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Emotional Needs (CM, Hotch) with JJ


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This is an expansion of the drabble from my drabble thread. I'll continue it soon :)

JJ had just put Henry down for the night and put on comfortable clothes with the intention of reading in bed and enjoying the sound of the rain outside.

*bzzz! bzzz! bzzz!* her phone buzzes on her night stand and she answers.


“JJ?” She immediately recognizes the voice of Aaron Hotchner.


“I’m sorry to bother you. Are you busy?”

“No, I just put Henry to bed. Why?

“Is Will home?”

“No, he’s working late tonight. Hotch, what’s going on?”

There is a pause in the conversation, causing JJ to check if the call dropped. Then, she hears what almost sounds like a muffled sneeze on the other end of the phone. That can’t be right. The only other sound she can identify on the other end is rain.

“Hotch, where are you?”


“Outside where…?” She looks out of her bedroom window to see Hotch standing in the glow of her porch light, “I’ll be right down.”

When she opens the door, she immediately notices how stressed and tired he looks. “You look terrible. Why didn’t you tell me you were out here first? Come in.”

“I didn’t want to impose if you were busy. I think I need to talk to someone about Emily. It’s been hard to see what her ‘death’ has done to the rest of the team. You are the only other person that knows the truth.”

“Yeah, it’s been hard to see Reid upset and not be able to tell him,” she empathizes with his situation, “Although, I have to say you look worse.”

Hotch seems briefly amused by her complete honesty before his expression takes on a dazed and faraway look. She is about to ask him if he’s okay when she gets her answer.

“ha-nxxtch” He snaps forward, catching the soft sneeze with his hand. The momentary loss of composure and control is very out-of-character for the man, and she knows it.

“Bless you, Aaron…let’s get you some dry clothes and then we can talk.”

Clearly, he is anything but okay.


Will’s clothes don’t fit quite right, but they are dry and warm. Aaron now is now sitting on a couch in the living room, periodically shivering involuntarily.

“Coffee?” JJ sets the hot mug down on the coffee table in front of him before plopping down in the armchair across from him.

“Thanks, JJ. Sorry for barging in like this,” he apologizes for what seems like the hundredth time.

“It’s okay. Everyone needs a shoulder at some point, and you’ve been there for all of us countless times.”

He couldn’t deny any part of that statement. At this point he needs someone to keep him from falling apart.

“I’ve had one-on-one meetings with everybody, and it’s been rough.”

“How are they taking it?”

“About as well as could be expected,” he pauses briefly to cough and clear his throat, “Morgan is hurt and angry. Garcia is a mess. Rossi is dealing with things in his own way, and Reid is….”

“…devastated,” She finishes his sentence.

“It’s so hard to stand by and watch them go through it. Sometimes, I wonder if it is the right decision to deceive them like this. I know we have to…”

His voice trails off, and JJ looks up from tracing the design on her cup just in time to see him pitch forward with a restrained, yet powerful sneeze.


“There’s one thing I’d like to know that you haven’t mentioned yet.”

“What is that?”

“How are you doing, Hotch? For real.”

He sighs and looks out the window instead of answering. She waits several minutes, observing him quietly. “The truth?” he finally asks, not taking his eyes off the window, “Not what I’ve tried to tell everyone else?”

“Yes, Aaron. You don’t have to hide it from me.”

“Terrible.” The one word answer spoke volumes.

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Oh my god, excuse me while I turn into a puddle on the floor. Thank you for continuing this drabble. *squeals happily*

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  • 1 year later...

I have wanted to continue this story for a long time, so here comes part 2 :) (finally!!) Not much sneezing in this part, but the next part will make up for it ;) 


"Terrible..." The admission from last night kept replaying in JJ's mind. She could still hear his tired, weak voice saying that single word, haunting her. She regretted letting him leave in his condition with the weather raging outside. She probably should have offered the couch to him more insistently. Knowing Hotch, he never would have accepted, but she still felt guilty. Well, at least she would see him at work and be able to make sure he was okay. That was only if he would admit it.


