Title: Get Your Kicks
Series: Love Heals the Shattered Soul
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season 7
Tags: Re-Established Relationship, Angst, Injuries, Relationship Revelation,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer R
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Jack Hotchner, Jessica Brooks, Derek Morgan, David Rossi, Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Emily Prentiss, Penelope Garcia,
Spoilers: Up Through All of Season 9
Summary: There is that moment where you don’t care. You don’t care what everyone will know because you just have to hold on. You have to hold on or go insane because the thought of losing him after just starting to get back to where you were is going to kill you.
Notes: A virtual cookie for the one who gets why this chapter is named as it is.
Warnings: Discussion of Previous Rape,
Spencer was sitting at his desk reading over the files that Aaron had given him for the new database that he wanted him to work up. The funding for it had come down for Spencer to be allowed to work on it as much as possible. It was good because Aaron had come down a lot harder on the team when they slipped him files and he was finding himself short on things to do. He wondered if this was why Aaron had started to crack down on them. It was a wonderful project and while on the surface it looked like something that Garcia could handle, it really wasn’t. There was too much profiling and psychology needed to make it work. Other BAU teams had members working on it and even Garrett of the IRT was inputting their own data into it. The goal was to help smaller communities with crimes that were out of the norm for them.
It was being talked about through the building that someone had collapsed in a meeting and the medics had been called. His phone vibrated and he looked at it. It was from Garcia.
There was a second message but Spencer didn’t even look at it. He grabbed his bag and didn’t even make sure his computer shut down all the way after he had clicked shut down. He was gone before anyone else could even try and find him. He hadn’t brought his car but he had a set of keys for Aaron’s car. He didn’t even stop to think about what it would look like on camera.
Aaron looked around him as his vision came back to him. There was a red balloon hovering in front of him. He tried to follow it with just his gaze but as it rounded a tree, he saw someone sitting down on a blanket. It was Georgetown Waterfront Park. There was no one around besides the person so he went forward. As he did the sun got brighter and brighter until it was almost like midday.
The woman never turned until he was level with her and his heart stopped at the sight of Haley sitting on the old blanket that they used to take picnics with. She smiled at him in a way that she hadn’t for years.
“Aaron, come on. There is plenty of blanket for you!”
The drive to the closest non military hospital took longer than Spencer would have liked, but he was nervous. He was so damned nervous. Aaron had been fine that morning. Two pouting Hotchner males had talked him into staying the night and while nothing happened between him and Aaron, just sleeping in bed with him had been wonderful. A breakfast that the three of them had cooked was devoured before Jack had been dropped off at school and then the two adults had drove into work together. Aaron had eaten a great deal of the sausage and had made a comment that it had given him indigestion. Spencer wondered if that was what was wrong. Had it not been indigestion? He tried to think about anything else, except what else it could be? His vast knowledge of what was in the chest and abdominal cavity that could be wrong wasn’t a good thing in this case.
Pulling into the parking garage, Spencer left his bag in the front seat but grabbed both his wallet and his credentials. He made sure to secure his gun in the case in the trunk before he started up. He looked at the message on his phone and all it said was the name of the hospital and the floor to go to. Spencer had already been heading towards the surgery department. He had a feeling that he knew exactly what it was.
Instead of taking the elevator, Spencer found the steps and followed the signs to the surgery floor and then to the desk.
“Spencer Reid, checking on Aaron Hotchner.”
The nurse who was sitting there looked at the charts and then flipped a few pages into it. She asked for his social and he gave it.
“He’s getting prepped for surgery and someone will be out to explain everything as soon as possible. I have a room over here.” The nurse stood and moved to it. There were a ring of chairs around three walls and a long couch on the fourth. “This is for officers to wait while they are waiting for news. I’ll make a notation that Agent Hotchner’s family is in here. His record states that a Jessica Brooks is to be notified as well.”
“I’ll call her.”
“We called the number we have but I just stated for her to call us back when I got the voicemail.”
“She’s the caregiver for Agent Hotchner’s son.”
“Thank you, Doctor Reid.”
“The file states that his medical power of attorney is with Agent Doctor Spencer Reid.”
“Oh. I assume the rest of our team will be arriving soon.” Spencer pulled his phone from his pocket again and found Jessica’s number. If she was working, she wouldn’t have answered an unknown number and might not have checked her messages yet. So Spencer dialed her direct desk number.
“Jessica Brooks speaking.”
“Jessica, it’s Spencer.”
“Spencer, you never…what’s wrong?”
“All I know is that Aaron collapsed at work while in meetings and he was taken to the hospital. He’s being prepped for surgery and I’m in the waiting room right now.”
