After All This Time || Chapter Four
Aaron Hotchner x Reader
Word Count: 2128
CHAPTER WARNINGS: hehe i don't wanna spoil it, but angst, language, case talk, the usual
A/N: This is the longest chapter so far, and honestly it took less time than some of the other ones. I got really into it.
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Halfway to the drive you remember to ask, "So who are we interviewing at the school?"
"James O'Malley, who is the principal, and Margaret Solokowski, one of three first grade teachers." His response is automated as he looks to the right out the window.
Your mind drifted back to the case from when you were only nine. It was the reason you wanted to be involved with S.W.A.T or the FBI.
Your brother was playing in a sand pit at the local playground when you turned around to go buy the two of you some ice cream cones from the truck driving slowly past.
There was a priest with a group of nuns walking through the park, discussing something about the "Lord's Will". You didn't believe in any of that stuff then, so you rolled your eyes and told the nice man what ice creams you wanted.
"There you go, kiddie."
Spinning on your heel, you licked your own ice cream as you went to get back to Joey, your brother.
Something was wrong though. When you looked, he wasn't there anymore. He had been playing with a group of three kids, and none of them were there anymore. Turning back around you remember the Priest had been driving away with the nuns. You saw the two other childrens' mothers crying and talking, flailing their arms wildly at each other.
"Joey? Joey where are you," you wandered around the play set for a minute and started crying when you couldn't find him.
Wandering up to one of the adults scattered through the play area, a mother with a small baby in her arms, and said, "Can-" a sniffle before, "Can I borrow your phone? I need to call my mom."
"Of course, honey," she shuffled the little girl to her other hip and grabbed the phone from her other pocket. "Here you go sweetie. Is there anything else you need?"
"No. Uh, thank you. I'll bring it right back."
Taking a few steps away you called your mother's house number, suddenly grateful for the pressure she had put on you from a young age to remember her house number and her cell number.
Hey, honey,- what? What's going on?"
"Mom, I can't find Joey. He's not here. I just walked ten steps to get our ice cream and he's- I can't find him, mom. And the other two kids were gone too. I don't know what to do, he's gone. Mom-"
"I can't find-"
"Y/N!" You finally stop rambling and quiet down enough to hear your mom's voice and your own heartbeat. "We'll find him, okay? Tell whoever's phone this is what happened, and then wait there for me okay? Ask the lady you borrowed this from to call the police and help you explain what happened and I'll be right over there okay? It will take me five minutes, okay?"
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you too, Peanut."
Hanging up the phone you do as she told you and explained your situation to the kind woman with the baby. She agreed to help you call the police, even though the other parents had probably already done it.
"Are you okay, Y/N?"
"Y/N? Hey. Y/N! You missed the turn..."
You snap out of your flashback and look around you at the road.
Hotch let out and annoyed puff of air and pointed to the road that you were about to drive past. "That's our turn. You know, to get to the school. That's right there."
Mumbling under your breath you turn the signal on and slam the breaks after seeing there was no one behind you. You smirk to yourself when you see that the man in the passenger seat had to throw his arm out so as not to hit the dashboard.
"Agent, if you do not drive this vehicle with care, I will personally revoke your privilege of driving on the clock," he threatens as he adjusts the lapels on his suit jacket.
You ignore him and park in front of the school, getting out and straightening your own blazer.
"You let me do the talking, L/N." He declares as he brushes past you, not bothering to hold the door on his way.
Murmuring under your breath, you follow him in.
Almost immediately, you are stopped by someone from campus security and flash your badges in reply. The guard simply nods and sends you through, pointing to the principal's office.
"Mr. O'Malley? I'm SSA Aaron Hothcner, and this is Agent L/N. We are here from the BAU in Quantico investigating the homicides that I'm sure you've heard about. I was wondering if we could ask you a few questions about the victims; they were all students here." Hotch's air of professionalism was back full force rather than his childish antics only five minutes ago.
O'Malley shakes his head slightly, a red tint coming to his ears as his eyes scan the clock. "Actually, I don't have the time right now. I have another meeting coming up shortly-"
"Sir, your meeting isn't for another fifteen minutes," the secretary states before turning back to you and Hotch, "Surely that's enough time for you and your partner to ask him a few questions?" The young woman looks at you when she speaks, her eyes silently pleading. She must know something as well.
"No, Anne. I really don't have time for that-"
"Hotchner, if you want to talk to Mr. O'Malley, maybe I could ask," you pause, reading her desk tag, "Ms. Brink a few questions?"
She nods her head eagerly, and as much as Hotch wanted to argue, he has seen her desperate look as well and would have suggested splitting up if you hadn't.
"I was just about to say that. Mr. O'Malley is there somewhere we could go that's a bit more private?" Hotch questions, signaling behind him, "If that's a break room that would be perfect."
O'Malley nods, standing up. He walks towards the door, opening it as he turns back to look at the you and Hotch. There's a glint of something in his eyes and-
And he's running.
"Go! Hotch, go, go, GO!" Before you even finish urging him to chase the principal he's running after the man. "Anne, if you know anything suspicious about James O'Malley you need to tell me, and you need to tell me now."
Tears well in the younger woman's eyes as she nods, fists bunching in the skirt of her peach colored dress. "He, uh. He has made- you know. S-sexual advances on a few young girls. He did the same to me, b-but when he d-did it to me he said he would kill the next girl that w-was in here if I told..." Anne breaks into sobs as she hangs her head low.
"Anne, listen to me. None of this is your fault. You were only trying to protect these girls and yourself. This has been extremely helpful, thank you, Ms. Brink." Gently you reach over and squeeze her hand, sliding a box of tissues towards her before quickly slipping out of the office.
