~In the beginning
The sliding glass doors opened and Lydia Reid strode through the opening gap, her blue eyes trained straight ahead. Her hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail and a smile highlighted her cheekbones and lit up her eyes. This was her first day working in the Behavioral Analysis Unit and she was thrilled to have landed the job. She looked to the left as a flickering movement caught her eye and she was blindsided by a tall guy with longish dark hair and happy dark eyes. Lydia grinned in surprise and hugged him.
“Spencer!” she said, gasping from the bruising impact on her side.
Her brother straightened up and beamed at her. Lydia nervously snapped her fingers five times at her side, aware of the attention focused on her. Spencer turned and introduced her to his BAU team: Penelope Garcia, Derek Morgan, JJ Jareau, Emily Prentiss, David Rossi and Aaron Hotchner, who hurriedly told her to call him Hotch. Lydia smiled and blushed a bit, at last turning inquisitively to face the short red head next to Spencer. Her eyebrows shot up when she saw her older brother’s hand holding the younger girl’s, and the girl’s stomach was protruding from her figure. She flushed under the scrutiny and sidled closer to Spencer. He finally noticed and smiled self consciously.
“Lydia, this is Lissie. Uhh…she’s having my baby,” he muttered.
Lydia’s jaw dropped.
“What? How old is she? Like, underage?!” she shrieked.
Spencer shook his head and Penelope snickered behind her hand. Derek smirked and hit her lightly on the shoulder.
“She is 21. Lydia, did you think I would break the law?” Spencer demanded.
“Who knows. You’re totally unpredictable, Spencer” she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.
Lissie laughed and looked over to Hotch. He had a slightly glazed and faraway look in his eyes. She released Spencer’s hand and sidled over to him, and nudged his arm. He glanced down at her and raised his eyebrows questioningly.
“You’re staring at her!” she whispered, grinning.
Hotch shook his dark head furiously and went red.
Lydia looked towards them and smiled, blinking rapidly five times in succession.
Lissie suddenly let out a loud gasp and everybody in the room turned to look at her. Her sister Penelope rushed to her and grabbed her around the waist.
“What’s wrong?” Spencer fussed, crouching down in front of his girlfriend.
“My water just broke” Lissie panted, her eyes closing as a small contraction hit her lower region.
Spencer’s eyes widened and he manhandled her away from her big sister and walked her to the entrance.
“We’re going to the hospital now!” he yelled.
Lydia shook her head.
“Nope, we though you were taking her to Disneyland to give birth on a water slide” she mumbled to herself.
Her words were punctuated by the slow hissing shut of the sliding doors. She laughed as Agents Morgan, Rossi and Jareau ran out the doors after them, leaving only Hotch and Emily to stay behind with the new entrant. Lydia met Hotch’s worried gaze with calm eyes.
‘This is gonna be some experience’ she thought silently.
In the middle
Several months later, Lydia was well and truly head over heels for Hotch. She enjoyed working with her brother, but their natural game of outsmarting each other often failed nowadays because Lydia always won due to Spencer’s ability to wander off in his head to where his new baby daughter was. He had also proposed to Lissie and been accepted, so now he was fretting over the upcoming wedding ceremony. Garcia and Morgan were the only ones Lydia had let in on the secret that she loved their boss.
One Wednesday, it was late at the office and Hotch was running late. He was running round the office like a chicken missing its head, dropping files like snow all over the carpet. Lydia caught up to him with a small smile.
“Can I help with something?” she asked politely, resisting the urge to repeat herself four extra times after the first.
Hotch stared at her like she was an angel.
“Yes! I need someone to watch over my son Jack because I have to work really late tonight. I need to be here for at least another two hours. Can you do it for me?” he said breathlessly.
“Sure” Lydia answered.
“Oh, thank you so much, Lydia” Hotch muttered, scribbling his address on a scrap of paper.
He leaned forward and abruptly kissed her on the cheek, leaving them both blushing pink.
Lydia hurried outside to her car and drove in the dark to Hotch’s house. A temporary babysitter was waiting for her, having had a call from Hotch earlier to say Lydia was on her way. She took the boy from the girl and carried him inside. He was falling asleep on her shoulder as they entered the warm lounge. Lydia rocked him and he fell asleep completely. She walked through the small house and finally found the little boy’s bedroom. She tucked him into his bed and turned out the light, shut the door but then she changed her mind and left it open a crack so she could hear if he cried. She randomly turned the door knob five times before she wandered back into the lounge and flipped on the TV. She laughed mirthlessly when she came face to face with Agent Emily Prentiss, her least liked esteemed colleague. The dark haired woman was talking on about a recent serial murderer who had brought to justice and was now on trial for killing three ten year old boys.
