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04 October 2012 @ 10:02 pm
Fic Post: Bearing the Weight of All That has to Be  
#899!

Title: Bearing the Weight of All That has to Be
Author: Montiese
Category: Angst/Drama/Family/Post-Episode
Pairing: Rossi/Strauss
Rating: TEEN
Spoiler: 100
Summary: Erin had held back for days, months actually, and couldn’t hold back anymore.
Author’s Note: This is #11 in the Family Man series. It’s also fic #899. I can hardly believe it but I'm having such fun, even when the stories are sometimes sad. The title comes from the Anita Baker song, Giving You the Best That I Got.


“You're seriously going to do this?”

“Why do you sound so incredulous?”

“I sound it because I am. I can't believe you're going to do this.”

“It’s my job, David. It’s surely not personal.”

“It’s an inquisition.” He said.

“Now you're being overdramatic. Someone died.” Erin said the last word in a low voice. She opened the microwave, pulled out the bowl, and stirred the oatmeal. It wasn’t too hot; it was just the way Noah liked it. She sat in front of him at the table. “Its really warm sweetie…blow on it before you eat. And don’t eat so fast.”

“OK.” Noah took his spoon. “Thank you.”

“You're welcome.” Erin turned back to Dave. “We’re not having this conversation. It’s an inquiry, not an inquisition, and what we do after something like this happens. Despite past evidence to the contrary, Aaron Hotchner is not above the law. His team isn’t either.”

“Erin, you weren't there.”

“I know and that’s why everyone needs to be questioned. Their accounts have to be put on the record. What don’t you understand about us not talking about this?”

“This is wrong.” Dave said.

“I'm not asking for your permission. We’re not talking about it. And even though I can't enforce it you're not supposed to be discussing it with the team. I don’t want nor need six similar stories.”

“Are you saying that we would lie?”

“I'm saying that you would do damn near anything to protect Aaron Hotchner. None of you give a damn about George Foyet.”

“And you do? He threatened all of us, Erin. He threatened our son.”

“Stop it, David. Don’t go there…don’t tell me how to do my job.”

“He's trying to plan his son’s mother’s funeral. Don’t do this.”

“Look behind you David.” Erin said. “Go on look, because you're going to see the line. Back off.”

“Erin…”

“Dammit.”

“Mama? Mama, I don’t want this spoon. I don’t like it. I don’t want it.” Noah, who had eaten half of his oatmeal, pushed the spoon across the table.

“Did he just…?” Dave looked at his girlfriend, at Noah, and back at Erin again.

“Mama!” Noah said it a little louder since his parents were across the kitchen. “I don’t want this spoon.”

“You can be as picky as Daddy sometimes.” Erin went to the drawer and grabbed Noah’s Blue’s Clues spoon. It was his favorite. “Here you go, sweetie. Now you need to eat before it gets cold. And drink your juice too.”

“OK.” Noah went back to his breakfast.

“Erin, all I'm saying is…”

“David, stop.” She held up her hand. “I love you very much but we’re not discussing this for another moment. And if you continue to badger me and ruin my mama moment I swear I won't like you very much. I'm not going to like you for quite a long time. So just shut up.”

Dave shut his mouth. He didn’t want to, this was important and they needed to discuss it. He’d known Erin Strauss a long time, recognized the tone. He had absolutely no right to interrupt her mama moment. Kids were weird.

Just that morning Noah called her ma'am when he burst into the bedroom to announce his urinary intentions. Now at the breakfast table he said mama. Dave wondered if it was permanent or just a slip of the tongue. Either way Erin deserved to bask in it. They could pick up this conversation later.

“Baby, I just…c'mere.”

“I’d really prefer if you don’t touch me. I need to get ready for work.”

She walked past him and went upstairs. How dare he think he could tell her how to do her job? Even worse, he wanted to tell her not to do her job. Aaron Hotchner beat George Foyet to death with his bare hands. It was a personal thing.

That didn’t mean it shouldn’t have been done. Haley and Jack Hotchner were in imminent danger in Foyet’s presence. He was a homicidal maniac; everyone knew that. But there still had to be an inquiry. The BAU wasn’t even supposed to be directly involved in the case. Erin needed to understand everything that happened and why.

Team members needed to answer questions; take responsibility for what happened in that house. Responsibility didn’t equal blame. And personal relationships didn’t mean that Erin was going to ignore what happened. This was serious. This could end careers. She was damn sure going to make sure it wasn’t hers.

