A Letter to Santa
Prompt: One Tree Hill - Please, Please, Please, Let me Get What I Want
A/N: No, I don't own anything. Thank you as always to Sue C, my wonderful beta.
Aaron Hotchner was in the kitchen, cooking dinner, when he heard the little voice coming from the living room.
"How do you spell daddy?"
"D – A – D – D – Y."
"You're welcome, buddy."
Smiling to himself, he went back to ensuring that the rotini he was currently cooking was going to be perfectly al dente. Even though Jack liked spaghetti better, it was a messy dish for a four year old to eat, and Hotch preferred not to have to try and get sauce stains out of Jack's clothes.
"How do you spell miss?"
"M – I – S – S."
Although he was curious as to what Jack was doing, Hotch figured it could wait the few minutes until dinner would be finished to find out. He knew that Jack had his crayons, so no doubt it was some sort of picture.
"How do you spell Em'ly?"
"E – M – I – L – Y, buddy."
Hotch grinned again. He loved his son so very much.
"How do you spell Santa?"
"S – A – N – T – A."
"Daddy, does Santa always give you what you want?"
"It depends, buddy. Have you been good?"
"Yes, daddy. I've been really good. Miss Em'ly told me so."
Hotch could almost hear his son nodding. "Then I think Santa should be able to bring you what you want."
"That's good, daddy, 'cause I really, really, really want to get this."
Dumping the pasta from the saucepan into the metal colander he'd previously placed in the sink, Hotch checked to see if the sauce was bubbling yet.
"What is it you want, buddy?"
"I can't tell you daddy. It's a secret."
"But how will I know what you want?"
"You don't need to know, daddy. Santa knows."
Well, he couldn't fault that logic, though not knowing what it was that Jack 'really, really, really' wanted was going to make it tough to make sure Jack got his Christmas wish.
He checked the sauce again, to find that it was just starting to bubble.
"Okay, buddy. Time to wash up for dinner."
A few minutes later, they were both sitting at the table and Jack was thoroughly enjoying his pasta. The evidence of Jack having been drawing was obvious, because there was a large envelope on the table with the word 'SANTA' written on it. Some of the letters were backwards, and they weren't in anything approaching a straight line, but it was obvious for whom the letter was intended.
"Is this letter for Santa?"
"Yes, daddy. Can we mail it tomorrow?"
"Of course we can, Jack."
"Where's Miss Em'ly tonight, daddy?"
"She had to work the case today, just like she did yesterday."
"Does it take a long time to work the case?"
"I miss her, daddy."
Hotch sighed. He missed Emily as well, especially since she'd tried to check in on them nearly every day since Haley's funeral, whether in person or by phone if she was travelling. "Me too, buddy. Me too."
Jack had clearly become attached to Emily during the last few weeks, though Hotch wasn't entirely sure whether he was substituting Emily for where the feelings of his mother once had been, or whether they held separate places in the little boy's heart. Regardless, he was happy around Emily, and that's all that Hotch could hope for at the moment.
"All done, buddy?"
"Okay then. Let's put these dishes in the sink and get ready for bath."
Jack had been in bed for nearly half an hour before Hotch managed to get back to the envelope lying on the table. After bath, there had been story time, and then he'd needed to wash up. Now he was staring down at an envelope, wondering if he should open it. As he picked it up, he realised that Jack hadn't sealed the envelope, which made it much easier to see what was inside. Sliding out a sheet of paper, he saw that Jack was sending Santa a drawing.
There were three stick figures in the drawing. The middle one was the smallest, and had light brown hair. Underneath this figure, Jack had written 'Jack' – or something which looked like it said 'Jack' anyway. On the left of that figure, was the largest of the three figures. This figure had spiky black hair, and underneath was written 'DADDY'. On the other side of the Jack figure, was one which had long black hair. This figure was labelled 'MIS EMILY'. All three figures were holding hands.
Hotch felt a tear in his eye as he looked at the picture. It seemed that he and Jack were pretty much on the same page as to what they were looking for this Christmas. As he stood there, looking at the picture, he found himself half wishing, half praying, that this Christmas, could he just please, please, please, get what he really wanted – Emily Prentiss in his life.