Series: A Universe of Meetings
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 4 (Spring 2009)
Tags: MPreg, Drugs, Kidnapping,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 5
Summary: Finding the UnSub was easy. He wasn’t trying that hard to hide. What they weren’t expecting was the chained up pregnant man in his attic.
“DNA hit found nothing,” Morgan said as he stepped up behind Aaron. “We have to wait for him to start talking or his prints to grow back.”
“Go back to the hotel, Morgan. I’ll keep him company tonight.” Aaron sighed. The DNA had been rushed from the crime scene and it wasn’t until after the UnSub had been caught and blood typed that they figured out the second set of DNA on one of the bodies wasn’t from a partner, not a willing partner, when it was matched to the man Aaron was looking at.
“Call if you need one of us, Hotch.” Morgan clasped his shoulder briefly but Aaron didn’t look up from the man in the bed. He was asleep on his side, curled around his very round stomach. The only survivor of a case that had taken eight months to solve. Sixteen men and woman dead, along with the UnSub. The stressor was believed to be the pregnancy of the man lying on the bed. Aaron had found him in the attic of the house after it had been cleared and the UnSub shot trying to kill Dave. He didn’t know why he felt he needed to stay with the young man. He just knew he needed to.
The young man had been well cared for. PreNatals and plenty of food and water. There was no reports of a man matching his description missing in the area. Aaron grabbed the book that Dave had brought him from his go bag and settled back to read it. The young man’s room was in the maternity ward so the chair he was in was very comfortable.
It took a little bit but Aaron settled down into a light sleep when he heard movement in the bed. Opening his eyes, Aaron looked at the young man and saw him looking around. The lights had been dimmed and the only light was coming from the cracked door. Aaron’s book was at the bedside and the young man reached out and picked it up. He shifted in the bed to where the light from the hall was shining on the book and started to read. Or at least Aaron thought he was reading. He flipped through the pages like he was looking for something.
Aaron shifted and the young man started in the bed, turning to look, eyes wide with fear. He closed the book and shoved at it until it fell to the floor. Aaron picked up the book and set it back down on the bed. He’d been the only one on the team to connect to the young man. He’d sat with him at the house while Morgan had found bolt cutters to remove the chain that linked his foot to the floor. He’d freaked when Dave had tried to ride with him to the hospital.
“Hey, it’s fine. You can read the book. Just calm down. You read fast huh?” Aaron asked. He sat down on the edge of the bed and smiled at him. “Your DNA has no match in the system. Your fingerprints have been burnt off and you won’t tell us your name. We need to know so that we can take care of you.”
The young man frowned and looked at him. He stared for several minutes before he picked up the book again. He flipped to a random page and pointed at a letter. B. Aaron nodded and the young man pointed at A. When Aaron nodded a second time the man pointed at a U and then at Aaron.
“BAU? Yes. I’m with the BAU. How did you know that?” Aaron was shocked. It wasn’t normal for people to know that especially someone who had been locked in an attic for about five years.
The young man flipped through pages until he came to something and pointed at a name. Gideon.
“How do you know Gideon?” Aaron’s mind swarmed with how the young man knew the former profiler.
Aaron waited as the man flipped through the book until almost the end. He knew exactly where every single word he was looking for was at. Not only did he read fast, he had an Eidetic memory. That tickled something in his mind. A trainee that had been placed in an asylum because of a psychotic break. A doctor. The young man pointed at the word academy and then lecture. This was that young man. Gideon had found him in the academy and had tried to talk him into the BAU. A week after he’d graduated, he’d been put on a psych hold. He’d ended up going home to be in the same place as his mother, Aaron had been told.
“Doctor Spencer Reid.” Aaron watched his face as he said the same. Spencer smiled at him and nodded. “What happened?”
Aaron waited while Spencer flipped through the book. He told a story with it. How he’d been drugged and when the hospital was certain he was sick, an ‘old friend’ stepped in and had him transferred. Only the transfer never happened, he was moved not to a sanitarium but to that house. He’d been in that house for five years. Aaron typed out a text to Dave and sent it as he settled Spencer down in the bed. He’d learned that the younger man didn’t seem to mind it when Aaron touched him.
