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#david rossi
caritobbg11 months ago
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Just watching the 3rd season of Aggretsuko and found this....
I'M DYING 馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀馃槀
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luciilferssa year ago
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鈥旔潚愷潚 饾挄饾拞饾挀饾挀饾拪饾拑饾拲饾拞 饾拕饾拹饾拠饾拠饾拞饾拞 饾拏饾拸饾拝 饾拲饾拏饾挄饾拞-饾拸饾拪饾拡饾拤饾挄 饾挀饾拪饾拝饾拞饾挃
summary: a collection of moments throughout your relationship with one Aaron Hotchner.
pairing: Aaron Hotchner x reader
word count: 28.8k聽
warnings: lots of heavy stuff, lads. mentions of: r*pe and sexual assault, slightly graphic descriptions of violence, hotch gets stabbed, reader gets shot. age gap, SMUT (including dom/sub undertones, oral, floor sex).
notes: takes place from the start of season five to 7x02 i believe? lots of time skips so DONT KILL ME but pls......................come shout about hotch in my askbox.........................i have many thoughts
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You鈥檙e terrified.
At 23 years old, you鈥檙e a valued member of the BAU. On a daily basis, you鈥檙e met with a barrage of gore, carnage, blood 鈥 safe to say, you鈥檙e not exactly weak-stomached. It takes a lot to scare you 鈥 which is why, staring at the blank, emotionless face of an unconscious Aaron Hotchner, you鈥檙e confused as to why you鈥檙e completely petrified.
He isn鈥檛 supposed to be this鈥 still. This vulnerable looking. He鈥檚 always been intimidating 鈥 large and broad and stone-faced, his voice hard and impassive. Even in his moments of amiability, he manages to be unfalteringly reserved. You always made fun of him for it; teased him lightheartedly when he laughed more than usual, cooed over his grin and threatened to poke at the dimples in his cheeks. You think he lets you get away with it because you鈥檙e the youngest. He鈥檚 always had a bit of a soft spot for you.
And now his face is vacant, his body is visibly frail, and the only thing telling you that he鈥檚 alive is the steady beeping of his heart monitor. There鈥檚 a bag of bloody clothing somewhere off to the side 鈥 you鈥檇 barely been able to look at it without feeling a wave of nausea travel up the length of your throat.
He looks almost peaceful 鈥 and that should offer you some respite, but if you know Aaron Hotchner, you know he鈥檚 playing everything in his mind over and over, unconscious or not. Stab after torturous stab. The hopelessness as nobody came to his rescue. The fear as the knife traced his insides.聽
And fuck, you knew something was wrong 鈥 as soon as he didn鈥檛 answer JJ鈥檚 calls, as soon as he didn鈥檛 answer your calls, you knew something was wrong. He always answered your calls, no matter what. You鈥檇 offered to go and check up on him with Prentiss, but Reid needed your help with looking through the possible list of unsubs so you鈥檇 stayed back. And look at what happened. Dropped at some hospital under the wrong name, stabbed nine fucking times.聽
Your nose stings and your eyes feel heavy and you think you鈥檝e had to stop yourself from crying, like, five times. And everyone can tell 鈥 Rossi, with his hand on your shoulder, and Prentiss with the soft, concerned looks she sends across his bed.
They鈥檙e treating you like you鈥檙e made of glass, and it鈥檚 stupid. You鈥檙e not a kid. You鈥檙e not a baby. This entire job is gift-wrapped in loss and sadness, and you knew that walking into it, so鈥
So why are you holding back tears? Why are you getting this antsy, anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach? This red-hot anger that鈥檚 just stewing in your limbs 鈥 you can鈥檛 even think of Foyet without threatening to burst out into angry tears.
It鈥檚 because it鈥檚 Hotch, your brain tells you. Because it鈥檚 him.聽
You don鈥檛 even bother to argue with yourself. You鈥檙e fucking tired, both emotionally and physically 鈥 you鈥檇 gotten less than four hours of sleep on the jet after a case in Canada, and then you were thrown back into another one right here in Virginia, before the metaphorical cherry on top presented itself: being told that Hotch had been attacked by the Boston Reaper, and was being tended to at a nearby hospital.
Your unsub was in shackles and captured with little injury, though Reid had taken a shot to the knee that was getting checked out. The entire past 36 hours have been little more than a fast-paced fever dream, it seems. Once the adrenaline wears off 鈥 once you know Hotch is okay 鈥 you鈥檒l have no qualms about knocking out and shutting the world out for another few hours or so.聽
For now, you simply sit there and let your thoughts read you for filth. So, yeah: maybe you have something for Hotch. You don鈥檛 really want to put a name on it 鈥 he's more than twice your age and recently divorced and he鈥檚 got a kid, for God鈥檚 sake, and all of that is with ignoring the fact that he outranks you professionally.
You鈥檝e all but resigned yourself to the fact that you鈥檝e got no chance 鈥 and it hurts, you won鈥檛 lie, but you hadn鈥檛 expected anything else when you first realised you had a bit of a crush. At this point, you鈥檝e accepted the fact that you鈥檝e stolen the title of annoying-niece-slash-kid-sister in the minds of everyone on the team 鈥 and usually you don鈥檛 mind, y鈥檏now? Derek鈥檚 always prepared to beat up anyone who looks at you wrong, and Prentiss teaches you curse words in other languages at least once a week, and Rossi says he鈥檚 invested in showing you the difference between bad and good wine.聽
(There isn鈥檛 any difference 鈥 you鈥檙e of the opinion that they鈥檙e all bad, but he swears he can change your mind.)
So, yeah. You鈥檙e all too aware that your feelings are unrealistic, but鈥 but that doesn鈥檛 exactly impede your emotions. Doesn鈥檛 stop you from chewing your bottom lip to shreds with nerves 鈥 doesn鈥檛 stop you from having to dig your nails into your thighs to calm your breathing.
You just 鈥 you want him to wake up. He promised that he鈥檇 teach you how to play poker the next time you鈥檙e on the jet.
鈥淜id.鈥 It鈥檚 Rossi, and he leans down to speak quietly to you. 鈥淗e鈥檚 okay. He鈥檒l be up in a while.鈥
You swallow. 鈥淚 鈥 I know. I鈥檓 just鈥斺 A sharp inhale to clear the lump in your throat, and you shake your head, throwing a glance around the room. It鈥檚 too 鈥 it鈥檚 too much. The air is warm and stifling and your palms are beginning to sweat. 鈥淒o you 鈥 do you guys want coffee? Water? I need something to drink.鈥
Nobody jumps to pipe up, so you stand up and head out. You鈥檒l regret acting so erratically later, you think 鈥 it鈥檚 definitely not the most embarrassing thing you鈥檝e done in front of them, but still. You just keep walking.聽
You know the nurses said he鈥檇 be fine, but now you鈥檙e thinking about it. Your brain has latched onto the idea, onto every wrong turn that could have ended up in a coffin instead of a hospital bed. If Foyet had wanted to kill Hotch, he could鈥檝e done it 鈥 and so fucking easily, too. A bullet to the head, to the heart. A knife in the chest, or against his throat. The fact that Hotch鈥檚 life had been so precariously dependent on the ever-changing whims of a psychopath鈥
You grind your teeth and press yourself against the walls of the elevator, gaze flickering between your reflection and the light above the doors 鈥 red eyes, trembling bottom lip; fourth floor, third floor, second floor, first.聽
There鈥檚 some strange comfort in knowing that you look just like any other person here 鈥 that, at first glance, you鈥檙e just another upset face in a hospital.聽
It鈥檚 with a sigh that you step out into the lobby. You need a coffee 鈥 well, vodka, more preferably, but you鈥檒l take whatever you can get; a shitty, burnt-tasting latte will have to do for now. After forking over the dollar-seventy it costs, you meander around the little waiting areas they鈥檝e got 鈥 benches and tables with magazines, large ceiling-to-floor windows that look out onto the highway and parking lots. You don鈥檛 know what you鈥檙e doing, not really. All you know is that being down here is far better than being up there, where you can feel your every move being scrutinized and analyzed.
That鈥檚 how JJ finds you ten minutes later: peering out onto the highway with your knees on your elbows, swirling your unpleasant coffee around in its styrofoam container. You sense her before you see her; she has this gentle, motherly way about her 鈥 not to mention, her shoes have a habit of clicking as loudly as yours.
鈥淵ou鈥檝e been down here a long time,鈥 she begins, taking a seat beside you. 鈥淪omething you wanna talk about, sweetie?鈥
鈥淣othing to talk about.鈥 You shrug, but you can鈥檛 meet her eyes. 鈥淩oom鈥檚 just stuffy.鈥
You hear her sigh. 鈥淿____鈥斺
鈥淚 see the way everyone鈥檚 looking at me,鈥 you interrupt, frowning. 鈥淎nd I 鈥 I know what you all think.鈥
Still as soft as ever, she tilts her head. 鈥淲hat do we think, _____?鈥
Don鈥檛 make me say it. Don鈥檛 make me say it. Don鈥檛 make me say it.聽
鈥淿____鈥?鈥
鈥淭hat I鈥斺 An irritated huff, more at yourself than anything else鈥 鈥淚 like him.鈥
鈥淵ou don鈥檛? He鈥檚 a pretty good boss.鈥
鈥淵ou know what I鈥檓 talking about, JJ.鈥 There鈥檚 a beat of silence, and you move to fill it, 鈥淲hat have you guys theorised? That my dad didn鈥檛 give me enough attention and now I like older guys? That I have overbearing parents and I鈥檓 desperate for approval from my superiors? Humour me, please.鈥
She gives a laugh, shaking her head 鈥 sheets of blonde shining honey-gold in the artificial light. 鈥淲e haven鈥檛. Believe it or not, it鈥檚 none of our business.鈥
鈥淩eally?鈥 You say, unimpressed. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e telling me you haven鈥檛 talked about me? Not even once?鈥
鈥淚鈥檝e... thought about it,鈥 she admits. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e like a little sister to me, _____. I want you to be happy and safe, but that doesn鈥檛 mean you have to explain yourself. Some things, you can鈥檛 control. Some things, they鈥 they just happen."
Your brain is whirring, and you don鈥檛 think it鈥檚 from the caffeine. Maybe you weren鈥檛 far off with your self-assessment of 鈥榙esperate for approval鈥, because your heart feels like it鈥檚 thudding out of your chest. Having a chance with Hotch or not, it still means the world to have someone assure you that you鈥檙e not the scum of the earth for liking your boss.聽
If you weren鈥檛 so emotionally tired, you would鈥檝e told her that. Instead, you nod and shoot her a small smile, before staring down into the lukewarm, muddy depths of your drink. 鈥淭hanks, JJ. You don鈥檛 have to worry about anything, though. Trust me.鈥
She seems much more at ease as she stands, like a weight has been lifted off of her shoulders. She鈥檚 just like that 鈥 in her mind, helping people is what helps her. "Of course. Coming back up?"聽
"I, uh, think I'll stay a while longer," you say. 鈥淭he room鈥檚 too cramped.鈥
鈥淚鈥檒l call you if anything.鈥 JJ pats your shoulder as she stands. 鈥淐ome up when you鈥檙e ready, okay?鈥
You don鈥檛 end up returning of your own volition; you鈥檙e called upstairs to stand watch in Hotch鈥檚 room while the rest run out 鈥 hopefully to stop a slaughter.
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
George Foyet stabs Aaron Hotchner a total of nine times. He recalls in flashes.
He remembers the ceiling staring back at him 鈥 the wrinkles at the corner of Foyet鈥檚 eyes. The bitter, acrid smell of the Reaper鈥檚 breath against his face. The feeling of bile rising in his throat, and the roughness of carpet against his hands.聽
鈥淒o you know how much you have to study the human body to stab yourself repeatedly and not die?鈥 Foyet鈥檚 features had contorted in an imitation of humour. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 want to brag, but I鈥檓 somewhat of an expert.鈥
And the knife had found itself embedded back into Hotch鈥檚 abdomen 鈥 searing, aching pain, and he grits his teeth鈥
As if called forward by his own panic, the scene changes. A happier memory, something to ease his pain 鈥 and the contrast between this memory and the last jolts him.聽
It鈥檚 your first day at the BAU. You show up on a Monday morning 鈥 bright-eyed and bushy tailed, spine ramrod straight and legs crossed at the ankles. You鈥檙e sitting in one of the seats in his office, and when he spies you through the half-open blinds his steps stutter to a stop.聽
He was aware that he was getting a new agent 鈥 vaguely. He just hadn鈥檛 expected you to be so鈥
鈥淵ounger than I expected,鈥 comes a voice from beside him. David鈥檚 got a cup of coffee in hand and a ballpoint pen in the other, his eyes zeroed in on the figure sitting pretty a few feet away. 鈥淵ou think she can handle it?鈥
Well, if the commendations from your superiors over at CJIS were anything to go by he鈥檇 say you could, and then some. With the way they鈥檇 sung your praises he鈥檇 imagined someone a bit older, more weathered 鈥 he hadn鈥檛 exactly had time to pour over your files like he usually would. He鈥檇 simply taken Strauss鈥 word that the new addition would be a worthy asset to the team.
Hotch eyes the curve of your nose, the slant of your jaw. The way you hold yourself prim and proper. You鈥檙e wearing a tailored pencil skirt 鈥 black 鈥 and a sweater 鈥 tucked in, baby pink. Sleeves folded neatly up to your elbows. Glossy lips and jet-black eyelashes 鈥 it鈥檚 obvious you take pride in your appearance. Professional, yet fresh. Open-minded. Sweet.
鈥淥nly time will tell,鈥 he says finally. And with that, he leaves Rossi in the bullpen, ascending the stairs that eventually lead to his office. He strides in with purpose, immediately gaining your attention, and only stops to put his briefcase by his desk. He holds out a hand. 鈥淎aron Hotchner, or Hotch. You must be鈥斺
You shoot up from your seat, smiling brightly. 鈥淿____. From鈥斺
鈥淐JIS, yes.鈥 He clears his throat 鈥 tries not to let his eyes linger on the way you push a strand of hair behind your ear. 鈥淗ave you had the chance to meet the team?鈥
鈥淥h, um, not yet.鈥 He catches a whiff of something 鈥 geranium, maybe? Rose? Something feminine, sweet. 鈥淚 was just told to wait here, and鈥斺
鈥淐ome on, I鈥檒l introduce you.鈥 He rounds his desk just as quickly as he had approached it, hand hovering somewhere near your back to urge you away. The bullpen is as bustling as it usually is, but he鈥檚 never had any problem with clearing a path. 鈥淭here鈥檚, uh, Prentiss, Morgan鈥︹
He points towards Spencer, who鈥檚 perked up at the sight of a new face鈥 鈥淩eid, Rossi鈥 Garcia鈥檚 in her office, and 鈥 JJ should be around here somewhere鈥︹
鈥淣ice to meet you,鈥 you chirp, sounding only slightly overwhelmed as you鈥檙e surrounded by your new teammates 鈥 but you take it all in stride, he notices, shaking every hand and meeting everyone鈥檚 eyes. 鈥淚鈥檓 looking forward to working with you all.鈥
鈥淟ooks like Reid isn鈥檛 the youngest anymore,鈥 Morgan jests, grinning. 鈥淵ou must鈥檝e sped through your training, huh?鈥
At that, you turn bashful 鈥 clasp your hands together and smile coyly. 鈥淚 鈥 I guess.鈥
鈥淎y, no space for modesty here!鈥澛
It鈥檚 nice to see you鈥檙e already getting settled in, joking and laughing with the team. It鈥檒l only help your adjustment to working with them 鈥 God knows the job isn鈥檛 easy, and not everyone鈥檚 suited for it, but it鈥檚 easier when you鈥檝e got people who care about you around. He鈥 knows. From personal experience.
鈥淧rentiss will show you to your desk,鈥 Hotch announces a moment later 鈥 realising quite suddenly that he鈥檚 spending maybe a little too much time on a newbie鈥檚 induction, especially given the size of the pile of work folders that鈥檝e made themselves comfortable on his desk. 鈥淣eed anything, my door鈥檚 open.鈥
He spares you a rare smile 鈥 and when you smile back, almost painfully sweet, he swears his sudden breathlessness is from the tie wrapped around his neck.
And then Foyet is there again.
鈥淒o you wanna see my scars?鈥 Hotch remembers that, too: how Foyet had shed his jacket, his shirt, and proudly stood above him 鈥 chest mottled with puckered, grotesque scars. Sixty-seven of them, and all self-inflicted.聽
鈥淵ours are gonna look just the same.鈥
And then the white of his ceiling fades away to the white of the jet鈥檚 interior, and he鈥檚 spun away again.
It's the night after your introduction, and you鈥檙e already being deployed on your first BAU case. One briefing in the conference room and another aboard the jet, before you鈥檙e all left to your own devices.聽
There are certain post and pre-assignment rituals that the team carry out, whether or not they realise it. Spencer reads as many books as he can 鈥 usually psychology or philosophy, Hotch has noticed; Morgan and Rossi go immediately to their headphones 鈥 Rossi鈥檚 Italian opera is so loud that you can hear it if you sit close enough. JJ reads the case files over and over and over, almost until her eyes hurt. Prentiss 鈥 if the flight鈥檚 short enough 鈥 just stares out of the window, thinking. If you ask her what about, she鈥檒l always say nothing.
The rituals are foregone in the blackness of 3 AM. Everyone is in some state of sleep 鈥 except for him.聽
Except for you.
You鈥檝e never been on a jet before, Hotch thinks. You fidget in your seat near the back of the jet 鈥 one moment, your hands clasped together in your lap. The next, your fingers tightening around your armrests. At one point your shoes start tapping against the floor, your lips pursing as you stare out of the window, and鈥
He鈥檚 paying far too much attention to your mannerisms, he realises 鈥 but the crime scene photos have begun to melt into each other. Normally he wouldn鈥檛 humour any conversation, either, but before he can stop himself鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檝e never been on a jet before.鈥
It鈥檚 not a question 鈥 it鈥檚 a statement, and your head shoots up at it.聽
鈥淪orry?鈥
鈥淭apping your foot, fidgeting鈥 You鈥檝e never been on a jet before.鈥
鈥淎h.鈥 You swallow visibly, a sheepish smile tugging at your pretty lips. 鈥淣ervous tics. That obvious?鈥
鈥淲ell, in a plane of profilers鈥︹
鈥淪tupid question,鈥 you fill in. That same smile is still on your lips, and as you glance down at your lap, Hotch finds himself just鈥 looking at you. 3 AM is always hazy, fuzzy in a way that makes everything seem like a dream, and the interior of the jet glows a golden yellow, now 鈥 it suits you. You look warm. Sweet as spun sugar.
Hotch inhales sharply, and looks away.
He鈥檚... tired. His thoughts have no filter 鈥 they just go and go and go, no matter how unprofessional they are. He clings to the sudden clarity that settles over his brain, straightening up unconsciously in his seat.
鈥淚鈥檝e never been on a jet before,鈥 you admit again. 鈥淚t鈥檚 just 鈥 it鈥檚 weird, not seeing any other people 鈥 being so confined like this.鈥
He offers a tiny smile (and he hasn鈥檛 smiled so much at work in such a short time, he realises 鈥 he鈥檚 suddenly glad that the rest of the team are asleep). 鈥淵ou get used to it.鈥澛
鈥淚鈥檒l try.鈥 Your bottom lip finds itself tugged between your teeth. The conversation has halted in mid-air, but you make no move to move your eyes away 鈥 neither does he. Time has a funny way of warping itself, in in-between moments like this 鈥 he鈥檚 not sure whether it鈥檚 10 seconds or 10 minutes before a sharp snore from Reid snaps you both out of your reverie.
A strange feeling of guilt wells up in his chest. He doesn鈥檛 have time to unpack it 鈥 clears his throat instead, sparing you a half-smile. 鈥淵ou should get some sleep. You鈥檒l need it.鈥
鈥淚 will.鈥 There鈥檚 a lilting in your voice 鈥 a hesitance 鈥 that says you want to say something else, but you seem to think better of it. 鈥淣ight, Hotch.鈥
鈥淣ight.鈥
Hotch doesn鈥檛 sleep a wink.
The dream 鈥 memory 鈥 fades to black, and his senses begin to trickle back one by one: the dryness of the air, the hum of breathing and talking. The ache all over his body, but more pointedly in his torso 鈥 the sterile, sharp scent of disinfectant. His eyes flicker open to face stark white 鈥 and then a face swims into his field of vision.
Prentiss. He swallows, turning his head to the side. JJ, Morgan, Rossi. Reid鈥檚 missing. So are you.
鈥淲here am I?鈥 He says 鈥 croaks. His throat is almost painfully dry, and he can barely keep his eyes open for longer than a few seconds without the light burning him.
鈥淚n the hospital,鈥 Rossi鈥檚 voice comes from his left.
鈥淗ow did I get here?鈥
Half-delirious from pain or not, he sees the deep frown marring Morgan鈥檚 features. 鈥淔oyet drove you."
鈥淐an you remember what happened?鈥 Prentiss asks gently.
A black mask. A gun pointed at his head. Foyet鈥檚 voice, low and droning.
鈥淵ou should have made a deal.鈥
Hotch inhales, and ignores the question. 鈥淲hat did he take?鈥
鈥淲hat 鈥 what do you mean?鈥
鈥淭he reaper always takes something from his victims.鈥 He knows that more than he knows himself. Foyet has haunted him since the 90s 鈥 this case has haunted him since then. He knows every detail like the back of his hand; kept the ins and outs locked in the back of his brain, ready for use if need be. "Do we know what he took?"聽
"There was a page missing from your day planner. In the address section, the b's."聽
He knows, then. He knows what Foyet's after 鈥 what he's always been after: Hotch's destruction, physical and emotional. Haley's maiden name is Brooks, and despite his efforts to keep her information hidden, keep her details under her maiden name instead of his, Foyet鈥
Foyet just鈥 seems to know exactly how his brain works.聽
He tells them this 鈥 that Haley's maiden name is Brooks, not the rest. He's still pushing through the fog of pain hanging over his head, voice barely above a mutter. 鈥淗e also leaves something with his victims.鈥
Prentiss stammers for a second. 鈥淚 鈥 I looked over your whole apartment. Nothing felt out of place鈥斺
鈥淲here are my clothes?鈥
She takes the bag in the corner of the room in her hands 鈥 empties it frantically onto his bed. There鈥檚 his shirt, covered in blood. His pants, covered in blood. Morgan鈥檚 stolen credentials tucked into an envelope, and when Hotch moves to open them with shaky hands鈥
A picture of Haley and Jack that hadn鈥檛 been there before.
He keeps it in his hands, even as the team clears out in a hurry. He stares at the round, happy face of his baby boy and the beaming visage of the woman he鈥檇 once pledged himself to, and he feels dread fill every inch of him.
鈥淵ou should have made a deal.鈥 Foyet鈥檚 voice had come from behind him, back at the apartment 鈥 a bullet had flown right past his face and into the wall behind him, and yet Aaron hadn鈥檛 moved one bit. Not one little flinch.
鈥淚s this part of my profile?鈥 There鈥檇 been amusement in George鈥檚 voice. 鈥淵ou can't show me fear?鈥
鈥淚f you don't see fear, maybe it's because I'm not afraid of you.鈥
鈥淵ou said that like you actually meant it.鈥 A pause. 鈥淗ow's my friend Agent Morgan?鈥
He鈥檇 been trying to rile him up. Get him angry, frustrated. Remind Hotch of how he鈥檇 hurt his team, hurt Morgan. Goad his lack of fear 鈥 and he was scared. He might not have shown it, but he was. Staring down the barrel of Foyet鈥檚 gun, knowing that his life could very well be over in a quick squeeze of a trigger, knowing that he鈥檇 left so much undone and so much unsaid鈥
鈥淎re you here to kill me, or are you here to play games?鈥
鈥淵ou tell me. Enlighten me about my behavior.鈥 And he鈥檇 wrenched off the mask on his face and Hotch had surged forward, fist meeting the Reaper鈥檚 jaw鈥
鈥淎gent Hotchner. Can you hear me?鈥 Beeping. Rapid, steady beeping, and the memory dissipates. His vision is blurry, dull, but he recognizes the face of his doctor above him. He almost hoped that it was you.
鈥淎gent Hotchner?鈥
鈥淚'm鈥 okay.鈥 But he can barely speak 鈥 feels the energy just seep from him with each passing second, his hearing and his sight gradually clouding once more. The last thing he registers before he passes out again is the doctor instructing him to keep breathing.
鈥淗otch!鈥 Your voice is a melodic croon 鈥 you don鈥檛 even bother with a knock before you push open the door to his office.聽
It鈥檚 the end of the night; your skirt鈥檚 rumpled and your sweater鈥檚 creased and you give him this cute, droopy grin when you lean against his door frame. There鈥檚 a pencil shoved through the precarious bun in your hair, and you鈥檝e swapped your regular work heels for the more comfortable flats you keep hidden in your desk. 鈥淲e鈥檙e going out. Like, the entire unit, Hotch.鈥
He raises a brow, looking up from the reports on his desk, and he can鈥檛 help but return your beam. 鈥淥ut? Are you sure that鈥檚 the best idea?鈥 鈥淲hat鈥檚 that supposed to mean?鈥 And oh, then the pouting starts. You fold your arms and drag your feet as you walk deeper into his office, only stopping when you鈥檝e gotten close enough to drop yourself into a chair.
鈥淚t means you need rest. You鈥檝e been working hard.鈥 You have. The entire team has, but you in particular. It hasn鈥檛 gone unnoticed 鈥 and it鈥檚 not because he finds himself watching you closer than the rest of the team, going out of his way to keep you protected. It鈥檚 just... clear to see. This case, for whatever reason, meant more to you than the others. You worked yourself to the bone.
You hum in agreement. 鈥淲hich means I deserve a drink, right?鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 not quite sure that that鈥檚 what it means鈥斺
鈥淲ell, the rest of the team agrees with me,鈥 you say, smug. 鈥淎nd they want you to come too!鈥
鈥淚 can鈥檛.鈥 He holds up the folder currently under his scrutiny. 鈥淚鈥檝e got work to do.鈥
鈥淥h, come on,鈥 you whine, 鈥淭hey can be done tomorrow. I鈥檒l even take half.鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 not doing that.鈥
鈥淗otch. Just this once 鈥 I swear, just this once. Please?鈥 And as if that wasn鈥檛 enough, you jut out your bottom lip and bat your lashes real pretty, swaying your shoulders side to side as if it would sway his mind easier. (It does.) 鈥淐鈥檓on. Pretty please? Don鈥檛 be an old man, Aaron Hotchner. I know you鈥檝e still got some partying left in you.鈥
He sighs, fingertips coming up to rub at the bridge of his nose. 鈥淚f you put this much effort into your reports鈥︹
鈥淲e both know that reading my reports is the highlight of your week,鈥 you tease. Still, you tilt your head expectantly, a glimmer of hope in your eyes, and he knows he can鈥檛 say no.
