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Jason tried not to say anything as Hotch used his bathroom to get ready to go out. He couldn’t use his own bathroom as it had been taken over by three girls, one of whom was his sister. His girlfriend was waiting downstairs, already dressed; Morgan said she looked like every guy’s dream. She may have been that but she only belonged to one guy, him.

Hotch was swallowing all the issues he had with partying and acting crazy to take her out for some fun tonight. He even let her pick out his outfit, which Morgan said made him officially whipped. Hotch had no idea what that meant but something in him didn’t like it. He was sure he wasn’t, just as he was sure that Morgan would never let an opportunity to bust his balls go by.

“I'm gonna look out for everyone tonight.” Hotch said, looking in the mirror as he gelled his wet hair. He was going for the slightly spiked look tonight. Not because he liked it but because it made him look a little older. It would go well with his black dress slacks, light blue dress shirt, black Oxfords. He needed to look at least 18 even if he was over 5 months away from his 17th birthday.

“That’s a lot of responsibility to take on.” Jason replied.

“OK, I'm gonna look after my girlfriend and my sister. Everyone else is on their own.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Jason asked as he smirked just a little.

“I'm in the mood to have some fun. I know this isn’t my usual fun but I won't knock it until I've tried it. I don’t know why you don’t just go with us if you're so worried. Megan can definitely get you in. Really, we’re just trying to have a good time.”

“By sneaking into a club illegally? What's so good about that?”

“Megan knows some of the bouncers; it’s a done deal.” Hotch said. “The house band is one of the best in the city. We’re just gonna dance, hang out, and come right back home. And I'm the designated driver so there will be no funny stuff.

“It’s a three day weekend and school’s been kicking my ass. As much as I don't really party I have to say I'm kinda looking forward to this. I know Emily would be happy if you decided to go. There's always room for one more.”

“No,” Jason shook his head. “It’s not really my thing. Coop is gonna be there, isn’t he?”

“He’s meeting us there.”

“Keep an eye on him too…if you don’t mind.” Jason said.

“Not a problem.”

000

“One of us should dye our hair blonde so we can be like The Witches of Eastwick.” Lindsay said, putting on her mascara.

Emily, Lindsay, and Zoë all stood in front of the bathroom mirror putting the finishing touches on their club ensembles. Lindsay went for the straight hot look in a silver sequined mini-dress she found in Filene’s Basement last week. It was a steal for $40. Zoë was more conservative in a black pencil skirt that brushed her knees and a red deep v-neck blouse she stole from her mother’s closet.

She’d put hot rollers in her red hair so it was curly and sexy. Emily wore slacks; she promised Jason. So she wore white polyester hipster slacks with a dark pink shell and matching round toed kitten heels. Unsure what to do with her hair; she finally went for the chignon. Her mother always said some things never went out of style.

“I prefer Charlie’s Angels since they already had two brunettes.” Emily replied, putting on more lip gloss. It wouldn’t be difficult to look 18 tonight. She was trying not to look twenty five.

“But they don't have a redhead.” Zoë said. “And I wanna be Susan Sarandon.”

“Well its not like Jane was as cool as Louise.” Emily countered.

“True…but still.”

“Whatsherface was a redhead; on Charlie’s Angels.” Lindsay said.

“Well if you're calling her whatsherface then I definitely don’t want to be her.” Zoë replied. “I'm sticking with Susan Sarandon.”

“I’ll be Kate Jackson.” Emily said, posing in the mirror.

“She was the nerdy one.” Lindsay looked at her best friend.

“She was not lacking for boyfriends.” Emily said. “Just cuz she had brains doesn’t mean she wasn’t hot. Smart woman are sexy.”

“Hot women are sexier.” Lindsay quipped, nudging her shoulder.

“Well I'm looking hot tonight.” Emily said.

“You're on fire!” Zoë touched her and pretended to be burned.

Hotch knocked on the door before poking his head in.

“Ladies, lets go. Time waits for no man.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Lindsay asked.

“Lets just go.” He said, heading down the hall and then down the stairs. He stopped halfway when he saw Megan sitting on the arm of the couch. Morgan was chatting her up, what else was new, and she pretended to be interested in what he was saying. “Get away from my girlfriend, Derek.”

“Hey man, I would never take my brother’s girl.” Derek grinned. “You better be lucky you're my brother. I was just telling Megan how foxy she looked tonight.”

“For once, I have to agree with him.” Hotch replied. “Wow, you look amazing.”

