Before every job interview Aaron had, Haley would knot his tie for him. It started out as a joke- because who wore a tie to an interview at the movie theatre?- but then she realised that the touch soothed him.
So it became a thing. College, law school, internships, SWAT, the BAU- everything- he would wear a tie knotted by her.
The first interview he went for after her death, which was the internal affairs investigation into the events of that day, was the first time he’d knotted his tie himself before such an event. His hands shook so badly that he couldn’t do it. Not himself.
Jack found him, sitting on the floor in tears, and tied it like a ribbon. And then he got Jessica, who redid it properly, but a different style to the way Haley would have because anything more than that would’ve broken both of them.
send me a character and i’ll do this analysis of them
favourite thing about them: the way she’d literally do anything to protect her son and do what’s best for jack.
least favourite thing about them: the way she left hotch - her leaving is completely justified, but i don’t like the way that she just packed up her stuff and left without warning him as well as when she had the divorce papers handed to him at the bau.
favourite line: “promise me that you will tell him how we met, and how you used to make me laugh. he needs to know that you weren't always so serious, aaron. i want him to believe in love, because it is the most important thing, but you need to show him.”
brotp: from the small interaction we had between them - emily and haley
otp: haley and hotch
notp: no one??
random headcanon: to get jack to go to sleep, she would tell him stories about hotch saving people
unpopular opinion: i love her and she doesn’t deserve the hate that she gets from some people in the fandom
Okay in season 2 Haley comes in to Hotch’s office saying he missed Jacks hospital appointment and it’s treatable but like it’s never mentioned again to my knowledge? Did jack just have some common baby illness or did the show plan for him to have a long term condition and abandon it?
༉‧ hello my darlings! i hope you are all well and staying safe.. its my birthday monday so i doubt youll get an update in the days beginning this week. chapter one is finally here and out!! i hope you enjoy.. i love you all - r!! <3
༉‧ for my favourite people, abbey + dolly + pip. thank you for being you, love you all forever.
༉‧ warnings: foul language.
— CHAPTER ONE.
❛ what we do for ourselves dies with us. what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.— albert pine ❜
monday eighteenth, grace.
there is no such thing as an easy day. an easy day could be categorised in many ways, but honestly, has anyone actually had an easy day. a day lacking hurt and hardship, or grief and emptiness. hoping for an easy day is like wishing for a happy ending to a book in which you know full well the main character dies or gets in an awful accident, or hoping for sunshine on a day with a 100% chance of rainfall — pretty much useless.
i find this hoping and praying malarkey pointless. that’s a good word isn’t it? malarkey. makes me feel all posh. this new girl has just transferred into my class, she’s british — hence the new words. i sometimes wonder if her accent and slang is just one huge prank. her names karma, it’s pretty isn’t it? she doesn’t really talk in class, but shes very loud at lunch. i think she might actually be okay.
but yeah, as i was saying — when i was younger, before i fell asleep, mother would tell me ‘tomorrow will be a great day, as long as you make it good’. a few years later she went away for a little while and the last time i saw her, those were the last words she said. fast forward another year and a bit, she’s dead. clearly it wasn’t a good day, for either of us. so, i suppose i never really understood the whole ‘tomorrow will be a good day’ bullshit, so instead i just assumed everyday would be just as awful as the previous.
you already know ive never really met my father, when i was younger they practically shipped me off to some new family. apparently they weren’t ready, understandable they were young and in love and mistakes happen. but i mean? eleven years later when i was old enough to actually communicate my feelings you could’ve at least reached out, you know? i only met my mother when i was fifteen, after almost two years of searching and failing i found her. the fbi should’ve hired me on the spot. she told me about my childhood, and my father, but nothing in too much detail.
im not being bitter, im being honest. its a shitty thing to do. and if i ever saw him, bare in mind i do not have the slightest idea who or what his name is (more information that was withheld from me, for my sake apparently.), i absolutely would not hesitate to drop that awful horrible abandoning man. fuck him.
i started that internship yesterday, the one i mentioned in our session last week. right now its just coffee runs and carrying files from desk to desk, but im hoping soon it will get more exciting. everyone is so formal there though, makes me feel kinda out of place. but as of currently they only know what i want them to know. hopefully. i have class tomorrow so i actually have to sleep — your advice, practically orders though.
mr grent, i hope this is good enough to report back to lev, ill see you on wednesday. all the best, GB.
