1) Motivational seminar- group activity.
His bright red ‘hello my name is’ sticker has JEFF! written on it in extra-wide sharpie and underlined twice, as though the exclamation point isn’t enough. Hotch forces himself to smile as Jeff flips his folding chair around and sits down on it backwards, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the table.
“Hey guys!” Jeff’s voice is just as upbeat as it was when he was telling the entire conference room about the wonders of community stewardship and his volunteer work as a ‘Big Brother.’ It’s also just as loud, and Hotch wonders if the guy realizes he doesn’t have to shout at people who are less than five feet away from him. “Are you ready to come up and add your ideas to the aspirations board?”
“God, no,” Rossi mutters. Hotch suspects it's supposed to be under his breath, but it comes out loud enough for Jeff to hear.
“We need a few more minutes,” Hotch corrects, attempting to smile and glare at Rossi at the same time.
“Definitely, sure,” Jeff says, nodding. “Do you need some help with ideas or anything?”
“Wouldn’t you telling us what to write defeat the purpose of what you just referred to as, and I quote, ‘dreaming your own big dreams?’” Reid asks.
“Well, no,” Jeff responds uncertainly. “Not if I just helped you get started.”
“I’d rather you didn’t,” Reid says. “I’m reasonably sure my aspirations are better off unmarred by your influence.”
“Okay,” Jeff says after an awkward moment of silence, “I’ll just go ahead and see if any of the other teams need assistance.” He pushes himself up off his chair and pauses to look around the table before slinking away.
“Is it just me, or does that guy seem like he might be suffering a psychotic episode?” Morgan mutters.
“Actually, I pegged him as someone with extremely repressed pedophilic tendencies,” Reid whispers in reply. Hotch tries to send him an admonishing look, but Reid ignores him and continues. “Did you hear how he was talking about his ‘little brother?’ It honestly made me uncomfortable.”
“I think the final evaluation of our team may end up reflecting upon us poorly,” Prentiss says, “because it’s bound to mention the part where I murder Jeff-with-an-exclamation-point with a staple remover.”
“Emily,” Hotch says reprovingly, more out of a sense of obligation than because he actually means it, “that’s not funny.”
“I don’t think she’s kidding,” Rossi mutters.
Reid lets out a hysterical little giggle, and the fact that no one even bothers to mock him for it makes Hotch swallow hard. Obviously the world is ending, and it’s entirely Jeff’s fault.
2) Team assessment reports- edits from first drafts.
…and, obviously, I never use my computer prowess to procure case related information through illegal means, because that would be wrong. Even if I am really damn good at it. Like, seriously, seriously good. I'd just like to say that I fully trust every member of this team. I’d also like to take this opportunity to ask that my personal laptop be returned to me with the promise that I will no longer play Call of Duty and accidentally scream obscenities at other players while you’re in the building use it while on the premises.
…if I hadn’t walked in on Hotch and Reid making out in the last stall of the second floor bathroom, I’d be able to honestly say that our team has been nothing but professional for the entirety of the past review period. We rely on each other’s discretion and judgement daily, and our team works together as a successful, cohesive unit because of it.
…not including the time that Morgan didn’t speak to me for a week because I compared his eyebrows to large caterpillars. Which, despite my apologies to him, I still think is true. Intra-team conflicts, while rare, are handled with complete professionalism.
…except for that time when Garcia used way too much rum in the egg nog at the Christmas party and Prentiss ended up dancing to that one Sugar Hill Gang song and accidentally kicking her shoe into the light fixture. Our behavior both as a team and as individuals is always respectful of our positions as FBI agents.
…because, honestly, after the incident in Tampa I’ll never look at Garcia the same way again. I’m not sure if I should be really freaked out or really impressed; I’m leaning toward impressed. My respect for my teammates and their unique abilities is unwavering; I’m constantly learning new things about each of them.
…although it was a little weird when Reid used to to me for advice on his sex life, as if I didn’t know that his ‘secret boyfriend’ was Hotch. I mean, I really don’t want to imagine either of them doing anything sexual with handcuffs, let alone the two of them doing it together. Relationships between members of our team are constantly evolving and bringing us closer together, and we’re better able to communicate because of it.
Hotch: My team has behaved in a completely professional manner since the last review was conducted.
3) Team building.
“We have excellent communication skills,” Hotch says shortly, eyes narrowing.
“Yeah,” Rossi smirks, “Some of us communicate so clearly that the rest of us can comprehend perfectly from another room.”
Prentiss snorts. “Last night I could comprehend from across the hallway.”
Reid makes a small choking noise, but Jeff doesn’t notice. “This isn’t a competition,” he says with a bright, if confused, smile. “Just so long as you feel comfortable speaking openly with one another.”
“Trust me,” Hotch says, glaring at Rossi, “I have no trouble telling them exactly what’s on my mind.”
“Oh, we know,” Morgan says. “Reid’s the one that’s surprising. I really heard what he was saying last night, and I’ve got to admit I was impressed with just how… freely… he was speaking.”
Reid’s eyes go wide and JJ chuckles. Jeff opens his mouth to say something, but Hotch cuts him off. “Listen, Jeff, we're late for an important conference call.”
“But it’s only two,” Jeff protests, “we haven’t even gotten to the physical trust exercises!”
Morgan snickers and Hotch shoots him a glare before turning back to Jeff with a tight smile. “We’ll be fine,” he says, standing and straightening his suit. “If you’ll excuse us.”
