Title: The Death of Love
Series: Demon’s Angel #3 (Immortal Loves #5)
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 8 (Spring 2013)
Tags: Break Up, Hurt, Angst, Blood Drinking, Role Play, Rimming, BDSM, Spanking,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid
Spoilers: Up through Season 8
Summary: It’s a weekend at home with Jack. It was supposed to be fun. Aaron and Spencer were enjoying their time with their son until the Demon attacked.
Warnings: Torture, Murder,
Aaron scented the air. The whole house smelled like sex and sweat. It was heady to him but he knew he was wearing out, Spencer though seemed to be tireless. Next time he fed his Angel his blood, we was going to control how much he took in.
Spencer had woken him up when he’d slid down on his cock at six a.m. He’d gone from a hazy, sleepy horny to awake and aching in seconds. It wasn’t until the Angel had bit his neck and started sucking that he had figured out what his lover wanted. It was a three day weekend with no Jack, a perfect time to see exactly how the blood affected him.
“It makes him high and horny,” Aaron said to the empty kitchen. He’d just finished off a bottle of water. He’d been chasing Spencer down for the past half an hour. Every single time that he had the lithe Angel cornered, he’d slip away to another room using his Grace. So instead of chasing him anymore, he’d laid traps in several rooms. Right now he was taking a breather. Checking on his sigil on his thigh, he sighed. Even it was weak. A touch and it flared, Spencer was going to kill him with sex. Heaven and Hell would die of laughter at the great Denei dying from sex with an Angel. The sigil he’d placed on thigh had been one of the first sex sigils he’d learned. It was basically an erection sigil, it allowed him to orgasm but stay hard. All he had to do was remove it and he’d come and not get hard again.
Only their mutual healing was stopping them from becoming sore or in Aaron’s case chaffing. Spencer had been the giver several times but he was more satisfied if he was on the receiving end with the blood running in his veins. A flare of power washed over Aaron and he smiled. His Little Angel had been trapped in the library. He hoped this would be the last round. It was already four in the afternoon. They’d pretty much been fucking for ten hours now.
Aaron braced himself for what was to come. Spencer had asked him to try a new role play a few weeks before and he’d been hesitant then and was now but Spencer had begged. Spencer didn’t beg for things, not like that. Spencer’s favorite role play was to relive when Denei had taken him for the first time. Aaron was up for that pretty much all the time. Another he liked was when they went to clubs and he picked up Spencer as a human. Last time they’d gone to Rome. This role play though, it turned even Aaron’s stomach a little. Spencer wanted to go back to that first time but he wanted a very different outcome. Aaron wondered if he could become that Denei, the Demon he’d been before he’d met Nuriel for the first time. He wasn’t sure if he could even play force Spencer to have sex with him. He had no clue why his Angel wanted it. He’d try though.
Aaron opened the door to the library, also Spencer’s office, and felt himself shiver at the sight that greeted him. The desk was where he’s positioned it but now Spencer was bent over it, ass in the air. His hands were being held down by invisible bonds to the desktop. It was a blatantly sexual position and it made Aaron’s blood pump.
“What do I have here?” Aaron asked, pitching his voice lower and rougher, closer to what Denei’s had been. Spencer’s whole body shivered as much as it could with him bound like he was.
“Who are you?” Spencer asked. His voice was softer than it usually was. Not exactly what it had been before he’d become one with Nuriel but close.
“I ask the questions, Angel.” Aaron stepped up behind him to where the Angel couldn’t see him from the angle his face was at. Spencer tried to kick out as his body felt the other moving closer but Aaron easily caught the leg. He slipped between the legs and pinned them down with his own. His hard cock brushed against the swell of the Angel’s ass.
“What are you doing?” Spencer screamed as the hard cock brushed against him harder this time. Aaron’s hand faltered on its path to touch his skin. He was worried. Still he forced his hand to the small of Spencer’s back and held him still. His Angel’s Grace was fighting the bonds that held him down but not as much as it would if he was truly scared. Spencer had proven capable of breaking the sigils if he needed to.
Aaron brought his other hand down on Spencer’s ass cheek, hard. The crack echoed around the room and Spencer still as he let out a scream. His breathing hitched but he didn’t say anything. Aaron couldn’t do it. He quickly moved around the desk, crouching in front of his Angel. Spencer’s eyes had tracked him the whole way around.
“Aaron? What’s wrong?” Spencer asked. Aaron reached out and cupped his cheek. His Angel’s eyes were clear and bright, large with arousal. “Aaron?”
“I’m just a little worried. You sound almost too real, Spencer. What’s your safe word?” Aaron needed to know that Spencer remembered it.
“Hell. I’m here mentally, Aaron. Your blood is almost gone. It’s just enough to help me but I’m not high. Not like that.”
“Do you remember what we’ve done today?”
“From the moment I slid down on your cock to wake you up to slipping away from you in the basement.” Spencer smiled at him and leaned up as much as he could for a kiss. Aaron gave it to him. Spencer’s Grace still thrummed with arousal and it helped to calm him down. “Come on My Demon, give me what I want.”
“Okay but if you so much as seem like you are not enjoying this, I’m stopping. I can’t hurt you like that.”
Spencer nodded and laid his cheek back on the desk and relaxed again. Aaron stood up and moved back to stand behind him. The red mark on his cheek was long gone. Aaron took a moment to get back into the headspace that he needed for this.
“Such a scared little Angel. What are you afraid of?”
“Please don’t hurt me,” Spencer begged.
“Little Bird, I’m not going to hurt you,” Aaron said as he leaned over him, planting his hands on either side of his head and letting his cock rub all over his Angel’s backside. He leaned his lips close to Spencer’s ear. “At least not much.”
“Oh, God! Please! Please let me go!” Spencer was shifting on the desk and it took Aaron a second to figure out what he was doing. He was thrusting against the desk. That gave Aaron insight into why Spencer wanted this. He didn’t understand why he hadn’t seen it before now.
Spencer, the vessel that Nuriel had taken over so long ago loved to learn and Nuriel loved to experience human life. This experience had been one that had never been on Aaron’s radar as something he’d want. Humans had no chance of subduing him long enough and not even Lucifer would touch Spencer with the thought of raping him. He’d not set foot in Hell since he’d killed a horde of Demons that had been sent to kill him and Nuriel not long after his Angel had been cast out. That had been so long ago but still lesser Demons quaked when they figured out who he was and there were not many who were equal to him much less above him. Spencer had done a lot of things over their long life together that scared Aaron, just trying to experience human life.
“I’ll let you go when I am done with you, Angel.”
The whimper that his Angel let out was somewhere between full blown terror and so aroused he’d take a cock before stretching and lube.
“What’s that?” Aaron started thrusting into him, his cock sliding between Spencer’s cheeks. He was already stretched from their fucking all day and he figured there was still enough lube inside of him. All he’d need to do was slip inside of him but he held himself back. He wanted to play. He always played with his toys.
Pulling himself away, Aaron landed a smack on the opposite cheek. “Quit moving.”
“Please…” Spencer’s nails were scraping large gouges in the desktop. Aaron smiled.
“I just want a toy to play with and you are here all perfect and waiting for me. You allowed yourself to be caught, Little Angel, you gotta pay the price.” Aaron scratched down his back hard enough to raise red welts and enjoyed watching the skin turn back to normal. He ached to cut but didn’t want to. He didn’t want that in this.
“I didn’t…didn’t allow myself to get caught. I just saw…” A bite on Spencer’s shoulder shut him up. His hips bucked up into Aaron and whimpered.
