Series: The Alphabet Game
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Season 7
Tags: Pre-Slash, Asshole Aaron, Bitchy Spencer, Slow Build,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, Derek Morgan, David Rossi, Emily Prentiss, Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Penelope Garcia,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: Hardass Hotch was always there. Under the mask that Aaron wore to work every day. It had just been so long since anyone on the team had seen him outside of hard cases.
Notes: I promise that why Aaron is an asshole is explained in better detail in later fics. I PROMISE!
Spencer set his things down on his desk. He looked up to Aaron’s office, seeing the light on he grabbed the coffee from the holder, smiling. He’d had a good talk with Abby the night before. Now that she understood the whole breadth of his feelings, she was more than willing to listen to him. He’d made sure to let her know that while he liked Tim as a friend, there wasn’t anything there and her being upset at him because of that spoke of childishness.
After he’d bared his soul to her, she’d pulled him away from the window and sat him down on the couch to watch some TV and relax then she left. He’d watched two hours of a random science show while he thought about what he needed to do. Aaron had been ignoring him for weeks and it was time to put it to a stop. Hence, the coffee. He’d left home early to get it and get into work before the rest of the team.
As Spencer moved towards the stairs, he saw Aaron stand up. He stopped at the bottom to wait. The look on Aaron’s face had Spencer’s stomach churning.
“Good, you came in early, Reid. Did you get the Flagstaff consult done?” The no nonsense tone was back. Spencer hadn’t heard it since Prentiss had come back.
“Garcia didn’t give it to me until I was on my way home. I was going to look at it first thing and have it up to you before the detective’s shift started.”
“You don’t work on anything but it. They want it ASAP.”
“Okay.” Spencer took a step up the stairs but stopped at the look that Aaron gave him. He stepped back down.
“When you are done with that I have more work for you. I’d plan on eating at your desk. You are going to be busy all day.”
“I can do that.” Spencer moved to offer the coffee again but Aaron stared at him with a hard look on his face. He just stared back.
“Then what are you doing standing and gawking at me?”
“Sorry, Sir.” Spencer turned and went to his desk. He set the coffee that he’d got for the man down. He cleared his desk of everything he didn’t need and started to work on the Flagstaff consult. He looked at the drip coffee, deciding to drink it warm and have his flavored coffee drink cold. He hated drinking plain coffee cold.
Half an hour later, Morgan and Rossi entered the bullpen. Spencer looked up and smiled at them.
“Morning, Pretty Boy!” Morgan said with a huge on his face.
“Morning, Morgan. Rossi.”
“Reid!” Aaron’s voice echoed around the empty room. “Are you done with that consult?”
“Then you don’t have time to talk!” Aaron went right back into his office. Rossi looked up at the office with a frown on his face.
“Better go.” Spencer mumbled. Morgan clasped his shoulder and squeezed. Rossi just nodded. A few minutes later, JJ, Garcia, and Prentiss entered. Spencer ignored them, feeling Aaron’s eyes on him. He had the consult done and dropped on Aaron’s desk within twenty minutes. He didn’t even look at the man until he sat down at his desk. He watched Aaron as he read over it. The scowl on his face told Spencer that his day was going to get worse. He would love to know what happened overnight to turn Aaron from trying his hardest to never have to talk to him in the office to now seemingly being a hardass. It had been a while since this Aaron had been seen in the office.
Lunch rolled around and Spencer was happy to have at least a few minutes break. He’d waved off the rest of the team as he’d brought his lunch so he moved to the kitchenette to warm it up. He’d just popped it in the microwave when he heard footsteps behind him.
“Reid, what are you doing?”
Spencer didn’t even turn to answer, he just spoke. “I’m warming up my lunch.”
“What’s taking so long?”
Spencer turned around to look at his boss. “It takes two minutes and twenty seconds for my food to warm up. It took five seconds to cross the room. Ten to open fridge, pop the lid, and get it into the microwave. It’ll take fifteen to stir it once it is done and get back to my desk. So if I don’t have the time for a three minute break to get my lunch, I guess things are dire in the of land of paperwork. On cases we have time to eat.” Spencer held Aaron’s eyes. He wasn’t going to look away. Even when the microwave beeped, Spencer didn’t look away.
Aaron just stared for eight more seconds. “Get back to work.”
Spencer felt like being a bitch. “Sir, yes, Sir.” He side stepped Aaron and moved back to his desk. Leaving his food in the microwave. His appetite was gone. As soon as he sat down he picked up his phone with his left hand and slipped it into his lap. Texting by spatial memory was easy. He asked Morgan to pick him up some of his favorite granola bars from the grocery store in Quantico. Aaron hadn’t left the kitchen yet and he was curious if the other man was going to bring him his food. Instead, Aaron left with a cup of coffee in hand.
When Morgan set the big box of bars on his desk, Spencer smiled at him. “Hotch being a hardass?”
“Its nothing I can’t handle. But can you throw my food away that is in the microwave?”
“Granola bars for lunch? Reid, you need to eat something more substantial.”
“I had a big breakfast and after my confrontation with Hotch, I lost my appetite. I’ll be fine. Just go before he yells again.”
“Alright. Holler if you need me.” Morgan patted his shoulder and then left. Spencer put the box away after getting out three bars. He nibbled at the first, trying to calm his stomach while working his last file for the day. His anger at Aaron was making him work rather efficiently. The rest of the team arrived as Hotch was leaving his office with a stack of files. The older man set them down on the corner of Spencer’s desk.
“Anderson is pulling the rest. I want summary write ups for all of them.”
“Okay.” Spencer opened the top file. That stack and the one that Anderson was bringing would keep him busy the rest of the day.
“You aren’t allowed to leave until they are done.”
