Hey, so this will probably be a two shot, maybe more, about Emily's return. It's set in the "Fallen" universe but I don't think you need to read it to understand this. It's a bit angsty but I thought that was how they would feel in the situation. If you read "Fallen" then don't worry I haven't forgotten about it but I want to write a really great final chapter so I'm taking my time with it but I will post it soon I promise! Idril xxx
It was a late in the evening when someone knocked loudly on the door. Jack was contently asleep in his room and I was doing some coursework for my degree although every so often I went into his room to check on him. I felt bad, I had finals coming up and his Dad was in Pakistan so he had to occupy himself. It had been a shock to all of us when Aaron came home one evening and pulled me into the kitchen for a 'talk'; I'd never been so scared, he looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. My first thought had been that something had happened to Spencer, even though I knew that was absurd as he was on sabbatical so Aaron would never know before me.
"Aaron?" There was a slight quaver in my voice as I wondered what was going to happen to us now.
"I'm being sent away."
"Excuse me?" I looked at him in utter confusion; I mean who was sending him away? He was the unit chief for crying out loud!
"They need me to head a task force out in Pakistan." He admitted quietly.
"And you said yes? What about Jack? What about the team, are you stepping down?" I fired a million questions at him angrily.
"I don't have a choice; do you think I'd leave if I did? And I'll still be unit chief, just… in Pakistan. Morgan will act in my stead." He looked away from me, and I could see how hard he was trying to keep it together for Jack and me.
"How long will you be gone?" I asked a little more tenderly.
"I don't know… You'll look after Jack won't you?"
"You know I will." I hugged him tightly and tried not to cry as Jack walked into the room.
"What's wrong?" There was a slight whine in his voice as he stood watching the two of us embrace.
"Jack come and sit down, Daddy's got something he needs to tell you."
That had been four months ago, and Aaron was still in Pakistan. Although we all talked daily, both of us were missing him dreadfully. After the attack I liked having a man about the house, which was why Spencer had been drafted in as a replacement Aaron, albeit one which I slept with. I did like having Spencer in the house, it was almost like a trial run for when we lived together, and if the trial run was anything to go by when we did live together it would be brilliant. Spencer had been using his sabbatical to finish his degree and spend some time with me and his Mother; well that was the official line but unofficially I thought he just needed a break. Since he was 21 he had been working non-stop on some of the most gruesome cases known to man and with the option to leave for a little while offered to him on a plate, well you couldn't blame him for taking it.
Tonight however was different. Derek had found Doyle and everyone wanted the chance to bring him down so Spencer had raced off into the night to help hunt down the man that had murdered one of our closest friends. I couldn't help but hope that they gave him the beating that he deserved, although after the last time when he had happily killed an FBI agent I hoped that Spencer would be careful, especially since he hadn't been in the field for months.
I hadn't written more than a sentence in the last half hour and was fearful for the team that I considered to be my family, and then Spencer's signature knock echoed throughout the apartment. Spencer had a key to the apartment but he said he didn't feel right using it, which I thought was ridiculous but I let him have his little quirks.
"Spence!" I yelped as I jumped up and raced towards the door, glad that he was home safe. I was however, nervous about what I would find on the other side of the door, Spence was still so raw after Emily's death and if things with Doyle hadn't ended the way that he wanted them too then I hated to think how he would feel. When I first opened the door my first thought was that Doyle had got away again, he looked so dreadful.
"Spence, darling?" I hugged him tightly as he stumbled into my arms
"She's alive." He mumbled into my shoulder although I was sure I had misheard him.
"Emily, she's back, she's alive. She's always been alive. And Hotch and JJ knew." It felt like the floor had fallen out from beneath my feet, as I tried to comprehend what he had just said. Aaron had known; he'd lied to Spencer, to me, to Jack. When I thought about what Jack had been through, losing his Mother at such a young age and then being told that his aunt had died. Aaron wouldn't, he couldn't have done that.
"You must be mistaken, he…"
"He told me himself." Spencer's tone was dead and I understood the pain that he felt; to me it felt much as it had when John had shot me. A searing pain that flashed across my chest and made it difficult to breath. I slumped down onto the couch and Spencer sat next to me, absentmindedly stroking my arm.
"JJ knew?" I was being naïve but I couldn't believe that she could help him through his grief all the while knowing it was unnecessary. It had been stupid but I'd been insanely jealous of her during the weeks after Emily's death; Spencer had gone to her to grieve and while at first I understood his desire to be with his family after eight weeks of being cut out in favour of a blonde who he'd once had a crush on, I'd got a bit irate. Aaron had simply shrugged it off and said that he had to grieve in his own way; he hadn't had to though, had he.
"Yeah, she knew. The whole time she knew. She knew." He rubbed angry at his eyes as tears threatened to spill over his eyelids and down his already broken features. "I should go."
"What, no! Stay here tonight baby." I leaned forwards and kissed his temple.
"Hotch was speaking to Strauss but he'll be back here soon, and I don't think… I can't be around him right now." I wanted to go with him, leave Aaron until I was calm enough not to tell him what kind of a Father I thought he really was but Jack would want me in the morning and I couldn't leave him right now.
"I'll call you in the morning." I promised and kissed him desperately on his lips which were bleeding from where he'd worried at them the whole night long.
