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Unbelievable (Criminal Minds, Hotch fic for Matilda3948)


darkness-is-the-light

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I'm sorry it took so long Matilda, I had to figure out what I wanted to do. Also I found out some very interesting information about a little someone. Thomas Gibson (the actor that plays Hotch) has a fetish, not ours, but a foot fetish. So now I guess we shouldn't really feel that our fetish is weird because he has a fetish too. Anyway... I hope you like this fic!

Part 1

"Huh'PSH'iew!!" A harsh sneeze echoed from Hotch's office.

"Did I just hear what I thought I heard?" JJ said to Garcia.

"Yeah, I think so. I think that's Hotch," Garcia replied.

"It can't be, there must be someone else in there."

"I don't know, I think it's only Hotch."

"I have to tell him about the briefing anyway." JJ said and started walking towards Hotch's office.

"Hgn-iew!! Hgn-iew!! Dammit."

JJ stepped in front of the office door and knocked lightly.

"Come in," A slightly congested Hotch answered.

"Good morning, sir. We're going to have a briefing in ten minutes. A serial arsonist is wreaking havoc in Glendale, Arizona." JJ informed.

Hotch opened his mouth to answer but was struck with an intense urge to sneeze instead. He pinched his nose shut and stifled two strong sneezes.

"Hgnxxt! Hgnxxt!!"

"Bless you,"

"Thank you, excuse me," Hotch said politely.

"Are you feeling alright, sir?"

"Yes, I'm fine, agent Jareau."

"I'm sorry for asking. I guess I'm just a little shocked since I've never seen you sneeze before." JJ confessed.

"I eventually have to, everyone does, agent Jareau."

"I know, I'm sorry, I just thought-"

"It's alright, you were only concerned, I'll see you at the briefing."

"Alright, thank you, sir." JJ closed the door as she walked out of Hotch's office.

Hotch plucked a couple tissues from the box on his desk and blew his nose softly, aware that JJ might have been sticking around the door. He massaged his temples as a throbbing ache settled in his head. Ten minutes later Hotch made his way towards the conference room. He found that everyone was seated and waiting for him to arrive.

"So, what do we have?" Aaron asked as he sat down at the table.

"A serial arsonist has been making a huge mess in Glendale, Arizona. In the past four days three families have been killed via nightly house fires." Garcia started.

"Are there any similarities between these families?" Morgan asked.

"Yes, my sweet chocolate love. All three families are immigrants from the Dominican Republic and moved to the US of A within the same three month period." Garcia informed.

"So this Unsub obviously has something against Dominicans or has had a bad run in with these families." JJ added.

"All we have to find out is why, well this should be easy." Rossi said, sarcasm slightly laced in his voice.

"We'll find out why, wheels up in twenty." Hotch finalized and walked out of the conference room.

Everyone walked out of the room except JJ and Garcia.

"It was Hotch, why is he trying to hide it?" JJ asked Garcia.

"You know Hotch, he tries to seem invincible. Weakness isn't an option to him."

"i only want him to realize that it's okay to let go sometimes. That no one's going to judge him, he can't always please everyone."

"Don't worry, honey," Garcia placed a hand on JJ's shoulder, "he'll eventually let himself relax.' Then Garcia left the room leaving JJ to think.

TBC? Does anyone want something specific to happen in this story? if you do just ask and I'll see what I can do.

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Thanks a lot Matilda! All I want to do is make you happy with this fic. I hope you like this next part.

Part 2

On the jet Hotch made himself a cup of coffee and secretly slipped a couple Advil to try and relieve his throbbing headache. JJ sat a little distance from Hotch and every once in a while snuck a glance up at him. Though the sixth time she found something that worried her a little bit. Her boss was asleep, his mouth open partly while soft snores sounded. No one else on the team noticed. Reid and Emily were in the middle of a heated chess game, Rossi was reading a book, and Morgan was listening to music with his headphones, moving his head to the beat. JJ sighed quietly and focused her attention back on the file in her hands. When there was only ten minutes left of the flight JJ knew she had to wake Hotch up. She settled to shaking his shoulder lightly.