• • •
it was well past midnight before the screen dimmed and the night embraced her. she sat legs-crossed beneath her sheets in an attempt to conserve body heat, though she sat before window — a large and open window. the sky was oddly tranquil, like still water. presenting her stars as if they were trophies onto the world below. the dark was powerful, intimidating. with no creases or dips, completely smooth and empty. all alone.
its a saddening thought. the thought of the sky being all alone. taking up all that space and spending all those days, alone. watching the planets below interact and orbit one another whilst you watch on. surrounded by nothing. surrounded by empty. sometimes she felt like that — like she was sat watching the world and people around her change, all while she sat alone.
staring up and into the dark abyss, with sorrowful eyes, she sighed. the calm of the night wrapping its bitter arms around the girl, embracing her with a gentle breeze. in that moment she felt nothing more than insane, basking in the feeling of an invisible entity cradling her shaking frame. how do we say its not real? feeling the embrace of the night chill was more than satisfactory, and while she stared aimlessly out of her window — up into the endearingly deep void.
the sounds of the city below muffled as she gazed into the open space, eyes closing when a particularly strong breeze pushed its way through the opening — consuming her entirely.
• • •
when the sun eventually rose that morning, she was still sat at the window. the sheets now discarded and tossed away on the bed. she enjoyed this time in the morning, just as the city was waking. sat watching and listening to the birds as they soar and sing through the trees, doing lap after lap of the small park at the end of her street.
mornings like these were rare this early in the year, surprisingly not filled with rain and dark clouds. instead the sun peaked over small clouds whiter than snow, gracing the city with its warmth. although she could've sat there for hours more, arguing with that little voice in her head about the time shes wasting — she figured she'd sit for a little while longer, taking in the last few serene moments before she began her day.
it was monday — arguably the worst day of the week. everywhere and everyone was busy. the trains were packed full and awfully sweaty, the streets were full as well. pushing and shoving across crossings and round bends, ridiculous really. how is anyone supposed to get anywhere if its like a warzone the moment you step beyond your front door?
in all fairness, no matter how pretty and refreshing a sun-filled morning was, she did miss the rain. the sound as it hit the glass and the concrete, the way it smelt and felt against her precious skin. the feeling was to die for.
• • •
she was never usually this early, the building was pretty much empty when she arrived this morning. now she stood in an elevator, coffees in one hand and files tucked under the opposite arm. she watched as the metal box ascended through the levels, each stop illuminating on a small plaque that sat above the mighty doors. two, three, four, five.. the elevator opening with a sharp ding when they reached floor six and with a shaky exhale she stepped out into the large and empty foyer.
at the foot of the room sat two great glass doors. she could see her reflection in them too, and it made her even more nervous. she hoped they would like her, mentally begging herself not to make a stupid or childish remark in front of her new colleagues.
she stood alone for a while — contemplating running all the way home, locking herself away in her apartment and never ever going outside ever again. deep breaths. a weak attempt to simmer the nerves bubbling down in her gut, finally winning the battle inside her brain and advancing toward the doors.
inside was an array of desks, the same desks she saw the friday before but suddenly it all felt unfamiliar. she had already memorised where each of the offices, desks and conference rooms were — already on her way to deliver a coffee to each of them. they had a coffee station on the floor, but she figured this would make a good impression on her new boss.
up a small flight of stairs, beside a quaint set of railings, sat a large office. plain blinds in the window with a very blunt atmosphere greeted her upon arrival. the door was shut, so she paused outside for a moment. inhaling as she raised her knuckle to tap against the wood firmly, awaiting a response from inside the room.
it was short and snappy. the voice was gruff and deep enough to bounce off the walls, echoing slightly and making the small girl jump slightly from the outside of the door. she scrambled to open the door, composing of herself one last time as she pushed it open to reveal the room entirely. at a deep oak desk sat an older man, with dark hair and a furrowed brow. he didn’t look up from his work, flicking through files and stray pieces of paper in the silence. he wore a dark suit and a matching tie, proper business wear. intimidating.
she stood for a minute, fiddling getting the to-go cup out of the holder and walking slowly closer to the desk. “good morning, sir. i overheard you complaining about the machine last week and figured a fresh cup might make your monday morning a little better-” she paused and placed it down gently not to disturb his papers “black, no sweetener or cream.. sir” kiss up.
he sat looking at her momentarily. confusion, she guessed, by the way his brow fell out and back into the furrow while his head tilted to the side slightly. the silence was very much suffocating, swallowing her whole until he spoke up.
“and you are..?” wonderful. how fucking wonderful.
“grace. grace brooks. your new intern, sir — agent hotchner, isn’t it?” at the mention of her name he stiffened, his body language entirely changing. she noticed of course, and figured it would be best to make her way out of there. dropping a small “enjoy your coffee, sir.” before turning on her heels and practically running through and out the door, shutting it behind her.
embarrassment seeped through her body in an intoxicating speed, cogs moving before she could even register what was happening. her face heated to an undesirable temperature as she walked down the same set of stairs and into the pit or desks, remembering exactly where to lay each file in her hand — as well as a coffee. six in total, running about trying to keep everything in order before retiring to her own little desk in a far corner.
alone at last and able to lay her head in her hands, mentally cursing herself after the awkward interaction. their conversation replaying aggressively over and over inside her brain, each replay made her skin crawl and cringe.
today is already not a good day. today is already just as awful as the last.
haley hotchner is honestly so overhated by the cm fandom and i do not know why. she wanted a husband who could help her raise their son and unfortunately hotch couldnt do that. she was an amazing wife and mother but she wasn’t happy. she left the man she loved because the situation was causing her pain. doing that doesn’t make her a bad person, it makes her strong.
leaving a situation that is painful does not make you a bad person.
