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06 March 2013 @ 10:06 pm
Fic Post: A Long Way to Happiness  
Two fics in one night because I was bitten hard and had to write this.

Title: A Long Way to Happiness
Author: Montiese
Category: Drama
Characters: David Rossi, Erin Strauss, Aaron Hotchner, OMC
Rating: TEEN
Summary: He’d been out of the DC grapevine a long time but it seemed strange that that tidbit didn’t make it to his door.
Author’s Note: This story is built entirely on listening to India.Arie’s cover of The Heart of the Matter too many times and just feeling Dave and Erin. I had no choice but to write it. This is #1 in The Heart of the Matter series.


“How are you?”

“Its going to take some getting used to. I'm back where I belong but things have changed. Some days I feel like a bull in a china shop.”

“I couldn’t have described it better myself.”

“If that’s how my friends describe me then I wonder what people who don’t like me think.”

“No you don’t.”

Both Dave and Kirk laughed. He’d been back in the BAU about six weeks. In that time he'd worked two cases and was trying to get to know his team better. He still loved Aaron Hotchner; that would never change.

Derek Morgan was a little rough around the edges but was definitely good at his job. Spencer Reid knew a lot and scared Dave sometimes with his knowledge on everything. Jennifer Jareau was easy on the eyes and a miracle worker with the press. Emily Prentiss was brilliant and badass but he also saw a fierce need to be accepted.

Penelope Garcia was like nothing Dave ever saw before. She intrigued him more than any of them put together. This was a new BAU. He’d find his place in it, of that he was sure.

“I figure since I didn’t hear of any unsolved murders in Quantico that you and Erin made it through your initial meeting.”

“I'm a bigger man than I used to be.” Dave said. “I handled it.”

“I'm not trying to make trouble but she didn’t want you back in the BAU.” Kirk said. “It’s not because you're not the best. It’s because…”

“I'm the best, and I know it.” Rossi finished his sentence. “Teamwork surely isn’t as easy as going alone but I’ll get used to it. She gave me some shit but what else is new.”

“Are you going to be able to handle her being your boss?” Kirk asked. “Erin is tough; she pulls no punches. That team you're on has been on the receiving end of much flack lately. I'm not saying it wasn’t warranted but she’s hard on them.”

“Good, I’ll give her more work to do.”

“Did you hear about her and Jack?” Kirk asked.

“Jack…”

“Jack Coleman from State.”

“No, what about them? There’s a them…that’s news to me.”

“They're engaged.”

“What?” Rossi sat up straighter in his chair. He hadn't meant for it to come out that way. He was shocked. Jack was one of those guys that everyone liked. He was brilliant, funny; always a good time at a boring, obligatory function.

He could drink you under the table and always loved the ladies. What the hell was he doing engaged to Erin Strauss? Rossi didn’t even know they were dating. He’d been out of the DC grapevine a long time but it seemed strange that that tidbit didn’t make it to his door. He hadn't seen Jack in about five years. “Are you sure?”

“Are you really asking me that? Between you and me, he practically asked me for her hand in marriage.”

“Yeah, OK.”

“Are you OK?”

“I'm fine Kirk…I don’t care. I mean it’s a shock and all but its fine. She’s been divorced for a while and Jack’s good people. I can't think of anything they have in common but…”

“You of all people should know that Erin and Strauss aren’t exactly the same thing.” Kirk said.

“Yeah.” it was the only reply Dave could think of.

Erin and Jack Coleman didn’t even make sense. He wanted to pump Kirk for more information. That wouldn’t go hand and hand with his saying he didn’t care. Dave couldn’t even figure out why he cared.

His thing with Erin ended years ago and it ended badly. Surely he never meant to hurt her and she never meant to hurt him but they were hurt all the same. And then they went back for more. To be two such smart people they made each other stupid. They were always better off on opposite sides of the room.

“He makes her happy, Dave.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“I just wanted you to know.” Kirk replied.

“Why? You never tell anyone anything without a reason.”

