Courting

Title: Courting
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 10
Category: Fluff, Romance,
Ratings: NC-17
Pairings: Hotch/Reid,
Spoilers: Up through Season 10
Summary: The words were out of Aaron’s mouth before he really knew what he was saying. Now he couldn’t take them back. How was he going to keep his hands to himself with Spencer living with him?

Or the one where Aaron has been dating Spencer for six months and the genius wasn’t aware.
Words: 10,035
Notes: None
Warnings: None
Beta: Charlie_Remington

Aaron Hotchner had always prided himself on being a patient man. He used to have the patience of a saint when it came to Spencer Reid. That patience was long gone, and now he was just frustrated. The young man was the smartest person on the team but hadn’t figured out that Aaron had been taking him on dates for the last six months.

Almost everyone else on the team had noticed. Aaron had already gotten the intentions speech from both Morgan and JJ, twice each. Callahan was the only one who hadn’t noticed, but she had come in after the dates had started up. To her it was normal that the two of them spent time outside work together.

Spencer had been the one that everyone on the team had adopted into their families. He had a place too, one that was all his own. Morgan was the older brother and Garcia the eccentric sister. JJ was the caring, older sister who cared for him a great deal. Gideon had been a father figure. When Dave had replaced him on the team, everyone watched to see what role Spencer would allow him to take in his life. For a while it had seemed like they were going to be just friends but Aaron had noticed that Dave made sure not to act paternal at all to the young man and their relationship had evolved to where Dave was an uncle. Elle and Prentiss were friends. Prentiss closer than Elle had ever gotten but still just friends. Blake had been a cross between mother and aunt and Spencer had reveled in it. It had been hard on him when she had left. Callahan was still figuring out her place in the family and it seemed like everyone was waiting on Spencer to make the decision of where she fit in his life before they figured out where she fit in all of theirs.

Aaron had always taken his cues of how to act from Spencer. In the beginning he’d been the stern boss. Gideon may have been his mentor but it had been Aaron that Spencer looked to on how to act. It hadn’t been helped since it had been him and Morgan on the first case that Spencer had worked. A friendship had developed by the time that Gideon had come back after the bombing in Boston. That friendship stayed throughout all the years, even though looking back it wouldn’t have taken much for it to grow beyond that. Aaron stayed back though. Spencer had never hinted he wanted more than friendship. Then the case in Texas had rocked all of their worlds and Aaron couldn’t hold back anymore.

Their first date had been spur of the moment and a week after Spencer had been shot. He had dropped off a book for Jack that he thought the boy would like. Jack had been gone on a week trip to see the extended Brooks family with Jessica, and Aaron had just finished cooking dinner. Spencer had joined him as Aaron had made enough for the both of them by habit. The genius had stayed till midnight with the both of them just talking. It had truly started Aaron on the path he was on now.

Aaron had let himself see the love he had for the genius long before that first date but had done nothing about it because Spencer had called him over two years ago frantic and the office meeting started them on the case to find who had taken Maeve. After that, there was no good time as everyone could see that Spencer grieved for her. Seeing him on that hospital bed had told Aaron that he had to do something.

It had now become a waiting game as Aaron was afraid that if he admitted what he felt or told Spencer his intentions, the genius might take off, overwhelmed. He could live with what he had. He missed sex. He’d been without it for a while and could last forever if it meant that Spencer stayed in his life.

Jack was at a two day sleepover/birthday party and wouldn’t be back until late Sunday morning. As soon as Aaron had set it up for Jack to go to it, he’d made plans with Spencer for the entire weekend. He was due to arrive at any moment. Dinner was already ordered and would arrive in the next hour. It was from Spencer’s favorite chinese food place which wasn’t too far away.

The knock at the door startled Aaron who had been lost in his thoughts. He moved to the door and opened it, his words drying up in his throat at the sight of Spencer. He was dressed in clothes that Aaron was certain that he’d never seen before. Hell, he’d never seen the genius in jeans before much less jeans that seemed to have been made to fit his frame. The shirt was the same. It was a deep red color and fit a lot tighter on his frame than any shirt he had ever seen the genius in.

“Hotch?”

Aaron shook his head to clear it before he smiled at Spencer and took a step back to let him into the house. “Sorry. I was just trying to remember if I have ever seen you in jeans before.” It was better to not outright lie to him. Everyone on the team had learned that since Prentiss’s return from the dead.

As the younger man shut the door behind him and toed off his shoes, he laughed. “Garcia and Morgan forced me out shopping last night after work. I had to buy three full outfits that they approved of and wear them this weekend. I was threatened with dire consequences if I didn’t.”

“It looks good on you.” Aaron waited to see what Spencer would do with that statement but he wasn’t rewarded with the blush that he wanted.

“Thanks.” Spencer didn’t even duck his head. Just two years before he would have been bright red with his head tucked down so that no one could see his face.

Aaron made a mental note to send flowers to Garcia. The clothes were for him. While he liked what Spencer wore on a day to day basis, he never really dressed down. The team joked about him not being out of suit while at work but Spencer wore his work clothes all the time. When Spencer turned to head into the kitchen, Aaron knew he wasn’t going to get to sleep without jerking off to thoughts of Spencer in those jeans. Spencer stopped at the coffee pot, pouring himself a cup of the waiting coffee. The older man knew that Garcia had been the one to pick the jeans out for him because there was no way that Spencer had chose a pair of pants that fit that snug around his ass. That sold him on the fact that Garcia and Morgan had dressed the young man just for him. Were they hoping that the unresolved sexual tension between him and Spencer would be resolved because Aaron wouldn’t be able to keep his hands off him?

Turning to face him, Spencer took a sip of his doctored coffee. “What’s the plan for tonight?”

“Chinese and I figured we could finally sit down and watch Firefly.”

Spencer’s face fell. “I didn’t bring it with me.”

“That’s okay.” Aaron moved over to the cabinet that held the few movies that he did own. Most were Jack’s. He grabbed the two newest additions and held them up for Spencer to see. It was Firefly and Serenity on Blu-Ray. “Found them on sale. You seemed to think I would like them so I figured why not.”

