Series: The Long Journey
Fandom: Criminal Minds, Sentinel
Pairings: Hotch/Reid, Morgan/Garcia, JJ/Will,
Spoilers: Through Season 9
Summary: Hotch doesn’t know what to do. Reid and Jack are gone and there is no trail to follow. His only hope is the dreams he has at night about Jack’s spirit animal. Can he follow the animal back to where his son and Reid are and save them?
Word Count: 6,619
Warnings: Violence on par with the show
Hotch entered his house, worried because the door was unlocked and the alarm wasn’t set. Reid always set the alarm and locked the door when he was watching Jack at night. The smell of someone unknown filled his nose and he didn’t like it, the only thing keeping him from going feral was the fact that he hadn’t smelled blood. Drawing his gun, Hotch looked around the living room. Reid’s bonded notebook was sitting on the coffee table and the messenger back sitting on the couch. There was no way that Reid had left those. He couldn’t hear a single heartbeat except his own in the house.
Pulling out his phone, he dialed Morgan.
“Morgan, get the team here as well as CSU. My house has been broken into and neither Reid nor Jack is here.” The growl from Morgan transferred down the line.
“You got it, Hotch. Don’t do anything stupid.”
“I’m going to clear the house. I want you and Prentiss to be the first to enter the scene. Whoever it was left their smell.” The team would hold back, letting Morgan and Prentiss enter first anyway. They knew what to do but saying the words relieved some stress of the moment. He trusted his team.
Morgan hung up but Hotch wasn’t worried. The Sentinel would do what he said. Making his way through the entire house, he cleared each room as he went. There was no one in the house but he wanted to make sure that there were no surprises in the house. The last room to check was his own room. He found the gun safe locked. Moving to it he opened it and found Reid’s gun inside and his own secondary backup. Shutting the safe back up, Hotch turned to look at the room. He had no clue where Reid and Jack had been taken from. Closing his eyes, he took in the scent of the room. Reid hadn’t made it into the room after he’d placed the gun there. He grabbed a pair of gloves from the bathroom before did anything else.
Moving into the hall, Hotch followed Reid’s scent. Reid hadn’t been up in the upper levels at all since he had put up his gun. The scent of Reid and Jack was strongest in the backyard. He found where the UnSub entered the yard; Reid had obviously deactivated the security because he and Jack were in the backyard. The smell of blood drew Hotch over to where a film canister was. He picked up the canister, knowing it was Reid’s. The smell of blood was just feet from it. Hotch leaned down and picked up the syringe. It had Reid’s blood on it. The smell of it mixed with a medicine smell. He knew what it was, a drug used to keep Guides under control. Deep breaths were the only thing stopping him from going off the deep end. He had to keep control until the team got there.
The UnSub or UnSubs had entered the house knowing that Reid was there. He didn’t know who the target was Jack or Reid but he was going to find out. There was no reason to take Reid other than he was a member of the BAU but Jack, Jack was the son of the top Sentinel for the area. That was the best reason in the world to take him. If Jack was the target, Reid wasn’t going to be kept around and the reverse was true. The sound of Morgan and Prentiss arriving drew his attention back to the back yard. He watched as Morgan entered the backyard first. Prentiss wasn’t far behind.
“Reid was drugged. His gun is in my safe. He never made it out of the backyard conscious. I can smell Jack and he was more worried than scared.”
“CSU is on scene. They will find anything the UnSub left behind.”
“I know. If he got to them here, why did he go in the house?” Hotch asked. He placed his gun back in its holster.
“To place his smell in your path?” Morgan asked.
“Why? Who was the target? Was it is my son or Reid?” Hotch had no clue who would want to take Reid. Outside of the BAU and a few higher ups, no one knew how high of a ranking he had as a Guide.
“We will figure it out.” Morgan moved to the fence and started to move around it. Prentiss stayed at the edge of the yard. His team was the best at what they did. They would find them.
“Are you sure this is the drug?” Garcia asked as she looked over the paper that Hotch had handed her. “This is the drug that was in the syringe?”
“Yes.” Hotch hated the looked that Garcia gave him. There was something with the drug that wasn’t going to be good. He waited while Garcia got up the courage to speak. Scaring her wasn’t going to get the words out any quicker.
