This takes place about 5 years after the season finale. (With a tweak, JJ and Hotch were together before that)
Jack is 12. Henry is 9. And Sam/Sammie (Full name Samantha) is 7.
Full Summary: JJ and Hotch are happily together and have been for a few years. They are married with Jack, Henry, and now a daughter as well. Things are going perfectly, too perfectly... That's when Hotch ends up in a terrible accident and when he comes to, he reaches out and asks for Haley. He's completely unaware he's been married to JJ, that he has a daughter and that Gideon left the team. This fic will show JJ and Hotch struggle to rebuild their relationship and show Hotch having to cope with Haley's death all over again.
Author's Note: This idea has been something in my mind for awhile. It was originally meant to be for an original story and not fanfiction, but then I decided on this.
I hope you enjoy this! And thank you so much for reading!
To an outsider, the scene would have seemed fairly chaotic and out of control. However, to the Hotchner's, it was just another regular morning.
"Mom, you promised! No more ham sandwiches," Jack Hotchner whined as he peered into his lunch kit, pretending to gag in disgust. He lifted the sandwich by the edge of the bag like it'd been in something toxic.
"Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry," JJ said, now remembering her promise. "Here." She reached out to take the sandwich from him. "Is tuna okay?"
Jack nodded and sat down at the table beside Henry, whom was already stuffing pancakes into his mouth.
"That's gross," seven year old Samantha declared, pointing at Henry.
In response, Henry opened his mouth to show her what was going on in there.
"Eww! Mom! He's doing it again," Sam said, turning her head away.
"Henry, chew with your mouth closed," JJ said, now mixing mayonnaise into the tuna.
"Can I have tuna now instead of ham?" Henry asked, swallowing his pancakes much to his sister's relief.
Sighing, JJ nodded. "Bring me your ham sandwich out of your bag and I'll replace it." She waited. She now expected Sam to demand a new sandwich as well, but she didn't. Then again, she should have expected that. Sam had the same sandwich every day, faithfully. Peanut butter. Just plain old peanut butter. Why would that change now?
"Mom, can I have the peanut butter?" Sam asked, almost as if to clarify JJ's thoughts.
JJ nodded, setting the spoon down to reach up into the cupboard to get the peanut butter. Sam always put peanut butter on her pancakes. Sometimes she added jam. This seemed weird to her and she had no idea where Samantha picked this up, but she had.
"Mom, can I have two oranges instead of an apple and an orange?" Jack asked, his mouth stuffed full of bacon. Again, Sam cringed. Boys were so gross.
"Don't talk with your mouth full," JJ said in a lecturing tone, "and no."
"But mom! I don't like apples," Jack complained, leaning back on his chair.
"Mom! Henry's kicking me under the table," Sam said, her voice hitting a high octave JJ hadn't thought possible.
Before JJ had a chance to respond, Hotch was already walking in. "JJ, honey, have you seen my tie?"
"Which one?" she asked as she turned towards Henry to tell him off.
"The one that matches this suit," Aaron said as if that explained everything.
JJ looked over at her husband, eyeing his suit up and down. A dark blue tie... He had how many of those and he couldn't find them?
As if Hotch could read her mind, he said, "all the ones in the drawer go with a different blue suit."
Rolling her eyes, she finally finished mixing the tuna. "Did you check the laundry room?" Why couldn't he just use another? It's not like anyone could tell that he was wearing a different tie that didn't belong with that suit. Especially when they were near identical!
"I figured since you did laundry... You'd know if it was in there."
"Henry had it!" Samantha suddenly spoke up, her blue eyes going wide.
"Did not!" he said, shooting his younger sister a glare.
"Yes he did," Sam insisted. "He was using it for some sort of game."
"A blind fold," Henry muttered under his breath. He had used it to play Marco Polo out in the yard with his friends from up the block. They'd stopped playing when Jamie slipped over a root and hurt his arm.
"Where is it?" Hotch asked, turning to cross his arms at Henry, whom was attempting, but failing miserably, to whistle innocently.
Shrugging, Henry reached into his back pack and pulled it out.
When he saw that it was all crumpled and had something sticky on it, Hotch sighed. "I'll just go use a different blue tie. Who will know the difference?"
JJ flung around, fully intending to ask him why he hadn't just done that in the first place but he was already gone.
"Mom! He's still kicking me!"
"Henry, quit kicking your sister," JJ said clearly exasperated now putting the new sandwiches into little baggies.
"She started it!"
"Mom! We're going to miss the bus," Jack said in a panic, accidentally knocking his milk over to spill all over the table.
"Eww! Mom, there's milk on my pancakes!" Sam suddenly whined, sticking her tongue out in disgust.
"Here," JJ said, passing Jack his new lunch and before she could kiss him good bye, he was already out there door.
Both Henry and Samantha only had a few minutes to spare until their bus arrived.
"Both of you, get your shoes on," JJ told them, now trying to wipe up as much of the milk as she could.
There were a few very peaceful seconds before...
"Mom! I can't find my other shoe," Sam said miserably, coming in with only her left shoe on.
"Wear a different pair," JJ said, not bothering to look up.
"But I want to wear these ones!"
Groaning quietly, JJ set the cloth down and tried to help her daughter look. It took her seconds to spot it. Raising an eyebrow at her daugher, she pulled it out from under her back-pack and passed it to her. "Now hurry up, your bus will be here any minute."
It seemed a miracle when both kids were finally ready and walking out the door.
"Love you both and see you after school," JJ called out, watching carefully as they walked down the drive way to wait.
She watched both Henry and Sam until the bus came. After seeing so many cases, she was more careful than most parents. She tried not to remain over protective but sometimes... It was so hard.
JJ now only worked part time at the BAU. Sometimes, she went out on cases with them but for the most part she stayed home where she felt she belonged. A few years ago, she would have never thought it possible for her to step away but... She aimed to do a week on and a week off. Sometimes, cases didn't allow the luxury of that break but it worked out okay.
Her eyes flickered towards the mess in the kitchen. The dishes, food everywhere... All of it, but she paused to take in a silent moment. She wouldn't give this up for anything.
"JJ, honey?" Hotch asked her, breaking her out of her moment of peace. "Can you tell that this tie doesn't belong with this suit?"
Groaning, she turned to face him but instead of being annoyed, she laughed. This was her life now and she loved every minute of it.
Thank you to SpencerReidFan7, RogueStorm84 and michi1207 for reading this over for me!
And thank you to the countless others that helped me figure out this idea!
I sort of wonder how many times 'mom' was said in this chapter. XD
The next chapter will hopefully be up soon!