Title: Pain
Series: Love Heals the Shattered Soul
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 7 (2012)
Category: Romance, Fluff,
Ratings: Teen
Pairings: Hotch/Reid, JJ/Will,
Spoilers: Up through Season 7
Summary: Aaron tries to figure out what is wrong with Spencer when Dave sends the young genius home for the day.
Words: 2,765
Notes: None
Warnings: None
Beta: Charlie_Remington

Series Page

Aaron was three days into five off when he received a text from Dave.

Just sent Reid home. No cases and he can’t concentrate. He yelled at Morgan. Snapped at JJ and hasn’t stopped glaring at me. Find out what’s wrong before the team kills him.

A glance at the clock told him that it was only ten in the morning, he sighed. He was happy for the heads up but a little worried as well. Dave asking him to check in on Spencer was out of the normal. The only one of the team that knew anything about what they had been was JJ. Jack was at school but was leaving just after for a weekend camping trip with a small group of friends. He wouldn’t be back until Sunday. Aaron closed his book and set it aside. He had no clue how long he was going to be spending at Spencer’s but he didn’t figure the young man would allow him long.

Given what he knew of what happened at the office, it would better for him to just show up at Spencer’s house. There had been a time when whatever was wrong with Spencer, Aaron would have known. Spencer would have come to him. Whatever was wrong, he wasn’t going to JJ or Will.

Aaron opened his office safe and pulled out the keyring that held the team’s spare keys. He unclipped the one for Spencer’s house and put the rest up. He’d kept the keys in the safe since Foyet’s attack in the apartment. He grabbed his go bag in preparation that it was something a little more serious.

The drive was spent worried. Even when everything was at it’s worst, following what had happened between them, Spencer hadn’t snapped at anyone. He’d only heard Spencer snap at someone once. It had been a weekend and Jack had been hyper. The rain outside stopped him from being able to go outside and play. Spencer had holed up in the office to work on a paper, but Jack kept bothering him. The first indication that Jack was even doing it was when he heard his lover’s raised voice. He’d been braced for Jack to come running to him but all he heard was the office door shut and Jack’s soft footsteps as he went to his bedroom. Aaron had followed him into the bedroom and saw him lie down on the bed looking sad.

“I gave Spencer a headache,” Jack had said as soon as he saw his dad.

“What do you mean?”

“He’s rubbing at his eyes and he’s still looking at the same page in the book he’s reading as he was an hour ago. I didn’t mean to dad, I promise.”

“You didn’t give him a headache. I know that you want to play but you know better than to disturb us when we are in the office like that Jack. Stay in here for a little bit. I’ll go talk to Spencer.”

That had been a few months before he’s callously broken up with the younger man. He’d been talking with a geneticist and had figured something out that had seemed to be helping with the migraines he’d been getting. He’d been there for the tests and the second and third and even fourth opinions that told him the same thing, it wasn’t anything they could find.

Aaron stepped on the gas because if it was a migraine, it wasn’t a good thing. He parked in the spot right next to Spencer’s car, the spot that the younger man had called his spot for a long while. Go bag in hand he raced up the stairs and knocked on the door. There was no answer and no sound from inside the house to tell him someone was coming to open the door. He pulled the key out of his pocket and unlocked the door, slipping inside as quietly as he could. The only light in the living room was an electronic candle. The kitchen had two. Moving up the stairs, he found three in the master bedroom. A flickering told him that at least one was in the bathroom. Spencer’s blackout curtains were pulled in every single room. It was a migraine.

Spencer was a lump in the middle of the bed. He was in shorts and a tank top with a pillow thrown over his head. A sheet was draped across his middle like he hadn’t cared to pull it back up after rolling over. Aaron couldn’t tell if he was asleep or not. He wasn’t moving.

“Spencer?” Aaron whispered. The younger man shifted on the bed, pulling the pillow off his head and blinking up at Aaron.

“Aaron?” Spencer rubbed at his eyes, blinking more to clear them. That told Aaron it was a bad one.

“Where’s the medicine?” Aaron knew where it had been in the apartment but here in the house, he wasn’t sure.

Spencer’s only answer was a wave of his hand towards the master bathroom. Aaron shut the door behind him so that he could turn on the light and not bother Spencer. He found the small kit of B2 shots on the top shelf of the closet. He pulled out one needle in its sealed plastic bag. The bottles of riboflavin and magnesium were with the rest of the vitamins just a shelf below. He was happy he remembered how many of each and doled them out into the hand holding the needle. Turning to the medicine cabinet above the sink, he got out a dose of Excedrin and Aleve. He figured that Spencer hadn’t taken any actual pain meds, worried about taking too many. At the last second before flipping off the light he remembered the alcohol wipes and that he needed to wash his own hands.

