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Before You Go

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Sam Kassmeyer was alive, barely, but there was no sign of Foyet.

“Sam, where’s Foyet?” Aaron asked him as we waited for the medical team to arrive.

“I didn’t tell him anything…”

“It’s okay Sam, you did good. Just tell me where he is.”

“I didn’t tell him…where she is…”

“I know.”

“didn’t need me to…” Aaron was confused, as was I, until I looked over where Sam’s eyes were looking.

“Aaron…his phone,” I got up and grabbed it, looking at the recent calls list.

“She’s going to him…” Sam said.

“Foyet called Haley,” I confirmed, hitting the redial button.

“He would have made her ditch the phone,” Aaron said, and I could tell he was barely holding it together. Aaron rode with Sam in the ambulance, while I followed them in the car. Sam didn’t make it. Aaron’s face was determined, and he made me switch seats with him.

“He’ll take her home,” Aaron said, and I nodded. The one place it would hurt Aaron the most.

We were on our way to Aaron and Haley’s old house when his cell rang. We both looked at it, knowing who it must be. He answered it and put it on speakerphone.

“Foyet?” He asked.

“Aaron? You’re alive? But he said...oh,” Haley answered.

“Haley, it’s gonna be okay.”

“Is y/n there too?”

“I’m here, Haley,” I responded.

“Where’s Jack?” he asked her.

“He’s here.”

“Tell Jack I need him working the case,” Aaron instructed her, and we heard her telling Jack. He wanted Jack out of the room.

“Aaron I’m so sorry.”

“No, Haley, it’s not your fault. You’re so strong, stronger than I ever was. I know you didn’t sign up for this.”

“Neither did you. Promise me you’ll tell Jack how we met. Tell him how you used to make me laugh.”

“Haley…”

“He’s needs to know you weren’t always so serious, Aaron.”

“I will,” Aaron was crying, trying desperately to hold it together as we drove to their house.

“Y/n?” She asked, and I swallowed, trying to clear my throat from the tears.

“Yeah?”

“You take care of my boys for me, okay.”

“I will.”

“Aaron I-“ but she was cut off by a gunshot, and then a second one. I put my face in my hands, sobbing.

Aaron hung up the phone, throwing it at the dashboard.

 

When we got the house, the gate was open. I pulled myself together, getting out and drawing my gun. I went in the front, Aaron went around back. It was dark in the house, and I didn’t turn on
any lights, moving carefully. I saw a flashlight beam from the kitchen, knowing it was Aaron. I moved silently from room to room until I met up with Aaron by the stairs. There was blood on the steps leading up. Aaron led the way, and I followed. We cleared the rooms, then followed the blood to the main bedroom.

As we walked in, we saw feet sticking out behind the bed. Aaron avoided looking, clearing the room, but I looked down. I had to bite my lip to stop myself from crying out. I bent down, checking for a pulse I knew wasn’t there. Haley wasn’t posed in a way I knew Foyet would want, which meant he wasn’t finished.

I was about to say something when Aaron walked slowly over to the curtains. Everything happened so quickly after that. Aaron shot at the curtains, and Foyet fell to the floor. When Aaron flipped him over, we saw he had a bullet proof vest on. He hit Aaron, and began to run. Aaron shot him again, this time hitting him, and he tripped in the hall. Aaron ran after him and they fell down the stairs. Foyet punched him, trying to escape again. I saw Aaron tackle him into the dining room. I ran down after him, and found Aaron beating Foyet to death.

The team showed up then, kicking in the front door. Morgan pulled Aaron off, telling him Foyet was dead. Prentiss took my arm and pulled me out of the room. She was asking me something but I couldn’t hear her. I watched Aaron go upstairs to the master bedroom, and I went up after him. The pain he released in his cries, holding Haley’s body to him were too much for me. I went to his office, knowing that Jack was there, hiding. I pulled open the ottoman to see him looking up at me.

“I worked the case, y/n.”

“I know, buddy. Good job,” I said, helping him out of the seat. I hugged him tightly, keeping my emotions in check. Aaron had told me he once found Jack hiding in the ottoman while he was working because he wanted to help solve the case.

“Is the bad man gone?”

“Yeah...daddy got rid of him.”

Aaron came in a minute later, hugging Jack just as tightly.

 

We had to be processed, and EMTs looked at Aaron, but we were allowed to go home. Aaron had to explain to Jack that his mother was gone, though at 4 he didn’t really understand.
Aaron put Jack to bed, while I sat on the couch. I didn’t know what to say, or what to do. How do you comfort your boyfriend on the death of his ex-wife, the mother of his child, at the hands of a vicious serial killer that had been stalking him? How do you comfort him when you know he blames himself for not taking the stupid deal?

Aaron came out of Jacks room, and leaned against the dining table. I watched him, waiting for him to let me know what he needed.

We didn’t speak for minutes on end, til he finally came over and sat next to me on the couch. I took his hand, holding it in mine. Letting him know I was there.

“I don’t know what to do...” he said finally.

“You don’t have to do anything, other than be here for Jack, and for yourself.”

“I don’t know if I could hold myself together without you here,” he said, taking our entwined hands, lifting them and kissing the back of mine.

“I’ll be here for whatever you need.”

