Sorry for the slow updates – been a little busy... Hope you like it!
Warning – Contains adult themes
Making Sacrifices – Chapter Six
Reid awoke slowly to the sound of stifled giggling. Morgan and Garcia sat near the foot of his bed, heads close together, flicking through what appeared to be... a Cosmo magazine?!
"Hey kid." Morgan noticed that Reid was awake.
"Hey yourself." Reid replied weakly, smiling in spite of himself. "What are you guys giggling about?"
"Uh... nothing." Garcia closed the magazine quickly. "How are you feeling?"
"Sore... like I've been kicked in the ribs... figures. How are Hotch and Emily?"
"Hotch is fine." Morgan assured him. "Emily is... coping I guess. I haven't seen her yet."
"She's okay, a bit shaken." Garcia chimed in. "Hotch is looking after her."
"Hotch?" Reid was surprised; obviously they were unaware of everything that had happened in the cellar.
"Yep. The boss-man took her home last night. I don't think she wanted to be alone." Garcia looked uncomfortable. "He's going to make her see a therapist."
"It's a good idea. They both should. What they've been through..." Reid trailed off and there was an awkward silence in the room.
"Don't blame yourself kid... There was nothing you could have done." Morgan soothed. "Emily's a strong girl. She'll recover."
"Elle didn't." Reid sounded defeated.
"Emily is not like Elle and besides, this is a different situation. You know that."
"But Morgan why..." Reid's voice grew thin and whiny. "Why does it always seem to be me? It's not the first time she's suffered on my account. What about Cyrus...?"
Hotch was awoken early by a knock at his door. He threw the covers off Jack's bed, where he had been sleeping and padded down the hallway hastily, anxious to preserve the quiet in the small apartment. Jessica and Jack stood at the door and he smiled at her and embraced Jack warmly.
"Hey buddy. Did ya miss me?"
"I missed you Dad. Aunt Jess let gave me some dvd's." He held them out for Hotch to inspect. "Can I put one on now – please?"
"As long as your quiet."
Jack grinned and ran off towards the lounge room.
"Oh Aaron" Jessica pulled him into a tight hug. "I've been so worried. When you called I was so relieved I almost cried. I told Jack you were held up with aircraft problems." She released Hotch and fingered her throat nervously, breathing heavily. "I'm so thankful you're allright. When they told me what happened.... Are the others okay?"
"Reid's still in hospital, he had surgery last night. Agent Prentiss- Emily is asleep." He indicated the closed door to his bedroom. "She was screaming in her sleep most of the night, I don't want to wake her yet." He shook his head, voice grave.
"Is she okay?"
"No, not really." Hotch sighed. "He, uh, he raped her."
"Jesus Aaron." Jessica was speechless, holding her mouth in horror. "What...?"
"He made us watch." Hotch admitted in a small voice. "There was nothing I could do..." he trailed off.
"Oh, how awful for her! Poor Emily." Jessica was appalled. "And how terrible for you Aaron. I know you care about her – we all do. It must have been hell for you having to witness something like that."
"You have no idea." Hotch closed his eyes briefly, sickened by the memories haunting him. "She stayed here last night – I, I didn't want her to be alone. Jack can have his room back. I'll take the couch tonight."
"Is there anything I can do?"
"I don't think so." Hotch sounded defeated. "I think she just needs time."
Jessica frowned. "I can't imagine what she's going through. She trusts you Aaron- she's going to need all your support."
"I know." Hotch admitted quietly. "I'm not sure I'm the right person for that. Not now."
"Why not? It's obvious you care about her?"
"It's complicated." He shrugged, rubbing his forehead. "She deserves better – one of her female friends maybe."
"Don't be ridiculous. Emily looked after you when you were recovering; she's been a wonderful friend. You're team are like your family – I'm grateful that she has someone like you to be there for her- I'm glad that she has you."
Hotch shook his head guiltily. Jess would change her mind if she knew what he had done to Emily- she'd probably sock him one. He silently prayed it would never come to that.
The door to Hotch's room creaked open and Emily stood cloaked in Hotch's dressing gown. She eyed the two of them timidly and wrapped the gown tighter around her chest.
"Morning... is it still morning?" Emily contemplated them through bleary eyes.
