Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 7
Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Established Relationship,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up through Season 7
Summary: It’s easy to cast someone as the villain when they aren’t there to defend themselves. Especially when you only hear one side and don’t check facts. Or the one where JJ overhears half a conversation and makes a great deal of assumptions.
JJ stepped closer to Hotch’s office with the folder in her hand. She knew they would be working without Spence as he took a red eye to Vegas, something to do with his mother’s medication not having a good reaction. The door was open so she moved to enter when she heard him talking on the phone.
“He told me it was over and then just left, Jessica. That’s what Jack is upset about. He can have friends but I can’t. Of course, his friends are all geniuses so it’s okay.”
JJ gasped. Hotch was talking about Spencer. She’d known about the relationship between the two men for the past two months. She’d stopped by his apartment one night to visit and he hadn’t been home. When she’d called she had heard Hotch’s voice in the background before Spencer had said his greeting. That had piqued her interest and she’d watched them closely then one day at the store, she’d seen them shopping with Jack and the kiss shared in the breakfast foods aisle. She was fairly certain that the rest of the team knew, no one said anything because the two men were happy and both deserved happiness.
“We had a fight and instead of staying and working it out, Spencer ran. He had two weeks of AL scheduled for the end of the month and he added two weeks of personal. I got the call from him this morning. His mom’s new regimen isn’t working the way that the doctors thought it would and they wanted him to fly out and see if he could get better answers out of her. That I understood but he didn’t even want to try and talk. He’s running away at the first sign of trouble. Doesn’t exactly give me confidence.”
JJ was shocked to hear that. Spencer had left him? She’d been worried about Hotch just being with him as a mid life thing but if Spencer had left him…She felt so bad for Hotch. How could Spencer do that to him?
“What do you mean? We’ve been fine up until Saturday night. This just proves all the reasons I told Spencer we should have never done this. He’s too young.”
Decision made, JJ set the case file down on Spencer’s desk as she made her way to Garcia’s office. She knew for a fact that the tech analyst knew about the relationship and she needed to know if she knew anything else. She wanted to slap Spencer for hurting Hotch like that.
Aaron sighed as he looked at the name on the caller ID on his cell phone. Jack had been home from school for about an hour and it was just about the time needed for Jessica to get out of him what was wrong.
“Aaron, I told you I’d call back after I talked to Jack. Jack said that Spencer left your house on Saturday and that he was pretty upset.”
Aaron could tell that she wanted to say more but was holding off. “He told me it was over and then just left, Jessica. That’s what Jack is upset about. He can have friends but I can’t. Of course, his friends are all geniuses so it’s okay.” That night had been the first time he’d drank so much that he’d fallen asleep on the couch.
“That’s not exactly what Jack told me but I’ll save that for after. What happened Aaron?”
“We had a fight and instead of staying and working it out, Spencer ran. He had two weeks of AL scheduled for the end of the month and he added two weeks of personal. I got the call from him this morning. His mom’s new regimen isn’t working the way that the doctors thought it would and they wanted him to fly out and see if he could get better answers out of her. That I understood but he didn’t even want to try and talk. He’s running away at the first sign of trouble. Doesn’t exactly give me confidence.” Aaron was still shocked that Spencer had done it. After all the people he was upset with for just leaving him, he’d gone and done the same to him and Jack.
“Jack’s been worried for a few weeks but I kept telling him that he needed to let you two figure it out.”
“What do you mean? We’ve been fine up until Saturday night. This just proves all the reasons I told Spencer we should have never done this. He’s too young.” Aaron had been really happy for the last few months. It was nice to have a friend that wasn’t Dave to talk to about things that had nothing to do with his job.
“Aaron Hotchner, you stop that right this instance. Before you condemn that poor boy more why don’t I tell you what your son has been telling me. Jack asked me if someone was allowed to date more than one person at a time. When I told him that depended on the situation he told me that you were talking about a woman named Beth a lot where you used to talk about Spencer and that Spencer still came over but not as much and that when Spencer was around, he was really sad. He also told me that one night Spencer had made a really great meal for dinner for the three of you and you’d called to ask if he could watch Jack a little longer so that you and Beth could get a meal to discuss training. That it happened a lot so Spencer has stopped cooking meals for three and if you come home after training, he’ll fix you something if you don’t pick up a meal on the way home. He also said Spencer’s not staying over at night anymore and that you aren’t even asking him to.”
“No. That’s not…” That wasn’t the truth of any of it, Aaron thought as he tried to figure out how to start to tell her the truth. Jack just didn’t understand.
“Are you saying that Jack is lying? Your son is lying? Your son who ruined your three hundred dollar tie that was a gift from Dave while playing and told you as soon as you got home a year ago? Are you telling me that he is lying? Or that Spencer is getting him to lie? Jack asked me why you didn’t love Spencer anymore last night and that if you didn’t, if he had to stop loving him as well. You want to lay the blame for the end of the relationship at the feet of a man who’d finally had enough when him telling you that he was uncomfortable with the amount of time you spend with a woman, who from what I’ve heard from Dave and Jack, you seem to be smitten with, then you can do that. The truth is in the eye of the beholder but we both know exactly where the blame should lay.”
