Title: Finding Out
Series: Fic A Week Challenge
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 8
Spoilers: up through 8
Summary: The five times that the team found out about Hotch and Reid and the time that Hotch and Reid found out they knew.
Notes: The relationships with Maeve or Beth never happened.
Derek knew that Reid had someone in his life. He’d talked to him about it. Reid kept it to himself and Derek let him have it. He trusted that Reid knew when a relationship stopped becoming secret and became toxic. Reid had raised himself and taken care of a sick mother since he was ten, he wasn’t a child that needed looked out for.
Seeing Spencer out in a bar, dressed nowhere near what he usually dressed like was a sight to see. The jeans were something that Derek was sure that Reid didn’t even own. The black silk shirt was another item that he knew he had never seen in Reid’s wardrobe before. Moving to a dark corner, Derek watched Reid as he settled in at the bar. There was no sight of anyone else. Settling back with his beer, he watched.
Reid sat at the bar nursing a drink but watching everyone around him. Half an hour later a group of two girls and a guy entered the bar. The look of pure happiness on Reid’s face was astounding. He drained the drink and then was hugging all three of them at once.
Derek watched as the three newcomers led Reid out onto the dance floor and proceeded to set up a four way dance. He watched as Reid completely changed everything he thought he knew about the younger man in less than five minutes. Reid danced seductively with each one of them in turn. There was no way that Derek could look away. Kisses were traded back and forth between all four of them and Derek thought that this was why Pretty Boy had never wanted to bring up the relationship. No one on the team would ever think a bad word about Reid even if he was in a relationship with three other people.
Then a fifth entered into the group. He stepped up behind Reid, blocking Derek’s view of his teammate. The man was dressed in black jeans and lilac purple silk shirt. He did little more than stand there but Derek could tell by the hands around his neck that Reid had turned around to face him.
The song changed to a slow, seductive beat and Reid and the new man were wholly invested in each other. The two women were dancing with the man. It was entrancing, watching the three of them sway to the music. It wasn’t until Reid and his man turned that Derek finally understood.
The three were a couple that while were open with affection for Reid, didn’t touch the man with him. Once the new man had arrived, the three turned in on themselves, not in the feeling of being left out but in that Reid wasn’t theirs. The look of love on Reid’s face told Derek everything he needed to know about the man he was dancing with.
Derek also understood why Reid kept it a secret.
Hotch shifted his grip and lifted Reid up so the younger man could wrap his legs around him. Reid turned his head, waved goodbye to the trio and then the couple was gone. The trio waved back and the girls were giggling. The man though saw Derek watching and leveled a glare at him before moving over towards him. Derek reacted by grabbing his credentials. He didn’t show them, he just waited.
“Do we have a problem?” the man asked.
“You’ve been staring at us all night, since we arrived. So what’s the issue?”
“It’s the man you were with. I know him. I was worried at first.” Morgan wasn’t going to lie.
“Then I guess we do have a problem. If you know him then you know…”
“Hotch.” Derek flipped open his badge. The man looked at it and smiled.
“Well, well. You and I need to do some more talking, Chocolate God.” He handed over a business card. Greg Lerandis. He’d never heard Reid mention him but it seemed there were a few parts of his life that he did keep a secret. The name was one of the many that Garcia had for him so Reid talked to this Greg a lot it seemed. “Let’s get together some weekend the girls are out shopping and we can discuss Spencer and his life. But make issues for him and …”
“No threat necessary. I would never do anything to harm him.” Derek meant that. He was happy with Hotch and the relationship seemed to be going well, if the exit the two men had was any indication. Derek saluted the man with his now empty beer bottle and got up to leave.
Alex considered herself a good profiler. She hadn’t spent as long at it as other on the team but she was good at what she did. She thought she knew the members of her team. She was at one of her favorite restaurants in the DC area. She didn’t go as much as she wanted but she liked going with her husband so going alone was like admitting defeat.
When she’d got up to go to the bathroom, the table beside her’s had been empty. When she got back, a pair of men was there. She didn’t look at them. She had no reason to. She could only see one of them well anyway. The layout of the restaurant was perfect for the idea that one was eating alone. That was part of the draw.