Spencer snuggled into his side and seemed to fall asleep quickly. Aaron stayed where he was and when a nurse checked on them she smiled. Every nurse knew that he was a special case and that he was under guard until such a time that it was determined that there wasn’t a partner or a pack involved in the killings.
Dave texted back an hour later that Doctor Spencer Reid had been reported missing by his mother, Diana Reid. The Las Vegas police hadn’t looked into it as his mother was in a sanitarium and a call from his doctor had told the cops he was fine. The trace to the number showed that the doctor was the UnSub.
“Nurse. I know that an ultrasound was done. What is the gender of the child?”
“Children. A boy and a girl. They look healthy.”
“Thank you. I have a name for him. Spencer Reid, born here in Vegas. Mother is Diana Reid. I do not have a DOB yet.”
“I’ll update his record. Thank you, Agent Hotchner. Are you hungry?”
“Jell-O,” Spencer whispered. He looked up at Aaron. “Can I have Jell-O, Agent Hotchner. I missed it.”
Aaron looked at the nurse who nodded and stepped out of the room.
“Found your voice huh?”
“I wasn’t allowed to talk when I wasn’t in my room.” Spencer snuggled closer to him. His round stomach pressing into Aaron. “Don’t leave, Agent Hotchner.”
“I won’t. When the doctor declares you can go home we will figure out what to do.”
A knock on the door kind of shocked Aaron. He looked up to see a older man standing there. The look of shock on his face had Aaron sitting up straighter on the bed. That drew Spencer’s gaze to the man. The younger man stiffened and then tried to get out of the bed. He wasn’t scared. That was the only thing keeping Aaron in the bed with him.
“Spencer stay there.” The man moved forward and touched Spencer’s shoulder. “Oh, Diana is going to be so happy to see you. One of the officers on the case always believed your mother that you were not in the sanitarium that the doctor had put you in. When she saw you being taken out by Agent Hotchner she thought you might be Diana’s son and she called Bennington.”
“Who are you?”
“Doctor Stephen Norman. I am Diana Reid’s primary doctor at Bennington. I was the one who tried to get the police to look into Spencer’s missing case but they wouldn’t believe a word of it. In their eyes she was an insane woman who couldn’t accept that her son had gone insane as well.” The doctor pulled a stack of papers from a briefcase and handed them over. “These are the letters that Spencer wrote to his mother over the years as well as all documentation of all the times that I tried to get a visit to him at his sanitarium. I have the names and the dates of the people I talked to. Who told me that Spencer was a resident there on lockdown with no visitors. I figured a case from the FBI will hold more weight than me trying to sue them.”
“Thank you, Doctor Norman.”
“Spencer, can I take a picture? So I can show your mother that you are fine?”
“How about I take Spencer to visit her. He’ll be released this morning, this visit was just to make sure that he’s doing fine. The doctor gave him a clean bill of health and he’s going to be discharged.” Aaron looked down at Spencer and saw that he was nodding his head. The nurse came back in with three cups of Jell-O. One red, one green, and one blue. She set them down on the table at the bedside. She smiled at Spencer and then slipped out.
“Spencer, your…” Norman looked at Aaron and then turned and shut the door. “Your father didn’t try and find you. He said something about knowing it would happen and that he was glad he left when he did. I will contact him if you would like.”
Spencer shook his head.
“I’ll handle that. I’m a lawyer as well as an FBI agent. I’ve kept up that status.”
“William Reid is a lawyer as well. In Summerlin.”
“He was that close?” Spencer asked, his voice a whisper.
Norman’s face kind of broke at that. “I’m sorry Spencer. Yes. He lived twelve miles away. Agent Hotchner, until he can prove to the courts that he’s sane, given his pregnancy it would be best if someone took over as legal guardian so that his child is not taken from him.”
Spencer shifted in the bed and looked up at him with wide eyes. “Children.” His hand moved down to his stomach and he rubbed it. He looked at Aaron. “I have children inside me?”
“A boy and a girl. Spencer have you never had an ultrasound done?” Aaron was shocked and pulled Spencer closer to him.
“No. I never left that house. A boy and a girl?” Spencer looked so excited. He looked down at his stomach with a smile on his face. Norman caught Aaron’s eye and pointed out.
