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04 October 2008 @ 10:31 pm
FIC POST  
I wrote three stories today, I think thats a personal record.  I mean none of them were magnus opuses or anything (is opuses a word?) but still, three.  And two of them were smut.....WOO-HOO!!!!!  But this is the third and I want to post it here since I dont know where else I could.  I know there are some other Criminal Minds fic places on LJ but this is my AU universe and I just dont know how accepting people would be.  No matter......here it is.

Title: Approximately Six Weeks

Author: Montiese

Category: Friendship

Characters: Hotch, Gideon

Rating: YTEEN

Summary: “Dammit, I don’t like crying, OK?”

Author’s Note: This is a story told in The Grove universe, where our favorite BAU profilers are teenagers. It’s been brewing in my mind for days and I wanted to make sense of it.

“Hey man.”

 

“Hey.”

 

Jason Gideon walked up the Hotchner’s front steps.  Hotch looked up from Vanity Fair, which he was hardly reading anyway.  Who could think about summer reading when his best friend in the whole world was going away?  It wasn’t as if he didn’t have other friends, Hotch was of a popular guy, but Jason had always been there.  They met in Mrs. Hill’s advanced science class.  Hotch was in fifth grade, a slip of a boy, and Jason was in sixth. 

 

They were both so quiet that the teacher partnered them, hoping they would talk to each other even if they didn’t speak to another soul.  The friendship formed quickly and had been strong everyday for the past seven years.  They had their moments, Jason could be intense and Hotch could be moody, but the power of their friendship was always the core.  Though neither ever admitted it, it was the strongest relationship either one of them had, until Hotch met Emily Prentiss.

 

“My mom made iced tea,” Hotch said as Gideon sat on the top step.  “Do you want some?”

 

“Nah.  My mom already stuffed me full of food as if they have none in Philadelphia.”

 

“You ready to go?”

 

The older boy nodded, his lips pressed in a thin line.  The summer passed slowly in a succession of lazy days hanging out with his friends.  His father thought it was important that he have that time just to be a kid; he didn’t make Jason work on the campus of American University where Daniel Gideon was the chair of the Psychology Department.

 

“I just wanted to come over and say good…”

 

“Don’t.” Hotch held up his hand.

 

“Aaron…”

 

“And don’t call me Aaron.  You only call me that when you're mad at me.”

 

“I'm not mad at you.”

 

“I know, so don’t call me that, OK?”

 

“OK.” Jason nodded.  “I wanted to bring you some stuff.” He handed him the paper bag.

 

Hotch held it as if it was on fire.  The silence continued, it used to be easy between them but today it lingered in the air like the storm clouds overhead.

 

“Open it, Hotch.”

 

He did, pulling out a few photos.  They had been taken at Jason’s bar mitzvah…Hotch remembered his mother taking him out to buy a new suit for the event.  There was a rare full smile on Jason’s face in all of them.  Their arms around each other, they looked like two kids who conquered the world.  There was also the baseball signed by Roger Maris that Jason cherished and his battered copy of A Separate Peace, Hotch’s favorite book.

 

“I don’t want you to go.” It pained Hotch to say it.

 

“I know, but we all go away eventually.  Don't think I won't miss you or my life here.  It’ll be fall break before you know it and I’ll be back getting on your nerves.”

 

“Promise.”

 

“Yeah.  And you won't have time to miss me anyway…I've had to drag you away from Emily all summer.”

 

“You did not.” Hotch reached down to punch his arm.  He pulled a letter out of the bag.  “What's this?”

 

“Don’t open that until I leave.”

 

“Is it a letter bomb?”

 

“Cute.” Jason smirked.  “Just some things I jotted down.”

 

“Rules?”

 

“No.  Just some stuff.  You're going to look after Reid, right?”

 

“Yes.  He’ll be OK.”

 

“OK.  I gotta go.”

 

“That’s it?  I gotta go.”

 

“I…” Gideon stopped; he stopped cold and had the strangest look on his face Hotch had ever seen.  It was distorted, confused, and almost angry.  “Dammit, I don’t like crying, OK?”

