Title: Waking Up
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 9
Category: Trope Bingo, Handcuffed/Bound Together, Getting Back Together, Established Relationship,
Pairings: Hotch/Reid, past Hotch/Beth, past Reid/Maeve,
Spoilers: Season 9
Summary: Left alone in the woods and handcuffed together, Hotch and Reid have to work together to get out alive.
The sounds of birds and animals was not something that Aaron was used to waking up to. The sounds of the city, yes but not the forest. The breathing next to him was something new as well, new since he has stopped seeing Beth months before. A deep breath told him exactly who was with him and it wasn’t good. Shifting he found that not only was he with Spencer but the two of them were cuddled together. Spencer’s back was against his chest and Aaron had his arms wrapped around the younger man. It was just how they used to sleep, a few years back when they had been a couple.
“Reid,” Hotch whispered. The younger man shifted and Aaron drew in a breath as his ass dug into Aaron’s groin. He tried to roll around but found that the arm draped over Spencer moved a little then stopped and the sound of metal chinking was heard. Aaron shifted to look over. His wrist had a handcuff around it. The cuff linked down to one of Spencer’s wrists. “Reid!”
“Aaron?” Spencer asked as he shifted again, rolling onto his back. He blinked a few times and then his eyes snapped open and he tried to roll away from Aaron. When the cuffs stopped him, he turned his face back to Aaron. “Hotch?”
“What’s the last thing you remember?” Aaron asked. Spencer closed his eyes.
“I remember getting out of the SUV.” Spencer opened his eyes again. He looked down at where their hands were linked. He pulled his hand and it pulled Aaron’s as well. “Keyhole is full of what looks like glue. I can’t pick it.”
“Oh.” Aaron finally started to look at their surroundings. They were in the middle of the forest. Just like the other pairs of victims in the case. The glue in the cuffs was new. It hadn’t been done on any of the other victims. “It still looks and feels like early morning so we’ve been missing for at least twelve hours. The last thing is remember is turning to talk to you after I got out of the SUV. I didn’t see you and then nothing.”
“The team will have found the SUV by now. If the Unsub holds to his pattern, he’ll have dumped us nowhere near a road.” Spencer shifted to a sitting position, that didn’t strain either of their arms.
Aaron knew that it was going to be hell, cuffed to Spencer. The position they had woke up in was going to be the only position that either of them would be able to sleep in. Spencer and he hadn’t been a couple in over three years. Aaron had moved on with Beth and it had been a good decision at the time but the case with Maeve had proven to Aaron that as much as he liked Beth, he was in love with Spencer. They hadn’t lasted long after that. The trip to New York and issues with his brother had been the end of it.
Neither of them was dressed for surviving in the woods. Hotch was only wearing a dress shirt, his jacket had been in the SUV. Spencer had on a dress shirt and a sweater, in deference to the chilly night it had been. It was late spring in Washington but that didn’t mean it didn’t get cold at night.
“We need to see what kind of food we can find.” Spencer looked around with an eye that told Aaron he was looking for any indication of food. “I don’t even have my holster on.”
“I have my backup on. Whoever took us didn’t do too well at checking me over.” Hotch lifted his leg and checked and sure enough, his gun was still holstered there. They at least had a clip of ammo to either kill animals for food or animals that attacked.
“We profiled that the individual or pair that was setting up the victims was inept at certain things. He seems to have gotten better at the handcuffs. He glued them but he left you with a weapon.”
“I didn’t hear you cry out. I didn’t hear you hit the pavement. There is at least two.” Talking about the case was safe territory. It was easy. It was normal.
“The team will find us. I narrowed down the dump zone to a twenty five mile radius. If they have figured out that the Unsubs took us then they will start looking at first light. They will find us.”
“I know they will. We found the last couple after four days. We can hold out till they find us.” Spencer sounded so sure and Aaron wanted to lean over and kiss him. He stopped himself though. He had never talked to Spencer about his feelings. He’d never been able to admit that he was in love with Spencer back when they had been together. He was not going to tell him while they were in the middle of a forest where they had been dumped by an Unsub.
“Are we ready to try and get out of here?”
Aaron and Spencer spent the first few hours after waking trying to find food while they walked. There was no way to scout ahead using a tree since they were cuffed together. So Spencer picked a northerly direction for them to head into. Aaron had agreed as there was no reason that north wasn’t a good direction.
When midday came around, Aaron knew that something was wrong. Spencer wasn’t talking about the trees and the wildlife they were encountering. He was silent and looking everywhere but at Aaron. The older man was sure that it had to do with the way they woke up. They hadn’t talked about it at all.
