Author's Note: This will be a short story, possibly three-four chapters? Just an idea that came into my head. Wanted to write it out. :)
I apologize for reposting this story several times. But whenever I do, myself and a lot of my other readers get an error message when trying to read it hours later. Confusing? Yes. :s
"Where is she?" Hotch demanded, he made a beeline towards the front desk the second he stepped foot inside the hospital. He ignored the looks from the other visitors, patients and staff that were shot his way.
"Who, sir?" the tired receptionist questioned him carefully. Her blue eyes met his briefly before turning back to the computer.
"Jareau, Jennifer Jareau, I just got a call saying she was being admitted here," Hotch barked out, trying to regain his breath. Please let her be okay. Please let her just be waiting in a room for us to see her.
"Hotch!" Morgan's voice called out from behind him.
He turned to see Morgan and Emily come in through the main doors, they quickly made their way over to him.
Impatiently, he turned back to face the woman behind the desk. "Well?"
"I'm searching sir," the woman said, trying to keep her tone steady. It took a few long seconds, seconds which felt like hours before she found what she was looking for. "Miss Jareau is currently in surgery."
"How bad?" Hotch asked the evident fury causing the lady to not meet his eyes. Instead, she kept her eyes downcast.
"Man, you need to calm down," Morgan said as he stood by the Unit Chief's side. The distress was evident in his tone as well, but he was trying to keep his head together.
"I'm afraid I can't tell you that sir," the grey haired lady responded.
"FBI," Hotch half yelled, holding out his badge.
Before anyone had the chance to respond, a young doctor came out by one of the doors. "Aaron Hotchner?" he questioned.
"I need to know how my agent is doing," Hotch said hoarsely. He didn't quite understand why he was getting so heated. He cared about his team, he knew that. But he shouldn't be losing his head in this situation.
"Sir, if you'll just come with me," the doctor tried to persuade him.
"Just tell me," Hotch demanded sharply.
"Hotch," Emily tried to soothe.
"Don't," Hotch said harshly as he pulled away from the comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Sir if you'll just-" the doctor began again.
"Just tell me!" Hotch said in a tone of forced calm.
"Agent Jaraeu sustained serious injuries, she's currently in surgery and-"
"What are her chances?" it was Emily who demanded the information this time.
The doctor sighed, this was not how he wanted to talk to the agents. He'd hoped being FBI agents they'd be a bit more calm. "She's not waking up, her chances aren't good and it'll be a miracle if she pulls through." He spit it all out at once, preparing for the outburst. It never came. The agents just stood there in shocked silence.
Aaron barely managed to make it to a chair before collapsing.
"What's going on?" a breathless Reid asked as he came in, followed closely by Rossi and Garcia.
"JJ, accident, surgery, not going to make it-" Hotch broke off, squeezing out words in between his deep breaths.
"We don't know that for sure," Emily started.
Hotch didn't respond, the shock overwhelmed him. Why was he getting so emotional over all this? He was normally able to keep it masked. It shouldn't be JJ, not their JJ. She was a young mother. Will had been killed in the line of duty last year and Henry was all she had. He already knew that Jack's life was changed forever without a mother.
He tried to swallow the lump in his throat but it did no good. JJ might not live and this was something they had to come to terms with.
"Losing someone is never easy. But one day, you'll remember her and you won't hurt. You'll be happy."
Her words echoed in his head and he'd always been grateful to her for that. The other members of the team never seemed to want to push when it came to Hailey's death, or even bring her up. But JJ had said something and let him know he wasn't alone. He didn't know how he'd be able to handle it if JJ... He couldn't even say it.
She had to live. For Henry, for the victims, for the team, for him. She'd been there for him and he'd always done his best to be there for her, but was it ever enough?
"JJ?" a concerned Hotch voice asked as he walked into her office.
"Yeah?" she answered, refusing to look up, not wanting anyone to see the tears that flew so freely down her face.
"What's going on?" he asked determined to get answers.
"It should have been Will's birthday today." The small voice that answered him sounded so feeble and child like it tore his heart in two.
What could he say? There wasn't much he could say. You couldn't say it'll be okay, that he'd want her to be happy. Truthfully, everyone tells that to someone who's lost someone and it doesn't make it better. All he could say was 'I understand,' and he did understand. And the grateful small smile she shot his way made it clear that it meant something to her, that he was there for her. Not just as her boss, but as a concerned friend.
"Everyone, I have something to say," Hotch spoke up, feeling a bit ashamed for his earlier outburst. "I just want to apolo-"
"No need, Hotch," Emily said jumping to her feet. "We all have bad days. None of us are perfect all the time."
"I'm aware of that but it really was out of line how I acted, in fact, I have no idea why I acted that way," Hotch told the group.
"I do," Rossi said matter of factly.
"What?" Hotch asked, confused.
"You love her," Dave said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. A small smile appeared on his face, despite the terrifying situation.
"I don't understand," Hotch finished lamely.
"It's obvious, Aaron, you've fallen in love with JJ."