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19 September 2006 @ 01:14 am
Criminal Minds Fic: Five Nights – Aaron  
Posted to bau_fic


Title: Five Nights – Aaron
Series/Universe: Five Nights
Pairing/Characters: Aaron, Haley, Jason
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Extreme Aggressor, Machismo
Summary: Aaron's nightmare
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


"Haley? Honey, I'm back from New Hampshire! Haley?"

Aaron put his bags down as he came in from the garage and glanced around the house, listening for the sound of his wife and infant son. He did a quick pass of the ground floor and glanced out into the backyard as well. Not finding anything, he headed upstairs.

The nursery was empty as was the master bedroom. Aaron did a full circuit of the upstairs before pulling out his cell and speed dialing his wife's cell number.

He heard her distinctive ring tone inside the house and followed it. He found her phone on a kitchen stool next to her keys and purse.

Confused, he checked the backyard again, calling out her name.

After one more circuit of the house, Aaron headed next door to see if Haley had gone to visit the neighbors. He knocked on the door and forced a smile to hide his concern.

"Cecilia, hi."

"Why hello, Aaron. Just get back from out of town again?"

"Yes and Haley and the baby aren't home. I was hoping she might be over here."

Cecilia shook her head. "Nope, I haven't got them! Come to think of it, I haven't seen them since maybe the day before yesterday, which is strange because I usually see them or at least hear them playing in the backyard. The weather's been so nice, you know. It's good for a little boy to get some sunshine."

Aaron fought back the urge to interrupt her. "Well, I need to find them, so forgive me. I have to run. Thanks."

"Bye!" Cecilia waved cheerily after him, but he barely noticed.

Back at the house he stuck his head in the garage again to confirm her car was indeed still there. He checked inside the car as well, trying – and failing – to convince himself he was overreacting.

His cell phone rang as he walked back into the house.

"Hotchner."

"Hotch, turn on your TV! Now!" Jason's voice was insistent so Aaron rushed to the coffee table and grabbed the remote. There was a live news broadcast going on and the reporter on the scene was standing in front of a large crowd.

"Police have told us the suspect is armed and is holding a baby at gunpoint. For now they are keeping their distance in the hopes of resolving the standoff peacefully."

Aaron raced out his front door and found himself facing a media circus. News vans were parked on his front lawn, reporters were pushing microphones in his face and there was a huge crowd of onlookers behind them.

He pushed his way through the throngs, heading for the area the police had cordoned off.

"I'm Special Agent Hotchner of the FBI," he said, flashing his badge to the SWAT team captain. "I work with the BAU. I might be able to help negotiate with the suspect."

Before he could say anything further he found himself walking into the house across the street wearing a Kevlar vest.

The house was dimly lit, but he easily made out the faceless person holding a baby.

His baby.

"Oh God..."

The air left his lungs as he stared at his son and the handgun pointing at his temple.

"That's my son. Please don't hurt him. I'll make sure you get whatever you want, just don't shoot."

Aaron automatically put his hands up in a defensive gesture, unable to think clearly as his panic threatened to overwhelm him.

"Dada..."

Aaron watched helplessly as his son stretched out his arms to him.

"Oh, the little boy wants his daddy. How touching." The voice was cold, sarcastic and bitter.

It was Haley's voice.

She stepped forward to where the light was a little better and Aaron could see her, her sweet face contorted into a cruel grimace.

"You finally show up for him, finally come home..." she taunted. "And it's too late."

"Haley, what's going on? Why would you do this?" Aaron demanded, incredulous.

"Well, you obviously don't want him. You're never around to see him, help take care of him. I mean do you even remember his name?"

To his horror, as hard as he tried, Aaron couldn't speak his son's name.

"I decided I don't want him either. Best to just get rid of him then before he becomes an even bigger hassle."

"Haley, please give me the gun."

Aaron reached out his hand and took a step towards his wife.

The sudden shot blasted his eardrums and he recoiled aghast as his son's head exploded right in front of him.

His wordless keening rang out in the silent house.

He dropped to his knees, torn between gathering up his son's body in his arms and repulsed by the blood and brain matter seeping from his shattered skull.

"No, no, no..."

He didn't even notice Haley until she cocked the gun again.

He looked up at her, tears streaming down his cheeks as she trained the gun on him next.

"Haley, please!" he begged.

"Sorry, Aaron." She took a step forward and aimed the gun at his heart. "You could have prevented all of this." She lowered her voice to a spiteful whisper. "But you didn't."

"This is SWAT!" a voice said in Aaron's ear piece. "We have a clear shot! We're taking it!"

"No!" Aaron screamed and lunged forward. The window shattered as the sharpshooter's bullet found its mark and Haley crumpled to the floor, dead.