"Hotch, wake up," JJ whispered sweetly.

Aaron's eyes opened quickly and he immediately moved to sit up straight.

"We're landing in a few minutes."

"I'm sorry I fell asleep." Hotch apologized, shame written all over his face.

"Don't apologize, you were tired, your body needed to recharge." JJ assured.

The truth was that Hotch didn't feel any better. His head was still throbbing and a deep congestion settled in his sinuses. A strong tickle overcame his sinuses, in result came two strong sneezes that he tried to stifle but failed.

"Hgn-PSH'iew!! Hg-PSH'iew!!!"

"Bless you," Everyone on the team said... except JJ. She only sat biting her lip softly. JJ didn't want to embarrass Hotch like the rest of the team probably did. Her unit chief was an extremely private person and would do anything to try and hide every aspect of his emotional and physical being. JJ knew that Hotch would only push himself harder to hide how he was feeling to avoid his team from getting suspicious.

"Thank you, excuse me," Hotch said quietly. "Ok everyone, Reid- Emily- I want you to go to the autopsy." Hotch cleared his throat quietly to try to get rid of the irritation. "Rossi- Morgan- I want you to check the latest dump site. JJ- you and I will go look at the first dump site."

JJ was aware that Hotch paired them up together because she knew too much already. He wouldn't want another team member to also be suspicious of his health. It would be too much for him to handle.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"There are five blood stains, but the second and fourth have trails leading somewhere else." JJ said and started following the trails which lead her to a bloody make-up kit and a bloody clump pf blonde hair.

"It looks like the Unsub might have taken the make-up kit from one of the victims. But I don't know why the Unsub would leave the hair behind. Wouldn't they want to take it with them." Hotch observed, his voice rough.

JJ listened to her boss's voice and felt sympathy for him. He constantly had to be so serious and act like he didn't have any weaknesses. JJ contemplated whether she should tell Hotch to give up his act and let her take care of him. She decided that she would give it a try even though she knew he might refuse.

"Hotch, please be honest with me. How do you feel?" JJ asked seriously.

Hotch sighed and ran a hand over his face. "I think I have a little bit of a cold." Aaron admitted.

JJ resisted the urge to scoff. "Please let me help you, Hotch." JJ begged.

"I don't need any help, I've got everything under control. it's just a little cold, I'm not dying." Hotch answered in a firm tone, his voice annoyed and irritated.

JJ felt a couple of tears well up in her eyes but she didn't cry, she had to appear strong. "I'm sorry, I only wanted to help, you never let yourself relax and admit to not feeling well." This time though tears did spill. JJ scurried off to the SUV which they had came in and sat in silence while she tried to take control of her emotions. Aaron stared at the ground while a feeling of regret came over him, it wasn't a very familiar feeling. he felt ashamed that he had treated JJ that way, she was only trying to help. Hotch knew that she cared for him but he tried to dismiss her because he let his job get in the way again, just like he did with the love of his life... Haley.

TBC?

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I'm so sorry, I literally noticed this a couple days ago that I addressed Emily by her first name instead of her last name. Please just forget about that.

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I know nothing about criminal minds, sorry :P this sounds really good though, I might find an episode and watch :)

Thomas Gibson... familiar name... I've heard it before while digging through Sneezing in the Media. Here we go, acted sneeze around 6.00 -

in case anyone wants to hear.
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Thank you for the nice comments, I'm so sorry about the wait, I hope you didn't lose interest in this story. Umm.. well I hope you like this part then. (I'm sorry, I'm very awkward)

Part 3

Aaron slowly walked over to the car and opened up the door. JJ was wiping her tears away with her hands. She didn't notice him at first but glanced up at him a couple seconds later, clearing her throat JJ sat up straight. Hotch almost rolled his eyes at the fact that she was trying to be strong and act as if nothing had bothered her. Hotch slid into the car and sat in the seat next to her.

"JJ, I am truly sorry. I don't know what got into me." he aplogized.