✿ criminal minds women + venom by little simz ✿ - ☽ credit/tag me if you use or save ☾ - ⚓︎ taglist -> @jemilyology @temily @scandinavian-punk @thejeidhater @suburban--gothic @moreidism @jelle-jareau @dindjarinsspouse @ssahoodrathotchner @moreidsdaughter @yourfinalbow @spencers-renaissance
for @yourlocalheartbreaker , who posted this painful idea, i really hope you enjoy this! also, apologies in advance for the pain that this might cause you?
characters may seem a bit OOC. as per usual, this had little to no proofreading, so apologies for any mistakes. i might also post a commentary later since there are parts i kind of want to explain (or clarify)
warnings: substances, gun violence, canon-typical violence, abuse, suicide, character death
word count: 3.2k words
They were always good at acting.
He might have forgotten practically all of his lines up on that stage as the Fourth Pirate, but even that fiasco did not detract from his carefully cultivated image as the lone wolf, injured and bleeding but strong enough to rip anyone approaching to pieces.
The fact that she had single-handedly created the drama department in their small school that accommodated all of the children and teens in that little backwater town was enough to demonstrate just how good she was at both acting and standing tall in the chaos.
They were just as good as seeing through bullshit and picking apart facades, no matter how well-layered it might seem to be.
They were also just as good as ignoring what they didn’t want to see, and while that might have done well to keep them together, there was only so much they both could take.
So when he started feeling woozy in his home office hours before he normally hit his limit and two weeks into a local serial investigation, he felt something inside him shatter, giving way to an awakened creature crawling out of its sleep before he finally blacked out.
A gentle light was filtering through the curtains when he came to with a pounding headache. The smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted over him, and he slowly opened his eyes, only to flinch at the bright light that suddenly flooded the room when the curtains were jerked open.
Hotch blinked the stars away, looked back in front of him, and froze as he was faced with the evidence of his complicity, his weakness, spread all over the table.
The old birthday card.
A single faux feather that he had recognized to have been ripped off from that old costume hat.
An old ticket stub for the opening night of Rent.
A wedding ring.
Even though they were sealed inside plastic evidence bags, he could still smell the perfume he had bought her as a wedding gift, that she had sprayed on all of those keepsakes that she had left behind as taunts.
His breath caught in his throat when cold metal momentarily pressed against the back of his neck, but he forced himself to remain still.
This is the endgame. You have to play now. You can't avoid it like you have been, with your evidence pilfering and self-imposed isolation from the team.
“Don’t bother trying to move. Your handcuffs have been put to good use.”
Haley walked around the table, helping Jack up onto his chair before settling down across from him with a revolver deliberately placed on top of the table. She met his eyes unflinchingly, a cold sort of amusement on her face at the stone facade he was wearing that was quickly falling to pieces.
“It’s about time you are here for breakfast, instead of in the middle of nowhere doing God knows what.”
Hotch couldn’t help his flinch at the sharp jab, knowing all too well how true it was. He tried to force himself together, just so he could gauge the situation with a profiler’s eye, but there was only so much he could do as the once-hibernating creature tried to rear its head.
He focused back on his wife, who was still staring at him, anger simmering underneath an oddly genial expression. “When did you realize?”
It was genuine curiosity, he realized with some faint surprise as he cleared his throat. “I knew something was off two weeks ago, after the first murder,” he said, trying to sound offhand. “The pieces fell together with the third murder.”
“Was it a shock?”
His swallow was convulsive as he attempted to keep the bile down. “No,” he finally forced out, looking away as he thought about why.
My fault. I knew exactly why you did what you did within minutes of figuring out it was you.
“Look at me.”
Hotch flinched at the tone that was so unfamiliar and so strange, and forced his eyes over to Haley after flicking a brief glance at Jack, who was playing with his cereal on the other side of the table. “I know the others,” she spat the word, beautiful features suddenly twisting harshly in hatred, “don’t know that you have had a full profile ready for days.”
“Haley, I know you—”
The ringing question struck him straight in his core, sending the creature in his chest skittering back as he swallowed convulsively, unsure how to answer. She scoffed derisively. “Well, we’ll find out then, won’t we?” she asked rhetorically, fixing him with a cold stare, rage simmering underneath. “Tell me your profile.”
It was an order.