“Still you are at my mercy.” Aaron cringed at his words. It was a mockery. He couldn’t do it. Aaron dropped to his knees and gripped cheeks pulling them apart. He let his breath ghost over flesh and waited for the reactions. Spencer started to shake with arousal and he couldn’t hold back his moans. Aaron watched his lover’s hard cock drip release. The first lick to flesh had Spencer jumping and Aaron heard the wood of the desk crack. He laughed as he licked again and again. Foreplay like this had been lacking over the course of the day and he wanted Spencer so gone when he slid into him.
Rimming always aroused Spencer so much he’d beg to be fucked. Making his tongue ridged, Aaron slid it inside his Angel. He could taste the remnants of his own release as well as the taste of what was purely Spencer.
“Please, Aaron. Fuck me,” Spencer whined.
Aaron sighed in happiness as he stood up. Spencer broke the roleplay first and he was thankful. He wanted to make it as good as he could for Spencer so he summoned the lube from the desk drawer since he couldn’t open due to the body in his way. He smeared some around Spencer’s hole but not inside before he slicked up his cock.
“Please, My Demon. Fuck me. Oh God, fuck me so hard I’ll feel it for weeks.”
Aaron slammed into him and he felt Spencer come just from the entry. He fucked in and out of him as his love’s muscles twitched from orgasm. He’d never been so happy for the sigil on his person in his life. With how Spencer was keening and going, if it hadn’t been for it, he’d have been done the second he’d come. He could tell that Spencer wasn’t done though.
“Come on, Demon!” Spencer all but screamed. He tried to thrust back onto Aaron’s cock. “Fuck me hard and deep. I want you so far inside of me that I’ll taste your dick.”
Aaron’s thrusts stuttered at the words and he stilled. Spencer groaned in exasperation. Pulling out, he touched the desk top and suppressed the sigils. His lover immediately rolled over and pulled him down at the same time he leaned up and into a hard kiss.
“Please, Aaron. Fuck me so hard and fast that I forget everything but you. I need it,” Spencer begged. He shifted and spread his legs so that Aaron could slip even closer. He lined up and slid back inside of his lover. He thrust as hard as he could and the Angel keened. A brush of hand on his thigh and the sigil removed itself from his body. Spencer sounded like he was close and he hoped this fucked him out. Spencer was never this desperate, this needy. The words from his mouth were so dirty and he’d never heard them before. Oh, the harder, faster, and fuck me he had but the rest. He’d come close one time, when he’d been high on dilaudid. Aaron didn’t like it.
Aaron leaned Spencer back, blanketing his body. It was Heaven and Hell at the same time. He was buried so far in his Angel that it was all he could feel but the desperation that rolled off him, killed part of his response. The coil in his gut started and he hoped Spencer was as close as he sounded. He could normally tell better but Spencer wasn’t acting like he normally did. Aaron pulled back from his lips as the same time he pulled his cock almost the entire way out of his lover. He thrust back inside of him as hard as he could. The desk scooted across the floor with the force and Spencer came with a scream. He clenched around Aaron so painfully tight that he came as well with a strangled whimper.
Getting his breathing under control, Aaron looked at Spencer to see he’d passed out. Aaron knew that he had seen stars so he wasn’t shocked that Spencer had just passed out. A push of power and the both of them were cleaned as he pulled out. Spencer wouldn’t be happy but he could shower when he woke up to feel better.
Carefully picking him up, Aaron threw open the door with his mind. It wasn’t until he stepped into the hall that he realized that something felt different about the house.
“Dad,” Jack’s voice called out from down the hall. As Aaron turned to look at him, he pulled on his power and he was dressed in boxers and sleep pants. A small blanket draped over Spencer.
“Jack…this isn’t your weekend home.” Aaron tried for nonchalant but the raised eyebrow that was way too close to his own told him he failed. Jack was going to be a very moody teenager. Aaron hated reminders that it was so close.
“I texted you three days ago and said I was coming home. Bart down the road is having a birthday party and he invited me. It’s on Sunday. Maybe some of those sigils on the bedroom door need to be on the front door as well.” Jack looked back down the stairs and smiled. “I opened up the windows on the first floor.”
“Thanks and maybe some new sigils on the door will be a good idea.” Aaron cringed internally at the reminder of what his son had walked into down there. The house had been a wreck.
“Is Papa all right?” Jack asked but didn’t move any closer. Aaron could see the worry in every line of his body.
“Just really tired. Stay out of the library for a while.” Aaron hadn’t cleaned up the desk any and he didn’t want the sigils on the desk activating for him.
“I broke your sigils around the rest of the house. You are very lucky that I am not freaked out like most kids are about their parents having sex. Maybe a sock on the door?”
“Papa feels funny. He feels off.” Jack wrinkled his nose and looked at him in Aaron’s arms again.
“He ingested some of my blood. It had a very strong effect and he had a reaction we didn’t count on.” Aaron had never lied to Jack before and Spencer would put out if he started now. Jack started to laugh. It was well known to the three of them that Aaron was the more amorous of the pair. “So what do you want to do tomorrow?”
“Papa promised to take me to the Jeffersonian the next weekend I was in. I’m going to go to my room until you’ve cleaned up.” Jack skirted past the two of them, planting a light kiss on Spencer’s cheek as he passed. The sight of Jack touching Spencer sent a thrill through him. Jack hadn’t touched him since the issue three years prior. Warmth spread through him.
When Haley had told him she was pregnant, he’d been happy right up until he’d thought about Spencer. There had been no guarantee that his child would accept an Angel in his life. Aaron was one in a million. In fact, the first time his Angel had met Jack had been late at night. Aaron was away on a case but he came back to DC since Spencer was able to get away from classes for a time. Aaron had shut off the monitor so that they wouldn’t wake up Haley.
Spencer had tried to balk at holding him but Aaron had pushed until Spencer had taken him in hand. Nothing happened. Jack hadn’t even stirred. The bit of Aaron that was inside of Jack had to have recognized him and his father’s claim. That aspect had been great given that Haley had died not long after the divorce.
Haley had tried to get a Demon to kill him to get custody or at least scare him into giving up his parental rights. He hadn’t even known that she had a connection to any part of his world. Haley’s lover had wanted to adopt Jack, not seeing how Aaron would be able to see Jack enough to forge a bond. A Demon had taken the job and watched him to figure out the best way to kill him and not get caught since he was a Federal Agent. When the Demon had figured out he was another Demon and Denei to boot, he’d killed Haley in retribution. He staged the death at the hands of her lover and the lover was still serving a jail sentence for it. Aaron was more than willing to let him rot in jail because he had been a part of the death plot against him. Aaron had hunted down the Demon that killed Haley. Once he got his hands on the other Demon, everything had spilled from the weak things lips. In the end, Aaron had killed him using one of Spencer’s blades.
Jack remembered very little of Haley and thankfully what he did remember was good. Spencer was the only other parent he knew. So when he’d been upset from a fight with Aaron and his powers had flared and burned Spencer, Jack had been devastated. Aaron had given in and allowed Jack to go to the boarding school after that. Jack had holed himself up in his room after hurting Spencer and Aaron had chosen to try and calm him down while Spencer healed and rested in the bedroom. It wasn’t until Aaron had calmed Jack down that he’d figured out that Spencer hadn’t been resting. He’d run. Spencer was blaming himself for what had happened and had left to protect Jack.
