A/N: I have so much to say about this one. It came out of nowhere, and was really inspired by some random weird text conversation with my bestie Patty. Text: "Sexxy schmexxy Paget + uber hot Thomas Gibson = a mouthwatering fic." - THAT inspired THIS; which is also the LONGEST one-shot I've ever written coming in at 4,013 WORDS!

I'd like to give a special shout out to x-mj-x who has become a really good sounding board for me, and who's lovely reviews on my two "Lauren"-based fics have really encouraged me to write and post this too. So you should go check out her work, if you haven't already, because she's amazing.

PLEASE read and review, I would love to know what you all think.

ALSO- this is M rated, for a reason; continue at your own discretion, thanks.

Disclaimer: I own the DVDs... but sadly, CM does not belong to me.

Spoilers for: 3x02 "In Birth and Death".


Everyone was asleep.

The muted roar of the jet's engine slightly muffled by the thick windows of the plane and the soft snores emanating from various team members. His darkened eyes moved around the cabin, taking in his team, while the metaphorical wheels in his head turned. He couldn't stop thinking about it, the circumstances that had lead his team to this moment. His eyes fell on the solitary figure hidden away in the front of the plane; ignored by the rest of the occupants, and he felt his features tighten. Erin Strauss had tried to take his career, his team, his second family away from him; and she'd failed tremendously. She'd underestimated the strength that each of his cohorts had within them, the lengths they'd go to to ensure that they stayed together. Penelope sneaking him the file, Emily threatening to resign, Derek keeping him informed; they each had stuck their necks out and the end result had been exactly what they'd all hoped for.

They were still together.

His eyes darted to JJ and Reid, across from each other at the table, heads leaned into the windows, eyes shut in peaceful slumber; then skimmed over to Derek, asleep with his headset on. His eyes narrowed as he realized one of them was missing. He slid from his position in the leather captain's chair and walked silently down the length of the plane towards the gallery. He heard her soft, shaky breaths from behind the curtain, and paused; wondering briefly if he should bother her in this private moment. His adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed his emotions for a moment and stepped into the room.

Her back faced him as he moved the curtain back into place, effectively shielding them from any potential prying eyes and continuing to guard her own vulnerable moment. He stayed silent, and moved his back and hips to lean against the counter in the room, his arms crossing over his chest as he bowed his head and shut his eyes. She never hesitated to throw herself into the line of danger; he'd appreciated that aspect of her as an agent since she'd come on his team. It was also the aspect that terrified him most. Seeing her only a few hours earlier sitting on the back end of that ambulance, blood dripping from the spot on her forehead where she'd been hit with a two by four, was one of several reality checks he'd gotten in the past couple days. She'd very nearly given her career up to protect him, and then nearly gave her life to bring the case to a close; and he couldn't help wondering why she insisted on doing so.

He'd accepted it years ago, the fact that there was some unspoken sexual attraction with her. He'd known it the moment he'd seen her photo while working for her mother, and had felt it only heighten upon first meeting her while she was home on break form Brown. After she'd left, and he'd gone on to marry Haley, she'd been nothing but a memory to him, a sort of pipe dream of what-if's and if- only's, but when he'd seen the woman she'd grown up to be, the new agent that would be joining his team, he'd felt the tickle of that attraction return. Married or not, he was a man first and foremost, and any man could appreciate who she was; smart, intelligent, caring, fearless, and yet vulnerable, warm and soft. His marriage was in shambles now, he'd accepted that even before the fight with Haley over his going to Milwaukee; and her suspicious behavior only confirmed what he'd come to terms with. So that left him where? Stuck in marital limbo with a woman who didn't understand his career, and attracted to a woman who'd come close to sacrificing her career for his? Emily'd made it more than apparent that she would go above and beyond for him, and now that he'd reconciled himself to that fact, he was only left to ponder where she was with all this.

