Author's Note: Guys, I'm gonna take tomorrow off from posting and do some writing. I'll post again on Thursday. Thank you for understanding. Again, thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed, alerted or favorited our stories. We love hearing from you. As ever, we don't own Criminal Minds.
He was healing by degrees. Slowly...steadily, like the rising temperatures of the early spring days. She could see it happening before her grateful eyes.
It was in the set of his shoulders, no longer continually tensed, braced for some oncoming trauma. Now there were times they actually relaxed. Times like when they watched as Jack and Henry played in the park adjacent to the Federal Building, laughter filling the air as two boys with rambunctious energy amused both parents and bystanders alike.
The evidence resided in the soft smiles he offered her. Still rare, she rejoiced as they slowly became a little more frequent...each lasting just a millisecond longer every time one overtook his almost-always serious face.
It was there in his eyes as well. Gone was the almost feral fierceness that had hovered just below his gaze for months while they searched for a madman intent on his destruction. Those looks had been replaced with an almost serene stare that was never more evident than when he looked at the children, suggesting that, maybe, he had finally found a measure of contentment in their chaos filled world.
She felt it in his touch. For so long, he'd clutched her with an almost painful desperation when he held her, as though he feared that she, too, would be wrenched from his arms. Now, when she was wrapped in his embrace, he took his time, reverently stroking her flesh with a practiced hand. It was in those moments that she knew...was absolutely convinced...that Aaron Hotchner was on the road to recovery.
And she was more than willing to travel with him for as long as the journey lasted.