Tracking down his wayward Angel hadn’t been hard, Spencer only had a few places he went to hide. What he had forgotten though was that Spencer was an artist when it came to Demonic repelling wards and he’d had enough time to fortify himself in his apartment. Aaron sat outside the apartment door for hours. Spencer ignored him even though he hadn’t stopped talking. For a very stressful and shame filled hour, Aaron had been jealous of his son. Spencer broke the silence to tell him to leave because he wasn’t going back to the house where he was going to put Jack in danger. He wasn’t willing to harm him and that meant that he and Aaron were done.
Spencer loved with all that he was. He loved Jack no more than he loved Aaron but he couldn’t hurt anyone like that. He hated when he caused harm, even to UnSubs. And Aaron loved him for that. That was why Aaron cherished the night Spencer had given him what he needed and hurt him. He knew it would be a while before it happened again.
It had been Jack himself who had coerced Spencer into dropping the wards on his apartment to let them in. Even if the Angel hadn’t touched him since then. The next work free weekend the family had visited four different boarding schools that Spencer liked the look of. Suppression sigils placed on Spencer’s body had kept his Grace inside his body. He seemed human to everyone he came across. The first three places, Spencer had gone into and out of with no issues. The last though, the wards on the school grounds had broken the sigils. Spencer had been allowed onto the grounds but the second he tried to step off he was trapped. The Headmaster had appeared ready for a fight. It hadn’t taken long to get everything under control.
In the end, Jack had gone there. Dark Valley Academy was perfect and the Headmaster hadn’t balked at the want to keep Jack’s parents real names suppressed. In fact he agreed it might just be best.
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Aaron crossed to the bedroom door. He settled Spencer down onto the bed in a nest of blankets. His Angel smiled in his sleep and cuddled into Aaron’s pillow, breathing deep.
Millennia together and he’d never regretted a single moment with his love. All the Demons he knew said he would. He loved shoving that in their faces.
Spencer smiled as he sat down beside Jack inside the bone room in the Jeffersonian. He could tell the boy was nervous about something. “What’s up, Jack?”
“I want to come home.”
“Did something happen at the school?”
“No. I just miss you and Dad. It didn’t really hit until you were kidnapped.”
Spencer sighed and dropped his arm across Jack’s shoulders, pulling him close but being careful not to touch skin. “The Headmaster said it would be four to five years…”
“I’ve been doing a lot of night lessons with my Sigil Professor. He’s really smart and has been helping me a great deal.” Jack reached out and touched the skin on the back of Spencer’s hand. Nothing happened. There was no tingle. No pain. “The Headmaster has been worried long before you were kidnapped about upping the wards on the school. The only reason he hadn’t was that we were safe.”
“Me having access to you only becomes an issue if Demons attack. Not even Lucifer would dare kill you. Only idiots would attack and then we shall see where Hell stands on it all.”
“My professor ended up helping me find the tattoo that Dad put on you.”
“Jack…” Spencer was shocked. Jack knew that the fact that one of his parents was an Angel needed to be kept quiet. Especially at the school. There were a lot of idiots in the Demonic world.
“I was looking up things on getting certain Angels past wards and sigils when he found me looking. He told me I didn’t need to worry about Angels. I didn’t need to fear them. My soul would protect me from them. I told him I didn’t fear Angels. Then he saw the other book I had out. It was the Demonic version of yours and Dad’s story. To the kids at school Dad is a rock star. That he’s been able to keep an Angel deluded for millennia is just the best thing ever. He looked at me and I swear he saw into my soul. I reacted and where he was touching me, he burned.”
“Just like what you did to me. How?” Spencer racked his brain for the answer. Jack’s innate power should never react to a Demon like that.
“My professor jumped back and he said Nuriel. He said that he always wondered. My soul is filled with your Grace. It’s why I have such issues with my powers. We have a good hold on them now. Now that we know what’s wrong. My professor thinks it’ll be safe to come home.”
“Who is he Jack? I’ve noticed you haven’t named him.” Spencer wasn’t an idiot. Jack glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. “It’s no use asking me not to tell your father, I don’t lie to him.”
“It’s not Dad’s reaction I am worried about. It’s yours.” Jack sighed and stood up, letting Spencer’s arm fall down. He moved over to a bin of bones and pulled out the drawer. “Why does Heaven and Hell want you dead?”
“Whispers and words that no longer have any meaning.”
“What’s a Demilim?” Jack asked as he turned to back to look at Spencer finally. The word caught in Spencer’s mind. It was why he was being targeted even though he and Aaron could never have a child together.
“A Demilim is something that can never happen. It’s been proven time and again. Demons have raped female Angels for millennia and no child has ever come of it.”
“So it’s like a Nephilim? Except between an Angel and a Demon?”
“Actually…” Spencer trailed off and looked at Jack, his eyes wide. He felt his heart rate jump up. “A Demilim is a Demon with the Grace of an Angel but the only way to pass on Grace is through procreation.”
“My professor told me the same thing. He looked scared.”
“Vassago has always been scared of me. Long before he fell. He is the only Demon alive who would have been able to recognize my Grace in you.”
“Vass said that as well. What tattoo design did you and Dad pick?”
Spencer laughed. Jack had been asking since he’d seen him the first time he’d seen the boy after it had been placed on him. He started to unbutton his shirt and then let it fall to the ground and turned for Jack to see it. Small hands traced the outline of the feathers on his back and pressed firmer over the crooked feather.
“Pretty. Dad did good.”
“Yes, he did. He’s very enamored with it.” Spencer slipped his shirt back on and turned to face Jack. “What whispers do you hear at school?”
“That Heaven and Hell want you. Heaven wants to reclaim you. Hell wants to make you fall. And that if they can’t do that, they are going to kill you. It’s because of me. You…Your love of me and sharing of your Grace made me a Demilim and they fear me. What is to fear of a Demilim?”
“Demilim are the epitome of something that is a miracle but shouldn’t be able to happen. Angels fear a Demilim because it means that Demons can love and Demons fear them because it means in their eyes they can be corrupted. You are something to fear because of love.” Spencer was keeping his shock at all of it in check. He needed to keep calm until he got to talk to Aaron.
“Oh. Huh.” Jack looked at his watch and sighed. “We better head home. Dad’s gonna call if we are late to dinner…again.”
Spencer laughed and nodded. Jack was right. Day trips out with the two of them usually ended up with them getting home late and dinner being cold but it was always worth it. The guard to the bone room just nodded as they left. Spencer was there enough that he was a regular sight to them. Jack filled the car ride home with discussion of what the books at his school actually said about him and Aaron and their long life together.
The feel of something wrong started the moment Spencer got out of the car. Jack had to have felt it as well because the boy was stopped dead on the sidewalk only two steps from the car. Spencer pulled out three daggers from his personal void where he kept weapons. Two he stuck to his back with Grace and the third he handed over to Jack. Jack’s was a blade designed to kill Demons while Spencer had one each that would kill Demons and Angels. Jack kept his blade in his hand but tilted it so that the blade was hidden by his arm.
Opening the door, Spencer wasn’t sure what he was going to see but he was shocked to see Aaron tied to a chair. He was beaten bloody. Spencer threw out an arm to keep Jack behind him. The Demon standing behind Aaron was smiling at him and holding a dagger to Aaron’s heart. It wasn’t one of theirs, thankfully but Spencer knew it. It was one of the Judial’s blades. He knew it because he had given him that one. Had it made special for his now dead best friend.
