Title: Reed’s First Week at the BAU
Series: Here There Be Dragons
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 4, Following The Instincts
Category: AU: Fantasy, Magic is Known, Pre-Slash,
Spoilers: Up through Season 4
Summary: Hotch takes Reed in for his first visit and full week at the BAU.
Hotch wasn’t sure what he wanted to happen when he brought Reed into Quantico for the first time. He knew that other agents would know about him. There was no chance that a dragon joining the FBI hadn’t gotten around to the rest of the agents. He’d been gone for two weeks, other than daily check-ins with either Dave or Morgan that told him they were doing fine without him. They missed him and missed his no nonsense way of working with the LEOs but they were coping.
Still, finding that Garcia had changed his office around a little didn’t sit well with him until Reed landed on the little perch that was now above his desk on the bookshelves. He settled right down onto it and looked around. He could see the whole office from there and through the window most of the bullpen. The most notable change was now a mini fridge that was sitting under his window. It was black and looked like it fit but Hotch was unsure of why there was a fridge.
Reed noticed and flew right over to it. He stared at the door for several seconds before it popped open. Over the past few weeks, he’d been using his magic more and more. Unfortunately that also meant that he’d figured out how to use his magic to make coffee. The fridge had obviously been modified with magic because there was no way that all that food fit in that tiny fridge. Reed grabbed a bag of mixed fruit from inside the fridge and as soon as he stepped out of the way of the door, it shut. On top of the fridge was a little perch as well as a little basin. Reed upended the bag of fruit into the basin and then snagged a piece of it.
“Seems our resident Faerie is good at figuring out what you like,” Hotch said as he smiled. The changes were small and not that noticeable, he could live with them if it made Reed happy. The main addition was perches in various places. He could live with that. Reed liked high places and the addition of them for him to settle in his office was okay with him. There was another addition to the room but Hotch wasn’t sure what it was. He could feel it in his magic but he couldn’t see it. He’d have to look for it later.
Reed snagged a second piece of fruit and flew over to land on Hotch’s desk. He looked around on the desk for a few seconds before he set it down where there wasn’t paper. It was a piece of watermelon. Taking a few steps back, Reed just stared at him until he picked up the piece of fruit and ate it. Reed seemed to like sharing food with him, fruits and vegetables. Candy wasn’t something that he liked to share and neither were grapes. Meat was another story. Reed would eat it cooked but he would eat it uncooked as well. Hotch thankfully didn’t have to refuse the uncooked meat as Reed never tried to share it.
“How’re things going?” Dave asked as he leaned in the doorway of the office. Hotch hadn’t even heard him step up to the door, he’d been so focused on Reed.
“Fine so far. Reed likes his fridge and perches.”
“We toned her down quite a bit,” Dave said with a laugh. He pushed up from the doorway and moved over to the painting above the couch. Reed was watching him with full eyes. Hotch had the team over for a dinner a few nights before and there had been the dinner at Dave’s so he was comfortable with the team but trust, that would come with time. The office was Hotch’s territory and now it was his as well and people entering it would probably always set him on edge. Dave reached out his hand and touched the center of the painting. Nothing happened. Reed curious flew to the back of the couch and stretched up on his hind legs and touched his snout to the same spot. It passed through. Dave smiled and offered his arm for Reed to climb onto. The dragon did so and then disappeared as he slipped through the painting.
Hotch was up and on his feet as soon as the dragon was gone from his sight. He reached out and touched the same spot that Dave had and found that he was touching canvas. He could feel the magic of the spot, it was the other change to his office.
“Prentiss and Garcia worked it out. Garcia has been on a mad hunt for ways to keep him safe here and at your home so now that you are back expect a lot of emails. It’s a dimensional space. It’s keyed only to dragons. We figured that the painting was a good way to hide it. Another dragon could get in but they would have to know where it is. You can feel it because your magic is so attuned to the room. Once you are used to it, you won’t even feel it anymore. There are seven more like it all over the place. She is the only one that knows where they all are and she’s going to tell you and Reed as soon as she gets here.”
A puff of smoke that came out was the only indication that Reed was hiding in there. There was a bit of noise. Hotch felt the hairs on his arm stand up and before he could say anything, Dave moved out of the way. No arc of lightning came out though and the feeling passed. Reed then burst out of the hidey hole and flew right at Hotch, landing on his shoulder. Hotch admitted to himself that he had jumped.
“Scaredy humans,” a voice said.
