I Love You ~ Aaron Hotchner

Summary

"I lost my way on the way to you and in you I found all the way back to me." -Atticus The stern unit chief has been through a lot. So much, that it made him easily forget of the light in life. However, it never stopped his love. For his son, for his team, for humanity, and for me. I love you, Aaron Hotchner.

Genre:
Romance / Erotica
Author:
imagineaworlds
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
12
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

JOINING THE BAU

When my sister started working for the FBI, I couldn’t help but feel like she was stepping on my toes. She always spent her time being a detective on the West Coast, meanwhile I was always the one who was working my way up the food chain at the Bureau. Our parents were proud of me for taking the initiative to go straight into the Academy once I graduated college. My dad was still a professor at the Academy, even after my mom filed for divorce, and despite the fact that Elle hardly ever kept in contact with him, since she wasn’t obligated to because they were in no way related, he helped put in a good word for her at the BAU. So next thing I knew, my sister, Elle Greenaway, was working in the unit I wanted, had the job I wanted, and was quite literally my boss. It was frustrating, to say the least. And she certainly knew how I felt about it. I hated that she got the job before me, and I hated that she hardly worked as hard as I was to get there.

The good news about the situation, though, was that nearly six months into her job with the BAU, Elle managed to convince our boss, Jason Gideon, to promote me to the team. That very day, he pulled me, Elle, and Agent Hotchner into his office to ask me about myself and what role I could bring to the BAU. Everyone in the unit gave a unique perspective to the cases, and no one was dead weight. Gideon wanted to know why I would be a valuable teammate. When I asked him about his son, Gideon leaned back in his chair and smirked. No one knew about his son except for Hotchner because they had been friends for years. I was a stranger beyond the fact that him and my father both taught at the Academy together for a period of time. There was no way I could have known beyond my incredible profiling skills.

Gideon then handed me an old case file and asked me to review it then answer the question no one could answer. He didn’t tell me what the question was or anything else about the case. Then, when I was dismissed, I could hear him asking Elle and Hotch what they thought about me joining the team.

As I took my leave to look over the case, I could see Agent Hotchner watching me through Gideon’s office window while they talked. I wasn’t an unknown face to him, of course. We had passed each other a few times at Quantico, and whenever I would meet Elle for lunch, we would exchange short acknowledging glances and polite smiles, but nothing necessarily beyond that.

Elle, immediately after leaving Gideon’s office, came to find me at my desk. She interrogated me about how I knew about his son when even she wasn’t aware. I put down the file and looked up at her to try and gauge how things went in the meeting after I was ordered to leave. She had come up to me in a hurry, and her question was phrased in a bewildered kind of manner rather than an upset one— She would have been upset if Gideon was upset, because if I were to have embarrassed her, the fingers would have been pointed at her rather than me. But she wasn’t upset. She was curious. Which meant that I had impressed them.

“How did you not know?” I interrogated back. She rolled her eyes and sat on the corner of my desk. “The pictures on the desk in the back of his room,” I began to explain, “they’re of all the different victims he has saved and kept in contact with over the years.”

“Yeah. So?”

“There’s one in the middle back. It’s of Agent Gideon standing with a man about our age. Their features match nearly entirely. Their hair, their noses, their mouths, and their postures. The man looks almost uncomfortable next to him, whereas in all of the other photos, they look happy.”

“So, if it is his son, why keep it in the back instead of putting it up front or somewhere on his main desk?”

“He doesn’t want people to know. Him and his son don’t have a good relationship. Actually, I’d be surprised if they have talked at all in the past decade or so. He wants to have a reminder of his son, but he doesn’t want to announce it to the world, so he hides it with all of the other photos.”

Elle chuckled and shook her head. “How did you spot that so fast?”

“I’ve been after this job since I graduated. I’ve learned a lot about profiling and have spent years perfecting the craft. I don’t need to stare at something to know what I’m looking at. A quick glance is all I need.”

“Impressive,” Hotch said as he walked up from behind Elle. “There aren’t many who can profile Agent Gideon.” We shared our usual acknowledging glance and polite smile before looking away from each other. He put his hand on Elle’s shoulder, “We’ve got a lead.”

