Title: Reverse Order Family
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 6 (Late Fall 2010)
Tag: MPreg, Clueless Men,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: After a one night stand, Spencer finds out he’s pregnant. Ashamed of that fact, once he can no longer hide his baby bump, he takes time off from the BAU. When he returns, he doesn’t know how to tell the team. Hotch stumbles upon Spencer with that baby and their worlds change.
Notes: The whole Ian Doyle arc never happened and just for kicks, JJ’s horrible arc never happened. She wasn’t with the State Department long enough.
Warnings: MPreg, Discussion of Abortion,
The Morning After
Spencer Reid woke up in bed alone. Which wasn’t an oddity. He’d woken up in bed alone since his college girlfriend had dumped him. What was strange was that he felt like he shouldn’t have woken up alone. He rolled over to look at the clock and that’s when he felt it. A small ache in his ass that told him exactly what had happened the night before. He was horrified.
Reaching out to grab the trashcan, Spencer looked in it. Relieved that there was a condom in there. He remembered going to the bar with the team but after his second drink things were a little fuzzy. He hadn’t drank that much. There was no way that he had drunk enough to forget what had happened. Had he been drugged? He reached out and grabbed his phone, there were no missed calls.
Making a decision, Spencer got ready for the day, texting Hotch and telling him that since they were office bound he was going to see about getting into his doctor since he’d missed his last two appointments due to cases. The message he received while he was in the shower told him to take his time and not rush, paperwork would be waiting when he was done.
Five hours later, several tests, and many vials of blood drawn Spencer was released from his doctor with the promise of getting a rush on the blood tests to see if he’d been drugged and to check for blood borne infections.
When he walked in the bullpen close to noon, stopping on his way to get a late breakfast/early lunch he found that everyone was looking at him. He threw away his bag with the wrapper from his sandwich but kept the fries with him. His cup of pop was in his left hand.
“You okay, Pretty Boy?” Morgan had a worried look on his face.
“I just went to see my doctor. I’ve missed my last two checks up due to cases and since we are just doing paperwork today I figured it was my best shot. I texted Hotch.” Spencer was defensive. Everyone else could show up late, miss a day, and everything was fine. If he missed a day then he was set upon with worry. “I got a clean bill of health, minus bloodwork.”
“You don’t have blood, Reid. You have coffee filled veins,” Prentiss joked, trying to lighten the mood. She at least could tell that something was bothering him.
“No wonder the doctor looked worried when she drew blood.” Spencer smiled even though he didn’t feel it. He sat down at his desk placing his messenger bag underneath it and settled down to work on his files. He was happy that no extras had been slipped in for once.
Spencer was so focused on his files the rest of the day that he didn’t see Hotch staring at him several times.
Aaron hated the ringing of his phone. It always drew him away from things, his son, his relaxation but this time it was a warm body in the bed beside him. Grabbing his phone before it could wake his bed partner.
“Hotchner.” He listened as a cop he’d sent a consult to asked a few questions and gave him some updated information. “I don’t have the file in front of me. Give me about an hour and I’ll call you back.”
Hanging up, Aaron reached out and ruffled the hair of Spencer. The younger man shifted even closer to him. He wrapped his arm around the body snuggled into him and relished in the feel for a few minutes. He’d need to find his clothes and then go to the office. Thankfully he had a spare go bag there and he could pop into the showers off the gym.
“Spencer…” Aaron shook his shoulder and after a long minute the genius finally rolled over. He blinked his eyes several times before a smile settled on his face. “I’ve got a case I need to consult on. It’s still really early, I didn’t want to leave without telling you.”
“I can help you.”
“No. Get some sleep. I’m going to head into the office and shower there so I can change into clean clothes. You catch a few more hours sleep.” Aaron leaned over and kissed him. Spencer willingly parted his lips and the older man dipped his tongue inside. The taste of him was intoxicating. He didn’t want to leave Spencer’s bed. He finally had what he wanted.
Reluctantly pulling back, Aaron pecked a kiss to Spencer’s nose and then his forehead, rolling out of bed before he talked himself into a round three. It was hard to leave the younger man lying there in bed. He’d rolled over while Aaron had been getting dressed and had wrapped his arms around the pillow Aaron had used during the night. He was still naked and the blankets had slipped to where his back and the top of his ass were uncovered. He wanted nothing more than to slip back into bed with him. That would have to wait until later. He’d ask Jessica to watch Jack on a weekend night so that he keep Spencer in bed the entire night and have his way with him as many times as he wanted.
Aaron left the bedroom, half hard from the images assaulting his brain. He knew that they needed to talk and so he made mental plans to take Spencer out to lunch. It wouldn’t be out of place. Everyone did it, just to make sure the genius ate something other than a protein bar from his desk drawer and drank more than coffee at lunch.
The text from Spencer wasn’t really a shock. He knew that the younger man had missed several doctor’s appointments lately, including having to get an eye exam in California just so he could get new glasses when a suspect in a case broke his and due to irritated eyes he couldn’t wear his contacts. He couldn’t fault him for wanting to do it when he had the chance. What disappointed him was when he watched Spencer throw away a fast food bag after grabbing the fry box from it and taking a healthy swig of pop. The fries were gone by the time he sat down at his desk and the pop was set down where his coffee usually sat. So much for his plans for a nice lunch out with him.
Aaron couldn’t help but watch him on and off. He’d expected him to come up and talk to him. As the close of day came around, Aaron was worried. Maybe last night hadn’t meant as much to the younger man as it had him. Maybe it had been a one time thing.
When Spencer knocked at his office just as the clock ticked past five, Aaron felt his heart race. He had a small pile of files.
“I finished all my backlog of case files as well as thirteen consults.” Spencer set the folders down and then moved to the door. “Can I take off?”
“Is something wrong?” Aaron’s heart was in his stomach but Spencer smiled his normal, shy smile and shook his head.
“Nothing’s wrong, Hotch. I just didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I cleared my desk though and I just want to go home and relax.”
“Sure. I’ll call if a case comes up.”
“I know.” Then Spencer was gone. Aaron sighed and let his head drop into his hands. His plans were dashed. Spencer didn’t even want to talk about it. He was acting like nothing had changed when to Aaron everything had changed. Last night had been wonderful. The happiest that Aaron had been outside of Jack’s birth for many years. He thought it had meant something. Spencer didn’t seem the type to do one night stands but that seemed to be exactly what last night had been.
Aaron sighed one last time, pushing all his thoughts of Spencer as anything other than Reid out of his mind. Reid was who he had to look at the young man as. Otherwise his heart was going to break.
Ten Weeks Later
Spencer barely made it to the bathroom before he threw up into the toilet. He’d been feeling off since lunch the day before but he hadn’t thought he’d actually get sick. When he hadn’t stopped throwing up an hour later, he called Hotch. He hadn’t even looked at the time.
“Hotchner,” Hotch said his voice rough with sleep. Spencer looked at the clock. It was almost five. Shit.
“It’s Reid. Sorry Hotch. I…hold on.” Spencer dropped the phone to the floor after hitting mute and threw up again. When he was pretty sure he wasn’t going to throw up again he picked up the phone and unmuted it. “Sorry. Hotch. I think I caught the bug going around the office.”
“I kind of figured when you muted me. You don’t ever mute your phone. Just go back to bed and rest. If you don’t feel better by Friday, go see your doctor just to make sure it’s not something else. We’ve been on back to back cases for four weeks. Take care of yourself and check in with one of us once a day so we know you are alive.”
“Sure. Bye.” Spencer hung up before he heard Hotch’s goodbye. He felt the urge to throw up coming and didn’t want to have the other man hear him. He set his phone on the counter above his head and settled down leaning on his toilet. He hated being sick.
When Spencer wasn’t feeling any better by Friday, he texted Hotch and told him he was going to see his doctor. He hadn’t been to see her since he’d gotten the results of the tests after his one night stand. He hadn’t been drugged and his blood alcohol was well below what it would have been if he’d been drunk. She had no clue why he had no memory of that night. She’d wanted to explore it more but he’d put her off. He explained it was probably just tiredness and stress.
Sitting in the waiting room to be fitted into her schedule was taxing. He’d gone three times to throw up, always checking after he was done if he’d been called. After the third the receptionist said she would keep an eye and if he wasn’t there she’d check in the bathroom. His luck stayed and he heard the knock on the door calling him just after he’d thrown up again. He called out to tell her he’d be right out.
Splashing water on his face and swishing some in in his mouth helped him feel better. The nurse was smiling at him when he exited the bathroom. He was led to the exact room he’d been in last time. He sat down and the nurse took his vitals and he explained why he was in there. He told her that work needed a reason that he was out.
“Doctor Hannah will be in to see you in a few.” The nurse left him with a vomit container and he just laid back on the table with the container sitting on his stomach where he could grab it. He was almost asleep when the doctor knocked on the door. Spencer sat up as she entered the room. He smiled and waved. Doctor Hannah waved back, she was used to his quirks.
“Think you caught flu that’s going around?”
“It’s been going around the office. I’m the only one on my team that seems to have caught it. And up until a few days ago we’d been pretty much gone for four weeks straight.”
“So you are worried it might be something as well as the flu?”
“My boss does.”
Hannah pulled out a swab from the cabinet and Spencer opened wide so she could get at the back of his throat, he just hoped that she wouldn’t trigger a gag reflex in him. He was sick of throwing up.
“Okay. Well I’ll send in a nurse to take blood work. Do you think you can pee in a cup for me?”
“I made sure to try and keep some liquids down and I didn’t go before I came here so yes.” Spencer smiled as he was handed a cup and motioned towards the attached bathroom.
By the time he was done and his hands were washed, the nurse was there with the vials and needle. He held out his arm and she took three vials. She also took the cup of pee after labeling it.
“Doctor Hannah will be back with the results of the flu test in a little bit. Try and rest, Doctor Reid.” The nurse smiled at him and then he was alone again. He relaxed back again, waiting for the results of the swab. The others would take at least a day.
Spencer was surprised when Doctor Hannah came back in the room without knocking. She was looking at his file.
“You marked on your questionnaire that you are not a male carrier, Doctor Reid.” She looked up at him. He had marked that because he wasn’t.
“That’s because I am not. No one on my mother or father’s side of the family has ever presented as one. I was tested at age five and it came back fine. I have the paperwork at home.” Dread filled his stomach. Now he was sick feeling for a different reason.
“That would have been in the middle of the eighties yes? A lot of doctors were paid to hide the results. Katie got your urine sample and another patients messed up. Her last name is the same as your first and well…she ran a pregnancy test on it. It came back positive. I ran the test again myself with a fresh sample from the cup and it’s correct. Blood test will take a day and if I go back to the last time you had sex, we should be able to see something on the ultrasound.”
“Yes.” Spencer jumped at that. If she had ran the test a second time. He laid his hand on his stomach. Did he have a baby in there? How did he have a baby in there? His mother’s side of the family had never had a case of male pregnancy. Last estimate had the population that could carry a child under half of one percent. His dad had said that no one in his family tested positive either. And he’d gone to get the test done, Nevada required it. He’d seen the results and he’d had to have the paperwork for the Bureau. It wouldn’t have stopped him from getting in but his healthcare would have been different. The FBI had the best healthcare for male carriers. There was no way to keep this silent. He didn’t want the team to know but he’d have to talk to Strauss. He’d have to get his healthcare switched over. Thankfully the doctor had already taken blood. One of those vials would now be set aside to test his DNA for the gene.
