Rethink Everything

Title: Rethink Everything
Series: I Don’t Fucking Want It To Be! But It Probably Will Be!
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 5 (Late Spring/Early Summer 2010)
Tags: Alternate Universe – Sentinels and Guides, First Time, Kidnapping,
Ratings: NC-17
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through Season Five,
Summary: Spencer Reid surprised everyone he meets with his mind. The team had been long used to this. But when something changes in the young genius, the entire team is shocked.
Words: 17,806
Notes: None
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence,
Beta: Charlie_Remington

He was always there, just under the surface. Aching to get free but it wasn’t time. He wasn’t needed and he didn’t want to cause pain. If he came out now, he would be in pain. There wasn’t someone out there for him. He knew that someone out there was trying to take what was his, his family. He waited. He’d been waiting years, he could wait longer.

Then he felt it, the change in his mind. His Guide was online and searching for him but still it wasn’t time. If he’d have been closer to him when he came online, he could have come online as well but he wasn’t. He felt caged. The bad thing was, he could still feel something out there. Something coming. That’s what he was waiting for. That moment to come online. That moment to claim what was his and no one would be able to stop him then. And whoever got in the way, would die.

XxXxXxX

Spencer rolled onto his back for the thirty seventh time that night. He couldn’t sleep. He hadn’t been sleeping well for a week. All he felt like doing was pacing. His arm itched and he knew what that was. A craving. He hadn’t felt a craving since he’d gotten used to the pain of his injured leg after getting shot. The knowledge that a single dose would have taken away his pain had been too tempting. He’d called John a lot that first month and the man had even taken him to and from a few meetings so he wouldn’t have to try and use the Subway while injured. The meetings had helped a lot, especially after he’d been kept back after Hotch had found out he’d lied about his clearance to fly.

Deciding that he wasn’t going to sleep again that night, Spencer rolled out of bed. He looked at his clock and saw that it was after four. He might as well get ready and head into work, at least then he could hopefully distract himself from his inability to sleep.

Every time he closed his eyes, all he saw was the computer monitors and his own capture at the hands of Tobias Hankel. He’d seen the copies of the videos that had been streamed for his team to see. It had been after he’d been clean a year. He’d gotten his coin and then went back to the BAU and watched them alone in the bullpen in the early morning hours. He’d never regretted it until after the case in Boise.

Coffee in hand, Spencer was walking out of his apartment when he got the call. He looked down and saw that it was JJ’s home phone, not her cell. It wasn’t case related. He felt his world sharpen down to the light on the phone. It was too bright and he wanted to get away from it. Clicking the accept button, he raised his phone to his ear. The light disappeared against his skin.

“JJ?”

“Spence, someone broke in and took Henry. Please get over here. I’ve called Hotch and he’s getting the rest of the team here. Please just get here.”

“I’m on my way, Jayje. I was just leaving for work.” Spencer was never more thankful for insomnia than this moment. Someone had taken Henry. Someone had taken his Godson. That wasn’t something he could stand for. Pulling his door shut behind him, hard, he heard a picture frame on the other side crash to the floor but he didn’t care about that. He moved to his car but his hands were shaking too much, his mind going through a list of UnSubs they had put away over the years that would have gone after the little boy. Shoving his keys into his bag, he moved towards the subway. It would take just about as much time and he’d be able to think on it.

As the doors closed behind him on the car, Spencer dropped to a seat and heard his phone ringing again. It was Hotch.

“I just got on the subway, Hotch, I am on my way to JJ’s now.”

“I’m sorry, Reid. I need you to get off at the next stop. A local will be waiting for you. He tried to catch you before you got on. I’m at the office already and I just got a call from Jessica. She just woke up from being knocked out by an intruder. Jack was taken as well. You are closer to her than anyone else. I know you want to…”

“There is a less than point zero one percent chance that this isn’t connected. I’ll get off and go to Jessica’s. Make sure to let JJ know.”

“She already knows. It’s how I knew where you were. Thank you, Reid.”

“Anything Hotch.” Spencer ended the call as he heard the loss of sound that said Hotch hung up as well. He sighed and stood up, waiting at the doors for them to open. As soon as they did, he took off at a run. He crested the stairs and found the cop car waiting with it’s lights going. The officer saw him and waved him over.

“Was told to expect a tall, thin man in converse and wearing a messenger bag. Your boss must know you pretty well.”

“That he does,” Spencer said as he opened the front passenger door and slid inside. The officer wasted no time in throwing the switch for the siren and speeding off.

“We had a cop at every exit between here and the stop for Miss Jareau’s residence. Roadblocks are being set up. From what I’ve been told there is the possibility of the National Guard taking over that. Two FBI agents kids taken in the same night. An alert went out to all those with kids and spouses. Agent Hotchner told me to tell you that Morgan and Prentiss were being directed to Miss Jareau’s place and that Rossi was going to the office to direct all information. As soon as Rossi reached there, Agent Hotchner said he’d leave to join you. As soon as my partner and I figured out that the kid was the son of an FBI agent we pulled out of the scene.”

Spencer listened as he spoke and told him all he knew then he saw Jessica standing beside another police car in a robe. He slipped his bag off his shoulder and set it down on the floor of the car. He could see the blood on her lip as well as down the little bit of her shirt that he could see under the robe. As soon as the car stopped, Spencer was up and out of it, before the officer could even put it in park. Jessica saw him and she seemed to sag in relief.

“What’s going on, Reid? No one is telling me anything. Aaron was short on the phone and he said he’d be here as soon as possible.” Jessica clung to him and Spencer wrapped his arms around her.

“Henry was taken as well. I don’t know the timeline but you and I need to work through everything as soon as you are calm. I can see and smell blood. You need to let the medic look at you.” Spencer spared a glance to the man and woman who were standing at the back of the ambulance. “While they are looking you over I am going to go inside and look around.”

“They took Jack, Spencer.” Jessica started crying and Spencer just pulled her in tighter to him. He couldn’t give in to that. He needed to stay strong because Hotch was going to be a mess. He’d barely gotten his newly awakened Guide gifts under control from coming online after Foyet had killed Haley and now this? If they didn’t find Jack and Henry, Spencer knew that Hotch would probably shut down. Hell he was shocked that Hotch had been aware enough to get this all figured out. He nodded at the medics and they stepped towards him.

“I know but right now, I need you to go with the medics and let them care for you. As soon as I look around the apartment, I’ll come back out. I promise.” Jessica nodded and let herself be given over to the hands of the medics. Spencer pulled his credentials from his pocket and flashed them as he stepped up to the main door to the apartment complex. The LEOs nodded at him as he made his way to the elevator. He slid on a pair of gloves after he’d been handed them and pressed the button. He could tell the button had already been dusted for prints as had everything thing in the lobby. He recognized several of the CSU techs and nodded at them when the doors opened on the fifth floor. Anderson was standing outside the apartment.

“Anderson.”

“Doctor Reid. CSU is still working but they’ve said we can go in. The point of entry is the fire escape but I don’t know the exit. The glass shattering is what woke up Miss Brooks.”

Spencer let his eyes sweep over the living room of the apartment. He could see the couch bed that was made up but instead of Jack on it, it was Jessica. He could see the markers for the blood around the shattered glass. His mind supplied the image of Jessica jumping up, catching the kidnappers unaware. One of them knocking her out with the shattered lamp that was laying on the floor next to the blood.

“Initial interview had Miss Brooks waking up and calling Hotch as soon as she figured out Jack was gone. No one knows time because no one else heard the glass shattering and Miss Brooks didn’t, of course, check the time when she jumped up. We are waiting for Garcia to tap into the cameras around the area to see if she can tell an abduction time. Henry was discovered missing at zero three thirty nine. Will called into the station at the same time that JJ called Hotch. Miss Brooks called Hotch at zero four fifteen.”

“Concurrent abductions then. Too much distance to cover to be it one after another. Then we are looking at at least four UnSubs. Go wait for Hotch and stay with Jessica. She’s obviously upset and not handling it well. Not this soon.”

“Of course, Doctor Reid.”

Spencer took several steps back and looked at the entire scene before he turned to head towards the bedroom at the back of the apartment. There was another fire escape there. Why didn’t the UnSubs just take him from in there? He needed to ask Jessica what the normal routine was. Did she always sleep out there? Was this a one time thing? He remembered Hotch telling him that Jack’s preschool was going on a field trip so he’d stayed with Jessica since she was going as a chaperone. Hotch had called and talked to him before even Spencer had left the office. He looked around the bedroom and saw that Jack’s backpack was still in there. He picked it up and looked through it. Nothing strange inside of it. He’d have to wait for Hotch before he could truly figure out what happened. He heard Hotch’s footsteps long before he entered the room.

“Did Jack always sleep in here?”

“No.” Hotch stepped up next to him. “Jessica had work to finish to go on the trip today and she stayed up late. She wanted to watch TV so she stayed in the living room.”

“So the UnSubs entered the room they thought he was going to be in. They watched Jack before taking him. Enough to establish a pattern.”

“Jack was awake. I can feel the imprint of his fear as he heard the UnSubs coming down the hall. He tried to fit under the bed but it’s too low. Anderson said you think it was simultaneous.”

“Two hours. From moment of arrival at the first place to loading up the final kid in the van or car, two hours. The calls are too close for it to be anything but simultaneous.”

Hotch nodded and moved over to the bed. He was wearing gloves as well. He wouldn’t be able to touch anything to get a good read off of it until CSU had completed their jobs. Spencer had seen a lot of Guides feel a scene over the years. He was used to it, what he wasn’t used to was Hotch being the one to do it. Boise had been the first time the new Guide had been in control of his abilities to be able to do it. The other thing he wasn’t used to was the large panther that paced in the hallway. Part of that was because a cat of that breed was rare for a Guide’s spirit animal and because Hotch never really let him out for people to see.

“Three. Dave texted me and the Guide on the scene at JJ’s said there were three there as well. One was a woman. All three here were male. Mundanes all of them.”

