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Mother Dearest

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Prologue

Garcia and Morgan arrived into the bullpen the day after arriving back from London. They'd only just come back from visiting Emily since she'd moved there to head the London branch of Interpol.

JJ came up to ask about the trip and having answered how it was she added, "God, I miss her."

"I don't think anybody misses her as much as Aaron does though," Garcia answered looking at Hotch's office door.

"I always wondered what was going on between those two," Morgan answered.

"They do seem to share a secret past."

Meanwhile in his office he was looking at an old photo of them he usually kept hidden but since she'd left he'd placed it on his desk. He missed her so much and had lost contact with her.

"Why don't you just call her?" his best friend asked.

"It's not as simple as that," he answered.

"What is it between you two? You're as close as anything but you also keep your distance and act like you're hiding something. What is it you two have always hidden?"

"It's a long story," he sighed.

He sat back in his chair and answered, "I'm listening."

"You remember how I security detailed her mother's stuff?" he started.

"I do," he answered signalling for him to go on.

"Emily and I became close..." Dave raised an eyebrow so Aaron looked back at the picture. "We became involved. When the assignment was over I gave her my email address. A few months later we discovered she was pregnant with my baby..."

"You were going to have a child together?" he replied in shock.

"We were," he answered sadly.

"What happened?"

"We were preparing for the birth even though she was at university. Sometime later her mother informed me she'd lost the baby and she never wanted to speak to or see me again. Like a fool I believed her so you can imagine my surprise when she joined the BAU. By then I was married to Haley and Jack was two years old."

"Did you ever talk about it?"

"I never knew how to bring it up and when I did privately she shut down. She was always slightly off around Jack. Always seemed a little guilty."

"What do you think happened to the child?"

"I honestly believe Emily miscarried," he answered sadly. "Why would her mother lie about that even if she disapproved of our relationship?"

"What if she gave the child away?"

He looked at him horrified. "This is Emily we're talking about. She'd never have given up our child. We were both looking forward to raising our baby."

He nodded and left. He dearly hoped his best friend was right. It would kill him if there was a child out there with his DNA that he was completely unaware of. He was right Emily wouldn't have given their child away.

Chapter Text

Kidnap

He was on a case two years later when his helicopter pilot lost control of the helicopter. His pilot tried to land it as safely as he could while he prayed he'd make it through holding onto a bar by the door.

Dear god he hoped he'd land it safely as soon as possible. He hoped he'd get to see his son again. No way would he let him be an orphan. He'd hang on and hopefully live through this crash.

Finally they landed and he breathed a sigh of relief. Before he managed to get his bearings someone opened the door and threw in a canister letting off the gas.

He felt light-headed then passed out. Just before he fainted he felt himself get taken out of the helicopter and slung over this man's shoulder. He was put into the van and tied up. The man smiled as he placed the tape over his mouth.

He woke up in the van unable to move his arms and with a foul taste in his mouth. He looked around him and saw he was in a small enclosed space and could feel the bumps of the road hitting him from below. Where was he? Where was he being taken? Who had him and why? What did he want from him?

He tried to wriggle out of his ropes but seeing in his mirror he was awake his captor pressed a button. Some sort of gas entered the back of the van and though he tried hard to struggle he passed out again. Whoever it was was obviously planning to keep him knocked out. Did he know who he was?

Chapter Text

Branded

He woke up in what looked like a cell. He could feel his hands above his head in chains and chains around his ankles too. Where was he? Was he even still in Pennsylvania?

The last he knew was they'd been working on a case in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where families were being kidnapped and held for days. They all consisted of a mother, a father and one daughter. Whilst holding onto them he would torture them. He'd kill the daughter first then the mother and finally the father.

He couldn't be being held by the same person. He was a single father of a son. His child's mother was dead and he certainly didn't have a daughter, did he? No, he didn't. He only had a ten year old son.

He heard footsteps behind him and tried to see what his captor looked like but the chains rubbed against his wrists and ankles preventing him.

"Ah sleeping beauty's awake," the young well-built dark haired man said coming in front of him.

He roared, "Who are you? What do you want from me?"

"You'll find out all in good time. Let's have some fun first," he answered bringing out a branding rod.

Jesus, was he going to brand him like the others? They'd found the families with a star branded onto their bodies. They'd worked out he was attempting to claim them like trophies.

"My team will find me," he said firmly.

"What makes you so sure? We're not in Pittsburgh anymore. We're not even in Pennsylvania anymore."

"Don't underestimate my team! Where are we?"

"We're a lot closer to home than you think," he replied placing the red hot brand close to his collarbone while Aaron tried to keep the pain inside as it burned his skin.

God it hurt like a bitch but he'd never let this sadistic bastard see that! He'd take whatever he threw at him and never let him see how it hurt! He'd never let him win!

The other man sighed and put down the branding rod. He saw the fire in the corner of the room and smiled. He picked up his poker and placed it in the fire until the tip was red hot. He smiled and went back in front of his prisoner.

Aaron saw the red hot poker and closed his eyes trying to prepare himself. He then re-opened them and stared into his captor's eyes defiantly.

"You won't break me," he said firmly.

"Is that so?" he answered thrusting the poker into his chest.

Aaron hissed as the poker seared his flesh and cauterised the wound immediately after the other man drew it out. He looked back up and stared into his eyes defiantly.

"Why don't you let me out of these chains and fight me like a man?" Aaron taunted.

The captor stabbed the poker back into his chest and he tried to bite back the hiss this time. He'd take however many stabs he gave him. He'd rather die than let him win.

"You are stubborn, aren't you?" he answered.

"You won't win, you're a coward," he replied.

"Am I?" he shouted thrusting it back in and out again.

Finally Aaron's head dropped though he tried to raise it back up. His captor smiled and left. Aaron finally raised his head back up and vowed he wouldn't let him win. As long as his name was Aaron Hotchner his captor wouldn't win.

Chapter Text

Not the Only One

The team gathered in the room they'd been working in for this case at a loss. Hotch had been taken and they had no idea where. It was clear he hadn't been taken to the warehouse their UnSub had taken his usual victims.

They had found evidence though that that had been where he'd been keeping them. They'd found the chains he'd held them with. They weren't even sure he had their boss but he had disappeared too.

Suddenly Morgan's phone rang so he picked it up. "Yo baby girl, tell me you got something," he said.

Putting her on speakerphone she answered, "I've put three videos I've just received on your iPads."

They opened them up and saw the videos on a split screen. They gasped when they saw not just Aaron in chains but Emily too and a young woman. When had Emily arrived back in the country? Who was the young woman?

"Does he think Emily is Aaron's wife?" Morgan asked confused. "Is he trying to make up families now? When did Emily come back to the States?"

"Who's the young woman, Garcia? I think she might be the key," Rossi answered.

"My facial recognition says her name Chloe Dietzman."

"Find out as much as you can about her. I think she could help us unlock why they were taken and help us save them all especially Aaron and Emily."

"Right on it, sir."

Morgan ended the call.

Chapter Text

Hot

Hotch didn't know how long he'd been here when he heard footsteps again. It was so hot he could hardly keep his eyes open. The fire in the corner of the room hadn't even gone down one bit.

Oh god how he wished he could wipe the sweat from his eyebrow. It was just so hot.

"Drink," his captor said offering him water. "Drink," he repeated. "No use in you dying of dehydration."

"Then why don't you put the fire out?"

"That would be far too easy. Drink."

He rolled his eyes but he could feel his resolve weakening. It was just so god damn hot. His head tried to tell him not to but he let the captor help him drink.

His eyelids felt so heavy he closed them again. It was just too hot to keep them open.

He felt someone mopping his eyebrow but he was still so hot. He opened his eyes slowly and couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the woman he dreamed of every night.

She couldn't be here. She had to be a hallucination he was making as he wanted her so much. She couldn't be here with him a hostage but he could feel her touch and it felt so real.

"Emily?" he asked unsure.

"Yes Aaron, it's me. I didn't know you were here too," she answered worried.

"How long have you been here?"

"Too long..."

"I didn't even know you were in America."

"I tried to find a key but I've failed so far."

"I missed you."

"I missed you too but Aaron we need to get you out of here."

"I love you."

She looked at him worried he didn't realise quite where he was and what was going on. He wasn't aware of the danger he was in. Did he have heatstroke? How long had he been kept in here?

She didn't want to distress him further so she answered cupping his chin, "I love you too ever since I was eighteen. It just hurt when you abandoned me."

The words hit him. All these years had they been living under a misunderstanding? "After you miscarried your mother told me you never wanted to speak to or see me again."

"Aaron, what are you talking about? I never miscarried," she answered trying to bite back the tears remembering what had happened and finally knowing her mother had separated them. She'd broken her family.

He looked at her confused. If she hadn't miscarried their child what had happened to it? Had they had a stillborn? Was their child still alive?

Chapter Text

Adopted

The rest of the team were in Quantico with Rossi and Blake interviewing Marlene and John Dietzman, Chloe's parents.

"We didn't adopt Chloe through the authorities," Marlene said looking down holding hands with her husband.

"You don't have to tell them," John soothed.

"Yes we do, John. We committed a crime and now our baby's paying for it." She turned back to them and said, "Chloe was given to us by a friend. Elizabeth Prentiss gave us Chloe saying she never wanted to see her again. We knew she was her granddaughter so we asked if Emily was alright with it. She just said she wanted her gone. We wanted a baby so badly we agreed to take her."

Rossi couldn't believe what he was hearing. Elizabeth Prentiss had given Emily's child away behind her back. No wonder she'd acted that way over Jack. This was what she'd meant by Emily had lost the baby.

"You wanted a baby so much you were willing to steal one," he said trying to keep the disdain from his voice.

"We've felt guilty about it ever since but we love her," she defended.

"Who's the father?" Blake asked.

"All we know is he worked for her," John answered.

"I believe I know," Rossi replied.

Chapter Text

Fight

She stood in front of Aaron trying to protect him. She wasn't going to let this guy hurt him. He clearly had heatstroke. She would protect him to the death.

"I won't let you do anything to him," she said.

"Get out of the way," he shouted.

"No, I won't let you touch him."

"I won't ask again, pretty lady."

"I'm not moving."

He pushed her back hard shouting; "You will get out of my way." she was unable to get her balance and slammed into Aaron's stomach.

She heard a groan from Aaron and looked up in time to see him turn his head and throw up. He'd never throw up on her. He'd been feeling nauseous for some time now. He just hadn't wanted to show it. He'd never show weakness.

She saw their captor smile and jumped on him. She wasn't going to let him hurt Aaron while he was so vulnerable. She wouldn't let him cause him anymore pain.

She held on tight while he tried to shake her off. As long as she was distracting him he couldn't harm Aaron. She placed a thump or two on their captor's back. She'd get her own back on him. They'd win.

Suddenly she felt her grip loosen and fell to the floor landing with her leg out. She could hear the sound of breaking bones and tried to get back up but it hurt far too much and she couldn't stand.

She slammed her fists against the floor in frustration. How could she help Aaron like this? She couldn't stand and she was no good to him on the floor.

She watched in horror as he punched him in the stomach. She had to do something or he might end up with internal bleeding. He kept punching him while Emily looked around her.

There had to be something she could do. She saw the fire and a fire blanket by it. Maybe she could put the fire out and make the room cooler for him. She picked it up and threw it over the fire.

She breathed a sigh of relief as the fire went out but she heard the young man growl. She looked up just in time to see him give Aaron's stomach one heck of a blow.

She shuffled herself back and placed her arm in front of his feet in the hope of tripping him up. Soon enough she succeeded and he fell to the ground. He growled and left the room. She breathed a sigh of relief.

Chapter Text

Video

"Sir, I found a video of Elizabeth Prentiss with Brandon Hartwell," Garcia said.

Brandon Hartwell had been their major suspect back in Pittsburgh. He'd owned the warehouse they'd found the evidence. They were positive he was their UnSub but where was he holding Aaron, Emily and Chloe.

They'd already arrested and charged Marlene and John Dietzman for their involvement in stealing Chloe when she was a baby. They'd willingly let them arrest them. It was almost as if it was a relief to them.

Dave had filled them in on what Aaron had told them two years ago. They were all convinced now that he was Chloe's father but how did Hartwell know before he did? Someone had to have told him.

They had an inkling it was Elizabeth Prentiss but they needed the evidence first. She was a powerful Ambassador. They'd need some hard concrete evidence to get her.

"Are you able to decipher what they're saying?" he asked.

"Of course I can."

"I'm coming."

He went to see the video and was relieved they'd finally found some concrete evidence they could use to arrest Ambassador Prentiss. The video showed her organising with Hartwell the kidnap and murder of all three of them.

Chapter Text

Family Reunion

The door suddenly opened and Chloe was thrown into the room. She looked around her getting back up again. She had no idea where she was or how long it had been. Why was this happening? What did he want from her?

She looked around her and saw her mother on the floor with her leg out and a man in chains looking very hot. She didn't recognise him and was worried about the woman she'd only recently discovered was her real mother.

Emily looked up in horror. What was her daughter doing here? She'd tried to save her. Why was she here?

"I told you to run..." she said shocked.

"I did...He caught up with me," she defended looking down. She then looked back up and asked concerned, "Mum, are you alright?"

"I'm fine. It's your father we should worry about," she answered worried.

"Who's my father?" she asked confused.

"That wonderful man hanging there with heatstroke," she answered. She looked up and nodded worried. "Can you try and find the key?"

She nodded worried and started looking. Her father didn't look too well and she needed to find the key. They needed to get out of here as soon as possible. Her father was sick.

Chapter Text

Arrest

They arrived at Elizabeth Prentiss' house with a warrant to arrest her. They had their evidence she was behind this. They would use it in court.

"Ambassador Prentiss isn't expecting visitors," the housekeeper said.

"FBI," Rossi just answered flashing his badge leading the others in.

They looked around the house. They finally found her in her office and she looked up horrified as they walked in.

"What do you think you're doing here?" she demanded.

Rossi pulled her up and went behind her. He took out his cuffs and slapped them on her wrists.

"What's the meaning of this?" she shouted.

"Ambassador Prentiss, we arrest you on suspicion of three cases of kidnap, three cases of attempted murder and stealing a baby eighteen years ago," he said.

"Such a disgrace," she sneered.

"Is that an expression of your guilt?"

"You have no evidence against me."

"On the contrary we have you caught on tape planning the kidnap and murder of your daughter, granddaughter and our boss with Brandon Hartwell. We also have Marlene and John Dietzman's confession."

She growled as he escorted her out of the house and placed her in the car.

Chapter Text

Rescue

She was still looking for the key when they heard footsteps. She tensed but carried on. She had to get her parents out of here. Her mother clearly had a broken leg and her father was in chains. She was their only hope.

She felt a strong arm wrap itself around her chest and pull her close to him. She felt a sharp point touch her throat. She tried to hold her breath looking ahead of her trying to keep her fear inside. She'd be strong for her parents.

"Are you going to let me do this to your daughter?" he asked staring at Hotch.

Aaron raised his head which was beginning to feel heavy and asked confused, "What daughter? I don't have a daughter." It was obvious he didn't really know what was going on anymore.

"Wrong answer," he shouted shooting him in the stomach. In response he groaned and let his head drop. Emily looked at him worried how ill he was.

"What did you expect you've gotten him sick with heatstroke?" she shouted. "If his wits were sharper he'd know what's going on."

He aimed his gun at her. She kept taunting him in the hope he kept his gun aimed at her. As long as she kept him distracted from her daughter and her daughter's father she'd keep it up even if she was shot dead in the process.

Suddenly she heard footsteps and looked at the entrance with a sigh of relief. She'd never been so happy to see her old team.

Rossi led them in with their guns raised. When they saw he had his gun aimed at Emily and a knife at Chloe's throat he indicated them to lower their guns. They couldn't let Emily and Chloe be collateral damage.

"You're surrounded," Rossi said. "It's all over." He tightened the knife on Chloe's neck breaking the skin. She looked at them scared though she felt like she could trust these people.

Rossi could see she looked a lot like her father. They knew instantly she really was Emily and Aaron's daughter. She was instantly family.

"We've already arrested Elizabeth Prentiss. You won't be getting any money," he added. "It's all over."

No, Emily thought with tears filling her eyes. No, her mother couldn't be behind this. The room suddenly felt like it was swirling and looked blurry and her head hit the floor while everything went black.

Chloe glanced at her unconscious mother worried. She could feel the blood boiling in her veins. Her grandmother had done all this to her parents. She was glad she'd been arrested or she would kill her. She hoped she'd never meet her.

She felt him loosen his grip on her and him drop the weapons. She breathed a sigh of relief it was all over. Her parents could be taken to the hospital.

Rossi caught sight of the key around Hartwell's neck while Morgan was arresting him. He yanked it off saying, "I'll take this."

He then turned to his best friend and unchained him. He fell out but luckily he caught him just before he hit the floor. In response he coughed up some blood. Seeing it was dark red he called for a medic trying to keep the panic out of his voice.