“Did something happen?”
“Given…” Spencer stopped and saw a man heading his way. “Hold on, please.” Spencer pulled the phone from his ear and waited. The man was in scrubs looking ready to head into surgery.
“Doctor Reid, I’m going to be Agent Hotchner’s surgeon. I wanted to let you know that this could have been a lot worse. He only has a few torn adhesions.”
“From the scar tissue from the stab wounds,” Spencer said. The man nodded.
“I’m Doctor Bailey. One of the nurses will come out and keep you apprised as I work on him. I don’t…”
“Go. I’ll be fine. I had already figured out that was probably it given Hotch’s overall health and fitness.” Spencer waved the man out and he turned to leave. When the doors were shut, Spencer turned back to the phone. “It’s what I thought. The adhesions. The doctor said it could have been worse so I would say that only a few tore instead of all. They are probably still going to do an exploratory laparotomy to make sure that they get them all but given that he’s not had a temperature or a sore abdomen, I’d say that he’ll be fine.”
“Do you want Jack there?”
“I…” Spencer closed his eyes and thought about it for a few seconds. Aaron would want to see him when he woke up. “Yes.”
“I’ll get him and be there as soon as possible.” Jessica sounded worried and she had every right to be. Losing Aaron so close to losing Haley would hurt Jack. Jessica would have it rough. He’d help as much as possible.
Spencer hung up and started to pace the room. He hated his logical mind. He really hated it because at the moment he was going through everything that he’d have to do if Aaron died and that was a sobering thought. Jessica wouldn’t fight him on seeing Jack. He knew that. He knew that she’s not keep him from him because she loved her nephew and would never want to do anything that would hurt him. Still thinking about what he was going to do if his partner died on the operating table or due to any number of postoperative complications, was sobering.
Spencer dropped into the chair behind him thankful that there had actually been one there when he realized he hadn’t looked. There was no other word for what Aaron was because while he wasn’t sure exactly how he’d survive it but he knew that he had to. The only reason that he would survive it was Jack.
“You look so beautiful.” Aaron stumbled over the words. He hadn’t dreamed of Haley since he’d taken up with Spencer and the guilt of that still ate at him slightly. He knew, though that this wasn’t real and it wasn’t a dream but he couldn’t remember what he was doing. He couldn’t remember anything.
“You are not so bad yourself. Especially when Spencer is with you. You look ten years younger. Now come, sit. We have to talk.” Haley smiled at him as she patted the spot beside her. He looked at what she was wearing. She was in a pair of jeans that looked like she’d had them in high school, all worn and faded, as well as a slightly dressy blouse on. The kind that said she wanted to look good but not that she wanted to be fancy. He looked at himself and found that he wasn’t dressed like he did back when he’d been married to her. He was dressed like he found he liked. Jeans and a dress shirt. He knew that Spencer liked him like this, and he had started to dress more that way and found that after work, he liked dressing down but not totally down.
“I miss you.”
“I know.” Haley reached out and cupped his face, tears were shining in her eyes. Aaron was staring at her when she looked away.
“He’s gotten so big,” Haley choked out as her eyes focused on something in the distance. Aaron turned to look where she was looking and he saw them for the first time. It was Spencer, Jack, and Henry. Spencer was in the water with Jack splashing at him while Henry was on his shoulders. It wasn’t a memory as they had never done anything like that with just the three of them. “He’s really good with him.”
“But he’s not you.” Aaron wanted to say that no one could ever replace her in his life but he couldn’t say it. “And I’m not enough.”
“Oh, stop beating yourself up. You’re a great dad. You always have been.”
“It’s hard. Spencer makes me a better dad. He makes me talk to Jack. To tell him that I love him. He made me see that he needs to hear those words.”
The scene in front of him shifted and he saw Henry and Jack playing with a soccer ball with JJ, Will, Spencer, and himself standing on the sidelines. He remembered that day so well. They’d ended up playing a game. Spencer, JJ, and Jack versus Aaron, Will, and Henry. Half way through Henry switched sides and Aaron and Will had lost.
“Any news, Reid?” Morgan asked as he entered the room.
Spencer looked up and saw Garcia and Rossi behind him. It was the flash of black hair that told him that Prentiss was even behind them. JJ came last. She looked like she wanted to run to him but he shook his head no. He didn’t think that he could take it. He didn’t think that he could take her hugging him. So he opened his mouth and he talked. He didn’t even pay attention as his brain told his mouth what to say.
