- *No Site Warnings Apply
- Challenge Response
The Holidays could drive anyone insane, but this year it seemed to be the norm. Spencer was considering keeping statistics on it by the time the team had reached mid December. Three cases in two weeks, plus every department was decorated for the holidays. There was a memo this morning about a cookie exchange throughout the building. Garcia had taken this as a personal affront to her cookie skills.
To quote her,”Everyone in this building knows that my cookies are the best. Why would anyone want anyone else’s?”
There was no disagreement from the BAU team. They all enjoyed her treats, besides they enjoyed staying alive. Not that she would do anything about it, but that her baking would probably be the area in her life that caused her psychotic break. If and when it happened.
After a long day of encouraging Penny, and fielding odd calls from police departments. Aaron packed up his things to head home. He bumped into Dave on the way to the elevator.
“You’re here late, Dave?”
“Crazy Christmas time, this year. Not sure what has gotten in the drinking water.” Dave chuckled, wearily.
Hotch gave a weary smile back.
“I agree. Something strange going on. I will have to ask Spencer if there is an eclipse or something.”
“He’ll have the answer I’m sure. See you Monday, if we can make it through the weekend without a case.” Dave crossed his fingers.
Hotch nodded as the elevator doors opened and both men exited.
Aaron sighed and loosened his tie as he sat in the car a moment. He didn’t want to bring home a bad day. Spencer had taken the day off to bake cookies with Jack. Aaron didn’t want to spoil that. He started the car and headed home.
At home, the cookie madness was in full swing. They had already made four different kinds of cookies and were starting on gingerbread men. Jack told Spencer he had a secret ingredient and ran to his room to get it. Spencer wondered what it was. It was a bottle of liquid marked drink me.
“What is this Jack? It looks like something out of Alice in wonderland.” Spencer said.
“It’s a gift I made at school. When we put the last gumdrop on we get to drink it, and start our holiday magic.” Jack said excitedly.
They began to fill the gift boxes with the cookies that were already finished. Spencer wrote a note to Aaron that included threats if he ate any cookies that did not have his name on them. The gingerbread smell was intoxicating. Spencer closed his eyes. Jack wanted to know why Papa was smiling and swaying, but he figured it was private. Buzz! The oven timer went off.
The gingerbread men were perfect. They turned the oven off. As the men cooled, Spencer grabbed a shower. He came back out to find Jack setting out the last of the icing. Spencer started on his half of the men and Jack his. They had a race to attach their gumdrop buttons. They were both laughing hard by the last one. They left two on the counter for Aaron and placed the rest in the boxes.
They each took a swig of Jack’s special elixir. It had a sweet peppermint taste. It was the perfect nightcap to a fun day. Jack went to shower then dress for bed. Aaron arrived to find the boxes of cookies, a lingering gingerbread smell, and the note. He stuck his head in Jack’s room to hear Spencer reading a good night story to Jack. He loved to listen most nights, but tonight he was exhausted.
Aaron showered, changed for bed, and fell asleep before Spencer came in. Spencer fell asleep next to Jack. This happened sometimes. Spencer was a snuggler. Jack missed out on a lot of cuddling once his mother died. Aaron never interrupted their cuddle nights, soon Jack would be too old for it. When Aaron rolled over and Spencer wasn’t there in the night, he didn’t worry. Somewhere during the night Spencer began to feel stiff. He just figured it was the tight space of the shared bed. Morning came abruptly.
Aaron’s phone rang. “Hotchner.”
“Sorry sir. We have a case.” Garcia said.
She continued with the details. Aaron got dressed. He heard noises in Jack’s room. He figured Spencer had heard the phone. Spencer rolled over and looked at Jack. Jack was a gingerbread man. Spencer thought he was dreaming. He tried to reach for Jack and wake him, but his hands wouldn’t reach. As a matter of fact they weren’t hands, they were round, brown mittens. Spencer shook his head.
“We have a case, Spencer.” Aaron shouted from the other room.
“I’ll take Jack. Meet you there. Will you take the cookies in?” Spencer returned.
“Ok. See you there.”
Jack stirred. He saw Spencer and started to scream. Spencer quick covered Jack’s mouth. Jack’s icing eyebrows went up, most exaggeratedly. Spencer smiled as best he could with his red icing mouth.
“Shh. Wait. For a moment. We need to get in your dad’s gobag, before he leaves.
So let’s hurry.”
Jack looked over the side of the bed. It seemed way too high for two gingerbread men. Spencer joined him on the edge. He looked down and noticed the sheet reached the floor. There was a crease in the sheet that looked like a snow trail. Spencer laid on his stomach and told Jack to hop on his back. Then whoosh. They slid down the sheet to the floor. Almost out the door, they halted to a stop at the door frame.
Luckily, there was enough space for them to slip under the door. Spencer looked up to see where the doorknob was and almost toppled over. He was glad for the space under the door. Aaron walked passed the door, just as Spencer and Jack started under. They could see Aaron set his bag and briefcase down. They knew he was gathering the cookies.
They ran as fast as they could to get down the hall. Left right left right left right. Twist turn twist. Wobble wobble woo. Jack started to tire. Spencer grabbed him by both hands and like ice skaters flip each other over Jack went. The momentum flipped Spencer over Jack’s hands. Then Spencer slid them into the side of the bag.