After drying his hands, Aaron turned off the light, grabbing his small pile of items. Giving himself a minute for his eyes to adjust to the near pitch black, Aaron waited to open the door. Spencer was still curled in the middle of the bed but now the sheet was fully covering his body and he’d turned to where his left side of his body was up. The only skin that Aaron could see was his left arm. Aaron set on the edge of the bed carefully and Spencer pulled the pillow off his head again.

“Ready?” Aaron asked as he ripped open one of the small packages with a wipe in it. Spencer barely nodded his head and Aaron watched as he forced his whole body to relax. Aaron used the wipe on the upper part of the arm before he slid the needle in and dispensed the B2. He pulled the needle out quick and easy and ripped open another wipe. He watched how quickly the bead of blood pooled before wiping it away and applying pressure with the wipe.

“Okay?” Spencer asked.

“It pooled up like normal and,” Aaron lifted the wipe and no blood pooled. “It stopped like normal as well. You need to sit up. When did you last take anything for the pain?”

“Late last night.”

“Do you want Aleve or Excedrin?”

“Aleve.” Spencer pushed himself up to lean against the headboard. Aaron grabbed the bottle of water on the nightstand and cracked it open. Next were the pills and he held them out in his hand so that Spencer could easily pick them up. The younger man took the water in one hand and drank some before grabbing the riboflavin pills and downing them. The magnesium and Aleve were just as quick and then he drained the rest of the bottle of water. His head tipped back so that his eyes only had to focus on the ceiling. “Rossi call you?”

“Texted. What happened? You can usually work with one of these.”

Spencer sighed, but he didn’t move his head to look at Aaron. “Morgan wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s Friday and he was itching to get out of there. He was trying to convince me to go on a date with a friend of his and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. JJ wasn’t doing a thing to stop him and all Rossi would do was laugh. Emily kept trying to get him to stop. Finally, I snapped at JJ and yelled at Morgan. I may have spent twenty minutes just glaring at Rossi.”

“I wondered why Dave hadn’t mentioned Prentiss in the text.”

“She drove me home. She tried to get me to let her stay but I just wanted to be alone.”

Aaron heard the unspoken words in that sentence. He didn’t want to be alone but she wasn’t who he wanted. “I forgot that she knows about the headaches. I’m surprised Morgan hadn’t figured out that you had one.”

Spencer shrugged and then started to move. He grabbed at Aaron and pulled him to where he was leaning against the headboard as well. Aaron toed off his shoes before he settled and let the younger man arranged himself along his side with his head on his shoulder, breath ghosting over his neck. As soon as he was settled, Aaron raised his left hand up and started to rub at Spencer’s head. He knew what his former lover wanted from the position he took. This was familiar and it made Aaron’s heart ache but he wasn’t going to push him away. He couldn’t get rid of all of the pain but he could help.

“Come to my place, Spencer.” Aaron kept his voice low, not wanting to really disturb the silence of the house.

“Aaron.” Spencer’s whole body tensed but Aaron didn’t stop rubbing at his head.

“No. I’m not leaving you alone and all you have is that couch. I can’t fit in the bed you have for Henry and Jack. My bedroom has a bathroom attached and I can sleep in the guest room. Jack’s going on a weekend camping trip with a whole bunch of kids from school. It’ll also be quieter there.”

“I don’t want to go outside.” Spencer hid his eyes against Aaron’s neck. If he felt better the older man knew he’d not be cuddled up against him like he was. After the blackout case, Spencer had seemed to be more relaxed around him but it was nowhere near this.

“Try and nap some and then we can see about moving you.”

“Didn’t say I was going to your place, Aaron,” Spencer muttered against his neck. He sounded almost asleep.

Aaron smiled and kissed the top of his head, a reflex. “Didn’t say you weren’t either.” Word games like that had been a normal part of their relationship. Spencer huffed at his answer. A few more seconds of rubbing and Spencer was fully relaxed against him again, minutes from being asleep. “I still have all your things at my place. I think there is an unopened pack of contacts in my cabinet for when you feel like wearing them.”

