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08 March 2013 @ 06:24 am
Fic Post: Hit the Road Jack  
Criminal Minds fic #995.

Title: Hit the Road Jack
Author: Montiese
Category: Angst/Drama/Humor/Romance/UST
Characters: David Rossi, Erin Strauss, OMC
Rating: TEEN
Summary: If looks could kill, someone would be drawing a chalk line around Dave Rossi.
Author’s Note: This is a sequel to A Long Way to Happiness. I could fall for a character like Jack Coleman, just like Erin has. This is #2 in The Heart of the Matter series.

Surely he’d profiled men who were doing exactly what he was doing right now. The Unsub was between the age of 45 and 55, with above average intelligence and stealthy stalking skills. Once he finds a target he doesn’t stop until he gets what he wants. If rejected by the object of his obsession, the Unsub’s behavior could escalate but right now he's just a voyeur in her life. Let’s catch him before that changes.

Dave wasn’t going to waste his time at another black tie shindig. When Hotch told the BAU agents that they had to be there, he planned to feign illness. The Unit Chief wasn’t going to be believe him but Dave would do it anyway. Then one name ran through his mind…Jack Coleman. The Undersecretary of State was sure to be there and Dave wanted to see him.

So he sent his Armani suit to the cleaners, put the spit shine on his Ferragamo’s, and prepared. At least there was always an open bar to keep these things interesting. Slightly tipsy politicos were always a mostly good time. Rossi even managed to hobnob a little himself. This was the part of the job that he hated.

The handshaking, back slapping, and cheek kissing bordered on ridiculous. He enjoyed book signings and University lectures but this bored him to tears. Instead of focusing on his boredom, Dave just watched them. It seemed as if the words power couple were invented for Erin Strauss and Jack Coleman. They were seriously working the room.

They laughed, got intense, made deals, and cared about what people were saying. They even danced. Rossi could admit to clenching his jaw as they moved across the floor. Jack’s hand was in a very intimate spot on Erin’s back. The smile on her face was genuine as he whispered sweet nothings in her ear.

They held hands for most of the evening…nothing about their body language was contrived. When Jack excused himself to the bar, Dave made sure to be there too. He ordered a Courvoisier. It was good to know that the man still drank quality liquor.

“Hello Jack.”

He turned around and smiled at Dave. Rossi couldn’t quite make out if the smile was real. Most politicians profiled like sociopaths. He returned the smile anyway.

“Wow, Dave Rossi.” He extended his hand. “I heard a rumor that you were back on the scene. I thought you finally escaped this mess. How long has it been?”

“I think it’s been about five years.” Dave gave him a firm, manly handshake. “You still had brown hair when I left.”

“I know right?” Jack laughed. He nodded acknowledgment when the bartender gave him his cognac. “I stopped dying it a few years back. It’s OK to act your age…sometimes.”

“Yeah, sometimes.” Dave laughed too. “You look good.”

Women described Jack Coleman as devilishly handsome. He had a head full of thick, silver hair and engaging hazel eyes. Standing a touch over six feet, he was the kind of man that drew people in like a moth to a flame. That was a plus in his diplomatic position at The State Department.

It seemed to work on BAU Section Chiefs as well. Erin wasn’t one to fall for the false charms; she’d been there, done that. That meant that what she had with Jack could be real. At least it was real for her.

“You do too Dave. I guess this proves the rumors of your return are true.”

“Yes.” He nodded.

“Did the life of a writer no longer fulfill?” Jack asked as he sipped his drink. “Your books were good. I'm not saying that because we’re friends. I quite enjoyed them.”

“I appreciate it. I’ll still be allowed time to pursue my literary endeavors. When it’s all said and done, I'm always going to be a profiler. The BAU was my baby.

“They needed my help and I answered the call. I admit that it’s been an adjustment but I'm happy for a positive change. You should be happy too, Jack. I hear you're engaged to one of the loveliest women in the room.”

“Actually she's the loveliest but I am biased.” Jack grinned.