Pulling your phone out of your pocket, you call Garcia.
"BAU Sperm Donation: You jack 'em, we pack 'em. How can I help you my pretty?"
You don't have time to laugh, though you so badly wanted to. "Pen, I need to to pull everything you can find about James O'Malley. He's the-"
"School principle of Opportunity Elementary. He's 37 years old, comes from a highly religious background- Papa Bear was a Priest. He- oh boy. Oh no. This is not good." You hear computer keys clacking on the other end before you prompt her to keep speaking.
"Yeah, Pen? What's not good?"
"This guy," she clicks her tongue, "And his entire recent history when you deep-dive in my Fancy Google. This guy is on review for child molestation and rape charges."
You slam your fist against the nearby wall and curse lowly, "Do you have any large property in his name? Anything big enough to have some sort of shrine, or altar? Also, with enough room to... oh God... cleanly chop off a-"
"Ah! AH! Stop! I get it. I'm looking."
After a moment she sighs, "Bingo! 142 Walnut St. right outside of the town that the school is in. Twelve minutes and forty-three seconds from your current location. I'll ping the directions to you and notify the rest of the team. They are slightly further away, so you and your partner should get there first. Hurry, Y/N, he might have another kid there."
"Bye, Pen." You hang up and start running to the SUV, surprised to see Hotch there, already waiting in the passenger seat. You wonder why he hadn't sat on the other side and remember about the key in your pocket.
Getting in, you slam the door, not bothering to buckle and say, "Take my phone and pull up the directions from Pen. That's where our guy is going, she think he has another child based on video footage from this morning's video feed of the back entrance of his office."
Hotch surprisingly doesn't argue, instead doing exactly as he was told while you sped in the direction you had come from before.
Withing ten minutes you had made it to the house, not saying a word to Hotch as your mind ran through all of the possibilities of what you'd find. This was your first child case since you moved to the BAU and honestly you weren't handling it very well.
When you made it to the barn, you snatched your gun from your holster and kept it aimed towards the ground. Motioning to Hotch you signal that he should go left and you will go right.
Clearly, he didn't like you making all the calls, but he was so upset about losing the guy the first time around that he didn't have it in him to command you down.
Beginning your move-in, you start to circle the barn just how you had told Hotch and kept your gun up as you crept towards the final turn to the back of the barn. Out of the corner of your eye you see the rest of the team start to jog over to the barn from the forest behind the bar, they must have decided to use a different entrance as hopes to catch O'Malley off guard.
Taking a moment to steel yourself you keep your back against the side of the barn before spinning in a quick step to raise your gun again and aim at the final possibility of where he could be-
But it was just Hotchner.
"L/N, he must be inside, turn back the way you came and we'll go in together." His voice is stern as you nod in compliance and turn around, raising your gun as you see a little boy. With a gun trained on him...
It's Joey. Joey is there dead in front of the church, a big cross burned into his chest... his five year old body.
That's all you see, just like that day so many years ago. That's all you see, so you jump forward in front of him and you-
Fall. You fall. And you can't tell why.
Blood, there's blood under you. Who's hurt?
"Y/N! Oh my God, Y/N!" Anything between your name being said the first and second time is lost in your fuzzy ears.
You don't realize why the voice is yelling at you until you feel the burning, fire-like pain, radiating up your left side.
After a moment, you feel hands on your shoulders, one of them moving to slap you in the face a few times to get your eyes to open, which they did.
"Hey, you need to stay awake. Okay? Y/N! Open your eyes. Look at me." Emily transfers her hands to your hip, pressing down on the wound there roughly. Your body instinctively crunches up to get away from the new, uncomfortable pain, but Emily presses down on your chest, keeping you to the floor.
You try to mumble something, but the second your mouth opens, it's as if you completely lost your voice.
"Shh, Y/N, you're going to be okay, you just need to keep your eyes open okay?
"What the hell, Aaron?! You were standing right there, man, why didn't you go to her?! She was fucking shot and you just stood there! You're our leader, start fucking acting like one!" You can't pick out all the words, but you can tell that it's Derek's voice and you smirk to yourself.
The last thing you heard before passing out was Derek ripping into Hotchner like you'd been waiting to for months.
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We are Soulmates Chapter 2
Criminal Minds/Supernatural Crossover
Summary: Aaron and Y/N struggle with their doubts and fears as well as their need to be with one each other.
Paring: Aaron Hotchner x reader
Word Count: 8026
Warnings: tw thoughts of suicide, low self esteem, angst, CM and SPN related gore and death
A/N: There will be a part three that I will to have out soon.
I hope you enjoy! Please like and reblog.
Chapter 1-Sam/Dean/Cas’ POV
The moment after you disappeared his team burst through the door. Aaron knows he should pay attention to their questions. What happened was something none of them could explain, not even Reid, but Aaron couldn’t get himself to move from where he sat at the table. His eyes were still on the spot that you had been pulled though the golden portal, his body had not moved an inch. Having found out that the woman that he had felt this strange connection with, to be his soulmate, then to have her disappear. How was he supposed to handle that?
“Hotch… Hotchner… Aaron?” the sound of his name brought Aaron out of his thoughts and he looked up at Morgan, who was standing above him with a hand on Aaron’s shoulder.
“Come on, man.” Morgan said his voice surprisingly gently. “Let’s get you out of this room.”
After getting Aaron out of the interrogation room and into an office down the hall, where he insisted on being alone, the rest of the team stood together all staring at the spot you had disappeared. They had all seen crazy things in their line of work but someone disappearing through a portal was way above what they were familiar with.
Breaking from the constant staring, Rossi turned towards Reid. “So, do you have a theory for this?”