“Spencer, I’m going to go ahead and leave. Don’t worry about calling ahead. Just arrive whenever you can, Agent Hotchner.”
Aaron nodded. Norman pulled the door shut and then the two men were alone. It was still early in the morning. Aaron had hit the point of being awake too long but too afraid to sleep. Spencer hadn’t broken down yet.
“I’m not fragile, Agent Hotchner. I was his captive but he didn’t have my mind. As long as I played along, he never hurt me.”
“How did you know him?”
“We crossed paths once in DC. That’s it. I knew who he was as soon as I woke up in his house instead of in an asylum. I tried to escape a lot that first year. He never broke bones but he beat me hard every single time. I’d look into his neighbors. The one on the left, the husband and wife. I made it into their house and they played along until he came to get me. They handed me over.”
“You aren’t acting like you should be. I’m afraid you are going to crash.”
“This is my third pregnancy, Agent Hotchner. The other two never got to term. I vowed that I was not going to let my child, now children, be raised in that house. I have an IQ of 187. I can play along. Oh, I’m sure that I’ll have issues with things down the road but right now, all I care about is keeping my children safe. Freaking out and having issues is not the way to do that. Doctor Norman is right, I need a guardian. Otherwise the state will step in and take them.”
“I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen. To do that though, I’ll need to leave. Who do you want to come and sit with you?”
“I…” Spencer cocked his head to the side and seemingly got lost in thought. “Who was the blonde lady?”
“JJ? She’s really nice. She’s got a young son at home, Henry. I’ll call her. If you want to talk to me just ask her. Why don’t you eat your Jell-O and then try and take a nap.”
Spencer nodded and grabbed one of the cups.
Spencer was released that afternoon. By then Aaron had temporary guardianship of him. Calls to the Bureau as well as a few well-placed donations from Dave assured that Aaron would have custody of the children if Spencer went into labor before his mental competency wasn’t decided. What he and Dave had done had skirted the line of what was legal but there were time issues on this.
Aaron watched him slowly approach the sitting room his mother was in. She was writing in a journal. Spencer stopped ten feet away from her and reached his hand back. At first Aaron thought he was reaching for Doctor Norman but when the younger man turned to him, Aaron knew that Spencer wanted him. Aaron stepped up behind him, laying a hand on the small of his back.
Something alerted Diana that there were people near her because she looked up. The look of pure joy on her face at seeing Spencer was something that Aaron would never forget. It was looks like those that got him out of bed on the days that he worried that he wasn’t doing enough. She threw her journal to the floor and ran to him. Aaron was afraid she hadn’t seen how pregnant he was but when she slipped to his side to hug him, laying a hand on the swell of his stomach when she pulled back.
“Spencer! Oh my boy.” She looked at Aaron next. “Who are you?”
“Agent Aaron Hotchner, Mrs. Reid. I’m with the FBI. I was part of the team that saved your son last night. One of the local officers recognized him and called Doctor Norman. He visited us this morning. He agreed that waiting to tell you for when you could see him. We have the entire day and Doctor Norman agreed that you could go out with us to eat dinner tonight. I think that Binion’s was mentioned by Spencer. Now I’m going to step over here with Doctor Norman. Spencer remember you need to sit as much as possible. I’m going to push over a chair so you two can talk.”
Aaron found a chair he thought would be comfortable for the pregnant man and scooted it over. Diana fussed over him and coddled him. Smiling as she did. He discussed what was needed for the trip out to eat. Dave had already secured a private dining room and the whole team was going to be there. It’s what Spencer wanted. He was happy to be around people. His OB said that he could go into labor at any point and that given his prior living arrangements that he could go into labor as soon as he felt safe.
The ramification of this case was far reaching. The team was going to be staying to get to the bottom of what had happened to keep Spencer off the radar of the local cops. Strauss was having one of the teams in DC check into how Spencer had been deemed crazy. Strauss was in a turmoil because that meant that both places, the one that Spencer had been at in DC and the one where he was supposed to have gone to in Vegas were going to have to be checked. Every admission. Every person had to be rechecked. Bennington had already volunteered staff and many of the doctors volunteered time to make sure everyone who was there was supposed to be. Aaron was keeping that from Spencer for now.
