A/N: Well, hot damn! You readers DO exist! I loved the reviews I got for part 4; and by popular request, here is part 5. A team reunion. This will, sadly, be the final chapter. I may continue this as a series of sorts, I may not. We'll see how the wind blows, but right now- it's the final piece.
ANYTHING IN ITALICS is a specific character's section. You should be able to figure out who is who.
BIG THANK YOU TO ALL MY LOVELY REVIEWERS: vampiremuggle, BrightlyShining, charmony, HPforever-after, fanficlover, CMFAN2009, fbi-woman, LacytheDemonicWerewolf, CaskettLover, NT, purpleplasticpurse, AB, gsr4ever15, criminalmindslover1, make it or break it, WeeHelenXx, TaliDanielleDavid, baobei, and mirande953.
Also, a huge thank you to my beta Patty for making sure it didn't suck; and to LacytheDemonicWerewolf for letting me bounce ideas.
Disclaimer: Located in the first few chapters. Nothing's changed. I don't own it.
He grinned playfully as she fidgeted with the edge of her tee-shirt, her nails picking at the seam sewn into the dark red fabric. His hand covered hers as he stepped up behind her and wrapped his arms around her tightly. He pressed a soft kiss to her neck and pulled her back into his chest, rocking her side to side slowly, "Relax, Emily."
She smiled and rested her arms over his, their fingers entwining over her hips. She leaned back against him and rested her nose against his throat, sighing lightly, "Aaron, they should be mad. They deserve to be mad." She swallowed lightly and let her eyes slip shut, giving his hands a tender squeeze, "We lied to them. I just keep waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me. I keep waiting for them to turn on me and really let the anger go."
He smiled and turned his head, kissing her forehead and sighing, "Emily, they've had almost three years to get over that. They've moved past it. They're just happy you're back." He raised a hand and traced it through her long, thick brunette locks, "We all are just happy you're home." She nodded and turned in his arms, her arms wrapping around his neck and hugged him tightly, "I'm just nervous."
Reunions weren't his thing; in fact, he generally made it a regular goal to avoid social interactions like them at all costs. But this time he knew he had to make an exception, for more than one reason. Statistically speaking, the fact that this reunion was even happening was incredible. Almost 3 years ago, he'd been crying into JJ's shoulder about Emily's death, and now she was back. Alive and well, and once-again a part of the BAU. He smiled as he realized that even in his genius mind, there was no way to measure the happiness he was feeling.
He adjusted the leather jacket resting on his broad shoulders and chuckled to himself as he strutted up to Hotch's residence. 3 years could change a lot of things; they'd sure as hell had changed him. He'd held her hand, begging her to hold on; he thought he'd lost a partner. Now looking back on it, he couldn't have been happier that he was wrong. He balanced the pizza boxes on his hand solidly and knocked on the green door with a grin; yes, this was exactly what he'd wanted all along.
She'd always hoped this reunion would come, for more than just the other team members. She'd mainly hoped it for Hotch; he was more than her former boss, he was her friend. She'd known about Paris, about him getting to say goodbye to her on his own terms, and she getting to thank him for all he'd done for her. She knew that they both had lost something special that day, something more than just a team member. She felt an overwhelming sense of comfort that it had finally all worked out for the best; and she would bet money on it that it had worked out in more ways than one.
He'd been delightfully surprised by Erin this time around. He knew that she didn't have to allow Emily to come back to the team; she could've put her anywhere she pleased. She was giving them the chance to have their team back. He parked his car up the street from the residence and climbed out, moving towards the house with a brisk walk. 5 other cars filled the driveway and spaces around it, the signs that he was one of the final ones to arrive. He softly knocked on the door and couldn't help the broad smile that split his face as it swung open.
Secretly, she'd always hoped this would be the end result. She'd been devastated by the loss of Emily. They'd been close, almost from the beginning; she'd taken to her as soon as she saw the playful side of the agent. Emily had embraced the quirkyness that so many other agents at the bureau cringed at. A small part of her sensed that there was something the stoic unit chief had secreted away from them. A larger part of her knew that Emily wouldn't have gone down without fighting, and that she wouldn't have let Doyle win. The whole of her knew that this reunion would happen in some form or another one day; either as ghosts or like this. It felt damn good being right; but then again, she was rarely ever wrong.
Emily's hand traced over Aaron's shoulder as she stepped around him, with young Jack at her heels, to get to Garcia and JJ. She cast a slight smile over her shoulder and subtly winked at him as he gave her an encouraging nod. Her laughter echoed softly around the room as Garcia's strong warm arms wrapped around her, hugging her tightly. She hugged her back warmly for a few moments before speaking softly to the enthusiastic blonde, "PG, I need to breathe."
