Series: Love Heals the Shattered Soul
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Season 7 (2012)
Category: Fluff, Angst,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up to Season 7
Summary: Aaron is out on a run, keeping in shape between marathons when a woman approaches him. A revelation is had and a secret is shared.
Notes: For Melle22
Aaron stopped running at the back of his car. He had the trunk open so that he could use the towel and take a drink of water before doing another lap. It was still months away from the next marathon he wanted to take part in but he wanted to keep really in shape. So far it had been working as well as helping him with his stress. He’d forgone the FBI triathlon in February due to casework and the entire mess that he had created in his own personal life.
“Jeez, I hope you’re training for something or are you just doing sprints for fun?” A woman said as she stopped at the edge of his car.
“I was going to do a triathlon in February but some personal things came up and well…now I’m staying in shape for a marathon this fall.”
“Oh, yeah. The FBI one. You’re an agent.”
“Yes, it was the FBI one.” A frown appeared on Aaron’s face. He didn’t like how she seemed to know that.
“Oh. I’m not supposed to ask if you are an agent.” The woman looked crestfallen at his reaction.
“I work for the Justice Department.” Aaron tried to smile.
“Oh. I used to see you doing laps at the Y. I was surprised when I saw you out today.”
“And you are training for surveillance?” Aaron was a little upset that she had been watching him that close before and even now.
“I did an MS triathlon in January and liked the running. I’ve been trying to do it as much as my job allows.”
Aaron smiled. “I can understand that. I only get about 45 minutes a day between work and home, it’s hard.” Aaron thought for the first time what to categorize his relationship with Spencer as. He still thought of him as his former lover but they were moving steadily closer to more. They hadn’t quite worked up to dating again but it seemed that Spencer was almost ready for that. “What made you think I was an agent?”
“I saw the suit. What else could you be?”
Aaron laughed and nodded. “So how did your triathlon go?”
“I did okay except for the biking.”
“You’ll have to train harder before your next one.” The sound of familiar laughter drew Aaron’s gaze from the strange woman in front of him to the play area of the park. He saw many groupings of families and then a very familiar mop of hair that was his son. Then Henry darted into his field of vision as well, with JJ following him. Will was right on the heels of Jack. There was just one person missing.
Aaron watched them for several minutes before he finally spotted Spencer. He was standing in the middle of a group of women. Aaron felt jealousy spike in him.
“Maybe I need a training partner,” the woman ventured when he hadn’t talked to her in several minutes.
“Training partner?” Aaron asked finally turning around and looking at her. She was looking over at where he had been.
“Yes, on the bicycle. Is one of them your wife?”
“No, my wife died two years ago.”
“Oh.” The woman gave him a weird little smile. “I’m sorry.”
“Thanks. Listen I need to finish my run.”
“Okay. Well here is my card if you think you have time to maybe help me with my training.” The woman smiled and handed him a card before she started running again. Aaron just stood there looking.
“So you are going to take her up on it right?” Dave asked as he wandered up close. Aaron jerked his head around to see his friend looking in the direction that the woman had moved off in. The card in his hand said her name was Beth.
“I don’t know. My next is a marathon not a triathalon.”
“That’s not all she wants, Aaron.” Dave looked at him like he was a little stupid.
“Huh?” Aaron looked at Dave like he was speaking Greek.
“You know what they say about riding a bicycle.” Dave said. Aaron looked at him with his eyes widening. Was he saying what Aaron thought he was? He looked off in the direction that Beth was running in. Had she been flirting with him?
“What had your attention so focused…” Dave looked over to where just JJ and Will were visible. “Oh, family day at the park.”
“Who’s getting a bicycle?” Spencer asked as he stepped over from the restrooms. Aaron hadn’t even seen him leave the group. Jack was walking in front of him.
“Nobody,” Aaron said quickly and Spencer quirked an eyebrow at him.
“I didn’t know you ran here.” Spencer was trying for casual.
“I like the atmosphere and I run here when I get sick of a place closer to home.” Aaron left out that it was also closer to Spencer’s and he was working up the courage to ask the younger man to try a run with him. No matter what the rest of the team knew, JJ had let it slip that his doctor had added running to his therapy and that he still did it when he was frustrated.