"I do. You let your job get in the way, you won't let anyone help you. Hotch, I offer to help you but you refuse. Why do you push away everyone that cares for you?" JJ snapped.

"I don't know... I'm sorry for pushing you away." Hotch struggled to find another reason besides the truth. He wasn't exactly ready to reveal that just yet. JJ got a sincere look in her eyes, "I'm so sorry, Hotch! I didn't mean-"

"I know, it's alright. You have every right to be mad. I was-" Aaron paused for a moment when he felt a tickle flare up in his sinuses. His mouth was agape while his breath hitched softly. "Huh'PSH'iew! Huh'PSH'iew!!"

"Bless you,"

"H-hold- Huh'PSH'iew!! Huh'PSH'iew!!"

"Bless you," JJ said again.

"Thank you. As I was saying, I was out of line and I shouldn't have been acting that way. You were only trying to help me."

"I was being annoying, you're a grown man and you can take care of yourself."

"It was your right to do so, you weren't being annoying. I'm the one that was stupid. Please, lets go see what the others found." Hotch said.

"Alright."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Dave what did you find?" Hotch asked.

"There was five blood stains on the ground but oddly enough only two of them led to something. The first one led to a bloody patch of dark brown hair, and the second- a wallet with a picture of a child in it with an x drawn on it in blood." Rossi explained.

"Strange enough, we got a bloody make- up kit and a bloody clump of blonde hair." Aaron explained.

"So the Unsub wanted to take three things-" Rossi stopped abruptly when he heard his friends breath catch. There was some rustling of the phone moving and two harsh sneezes directed away from the phone.

"Huh'PSH'iew!! HUH'PSH'iew!!!" Then Dave heard Hotch silently curse himself for sneezing.

"Bless you, you feeling alright, Aaron?"

"Thank you, excuse me. Yes, I'm just tired. I'm sorry, go on." Hotch lied.

JJ sighed and bit her lip to keep from interjecting. She knew that he shouldn't have lied to Rossi, he was his friend for crying out loud. But JJ knew that her boss was only trying to get the case done and have the team focus on the case instead of him.

"As I was saying, the Unsub wanted to take three things way from thw victims that meant a lot to them. My guess is that the Unsub had something taken away from them that meant a lot. Then to repay others with the same treatment."

Hotch cleared his throat quietly and answered, "It could be someone in their family, particularly a woman since these 'gifts' loom like they belonged to women. We're going to h-have these c-checked to see w-whose blood are on t-these." The tickle in his sinuses was too much to hold back any longer. Aaron pulled the phone away and sneezed three harsh and wet sneezes.

"Huh'PSH'ieew!! HUH'PSH'iew!!! HUH'PSH'ieew!!!!"

"Bless you! You really don't sound good, do you want to go back to the hotel to rest and I can have Morgan take over." Rossi offered.

Hotch contemplated his offer a second, he did feel bad but he had to catch this Unsub. The team needed him.

"I'll be fine, we need to focus on this case."

"But you also can't put your health to the side. You have to care for yourself too." Rossi objected.

'I'll be fine, it's only a little cold. I'll live, meet up with Prentiss and Reid to see what the autopsies showed."

"Alright, but take care of yourself, Aaron."

"I will." Hotch finished and hung up. The feeling that Rossi now knew about his illness snapped him totally back into place. He walked back over to JJ and found her playing with her fingers, her eyes staring blankly at the ground.

"Agent Jareau," Hotch called her name firmly.

JJ's eyes shot up towards her boss's, "What? I mean, yes?' she corrected herself quickly.

"Let's finish walking the scence."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later that day it was finally time to call it a night and pick back up in the morning. Hotch went to his hotel room where he kept working. He was building a profile for the Unsub in written form. JJ sat on her bed in her room with her head in her hands. She moved to get up when she heard her cell phone begin to ring.

"Hello?" JJ answered.

"Hi, JJ," It was Rossi, "can you maybe tell me how Hotch is doing?" I tried to convince him to take the rest of the day off but he wouldn't listen. All he did was claim that he's 'fine'."

"So I obviously don't have to tell you that he's sick."