Aaron scooped up her lifeless form in his arms, weeping openly as her blood soaked his clothing.

"You knew about this. You knew this was going to happen."

"What?" Aaron looked up to find Jason standing over him. "She's dead. My son is dead. My family... They're all gone..."

Jason shrugged. "You knew that was going to happen when you joined the BAU. You knew it would be the end of your family. You knew it would be the end of you too."

"Jason, what are you talking about?" Aaron asked, lost.

"This job. You knew it was going to kill you."

Jason pulled out his gun and without hesitation pointed it at Aaron's head and pulled the trigger.

Aaron woke with the loud bang still reverberating in his head.

Shaking, he patted the bed next to him frantically and found it empty. He fumbled for his bedside lamp and knocked over the hotel alarm clock instead.

Finally realizing he wasn't at home, he calmed down enough to locate the light and turn it on.

He sat with his head in his hands for a few moments, then got up and pulled his PDA from his bag. He opened up his task list for the next day and just below the notation to call their pilot about the fog restrictions he added a new entry.

'Call Haley's OB/GYN and ask about postpartum depression screening.'

///
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 19th, 2006 08:19 am (UTC)
Confession
I tried to use canon in some way in each of the dreams so far. (Wait until you see Derek's.)

Jason's story about Deborah Louise Addison was too good to pass up as fodder for his nightmares.

Aaron was harder. It's easy to imagine playing on his fear of losing his family – especially as a new dad – would work, but I wanted a bit of a twist. The obvious choice would be for some horrible evil unsub to claim his family. The horror for him though had to come from within.

As a profiler he has to figure out what would make the father, in the first fic Nightmares, put his daughter at risk and eventually kill her. He'd want to believe that it was an anomaly, that it couldn't happen in a normal family like his.

Making Haley the delusional murderer brings home all of his worst fears: that monsters really are all around him, that he's helpless to protect his family from them and that the horrors that visit the families the BAU works with might one day haunt his as well.

Very special thanks to beta iolsai for her assistance with this fic.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
seraphina_snapeseraphina_snape on September 19th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC)
Nice. And horrible. I don't even want to think about someone shooting a baby. I mean, I don't want kids (I don't even like kids) but shooting one like that... *shivers*

I think Hotch is very much aware of the strain his job places on his family and especially on Haley. He knows it's hard for her, but he can't not do his job. He's caught in this dilemma, and between it and the everyday crap he has to put up with at work, well, it's no wonder he'd have those kinds of nightmares.

Well done.

~ sera
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 19th, 2006 09:27 am (UTC)
Nice. And horrible.

I aim to please. /bows/

I did go for shock value in this one. I really wanted pretty much the ultimate terror for Aaron and I can't imagine how much worse it could get.

I originally had Haley shoot him because I felt her shooting herself would be trite and too much of a parallel to the crime he witnessed. Having her shot by SWAT worked but that wasn't enough to wake him up.

Getting shot by his mentor and friend? A man he trusts not only with his own life but with the lives of his family? Yeah, that was sufficiently harsh for me. ;-)

Glad you liked it.

Thanks,

Emma
talcat: G/Rtalcat on September 19th, 2006 10:15 am (UTC)
That was truely chilling. When I found out the gunman was Haley and she shot the baby I was OMG! And then when SWAT took Haley out I could picture Aaron hugging her body and then Jason with the slightly Evil look he gets sometimes *shivers*.

This was great!
keep calm and carry on: Life on mars Samnebula99 on September 19th, 2006 01:03 pm (UTC)
Very chilling and very real - I can imagine Hotch having this kind of nightmare. Nice touch having Gideon acting as executioner at the end. Can't wait for the rest!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 19th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked Gideon at the end. I really struggled with which ending to choose. Haley killing herself was too trite, Haley killing Aaron left Haley unharmed, Aaron would never kill Haley no matter how mad she was but a SWAT sharpshooter would - especially if he had no idea that was Aaron's wife. Jason's betrayal was heaping even more insult to injury so it was dream unrealistic but born out of Aaron's deepest fears.

I'm glad you liked it. I think you'll love Derek's. I know I do.

Thanks,

Emma
Andrea: hotch - freezesilentflux on September 19th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
May I just say: Wow. Vivid imagery, and having Jason being there at the end of the dream? Just so... creepy. Can't wait until the next one!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 19th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Yay! No one ever says stuff like 'vivid imagery' to me! I normally suck at that since my forte is more dialogue. I did go back and try to juice up the visuals in this fic though so I'm glad my rewrite efforts paid off. Merci.

I'm very glad I changed the ending to be Jason. It's unexpected and even more painful for Aaron to be betrayed by the two people he's closest to at work and home.