Reid looked up at him his eyebrows pulled together in confusion. “What just happened isn’t possible. Being able to teleport isn’t something that can be done.”
“Well clearly it is,” Morgan countered, arms crossed he walked around the spot that you had vanished. “A man came through a portal, grabbed our suspect, pulled her through the portal and poof, gone.” He shook his head like he didn’t believe his own words. “I think we have to consider that she was telling the truth.”
Prentiss’s eyes widen as Morgan’s words triggered a thought. “Have we heard back from the M.E. yet? About the victim’s gums?” she asked.
“I’ll go check.” JJ replied, hurrying from the room.
“Okay, so if we are going to consider that everything she said is true, what do we have?” Rossi asked and everyone looked to Reid.
“She said she had been to heaven, that hell, God, Lucifer, angels and demons were all real, as well as monsters. That our victim is actually a vampire,” Reid paused, a faraway look on his face is brows still furrowed. “She also claimed that Dean and Sam Winchester hunt monsters, which makes me wonder if we need to rethink what we originally thought of them, if that turns out to be true. There is also the man that came through the portal. I’m assuming that is Castiel, since she said he was meeting up with the brothers.”
Rossi nodded along with what Reid said, “Morgan get Garcia on the line. We need to send her Y/N’s confession and see if she can get anything from it that we didn’t see. I also want her searching everywhere for Y/N, the Winchester’s, and the man that broke Y/N out, who we are assuming is Castiel. This is top priority until we find them.” As he is talking JJ comes back into the room and Rossi looks to everyone meeting each pair of eyes on the team. “What happened in here doesn’t go farther than the seven of us. We aren’t going to involve anyone else until we know what we are dealing with. Is that clear?” Everyone in the room nodded knowing if it got out to any higher ups it would turn into even more of a mess than it already was.
“Are we going to talk about the last thing she said?” Prentiss asked voice reserved like she was unsure if she should even bring it up.
“We’ll discuss that later,” Rossi replied with a shake of his head. “Let’s figure the other things out first,” He turned to JJ with a raised eyebrow.
“She was telling the truth,” JJ murmured looking around at the team as their wide eyes stared back in disbelief. “When the M.E. pressed down on the gums, fangs extracted.”
“Well shit,” Morgan said.
Teleporting always made you queasy and this time was no exception. Landing on solid ground in the bunker brought some relief but you knew it would be a while before you are able to fully regain your equilibrium. As soon as Cas let go of your arm you were ingulfed in the arms of Sam and Dean.
“Let’s not do that again,” Dean muttered into your hair.
“Absolutely not,” Sam said right above your ear.
“Don’t have to tell me twice,” you replied with a relieved chuckle.
They slowly let go of you which made you stumble lightly from the motion sickness causing Cas to catch your arm again to steady you.
“We are happy to have you back,” he said with a smile after you were steadied.
“Happy to be back,” you said, smiling back before the image of Aaron’s face right before you stepped through the portal flashed before your eyes pulling the smile down. You look away from Cas, squeezing your eyes shut not wanting to relive the look of shock and hurt that flashed through Aaron’s eyes. This was exactly what you didn’t want to happen. You didn’t want to hurt him.
“I’m going to go lay down,” you said not meeting your family’s eyes. “You know how bad my motion sickness gets,” you let out a chuckle that is flat even to your ears, before you hurry from the room.
“What was that about?” Sam asked looking between Dean and Cas.
“I don’t know,” they both murmured, staring down the hall after you.
Once in your room you collapsed on the bed as you let the events that completely changed your life flood through your mind. This was why you never wanted to go looking for your soulmate in the first place. You had already hurt him by leaving how you did, which was something you had never wanted to do even if you hadn’t hurt him physically. You flinched at the thought of Aaron being hurt because of the life you lived. The images so much more painful now that you had a face to go along with them.
Now, even if you did change your mind and decided to be with Aaron, you were being hunted by the FBI, making the prospect of living a happy life with your soulmate that much harder, especially considering he worked for the very organization you were being hunted by. That is why you had never tried to find him. Nothing good comes to you and anything that does gets taken away. You had even lost Sam, Dean and Cas numerous times throughout the years. Feeling at a loss and more mentally and physically exhausted then you had been in years, you lay down in your bed, not even bothering to change your clothes. As you slowly drifted off to sleep the emotions that you always try to keep in slowing leak out as tears stream down your cheeks.
The team decided that someone needed to go in and talk to Hotch. He had yet to come out of the office Morgan had taken him to and the team was growing more concerned. He also needed to know that the M.E. had found fangs on the victim, which was a fact that the entire team was trying to wrap their heads around. Not wanting to overwhelm Aaron, they all decided to send one person in, and they thought Prentiss was the best choice.
When Prentiss opened the door, darkness was all she could see. It was nighttime, a little more than twenty-four hours since they had found Y/N in the barn, and Hotch hadn’t bothered to turn on a light as the room darkened. He was staring out the only window in the room, in the same chair he had sat in when Morgan had brought him in there a couple of hours earlier. Prentiss softly shut the door behind her and cautiously moved across the room to Hotch not wanting to startle him. The fact that he was unmoving was concerning to her. Hotch could rarely sit still unless there was a mound of paperwork for him to do.
“Hotch,” she murmured. His only reaction was to move his head slightly towards her then move back to face the window. She sat down in the chair next to him, her body turned sideways so she was facing him. He didn’t look at her as she sat down, and Prentiss became more worried. She paused for a few seconds preparing what she hoped were the right words but Hotch beat her to the punch.