Megan had gone all out; there was no point in going clubbing if you didn’t. She wore a red mini-dress with black knee length leather boots. Her blonde hair was wavy, caressing her face like sunshine. She wore makeup but didn’t overdo it.

Her natural good looks shined through no matter what. Wrapping her arms around Hotch, she gave him a passionate kiss. That sent Morgan into the other room quickly. When she pulled away, Megan just smiled.

“I swear Aaron, if I didn’t know that underneath that swagger was a heart of gold I might push your little brother into traffic.”

“He’s fifteen, also known in boy terms as a ball of hormones. He mostly means well. The girls should be down any minute. At least they better be; I’d like to get going sometime this century.”

“I’d like to be kissed again. What do you think about that?”

Hotch just grinned, dimples poking happy holes in his cheeks as he gave her what she liked. OK, maybe he was a little whipped. He wasn’t sure how that happened. He wasn’t sure how any of this happened.

“Get a room!” Lindsay exclaimed as the three girls came down the stairs. Jason was right on their heels.

“We had one until you interrupted.” Megan replied.

Her voice sounded sugar sweet but Hotch recognized the venom underneath. He didn’t know if Lindsay did as well but he knew he didn’t want any trouble.

“Are we ready?” he asked.

“We’re ready.” Emily replied. “Tell us how good we look.”

“You all look really nice.” Hotch replied.

“Geez, that wasn’t very convincing.”

“You’re my sister…I'm not telling you that you look sexy, hot, or any of those adjectives. Unless you plan to pay for my extensive therapy bills because of it.”

“You can tell me.” Lindsay said, cringing when Zoë pinched her. She put on a smile. “Nevermind. We better boog so Coop’s not standing out there all alone looking as if he has no friends.”

“I forgot to give you the car keys.” Jason handed them to Hotch. “Be careful.”

“I will; I promise.”

They all headed out the door but Emily stayed for her hug and kiss.

“Thank you.” she kissed him passionately.

“For what?” Jason asked.

“Not caging my wild side.”

“I've thought about it. But you wouldn’t be you and dammit if I'm not in love with you.”

“Me too, Jace.” She kissed him once more. “I hope you don’t mind but you're gonna have a bunkmate tonight. Zoë and Linz will surely hog my bed especially if they’re drunk.”

“I don’t mind. Have a good time; be crazy but be smart.”

Emily blew him a kiss and he watched her go. He almost opened his mouth to tell her not to but didn’t. What he said was true…he loved every shade and side of Emily Prentiss. She was an almost seventeen year old girl and she liked to have fun. She made great grades in school, had a part-time job, and took care of her family responsibilities.

What right did he have to ask her to turn off parts of herself? Maybe Hotch was right; he needed to live a little too. It was summer after all, at least for Jason. He wasn’t taking any classes during the first summer session, so he wouldn’t be back in school until after Independence Day. He hadn't gone tonight, he just felt uncomfortable, but the next time maybe he would.

Jason just had to shake off the idea that what they were doing was somehow wrong. He knew Hotch and Emily well, and was coming to know their friends. They were just good kids blowing off steam. If there was one thing Jason needed to do it was definitely that.

***

“I can't believe we took the Woody.” Lindsay said. “It’s so uncool.”

“You can walk.” Hotch said, smirking from the driver’s seat.

“I'm just saying, we could’ve taken the Mustang.”

“Five people in a Mustang?” Zoë said. “I'm thinking not.”

“Well we could’ve taken my Golf.” Lindsay suggested.

“No, because you would've insisted on driving no matter how intoxicated.” Hotch replied. “The Woody is fine and we’re probably gonna have to park like 4 blocks away so no one will see you getting out of it.”

“That’s a relief.” Lindsay said.

It took a minute for Emily to even convince her to come out tonight. She loved a good night of clubbing but she had her own clubs where she knew folks and could get in. She didn’t need to be one of Hotch’s girlfriend’s hangers-on. But she’d heard good things about Oasis and tonight she would make her own connections so the next time they came they wouldn’t have to come with the blonde. It wasn’t so much that Lindsay didn’t like Megan, not that she did, it was the fact that Hotch liked Megan.

Hotch seemed to like her a lot. Not that she and Hotch had a chance and in of being anything more than bed buddies, and even that was awkward. Still, Lindsay liked it better when she could flirt with him and feel his response. Even when he was with Haley, he was still quite responsive. Since the ice queen became his girlfriend there was no response at all.

What kind of power did she have over him? She must have been kryptonite because Superman was suddenly weak in the knees. She must have been fucking him like crazy. That irked Lindsay, that he might enjoy sex with Megan more than he had with her. There was nothing she could do about it but it irked her just the same.