And with a revolver clenched in her hand and their son only a few feet away, he could only agree.
“The unsub is a woman—”
Hotch stopped, attention drawn to Haley’s hands, which were fiddling with the barrel of the revolver. Dread pooled in his stomach when he saw her empty the cylinder of all but one bullet.
“You know what this is, so let's play, my love,” she said mockingly, closing the cylinder and spinning it. She looked him square in the eyes, steely resolve barely masking an anger that was becoming more and more clear. “I read your notes. You get something wrong in your delivery, and we play a round.”
He took in her clenched jaw and trembling hand and tried to summon up his years of expertise only to find himself at a complete loss, the storm in his mind frozen for the first time in years as he was faced with a situation he never could have anticipated. Haley tilted her head mockingly when he didn’t start speaking.
“Show me what you keep leaving me behind for,” she sent towards him tauntingly, hand twitching on the revolver as she lifted it up and let it linger as it was aimed towards his chest, only to bring it to her temple.
She lifted it up and let it linger as it was aimed towards his chest, only to bring it to her temple.
She knows all of your pressure points, of course she would use them.
Use that brain of yours and think.
Eyes unable to leave the weapon, he forced himself to verbalize the stream of consciousness he remembered going through his head as he was writing notes three nights ago.
“The unsub is a woman in her mid-30s to mid-40s and exhibits traits of both an organized and disorganized killer. The killing of the first couple was spontaneous and unplanned, as shown by the messy crime scene. But it triggered something within her, and she killed again within a few days.”
How is it that, out of the two of us, she snapped first?
“This time, the scene was markedly cleaner and demonstrated rather high organization, which helped us narrow the age range. While the wife was killed quickly and efficiently, she loses all control when it comes to the husbands, evidenced by the immense overkill and the destruction of the mens’ belongings.”
How does someone so good snap before someone who didn’t even know love until they were a young adult?
Hotch abruptly came back to the present—you're not at a precinct, dammit, focus—as he swallowed, throat dry. He sent a quick look to Haley who seemed to have turned her attention to Jack, but the gun was slightly lowered and he could tell she was listening. He continued, now choosing his words carefully. “Victimology suggests she was inserting herself as the wife of- of absent husbands. She projects her rage at her own husband towards the male victims and her self-hatred towards the wives—”
“Stop,” Haley suddenly ordered, voice trembling in suppressed rage, and for a brief moment, Hotch wondered how far she had devolved since the last killing.
Look around you. Jack is just feet away.
She took a few deep breaths, trying and failing to return to the level of composure she was at before. In frustration, she slammed the revolver back onto the table, the noise startling both him and Jack, who only looked around in confusion.
She's losing control.
Well done for stating the obvious.
Didn't I tell you long ago not to listen to your heart?
The malicious voice of his father echoed through his head, an oft-ignored presence in his head louder, more present than it had ever been.
And look where that's gotten you.
“I'm surprised at how good your memory is, especially since you forgot about Jack's school performance two weeks ago,” Haley's scornful voice jerked him out of the storm that was once again gathering in his head. “No matter, there is another way we can do this,” she continued, pulling what he recognized to be his phone out of a pocket and dialing a number.
“I'm calling your team right now,” Haley said to him lightly, her tone a stark contrast to the manic anger that remained in her expression. “It takes about forty minutes to get here from Quantico. During that time let's tell them about all the secrets you've been keeping.”
The malice in her voice was like a blow to the chest, forcing all the air out from his lungs.
Old lessons from the Academy profiling classes floated back into his consciousness—
Once someone devolves too far…
Years of working in the field, and faced with the woman he helped turn into a killer, he could only turn to the basics of profiling he had learned ten years ago.
Did I do this to you?
He flicked another look towards his son at the side, who was still happily entertaining himself and blissfully unaware of the sheer danger he was in.
… there’s no telling what they could do.
“Hello, Agent Gideon,” Haley suddenly greeted, voice still in a strange calm.
“Don’t talk, just listen..."
They'll kill her—
"I have a revolver on the table and we're about to play a little game of Russian roulette..."
“You would do well to start heading over here.” She sent Hotch a derisive look over, then turned back to the phone. “There are some things I'd like you and your team to find out about Aaron that I think you should know.”
She placed the phone on the middle of the table and looked back at Hotch. “Here are the rules, husband. You cannot flinch, you cannot react, you cannot break eye contact with me, otherwise, we go through a round,” she began, her stare boring into him as she carelessly swung the revolver around. “Do you know why I'm doing this?” she asked, making her voice sound saccharine sweet and grating to the ear.
Hotch remained silent, all too aware of the team that was probably listening to him through the phone. Suddenly, his head snapped to the side as a sharp pain bloomed across his face, and the creature in his chest snarled.
“Say it, Aaron Hotchner,” Haley brought the revolver up. ready to hit him again. “Answer the question, or take the gun.”
