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Title: Something Rare
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters: Gideon, Hotch
Rating: G/FRC
Word Count: 350
Summary: Gideon and Hotch go birdwatching.
Author's Notes: Written for the Gen Battle prompt "Gideon and Hotch - birdwatching."

"I can't believe I let you talk me into this."

"You could’ve stayed back at the hotel with everyone else," Gideon said as he climbed to the top of a boulder to get a better view of the trees and brushes that surrounded them. "It won’t take them long to get the plane fixed, you could’ve caught up on your paperwork."

"I’ve never been birdwatching before." Hotch climbed up onto the boulder. "I thought it’d involve more watching and less climbing." He looked at their surroundings. "And more birds."

"We probably won’t see much today, but I promised myself that if I ever got a chance to go birding in southern Texas, I would. This is one of the only places you can find a clay-colored robin."

"What’s it look like?"

"About this big," Gideon indicated a couple inches with his hands. "Brown, darker brown on the back."

Hotch raised his eyebrows. "You went to all this trouble just to see a small brown bird?"

"Aesop said it's not only fine feathers that makes fine birds. I’ve seen almost every kind of robin in the United States except this one." He looked at Hotch. "Haven’t you ever wanted to find something rare?"

"A penny, actually."


"A 1944 steel penny. The U.S. Treasury was experimenting with metals other than copper. Most steel pennies were minted in '43, but some were accidentally made in '44. When I was a kid, I used to trade change with my classmates, hoping that one of them had a '44 penny and didn’t know what it was."

"You know what it’s like, then."

"Well, a steel penny would've been worth thousands," Hotch said. "I doubt that a clay-colored robin has significant market value."

"So you're saying that greed is a better reason to take up a hobby?"

"No, just a more understandable one."

Gideon took a small pair of binoculars from his shirt pocket. "Did you ever find it?"


"Your steel penny. Did you ever find it?"


Gideon smiled and raised the binoculars to his eyes. "Sometimes it's worth it just to look."
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May 2009

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