Spencer listened with only one ear as Hannah brought in the ultrasound and another doctor entered just as she was getting it set up. Spencer had seen him around the practice.
“This is Doctor Spencer Reid, Doctor Reid this is Doctor Seth Rosen. He’s the OB doctor in the practice for male carriers. Is it okay if he sits in with us?”
“Sure.” Spencer kept his eyes glued on the screen as Hannah tried to find the gestational sac. He was still too early for the actual embryo to be seen but the sac…and there it was. Spencer gasped. Hannah looked at Rosen and the man nodded.
“I’m going to step out, Doctor Reid. Doctor Rosen would like to talk to you.”
Spencer nodded his agreement and looked at Rosen as the door shut.
“Doctor Hannah told me that you didn’t know you were a carrier and that the conception of the baby is not an ideal…”
“It was a one night stand and I have no memory of the night. We ran tests and I wasn’t drunk and I wasn’t given anything. I’ve settled that it was exhaustion and stress that lead to my memory being gone.”
Rosen nodded. “You saw Doctor Hannah ten weeks ago and that matches the time on the size of the sac and that you’d had no prior sexual contact for a few years and I am assuming you’ve had none since then?”
“The Bureau allows for abortion of fetus’ that are under fifteen weeks for male carriers with no questions asked. I’m going to send you home with paperwork. When Doctor Hannah files with your insurance she’s going to put you down at ten weeks. I have a spot open in my Saturday schedule for eleven am. Do you want to come back and talk then?”
Spencer could only nod.
“I have some nausea bracelets as well. They will help. Think it over and make the right choice for you, Doctor Reid. You are the only one that matters.” Rosen clasped him on the shoulder and then he was alone. He pulled his feet up and tucked his knees under his chin. He was pregnant and he had no clue who the father was. He needed to talk to Strauss.
Ten minutes later, the nurse came back. She had a prescription in her hand for prenatals for men, a small bag that when Spencer looked in he saw it was the bracelets. He pulled those out and put them on. The last thing she handed him was a slip.
“Doctor Hannah issued this for an out of work slip until Wednesday. Take the time and rest like she said. We can fax it to…” The nurse looked at his paperwork. “The BAU for you if you wish.”
“I can run it in. Can I have a copy of the pregnancy test?”
“Sure.” The nurse was back in minutes with the new sheet of paper and Spencer thanked her and left. He was happy he’d decided to take the bus to the doctor. He didn’t think he was in a position to drive at all. It was easy to let himself get lost in his mind, still he arrived at the office. He took the long way to Strauss’s office so that no one could see him. He didn’t want to run into the team.
“Doctor Reid!” Strauss seemed surprised to find him standing outside her office. “Agent Hotchner told me you had the flu.”
“Can we speak in private?”
Strauss looked at her secretary and told her to hold all calls.
“Come on, you look dead on your feet.”
Spencer took the chair directly across from her desk and pulled out the paperwork on his pregnancy.
“When I applied at the academy, I gave over a copy of paperwork that my parents received from my doctor when I was tested at age five for the male carrier gene. I have to admit that the test result was wrong. I don’t know if my father paid off the doctor or the doctor was just wrong on the test. I just came from my doctor and we have confirmed a pregnancy. The blood work will take a day but I have seen the gestational sac.” Spencer handed over a copy of the test and Strauss looked at it.
“I’ll get the paperwork changed and your health insurance updated at the quickest. You are not the only one to have this happen, Doctor Reid but usually it’s further testing that figures it out, not a pregnancy. Now it’s been a while but abortion is…”
“I’m ten weeks along. Ten weeks ago is the only time I’ve had sexual contact with anyone in the past few years. I’ve not decided what I want to do. I have four weeks to make a decision and get in for the procedure and before the Bureau will require a reason.”
“And is there a reason? Doctor Reid you look to be in a bit more than just shock. Whatever you tell me won’t leave this office. Ever.”
“Ten weeks ago we were coming down off a pretty stressful case. I went out drinking with the team. I remember being at the bar and then I remember waking up. I was tested for drugs and I don’t remember drinking more than two drinks. I never do and I’ve asked Morgan to make sure I don’t. I hate being hungover. The doctor and I have wracked it up to stress and exhaustion. I have no clue who the other father is.”
“Oh, Spencer!” Strauss was up and around the desk before Spencer could even react. He stayed still while she hugged him. He wasn’t going to break down. Still he took the comfort from her. She sat in the seat beside him. “You have six weeks until I will have to report this to Agent Hotchner if you decide to keep the fetus.”
“I know. My doctor put me off till Wednesday. I go in tomorrow morning to talk to the OB for male carriers. I just wanted to make sure that my insurance was changed and to drop off my return to work date to Hotch.”
“I’ll take care of that. I’ll tell Agent Hotchner I ran into you. Why don’t you let Mariah drive you home. I doubt you drove.”
Normally Spencer wouldn’t accept but today he felt like he should. He nodded and Strauss smiled at him.
“You keep me informed. If you need anything call.” Strauss stood up and moved over to the door. “Mariah, please drive Doctor Reid home. Take him through the back so that no one sees him. He’s been feeling under the weather and I don’t want his team assaulting him.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Mariah smiled at Spencer and grabbed her purse from a drawer before she ushered him out of the office and then out of the building.
Mariah was silent the entire trip to his apartment. Spencer was thankful. He had a lot of thinking that he needed to do. Mariah dropped him off with a call for him to get better and then she was gone. The bracelets seemed to be working for his nausea, morning sickness his mind supplied, seemed to be better. He detoured to the Chinese restaurant and placed his normal order. Within ten minutes he was walking up to his apartment with his bag of food.
Grabbing a fork from the kitchen, Spencer settled down to eat and think. He went over everything. He could get the abortion and never think about it again. He could not abort and give them up for adoption. He could actually keep the baby and raise them. If he did that he’d have to tell the team. Or he could take a leave of absence, citing his headaches as the reason and come back after he’d had the baby. Everyone looked up to him. He was the good one on the team. He didn’t do things like this. He didn’t have one night stands.
Spencer sat back with his hand on his stomach and knew that there was only one option. He’d keep the appointment in the morning and see if Doctor Rosen knew a good OB for male carriers in Vegas. With his plans made, Spencer turned on his TV and finished his food. He was hungry and he had someone else to think of now. Hand on his stomach, he settled in for the night.
Six Weeks Later
Spencer fidgeted as he waited for Hotch the get into the office. Strauss didn’t like his decision but she understood his reasoning and agreed that it was his life. He wasn’t looking forward to this. He just hoped that the team could understand. Thankfully they all knew about his headaches after the horrible flight back from Florida. Morgan hadn’t been able to keep quiet. Spencer had his speech all planned out. He just hoped that Hotch kept to his side and didn’t get too caring.
Of course, that didn’t seem to be a thing anymore. He hadn’t noticed it until the last time he’d fallen asleep on the jet. It wasn’t long after that one night stand that Hotch had started to act cold towards him again. He had thought they were moving towards something more but then Spencer himself had withdrawn from things around that time as well, freaking out about his one night stand with a stranger.
Thankfully it was winter and he was able to get away with sweaters in most of the country but on the last case they had been in Texas and that had been hard to hide his bump. It was at the wire too, another week and he’d have to tell Hotch if he wanted to stay on the team. Strauss wasn’t happy about that either but he’d promised to stay at the station wherever they were at so she had relented. He’d found a wonderful supporter in her. He figured since her kids were on the outs with her at the moment that she was putting all her maternal instinct on him.
His apartment was cleaned out and his mail forwarded to him in Vegas. He’d found a nice first floor apartment near where he was going to be working at the University of Nevada at the Las Vegas campus which was actually located in the city of Paradise and not too far from Bennington. His mother was unaware of his plans, he wanted her to see him in person when he told her about his pregnancy and in the six weeks since finding out, he’d had little time for anything but work and getting his plans in order.
“Reid? What are you doing here at six in the morning?” Hotch asked as he crested the stairs to his office.
“I need to talk to you. I need to request a leave of absence. My headaches have been getting worse and I…” Spencer stopped and took a breath. This whole plan hinged on being able to lie to Hotch. “My doctor would like me to take at minimum six months off. I’ve been pushing her off and she finally put her foot down as she was going to come in and force me out.”
“I remember Doctor Hannah. She’s a spitfire. Is that the request?” Hotch held out his hand for the paper. Spencer handed it over. “I understand why you are doing it, Reid and I am glad that you are taking the time to fix whatever is wrong. I know this is a scary time for you.”
“Thanks, Hotch. I’m going to work today and tell the team but I’d like it to start as soon as possible. I want to go see mom. I’ve not been able to and I miss her.”
“Of course. I’ll make sure it gets processed. Why don’t we all do dinner tonight. A send off for you. And Reid I mean this, even if whatever is wrong is resolved before the six months is up, I want you to take the rest of it anyway. I see that your doctor wants the option of a year.”
“She’s just overprotective.” Spencer smiled and Hotch gave him a small smile back. Spencer grabbed his bag from where he’d set it outside Hotch’s door and moved to his desk. He just had to make it through today and everything would be fine.
Aaron couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Reid. He wasn’t sure if he believed the headaches but whatever it was, his doctor felt that he needed time off. There was no way that Hotch wasn’t going to grant it. He didn’t want Reid to end up in the hospital. He wanted his agent safe. He wanted to go to his place and make him tell him what was wrong. He’d gone through his life alone but he wasn’t alone anymore. He was surrounded by family.
The going away dinner went well enough. Garcia was upset that he was taking time away but she understood. Even JJ was there with Will and Henry. The family was back together for one final time for a long while. The only bright side was that Hotch hoped he could use this to get JJ back. With Reid on leave, they needed the extra person and JJ taking back her part of the job would be perfect. He just needed to convince the higher ups of that.
Aaron watched Reid as he left, citing a need for sleep. When he exited the restaurant, it looked like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Aaron sighed as he watched him leave. He felt almost as if Reid was walking away from him forever.
Twenty Eight Weeks Later
Aaron exited his office with a large smile on his face. Today was the day that Reid was coming back to work. No one on the team knew it. He’d kept it a secret from them. They all needed it. The last seven months without him had taken it’s toll. Seaver was almost done with her assignment with them and there were other sections chomping at the bit to get her. He was going to be sad to see her go but he wanted his team back.
“BAU team, round table room please.” The team groaned as they closed whatever files they were working on. Aaron spotted Garcia and she looked confused. Aaron just kept his face passive as he followed them in and closed the door. He’d been shocked when Reid wanted to surprise them but it hadn’t taken much planning to pull it off. He’d already passed all qualification tests, he was back to full duty as of an hour before.
“Bossman do we have a case. I don’t remember a case.” Garcia looked at everyone around them.
“Seaver, there has been a lot of talk about who gets you and well Andi Swann wants to talk to you. Before that though, I’m sorry to say that as of an hour ago we have another agent on the team to replace you.” Aaron had been talking to her about her options for a while and she knew that her time at the BAU was coming to a close.
“How could you, Hotch?” Morgan asked as he stood up. Before he could come around the table there was a knock at the door. Before anyone could say a word, Reid opened the door and stepped in. His face all smiles.