“The only way to get Jack out safely was…” Spencer stopped and looked. There was something off about the room, he just needed to figure out what. Hotch said nothing as he looked around the room. Spencer stepped back, using his arm to bring Hotch with him so he couldn’t see the other man. Top to bottom he looked over the room. Then he saw it. Blood on the curtain. “Oh! These guys are smart. They opened the window to get Jack out. Once they had him out, one of them reentered the apartment and shut and locked the window, then he went out the entry point.”

“Walk me through it,” Hotch said as he looked at the window. Spencer looked at him. How was he not seeing the blood on the curtain? How had CSU missed it? “How do you know that?”

“There is five feet between the bed and the window. Even if Jack fought, there is no reason for that area to be disturbed. Three feet up from the bottom of the curtain there are two spots of blood on the side facing the window. There is no reason for the blood to be there.”

Hotch moved and crouched at the window, turning the curtain to look. He looked up at Spencer. “How did you see that?”

“It must have been the light coming in the window. There aren’t going to be prints outside of this apartment. I’d make sure CSU works outside next. I’m sure they were wearing gloves.”

“I pulled Jordan Todd to fill in for JJ. She’s going to be in no state of mind to handle the press. She’s going to meet with Dave at the office. I’ll get CSU to do another sweep in here before moving to this fire escape.”

XxXxXxX

There were too many scents to pick out the ones he needed. There was one scent though. Fresh and clean and so enticing. He wanted to curl up in the scent and stay for days. To feel the arms of his Guide surround him and hold him close. His Guide was hurting and when his Guide hurt, he hurt but for him the hurt made him want to hurt others as well. He would make sure that no one hurt his Guide anymore.

XxXxXxX

Aaron moved into the round table room and looked at his team. JJ was standing beside Todd talking to her. Reid was seated at the table with a stack of files in front of him. He had no clue what those files were and he didn’t care. He trusted that whatever Reid was doing it was important. The files he was reading over went into one of three piles. The pile in front of him and a pile to his left and one to his right. The one on the left Dave looked through and Morgan the one on the right.

Reid opened a file and looked at it. Aaron could see it was a picture. His eyes seemed to go unfocused and he was staring off into space. Dave and Morgan noticed.

“Reid?” Morgan asked. The agent waved his hand in front of Reid’s face and nothing.

“Do you have something, Reid?” Aaron asked and Reid snapped to attention, turning to him.

“No. I am just remembering the crime scenes.” Reid was acting like he hadn’t been so focused that he hadn’t heard Morgan.

“What are you working on?”

“Oh, files faxed over from prisons about UnSubs who have threatened the BAU.” Reid shifted in his chair and that’s when Aaron saw there was another pile in his lap. It was the smallest pile. “Logs of their visitors. Copies of letters. Rossi had medium threats, Morgan high. The pile in front of me is no risk.”

“And in your lap?”

“Extreme risks.”

“Two files?”

“Vincent Perotta and Karl Arnold so far.” Reid grabbed them and handed them over for him to look through. The files were also the thickest. “I had narrowed it down to just the UnSubs that were put away while both you and JJ were on the team but then I changed it to all since you joined. There is a chance that whoever did this, is just going after the kids and not you two in particular.”

“I’ve already called in agents in Chicago and Vegas to watch Morgan and Reid’s family. Prentiss called her mother and they have upped security on her as well. Kevin is staying put here if he knows what’s good for him. Garcia might just cuff him to her desk otherwise.” Dave gave a wan smile at his own words.

Aaron laughed despite what was going on. He was sure that she would.

“I’ve alerted all my ex-wives and they have refused security at this time but Hayden had upped her guards and promises to stay where she is.”

“Good. Good thinking Reid.” After Foyet, there wasn’t a single thing his team probably couldn’t get at this point to protect family. It was happening too soon. He’d just lost Haley. He couldn’t lose Jack as well. Everyone in the room looked at him, such a sad look on their faces. He was projecting. God, he hadn’t projected his emotions out for months. Getting his abilities under control, Aaron put a tight lid on them. During his training, he’d been told he could feel Mundane, he was able to keep his abilities inside himself so much. “Where else are we?”

“Jack and Henry’s pictures are nationwide. Every single news outlet is running the story. Roadblocks have turned up nothing as of my last check in,” Jordan said as she and JJ swapped files.

“MPD is working all hands on. Plain clothes are out trying to listen to see if they can hear anything. Will is manning the phones as he’s not allowed on the street.” JJ looked like she was handling it.

“Every single bonded Sentinel in the FBI in the area is acting like a scent dog. All volunteers. We have a few unbonded wanting to join the hunt but there aren’t enough Guides for them. The Director isn’t allowing a Sentinel out without a Guide.” Dave handed over a sheet of paper. Aaron let his eyes wander over it. He’d make sure that Reid stayed updated on the list.

“Units are at your house, Jessica’s apartment, and JJ’s condo, trap and trace is set up and running through Garcia. She’s already set one on all cellphones.”

“My mom is at my house in case they call. No one has been able to get a hold of Sean but his manager is expecting him for work in half an hour. His cell goes to voicemail. A unit is on their way to his last known address.” JJ looked a little upset at that but Aaron really wasn’t.

“I’ve not been able to get in contact with him for weeks,”Aaron admitted.

“Doctor Norman called me and said that they are under restricted visiting. The only visitors have to have a direct blood relative there to get in. They are also keeping the news off the station there, just in case.”

“Good. Reid, keep looking over the files but listen in.” Aaron settled down in a seat directly across from where Reid was sitting. JJ and Jordan sat down at the same time that Prentiss entered the room.

“Roadblocks stopped a stranger abduction but it wasn’t Jack or Henry. Five year old little girl was taken from a grocery store and the UnSub who took her went right into a block. He freaked out and tried to ram a Humvee with his two door sedan. The little girl is shaken but uninjured.” Prentiss took a seat beside Morgan and took half of his stack.

“What do we have?” Aaron asked.

“Two different teams of three. One team is all male, the other has one female,” Reid started. He threw another file into the no risk pile. He leaned his head back and rubbed at the bridge of his nose.

“Reid?” Aaron was worried. It was still pretty early in the day for him to be doing that.

“Sorry, I didn’t get much sleep last night. I was actually on my way into the office when JJ called me. I just need more coffee.” Reid stood up and filled his thermos up again. He didn’t see the looks from the rest of the team. Aaron did though. He looked at Morgan who was holding up three fingers. Prentiss shook her head and held up seven. JJ sighed and shook her head again and pointed out into the bullpen. She held her hands about a foot apart and then held up two fingers. Two pots of coffee so far she estimated. Aaron nodded and motioned for them to continue to talk. He’d keep an eye on him and force him to take a nap in his office if he had to. He knew that Reid hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep after the case in Boise. He knew what it reminded him of but he needed him at his best right now. Jack and Henry needed him at his best.

“Whoever they are, they cased the areas well. What cameras were there were knocked out. Garcia can’t track them by vehicle. We haven’t got a hit on any of the prints that have been lifted so far. Every single one is a tenant of the building in Jessica’s case. At JJ’s all prints are theirs, family, or ours.” Morgan looked around for the next person to speak.

“The blood that Reid found on the curtain is a cursory match for Jessica’s blood. Type matches but we are still running DNA on it. Jack’s prints were found on the outside fire escape so he was awake when he was taken and tried to grab onto the metal to stop himself from being taken.” Dave handed over the file that showed where his prints were. “There was no blood in the alley or on the escape, not fresh blood so we are operating that it was Jessica’s blood.”

“Canvas of the neighborhoods have given up nothing. No one saw or heard a thing,” Prentiss offered.

“We have a problem,” Anderson said as he entered the round table room. His face looked stricken.

“What?” Aaron asked as he stood up.

“Two men and a woman were found dead in Dupont Circle. A picture of Jack and a picture of Henry were found with the bodies.”

“Reid, stay here work on the files. JJ stay with him and run things from here. Todd, I want you on the press. Let’s go.”

XxXxXxX

The scent of the the younger child was on the bodies but that was it. Unwashed bodies were the hardest to scent. There was so much grime and too many other scents mingling. Single shots to the head was the method of execution. He wanted to be free to rip their throats out. He needed to protect and he couldn’t do that. Sleep was for the weak and he wasn’t weak.

XxXxXxX

Three days of nothing. No leads. Nothing. The three dead UnSubs were still just that, unknown. Spencer heard footsteps and he turned. He was alone in the round table room. He’d been trying to sleep but it eluded him again. It was Anderson and he had a file in his hand. Spencer spared a looked at the clock. Five am. It had been seventy two hours now. And he’d been able to fool everyone into thinking he’d gotten a lot more sleep than he did. Hotch had offered his office the past two nights.

“Red Onion just faxed this over. They said they were sorry for the delay but his file hadn’t been updated correctly.”

“Who is it?”

“Patrick Meyers.”

Spencer didn’t miss the way Anderson’s eye moved to his now healed leg. The twinge of pain was there as it always was when he thought of him. “Thanks. Go get a few hours of sleep. I think that the couch in Hotch’s office is free. Unless someone has laid down on it in the past half an hour. Hotch went home.”

“It’s fine. I just woke up from six hours of sleep. Reyes is down for the count now. Where is the rest of the team?”

“JJ went home. Hotch went home. Rossi, Morgan, and Prentiss are actually sharing a hotel room down the road. Rossi paid for it. The beds here were full. Garcia is asleep in her office. Don’t enter unless you have a death wish.”

“I’ll be around. Want me to start another pot of coffee?” Anderson’s head flicked towards the almost empty pot and Spencer nodded. He opened the file and looked at the first page which the warden again apologized for not getting to them earlier but his file hadn’t had his attachment to the BAU updated until just a few hours before. Spencer dropped a hand to his knee and rubbed. Next up was a list of any issues with Meyers while he was in their custody, which hadn’t been long. Nothing jumped out at him. Next up was all his letters to and from. Family members writing him and a former co-worker. It was the third letter from the co-workers that tipped him off. The Warden hadn’t included all the letters.

“Anderson,” Spencer called out as the agent was leaving the room. “I need to talk to the Warden at Red Onion. I also need a list of all inmates the BAU has put away that are in Red Onion.”

“On it.” Anderson hustled out.

Spencer cleared everything off the table and spread out the letters from the co-worker that he did have copies of. There was something in the last sentence of every letter that was throwing him. Each sentence spoke of a mutual friend Renard.