A heavy breath. 鈥...Half.鈥
Your victorious grin is almost rewarding enough for him to forget the annoyance he鈥檒l surely feel tomorrow night when he鈥檚 stuck inside with even more work. 鈥淒eal. C鈥檓on, everyone鈥檚 waiting!鈥
Again, the scene changes 鈥 it鈥檚 like watching a movie.聽
The four walls of Hotch鈥檚 office melt into the loud, thrumming atmosphere of a local bar 鈥 music playing, lights flickering, the team huddled into a booth that鈥檚 way stickier than any of them would like if they were sober. He鈥檚 had a beer or two 鈥 Prentiss and Garcia are competing for the title of 鈥榤ost out of it鈥, it seems, with the amount of shot glasses lined up between them.
鈥淣ext round!鈥 Garcia cheers 鈥 and then Morgan鈥檚 agreeing, and JJ, and Prentiss, and soon the entire table is pushing for another. 鈥淿___, my sweet darling鈥斺
鈥淚 know, I know,鈥 you say, huffing in that faux-annoyed way that you do, squirming out from your place between Reid and JJ. 鈥淵oungest orders.鈥
鈥淢ake sure to bring your ID!鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 get ID鈥檇, thank you very much!鈥 And you stroll away.
He watches you. Maybe the two beers are going to his head, despite his infamous reputation as a heavyweight 鈥 all he knows is that his eyes follow as you slip through the crowds, sending beaming grins to some people you know from the office, and鈥
You don鈥檛 know, do you? You don鈥檛 know how you make people feel. How you make every person you lay eyes on feel like they鈥檙e the only one you see; like they鈥檙e one in a million. Important. You capture their attention with just one look and you keep it, too. You never go away 鈥 you burrow yourself into his brain and make a place for yourself there and鈥
Their brains. That鈥檚 what he meant.
Even now, he watches as some cocky desk-jockey you鈥檇 briefly greeted follows you to the bar 鈥 leans against it nonchalantly, his lips moving all the while. He likes you, that much is obvious; from the way he attempts to appear calm and collected, to the buttons undone on his shirt 鈥 and then he鈥檚 moving closer, a hand touching your waist, and Hotch鈥
鈥淎aron?鈥
Hotch peers to the left at the knowing eyes of David Rossi. Too knowing, it seems: they glance down to where Hotch is clutching his empty glass, much too tightly. 鈥淗m?鈥
Dave nods towards you, that mischievous little smile still on his face. 鈥淭he kid. She might need help.鈥
鈥淲hat?鈥
鈥淵鈥檏now, carrying all those drinks back.鈥
For a fraction of a moment, Hotch wonders just what Dave鈥檚 motivations are. What he鈥檚 picking up on between you and Hotch 鈥 what exactly he鈥檚 insinuating. Then the moment passes, and he realises that there鈥檚 nothing to pick up on. Your relationship is completely platonic 鈥 anything else would be utterly inappropriate.
鈥淥h. Uh, yeah 鈥 I鈥檒l go鈥斺 So without a second thought 鈥 without another ounce of criticism or skepticism 鈥 he slides out of the booth after you. Rossi and Reid are the only two to notice 鈥 the former for obvious reasons, the latter because he can鈥檛 help but take notice of his surroundings. It鈥檚 nothing to worry about 鈥 nothing strange about a man helping his coworker out, right?
He advances through the crowd of chattering people, and he can鈥檛 help but realise how different you both move. You seem to slip through places, meandering and twisting, but Hotch 鈥 something about him has people unconsciously clearing away, forming paths. Something like that wouldn鈥檛 mean much to the average person, but for someone whose entire career is psychology-based鈥
鈥淣eed help?鈥 He鈥檚 fully aware as he steps up beside you that he鈥檚 interrupting the man 鈥 boy 鈥 trying to chat you up at your other side. It doesn鈥檛 matter; his words are faltering at the first sight of Hotch, and when you peer over your shoulder to him, the boy seems to realise that he doesn鈥檛 stand a chance. You don鈥檛 even realise when he walks away, Hotch notices.聽
鈥淭hank you,鈥 you gush. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know how I expected to carry eight drinks by myself.鈥
鈥淪orry for interrupting.鈥
鈥淲hat?鈥
鈥淭hat man. He was talking to you.鈥
鈥淲as he?鈥 You shrug, scooping up half of the drinks and turning. 鈥淥ops.鈥
In hindsight, Hotch should鈥檝e known then, in that moment, that he was in over his head: when the fact that you didn鈥檛 care about some guy chatting you up pleased him. When he felt some sort of smugness 鈥 territoriality, almost 鈥 over the fact that you so easily abandoned somebody else to talk to him. When, upon returning to the booth with the drinks, you slip in beside him instead of across from him, pressed so close he can feel the heat of you.
He鈥檚 not the type of person to be in denial 鈥 that kinda starts to go away when you make psychology your career. He's almost too self-aware.聽
He just 鈥 it confuses him. Makes him feel ashamed. Not only because you鈥檙e you, but because he鈥檚 him, and he鈥檚 just separated from Haley and 鈥 and he still loves her 鈥 maybe not the same way he used to when they were young and new, but it鈥檚 still love. It鈥檚 still there. It was the job that separated them, not loss of love.
He can鈥檛 love two people at the same time. That鈥檚 not fair. That鈥檚 not right 鈥 even if he can feel it in his chest as you giggle with Garcia, even if it pulls at the corner of his lips when you try and push Reid to go and do karaoke.聽
He never does end up making you take half of his reports the next day.
A sudden beeping wrenches him from his thoughts 鈥 high-pitched, almost melodical. It comes again. And again. And again, and again, and again, and Hotch realises quite suddenly that he鈥檚 not there anymore. Not in that rowdy bar, not in his office, and sure as hell not his apartment.
The hospital. He was dropped at the hospital. Foyet knows where Haley and Jack live 鈥 the team are going to check up on them. They caught their unsub before he could do any more damage. He鈥檚 fine. Everything is fine. Everything will be fine.聽
鈥淗ey, grumpy.鈥 It comes softly from somewhere to his left, and he recognizes it immediately. If nothing else, Hotch would be able to pick your voice out from a crowd. He turns his head, having gained enough strength over the last few hours to move with relative ease, and there you are. Smiling sweetly and sitting pretty even in the shitty fluorescent lights of his hospital room.
(Hotch wonders, vaguely, if they鈥檇 put him on any medication since the last time he鈥檇 woken up. Usually he鈥檚 got a finer filter on his thoughts.)
鈥淗aley? Jack?鈥 He asks 鈥 feels his stomach turn at the thought of them being anything other than safe, but your eyes are kind. And red. Is he imagining that? No, he鈥檚 not 鈥 your eyes are red. And now that he鈥檚 looking for it, your voice is strained 鈥 your shoulders are hunched forwards defensively, too. He frowns. You鈥檝e been crying.
鈥淒on鈥檛 worry,鈥 you say softly, 鈥淭he team鈥檚 got them. They鈥檙e fine. They're on their way here.鈥
The ball of nerves settles. Unknots. And even though he knows they鈥檙e nowhere near, yet, he still finds himself peering out of the open door of his room, watching as a nurse passes by. The hospital鈥檚 decently empty, especially with the entire team gone 鈥 well, almost the entire team. You鈥檇 stayed.
A large part of him is glad 鈥 he can鈥檛 protect himself in this state. That鈥檚 not to say he expects the Boston Reaper to come barrelling into his hospital room 鈥 he wants Hotch鈥檚 end to come slow and painful, and this, here, doesn鈥檛 satisfy Foyet鈥檚 need for grandeur. Still, he appreciates the fact that somebody鈥檚 here. He appreciates the fact that it鈥檚 you.聽
Maybe he should tell you that; a brush with death really puts your own morality into perspective, after all, and the things that would鈥檝e been left unsaid if he鈥檇 died are almost overwhelming, but鈥
But no. He can鈥檛. Some things, he reminds himself, are better left unsaid 鈥 and this wouldn鈥檛 be the time nor place for what he would have to say, anyway.
鈥淵ou weren鈥檛 there when I woke up earlier.鈥
鈥淥h, yeah.鈥 You shift. 鈥淯h 鈥 needed a drink. By the time I was finished, everyone was leaving and you were out like a light, so鈥︹
He clears his throat. 鈥淎nd you chose to wait here with me instead of joining them?鈥澛
鈥淲hat can I say?鈥 You scoot your chair closer to his bedside. 鈥淚 stayed for the riveting conversation, of course.鈥
He can only manage a huff of a laugh 鈥 understanding (not for the first time) why you respond to brat as much as your actual name 鈥 and you give him another one of those smiles. One of those bright, beaming ones 鈥 the ones that have the younger male agents around the office trying to get your number when you鈥檙e off-duty. It fades, though, when his own smile gives way to a pained wince 鈥 the reality of the situation sinks in like a stone in one鈥檚 stomach, and silence settles over the room once more.
That is, until his mind returns to the scratchiness of your voice. 鈥淵ou鈥檝e been crying. Why?鈥
You shake your head as if in disbelief 鈥 run a hand over your forehead and slouch in your seat, and Hotch observes that you鈥檙e taking it harder than he鈥檇 expected 鈥 that's another thing about you, though. You feel everything so deeply.
Sweet, teary-eyed girl.聽
You鈥檙e not just her superior, he has to remind himself. You know you鈥檙e not. You鈥檝e always been something more.
And therein lies the problem: Hotch isn鈥檛 stupid. From the first day you arrived he鈥檚 felt some sort of protectiveness over you 鈥 and in the same way, you latched onto Hotch in a way that nobody else ever has. You didn鈥檛 mind his prickly attitude or his 鈥榙rill sergeant鈥 humor; you鈥檙e not afraid to poke fun and tease him and make jokes, and you go out of your way to invite him to places even when you know he won鈥檛 go. You鈥檝e got this sweetness about you that isn鈥檛 just a product of your youth 鈥 a need to include everyone and make everyone feel welcome, while still not being overbearingly friendly.
You have some sort of fondness for him. Whether it鈥檚 completely platonic or bordering on something else is none of his business 鈥 as long as it doesn鈥檛 impede your ability to work or jeopardise your relationship with the team, it鈥檚 no harm. It鈥檒l pass, probably.
(Maybe that鈥檚 what he鈥檚 been telling himself, too.)
鈥淗otch, you 鈥 you got stabbed.鈥
鈥淎nd I鈥檓 alive,鈥 he reminds you, not unkind.
"I know." Your subsequent inhale is sharp, almost as if to stave off another wave of tears, and Hotch 鈥 despite it all, despite himself 鈥 smiles. A small smile, barely noticeable, but a smile nonetheless. "Glad to see I鈥檓 entertaining you.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 not that,鈥 he says immediately 鈥 and when you raise a brow, clearly urging him on, he shakes his head. 鈥...Thank you. For caring.鈥
鈥淭he rest of the team care too, y鈥檏now鈥斺
鈥淏ut not in the way that you do.鈥
You still. You stare. For a moment the entire room pauses, the entire hospital pauses. Hotch watches you back, and some 鈥 some understanding seems to pass between you, and your entire face contorts in an image of badly-veiled embarrassment. It鈥檚 endearing.
鈥淲hat can I say.鈥 You cough, shrugging. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e鈥 a good boss.鈥
And the moment passes, and that鈥檚 that.
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The morning Hotch returns to work after his leave, the team is tense. Hell, you鈥檙e tense. It鈥檚 practically been radio silence on his end for the entire month: all of your texts answered with one word answers, every offer to help politely declined, and, well鈥
You鈥檙e a tad angry. Just a bit. Because Hotch implied that he knew how you felt and then he ignored you for a whole 34 days, and you鈥檙e well aware that this isn鈥檛 about you, but 鈥 but the least he could do is tell you what鈥檚 going on! That鈥檚 all you鈥檙e asking for. And then, anger aside, you鈥檝e worried yourself to death, too: wondering whether a month is really enough time to get over the fact that he was attacked in his own home, or that his family has gone into hiding, or that the Reaper is still out there.聽
But you know Hotch, and you know he wouldn鈥檛 be able to stay away from working for any longer. This job is everything to him, and you know that being able to do it to the best of his ability is largely dependent on his focus鈥β
You just鈥 you know you wouldn鈥檛 exactly have your head in the game if you鈥檇 been stabbed. Nine times. And you know he passed the evaluation and was cleared, too, but he knows perfectly how to bypass every question. He wrote them, for God鈥檚 sake.
His mental health is important, is what you鈥檙e trying to say. And you think he鈥檚 always put his job above it, and you wish he鈥檇 just 鈥 just put himself first for once. At least before, he had Haley to look after him and bring him up for air, so to speak, but now鈥 He鈥檚 alone, essentially. A part of you wants to step up, wants to fill the vacancy, but you know it鈥檚 not your place.聽
Garcia鈥檚 place, maybe. She made Hotch cookies. Get well cookies. Spencer had pouted about the fact that he couldn鈥檛 eat them for, like, an hour straight, and then he鈥檇 made sure to point out that Hotch would hate any special treatment 鈥 or bringing any attention to his absence at all鈥, so...
You sigh, watching as Morgan gets up from his desk yet again. He鈥檚 been walking past Hotch鈥檚 empty office for the last hour. You were tempted to remind him that secretly peering into his office wasn鈥檛 going to get him there any faster, but you were just as bad. Every time the door opened your head would shoot up, hoping that your grumpy unit chief would be the one walking through the door.
The only person who鈥檚 been cool and collected, you think, is Rossi. You wish you shared his ability to remove emotion from every situation 鈥 maybe then you wouldn鈥檛 be anxiously tapping your foot against the floor at the speed of light, words on your computer fuzzing and flopping about in your brain.
As it turns out, Hotch doesn鈥檛 enter the office 鈥 he only rejoins the team when you鈥檙e all congregated on the jet, going over the details of the newest case in Kentucky. You hear a shuffling at the entrance, and Prentiss and Hotch walk in, and鈥
You don鈥檛 know what you were expecting. He looks just like he always did; serious, frowny, handsome. He doesn鈥檛 even seem to mind that the entire team is staring at him 鈥 just strolls in with a good morning.
鈥淕ood to see you,鈥 Rossi says, and you notice that he鈥檚 watching him carefully. Morgan, too 鈥 wary and calculating. You find your own brow furrowing at that; he鈥檚 only returned, and already he鈥檚 subject to scrutiny? They didn鈥檛 even give him ten minutes.
鈥淵ou too.鈥 He passes by JJ and Morgan, heading towards his usual seat 鈥 the one beside you.
鈥淵ou look well, sir,鈥 Garcia says kindly from the screen of the laptop.聽
鈥淭hank you.鈥 His gaze finds Reid, and the crutches at his side. 鈥淗ow long do you have those for?鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 not really sure,鈥 Reid replies, chewing the inside of his cheek, 鈥淲elcome back.鈥
鈥淭hank you.鈥 He finally reaches his seat 鈥 him taking the aisle spot, you by the window 鈥 and exhales. You restrain a deep breath of your own: the heat of him beside you and the smell of his cologne are things that you didn鈥檛 know that you missed until now 鈥 but you daren鈥檛 tell him that. You know how his train of thought works: now that the formalities and the 鈥榞lad you鈥檙e back鈥檚 are out of the way, he can focus on the case and forget about himself 鈥 so you鈥檒l save your words for when you鈥檙e alone, you think.
(Especially considering the looks that JJ is shooting you from across the table.)
鈥淎ny other attacks?鈥
As if a spell has been broken, the team snaps into work mode, and any talk of Hotch鈥檚 month-long absence is left in the dust 鈥 theories discussed and gameplans made. You find yourself deep in thought for most of the flight, and even when you, Morgan and Hotch head to the crime scene, the car ride is almost completely silent.
You don鈥檛 even know what you鈥檙e thinking about, really. It鈥檚 just strange, you suppose, having to reacclimate yourself to being around Hotch again. How are you supposed to just go back to normal after how much his life has been shaken? His wife and son are in protective custody. His entire apartment has probably been marred with the memory of Foyet 鈥 and the man himself is still out there. Still waiting for the right moment to finish the job. You know that鈥檚 haunting Hotch, too.
It seems insensitive, is all, to pretend like nothing鈥檚 changed 鈥 to act like nothing鈥檚 happened 鈥 but then you鈥檙e a chronic overthinker, as well. It鈥檚 probably all in your head, you think, pulling a pair of gloves over your hands. Nobody else seems to care.聽
Case in point: you and Hotch begin to inspect the body of a victim of a stabbing spree while Morgan talks to a witness, working together with the ease that you usually do. You鈥檝e bent down to examine the gash in the man鈥檚 neck, and Hotch takes a look at the surroundings 鈥 the spray of blood and the way some products had fallen off the shelves around him, trying to inject himself into the unsub鈥檚 mind.聽
At some point he stops: folds his arms and leans against on the shelves, watching as you search the body for any other injuries.
鈥淭here鈥檚 something on your mind.鈥
鈥淚s there?鈥 You muse, pulling your gloves taut on your hands.聽
鈥淵ou鈥檙e quieter than usual.鈥
You risk a glance up at him. His eyes are on the body, expertly tracing the length of it with a critical mind, but you have no doubt that he鈥檚 also somehow focused on you. You shrug, turning back to your task.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know,鈥 you say, voice softer than you intend it to be. 鈥淚鈥檓 just glad you鈥檙e back, grumpy. We all are, I mean, but鈥斺
When you look back up, then, you find that he鈥檚 already gazing back at you 鈥 though it鈥檚 not with the same level of tenderness he鈥檇 treated the others with. For a moment, even, you鈥檇 say he鈥檚 come out of work mode; his frown lightens and his lips aren鈥檛 pulled quite so tight and he might鈥檝e even shown you the ghost of a smile.聽
鈥淚 missed you, is what I鈥檓 trying to say,鈥 you finish 鈥 quite lamely, if you do say so yourself, so you shift back to the work in front of you. Your cheeks feel hot, and you know your embarrassment shows in your eyes, so you鈥檙e glad to put him behind you.聽
You don鈥檛 need to be looking at him to know that he鈥檚 hiding a smile. 鈥...Thank you, _____. I missed you too.鈥
And Hotch has never been exactly forthcoming about his emotions 鈥 not like this, at least. Not with the team, and not with you, save for that one moment in his hospital room all those weeks ago 鈥 and it completely catches you off guard. Like, heart-thudding-in-your-chest off guard. Hands-going-shaky off guard.聽
You鈥檙e endlessly grateful when Morgan calls you both over to exchange information 鈥 Hotch is back to business, and that鈥檚 that.
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
The jet back from Kentucky is tense.
Long story short, Hotch isn鈥檛 as stable as he was claiming to be. He鈥檚鈥 erratic. Too daring. He completely put his life in danger, ignored everyone鈥檚 warnings and 鈥 he just strode into a house with the armed unsub alone, despite the fact that the profile specifically said that the unsub was unstable and volatile.
And yeah, he鈥檇 gotten out fine. The kid that was taken hostage was released, but the unsub鈥檚 father 鈥 who鈥檇 been the endgame, so to speak 鈥 was dead. Shot dead. You heard the gunshots 鈥 gunshots, because there were three of them, all fired in rapid succession 鈥 and the house was stormed within seconds by armed units. Your heart was in your throat, your limbs shaky with this sudden onslaught of dread because you really, really thought for a heart-stopping moment that he was dead.
And now, here you sit, opposite Hotch instead of beside him. You鈥檇 taken the single seat instead of the double, and he鈥檇 noticed the second he stepped onto the plane. You know you don鈥檛 have any reason, in reality, to be angry at him. He made a decision as the SSA of this unit and you saved the hostage. The unsub鈥檚 father was a real piece of shit, too, so you don鈥檛 feel any guilt whatsoever about that.
Maybe you鈥檙e just angry that he seems to have no concern for himself 鈥 and you get why that is, really. You can鈥檛 imagine how it must feel to have your family taken away from you, but putting his life at risk isn鈥檛 helping anything. Not his family, not himself, and it鈥檚 sure as hell not benefitting your blood pressure, either.
After a game of cards with Prentiss 鈥 which he won, unsurprisingly 鈥 he turns to you. Reid鈥檚 sleeping, Rossi is listening to music. JJ and Prentiss are talking quietly between each other at the back of the plane, and Morgan鈥檚 far into dreamland, too. Nobody is paying attention to you, which is why:
鈥淚 know you鈥檙e bothered about what I did today.鈥
You look away from the window, and meet his eyes with a frown. You could go two ways with this: the path of truth, or the path of subordination. More often than not, it鈥檚 the truth that Hotch wants to hear 鈥 you鈥檙e just not sure if you have it in you to tell him, especially considering that your first instinct when confronted with emotion is usually to cry.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e the boss,鈥 you say finally, shrugging. 鈥淲hat you say goes.鈥
His eyes narrow on you, more thoughtful than vindictive. He leans forward just slightly, and you find yourself mirroring him unconsciously even though you鈥檝e made it clear that you鈥檙e uninterested in divulging more. That鈥檚 just how you are with him, you guess.聽
鈥淚f you have a problem with what I did today,鈥 he says quietly, 鈥淚鈥檇 rather you told me. This team works best on honesty and鈥斺
鈥淭his team works best when you鈥檙e alive,鈥 you interrupt. Your voice is low but you still find yourself glancing briefly over his shoulder, worried that even the slightest inclination of anger in you could alert them 鈥 worried that, as your eyes begin to sting, they鈥檇 accidentally look over and catch on. 鈥淎nd I don鈥檛 know, Hotch, it seems like you鈥檙e trying very hard to be the exact opposite.鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檙e upset,鈥 he acknowledges, 鈥淎nd that鈥檚 understandable. You鈥檙e鈥斺
Frustrated tears spring to action, but you鈥檙e quick to push them down. 鈥淒on鈥檛 try and profile me, Hotch. Do not try and profile me.鈥澛
He realises then, you think, that above all, you want him to listen 鈥 not to try and console you just for the sake of putting it behind you, but to actually listen.
鈥淚 know you鈥檙e going through a lot,鈥 you begin, 鈥渁nd I鈥檓 sorry for that, Hotch, I really am. You deserve better, okay? Foyet being in the wind and your family being in protective custody 鈥 it鈥檚 hard. But being reckless and 鈥 and putting your life on the line鈥?鈥
Your voice breaks before you can stop it, and you push yourself back into your chair, as if on reflex. God, it should be embarrassing 鈥 really, it should 鈥 but Hotch has long since passed the title of boss. You can鈥檛 bring yourself to feel more than a slight sense of apprehension 鈥 but as you sit back and fold your arms, pouting away your tears, you imagine you鈥檙e radiating a very vivid image of a spoiled child.
鈥淚t鈥檚 not smart,鈥 you finish, 鈥淢y opinion doesn鈥檛 matter. It鈥檚 just 鈥 it鈥檚 not smart.鈥
Hotch exhales, and matches your posture 鈥 spine flush against the back of his seat, arms folded. It strikes you, then, that he looks completely exhausted. The bags under his eyes seem deeper, darker; his mouth downturned and earnest. He鈥檚 tired, and your heart aches for him, but you need him to understand. During the entire time you鈥檝e known him, you鈥檝e never dared speak so far out of line 鈥 jokes are one thing, but this is another.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e right.鈥 After a few seconds of pause, he sighs again and meets your eyes. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e right. What I did was dangerous and I let my own irritation get the best of me.鈥
Oh. Well, you hadn鈥檛 thought it would be quite so easy鈥
鈥淭hese days, not everyone is willing to be completely forthcoming with me,鈥 he admits, continuing on. 鈥淎nd I鈥︹ His gaze flickers downwards, only momentarily 鈥 a nervous tell, you realise, 鈥淔or the record, I value your opinion greatly. I need you to know that.鈥
It feels like the air鈥檚 been stolen from your lungs 鈥 dramatic, maybe, but true. Maybe it鈥檚 because he鈥檚 the SSA, maybe it鈥檚 because he鈥檚 him, but to know that you鈥檙e held in such high regard 鈥 and to know that Hotch is very clearly bashful about it 鈥 makes your stomach flip. It鈥檚 not like you don鈥檛 know your worth on the team (you鈥檙e indispensable, just like everyone else), but to hear it is an entirely different thing. Especially from Hotch.
You hazard a nod, eyes wide. 鈥淎ny 鈥 any time.鈥
A smile makes itself known on his lips 鈥 and not for the first time, you lament over the fact that he doesn鈥檛 do it more often. He really, truly is devastatingly handsome. Even more so when he鈥檚 happy.
He picks back up the cards he鈥檇 been playing earlier, and begins to shuffle them with practiced ease. One is placed in front of you 鈥 then another, and another, and another, until five cards lay face-down in front of you. He steals the bag of pretzels from Prentiss's table, too, and divides them between you two.聽
鈥淲hat are you doing?鈥 You ask quietly, watching.
He looks up, quirking a brow inquisitively. 鈥淚 told you once that I鈥檇 teach you how to play poker, didn鈥檛 I?鈥
Your mouth opens, closes, opens, closes. Finally, you settle on a small, bashful smile 鈥 your fondness written as plain on your face as it is on his. 鈥...Yeah.鈥
鈥淲ell, then. Listen carefully鈥︹
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10:23 PM. The work day technically ended two hours and 23 minutes ago, but Hotch hasn鈥檛 left his office. Most of the lights in the bullpen are off, save for the desk lamps of the few workers who hadn鈥檛 yet gone. He supposes he鈥檒l be here until midnight, maybe 鈥 not because he鈥檚 got a particularly large workload, but because, well鈥
Here鈥檚 better than there. That apartment, big and empty and lifeless. He鈥檚 been averse to returning home early ever since the divorce 鈥 it鈥檚 nothing like the house he鈥檇 shared with Haley. No toy cars littering the floor, no Jack babbling and laughing. It鈥檚 always cold, too, no matter how much he turns up the thermostat, so he鈥檚 elected to stay in his office for as long as possible and work ahead.
(It鈥檚 better than wallowing in his own loneliness, right?)
Somewhere around the 11:49 PM mark, he finds himself standing and stretching, hoping for a cup of coffee from the break room. As he steps out of his office and down the stairs into the bullpen, he tries not to think about how his health definitely isn鈥檛 benefiting from his numerous late nights 鈥 Haley used to scold him for working late, for drinking too much coffee. It鈥檚 ironic that that鈥檚 what he鈥檚 doing to fill his now-vacant nights.
