Author's Note: Dedicated to Insanity on High. My prompts and song: Belgium chocolates (0.o yummy), yellow tulips and lilacs, and white lace; Far Away by Nickelback (beautiful song).
There's just one word here that can be considered offensive: bastard. Just to let you know.
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the characters, nor the song. Maybe the chocolates, lace, and flowers are mine, but I'm not sure.
~ Forgive Me ~
You would say that Aaron Hotchner and Emily Prentiss were made for each other. One look at them, working or just chatting, and you could see how good they got along, the chemistry they had. It wasn't hard to miss, especially for their co-workers. They were all profilers, experts on human behavior; of course it was easy for them to notice.
When the pair finally got together, after a few talks with Garcia and Rossi, a few "incidents", as Morgan, Reid, and Seaver called them, stuck in a closet or an office for several hours; things seemed to be working perfectly for the couple. Hotch would leave her favorite flowers, yellow tulips and lilacs, on her desk once a week; they'd be tied with a pretty white lace, or sometimes it was red. Once in a couple of months, he'd changed the flowers for Belgium chocolates, as they were her favorite. Nobody had ever seen him act that way.
No one would've thought that just one case could break them apart. It wasn't an extremely weird case, not for the team anyway. A killer, male, violating and torturing women, leaving them on the streets like trash. They all had dealt with something similar sometime in their careers. But Hotch hadn't dealt with any case like that with Emily as his girlfriend.
The killer had a preference, raven haired with brown or black eyes. The height, it didn't seem to matter to the man. The weight, not too skinny and not too fat. Very much akin to Emily's complexion.
The case went fairly well, at the beginning, finding evidence after evidence; interviews giving them good information about the unsub. It wouldn't take them long to find the suspect, and it didn't.
They got to the house, divided into teams of two, and started searching the place. Hotch and Emily were paired up. At some point, they got to a hallway. At the end of it, there were a couple of doors, so they separated.
When Prentiss entered the room and walked a few steps, she felt an arm snake around her waist, and a hand covered her mouth before she could make any kind of noise.
"I know you're here to rescue her" the man, Nate Sommer, whispered in her ear and nodded to the latest abducted woman that was sitting on the floor. "But I think I deserve a prize" he said as he sniffed her hair. "I lasted a long while. I thought I'd be discovered after two weeks, but apparently, cops aren't that smart. And don't worry about your partner, he's fine. Actually, I think he might come in here very soon, so why don't we go somewhere else", and with that said, he delivered a strong blow to her head that made her vision go black.
Hotchner finished checking his room and, since he couldn't find anything, he walked out and went to check on Emily.
Most people have experienced the feeling of preoccupation that comes when they think they lost something very valuable, or when they actually did. Well, that didn't even got an inch close to what Aaron was feeling when he saw the woman they were searching for, but Emily nowhere in sight. Preoccupation, rage, and guilt. The emotions almost made him collapse. He didn't fall because at that moment the rest of the team, plus some officers, came in and Morgan quickly reached forward to grab his boss before he ended up on the ground.
After getting the woman out, they started looking for clues that might tell them where the unsub had gone. Hotch was unable to keep his thoughts on the task. His mind kept imagining different scenarios, all of them including his girlfriend being tortured over and over again.
It was a dozen of hours later that Reid discovered a conexion between the geographical profile and a place mentioned, several times, in a diary found at the suspect's house. Probably from his childhood.
When they arrived to the little cabin, Hotch felt his hopes go up. He knew he could find her, and get her out there. Hold her once more in his arms. But as he continued thinking, as he carefully walked in behind one of the SWAT guys, he remembered that it had been his fault. He shouldn't have let her go on her own to that room, knowing that the unsub could be there, knowing what type of women the degenerated bastard liked.
A few minutes later, he found them. The disgusting man had just pulled his jeans up, Emily at his feet, and Hotch couldn't help it. He shot him. The bullet went straight into Sommer's heart.
"Aaron?" he heard her voice call him and immediately turned his head to her, his eyes stinging.
"Em!" he knelt down beside her and helped her sit up. "You're alright, you're alright" he told her and himself as he put his arms around her and hugged her close to him.
"I know" she replied and buried her head in his chest, hanging onto him, never wanting to let go.
And that had been it. The case that caused their separation.
The feeling of guilt that Hotch had felt, slowly began to return, to haunt him, and a couple of weeks later, it just hit him. So he started drinking.
It didn't take Emily too long to know that something was going on with him. The shadows that appeared under his eyes were very marked. He wore a disheveled look until she reminded him to fix his tie or tuck in his shirt. He distanced himself, only talking to her when it was necessary.
One night, she couldn't take it anymore. They had just arrived from work, and he'd already made his way to the mini-bar, ready to pour himself another glass of scotch and get lost in the alcohol.
"Stop it, Aaron" she said and went to stand next to him.
