It had been two months since Dharma was back in Hotch's life, and they were just so happy. The team actually caught Hotch smiling sometimes. And they all loved Dharma, who made regular weekly visits (which included a basket of organic muffins), offered free yoga instructions, and was a source of optimism after having to witness the horrors of humanity on a regular basis.
Dharma strode into the bullpen. She greeted Reid at his desk. "So... how did it go last night?" she asked.
Reid cleared his throat, and said, "Pretty well, actually. I've got to hand it to you; I would never have had the courage to ask that woman out."
"Aw," she said. "No problem, Spencer. I consider myself an excellent matchmaker and I could tell from her aura that she was perfect for you."
"Hey, pretty mama," said Morgan as he walked over to his desk to pick up some files.
"Hiya," smiled Dharma.
"What are you two talking about?" he asked.
Before Reid had a chance to stop her, Dharma answered, "About Spencer's date last night."
Morgan stopped in his tracks. "Reid? On a date?"
"Um, yeah," squeaked an embarrassed Reid. "Dharma helped introduce me to this woman..."
"You're a miracle worker," Morgan said to Dharma. "I've been trying to hook up this kid for years!"
"It's a gift," she conceded.
At that moment, Hotch walked out of his office. He scanned the room, spotted Dharma, and came over to her by Reid's desk.
"Sorry that took so long," he said. "I was finishing up a report."
"That's okay," said Dharma before wrapping her arms around him and giving him a peck on the lips.
Hotch pulled her away and said, "What have a told you about doing that around where I work?"
"Only quickies in your office?" she asked. Morgan's head suddenly whipped up from the files he was staring at and Reid's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.
"Dharma!" cried Hotch.
"They know I'm kidding," she said.
"Come on," sighed Hotch. "We're late for lunch as it is." They went to leave as Morgan and Reid watched, and Dharma quickly turned her head back to them and winked.
As she turned back around to face her husband, she said, "Oh, by the way, Kitty and Edward are coming this weekend."
Hotch's feet suddenly found themselves glued to the floor. "What...?"
"I'm sorry," said Dharma. "I called them to tell them we got remarried, and they wanted to see us. I couldn't get out of it. And don't plan on getting a case because you are not leaving me alone with them."
"What?" Hotch could only repeat in his state of stupor. He had spent all those years trying to lose all contact with his parents and now they were coming here, to Virginia, to see him. How was he going to explain all this: his job, his name... oh god! Jack.
"It won't be that bad," said Dharma. "At least Frank and Abby aren't tagging along; they'll be visiting for Thanksgiving."
It was Friday evening and Hotch was slow in finishing his work, but he couldn't seem to push off the inevitable anymore. He slumped in his chair and sighed, looking at a photo of Dharma and then of Jack that both sat on his desk. "What have I gotten myself into?" he asked the air.
There was a sudden knock at his door and Hotch quickly recomposed himself. "Come in."
Rossi stood at his doorway. "I hear you have some special visitors this weekend?" he said.
"Dave," he asked. "I see gruesome corpses and soulless criminals everyday, but for some reason... having to face these two people whom I've known all my life scare me more than anything."
"Then they've done their job well," replied Rossi.
"Good talking to you, Dave."
The elevator doors opened, and Hotch walked down the hall to the apartment. He and Dharma had bought it together, and, needless to say, Dharma was in charge of the remodeling.
He paused in front of the door, and sighed before opening it. He was surprised to find no one in the living room. "Dharma?" he called out.
"We're in the kitchen, sweety," she answered.
He walked into the kitchen and found Dharma and his parents sitting at the table, drinking tea. All three turned towards Hotch, but none said a word.
"Mother," he said. "Dad. Good to see you."
"And you, Gregory," said Kitty. "Come sit down. Dharma's made the most splendid tea." So, they were just going to avoid the issue all together. Sounds good.
"Oh no!" said Dharma, understanding by now the Montgomery's problems with communication. "You three are going to talk."
"As far as I'm concerned," said Kitty. "There's nothing to talk about."
"Nothing to talk about?" gasped Dharma. "You and Edward haven't seen your only son in years, and now you're sitting in his kitchen. Don't you have something to say?"
"I have something to say," said Edward suddenly.
"Great!" cried Dharma. "What is it Edward? Just let it out."
"Do you have any alcohol?" he asked. Dharma slumped back in her chair, dejectedly. Hotch went to the cupboard and took out some glasses and a bottle of scotch.
