Jack Meets Spencer

Title: Jack Meets Spencer
Series: The Long Journey
Fandom: Criminal Minds, Sentinel
Year: 2014
Category: Pre-Slash,
Ratings: Adult
Pairings: Hotch/Reid, Morgan/Garcia,
Spoilers: All?
Summary: Everyone called it the Reid Effect. Animals and kids just seemed to not like the young Guide but Hotch is surprised by how quickly Jack takes to Reid.
Notes: 5,702
Warnings: Violence on par with the show

Series Page

The cookout was something that Hotch hadn’t planned. It had started off with Rossi coming over to enjoy a night with Hotch and Jack, as old friends and colleagues liked to do. Garcia and Morgan had overheard it and it spiraled out from there. Now it was a ‘Welcome Reid to the Team’ cookout and Hotch was worried about it.

Reid had been on the team for a little over a month and while he was adjusting well to being on the team, there was a wariness in him for Prentiss and even Hotch. Rossi had been the first to notice it. Reid took papers and such from every single member on the team except for Prentiss and Hotch. It was something odd but it hadn’t taken long for Hotch to figure out why. Reid wore long sleeves year around. Thinking back to all the times he had seen the fellow agent in in the Quantico building, he knew it to be true. He almost always wore collared shirts year around and sometimes turtle necks in winter. He was covering up as much skin as he could.

Hotch had gotten the hands off vibe from him more than once. Reid entered a room and looked around no matter what he was in the room for. He was cataloguing all Sentinels and Guides in the room and Hotch was sure that the young Guide wasn’t even aware that he was doing it. Hotch has bristled at first but Reid had come to him, given himself up, shown the BAU what he could do when he could have just phoned in a tip after tip till finally the BAU listened. He could have called the Consortium. There were a million other ways he could have done it. Reid trusted him as a Sentinel.

Reid had shown him within minutes of meeting him the worst part of his life, his addiction to a drug. That meant that the young Guide trusted him. He just didn’t want to risk bonding. Working with him over the past month, Hotch had noticed that it was all unbonded Sentinels. Even children. Reid could find a latent Guide or Sentinel just by standing in the room with them. Even Hotch couldn’t do that.

Still Hotch worried for the newest member of his team. There was only so long he could live like that. He needed to find someone; he needed to find his Sentinel.

The doorbell ringing had Hotch looking around. He’d been lost in his thoughts for so long he wasn’t even sure who had arrived. He found all of the team there except for Reid. Everyone else on the team would have just come in through the front gate that led to the backyard; Hotch mentally chided himself for not telling the Guide to do so. Hotch looked around and spotted his nine year old, Jack.

“Wanna go answer the door?” Hotch asked. Jack looked up from where he was seated next between Garcia and Morgan.

Jack took off like a rocket and was in the back door just seconds after Hotch asked him. Two minutes later, Jack came back leading Reid with the strap of his messenger bag. Reid’s hands were up out of the way of Jack being able to touch.

“Dad!” Jack drug Reid over. Hotch was a little worried for the reserved Guide except that he was smiling down at the boy. He was holding Reid’s badge and offered it to his father. “His name is Doctor Spencer Reid and he showed me his badge.”

“Your son was very thorough. I showed him my badge through the glass before he even opened the door.” Reid’s face was relaxed in a way that Hotch hadn’t seen much since the Guide had started with the BAU. “I introduced myself as soon as he opened the door.”

Jack handed the badge over to his father before he looped a hand through Reid’s messenger bag. Reid looked unsure and didn’t lower his hands at all.

“Jack, why don’t you go get Reid…”

“Doctor Reid,” Jack corrected.

“Doctor Reid a bottle of water from the fridge in the kitchen.” Hotch smiled at his son and ruffled his hair as the boy let go of the bag and nodded before taking off. As soon as Jack was inside the house, Hotch looked at Reid. “Sorry, he usually doesn’t take to strangers well.”

“It’s fine. I’m just not used to it. My old team called it the ‘Reid Effect’ children and animals don’t really like me.” Reid set down his bag beside the chair next to the grill where Hotch was working on getting the food cooked. He looked around at the others who were huddled around the table, talking. “Surprised the table isn’t closer.”

“Jack was over with them and the smell of the smoke was getting to him so I moved the grill over. I’ll have time to visit after food’s done.”

“Smell his worst trigger?” Reid asked as he finally sat down in the chair. His hands made it into his lap and his legs were crossed at the knees. It was a position that he preferred to sit in whenever there was an unbonded Sentinel around.