He could hear him beginning to hyperventilate and soothed, "Aaron, its ok. We're here now. Just take deep breaths. You're safe now."

A medic rushed right over and placed an oxygen mask over his mouth. He coughed up some more blood so Rossi took off the mask and wiped it then put it back on him. They placed him in the ambulance alongside Emily.

Chloe ran up just as Dave was about to enter the ambulance. "Can I come too?" she asked worried. Her mother was still unconscious and her father was hyperventilating and coughing up blood.

He saw how affected she was and answered, "Sure." This wasn't a time to separate her from her parents especially after what they'd all been through. She needed to see they were going to be ok.

"Thanks," she answered numbly climbing in with him.

Chapter Text

Ambulance

They started driving to the hospital while he kept an eye on Aaron just in case he coughed up blood.

He ventured a look at his daughter and saw she looked guilty and shell-shocked. A plaster had been put where Hartwell had split the skin on her neck with his knife.

"You alright, kid?" he asked.

"I'm fine. It was just a nick to the throat," she answered looking at her father numbly.

"Chloe, look at me." She looked at him briefly. "None of this is your fault."

Her father coughed up blood again and before Rossi could she lifted up the mask wiped the blood off and put it back on him. She loved him so much already.

"But if I'd never contacted mum none of this would have happened," she answered.

"If you'd never contacted your mother we wouldn't have been able to arrest anyone for stealing you when you were a baby. It would have eaten up Emily forever and Aaron would have never known. Believe me its better you're here. Your parents always wanted you."

She nodded and suddenly machines started crashing. The medics rushed to Aaron while Dave held Chloe close to him.

"He's going to be alright," he assured rubbing her back. "He's a fighter." He then turned back to Aaron and said, "Come on, Aaron, I know you can pull through. You're a fighter. We need you, Aaron, especially your children. Yes Aaron you have two children and they both need you. You can't do this in front of your daughter."

Suddenly the medics stopped and said, "We have a stable heartbeat."

Chloe looked back and saw his eyes were still closed when before all this happened they'd been open he'd just been out of it. "Why are his eyes closed?" she asked.

They ran some tests on him and looked up grave. Rossi wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "What is it?" he asked.

"He has a stable heartbeat but he's slipped into a coma," he answered.

She nodded numbly hoping they'd get to the hospital soon. "Could I still lose my father?" she asked concerned.

"We will do everything in our power to save him but there is a slight chance," he answered.

She nodded numbly. Suddenly they heard a voice behind them repeat the name Aaron. Chloe looked behind her to see Emily sitting up holding her head.

"Miss Prentiss, you must lie down," the medics said.

"Aaron," she answered worried. "Aaron."

"Miss Prentiss, you hit your head. You must lie down."

"I must know how Aaron is."

Chloe turned to her trying to calm her fear. She couldn't let her mother know there was a slight chance they could lose her father. She wouldn't worsen her mother's condition.

"Mum, he's safe. Now just lie down and let the doctors have a look at you. You hit your head," she soothed.

She nodded as her head really did hurt and as long as he was safe she'd lie down. She lay back and let the doctors look at her. They diagnosed she had a concussion and made sure she lay her head back.

They soon arrived at the hospital just as the machines started crashing for a second time causing a symphony of distressing noise.

Luckily the ER was ready for their arrival and Dr Nyland jumped onto the bed and placed his knees either side of Aaron's chest performing CPR while they rushed him to surgery. Maggie ran alongside him with the chart the medics had given them.

Emily was whisked off to another OR to set the broken bones in her leg correctly. Chloe looked after them terrified while Rossi held her close to him while they were escorted to the waiting room.

Chapter Text

Scrubbing Up

Danny got scrubbed up breathing a sigh of relief the CPR had been successful. He knew there was still some work to do but at least his patient wasn't in any fatal danger currently.

"What have you got?" he asked his best friend, Billy.

"The woman that arrived with your patient. She's got a broken fibula, tibia and patella," he answered.

"Ouch."

"How is he?"

"I've managed to settle his heartbeat but there's still some internal bleeding and a gunshot wound in his abdomen..."

"Hope it's not one of those exploding bullets."

"Thanks for that," he answered shooting him a look remembering how one had almost blown off his hand. He was so thankful Geri had been able to save it.

"Good luck."

"Thanks. You too."

He went back in, put on his goggles and got back to saving his patient who looked a little disturbingly like him.

Chapter Text

Siblings

Meanwhile the team arrived in the waiting room along with Jack and Jessica. Rossi knew Garcia would have called her to bring Jack to the hospital. He had to be here while his father was in such a bad shape.

"That's your brother," he'd whispered to Chloe when they saw him arrive.

Jack went up to her when he first saw her. She looked a lot like his dad. Were they related? Was she his cousin or a secret sister? If she was his sister why did dad never tell him about her? Had he just found out?

He'd always wanted a brother or a sister so he smiled sadly, "Hi, I'm Jack," offering his hand.

"I'm Chloe," she smiled sadly back shaking the ten year old's hand.

"How do you know dad?"

How was she going to answer? Was it her place to tell him she was his sister? Shouldn't their dad tell him? "It's complicated," she answered.

He nodded and sat beside her. He took her hand and stroked it saying, "It's going to be alright. Dad's a fighter."

She nodded wrapping an arm around him and stroking his arm. She'd never tell him that she'd seen their father crash twice. That she'd seen their father crashing on the way to surgery. She prayed he'd make it and they didn't lose him.

Everyone smiled sadly seeing how she instantly subconsciously took on the role of protective big sister. They were pleased to see they got on almost instantly. They hoped once he knew the truth they could be a happy family.

Chapter Text

Diagnosis

Soon enough both doctors came out. They were taken aback by how much one of them looked like Aaron.

"Are you here for Emily Prentiss and Aaron Hotchner?" they asked.

"Yes, we're their family," Rossi answered while Chloe stepped forward attracting Danny's attention.

Wow, she was beautiful! There was always something about a damsel in distress.

"I'm Dr Daniel Nyland but you can call me Danny," he smiled at her. Ew was this guy trying to hit on her? He was handsome but he looked too much like her dad for her to even consider him.

"How are my parents?" she asked firmly trying to get him to back off.

It was only after she realised her little brother had heard him refer to them as her parents. She glanced at him and he looked confused. Damn, she'd have to explain before dad woke up because she slipped up. Surely he'd ask why she did that.

"Your parents?" Danny asked.

"Yes, Aaron Hotchner and Emily Prentiss," she replied firmly. She took another glance at her brother who still looked confused. She knew she'd have to explain but was it her place?

"Miss Prentiss has suffered a concussion and her fibula, tibia and patella were broken. I've managed to reset her bones," Dr Kronk said.

"Agent Hotchner was a bit more serious I'm afraid. We've managed to stop the internal bleeding. He also had kidney failure so we've had to remove one of his kidneys. Luckily a person can live with one kidney as long as they stay as healthy as possible..." Danny answered.

"We'll make sure of it," Rossi answered. "Won't we, Jack?"

He nodded vigorously while Chloe smiled down at him sadly silently agreeing to help.

"I was also able to remove the bullet with no further damage but..." the pause felt like an eternity until he added, "he's still in a coma."

They nodded sadly. "Do you have any idea how long he'll be in a coma?"

"We don't, I'm afraid, but the longer he's in a coma the more risk there is to his brain."

"May we see them?"

He looked at the boy wary and added, "You can but he's in a bad way..."

Rossi nodded message understood. The doctors left them and he turned to Jessica. "I don't think it would be wise for Jack to see Aaron till he wakes up. It might upset him," he said gently.

She nodded. "Maybe he could go see Emily," he added. "It might cheer them both up."

She nodded smiling slightly. "Good idea. I know he likes her." They hadn't met much but the few times they had met she'd liked her. "Give me a report on Aaron. I'll look after Jack while Aaron's here."

"I will. Good idea."

They then separated ways. Garcia, Chloe, Jessica and Jack went to see Emily while Rossi, Morgan, Reid, JJ and Blake went to see Hotch.

Chapter Text

Emily

When Emily saw them she smiled at them as the pain meds were taking away most of the pain currently. When Jack saw her he ran up to her and hugged her shouting her name. Though her head hurt she smiled back.

"Hey Jack Jack," she smiled sadly.

"They won't let me see dad," he answered looking down.

"I'm sure they have their reasons," she replied stroking his hair while she hugged him back. She loved him like he was her own son. She then looked up at the women and asked, "How is Aaron?"

They looked unsure and Chloe said nervously looking down, "Mum." She looked up worried. "Dad's in a coma and had to have his kidney removed but they managed to get the bullet out safely and stop the internal bleeding."

"I must see him," she said trying to get out of bed letting go of Jack.

"Mum, you have concussion."

"I need to see him."

"Wonder woman, if you don't stay down I will sit on your chest," Garcia said firmly.

Emily rolled her eyes and answered annoyed, "Fine but give me a report on him."

She nodded and left to see Aaron herself. Jessica soon took Jack home after Emily assured him she was alright and his dad would be soon too. He promised to be good for his aunt and visit again tomorrow.

"Chloe, you should go see your father," Emily said gently.

"He doesn't know who I am. The one time we met he was out of it," she answered nervously.

"He's in a coma."

"What if he wakes up?"

"Your Uncle Dave will be there and you can explain who you are."

"Someone needs to make sure you don't leave too."

She rolled her eyes. She didn't need to be constantly watched. She could take care of herself. Why didn't anyone trust her? She could be left on her own.

They heard a voice from the doorway say, "Wonder girl, you should see your father. I'll look after your mother for you." They looked up to see Garcia standing there.

"Wonder girl?" she asked confused.

"Well, you are wonder woman's daughter."

She looked at her mother confused. "Meet your Aunt Penelope," Emily smiled slightly.

She nodded amused and left to see her dad thanking Garcia. She tried to find his room but she got lost. She realised she had no idea where her father was.

Chapter Text

Dad

Suddenly Dr Nyland appeared with a winning smile.

"Looking for your dad?" he asked.

"Yes I am," she answered firmly.

"I know we got off on the wrong foot but I'm here to help your dad."

"You are his doctor. Can you just take me to see my dad?"

"Sorry for trying to apologise."

"No, I'm sorry Dr Nyland. I know you're just trying to make amends but it's been a really tough time and I'm so worried about him."

"Understandable. Come on, it's this way," he said leading her to his room.

"Thanks," she smiled up at him.

He got her to his room and she stood in the doorway nervously.

"Everything alright?" Danny asked.

"I've only just met him," she answered nervously.

"I'm sure everything will be alright. He's your father after all..." She nodded. He added under a whisper, "I can see why you'd never be attracted to me."

She nodded and smiled going in and sitting in the empty chair. She took her father's hand but he didn't respond. If she didn't know he was in a coma she'd think he was just sleeping as he looked so peaceful. Tears welled up in her eyes thinking this was her father and she might never get to know him.

"Hi, I don't know if you can hear me but I'm Chloe, your daughter. I was stolen from Emily when I was just a baby. I only found out a few weeks ago. I hope you wake up soon and we get to know each other. I hope you like me," she said quietly.

"He will. He'll love you. You're his daughter," Dave answered gently causing her to look up with a jump. "Sorry didn't mean to scare you."

"It's alright. I'm sorry I forgot you were here."

"Its fine," he smiled slightly. "I bet it's been a confusing time recently."

"Yes it has but I also feel like I belong for once," she replied rubbing circles into her father's hand. "Not that they treated me badly or anything just didn't feel like I belonged, you know?"

"I understand."

"After all they did I find it hard to hate them."

"They raised you."

She nodded and turned back to her father. She kept talking to him in the hope it would wake him up but nothing happened. She wouldn't stop until she fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Aaron

She woke up the next day in her mother's hospital room. How had she got here? Had she been carried? She didn't see her Aunt Penelope. Had she helped carry her back? She had to have been carried.

She heard a stirring beside her and looked up to see her mother waking up saying her father's name. Emily then sat bolt upright and looked around her. She sighed but seemed relieved when she saw she was in the hospital.

She looked to Chloe trying to calm her heart rate. She closed her eyes briefly then re-opened them.

Seeing how affected her mother was she asked, "Mum, are you alright?"

"Take me to your dad. I must see him," she answered a little shaken.

She gave her her crutches and helped her out of bed. "Mum, what is it? What happened?"

"Just a nightmare," she answered irritated hobbling out of the room on her crutches.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"Not really. Take me to your father's room. I need to see him for myself."

"This way, mum," she said helping her to his room.

She nodded and followed her on her crutches slowly. When she reached his room she sat down on the empty chair feeling tired. Dave looked over at her a little worried.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

"I'm fine. It'll heal," she answered looking at the man she loved. "Has he shown any sign of waking?"

"Sadly no," he sighed.

She nodded and took his hand. She stroked her thumb over the skin on his hand but he didn't respond. She felt the tears fill her eyes. She really hoped she got to see his beautiful eyes again.

"Aaron, it's me, Emily. I'm so sorry this all happened. I'm so sorry my mother did this to you. Aaron she lied to you. I never miscarried and I never wanted you to go away. She gave our baby away while I was at university. When I got home she told me to just forget about her. How was I meant to just forget about our baby?"

She looked up to see Dave looking shocked and looked back down. "She told you to forget your child?" he asked shocked.

"Yes..." she answered then looked back at Aaron. "I looked for her for two years but never found her till she contacted me a few weeks ago. I'm sorry I never told you. I felt so guilty that I was unable to stop it and abandoned by you. I never meant to cause you any pain and didn't want to jeopardise your career. I hope you'll forgive me."

"He will," Dave answered gently.

"Thanks Dave..." She then turned back to Aaron. "Aaron, I've never stopped loving you. I've loved you since I was eighteen years old. That's eighteen years, Aaron. I'm sorry I left for London. I just couldn't handle my feelings anymore. Oh god Aaron please wake up."

Dave looked at them both sadly. He really hoped his best friend woke up soon. These two really needed each other.

"Please show me some sort of sign you're conscious. Aaron, please, I saw you die in my sleep last night. Please give me a sign. I'm so scared I'm going to lose you. Aaron, I can't lose you," she added with tears rolling down her cheeks.

He still didn't respond so Dave stroked her hand making her look up at him. "You won't lose him. He's a fighter. He will wake up."

She nodded swallowing the lump in her throat. She really did hope so. She'd missed him so much and she still did. She'd done everything in her power to protect him.

"I did everything I could to protect him," she said sadly.

"Emily, you can't blame yourself. You did everything you could to protect him. You couldn't help breaking your leg," he soothed.

She nodded and went back to trying to wake up the man she loved. Nothing she tried worked crushing her hopes but she'd never give up on him. He would wake up and hopefully soon.

Chapter Text

Answers

He didn't even wake up when she refused to leave causing an argument. Much to her frustration the others won and sent her to Dave's to rest her leg. Her broken leg was always going to let her down.

She shouted they would have been married by now if it hadn't been for her mother. Dave promised to stay with him and call in case he woke up. She nodded and let them take her home to rest her leg. She knew reluctantly she had to follow her doctor's orders.

When she reached his house Jack went up to her sadly after they made her sit down on the sofa. He sat down next to her and took her hand.

"Emmy how's my dad?" he asked.

"He'll get better sweetie and his body's recovering," she answered stroking his back.

He nodded. "Will I get to see him soon?"

"Hopefully."

"Is Chloe my sister?"

"Yes, buddy, she is."

"Why did I never know about her before?"

"A bad lady stole her when she was a baby and gave her to other people to raise. I tried to find her but only found her a few weeks ago."

"Why didn't dad know?"

"I didn't want him to get hurt. The bad lady lied to him."

He nodded and snuggled into her. "I like her. Will she stay?"

"I'm not going anywhere, buddy," Chloe smiled softly at him entering the room. "I'm finally home with my true family."

They smiled gently up at her wishing their family was complete. Hopefully he would wake up soon. They missed him so much.

Chapter Text

Waking Up

It felt like the strangest and longest dream he'd ever had. He had no idea how long it had been going on but it felt like an eternity. Why couldn't he wake up? Where was he?

Was this heaven? If it was he didn't like it. There were doors on each side slid up to reveal a sunny field. Every time he tried to walk out something grabbed him and pulled him back.

He'd ended up giving up and staying in this room but he felt so alone. He wished someone would come find him.

He swore he'd heard Emily tell him their child was alive and had found her but that seemed ages ago. He'd tried to call out for her but nothing happened. Had she really been there or had he dreamed it? Was he in a dream he couldn't wake up from?

Why had he been left here? He wished someone would find him.

Emily was sat beside him again holding his hand. She'd been here every day since they'd let her out of her hospital bed.

Suddenly she heard him murmur, "Someone find me." She looked around her while tears filled her eyes. Please let her not have just imagined that. She looked up to see Dave had obviously heard it too.

"Aaron, it's alright Dave and I are here. You can wake up. Come on, Aaron, we're here for you," she encouraged rubbing circles into his hand.

He could hear her voice but the doors were beginning to close on him so he got up and tried to run towards them. He felt something pulling him back again but this time he broke through and ran to the light.