Aaron’s heart caught in his throat. He looked better than he ever had. His hair was cut the shortest he’d ever seen it. His face was full and the bruises under his eyes were mostly gone. He remembered Reid saying that nothing he did ever got rid of them all the way. Aaron’s heart ached.
“Spence?” “Kid?” “Reid?” “Boy Wonder?” JJ, Rossi, Prentiss, and Garcia all called out as Reid shut the door behind him. Morgan was silent. Then Garcia was up and across the room in a flash. The younger man held his arms out for her hug, surprising the whole team. That spurred the rest of them into action. Seaver was the only one that hung back. She did move to stand beside Aaron just a few feet from the small crowd, all of them vying for Reid’s attention.
“Domestic Trafficking Task Force?” Seaver asked.
“Andi is really hoping you take her up on the job offer.” Aaron knew that Seaver would do well with her and her team.
“Thank you, Sir for allowing me to stay. You are back up to full staff and I think that the DTTF will be perfect for me.” Seaver stepped up and joined the fray. Getting hugs from everyone but Reid. The genius surprised Hotch though by shaking her hand. Then she was gone. It was just his team, his family back.
“How could you keep this from us, Bossman!” Garcia said as she moved over to give him a side hug.
“It’s what Reid wanted.”
“He looks better. Happier.” Garcia was all smiles.
Aaron could only nod. Reid had extracted himself from the group and moved up to shake his hand. He shocked the genius by pulling him into a hug. It felt so good to have him in his arms again after so long. It had been eleven long months and the last seven had been torture. Absence had made his heart grow a lot fonder of the younger man.
“It’s good to have you back, Reid,” Aaron said as he pulled out of the hug. “We certainly missed you.” Aaron didn’t miss the way Reid’s eyes grew at the admission but the younger man just ducked his head and smiled.
“I missed all of you. UNLV was great though. I took a small job there working on a research team. I rested and I feel a lot better. I’ve been headache free for six months.”
“That’s great, Pretty Boy but what’s up with your hair?” Morgan reached out and ruffled it, earning him a glare.
“I wanted something different.”
Aaron was watching him closely and he noticed the slight hitch to his voice. There was something else up with the hair. Aaron let him keep his secrets though.
“So boss. How about a long lunch on me?” Dave asked, the smile on his face wide.
“Sure. Strauss actually suggested it when she signed off his approval back.” Aaron had been shocked that she’s suggested it. Things were a lot better with her but there was something else going on.
Aaron let the rest of the team go ahead and he said he’d meet them down at the cars. Dave hung back though. There was a look on his face that told Aaron that he wasn’t going to like what came out of his mouth.
“So that bicycle I was talking about before. I’m thinking that you already took a ride on a different one and never said a word.” Dave stared him in the eye and Aaron could only look away. His Hotchner glare didn’t work on Dave, not like that. “What’s up with you and the kid?”
“Remember that team night out about eleven months ago? Where I took Reid home? He invited me up for coffee. Jack was with Jessica and Roy for the week and I had nothing to go home to. I figured why not. We talked for a while and then one thing led to another and we ended up in bed. I’ll not go into details but a call came in early that morning and case I had consulted on took a strange turn and the lead detective wanted advice. I left and when he came in, it was like nothing had happened. He never brought it up and acted like it never happened.”
“You woke him up before leaving correct?”
“He offered to come in with me. I don’t know what happened.” Aaron had tried to figure it out so many times but he could only come up with one conclusion.
“I didn’t think the kid had it in him to have a one night stand with anyone much less someone he worked with.” Dave actually looked a little proud and Aaron wanted to wipe that look off his face.
“If he hadn’t only had two glasses of wine, I would believe that he was drunk enough to forget. I just…I don’t know if he freaked out but I wasn’t going to push him. We’ve all seen him when he’s staying away from something. Our work relationship hasn’t changed.”
“But you are hurting.”
“I’ll be fine.” Aaron had to be fine. Dave looked at him like he didn’t believe him but he sighed and left the room anyway. There was nothing else he could do. He loved the genius and he didn’t want to be away from him. The last seven months had been hell. He’d do whatever he could to keep Reid on the team because the contact was enough. It had to be enough.
Lunch was winding down when it came in. Reid was describing one of the pranks the researchers played on each other when Aaron’s phone went off. It was a text from Strauss.
“Child abduction in Illinois. Third in two weeks. Anderson will meet us at the plane with the files. Garcia, Strauss will meet you at your office with your files.” Aaron sought out Reid’s face. “Reid, are you ready?”
The team was in the air under an hour later with files open and discussion going around of suspects and such. Aaron watched the team as they talked but also Reid. That’s when he noticed that his phone was different. It was the latest model IPhone. That shocked him. He’d seen him texting someone at the restaurant but hadn’t paid any attention to the phone.
“What is that?” Morgan asked and Aaron looked at him, following his gaze. The former cop had noticed the new phone.
“My fellow researchers were aghast at the fact that I had such an old phone. I was dragged to my phone store and forced to purchase something that befit someone with my degrees. They tried to talk me into an E-reader but I can’t read on them fast enough for my liking. They conceded on that point.”
“Welcome to the Twenty First Century, Pretty Boy.” Morgan laughed. Reid blushed at the words and ducked his head. Whatever he was looking on his phone, made him smile. He typed out something and then locked the phone. Aaron was shocked at that. Not many of them actually locked their phone before setting it down, not on the plane. There was just them. He filed that knowledge away for later consumption.
The case took them three days and while Reid was on his phone more than he had ever been before, he wasn’t on it during times he shouldn’t be. Whoever he was talking to made him smile and it wasn’t his normal smiles. No, the smiles were ones that Aaron really had never seen before. It made his heart ache because he was pretty sure that Reid had a significant other.
When the plane landed at nine in the evening after a rushed dinner so they could make take off, Prentiss suggested drinks to celebrate a case where no children died and the return of the BAU’s resident genius while in the elevator leading to the office.
“Sorry guys. I’m pretty tired. First case back kind of took it all out of me,” Reid said as they exited the elevator onto their floor. Reid made right for his desk, grabbing a stack of files that hadn’t been there before they had left to go to lunch days before. He’d been shocked that his desk was still his and had expressed that several times. “I just want to go home and crash. How about we make plans for this weekend? Dinner out.”
“Sounds good to me. If we get a weekend.” Morgan slung an arm around his shoulder. “Not even a quick one?”
“No. I’m sorry. I just need to decompress.”
Aaron stepped up to pull him away from the team but JJ beat him to it. She pulled him from Morgan’s grasp and started to talk to him about taking Henry for a playday some time over the next week. Garcia entered the bullpen as the elevator doors were closing on the two leaving members.
“Did Reid get his files?” Garcia asked.
“Yes. What are those?” Aaron asked.
“All the cases while he was gone. He asked for them when you guys were on the plane back. Did he tell any of you what happened to his car?” Garcia actually looked a little worried.
“Car? No. Why?” Dave asked.
“His new file has his car as the newest model Impala. I was logging it for reference and to…” Garcia trailed off.
“You stalking us in local police chatter?” Morgan asked with a smile. Aaron laughed. She was obsessed with protecting them but it came from the right place and having quicker access to make and model of an agent’s car was smart, even if she was obsessive with it.
“He also moved. I was given his new address and well…it’s a really nice apartment building. He didn’t say anything?” Garcia looked a little worried about that. Aaron wasn’t. Apartments and cars weren’t important to the genius. He didn’t care what he drove, when he wanted to drive that was and he really didn’t care where he lived. Aaron wasn’t shocked he was living somewhere else. He’d probably let his lease on his apartment go with the chance of being gone a year. Aaron would have actually been more shocked if he’d told them about it. He hadn’t said a thing about the IPhone until someone had said something.
“Anyone up for a drink anyway?” Prentiss asked. Morgan and Garcia agreed and then the three were gone, Morgan’s arm around each woman’s shoulder. Dave stepped up close.
“They aren’t going to let him keep a secret for himself are they?”
“No but for all we know some of his secrets from before were causing his headaches. I’m going to give him a little time to settle down before I talk to him about the headaches.”
Dave only nodded and smiled before moving to his office. Aaron moved to his own to gather up some things. There was something different about the genius and Aaron wanted to figure out what, whether it was a significant other or something else. He wanted Spencer happy, even if that was without him.
Aaron was the first to notice it. Spencer had usually been the first agent into the BAU after himself and the near last to leave. His actual work never took that long but between cold cases and helping others with their files, he worked longer than the others.
After the younger man had been back a week, Aaron watched him slip files back into the piles on Prentiss and Morgan’s desk. It was a game they had always played and Spencer had never minded before. Aaron had even asked if he’d needed to talk to the other agents and Spencer had always said he knew they were doing it and he didn’t mind. They never did it when he had a lot of work. But to see him slipping those files back made Aaron watch him.
Spencer wasn’t ever late and he never left early but he was one of the last in and the first gone now. He still didn’t drive in that much so he wasn’t doing anything that he needed his car for. If he was going to meet someone, a boyfriend or girlfriend, Aaron would expect him to bring his car in.
By the second week, Morgan had made it his mission in life to get onto Spencer’s phone. The first time that Spencer left it sitting out on the jet while he went to the bathroom, Morgan had it up in hand and tried to unlock it. All he succeeded in doing was locking it for five minutes. The lock screen was just a plain black background.
After a month back, Aaron was worried. That team weekend meal never happened. In fact, no one had seen Spencer outside of work in that month. So when a particularly bad case happened that Aaron knew would remind him of Chula Vista and Owen Savage, he went to see him. After checking his address from his updated file, he drove to see him.
The apartment complex that he was in was beautiful. It wasn’t that late and so there were people milling around. A doorman opened the door for him as he approached. He was directed to a desk to sign in. Aaron did and even showed him his badge when he’d mentioned he worked with Doctor Reid. The lady behind the desk just smiled at him and said she was happy to see someone visit him and Carys. The older man logged the name of the woman it seemed he was living with. His heart clenched a little at that. Spencer had not only moved on but he was living with her. If he wasn’t so worried about Spencer he’d have turned back.
Moving to the elevator he waited for the doors to open. It didn’t take long. He used the short ride to the third floor to gather his mask on his face. The sight that greeted him when the doors opened shocked the hell out of him.
Spencer was standing in the hallway talking to a lady with a baby in his arms. The lady was laughing and shaking the baby’s hand and arm up and down. Aaron hoped the baby was hers but that hope was dashed when the lady turned and entered the apartment across the hall leaving Spencer with the baby.
“Ready to go home?” Spencer asked the baby as he turned to the door of his apartment. He kissed her forehead. “Papa missed you so much.” Spencer had his keys out but stopped before putting them in the lock. He looked up and locked eyes with Aaron. He’d never seen the younger man’s face that white before. “Hotch.”
“I…” Aaron didn’t know what to say. Spencer was a father. Spencer was a father. Spencer though opened the door to his apartment and waved Aaron inside. Speechless, he stepped inside the apartment in front of the younger man. He couldn’t help but look around. He thought for a few seconds that he’d stepped into the old apartment. The layout and the look was near the same. The main difference was the baby things everywhere. A pack ‘n play in the corner, a baby monitor on the table at the arm of the couch, a blanket spread on the floor with various toys scattered on it. There was even a table that had diaper items. Spencer moved around him but Aaron paid him no mind. He was trying to settle the image of Spencer he had in his head. The shy genius who’d never really mentioned a want of children before and this one that he was seeing now.