“Good luck finding a parking space.” Zoë said. “This place is a zoo on Friday night.”

“There's a lot two blocks over.” Megan replied. “If we put in together we might have the fee.”

“I’ll cover it.” Emily said. “You owe me a drink, Hotch.”

“Its yours.” He put on the turn signal and turned at the corner.

000

“Cooperstown!” Lindsay exclaimed, holding out her arms when she saw Coop. Even though she was in high heels, she still ran and jumped in his arms.

“Hello to you too, Linz.” Coop smirked but he held her up. Then he smiled at everyone else. “What's up ladies…you're all looking fine tonight. Hey Hotch.”

“Hi Coop. Megan Kane, this is Eric Cooper.”

“Hi.” Megan replied.

“Hell-o.”

“She’s taken Coop.” Emily shook her head.

“I'm just saying hi.” He looked at Megan again. “I'm just saying hi.”

“OK.” She said, walking ahead of them over to the bouncers.

There were people waiting to get in, there always were. Megan paid them no mind as she and her people approached a buff Hispanic guy.

“What up, Rollo?”

“Hey! Damn girl, you really are trying to send me to jail, aren’t you?”

“I have no idea what you're talking about.”

“Old dudes like me get in trouble for chatting up young thangs like you.” he said.

“Only if I gave you some, which I wouldn’t.” Megan replied. “You're a married man.”

“Happily so.” Rollo smiled. “How many?”

“Six, including me. I owe you one.”

“Nope…you only gotta pay me cutie.”

She pulled a $100 bill out of her purse and he told everyone to hold out their hands. He stamped them, which he did for everyone who was 21 when they went in. No one would ask for ID again. A blacklight over their hands would get them as many drinks as they wanted. Well that and plenty of money. Megan just grinned and started into the club. She turned back.

“Hey Rollo!”

“What up?”

“Seventeen is the age of consent in DC, by the way.”

“You are so damn bad. Have fun, but not too much.”

Megan smiled, took Hotch’s hand, and they walked into the club. It was crowded but not ridiculously so. It was sweaty and a tad bit smelly. There were bars on each side and space in the middle for dancing and whatever else. There were a few booths in the corner and some were occupied.

But most people were hanging out at the bar and in the middle of the floor. They were waiting for the house band, Velveeta Cheese, to come on. They specialized in 80s and 90s modern rock. That was Emily and her girlfriends’ favorite kind of music so they were excited.

“Everybody gets a buddy.” Hotch said. “Look, I don’t wanna seem like a geek but its easy to get lost in here and we all need to keep an eye on each other.”

“I'm with Hawkes.” Coop slipped his arm around Zoë.

She wore a big smile on her face that she couldn’t hide even though she really did try. Lindsay rolled her eyes as she put her hand on Emily’s shoulder.

“Let’s get a drink, Prentiss.” she said.

“OK, everyone has a partner.” Emily said. “Let’s have a blast.”

“We meet at the exit at midnight, no later.” Hotch said.

Everyone agreed and they went their separate ways. Emily and Lindsay went to one bar; Hotch and Megan to the other. Coop and Zoë went with their friends.

“Hotch’s girlfriend is a babe.” He said, ordering a Miller High Life.

“She’s a ho.” Lindsay replied.

“That’s not fair, Linz.” Emily said.

“It’s still true. I mean I don’t have anything personal against her but there’s talk. She’s a former rich chick who usually likes rich men who shower her with gifts. I don’t even know what she’s doing with Hotch. He’s got no money and he’s younger than she is.”

“Remember all the rumors about you being a mafia princess?” Coop asked. “I do, and most weren't true.”

“Maybe she just likes Hotch.” Zoë volunteered. She smiled as she ordered a Cosmo. Her mother and her friends drank them all the time.

“I know she does.” Emily said, choosing a sloe comfortable screw. “They're good for each other. And we all have pasts; Megan deserves to live hers down if that’s what she wants to do. Nothing said in the halls of Georgetown Day is ever to be believed anyway.”

“Hotch is a goodie goodie.” Lindsay replied, going for the rum and Coke. “When he hears what I've heard, that relationship will be over.”

“They’ve been going out for like 3 months.” Coop said. “You'd think he’d have heard by now.”

“Maybe he believes that people can change.” Zoë said. “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

Lindsay just shrugged, sipping her drink when the bartender handed it to her. She knew she was probably being a jerk about it but something about the blonde rubbed her the wrong way. And she refused to believe it was just the attention she was getting from Hotch.