Hotch turned his head so fast, he collided with Reed’s. Dave’s face was one of pure shock. Both just stared. Reed just took off flying back to the fridge and landing on the perch, grabbing a piece of cantaloupe and swallowing it. He turned to look.
“Cat got your tongue?” Reed asked.
“I take it from your reaction that he’s never spoken to you before?” Dave asked as he watched Reed eat the rest of the bag of fruit. The dragon was acting as if nothing had happened.
“No. The squealing, yes. Actual words, no.” Hotch wondered why Reed would talk for the first time here of all places. He could understand that Reed wanted to hide it.
“Morgan and Prentiss are here,” Reed said. His eyes were on window that looked out into the bullpen but there was no way that he could see them out there. Hotch turned and sure enough the two agents were making their way into the bullpen. Garcia was nowhere to be seen. JJ would have already been there for a while, probably before even Hotch got into the office.
“JJ texted late last night and said that there hadn’t been a case come up yet but I am sure that she’ll find one today. For now, everyone can just do catch up work. I have a few meetings today. One with Strauss and Reed and the AD would like to meet with Reed.”
“The AD? Isn’t he usually a little more…standoffish?” Dave asked.
“He’s a human and likes to meet new magical beings and creatures. Reed’s already agreed to meet with him. This was before Reed had decided to share his talking.” There was no way that the Council would allow the FBI to not allow Reed to go with him, no matter what. The Council was all for the protection of Reed. He was fairly certain there was a new family three houses down that had moved in just in protection of Reed.
Reed’s head snapped up from where he had been licking the basin of the small amount of juice that had seeped out of the fruit. Hotch was getting used to his body language and this body language spoke of coffee or chocolate. His coffee buying had nearly tripled since he’d brought Reed home and he was certain that it was just going to go up. He’d tried to figure out if coffee was even good for the dragon to drink and he’d basically been told by Alan to stop worrying. Reed would eat or not eat what he wanted. Jumping down to the ground, Reed took off. Hotch moved out of the room with Dave on his heels. Reed rarely went anywhere without flying or jumping so watching him run on the tiled floors was funny.
Then he slipped around a desk and all sound of him disappeared. Hotch looked over the entire bullpen and found no sign of his dragon. There was also no reason in sight for his reaction.
“What’s going on?” Morgan asked as his eyes tracked Reed where Hotch’s couldn’t. By the time that Hotch reached Morgan, the dragon was gone from sight. Hotch started down the hallway where the dragon had disappeared. He reached out into the bond but found that Reed was hiding from him. There was humor in the bond and Hotch had a sinking feeling that he wasn’t going to like what happened.
Garcia came striding down the hall, her face lit up when she saw Hotch.
“Sir! I’m so glad your back.” Garcia hugged him and then started to look around. “Where’s Reed?”
“That’s the question of the day. He’s given me the slip and seems to be hiding from me.”
“Can’t you reach out and find him?”
“Reed is adept at hiding from me in the bond. I can feel him and know that he’s fine but actually locating him. That’s another story. He’ll come out when he’s ready.” Hotch turned to look at Garcia. “So you have little pockets for Reed to hide in. How did you…”
“Get the director to sign off on it. Well I laid it all out for him. No matter his age, Reed is one of few dragons in the world. Do you know how much trouble the FBI would get in with the magical beings of the world if Reed is taken captive here? Injured here?”
“I am well aware.” Hotch knew full well what would happen to the FBI. Every single magical being that worked for the FBI could be pulled. If Reed was injured in the field in a way he couldn’t come back from, that was on Hotch but here in Quantico, that would fall on all of the FBI.
“It wasn’t that hard after that. He even cleared the building and we shut down all cameras while I was working on areas. There is no record anywhere of the hiding spots. I’ll show you guys later in my office. I’ll let you try and find your charge while I go to my office. Have fun!” Garcia waved as she turned to head back down the hall. Hotch smiled as she left. He turned to Morgan.
“Let’s try and find him. It’s not like a dragon can hide all that well with all the eyes that he had to have passed.”
Hotch spent the next twenty minutes with Morgan trying to find him. He was nowhere to be found. Finally, he sent Morgan to have Garcia find him. He moved back to his office where he found a gentleman a little older than Dave waiting.
“Can I help you?” Hotch asked as he shut the door. He looked the man up and down.
That stopped Hotch cold. He really looked at the man. He had never seen the man before. A brief pass with his magic told him that the man was magical as well. He hadn’t been called Lord Hotchner in nearly four thousand years. His family had died and the fact that he was a Lord had gone away. He’d hated being called Lord Hotchner.
“And you are?”