“Coffee or water?”
“Coffee,” Aaron answered by rote. He wanted to explore more but he forced himself to sit down on the couch. The opposite end from the baby monitor. Noise in the kitchen had him looking that way to give himself something to do that wasn’t profiling the other man’s apartment. Spencer had the baby, Carys his mind supplied, in his arms, talking to her softly. Then the man was turning and walking towards him. He set Carys down in the baby bouncer on the floor in front of the couch. She smiled and kicked, getting the bouncer going while Spencer was trying to fasten her in. The look on his face was pure love.
“Her name is Carys,” Spencer said before he moved back to the kitchen. Aaron wanted to look everywhere but where she was. His eyes were drawn to the bookshelves. There were more than the genius had had in his old apartment and it was evident why now that he was sitting down. The bottom two shelves were empty of books or at least adult books. There were what Aaron remembered having for Jack, boardbooks on some shelves as well as scattered toys, mirrors that were attached to the wall at the back. “Mom always said that I was more interested in everything around me than anything else. This is what she did for me. I’ve updated some of the things.”
“Reid.” Aaron stopped as he was handed a mug of black coffee. Spencer took a sip of his and then sat down in front of the bouncer. He reached out and brushed a finger down her face before setting his cup down and picking her up. She squealed and kicked as he settled her in his lap.
“Aaron Hotchner, this is my daughter, Carys Ann. Carys, this is Aaron.”
Aaron reached out and he was shocked when Carys grabbed his finger and tried to pull it to her mouth. He couldn’t help but laugh. Scooting closer, he let her play with his hand. She was a very happy baby.
“Where’s her mother?” Aaron was focused on Carys but he still noticed the slight jerk of Spencer’s body.
“There is no mother, Hotch. I’m the one that carried her.” Spencer’s voice was soft but Aaron understood every single word. Aaron was shocked. He hadn’t known. The Bureau never disclosed the status of male agents as carriers unless the agent didn’t care. Spencer’s file said nothing.
“I didn’t know.”
“Neither did I. That week I had the ‘flu’ well it wasn’t the flu, it was morning sickness. If a nurse hadn’t done the pregnancy test on my urine sample by accident, I never would have found out until I started to show. I was tested at age five.” Spencer took a deep breath and turned Carys around to kiss her forehead before he placed her back into the bouncer, using his socked feet to gently rock her in it. “I gave the FBI the copy of my letter from the doctor stating I was not a carrier when I was tested. I don’t know the results of their investigation as I haven’t asked Strauss.”
“Strauss knew?” Aaron was shocked at that. He’d gone to Strauss and not them?
“I needed to have my insurance changed. I hadn’t planned on telling her much of anything other than I was pregnant but once we started talking, I just spilled it all. She told me that she’d handle finding out whether my father had the doctor lie, the doctor lied on his own, or my test was messed up. I’ve been a little to scared to ask.”
“Did you go to Vegas?” Aaron’s world was shattered. If Carys had been born on time she’d been conceived around the time that he and Spencer had slept together. No wonder the younger man had acted like nothing was different. He was just a quick release of sexual need. Aaron wanted to get mad but he wouldn’t scream and yell around Carys. How many people had Spencer slept with?
“Oh, yes. I never lied about that. And I was having headaches but those were just stress related. Once I started to sleep more, they went away and believe me, sleep wasn’t a non-option with how bad my morning sickness was at the beginning. I went home after Doctor Rosen found an OB for male carriers in Vegas that took our insurance.”
“Why didn’t you tell us? We would have been there for you. You know that none of us are prejudiced against male carriers.”
Spencer’s only answer was a shrug but his face. His face was turning a bright red. Shame. He was ashamed of the answer to the question. Aaron scooted even closer, he could feel the heat off the younger man’s body.
“Spencer, please. Why?”
“I don’t know who the other father is.” Spencer choked back a sob. “I woke up alone in bed with no memory of the night before. God, I had only two glasses of wine and I hadn’t been drugged. I checked. Doctor Hannah chalked it up to stress but I don’t know. I knew I’d had sex, it had been a while so I was a little sore. I found the condom in the trash but I don’t know it must have had a hole or something. When I had Carys I had them take away my ability to have more children. I would have done it years ago if I had known.”
Spencer turned to look at him. Aaron could see him move but he couldn’t breath. When he said nothing Spencer focused on Carys, playing with her. She tried to grab the soft stuffed animal that Spencer was holding in front of her face. Carys who had black hair and his nose.
“I took a stranger home and let him fuck me, Hotch. How could I admit that to you guys? Look at what we do for a living. I went to Vegas because I wanted to be around mom. She was wonderful. As much as she has problems, my mom loves me and she was just wonderful. I don’t think I would have come out as strong as I am without her.”
“You didn’t remember?” Aaron choked the words out. He had to say something. He wanted to touch his daughter. Spencer said condom. Singular. He remembered the second time. Had they not used a condom then? “You said you weren’t drunk. What else could cause you to lose a memory like that?”
“Repression. I wasn’t hurt. I had no bruises. A hickey or two but I wasn’t hurt. Hotch, what’s wrong?” Spencer turned fully away from their daughter and looked at him. It was his hand reaching out that did it.
“I am so sorry. I’ll do whatever you want. Transfer out. Leave the bureau. I’ll do whatever you want,” Hotch gushed.
“You aren’t making sense.” Spencer looked worried. Like he wanted to call someone to help him. Aaron just needed to spit out the words.
“I drove you home that night, Spencer. You invited me up for coffee and we talked for hours. I kissed you and we ended up in bed. You said condom in the trash. Singular. I know we had sex a second time and if there was only a single condom in the trash that means we didn’t use one the second time. I got a call that morning about a case I was consulting on. It hadn’t turned into one the BAU needed to take yet but it could have escalated. I woke you up and kissed you goodbye. You offered to go in with me but I told you to get some more sleep. I had planned on taking you to lunch to talk but you went to see your doctor and came back with food. You slipped out as soon as you could. If I had known you didn’t remember, I would have talked to you but I thought you didn’t want to talk about it. I thought it was just a getting me out of your system type thing. I…”
Crays wasn’t kicking in her bouncer anymore. She was looking at Aaron. He reached out with tears in his eyes and traced his finger down her face. He had a daughter!
“I…I seriously thought about abortion but I sat on my couch and thought. I could abort. I could give her up. The more I thought about it. The more I wanted her. I regretted that I thought I would never know her father but I couldn’t regret her.”
“I should have seen it. She’s got my nose, just like Jack. And her hair.” Aaron touched her short hair.
“You were just shocked to see me with a baby. I wasn’t going to keep it from the team for long I just…I needed to get my feet under me before everyone descended. I needed time. I was actually going to talk to you about it next week.”
“Your neighbor watches her?”
“For now. I haven’t found a day care I want her at. Nor one that I like that offers twenty four hour service.”
“So two months old?”
“Actually three. She came early. You can pick her up, Hotch.”
Aaron didn’t need to be told twice. He unfastened the straps holding her into the bouncer and lifted her out. His long fingers cradling her head. He brought her close, kissing her forehead. He’d loved Jack from the moment that he’d found out Haley was pregnant but it wasn’t until he was in his hands that he truly loved him. Carys was tiny and perfect. And he was already so in love with her.
“Doctor Norman came with mom to the hospital the day she was born. I have pictures. Mom took so many pictures. She knew it was her only chance at a grandchild. I…I’m sorry. I’m just rambling.”
“It’s fine, Spencer. This situation is out of both of our depths. What does her name mean?” There was no way that her name didn’t mean something.
Spencer blushed and ducked his head. “It’s Welsh. It means loved one. Carys Ann.”
Aaron stared into her open eyes and he knew what needed to happen. He loved Spencer but there was a lot that needed to happen before either one of them were ready for a relationship. “I’m sorry you had to go through this alone, Spencer. We can’t change what happened but from here on out you are not alone. I…can’t not be in her life.”
“I would never…Hotch. I would never keep her from you. You know why.” Spencer sighed and moved closer to him. “I’m not in a place for more but that night, no matter that I can’t remember it, was never a getting you out of my system.”
“We work the same job. Any time that I have her is time you won’t. This is going to sound insane but Jessica’s job has become a bit more demanding in that she’s having to take a lot more home. Her apartment is small and she needed an office. Jack and I are outgrowing the apartment. We’ve been looking at places where we can share a home. We’ve not found a thing we like. I’ve never delved into your financial status.”
“I can hire a nanny and I was going to if I didn’t find a daycare. I’m well off on money.”
“It’s early. Jessica has Jack at my place. Why don’t I call her? I can’t keep Carys from Jack and he’ll tell Jessica on accident.”
“You want to have Jack meet her tonight?” Spencer sounded scared. Aaron watched him reach out like he wanted to take Carys from him. He was afraid of losing her. The genius tucked his arms around his stomach.
“Jessica’s lease is up in a month. She’s already putting things in storage in preparation of moving into my place until a house can be found.”
“You want us all to live together? You and Jack, Me and Carys, and Jessica. Hotch, that’s insane.”
“It’s the best option. Jessica and I were already making plans, I just want to add you two to the mix. We can find a bigger place. Jessica was wanting a basement room, saying she’d prefer it but her office would be on the ground floor. We can see about a place with a few rooms on the ground floor. You can have an office, me, Jessica. You and me in rooms on the second floor. Make sure there is a place for Carys when she’s out of the crib.”
“You really want this don’t you?”
“Spencer, I never thought…I gave up on children when Haley divorced me. I had Jack and I was happy with him but you…Carys is like a miracle and I don’t want to be apart from her anymore than I have to and if that means living in the same house as you, I’ll do it.” Aaron shifted Carys over to the younger man and he cupped his face. “I know that we are nowhere near ready to try for a relationship. It’s never a good time to start one when there is a baby around but I care for you and I have for a long time. If Jessica doesn’t want to help with Carys, we’ll hire a nanny for her. I can’t go home tonight and not tell Jack why I am so happy. So lets order in Chinese and we can all talk while Jack gets to know his little sister.”
Aaron waited while Spencer thought. He could read the genius’s eyes as he tried to figure it all out.
“What are we going to tell the team? I was never going to tell them what happened to bring out her birth. Not that.” Spencer’s eyes widened as if a great shock had hit him. “God, they would have known if I had told them. Morgan would have killed you.”
“I am well aware. Let’s just keep that quiet for now. Let’s talk to Jessica and we can go from there. We will play everything by ear. I want this, Spencer. I want this so much. I…” Aaron couldn’t help himself he leaned in and kissed him. Spencer’s eyes closed and he sighed into the kiss.
As much as Spencer didn’t want to he pulled out of the kiss. “Call Jessica. I think I have some juice and milk in the fridge. Stacy stocked it she said.”
“Stacy the neighbor?” Aaron sounded jealous and it shouldn’t have made his heart race but it did.
Spencer nodded and shifted Carys around in his arms to where she was cradled against his chest. “She’s really good with Carys and Carys adores her but she’s going home to Boston in a month. If they hurry, they’ll be able to feed her before I put her down. I have a guest room, if you and Jack want to stay the night.” He had Aaron here now and he didn’t want to let him go. That he was the father of Carys was the best news he could have gotten. Now that he saw it, he saw Aaron in so much of Carys.
While they waited, Spencer showed him around the apartment and the crib that his mom had bought for her. There was even a book of children’s stories that the staff at Bennington had bought for her.