000

“I don’t think she likes me.” Megan said, hitting her martini glass gently against Hotch’s beer bottle. “Cheers.”

“Who?” he asked.

“Lindsay Vaughan.”

“Do you care?”

“Not particularly, it was just an observation. She acts as if she deserves all of your attention.”

“It’s not like that Megan.” Hotch was a bit too defensive.

“Hey, hey, cowboy; I wasn’t accusing you of anything.”

“I didn’t think…”

“Yeah, you did.” Megan nodded. “Is there something you want to tell me?”

“If you mean about Lindsay, the answer is no.”

Megan studied him, looking deeply into his hazel eyes. She knew Hotch and she knew him well even if they’d only really known each other since January. That didn’t mean she knew all of his secrets, not even close. But she damn sure when he was keeping them. Taking a risk of upsetting him and not wanting to do that, Megan went with her gut anyway. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him.

“Bet if she did fuck you, you liked it better with me.” she whispered.

“No comment.” Hotch gulped, his hands on her hips. “I don’t want you and Lindsay to snipe at each other. She’s Emily’s best friend and spends a lot of time at my house. I like her too…as a friend. I mean like an acquaintance really; nothing more.”

“No sniping, Scout’s honor. I came out to have fun tonight. I wanna have fun with you. What everyone else does is their business.”

“I wanna have fun too.”

“Did you bring your dancing shoes?” Megan asked.

“You know I can't dance.” Hotch replied. “I embarrassed myself at the prom enough to last a lifetime.”

“Aww, no you didn’t. I thought your two left feet were adorable. You actually made a song about meth use endearing to me. I can't hear Third Eye Blind on the radio now without thinking about you.”

“Do you laugh when you do it?”

Megan laughed, shaking her head. She kissed him once more and then pulled him out toward the spacious middle to find a nice spot to hear the band play. She was going to have fun tonight; that was why she suggested it. Aaron was there with her and whatever was in the past was best left there. If she focused too much on Lindsay, Megan was sure she’d get angry. There was no need to get angry because that’s when the bad things usually happened.

***

Hotch dropped Coop off first. He was definitely not as drunk as the girls but also not sober by any stretch. He lived in Berkley, a nice area right outside of Georgetown and not far from where Hotch and his family lived in The Palisades. There were lovely tree-lined streets and well kept upper middle class and wealthy single family dwellings. The radio in the Woody played Matchbox Twenty and the girls in the back were singing 3am. Coop was also back there, sitting on the seat while Zoë sat on his lap.

Hotch didn’t know if Emily and Lindsay noticed but those two had their fair share of kisses tonight at the club. As a guy Hotch knew why Coop partnered up with her. He would be happy to report to Jason that it looked like Eric may have found another girl to give all of his attention too. He felt a bit of guilt for gossiping about Coop but Jason was his best friend. Hotch wanted to make sure that he didn’t feel insecure about how much Emily cared about him. It was only human to do so, of course, but Hotch wanted to help in whatever way he could.

“It’s the white one.” Coop touched the window as he was trying to point but it was rolled up.

“Um, dude,” Lindsay looked around the neighborhood. “They're all white.”

“It’s that one with the flower bushes in the front yard. Mom loves those goddamn dahlias; treats them better than me and my little brother. She’s a flower enthusiast.”

“They're pretty.” Zoë replied as Hotch pulled up in front of the house and put his blinkers on.

“They're evil.” Coop muttered. “OK, OK, they’re pretty but they're evil too. Up you go, Red.”

He lifted Zoë off his lap, putting her on Emily’s for a moment. As he opened the door and got out, Zoë slipped back onto the seat. He turned back to look at her, leaning in to whisper.

“Is it OK if I kiss you in front of them?” he asked.

Zoë nodded, smiling as he did so. Then Coop clucked her chin, said goodnight to his friends, and walked to his door singing waving his arms in the air for some unknown reason.

“Did he just kissed you or was I seeing things?” Lindsay asked.

“He kissed me.” Zoë replied.

“Damn girl, have you been holding out on us?”

“It’s a long story.” Zoë said.

Hotch pulled off when he saw Coop go in and close the front door. They weren't far from home now and he would only have to listen to the singing for just a while longer. Plus Megan was rubbing on his inner thigh. There was something on his mind that had nothing to do with being a chauffeur for his sister and her tipsy friends. As he parked the car, he politely moved Megan’s hand back into her lap. She looked at him and just smiled.

This was the second time he’d seen her intoxicated; she seemed to be a mellow drinker. He hoped that proved to be true tonight. Hotch wasn’t sure he could handle angry or crazed out Megan. When he cut the ignition, Zoë, Lindsay, and Emily hopped out of the car. Then Hotch got out and opened the door for Megan. It had started to drizzle and gotten chillier.

