The two of them stood on the catwalk looking at the agents in the bullpen one final glance then they turn and walk into Hotch's office.
"It's been a very long and difficult six months."
"But we've survived and we have been though worse." Dave reminds him gentle.
"I got a letter from Derek."
"How is he doing?"
"He's well. His mother is getting out of rehab next week and he bought a house. He doesn't want her to go back to her old neighborhood."
'That doesn't surprise me at all. But how is he doing otherwise?."
"He says he's fine and he getting married, he says to expect invitations soon. She is a nurse and an old flame they reconnected."
"Like father, like son."
"Her father is a cop so she knows the risks." Hotch says softly.
"I wish them all the best. He knows all of the pitfalls so does she I think they'll make it."
A soft knock on the door brings them out of their contemplation.
"We have a case." Penelope says. "Meeting in ten minutes."
"Thanks Kitten. What is it?"
"Children missing found assaulted and strangled in Aurora Illinois."
Both men nod their heads in silent acknowledgment and watch as she leaves as silently as she came. Standing they follow her out of the door and wait for the rest of the team to enter the round table.
"We still have no idea how to fix that." Hotch says watching their tech walk toward the round table room.
" I took her out for her birthday four months ago, she wasn't going to say anything about it. I asked her why she never wears any hairclips and her clothing is now more conservative than Strauss's."
"What did she say Dave? Not just her words."
"She was completely honest with me. She said that the court Jester needed to go as no one really needed the Jester anymore. I asked her what she meant and she said that, all of you the team and members of the unit handle the stress an anger in different ways we all have our outlets. Except for him, he rehabbed houses and busted down walls but he needed something else something to make him laugh. Laughter was something that was robbed for him in his childhood. That we don't need that, we put up with her behavior because of her skills. Now she is no longer an embarrassment to the unit or the Bureau"
"It sounds like she is depressed." Hotch tells him.
"She's not, She doesn't avoid her friends and she still involved in the theatre. She is living her life one day at a time."
"But she's not dating."
"No she's not dating. I don't think she ever will again." Rossi admits. "He took her heart with him and all the color that she was, and he doesn't even know."
"I don't like it, I miss the Garcia that we all came to need and love. We need her like she was."
"I miss the joy and color that she brought into out lives. But it's gone for good Aaron never to return."
Sitting at the table with the rest of the team Hotch he sees Strauss in the hallway.
"I will be joining you on this trip agent Hotchner." Strauss says as she enters the room and sits down next to JJ and Anderson. "It's nice to see that everyone is following the dress code." She says after giving everyone the once over.
"Garcia start the presentation." He orders. With a nod of her head she points the remote and starts.
"The Jester is dead…" Rossi whispers under his breath once they leave the room.
"Never to return.. " Hotch replies.