“What makes a lifelong bachelor throw in the towel?” Dave asked.

“Love, it’s just that simple. I wouldn’t call it throwing in the towel. I'm a very lucky man.”

“Well, congratulations.” Dave held up his half-glass of scotch. “Marriage is a beautiful thing. I should know…I've done it a few times.”

They both laughed, Jack’s gaiety interrupted by a buzzing on his hip. He looked at his Blackberry, nodded, and typed a text back. Erin walked over and tried to keep the smile on her face. If looks could kill, someone would be drawing a chalk line around Dave Rossi. The smile never wavered though.


“Hello love.” he put his arm around Erin’s waist and pulling her to him. Her countenance softened when he kissed her temple. “I'm sorry for being gone so long but Dave and I are old friends. We used to make plenty of trouble in this town back in my single days. I think Dave was between wives then.”

“I'm always between wives.” Rossi joked. “Good evening Erin.”

“David.” She managed a curt nod.

“You look beautiful tonight.”

“Thank you.”

She looked damn good in a purple long sleeve cocktail dress with a deep v-neck. It fell just below her knees; she paired it with purple peep toe heels. The jewelry, pearls, was impeccable. Erin’s hair was pinned up just like it was at Quantico. Dave’s stomach hurt thinking about Jack pulling out the pins one by one until it brushed her shoulders.

“Its going to wrap up here in a little while.” Erin turned to speak to her fiancée. “We should probably do the once around and…”

“I hate to do this right now, but I have to go.” Jack said.

“What's happened?”

“I just got a text about the meeting. I wish it could wait but it can't.”

“You have to go right now Jack?”

Dave knew that tone; she was unhappy. But she wasn’t angry, she was sad. Hearing it made him sad. He didn’t know if he was sadder for her or for himself. Erin didn’t want Jack to leave…she was happy with him.

“The text was from the Veep.” He replied. He looked at Dave. “Dave, would you mind stepping in and taking the Contessa home?”

“Jack, I don’t think…”

“Its no problem.” Dave smiled.

“Good man.” Jack grinned and shook Dave’s hand.


“We came here with the car service and I have to take it with me to the State Department. I'm not going to leave you stranded.” He caressed her face. “Its bad enough I have to leave at all. At least I know Dave will get you home safely. Buckle your seatbelt; the man drives like a demon if memory serves.”

He is a demon, Erin thought but didn’t say aloud. Instead she sighed and conceded. Jack didn’t know about her past with the profiler and Erin wasn’t going to tell him. She definitely wasn’t going to tell him tonight.

“I will.” Erin closed her eyes and kissed him.

“I love you.” Jack whispered, kissing her again.

“I love you too. Don’t keep the Vice President waiting.”

He gave her a hug before thanking Dave once more. Then he found his way to the exit. It was a shock he made it there without getting caught up in someone’s conversation. Erin watched him walk away. She flagged the bartender and ordered a Grey Goose vodka martini with three olives.

“I’ll make alternate arrangements to get home.” She said.

“It’s no problem to do it.” he said.

“It’s a problem for me, David.”


“Because.” Erin supped her martini.

It was delicious and she needed it. She was on at work all the time. Having to be the same in her off hours took a little liquid push. She was slightly buzzed and it felt good. She had to be to even remotely care about the international programs Larry Pepper from Defense was droning on and on about.

“Erin, I'm not going to make this difficult. Jack asked me to take you home and I'm going to take you home. We don’t have to like each other; we don’t even have to speak. I'm still taking you home.”

Erin walked away without saying another word. She knew Dave would make trouble…it seemed to be a specialty. If she didn’t go with him no doubt he’d find a way to let Jack know. That would lead to more questions that she didn’t want to answer. Damn, she really hated his guts.


“The Contessa?”

“I thought we weren't going to talk.”

Erin looked straight ahead as Dave climbed into the driver’s seat. He stepped on the gas. The Mangusta purred as it pulled out of the Jefferson Hotel valet parking spot. She liked the car.