“And you’ll bring me back if I get uncomfortable?” Spencer asked, his voice barely a whisper. He hadn’t been inside of Aaron’s apartment since a few days before the incident. With the migraine, he wouldn’t be able to drive and the subway was out of the questions, the bus was a better option but still not the best.

“Always,” Aaron promised. Spencer hummed in answer.

It was after two before Aaron was closing the door on his bedroom, leaving Spencer alone in the mostly dark room. The younger man had insisted on bringing a few of his electronic candles for Aaron’s house because he said they didn’t hurt his eyes as much as nightlights. Aaron had made a note in his phone to pick some up the next time he was at the store.

The vibration of his cell phone scared him some as he forgot that he’d turned it to that setting before he’d entered Spencer’s house.

“Hotchner,” Aaron said, not even looking at the caller ID.


“Jack, what do you need buddy?” Aaron snuck a peek at the ID and saw that he was using the cellphone of his teacher.

“Do I have to go camping? I would rather just spend the weekend watching movies with you.” Jack’s voice sounded fine but Aaron was a little worried. It was all that Jack had been able to talk about for weeks. He wasn’t going to make Jack go though if he didn’t want to.

“No. I’ll come and pick you up from school if you want but you have to be quiet when we get back.”


“Spencer is here and has one of his headaches. He’s in my bedroom. I’ll be staying in the guest room.” Aaron tried to listen to noises on the other end of the phone but heard nothing. He hoped Jack hadn’t taken the phone without asking.

“I can ride the bus, Dad. Stay with Spencer.”

“He’ll be fine for the half an hour it takes, Jack. Don’t worry. I’ll see you in about an hour. Get back to class.”

“Bye, Dad.”

Aaron listened for the click to tell him that Jack had hung up before he did himself. Something had to have happened for Jack to not want to go on the trip but if Jack didn’t want to talk about it yet, he wouldn’t make him. Maybe Jack would open up to Spencer.


Aaron woke up the next morning feeling better than he figured he would. He’d never slept on his own guest bed and had worried he’d sleep funny. His body must have been used to sleeping in too many strange beds to care. He listened to his apartment for a few minutes before he actually got up out of bed. He’d slept in sweats and a shirt instead of boxers incase Spencer had woken up with a nightmare. It was easy to just roll out of bed and exit the room. The open master bedroom door told him that Spencer was up and about somewhere.

Spencer was on the couch while Jack was sitting at the coffee table; his homework open. The curtains were drawn and the light from the dining area was the only big source of light. Jack though had a book light attached to his school book. A glass of what looked like green tea was sitting on the end table at Spencer’s head. The young man was stretched out on the couch in a pair of sleep pants and a sweatshirt. The TV was on with just the captions going so that Spencer could read them and not have to have too much noise. It was something on one of the science channels.

“Good morning,” Aaron said as he entered the living room. Jack turned his head to smile at him and return the greeting. Spencer just waved a hand. Aaron let himself chuckle. Spencer was absorbed in what was on the TV. “Oatmeal and orange juice?”

“Sure,” Jack said not looking up from his homework. From the two piles, Aaron figured that he was halfway done. He must have been up for a while.

“Sounds good, Aaron,” Spencer answered.

“How are you feeling today?”

“So far so good. My head doesn’t hurt nearly as much. I took some Excedrin a little bit ago. It’s helping with the residual pain. I am not taking noises or bright lights well but I do feel better.” Spencer turned his head so he could look around the arm of the couch and look at Aaron, smiling. Aaron couldn’t help it, he crouched at Spencer’s head and leaned over to kiss his forehead. Spencer acted like he was going to recoil but when Aaron stopped moving so did he. He moved his head back the few inches he pulled it away and just kept his eyes locked with Aaron’s. Aaron brushed a tender kiss on his skin and then stood up.

“I’m glad you are feeling better. Maybe by tonight you’ll be in the mood for a movie. We can go see what’s new and out. Maybe get a whole bunch of popcorn and candy and just do that for dinner.”

“After pizza,” Jack added, setting down his pencil and turning to face both adults. “How does that sound, Spencer?”

“Sure. If my headache is mostly gone by then.” The smile that graced his face was wonderful. Aaron smiled down at him. This was another step closer to getting back to where they had been but stronger as well.
The End

Next Part: Bully


2 thoughts on “Pain

  1. Sweet. I like nurturing Hotch, and I’m glad that Spencer is at a point that he can accept it.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Yes, sweet Hotch is so cute and Spencer will be letting more and more happen as we go on.


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