He opened his eyes and tried to adjust to the light around him. Tears started falling down Emily's cheeks as she saw he was finally awake. This week had been so hard and now he was awake it carried away most of the worry.

She hugged him instantly crying, "Oh Aaron, we were so worried."

He stroked her hair comfortingly. "Emily, it's alright," he soothed. He then looked over to see his best friend looking relieved. "How long have I been out?"

"A week," he answered.

"A week?" he asked concerned.

"Don't worry, everyone's fine. We've just been worried about you."

"Jack?"

"Jessica's been looking after him. Emily and Chloe too while they weren't here.

"Chloe?" he asked holding his throat as it felt so dry and scratchy.

"Here," he answered pouring him a glass of water and handing it over.

"Thanks," he answered downing it almost in one go. "Chloe?"

"Your daughter."

"I heard Emily say we had a daughter..."

"You heard?"

He nodded and asked looking down, "Didn't you hear me call out?"

"I'm sorry, Aaron, but today was the first time we heard your voice in a week."

Emily sat back and asked, "You heard me?"

He nodded. "I'm sorry you didn't hear me."

"Aaron, it's alright, you're awake now," she smiled slightly.

"I'll get the doctor," Dave piped up and left to get Dr Nyland.

Aaron groaned while Emily patted his hand saying, "Aaron, we need to know everything's alright."

"I'm fine," he answered.

"Aaron, you just woke up from a week long coma. You've suffered a gunshot, heatstroke; stabbing with a red hot poker and branding you are not fine. You also lost a kidney. Just let the doctor have a look at you."

He rolled his eyes and replied, "Fine."

She smiled and patted his hand. She knew by the way he was acting he was feeling a lot better but he had agreed to see his doctor. She hoped it was a favourable report or he'd get even more tetchy.

Finally the doctor arrived and he was taken aback by how much he looked like him.

"Nice to see you awake, Mr Hotchner," he smiled.

"Thank you," he grumbled. "Can we get this over and done with?"

"Absolutely," he smiled and went over to him to run checks on him.

He let him until he begun to get frustrated with the questions he was asking to check his memory and brain function. Thankfully he passed them with flying colours.

He also had a look at the bandages. He nodded and stood back.

"You're healing well. You should be out by the end of the week," he said.

He rolled his eyes and sighed, "Can't it be sooner?"

"We'll see how it progresses."

He lay back and hit his fists on the bed saying, "Fine."

"Aaron, it's for your own good," Emily said after thanking Dr Nyland. Danny nodded and left feeling in the way.

He groaned. "I'll call for the children," Dave suggested.

"Great idea," she smiled. She smiled even more noticing the corners of Aaron's mouth turn up. It was definitely what he needed.

"Will she like me?" Aaron asked vulnerably.

"She already loves you," she answered.

He nodded nervously. He was a little worried about meeting his daughter for the first time. What was she like? He had so many questions running through his head about her.

Chapter Text

Children

Chloe went in to see Jack. He looked up hopeful seeing her smile a nervous smile.

"Has dad woken up?" he asked.

"Yes he has," she smiled back nervously.

"Are we going to see him?"

"Of course we are."

He beamed and they headed out to her car. She got into the driver's seat and let him into the front passenger seat. He smiled up at her and she smiled back nervously.

"Dad will love you," he smiled up at her. "You're my sister."

"Thanks Jack," she smiled beginning to drive towards the hospital.

"You remind me of him."

"Do I?"

"Yer you look like him, you're as fun as him..."

She smiled back. "Thanks buddy. You're fun too."

"You're also as stubborn," he smiled cheekily.

"Cheeky monkey," she smiled keeping her eyes on the road. "If I wasn't driving I'd tickle you."

He giggled pleased he was getting away with it. He really loved spending time with his sister. He hoped she never went away.

"I love you, Chloe."

"I love you too, Jack."

Soon they arrived at the hospital and she parked next to Dave's Chevrolet. She then got her and her brother out and headed to their father's hospital room.

On the way there Jack took her hand. He smiled up at her as she smiled down nervously. Butterflies flew around her stomach and knots knitted inside there. That was an entirely different ball game.

Jack led her into the hospital room while she followed swallowing her nerves. Emily smiled reassuringly at her. She understood as she'd been nervous when she'd first reunited with her daughter.

Jack ran up to him shouting, "Dad." Aaron smiled back at him and accepted his hug.

"Hi buddy," he answered.

"Are you ok?"

"I am now."

He smiled up at him. "I missed you."

"I'm sorry, buddy, but everything's alright now I promise."

"You're awake."

"I AM."

He then looked up and took in a deep breath as he saw the young woman smiling nervously at them. She was beautiful with her long, dark hair and dark eyes.

"You must be Chloe?" he smiled nervously.

"Yes sir," she answered shyly.

"Please don't call me sir. Call me Aaron or even better dad."

"Dad," she smiled back.

"Come here so I can get a better look at you."

She went up to him and Jack let him go. Aaron carefully pulled her in for a hug being careful of his bandages. She was taken off-guard but hugged him back.

"I'm so glad you're awake and alright," she said nervously.

"If I'd known the truth I'd have done everything in my power to get you back."

"I believe you but it's alright we're all together now."

"We are," he smiled at her softly. He then looked up at Emily hopeful she'd be staying too. "Aren't we?"

She smiled and nodded. "I'm not going anywhere again. I'm here and hopefully we both know the truth now."

"I believe we do," he smiled at her.

"She's been arrested."

"Good."

"For both crimes." He nodded. "She'll never hurt us again."

"I'm glad you're nothing like her."

"I hardly ever spent time with her. It was always about appearance and politics with her."

He nodded and took her hand. "Emily, it's the past."

She nodded. "We should move on."

"As a family," he smiled.

"And as a family we'll help you get used to your new lifestyle." He looked at her confused. "As you lost a kidney you have to live as healthy a life as possible. No more pizza, no more beer, no more caffeine..."

"No more caffeine? Emily, you know we live off coffee at work."

"You'll have to have decaff from now on..." He looked down. "Also no more long nights working..." He groaned. "Aaron, this is for your health. We'll all support you live a healthier life. I'm even going to give up chocolate."

His eyes opened wide in shock. "You're going to give up chocolate?"

"Yes for you," she smiled gently at him. "I'd do anything for you."

"I'd do anything for you too."

"I'll give up ice cream," Jack piped up.

"I'll give up coke," Chloe added. "I used to drink about three a day."

"Thank you. I really appreciate it."

"We'd do anything for you."

"I'd do anything for you lot too."

They all smiled at each other. They were finally a family at last. They'd move on as a family. Hopefully he would be home soon.

Chapter Text

Going Home

Much to Aaron's satisfaction his healing progressed to such a state he could leave hospital a few days later. Dave, Chloe and Emily went to pick him up.

Dave got out the wheelchair and Aaron rolled his eyes.

"I am not getting into that," he said getting his legs out of the bed.

"Its hospital regulation," he answered.

"You've been in bed for several days, Aaron. You're weakened. Use the chair..." He glared at her so she placed her hand on his arm and gave him the puppy dog eyes. "For me."

"Fine," he groaned. "For you."

"Works like a charm," she smiled at Dave, he smiled back. The girl definitely knew how to handle his best friend.

He got off the bed and sat in the wheelchair grumpily. "Let's go home," he sighed. "I've been here for too long."

"Aaron, you were seriously ill," she answered resting on her crutches.

He nodded and answered, "Feels like an eternity I've been in here."

Dave went behind him and pushed him out while Emily followed on her crutches with Chloe. When they got to the car Dave looked between his two friends concerned.

"I'll look after dad, Uncle Dave. Mum needs the leg space more," Chloe said.

"I'll go in the back and put my leg up," Emily argued.

He saw Chloe's face drop and answered, "Chloe's right. With your broken leg you need the bigger leg space." He could see Chloe wanted to be trusted and treated like an adult.

Emily saw Chloe's face and nodded. She hobbled over to the front passenger's seat while Chloe and Dave helped Aaron into the car. She tried to open the door but was unable to do it on her own and felt like she was falling.

She managed to steady herself while Dave shook his head. He'd never known such a stubborn pair. He went round and opened the door helping her in. He then closed the door behind her and got in the driver's seat.

He drove them home as quickly and carefully as he could. When they reached there he got them out and inside the house. He got them both seated much to Aaron's frustration. He'd had enough rest. He wanted to get active again.

Dave wondered how he'd cope with the fact they'd thrown out any unhealthy food and drink. They'd re-stocked his cupboards and fridge freezer with much healthier things while he was at the hospital. He'd stay and keep an eye on them both while they recovered.

Chapter Text

Back at Work

Thankfully they quickly recovered and Aaron was back at work the next week much to his satisfaction though he was still trying to adjust to his healthier lifestyle. Emily was still on her crutches though attending physiotherapy.

Chloe promised to look after Emily and Jack while he was at work. She had a month to spend with them before she started her law degree at Yale. She was already managing to settle into her real family.

"Now there's a face I recognise," Dave smiled.

"Thanks," he smiled back looking up from his paperwork.

"Take it easy."

He rolled his eyes and answered, "I can take care of myself." He nodded and was about to leave when he added, "Thanks Dave. It's just hard trying to adapt..."

"I understand," he answered feeling a little sorry for his friend that he had to live a tougher, healthier lifestyle.

"I'll understand if you want to go out for a drink without me from now on. Won't be much fun with me there drinking an orange juice."

"Then we'll all drink orange juice. Aaron, we are all in this with you. You're not on your own."

"Thanks," he nodded then got back to his paperwork.

"We're all here for you."

"I appreciate it." He looked up some time later to see Dave was still there. "What?"

"Lunch time, Aaron."

"I've just got a couple more files then I'll go to lunch."

"Aaron, I know you. A couple of files will turn into oops where did lunch go. They can wait until after lunch."

"Fine," he grumbled placing his pen down. "You lot are going to drive me crazy."

"All in the name of your health."

He rolled his eyes. He just wanted control of his life again. He just wanted things to go back to how they'd been. He understood though that they couldn't. His life depended on it.

Rossi took him to a healthy cafe where they sat down with the healthiest sandwiches and salads they could get. Aaron had rolled his eyes when he saw Dave checking everything he picked up for its nutritional information.

At the end of the day Rossi came back to Hotch's office to make sure he didn't burn the midnight oil. He looked up as he heard the footsteps.

He rolled his eyes when he saw Dave. "I'm just signing my last signature of the day," he said.

Dave raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms. Aaron placed the pen down and packed away his briefcase. He raised an eyebrow back at him.

"Alright, alright. I know your family won't let you work at home, he said.

"I bet there's another meat and veg waiting for me at home," he replied.

"It's a good thing your daughter can cook."

"I know. I'm proud of her," he smiled gently.

"She's a great girl."

"She is..." he smiled sadly.

"Aaron, you have her now and she's not going anywhere."

"I know. I've just missed so much. So has Emily. Chloe's off to Yale next month."

"She'll still be in contact."

"I know. Well I'll be off home."

"See you in the morning."

"Absolutely."

They parted ways and Aaron headed home. He felt relieved to be able to drive his own car again. He hadn't been able to drive for two weeks. Today had been his first day behind the wheel.

When he got home he parked and went inside. He found his daughter at the cooker stirring what looked like a stew.

"Hi dad. Have a good day at work?" she smiled looking up.

"I did thanks," he smiled placing his briefcase down. He went over and kissed her cheek. "What's for dinner? Smells lovely."

"I was thinking a beef stew," she answered.

"Sounds great. Where are your mum and brother?"

"Mum's on the sofa with her leg up. Jack's in his room reading comics."

He nodded. "She got to her physiotherapy appointment, alright?"

"Yes, made sure she did though she did argue a little with the physiotherapist."

He smiled, "Sounds like your mother."

She chuckled and answered, "Yes very much like her."

"How long have you known her?"

"Three weeks..." He nodded and she turned back to the stew. "When I told the Dietzmans that I wanted to study law they told me I was adopted and that I had been stolen as a baby. They told me Emily was my mother but they didn't know who my father was. I contacted her and we communicated via email. The first time I met her we were..."

He nodded and hugged her. "None of this was your fault. We are both so happy to finally have you back."

"Thanks dad," she answered hugging him back.

"I'll let you get back to cooking and go see the others."

She nodded and he left.

Chapter Text

Yale

A month later Emily's cast was off and the family flew out to Connecticut to see Chloe go to Yale. They couldn't believe their little girl was already going to university. They'd only known her for two months.

They drove her into the university premises as a family. They'd all say goodbye to her here and let her settle in. Jack held her hand as they drove in seeing how nervous she was.

"It's going to be alright, Chloe. We'll always be here for you," he said.

"I know, little brother," she smiled hugging him close to her.

"I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too but we'll Skype, right?"

He nodded snuggling into her. She held him close loving being a big sister. She couldn't imagine life without any of them now. They were her family.

When they arrived Aaron parked while Emily went to take Chloe to pick up her dorm key. Even though it had been fifteen years since she graduated she still knew her way around.

When they got back to the car they picked up her boxes. They followed Emily and Chloe to her dorm room. When they got there they found her roommate already there.

"Well, I guess we'd better be going," Emily said on the verge of tears.

Chloe nodded sadly and made her goodbyes. Aaron and Emily told her they were proud of her then left with Jack. They got back in the car and headed back to their hotel.

When they got there they switched the television on for Jack. They went to their bedroom and she broke into tears. He held her close stroking her back.

"It's going to be alright, Em," he said a little emotional himself.

"Our baby's just gone to Yale, Aaron. We've only known her two months. She was just a baby in my arms and now she's eighteen. We missed so many years," she cried.

"I know, Emily, I know. I feel it too," he answered.

She tried recovering her tears and answered, "I'm sorry, of course you do. Aaron, I wanted you to meet her when she was a baby and waited for you to come. Mother told me she'd told you..."

"She told me we'd lost the baby," he answered looking down. "If I'd known what she was planning..."

She lifted up his chin and made him look her in the eyes. "Aaron, you were twenty-one and I was eighteen. We were just kids." He nodded. "And now she's at Yale."

"We haven't lost her, Emily. She'll still be in contact," he comforted.

"I know but we can't see her."

"She'll stay with us in the holidays."

"I know. I'm sorry."

"There's nothing to be sorry for. This is a big emotional time. We'll adapt together."

She snuggled into him. "We will. I love you, Aaron."

"I love you too, Emily."

"We'd better get back out to Jack."

"Good idea."

They went back to the family room to see him still glued to the television. He looked up when he heard their footsteps. Seeing Emily's sad face he ran up to her and hugged her.

"She'll be alright," he soothed.

"Yes she will, buddy," she answered crouching down and hugging the ten year old boy.

"You'll be going away soon, too."

"Only for a week. I'll just be sorting myself out so I can move in with you and your dad permanently." He nodded. "Will you like that?"

He nodded vigorously. "I can't wait."

"Neither can I."

He beamed back at her. She couldn't wait for when they would live together without her worrying about her things in London. She'd already given her job to her second in command.

Chapter Text

Chocolate

A week later she was in London packing up her things and getting ready to move in with her boyfriend and stepson. She'd found a chocolate bar in the fridge and tried to fight herself against taking a bite.

A sniff wouldn't do much harm would it she thought smelling it. The smell overtook her senses and she took a bite. Before she knew it she'd finished the bar.

She looked guiltily and threw the wrapped away. She'd failed him. She'd promised to give up chocolate to save his life and she'd just eaten this damn chocolate bar. She just hoped he didn't find out.

Suddenly her laptop beeped so she went over to it to see he was calling her on Skype. She licked around her mouth then brought up the chat hoping she'd got rid of all the chocolate.

He smiled when he saw her but was that chocolate on her face? "Emily, have you had chocolate?" he asked a little hurt and betrayed. She was meant to have given up chocolate to save his life.

She looked around her trying to pretend she hadn't. She felt so guilty but she didn't know what to say. She'd slipped up.

"Em, it's on your face," he added.

She looked down ashamed. "I'm sorry, Aaron, I didn't mean to," she answered.

"It's alright. I'll just go have some pizza and beer," he replied raising an eyebrow.

"No," she shouted. "Do you want to go back to hospital?"

"Do you want me to send over Garcia to keep an eye on you?"

She looked down playing with her hands. "I'm sorry, darling; it was a moment of weakness."

"When you get back I'll have Jack keep an eye on you."

She smiled thinking of the sweet boy she'd left in charge. "How crazy is he driving you?" she asked.

"I can't break a single rule. I can't have a single chip and he makes me go to bed at the same time as him."

"Good boy," she smiled. Aaron pouted back at her as he'd thought he'd get some sympathy. "He's just trying to take care of you the best way he can. He cares about you. You're his hero."

"I know. We miss you," he said sadly.

"I miss you too but I'll be home in three days," she answered.

He smiled slightly.

Chapter Text

School Play

The next day she flew back to Washington. At the airport she waited for her daughter's plane to come in from New Haven. They'd arranged this together and she couldn't go without her.