“Doctor Reid,” Anderson said when he came back five minutes later. “The Warden will call you in half an hour and Meyers and Karl Arnold are the only inmates in Red Onion. I gave the Warden the extension for the phone here.”

“Thank you.”

“Renard…Fox.” Spencer grabbed his cell phone and dialed. Not even looking at the number.

“Hotchner.” Hotch sounded awake but he always did when he answered his phone.

“I need you here now. Just you for now.”

“Reid?” Hotch asked, the first clue that he had been sleeping. Spencer just pushed it off.

“Red Onion sent me Patrick Meyers file finally. A former co-worker writes him several times a week. Every single letter has a post script that talks of something that a mutual friend Renard has done. Renard is French for fox and at Red Onion Meyers and Karl Arnold are the only inmates that have been put away by members of this team. I don’t have all the letters and the Warden will be calling in,” Spencer checked his watch. “Twenty eight minutes.”

“Wake Garcia and get her looking. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Hotch hung up and Spencer dropped his phone down onto the table. He tried to figure things out. He didn’t have enough information and not enough variables. His mind only had one connection but it was so weak and so far outside of the box that it couldn’t even see the box.

Moving to the closet down the hall, Spencer grabbed a new white board and pulled it into the round table room. He grabbed four different colored markers and started to fill in information. By the time that Hotch entered the room, the Warden had called and was working on faxing all letters that Meyers had received since he’d been incarcerated, even before he arrived at Red Onion.

“What do you have?”

“Arnold and Meyers work the same work detail. The Warden is faxing the letters now. Anderson is going to run them as soon as he has them all. This co-worker, which Garcia ran and doesn’t exist, started writing Meyers before he arrived at Red Onion but Meyers had kept all the letters. I haven’t figured out the code for the letters yet but I will. I just need more of them.” Spencer motioned with his head at the papers spread out on the table.

“Red is Arnold. Blue is Meyers. Purple is things that overlap. What is the black?”

Spencer stepped back from the board and looked at it.

“What I have been able to figure out about the other person. Meyers is a middle man. Whatever is going on, it’s been set in works for a long time. I can find nothing in Arnold’s file that shows that he’s been in direct contact with anyone by letter, phone, or even email.”

“How much sleep did you get?”

“I was in your office for six hours.” Spencer hoped the older man was distracted enough to not catch his dodging of saying he was actually asleep.

“What can I do?”

“I’m not reading too far into this right?”

“No.” Hotch was leaned over the table reading the letters. “Whoever this UnSub is, they are smart.”

“Incredibly so. Gifted writer as well.”

“Here are the letters!” Anderson ran in with a folder stuffed full. Spencer was shocked at how many there were. “The Warden called back, they have Meyers in solitary with a trusted guard on him. He’s being allowed no contact with anyone.”

Spencer took the folder and read through all the letters. As he did, he pulled out five. He set them aside with one letter from the other stack. He set them down and then looked at Hotch.

“Meyers is a not very intelligent man. It’ll take six hours and thirty eight minutes at the minimum to get them here. I’ll do better talking to them and it’s better than it taking over fifteen hours round trip for me to go to them, bring them to us.”

“I’ll get the transfer started. I can tell you have something in your mind, Reid. What is it?”

“Not ready to discuss that yet. I need more variables and I don’t want to influence you.”

“Tell me the second you get those variables?”

“Yes.” Spencer turned back to the board, adding more and more information from the letters. Every letter added more to the information on the UnSub who was outside prison. The only information that made Spencer believe that it wasn’t who he was thinking was that the UnSub worked alone.

XxXxXxX

He could smell the fear on the man in the other room. He was telling the truth. He knew nothing. The man in front of him though was calm and collected and he wanted to rip his throat out. He needed to get him to break, spill his words. He was the holder of all the information. The coward in front of him had the name.

And he needed that name.

There was one way to get the name. He moved like lightning and had the coward up against the wall. He could smell the fear now. It was wonderful to be let out, even for the short time.

XxXxXxX

Patrick Meyers had spilled all he knew the second that Aaron and Dave had entered the interrogation room he had been placed in. It was as Reid suspected, he knew nothing other than all the letters were to be shared with Karl Arnold. It had only taken half an hour to get the whole story from him.

Reid and Prentiss had Karl Arnold in the next room and when Aaron was done with Meyers, he and Dave watched that interrogation. Arnold would probably be more willing to speak to them than him. Flickering movement in his side vision had him turning to see what he thought was his spirit animal. Except instead of his panther, he saw a fox. It had the body shape of a red fox but it’s coloration was black with what looked like silver dusting his head and hindquarters. He wondered whose spirit animal it was.

“Did the kid get any sleep last night?” Dave asked.

Hotch turned back to look in the room. “I didn’t call him on his dodge but he told me he spent six hours on the couch in my office. Not that he slept for six hours.”

“If he bounces that leg much more, it’s going to vibrate through the floor. Look, I understand that the whole team has been on edge with him since Boise. What’s the reason?” Dave’s tone was soft but curious.

“The capturing of deaths on camera and broadcasting them will always have an effect on all of us. Do you remember that case in Georgia with the young man with DID?”

“An agent was taken. I remember seeing it on the news. The file is locked and I never tried to access it.”

“That was Reid. We watched him die on camera as well as being tortured. Still, this isn’t all from that. There is something else going on with him and I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Other than I think he has more coffee than anything else in him? Possibly even more than blood?” Dave asked.

Who are you in contact with Karl?” Prentiss asked as she settled into the chair more.

I am in contact with a lot of people. You are going to have to be more specific.

Who is writing to you and using Patrick Meyers as a middleman?” It was the first time that Reid had spoke at all since Aaron had entered the room. The sound of the door opening had Aaron turned to see Morgan entering. The fox was gone.

“Rossi, JJ would like to talk to you.”

“Sure.” Dave patted Aaron’s shoulder and then it was just him and Morgan left alone in the room. Aaron was looking at Morgan so he didn’t see what happened but he heard it.

You mean you haven’t figured it out yet, Doctor Reid?” Arnold said those words and then the sound of a chair hitting the wall drew Aaron’s gaze but before he could fully register what was happening, Reid had Arnold by the shoulders of the jump suit up against the wall. Prentiss was shocked and wasn’t moving. Aaron was the first to move with Morgan on his heels. The door stuck a little but Aaron finally got it open. When he got line of sight on Reid, Prentiss was trying to pull him back. She couldn’t.

Rounding the table, Aaron saw that Reid not only had him up against the wall but he was being held several inches above the floor. Morgan went the other direction around the table and got to Reid first but the younger man just shrugged him off. Morgan grabbed his shoulder harder this time but still Morgan couldn’t move him. Prentiss moved back as Aaron approached, slower and more sedate.

“Let him go, Reid.” Reid wasn’t listening though. No. The younger man had his eyes locked with Arnold’s and the killer looked so scared. Aaron had never seen him looking so scared.

“The Reaper!” Arnold screamed. He looked at Aaron for help before he spoke again. “It’s letters from the Reaper.”

Reid acted like he was going to release the man but instead he pulled him a few inches away from the wall and then slammed him back into it. Arnold head bounced off the wall and then Aaron was moving. Grabbing Reid with Morgan and pulling. Prentiss stepped up and as soon as they had him a foot or so away from the wall, she pulled until Reid let go of Arnold. The now released man slumped to the floor and scrambled to a corner. Aaron and Morgan got Reid through the door and shoved. The man wasn’t fighting them. He had a faraway look. He was piecing things together.

“I need to go,” Reid said as he turned and walked out of the room. Aaron watched him go, nodding at Morgan to follow him.

“What the hell was that?” Prentiss asked as she look into the room where Arnold was still curled in a ball in the corner. “How did Reid hold him up like that?”

“I don’t know.” If it was anyone else, Aaron knew what he’d be saying but Reid was Mundane. Plain as they come. “Stay out here. I’m going to go in and talk to him. I want to know why he thinks the Reaper is responsible for this.”

Prentiss nodded and Aaron reentered the room, setting the chairs to rights and turning one to where he could sit in front of Arnold.

“Now, Karl. Doctor Reid is out there calming down but I’ll let him back in here if you don’t tell me everything.”

Arnold looked back up at him with a look of fear on his face that Aaron was actually worried that Reid had said something to the man that no one had heard.

“It was all planned through my lawyer but it was in code so the lawyer never knew what was up. The kidnappers were picked out and hired months ago. Foyet did it all before he died at your hands. Payback he said, just in case. Do you want the address? I can give it to you if you promise to never let Doctor Reid near me again.”

“If what you give me turns out to be truthful information, I promise you will never see Doctor Reid again.”

“Foyet had the account set up to make payments on the correct days as well as getting the letters set up. He didn’t think it would be this easy for you guys to figure it out.”

Aaron listened as the entire plan was laid out as well as the location of Henry and Jack and that only four guards should be there if the other three were killed. “If this information turns out to be correct and the kids are unharmed, you’ll deal with just me. If the kids are harmed, I’ll let Doctor Reid back in.”

“I’m not scared of you, Agent Hotchner. You are just a Guide.” Arnold smirked at him but Aaron paid him no attention. He knew where Jack was. Now all they needed to do was get to them.

XxXxXxX

The fear from the coward tasted wonderful on the air. He wanted to taste more of it but he was stopped. It was all right. He knew it wouldn’t be long. It wouldn’t be long at all until he was free. Just a few more pushes and he would be one with his Guide.

All that needed done was to go and save the kids.

XxXxXxX

Spencer splashed water on his face before grabbing his vest from the floor. He knew that Arnold was going to tell them what they wanted. He was just a little scared that he had snapped like that. From Hotch, Morgan, or even Rossi it was something that he would have understood but from him…He never thought that he’d had it in him. But it had felt so good.

Rubbing at his forehead, Spencer hoped that a headache wasn’t trying to come on. He’d thought that the death of Foyet would have gotten rid of his headaches. His doctor had put them up to stress and had suggested changing jobs but Spencer had just tried to do other thing to relieve his stress. It seemed to have been working.

