A/N~ Ok so this had been going through my mind for a while now and I want to get it just right, so it will probably be a while between chapters, though I don't think that there will be too many. Hope you like it!
"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" It was a sound that Aaron Hotchner would never get tired of hearing every morning, and it was something he would never take for granted. Right at six fifteen, just like any normal day, his five year old son jumped onto his father's bed to wake him up. Hotch didn't even set his alarm clock anymore – anyone with a small child would understand. But unlike any normal day, today was career day at Jack's preschool. Why a preschool would have career day for a group of five year olds was beyond him. What five-year old wants to be anything other than a vet, firefighter, or racecar driver?
A week ago, when he got the notice from the school, he disregarded it altogether. Like he was really going to explain to a classroom full of little kids how he caught serial rapists and murderers for a living. He would rather work victimology with Reid for a month. But the look on Jack's face was so sad when he told him he wasn't going to be there, that he went to Garcia to help put together a kid friendly way of explaining the horrors they faced each day.
Of course only Garcia would of came up with making case files with popular cartoon characters as the heroes and villains and make the murder weapon laser-eye powers. He had a fake file in a real FBI folder for each kid with fake pictures and reports.
"Ok buddy. I'm up, I'm up," Hotch said, his voice still thick with sleep. "It's caweer day daddy!" Jack exclaimed with a huge grin on his face. Hotch couldn't help but smile back. "Yeah it is Jack! Let's get ready to go, okay?"
Hotch dropped Jack off at school an hour later and then headed to work. He didn't need to be at the school again until noon, so he figured that he would get some work done before he went in for career day.
Exiting his office at eleven fifteen, Hotch was in a hurry. He quickly grabbed his bags and the case files for the presentation before practically running out to his car. Just as he was about to exit the bull-pin after a quick goodbye to the team and a good luck from them all, Strauss came storming in.
"Agent Hotchner! I need to meet with you now!" Her tone was sharp and angry. Hotch glanced down at his watch. Even if he left right now, he would get to the school just before the presentations needed to start. He did NOT have time for one of Strauss' meaningless meetings on budget cuts on post it notes, nor did he want to let down Jack.
"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but this is not a good time. Can we do this later?" he said the most polite voice he could muster up.
"No, agent, we cannot do this later. The board wants these decisions as soon as possible, and I demand that y-" She cut off her sentence and let out a shriek.
"Oh ma'am I am so sorry!" Emily Prentiss said with fake remorse. Sitting at her desk, she had seen Strauss approach Hotch, and then heard her yelling for him to go to some meeting, probably about post it note prices, she thought, rolling her eyes. But there was no way that Erin Strauss was going to mess up Hotch's career day activities for Jack's class. From what Garcia had said, he had put a lot into trying to make it fun for the kids, and not introduce them to the horrors of the job at the same time. So she decided to take the long way to the break room, and very conveniently trip and spill the full cup of hot coffee she had just gotten three minutes before all over Strauss' expensive looking dress shirt. Opps.
"Ma'am, I really am sorry. Jeez, I hope this comes out, it's a nice looking shirt," she did a pretty good job of faking sincerity, though all she wanted to do at the moment was laugh in the woman's face as she freaked out over a little coffee spill. As expected, she dismissed Hotch for the day before walking away to attempt to clean her shirt.
Hotch turned to Prentiss with a bemused look. "What? I guess I'm a little clumsy today," Prentiss said with a grin. Hotch couldn't help smile back. She just spilled coffee over her boss' boss so he could get to his son's career day. Wow.
"That's really too bad Prentiss; it was a nice shirt." He winked before walking out the bull-pin.
Five minutes after Hotch left, Prentiss walked up to his office. He worked so hard all the time and she thought he could use a break, so she grabbed a few of the case files on top of his desk. Sitting back down at hers, she opened the first one. At first, she was surprised; then she began to panic. If these were the fake files that Hotch made up for the kids in Jacks class, then the real files were with Hotch, about to be distributed to a group of five year old children. She quickly pulled out her phone and hit speed dial two. Voicemail. He probably turned it off in case Strauss changed her mind about the meeting.