Aaron didn’t know what to say. Was he acting smitten? He’d tolerated Dave’s pushing for him to go out with her. He’d wheedled and once even lied to make him think that he was thinking of going out with her. Spencer and he hadn’t been ready…Aaron stopped that thought. He wasn’t ready and Spencer had been going along with it. He wasn’t ready to tell the team in any form. He’d been flattered when Beth had started to flirt with him that first meeting. It hadn’t been hard to see she was doing it and yes she came off a little…stalkery but it wasn’t like she was doing it. They were both training for the same type of event so working out in the same places was understandable.
The more he thought about it though, the more he saw what Jack saw. It had been two months since Spencer had stayed the night. It had been two months since the last time they’d had sex and Aaron hadn’t even noticed it. Between work and training, he’d been a little more busy and Spencer had been so supportive of him training. He’d volunteered to stay with Jack whenever he had a chance to train that wasn’t in the mornings before work. Then he’d met Beth and…Aaron dropped his cell phone. He’d been treating Spencer like a babysitter, a nanny for months. There were kisses of hello and sometimes goodbye but the genius had never said a thing. Aaron liked the attention that Beth had been giving him and he’d lost sight of his life. Between Dave’s pushing that he needed to move on and the attention from Beth, he was showing everyone that he was normal. Nevermind the fact that he had perfectly good partner at home who loved him for who he was. Not who everyone thought he was.
Spencer loved him and he knew it. He’d taken it for granted because he thought that Spencer would never leave. Because that’s how every other person saw Spencer. Loyal to a fault and you can do whatever to him and he’ll never leave. Well Aaron Hotchner had found his breaking point.
“Aaron?” Jessica’s voice drifted over his hearing and Aaron picked up the phone.
“I really messed up didn’t I?” Aaron asked. He knew the answer but he needed to hear the answer from someone else.
“I think you had your midlife crisis and your crisis of falling in love with a man who is fifteen years younger than you at the same time. You need to think, Aaron. Take this month. I know that you want to call him right now but please hold off. Jack wants to call and talk to him. I am going to let him. I am also going to make sure that Spencer understands that no matter what happens whether the two of you get together again or not, Jack will be in his life for as long as the two of them want it. He loves your son and I won’t keep him from him. Goodbye Aaron.” The click of the phone sounded deafening. Aaron let the phone fall down to the desk again and that’s how he was when the knock sounded at the door.
“Come in.” Aaron wiped at his eyes and watched as JJ ignored the devastation that had to be on his face.
“Garcia found a case, she’s getting more information but she wanted me to give out the file. Four deaths in two days in Northern Nebraska.”
“Gather everyone up.”
When JJ shut his door and Aaron took a few minutes to collect himself. He could figure this all out when the case was done.
One Month Later
Dave had noticed it nearly right away. Something had changed in Aaron. The rest of the team noticed it as well and he watched as Morgan, JJ, and Garcia took a lot of lunches together and that no one asked Aaron if they had heard from Reid. That had been shocking. Dave had been shocked when Aaron had told the team that Reid was taking two weeks to go to Vegas as his mother’s condition had taken a turn. The first day, everyone had been upset for him.
Reid loved his mother as all kids who were raised by a single parent do. So when the days ticked by and no one asked Aaron about if he’d heard from the kid, Dave got worried. He watched everyone closely and then Prentiss started to go to the lunches with the trio. Dave tried to talk to Aaron but the man was good at dodging if he needed to. He also noticed that discussion of Beth was gone. He never talked about training anymore. He still talked about the triathlon but the actual training for it, there was nothing.
Then Reid came back after two weeks in Vegas and two weeks off to finish out his newest thesis for his degree. Dave watched as he entered the bullpen. Dave waved at him with a large smile on his face and Reid waved back, almost just as happy. There was some darkness in his eyes. Dave didn’t like that.
“How’s your mom, kid?”
“Good. The dosage just was a little too high and it was causing some weird reactions. It’s a really new drug and all the side effects haven’t been found. Especially in patients like mom who have been on other drugs for a long time. From the science standpoint it was great for me. She’s doing really well on it.”
“That’s great to hear. Garcia found a case so we’ll be in the round table room at the normal time.”
“Thanks, Rossi. Where is everyone?”
“I don’t know. They were here.”
Reid shrugged and sat down at his desk, setting his coffee down and starting to work right away. Ten minutes later, the rest of the team walked into the bullpen. Four welcome backs were called from them but that was it. Dave frowned. He looked into Aaron’s office but the blinds were drawn and the door was shut. Morgan and Garcia talked to JJ and Prentiss for a few minutes and then they were gone back to their offices. JJ and Prentiss sat at their desks. Reid was lost in the file he was working on so he didn’t really notice but Dave did. Morgan and JJ almost always hugged the younger man when he came back from any amount of time off and he’d been gone for a month. No question about his mom. No mention of Henry missing his Godfather. There was nothing.
Dave frowned as he walked back to his office. There was something wrong there and he wondered if it had something to do with how Aaron was acting.
Two Weeks Later
“Do you want to go to that club?” Reid asked Morgan as the older man passed him at the end of the day. Dave was looking over a file that Anderson had given him in the middle of the bull pen. “I know that the sudden trip to Vegas ruined the plan to go.”