“I’ve never seen them on Blu-Ray.” His eyes moved to the TV. “Or a high definition TV.” He grabbed the cases from Aaron’s hand and immediately flipped the tv series box over to look at it. “We getting our normal?”

“The jump from Blu-Rays to food took a few seconds for Aaron to process. “Yes. I actually already called in the order. The lady on the phone asked if the boy was with me.”

Spencer started to laugh, nearly dropping his mug of coffee. “And it didn’t register that ‘the boy’ is me and not Jack.”

“Exactly. What does she call him?” Aaron had gotten used to being called agent by the woman but he never noticed what she called his son, only that she asked if the whole family was eating when it was the three of them.

“Jack. She tends to call kids by their actual name. I’m the boy and you are the agent. She’s learned your phone number by the way. I watched her the other day look at the phone and then start to yell out an order before even answering it.”

“How do you know that?”

“I was actually eating at the restaurant the other day. You got chinese for yourself and Jack as well as Jessica. When she answered the phone she smiled. She called out Jack’s order and then frowned before calling out Jessica’s. I was still looking up at her when she sought me out. She had such a look of sadness on her face, I never figured out why. I got sweet donuts for the walk home out of it though so yay.”

Aaron contained his laugh, not wanting to explain to the genius why he was laughing. The chinese restaurant lady thought that he was cheating on Spencer. Even she realized that they were dating. “She probably felt sorry that you were alone while I was at home eating.”

Spencer only hummed in answer. He was back to looking at the case for Firefly.

“Want to get it set up?”

“Sure.” Spencer moved over to the player and loaded up the first disc of Firefly. Once he had it and the tv on, he took his seat on the couch. He tucked his knees up to his chest and turned his back into the corner. It was his normal position. He could reach where he kept his coffee on the end table and still see the tv and both Aaron and Jack when the young boy was there. “Ready?”

Aaron didn’t say a word, just nodded as he took a seat on the middle cushion of the couch and waited for the tv series to start. It was usually Jack’s spot on the couch but Spencer didn’t even react at all to the change in normal seating on the older man’s part.

XxXxXxX

When Jack turned eight, Aaron decided he needed to find a house. The apartment had been a good thing when he and Jack had been getting used to living with just each other and not a once in a while thing. They had outgrown it though. While he’d been hunting for a house, he hadn’t even realized until after he’d settled on a house that he’d chosen one that Spencer would be comfortable in. Long before he’d made the decision to actually try and start a relationship with him.

Two weeks after he and Jack had moved in and just a couple of weeks before the case in Texas, he’d had the team over for a small housewarming party. No one on the team had said a thing about the office that had too little furniture in it and empty book shelves on half the room. Or the attic that had been turned into a cozy library with no books. That was also when he figured out the team knew he was in love with Spencer.

Even though he had bought the house and made sure there was room for Spencer, the genius showing up at his house at ten pm, go bag in hand, and asking to stay the night wasn’t on his radar. Aaron let him inside with no other thought than getting him into the house.

“Not that you can’t stay the night, but what’s wrong with your…” Aaron stopped speaking as a hint of smoke teased his nose. It wasn’t cigarette smoke but burning wood with a few other things thrown in. House fire. He knew the smell well from arson cases. “Spencer?”

“The only upside is Morgan was getting ready to help re-stain my shelves so I’d put all by books in a storage unit so I wouldn’t be tripping over them. And I’d just repacked all of my go bags so I have some clothes.” Spencer was on the verge of tears and Aaron knew it. He pulled the genius into him. He wrapped his arms around Spencer’s chest and just held him. The younger man took a deep shuddering breath and relaxed into him.

“Let’s get you into the shower to get rid of the smoke smell then we can start to figure out a plan. At least we have a four day weekend.” He hoped that Spencer would laugh.

The genius laughed as he pulled out of Aaron’s arms. He wiped at his eyes with his shirt sleeve. “A shower would be good.”

“Go ahead up. Use the master bath so that Jack doesn’t wake up. I’ll get all your stuff from the car.” A nod and keys shoved into his hand was his only answer as Spencer moved up the stairs to the second floor of the house with go bag in hand. Aaron pulled his phone out of his pocket as he opened his front door. Spencer had parked in his normal spot. He dialed Dave after getting the car door open.

“I thought we had a four day weekend,” Dave bitched as a way of answering the phone. Aaron ignored it and grabbed the messenger bag on the back seat, shocked at the weight of it. He also grabbed the other four go bags. He knew that Reid kept several packed up but he hadn’t been aware that he kept five.

“We do. Reid just showed up at my place. You settled in for the night?”

The rustle of what sounded like paper told Aaron that he was either reading or working on a book. “What’s wrong?” The worried tone in his voice told Aaron that he was taking this seriously.

“He’s not actually said but he’s happy his books were in storage and that he had all his go bags packed and in the car. He smells of house fire.”

“Shit. I’ll go see how bad it is. He’s fine right?” The jingle of keys told Aaron that Dave had been up and moving around enough to get his shoes on.

“I assume. His clothes looked clean and it was what he was wearing earlier today. He’s not covered in soot anywhere. He’s in the shower right now. Don’t call the house. Call my cell.”

“Sure. I’ll call Morgan and swing by and grab him. He’ll be mad if we don’t tell him.” Dave hung up and Aaron wasn’t upset. It was normal Dave. After dropping the bags behind one of the couches, Aaron moved to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. Spencer was either going to be up all night or he was going to crash like the dead right after the shower. It wouldn’t hurt to be prepared for either outcome. He jumped slightly when his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID. It was Garcia.

“Hotchner.”

“Sir, I can’t get a hold of Boy Wonder.” Garcia sounded frantic. “There’s been a fire and I can…”

“Garcia,” Aaron said forcefully, cutting off the excitable woman. “I have him. He probably can’t hear his ringer in the shower. He wasn’t injured. He’s perfectly fine. How did you know?”