Lydia gradually fell asleep and only just woke up as headlights zipped up the drive and wheels crunched on gravel. She sat up on the white couch and attempted to tidy her mussed up hair as Hotch came in through the front door. He smiled at her, momentarily seeming to forget that he was her boss and she his “employee”.
“How’s my son?” he asked, slumping on the couch next to her.
Lydia smiled faintly.
“He was fine, still is I reckon. Haven’t heard any screaming or anything of the sort that warrants immediate attention” she murmured sleepily.
“Good. That’s good” he said, sounding drowsy too.
Lydia sighed, staring unseeingly at the colorful TV screen. Her thoughts went off to find Spencer and Lissie and baby Winter. She was five months old now and rolling over by herself. Spencer went on and on about her and how cute she was, all the time. Lydia imagined them putting their daughter into her cot together and then maybe cuddling together on their too small couch in Spencer’s rented too small apartment. She smiled sadly and shut her eyes.
They flew open, however, when she felt something touch her lips. The feeling was gentle, barely there, but she could see Hotch staring at her, his mouth attached to hers and his brown eyes wide, wide open.
He suddenly scrambled away from her and stood up.
“I’m sorry, Lydia. I shouldn’t have done. Again, I apologize” he muttered.
Lydia breathed in and out slowly, trying to concentrate on anything other than her hammering heartbeat.
‘It’s now or never, I guess. This is the best opportunity I’ll ever get’ she thought.
She shook her head fast and again met Hotch’s confused eyes.
“I love you” she stated clearly.
Hotch gaped at her and then he smiled, a slow smile that spread across his features and made him glow. He wound his arms around Lydia’s waist and kissed her again, this time not pulling back. Lydia gripped his hair and leaned backwards slightly, forcing Hotch to fall on top of her, and back onto the couch. Lydia smiled to herself.
‘Finally’ was all she had time to think.
In the end
During the following few weeks, Lydia found herself throwing up most mornings, before and after breakfast had been consumed. She eventually found herself telling Lissie and getting the advice she knew she needed, but didn’t particularly want.
“Get a pregnancy test and check. You have all the right symptoms” she told her, smiling.
Lydia was about to turn away when Lissie grabbed her arm.
“If you are pregnant, tell Hotch right away. When Spencer found out, I was a mess but he was jubilant. So try not to just think about yourself.”
Lydia nodded slowly and went home to take the test Lissie had given to her with a smile.
She waited for what felt like an eternity, then the pink plus sign appeared, confirming her worst and most hopeful fears.
A week later, on a case scene, before Lydia had the chance to tell Hotch about the baby, she was shot in the head. She was taken to hospital as it was just a surface wound. The bullet has scraped her scalp, but had done no lasting damage to her brain.
When she awoke, Hotch was watching her sleep. His eyes were bloodshot and he looked exhausted.
“I’m pregnant!” Lydia blurted out, before she could think to stop herself.
Hotch stared at her and laughs weakly.
“You must be delirious. That can sometimes happen with your type of head wound. Hold on and I’ll fetch the doctor” he said, leaving the white room.
Lydia gazed after him, incredulous. How could he not believe her??
The doctor re enters the room, followed by the entire Behavioral Analysis Unit, including Lissie carrying Winter. Spencer’s arm is around her shoulders protectively, though what he’s worried will hurt her in a hospital, Lydia isn’t sure of.
Hotch faces the doctor uncertainly.
“She told me she’s pregnant. Is she delirious from the drugs you’ve given her or something?” he asked.
The doctor regarded him with cool green eyes.
“Or something” she said calmly.
Hotch’s normally well hinged jaw went slack.
“She is pregnant?!” he demanded, panicky.
“Yes, she is. And the foetus is doing just fine” the doctor said, smiling down at Lydia.
She grinned tiredly back at her, relieved.
“Congratulations” Lissie grinned, and Spencer echoed her.
Lydia turned her head a bit to look up at Hotch, standing like a statue beside the bed.
She reached out and squeezed his hand. He looked at her and began to smile.
He leaned down and kissed her lightly.
“I’m happy” he whispered.
He turned round again and faced the team unit.
“I’m going to be a dad again” he breathed, beaming now at the news as it slowly sank in.
Everyone laughed and hugged him, then Lydia, more gently.
In the aftermath
After 18 hours of hard labor, Spencer Morgan Hotchner was born into the world. He had dark brown hair like his father and big blue eyes just like his mother’s pair.
Lydia held him in her tired arms and smiled tiredly at her fiancé.
“He’s beautiful” she murmured quietly.
Hotch agreed softly and kissed her hair, and then the soft downy crown of their baby’s head.
“I love you both” he said tenderly.
Lydia kissed his cheek as he bent for her to be able to reach.
“We love you, too” she whispered.