Series: The Alphabet Game
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Season 7
Tags: Pre-Slash, Food Porn, Relationship Negotiation,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Curiosity (The Cat),
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: It’s a date night at Spencer’s place for the boys.
Notes: Thanks to rivermoon1970 for all the food.
Aaron knew that he shouldn’t be nervous. He’d been to Spencer’s plenty of times but this was the first time that it was going to be a date. Or he thought it was a date. He’d spent enough time worrying of what he was wearing and in the end had just gone with his gut. It felt like a date so he dressed nice enough for that but casual enough as well that it didn’t look like he was trying that hard, just in case it wasn’t a date. He had a bottle of wine in his hand and before he even knocked, he heard nails on the floor then a white paw was reaching under the door. His heart ached at how much he’d missed the kitten. He squatted, shifting the wine to one hand and played with Curiosity until the kitten meowed and wouldn’t stop meowing. He wondered how the kitten knew that he was there. He was down there with fingers under the door when it opened.
Looking up into Spencer’s smiling face, Aaron lost his voice. Spencer wasn’t dressed in his normal clothes at all. He was in a pair of black slacks but the sweater that he was wearing told Aaron that this was a date. The sweater looked soft and inviting but he knew that it cost a very pretty penny. It wasn’t anything like the sweaters that he wore to work at all. Aaron wanted to run his hand down it to see if it was as soft as it looked. Instead, he handed over the wine. It was close to what they had drunk in the restaurant.
Spencer hummed and turned into the flat, smiling as he read the label. Aaron scooped up Curiosity and grabbed his gift for Spencer from the little stand that was beside the door. He figured Spencer set groceries there when he was coming home so he wouldn’t drop them as he unlocked the door. Spencer looked up from the wine and caught sight of the small brown paper bag and the book wrapped in plain brown paper.
“Something that I thought you might like.” Aaron handed over the wrapped book first and watched as Spencer opened it up. He looked at the title of the book. Air Plants and frowned at Aaron. “I saw it in a window when I was walking Jack to the park the other week and the older lady who lived there told me all about it. It seemed like something you would like.”
“You bought me a Tillandsia?” Spencer asked, his eyes going to the bag. Aaron wasn’t shocked he knew the genus of the plant.
“A Tillandsia Pacifica to be exact. I saw the way that she had hers displayed and I found something else that I thought you might like better.” Aaron opened the brown paper bag and lifted it out. He made sure to hold the rope tight as he pulled it out. The glass container was teardrop shaped but the opening at the top had the rope fed down through it and knotted to where it wouldn’t slip off. There was an opening at the front of it that allowed access to the plant that was nestled in the bottom. The plant was a little lopsided and Spencer reached inside and righted it. Curiosity reached out for the plant but Aaron pushed his arm out farther, keeping it from his reach. “Do you like it?”
“It likes full sun to part shade.”
“Then my reading room is the best place for it. Come on,” Spencer said as he turned. Aaron followed behind, dropping Curiosity off on the back of the couch as he passed it. Curiosity jumped down and followed them but Aaron’s hands were free to hang the plant as Spencer wanted. There was a chandelier of sorts in the room but there were no lights in it. It was just a decoration. Spencer came in a few minutes later with a ladder in his hands. Aaron watched him set it up and then climbed nearly all the way up it. Aaron was shocked when the bottom of the chandelier came off in Spencer’s hands. There were no electrical guts inside. Just a bit of chain from where it was attached to the ceiling.
Aaron handed over the plant when Spencer held out his hand and he watched as the genius fed the rope through the bottom link in the chain after feeding the rope through the piece that had come off. He tied the rope into a very intricate knot before slipping the other end through the piece and fixed it back onto the chandelier. Then the slack was wrapped up and down the rope that was hanging down. It wouldn’t work when the plant got too big for the current vessel but it looked really good in the little room right now. Aaron stepped close so that when Spencer got off the ladder, he was pressed into the younger man’s back. Spencer didn’t do anything but he also didn’t move away.
“It looks good,” Aaron said lowly in Spencer’s ear.
“I really like it,” Spencer said back. “Thank you.”
“You are welcome. You don’t have any plants around and I knew that part of that is Curiosity. I figured this would work.” Aaron stepped back from Spencer when the younger man grabbed the ladder. “And it doesn’t need as much care as a regular plant and I think it will survive a teenage boy taking care of it.”