Of course, this entire situation was stressful. Hotch was hanging in there but JJ was at wit’s end. As he exited the bathroom he slipped on his vest, pulling the straps tight on his chest. Morgan was point on the raid on the house, Hotch had given up lead easily. Rossi nodded and Spencer nodded back.

“We are good to go. The house is thirty minutes away from here. We are going in silent,” Morgan said. Spencer moved closer to him, double checking his gun and that he had more ammo. He had never needed more than what he had in the gun but he wanted to be prepared. “Reid and I’ll take the front. Rossi, Prentiss the back. Satellite tells us it’s a two story. Reid, I want you up those stairs as soon as they are found. Prentiss basement. Rossi and I’ll clear the rest of the first floor. Hotch as soon as the first floor is clear, you enter. I want this entry silent.”

Spencer nodded and then it was chaos as teams were dispatched around. Ten minutes later, everyone was loading up into SUVs. Morgan, Rossi, Prentiss, and Spencer were in the lead. Hotch was driving the second one with JJ and Todd with him. After that was SWAT and HRT. Spencer found that the closer they got to the house, the more calm he was getting. His leg stopped bouncing and his mind was clearing.

“You okay, Reid?”

“Fine. I’m just happy that we were able to find them so quickly.”

“You are a lot quieter than I have ever heard you, kid,” Rossi said from the back seat. Morgan took a turn a little quicker than he should have and Spencer heard Prentiss slam into the door but he was fine, he hadn’t needed to do much more than shift a little. Morgan quirked an eyebrow but said nothing. The GPS told them they were nearing the place they needed to be. Garcia had picked out spots for all the vehicles to park so that they could infiltrate without the UnSubs seeing them.

One more block. They passed by the street they would have needed to turn down to actually go to the house and then turned. A small alley was where they were going with SWAT following. Hotch and HRT were going on the other side.

The only wait they had was SWAT getting into position with eyes in all rooms.

“Eyes on three bogies in the kitchen. Fourth is not visible neither is either child.”

“Let’s go!” Morgan called as he opened his door and slid out. Reid followed behind him, keeping all his senses open and his eyes on the other agent. They crested the steps and waited.

“Clear,” one of the SWAT members called over the comms. Morgan opened the door silently and took a few careful steps inside. Spencer had watched him enough he knew where his eyes were at any given point in time. Morgan turned to him slightly and used his hands to tell him the stairs were to the right and it was clear for him to go. Morgan stayed at the bottom and only when Spencer was at the top did he move to clear the rest of the living room.

As soon as Morgan was out of sight, Spencer moved down the hall, clearing room after room. There were just five. The first two were empty bedrooms. No evidence that they were using them. The third was a bathroom and the fourth a closet. The room at the end of the hall had to be the master bedroom.

“FBI!” Morgan called out and then the sound of the back door being kicked down was loud, even to Spencer’s ears. He didn’t let himself flinch, just kept his eyes on the door he was just two steps from. A shot rang out and Spencer ducked as he opened the door. A man was standing there with Henry in his arms and the gun aimed at his head. The smell of gunfire filled Spencer’s nose. The sight of blood on Henry’s face was all he could see. The sound of a growl filled his ears. The feel of his gun in his hand became the focal point of keeping him sane. Then the taste of blood filled his mouth and he was gone.

“My Pence!”

XxXxXxX

HE WAS FREE!

XxXxXxX

Aaron took up his position at the front door, to catch anyone if they made a run for it. The first floor except the kitchen was cleared. SWAT broke down the back door and the three UnSubs were subdued in seconds.

Then a gunshot rang out from the second floor and then Henry called out. “My Pence!” The feel of a Sentinel coming online washed over him. Aaron nearly doubled over at the full weight of it. Whoever just came online, they were powerful. He hoped it wasn’t the last UnSub. That was all they needed. It could have been anyone in the range of the sound of the gunshot. Dave had to have felt it. Thankfully, it was normal for there to be a SWAT member with Sentinel tranqs on every abduction case. One never knew what was going to push a latent Sentinel online.

“Heading in,” Aaron called over his comm and then he was going up the stairs. He could hear Morgan’s heavy footfalls following behind him. As soon as he hit the second floor he slowed. The door to the room at the end was opened just slightly. The other four rooms were open all the way. Aaron took the left and Morgan the right and cleared the first four rooms.

Aaron waited for Morgan to nod before he reached out for the doorknob, stopping when he saw the bullet hole in the door at head level. He looked at Morgan worried. The other agent’s face matched his own. Aaron pushed open the door and the first thing he saw was the UnSub laying on the floor, he was on his front but his eyes were facing up. He tracked the body over to where Spencer was sitting on the bed, as soon as Aaron took a step towards him, Reid’s head snapped to him and the low growl was unmistakable.

Holy shit! It wasn’t some random person two houses down that had come online. It was Reid. He was online, feral, and in full protective mode. There was no recognition in his eyes. Aaron reached back and stopped Morgan from entering the room. The other man stayed still but Aaron could feel that he didn’t like it. Reid had placed himself directly in front of the kids on the bed. He was afraid of trying to get line of sight. Reid’s gun was on the floor several feet away but that didn’t make him less dangerous.

Taking a step back, Aaron handed his gun over to Morgan who took it with no words.

“Aaron, status!” Dave called over the comm but Aaron pulled his clear and disconnected it. Reid’s eyes had narrowed at it. He saw that his own was laying on the floor.

“Morgan, take my backup.” Aaron didn’t want to move down to get it but Reid was focused on him and didn’t seem to care about the man behind him.

“Hotch, what’s going on?” Morgan’s voice sounded calm but he knew that the man was anything but.

Aaron waited until the second gun was clear from him before answering. “Dave and I felt a Sentinel come online in the aftermath of the gunshot. I figured it was a neighbor but I was wrong. I’m staring down a feral Sentinel protecting two cubs.” Aaron hadn’t faced a Sentinel since he’d come online. He wasn’t sure that he could take one down alone but he was afraid to get Dave into the room. If he couldn’t get Reid to calm down, he’d have Dave come up as a last resort.

“But the UnSub is…Reid’s a Sentinel? No, he said he was Mundane.”

“His file says he’s Mundane as well. Yet, I am looking at a very feral Reid. I need you to get JJ up here. Reid may give over Henry to his mother.”

Time passed quickly as Aaron kept his eyes locked with Reid. The Sentinel didn’t move from the bed, his eyes were locked with Aaron. He was calming down by the looks of him. There was something changing in his eyes and it helped to calm down Aaron as well. He only hoped the arrival of JJ wouldn’t set him off. He felt JJ’s emotions long before he heard her soft foot steps.

“Reid, JJ’s here for Henry. Henry is scared and wants his mother. Are you going to let him go to her?” Aaron pulled JJ up to even with him but still had himself between her and feral Reid. Aaron nodded at her.

“Spence?” JJ’s voice was strong, even though she was cared.

“Mama?” Henry asked as his head moved to where they could see him. Aaron stopped breathing at the sight of the blood on his face. No wonder Reid had come online so feral and protective. His Godson was hurt! Henry scooted to the edge of the bed and Reid didn’t try and stop him. As soon as the little boy’s feet hit the floor, he was running. Jack was still hiding behind Reid and Aaron kept himself calm. He’d know if Jack was hurt horribly or dead. He’d know.

“Hotch?” JJ had Henry in her arms but her eyes were on Reid.

“Reid came online as a Sentinel and he’s in protective mode right now.”

“Sleep,” Henry said.

“What?” JJ asked.

“My boy sleep. Hurt.”

Aaron’s heart clenched and Reid finally stood up from the bed, his form still blocked Jack. He growled. His eyes were locked on JJ. He wasn’t going to let Aaron near until she was gone.

“Go, JJ. Have Dave get ready. I want him at the top of the stairs.”

“Sure.” Then she was walking away and Aaron kept his eyes locked on the bed. Before he could even say a thing, Reid was moving. He stepped to the side and Aaron waited. When he said nothing, Aaron took a few steps closer to his son. The Sentinel said nothing. The silence was creepy and Aaron didn’t know what to do. Reid felt all wrong. His gifts hadn’t adjusted to the new reality well at all.

Aaron sighed when he touched his son’s leg. He could feel that Jack was just sleeping. He was exhausted. He felt like he hadn’t really slept in days. He wouldn’t have been shocked if Jack hadn’t slept since they’d been taken. Henry was smaller than him and weaker, he would have done whatever he could to protect him. He leaned over and kissed Jack’s forehead. He could feel his emotions trying to escape the tight hold he had on them. He wouldn’t let them out right now there were too many Mundanes around. Before he pulled back he felt it. The low whisper that Aaron always felt around other Guides. Jack was a Guide. He’d come online with the stress of being kidnapped. He hadn’t felt a trace of that at Jessica’s so it must have happened after. Jack was asleep to protect himself. His son was safe at the moment, he needed to focus on Reid.

The hand on his shoulder shocked him and he looked up into Reid’s now clear eyes. The kids were safe and with their parents, he didn’t need to be feral anymore. Aaron was shocked he’d come out of the episode so quickly. It was near unheard of in an unbonded Sentinel. Aaron reached up to cover the hand with his own and Reid’s eyes widened as skin touched skin. He felt the tingle and he knew what it meant. Oh God, he knew exactly what it meant. Reid was his Sentinel.

The hand under his tightened and gripped hard to pulled him to his feet. He moved easily and let himself be crowded into the corner. The wild look was coming back to Reid’s eyes but instead of being scared, Aaron was getting aroused. His mind supplying all the images he needed of what Reid, Spencer looked like in the throws of passion. It had been two years since that single lapse in his judgement but right now he was happy that they had. He’d been dreading being a match for a Sentinel. He was a Guide with baggage in the form of a child, a dead human wife, and a job he would never leave. With Spencer he’d not have to leave, he already knew Jack, and had been a balm on his soul during the loss of his wife.

Spencer buried his nose in the juncture of neck and shoulder and inhaled. He was operating on instincts because unlike other latent Sentinels, he had no training. Aaron vowed to figure out how he was labeled as Mundane because Spencer was anything but. He was every single bit of a Sigma level Sentinel. If he’d have come online without the team around, without him around, it could have been very deadly. Spencer would never hurt him so Aaron relaxed and a near purr came from his Sentinel’s throat when he did.