"Yes Em. It's 9 o'clock." Hotch smiled.
"Oh." She rubbed her eyes. "Hi Jessica. Thanks for looking after Jack while we were.... away."
"It's fine Emily. How are you feeling?" She looked at Emily kindly.
She stared at the two of them self consciously – Hotch had evidently told Jess about her dealings with Arnold.
"I've been better." Emily smiled weakly. "A little sore... but okay."
Jessica nodded uneasily, noting the darkening bruise on Emily's cheek. "Glad to hear it."
Hotch shifted uncomfortably next to her.
"Breakfast?" He raised his eyebrows questioningly.
"I'd better go. Seeya Guys. Bye Jack"
"Bye Aunt Jessica." Jack called out from the lounge room.
Hotch escorted her to the front door and turned to Emily, studying her carefully.
"How are you really feeling?"
"I'm fine Hotch." Emily scowled. "Why does everyone keep asking me that? I'm okay."
"Don't look at me like that Prentiss. I'm not stupid. You can't hide it from me." He spoke harshly but his eyes expressed only compassion. His voice softened "Please don't lie to me."
"I feel... I'm not sure how I feel really." She fingered her cheek and grimaced. "I think I need to take a shower, I feel dirty again."
Hotch noticed tears beginning to accumulate in her eyes and took her hand, giving it a squeeze. He wished he could hug her but was afraid of her reaction. He wasn't sure whether she would ever let him hug her again.
"Sit down. We need to talk Em."He patted the couch next to him and Emily sat obediently.
"There is not really much to talk about Hotch. I'm coping... really." She fingered the cloth of the dressing gown, twisting it between her fingers as she spoke. "I would actually prefer to just forget about it and move on. What's done is done." She shrugged.
"You kept me awake half the night screaming in your sleep. It's not really over is it?"
Emily refused to answer, twisting the cloth in her hands more frenetically.
"I'm going to recommend you see a psychologist. I don't want you returning to work just yet."
"I'm not incompetent Hotch! I'm quite capable of doing my job."
"Prentiss I don't doubt that. I merely think you need to take some time to process things. Anyone would." His tone was caring. "I'm worried about you. Please do this for me."
Emily found her resolve crumbling under his attentive gaze.
"Of course Hotch. You're my boss. I'll do what you say."
Hotch swallowed, was her just 'her boss' now? Were they no longer friends? Hotch plucked up the courage to ask her the question which was burning in him.
"I also need to know... I need to you tell me if we are okay? I mean are we still friends after everything..." Hotch faltered, half dreading her answer.
"Definitely. Besides I'm here with you aren't I?"
Hotch was surprised as she grabbed his hand, staring at him intently. "I stand by what I said yesterday – if it had to be anyone, I'm glad it was you. "
"Sorry I hurt you." He squeezed her hand lightly. "You know I didn't mean to..."
"I know you didn't. It could have been much worse." She paled slightly, thinking of Arnold. "Thank you for taking care of me Hotch." Emily stood up, she could feel herself starting to crumble and didn't want him to witness her crying again. Intent on taking another shower she headed for the bathroom, lurching a little as she passed him on the couch.
"Oh." Emily grabbed the side of the couch for support; Hotch was at her side in seconds.
"Prentiss? What happened? Are you all right?'
"I'm... I'm not sure. I feel a little dizzy." She swayed in his arms. "I think I need to lie down. I'm exhausted, that's all."
Hotch helped Emily to his bed, his brow wrinkled in concern.
"Are you sure? Should I call a doctor?"
"No." She smiled at him weakly. "I just need to sleep."
Hotch frowned at her. "I have to go into the office, have to fill out reports and...you know." He stammered awkwardly. "Won't be gone more than an hour. I'm taking Jack. Will you be okay here?"
"I'll be fine Hotch. Don't worry about me." She pulled the covers over her.
"Call me. I won't be gone long but if you need anything just call me."
Hotch was back at his apartment less than an hour later. He shut the front door carefully, not wanting to wake her.
"Emily." He whispered softly, opening the bedroom door. "I'm back."
After receiving no response Hotch crept to the side of the bed and touched her face lightly, not wanting to startle her, Emily shifted slightly in her sleep but did not wake. Hotch withdrew his hand in alarm, she was burning hot.