His eyes almost unconsciously drift towards what should be your empty desk as he heads towards the break room 鈥 and his movements stutter to a stop.聽
You鈥檙e still here. Hair removed from its earlier updo and your sweater slung across the back of your chair. From the looks of it, you鈥檝e removed your contacts, too 鈥 thick frames resting on the bridge of your nose. The light from your lamp is soft and golden, and he鈥檚 reminded of that first night 鈥 the jet. How you鈥檇 grinned, nervous and sweet鈥
Hotch shakes those thoughts from his head. You look exhausted.聽
鈥淲hat are you still doing here?鈥 Hotch asks quietly, tapping his fingers gently against the desk. 鈥淚t鈥檚 late.鈥澛
You jolt, as if only realising that you had company then, and he restrains a fond smile. Your eyes are big and blinking as you peer up at him, a yawn caught somewhere in your throat. 鈥淥h, I鈥斺 Your hand fumbles with one of the many manila folders strewn in front of you鈥 鈥淯h, reports. Lots and lots of reports.鈥
He eyes the pile, before returning his eyes to you. 鈥淵ou should get more sleep, _____.鈥
鈥淥h, you鈥檙e one to talk, grumpy,鈥 you mutter, pushing your chair out. 鈥淵ou鈥檝e stayed late every night for the past three weeks.鈥
Without prompting, both of you begin towards the break room. You鈥檙e dragging your feet and fighting back yawns every few seconds, and Hotch bites back another hypocritical piece of advice 鈥 something like, coffee won鈥檛 help you in the long run or the amount of caffeine you drink is worrying. He supposes it鈥檚 like that for everyone, isn鈥檛 it? The wellbeing of someone you care about is much different to your own 鈥 if he had his way, he鈥檇 have you home and well-fed and asleep, most importantly. As fate would have it, though:
鈥淭his coffee is terrible,鈥 you mumble, but you pour yourself a large cup anyways, and one for him, too. You always take it with too much creamer and too much sugar, a contrast to how he takes it black. 鈥淚鈥檓 sure there鈥檚 room in the budget for better coffee.鈥
He huffs a laugh, following you as you move to take a seat at one of the tables nearby 鈥 and as he takes a seat opposite you, he realises just how intimate the entire ordeal is. It鈥檚 almost completely quiet, the lighting low and gentle. You鈥檙e sitting so close that he can鈥檛 move without bumping knees.
And for a while, it鈥檚 just silent. You sip your coffees and sometimes you鈥檒l nudge his knee playfully, the tiredness slowly yet surely dimming in you 鈥 not diminishing completely, but lying dormant. He has no doubt that in an hour or two it鈥檒l come back full force, and he makes a note to himself to make sure you鈥檙e out of the office by then.
鈥淗ow鈥檚 Jack?鈥 You ask, then, out of the blue. 鈥淎-and Haley?鈥
鈥淥h, uh 鈥 they鈥檙e fine. Adjusting, y鈥檏now.鈥 The reminder jars him. For a moment, he鈥檇鈥 not forgotten about them, exactly, but for the first time in a long time, worry for them wasn鈥檛 at the forefront of his mind. There鈥檇 been some reprieve, for a minute.聽
鈥淕ood. That鈥檚鈥 good. I mean, it鈥檚 terrible that they鈥檙e鈥斺
Another short, quiet chuckle 鈥 more of a breath than a laugh, really. 鈥淚 know what you meant, _____.鈥
鈥...Right.鈥 You take another sip of your too-sweet coffee, and he watches a bead of it linger on your lips. It鈥檚 quickly swept up by your tongue, though, and he averts his eyes quickly, clearing his throat. 鈥淲e鈥檒l 鈥 we鈥檒l get him soon, Hotch.鈥
And it鈥檚 cute, really. He doesn鈥檛 mean that in a demeaning, patronising way. It鈥檚 just鈥 sweet. Sweet that no matter what, you always go out of your way to make people feel better, to reassure those around you, even when you can鈥檛 guarantee what you鈥檙e saying 鈥 but even still, he can see that fierceness in your eyes. You fully, really believe with all your heart that Foyet will end up in shackles, and Hotch thinks that if the Reaper鈥檚 fate was determined by the amount of dedication you鈥檝e got in you, he would鈥檝e been locked away a long time ago. If he was a braver man 鈥 a more emotional man, maybe, less cautious 鈥 he would鈥檝e told you that.
Instead: 鈥淚 know we will.鈥 And you share a smile over the lips of your disposable cups 鈥 almost secretive, like you both know that it means much more than it looks on the surface.
When Hotch returns home that night, it doesn鈥檛 seem quite so cold.
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It鈥檚 not often that the team spend their days off together. Most of the time their own families get the full brunt of their attention, what with a majority of the team having spouses or children of their own.聽
Hotch isn鈥檛 exactly sure when you started spending so much time over at his house. After Haley passed鈥 things were hard, that goes without saying. He simultaneously withdrew himself from everybody except his son and threw himself into his work, and just like the time when he鈥檇 been crazy with finding Foyet, you broke him out of it.聽
鈥淚t鈥檚 hard,鈥 you鈥檇 said. 鈥淚 know it hurts, and you鈥檝e got all this pressure and responsibility on you, and I get it. But your son needs you with your head straight, Hotch. We鈥檙e here for you 鈥 it鈥檚 not a crime to lean on your family when you need it.鈥
That was around the time you started coming around. He was struggling with balancing his work and taking care of Jack full time, even with the help of Haley鈥檚 sister. He tried 鈥 really, he did 鈥 to leave work at the door, to dedicate time at home 100% to his son, but sometimes he couldn鈥檛 help it.聽
That鈥檚 when you鈥檇 end up coming to work with pre-made dinners for him and Jack 鈥 for the days where the days ran into each other 鈥 or arriving at his house on days off to keep them company. At first it was strange, to say the least: everything felt weird. He wasn鈥檛 in his suit and you weren鈥檛 in your work clothes, either, and his home was much different to the office. He had half a mind to put a stop to it, but it 鈥 it helped, it really did. And you seemed so willing and happy to help, even if he insisted he didn鈥檛 need it.
You鈥檇 play with Jack while Hotch finished up some work in his home office; on weekends you鈥檇 both take Jack away for a couple of hours to the local playground and for some ice cream, or a movie, or the zoo 鈥 and he鈥檚 gotten used to it, really, but he can鈥檛 help but wonder why鈥
鈥淗ey, Jack!鈥 It鈥檚 the first thing that comes out of your mouth the second the door is opened. 鈥淲hat鈥檚 up, buddy?鈥
鈥擨t鈥檚 a Saturday. The first free day in three weeks, and you鈥檙e here instead of with 鈥 he doesn鈥檛 know, friends your age? A date? A yellow sundress falls slightly just above your knees and you toe off a pair of strappy sandals at the door, letting your canvas bag fall gently to the ground seconds later. You send Hotch a grin before bypassing him completely in favor of scooping up his son.
鈥淲e鈥檙e making cookies!鈥 Jack cheers, winding his arms around your neck. 鈥淎nd 鈥 and daddy said we can have some before dinner!鈥
鈥淐ookies? Oh, wow. I didn鈥檛 know you guys were such pros!鈥澛
As you meander your way through the house, he tries not to think about how comfortable you seem in his house, his space. You move through it like it鈥檚 an extension of your own home 鈥 you fit in like you were made to, stepping over a toy truck and setting Jack down on the kitchen island. The makings of a cookie dough are splayed out beside him 鈥 flour and sugar and butter and eggs and way too many chocolate chips, but Jack insisted.聽
You peer up over Jack鈥檚 shoulder at Hotch. 鈥淕ot much paperwork to do?鈥
鈥淯h, no, surprisingly.鈥 He drifts closer until he鈥檚 standing right beside you, reaching out to ruffle his son鈥檚 hair. 鈥淟ike Jack said: cookies are the priority.鈥
鈥淲ell, mine are always hit or miss.鈥 You puff out a laugh, before looking up at him through your eyelashes. 鈥淪o I guess you鈥檒l have to lead, huh?鈥
(He pretends that that doesn鈥檛 steal the breath out of him.)
So the three of you set off to make cookies, and it鈥檚 as much of a chaotic affair as one could guess: flour on the countertops and an egg that had fallen to the floor with one wayward flap of Jack鈥檚 arm 鈥 not to mention the numerous chocolate chips that had mysteriously gone missing. Soon, though, the cookies are in the oven, Jack鈥檚 washing himself up in the bathroom, and you鈥檙e both finishing cleaning up the mess that had followed.
He doesn鈥檛 know why he says it 鈥 scrubbing some hardened sugar from the table while you dry off the dishes. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 have to do this, you know.鈥
He doesn鈥檛 say it rudely 鈥 he hopes you can tell. He loves that you鈥檙e here, he appreciates it greatly, but he doesn鈥檛 want you to feel obligated to spend time with your boss while you could be doing鈥 doing whatever it is girls your age do in your free time.
鈥淲hat?鈥 You say, glancing over your shoulder.
鈥淭his鈥斺 He waves a hand around鈥 鈥淏aking cookies and playing with Jack and 鈥 I appreciate it, but you don鈥檛 have to. I鈥檓 sure you鈥檝e got better things to be doing 鈥 friends and鈥 dates鈥︹
Immediately, he winces. Dates. Why did he say dates? It makes him seem like he鈥檚 fishing for information 鈥 which he isn鈥檛, of course, because there鈥檚 no reason, in reality, for him to be interested in your dating life鈥
鈥淚 like being here with you,鈥 you say gently. You turn, leaning back against the sink, a half-dry bowl in your hand. 鈥淚 mean 鈥 both of you. Jack鈥檚 sweet, and, well 鈥 guys my age are pigs, so no dates there.鈥
He pretends that his chest doesn鈥檛 relax with relief.聽
鈥淲ell,鈥 he says instead, 鈥淭hank you. From Jack, and from me.鈥
You shrug, hiding a coy smile, and reach over to playfully punch his arm. 鈥淐鈥檓on, Hotch. You know I鈥檇 do it any time.鈥
Hotch also pretends that when you leave, he doesn鈥檛 miss your presence quite as much as he actually does. It鈥檚 harder than it looks.
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Charles Nelson is a textbook sexual psychopath. He craves power, manipulation, control. He鈥檚 incapable of guilt or remorse, and views women as items for him to possess and dominate. He鈥檚 also a narcissist 鈥 believes he鈥檚 better and smarter, that the entire world somehow revolves around him. He鈥檚 a genius, too. As in, actual genius. Spencer Reid level genius, almost, but not quite 鈥 so unfortunately he technically is smarter than most.聽
From his background 鈥 unearthed by the ever so talented Penelope Garcia 鈥 it was found that he studied psychology, human behaviour, criminology. Hell, he鈥檇 even attended some behavioural analysis lectures funded by the Bureau 鈥 and it would be ironic, laughable, even, if he wasn鈥檛 a serial killer.
He鈥檇 killed twelve women between the ages of 20-25 鈥 across different races, body types, backgrounds. The only similarity is their personalities: good girls 鈥 innocent, sweet. High achievers. He gets off on seeing the light drain from their eyes, and just looking at him makes you feel cold all over.
Hotch is the one most likely to break him, the one most likely to find out where the remainder of the bodies are. His natural dominance should make Nelson uneasy; he鈥檚 stoic and impassive, and very clearly thinks lowly of the man in front of him.聽
He barely spares him a second glance as he flicks through the hefty file that had been gathered, features unimpressed and callous. Nelson just watches on, a look of amusement on his face. The thick, brown beard that covers his jaw does nothing to mask his smile.
鈥淭welve women,鈥 Hotch begins, voice crackling through the intercom. 鈥淣ine bodies found. All mutilated, sexually abused, hair cut. Buried in various spots in the Shenandoah National Park.鈥 He leans back in his chair, 鈥淵ou鈥檒l give us the location of the other three.鈥
Nelson鈥檚 eyes turn towards the mirror 鈥 and for a moment, you swear he鈥檚 looking right at you. He鈥檚 quick to turn away, though, and back towards Hotch.聽
鈥淲ill I?鈥 He muses. 鈥淵ou鈥檒l find that I鈥檓 not in the habit of doing what I don鈥檛 want to.鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 guessing that鈥檚 why your mother abandoned you when you were 8,鈥 Hotch continues smoothly. 鈥淪he was young, wasn鈥檛 she? Only 24 at the time. She was raped and left with a child she didn't want when she was 16.鈥
鈥淢y mother has nothing to do with this.鈥
鈥淏ut she does. You鈥檝e attended the lectures, haven鈥檛 you? You鈥檙e projecting your hatred for your mother onto women who remind you of her, and then you鈥檙e murdering and sexually abusing them.鈥 No room for discussion. It鈥檚 matter-of-fact, harsh.
There鈥檚 a few moments of silence in which the tension reaches astronomical heights. Neither of them looks away from the other, and it remains like that for the next thirty seconds or so.
Charles makes a sound, then 鈥 a little inquisitive sort of hum, and he leans forward鈥 鈥淚 wonder, SSA Hotchner, if you鈥檙e quite so stern with her.鈥
You exchange befuddled looks with Rossi.
鈥淲hat is he talking about?鈥 You whisper, combing your brain for what he could be referencing.
Rossi shakes his head, equally as unsure. 鈥淜eep listening.鈥
Hotch only raises a brow, but you can tell he鈥檚 equally as confused. 鈥淓xcuse me?鈥
鈥淭he girl.鈥 Nelson smiles, almost giddy, and you shake your head. What is he playing at?
鈥淵ou鈥檒l have to be more descriptive,鈥 Hotch replies 鈥 glaring, now, and hard.聽
鈥淚 saw her,鈥 the murderer continues, not a care in the world, 鈥渨hen you arrested me that night. I pointed my gun at her and you stood right in front of it 鈥 pushed her behind you and told me to drop it.鈥
Your blood runs cold. He鈥檚 鈥 he鈥檚 talking about you.聽
Rossi seems to catch on 鈥 and then Morgan, and Prentiss, and the officer in charge of the investigation. You can only look between them, mouth opening and closing.
鈥淭hat interested me. I found myself watching, then. Always watching鈥 You checked up on her often when she was being examined for injuries 鈥 I saw from the back of the squad car. When she was released, you guided her towards her ride with a hand on her lower back, as if to protect her.鈥
You 鈥 you remember everything he鈥檚 recalling, but 鈥 but that鈥檚 just how you and Hotch are. Hearing it repeated back, in this context, with these insinuations, throws you for a loop.聽
(And it鈥檚 not because you haven鈥檛 thought about it yourself, or because you haven鈥檛 wished for it, but because you really didn鈥檛 know it could be taken that way by, uh鈥 outside parties.)
鈥淭he body moves unconsciously when dealing with those we love,鈥 Nelson goes on, smile widening slyly. 鈥淲e aim to protect them. I鈥檓 surprised your teammates haven鈥檛 picked up on it.鈥
鈥淲e need to get him out of there,鈥 Morgan interrupts, halfway between worry and pure, unadulterated confusion. 鈥淗e鈥檚 gonna lose his head.鈥
鈥淣o,鈥 Rossi says. 鈥淜eep him in. Just wait.鈥
Hotch finally speaks. 鈥淭extbook narcissism. Your control has been taken away from you and you鈥檙e lashing out.鈥
鈥淢aybe.鈥 Nelson nods, seemingly unbothered. 鈥淵es, maybe. But my eyes don鈥檛 fail me.鈥澛
He inhales, then, as if in thought.聽
鈥淪he鈥檚 pretty,鈥 he admits, and you almost feel sick to your stomach. 鈥淒oe-eyed. Kind hearted, I could tell. I鈥檓 only sorry I didn鈥檛 see her outside of this investigation. She would鈥檝e been the perfect addition to my鈥斺
鈥淟et鈥檚 be clear.鈥 Hotch looks furious. Furious, and yet, still with some semblance of control. The hardness in his eyes is enough to stop Charles in his tracks, and you think for a second that the man the press have dubbed the Shenandoah Slasher realises he鈥檚 made a mistake by bringing you up. Hell, even you鈥檙e nervous now. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e going to prison for life. You won鈥檛 be getting out, and from what I've heard, they're not too fond of women-killers there. You鈥檒l be lucky if you鈥檙e alive within the first two weeks.鈥
Silence, again. The staring continues, though Charles looks like he鈥檚 breaking 鈥 his jaw clenches, visible even through his beard, and you know that the reality of it all has just settled in. Still, he manages to compose himself; wears a self-righteous kind of smile.
鈥淚鈥檒l tell you where they are,鈥 he decides. 鈥淏ut I want to talk to her.鈥
There鈥檚 a beat 鈥 a pause. And then Hotch gets up, and storms out.
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
鈥淣o.鈥
鈥淗otch,鈥 Rossi says carefully.. 鈥淭hink about this.鈥
鈥淚 have, and I鈥檓 saying no.鈥
鈥淚 can do it!鈥 You interject, frowning. 鈥淚 go in there, he gives us the locations.鈥
鈥淎 man like that doesn鈥檛 want to give them up 鈥 they鈥檙e the only thing he has over us. He鈥檒l just get off on the fact that he has the power to order us around.鈥
This is all the last 3 minutes have been: Hotch refusing to let you in, the rest of you trying to convince him otherwise. Nobody has addressed what Nelson had been trying to insinuate 鈥 Hotch seems completely adamant on ignoring it, actually, so you follow suit.
鈥淲e have to at least try!鈥 You argue back. 鈥淭hose families deserve closure. If we have a chance to do that鈥︹
鈥淪he鈥檚 right,鈥 says Morgan, looking over to Hotch. 鈥淵ou know that.鈥
Hotch鈥檚 eyes flicker between the two of you, and you can tell that his brain is going at 100 miles per hour. His lips are pursed and his scowl is deep, but you all know that this is your only shot. Emotions and personal slights will have to wait.
Finally, he exhales, gesturing you towards him with a tilt of his head. 鈥淔ine.鈥
You leave the observation room and emerge into the hallway, positive affirmations repeating over and over again in your head, but before you can enter the interrogation room, Hotch stops you.聽
鈥淒on鈥檛 show him fear,鈥 he tells you sternly. 鈥淏ut don鈥檛 act in a way that he might skew as insulting. His ego needs to constantly be boosted, especially by beautiful young women, or else he鈥檒l lash out.鈥
You nod obediently, brain stuttering and lingering on beautiful young women鈥
鈥淥ur goal is to find the burial site,鈥 he reminds you. 鈥淏ut if you feel like you need to leave, at any point, tell me. Is that understood?鈥
鈥淵es. O-of course.鈥 And then, added hurriedly: 鈥淪ir. Yes, sir.鈥
Hotch inhales, eyes trailing carefully over your face before his face softens. 鈥淵ou鈥檒l be fine. I鈥檒l be right there with you.鈥
That鈥檚 one of the only reasons you鈥檝e got enough courage to go in, in all honesty. Knowing that Hotch would never let anything happen to you.
鈥淚 know,鈥 you assure him.聽
We aim to protect our loved ones. I鈥檓 surprised your teammates haven鈥檛 picked up on it.聽
鈥淥kay. Let鈥檚 go.鈥
The door is pushed open, and Hotch strides in first. There鈥檚 no real reaction from Charles until you walk in afterwards 鈥 he coos, pushing his chair out just far enough to begin to stand. 鈥淭here she is鈥!鈥
鈥淪it down,鈥 Hotch orders, barely waiting for the words to leave his mouth. You notice that he takes the chair closest to him 鈥 that he angles himself mostly towards him, too, like he鈥檚 prepared to slot himself between you both if need be. As much as you hate to admit it, Nelson鈥檚 words repeat themselves in your head yet again.
鈥淣ow, what鈥檚 your name?鈥 He presses, smiling widely.
You risk a glance at Hotch, who nods encouragingly. 鈥淢y name鈥檚 _____.鈥
鈥淥h. I hope I鈥檓 not being sleazy when I say it鈥檚 a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.鈥澛
You fight a wince.
鈥淭hank you for agreeing to talk,鈥 you only say. 鈥淚t means a lot to me that the families of these women can get some closure.鈥
Act as if you鈥檙e indebted to him. As if you鈥檙e asking for his permission 鈥 giving him some pretense of power and control, but ultimately allowing you to draw the conversation towards a confession.
鈥淚 bet,鈥 he replies. He tilts his head inquisitively, then. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 the type of girl you are, aren鈥檛 you? So kind鈥 So compassionate. I like girls like you.鈥
And it鈥檚 the way he says it, really 鈥 the way you can just tell that he鈥檚 imagining you in the place of all those other girls 鈥 that makes you freeze. You remember them all, every single photo: every perverse twisting gash on their bodies, the rough and brutish choppiness of their cut hair. You鈥檇 consoled the grieving families. You鈥檇 promised to find their daughters.聽
What if that had been you? What if 鈥 just like Nelson had said 鈥 he saw you outside of this investigation? Walking down the street, doing daily errands. All it would take is a moment of weakness 鈥 a moment of distraction. You'd be buried down in Shenandoah with the rest of them.聽
There's a nudge against your foot. Gentle enough to go completely unnoticed by the man sitting opposite you, but hard enough to rile you from your thoughts. From the corner of your eye you can see that Hotch is still staring straight ahead, pen in his hands, but you know what that little jab had meant: are you okay? Need a time out?
You swallow, and power through your own discomfort. 鈥淵ou promised that you would tell us where you buried the girls.鈥
鈥淎nd I will, in due time.鈥 He looks much too comfortable sitting there in that metal seat 鈥 slouched as if it鈥檚 his throne. How can he just 鈥 just relax like that? As if he hasn鈥檛 done what he has, as if there aren鈥檛 twelve families mourning because of him. That鈥檚 the difference between people like him and people like you, you suppose. 鈥淏ut I want to talk.鈥
It鈥檚 annoyance that makes itself known, now. It鈥檚 always irritated you how you have to entertain them, how you have to tiptoe around their desires. It鈥檚 necessary, you know 鈥 you have to play your cards right, worm your way into a confession or a slip up or something. Even so, you find yourself having to school your features.聽
鈥淥kay,鈥 you say carefully. 鈥淲hat do you want to talk about?鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 quite interested in your relationship with Agent Hotchner.鈥
You take a slow, deep inhale, trying not to instinctively glance over at the Agent in question.聽
鈥淩eally?鈥 You nod as if you understand, though in reality you鈥檙e trying extremely hard to not feel devastatingly mortified. As if having a serial killer call out your relationship with your boss in front of your colleagues isn鈥檛 bad enough, now your reactions can be scrutinised, too! Perfect. Just perfect. 鈥淲hat 鈥 what interests you?鈥
鈥淵ou were recruited at a very young age.鈥 Your question has just been鈥 ignored. He moves on, and you get the feeling that he鈥檚 speaking at you, not with you. 鈥淭wenty鈥 one, was it?鈥
You grit your teeth. 鈥...Yes.鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檝e been a member for three years, now. Almost four. I suppose when you鈥檙e young like that, it鈥檚 only natural to latch onto figures of authority.鈥澛
He鈥檚 speaking to you like you鈥檙e a child. Like you鈥檙e an idiot. Like you weren鈥檛 recruited at 21, like you鈥檙e not a profiler, like you鈥檙e some ditzy girl pulled off of the street. He鈥檚 trying to get under your skin, and it鈥檚 working, and you hate it.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e obviously very close,鈥 the man muses. 鈥淎nd I鈥檓 sure you were listening to my earlier ramblings. What are your thoughts?鈥
Is he seriously trying to do this right now? You鈥檙e caught in a limbo between fiery anger and terrible, terrible embarrassment. You can only imagine how Hotch is feeling, and that only has your temper catching even more.
鈥淢y thoughts.鈥
鈥淵es.鈥
鈥淢y thoughts are that you鈥檙e all too aware that you鈥檙e about to be shipped off for the rest of your life, and you鈥檙e doing everything in your power to give yourself a few extra hours on the outside,鈥 you say sharply. 鈥淢y relationship with SSA Hotchner is that of any work relationship. Are you satisfied?鈥
A second passes.
And then another.
And another.
A too-broad smile spreads over the weathered, ogreish face of Charles Nelson.聽
鈥淵ou鈥檙e defensive,鈥 he notes. 鈥淢any profilers would take that as a sign of dishonesty.鈥澛
You only stare, jaw hard. You鈥檇 just played right into his hands, and you feel your heart stutter in your chest. You鈥檙e such an鈥
鈥淏eside the Shenandoah River,鈥 he speaks, then, a sickeningly victorious look on his face. 鈥淭wenty or so minutes off of Route 340. I advise you to bring some scent hounds.鈥
God, you鈥檇 like to just 鈥 just launch yourself across this table and claw his beady eyes out with your nails. There鈥檚 a reason they鈥檙e over regulation length鈥
鈥淲e鈥檙e done here,鈥 Hotch asserts 鈥 hand tapping the nape of your neck to rouse you from the anger-fueled staring contest you鈥檇 gotten yourself into. 鈥淎gent.鈥
When Hotch stands, he makes sure you stand too. He guides you towards the door with a hand hovering over your back 鈥 makes sure you leave first before he closes the door behind him.聽
And you hate that your first thought is Nelson鈥檚 words.
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
鈥淿____.鈥
Nursing a cup of what Morgan would call 鈥榗ream and sugar with a side of coffee鈥, you鈥檝e been deep in thought for the past two hours or so. Hotch and Rossi are heading the search for the hidden bodies, and Morgan and the local officer in charge of the investigation are informing the families. With nothing more to do, you鈥檇 taken the short drive back to the BAU and copped a cup of coffee, beginning on your report of the case.
It鈥檚 9 PM, and you hadn鈥檛 expected Hotch to be back so early. Or rather, you鈥檇 hoped he wouldn鈥檛 be back so early, because then you鈥檇 have to remember what happened earlier and face your fears of being terribly rejected鈥
(But, the hospital, your brain reminds you, as if to give you hope. He told you that you cared, and not in the way that the rest of the team do. Surely that 鈥 that counts for something, right?)
鈥淿____,鈥 he repeats, bowing his head towards you.聽
鈥淥h, sorry. Sorry, just 鈥 tired. You found them, then?鈥
鈥淵es. All three.鈥
鈥淕ood. That鈥檚 good.鈥
It鈥檚 with a muted exhale that Hotch takes a seat on the corner of your desk, folding one arm over his chest and reaching the other one up to rub at his eyes.聽
(Tired eyes. They get darker by the day, and you wish you could just help. Run your hands through his hair and kiss his forehead and wrap him in your arms and tell him that he鈥檚 doing okay 鈥 that his best is okay, and it always has been鈥
No 鈥 those thoughts aren鈥檛 going to do you any good, not right now.)
鈥淚鈥檓 actually about to head out,鈥 you say, pushing your chair back. Fingers scramble for your coat, and then your half-finished report. 鈥淚 didn鈥檛 get much sleep yesterday鈥斺
鈥淟et me drop you back. I鈥檓 heading home anyway.鈥
You curse the fact that you鈥檝e been taking public transport to work, because Hotch doesn鈥檛 trust it whatsoever 鈥 especially at night. He would鈥檝e offered any other night, too, but the fact that it鈥檚 this night makes you groan to yourself.
Of course he has to care about your wellbeing. Of course he does. He couldn鈥檛 just鈥 just let you take the subway at night like anybody else.
(You鈥檙e being stupid, your brain adds.聽
Yes, thank you. I know.)
鈥淵eah,鈥 you breathe, shouldering your handbag. 鈥淪ure, thanks.鈥
Ten minutes later you鈥檙e both packed into his SUV and you realise that this is the first time in a few weeks that he鈥檚 leaving the office before ten. He most definitely was not 鈥榟eading home anyway鈥, and you think he knows that you know that.
The ride is silent for the first 15 minutes or so. He鈥檚 got his Beatles CD in like always, which is only the cutest thing imaginable, and it鈥檚 playing at the lowest volume possible. Barely audible, but so much better than nothing. You watch the city and landscape roll by, desperately trying to disassociate in the hopes that you could just snap back to reality when you鈥檙e parked outside your apartment complex, but鈥
鈥淲e should talk,鈥 he says suddenly, voice careful, 鈥渁bout what Nelson said.鈥
Fuck. Fuck. Of course he just comes out with it 鈥 he鈥檚 Aaron Hotchner. Not one to beat around the bush, you don鈥檛 know why you expected any different.