 

“I've never seen you cry.”

 

“And you won't because I'm about to bolt down the street.”

 

“Don’t you dare.” Hotch grabbed hold of his wrist, hard.  Jason tried to get him off but it was useless.  “Dammit Aaron…now I'm mad at you!”

 

“Shut up.” Hotch stood and pulled him into a hug.

 

Jason clung to him and he heard the sob come from his stomach.  They both began to cry, standing there on the front porch in the heat of an August afternoon.  Cars passed by, people walked up and down the street, and life went on as if nothing was changing.  But everything was changing; Hotch had not felt so upside down since his father died.  No, he never felt so upside down period.

 

“Alright.” Gideon pulled away first, quickly turning his back so that Hotch never saw his tears.

 

“Have a safe trip.”

 

“I’ll write, let you know how to get in touch with me.  And I’ll be home for fall break and then Thanksgiving.”

 

“Yeah.” Hotch nodded.

 

“I gotta go.”

 

“How do we do this if we don’t say goodbye?  I'm not saying goodbye.”

 

“Then I’ll see you in approximately six weeks.” Jason replied.

 

“Six weeks.” Hotch repeated the time quietly to himself.

 

“Yeah.  See ya.”

 

“Wait, here.” Hotch held out a book and Jason reached for it without turning.  “Turn around dammit.”

 

He did, his eyes red and downcast.  He took the book and looked at it, his eyes widened as his fingers moved over the ancient spine.

 

“It’s Faust.”

 

“A second edition paperback…my mom knows a guy who knows a guy.”

 

“Oh my God, thank you.” he finally looked up.

 

“I know it’s your favorite book and when you carry it around you can have a little piece of me too.”

 

Jason nodded.  He thanked Hotch again and then walked down the steps without another word.  There wasn’t really anything left to say.  He would be back and they could talk then.  Emily would look after him and so would Derek, JJ and Garcia.  He would look after Reid.  The whole world would not fall apart because Jason Gideon was not there to hold it together.  He knew that but still wanted to hold on.

 

Hotch sighed, sinking back onto the porch swing.  He wiped his errant tears, put the paper bag beside him and opened the letter.  He couldn’t see Jason anymore; he must have already turned the corner heading for home.  It was just a single piece of notebook paper in the envelope, written in Jason’s neat handwriting.

 

Hotch, 

 

You are probably one of the only people who truly understands me, and I am not even sure that you do.  But you never give up trying.  You are my best friend and though I am sure I will meet thousands of people in this life, none of them will ever be like you.  And they will never mean to me what you do.  I hope you know that and if you didn’t I'm telling you now.  I don’t have the words all the time, and when I do, I don’t always know how to use them.  I love you; you are my brother.  I will always be there when you need me and I know you always have my back.  Take care of yourself, and I know you will take care of everyone else because that’s the kind of guy you are.

 

Jason

 

He folded the paper, put it back in the envelope and carried everything back into the house.  He was glad his mother and brother were out.  Hotch needed time alone to mourn the loss of his best friend.  He was not gone forever and he could survive without him but the pain in the pit of stomach was real.  If this was what growing up felt like, Hotch wasn’t sure yet that he was ready. 

 

Loss was hard for him; there didn’t seem as if much was left to hold onto.  Could he stomach having the same conversation with Emily a year from now when life took them away from each other?  No, he could not lose her.  He would hold on tight with both hands.  To Jason, to Emily, to everything.  Distance was one thing, it was a reality, but he refused to let go.

 

***

 
 
I'm In....: the lair
I Feel....: contemplativecontemplative
I Hear....: "World Falling Down" Peter Cetera
 
 
 
Osa Luna: hotly (hotch/prentiss)ursalune on October 5th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Damn! Not that I don't like it, here I am trying hard to write some hotly smut and you go and make me tear up. Damn.

