The team try to lure Hotch out of hiding, but things don't go as planned.Short sequel to Folie a Deux.
Note: I do not own Criminal Minds or any of its characters. This is a short sequel to Folie a` deux. I may or may not write another one.
"What?" Haley asked, momentarily stunned out of crying.
"We believe Aaron may still be alive." Gideon replied, wishing that he didn't have to be the one to do this.
"H-How… but the fire."
"The bodies were unidentifiable and we believed them to be Perotta, your husband, and an unknown victim. However, new evidence suggests that Aaron and Perotta escaped."
"What new evidence?"
Gideon groaned inwardly. He'd hoped that the conversation wouldn't get this far. "Aaron sent us a note. It's in his handwriting and has his fingerprints on it." Wordlessly Haley held out her hand and he gave it to her. She studied it for a moment.
"Thank God I didn't tell Jack yet." She sighed. "Wait, what does he mean when he says Jack would be better off without a murderer as a father? Did Aaron kill someone?"
He sighed. "Haley, Aaron is very disturbed right now. He did kill someone but I believe he is suffering from Stockholm syndrome. He needs help, desperately."
"You're going to find him, right?"
"That's actually part of the reason I came here today. It's unlikely that Aaron will be easy to find. He knows how we operate and knows how to hide himself and Perotta's managed to stay below the grid for over twenty years. It'll be very difficult to find them. However, I believe there's a way to lure Aaron out."
"How?" This was going to be difficult to sell to her.
"Aaron loves you and he loves Jack. He'd do anything for the two of you."
"Then why did he just run off and leave us?" she retorted, her voice raising a notch.
Gideon held up his hands. "Like I said he's disturbed and isn't thinking straight. Now I believe that if he thinks that you or Jack need help, he might resurface."
"What do you have in mind? "I'm not putting Jack in any danger!" she warned.
"No, of course not." He reassured her. "It'll be perfectly safe. What I want to do is fake your death."
"What?" Haley asked, taken aback. "How would that-"
"As long as Aaron believes Jack has you then he'll be fine. If we air a new broadcast saying that you were killed and that Jack is going to be sent to a foster home, he might show up to protect Jack." He explained. "We'd have a closed casket ceremony with FBI personnel at all the exits. Jack would have to be there to make it believable but he could stay with your sister. If Aaron shows up we can get him before he enters the building and then we can call off the ceremony."
"But what if something happens to Jack? I know Aaron wouldn't hurt him but what if that man who kidnapped him's with him and something goes wrong and-"
"Nothing will go wrong." Gideon assured her. "There'll be no way Aaron or anyone else gets to Jack. The BAU will be there and over a dozen plainclothes agents."
"What about Aaron? You say he killed someone. Will he get arrested?"
"I don't know. He might but even if he does he'll get the help he needs. And he does need help, Haley. You need to trust me on this one."
She was quiet for a moment and then she said, "Okay. I'll do it."
The next day, hundreds of miles away in Kentucky, the man in question sat watching the TV. He was just flipping through the channels until he saw a familiar face on the screen. Turning the volume up, he leaned in closer.
"Today Haley Brooks-Hotchner was killed in a hit and run. Mrs. Hotchner was the wife of FBI Agent Aaron Hotchner who was recently killed in a tragic fire. Her death orphan's their five year old son Jack Hotchner who, due to financial difficulties in the extended family, will be sent to a foster home. The ceremony will be held at twelve p.m Tuesday, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. Now in further news-"Aaron Hotchner turned off the TV and let the remote fall to the floor. For a while he just sat there, then he buried his head in his hands.
He'd gotten used to the fact that he'd probably never see Haley again but the fact that she was dead seemed to reopen the wound. Haley and he had been high school sweethearts and now she was gone. Then there was Jack. It hadn't been easy to leave his son but he'd though that as long as Jack had Haley everything would be fine. Now Haley was dead and for some reason Jessica couldn't take Jack. What would happen to him now? Would he be shipped off to some stranger and never again see his family? Hotch couldn't let that happen.
