Title: Jack’s Surprise
Series: Love Heals the Shattered Soul
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 7 (2012)
Category: Romance, Fluff, Angst
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid
Spoilers: Up through Season 7
Summary: Aaron’s not sure what to expect when he arrived at Spencer’s after getting a text from him earlier in the day.
Aaron had received the text after he’d gotten back from a late lunch with Dave. It wasn’t that odd as Spencer wasn’t at work that day. He’d taken the day for doctor appointments. It was a normal routine once a year for the younger man. He felt it made for less rescheduling as he’d use time off to go and therefore he wasn’t pulled into cases. Aaron had also scheduled Jack’s appointments for the day this time. Spencer had offered and it hadn’t been hard to change the appointments.
Dinner at mine? JJ’ll watch Jack. Seven good?
A text back said that yes he would come to dinner. He’d been on cloud nine since then. JJ had confirmed that she was going to watch Jack. She had a good night planned for them. Thankfully no case came up and Aaron actually left the office at a decent time. Plenty of time to go home and change before going to Spencer’s.
At a few minutes before seven, Aaron knocked on the door to Spencer’s house. He could see Henry and Jack playing in the living room of JJ’s through the slightly open curtain. Spencer opened the door and Aaron looked from the kids to him. He had a smile on his face but Spencer was looking shocked.
“I…what are you doing here, Aaron?”
“You invited me. Asked me to join you for dinner and said that JJ was going to watch Jack.” Aaron pulled out his phone and opened his messaging app. Spencer just watched as he found the text and read it when he turned the phone to face him.
“I didn’t send that.” Spencer moved away from the door, waving Aaron in after him. His cell phone was sitting on top of his tv. The smell of food permeated his nose and he looked around. The kitchen light was on. “I just…” Spencer didn’t even pick up his phone, he turned back to Aaron. “We got back from the eye doctor appointments and Jack wanted to surprise me with something. JJ and Henry came over and I was asked to stay away until seven. He must have used my phone to text when I used the restroom at McDonalds. I’m sorry, Aaron. I don’t know what he’s doing.”
“I do.” Aaron linked his hand with Spencer’s and pulled the younger man with him into the kitchen. There laid out on the small table was a nice romantic dinner. There was a note sitting on top of the table. He let go of Aaron, picked it up and read it outloud.
Dear Dad & Spencer,
Aunt JJ helped me by ordering the food and I’ve been saving up my allowance to pay for it. I know that you two haven’t had a date without me along so this is your chance. I also picked out a movie for you guys to watch afterward.
Aaron looked at Spencer in a little bit of a shock. Spencer though was looking at the table. His hair creating a curtain so that he couldn’t see the younger man’s face. It rattled him a little. Yes, this was on Spencer’s turf but it was a great deal more intimate than a dinner date in a restaurant. He placed his hand on the genius’s shoulder and he finally looked up.
“It’s sweet, Spencer but we don’t have to do this. Jack’ll be upset but he will get over it.” Aaron turned Spencer to fully face him, setting the letter down. He cupped the side of the young man’s face and kissed his forehead. “I mean it.”
“He asked me weeks ago about our first date, that wasn’t with him.” Spencer’s eyes moved back to the table and Aaron looked as well. It was the same meal from the same restaurant. “I didn’t think that he would do this.”
Spencer pulled out of Aaron’s grasp and faced the table.
“Spencer?” Aaron asked as he laid a hand on the genius’s back between his shoulder blades. He rubbed at the spot. Spencer moved quickly, spinning around and kissing Aaron. This wasn’t anything like any kiss that Spencer had ever given him. Their first time around or this time. There was such desperation in it and Aaron was scared. He grabbed the young man’s shoulders and pushed him back. “What’s wrong?”
“I want to feel normal again. I want to touch you and not be scared. Every time I touch you, I see your face that morning. The anger and the hurt and I feel the heartbreak all over again but I can’t stay away. I know that it wasn’t my fault. That lies at the hands of the UnSub.” Spencer stopped and dropped his head down to rest on Aaron’s shoulder. “I want to feel normal again, Aaron.”
Aaron wrapped him in his arms, holding him close and made shushing noises when he felt the wetness on his shirt. Aaron started walking backwards, towards the couch. Spencer moved along right with him. When he got close he let Spencer go and laid down, his legs spread. His former lover laid down on top of him, his head over his heart. He let Spencer just lay there and cry. His hand rubbed up and down his genius’s back until he settled into a light sleep. When he was sure that Spencer was asleep, he dug his phone from his pocket and texted JJ. He told her that the surprise didn’t go as well as planned and if she didn’t mind watching Jack for the night, he would be greatful.
The back door sliding open ten minutes later didn’t shock him but Will striding in did. Aaron could just make him out as he stopped at the table and looked at it and then looked to see Aaron and Spencer on the couch.
