This came to me while working on another Criminal Minds story. That and I've been looking for some EmilyHotch stuff but haven't been able to find them. Slash, I've been too lazy to look that hard. Anyway, enjoy! Let me know what you think.
He entered the house as silent as possible, wincing when the front door squeaked as it closed. It was late, he was fresh off the plane from yet another exhausting case and there was no where else he'd rather be. But he knew his wife would be sleeping, knew that his new daughter wasn't anywhere near sleeping through the night and the last thing he wanted to do was wake either of them up.
He counted himself lucky, really. He'd assumed that Haley would always be his attempt and failure at a normal life mixed with an abnormal job, but then he'd discovered her, right under his nose. Brown hair with eyes to match and a strong sense of determination had made him look twice at her as an agent, but it was her compassion and human qualities that had drawn him to her as a woman.
Sometimes he considered it blind luck that she'd popped up in front of him. Really, it had been a mundane thing that inevitably brought them together. It wasn't something epic like a hostage situation, death or even injury. On the contrary, it had been a party, a simple office Christmas party for which he'd been responsible for Jack. He'd had a panic attack when the young boy went missing but he'd been treated to quite a sight when he'd discovered where his son had gotten to.
He'd never really taken Emily Prentiss for the child type. She worked the same job he did, saw the same things he did and he just assumed that her ambitions didn't leave time for children. But his assumption had, apparently, been wrong. When he found Jack, his son had found Emily and an interesting stash of odds and ends in her bottom desk drawer. What had baffled him was finding her kneeling on the floor playing along with the six year old. When Jack raced to his side to tell his father about his new friend, she'd shot him an embarrassed smile.
And he'd been a gonner.
Regulations had posed a problem for a while and she'd had to make the painful decision of whether she wanted to stay an underling in the BAU or move up within the FBI and much to his surprise, she'd chosen to stay though their 'courting phase'. It wasn't until they'd started talking about something more permanent that she'd gone behind his back to look for other opportunities. Still, nothing had come to head until she'd told him off-handedly that he was going to be a father. Again.
The nine months following had been the best and worst of his life. Her hormone-filled cry fests had made him glad for the guest room and, in some cases, long for a stronger will. Their biggest fight had come when he'd put his foot down on flying around the country with a life growing inside her. The office had been privy to that particular episode, but it had taken JJ's soothing strength to get her to come around. That hadn't meant she'd enjoyed it all that much.
And she'd definitely been angry at the world when, after nine months of swollen ankles, ridiculous pee breaks and more mood swings than she'd ever wanted to deal with in her life, their daughter wanted to be as stubborn as her mother. He, however, hadn't thought of it that way. He'd gotten the call that his wife was in labour as soon as he'd gotten off the plane at Quantico and the team hadn't wanted to miss a second. He had been unfortunate enough to miss his wife and daughter returning home from the hospital.
But he was home now.
He didn't bother carrying his bags up with him, nor did he bother with her strict rules as he removed his tie and jacket, leaving them draped over the couch. He'd hear about it in the morning, but he had priorities. And right now, they were his wife and baby girl. Hannah's room was next door to Jack's and right across the hall from their room. It was his main goal as he tiptoed down the hall to the best of his ability. He stopped dead in the doorway at the sight that greeted him. Where he expected his wife to be sound asleep, it looked like his daughter had other ideas for her mother.
"You're not as quiet as you think you are," she greeted playfully, the small body cradled against her chest.
"I'll oil the door hinges tomorrow," he promised, leaning over to kiss her forehead gently. "How is she?"
"Settled in," Emily answered, smiling up at her husband. "How'd it go?"
He knew she was asking about the case. "We got him."
It never ceased to amaze him that she never pressured him for the details, never asked about what case he was working or for more time. She knew the perils of the job, knew the late nights, early mornings and constant need to be on call. He hadn't changed his job or his dedication since marrying her, but she'd been surprisingly integral in finding the necessary balance that he hadn't been able to find with Haley.
"Can you put her down?"
He didn't need to be asked twice. He took Hannah gently from Emily's arms and cradled her to his chest. Like the first time he'd held her tiny body, emotion swelled in his heart. He was a very lucky man with a family to go home to at night. He had a son that adored him, a new baby daughter, and most importantly a wife that understood everything he stood for and all the baggage he carried. She understood the cases, the criminals, the things he didn't want to bring home to his family and yet, they'd found a way to make it work.
And for that, he'd be forever thankful.