“I don’t understand,” he whispered, still facing forward. “I just met her and for me to feel this strongly for her,” he looked down towards his lap shaking his head in disbelief. “Soulmates aren’t supposed to exist. I have never known anyone that knew they had a soulmate, but as crazy as it sounded, the moment she told me, I knew she was telling the truth. I could feel it in my bones that we are meant to be together,” he paused, taking in a shaky breath. Prentiss moved her hand on top of his where it was resting on his leg. She hated seeing her friend so torn apart. “Then for her to disappear before I could even say anything to her; before I could tell her that I believed her and that I wanted to be with her. Getting your grasp on something you never thought you would have again only for it to be taken away from you,” a flat chuckle slips through his lips. “That’s a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”
He finally turned to meet Prentiss’ gaze and Prentiss was shattered at the hollowness in his eyes. She didn’t understand everything that had happened, but she knew in that moment she would do everything in her power to get you and Hotch back to each other.
After sitting together for a while, Prentiss informed him that the victim did have retractable fangs. “We are going to do everything we can to find her,” Prentiss told him. “The entire team is behind you.”
“Thank you,” Hotch said to her. He straightened his shoulders, steeling himself, before rising to his feet. “Let’s get started then.”
The war room was silent as Sam, Dean and Cas looked for a case as they did most mornings. This morning was slightly different, however. Like clockwork, every five minutes one of them would look down the hall that led to Y/N’s bedroom, pause for a moment with concern etched on their faces before turning back to their computer. It was eight in the morning and Y/N was usually up by then with coffee in hand. The fact that she hadn’t even wondered out to grab coffee or food at all was enough to warrant concern.
After Dean had continued the cycle of looking down the hall, and you hadn’t just magically walked into the room, he had had enough.
“Okay, what is going on with Y/N? It’s,” he looked down at his watch, “8:13 and she still isn’t up. Something has to be wrong.”
Sam sighed in relief, glad that someone had broken the silence, “I was thinking the same thing. She acted weird last night. She didn’t even come back out for food, which is unlike her.”
“Right? I even made her favorite burgers and I know she could smell them from her room.” Dean agreed.
During the short conversation Cas had been staring off toward the hallway, trying to piece together what could be wrong, “I’m sure it was an incredibly stressful ordeal. She might just need time to recoup.” Cas said.
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” Dean paused, piercing his lips. “Just feels like it’s something more than that.”
They all are silent for a few moments considering Dean’s words before Dean rises from his chair not being able to take it anymore. If something was wrong, he wanted to be there for you. You were his sister. “I’m going to go check on her.”
Once Dean gets to your door, he waits a second to see if he can hear any movement inside your room. Upon not hearing anything, he brings he fist up to the door ready to knock before he hesitates. He could be wrong; you could just be sleeping. Yesterday had been a long, stressful day for you. He shakes his head. The feeling in his gut is telling him differently and he has learned over the years that he needed to trust that feeling. So, he knocked on the door.
He was only met with silence. After the longest minute of his life, he knocked again. Still nothing. He knew something wasn’t right. Even if you were sleeping, the knocking would have woken you up. He sighed, before taking another route.
“Hey, Y/N/N,” he kept his tone gently. “Is it okay if I come in?” He heard shuffling on the other side before you spoke, “Yeah.” So quiet he almost didn’t hear it. Opening the door, he noticed that it was still completely dark. Once his eyes adjusted, he saw you sitting up against the headboard, still dressed in what you were wearing the night before and your blanket laying on top of your legs. You were looking down at your hands on your lap, seeming to be avoiding his gaze. He walked around the side of the bed and sat down next to you. He waited, giving you the chance to say something, but you kept your eyes on your hands. Dean knew he would have to prompt you.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked, even though he didn’t know for sure what it was that was bothering you. You shook your head still not meeting his eyes. He gently placed his hand on top of yours and that action pulled your gaze to his. The look he saw in your eyes, nearly brought tears to his own. The hollowness he saw there brought him back all those years ago. Right after you had found out your parents had died, there had been tears and sobs and he had held you through it until you calmed down. After the hysterics were over though the same type of hollowness had seeped in and it had been months of constant trying to get your demeanor to start to brighten. He and Sam had felt so helpless in those months and they wondered if they had done the right thing bringing you along with them because even though they had lost their parents to the supernatural too, that didn’t mean they knew how to help you with your loss. At least on how to deal with it in a healthy way. You had pulled through though and Dean was so grateful they hadn’t given up on you.
Dean moved to take both of your hands in his and squeeze them. “Whatever it is, it will be okay,” he told you. “We will work through it together just like we always do.” Tears pooled in your eyes before they overflowed down your cheeks. You threw yourself at Dean and stared sobbing in his chest. Dean engulfed you in his arms, laying his cheek on top of your head as you let out your pain. Tears slipped down Dean’s cheeks, wetting your hair as he held you, being there for you in the best way he could in that moment.
You both sat there for a long time, even after both of your tears had dried up, Dean rubbing smoothing circle into your back as you tried to level out your breathing again. He didn’t say anything, letting you take your time. Once you had your breathing under control you moved out of his arms and looked up to him. He was your brother, maybe not in blood, but family doesn’t end in blood, as a wise man had once told them. You knew you would feel better if you spoke about your feelings. Holding it all in would never help the situation, so after taking a deep breath you launched into the story of what happened to you in the hours you had been with the FBI.
You told him everything from the moment you had stepped into the barn to when Cas had appeared in the interrogation room to bring you home. You told him about the moment you realized you had found your soulmate and how heart breaking it was to realize in that last moment how much you were hurting him by leaving like you did, even though you knew it was your only option. You were sure you would have been locked up it you hadn’t let Cas lead you back home.
