Series: A Universe of Meetings
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Category: AU: Neighbors, First Time,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 10,
Summary: When Spencer Reid moved next door to Aaron and Jack Hotchner, Aaron never thought the shy man would be his future.
Warnings: Main Character Death,
Aaron Hotchner had been living in his current house since he’d moved out of the apartment that he’d moved into after his wife had left him. The was seven years ago. When his ex-wife died in a car crash just two years later, he’d been ever thankful for the house. For the entire seven years that he’d lived in the house no one had bought the house next door. Whoever owned it cared for it. The grass was cut weekly, the plants and trees maintained but a ‘For Sale’ sign was a permanent fixture in the front yard. He never figured out why. It was a very large house, the largest on the block.
So one day when he came home from his Saturday shopping and found a moving van in the driveway and the ‘For Sale’ sign gone, Aaron was surprised. He tried to watch as furniture was moved in to see what kind of person or family was moving in. That told him nothing though. He watched as box after box was moved in and then after that was a little bit of furniture. There was even a little bit of art. Nothing though that told him a single thing of who this person or family was that was moving in.
Aaron watched on and off the rest of the day through as the movers did more than just move the stuff in. They actually set up the entire house. His son Jack was able to be a little more on the head about watching, he actually set up in the tree in the backyard with binoculars and spied the entire day. Aaron knew that he should have stopped him but someone moving into the house was going to be the talk of the neighborhood.
Night fell and no one entered the house after the movers left. Jack went to be disappointed. He really wanted to see who was moving in because he wanted new friends to play with. Aaron had explained that they didn’t know if there were kids and he’d refuted that toys had been moved in.
By the time that Aaron woke up on Sunday morning, he was just as excited to meet the family that moved in next door. He had breakfast for the two of them started when he looked up and saw a man in the kitchen of the house. The man was leaning against the counter that was under the window that faced Aaron’s house. He could only see a profile of the man the man was very nice looking. He was thin but Aaron couldn’t tell if that was because he was just a thin person or he was someone who tried to be thin. The man was waiting for something, given the tapping on the counter his fingers were doing. Aaron watched as the man kept looking at something and then finally after two more minutes moved out of the way of the window.
When the man reappeared a minute later, he was carrying a coffee cup and a bowl of sugar. Aaron watched as the man spooned a massive amount of sugar into his coffee and took a sip. When the man smiled, Aaron felt his heart flutter. It had been a long time since he’d found that a man interested him. Long before he’d married Haley.
Then a woman stepped up and kissed the man on the cheek and Aaron’s heart plummeted. Jack had been right it was a family. A kid came running into the kitchen and the man picked him up, after setting down his coffee cup. The kid was speaking to the man and the man was nodding back. Aaron decided that he needed to step away from the window. He moved to the front door to pick up the paper and decided to just take in the morning air for a few minutes.
“Thanks so much, Spence. Henry had been looking forward to a month with you but having to move up the honeymoon and the wedding, we were afraid you wouldn’t be moved in in time. He moped for days.”
Aaron turned to see the man and the woman on the front porch of the other house. The kid was nowhere to be seen. They weren’t a couple. The kid wasn’t even his.
“Anything for my Godson, JJ. Now you go and have fun on your honeymoon. Tell Will hi and thank him again for the name of the company who got me unpacked,” Spence said as he leaned over and kissed her cheek, all but shoving her off the porch. She laughed and looked around, seeing Aaron on his own front porch, staring.
“I’ll let him know. By the way, I think that your neighbor is awake.” JJ pointed and Spence turned to look. Aaron couldn’t read the look on his face. At this point there was no way to make it look like he wasn’t staring so he moved towards them.
“Hi!” Aaron said as he waved. When he got close enough he held out his hand but Spence never offered to take it.
“Sorry. I don’t shake hands. Spencer Reid.” Spencer waved back at him but JJ reached out her hand. The handshake was strong and it shocked Aaron a little.
“JJ Jareau. You are?” JJ looked at him like she could see what his thoughts were.
“Uncle Pence!” a kid yelled as he ran into the back of Spencer’s legs. “Uncle Pence!”
“Yes, Henry?” Spencer looked down at him with a smile on his face.
“There is a boy across the fence who wants to come over and play. Can we go to my room and play?”
“Boy?” Spencer asked as he moved around the side of the house to look at the fence in question.
“That would be my son, Jack.” Aaron followed Spencer, JJ, and Henry as they moved to the fence. Jack ran up to meet them, opening the gate and then closing it. He stuck out his hand and JJ shook it but Spencer just waved.
“Hi, I’m Jack.”
“Hi Jack. My name is Spencer and this is Henry and his mother, JJ. So how old are you?” Spencer was looking at him like they were having the most interesting conversation.
“I’m nine. How old are you Henry?”
“Dad can I go play with Henry in his room?” Jack finally turned to look at his dad.
“You’ve not ate breakfast yet.”
“Neither have we. I was just getting ready to start up some pancakes for Henry, I don’t mind making more for Jack.”
“You just moved in. You don’t need to worry about feeding my son.”
Aaron came home from work, confused to see Spencer sitting on his front porch steps. Henry was staying a few nights with a friend for a birthday celebration. Aaron shut his car door and the younger man didn’t react at all. His head was bowed and he looked like a perfect picture of sorrow.
Setting down his briefcase on the top step, right beside Spencer didn’t pull the genius out of his thoughts.
“Spencer?” Aaron asked. When the younger man finally looked up, Aaron dropped to his knees in front of him. “What happened?”
“Penelope called. They were driving and a semi truck driver crashed into them. He was drunk. They were DOA when the cops arrived.”
“Who?” Aaron asked but he had a feeling he knew who it was.
“How do I tell him that his parents are dead? How do I ruin his perfect world?” There were no tears on his face but Aaron could tell he’d been crying. He’d probably run out of tears.
“Oh, Spencer.” Aaron pulled the younger man into his arms and just held him.