“Moscato, bottle,” a soft voice said and Alex stopped as she took a sip of her wine. She knew that voice. She resisted the urge to look across the divider. This wasn’t a place that friends came to eat together. It was a place of romance.
Spencer was on the other side of the wall with another man. It had to be a date. The waitress for them moved away from the table and another voice started speaking. She couldn’t hear what he was saying and she didn’t know the voice.
“A few glasses of wine are not going to get me drunk.” There was a tone in Spencer’s voice that she had never heard before. It was pure happiness tinged with laughter. The same kind of happiness she was sure was in her voice she talked to her husband. The other voice spoke again.
“Sleepover? Is that right? You think you are getting lucky tonight?” The soft murmur again and Spencer laughed.
Alex tried to think of what kind of man was attractive to Spencer. She knew that the looks wouldn’t matter. He wasn’t that kind of person. Intelligence was the main part but what else? Humor? Playful? Serious? She had no idea.
“No, we are not going to go home right now. You promised me a date and we going to have a date. After the case wrecked our last date, I told you I needed wooing.”
The laughter from the other man told her exactly who he was. She’d heard that laugh before, rarely but it had been heard before. A noise alerted her to the fact that one of them was moving.
“You need wooing?” Hotch said, his voice still low but he was close enough now that Alex could hear every word. “You’ll get wooing.”
Alex was thankful that she was done with her dinner. She did not want to hear the rest of their dinner conversation. It was too private.
Days off in wonderful weather were rare. JJ decided to take Henry to the park so that he could run off some energy while Will was at work. They had plans for him to meet up at their favorite family restaurant after he got off work.
Henry had made himself a friend. JJ watched as he played on and off with a boy a couple years older than him. After half an hour Henry came over.
“Mama, can I go onto the swings?”
“Of course.” JJ shifted around on the blanket to where she could watch him on the swings. The older boy ran over to him as soon as Henry sat down on one of the older kid swings. JJ was a little worried about that but the older boy just started to push him. She watched as Henry swung on the swing, never getting high enough to where he would hurt himself if he fell. There was something familiar about the boy with Henry. She shook it off; he probably played at the park often. She let her eyes wander in few second intervals to look at all the adults around her.
There was a group of mothers who kept looking over at the large tree that graced the north edge of the playground. JJ couldn’t see what they were looking at but whatever it was, it had them hot under the collar.
Back to Henry, she watched as the older boy stopped him on the swing and then took off running. He ran right over to where JJ couldn’t see. The mother’s all wore even worse expressions as the little boy ran over. When he came into view he had two bags of something with him. JJ didn’t like when he handed off one of the bags to Henry. She watched as her kid took the food and started to eat whatever it was. JJ stood up to move over to him.
As she neared, she would hear the conversation of the mother’s.
“I don’t see why they have to flaunt it.”
JJ looked over and all she could see was that two people were stretched out on a blanket. She couldn’t see their faces as the tree blocked most of it but she could tell that it was two men. One was sitting up, leaning on the tree while the other was between his legs, resting on his chest. There was a book propped in the hands of the sitting up man.
Ignoring them for the moment, JJ turned back to Henry. Now that she was closer, she knew the kid right off the bat. It was Jack Hotchner. She turned back to the pair at the tree. There was no way to get a good look at them unless she put herself in their line of sight except to go to the other side of the playground. But she could tell that Hotch was the one lying down on the other man. Trusting that Hotch and whoever he was with were watching Jack, she started to move.
Henry’s scream echoed around the playground and JJ almost took off at a run but then she heard the laughing. Her eyes roved all over as she spotted Jack chasing Henry around, their food nowhere in sight.
“I see Henry made a friend.” One of the other mother’s said as she stepped up to JJ. JJ remembered her from other times she’d brought Henry to the park. The neighbor brought Henry by a lot so Henry had friends.
“Yes, he did.”
“That’s Jack. He’s Aaron and Spencer’s.” The names sent a shock through her. Vanessa pointed over to where the couple was hiding behind the tree. “They’ve never been here at the same time before. Jack’s a wonderful kid, no matter what the other mother’s say.”