“Ah, Nuriel finally joins us. Don’t worry. I’m only here for you. I care not for your whelp.” The Demon’s smile widened and he cocked his head to try and look behind Spencer. Aaron was gagged with what looked like one of his scarves from the hall closet but still he tried to scream out something. The Demon cracked him on the back of the head with the dagger hilt. Jack jumped behind him and Spencer felt the flare of Grace. Jack was letting his Grace out to confuse the Demon. Jack really was too smart. If the Demon knew what Jack was, he’d kill him as well. “I’ll let Denei go and he can raise your Nephilim child but only if you come to me and let me bury a dagger in your heart. What’s the choice, Nuriel? You or your love and child?”
There was only a single answer to that and Spencer knew that. The look in Aaron’s eye told him that he knew the answer as well. Aaron fought at the bonds but something was keeping him caged. The dagger was right at his heart and any movement and Aaron would be dead.
“Not here. Not in front of my son. Please don’t let his last memory of me be of my death.”
“Agreed. I have there an Angelic binding necklace. Go ahead and slip that on. I know how you’ve thwarted those who had come after you before.” The Demon leaned over Aaron and ripped his shirt open and Spencer saw a binding necklace on him as well. Moving across the room, Spencer picked up the necklace that was on the coffee table. He slipped it on and shuddered at his bound Grace. He’d not seen one of those for millennia. Every single time that someone new came after them, they learned more. Whoever wanted him dead was powerful and old. “So where do you want to do this?”
“Basement. It’s sound proofed.”
The Demon nodded and waved for Spencer to go first. Spencer kept the Demon in his line of sight and moved to the door. The second he opened it, the Demon raised the dagger away from Aaron’s heart and cracked him as hard as he could over the head. Aaron slumped in the chair.
“Jack, take care of your dad please. Make me a promise you won’t come down the stairs.”
“I promise Papa.” Jack waited until the Demon stepped away from Aaron before he ran close. Aaron wasn’t responding but Spencer didn’t worry about that. He could feel his Grace fighting the necklace. The sigil work on it was shoddy at best and his Grace was used to fighting Denei. He let a smile grace his face before he hit the bottom of the stairs. He felt a flare of power and knew the Demon was blocking the door. The Demon was right behind him. He heard the stuttered footsteps when the Demon got a full look at the room. The smile on Spencer’s face turned downright feral.
“What the hell is this?”
Spencer turned to face him and saw him shudder. The Demon could feel every single thing that had ever happened in the room. The torture, the bloodshed, everything. He could also feel the love. Every single time he bled for Aaron and Denei it reinforced this room. To Spencer he felt safe in this room, to the Demon it felt horrible.
“Is this where he tortures his victims?”
“Yes and no. He does torture Demons down here but this room is so much more than that. The walls get hungry and he feeds them. See this is where the sigils on the house get their power. This is the room where Denei chains me up and makes me bleed. He carves pretty pictures in my skin and licks up the blood. I take it all, Demon and then I beg to be fucked. In fact just yesterday he had me on that table and cut me up so nicely. I screamed for more and then when he started to fuck me I begged for it.” Spencer could see that his words were throwing the Demon off his game. It was easy. God, he knew how to mess with Demons. All the while during his speech, he was pulling on the sigils in the room. The sigils had been laid with his own blood so that no matter what, he was safe in the room. The Demon didn’t know what was coming. Breaking the binding necklace wasn’t hard. His Grace had an harder time getting out of the cuffs that Aaron used on him.
Spencer smiled even wider and raised up his hands. The Demon jerked but then started to laugh when they came up empty.
“That necklace is old and has held Angels more powerful than you.”
“Oh, I know.” Spencer laughed and watched as the Demon moved to a fighting stance with a Demon Assassin blade in hand. He had come prepared to kill and Spencer was happy. “Denei and I have a very full sex life. It’s rare we come down here. Really only when My Demon needs my blood and carving me up in our bed isn’t the atmosphere he wants. It’s a toss up when we have sex who gets fucked and who’s the fucker. We like to play. Our favorite game is chase. I’ve gotten good at holding a Demon captive without hurting him. But all of that is through trial and error and for My Demon, a lot of pain.”
“I’m not scared of you. Denei had you broken.”
“I am continually astounded by the idiocy of Demons. If Denei wanted to break me, I would have been long gone.” A touch to his throat and his Grace flared out. The necklace shattered. The Demon’s eyes widened in shock and before he could do a thing, he was thrown backwards onto the table. He watched as eyes bugged out and the Demon figured out that he was well and truly trapped. There was no escape for him. “I can keep Denei here for hours, you…I’ll keep you until I have what I want.”
“What do you want?”
“The name of the Demon who twisted Judial and set him on the path to kill me. I want to know who holds your leash. And I’ll get it.” Spencer moved to a shelf at the back of the room and picked up a syringe. The Demon fought at the invisible bonds as he moved back closer to him. There was no mistaking what the bright purple solution was. It was kept on hand to keep Demons who attacked them down while they got all the information they needed. Spencer injected in the Demon’s thigh. It would keep the Demon from escaping his Host.
“Tell me the name and I’ll let you die a quick death.”
“You don’t have it in you to torture me. You are an Angel.”
“And I protect what is mine. You threatened my son and my love.”
“He’ll keep me in a cage in Hell for the rest of my life.”
“I can keep you here for just as long. Think about it, Demon. A quick death at my hands or torture for the rest of your pitiful existence?” Spencer wouldn’t let him leave and the Demon knew it. Whoever had sent him hadn’t thought he would fail. But the Demon knew of Jack and for the moment thought that Jack was his. It wouldn’t take long for someone to figure out that he was Aaron’s.
Spencer had seen Denei torture enough humans and Demons over the years that he knew what to do. He knew how to cause the most pain. He smiled down at the Demon and made his first cut.
Aaron came too with a heachache from Hell. He could hear words but he didn’t know who was saying them. He tried to remember what happened when it all came rushing back. The attack from behind. The power suppression necklace. Spencer agreeing to go down into the basement and let the Demon kill him to save him and Jack. He lurched to his feet, opening his eyes and seeing Jack sitting beside him. The boy jumped to his feet and tried to make Aaron sit but he knew he needed to get to the basement. He reached up for the necklace but found it gone. He looked at Jack and saw it lying on the floor broken.
“Stay back, Jack. Don’t come down. No matter what. You know what to do if we are killed.”
“Jack, if you are injured, Spencer will fucking kill me. Do as I ask.”
Jack nodded and stepped back. Aaron moved right to the door and found it warded but he broke those wards easily. He quietly opened the door and took a few steps down. The sight that greeted his eyes made him nearly fall down the rest of the stairs. There was blood dripping off the tilt table and the Demon was strapped down. He couldn’t see what Spencer was doing to him.
“Fuck. Please. Kill me.”
“Tell me who and I will.”
“Belial!” The Demon screamed and then slumped down on the table. Spencer stepped back and Aaron saw the dagger through his heart. His Angel had tortured and killed the Demon. HIS Angel had just tortured someone. It was the only thought in his mind. He lost his footing and his foot thumped on the stairs. Spencer spun with a new dagger in hand but when he saw that it was Aaron his face lit up. A wave of his hand and the blood was cleaned up from the table and floor. The body was gone and he was rushing at Aaron. Aaron only watched as Spencer’s bloody hands touched his face and chest. Checking for wounds and just checking him over. He could feel the slick blood on his face and it made him sick to his stomach.
“Aaron, you shouldn’t be down here. I took care of him. We are safe.”
“You…You killed him.”