“I’m actually only leasing this place for another six months. Someone else cut their lease short and I jumped at the chance to take it. I had the movers set everything up. I put my stuff in storage while I was gone. Are you sure this is what you want? I’m…”
“Watching you for those few weeks after we…created Carys was hard. I was trying to do what I thought you wanted but it hurt. Let’s focus on Carys and getting settled. Even if you aren’t in my bed, being down the hall with Carys there too will make me feel better than you across the city alone.”
Nothing else could be said; a knock sounded on Spencer’s front door which prompted Carys to start crying.
“I’ll get the door, you get our daughter,” Aaron said and Spencer couldn’t help but smile at the thought of their daughter. Spencer picked Carys up from the bouncer and settled her against his shoulder as Aaron opened the door.
“Dad! Was that a baby?” Jack asked as he rushed in to hug his father. Jessica followed at a slower pace. Her eyes roving over everything.
“Where are we, Aaron?” Aaron was blocking her view of him, Spencer couldn’t tell if it was on purpose or not.
“Spencer!” Jack called out. Then the little boy was rushing over. Spencer shifted Carys to where he was holding her against him with just one hand and braced for the impact of the six year old boy. Jack hugged him, throwing his arms around his waist and burying his head against his hip. “I have a whole list of questions that dad or Aunt Jessica couldn’t answer. I didn’t bring them.”
“Spencer, who is this?” Jessica asked, her eyes on Carys. He couldn’t answer. He looked at Aaron for help. While Spencer had gotten to know Jessica well following the death of Haley, he was out of his depth. Jack, he could handle.
“That’s why you are here. Due to some circumstances that were out of Spencer and I’s control. This is Carys Ann.” Aaron seemed to flounder as well.
“Can I hold her?” Jack looked at his father, pleading.
“Sit on the couch, Jack,” Spencer said, cutting off Aaron. Jack jumped onto the couch quickly. Spencer sat down beside him and helped him set his arms up to hold her in his lap, braced on his legs. Then he placed her down into his arms. Jack smiled as he looked down at her. Jessica moved closer and then looked at Aaron.
“She’s got your nose, Aaron. Is that why you took the medical leave, Spencer?”
“I wasn’t aware who the father was at the time.” Spencer couldn’t look at her.
“She’s going to be a heartbreaker. She’s got your cheekbones, Spencer.”
“Thank you,” Aaron said as he hugged her. Jessica returned the hug before she crouched in front of Jack.
“Can I hold her for a moment, Jack? Your dad needs to tell you something really important.” Jack nodded and Jessica lifted her off his lap but she didn’t move far. Instead she took the seat next to Spencer.
“Buddy, do you remember about a year ago, I was talking to you about dating again. How I was going to go out and have dinner with other people?”
“You never did.”
“No. The person I wanted, well something happened and we never met up like I wanted. And then something else happened and do you remember when Spencer took his sick vacation?”
“You were really sad, daddy.” Jack looked up at Aaron. He reached out and patted his shoulder. “You are less sad since he came back.”
“Well daddy’s going to do the dating thing again but it’s going to be a lot different than I explained it to you before. Most people date, and they get serious, they’ll sometimes marry, sometimes move in together. Then they have a baby. Spencer and I kind of did it backwards. We had the baby first.”
“Carys is my sister?” Jack looked at Aaron’s face first and then he turned to look at Spencer and he could see such hope and happiness on his face. “She’s ours? I’ve wanted a little sister. I’ll protect her!”
“I know you will buddy and yes she’s your sister.” Aaron looked like he was near tears.
Jack surprised them all by jumping up but he didn’t hug his dad. No, he threw his arms around Spencer and hugged him tight. Spencer flapped his hands for a second before he wrapped them around Jack. He closed his eyes and sighed. Jessica laid a hand on his shoulder and squeezed as she leaned close.
“You two are perfect,” Jessica whispered in his ear before she pulled back. “So who knows that you are the father?”
“Only the people in this room. I came over to make sure that Spencer was okay after the case and…” Aaron took Jack’s seat on the couch. Spencer turned so that he could see both Aaron and Jessica and the little boy surprised them all by shifting to sit in Spencer’s lap, resting his head onto his chest and sitting so he was facing Jessica. He reached out to touch Carys’s arm.
“You mean that no one knew about her?” Jessica smiled down at the bundle in her arms.
“I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant. Strauss knew but I had to get my paperwork for insurance changed at work. That I am a carrier was a shock.”
“You weren’t tested as a child?” Jessica looked horrified.
“No, I was. We haven’t figured out how but I was labeled as normal.” Spencer didn’t want to go into it, not again, not right now. He was happy that Jessica seemed to let it go.
“So I know Aaron pretty well at this point. I know what his and my plans had been but I know that Carys changes things.” The words that he would want to be around her as much as possible were left unsaid.
“Just means a bigger house. Something a little smaller than Dave’s mansion. We are more than willing to hire a nanny, Jessica.” Aaron’s hand settled on Spencer’s knee and gave a squeeze before lifting off again.
“We don’t expect you to care for Carys. She’s not your blood,” Spencer interjected. He liked Jessica and she liked him. He didn’t want her to think that he expected her to care for their daughter.
“She is certainly my niece though. I know that Aaron’s never told you but I can’t have children.” Jessica looked down at Carys who was starting to squirm. There was such a sad smile on her face.
“She’s getting hungry. I’ll make her bottle.” Spencer shifted Jack off his lap but instead of staying on the couch, Jack followed him to the kitchen. Spencer felt his eyes as he warmed the water and prepared the bottle but the boy never spoke. He could tell the boy wanted to talk but he didn’t want to interrupt him. Jack stayed in the kitchen as Spencer gave the bottle over to Aaron, who was now holding Carys. He wasn’t sure what to say to Jessica and Jack was hopefully going to be easier to talk to.
“I want to have a man to man talk,” Jack said as he motioned that he wanted to be set down on the counter. Spencer picked him up and set him there, getting a glass of juice for the boy. Spencer grabbed a chair and sat down in it in front of the boy. He crossed his legs and sat back.
“I heard dad and Aunt Jessica talk a long time ago. Before he talked to me about dating. I didn’t know that he didn’t want to date so much as date you. Dad always talked about you a lot.”
“I know I hurt him, Jack but I didn’t know I was hurting him. I never would have left like I did if I had known.” Spencer hoped that Jack believed him.
“Okay.” Jack smiled.
“You have my permission to date my dad.”
Spencer laughed and stood up. Pulling Jack into a hug. The little boy hugged him back just as tight. Before he could pull away he felt a hand on his shoulder and then Aaron was there at his side. He could feel the heat from his body.
“What are my two guys up to?”
Spencer blushed at his words as well as the hand that was on his shoulder slipped down to his hip to hold him close.
“I gave Spencer permission to date you!” Jack said.
“Oh yeah? Well do you remember how Aunt Jessica was going to move in with us?” Aaron waited for Jack’s nod while Spencer settled in more, leaning into Aaron’s warmth. “Well I know that I want to be around Carys as much as possible. Do you want to be around her as much as possible?”
“Well the problem is that if we spend a lot of time around Carys, Spencer won’t get much time. So how about we have Spencer and Carys live with us as well? We can find a nice big house and He and Carys can have their own rooms, Aunt Jessica her own, and then me and you. How does that sound?”
“Then I’ll be around Carys all the time?” The hopeful look was back on Jack’s face.
“Yes,” Spencer said, finally able to find his voice.
Spencer tried to keep back the tears. He’d woken up with just Carys with him. Now he had Aaron, someone he thought he’d never get especially after Carys’s birth. He had Jack and Jessica as well. Life was pretty good at the moment.
One Week Later
Aaron could tell that Spencer was nervous. Carys was just woken up from a nap. Jessica was waiting down at the car for them to bring her back. Spencer had tried to talk her into at least coming up but she pushed him off. It was lunch time but the whole team had ordered in Chinese instead of going out. Aaron had met the delivery man as Jessica had arrived with their daughter. Spencer was finally going to introduce the team to Carys. Aaron had the diaper bag over one shoulder and the food in his other hand.
“Are you sure this is the right time?”
“Spencer, they aren’t going to like us lying about the other father but in time they will understand. We don’t need the added pressure but yes, the team needs to know. Morgan and Garcia are getting drastic about getting into your phone. It’s not going to be long before they figure out it’s the first fifteen digits of pi.”
“Okay but if they start to yell, I am leaving. I’m taking Carys home for the day.”
“Agent Hotchner, Doctor…oh is this Carys?” Strauss asked as she looked down at the baby in Spencer’s arms. She untucked the blanket from her face a little and smiled. “She’s beautiful…oh my!”
“Ma’am?” Spencer asked.
“That’s a shock.” Strauss looked completely thrown. Aaron had never seen that look on her face before.
“Chief Strauss?” Aaron asked, he was now getting worried.
“When the team sees her for the first time, it might be better if Agent Hotchner wasn’t so close to her. Of course, they might not see the forest for the trees. I’m glad that the father isn’t some random stranger from a bar, Doctor Reid. How about after lunch we three have a nice talk? If you need to bring Carys that’s fine.”
“Her sitter is downstairs,” Spencer answered, a look of shock on his face. There was no way not to understand what she wasn’t saying.
“There is no rush. Take your time boys. All of your team is gathered in the round table room, probably waiting on their food.” Her eyes drifted to the bags of food in Aaron’s hands.
“Ma’am,” Spencer tried to say but Strauss just smiled at him.
“Don’t worry, Doctor Reid. Everything will be fine. Go have a good lunch with your team. Introduce them to you daughter. I am serious though. Don’t let Agent Hotchner hold her. They’ll know.” Strauss turned and left with a small caress to Carys’s face. Spencer turned to Aaron looking worried. Aaron just patted his shoulder.
“She wasn’t upset. Surprised but not upset. I’ll go in first with the food and make sure the team understands that you don’t want any yelling. Just calm down. Carys is getting upset.”
Spencer nodded and Aaron pushed ahead towards the round table room. The team was gathered around in their normal spots for a briefing. Prentiss jumped up and grabbed one of the two bags of food and stopped when she saw the diaper bag.
“Oh. Well we have a visitor coming in. Sit down!” Aaron used his unit chief voice and they all sat back down. Garcia had been half out of her seat and she dropped down. “Now. As you can tell we have a baby visiting. I will throw the lot of you out if any of you yell or make a loud noise.”
“Why would we yell, Hotch?” JJ asked as she tried to look out the door. Aaron turned back and Spencer was no where in sight. He sighed, hoping he hadn’t chickened out. He was so scared of a bad reaction. Aaron hated that Spencer felt that way.
“I met the little thing a week ago.” Aaron stopped when the other door to the room opened. Spencer stepped in with Carys nestled on his shoulder. The younger man’s eyes went straight for Morgan. Aaron pulled the door behind him shut at the same time that Spencer did the door he had come in.
“Guys, I want you to meet my daughter, Carys Ann Reid.”
“Oh my God!” Garcia was up and out of her seat before Aaron could even blink. She moved right to Spencer’s side. “Reid, she’s beautiful! Can I hold her?”
Spencer passed her off easily and Garcia moved right into the middle of the group. Dave was the only one not there. He stayed in his seat.
“How old is she?” Prentiss asked as she touched her feet. Carys was loving the attention and was kicking and smiling.