“I’m glad that today is a good day for Diana. She needs this more than you understand. The anniversary of his abduction was coming up and each year that he wasn’t returned to her, broke her down. I was afraid we were going to lose her to grief.”
“I’m glad that we were able to recover him.”
“You care for him. More than your twenty four hours of knowing him should.”
“I don’t know. I just hate to see him unhappy and I know that he’s been through a lot.”
“What are you plans? Are you going to take him home to Virginia. I remember that he was set to join the FBI before all of this.”
“He was set to join my unit. I’m with the BAU. I remember when he was deemed insane and locked up. The Unit Chief at the time tried to fight it but the hospital he was at wouldn’t allow someone else to talk to him. Our Section Chief at the time ordered him to drop it. I’ll need to get into contact with Gideon to tell him what really happened.”
“Spencer was always very bright and making the decision to place his mother here was one of the worst he’d had to make but he did it because he was doing what was best for her. He’s not fragile, Agent Hotchner and I don’t think that this male who had him would have broken him that much. Bent him and damaged him, yes but broke? No.”
“I’m figuring that out. I’m going to do what he wants. Me and my team are here until we figure out how he was able to be hidden so well, that could be days it could be weeks. My Section Chief knows that I am here until he’s declared competent. After that, I don’t know what my plans are.”
Doctor Norman smiled at him and Aaron wasn’t sure what that meant.
Aaron was asleep on the bed closest to the door in his new hotel room. He’d changed to a double room so that Spencer wouldn’t have to be alone. Dave and Morgan were in the room next to his and JJ and Prentiss were on the other side. Anderson was currently on the team but would be bumped off if a new member was found. Anderson preferred to stay in Quantico but given that the replacement for their last member hadn’t lasted long at all, he was willing to fill in.
“Aaron?” Spencer called out. It had taken nearly an entire day to get the young man to call him anything but Agent Hotchner.
“Spencer?” Aaron asked as he rolled over. Spencer was sitting up in the bed when Aaron saw him. The look on his face was shock. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong. I just…my water broke. I need to get to the hospital to get the C-Section.”
Aaron jumped from his bed and grabbed his phone. He messaged JJ and Prentiss who had offered to be the ones to go with him to the hospital. Dave and Morgan were handling the case and Anderson was keeping up on processing the house. Cracking the door so the girls could get in, Aaron made his way to where Spencer was on the bed. As soon as the girls entered, they took over helping him get changed. Aaron had given over his sweat pants for the man to sleep in and he gave up another pair for him to wear to the hospital. Thankfully the t-shirt wasn’t wet. Spencer swam in it but he hadn’t felt up to shopping as being at Binion’s had taken a great deal out of him.
The mad rush to the hospital took all of Aaron’s thoughts and it seemed natural to push Spencer right into the waiting room for the surgery room that had been prepped for him. The same OB who had seen him the night before was waiting on them when they got there.
“I told you as soon as he felt safe.” The OB smiled at them both. “Now Doctor Reid, we need to get you set up because your contractions are coming pretty close together. Do you want Agent Jareau or Hotchner to come in with you into the room?”
Spencer looked right at Aaron and he nodded. If Spencer wanted him, he’d get him.
Time was a blur for Aaron. He felt like he hadn’t taken a breath until he helped Spencer set up in the bed in his recovery room. The OB thankfully had made sure that the children were not taken from Spencer. Their cots were set up in the room. The head nurse had balked until the OB had taken her aside and explained how he came to be pregnant and how long he’d been captivity. When she had the full knowledge, she agreed readily that keeping the small family together was for the best. She even went as far as to make sure she was the only one attending them.
JJ and Prentiss were the first to see the babies. Spencer had the girl tucked to his chest while the boy was laying on his legs. The nurse was fetching them another set of bottles. Aaron was just waiting for Spencer to crash. He knew it wasn’t going to take long. He could see the tiredness all over his body.
After the second bottles were fed to the babies with Aaron feeding the girl as Spencer wasn’t allowing anyone else to hold them yet that Spencer started to get really sleepy.
“You are going to take him home with you aren’t you?” JJ asked as she looked down at the baby girl.
