Disclaimer: CBS owns Criminal Minds, I never will...

Summary: To anyone who knows her, she's unfazeable but when she notices a change, she can't help but watch...

Timeline: Alternate Universe, set during "Bittersweet Science"

A/N: This came to me while watching that episode. Enjoy this short one shot.

A bit of a spoiler for the episode, so stop reading if you don't want to know. The dialog is taken from the episode.

Thanks for reading, it would be kind if you left a review...

"He alone is acute observer, who can observe minutely without being observed." Johann Kasper Lavater

It never seized to amaze Emily, how Garcia could whiff out a secret.

She was a humanize bloodhound at finding out about one. A pure genius when it came to her own team and secrets.

But when Garcia figured out this one, Emily was down right floored. Shocked, amazed and if she had to be honest, with only herself, she was terrified.

Hotch had met someone.

'When the hell did this happen?' she asked herself, 'That man gave work-a-holic a bad name.'

They were hit with a overflowing stream of cases, especially following Strauss' temporary departure. So how did this happen?

She briefly flashed back on the conversation that ended when Hotch and Dave came into the conference room. And it seemed so... secretive. And there was mention of a bike.

Emily remembered hearing that Hotch had signed up for the Bureau triathlon.

Sitting next to Dave on the jet, she noticed that each member of the team, minus Hotch who was in the back, had their eyes and ears glued to the the laptop. Garcia was on it, begging Dave for the details.

"Ok Rossi, out with it." Garcia said, "Is Hotch dating?"

"I don't know" Dave replied as he leaned towards the laptop.

Emily sat beside the older man, and inwardly took a breath, and was relieved when nobody noticed.

She told herself to be a quiet observer, to not engage in the conversation that she wanted to know so much about. But she wouldn't ask.

"You know statistically widow men start dating much faster then woman but in Hotch's case, he's been refuting the data." Reid stated, "It's been two years and nineteen days."

Emily thought for a minute, 'Had it been that long? Wait, why am I thinking about this?'

"Venus has aligned with Mars, which means love is in the air..." Garcia started.

Emily's eyes peered over when she heard the noise and noticed Hotch approaching.

"And we will get weekends off!" Garcia said.

She kept her eyes off the screen while Morgan not-so-subtly cleared his throat.

She nearly chuckled at the amused look on Morgan's face, while Reid looked like he wanted to bury his face in his sports coat.

Even though this wasn't a conversation she had wanted to hear or believe, she couldn't keep from biting on her index finger, refusing to laugh when Garcia's rambling stopped.

"What?" the blonde from the laptop asked, "Is he standing there?"

Emily could of heard a cricket chirp at the silence, while Garcia asked again, "He's standing there."

"Hello, Garcia" Hotch said walking over to the long couch to sit.

"Hello" Garcia greeted, "Someone talk about the case."

It didn't escape her attention, that while Morgan started in on the case, she saw the amused look Hotch shot JJ.

'Remember why you're here' Emily scolded herself, 'People are dead. Work the case, don't let your mixed emotions on Hotch's so called personal life effect your job.'

Emily turned her attention back to the three men sitting around her, while she compartmentalized this new fact of Hotch's personal life.

She knew it wasn't often that anyone of the team got a peek inside their own personal lives and when it did happened none of them were ever happy.

She remembered how much Morgan hated when his childhood was reopened, she could understand it. That had been painful just hearing it, but to live that, she couldn't fathom what it'd be like to go through that and come out whole. That always impressed her about Morgan, his strength.

Then there was Dave when the team forced themselves into what had brought him back to the BAU, then returning to his hometown to investigate a murder connected to his past. He always seemed to be unfazed by it.

Looking over at Reid, she remembered just from the phone calls how difficult it was for Reid to reopen a murder that he believed his father committed.

JJ, she didn't have much connected to a case, but she remembered when the blonde agent finally outed her relationship with Will when they wrapped up a case.

Which trained her eyes briefly on Hotch, the only thing that came to mind was The Reaper.

That big train wreck of a case ruined Hotch's life, and really not just Hotch's but his son, too. Jack lost his mother, Hotch was ambushed in his own home, well both homes. The one he had once shared with Haley...

Shaking her head, she felt a wave of sympathy for the late blonde but she remembered her words to Hotch... Teach Jack about love.

And if Hotch had found someone, shouldn't she be happy for him? She did want him to be happy, but she couldn't figure out why she'd be happier if it were someone else...

She could hear Reid wrapping up so she put herself into Prentiss mode.

"What was the relationship to the victim?" Emily asked.

Standing at her desk in the bullpen, Emily looked up in Hotch's office to see Dave walking over toward Hotch's office.

Dave was standing there with the man she couldn't stop thinking about.

Throughout the entire case, she had been able to keep Prentiss out while Emily the woman had stayed in check, but very briefly the two mixed.

Now here she was setting down the case files, thinking how much Hotch must be agonizing over the end of this case.

She knew how much he felt conflicted watching their unsub, Jimmy Hall stop being a murder and sympathize with the man as a father himself. Hotch in nothing else besides being a dedicated agent, was also a devoted father.

Though she doesn't have children herself, it hits everyone of the team hard when a child dies, and this unsub's psychotic break came because his child was dying.

She could tell without even having to know that Hotch had been deeply affected watching a father see his only child, a son, die.

It had her in tears, and she thought for a slight moment, when Hotch and Reid were bringing the unsub into lock up she had seen tears in his own. But she brushed that thought aside as the team headed back to the airfield.

She noticed that Dave was being more laid back with Hotch, and could tell he was talking to him about the woman. Hotch's mystery woman.

It was obvious, even to her, that Hotch seemed hesitant to get involve in anything of a romantic nature. Almost like he was still being loyal to Haley, even if it was in memory. She had to admire that dedication.

Emily knew that if he did get involved that it wouldn't be done in haste, even if this would be the first time since Haley that he's even thought of the idea of another woman romantically.

And if Dave's in there with Hotch, he's giving him a pep talk, encouraging him to live. To take a chance, to not be so uptight.

Snorting to herself, she turned signed off on her finished files. She wasn't going to go up there now, no matter how much she wished to interrupt the conversation.

She owed him that much, he helped save her life. No matter what these new and unknown feelings were to herself, she wasn't going to take away his first chance at happiness. Even if it cost her, her own.

Noticing a brief smile on Hotch's face, made a small tear quickly fall down her own, quickly wiping it away as she noticed Dave leaving Hotch's office. She took a deep breath and smiled as Dave gave her a slight nod.

Grabbing her paper work she got up and went up to Hotch's office, the quicker she passed these off the sooner she can go home.

Knocking on his opened office door, she saw his demeanor more relaxed and it made her own heart break. He was going to go for it.

"Hey, my half of the files are done" Emily said nodding in Reid's direction, "Not so sure on Reid though..."

"It's fine, Prentiss" Hotch said taking a seat behind his desk, "Have a good night."

Placing the file on his desk, "You too."

As she turned to leave his office, she told herself nothing was set in stone with the new woman but she'd rather choose to be the silent observer then take something from him. He's done way too much for her for three lifetimes.

Emily told herself she needed to move on and that he deserves to be happy.

Because she knows better then anyone else, life was too short not to grab happiness wherever you can find it.

"Thinking is much more interesting than knowing, but less interesting then looking." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Well I hope you all enjoyed this, leave a review and let me know.