“Yes. He saw Jack. I wasn’t going to let him get away. You need to go upstairs and relax.” Spencer looked up and Aaron couldn’t see what he was seeing. All he saw was blood. Blood on Spencer’s hands. Blood on his wings. His mind supplied images that it created. “Jack, take your father upstairs and make sure he showers and rests. I can feel a poison in his body. It’s not going to kill him but just watch him.”
“Sure.” Jack’s footsteps sounded and he let his son’s hands guide him up. He was pushed into the bathroom and he took a shower by rote. He barely remembered leaving the bathroom and laying down. He was in shock and he knew it but he was also so tired. He pulled the blanket up and kept his back to where Spencer’s pillow was. He wanted to smell nothing of his Angel.
Aaron’s dream started as soon as he fell asleep. He knew it was a dream because it was the little village that he had met Nuriel at so long ago. He tried to leave the village he didn’t want to see what was coming. Every time he made it to the edge of the village though he’d be back at the center. Nuriel was sitting on a rock, looking around. Giving in, Aaron took a step towards him. As if sensing him, Nuriel’s head shot up and he smiled. His eyes were black. Aaron stopped walking as the scene of the village behind Nuriel changed. It was the scene that Nuriel had shared with him years before. It was a group of Angels all talking. Nuriel was yelling at one of the Angels. There was no sound. Aaron watched as two of the Angels held Nuriel still as a third came up to him. Instead of casting him out though, giving him a chance at redemption, the third Angel ripped Nuriel’s wings from his body and then he was falling.
Jerking awake, Aaron sat up in bed. Spencer was curled beside him, hand on the bed where it had fallen when he sat up. He knew that the hands weren’t actually covered in blood but to his eyes they were. Jumping off the bed, Aaron ran for the bathroom and threw up. There was nothing in his stomach but still he kept just throwing up acid and bile. A hand on his back shocked him. He jerked out of the reach of Spencer’s outstretched hand.
The hurt look on Spencer’s face didn’t register as Aaron felt darkness all around his Angel. How had he not seen it before? How had he not seen how close Spencer was to losing his wings and falling? Aaron batted the hand that reached out for him again and when it came at him again, he reacted in a way he never had.
Aaron threw Spencer back away from him. Out the open bathroom door and into the wall on the far side of the room. He ignored the thud and the crack that Spencer made when he connected to the wall. The house shuddered. Next he used a nail to cut his palm and threw the blood on the open door and it slammed shut. Spencer would have to take his time in getting that open. If he broke it without a care, he’d break every single sigil on the house and then they would be vulnerable. As the door slammed shut again, he threw up again. There was nothing left in him to come up.
The banging on the door started and Aaron tried to yell out to get him to stop before he woke up Jack but nothing came out. The thudding of feet signaled that Jack had woken up.
“I heard a big thud and the house shook. What’s happening, Papa?” Jack asked, his voice loud even with the door between them.
“I don’t know. Aaron is throwing up.” Another bang on the door. “Aaron let me in! Don’t make me take the time to break these sigils!”
“You’re bleeding!” Jack yelled and Aaron winced. He’d hurt Spencer. He’d thrown him so hard that he’d injured him. Aaron shook his head to clear it. He couldn’t care about that right now. Spencer had been hurt by Demons and UnSubs more than what Aaron could have hurt him.
“My head cracked off the wall. Head wounds always bleed more.”
“But it’s…it’s not healing.” Jack sounded worried and Aaron slumped down onto the side of the bathtub. He really didn’t want to be hearing this.
“It is just really slowly. My entire skull shattered as well as a few ribs.”
Aaron tuned their words out. He knew what he needed to do and hearing what pain Spencer was in and what he’d done to him wasn’t going to help. Asmodeus had been right. It hadn’t been other Demons he needed to fear when it came to Nuriel, it was himself. Being around him had twisted him and if he stayed around him much longer, he’d be the reason that Spencer fell. He needed to get Spencer out of his life and now. The blood may have been on Spencer’s hands but it was because of him and he wasn’t going to let it destroy the Angel’s Grace. Standing, he moved to the sink to at least wash out his mouth.
“Jack, son. Go back to bed,” Aaron called loud enough for the two on the other side of the door to hear him.
“No!” Jack yelled back through the door. Aaron knew it would be a fight to get him to leave. Hushed voices carried through the door and he knew that Spencer was talking to him. Aaron leaned close to the door so that he could listen but all he heard was Jack’s feet traveling away.
“Jack’s gone back to his room. As far as bed, I can’t tell you whether he does or not. Aaron, please tell me what’s wrong? If it has to be with this door between us, so be it.”
Aaron owed Spencer more than that. He owed him a face to face talk. He reached down and opened the door, allowing his blood to burn off the door. Spencer was right there at the door and he jumped back when it opened. He took a few steps back and Aaron found that he couldn’t look him in the eye.
“I need you to go, Spencer. I can’t be around you right now.”
“Aaron, what happened? What’s wrong?” Spencer took a step closer but Aaron jerked out of his reach. He moved over towards the window, looking out onto the dead street.
“Loving me has changed you and I’m not sure I love who you are anymore. I fell in love with the sweet Angel who blushed when I hit on him, even though he knew I was a Demon.” Aaron finally was able to turn and look him in the eye. “That Angel is long gone. I don’t know who you are anymore, Spencer. The Angel I love would never have done what you did tonight. You are turning into something that I can’t love.”
“Aaron?” Spencer sounded heartbroken as his voice cracked. His hand reached out but he didn’t move closer. Aaron took a final look at him and then turned back to the window.
“You need to leave, Spencer. Just go to your apartment and just leave me alone. Forever.”
The soft whisper of feet was the only warning he had that Spencer was moving closer not away. He spun, grabbing the Angel by his shoulders. He felt his eyes turn and his power ignite. There was fear in the eyes staring at him. True fear for the first time ever. It didn’t give him any pleasure.
“LEAVE!” Aaron threw him back and he fell a few feet away. He briefly saw that he’d burned the Angel but he didn’t care. He stared and finally Spencer stood up and ran. Aaron heard the sound of Spencer grabbing things. It was ingrained in them even in their short time in these lives to always grab gun and credentials. He heard the safe door slam and then under a minute later, the front door.
Aaron knew that he needed to get control of himself. He needed to become Aaron Hotchner. Not Aaron, the host who he had taken over. Aaron Hotchner was the son of a man who regularly beat his son until the day that the son became big enough to hit back. Aaron Hotchner who was the Unit Chief for the Behavioural Analysis Unit. Who Morgan called a drill sergeant. Who JJ called a bully. Because if he was anyone else, he’d shatter into a million pieces that could never be put back together again.
Spencer barely remembered getting into his car and driving. He’d thrown his messenger bag which thankfully had his credentials in it into the passenger seat. His gun was dropped onto the seat after he’d slid into the car. He couldn’t break down now. He needed to get to safety and before that moment, safety had always been inside that house. In the arms of the Demon who’d just sent him away. Spencer could barely believe that Aaron had attacked him, twice. The phantom pains from his arms hurt as he drove but it was all in his head. He’d been fully healed on his arms before he’d even left the house.
Head and ribs had jumped up in healing as well given that being so scared of Aaron had caused his Grace to flare out in protective mode. It hadn’t done that in Denei’s presence since a thousand years after he was cast out of Heaven. He knew what he wanted and that he was going to be denied. He was tempted to not go to the apartment but it was safer. Belial was after him. He hadn’t even gotten to tell Aaron about Jack and he wasn’t going to text it. It wasn’t safe. It probably wasn’t safe to talk about it at the office.