His traitorous brain superimposed an old memory over her, his father's pose fitting perfectly, and something in him snapped.
A weight disappeared from his chest, it suddenly became much easier to meet her stare with his own dark look, the one he vowed never to bring home, to leave at work with all of the darkness that trailed after him.
Finish this before they get here.
Play the game.
“Uncuff me,” he requested simply.
The creature purred in satisfaction at the surprise that came across her face, but all he could think about how easily he was breaking his promises, ripping through them like they were tissue paper, why was it so easy—
“Try to leave, and I’ll kill everyone in this room,” she hissed into his ear, pressing the revolver up underneath his chin as she slowly freed his hands.
And there’s the threat.
He glanced towards Jack again, reassuring himself and the creature that the child, so innocent and so ignorant of what was happening, was still safe, and then at the revolver that had been placed in front of him.
To be a coward, or to lose everything. That is the question.
“You know I don’t want Jack to go through what went through, a vow I had made years ago. You’re doing this to punish me because in a way, this is worse than what I went through.”
The answer easily flowed from his lips, much easier than he ever would have expected, especially knowing that the team was listening in. The creature in his chest was strangely settled, and he vaguely wondered what that meant when his attention was pulled back towards Haley, who had sat back down across from him.
He looked closely at her, and the high that was in her expression was easily recognizable to him.
How many times had he seen that in unsubs desperate for control, no matter how temporary?
Hadn’t he recognized it in himself for weeks after that night, twenty years ago? When he finally reclaimed control from the alcohol-induced monster that prowled his childhood home?
Taking a gamble, he decided to ask a question. “Haley, you’re entirely in control, and you can choose what to do to me,” the familiar buzzwords fell from his lips, tinged with desperation while trying to be coaxing.
He couldn’t help but flinch at the loud smack that sounded when she slammed her hands onto the table and leaned over towards him, the sound bringing up too many old and unpleasant memories that easily broke through the odd veil of calm that had set over him.
“That’s right,” she began, an odd note to her tone. “I’m entirely in control, so here’s what I’m going to do,” she said, snatching the revolver from his side of the table and opening the chamber again to rearrange the bullet so that it was in the next cartridge.
Haley walked back over and pressed the gun into his right hand so that she was controlling his finger over the trigger. Slowly, she shifted the chair he was sitting in so that it was facing Jack in his chair and brought the revolver to his temple. Hotch could only freeze, mind rapidly moving through scenarios that accounted for his miscalculation, and—
“Game over, Aaron,” she said quietly. “It’s been lovely playing with you, my love.”
He felt the warm blood splattering across his face before he registered the gunshot and the body dropping to the floor behind him.
Slowly with his ears ringing, he stood up, turned around, and stared.
The image shifted, and suddenly he was in the doorway of his parent's old bedroom, smelling the sharp tang of blood that was diffuse in the air.
He blinked, and he was back in his house in Alexandria, staring at his wife’s cooling body on the ground with an apathy he thought was left behind in his youth.
But reality suddenly crashed over him in a wave, and all of the emotions he had cycled through in the past two weeks sent him crashing to his knees and the creature in his chest fell silent and still when he realized—
Haley killed all those people.
She killed all those people because of me.
All of those people are dead because of me.
She forced me to pull the trigger
I killed her.
He whirled around to pick up his son who was crying his heart out in fear of the loud bangs and wanting comfort from his parents, but he saw that a few droplets of blood had made their way onto his face.
And as quickly as the grief had cascaded over him, an inferno of rage was suddenly ignited within him, burning through his grief.
Stronger and more wild than he had ever felt in his life, it scorched its way through the remnants of his person, burning him from inside out with all of the passionate emotion and hatred and anger he had suppressed over the years until all he could hear was the roaring of the creature inside his chest and all could see was the child that had been the catalyst to a series of events that got his mother killed—
she protected me and he beat her to death
—had gotten the woman he had loved so much killed
she showed me what kindness was, she was a mother of two
–killed because of the one who should have loved her with all his being—
she was too good for this world, and even the darkness of their home couldn’t dampen her spirit, so she had to be killed—
The front door burst open just as another shot was fired.
And then silence.
Aaron? Is Mama okay? I heard loud noises.
Mama’s fine, Sean She's just sleeping. The noises were my fault, I’m just making sure I didn’t wake her up.
Go with your friends, I know they’re waiting for you.
He knew they were looking at him in horror.
Why wouldn’t they?
He was, after all, standing above the bodies of the two people he was supposed to love and cherish until his dying day.
But they only saw the obvious. They didn’t see that it was his own fault this happened, they didn't see the masks fall and they didn't see the creature prowling about, preparing to rip anyone approaching to pieces.
They didn’t see that this was the only way to make things right, to make sure his cold, ravenous darkness didn't swallow everything now that it was free after twenty years of waiting.
