Series: Long Journey
Fandom: Criminal Minds, Sentinel
Category: Established Relationship, Sentinels/Guides,
Pairings: Hotch/Reid, Morgan/Garcia, JJ/Will,
Spoilers: Through Season 9
Summary: While on a case, Spencer is injured and knocked unconscious and it sends Aaron into an overdrive state.
The sudden sharp pain and the knowing of what caused it snapped Aaron’s mind. He’d been so concerned about finding Spencer that he’d focused too much and the pain his Guide was in was overwhelming.
Aaron was gone, only the Sentinel remained. And he was hunting.
Morgan cursed as he heard the cry of pain from Reid and the thud from the area he was at. He turned to Prentiss and they both took off running. JJ and Rossi wouldn’t be able to keep up. Morgan was going at full tilt. He could feel Garcia’s worry for him emanating from where she was safe inside the ranger station.
So focused on getting to Reid, he almost missed the cliff. Grabbing a tree, Morgan looked down at Reid, twenty feet below him. He could make the jump and so could Prentiss but it looked like Reid hadn’t jumped, he looked like he’d been shoved or thrown. He could smell Hotch and the UnSub but the fact that Hotch wasn’t here with Reid spoke volumes on what was happening.
“He’s gone feral.”
Prentiss nodded as she prepared to jump down to Reid. Morgan pulled his cell phone out and dialed Rossi. “We need medics here now. I’ll meet you guys and lead you to where Reid is.”
“Looks like the UnSub threw him from a twenty foot cliff. Hotch is in the wind. We need anyone who is not a Sentinel pulled back now. If Hotch comes across them while he hunting the UnSub, he could hurt them.”
“JJ will make sure they are pulled back. How is Reid?”
“Breathing and that’s all I know.”
Prentiss crouched at Reid’s side. She could tell that his leg was broken. His head was bleeding but it wasn’t bad. She was afraid of a spinal injury so she didn’t want to move him. She heard Morgan on the phone and then him heading off to lead the medics to Reid. She wasn’t going to leave him in case the UnSub circled around. With her hearing at its max, she couldn’t hear anything telling her that Hotch and the UnSub were close.
Overdrive was the only thing that would have kept Hotch from being here. She could smell where Hotch had checked him over before taking off. The pain that had to be bleeding over their bond wasn’t helping bring him back from his feralness. She wouldn’t want to be the UnSub if Hotch caught him.
She knew what was going to happen. She would stay with Reid, go to the hospital with him. She wouldn’t be any good searching for Hotch. She had no Guide and she didn’t need to zone out while looking for him. Morgan was the best option for getting Hotch back before he killed the UnSub.
The pain was horrible. He could feel the sedative that was coursing through his veins, trying to keep him under but there was something else on top of it all, trying to wake him up. He knew he wasn’t in a bed. He was swaying too much for that.
Forcing his eyes open, Spencer looked around. He was still in the forest. He reached out and grabbed the man beside him, recognizing Rossi as soon as he mentally swept the area around him. There was someone missing and he tried to reach out farther. Aaron wasn’t anywhere near and he couldn’t feel him. He reached into their bond and found nothing. Aaron was blocking him.
“Stop. He’s waking up.”
“He shouldn’t be!” a new voice cried out.
Spencer was jostled as he was set to the ground. The pain in his leg filled his thoughts for a few seconds and he closed his eyes again. Finding his pain center, Spencer shut it down. The pain disappeared and he could think. He could feel the breaks in his bones as well as the knot on the back of his head.
“Where’s Hotch?” Spencer asked, opening his eyes to look at Rossi.
“Hunting,” Prentiss answered.
“No.” Spencer tried to sit up but was pushed back down by a medic with a needle in his hand. Spencer slapped the needle out. “I don’t need that.”
“Your leg is broken in at least three places.” The medic tried to keep him down but Spencer shoved at him again and then he was allowed to sit up.
“Four, but that’s not what’s important. I can’t feel Hotch. If I can’t feel him, he can’t feel me.”