The man just smiled at him. “I’m a friend. I want to make sure that you understand what you have in your possession.”
“My possession?” Hotch tried to profile the man. Every single thing about him was at odds. His face was like stone, much like Hotch knew his own was.
“The young Elemental dragon.”
“Is not a possession!” Hotch declared. He forced himself to sit down because he didn’t need to do anything to this man. He had no clue who this stranger was and while he wanted to press the issue. He’d learned long ago that appearances with magical beings were very deceiving. He didn’t need his ass handed to him in the middle of the BAU by a man who looked older than Dave.
The old man smiled at him.
“Good. A wonderful mindset. Keep an eye out, Lord Hotchner. We will be as well.” Hotch stared at the man. Not understanding his words. The old man dipped his head and then was gone. There was a rush of magic and then nothing. Hotch sat back in his seat. He had no clue who the old man was but he kind of figured that it was probably another Immortal.
Immortals were rare and Hotch only knew a handful. No one knew how magic chose who was going to be an Immortal. There were Immortals out there that the Council knew nothing about. Hotch figured that the man was one of them. Someone who knew more about dragons than the Council, or a protector of the dragons. Hotch knew he’d been judged. He just wasn’t sure what that meant.
“Hotch?” Morgan called out from the other side of the door before he opened it. “I thought you had a visitor?”
“It’s nothing. What did you need?”
“Well, Reed started his meeting with the AD a little earlier than planned.”
Hotch hung his head a little and pinched the bridge of his nose. He was feeling a headache coming on. He followed Morgan out of his office and into the small kitchen area. The Assistant Director of the FBI was sitting at the table with a cup of coffee in hand, looking at Reed who was drinking a cup as well. It was Hotch’s cup from his office. He sighed, thinking about the fact that he needed to get either a new cup for himself or for Reed or there might be blood.
“No clue where he came from but I saw the AD walking down the hall with Reed flying behind him. I think that he stole chocolate from Garcia or a cookie. He had chocolate on his mouth.”
“That dragon is addicted to sugar, I think. I know that Elementals are supposed to like sweet things but the amount of sweets he eats in unnatural.”
“So you say,” Reed said as he turned to look at Hotch.
“Agent Hotchner. Your dragon is very sweet. Quite an intelligent little guy.”
Hotch looked at Reed who only gave him a smile in return.
“Thank you, Sir. I am glad that you two get along.” Hotch glared at Reed when the AD wasn’t looking at them. Reed smirked. The AD stood up and held out a finger Reed pushed his head closer and the AD ran a finger back his head and down his neck. Hotch waited for the AD to move a good distance away before he reached out and Reed climbed his arm.
“What’s wrong, Aaron?” Reed settled on his shoulder, wrapping his tail around the back of his neck.
“Where did you go?”
“I looked around. Got comfortable with the building. I stole chocolate from Garcia before I escaped from you.”
“Escaped?” Hotch asked, a small smile on his face.
“Mother hen.” Reed took up into the air and flew to Hotch’s office. Hotch reached out for the still half full cup of coffee when it disappeared from sight.
“We are going to have a lot of fun with this.” Morgan wasn’t holding back his laughter. Hotch nodded and moved to his office. He had a lot of paperwork to do and he knew that a case would come up soon so he needed to get as much done as possible.
It was seven before Hotch was ready to leave for the day. Reed had disappeared after lunch and other than brief touches along the bond; he knew nothing of what the dragon did all day. He hadn’t heard of anyone complaining about Reed so he figured that the dragon was at least trying not to make anyone mad. He set the folder in his done pile as Reed flew into the room. He landed on the edge of the desk.
“Hello you. I was worried that Garcia had secreted you away to her home.”
“I’d never go with her. Too much crazy for me.” Reed looked around the desk.
“Too much crazy? I don’t know what I think of you talking. Pretty sure you are going to make my life harder than it needs to be.”
“Sorry.” Reed ducked his head down in a look that spoke of shame.
“You were in a horrible place, Reed. I understand that. Every single thing about your life changed then. You and I are together in this. You surprised the hell out of Dave and that was worth it. You are the only thing I am worried about.”
“I don’t like keeping things from you, Aaron. I just know that I have to, for now.”
Hotch reached out and Reed climbed his arm to wrap around his neck. “If I ask something you can’t answer, then just tell me that. I may get upset but I won’t get angry. Ready to head home?”
“Chinese?” Reed asked.
“Yea, I am not going to like you talking at all.”