She wasn't quite sure, why she was crying. No one compartmentalized better than she could and this whole case hadn't even been the worst of what she'd seen, nor were her slight concussion and splitting headache anything serious; so the question continued to plague her, WHY was she crying? She wiped her eyes and took a slow, deep, shallow breath to calm herself and refocus her energies. She knew he was in the room with her, she'd smelt that distinct mix of coffee, musk, and something unique only to him as soon as he had entered. She wiped her eyes and turned around to him, eyeing him through lowered lashes and blinked against the fresh onslaught of tears that threatened to break her. She'd been brought on to ruin him, to be a political pawn for Strauss, and to damage the career he'd worked so hard to build; and yet, when the chips were down, he'd come to her and asked her to come with him. He'd taken the leap of faith and brought her back, saved her career just as much as she saved his. She licked her lips and sighed, opening her mouth to speak and then shutting it when no coherent sentences formed in her mind.

She dropped her head, eyes focusing on her nails as she began to pick at them in nervous anxiousness. He was just staring at her, unspeaking, un moving, and she was hesitant to ask what was on his mind. She took a deep breath and lifted her head to meet his eyes with hers and shrugged before speaking with a soft, broken tone, "Helluva a week, huh?"

She laughed awkwardly and smiled as the corners of hip lips turned upward, while he remained a safe distance away. She took a few steps and leaned across from him, their feet nearly touching as she mirrored his pose and tilted her head, "What's on your mind, Hotch?"

He searched her face with his chocolate gaze and realized that nothing, no one was more important than this moment. He let his gaze travel across the expanse of her features for a moment before shaking his head and fixing his lips in a thin line, "You." He nodded towards her and cleared his throat, hoping to bring back a bit of the professionalism that he was rapidly losing grip on, "How's your head?"

She smirked and tilted her head, "Feels like I got hit with a piece of wood." Her knowing eyes sought his out and they stood silent for a moment, engaged in a battle of wills before she let one arm drop, and gave a soft chuckle, "I'm fine, Hotch, really. Nothing a little aspirin and rest won't fix." She nudged the toe of his boot with hers and gave him a concerned frown, "Now, what's really on your mind?"

He dropped his head and studied his feet, shifting his balance a little and making himself more comfortable against the hard surface pressing into his back. His eyes lifted slightly and he sighed, resigning himself to having this talk right now. "You. This. Everything that's happened." He licked his lips and looked at her, "Why would you-"

He was interrupted as the plane hit some mild turbulence and shook them out of their tiny world. He grabbed her as she jostled with the movements, his arm snaking around her waist and yanking her tight against him. Her face rested close to the skin on his neck, her hands pressed against the front of his shoulders as the plane steadied itself and she felt his warm breath against her cheek as he held her close for a few moments longer than necessary. She pulled her head back an inch or two and met his eyes with hers, brown meeting brown; and then she smiled a slow, knowing smile that women had been giving men for centuries. She eased her body back a bit, he was after all a married man and felt her breath catch as he held her tighter, not allowing any more space to come between them. His voice was soft, husky, and unsure as he spoke to her, his warm, minty breath brushing her face, "Why did you do it? All of it? Why do you insist on being the sacrificial lamb every time?"

She swallowed and dropped her eyes from him, wanting desperately to be able to run and hide from his all-seeing eyes. She sighed, as he used one hand to tilt her head back up to him and forced her to look him in the eyes as she explained. "I don't know." She shook her head, "I don't know who I am. I don't think I ever did." She took a shaky breath and slid her hands to hold his shoulders gently in their grasp, "I guess it makes me feel like a superhero. Every time that I get to go in and get my hands dirty and really be a part of it, I feel invincible; and for that second in time, I have an identity. I'm SSA Emily Prentiss… but I don't," her voice broke as she licked her lips timidly and bit her lip, fighting her emotions, "I don't know who that girl is outside of that."

"I do." His voice was warm and gentle as he held her, and bent low enough so that they were eyeball to eyeball, "You are Emily Prentiss, and that's a helluva lot more than I ever gave you credit for being. You're smart, tough, dedicated, and driven. You've pissed me off and you've made me proud; ironically, usually doing both at the same time." The corners of his lips turned upward as she chuckled lowly and he sighed, "You're able to be that superhero agent, but you're so much more than that. You need to stop self-deprecating and realize what an amazing woman you are, Emily. You're beautiful, and headstrong, and don't kid yourself, every male agent within our building has cast his eyes over you more than once."

His hand tentatively traced through her dark brown locks and he sighed, "You're the complete package, Emily Prentiss."