Parking in his spot, he moved up the two flights of stairs easy and nodded at neighbors. Ms. Cavanaugh smiled at him. Key in hand he unlocked the door. Gun went into his safe. Messenger bag went to the floor by the couch. He didn’t have a go bag there though and he couldn’t rely on Aaron to think about that. Before sitting down he packed up a new one for himself. It was older clothes of his that lived at the apartment. This was where he brought Henry and stayed when Morgan and JJ wanted to hang out.
Spencer wasn’t looking forward to telling Morgan and JJ about this. There was no way they wouldn’t be able to tell that he was heart broken. It was hard to hide from profilers but he had for years. JJ was the first to figure it out. He’d let a few things slip while crying at her house over Emily’s death. Morgan had caught him out shopping for a present for Aaron not long after Emily came back to the team. They both respected that Spencer and his partner wanted privacy. Both made a point of asking about how things went between them.
After the new go-bag was packed, he set it just inside the door and plopped onto the couch. The clock on the wall chimed and Spencer looked to see that it was just nine o’clock. He sighed and slumped back, staring at the wall. He was numb. He couldn’t feel a single thing. It was the same feeling that he’d felt when he’d been cast out of Heaven. The same feeling that there was nothing around him. Only this time there was no Denei to help him. To love him. He wasn’t even sure that he had a son anymore. Jack loved him he knew that but Jack loved his father and there was the biological tie to him, there was no tie like that to Spencer. He had his Grace but would it be enough?
The room darkened, then became pitch black as there wasn’t a lot of lights that lit up the room from outside. Spencer didn’t notice when the sun started to rise again.
His phone chimed that he had a text and Spencer grabbed it up to check who it was. He saw a deluge of messages from Jack that he hadn’t heard but the one he had just heard was from Garcia. There was a case in San Francisco.
Grabbing his things, Spencer was out the door. He caught the bus that took him to the subway and from there he arrived at the BAU. He dropped his things on his desk and moved over to the coffee pot. He hoped that the warmth of it would warm him up because all he felt was cold.
“Morning, Pretty…” Morgan stopped talking and stepped even closer to him. Spencer managed a grim smile. “What’s wrong?”
“Is Hotch here yet?”
“No. Rossi said he’d be a little late. Something with Jack and a surprise visit in town.”
Spencer nodded. Jack had wanted to go to a birthday party today but he doubted he would. The texts he’d received were just asking where he was and what happened. He’d let Aaron answer that one because he wasn’t sure that he knew.
“Reid, what’s wrong?”
“I think my partner ended things last night.” Now that he’d said the words, it was hard to hold back the tears. Morgan looked shocked. “I…”
JJ walked into the bullpen and Morgan saw her. He waved her over at the same time that he took a hold of Spencer’s arm.
“JJ, make Reid a cup of coffee, please and bring it to my office. We three need to talk.”
Spencer went along because it was easier. He couldn’t tell them anywhere near the whole truth but he could tell enough. Morgan pushed him down into the chair while he leaned against the front of the desk. It was only a few seconds later that JJ entered with his cup full of coffee. Spencer reached out for it and she handed it over as the same time that she sat in the chair next to him, pulling it closer to him.
“My partner told me last night that I had changed and that he wasn’t sure he loved me anymore. He said the sweet guy he had fallen in love with is gone and that he doesn’t know who I am anymore. He said I am turning into someone that he can’t love and that I needed to leave our house and go back to my apartment. Forever.”
“You’d moved in with him?” JJ asked.
Spencer shrugged. “My lease is up in six months and I didn’t want to break it. I was happy paying my rent until I could move out. I…” Spencer looked up at them. “Have I changed that much?”
“Recently? No.” JJ leaned over and laid her head on his shoulder, pulling him close. “When you started to date him yes. You are more happy. You’d been kind of sad for a the last few years but then you met him. How can he not love you for being happy?”
“I don’t know.”
“Look, Kid. We can cover with Hotch. Say you caught a bug and I sent you home cause you looked like shit and you know, you kind of do. Did you get any sleep last night?”
“I wasn’t aware it was day until I got Garcia’s text. If I go home, I’m gonna go nuts. I need to focus on this case. I promise if it gets too much I’ll remove myself from the case.” Spencer knew he wasn’t going to. He needed to get a grip. He needed to show Aaron that he could survive this. Taking a deep breath, he took a sip of his coffee.
“When the case is done, why don’t you come over to my house. We’ll set up the guest room for you and well Henry would love to see you for a few days. We can stop by your apartment and get your things.”
“I’ll let you know when the case is done.”
A knock sounded on the door and Blake leaned her head in. She looked down at Spencer before looking back up at Morgan. “We are getting ready to start the briefing.”
“We’ll be right there. Hotch got in?”
“Everyone is here.”
Spencer drained his cup and held it up to show that he was going to get more. Morgan nodded and waved him out. JJ stayed with him, their arms linked. He basked in the warmth of the love she had for him. It helped to warm up the cold parts of himself.
Listening to the briefing, he made sure to never look at Aaron. It was like it had been back when he’d started with the BAU. Aaron had been fully into his part as Aaron Hotchner then. Devoted and loving husband. Stern Unit Chief. He didn’t look but he could feel. And what he felt from Aaron was nothing. Even Denei had never felt like that before. He’d meant it. He’d meant every single word that he said. Spencer took a deep breath and then exhaled. He let go of everything that was Nuriel and Spencer and became Spencer Reid. Awkward genius of the BAU.
The worry from JJ and Morgan over the course of the case was so palatable that Spencer could taste it in the air. They were all professional so neither of them confronted him until they were flying home after taking in Bryan Hughes. Of course the case had to have revolved around blood. To delay the inevitable, Spencer moved to get himself a cup of coffee. His Grace was the only thing keeping him up at that point. He hadn’t eaten since a late lunch with Jack on Saturday.
“What’s wrong with you and Reid?” Rossi asked, his voice carrying back into the kitchen area of the plane. Spencer had pulled the curtain but thought that they had seen him go in there.
“It’s personal, Dave and none of your business.”
“Then I didn’t hear Morgan and JJ talking about the fact that Reid’s partner broke up with him?”
“Dave,” Aaron warned. Spencer could imagine the look on his face.
“What happened, Aaron?”
“It’s none of your business. It’s personal between Reid and I.”
“Reid? How bad did you crush him, Aaron? The only time he’s looked at you when you two weren’t talking about the case, it looked like his heart was shattered.”
“He’s not who I thought he was.”
“He’s…what the hell are you talking about? You’ve been with him nine years. How the hell could he be not who you thought he was?”
“I’m done with this Dave.” The sound of the chair shifting and then loud footsteps trailed away. New footsteps came back.
“What’s wrong with Hotch?” Blake asked.
“I don’t know,” Rossi lied.
Spencer finished stirring his coffee and stepped out from behind the curtain. He briefly looked at Rossi and saw that the man was shocked to see him there. Spencer shook his head and Rossi nodded. He took his seat next to JJ and Morgan was across from them. Aaron was stretched across the couch, arm thrown over his eyes.
“Have you thought about it, Spence?” JJ asked.
“I just need a few days alone. I promise I’ll spend a day with Henry then.”
“You need anything, man you tell us. Night or day.”
Spencer nodded. He turned to look out the window across the jet. For the first time since he’d been cast out, Spencer was thinking of living his long life, alone. Still he picked up his phone and replied to Jack’s texts. He’d call when he was alone. He didn’t want to cry in front of the team and not in front of Aaron. Aaron didn’t deserve to see him that way.