“This drug is fine for most levels of Guides but with Omega level Guides, it causes more problems than it helps, especially in the doses needed to keep an Omega down. While it keeps most Guides calm when they are having problems, but with Omega Guides, there is no way for them to access their gifts at all. Reid is going to be without his shields and no way to fight everything around him.” The utter helplessness on Garcia’s face told Hotch more than her words. She looked like she was going to be sick and while their job got to her; it never got to her this bad. She was worried for Reid.
“We need to find him. We have to find him and Jack.” Hotch turned but there was something wafting off of Garcia. He turned back around and she wasn’t looking at him. She was looking down at her fingers. “What else?”
“Depending on how much he’s given between now and when we find him, he could be blind for weeks.”
Hotch heard the words that came out of her mouth but he didn’t want to take them in. He sat down in the chair that Morgan sat in when he visited his Guide.
“Why is the drug being made?” Hotch asked.
“In a hospital setting unless there is nothing else to give an Omega level Guide; the drug will not be given to them. The only time that it will be given without consent is if the Guide is a danger to others. The blindness is temporary and wears off quicker the lower the dose.”
“Is there a chance of the blindness being permanent?” Hotch’s voice was a whisper.
“No. It will always go away. It won’t cause a single issue for him that will be permanent. If it caused issues like that it wouldn’t be available. I might be able to track whoever took it by the drug though. To have stockpiled enough to keep Reid down for any period of time, whoever took him will have to have a great deal of it. Or they will need to get more of it soon if they don’t have enough. I’ll start tracking it.”
“Keep on that. I’ll start with the team on getting a profile.”
“I’ll look into who could be coming after Reid.” Garcia spun to start typing away at her computer. Hotch left her alone. Taking his thoughts with him. If Reid was taken because of him, he would never forgive himself.
There had to be a way to find them before anything happened to the both of them.
Hotch hadn’t been home in three weeks. He stopped going home after Jack and Reid had been missing for a week. JJ stopped and picked him up clothes as he needed them. A bag of things for Jack and Reid’s go and messenger bags were at the office. He couldn’t face the empty house. The sound of Jack was gone from the house. The smell of Jack and Reid was gone as well. He just couldn’t handle it anymore. He was getting used to sleeping on his couch in his office.
The Consortium was helping as much as it could. There wasn’t a lot that could be done that the BAU and the FBI weren’t already doing. The missing child of the highest ranked Sentinel in the area was something that had everyone attention. The horrible thing was that it was the only thing that had the local media interested. Reid to the general public and the Consortium was still a low level Guide. Hotch had wanted to go to them and tell them who exactly was missing but Reid had a reason for not sharing what he was with the Consortium and Hotch was going respect that, for now.
It was near midnight and Hotch knew that he needed to get to sleep but he couldn’t. Every single time he closed his eyes, he saw Jack playing in a yard with his spirit animal. Before Reid had come along, Hotch had figured his son was going to be a Theta or a Sigma level Sentinel but how well he had taken to the lessons that Reid had been teaching him, Hotch knew better now. Jack was going to be an Omega like his father. Reid hadn’t changed the level of his son; he’d just pulled more out of him than anyone else had ever been able to do.
“Hotch?” Prentiss asked as she stopped just inside his office. Hotch turned to look at her. “I’ve been having strange dreams. Garcia said that I might want to mention them to you…” She waited but when he did nothing, she stepped farther in and sat down in a chair facing Hotch on the couch.
“I’ve been dreaming of a polar bear.”
Hotch shifted quickly on the couch and Prentiss waited for a few seconds.
“I see the bear with Jack, playing in the backyard of a house.”
“I’ve been having the same dream. Thinking I’ve been just dreaming and torturing myself.” Hotch latched onto her words. How was she dreaming of Jack?
“I think Morgan has been having the same dreams.” The look on her face told him that she knew for a fact that he had been having the dreams but she was loathed to break that confidence fully.
“If its Jack, it’s understandable why we three are getting it. We are Sentinels and he would be able to reach us easier.” Hotch stood up and moved to his office phone, preparing to call Morgan when he appeared in his office door.
“Baby Girl said you wanted me.” Morgan looked tired. The whole team looked tired. No one had been getting enough restful sleep. No one could rest well with Jack and Reid out there, in the hands of the people that had taken them.