“You smell like a Guide,” Spencer spoke as he pulled back to look in his eyes. His head dipped again and Aaron felt a tongue swipe across his pulse point. “You taste like a Guide, like my Aaron.” Aaron couldn’t help the moan that escaped his lips at Spencer calling him his. “But you don’t feel like one.”

Aaron forgot how tight of a hold he had on his gifts. He hated broadcasting and knew that to lower Sentinels and Guides that he felt like a Mundane. He took a deep breath because there was no way that once he opened up to Spencer that they wouldn’t bond. Spencer pulled back to look him in the eyes again.

Before Aaron could give in to what they both needed, Spencer jerked in his arms and there was such of a look of betrayal in his eyes. His hand reached to his neck and pulled back a tranq dart. Aaron barely got his arms around him before his Sentinel was dropping to the floor. The dart fell from his lax hands. Aaron controlled the descent of the Sentinel. He pulled back his emotions because at the moment if he let them out, no one in a several block radius would be safe from them.

“DAVE!” Aaron called out as he cradled Spencer into his body, blocking the line of sight of the SWAT team outside the open window. Dave entered the room and as soon as he saw the dart on the floor he looked pissed. “I want that man’s name. The most threatening thing that Reid had done to me was growl. I almost had him down. We need to get him moved because he is going to wake up pissed and I don’t think we have seen him pissed yet.”

“I’ll get Jack if you can get him. I figure we are going to escort him in?” Dave asked as he moved to the bed and picked Jack up in his arms. Dave knew him well.

“He’s not going anywhere out of my sight.”

“Morgan is at the bottom of the stairs stopping anyone from getting up here. JJ’s got Henry with Will in an ambulance. Prentiss escorted the UnSubs back to the office. We have a single SUV.”

“When he wakes he’s going to want to see the kids, have Henry taken back to Quantico. Dave he’s Sigma level and he came out of his feral state alone. I barely helped. I know my gifts didn’t.”

“I felt him come online, Aaron. You told me his file listed him as Mundane.”

“It’s what he was told at age seven. I’ve seen the paperwork when he applied to the BAU.” Aaron kept his eyes in front of him as he got to the bottom of the stairs. “Morgan, no one touches him. You have my permission to break the hands of anyone who does.”

Morgan nodded and ran point on getting them to the SUV. Aaron set Spencer down and then buckled him. Sliding into the seat next to him, he waited while Dave passed Jack to him. He draped Jack’s feet into Spencer’s lap and cuddled his son close. Morgan jumped in the driver’s seat while Dave took the passenger.

“The Director was made aware of the online status of Reid. He’s waiting at Quantico for us. JJ is livid and well she’s decided to deal with the SWAT member before she takes Henry to Quantico.”

“I want to know why the man broke protocol. Yes we didn’t have you on comms but Rossi was right there and we had line of sight. What was Reid doing?”

“Scenting me. I smelled like a Guide to him but I didn’t feel like one. I had my emotions and therefore my gifts under tight control. Morgan throw on the lights and sirens. I don’t know how long this tranq is going to work on him and I don’t think we want him waking up in the SUV, he could come awake swinging.” Aaron had seen more than one Sentinel wake up swinging after being tranqed.

Morgan flipped on the sirens while Dave dropped the visor with the lights. Aaron could feel the minute vibrations of the car ramp up as more speed was applied. While his hand carded through Jack’s hair, he kept his eyes on Spencer.

Aaron was never so thankful to see the Director of the FBI than in that moment. He met them at the doors and escorted them to the Sentinel holding area. Aaron laid his Sentinel on the bed before backing away. Thankfully, Dave was being just as attentive to Spencer or someone would catch on really quickly that Aaron was acting a lot stranger to him than he should be.

The door to the room shut behind him with a dull thud and then he heard the locks engage. He sighed. Spencer was safer in there right now. The air was filtered through a separate system and there was no way to introduce anything to that room. If anyone tried to access the system, the system would shut down and the doors would open. Spencer was safe.

“I want that man brought up on charges.”

“Hotch,” the Director tried but Aaron shook his head.

“He was under control. No word was given to take him out. Because that order would have had to have come from me and by proxy Dave. We outrank every single Sentinel or Guide on that team. He was scenting me. That’s all. He wasn’t even touching me.” Spencer hadn’t been touching him. Not that that moment.

“The agent said that he licked you.”

“Yes. You know how tight a lid I keep on myself. I smelled like a Guide but I didn’t feel like one. He was getting another sense added into the profile to make sure he wasn’t just imaging things. Reid hasn’t had a single bit of Sentinel training, outside what all Mundanes go through when joining the BAU, which is more than most Mundanes ever learn. Instinct is all he has to go on and well, Reid follows his brains more than his instincts.”

Dave snorted and Aaron couldn’t help but smile. Spencer was going to be an interesting Sentinel. His entire way of life was a direct contradiction to life as a Sentinel but Aaron would help him through it.

“I’ve personally put the team on two weeks downtime. You all need it. If I had access to a remote island I’d fly the entire team and all your family there for a little bit of reconnection time. Was it really the Reaper?”

“Yes. Once Garcia knew that it wasn’t hard to track it all down. The account was set up by him and it paid the UnSubs. She has a paper trail a mile long. Arnold and Meyers are going to see more jail time from this,” Dave said as he finally turned his gaze away from the screen that showed Spencer asleep in the bed.

The Sentinel room had only a single camera in it. There was no window for viewing as even a low level Sentinel could break through it. Instead there was a high powered camera in the corner behind the strongest piece of see through material that could be purchased. It was thankfully small enough to where no Sentinel had ever been able to break through it. Aaron kept his eyes on him.

XxXxXxX

He woke groggy but didn’t move, didn’t open his eyes. Instead he tried to find his Guide. The bonding had been stopped but he’d already centered three senses on him. One long before he’d ever started to fully come online. He couldn’t smell his Guide. He knew he was in a Sentinel room, there was no safer place for him, for himself and for others. That meant he wouldn’t be able to see him either. Opening up his ears even farther, he found his Guide, just on the other side of the thick wall.

He knew he shouldn’t be able to hear him at all. This room was supposed to cut him off from all his heightened senses. It was an advantage.

XxXxXxX

Aaron noticed it the second that Spencer woke up. There wasn’t anything obvious about it. It was more an awareness in his mind than anything else. That told him exactly how close they were. It confirmed something he’d thought about for a long while. He’d been coming online slowly and for a long time. Spencer’s eyes snapped open and Aaron had to force himself not to jump. It had been way too sudden. His eyes were clearer than they should have been given the dosage of tranq he’s been given. He’d been awake for longer than he knew. He’d let Aaron know he was awake.

Spencer moved gracefully to a sitting position. He crossed his legs and settled in. The silence from Aaron must have finally permeated the conversation between Dave and the Director as they fell silent.

“How long has he been awake?”

“That I can confirm? Just under two minutes. He laid there for about a minute and then assumed this position.”

“That’s remarkable. Every other Sentinel that wakes up in a room like this after being tranqed has always paced. Always. They don’t like being cut off from their senses.” The Director sounded very surprised but Aaron wasn’t. The Director had been online as a Guide since he’d been eighteen years old and had been in charge of the FBI for nine years. He’d seen a lot of Sentinels in holding rooms.

“I think that Reid is a different kind of Sentinel.”

The smirk that graced Spencer’s face at his words shocked Aaron. Dave and the Director didn’t miss it.

“There is no way he heard that!” the Director hissed, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Then how come your heart rate increased by thirty beats per minute, Director?” Spencer asked. He opened his eyes and looked at the camera. The Director reached out and cut the audio feed from the holding room to the main room.

“The mic wasn’t on for two way transmission,” Aaron said. He moved forward and showed the Director the button. “I made sure of it when I came back out here. I didn’t want us talking to wake him up too early.”

“How the hell did he know what I said? How did he know that my heart rate spiked?” The Director looked freaked out.

“I told you I think he’s unlike any other Sentinel that we have ever come across. I want to know why he was labeled Mundane.” Aaron needed to know if it was another thing his father had done to him or just a simple mix up. Aaron turned the mic back on so they could hear Spencer.

“I’ll make sure it’s looked into. What are we going to do?”

“Let me out.” Spencer’s eyes were locked on the camera. Aaron felt as if Spencer was looking into his mind. “Come on, Aaron. Let me out.”

Aaron felt the pull. He wanted to let him out. Two steps and he was back to the door switch. Dave jumped and grabbed his arm as he moved to press the button.

Spencer exploded across the room and his whole body slammed into the door. The growl echoed through both the speakers and the door. Aaron stayed where he was but Dave took a step back, his hand still on Aaron. At the edge of Aaron’s vision that fox appeared, hackles raised and back arched. It had been Spencer’s!

“Let him go, Rossi!”

With those words, Dave stepped farther back from him, dropping his arm. Aaron turned to look at the screen the camera had followed Spencer’s movement across the room and the door was in perfect view. It was dented. The fucking door was dented. It shouldn’t have been dented. No Sentinel had ever dented that door and Aaron knew that they had some powerful Sentinels in that room.

Aaron was so shocked by it all that his grip on his gifts slipped a little and he felt something brush his mind. It felt wonderful and foreign at the same time. Spencer slumped in relief on the screen and smiled.

“There you are, Guide. Now open this door or I will rip it off it’s hinges.” The words were low but the mic in the room picked it up easily. He said them with little emotion but Aaron could feel him now that he’d opened up to him. There was an ache. Spencer was holding on by a thread to not become what everyone thought he should have been. A mess of emotion and anger. The feral he had been before.

Aaron looked to the Director. The man was staring at Spencer but nodded. Dave stepped back as far in the room as he could, bringing the Director with him. Aaron stayed where he was and braced himself as he reached out and hit the button to open the door. He wasn’t scared of Spencer. He was scared of what Spencer was going to do. The fox settled down and moved between the two Guides and him.

The door slid open and Spencer watched it move before he stepped out. The younger man was a mess of emotions and Aaron knew that there were two things he needed. There were bonding rooms but Aaron didn’t want that. Hell, he needed to talk to Spencer. Alone. There was no way that Dave and the Director hadn’t figured out what was going on but there was no way for them to stop it either.

