Hotch Down Chap 2
"Uncle Derek. Uncle Derek."
Morgan surfaced slowly, wondering when Hotch's voice had gotten so high. "Wha… What, Jack?"
"Daddy is stuck, Uncle Derek. I think he's broken." The little boy's tears were wetting his face he was so close to Derek.
Morgan finally remembered falling asleep on the couch in Hotch's townhouse. He'd been exhausted from driving Hotch home, manhandling the man into his own home, then driving like mad to pick up Jack from his cousin's house because the kid had called in a panic cause his dad hadn't picked him up. Then racing home to make sure Hotch was okay on his own. He'd found Hotch still completely dressed, asleep on the couch. And his evening only got worse from there. Helping Hotch finding his pills, on the top shelf in the kitchen? Then talking him into other clothes. Calling Rossi to help him take Jack to practice. Talking Hotch out of going to practice. Ordering dinner delivered. Watching Jack worry and not eat, and Hotch trying not to lose his dinner forkful by forkful.
"Hang on Jack, I'm awake now. " Lifting Jack into his arms Derek bolted into Hotch's bedroom. And found his boss flat on his back, pain and frustration coloring his face.
Morgan walked to the side of the bed. "You landed on your back again."
Tightly Hotch nodded. "Can't get up, need to get up Morgan."
"Your back locked up right. I'm going to pull you up, you okay with that?"
Another nod from Hotch.
"Are you okay daddy? Is it okay, can I help you?"
"It's okay buddy," Hotch tried to say lightly, but he ground it out behind clenched teeth.
Jack sniffed loudly. Putting the boy on the floor Morgan looked down at him, "hey little man, go get your daddy a bottle of water okay."
Now having a mission Jack nodded and ran off to the kitchen.
With Morgan's help Hotch rolled onto his side, managed to get his legs over the side of the bed and tried to stand.
Morgan shook his head. "Not so fast okay, I'm right here, where ya going, bathroom."
"Yeah, I can get there on my own."
Morgan removed his hands from Hotch's arms. And Hotch began to collapse. Morgan grabbed him and held him close. "Okay, we'll do it together."
Hotch nodded. "Sorry Morgan."
Jack ran back in, bottle in hand and screeched to a halt. "Daddy?" He said in a small voice. "Are you okay daddy?"
Panting Hotch nodded, "not at this moment, Jack, but I'll get better. Okay buddy."
The little boy held his dad's hand, and tried to make it easier for Morgan to move his dad. He figured his dad was embarrassed, 'cause he knew his dad never wanted help very much. Daddy was always the strongest. But it was pretty clear that Uncle Derek was strong too.
Luckily the bathroom was large enough for two adults and a child. Though Hotch wasn't even going to think about using it until at least two of them left him.
"Hotch if you fall over…"
"I'll be fine Derek, just give me half a minute. Please."
"Come on Uncle Derek he really won't do anything with company."
"Okay little man, let's go. Hotch you are not locking the door." Besides he didn't think Hotch could actually make it to the door and back.
"Fine. Just fine."
After a few minutes Jack got up from the floor near the bathroom door. "We better check, Uncle Derek, daddy isn't good at doing what people say."
Morgan grinned. "You are a smart man, Jack."
"It's me and dad, someone has to take care of him you know."
"Jack are you sure you're six?"
Jack grinned and nodded. "Last month, remember?"
"Hotch we're on our way in, you ready."
They found Hotch hanging on to the sink, sweating and dousing his head with water. "Da… Derek, what now?"
"Well I think we'll keep the appointment with Dr Lawrence in the morning. I'm thinking it can only be a good thing. What do you think Jack?"
Jack nodded then yawned.
"Okay Jack, let me get your dad back to bed, then we'll get you settled."
"Can I go with you tomorrow, Daddy?"
Hotch closed his eyes as Morgan looped his arm around his shoulder and walked him to his bed. "Can you sleep on your side?" He set Hotch on the edge of his bed, He handed Hotch a couple pills and the water bottle from Jack. Hotch took the pills and drank about half of the water.
"We'll take Jack with us, if that's okay Hotch. The kid needs to know you're going to be okay."
"Listen Hotch, let me decide just for tonight. Okay? You with me on this boss?"
"You've got my keys," Hotch whispered.
"I'll be right back." With that he swept Jack into his arms and headed off to the little boy's room.
Derek settled Jack in bed and kissed him gently. "It really will get better Jack."
"What if daddy goes away too Uncle Derek?"