***


Her mouth was watering for a drink, which wasn’t a good thing. Erin knew it wasn’t a good thing. That wasn’t just because it was barely noon. She was under a lot of stress and pressure. That stress and pressure followed her home at night, which she used to never let happen. This needed to be over but there were things that must be done before that.

Right now Erin was going over extensive written statements by BAU team members concerning the case of George Foyet. If she wasn’t going to have some scotch, which she wasn’t, then Erin at least needed some Aleve. Grabbing the bottle from her top drawer, Erin picked up the phone when her assistant buzzed her. Her cell phone went off at the same time. Dammit, she only had two hands.

“Yes Tim?”

“Ma'am, the Deputy Director is on Line 3.”

“Thank you; please put him through.”

“Good morning Erin.”

“Good morning, Mr. Deputy Director. How are you?”

“I'm busy.” She replied.

“You're working on the inquiry into the deaths of Haley Hotchner and George Foyet?” he asked.

“I'm going over written statements and official questioning begins tomorrow morning. I hope to have it all done in one day but I might have to wait to question Aaron Hotchner. He's planning a funeral.”

“Are you going to be able to do this?”

“Sir, I hope you're not asking me what it sounds like you're asking me.”

“I'm just…”

“No disrespect but if you're asking me about my objectivity I'm offended. I'm here to do a job which is incredibly difficult. It would be a lot easier if my superiors had my back. Not that it would be the first time I've been left out in the cold by the Bureau.”

“Erin…”

“Sir, I'm ready and the inquiry will be finished midweek. It will be very objective as I'm not the only person on the panel. A decision such as this should never be decided by one person.”

“You're pissed at me.” Kirk said.

“Sir, I'm tired and I'm very busy. I'm sure you know that. I'm doing my absolute best to have no emotions today. Is there anything else that you need?”

“No but…”

“Thank you Mr. Deputy Director, have a great day.”

“Goodbye, Erin.”

She hung up the phone. It took every bit of energy that she had, and Erin didn’t have much, not to slam down the phone. She looked at her cell phone because it was buzzing when she answered Kirk’s call. It was a text message from Dave. ‘I didn’t mean to upset you baby. I'm sorry.’ –Dave. Erin just smirked.

She wasn’t sure if he was sorry to just wanted her forgiveness. He could kiss her ass. Everyone could kiss her ass right now. Erin went into her secret middle drawer. She pushed around something grabbed the box of Marlboro Milds and the lighter. Getting up from the desk, Erin walked away and left everything where it was.

“Tim, I need to take a walk.”

“It’s raining ma'am.” He pulled an umbrella from under his desk and handed it to her.

“Thank you.”

“Do you know how long you'll be gone?”

“20 minutes or so; I need fresh air. If Agent Rossi calls…”

“I already told him that you're in meetings for most of the day and can't be disturbed.” Tim said.

“Really? Why?”

“I recognized the look on your face this morning so…if I'm out of line…”

“No, you're right on point Tim; thank you. I’ll be back.”

“Yes ma'am.” Tim nodded and went back to the mountain of paperwork on his desk as Erin made her way to the elevator.

Pressing the down button, the Section Chief changed her mind. The last thing she wanted was to run into Dave and be trapped. Stairs were better today. Erin could always use the exercise.

***


“What's this?” Erin walked into Noah’s bedroom. The toddler was playing with Mudgie on his bed.

“I’m not sleepy.”

“Oh really?”

“Nope.” Noah shook his head.

“But you still need to get to sleep. Tomorrow will be here before you know it.”

“Can we play?”

“We can play tomorrow Noah. It’s bedtime now. Actually, it’s past bedtime.”

“Please Mama.”

“Ohhh no.” Erin smiled as she shook her head. “You can't give me the big eyes and the please mama. You have to go to sleep.”

“Stay till I dream.” Noah said as Erin gently laid him down and covered him with the blanket. Mudgie made space for her as she sat down on the spaceship bed.

“I will absolutely stay until you dream.”

“And sing my song?” he yawned and closed his eyes.

“I’ll sing your song.”

“Now Mama?”

“OK, here we go. Baby sneezes, mommy pleases, daddy breezes in. So good on paper, so romantic and so bewildering. I know nothing stays the same, but if you're willing to play the game its coming around again. So don’t mind if I fall apart; there's more room in a broken heart.”