Aaron wanted to say no. He wanted to tell her that he hadn’t done the one thing on this case he always guarded his team against. But he hadn’t. Instead he’d gotten attached to someone that needed him and he needed as well. He couldn’t leave him or his children behind.
One Year Later
Pulling up to his house, Aaron frowned at the cop cars all around. He wondered for a few seconds what the hell the neighbors had done but then he saw his own front door standing wide open with two cops leaving. He parked the car at the edge of the police tape and jumped out. He was ducking under the tape when a cop ambled up to him.
“Can’t let you past.”
“One, I am an FBI agent. Two, that is my house.” Aaron pulled his badge and let the cop see it before he was waved through. His stomach threatened to turn itself inside out. He stepped inside worried about what he was going to see. The first thing was a body bag. It was already zipped up. He barely held back the bile in his throat. Spencer had survived five years being held captive by a mad man only to die in Aaron’s house.
One of the cops looked up at him and it drew his gaze to the living room area where he saw Jack with the twins. What was Jack doing there?
“…I’m sorry I didn’t kill him with my registered weapon but as I do have this as my address on my driver’s license and I do have a permit to carry a weapon, I don’t see how this is an issue.” It was Spencer. Aaron ran forward, seeing Spencer off to the side. He was covered in blood. Aaron saw another body bag there in the living room on the other side of the couch. “Aaron.”
“Spencer, what happened?”
“I’ve tried to tell these cops four times that the BAU needed to be called. I’ve not been allowed to make a call.”
“Spencer!” Aaron interrupted. The younger man’s eyes focused some as he looked at Aaron.
“I was upstairs asleep when I heard a noise. I grabbed your gun from the safe as mine is in the safe down here. The first thing that I saw was Jack sitting on the bottom of the stairs, gagged with his hands tied in front of him. I cleared the stairs and the entryway and motioned for Jack to stay where he was. That’s when I saw…” Spencer’s eyes tracked to the body bag in the living room. “Haley. She was shot through the head. I heard another noise in the living room and pulled Jack back up the stairs with me. A minute later a man entered the room and when he looked at the stairs he ran towards them. He looked up and saw me and I knew who he was. Aaron, it was the Reaper. I told him to stop and he didn’t, so I shot him.”
“In the center of the forehead,” the officer stated, looking like he didn’t believe him.
“He’s an FBI agent, officer. Just because right now he’s behind a desk doesn’t mean a thing. He’s gone through the training, twice. If that is the Reaper in there, this case just became Federal.” Aaron was quite happy with that. He wasn’t liking that the officer didn’t believe that Spencer could have shot him or allowed him to call out to the proper people. Or even called themselves. He wondered where Spencer’s credentials were.
“I know it is Aaron. A neighbor called in shots fired before I could call it in. I took care of Jack and the gunshot woke the twins up. I worried about them more than calling the cops. They broke your front door entering and Jack’s been the only thing keeping Aria quiet. Carter went right back to sleep and has stayed asleep. I…” Spencer looked at the kids and sighed.
Aaron kept it together long enough for the BAU and the FBI CSU to get to his house. JJ took the kids home with her for the night. That left Aaron with Spencer to worry about. Spencer who on a good day left the house on his own when it didn’t involve the kids needing to go somewhere. It had been a year and Spencer was doing really well. He had joined the FBI and had been placed in the BAU, sort of. He worked from home on most days on cold cases and consults. He had an office inside the BAU but only came into work on really good days. Those goods days had been getting more and more. A nanny had been hired in using the settlement that the Bureau had pushed through for him from the two sanitariums who had employees that had helped cover up his kidnapping as well as a small settlement from the Las Vegas PD about not investigating a case of a missing person at all.
Their weird little family had only been living in the house six months. Aaron had put up half of the money and Spencer the other half to buy the place. It was closer to Quantico than the apartment had been and it was in a quiet neighborhood. There was a backyard for the weekends that Jack visited. The little boy had taken to the twins and even Spencer really well. Haley had been upset at first, a man from a case moving in with Aaron to his small apartment with newborn twins but once she had met him and talked to him, she’d fallen in love. It actually hadn’t been that strange to find Haley and Jack visiting when he got home from work and especially home from cases. Haley shared all her knowledge and helped Spencer as he got used to caring for the twins. Aaron and Haley’s relationship was back to where they could be civil and nice to each other.