“After the Reaper, I set up alerts for the area around everyone’s addresses. Anything happens, I hear about it. The news I am seeing says that the complex is probably a total loss and two fatalities. Are you sure he’s fine?”

“He’s in a little bit of shock but that’s a given.” Aaron poured a few teaspoons of sugar in the coffee mug and then filled it with the fresh brew. After making sure it was mixed, he started up the stairs. When he crested the top one, he heard the shower shut off. “Rossi and Morgan are going to check it out. I’ll let you know the plans tomorrow.”

“Give him a hug for me.”

Aaron hung up the phone as Spencer stepped out of the bathroom. He was dressed in his normal case pajamas, sleep pants and a FBI t-shirt. He was also wearing his glasses. The smoke from the complex couldn’t have felt good in his eyes with contacts. He took the mug with a smile when Aaron held it out.

“Ignore the probably million calls and texts from Garcia. I’ve talked to her.”

Shock on his face, Spencer looked up at him. “How did she know?”

“It’s Garcia. She stalks us online and she got an alert when your address popped in the system after the fire was reported.

“I didn’t grab my phone. It was on the coffee table in my apartment.”

“What did you grab?” Aaron asked, thinking back to the overly heavy messenger bag. He’d wanted to look but it wouldn’t have been right to.

“My photo albums and my bag, as you saw. I stuffed the albums in the bag and ran out. I was halfway down the stairs when I remembered Miss Walters next door. She fell and broke her leg, had to have surgery. I may have kicked in her door to get to her. She hadn’t even gotten out the bed yet. Thankfully she’s small and I was able to carry her out of the building.”

Aaron wasn’t that shocked. “Garcia said two deaths.”

“The Abri’s. Older couple on the first floor. Fire started in their living room I was told.” Spencer tipped the mug up to take a drink. He gave Aaron a shy smile. “You remembered.”

“Everyone knows how you take your coffee, even if they tease you about it.”

Spencer ducked his head as he tried to cover a yawn. That told Aaron that it would be crashing for the young doctor. “I better try and get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be busy.”

“The room to the left is made up already.”

“Thanks, Hotch. After my statement, the cops let me go. I just got into my car and drove. I didn’t even realize I was here until I got out.”

“You are welcome here, anytime Spencer. Anyone on the team would have taken you in.”

Spencer nodded and passed by him, leaving his bag in the bathroom. Aaron texted Morgan, Garcia, and Dave to tell them that Spencer didn’t have a phone and if he was needed, use his cell phone for the time being. After that he made sure the house was locked up and the alarm set before he changed for bed. Jack was dead to the world and when he checked on Spencer, he was asleep as well.

As he dropped off to sleep he wondered how he could get Spencer to just stay there with him and Jack.

XxXxXxX

Aaron had breakfast ready before he went to rouse his son and Spencer. He’d already called Jack off school. The plan had been to spend the day hanging out with Jack playing hookey. He didn’t want to change that. Spencer was just going to be added to their plans. Pushing his son’s door open, his heart stopped. Jack wasn’t in bed.

Moving across the hall and up, he opened his bedroom door to find the bed empty. Spencer’s room was next. Jack was curled up under the covers with the genius. Jack smiled at him. Aaron moved in and sat on the edge of the bed carefully so he didn’t wake the sleeping man.

“What are you doing, buddy?”

“Uncle Spencer was having a bad dream when I went to the bathroom. I talked to him like you do me and I must have fallen asleep. Why is Uncle Spencer here? He wasn’t when I went to bed.”

“Uncle Spencer’s apartment had a fire.”

“Oh.” Jack looked at his dad with a weird look on his face. “Does that mean he’d going to live here with us?”

“Do you want him to?”

“You are happier with him here,” Jack said honestly. Spencer shifted behind him, rolling onto his back. Jack didn’t move for several seconds, making sure that the man wasn’t going to wake up. When he was sure, he slid out the bottom of the bed. “He’s happier when he’s here.”

“Let’s go eat breakfast.” Aaron wasn’t sure he could say anything else at the moment. Jack was seeing a lot more than his dad wanted him to. His son scrambled out of the room, making no noise on the carpeted floor. By the time that he made it into the kitchen, Jack was seated at the table with a plate of food. Aaron filled up a plate for himself and sat down. He started to eat when Jack looked up at him.

“Why haven’t you told Uncle Spencer you love him?”

Aaron inhaled the bite of eggs in his mouth and coughed a few times to clear his throat so he could talk. That wasn’t a question that he ever thought he would hear come out of his son’s mouth. Jack just seemed to live to surprise him today.

“You look at him like you looked at mom in the pictures in my photo album,” Jack explained before Aaron could ask. As Aaron opened his mouth to answer, a knock sounded at the door. He set his fork down on his plate and stood to answer it. He figured it was Morgan and Dave and he was right.

“Hey, Hotch. Pretty Boy awake yet?”

“No. Come on in though, I have breakfast ready if you are hungry.” The two men went right to the kitchen, taking the last two empty seats. Aaron filled plates for them and set them down, he also set down the carafe of coffee. “What’s the word?”

“Whole place is a total loss. All of Reid’s things are trashed. If it wasn’t burned, its got severe smoke damage or water damage. Reid’s bedroom is a giant hole. Kitchen was burned. Living room isn’t much better. Fire went right up that side of the building. I went through with the arson investigator this morning. Found Reid’s phone. There was no saving it but I pulled the cards in case Garcia can pull anything off them. One of the LEOs said that he saved a woman?”

“Yes, his neighbor. She’d just had leg surgery and he broke down her door and then carried her out.” A smile of pride broke out on Morgan’s face.

“Couldn’t find his picture albums.”

“He grabbed those. He stuffed them in his bag before running out.”

“Uncle Spencer has nothing?” Jack asked. His face a look of pure sadness.