"Emily? Prentiss?" Hotch grabbed her shoulder, shaking it lightly. "Em?"
Emily moaned faintly and opened her eyes. "Hotch?" she stared at him dazedly. "What...?"
"It's okay Em. I'm back." Hotch took her hand as she gaped at him wildly. "You have a fever..."
Hotch grew more concerned as she appeared to be staring past him into the empty room, he moved closer to her and knelt next to the bed.
"Where is he?" She stared past him at the unfamiliar room in fright. "Where did he go?"
"What?"Hotch was confused.
"Help me Hotch. He'll come back." Her voice had a pleading note to it and Hotch felt his heart begin to race.
"Help me. Oh... I'm so cold."
"Em its over." He grasped her hand and spoke soothingly in an attempt to calm her. "He can't hurt you now. You're safe here."
"I'm so cold."
Emily shivered violently and Hotch's apprehension increased.
"It's okay Em. You have a fever – that's why you feel cold. I'll get help. Everything's going to be fine."
Hotch stood and released her hand intent on finding the phone.
"No don't leave me here!" Her expression displayed blind panic. "Reid? REID! Hotch don't leave me here. Please."
"I won't I promise." Hotch resumed his position squatting next to the bed where she could see him and began a frantic search of his pockets of his mobile phone. By the time he had made the call Emily appeared to be unconscious.
"Jack." Hotch yelled. "JACK!"
"Dad?" Jack appeared in the bedroom doorway.
"Emily's sick. Can you go down to the foyer and wait for the ambulance? You need to show them where we live."
Jacks eyes widened. He nodded enthusiastically and made a dash for the door.
"Stay in the foyer. No going outside." Hotch called after him.
Hotch and Jack followed the ambulance into the hospital entrance. Hotch had tried to set a good example for Jack by not breaking the speed limits but had failed miserably. Jack was clinging to his seat ashen-faced by the time they came to a stop. Morgan stood near the entrance doors waiting, he had been sitting with Reid but now pounced on Hotch before he even had time to exit the vehicle.
"Hotch what happened? Is she okay?" Morgan demanded, urgency evident in his tone.
"I found her feverish and now she hallucinating." Hotch slammed the car door. "I'll come and see you as soon as I know something. Thanks for taking care of Jack."
"Hey no problem Hotch. I was in the neighbourhood." Morgan could see his boss was frantic with worry and was pleased to be able to help. "Reid is looking forward to seeing him – it may cheer him up a bit. Let me know when you have news. You know where to find us."
Morgan and Jack wandered off in the direction of Reid's room as Hotch followed the ambulance personnel into the E.R. Amidst the chaotic noise and activity Hotch could hear Emily's terrified voice calling out to him, she had evidently regained consciousness during the trip. Hotch caught up to her and took her hand.
"I'm here Em. It's me Hotch."
"Stay with me?"
Hotch stood by her side as instructions were yelled and she was wheeled into an examination room. He attempted to follow her but was stopped by a grim looking nurse who stepped in front of him, blocking his entrance.
"Sir? Sir are you family?" She glanced at their intertwined hands.
"No. I'm, I'm her boss... her friend."
"I'm sorry Sir but you will have to wait here. Please take a seat and someone will be with you shortly."
"She was treated here last night by Dr. Williams." Hotch shouted at the nurses retreating figure. She waved at him but did not stop. Hotch sat in one of the chairs, feeling useless. Emily had been quiet for the past few minutes but Hotch could now hear her screaming again.
"Get away from me! Don't touch me! HOTCH!"
Hotch could take it no longer and peeked around the curtain tentatively.
"Hotch!" Emily shrieked.
"Uh are you Hotch?" The doctor inquired hesitantly.
"Yeah it's me." Hotch confirmed. The doctor had not intended his question to be an invitation to enter but Hotch took it anyway, squeezing past the monitors so she could see him. He sat down next to her and once again took her hand.
"How long has she been like this?" The doctor questioned.
"She's been asleep since this morning. I only just woke her up and she became hysterical."
"She's delirious." The doctor agreed. "I expect it's merely a severe infection. We will have to run some blood tests to be sure and I'm going to start her on IV antibiotics."