"How are you, Hotch?" It sounded slightly maternal, even though she was going for casual.

"I'm fine, Agent Jareau" He was appeared a bit weak and disheveled, but not much. She had to hand it to him. He could put up a good front.

She sighed, knowing the conversation was over for now..... 


...or so she thought. She heard it as she walked past, a very well-controlled sneeze, but forceful enough to make a sound. While most people might not realize what it was, JJ knew that she couldn't ignore it.

When she turned around, he was trying to look at her inconspicuously with an expectant look on his face. So he knew it too.

"Bless you," She mouthed.

He cleared his throat softly. "Thank you. The papers you have been expecting are on your desk. If you'll excuse me, I have work to do."

JJ couldn't help but roll her eyes. It wasn't flawless, but it was a damn good front. How long could he keep it up?


A few hours later, it was beginning to crack. Other members of the team noticed that he was spending an unusual amount of time in the office, and any contact seemed abrupt. She could hear the office conversation, and it saddened her. Poor Hotch.

"JJ, is it just me, or does Hotch seem a little...off?" The question was innocent, almost of Garcia's questions are.

"Yeah, and I'm about to find out," She gets up.

"I tried that. He's busy."

Yeah, busy, right. She is determined to get the full truth. She storms to his office, takes one deep, calming breath, and knocks softly on the door "Hotch?"







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On September 15, 2016 at 0:05 AM, metallicstars said:

AH wow I can't believe I've never seen this before! I love it please continue!

Glad you like it! :D


Part 3


It seemed like forever before JJ could convince him to unlock the door. It couldn't wait, yes she was alone. She had to look to be certain that no one had followed her. All this to get him to unlock the door. It was like pleading with Henry.  Finally, he opens the door.


"What is it?" 

"Can we talk about you for a minute?" She walks in and closes the door for him.

“Why?" He makes it to his office chair and slumps into it, looking exhausted.

"I think you know why..." 


Several seconds of awkward silence follows. Obviously, he plans to make this difficult.


"I am worried about you. You probably think I don't need to be, but obviously someone should be."

"I'm fide, JJ"

God, this is worse than Henry. He's acting like a total man-child! Some how she manages to keep her voice even but firm. "You are not fine, Hotch."

"h'kkth  gnsh!" He groans as he loses the last threads of his facade, the stifles dissolving into a rough sounding coughing fit.

"That really doesn't sound good."

That seems to take what little energy he has left to debate. He sighs and begins massaging his temples. "Sorry, JJ. Can you brief the team?"

"Yeah, show me what you've got."


His body is forcing him to admit that he is sick. As much as he doesn't want anyone to see him like this, he appreciates the help.

"A man was found last night," His sinuses are giving him hell. He pauses to clear his throat and sniff a bit before continuing, "He was hanging from a tree wearing black robes with reh...*sniff*...red paint on his hands. Excuse me....h'ngxt! huh...ha-esschxxt!!

He barely manages to turn the chair away from her before sneezing into his arm. When he turns back around, the room is spinning and there are almost 2 JJs looking at him with concern. He rests his head on his hands for a second to steady the room.


There's no point in denying the obvious. "Yes."

"Here," She hands him two pills, "These should help."

Has she been carrying those around all day? That's a question he's almost certain he doesn't want an answer to. Out of desperation, he accepts them.

"You know, trying to stifle them and not admit weakness is probably making it worse."

He gives her the look.

"It's just advice. If you'd rather torture yourself, go for it." She gathers up the papers "How about you focus on feeling better, and I will brief myself and the rest of the team?"

"What if they ask?"

"I'll just tell them your busy making arrangements."

They might buy that.

Before the door closes he remembers one more thing, "Hey, JJ?" He waits for her to turn back "Wheels up in 30."

"We will argue about that later." She closes the door behind her.