Suddenly she got a text message so looked at it and smiled as she saw Chloe's text. 'Landed xx.' She smiled and went up to arrivals.

When Chloe saw her she ran up and hugged her. "Hi mum," she smiled.

"Hey honey, I'm so proud of you," she answered knowing it was her first solo flight.

"Thanks mum. I'm so glad I've finally done it."

"Let's get a cab," she smiled.

She nodded excitedly. "Do dad and Jack know we're coming?"

She shook her head smiling. "No I told your father I'd be back in two days time. Going to leave it as a surprise for them."

"I can't wait to see their faces."

"Neither can I."

They smiled at each other and hailed a cab. Once they'd got one they headed to Jack's school. They were both excited to see Aaron and Jack again and keep it secret they were coming until they joined them.

When they arrived at the school they thanked the driver and went inside. They looked around the school for the school hall and soon found it. Once they were there they scanned the room for Aaron. They smiled when they saw him at the back of the room and two empty seats beside him.

They headed over and he looked up in shock. He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw them but got up anyway.

"What are you doing here?" he smiled.

"You didn't think we'd miss Jack's play, did you?" they smiled back.

"Of course not."

He kissed both their cheeks and helped them into their seats. Emily snuggled into him intertwining their fingers and rested her head on his shoulder.

They watched the play in this position. It was a really good play and they were proud of Jack. It was a production of Oliver and Jack had the lead role.

After the play he came running up. When he saw Emily and Chloe he exclaimed their names excitedly. He reached them and they both hugged him.

"You came to my play! I told dad you would but he wouldn't believe me," he smiled.

Emily raised an eyebrow and he defended, "You said you were coming home in two days time. No-one breathed a word to me."

She kissed his cheek and answered, "It was meant to be a surprise."

"And it was a wonderful surprise," he smiled hugging her close to him and kissing her hair.

"I'm glad," she smiled up at him.

"How did I do?" Jack asked.

"You were perfect, buddy. We're so proud of you," they smiled at him.

He beamed back up at them. "I enjoyed myself."

"We're glad you did, little brother," Chloe smiled ruffling his hair.

His fifth grade teacher came walking up and smiled when she saw his dad but her face fell when she saw the woman he was with. She'd had a crush on him since she taught Jack in the third grade. She'd been so happy when she was assigned his class again.

Emily slipped away from his embrace and offered her hand. "Hi, you must be Jack's teacher. I'm Emily Prentiss, his dad's girlfriend."

"Yes I am, Ms Springer. Nice to meet you," she smiled trying not to show the disappointment on her face.

"Nice to meet you too. Jack's told me so much about you."

"All good stuff I hope," she answered smiling at the boy.

"Absolutely," Emily smiled up at her placing her hand on Jack's shoulder.

They headed home shortly after introducing Chloe. She'd changed her name legally to Hotchner a couple of weeks before starting Yale. She'd wanted to start with the name she was always meant to have.

Chapter Text

Fight

They'd just returned to the office after having been away three days on a case in California when Rossi poked his head inside Hotch's office.

Hotch rolled his eyes and defended, "I'm just making sure these reports are finished before I go home. I just want this case over and done with."

"You know you can't burn the midnight oil," he answered concerned he'd been overworking himself on this case. He'd noticed how all the victims had been young, brunette women just like Chloe. He'd been wound so tight.

"It's been three and a half months," he answered frustrated. "I can look after myself."

"Aaron, we're just trying to look out for you. You have to be as healthy as possible now you only have one kidney."

"I know but I can look after myself. I don't need all this nannying. I'm a grown man, for Christ's sake!"

"Aaron, we're just trying to make sure you don't end up back in hospital."

He pushed the files to the side unable to concentrate. He closed his eyes and decided he needed a breath of fresh air. He opened his eyes and got up feeling a little unsteady on his feet.

He tried to take short deep breaths feeling a little short of breath. Maybe that breath of fresh air might help him. He looked up and saw Rossi standing there.

"Do we have a case?" he asked confused then left his office.

Suddenly his breathing became even harder and he felt his foot go from beneath him. The team watched in horror as he fell down the stairs and ran to his aid. Rossi immediately called for an ambulance while JJ called for Emily.

Chapter Text

Paramedics

He then got down by his best friend while JJ took Aaron's hand. "Aaron, it's going to be alright. The ambulance's on its way. Just take deep breaths."

He tried and asked with a furrowed eyebrow, "How did I get down here? Do we have a case? Where's Emily?" He put his hand behind his head then brought it back out and saw blood on it. "Is that blood?"

Rossi looked down at him hoping the paramedics would arrive soon. Garcia rushed in with a compress to try and stop the bleeding. She pressed it against the back of his head after raising it for him.

"Aaron, you collapsed. We don't have a case. Emily's on her way as are the paramedics. Yes its blood but Garcia's managing to keep it under control. Just hold on in there," Rossi comforted.

He went silent but tried to focus on his breathing. He still felt shortness of breath and confusion. He had no idea what was going on and it was scaring him. His chest and side hurt but he wouldn't let them know.

Soon enough the paramedics arrived and rushed to Aaron. He'd begun to hyperventilate and was fighting to keep his eyes open. They put the mask over his face and dealt with his head placing him on the gurney.

They rushed him to the ambulance while Rossi followed telling them to call Chloe. He knew Emily was on the way and believed their daughter should know too. She was old enough to know after all.

They took him down in the lift and into the ambulance. Once he was in the ambulance they rushed him to hospital. He began to rely on the breathing mask more and more while trying to keep his eyes open even harder.

"Aaron, I know you you can fight this. You fought death twice three and a half months ago and you will fight again. You have a family that need you. We need you," Rossi encouraged.

His skin began to turn grey and his eyes closed. The monitors started beeping and the doctors looked concerned.

"His blood pressure's dropping," he said checking the needle and the blood drip.

Thankfully they'd arrived at the hospital and immediately rushed him to surgery. They wouldn't let Rossi go any further.

He paced outside in the waiting room trying to calm his fears. Soon enough he'd have to face Emily and the children and he really didn't want to scare them. He'd never seen him so close to death but he knew he was a fighter.

Chapter Text

News

The team were first to arrive then Emily and Chloe. When she arrived she ran right up to him ignoring the others.

"How bad is it?" she asked worried. He looked down unsure how to tell her then back up at her again. She could see the worry and fear etched on her face and her hand went straight to her mouth while tears filled her eyes. "Oh my god! No, no!"

He hugged her close to him and answered, "Em, you know he's a fighter. He's going to survive..." She nodded with tears in her eyes. "We can't lose hope, Emily. He's going to make it."

She nodded and sat down numbly. This couldn't be happening. They'd only been together for three and a half months now he was critically ill.

Dr Nyland came out looking grave. They were relieved it was the same doctor that had operated on him three and a half months ago. He knew the full picture,

They all got up when they saw him and Emily clung to her daughter. They all had a feeling it was bad news. They just hoped it wasn't fatal.

"How is he?" Rossi asked worried.

"His kidney's failing him. We've managed to transplant an artificial kidney and put him on the list for a real kidney but unfortunately it could take months and we don't know how long the artificial one will work," he answered.

Emily closed her eyes and turned into her daughter as Chloe held her closer. Rossi placed a hand on her shoulder and looked at him worried.

"Is there any way we can speed it up?" he asked.

"I can't see any possible way unless a kidney was to fall in my lap."

"We'll donate one," they all answered. There were no ifs or buts about it they'd do anything to save his life even sacrifice an organ for him.

"We'll have to run some tests to find the best compatible match."

They nodded and followed him to have blood tests taken. They'd do whatever they needed to save his life. There was no way they'd stand by and watch him die.

Chapter Text

Results

They were soon waiting in the waiting room again anxiously anticipating the verdict to who was the best match to donate him their kidney. They really hoped one of them was. They knew the odds had to be that one of them was.

Emily sat beside her daughter fretting over waiting to hear the result. She'd been sick these last three days but hadn't done anything about it. She believed it was just a bug.

She felt nauseous and tried to take deep breaths. She looked around for the toilet and when she spotted it ran towards it. She soon found herself with her head over a toilet crying and throwing up.

Once she'd stopped being sick she flushed the toilet and got back up. She went over to the sink and splashed some water on her face. She then looked up in the mirror and saw her mascara had run so wiped it off.

She heard the door go and looked up to see Garcia with red eyes.

"Dr Nyland's arrived to give us the results," she said.

She nodded and answered, "I'll be right out."

"You alright, wonder woman?"

"As alright as I can be."

"Bossman's baby brother is on the way."

She nodded and they headed out to the others and Dr Nyland. They also saw one of the haematologists there looking pensive.

"We've got all the results in from the tests and it appears the best compatible match is Miss Dietzman," Danny said looking up from his chart.

"Its Miss Hotchner now," she answered getting up nervously. She was scared about the operation and living with one kidney but she would do anything to save her father's life.

He nodded and corrected, "Miss Hotchner." She looked at her mother and nodded.

Emily was about to get up to accompany and support her when the haematologist said, "Miss Prentiss, we need to speak to you. We found something in your blood."

She nodded but looked at her daughter worried. She wanted to be there for her but she had to see the haematologist. They all saw her face and looked at her concerned.

"I'll go with Chloe," Rossi said smiling at Emily slightly.

"Thank you," she whispered and they parted ways after she gave her daughter a reassuring hug. "I'm so proud of you," she whispered.

"Thanks mum," she whispered back hugging her close then leaving with Rossi and Dr Nyland to prepare for surgery. Emily meanwhile followed the haematologist.

Chapter Text

Pregnant

She sat in the waiting room trying to calm her fears. Her daughter and her boyfriend were both in surgery. She couldn't lose either of them. They'd only been a family for three and a half months when they should have been for eighteen years.

Sean had arrived only ten minutes ago and sat down beside her. She looked up at him.

"Is everything alright?" he asked.

"Other than the fact your brother and my daughter are in surgery?" she snapped.

"Emily, we're all worried but they're Hotchners they're going to make it."

She nodded and he wrapped his arm around her holding him close to him. He found he quite liked his sister-in-law. "Sean, I just found out I'm pregnant," she confessed.

He looked at her shocked and asked, "What?"

"I'm carrying your brother's baby."

"Oh Emily," he answered hugging her closer. "My brother's going to make it. You know he's a fighter. The baby will know its father. You're not going to be on your own raising the child."

She nodded and laid her head on his shoulder. She felt safe in her brother-in-law's arms. She knew he'd look after her when Aaron couldn't. Her heart would always belong to his big brother.

She heard footsteps and looked up to see her stepson arrive with his aunt. As soon as he saw her he ran up to her and she hugged him close pulling him onto her lap. Yes he was ten but they both needed the comfort right now.

"Emily?" he asked looking up at her.

"Yes buddy," she answered stroking his hair.

"Will dad be alright?"

"Of course he will. He's a fighter," she answered trying to calm her fears.

"Where's Chloe? Is she on her way?"

She swallowed the lump in her throat. "Buddy, Chloe's here but she's helping save your dad."

"How?" he asked confused.

"Dad needed a new kidney and Chloe is giving him one of hers."

"She's the best."

"She is," she smiled slightly stroking his hair. "Jack, would you like to be a big brother?"

"Are you pregnant?" he asked.

"Yes buddy I am. Is that alright with you?"

He nodded and answered, "I'm going to be the best big brother."

"Yes you are. You're already the best little brother."

He smiled up at her. "Does dad know?"

"He was in surgery when the doctor told me but we can tell him together, can't we?"

He nodded enthusiastically and she kissed his hair.

They heard footsteps and looked up to see Dr Nyland arrive looking better than he did the last two times. They looked up hopeful the operation had gone well.

Chapter Text

Visit

"How are they?" Rossi asked.

"The operation was successful. They're both recuperating and should be out within the week. Mr Hotchner will have to take anti-rejection pills," he answered.

Emily wanted to get up and just fling her arms over his shoulders for saving her man and their daughter. Instead she hugged Jack and asked, "Can we see them?"

"Of course," he smiled. Jack jumped off her lap and she held his hand following Danny to their room. The others followed at a distance.

When they got to their room they saw Aaron opening his eyes and taking in his surroundings. Jack ran up to him and hugged him taking a seat beside him.

"You gave us a bit of a scare," Emily smiled at him after hugging him as well.

"I'm so sorry," he answered.

"Dad you must take better care of yourself from now on. We can't keep giving you kidneys."

"I'll try, buddy," he answered taking his hand.

"Good as Chloe's already given you her kidney...I love you so much, dad."

"I love you so much too, buddy," he smiled at him.

"Emily's got some news," he replied excitedly kicking his legs.

"She does?" he asked.

Emily nodded with tears in her eyes and placed his other hand on her stomach looking deep into his eyes. His eyes opened wide and she nodded.

"Yes, Aaron, we're going to have another baby," she smiled.

"Oh Emily," he answered with tears in his eyes. "We'll do it right this time."

"Aaron, we'd have done it right last time if it hadn't been for my mother."

"Your mother can never interfere again," he soothed. "She's in prison."

She nodded. "Hopefully will never be released."

"She won't be, Em. We won. We're all back together and having another baby."

"Yes we are," she answered stroking his hand. "I love you, Aaron."

"I love you too, Emily. Always have."

"I've never loved another."

"Mum," she heard a voice behind her whisper. She looked back to see her daughter was awake. She sat beside her.

"Hey you," she smiled.

"Is dad ok?"

"I'm fine, sweetie," he answered looking over at her. "I just feel so lucky to have you as a daughter. Thank you so much for saving my life. I'm eternally grateful."

"Anything for you dad. I love you."

"I love you too, darling."

She smiled back and tried to sit up at the same time as her dad. Emily and Jack both looked at each other and nodded. They both tried to get them to stay lying down not to pull their stitches. They lied back down frustrated. Emily smiled at how alike they were.

"How long do we have to be in here?" Aaron asked.

"A week," Emily answered looking over at him. He groaned. "Aaron, you nearly died."

He nodded and answered, "I'm not going anywhere."

"No, you're not. He's Superman, isn't he, Jack?" He nodded vigorously in answer causing his father to smile. "Baby will think so too." He smiled even more looking at her stomach.

"Baby? Mum, are you pregnant?" Chloe asked.

"Yes I am," she smiled down at her daughter. "But that doesn't mean you're being replaced."

"Hey, I'm eighteen, I know that. I also know it's your second chance and you deserve it. You're such great parents and I'm so sorry you never got to raise me."

"Thank you, Chloe. That means a lot to us and don't worry about the past we're all together now. That's all that matters."

She nodded and smiled, "Congratulations mum and dad."

"Thanks honey," they both answered smiling at her.

The others came in to see them as well and Aaron was surprised to see his little brother. They all congratulated them on their pregnancy which they accepted with huge smiles.

On the way out Emily asked, "Sean, where are you staying?"

"I was thinking of finding a motel somewhere and maybe staying there," he answered.

"No, stay with us. You're family. You can sleep on the couch."

"Thanks sis. Can I call you sis?"

"I'm carrying your brother's child," she smiled at him nodding. "We're family."

He smiled back at her hoping his big brother would marry her soon. She was definitely a keeper. It was clear how she and his brother loved each other. They had a history.

They went home knowing that Chloe and Aaron would look out for each other. She was thankful for that since no-one would let her stay due to her pregnancy and them not being married yet.

Chapter Text

Necklace

She got out the bedding for Sean after putting Jack to bed then sat on her bed. She stroked his side of the bed unable to sleep then went to her jewellery box.

She lifted out a necklace she'd had since she was eighteen. It was a gold plastic ring on a long gold chain. She played with it in between her fingers smiling.

She heard a cough and looked to the doorway startled. She saw Sean there leaning against it.

"Sorry I couldn't sleep and saw you were still up," he apologised.

"It's alright, I couldn't sleep either," she answered. She looked back at the necklace.

"Want to talk about it?"

"I was just thinking about when your brother gave me this..." He leant next to the doorway crossing his arms and looking interested. "I was eighteen he was twenty-one. It was his day off and I sneaked out. We went to an arcade and he got this ring for a gumball machine. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him promising he'd get me a better ring..." She bit back the tears and swallowed the lump in her throat.

"He proposed?" he asked shocked.

She nodded and answered, "Thanks to my mother it was the last time I saw him until I joined the BAU."

"And you kept it all this time?"

"I kept it on my finger until it turned green then put it on this chain. I only took it off when I found him married to Haley but I couldn't bear to throw it out."

He nodded and sat down on the bed. "Em, you're back together now and having a baby," he soothed.

"Yes we are," she smiled slightly up at him.

"It's time to let go of the past and hold onto the happy memories."

She nodded then heard the sound of footsteps. She looked up to see Jack run into the room and patted the bed beside her. He sat next to her and hugged him close.

"Emmy, can I sleep in your bed tonight? I had a nightmare," he asked looking down at the floor.

"Of course you can, buddy," she answered stroking his hair.

"I'll try and get to sleep myself," Sean said.