 

Aaron was put on indefinite leave, to spend time with Jack, arrange Haley’s funeral, and get Jack moved into the apartment with us. They wouldn’t offer me the same luxury, so I was officially on duty if a case came up.

The day of Haley’s funeral was hard. Aaron was a pallbearer, and I walked behind holding Jack’s hand with Haley’s sister, Jessica. Once we got to the reception, it was a blur of faces I didn’t know, telling me how sorry they were, and I wanted to scream that it wasn’t me that needed comfort. Haley and I had grown to be friends, working on co-parenting Jack together in a way that worked for all of us. I spent most of my nights trying not to hear the sound of her voice as Foyet shot her.

I saw Dave come over to Aaron and I, and I focused my attention back to the real world.

“I think maybe you guys could use a break,” he said, and Aaron nodded, taking my hand in his as Dave led us out onto the balcony.

“Jessica can you make sure Jack gets something to eat?” Aaron asked as we passed her, and she nodded. Out in the fresh air we could let our guard down. Dave was Aaron’s best friend, and had been a great friend to me since he came back to the BAU. We had nothing to hide from him.

I leaned down against the railing, letting a few tears slip out. Aaron and Dave were talking, he was asking how Aaron was holding up, how Jack was. I didn’t need to contribute. After a few minutes Morgan came outside.

“Sorry to interrupt, but we’ve got a case.”

I looked up then, giving him an incredulous look. “Tonight? We have a case tonight?”

“I’m sorry, y/n,” he said, going back inside. I looked through the window to see the rest of the team getting up, waving to Aaron through the glass.

“I’ll meet you at the car,” Dave said to me, and I nodded. He gave Aaron a kiss on either cheek before he left.

“I’m not going,” I said to Aaron.

“Y/N-“

“No. Jesus Christ, we just buried Haley and they want me to go work a case?”

Aaron came over and wrapped his arms around me, hugging me to him.

“It’s okay. Haley would understand. Go save lives.”

I pulled away and kissed him gently. “I love you.”

“Ditto,” he said with a sad smile. We went inside together, and I bent down in front of Jack, who was eating a sandwich.

“Hey buddy, I gotta go to work and catch some bad people, okay? I’ll call you in the morning.” Jack nodded, and I kissed his head, before giving Aaron a final kiss and going to meet Dave at his car.

He was waiting to open my door for me, always the perfect gentleman.

“I fucking hate this, Dave.”

“I know you do, bella.” He closed the door behind me and went around to his side of the car, driving us to the office so we could get briefed on the new case.

 

Aaron and I were having our usual evening catch up, this time unfortunately over the phone.

“Jack fell asleep early tonight,” he told me.

“Aw, but who’s gonna wish me good dreams?”

“I’ll have to do,” he said, and I could hear the smile in his voice. “Y/N, I saw Strauss today.”

I sat up straighter in bed. “And?”

“She offered me retirement. Full pension and benefits.”

“Wow…”

We both stayed silent for a minute.

“Are you going to take it?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

“You’d be able to spend more time with Jack.”

“I know.”

“But you love this job,” I said finally, knowing what his answer was eventually going to be.

“Haley and I divorced because of this job. She died because of it. It would be an insult to her to leave now.”

“Baby, Haley knew how important this was to you. But Jack is more important, how are we going to work our jobs around him?”

“Jessica offered to watch Jack when we’re away. Actually, she demanded to watch Jack and basically told me to go back to work.”

“Good old Jess, those Brooks girls have a lot of spirit,” I said, laughing slightly. “So you’re coming back then.”

“Yes, once you guys are done this case.”

“I love you, give Jack twenty million kisses for me when he gets up in the morning.”

“Absolutely not, ten million and no more.”

“You drive a hard bargain, Hotchner.”

“I love you, Y/N.” He hung up and I went to sleep, knowing we had a lot to figure out in our lives now that we were full-time parents.

 

“Aaron, I have nothing to wear to a fundraising gala,” I complained. “Why do we even have to go?”

“I’m the unit chief of the BAU, and you’re my girlfriend. And you do have something to wear.”

“Pretty positive I don’t.”

He came out of the bedroom holding up a red dress, the red dress I was meant to wear to our friend’s wedding before Tuck kidnapped and tortured me.

“Aaron, I can’t wear that.”

“Yes, you can.”

“No. Look at it, it’s got spaghetti straps and a low cut back.” I mostly wore long sleeves and pants in order to hide the scars all over my body. I couldn’t hide all of them, the ones on my neck
always showed but they were small.

“Y/N, you are beautiful. You’re going to wear this dress, and show everyone at the FBI gala what it means to be strong.”

I sighed and took the dress from him. “Let me try it on and decide.” I went into the bedroom and changed, slipping the straps over my shoulders. I looked at myself in the mirror. As faint as most of the visible scars were, I could notice them. My brain told me I saw them because I knew they were there, because I hated them. No one would even notice unless they were close to me.

I stepped out into the hall, and Aaron was waiting for me.

“You look so beautiful,” he said, coming over and kissing me. He began sliding the straps down my arm, but I stopped him.

“Jack’s asleep right there,” I whispered, and he nodded.

“I know. Guess you’ll have to be really quiet,” he said, backing me into the bedroom and closing the door behind us.