“Sure.” Spencer smiled because it would piss off Aaron. He then turned back to the file he was finishing. Then a gasp drew his eyes up. Anderson had a hand truck with six more boxes on it. He watched as Garcia texted something and figured that Morgan would be on his way. “Thank you for making sure I have enough work, Sir.”
Spencer signed his name to the file he was done with and turned back to Garcia. He held up the stack and she moved to take it from him.
“I can handle this. Go get your work done. I can handle Hotch. You way lay Morgan.”
“If you’re sure.”
“I am.” Spencer nodded his head towards the others and Garcia moved to them. Prentiss gave him an encouraging smile and he smiled back.
When the time came for everyone else to pack it in, Spencer was twenty one percent of the way done. Morgan, Garcia, JJ, and Prentiss left together, with Spencer waving them away. Aaron left not long after, not having said another word to Spencer. It wasn’t subtle, Rossi leaving his office and beelining for Spencer’s desk the moment the elevator doors shut on Aaron.
“What exactly happened between you two?” Rossi asked as he sat on the side of Spencer’s desk.
Spencer looked at him. He just stared back. “You’ve had to have made an assumption about my sexuality after four years. What is it?”
Rossi relaxed a little. “You don’t care about looks, or gender. So pansexual.”
“That’s very good. I thought you’d go for bisexual.”
“If it was anyone else.” Rossi eyed him for a second. “What does that have to do with how Aaron is treating you?”
“Before, I would have described myself as panromantic. I’d never felt sexual attraction to someone before. Asexual was the term I used for ease of understanding. Right up until I got an erection in direct relation to Aaron, in a car on a stake out.” Spencer watched as Rossi processed what he had said.
“And he is freaked out because of that?”
“I don’t know what he is feeling. That was months ago. I thought we were dancing around something. Taking it slow. Then he kisses me, runs away, doesn’t let himself be alone with me for weeks, and now this. I am not telling you this because I want help. I can handle Aaron. I need you to handle the rest of the team. Aaron needs to figure out what is causing his anger and talk to me.”
“I’m not discounting the bits with Aaron. I’m getting a handle on you first. You have changed your own view of your sexuality to Demisexual and didn’t freak out. I don’t know what is going through his mind. His is not a crisis of sexual identity. He’s talked about attraction to men before. The kiss seems like the issue but why did he run?”
“Aaron’s mind is hard to figure out on best of days.”
Rossi laughed. “I’ll have pizza delivered and I’ll make sure security runs it up. Just don’t give in.”
“I’m not. I don’t know what he thinks this is going to do but I’ll play it to the end. Thanks for dinner.”
Spencer tucked back into the files as the other man went back to his office. He didn’t emerge until a pizza was placed in front of him with a half gallon of milk. He looked up into the eyes of Gary. The man had been a security guard for longer than Spencer had worked there.
“Agent Rossi said to make sure you ate.”
“Okay.” Spencer lifted the lid and grabbed a slice. It was from Rossi’s favorite place. Gary set down a cup with a smile and moved away. Spencer inhaled half of the pizza and two glasses of milk before he slipped the pizza under an edge of the desk and put the milk in the fridge with his name on it. He didn’t expect it would make it to morning but just to be safe. The rest of the pizza was consumed cold at two a.m. when he needed a pick me up and the milk didn’t last long after.
It was five a.m. when he closed the last file. He sat back and looked at the file before stuffing it into the box. He was tired but he’d been more tired on cases. Aaron didn’t think through leaving him with what amounted to seven boxes of work with him. The older man would have to go through all of them and for Spencer it was a form of payback. With the rate at which Aaron was able to go through summary writeups, it was going to take him months.
By the time that Aaron walked into the bullpen, all of the boxes were in his office waiting on him. Spencer was already working on the files that Garcia had prepared for the team to work on the day before. He was taking his time. Garcia had picked really awesome cases for him to consult on. The hardest and weirdest.
“Reid, what is all of this?” Aaron asked as he stepped out of his office. He looked back into the room and it was then that the elevator opened the rest of the team exited. Rossi didn’t look shocked to see him there but the others did.
“It’s the files, Sir.”
Morgan stepped up behind Spencer with Rossi at his side, he recognized the scents of their cologne. He heard JJ’s heels and the soft padding of Prentiss’s flats. Garcia’s heels were louder but farther back. A cup of coffee from his favorite place was set down beside him and Rossi’s hand retreated.
“What the hell are you playing at? You aren’t ready for a case! Are we supposed to let you nap while we all work?” Aaron demanded. He took a few steps down to the lower floor and Spencer just stayed sitting. “How early did you come in to work on these?”
“I never left.”
“I ask again, what the hell were you thinking?”
“I’m doing what you told me, Sir. Your exact words were ‘You aren’t allowed to leave until they are done.’ Sir.”
“It’s true, Aaron.” Rossi’s voice was strong and Spencer tilted his head to smile at him. “You did say that.”
“You are an adult, Reid. You knew better than to stay here all night.”
“Your last order, Hotch was to tell me that I wasn’t allowed to leave until I finished the files. I followed your order that you gave me and not the unspoken one. Unspoken things are what got us into this mess.”
“Go home, Reid. Get some sleep and come back in at two.”
“I’m staying. I’ve eaten and I took a small nap after I finished the files and before Gary called me to let me know you were on your way in. I have work that I need to get done. Enjoy your work.” Spencer turned his chair around, taking a sip of the coffee before looking at his case file. Morgan ruffled his hair and he took a few seconds to right it before JJ kissed his cheek. He was happy that they were letting him handle this. His phone vibrated and he looked at it. Atta boy.
If this got whatever stick was in Aaron’s ass out, it was worth it. Even if it only partially removed it, it was worth it. He was looking forward to his bed tonight though. He was looking forward to just crashing and not getting up for at least eight hours.