None of the team stopped him. He rambled for so long that his mouth was dry and the words were just gone. They were all scared and a Reid Ramble was normal, even if it wasn’t cut off. He didn’t know how long he lasted or the exact minute that he’d started so when he saw the door open, he hoped that it was someone to update them but when no one was in his line of vision and he looked down, his heart was in his throat.
“Papa!” Jack yelled as he ran into the room. Spencer looked up at him and saw Morgan try and grab him. Jack dodged his hands though and he could see the look of shock on Morgan’s face as Jack ran right to him. Spencer pulled him up into his lap and wrapped his arms around him. He buried his face in Jack’s neck as the little boy did the same to him. He could hear Jessica’s heels on the floor and didn’t even startle when she sat down beside him.
“When did Jack start calling Hotch Papa?” Garcia asked.
Another body settled down on Spencer’s other side and he leaned into JJ when she wrapped an arm around the both of them.
“What happened?” Jessica asked.
“Bleeding internally from the scar tissue from Foyet’s attack on him. Torn adhesions from the stab wounds. They did an ultrasound and can’t exactly figure out where the bleeding is coming from so they just wheeled him into OR2 for an exploratory laparotomy,” Spencer said.
“Papa?” Jack asked as he leaned back and looked Spencer in the eye. His face was full of confusion.
Spencer inhaled and exhaled before he tilted his legs up a little so that Jack wouldn’t tip backwards. He raised up Jack’s shirt and showed him the incision line that was going to be made. Jack’s finger followed it. “You remember the…”
“Reid!” Morgan, Garcia, and Prentiss nearly screamed. Jack startled and looked at them. They all looked scandalized. Spencer was confused. Did they expect him to lie to Jack? He looked at Jessica and then JJ and saw that they were upset but not at him. JJ was glaring at Morgan.
“Shush!” Jack said as he turned to look at them. He placed his finger over his lips and shushed them a second time.
Spencer glared at them then looked back at Jack. “You remember the bad man who hurt your dad? Those wounds on his inside were really bad and sometimes when they heal, they don’t heal right. And those wounds kind of reopened. Like that time you picked that scab and the blood came out again?” Aaron and Spencer had agreed to never lie to him and he wasn’t going to break that while Aaron was lying open on an operating room table.
“But he’s going to okay isn’t he?”
“The doctors are going to do their very best.”
“What will happen if he dies?”
“J-Jack,” Garcia stuttered. They all looked gutted at the question and Spencer knew that the only thing keeping him sane was the fact that he wasn’t going to break down in front of Jack. He couldn’t do that and he wouldn’t.
“What will happen is that you are going to be sad,” Jessica said. She brushed Jack’s hair back from his head and kissed his forehead. “But we’ll do whatever you want.”
“What if I want to live with Papa?”
Jessica didn’t answer at first. She looked at JJ and then back at Spencer.
“Well, that’s what your dad wants to happen.”
“Jessica?” Spencer asked. Jack leaned forward into Spencer’s chest. Like he was relieved. Spencer wrapped his arms around him and tried not to start shaking.
“He had his Will changed three months ago,” Jessica pointed out. Spencer knew that he just hadn’t known what the changes were. He hadn’t asked as it wasn’t his to know if Aaron didn’t want him to know. Why hadn’t Aaron told him? He should have known that. Why the hell would Aaron leave that as a surprise? Because neither of them had seen him getting hurt like he was. He hadn’t expected to drop down in a meeting with his bosses and need surgery.
“No,” Spencer protested. Jessica was blood. Jessica should get Haley’s child. Not him.
“Yes. Shared custody. It’d be the same arrangement that Aaron and I have right now. With some added babysitting by JJ and Will. He was going to tell you, but he kept putting it off and then that last date, he felt that maybe it was time, then this happened and I didn’t want you shocked. He talked to me about it before he did it. I didn’t fight him because no one can contest that you love him and he loves you.”
“What the hell is going on?” Morgan demanded as he took a few steps towards them but Rossi stepped up between him and Spencer and Jack.
“But…” Spencer snapped his mouth shut. He wasn’t going to cry. He wiped at his eyes to catch the moisture there. It wasn’t that his partner was laid out on a table, his stomach cracked open, it was the fact that Aaron wanted him to have Jack. That Aaron wanted him to raise Jack if he was gone that was going to do him in.
“I get to stay with Papa?” Jack asked.
“Yes, Jack.” Jessica kissed his head as he leaned into Spencer even more.
“Jack, I need to talk to Uncle Derek for a few minutes. What do you want to do? Do you want me to go in the hall or do you want to go with JJ and get some juice?”