“Naw, man it’s fine. Garcia and Prentiss went with me a week later.”
“Oh,” Reid’s voice sounded crestfallen. Dave had to look up. Morgan had his back to Reid but Dave could see his face. The kid was heartbroken. “I hope you had fun.”
Morgan didn’t answer. He just started walking again towards the elevator. JJ stood up from her desk and turned to Reid.
“Henry wants to go to the zoo tomorrow, do you want to take him? Will’s working a double and I wanted to get some house things done.”
“Sure. What time?”
“Will can drop him off on his way in. How does eight sound?”
Dave noticed that she was barely looking at him. He quickly made his way up to Aaron’s office and knocked at the same time he was entering.
“So when was the last time you spoke to Reid, when it wasn’t case related?”
“What do you mean?” Aaron set down his pen and looked up at him.
“There is just something off about him and I’ve tried to get him to talk and he’s saying that everything is fine. I just wondered if you knew.”
“No. I’m sure if it becomes something, he’ll talk to someone about it.” Aaron went right back to his file and Dave felt like Aaron knew more but with the stubborn set of his jaw, he knew he’d get nothing from the other agent.
Two Months Later
It was ten o’clock and Aaron had looked at his watch every minute since nine had passed. He checked his phone again; there was no missed called. Aaron frowned and got up from his desk. Morgan was sitting at Prentiss’s desk, a file in hand. JJ was at her own desk and he could hear the light clacking of keys from Dave’s office as he exited his own.
“Has anyone heard from Reid?” Aaron asked. The clacking stopped and then the sound of a chair moving told him that Dave was getting up. Morgan looked up at the same time the two women did.
“Sorry, Hotch. Haven’t talked to Reid since we all left work Friday,” Morgan answered.
“Same here.” JJ went right back to her file and Aaron’s alarm bells went off. It was an hour past time he should have been in at the latest and two hours past his normal arrival time. Aaron dialed his cell phone number again and it went straight to voicemail. Next he tried the house phone but after five rings it went to answering machine.
“I’m going to check on him,” Aaron said to Dave.
“Keep me informed.” Dave waved him away.
Aaron was halfway to Spencer’s when the email pinged on his phone. He was stuck at a light so he opened it. It was from Spencer. Aaron found a parking lot to slip into as traffic started to move to read it. His eyes widened as he did. It was a letter of resignation from the team. Citing he’d accepted a job in a different unit in Las Vegas.
Throwing his phone into the passenger seat, Aaron pulled back into traffic. He had to figure out what was wrong. He and Spencer had seemed to get back to normal, or at least was passed for normal for two men who were no longer together. Aaron knew that Spencer still loved him and he still loved the younger man but the words thrown that night were still a giant chasm between them. He’d tried to talk to the man but he’d been rebuffed again and again. He’d made plans to show up at his place tonight if a case didn’t come up. He was sick of being alone. He was going to make Spencer see how sorry he was. The ache in his heart was greater than the one he’d had after the divorce. Spencer had picked him up and put him back together in the aftermath of that and he’d been the only thing that had kept him sane when Foyet had been going after Jack and Haley.
That’s what had started it all. He’d known he had feelings for the younger man before the Anthrax case but had been unwilling to do anything about it. Then in the aftermath of the stabbing, he saw that Spencer had feelings for him. Or he’d overheard Spencer talking to him while he’d been in the hospital. He’d faked sleep longer than he probably should have but listening to Spencer talk with passion in his voice about all the things about him he loved, Aaron had felt like he mattered to someone for the first time in a long while. Dates in the office late at night working or at Aaron’s apartment were few and far between but were a solace in the chaos his life had been. He’d told Spencer he loved him just two weeks after the funeral and that’s when Aaron had started to have Spencer around for Jack to get to know him. They’d been happy until Aaron had fucked it all up so royally. He still didn’t understand what he’d been thinking.
Spencer’s apartment building came into view and Aaron parked in a thankfully open spot in the guest parking. He barely remembered to lock his car as he sprinted for the entrance. He pulled out his ring of keys he’d grabbed from the office that had keys to everyone on the team’s places. He hoped that Spencer would let him in but he didn’t count on it.
Aaron knew he’d left it too long. He should have pushed when Spencer got back from his AL. Should have made the younger man talk to him. He should have dropped to his knees and begged forgiveness then. All the past months had done was prove to him that he did love Spencer. It hurt Aaron when Jack came back from Jessica’s talking about something he’d done with Spencer or what he and Spencer had talked about.
“Spencer?” Aaron called out as he knocked on the door. He waited and knocked again. He gave it several minutes and several more knocks before he pounded. There was no noise on the other side of the door. He used the key and let himself in and the first thing he smelled was whiskey and bourbon. The entrance area was empty but on the other side of the couch was the coffee table, covered in books and bottles. He counted five different bottles. Worried, Aaron rushed to the bedroom.
Spencer was laying in the middle of the bed dressed just in boxers, clutching a mostly empty bottle of whiskey. There were two other bottles in bed with him, those were empty. He was thin. Thinner than Aaron had ever seen him. It wasn’t just a thinness from not eating for a the weekend. This was from not caring.
Aaron’s heart broke. Moving to the bed, he kept as quiet as he could. He leaned over and checked Spencer’s pulse. It was there and it didn’t seem too fast or too slow.