She nodded and climbed into the bed with her stepson. He snuggled up close to her as they tried to get to sleep.

Chapter Text

First Operation

Aaron stirred and opened his eyes to see his daughter was still awake looking a little frightened.

"Chloe, you alright?"He asked seeing a tear rolling down her cheek.

"Yes dad, it's just I've never had an operation before or staying in a hospital bed," she answered vulnerably.

"Chloe, it'll be alright. We'll only be here for a week and I'll always be here for you," he said.

"Thanks dad. I know," she smiled slightly.

"Chloe..."

"Yes dad," she answered turning to him.

"Thank you..."

"You already said that," she smiled.

He smiled back at her. "You were very brave and I'm proud of you. I'm just sorry your first operation was to save my life."

"Well I'm not," she smiled at him. "I'm proud my first was to save your life. I'd do anything for you dad."

"What did I do to deserve you?"

"Dad, you save this whole country from monsters every day. You're a hero. I'm proud of you."

"I'm proud of you too, Chloe. You're already top of your law class at one of the top universities in this country and now you save my life."

She smiled back and soon felt her eyes closing again. He watched her for a while then let his own close again relieved he's chased her fears away.

Chapter Text

Journey

Emily woke up the next morning to find Jack still snuggling up to her with his arm over her stomach protectively. She smiled at how he was already trying to protect his little brother or sister. He was going to make a wonderful big brother.

She ruffled his hair and he woke up smiling up at her. She kissed his hair and hugged him.

"Did you have a nice sleep?" she smiled. He nodded and hugged her close to him. "We'll go see your father and sister later. As soon as we're ready." He smiled even more and jumped out of bed running to his room. She smiled after him.

"You're a great mother," Sean said leaning against the doorway.

"Do you make a habit of leaning against doorways scaring people?" she answered with a raised eyebrow.

"Sorry," he smiled. "I was just wondering if you two would like pancakes."

"Sounds great," she smiled back.

After they'd gotten ready she went back to the jewellery box. She got out the necklace and placed it around her neck. She played with it then headed out to the boys who were already in the car.

She found Sean in the driver's seat and raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms.

"Can't let you drive while you're pregnant. My brother would kill me," he defended.

"Sean, one of the things you'll have to know about me is I am as stubborn as your brother," she answered.

"That's no lie," Jack piped up giggling. Sean couldn't help laughing while Emily tried to mask a smile.

"Why you cheeky little monkey," she answered getting in beside him and tickling him. He laughed as she put on her seatbelt. "You're lucky I love you so much," she smiled at him.

"I love you too, Emmy," he smiled back.

Sean drove them off to the hospital.

Chapter Text

Engagement

When they arrived they headed straight to their room. Jack ran in while Sean followed and Emily took a deep breath playing with the ring around her neck. She hadn't worn it since that day she first appeared in his office but even then she had it tucked under her shirt.

She placed it over her shirt letting the ring rest between her breasts. She took another deep breath and went inside. Aaron smiled as he saw her and Sean whispered in Jack's ear. He nodded and went to sit next to his sister's bed.

Emily took the now empty chair and took Aaron's hand. He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the ring on her chest. Was that the ring he'd given her that day at the arcade?

He lifted it up and played with it. "You kept it?" he asked with tears in his eyes.

"I couldn't bear to throw it away even when I found you were married to Haley," she answered holding his hand with both of hers.

She looked over to her brother-in-law to see he'd picked up his brother's chart. He smiled nodding and she nodded message understood. Everything was alright.

She turned back to Aaron and said, "Aaron, if the offer still stands the answer is still yes. "She looked down playing with his fingers.

"Of course it is," he answered making her look back up with tears in her eyes.

"Please ask me again."

"Emily, will you be my wife?"

"Yes," she cried, "yes I'll marry you. I've wanted to marry you for eighteen years."

"As soon as I'm out of here let's just get married. We've waited long enough," he smiled.

"Can't wait."

"Neither can I."

The children smiled at them really big smiles. "Mum and dad are getting married," Jack beamed.

"What did you just call me Jack?" Emily asked in disbelief.

"Mum," he answered looking down. "Can I call you that? You feel like a mum to me."

"She opened her arms wide for him and answered, "Of course you can. I love you like my own son."

He beamed running into her arms and she pulled him onto her lap hugging him close. Aaron smiled watching them that his family was finally complete.

Chapter Text

Wedding

The next day when she arrived she saw another man there. She looked concerned and asked, "Is everything alright?"

"Emily, this is the chaplain. I hope you don't mind but I couldn't wait. Will you marry me now? We've already wasted so many years," he answered nervously.

She smiled with tears in her eyes nodding. "Yes," she smiled.

"I know it's not very romantic but I can't wait any longer for you to be my wife."

"Aaron, I don't care how we get married; I don't care where we get married as long as we get married. I love you and I've waited eighteen years."

He smiled at her and Sean walked over. "I've got the rings," he answered placing them down on the bedside table.

"Thanks," he smiled back. He looked back at Emily and added, "I picked these out eighteen years ago."

"Oh Aaron," she smiled with tears in her eyes.

"Let's correct a past mistake."

She nodded and sat down by him holding his hand turning to the chaplain.

"Before I start would you like to make the traditional vows or your own?" the chaplain asked.

She looked to him and they both nodded. "We'd like to make our own," they answered smiling at each other.

He smiled and started the ceremony.

"Do you Aaron Thomas take thee Emily Valerie to be thy lawful wedded wife?" he asked.

"I do," he smiled at her.

"Do you Emily Valerie take thee Aaron Thomas to be thy lawful wedded husband?"

"I do."

Soon it was time to make their vows and Jack gave his dad Emily's ring. Sean helped him sit up as much as he could without pulling his stitches.

"Emily, my love, my life. I first fell in love with you when you were only eighteen and though I married another woman I never really fell out. I made the mistake of believing a lie and I am so sorry for all the pain I caused. I should have told you when we met again how much I loved you but I was too scared. You are the most forgiving and loving woman I've ever met and my love for you has only grown stronger. I will always love you and with this ring I become the happiest man in the world," he said slipping the ring on her finger and kissing her hand.

Jack then gave Emily his dad's ring. She took his hand and said, "Aaron, you are the only man I have ever loved. I've loved you for half my life and will never stop. We were separated for many years by a misunderstanding and I'm so sorry we lost so many years. The distance only made my love for you strengthen and I don't think I could love you more. You are the best man I have ever known and I can't imagine my life without you. With this ring I become the happiest of women." She slipped the ring onto his finger and kissed his hand.

The register was soon brought out for them to sign. She signed first then they all helped him to sign being careful of his stitches. He then sank back a little tired.

"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss," the chaplain said.

She held his hand while they smiled at each other and she kissed him on the lips. The chaplain left and Aaron tried to fight sleep.

"Honey, it's ok, you can sleep. You had a transplant only two days ago. You need to gain your strength back," she soothed.

"But we just got married," he answered.

"We can celebrate later. Your health is number one priority. As soon as you're better and out of here we can celebrate. Sleep."

"Yes ma'am," he smiled then closed his eyes while she watched him. She soon felt her own eyes drooping and fell asleep. She hadn't been able to sleep herself in excitement and nerves that they were finally getting married. Now she was married she felt free.

Chapter Text

Announcement

Garcia ran into the bullpen squealing. She couldn't believe what she'd just seen but she knew it was true. Her boss had just become a married man again.

"What is it?" Morgan asked.

"Emily and Aaron just got married," she squealed.

"Ow," he said touching his ear. "Penelope, Penelope, breathe." She took a deep breath. "Now, what's going on?"

"I was checking Aaron's hospital records again and I found a marriage certificate filed this morning. Aaron and Emily got married this morning," she answered clapping her hands.

"About time too," Rossi smiled. He couldn't be happier for his best friend and new wife.

"Why didn't they tell us?" Reid asked looking down.

"I don't think they could wait any longer. They've already waited eighteen years. I'm sure they want to celebrate with us."

He nodded.

Garcia clapped her hands and answered, "We could throw them a party."

"Good idea," Rossi smiled at her.

"Ooh my co-conspirator."

He just raised an eyebrow and smiled at her.

Chapter Text

Homecoming

A few days later Aaron and Chloe were allowed to leave the hospital. Sean and Emily went to pick them up while Jack was at school.

They got out both wheelchairs and father and daughter rolled their eyes. "We are not getting into them," they said.

"You both had operations five days ago. Please get in the wheelchairs," Emily answered. "It's hospital procedure." They just glared back at her. "For me and the baby," she answered placing her hands on her stomach.

He sighed answering, "Fine," climbing into the chair. "But you're not pushing either of our chairs...for the baby."

"Fine," she answered rolling her eyes.

Chloe not wanting to cause more tension sat in her wheelchair. Dr Nyland came and helped wheel her out while Sean wheeled out his brother. When they reached the car they helped them both into the back. Emily climbed in along with them.

Aaron was in the middle and placed his hand on his wife's stomach. He still couldn't believe he was going to have another child. Emily had found out she was three months pregnant. She snuggled up to him resting her head on his shoulder. She snuggled up to him resting her head on his shoulder.

"I still can't believe we're having another baby," she smiled.

"Neither can I," he smiled back.

"I hope to God this one craves healthy food. Chloe craved chocolate."

"Will you be good for daddy and not want unhealthy things?" Aaron asked her stomach.

"I hope so," she smiled at him. "They'll definitely love you."

"They'll love you too."

She smiled at him. "You're a great father."

"You're a great mother."

"I love you, husband."

"I love you too, wife."

She took his face into her hands and kissed him slowly and gently on the lips. He soon joined in with as much passion. They couldn't believe they'd been married three days already. It felt surreal.

Chloe smiled back at her parents hoping one day she'd be that happy. She hoped they'd approve of the one she fell in love with. She already had her eyes set on a fellow student. She'd been brought up to believe her love was wrong but how could love be wrong?

Chapter Text

Surprise Reception

The day before he returned to work and Chloe went back to Yale they were invited to Rossi's cabin. They wondered what was going on. Dave refused to tell them why they were being invited but to dress up.

They did as they were told and headed to the cabin. He drove all five of them. Sean hadn't returned to New York yet and was planning to move to Virginia. He wanted to be nearer to his family again. His fiancée had run off with another man anyway.

When they arrived Aaron parked the car and saw it was all set up for a party. What was going on they thought? No-one had told them about a party.

They got out and he held his wife's hand up to the cabin. He knocked on the door and Dave answered with a huge smile.

"Ah here are the newly-weds," he smiled.

They looked at each other confused then back at him. "How did you know we got married?" they asked.

"I found your marriage certificate," Garcia smiled coming into the room.

"Of course," Emily smiled then smiling up at her husband who was trying to hide a smirk.

Garcia rushed over to Emily and picked up her right hand gushing, "Let me see the ring." She showed off the ring smiling. It was a simple gold band but it was still so beautiful. "It's beautiful," she added.

"He bought them eighteen years ago," Emily smiled at her husband.

"That's so romantic," Garcia gushed.

"It is," she agreed.

They took them out to the garden. They were taken aback by how beautiful the garden looked. There were strings of lights hanging in the trees and a dance floor and seating area set up.

As soon as they entered the garden everyone cheered. Emily smiled up at her husband and snuggled up to him. They ran up and congratulated them on their marriage. They smiled and thanked them.

They couldn't stop smiling at how life was turning out. They'd reunited with their daughter, were expecting another baby and had got married. After eighteen years everything was finally going their way.

They sat down at the head of the table with Jack and Chloe either side of them. They were finally a family that all shared the same last name. Like they should have done eighteen years ago. Everything was finally going right.

They ate the wonderful food Dave had got for them all then Dave clinked his glass. Everyone looked up at him as he stood up.

"I'd like to make a toast to the newly-weds, Aaron and Emily. If anyone has shown us how lasting and patient love can be it's you two. You waited eighteen years to be together and it's only strengthened your love. We are so happy for you two that you are finally married. To Aaron and Emily," he said.

"To Aaron and Emily," they all answered raising their glass. Emily smiled at her husband while he smiled back placing his hand over hers. Everyone smiled at how happy they were.

Soon it was time for their first dance. He led her onto the dance floor and held her close. They slow danced to the music holding onto each other as she rested her head on his chest.

Soon it was over and they pulled away and mingled with the others.

Garcia saw Chloe was on her own and went over to her. She smiled when she saw her approaching. She already quite liked her Auntie Penelope.

"Hey wonder girl," she smiled. "I hear you go back to Yale tomorrow." She nodded smiling.

"I'll miss everyone but I quite like it there," she smiled.

"Glad to hear it. I know you probably work really hard but I hope you still have time for boys..." Chloe's face dropped feeling a pain in her chest and tears fill her eyes. "A girl like you the boys must be flocking to your door."

She felt the tears filling her eyes and walked away. She sat on the steps of the cabin playing with a piece of grass. Who was she kidding? No-one would accept her love it was filthy and wrong.

Chapter Text

Talk

She heard footsteps and looked up to see Uncle Dave in the porch light. "May I sit here?" he asked. She shrugged and he sat down next to her. "Is everything alright? I noticed you slip out after talking to Garcia."

"It's nothing," she answered continuing to play with the blade of grass.

"Didn't look like nothing. Chloe, what's upset you?" he asked gently.

"It's going to sound silly."

"I'm sure it isn't."

"Auntie Penelope said she hoped I had time for boys and that the boys must be flocking to my door."

"What's bad about that?"

"I don't fall in love with boys," she answered looking down playing with a stick.

"Chloe, are you trying to say you're a lesbian?"

She nodded looking at the ground. "If you want to put a label to it yes. I've known since I was thirteen and got my first crush on a girl. I fell in love with a girl when I was fifteen and the Dietzmans noticed. She was my tennis instructor. Someone told the Dietzmans and she was fired. They told me she had been poisoning my mind and that it was a cardinal sin."

"Chloe," he said gently. "Chloe, look at me..." She looked at him vulnerably with tears in her eyes. "Believe me, she was never poisoning your mind and homosexuality is not a cardinal sin. How can loving anyone be a sin?"

"That's what I thought but I let them get to me. I tried so hard to be the person they wanted me to be then I met mum and dad...What will they think?"

"They'll be horrified at how mistreated you were by the Dietzmans. They'll want you to be your true self."

She nodded. "How will they take my sexuality?"

"Chloe, nothing will ever change their love for you. All they want is for you to be happy and loved. They won't see any problem with it."

She smiled and nodded. "So I should tell them?"

"Yes you should," he answered rubbing her back.

"But not tonight. I don't want to spoil it for them. It's their night."

He nodded and answered, "But tell them soon as there's really nothing to hide."

She smiled, "I will. Thanks for the talk Uncle Dave."

"Anytime. We'd better get back to the party." She nodded and they got up heading back to the party. "So do you have your eye on any lucky girl?"

"There's a girl in my class that I quite like but I don't know how she feels about me."

"Then ask her," he smiled. "You'll never know unless you ask."

"Alright, I will," she smiled back. She then looked down and asked, "Uncle Dave, please may you keep this secret until I tell my parents?"

"Of course, dear," he answered. "Just tell them soon."

"I will," she nodded.

Chapter Text

Back to Normal

The next day Aaron was back at work. He sat back in his chair and sighed a satisfied sigh. He was back and this time he was going to try and take it as easily as he could for his health. He knew the others had picked up the slack in his absence.

He picked up his pen and got to work on his first report. He soon heard footsteps and looked up to see his best friend.

"I'll take better care of myself," he promised.

"Glad to hear it," he answered. "Welcome back."

"Thanks," he smiled then got back to work.

He finished earlier than the others and packed up his stuff. The team looked up shocked as he left before them.

When he got to the door to the bullpen he said, "Don't burn the midnight oil."

They nodded and he left the office not looking back. He knew one look and he'd be returning to his office. He knew he had to go home and not work the long hours anymore. As they all said his health had to be top priority now. He had a new wife, two children and was expecting another.

He got into his car and drove straight home. When he got home they all ran up to him. Jack gave him a hug immediately then Chloe gave him one and Emily kissed his cheek. He reciprocated the hugs and kissed his wife's cheek back.

He turned to Chloe and asked, "Your bags packed?"

"Yes dad," she answered.

"I'll just get changed then we'll go."

"Alright," she smiled. "Mum and Jack are coming too."

"Good."

He raced up to his room and changed out of his suit and into a shirt and jeans. He then went downstairs and got his family and Chloe's bags into the car. Once they were all in the car he drove them off to the airport for Chloe's flight.

When they arrived he carried her bags to check in for her, she checked in then went back to her family.

"Well I guess it's time to leave," she said.

"I guess," Emily cried hugging her.

She hugged her back answering, "I'll ring as soon as I land."

"We know you will, sweetheart," Aaron answered hugging her. "I'll look after your mother."

She nodded and hugged him back. Jack hugged her so she hugged him back. "I'll look after mum and dad for you," he said.

"I know you will," she answered hugging him. "You'll do a really good job."

He beamed and she left heading to the terminal.