"He's a stubborn man, and he still hasn't let himself fully grieve about Haley's death yet."

JJ felt a lump form in her throat, the poor man was working himself to the ground and not letting himself face the fact that he can be weak sometimes.

"He'll eventually break, I'm afraid that no one will be able to put his pieces back together again." JJ admitted.

"Hotch will realize that everyone cares for him and will be there for him. JJ, at least he's trusting you right now. I know that you'll get through to him, I believe in you." Rossi assured.

"I hope you're right."

"Don't worry, goodnight, JJ."

"Goodnight."

TBC??

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Thank you for all the nice comments, I might post later today. I'm just trying to get this next part where I want it.

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Hey everyone! This next part of the story is longer because I wanted to fit a lot of things in it. It's also partly full of angst, since I know everyone loves angst.I love writing this story and I find it pretty easy writing Hotch, I guess that would be because I am practically the girl real life version of him but just a little bit more laid back. I hope you like this next part!! (Side note: This next part starts the beginning of some hardcore sickness.) + I hope I didn't go too out of character.

Part 4

Later that night JJ fell into a restless sleep. She promised herself that she would go check on Hotch in the morning. In the morning JJ walked down the hall to Hotch's room. Right before she was about to knock on the door she heard a fit of five wet sneezes come from him.

"Huh'PSH'iew!! Huh'PSH'iew!! Huh'PSH'iew!!! Huh'PSH'iew!! HUH'PSH'iew!!" These sneezes left him sniffling desperately. JJ soon heard him blow his nose, a some-what loud gurgling blow. She then proceeded to knock on the door. The door opened and she found a sight she never thought she'd see. Her boss was as pale as a piece of paper, his nose was red and raw, and he looked like he didn't sleep all night. JJ felt a surge of sympathy go through her.

"Good morning, agent Jareau." Aaron greeted formally, a heavy congestion in his voice.

"Good morning, sir." JJ replied, keeping the worry out of her voice.

"Are you ready to get the rest of the team and g-go to t-the station?" Hotch asked through hitching breaths. He tried desperately to keep from sneezing but he couldn't hold it in any longer. He turned to the side and sneezed twice into his elbow.

"Huh'PSH'iew!! Huh'PSHH'iew!!!"

"Bless you," JJ said.

"Thank you, excuse me." Hotch replied, the exhaustion noticeable in his voice now.

"I only have one question, did you get any sleep last night?" JJ asked reluctantly.

"Agent Jareau, that should be none of your concern." Hotch objected firmly.

"Please tell me the truth."

"If you would like to know, no, I did not. I was busy working on the case."

JJ sighed, "Hotch, why? You need to get some sleep. It's essential for your health, is that how you got sick in the first place?"

"No, I'm not that sick in the first place and secondly, I've been getting enough sleep." Aaron lied.

JJ could see that Hotch was struggling, she knew he was hiding his feelings.

"Why don't you stay back and get some sleep. I can have Morgan and Rossi take over." JJ offered, hoping he would give in so she could take care of him.

"No, I don't need to, I'm alright."

"Please, I want to help you, Aaron." JJ pleaded using his first name. A little spark went off in Hotch's head. He realized that JJ was being serious when she used his first name. Hotch sighed deeply, he knew she was right. The team would be able to handle on their own, they've done it before. There shouldn't really be a reason why the team wouldn't understand.

"I guess you're right,"

"Thank you, do you want me to call Rossi for you?" JJ asked.

"No, it's alright. I can call him now." Hotch picked up his cell phone and called Rossi.

"Hello?'

"Hi, Dave, umm... I'm going to be staying here at the hotel today." Hotch said.

"What made you decide that?" Rossi asked, astonished.

"JJ's here with me."

"Oh,"

"Will you be able to handle without me?"

"Of course, we've done it before. I'll tell the team that something came up and you couldn't come today." Rossi explained.

"Thank you,"

"No problem, feel better, Aaron."

"Thank you," Then Hotch hung up.

"Ok, now take off your suit and change into something more comfortable."