“Go away,” Spencer muttered. Aaron didn’t answer. Spencer rolled over, leaving the bottle behind. Aaron crouched at the side of the bed and stared into his former lover’s face. Spencer’s eyes opened and then closed and he smiled. “I missed you.”
“No. You’ll go away if I go to sleep. I’m so lonely.”
“Why are you lonely?” Aaron frowned. He shouldn’t be lonely. Yeah, he missed Aaron but he had JJ, Morgan, Henry, and even Jack and Jessica.
“Miss you. Miss JJ. Miss Morgan. Miss everyone.”
What the hell? Aaron asked himself. He’d distanced himself from the team a little while trying to get grip on his life and what he was doing but how had he missed that? Pulling his phone from his pocket he leaned over and kissed Spencer’s forehead. The drunk man sighed and arched up into it. “Sleep, Spencer. I promise I’ll be here when you wake up. Just sleep.”
Spencer burrowed down into the bed and Aaron grabbed the sheet he’d kicked off the bed and covered him up after he’d picked up the bottles. When he was sure the younger man was asleep, he left the room, shutting the door slightly so sound wouldn’t carry down the hall to him.
“How is he?” Dave asked when he answered his cell phone.
“Are you alone?” Aaron asked. He heard the intake of breath and then the shutting of a door on the other end of the phone.
“I am now. What’s wrong, Aaron?”
“I got an emailed copy of his letter of resignation halfway to his place. I put a rush on getting here and well…he was asleep in his bed and curled around a whiskey bottle. I think he’s been drinking since he left work on Friday. Dave, he’s lost weight. How have we all missed him losing weight?”
“I…I don’t want to talk about that here. I noticed he’d lost some but he wears so many clothes that I think it hid so much of it. Do you want me to come there?”
“I’m not going to like this am I?
“No, you really aren’t. I don’t have all the answers but maybe between us two we can figure it out. I’ll be there as soon as I can. What do you want me to tell the team?”
“Considering I think that they are part of his problem, I think silence is the better option there.” Aaron looked at the books on the coffee table. If Spencer were sober he’d be upset at how he left his books.
“Bye.” Dave hung up before Aaron could tell him goodbye. He moved into the living room and picked up all the books scattered on the table. He looked at the titles, the ones in English he could tell were tragedies. The others were not in English and he didn’t even try and guess what they were about. He saw that the drunker Spencer got the worse the stories got. No wonder he was so maudlin.
Hating himself for it but needing to know, Aaron picked up Spencer’s phone and unlocked it. He looked at the call log and all he found were calls from Garcia that the timestamps matched up to cases. A few calls from Bennington. Three calls from Will. Many from Jessica. His texts matched. A few from Garcia about cases. One from JJ asking him to pick Henry up from the house instead of her dropping him off for their visit. There were a great deal in the thread for Jessica. Asking how he was. His mom. The thread from him was all about cases. All their personal texts were gone. It wasn’t like Spencer forgot them. He’d read them so he remembered them. But that he’d erased them hurt Aaron but he knew it was no more than he deserved.
Spencer didn’t have a caller ID on his house phone so Aaron couldn’t see who called but mainly he knew he kept it for his mom to call on as she sometimes didn’t want to talk over a cell phone due to who could be listening in. Spencer had used his landline a few times when they had been together. He wanted to know what was going on with his team. JJ and Morgan were Spencer’s best friends. It seemed like there was no time spent between them. The last text on Spencer’s phone from Morgan that wasn’t case related was from two days before Spencer had gone to Vegas.
The soft knock on the door shocked him as he hadn’t thought that that much time had passed. He opened the door to see Dave standing there.
“Never thought I’d go to Reid’s for the first time and it’d smell like a bar. How much did he drink?”
“That I can find evidence of? At least eight bottles. He’s pretty out of it.” Aaron shut the door and moved to the window. It was nice outside so he wasn’t worried about chilling the place down. The smell of alcohol needed to go though. “Dave, I want to ask you a question and I want your honest answer. I know I pulled back from everyone for a while but I had something going on and I needed time but…when was the last time that you saw JJ and Morgan talking to Reid?”
“With nonwork related material? The day they welcomed him back from his trip to Vegas and his AL. They told him welcome back and then nothing. As far I can tell you and I are the only ones who asked about how his mother was doing on her new meds. Prentiss and Garcia seem to be following their lead.” Dave looked around. “Let’s get this place cleaned up. We can clean in here and then you can get Spencer up and into the shower while I clean the bedroom.”
All in all it only took an hour to clean up the place. Aaron shut the windows and sat down at the small kitchen table to relax while Dave used the bathroom. Aaron had done nothing but think of what had happened over the three months since Spencer had walked away from him. He hadn’t seen any of this. He hadn’t seen any of it at all.