She turned back knowing she needed to tell them about her sexuality. "Mum, dad," she said nervously.

"Yes sweetheart," they answered as Aaron wrapped his arm around Emily's shoulder. They knew from her face it was something serious.

She looked down swallowing the lump in her throat. "I...I...I..." She then looked back up again and added, "I love you," then walked away. She hung her head and let the tears fall.

Would she ever get the courage to come out to her parents? She hoped so but it was so scary. Why was she such a coward? Uncle Dave had told her there was nothing to hide. She'd failed to keep her promise of telling them soon. She just hoped he'd keep his and not tell them until she found the right time.

Chapter Text

Sonogram

Three months later Emily and Aaron were in the waiting room at the hospital. They were waiting for her name to be called for her six months scan. He held her hand and laid his other on her bump. She was a lot bigger than she had been when she was pregnant with Chloe.

Soon enough her gynaecologist called her name. He stood up and helped Emily up. She waddled up to the doctor while he followed.

"So how are we feeling today, Mrs Hotchner?" the doctor smiled.

"Apart from needing to run to the toilet every five minutes and looking like a bleached whale fine," she snapped.

"You look absolutely beautiful," Aaron assured her.

"I'm even fatter than I was with Chloe."

"Em, you're not fat you're pregnant with our precious baby."

She nodded and they went into the sonogram. They brought up her top to reveal her six months pregnant bump. They put paper down to protect her clothes and the lubricating gel over her bump. She ran the sensor over it and they saw the picture appear on the monitor.

They saw two bodies and looked at each other shocked. They couldn't be having twins, could they? Was that why she was so big? They were having twins.

"Twins," they gasped in disbelief.

"Yes, you're going to have twins," the gynaecologist confirmed.

"Oh my god, Aaron we're going to have twins," Emily cried.

"Yes we are," he smiled at her holding her hand in both of his.

"Would you like to know the sexes?" the gynaecologist asked.

He looked at her and she nodded vigorously. "Yes," he answered.

"You're having one of each. You see this thing here," she said pointing to the screen. They nodded. "That's your son's penis."

They smiled at each other. "Oh Aaron, we're going to have two boys and two girls," she cried.

"Yes we are," he smiled back. Seeing the gynaecologist look confused he explained, "We already have a daughter and I have a son."

"Ah," she answered nodding understood. She ran the sensor over the bump for a little longer then wiped the gel off her bump. Emily put down her top and sat up.

"Do you want to go tell the team?" he asked.

She nodded excitedly exclaiming, "Yes please."

"Alright, we will," he beamed kissing her hair. He was just as excited as her about their babies and wanted to do everything he could to protect all three of them.

He helped her off the bed and escorted her to their car. When they got there he helped her in then got in himself. He drove them off to the BAU.

Chapter Text

Telling the Team

When they got there he helped her out and led her to the lift making sure to ask the receptionist to call her a cab to take her home. Once they reached the right floor he led her into the bullpen.

The team rushed up once they saw her.

"Oh my, look how big you've gotten," Garcia gushed.

"Well, I am six months pregnant," she cried.

"And you look absolutely beautiful like I told you earlier," Aaron assured pulling her close to him.

"You're only saying that because I'm your wife and carrying your children," she answered looking up at him.

"He's right. You look radiant," Rossi added.

"Aw thank you," Emily smiled weakly.

"Wait a second; wait a second, hold up, children?" Morgan asked.

Emily nodded while Aaron went behind her and placed his hands on her bump. "We found out this morning we're having twins," he beamed resting his head on her shoulder.

"Oh my, do you know the sexes?" Garcia asked excitedly.

They nodded and she answered, "A boy and a girl."

"That's perfect! A baby wonder woman and a baby superman."

They smiled at her and he kissed her cheek. She smiled up at him and kissed his. He withdrew his hands and looked up at his team as Anderson ran in.

"Mrs Hotchner, your cab's arrived," he said.

"Thanks Anderson," she smiled back. She turned back to her husband and said, "Well, I'd better go and you'd better get to work. I'll see you at home."

He nodded and answered, "Take care. Let me know when you've got home."

"I will," she smiled.

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

He placed his hand on the back of her neck and she tilted her head upwards. They placed their lips on each other's and kissed a quick, passionate kiss.

She then turned away patting his chest and went home. He watched her leave.

"Come on, Aaron, you're acting like you'll never see her again," Rossi said putting his hand on his shoulder.

He shook his head then smiled at him. "I just worry," he answered.

"Of course you do. You're an expectant father. If you weren't I'd think something was wrong with you." Aaron nodded. "She'll be fine, Sean's there."

He nodded and got to work.

Chapter Text

Kicking

That evening Emily heard the key in the door and struggled to get up to greet her husband. Sean rolled his eyes and tried to get her to sit back down. She sat down with a sigh as the struggle was too tiring.

Jack ran in and hugged her excitedly. She hugged him back being careful of her babies.

"Dad came to pick me up from school," he exclaimed.

"Wasn't that a nice surprise?" she smiled.

He beamed nodding while she smiled up at her husband. He smiled back as she hugged his son close.

Suddenly she felt a movement in her stomach and gasped, "Ow." Aaron looked at her worried and she waved her hand. "It's nothing," she assured. "I think they kicked." His look of concern changed into a soft smile and he crouched down in front of her placing his hand on her bump.

"Who kicked?" Jack asked confused.

"Your brother and sister," Emily smiled.

She saw he looked confused then it dawned on him. "Mum, are you having two babies?" he asked.

"Yes, I am, buddy," she smiled placing his hand on her bump. "Your brother and baby sister."

Jack's smile grew even wider. Suddenly she felt them kick again and Jack giggled while Aaron smiled up at her lovingly.

"That felt weird," Jack said.

"That was them saying hello," she smiled running her hand over his hair.

He beamed up at her. He then looked back at her bump and said, "Hi, I'm your big brother, Jack. I hope you like me."

"They will, buddy. They'll love you," she smiled at him.

He beamed up at her and she kissed his hair. He snuggled into her and she held him close. Aaron kissed her bump and she smiled at him.

"Daddy loves you darlings," he smiled.

"Babies love daddy too," she smiled running her hand over his dark hair.

He beamed up at her. "How have your feet been today?" he asked.

"A bit achy and my ankles have felt swollen," she answered.

He took off her socks and started massaging them with both of his hands while she sighed satisfied. It felt so good and she just loved how loving and gentle he was towards her. She was so happy she'd found such a wonderful gentleman to fall in love with.

"Jack, your dad is such a good husband," she sighed.

"I love you, Emily," Aaron answered. "You make me a good husband if I am one. You are a great wife."

"Oh Aaron, I love you too."

"Jack, would you like to come and help me make dinner?" Sean asked.

He nodded vigorously and ran out with him.

Chapter Text

Library

Chloe had just reached the library when she turned to her friend, Sarah. She had been friends with her since she'd started Yale nine months ago. Five months ago they'd got even close and now they were looking forward to a future together.

"I've just got some research to do but I'll join up with you in the cafeteria after," Chloe smiled.

She nodded. "See you there, babe," she answered placing her hand on the back of Chloe's neck. "Love you."

"Love you too," Chloe answered kissing her lips. Sarah then joined in and kissed her more tenderly.

They then broke apart and separated ways. Sarah went off to the cafeteria while Chloe headed to the library. She got out the books she needed and started her research.

She was deep in her book when she suddenly heard voices. She looked up and saw a young man waving a gun. He shouted for everyone to get under the desks. One student refused and he got shot.

Everyone immediately climbed under the desks as Chloe brought out her phone dialling her father for help. If there was anyone that could save them it was her dad and his team.

She filled him in then looked up to see the young man aiming his gun at her. She felt a massive pain in her shoulder and looked up at him. She wouldn't let him intimidate her. She was her father's daughter.

Chapter Text

Plane

Hotch ended the call and started getting his stuff together frantically. He had to go save his daughter. He had already called the jet to take them to New Haven.

"Alright, BAU we're off to New Haven, Connecticut. I'll explain on the plane," he said trying to calm his fears.

They just got their bags and followed him no questions asked. They could see by his composure he was emotionally involved. Was Chloe somehow involved? Yale was in New Haven and that's where she went, wasn't it?

They climbed onto the plane and Aaron looked down swallowing the lump in his throat then back up again. He gripped the table in front of him trying to bite back his anger.

"The law library at Yale was taken hostage ten minutes ago," he answered.

"Why are we going? We don't usually handle hostage situations," Reid answered absent-mindedly.

Hotch just glared at him and got up heading to the back of the jet while JJ hit Reid on the back of his head. "What university does Chloe go to, Spence?" she asked.

"Oh," he answered looking down ashamed.

"Have we been invited in?" Morgan asked concerned.

"I've told the local authorities to expect us," Rossi answered firmly.

They nodded while he headed to Hotch. He sat down opposite him while his best friend looked out of the window with his hand on his forehead.

"Aaron," he said gently. "Aaron, look at me." He looked up at him and Dave could clearly see the fear and worry in his eyes. "We will save her and the others."

He nodded swallowing the lump in his throat again. "I heard her get shot," he said quietly. Dave looked at him confused. "I heard a gunshot and then the phone go dead."

"Aaron, it could have been someone else. All you heard was a gunshot. You don't know for sure the victim was Chloe."

"I just have a feeling."

"Aaron, it's just a fear. We don't know for sure."

He nodded and turned back to looking out of the window.

Once they landed he got them in SUVs and they drove off to the university. Before he stepped out he put on his sunglasses. He wouldn't let them see how emotionally affected he was. He had to stay professional.

Chapter Text

Negotiating

They headed to security so they could see the surveillance cameras.

"Which camera shows the library?" Hotch asked.

"This one," the security guard answered pointing to the one in the middle. Hotch nodded and inspected it. He saw the students were hiding underneath the desks. He saw one helping one that had been shot but he couldn't see clearly if it was his daughter or not.

"Is there a phone in the library?" Rossi asked.

"Yes by the librarian's desk," he answered.

"What's the extension number?"

"2334."

He nodded and rung the extension. Hotch saw the librarian about to pick up the phone until the gunman threatened her with his gun. She withdrew her hand and he picked up the phone.

"What?" he shouted down it. Rossi told him they were prepared to negotiate the safety of the hostages and asked him what he wanted while Garcia ran a scan of his identity.

"I want my licence to practice law back," the gunman declared.

"You know you're not going to get your licence back acting like this."

"I want my licence back or I'll shoot another student."

He placed the phone down breathing a sigh and placed his hands on the table. He looked up at the father and Hotch turned to him. He placed his hands on the table and looked him in the eye.

"What does he want?" he asked.

"His licence to practice law back," he answered.

Hotch shook his head trying to shake off the anger and called Garcia. "Tell me you've got something," he said sharply.

"His name's Jarvis Donnell. He got a law degree from Yale ten years ago but he was barred three months ago for several accounts of corruption, embezzlement and perversion of the law. His father disowned him several weeks ago," she answered.

He ended the call and filled in Rossi. "Sounds like he was pressured into the law, acted out and when he lost his licence his father wanted nothing more to do with him," Rossi said.

"Get him back on the phone," he ordered turning back to the cameras.

Rossi dialled the extension again and Jarvis answered, "Do you have my licence?"

"Jarvis, you're an intelligent man you know I can't get it. You also know this won't win back your father's love. You're better than him. Just let the hostages go and you can prove that to him."

"Shut up, just shut up," he shouted. "He's going to pay."

"But you're not making him pay. You're making these kids and their families pay."

"They need to learn."

"Learn what?"

"That once they make a mistake their fathers won't be there for them."

"Not all fathers are like yours."

"I want to see your leader."

He put the phone down and looked up at him. "He wants to see you," he said. He nodded and headed to the door. "Aaron, take care," he added.

"I will. Tell him I'm coming," he answered leaving the room.

He nodded hoping to God everything would go right.

Chapter Text

Saving Hostages

He stepped into the library and stared straight at Jarvis. He tried to keep calm and not scan the room as Jarvis paced around him.

"I want to see your eyes," he shouted knocking off his sunglasses. Aaron just stared ahead trying to fight the temptation to find his daughter.

He soon couldn't and scanned the room pretending to be assessing the situation. He saw the young student bleeding with a friend helping them. Was that Chloe with the short, dark hair? Was that his daughter that was bleeding?

He took a double take and saw it was. This SOB had shot his daughter. He could feel the anger boiling in his veins. He clenched his fists.

Jarvis smacked him across the side of his head with his gun shouting, "You interested in her, you old perve. She's young enough to be your daughter."

Aaron growled and gave him a right hook to his jaw. Jarvis glared at him and punched him back. He knocked Aaron to the floor. Aaron in return kicked him down. They started fighting while Aaron tried to get the gun away from Jarvis.

He managed to succeed and looked over at his daughter. Everyone was safe now he'd got rid of the gun. Jarvis was dying underneath him. He nodded for her to get her fellow students out.

She turned to her friend and said, "Allie, get the others out. It's safe."

"Thanks to you and your dad," she answered looking at her shoulder concerned.

"Allie, I'll be fine," she assured.

She nodded and led the other hostages out while Chloe placed her hand on the cloth that was putting pressure on her gunshot wound.

Suddenly her father felt a slight movement by his waist and a sharp pain in his stomach then another in his head feeling like his skull was splitting.

Chloe saw the guy take her dad's gun and saw him shoot him in the stomach and head. "Dad," she screamed as her chest tightened and tears fell down her cheeks.

She saw a smile cross Jarvis' face as Jarvis took his last breath.

The paramedics ran in straight away. They took Chloe out on a stretcher and checked Hotch's and Jarvis' pulses.

The paramedic dealing with Aaron answered, "We have a pulse. It's weakening but we have a pulse."

"Get him on a gurney," the other answered, "quickly and drive off immediately."

They nodded and rushed out putting them both in the ambulance then drove them off to hospital pdq. When they arrived they rushed Aaron to surgery immediately.

Chapter Text

Chloe

They took Chloe to have the bullet taken out of her shoulder. They gave her a local anaesthetic and took it out while she watched them trying to be brave.

"My father?" she asked. They looked at her confused. "The man who came with me."

"He's in surgery," the doctor answered.

"How bad is it? Please tell me."

"They have to perform brain surgery."

"Will he make it?"

"There is a chance he will."

She nodded swallowing the lump in her throat. Her father was a fighter she knew he'd make it. He just had to. She couldn't lose him now and her siblings were going to be born soon. He had to live to see them.

Rossi soon arrived and went over to her. When he saw her he worried about her arm which was now in a sling. Had she been one of the victims?

Where was her father? Aaron would never have left her on her own in the hospital willingly. Something terrible must have happened.

"I'm sorry we didn't wait for you to join us. Dad needed immediate attention. They won't admit it but I know he's critical. I overheard them say his pulse was weakening. He was shot in the stomach and head," she answered trying to swallow the lump in her throat.

"Chloe, you know your father will make it. He's a fighter," he answered placing his hand on her good shoulder.

"But what if he doesn't? The twins are due any day now."

"Chloe, he will..."

"It's all my fault," she answered on the verge of tears.

"Chloe, you have nothing to feel guilty about. You saved all of them today. Your father and I are proud of you."

"But..."

"No buts, Chloe."

Her eyes widened as she looked over his shoulder. "Mum," she exclaimed concerned.

He looked behind her and his eyes widened. Standing there was indeed Emily. How did she know? He knew Aaron wouldn't have told her trying to protect her and their twins. How had she found out?

Chapter Text

Labour

"What are you doing here?" Rossi asked. "How did you find out?"

"It was on the news," Emily answered worried. "Do you think I could stay at home when my daughter was in danger?"

"Please tell me you didn't fly."

"I got Sean to drive me..." Sean walked up looking down at his feet. He looked up to see Dave raise an eyebrow.

"Have you met my sister-in-law?" he defended.

Dave nodded resigned,

"Why didn't any of you tell me?" she answered angrily. "Didn't I have a right to know?" She said on the verge of tears, "She's my daughter too. It's the babies, isn't it?"

"Emily, you know Aaron only wanted to protect you. He didn't want to risk you and the babies."

"Where is he?" she asked worried noticing he wasn't with them.

"In surgery," he answered unsteadily.

"How bad is it?"

Dave looked down then back up again swallowing the lump in his throat while Chloe looked up with tears in her eyes. Emily shook her head feeling tears rise in her eyes while Sean placed a hand on her arm.

"No, no," she answered in disbelief. Suddenly she felt a pain run right through her stomach again. She placed her hand on her bump and held onto Sean.

"What's wrong?" they asked worried.

"I think I'm having the babies," she answered scared.

"How long have you been having contractions?" Dave asked worried.

"Ever since we left Washington," she admitted looking down.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Sean asked alarmed.

"Because you'd have turned the car around."

He rolled his eyes and muttered, "My brothers' going to kill me." He then looked up and added, "I'll take Emily to maternity. You wait here for news on Aaron."

They nodded and he rushed her off to maternity while Rossi put his hand on Chloe's good shoulder. She looked up at him and he patted her shoulder assuring her everything would be alright.