I really like you CM AU and you shouldn't be worry about how people would take it for one simple reason its very well written.
SSA McGeek: Hotchmcgarrygirl78 on October 5th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
Sorry for ruining your smut fest : D

I think I might post it at bau_fic....we'll see. So glad you liked it though, it kinda tugged at my heart as well.
hopskotch_hotch on October 5th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful summation of the Hotch/Gideon friendship. In the series, they said these things indirectly, through actions, and sometimes words, but you could always feel the affection and trust there.

The fic could be a direct link to Gideon's actually leaving in the series, though there were no proper goodbyes, just a note for Reid. There's so much left unsaid between Gideon and Hotch, and this, personally, gave me a small sense of closure, despite the AU and different circumstances, if that makes sense?

I love your Hotch, but also your Gideon. I'd like to see you write a non-Au for these two - I know you could do it! :)
SSA McGeek: Writermcgarrygirl78 on October 5th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what I was doing, giving them the chance to have the momment they never had on the show and it was much easier for me to give them that moment as boys, minus some of the complexities of adulthood. What you said makes perfect sense.

I dont know if I can write Gideon in the canon world, if this makes any sense, he's not in my head. This kid is and I think I can wait it out and see if his adult self ever comes to me. I have time. Gideon is such a complicated character and I dont want to ruin him, for myself or anyone else.
Anneklok: [hotch] the magic Hsecondheartbeat on October 7th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
He's still Captain America holding the whole world together by sheer force of will.

Oh the high school hijinx. This is a fun AU. Bromance <3
SSA McGeek: Emily and JJ....hot chicks with gunsmcgarrygirl78 on October 7th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Bromance.....I love it, thats it, thats the word. They totally have a bromance.

I needs me a Hotch and Gideon icon PRONTO!!!!

So glad you read it and really like this AU so I am sure there will be more from me in the future. In fact, teenaged Emily and JJ have been having "the talk" in my mind for days.
Annekloksecondheartbeat on October 7th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
oh goodness. see this could be my life. i'm 25 and still acting like a damn high schooler.
VC_forever: Hotch sleepingvc_forever on February 11th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
Oh my, this actually made me cry! Not a very common thing to happen without someone dying an incredibly well written death in fiction, either...

This is total bromance! I never even fully realized the meaning of the word until now. No two people will ever be closer (except Hotch and Emily, but it's not exactly the same thing). It's interesting how in the end Hotch wonders if he'll be able to live through doing this same thing with Emily. It's a frightening prospect, indeed.

“Don’t open that until I leave.”
“Is it a letter bomb?”
“Cute.” Jason smirked.

AHAHAHAHA! I love these little unexpected gems that just pop up in the middle of your stories! :D
SSA McGeek: Hotch and Gideon....what bitch?mcgarrygirl78 on February 11th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, that is bromance at its core. I never like how people always say Hotch and Gideon werent close just because they dont like Gideon or are mad at how Mandy Patinkin left the show. If you watch the first episodes of Criminal Minds, the whole first season really, its there. They love the others, they're a little family, but the two of them are very close. And that's what I wanted to capture here. Your tears are proof that my job is done.

And I always have to throw in the laughs, its important and we do it all the time in conversation, just make quips to lighten the mood.
VC_forever: Hotch sleepingvc_forever on February 11th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
It's true; they were close.
I can agree that Gideon was a bit of an ass sometimes, and that the show was more focused on him when he was still around (as opposed to now, when it focuses more on the team), and that Mandy left in an unexpected and rather inconsiderate manner - BUT I don't regret having know that character. I think at the time he was an important part of the team and no one can really argue that he was close to the other team members. As a parental figure rather than a friend, maybe, but they were close.

And in Hotch's case, they WERE friends! In the last Frank episode, when they were on the phone, Hotch was like "Are you going on a date?", and then he made that "That's something you give your mother" comment. :) You don't talk like that to your boss, or to a co-worker...
SSA McGeek: Jason......sweet grinmcgarrygirl78 on February 11th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
Exactly. And he knows about Gideon's son and their estranged relationship and Gideon knew about his childhood, only friends know that kind of stuff. Since Rossi's arrival they make it seem like Gideon never existed and Hotch had all those moments with Rossi and that upsets me.

