This contains the tiniest hints of Reid/Hotch slash, and if you don't like it, go tell it to the Reaper. Yes, this contains very heavy spoilers for "100," one of the most riveting and sad episodes of the series. And yes- this is, in fact, my first ever Criminal Minds fan fiction. *Zelda-esque* DUN-NA-NA-NAAAAAH!
Knock knock knock. "Hotch."
He knocked again three times, harder. "Hotch!"
Still nothing. It had been like this for a couple of days now. No one could get in contact with him at all, and that included everyone. JJ, Emily, Garcia, Morgan, Rossi-in essence, it was up to Reid to be the one to go and try to talk him out of the house. He'd been cooped up with Jack the entire time, and no one had gotten anything from them. It worried everyone, but it mostly worried Spencer to the point of marching over and banging the door down.
So he pretty much did.
"Aaron!" he hollered finally, hitting the door finally. "Open the door!"
Finally, someone did answer. Reid opened his mouth, but something grabbed his hand and tried to pull him in. Too stunned to not do anything, the profiler found himself suddenly inside his boss's house and a sweaty hand gripping his own. He looked down and blinked, swallowing. The hand squeezed his own again, and he finally crouched down and stared at the boy. "Jack?"
The boy looked at him back quietly, swallowing and pulling on it a little. "Daddy's being funny. He won't come out of his room," he mumbled. "Can you make him come out?"
Reid opened his mouth but closed it when he heard those words. "Can you make him come out?" It held so many meanings to him now, but the one from little Jack Hotchner's mouth was the one that hit him the hardest. He nodded finally and swallowed, standing up again and allowing the younger child to lead the way to his bedroom. The place was in disarray, yet it was totally the same from when he last saw the place. But-it was like he didn't care. Not now, anyways
Jack suddenly stopped and pushed Reid a little forward before running back out into the living room. And abruptly, the man found himself alone in front of the door with nothing but his wits, maybe a little profiling, and a whole lot of heartache. He felt bad now for trying to intrude on the two of them still recovering after her death and all, but everyone else was worried about him. Someone had to break through the wall of emotion.
He took a deep breath and knocked on the bedroom door. "Aaron?"
Within moments, the door finally opened, and Spencer Reid's mouth couldn't help but drop open as he stared at his boss. Aaron Hotchner's eyes were getting dark circles under them, and it was clear the few nights after were rough. His clothing was rumpled and unkempt, his hair mussed and some tinge of a five o'clock shadow peeking out. "Hey."
you look terrible."
Aaron didn't bother to stop Spencer from entering his room. Everyone else had managed to barge themselves in somehow. He shut the door and glanced at the profiler finally. "You here to bother me too?"
Stung, he shook his head violently, those red locks of hair swinging. "No! Not to bug you. I-I just came here to check up on you and see how you were holding up and everything." His voice grew quieter. "Looks like it was a good idea for me to do that."
"Everyone else asked if I needed anything, and I told them I'd call them if I did. Same applies to you. If I need anything, I'll call you too." His boss sat back on the bed and took the picture of himself, Jack, and Haley and gazed at it. "I just- guess I need a little more-"
"You're not sleeping," Spencer interrupted.
"The simple fact you're growing increasingly irritable and haven't been spending time with Jack is more than enough to confirm that idea. If you keep this up, and it goes for months, there's a potential you could have depression of sorts." He gazed at Aaron for a long moment before talking again. "And the last thing I want to see happen is a family fall apart because of a death."
Aaron's eyes narrowed a little, but his companion gave him a piercing look. "Your son's out there right now, and he's got a lot less light in his eyes than I've ever seen him with. My guess is that everyone else got here before me, and they all tried to help you, but since you shrugged them off, he lost hope for a little bit. Then someone else dropped by, and another, until I came by last." He stopped Aaron again with another look. "And I'm going to guess that Garcia was here last."
Unable to speak for several long moments, he finally put done the picture and looked at him. "
how'd you know?"
"Flowers are on your dresser in a vase. They still smell like they've been in the shop for a long while, and you haven't done anything to feed them. Maybe a simple thanks and then you shooed her out, but other than that, nothing. Not much interaction." Spencer bit his lip and tentatively sat on the bed. "We all just want to help you; not just for you, but for Jack. And
" His voice grew soft again. "Hotch?"
The BAU chief was shaking a little now, hand to his head and leaning back against the pillows and the headboard. "I keep seeing her."
Nodding, the genius agent sat next to him and propped one leg on top of the other. "What do you see?"
"After our first date in high school, before Foyet shot her. All these memories of her, myself, Jack-before anything happened and destroyed the life we all had together." Aaron shook his head, chuckling bitterly and feeling his chest heave slightly. "And I feel so bad for Jack that I've had to put him through me being gone all the time and Haley being the only one there for him. How am I even supposed to know if he blames me for all this, Reid?"
He looked down. "Won't know until you ask."
Aaron sighed. "
you have another reason for being here?"
Spencer shrugged. "I dunno. You seem to be pushing everyone but me away right now. You also seem to be getting slightly sweaty in your upper torso due to your shirt clinging to your body. And you're willing to maybe go and see your son who's been looking the saddest I've seen him in a very long time."
"It's hot in here. I have to turn up the AC," he defended.
Spencer stood up and chuckled. "I can go do th-"
He paused, glancing back at his close friend. His boss. The man who was the closest thing to a father since Gideon had left.
"I-need someone to be here with me. Makes the pain more bearable. When people ask questions, it just makes everything
" Aaron took a deep breath. "It makes everything hurt. To think and know I could have done something about it
I can't stop thinking about that. And I need a diversion away from that all." Those sad eyes pierced Reid's gentle own like daggers. "I hate to be the one asking for help, but-"
He put up a hand quietly, giving Aaron that look. He sat back down next to him and kept a hand close to his leg, almost wanting to reach out and hold it. "Hotch, it's okay. We all need help with things like this. Even you." He tried to smile. "You're not Superman all the time, you know."
A few tears leaked out from his eyes. "S-Spencer
"Hey." His voice was almost a whisper. "Don't cry, Aaron. Promise-it'll get better." Spencer slipped the hand on to his leg now, giving it a squeeze. "We'll make it. We'll all make it. You, me, Jack
even the rest of the team'll come over and help us." He moved a little closer. "And I'll help make the dreams go away. I swear it."
"You, me, Jack
For the first time in those few days, Aaron smiled faintly. "Thank you."
"Hey, one more thing," Spencer told him quietly. "What I said a few years ago after we were held hostage with that L.D.S.K. I take it back."
His friend blinked.
"You don't kick like a nine-year-old girl."
This earned Reid a weak chuckle.
The easiest period in a crisis situation is actually the battle itself. The most difficult is the period of indecision -- whether to fight or run away. And the most dangerous period is the aftermath. It is then, with all his resources spent and his guard down, that an individual must watch out for dulled reactions and faulty judgment.
-Richard M. Nixon