Aaron smiled and gave Emily's lower back a tender pat as he passed the three women with beer bottles in his hand for the men. He handed them out rapidly and sat down on the couch with Morgan and Rossi, watching the women communicate animatedly about Emily's new look and all that had transpired in the time she'd been away. Rossi's eyes shifted back and forth between the groups, watching the women, then watching Aaron and Morgan. "Emily's looking really good." He nodded and shrugged as Aaron's eyes turned to him darkly. He took a swig of his beer and leaned back on the sofa,resting his arm along the back of it, "It'll be good to have her around the BAU again. I'm sure many of the male agents will be enthused to see her return."
Aaron grit his jaw slightly and relaxed it as he cleared his throat, "Oh yeah?" He laughed and took a long pull from the dark brown bottle before looking back at Rossi, "Why's that?" Morgan looked at Aaron's furrowed brows and glaring eyes and then at Rossi's smug expression; studying them for several moments before he caught on. He nodded to Rossi and nudged Aaron's foot with his, "You're kidding, right? Have you looked at Emily? She's got that new hair goin, the tan; you add that to the outfits she wears to work…" he shrugged and gave an appreciative nod, "Eye candy for days." Aaron took a deep breath as he eyed her across the room, her hand resting on the upper back of his son and nodded, "Sure, Morgan. I'll take your word for it."
Emily chuckled watching Henry become engrossed in a trick that Reid was showing him and nodded her head towards the quiet moment. She loved watching the older male bond with the young boy, and had deeply missed these moments of unity within the team. Her fingers ran gently through the hair of the boy that was clinging to her side like life depended on it and she gave him a gentle nudge towards the other boy in the room, "Hey Jack, why don't you go over and see if Reid can show you some new tricks?" She knelt down to his level as he stayed close and rubbed his back gently, "What's wrong kiddo?"
His lips became a thin line, immediately reminding her of Hotch, and he sighed, "Will you stay?" Her eyes softened as she took in his worried face and she hugged him tenderly, "You know I will." She squeezed him gently and then let him free, smiling as he moved from her arms and quickly darted over to join Henry in front of Spencer. She stood and crossed her arms over her chest, smiling with the two blondes and chuckling as the boys awed at the tricks they were being shown. JJ leaned into Emily's space and nudged her shoulder playfully, "Looks like you've got a certain Hotchner wrapped around your finger."
Emily's eyes widened slightly as she looked at JJ; she and Aaron had been keeping their relationship quiet at the time she'd had to leave, and it was being kept even quieter now. Her eyebrows knit together as she began to ask JJ how she knew, but was interrupted by the blonde's nod toward Jack. "He's just so infatuated with you, Emily." Emily's heart rate dropped substantially as she chuckled and nodded, "Yeah, he's quite the little heartbreaker." JJ smiled and glanced back at the guys, catching Aaron as he subtly studied Emily's form from his comfortable spot on the couch, "Just like his daddy."
Penelope laughed loudly and gave an exaggerated nod, "Oh yeah. He's got all the traits of turning out to be like the big bad boss man." She smiled at the other two women and followed JJ's eyeline, catching their boss staring at their friend. She grinned wickedly and leaned into Emily conspiratorially, "You know, I hear he's still single. Hasn't been with anyone since Haley." JJ sighed and nodded, "I mean, I can understand how it'd be difficult for him to move on, but it's definitely a tragic loss for the rest of woman-kind." She caught the slight narrowing of Emily's eyes and continued to push, "It's not like women haven't tried. There's a girl on the 4th floor, completely head over heels for him. She goes red every time he even looks at her." She rolled her eyes animatedly and chuckled, "He's so oblivious that he doesn't even realize what a great catch he really is."
Emily turned over her shoulder and studied the three men on the couch with a warm smile, before her eyes zeroed in on her lover and she felt warmth flood her entire body, "He's okay, I guess. Needs to loosen up a little." She smirked as Penelope shrugged and tilted her head, "Eh, maybe he just needs a push from the right woman." Emily felt both sets of eyes on her as she studied him and finally sighed, "Just ask it, Pen." The delighted giggle from next to her told her everything she needed to know, "Are you and the G-man an item?"
All the occupants of the room startled as Penelope let out an excited shriek and nearly crushed Emily in a tight embrace. Aaron ran a hand through his dark coifed hair and chanced a look at Rossi then at Morgan; smug knowing grins painted their faces and he nodded slowly, quietly admitting that everything they'd been hinting at was in fact- true. Rossi clicked his tongue and gave Aaron a warm pat on the back, "Lucky man, Hotch." Aaron nodded and grinned as Morgan chuckled, "Seriously, man? How long?" Aaron took a deep breath and stared at his beer bottle before releasing the air in his lungs in one long breath, "We were together before the whole…" he swallowed and started again, "We just got back together." He took a swig of his beer and looked up at the women, smiling as Emily laughed and fielded questions from both women, who appeared to be talking at a mile a minute. He silently appreciated that, though plenty had changed while she was gone; some things were forever, their team was forever.