Jack loved both of his parents. His Dad was hard but loved him above all else, except for Papa. He’d reluctantly gone back to school late Sunday evening after whatever fight they’d had. He had never seen them have a fight, not one where Papa left them. It had always been just hours and then the two of them were sickenly sweet to each other. It had always made Jack happy that they weren’t like other parents. They lived for each other but he was seeing now that it might not have been as good a thing as he thought. Jack hated being wrong.
Going to school at Dark Valley had been a rude awakening for Jack. He knew the lore the history of Demons but being just around his parents for the most part hadn’t prepared him for what the whole of the Demonic world was like. The other half Demons were fun. He found friends and enemies at the school. He wanted to come home because he missed his human friends and he missed his Dad and his Papa. The weekend before had proved that he needed to be there. Both of his parents were stubborn.
“Are you ready Jack?” Vass asked as he stood by the sigiled floor of their transport room. It would drop him in a room at the bus station. There was the regular group of kids waiting. There were seven kids who lived in the DC that went to Dark Valley with him.
“Yes.” Jack pulled his backpack strap closer and stepped into the center. He closed his eyes and waited for the familiar pull on his body. Seconds after the pull, he opened his eyes to the small room at the bus station.
“Jack?” Marissa asked as she paused at the opening to the station. She was a half Demon just like him. Her mother though was human and her Demonic father visited but it was just her and mother at home.
“I heard you the other night on the phone. I didn’t mean to but…if you want a ride, my brother is in town and he’s pretty cool, for a full human. I’m sure he can drive you…”
“Thank Marissa but I can actually do the teleportation thing. I know a nice place I can appear at Papa’s apartment.”
“He moved out then?”
“Dad forced him to.” Jack didn’t mind talking to Marissa about it. He was shocked when she hugged him close. Jack let himself take the warm feelings of grief from her. “I’m not going to let it stand though. I just need to see Dad to see how he is faring.”
“You have my cell number. Text if you need anything.”
“I promise.” Jack watched Marissa move out to where her brother was waiting for her. Jack though stepped back into the room and moved himself to the living room of the house. He was shocked at how dark it was. The curtains were pulled tight and no lights were on except for a faint glow coming from the top of the stairs to the second floor. Jack dropped his backpack underneath the coffee table and moved towards the light. He stayed silent. It was just after four. His Dad should still be at the office for at least three more hours. He hadn’t been coming home before seven all week. Bart was keeping an eye and texting him.
Jack peeked into the office and found his Dad sitting at the desk, working on what looked like a case file. He watched him for ten minutes before his Dad moved other than pen across paper and the flipping of pages. Arm reached for a something and then his head tipped back and he drained what looked like half a bottle of whiskey. That was a shock. Jack backed up out of the room and nearly ran into the library door. He reached behind to grasp the door knob but it wouldn’t turn.
Turning to face the door, Jack laid his hand on the center of the door and reached out. Papa had warded it to where only he could enter! When had he done that? Had he come by? Reaching out with his Grace, he let it briefly touch and the door clicked open. With a quick glance back at his Dad, Jack slipped inside. He stopped at the sight of there being little in the room. There had never been much furniture. Desk, chair, and couch but the chair and couch were gone. His memories of learning to read assaulted his mind. His Papa had taught him to read in that chair in the library reading book after book aloud to him and then when he was older, with him. He’d been reading by age three.
His Papa would never take that chair if he thought he was coming back. Jack ran to the book shelves where the boxes were. All gone. He dropped to the floor and stared. Papa had taken all his letters to his human mother. Grandma Diana never knew what her son was or her grandson but she loved them anyway. The books were still on the shelves but there were certain ones missing. Proust wasn’t on his shelf.
Jack raced from the room, not caring if his Dad heard him and turned the lights on as he went. He went to the small bookshelf in the living room and found some of the DVDs missing. He looked at the room. It was like his Papa had never lived here. He didn’t know if his Papa had come and got his things or his Dad had trashed them or just boxed them up. There were no pictures of Papa anywhere. Even the one of his Papa and Dad from the middle 1800s was gone.
The sound of feet on the stairs had him turning to see his Dad carrying an empty bottle of whiskey. He didn’t even see him. He went right for the kitchen, dropping the bottle in the trash as he passed. Another bottle was grabbed and he went back to the office. He’d seen his parents drink before. Papa liked wine with dinner and Dad like whiskey in the evenings but it was never more than a glass or two. Papa joked that he liked the taste but that it would take a whole vineyard to get him drunk. If Dad was walking to get his whiskey and not using his powers, that meant he was more than drunk. Grabbing his backpack, Jack moved up to his bedroom. He was going to stay in the library for the night. He’d talk to his Dad in the morning. He just needed a few things.
Jack knew that everything was affecting his Dad more than he let on but he needed to know what happened. He wasn’t stupid. He knew what happened to the Demon who had broken into the house. Papa had killed him and given the blood he’d seen on him, it seemed he tortured him as well. Jack had heard the name of the Demon being yelled. Belial was an old rival of his Dad’s and he knew the Demon would stop at nothing to kill his Papa, given what he knew they all wanted. What had freaked his Dad out so much that he’d thrown Papa out of his life? Was it the torture? It had thrown Jack but when it was all said and done, even after his Dad had attacked him, the Grace inside of Jack had called to the Grace in Spencer and there was no change.
Ever since he was little, he’d seen the darkness at the edge of his Papa’s Grace. He’d asked and Papa had answered that it had been there since he’d been cast from Heaven. He joked and said it was his Dad’s love, protecting him. Had his Dad seen that darkness for the first time and freaked out? He could tell his Dad was heartbroken but he was too prideful to go back to Papa. That was his one sin that he couldn’t ever get over. His Dad sinned all the time but pride, he couldn’t ever overcome it.
A chime on his phone made Jack jump. He jerked his phone from his pocket and it was a message from Papa. It told him to have a good weekend at school and to call if he needed anything. Two seconds later, another chime came. It was a second message telling him that he’d transferred another two hundred into his food account and four into his miscellaneous account. Neither account was exactly lacking in anything but Papa probably figured that Jack was going to be staying at the school. That wasn’t Jack’s plan though. He was going to visit his Dad until his Dad told him the truth. He texted back a thanks and told his Papa he loved him. Worry really set in when he got back a “You’re Welcome” but no mention of love.
Settling down with a book, Jack started to read and it wasn’t until it was full dark that he ate a quick dinner of a few slices of pizza from a local joint before he went back to the library and read more on the book.
The next morning he woke up when the sun started to shine right on his face. Jack jerked awake with a start, the book on his chest falling to the ground with a loud thud. He waited and listened but he heard nothing. Putting the book back, he braved leaving the library and found his Dad slumped at the desk in the office. Jack’s heart broke at the sight. He moved to the master bedroom and found it in perfect condition with the same bed clothes on it that had been on it last week. His Dad wasn’t sleeping in there.
Breakfast. Jack went to the kitchen and started a pot of coffee, eggs, bacon, and toast and worked on cleaning up the empty bottles of whiskey. He didn’t drink much coffee but at the moment, it reminded him of his Papa so he did. He drank it with just about as much sugar as Papa put in his. Dad used the tease the two of them on lazy Sunday mornings. Jack sighed as he took the first sip.
Jack was halfway through his breakfast when he heard his Dad making his way down the stairs. He listened for the second his Dad actually saw him.
“Morning. I made you some toast.” Jack tried not to smile even though he wasn’t happy. While his Dad felt like shit, he knew he didn’t have a hangover.
“What are you doing here?”