The cold metal tasted of bitter victory.
His father remarried within months, and Sean grew close to their stepmother.
But his little brother was forgetting their biological mother, and soon, he would be the only one in the family who thought about her.
That revelation had hurt more than he could bear.
Over the years, though, he had hardened, and the creature in his chest that was born when he saw his mother take her last painful breaths had learned to bide its time.
He knew of his father’s plans already.
He knew where the note was, where the will was, where the gun safe was.
He was supposed to be on the way to college for his freshman year, and Sean was over at a friend’s place for a sleepover.
It was a warm night, and his father hadn’t raided his stash of alcohol yet, hadn’t turned into a creature of rage.
Which meant they were both fully aware and cognizant when he shoved the metal into the man’s mouth with an ease and apathy that shouldn't be seen in a healthy, well-adjusted teenager—
His smile had always been too sharp, his eyes too dark.
His love was twisted and broken.
Hidden, it lay in wait, ready to destroy everything that posed a threat.
He tilted the gun upward, pressing into the roof of the man’s mouth.
She snaps when Hotch fails- again- to turn up at Jack’s event. Only this time, something feels different. She isn’t sure what, but it is and she just snaps, because it is an anger she has never felt.
She goes after someone that is just like Hotch, in the way they put their job before their family. It wasn’t really planned, she just did it. And it felt good. And it felt like control. And it became addictive.
So she keeps on doing it.
Three bodies in, the BAU get called in because there’s such a contrast between the actual killing- quick and merciful- and everything that comes after, because that is absolutely brutal.
Hotch immediately makes the link between Haley’s sudden absences and the times the men were killed, but he tells himself he’s being stupid. He’s being stupid when more and more links come forward- from the weapon supposedly used and the stuff he cannot find in the house, to Haley’s sudden change in the way she treats him.
But then one day, she decides to taunt him. There is a single card left at the crime scene. It is sprayed with the same perfume he bought Haley as a wedding gift. He pockets it because he cannot let the team see it.
And then he gets home, and there’s a load of washing being hung up, but he did the laundry the day before and it doesn’t make any sense that she’s doing another load already.
The moral crisis that ensues, because he has a duty to apprehend her, to ask her, to take the evidence he has hidden in various places and build a case, to do something, but he can’t- won’t- because he looks at Haley’s smile and he sees the girl that saved him from everything and he sees Jack’s mother and he can’t do it.
Little does he know, the team have their suspicions. And Haley only has one victim left in mind.
The question is. who gets to him first?
( @sodone-withlife if you were to start this because you’re case fics are the best, I would not be mad)
Haley seeing the funeral, and sort of sadly smiling because you can see how much Aaron loves her, and also how much the team love him because they’re all hovering around, making sure he drinks something, distracting Jack, etc.
And then she sees Kevin Lynch carrying the coffin and she just... hits Aaron in the arm like: How dare you let him put me in the ground? Was there nobody else? Could you not have gotten, I don’t know, ANYONE ELSE? I’m almost tempted to ask for a do-over, if only so it doesn’t have to be him!
And Hotch just starts laughing because even after all this time, Haley is still bright and beautiful and happy
Y’know how Hotch joined theater because of Haley? Imagine him at the opening night of his first performance in front of an audience and he’s super nervous because 1) he is not an actor or theater kid. At all. and 2) because he really really wants to impress Haley. At one point they have a small scene together and he completely forgets his lines, so Haley helps him through it and they both start laughing because Hotch is so obviously flustered and everything is devolving into madness. Afterwards, Hotch is embarrassed because he thinks he ruined everything but Haley tells him he did great and that she had fun. They go out with the rest of the cast, but it turns into their first unofficial date and goes onto become one of the best nights of their lives.
Once again: no idea what this is, but I had the idea earlier when I was meant to be writing notes, so now it’s this drabble thing. Hasn’t been proofread, has little plot, but I’m tired and had fun writing it so now it’s everyone else’s problem.
Yes the title comes from Fix You by Coldplay I had no other ideas.
I just really love teen!Hotch and Haley okay? They’re my babies and you can’t take them from me.
Trigger Warnings: child abuse (Haley is treating injuries, Hotch’s description of a prior event is graphic), suicidal thoughts (mostly implied, but still), death threats
read on ao3!
Aaron knows that climbing the pipe up to Haley's window- open despite the weather because his father is worse than usual- is wrong. She has already told him, and will carry on telling him until he understands which will never happen but she can dream- they both can dream- that if something happens, if he gets hurt, if he needs an escape, he can come to her.
And she won't mind because she loves him, and to her, love is being the one safe and good thing in someone's life. It is being there when they need you, and giving a piece of your soul to them, and in turn, receiving a piece of their soul. It is about trusting someone to see you in all your pain and anger, and have them not leave or walk away.