“Where are Jack and Henry?” Spencer reached out for Aaron but stopped himself.

“In the infirmary. They are resting and waiting for you to see them. Miss Jareau wants to take Henry home but she knew to wait for you. As soon as you feel up to it, Agent Hotchner can take you up.” The Director was looking at him like an alien.

Aaron let his mental shields fall a little more and each drop relaxed Spencer more and more. He could still feel Spencer searching for the heart beats of the kids but he didn’t know them well enough to pick them out.

“Jack was just exhausted from no sleep. He hadn’t slept at all since he’d been taken. He protected Henry.”

“Wouldn’t expect any less from your son.” Spencer smiled, thinly, before finally turning to look at the Director and Dave.

“How long have you known you were coming online?” The Director straightened, fear leaving his body.

“Known that something was wrong or when I figured out what was going on?” Spencer’s hand was shaking and Aaron wanted to reach out but it didn’t seem to be what he wanted.

“Latter.”

“The second I snapped the UnSub’s neck.” Spencer huffed out a breath. “But this feeling, these senses. Since Des Plaines.” Spencer looked at Aaron out of the corner of his eye and if he hadn’t been watching him so close, Aaron never would have caught it. Des Plaines. They had only ever gone on one case there.

“Dowd?” Aaron asked incredulous.

“Aaron?”

“He started coming online just months after Gideon came back to the unit after the bombing. When he made his first field kill. So five years.” Aaron’s gut clenched. How had he not come online when Hankel had him? He answered his own question on that one. Dilaudid. It was probably also part of the reason he’d stayed on it so long.

“I noticed some things bothered my skin but I never paid it any mind. I just learned to adapt and go. Wear watch on the outside of my shirt, which I’d done before. After Georgia it was scent, I just figured that was part of my issues stemming from the burning of the fish hearts and livers. Then…” Spencer paused and looked at Aaron. “After Foyet sight and sound spiked really hard. I was afraid of a diagnosis but I had plans to go get seen. I really thought it was stress. I really did. I didn’t connect them until I woke up in that room. I’ve always been touchy on the taste of things. I thought I was Mundane so coming online as a Sentinel never even crossed my mind. I got the results of the test when I was seven, like everyone else. I just never thought not to trust them.”

“The FBI will be looking into that.”

“Can we go now?” Aaron asked.

The Director nodded and he and Dave moved away from the only door out and Aaron all but shoved Spencer out it. He sighed as he pulled the door shut. Spencer was already pressing the button for the elevator. This was it. If Aaron stepped onto that elevator, he wasn’t coming off of it unbonded and he knew it. Did Spencer?

Aaron had chosen Spencer as his one chance at happiness after the divorce and then chickened out. He’d regretter that for two years. He’d told Spencer that it was a mistake. He’d denied him. He could have everything he wanted now. His job and the man he loved. For a small window after Haley’s death, Aaron had almost given in to going to the man but he’d not wanted to hurt him if his Sentinel ever found him. Spencer’s hold on himself was paper thin and Aaron knew it.

“Going up?” Spencer asked as he waited just inside the elevator.

Decision made, Aaron stepped onto it, hitting the button for the floor that the infirmary was on. Spencer moved to the opposite corner from him. That wouldn’t do. Aaron had never seen a newly online Sentinel so level with his Guide sitting right there. One look in Spencer’s eyes and Aaron knew the truth. Spencer wasn’t keeping himself separate to not bond all right. And he was doing it because he was afraid that Aaron was going to deny him again.

Spencer was holding on by a thread. Aaron wanted to snap that thread. He opened a panel and input a code then stopped the elevator.

“Cameras and audio are shut down.”

“Hotch, I just want to see my Godson.”

“Your control is spectacular.” Aaron closed the distance between them and reached out to touch Spencer’s cheek. Spencer jerked away, putting distance between them again. Instinct had fueled him back in the room. He knew what would get him out of that room. Aaron actually felt proud of him. That pride carried him across the elevator. Spencer backed right into the corner. The Sentinel eyed him but allowed it, up until Aaron started to lean into him. Then his eyes were looking for an escape.

“I’m hanging on by a thread, Hotch. You need to back up.”

Spencer growled as Aaron grabbed his face and kissed him. Spencer only allowed seconds before he was flipped around and his back slammed into the wall. His Sentinel’s face hovered inches away from his own.

“You are playing with fire, Guide. You keep forcing it and I won’t let you run away again.” His breath ghosted over Aaron’s face and arousal flare through his body.

“Then claim me.” Aaron knew that Spencer would be able to smell the arousal and he knew the second that he did. The Sentinel’s eyes widened in shock and then darkened in lust. “I can feel you, Spencer, just at the edge of my mind. I’ve known what the end result of this was going to be the second you crowded me back at the house. If I didn’t want this, I could have left you in that room. If I didn’t want it, I wouldn’t have felt the urge to let you out. You aren’t going to settle down until you see the kids. I can feel your skin itching, Spencer. I can feel your urge to touch me. To claim me.”

Aaron let his hands settle on Spencer’s hips and pulled them flush together. His arousal brushed against the answering one on his Sentinel. “I denied you once before because I was scared of how much you truly meant to me. I’ll never do it again. Nothing can stop us now.” Aaron crashed his lips into Spencer’s and moaned in delight when he was finally kissed back. His body was pressed back into the wall of the elevator and it felt wonderful. He could feel the bond at the edges of his gifts. It needed more. Spencer was still holding back some.

“What senses have you centered on me?” Aaron asked as he jerked his lips away from Spencer.

For a long moment, Spencer just stared at him, panting like he’d run a mile. “Scent, sight, and hearing. All I could get away with while being around you like I have been.”

“Twenty more minutes and they will be starting up the elevator to see if we killed each other. Do you think you can center taste and touch in that time?” Aaron was shocked that he’d been able to center three senses on him before he’d come online but thinking back over the past few weeks and he figured out those times where everyone thought he was thinking too hard, he’d been in semi-zone outs. The more pieces of the puzzle Aaron got the more he realized how it all fit better than he’d ever thought it would.

Without even saying a word, Spencer leaned in a licked at the same spot he had before. “My Aaron.” Then hands were on his pants. Aaron gasped as he figured out how Spencer was going to center those last two senses.

“Yes. Oh God. Yes!” Aaron moaned as he dropped his head back. Spencer dropped to his knees and licked at his hard cock through his boxers. Aaron grabbed the bar behind him to help keep himself up as his pants were shoved with boxers down to his ankles. The second that Spencer let go, his cock was in his warm mouth. “Please.”

Spencer only moaned around his flesh and Aaron could feel the bond trying to tighten on the both of them. It wasn’t enough. Spencer was still holding back. The feel of Spencer’s talented mouth wrapped around him, knowing that for the rest of their lives, it would be the only mouth on his cock and the only cock in that mouth, Aaron had to force himself to not come right then. He reached out and cupped Spencer’s face as the younger man sucked on him. He’d forgotten how good he was at it. He pushed his love into that touch, knowing that Spencer would feel it. In the same second, Spencer pulled back and then Aaron felt the bond snap.

The whole of Quantico base, city, and possibly more powerful Sentinels and Guides in a hundred mile radius felt their bond snap into place. Aaron didn’t care though. Every single nerve ending he had could feel the bond. It pushed him over and before he could say anything in warning, Aaron was coming in his Sentinel’s mouth. He could feel Spencer swallow and he sighed as he felt Spencer’s happiness coming over the bond. When he had nothing left to give, Spencer stood up and took his mouth in a harsh kiss. Aaron could taste his own release in Spencer’s mouth when he opened up to the questing tongue but something else was well. The taste he’d long missed.

Reaching down, Aaron felt for Spencer’s hardness and found it. Spencer growled and grabbed his hand, grabbing the other at the same time. His hands were pinned above his head as Spencer smiled at him, a feral look in his eyes.

“And now you are mine.” Spencer kissed him again, tongue fucking his willing mouth. If he had it in him, he’d be hard again.

When Spencer pulled back to breathe several minutes later, Aaron spoke. “Yes. And you are mine.”

A simple jerk of his hands and Spencer was letting go. He squatted to grab his pants and underwear, standing to fasten them. Spencer watched him with a glint in his eye. Aaron leaned in for another kiss before he dropped to his knees. He kept them in the exact position they had been in, his back against the wall. Spencer stayed leaned into the wall as if Aaron was still standing.

It only took a few seconds for Aaron to get Spencer’s pants open. He didn’t pull them down, no he wanted that cock in his mouth too much. Part of that want was from Spencer but he didn’t care. He pulled the band on his boxers down and then took as much of Spencer in his mouth as he could. Aaron was actually shocked he hadn’t come when he had, the second the bond settled. It was just another little thing that proved that Spencer as a Sentinel was going to be a lot different.

It had been years since Aaron had sucked a cock but with a little bit of fumbling, he got the hang of it again pretty quickly. He could feel exactly how close Spencer was and smiled around the flesh in his mouth as he reached up to touch his balls. It was that touch, skin on skin that tipped him over. Aaron could feel the start of orgasm over the bond and pulled back so that he wouldn’t choke. Spencer buried a hand in his hair as he rode out his orgasm, using it as a focal point.

“Your mouth feels wonderful on my cock, Aaron,” Spencer said as Aaron pulled off. Spencer started to tuck everything away and make himself presentable. He retucked his shirt into his pants and tried to smooth out the wrinkles from where he’s slept in the clothes but there was no saving it.

“Don’t even try and start something else, Sentinel.”

Spencer pulled him back up to a standing position, kissing him. This kiss was slow, languid and sensual. It helped to center Aaron and calm the last of the nerve endings that were still feeling the effects of the bond.

“You are the one that started this, Guide. You take what you get.” Spencer smiled and then buried his head in the crook of Aaron’s neck. “We need to get to Jack. He’s worried. I can feel his heartbeat speeding up.”

Aaron reached out in the bond he had with Jack and found that what he said was true. Aaron could feel what he was upset about as well. The entire infirmary was freaking out a little. Word of Spencer being a Sentinel was being suppressed at the moment so they were expecting to get a newly bonded pair in distress.