“We need to go over your dream, Morgan. Prentiss and I have been having the same dream.”
“The same one?” Morgan asked shock evident on his face.
The bullpen exploded with the activity of many of the Sentinels and Guides from within the Bureau arrived to help go through information. It seemed that Garcia, once she figured out that her three Sentinels had been having the same dream, she reached out and found others.
Twelve hours later at noon, the entire force the FBI moved onto a house in the middle of the suburban of DC. Hotch’s team was the first to breach the house because if Reid was conscious, even under the drugs there was a possibility of him hurting someone he didn’t know. Garcia was banking on Reid having started to build up a resistance to the drugs but they needed to react as if he hadn’t, just to be safe.
Hotch was keeping a tight lid on his emotions. He didn’t need to go into overdrive and hurt Jack or Reid in the process of helping them. As soon as the door breached, Hotch heard the gun fire and reacted. Firing at the UnSubs who were firing at him was easy. It was humans. The smell of them was thick in the air. He could find traces of Reid and Jack but the overwhelming smell was of humans.
There had been five men inside the house besides Reid and Jack. In less than two minutes, all five were dead from Hotch’s and Morgan’s guns. The sound of Reid and Jack’s heartbeats were coming from the basement. Morgan fell back and let Hotch take the lead. Hotch slowly moved down the stairs. There was very little chance that anyone was else was in the house but Hotch was worried about traps.
Reid’s heartbeat was soft and steady. He wasn’t scared but Jack was. Reid was calm, Hotch wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing. Hotch found a room that had a heavy metal door and he moved towards it. Nodding at Morgan, Hotch opened the door only to hear Reid’s voice.
“Jack, get behind me. When I tell you, run.” Reid’s voice was soft but sure.
Hotch listened as he heard the safety of a gun being taken off. He didn’t even want to know how Reid had gotten and kept a gun on him through four weeks of captivity. Reid was blind, he had to be, what was he going to do with a gun? Why hadn’t he used it to get out?
“Let us go now and I’ll make sure that the Consortium is who gets a hold of you and not the FBI. I can hear the both of you outside there. Just let us go.”
Reid didn’t know that it was them. He couldn’t feel that it was them.
“Reid?” Hotch called out.
“Hotch?” “Dad?” both called out at the same time. The sound of both voices was calming to him.
Hotch heard the safety click off and he sighed in relief. It was safe to enter the room. He was still going to be the first to enter but at least the both of them sounded okay.
“Hotch, please come in here. I can’t…” Reid’s voice wasn’t calm anymore. There was a note to it that Hotch had never heard before.
Moving into the small room, Hotch saw what was wrong. Reid was leaning against the wall with just enough room behind him for Jack to huddle. His arm looked like it had been outstretched but was now lying down at his side. He let go of the gun and leaned back. Jack didn’t move from where he was. He saw his father and he saw Morgan but he didn’t leave Reid’s side. Reid’s other arm was lying cradled in his lap. The arm was bruised and Hotch was fairly certain it was broke. Reid was looking in the direction where Hotch was and he knew that Reid was seeing something of him. The Guide had access to some of his gifts.
“Jack…” He tried to call his son over to him but Jack wasn’t moving.
“I’m not leaving Spencer, Dad.” There was a hardness in his voice that Hotch had never heard before. He knew what it was. Jack was following his emotions. He knew that until Reid was removed from the house, he was in danger. Instincts were the best option for him to follow. Hotch leaned down and picked up Jack, settling him on his hip.
“Reid, I’m going to grab you with your good arm and pull you up. Morgan is going to take the gun. I need you to stay calm. EMS is waiting for you outside the house. I know that you won’t like to go but they will need to check the both of you out.”
“I am not leaving Spencer.” Jack’s voice sounded the same but there was something else to it. Hotch heard it down to the soles of his feet and he turned to look at Morgan who had been in the process of picking up the gun but had stopped. Jack started to wiggle and Hotch set him down. Jack moved over to Reid and helped him stand up.
Hotch watched as his nine year old son help Spencer out of the basement and up out of the house. There was no hiding the bond from Morgan now. It was out for the world to see now.
“Hotch…” Morgan trailed off, staring at the gun. “When did Jack start to form a parental bond with Reid?”
