A.N: for those that totally love Hotch and Haley a little something that has been cooking for a while now. Set just after "In Birth and Death". I know the team didn't know of the rift between the two until later but this kinda needed someone to know a bit sooner. Hope you like and yes there will be more as my muse sees fit and now on with the show.
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Don't leave me this way
Can't this boat go any faster played in Aaron Hotchner's head as they flew back home to Quantico from Milwaukee. The pesky Taco Bell commercial from years back beat a steady rhythm in his head while the sleek government jet plowed its way through the white puffy clouds.
"Something troubling you Hotch?" Jennifer Jareau asked as she slid into the plush tan leather chair setting her coffee mug down on the polished oak wood table between them.
"It's nothing JJ," he answered without looking up from his own cold cup of contemplations.
She sighed softly knowing and guessing the troubles that plagued their stoic leaders mind. "If you need to talk," and she reached over resting a gentle warm hand over his fisted one sitting clinched atop the table. "I'm a pretty good listener when you need the ear."
Retracting the simple gesture as she went to stand Hotch finally found his voice, "She'll be gone when I return."
Shocked by his omission that at first JJ didn't know what to say sure she'd known Haley Hotchner had been pulling back from team gatherings, closing herself off from both JJ and Penelope but this she would never have saw coming.
"She'll be there Hotch."
He shook his head solemnly, "Not this time she's had enough."
"You can't be sure."
"Hotch," she began again wanting, hoping to reassure the man who'd came to mean a great deal to her in the last five years she'd known him. "Seriously Haley wouldn't just up and leave you hanging."
Contemplating her words for a second, Hotch tried to focus on the positive instead of the dark swirling thoughts that consumed his mind at presence. In that brief moment of time he wished that Jason Gideon would have bestowed them with his presence. Instead of slinking off to God knows where leaving them all in a terrible bind and forcing Hotch to make decisions on the fly. Those decisions were the catalyst that would send his marriage into the crapper. But he knew the ugly truth of the matter Haley was fed up with how their lives were turning out. He only hoped that this big steel bird would fly faster and get him home quicker to hopefully prevent her leaving for good.
Looking up into a pair of serious pale blue eyes Hotch gathered his thoughts to answer, "I don't know JJ I would hope our marriage meant more to her than that, but…" he trailed off with a slight shrug of his broad shoulders.
"Want Penelope and I to talk to her?"
A humorless smile flashed across his lips, "Not of Garcia is going to wipe her off the grid."
"She wouldn't do something like that Hotch," JJ admonished softly though the idea did across the tiny blondes mind a time or two over the course of the last case.
Granted she was friends with Haley but at times JJ didn't understand her friend one bit. She had known when they got married that the FBI had been something Hotch dreamed of for a long time. Hell Haley had even told both JJ and Penelope as much but why then did she seem to want too pick so much at his hours, their time part and his choice of positions knowing full well that this was apart of who Aaron Hotchner is. And maybe that was one of the biggest reasons JJ had for keeping Will at arms length seeing that most people didn't understand why they did the work or the deep commitment they had for the job.
The silence lengthens between the pair while both were deep in their own thoughts contemplating life and the position of the job in it.
"Shouldn't you be resting," Hotch commented carefully knowing this last case had taken a toll on all three of the senior members.
"I'm fine now that you're back and the dragon lady is off our tails for now."
He nodded understanding were her hostility came from when they had to deal with Section Chief Erin Strauss. "She hadn't been in the field for quite sometime. It takes some re-getting use to."
"Ha," JJ laughed shortly, "re-getting use to now that's funny Hotch. The woman wouldn't ever get use to life on the road with this team. She's balk at the local's from every turn, calling them out on their shit and alienating us. We'd never be asked back. The woman is a true menace out in the field and I for one hope to God we never have to go through something like that again. Cause I tell ya Hotch she may just wind up getting thrown head first from this very plane. But you didn't hear that from me."
A genuine smile lit his face for a brief moment of time. "My lips are sealed."
For the last two hours of their flight Hotch sat with his eyes closed trying to think of what to tell Haley when he did make it home. Of what kind of reception she'd give him if she would even be there. It pained his heart to know that their married had started to fall apart. He couldn't even pin point the moment when things took that turn. He racked his brain for the answers to questions only Haley herself could answer. Therefore with a deep sigh he closed his eyes and rested for the huge fight to come.
Darkness from the outside was all he could see while approaching the front door. Pain filled his chest knowing that he'd been right all along. But then they both could be asleep a more reasonable answer that loosened his body just a fraction. Yet he knew that it may be just a fleeting feeling.
Key in the lock, knob turning… quiet. His greatest fear returned in spades while closing the door behind him the sound reverberating around the silent home.
Dropping his keys on the pine table behind the couch, draping his suit jacket over the back, suitcase and briefcase on the floor he searched coming up with nothing more than a clean down stairs house. Gradually he took the stairs his feelings pressed into a tiny little corner of his heart and mind. If he didn't feel it then maybe it didn't exist, it didn't happen.
First stop was Jack's room and as to be expected, he wasn't in his bed fast asleep, a shot of pain went through his chest. Foots steps sluggishly moving towards the master bedroom, hand turning the cold metal knob slowly, a deliberate pause before pushing the hard wooden door forward. Gone…