“Do you mind if I have a smoke before we go in?” Megan asked.

Emily and her friends had already gone inside but left the front door open for them.

“No, that’s fine.” Hotch took off his jacket, placing it over her shoulders.

Megan leaned against the banister and lit her cigarette. She was looking at him funny; Hotch had no idea what she was thinking at the moment.

“Did you have a good time tonight?”

“Yeah.” he nodded.

“There were moments when I felt you just weren't there.” she replied. “Are you sure?”

“I'm not exactly a club going guy. I wanted to go tonight; wanted you to have a good time. I wanted to look out for my sister too. But normally, no, it’s not what I do to have fun.”

“I know. I just wanted to do a little something different.”

“It’s not that different for you.” Hotch said.

“That’s true.” Megan took a deep inhale, tilting her head back to blow smoke circles in the air. “But I like whatever we do when we’re together, Aaron. Sometimes I do want to let my hair down a little though.”

“And that’s why I went tonight…I totally get that.”

“I can't wait to get upstairs and get out of these clothes. This dress is so binding. The price of beauty can be quite high. I'm not sure I'm gonna be able to reach the zipper. You don’t mind helping me out, do you?”

“Nope.” Hotch’s mouth went dry. He cleared his throat as he shook his head.

“Great.”

000

Emily was surprised to see Jason as she and her friends made their way towards the backyard for a smoke. Emily would normally smoke in her room at night but there were three of them. It was bound to set the smoke alarms off. Jason was in the kitchen, barefoot and in pajamas, pouring himself a cup of tea.

“Hey, what are you still doing up?”

“I was reading and watching a little TV. I came down to get some tea to help me sleep. Did you guys have a good time?”

“Yes.” Emily nodded.

“Good.”

“You don’t sound at all convincing.” Lindsay said smirking.

“Linz.” She warned.

“Give us the cloves, Prentiss; we’ll get out of your hair.”

Emily pulled the Ziganovs from her purse, handing them off to her best friend. Lindsay and Zoë went outside leaving Jason and Emily in the kitchen alone.

“Where’s Hotch?” he asked.

“I don't know. Megan smokes too so maybe they're already up in the attic. Maybe they're on the porch. I really did have a good time tonight.”

“And I meant what I said when I said good.”

His hand on the back of her head, Jason gently pulled her to him and kissed her forehead. Emily smiled and kissed his mouth.

“I’ll be up in a little while.” She whispered, her lips still over his.

“Make sure you wear pajamas.” Jason couldn’t help but smile when he said it. He wondered if Emily even remembered his intoxication rule. She probably thought that was before they started having sex. He hoped they didn’t get into a fight tonight.

“I have some really cute ones too…you’ll love them.”

“Go and have your clove. Depending on how long you stay out there, I could be asleep when you come up.”

“One more kiss.” she demanded.

Jason had no problem giving her what she wanted. When she pinched his butt before going outside, he was sure she was pretty tipsy. He just shook his head and headed back toward the living room and the stairs. Hotch and Megan were coming in and locking the front door behind them.

“Hey, what are you still doing up?” Hotch asked.

“That seems to be the question of the hour.” Jason replied smiling. “I was reading and came down for some tea.”

“I'm just gonna use the bathroom and go up to the attic.” Megan said.

“OK.”

“Goodnight, Jason.”

“Goodnight.” He looked at Hotch. “Did you have fun?”

“Not really at all.” Hotch shook his head. “But I think I did a good job faking it. I enjoyed being with Megan though, and the band was pretty cool. We all got home in one piece.”

“The girls are out back smoking.”

“Coop kissed Zoë; I'm sure that’s what they’re talking about.”

“Are you serious?” Jason couldn’t even hide his excitement at hearing that.

“Mmm hmm.” Hotch nodded. “So there might be something there. Or not, sometimes I never know a thing about anything. But I know they kissed and seemed cozy all night.”

“I should feel bad that that’s such good news.” Jason said, starting up the stairs. Hotch was right behind him. “Shouldn’t I?

“Yeah, you should feel horrible.” He replied in the same tone he used when talking to the smaller kids about something serious.

“Right.” Jason smiled. “Goodnight, Hotch.”

“Night.” He headed down the hall and up the stairs to his bedroom. Megan was still in the bathroom and Morgan’s light was out. A part of him just wanted to pass out and have it be morning. Another part of him was kind of anxious to help Megan with her zipper.

***