“I’ll lay my cards on the table first, Aaron and you can fill some in from there. Now what I know is that JJ, Morgan, Garcia, and Prentiss are upset with Reid but they are not talking to him about it. I was shocked when the kid came back and I was the only one talking to him. I kept my own council though as I knew something had happened and you were reeling. Then two weeks ago, I overheard Garcia and Morgan in his office. I listened as Reid’s name came up but Morgan called him Reid and so did Garcia. Then I realized that Garcia hadn’t called him anything but Reid in months. I hadn’t heard a Pretty Boy from Morgan either. Garcia asked Morgan if he’d talked to Reid yet about why he’d broken ‘Bossman’s’ heart. I was shocked. I didn’t understand what they could be meaning. I saw JJ coming and slipped into another office and waited for her to pass but she went into the office as well. I slipped back out and Morgan asked her if Reid had even tried to talk to her and she said no. I listened as Garcia had JJ tell her exactly what she’d heard again. I’ll summarize that it was a conversation between you and Jessica the day that Reid flew to Vegas. I understand that you’ve had a hard couple of years but they seem to forget that while you were lying in a hospital from wounds from Foyet, Reid was lying in a bed with a hole in his leg from an UnSub. His body was still recovering from the Anthrax.”
“I took a couple of months to fully heal up from my stab wounds, Spencer took over six months. That case two weeks ago, he wrenched the knee chasing down the UnSub. JJ took the couch and I almost asked her to move so Spencer could stretch out but do you remember what he did?”
“He took the pair of seats in the back and laid his leg over the table, curled into some position that still makes my back ache just thinking of it. I thought it was strange. It was the next day that I overheard the others. When we room up, Garcia places Morgan with you. I never questioned it. Hell, once you get him reading the only thing that bothers me is when he doesn’t go to bed on time. I just roll over and face away from the light. He doesn’t snore unless he has a cold. He doesn’t leave a single thing in the rooms outside his bag. He also doesn’t come out of the bathroom half dressed like two other men I know. I’d gotten used to rooming with Morgan and forgot that not all roommates are like him. So Aaron. What happened? Because unlike the others, I’ve actually paid attention to you outside of looking at you like a little kid that needs saved from the big bad Spencer.”
“Beth happened. When she and I first started training together it was really nice. We had things to talk about that weren’t work related. I don’t know exactly when it happened but I spent more and more of my free time with her training. It was training I needed and I figured, why do it alone? Spencer never said a word and I never asked why he stopped staying over and then out of the blue to me, he told me he was uncomfortable with the amount of time I was spending with Beth. I was shocked and I didn’t handle it well at all. I thought he was accusing me of cheating on him. I stopped listening to him and…” Aaron stopped as he couldn’t tell Dave what he’d done. He needed to but he didn’t want to.
“You did what every other person on this team does they when are backed into a corner and they know the weak points in the person’s armor.” Dave gave him a wane smile. It’s how his third marriage had ended.
“I told him, after he said he needed to go to his apartment so that he could cool down, that of course he was going to leave. It’s all he’d ever been taught. To walk away when anything got hard so that he didn’t have anyone to rely on him. How it wasn’t like he knew how a relationship worked, he’d never seen a healthy one. That his legacy had been to leave those he loves. I didn’t go for the weak point in his armor Dave. I went for his heart and I went through the armor. I went after every single insecurity that he had. Do you know what he did then? He just stared at me. Years before, an UnSub had our hands tied and I talked him into letting me kick Spencer. I had my backup gun on and the UnSub didn’t know it. Spencer got my plan and while I was kicking him, he never looked at me in fear. He never looked like he was scared of me. That night he did. He looked at me so broken. All it did was make me angrier. He grabbed his things and left telling me that he wouldn’t be back ever again. That we were over.”
“The kid has a stronger spine than anyone thinks he has. He raised himself while taking care of a sick mother and never let the schools seen anything that would make them suspicious. We all forget that or don’t let the thought enter our minds, I haven’t figured out which it is for which members.”
“Yeah. Well that was a Saturday night. I spent Sunday angry and I was all set to just rip into him Monday at the office and then he calls me. I could hear the intercoms over the phone before he spoke. He lead with the fact that his mom was in the middle of an episode and he needed to get to Vegas. All my anger at him was gone in that second and I told him to take the time he needed. He asked for two weeks. Hours later, Jessica called and well, all that JJ had to have heard was the first part. Not the one that told me how much of a fuck up I was. Jack asked Jessica that since I didn’t love Spencer anymore if he had to not love him. Jack thought I didn’t love Spencer anymore. I realized I was using Spencer as a babysitter, not a loved one.”
“So, love. That…exactly how long had this relationship been going on?” Dave looked at him with a look of shock on his face. Aaron ducked his head.
“How long do you think it was going on?”
“Sometime around Prentiss’s return.”
Aaron snorted. “I admitted to myself that I had feelings for him after the Anthrax case. In the aftermath of the stabbing, I saw that he had feelings as well. We started seeing each other then. It was the only sanity I had in that time and I think it’s what stopped me from going crazy with Jack gone. I told him I loved him just weeks after Haley’s funeral.”
“Two years? And you let me push you into a…” Dave stopped himself and just stared at Aaron. He knew you didn’t want anyone to know. “You are lucky that I heard him talking to you in there while you were helping him strip to shower. While he may be drunk off his ass, he’s a very honest drunk. The fact that the kid still loves you is the only thing saving you from getting punched in the face.”
“I was kind of shocked that Morgan never punched me but given what I know now. I’ve been harboring the notion that he had the rest of the team in his corner. I need to figure out what’s going on with his resignation and see if he has accepted that job. I can’t lose him Dave.”
