Aaron sat back on his heels and dragged the back of a gloved hand across his forehead, leaving a smudge of mud. He was Aaron today, not "Hotch" - not on his day off. Not while he was wearing torn jeans and a tatty t-shirt, laying down mulch and smelling of turned earth and compost.
The garden was coming along nicely. The lettuces were up and they were already enjoying spring salads. The Swiss chard was up in a riot of colour. He'd just transplanted the tomatoes next to the tiny carrot seedlings, and set the radish seeds among them. If all went well, the radishes would break up the soil for the tomato roots, and would be ready to eat early on.
The early flowers were up and looking lovely. It pained him to look at some of them, the ones his wife had loved, but in a strange way, it was also comforting. Jack loved them; he'd gather a bouquet of them and talk to them as if he were talking to his mother. Perhaps he was. That thought too, was strangely comforting.
Aaron swung around and felt the grin spread itself widely across his face, beyond his control. "Hey hey, buddy!!"
Heedless of the mud, dirt and compost, Jack flung himself onto his father and hugged him tightly. "Whatcha doing, Daddy?"
"Just put the tomatoes in and put the mulch around the plants so that they stay moist," Aaron explained.
"Cool!!" Jack crowed, "Can we have spinach?"
"You bet we can have spinach," Aaron grinned as Jack launched himself into the patch and came up with a handful of green.
"You know why I like the garden, Daddy?"
"I don't know, Tiger, why do you like the garden?"
"It's 'cause bad people put nice people into the ground, and you make life come up out of it again, so it's like the nice people coming back again."
"You're his hero," he heard Rossi's voice in the back of his memory. "That's a wonderful thought, Jack," Aaron smiled.