Kill the King

Title: Kill the King
Series: Fic-A-Week Challenge
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: 2014
Category: Trope Bingo, Game Night,
Ratings: PG
Pairings: Hotch/Reid,
Spoilers: Up through Season 9
Summary: It wasn’t a secret; there were times that a FBI gaming night happened. The thing was that usually, the players were known to each other. Tonight, AgentPipeClner was wiping the floor with them. Morgan wanted to know who this agent was.
Words: 2,238
Notes: None
Warnings: None
Beta: None

Hotch had been hesitant when David had invited him over for what he called FBI Game Night. Hotch had never heard of it. He’d found out that Garcia had created a server that when logged onto from an X-Box, it would go to a game mode where only those with the information could log onto and play. It was full of FBI agents from all over the country.

In the end, he was glad for the night. Dave and him had played for hours before taking a break to eat dinner. He’d gotten pretty good at the Big Team Slayer mode before it had been changed to Flood. Hotch hadn’t lasted long in Flood as the alien or the Spartan. There was however an Agent who was kicking everyone’s ass. He’d won the first game he’d played as a Spartan and then as a Flood in the second, killing most of the Spartans in under a minute.

“Who is that?” Hotch asked as he pointed at the Gamer Tag: AgentPipeClner.

“Someone new. He never talks but he wipes our ass. Morgan wants his head on a pike.”

“Morgan plays?” Hotch asked.

“Yea. He’s…on now.” An icon popped up that said that ChocoThunder had joined the group. “Seaver joins us sometimes. We’ll join a party that way we three can play on the same team.

A message popped up on the screen and David clicked in to read it. Who the friend?

David replied back that it was Hotch and he waited. A party invite popped up and David handed him a headset.

“Hotch! Glad you joined us! Maybe with you we can take care of Pipe Cleaner.”

“Wouldn’t count on that. He’s as hopeless as the newbies. He sucks at SWAT.”

“Really?” Morgan sounded disappointed; Hotch could tell that through the weirdness of talking with a microphone and headset. “Seaver, Garcia, Prentiss, and JJ are getting on in a few minutes. Let’s do a BAU vs the rest game of Regicide.”

“Prentiss still joins in?” Hotch asked.

“Yes.”

“We’ll need someone else,” David said as he relaxed back, the box of half eaten pizza forgotten.

“Someone will join up. It’ll be eight vs. eight. It won’t start until we have a full team, take the chance and hope that it’s a good person.”

Ten minutes later, Hotch was in a party with current and former BAU members. AgentPipeClner was on the opposite team and it was an apparent that whoever it was, the BAU team couldn’t take him down. Ten games and in all ten, he was the King at the end.

It became a personal vendetta for the BAU team to try and win against him. Pipe Cleaner wasn’t always on when the BAU team could play. It was the talk of the facility though, that there was an unknown agent who was wiping the floor with all of them.

Garcia tried to hack the IP but she was unable, that led them all to believe that it was another technical analyst who was on the other end.

“We need another member,” David said as he sat down in his living room. The whole room was filled with wires as the three systems were hooked up to three TVs and the controllers were being charged. “It’s eight on eight and no one wants to play with us as they hate what it does to their KD. Pipe Cleaner has it out for us.”

“I talked Reid into coming over. He can’t hurt us that much.”

Hotch smiled at that. He’d seen Spencer play video games with Jack on occasion and while he was okay, the other teams were going to wipe the floor with him. Spencer played Minecraft well enough when Jack could talk him into playing on lazy Sunday mornings after a large breakfast. It was becoming a routine that spoke of the family that Hotch was creating with him and Jack.

Pipe Cleaner didn’t make an appearance for the first few hours. It was disappoint as the whole night was because of him. Spencer had shown up late with excuses about getting lost in a book. Hotch had watched the way that Pipe Cleaner played the game. There were certain areas he hid on certain maps. Hotch was sure that the rest of the team was used to looking for him in those areas but Hotch had noticed that there was one area on Complex that Hotch had noticed that Pipe Cleaner hid in that he was sure no one else had noticed. It was near a spot that Hotch used to hide when playing Flood on Complex.

The head shot that took him out in Regicide surprised him. He hadn’t seen a single soul in the area he was in. He’d been looking around for those hiding and trying to pick off people. When he respawned, he went right back to the area from the other side and watched as Spencer took a shot from a hiding spot, Pipe Cleaner’s hiding spot.

Hotch ended up watching Spencer’s screen more than he played the game over the rest of the evening. Spencer wasn’t playing as bad as Hotch would have thought he had. There was something off about the way he was playing though. He was holding back.

Game night ended near midnight and the team scattered. Hotch and Spencer was the last to leave David’s house. Hotch was putting his coat on when he overheard David and Spencer talking.

“Not bad for a pipe cleaner with eyes, eh?” Spencer asked David in a whisper as he passed through the doorway.

Hotch didn’t react to the words but he knew that he had heard the words before. It was years before on the case involving Francis Goehring. David had remarked on the name that one of the militia men had called Spencer. Tonight Spencer had logged in as a guest on David’s account. That was understandable if Hotch’s suspicion about Spencer being AgentPipeClner was correct.

XxXxXxX

It came to head months later when a new recruit to one of the other BAU teams was trash talking AgentPipeClner one night in the bullpen. Most of the other members of the BAU were gone for the night but Hotch’s team had just arrived back after a case.

“It’s disrespectful of him or her to hide whoever they are,” the agent said loudly to another member of his team. “Obviously it’s an analyst; no one else has enough time to dedicate to a game like that.”