He's gone, yes, but dont negate the time he was there. It was important to the show and the character development. Hate Mandy all you want but Jason meant something.
VC_forever: Hotch sleepingvc_forever on February 11th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
Word!

Rossi and Gideon simply can't be compared because they're almost polar opposites. Both are good to the team, but only in their respective times. For example, I seriously doubt Rossi would have taken a second glance at Reid, much less recruited him into the FBI - regardless of how much of a genius he is.
It doesn't mean either one of them is a bad guy, they're just different. And since life is made up of choices, if Gideon had not been there the entire history of the BAU would be significantly different!

I kind of get why Ed Bernero stopped mentioning him, though. The character was gone and wasn't coming back, and the actor seriously messed with his show and could have potentially ended it. If I were in his shoes, I would never want to hear about that person again, either... As it is, I think Rossi's mention of Gideon in Omnivore was actually quite surprisingly appropriate. (Saying that if Hotch didn't calm down he would end up blaming himself for everything, like Gideon.)
SSA McGeek: Hotch....I think very deeplymcgarrygirl78 on February 11th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
I found his mention of him to be inappropriate. As I said at the time "try having someone you love cut to pieces and then talk". We may see it coming back to haunt Hotch as the job is what got Haley killed. Now more than anything he can identify with Jason. I think Bernero stuck that line in as a kick to Mandy and I thought it childish. Its over now, let it go. That's why I loved the recent episode where Spencer talked of him fondly, even if he never used his name.

Gideon and Rossi are polar opposites and all of Rossi's history is "inserted" in while Jason's was actually there, so it all seems weird to me. Most of the time I let it go, but a few times it has bugged me. Omnivore was definitely one of them. I often feel Rossi is too flippant about things that are important.
VC_forever: Hotch sleepingvc_forever on February 11th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
I am so behind on actually watching the episodes that it's not even funny...

I get your outrage; at the time I thought it was an unfair jab from Bernero to Mandy as well. But as it turned out he (Rossi) was kind of right, even if he was inappropriately flippant about it. Because, as you said, Hotch is in an excellent position to identify with Gideon - so he can now either take Rossi's advice or follow Gideon's lead!

Don't get me wrong, as far as I'm concerned Hotch IS the show. I can't even begin to imagine it without him there! But all things considered, let's face it - Gideon was the one who was right. It's like you said, "try having someone you love cut to pieces and then talk"; it's not natural, after you've gone through something like that, to just go back to work and carry on like nothing happened. I was thrilled that Hotch didn't leave the BAU after what happened with Hailey, but it doesn't mean that I agree with it. It has nothing to do with having a dangerous job while being a single parent; I imagine lots of cops do that. It's just that if you get someone you love killed because of your job, you're bound to be reminded of it every day that you continue to do that job.

I've always felt that Bernero backed himself into a corner when he followed that storyline with Hotch. He came up with such a perfect way to write Gideon off the show when Mandy bailed; I can't even begin to imagine why in the hell he would follow the same storyline with Hotch if Hotch was meant to stay... And I do totally agree that the characters should speak of Gideon fondly. Yeah, he left unexpectedly, but I'm sure everyone understands why, especially given the level of support they've been showing Hotch. (BTW, which episode was that with Reid? I would love to watch it!)

And I also agree that Rossi's story is kind of just "dropped" on us. He's a rebel who doesn't care about rules (see the way he spoke to Strauss) and who is flippant about serious things, but he's been in the USMC??? I was seriously gaping at my computer screen when I read that. Hell, I could buy Hotch being in the Marines (if not for his age), but Rossi??? Unbelievable...
SSA McGeek: Hotch and Prentiss.....mile highmcgarrygirl78 on February 11th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Well they gave Rossi the history of John Douglas, one of the first ever "profilers" in the FBI, so he was in the Marines and so was Rossi now. he doesnt look like he would be willing to follow those rigid rules to me but its TV so....what do you do?