The locals were not happy about having to let go of the case but given that the house belonged to a federal agent, a federal agent shot the man, the man in question had committed crimes now in two states, and he was a wanted fugitive, there was no way for them to make a case that they could hold jurisdiction. It wasn’t hard for CSU to confirm that Haley had been killed in their old house. The doors to the house were shut when Morgan and Prentiss had arrived but not locked. There was blood everywhere. Aaron was happy that the pictures he saw were on his phone. He’d have to see them later, in large technicolor but for now it wasn’t as bad as it could be.
Haley’s sister, Jessica was outside, having arrived after the locals had called her. She wanted Jack but right now she was too emotional and she understood that Jack wasn’t being kept from her. She just needed to calm down.
“Aaron, they found my credentials. In the car he transported Haley and Jack here in. Emily’s current theory is that Foyet brought in Jack or Haley and then found my credentials sitting on the stand and took them to use later. They also found Morgan’s.”
“Morgan will be happy of that. Do we know what he had planned?”
Dave stepped up to them. “Jack told me that Foyet told him that he had plans to display Haley’s body for you to find in the living room. The bodies of the twins on the stairs. Reid’s body was going to be staged on the bed. Jack couldn’t remember the words that Foyet used but he said it had something to do with a dog, so I would say the term he used was doggie style. He was going to wait until you entered Jack’s room before he shot him. Jack didn’t see Haley get shot but he heard it.”
“He went insane,” Spencer said.
“Why would he stage Reid on the bed in the master bedroom? Anyone who looks at the house can tell that you two are not a couple.” Dave looked around and Aaron really looked at the place for the first time. The older man was right. There was a definite segregation to everything in the house. Spencer’s things were gathered around a oversized reading chair in a corner while Aaron’s was scattered on the mantle. Pictures of the kids were everywhere. Aaron even thought about the bathrooms on the second floor. Aaron used the one off the master bedroom while Spencer and Jack shared one. There was nothing of Spencer’s in Aaron’s bathroom and nothing of Aaron’s in the younger man’s. It was also easy to tell that Aaron slept alone. Spencer only had a twin mattress in his room as he wanted the space for books.
Dave looked at Spencer and then back at Aaron with a raised eyebrow and it was then that he got it. Foyet had been watching him. He’d seen what the rest of the team saw. He was pretty sure he’d been in love with the shy genius since the moment that Spencer had held Aria in the hospital. He never regretted having the man move in with him. Spencer wasn’t ready for a relationship, Aaron wasn’t sure he ever would be.
When Aaron had brought up buying a house since the twins were getting bigger and would need a room to themselves soon, Spencer had talked about buying a house on his own. Aaron hadn’t wanted him to go but it was Jack who had pressed the issue. The genius had brought up where he’d want to live. Jack had been distraught. It had been a weekend that Jack had been over and when Spencer had brought out the papers he’d compiled on places to move into. Jack had cried. He didn’t want the twins to move away. Neither adult had known what to do with a crying Jack.
Then Aaron had come home from a case and found Haley, Jack, and Spencer in the apartment looking at papers. The twins were with Jessica so that the three of them could pick a house for Aaron, Spencer, and the twins to move into that had enough room for Jack and a guest room. It ended with him and Spencer putting in a bid on a nice house. Haley knew him well enough that all the houses they had picked out were perfect for him. Spencer and Jack had been the deciding factors. The final decision had come when Spencer had looked in the attic and seen that it had been set up as a library at one point in time.
“Look, why don’t we go get the twins and Jack, and even Jessica and go back to my house?” Dave asked.
Aaron looked at him. Dave was very private and for him to open up his house for even a short time meant that he was worried. Looking at Spencer, Aaron could see why. Spencer looked close to breaking.
“I’ll pick up the kids. Do you mind taking Spencer and Jessica with you?”
“No,” Spencer said. He looked at Aaron with such pleading in his eyes but Aaron just stepped closer to him.
“It’s going to take CSU a while to clear the house and we don’t need to be here for it. Jack needs me. The twins need you. If you want we’ll stay in a hotel.”
