Note: I do not own Criminal Minds or any of its characters.
ERR! ERR! ERR! ERR!
The alarm blared in Aaron's ear, rudely brining him out of his sleep. With a groan he sat up only to fall back into his pillow as his head pounded. Ugh! He'd gone to bed with a cough and a stuffy nose and woken up with a migraine. He reached over, turned the alarm off, and gritting his teeth forced himself to get out of bed.
When he stood up he had to use the night table as support as a wave of dizziness overtook him. Jack's cold had cleared up only a couple of days after the doctor's visit but no sooner had it ended than Hotch's had begun and for some reason Aaron's cold was a thousand times worse than his son's.
After he was sure that the dizzy spell had passed, he headed over to his closet and took his suit out. Hopefully, today would only involve sitting at his desk doing paperwork. He bent down to pick up his shoes, and promptly fell head over heels at the motion. Aaron lay there on the floor for a moment, gathering his strength, and then heaving a sigh, slowly got to his feet. There was no hope for it; he'd have to take the day off. He made it over to his night table, picked up his phone, and dialed the number.
"Strauss." The woman's curt voice answered.
"Yes, hewo." Aaron felt the blood go to his cheeks as he heard his own voice and knew he'd made the right decision. "Chief Stwauss," He had to break off as a cough came to his throat. " 'dis is Aawon Hotchnah. I'b sowwy dut I," Another cough, "don't 'e adle 'o come in doday. I dink I'b comin' down wid' somthin'."
"Well, I think it's already there, Aaron, you sound horrible! Of course you can have the day off!" The Chief answered, uncharacteristically concerned.
" 'ank 'ou. I' 'ou 'eed 'e 'ou-"
"Aaron," Strauss said firmly. "You are not to come in-" He interrupted her with a coughing fit, "and that is final. It's bad enough you're sick but you will not get the rest of the BAU sick and that is an order!"
" 'ank 'ou." Aaron repeated with a small grin.
"Of course. Now rest up. I expect you all better by Monday." They hung up and Aaron called Rossi.
"Dabe?" He asked, when the phone picked up.
"Aaron? What's wrong?" His friend asked.
"I can' o' in'o 'ork," Cough, " doday. I nee' 'ou 'o fill'n 'or 'e."
"Aaron Hotchner's taking a sick day!" Aaron could hear the smirk on the other man's face.
"Don't worry, don't worry. We'll be fine. You just relax and take it easy. I'll swing by after work to see how you are."
" 'ou 'dob 'eed 'ou 'o' 'dat. I'll be," He had to cough again, " fine."
"I'm sure you will, but I'm still stopping by. Now get some rest. Bye." Aaron gave a small smile. He knew he could count on Dave. Thankfully it was Saturday so he didn't have to get anyone to take Jack to school. He called Jess to tell her she didn't need to come over to watch Jack and then, mustering up his strength, made his way out of the room.
When he entered Jack's room, his son was still asleep, a peaceful look on his face. Aaron smiled down at him, reluctant to wake the boy up. In the end though, it wasn't left up to him; he broke into another coughing fit, causing Jack to slowly flutter his eyes open.
"Mornin', Daddy." The boy yawned.
" 'ood 'ornin', Dubby." Aaron pulled on a smile.
"Your voice sounds funny, Daddy." Jack giggled.
" 'eah, I ha' a col' 'o I'b sayin' 'ome doday. 'ou 'an 'o 'ack 'o steep. "
Jack's eyes widened. "Are you going to be okay Daddy? Maybe you should go to the doctors."
"I'll be fine, Dubby." He had to cough but managed to get it under control. " is dus a col'. 'o 'ou wan' deckfis' or ah' 'ou 'oin' 'o 'o 'ack 'o steep?"
"I'll go back to sleep, Daddy. Can I sleep with you?" Jack asked, already sitting up.
Aaron thought about it. On one hand, he didn't want to get Jack sick but if it was the same cold Jack had had, then he wouldn't get sick and even if it wasn't the same, chances were Jack would get it anyway. " I 'on' 'an 'o theep 'ou awake…"
"That okay, Daddy." Jack smiled. "I wanta be wit you."
Aaron smiled in return. "othay, Dubby." He took Jack by the hand and the two of them went back to bed, Jack snuggled up in his father's arms.
