Series: The Alphabet Game
Fandom: Criminal Minds, NCIS,
Year: Season 7
Tags: Angst, Pre-Slash,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Curiosity (The Cat), Abby Sciuto,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: Aaron goes to apologize to Spencer just leaving like he did after the kiss and finds that Spencer has other company.
It took three cases for Aaron get up the nerve to decide that he needed to talk to Spencer about the kiss and why he ran. The coldness between them was noticeable by the entire team and it wouldn’t be long before one of them took a stand and approached either him or the genius. Spencer hadn’t done a single thing to call attention to him while in the office. He didn’t act like anything was wrong. He talked to Aaron when he needed to for work. Cases they were still like there wasn’t this huge gaping thing between them. There was just enough of a fissure there though that there were glances when they were near each other.
He couldn’t count the number of times that he’d picked up his cell phone to call Spencer to apologize for running away. Or the number of times that he’d picked up his keys to just go to him. Three times before now he’d actually made it to Spencer’s building. But he just sat there looking up. Seeing flickers of movement. Shadows on curtains that told him the man in question was moving around. And the one time that he knew Spencer was home but never saw a whisper of movement.
Guilt was an emotion that Aaron knew well. He had guilt on not being able to save Haley. He’d processed the self blame because otherwise it would have crippled him but there would always be a bit of guilt when he thought of her. That his son would be without his mother but there was only so much that he knew he could take of that guilt. He had to let it go.
He had guilt over not being to help Elle Greenaway more. On not being able to save Gideon from the demons inside of his own mind. For listening to Gideon when it came to Spencer in the aftermath of Georgia.
But he didn’t let that guilt rule his life, he couldn’t. He let it push him do better. Which was why he was parked outside Spencer’s flat. The building just short enough that he could see the flat above. There was movement and he watched as a curtained opened. Curiosity jumped up into the sill and settled there, looking out. Spencer was behind him, and what looked like a glass of wine in his hand.
From the distance, Aaron couldn’t tell if he was contemplative or sad. He wanted to be up there right then so that he could move up behind him and wrap his arms around him. Rest his head on his shoulder and just be with him. There wasn’t a way to do that though. If he went up there, there would have to be a long discussion. He wanted there to be. He didn’t want Spencer to think he wanted just a roll in bed.
That was why he had run. He hadn’t meant to kiss Spencer. He didn’t want a kiss to be the start of their relationship. He knew enough of the failed starts of things for Spencer, dates and things to know that Spencer was uncomfortable with displays of affection. JJ had been the first to break through, Morgan the second. There still the edge to the allowance though.
Strangely, it was Prentiss who had all access permission to touch. He’d seen that friendship grow with a happy eye. Sometimes even though JJ, Morgan, Garcia, and himself had known him the longest, there were times that she understood him better. She was the one he went to with his headaches. She the best with his weird likes in films and books. After her return from the dead, she found a showing of Solaris and took Spencer on a trip to New York to see it. Aaron never asked but there had something there that was private between them.
Movement caught Aaron’s eye and he saw Abby step up to the window, right to Spencer’s side. She touched his elbow and he raised up his arm to draw her into his side. She had a glass of something in her hand that she sat down on the sill. Her hand moved towards Curiosity, who jumped down away. Aaron smiled at that.
Aaron wished he was closer and could read lips. Spencer was saying something and Abby was smiling. She turned in his hold and wrapped herself around him. Spencer leaned slightly over so he could set his glass down. Then he wrapped one arm around her waist and cupped the back of her head with the other. They stood like that for several long minutes. His lips in constant motion.
Hand on the door handle, Aaron was about ready to get out when Abby pulled away from Spencer. She grabbed his hand and started to pull him away. The look on her face. Aaron stopped and it all fell into place. She had been jealous. The night of the game. She had been possessive but jealous as well. He felt ready to throw up.
Aaron was happy now that he’d left before talking that night of the kiss. It seemed that no matter what Spencer’s eyes were saying, he was taken. He was dating Abby. And he never would have been able to sit through Spencer telling him that he was a great friend. The only reason the kiss had to have gone on as long as it had was shock. He slumped back into his seat and stared ahead not looking at the building. His heart was breaking. He wondered if it had started after that night of gaming. Had her attitude pushed her into telling him?
In his peripheral vision, Aaron watched as the lights in the flat went out. He started his car. Resigning himself to a night spent on the couch at home. There was something about sleeping alone in his own bed that had his skin crawling. As he flicked on his headlights, he missed the woman leaving the building with a parasol on her shoulder. Instead he drove, vowing to put as much distance as he could between him and Spencer for the sake of his own heart.