*A/N* A couple of things. First off, for the purposes of this story, Haley was killed sometime at the end of summer. Also, in this AU, Jessica was unable to take care of Jack. All recognizable characters from Criminal Minds do not belong to me, but the nanny most certainly does. Each part is written to a prompt from 64damnprompts. Enjoy!*

Watching his friend, Rossi didn't miss the sigh that escaped him. Or the other seventeen he had let out since they had boarded the plane.

"Alright," he said. "Out with it."

Hotch turned to look at him. "Out with what?"

"Whatever is making you sigh like a sixteen year old girl."

The other man glared. "I've got some things on my mind."

"Hence the question."

It was obvious that Dave wasn't going to let this go, and Hotch sighed again.

"Jessica and I have been talking about getting Jack a nanny."

Rossi's eyebrows rose slightly at that. "A live-in?"

He nodded.

"It makes sense," Dave observed.

"It's the only way I can keep Jack and my job," he said quietly.

"And you can't give up either of them. They make up who you are." His eyes narrowed. "But you're apprehensive."

"About having someone living in my house and taking care of my son? Yes, actually."

"That's what the interview process is for, Aaron. You find someone that makes you comfortable -"

"We need someone now, Dave. And we just got called out on another case."


Hotch sighed. "So Jessica is picking someone."

"And therein lies the rub. You lose all the control."

He stared out the window of the plane. "I trust Jessica."

"I know that. But I also know that that isn't the same as getting a say in the person who's going to be looking after Jack." Dave paused, watching his friend carefully. "And it doesn't change the fact that you're going to have to let someone into your life."

Hotch gave him a rueful smile. "We both know that's not something I'm particularly good at."

"You get better with time."

"I haven't."

"Maybe because no one's forced you to." Rossi shifted in his seat, leaning forward slightly. "Look, Hotch...I know that things have been almost impossible for you in the last couple of months. Understandably so. But Jack needs his father, and he needs a home, and he needs someone to look after him. Most two parent households have trouble meeting those needs, and you're a working single father. Give whoever Jessica picks a chance - they might surprise you."


Dave smirked at him. "Don't freeze them out just because they're new. And don't get rid of them right away just because you're uncomfortable having someone living in your house that you don't know well. Get to know them. See how they interact with Jack. If he's happy, and they're trustworthy, you've got a good thing." He leaned back. "When will she pick?"

"She's doing the interviews tomorrow. If she finds someone she likes..." He shrugged.

"It'll work out, Hotch. You can have the job and Jack."

Aaron let his gaze drift out the window again. "I really hope so," he said quietly.