“Oh God!” Prentiss’s hand flew to her mouth. “You can’t feel him?”
“You can’t take me out of the area. Given that Morgan isn’t here, I assume he’s trying to track him. You said that Hotch is hunting. I remember the UnSub shoving me off the cliff and then nothing. He’s hunting down the UnSub to kill him thinking that I am dead. He won’t stop unless he sees me.”
“Your leg is broken,” Prentiss pointed out.
“Get me crutches and I’ll be fine. We can brace the leg but when Morgan finds him or the UnSub the only thing that could stop Hotch from killing the UnSub is to get him to me. The UnSub is running. His only thought is to escape Hotch.”
“Realistically, how long can he evade Hotch?” Rossi asked.
“The missing piece to the profile? The UnSub is a Sentinel. Hotch will track him though. I can’t let Hotch kill him. I might not be able to get him back if he kills him.” Spencer shoved away the hands that tried to keep him down but he stood up on his good leg. He was shaky but he’d be fine as long as they got him crutches. “I need crutches and we need to brace my leg. I will knock all your asses out and do it myself if you don’t help me.”
Prentiss stared into the eyes of Reid. There was no pain there. She had a feeling that he’d shut down his pain centers in his brain. She’s known a Guide that had done it once for their Sentinel but she’d never heard of one doing it to themselves. She understood what Reid wanted and nodded at the medic. She knew what he was afraid of.
Right now, Hotch was more Sentinel than human and Reid was afraid that if he killed the UnSub in an overdrive state that the human side of him would never come back.
Morgan had lost them. In a rush to get away from Hotch, the UnSub had tried to follow a stream. Morgan had to find where the UnSub came out of the stream and it was going to take a while.
The ring of his cell phone brought him out of his hunting and he answered it. He was still moving forward but slower.
“The UnSub is going to do whatever he can to get away from Hotch, Morgan. He has no weapons other than his own body. Hotch’s primary was left here at the scene where I was found and his backup is still on him. I don’t know if he is going to remember that he has it on him. Keep your cellphone on and no matter what, don’t lose it. Garcia is tracking you on it.”
“Ok. I’ve lost them for now. How are you doing?”
“I’ve been a lot better. Hotch has shut me out, Morgan. He’s not going to stop. You do whatever you can to keep him alive and stop him from killing. Rangers have everyone out of the park that they can get.”
“Is that you in the chopper?”
“Yes. We are hanging back right now. We don’t want to scare him. Be careful, you aren’t in our line of sight.”
“I’ll bring him home for you, Reid.” The click told him that Reid had hung up. Morgan slid his phone into his pocket as far as it could go. As long as the phone was on, Garcia would find him. He was glad that Reid was awake but he wanted to know what Reid had done to get Prentiss to allow him in a helicopter and not in a hospital.
He felt the brush of Reid’s mind on his as Reid reached out for Hotch.
The pain was gone but the emptiness was back. His prey had tried to hide from him but he found his trail. The hunt was making him want to rip him limb from limb. The prey had killed his mate. He was going to slaughter the prey and the prey was trapped.
The clearing where the pilot landed the helicopter was a hundred feet from where Spencer knew that Morgan, Aaron, and the UnSub were. From what he could get off Morgan, Aaron had the UnSub up a tree and was trying to get up after him. When he hobbled into the smaller clearing where his Sentinel was, he could see what Morgan was seeing. The UnSub had gone up a tree, breaking branches as he’d gone up so that Aaron couldn’t follow him.
“AARON!” Spencer yelled as he came out of the trees to where Aaron could see him. He didn’t react. Spencer moved closer and closer. Prentiss had stopped at the tree line and Morgan was arcing over to where he would intercept Spencer.
“He’s not even reacting to me.”
“I know. If the UnSub comes down, Aaron will kill him. There is going to be no way to get to Aaron, safely, with the UnSub alive. He’s raped and killed thirteen women. He’s a threat to all around him, especially since he’s a Sentinel.”