“Jayje?” Spencer asked as he looked at her. He’d ask Jessica but he felt that maybe she was needed as she seemed to know more about what Aaron’s wishes were when it came to Jack. Spencer knew everything about what his last wishes and when he wanted to stay on machines and such. It was morbid but it had been something they had discussed before they had even got together, the aftermath of Foyet and his attack was when Aaron had realized that Haley still had the right to make the choices and he asked Spencer to do it instead.
“You don’t even have to ask. What do you say we get some coffee for Papa?” JJ asked Jack as she picked him up from Spencer’s lap. As soon as the doors were shut, Rossi sat down beside him.
“What is going on, Reid?” Prentiss asked.
“AaronandIaredating.” Spencer said it in a rush because there was no other way he’d get the words out of his mouth. He took a deep breath and waited.
“But…How…What?” Garcia asked.
“We started dating before the incident that happened between JJ and I. The fallout of our personal relationship because of that is just that personal. We had a rough patch for a while but have been building up to get back where we were.”
“You were raped and he abandoned you?” Morgan asked.
“I am not going to get into it with you right now, Morgan.” Spencer hadn’t realized that he had stood up until he was looking Morgan in the eye with the distance between them. “Not while the man I love is fucking laid out on a OR table with his guts open. You don’t have a place in my relationship with anyone that I choose to love or fuck. The issues that he and I had we worked through, together. If you can’t accept that we are in a relationship then I will have your thrown out of this place. I hold his medical power of attorney and I’ll make sure that you don’t set foot inside here while he’s here.”
Morgan just looked at him in shock. Garcia was shocked as well and Prentiss looked proud. The male agent though couldn’t just stand there. He huffed and took off out of the room. Garcia tried to follow but Rossi pushed her down into a chair.
“I’ll talk to him. Just stay here. You got Reid Jessica?”
“Yes,” Jessica said as she pulled Spencer back down into a seated position. Rossi went out the door.
Spencer sat there and thought about Jack and how to help get the boy through it and then he realized what exactly the boy had called him when he’d run in and then every single time after that. “He called me Papa,” Spencer said incredulously.
“He called you Papa several times. From what Aaron told me, he’s been calling you that to his friends at school. Jack asked him if it was all right and Aaron told him that it was up to him if he wanted to call you Papa, but that he had to mean it and he couldn’t stop calling you it if he was mad at you because that would hurt you.”
“I know that I love him and I know that he loves me but I never…I just assumed that I’d be Spencer forever and I was okay with that.” Spencer inhaled and closed his eyes, trying to center himself. “He needs something to brand me as his while he’s scared about Aaron.” His brain was jumping on the logic and the psychology of it all.
“I think that he’s been working up to actually calling it to your face for a while. But you are right he is scared.”
The doors opened and Rossi shoved Morgan in. Morgan looked at Garcia then over to Spencer.
“I’m sorry, Reid. I shouldn’t have. This isn’t the place.”
“No, it’s not. We had our issues and we have both gone through therapy. He’s not hurting me, Morgan. I wouldn’t stay with him and he didn’t know until the case was dropped into the BAU’s lap that I had been raped. I believe that he never would have left me alone like that if he had known.”
“Okay.” Morgan took the seat that JJ had been sitting in and pulled Spencer into a side hug. Spencer allowed it until the doors opened. But instead of JJ and Jack entering it was Henry and Will. Henry ran right to Spencer and he pulled his Godson into his arms for a hug.
“Any news?” Will asked as he took the seat on the other side of Jessica. The doors opened and Henry moved a little in Spencer’s arms so that he was sitting on his left leg while Jack took a seat on his other leg. The boy had a cup of coffee clutched in his hands like it was precious. Spencer took it from his before he got fully settled and kissed his forehead.
“He’s in the OR,” Spencer said. He took a sip of his coffee and smiled. He wondered how that fight had gone. “I see that Jack won on how my coffee is prepared.”
“He was rather adamant that this is how you drank it. I figured that if it was wrong, I’d send Will down for another one.” JJ smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes.
“This is how I drink it at home on the weekends. Less sugar and a little more cream. Usually eaten with pancakes that Jack has talked me into making. Aaron has taught him how to make it so that he can be doing that while we cook.” Spencer leaned back and the boys followed him. He could hang on with them right there. He’d been close to a freak out but he couldn’t freak out with Jack there. He couldn’t make the boy more upset.
Talking picked up around him but all he could focus on was Jack’s breathing. He could smell the shampoo that Jack insisted that he use even though it didn’t come like other kids’ shampoos. It was an adult shampoo in a plain bottle not in the whimsical bottles that kids had. It was a shampoo that Spencer had grabbed on accident as someone had not stocked the shelves right at the place he got all of his bath supplies. Jack had smelled it and even used it once and had fallen in love. He focused on that right up until the doors opened and a woman stepped in. While she had no gloves on, there was blood on her gown.
