A one-shot about Hotch missing Jack on Father's day, and how someone helped made his day.
Disclaimer: I don't own CM and its characters.
Father's Day Away
It had annoyed Hotch that he was out of town this weekend. It would have been a special day for him and his son, Jack.
Jack had been hyped up all week when his aunt Jessica told him that this Sunday, which was today, was Father's Day. He had been secretive and spent more than his usual time in his room. He had forbid his dad to enter his bedroom without knocking! He had forbid his dad to go through his closet, saying that there would be some dire consequences if he did. He couldn't say consequences properly as he was missing his upper two teeth and it was hilarious and took a lot of restraint on Hotch's part to not laugh at his son's efforts. Jessica had told Hotch of Jack's hard work and laughingly admired her nephew's serious looks when he was working at his play table.
Hotch was looking forward to this day so he was able to see his son's work. Jack was six now, starting Kindergarten and his art had improved a lot more than a year ago, as evidence his refrigerator was covered by Jack's art projects. The boy was an aspiring artist and Hotch was very proud of his son's talent. Of course, Hotch had taken child psychology and it helped him to identify some of the blobs as cats or dogs with the occasional dinosaurs that looked more like a rectangles on four sticks. Yet, Hotch proudly displayed it on the 'fridge.
And now, here in Mesa, Arizona, chasing two UnSubs who had decided to top each other on who could slash the best.
Yeah, Happy Father's Day.
The night before, he had called his son and informed him of this disappointing news; he wouldn't be home for Father's day.
Jack was obviously disappointed.
Hotch tried to cheer him up but failed miserably. He didn't deserve to be his dad.
Sighing heavily, he continued his reports. He had opted out on lunching with the team. The photos from four crime scenes, and the fact he was far away from his son, were enough to throw off his appetite.
Emily poked her head into the room set up for their use, "Hey Hotch?"
Hotch looked up, his heart always palpated whenever he heard her voice; yeah, admittedly he liked Emily a lot more than just colleague but he hid his feelings well.
"Yes?" He tried not to let his disappointed feelings oozed out.
Emily instantly picked up his ire; she knew, from talking to Jessica, that Jack was very upset about this weekend. And the two women thought of something to make a special day possible despite being so many states apart.
"Um, you have a video conference call." She said as she walked in with her laptop and a white flat envelope.
Glancing at the laptop suspiciously, he frowned; ever since Emily had volunteered to keep Jack when Jessica couldn't, the two women had been thick as thieves in regards to Hotch and Jack, playing tag team to assure the two Hotchners kept their relationship smoothly.
Yes, Jack had been difficult many times when he found out Hotch had to work late in the night but Emily was always there to ease his disappointments. Jack became close to Emily when she began helping Hotch and Jessica juggle their work schedules.
"What conference call?" He asked.
Emily didn't answer but placed the laptop in front of him on the table, after shoving aside his reports, Hotch's frown deepened.
Setting it up, Hotch's frown disappeared instantly when he saw who it was on the screen.
"Buddy!" He grinned and almost teared up, seeing his son's toothless grin.
"Hi daddy! Happy Father's day!" Jack greeted him.
"Thanks, buddy. I'm sorry I couldn't be with you," Hotch apologized.
Emily smiled indulgently at her two favorite 'boys'. Giving them some privacy, she placed the white envelope next to her laptop and left, closing the door silently.
She stood outside the door, making sure he was not interrupted.
Emily loved Jack…and Hotch. Yes, she was irrevocably, deeply in love with the two Hotchners.
Half an hour later, Emily received a text message from Jessica: How did Aaron take the surprise?
Emily frowned as she read it; were they done? Hotch had not come out, she had presumed they were still chatting.
Knocking on the door, she opened it and saw Hotch's head down.
Rushing to him, "Hotch! Are you okay?" She looked down at the top of his head, concerned etched on her face; did they overdid this?
Nodding his head, he looked up at her, "Emily, I don't know how to thank you and I don't know how you and Jessica did it but thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is the best Father's day I've ever have."
Tearing slightly at his earnestness, she shook her head, "You don't have to thank me. I know how it felt to miss out on Father's day." She thought about the years of her father's absences on that special day.
Hotch saw the look on her face and understood her more.
"I want to thank you just the same. It was hard for him that I'm not there. This really made the difference. And this," he pointed to the booklet Jack made for him. Jack had spent considerable amount of time on it and Jessica had helped bind it. It was various drawings of him and Hotch at the zoo, the park and the last four were soccer. Jack was a natural at soccer.
"How did you manage to get this here so fast?" Hotch asked.
Emily smiled cryptically but refused to answer. Instead, she said, "Happy Father's Day, Hotch," and reaching down and planted a kiss on his cheek.
Seeing a stunned Hotch, she laughed, "That is actually from Jack. He had instructed me to specifically give you a kiss from him."
Hotch stood up, "I…"
Putting her finger on his lips, she said, "No more words, just enjoy your son's presents and when you get back home, you two can make up for it properly."
Hotch thought for a moment, "Thank you, I will. But I think I should thank the messenger properly."
He grabbed her suddenly and kissed her, this time she was stunned.
Releasing her reluctantly, he laughed softly and said, "This is from Jack. He wanted me to thank you for making his day."
Emily stared at Hotch and shook her head, "That's a lie. He didn't tell you that!"
Hotch blushed, "Okay, that's a lie but not a real lie. He did say that were it not for you, and Aunt Jessica, his Father's Day would have been totally ruined."
Emily laughed, "Is that what he said?"
"He is such a sweetheart."
"Yes he is," Hotch agreed as he eyed the booklet.
"You are very lucky to have him," she complimented him.
"I am," he said proudly. Then he added, "But I'm even luckier to have such a great family. Jack, Jessica and…you."
"You have been selfless by taking care of him when Jess couldn't. And if I'm mistaken, you canceled on some hot dates so you can keep Jack."
Emily blushed, "Not hot at all. And honestly, I'd rather have Jack than those losers."
"Well, Jack is a lucky kid! Now, I'm envious of him."
Emily tilted her head, "I don't understand."
"Jack likes you a lot. You're all he talks about mostly."
Emily smiled more, "As do I. I mean I liked him a lot."
"He has invited you to dine with us when we get back after this."
"No! It's supposed to be just you and him. Father and son!" She protested.
"Well, I did tell him that but he insisted. Please?" he begged.
Emily's eyes widened; a begging Hotch?
Emily smiled, "If it's okay with you…"
He nodded, "Yes. I would like it if you would come."
Emily nodded her thanks.
Dinner with the two Hotchners. Wow.
Then, Hotch's phone buzzed, and looking at it, he grimaced.
Emily saw his expression and said, "Back to work, I guess."
He nodded as he answered his phone.
"Happy Father's Day!" she mouthed the words as she left the room to gather the others.
Hotch looked after her, phone in his ears as he listened to the details of the latest discovery of two new bodies.
Yeah, this was one of his best Father's Day, after all.
… The End…
This is dedicated to all the fathers in the world! Especially my daddy! The best daddy of all because of his tolerance and love for my mommy, his indulgence in letting her call him, Mr. Bennet. And Daddy and I thanked the higher order of life that she didn't have a son because she wanted to name him Fitzwilliam Darcy!
Happy Father's Day!