Jack heard and felt a crack in his arm. Spencer climbed in the outside pocket of Aaron’s gobag. He reached over and helped the gingerbread son in. Just as they were safely in, Aaron grabbed his briefcase and gobag. Aaron was off for Quantico.
Jack whispered to Spencer. “How did this happen?”
Jack looked puzzled. Spencer motioned taking a drink. Jack made an aha face. Spencer realized Aaron would leave his bag in the car, since he wouldn’t need it til the plane. He calculated where they needed to be. He tossed Jack towards the box marked for Penelope. Spencer climbed after. Just then Aaron stopped fast, and Spencer fell to the floorboard with a thud.
Jack was sure that Spencer was nothing but crumbs. Jack saw something moving. He smiled. His red icing mouth smeared on the seat. Spencer was okay.
“Get in Garcia’s box. She’ll help you. I’ll find another way.” Spencer shouted.
Aaron didn’t hear a thing over the road noises and the radio. He parked the car, grabbed the boxes, and his briefcase. He didn’t see the stowaway in the cuff of his trousers. Garcia met him at the elevator. She grabbed a few of the boxes.
“Oh my! Spencer and Jack were industrious.”
“Yes, they were. Spencer fell asleep reading to him last night. He must have been so tired.” Aaron replied.
Aaron and Penelope distributed the cookie boxes on each team members’ desk.
“At least this way, they won’t be too miserable. They can have some sweets before the case turns ugly.” Garcia suggested.
Spencer laughed from his perch. Too late for me he thought. How am I going to get someone’s attention before I get stepped on or Jack gets eaten. Penelope took her box and headed for her lair. Aaron headed to his office to review the case details. As Aaron sat his briefcase down on the floor, Spencer jumped for Aaron’s sleeve. He caught the very edge of the jacket. Spencer dangled there as Aaron moved his arm over to pick up the case file from his desk.
Splat! Spencer tumbled to the desk blotter. Aaron heard a knock at his door.
“Thanks for the cookies. Tell Jack I loved them and took some home to Henry.” JJ announced.
Aaron nodded. “I will.”
“Oh how cute. Your gingerbread man looks like Spence.”
Aaron looked down at the gingerbread man on his desk. He smiled at how much it looked like Spencer.
“Yeah. They did a great job on them.”
JJ excused herself and left. Aaron reached down to grab the cookie. He mumbled to himself about being hungry. Spencer jumped up and tried to scurry away. Left right left right. Turn twist turn. Aaron slid back in his chair. How could a cookie move?
“Spencer? Please tell me no.” Aaron said with a tremble.
“Hi. Wish it wasn’t.” Spencer answered.
Aaron shook his head. “How can I help?”
“Make sure Garcia doesn’t eat Jack.”
Aaron was up and out of his office in a flash. He made it to Garcia just as she opened the box. Jack hopped out faster than a Jack in the box. It startled poor Penelope. She screamed at Jack just as her door flew open. Jack tried to scamper to his dad, but Garcia kept swatting at him like he was a mouse or something. Aaron grabbed her hands and tried to get her to focus on him.
“My gingerbread man is alive!” She screamed.
“Mine too.” Aaron answered.
Spencer jumped from Aaron to the desktop. He ran to check ok Jack. Jack pushed him away. He assured Spencer that he hadn’t been injured. Garcia plopped in her chair.
“I knew I was going to lose it one day, but over cookies?” She wailed.
“If I see it too, you can’t be losing it Penny.” Aaron reassured.
“Right now we need to focus on this case and how to change them back.” He continued.
The case was missing students and parents from Jack’s school. The story was all the same. They baked cookies. The day before they disappeared, they made gingerbread men. They had all made the special elixir, too.
The team traced the elixir to a man named Fred Walters. He had visited the school. He read a story about gingerbread people and a magic elixir that turned them human. As a hands on activity, the students made their special ingredient. When the brought Fred in, Spencer went in to question him.
Fred just smirked. He was so proud of himself for getting an FBI agent. Aaron came in next with the bottle of elixir.
“Since you are so smart and funny, we are going to give you a little drink. After it has its affect on you, we’re going to ask you again for the antidote. Then my little friends have a few ideas of what to do with you.” The Hotchner glare closed out the conversation.
” You’re bluffing. They drank it all. They wouldn’t have changed otherwise.”
Aaron just stared at him and slid the bottle across the table. Walters cracked. He gave the antidote formula to Spencer, who made sure it was safe to drink before they distributed it. Walters was arrested.
Spencer and Jack drank their dose. It wasn’t long until they were human again. There was barely a full dose for Spencer and Jack. They both still had icing on their faces. Jack ran his tongue around his lips to lick the icing off. Spencer reached up to check his. His finger came down with red icing. Before he could lick it off, Aaron did. Aaron then kissed Spencer to get the rest of the flavor.
“A tasty gingerbread man for sure.” Aaron said, as he licked his lips.
Profilers for Christmas is an anonymous crime drama Advent Calendar featuring both art and stories. Additional information about the challenge can be found here.