“Spencer Reid?” She called out.
“Agent Hotchner is doing good. The source of the bleeding was found but there is a lot of damage inside and the doctors are doing repairs right now.” She paused.
“Do you have any questions? I’m a surgical resident. I can probably answer them.”
“No, thank you, Doctor. Just keep me updated.” In some instances the less he knew the better. If that was all that he knew, he wouldn’t spiral out in an information binge. The doctor nodded and left the room at a rush.
“What does that mean?” Jack asked.
Spencer inhaled. “That means that what caused your dad to get sick today is taken care of but there are other injuries inside of him that could hurt him later so they are taking care of them.”
“Why didn’t they take care of them before?” Jack turned his head up and looked at him.
“The body is strange and when your father was hurt, they took care of him to keep him alive but scar tissue doesn’t always heal the way that it should. There was another man who got hurt just like him and he never had this happen to him. He lived for over ten years after and never had a single problem like that.”
“What happened to him?” Henry asked.
Spencer closed his eyes because he almost blurted out that Aaron had beat him to death with his fists to protect Jack.
“He died in an accident.” That was one lie that Spencer wouldn’t feel sorry for telling. He looked up into the faces of all of the other and saw the pain in them as they thought about Foyet and the total price of the man’s obsession to ruin Aaron. George Foyet was still haunting Aaron from the grave with what was happening that day.
“How long would it take for you to become a doctor like that lady?” Jack asked.
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t be able to stay on the team and do that kind of degree as it takes a lot of classes that can’t be fit around my schedule. Why do you want me to?”
“Then daddy wouldn’t get sick like this anymore.” Jack said before he turned in Spencer’s lap and buried his head in his chest. Henry scooted down and went to his father.
“Jack, there was nothing that could have been done. Even me being any kind of medical doctor wouldn’t have caught this. It was all inside him. Like when Johnny in the class above you at school got appendicitis. No one knew until it happened. I couldn’t have stopped this. Your dad could have seen the doctor every day and this would have been missed. But if it will make you feel better, I’ll look into anything and everything that could affect your dad, and you, and learn it.” Spencer pressed a kiss to Jack’s hand and held him tight.
“Tell me a story.”
“A Little Princess.”
Spencer had been almost certain that he would say The Secret Garden. Jack had found The Little Princess in his books and had read it not long after he and Aaron had started dating the first time. Spencer had gone out and bought him several other kids books. Most had ended up in Aaron’s office. Jack only liked Spencer to read to him without a book when he didn’t feel well. So he settled in, Jack cuddled into him and started to recite the story. It wasn’t long before Will moved across the room and settled in so Henry could hear.
The scene in front of Aaron changed again. Instead of the park, it was the inside of his apartment. He knew exactly what the moment was. It was the night that he had got home after finding out about what exactly had happened that night that he’d thought that Spencer had cheated on him. A version of himself was slumped on the couch, a glass of scotch on the table in front of him but he hadn’t taken a drink.
“He’s so strong and sensitive and he’s perfect for you Aaron. He’s a perfect father for Jack. Between the two of you, he’s going to become a wonderful man.”
“He’s forgetting you.”
“Not as much as you think. He’s listened to you tell Jack all those stories about me. He remembers every word and he remembers all the times that he saw me with Jack. With Spencer, he’s never going to forget a word of it and he’s going to make sure that Jack doesn’t. He may not like me as a person but he would never tarnish my name in Jack’s hearing. He is perfect for you Aaron and he’s perfect for Jack.”
It was late evening before the doors opened and it wasn’t one of the team. Spencer didn’t realize until all the talking around him stopped. He looked up to see Doctor Bailey standing there.
“Am I free to speak?”
“This is our team and Hotch’s son.” Spencer didn’t stand.
“He’s back in his room and the surgery went just fine. His recovery won’t be as bad as after the initial stabbing but he will need some help. I can take you and his son back. You can sit with him until he wakes up.”
“You ready Jack?” Spencer asked. Jack nodded and slid out of Spencer’s lap. He waited for Spencer to stand before taking his hand. Jack was somber as they entered the room minutes later.
Spencer’s heart clenched, seeing Aaron so still on the bed. The monitor though told him that he was fine. Aaron was fine.
“Can I kiss daddy’s forehead to make him feel better?” Jack asked.
“Of course.” Spencer picked Jack up, settling him into his side so that his legs wouldn’t hit Aaron and then leaned over. Jack pressed a kiss into the side of Aaron’s forehead.