But Haley is still just a child. She is only nine months younger than Aaron- and isn't it just so fitting that he, full of darkness was born in November, whilst she, in all of her brightness, was born in July- but she is still a child. Still clinging to the idea that good people always win and having so much faith in people's ability to do the right thing that it physically pains Aaron to watch her eyes fill with tears every time he stumbles through the window, dressed in clothes that hang off his body but conceal the bruises.
And to him, love is something that he does not deserve. It is something he is incapable of receiving because he is too harsh and too angry and too much. He is not soft enough, nor is he good enough. He is a terrible person that will be nothing more than his father's disappointment and his mother's shame.
Which is why he is here.
He knows that it is wrong to put her through this, but he can't stop. She is the only person willing to help him. She is the only person he feels safe with. She is the only person that saw his violence and anger and aggression and understood it for what it really is: a desperate cry for help, from someone that nobody ever thought was worth the time of day.
She is the only person in this god-foresaken town that has ever dared to show him mercy. Without another word, she takes the first aid kit that she keeps hidden in her underwear drawer and guides him to the floor. He doesn't say a word, not even an apology that she has never wanted or needed. It terrifies him, but her hands don't shake as she pulls out the antiseptic and bandages.
Her hands haven't shook in a while, and she is not sure how that makes her feel. There is no blood on Aaron's shirt, and despite everything, she thanks God for small mercies. He doesn't react when she moves his arms above his head so she can strip him of his shirt. And she wonders what her parents would think if they could see their youngest daughter stripping the darkness of the town to care for him.
Even though it stings, he doesn't react as she cleans the cuts. It was a belt this time. One day, she will teach him that it is okay to react and to express his pain, but tonight, she will focus on keeping him alive and safe. To her, it is not enough, but to him it is everything and that contrast is one that should never have formed.
Most of the time when he comes over for this reason, she is saddened. She is so hurt by the idea that someone could look at a child and hurt them that she has no words. No jokes or quips or smiles to give him. Haley is not naive, but she is hopeful. Today though, she's angry. And she's not sure whether or not that scares her, but it prompts her to speak.
"If he ever comes here, I'll kill him," she says.
"No you won't," Aaron responds. It's the first time he speaks since he stumbled in, and his voice is hoarse, both from disuse and the shouting that must have happened back at his home.
"I will. I'll kill him and I'll get away with it and you won't ever have to worry about him again and we'll be happy," she repeats. In that moment, her innocence and her warmth and goodness, but most of all, her youth, shine through.
Aaron knows he needs to let her go. That she deserves someone who can give her the sun. Because he doesn't understand that she doesn't want the sun, in all its beautiful but painful glory. She wants the stars from a boy that only learned to exist in the darkness, where nobody could find her.
He can't let her go, but he can scare her away.
"You won't. You can't. My mother tried once. I don't think it was intentional, but she tried, and he threw her against a wall. And then he took a knife, held it to my throat and said if she ever tried to do that again, he'd slash it, then blame it on her."
Haley has no words. She doesn't understand just how cruel people can be yet. She doesn't understand how someone could look at another person- especially one as fragile and terrified as the boy sitting in her bedroom and hurt them. "Aaron..."
"I pissed my pants when he did it. He didn't even comment. That was the worst part. He thought I was such a baby that he didn't even comment."
She swallows the lump in her throat. "I don't know what I'm meant to do," she confesses. "I want to help you, but this is a small town and I don't have access to my bank account, and nobody will believe us if we try and tell them and if he found out you would be in even more trouble but-"
"Haley," he whispers, turning to face her properly.
She shakes her head refusing to meet his eyes because she has no right making this about her, and no right to be upset but she is telling the truth; she doesn't know how to save him, and that is the scariest thing about all of this. She cannot help him. She cannot save him. Not in the way that she wants. Not in the way that him and his mother need.
"Aaron, I just-" she tries, but her voice breaks. She just what? There are so many things that could finish that statement, but all of them are emotions that go beyond anything that words could describe. "I just want to keep you safe."
It is a pathetic attempt at explaining everything to him. How she has never wanted anyone dead, but his father is the exception. How every night that he does not appear, she is grateful yet terrified because it either means he is safe, or far too injured to even attempt to make the journey. How if she had to choose between everything she wanted and him being happy, it would not matter which she chose because him being happy was everything she wanted.
"You already do- look at me Hales."
She never noticed how beautiful his eyes are before this moment. "Okay," she says, needing to say something.
"You keep me safer than everyone else in this place put together, and I- I don't know why, but it is everything to me. You make me feel safe, and I am sorry I never told you before now."
It hurts to hear him apologise for this, but she won't mention it now. Instead, she'll wrap her arms around him, giving him the gentlest hug she can manage, because it still isn't fair. It isn't fair that she is the one person to keep him safe, or that it ever falls to her.