“Months ago, not long after meeting him. Jack didn’t start to form a parental bond with Jessica and it had been worrying me. I came home one evening and Reid was asleep on the couch, his shields were dropped some and I could feel it.”
“What are you going to do if you find a Guide?”
“I haven’t a clue. I am not going to stop it. Jack lost his mother. I am not going to take his bond with Reid away. Reid is good for him. I never knew my spirit animal until I was in high school. Jack sent his spirit animal to the three of us and other agents in the FBI that he had only met a few times. It helped us track this place down. He’s more in control of his gifts than I ever was at that age.”
“Not saying you need to take away the bond, Hotch. I just feel sorry for whoever tries to butt into your life, human or Guide. I’ll take care of the scene; you take care of your son and Reid. I don’t think you are going to Jack away from him for a while.”
Hotch nodded, securing his gun in his holster, he moved up the stairs to let the CSU teams in. By the time he got outside, Reid was laying on a gurney with Jack sitting on his stomach. The broken arm was field wrapped.
The two EMTs were trying to start an IV line in Reid’s arm but Reid was having none of it. One of the EMTs grabbed Reid’s good arm and the young man cried out but before Hotch could react, Jack had jumped off Reid’s stomach and had shoved the EMT far away from Reid, growling as he did. Hotch laid a hand on Reid’s leg to calm him down. The second EMT had taken a few steps back but Hotch saw the syringe in his hand. Painkillers, narcotics.
“Jack!” Hotch said loudly and it drew his son’s attention away from the EMT and back to him and Reid. “Why don’t you go get the car door open? We can drive Reid into the hospital.”
“He needs…” the second EMT started but when Hotch turned to him he stopped.
“Doctor Reid doesn’t want pain medication. Given that he’s been drugged against his will, do you think that it’s a good idea to give him more things that he doesn’t want.”
“No but he still needs….” The second EMT stopped at the look Hotch gave him.
“No. I know what he needs. He’s an unbonded Guide on my team. My son has formed a bond with him and after your partner grabbed him, my son won’t let Doctor Reid go with you. Would you like to start a fight with a Sentinel?”
The EMT shook and Hotch nodded at Prentiss who moved to help Jack get Reid off the gurney. He’d never even thought that the EMTs would try and give him pain medication, most EMTs listened to what patients said, especially when it came to narcotics. Jack and Reid moved into the back seat of the SUV and Prentiss took the front passenger seat. Hotch motioned at the SUV as Morgan exited the house. Morgan nodded.
Jack needed to calm down. He was on his way to overdrive and once he got there, Hotch wouldn’t be able to keep his son calm. Reid was sitting in the seat, leaning against the window with his broken arm cradle against his chest. Jack was leaning into his side and Hotch could tell that Reid was calming him down. Hotch’s heart got stuck in his throat as he looked at the state that Reid was in. The broken arm was recent, just a day old at minimum and a few at max. Jack was in perfect condition. Reid had been protecting him, as any Guide would do for a child.
The hospital visit was brief. Jack had checked out just fine. The captors had been feeding them on a normal basis and Reid admitted that food and water were never used as a tool. Jack had been debriefed by a Guide from the FBI’s child unit and Hotch had been happy that it was a Guide sent to do it. Another Guide had come from somewhere else to debrief Reid but Hotch had barely listened as Reid had insisted doing it while he was being checked out and his arm was set.
Jack had tried to run to Reid as soon as the arm was set. The jolt of pain through the bond was enough to make the little boy start to cry and when Reid was calmed down enough, Hotch let his son into the room. Jack had crawled into Reid’s lap and hadn’t left in two hours, the debriefing of Reid and Jack was then done at the same time.
“All human,” Reid said as the agents were packing up their things. “All human with a great deal of knowledge of Sentinel and Guides. They didn’t know that Jack is an Omega level Sentinel. It took Jack a while to get past the drugs they were giving him. We were taken for no other reason than they like the feeling that a Guide gives an area. They were unaware of Jack’s status. It was a crime of opportunity but they had done it before. You’ll find other Guides who have gone missing but never one of my level.”
Reid was quiet after that. Jack just stayed with him and Hotch talked with the doctor. There was nothing that could be done other than letting the drugs slowly make their way out of Reid’s body.
“He’s strong, Agent Hotchner but until his ability to shield himself comes back he’s going to have a hard time. Right now the only shield he has is the one that your son is protecting him with.”