“Oh!” Spencer stopped walking and it jerked Aaron out of his thoughts at the same time it jerked on his hand. Aaron looked up ahead to see a cabin there. There wasn’t any smoke coming from it but that didn’t mean a thing. It was warm enough to where was fire wouldn’t be needed except maybe at night. Aaron didn’t even have to say a work. Spencer waited and let Aaron take the lead, as much of one as he could get since they were bound together.
Aaron entered first and found that it was a single room cabin. There was a single bed in a corner by a small table. The kitchen had a stove and a fridge that wasn’t running. It was the only noise in the cabin. The cabin smelled like it hadn’t been used in months, the smell of stale air and dust. There were no personal pictures or anything that told them who lived there or who used to.
While Aaron was checking out the stove, Spencer got brave and opened the fridge. It was empty. The cabinets though were stocked with boxed and canned food like vegetables and pasta. It didn’t seem that any animals had gotten into the boxed food as the items were sealed in plastic bags.
“Do we stay here?” Spencer asked as he shut the cabinet doors.
“It’s the safest option. We have shelter as well as a little bit of buffer against the cold, especially if we can get a fire started. The smoke will draw attention. The rangers will know who isn’t and is supposed to be here and with any luck will notice this first.” Aaron knew why Spencer asked. Taking over someone’s house wasn’t a good thing to do but they were desperate. If the owner came back, Aaron and Spencer could use his or her help to get out of the forest.
“We’ll replace the food?” Spencer looked at Aaron for the first time since they had set out. His eyes didn’t stay long though. They darted over to the bed in the corner. There was no way for them to sleep in the bed and not cuddle like they had been when they woke up.
Scouting the area of the cabin for any signs of a trails and such took over the rest of the day. The only thing they found was a small creek that gave them fresh water. Spencer had found several buckets in the cabin and they had carted back as much as they could before they settled in for the night. Spencer had found books tucked on a shelf and had set about trying to read them when they had settled in for the night. There wasn’t an indoor bathroom.
“Reid, we need to try and get some sleep.” Aaron waited for Spencer to close the book and look up at him. Their connected arms were draped on the back of the couch, the best position for the arms. Spencer set the book aside and quickly followed over to the bed. They had shaken out the bedding earlier in the day, not wanting to sleep in a pile of dust.
Waking up with Spencer in his arms was wonderful. The smell of his shampoo was weak but it was there. Spencer was still dead asleep and so Aaron let himself just lay and hold onto his former lover. This was the third morning that he had woken up like this. There was still something going on with Spencer. Something more than being embarrassed about being handcuffed to his Unit Chief and former lover.
“Aaron,” Spencer whispered as he shifted in his sleep. Aaron froze and waited while the younger man settled. Spencer didn’t stop moving though. He shifted onto his back and then his head was moving. Their faces were only inches apart and Spencer closed that distance, letting their lips brush before he kissed Aaron.
Aaron tried to pull back but Spencer just followed him. Aaron found himself with Spencer draped over him. For a few seconds he was worried until he felt Spencer’s erection press against his thigh. He wanted to think that he had the strength to resist but he really didn’t. Spencer’s eyes opened and he smiled. It was the same smile that he always wore when he woke up in Aaron’s arms. Staring into his eyes, every single issue Aaron had before with telling Spencer that he loved him was gone.
Pulling Spencer’s face down, Aaron kissed him like he used to. He poured every single bit of love he had for Spencer into the kiss. Spencer didn’t fight him, he just kissed Aaron back. After several minutes, Aaron felt Spencer pushing at him.
“Aaron.” Spencer shifted to try and put space between them. He was more awake now. His eyes showed him confusion.
“I love you,” Aaron blurted. He kept his eyes locked on Spencer’s face, trying to catalogue every single emotion that passed through his eyes. Shock was the one he settled on but he wasn’t saying anything. He was just staring. “I love you so much.”
“You’re just reacting to…”
Aaron cut him off with a kiss, Spencer kept trying to talk but gave up, trying to get away from Aaron but the cuffs and the bed stopped him from getting too far away. “I’m not reacting to anything. I broke us up before because I couldn’t handle that I loved you. It was too much and I wasn’t ready. I broke up with Beth because I figured it out. I’ve known for a while. Being this close to you, you have to know. I can understand though if you don’t feel the same.”
“I don’t know what I feel for you anymore.” The shock was leaving his eyes leaving behind distrust.
“We can take it slow. You dictate the speed.”
Aaron waited letting Spencer make the decision. Finally, after several minutes, Spencer nodded. Aaron let the smile break his face and then he was kissing Spencer’s cheek.
“Let’s get some breakfast.”
It was the middle of the afternoon and the pair was resting after a late lunch when the door to the cabin bust open and someone entered with a gun. Hotch pulled his sidearm and leveled it at the man before he realized it was Dave.
Morgan and Blake followed in after him.
“There in here!” Morgan yelled back.