Shakily he got to his feet and headed downstairs. He passed the man who was suspended from the ceiling, currently being roasted alive by a fire underneath him and ignored his shrieks. The man had raped three women, anyway. He'd ignored their pleas so Hotch would ignore his. He knocked on the door to a small room and a voice told him to come in. The room was a guest bedroom and Vincent sometimes used it when he felt like listening to their victims. Aaron opened the door and just stood there for a second, unsure what to say. He still wasn't exactly sure of what his status was. It wasn't necessarily a hostage anymore but it would be a mistake to assume that he could just go off without Vincent knowing.
Perotta, who was reclining on the bed, looked up at him expectantly, then after a moment asked. "Hey, everything okay?"
"No." Hotch shook his head and paused. "My wife just died."
Vincent sat up. "How?"
"Hit and run. It was on the news."
"So what do you want? To track down the guy? That'll be hard to do without calling attention to ourselves."
"No not that." He hesitated again. He knew that he was about to ask a lot, not to mention how risky it was. "My son… he's going to be sent to a foster home."
"Shit." Vincent paused, realization dawning.
Hotch continued before Perotta could reply. "Vincent, you know what happens to kids in their own homes, do you know how much more the probability of abuse increases for foster homes?"
"If you went back now you'd be thrown in jail or in an insane asylum, and your son would be thrown into foster care anyway." Vincent sighed.
"I know." He took a breath. "I was wondering if we could go back just to get Jack and then take him with us."
"Do you have any idea how dangerous it would be to go back now? They know you're not dead. They'll be looking for you and if you have the kid with you they'll never leave you alone."
"I know, Vincent it's just-"
"And how do you even know this isn't just some ploy to draw you out?"
"I don't. But I can't take that risk." The idea had occurred to him but he couldn't risk the chance of it being real and then having Jack disappear before he found out. "He's my son Vincent. It was one thing when Haley was alive, but now… I can't just let him be thrown into a foster home where God knows what will happen to him. Please, Vincent."
Perotta sighed in frustration. "Alright, alright. When's the funeral?"
"In a few days. If we-"
"You're staying here. They'll be focused on you showing up. They won't be paying as much attention to me and I can get by easier. You got a picture of him?"
"Yeah." Hotch took a photo he kept of Jack in this wallet.
"Okay." Vincent said, grabbing the picture. "I want you to stay here and lie low. Don't leave the house unless you absolutely have to and don't answer the house phone. If I need to talk to you I'll call your cell."
"Thank you. I-" but Vincent was already headed up the stairs.
It was Tuesday and everyone was gathered at the church. Jack was up front with his aunt and other members of Haley's family had been enlisted to make it seem more realistic. Gideon and Morgan stood by the front door, greeting people as they came in while Prentiss and Reid stood one on each side of the church. Other agents were guarding the back and side doors. If Hotch came there would be no way he could get in without being seen.
The ceremony began with the choir singing Amazing Grace and then Haley's mother went to the front to say some words when a call came in over the walkie-talkie. "Sir this is Agent Presley on the left side of the building. We've got a man here who looks an awful lot like Agent Hotchner. What should we do?"
"Hold him. One of our team members will be down to identify him in just a couple of minutes." He turned to Morgan who nodded.
"Got it." He said, and left. A few seconds went by and then another call came, this one from the back door.
"Agent Gideon? There's some guy here trying to force his way through the door. Says something about how his wife and son are in here."
Gideon gave the order for them to hold this man as well and told Prentiss to head over to see if it was Hotch. Something didn't feel right to him, but there was nothing else he could do. Suddenly a scream came from the other side of the building, "Gun! Gun!"
He and Reid rushed over there. "FBI," he yelled, pulling his gun out as he reached the scene, only to see an embarrassed looking girl, who looked to be about twelve, holding her hands up while the crowd glared at her.