“He has his pictures and he’s alive. That better than most.” Morgan reached out and ruffled Jack’s hair, making the boy scowl at him. The sound of feet brushing the carpet told them that Spencer was awake and making his way towards them. Aaron stood up from his seat, taking his plate with him. He grabbed a clean mug and put a few teaspoons of sugar in before pouring the fresh coffee in. When the genius appeared in the kitchen it was apparent he had just gotten up because he still had his glasses on and hadn’t brushed his hair. Aaron ushered him into the chair he had gotten out of and set a plate of toast down in front of him as well as the coffee.

“Thanks, Hotch,” Spencer said after a long drink of the coffee. He took another drink after a bite of toast and looked at Jack. “Did you crawl into my bed and tell me a Captain America story or was that a dream?”

Jack laughed as he tried to hide behind his glass of juice. Aaron just shook his head. He wasn’t shocked it was a story about Captain America or that Spencer thought it might have been a dream. He hadn’t seen the young man drop off to sleep like that outside a case.

“You were having a bad dream. Dad tells me stories when I have bad dreams.”

“Well, thank you.” Reaching for the carafe, Spencer made to refill his cup. Aaron set the sugar bowl down on the table and tried to finish his breakfast. “So what’s the damage?”

“Whole building is a total loss. Did you have renter’s?”

“Yes. I’ll need to stop by the bank and get the paperwork for it. I also need a new phone. Thankfully I synced up everything via Google last week with Garcia’s help. So I didn’t lose any pictures on my phone or contacts.”

“I went through the apartment as soon as the sun was up. I pulled your cards from your phone but that’s redundant now. There wasn’t anything else that I could see that I could salvage. The arson investigator said that it should be open on Saturday for residents to come and see what they can save.”

“Thanks.” Spencer gave Morgan a bright smile. “You didn’t have to go through all that.”

“It was no problem, Pretty Boy. Really. In a week or two we can see about finding you a new place.”

Aaron tried to keep his face emotionless but something must have shown through because Dave smirked at him. Morgan’s phone ringing halted any more conversation.

“Mama, what are you doing at work? You should be home in bed.” Morgan had the phone on speaker, although he hadn’t warned Garcia of that.

“Why would I want to be alone in bed?”

Morgan’s head dropped with a smile on his face. “You’re on speaker.”

“OH! Is my Boy Genius there?”

“Yes, Garcia. I am here and so is Jack.” As if those words were magic, Jack stood up from his seat and moved over to Spencer. The young man looped an arm around Jack’s waist and pulled him close. Jack settled with his head on Spencer’s shoulder. Aaron could only see their backsides but he was pretty sure the front was an image to be seen and he ached to have a picture of it.

“I’ve been in contact with your phone company. They will have a new phone ready and waiting on you by nine. Just log onto Google like we did before and you’ll be fine.”

“Thank you.” Spencer looked uncomfortable. He picked up his coffee and took a drink. Aaron figured it hand more to do with giving his hand something to do than actually needing a drink.

“I have also filed your temporary change of address form. Cruz has also been made aware of the situation and promised me that we wouldn’t be given a case until Tuesday unless it’s a catastrophe.”

“Thank you, Garcia. I’m sending Morgan and Rossi home to get sleep. You do the same. I don’t want to hear a sign of life from you until later afternoon.” Aaron used his sternest voice. He knew that all three had been up all night.

“Yes, Sir. Bossman. Garcia out.”

“Don’t have to tell me twice. Thanks for the food, Aaron.” Dave stood up from his seat, grabbing his plate. Aaron waved a hand and Dave set it back down. He turned to Morgan who was standing as well. “I’ll drop you back off at yours.”

Morgan reached out and clasped Spencer’s shoulder squeezing a little. “You need anything call me.”

“I will,” Spencer said with a smile on his face.

“I think Aaron has everything under control.” Dave smirked as he said that and Aaron had the urge to throw a dish towel at him. That would draw Spencer’s attention to the words and Aaron really didn’t need that. Morgan started to laugh as he walked out the front door. Aaron grabbed the empty plates from the table. There was still toast left on Spencer’s plate and it had the older man looking at him. He had his thinking face on. Jack reached out and tipped the plate just enough that when it was released it clinked on the table. Without really noticing, Spencer reached out and grabbed the last piece of toast after setting down his mug.

By the time that Spencer had finished his toast and coffee, Aaron had the rest of the dishes clean. So when he picked them up, he just set them in the empty sink to be washed later.

“There should be enough time to stop by your bank before your phone is ready to be picked up.”

“Huh?” Spencer looked up at Aaron with a strange look on his face. The older man knew that look. The genius was replaying Aaron’s words back to figure out how he needed to respond. “Oh. Yeah. I need to get dressed.”

“Jack go shower and get ready.” Jack pulled out of Spencer’s embrace and raced up the stairs to his room.

“Why does Jack need to get ready?”

“We are going to help you today.”

Spencer shook his head. “No. I am already staying here. I don’t need you giving up your day to help me with getting my insurance in order and seeing about clothes.”

“You are turning down a chauffeur in DC’s Friday traffic?” Aaron watched as Spencer waged an internal debate. Spencer hated driving but he hated to be a bother as well.

“I’m cooking dinner,” Spencer finally said after two long minutes.

Aaron nodded and pointed to the living room. “I put your things from the car behind the couch so they would be out of the way.”

“Thanks. I’ll be out by Monday at the latest, Hotch. I can find a hotel to stay in while I’m looking for a new place.”

Feeling an ache in his gut, Aaron shook his head as he moved closer to Spencer. He took a seat in the chair next to him. “We stay in hotels enough on cases. I have three perfectly good guest rooms and you won’t be a bother.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am positive.”

Spencer was looking at him like he was a geographic profile that he hadn’t quite figured out yet. Aaron wasn’t sure that he liked that look.

Later that night, after dinner was eaten and dishes done, the three males were stretched out on the couch. Jack had passed out halfway through Fellowship of the Ring. Ten minutes after that he had tipped over onto Spencer. The young man had been surprised but had settled easily once he figured out Jack was asleep.