鈥淲hat Nelson said?鈥 You try 鈥 and immediately, you know it was stupid to try and feign ignorance. As if Hotch couldn鈥檛 see the turmoil on your face as clear as day. You chew the inside of your cheek anxiously, glancing out of the window again. 鈥...Right.鈥
Neither of you speak for a few seconds. It鈥檚 like you鈥檙e both letting the reality of it all settle in, finally. You鈥檝e known each other for years, and you鈥檝e been close for a majority of it 鈥 and now you鈥檙e both analysing the other鈥檚 actions. Combing through every joke whispered under your breath or teasing poke at his side, every late-night pep talk and impromptu coffee break.
鈥淲hat Nelson implied was鈥 inappropriate,鈥 he says, sounding for all the world as if he鈥檚 tiptoeing through his thoughts. His eyebrows knit together, that crease between them deepening. His fingers tap against the steering wheel. 鈥淎nd I鈥檓 sorry if it made you uncomfortable.鈥
God, what are you supposed to say? Yes, it was wildly inappropriate, and yes, it made you uncomfortable, but not because of him. Not because of the idea of you and him.
鈥淚 do go out of my way to protect you,鈥 Hotch continues. 鈥淣ot because I don鈥檛 think you鈥檙e capable of doing it yourself, but because the people we deal with 鈥 they鈥 You鈥檙e important to me, is what I鈥檓 trying to say, and I try to keep the people I care about safe.鈥
And you don鈥檛 doubt it 鈥 it鈥檚 obvious that he means what he says, and that confession already renders you a bit breathless, but鈥 He鈥檚 avoiding something. Walking around what he really wants to say.聽
(And if you鈥檙e right about what he wants to say 鈥 and you think you are 鈥, you know he鈥檚 much too proper to say it without prompting. After all, at the end of the day, he鈥檚 still your unit chief.)
鈥淗otch,鈥 you murmur 鈥 and his eyes immediately flicker between you and the road. 鈥淚f there鈥檚 something you want to tell me鈥︹
You trail off, and a hush falls over the car once more.聽
鈥淣elson said,鈥 you try again 鈥渢hat he watched you. That he saw the way you treated me, and 鈥 and he said that鈥斺
鈥淗e鈥檚 a psychopath鈥斺
鈥淗e鈥檚 a genius,鈥 you interrupt, laughing in disbelief, 鈥減sychopath or not. And he wasn鈥檛 lying, was he? Huh, Hotch? Because as protective as you are with JJ and Prentiss, it鈥檚 not the same way you are with me.鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檙e 鈥 you鈥檙e different. You鈥檙e the youngest.鈥
鈥淎nd that鈥檚 why you don鈥檛 want to admit it, is it?鈥 Fuck, what are you doing? Blatant insubordination 鈥 and work aside, just plain disrespectful, not to mention embarrassing if you end up being wrong.聽
鈥淚鈥檓 not sure what you鈥檙e insinuating.鈥 But his jaw is clenched hard, back ramrod straight, so fuck insubordination. You鈥檙e obviously close to hitting the nail on the head鈥
鈥淵ou don鈥檛 want to admit that you鈥檝e got feelings for me because you think it鈥檚 wrong.鈥
You鈥檙e surprised when he doesn鈥檛 immediately begin to defend himself. Instead: 鈥淚t is wrong.鈥
You鈥檙e even more surprised when you don鈥檛 point out how he didn鈥檛 deny it. 鈥淗ow so?鈥
鈥淭here鈥檚 a complete power imbalance both in terms of rank and of age, _____, you know that. Not to mention the psychology of men who gravitate towards younger women鈥斺
Unfortunately for Hotch, he rolls to a stop at a red light. There鈥檚 no driving for him to focus his attention on anymore. He leans his elbow against his window, bringing a hand up to cup his jaw.聽
So that鈥檚 what it is. He thinks he鈥檚 like one of them. There was a case a few years ago that sticks out to you in particular: Megan Kane, a call girl who murdered the rich, older men who hired her. While you didn鈥檛 completely agree with her methods, you at least had an inkling of understanding as to why she did what she did. Many of them were rude, callous, pigheaded. They enjoyed the thought of a younger woman desiring them, but the attraction was only skin deep.
Hotch 鈥 and you can鈥檛 stress this enough 鈥 isn鈥檛 like them.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e one of the most self-aware people I know.鈥 He鈥檚 still resolutely facing forward, but his gaze wavers over to you when you wriggle in your seat. 鈥淪o tell me: is this a fetish of yours? Young ladies?鈥
鈥淲hat? No鈥斺
鈥淪o what are you worried about, Hotch?鈥澛 Swallowing the still-present nerves in your throat, you shift until you鈥檙e almost sitting sideways 鈥 and you reach forward, clasping a hand over his on the wheel. He鈥檚 warm, and your skin seems to jump at the prospect of touching his. 鈥淵ou think I鈥檓 鈥 that I like you against my will? That I鈥檓 鈥 I鈥檓 doing this because鈥 I don鈥檛 even know what you鈥檙e theorizing. God, Hotch, are you dense?鈥
His Adam鈥檚 apple bobs, before he attempts 鈥 attempts 鈥 to smile. It鈥檚 more of a grimace, if you鈥檙e being honest, but you鈥檙e just glad he seems to be calming down. 鈥淗ey 鈥 I鈥檓 still your superior.鈥
You snort. 鈥淵eah, yeah.鈥
The red light glows emerald, and he begins driving again.
鈥淚 wasn鈥檛 uncomfortable because of Nelson, by the way,鈥 you say, placing your hands back in your lap. 鈥淚 mean, he was creepy, but鈥 I just 鈥 when I imagined being told that you liked me, it wasn鈥檛 in front of our colleagues. And in an interrogation room, either. Or with a serial killer, for that matter.鈥
There鈥檚 a lilting pause 鈥 Hotch glances over at you with a little cheeky smile that makes your cheeks flush with heat. 鈥淵ou imagined that?鈥 鈥淎nd you didn鈥檛?鈥
鈥...Touch茅.鈥
It鈥檚 such a weird scenario. You鈥檙e both in that strange limbo between 鈥榝eelings revealed鈥 and 鈥榚xplicit dating鈥 鈥 you have no idea where to go from here. Even thinking about how you just essentially released years of pining 鈥 and without the catastrophic natural disaster you鈥檇 over-exaggerated a few times 鈥 makes your head spin. You have no doubt that you鈥檒l be staying up late tonight.
鈥淲hat do we do now?鈥 You say, only slightly hesitant. It鈥檚 less intimidating 鈥 鈥榠t鈥 meaning the entire ordeal of navigating a (possibly) new relationship 鈥 knowing that Hotch is beside you. 鈥淲ith鈥 you know. The team and everything.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 best to keep this under wraps.鈥 And he鈥檚 back to team leader 鈥 you don鈥檛 think he ever stops being team leader, actually. It鈥檚 just in his blood, you guess, to lead. 鈥淎t least for a while. Not only could it interfere with the team鈥檚 flow, but鈥 We don鈥檛 know how this could affect either of our jobs.鈥
鈥淲e鈥檒l have to inform Strauss, at least,鈥 you add, chewing your bottom lip. 鈥淚 mean, after we鈥 figure this all out. And we鈥檒l have to file a relationship form, too, after a while.鈥
God, the team. How would they react once they found out? You understand keeping it a secret 鈥 you鈥檇 been about to suggest it yourself 鈥 but it still feels strange. They鈥檙e as close to family as they can be, but then you guess your relationship shouldn鈥檛 be up for public scrutiny anyways. They鈥檒l understand, you鈥檙e sure.
Hotch pulls up to your apartment complex not one minute later, coming to a stop in your designated parking space that you never actually use. Now that the ride is over, you鈥檙e not quite sure what to do with yourself 鈥 you don鈥檛 want to get out, not yet. You like being in Hotch鈥檚 company 鈥 not to mention, it feels like there are some things left undone.聽
The beginning notes of I Will filter through the car鈥檚 stereo, and you鈥檙e reminded that this is Hotch鈥檚 favourite album.
鈥淚 want you to know,鈥 he begins, tone mindful, 鈥淭hat if you decide 鈥 at any point 鈥 that you want to stop this鈥斺
鈥淗otch,鈥 you interrupt 鈥 and you place a hand over his, the one that鈥檚 on the steering wheel. You held his hand not even 10 minutes ago, but this is in entirely new circumstances with an entirely new context and you're entirely flustered. 鈥淵ou know I trust you. And you know I have no problem mouthing off.鈥
He restrains a smile. 鈥淢ore than I should.鈥
Another few moments of heavy, anticipatory silence follow 鈥 a few moments in which you find yourself remembering just how handsome Aaron Hotchner is. Not that you鈥檇 ever really forgotten.聽
In the dim light of the SUV 鈥 faint yellow light shining through the windows from the streetlamps outside 鈥, he looks as handsome as ever. And now you don鈥檛 have to hide your admiration, which is only the strangest feeling in the world.
鈥淎nd you鈥檙e sure about this?鈥 He repeats again. 鈥淐ompletely sure鈥?鈥
He鈥檚 getting in his head again 鈥 which is why you push yourself up and lean over the centre console, and plant a kiss right on him. His words die in his throat, and when you pull back he鈥檚 just鈥 looking at you. Wide-eyed 鈥 a far cry from his usual frown.聽
鈥淚鈥檓 sure,鈥 you mumble, peering up at him. 鈥淢ore than sure.鈥
And Aaron Hotchner takes the reigns, this time: removes his hands from the wheel in record time and you barely register them landing on your cheeks before you鈥檙e being whisked into a kiss much less chaste than the first one鈥
At first it鈥檚 as innocent as a kiss can be 鈥 a simple, sweet peck. And then another, and another, and the time between each one gets shorter and shorter until you鈥檙e moving against each other like you were made to.聽
His lips are surprisingly soft, is your first cognizant thought; the next, quite gracefully, is holy fuck, because holy fuck, Aaron Hotchner is kissing you. And he鈥檚 good at it, which you hadn鈥檛 doubted for a single second, but you hadn鈥檛 exactly thought that he could make your stomach do flips the way he is.
He tastes like coffee, mostly, which isn鈥檛 surprising. He drinks just as much 鈥 if not more 鈥 than you. This close, you can smell his cologne 鈥 you can reach up and tug his hair between your fingers, and you do, goddamnit, because you鈥檝e been dreaming of doing it for years and you鈥檙e not going to restrain yourself.
Silky soft, just like you鈥檇 thought.
At some point, your need for air outweighs your need to press yourself as close as possible to each other 鈥 you separate with dazed eyes and heavy breathing, giddy off a new love that鈥檚 been a long time coming. Hotch still holds your face in his hands, so fucking gentle, and you have to bite your lip to stop yourself smiling too wildly.聽
(You鈥檝e never seen him look so鈥 affectionate. Not to this extent, at least, but you鈥檙e sure the doting smile that鈥檚 on his face is mirrored on yours. A pair of fools, the both of you.)
鈥淕et some sleep,鈥 he says fondly, his thumb rubbing over your cheek. He鈥檚 breathless, too, and you have to stop yourself from leaning up again and just鈥 鈥淚 need you in at 9.鈥
鈥淵ou got it, chief.鈥 You have to tear yourself away from him. You gather your bag and your coat, rubbing away the smudged lip gloss on your bottom lip. 鈥淯m, you鈥檝e 鈥 you鈥檝e got a little something鈥︹
He doesn鈥檛 take his eyes off of you as you lean forward, wiping away the transferred gloss smeared around his mouth. It鈥檚 no secret to either of you that you鈥檙e both desperately trying to repress silly, childish smiles.
鈥淪ay hi to Jack for me, okay?鈥 You say finally.
鈥淥f course.鈥
鈥淯m 鈥 goodnight, then, Hotch.鈥
鈥淎aron.鈥
鈥淎aron.鈥 You鈥檝e never really called him anything other than Hotch. 鈥淗ave a good night, Aaron. Get more than a few hours sleep?鈥 You push the door of the SUV open, one foot already on the cold, wet tarmac.聽
Aaron nods, a half-smile still on his face. 鈥淧romise.鈥
He stays until he sees the light in your apartment flick on 鈥 and then he drives off into the night.
You find yourself pressing your back against your front door, hands cupping your mouth.
You鈥檙e not going to squeal. You鈥檙e not going to squeal. You鈥檙e over squealing.
(You鈥檙e totally not over squealing.)
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Hotch claims that he鈥檚 out of practice. He really couldn鈥檛 be further from the truth.
Your first date is to a little Italian restaurant. Jack鈥檚 got a babysitter over for the night, and you both sit side by side instead of across from each other, snacking on good bread and a wine that you actually like. After the last few months of non-stop work, it鈥檚 a respite you鈥檙e both grateful for, you think 鈥 though halfway through, you鈥檙e both summoned back to the office. You come to learn that being interrupted by work is a common theme.
(You have to enter separately to avoid suspicion, that night 鈥 Hotch in his slacks and shirt and you in your little black dress and red lipstick. Morgan is the first to notice 鈥 Looking good, _____. Hot date?
From the corner of your eye you see Hotch lift his head slightly.聽
Yeah, you answer, smiling coquettishly. Real hot.)
Your second date 鈥 which could be your third, actually, or fourth 鈥 is dinner at the Hotchner household, which has been a part of your weekly routine for at least a few months, so you鈥檙e not sure if it counts. You and Jack help stir the sauce while Aaron cuts the vegetables 鈥 music plays from a radio propped somewhere on the dining room table. You cut Jack鈥檚 meatballs small so he can eat them easier 鈥 he鈥檚 just lost a front tooth, and he鈥檚 struggling, to say the least. You don鈥檛 miss the fond way Hotch looks at you when you do.
You stop keeping count of dates after that 鈥 with your hectic work schedule, you barely have time to actually register them as dates. Soon, it鈥檚 just鈥 days spent together, y鈥檏now?
A trip to the farmer鈥檚 market or a nearby theme park (Jack鈥檚 idea, of course); more often than not, there鈥檒l be flowers sent to your apartment when cases run into each other 鈥 sweet, quiet car rides on your way home from work, because apparently he鈥檚 made it his personal goal to never have you take public transport at night ever again.
The team is blissfully ignorant. Garcia has her suspicions that you鈥檙e seeing someone 鈥 鈥淣obody is that distracted at 9:30 unless they鈥檙e thinking about a special someone!鈥 鈥 which, yeah, you can鈥檛 argue with. What can you say? Your nights are so good that they make the mornings a tad harder to stomach, especially when your boyfriend is so close but practically untouchable.
Back to your point, though: out of practice, Hotch says. Your experience with dating has been astronomical 鈥 you remember quite vividly telling Aaron that guys your age are pigs, and you weren't lying 鈥 but even so, you know that he goes above and beyond. Maybe that鈥檚 just another perk of dating an older guy. It鈥檚 not ostentatious or over-the-top by any means, but just enough to show that he cares.聽
This is no exception.
With a rare extra-long weekend, you had an idea of who you were going to be spending it with 鈥 your last off-day was given completely to your girlfriends and a bottle of tequila, so needless to say you鈥檙e itching for a night in. Aaron was, too:
鈥淒inner,鈥 he鈥檇 said over the phone, a smile clear in his voice. 鈥淚鈥檝e got some wine I think you might like. Jack鈥檚 鈥 uh, he鈥檚 off with his aunt.鈥澛
Oh. And that鈥檚 another thing 鈥 because this is exactly where your brain goes when he tells you Jack is away for the entire night鈥 you haven鈥檛 exactly gone all the way yet. Not for lack of wanting on either part, because there鈥檚 been many a heated makeout that鈥檝e ended in uncomfortable boners for Hotch, but, well鈥
There鈥檚 never enough time, is there? You think it鈥檚 fair to say that you mutually don鈥檛 want your first time together to be rushed and pressured. And, more pressingly 鈥 even though he hasn鈥檛 yet brought it up 鈥 he鈥檚 still grappling with his own guilt. It鈥檚 been almost two years since Haley, but there鈥檚 still apprehension there.聽
That鈥檚 why you haven鈥檛 been pressing anything 鈥 you want him to come to you: willingly, with no pressure or regrets, because as much as you want to help, a majority of it he has to overcome himself. All you can do is be there for him while he does it, you suppose.
鈥淗ey.鈥 He answers the door seconds after you knock, dressed in jeans and a white shirt. It鈥檚 pleasant 鈥 domestic, even 鈥 to be around him with no reminder of work to be seen. As much as you like the suit, there鈥檚 something about him like this that makes you monumentally more happy.聽
The door is opened wider 鈥 he stands aside, and waves an arm to usher you in. You notice that 鈥 like always 鈥 his eyes do a sweep of the road before he closes the door. Old habits, huh?
The door鈥檚 barely clicked into place before his arms are around your waist, drawing you closer so that he can plant a kiss on your lips. You find yourself melting into him the second his hand meets the curve of your waist 鈥 a content hum on your lips as you return his kisses.
鈥淵ou brought flowers?鈥 He asks once he鈥檚 pulled back, eyes darting down to the bright bouquet clutched tightly in hand. 鈥淭hought it was supposed to be the other way around.鈥
鈥淎ctually, I brought them for when Jack comes back,鈥 you tease, even though it鈥檚 half-true. 鈥淗e likes dahlias.鈥
His brows rise just the slightest bit, and his joy shows light and carefree on his face 鈥 he says nothing more about it, though, just: 鈥淐鈥檓on. Let me get them a vase.鈥
Dinner鈥檚 already made 鈥 chicken and vegetables and rice, all beautifully seasoned and smelling really good. Your stomach gurgles loudly, and you can鈥檛 even bring yourself to feel embarrassed when Hotch snorts. He鈥檚 just finished setting the flowers on the windowsill over the sink, and instinctively聽 you reach for two plates.
鈥淚 didn鈥檛 eat lunch. I spent my day getting pretty,鈥 you pout, helping him set the table. Two glasses, two plates, two sets of knives and forks. 鈥淧retty for you, Mister Hotchner, so don鈥檛 tease me.鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 have to try hard for me, honey.鈥 A grin shot at you over the bottle of wine he鈥檚 uncorking.聽
鈥淪mooth.鈥 But your cheeks are warming, so you should just be quiet before you eat your words.聽
Dinner itself is a quiet, pleasant affair 鈥 the wine isn鈥檛 bad, but you limit yourself to a single glass; the food is perfect, and you beat Hotch at footsie under the table (even though he swears that there are no winners 鈥 something a sore loser would say).
At some point, when you鈥檝e cleaned the table up and migrated to the living room, the matter of the oh-so-dreaded relationship form is brought up. It鈥檚 an informal kind of claim you have to file with Strauss 鈥 minor details of the relationship to prevent any mishappenings聽 and compromises in the workplace. Knowing Erin, there鈥檒l be a few meetings accompanying it, too. The unit chief of the BAU doesn鈥檛 just begin dating his younger coworker with no explanation.
鈥淔irst thing Monday?鈥 You suggest, following him to the couch. You鈥檝e got your side and he鈥檚 got his 鈥 without prompting, he tugs your legs onto his lap, and you鈥檙e reminded quite starkly of what you expect to happen. Still, you keep your cool: 鈥淚f we get there early we can be in and out of her office before anyone notices.鈥
It鈥檚 a weird feeling, finally talking about it. A couple of months ago you wouldn鈥檛 have even considered it, but now? You鈥檙e almost looking forward to letting another person in, because you want people to know 鈥 you don鈥檛 want to keep hiding how much you love him, and you know the same is true for him. How many times has he had to stop himself from reaching for you while with the team? Professionalism aside, it would be nice to not be hiding.聽
At the same time, though, you know it鈥檒l open you and Aaron up to a world of scrutiny. Just another thing to get through together, huh?
鈥淵ou鈥檙e gonna be up so early?鈥 Aaron jokes, tilting his head towards you.
鈥淲ow. You know, you should do stand-up, Aaron, really鈥斺
鈥淚 know, it鈥檚 my backup.鈥 A finger unconsciously taps at your ankle, and you bite at your bottom lip.聽
Dinner鈥檚 finished. Music鈥檚 playing softly. Aaron鈥檚 still got another half a glass of wine to drink. His hands are so鈥 large. Large, and warm, and trailing over your calves casually, and it鈥檚 driving you insane. Your entire body is heating up 鈥 gently, comfortably, and you don鈥檛 think it鈥檚 from your single glass of wine. No; it鈥檚 the baritone rumble of a sigh in his chest; the way his hand trails up and down your leg.
You gather your thoughts 鈥 snorting, you pull your legs out of his lap. 鈥淟et me know how that goes. Back in a sec.鈥
You pad into the hallway and then, the bathroom. The door clicks silently behind you as it shuts, and you puff out a long stream of air.聽
You鈥檙e hot. Like, flustered hot. Luckily the bathroom鈥檚 quite cold 鈥 you sit yourself on the edge of the bath as you gather your wits, pressing a paper towel to your cheeks to blot your makeup. You check your hair in the mirror, pull your shirt down the tiniest bit to show a tad more cleavage. You look good, so you鈥檙e not worried about that 鈥 you鈥檙e not worried at all, actually. You trust Hotch with your life (the job kinda demands it) and you know you love him鈥 It鈥檚 just this ball of anxiety sitting in your stomach for no apparent reason, but you suppose every big step is like that.
When you get back to the living room, he鈥檚 standing again 鈥 leaning against the doorframe between the kitchen and this room, his phone in one hand, glass in the other. He鈥檚 frowning, and your stomach sinks鈥
鈥淣ew case?鈥 You ask, sighing. It鈥檚 easy to assume the worst, what with new cases interrupting a large chunk of the time you spend together.
鈥淣o, actually. Just a message from Jessica, checking up on Jack.鈥 He looks up from his phone, then, eyes finding yours across the room. He raises a brow, setting it down. 鈥淵ou okay? You look flustered.鈥
You know better than to argue with a profiler, especially when you鈥檙e one, too. You know you鈥檙e flustered 鈥 your pupils are probably dilated, and you鈥檝e no doubt that he鈥檚 noticed your shirt is pulled lower than it was earlier.
Instead, you roll your eyes, wandering back over to him. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 your fault.鈥
鈥淩eally?鈥
You hum 鈥 a traitorous giggle following when he winds his arms around your waist and tugs, sending you almost barrelling into his chest. Before you can chastise him, though, you鈥檙e kissing him 鈥 arms looping around his neck, kiss just teetering on the side of messy, and you feel him guiding you back, back, back鈥
鈥淲ait,鈥 you gasp out, pulling away suddenly, 鈥淎aron?鈥
鈥淚s this okay?鈥
鈥淵eah 鈥 yeah, totally, but鈥 Are we 鈥 are you鈥︹ You grapple with your words for a second, brain just a bit muddled, before you have a brief moment of clarity鈥 鈥淎re you okay? With this?鈥
鈥淲hat do you mean?鈥
鈥淚 just 鈥 I want you to be sure. Y鈥檏now, about me.鈥 When his face clouds with confusion, you continue: 鈥淎bout us.鈥
鈥淵ou don鈥檛 think I鈥檓 sure?鈥
鈥淭hat鈥檚 not it 鈥 I think you are, but鈥 I don鈥檛 know.鈥 Fuck, are you ruining the mood? It鈥檚 important to you to make sure he鈥檚 not going to end up sabotaging himself over his choices 鈥 he鈥檚 wont to do so, you鈥檝e learned. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 want you to regret it afterwards. You always internalise your guilt鈥斺
A spark of humour ignites in his eyes, and you feel relief flood you. That鈥檚 an answer in of itself, and you both know it. 鈥淎re you profiling me, _____?鈥
鈥淢aybe a little,鈥 you say, smiling sheepishly. You鈥檙e suddenly made aware of your position again 鈥 standing chest to chest, your arms around his neck 鈥 and your cheekiness returns tenfold. 鈥淪o鈥 are you gonna fuck me?鈥
Hotch freezes for a moment 鈥 it鈥檚 actually quite funny 鈥 before he huffs a laugh, quiet and almost disbelieving. 鈥淏razen.鈥
鈥淎nd you love it.鈥 A swift nip to the underside of his jaw, and you part from him with a teasing grin of your own. You can feel him watching you as you mosey on over to the fireplace, considering the trinkets there like you have a million times before 鈥 there鈥檚 a reason why you chose this skirt. Your hips look phenomenal in it, and that鈥檚 not being cocky, it鈥檚 just a fact.
鈥淲ell?鈥 You say, glancing over your shoulder. 鈥淎re you?鈥
He doesn鈥檛 say anything, at first. Just continues to watch you, glass lifted to his lips, and you realise suddenly that he鈥檚 not smiling anymore. His eyes are narrowed 鈥 more in thought than in annoyance, and he tilts his head. 鈥淗ave you鈥?鈥
鈥淒one this before?鈥 You finish for him, raising a brow. 鈥淯h 鈥 yeah. Yeah, I have.鈥
鈥淏ut this would be your first time,鈥 he assumes. 鈥淲ith a man.鈥
鈥淚鈥檝e been with鈥斺
鈥淏oys.鈥 His frown deepens, eyes almost analytical in their study of you. He takes another sip of his drink. 鈥淐ollege boys who don鈥檛 know where to put their hands.鈥
You swallow. You don鈥檛 know what you鈥檇 expected: of course you never thought he鈥檇 be submissive, but you never thought he鈥檇 be this dominant, either. Dominant, and confident in it. He seemed like the guy who fucked missionary every night 鈥 and that鈥檚 not to say you don鈥檛 think he knows how to please a woman, because you know he most definitely does. This, though? This is natural, he doesn鈥檛 need to try.
Whip-fast, your usual bravado is pulled out from underneath you, and you find yourself floundering again. Instead of answering him, your eyes focus on details that only make you fizzle with anticipation even more: the ungelled hair flopping against his forehead; the crease between his brows; the spread of his fingers over his glass. You feel like you鈥檙e heating up from the inside out, warmth ebbing and flowing over your skin, and you鈥檝e got no doubt that there鈥檚 sweat beading at your hairline.
鈥淲hat are you gonna do about it?鈥 You try, grappling to keep your confidence in its place. 鈥淭each me how it should be done?鈥
鈥淚s that what you want?鈥 He shoots back, his eyes not moving from yours 鈥 still unfalteringly calm. 鈥淏ecause I could. I could tell you to sit down on that couch, and remove your clothing, and spread your legs. Would you do that for me?鈥
鈥淵es.鈥 You breathe it out before your brain can double-check your thought process. 鈥淚 would.鈥
鈥淵ou like following orders.鈥 And it鈥檚 not a question, no 鈥 not even an assumption. It鈥檚 a statement, a fact, an observation.
鈥淥nly from you.鈥
Oh, he likes that. He doesn鈥檛 move, but the corners of his lips angle upwards and his chest heaves with what you can tell is a pleased exhale. 鈥淒o it, then.鈥
You squirm underneath his gaze as you step out of your shoes, first 鈥 strappy sandals with a short block on the heel, cute and girly 鈥 before taking a seat on the couch behind you.