“Well it surely wasn’t to cause discord. I guess I didn’t want you to hear it from anyone else. Despite plenty of friction, I know what she used to mean to you.”

“That was a long time ago.” Dave said. “It’s not even worth mentioning.”

“Alright. If you need anything, you know where to find me.”

“I do.”

“And if Erin is too hard on you don’t be afraid to fight back. Don’t bite Rossi, just stand your ground.”

“I always have and I always will. Thanks Kirk.”

“You got it. Bye.”

“Bye.”

Dave hung up the phone. He sat at his desk for awhile, staring into space. Once you learned something, you couldn’t unlearn it. Now all he was going to be able to think about was Erin and Jack Coleman.

What did they talk about? Where did he take her? Did they do crazy things in bed? Could he make her laugh with mediocre impressions or talking like Donald Duck? Why the hell were they engaged?

“Dave?” Hotch poked his head into the office. “We’re meeting in the conference room.”

“Aaron, do you know Jack Coleman?” Dave asked as he stood.

“Jack Coleman from State?” Hotch asked. “I think everyone knows him. He’s a good guy.”

“Yeah.”

***


“Come in.” Erin didn’t even look up from her paperwork when someone knocked on her door. It was late but she was staying until the work was done. She’d gone home early a few nights, deserved it, but now was time to put up or shut up. No matter how much she wanted it to the paperwork wouldn’t do itself.

“I think we should celebrate.”

Dave walked into her office wearing a smile. He closed the door and sat down in the chair across from her big desk. Erin Strauss was the boss now. He knew there was a part of her that couldn’t get enough of that. There was probably an even bigger part that still couldn’t believe it. She knew she was good but always feared there was someone better. That made all the victories a little less enjoyable.

“What are you doing here, Agent Rossi?”

“I came to celebrate.”

“Celebrate what?” she asked.

“It’s my two month anniversary.” Dave replied.

“I'm sure there's a young lady out there who is expecting jewelry or something.” Erin went back to her paperwork.

“I'm talking about being back with the BAU. You're not going to have a drink with me? C'mon, I even bought the good stuff.” He held up the bottle of Moet. “I wouldn’t insult you with Arbor Mist.”

“That’s cheap wine, not champagne.”

“Have a drink with me.” he said.

“Fine.”

She didn’t want to give in. She never wanted to give in where David Rossi was concerned. She hated him. It felt good to hate him, even when it hurt. He was a cocky, arrogant, know-it-all son of a bitch. He was an egomaniac.

He never knew when to shut up or admit that he was wrong. There were those who said the same about her. Maybe that’s why they didn’t get along. Erin didn’t know or care. All she knew was that she didn’t want anything to do with him.

Being back in the BAU made that difficult but Erin was used to obstacles. She could pulverize a brick wall into sand if she put her mind to it. A smile crossed her lips at the thought of pulverizing Rossi. He always seemed to get the best of her. Bastard.

He smiled as he filled the two flutes with champagne. Then he handed one to Erin. She looked at it as if it might be spiked but took it. Dave kept the smile on his face. Why he was doing this, he had no idea.

He hated to lose. And he’d lost with Erin…twice. She might not realize it, or maybe she did, but he had. Now Jack Coleman was winning. He had no right to stick his foot in the middle of that but couldn’t help himself.

It was happening and Dave thought about it too much. Maybe if he got the information straight from the source it would leave him alone. There were other things to do, important things. His mind couldn’t be occupied with the new love affair of an ancient ex-girlfriend.

“Congratulations.” She mumbled as she held the glass to her lips.

“I should be saying the same to you.”

“Excuse me?”

She looked at him over her glasses and he was reminded of how damn sexy she was. Dave cleared his throat, shifting a bit in the chair. He hoped she hadn't noticed but Erin Strauss noticed everything.

“I hear you're engaged.” Dave said.

“And where did you hear that from?” Erin asked.

“I heard it from around. You know this place can resemble high school even on its best day. Jack Coleman is a good man.”

