Scars

By ROSSELLA1

Note: I do not own Criminal Minds or any of its characters. Oh, and I know Jack's only five or six (don't know which month he was born in so can't be sure) but that's when I learned to read and write so I'm guessing that's the normal age for it. If it's not then… well, Jack's a smart kid.

With a sigh, Aaron slid his shirt up over his head. It had been a long and hard week and he was looking forward to the short break before the next string of cases started up again. He tossed the shirt in the hamper and had turned to lay down when a small voice came from behind him

"Daddy?"

"Hey, Buddy!" Aaron pulled a tired grin onto his face. "What's up? I thought you were asleep." He'd tucked Jack in hours ago.

"I was, Daddy, but I woked up and I can't go back to sleeps. Can I sleeps with you, again?"

"Sure, Buddy." Aaron answered, holding his arms open for Jack to run into them. Scooping him up, he lay down with Jack on the bed. "You need anything before we go to bed?"

"No."

"Okay, then, let's go to sleep." Aaron turned out the light and closed his eyes.

"Daddy?" Jack asked.

"Yeah?" Aaron said, opening his eyes again.

"I miss, Mommy."

Aaron sighed. It had just passed the anniversary of Haley's death and every day since then, Jack had been having trouble sleeping. Aaron had let him stay in his room of course or sometimes went in his, but he knew this couldn't continue forever. "I do to, Buddy." He whispered.

Jack shifted. "Why did the bad guy have to take her away?"

Hotch took a deep breath and tried to think of how to respond. A profile wouldn't help a six year old. "Jack… some people are just mean and…they like to hurt others."

"Oh." Jack rested his head on Aaron's chest and Aaron wondered. "Is he the guy that hurted you?"

"What?" Aaron asked, looking down at Jack's face.

Jack brushed his fingers gently, almost shyly, over Aaron's scars, then looked up at his father. "Is he the guy who made you get these boo-boos?"

Aaron swallowed. "Yes, Jack. He did."

"But why?" Jack persisted. "Why did he hurt you?"

"Well, Jack…" Aaron paused. "A long time ago he hurt himself in the same way and I think he wanted to make me like him." Maybe when Jack was older, Aaron would tell him the whole story; about the deal. But for now this would have to suffice.

"Well, yous not like him, Daddy." Jack said firmly. "Yous nice!"

"Thank You, Jack." Aaron smiled. "You're nice too." Jack smiled too and rested his head on Hotch's chest. With a sigh, Hotch laid his head back on the pillow and they both went to sleep.

…..

The next morning he was just coming out of a dream where Haley, Jack and he were together in their old house and everything was like it had been before the divorce and before Foyet had come into their lives. He knew that he was waking up and he tried to hold onto the dream, but of course the harder he focused on it, the more awake he became until eventually, he just gave a sigh and flickered his eyes open.

They were immediately pushed closed again by two small fingers. "Not yet, Daddy!" Jack squealed from his sitting place on Aaron's chest.

"Jack?" Aaron asked, tiredly, keeping his eyes closed as Jack commanded. "What are you doing?"

"It's a suhpwise!" Jack answered and resumed what he was doing. Aaron felt something cold tickle his chest and was about to ask what Jack was doing again but thought better of it and just lay there as still as possible until it stopped.

"Okay, Jack can I open my eye's now?"

"Uh-huh!" Jack gigged.

Aaron did so and glanced down at his chest to see it covered with a myriad of colors. "It's very pretty, Jack." He commented.

"Read it!" Jack grinned proudly.

Aaron tried but couldn't from where he was laying. So scooping Jack up into his arms he went over to his mirror to take a look. His chest was covered with rainbows, smiley faces, hearts, stick figures, and guns (Aaron would need to talk to Jack about that; make sure the violence didn't make too deep an impression on his child's psyche), but none of those were what held Aaron's attention. Each of his scars had been covered with a different covered ink and turned into a letter. After concentrating a bit, he realized that they were three "D's", an "A", and a "Y". Daddy. Confused, he glanced down at his son who was smiling up at him.

"No one can think yous the bad guy now, because yous got yous name on you!" Aaron fought hard to keep tears from his eyes. "Daddy?" Jack asked, worried. "Did I makes you sad?"

"No, Jack." Aaron smiled. "You made me very happy." He kissed his son on the head. "That was a good idea of yours."