鈥淏efore we do anything, I need to ask,鈥 he says, before you can continue. He drops slowly to his knee in front of you, commanding your attention easily 鈥 meeting your eyes with the same intensity and seriousness he operates with at the office. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e sure about this?鈥
鈥淎aron, I鈥斺 You cut yourself off, shaking your head. You鈥檙e almost in disbelief 鈥 has it not been obvious that you鈥檙e fully prepared to jump in head first? That you鈥檙e serious about this? You literally just asked if he was going to fuck you. 鈥淚鈥 I thought that was obvious.鈥
Quick as a wink, he presses a short kiss to your lips. 鈥淵ou can never be too careful.鈥
And he stands up again, goes back to his space by the doorframe, and just鈥 expects you to go back to undressing. Which you do, of course, but not without sending him a pout.聽
You jerk off your socks with excited hands 鈥 you tug your skirt down, then. Blue denim that presses tightly against every curve, blue denim that reveals what was called a thong but is really just a strip of lacey fabric. You don鈥檛 miss how Hotch shifts in the corner of your eye, but you say nothing.聽
The skirt joins the socks on the ground, and you sigh at the feeling of the couch against you. The coolness of the black leather underneath you is an appreciated respite for your overheated skin, spreading over the backs of your thighs.聽
Your shirt is last to go 鈥 pulled right over your head, discarded as a small, pastel pink lump, and you watch as Hotch gets his first sight of what you鈥檝e proudly named your knockout bra: caramel brown silk, gold accents, lace covering the cups.聽
He鈥檚 almost statue-still. You watch him watch you 鈥 the look on his face is鈥 for lack of better word, heady. His nostrils are flared and his grip on his glass has visibly tightened, the beginnings of a bulge pushing against his slacks. His eyes trail, slow and steady, up the entirety of you 鈥 over the curve of your thighs and the roundness of your cloth-covered breasts, the bare expanse of your stomach.
Even with barely a hair out of place, he鈥檚 beginning to look as wrecked as you feel 鈥 it鈥檚 in the way his brows furrow, and his jaw clenches and his breathing turns slightly more heavy. It has you pulsing around positively nothing, pressing your thighs tightly together.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e beautiful,鈥 he speaks 鈥 and it鈥檚 so fucking tender that you feel heat rise up the entirety of your neck. He really is softer than he lets on.
There鈥檚 a gentle shuffling as he stands up, again; a clink as Hotch鈥檚 glass meets the table, and you watch with eager eyes as he unbuttons his shirt at the wrists, before ambling back over to you. He gets on his knees once more, in between your legs, and鈥
鈥淭ell me, honey. Again.鈥
聽One large hand comes up to cup your cheek 鈥 the other, somewhere beside you on the couch. The breath is almost stolen from you when he looks right into your eyes, pools of dark, dark brown.聽
You clear your throat, pretending that his sudden exhibition of dominance doesn鈥檛 affect you as much as it does 鈥 you have no doubt, though, that he sees right through it. 鈥淚鈥檓 sure. I鈥 I want you.鈥
An amused hum, and before you can make a smart comment to earn back your attitude, he鈥檚 leaning forward and pressing his lips against yours again. All other thoughts simply fade away, tucked in the back of your brain for later 鈥 or never. It鈥檚 pretty hard to think about anything else when he鈥檚 kissing you like this 鈥 slow and methodical, but lingering on the edge of sloppy. Tongue pressing into your mouth and intertwining with yours, your nose bumping against his, and鈥
One moment you鈥檙e seated on the couch, and the next you鈥檙e slipping off of it and onto his lap 鈥 your hands cradling his jaw, and then smoothing over his hair, and back and forth and back and forth because you can鈥檛 make up your damn mind. He holds you tightly against him, chests flush; one of his arms has slung itself around your hips, a hand splayed out against your spine 鈥 and then there鈥檚 tongue, and you鈥檙e whining softly 鈥 could be his name, could be a plea, you don鈥檛 know. All you know is that his lap might just be your favourite seat from now on.
You realise, soon enough, that his hands on your back are there to keep you steady while he lays you flat against the floor 鈥 because all of a sudden you鈥檙e laying back against the wooden floors of his living room, breathless and too hot. His lips follow without pause: ducking to brush against your clavicle, before setting to work with trailing kisses along the column of your neck.聽
"You better not be giving me hickies," you warn, though it's weak and much too obviously a jab at him. "I'll be wearing scarves for the next week."
"A small price to pay," he jokes, and you can feel his smile against your skin. By the time he decides he's finished with your neck, you know you'll be powering through an entire tube of concealer this week.聽
His lips only move further downwards 鈥 pausing for a moment on the softness of your breasts, before he reaches underneath you with a quick whisper of can I鈥?聽
"Yeah," you gasp out, "Yeah, of course."
The clasp is undone expertly, of course, because you don't think he's ever been bad at something in his life. That's proven twice over when his mouth focuses its attention on your bare chest 鈥 tongue flicking out over your nipples, lips suctioning in such a way that your hips buck up off the floor.聽
"Patience," is muttered against the underside of your tit. And then, just to be an ass, you suspect, he licks a slow, long strip down the valley of your breasts 鈥 eyes flickering up to catch the gentle o of your mouth victoriously.聽
Ever so patient, he moves onto your stomach, tapping two fingers quickly against your side when you squirm. You can't help but tense your muscles underneath his ministrations, but other than that you try your best to stay still. He very obviously enjoys giving orders as much as you enjoy following them.聽
You can't see him anymore, which is a shame, but you can feel him continuing down, down, down鈥 At the point where your panties begin, you hear him hum鈥
"I need to hear you say it," he announces, sitting up once more. You blink, dazed and drunk on pleasure, nerves fizzling with pent-up energy.聽
"Say what?"聽
He snaps the band of your panties against your skin, and you hiss.聽
鈥淵ou want me to do this?鈥
In theory, yes. But the last time someone ate you out 鈥 or tried to 鈥 it had been 30 minutes of awkward licking and slurping. It ended with a faked orgasm and a grimace-like smile, and you can鈥檛 help but think back to Hotch鈥檚 words:
鈥淐ollege boys who don鈥檛 know where to put their hands.鈥
Ain鈥檛 that the truth. Thirty minutes of heavy petting and kissing with Hotch left you more breathless than anything any of the other boys had ever attempted, but you can鈥檛 help but think that maybe it鈥檚 a lost cause. Maybe you just don鈥檛 get off on it.
鈥淚 鈥 I don鈥檛 think鈥︹
He watches you carefully, consciously. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 want to? That鈥檚 okay.鈥
鈥淣o! No. It鈥檚 just,鈥 you stutter for a moment, suddenly unsure, 鈥渘obody鈥檚 ever made me鈥 y鈥檏now鈥 like that. By doing that.鈥
鈥...That鈥檚 not your fault.鈥 He almost seems amused 鈥 almost. His eyebrow quirks, a tiny uptilt to his lips. 鈥淚f you don鈥檛 want me to, that鈥檚 fine. But if you want me to put my mouth on you 鈥 and I recommend that you do 鈥 you'll have to say it.鈥
Fuck. He recommends it, huh? That鈥檚 either some badly-veiled praise for his own skills or a hint that he鈥檚 big enough to need some more extensive foreplay, but either way you鈥檙e reminded of another part of Hotch that you like so much: that silent self-assuredness. He knows he鈥檚 good 鈥 doesn鈥檛 feel the need to brag, but the sentiment still stands.
You sigh at the ceiling, resorting back to good old-fashioned brattiness. "Is this what gets you off, Aaron Hotchner? Forcing me to tell you what I want? Here I thought you were completely vanilla."聽
When you look back at him, his brows are raised in amusement, no sign of giving in present. You roll your eyes, head hitting the ground once more 鈥 a last show of impudence before you inevitably submit.聽
鈥淚鈥檇鈥 appreciate it鈥 if you鈥︹ You huff once more鈥 鈥淧ut your mouth on me. Aaron. Please.鈥
An appreciative croon, and his fingers slip underneath the elastic of the waistband. 鈥淣ow, that wasn鈥檛 so hard, was it?鈥澛
With a sharp pull, the thong is pulled down to your knees, and then slips from around your ankles with the next. You shiver as you鈥檙e bared to the air, Hotch鈥檚 arms looping under and around your thighs and tugging. You鈥檙e pulled further towards him, his hands flat on your stomach, and then he鈥
Fuck, he just goes right for it 鈥 slots his mouth right over your pussy, licking a thick, long line up the length of you, warm and wet and smooth. An almost pained moan leaves your lips as the first jolts of pleasure flicker up your spine, his tongue suddenly dragging back and forth over your clit. His fingers press divots across your stomach, shifting and squeezing with each suppressed wiggle of your hips.
Like the rest of him, his technique is no-nonsense but skilled at the same time. He doesn鈥檛 try to tease you with feather-light strokes, but he doesn鈥檛 overwhelm you, either; there鈥檚 a grey area there, and that鈥檚 where he happily operates. Strong presses of his tongue against your weeping slit, rhythmic rolls against your sensitive ball of nerves.
Breathing slowly growing more and more laboured, you reach a shaking hand down towards him 鈥 you barely get a single finger through his hair before he鈥檚 humming against you, and holy Jesus鈥
鈥淔uck!鈥 You squeak. 鈥淔-fuck, Hotch, you鈥檙e 鈥 you鈥檙e really good at this, holy shit鈥斺
Your fingers tighten around midnight locks, and you鈥檙e rewarded with another short groan 鈥 you think he likes that, but you hardly have any time to linger on it because he鈥檚 gently rocking his face back and forth, and you can only throw your head back against the floor and pant up to the ceiling.
At some point, the fight just 鈥 completely leaves you. You're spaghetti-limbed and borderline overwhelmed by the pleasure he continuously wrings from you. One particularly powerful suck of his mouth around you has you removing your hands from his hair and cupping it over your mouth, because what the fuck鈥
It hasn鈥檛 even been 10 minutes and you feel like you鈥檙e on the brink, like every inch of flesh is trembling and thrumming and just waiting to fall over the edge. And it comes, of course 鈥 oh, it comes: the confident, determined motions of Hotch鈥檚 tongue soon have you scrambling for purchase, your chest heaving, your voice growing steadily weaker until鈥
Your back arches from the ground but his hand on your stomach keeps you flat 鈥 your fingers find themselves threaded back through his hair, his name a mantra on your tongue as the wave rises and crests. It shudders through every limb, toes curling and fingers tightening, a shivery type of pleasure that鈥檚 so unexpected that you literally can only stare at the ceiling, mouth agape in disbelief.聽
He rides you through it, of course 鈥 because what does he not know how to do 鈥 gently coercing you down through the haze, humming and cooing your name quietly, thumbs smoothing over your stomach and hips.
As you鈥檙e regaining your bearings, blinking through it all, he sits up again; loops his arms around your thighs again and pulls you until your legs rest around his waist. Then 鈥 while smiling quite smugly at the dazed look on your face 鈥 he hunches back over you, dragging his lips up your neck.
鈥淎aron Hotchner,鈥 you breathe, finally gaining enough energy to think straight. You wind your arms loosely around his neck, sighing at the feeling of him pressed against your sensitive pussy. 鈥淵ou were holding out on me.鈥
His chest rumbles with a laugh, and a sloppy, open-mouthed kiss is placed right on your lips. The taste of you is still on him 鈥 tangy and salty and a tad bitter 鈥 and you don鈥檛 even bother to restrain the helpless little sound you make. All you know is that now 鈥 post-orgasm, warm and light and with Hotch鈥檚 arms around you, you鈥檙e the most content you鈥檝e been in a while. And that鈥檚 saying something.
鈥淢ore where that came from,鈥 he mutters against your lips.聽
You hum, reaching your hands down to fumble with his belt 鈥 and fumble is the right word, because you鈥檙e still trying to kiss him. You鈥檙e relying on touch alone to get it undone, and for some reason the simple buckle is much harder to undo when you鈥檙e impatient.聽
鈥淛ust wait,鈥 you gasp out, 鈥渦ntil I return the favour.鈥
鈥淣ext time,鈥 he asserts. He stands up, then 鈥 you would鈥檝e mourned the loss of him on top of you, except he鈥檚 quickly undoing the buckle and slipping his pants and briefs off, and oh. Turns out I recommend that you do was referring to both his skill and his size. He鈥檚 not fully erect yet, maybe only half-way, but he looks to be about 6 or so inches already 鈥 and he鈥檚 thick, too.聽
Your breath is quite literally stolen from your throat when he wraps a hand around himself and begins to slowly pump himself fully hard, his eyes steady on you. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. That鈥檚 all you can think. Your brain feels like it鈥檚 short-circuiting with each pass of his hand, each heavy breath he takes.
You swallow. 鈥淭rying to rile me up?鈥
鈥淟ooks to be working.鈥 He stops, then, folding his arms. 鈥淐鈥檓on, up.鈥
鈥淲hy?鈥 鈥淏edroom鈥檚 that way.鈥
You whine. 鈥淲e don鈥檛 need a bed.鈥
He shakes his head, smiling slightly. 鈥淲e鈥檙e not having our first time on the floor.鈥
鈥淲hy?鈥 You tease. 鈥淭oo scandalous?鈥
He doesn鈥檛 look too bothered, and so you resort to pouting. 鈥淐鈥檓on, Hotch. We鈥檒l have plenty of time for beds. And couches. And kitchen counters.鈥
No answer; he just considers you, eyes narrowed playfully.聽
鈥淐鈥檓on,鈥 you goad, only slightly breathless. You lift your legs, knees coming up to hover above your chest. The dewy, swollen lips of your pussy are bared to him once more, and you grin. 鈥淒on鈥檛 keep me waiting, old man.鈥
鈥淥ld man, huh?鈥
He kneels to his haunches, rifling through the back pocket of his pants and procuring a foil square. You almost snort 鈥 of course he was this prepared. With your bottom lip bitten between your teeth, you watch as he tears it open. He doesn鈥檛 put it on, though; he wants you to, you realise, as he walks back over to you. You peer up at him through your eyelashes as he comes to a stop, very obviously playing coy. He holds it out to you.
鈥淧ut it on.鈥
Well, fuck. No need to tell you twice, especially when he鈥檚 all stern like that. You push yourself up and take the condom from his hands, pinching the tip and taking his cock in one hand. You have to stop yourself from leaning forward and pressing a kiss to it 鈥 it鈥檚 warm and throbbing in your grip, and you want to get your mouth on it, but you also think that if you don鈥檛 have him inside you in the next five minutes you might combust, so. Pick your poison.
Once the condom is fully on, neither of you waste any time 鈥 your back is suddenly pressed against the floor once more, and he鈥檚 taken the position he was in before: your legs around his waist, his hands clutching your hips. He bows down, then, resting his elbows on either side of your head. Through slow, deep kisses you feel him prodding at your entrance 鈥 and then with one swift move of his hips, he begins pressing into you.
You vaguely register him murmuring into your ear through the stretch 鈥 reassurances and sweet nothings, little praises of you鈥檙e doing so well, just a little more 鈥 until he鈥檚 seated fully inside you, and you鈥檙e both clinging to each other like your lives depend on it. You don鈥檛 think you鈥檝e ever actually been so stuffed; it almost hurts, but in the best possible way.
鈥淔uck, Hotch,鈥 you whine, wiggling your hips, 鈥淢-move, please.鈥
There鈥檚 no verbal answer, but the suppressed groan that follows right beside your ear is as good an affirmation as anything. He starts off gently 鈥 slow, shallow thrusts to get you used to the length of him inside of you 鈥 but even Aaron Hotchner can lose his patience, and before you can really register it, his hips are driving into you, deep and grinding and somewhere between too-slow and too-fast鈥
You don鈥檛 think he鈥檚 ever had it like this before 鈥 dirty and rough and just a tad painful, your nails digging into the skin of his back and his teeth nipping against your neck. In fact, you don鈥檛 think he鈥檚 fucked on the floor ever. You hope it doesn鈥檛 do his back in 鈥 but then, it would be worth it, wouldn鈥檛 it?
You tell him that 鈥 gasp it into his ear with a laugh, but you eat your words when his hips press flush against yours, almost too deep, his body rutting against your clit.
鈥淏rat,鈥 Hotch grunts against you. 鈥淕oddamn brat.鈥
鈥淎nd you love it,鈥 you manage, biting back a moan, 鈥淔uck 鈥 just 鈥 right there, fuck鈥斺
It鈥檚 all you can do to lay there and take it 鈥 hardwood gnawing into your back, hips aching from keeping them up around his waist, tits bouncing between your bodies. You thank God for Hotch鈥檚 stamina 鈥 he just keeps going and going, his breathing hard and heavy in your ear.
Your toes begin to curl again 鈥 you鈥檙e so fucking sensitive that you鈥檙e not even sure if you can cum again, but his pubic bone is grinding against your clit and his cock presses up against that one spot and fuck, he lifts one of his hands up to grope blindly at one of your tits, and鈥
鈥淪hit!鈥 It鈥檚 a gasp 鈥 a garbled curse hemmed by equally unintelligible moans, and your head hits the floor as your orgasm flushes through your body once more. Every nerve and inch of skin thrums as if on the brink of overheating, and it鈥檚 only heightened when Hotch鈥檚 pleasure follows. He lets out a throaty groan that has your stomach swooping and your walls pulsing around him 鈥 and despite the sudden exhaustion that filters through you, you find yourself locking your ankles behind his back and pulling him in as deep as possible.
The only thing to be heard in the comedown is heavy breathing. Your mind is fuzzy, and you鈥檙e hit with the sudden desire to fall asleep and never wake up. It鈥檚 warm here, and Hotch is a pleasant weight on top of you, and you鈥檙e so tired鈥
Fingers gently sweep away the hair plastered to your forehead. Eyes fluttering open, you blink up at the man hovering above you 鈥 there鈥檚 a soft smile on his face, and when he sees you peering up at him, he hums.
鈥淕ood?鈥 He asks, bowing his head to press a kiss to your nose.聽
鈥淚鈥檓 鈥 I鈥檓 great. Better than great. I鈥檓鈥斺 A yawn cuts you off, and your face contorts in embarrassment. 鈥淚鈥檓鈥 tired.鈥
He puffs out a laugh. 鈥淚 can imagine. Give me a second, I鈥檒l be back.鈥
You can only make some noncommittal sound of acknowledgement, shutting your eyes once more as he slips out of you and stands. Fuck. You don鈥檛 think you鈥檝e ever been so drained after sleeping with someone 鈥 at the least, you always have enough energy to sneak out while they鈥檙e asleep. Now you can barely even fathom the idea of moving. In fact, by time Hotch is back, you鈥檙e almost completely sure that you could fall asleep on the floor of his living room with no qualms.
鈥淗oney,鈥 he calls, amusement clear in his voice, 鈥淵ou can鈥檛 sleep on the floor.鈥
鈥...I can try.鈥
鈥淵ou can,鈥 he agrees. His voice nears, and when you open your eyes he鈥檚 approaching you, boxers on, two water bottles in hand. 鈥淏ut you鈥檒l regret it, trust me. C鈥檓on鈥斺
He holds out his free hand for you to take, and it鈥檚 with a frustrated groan that you let yourself be tugged up. 鈥淭here we go. Can you walk okay?鈥
You want to be cheeky and tell him that you鈥檙e not that fucked, but the second you try to take a step your knees just buckle. If he hadn鈥檛 been so close you would鈥檝e fallen to the floor 鈥 luckily, not even post-coital bliss can undermine his reflexes, and he catches you by the waist before you can make an utter fool of yourself.
Aaron Hotchner has rendered you completely spaghetti-limbed. And you have no problem with that whatsoever.
鈥...I don鈥檛 think so, actually,鈥 you say sheepishly.聽
And so, he promptly hefts you up 鈥 a smug grin on his face 鈥 and totes you to his bedroom, which you鈥檙e no stranger to. You鈥檝e spent many a night (fully clothed) dozing with him when your apartment seems too far away; the sheets feel softer, somehow, when you鈥檙e naked. Even more so when he gathers you into his arms and presses his lips to your hair, and:
鈥淒o you remember the night of the Charles Nelson interview?鈥
Your answering laugh is whisper-quiet. 鈥淗ow could I forget?鈥 It鈥檚 the night you admitted your feelings to each other 鈥 the night of your first kiss. It replayed in your mind for days after.
鈥淚n the car, you asked me what I was afraid of.鈥
鈥淚鈥 did,鈥 you say after a beat, hesitating. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 have to鈥斺
鈥淚 want to.鈥 His hand on your arm tightens, as if to comfort him as well as you. 鈥淚 鈥 I鈥檓 terrified of losing the people I love. I鈥檓 scared that鈥 that I鈥檒l make a mistake 鈥 make a call that costs everything. Jack, you. The team.鈥澛
He takes a second to clear his throat, and you immediately shift to hold your hand over his. You don鈥檛 dare interrupt 鈥 it鈥檚 taking a lot for him to admit this, to confide in you. He鈥檚 so used to shouldering everything, keeping his emotions and fears and everything bottled up.聽
鈥淚鈥檓 scared that people will think less of you for dating me, too,鈥 he adds 鈥 and even though he tries to inject some humour into his voice, tries to say it as if it鈥檚 a joke, you know it鈥檚 been weighing on him for a while. He doesn鈥檛 want you to answer, particularly 鈥 he just wants you to listen, and that鈥檚 fine.
You鈥檝e never had any doubts that Hotch cared about you. None at all. Even before you started dating you knew that he cared about you, just as he did everyone on the team, and the sentiment was clearly returned. He was more open with you 鈥 though that wasn鈥檛 saying much 鈥, less harsh, more forgiving. So no, no doubts.
Still: this? The fact that he trusts you enough to bare his mind like this to you? Your heart flutters in your chest, your eyes wide and dewy when you shimmy up in bed and turn to look at him.
鈥淚鈥檓鈥︹ You swallow dryly, shaking your head. 鈥淚鈥檓 really fucking in love with you, Aaron. I hope you know that.鈥
You pretend not to see the way his eyes grow glassy, his lips splitting in a beaming smile. 鈥淏eat me to it. I love you too.鈥
Suddenly not so tired anymore, you push the blankets off of you and clamber onto his lap.
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
The weekend passes quickly 鈥 you sleep in late the next day, and most of the morning and afternoon are spent making love and preparing for when Jack comes back. It鈥檚 no surprise that Hotch has to drop you off at your house before work on Monday 鈥 the marks all over your neck call for a little more than your average scarf. No, this is an industrial concealer and powder foundation type of dilemma.
You stride into the BAU an hour or so later to a muffin and cup of coffee on your desk 鈥 Aaron鈥檚 office blinds are closed, but you know they鈥檙e from him. Hiding a grin, you only manage to sit down before鈥
鈥淭hat鈥檚 it.鈥澛
You blink, wide-eyed as Garcia slams her hands onto your desk. Your muffin almost goes flying, and you squeak as you lunge for it.聽
鈥淕od, Penelope 鈥 what is going on?鈥
鈥淵ou can鈥檛 fool me,鈥 she accuses. 鈥淚 know a concealer-caked neck when I see one. Who鈥檚 the lucky guy, huh?鈥
鈥淚 have no clue what you鈥檙e talking about 鈥 hey!鈥 Her fingers swipe out in an attempt to reach you, and you bat away her hands. 鈥淧enelope鈥!鈥
鈥淚f you want a coffee so bad, baby girl, I鈥檒l get you one,鈥 Morgan鈥檚 amused voice comes from behind you.聽
鈥淚 don鈥檛 want coffee,鈥 she says, voice sugar-sweet, 鈥淚 want to know who _____鈥檚 frisking!鈥
鈥淲ho鈥檚 frisking who?鈥 And Emily joins the fray.聽
You groan. 鈥淣o-one is frisking anyone.鈥
鈥淓mily, look at her neck. Tell me that鈥檚 not makeup!鈥
Prentiss whistles, and you splutter as she leans forward to take a gander herself. 鈥淭hat鈥檚鈥 that鈥檚 a lot.鈥
Spencer and JJ approach, then, clearly interested in the small circus that鈥檚 gathered around your desk at 9 AM. 鈥淲hat are we all looking at?鈥
鈥淿____鈥檚 trying to cover up her weekend.鈥
鈥淥kay,鈥 you say loudly, 鈥淚鈥檓 confused 鈥 don鈥檛 you all have, like, jobs?鈥
鈥淭his is much more interesting,鈥 JJ teases, and you roll your eyes.
鈥淚 bet it was Jakoby from Organized Crime. He was all over her at O鈥橩eefe鈥檚鈥斺
鈥淚鈥檓 literally right here鈥斺
鈥淣o, that鈥檚 not her type.鈥
鈥淩eally? _____, you鈥檝e got a type?鈥
Even over all of the chatter, you all hear the sudden clearing of a throat. The chatter comes to a lilting pause, and all eyes shift over your head 鈥 and even though you know who you鈥檒l find, you turn, too.聽
Hotch stands behind you all with a raised brow, case file in hand. It鈥檚 ironic 鈥 the man who caused this grief is the one ending it, unbeknownst to the team. You have to restrain a laugh at the amusement he hides expertly, his fake frown more comical to you than anything 鈥 he鈥檇 obviously been eavesdropping.
鈥淪ir,鈥 Garcia squeaks. 鈥淲e were just 鈥 um, we were鈥斺
鈥淲e鈥檝e got a case,鈥 he says, turning. 鈥淐onference room.鈥
You make sure to send Garcia a smug smile as you follow behind, muffin and coffee in hand.
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The night Prentiss dies, he finds you sitting on the floor of the break room. Your back鈥檚 pressed against the cupboards and your knees are tucked underneath your chin and your face is wet with tears 鈥 he has to steel himself, then, standing in the doorway.聽
As much as he wants to tell you, you can鈥檛 know. Nobody can.
You had disappeared after JJ and he had announced it. Took the first ride back to the BAU, he expects. When he passed Prentiss鈥 desk, he noticed your coat was piled atop it 鈥 and it鈥檚 not much work to find out where you鈥檇 ended up. The entire office is empty: skeleton crew in the security rooms, and a few agents on the other floors, but the BAU is desolate.聽
The lights to the break room are on, and the door is open.
His steps are quiet as he makes his way across the bullpen; the door barely squeaks when he nudges it further open with his hand. The room appears empty, but then there鈥檚 鈥 there鈥檚 a sniffle, and he steps farther in, rounding the corner of one of the tables, and he sighs.
There you are.聽
He doesn鈥檛 say anything for a moment: truth is, he鈥檚 not sure what he can say. He鈥檚 completely out of his depth 鈥 because as much as he knows how to comfort a team member, that鈥檚 not all you are. That鈥檚 not all you鈥檝e ever been, really, if he鈥檚 honest. He wants to reassure you, comfort you, but how can he? How can he, when he knows that Emily Prentiss is alive and well? When he knows that you鈥檙e mourning a woman who never died?