Spencer waited for him to leave the reading room before he took the ladder out. Aaron watched him slid it between a set of bookshelves. It was cleverly hidden. There weren’t closets other than clothing ones in the bedrooms so Aaron wasn’t shocked at how Spencer hid the ladder. He’d never noticed it before but that set of shelves held books that didn’t interest him. Once the ladder was up, Spencer moved to the kitchen. Aaron had been looking forward to what Spencer was going to fix but he hadn’t noticed until now there were no smells. He looked into the kitchen and saw no evidence of a meal. He was a little confused.
“I made two appetizers and six little courses for dinner.” Spencer moved toward the kitchen and opened the fridge. Aaron looked and didn’t see anything in there that resembled food that was ready to eat. Spencer grabbed his water bottle and a beer for Aaron before moving toward the living room. There in front of the futon couch was a spread of food on the coffee table. Aaron looked at each item and all of them looked liked things that he would eat but there was no rhyme or reason to what was spread out on the table. There were two wine glasses on the table already, along with a ice bucket for it. Spencer slid the wine bottle into it. He hadn’t even noticed him setting the wine down on the table as they passed.
Aaron had to admit that he was a little upset. When Spencer had brought up a non restaurant date, he hadn’t expected this. He wanted something like what they had done that last time, when Spencer had cooked and Aaron had sat at the bar and they talked and ate sitting across from each other. Aaron sat down across from where Spencer had set his beer and he noticed it was his favored brand. As soon as he was settled down, Curiosity was up in his lap. Aaron picked him up and was about to set him down on the floor when Spencer stayed his hand. Aaron set Curiosity back down and the kitten flopped down and started to purr.
“And that’s why we are in here. Curiosity has missed you. He sleeps in his bed on your shirt and doesn’t come and join me anymore in my bed. If we sat at the island, he would be there, crying for you. I figured that it would better to just give in. So I made finger foods.”
Spencer picked up a plate and sat down right next to Aaron. Aaron looked at the food on the plate.
“First is garlic tomato bruschetta. I tried to keep things I’ve not seen you eat off the menu but if something is in anything that you don’t like just let me know.”
“You made all of these?”
“Cooking is easy. I like it. I find it calming. Since mom, I’ve not had someone to cook for so I just started and didn’t stop.” Spencer ducked his head like he was ashamed. Aaron tilted his face up and he couldn’t help but kiss him. He kept it calm and didn’t even think of deepening it. When he pulled back, he saw happiness in Spencer’s eyes. While the meal wasn’t going to what he thought, maybe it would be better in the long run.
“I’m looking forward to this.”
“I’m glad.” Spencer picked up the first piece of food and acted like he was going to hand it over but Aaron opened his mouth. While he chewed the bite he was given, Aaron kept his eyes locked with Spencer but picked up a piece. He raised it up and Spencer’s eyes sparkled as he opened his mouth. Aaron used his free hand to pet Curiosity as the kitten lounged in his lap but kept his other hand clean to feed Spencer. He looked at the table briefly after feeding Spencer a second bite of food and found something with toothpicks in it and picked it up, setting it on his knee. There was what looked like mozzarella, tomatoes, and some sort of green thing on it. Aaron held up one for Spencer and he laughed before using his mouth to slide the food off the toothpick.
It was how the rest of the dinner went as well. They’d finish off one plate of food and move onto another. Next was a date stuffed with almond wrapped in bacon. The bacon was crisp and he could tell that they had been baked. He’d scoffed a little at the melon pieces that were wrapped in prosciutto and held together with the little forks but the taste of them had been surprising. Each of those had been interrupted with kisses. The next two courses were both mushrooms. The first was a chorizo stuffed mushroom. The second was spiced chopped chicken, topped with cheese and stuffed into the mushroom caps. His two favorite things of the meal were the final two things. Spencer fed him more of those than anything else, even though Aaron tried to get him to eat more. The kalamata olive tapenade that had capers, garlic and lemon juice that was served on toast points made him moan on the first bite. He’d never had anything like it and he’d made sure to let Spencer know that he liked it. The final bit of the meal was the endive spears with chopped shrimp, diced tomatoes spiced with jalapeno and paprika and topped with olive oil. The spiciness was perfect and he loved jalapenos in his food .