Chapter Text

Sarah

She heard footsteps and looked up with slight relief as she saw her girlfriend run up to her. When Sarah reached her she kissed her forehead.

"Oh baby, I was so worried about you when I heard about the library and you'd been shot," she said concerned.

"I'm fine," she answered clinging to her. "It was just a scratch..." She then looked back up with tears in her eyes. "My dad was shot."

"What?" she asked in shock.

"He's in surgery," she answered on the verge of tears. "He's critical."

"Chloe, he's going to be alright. You told me he's a fighter," she answered playing with her hair.

"Mum's just gone into labour."

"Everything will be alright. He'll live to see your brother and sister."

She nodded numbly. Rossi smiled slightly to see she was comfortable with her sexuality and was now in a loving relationship. She smiled up at him sadly.

"Sarah, this is Uncle Dave. Uncle Dave, this is my girlfriend, Sarah," she said.

"Nice to meet you, kid," he smiled slightly.

"Nice to meet you too, Mr Rossi. I just wish the circumstances were better."

"So do I, dear, so do I."

He suddenly heard footsteps run up and looked round only to have Jack crash into his legs hugging them. He crouched down and hugged him close rubbing his back.

"Your dad is going to be alright, buddy," he soothed.

"Have you heard anything?" Jessica asked.

"Not yet," he answered shaking his head.

They heard footsteps and looked up to see the surgeon. Dave got back up and faced him holding his best friend's ten year old son close to him.

Chapter Text

How Is He

"Are you here for Agent Hotchner?" he asked.

"Yes," they answered looking to him.

"How is he?" Dave asked.

"We managed to extract both bullets with minimal damage. The bullet to his stomach managed to miss his kidney but the bullet to his head lodged in his brain. We managed to take it out without any serious damage but we've had to put him into a coma so his brain can heal," he answered.

"How long will the coma last?"

"A day or two if all goes well."

They nodded. "May we see him?"

"Of course."

He left and Dave looked back down at the little boy beside him. He didn't think it would be a wise idea for him to see his father right now especially when he was in a coma. He would probably also have a bandage around his head.

He turned to Jessica and said, "Maybe you and Sarah can take Jack to the park? I'll check in with you guys later and get you a hotel room."

"You don't have to," she answered.

"He's my best friend. I want to."

She nodded. "Does Emily know?"

"She's here in maternity," he answered gently. Jessica's eyes opened wide in alarm. "She's alright, Sean's with her."

She nodded and looked back to the young couple. Sarah looked at Chloe concerned then back at Dave.

"Don't worry, I'll look after her," he assured.

She nodded and kissed Chloe's forehead squeezing her good hand then left with Jack and Jessica. Chloe and Dave headed out to the waiting room to give the rest of the team the news before they went to see Aaron.

Chapter Text

Telling the Team

The team looked up when they saw him. He looked down then back up at him.

"They've managed to take out both bullets. The one to his stomach managed to thankfully miss his kidney but the one to his head lodged itself in his brain..."Dave said.

Garcia's hands covered her mouth as she gasped, "Oh god."

"They managed to take it out with minimal damage but so his brain can heal they've put him into a coma."

"How long will he be in a coma?" Reid asked worried.

"They say at the most two days," he answered.

They nodded. "Hopefully he will," Blake replied.

"Has Emily been informed?" JJ asked.

"She's in maternity..." Everyone looked up shocked. "The hostage situation was on the news. Emily saw and made Sean drive her here..."

"When she heard Aaron was in surgery she went into labour, didn't she?" Garcia gasped.

"Classic shock and distress triggering labour," Reid added.

"If I'd known it was on the news I'd have tried to do something," JJ replied.

"None of us knew," Rossi answered.

"Now she has to go through the birth without him. He won't even know they're born until he wakes up."

"She was due any day now. It's best she's in this hospital given the circumstances..." She nodded. "They said we can go see him."

They nodded and got up to visit their boss in his hospital room. They were prepared to find his head bandaged and him on tubes and monitors.

Chapter Text

Births

Meanwhile Emily was in the birthing room with Sean. She'd just been announced dilated enough to give birth to her twins. She'd been rushed to the birthing room to have her babies.

She started pushing holding Sean's hand. She was so scared she was going to be raising them alone. Aaron had to live, he just had to!

Sean brushed the sweaty hair off her head while encouraging her she could do this. She remembered how last time no-one had even held her hand while she gave birth. She just wished it was Aaron.

When the pain got too much she cried, "I want Aaron, I want Aaron, I want Aaron."

"Emily, everything will be alright. You will have him," Sean assured stroking her hand as she kept pushing.

"He's in surgery, Sean, he's in surgery," she cried.

"He's a fighter, Emily, as are you. You can do this, Emily. The first baby's almost out," he encouraged.

She kept pushing and soon enough her first baby was out. She lay back exhausted. She really didn't want to push again as they dealt with the first twin. She'd had enough. She just wanted to know how Aaron was.

"You can stay in there until daddy wakes up," she said. "Wait for daddy. Please wait for daddy," she cried.

The baby wouldn't listen though and she felt her body start pushing again. Sean held her hand again and encouraged her to keep pushing.

"I want Aaron, I want Aaron, I want Aaron," she cried. "It was meant to go right this time. He was meant to be here. I can't lose him again. I can't lose the babies. I don't want to be alone again."

"Emily, he'll pull through. You won't lose him. Neither will you lose your twins. Your son is out and perfectly healthy. Your daughter is well on her way too and she'll be just as healthy as her brother. You'll never be alone," he assured.

She nodded and gave one last push. She sunk back exhausted now both her children were out and gave into the temptation to close her eyes.

Sean looked at her worried then the midwife placed her hand on his arm.

"She's just sleeping, Mr Hotchner," she assured him. "Would you like to hold them?"

He nodded and smiled as they were handed to him. They were wrapped in blankets; a pink one for the girl and a blue for the boy. They were absolutely beautiful. They had dark hairs and the girl looked like her mother while the boy looked like his father.

"Hi, little ones I'm your uncle and I love you so much. I'm going to help your parents raise you as will your sister and brother. Your dad will pull through and be so happy to meet you," he said gently.

They fell asleep and he cradled them gently. He hoped one day he'd get to be a father himself but for the moment he couldn't believe he was these little adorable babies' uncle.

Chapter Text

Visiting Aaron

The team headed into Aaron's hospital room. They swallowed the lumps in their throats as they saw his head bandaged and on the monitors. He looked like he was only sleeping but they knew he was in a coma.

Dave sat down beside him and patted his arm. "Aaron, it's us, the team and Chloe..." he said. "Sean's with Emily as she's gone into labour and Jessica's taken Jack to the park with Chloe's girlfriend."

Everyone looked at Chloe shocked. She kicked her feet and looked up nervously and nodded. "Yes, I'm gay," she said firmly. "And I have a girlfriend who I love very much."

"We'd love to meet her, kid," Morgan said patting her shoulder.

She smiled up at him. "Thanks." She took a seat beside her father and held his hand stroking her thumb over his skin. "Hey dad, it's Chloe. You're in a coma. One of the bullets lodged in your brain. They managed to get both out with minimal damage. You'll be alright. They're just keeping you under for a day or two to heal your brain."

Everyone else felt a little awkward being around him while he was in a coma. They knew he wouldn't be woken up for at least a day. There was nothing they could do for him sadly. They wouldn't leave him alone though.

They knew last time he'd been able to hear what they were saying. Well some of it anyway. They wondered how Emily was doing. Had the babies been born yet?

"We're going to see how Emily is," Garcia said trying to swallow the lump in her throat.

They nodded. "Good idea," Dave answered. "I'll stay here with Aaron..." Chloe looked up concerned and held her father's hand. "You should go to. They're your brother and sister. I'll look after your dad."

She nodded and followed the others

Chapter Text

Mother

Emily woke up in the maternity ward to see Sean cradling the twins. She smiled up sadly that at least her babies were here now and healthy. She just wished Aaron was awake to see them.

"Has there been any news on Aaron?" she asked.

"I haven't heard anything...I didn't want to leave you and the twins and I thought it would be unfair if I left with the twins. I didn't want you to wake up distressed," he answered.

"Aw that was really considerate of you, Sean," she smiled at him touched.

"You're family."

"Did I have a boy and a girl?" she asked sitting herself up carefully.

"Yes you did," he smiled back. "Would you like to see them?"

"Of course," she smiled.

He handed them to her carefully and she fell for them. They were the most beautiful twins she'd ever seen. They had dark hairs and dark eyes. They looked up at her wide-eyed.

"Hello, my darlings. I've waited for you a long time. You're my little angels. I love you so much and so will daddy when he sees you. He'll be wrapped around your little finger," he smiled kissing their foreheads.

They smiled up at her and played with their hands. She smiled down at them feeling motherly love fill her heart. She just couldn't put them down.

Chapter Text

Twins

She heard footsteps and looked up to see the team arrive with the rest of her family. She smiled at them then looked down at her babies. They were what was holding her together right now.

"You had them," Garcia gushed.

"Yes I did," she smiled slightly down at her babies.

"Did you name them?"

Emily shook her head sadly. "I want to name them with Aaron," she answered almost lost. She looked up with tears in her eyes. "How is he?"

Chloe sat beside her and placed her good hand on her mother's arm. "Mum, dad's in a coma. They managed to get both bullets out without any serious damage. They've just put him in a coma to heal his brain."

She nodded. "I want to see him," she answered.

"We'll take you," Chloe and Sarah answered.

She nodded and looked up at Jessica. "Will you help take care of the twins?" she asked.

"Of course," she smiled as Sean handed her Emily's daughter. Jessica smiled at her.

They were just the most beautiful babies they'd ever seen. They were handed around while Emily got a little tetchy about waiting to go see her husband.

Soon the midwife came to take the babies to the baby room. Emily knew they would be well looked after and they wouldn't be taken away from her this time. She could visit the baby room whenever she wanted.

She would divide her time between Aaron and the twins. She just wished he was awake to see them. She hoped he would wake up soon so he could and they could name them together.

Chapter Text

A Mother Knows

Sarah and Chloe brought Emily to Aaron's hospital room. When she saw him lying there with his eyes closed and his head bandaged she felt tears in her eyes and a lump form in her throat.

She sat down beside him and held his hand. She stroked her thumb over the back of his hand trying hard not to cry.

"Aaron, it's your wife, Emily. Everything's going to be alright. I know you can fight but also let your brain heal. We need you, Aaron..."

She closed her eyes briefly as the machines kept whirring and there was no response from her husband. She saw the monitors were fine and his chest heaving up and down but there wasn't the slightest response.

She hoped when they woke him up there wouldn't be any problems. She hoped to God he wouldn't have any serious brain damage or any at all. Even if he did she'd still love him and take care of him.

"Chloe, what happened?" she asked looking up at her daughter.

She filled her in as her eyes widened. She was proud her husband and daughter had managed to get out the hostages safely but worried they'd both been shot; her husband in his stomach and head her daughter in the arm.

She looked at her daughter's sling. "Are you alright?" she asked.

"Yer, it was just a little gunshot wound. Just a little shaken and worried about dad," she answered.

She patted Chloe's good arm and replied swallowing the lump in her throat, "Your father's going to be alright. He's a fighter."

She nodded. "He was looking at me when he got shot. He didn't see it coming. It was his own gun."

"Chloe, this isn't your fault. You can't blame yourself. You helped him save all those students. I'm proud of you. Also I'm proud you're comfortable with being gay and now got a girlfriend who deserves you."

Chloe's eyes widened and she answered quietly, "How did you know?"

"I used to be a profiler like your father, dear. Also mothers always know."

"You're proud of me?" she asked quietly.

"Very," she smiled taking her hand. She took Sarah's hand and smiled at her, "Welcome to the family. Take good care of my daughter."

"I will. I love her," Sarah answered smiling at her lover.

"I love you, too," Chloe replied letting go of her mother's hand and taking Sarah's.

Emily turned back to her husband and said, "And I love you, Aaron. I have since I was eighteen and I'll never stop. Everything's going to be alright. Just focus on healing. You'll wake up in a day or two."

She kept rubbing her thumb in circles over the skin on his hand. It relieved her to be here by his side. She knew if she was elsewhere she'd only be worrying about him. Nothing would keep her from his side.

Chapter Text

Wake Up

She spent the next two days sat by his side holding his hand. They'd tried bringing him round the first day but decided he needed to be in a coma longer so kept him under for another day.

Every now and again she would visit her twins to see how they were doing. They were both happy newborn babies and doing well. Every time she saw them she fell harder.

She was sitting next to him holding his hand when the doctors came in again. They brought him out of the induced coma but his eyes wouldn't open.

Emily looked up worried. "It might take up to an hour to wear off," they said.

She nodded and they left. She sat there encouraging him to open his eyes. She saw the minutes tick by from the clock she saw in the corner of her eye.

An hour passed and her heart sunk but she wouldn't give up hope. He'd wake up he just had to. She couldn't lose her husband but if he was brain dead she'd make the humane choice.

"Aaron, darling, please wake up," she said on the verge of tears. "You're meant to have woken up by now. Aaron, please let me see your beautiful brown eyes..." She looked up to see the machines showed he was still alive and breathing on his own but nothing had changed.

She laid her head on his chest feeling his chest heave up and down and his pulse. She looked up and saw his eyes were still closed. She felt the tears rise in her eyes looking at his closed eyelids.

"Aaron, please, I need you so do our children. Please wake up. I can't lose you; I love you. Aaron, please wake up..."

There was still no response. Fear gripped her heart and her chest tightened. What was wrong? Why wasn't he waking up? They said he'd be awake by now.

Chapter Text

Tests

The doctors came in half an hour later and looked concerned. Emily looked up with tears in her eyes. The doctor took out his torch and examined his eyes. The pupils dilated but wouldn't follow the torch or close his eyes for him.

"Why isn't he awake? You said he'd be awake by now," she answered worried.

"We don't know but we will find out. We wish to take him for some tests..." they answered.

"What sort of tests?"

"Just an MRI and maybe a CAT scan."

"Do it! Save my husband!" she answered firmly looking up at them with tear-filled eyes.

"We will, ma'am," they answered rushing him out to do the tests.

She followed them out with her eyes trying her best to stay calm while on the edge of bursting into tears. She hoped to God her husband was going to be alright. She couldn't lose him.

Dave came in looking slightly confused that Aaron wasn't there. When he saw Emily's worried face he sat down by her and took her hand.

"Emily, what happened?" he asked.

"He wouldn't wake up," she answered on the verge of tears. "They brought him out but he wouldn't wake up. They took him to do some tests."

"Emily, he'll be alright. If they find something wrong they'll deal with it. He's going to pull through. You know he's a fighter."

She nodded swallowing the lump in her throat. "I'm just so scared."

"I know," he answered hugging her and rubbing her back. "Everything's going to be alright, Emily. You know it will."

She nodded numbly. She hoped to God he was right. She couldn't lose him; she just couldn't. She wouldn't give up on him. She'd dreamed of him for years and now they'd been married for six months and had four children; two who hadn't even met him yet.

The doctor soon came back looking grave holding his chart. Emily looked up and grabbed Dave's hand feeling her chest tighten.

"Mrs Hotchner," he said looking up.

"Yes," she answered trying to cling onto hope.

"We found a blood clot on your husband's brain. We need to operate. Do we have your permission?"

"Of course you do! Save my husband!" she ordered.

They nodded and rushed him to surgery. Once there they took off his bandage and shaved the area they wanted to cut into then started the operation.

Chapter Text

Waiting

Emily sat there shaking and unable to stop worrying. What if something went wrong? What if he didn't pull through? They didn't even tell her how big the clot was. What if his brain was being starved of oxygen?

She sat in his hospital room trying her hardest not to cry while Dave patted her arm. She looked at the floor taking deep breaths.

"Maybe you should go see the twins," he said.

"But what about when they bring him back," she answered numbly.

"I'll get them to come get you. Emily, he's going to be alright. Emily, he's going to be alright. You know he'll pull through..." She nodded. "It will do you good to see the babies."

"I don't think I'm strong enough to go alone. I feel like I'm going to break down any minute."

He nodded and stepped outside to find a nurse. When he saw one he said, "Excuse me."

"Yes sir," she answered.

"Mrs Hotchner and I are going to visit her twins in the baby room. Would you let us know when MR Hotchner comes out of surgery?"

"Yes sir."

"Thank you."

He escorted Emily to the baby room and she took a seat by her children's cots. She watched them sleep and it seemed to relieve her a little though she hoped they would also get their father.

She just watched them trying to relieve her fears. They looked so peaceful as they slept on.

Chapter Text

Successful

Soon a nurse popped their head round the door. Emily looked up worried but felt a little relieved when she saw the nurse didn't look grave.

"Mr Hotchner's out of surgery," she said. "He's back in his room."

"How is he?" she asked concerned stepping out with Dave.

"The operation was successful. We'll have to leave him in a coma for another day but we will be monitoring him a lot more regularly."