"Will you be alright? Maybe I should stay in case…" He couldn't finish the sentence but I knew what he meant; in case we had a big row that led to me shivering alone on the street with an Unsub lurking in weight.
"No, I can't leave Jack. He'll need me when all of this comes out, but I'll call you before I go to bed I promise." I kissed him again before snuggling against his cheek for some kind of comfort. He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me tightly; after almost two years together we fit together perfectly, we understood what the other needed when they were upset or unhappy. He kissed me once more before dragging himself off the sofa and heading for the door.
"I love you." He promised me as he got ready to leave.
"I know, love you too." I gave him a half-hearted smile as I shut the door on him, waiting for Aaron to come home. For weeks now I'd been waiting for him to come home, I couldn't wait to see Jack's reaction when his Father finally walked through the door. Now I wished he'd stayed in Pakistan.
Despite the late hour I stayed up waiting for him; I wanted to see him, to argue the hell with him and I couldn't do that in the morning when Jack was up. So I waited, even after his long absence I doubted it would take this long to talk to Strauss, which meant that he was waiting me out in the hope I'd go to bed before he got in. I never had him down as a coward. But then I'd never had him down as a liar either. I guess despite living together for over two years I really had no idea about Aaron Hotchner. When Aaron Hotchner finally opened the door he looked like a different person, he'd grown a long beard and looked like he needed several good meals; well he wasn't getting them from me. Now that I saw him, all the angry things I had ready to fire at him seemed to dissipate out of my head, seeing his face just made me even more livid.
"Before you judge me at least give me the chance to explain. I had to lie to you." His voice was hoarse and he had the decency to look ashamed of himself.
"Don't you understand! It's not your lies to me that bother me; it's your lies to that little boy! Jack, your son, who believes that you're his hero! You let him believe she was dead, after everything that happened to Haley? Did you think how confusing that would have been to him? What if he thinks his Mom can come back too? Did that even cross your mind?" All those vicious assaults came spewing out and once I started I couldn't stop. I felt nothing but hate for the man.
"I had to! What could I do when everyone else thought she was dead?"
"If you'd trusted your team then you wouldn't have had to! They would have helped you keep it from him but no! You let that little boy think she was dead, for what?"
"I couldn't tell them! I wasn't allowed!" He bellowed back at me, his face turning red with rage.
"Why? Why? They love Emily; they wouldn't put her in danger! And what about Spencer, what about my Spence? You know what happened that night, when I had to pull the needle away from him! You could have told him then!" Tears streamed down my face as I thought back to that night when I'd received the crackling call in the middle of the night on what would have been Emily's birthday.
He'd been in a state and I could barely understand a word he was saying. Aaron had been gone for a few days so I'd had to raise a grumpy neighbour to watch Jack while I raced to his apartment, kicking myself because I should have forced him to stay with me.
The door had been unlocked, which worried me even more. He was usually so careful. I found him curled up in his room faced away from the door holding something against his skin. The moonlight caught the metal needle and I froze in horror, he had a syringe full of dilaudid a hairs breath away from his arm. I forced myself to slowly move into his line of sight, barely breathing as I tried not to startle him into doing something stupid. It reminded me of the bear in the woods, but I forced myself to stay in the present; I could only deal with one of our breakdowns at a time.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have called you." He sobbed heartbrokenly as his eyes stayed focused on the needle which was so very close to his skin. I bent down in front of him before slowly reaching out to take the needle from him.
"It's okay, we lean on each other. You know that, the two of us against the world." I promised him as I leant forward and kissed his shaking body. "Did you take anything? It's okay if you did but I need to know."
"No, no. I wanted to but then I thought of you and… and… and Jack. I'm sorry!" He began sobbing so violently that his whole body shook as if he had been electrocuted. I manoeuvred him so that he was curled up in my lap and I rocked his body like I did when Jack was upset.
After I'd managed to get Spencer home and asleep in our bed, I'd called Aaron for some support. He'd listen to me cry and had spoken in a thick voice of his worry for his friend. He could have put us all out of our misery then and there.
Aaron never got to answer my complaint as Jack appeared in the doorway looking shell shocked by all our screaming. He turned to see the other assailant and his eyes widened in amazement as he saw his Dad for the first time in months. He shrieked in delight and flung himself into his Father's waiting arms; I'd been longing to see the two of them together for months but now it just made me feel sick and I had to turn away and pull a stray thread on my top.
"Why were you two yelling? Daddy's home! It's good!" Jack complained as he snuggled tightly into his Dad's embrace. I looked at Aaron but he mouthed "Tomorrow" and I bristled but agreed; it wasn't the type of thing to tell him at night. It shouldn't be the type of thing you told him at all.
"It doesn't matter. Right well, why don't you go and sleep with your Dad. I'll see you in the morning, alright buddy." I kissed his head and left the room, unable to look Aaron in the eye.
It was only once I'd locked my bedroom door that I allowed myself to cry, big fat tears that fell unobstructed down my face as I slid onto my bed. Spencer's shaking hand holding the dread needle and Jack's distraught face were replayed again and again in my mind as I tried to comprehend just what Aaron had done.
And how Jack was going to cope with the truth.