She damned the tears she felt burning behind her eyes; she couldn't remember ever hearing someone tell her they were proud of her before. Straightening up, Hotch took a step back from her, and she fought an internal battle to tell him not to let go, because when he was around, she felt like the kind of person she'd always dreamt of being. He ran his hands over her shoulders and down to her elbows, his eyes darkening slightly before he leaned forward and brushed his lips over her forehead, "We've had a rough couple days. Go get some rest." She felt every bit of air leave her lungs, like a balloon releasing all it's air, as he slipped form her grasp and disappeared through the curtain. She collapsed against the counter he'd been leaning on and dropped her head, trying to wrap her mind around everything that had just passed between them. She took several slow breaths before emerging and cuddling up on the large leather couch of the plane, buckling in and awaiting their soon arrival home.

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THUMP THUMP THUMP

She grit her jaw, and muttered softly to herself about shooting whoever was on the opposite side of her door, pounding to gain entrance at 2 am. She padded down to the door in her black sleep shorts and largely oversized tee shirt, her hands in fists next to her sides, before she ripped the door open to give the person a piece of her mind. Her words stopped in her throat as her eyes took in the broken man leaning against her doorframe. Still in his suit, but obviously not nearly as pulled together as he normally was. "Hotch?"

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, lifting his face to her, she furrowed her brow slightly upon seeing the wetness beneath his eyes. "She took him. She took him and left." Emily's eyebrows furrowed together more, inquiring what he was talking about without saying a word. He grit his jaw and balled his fists so tight his knuckles went white as he paced outside her door, "She took my son and just left." His barely restrained anger radiated off of him and she tentatively reached forward on his next pass and caught his hand, "Do you want to come in?"

He froze and looked at her, the concern and compassion readable in her eyes washed over him and he gently squeezed her hand before following her in and letting her shut the door, his hand never leaving hers. She turned to him and sighed, "Hotch…" he shook his head and leaned back against the door, "I should've known it was coming. It's… it's been coming for awhile now. I just-" he smacked his open palm against her door and gave a soft curse, "She didn't have to just take him and run like that."

Emily nodded and moved forward, wrapping her arms around his waist and pulling him into her, hugging him gently and rubbing his back, "I know." He reciprocated the hug slowly, and rested his cheek to the top of her head. He could smell her. Her perfume swam into his head and fogged all coherent thoughts, leaving just a sea of emotions and desires in it's wake. Her forehead rested against his neck as he held her tight and she sighed against the skin, "Don't go back. Stay tonight. Stay with me." Her words were soft, muffled, but she knew he heard them. She'd been working towards saying that for years, and tonight was the first, albeit the worst, opportunity to get to utter them. She felt him sigh against her hair and knew he was internally debating his decision. Her mouth felt like cotton as he pulled back and stared down at her, with unsure chocolate eyes, before his hands came up to clasp her face gently and he rested his forehead to hers, "This'd be a big mistake."

She licked her lips and his insides knotted tightly as he watched her. Her hands moved across his back to rest against the sides of his ribcage as she looked up at him with wide, brown eyes, "It doesn't feel that way now."

He shook his head, "It will tomorrow." He knew it would, and if any of his common sense had kicked in, he would've up and walked away while he still could. She turned her face into his palm and kissed it tenderly before smiling up at him, "I'm sick of thinking about tomorrow. All my life has focused around planning for the future. Just once, I'd like to let tomorrow take care of itself, and enjoy today." She leaned her chest to his and sighed softly, as her face came closer to his, "Let me help, Hotch. Let me make you feel better."

He'd been offered the golden ticket, as it were, an invitation to experience everything that this woman was; and he'd be a damned fool if he passed on it. He dipped his head and closed the remaining margin of space, letting his breath brush her lips for a moment before sealing his mouth to hers and wrapping his arms around her tightly, effectively acting out all the desires he'd ever had for her. His body guided her back to the wall opposite her door and he pressed he into it, his firm frame holding her against it, and his arms trapping her there.

Sensations rushed over him and he gathered her tightly to him as he deepened the kiss and tasting her for the first time. She sighed into his mouth, and he took it for his own, saving it in his memory so that years from now he'd be able to recall it, and remember her, and tonight. She ran her hands down his sides and around to his back, holding him firmly against her and arching her chest into him, as his mouth moved from hers to trail down her throat and across her jugular; his lips and teeth biting and tasting her and savoring each moment of it. She gripped his shoulders tightly and bit her lip as his hands slid under her tee, before pulling her away from the wall and whipping the obstacle off her body, leaving her torso bare to him.

