Watched the promo for season five on youtube the other day and am very excited!
Hotch in hospital recovering from his physical wounds while Rossi attempts to help heal the invisible ones. A bit of nonsense really.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything, except for Xander the Panda who is all mine!
When Rossi entered the quiet hospital room he gave a small smile at what he saw; Special Agent Aaron Hotchner…the FBI's stoic BAU Chief, the no-nonsense team leader, the Senior Agent with the steadiest gun-hand he's ever seen…was lying in his small hospital bed staring at the ceiling with a stuffed panda bear clutched protectively in his right arm to his chest.
"So how many tiles are there?" he asked quietly. He was troubled to see Hotch jump slightly at the unexpected noise; it was usually quite difficult to catch the man unawares and equally difficult to surprise him. The evidence of Foyet's attack was not solely visible on Hotch's body but in his whole manner…not surprisingly the Unit Chief was very much on edge. Rossi swore under his breath, Foyet was going to pay for damaging his friend in such a way!
Aaron turned his head on his pillow, lacking the strength to sit up, and gave a small nod of his head, "Dave" he acknowledge. "What are you doing here?" He had still not released his grip on the panda, unconsciously gripping it tighter to his chest.
"Just came to see how you are. How are you?" Rossi lowered himself into the hard, uncomfortable seat by the bedside, prepared to wait out and fight for a truthful answer from his old friend.
Hotch turned away and looked back at the ceiling; "I'm fine" he breathed out a sigh.
"Bullshit Aaron, you were attacked in your own home, you were tortured by that pyscho…you nearly died…" (Dave almost choked on those words), "you are not 'fine!'"
Aaron sighed again, he knew Dave and knew that unfortunately once the man got something in mind there was no escaping him; Aaron just didn't have the energy to fight him. "I don't really care where he attacked me," he started slowly, trying to avoid the main crux of the issue, "since I moved…since Haley and Jack left it's not really a home anymore, it's just a place to sleep. I think about what might have happened had we never separated…I never thought I'd feel grateful that Haley divorced me…"
Dave shook his head slightly…stupid selfless idiot…yes, all alone against the big bad serial killer was a much better option than to have someone else there who could help…a little self-preservation might not go amiss!
Aaron looked up hesitantly, sadness and self-doubt clouding his eyes. "I fought that bastard with all I had Dave;" he gives a short mirthless laugh, "of course a bullet does tend to be faster than the human body! Once that bullet hit…the pain, the blood loss, I didn't have a whole lot left in me to give…when he got that knife…" Hotch shuddered at the memory.
Dave shuddered at the images swirling through his imagination. He once again cursed Foyet. "I know you're thankful that no-one else was around…but me, I wanted someone there Aaron; if someone had heard that shot, if someone had been around…there was a chance of you getting help so much sooner, there was a chance that Foyet might never have…" he left his sentence hanging, unable to word all the things that might not have happened with Foyet, knowing that 'what if's' were a dangerous and soul-destroying thing to live with.
Aaron looked down, uncomfortable with the emotion hidden behind Rossi's words, "I am fine…or at least I will be once I get all these tubes out of me and start all that physiotherapy I've got to look forward to." He offered his friend a tentative smile, trying to reassure him.
It didn't work. "You scared the hell out of us all Aaron! Morgan paced the halls like some caged animal, occasionally punching the walls and swearing about Foyet. Reid sat completely still the whole time we were waiting; he wasn't reciting any statistics which made everyone think the worst. Prentiss, she was the one who realised you were missing…she couldn't stop shaking; Miss 'Cool As Can Be' Prentiss! And JJ and Garcia were weeping into each others shoulders." Dave left out his pacing, his cursing, his shaking and his harassment of every medical personnel at the hospital. "We were a mess. And if you ever do something like this to us again there will be major ass-kicking when you wake up next!"
During this speech Aaron clutched the panda bear closer and tried to process what Dave was telling him. He could imagine Morgan pacing and thumping walls, after all he did the same thing when Penelope was shot. He could also see Dave pacing right alongside him…the man tended to do that when there was nothing else he could do. He could also see JJ and Garcia crying, they were by far the most openly emotional of the team; he did feel terrible for causing them any upset though. But Prentiss and Reid…last time Reid was so very silent and he lost the statistics he gained a drug addiction. He'd have to be watched, to make sure he was coping in a non-drug induced way. The idea of anything breaking down Prentiss' ability to compartmentalise just seemed so foreign. He'd have to apologise to them all when he escaped his IV's, the constant medical checks and that damn urinary catheter!