“Here you go, Doctor Reid.” Jack set the bottle down in the cup holder on the chair and took a step back, waiting for Reid to pick up the drink. Hotch was shocked when Reid smiled at the boy before picking up the water. He saluted the boy with the bottle before he took a drink. Jack giggled and ran back to the rest the team.

“Jack’s never taken to someone so quick.” Hotch really was surprised.

“He’s well shielded for a young Sentinel who is online.” Reid shifted in his seat but his hands stayed in his lap. Hotch’s heart ached for him. A Guide who felt the need for a bond but didn’t want a bond with just anyone. He wanted to find someone who he liked just for the person that he or she is not the Sentinel. The lonely life he’d had up until that point.

“I came online early in life as well. I just took what I learned a child and adapted it for him.”

“It’s good that he has you and his aunt.”

Laughter from the table took Hotch’s attention to the rest of his team. He didn’t see Jack at the table but didn’t pay any attention to it. He could hear his son’s heartbeat. He was near. He watched as Prentiss threw her head back as Morgan talked. The entire time was happy.

A spike in a heartbeat had Hotch turning to look at Reid, finding the younger man not where he was just seconds before. Hotch turned again to see Reid running at the play set fifteen feet away. Hotch saw his son leaning backwards over the railing, tipping way too far back. Hotch was frozen as he watched Jack tip himself backwards over the railing. He was stuck as he watched Jack fall.

Hotch blinked and it allowed him to move. He took three steps but there Reid was, underneath Jack, catching him in his arms before he got even close to the ground. The squeal from Jack was heard all over the backyard. The gasp that Reid let out was soft but Hotch heard it. Seven more steps had Hotch there, taking Jack from Reid, taking the precaution to make sure he didn’t touch the Guide. He looked into Reid’s eyes hoping to let the man know how thankful he was but all he saw was that Reid was looking down. Hotch looked down too. Reid had a hold of Jack by his neck; the skin of Jack’s neck was touching the bare skin of Reid’s wrist.

“Dad, I fell and Doctor Reid caught me.”

“I know, son. I’ve told you not to do that.” Hotch’s heart was in his throat.

The rest of the team’s footfalls converged on them. Reid finished passing off Jack and stood up to place distance between him and the team. He moved behind Hotch. Hotch set down Jack on his feet and pulled him into a small hug. Jack pushed out of the hug after a few seconds.

“Dad! I wanna play.”

“Stay off the play set for the rest of the evening, eh buddy?” Hotch asked as he let go of Jack. Hotch turned to look at Reid and found the young Guide staring off into space at a spot just to the left of Hotch. There was such sadness in Reid’s face that Hotch’s heart almost broke for the young man. He didn’t know what had put it there.

Rossi reached out a hand to help Hotch stand up, knowing that Hotch didn’t need it but giving him an excuse for why he had stayed crouched. Hotch stood with the help but didn’t take his eyes off of Reid. Finally the man turned to look at Hotch. The Guide’s eyes widened for a second before he moved back to his chair. He sat down and grabbed the bottle of water and drained the entire thing. There was something more going on there and he needed to know what it was.

“What happened?” Rossi asked as the rest of the team wandered off with Morgan’s prompting. Morgan was looking at Reid with suspicious but knowing eyes. Hotch didn’t like the look. Morgan was profiling him. It was impossible not to profile members on the team but it usually wasn’t done so openly.

“I heard a heartbeat spike. It was Reid. He saw what Jack was doing and raced off to catch him before he fell. I was stuck, I just froze. Rossi, Reid touched him. His hand connected with the back of Jack’s neck.”

“The look on his face was shock. Guides and Sentinels bond with a touch.” Rossi left the rest of the sentence unsaid.

“Jack didn’t bond with him,” Hotch kept his voice low. Jack was over with Morgan and Garcia, talking to them. Reid was still sitting in the chair. “I would have felt that.”

“Then what shocked him so much?” Rossi was staring at Reid much like Hotch was but the Guide wasn’t looking up. He was staring at the label on the water bottle.

“I don’t know.” Hotch moved back to the grill to hopefully save the food cooking.

Waving JJ out of the house, Hotch shut the door. The party had moved inside when the sun had started to set. Jack was upstairs in bed. JJ had left so that she could put Henry to bed. Prentiss had left an hour before. Morgan, Garcia, Rossi, and Reid were the only ones left. Reid had been sitting in the same chair for over an hour and Hotch knew why. Ever since Reid had touched Jack, he’d been drinking. Rossi had stuck close and had helped Reid with whatever the young man wanted, including getting him drinks. Halving the alcohol each time a drink was fetched for the young man. Still the young man was drunk. Hotch didn’t like it.