You鈥檝e always felt more than anyone else. Deeper, he means. Every win hits you hard and every loss hits you harder 鈥 you remember every face and name. You鈥檙e still young, you haven鈥檛 been weathered down yet, and selfishly, he hopes you never will be. Staying this way is a gift. You love 鈥 God, you love. With your entire mind and heart and every fibre of your being, and Prentiss was family. He can鈥檛 imagine what you must be feeling.
Finally, he drops down beside you, back against the cupboards, too 鈥 and as he gathers you in his arms, and the sobs begin to wrack your body once more, he realises that words are unnecessary.聽
This is what you need.聽
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You鈥檝e never been shot before.
It鈥檚 weird, isn鈥檛 it? How quickly things go. You expect there to be a slow-motion shot 鈥 a panning of the metaphorical camera to the bullet that鈥檚 heading right for you. There isn鈥檛, by the way. Just in case someone's interested. The unsub raised his arm and there was a bang and then your chest hurt, and鈥
鈥淗ey, hey 鈥 don鈥檛 close your eyes, honey. Look at me. Look at me, _____鈥斺
The unsub is dead 鈥 a bullet to the heart, not even 6 feet away, and you try to replay the events that had led up to it. You got to the abandoned warehouse where he鈥檇 been hiding out 鈥 you took the back entrance, Morgan and Reid took either side entrances. The rest came through the front. The back was supposed to be the lowest risk entrance, and yet鈥β
The girl was barely breathing when you arrived 鈥 what was her name? Erica? Eliza? You 鈥 you can鈥檛 remember. All you can recall is how you鈥檇 ran to check her pulse, and there was a click behind you, and then 鈥 and then Hotch was there, and he was telling the man to put the gun down, and鈥
Then you were shot, you suppose.
鈥淗ey.鈥 You vaguely register the rest of the team calling for medical in the background, but all you can focus on is him. His hands are pressing down on the hole in your chest, and he keeps looking between it and your face like you鈥檒l magically disappear if he looks away for more than a few seconds.聽
Something in the corner of your eye moves 鈥 oh, it鈥檚 Morgan. Morgan and Rossi, kneeling down beside you, faces contorted with shock. They look strange 鈥 like you鈥檙e looking at them through glass. Blurry, steadily dimming鈥
鈥淪tay awake,鈥 Hotch urges, hand slapping the side of your face gently. 鈥淐鈥檓on, sweetheart, you can do it. Don鈥檛 fall asleep on me.鈥
鈥淏ut 鈥榤鈥 tired,鈥 you slur, whining with another twinge of pain. 鈥淎n鈥 鈥 an鈥 my chest hurts, Aaron, it hurts鈥斺
鈥淚 know, honey,鈥 he鈥檚 gasping it out, now 鈥 he鈥檚 holding back tears, you realise, and you can鈥檛 fathom what for. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e doing so well, okay? Medical 鈥 where鈥檚 medical?!鈥
鈥淭hey鈥檙e on their way,鈥 somebody says.
鈥淲hat鈥檚 taking them so long?鈥 Somebody else exclaims.
鈥淚鈥 I鈥︹ You 鈥 you can鈥檛 speak. You can鈥檛. You鈥檙e too tired 鈥 your lips almost refuse to move, and it鈥檚 getting harder to formulate words, and you鈥檙e so tired鈥 鈥淎aron, I鈥 love you鈥 okay鈥?鈥
The panic in his voice increases鈥 鈥淗ey, no, don鈥檛鈥斺
But against your will, your eyes roll to the back of your head, and the world fades to black.
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
The journey to the hospital passes in flashes. The ambulance ride is a flurry of hushed talking between paramedics, the siren numb and shrill in the back of his mind. You鈥檙e too still. Too grey-looking, too pale, and he knows the image will stick with him. Just like鈥
Just like Haley. Just like Prentiss.
He walks with you as far as he can 鈥 has one bloodied hand on the side of your stretcher until one of the doctors who鈥檇 gathered around you kindly tells him that you can鈥檛 be past this point, sir because you鈥檙e going into surgery. You鈥檙e going into surgery because you got shot in the chest and your blood is all over his hands and he鈥檚 still got his bulletproof vest on and鈥
鈥淎aron, you need to clean yourself up.鈥
The team arrived maybe 鈥 he eyes the clock opposite him 鈥 10 minutes after he did. He registered them walking towards him, registered the way they stopped and stared. He guesses he made an image, sitting with his elbows on his knees and his head bowed, blood up to his forearms. He told them what the doctor had said, word for word, but that wasn鈥檛 much 鈥 and then he didn鈥檛 say much afterwards, either. Just sat and stared at the ground, mind moving too fast for him to keep up with.
They鈥檙e not much better. It鈥檚 all too much 鈥 Prentiss, and now you? They won鈥檛 be able to take it. They won鈥檛. Hell, he knows Prentiss is alive and it鈥檚 still too much. For the better part of two hours there鈥檚 minor conversation 鈥 a few phone calls explaining their whereabouts, a few discussions about the case with local police, but nothing more.
The third hour in, though, Rossi leans over, a firm hand on Aaron鈥檚 shoulder. 鈥淐鈥檓on. We鈥檝e got your go bag, you can change in the bathroom.鈥
He wants to tell him no. He wants to say I'm not moving from this spot, Dave, because leaving runs the risk of missing something, and he can't afford to鈥
Dave's voice lowers to a clandestine whisper. Pitying, melancholy. Much too understanding. "I saw you out there, Aaron. I know what you're going through. Trust me: she'd prefer if you were taking care of yourself."
...He makes a good point.聽
The truth is, realistically, Aaron knows you won鈥檛 wake up in the short while it鈥檒l take to change. He knows he'd benefit from not being packed into his vest, too, and鈥 he also doesn鈥檛 think he can take much longer with your blood on his hands.
But there's always that childlike fear lingering in the back of his brain 鈥 the second you step away, it jeers, you'll lose her. You'll never get to say goodbye.聽
He's never been one to buy into that voice 鈥 or its rhetoric, either. He prefers to鈥 to look at things emotion-free, remove himself from the situation, figure out what鈥檚 best in the grand scheme of things.
It鈥檚 hard. It鈥檚 fucking hard. It was hard with Haley and Jack, it was hard with Prentiss, it鈥檚 hard with you, but it鈥檚 a fear that has to be overcome.聽
So he takes his go bag from Morgan. Stands, rolls his aching shoulders.
鈥淚鈥檒l be back in a moment,鈥 he asserts. 鈥淚鈥檒l鈥 if anything changes鈥斺
鈥淵ou鈥檒l be the first to know,鈥 Rossi assures him. 鈥淧romise.鈥
He gets dressed in the hospital bathrooms 鈥 too sterile, too white, much too quiet. The only clothes he has in his bag are work clothes; slacks, a pressed white shirt, a suit jacket. He forgoes the jacket 鈥 too formal 鈥 and washes his hands and forearms, dying the water a sickly pink.聽
He looks up. Stares at himself in the mirror.
That鈥檚 when it sets in 鈥 that鈥檚 when the tears start. He grips the sides of the sink and bows his head low, chest shuddering with strained, quiet sobs. It鈥檚 all coming back 鈥 the wetness of your blood on his hands, your pained whimpers 鈥 Haley鈥檚 body, still and covered in a blanket 鈥 鈥淎aron鈥 I鈥 love you鈥 okay?鈥
You鈥檝e never called him Aaron before 鈥 not while with the team. Always Hotchner or Hotch or grumpy or sir. He dreads to think that鈥 that it may be the last time that you鈥
No. No. He can鈥檛 鈥 he can鈥檛 think like that. You鈥檙e alive, that鈥檚 what matters. You鈥檒l be out of surgery in a few hours and you鈥檒l be fine and he鈥檚 not going to torment himself thinking otherwise.聽
Deep breath. Deep breath. He straightens up, rubs his nose and his eyes, blinks away the redness. Not only do you need him, the team does 鈥 and that鈥檚 what gets him out of there, really: the knowledge that despite everything, he鈥檚 still team leader. Somebody needs to take charge, reassure them 鈥 especially after Emily 鈥 and maybe鈥 clear up the confusion that鈥檚 undoubtedly been wrought from the words you spoke before you passed out. He needs to be that person.
Shouldering his bag and taking one last firm inhale, he rejoins the team where they鈥檝e gathered. Reid and Morgan stand against the wall, talking quietly between themselves; Rossi鈥檚 rosary beads have made a rare appearance, pressed to his lips; JJ passes her phone between her hands, no doubt keeping Garcia up to date. When they notice his approach, all attention shifts to him.聽
He clears his throat 鈥 drops his bag on his seat, rubs his hands over his face wearily.聽
鈥淪he鈥檒l be okay,鈥 he says finally. 鈥淪he鈥 she鈥檒l be okay.鈥
It鈥檚 obvious that he鈥檚 trying to convince himself as much as he鈥檚 trying to convince them. He sees it in the pity in Rossi鈥檚 eyes, the worried frown on Morgan鈥檚 face. Reid looks close to tears, and Hotch has to avert his eyes because he鈥檚 close to them, too.
鈥淗ow long have you been together?鈥 says Rossi, then, and Hotch can鈥檛 say that he鈥檚 surprised. In a team full of profilers, it鈥檚 a miracle that you kept it a secret as long as you did, really. Still, when the words leave Rossi鈥檚 mouth, Hotch can only freeze.
The few times you talked about telling the team you imagined it would happen over dinner, or鈥 well, not in a hospital waiting room, that鈥檚 for sure. Not鈥 not like this. Never like this.
Morgan鈥檚 head snaps towards Rossi 鈥 then to Hotch. JJ and Spencer exchange confused glances, and then they鈥檙e staring at him, too.
鈥...Since the Charles Nelson case.鈥
Rossi exhales, and his head bows low. Hotch has the feeling that he鈥檇 been hoping more for a what are you talking about? rather than a flat out answer.
鈥淲h鈥 together?鈥 Morgan echoes, shifting where he stands. 鈥淲hat do you mean 鈥榯ogether鈥?鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檙e dating?鈥 Spencer asks hotly. 鈥淲ha鈥 when were you going to tell us?鈥
鈥淲e鈥 wanted to be careful. With work, that is. We told Strauss but鈥斺
鈥淵ou told Strauss but not us?鈥 JJ interrupts.
鈥淟ook,鈥 he interrupts, 鈥淲e were worried about our reputations more than anything. The BAU鈥檚 image as well as our own 鈥 it wasn鈥檛 because of you. You know what people would say about us 鈥 about her鈥斺
A stretcher is rolled past the group, and his mouth shuts. Now that the adrenaline from the night is beginning to wear off, he just feels drained. He collapses into the chair next to his go bag, pinching the bridge of his nose 鈥 and that鈥檚 when it sets in for the team, then.聽
He鈥檇 lost Haley. He closed himself off for the better part of two years, and just when he opens himself back up to love, this happens. He could lose you too.
JJ is the first to hug him. Morgan, then. Reid and Rossi join quickly after, and they sit like that for God knows how long.聽
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
鈥淔uck.鈥
It鈥檚 not the most graceful way to emerge from unconsciousness, you鈥檒l admit. Then again, emerging from unconsciousness in itself is not a graceful act. The lights are too bright and your mouth is too dry and you鈥檙e somehow too warm and too hot at the same time 鈥 and don鈥檛 even get you started on the throbbing ache radiating throughout your chest, arms, and general upper-body area. It鈥檚 hell.聽
Things start glitching out when you think about how the hell you got here in the first place 鈥 you remember driving to the abandoned warehouse, splitting up, and鈥 well, you鈥檙e not stupid. You can guess what happened next.
鈥淗ello to you too,鈥 a voice says 鈥 not just a voice, your mind corrects you. Aaron, and immediately you鈥檙e seeking him out, trying to push yourself up. 鈥淓asy, easy.鈥
He comes into view, hovering above you. One hand gently presses down on your stomach, forcing you back down. He tries a smile 鈥 it鈥檚 more of a wince, really, especially when he鈥檚 frowning like that. 鈥淵ou shouldn鈥檛 be sitting up yet. You鈥檝e been out for two days.鈥
鈥淣oted.鈥 You grimace. The pain in your torso isn鈥檛 exactly the type that you can just push through, so you don鈥檛 doubt it. 鈥淭he unsub鈥?鈥
鈥淒ead. Gunshot wound.鈥 His eyes drift to the general area where your own gunshot wound is, pulsing and throbbing with pain beneath the bandages and hospital gown, and you鈥檙e not ignorant to what he鈥檚 thinking: that could鈥檝e been you. 鈥淎ny pain? Need me to call a doctor?鈥
鈥淣o. No, I鈥檓 fine. I mean 鈥 as fine as鈥 y鈥檏now鈥︹ A beat of silence, and you cast a glance around the room. 鈥淲here鈥檚 the team?鈥
鈥淭hey should be a minute. I told them to go back to the hotel, clean up.鈥 It鈥檚 only then that he sits back down, pulling his chair closer to your bedside. You watch with timid eyes as he runs a hand over his face 鈥 you don鈥檛 think he鈥檚 slept. No, actually: you know he hasn鈥檛 slept. He tends not to when under stress.聽
鈥淵ou look tired, sweetie,鈥 you say quietly. 鈥淵ou haven't been taking care of yourself, have you?鈥
鈥淵ou were shot in the chest,鈥 he鈥檚 quick to interrupt, voice steady and stoic as usual, his eyes narrowing defensively, 鈥淵ou were in surgery for three hours, unconscious for two days. I was worried.鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 fine.鈥
鈥淵ou almost weren鈥檛, _____.鈥 There鈥檚 a tremble in his voice that makes your heart plummet, and you鈥檙e reminded of what he鈥檇 divulged just last week. I鈥檓 terrified of losing the people I love. I鈥檓 scared that I鈥檒l make a mistake 鈥 make a call that costs everything.
鈥淎aron,鈥 you mutter, reaching for his hand. The warmth of him dims the pain for a second, and you take a deep, steadying breath. 鈥淚 can鈥檛 guarantee that I鈥檒l never get hurt, okay? And neither can you. And that鈥檚 鈥 that鈥檚 terrifying, really, when I think about it, because I remember sitting at your bedside after Foyet, and I remember how it felt seeing you so鈥 so still and pale and鈥
鈥淢y point is: I can鈥檛 promise that. You know I can鈥檛, and neither can you. But I can promise that I will do everything I can to prevent it. That I鈥檒l do everything I can to reassure you time and time again that it isn鈥檛 your fault and it never will be 鈥 that鈥 that鈥斺
You cut yourself off, because your throat constricts with a sudden wave of emotion 鈥 you can鈥檛 even put a finger on what it is. Guilt and sadness and fear 鈥 fear, because fuck. You could鈥檝e died. You didn鈥檛, and that鈥檚 a relief, but what if the bullet had just been a few inches to the right? You would鈥檝e left him alone. Jack, too. Spencer and JJ. Morgan and Rossi and Garcia. Your mom 鈥 who you haven鈥檛 spoken to in a long, long time 鈥 would get a call: Your daughter鈥檚 dead. Sorry for your loss. And that would be that.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry,鈥 you blabber, because suddenly you鈥檙e crying and sniffling and Hotch is standing from his seat, cupping your face in his hands, 鈥淚 鈥 I didn鈥檛 even see him 鈥 he just came out of nowhere, and鈥斺
鈥淗ey, look at me 鈥 honey, look at me鈥斺 Just having his hands on you 鈥 having him guide your eyes towards him instead of around the room 鈥 is enough to get your sobs to quieten to whimpers, and he works quickly: 鈥淲e鈥檝e all had our fair share of hospital stints. This wasn鈥檛 your fault, do you hear me? He鈥檚 gone, and you鈥檙e not. You鈥檙e here, and he鈥檚 not.鈥
You clasp your hands over his, bottom lip trembling鈥 鈥淎aron, I鈥檓 so sorry鈥斺
鈥淭here鈥檚 nothing for you to be sorry about.鈥 He stares at you as he says it, as if not blinking will help you understand better. And it does, in a way, you suppose: your chest doesn鈥檛 feel quite as heavy, and you find yourself nodding along with him. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e okay now. That鈥檚 all that matters.鈥
That鈥檚 all that matters. That鈥檚 all that matters. You鈥檙e alive, and safe, and that鈥檚 all that matters.聽
鈥淐ould you 鈥 could you kiss me, please?鈥 Because you almost died and it鈥檚 only setting in and you want your boyfriend to kiss you, goddamnit. You can have this 鈥 if nothing else, you can have this.
There鈥檚 a split second before he leans in where he鈥檚 face just contorts in sadness 鈥 his eyebrows arching upwards and his jaw clenching, and he looks so heartbroken that for a second you feel like you could cry again.聽
But the moment passes, and he presses his lips to yours, and you feel鈥 you feel right again. Like the anxiety that had been lying dormant in you dissipates into thin air, fizzles out of existence. All there is is Aaron and his warmth and the softness of his hair and the smell of his cologne and how firm and sweet he holds your face between his hands鈥
鈥淗ope we鈥檙e not interrupting.鈥
鈥攁nd then there鈥檚鈥 Rossi. He rattles his knuckles against the door, snickering like a child when you pull your face away from Aaron鈥檚 at the speed of light 鈥 and then the rest of the team trickle in, all tired smiles and well-wishes.聽
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck 鈥 how are you supposed to expla鈥 why is Hotch not panicking鈥?
鈥淕uys!鈥 You exclaim, eyes darting between them all. Is your chest actually hurting or is that just your own panic? 鈥淚 鈥 we can explain鈥斺
鈥淐at鈥檚 out of the bag, kid,鈥 Morgan says, his grin soft and fond, 鈥淲e know.鈥
鈥淵ou鈥 you know,鈥 you repeat dumbly. Your eyes find Hotch 鈥 he鈥檚 already looking at you, wearing a soft, bashful grin of his own. 鈥淭hey鈥 know?鈥
鈥淭hey know,鈥 he confirms, reaching for your hand 鈥 and you don鈥檛 miss the way Morgan nudges JJ鈥檚 shoulder when he does. 鈥淥ne less thing to worry about, huh?鈥
鈥淚 鈥 I mean, yeah. Totally.鈥 It doesn鈥檛 take a profiler to know that you鈥檙e suddenly flustered to hell and back with the attention being poured on you from every direction. You know they want to tease you 鈥 you know they鈥檙e all hanging on to their jokes and quips, save maybe Reid, who just looks happy to see you both happy.聽
鈥淥ne hell of a reveal,鈥 Rossi jests at last. 鈥淵ou didn鈥檛 need to get shot, y鈥檏now.鈥
You scoff, 鈥淥h, yeah. Let me keep that in mind for the next time.鈥
Aaron鈥檚 hand tightens around yours, and he sends you a mostly joking look of warning. 鈥淭here won鈥檛 be a next time.鈥
鈥淣o promises.鈥
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鈥淪even months ago, I made a decision that affected this team.鈥
Hotch has been gone for the better part of seven months, too. An investigative task-force in Pakistan 鈥 all details need to know, so naturally, you knew virtually nothing. Texting was limited, video-calling even more so. When the team downsized after Emily, it was only a matter of time before he was whisked away.
You didn鈥檛 even know he was coming back until an hour ago. He can鈥檛 meet your eyes.聽
鈥淎s you all know, Emily had lost a lot of blood after her fight with Doyle.鈥
You don鈥檛 know why he鈥檚 explaining this. You all know. You were all there. You鈥檇 buried her, mourned her, and continued to do so. The entire team was rocked by her loss. It changed you all. Morgan is running himself to the ground going after Doyle 鈥 Reid spends most of his free time at the shooting range. Garcia frantically mothers the entire team like it could bring Emily back, but鈥
鈥淏ut the doctors were able to stabilize her, and she was airlifted from Boston to Bethesda under covert exfiltration. Her identity was strictly need-to-know, and she stayed there until she was well enough to travel.鈥
Your head snaps up 鈥 as does Garcia鈥檚. As does Morgan鈥檚, Reid鈥檚, Rossi鈥檚 鈥 and his eyes instinctively find you. He鈥檚 quick to look away, though, retaining that ever-so-stoic leader facade. You feel like you鈥檙e going to be sick 鈥 you feel like you鈥檙e in a dream. This isn鈥檛 real. This 鈥 this can鈥檛 be real鈥
鈥淪he was reassigned to Paris where she was given several identities, none of which we had access to, for her security.鈥
The silence in the room swells, dips, rises once more. Garcia鈥檚 the first to speak 鈥 her eyes glassy and her face the image of heartbreak. You imagine you look no better, because you鈥檙e not even attempting to hide what you鈥檙e feeling.
鈥淪he鈥檚 alive?鈥
鈥淏ut鈥 we buried her,鈥 Reid says next, confused and hurt and 鈥 he doesn鈥檛 deserve this. None of you do. How hard had he beat himself up for her death? How long has he been coming to you with his heart on his sleeve, crying his eyes out?聽
鈥淎s I said, I take full responsibility for the decision. If anyone has any issues, they should be directed toward me.鈥
鈥淎ny issues?鈥 You almost think it鈥檚 you that speaks, because the anger that鈥檚 so clear in Morgan鈥檚 voice is what you feel. 鈥淵eah, I got issues鈥斺
The sound of approaching footsteps 鈥 heels 鈥 draws everyone鈥檚 attention. Heart in your throat, anger in your veins, shock fogging over your thoughts, you follow everyone else鈥檚 lead, and turn towards the doorway.聽
There stands Emily Prentiss 鈥 alive. Well. Looking healthy and glowing and sheepish, and you鈥檙e not sure whether you want to be furious or glad or both or neither or鈥
鈥淥h my God,鈥 you breathe, pushing your chair out. 鈥淓mily, oh my God鈥斺
You鈥檙e crying. God, you鈥檙e crying, but you don鈥檛 care 鈥 you cross the room to her and wrap your arms around her as tightly as they can go. She still uses the same perfume, you notice. It鈥檚 like nothing鈥檚 changed, and yet鈥
Everything. Everything has changed.
鉁э渐锞: *鉁э渐锞:* 銆銆 *:锝ワ緹鉁*:锝ワ緹鉁
Hotch realises that you鈥檙e avoiding him quite quickly, which is to be expected.聽
You haven鈥檛 hugged him. Kissed him. Talked to him alone, even, apart from a hurried welcome back, sir 鈥 the rest has been case talk, and not for lack of trying on his end, because he鈥檚 tried. You go home before he can catch you on the way out; you slip off to the ladies鈥 bathroom when he enters the break room. Every attempt to start a conversation is quickly snuffed out with a quick sorry, I鈥檝e got to get this to Garcia or sorry, sir, I鈥檓 busy.聽
You just鈥 you need time.聽
You鈥檝e always鈥 found it hard to open up to people. You have no problem caring for others, or comforting 鈥 you鈥檙e naturally extroverted and it鈥檚 never bothered you. You like talking to people. People like talking to you. You feel every emotion deeply 鈥 too deeply, sometimes 鈥 and you used to hate it.聽
You recall the death of your beloved pet fish, Sammy, when you were 14. You cried for a week straight. Over a fish. And now, at 25, you still haven鈥檛 managed to stop caring as much as you do 鈥 Hotch knows that. He鈥檚 reprimanded you for being too emotionally involved in certain cases, but it鈥檚 not something you can just turn off.
He knew that when Prentiss died, it was like a part of you died, too. She was like a sister 鈥 is, you remind yourself. She is like a sister, because she鈥檚 still alive.
She鈥檚 alive, and you鈥檙e supposed to鈥 to just go back to normal. You鈥檙e supposed to pretend that you didn鈥檛 bury her 鈥 an empty coffin, rather 鈥, that the entire team hasn鈥檛 been rickety and crumbling ever since her supposed death.聽
And don鈥檛 get you wrong 鈥 you know that you鈥檙e being immature. You know the whole deal with Prentiss was out of both of their hands and Hotch was doing what was best, but it doesn鈥檛 stop you from feeling painfully, indelibly betrayed. He saw what Prentiss鈥檚 death did to you. He saw and he sat there and he held you, comforted you, knowing what he knew.
So maybe avoiding him wasn鈥檛 the most sophisticated decision you鈥檝e ever made. You can admit that 鈥 still, your pride is bruised. You don鈥檛 plan to try and talk to him until the Doyle case is cleaned up and stored away, except鈥
Except he catches you off guard one early morning.
In your defense, it鈥檚 before 7 AM, and you鈥檇 hoped you would have another hour or two until the rest of the team arrived. You鈥檙e walking through the hallways outside of the BAU, eyes trained on the grainy surveillance photos in hand, when somebody grabs your wrist and pulls you back the way you came.
You catch the back of a head full of ebony hair and a tall, lean figure, and you curse.
鈥淗ey鈥!鈥 You exclaim, trying to tug your hand back鈥 鈥淗otch, stop! What are you doing鈥?鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檝e been ignoring me.鈥 He experimentally opens the first door he sees, and peeks his head in 鈥 it鈥檚 an empty office, and he must decide that it鈥檚 perfect, because he pulls you in after him.聽
鈥淚 haven鈥檛 been ignoring you鈥斺
鈥淚 haven鈥檛 seen you in seven months.鈥 He sits on the edge of the great, sleek desk 鈥 the room鈥檚 centrepiece 鈥 and he looks at you with that look. You know: the raised brow, folded arms. The one that says I know what you鈥檙e doing and I want you to explain.聽
You shuffle in place, suddenly ashamed. 鈥淵ou saw me yesterday.鈥
鈥淿____.鈥
鈥淗otch.鈥
鈥淵ou feel betrayed,鈥 he says, eyes still fixed on you. 鈥淚 kept Prentiss a secret from you. From the entire team.鈥
And God, it irritates you. You want him to argue. You want him to snap 鈥 if only so that you can snap yourself. You don鈥檛 want him to be understanding and empathic because then you can鈥檛 be angry at him, and if you can鈥檛 be angry at him then it鈥檚 just going to well up and eat you from the inside out鈥
鈥淐an we do this another time?鈥 You say, about to turn on your heel鈥
鈥淿____.鈥 His voice takes a stern turn. 鈥淚 know what you鈥檙e doing.鈥
鈥淥h? Humour me, Hotchner. Profile me.鈥
He scoffs a laugh, an amused little smile tugging at his lips, and your eyes narrow. 鈥淚鈥檓 not gonna do that. You wanna get angry? Get angry. Tell me what you think. Tell me why you鈥檙e avoiding me.鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 avoiding you because I don鈥檛 know what to say, Aaron!鈥 You finally exclaim, stepping forward. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know what to say, because I know why you kept it a secret and it still hurts. I鈥檓 angry and I don鈥檛 even know who I鈥檓 angry at! You let me mourn for months 鈥 we buried her! I 鈥 I tormented myself over what I could鈥檝e done better 鈥 I cried, and I didn鈥檛 sleep properly for weeks after, and I 鈥 and then you were gone, too!