“You too, Papa.”
Spencer kissed the center of his forehead.
“That’s not how you and daddy kiss,” Jack protested.
Spencer looked at Doctor Bailey and saw the man smiling. Spencer pressed a chaste kiss to Aaron’s lips.
“I want Agent Hotchner to stay at least two days in recovery. I would prefer three but I have the notes about his last stay.”
“I can’t guarantee three but I can two.” Spencer would make sure of that.
“Good. In the morning when we do rounds, I’ll answer all of your questions.”
“Sleep? I have an appendectomy on a teen to do. Thank you, Doctor Reid for not freaking out.”
“I read about this in the wake of Aaron’s first surgery. I was injured myself from a different case. He’ll do what I say.” Spencer looked back at Aaron. He hadn’t been around for the aftermath.
“We will stay with Papa.” Jack declared. Spencer snorted at the look of determination on the boys face.
Doctor Bailey nodded and left. Spencer pulled a chair close to the side of the bed with no machines and sat. Jack immediately grabbed Spencer’s hand and laid it on Aaron’s and then smuggled back into Spencer’s body. Spencer listened to the beep of the machine telling him that Aaron was alive and well.
“It’s time for me to go,” Haley said as she stood up. Aaron followed her up by rote. She bundled up the blanket and started to walk away from him.
“Haley, don’t go.”
“You have a future ahead of you and I’m the past, Aaron. You have to let go of me.”
“I just want a little more time.” Aaron hadn’t got to tell her a lot of things that he thought about on a nearly daily basis when it came to Jack. Like how he was happy that she was the mother of his child. How he didn’t regret a single moment of time that he spent married to her and he never had.
“I know that you are used to being the big boss man but you can’t get what you want all the time.” Haley turned around to look at him. It was dark all around them now. “The more time you spend here with me, the less you have with him and he’s worth it, Aaron. He understands you on a level that I was never able to. He found it in his heart to forgive something that most people in the world would never be able to. You need to wake up.”
Aaron watched as she faded away from his sight as she took a few more steps. Then he saw that by the tree that he and Spencer had spent hours at on their last date was Spencer and Jack. Spencer was holding what looked like a jar and Jack was catching fireflies and putting them into it. He took a step towards them but instead of walking, he fell.
Opening his eyes, Aaron was shocked to find that he wasn’t at home. He was in a hospital bed. He tried to move but the pain in his stomach stopped him. There was also a weight on his legs. His eyes focused on the low light and he saw that Jack was asleep at the foot of the bed, curled into a ball around Aaron’s feet with an arm thrown over his lower legs. He reached out for the device that would allow him to sit up. He was halfway up when a grunt told him that someone else was in there. He turned his head to see that Spencer was asleep with his head on the bed and the movement had disturbed him.
The younger man was sitting up and rubbing at his eyes. His eyes went right to Jack before he frowned. Aaron figured that he wasn’t sure what had woke him up. Spencer’s eyes swept up his body and he gasped when he saw that Aaron’s eyes were on him.
“Aaron,” Spencer cried out, his voice not much more than a whisper. “You are awake.”
“I am. How long have you been here?”
“Since I got the message that you’d collapsed. I dropped everything and drove your car here because I didn’t want to wait for a train.” Spencer leaned up and helped him shift into a sitting position and bringing the bed up to him. “The rest of the team is in the waiting room. Jessica is in there. I couldn’t not have Jack here.”
Spencer looked at his watch and the look on his face told Aaron that he wasn’t sure. He’d literally dropped everything and had run in and had no clue when he’d arrived at the hospital. Aaron reached out and touched the side of Spencer’s face. Spencer smiled at him and nuzzled into the hand.
“Scar tissue from the stabbing started to bleed. Doctor Bailey did an exploratory laparotomy. He got it all and you are staying here for three days.”
Aaron glared at him.
“DADDY!” Jack yelled. He acted like he was going to scramble up to Aaron’s chest but Spencer’s hand grabbing him about the waist and lifting him up and off had the boy settling down. Spencer set the boy down when Aaron motioned him to and he crawled into Aaron’s arms and hugged him. Jack laid his head down on Aaron’s shoulder for a few minutes. “We are going to stay with Papa while you get better.”
Aaron’s eyes grew wide as he took in the words that Jack had said. He looked at Spencer.
“Everyone knows. Everyone was in the room when Jack came running in calling me Papa. They know as much as I care for them to know. Rossi handled Morgan and Prentiss is shocked. I think Garcia has hit the stage of acceptance where she is imagining us in bed together. JJ has been great in keeping Jack entertained and Henry and Will were here. Jessica went home for the night. I don’t know who of the team is left here.”