"Come on, you guys," said Dharma, deciding not to give up hope. "Kitty, aren't you even the teeniest bit upset at Greg for disappearing on you, cutting off all ties with his own mother! The woman who hired people to raise, and educate, and nurture him. And Edward. When Greg was born, weren't you so proud to have a son who would pass on the family legacy? And now he's not even going by his given name."
"And what, pray tell, is that supposed to mean?" asked Kitty.
"Mother," said Hotch. "Dad. Don't freak out, but I've changed my name. It's Aaron Hotchner now."
"Good lord," said Kitty, grabbing the scotch Edward was holding in his hand and downing it.
"Hey," said Edward. "I was drinking that."
"Edward," said Kitty. "Did you not just hear what has just happened? Your son has decided that he hates us so much that he doesn't want any connection to us whatsoever."
"That's not true," said Hotch. "I just... needed to start over, and I couldn't do that being Greg Montgomery."
"I dig it," said Dharma. "We don't need to role play in bed anymore."
Kitty rolled her eyes, already having spent years training herself to block out most of what Dharma said. "But then," she said, exasperated. "What will my grandchild be called?"
"Jack," said Hotch.
"Your grandchild's name is Jack."
"I have a grandchild?" asked Kitty.
"I was briefly remarried between my time with Dharma to a woman named Haley," Hotch explained. "We had a son. He's about four years old now."
"All this time," said Kitty. "And you never thought your father and I would like to know?"
"I'm sorry," said Hotch.
"Well," she said. "Sorry doesn't cut it." She stood up. "Come along, Edward."
Her husband obediently rose from his chair. "Where are we going?"
"If our son doesn't want us to be a part of his life," she said. "Then we won't be."
"Mother..." began Hotch.
"But Kitty..." began Dharma.
Kitty silently left the apartment. Hotch stopped Edward before he disappeared, too. "Dad."
"You really messed up this time, Son."
"I know," he said.
"Would it really have hurt you to call?" Edward asked. Hotch noticed the hurt in his father's eyes. Edward had always been rather passive when it came to his family, but that didn't mean he didn't love them.
"Great..." muttered Hotch as he stood next to Dharma.
"I'm really sorry, honey," she said. "But we can fix this."
Hotch thought for a moment. He wasn't UNIT Chief of the BAU for nothing. He quickly assessed his parents feelings, and what they really needed from this visit to feel welcomed back into his life again. "I got it!" he said to himself, as he ran out the front door.
They were waiting by the elevator. "Wait," he said.
"Oh look, Edward," said Kitty. "Doesn't this man look a lot like our son?"
Hotch took a deep breath, deciding to go straight in for the kill. "Would you like to meet Jack?" he asked.
This totally threw Kitty off. "Pardon?"
"Would you like to meet your grandson?" Hotch repeated.
Kitty's mouth hung open for a moment. Then she smiled. "That would be lovely."
"I can call Haley right now," he said. "Jack's gonna love to meet you."
"Well, of course," she said, trying to hide her emotions. "Who wouldn't?"
"Now," said Hotch. "Would you both please come back inside?"
"All right, all right," she said, walking back down the hall. "No need to be so dramatic about it."
Hotch rolled his eyes as he followed her. Edward walked next to him, giving him a pat on the back. Hotch knew he was forgiven.
Monday came back around, and Hotch found himself sitting in his office. There was a knock, and he looked up to see Rossi at his door.
"So," he said. "How did the big weekend go?"
"Not so bad," said Hotch. "After they left, Dharma and I decided that the next time they came to visit, we would just walk across the nearest highway during rush hour."
"And you call that 'not so bad'?" asked Rossi.
"Well, that was instead of walking into a highway during rush hour with a bag of angry bees attached to our heads."
Rossi just stared at him.
"Dharma is against animal cruelty..." Hotch explained. But that's not what Rossi was concerned about.
"Well," said Rossi, unsure of what to say. "Good luck with that." And then he left.
Hotch continued filling out paperwork. A little while later, JJ strode up to him holding a file. "We've got a case," she said.
"Go round up the team," he told her. She nodded and left.
Hotch stood from his chair. He frowned thinking about all the possible scenarios that could have happened, that had already happened. And then he felt bad about what he said about his parents. Sure, they could be a handful sometimes, but their intentions were good. His team was his family, Dharma was his family, Jack was his family, and, no matter how much he would sometimes love to deny it, his parents were his family.
But... he was still glad he lived in Virginia, miles and miles away from them.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed. I may get around to doing a third story at some point later on in the year.