After letting your heart out, Dean sat in silence for a couple of heart beats. He had been quiet through the entire encounter, wanting you to tell your story freely without interruptions but also too shocked to say anything anyway. Of all people, your soulmate had to be an FBI agent. Sam and Dean had been running from the FBI, even before you had joined their family and as much as he hated to admit it, even to himself, he wasn’t sure how that would work. Most FBI agents that they had come across only saw the black and white of what he, his brother and now you and Cas had done. Sure, Hendrickson had come around in the end, but he had needed physical proof for that and look how things had turned out for him in the end.
Dean also understood your fear of losing Aaron because of the life you guys lived. He had witnessed firsthand with Lisa what happened when you tried to mix a normal life with that of a hunter. As Dean looked into your eyes though and saw the sadness that overwhelmed them, he wanted to encourage you to find your happiness. Even if that meant leaving them.
“Being able to be with someone you love is worth any outcome,” he told you. “Experiencing something only to have it taken away is better than never having experienced it at all.”
More tears swam in your eyes as you stared at Dean. Shaking your head, you looked down to your hands on your lap. “I can’t,” you murmured. “I–I wouldn’t survive it if something happened to him.” A sob broke out of your lips before you pressed them firmly together. Dean put his hand over yours and ducked his head to try and catch your eyes. When he did, he gave you a soft smile.
“There isn’t a guarantee that anything would happen to him. Being with him might be the best decision you have ever made,” he told you gently.
“Or it might be the worst,” you said before sighing and harshly wiping your eyes. “When I lost my parents, I didn’t think I would survive it. Those first weeks that I was with you and Sam were the hardest of my life. There were times when I didn’t think I would make it to the other side.” You are looking down at your and Dean’s conjoined hands. You know you would lose the grip you had on yourself if you met his eyes in that moment. “There was an instant connection between Aaron and me. I wish I could put into words how I feel about him, but I don’t even understand it myself. Feeling this way for someone I just met shouldn’t be possible.”
You take a deep breathe steeling yourself before you force your eyes up to Dean’s. You needed him to understand how you felt. “If I were to let him in and grow to love him more than I already do now, to make memories with him, make a life with him and something from our world comes to take that away,” you squeeze Dean’s hand, starting into his eyes so he will understand, “I will not survive it.” you said with conviction.
Dean did his best to hold himself together as you told him how you felt, but he couldn’t hold back the tears that streamed down his face.
“Okay,” he said with a nod and squeeze of your hand. “We won’t push it. Whatever you think is best.”
“Thank you,” you whispered, before Dean pulled you into another hug.
Morgan had warned Garcia what exactly was on Y/N’s confession tape before he sent it over for her to analyze but the warning was not enough. A few tears might have escaped before she fortified herself in the mission to help Hotch find his happiness. Everyone knew the man deserved it.
As it turns out trying to find a ghost is a lot harder than it looks. Make that four of them and Garcia was pulling out all the stops. Even with all her determination, trying to pinpoint the location of even one of the four was proving to be a difficult task, which frustrated her immensely. She had set up triggers for searches of Agent Hotchner online, with the hope that Y/N might decide to look Hotch up. She was keyed into cameras across the country that would notify her if facial recognition came across Y/N, Sam, Dean, or the man that had come through the portal. Castiel? That was their guess but they still weren’t sure. The second one might be slightly illegal, especially without the authorization from people way above her pay grade, which she didn’t have. She pushed that to the back of her mind. This was to help Hotch. It was worth it.
She put out an APB on the car and license plate that the Winchester’s were driving, but she didn’t have high hopes for that avenue. Switching out a license plate was child’s play. There was no way they hadn’t done that yet, especially considering how long they had been running from the law. She had yet to have anything come up from the traps she had set so unfortunately, she was now playing the waiting game. Which she hated.
While she was waiting, she decided to look more into their mystery man so they could have a better idea of who he was, especially considering if their assumption was right, Y/N had said he was an angel. Garcia shook her head, a small smile on her face. Angels, who would have thought?
What she found however, took the smile from her face, and confused her more. She immediately called Morgan.
“Hey baby girl,” Morgan picked up on the first ring. “What do you got for me?”
“Am I on speaker? I need to be on speaker. Everyone has to hear this,” she said urgently.
“Woah– yeah give me one second,” he switched it over and got everyone’s attention. They were currently on the jet heading back to Quantico. “Go ahead, mama.”
“Okay so I unfortunately don’t have anything on the whereabouts of Y/N,” the team noticed Hotch slightly deflate at that, but no one commented, “but I did find something on our mystery man that orchestrated her escape. His name is Jimmy Novak. He was born in 1973 in Pontiac, Illinois where he resided his entire life. He is married to Amelia Novak and they have a daughter named Claire together.” Garcia resided.
“So that wasn’t Castiel, like we thought?” JJ asked.
“It doesn’t look like it, but Jimmy went missing in 2008 and he has never been found, again until now.” Déjà vu. “He ended up being presumed dead 5 years after he went missing and there were no leads. Before you ask, I could not find the location of either Amelia or Claire. Both were filed as missing persons in 2011. Both are also presumed to be dead.”
There was a long pause on the on the other end of the line as the team took in the information. Prentiss was the first to break the silence.
“What does that even mean? This is the second person that we have come across that goes missing, is presumed dead and is actually alive and well living off the grid.”
Reid opened his mouth to reply but he paused and furrowed his brow before he shut his mouth.
“You were going to say something,” Hotch said to Reid having caught him silencing himself. “What was it?”
Reid took a few seconds to organize his thoughts before he told them his theory, “Based on what Garcia found,” Reid started. “It seems like that man wasn’t Castiel but the only people that Y/N had mentioned by name were Castiel, Dean and Sam. She also said that a man was coming back to them and that she was happy about it.”
