Title: Jack’s Plan
Series: Fic A Week Challenge #1
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season Eight
Category: Trope Bingo, Kid Fic, Fluff,
Spoilers: Up to Season Eight
Summary: Jack Hotchner had known about the brief relationship between his dad and Spencer. His dad had been happy then. He wanted him to be happy again.
Notes: Takes place after Hotch meets Beth but in this universe Reid never fell for Maeve.
Jack Hotchner watched his dad as he moved around the living room. Beth had been out of their lives for over six months now. The long distance relationship hadn’t lasted long. Jack had liked her but she hadn’t been like the one his dad had been with before her. His dad had been moving around the apartment for over an hour, cleaning up and just puttering around. It was a wonderful fall day outside and Jack wanted to go to a museum. His dad though wanted to stay at the apartment.
It was the first Saturday of the month so he knew that in an hour, Spencer would be taking the train into DC and going to the Smithsonian as he always did when he wasn’t out on a case. He just had to figure out a way to get his dad to let him go with Spencer. It wasn’t that dad didn’t trust Spencer with him; it was just that his dad thought that on the weekends that he was in town, he needed to do everything with Jack.
The phone ringing was a blessing. It wasn’t his dad’s work phone but his personal one. His dad smiled and Jack knew who it was. That smile on his dad’s face was only reserved for Spencer.
“Hotchner.” His dad hit a button then set the phone down. he continued with the light cleaning he had been doing.
“Hi.” Spencer’s voice came over the phone’s speaker. “I know you had plans with Jack for this evening but a new exhibit is open at the Smithsonian. It’s a limited run exhibit.”
“Reid?” His dad turned and looked at Jack who had stopped coloring and was now staring at the phone. “What’s the exhibit?”
“The Evolution of the Super Hero.”
Jack was across the room and had grabbed the phone up before his dad could do a thing.
“I wanna go, Spencer. Please can I go with you?” Jack bounced out of his dad’s reach, taking the phone with him. He clicked off the speaker and pressed the phone to his ear. “Please, Spencer.”
“Jack, that up to your father. You need to give the phone back to him.” Spencer was laughing while he talked though. Jack smiled and stopped moving so his dad could take the phone from him.
“Reid, I’ll pick you up as soon as I can.”
“I’m actually in the on my way up in the elevator. I was around the block at a store when I thought that Jack might like to go.”
Jack could hear Spencer’s voice over the phone and smiled, moving to the door to open it. He peeked his head out and he saw the elevator open up. He barreled down the hall and Spencer pulled him up and into a hug.
“Spencer! I missed you.” Jack looped his arms around Spencer’s neck and held on tight. Things had changed when Beth had come into his dad’s life. It wasn’t until after Spencer stopped coming around that Jack had figured it out. He had seen the look of pain on Spencer’s face at the race when Beth had been introduced to the team. The look of worry on his dad’s face when Spencer shook Beth’s hand.
He had never figured out why his dad and Spencer weren’t together anymore. He’d never been brave enough to ask. He wanted to see his dad happy again though. Spencer made him happy. The look on Spencer’s face when he saw his dad, told Jack that Spencer still loved him.
Jack needed a plan.
Movie nights with Spencer started up again two weeks after the trip to the museum. Dinner with all three of them and then a movie and popcorn. Jack enjoyed the nights. If a case came up, movie night was changed but it always happened. The first couple of movies, Spencer sat in a chair beside the couch but after Jack wanted Spencer to sit by him, he moved to the other end of the couch.
Tonight was another movie night and Jack was huddled in Spencer’s normal spot. The sound of popping corn stopped and Jack bounced in his seat. Spencer always made the popcorn and his dad got the drinks. Tonight was sweet tea. His dad was the first into the room, a tray of drinks in hand. He looked at Jack but didn’t stop. Setting the tray down, he handed Jack his glass and then took his own, sitting at the other end of the couch. Seconds later, Spencer entered the room, stopping when he took in the arrangement on the couch.
His dad wasn’t paying attention; he was getting the movie set up.
“Sit by me,” Jack begged patting the seat beside him. Spencer looked at his dad and then back at him. Jack smiled widely and patted the seat again. Spencer nodded and sat down. The large bowl of popcorn usually sat in Jack’s lap but he usually sat in the middle. Now it was going to up to Spencer to hold the bowl.
“Ready?” His dad asked as he turned to look at Jack, seeing Spencer instead.
Jack watched his father’s face. There was surprise there but something else as well. Jack turned his head away and focused on the movie. He snuck glances the entire time. Spencer sat closer to Jack than his dad but Jack was okay with that. They were sitting close to each other.
Spencer did get up to go to the bathroom at some point in the movie. When he sat back down, he was closer to Jack’s dad than Jack. His dad had his arm slung along the back of the couch and when Spencer tipped his head back, his dad didn’t move it.
Jack remembered waking up as his dad was putting him into bed. He smiled up at his dad as he was kissed goodnight.