"Not gonna happen, you hear me. We just have to keep telling your dad he has to stay with us."
"Uncle Derek can you wait with me, just a little while?"
Morgan nodded, got up and turned the overhead light off. The small nightlight in the hall twinkled. Derek sat on the edge of the bed. "Your daddy loves you Jack."
"I know. But I have to take care of him, and I don't think I'm doing a good job."
"Tell you what Jack, how bout for the next two days I take care of your daddy for you. You promise not to worry just for a little while."
"Uncle Derek I promised mommy." Tears streamed down his unhappy face.
"It's okay, you just tell her in your prayers that just for now you had to get help. Just some help okay?"
Derek sat for a few more minutes till Jack's breathing evened out and he was sure the boy slept. He seemed so peaceful. He thought about how most people think that kids are at peace, but looking at Jack he realized as little as he was he carried quite a burden.
Derek's eyes were burning as he walked down the hall.
"You asleep Hotch?"
"Not yet, Jack okay?"
"Yeah, you have to get better soon or the kid'll get an ulcer."
"Thanks for that Morgan. I'm sure I don't feel guilty enough."
"You know Hotch, you have to let some of all that go. You can't be responsible for everything."
"Can we talk about this tomorrow, Derek, my eyes really want to just close."
Morgan smiled, "yep the vicodin talking."
Hotch gave a slightly confused laugh. "Worse than beer."
"Got an extra pillow here, I can put it behind your back so you don't roll onto your back and get into that Kafka situation again."
"Oh god, I did not need the cockroach image."
"Tell you what, you lay on your side put the pillow between your knees and I'll sit behind you so you don't get stuck again."
"Jack came to check on me."
Morgan watched as Hotch's eyes began to sparkle with unshed tears.
"He thought he heard me. I was struggling to get up and he walked in. I never wanted him to see me so weak."
"Hotch you know, he's seen you this hurt before, worse."
Morgan handed the pillow to Hotch, letting him decide. Hotch put the pillow between his knees. So Morgan moved around the bed and settled himself behind the other man. He smiled as Hotch leaned just slightly against him.
The very next thing he remembered was Jack crawling into bed with them. He gathered Jack onto his chest. Jack reached over and patted his dad's hair, to Morgan it seemed so reminiscent of Hotch with Jack. It seemed to settle Hotch into a deeper sleep. And then leaving his hand on his dad's shoulder Jack settled on to Derek's chest and slept as well.
Jack and Derek woke to the sound of Rossi peeking into the bedroom.
"One word Rossi." Morgan smiled at him. "It worked."
"You talk him into going to the doctor?" Dave smiled with just a small leer.
"Yeah, I think we're all going." Morgan nodded at Jack, who took that moment to quietly squirm off Derek and off the bed.
"Uncle Dave." He said as quietly as he could. "We had to sleep with daddy, cause he's sick."
"I see." Dave knelt down to Jack, his knees creaking loudly. "Jack why don't you go brush your teeth and get ready and I'll cook you breakfast."
Dave moved into the room. "How bad was he?"
"Mostly headstrong, no big surprise, the back locked up and he couldn't get out of bed. Jack found him."
"Oh man, he didn't like that."
"I am in the room," came the deep sleepy voice between them. "And no it wasn't the best thing that's happened in my life. If you'll excuse me I need to brush my teeth as well." He tried a small smile, that ended up closer to a grimace. "Morgan, would you…"
"No problem Hotch."
Dave watched in surprise as Morgan, supported and nearly carried Hotch to the bathroom.
When Derek returned and stood by the slightly open door. Dave's brows nearly flew to his hairline. "How did you work this out," he motioned to the door.
"He didn't want to take his pills at bedtime so ended up completely unable to move by himself. So it wasn't much of a threat to get what we wanted."
"You and Jack"
He spilled two more pills into his hand, then returned one. "He has to walk, but I don't want the doc to think he's okay. Rossi, he'll probably be happier if you helped him dress."
Rossi smiled, "I always thought I'd make a great valet."
"I'll get dressed in the other bathroom. Damn all my clothes in my go bag are dirty. I need to do laundry."
With a grin Rossi nodded to the dresser. "You're the same height mostly."
Derek shook his head, "Well height is one thing." He'd pulled on one of Hotch's teeshirts which fit him like a second skin."
"Well that never looked quite so filled out."
"Rossi." Morgan warned. He looked at the sweat bottoms neatly folded in the bottom drawer and selected one with FBI on it. It was only a little tight in the thighs, but good for length. "I think he might be taller." Derek deadpanned.