鈥淵ou were gone, and she was gone, and it was hell, okay?鈥 You finish 鈥 and you huff, then, turning your back to him because your eyes are beginning to sting and you鈥檙e embarrassed. 鈥淚 needed you and you were gone, and it wasn鈥檛 even your fault. I鈥 I didn鈥檛 have anyone to blame, so I blamed myself.鈥
Your bottom lip trembles, and you roughly wipe away whatever wetness is staining the corner of your eyes. 鈥淚t doesn鈥檛 matter. You鈥檙e both back now, and鈥 everything is going back to normal, I guess.鈥
Hotch stays silent, watching intently as you turn back towards him. You have no more to say 鈥 that鈥檚 all of it, compacted into a few lines and a few tears. Seven months of hardship squished into one rant. You can only stare right back at him, breathing heavy, eyes glassy, until鈥
鈥淐ome here, honey.鈥
For all your determination about avoiding him, the second he opens his arms, you fall right into him. Call you weak, you really don鈥檛 care 鈥 seven months is a damn long time, and all anger aside, you missed him. Your bad mood has fizzled into a resigned sense of acceptance, at this point 鈥 you just needed to let it all out.
You practically melt into him. Maybe you hold him a little too tight, but his arms aren鈥檛 exactly loose around your waist, so you don鈥檛 trouble yourself over it. You just鈥 allow yourself to exist with him, for a moment, completely free of burden and protocol and Doyle and everything. You breathe in his cologne and feel the softness of his suit against your cheek and the broadness of him in your arms 鈥 and there鈥檚 a sniffle against your shoulder, but you鈥檙e teary, too.
鈥淵ou know why I did it,鈥 he murmurs against you, 鈥渂ut I鈥檓 still sorry. I wasn鈥檛 there when you needed me, but 鈥 but I鈥檓 here now, okay?鈥
And as he pulls back 鈥 just slightly, mind you, just enough to press his lips gently to yours 鈥 you know, wholeheartedly and completely, that that鈥檚 enough.
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(鈥淎m I missing something?鈥 Prentiss watches 鈥 mouth agape, eyes wide 鈥 as Hotch whispers something over your shoulder, grinning widely. He鈥檚 standing close behind you 鈥 much too close, might she add 鈥 and nobody else seems to be bothered.聽
She looks on, her eyebrows progressively rising and rising as you laugh, lifting your glass of wine delicately to your lips 鈥 Hotch鈥檚 arms wrap around your body to chop the onion Rossi had placed on your cutting board. Emily should be learning how to cook carbonara, too, but her eyes keep drifting back over to you.
鈥淚鈥檓 鈥 I鈥檓 missing something, aren鈥檛 I?鈥
鈥淥h 鈥 nobody told you?鈥 Garcia asks, tilting her head as she passes. 鈥淚 thought they did.鈥
鈥淭old me? Told me what?鈥 Emily calls after her. 鈥淲ait 鈥 Penelope! Told me what?鈥)
6K notesView notes
kalivodasa year ago
Text
emily: *gets hit by a car*
passerby: are you oKAY???
emily: please..i need..my phone
*opens 鈥榖au baddies!鈥 groupchat
emily: LMFAO YALL GUESS WHAT??!?
7K notesView notes
reidsmemorya year ago
Text
Cuddling with Spencer on the Plane
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Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Spencer Reid x Reader
Genre: Fluffiest fluff ever
Request: Can I get a HC of cuddling with Spencer on the jet after a case. Thank you!!!!
Quinn Speaks: First of all I love this request!! Thank you so much for sending it in <3
So it started off pretty innocent with it being a late night after a tiring case
You sat next to Spencer on the way home and as much as you tried to stay up, you ending up falling asleep on his shoulder
Just kinda leaning on it with your face smushed up against him聽
He kinda was freaking out and looked to JJ and Derek who were sitting across from you guys
They just kinda laughed and JJ told him not to move until you woke up and Derek kinda just teased him as he kept blushing
He didn鈥檛 move and just kinda watched you as you slept thinking to himself how peaceful you looked with your cheeks flushed lightly and mouth parted and your eyelashes were fluttering every now and then and how kissable your lips looked
It wasn鈥檛 until you all hit a spot of turbulence and it jolted you awake and Spencer was knocked out of his trance
You didn鈥檛 realize that you had been leaning on Spencer and just wondering why his cheeks were so pink聽
Turning away you went to sleep and Spencer kinda missed you just leaning on him but didn鈥檛 think to much of it
That was until it happened again about a month later
You had ended up tackling and unsub after chasing him through a busy city and it had been tolling on you聽
So as soon as you sat down on the jet you knocked out
Spencer took his normal seat next to you聽
Soon after liftoff everyone had the same idea as you and the team began to drift off to sleep
You unconsciously moved closer to Spencer and ending up leaning you head on his shoulder again
In his sleep he wrapped an arm around you and rested his head on top of yours
Emily woke up first and saw this and couldn鈥檛 resist taking a one or a few photo
Everyone else woke up soon after Emily except you and the doctor
JJ thought it was very cute, Morgan took photos like Emily had done, Hotch had secretly been hoping you 2 would get together and the thought made the man smile, Rossi made sure to mentally note this as another chapter in his autobiography
You woke up first and felt Spencer clinging onto you and looked to Emily for guidance as she just snickered and you grew more nervous
You had a crush on the slightly older man for some time now and this situation you were in right now didn鈥檛 help your feelings one bit
You stayed like this until the pilot announced they would be touching down
Spencer woke up and stretched out as you pretended to be sleeping still聽
Spencer had a small frown on his face as he thought that you hadn鈥檛 grabbed him in your sleep like you did last time
He shook off the feeling and 鈥榳oke you up鈥 as the plane landed and everyone was on their way home
The next time it was totally on purpose
Spencer had a hard time with the case you had gotten back from as he related to most of the victims as they had been bullied in high school
Everyone was cautious around him and didn鈥檛 bother him on the way back home
Instead of sitting in his normal spot next to you, he sat upright on the couch and had a tired and blank look on his face
Everyone had fallen asleep except you and him
You felt as if you had to look after him
You made your way over to the coffee machine and made two cups of hot water as you put a tea bag into each of them
You walked over to him and placed the teas in the cup holders next to you
Spencer didn鈥檛 say anything for a while and you didn鈥檛 push him to tell you anything either
You both sat in silence and you occasionally took sips from your tea
He finally turned to you and spoke in a hushed voice
He ranted on about how he should saved them and that he could鈥檝e done better
Then he asked you something
Something that you never thought the man would want from you
A hug
You nodded and opened your arms as he rushed into them and started quietly sobbing on your shoulder
You held him tight and rubbed his back sweetly as you felt you shirt getting damp
Soon Spencer was worn out and just clinging to you
You peeled away and saw his eye were droopy so you pushed him down lightly so he was laying on the couch聽
Grabbing a blanket and laying it over him and as you were walking away you felt him hand pull on yours
鈥淪tay,鈥 he whispered and you did just that
He moved over so that you could hold him as his head rested on your shoulder and his arms wrapped around you聽
You cupped his cheek with one hand and traced his features as well as playing with his hair聽
You both fell asleep quickly and the team said nothing when you all woke up, not wanting to bother Spencer
After that it came natural for you and Spencer to cuddle up to each other after cases聽
鈥淚t鈥檚 just comfy,鈥 you or Spencer would defend when the team asked you about it along with the classic,聽鈥渨e鈥檙e just friends!鈥
Both of you would blush and pretend to get back to whatever you were supposedly doing before
Then Spencer and you would grab dinner after cases or sneaking into each other鈥檚 hotel rooms on away cases to cuddle thinking the team didn鈥檛 notice they did or sit next to each other every place you went
The team was sick of it聽
They devised a plan that couldn鈥檛 fail
On the next plane ride home, Morgan would sit next to you and pretend to fall asleep on you聽
It worked
Spencer practically had smoke coming from his ears when he entered the plane and saw the Derek Morgan sat next to you, in his spot
His spot!!
As the flight went on Derek聽鈥榝ell asleep鈥 and even wrapped a hand around your waist
He hugged you multiple times before as well as saving your butt and vice versa so you didn鈥檛 really mind
Spencer did
Oh man did he mind
If looks could kill, Derek would be six feet underground
JJ and Emily stifled their giggles and Hotch hid his smile as Rossi was able to pretend to look over the case
Spencer could鈥檝e swore that he saw Morgan鈥檚 signature smirk grace his face a couple times
When the plane landed Derek let go and everyone left the plane and packed up
Spencer pulled you aside when getting into the SUV鈥檚聽
He admitted to his crush and that he often sleeps better with you around and never gets nightmares and if you didn鈥檛 feel the same it was totally fine and-
Bam!
You kissed him and successfully stopped his rambling
Pulling away slowly you started to apologize until he dropped his bags and pulled you face closer to his
He did the Spencer Kiss TM
Full face grab, super aggressive, and very passionate
Cheers were coming from nearby and when you two pulled away with swollen lips the team had smiles on their faces
Derek explained the plan and Spencer blushed as they teased him
JJ, Emily, Derek, and Rossi handed over 20 bucks to Hotch who smiled widely
鈥淲e were betting on you,鈥 Emily explained,聽鈥淗otch bet Reid would make the first move but you would initiate the kiss.鈥
You giggled as Spencer just blushed further
From then on they would tease you two, but were so very happy for the both of you
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reidamancya year ago
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skinny tie || spencer reid
summary:聽It鈥檚 Spencer鈥檚 first day back at work after your honeymoon and you can鈥檛 seem to keep your hands off of him... or his damn tie.聽(husband!spencer reid x fem!reader)
category: fluff... lots of domestic fluff
warnings: none
word count: 1.4k
a/n:聽this is my first fluff on here and idk how i feel about it lmao. i honestly think i鈥檓 better at writing angst but i literally think about spencer鈥檚 ties all the time, so i put it into writing! lmk what you think!
MASTERLIST
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The blaring of the alarm clock awakened both you and Spencer from your deep sleep. You groaned and wrapped the blanket around you tighter as he went to turn off the alarm and turn on a nearby lamp.聽
鈥淲hy do you have to work so early?鈥 You groaned.聽
He returned to his spot on the bed and you took the opportunity to roll over and curl up next to him. He chuckled as he wrapped an arm around you and placed a kiss on your temple.聽鈥淲hat? You don鈥檛 miss waking up at 6 every morning?鈥
You narrowed your eyes at him before rolling them. He laughed and placed another kiss on your forehead, which caused a smile to form on your face as well. You placed a hand on his chest and leaned towards his face. 鈥淢m, well you better get ready. Don鈥檛 want to be late on your first day back.鈥 You cooed into his ear.
Spencer visibly swallowed. You giggled at the effect you had on him and laid back on your pillow so he could get up. Spencer rubbed his eyes and yawned before quickly getting out of the bed and into the shower.聽
You dozed into a light slumber while he showered, the soft noise of the water lulling you to back to sleep. You hadn鈥檛 even realized you were sleeping until the clinging sounds of Spencer鈥檚 clothes hangers awakened you. You sighed in content and finally got up from the bed. 鈥淕ood morning again, sleeping beauty.鈥 He teased.
You laughed while you rubbed your eyes.聽鈥淚 don鈥檛 have to work for a few more hours, I think I deserve some extra sleep.鈥 You quickly stretched and made your way over to your husband.
Spencer continued to get dressed until you were standing right in front of him. You took a moment to admire his half-dressed state. His unbuttoned dress shirt hung loosely around his shoulders, exposing his chest. Spencer smirked as he watched your eyes rake down his body, admiring the view. His slacks clung to his hips, dangerously low, and you noticed his belt draped on the back of a nearby chair. You bit your lip as your gaze went lower and lower until you noticed his socks.
鈥淪pence, your socks don鈥檛 match.鈥
In the low light provided by the lamp Spencer had previously turned on, it was hard to tell what color Spencer鈥檚 socks were. But they definitely weren鈥檛 the same.
He looked down at his feet and exclaimed,聽鈥淲hat? Yes they do!鈥
You shook your head as you went over to turn on the lights. A soft brightness illuminated the room and revealed a red sock on one of Spencer鈥檚 feet and a green sock on the other. Spencer ran a hand through his hair as he chuckled.聽
鈥淥ops, oh well.鈥 He shrugged.
You playfully rolled your eyes before walking back over to him. As you were approaching, he grabbed you by the waist and pulled you close.
Butterflies erupted in your stomach at the simple gesture. You wrapped your arms behind his neck and smiled up into his eyes. Spencer鈥檚 lips curled into a smile as he gazed down at you lovingly.聽
Laughter rumbled in both of your chests as the two of you both pulled the other in closer. The two of you admired each other, soaking in the moment and getting lost in each other鈥檚 eyes.
鈥淚 love you, Y/N.鈥 Spencer whispered.
Your arms traveled down from his neck to rub his exposed chest.聽鈥淚 love you too, Spencer.鈥 You placed a kiss on his lips as your fingers ghosted their way down his abdomen, leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake. You broke the kiss when you felt Spencer shiver, smirking at his reaction to your touch. Your hands continued their descent until they reached the bottom of his dress shirt.聽You smiled as you began to button him up.
Your movements were slow and sultry as you worked your way up his shirt, one button at a time. You felt your heart fluttering in your chest as you felt the heat radiating off his body. Spencer鈥檚 hands never left your waist, and the sheer proximity of your bodies only contributed to the intimate ambiance.聽
When you finished, Spencer began to tuck in his shirt and put on his belt. You stepped back and excitedly asked,聽鈥淐an I choose your tie?鈥
He chuckled and nodded.聽
You giddily walked over to his closet and sifted through his selection of ties. You settled on one of your favorites, a dark charcoal skinny tie. You practically skipped over to Spencer and draped the tie around his neck.聽鈥淚鈥檝e always wanted to do this!鈥
Spencer laughed. 鈥淭hen why didn鈥檛 you just say so?鈥 His hands were on your hips again and you blushed.
鈥淲e weren鈥檛 married yet.鈥
Spencer furrowed his brows in confusion and you giggled.聽鈥淚t鈥檚 just different now.鈥 You explained with a smile. You brought a finger up to his nose and lightly booped it. His nose scrunched at the action as you both giggled.聽
As you went to tie his tie, you encountered a problem. You realized that you actually had no idea how to. You glanced up at Spencer then tried to mask your confusion as you fumbled with the fabric.
鈥淵/N... do you know how to tie a tie?鈥 Spencer asked, teasingly.
鈥淪hut up, I鈥檓 learning.鈥
You wrapped the tie, made loops with the tie, fed the ends through those loops, but to no avail. You were no where close to tying it properly. Spencer looked down at the mess of knots you made and laughed.聽
鈥淗ey, no! This was supposed to be romantic! Let me just-鈥 You stuck your tongue out in concentration as you tried one last method. You pulled on the tie and...
The entire thing fell apart.聽
Spencer laughed and you huffed.聽鈥淵/N, look.鈥 He took the tie from your hands and slowly tied it as you attentively watched.
鈥淵ou cross it over, bring this over here, pull it up, then feed it through this loop.鈥 He explained, emphasizing each step.聽
鈥淲ait, wait, let me do this part!鈥 You grabbed his tie and pulled, tightening it against his neck and satisfyingly completing his look.聽鈥淚s that too tight?鈥 You whispered.
Spencer shook his head. 鈥淚t鈥檚 perfect.鈥 He pecked your cheek.聽
Your cheeks flushed as you said,聽鈥淚鈥檒l get it next time!鈥
Spencer smiled. He pulled you into a bear hug and rested his head in the crook of your neck. He turned towards your ear and lowly whispered,聽鈥淢m, I鈥檇 much rather you take it off.鈥
You immediately backed away and lightly slapped his shoulder.聽鈥淪pencer!鈥 You scolded.
He let out a laugh as you sarcastically shook your head.聽鈥淵ou have work, mister.鈥 You pointed a finger chided him.聽
鈥淚t鈥檚 Doctor.鈥 He corrected.聽
You beamed at him. You couldn鈥檛 even pretend to be annoyed at this point, he was just too cute.聽
Spencer smiled back at you before quickly throwing on a jacket and leaving your shared bedroom. You followed him into the living room and grabbed his satchel for him. He went through a mental checklist of everything he needed for work and nodded to himself when he had everything. He reached for his satchel in your hands but you stopped him.
鈥淲ait, you鈥檙e forgetting something!鈥
Spencer looked at you in confusion. Without warning, you grabbed his tie and gently pulled him down into a sweet kiss.
You got on your tip toes to meet him in the middle as your lips collided. Your noses slightly bumped at the unexpected action, but Spencer quickly adjusted. His hands went up to cradle your face, pulling you towards him, while yours stayed on his tie. You tugged a little harder on it, closing any distance between you, and enjoying the leverage you had on him.聽Your lips moved in sync as you both breathed each other in. He hummed in satisfaction and you slowly pulled away.聽
As your eyes fluttered open, you saw each other鈥檚 flushed cheeks as you let out heavy breaths. Smiles adorned your faces as you bit your lip.
He pulled you back for a quick peck on the lips then let you go.聽
You tried to ignore the buzzing of your lips as you handed him his satchel.
Spencer slung the bag over his shoulder and made his way towards the door. He turned towards you once more.
鈥淚鈥檒l see you tonight, Y/N.鈥 He beamed. He held on to the straps of his satchel and toyed with his lip, no doubt feeling the same buzz you were. He walked towards the door, but before he could make his way out, you called out to him.
鈥淗ave a good day at work, Dr. Reid!鈥
鈥淵ou too, Mrs. Reid!鈥
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reidsnose4 months ago
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tally marks
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overview: the team cant help but notice reader and spencer's obvious affections towards eachother, so they start keeping track.
genre: fluff
a/n: i think this is cute can u tell i love mutual pining lmaooo but yeah this is a short one sorry anyway lmk if you guys like it :)
masterlist
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everyone had their little thing that stayed on the jet. go bags come and go, hell, even agents come and go. but for their time being, everyone had a jet item that never left the plane.
for morgan it was his soundproof headphones. for hotch it was a very specific notebook. for you it was a small pillow that you adored. so on and so fourth
for spencer it was his blanket. his and only his because everyone has icky germs and a blanket lays all over someone when they sleep its a microscopic bloodbath. and he did not need any of that. he kept it on his unassigned assigned seat and would take it with him to sleep on the jets couch seat. so it really only ever touched him. it was his blanket that he never ever shared with anyone ever.
except for when he shared it with you.
one time, after a case that was particularly draining for you, he insisted you take the long seat on the jet so you could try and get some decent sleep. and you were out like a light but it looked to be a very uncomfortable slumber. your face was contorted with worry and your shoulders shook slightly every so minutes when a shiver would run down your spine. the jet was pretty cold and you looked like you could really use a comfy, warm blanket.
he pondered it for a second. did he mind your germs? no, not really. should he mind them? yes. but he doesn't. for whatever reason he would even be completely ok with you using him as your own personal blanket. he felt his cheeks heat up at the thought of being so physically close to you.
wordlessly, and selectively oblivious to the confused stares he was receiving from the team, he walked over to you and draped the blanket across your body; pulling it up to reach your neck and ensure maximum warmth. after all, humans lose 90% of their body heat through their head and neck. immediately the shivering stopped. you snuggled it closer and he couldn't help but smile watching you quickly find peace and comfort.
jj nudged Emily who cocked an eyebrow at Derek who smirked at Rossi who tapped hotch and they all took a second to watch the scene unfolding at the front of the jet. they could tell Spencer was already smitten before he even figured it out himself. they had their suspicions for a while, and morgan now owes prentiss $5, because this act of affection was confirmation enough for all of them.
Spencer felt a warmth grow in his chest, something he really only felt when he was around you. or thinking of you. or talking to you. basically, having anything to do with you. so he stifled his smile and went back to his seat, opening up his book and trying to ignore the teams eyes boring into him.
when you were shaken awake you were warm and safe and everything smelled like Spencer. and then you recognized Spencer's blanket had been draped across your body and you were holding one of the corners close to your chest. smiling at the mere thought of spencer, you looked up and were met with a smirking Derek.
"come on pretty girl, you're the last one on the jet again," he chuckled, helping you up.
"you can go without me i need to grab my things," you yawned.
he nodded and walked off leaving you alone with Spencer's blanket. you folded it neatly before placing it on Spencer's usual unassigned assigned seat.
the next time you guys were heading home on the jet you could tell Spencer was visibly very tired. a perfect coincidence set up by God himself to help you repay him for letting you use his blanket. you watched him scrunch up his cardigan countless times trying to make it a pillow comfortable enough to sleep ok but it just was not working. though, it was adorable watching his curls bounce around with each movement of his head, you wished some peace would grace his features once again.
you simply couldn't watch him struggle anymore so you walked over to him, gently lifted his head, and placed the pillow beneath it. he looked up confused but when he saw it was you and realized what you were doing he gave you a smile that made you melt.
the team once again took notice of this and started keeping a track of you guys in hotch's notebook. anytime you two did something couple adjacent, a tally mark would be made and bets were even placed on how many tallies it would take for you guys to realize your feelings. Derek told Penelope about it when they landed (because she was originally the one who had been trying to set you two up together from the moment you walked into the bullpen) and she had to be lead into another room to squeal. she was given an update on the tallies after each flight and often gave her own observations when you were all in office.
and so, they watched as you gave each other the blanket and pillow, brought one another coffee, read to each other, left work together, listened to each others none sense ramblings, hugs lingered, hands touched, smiles radiated, eyes met. they were rooting for you nerds to finally realize you were in love.
after one case, you had gotten a little bit injured. nothing major, just a cut on your hand after tackling the unsub, but it was enough to make Spencer fret. it was dangerous, and you shouldn't have been there alone. it could have ended so badly. but he couldn't even be mad at you. so you sat next together on the jet, silent and thinking, just glad to be in each other's presence. Spencer saw your eyelids drooping, looking more adorable than ever to him. he took the blanket that was bunched up next to him and draped it over the both of you.
you smiled at him, taking the pillow from behind your head and handing it to him.
"no you were using this." he whispered.
"its ok ill use your arm instead." you sighed sleepily, snuggling into his arm.
the two of you were bright red and absolutely soaring from being this close. dopey smiles were etched on both of your faces.
"how many is this?" prentiss asked, looking expectedly at hotch.
"this would be number..." he scanned the pages in his notebook, "87"
"for a couple of profilers they sure are bad at seeing the signs," Rossi chuckled.
they looked over and watched as Spencer pressed a kiss to the top of your head before resting his own on it as you snuggled closer to it.
"make that 88."
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ultra mega super cool taglist:
@mac99martin @imhreid @spencersmagic @hollydaisy23 @raelady1184 @a-broken-pact @padfootswife @hey-there-angels @star-stuff-in-the-cosmos @sonnydoesrandomshit @averyhotchner @laurakirsten0502 @reidyoulikeabook @rem-ariiana @spencerreid9 @vampire-overlord @takeyourleap-of-faith @s1utformgg @violetspoetic @aperrywilliams
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Text
reid: sorry guys i cant go on this case, stress is bad for the baby
hotch:
rossi:
emily:
morgan:
jj:
garcia: w
garcia: what baby
reid: me
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reidsmemorya year ago
Text
Echo
Spencer Reid
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Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Spencer Reid x Reader
Summary: Y/N is abducted while working a case and the team has to find her before it鈥檚 too late.
Genre: Fluff with a touch of angst
Warnings: Mention of death of minor character, torture
not my gif!
The team had been looking into case that had targeted girls with Y/H/C hair and Y/E/C eyes. All had looks strikingly similar to you and if anyone were to see either one of the victims in a room with you, they would say you were related. You all had been on the case for about a week now and you were still no where close to catching this guy.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淎gent Y/L/N,鈥 a voice called as you whipped your head to face them,聽鈥渢hese came in for you,鈥 the officer was holding a bouquet of red roses with a small white card on the top of it.聽
聽 聽 聽聽鈥淒o you know who these are from?鈥 you asked as he shook his head and walked away.聽
聽 聽 聽聽鈥淲hat does the note say?鈥 Emily asked as the whole team had watched the interaction.聽
聽 聽 聽You opened the envelope and read the note as you furrowed your brows,聽鈥渆cho.鈥 The team looked at each other with puzzled faces,聽鈥渨hat the hell is that suppose to mean? Have we already dealt with this unsub?鈥 The rest of team began theorizing as the same officer walked up to you again.
聽 聽 聽鈥淎gent, we鈥檝e got someone that say he needs to speak to you.鈥
聽 聽 聽聽鈥淐an鈥檛 they come here?鈥 Hotch asked, getting defensive.
聽 聽 聽 鈥淗e says that he won鈥檛 go into a place of justice, whatever that means,鈥 the officer began to lead you as the rest of the team followed. You began walking towards the entrance of the station as the officer looked around for the mystery man.聽鈥淗e was just here,鈥 the man spoke.聽
聽 聽 聽聽鈥淪pence,鈥 you spoke out as your boyfriend looked to you before you collapsed on the ground. You head hit the flooring as a ringing sounded in your ears as well as their being two of everything. Two Spencer鈥檚 holding your head, two Hotch鈥檚 yelling and pointing fingers, two lights blinding you from seeing anything.聽
聽 聽 聽What felt like hours later you were being lifted onto a bed. Two men had arrived with an ambulance as shouting and yelling was all that was heard.聽鈥淎re you family, sir?鈥 the first responder asked as Spencer opened him mouth and closed it again,聽鈥淚 didn鈥檛 think so, you all can follow in cars.鈥 The man said as his colleague gave him as weird look as the both of them lifted you into the ambulance as the rest of the team rushed to get their keys and get into the SUVs.
聽 聽 聽The ambulance sped off as the sirens wailed and your team rushed to the cars.聽鈥淲hat in the fresh hell?鈥 Derek said as he looked at the tires on one of the SUVs.聽鈥淢y tires are popped, what about you, Hotch?鈥澛
聽 聽 聽鈥淪ame here,鈥 the raven haired man said.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淚t鈥檚 a set up,鈥 Reid spoke as fear flooded his face.聽
***
聽 聽 聽You awoke in a cabin where you had been tired to a chair and had a gag on your mouth. Your vision still hazy and your thoughts even hazier.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淥h good, you鈥檙e up,鈥 a male voice said from the corner of the room. You tried to get a good look at him, but he stayed in the shadows.聽鈥淏en Cyrus,鈥 he said as you furrowed your eyebrows. The name sounded so familiar, but you couldn鈥檛 quite remember where you had heard it before.聽
聽 聽 聽聽鈥淲ho are you?鈥 you asked as the man chuckled.聽鈥淟et me go, I鈥檒l talk to my team and we can work this out.鈥 He scoffed at your words and began to walk towards you.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淏en Cyrus. He ran the greatest church known to man and you,鈥 his face was hardened and his eyes had a crazed look in them,聽鈥渢ook away our faith!鈥 He struck his hand across your face as a burning sensation filled your cheek.聽
聽 聽 聽It all rushed back to you. A few year back you, Prentiss, and Reid had all gone undercover in a cult-like church. The leader, Benjamin Cyrus, had been suspected of child abuse and sexual harassment and the government had wanted the BAU to get involved.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淚 remember,鈥 you said as the man smiled.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淕ood, Agent,鈥 he grabbed a chair from the side of the room and brought it over to sit across from you.聽鈥淣ow,鈥 he started again,聽鈥測ou might not know me. My name is Joey Cyrus and I would say it鈥檚 a pleasure to meet you, but I鈥檇 be lyin鈥,鈥 he studied you as you did the same.