“Want me and Garcia to take the kid home?” Morgan asked as Hotch entered the kitchen. Garcia was in the living room listening to Reid talk about various serial killers and the crazy things done to catch them.

“No. I’ll feel safer with him here.” It was the truth. It was also the reason that Morgan wanted to drop him off. Sentinels protected Guides, whether the Guide was theirs or not.

“Listen, I don’t know what kind of truth there is to this story but my family has had a Sentinel or a Guide in every single generation going back fifteen generations. It was said that one of my great grandfathers was a pretty powerful Guide. He left a journal of sorts and it took years to figure out what it was. It was a list of names followed by the name of a spirit animal that each name had. It was every single Sentinel he had encountered in his life and their spirit animal. What was the odd thing was that is listed a second spirit animal. And then in a different time a name was added to that spirit animal. He hated to touch Sentinels.”

“I don’t understand.” Hotch was at a loss for words.

“He knew when he touched Sentinels who that Sentinel was going to bond with. Every time he touched a Sentinel he saw another Sentinel he wasn’t going to bond with but felt the happiness of someone else.”

“Are you saying…?” Hotch looked out to Reid.

“That explains it better than he just doesn’t want to bond. Don’t get me wrong, I understand where the kid is coming from. Penny was upset at thinking who she could have bonded with. The reaction he is having now also explains it.”

“He saw who Jack was going to bond with.”

“He’s been watching the kid like a hawk since then. I know what my spirit animal is. I know what yours is. Do you know if…”

“He was playing with it the day of Haley’s funeral. He said it was a polar bear.”

“Reid was sketching a bear and a fox earlier in one of his notebooks from his bag. It was full of pairs of animals. It’s what made me think of it. Some of the pairs had two names, some only had one. The bear had Jack wrote above it.”

“Thanks, Morgan.”

Morgan nodded and wandered in to collect his Guide. The two of them left within minutes. It was down to Rossi and Reid left.

“I’ve got to go. I have book related things I need to do in the morning,” Rossi said as he stood up. Reid tried to stand but ended up back in the chair.

“Reid, I’ve got a spare room. Why don’t you crash here?”

Reid looked up at him and then looked at Rossi. There was an uneasiness there.

“I’ll take you home if you wish.” Rossi could read the situation as well as he could. Hotch would never force the Guide to stay if he didn’t want to.

“No.” Reid closed his eyes and leaned his head back in the chair. “I’ll stay here.”

“Good night.” Rossi left with little fanfare.

Hotch moved into the living room and picked up the notebook sitting on the coffee table. He found what he was looking for on the last page with drawings on it. He found the polar bear easily on the page and the arctic fox next to it was nameless. He flipped through and found that there were nearly a hundred sets of animals inside the book. There were more pairs with two names than just one. On the page with Jack was a small collection of pairs with only one name. There were two animals that were alone. One had the name Aaron while the second had the name Emily. He didn’t know how Reid knew what each of their spirit animals were. Hotch flipped to the first page and looked at every single animal. None had the name Spencer.

“Having fun?”

Hotch looked up and found Reid staring at him through half lidded eyes. Hotch wanted to drop the notebook but he didn’t. He closed it and set it down. Opening his mouth he shut it. Reid left it where anyone could grab it. He wanted someone to find it.

“I heard Morgan in there. I never knew there were others like me out there.” The simple admission was shocking. No trying to hide, to back pedal and explain what Hotch was holding in his hands.

“You’re sounding better. More alert.” Of course, Reid had heard them in there. Reid wasn’t as drunk as he was letting them think.

“I have a high tolerance for alcohol despite my size. It numbs the feelings of ache in my heart and soul.”

“I can feel the dichotomy in your issue. The want to help, to know that you could be what leads a Sentinel to their Guide but at the same time knowing that each one you touch isn’t your own.”

“I could have been Johnson with a small push.”

“Reid,” Hotch scooted down to end of the couch closer to the chair that Reid was in. Spencer’s hand was resting on the armrest of the couch. Hotch reached out his hand and while Reid flinched; he didn’t pull his hand back. Hotch let his hand rest an inch above Reid’s. All he had to do was reach out and touch him. He would know what his Guide looked like and what the spirit animal of the Guide was. The ache in his heart and soul magnified to where he almost did it but at the last second he looked up and saw that Reid was looking at the hands but the look in his eye was scared. He had trust in his eyes. He trusted that Hotch wouldn’t do it. Hotch pulled his hand back and Reid let out a breath that Hotch hadn’t been aware that he was holding.