“Are you wanting my okay to kill him or for me to kill him?” Morgan asked. He started to draw his gun but Spencer laid a hand and stopped him.
“Go back with Prentiss. She has a tranq gun in case this doesn’t work like I think it will.”
“If you touch him, the pain could make him worse.”
“I feel no pain,” Spencer looked at Morgan for the first time, taking his eyes off Aaron. “I haven’t since I was able to dampen the feeling. He won’t feel anything but my love when he touches me.”
Morgan nodded and started back towards where Prentiss was.
His prey was right in his sight. He could smell him. There was another smell, the smell of the Sentinel that was known to him but he was staying back, not trying to take his prey from him. He’d worry about him after he was able to destroy his prey.
Locking his eyes on his prey, he watched as the prey’s eyes widened and then all light went out of them. His prey let go of the tree and fell. Crouching beside him, he found his prey dead. He spun to see who had taken his prey from him.
A man stood in front of him. There was a part of his human mind that sparked when he saw the man but he shoved that down, it was a trick of his mind. He snarled but stayed in his crouch. He was going to rip the man who took his prey from him limb from limb.
Spencer watched Aaron’s eyes. He knew the second that Aaron decided to attack him. It wasn’t ideal but it would get him skin on skin contact. He dropped the crutches and wasn’t surprised when Aaron didn’t even react.
Reaching out, Spencer tried to get into Aaron’s mind. There was such a wall between them that Spencer wasn’t sure he could ever breach it.
Aaron leapt out of his crouch and he was so quick that instead of dropping down to his butt on his own, Aaron took him down. His head knocked the ground and he was dazed for a few seconds but he was able to grab Aaron’s face and pull him in for a kiss. Skin on skin contact was the only way he had into Aaron’s mind.
The Sentinel side of him had taken over him too much and there was only one option left. Aaron ripped his face away and as soon as he was back far enough, Spencer cocked his arm back and let his fist fly. The shock of the hit was enough that Spencer was able to knock him out with a mental blast. Aaron slumped on top of him.
“Reid?” Morgan called out.
“Help!” Spencer was tired and he wouldn’t be able to roll Aaron off him without possibly hurting his already injured leg. His own shields on the pain were weakening. He was tired and it was better to just let them go. He released it and he felt the pain flood back. Darkness came for him.
Aaron opened his eyes and closed them again when the light sent a spike of pain through his head. He couldn’t remember where he was but he could feel Spencer lying curled up next to him. The sounds of machines beeping a few rooms away told him where he was. He opened his eyes slowly and confirmed. He was in the hospital and his jaw really ached.
Shifting on the bed, he found that he wasn’t hooked up to any machines but there was a machine keeping track of Spencer’s heartbeat. He reached out with his free hand and moved Spencer’s hair back from his face. He looked fine but there was smell of blood on him. He looked down and saw that Spencer’s leg was in a brace. What the hell had happened?
“Aaron?” Dave asked softly. Aaron looked over and saw his friend sitting in a chair. He looked really worried. “You back to yourself?”
“Back to…” Aaron trailed off as the memories came back to him. Watching Spencer fall down and the pain. The hunt through the woods and then Spencer killing the UnSub. Spencer knocking him out. That explained why his jaw hurt. “Yes, I’m back.”
“Good. He doesn’t have a concussion but his head is going to hurt for a while. It took five stitches to close up the wound. His leg is broken in four places. He’s been out since he turned his pain receptors back on after going after you in the woods. The doctors wanted to keep you in different beds but Morgan and Prentiss said that you would do better with him in the same bed.”
“Yes.” Aaron pulled Spencer closer with the arm that was wrapped around him. He could feel the slight pain coming from Spencer now.
“The doctor gave him non-narcotic pain medicine. Prentiss thinks he’s just recharging himself. He had his pain receptors blocked for over two hours while Morgan tried to find you. He’s worn out.”
“Is Morgan sleeping? And Prentiss?”
“Garcia is watching over them in the next room. JJ is at the ranger station taking care of the final things. Once Reid is awake we can all go. You’ve been given a clean bill of health.”