"Dr Williams prescribed her some antibiotics last night."
"Has she been taking them?"
"I don't know." Hotch cursed himself. He should have watched her more carefully.
"Get some blood's and set up an IV." The doctor instructed one of the nurses. "I'll go and retrieve her file."
The doctor stepped out leaving Hotch and Emily alone with the nurse. Emily had calmed somewhat, but began to tense again as the nurse approached her.
"Just a blood test Em. It's okay."
Hotch reluctantly assisted the nurse in holding Emily's arm still whilst a blood sample was taken and an antibiotic drip set up. When the nurse had finished Hotch eased her back into the pillows gently.
"Where's Jack?" She seemed to have adjusted to her surroundings somewhat and looked less confused.
"He's with Reid and Morgan. He's fine." Hotch leaned over and brushed her tousled hair off her face. Her forehead was drenched in sweat and Hotch patted it lightly with the sheet.
"Just take it easy Em. Morgan is looking after Jack."
Emily nodded as the doctor returned.
"We'll run the blood's now as a precaution, but I think the antibiotic will do the trick." He leafed through the thin file. "Dr Williams mentioned you had some internal tearing as a result of the rape." The doctor spoke as if he were reading the news and Hotch flinched, anticipating Emily's reaction. "Did you receive any stitches?"
"No." Emily shuddered indistinctly and Hotch cursed the doctor's offhand attitude. "Just the painkillers and antibiotics."
"Ok then I just need to check on how the cuts are healing. It's the most likely cause of the infection you're suffering. If you'd like to step out for a minute sir, this won't take long."
Hotch noticed Emily stiffen and she shook her head defiantly. "No. I'm feeling better now. I'm going to be fine."
"Em!" Hotch frowned at her whilst appreciating her reluctance.
"No Hotch." She bit her lip as her eyes watered. "Please don't make me do this."
"You have to. It's important to find out why you're sick." Hotch was exasperated. "I'll be right outside the curtain – just here." Hotch looked to the doctor for some support.
"It will only take a minute." The doctor shrugged.
"I can't Hotch. Please."
"You can stay if Ms Prentiss prefers." The doctor interrupted, anxious to move on to his other patients.
"Do you want me to stay?" Hotch was uncertain. "I will if you want."
"Please Hotch...?" Emily begged him. "Stay."
"Of course." Hotch resumed his seat next to her. Emily looked panicky as the doctor pulled the sheets down, she craned her neck to see what he was doing.
"No. Look at me." Hotch directed her. "I'm here. We can get through this."
A short time later Emily was sleeping peacefully in the ward- her fever reduced significantly. Hotch breathed a sigh of relief that she was going to be okay. He chided himself for not ensuring she was taking her medication and vowed to be more conscientious in future.
Jack, Reid and Morgan were playing Uno when Hotch knocked on Reid's door. Jack dropped his cards.
"Dad! Wanna come play with us?"
Reid glanced at Hotch, recognizing the exhaustion evident in his features. They hadn't spoken since the incident and Reid was unsure of how what his reception would be.
"How is she?" Reid spoke first.
"She's going to be fine. They said it was some sort of infection but she's responding well to the antibiotics."
"Well that's a relief!" Morgan chimed in.
"Um... Morgan would you mind taking Jack to the cafeteria? I think a milkshake may be in order."
Morgan was quick to realize that Hotch wanted to speak with Reid. "Sounds like a good idea to me. Coming Jack?"
Morgan and Jack departed on their milkshake mission, leaving Hotch and Reid in the room alone.
"So... are they treating you well?" Hotch asked uncomfortably, taking a seat next to Reid's bed.
"Yeah. I should be able to go home tomorrow or the next day..."
There was an awkward silence and Hotch shifted in his seat.
"I've been avoiding you Reid. You must have noticed." Hotch's stone was stilted. "I'm sorry about that. I know you're probably still furious with me."
"I'm sorry Hotch." Reid spoke timidly. "I should have trusted you. Emily did. You knew what you were doing ... I just..." Reid swallowed as his voice grew thin. "It's not the first time that Emily has copped a beating on my account. I didn't want it... Didn't want to see it again..."