“Why don’t we turn in? Jack likes to get up early and I promised him blueberry pancakes.”

“I’ll sleep here on the couch.”

“I told you that I have a guest room.” Hotch stood up and looked down at Reid. Reid just rolled his head so that he was looking up at Hotch.

“A blanket and a pillow and I’ll be fine.”

“My couch is kind of short and you’re kind of tall.”

“Stop motherhenning, Hotch. I’ll be fine. I just need to sleep this off.”

Hotch moved away from the couch and Reid shifted over to it. He placed his notebook in his bag and settled onto the couch. Hotch moved to the hall closet and pulled out an extra blanket and a pillow. He set them on the end of the couch that Reid was sitting at. Once Hotch had pulled his hands back, Reid leaned over and grabbed the blanket. He spread the blanket out and settled under it, placing the pillow under his head. He rolled with his back to Hotch.

Taking it as a dismissal, Hotch started to close up the house and make sure it was locked and alarm set before he turned in. He checked on Jack and found him dead asleep. The sound of Reid’s heartbeat slowed and he was shocked at the speed in which the Guide was going to sleep. It showed the level of trust that he had gained over the month that Reid had been with the team. To sleep in a house with an unbonded Sentinel and trust that he was safe had to be hard.

Settling down in his own bed, Hotch let the sound of the beating hearts of his son and Reid lure him into sleep.

XxXxXxX

The sound of hushed talking is what woke Hotch up. He rolled over in bed to listen in on the conversation. It was coming from the living room. Reid and Jack were talking in low tones.

“I’m sorry, Doctor Reid.”

“Spencer, Jack. You can call me Spencer.” Reid’s voice was calm. He sounded like he had been awake for a while. Hotch looked at the time. It was near eight in the morning. He’d been expecting Jack to wake him up an hour ago. Changing into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, Hotch left his bedroom. Moving down the hall as silently as he could, he stopped when he got a clear line of sight into the living room. Jack was in Reid’s lap, the notebook from last night was open in Jack’s lap.

“Spencer, that’s my name. What kind of animal is that?” Jack’s voice was soft like he was scared of waking his father. Jack was rarely ever so quiet in the early morning. Hotch was used to being woken up by the boy getting into bed with him and jumping to wake him up. He kind of missed his normal wake up.

“That’s a polar bear. See the one there with the name Emily, that’s a wolf.”

“Daddy has a falcon,” Jack said, giddiness in his voice.

“Yes, a peregrine falcon…” Hotch let the sound of Reid’s voice describing the falcon for what it was in the hierarchy of the animal kingdom distract him for several minutes. Taking a step back so that he wasn’t visible, he just listened to his son and the young Guide bond.

“Blueberry pancakes are in the kitchen, Hotch.” Reid’s voice pulled him out of his musing and he took a few steps to where he was visible from the living room where the two were sitting at.

Jack was looking at him with a smile on his face.

“Spencer was awake when I woke up and I thought it was you. He told me that you needed sleep and it was best to let you sleep in.”

“That was very nice of Spencer to do,” Hotch said using Reid’s given name since it was what his son was using. “Were you good for him?”

“Jack was the perfect helper. He mixed up the pancakes while I squeezed out the orange juice.”

“It was yummy, Dad.” Jack jumped off the couch and ran into the kitchen. Hotch followed, listening for Reid’s footsteps as the Guide followed them in. Reid moved pasted him to the stove where he pulled a towel off a stack of pancakes. He set the plate down in front of Hotch at the small island, as well as a glass of juice from the fridge. Jack ran around and grabbed a fork and a knife as well as the butter from the table and the bottle of syrup.

“Why don’t you tell me all about your morning?” Hotch asked. He motioned for Reid and Jack to sit down with him. He listened to Jack telling him everything he’d done since he woke up. Reid filled in spots where the little boy stumbled over a word but Hotch found the dialogue soothing to listen to. Jack hadn’t been this happy about a simple morning since Haley had died. It was nice.

XxXxXxX

“I’ll watch him,” Reid offers as he stuck a file into his bag. Reid’s was the last team meeting of the day to go over reports and Hotch was happy for it. Reid looked back up at Hotch and gave him a rare smile. “I’ve finished all my reports and I have no plans this evening. Jack is comfortable around me.”