She nodded numbly. "May we see him?"

"Of course."

Dave escorted her back to his room and she saw him lying there with a fresh head bandage and back on the monitors. They saw he'd been put on a new monitor that also gave an up to date scan on his brain.

Chapter Text

Dream

He found himself back in his old high school in his old hospital gown and head bandage. What was he doing here and dressed like this? What was going on?

He walked around the school trying to make sense of what was going on. How did he get here? He hadn't been here in years yet he remembered his way round like it was only yesterday he'd graduated.

He heard Pirates of Penzance coming from the old school hall. Suddenly he saw he was in his old pirate hat, red shirt and black trousers. He opened the door nervously.

He went inside and saw Haley on her own by the stage. This couldn't be real. She was long dead. He looked down ashamed that he hadn't thought about her in ages.

He looked down and went over to her keeping the tears inside. She'd been his first love but when he was twenty-one he'd fallen for Emily. He broke up with Haley to get with Emily but when her mother sent him away he'd gone back to Haley.

It was never the same again and though it hurt he always saw the divorce coming. He'd married her to get over Emily and feel safe from ever getting hurt again. He'd married to move on.

"Haley, I'm so sorry," he said on the verge of tears.

"You have nothing to be sorry for," she answered placing a hand on his shoulder.

"I trapped you in an unequal marriage. I never stopped being in love with Emily. It was unfair of me to ever have come back to you."

"You were trying to move on," she answered stroking his arm. "I always knew she'd win and now you're happily married."

"You always knew?"

"You weren't the same when you returned to me. I knew someone else had your heart."

"I did love you."

"I know just not the same way. You love Emily. I saw it when she joined the BAU. When I met I could see she felt the same way. I tried to get you to leave the BAU so you wouldn't be near her. I realised I was being selfish so I gave you the divorce to set you free."

"If you always knew why did you marry me?"

"When you came back I felt I was the luckiest girl in the world. I just hoped it was a passing infatuation and I would finally get you back. I then tried to keep things normal for Jack until I realised we'd all be happier divorced."

"I'm so sorry."

She took his face and made him look at her. "Aaron, you have nothing to be sorry for. If anyone has something to be sorry for its Elizabeth Prentiss. She was the one who separated you two but now you're married with newborn twins."

He suddenly heard babies crying and looked at her nervously. She patted his hand and said, "You should go. You've already been here long enough."

He nodded and answered, "I do miss you."

"I know but you have a happy life ahead of you. You're newly married and have newborn twins to enjoy." He heard the babies cry again and she added, "Go."

He nodded and ran after the noise. Suddenly he was back in his hospital gown and head bandage and it all went white.

Chapter Text

He's Awake

Emily rocked her son while Dave cradled her daughter. They were trying to get them to stop crying gently. They'd cried as soon as they'd entered their dad's hospital room.

"Ssh, my beautiful baby boy, you might wake daddy. He needs his rest. He's not very well," she said softly to the baby in her arms.

She looked up to see her husband's eyelids slowly opening and her heart lifted. He was finally waking up after three days. She shifted her son to one arm and held Aaron's hand.

"Aaron, it's alright I'm here. It's safe to open your eyes, darling..." she soothed rubbing her thumb over the back of his hand. He opened his eyes looking around him confused. "You're in hospital, honey. You were shot in the head and stomach but you're healing well..."

"How long?" he asked hoarsely. Sean filled him a glass of water and helped him drink it. "How long have I been out?"

"Three days," she answered stroking his hand.

"Three days?" he asked alarmed. "How did you get here? The babies!"

She gave her son to Sean and stroked her hand carefully over her husband's head bandage. He looked up at her vulnerably.

"Yes, Aaron, three days. Sean drove me. The twins were born three days ago and as you can see they're fine. Everyone's fine. We've just been worried about you."

"I'm so sorry..."

"Aaron, there's nothing to be sorry for. You saved a whole library of students including our daughter. You're our hero."

"Oh Emily..." He then looked concerned. "You had the babies?"

"I'm sorry they wouldn't wait," she answered looking down.

"It's fine. Who was there in my place?"

"Sean," she smiled over at his brother.

"Thank you, Sean," he smiled softly.

"Anytime big bro," he answered handing over their son to Emily.

"Would you like to see them?" Emily asked while Dave came closer with their daughter.

"Of course," he answered trying to get up bit it hurt too much. He lay back frustrated.

She felt sorry for him and looked up at Dave. He nodded and they placed the twins down beside him on the bed. He smiled touched that they'd done this for him.

Chapter Text

Names

"Which one's which?" he asked nervously.

"This one's our son," she said kissing their son's forehead, "and this one's our daughter," she added kissing the little girl's forehead.

"What are their names?"

"I didn't want to name them without you."

"Oh Emily..." he smiled up at her. "Do you have any ideas?"

"I was thinking Thomas after your grandfather and Danielle after the doctor that saved your life twice..."

"Perfect," he smiled at her. "Middle names?"

"I've always liked the name Ophelia."

"It is beautiful. Danielle Ophelia. I love it. What about Thomas?"

She looked down biting back tears than back up again. "Matthew..." He nodded understanding it was after her friend who'd been murdered.

"Thomas Matthew it is," he smiled.

She smiled back. "Thomas Matthew and Danielle Ophelia it is then."

"Absolutely."

He turned back to their twins. He stroked his hand down both their faces and smiled, "Hey you, I'm your daddy. I'm sorry I wasn't at your birth but I love you so much. I'll do everything in my power to protect and look after you, Tom and Danni."

They smiled back at him while his heart filled with fatherly love. They were the most beautiful children he'd ever seen. He couldn't just get enough of them.

Chapter Text

Family

"I'll call Jack and Chloe," Dave said.

"Get her to bring Sarah," Emily answered.

"Sarah?" Aaron asked confused.

"Chloe's girlfriend," Emily answered stroking his hand.

"I knew she was gay," he smiled. She smiled back at him as Dave made the call. "What's she like?"

"She's perfect for her. She's so loving and caring. She's one of the family."

"Glad to hear it."

"Me too. Chloe deserves her."

"She deserves all the happiness in the world."

"She does as do all our children."

"Of course they do."

Soon the three of them appeared in the doorway. Jack ran right up to them so Dave and Emily picked up the twins.

"Dad, you're awake," he exclaimed hugging him.

"Yes I am, buddy," he smiled back.

"I missed you."

"I'm sorry, buddy."

"It wasn't your fault, dad. You were saving everyone again. You're my hero."

He smiled back at him. "Thanks buddy."

"Love you."

"Love you, too."

Chloe led Sarah to her father and smiled at her then back at her dad. "Dad, this is my girlfriend, Sarah. Sarah, this is my dad, Aaron," she said.

"Welcome to the family, dear," Aaron smiled taking Sarah's hand.

"Thanks sir," she answered.

"Oh please call me Aaron or dad..."

"Dad?"

"Well you are my daughter's girlfriend."

She smiled at him. "How are you feeling?"

"I've been better," he smiled slightly.

"I bet," Chloe smiled. "You're going to be okay though, right dad?"

"Of course I am," he smiled at her taking her hand. She looked down so he added, "Chloe, look at me." She looked up guilty. "None of this was your fault. You helped me save all those students. We thought it was over."

She nodded. "But..."

"No buts. Trust me none of this was your fault."

She nodded.

"Did you name my brother and sister?" Jack asked.

"Yes we did," they smiled.

"What are their names?"

"Thomas Matthew and Danielle Ophelia."

"Great names," Chloe and Sarah smiled taking them and smiling down at Chloe's new siblings.

The twins smiled up at them while they got down by Jack so he could see them to. They told them they loved them and would help look after them.

Emily sat on the bed holding her husband's hand smiling at their children. They were just so happy he was finally awake, they were married with four children and their eldest daughter was in a loving relationship.

Chapter Text

Leaving Hospital

A week later they were taking off his head bandage for the last time. They shaved the areas and took out the stitches. He looked self-consciously into the mirror. He saw the bald patches on his head and looked down.

"We could shave it all when we get back to the hotel," Emily said ruffling what was left of his hair.

He nodded and grabbed her hand. "I'm sorry; it's just hair," he said.

"Your image matters a lot to you I know that. I even understand that. You're the head and figurehead of the BAU." He nodded. "Everything will be alright."

"I know," he answered.

Sarah handed him a hooded jumper and he put it on pulling up the hood over his head. Sean and Jessica had driven home and back to get him some clothes only a few days before and another car. The rest of the team had returned to work.

Chloe opened up the wheelchair and he rolled his eyes. "I am not getting into that," he said.

"Aaron," Emily answered looking at him with puppy dog eyes.

"Fine but I'm not happy about it," he answered getting into the wheelchair.

"I know," she answered patting his shoulder. "I know."

Sarah then turned the wheelchair around and wheeled him out to the car. On the way out of the hospital his hood dropped so he pulled it back up quickly. He looked around nervously hoping no-one had seen his hair.

Emily kissed his hood and helped him into the car then strapped the twins into their baby seats. She got in with them then held Aaron's hand while Chloe and Sarah got in the front.

Sarah drove them to the hotel and Sean and Jessica met them in the foyer with Jack.

They escorted them to the lift and headed up to their hotel room. Aaron held onto the hood tight so it wouldn't fall off. He wouldn't let anyone see his hair like this.

Chapter Text

Haircut

When he got to the hotel room he rushed to the bathroom and took down his hood. He shook his head seeing the mess the surgery had left and tried to find clippers in the hotel cabinet but he couldn't.

Emily knocked on the door saying, "Honey, are you alright?"

"I can't find any clippers," he answered vulnerably.

"Can I come in? Sean got me a pair of clippers from downstairs," she answered.

He opened the door and once she was inside locked it. She showed him the clippers and he smiled at her feeling a little relieved.

"How shall we do this?" she asked.

"I guess I could sit on the side of the toilet seat and you shave me like that."

"Good idea," she smiled kissing his temple.

He did so and she switched the clippers onto the lowest setting. She then switched them on and ran them through her husband's hair. She saw the clippers flashing through his hair and his hair go flying.

He felt butterflies in his stomach and his stomach being tied in knots as the clippers turned a strip of hair into a line of skin. He knew this was the only way he would feel better about himself though. He couldn't walk around with two bald patches.

When she'd finished she ran them over his scalp to make sure the shave was even. She noticed the bald patches were balder than the clippers could go.

"I'm just going to see if Sean has any shaving foam and a razor. It's closer to the scalp that I can get with the clippers," she said putting her hand on his shoulder.

He nodded and answered vulnerably, "Don't be long."

"I won't," she answered kissing his shaved head. "I'll be back before you know it."

He smiled slightly up at her and true to her word she was with the shaving foam and razor. He smiled slightly again to see her and she squirted the foam onto his head. She then made sure it covered all his stubble.

She then took the guard off the razor and placed the razor on his head. She ran it over his head removing the stubble.

She made sure it was even and bent down his ears making sure he had not a single hair left on the top of his head. When she'd finished she asked him to bend his head over the sink.

He did so and she washed the hairs off his head and made sure it was nice and clean. Once she'd finished he raised his head back up.

"Well it's done," she smiled stroking his head.

"Good," he answered getting up. "How does it look?"

"You look beautiful as always," she answered kissing him on the lips placing a hand on the back of his head. He kissed her back with as much passion.

Sean knocked on the door and asked, "The haircut finished?"

"Yes be out soon," Emily answered while Aaron looked up at her. He nodded and took a look in the mirror.

He ran a hand over his head looking at the bald white guy with dark eyes looking back out at him. It was a huge change but it definitely looked better than before. He found he didn't mind it but he was going to grow his hair back.

"Ready?" she asked placing her hand on his shoulder.

"Ready," he smiled back.

They headed out holding hands. When the others saw him they opened their eyes wide. He looked a little nervous and stroked his head again.

Chapter Text

Hotel Room

"Dad, where's your hair?" Jack asked looking up at him.

"I had to shave it off so it would grow back evenly" he answered stroking it.

"Can I have a hug now?"

"Of course you can," he answered hugging him. He kissed his hair while Jack hugged him back.

"Love you, dad."

"I love you too, buddy."

"I'm so happy you're out of hospital now."

"So am I. Buddy," he answered ruffling his hair. "So am I."

Emily and Aaron later tucked the twins into bed smiling down at them. She smiled down at them while stroking their hands down the sides of their faces wishing them sweet dreams.

Chloe and Sarah returned to the campus after saying goodbye to her family and wishing them sweet dreams and a safe journey home the next day. They were due to drive back to Washington DC the next morning.

Sean and Jessica went next door to their hotel room. They became a couple a few months before when Sean had moved to Washington. They'd had a thing for each other since they were teenagers.

It was finally time to put their ten year old son to bed so Emily and Aaron tucked him in. He asked for a bedtime story so Aaron made one up for him. It was his favourite type of story about Prince Jack fighting monsters. This time he was fighting to protect his new siblings Prince Thomas and Princess Danielle.

They soon went to bed themselves and snuggled up. He stroked the hair off her face while she stroked his bald head. They soon fell asleep in each other's arms feeling safe and happy.

Chapter Text

Visit

A few days later he went into the BAU with his wife and twins. He wasn't scheduled back for another few weeks but he thought the sight of the twins would cheer them all up. He'd been informed they'd had a hard case.

He and Emily strapped them into their baby car seats then got in themselves. He drove them off to the offices while Emily tended to their babies. They smiled at them sleepily while she stroked their heads. She just couldn't get enough of their babies.

When they arrived he parked their car in the car park. He then got out and helped Emily get them out. They placed them into their collapsible prams and wheeled them inside.

He flashed his badge and they got them to the lift. They rode it up to the bullpen and pushed them in.

As soon as the team saw them they ran up to them. They opened their eyes wide when they saw his hair.

"What did you do to your hair?" Spencer asked.

"I had to get rid of it so it would grow back evenly," he answered stroking the four day stubble.

"Good idea," JJ answered. "You look good."

"Thanks," he answered stroking his stubble again.

"You brought the babies?" Garcia smiled.

"Of course we did," Emily smiled while they took the twins out of the prams. They held them in their arms smiling at them while they looked around them taking in their dad's workplace.

"What did you name them?" Garcia asked after Emily passed her Danielle.

"Our daughters Danielle Ophelia our son Thomas Matthew. Otherwise known as Danni and Tom," Aaron smiled.

"Great names," Blake smiled.

"Thank you," Emily smiled back. She then looked up at her husband and nodded.

"Dave and Penelope, we'd like you to be Thomas' godparents," he said smiling down at his then smiling back up at them.

"We'd love to be," they smiled as he handed Tom to Dave. He smiled down at the baby in his arms and kissed his forehead.

"Derek and JJ, we'd like you to be Danielle's," Aaron added smiling at his daughter in Penelope's arms.

"We'd love to be," they smiled as Penelope passed her to Derek. He smiled down at her rocking her back and forth.

Chapter Text

Epilogue

They were lying on two sun loungers on Chesapeake Bay. Emily was on one with Aaron's head lying on her chest. She was playing with his hair while watching their twins make sandcastles.

Chloe and Sarah were lying on the other sun lounger cuddled up to each other. Chloe looked over to her and kissed her. Sarah joined in with as much passion.

A middle-aged couple wearing Armani came past and muttered, "How disgusting! Who wants to see that on the beach? It's not even right."

Chloe tensed up as they moved on while Sarah tried to make her look at her. "Chloe, this isn't wrong. Our love will never be wrong. How can love be wrong? We've been together five years now and are going to spend the rest of our lives together," she said stroking the hair off her face.

She nodded and sunk into her. Aaron looked at them concerned and got up running after the couple. When they saw him they looked a little afraid and froze.

"My daughter deserves your respect. Do you think it was easy for her to come out when she was raised by people like you? She's a lot braver than you. I've seen people who've been mistreated by the likes of you turn to serial killing so watch what you say. I'm just glad my daughter will never turn out like that," he said.

They looked at him numbly and answered, "Yes sir."

He headed back to his family and sat on the edge of Emily's sun lounger. Chloe looked over at him snuggled into Sarah.

"You alright?" he asked.

"Yes, thanks dad," she answered.

"I'll do anything for you, guys."

"We know," she smiled back.

The twins ran up shouting for mummy and daddy. They climbed into their open arms and snuggled up to their chests. Danni grabbed her cuddly toy carebear and hugged it close.

"Can we go down to the sea?" they asked.

"Of course," they answered stroking their hair.

They got up to head down to the sea when Aaron noticed Jack wasn't with them. He looked around him worried.

"Where's your brother?" he asked.

"He's over there chatting up some blonde, "Chloe answered pointing out a fifteen year old boy chatting up a blonde teenage girl.

"Keep an eye on him."

"Will do, dad."

He followed his wife and youngest two children down to the sea. Their beagle Tess went bounding after them. They'd had her ever since the twins were two.

Chloe smiled as she watched her sister holding her mum's hand while paddling her feet in the sea and her baby brother on her father's back running in and out of the water with Tess yapping and running around with them.