They're both just children, fighting for a future they aren't entirely sure is worth it.
But then Aaron will fall asleep in her arms, the window causing a light breeze to ruffle her curtains and papers. She will refuse to let him go, and when he wakes up, he'll look like every other normal teenager, slightly awkward but well-rested. And then he will climb down the pipe, this time able to see where the grooves are.
Jessica will be hovering on their porch. Not by coincidence, because the house has thin walls, and she is not an idiot- she knows what Aaron's life is like- and she will open the door, say that it's lovely to see him out walking and that he must stay for breakfast. He will go to decline then be met with a glare that he will slowly pick up on and master better than her and quietly enter.
Haley will pretend that she hasn't seen him in a few days, and her parents will pretend her secret is still a secret. Then her mother will hand both of them a lunch she knows Aaron will find to be properly filling because it will be real food, not just plain oatmeal smuggled away from a man that should never have been allowed near him. And Roy will call him son as Haley goes to get her bag.
Aaron will embrace both of them, understanding how their hands are tied, but also understanding that this is now his home, and these people will care for him in whatever way they are able to. They will love him the way every child should be loved, and they will not expect any repayment for it. They will keep him safe in a way nobody else had ever even tried to do.
Haley will look around, then take his hand, linking their fingers together. His hands are bigger than hers, and they make her feel safe. Warm inside, even though his touch is like pouring ice over her body. He'll stare at where they're linked, a small smiling creeping across her face.
And when he looks at her, that smile will be mirrored on her own face. The girl from the night before will be hidden, replaced with the girl that crochets hats for the dogs at the animal shelter and who will sing unapologetically loudly. She will still be every bit as fierce as loving, but it will come out in a different way. It will shine through in all the ways that make Aaron feel safe.
He will go to hers for dinner too, and for once, he won't worry about eating too much, or too little, or the mistakes he made in school, or his plate being snatched away, or any of the things he has been conditioned to fear, even though it has always been wrong.
It won't be perfect, not by a long shot. But it will be a step in the right direction. A step towards a better future.
Aaron will survive another day. Haley will take that win, and cheirish it. And then he will stay the night, the sun would dawn on a new day, and she will fall a little more in love with him. And he will find that the words almost slip out a few more times than usual.
He does eventually say them, when they're slow-dancing at their senior prom, thinking about how college is going to be a world away from the pain of everything they associate the town with. For him, it will the most natural thing to say, and for her, it will be the most beautiful thing to hear.
warning: Freud (well, we’re not really treading into the more... questionable theories, it’s just analysis about the id, ego, and superego)
(Istg I’ll be so disappointed in myself if I explain these wrong, but I'm also brain dead half the time so forgive me if I do end up mixing things up or sounding crazy)
I rewatched Route 66 for the nth time last night, but because it was after reviewing some basic psych, my brain so helpfully reminded me that there was an obscure TG interview in which he was talking about the roles that Hotch’s hallucinations of Haley and Foyet play in his psyche, and that got me thinking...
My first thought was that Foyet represented Hotch’s id, his most instinctual impulses, which may also include his darkest impulses. If we were to continue with only the psychoanalytic perspective (so ignoring the biological and psychosocial factors and basically everything else that goes into the formation of a person's identity and personality), it could be argued that given their similar childhood experiences, the core parts of their personality and psyche may be quite similar (their tenacity, for one) but manifest on different sides of the morality spectrum (don't quote me on this, I'm not a professional, but: Foyet kills people for his own pleasure and maybe to reclaim the power his abusive father stole from him as a child, whereas Hotch is focused on getting justice for people, justice that he himself never got)
In the interview, however, TG says that Foyet is a manifestation of Hotch’s superego, the hyper-moral part of him. After doing a lot of thinking, this does make sense if you view Foyet’s role in Hotch’s psyche as being a reminder of what he does not want to become. To take this even further, if he were to go down the road of being driven solely by his instincts and impulses, he could be a threat to his son and his found family in the BAU and Jessica. In his mind, this would turn him into his father, which is an outcome he wants to avoid at all costs. So, in this way, Foyet could very well be how Hotch’s superego manifests.
Now for Haley:
With Foyet as the id, then Haley represents the superego. He absolutely adores her and probably holds her in high esteem, so in his psyche, she represents the "good" he wants to be but probably will never achieve.
If Foyet is the superego, then Haley is the id, which makes sense since people do refer to the id as the "heart." I like to think that Haley in the hallucination is just all of the instinctual, emotional parts of Hotch that he tries to suppress.
Either way, Haley and Foyet represent Hotch's extremes. Which specific extreme they are, though, that's up for debate—at least in terms of Freudian theory and as far as I've noticed.
(I can’t believe I actually spent time to think and write about this, I literally have so many things to study for)