“Yes. Cried himself to sleep.”
“Jack and Henry are busy watching a movie so we won’t be disturbed. JJ just wanted me to check on you both. What happened?”
“He had a little breakdown.” Aaron shushed Spencer as he shifted and moaned a little. A nightmare was trying to start but Aaron just started talking and then when it didn’t settle him down, he started to recite poetry. He’d learned a few from Spencer’s favorites. Halfway through the first one, Spencer settled back down and was fully asleep again. Aaron forgot that Will was even there until the man sat down in the chair across from the couch.
“I was a little worried. A dinner here is a little…”
“Intimate. I know. He wants to be normal. That’s what upsets him. He doesn’t need his memory throwing up that morning in his face every single time he’s near me. I don’t know how to get past that. I don’t know what to do to fix it.”
“Time. Stay. Don’t run. Show him that you love him.”
Aaron was shocked. He may have been able to get into JJ’s good graces again, Will had been standoffish.
“It’s on your face when you are around him and the team isn’t around. When you picked Jack up from movie night last weekend. The second you looked at him you looked so different. Did you ever tell him…”
“Before? Yes. It’s what made it all the worse for him. I was just another person who loved him who left. I’m going to stay the night. Let him sleep for a little bit and then get him up to bed. Do you mind locking up?”
“Sure. I’ll cover the food. Make sure he eats dinner at least before you usher him off to bed. JJ and I’ll make sure Jack gets off to school. He has clothes here he can change into. You just worry about Spencer. I’ll worry about Jack. I’m sorry that date night didn’t go as planned.”
“It’s a step in the right direction though, Will.” Aaron started to card his fingers through Spencer’s hair. He listened as Will locked the back door and checked the windows before moving to the living room and doing the same before leaving out the front door, shutting off the main light as he did. He didn’t like not having it deadbolted and would take care of it when he left then the sound of it sliding home in it’s hole had him smiling. Will had brought his keys with him.
Aaron wasn’t sure how long they laid there like that but he knew that it had been a while when Spencer started to shift on him. His face rubbed on his shirt and then a hand came up to push his hair from his face. It was then that he noticed he wasn’t on his bed and that another hand was in his hair. He lifted his head and turned it to look at Aaron, a frown on his face.
“Sorry I fell asleep.”
“It’s fine. Will locked up after checking on us. JJ’s going to keep Jack and they’ll get him off to school in the morning.”
“Worrywart,” Spencer muttered.
“I know that the food’s cold by now but we need to get something into us and cold steak is better than no steak so how about we go into the kitchen and eat and we can talk a little.” Aaron waited for Spencer to nod before he pulled his face close for a quick chaste kiss on the lips. When he pulled back, Spencer slid off of him and then held out his hands to help him up off the couch. Aaron let him even though he didn’t need the help.
Everyone on the team had gotten used to eating cold food over the years. So the cold meal wasn’t going to bother them at all. Spencer moved to the fridge and poured them both a glass of tea before moving to sit at the table. They both started to eat, the tension in the air was thick.
Spencer was halfway done with his plate of food when he started to talk. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to just…break down on you. I’ve been working through things in therapy and the session last time was…hard. I didn’t mean to take it out…”
“Spencer,” Aaron interrupted. Spencer looked up from his plate at him. “It’s fine. You didn’t take it out on me and I actually liked that you felt you could break down in front of me. That means that trust is coming back. How can I be upset?”
The blush that creeped up Spencer’s face at his words had Aaron reaching out and brushing his fingers across the back of the genius’s hand. He set down his fork and turned his hand so they could curl their fingers into each others. After a half a minute of holding hands, Aaron let go and they finished their meal discussing whatever came to mind. It was calm and perfect and much better than Aaron had felt the night was going to go when he’d walked into the kitchen to see the table the first time.
By the time that Aaron was leaving it was after eleven and he was kind of dreading the next day at work. He wanted to stay, even if it meant sleeping on the couch but Spencer wouldn’t hear of it. He said that Aaron needed to sleep in a bed. But Aaron wasn’t going to be able to get to sleep for a while, no matter how tired he was. As he passed through the doorway, Spencer’s hand on his wrist stopped him. He turned back to look. Spencer stepped close and kissed him goodnight.
“Drive safe, Aaron and please text me that you’ve made it home.”
Aaron gave him a final kiss and smiled. “I will. Will or JJ will probably be by for clothes for Jack in the morning. Don’t drink any coffee tonight okay? Just go up and go to bed.”
“I will go to bed after I shower. I feel…I like to bathe after crying.”
A caress of Spencer’s cheek and Aaron made himself walk away. The trust was building back up and he didn’t want to do a thing to break any of it down.