Seven Times Kate Hugged Hotch and It Was Weird and One Time It Wasn't

by Meowser Clancy

a/n: totally random thoughts. i do love 'seven times' etc stories lol

She was a hugger. Kate never apologized for that. She'd learned, over the years, that there were people you didn't hug, and she'd learned to, well, not hug them.

Reid, she sometimes hugged. He was the type who needed it, but to do it too much would ruin it.

JJ was the same. Hugs were good when appropriate. Penelope almost always greeted with a hug, no matter the person, and Rossi was more the cheek kiss type.

Morgan would give her a fist bump most of the time and Hotch...

Hotch was the type you didn't hug. He was the type who wanted to keep that untouchable image, and she'd seen him step away from enthusiastic interns.

But she put this by the wayside when he brought her a cupcake on her birthday.

They were in Texas on a kidnapping case, and Kate was exhausted. She'd been up since six a.m., and it was nearing midnight now. Her birthday had come and almost gone and that was fine. She'd missed many birthdays by now.

She was waiting in the SUV; she and Hotch were coming back from talking to the only witness and it had been a two hour drive back to their hotel.

He'd stopped for gas and gone into the gas station. He came out with a bag, didn't say anything as he started the SUV, but when they reached the hotel, and Kate got out, Hotch came around to her side, staying close to her as they walked in.

She took it more as his natural protective side coming out than anything else; it was definitely dark out, but he seemed to walk a little closer than usual.

"Hey," he said. "It's almost midnight so I have to do this soon." He stopped them, a couple feet from the door. "Happy birthday, Kate."

He handed her the bag and she took it in astounded silence.

"You...know?"

"It's on all your paperwork," he said. "Of course I know."

"Well, no, obviously, but...you remembered," Kate said, feeling tears in her eyes.

He smiled slightly, his hand moving to brush away the sole tear that escaped from her eye. "I did," he said. "Barely in time. Now come on. I bet Reid and JJ want some of that cupcake."

He slung an arm around her in a brotherly hug, and Kate went in for the full monty, throwing her arms around him and stopping them midstep, feeling the bag swing back to stop.

"Thank you," she whispered against his tie, feeling that it was already damper.

"You're welcome," Hotch replied, his arms tight around her, his hands warm on her shoulders.

And then he was pulling away, sudden abruptness in his motions. "Come on," he said. "Inside."

Kate scrambled after him, feeling how the moment changed, but not regretting it, even with the look on his face. She shouldn't have done that. But who cares. It was her birthday.