“Who are you talking about?” Morgan had asked as he dropped his bag on his desk. David stopped on his way to his office and it was then that the agent figured out that he had everyone who was left in the bullpen’s full attention.

“AgentPipeClner was on last night and single handedly wiped the floor with an entire team in Big Team Slayer.”

Hotch looked at Spencer. They had been in New York last night. There was no way that AgentPipeClner was Spencer then. The smirk though on Spencer’s face and on David’s told him different. He remembered that the two of them had snuck away last night for two hours but it was after the case was closed. Today had been spent tying up loose ends.

“What’s wrong, Agent Marks? Afraid of an analyst?” David asked.

“No, I hate cowards who hide away.”

“When’s the next game night?” Morgan turned to Garcia as she entered the room.

“Friday.”

XxXxXxX

“Fuck this,” Spencer said, throwing down his controller. Every single member of the team turned to look at him. He muttered as he moved to his messenger bag and pulled out a lime green controller. Hotch wasn’t sure what shocked them more, Spencer cussing or the green controller.

“Spence?” JJ asked, looking at the controller in shock.

“I wanna log out.” Spencer said. He moved away from where he had been sitting, playing on the console with David and Morgan to sitting beside Hotch. It was a rare showing of affection when he leaned into Hotch’s leg. Morgan grabbed up his controller and logged him off, turning off the controller as well. “Which one is Marks?”

Hotch watched as Morgan put them back into the loading screen as Spencer switched consoles to the one Hotch was playing on. Seaver and Prentiss were playing with them as well, making their eight person team full. He wasn’t sure what Spencer was fed up with.

There was dead silence as Spencer logged into an account that was already on the console but had been hidden and then as David sent him a party invite. The name popped up on the screen, AgentPipeClner. Two seconds later, Marks’ voice called out over the speakers.

“There you are. Joined in with Hotch’s BAU team huh? Bet you Morgan loves that. Come and get me, Pipe Cleaner. See if they protect you.”

Spencer slipped on a mic that he pulled from the messenger bag, also lime green. He plugged in the port and smiled. “Oh, it’s on Marks. Have fun dying.”

The room was silent all around. Spencer turned to look at them. He blushed and shrugged his shoulders.

“What the hell?” was all that Morgan asked as the game loaded.

Spencer didn’t answer. He started a hunt. Seven minutes into the game and it was figured out that Spencer wasn’t holding back anymore. He was playing with a ruthlessness that Hotch had never seen in him before. He now knew what had set him off. Marks had been trash talking that AgentPipeClner was too scared to play with the big boys. The rest of the team tried to help as much as possible but it was apparent that he didn’t need it.

As the game progressed and Mark’s team died more and more, Marks shut up. He was dead silent when the game ended and it showed that he had been killed 49 times, all 49 by AgentPipeClner. The team won by a landslide.

“And by the way, Agent Marks. Analysts are not the only ones that have the time to play games. Given that I can read a book in minutes and a case file in seconds, it should be apparent that I can easily figure out the mechanics of this game enough to wipe the floor with your ass. Just remember that I can remember every single word you have spoke about me and how I play the game. The only thing that could have made this better was if I was woman.”

A new voice piped in over the speakers. “Doctor Reid?”

“Who else would be playing with Morgan and Hotch? I am sure you remember the prank war that Morgan and I got into Anderson. Why don’t you explain it to Agent Marks?” Spencer answered. Anderson’s laugh was heard loudly on both TVs.

Marks and his whole team were silent. Seconds later, all were logged off the server. Spencer logged himself off seconds later, dropping his head back to rest on the couch behind him, in-between JJ and Hotch’s legs. JJ shut down their console and Morgan followed seconds later with his.

“Spence?” JJ asked, leaning down. She ruffled his hair and looked him in the eye. She gave her a shy smile.

“Rossi bought me a console and a small collection of games after I was shot in the leg. Something to keep my mind active he said while I was laid up, so I didn’t go nuts. I took to the Halo games pretty well. I started to play in the agency games about a year back but didn’t really try and call attention to myself. Then a few of the SWAT members started to piss me off and from there it was no holds barred. Rossi knew who I was from the start.”

“Pipe cleaner?” Morgan asked.

“It was the case with Francis Goehring. One of the militia men called me a pipe cleaner with eyes. I thought it was funny and only Rossi and maybe Hotch would recognize me.”

Eyes turned to Hotch next.

“You knew?” Garcia asked.

“Not for a while. When Reid joined us the first time, I noticed he was using a few of Pipe Cleaner’s more hidden spots but it wasn’t until later that night when I overheard him and Rossi talking that I put two and two together. I’ve only even seen him play Minecraft with Jack on the console I have at home. Of course, I don’t own a game like this.”

“You’ve been holding out on us, Boy Wonder,” Garcia said as she smiled.

“We could have so been using you to take out the SWAT guys for a long time. Do you play SWAT well?”

Spencer just giggled. Hotch settled a hand on his head. He was tired. Spencer only giggled like that when he was tired. Hotch needed to get him into a bed soon or things would be said that the genius didn’t want said aloud with the company they were in.

“I think that’s my cue to get him home.”

Hotch knew that it wasn’t over. Morgan and Garcia would get the whole story out of him one way or another. Hotch would let it rest unless Spencer brought it up. Hotch was okay with not knowing everything about what Spencer did in his free time at home. It left a little mystery in their relationship.

The End

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