“Uncle Derek said he was staying all night. I think he made Aunt Penny and Aunt JJ leave. Uncle Dave said that only Dad throwing him out would get him to leave,” Jack supplied helpfully. He tucked himself in Aaron’s side more.
“And what did you mean by ‘We are going to stay with Papa while you get better.’?”
“You need help, Dad. And Papa has the room for us.”
“I can’t make Papa sleep on the couch in his own place and your bed is too small for either of us,” Aaron said, not looking at Spencer. He kept his eyes on his son.
“But Papa’s bed is big enough for the both of you.”
“Jack…” Aaron started.
“For the first few nights, Jack, your father will have to sleep in bed alone, just to be safe. His internal stitches need a little time to heal before anything happens and that means that I can’t sleep in bed with him. I could roll over and hit his wounds, he could roll and hit me. Once the doctor allows it I’ll sleep in the same bed as your father but maybe you could camp with me in the living room for those first few days.”
“Who said I am staying with you?” Aaron asked and he visibly moved back when two sets of hard eyes turned to him. Jack had his glare down pat and Spencer had never looked so mean while doing it.
“Well it’s me or Jessica. You have quite a few things you can’t do. It’s actually worse than before because your hospital stay won’t be as long so the list of things you can’t do is a lot bigger.”
“How much research have you done while I was on the table and asleep after?”
“None actually. I researched this all while laid up with my leg injury over two years ago. Believe me, I looked up every single thing that could have happened and this was one of the big ones. There was no way to predict it though.”
“Papa held me and read to me and told me everything that they did to you while you were on the table and sleeping.” Jack shifted and he pulled a little on one of Aaron’s stitches. Aaron hissed but just as soon as he started, Jack looked up at Spencer and held his hands out. Spencer lifted him up with no further pain on Aaron and settled him in his lap.
“Agent Hotchner, it’s good to see you awake,” a man said as he stepped into the room.
“Aaron this is Doctor Bailey he is the man who worked on your stomach.”
“Hello, Doctor.” Aaron adjusted the blanket that was around his waist.
“You seem to be doing well.” Bailey stepped forward and grabbed his chart. The man made a few notations before stepping up to Aaron and going through the normal checking of his blood pressure and heart rhythm. Aaron watched his eyes move over to towards Jack and Spencer before he looked back at Aaron. “I need to check your incision.”
“Spencer?” Aaron looked at his lover.
“I told him everything. He knows what happened inside of you.” Spencer shifted his hold on Jack and moved to where he could see better. Aaron wasn’t shocked that Spencer wanted to see. As Bailey checked over his stitches, Aaron watched Jack’s face. The boy looked intrigued by what was going on with his stomach. He could see anatomy books in his son’s future. With Spencer right there teaching him everything. That’s what he saw in his future.
There was the sound of a curtain moving and then Aaron saw Morgan and Dave standing there. Morgan had a cup of coffee in his hand and looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Hotch. I was…” Morgan stopped when Jack turned to look at him.
“Uncle Derek, Dad woke up and he agreed that we can go stay with Papa while he gets better.”
“Jack, your Dad needs some sleep and I think that he’ll sleep better knowing you are in a bed. Why don’t you come with me and you can have a sleepover with Mudgie and I’ll bring you back early in the morning.”
“Are you going to stay with him, Papa?” Jack asked turning to look at Spencer.
“Yes, Jack. I’ll stay. Go with Dave and I promise it’ll be no time at all before you are back.”
“Jack, I have some pictures of the inside of your dad’s stomach. We took a lot so that we could use it as a teaching method for other Surgical Residents. Do you want to see a few of them?” Bailey asked. The man looked from Spencer to Aaron. Aaron though didn’t respond, he looked at Spencer. Spencer looked from Jack to Aaron to Bailey and back again to Aaron several times before he nodded. Aaron smiled at Bailey. Jack cheered and jumped down from Spencer’s lap. Bailey smiled and took him out of the room.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Morgan asked. He didn’t look at Spencer though. He looked at Aaron.
“He needs to see. He wasn’t here the last time to see his dad get better. He has a chance to see now. He wanted me to become a doctor so that I could stop this from ever happening again. I want him to see why no one could see this coming and maybe we can stave off him being overprotective of his father. The only reason that he wants to stay with me is that he knows that I won’t back down. If he and Aaron go home, Aaron will do something stupid. Jessica will cave. If seeing the inside of Aaron’s stomach will mean that he won’t try and convince his teachers to let him call home between classes and that he won’t check on Aaron several times a night, I’m all in for that. He can handle it.”