Hotch knew what the Guide meant. Jack had taken to Reid better than anyone else the little boy had ever met. He figured it was the Guide in Reid that made Jack like him but he wasn’t going to push the issue with the Guide. Jack was happy around him and Reid didn’t treat him like a kid, more like a young adult, which Jack loved.

“Reid, you don’t have to. I can find someone else,” Hotch said as he closed the report on his desk. There were thirteen more for him to go through. He wasn’t going to get home until close to Jack’s bedtime.

“Hotch, you’ve admitted that Jack is having sensory spikes. Your house is your domain and the others that could watch him are human. They won’t know how to deal with him. I do. Jack feels safer there than anywhere else. It smells of you. JJ, Will, and Rossi are the only humans you allow on property.”

“I know all of this.” Hotch gave Reid is full attention.

“Miss Brooks has prior obligations. You have cases and paperwork and a late meeting. I can relax at your house as easy as my own. Who else is going watch him?” The look on the Guide’s face told Hotch that he knew he had won.

Hotch was at a loss for words. Jessica was about the only caregiver that Hotch trusted with Jack. He relied on her a lot but she let him. She wanted to see her nephew as much as she could as he was the only living part of Haley left. The look on Reid’s face told him that the Guide knew that Hotch had no other choice. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Reid with Jack, the young boy adored him. It was that he was less inclined to trust that the Guide wasn’t doing it just because Hotch was his boss. The instinct to please a Sentinel, even if it’s not his own.

“Fine. I’ll call Jessica and let her know to expect you. I’ll have Garcia send the coordinates to your GPS.”

“Okay, Hotch.” Reid gave him another of his rare smiles and moved out of the room. Hotch watched him as he gathered up his things for the day. He didn’t know where the sudden offer to watch Jack came from, other than overhearing that Jessica had plans that evening and Hotch’s day got lengthened without his knowledge at such short notice but if Jack had fun, he was happy to have another babysitter. Of course the times when Hotch really needed one, Reid would most likely be with him but at least when they were at home he was a good choice.

XxXxXxX

Hotch should have seen it. He should have known. Jack was his kid; he should have been feeling the bond between the two of them as it changed. Jack was lying on Reid who was lying on the couch; both of them were dead asleep. With Reid asleep, it was easy to feel the bond, the Guide’s shield was thin enough. Reid was trying to hide the bond.

Jealousy flared up in Hotch’s heart and mind but he stomped that down. Jack had no Guide in his life. The help he got from Jessica was enough to keep him sane but that was it. That Jack had started to form a bond with Reid of all people shocked him but what shocked him more what that Reid was allowing the bond.

A parental bond was rare outside of actual family. Especially someone who had only known the kid a few months. The bond wouldn’t have formed without Reid knowing. A yip of a fox had Hotch turned to look at the open area of the living room. Hotch was surprised. It wasn’t an arctic fox like the match for his son. This was a red fox, easily thirty pounds and a large size for the breed. Hotch wanted to know what Sentinel had that animal as a spirit animal was doing in his house? He watched the fox run around the coffee table and then after a few seconds stop and turn towards an area where seconds before there was nothing but now there was a baby polar bear. The polar bear pounced on the fox and the two of them rolled around on the floor. The fox was full grown so it had to belong to an adult Sentinel. No one he knew had a spirit animal of a fox. The polar bear was still larger than the fox.

“They like each other don’t they?” Jack whispered. Hotch almost jumped at the noise. His gaze turned to where the two were on the couch. Neither of them had noticed him yet.

“Yes.” Reid’s answer was just as soft. Hotch heard rustling. He glanced up and saw Reid looked right at him. Reid whistled low and the fox came running over him. As soon as the fox touched Reid’s out stretched hand, it disappeared. Jack giggled and held his own hand out. The polar bear moved at a slower pace and rubbed against Jack’s hand for a second before disappearing. “Hey, little man, what do you hear?”

Jack sat up, planting his butt on Reid’s stomach. The Guide exhaled as Jack landed on him but there was a playful smile on his face. His hands went to Jack’s thighs to hold him steady. Jack closed his eyes. Hotch watched him still and he was surprised when Jack turned his head to look directly at him. A smile breaking out over his face.

“Dad!” Jack jumped off Reid and barreled to his father. Hotch picked him up and let Jack wrap his arms around him. “I had fun with Spencer tonight. He taught me how to interact with my spirit animal.”