“I according to his resignation, a unit in Las Vegas.” Aaron reached into his pocket for Spencer’s cell phone and flipped it open, setting it on the table. “No one has called. You had before you knew I was heading here. I called. I’ve not checked his voicemails. His text and call history reads like a hermit. I’m pretty mad at myself but damn am I mad at the rest of the team. I’d noticed you’d been spending some time outside work with him but I never thought it was this.”
“I’ll head back in. Keep Erin off your back. I’ll dodge the team if need be as well. What do you want to do about Jack?”
“Would it sound horrible that I want him here so that Spencer will be more likely to listen to me?”
“Using your son as a pawn?” Dave asked. Aaron nodded.
“I’ve waited for him to come to me but he’s not going to do it. Yes, I’m going to use whatever I have to get him back. Even if that’s my son begging.”
In the end, Jack went to Jessica’s and Aaron really hated the smug sounding Jessica on the other end of the line. Aaron tried to rest on the couch in the living room but he never had figured out how Spencer got comfortable on it. He gave up and moved to the bedroom, curling up around Spencer and sighing. This right here was what made him happy. He’d do anything to keep it.
Aaron woke up and he felt a hand ghost down his side then there was a scream and the hand was leaving. He opened his eyes and grabbed at Spencer just in time to stop the man from falling off the bed. The younger man was just looking at him in shock.
“You aren’t a dream,” Spencer said as he settled back onto the bed but Aaron didn’t let go of him. No, he pulled the genius closer and back into his arms. Spencer fought it for a few seconds and then relaxed, sighing. “Did you bathe me?”
“Yes. I didn’t…take liberties, Spencer. I just had to get you clean.” Aaron pulled him close and rested their foreheads together. “Don’t leave me. Please. I know I was as an asshole. I know I hurt you. I’ve been miserable since you left. I tried to wait for you to come to me but I got your email and I just…”
“Email? I didn’t email you anything.” Spencer pulled his head back to look at him. “What was in the email?”
“Your letter of resignation and that you were transferring to the Vegas field office.”
“I’ll admit while I was visiting mom I went to the gun range at the office there. Got chatted up by their Section Chief. He all but promised to find someone to have my babies if I transferred but…I can’t leave here.”
“Why not?” Aaron’s eyes were closed and he was afraid to open them.
“I know that my mother loves me. She’s never had to say it. It’s in her eyes. It’s in her voice when she reads to me. She loves me so much.”
Aaron heard the unspoken words in that. He felt tears running down his face at that. “And he loves you so much. Spencer I can’t take back what I said but I can spend the rest of my life proving to you that I love you. I figured it out. I never wanted Beth as anything but a training partner, I promise but Dave and his pushing me to get back out there. I wanted to show that I was normal but I realized about the time that I found you lying in bed, surrounded by bottles and drunk as a skunk, that I had normal and look what I got out of it. A divorce because my wife couldn’t handle the job. I don’t want normal and I understand that now. I want us. I want pancakes shapes like atoms and documentaries on weird things that you have to explain to both Jack and I and it’s fun because you make it fun. I want you in our bed for the rest of our lives.” Aaron opened his eyes and looked into Spencer’s. The younger man was crying. Leaning in, Aaron kissed him and Spencer kissed back. Thankfully, he’d been able to talk a half asleep Spencer to brush his teeth after the shower before helping him into a clean pair of boxers and a t-shirt.
Spencer deepened the kiss with a swipe of his tongue and Aaron moaned when he felt Spencer’s hand travel down his back. He let the genius set the pace and wasn’t shocked when he was pulled on top of him. Spencer loved to be the one who was taken. Aaron had never met someone who liked to be fucked as much as his lover did. Spencer wriggled on the bed and then was pulling Aaron down even farther and Aaron looked down to see that he’d kicked off his boxers.
“Are you sure?” Aaron asked.
“I need this Aaron. Please. I’ve missed you so much and I just…I need to know I am yours.”
Aaron pushed all thoughts out of his head that this was insane. It’s make up sex. It had been a while since he’d truly had it. Fights with Spencer before this one never lasted more than a few hours and they never went to bed angry. Aaron reached out for the tube of lube that was kept in the drawer. He smiled as he pulled it out. Spencer was working on unbuttoning his shirt and Aaron let him but when he hit the last button, he got up off the bed, despite Spencer’s whine and stripped quickly. Spencer pulled his own shirt off and grabbed the lube.
Shocked, Aaron watched as Spencer started to prep himself. He stood and watched with his pants around his ankles as he started off with two fingers. When Spencer moaned, Aaron quickly stepped out of his pants, nearly tripping in his haste to get back into bed with him. When Aaron grabbed his hand, Spencer opened his eyes and smirked at him. Aaron laughed and pulled his fingers from his body before letting go and grabbing the lube. Spencer wiped his fingers on his shirt and then grabbed a pillow and placed it under his hips, Next he grabbed at Aaron and pulled him up for kisses. Hot, open mouthed kisses that reminded Aaron why he missed this.
Thrusting two of his fingers in, Aaron started to prep him in earnest. Spencer had been playing, enticing him back into bed. Spencer moaned when Aaron thrust back in with three fingers and started to pant.