Dave looked between the two men and smiled. Aaron wasn’t sure he liked the smile.
“JACK! Come back and play!” Henry yelled from the edge of the play area. Jack looked at his dad and got a nod before he took off back towards his friend.
“Will’s getting ready to head in so I better go back and help JJ.” Spencer gave Aaron a smile and waved at Dave before he turned and followed the young boy.
“Maybe you are thinking of another type of bicycle.”
“Can we just drop the metaphors?” Aaron asked.
“Sure. You know I thought for a while that you and the kid were moving towards each other then it just stopped. Looking back it stopped when the assault on JJ and him happened but if you were pursuing him, you wouldn’t have allowed him to pull away and there was no way you would turn him away because of…” Dave stopped when Aaron felt a flash of emotion cross his face. He knew what his face had to be showing. Remorse, pain, anguish. Everything he felt when he thought of that night. “What happened Aaron?”
“We’d been together over a year at that point and I came to his apartment that morning and saw him with a woman. I never saw her. I freaked out and told him that we were over. I broke him that morning, Dave. He and JJ took themselves to the hospital and they took care of themselves. I was the reason that they never told anyone on the team. If they had told any of you…”
“We’d have gone to you. Wow…” Dave turned to look where JJ and Spencer were sitting on a bench and the two boys were playing. “How many times is he going to be able to come back from the edge?”
“I hope he doesn’t get to the edge any more.”
“You’ve been closer again these past few months.”
“I love him, Dave. I regret that moment and I will regret it to the day I die.” Aaron stopped when Spencer looked over at them. He didn’t look away instead he smiled at his former lover. Spencer smiled back and then turned when one of the boys yelled at him. “He thinks I deserve a second chance and I am not going to turn him down.”
“I saw him playing with Henry and just thought that it was a day out and Reid was tagging along.”
“Jessica and Spencer well…they set up visitation with Jack and Spencer in the aftermath of what happened. I didn’t know about it and I should have been mad but it made Jack happy.”
“Watching him right now, he loves Jack as much as he does Henry and that’s saying something cause that boy is gone on his Godson.”
Aaron nodded. Spencer did love his Godson to distraction and he loved Jack just as much. Aaron had been seeing the doctor that Spencer had given him the card of. It had been going really well. He’d worked on a lot more than just his issues and why he’d done what he had to Spencer. The only thing his doctor was worried about was that she was his only outlet for talking. He had the younger man but he couldn’t talk about Spencer to Spencer.
“Spencer paid for Jack’s tuition at the private school.”
“He…how much money does the kid have?” Dave looked utterly shocked. Aaron could understand.
“He goes to casinos and gambles when he’s got days off sometimes. He invests that money really well. I’ve never actually asked. I think that it might have slightly turned into an addiction of sorts during the two months between attack and closing the case. I don’t know how often he goes now.” That was an issue to be brought up at a later time.
“You don’t spend all your time with him?”
“No. He spends most of his time off with Jack and Henry. We do things the three of us but actual time that’s just him and me, we don’t have much of that. Not yet.”
“So, you haven’t started dating him again?”
“No. He’s not ready and I don’t know if I am. We are going slow. He’s changed and so am I.”
“Yet you let him pay for Jack’s schooling.” Dave was looking at him like he couldn’t figure him out.
“There was little I could do. He paid the school before we even had the meeting. What was I going to do? Make a scene and tell the headmaster that he couldn’t pay for it? I was happy that he did. He only really spends money on coffee, books, and Henry. Now Jack’s been added to that list. He lived in a small apartment because it was close to the subway and a bus stop. He couldn’t care less where he lived. And his mom. He makes sure that she has everything that she needs. He went behind my back, Dave to make sure that he didn’t abandon my son. We all know his issues with fathers that leave children. Jack is no blood child of his but he wouldn’t leave him behind.”
JJ and Spencer were moving. Jack and Henry came running, Spencer picked up Henry and Jack walked at his side. They moved over to JJ’s car and Spencer helped buckle the boy in. Aaron was surprised when the genius didn’t move to get into the car. Instead he just waved.
“I’m guessing this day is supposed to be for Jack and Reid?” Dave asked when Jack leaned into Spencer.