Morgan looked like he wanted to say something but he didn’t. He closed his mouth. Aaron was about to say something but Spencer stood up from the chair he was in. He pushed Aaron down onto the bed and grabbed the remote that would tilt the bed back. Aaron laid back with a smile on his face. He knew he wasn’t going to get away with a single thing with Spencer and Jack on his case.
“So when you said that your boyfriend would kick my ass for setting you up on another blind date?”
Spencer didn’t answer, instead he just pulled the blanket up farther on Aaron’s body. He wrapped his hand around Aaron’s before turning to look at Morgan. “I told Aaron that if he roomed me with you, I’d kill you. It’s also why he didn’t pair us when out the field for a month.”
“And the kicking Morgan’s ass?” Dave asked.
“I still hold that if it’s my honor at stake that Aaron can take him.” Spencer smiled at Dave and Morgan. “You guys head home. Call JJ and Prentiss, Rossi? Morgan I’m sure you have Garcia well in hand. Jessica wanted me to text.”
“Call me, Reid when he’s up for Jack coming for a visit in the morning. Strauss has given us a few days downtime. I’ll see about getting you some extra time off. I’m sure that all I have to say that is Reid can keep him in hand and it’ll all be good.”
Aaron didn’t pay much attention after Dave and Morgan left. His eyes were only for Spencer. He cupped the side of Spencer’s face and tugged until the younger man leaned down. Spencer braced one arm at Aaron’s shoulder so that he wouldn’t put any pressure on him, giving into the kiss that Aaron wanted. He used the kiss to gauge how Spencer was doing. He was gentle and sweet even when Aaron tried to turn it into more. That meant that Spencer wasn’t doing good.
“Shush, don’t interrupt when Dad and Papa are kissing,” Jack said in what he thought was his whispering voice but really wasn’t. Aaron groaned because he knew at least Dave was standing there. When he looked over Spencer’s shoulder he saw that it wasn’t just Dave and Jack. It was Morgan as well who looked…strangely happy. His eyes weren’t on Aaron though, they were all on Spencer.
“Jack wanted to say goodnight,” Dave said with a smile on his face that was so large that Aaron was sure it could be seen from orbit. Jack moved into the room to where Spencer picked him up and kind of set him in his lap so that he could lean over and give Aaron a hug and a kiss before he turned and did the same with the younger man.
“Love you,” Spencer told Jack before he let the boy out of his arms.
“Love you too, Papa. Dad, listen to what Papa says. He’s a doctor.”
“Not that kind of doctor,” Aaron said back but Jack just frowned at him. “But I’ll do what he says.”
“I love you Jack.”
“Love you too!” Jack yawned after he spoke. Smiling as he dropped from Spencer’s lap. Morgan picked him up and waved before he left. Dave shut the door to the room after he closed the curtain so that they had a little privacy.
“You are in trouble, Aaron.”
“Spencer?” Aaron asked. He looked into Spencer’s eyes but he wasn’t angry just…emotional.
“I have to find out in a room with the team from Jessica that you want me to have Jack if you die. I have to find out when you are on a table being cut open, instead of from you when you signed the papers. He’s not a consolation prize. ‘Hey the love of your life is dead, but here’s his son!'” Spencer leaned over, laying his head on Aaron’s shoulder and Aaron pulled at him until he was laying down in a more comfortable position. “Jack called me Papa and I didn’t realize it until he’d left the room and Morgan was being an asshole. I threatened to throw him out of the hospital. And Jack wants me to become a surgeon so that you don’t get hurt like this ever again. And you’re hurt and I can’t do anything about it and I didn’t notice it.”
Aaron wasn’t shocked when Spencer went lax against him, his whole body shaking as he started to sob. Aaron just held him and dealt with the pain from the shaking of his own body. His gown was getting soaked from the tears but he didn’t care. He just held his love close to him and shushed nonsense at him. Spencer had been strong while Jack was there but now that it was just him and Aaron, he was giving in. He was letting his emotions control him and trusting Aaron to catch him.
“I’m here, Spencer. I’m here and I am alive and I promise, I’ll never leave you willingly. I’ll fight my hardest to get back to you and Jack every single time. You don’t have to worry about that.”
“I don’t want to do it alone. I don’t want to do anything without you.” Spencer lifted up and looked Aaron in the eye. “Will you marry me?”
Aaron stopped breathing and he heard a beeping from the monitor beside him. Not giving a shit about his stomach, he pulled Spencer in for a kiss. He kissed him until Spencer fought out of the hold.