“What?” Hotch turned and looked at Reid and Jack. Hotch had never paid attention to their interactions since he had figured out that Reid was bonding with Jack but he was paying attention now. Jack had a hand on Reid’s. Skin to skin contact. Reid didn’t let people touch him.
“Jack is pushing his shield out and given what I talked to him about it, he’s been doing it since he was able to pull up his own shields after the drugs. It’s not hurting him or taxing him at all. It’s perfectly safe and since we are here in a public hospital and Doctor Reid is so vulnerable, I suggest that until you take them home, Jack stays in physical contact with Doctor Reid.”
“I’ll follow up if we need anything.”
“As Doctor Reid’s next of kin, you can sign him out to speed things up if you wish,” the doctor said and Hotch just stared at him. He hadn’t known that Reid had done that.
“This isn’t my apartment, Hotch. I know the smell of the area where we are. Why haven’t you taken me home?” Reid turned to look at him. Hotch was driving while Jack was in the back seat. Once they had gotten into the residential area of DC, Jack had sat back, removing his hand from Reid’s elbow.
“The doctor thinks that you will do better in a place where you…” Hotch trailed off. He wasn’t sure why he thought Reid would feel safe in the house he had been taken from.
“Where I feel safe?” there was a smile in Reid’s voice as he spoke and Hotch knew that he wasn’t mad. “Are you going alpha male on me?”
“I know that the three of you have never been happy with my apartment. While Morgan has Garcia, he’s still imprinted on me. Every single one of your three has. If I forced the issue of staying at my own place, how long would it take for one of your three to come and stay the night?” Reid opened the door to the SUV and started out of it. Jack quickly bound out of the backseat and grabbed his messenger bag from him. Hotch had kept it in the BAU since Reid had gone missing. He was wearing his glasses because he wanted them on his face, even if he couldn’t see. Reid had admitted to taking out his contacts a day into captivity and had been unable save them because there was no contact solution. Of course, the glasses were doing nothing for him anyway.
“Reid,” Hotch tried to catch his attention but the Guide and his son just moved up to the house. Reid reached down into his messenger bag and pulled out the keys to the house. Hotch knew that Reid would know that Hotch hadn’t been there in weeks. Hotch moved around to grab the bags of stuff for the two of them from the hospital as well as Hotch and Reid’s go bags and bag of things of Jack’s that he had gathered. Reid was wearing a set of the clothes from the bag but other than that the Guide hadn’t dug through the bag.
By the time that Hotch entered the house, Reid was ensconced in a chair in the living room and Jack was trying to get him to drink a bottle of water. Reid looked impossibly young sitting in the chair. His eyes unfocused behind the glasses.
“Jack, why don’t you go make sure your father hasn’t messed up your room too bad,” Reid’s voice was soft but Jack obeyed it like the request had come from his father. He grabbed his bag of clothes from the pile just inside the door and took off at a run with it.
“You’ve never asked about my spirit animal. I know that you saw it that night.” Reid’s unseeing eyes found him unerringly in the living room.
“A fox, a predator. Jack’s Guide will have an arctic fox.” Hotch wasn’t sure about the topic or why Reid was bringing it up.
“I need to have you promise me something, Aaron.” Reid’s gaze was still right on Hotch’s face and the use of his first name sent a small thrill up Hotch’s back. He liked the name as it came off the young man’s tongue. This was the time or place for it but it was good to hear his given name ship from his lips after so long of not having him around.
“I don’t make a promise unless I know what it is.” Hotch’s voice was soft. He knew that Jack wouldn’t be listening in. Jack always knew when it wasn’t a good idea to listen into adults and their conversations.
“Did you know that if a Sentinel is online, it will cause their Guide to come online as well, if both are well under the age to be online and the spend enough time together?”
“Reid?” Hotch looked to where his son was. Only under pressing circumstances did a Sentinel come online. Hotch had because of his father and Jack had because of Foyet killing his mother in the same house.
