A/n: Thank you all for hanging in there with me while I finished this! I'm sorry that real life has dragged this on longer than I intended and hope you like this ending! Thanks again - LG
"You bitch!" Ami roared, grabbing for the letter opener, as blood began to drip from the wound in her side.
"Go to Hell," Gabriela said, grabbing the gun with her right hand and Ami's hand with her left. "You're not taking my family."
"They're mine!" Ami went on, giving up on the letter opener and reaching for the gun.
"No. They. Aren't," Gabriela said, raising her leg and kicking the letter opener, driving it deeper into Ami's side.
Ami shrieked in pain, forgetting for a moment about the gun, and in that moment, Gabriela wrestled it from her hands.
Gabriela held the gun, willing her mind to remember all Aaron had told her about firing the weapon and willing her hands to stop shaking.
"You're killing me!" Ami went on, "Get this thing out of me…"
"No," Gabriela firmly said, "I will not. I'll call 9-1-1…we'll let the police take it out."
"Police?" Ami hissed, looking up at her, "You'll be the one going to jail…you stabbed me. You're holding a gun on me; all I did was come for folders…"
"Carrying this gun?"
"I'm licensed to carry, I'm in the FBI," Ami shrugged, her skin paling as she lost more blood.
"You need to let me call 9-1-1…" Gabriela said, her medical training taking over. "You're going to go into shock."
"If you kill me…you go to jail…"
"I'm not going to go to jail," she returned, "And you're not going to die." She held the gun with one hand and reached across the desk to the cordless phone. As she did, Ami rushed her.
As the younger woman charged her, Gabriela's finger squeezed the trigger.
Hotch made his way quickly through the first floor, stopping when he reached the foyer and the stair case. He turned to look at Rossi and motioned that he was going up the stairs.
Rossi nodded, and with Morgan a step behind, followed Hotch up the stairs.
As Hotch crested the stairs, he could hear the sounds of heavy breathing coming from the office. Slowly, carefully, he made his way to the doorway. His body tensed as he quietly called, "Gabi?"
"In here," she said, causing relief to course through his body.
He turned and walked into the doorway to find Gabriela leaning over Ami's body, administering CPR; both women were covered in blood.
"What happened?" he asked.
"I shot her," Gabriela said, feeling for her pulse. She looked up at him, tears in her eyes. "I killed her."
Hotch knelt and studied Ami while he felt for her nonexistent pulse. Gabriela had shot her square in the chest and she apparently bled out. Upon further study, he saw a letter opener embedded in her side.
"The kids? Mom?" Gabriela asked, looking down at the blood on her hands and clothing.
"They're fine," he assured her, helping her to stand, "What about you?"
"Hotch?" Rossi said.
"In here," he called, "Ami's dead."
Rossi and Morgan walked into the room,
"Gabi, you okay?" Rossi asked.
"Physically," she replied, looking at Hotch with wide eyes. "I don't want the kids to see me like this…"
"They're with Reid and Prentiss," Morgan said, "VAPD is just arriving. Once they photograph you…"
"I can shower, I know," she nodded, sitting down hard in the desk chair.
"What happened?" Hotch asked, kneeling next to her.
"Mom went to get the kids and I fell asleep on the sofa. I woke up to find Ami standing there. She said she came get folders for you…and that's when I remembered…" she looked at Ami, eyes narrowed, "She pushed me down the stairs."
"She did?" Rossi asked, looking up. "Why?"
"Apparently, she wanted my life," she explained, "Or parts of it anyway. She wanted my husband, my house….but not my children. She was going to go down and kill the kids after she killed me. I couldn't let that happen."
Morgan's cell phone rang, flipping it open on the second ring, he answered, "Yeah? Okay…send them upstairs." He flipped the phone shut. "VAPD is here. Hang on a little more, Gabriela. Then this will be all over and you can get back to your life."
"I hope so…" she sighed, wondering if they could just "get back to their life".
Aaron Hotchner sat at his desk, reviewing case files. He hated the paperwork, but it was a necessary evil. Looking up from the folder he held, his eyes settled on a framed picture on his desk.
He smiled, studying the shot of Gabriela, Silvana, Jack, AJ, and Olivia standing in the empty living room of their new house. They were smiling, happy and all five of them looked relaxed. It was the first time in months that they'd looked that way and he was grateful that he captured it on film.
They'd moved out of the old house barely a month after Gabriela had shot Ami. Between Olivia's nightmares, AJ's hyper vigilance, and Gabriela's insomnia, he knew they couldn't stay. Despite the professional cleaning crew that came in and the fact that Rossi, Morgan and Garcia spent a weekend stripping and remodeling their office, Ami's presence had ruined the sanctity of their home.
While they searched for a new place and tried to get back into their lives, they moved into a furnished rental townhome for another month before making settlement on a six bedroom home in Woodbridge complete with a pool and a three car garage.
The entire team showed up on moving day, helping them get settled, then staying into the wee hours for pizza and beer. With Jack, AJ, Olivia and Silvana all settled in their new rooms, he and Gabi made their way to the master bedroom, where, for the first time since before the shooting, they'd made love and she'd fallen asleep wrapped in his arms, sleeping through the night.
Now, six months later, life, it seemed, had fallen back into some sort of peaceful routine. Nightmares subsided, new routines developed, and the future looked bright. His eyes traveled to another new picture on his desk. He smiled, looking at the black and white ultrasound picture of his daughter to be, who was due to arrive in four months.
Yes, he thought, the future certainly did look bright. With a chuckle to himself, he returned his attention to the paperwork in front of him.