“The infirmary is a flurry of activity right now and that’s what is worrying Jack but yes we need to get to him.” Aaron leaned around Spencer and hit the button to start the elevator again but left the cameras off. He had plans that got them out of the BAU but not any farther. Spencer was going to want to go to ground at his apartment to get settled but Jack needed to go home. The house still didn’t feel like home but it was better than the apartment had been. When he’d come online one of the first things that he’d been told he should do is get a house. That first night in the house, he’d slept better without the press of other minds all around him but the house still felt empty.

Seconds before the doors opened, Spencer took a step back from Aaron and settled against the far wall. The door opened and Aaron saw it wasn’t the correct floor. Morgan was standing there looking at the two of them.

“How are you doing, Pretty Boy?” Morgan asked as he stepped onto the elevator. Morgan stayed back from him, not knowing how he was going.

“Better. Much better. Going to the infirmary?” Spencer asked as he input Aaron’s code to start up the cameras again. Aaron quirked an eyebrow at him and then shook his head when Spencer shrugged. Between his memory and now advanced hearing, there was a slim chance that he wouldn’t have heard the key presses and memorized them.

“Yes. I promised Jack I’d see him before he left. Rossi called and said you were released from the Sentinel room. I figured it was my last chance. The girls haven’t left since they got here.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less of Garcia,” Aaron mused and it brought a small smile to Spencer’s face.

Morgan looked at Aaron and then Spencer. “The whole building is kind of freaking out a little. Well the Sentinels and the Guides are worried and it’s driving us Mundanes up a wall. What happened?” Morgan looked back at Aaron for an answer.

Aaron looked at Spencer who nodded. The motions weren’t lost on Morgan. The agent narrowed his eyes at Aaron.

“If the SWAT agent hadn’t tranqed me, Morgan, Aaron and I would have bonded back at the house,” Spencer’s bluntness shocked both men. Aaron just hoped that Morgan listened before throwing a punch.

“What?”

“Did you know that the higher the level of the Sentinel and Guide, the less matches there are for them. Sigma level Sentinels and Guides have on average one match per two billion people alive. That means Guides of Aaron’s level and Sentinels of mine have three matches out there.”

It was minute but Aaron could tell that there was a lie in there somewhere. He knew the statistics and what Spencer said was the truth so where was the lie? The only thing that could be a lie was their level. If they weren’t Sigma what were they? Aaron had never thought he’d come online so he’d never done more training than what he’d needed to get a job out in the world. Since coming online he’d done a lot more research and the only level higher was Omega and it was…mythic. As in there had never been a confirmed case as Sentinels and Guides who were suspected of being that level never tested themselves at higher. It would explain his own level of control of his gifts as well as Spencer and his ability so near snap himself out of the feral stage.

“You mean you two did…bond?” Morgan asked.

“Yes. Right now I need to get out of here. I’m doing better than I was but I need to get centered. I need to see Henry and I need to see Jack. I promise, Morgan I’ll call and talk to you or even have you stop by but right now, there is too much noise.”

Morgan nodded and Aaron sighed in relief when the doors opened. The walk to the infirmary wasn’t long but Aaron ached for his son to be in his arms. He’d made the hard choice when he’d left his son in JJ’s hands. He couldn’t allow Spencer to wake up alone. A light touch on his shoulder and he started to calm down. Morgan’s eyes kept darting to them and Aaron could understand why. Spencer didn’t like to touch and didn’t like to be touched. Yet thinking back, Morgan’s touches had been something he’d tolerated. He’d allowed it because the man kept doing it but Aaron’s touches? He’d always allowed them and there were times that he truly seemed to want them. He had a feeling that their subconscious always knew.

XxXxXxX

Spencer sighed as they got closer and closer to the infirmary. He could smell the scents of Henry and Jack and it was settling him but there underneath the smell of hospital, there was something off about them. Morgan stayed behind him and Aaron, understanding not to get in the way.

“MY PENCE!” Henry yelled as Spencer opened the infirmary door. He rushed to his Godson’s bedside and picked him up easily. He was surprised when he felt another set of tiny hands trying to burrow into him. He opened his eyes that he didn’t even realize he’d closed to see Jack trying to get a hug as well. Spencer shifted Henry to one arm and pulled Jack close. His mind memorized the sound of the beat of their heart and the breaths they took, the scent that wafted off their bodies, the feel of their skin on his own. He already knew the sight of them in his eyes. Then he felt something off about them.

Jack was touching Henry. To anyone else it would have spoke of the urge to be close after days of being captive and bonding with the only person there. It was the clench of fingers wrapped around wrist. The skin on skin.

“NO,” Aaron’s voice permeated his little shell of solace and he looked up to see a doctor was coming close and had been reaching out to touch him. The urge to growl was there, as was the need to protect his family. Aaron stepping between him and the doctor was the only thing that stopped him from putting the kids behind him to protect them.

“Agent Hotchner, I need to check him out. I saw you carry him in unconscious from the raid. I’ve tried to take it up with Section Chief Strauss but she kept putting me off. I will not allow Doctor Reid to go unchecked.”

“I was unconscious from being tranqed, Doctor Stutzman. If you touch me, you won’t like the results,” Spencer said, his voice back to the low and menacing it had been back in the room. He watched as Aaron shivered at the sound. It was easy to shift Henry into JJ’s waiting arms and Jack pulled back to sit on the bed. Spencer noted that no one tried to fully separate them. “Step back.”

“Why were you tranqed, Doctor Reid?” Doctor Stutzman looked worried.

“Because an idiot with a gun decided they knew better than those who were actually on scene.” Spencer looked around and spotted who he needed. Doctor Geib was at the back of the infirmary, looking at charts. He was a Theta level Guide. Spencer wondered why he hadn’t come over, feeling Spencer. Aaron shifted behind him and he knew the reason. When Aaron had entered the room at the house, he knew in the larger part of his brain that Aaron was a Guide but the Sentinel side, the part that had been hidden for so long, couldn’t feel him. Then a brush on his mind from Aaron, helping to calm him down and he knew.

Aaron had such a tight lid on them that no one knew he’d come online. His Guide stepped up and picked up Jack, settling him in his arms. Jack’s face fell when he lost connection to his Sentinel. He marveled at Jack’s instinct and wondered if it was a Hotchner trait. He could feel Aaron’s love of his son over their bond. Jack had come to him before going to his father. At the feeling of guilt that Spencer was feeling, Aaron looked up at him.

“No. Don’t feel that. Don’t ever feel that. Jack slept through it all. He was so exhausted he was asleep long before we raided the house and he slept through a gunshot just feet from him.”

“He came to me first.”

You saved him.” Aaron stepped closer to him and he felt how happy Aaron was over the bond.

“Pence,” Henry called out.

Spencer turned to him and found that JJ was barely keeping him in her arms. Then he saw a small rash on his arm. Spencer moved away from his Guide and his Guide’s son and dropped to sit beside Henry. The little boy climb into his lap as soon as his mom let go of him. “When did the rash start?”

“He had it when the doctor checked him over,” JJ answered.

“Doctor Geib!” Spencer called out and the doctor turned to look at him. “I need this infirmary cleared of all staff but you. I know that there is no one else in here for treatment.”

Geib hesitated and Spencer looked at Aaron.

“I can make it an order,” Aaron said and the doctor finally nodded and started clearing his staff.

“Spence?”

Spencer shook his head. He looked at Morgan, Prentiss, and Garcia and then Aaron. Aaron nodded.

“Dave’s on his way up.” Aaron said and then just seconds later he entered the doorway that the rest of the staff was leaving through.

“Did I say something?” Rossi asked.

“JJ you said that you just knew something was wrong, that’s what prompted you to wake up the night Henry was taken?”

“Yes. Spencer, what’s going on?”

“Doctor Geib, I know that blood was taken from the both of them. Can you run the tests for markers for Sentinels and Guides?”

“Our newest machine can have it done in just minutes. Doctor Reid are you trying to tell me that one of them came online?” Geib looked at the two kids and Spencer felt Aaron step up behind him. The hand at the back of his neck was comforting and calming.

“No, I’m telling you that both of them did. Henry when he was taken and Jack sometime after that.” The rash on Henry confirmed it. He’d come into contact with something that his body didn’t like.

“Jack is online as a Guide. I felt it the second I touched him at the house. He wasn’t asleep so much as on overload. He stayed awake to protect his Sentinel and finally only crashed when his body demanded he do so.”

“My word! Young Henry he is the youngest online Sentinel on record.” Geib stumbled a little.

“Also, I’ll need you to change my doctor on record for the bureau.”

“You see Doctor Lee? She’s one of our best…” Geib’s eyes widened some and then looked at Aaron. “Your file states you are Mundane, Doctor Reid.”

“Yes. It does and up until I came online, I thought I was as well. If you’d like to draw blood, I’m sure the Bureau will love to have it on record.”

“Yes.”

Aaron took another step closer to him and Spencer leaned into his body. Even with limited people around, there was too much everything around.

“Just listen to my voice, Spencer. Block out all scents. Close your eyes. Now block out all sounds except for me. Listen to my breathing. I’ll let you know when you can come back.”

Spencer did as Aaron said. Concentrating on his Guide and his Guide alone. He found a memory and immersed himself in it. His mom reading Proust to him.

XxXxXxX

Aaron listened for Spencer’s breathing to even out, he was in a waking sleep state. Henry was settled in his lap and seemed to be asleep as well. Jack was still in his arms but he could feel that Jack wanted Henry so he set his son down and it wasn’t long before Jack was fully in Spencer’s lap with Henry in his.

“I think this team is going to be on downtime a little longer than we first thought,” Dave said.

“Is Spencer right?” Will asked as he touched his son’s leg.

“I didn’t feel it back at the house for the same reason that Geib can’t feel Spencer.”

“Shit,” Dave said and ran a hand down his face. “A lot longer than I thought. That’s what that was?”

“What do you mean?” Aaron asked.

“That didn’t feel like a bonding, that felt like a couple that got a little careless with shields and lost control during…” Dave stopped talking and Aaron cleared his throat, glaring at him. “That was the two of you bonding?”

