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appreciation

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her words echoed softly in his head as he drove home. “it’s nice to be noticed.” he had heard the slight hurt in her voice. it was faint, but there. they really did take advantage of jj without giving it a second thought.

that was certainly going to change.

the first thing aaron did when he got home was sleep, but he woke up early the next morning, grateful that there wasn’t a call from the bureau waiting for him with a new case -- one that jj had chosen nonetheless.

that gave him time to swing by a local flower shop. he had been there a few times before, mostly to get flowers for haley after they had been in a fight. he had a sinking feeling that no amount of flowers could salvage their relationship at this point. he didn’t mind, though.

he picked up a simple bouquet, made of a variety of white and yellow flowers. it wasn’t anything special, but just something to show his appreciation for her.

when he got to the office, her door was open. it usually was, she was hardly ever there. he left the flowers and a short note on her desk and went about the rest of his day as normal.

the note was the first thing jj saw when she got into the office. it was signed simply with his first name. not agent hotchner, or hotch, but aaron. she couldn’t help but smile.

the next gift he left her was during their next case. he brought her a cup of coffee from a cafe he had discovered. he knew her complicated order by heart, but it wasn’t something he had consciously memorized. maybe he had been noticing her more than he thought.

she thanked him and savored the perfect taste as they worked. it was only as she went to throw the cup out that she noticed his name scribbled on the side. again, not hotch, but aaron. she could swear her heart skipped a beat. she quickly took a picture of it with her phone to keep the memory before she put it in the trash can.

later that day (well, really the next day) came a text from him at nearly two in the morning. have you eaten?

she couldn’t help but let out a small laugh. recently or all day?

either.

neither. only the coffee you got me. then a pause. have you?

no. another pause. how does chinese sound?

you read my mind. she waited for another text from him asking what she wanted, but it never came. she had started to think that he had fallen asleep, and her stomach started to noticeably growl. it wasn’t uncommon that they forgot to eat. the time to do so usually never presented itself.

she was about to give up and go get something from the vending machine down the hall when she heard a knock on her door. she looked through the peephole and there he stood. he was still in his clothes from the day prior, but his jacket, belt, and tie were gone and the top two buttons of his shirt were undone.

she felt the air leave her lungs as she opened the door. “can i come in or are you just going to stare at me?” he asked, awkwardly standing in the hallway as she looked him over. surprisingly, he didn’t mind the feeling of her eyes on him.

she quickly stepped aside and apologized. “i thought you fell asleep,” she mused, watching him make himself comfortable in the small hotel room.

“i got what you did in new york,” he said, unpacking the containers.

her eyebrows furrowed. “hotch, that was almost a year ago. how could you possibly remember that?” he simply smiled and sat down at the small table. jj let out a small laugh and sat across from him.

when she took her first bite, she let out a soft moan, closing her eyes and tipping her head back. “god, that’s good.”

hotch almost choked at her reaction, feeling the blood drain from his head and travel, well, somewhere else. “glad you approve,” he managed to get out. he’d always thought of her as attractive, but he had never thought of her quite like this. 

she was typically an obsessively neat eater, especially around men. it was just something she was taught growing up. however, she didn’t care about that. all she was focused on was devouring the meal in front of her.

hotch was focused on the food that was missing her mouth, leaving a trail around her lips -- lips that he found he couldn’t take his eyes off of. “is something wrong?” she asked once she noticed his eyes.

he shook his head. “no, no, uh, you just… you’ve got,” he swiped at his lips. she quickly caught on and did the same. 

“did i get it?”

“just let me.” he quickly walked over to her, crouched down, and wiped the excess off of her lips with his thumb. he was slow and meticulous with his action. his eyes stayed focus on her lips, while here kept focused on his eyes.

she quickly licked her lips when he removed his thumb from them, but he cupped her face with his hand. she settled into the touch, noting the callouses on his fingers, the pure size of his hand, and the way he held her so gently.

before either of them could process what was happening, his lips were against hers. it was soft and gentle, almost delicate as if he was afraid the wrong move would shatter her into a million little pieces. 

she quickly reciprocated, proving to him that he wouldn’t break her. she was hungry, her hands grabbing the collar of his shirt and pulling him closer to her.

the realization of who she was kissing started to slowly sink in and she pulled away, pushing him back by placing her hands on his chest. “hotch,” she murmured quietly. “your wife--“

“my marriage is falling apart. it’s only a matter of time before it’s officially over,” he cut her off. he knelt down, finding that he was starting to get uncomfortable squatting. “if you don’t want to, i get it, but you are not just some kind of mistress.”

she paused for a second, thinking it over. her tongue darted out to wet her lips quickly before she pulled him back in for another kiss. one of his hands flew up to cup her jaw while his other gripped her thigh. she let out a small moan at his touch.

“i’m not done showing you how much i appreciate you yet,” he growled in her ear. he stood up from his kneeling position and offered his hand. “care to take this elsewhere?” she whimpered and nodded, taking his hand as he led her to the bed in her hotel room.

he backed her up so that her knees hit the edge, but he kept her standing. his large hands held her hips as he pulled her in for another kiss. it was sweet, but with a darker undertone. meanwhile, jj’s hands went to start unbuttoning her shirt, revealing a simple nude bra. it was practical, but hotch still found himself getting lost in her body.

“you’re beautiful,” he said, meeting her eyes again. he watched as a flush appeared on her cheeks and then traveled down to cover her chest.

she covered his hands with hers and brought them up to cover her breasts. “touch me, hotch.”

“aaron,” he corrected her. “we are way past last-name formalities, jj.” his fingers lightly traced her collarbone before descending to the cavern between her breasts. his lips quickly replaced where his touch had been, nipping at her skin.

her hands clasped behind his neck, pulling him closer. she could feel the growing bulge in his pants press against her lower stomach. his hands started to descend, cupping her ass and bringing their hips even closer.

one of his hands went lower to the back of her thigh. it encouraged her to lift that leg up and wrap around his waist, changing the angle that he was pressing into her. “are you sure you want to do this?” he asked as he pulled his mouth away from his chest. “we can stop, forget this ever happened, and walk away.”

“aaron,” she said, pulling his face up to hers, “i don’t want to walk away. i want to limp away after you’re done with me. understood?”

his eyes darkened with hunger as he brought her into another searing kiss. “crystal clear.”