Don’t mind me. I … have something in my contacts.
Seriously, though, I told Kirsten recently that this is the moment in the episode that renders me inconsolable for the remainder of it. Like, I’m lip-quivering BraveLittleShoulder!LaT all the way through the Phone Call and the gunshots, and I start tearing up when he comes into the den and sees Haley’s body, but it’s this moment right here at which the dam just fucking breaks and I end up outright crying from here until well after Edward Bernero’s executive producer credit. Hotch is just so broken, so emotionally devastated and at his ethical nadir, having just given into an explosion of violence the likes of which he might have always feared he was capable of, but now knows with certainty is within his capability (not that his thought processes are that clear at right this instant; that’s more an epiphany for when he finally tries to get some sleep). And Morgan is just so … gentle with him. I’m always, always struck by the moment in the second .gif, that split-second when he simply holds Hotch. It undoes me every time, that compassion and gentleness in the midst of such an extreme and extremely unsettling and violent situation. Especially, I think, because in that moment, if Hotch is thinking at all, he’s got to be thinking that he doesn’t deserve it. That Morgan intuitively understands that that’s all the more reason why it’s absolutely necessary? It kills me. It straight-up kills me. That’s friendship.
Yes. So much yes. We’ve talked before about their capacity for tenderness with each other, and for me this moment is the epitome of that. It’s so symbolic of their entire friendship and, putting on the slash goggles for a few minutes, it still blows my mind that so many people believe these two would burn fast and bright and brief (and potentially violent) in a relationship. Just … how do you (general “you”) come to that conclusion when we’re given moments like this? And it’s just one of many such moments. I can’t think of many men less disposed to be violent and fast with each other.
Don’t get me wrong, I can picture a few slams against the wall, some competitiveness - in an established relationship. But their personal and professional relationships are constantly under negotiation, and they’re both so unwilling to trust outsiders with their emotional selves, that any initial encounter would require finesse and a lot of delicate diplomacy. And forget fast - they’d be in it for the long haul. Neither would risk it for anything less.