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10 April 2013 @ 07:24 am
Fic Post: Heart, Soul, and Hedgehogs  
Title: Heart, Soul, and Hedgehogs
Author: Montiese
Category: AU/Family/Romance
Characters: Jason Gideon, Emily Prentiss, Penelope Garcia, Aaron Hotchner
Pairing: Gideon/Prentiss
Rating: TEEN
Summary: “What puts you one up on a lot of guys is that a great girl has your back.”
Author’s Note: This story is written in the Thicker than Water universe where the BAU are kids and teens.


“Hey Jason, can I talk to you?”

“You sure can.”

Penelope ran into the room and hopped up on his bed. It was almost her bedtime so she was dressed in pink pajama pants with white polka dots. She also wore a white Hanes tee shirt and white sport socks. Penelope hated for her feet to be cold.

Her blonde hair was in pigtails, and for some unknown reason she also had on pointy Vulcan ears. Jason wanted to ask what that was about but might not understand the answer. Let Penelope be Penelope was his mantra. There needed to be more kids like her in the world.

“What's up?”

“I have two questions and a dilemma.” She said.

“OK, shoot.”

“Question #1, can I have a gecko or a salamander. I’d even settle for a hedgehog.”

“Are you serious?” Jason asked.

“Yeah.” Penelope nodded.

“You already have two rats.”

“I know, and I love Alexander the Great and Pepper. But geckos are so cool. Please, Jason.”

“Pets are a lot of responsibility. I think you're doing a great job with the rats but I don’t know if you should put more on yourself. You still have school and like doing fun things. Also, if I let you have all the pets then the other kids will want more pets too. Morgan already asked about a dog.”

“I love dogs!” Penelope exclaimed.

“Dogs are probably even more responsibility than hedgehogs. I don’t think it’s a good idea, Penelope.”

“Does that mean no?”

“I think for right now it does.” Jason replied. “Maybe we can think about it for later…don’t have to rule it out completely.”

“OK.” she sounded down but bounded back in a minute or so. “Question #2, what am I going to do if Kevin isn’t my soul mate?”

“What?”

“What if Kevin isn’t my soul mate?” she asked again. “What if we’re not meant to be?”

“I don’t think you need to worry too much about that, Penelope.”

“But…this is important. I think he's my soul mate but what if he isn’t. I care about him and don’t want to hurt him. I know Kevin doesn’t want to hurt me.”

“Being a kid is such an awesome thing.” Jason said. “I don’t think you should be in a rush to grow up because you'll be a grownup and wish you were almost 12 again.”

“Jason, I need a real answer.” Penelope crossed her arms.

“That is the real answer. You and Kevin both are young. You’ve got years and years to figure out if you're meant to be together forever. And even if you don’t marry that doesn’t mean that you aren’t soul mates.

“You could be meant to be best friends or just a very important part of each other’s lives. Loving someone doesn’t always mean marriage. I love you but we’re brother and sister. You and Kevin could be like that as well.”

“So I should tell him that I just want to be friends?”

“You're already friends.”

“But he's my kinda my boyfriend and stuff, just like you're Emily’s boyfriend. How do you know that you and Emily are meant to be, Jason? I know you're older but you're still kinda a kid right? How do you know but I don’t know?”

“Do you remember when Emily talked to you about puberty?”

“Sure. It’s when I get my cycle and turn into a woman.” Penelope replied.

“When that happens, even though you're still a kid, you get different kinds of feelings for boys than you have now. Emily and I share those different kinds of feelings.”

“Are you talking about sex?”

“Absolutely not.” Jason shook his head.

“Yeah you are.” Penelope grinned. “I get it though. You and Emily are soul mates, right?”

“I think that we are.” He nodded. “I don’t think about it like that though. I just know that I love her and she loves me. That gives me comfort during tough times…she gives me comfort.”

“You're not talking about sex, are you?”

“No I'm not. You said you also had a dilemma.”

“Well the soul mate thing is a dilemma. I do love Kevin but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be together forever. I don’t know what I would do if he wasn’t my friend.”

“So make sure that you nurture and cherish the relationship. Kevin is a great kid; so are you Penelope. I have little doubt that you'll enjoy each other’s company forever and ever if you want to.”

“OK.”

“Do you feel better?” Jason asked.

“I do.” she nodded. “Thanks for listening to me Jason.”

“I always will, I promise.”

She threw her arms around him and Jason smiled as he hugged her back. Then he kissed her temple.

“It’s nearly bedtime.” He said.

“I know; I'm going.” She climbed down from his bed. “Goodnight Jason, I love you.”

“Love you too. Sweet dreams.”

She walked out of the room just as Hotch was walking in. He smiled at his best friend.

“You seemed like you wanted to talk early when I was bogged down with pre-calc.” Hotch said. “I'm available now before I go to bed.”

“You want to hear something crazy?” Jason asked as Hotch pushed the door up.

“What?”

“Penelope and I were sort of having the same problem tonight.”

“That sounds interesting. What do you mean?”