“Why am I not restrained?” It was standard for Sentinels to be restrained after an episode of overdrive.
“Reid wouldn’t settle unless your arm was around him. Reid was so sure that when you woke up that you would be yourself. The doctors trusted us and…” Rossi held up a syringe. “This is enough to knock your ass out for several hours.”
Aaron smiled and turned his head to place a kiss on Spencer’s forehead. Spencer shifted closer to him and his mind reached out. Aaron welcomed him in and let love and calm wash down the bond to him.
“Jessica was called and will meet you at your house after we land.”
“I’m worried that Jack is going to try and keep Spencer at home after this.” Aaron knew that Jack worried about Spencer just as much as the young boy did him. “Oh, God did he…?”
“Yea. Garcia had a call just minutes after Reid fell. He was inconsolable. He couldn’t feel you, and Reid was in pain. Before Reid took off in the helicopter he talked to Jack and calmed him down. Will brought Henry over and I don’t think you are going to separate those two for a week.” Rossi handed over his cell phone and stepped out of the room.
Aaron dialed the number he knew from heart.
“Aaron,” Jessica said as greeting.
“Hey, Jess. Is he awake?”
“No. He went to sleep as soon as Spencer knocked you out from what we can tell. He said he could feel you again. He felt Spencer’s pain for a second and then I think you blocked that from him. He and Henry are both taking a nap. Will’s sitting with them.”
“Spencer is still asleep but Dave said as soon as he woke we would be able to leave. A few hours and we should be home. It’s going to be late so if you want to head over when he and Henry wake up that will be fine. We’ll keep Henry as long as Jack needs him there so if Will wants to go home that’s fine.”
“Will dropped JJ off for the case so she’s going to drive your car with you guys in it and he will take her home from there.”
“Okay. That works.” Aaron felt something shift in his mind at the same time that Spencer’s hand on his chest gripped his shirt and then relaxed. Spencer was waking up. “I need to go. Spencer’s waking up. I’ll call once we are in the air.”
Aaron hung up and set the phone on the side of the bed that Spencer wasn’t on.
“Aaron?” Spencer called out, his voice rough with sleep.
“I’m here.” Aaron shifted and pulled Spencer up to his chest. He made sure not to shift Spencer’s injured leg. “I’m here, Spencer.”
“Don’t go away again.” Spencer buried his face in Aaron’s neck. Aaron could feel that Spencer was hiding things in the bond from him. Happiness was coming through the bond, relief but there were no negative emotions.
“Open up, Spencer. Don’t hide from me. I’m not going to go away if you open up all the way.” A hand on the back of Spencer’s head, pulling him closer and then Spencer was slowing opening up. The fear and pain washed over him and he just sent reassurance back. “You saved me, Spencer. You brought me back.”
Spencer gripped him hard and Aaron knew that he wasn’t going to be out of his sight for a while. He was okay with that; he wasn’t that happy with the thought of Spencer being out of his sight either. Pressing the call button, he waited until a nurse came in.
Jack and Henry were waiting for them when they exited the vehicle. The kids took their bags from Aaron and he smiled as that left him to be there to help Spencer into the house. JJ followed behind him and Aaron figured that Will was inside with Jessica. Spencer on crutches was something that already scared Aaron. He remembered briefly a time when he’d seen the Guide on crutches long before he’d ever talked to him.
Back then he’d just been someone who had applied to work at the BAU and had been turned down. Aaron remembered seeing him on the crutches and had stopped to hold a door open for him. The then painfully young man had been so focused on getting to where he was going; he wasn’t watching where he was going. Aaron had watched him as he’d traveled down as hall and five agents had dodged him instead of the other way around. One from his own team had even pulled a small table out of the way when it became apparent that Spencer hadn’t seen it and was going to crash his crutch leg into it.
Appointments were already set up to get his leg rescanned and then casted, the brace temporary as no one on the team had okayed a cast put on by doctors they didn’t know. Reid had handled that on the plane.