“I came online at the age of twelve. My records say sixteen but it’s wrong. I lied. I’ve lived without my Sentinel in my life for twenty one years. You’ve lived without your Guide for a great deal longer than that. I know for a fact that in the next week, a Guide will come online. This Guide is six years old and this Guide is…”
“Jack’s Guide. You’ve met Jack’s Guide?” Hotch moved closer to the Guide. He’d not wanted to get close as to give Reid space. He needed to be closer to the Guide now. He wanted to reach out and touch him but he kept his hands to himself. He didn’t want Reid to freak out and touch Hotch’s skin on accident.
“I’ll gladly bury that knowledge until Jack is older if you wish but I will not be able to just leave that Guide alone. I’ll have to help the Guide. And I won’t be able to just keep the Guide away from him.”
“You keep saying Guide and not a gender pronoun.” Hotch wondered if the man was going it to hide the sex in general or if the Guide was a male.
“I won’t until you ask me. I will answer you. It’s as much your job to protect the Guides in this area as it is mine. I know that I’ve been lax in my duties as the most powerful Guide in this area over the years but when things needed done, I always went to the Director and he handled the issues without dropping my name. If you ask me, I will tell you.”
Reid pulled his phone from his pocket and pressed a few buttons. Hotch knew from the sounds of the keypad that all he had sent was the letters OK. Hotch waited. Whatever the text was about, it was important.
In under a minute, a knock sounded on the door at his back. He cursed silently. He didn’t know who was here but he wanted them gone. Reid and Jack were not up for visitors at the moment. Jerking the door open, Hotch was surprised to find JJ and Will there with Henry. Before anything could be said, Henry ran past Hotch and to Reid. He patted the young man’s leg before he crawled into his lap and gave him a kiss on the cheek and then he was gone, up to Jack’s room.
“Spence, this could wait,” JJ said as she entered the house when Hotch stepped back. “Henry is doing fine.”
“That’s not why I invited you guys over.”
Hotch was shocked. Reid had known this was where he was going to end up. That was the only way that the couple had made it to Hotch’s at the time they did. Reid hadn’t just invited them over when they had got there just a little while before.
“Hotch, I’m sorry. Spence said this was important.” JJ looked at him and it was then that what Reid had been talking about start to sink in. Hotch moved to the couch while JJ and Will sat down on the loveseat next to Reid’s chair. “Hotch, what is wrong?”
“You said yes, Aaron.” Reid shifted in his chair and that’s when Hotch saw that notebook tucked in between him and the side of the chair. “That promise I need from you is that you won’t open this, ever. I know that I’ve let you look at it before but I have other things in it now and it wouldn’t be good for you to open it up.”
“I promise.” Hotch wouldn’t open it, not if Reid didn’t want him to anymore. He wanted to know what was in there that had Reid so adamant that he not look but he could keep his curiosity in check.
“A Guide of my level, Will, JJ. I can feel Guides that are around me, latent and online. No one can hide from me. I can sense latent Sentinels as well. As I have told you, Henry is a latent Guide. I don’t know what his level will be but given…” Reid opened the bottle of water that Jack had given him and drained nearly half of it in one go. “Hotch knows that when I touch a Sentinel, I can see their Guide. The age of the Guide is relative to whatever that Sentinel will allow me to see. It’s theorized that as children, latent Sentinels can reach out and find their Guides but that the knowledge is protected in their mind. When I touch Jack, I see his Guide and him in college. Their spirit animals are full grown as well.”
Hotch knew what was coming. Jack and Henry had always got along well. It had told Hotch that after Haley’s death that he was doing well as a single parent with an only child.
“I’ve seen the Guides of Sentinels as they look when they are children. That’s a discussion for another day.”
Reid turned his head to look at the wall that led to Jack’s room and it was then that Hotch felt it. The entire neighborhood was going to know that a Guide came online tonight. The neighborhood was split down the middle on Sentinel and Guide and human. Hotch could feel it. Jack’s kidnapping had to have been pushing Henry to come online.
“Children who come online and meet, they don’t bond like adults will, which is a good thing.” Reid smiled and JJ and Will only nodded. They hadn’t figured it out yet. Hotch wasn’t shocked. JJ was so human that it was so obvious. He knew that nowhere in here blood line in the last three hundred years was a Sentinel or a Guide hiding. Hotch had never looked into Will’s bloodline, he would have to now.
“They will be the best of friends and then finally when the bond thinks they are ready, then the Sentinel and Guide will become what each other needs. A lover, a confidante, and the love of their life.”