Thankfully the pair was seated on opposite ends of the small couch with their hands draped across the back. They had been content to just have the silence.
Aaron was never so thankful when he saw his team enter the house. He was ready to go back home and get a chance to win his Spencer back.
Six Months Later
Aaron entered the office after a nice two week vacation. Spencer, Jack, and him had gone to Florida, spending most of their time at Disney. He’d worked it so that the entire team had the two weeks off, even if Dave grumped about having that much time off with no chance of a case. Aaron arrived early to get a good look at the cases that they could be working over the next few weeks.
An hour later, the rest of the team started to wander in. Aaron watched as Spencer entered with his travel mug of coffee. It had to be running empty at this point and he wasn’t’ shocked when the first thing the younger man did was drop his things off at his desk and go after more coffee. Aaron turned back to his paperwork with a smile.
Several minutes later a shriek had him jumping up. He looked out and saw that Morgan and Spencer were at the coffee pot with Morgan pulling Spencer’s dress shirt away from his body. There was a shattered coffee pot at Spencer’s feet. Aaron was out the door and over to them as quick as he could. The rest of the team was there, including Garcia by the time he got there. Spencer was still holding the handle to the coffee pot in his hand.
“It just broke,” Morgan said as he was still holding the shirt out. Spencer’s whole front was covered in coffee. Now Aaron understood why Morgan was holding the shirt out. It was stopping what had been really hot coffee from scalding his skin. The downside was that the fresh tattoo on the upper part of Spencer’s hip was visible. “Pretty Boy, you got some ink.”
“Yea,” Spencer said, smiling at Morgan but not looking at Aaron at all.
Aaron though reached for his ring. He twirled it on his finger. It was a plain band on the outside but the inside was words wrote on it. Spencer had fought him on the quote but Aaron had wanted it. He had since he had thought about what he wanted his ring to say and Spencer’s tattoo.
“I’ve heard that quote before,” JJ said as she pushed down on Spencer’s pants to read the whole quote. That got Spencer’s attention. He dropped the handle, and pushed JJ and Morgan’s hands away from him. Settling his shirt down in the process. He was blushing.
“It was what Maeve wrote in the book she gave me.”
Aaron watched the team. They notice that his voice didn’t crack when he mentioned her. Aaron slipped his hand into his pants pocket. Now was not the time for this, not here.
“I need to get changed.” Spencer moved back this desk, grabbing his go bag and heading towards the bathrooms.
“He moved on,” Blake whispered, just low enough to where the team could only hear.
“I wasn’t aware that he was dating,” Morgan said.
Dave smiled and his gaze slid over to Aaron before dropping to his pocket. “I think you’ll find that Reid moved on a while ago. That tattoo wasn’t to Maeve but to his partner.”
Aaron stopped his mouth from popping open in shock. He hadn’t known that Dave had figured them out. Aaron moved his eyes away from Dave and found JJ staring at him. Aaron pulled his hand from his pants, letting the ring show. It wasn’t on his ring finger but on his middle finger. The place that he and Spencer had agreed he was to wear it. They hadn’t got married. Wearing the ring on his ring finger wouldn’t feel right but they had committed to each other.
“He’s not wearing a ring,” Blake pointed out.
“Spence doesn’t like wearing his watch on his skin, he wouldn’t wear a ring on his finger and his partner if he truly deserved him, wouldn’t make him wear one.”
Aaron heard the tone. It was his chance to step in.
“No, he wouldn’t.” It was the first time he’d spoken and Garcia, Blake, and Morgan looked at him for the first time. His ring was still displayed on his finger. Morgan had been the only one of the team to know about them the first time they had been together but Spencer hadn’t told him anything this time around. He looked at the ring and then to where Spencer had disappeared. His face broke out in a grin.
“Dinner tonight. My treat. Let’s have a nice team meal, no matter where we end up.” Morgan draped an arm around Garcia’s shoulder and pulled back to her office. JJ patted him on the shoulder as she passed. Dave shook his hand. Blake was the only one left.
“Come on,” Aaron said pointing up to his office. As he started onto the stairs behind her, Spencer exited the bathroom, looking for the team but not finding them where he had left him. His eyes traced over where Aaron was and Aaron tilted his head to ask him to join him. Spencer dropped his bag back off and then was taking the stairs two at a time to enter the office before Aaron.
“What happened? Did we get a case?”
“Not yet. I’ll be talking with Garcia in a few. Dinner’s on Morgan tonight. He’s in a mood to celebrate. Dave and JJ are too perceptive. I’ll leave you two to talk.”
Aaron pulled the door shut and moved to find Garcia. As he turned the corner he looked into his office and found Spencer getting a hug from Blake with a smile on her face. It was a week earlier than they had planned to tell the team but it would work. They’d still have the team over and it would be a good family dinner.