Word Count: 500
Character: Hotch, Team.
Summary: Meta ficlet. Unbeta'd. Has errors, I promise.
Hotch seems to exert some sort of gravitational force that only affects members of the BAU, and only works in hotels. He knows because when they stay in a hotel for a case, they end up at his door.
The first couple always show up at least pretending to look for something -coffee creamer, hair-dryer, iron, whatever. Whoever turns up after just claims to be looking for the people who are already there. Eventually, they all end up in his room fighting over the remote, the minibar, and the pillows.
They usually trickle back to their own rooms before they crash, but not always. Sometimes the cases, or the nightmares, are bad enough that they end up falling asleep with the lights blazing and TV on.
Morgan snores. Prentiss sleeps on her stomach, sprawled out, spread-eagle and doesn’t even notice when people sleep on top of her arms, legs and hair. JJ steals all the covers. Reid always sleeps in a fetal position with his back to the wall. Rossi pretends he’s above it all, but still ends up falling asleep sitting up against the headboard, with his boots on and his ankles crossed.
It doesn’t happen a lot - certainly not every case - but it happens often enough that Hotch has started to get a double room and ask for extra pillows and blankets as soon as he checks in.
He doesn’t know why they end up in his room. He doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t even sleep in the tangled up mass of humanity that takes over the bed(s). If he sleeps at all it’s sitting up in a chair, head propped on his hand and elbow braced on the nightstand. Mostly he just watches them sleep, and interrupts the start of nightmares before faint frowns can turn into screams.
Every once in a while, roles are reversed and one of them shakes his shoulder and says ‘Hotch’ softly enough not to wake anyone else up, and to chase away the monsters in his head and his dreams.
That’s probably why they’re there. More than hair-dryers, coffee-creamer, extra towels or even each other they’re looking for someone who will watch over them while they sleep.
In the morning none of them will talk about it. Cellphone alarms will start going off, and they’ll start waking up with stretches, yawns and groans and spilling out of Hotch’s room and back to their own. They’ll meet up again at breakfast, showered and in fresh clothes and the only thing they’ll discuss is the quality of coffee and the case.
Someday, Hotch thinks, he’s going to throw them all for a loop by pre-empting them and going to one of their room’s before they can show up at his. Someday, but probably not today. Today he just gets the double room, and when housekeeping delivers a stack of pillows and blankets says ‘thank you’, doesn’t explain and closes the door.
It’s one of those cases, and one of those nights.