Damn I'm evil! Hee! ;-)

Thanks,

Emma
A Special Kind Of Crazy: Chiara by Meangelskuuipo on September 19th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
Great Googly Moogly.

::huddles in corner and prays for images to go away::

Damn, Emma, when you set out to write a nightmare you really follow through. I don't have kids, but it's all too easy to imagine my quasi-niece ::points to icon:: as the one being held...yeah, don't think I'll sleep peacefully anytime soon.

Wonderful job on the fic, though. I'm still not overly familiar with the characters yet, but that last line kind of made me laugh. Instead of calling and telling his wife he loved her and missed her and their son, he's trying to head off the possible disaster. I'm quite intrigued to read Derek's.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 19th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
/pinches cheeks of adorable icon/

So cute!

I had a whopper of a nightmare before I wrote the most recent three fic in this series, but I haven't had any since. I don't know if it means I've exorcised that demon or it's just building up for the next big show. Eep.

I'm kind of surprised the last line made you laugh though. It certainly wasn't intended to be funny in any way (like Thomas Gibson's portrayal of Aaron. Hehehe)

IMHO, Aaron's a doer more than a thinker. He's excited to spend his vacation at home doing chores and he really does jump into cleaning out the garage on his first day. /headdesk/ He really is a dork. And people think Spencer's the geeky one...

The point is, he couldn't rest until he had *taken action* to prevent the events in his dream from occurring. Calling them to reassure himself is more about feelings - he needed to know he had *done* something to make sure it never happens in real life, implausible as it may be.

I love Derek's. I thought Spencer's would end up being my favorite (and it might since I haven't written it yet) but right now Derek is head and shoulders above the rest.

Now if I can just drag an Elle fic out of me I can move on. /grumbles/

Thanks,

Emma
Christi: Reid5sevs_girl72 on September 20th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
Your writing is amazing, but I think this is one of the most disturbing, terrifing things I have ever read.
Yet I can't stop reading.
You have managed to write in the same way that makes criminal minds such a great show, by taking the nice world that everyone else sees, then showing the true monsters that haunt us all.
I think that is a close as I can possibly explain how much I love your writing.
I will be waiting for more.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 20th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
/blushes/
Thank you so much for your kind praise.

I do write in the hopes of eliciting a reaction from my readers. If you feel something (hopefully the feeling I intended to evoke) then I feel satisfied that I've done a good job.

When I started adding fandoms I wanted to stretch my writing by forcing myself to write a variety of tones and settings as well as a plethora of new characters. CM is a nice challenge and I'm really enjoying being able to write darkness even while my protagonists are the good guys.

Derek's will be up in a matter of hours. It may not be as dark as Aaron's but it's still really disturbing.

Thanks,

Emma
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 7th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
Yay! I was hoping I'd get someone on that!

And yeah, Aaron's so like that. His irrational search for a boy's name that didn't match a murderer's was very telling. He doesn't want his work to touch his home life but it does - in very disturbing ways in Fisher King.

Elle's is done and it is better than expected thanks to Fisher King canon. Now I get the juicy job of writing Spencer's...

Thanks,

Emma
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 11th, 2006 09:13 am (UTC)
Hehehe I just assume the non-USers download the episodes rather than wait for them to come to their country. Mea culpa.

You're in luck though, because I'm fairly sure the spoilers on Spencer's dream come from The Popular Kids. There's a discussion between him and Jason at the end about nightmares and that's the feeder for the fic.

If I could just *write* it. /glares at muse/
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 30th, 2006 09:19 am (UTC)
Back... Sorry for the delay in replying...

No movement on the Spencer nightmare, but I can tell you that what I've seen in S2 about Elle totally backs up my nightmare for her. In fact, I wonder if people are going to accuse me of backdating it. ;-) Hehehe

Anyway, I should be able to keep later spoilers out of Reid's dream, but even if I don't I doubt they'll give away much. I'll have to let you know once the muse lets me write it.
/taps foot impatiently/

Good luck with the dish! Broadband rocks!

-Emma
polgarawolfpolgarawolf on February 21st, 2007 08:28 am (UTC)
*Snorts* Wow. Hotch really knows how to compartmentalize, doesn't he? He's the one with the nightmare, so of course it means he should call the doc to double-check on his WIFE's sanity . . .
ivy_bivy_b on July 22nd, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
Ah I seem t have found it on my own! I loved Aaron's nightmare, it was so vivid and so Hotch. Great job!
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 17th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
Thanks. This one really gives me the chills. It's not written as well as Spencer or even Derek, but really. /shudders/ Creepy...
Mercurial Georgia (G.S.Y.H.): Bloomgsyh on October 26th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
re: Hotch's nightmare
/To his horror, as hard as he tried, Aaron couldn't speak his son's name./

This was the most horror-feeling-sympathy line for me.