“I think I am more scared of Jack than you,” Spencer said as Aaron held the front door open for him. Aaron laughed at the statement. Jack was still rather attached to Spencer, even more so after the kidnapping months before. Jack wasn’t going to let the young man out of his sight for a while. In a way it was perfect timing because the school hadn’t been started up in the area yet and Jack was staying with Jessica, working on lessons that Spencer had prepared based on what he knew of Jack’s education at the school.
“Let’s go Henry!” Will called from where he was standing at the foot of the stairs. The boys must have placed the bags in Aaron and Spencer’s room. When no call from Henry came, Aaron tuned his hearing into the heartbeat of the young boy. He found both Henry and Jack’s heartbeats in his bedroom but they weren’t moving around. If he had to guess, he would say that they were hiding in his closet.
“Will,” Spencer called out as he moved over to the couch and settled down with his injured leg spread out over the couch. Will turned to look at him. “Henry can stay with us.”
“Are you sure, Spence?” JJ asked as she stepped up to her husband.
“Come on, I need two little minions to do my bidding while I’m pretty much stuck on this couch for the next few weeks. I can watch him.”
Will and JJ shared a few looks and Aaron wasn’t sure what each one was saying to the other. Finally JJ turned to look at Spencer.
“We’ll drop his stuff off tonight but if at any point over the next week you look like you are not taking care of yourself, you are going to deal with me.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Spencer said with the smiling smirk that was wholly Spencer. JJ laughed and leaned over to kiss him of the forehead.
“Sleepover tonight and then case depending we can play each day by ear. I’m sure that at some point Jack is going to want to escape having both of you home and will want to head over to either our house or Jessica’s.”
The sound of feet scurrying told Aaron that Jack had heard what was being said and then the two boys appeared with smiles on their faces and hugs and kisses goodbye for JJ and Will. Aaron set about making sure that everything that Spencer would need in the kitchen was where he could get to it. It cluttered up the counters but he didn’t care. It was better than Spencer trying to reach up into the higher cabinets and hurt himself.
It was closer to when Spencer had been blind. Jack was good at not leaving toys around, even now and with Spencer on crutches it was going to be a necessity. Aaron wasn’t sure what would happen to him at the team’s hands if Spencer got injured here in the house.
It was early on a Saturday morning three weeks later that Aaron woke to the sound of a knock at the door. He’d got back late the night before and Spencer had let him sleep in, shutting off the alarm.
The knock sounded again and Aaron frowned. He couldn’t hear the thumps of Spencer moving like he was going to answer the door. Then the panic set in over the bond. Spencer was scared. In under a minute, Aaron had thrown on a pair of pants over his boxers and a t-shirt and was out the door. Jack was with Henry at JJ’s for the weekend. JJ hadn’t gone on the case due to Will being sick and wanting to stay with Henry.
Spencer was standing five feet back from the door. He had a look of pure shock on his face.
“It’s the Council, Hotch. All ten of them on our porch steps.” The fact that Spencer called him Hotch, in their home with no one else around had him more worried than anything else.
“What?” Aaron said as he stepped up to the door. He looked out the window and indeed the Council was standing there. The entire process for the choosing of the Council had been public and open. Humans had learned more about Sentinels and Guides than most knew before the attack on Quantico. The investigation had stalled just two weeks back when all the surviving members of the squads had killed themselves in custody. No one had been able to find a paper or money trail, not even Garcia. Garcia hadn’t given up but it was making it hard.
“What do they want?” Spencer’s were wide with fear now. Aaron was good at protecting but outside that door were five Sentinels, two Omega and three Sigma and their Guides. Aaron figured that nothing would happen because all eyes in the country were focused on Sentinels and Guides, especially Aaron and Spencer.
“I don’t know. Call Morgan and Prentiss. I want them here as soon as possible.”
Spencer nodded and crutched his way into the kitchen. Aaron watched as he picked up his phone and started to text. It would take Morgan and Garcia twenty minutes to get to them and Prentiss just a little longer. He wanted to stall. Spencer was injured and other than his gun and what he could do with his mind, he wasn’t able to defend himself. There was no clue if he could kill with his mind on Sentinels and Guides of this power. What he wanted to do was take Spencer out the back and run. He was in full protection mode.