“She seemed relieved,” Hotch added with a nod.
“See!” Reid continued; his voice sped up at the excitement of untangling the web they had found themselves in. “The probability of someone else being involved seems unlikely. The man that rescued her wasn’t with the Winchester’s at the gas station but assuming the Winchester’s were involved in her rescue, which is extremely plausible, especially when you consider their track record of getting out of sticky situations, the man that was going to them had to also be involved in the rescue since neither Sam nor Dean were the ones that came through the portal to get her. Since there is no logical explanation for the rescue that they conducted, and Y/N said that Castiel was an angel, the only reasonable theory for what happened in the interrogation room is angelic involvement.”
Everyone stared at him for several moments trying to process what he had just said. Garcia broke the silence first.
“So, to clarify, you are saying that even though that man is Jimmy Novak, I’m one hundred percent certain of this, he is also the angel Castiel because of probability and that there isn’t an explanation for the portal thingy?” Garcia questioned.
“Yes,” Reid said with a nod of his head.
“No offense, but that doesn’t make any damn sense,” Morgan said.
“None of this makes sense. You’re right,” Reid agreed. “But we are in completely different territory here and we don’t exactly know what we are dealing with. We just found out that vampires are real. Who’s to say that a man who was born on Earth couldn’t also be an angel?” Reid questioned.
“My head hurts,” JJ said holding her temples.
“So does mine,” Rossi said as he leaned his head back on the seat with his eyes closed.
“I agree with Reid,” Hotch said. “We will go forward as if the man that broke,” a pause, “Y/N out was Castiel until we are proven otherwise.”
The team didn’t all necessarily agree with this, mostly because they couldn’t wrap their heads around the thought of angels being real on top of everything else, but they weren’t going to cross Hotch now. He had the most riding on this investigation and if that were the course he wanted to take they were going to follow him, just like they would with any other case.
When no one contradicted him, Hotch spoke to Garcia, “Did you have anything else for us?”
“No, sir,” she said. “I am still waiting for something to pop up. I haven’t stopped looking though.”
“Good. We will be back soon.” Hotch replied. “Call if anything comes up.”
“Yes, of course,” she said.
“Later, baby girl,” Morgan said with a smirk on his face.
“Bye, chocolate thunder.” Garcia said flirtatiously before hanging up.
The rest of the plane ride was silent as the team processed what they had just discovered. Hotch stared out the window, his brows furrowed, and the team could only imagine what was circling through his mind.
Life went back to normal at the bunker, well as normal as their lives could be. Dean had talked to Sam and Cas about his conversation with you and they promised not to bring it up or push you into a different decision no matter what their opinions were. The three of them wanted you to be happy above all else, but you weren’t currently happy. You were hardly sleeping, not that you told them that but the darkness under your eyes spoke the words you didn’t, and even though you tried as hard as you could to joke around with them like you used to, it wasn’t the same.
There were sometimes when the four of you would be sitting down together to eat or research a case and one of them would look over at you and you would be staring off into space. Your eyes would glaze over, and the men knew who was tangled in your thought. They would look among themselves before one of them would ask you a question to bring you back to the present.
It had been a couple of days since you had come back from nearly being locked up and Sam had found a case. The four of you were sitting in the war room. You were currently sipping your coffee and reading a book of lore, while Dean and Cas were looking for a case along with Sam. He didn’t know how he felt about you going out on a case so soon after what had happened. Not that you couldn’t handle yourself, you were an excellent hunter, but he didn’t want to push you too far too soon, so he decided to text Dean his concerns.
Dean picked up his phone at the chime and his eyes squinted in confusion when he saw Sam’s name. After he read the text, he looked up at Sam and shrugged. He honestly thought it was up to you. Cas noticed the exchange and elbowed Dean from his spot next to him. Dean showed him the text and Cas grabbed the phone from Dean and responded to Sam.
Sam’s phone vibrated a moment later and he read that Cas also thought it should be up to you, which he supposed was fair.
“If you guys have something you want to say and can say it,” you said not look up from your book. The three men’s eye widened at getting caught. Sam cleared his throat, causing you to look up at him before he answered you.
“I found a case.” He said and looked between Dean and Cas before continuing. “We–uh we didn’t know if you were up for one yet or not.”
You looked at him with confusion. “Why wouldn’t I be up for a case?”
“Y/N/N,” Dean said gently. “You have been through a lot lately. It’s okay if you want to sit this one out. We would understand.”
“I’m fine,” you snapped. You didn’t need a break. You could handle it. “Sam, what do you got?”
Sam looked to Dean and Cas before starting, “There have been a string of bodies found in Clarksburg, West Virginia missing their hearts.”
“A classic,” Dean said with a nod and a giddy smile. “Who’s ready to take down a werewolf?”
After everyone was packed and ready to go the four of them headed to the garage where the impala was parked. Sam grabbed your arm to stop you in the hallway as Cas and Dean continued, Dean going on about how they hadn’t hunted a werewolf in what felt like years.
You looked at him in confusion as Sam watched the other two walk around the corner so they were out of ear shot.
“Are you sure you want to go on this hunt?” he asked you his hand still holding your arm.
You sighed, “Sam, I really am fine.”
“I know you think you are, or at least pretending to be but this has been hard for you. We can see it,” Sam told you. “If you want to sit this one out, we will understand.”
You looked down to the ground, biting you lip. “I can’t be here by myself,” you said. “My thoughts will be racing and I’m afraid if I get to wrapped up in them, I will try to go find him.” You shared.
Sam squeezed your arm reassuringly. “Would that really be a bad thing?” he asked.
“I can’t, Sam.” You whispered. “It would be selfish of me to try and bring him into this life. He deserves better.”