Seeing no other option, she gathered the fake files from her desk and Hotch's, and headed out of the office.
Hotch got to Jack's school five minutes before noon to find a group of parents standing in the hall outside of the room. Nodding in greeting to a few of the dads he recognized, he took his place along the wall. It was mainly dads doing career day presentations, and a few moms, but it was silent. No one said a word to one another. Hotch repressed the urge to roll his eyes at the businessmen dads who were going through notes. For Christ's sake, this was a preschool! You don't need pointers to present to five year olds.
At five past noon, the teacher came out and apologized for being behind schedule and that they would be ready for the parents shortly. Everyone nodded and said "of course," or "not a problem," then went back to utter silence.
"Hotch!" called the voice of Emily Prentiss, breaking the silence. Hotch's head snapped up and he pushed himself off the wall, as did just about every other heterosexual male occupying the hallway. Of course Hotch had always known Prentiss was beautiful, so it didn't surprise him that the men saw it too. What did surprise him was the sudden desire to punch them all in the face.
"Prentiss?" Regardless of how beautiful she was, he was still confused as to why she was here. He closed his eyes and sucked in breath when he saw the case files in her hands. This was exactly why he turned off his phone – so he didn't have to let down his son to go away on a case. But why was she holding so many?
"Sorry to bother you sir, but, um, well…you left these on your desk and I was having a hard time profiling The Joker," she said with a small smile handing the files to Hotch. Opening the files, Hotch gasped. If these were the fake files for the kids…he looked down at his bag and gulped. Pulling the out the files he had originally brought with him and opening him, both he and Prentiss both took a shaky breath. He had almost given five year old children files containing some of the most horrific pictures the team had ever seen - of mutilated children.
Hotch closed his eyes in horror. What if she hadn't come…oh god.
"Shit." That was all he could really say. He switched files with Prentiss, making sure that this time he had the right ones.
"That, sir, is a very large understatement. I think you owe me coffee for a month," Prentiss stated. All Hotch could do was nod. He was still absolutely horrified. What if…
"Hey! Stop asking yourself what if, okay? It could have happened, but it didn't. Just be happy it was me who found the files and not Reid because you know that he would be taking the disappearance of Sandy the Seal very seriously," she tried to joke. She smiled when she was rewarded for her efforts with a dimple.
"What would I do without you, Emily?" Hotch wondered aloud.
"Traumatize a classroom full of five year old children," she deadpanned right back, making Hotch roll his eyes.
"When I get back, we are going to have to look into that case," he added quietly. He had just become aware of the fact that all the adults were watching them.
"Exactly my thoughts." It was weird how they were always on the same wavelength. "I'll hand the files out to everyone and have JJ contact the local police and let them know we'll be coming down tonight." Hotch nodded his approval. "Ok I'll see you later Hotch," Prentiss said as she started to walk away.
"Emily?" She turned back around to face him. "Thanks," he said with a small smile. He really owed her a month's worth of coffee. Maybe even dinner…
"Anytime Hotch." Her returning smile made his smile widen, showing off the dimples, and he could have sworn she blushed before turning back around to leave the school.
Once she was halfway down the hall out of earshot, he turned back to the men in the hall, shooting them his top glare. "I think my agent would appreciate it if all of you stopped looking at her ass like a piece of meat," he spat, his voice ice cold.
They all immediately downcast their eyes, taking avid interest in the pattern on the floor and mumbled apologies.
The teacher then stuck her head out of the room and called all the parents into the room. They all filed in and sat in the chairs beside their child. Jack Hotchner jumped into his father's lap, yelling daddy like all the other children. Hotch couldn't help but notice that the only people that ever made him smile was his son and Emily. Huh.
After a few minutes the teacher got them all settled down and started her welcome speech for the parents.
Just as she was walking out of the school, Emily Prentiss heard the unmistakable sound of gunfire. Coming from inside the classroom.