Half an hour after that, Jack had fallen over, kicking his feet into Aaron’s side and laying his head on Spencer’s thigh. Another half an hour later and Spencer was asleep as well. His hand was on Jack’s shoulder and head tipped back slightly. Aaron snapped a picture before he picked up Jack and carried him to his bedroom.

“Love you, Spencer,” Jack mumbled as he rolled onto his side under the covers. That confession, so open from Jack, told Aaron that he was making a good choice. Now he just needed to convince Spencer.

XxXxXxX

Aaron wasn’t used to waking up to a silent house on the weekends he was home. Especially on the weekend days where he was sleeping in after not getting home till after midnight from a case. Spencer and Dave had been on a custodial for a serial killer set to be lethally injected on Monday. When the case came up, Aaron had pulled Dave to join the team but had Spencer stay on the custodial. When Spencer had finally finished early on Friday morning, Aaron had told him to go home as they were fairly certain their case would be wrapped that day. So Spencer had come back to DC and filed away the paperwork from the custodial and then picked Jack up from school. Jack was really liking Spencer living with them this past month.

Worried about what the silence meant, Aaron threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt before he left his bedroom. Both Spencer and Jack’s bedrooms were empty as was the living room. Turning into the kitchen, he heard a familiar pop and scanned to find the black flying canister. For once it wasn’t flying at him. Jack ran over and picked it up. Both their backs were to him so when Jack turned to head back, he saw his dad.

“Dad.”

“Good morning. Still getting better at distance on those things,” Aaron said as he stepped up behind Spencer, laying a hand on his shoulder and squeezing. Spencer tipped his head back and smiled at him.

‘Good morning, Hotch and that was Jack’s first attempt.”

“You mean you finally told someone the secrets of physics magic?” Aaron teased. The table was covered in items that he’d seen Spencer use for his tricks over the years. Looking at the rest of the kitchen he saw a stack of pancakes on the stove as well as a small pan of something else beside them. The coffee pot was half empty so neither of them had been awake for too long.

“Pancakes should still be warm. I also made syrup, it’s in the pan on the stove.” Spencer started to clean a spot for Aaron to sit at. It was ready just as Aaron was finishing buttering the warm pancakes and pouring the syrup on them. He set the plate down and filled a glass with milk before taking the seat. Jack started to help clean up as well.

“This is good,” Aaron said as he waved a forkful of pancakes at Spencer.

“Hmmm. So Morgan called. He has three apartments lined up for me to look at today.”

Aaron took a sip of his milk to hide his frown. Every single Saturday that they had off, Morgan was helping Spencer try and find a place to live. Aaron hadn’t said a single thing about the fact that Spencer could just stay with him and Jack forever so he only had himself to blame. Thankfully, the other places that Spencer had seen hadn’t quite been what he wanted. Morgan had talked about how he was sure that one of the three would be perfect for his “Pretty Boy.”

“He’s going to pick me up at eleven to go and look at them. I don’t know how long we will be gone so don’t count on me for dinner.”

“Uncle Spencer,” Jack said as he moved back to Spencer’s side of the table. Spencer turned to look at him instead of his father. “Can I go with you?”

“I am sure that you dad has plans for you and him today.” Spencer leaned back and grabbed the rag from the counter and then started to wipe down the area of the table that Aaron wasn’t using.

“We’ve gone with you to look at all the others. Why change the pattern now?” Aaron finished off his pancakes and sat back in his chair, sipping at the last of his milk. Jack finished cleaning up his end of the table and ran off to get dressed. The plans had been made for weeks. Make sure something was found to be wrong with each place that Spencer looked at until he decided he didn’t want to leave. So far it was working. Just last night Spencer had called the house “home.”

“Yes, why change it now?” Spencer asked but Aaron was certain that they were not talking about the same things. Spencer left the kitchen, moving to the upper floor of the house. Leaving Aaron to his thoughts.

Precisely at eleven, Aaron was pulling up in front of the first apartment they were going to look at. Morgan was already out front, waiting on them.

“Uncle Derek!” Jack yelled as he let himself out of the car and jumped to hug the man. Derek picked him up and gave him a big bear hug.

“Hey, Jack. You are hyper this morning.”

“Reid fed him homemade syrup on pancakes and taught him physics magic. I don’t know which is more responsible for his hyper streak,” Aaron said as he stood up from the driver seat of the car.

“Running around from room to room at three apartments today is going to wear him down.” Spencer shut his door behind him, smiling across the top of the car at Aaron.

“The realtor had a big emergency but she dropped the keys off to me.”

“Trusting,” Aaron said as he eyed Morgan. The man was lying and he could tell. He wondered what the agent was up to but all he did was grin.

“She’s a friend of Savannah’s and we are three FBI agents, really what are we doing to do?” Morgan pulled a key from his pocket and waved it at Spencer. “And this place has an elevator, Pretty Boy.”

Spencer laughed and started into the building. Jack ran to catch him, slipping up to his side. Spencer’s hand went around his back to his opposite shoulder and curled him closer. This allowed Aaron to stare at Morgan for a few seconds more. He couldn’t figure out if Morgan was actually trying to get Spencer to move out of his house or not. Hopefully, today would tell.

The first apartment was perfect for Spencer, Aaron had to admit. Morgan showed them room after room, talking about windows and paint colors. Aaron was panicking a little because unlike the other apartments Spencer had been shown, he couldn’t find a single thing wrong with the place. Then suddenly in the master bedroom, Jack looked around worried and took off. All three adults watched as he ran from room to room and then came back to them.

“There’s not enough room,” Jack announced.

“Not enough room?” Spencer asked.

“If you put bookshelves in the living room, there is no room for a pull out couch and if you make the office into a bedroom, there isn’t enough room in the living room for shelves and a desk.”

“Why do I need a guest room?”

Jack looked at Spencer like he’d grown a third head. “Henry and I are too big to sleep on the couch together,” he stated.

“You and Henry…” Spencer looked utterly confused.