“She came to me and asked what would she do if Kevin weren't her soul mate and they didn’t up together forever.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah.” Jason nodded. “I was thinking about the same thing earlier.”

“You were thinking about Penelope and Kevin?” Hotch asked.

“No, I was thinking about Emily and I.”

“You don’t have to worry about that.” Hotch sat down in Jason’s desk chair. “She loves you.”

“She loves me now. What about a decade from now?”

“She’ll love you then too.”

“I want to believe that…I do believe that. Except sometimes I get these crushing moments of doubt. Emily is so beautiful and lively and worldly and I'm just…”

“You're just what?” Hotch asked. “You're an attractive guy. You're smart and kind and strong; she loves all of that about you.”

“I'm not cool.” Jason said.

“Has she ever asked you to be anything more than what you are?”

“Not once.”

“Then stop worrying about that. I mean, I know you won't but I'm telling you to. Can I let you in on a secret?”

“Sure.”

“Emily has probably loved you from the moment she stepped into our apartment.” Hotch said. “It doesn’t even make a lot of sense to me but you have to know by now I wasn’t sleeping that night. You took care of her Jason; cleaned up her wounds.

“You offered her a place to be safe and get her affairs in order. You talked to her like she was normal and always respected her. She loved you before that weekend was even over. I know that for sure.”

“I just want to make her happy.” Jason said.

“You do. She can't wait to spend the rest of her life with you.”

“Did she tell you that?”

“Yes.” Hotch nodded.

“OK. I know its all silly but…”

“It’s OK. At our age you're supposed to be filled with worry and self-doubt. What puts you one up on a lot of guys is that a great girl has your back. Emily is a great catch and you caught her. That’s what needs to fill your thoughts.”

“You're right.” Jason said.

“I get that a lot.”

“Oh, haha.”

“Lots of people envy your happiness.” Hotch said. “I know you don’t have it all together, people twice your age don’t. But you know what you want in life and you're working hard to get it. Emily’s not the only one who has your back.”

“Thanks Aaron.” Jason smiled.

“Knock, knock.” Emily knocked and then poked her head in. “You guys aren’t watching cheerleader porn in here are you?”

“Oh crap,” Hotch smiled and his dimples came out. “We've been caught. It was Jason’s idea.”

“You're so funny I forgot to laugh.” she walked into the room. “Seriously, I'm not interrupting anything am I?”

“I'm actually about to go to bed.” Hotch stood up from the chair. “Are you going with me in the morning, Em?”

“No. Coop is gonna pick me up. His dad got him a hooptie. We’re hoping we make it the entire way.”

“Alright. Goodnight, guys.”

“Goodnight Hotch.” they said in unison.

He walked out of the room and pulled the door closed behind him. He knew they never closed it completely until much later. It wasn’t often in their house that someone didn’t need something and would come knocking. He knew from experience that staying up pretty late was the best way to romance your girlfriend. That wasn’t always probable on a Wednesday.

Once she heard Hotch walking down the hall toward the attic, Emily sat down on Jason’s bed. He was sitting Indian style and just smiled at her. She smiled back.

“Penny for your thoughts?” she asked.

“I was just thinking about how much I love you.”

“Are you serious?”

“That’s what Hotch and I were talking about. We were talking about soul mates; you and me.”

“You think we’re soul mates?” Emily asked.

“Do you?”

“I don't know, I never thought about it.” she shrugged. “I know I love you. I don’t even know what soul mate really means. There are so many people I love in my life…I don’t want to give that kind of special title to just one.”

“I understand that.” Jason nodded.

“You're the only person I'm in love with though.” She put her arms around him.

“Can you say that one more time please?”

“I'm in love with you, Jason Gideon.” She kissed his nose. “You act as if you didn’t know.”

“I knew. I just…”

Emily smiled, caressing his face as she drew him into a soft kiss. Jason was not insecure. He could be, everyone could be. But he was confident and sure of himself. Love wasn’t the same as regular life though.

When you loved someone so much your stomach hurt, it was hard to imagine that they could even understand what you felt much less feel the same. He surely wasn’t the only one who lay awake at night wondering if it would all work out. One thing Emily was sure of was that she would never love anyone like she loved Jason. That didn’t mean life wasn’t going to hand them a lousy deck. Right now she held onto what they were feeling with both hands. She told herself that she would just keep doing that.

“Tell me you love me.” she whispered.

“I love you, Katya.”

“That’s all that matters.”

“I’ll always love you.” he said.

“OK, that matters too.” Emily smiled as she kissed him again. “Can we stay together tonight?”

“Yes.”

“Do you see how easy it is to say yes to me?”

“I have to ration out the yeses…I don’t want to spoil you.”

“It’s too late for that. Whenever you're feeling down or insecure you can just talk to me you know. You might not always want to; you don’t want me to know you're not holding up the world with both hands. But I will never judge you and always love you and I'm here to listen.”

“I know.” Jason nodded. “You always listen to me and make me feel better. I'm lucky to have you.”

“Yes you are, Jason Gideon. But you're not the only lucky one.”

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: rushedrushed
Background Noise: silence