“I don’t want to be alone.”
“You’ll have Dave and Jessica, Spencer.” Aaron touched his face to pull his gaze back to him. “It’ll only be a short while.
“I’m going with you to get the kids, Aaron.” Spencer’s voice was hard and the look in his eyes told Aaron that he wasn’t going to win. He’d just get in his car and drive himself. Spencer was a stubborn man. He nodded his consent and Spencer finally relaxed. Aaron caught Dave’s eye and motioned that they should leave. The other agents had it well in hand.
That night at Dave’s Aaron was almost fully asleep when he heard his bedroom door open. He rolled over and saw Spencer carrying Jack in his arms. The little boy was sobbing. Aaron sat up and as soon as the younger man neared him, Jack jumped from his arms. Jack had wanted to sleep in the room with the twins in the pack ‘n play that JJ had let them borrow as theirs was evidence for now.
“Pence, stay,” Jack whispered.
Aaron shifted over in the bed and made room for Spencer to lay down. Other than the kids, Spencer hadn’t slept in the same bed as someone since he’d been freed from his kidnapper and even then that man rarely slept in bed with him. The genius laid down, under the covers and Jack shifted to where he was off his dad and on the bed, Touching the both of them. There was a baby monitor on the nightstand, Aaron wondered why he hadn’t heard Jack crying.
Spencer shifted on the bed and he could see why, Spencer’s eyes were wide open. He’d been in the room with the kids. He’d probably shut off the monitor so that Aaron couldn’t get woken up.
“Closer, Pence,” Jack begged as he tucked himself tighter into Aaron. Spencer shifted closer but it left him with nowhere to put his arm. Aaron reached over and pulled it to lay on his hip, overtop of Jack. Aaron draped one of his arms across the tops of the pillows and started to rub at Spencer’s head.
Jack dropped off to sleep quickly with Aaron and Spencer wrapped around him.
“Foyet knew you love me, didn’t he?” Spencer asked.
Aaron snapped his eyes open and looked at Spencer. The younger man was just staring at him. He knew that he shouldn’t have been as surprised as he was.
“Yes. I never…we didn’t expect him to go after me like this. It doesn’t fit the profile we have for him. Of course, we don’t know what he would have done if the detective on the original case had turned down his deal but this…We never suspected this.”
“What’s going to happen with Haley’s family? Jessica seemed pretty upset in general. Are their parents going to try and get custody?”
“I don’t know. That’s a worry for another day.” Aaron moved his hand from head to cheek, slipping it between skin and pillow. “Is this okay?”
“I’d tell you if it wasn’t. Don’t worry, Aaron. I can make it clear what I want and don’t want. I don’t know how I would be if Jack wasn’t in this bed. I care for you and I don’t know how far that caring goes. I can see myself with you, in a sexual way but I don’t know how long it’s going to be before I feel like I can do sex.”
“I’m not going to demand sex, Spencer. Don’t push yourself with this either. We move at whatever pace you want.”
“My therapist has been asking me to broach this with you. Either as asking you how you feel, I’ve not told her that I know how you felt or as finding someone to help me. Immersion therapy, as it were. I’d rather it be you.”
“How long have you known? That I love you?”
“Since that night that Jack stayed over and we all camped out in the living room. So four months.”
“I think I fell in love the first time you held Aria.”
“That long?” Spencer looked shocked.
“I’m fairly certain. I wasn’t even going to bring up anything until you were more settled. I never want to hurt you. You are so strong. I don’t know if I would have survived living like that for five years.”
“My therapist had been a little worried about reactions with the kids as they grew older. I told her that I don’t see the man who took me as their father. Sperm donor yes, but father. That’s you. You love them so much. How can I not care for someone who has done so much to make me feel safe? I’m grateful for what you have done but I’m not equating that with love.”
“I’m glad but we need sleep. We can talk about all of this later. I know you haven’t slept any.” Aaron started to rub at Spencer’s head again, knowing from nightmares it would put him to sleep quickly. Spencer hummed and shut his eyes. curling tighter around Jack and letting his body relax. Only when he was sure that both his guys were asleep did he let himself finally nod off.