“Prentiss is five minutes away; she was at a coffee shop. Morgan and Garcia will be here as soon as they can.”
“Go up and get changed.”
As soon as Spencer was up the stairs and in the bedroom, Aaron opened the door, leaving the chain on. The woman on the stoop was a Guide. Aaron let himself snort out loud.
“Sentinel Hotchner, my name is…”
“Amanda Birdwell. I am well aware of who you all are. I would like to know why all of you arrived at my house, in my territory without making it known beforehand.”
“We left a message in your office yesterday.” Amanda looked worried now. It was the first real facial emotion from any of them. The Sentinels were on edge but that was a given.
“I was out of town until two am. I got off the FBI jet and went straight to bed. My Guide is still laid up with an injury and I wanted to get to him as soon as possible.” He didn’t move and he made it clear that he wasn’t going to. “What can I do for you?”
“We wanted to introduce ourselves to you and Doctor Reid,” Amanda said.
Aaron turned his eyes to the rest of the group. The Sentinels were at the back of the group with the Guides taking the closer presence. It spoke of the attitude that the Council was trying to present but it wasn’t going to work. Aaron knew how deadly Guides could be, even female ones.
“Sentinel Hotchner. We can come back at a later time today. We were unaware of the circumstances you’ve been in over the past few days.” The only female Sentinel said as she stepped up behind her Guide, pressing close. Star and Addie Capra were the talk of the Council. The only female/female pairing but not the only same sex.
Looking at the other couple, Aaron watched as Jeremy Wiggs stepped close to his Sentinel Will. The bonded pairs on the Council were all married. It wasn’t requirement for the Council but it had helped settle the general populace on trusting them. Amanda’s Sentinel was Jacob Birdwell and they had been married for over ten years.
The oldest bonded couple was Frances and Myra Cooper. In their sixties they were the current lead of the Council. The youngest was Scott and Winter Jones, just topping out at twenty five.
“But I can’t convince you to go away?” Aaron asked. He heard the light thumping of Spencer’s crutches as he came back towards the door. He watched as the Sentinels reacted to the sound. Frances took a full step back from the door, pulling the two Sentinels beside him back. Those two grabbed the other two and pulled them back as well. A car door slamming had all five of them turning to take in what could be a threat. Prentiss walked up to the house and when she got close Amanda took a step back and Aaron allowed her to slip into the house without taking his eyes off the Council.
“We heard about what happened on the west coast but we were not made aware of the extent of injuries received by the BAU team.” Frances took a few steps closer, placing himself between the Council and Aaron. “It’s been several weeks and he’s obviously still on crutches. I understand pulling your team in to protect your Guide. Why don’t we make plans to have a dinner? I’ll rent out a restaurant on my dime and we can all have a wonderful meal and talk. You pick the place and the time and I’ll make the arrangements. Bring the whole team if you wish. I know that pretty much anything said to you will be imparted to them if you feel it relevant. I would enjoy talking to David Rossi.”
“Sounds like a plan. I don’t care where we go as long as it’s Italian. Spencer loves Italian and he’s been home bound for a few days. He’ll enjoy getting out.”
Frances nodded and then turned. The rest of the Council started away from the house but Aaron didn’t shut the door and lock it until the third vehicle had pulled away from the curb.
“What the hell is the Council doing here?” Prentiss asked.
“They want to introduce themselves. We’ll see how it goes tonight. I’m sorry if it cancels any plans.”
“Hotch, don’t worry. I would be pissed if you told us about meeting them anywhere without myself and at least Morgan there. Garcia would kill you, putting her geek man in harm’s way like that.”
“Have Garcia get a copy of the message they left for me and I would like the rest of the team to meet me here. We have some digging to do.”