All coherent thought was gone as he nipped and kissed his way across her chest and abdomen, leaving a path of fire in his wake and encouraging her to give herself over to him. He wanted nothing more than to drive her beyond the point of control until she was writhing for release beneath him, release only he could give her. She panted his name softly and he leaned up, pressing his mouth to her ear and nearly growling his demand to her, "Aaron. Tonight, I am Aaron."

She nodded willingly and let him lead her to the stairs and up. Her breathy moans and whispered directions guiding them towards her bed as she pushed his jacket, shirt and tie from his body, while he continued worshipping her with his lips, teeth, and tongue. The backs of her knees impacted the bed and she gasped softly as they tumbled onto the mattress, him pulling her to him as they landed side by side. His hand traced up her flank and he reached up to her hair, fisting his hand in it slightly and guiding her head to his as he kissed her hard and pulled her on top of him, his hands quickly pushing into her shorts and guiding them down as far as his hands could, and letting her slide off him to remove them. His heart stopped as her hands gripped his belt buckle, and he gripped the sheets and comforter in his fists as she slowly undid his belt and pants and stripped him of all remaining clothing. He felt sweat break out on his forehead and reached up, running one hand through his hair and reminded himself to breathe as her hands began moving across his torso and abdomen and then down across his thighs. His entire body seemed to be pulsing into a throbbing puddle of need, the urgency crouching down within him ready to pounce. He swallowed as she crawled up his body and pressed her frame to his, with a soft smile. She traced his forehead and cheek with her fingers and pressed her lips to the corner of his mouth gently, before sighing his name against his lips.

He rolled her beneath him and traced down the center of her chest and abdomen with his hand, his forehead resting against hers as he mirrored her, whispering her name against her mouth as his hand found it's final destination. He grinned as she shivered and gripped his shoulders tight, murmuring her approval and encouraging him. He kissed her jugular and she jolted in his grasp, while his hands explored her and pushed her up to the cliff before backing her away and letting his hips rest just a fraction above hers, "Emily, I don't… have…" her fingers covered his mouth and she shook her head, "Don't. We don't need it." She ran her hand down his body and guided him to her, her eyes reflecting her needs and wants from him. His name was a harsh whisper as pleasure, deep soul satisfying pleasure surged within her as he claimed her as his own. Her mind blanked as he moved her. Her lungs heaved for air that wouldn't come as he whispered to her and breathed her name over and over again; her blood pumping through her veins like fire, igniting every inch of her, until everything went still and their pants for air were all that was left.

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They were asleep.

Light shone in through her white linen curtains and gently caressed their forms as they laid entwined together in her bed, his arm over her. She blinked her eyes open and smiled as she rested her hand over his arm, holding her to the bed, holding her to him. A soft sigh sounded from behind her and she bit her lip. This was the moment that decisions would be made. He'd said last night that it would all be a mistake today, and she felt the anxiousness in her system begin to rise. She didn't want to lose him, not after this, but she knew that it was part of the deal they'd made. His lips on the back of her shoulder and his gentle tug, bringing her body tight to his, quelled those thoughts though. He nuzzled the back of her neck and sighed, "Morning."

She rubbed his arm gently and stared at her drapes, her stomach knotting, and her muscles tensing as she tried to be secure about the situation they were in, "Morning." He sighed and licked his lips, nerves starting to get the best of him. He was fairly certain that there was some sort of awkward moment meant to play out here, or that he should've left when he'd woken up several hours ago; but lying there, holding her, feeling her against him had stopped all those thoughts long before he'd even thought to act on them. She'd wormed her way in, and now he was almost certain that there'd be no way out of this; not when they were so clearly meant for each other. He turned her over onto her back and gazed down at her, pushing a lock of brown hair behind her ear and swallowing his nerves, "I can't be the man you deserve. I'm still legally married. I have a son. I'm more married to my work than I ever was my wife. I can't promise you that this isn't going to get complicated or that we both aren't going to get hurt."

She stared up at him with a slight glimmer of hope in her eyes and caught his cheek in her hand, "I don't care about any of that. What I want, what I care about, is you. That's all you need to give me."

He smiled and rested his forehead to hers, "I can do that."