I dont like the Reaper/Haley storyline at all. I think its opening the door to Thomas Gibson's eventual leaving. I can understand sometimes people want to leave TV, its a crazy, busy, time-consuming job. But if he's not going to leave I dont wanna watch sad Hotch all the time, unable to deal with dying mothers or crazy kids. I think it put a lot of barriers in the way of things to come. Who knows, but it'll be interesting to see.

I dont think of Hotch as the show. I love him, LOOOOOOOOOOVE him, but if the actor chooses to walk away I would at least see what they were going to do before I gave up on watching it.

Its The Uncanny Valley, at the beginning with Reid talking to the kid playing chess.
VC_forever: Hotch sleepingvc_forever on February 11th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
I didn't mean that I'd stop watching altogether if Hotch were to leave... I'd still check it out. I just can't imagine it right now, because Hotch is like the glue that keeps everyone's different personalities working together, out of loyalty for their leader if nothing else.
I would never hold it against Thomas Gibson though. He's been working on this for 5 years now and before that he worked on Dharma & Greg for how long? If he wanted to quit I wouldn't be too surprised, just sad to see him go.

Thanks for the info. I think I have that episode saved somewhere; I'll go check out the scene you mentioned.
SSA McGeek: Hotch and Prentiss....intensitymcgarrygirl78 on February 11th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
Reid talks to the kid at the beginning of the episode and the end. It was touching.

Yeah, Hotch is definitely the glue that holds those six personalities together. I loved what he said to Morgan when he told him he needed to be Unit Chief and showed him all the paperwork. He said "I do all of this so you guys can do whatever you need to do in the field without being hampered". At the time I looked at it like Hotch taking too much onto himself so he could be beleagured and busy but in the end, its such a selfless act, allows his team to get the job done even if it cost him so much personally. He really meant it when he said he was the BAU. Its more than what he does, it is who he is....every aspect of it.

I hope Thomas Gibson stays at least through the sixth season. I believe there will at least be one more season, the show gets more and more popular every week.
VC_forever: Hotch sleepingvc_forever on February 12th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
"Probably the best mind I ever went up against."
Aaw, Reid. :)

I remember that conversation between Morgan and Hotch, but I can't remember when it happened. It was another one of those moments that made me go "Aaaww!" :) It's like in The Grove; Hotch is taking on everything he can to make everyone else's lives easier.
That's my point exactly, though, when I say that Hotch is the show. Because the show is about the BAU, and the only reason (or at least the main reason) the BAU works as it does on the show is Hotch. Did that last sentence make sense, grammatically?

I hope we get at least one more season... And I certainly hope TG stays for it. And the rest of the cast too, of course.
I am glad the next episode isn't for another 3 weeks, though. It airs on the day of my last final, so a) I don't have new episodes to distract me from studying in the meantime :P and b) I have something to look forward to after I thoroughly fry my brain over the next 3 weeks. :)
(Which reminds me: I'm falling off the virtual world for the next while. These next few days I'll still come on-line at least once a day, but then I'll probably be gone from LJ entirely... So I'll talk to you when I talk to you? ;) xxx)
SSA McGeek: Hotchner...Aaron Hotchnermcgarrygirl78 on February 12th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, the sentence made sense grammatically. I dont remember the name of the episode he talked to Morgan in either but it was an "awww" moment, and very much like Grove Hotch.

I'll miss it for three weeks but it will give me a chance to write some fic without the distraction of canon, which doesnt happen often.

Its been so wonderful talking to you. I know I said that like three or four times but I mean that. Seriously, I mean it. Good luck with finals and stuff. Me, and all my stories and conversation will be here when you get back.
VC_forever: kissing Hotchvc_forever on February 13th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I often wonder if I'm boring/annoying/offending people, so I'm really glad that's not the case. :)

It really has been wonderful talking to you, and I absolutely mean that too! It's one more thing to look forward to at the end of the next few weeks. :)

Be safe and take care! And happy writing!
SSA McGeek: Emily Prentiss.....gazed uponmcgarrygirl78 on February 13th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
No way, I had a blsat blabbering away about my show and the stories...I look forward to more down the road. As I said, its not often people want to converse so in depth....I love it.

Hopefully there will be a lot more happy writing over the next few weeks.