“Yes he is.” She nodded. “Go ahead, say something jackass-like. I can take it David.”

“I wasn’t going to say anything.” He said.

“You never bring up things without a reason. You don’t know anything about my relationship with Jack.”

“I was just congratulating you.”

“You're not going to make me feel bad about not trusting you.” she said.

“I'm not asking you to trust me.”

“Good because it’s never going to happen. I learn from my mistakes. You were a mistake.”

“Ouch.” Dave put his hand over his heart.

“I'm done with the champagne.” Erin finished off her glass and handed it back. “You can get out of my office now.”

“We’re adults Erin. Why can't we just act like it? I was only trying to be nice.”

“I appreciate it.” she said in a tone that meant she didn’t at all. “But I have a lot of work to do because I’d like to get home at a decent hour. I'm sure you have a lot as well because I don’t accept late paperwork. Goodnight, David.”

“Do you love him?” Dave asked as if she hadn't just dismissed him. He didn’t like being dismissed…it was one of his pet peeves.

“Why do you care?” Erin couldn’t hide her exasperation.

“I want you to be happy. You think I don’t know that I hurt you? I could sit here and say yeah you hurt me too but there's no point going back and forth on it. I hurt you, you hate me, and that’s the end of the story. Except it’s not the end Erin because here we are together again. I just want to know that you're happy.”

“Jack makes me very happy.” her tone softened some when she said it.

“Well I'm glad to hear it. He’s a good guy and I'm happy for you.”

“I really am busy…I need to get back to this.”

“Of course.” Dave got up from the chair. He walked halfway to the door before turning back. “I know we can't erase the past but I'm here to say as long as I'm needed. We’re going to cross paths again.”

“Don’t remind me.”

“I'm serious when I say I'm only going to fight you on what's happening right now. I'm not going to bring the past into it. I've let a lot of that go. I hope you can do the same for the sake of us trying to work together.”

“Its forgotten.” Erin lied.

“OK.” he nodded. “Goodnight Erin.”

“Goodnight Agent Rossi.”

He stood there for a few moments but she refused to look at him. If she looked at the paper in front of her any harder she would burn a hole right through it. Dave finally gave up and walked out of the room. It had gone better than he expected. She didn’t kick him out or kick him in the balls.

She was going to marry someone else and was going to be happy. It was what it was. Dave promised himself that he wouldn’t bring it up again. It wasn’t as if he could get her to change her mind or that he even wanted to.

He didn’t know what he wanted. It was better for everyone involved if he just minded his own business. Erin moved on and he did the same. He just had to keep doing that.

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: amusedamused
Background Noise: "I'll Never Love This Way Again" Dionne Warwick
 
 
 
purplediamond87purplediamond87 on March 7th, 2013 08:39 am (UTC)
Wow!! The withdrawal I have suffered from these fics over the past three weeks is unreal! Being ill sucks, being in hospital sucks more! But I am back and armed and ready to comment the hell out of this!
Jack Coleman? Who is this dude and what claim does he have to rossi's woman?!? Lol, you know I love a bit of drama!! Nothing quite like a jealous David Rossi, I hope against hope that you'll give us more of this soon!!
I sooooo have a soft spot for kirk tho aswell, he's such a babe when it comes to Dave and Erin.
As ever, this was a fantastic job! I'm literally so excited to read the other new posts too, and I'll be back with comments as soon as I do!!
SSA McGeek: Erinmcgarrygirl78 on March 8th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry that you were ill and hope you're better now. I've never been in the hospital but I sympathize. I admit to wondering where you were and I'm glad you're back : )

There will be another part to this though I wont go so far as to say it'll be a series or anything. Its quite an interesting concept that all these years later after shipping them that an OC jumps into my head. That's kinda when I jump the shark fic-wise but so far its been an interesting adventure.

I love Kirk and anytime I get to write him is awesome. He know both of these characters well and didnt want to meddle but had to tell Dave.