PROMPT: FYI: I Hurt, Too (Will & Grace)


Aaron Hotchner came racing into the emergency room of the hospital, frantically looking around. He'd been out in the field, doing an interview, and his cell had been on silent – politeness and efficiency the top priority. When he'd turned it back on, there were messages from his son's school and from, well, actually he wasn't sure what Emily was at the moment. She was definitely more than a friend – friends wouldn't let friends touch them like he'd touched her – but they weren't lovers either. Though their relationship had progressed beyond friends, they both seemed reluctant to do more than make out on her couch. Or his, they weren't actually that picky.

It had happened smoothly, without the awkwardness that he'd expected it to be. They were close, had only ever grown closer over the years. Jack absolutely adored her. And that was what brought him to this moment. Because though he and Haley had agreed it might be a good idea to put extra people on the list for Jack on who could pick him up. It was how Emily's voice followed the almost frantic one of the secretary at Jack's school.

Apparently, Jack had broken his arm. His six year old son had been playing on the jungle gym in the playground and had fallen off the monkey bars. It had resulted in a broken arm. And despite Emily's calm voice assuring him that he was at the hospital with his son – apparently the only one on Jack's next of kin list available – and that Jack was okay, the father in him was going to panic until he actually saw his son in one piece.


Hotch vaguely focusing on the nurse that had tried to catch your attention. "I'm... I'm looking for Jack Hotchner. Little boy..."

"Are you a relative?"

"His father," Hotch replied.

The nurse guided him to the station and checked around the binders for the right log. "Jack Hotchner... Six years old, yup. He's fine. He's in x-ray."

Hotch swallowed. "Where's that?"

The nurse smiled at him sympathetically. "Down that hallway there, take your first left."

He was moving before he realized that he had no idea what room his son was in. Thankfully, he spotted Emily's dark head down the hallway. "Emily."

She stood immediately, reaching out for him. "He's fine, Hotch. He's fine."

"Where is he?"

"They just took him into x-ray, but they're sure the bone's broken. They don't know if they're going to have to re-set the bone or just put a cast on it," Emily replied, rubbing her hands up and down his arms. "It's a broken arm, Hotch. He'll be fine. He's just a little spooked."

He ran a hand through his hair. "Where's Haley?"

"I don't know," Emily replied, staying calm. She wasn't about to tell him that when the call had come in that something had happened to Jack, her entire body had frozen. And she wasn't about to tell him that she'd been a lot like him until she set eyes on the six-year-old child. When she saw him, alive, okay and in one piece, she finally picked up the phone to calmly tell Hotch that his son had a broken arm, but was otherwise okay.

"He's in there?"

She tightened her grip on his arms. "He'll be out in a minute."

"Miss Prentiss?"

Emily looked up as the doctor came out and called her name, Hotch's eyes following his.

"Is he okay?" Hotch asked.

Emily tried not to laugh at how frantic he sounded. "Dr. Franks, this is Jack's father."

"Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Hotchner," the doctor said politely. "Your son is fine. Kids break their arms all the time. Jack isn't, by far, the worst I've seen. We're going to put a cast on for about six weeks to let it heal."

Hotch nodded, almost frantically. There was nothing in his mind beyond seeing his son. There was nothing more important than seeing his son. Even with Emily, grasping his arm in reassurance. "Can I see him?"

"You're welcome to come in and sit with him while we put the cast on," the doctor agreed.

Hotch moved through the door quickly, Emily following behind, more subdued. The father let out a sigh of relief seeing his son indeed, in one piece.

"Daddy! I broked my arm!"

"Just broke, Buddy," Hotch corrected, making it swiftly to his son's side, and running his hand through his son's hair. "You're okay?"

"I fell off the monkey bars," Jack replied dejectedly. "But I did them, just like Mommy taught me!"

"And you'll be able to do them again," Hotch assured his son. "Your hands were probably just slippery. Everybody gets hurt, Buddy."

Jack shook his head. "Nuh uh. You don't get hurt!"

"Of course I do," Hotch replied, kissing his son's head.

"Nuh uh!" the six-year-old contradicted. "Prove it!"

Hotch rolled his eyes playfully and sighed, mentally debating about what scar he wanted to show his son. He had a few that he was going to try and hide from his little boy as long as possible, but there was definitely a knife-wound from his early Bureau days that he could show his boy. So, sliding his jacket off of his shoulders and handing it to Emily to hang onto, he slid his shirt buttons out of their holes and un-tucked his undershirt.

Jack gasped. "Daddy! When did you get that?"

Hotch smiled slightly. He'd known it was a rather ugly scar. The guy that had made it hadn't been particularly concerned with making sure the scar turned into a pretty reminder of what had turned out to be a week in the hospital and six weeks recovery time at home. "Somebody hurt me," Hotch replied, finally answering his son. "With a knife."

"But Daddy! No one can hurt you!"

Hotch grinned at how adorable his son was. "I get hurt too. I broke my leg when I was your age."

Jack's eyes looked past him. "Daddy can't get hurt, Em'ly."

She chuckled and he felt her hand on his back. "That says otherwise, sweetheart."

Jack pursed his lips, unhappy with the conclusion, but the evidence was right in front of him. "Did you have a cast?"

"Not for that," Hotch replied. "I had a band-aid. And stitches. But you know what? I healed. And you're going to, too, if you take care of that arm, okay?"

Jack nodded solemnly. "Will I still grow up to be big and strong?"

"If you keep drinking your milk, eating your vegetables…" Hotch said.

"But Daddy, I hate vegetables!"

Hotch laughed.