A.N: written for Chit Chat on Authors corner my first one and I hope you like and of course I had to slip just a bit of shipness in. Also it's set in season two just after "Profiler, Profiled". Happy reading and on with the show.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but me oh how I do wish I did though.

Colored past

Pairing: Morgan/Hotch

Prompt's: Dimly lit office, pen and a family picture

He sat in his dimly lit office reviewing the last case, wondering how he'd missed something so important. Of course Morgan could cover his emotions and his past as well as grass and water covered the world. Then again everyone, him included had secrets they chose to bury deep inside themselves, to carry with them a burden around their necks of a sort that could and would destroy.

Standing he made the few short steps to the doorway. "Morgan my office," and turned back.

"Need something Hotch," Morgan answered sticking his head inside the open door.

"Take a seat," Hotch motioned to the vacated chair across from him.

A bit gun shy of why he was called in but obeying the order and taking a seat hands resting in his lap looking for the world like a teenage talking to the principle.

"Is there something wrong?"

"No," Hotch answered simply picking his pen up between thumb and forefinger running the cool metal cylinder in his hand contemplating his next words carefully. "About Chicago…"

"There's nothing to say Hotch that hasn't all ready been said."

Aaron held up a hand silencing the younger man. "That maybe true Derek and I have no need to rehash what you went through. That being said," he paused glancing upward, "if you need someone to talk to I've got an ear to listen."

"Thanks," Derek stated slowly lowering his own eyes, "but it's in my past."

"Yet it colors everything you do."

"Not always."

"True," Hotch acquiesced with a slight tip of his head. "Not always but most of the time my own past colors my future, the reason I do this job."

Derek raised his eyes giving Hotch a perplexed look, "I don't follow Hotch."

A humorless grin slipped across his lips, "My father wasn't the best of dad's Derek," came the short explanation.

"And that situation is relevant to mine how?"

"He'd come home some nights drunk wanting to fight," Hotch stopped glancing out the window gathering his memories, not prepared for this little divulgence. "Mom would send Sean and I to bed thinking we'd escape that we wouldn't know. But I did."

At a lost for words Derek simply sat there watching his boss and thinking about his own father thoughts of Carl Buford in the back of his mind.

"When I got older I tried so many times to stop what he'd do but he'd just turned his fury on me. With each punch and kick I kept thinking one day old man," a sharp shake of his head brought Aaron back to the present. "We all have demons we carry with us Morgan. May it be a father who thinks its all right to beat the shit out of his family or a trusted member of the community that though it just fine to prey on the innocent and young. What we do with those memories and experiences are what make's us who we are."

Derek sat there in silence for a short time digesting what Hotch said. "I get what your saying Hotch but it's never that simply."

"Life is never that simply."

"You sound way to much like Gideon," Derek said a slight grin pulling at his lips.

"Yes well he does tend to rub off on one after a long period of time."

Morgan let out a gruff laugh, "True it's his best quality." He grew serious a second as revolting thoughts invading his mind once more, "Life had been simpler once."

"When we're young and blissfully unaware of what the world can do."

Derek nodded, "There are times when I wonder how different things would have been if my dad were still around. If I'd taken that bullet instead?"

Hotch could see the crack, "As we tell victims you can't what if you'd drive yourself crazy in all the possibilities."

"So you tellin' me Garcia's right?"

Hotch gave him a perplexed look with one eye brow raised, "Right about what?"

A real grin spread across Morgan's features, "She always tells me everything happens for a reason. Could she be right?"

"With Garcia it's best to just say yes," Hotch answered his own lip twitchier pulling at his lips.

"Right just don't tell her your afraid of her Hotch it'll go strait to her head," Morgan shot back holding back his laughter.

"Not a chance," he said glancing down at his mahogany laminated desk eyes catching the first family picture remembering the joy on his mothers face when he presented her an eight by ten framed copy. "Besides what she says's rings true in a so many ways."

"How so?"

"The hell we went through as children colored our lives and led us here to serve and protect what is ours from farther harm."

Derek nodded seeing the logic in his words, "Did you ever… get him back?"

Hotch knew of what Morgan asked, "One time about six months before he died. He came home drunk picked a fight over how dinner was to cold slapped Mom one to many times. I was twelve thought I could take him down and got a broken arm and buries to show for it. Did you ever…"

Morgan shook his head, "To worried about what he'd do later."

It was the most Hotch had gotten out of him about his past in the five years of working with him. A wave of accomplishment crested over him for just a second before his phone rang distorting the atmosphere and bringing reality and the job slamming back into place.

"I have to," he motioned towards the phone and watched as Derek stood.

At the door Derek turned, as Hotch answered his phone, he took in his bosses posture and ridge back knowing the call had to be from Strauss most likely over him and the events of his sordid past. Camaraderie between them formed a trust that was tentative at best but there, one made over their colorful past. So he waited till the conversation was over.

"Something else?" Hotch asked seeing that Morgan hadn't left yet.

"Thanks," was all he said before leaving.

Aaron rose from his desk to stand in front of his blind covered window staring out into the bullpen were a flash of color and energy caught his eye. Watching as Penelope Garcia sauntered towards Derek enveloping him in her arms and cradling his head on her shoulder.

He knew in that second that everything would be all right with Morgan. He had his angel to heal the broken soul that had came back to bit him in the ass she wouldn't let him be consumed by the darkness that threatened to cover him.

Much like he had Haley and Jack to keep him from slipping into the abyss of his own colorfully past or into the job he did. They kept him sane and whole. And with one more look at his family photo, Aaron Hotchner picked up his pen and started to finish the final report wanting to get home to be with his family.