"Ok…enough is enough!" Rossi shouted suddenly.
Aaron looked up sharply at Dave, confusion clouding his eyes. "What are you talking about?"
"The panda…what is with the panda?"
Aaron lifted the panda directly into his line of sight and smiled. "His name is Xander the Panda…he's Jack's. Haley visited with him this morning and he brought along Xander;" he gave a small, wry smile, "apparently Xander is going to protect me better than those armed guards you've got posted outside my room."
Dave chuckled, amused that even if Aaron couldn't see the guards he knew they were there; profilers never stopped working! "You've got a sweet kid. So this panda bear…Xander…he know kung fu?"
Aaron laughed outright this time, "I knew it, I knew you were a closet cartoon fan! A secret kid at heart Dave…wait until I tell the others!"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Dave quickly asked, trying to show confusion. "I'm talking about whether or not this panda knows how to defend you."
"The animated film about a panda learning kung fu," Aaron explained with a smile on his face.
"I have no idea what you're talking about…but you clearly do, so wait until I tell the others" Rossi smiled evilly.
"No…it won't work! I have a young child, I've seen all manner of cartoons. JJ probably will have done too. What's your excuse?"
Dave sighed, knowing he was caught out. "Fine, fine…you win! It was a day off, the TV was on and I couldn't be bothered to look for the remote, which Mudgie seems to enjoy hiding."
"Sure Dave, sure." Aaron smiled non-believingly and then pasted a serious look upon his face (that didn't convince Rossi one bit) and passed him Xander. "You can teach him the moves you learnt if you like."
Dave threw the panda back at him.
"Huh hum!" A throat was cleared near the doorway. Both men turned and saw Aaron's doctor looking at them disapprovingly. Both men looked at each other with sheepish smiles and mumbled an apology to the doctor. "Agent Rossi, visiting hours are not meant to be spent harassing the patients! Agent Hotchner, you were shot, you were stabbed, and you were tortured. Do I need to remind you of this?" She ignored her patient's sullenly mumbled 'No!' and continued. "You are in a hospital bed for a reason…bed rest!"
"I'd rest more comfortably with this catheter removed" Aaron said hopefully.
His doctor narrowed her eyes, "No. It will stay there until I'm sure you can be trusted." She then spied the panda which had fallen upside down near the middle of the hospital bed, showing a small chocolate ice-cream stain on the belly. She sighed and picked up helpless Xander. "You are in the ICU, Agent Hotchner, you've had extensive surgery; you will not share your bed with this germ ridden thing! I will take this and you can have it back at a later date when you're stronger. Agent Rossi will be leaving in five minutes. A nurse will be along shortly to take your vitals and administer more pain medication." With her tirade over and her orders given, she turned on her heels and marched out with the panda bear under her arm, white coat billowing behind her.
"Damn!" muttered Aaron.
"Wow!" muttered Dave.
"Yeah…she speaks to me like I'm five years old and don't know my alphabet."
"Well, you were sharing your bed with a stuffed panda bear" Dave smirked.
"If I wasn't practically tied to this bed, I would hit you right now." Aaron smiled evilly at Dave, "Of course, I've got a long memory! You might be let of the hook if you rescue Xander from Doctor Jekyll and get Nurse Ratchet to remove this damn catheter."
Dave thought about it…it didn't take long. "No way in hell; if your nurse is anything like your doctor I'm running for the hills." He stood up to go.
Aaron sighed and mocked sadness, "Fine, I'll just have to tell Jack that Xander was kidnapped and that you let them take him. Poor Jack, his favourite bear in the hands of the enemy."
Dave glared, "Using your kid Aaron, low blow."
"So is this damn catheter" he quipped.
Dave sighed and nodded his head, acknowledging his friend had a point. "Ok I'll give it a go, but I doubt even Adonis himself could charm this lady." He went towards the door and paused, a serious expression upon his face. "I'm glad you're ok Aaron. We're gonna get Foyet for this. And when you're out of hospital you're coming to stay at mine…no arguments!" He left before Aaron could argue.
Hotch smiled. Hopefully the team would catch Foyet without further incident. Hopefully Dave would succeed and soon he'd be minus a catheter and plus a panda bear. Life was looking up!
There you go…like I said, a bit of nonsense!
Let me know what you think.