When Aaron awoke nearly three hours later, the first thing he noticed was that his son was missing. "Dack?" He called out.
"Coming, Daddy!" The boy called and Aaron relaxed.
Moments later, he heard Jack walking slowly up the stairs and then he entered the room, carrying a large bowl with him. "Whad dat?" Aaron asked.
"I made you lunch, Daddy!" Jack proclaimed proudly.
Aaron gave a nervous grin. It was sweet that Jack had made him lunch, but now Aaron was worried about the state of his kitchen. "Dank 'ou, Dack. Dat was berry doughtful o' 'ou."
"It's chick'n soup, Daddy!" Jack exclaimed. "Just like you makes me when I'm sick! He handed Aaron the bowl and climbed up onto the bed next to him.
"Dicken thou'!" Aaron smiled. " Dus' whad I needed!" He brought the spoon up to his mouth and held back a grimace. It was cold.
"I couldn't reach the micerwave." Jack explained with a rueful shrug.
"Thad othay." Aaron said. "Vy don' 'e 'o bownthairs an' I can 'eat 'is up an' 'et 'ou deckfis'?"
"Okay!" Jack smiled and rushed downstairs ahead of him.
Slowly, Aaron got to his feet and headed downstairs with the soup. When he came into the kitchen Jack was already sitting at the table, waiting for him expectantly. Thankfully there wasn't too much damage. A few cabinets open, some dishes overturned, a bit of chicken soup leaked on the floor. Nothing he couldn't handle.
"Othay, Dubby." Aaron smiled. "Is thereal othay?"
"Mmhm." Jack nodded.
Aaron got out some fruit loops, poured them and the milk in a bowl, and then gave it and a spoon to Jack. He put the soup in the microwave and when it was done, sat down with his son at the table.
"Mmm!" Aaron commented, taking a bite of the soup. "Thelithus! Dank 'ou!"
Jack gigged. "You welcome, Daddy!"
"Tho," Aaron said. "Whad 'o 'ou wan' 'o 'o doday?"
Jack seemed to think about it for a moment and then grinned, "Let's watch a movie!" He exclaimed.
"Othay, Dubby." Aaron smiled. "Whad 'o 'ou wan' 'o wah'?"
The boy didn't need to think this time. "Shrek!"
"Othay." They finished their food and then went into the family room. He put the movie on and lay down on the couch. "I'b 'oin 'o 'day 'own 'or a dit. Othay?"
"Uhhuh." Jack muttered from his spot on the floor, focused on the screen.
Aaron tried to pay attention to the movie but even as little an exertion of getting his son breakfast had made him much too tired to focus. His eyes started to feel heavy and he slowly drifted off to sleep.
Jack was watching Shrek and he was really liking it when he realized that his Daddy hadn't laugheds at all, not even when Princess Fiona told Shrek there was an arrow in his butt!
"Daddy?" Jack asked, turning his head. His Daddy didn't answers. "Daddy?" Jack gots up and went over to the couch. He was about to poke his Daddy on the cheek, but he noticed that his Daddy's eyes were closed. He was asleeps! Smiling, he made the movie stops playing and ran upstairs. Taking his blanket off the bed and grabbing his teddy bear, Captain 'merian, and rushed back down. Placing the blanket over Daddy and tucking the bear under his father's. "Sweet Dreams, Buddy!" Jack whispered. Then, turning around, he made the movie moves again and sat down to watch again.
The movie was almost over when Jack heard a key turn in the door and turned around and moved closer to his Daddy because he was worried that it was another bad guy.
"Uncle Dave!" Jack cried, leaping up and running to throw his arms around the newcomer.
"Where's your Dad?" The man asked, glancing around. "I brought him some soup."
Jack giggled. "Come here." He led Dave over to the couch. "He fell asleeps during Shrek!"
"Oh!" Dave answered, eyes widened as he saw his friend snuggled up with a teddy bear on the couch. "Well, I wanted to see how your Dad was doing but I think he's in good hands. Mind if I stick around a bit?"
"You can watch Shrek with me!" Jack exclaimed and tugged on Dave's hand.
With a shrug, the other man joined the boy on the floor and they finished watching the movie.