They file out of the room, not bothering to look at the other teams still waiting for their one-on-one time with Jeff. “I’m curious as to what the physical trust exercises were,” Prentiss says, smirking at Reid. “I bet you two would do amazingly well at them.”
“I hate you all,” Reid mutters.
4) Evaluation of team dynamics- group discussion with psychologist.
“Now I know this team has been through a lot,” Steve says seriously, “so I really want to get into some deep stuff with you guys.” He pauses to look around at the group, one by one, before he continues. “Aaron, how did you feel when Agent Rossi came back to the BAU?”
“Good,” Hotch says.
Steve waits for a moment, clearly expecting Hotch to elaborate. When he doesn’t Steve places his elbows on the table and clasps his hands in front of him, leaning forward. “You didn’t feel any resentment that they were bringing in someone more experienced to take over the team?”
Hotch narrows his eyes. “No,” he says slowly. “And he didn’t take over the team, he joined it. We’re lucky to have him.”
“I see,” Steve says in a way that makes it perfectly clear that he doesn’t. “And you don’t feel any resentment that he has more experience than you?”
“No,” Hotch says tersely, “no resentment.”
“You seem to have handled the team quite while before David returned. Do you feel they have less respect for you than they do for him?”
“Never mind, we’ll come back to that,” Steve says, smiling idiotically. “Has Agent Rossi ever made any of you feel uncomfortable in the workplace?”
“I’m sorry,” Rossi interjects before anyone else can answer, “but have we met before? Have I done something to offend you?”
“No, no, of course not,” Steve says quickly. “I just thought that maybe you joining the team may have been a point of contention for some of you.”
Rossi smirks. “Did any of you have a problem with me coming back to the BAU?” He asks them.
“No,” JJ says flatly. Nobody else bothers to answer, all staring blankly at Steve.
“I see,” Steve says again. Prentiss rolls her eyes. “I’m just trying to get you guys to open up, start sharing your feelings with one another.”
“I feel like this is a waste of time,” Morgan says under his breath.
“I can’t believe it, but I actually miss Jeff,” Prentiss whispers back.
Hotch tries to give them a disapproving look, but he’s pretty sure it falls flat.
Steve clears his throat awkwardly and they sit in silence for a moment before Reid pushes his chair back and says, “I’m going to get a cup of coffee,” and stands up.
“I’ll join you,” JJ says quickly, and Prentiss and Morgan make vaguely agreeing noises as they follow suit. Garcia sits at the end of the table for another moment before getting up and walking back to her office, not even bothering to make a half-assed excuse.
Steve turns to look at Hotch and Rossi expectantly, but Rossi just laughs and says, “Come on, Aaron. Lets go discuss our feelings over lunch.”
Hotch fights back a smile and gets up to follow him out of the conference room. “It might take a while,” he says, “apparently I’ve been suppressing a lot of resentment.”
5) Protocol and procedure for collaboration with state and local level PD.
“So what, exactly, is the appropriate response to an officer comparing you to an adolescent boy?” Reid asks, flipping through the pages of the brightly colored booklet in front of him. The words “Cooperate, Communicate, and Create a Safer America!” are emblazoned on the front in large black letters, and Reid can already tell that he’s going to have a migraine by the end of the day.
“That still happening to you, Reid?” Morgan asks, not bothering to hide his amusement.
Reid shoots him an annoyed look before turning back to the handbook. “I had thought the gun would act as a deterrent, but it doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect.”
“That could be because it looks like it came as part of a halloween costume,” Morgan says.
“Hey,” Reid protests, “It’s a classic!”
Morgan hums a vague, dismissive noise.
“Reid, if anyone says anything offensive or inappropriate just use your best discretion,” JJ interjects with a pseudo-sympathetic smile that can’t quite conceal the fact that she wants to laugh. “Stand up for yourself, just don’t foster any sort of hostility.”
Morgan’s lips twitch slightly. “You’ll probably want to refrain from shooting anyone with your comically large Lone Ranger gun.”
Prentiss nods soberly. “Situations like this are all about diplomacy,” she adds.
Reid stares at them blankly for a moment before turning to Hotch. “I feel like I’m not being taken seriously, here.”
“Of course we’re taking you seriously, Spencer,” Hotch says. He’s using his ‘supervisor’ voice, which somehow manages to make Reid more suspicious. “Derogatory or insulting comments aren’t to be tolerated from anyone, and you have our full support in dealing with any situation of such a nature.”
Reid looks at him skeptically. “Last week a DEA agent called me ‘Doogie Howser’ and you laughed.”
He hears Prentiss snickering but doesn’t look away from Hotch, who is fighting to keep a straight face. “Well you do have startlingly similar haircuts.”
“This is not the kind of support that I’d expect from my supervisor,” Reid whines.
“I’m sorry, Spencer. I’ll be sure to maintain a more professional air in the future.”
Reid rolls his eyes. “Right,” he says. After a moment he mutters, “Doogie Howser is barely even an adolescent.”
“And his IQ is hardly high enough to make a reasonable comparison between him and myself.”
Reid narrows his eyes and looks Hotch over for a moment before nodding once, appeased. “Okay, then.”
“Okay,” Hotch agrees, and then there’s a beat of silence before he adds, “but I definitely think you should keep the gun. You never know when Butch Cassidy might need you and the rest of the Wild Bunch for a high noon shootout.”
“That’s it,” Reid says, speaking loudly so he can be heard over Morgan’s laughter, “I’m submitting a formal complaint against all of you.”