Author's Note: This is a companion piece to my fic Listen to the Universe. It's just a drabble really about Dharma and Aaron. If you're arriving now, I'd advise you to read that fic first so this one will make sense. If not the fic, at least the Author's Notes.


A Safe Space to Get in Touch with your Feelings

Aaron had forgotten how much fun was to be around Dharma. She was always so spontaneous and adventurous. These past three days while they've been on the road, he had smiled and laughed more than in the last ten years combined. All because the big blonde goofball he loved so much. He was truly happy for the first time in years, but something in the back of his mind kept whispering it couldn't last.

He was sitting by himself in the pie store in Reno, contemplating these thoughts over blueberry pie when Dharma returned to the table with her usual grin and leaned down to kiss him before dropping on the chair across from Aaron. He smiled faintly and returned his gaze to the pie.

"So I talked to the minister from the chapel where we got married the last time and he said he had a big wedding to celebrate, but he'd be free at 4." Aaron nodded.

"Are you sure you wanna do this?" He asked seriously.

"What? Marrying you?" Dharma grinned. "Of course. Why would you think I wouldn't?"

"To be fair, in our second wedding, you did say you'd never marry me again." Aaron pointed out with a small smile.

"Yeah, but that was Greg Montgomery. I'm marrying Aaron Hotchner now." That dragged out a short chuckle out of the federal agent, before he turned serious once again. Dharma watched him worriedly. "I know that frown… What's bothering you, honey?"

He paused for a moment, meditative, before shaking his head and forcing a smile. "Nothing."

"Aaron, come on. Tell me." She insisted, but Hotch just shook his head again.

"It's not important."

"Of course it it!" Dharma countered with a pout. "All feelings are important! Give me your hands," Hotch obeyed dutifully, laying his hands over Dharma's. "Now, close your eyes."

He frowned confused, "why?"

"I'm creating a safe space so you can get in touch with your feelings! Close your eyes." Aaron continued to stare at her for a few more moments, hesitantly, but Dharma just grinned at him, nudging his leg with her foot underneath the table. "Come on, honey!"

"Fine," Hotch sighed and did as he was told. Even though his eyes were close, he knew Dharma was still smiling at him and couldn't help but smile back. "Now what?"

"Now tell me how you feel."

Aaron remained silent for a few more moments, before he finally relented and started talking. "Well, mostly, I feel silly" he heard Dharma chuckle and grinned too, before opening his eyes once more and squeezing her hands. He didn't understand why he was hesitating so much. This was Dharma, she was the most accepting person he's ever met, she'll understand.

"True is," he finally started saying, rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand, "things changed a lot in the last ten years, Dharma. I changed a lot. I'm just wondering if I'm still the man you love. If I still can be that man."

"Hey…" She squeezed his hand slightly and leaned forward to touch his cheek. Aaron raised his doubtful eyes and met Dharma's sure ones. "I will always love you. That will never change. I spent ten years trying to convince myself otherwise just so the Universe could land me right back where I started: with you. I don't care if you're Gregory Montgomery or Aaron Hotchner, all I care about is that you're my soul mate and I'm not spending another second of my life away from you."

Aaron smiled at the end of her speech and leaned forward for a loving kiss. "Still, it's going to be hard." He started once their lips parted. "My job is going to take a lot of my time. I will not always be around and I'm not going to quit it either."

"I'm not asking you to." Dharma replied with a frown. She was sensing an underlying issue peeking its ugly head out.

"Maybe not now, but when I start leaving at the middle of the night for a case, or spending weeks away at the time, or when I miss a big date, like your birthday, or our anniversary, how will you feel then?" He babbled all in a single breath. It was amazing how easy it was to talk to Dharma. The blonde sighed deeply and squeezed his hand again.

"Honey, do you love your job?"

"I wouldn't say love." Aaron replied tiredly. "But it's part of who I am. I'm a profiler, I catch the bad guys."

"I would never ask you to give up a part of yourself, Aaron. I'll support you no matter what. And sure, I may get a bit upset and sad when you have to go away, but that's what phone sex was made for." Aaron chuckled then, earning a grin from Dharma.

"You're the most wonderful woman I've ever met." Aaron whispered as he pressed a kiss on her lips.

"I know, right!" Dharma grinned happily and stood up. "Now come on. Let's go back to the hotel and start our honeymoon." Aaron laughed and stood up as well, dropping a twenty on the table as he followed her outside.

"We're not married, yet." He pointed out.

"Then call it practice!"

xxx


Disclaimer: Don't own neither Criminal Minds or Dharma & Greg. I'm just playing with both a little.