiet that he could hear the rain falling outside. Walking into his dimly lit bedroom, Dave looked at Erin in bed. She was curled up; looked to be sound asleep. She must have been exhausted since it was barely 9 o’clock.

Dave went over to the dresser and pulled a pair of pajamas from the top drawer. He was quiet as he undressed in the darkness. Making his way to the bed, he slipped into the warmth of the blankets. Dave sighed when he spooned with her. She smelled so damn good, which was nothing new. He couldn’t help himself when he brushed the strap of her tank top aside and kissed her shoulder.

“I love you, baby.” He murmured against her skin.

“Mmm, I love you too. Go to sleep.”

“It’s a little early but that is the plan. Actually the plan is to kiss your shoulder for a while and then go to sleep.”

“Mmm,”

After that Erin was quiet and Dave did just what he said he would. He’d closed his eyes, listening to the rain and inhaling the scent of her skin when Erin’s sleepy voice drifted into his ears. She turned in his arms, resting her head on his chest.

“David?”

“Yes love of mine?”

“Would it be horribly unfair for me to tell you that I did masturbate in the tub? It was amazing.”

“It would be both unfair and excruciating.” Dave replied, kissing her forehead. “It’s too late to worry about that now.”

“I apologize; I just thought you'd be happy to know that you were right. I’ll make it up to you…I’ll fuck you in the morning.”

“Its like we’re married already.” He smirked. “I love you anyway.”

“Get some sleep.” Erin whispered. “You're going to need that energy.”

“Aww yeah.” Rossi grinned, wrapping his arms tighter around her.

Then his phone on the nightstand began to buzz. Dave thought about letting it go to voicemail. An early night with Erin was few and far between. But it wasn’t just any phone buzzing, it was his work phone. Dave didn’t ignore his work phone. He reached over for it.

“Rossi.”

“Dave, it's Aaron. Our help has been requested in Gastonia, North Carolina.”

“Now?”

“Right now.” Hotch replied. “We've got two girls missing, two parents dead, and a burning house.”

“I'm getting up.” Dave hated it but he gently nudged Erin. She hated to turn over but did anyway. “I’ll be there as soon as I'm dressed.”

“You were…”

“Goodbye Aaron.”

“Wheels up in 45 minutes; just meet us at the strip. I’ll fill you in there.”

Dave hung up and started quickly moving around the bedroom. Luckily he could do that without too many lights.

“What happened?” Erin asked. She was nearly fully awake now.

“Hell broke loose in Gastonia, North Carolina. Two kids are missing.”

“Be careful.”

He dressed as quickly as he’d undressed. Then Dave went to the top of the closet and got his Glock from the safe. That was also where he kept Erin’s engagement ring but now wasn’t the time to focus on that.

“I have to go.” He leaned to speak in her ear, kissing the lobe.

“Call me.” Erin sat up some and hugged him tightly. “I love you.”

“Love you too, baby.”

They kissed, Dave stroked her face, and then he walked out. He went to check on Noah and the toddler was asleep. Mudgie looked up but saw it was Dave so he didn’t bark. He didn’t want to wake him by going and kissing him goodbye. Sighing, Dave knew it was time to get the job done. His family was safe and sound. Now he had to try to bring the same security to someone else’s.

***

 
 
Where am I?: the dining room
Feelings: thoughtfulthoughtful
Background Noise: silence
 
 
 
( 2 had thoughts — Thoughts? )
purplediamond87purplediamond87 on February 5th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
aw I totes enjoyed this! so so cute!
read it this morning before I went to work but had to re-read tonight lol! think i was too hyper this morning from my retweet from Janine Sherman Barrois on twitter! uber scream! lol!
anyhoo, I adore Noah so so much! and Dave n Erin being daddy and mama is just adorable! even when they're having issues its still adorable!
SSA McGeek: Erin....really now?mcgarrygirl78 on February 7th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
Its a fulfilling but tiring role for them both. He's new to it and she never thought she'd be doing it again but it cements them as a couple and their commitment to making it work more than almost anything else could. Dave gets time away though, even if its chasing unsubs and seeing the unimaginable and sometimes Erin feels stuck.

I think soon she's going to have to find a place to go, an escape from "mama". Its important that she finds the balance and I trust she will. Because she loves Noah to pieces so she''ll never leave him, even though this adventure can get scarier by the day.
( 2 had thoughts — Thoughts? )