“I saw that. I’m glad you had fun. Have you guys had dinner yet?” Hotch was hungry but he hadn’t wanted to stop and eat if Jack and Reid hadn’t eaten.

“Reid cooked Mexican for dinner. He left a plate for you in the oven.” Hotch nodded. That was what he smelled.

“I’ll go warm it up.”

“No,” Hotch said but Reid didn’t stop his motion into the kitchen area. Hotch followed him. He could smell the spices from dinner and he wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to eat it. He had issues with Mexican food and the spices in it both with his smell and his taste. “I’ll heat up a soup or something.”

“No, it’ll be fine. Jack and I fixed it together.” Reid opened the oven and pulled out the plate. Hotch braced himself for the smell of the food. The air filtration on the house was perfect. It was Sentinel friendly as it had to be for both Jack and Hotch to live there. The smell of the food hit Hotch’s nose just seconds later but he took a shallow breath and it didn’t cause a problem. He looked up into Reid’s eyes and found pain there. Reid replaced the food in the oven and set the temperature and the timer before he moved to the living room to grab his bag. Hotch sat Jack down on one of the chairs on the island.

“Jack. Stay.”

“Yes, Dad.” Jack nodded and turned around on the chair to start to look at the magazine on the counter. It was one of a few that Hotch had subscribed to for Jack.

Hotch barely beat Reid to the door. He kicked himself for what he had done. Reid had come over and watched Jack when he didn’t have to. He’d made sure his kid was safe and fed and had a good time and he had mistrusted Reid. Reid tried to move around him but Hotch grabbed the strap on the messenger bag and Reid stopped moving.

“I’m fine, Hotch. I just don’t want to discuss this in front of Jack.”

“We can go to my office. He’s trained himself not to go past the white noise generator in there. Please. I know that if I let you go, this will get forgotten. You’ll dig your heels in and it won’t get resolved.” Hotch stared at the younger man for a few seconds before Reid finally looked up at him, nodding. Hotch let go of the strap, almost surprised when Reid didn’t try to go ahead out the door. Reid knew where the office was so Hotch waited for him to make the first move before he trailed after him.

The evening has started out so well. Work hadn’t been hard, just long and coming home and finding Jack asleep on Reid like that had been a picture perfect moment. He’d messed it up horribly and he wasn’t sure how to fix it.

“Reid,” Hotch started but stopped at the look from the younger man.

“Hotch, I’m a Guide. While I haven’t been online as long as you have, I know what a Sentinel needs, even if I’ve never bonded with one. I know that Mexican food is a trigger for you. Just passing by a Mexican restaurant can trigger a zone out. I’ve been on the team long enough for that. Chinese is only moderately better and I think that’s because you forced yourself to not zone out on it because you like it so well.”

“I know, Reid. I’m sorry; I’m just used to being around humans. It took Haley a long time to learn the things that trigger zone outs in me.” Hotch tried to reach out and touched Reid’s shoulder but the Guide wasn’t having any of it. He stepped out of Hotch’s reach.

“I’m not a human, Hotch, nor am I your ex-wife; I am an Omega level Guide.” Reid stared up at him with fire in his eyes. “Jack wanted to wait for you to take a bath so that’s all he needs before he goes to bed. I’ll see you Monday at work.” Reid brushed past him, opening the door and shutting it as he went out it.

Hotch was left standing in the middle of his office, unsure of what he had truly done. He knew that he had messed up but he hadn’t thought it had been that bad.

XxXxXxX

Hotch found Reid on Monday morning sitting at his desk, head buried in a case folder. He knew that the Guide had heard him come up, his body had stiffened. Hotch set the cup of coffee on the desk, keeping his hand far away from Reid’s. It was his peace offering.

“Thanks, Hotch.” Reid didn’t even look up from his papers. He did reach out and take a drink of the coffee.

“I am sorry.” Hotch said as he leaned closer so that hopefully no one else would hear in the BAU.

“I know.” Reid finally looked up at him and smiled at him. Hotch smiled back and clasped him on the shoulder. Reid let the action ride. He stayed still and let Hotch touch him as long as the Sentinel wanted. Hotch was happy about the gesture. He kept his fingers away from the collar of the shirt. There was no chance that his skin would touch Reid’s.

“We have a case, JJ called me.”

“I’ll be up in a few minutes.” Reid called as Hotch moved away from him. Hotch settled into the conference room and waited for the team to assemble. He’d get to the bottom on what made Spencer Reid tick, even if it took all that was in him. He had time.
The End

Next Part: Taken

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