聽 聽 聽鈥淲hat do you want, Joey?鈥澛
聽 聽 聽鈥淲ell my daddy would be nice for one, but I don鈥檛 believe you have the power to do that. So you鈥檒l do just fine,鈥 he got up from his chair and walked over to the bag that you had seen from the corner of your eye. He dumped the contents on the ground in front of you and a spill of tools came out. A hammer, pliers, a baseball bat, a few knives, and other things that could do damage.聽鈥淟et鈥檚 get to know each other.鈥
***
聽 聽 聽Back at the station, Spencer was frantically trying to figure out who had taken you and why. The note on the roses had been laced with a medicinal herb that had knocked you out and the ambulance had been found in a ditch on the highway with all but one of the first responders on it. The medics had been killed in a brutal way that even made Spencer sick to his stomach as he thought about what this guy was doing to you.
聽 聽 聽鈥淩eid,鈥 Hotch鈥檚 voice broke his train of thought as he met eyes with the older man.聽鈥淕o ahead, Garcia.鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淎lright. Our mystery medic is Joseph Mulgrew , he moved to Utah just a few years ago and before that he has been off the map,鈥 Garcia told the team.聽鈥淭his guy, he鈥檚 like a ghost. No records of his name anywhere else and no former address of any kind.鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淒id you say Mulgrew?鈥 Spencer said as the team looked at him.
聽 聽 聽鈥淵es I did Doctor, what about it?鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淟ook up Joseph Cyrus,鈥 Spencer told her as they heard the taps of Garcia鈥檚 keyboard. The team looked at him for an explanation,聽鈥淏enjamin Cyrus, he was an unsub we had.鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淵eah,鈥 Emily started,聽鈥渉e was that guy that ran that church and...鈥 she trailed off as the team got the gist of what she was saying.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淗e was Charles Mulgrew before he made a come back at the church. It could be possible that he has unknown family, considering what he was really doing all those years,鈥 Spencer explained,聽鈥淕arcia, how old is Joseph?鈥澛
聽 聽 聽鈥淗e is 27 years of age and the good doctor is right. Joey here changed his name like dear old dad and oh...鈥 Penny trailed off.
聽 聽 聽鈥淧enny?鈥 JJ asked.
聽 聽 聽鈥淛oseph has been in and out of jail and juvie for as long as I can see. Charged with assault, petty theft, and oh my. Domestic abuse filed by his ex-wife who looks a lot like our Y/N,鈥 a sounding on their tablets was heard as they opened it and saw a woman very similar to you.
聽 聽 聽鈥淏ut Spencer and I went undercover too, why would he pick Y/N?鈥 Emily said as she immediately started to solve the puzzle,聽鈥測ou think it鈥檚 because of the looks of the ex-wife?鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淚 think so,鈥 Rossi mumbled,聽鈥淧enelope pull up the most current address to Joe and anything that could be used to store Y/N.鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淚鈥檝e got a home address and a storage unit and they have all been sent to your phones! Go crime fighters and get our princess back!鈥 Penelope told them.
聽 聽 聽鈥淭hanks, Baby Girl,鈥 Morgan hung up the phone.
聽 聽 聽鈥淩eid with me and JJ. Rossi, Morgan, and Prentiss take the storage. We鈥檒l have to use squad cars until the SUVs are fixed so lets go get Y/L/N,鈥 Hotch ordered as they all nodded ad went to the parking lot.聽
***
聽 聽 聽You muffled your screams and grunts as Joey had began to carve into your stomach. He laughed as you clenched your teeth and held your hands in fists, surely four crescent shaped cuts were to be found on the inside of your palms if you opened them.聽鈥淵ou son of a bitch,鈥 you struggled to get out as Joey wiped the knife off on your pants.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淒on鈥檛 you talk about my mama that way, girl. I鈥檒l make sure you regret it.鈥 You received at blow to the side of your face. You spit out the blood that formed in your mouth as Joey began to take the other tools out from his collection.聽鈥淭hese look nice, don鈥檛 they, girl?鈥 He held up a pack of cigarettes and a lighter as he popped one in his mouth.
聽 聽 聽鈥淭hose things kill,鈥 you said remembering Spencer tell you countless facts about the 鈥榗ancer sticks鈥 as both of you had nicknamed them.聽鈥淥n second thought, why don鈥檛 you just keep smoking them.鈥
聽 聽 聽He laughed,聽鈥測ou are a firecracker. My daddy always said the young ones are.鈥 He stroked your hair as you tried to move back.
聽 聽 聽鈥淵our dad was sick in the head and you are too,鈥 you spoke with such tenacity.聽
聽 聽 聽He looked at you blankly,聽鈥淚 thought I said you don鈥檛 speak of my family like that,鈥 he took the cigarette from his mouth and stuck it on your exposed collar bone.聽
聽 聽 聽You grunted as he held your face in free hand. He leaned into your ear and whispered,聽鈥淚 want to hear those screams, girl.鈥 He press the cigarette into your skin further, finally inciting a small scream to slip past your lips.聽鈥淕ood.鈥
***
聽 聽 聽The team had arrived at both locations and there was no sign that you were there. Spencer paced around with his hands in is hair as the rest of the team was now even more worried than before, if that was possible. The team had no idea where you could be and if you were even alive. It had been at least 13 hours since you had dropped in the lobby and it was eating Spencer and the team alive.
聽 聽 聽鈥淵ou have nothing?鈥 JJ asked Garcia over the phone,.
聽 聽 聽鈥淣o, i鈥檓 sorry. I鈥檒l keep looking and-鈥 she was cut off by Spencer who had just had a revelation.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淕arcia, make sure the jet is ready. I think I know where Y/N is.鈥
***
聽 聽 聽On the jet Spencer had explained the note and how it read聽鈥榚cho鈥 as saying that Joey might want to recreate the explosion at the church and now the team had touched down in Colorado where they got in SUVs to go to the church鈥檚 location.聽
聽 聽 聽A swat team followed them along the dirt roads that were bumpy and the night sky that was dark. The sun was starting to rise in the distance. Spencer remembered you always saying,聽鈥榯he same beams but a new day,鈥 and that made him the tiniest bit hopeful that they would find you in this new day.聽
聽 聽 聽The church came into view as they could see it was now a smaller wooden building.聽鈥淲hat the hell,鈥 Morgan said from the drivers seat as he say the building,聽鈥渢his guy built up a whole new structure to what? Avenge his father鈥檚 death?鈥 The car came to a stop as the team hopped out of the car and Hotch began to go over the plan with the others.
聽 聽 聽鈥淔rom the front-鈥 he was cut off by a ear piercing scream that came from no one other than you. Spencer looked at his boss in worry as Hotch returned the look and started again,聽鈥渓et鈥檚 go.鈥
聽 聽 聽Joey drove a knife into your stomach as you screamed loudly. He left it in your body and quickly grabbed another knife from the ground.聽鈥淵ou have got to work out your daddy issues another way,鈥 you told him as he dragged the new knife down the side of your face as it cut into your skin.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淵ou wanna try something different, girl?鈥 You immediately regretted your words and recalled Spence always telling you that your smart mouth was going to get you in trouble some day. He began to unbutton the top of his flannel, but quickly stopped as he heard footsteps in the distance. You heard them too.聽
聽 聽 聽 鈥淪pencer!鈥 you yelled as loud as you could as Joey came over to you and cut the ropes on your ankles and arms as he quickly grabbed you and put a knife to your neck.聽
聽 聽 聽 From the front of the house Spencer could hear your cries as his ears perked up as his heart rate grew faster and Hotch nodded as Morgan kicked the door down. The team moved through the structure and finally Spencer came face to face with you,聽鈥淵/N,鈥 he said as you locked eyes with your boyfriend and smiled lightly, despite the situation at hand.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淛oseph, put the knife down,鈥 Hotch told the man as the knife just dug deeper into your skin.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淚 don鈥檛 think so,鈥 he took grip on you and made it tighter.聽鈥淵ou killed my family. He never did anything but help people in need of his guidance.鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淵our father ruined the lives of young girls,鈥 Spencer said matter-o-factly.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淣o! He did them a favor, he gave them the greatest gift he could,鈥 Joey said as he began to move his hand without the knife a bit more. You furrowed your eyebrows as you tried see what he was hold and finally saw a small remote concealed in his hand.聽
聽 聽 聽You moved your eyes to Hotch鈥檚 and blinked rapidly. You just hoped he would pick up on the Morse Code and get everyone out of the building.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淟et鈥檚 just talk this out, Joey,鈥 Hotch started,聽鈥淛J get everyone out, I want to talk to Joey alone.鈥 JJ furrowed her eyebrows at the man but he gave he a stern look as she understood and began to move the team out.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淣o! Bring them back!鈥 Joey yelled,聽鈥渙r she dies.鈥 Spencer looked at JJ as she tried to get him to leave the building, but he refused to move so she quickly called Morgan who grabbed Reid as he struggled against him.
聽 聽 聽鈥淚 can鈥檛 leave her!鈥 he told them and Morgan ignored his pleas and called a couple SWAT members to help him with the genius.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淎s much as I like her, I鈥檒l do it,鈥 Joey said as he continued to watch the men and women exist the building.聽鈥淏ring them back!鈥 Joey yelled as his grip on you faltered for a second which you took advantage of as you got out from his grasp and struggled to take the device from his hand.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淕o!鈥 you yelled at Hotch but he jumped in and started to help you as the three of you wrestled and quickly the device was flung across the doorway to another room. You all freezed before you grabbed Hotch鈥檚 hand and dragged him towards the back of the building.聽
聽 聽 聽The team waited outside for Hotch and you as Reid screamed at Morgan,聽鈥測ou have to let me go back in there!鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淵ou can鈥檛 Kid, you heard Hotch!鈥 Morgan yelled back as the rest of the team cringed at the fight.聽鈥淚 know all of us want to go back in there, but we can鈥檛! You gotta understand that, Kid!鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淣o! You don鈥檛 understand!鈥 Spencer screamed,聽鈥渟he鈥檚 all I have! I didn鈥檛 even get to tell her that I love her! That I have been in love with her since that stupid dinner at that Thai restaurant in California!鈥澛
聽 聽 聽鈥淭hat was two years ago...鈥 JJ mumbled.
聽 聽 聽鈥淵eah! Two years! I鈥檝e only been with with her for a couple months now and I haven鈥檛 even told her!鈥 Everyone鈥檚 hearts pained as they heard Spencer鈥檚 cries and saw the liquid that dripped down his cheeks.聽鈥淚 can鈥檛-鈥
聽 聽 聽All head turned as the house exploded a safe distance away from them. The orange flames roared as the team had their mouths鈥 open in shock.
聽 聽 聽鈥淣o,鈥 Rossi and JJ whispered at the same time.聽
聽 聽 聽Morgan鈥檚 grip on Reid was gone as he watched the flames and turned to Emily who had had disbelief and horror over her face.聽
聽 聽 聽Spencer鈥檚 mind raced a mile every second and now his mind was completely blank of everything but you. Your face, your smile, your eyes, your lips, your laugh, your touch, your everything. Spencer ran towards the flames as the team yelled after him.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淪pencer,鈥 JJ鈥檚 voice breaking as she leaned into Rossi鈥檚 embrace.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淜id. Come on, don鈥檛 do this,鈥 Morgan called as Emily just watched in disbelief with a gaping mouth and teary eyes.
聽 聽 聽Spencer didn鈥檛 care about their calls, he needed to find you. He scanned the firery rubble for any sign of you or Hotch, but there wasn鈥檛 any. Just ash and fallen wood covered in sweltering heat.聽鈥淵/N!鈥 he yelled out,聽鈥淵/N! Hotch!鈥 Spence continued to look through the wall of intense heat and for a second he saw a delicate hand reach up through the burning wood.聽鈥淵/N,鈥 he whispered to himself as he began to walk through the blazing fire that threatened to burn his body and ruin his lungs.聽
聽 聽 聽He moved a piece of wood off of where he saw your hand and saw you and Hotch laying side by side.聽鈥淕uys!鈥 he screamed at his friends,聽鈥渉elp!鈥 The team gave each other confused faces before coming over to Spencer. JJ gasped as she saw your form next to Hotch鈥檚 as tears of joy spilled from her faces. Her and Emily joined hands as they worked to get the wood off of you.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淢edic!鈥 Rossi yelled as people began to rush over to help.聽
聽 聽 聽Morgan and Reid worked to get a big piece of debris off of the two of you. Hotch鈥檚 eyes opened and he immediately looked to his side where you had been, holding his hand tightly. He coughed violently as the medics lifted him up and brought him to the ambulance. You blinked a few times and saw Spencer standing over you.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淗ey, can you hear me?鈥 he asked as you gave him a thumbs up and he laughed at the simple gesture. He brought you up for and embrace as you struggled to keep your eyes open. The medic came over to you and began to carry you away as Spencer and the team followed you and Hotch to the ambulance.聽
聽 聽 聽聽鈥淐an I?鈥 he asked one of the nurses as she nodded and he climbed into the ambulance and held your hand as you drifted off to sleep.
***
聽 聽 聽When you woke up, blinding lights had been the first thing you saw. The second was Spencer who was asleep in a chair next to your bed, his head resting on the bed and his fingers interlaced with your own. You blinked a few times and saw the rest of the team in the room with you. Hotch was in bed identical to yours, but he was up and had his eye focused on the TV in front of him. By his side was JJ and Morgan as the conversed with each other in hushed voices. Penny was writing in a card with a sparkling pink pen as she handed it off to Rossi who smiled lightly at her. Emily was just outside your room as you saw her talking with a nurse or doctor; rather it looked more like arguing.
聽 聽 聽Derek glanced over to you briefly as he then turned back to JJ and then back to you.聽鈥淵ou鈥檙e up,鈥 he said quietly, a contrast to his usual booming voice. Everyone looked to you as you smiled.
聽 聽 聽鈥淵ou gave us quite a scare, Y/L/N,鈥 Hotch said as you laughed quietly which then turned into a cough.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淓m! Get a nurse or doctor!鈥 Penny exclaimed as Emily rushed and called a nurse in the hallway. JJ got up from her seat and made her way over to your bed.
聽 聽 聽She examined your face before hugging you tightly.聽鈥淕od, you can never do that to us again,鈥 she chuckled as you rubbed her back. You felt a few tears fall on your shoulders as JJ pulled away and wiped her cheeks.聽鈥淗e鈥檒l be happy to see you,鈥 she gestured to Spencer.
聽 聽 聽鈥淕lad to have you back, kiddo,鈥 Rossi told you with a smile,聽鈥測ou need anything?鈥 As soon as he said that a doctor walked into your room and started to go over your condition.
聽 聽 聽鈥淵ou are very lucky, Agent Y/L/N鈥 she started,聽鈥測ou have a mild concussion and that wound on your abdomen will take some time to heal over. You received first and second degree burns all over your legs, arms, and torso, just like Agent Hotchner. Your eardrums are very fragile and I recommend no flying for at least 3 weeks. Your face has some minor bruising and cuts that should heal over time.鈥 She set her chart down.聽鈥淭he both of you should be able to leave in a few days time, but for now just relax.鈥
聽 聽 聽鈥淭hank you,鈥 you said as she smiled.
聽 聽 聽鈥淒inner will be up in a few minutes,鈥 with that she left and Morgan was seen grinning widely.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淲hat?鈥 you said.
聽 聽 聽鈥淪he didn鈥檛 mention one thing.鈥 You furrowed your brows at his words and he started to rub his head which just made you more confused.
聽 聽 聽鈥淚 have a concussion, you鈥檙e going to have to actually say it.鈥 He laughed at your words.
聽 聽 聽鈥淒o you think pretty boy will like the new haircut?鈥 he asked as it finally clicked and you ran your fingers through your hair.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淥h my, God,鈥 you said as everyone laughed.聽鈥淥h my, God!鈥 you repeated as Emily handed you a mirror and as you brought it up to your face your jaw dropped. Your hair was cut in jagged parts, but none shorter than your chin. The team laughed as you continued to gape at your reflection.
聽 聽 聽鈥淪ome of your hair ended up burning off, just a bit,鈥 Emily said as you looked at her with wide eyes. She laughed as you began to laugh too and soon everyone joined in as you all smiled at your stupidly, funny haircut.
聽 聽 聽Spencer rubbed his eyes as he saw your smiling face and immediately hugged you tightly.聽鈥淭hank Goodness,鈥 he whispered as he pulled back from the embrace.聽鈥淲hy are we laughing?鈥 he asked as you gestured towards your hair and smiled widely at the tall man.
聽 聽 聽鈥淚s this gonna be a deal breaker, babe?鈥 his cheeks flushed at the nickname.
聽 聽 聽He laughed a bit,聽鈥渘o, I still love you,鈥 he said as the team froze at what he said as did he.
聽 聽 聽鈥淎wh, I love you more, Spence,鈥 you told him without skipping a beat as he pressed a kiss to your forehead.聽
聽 聽 聽鈥淓ven if you do kinda look like David Bowie,鈥 he said as you opened your mouth and smacked his arm playfully.
聽 聽 聽鈥淪pencer Reid!鈥
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fandomlita year ago
Text
hotch鈥檚 daughter (various!criminal minds x reader)
requested by anon 鈥淗i lovey I loved your thing w/ the team and Rossi鈥檚 daughter and was wondering if you could do something like that but w/ Hotch鈥檚 daughter and they all try to flirt w/ her (girls included)? Thanks if you do鈥
summary hotch finally brings his oldest child in to meet the team, which starts a small rivalry for your affections throughout the day. but little did they know...
a/n for sure one of the longer things i鈥檝e written but i promise, the end is worth it ;))
Tumblr media
gif cred belongs to @toyboxboy鈥
rossi had been getting his ear talked off by spencer at the doctor鈥檚 desk when you walked in. he had been looking for an escape the last fifteen minutes without being too rude to the kid. then, he looked up and found the easy way out.
鈥渉ey, mrs. y/n,鈥 he said, leaning away from the doctor to give you a smile. when the rest of the team looked up, they were met with the gorgeous sight of you balancing jack on your hip, your smile graceful and polite and stunning.聽
鈥渉ello, rossi,鈥 you greeted as he walked up to give you a kiss on the cheek.聽鈥渁ny chance you can guide me to my dad?鈥
鈥渙f course,鈥 rossi nodded, and you hooked your free arm with his as he started leading you up to hotch鈥檚 office while engaging in some small conversation.
鈥渢hat鈥檚 hotch鈥檚 daughter?鈥 emily said in partial shock, eyebrows raised.
鈥渋 didn鈥檛 know hotch had a daughter,鈥 derek scoffed, eyes never leaving you.
they all watched you and rossi walk to your father鈥檚 office. you entered without knocking, giving your father a smile as rossi walked to his own office.聽鈥渟he鈥檚 incredibly beautiful,鈥 spencer commented.
鈥渢hat鈥檚 an understatement,鈥 derek contributed.
鈥渘o doubt,鈥 jj added. emily was still staring at the door with her mouth agape. jj looked over and scanned her friend鈥檚 expression. 鈥測ou okay, emily?鈥
鈥渋 didn鈥檛 have enough time to profile her,鈥 emily hummed to herself.聽鈥渋f i had a little more, i鈥檇 know if she was gay.鈥 jj chuckled.
鈥渨ell, let me know if you find out.鈥
after about thirty minutes of trying to get work done, the team all perked up when hotch鈥檚 door opened. he was chuckling at something you were saying, him now holding jack in his arms.
鈥渢eam, this is my daughter, y/n,鈥 hotch introduced finally.聽鈥渁nd you all know jack.鈥澛爕ou gave them a wave and a smile.聽鈥測/n, this is derek,鈥 the man gave you a charming smirk,聽鈥渏j,鈥 the blonde smiled politely,聽鈥渆mily,鈥 the girl wasn鈥檛 even attempting to hide her checking you out anymore,聽鈥渁nd spencer,鈥 the doctor gave you a shy wave.
鈥渋t鈥檚 lovely to meet you all,鈥 you nodded.聽鈥済ood to know my father鈥檚 in good hands.鈥 they chuckled as you gave them another smile. hotch鈥檚 phone rang and he sighed, giving you and them a nod before taking off down the hall with jack to a more private place.
鈥渟o, y/n,鈥 you looked up to see jj had spoken,聽鈥渨hy haven鈥檛 we met you yet?鈥
you gave them all a smile and leaned against an empty desk.聽鈥渋 moved out the second i turned eighteen and went to med school in california.鈥 they gave you impressed looks.聽鈥測eah, full ride.鈥 you gave them a wink that they couldn鈥檛 help but melt at.聽鈥渂ut uh, after that i took an internship in san diego and didn鈥檛 move back until a month or two ago when i heard about the divorce.鈥 they nodded with sympathy, but you simply shrugged in response.
鈥渄o you have a job up here yet?鈥 derek asked politely.
you nodded.聽鈥渙h, yeah. im a local m.a., not too far from where my dad lives. i figured it would be nice to be a part of my little brother鈥檚 life, you know?鈥 they all nodded.
鈥渉ow are you liking quantico?鈥 emily asked, still giving you that flirtatious look that made you blush and smile shyly.
鈥渋t鈥檚 a beautiful town,鈥 you nodded.聽鈥渁dmittedly, i haven鈥檛 gotten to see too much of it yet, what with work and jack. but there鈥檚 plenty of time for that.鈥
鈥渋鈥檇 love to show you around some time, if you鈥檇 like,鈥 emily smiled. you blushed again, but before you could answer, hotch came back.
鈥渁ll introduced?鈥 he asked with a sigh. they all nodded.聽鈥済reat. get back to work.鈥 he lead you back up to his office, where you gave emily a quick glance before shutting the door. the girl was biting her lip with a smile. she looked around to see the team all giving her incredulous looks.
鈥渨hat? she鈥檚 cute.鈥
later that day, derek found you making two cups of coffee in the break room.
鈥渟omeone鈥檚 got a sweet tooth,鈥 he said, watching you pour a third packet of sugar in one of the mugs.
you giggled, looking up with a smile that he easily returned.聽鈥渁nd that someone鈥檚 my dad.鈥 he chuckled as you stirred the steaming liquid.
鈥渟o what was it like, growing up with aaron hotchner as your dad?鈥 he asked, getting out a mug to make himself a cup.聽
you shrugged, moving to pour some coffee in his cup without saying a word. he gave you a smile as thanks as you said,聽鈥渉e鈥檚 a good dad. little strict with all my high school boyfriends, of course, but otherwise he was comforting and very loving.鈥
鈥渂et you had a lot of boyfriends in high school,鈥 derek chuckled, taking a sip from his mug.
you gave him a smile.聽鈥渂et you had a lot of girlfriends, derek.鈥 something about the way you said his name made him feel cocky.
he shrugged.聽鈥渨hat can i say?鈥 you laughed with him before going to take your father his coffee.
鈥渆mily, right?鈥 prentiss turned around to see you standing behind her desk with a small smile. she gave you a grin and nodded.
鈥減rentiss.鈥
鈥渆mily prentiss,鈥 you tried, walking closer to her.聽鈥渋 like it.鈥
she gave you a smile, leaning back in her chair as you perched on her desk.聽鈥渉as anyone told you you have very pretty eyes?鈥 she inquired. you flushed, tucking a piece of hair behind her ears.聽鈥渋鈥檒l be the first to admit, im a little curious of you, y/n.鈥 you tilted your head.聽鈥渋 just think there鈥檚 a lot i could get to know about you.鈥
鈥渨ell,鈥 you drawled,聽鈥測ou are a profiler.鈥 she let out a small laugh.聽鈥減rofile me, emily.鈥
she looked you over with a smile.聽鈥測ou wear a ring on your right ring finger. at passing glance, someone may think聽鈥榮ure, she鈥檚 taken鈥 but in reality, it鈥檚 common in people who are dedicated to their jobs.鈥 you looked down at the small silver band as she continued,聽鈥渁nd speaking of your job, i get the sense that you went into the medical profession because of your dad, right?鈥
鈥測eah,鈥 you confirmed, still smiling gently.聽鈥済ot sick and tired of seeing him all beat up.鈥
鈥渟o when you felt powerless over that as a child, you wanted to make sure you weren鈥檛 powerless when you were an adult,鈥 she concluded. she gave you a look.聽鈥済ood enough?鈥
鈥減erfect,鈥 you complimented. she was about to propose that date again when your father called you over.
鈥測/n, can you come watch jack?鈥
鈥測eah,鈥 you said, standing from emily鈥檚 desk and smoothing out your skirt.聽鈥渋鈥檒l talk to you later, emily.鈥
she watched you walk away with a confident smile.
you had been sitting in hotch鈥檚 office with the door cracked, holding jack as he slept in your arms. you had a book in one hand and your other supporting your sleeping brother whehn jj had peeked in to give hotch some paperwork. with your father nowhere in sight, she was greeted by that pure sight instead.
鈥測ou know,鈥 jj started, walking into the room and grabbing your attention,聽鈥渢hey say there鈥檚 something to be said about women who are good with children.鈥
鈥渄o they?鈥 you hummed as she placed a stack of papers onto hotch鈥檚 desk. she gave you a smile and a nod.聽鈥渢hen im sure there鈥檚 something to be said about women who are communication liaisons, no?鈥
鈥渋m sure there is,鈥 she hummed as she walked out of the room, leaving you with a smile as you returned to your book.
鈥渋 think im gonna ask her out,鈥 derek nodded, sitting on the edge of jj鈥檚 desk near the end of the day.
鈥渓ike hell,鈥 emily scoffed, sauntering over with her arms crossed.聽鈥渞emember when i already did this morning?鈥
鈥渁nd did she give you an answer?鈥 derek shot back.聽鈥測eah, that鈥檚 what i thought.鈥
鈥渕aybe we shouldn鈥檛 be trying to go for our boss鈥檚 daughter at all,鈥 jj proposed. they all considered as penelope came walking up, a file in her hands.
鈥渨ho? y/n?鈥 the computer tech questioned. they all confirmed. penelope shrugged, 鈥渨ell, it鈥檚 too late for that.鈥 they all gave her a questioning look. she simply pointed toward hotch鈥檚 office. they all followed her finger.
they watched reid walk up and give you a quick kiss and smile. their jaws dropped as he slid an arm around your waist and you lifted your purse onto your shoulder. you both started down toward the doors, where you would have to pass the team in the process.
鈥渢hanks for the warm welcome today, guys,鈥 you said, giving them all smiles. spencer smirked unbearably at your side, absorbing the glares and shocked looks of his coworkers and friends. 鈥渋 really appreciate it.鈥
they all nodded and muttered. spencer stopped right after you had walked past them.聽鈥渙h, here, i forgot something.鈥 he handed you the keys to the car.聽鈥測ou go start the car, i鈥檒l be out in a second.鈥 you nodded and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
spencer turned around and quickly went to his desk, opening a drawer and taking out a small jewelry box, which they saw was fit for a nice necklace. as he walked past the team he said,聽鈥渘ight, guys.鈥 they were no longer looking at him. just as he passed them, he turned again,聽鈥渙h,聽and one last thing.鈥 they looked up to meet his smirk.聽鈥渃heckmate.鈥
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bau-hugs6 months ago
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BAU moments I live for:
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these scenes live rent free in my head
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