It didn’t take long for Noah to fall asleep. Erin made it through the song once but didn’t have to sing it again. She leaned and kissed his sleeping face.

“Goodnight, sweet boy. Mama loves you so much.”

She sat for a few minutes just to make sure he was really asleep. Erin was gentle as she got up from the bed and crept out of the room. She walked next door to her own bedroom, where she’d been sleeping for the past few nights. Dave was sitting on her bed. Erin covered her mouth so she wouldn’t scream.

“You scared the hell out of me.” she said through clenched teeth.

“You need to come to bed.” Dave replied.

“I'm trying to do that now.” Erin didn’t move from the doorway. “I didn’t realize you were home.”

“I came in a few minutes ago. I heard you singing to Noah.”

“David, I just want to rest. I don’t want to fight…I don’t have a damn thing left in me.”

“Let me fill you up baby.”

“Get out of my room.”

“Erin…”

“I just can't.” she shook her head. “I was doing my job but you didn’t trust me enough. You have to protect Aaron at all costs. It didn’t matter if it hurt me.”

“I never intended to hurt you.” he said. “You know that.”

“Ahh yes, intent. Intent is a tricky subject. You didn’t intend to hurt me. That doesn't make the behavior any less hurtful or the person any less hurt. But you got what you wanted, Aaron is off the hook.”

“He's off the hook because he didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I'm tired. Please just leave so I can rest.”

Dave sighed and stood up. The couple had been sleeping apart for three days. Things were tense and he didn’t know how to make them better. Erin, for her part, kept everything as normal as possible for Noah.

She didn’t need to say a word to his father to do that. Dave hated to think about it but how many times had Erin done the same with Eli and their children. He wanted to make it right. How could he do that?

“Goodnight, Erin.” he slipped his hand in hers for just a moment before walking out.

“Goodnight.”

Erin pushed up the door but didn’t close it completely. She needed to have quick access to Noah and vice-versa. There hadn't been anymore nightmares or bed wetting incidents. It only took him one day to realize she wasn’t sharing a room with Daddy right now and the morning urinary announcements continued without impediment.

She lay down on the bed and exhaled. Then she tried to inhale deeply. It wasn’t easy. Erin had held back for days, months actually, and couldn’t hold back anymore. An agonizing sound came from her diaphragm before the tears fell hot and fast.

They nearly burned her skin. Then the sobs came, wracking her body as if she was possessed. Erin buried her face in the pillow. She hated hearing it almost as much as fearing someone else might.

George Foyet was dead; her family was safe. Haley Hotchner was dead at his hand and U.S. Marshal Sam Kassmeyer nearly so. He was intent on killing an innocent four year old without a second thought. Surely he was burning in hell, and deservedly so.

She didn’t even hear Dave come into the room. He climbed onto the bed, wrapping Erin up in his arms. She didn’t fight it when he spooned behind her. She couldn’t fight it. All she could do was hold onto him and sob.

“Its OK baby. It’s gonna be OK, I promise. I'm here, I love you, and I'm never letting you go.”

Dave had no idea how long they lay that way. Listening to Erin cry always broke his heart. She didn’t do it very much and she certainly never broke down like this. The past few months had been hard on all of them.

He knew that Erin was holding it together with Krazy Glue and duct tape. It looked like the levees had finally broken. He held on tight so she wouldn’t float away or drown. Wherever Erin went tonight Dave was going with her.

Soon the sobs turned into sniffles and then the sniffles turned into silence. Dave still didn’t let go. Erin didn’t move or push him away. The both of them just lay there, still as statues and holding on. He kissed her shoulder and felt her tremble.

“I hate you.” she finally whispered.

“I know, and I probably deserve that. I was pissed and I took it out on you. I broke a promise and I'm sorry.”

“I really hate you.”

“I know, baby.” He kissed her shoulder again. “I want to put this behind us.”

“It’s going to take more than an apologetic afterthought”

“Do you want me to leave?” Dave asked.

“I need you to stay.”

“OK.”

“Noah calls me mama.” She said.

“I know. That came out of nowhere this morning. He’s funny that way.”

“You don’t mind do you?” Erin asked.

“Of course I don’t; you are his mother. All of the legal mumbo jumbo has been taken care of…we’re a family.”

“You have a lot of obligations to a lot of families.” Erin turned in his arms, resting her head on his shoulder.