“We have to meet her mother,” Garcia said.
“I carried her, Garcia. She’s mine.” Spencer’s voice was soft but it carried around the room.
“Where’s the other father?” Morgan asked. His tone hard but not angry. Not yet.
“I had a one night thing, Morgan and I wasn’t aware I was a carrier. Since then it’s been looked into and well the FBI is taking action as my father paid off the doctor to lie. Every single child that doctor has ever tested is being retested and they are going after him to the fullest extent they can.”
“What about your father, kiddo?” Dave asked as he finally stepped up to look at Carys. The food was forgotten on the table.
“I left that up to the lawyers to decide. I’m sorry that I kept her from you but I needed the time to wrap my head around it all and I was ashamed of how she came about. I do not regret a second of it though. I needed to do it alone for myself to show that I could. I understand if you are all mad but…”
“We aren’t mad, Spence. I kept Will a secret for a year. We all have things we want to keep for ourselves. I think we are a little upset but we’ll be fine. I’m a little upset Hotch found out first it seemed.”
“He came to my place to talk. Make sure I was doing okay after last week’s case.” Nothing more needed said.
“It’s my turn, Mama. I need a chance to hold Pretty Boy’s pretty little girl.” Morgan swooped her from Garcia’s arms and cradled her close to his chest. “You are going to give your father plenty of heart attacks. She looks so much like you, Reid.”
Spencer waited but no one commented on the hair or the nose. He let out a small sigh. “I’ve been told she’s going to be a heartbreaker. I had a question for you Morgan.”
Aaron waited with baited breath. He knew the question and he knew what he was going to ask JJ next. That had been a long conversation the night before. He’d picked JJ and Morgan as godparents long before he’d found that Aaron was the father. He wanted Aaron to pick one of the godparents but Aaron said no. He knew what Spencer thought that Aaron wanted. He thought that Aaron wanted Jessica as a godmother but Jessica just wanted to be aunt.
“I can’t answer until you ask,” Morgan teased when the silence went on for several minutes.
Spencer’s eyes never left Carys. He reached out and touched her hand and she tried to grab at his fingers. “Will you be her godfather?”
Morgan looked up at him in shock. Aaron watched as his eyes tracked over to him before going back to Spencer. Everyone on the team knew that Morgan was his best friend but he’d always been closer to Aaron.
“Of course.” Morgan actually sounded a little choked up and Garcia pulled him in for a hug, careful of the bundle in his arms. Spencer turned to JJ next and before he could even open his mouth, JJ was hugging him.
“Yes, Spence.” JJ squeezed him tight and took Carys from the former cop. Morgan gave her up with only a small pout. Garcia and Emily flocked closer to her and JJ. Morgan laughed at the women and then slung an arm around Spencer’s shoulder.
“You and me. We are going to have a talk sometime soon. I’m not mad, like JJ said I’m a little upset but I understand. Now how did you hide this from us?” Morgan looked him up and down.
“I didn’t gain a lot of weight and when I did start to show I was able to wear a lot of sweaters and that hid the bump. I did go to Vegas. I never lied about that. Mom was excited I was so close for the pregnancy but upset that the father wasn’t around. I don’t know who doted on me more the staff at Bennington or my colleagues at UNLV. Switching to tea to wake me up instead of coffee really sucked.”
That had the whole team laughing and most of them moved over to the table. Carys was passed to Prentiss, and JJ started to pass out the food.
“He doing okay with everything?” Dave asked, his voice low enough to where no one would be able to hear it.
“Reid is doing well. His sitter though is moving away. Jessica has actually offered to watch her while we are working. Jack kind of loves that.”
“Jessica is a wonderful woman.” Dave’s voice was calm and even. There was no hint that he knew more than he was letting on. Aaron sighed internally.
“That’s actually who is downstairs right now. Today was kind of a trial run to make sure that Carys takes to her fine. I think that Jessica is over the moon on getting to watch a baby.”
“How is the house hunting coming?”
“Jessica thinks she found a nice house. Five bedroom, full basement, four bathrooms, and two nice sized offices.”
“That’s a little big for you three isn’t it?” Dave’s eyebrow was cocked and Aaron just rolled his eyes.
“I offered Reid a place in the house. The apartment he found is temporary and he’s not found much that he likes. Carys loves Jessica so he’d need to find a place near us for a time saver.”
“And it has nothing to do with your feelings for him? You aren’t as subtle as you think you are. You’ve loved the kid for a while now and you get to swoop in and be a hero, helping him out. Being a good friend. Offering to help. Getting your sister-in-law to watch Carys. Don’t tell me you’d offer it to anyone on the team.”
“Dave, he’s got a three month old that the conception of rocked his world. He’s adjusting and figuring out his life again. I am not pressuring him.” Jessica had seen the house obviously and Aaron had looked at it online but the actual trip to see it as a family wasn’t until that night, if a case didn’t come up.
“I never said you were, Aaron.”
“Come one guys, your food is getting cold!” Morgan called out as Carys started to fuss a little. Garcia moved over to Prentiss and Spencer handed over a bottle and spit rag from the diaper bag. Before either woman could even attempt to get her settled for a feeding, Morgan was there. Saying that since he was Godfather, he got the right to feed her first. JJ cleared her throat and Morgan’s smile fell a little. When she smiled, he laughed. Aaron though was looking at Spencer. The nerves were gone. At least some of them. The meeting with Strauss was still hanging over their heads.
After Carys was fed, she was settled down in Dave’s arms as he was the only one who hadn’t got a chance to hold her. She fell asleep on his chest, which had Garcia taking pictures. Conversation turned to who was watching Carys and Spencer was open about trying out Jessica and that the woman was excited to watch her. Aaron tried his hardest to stay as far away from her as possible, citing he’d already gotten to hold her a lot.
“So Daddy Spencer.”
“Papa,” Spencer corrected. Morgan gave a little chuckle. It’s what Spencer was calling himself and it made the names easy. Aaron was dad and Spencer was papa. Aaron had been shocked that Spencer hadn’t wanted to be called dad but he kept his words to himself. He’d heard Spencer that first night, calling himself papa.
“Of course, why be normal? We are going to have to try and get you a date using your perfect little daughter.” Morgan waggled his eyebrows at him. Aaron kept his jealousy in check.
“Thanks but no thanks.”
Morgan thankfully agreed to not try and set him up. Aaron sighed in relief at that and it wasn’t missed by Spencer who gave him a smile.
When lunch was over and everyone was stuffed, Spencer stood up, grabbing the diaper bag and then carefully extracting Carys from Dave’s chest. Aaron wanted to walk down with them but he didn’t want to risk it.
“Hotch?” Spencer asked as he hit the door. When he looked up, the younger man continued. “Strauss wanted to meet with me about the lawsuit. Do you mind going with me? I’m going to her office after I give Carys over to Jessica.”
“Sure.” It was a good way not to arouse suspicion with the team when they both went to Strauss’s office.
Spencer watched Jessica pull away. Now that Carys wasn’t there to buffer, his mind turned to Strauss and the meeting. He was worried. His gut was clenching. If it came down to it, he’d leave the team. He could find another section to join or just go into pure research. Aaron hadn’t wanted to leave the BAU and in the end hadn’t, even for his wife. There was no way that Spencer would ever ask him to do it for him.
As if on autopilot, Spencer walked to Strauss’s office. Aaron was already waiting outside. Mariah waved them in as soon as she saw Spencer. He took the first seat inside the door but Aaron just stood behind him. It wasn’t hard to figure out why.
“Agent Hotchner, there has been a lot of changes to the code of conduct for agents within the FBI. Some have been kept kind of quiet but if one reads the updated manual from front to back, one would see them. The newest edition came out, Doctor Reid while you were on leave. Many of the changes were actually brought about due to the number of complaints received about all the BAU teams.”
“Excuse me?” Aaron asked.
“It’s not just your team. Cooper’s team has received many as well. You’ll be happy to know that there are some that think that Agent Morgan is in a sexual relationship with you, Doctor Reid, Miss Garcia, and Agent Prentiss. There have always been those that have stated Doctor Reid slept his way onto the team with Gideon.”
Spencer wasn’t shocked. He’d had it said to his face more than once. He felt Aaron stiffen behind him.
“The BAU teams are united fronts to the rest of the FBI and there are times that I didn’t see that. An experiment was started three years ago and only a few were let in on it. Seven couples were allowed to stay on teams together. Over the course of three years only one of the couples fizzled. One of those couples was a direct superior and someone under their command. If a relationship is deemed detrimental to the team, which I don’t think that a relationship in the BAU can be worse than the tight unit you already are, one of the two agents will be allowed to quietly transfer out or retire.”
“There is no action taken?”
“If the Section Chief is aware of the relationship, no. I will speak with Dave about taking over all decisions made on paper for Doctor Reid. I do need to mark the start date of the relationship…” It was then Spencer noticed that there was a sheet of paper in front of her.
“That’s going to be…tricky,” Spencer said. He looked up at Aaron for a few seconds. “We’ve not gotten that far yet. I wasn’t lying, Chief Strauss. I still have no memory of that night. I wasn’t aware that Hotch was the father until last week when I told him the truth of how Carys was conceived. I’ve since thought about it a lot and Hotch has told me what happened. I think it was a combination of stress and that when Hotch left the bed to work on a case that he didn’t want my help on, I thought that it was all I was going to have so I buried the memory. I’ve done such things in the past. I would love to know how I do it as there are quite a few memories in my past I would love to forget.”
“So…it was just a one night stand?” Strauss looked shocked.
“No. We are just taking it slow. Having a child is a stressful time and he was adjusting to being at work and now he’s adjusting to the fact that I am in their lives. I was going to make you aware later this week that Reid and Carys are going to be moving in with me, Jack, and Jack’s Aunt Jessica. Jessica and I had been planning to move in together as her job is getting more complicated and she needed an office but was unwilling to let me help her in purchasing a larger apartment with a room that could be converted into an office. Jessica has found a suitable house for all of us and we were going to look at it tonight.” Aaron rested his hand on Spencer’s shoulder and squeezed while letting his thumb rub back and forth.
“I see. That’s…a very weird way of going about it.”
“I figured since we already started out of order why stay in that order. We started with the kid, why not end with the falling in love.” Spencer smiled as Strauss started to laugh.
“For the sake of Carys’s records, lets put her conception date down as the start. I will update the hidden parts of your files to link Agent Hotchner as her father. I will work on getting her records changed in the courts if you would like. I can have a trusted analyst fake DNA records unless you would like them to be done up.”
“I have no doubt that she is mine,” Aaron said.
“Then faked it is. Now onto a whole other matter. One of the agents from the Vegas office went to speak to your father, Doctor Reid. The agent was wholly unimpressed with how your father reacted. He wants to pursue action against your father to the fullest extent that he can. It seems that Agent Hammond was one of the agents that escorted your mother here to DC several years back and kind of grew attached to her. Your father states that you were already weird enough that he didn’t want to have to admit that you were a freak of a carrier. Agent Hammond has actually bugged his office and is trying to find out more but you are the final say in it all. When pressed that an agent getting pregnant and not knowing about it and going into the field without proper precautions could have killed you, well your father wasn’t exactly caring.”
“Mom liked Agent Hammond. When she calmed down from the flight, she said he was really sweet. I’m glad that he is the one dealing with all of this. I…” Spencer turned to Aaron, fully turning in the seat. He looked at Aaron pleadingly.
