/ It's been awhile since I uploaded a story, but here's my next attempt at one. It's one I'm rather excited about and I hope you'll be just as excited for it by the time I'm done. As usual, I don't own criminal minds, nor the characters. Enjoy the first chapter and reviews are appreciated. Thanks, and enjoy :) /
Hotch tried not to yawn as he slipped the key into the door, turning it and letting himself into his apartment. It had been one of his more stressful days at work; what with budget cut meetings and Strauss getting in his face. He wasn't surprised by the latter though. It didn't help that he was falling behind on his consults and his paperwork. That was a lie, but with his current mindset, he felt like he was falling behind. He took a deep breath to compose himself, setting his briefcase on the floor as the door shut behind him. Hotch could hear the familiar sounds of Jack's cartoons playing from the front room, followed by the sound of Jack's voice as he told the good guys to kick the bad guys butt.
A small smile graced his lips, before he headed into the kitchen. Jessica had been wiping up the kitchen counters as he walked in.
"Hey Aaron," she greeted, putting the cloth down and turning to face her brother-in-law – ex brother-in-law.
"Hey," he said, removing his tie and putting on the counter. "How was your day?" He asked, opening one of the cupboards and pulling a glass out. Jessica just nods her head and offers him a smile.
"It was good. Jack was an angel as always. He's been fed; he just needs his bath, which is already run," she said to him, putting her jacket on as Hotch filled the cup with water. Hotch nods and drinks the water.
"Thanks," he said gently, as he walked with her to the door. "See you tomorrow, Jessica." He watched her leave and then shut the door behind her, sliding the lock across and setting the alarm. Hotch stands by the door for a moment or two, looking at the pictures he had on the wall – all of them contained Jack. He went to the front room, seeing Jack sat on the couch as he clutched the remote. He couldn't stop the smile that spread across his face as he sat down next to his son.
"Hey buddy," he said, earning a prompt grin from his son, followed by a, "Daddy!" Jack crawled over and sat himself in his father's lap. Hotch wrapped his arms around his son, cradling him close to his chest as the cartoon played out.
"Come on Jack, bath time." Jack wrinkled his nose, but got up from his father's lap anyway and ran to the bathroom. Hotch took the time to turn the TV off, heading off in the direction of his son. He leaned against the door frame, watching his son sat in the bath, playing with his ducks and superhero figures. Jack laughed away to himself, telling his dad exactly what was happening; specifically killer ducks that had to be stopped by Captain America and Batman.
Eventually, Hotch sat next to the bathtub, playing the king of the duck's as Jack proceeded to put the duck away in a maximum-security prison.
"It's time we washed your hair little man and got you to bed. It's getting late," he said, as Jack nodded.
"Can youd read me a story, daddy?" The young boy asked, looking to him with his smile that almost never left his lips. Hotch chuckled and nodded.
"'Course I can buddy." Jack placed his toys aside as Hotch helped him wash his hair, rinsing the suds out. Once he they had finished and pulled the plug, Hotch wrapped a towel around his son and picked him up, carrying him to his bedroom.
"What pyjamas do you want to wear tonight, Jack?" Jack thought about it as Hotch dried him.
"Captain Merica ones," he told his dad firmly. Hotch chuckled, kissing him on the forehead. He got up and headed over to the chest of drawers, rummaging around inside and eventually finding the pyjamas Jack wanted to wear. He quickly helped his son get into his pyjamas, before tucking him into his bed and pressing another kiss to his forehead.
Jack handed him the story he had picked out, snuggling down into his bed and cuddling his green dragon to his chest. Hotch began the story, excitement behind his voice which made it more interesting for Jack. Not that it mattered, because the young boy had fallen asleep before his father even got past the third page. Hotch placed the book on the bedside table, pulling the covers up to his son's shoulders.
"Goodnight buddy," he said, his voice quiet, as he stood up and left the room. He shut the door most of the way, but left it open just a crack, in case he woke up.
Hotch didn't waste any time before he headed towards the door and picked up his briefcase, taking it to the kitchen and resting it on the counter. His breathing became a little erratic as he tried to calm himself down; nothing was working though. He grabbed the already used cup, filling it with water and putting it next to his briefcase. His hands were beginning to shake, but he forcibly made them stop. Well, at least for the most part.
Being careful, he opened his briefcase and moved some of the papers around, finding what he was looking for eventually. He pulled out a small, plastic bag that looked like it was full of powder. It shouldn't have been in his work case, but he had needed to buy some desperately. Hotch opened it before tipping it into the glass of water, trying not to spill any.
He hurriedly took the needle out of his bag too; dumping his briefcase on the ground. Hotch put the needle into the glass of water and Heroin, sucking the liquid into the needle. Once it was full, Hotch pressed the needle down, getting rid of any air that might have been trapped in it. He looked around and grabbed his tie from the back of the chair, before he headed into the front room.
Hotch settled himself on the couch, unbuttoning his shirt sleeve and rolling it up. He hummed a soothing tune as he tied the tie around his upper arm, using his teeth to help. Once it was tight enough, he got the needle and stuck it into his elbow, watch the liquid as it disappeared into his arm. Almost instantly, a smile graced his lips and he felt more relaxed than ever.
After fumbling around for a bit, Hotch managed to remove the tie from his bicep before dropping it to the floor; rolling his sleeve back down. He felt his arm drop to the couch, the needle rolling out of his hand. He didn't care anymore, he was happy. He placed his head against the back of the couch, the smile never leaving his lips as he drifted off into nothingness.
Jack clutched his green dragon tightly to his chest as he leaves his bedroom. It was two AM and the youngster had had a nightmare. He sniffled, going into his father's bedroom. A frown, much resembling his father's, crossed his face when he realised he wasn't in his bed where he was supposed to be. Jack began to panic, tears filling his eyes again as he ran from the room and checked the bathroom, the kitchen and eventually the front room.
A look of relief flooded Jack's face as he found his father's asleep on the couch. Jack clambered up onto the couch, shaking his father. When he doesn't wake up, Jack hits him with his green dragon several times. Sure enough, the boy began to panic. Tears stung his eyes again as he tried to find his dad's phone, knowing it would be somewhere on him.
It took Jack a few minutes to find it, but he was grateful when he did. He bit his lip and pressed the dial button, not sure who it would call. He sniffled, rubbing his eyes as he heard someone mutter something on the other end that sounded remotely like, "Damn it Aaron, it's two in the morning. Why are you calling me?"
Jack recognised the voice on the other end.
"Uncle Dave," Jack said, trying not to let it sound like he had been crying.
"Jack? What are you doing up at this time? Where's your father?"
"I thinked daddy's dead," he told him, suddenly bursting into tears. On the other end, he can't see it, but Rossi frowned.
"I'll be there soon Jack. Just stay with your daddy; I'm sure he's fine, just sleeping. Don't worry Jack, I promise he'll be fine."
Jack put the phone down as Rossi hung up, before he scrambled onto the couch.
"Please waked up daddy," he sobbed, curling up into a ball next to his father, holding the green dragon tighter to his chest than before.