“Sleepovers. Guys night. All four of us can’t fit in your bed, all night long, Spencer.”

The genius looked even more confused and he looked at the other two adults for help. Morgan laughed while Aaron took pity.

“I think that Jack is meaning that I would be included in the sleepover. You and Henry in one bed and Jack and I in the other.” He was sure that his son meant adults in one and kids in the other but he wasn’t going to bring that up.

“Well, yeah. This place is too small.” Jack turned to Morgan. “Next.”

Spencer was prodded out of the bedroom by Jack and Aaron watched as his son and Morgan high fived each other silently as the boy passed the agent. So Jack had pulled in Morgan’s help? Aaron let himself smile for the first time since they’d left the house.

The second apartment was bigger. It had a living room large enough for shelves and a pull out as well as a second bedroom that could not only fit shelves and a desk but a couch as well. It had a large master bedroom with it’s own bathroom. The kitchen was a little small but it was livable. Watching closer, Aaron noticed when Morgan pulled Jack aside and whispered something in his ear.

“Dad, can I use your phone?”

Aaron raised an eyebrow but handed over his phone after unlocking it. Jack played with it for several minutes before he handed it over to Spencer.

“Bus routes?”

“I was looking around. You have to change buses twice to get to a park and four times to get to your preferred coffee shop and three time for your favorite book store.”

Spencer looked at Jack in silence for a few seconds before looking back at the phone. He moved his finger around several times on the phone before handing it back to Aaron.

“Third times the charm?” Spencer asked looking at Morgan. The man nodded.

The third apartment was perfect. It wasn’t far from where his old one had been, it was close in size to the second. This time Morgan whispered nothing to Jack. Aaron watched as Spencer fell in love with it and he looked at Morgan in shock. He’d read the agent wrong.

Then the noise kicked up a notch. It had always been there in the background but it seemed to have been steadily getting louder the longer they were there. Aaron moved to a window to look out into the small courtyard. There had to be at least twenty kids playing.

“There are a lot of young families that live here,” Morgan said. Then a radio was turned up in the apartment above them. “And a few college students who live off campus.”

A kid screamed but it wasn’t outside, it was down the hall, then there was running feet going past the door.

Spencer’s face changed. He had his thinking look on. He turned to glance at Morgan for a few seconds and then Jack for a lot longer. Last was Aaron and he held his gaze for several minutes. Aaron didn’t blink and he hoped that his work face was firmly in place. Finally, the genius shifted his eyes back to Jack and uttered a soft, “oh!”

“Kid?” Morgan asked as he took an aborted step forward.

“Too much noise. I wouldn’t be able to relax here on my days off. Breakfast was a long while ago. Why don’t we find some place to eat.”

Whatever revelation that Spencer had figured out, he wasn’t going to share. He didn’t act any different during dinner and Aaron kept a close eye on him. He asked to stop at his storage unit to grab a few books and then it was off to the house.

The next two weekends were filled with cases and when the week wasn’t, there was so much paperwork that no one got out of the office before seven at night. Aaron and Spencer would crash not long after eating dinner and cleaning up so nothing was mentioned of trying to find an apartment for the genius.

The Wednesday three weeks after the last apartment hunting trip had Aaron in a bind. Jessica had left for a middle of the week family visit and Jack was now at school throwing up. He had meetings back to back all afternoon and couldn’t leave work. When Spencer offered to go pick Jack up and take him home to watch him, Aaron was thankful. It was a normal day meaning that Spencer’s work was already done and he was knee deep in cold cases. A call placed to the school allowed Spencer to pick Jack up with no issue and Aaron was able to relax as his son was taken care of.

When Aaron arrived at home ten minutes after five, Spencer wasn’t in the living room curled up reading as he expected him to be. Neither was Jack in sight. He found Jack asleep in his bed and Spencer was coming down out of the attic.

“Aaron. I was getting ready to start warming up the soup. Jack’s just got the stomach bug that’s going around the school. I wouldn’t be surprised if both of us have been exposed and come down with it in the next day or so. Chicken noodle sound good?”

“Sounds wonderful.” Before he could say anymore, Spencer was walking past him with a strange smile on his face. Aaron was weary so he shoved the look from his mind for thinking on later. He moved to his bedroom to change into more comfortable clothes. When he emerged from his bedroom, he stopped to check on Jack and see about waking the boy up from his nap but he wasn’t in there.

Jack was sitting at the kitchen table drinking from a bottle of Gatorade. He ruffled Jack’s hair and looked at Spencer. The genius was stirring a large pot of soup. Stepping up behind him, the older man saw that the soup was already ready, it was just getting warmed like he had said in the hallway.

“Just need to let it warm up and we can eat.”

“Smells delicious,” Aaron said as he leaned up against the counter beside the stove.

Spencer hummed and moved around him to get into the cabinets where the bowls were. The young man leaned up to get them, using Aaron as balance, settling his hand on his hip. He didn’t know what to do. It was a touch that Spencer had never done before. Then he remembered that up in the hall, he’d been called Aaron and not Hotch in greeting. He mulled both of those actions over as he ate. Jack inhaled two bowls full of the soup before Spencer cut him off, worried about him eating too much and making himself even sicker. It was one of the best soups Aaron had had in a long while. The broth had been homemade.

When they were all done with dinner, Jack was yawning again. Aaron ushered the both of them out of the kitchen stating that Spencer cooked, he could clean. The leftover soup was put in a container and stuck in the fridge. It only took half an hour and the kitchen was spotless. He figured Jack had gone back to bed so he headed up the stairs to tell him goodnight. Only Jack’s bedroom was empty. The pair wasn’t in the downstairs and was not on the second floor either. Turning to the attic, he moved up the stairs. As he got to the top, he could heard Spencer speaking. He moved slower and more silently so that he wouldn’t disturb them.

Aaron wasn’t sure what he was going to find at the top of the stairs but it wasn’t what he thought.

