A/N – A place to safely store all of my music drabbles, most of which come from 'Bonesbird's Drabble Challenge' over on Facebook. I have no idea how long this is going to get…
Disclaimer – I don't own Criminal Minds, the songs on which these are based or the title, which comes from a quote by Sidney Lanier.
Talk me straight, repair these bones
Open my eyes, and take me home
Bring my feet back down to the ground
Say our goodbyes and leave this town
-Liquid Luck, Hearts on Fire-
"Come on," Dave murmured, taking Hotch's arm and steering him gently towards one of the waiting SUVs. It was a frightening testament to how much Aaron was hurting that he didn't argue and allowed Dave to guide him into the passenger seat. Closing the door as quietly as he could, Dave lingered just long enough to make sure that Morgan would be alright with finishing off proceedings at the crime scene and ensuring that the Angel Maker's number one fan was dispatched with the coroner. Morgan took charge with ease, and after a tight smile from Prentiss, Dave slipped into the driver's seat and pulled away. Hotch was silent, one hand pressed to his left ear and his face screwed up as he fought the pain every step of the way.
"Have you been taking your medication, Aaron?" Dave asked in a low voice, his eyes focused on the road for the short journey to the hotel. He didn't need to be looking at his friend to know when he was lying.
"You already know the answer to that," Aaron mumbled, his hand gingerly leaving his ear as he rolled his head experimentally, "And I don't need a lecture."
"No lectures here," Dave shrugged, his voice nonchalant in order to disguise his main point of attack, "I don't need to tell you that if you lose your hearing you won't be able to work for the bureau. And you'll never hear your son laugh again."
"I know," Aaron replied, this time through gritted teeth, "I'll take it when we get to the hotel."
"And you won't fly back."
"And I won't fly back," he repeated dutifully, "I thought I said no lectures."
"I'm not lecturing," Dave smiled, pulling the SUV into the parking lot of the tiny hotel, "I'm just giving some advice to a friend. You never said I couldn't do that."
They walked in silence to their adjoining rooms, stopping just long enough for Dave to charm the receptionist into sending up some coffee despite the lateness of the hour. He watched Aaron swallow two of the pills he had been given, and the tension in the younger man's face began to relax almost immediately.
"Now go to bed," Dave instructed, "And tomorrow you can go home and see that boy of yours and remember why you like having ears that work."
"Thank you, Dave," Aaron said softly, a tired smile playing over his lips, "For the advice."