"What?" he asked as he raised his beverage to take a sip.
"This" she answered and snatched the glass from his hands to put it on the counter. "Stop drinking. You have a problem, then talk about it, don't drink it"
"I don't have a problem" he moved to grab the scotch but Emily stopped him and put her hands on his chest, pushing him away from the liquid.
"Yes, you do. Don't deny it. I can see it, everybody can!" she felt a few tears forming on her eyes.
"Really? And what do they see?" he asked coldly.
Emily shook her head a little, her mouth slightly open, before replying "You. But not the usual you, not the Aaron that worked with us, with me. You don't seem to care about anything! Just about your stupid alcohol!" she stared into his hazel eyes. "And I know what caused this"
"You think you do" he said and tried to turn away but her hands stopped him once more.
"I do. It's me, me getting kidnapped by Sommer" she could swear his eyes went darker when she mentioned that name. "You feel guilty, but I'm fine, you said it yourself. Just forget it"
"I can't, Emily! Okay! I can't! It's jus- you- you don't how I felt. It was my fault. I shouldn't have let you go in there alone! I should've protected you! He raped you because I was stupid enough to let you check the room by yourself!" with a sudden movement he pulled out of her grasp and punched the wall.
"It was a month ago, Aaron! You need to let it go! I'm here, with you" she tried to take a step toward him but his voice stopped her.
"It's not only that! When we were looking for you, I couldn't concentrate; my mind kept going to you! You being beaten, cut, ra- Morgan had to take my place because I can't do my job!"
Emily looked taken aback "Can't. You're saying that I don't let you do your job"
"Fine" was all she said and she quickly walked to the door. "Goodbye, Aaron" she told him and shut the door behind her.
Hotch just stared at the door, trying to understand what had happened. His hand seemed to move on its own as it reached the glass resting on the counter. The moment his fingers touched it, though, he looked at it and unexpectedly grabbed it and dropped it carelessly in the sink, not caring if it broke.
Some feet away, outside his apartment, getting into the elevator, Emily felt the tears she'd kept back, roll down her cheeks and dissolve when they touched the neck of her blouse.
The situation got extremely uncomfortable at the office. Emily wouldn't even glance at him, so talking was very improbable. Every time he tried to approach her, she would walk away, or if there wasn't any chance to avoid him, she'd just look at him with hurt and sadness on her eyes and then she'd go. It was good that they didn't have any cases during that time. Hotch needed to correct his mistake. Soon.
He knew she was staying at her old apartment. She hadn't sold it yet, and it was the first place that came to his mind. It was Valentine's Day, so he moved as fast as he could, stopping at a couple of stores.
Standing in front of her door, he wondered if his apology would work. It wasn't the most creative thing, it was actually pretty basic, but he wanted her back. If it didn't work, then he'd try something else.
He was about to knock on the wooden door when it opened and Emily appeared on the other side, her arms crossed over her chest in a defensive position.
"Are you going to stand there all day?" she asked, trying to sound uninterested.
Hotch's heart jumped, she talked to him! After weeks of not talking, the sound of her voice made him smile. "No. I want to apologize"
Emily nodded and then her eyes went to his hands. They were holding a bouquet of yellow tulips and lilacs, white lace tying them up; a box of chocolates, and a card.
"Are those for me?"
He looked down "Yeah. Just for you" and he gave them to her.
She put the flowers and candy inside and then opened the red, heart-decorated card.
That I love you, I have loved you all along
And I miss you, been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you'll be with me and you'll never go
Stop breathing if I don't see you anymore
On my knees, I'll ask
Last chance for one last dance
Cause with you I'd withstand
all hell to hold your hand
Emily chuckled as she recognized the paragraphs "A Nickelback song?" she asked him.
"It's perfect" he answered and stepped forward until they were touching "Em, I'm sorry. I truly am. You were right, I needed to forget it. I should've listened to you. I had you, nothing else mattered, but then I lost you" he raised his hand and ran his fingers over her cheek. "And I don't want to be without you. I can't. I know it's selfish but I don't care. I love you" and a tear slid down his face. As it was nearing his jaw, her thumb brushed it away.
Prentiss smiled and threw herself into his arms, placing her arms around his neck. "I forgive you, Aaron". Then she leaned back a little and whispered against his lips, her breath tickling his jaw "And I love you too".
What could be the happiest grin Emily had ever seen, appeared on his face as he moved to meet her lips with his. He could smell her fresh peppermint breath as his hand traveled to her hair and began running his fingers through it. After a few more, passionate, seconds they pulled apart.
"Do come in, mister" she said, taking his hand.
"One more thing" he replied. "Will you be my Valentine?"
Emily giggled and kissed him again. "Why not?".
Who would've thought that, after everything that happened, they ended up together?
A/N: You know guys, I'm really proud of this. I like it a lot. Well, love ya! Thanks for reading, and review, if you want!