Spencer was seated in a large oversized circular chair that hadn’t been there the last time that Aaron had been in the room. Jack was leaning against his front while Spencer was propped on his side. Spencer had a book opened in front of the both of them, reading aloud from it.

The other shock was the books. The shelves were covered in books. A small desk in the corner and a bigger one beside it were new as well. Spencer looked at him and smiled, never breaking his soft words. Aaron continued to look at the transformed attic. One corner held a couple of rainbow colored bean bags. Another held a cart with a Keurig on top as well as a few gallons of water on the bottom. It was a veritable hideaway for Spencer.

When Spencer turned a page in the book, he shifted some and pointed. Jack followed the gaze of the point and when his eyes fell on his dad, his face broke out in a huge grin. Spencer set the book down on his thigh and leaned behind himself and picked up a mug, taking a sip and setting it back down.

“Come and sit. The dwarves are just arriving at Bag End.”

Jack shifted closer to the edge of the chair and Spencer followed. That left a hole just big enough for Aaron behind Spencer, if he was willing to plaster himself along the genius’s back. Spencer wasn’t looking at him but Jack was. After a few seconds of internal debate at how bad an idea it was, he moved over and slid in behind Spencer. The chair was comfortable and soft with the back being hard enough to support him. The young man moved the book from his thigh to the hand that was under Jack’s head and he started to read again. His free hand settled where the book had been and Aaron ached to reach out and clasp it. He didn’t understand any of this.

Aaron let Spencer’s voice wash over him as he relaxed. Work had been so stressful lately and this was soothing, he didn’t want to do a thing to mess it up. It felt so nice to be close to anyone again but the fact that it was Spencer was wonderful. Before he knew what he was doing, he leaned his head forward so that it was resting against the back of the young man’s. He never stopped reading, there wasn’t even a pause.

Why did Spencer move all of his books in? Why had he bought furniture for a room in a house that wasn’t his? The ‘oh’ from weeks ago popped into his mind. Had Spencer figured it out then? Had he figured out that neither Jack nor he wanted him to go? Was this his way of saying that he was staying? He had expected a long discussion of things when he finally told Spencer his feelings. He hadn’t actually said a thing about his feelings yet though. All he had done so far was try and find reasons why no apartment was good enough for him.

Jack had stopped being subtle weeks ago about Spencer moving out. The Uncle had been dropped from his name without prompting by anyone. From the little bits of conversation that he’d had with JJ about how Spencer has been with Henry, he knew that he read to the boy when he visited but that was his godson.

It had been silent for several minutes before Aaron noticed. Moving his head to look, he saw that Jack was asleep. The book was closed and set on the arm of the chair. The room was silent except for the sound of their breathing.

“What do you want?” Spencer asked, his voice a whisper.

Aaron thought about how to answer that. He settled for the honest truth. “For you to never leave.”

“Your house or your bed?”

Spencer had figured it out. Feeling brave, Aaron reached out and laid his hand over the one on the young man’s thigh. When he didn’t pull away, Aaron felt emboldened. He linked their hands and used them to tilt Spencer’s face to where he could see his eyes.

“I love you.” Aaron leaned in and brushed their lips together. He watched as Spencer closed his eyes and his face softened into a smile. He leaned in again and pressed a firmer kiss onto willing lips. It was only interrupted when Jack shifted. “Let me get him into his own bed.”

“Okay.” Spencer kissed his lips, a blinding smile on his face.

Jack didn’t wake during the trip down the stairs and barely reacted as Aaron kissed him goodnight. When the older man crested the attic stairs again, Spencer was cuddled under a blanket with a different book his hand. His head was laying on the edge of the arm of the chair and he was curled up so that there was room for Aaron behind him. He crossed the room quickly and settled into the space. Slipping under the blanket, Aaron wrapped an arm around Spencer’s chest.

“Kate informed me that you’ve been going out on dates with me since before she joined the team.”

Aaron chose not to give that response yet. “And when did that come up in conversation?” It was easier to talk to him now that he didn’t have to face him and he’d already declared his love.

“When I went to her to ask why you and Jack were finding something wrong with every single apartment Morgan showed me.”

“You can blame Morgan as well. he was telling Jack what was wrong with each place.” Aaron felt Spencer start to shake in laughter. Aaron pulled the book from his fingers, checking the page number before setting it down. He turned the genius onto his back so that he could look at his face. It was easier to talk without it but Spencer’s face was more expressive than his voice.

“You roped Morgan into it?”

“No. The whole team figured out that I was in love with you when I showed them around the house at the party. This room was always for you and they knew it.”

“That was before Alex left. The dates didn’t start until after Texas.”

Aaron reached out and traced the small scar on Spencer’s neck. “I’ve been in love with you for years. I was almost ready to ask you on a date and then you called me frantic and asked me to meet you at the office.”

“Maeve,” Spencer said his voice low. Aaron couldn’t read the emotion in it. Wrapping an arm underneath Spencer, he pulled the young man so that they were chest to chest and his head tucked under Aaron’s.

“I backed off for a while but then Texas happened and I decided that however I had you in my life was fine. When you hadn’t said or done anything after the fifth date, I resigned myself that it was all I was ever going to have.”

“You’d have been happy with me living with you and sleeping in the guest room forever?”

“If it was all I could have? Yes.”

“You said years.”

“‘What I want, I’m not going to get’,” was all Aaron said. He titled Spencer’s head back and watched as the genius recalled the words and where he had heard them before. When Spencer’s eyes shot to his own and widened in pure shock, Aaron knew he had figured it out. “I know I had feelings for you back then but I wasn’t anywhere near ready to try a relationship. Not with anyone but especially not a coworker.”

“How were you sure I liked men? I’ve never discussed my orientation with anyone except my former partners.”

“You’d been off the cane about two weeks when I noticed you were watching the clock one Friday night. You’d never done that before. It hit six and you were gone. Morgan said he thought you had a date. I didn’t think much of it till a few hours later. I had gone to a bar just to get out while Jessica had Jack for the weekend. I saw you stumble out of a club, with two girls and a guy. The guy shoved you into a wall and seemingly tried to swallow your tongue. I almost stepped in but one of the girls pulled him off you and said something about waiting until all of you were naked and fucking.”