It was hard not to love a $90,000 Italian sports car. So many men would use something like that to compensate other deficiencies. Erin knew that Dave did no such thing. He liked things sexy and fast…it was part of his genetic makeup.

“Oh c'mon Erin, I didn’t mean that in the literal sense.”

“I did.”

Dave sighed. He turned on the radio and windshield wipers at the same time. The rain put him in a gray mood. India.Arie singing The Heart of the Matter on the smooth jazz station wasn’t helping the situation at all.

These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
The trust and self assurance that lead to happiness
Are the very things we kill I guess
All pride and competition
Cannot fill these empty arms
And the work they put between us
You know it doesn’t keep us warm

“I just realized I don’t know where you live.” Dave said.

“I live in the same place that I always have.”

“You haven’t moved?”

“No.” Erin shook her head. “Mary Kate and Ted are still home with me but they’ll be gone soon too.”

“Where is Nora?” Dave asked.

“She's a freshman at Barnard now.”

“Following in her mother’s very big footsteps.” He cleared his throat when Erin didn’t answer. “Will you move after you're married? Have you and Jack even set a date?”

“We don’t need to discuss that.”

“Well what do you want to discuss?”

“We could have a lengthy discussion about why you're trying so hard.” Erin replied. “Would I have even registered on your radar for anything but the usual disdain if somehow you wouldn’t have heard the news that I was engaged? You screwed me royally, David. You hurt me so much that it wasn’t even about not loving again.” she took a deep breath.

“I feared I wouldn’t even be able to breathe again. I feel like a fool for even admitting that all these years later. I don’t want your slick banter or your witty repartee. Whatever plan you're formulating, you need to stop.

“Jack and I are engaged and we love each other. Everything isn’t always about you. I can surely tell you that this is not. Leave me alone. That’s the last time I’ll say it nicely.”

“That was nicely?” It was all he could say after that.

An apology would sound shallow now, no matter how sincere. Telling her that he still had feelings for her was unfair and might not even be true. Dave was possessive of his toys. Someone else had picked up a long neglected one and he wanted it back. He wasn’t beyond back stabbing to get his way.

God, what a shitty person he could be sometimes. Erin Strauss wasn’t a toy, she was a human being. What the hell was he thinking? This needed to end. He would drop Erin off and let it be over.

“Would you like to smoke? I remember you always wanted a cigarette after telling someone just what you thought of them.”

“I haven’t even touched the surface of what I think of you. But thank you.”

Dave cracked the window as Erin pulled out her sterling silver cigarette case. She lit a Marlboro Mild, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly. She put the case and lighter back into her black clutch purse. As Dave focused on the dark wet road, Erin tried not to look at him.

“I just refuse to make the same mistakes again.” she said.

“I don’t blame you. I know from experience that the third time is not always the charm.”

“You and I have a way of falling into each other. That isn’t going to happen this time…I refuse to hurt Jack.”

“You love him.” Dave didn’t ask it, he said it.

“Yes.” Erin nodded. “Don’t start something you have no intention of finishing, David.”

She kept smoking her cigarette. There was nothing left to say and Erin didn’t want to talk anyway. Eventually Dave pulled into her Chevy Chase driveway, cutting the engine. The music still played.

“Goodnight, Erin.”

“Goodnight.” She reached over for the door handle and got out of the car. Throwing out the cigarette, Erin walked quickly up the front steps so that she wouldn’t get wet.

Dave watched her dig the keys from her purse and finally get inside the house. He gripped the steering wheel so he wouldn’t jump out and follow her. Something stirred in his belly but Dave couldn’t put a name on it. He was playing with fire. It needed to be extinguished right now or there was a good risk of second degree burns.


Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: awakeawake
Background Noise: local news
dreamaway78dreamaway78 on March 9th, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)
Love this! It'sJust love Jack and everything else.
SSA McGeek: Erin.....mcthinkymcgarrygirl78 on March 9th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. Hopefully there is more to come : )