“I came down here to meet a friend and she stood me up. I was going to head into DC proper and see about finding a nice place to eat a late breakfast. Want to join me?”
“No. I have one more lap to finish and then I’m going to head home.”
“Have fun, Aaron.” Dave walked off towards his car, Aaron watched him until he drove off. He was fairly certain that Dave had seen him and had stopped. He turned back to see that Spencer was again talking to the women while Jack was playing. As Jack moved around the play sets, Spencer turned with him. The younger man’s eyes never left the boy, not fully. Right then what he wanted more than anything was to go over and join them. Slip his arm around Spencer and pull him in tight. He knew there was no reason for his jealousy. There wasn’t a single person in the park besides himself that Spencer wanted. He knew that.
Still the urge to claim him thrummed in his body. Instead he placed his earbuds back in his ears and started to run again. He’d only had one lap left to do but once he’d made it back to the car, he wanted to do another lap. As he rounded the corner and his car came into view he saw Spencer and Jack sitting on the back of it. His former lover was rolling his bottle of water between his hands and Jack had his towel draped on his knee.
The smile on Spencer’s face when he saw him nearly stopped Aaron’s heart. He stepped up and took the towel from Jack, wiping his face and neck. When he was as dry as he was going to get he held out his hand for his bottle of water. Spencer uncapped it and handed it over.
“What are you two doing?” Aaron asked when he emptied the bottle. Jack just shrugged which meant he was dodging answering the question so Aaron turned to Spencer, who had a weird smile on his face. The younger man crooked a finger for him to come closer. Aaron stepped closer but Spencer it seemed wanted him even closer so the genius grabbed his shirt and pulled him right up in between his spread legs. The smile on his face turned downright feral. Aaron’s pulse jumped at the look and started to race as Spencer leaned up and kissed him.
Aaron expected him to pull back after a few seconds, as every other kiss had gone, but instead he kept their lips pressed so he lifted his hands to cup the genius’s face. Spencer hummed when he finally pulled back seconds later. The smile on his face was dazzling but his eyes weren’t focused on him, no they were looking just to the left of his shoulder. Aaron turned to look and saw that Beth was standing a dozen yards away. She was just looking at them, wide eyed. After a minute she left.
Spencer was jealous. Aaron chuckled as he leaned into another kiss. His former lover gladly returned the kiss. It was gentler this time. More of a promise than a claim. When he pulled back he kissed Spencer’s forehead.
“I didn’t even realize she was flirting with me. I was too focused on watching you.”
“I know. I’ve just never felt jealous before.” Spencer’s hand was still holding tight to his shirt. He hadn’t tried to shake off or pull back from Aaron’s hands. Jack was silent and while his head was turned from them, Aaron could tell he was peeking. “I take it Rossi knows about us?”
Spencer nodded. “So Jack wants to see a movie this afternoon. We were going to go for pizza before hand. Want to join us?”
Aaron smiled. It was the first time that Spencer asked for him to join them for one of their outings. If he said no, it wouldn’t go over well. He didn’t want to say no. He let his hands slide down from cheeks to neck and then shoulders. The touch was allowed, Spencer wasn’t tensing at all.
“I’d love to but I need to stop at home and shower but pizza and a movie sounds great. How about ice cream after?”
“Yeah!” Jack said as he jumped off the back of the car.
“Did you guys drive here?” Aaron hoped not because that meant that Spencer would ride with him to his apartment.
“No. We walked. It was a nice morning for it.”
“Where’s your bag?” Aaron looked around and he didn’t see it anywhere.
“Spencer left it at home. We were going to stop and pick it up before we went for pizza.”
“Let’s get loaded up so we can pick it up before we go get pizza then.”
Spencer finally let go of his shirt but not before he gave him a quick kiss as he slid off the back of the car. Jack scrambled around the car and quickly got into the backseat as Aaron unlocked it. By the time that he dropped into the driver’s seat, Spencer was buckled into his seat. His otherwise empty day was going to be filled with fun with his two favorite guys.
The ghost of a touch on his hand had him looking down as he backed out of the spot. After he’d put the car in drive, Spencer linked their hands. The day was definitely looking up.