“Your father had a chance to come clean over two years ago, Spencer,” Aaron said as he crouched down. “Even if you never identified as gay, a shot to your groin area would have far reaching consequences with no record of your different biology.”
“I don’t care what you do to him but I don’t want a penny of it. Give it to a charity for male carriers.”
“I’ll call the Bureau lawyers and Agent Hammond. Did you want to fly out when your mother is questioned?”
“I’ll ask her what she wants. The good thing is that if he tries to bring her condition up as a reason that her statement can’t be trusted and that she knew, her condition would stop it from being a valid statement. How much jail time could he face?”
“If he goes through with a trial, up to ten years. If he settles before trial, the average is usually five. I know that you don’t want him in jail but…”
“I’m not the only one this has happened to. Do you have a copy of the new updated manual?”
“It’s already on your desk. If you two would like, take the afternoon to look at the house. Last I knew there were no pressing cases. Enjoy the afternoon with your children.”
“We can pick Jack up from school and go from here,” Aaron said and Spencer smiled.
Moving three households into one took a lot of work. Jack and Carys’s things were first so that Spencer could get them set up while the others were packing up the rest of the households. Jack was on Henry and Carys duty in the backyard of the house while Spencer worked inside. He had baby monitors set up so he could hear everything. The kitchen was the next item of business. Two weeks of consulting back and forth on which item was being kept from each house because there were some things like can openers that it never hurt two have two of but toasters, they didn’t need three.
All the big appliances for the kitchen were kept from Spencer’s apartment as it had been unfurnished and he’d bought all new before moving in. The living room furniture was a mixture from all three places as the new living room was pretty large and more than one couch was needed. Spencer had spent time from the moment they had all agreed to move in together working out what to keep and what not to. It was the main reason he was staying behind to work. Once the kids’ room items were dropped off, Garcia was going to stay and help. She was working on breaking down all of Carys’s things that couldn’t be packed up like the changing table, the pack and play, and other assorted items that were needed on a daily basis for her.
Spencer had paid for the last bit of time on Jessica’s lease while he’d paid all of his outright upfront. Aaron and Jessica had tried to talk him out of it but he’d insisted. They’d done most of the finances as far as the realtor and such went.
The front door opening shocked Spencer out of his musing. He’s just finished cleaning in Carys’s room to set her things up. Morgan entered with the mattress from Jack’s bed under one arm and the box spring under the other.
“Jack’s room is the second on the left. Carys’s is the second on the right. Hotch’s is the first on the left.”
“Hotch let you have the master suite?” Morgan asked with a laugh. The team had understood their half made up reasoning for Spencer moving in at least for a while with Aaron and Jack. Rossi had cracked a joke about three men and a baby which prompted Morgan doing a movie night, throwing his and Aaron’s plans out the window that night.
“At least for right now since her crib is still going to be set up in my room. He wanted me to have the bigger room for that. We can always switch later.”
“I’m shocked you accepted Hotch’s offer,” Morgan called out as he crested the stairs. Spencer followed after him, popping in Carys’s room to wait for her crib to be brought up. It would be next after Jack’s bed. Carys was going to be going down for a nap within the hour and he wanted the crib in the bedroom before that. The crib was easy to set up and break down thankfully because once the new bedroom suite was delivered, the crib would be moved. He had the plans all in his head and he hoped that for the most part everyone stuck to what he had written down.
“I’ve never lived with anyone else since I went to college, true but I wouldn’t mind the help and having Jessica right here means less waking of Carys during the night. It makes sense.”
Morgan just stared at him for several minutes. “You can be one of the most sensible people I know. It’s kind of creepy. Of course it makes sense but most people don’t give up their apartment to move in with their boss and babysitter because it makes sense. Pretty Boy, don’t ever change.”
Spencer smiled at Morgan as an answer but Will passing by the doorway with half of the crib in hand had him following. Aaron was in Jack’s room setting down part of the bed while JJ and Prentiss had the rest of it. “In here Will.”
“Oh. I thought Hotch said…”
“After the new bedroom furniture is delivered.”
“Garcia has the mattress.” Will entered the room and set the pieces down on one side of the room. “It’s a lovely crib. Was it yours?”
“No.” Spencer tried to keep emotion out of his voice but something had to have leaked because Will just gave him a smile and then left. His crib had been destroyed by his mother in a mood swing when he was eleven. The team emptied the various vehicles with efficiency and then he was left with the kids and Garcia. The crib was set up just in time because Carys started to get upset and tired.
Lunch was pizza picked up on a run. Carys woke up while everyone was there and it was a fight on who got to feed her. Spencer laughed as Prentiss was actually the one that won that. Then she was down for another nap. Jack and Henry were happy in the backyard and it was a good day all in all.
Spencer was tired by the time that evening rolled around so he was resting on his bed which thankfully had been delivered while the team had been picking up a load of boxes. The only things left at the apartments were items that Goodwill was coming to pick up. A soft knock at the door kind of surprised him. So he rolled to a sitting position before calling for them to come in.
It was Aaron and he looked nervous. The door was shut behind him and Spencer raised an eyebrow at the click of the lock.
“While we were getting your things from your office, one of the boxes tipped over and some papers spilled out. I…” Aaron pulled a piece of paper from his back pocket and handed it over.
Spencer unfolded it and looked it over. It was his savings account. He just looked at Aaron with a small frown on his face. “And?”
“That’s a very big number with quite a few zeros after it.”
Spencer didn’t mean to laugh but he did. Aaron looked at him in shock. He patted the bed beside him and the older man sat down. He turned to face him, resting a hand on his knee.
“Everyone on the team just kind of ignored me when I said I was banned from casinos. I was young and wasn’t able to hide my counting ability. Still I got what I needed by going to the casinos. Every year at Cal-Tech, there is a big event held. It’s pretty hush hush but if you are in the know, you get an invite. I overheard people talking about it just a month before I turned eighteen. I then spent two months after I was of age getting the buy in.”
“What was the buy in?” Aaron sounded shocked.
“A million dollars. It didn’t take me as long as I thought it would. I looked stupidly young so the other players, well they tried to take me for all I had. The event is a poker event but it’s all geniuses. I showed up to to the event with no invite but I knew I would get in.”
“You carried a million dollars on a college campus?”
“No. Cashier’s Checks. The event is winner take all and the amount of players varies from year to year. The bureau knows I do this I just assumed that you had been made aware. I’ve won the last three years in a row. I hadn’t won since my first time. Maybe when I go this fall, I’ll take you with me. Spectators are allowed.”
“Geek taunting?” Aaron asked with a smile.
“No. We don’t taunt so much until it’s down to the last two. I rarely do unless they make me mad. Which last year’s did. He thoroughly pissed me off so it went from a fun game to a blood bath.”
“So where is….even with the taxes taken out…”
“I donate a lot of it. I also make sure that mom has money in her account at Bennington for books and the like. We both have pretty expensive tastes in first editions. I know that no one on the team has ever really noticed that while I don’t dress like you, my clothes are pretty expensive. I only kept the Amazon because it had sentimental value but I needed a newer car for Carys.”
“I was going to tell you. Once we got settled in. I wasn’t keeping it from you, not really.”
“You’ve let Dave act like a peacock all these years. I’ve looked at your books all the time and never…how much do you pay in insurance on your first editions?”
“More than you probably do on all your insurance combined.” Spencer shrugged as he said it. He knew he had a lot more money than the team thought. Aaron sliding off the bed and going to the closet drew his attention. The older man opened it up and stepped inside. Spencer heard him moving hangers.
“You continually surprise me, Spencer,” Aaron called out. Spencer got up from the bed and moved into the closet. Aaron was holding up his funeral suit. He’d bought it for Haley’s funeral and hadn’t worn it many times after. “I’ve never looked at your clothes that much. You still have the old red sweater of yours. I just looked at the tag on it. You…”
Spencer just shrugged and smiled. Aaron stepped closer after hanging up the sweater he had in
his hand. His hand cupped the side of Spencer’ face.
“I feel like this team might just be a giant sociology experiment for you.” Aaron laughed but Spencer could hear the little bit of truth in the statement.
“No. I stopped that a few years ago. I actually did publish a paper on it. Rossi confronted me about it six months after I published, he’d been on the team for about a year then. It took three years of me on the team for Morgan to stop thinking I was a virgin. He forgot that at Cal-Tech, geeks and nerds rule. There were quite a few people underage when I was there. Not quite as young as I started but there were some close to my age.”
“Not sure I want to hear about that…” Aaron said but Spencer chuckled and leaned in for a kiss. Aaron acted like he wasn’t going to kiss him but gave in.
“I wasn’t going to tell you about it. You’ve not let what you see on the outside color what you think of me. My clothes didn’t look as nice as Morgan’s and I don’t wear suits like yours so my clothes were dismissed. I never tried to change the view either.” Spencer sighed when Aaron kissed his forehead.
“Did you want to take a nap? You’ve been running around a lot today, I know Carys kept you up last night.”
“If I nap now, it’ll mess up my sleep schedule. I was just trying to relax. Have they decided on dinner yet?”
“I think we are doing Thai. It’s what I was sent up here to ask. If it was fine with you.”
“Sure. You know what I like. I’m going to splash some water on my face.”
“Did you get any sleep last night?” Aaron frowned as he pulled back from a second kiss to his forehead.
“You need to get some sleep tonight. I’ll wake up with her tonight.”
“You…” Spencer stopped when he felt fingers on his lips.
“I have tonight. With all the excitement of today she’ll probably sleep well tonight. I promise if I am not getting enough, I’ll wake you.”
Spencer smiled against the fingers before snaking out his tongue and swiping at them. Aaron jerked his hand back and then wiped it on Spencer’s shirt.
“Let’s go before Dave gets the wrong idea.”
“Why would Dave get the wrong idea?” Spencer preceded Aaron out of the closet and grabbed his button up from the spoke on the foot of the bed and slipped it on. Aaron stepped up and started to fastened it up.
“He’s not figured out that Carys is mine but he does think that I offered to let you live here so that I could seduce you.” When the shirt was buttoned, Aaron pulled him closer for a kiss. “Let’s go before I forget myself.”
Spencer followed him out of the room, smiling as he did. He was looking forward to living with him.
Two Months Later
“That little boy is attached,” Dave said as he watched Jack carry a sleeping Carys back with him to the spare room where her pack ‘n play was set up for her nap. “He’s going to be just as protective as an older brother.”
Aaron looked up at him but Dave’s face was normal. It wasn’t a crack at the parentage of Carys. Strauss had been correct about not seeing the forest for the trees.
“Well, I think Reid is okay with that. Between Jack and Morgan, no boy is going to stand a chance.”
JJ laughed from her position in the dining room. Aaron looked out. Spencer was sipping at his glass of wine and laughing at something that Garcia was saying. Morgan was seated beside her. Blake was just sitting down in the seat next to Spencer. As soon as he set his glass down, JJ was refilling it. Spencer sputtered but didn’t try too hard to stop her. The bottle was empty. Morgan grabbed another bottle.
“That’s the fourth bottle isn’t it?” Dave asked as he set the pot of soup to simmer. The team was celebrating a week of enforced downtime. No cases. It meant desk work but all of them were okay with that. Aaron and Spencer hadn’t spent more than a single night in a row at the new house and even with that they’d only spent eight nights total at home. Strauss was worried about them burning out she’d taken them off rotation for a week.