“I thought you might like some company this weekend. It’s your first weekend alone. I know it can be rough.” Jack had made a plan as he’d read the night before. He needed to know exactly where his dad’s mind was at.
The glare that was leveled at him he hadn’t seen since he’d tried to play a practical joke on him just before he’d turned nine. It didn’t scare him then and it didn’t now. But what it did tell Jack was something he didn’t like. Reaching out he tried to touch his Dad’s Demonic aura. It was something new that Vass had taught him this week and he’d latched on with both hands.
His dad was shut down. He’d cut himself off from all emotions. Papa had called that persona Hotch. It was the person he became for work, the persona that he was sure was all that Papa had seen at work this week. He felt bad for the team. Dealing with Hotch the entire time and a broken Reid and not knowing how to fix Reid and not knowing that the true cause of the issue was just steps away hiding in his office.
“When did you get in?” His Dad sat down with a cup of black coffee and a plate of toast with a few pieces of bacon on it.
“Last night. I think you were on bottle number eleven. Papa once joked it would take a vineyard to get him drunk but I think that was a few wheat fields you put away last night.”
“Don’t what?” Jack asked. He took a few sips of his coffee while he stared at his Dad. He was going to make him talk about Papa even if it killed him.
“You know what, son.”
“I am not going to act like he never existed. You may have removed every single piece of him from the main part of the house but I can’t act like Papa never existed. Like he didn’t spend the last twelve years raising me. I have a heart.”
“Watch your tongue.”
Jack just raised an eyebrow. He didn’t know where this was going to but he was going to see it through. He knew that no matter what his Dad loved him and his Dad loved his Papa. He just had to get him over whatever it was.
“Why? You threw Papa into a wall. You’ve never done that. I cleaned up the blood the next morning. He played it down. If his Grace hadn’t healed him. If you’d thrown him much harder…Papa told me once about the fears you had and you’d proven them wrong. Up until that night. I watched him when he left the house. I saw the burns.”
“No. I’m not scared of you even though I should be. I thought before that you would never hurt Papa or I, not physically but you broke him that night. Your words broke his heart and your hands broke his body. I’m not going to stay around and wait for you to do it to me.” Jack started to sweat. This hadn’t been part of his plan but he could tell that his Dad had been drinking before he’d left the office. His Dad just stared at him. Jack drained his cup of coffee and stood up. He turned his back on his Dad and walked up the stairs.
It didn’t take long to pack up a bag with things he wanted. He walked back down the stairs with two bags thrown over his shoulder. He gripped the knob to the library door.
“Spencer warded that so I can’t…” His Dad stopped when the door opened and he walked in. Jack grabbed a few books and slipped them into the half empty bag. He grabbed another one. One of the last books that his Papa had given him as a present. He hadn’t gotten a chance to read it and hadn’t wanted to take it to school. Jack locked his eyes with his Dad as he stepped out into the hall.
“I’ll be at Papa’s apartment if you want to talk to him or I. I’m sure you remember how to get there.” Pulling the door shut, Jack disappeared from his Dad’s eyesight. He appeared in the small closet just off the hall. It was used to store the cleaning supplies for the second and third floor of the apartment building. Jack stepped out of the closet and felt the Grace wards bear down on him. He’d been to the apartment a few times, not in the last year. The wards were higher than he’d ever felt them. Higher than they had at the house.
It was a fight against the nature of his power to take those steps towards the door and knock. When he heard no noise he knocked again.
“Papa?” Jack called out and that got a reaction. Soft, socked feet padded towards the door. His Papa opened the door and Jack took in how miserable he looked. Dad looked bad but Papa. He’d never seen him look like that. Not when Aunt Emily had died.
“Jack, sweetie, what are you doing here?”
“I came home yesterday but Papa…Dad was drunk. It was four in the afternoon he stayed drinking all night. He never knew I was home. I don’t feel safe.”
“Jack, your Dad would never…” His Papa stopped at those words. Jack could fill in the blank. His Dad would never hurt him but they’d thought about Dad hurting Papa that way too. “Of course you can stay here. I just need…”
Jack smiled and reached out with his Grace. He found the edges of the wards and sneaked in them.
“You’ve gotten good at that.”
“I brought a few books. I grabbed clothes. I figure that one of these weekends I’ll slip back over while you two are on a case. How can you work with him?”
“It’s hard but I can’t be weak. Has he said anything?”
“No. I…Papa, I think I know what is though.”
“He’s afraid of me falling. I know what it is.” His Papa pulled him into the apartment and shut the door. “I know that it’s morning but I need space right now, Jack. I don’t mind you being here but I…”
“Go Papa. Go where you need to go. I’ll be safe. Only Angels can get past these wards and if Dad shows up, I can leave. I’m pretty good at teleporting myself.” Jack pulled him close and hugged his Papa.
The silence of the day was broken only by the the sound of pages turning in books, the fridge opening, and the discussion of lunch and dinner. For Jack it was normal. His Papa and him did it all the time. Usually it was in the library at the house. The air of sadness was everywhere but the normalcy of their actions helped.
Jack wasn’t blind. He saw how emotional his Papa was. He wasn’t sure how to fix him. He wasn’t sure how to fix any of this. It was just after sunset when Papa moved to the bedroom, bidding Jack a goodnight.
Divorce was something human kids went through and even though they weren’t married that was what this amounted to. It was something that had never crossed his mind. The fight over who got him over the weekends and on weeknights. He’d had so many friends at school whose parents divorced but even when he consoled friends, it hadn’t been something on his radar. Jack pulled on his power until the futon from his bedroom at the house appeared under the large window in the living room. He laid down, pulling a blanket over him. Papa was asleep in the bedroom of the apartment but he couldn’t make himself sleep on the couch. He knew that his Papa might end up there if he couldn’t sleep.
“Tomriel, I know that you don’t know me but please. I need you. Papa said that you were his best friend and that he’s seen you throughout the years. That you’ve never turned your back on him like the rest of Heaven has. I hope that between my soul and my Papa’s Grace that you will hear me.” Jack stared at the moon as he spoke. Prayer was something a half Demon should not be doing but he would do anything to save his Papa, even if it meant that his Dad and Papa never got back together. Even if it meant that Papa went back to Heaven. His Papa would come down and see him. His Papa loved him. “I don’t think that Papa is long for living in this world. He’s fading and I know that if he fades, he’ll die. I can see it in his wings. I don’t think he knows that I saw the wings but I did. I remember as a kid thinking that they were as white as the clouds but now they are grey and I don’t like it. Dad and Papa love each other so much and neither are going to live long without the other but I can’t get Dad to see it. I just need help. I’ll take care of Dad but I know how stubborn he is. I need help with Papa. I need him to live long enough for Dad to get his head on straight. Please Tomriel. Even if you don’t show yourself to me. Please help me. Save Papa from his broken heart.”
Jack rolled over and buried his head in the pillow he’d stolen from his parents bedroom. It smelled of his Papa. He let his tears fall and his grief to manifest for the first time. He was afraid that he was going to lose his parents and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He cried himself to sleep for the first time ever in his life. He never noticed the blanket fall off of him.
A man stepped from the shadows of the room and frowned down at the boy. He waved his hand and a blanket appeared on the boy, covering him up and tucking him in. “Such love from a half Demon. What is this Grace you speak of though?” The man stepped closer and touched the boy’s head. His eyes widened when a blinding white glow appeared around the boy. He looked around the room and his eyes narrowed when they took in the closed bedroom door.
“My word. Nuriel. Oh my brother.” The man crouched at the head of the boy and leaned over and kissed his head. “Sleep well my little nephew.”