“Spencer’s been coming online for so long that over half of his senses were already centered on me. It wasn’t hard to get the other two.” Aaron felt Spencer shift a little and he sent calm down the bond. This pseudo sleep his Sentinel was in would help him center himself. The entire FBI section of Quantico had been built from the ground up for Sentinels and Guides. Each floor had layers built between so sounds didn’t carry. Most rooms were dampened at least a little. Air filtration was also the best and was updated as soon as new came out. “And Garcia, the cameras were off.”

“Why would…” Garcia gasped and blushed.

“I don’t understand,” JJ said.

“The quickest way for a Sentinel to ground his or her senses on their Guide is through sex. It engages all five senses at the same time.”

“Wait you mean you and Reid were…?” Morgan looked shocked.

Aaron wasn’t sure how much of their lives Spencer wanted out in open. Since they were bonded and a pair now, there wasn’t a single thing the Bureau could get them for. They could have been together since he’d divorced and nothing would have been said. Nothing could have been said. Bonding was near sacred.

“You let your first time with your Sentinel be in the elevators here at the office?” Dave asked, sounding scandalized.

“You guys are too noisy,” Spencer complained as he shifted a little and looked down. Aaron smiled at the look that came across his face. He carded one hand through each of the boys’ hair. “And for your information, that’s just the first time since I’ve come online.”

“Reid!” Prentiss looked over at the doctor who was still noting things in files.

“They can’t touch us, Emily. Even if someone handed over a sex tape from two days after Aaron’s divorce, nothing can be done. As it stood, if we had been caught then. Given Aaron’s status as a latent Guide, I would have been tested, even though supposedly I was Mundane. If the test had kept me as Mundane, we would have faced censure or worse. Otherwise we would have been considered a pair from then on, waiting for me to come online. The FBI policy is to wait until the pair is online and seeing if they bond before going after them. If we hadn’t bonded, we would have been in a lot of trouble.”

“Really?”

“The FBI has always been Sentinel and Guide heavy. It’s the only employer in the United States that has actually been regarded as Mundane unfriendly. It’s where Sentinels and Guides that are like me thrive. As much as the stereotype is guys like Aaron and Morgan, there are a few other Sentinels out there like me. I met a little ninety pound guy once, liked to pick fights with bullies. Wasn’t shocked when he came online.”

“Seriously?”

“Yep. Five foot tall and a hundred pounds soaking wet. His body changed after he came online though. He was still in school so he hit a massive growth spurt and ended up over six feet. Lives in New York. Are we done yet?”

“Almost Doctor Reid. I’ve updated your file and attached Agent Hotchner’s file to yours. There is…Most like to be called Sentinel Agent or just Sentinel. I need to add that…”

“Doctor Reid is fine.”

“I’ll make the notation to your file. Now I’ve given you both the standard medical leave for both having a child come online due to a life changing event as well as a new bond. If more time is needed you’ll have to come back and see me. I’ve also taken the liberty of giving Agent Jareau the child coming online as well, even though I am not her primary here. No one will question it. I’ve attached Henry and Jack’s files. I need to ask you Miss Jareau, when a child of a team member comes online, we attach a secondary file as contact, generally it’s the Sentinel or Guide that will take care of them. I see that Doctor Reid is his Godfather, do you want me to attach him and therefore Agent Hotchner as the contact to make decisions if you or Detective LaMontagne can’t be reached?”

JJ looked at Will who nodded. Geib smiled and make a notation on the chart in his hand.

“Agent Hotchner, I’ve added Doctor Reid to Jack’s file, do you want to keep Agent Rossi and a woman named Jessica Brooks as the secondary contacts?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Then you are all released. I’ll need to see the both of you before you are allowed back to active duty but given…” Geib just motioned at the way they were at the moment and smiled. “I think there won’t be an issue at all.”

JJ leaned over and picked Henry up out of Jack’s lap and Spencer just lifted Jack up and cradled him close to his side. Jack laid his head down on his shoulder.

Aaron walked just at Spencer’s back as the entire group made their way to the elevator bay that would take them to the BAU bullpen. There was a lot to do before they could leave. Files and after action reports.

“What did he mean by attaching files?” Prentiss asked.

“When any pair bonds, no matter where they work, their files are paired so that when one is accessed, the other is as well. It saves time and makes sure that it’s known they are bonded, it’s more reliable than a checkmark on paperwork.”

“Doctor Geib made it sound like Reid is a second partner to Jack as far as making decisions.”

“He is. In the eyes of the court system of the United States, we are married. If he wasn’t in the Bureau, he’d have been eligible to my insurance, my life insurance, and anything else a spouse would get.”

“In the seventies and eighties, many hospitals tried to keep pairs apart when the pairs were of the same sex because they weren’t married and didn’t have the right to access to their bonded. That didn’t last long as it meant that many bonded pairs pulled themselves from active duty or jobs as cops and firefighters. It nearly became a near country wide civil war. I read all about it in college.”

“Not high school, Pretty Boy?” Morgan teased but he stopped and looked at Aaron. There was a question in his eyes.

“The nickname isn’t something you need to stop, I’m not that possessive. Besides, I’m not the Sentinel.” Aaron nodded his head at Spencer.

“Does this mean…what does this do for team dynamics?” JJ asked as the doors to the elevator opened.

“Will, you can take Henry up to my office. I’ll do my paperwork down here for right now. Do you mind watching Jack while we finish up?”

“No, that’s fine.” Will waited for Jack to be set down and then the trio moved up to Aaron’s office.

“It won’t mess with dynamics.”

“Unless Aaron does something stupid,” Spencer said with a smile as he grabbed a file on his desk and started working. Aaron pulled a chair from an empty desk and started to work on his. That’s all they needed to get through.

Six Weeks Later
Aaron entered the main area of the police station in Seattle. It had been a long while since he’d been back to the city. He looked around for Spencer but the younger Sentinel was nowhere to be seen. He’d said he was going to work on the geographic profile of the secondary thefts that were happening in the same pattern as the murders.

Following the little tether between the two of them he found something that made his blood run cold. In the chief’s office, Spencer was back against the wall and three male officers were crowded around a fourth who had trapped Spencer against the wall. All four were Sentinels. Spencer’s eyes locked with his and he saw no fear in them. Aaron quickly backtracked and found the chief.

“I need you to come with me and keep your mouth shut. Normally, I would be more tactful but something is happening and you are not needed to stop it, just to witness.” The chief was Mundane.

Aaron felt Morgan and Prentiss step into pace with them as the neared the office again.

“Come on little Guide. There is no way that uptight asshole is enough for you. I doubt he fulfills your needs. A pretty little Guide like you needs to be fucked everyday. You’ve been here a week already, I’m sure you are craving a hard cock inside your ass.”

Spencer’s eyes found his and Aaron nodded. The Sentinel turned his gaze back to the man talking and he smiled. There was a feralness to the smile that Aaron hadn’t seen since the day he’d come online.

“You think I need fucked? What would you think if I said I was the one who did the fucking? Sentinel Barber, my cock wouldn’t even twitch for you or your little cronies.”

“So that’s the way the little Guide wants to play it.” One of Barber’s hands dropped down out of Aaron’s sight but he wasn’t worried. His Sentinel could take care of himself. The four Sentinels hadn’t even noticed their audience.

A small whimper and then the snap of bone had Barber screaming out in pain. The other three Sentinels jumped and looked at Spencer in shock. Aaron waited for Spencer to look at him and then he opened his shields on his gifts. The three spun to look at him.

“By the way, I’m the Guide. He’s the Sentinel,” Aaron said.

“Agent Hotchner, if you wouldn’t mind, do you think you can escort these three Sentinels to lockup?”

“I’ll take Sentinel Barber to get his hand splinted,” Spencer said.

“No need. We have the facility on hand for Sentinels. It’s no more than a glorified Quick Care but it’ll work for what we need. Doctor Reid, are you hurt?” The Chief asked.

“No, Sir. I held off hurting them until there were witnesses.”

“Why?”

“I’m a Sigma level Sentinel, Sir. They are Delta. It’s better to have witnesses. Now if they had tried that with Agent Hotchner, they would probably be dead by his hand or mine. Hotch, while Barber was trying to convince me that his cock was better than yours, I had a thought about the geographic profile of the murders.”

Spencer sped past him, grabbing Morgan and pulling him along. Aaron stayed back to watch him march up to the board.

“I looked at your file when Agent Jareau sent it to me. It says…”

“Bonded Sentinel & Guide pair Agent Aaron Hotchner and Agent Doctor Spencer Reid. I know. We had too many issues in the beginning with LEOs who thought that there was no way that Reid was a Sentinel. Too much time defending and cases were hurting. Too many think exactly what your officers do back there. I keep such a tight hold on our minds that Sentinels and Guides can’t tell who is who. It works for us and he’s more than willing to let people think he’s a Guide because it makes our jobs easier.”

“I worked twenty years ago with a bonded pair. The Sentinel was my partner before his Guide finally found him. So we three were placed as a unit. The Guide was much like you. So you know something they told me two years ago?”

“What?”

“All their files place them as Sigma level but the Guide once let a word slip.”

“Omega.” Aaron knew the term well. Omegas were a myth to Mundanes and even to most Sentinels and Guides but once his and Spencer’s bond had settled, Aaron had figured out why he’d noticed that Spencer was lying when he called them Sigma. Omega’s had one single mate for them in the world. There was no one else out there for the either of them. Still they never used the word outside of their own home.

“I’ll make sure that those officer’s don’t work in law enforcement again unless…”

“I’ll see what Reid wants. Right now he’s lost in a world of maps.”

The chief wandered away to start work on his now massive pile of files and forms to get the four officers transferred out of his unit while Aaron just watched his Sentinel. It wasn’t hard to love him. He’d loved him before the young man had come online and he regretted the years they lost that they could have had but he was thankful for what they had. Jack loved him and he loved Jack. His homelife was happy again and this time, he’d chosen the right person.
The End

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2 thoughts on “Rethink Everything

    • I’m glad you liked! Everyone really loves it. I might just have to do at least a sequel to it. If you think that’s something you’ll read?

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