By the time that the whole team arrived at the restaurant, they felt they were pretty prepared for anything that came up. None of the other Sentinel and Guide pairs had been visited by the Council but the pair that took care of the area below Aaron’s had a meeting set up. It seemed the Council was starting at one edge of the country and moving around. It helped calm Spencer that the Council wasn’t just meeting with them. Every single member on the team knew who was who and Aaron was certain that the Council knew the members of the team.
The hostess escorted the team to the table even though there was no one else inside. It was full staff though. Aaron wasn’t shocked. Frances had made a lot of money in his lifetime and he liked to spend it. The Council was already seated and there was a file sitting at two spots in the dead center of the table.
“Welcome, welcome,” Frances said as he stood up. The team split up, pressing Aaron and Spencer to the middle, where Spencer would be protected the most. Aaron sat down first with Spencer following. Once they were seated the rest of the team followed. Aaron could see the respect on each of the Sentinels faces. It was rare to have two humans seamless integrated into a pack like Aaron’s team was and he knew it. It hadn’t ever come through until after Gideon had left the team.
Aaron watched out of the corner of his eye as Spencer opened the file in front of him and quickly read through it. A few faces of the Council looked shocked and it was the same look that LEOs got when seeing him read. He grabbed Aaron’s file next and sped through it and then set it on top of his own. He looked at the Council with sharp eyes.
“Both files are exactly the same,” was the only thing he said.
“Sentinel Hotchner, Guide Reid, we thank you for meeting with us on such short notice and we apologize that our message never reached you.”
“I spoke with our Section Chief and she is trying to find out how the message wasn’t given to me since I was on a case.” Aaron wanted to know why as well. He didn’t like it. Usually no one in the unit was bad about getting him his messages.
“We can discuss the file later. I have a few questions.” Myra focused her eyes directly on Spencer. “How did you become injured?”
“We were chasing an UnSub,” Spencer answered. He shifted to allow the waitress to set a glass of water in front of him. He waited to allow the rest of the glasses of water to be placed before he spoke again. “He got the drop on my Sentinel and I. I was shoved off a cliff. The overwhelming pain of the breaking of my leg in four places as well as the hit to my head…”
“Good gods,” Star said. She looked at Aaron with eyes filled with pain. “You…”
“Yes. I went completely feral on the UnSub. I chased him for a few hours.”
“How was he able to evade you?”
“He was a Sentinel. We hadn’t profiled that on him and it surprised us. It’s how he was able to injure Spencer. When he figured out what he had done, he took off and I gladly chased him.”
“How were you able to be calmed?”
“I blocked the pain receptors in my mind and forced the medics to give me crutches. Sentinel Morgan tracked down Aaron and when we were able to get me there by helicopter, I pulled him from his overdrive state.”
“How?” Frances asked.
It was the whole point of the meeting. THe FBI had hidden the aspects of the case they had been on. It was need to know only and no one else but the FBI needed to know how the UnSub was killed. Aaron had been told later that Morgan had snapped the UnSub’s neck to make it seem like he had fallen from the tree. Aaron wondered how often he, Morgan, and Prentiss would have to do that to cover up deaths that Spencer caused. He would gladly do it because he never resorted to that method unless he had to.
“I punched him in the face and the shock of the action threw him so much that I was able to basically knock him out with my mind.”
“Then Sentinel Smythe was correct and you are the young Guide that killed those men in Las Vegas years ago.” Frances waited but no one said anything and Aaron knew that no one on the team’s face betrayed anything. “The four humans that were seen on camera following a young man into an alley. The death record for the Sentinel that was revealed as the suspect in the case you were working is that he died from snapping his neck after falling from a tree.”
“He climbed the tree and broke the branches as he went to escape from Hotch,” Morgan supplied. “When Reid knocked Hotch out, it took the other Sentinel out as well and he fell. I never noticed as I was focused on Hotch and Reid.”
“Interesting,” Myra said. She smiled at Spencer and it set Aaron on edge. He slid one of his hands under the table and placed it on the top of Spencer’s leg, above the cast. It settled him down but he could feel that Spencer was uneasy as well.
