Author's Note:

This story rolls back the clock to the very beginning of Hotch and Emily's first meeting when he was working security for her mother. That's canon, the actual circumstances of the meeting, that's all me. From there it will jump ahead to Emily's first day at the BAU and continue through, God help me, every episode for the past three years.

Starting with the season finale events in New York, the story will go completely AU, though I will still incorporate events of all the season 4 episodes through "Normal." The Hours picks up the end of December 2008. In my mind, Lo-Fi and Mayhem took place in May, so that leaves six months of AU as I slowly build up their relationship from friendly colleagues to the complete and utter devotion stage.

I will reference the episode title with every chapter, though every chapter is structured differently. There are pre-eps, post-eps, missing scenes, sometimes just internal commentary during scenes we did see, and sometimes a little bit of everything. Whatever struck me as working best within that storyline, so there are not necessarily recaps of the events in each episode. Therefore it may be helpful to refresh your memory about the episode before you read the chapter. If you actually have a life it would be hard to quickly fit in viewing time for 100 hours of programming, but I can suggest a website, tv . com that has awesomely detailed recaps which have been very helpful for me. But you know, it's your life, do what you want :)

If you followed me over here from the original Hours, thanks! And if you read the sneak preview chapters last week, you might notice this is a slightly different version. I tweaked it a bit. It's better :)

UPDATED NOTE 08/2013: FYI, new readers. Since this story was completed, I have been writing some 'offshoot' fics that fill in missing days of their life that weren't in the story as outlined here. It's all part of the same universe. So if you want to check out the 'missing days' you can see the order (and which chapters they fall between here in Girl) on my profile page.

I used to think of all the billions of people in the world, and of all those people, how was I going to meet the right ones? The right ones to be my friends, the right one to be my husband. Now I just believe you meet the people you're supposed to meet. - - Northern Exposure, The Quest

A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. – Northern Exposure, The Big Kiss

July 1995

Boy Meets Girl

Aaron Hotchner was annoyed.

Not that anyone looking at him would know it . . . his poker face was pretty good . . . but he was ready to bang his head against the wall. This week he'd started working the new security detail for Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss. He was only thirty two and this was one of his first major command assignments since he'd started with the FBI.

He really needed it to go well.

Unfortunately though, Ambassador Prentiss was proving herself to be somewhat 'prickly' on a few points of general procedure. The problem was that she was just very much accustomed to being oversees and doing things how she wanted to do them. And the State Department employees . . . of course . . . fell into line.

But the FBI had their own way of doing things.

And even if Aaron was inclined to try to be accommodating, most of those 'things' weren't up for debate. And he was attempting to respectfully get that point across . . . the non-debatable points . . . without upsetting the Ambassador in the process.

It had been a somewhat stressful evening.

But the woman had a great number of connections in Washington, and if she wasn't happy with him when this review was over, it was not going to bode well for his future at the Bureau.

So at present it was now nine o'clock, and he was sitting in the drawing room of the Prentiss estate, nodding politely as he was lectured by the Ambassador on point of procedure that she wasn't entirely pleased about.

This was why he wanted to bang his head against the wall.

He should have been done with work hours ago. Which meant that he had a wife at home that was . . . somewhat impatiently . . . waiting for him to take her out to eat. And the reason that he knew the waiting was going somewhat impatiently, was because they'd had specific plans for dinner in town that night.

He'd had to call two hours ago and cancel.

He'd hated to do it . . . it had taken Haley two weeks to get that reservation . . . and though she tried to cover it up, he knew that she'd been a bit annoyed at the last minute change. But of course she was still adjusting to the idea of the hours he was working at the Bureau. When they got married, he had just graduated from law school and the FBI had not been in his plans then.

His wife had signed on for a life with a federal prosecutor, not a federal agent. And the hours and the workload between the two jobs were quite different. But she'd been supportive of his choices, even though he knew she was struggling with how much of an upheaval it had been to how their life had been before.

Aaron was sure though that these were just some minor bumps, every marriage had them. And he'd only stopped by the Ambassador's home today to pick up the list of internal domestic help.