"That's ridiculous Reid. You were in an accident. You have no reason to feel guilty."
"Neither do you." Reid cleared his throat loudly. "You did what you had to do Hotch. You kept us all alive. I shouldn't have doubted you." Reid paused. "Are you and Emily okay?"
"We're still friends." Hotch relaxed in the chair. "Yes we're fine."
Reid smiled slightly, pleased that Hotch and Prentiss were healing. "It wasn't your first time was it?"
"What?" Hotch was perplexed.
"You and Em I mean. It wasn't the first time that you..."
Hotch was incredulous. "What are you implying? Of course it was our first time!"
"Oh." Reid backpedalled quickly. "I just meant that you.., well she trusted you I mean... and you seemed protective of her..."
"It's okay Reid." Hotch smiled at his discomfort. "I'm not offended. Yes we are close and... And I may have thought about it at times-but no. We've never actually done anything. We trust each other-that's all. It's not like that."
"Oh sorry... I thought with what happened..."
"Yeah. About that. Emily and I have agreed to keep that to ourselves. It was her decision not to say anything..."
"She's protecting you Hotch. People might not understand..."
"I know. But it was her choice." Hotch shrugged. "I'm not going to ask you to lie but..."
"I was in and out of consciousness after Arnold kicked me." Reid smirked mischievously. "If something happened then..." He held out upturned palms. "I couldn't possibly know could I?"
"Thanks Reid." Hotch grinned. "Em thought you would feel that way. Thanks for being so understanding."
Emily blinked and opened her eyes.
Hotch smiled at her. "You have a visitor." He nodded at the door.
"Hey Em." Reid grinned shyly. "How are you feeling?"
"I was going to ask you the same question."
"Oh. Well I'm great actually. I'm going home today, Garcia is coming to pick me up."
"That's terrific Reid. You're looking much better than the last time I saw you."
"So are the both of you."
"Ahm." Hotch cleared his throat. "I think I might go get a coffee. Anything for you two?"
"No thanks Hotch, I just had breakfast." Reid sat down next to Emily as Hotch vacated his seat.
"Yeah me too, no thanks."
"Okay. Be back shortly. Reid make sure Agent Prentiss behaves, no walking around by herself." Hotch frowned but there was a smile in his voice.
"Understood boss." Reid replied timidly as he watched Hotch leave.
"I'm pleased that you two seem to have gotten past everything. Have you talked about what happened?"
"Um... Not everything, not really. I mean, we both agreed to keep... some things to ourselves." Emily bit her fingernail absently. "I don't want Hotch to feel guilty over something that could not be helped. Did he tell you about that?"
"About what? I was unconscious – I saw nothing." Reid smiled conspiratorially. "Don't worry about it Em." He nodded. "I understand."
"Thanks. I hoped you would feel that way."
Reid stared at the floor and nodded vaguely.
"Don't blame yourself Reid."
"Oh come on... I can tell."
Reid silenced her with a wave of his hand. "I'm dealing with it. You know Hotch asked me the same question?"
"Well... it's Hotch. You know how he worries." She stared at the door that Hotch had just exited through wistfully. "He hates not being in control of things."
"Yeah I kind of got that – must be hard for him, with you I mean, and...everything."
"It is a little weird." Emily admitted. "He's my boss. I've had sex with my boss." She threw her hands up in the air in a gesture of bewilderment. "This job is so weird."
"Tell me about it." Reid grinned. "You know at the time, in the cellar... It seemed, well I thought that you and Hotch had..." He hesitated. "You know... had been together before maybe?"
Emily's eyes widened. "You thought we were sleeping together?" She appeared scandalised. "Me and Hotch? No. I can assure you that nothing like that has ever happened." Emily giggled.
"Yeah that's what he said too."
"You mentioned this to Hotch?" Emily couldn't believe her ears. "You're nuts Reid – what were you thinking? I bet he was impressed!" Her tone was sarcastic. "He probably nearly strangled you."
"No. He was surprised, but not mad." Reid shook his head. "He laughed at me, actually. He wasn't offended. I think he kind of liked the idea... maybe?" Reid raised his eyebrows in question.
Emily swatted at him playfully with a pillow. "Get out of here nerd-boy. Keep that up and I'll set the boss on ya!"