“You could always leave the life,” Sam said. You opened your mouth to protest but he stopped you. “I know you think it’s all or nothing. That if you leave, we will never see each other but it doesn’t have to be that way. We will always be family and you would be welcome here any time you pleased.”
You stood in silence for a moment taking in Sam’s suggestion. Once you looked up at him, Sam could see the pain in your eyes. “It’s not just bringing him into this life that bothers me.” You paused and the breath you let out shook. “What if he doesn’t want me?” you questioned, breaking Sam’s heart. “I’m a currently wanted for murder and he is the one hunting me. Even though I didn’t kill that vamp I have killed others. I have screwed up and innocent people have died. He wouldn’t want someone like that.”
Sam hadn’t realized until that moment how much hunting had affected you. You joined the life so young after one of the most horrendous moments in your life. It had taken a long time for you to start to open up to him and his brother so it made some sense that you would be apprehensive about bringing someone else into your life or question if they would want to be there.
“He works for the FBI,” he told you. “I’m sure there are people he wasn’t able to save or bad guys he had to kill to save someone else. He will understand that.” Sam tried to reassure you.
“You can’t know that for sure,” you said. “He might just think I’m a murderer. Or that I’m insane. I told him about the life. All the things that go bump in the night. Most people don’t believe that is real.”
“I think he would,” Sam replied. “Dean told us about how you felt about him. The connection you felt from the moment you saw him. If you feel that, then he must feel it too.” He reasoned. “So, if he believes that you are his soulmate then why wouldn’t he believe everything else too?”
You take in a shaky breath, “If Dean told you about that then you also know why I can’t let him in.” you pull your arm from his hand. “Please respect my wishes and let it go.”
Sam searched your eyes hoping maybe he will see something in your face that will help him to change your mind, but he finds nothing. Your walls are sky high.
“Okay,” Sam sighed. “I won’t bring it up again.”
“Thank you,” You breathed, clearly relieved.
“Come on, let’s go.” You and Sam head towards the garage so the four of you can leave.
After landing in Quantico, the team is immediately stopped by Strauss almost as soon as they walk through the door of the BAU.
“Did you even try to look for Y/N Y/L/N, or did you leave the moment she broke out.” Strauss demanded, her hands on her hips as she glared daggers at Agent Hotchner.
Hotch sighed. He had really hoped he could at least get settled into his office before Strauss demanded answers. It was true they hadn’t looked for you after you had disappeared, but they didn’t have any leads. Which Hotch relayed to Strauss.
“If we thought we had a chance at finding her we would have stayed, but we had nothing to go on. I thought our time was better spent on cases we can actually help with,” he told her.
She stared at Hotch for a few moments, her hands on her hips as if she were trying to decipher if he was telling the truth. Hotch stared back, knowing if he didn’t break eye contact or give an inclining that he knew of something else, she would eventually give in and head back to her office.
With a sigh, she dropped her hands from her hips and looked out into the bullpen before turning back to the group. “If anything comes up with that case, I want you back on it.” she said to Hotch.
“Of course,” he said with a nod. Strauss turned and headed back to her office. The team deflated once her back was turned, the tension disappearing.
“I’m so glad I’m not the one that she demands answers from,” Reid muttered. The team nodded in agreement. Hotch told them all to get settled and work on their reports. They dispersed to their designated desks. Once Hotch got into his office he collapsed on to his desk chair and put his head in his hands. He knew they should have come up with a better story than what they told but really what were they supposed to say?
The story they had woven together for local law enforcement and Strauss was that you had broken out when they were trying to move you to a cell. In normal circumstances they would have stayed to further investigate, to try and find you again, but because the team knew there were no leads and that you could be all the way across the country by now, they decided it was best to go back to Quantico. Hotch had wanted to stay just in case something turned up, but he knew in his gut you were no longer in Bloomington, Indiana. They thought it would be better to continue other cases while working yours on the side, that way no one looked too far into what they were doing.
Hotch scrubbed his hands down his face before looking around his office. He truly hoped that Garcia would find something soon. He needed to find you, like he needed to breathe. He sighed as his thoughts started racing, just like they did every time he started to think about you.
He understood why you had left. You were wanted for murder, even though he knew now that you didn’t do it, and the opportunity had come for you to get out of it. That didn’t change the fact that you had known about him for years before the two of you had met. Sure, you had said that you didn’t want to put that person, him, in danger but he could handle himself in violent situations. His occupation with the FBI had to tell you that now. The discovery of monsters and demons being real was still fresh but that didn’t mean he couldn’t learn. Nor would he want to take you away from the family you had made, so why hadn’t you come to find him was strange to him. Surely, you felt the same pull he did, the same itchiness underneath the skin at the fact that you weren’t together. It couldn’t just be him. Right?
A thought flashed through his mind that caused his chest to burn with anxiety. Maybe you had been disappointed. You finally met the man that you had probably been putting on a pedestal for years and the real thing was a disappointment. Hotch shook his head, running is fingers through his hair. Pulling at it. You were disappointed and that was why you had left, why you hadn’t so much as googled his name to find anything out about him.
He pulled a deep breath into his nose and blew it out of his mouth, trying to calm himself down. It didn’t matter if you were disappointed. Even if he found you and you wanted nothing to do with him, he needed answers to all the questions he had, and he deserved to know if that was truly how you felt.
Hotch pulled his fingers from his hair and took another deep breath. He shoved his thoughts of you to the back of his mind. Compartmentalizing the parts that brought anxiety and started working on his reports, hoping that he was wrong.
