Hotch actually cursed as he pulled back, and Emily's lips quirked at the humor of the situation. Her boss was actually outwardly irritated that he was interrupted while trying to kiss her. Could things get any more out of whack than that? She didn't think so.

She grabbed the phone—the home phone, not cell, and answered quickly. "Hello?"

No one answered. She repeated the greeting, then waited a moment before returning the phone to the receiver. "Must have been a wrong number."

"Just in case, we'll have Garcia run it later." Hotch said, ever aware of the reason he was at her place.

"Is that really necessary? I'm probably just overreacting."

"We both know the percentages. But I'm not taking chances. Neither should you." Hotch told her bluntly, as they both moved to the couch. Emily grabbed the stereo remote and soon had soft music playing in the background.

"But Hotch, I'm also a trained agent. I have my weapon, I don't open the door without looking who's on the other side. And I'm eight stories up." Emily appreciated his concern but she was a grown woman, capable of taking care of herself. But if she admitted it, at least to herself, it was nice to have his reassuring presence there with her. The place seemed too empty without the little girl. And having a relaxed Hotch near her was remarkably pleasant.

"Still, I'm not taking any chances." He deliberately pulled her to rest against his chest. She felt the steady beating of his heart against her back. Her head found a spot on his strong shoulder and she felt herself relaxing with him in a way they never had before. She felt just as comfortable with him then as she had Wednesday when they'd been working on consults. No wonder she had fallen asleep with him so easily.

"This will all blow over in a couple of days." Emily predicted, as she felt him begin to run his fingers through her hair. Had she ever noticed how tactile the man was? His hands hadn't stopped touching her since they'd sat at the bar. She wondered briefly if he was even aware of it. He'd done it at the carnival, too. And she'd been hyper-aware of the feel of his warm hand holding hers, of him caressing her back, her shoulder, occasionally. "I didn't even see him at the carnival, did you?"

"Yes. While you and Cody were in the restroom. He and his son were in the men's." Hotch said. "I didn't have a chance to mention it when we came out."

"Because of the slides?" Emily smiled, remembering how excited the kids had been seeing the big yellow slides. Cody'd immediately pulled them straight to the line. "What happened, anything?"

"He ignored me, stared at Jack." Hotch said, dropping his arm around her stomach, tightening, pulling her even closer as his body turned into the corner of the couch. "Then Jack and I left."

"But nothing happened? What about his demeanor?"

"He wasn't happy to see us there, Emily." Hotch told her, though he wanted to stop talking about the other man. He wanted her focus completely on him. At least for the next little while. He wouldn't push her, wouldn't rush her, but dammit, he wanted her. "You have to be careful. Even an agent can be a target, a victim."

"Yes. I will. I'll watch my surroundings. Not go anywhere alone."

"And call me—or Dave or Derek—if anything seems off. Understand?" Hotch dropped a kiss to her hair, then paused to breathe in the scent of woman, of Emily.

"Of course. I'm not crazy."

"Just stubborn, and independent." He smiled to himself at the indignation he'd heard in her voice. But she wasn't fighting his embrace, was letting his hand run up and down her arm, letting the fingers of his other hand splay over her stomach. He was highly conscious of what rested above those fingers. His hand itched to touch. But he knew better. She wasn't ready for that.

"You've met my mother—can you honestly expect any different from me?" She laughed lightly, and he felt the movement against him. "Hotch?"


"Does it ever seem less quiet when they're gone?"

"No. Sometimes, I swear I can hear him laugh. But when I turn around I realize he's with Hayley and not me." Hotch had never spoken so freely about how he felt with any member of his team. Especially her.

"I didn't know I could love her any more than I did." Emily admitted to him. He turned slightly, pulling her where he could see her face a little better. "But these last few weeks—she's mine. And I love her more and more every day."

"Yes. And she loves you. Idolizes you."

"Hero worships the rest of the team, too." Emily laughed. "Especially Aunt Penelope. And Mr. Brown Sugar."


"Garcia's nickname for Morgan. Apparently Cody thinks he's hot."

"You serious?" Hotch laughed, "I don't know if that's good or bad."

"I know. But she hasn't exhibited any signs of having a crush on anyone at school. Yet. But it's healthy, right? That she's starting to notice?"

"Yes. I think it is. Does Morgan know?" Hotch snickered, thinking of the team's ladies man.

"I'm not sure." Emily smiled up at him, her eyes starting to droop. He didn't miss the tiredness written on her pretty face.

"Where do Reid and I fit into this? In Cody's mind, of course."

"Well, I'm not too sure how she sees Reid, but apparently, you are Superman. Something Garcia put in her head. And she questioned whether you were going to be my boyfriend. So I'm not too sure where she thinks you fit in." Emily said, around a yawn.

"So a cross between your boyfriend and Superman. Odd." Hotch laughed, while silently thinking that didn't sound half bad. He'd prefer the term lover to that of boyfriend. But that was adult-only terminology, and not one the twelve year old needed to hear. "Are you falling asleep on me?"

"I'm sorry. It's been a hectic two weeks." She apologized, her body tensing slightly under his hands.

"Hey, I wasn't complaining. Not that it's the first time we've slept on this couch."

"True. There's a spare room upstairs if you're tired. Two of them, actually."

"This place has four bedrooms?" Hotch knew the surprise was evident in his voice. The place hadn't seemed that big from the downstairs. "Nice. And I'm quite content right exactly where I am at, sweetheart."

"Hmmm. I like you here, too. It's different. But nice. And it's five. I had the dining room converted to a small office. It's door is just under the stairs there. And I have Cody's room, a guest room, and a library, as well as mine upstairs. I have a lot of books." Emily said, voice trailing off as her eyes closed completely.

Hotch loved watching her sleep. She always fell asleep with the ease of a child—which was odd in their line of work. He held her there against his chest for a while, just watching her and thinking. Funny, how a man's life could change in only two weeks' time.

There he was, half lying on the couch of the woman he'd never wanted on his team in the first place, holding her, wanting her. And she'd trusted him. To hold her, to be near her. To help her, protect her.

He knew that was something she'd not done lightly. Emily was as closed off as he was, letting someone in was doubly hard for people like them. But they had grown to trust each other, to understand each other, to comfort each other.

No matter what happened, they'd found more in common than they'd ever expected to find. No matter what the next day brought, they'd found each other.

Hotch was more than happy with his find.

Now if he could just make her as happy.

He was so looking forward to trying.

(Ok, so I was so totally NOT planning on finishing this story this way. But all good things must end, and this is no exception. This fic was more the finding of Cody and the realizing of both Hotch and Emily that their feelings for each other could be something more than superior/subordinate. But fear not! The sequel is already floating around in my head….after all….whatever happened to Jason Collins? So watch for Hotch's Find coming up in the next few days…provided my power comes back on and I can recharge my laptop….)