TITLE: The Last Date
ICON ARTIST: jenny_01
AUTHOR: Kuria Dalmatia
Characters/Pairings: Hotch/Haley
SPOILERS: S5, pre-"100"
RATING: PG

No beta. All mistakes are mine. Standard disclaimers.

It was the only photo Haley had of him now. Correction: the first one she had grabbed when she had been told to pack everything "the hell up now" because some lunatic had targeted her and Jack. And when Kasselmeyer had searched their bags...

"Sorry, Mrs. Hotchner—"

"Brooks," she automatically corrected.

"—Ms. Brooks," he'd continued without missing a beat, "but you can't take photos or diaries... nothing from your current life. I'm so sorry."

...Haley slipped the glossy 3x5 into her jeans, between her skin and her panties, because she knew Kasselmeyer was too much of a gentleman to strip search her. She was, after all, Aaron's ex-wife. Ex-wives weren't supposed to be sentimental, were they?

Oh, sure, Haley could pull images off of the Internet—Googling "Aaron Hotchner" always turned up a disturbing amount of information—but she only did that when Jack asked about Daddy. Sure, it was against the rules, but for God's sake, her boy was four years old! Of all the problems her and Aaron had, she wasn't about to turn their child against him or tell him Aaron simply ceased to exist.

The only thing she drilled into Jack was using their new last name: Connery.

A joke, of course. Aaron probably snort and shake his head when he heard it. He probably forgot all about this particular photo, taken on that rare night when he wasn't carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders...

"C'mon, James Bond," Haley tugged at his elbow as they left the restaurant. "This sitter charges us for the entire hour even if we're only five minutes late."

He raised an eyebrow at her. The 'I can negotiate around that issue drunk off my ass' look. She laughed.

"James Bond?" he echoed and then tugged at his tie. "But I'm not wearing a tux. Hmmmm." And then, he did it. He sauntered over to the wine-colored curtains and struck a pose. A pose that only a Manhattan, a three glasses of wine, and an Irish Coffee could induce.

Haley scrambled for her phone, snapping the picture and honestly surprised he held stance that long. She laughed again and then launched herself at him. He caught her easily and they kissed. It wasn't a chaste one either. She didn't care. Someone behind them cleared their throat; it wasn't a kind sound.

"This is my wife," Aaron told the overweight man who was glaring at them. Close up, Haley could see how her husband's eyes narrowed and she swore she could hear the gears grind in his head. "And I have no shame in expressing my love and affection for her. You? You're going to go home tonight, refuse to interact with your spouse because Jack Daniels holds your attention better. She won't leave you because she's too comfortable with the lifestyle."

"Aaron!" she hissed but then a giggle overtook her. Her husband's sharp smile directed at the man said everything: you wish you had someone like her to go home to.

They made out in the taxi the entire ride home.

..."It was our last 'date'," she whispered to the photo, tears welling in her eyes. It was the weekend before Elle Greenaway had left the Team. He was never the same after that. "Do you even remember?" She closed her eyes and held the photo to her heart. "I'll never forget it."

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