“If you cook like that all the time, I’ll have to add another mile to my daily running to stay fit,” Aaron said as he placed the last plate on the coffee table, empty of everything but crumbs. So far Spencer hadn’t shied away from the touches and kisses so he pulled him even closer. Curiosity jumped from his lap with a cry of unhappiness but Aaron didn’t care. He cupped the sides of Spencer face and drew him in for a longer kiss. Spencer didn’t melt into him like he expected but he returned the kiss with fervor. Aaron kept his hands above his shoulders. They hadn’t discussed things like that yet and he knew that they needed to.
“I’m glad you liked it. I still have dessert.”
“Can we wait on that?” Aaron asked.
“Of course. I think the wine should be chilled enough. Do you want me to open it?”
Aaron nodded and watched as Spencer grabbed the opener and popped the cork. He poured a little bit in a glass, swirling it a little before taking a sip. He smiled.
“I like it. You chose a good wine. It’ll go really well with dessert. You have your talking face on.” Spencer poured himself a glass then one for Aaron.
Aaron shifted Spencer to where he was kind of tucked into his side. He’d not cuddled with someone in a long time and it felt really good.
“I do. You’ve been okay with my touches and kissing but I want to make sure that if something comes up that you are unsure about, you are going to tell me.”
“Of course. I liked kissing before. It was nice to kiss someone knowing they didn’t expect sex at the end of it. I’ve had sex, Aaron. It wasn’t just a I don’t like it so I don’t want it. I tried it. But there was nothing there. It wasn’t a germ thing. It would have been so much better and easier if it was. I know that some asexuals are turned off by fluids but that’s not me. At Cal-Tech, I had a friend and we tried mutual masterbation. I say tried because I couldn’t do it.” Spencer sipped at his wine, taking what Aaron had learned was a little bigger drink than normal. “I don’t know what you want to know.”
“I need to know that I’m not pushing you. That you make sure I don’t cross a line that makes you uncomfortable just to keep me happy.”
“I don’t lie to keep people happy in that way. It doesn’t do well for a long term relationship. I just don’t understand people who do that.”
“Sometimes it’s trying to keep things normal and to keep the other person happy but I learned that it doesn’t work. It made Haley and I miserable and I’ve learned my lesson with that. I am not going to do that with you. Talking. We may do way too much talking in the beginning because I’ll be honest. I know enough about the asexual spectrum to be able to do my job but that’s about it. I’ve look it all up and basically…”
“It’s down to what I feel comfortable with. I know. And I’m not lying or hiding. I just…I go with what feels good. I’ve never felt like this about anyone. I’ve never truly wanted someone sexually. I’ve thought that I might but there is just nothing there. I’m just as blind as you. All I can do is say that I’ll tell you when something happens that I don’t like or if I feel uncomfortable. All we can do is try.” Spencer drained his glass of wine and set the glass on the table. He looked up into Aaron’s face and brought it down for a kiss. Aaron blindly set his glass down and touched Spencer’s neck with his hand. He brushed his thumb up and down the front of Spencer’s neck, feeling him shudder as he did.
“Dessert?” Aaron asked as he pulled back. The look of lust on Spencer’s face shocked him but he knew that he wasn’t ready for anything more. This date had turned a little more intimate than even he was ready for. It was a good date, one of the best he’d ever been on.
“In the fridge.”
“I didn’t see them in there earlier,” Aaron said.
“There is only a few of each. I didn’t figure we’d want more than that. Let me up and I’ll get them.”
“I’ll get them. You fill up the wine.” Aaron kissed his cheek as he stood up. He watched Spencer fill up the glasses of wine from the corner of his eye. The fridge did hold the desserts in it. He smiled at the little flans that were so small. Beside them on the plate were chocolate cheesecakes with berry something on top. “These look good.”
“How come you never bring in food to work? Like desserts and such?”
“That’s Garcia’s realm.”
“JJ brings in cookies. I’ve even brought in cookies before that Haley had made.”
“Years ago. I can get away with buying lunch but the last time that I brought in any dessert, Garcia wasn’t happy. Cookies, cupcakes, those are her domain.”
“I didn’t realize.”
“JJ’s stopped bringing in things as well.”
“Well if these are even half as good as they look, you might have to start bringing me in things like this once a week.” Aaron sat down on the couch but instead of sitting where he had been, he pushed more towards the middle of the couch. He held the plate up and motioned for Spencer to move closer. The younger man looked at him with a question on his face. Aaron switched the plate to his other hand and pulled on the younger man until he was straddling his lap. He set the plate down and picked up one of the cheesecakes. He held it up and Spencer leaned in to take a bite. It crumbled a little but Aaron didn’t care. He popped the other half in his mouth. Spencer leaned in and kissed him. “These are good.”