“I’m glad that the both of you came out alive and that your team helped you. Once we order we can talk about what we actually came to talk about.” Frances held up a hand and the waitress came back quickly. She took orders starting with Frances and moved around the table in a circle. Aaron used that time to actually watch the Council. The rest of the team would be doing the same thing. Frances and Myra were doing most of the talking and that was odd. He knew that they led the Council but the fact that none of the rest were really piping up and asking questions.
Aaron settled back in his chair as he waited. Frances looked at him and neither man broke eye contact. When the waitress came around, Spencer ordered for him. There was one thing that the Sentinels and Guides on the Council hadn’t figured out but soon they would. The Consortium had tried to take Spencer away from him. He would burn and raze the entire country if Spencer was ever hurt by them again.
Frances was the first to look away and when he did, Aaron smiled.
The meeting ran well past when everyone was finished with dinner. The entire file that Aaron and Spencer had been given was gone over. The purpose of the Council, what limits there were on what they could do and so forth. The main thing was that the Council was going around to all the territories and meeting with all the Sentinels and Guides in charge. The Consortium was going to follow matters that pertained to the schools that were all over the country as well as helping place orphaned Sentinels and Guides into good families, healthcare and research. Everything that the Consortium had been founded on. The main change was that the only time anyone on the Consortium security squad could be sent out was if the leader for the area or someone along their chain of command requests it.
Aaron liked that addendum. Something like the infiltration at Quantico now couldn’t be sanctioned by the Consortium and it would be easier to trace who sent the squad. Aaron trusted the five Sentinels who he considered his seconds. There was one in each state that was under his protection. He’d have to call them and make sure that everything he knew was told to them. He might just have Spencer do it so that nothing was missed. Aaron hadn’t missed the looks he’d got when he’d let the genius read the materials and not even touch them himself. Spencer would never keep something that he needed to know from him.
The stress of the day had Spencer passing out as soon as they got home. He made his way up the stairs and changed. He was asleep, Aaron figured, before his head even hit the pillow. The open door policy of the Consortium and the Council would go a long way in making the general population of the world trust them more but Aaron knew different when it came to those who had been in Quantico the day it had been attacked.
Aaron wondered for the first time if it had been a good idea to allow Spencer to join his team. If he hadn’t, he would had faded back to being a shadow inside the FBI and would hopefully never been taken captive for his status as a Guide. Would never had to have killed a strike team that was trying to get to him and the kids. Would never had to have killed an UnSub to save Aaron from himself. He thought about how he used to have such a hole in his heart and he knew that he would never want to go back. He’d not give up what he had to keep Spencer safe. There was no proof that whoever was coming after him would have left him alone. He was safer as Aaron’s Guide than he was a Guide employed by the FBI.
“Dad, is Daddy asleep?” Jack asked as he came out after changing into his pyjamas. He was rubbing at his eyes. He’d had fun with Jessica at the zoo and then at a movie while Aaron and Spencer had been meeting with the Council.
“Yes. Sorry bud, you’ll have to continue the story tomorrow night.”
Jack nodded and Aaron followed him into the bedroom. Jack jumped up into the bed and settled down, covering himself up. Aaron grabbed the book that he read to Jack on the nights that Spencer was too tired or was already asleep. It wasn’t long before Jack was asleep, the sound of his father’s voice telling him he was safe.
Aaron checked over the house, obsessing over making sure every window was locked and the alarm was set. He was sure the Council would be staying the night in town and he wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. He was too tired for a shower so he stripped and slid into bed beside Spencer. As soon as he was settled, Spencer shifted back to where he was touching Aaron’s chest with his back. He hoped that there would be no nightmares for him that night, that Spencer was so tired that nothing would invade his dreams.
The nightmares weren’t bad but seemed to strike at random. But they had been getting worse since the invasion at Quantico. He wished there was a way to fight off the dreams like he did UnSubs. He hated Spencer shaking in fear in their own bed. He hoped that once they got to the bottom of everything, that it would all go away. He wanted his family safe.