“I heard them talking. I wasn’t going to make a scene.” JJ tried to process the fact that the two men wrapped up on the other side of the tree were Hotch and Spence. “I just wanted a better line of sight of Henry.”
“Aaron and Spencer are good parents. I wouldn’t worry. It was the first time though that I’ve seen Jack share his snacks.”
JJ nodded and watched as Jack and Henry played. No matter what Vanessa said, Jack and Henry had to be at the playground at the same time before. There was no way otherwise that Hotch and Spence wouldn’t go looking for whoever had brought him unless they were used to the babysitter bringing him. The babysitter had never seen the team before so it wouldn’t be an issue if she had seen them together.
She watched and half an hour later, Spence’s voice was calling for Jack. Both he and Henry ran over and Henry hugged Spence while Hotch gathered up the blanket. Henry shook Hotch’s hand and then ran back to the playground. Jack slipped in between Hotch and Spencer, grabbing the hand closest to him on each adult. After a few steps, both men pulled their arm up and let Jack swing back and forth as they walked.
JJ laughed as she watched Henry watching them leave. Henry had never said a word. She’d let the little boy keep the secret, much like she was going to keep it now.
There was a time when Dave thought that no one on the team could really hide something from him. He knew about Haley and Aaron long before Aaron would even admit to himself. He never saw this coming.
Finding Aaron at a small vineyard was something that he never thought he would see. He knew that Aaron drank wine when eating out but rarely ever did at home. He was on his way over to talk to his friend when Aaron turned and smiled. Dave stopped in his tracks. He’d only ever seen that look when Aaron was smiling at Haley, back in the beginning of their relationship. Aaron wasn’t here alone. He had a date with him, someone that he was in love with. Dave side stepped so that he was hiding behind other guests and watched Aaron.
Aaron moved over to where there was a small table with local information. Given the state of his dress he wasn’t here for the tasting. He was dressed in his relaxing clothes, jeans and a long sleeve shirt. If he’d been here for the tasting, he’d be in slacks and at least a pullover.
“Aaron! Look,” Reid said as he moved into Dave’s line of sight. That startled him. He watched as Reid moved in close to Aaron, showing him something on a piece of paper. Aaron turned towards him, hand going to the small of his back. Aaron was here with Reid. How had the both of them hidden this from him? “Jack found it.”
That’s when Dave noticed Jack for the first time. He was at Reid’s side, smiling up at the two adults. Jack pulled on Reid’s sleeve and the younger man handed the paper over to Aaron and then picked up Jack. The three stood there, absorbed in whatever was on the paper.
Dave smiled and stepped back, meaning to leave. He didn’t want to interrupt what was obviously a small family getaway. He stopped at the front desk and found out that the family was staying at the B&B attached to the vineyard. He handed over cash and told the clerk to have dinner for the family paid for with that and that it needed to be anonymous. The clerk smiled and promised him no one would know.
Leaving a lot earlier than he planned, Dave headed home.
Penelope was usually the first to know anything. She was the one who saw all and Spencer was the one that knew all. They made a good team. What she wanted to know was how her Boy Genius and Hotch had hidden this from her for so long.
Standing outside the bookstore, Penelope watched as Hotch and Spencer shopped around the store. To anyone else, it wouldn’t have been anything big but she knew that there was no way that Spencer would ever let anyone stand that close to him, even a team member. What clenched it was when Hotch looked around to make sure that no one was near them, then his hand that had been on Spencer’s lower back, drifted down. Spencer didn’t react, other than to fully look at Hotch. Penelope wasn’t standing to where she could see his face but she was sure she knew what the look was.
The hand squeezed and then it was back up at his lower back. The smile on Hotch’s face was beautiful. Penelope had never seen him look that way at anyone other than Jack. The look of pure happiness and love.
Moving away, before either man could see her, she made plans. She finished her journey to her favorite coffee shop, finding Derek waiting on her. He knew something was up as soon as she saw him.
“Baby Girl?” Derek asked as he pulled her close to give her a hug.
“I…” She looked back at the bookstore in time to see Hotch and Spencer leave.