“The berry compote makes them so much better than if it didn’t have it.”
“So these look like flan,” Aaron said as he picked up the first one. Spencer smiled and took it from him. He kind of squished in the sides a little and then tipped it towards Aaron’s mouth. He opened wide and in slid the flan and at the bottom the caramel sauce followed after. He waited until Spencer tipped the cup back up. He chewed it and he wasn’t shocked when he tasted coffee. Humming, Aaron smiled at him. “That’s really good. I should have figured that coffee would come in some way.”
“I couldn’t help it. I found a few recipes and just played around.”
“And I bet all the others in the building benefit from your playing around.”
Spencer just shrugged and picked up a flan.
By the time that the desserts were gone along with the wine, Aaron was stuffed. Curiosity had wandered back up and settled in at his side. The wine had gone to his head a little helped by Spencer in his lap so he was thankful that he’d taken a cab.
“Stay the night?” Spencer asked.
“Spencer,” Aaron said as he tilted Spencer’s face to look him in the eye. “Not tonight. Jack’s expecting me to be there in the morning. You tempt me, Spencer and I’m not ready. I’m not ready to take that step and I’m not ready for the consequences if you aren’t ready as well. I need time too.”
Aaron let Spencer dictate when he wanted up. Curiosity slipped up into his and Spencer’s combined laps, loving the attention that they both gave him. It wasn’t long before Spencer leaned in and kissed him. It wasn’t a kiss meant for anything other than a show of affection.
“You need to get going. I’ll distract Curiosity by giving him love. You can’t stay away like that again. Our hearts can’t take it.”
“I promise I won’t. I won’t have you feeling like that again by my hand. You are special and I’m going to show it to you.” Aaron cupped his cheeks, using his thumb to brush at the tears that were threatening Spencer’s eyes. Aaron wasn’t ready for the words that threatened to slip from his lips but he needed Spencer to know that he was all in.
“What are your plans Friday?”
“Relaxing at home. Why?”
“Dinner here. For three.” Aaron watched as the words sunk into Spencer’s mind, the look of excitement followed by a little bit of terror. “We can order pizza or…”
“I’ll cook,” Spencer interrupted. He looked happy and the tears were gone.
“Nothing fancy, Spencer. Just something like what you made that night that you added me in.”
“He’d be fine with boxed macaroni and cheese.”
“I have a baked macaroni recipe that I think he’ll like. What about sweets? Chocolate? Peanut butter?”
“He likes both of those. As long as it is sweet and doesn’t have fruit in it, he’ll like it. Or apple pie. Haley’s aunt made a peach pie that he really liked.”
“I’ll see what I can find and run it by you Thursday. I’ll go shopping for what’s needed.” Spencer stopped and slid right off of Aaron’s lap, going to the kitchen and opening a cabinet.
Aaron listened to him chatter at himself in half sentences and partially formed questions. He watched him move around the kitchen, grabbing a few things and setting them out. Watching him move around the kitchen, a place that was wholly his. He moved in a way that Aaron had only seen around the bullpen. He was graceful in a way he wasn’t most of the time and Aaron finally understood why. He knew the bullpen well. When things changed it didn’t take long for him to get used to it but it did take a little time. Local precincts and field offices, he wasn’t there long enough to get used to them. It was all spatial memory, Aaron figured as he watched him reach into the fridge and grab a bottle of juice. He looked at the contents and put it back.
When Spencer started to look at his baking pans, Aaron stepped up behind him, wrapping his arms around him from behind.
“You have fun figuring it all out. I can see that stopping you would upset you. I need to go and just promise to run the food by me and you can have full run of the food.”
“No. It’s good to see you excited about something other than dead bodies, serial killers, and science.”
“I get just as excited about fiction books, I’ve learned to branch out into fiction produced in the last century and I’m finding some good things.”
“And in English?”
“Don’t change, Spencer. Never let anyone, especially me change you.”
“I’m going to though. Being with someone like we are moving towards, it changes someone. It’ll be good changes though.” Spencer kissed his cheek. “Go and let me try and figure out what to feed us on Friday.”
“Don’t stay up too late. Sleep and rest.”
Aaron turned his head all the way to where he could kiss his lips, keeping it sweet, soft and to Aaron just perfect. He let himself out, keeping Curiosity in the apartment. He’d talked to Jack about dating and he’d mentioned to Jack that he liked someone that Jack already knew. Now he just had to get the boy ready for who that was.