Chapter 16—The epilogue chapter
During one of the many round table meetings at the BAU, Aaron Hotchner sat across from his technical analyst and his obsessional crimes expert. He was observing them, like he did all the members of his team. Last time he'd been in this situation, no one else had noticed the nuances in behavior between the pair.
This time, everyone noticed.
Morgan and Garcia beamed with happiness. It was a truly good match; the two cared deeply for one another, and it showed in the everyday things they did. It made him happy—he'd helped make that happen.
He couldn't hold back a smirk as he looked at his tablet, peering over the case facts from the police department in Salt Lake City. Not that he'd ever meddle again...
"So...it seems like something has you pretty happy," Rossi commented, leaning closer so just Hotch would hear. Then, with typical Dave snark, he added, "Unless an arson spree in Utah is somehow humorous."
He simply lifted a brow, barely looking up from his tablet to address his friend. They'd known each other so long, they didn't need to speak to communicate.
Dave chuckled lightly. "I didn't think so."
During the meeting, both senior agents looked over at Morgan and Garcia, noticed their close proximity, the way their legs touched, the way her hand rested on his thigh and his arm was around her just a touch closer than he used to hold her. They hadn't announced anything to the team, but it was obvious—they were very serious about one another.
After Hotch declared wheels up, the only two remaining in the room were himself and Rossi.
"I shouldn't say this," Dave said, sitting back in his chair, "but good job."
He didn't say it had been the hardest job of his life, but with Dave, he really didn't have to.
He grinned. "Think you want to be matchmaker—?"
"Come on, Aaron." Rossi's smile turned positively devilish. "You have a knack for this. Look how well those two turned out."
He glared at Rossi.
Dave gave his best soulful look...that he could give while rubbing salt in a wound. "You still have several lonely, unmarried team members who could use a hand..."
Aaron's brow lifted again. "Yourself included?"
"Of course," he said emphatically.
Dave's laughter rang out in the room, echoing off the ceiling. He clasped Aaron's shoulder. "I completely understand!"
Hotch chuckled, too. "I don't know how you do it."
Rossi shrugged. "I'm a sucker for love."
Aaron found himself smirking again. After three wives, that seemed rather obvious!
Both men exited the room, heading down the hallway toward their respective offices. Hotch knew very well Dave wasn't done talking, but he was okay with that. He needed to talk, and there wasn't a better friend than David Rossi.
"Hey," Dave said in a querying tone. "After all that helping, what about yourself? Ready to climb back in the ring? Time is of the essence, Aaron. Ding, ding."
Aaron shook his head. "Only you would compare a relationship to a boxing match."
At that moment, Aaron heard a louder conversation, one that sounded heated. Further examination saw JJ in her old office, holding her cell phone. He had a bad feeling about this—things were not going well between the still-newly married couple.
"I can't help it that we got called on a—" JJ was forced to pause. Her shoulders were tense, bunched up by her neck, which showed her ire. "No, it doesn't happen every week. There are schedules, and—" Again, JJ needed to pause. Apparently, whomever she was talking to didn't want to listen to what she had to say. Finally, she said, "Will. We will talk about this when I get home."
Dave looked over at Aaron. "A boxing match...isn't it?"
Just then, JJ turned, her expression filled with hurt and anger as she jammed her phone in her pocket.
And at that moment, Aaron knew he wasn't done meddling. Not quite yet.
AN: So!...Do you wonder what happens with Aaron? Will he get a girl of his own? Will his meddling work for JJ and Will, or will something else happen? Stay tuned for the sequel to this story, "I Want to Know What Love Is"