He decides to lay his head on the desk for the first time in his life, just for a few minutes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On September 17, 2016 at 8:11 PM, 24Me said:

Hnngh this is so good. You have an amazing gift! I love where this is going! 


On September 18, 2016 at 2:25 AM, silentdreamer789 said:

This is great; I can't wait for more!

Thank you both for the encouraging comments! Without further delay, we have more Hotch :D


Part 4

Hotch startles awake with the sound of the door opening, and frantically looks at his watch. Had he really been asleep? With a sigh of relief, he discovers that it's only been about 20 minutes. At least he didn't miss anything important.

"Sorry to disturb you," JJ speaks at the level right above a whisper, "I just wanted to let you know that the team is briefed and ready."

"Good, Thank you, JJ."

A maternal sigh escapes her as he rises to put on his suit jacket. "It's probably not a good idea for you to be working right now..."

"The team needs a leader. Besides, I'm actually feeling much better," He pauses to adjust his tie. "I'll be fine."

"You definitely weren't fine a few minutes ago, and since when does Aaron Hotchner sleep at work?"

He clears his throat and does the best he can to make convincing eye contact. "It was just a power nap. Are you planning on missing the plane?"

"Whatever, don't say I didn't warn you" She completes the statement with an eye roll as she follows her boss out the door. 

They only make it a few yards down the hall before Hotch is greeted with typical Garcia fanfare "Well, Mr. Boss Man finally emerges from the mysterious depths of his office! I was about to call a search team!"

His chuckle turns into a cough, which he manages to get under control. "No worries. I was just getting some work done."

He can't help but notice the two women exchanging glances before he rushes off. He barely makes it around the corner before he has to bring his arm up to catch a series of stifles.


Thankfully, there had been just enough time for a quick bathroom break to pull himself together. Truthfully, his clogged sinuses were starting to move, which did help his headache. He takes a moment to fix his hair. The problem now is the slow draining sensation tickling his nose. It will be hard to hide that. As he leans over the sink to splash water on his face, the sensation increases exponentially. He grabs a napkin and lets out a soft blow, aware that JJ might be waiting for him just outside the bathroom. Unfortunately, that does nothing to ease the building tickle.

"h'kcht ngxt!..ha- *sigh*" He reaches for napkin to attempt to clear his nose again, "ahkxxtchuh! ha'ishoo!"

He groans inwardly as he fails to fully contain the last two. With one last nose blow, he moves for the bathroom exit. As much as he'd like to linger, the plane awaits. Apparently, JJ does as well, and something about the slight smirk on her face and the barely noticeable, drippy tingle in his sinuses indicates that he is in for a long plane ride.


Why can't he just listen once in a while. I guess he will learn the hard way as usual. JJ rolls her eyes in response to her thoughts as she heads for the plane. Garcia's dramatic exclamations interrupt her train of thought and Hotch's coughing and abrupt departure only make her more concerned. She exchanges a look with the bubbly technical analyst, who seems perplexed and a bit worried. Her maternal senses detect the faint sound of Hotch stifles from around the corner.

"Sorry, plane..." The two word greeting will have to pacify Garcia for now. She nearly power walks around the corner then runs to catch up with the Hotch. "Hey, Hotch?"

He ignores her and keeps walking until they near the bathroom. He slows down and glances at his watch. "You can go ahead. I'll be there in a moment."

She nods and continues a few paces before pausing. He wouldn't want her lingering and eavesdropping, but her instincts tell her not to leave him to his own devices. She pulls out an elastic band and puts her hair up, then gets some water from the drinking fountain. Anything she can do as an excuse to hang back.

The sound of failed stifles does not escape JJ's ears. Poor Hotch, he really should stay here and rest. Feeling much better, my ass! Of course, she was right. 

She turns to leave as the bathroom door opens, but not fast enough to totally hide the smirk on her face. He wouldn't be able to hide it long on the plane.




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