“Oh. You mean you didn’t know?” Derek asked as he pulled her into the shop. Thankfully the couple was going the other direction. “I figured you’d have been the first.”
“Have for a few months.”
“Derek Morgan! You’ve let me think all this time that my Boy Genius was alone?!” The slap to his arm came out of nowhere and he only laughed at her. This changed her plans. She was going to have her way.
Aaron and Spencer
Aaron leaned over and kissed Spencer before he opened his car door to get out. It was the last touch he’d have for a few hours. Spencer quickly exited the vehicle, squaring his shoulders and relaxing at the same time. The meal had been a surprise. Rossi had invited them over that night, saying it had been a while since there had been a team dinner. There had been no reason to turn it down other than he and Spencer had wanted a quiet evening at home. Jack was having a sleepover and so it was going to be a day of just relaxing.
Spencer rang the doorbell just as Aaron arrived on the porch. Based on the cars, everyone else was already there. Morgan opened the door, smiling as he did.
“No, you’re right, Hotch picked up Pretty Boy!” Morgan yelled back into the house as he stepped back to let them in.
Aaron was on alert. Team dinners usually meant that Rossi cooked but the lack of anything going on in the kitchen told him this was a more formal affair. Spencer noticed it at the same time, his body stiffening slightly. JJ handed them both a glass of wine and she and Morgan led the both of them out into the backyard. The table was set up for dinner. The food was catered. Aaron felt like he was the last to be let in on a secret but Spencer was shocked as well.
“Welcome!” Garcia kissed them both on the cheeks as soon as she got close enough. Spencer took a sip of his wine, his eyes widening as he did. His eyes went right to Aaron, who took a sip as well. It was the wine from the vineyard that they had visited two months before. The weekend that their bill for dinner had been paid for by another visitor. Aaron scanned until he found Dave who saluted him with a bottle of the wine. The smile on his face told him everything. It had been Dave who had bought their dinner that night.
“Hotch…” Spencer’s voice was shocked. Aaron followed his gaze to where he saw Greg Lerandis along with Mary and Amanda, his girlfriends. Greg was smiling at him, an arm wrapped around the shoulders of each of his girls. He saluted them with a glass of wine.
The whole team knew. Aaron swallowed past the lump in his throat. Not only did the whole team know but somehow Garcia had found Greg and Greg knew the plans that Aaron had, the plans for the items in his pocket. He’d taken to carrying it around with him, waiting for the moment. This was the perfect moment with their family with them.
Aaron turned Spencer to face him. There was shock all over his lover’s face. He’d come to the same conclusion as him. The entire team knew. The silence of the team told Aaron that Greg hadn’t been able to keep his mouth shut. Reaching down into his pocket, Aaron found the small velvet bag with the rings in it. The rings were traditional. Both were sized for their middle fingers.
Marriage had been discussed long ago. Aaron knew that if he really wanted it, at some point Spencer would marry him but Spencer was of the thought that a signed piece of paper didn’t tell them that they loved each other more.
Aaron wasn’t going to get down on one knee. Instead he pulled Spencer close, kissing him to a small cheer from Garcia, JJ, Amanda, and Mary. Spencer was starting to blush. He stared in Spencer’s eyes as he started to speak.
“So Greg told me that he was going to have the perfect idea for this but he never got around to telling me, I guess I found out why. Our friends have been talking behind our backs. So I guess I get to this now instead of later.”
“Aaron?” Spencer’s eyes widened and he looked down at the ring that Aaron slipped into his hand. It was the ring that Aaron had made for himself. There was no way to not see the ring was Spencer’s personality, much like the ring that Aaron had still in his hand was his own personality. “Aaron?”
“We don’t need a sign of our love but I like having something of me on you.” Aaron spoke the words low so that no one else could hear them. He slid the ring onto Spencer’s finger and it takes a few seconds for Spencer to stop looking at the ring to do it to him as well. The happiness in his lover’s eyes told him all he needed to know. He pulled Spencer close, listening as his friends, his family clapped and whistled. He knew he had only seconds for the women were going to descend on them with hugs and kisses. So he enjoyed the kisses while he could.