Character: Aaron Hotchner/Hotch
Prompt: #60 Drink
Summary: On his way home after the case in Canada, Hotch contemplates a stiff drink.
Author's Notes: Takes place after "To Hell…And Back," so a spoiler(ish) or two for those. I don't think Hotch has an alcohol problem. Standard disclaimers apply: I own nothing; suing would be pointless and cruel.
What a fucking nightmare. The case; the UNSUB(s?); William Hightower; the pigs. The goddamn pigs. He shuddered; gripped the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white. He couldn't wait to get home to the comforting confines of his apartment. He couldn't wait to open the bottle he kept on his sideboard and pour two generous fingers of Scotch.
He couldn't wait to have that liquid fire sliding down his throat. It would – had always – washed away the cares of his day, if just for a moment.
But he was careful. Aaron Hotchner knew, better than anyone, the consequences of losing oneself in that amber fog. It smelled of smoke and peat moss and numb, anesthetized comfort, and from the outside it looked so…inviting. Like a will-o'-the-wisp, ready to lure you off your safe and careful path.
His father's drink of choice had been cheap gin, as cliché as that was, and Hotch had avoided the stuff like the plague since he'd been old enough to understand what the alcohol drove a normally sane man to do. He hated the smell, the taste, the feel of gin, and just the sight of that familiar bottle brought on a rush of memory – foul breath; a haze of pain; a lash like fire; tears and snot and the bitter flavor of shame.
Aaron Hotchner wanted the momentary release the bottle offered him, but unlike his father he didn't drown in it. He didn't need it. He would take his drink, and maybe another, and then he would put the lid back on the bottle and continue his evening.
He was not the man his father had been, and for that he could only be profoundly, deeply, immeasurably grateful.