“Please, Aaron. Please. I need you. Please just fuck me already.” Spencer bit at his lip as he pulled back. His body arched up into Aaron. Spreading more lube around Spencer’s hole, he slicked up his cock and then cleaned his hand. Slipping into Spencer was like coming home and Aaron let the moan slide from his lips as he took the willing mouth below him in a kiss. He waited while Spencer adjusted to be being filled. The subtle thrust of hips told him that his partner was ready. It didn’t feel like it had been months. They moved together like they had never been apart.
When Spencer’s breathing changed, Aaron knew that he was close and he shifted up so he could slide a hand down to take his cock in hand. It only took two pumps and then Spencer was coming with a cry. Aaron kept thrusting and Spencer met each one with one of his own.
“I love you,” Spencer said as he tightened his legs and pulled Aaron into him hard. Aaron came, burying his head in Spencer’s neck. The younger man ran his hand up and down Aaron’s back while they both calmed down.
“I love you, too Spencer. I know we have a lot to talk about but I am so happy you still love me.”
“You hurt me but I could tell that by the time I got back you’d figured out what you’d done but I wasn’t ready to forgive you. I forgave you on Saturday night but I was still so upset. I almost called you.”
“I wish you would have but I understand. I’m just happy to be here. Dave is running interference at work and before we go in tomorrow, I want to know everything about how the team has treated you.”
“I don’t even know what I did to make them not like me. I’ve tried to talk to them and none of them will talk.” Spencer huffed and Aaron rolled onto his side, tucking Spencer close to him.
“JJ overheard me talking to Jessica about you leaving me. She didn’t hear it all and she got really mad that you would hurt me like that. She told the rest of the team and it just snowballed out from there. By the time that you came back from it all, I think they cast you as a villain. I was too far into my pity party about how I’d treated you to see what they were doing. Dave clued me in just a few hours ago.”
“That wasn’t a dream either? Dave Rossi cleaned up my bedroom?”
“No, he really did. We cleaned up the whole place. Aired it out. Dave likes you Spencer.”
“I’ve had dinner with him several times since I got back. I didn’t realize he saw what the team was doing. I was hoping that they’d get over and start to talk to me again. Then…”
Aaron knew that something had happened Friday. Spencer didn’t drink to get drunk. “What happened Friday?”
“I heard JJ and Prentiss talking about their plans over the weekend. All of them were going with Henry to a movie. I just…I came home and drank and just didn’t stop.”
“I had a nice talk with Beth she’s actually excited to meet you.”
“The race is this weekend.”
“Yes. Will you go?”
“Of course.” Spencer leaned up and kissed him. Aaron buried his hand in his hair and rolled on top of him. He’d missed touching him so much. He was happy they didn’t need to go back to work until in the morning. He could feel himself hardening again. Spencer must have felt it too because he chuckled. “I’m hungry. You don’t get to fuck me again until you feed me.”
“Who said I was going to fuck you. I was thinking of just staying like this and thrusting until I got off.” Aaron should have expected it. Hungry Spencer was always playful and given the growl from his stomach he was hungry. The fingers at his side didn’t set off alarms until the legs under him wrapped around his waist, holding tight. Aaron only had two seconds to go from figuring out what his lover was going to do to his lover doing it. The fingers on his ribs tickled and Aaron tried to roll away only have Spencer roll with him, ending up on top. Aaron bucked up but the younger man held tight and Aaron had a wicked thought. He tried to buck again but instead of trying to get Spencer off him, he shifted the genius up his body a little.
Spencer was still stretched from their round just minutes before and he was slick from lube and Aaron’s own release so it only took a little bit of shifting and then he was there. Spencer’s eyes widened as Aaron rubbed his cock against his entrance. Then the genius was lowering himself onto Aaron’s cock and fucking himself on him.
Aaron thought again how much he’d missed this.
Aaron smiled as he rounded the corner, not having the energy to do much more than that. He could see the team standing there. Morgan and Dave were cheering while JJ, Prentiss, and Garcia were looking thoroughly wrecked. He could tell that Morgan was on edge about something. Probably the lack of Jack. Aaron sighed. He’d been shocked when he’d heard Spencer offer to watch Henry last night so JJ could go out. According to JJ, Spencer had dropped off Henry at her home to Will just after she’d left for watching Aaron in the race. Aaron knew the truth though.
“GO DAD!” Jack yelled and Aaron smiled and found his son waiting for him at the end of the marked off path. He was on Spencer’s shoulders with Will standing beside him with Henry on his. Beside them was Beth.
Aaron crossed the finish line and made his way to where he knew there would be water. When he turned after getting his medal, he found Jack waiting for a hug. Passing his bottle of water to Spencer, he picked up Jack and gave him a bear hug. Once he had the boy settled on his side, he pulled Spencer in for a hug and quick peck on the cheek, all he could get away with here. Will picked up Henry and he got a hug from him as well and then next was Beth.
“Will and I were discussing breakfast. Beth knows a wonderful place not too far from here,” Spencer said as the rest of the team neared them.
“Mama,” Henry squealed and wiggled to be let down and Aaron set him down and the boy ran to his mom. The team was shocked at the sight of Spencer standing there.