“Greg, Mary, and Amanda. They have been together since college. Every once in a while, I get invited to share.”

“You used to,” Aaron growled, but he softened it with a smile and a brush of lips.

“They will want to meet you. The girls especially. To make sure you are good enough for me.”

“Does Morgan know about them?”

“In passing? Yes. That I’ve been part of a foursome with them? No.”

“In the interest of full disclosure…” Aaron trailed off pulling at Spencer and rolling until the younger man was straddling his hips.

“You want the nitty gritty details?” Spencer leaned forward, letting his hands fall to either side of Aaron’s on the arm. “Are we staying here and acting like teenagers or are we going to be like adults and go to bed?”

Aaron didn’t answer with words. He grabbed the hips on top of him and held them still as he thrust up. Spencer smiled at him and leaned closer. Aaron thought he was going to kiss him but at the last second he diverted his lips to trace his ear. He ground down with his hips and Aaron lost all breath in the gasp. The thrusting and the grinding didn’t stop and all Aaron could do was grip his hips and meet each thrust.

“You like the idea of me in a foursome, Aaron?” Spencer licked up his neck and then around the shell of his ear. “You want to know our prefered position for our wild nights of sex? If you want me to tell you, don’t let go of my hips.” The young man stopped moving. “Do you understand me?”

“Yes,” Aaron gasped as he tried to move his head to kiss him but the genius evaded his questing lips.

“Good.” The thrusting and grinding started up again. “For the first time we all four get to play. I get to be the toy usually. The last time we were together over a year ago, I was making out with Amanda while Greg and Mary prepped me. It usually doesn’t take long and we never really last. The fun really starts after Greg’s in me. The girls fight over who gets fucked and who gets eaten.” Spencer had started with a slow and lazy pace to the kisses, nips, licks, and thrusts but as he spoke, the moves got quicker. “We don’t stop fucking till we all pass out. Last time it was Mary and I. The other two fell asleep curled around each other and I fucked Mary until I had her come so hard that she passed out. I usually am the last to succumb.”

The words and the images they painted in his mind were too much. Aaron pulled Spencer down onto him, hard as he came.

“Aaron,” Spencer gasped as he thrust a few more times and then went stiff. He slumped down off to the side of Aaron, tucking his face into the older man’s neck.

“We should head down and get cleaned up. I don’t want Jack to worry if we aren’t downstairs. Plus if we stay here, we will go to sleep and it’s too early.” Aaron turned his face up to where he could kiss him. The kisses were slow and deep but not arousing. In Aaron’s mind, it was perfect.

“Let’s go,” Spencer sat up, pulling Aaron with him. Aaron followed him down the stairs. The young man shoved him into his bathroom while he went to the one across from his bedroom. He wanted to have Spencer join him but he understood that he needed a little distance after everything that happened that night.

Aaron was shocked though when he exited his bathroom with a towel around his waist to find Spencer sitting on the edge of the bed in his pajamas. The younger man smiled as he looked Aaron up and down.

“Want to go watch a movie until we get tired?” Spencer didn’t seem shy about the way he looked at Aaron and it made Aaron a little nervous. He wasn’t sure he was ready for a Spencer that acted like this. He was happy but he was different than Aaron had ever imagined. He kind of liked it.

After that, the idea of Spencer finding an apartment wasn’t brought up again. As the relationship deepened, Spencer moved from the guest room to fully into Aaron’s bedroom. Jack was happy with the addition of Spencer in their life full time.

Whenever anyone came over to the house who didn’t know about the relationship but suspected, they always slipped away to look into Spencer’s bedroom. They were usually too scared to look in Aaron’s. What they would find was clothes in the closet, books on the stand, and even a pair of glasses. There was nothing to show that he didn’t live in that room.

To the team though, they knew the glasses were a perscription back and that the books were ones that Spencer had read and didn’t think he’d want to reread ever. The clothes were ones that he didn’t wear very often or at all really. The team knew the truth of their lives and that was all that mattered.
The End

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9 thoughts on “Courting

  1. I just had to tell you – I haven’t even started reading this yet, and I’m already really and truly laughing out loud. Your alternate title – Or the one where Aaron has been dating Spencer for six months and the genius wasn’t aware. absolutely cracked me up. 🙂

  2. Adorable. I really enjoyed the sweetness, and I’m glad that Spencer took that leap of faith by buying furniture for the attic. Seriously, I don’t think that Hotch was ever going to tell him how he felt. Oy. It was pretty cool to see Spencer make that move, though. I love their little family. *happy smile*

    Thanks so much!

    • Yeah, Hotch wasn’t ever going to tell him. And it was a leap of faith for Spencer. God the mortification if he’d been wrong…Glad you liked it and yeah, I have to have happy family stories.

      Are you on FB? A fandom profile that is?

        • I have a personal FB where I have my friends and family and then I have a FB where it’s just fandom friends. I asked because if you had one, I was gonna give you the info cause I post snippets of things I’m working on. It’s no big.

          • I would like to have a fandom FB – I didn’t get to read any of Keira’s EAD posts this year because I don’t. I just can’t figure out how to do it with my fandom name without it bleeding into my real life. Actually, I might be better off using something completely different. I’m still freaked out because when I started a Twitter acct under iadorespike – my GRANDDAUGHTER followed me. I don’t even know how that could happen, but I blame gmail. 😦

            • Yea. My name is Becca Queen and I have my nickname as DarkJediQueen. You could so something like that. Pick a first name put Spike as your last and iadorespike as your nickname.

              • Hmmm…that could work. I don’t have a personal FB because I just have issues with FB – generally speaking, and none of my family that I’m close to has one. My husband’s family are all on there 24/7 – there is ALWAYS drama. Ugh. But…I really would like to have a fandom one. I’m going to think about it, I guess, but if I do anything about it, I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂

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