Author's Note: On the forum 'Criminal Minds Weekly Prompts' we share our Birthdays and our favourite pairings. I wrote this fic for AhmoseInarus. It took me awhile to find an idea that motivated me but then this one came out of nowhere. And I realized, I really do enjoy this... And wrote it down. I'm happy with how it turned out, aside from the slight out of characterness at the end. But hey, it's fanfiction!
Disclaimer: Despite my many ramblings, bribes and protests I do not own Criminal Minds or any of the characters. If I did... There'd be a lot more JJ and Hotch moments...
The pairing is Reid/Hotch. The fic can be read as friendship or a relationship. :) I'm leaning towards more of a secret relationship as Hotch's last action is out of character otherwise. XD
"Reid?" Hotch asked taking a seat next to the younger agent whom was sitting on the park bench, his head downcast. Aaron's brows knitted together in concern. He knew something was troubling Reid.
Spencer looked up, trying to conceal the shocked look on his face when his boss sat down next to him. "You found me," he said with a small, forced laugh.
"I did," Hotch said carefully, his eyes scanning the park. In the background, two siblings threw a frisbee around, occasionally arguing. Parents sat at tables, some with lunches laid out. All of them watching their own children carefully. Ducks wandered around aimlessly by the pond, where some stood throwing bread into the water. It was full of noise, movement and yet remained so peaceful.
"I often come here with Henry, when I get the chance to see him," Reid told him, though it didn't matter. He didn't need to explain his reasons.
"JJ told me how you left. You just took off," Hotch explained. Though he often wore a mask where he didn't show any emotion, Reid noticed the concern on his face. "You didn't even say anything."
"I needed air," said Reid, now squinting as the sun emerged from behind the clouds. And time.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Hotch asked, looking over at Reid.
Reid grimaced at the reminder of why he was here. He'd failed. It had taken him too long to see the pattern, the connection between the victims. By the time they realized it, they'd made it in time to capture the unsub but not save his last victim. If he'd only realized it sooner... But he hadn't... Now a nineteen year old girl was dead. Taken from this world before she'd even had the chance to live.
"Sometimes..." Reid broke off, "sometimes I wonder if there is any good left in this world." It makes me feel scared. It makes me feel worried... And occasionally lost in the chaos.
Hotch nodded. He understood, of course he did. The many times he'd thought this as well but then it all came back down to Jack. The good in his life. The one good thing that kept him going, no matter what life threw his way.
"We stopped a killer," Hotch informed him, attempting to make his tone comforting.
"If only I'd realized it sooner! We didn't make it in time," Reid whispered, trying to ignore the distraught feeling. "We didn't make it in time to save the last girl."
The emotion on his face broke Hotch's heart. It was true. They'd arrived mere moments after the last victim had been killed but it wasn't Reid's fault.
"We can't save everyone, Reid, and just think about how many lives we saved by catching him. If you hadn't figured it out, maybe we wouldn't have. The only person to blame is him. No one else. "
Reid surveyed all the children in the park. "It makes me wonder. How many of these children will end up victims? Unsubs? What will become of them?" Reid tried not to go over statistics in his head. This was too much. "Look at them, they all look so innocent and carefree."
"That is true, some of them won't be so innocent when they grow older, but Reid, how many of them will become doctors? How many of them will become police officers? Paramedics? How many of them will help people? How many of them will try and help those in need?"
Reid didn't speak for a moment. He just watched. Allowing the thoughts to consume him, he tried to understand.
"There will always be bad in the world, and we know we can't catch them all. But we'll do our best and in the end, you'll see... There's still good in this world," Hotch stated, his tone firm. He believed it, without a doubt.
Reid's attention was drawn towards two children. An older boy, and a younger girl. He assumed siblings, as the brother was holding the girl's hand making sure she didn't fall. They appeared about six and three. Maybe Hotch was right.
There were many people that grew up to be monsters but there were also many people who grew up to be heroes.
For the first time since they'd returned from the case he smiled. "Thank you, Hotch."
"Any time, Reid, you can always talk to me," Hotch replied, a smile forming on his face as well as he watched the children play. He watched the dogs bark, and run around joyfully. And he watched Reid and was grateful to see him smile. He leaned over and gave Reid's hand a quick squeeze. His worries settled, now that he knew his Reid was going to be okay.
Leaning back on the bench, both men remained at ease as they watched the child like innocence make every thing seem okay.
Happy Birthday! I hope it is fantastic! And all sorts of wonderful!
Oh, and to my lovely readers. Thank you for reading this!
Now go review!
I'm just joking. But reviews are appreciated, as always.