It was eleven in the morning and Hotch needed a cup of coffee. He’d been woke up early by the Council needing his help on the removal of magic from an offender. Reed hadn’t been happy that his sleep had been interrupted so he’d glared at the two Council members who had brought the offender to the house. Hotch had never seen someone leave his house so quick.
The kitchen area only had a single agent standing three feet in front of the coffee pot. Hotch stepped around him and stopped when he got a good look at the agent’s face. His name was Gleeson or something like it and he was staring at the coffee pot. Following his exact gaze, Hotch tried not to laugh out loud. Someone must have emptied the pot and not made more because Reed was laying on top of the maker, staring at the liquid that was pouring into the glass pot, his head upside down. If Reed liked coffee with no sweetener and cream, he was sure the dragon would be lapping at the falling liquid.
“Something wrong Gleeson?” Hotch asked as he kept his face restrained. Gleeson turned to look at him, his eyes even wider. After a few seconds, he turned to look at the dragon again.
“I’m not certain, Sir.” Gleeson’s face was full of horror and it was then that Hotch understood what was happening. Gleeson wasn’t sure if he was seeing things or not.
“Agent Gleeson, I would like you to meet Reed. Reed, this is Gleeson. He likes his coffee just about as sweet as you do.”
Reed just looked up a little, taking his eyes off the coffee and gave Gleeson a glare. “Did you let the coffee run out?”
“No.” Gleeson said quickly.
“Then we’ll get along fine.” Reed turned his head back down to watch the last of the coffee drip out of the basket. The pot lifted up and poured into mug that Morgan had brought in for him to use but Reed had stolen it, liking it better than the generic FBI one Hotch had been using.
“Dave kick you out of his office?” Hotch asked. Reed just snorted and supervised as sugar and a little cream were poured into the cup. As soon as it was to his liking, Reed flew off somewhere. The mug disappeared a few seconds later.
“When did the BAU get a dragon as a pet?” Gleeson asked.
“A couple weeks back. Don’t let the coffee run out and you’ll be fine. Or give him chocolate. He likes chocolate.”
Gleeson turned and left the kitchen, not saying a word. Hotch wondered if there was anyone else who didn’t know that the BAU had a dragon now.
Trying to find Reed for lunch was proving to be an issue. He’d found the dragon curled in JJ”s lap the day before at lunch after scaring Gleeson in the kitchen, napping. He’d already checked Garcia’s office where he’d spent only a short time. Reed had muttered about crazy Fae and weird feeling magic before all but running from her office with his cookie in his claws.
“Morgan, have you seen Reed?” Hotch asked as he entered the bullpen again. Morgan was sitting at his desk, frowning at the case file in front of him. Prentiss was at her desk, smiling. After a few seconds of no answer, Hotch opened his mouth to speak again but stopped when he saw that the words on the paper were all in what looked like German. “Why are your case files in German?”
“I’d love to know that. I opened one up and then another. All of them are in German. I had Garcia print me another set and as soon as they touch my hands, German.”
A murmur of humor came down the bond and Hotch looked around, up high. Reed was hanging upside down in a back corner of the bullpen. He had a feeling that Reed had something to do with it but he had no clue what had made the dragon want to do it.
“I told you that he would catch you leaving the pot empty,” Prentiss said with a smirk before turning back to her files. The humor in the bond became more pronounced and Hotch had to let out a small smile. Since yesterday the pot had been left empty three times. If Morgan was the culprit, then he deserved reports in German.
“What the…” Morgan trailed off and Hotch looked down at Morgan’s hands. The book in his hands was now in German as well. “Reed!”
The laughter echoed around the bullpen and every single head turned towards where Reed was hanging. Hotch had never seen the dragon shake as much as he was now. The dragon started to laugh so hard that he actually fell off the perch he was hanging onto. He disappeared from sight and Hotch’s team all lost it. Hotch waited until he could tell that Reed wasn’t injured before he let loose with his laughter. Reed jumped up onto file cabinet he had fallen behind and glared. It just made the team laugh even harder.
Hotch felt the swell of magic and was worried for a few seconds but when nothing noticeable happened he relaxed.
“It’s lunch. Why don’t we call take a break and Reed, fix Morgan.”
The swell of magic pushed out of his mind, Hotch had fun at lunch with the team and Reed. He even let the lunch hour run a little over as a treat to them.
It was five minutes after everyone got back from lunch that the team figured out what Reed had done. All the ink was missing from their pens as well as the lead in their pencils. The dragon had disappeared. Hotch took it upon himself to go down to supply and get a few more boxes of pens and pencils.
Next Part: Family