The drive from the bunker to Clarksburg, West Virginia is full of theorizing, junk food, and classic rock, like most drives with Team Free Will went. As Sam and Dean bickered about their theories on the case, you sat in the back seat of the impala with Cas. You were staring out the window, watching the trees zoom by and the wind from your open window blowing your hair. Long drives had become your place to think and relax before the four of you spent the next however long, it varied from case to case, fighting the monster of the week.
You had hoped getting on the road again would help you and bring you out of the funk that you had been in since you left Aaron but so far it wasn’t what you hoped. You were currently 8 hours into the drive and all you could think about was the soulmate you had left behind. About what he was doing, where he was, if he was okay. Your mind raced with these thoughts and you were starting to wonder if you had made the right decision. Was pushing him away actually the right thing to do? Maybe Dean and Sam were right, and everything would work out for the best if you went after what you genuinely wanted.
You looked around the car at the four men, who were carrying on with their theories and you remembered all the times you had almost lost them. All the times one of them had died and you had thought this time it would stick. The flash of pain this caused you, fortified you in your decision that you had to stay away from Aaron. The pain it caused you now would be nothing compared to if you lost him for good.
Coming out of your thoughts you started to pay attention to what the men were saying.
“So, get this, I did some more digging, and it turns out that the killings didn’t happen on a full moon,” Sam said. “There has been one killing a week for the past month.”
“Wait,” Dean replied. “So not a werewolf?”
“It could be something we haven’t come across before.” Cas chimed in.
“That’s true. There could be other monsters that eat human hearts that we don’t know about yet.” You answered.
There is a pause where Cas, Dean and Sam all glance over at you surprised to hear you impute. You hadn’t said anything for most of the ride. Dean is the first to shake off his surprise.
“I guess you could be right. Thought we had come across everything at this point.” he said. “Damn, I was excited for a werewolf.” Was muttered under his breath.
“So, if it’s not a werewolf we have to start from scratch. I’ll start looking up anything else that might have a thing for human hearts.” Sam said.
“Cas,” you said. “Do you know of anything that eats human hearts other than werewolves?”
Cas squinted his eyes and thought for moment. “There isn’t anything in creation that I can think of that solely eats human hearts like werewolves do. Maybe it is a creature that normally eats human flesh but has found it prefers the taste of hearts.”
“A flesh-eating monster that has decided that it likes the taste of human hearts,” Dean deadpanned. “That really narrows it down. Thanks, Cas.”
Cas rolled his eyes. “I was just answering Y/N question. It could be something else entirely.”
“Guys, seriously,” Sam said, and you couldn’t help but chuckle at the three of them. You always found their arguing amusing.
“Let’s just play it by ear. Work it like we would any other case. We’ll figure it out.” you told them.
“Fine,” Cas and Dean said. Sam turned to meet your eyes both of you shaking your heads at the other two. You turned back to the window a small smile on your face. Maybe it would be okay.
Aaron was exhausted the next morning when he came into work. Even though he had finally been able to sleep in his own bed and had gotten to see his son, Jack, sleep hadn’t come easy for him that night. After putting Jack down, Aaron had gone to bed, physically and mentally exhausted from the previous days’ events. Once he had finally laid down though sleep wouldn’t come to him. He tossed and turned for most of the night before crashing around 3 am.
Even though he was exhausted, he hid it well and the team didn’t notice how fatigued their boss was when he walked into the room and sat down at the round table. After taking a moment to get settled and everyone to have a seat, Hotch asked Garcia to start.
“My lovely crime stoppers, I first wanted to start and say that I haven’t found anything in the case of our missing friend, but I am working around the clock to find her.”
Hotch gave her a small smile and nod, “Thank you, Garcia.” He truly did appreciate all the effort Garcia had gone through to help him. All there was to do was wait and he hated it, but the only other option was to leave and look for you himself. He had Jack and the team to think about though. So, no matter how much it killed him, he stayed. Waiting.
“Of course, sir.” Garcia nodded before starting in about their new case. “Today’s case is rough. Over the span of four weeks, four bodies have been found in various parts of Clarksburg, West Virginia. Claire Donovan, twenty-four; Amy Scotts, fifty-four; Tony Evans, thirty-three and Charles Davies sixty-one were all found with their hearts ripped out of their chests.”
“Wait,” Morgan interrupted. “Ripped out?”
“Yes,” Garcia said, attentively. “The coroner said it looked as if someone had put their hand through each victims’ chest and pulled their heart out.”
“T–that’s not physically possible,” Reid stuttered out.
“There has to be another explanation for it,” Hotch said. He agreed with Reid, no normal human could do to these victims what it did.
“Could it have been an animal?” Rossi questioned. It was still farfetched, but it was more plausible than a human doing it.”
“The M.E. ruled that out. There was no animal hair found on any of the bodies and they were found in city limits.” Garcia told the team. “The strangeness of the case is why they called us in.”
“There is no other explanation for it though.” JJ stated. “It had to be an animal.”
“What if it wasn’t done by an actual hand?” Prentiss questioned. “A machine could have been used to pull a heart through their chests.”
“Yeah, that is what I thought at first, but then I got to this tidbit of information.” Garcia pointed her remote to the screen and brought a picture up. The item in the picture was about half an inch long. One end was jagged as if it had been broken and it was milky in color. Realization dawned on the team.
“A piece of fingernail broke off in one of the victim’s chests. The DNA came back as 80 percent human. The last 20 percent was unidentifiable. The forensic pathologist on the case ruled it to being an error of the machine.”
Everyone turned towards Hotch, their thoughts now on the same page. Hotch was staring at the screen, at the picture of the fingernail. What were the odds that a case, clearly revolving around something unnatural, would pop up right after they had met you? Right after you had brought them into your world.
Hotch turned towards the team, looking around the table at each member.
“Wheels up in thirty.”
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