“Getting ready to leave. Did you want to say goodnight to him?”
His dad left the room and a minute later Spencer entered the room, sitting down on the bed beside Jack.
“Night, Jack.” Spencer leaned over and kissed his head.
“Will you be here in the morning?” Jack asked. He wanted to look at his father who he knew was still in the doorway but if he did, he was afraid his dad would know.
“What?” Spencer asked.
“You used to stay the night before. I miss you.” Jack tried to fight the tears in his eyes.
“Jack,” his dad said as he crossed the room. He sat down on the other side of the bed from Spencer. Jack shifted to sit on his butt with his back leaning on his headboard. He tucked his feet up to his chest.
“You used to stay over after movie night and then in the morning we would make breakfast.” Jack turned his head to look at Spencer. “Don’t you love dad anymore?”
Jack watched as Spencer’s eyes widened and the man looked over at his dad. His dad reached out and touched his hair.
“Jack it’s not that…” Jack turned his head to look at his dad. “Spencer and I. I didn’t think that you knew.”
“I didn’t until Spencer wasn’t coming around anymore. You weren’t as happy and neither was Spencer when I saw him.” Jack held his dad’s gaze until the older man looked away.
“Aaron…” Spencer reached out and touched Jack’s head, turning his gaze back to him. “Don’t worry about us, Jack. If you want me to, I’ll stay the night. We can talk more in the morning. It’s late and all of us are tired. If I promise to stay will you go to sleep?”
Jack nodded and let Spencer help him lay back down and cover him up. Spencer kissed him on the head and Jack closed his eyes. Happy that at least Spencer was staying the night.
The next morning Jack crept into the hallway from his bedroom, still in his pajamas. He wanted to see what his dad and Spencer were up to.
“You are the one that said that you couldn’t handle it, Spencer.” His dad’s voice was soft and not angry. Jack peeked around the corner and saw that both were standing near the sink. Spencer was leaning against the sink while his dad was standing in front of him.
“And you were the one that was trying to keep Jack from finding out about us. I couldn’t handle lying to him, Aaron and you know that. Sleeping in the guest room on the nights where he wasn’t with Haley and then after…” Spencer stopped speaking and Jack moved back into the hallway so that neither adult would see him.
Jack hadn’t realized that his dad and Spencer had been together that long. He wanted to turn back and look but he didn’t.
“I hadn’t realized how much I still loved you until I saw you with Beth at the triathlon.” Spencer’s voice was soft and Jack almost didn’t hear all of what he said. Jack peeked around the corner again and saw that neither man was looking his direction, both were steadfastly not looking anywhere near each other. Jack moved quickly, getting closer to the island that separated the kitchen from the living room. He wouldn’t be able to see them anymore but he would be able to hear everything.
“Spencer, look at me please.”
“No,” came the whispered reply.
Jack listened to his dad chuckle.
“Spencer,” his dad called, cajolingly. Jack could picture the look on his dad’s face and the one on Spencer’s. The looks that no one else really got to see. Especially those on the team.
The sound of clothes rustling told Jack that someone moved.
“Aaron, let me go.” Spencer’s voice was soft. He wasn’t angry.
“Not till you look at me.”
“We both know what will happen if I look at you. Jack will be awake at any moment. Do you want him to find us making out in the kitchen?”
“He seems to be okay with us. Spencer. Making out won’t scar him.”
Jack wanted to look around the island so bad when he heard a gasp but he stayed where he was. There was no way that Spencer wouldn’t see him if he did. There was no sound for several seconds until another gasp broke the silence.
“Aaron…” Spencer’s voice trailed off and again there was silence.
The rustle of clothes broke the silence seconds later followed by a soft thud and Jack wasn’t sure what was going on. He figured though that the silence was a good thing. Jack turned and crept back to his bedroom, shutting his door hard enough that his dad and Spencer would hear it. He made his way into the kitchen to find Spencer at the coffee pot and his dad reading the paper.
It was like all the other mornings before Spencer had left. Jack moved over to him and hugged him, pulling him tight. Spencer laid a hand on his head and he looked up into the man’s questioning eyes.
“I love you, Spencer.”
Spencer crouched down and looked Jack in the eye.
“I love you, too.” Spencer’s eyes moved from Jack to above his head and he knew that he was looking at his dad. “Fine. The Hotchner men win.”
“YAY!” Jack yelled, wrapping his arms around Spencer’s neck. Spencer laughed and hugged him back, picking him up at the same time. Seconds later, Jack felt his dad at his back, hugging the both of them.
Jack watched his dad lean over and kissed Spencer. Spencer pulled back but Jack just laid his head on Spencer’s shoulder so he couldn’t see them kiss. His dad laughed and then Jack felt him lean closer again. Spencer made a small protesting sound but didn’t pull away.
Jack was happy that his dad and Spencer would be happy again. His family was whole in a way it hadn’t been in a long time.