That was six hours ago.

Foolishly he'd assumed that he'd be in and out the door . . . the Ambassador had other ideas.

But now after finishing yet another polite . . . yet slightly tense . . . conversation with her as they walked to the front hall, he was finally on his way home. The last thing he said before she turned back into the main house, was to promise that he'd have the information that she requested by ten a.m. tomorrow morning. And that meant . . . he winced internally . . . that he was going to have to be at the office no later than 6:30 a.m to pull it all together.


As the Ambassador disappeared back into the sitting room, Aaron turned to hurry down the front hall. He was trying to get away before she thought of 'just one more thing agent.'

The way his day was going, the one more thing was going to be his resignation from this assignment.

So finally . . . clenching his jaw . . . he yanked the front door open.


There was a very beautiful . . . very familiar . . . face on the other side.

A face which was now colliding into him, exhaling a surprised puff of peppermint, as the girl attached to it stumbled into the doorway. He hurriedly put his hand out to catch her, simultaneously biting his lip to keep from smiling.

He wasn't comfortable expressing emotions like that in public. But God . . . his mouth quivered slightly . . . the look on her face was absolutely adorable.

Did he say adorable? He was married! And though it wasn't specifically covered, he was pretty sure that there was an implied covenant about not referring to any other women as 'adorable,' even if it was just in his own head.

Seven years in, and this was the first time that the issue had come up.

Either way though, he DEFINITELY shouldn't be thinking of the Ambassador's DAUGHTER, as adorable! He didn't know her name, but he had recognized her as such from a few of the photographs in the house.

Photographs . . . he realized as he cataloged her wavy hair and creamy skin . . . that didn't do her justice at all.

And wait, what was he DOING noticing anything wavy or creamy? And how long had he been staring at her like a buffoon? Fifteen seconds, twenty?

Either way that was fourteen or nineteen seconds too long.

So he broke his unintentional reverie by giving her fingers a polite squeeze goodbye. Then he tipped his head before cutting passed her to go to the car.

Don't look back, don't look back, you are a happily married man with a beautiful wife waiting for you at home. So you definitely do NOT need to look back at the pretty girl.

Okay . . . he turned his head . . . well, just once to make sure that she got inside okay.

His brow wrinkled slightly.

What was she doing just standing there? Does she not know how dangerous it was for a woman to be out alone at night? Nice neighborhood or not, there were a lot of bad people in the world. But he had no authority over her, so he really wasn't in any position to be lecturing her.

That said . . . he realized as he turned to climb into the car . . . the one thing he could do, was wait in the driveway until she was safely inside. And fortunately the windows were tinted so she couldn't see him sitting there doing absolutely nothing except looking out at her.

All right, she's STILL standing there. What is she DOING?

Okay . . . Aaron blew out a puff of air . . . finally! In she goes.

Seeing the door pull shut, he finally started the ignition.

And as he pulled out of the driveway, he thought with a smile how nice it would be to see Haley. He'd left before seven that morning so he hadn't even had a chance to say goodbye.

The next thought he had . . . the one that came to him as he pulled into traffic . . . was to make a mental note to check with the ambassador in the morning to confirm the name of the girl that he'd seen tonight. After all, he was just going on the supposition that was the daughter.

He didn't know for sure.

And given that he was now in charge of security procedures, he had a right, no . . . he shook his head . . . a duty, to know the names of all the people that had been issued keys to the family home.

With that last thought, Aaron bore left off the main street in Kalorma to merge into the Thursday night traffic that would lead him back out to the Beltway.

A/N 2: I'm posting the companion chapter to this simultaneously simply because I think they flow best as a set. But fair warning, this is it for double postings for a LONG time. I have a lot of chapters done, but my muse has not addressed all of the season 2 eps yet so until those are finished, I need to keep this moving at a slow pace. As of right now I do expect to be able to post daily for at least a week or so, but I can't promise how long that will last. This story, unlike the last one is very far from being finished.

Next up: "Girl Meets Boy"