Title: It’s A Boy!
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Spencer Reid, Jack Hotchner,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 8
Prompt: Established H/R. The first time Jack calls Reid “papa” or a variant thereof.
Notes: No Beth, no Maeve. You can visit the HxR Prompt Meme HERE!
Spencer settled another load of freshly laundered clothes onto the bed and started to fold them. Everything went into three different piles. One to be hung up in the closet, one that went into the drawers, and the third pile to a consignment shop three blocks down that Spencer found a lot of nice clothes at. He shopped there sometimes when he wanted to find off the wall things. He’d taken Jack there just two days before and the boy had found so many clothes that it had prompted a cleaning out of Jack’s closet. The things that Jack wanted to take to the shop were just waiting Aaron’s approval before they were taken there. The cleaning out of seven year old’s closet had prompted Spencer to finally get the last of his things from storage and move them into Aaron’s, their apartment. It was all clothes that he’d been grabbing a box at a time.
Aaron was away at a conference with Rossi in LA for a week and it was summer so Jack was home from school. Jack had been given the choice of staying home with Spencer or spending the week with Jessica. Spencer had been shocked when the young boy had chosen to stay home with him. It was the first time that he’d done anything like that. Spencer didn’t mind as the whole team was given the week off as a well since most of them were at the point where they were going to lose time off if they didn’t use it.
Jack was asleep in bed and Spencer was taking advantage of the time to just unwind. Sorting the clothes was calming to him. When the bed was empty, Spencer remade it with the clean sheets and laid down to read. He’d found a new used book store the weeks before and was making his way through their offerings. It was the rare moment when he was home without Aaron and he wasn’t sure what to do with himself.
The shifting of the bed woke him up. He set his book aside as he recognized the shape of Jack. The boy was under the covers and cuddled into Spencer’s side before Spencer was fully awake. There was only the bedside lamp on so there was darkness on Jack’s edge of the bed.
“I don’t feel good, Papa. I think I caught Aunt Jessica’s summer cold. My body aches and I’m cold.”
Spencer reached under the bed on his side and grabbed the heavy blanket there. It was for the nights when he was cold. He sat up and flipped the light blanket up to cover Jack with the heavy one and then the light one over top it. Jack cuddled back into his side. “I need to get some fever reducer in you before you go to sleep.”
Jack reluctantly let him go. Spencer went to the cabinet in the bathroom that held the medicines for Jack. The children’s Tylenol was right at the front and he read the back even though he knew the dose. This was Jack. He didn’t want to make a mistake. He poured out the dose and carried it into the bedroom. Jack was on Aaron’s side of the bed with a pillow under head. When Spencer sat on the bed, he rolled over and leaned up to take the dosage cup. Jack always took medicine with no issue.
JJ talked about how hard it was sometimes to Henry to take anything. Jack was a wonderful kid and Spencer loved him.
“Can I sleep with you?”
“Of course.” Spencer laid down and covered himself with the blanket. Jack rolled into his side and scooted to where back was up against Spencer’s side. Spencer reached up and touched the base of the lamp to turn it off before he set his glasses on the table.
It was thirty minutes before Jack slipped into sleep and Spencer allowed himself to started to drop off again. He just on the edge slipping when Jack’s words came back to him. There was one word that Spencer had never heard before. Jack had called him Papa. He sat up and looked down at the boy. Jack was dead asleep but he didn’t want to leave the bed. He wanted to talk to Aaron though.
Grabbing his phone he silenced it before he texted that the other man needed to call him. It was after midnight local so it was after nine where Aaron was.
It was under a minute when his phone lit up.
“Spencer, what is wrong?”
“He called me Papa, Aaron. He crawled into bed with me because he didn’t feel well and called me Papa.” Spencer knew his voice sounded panicked but he didn’t care. He wanted Aaron to tell him anything that would calm his now racing heart. He loved Jack, that was never in question. He’d agreed to be a father to the boy when he’d accepted moving in with Aaron and him. He’d just never let the thought Jack would want to call him anything other than Spencer enter his mind.
“You sound shocked.” The tone was like he’d stated a fact but Spencer could hear amusement in it. It was a purely Aaron tone. “Spencer, he loves you. You know that.”
“There is a difference between loving someone and seeing them as a father figure.” Unspoken was that not all father’s deserved the name.
“You didn’t…Pen, last week he gave a five page report on what his parents do for work.”
“Yes. He went over your job and even talked about Haley being a stay at home mom. I remember him talking about it.”
“You were working on that ASAP consult, I should have known you weren’t listening the whole time. He talked about my budget meetings and catching the bad guys. Spencer, he took visual aides. He took a geographic profile with him. That one you two made when his bike went missing two months ago. He even took a copy of that math proof you’ve been working on. He talked about the lectures you do and the papers you write. Haley and I got two pages, the other three were on you. The things you do that I don’t in the job but the rest on your academics. We both catch bad guys but you do better things than meetings and budgets.”
“I…” Spencer didn’t know what to say to that. He looked down at Jack who was wrapped up in the blanket so tight. His face was flush with fever. Spencer’s vision blurred and his words caught in his throat. The Hotchner men had a way of making him vulnerable in ways he never thought he’d allow himself to be. They blindsided him with the depth of their love. He’d told Jack loved him all the time. The boy said it back every time but he told all of his aunts and uncles that. Spencer had never thought it would any different than that. He’d been content. He would have happy with that for the rest of his life. Jack had two parents who loved him. His mother died protecting him. No one would have said a thing if he’d never accepted another parental figure.
Tears tracked down his face and Spencer couldn’t do a thing other than just let them fall. He laid down again and as soon as he was settled with the phone at his ear, Jack rolled over and laid his head on Spencer’s arm. His body was shivering with the fever. He was seeking out warmth and trusted that Spencer would help him.
“Tomorrow, I’m not needed. Dave can give lecture. I can fly home for the day.”
“We are fine, Aaron,” Spencer managed to get out. “We can spend tomorrow on that Star Wars marathon Jack has been wanting to do. I’ll go the store and get the comfort food he likes and then we can veg on the couch all day. You stay there. I have this under control.”
“Call me you need to talk.”
“I will. I love you.”
“Love you, too. Goodnight.”
“Night.” Spencer hung up and set the phone back onto the table, trying not to disturb the sleeping boy. Any sleepiness he had was gone. He curled around Jack as much as he could with keeping his arm in place. He thought about how he could never leave Jack. That he’d kill his own heart before he’d do that to him.
Finally, hours later the steady breathing of his son lulled him to sleep.