When they left to take care of the case, I turned back to the file which I was supposed to review. As I flipped the cover open, it dawned on me that I was holding the file to Agent Jason Gideon’s most famous case. Gideon alone was perhaps the only agent at the FBI who had so many famous cases in his career, and that was what made him so ideal to work with. But this case, in particular, was the one that everyone studied at the Academy. The Footpath Killer. However, I now had the actual case file in my hand. I didn’t have to hear about it through the rumor mill anymore. I could know exactly what happened and how Jason Gideon caught him.

I spent hours reading every detail of the case from beginning to end. Nearly halfway through, I noticed a piece in Gideon’s paperwork following the arrest which claimed that he was able to stop the Footpath Killer from killing him by telling him that he knew why the Unsub had a stutter. It was then that I realized something about why Gideon wanted me to read this. Despite having the profile of the Footpath Killer, they were unable to find him for so long until Gideon happened upon him at a random gas station in the middle of nowhere. And Gideon just so happened to know the answer to what the Footpath Killer had been wondering all this life: Why he was cursed with such a stutter. Gideon knew the answer and he was able to diffuse the situation by enlightening the Unsub. However, throughout the rest of the report, it never once mentioned the answer Gideon gave to the Unsub. It was a peculiar detail that was surely overlooked by many… but I knew that something was missing. Even when I reached the end of the file and went back to make sure I didn’t miss it, I realized what Gideon wanted me to find out.

Why did the Footpath Killer have a stutter?

I reviewed the profile nearly five more times, each time growing more frustrated. There I was, having just gloated about being able to profile anyone or anything with just one glance, and now I was falling short. I felt like a fraud. And I felt like I could hear the ticking of a clock in the back of my mind, just reminding me how little time I had to prove to Jason Gideon that I deserved a spot in the BAU.

So, I did the only other thing I could think to do. I started researching Agent Gideon in the hopes of profiling him further to figure out how he could have known the answer to the stutter problem. There was no way he could have guessed, so he must have learned it from somewhere. But there was nothing— at least not related to the unanswerable question I was facing.

Agent Hotchner passed my desk again as he was reviewing a stack of papers in one hand while sipping hot coffee from a mug in the other hand. It was curious that he was all the way over by my desk. Only a few minutes prior, he had pulled Elle away to discuss a lead, and now he was back, far from the location of the team’s base down the hall. There was no reason for him to be pacing around my cubicle other than the fact that he was sent to spy on my progress.

I spun around in my chair and bit the back of my pen as I watched him rotate around the room again. “Do you know the answer?” I asked him. He froze in his path and looked up from his papers after realizing that he had been caught hovering. “You don’t have to tell me the answer itself. I just want to know if you know.”

“Does it matter?”

I shrugged. “Maybe.”

He let the papers fall to his side as he took a sip of his coffee. He quietly and politely smacked his lips, licked them, then stepped towards me. “We all know the answer.”

“Then I know what it is.” I set my pen down, closed the file, pushed out my chair, and stood. He raised a brow. “He doesn’t know why the Unsub had a stutter. He never mentioned the answer or told anyone the truth because even he doesn’t know.”

“How do you figure that?”

“I reviewed the file as many times as I could until my head started to spin, but there was no answer— not even a hidden one. Then, when I researched him, I realized that when he gives lectures about this case, he doesn’t bring up the question or the answer. Why? Because he’s afraid someone’s going to ask him, and he won’t know what to say.”

“So, you think that he doesn’t bring it up because it could perhaps discredit him.”

“No. I think he does it so that he can ask other people like me until one day he figures out the real reason.”

Hotchner smiled. “And that’s what the BAU is all about. Helping one another, giving different perspectives and insight; being able to challenge yourself and those around you.” He set the papers on my desk. “Good job.” I looked at the papers to find that they were entirely blank. “You figured it out much quicker than Elle did, at least.” I bit back a chuckle. “Welcome to the BAU.”

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