Jessica had been distracted by the shouts and turned towards them. When she saw the FBI agents rushing over she decided it must be Aaron and decided to see if she could help talk him down. Turning to Jack, who was seated next to her she said, "Now, Aunt Jessica's going to be right back but I want you to stay here like a good boy, okay?"
"Okay," The five year old replied. Jack watched her leave, wondering what was happening. Suddenly he was startled by a hand on his shoulder and turned to see a man crouched next to him.
"Hey," the man said smiling. Jack decided he had a nice smile and must be a nice person.
"You're Jack right?"
"My name's Vincent." The man held out his hand and Jack took it. "I'm a friend of your Dad's."
"Daddy?" Jack squealed, then covered his mouth as the man put his finger to his lips. He hadn't seen his Daddy in over a week and he was beginning to worry about him, but Mommy said he'd be back soon. Maybe he was here. He looked around but didn't see him, so he turned back to the man. "Where's Daddy?" he asked.
"You're Dad's waiting for us at a very special place. He wants to take you on vacation with us. If you come with me we can see him soon." The man held out his arms.
Jack hesitated, and then let the man pick him up. After all Vincent was a friend of Daddy's. It couldn't be too bad to go with him.
"Where's the gun?" Gideon asked the girl.
"There isn't one." She said sheepishly. "A man paid me fifty dollars to say that. I'm really-"
"Where is this man?" Gideon asked quickly, looking around.
"I-I don't know."
"What did he look like?"
"I don't know. Tall, I guess. Sort of hot. Buzz cut."
A call came in over the walkie-talkie. "Gideon, it's not Hotch, man." Morgan said. "Guy says some man looking a lot like Perotta paid him to try to get in this way." Prentiss's call quickly seconded that.
"Gideon-" Reid said, off to his side. Gideon turned to see Jessica.
"I can't find Jack!"She said shrilly. "I went away for a second and when I came back he was gone."
Instantly Gideon was on the walkie-talkie. "We need to lock this place down immediately. Repeat, lock the building down immediately."
They did so but they were out of luck. It couldn't have taken more than ten minutes for all of this to happen but that was just enough time for Jack Hotchner to disappear.
Meanwhile, Hotch was lying on his bed, trying to read a book and looking at his phone every couple of seconds. The funeral had started hours ago and there was still no word from Vincent. He wanted to turn on the news to see if something had happened but was afraid of what he might hear. If Vincent got caught it would be all Aaron's fault.
Suddenly the phone rang and Hotch picked it up before the first ring had even ended. "Hello?" he said abruptly.
"Daddy!" Jack's voice came from the other end.
"Hey, buddy. How's everything?" Aaron said relaxing a bit.
"Great! Vincent got me a Happy Meal and a coloring book and crayons and he says we'll be able to see each other soon!"
"That's wonderful. I've missed you. Hey, Jack can you put Vincent on?"
"Sure. He's right here. I love you, Daddy."
"Love you too, buddy." There was the sound of the phone being transferred.
"Hey, how is everything?" Vincent asked.
"Fine. Did everything go alright?" Hotch replied.
"Look I just want to thank you for-"
"Don't mention it." Perotta cut him off. "Look there's something we have to talk about. Jack says your wife's fine and that he saw her just this morning. It looks like it was a set up."
"Damn." They were both silent.
"So what do you want me to do?" Perotta asked.
Hotch sighed. "Bring him here. I want to see him. I can't let him go again after hearing his voice."
"Alright, but it will be tough, you know that right?"
"Look we should be home in two days. Tomorrow night at the earliest."
"Okay. Thanks." The two hung up and Aaron sat there for a moment. He had never meant to take Jack from Haley but now that Vincent had already kidnapped him there was no point in turning back. He just hoped that Vincent didn't mind making the basement his permanent room. They couldn't very well kill people with Jack asleep in the next room.
End note: I know this is short for a sequel and like I said I may write another one but the idea of Hotch without Jack is just wrong. And for anyone who feels bad for Haley for having her son taken away just remember the time she took Jack and left without so much as a note. That should ease your mind a bit.