“It sounds so nice.” JJ was smiling. Hotch wondered if she was still going to be smiling when she figured out what was happening in Jack’s room at the moment. Hotch himself wanted to go up but he didn’t want to leave Reid’s side for what was coming.
“Jack has been online since his mother’s death. Triggering events will bring Sentinels and Guides online. I was brought online by my Sentinel.”
Hotch felt his blood run cold at those words. Reid knew who his Sentinel was? Why was he not with his Sentinel? Where was his Sentinel?
“I was twelve. I have no clue how old he was at the time but I figure that he was older than me. I’d been feeling him as long as I could remember. He was online by the time that I was born. I know of no kids that are younger than five and online so he is at least five years older than me and alive. I can feel echoes of him.”
“Why haven’t you gone and snagged him?” Will asked.
“He’s not ready for me.” Reid’s voice sounded tired. JJ leaned over and clasped his hand. Reid turned his eyes to look at her, a small hurt smile on his face. “I’ll be fine, JJ. I’ve been waiting a long time for him and I think it’ll be soon that I’ll reach out and take him.”
“He lives around here?” JJ asked.
“Yes. He’s in Hotch’s area of control, now my area as well.”
Hotch didn’t like that sound of that. Reid knew where his Sentinel was and he was keeping himself from him. Hotch wanted to talk to the Consortium and try and figure out who it was. Reid had to have a good reason for keeping himself back. Hotch would leave that for when they were alone. If he was in the area of Hotch’s control that meant that he wasn’t an Omega level or he was hiding much like Reid had been.
“Sorry, I’m getting off topic. I know who Henry’s Sentinel is. Henry has always been slowly coming online since I met him. He would have lasted another three or four years before coming online except something happened to his Sentinel. If you were to take Henry away right now, it wouldn’t stop it. The second that Jack started to push the drugs from his system, I could feel that Henry was reaching out to him. There was no stopping after Jack was taken.”
It took a few seconds but JJ and Will both gasped. It was then that sound of peeling laughter came from the room where the boys were. Hotch jumped but settled down quickly. JJ was looking directly at him. It was a stare that told Hotch that she was trying to profile him. He was shut down. He’d just got his son back and already he was starting to bond with someone else. Sharing with Reid was nothing but now…He was happy for his son. Jack would grow up with his Guide. He wouldn’t go years with the ache of not having a Guide.
“What does this mean?” Will was the first to break the silence.
“Henry will be allotted a spot at the Sentinel/Guide school in the area for a year starting when you want. Jack’s been going to there since he came online. The cost of the school is paid for by the money generated by the Consortium. Hotch will be contacting them tomorrow about the bond status. While there is three years between the boys, during recess and such, Jack and Henry will be given the opportunity to play together. Weekends will become hectic at both of your houses. One of them will want to go to the other’s house for the entire weekend. Think of them as best friends.”
“A lot to take in. I know. If I wasn’t feeling Henry’s anxiety ever since the drugs cleared my system hours ago, I would have never done this. He doesn’t understand what is happening. I’ve not been there to help him as I was before. I would have been able to shelter him.”
“He’d been having nightmares,” JJ admitted as she leaned into her husband.
“Why don’t we order in some food and we can all discuss this over some food. I know that I am hungry.” Reid stood up, using his good arm to push himself up. He tucked the notebook with the spirit animals into his sling.
Hotch wanted to know what was in the book that he couldn’t look at, that Reid made him promise not to look at. He would wait the young man out. He wondered if it had to do with his Sentinel. The Sentinel that was waiting out there for him. Hotch wanted to hate that Sentinel but he knew that he couldn’t. Reid had never once showed that he wanted more than friendship with him. The dreams that he’d been having over the past month since the Guide had been taken were just that dreams. There was nothing that could be done about it. Reid knew who his Guide was. He wanted to take a hold of Reid’s hand as the young man passed him and demand to know where his Guide was.
Reid had already had too much done to him and he wasn’t going to break the young man’s trust like that. He was going to shove down his feelings and go on with life. There was no getting rid of Reid in his life, even if Jack hadn’t been bonding with him. Reid was the strongest Guide in the area. He and Hotch would have to make the hard decisions for the area. He was stuck with the man at least until one of them moved away and he figured that neither one of them ever would. He’d have to learn how to cope.
Next Part: Claimed