"But-"

"No buts, you're not going to be doing anything revolved around the case." JJ ordered.

Hotch got up and made his way to the bathroom to change into something a step down from his usual attire.

"Go lay down in bed and I'll sit in the chair next to you." JJ explained.

"You don't have to stay here with me."

"I want to,"

"But you don't need to, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself." Hotch argued. He knew that this was going to be one of the days where all his grief and anger of his actions would catch up with him. One of the last days of being strong and he didn't want JJ or anyone quite frankly, to see him in such a vulnerable state.

"Alright, whatever makes you comfortable." JJ gave in. Hotch turned on his side, facing the wall opposite of JJ. "feel better, Hotch," JJ murmured quietly. She walked towards the door but stopped at the dresser byt the TV where two room keys were laying. JJ picked up one and swiftly made her way out of the room. She picked up her cell phone and called Rossi. "hey, did you guys leave yet?" JJ asked.

"No, we're in the lobby, I was just about to tell the team about him, why?" Rossi asked.

"He won't let me stay so I'll go with the team."

"Ok," She heard him muttering some words in italian to himself. "I guess we'll both tell them,"

"Fine,"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Everyone, we're going to be doing this case without Hotch for today or maybe more." Rossi started.

"Why, did something happen?" Reid asked.

"Something came up and he has to stay back here in the hotel." JJ said, she wasn't totally lying but she didn't want to have to in the first place. But she knew he wouldn't appreciate it if the whole team knew what was going on. What they didn't know couldn't hurt them.

After another long day of making no progress the team went back to the hotel. JJ made her way to her unit chief's room to check on him. She knocked gently on the door... no answer, nothing. JJ slipped the key into the slot and opened the door and heard something so heart-breaking. Aaron was sobbing his heart out. JJ thought she should leave the room to give him some privacy but decided against it because she knew he needed some comfort. She quietly walked over to him and softly placed her hand on his back. Hotch jerked straight up and turned around quickly. His eyes filled with shame as he realized he was no longer alone.

"I'm sorry, this is very inappropriate." He apologized through now restrained sobs.

"Don't apologize, you can't control this." JJ said, "Now what's bothering you?" She asked sweetly, like she was talking to her son.

"I miss Haley," Hotch said quietly as another bout of sobs started. "and when I got mad at you for caring for me it reminded me of Haley. I put my job first again, that's why she left me in the first place. It's all my fault. Then I didn't take the deal which got her and almost my son killed. This is all my fault." by this time Aaron's body was shaking. All of his guilt and emotions that had been bottled up had finally gotten to be too much.

JJ rubbed his back in a comforting manner and whispered, "Shh, shh, everything's going to be alright." JJ then did something she never thought she'd do. She pulled him into a comforting hug. "It's alright, just let it all out." JJ cooed softly.

"In the end i'm just as bad as an Unsub because I got Haley killed."

"Aaron, you're not a bad person, you never knew Foyet would go that low just to get a reaction from you." JJ assured.

Hotch started to pull away from JJ when he felt a tickle flare up in his sinuses. But he couldn't turn away fast enough and he accidentally sneezed onto JJ' arm.

"Huh"PSSH'iew!!!"

"I'm sorry," he apologized hurriedly.

"It's alright, bless you." JJ said.

"Again, I'm really sorry, JJ. I never meant for you to see me like that."

"Hotch, it's alright. Everyone needs comforting sometimes. I'm not going to look at you any differently. You're one of the strongest people I know."

Aaron chuckled softly which irritated his throat a little. "I am?"

"Yes, you are. I've never seen anyone carry themselves like you."

Hotch coughed harshly when the irritation got stronger.

"Now I want you to lay down and go to sleep." JJ ordered lightly. "and I'm going to sit over here." She gestured towards the chair next to his bed.

"No, I want you to lay here with me, you don't deserve to deprive yourself of sleep because of me."

"Alright, whatever's going to please you." JJ slid into bed next to him. "goodnight, Hotch,"

"Goodnight, JJ," Hotch replied then whispered, "thank you,"

TBC...

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