“Yes I do, but this one comes first.”

“Oh bullshit David.” Erin smirked. “I call bullshit on that one.”

“And I accept that. But you have to accept that protecting Aaron meant a lot to me. I won't apologize for that. He’s been through enough. I will always apologize for hurting you but Aaron is like my brother.”

“Aren't I like your wife?”

“Yes.” Dave kissed her forehead. “And you're having an issue with the in-laws right now.”

“Sometimes I hate you.”

“Well I love you every single day. Even when you want to beat the living hell out of me I still love you. I love you, Erin.”

“I love you too. I still want to sleep alone.”

“You do?” he asked.

“Mmm hmm.” She nodded. “I just need some space. It’s over but I need to wrap my mind around it and put it in a box where it belongs.”

“Should I…?”

“No,” Erin held on a little tighter. “I'm not asleep yet. Stay until I dream.”

“I’ll stay until you dream.” Dave stroked her hair. “Should I sing our song?”

“We have a song?” she tried and failed not to yawn. The truth was that Erin was exhausted. She was past exhausted.

“Do we have a song? Woman, I am shocked by that question. We have about twenty but I'm only singing one tonight.”

“I want you to sing our song, David.”

“OK, here we go…”

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: productiveproductive
Background Noise: silence
 
 
( 4 had thoughts — Thoughts? )
purplediamond87purplediamond87 on October 5th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
ok first..YAAAAY! Noah calls Erin 'mama' now! i love it! its perfect!
I can totally see why she was pissed at Dave. Getting through that must have been hell on their relationship. They both need to deal with it in their own way, and yet together at the same time. But as you and I both know, Dave and Erin are forever....they've even invaded my dreams lol! Just last night in fact, I think it was after I read a character bio on Rossi somewhere and somehow I got fixated on the Marines thing and boom, there they are in my head, I'd never thought of Erin as a military girlfriend until then..it was interesting! Anyhow, I digress, I will as ever, be looking forward to the next story from you, since they're all fabulous!
SSA McGeek: Erin and Dave....lovemcgarrygirl78 on October 5th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
Hey, gimme more info about your dream...I cant promise but I might be able to make it into a story, especially with more coming on Rossi's military past. I dont know if you know but this entire series is based on another friend's daydream that Rossi had a child and how that would affect his relationship with Erin : )

The mama thing...I wasnt sure how it was going to go until I was writing it. Noah just decided in that moment that she was Mama and that was that. She'll surely be mama forever now. Though he might go for mom when he gets a little older. This was definitely a tough time in their relationship no matter what universe I write it in. They both have a right to their feelings and I personally feel Dave was mostly in the wrong here, even though I know how much he loves Hotch. Erin had every right to be angry but in the end she handled it like an adult and he attempted to and they'll make it through this too. They are forever, once they decided to stop playing and be in this, they were in it. And now they have a child so every decision they make concerning each other affects Noah as well.

I'm working on a possible new AU. Those arent always easy to write so I dont promise it will come to fruition but characters are starting to talk to me and establish themselves in this universe so things might get interesting over the next couple of weeks.
purplediamond87purplediamond87 on October 5th, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
weird dream! I think it was a mixture of reading Rossi's bio and the fact that i'd been listening to the Military Wives album before bed, there was a song that reminded me of Dave and Erin so it stuck. Erin was still in college in this dream, I cant remember how they met. My dream kinda jumped from their first date to the fight they had when he told her he was being deployed overseas, and then all of a sudden he was gone and she was missing him, I remember she slept with her cell phone close and her laptop on in case Dave called or skype'd. Then she broke up with him cos she couldnt take the fear and the waiting. That turned to guilt when Dave was injured in a road side bomb blast, Erin blamed herself because she thought she gave him nothing to live for by ending it. Dave told her that was stupid, by dumping him she only gave him more reason to live so that he could win her back. Then all of a sudden he was back in the U.S and going into the FBI! random yes, but hey, I cannot be blamed for my subconscious!
SSA McGeek: Dave Rossi....hey babymcgarrygirl78 on October 5th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, quite,random but dreams tend to be disjointed like that. Still sounds good. I know I have a bunch of songs that bring them to mind...all of my ships have playlists. Its why I stopped the story before Dave sang the song, I couldnt decide which one I wanted to use.
( 4 had thoughts — Thoughts? )