“Let them have fun! Morgan has only had a single glass and he can drive JJ and Garcia home. James is in town and on standby as DD for Blake. And I’m stopping with a single beer with dinner. Even if Spencer gets drunk, I think I can handle him.”
“He doing all right? Moving in and all?”
“Jack’s adoring it. We are still working through the backlog of questions that Jack had written up while Reid was on leave.”
“Well the soup is on so we can join the others.” Dave grabbed his glass of wine and even Aaron’s glass of tea before the two of them moved into the dining room. Aaron took the seat on the other side of Spencer while Dave sat at the head of the table. The soup had an hour that it needed to simmer and that’s why the kids had been put down for a nap. Jack and Henry were tired and grumpy.
The sound of soft feet on carpet drew everyone’s attention. Jack came in carrying Carys who was whimpering. Spencer set his wineglass down but Jack didn’t head towards him. He passed by the younger man and went right for Aaron.
“Carys wants her daddy,” Jack said as he gently handed over Carys to Aaron. As soon as his little burden was gone, Jack turned right back around and wandered back to the guest room, rubbing his eyes. Spencer was looking at Jack’s back in shock and Aaron didn’t know what to do.
“Daddy?” JJ asked.
Aaron finally looked at the rest of the team. Everyone was in shock.
“You said that Reid wasn’t ready for a relationship, not so soon after Carys. You’ve gotten a lot better at lying.” Dave looked a little bit proud.
“No. I can’t believe that I never saw it…she has Hotch’s nose.” Blake looked dumbfounded.
“Spence? Why did you lie to us?” JJ asked. Spencer though was looking at Morgan and not paying any attention to anyone else in the room. Morgan looked ready to blow up.
“Spencer?” Aaron asked and finally Spencer seemed to notice what was going on around him. He looked at Aaron with a wane smile on his face. “She’s just fussy but I think it’s best if…”
“Go. Check on Jack and I’ll come get you if I need you.”
Aaron stood up and left the room but he didn’t go far. He made sure that none of the team could see him and he listened.
“Reid, what is going on? Why did you lie to us?” Morgan sounded pissed.
“I didn’t. I told you all it was a one night thing. I didn’t know Hotch was the other father until a week before that. He came over just like I said and when I told him what happened, he said he’d leave the unit or even the FBI if I wanted. I didn’t understand him at first. We don’t know what caused me to forget but I’ve pretty much chalked it up to stress and when he left in the morning I thought that it was all I was ever going to get.”
“He took…” Morgan started but a scoff from Spencer stopped him.
“I don’t even want to hear that word out of your mouth, Derek Morgan. I drank two glasses of wine. I lost my virginity at age sixteen with more alcohol in me. When I didn’t try and talk to him about it the next day, Aaron thought that I wanted to forget it ever happened. It nearly ripped his heart apart to see me there everyday. Then I was gone and he thought it would be for the best. He’d have it all under wraps when I got back but it didn’t. We are taking things slowly but don’t you ever think that I wasn’t aware of my choices. I don’t see a point in time where I wouldn’t say yes to him. I’ve loved him for years, Morgan and even if in the end all I have of him is Carys, I’ll be happy because that’s something he can never take from me.”
“I think that we all just need to calm down,” Dave said, trying for his most paternal tone. Aaron tried not to react to the words spoken by any of them. He turned and wandered down the hall, a now sleeping Carys in his arms. He pushed away Spencer’s words for a short while because he’d never get through dinner if he didn’t.
It was three hours later, when Aaron entered his house with a sleeping Jack in his arms. Spencer had all of Carys’s things as well as the baby herself. Aaron carried Jack to his room. The boy was still dead tired even after his half an hour nap. Carys would sleep through the night. They would have all night to talk. When Spencer hadn’t emerged from the upstairs after twenty minutes, Aaron went after him.
Spencer was in his bedroom, moving around and straightening things up, even though nothing needed it. The small glances over to him told him that Spencer knew he was there. Aaron leaned against the doorjamb and waited. It wasn’t long before Spencer sat down on the end of his bed, facing Aaron.
“You heard what I said didn’t you?” Spencer wasn’t looking up at him so Aaron crossed the room and dropped to his knees in front of him.
“I love you, too, Spencer. I’ve been waiting to tell you until we were a lot more settled. I didn’t want to scare you away. I want you in my life every day but even if you didn’t love me. Just having you here is wonderful.”
“I’ve been having dreams of waking up in your arms after that morning. Of you holding me close while Carys kicked in my womb. I still having nothing of the night itself but I wake aching to feel your touch.”
Aaron leaned up and kissed him. Their little kisses over the past months were nothing like this. It felt normal but wonderful at the same time. Spencer shivered at the touch of his hands to his thighs to help balance him.
Spencer pulled back suddenly and Aaron tried to see what was wrong only to have Spencer yawn.
“We both need sleep, today has been stressful. Hell the past two months have been.”
“Hold me?” Spencer looked at him with such love on his face that Aaron couldn’t deny him.
Aaron woke with Spencer in his arms and he was happy. Something though had woken him up. Then he heard it. The coo from Carys that said she was awake. Aaron lifted his head up and looked over Spencer to see Jack sitting there with Carys in his lap. He was reading a book while rubbing her belly.
“Good morning, Jack,” Spencer said his voice rough with sleep.
“Aunt Jessica fed and changed Carys before she went out. I promised her I’d watch Carys until you woke up.” Jack set his book aside and then looked at Spencer. The boy handed over Carys to Spencer allowing him to cradle her against his body. Carys started to kick her legs and laughed as Spencer kissed her forehead. “Papa, I want pancakes for breakfast.”
Aaron felt Spencer’s head jerk up and stare at Jack. Before either adult could say anything, Jack was speaking again.
“Dad is dad but to Carys you are papa and I can’t call you Spencer or she will. And you are here living with us and dad loves you and you love dad. Please, can I call you papa?”
“Of course, Jack.” Spencer pulled the boy close to him, careful of Carys and kissed his forehead. Jack scrambled over him, pushing Aaron back onto his back and settling on his hips.
“I want pancakes and blueberries. And Papa needs coffee and there is none not until Aunt Jessica gets back from shopping. So that means IHop.”
Aaron laughed at the cheekiness of his son before Spencer groaned. He’d have to make sure to stop on the way to IHop and get him a cup to tide him over. For now he needed a shower and then they’d set out. As a family.
Six Months Later
Waking up with someone in his bed had been an adjustment for Spencer. It had been months before Aaron getting out of bed in the morning didn’t wake him or night time checks on Carys. So when he was woken with hands on his thighs and breath ghosting over his already hard cock, all Spencer could do was moan. He knew what Aaron was waiting for and he didn’t want to deny either of them the pleasure. A touch on Aaron’s face under the blanket was consent and then he was swallowed down. He grabbed at the blanket and ripped it off them at the same time he dropped his legs open. He had to look. He had to see.
“Aaron!” Spencer called out, resisting the urge to thrust. Dropping his hands to the bed, he fisted the sheets to stay still. The first time that Aaron had given him a blow job, he’d not lasted long. He’d had to admit after he’d never had one before. Given them yes but no lover had ever given him one. Aaron had been smug for several days after. It had become his older lover’s favorite thing to do to him. Penetrative sex had only entered back into the relationship just two weeks before. Only Aaron had asked Spencer to fuck him.
“I’m close,” Spencer said as he felt his muscles tighten. The thought of Aaron under him with his cock inside of him was too much and he tipped over the threshold. He lay there panting trying to work up the energy to move so he could give Aaron as good as he got when he felt the finger at his hole. Shifting his legs, Spencer nodded as he looked Aaron in the eye.
Aaron needed no more encouragement as he snapped open the lube that he’d brought down with him and then there was a finger sliding inside of him. Aaron kissed him and Spencer could taste himself. He was prepped quickly but thoroughly. Every new touch to his skin felt like an echo in his mind. Aaron’s lips never left his skin or lips while he’d been prepped. When Spencer’s gasps became too much, Aaron moved to his neck and kissed there with the occasional lick or even a nip.
“Please, Aaron. I need you in me. Please!” Spencer begged as he thrust down on Aaron’s three fingers and then those fingers were gone. He whined at the loss even though he knew that it was needed for him to be filled with Aaron’s hard cock. Another snap of the lube cap and then he felt Aaron pushing into him. He tried to stay still but when his lover was filling inside him all he wanted to do was thrust.
Aaron took away that choice when he leaned down to kiss him and his lips slid down to his ear. “So tight, Spencer. God, I missed this. The feeling of you clenching around me, thrusting down on me. I want to have you again and again until you pass out.”
Every word was spoken as he thrust in and out of him. Spencer was lost in the pleasure of it all. If their first time had felt anything like this, why would he want to forget it? He’d just come down Aaron’s throat but already he was feeling hard again. The brush of stomach on his already sensitive cock had him throwing his head back. Taking the opportunity, Aaron dropped his head to his collarbone so that he could suck a hickey just where his normal button up would cover it.
“I need to touch,” Spencer said as he tried to snake a hand down to pump his cock but Aaron grabbed it and held it above his head. Seconds later his other was jerked up there. Spencer moaned as Aaron thrust into him harder and harder.
“I know what having my cock inside of you does. I know you can come without being touched.”
Spencer closed his eyes as Aaron’s words cascaded over his mind. He leaned up for a kiss as far as he could with his hips pinned by Aaron’s hips and his hands by Aaron’s hands. The kiss was sloppy and hard but it was wonderful. The hands holding him shifted and then one slid down his arm and chest to his hip and then around to the small of his back. He was shifted slightly by the pulling up of the hand and the angle of the thrusts changed and he was gone.
“AARON!” Spencer screamed as he came. He felt his lover thrust three more times and he knew that he was coming as well. Aaron slumped down at his side after pulling out long before he wanted him to. He was pulled into his lover’s front and settled in the little spoon position. One of Aaron’s hands was rubbing at his hip and his lips ghosted at his shoulder.
Eyes closed in pleasure, Spencer remembered the first time they had been in the position. That time though Aaron was still inside of him. It had been their second time of the night, the one that conceived Carys. Aaron had kissed him like that then and just as he’d been dropping off to sleep, Spencer told him he loved him.
Spencer remembered how he’d felt when Aaron had slid inside of him the first time. It had been wonderful but nothing compared to this time.
“It’s a good thing that JJ and Garcia came to pick up the kids for a day out. I think that you would have woken them or at least had Jack running in here to see if I was hurting you.”
“Why did they come get them?”
“I asked them to watch the kids today. They jumped at a day to themselves with Carys and Jack. I think Henry went with them as well. I don’t envy them.”
“Why did you ask? We’ve been gone for five days. I barely got to see Carys last night.”
“They will be back by dinner and you have all day tomorrow with her. I made plans for what I was going to do with you that weekend and it involved lots of naked skin and a bed and I plan to do that today. I have breakfast all ready down stairs. You can shower and I’ll bring it up. I plan for us to be thoroughly tired by the time the kids get back. Jessica went to visit her father for the day. We have the house to ourselves and can do what we want.”
Spencer missed Carys but he understood what Aaron needed. He needed it too. While they had been getting closer and closer to each other over the past six months, they hadn’t really had a day to themselves. It was something they needed and he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially when that gift was Aaron naked in bed all day long.