“What are you doing here Reid?” Morgan asked.
“Supporting Aaron. Where else would I be?” Spencer asked.
“Supporting…” JJ trailed off.
“You did great, Aaron!” Jessica gushed as she rushed over to hug him. Aaron smiled as he kissed her cheek. Next she moved to Spencer and hugged him. When she pulled back she just settled in at his side, tucked under his arm. “I’m sorry I am late to congratulate you. I parked a ways away and had to run and grab something.”
“What’s going on?” Prentiss asked.
“What do you mean?” Aaron asked. Jack wriggled a little and Aaron set him down. “Will, why don’t you, Beth, and Jessica take the kids ahead and get us all a table. I don’t know how many are going to join us for breakfast.”
“Sure, Hotch.” Will tugged at Henry and boy followed him. Jack leaned into Jessica and then they were gone. Jessica had kissed Spencer’s cheek again before leaving. Beth waved at Aaron and then Spencer and then it was just the team.
“Hotch, man what’s going on?”
“First off. We are all adults and I want you to remember we are in public. Second, JJ, I’m ashamed at you. Dave overheard you talking a few weeks back and that’s when he figured out what was going on. If you had just talked to me, you would have had the whole story. Yes, Spencer broke up with me and yes he left before we could talk but what you heard was just the first part of a conversation and not the end. You heard my anger and frustration. You didn’t hear me after Jessica called me out on the lies I was telling myself. Spencer walked away because I was ignoring him. I’d tried to act like what everyone thinks of as normal and in that I lost sight of what I needed in my life. I didn’t need a woman flirting with me and for you all to see that I was finally moving on in my life. Hell, I’d moved on long before Haley was killed and yes I floundered a little after her death, Spencer stayed by my side. You missed the utter devastation on my face when Jessica told me that my son was noticing that I was ‘smitten’ with a woman and not Spencer. When she told me that he asked her if since I didn’t love Spencer anymore if he had to stop loving him. If I hadn’t been throwing a private pity party when he came back and didn’t want anything to do with me, I would have seen what the four of you were doing. I feel sick at myself for it. Hell, when Spencer came back to work Tuesday after missing work on Monday, none of you asked him what was wrong. I watched closely. It’s going to take a while for the four of you to earn my respect again. Now, Dave and I are going to get breakfast. You four have a lot of talking to do.” Aaron didn’t even look at them. He looked at Spencer and moved closer for another hug and a not whispered. “I love you.”
“Love you too,” Spencer said back as he let go of him.
Aaron wanted to stay but Dave was right in that they would all talk more honestly without him there but Spencer knew they weren’t actually going to eat, not yet. They were just going to slip away from sight but close enough in case Spencer needed them.
JJ listened as Spencer told his story. Of months with Hotch constantly going training with Beth and ruining dinner plans, of the two months where Hotch hadn’t even noticed that he wasn’t staying over after watching Jack while he trained. Of the fight and the words spoken. Of the months of loneliness where he lost the man he loved and his family in one fell swoop. Of the despair of finding out that he really didn’t have anyone in his life. That his family had turned on him without even talking to either party involved in the break up, just on what was heard in a phone conversation. He told them of the binge drinking he’d done over the weekend before. How an email resignation had brought Hotch to him and how he’d helped him through his terrible hangover and sleeping it off.
“You’re leaving?” Garcia asked.
“No. It seems that someone took it into their own hands to hack into my work computer and find the letter I keep stored in there, just in case and changed a few details and email it off. I was a little worried but the culprit emailed me and told me congratulations on Tuesday just before I left work. He got a very nice bottle of wine. The Vegas field office did try to snag me up but I told them no. I could never leave Henry and Jack behind.”
“He already loves you?” Prentiss asked.
“Wow, you weren’t listening to Aaron were you.?” Spencer looked at all of them in shock. “We’ve been together since before Haley died. Of course, Jack loves me.”
“But…no,” Garcia protested.
“Dave thought the same thing that it was after Emily came back but no. Aaron wasn’t ready to tell the team and this whole debacle just showed him how much he was hurting me and himself by not telling his family. I’m not ready to hear apologies. I want you all to think about this. About why none of you even talked to Aaron. Even tried to talk to me.”
And then Spencer was gone. JJ started to cry.
None of them went to breakfast. Morgan dropped them all off their at places and they all just thought.
Aaron never asked Spencer what the rest of the team said to him for their apologies, the younger man just told him when they did. Aaron still trained with Beth up until her own triathlon where when she crossed the finish line, Spencer, Jack, and himself were there to cheer her on. Slowly the team healed but Aaron could tell the closeness wasn’t there anymore. Spencer held himself back from them. He wasn’t letting them get close enough to get hurt like that again. He never pushed his lover to do it either. He was an adult and made his own choices.
JJ, Morgan, and Garcia never noticed it until Blake joined the team after Emily’s departure. Spencer had known her for a long while and there was a closeness there with her, a stranger to the rest of them, that they no longer had. It was two months into Blake being on the team after Morgan and Garcia came back from England that Blake found out about the relationship. Blake said she knew he had someone as he was happier than he’d ever been and that was it. Acceptance with no judgement.
Aaron was happier than he’d been in a long time and he wasn’t going to trade it for anything.