Series: The Alphabet Game
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Season 7
Tags: Fluff, Power Outage, Cuddling,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Jack Hotchner, Curiosity (The Cat), Toothless (The Bearded Dragon)
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: Family cuddling.
Notes: Spencer’s Flat
Spencer smiled as he set the last plate in the drainer. Aaron and Jack were in the living room area playing a game of Sorry. The sounds washed over him. Today had been the first full day that he and Aaron had had off for weeks. Weekends were spent on a case or catching up on paperwork that Strauss needed, which meant bringing a lot of work back to the flat. Jack kept himself entertained for the time they had to spend working, playing with either Curiosity or Toothless or reading, watching TV, or playing a game on the Wii.
Weekends were pretty much spent at Spencer’s now. There were various nights throughout the week that were spent there, especially if a case went long and Jessica had Jack, but the weekends were spent with Jack. Sometimes it was Aaron and Jack going and doing something together, others it was Spencer and Jack, but mostly it was the three of them doing something.
The storm that was on them now had been brewing all afternoon and had turned the skies dark long before they should have been. It was a nice evening for being inside. The plans to go bike riding in the park had been put off. Jack, and Henry, had adored the bikes so much that every single chance they got, they went riding. Aaron’s bike was used quite a bit more as he was trying to stay in shape as much as he could for the next triathlon. The other one had happened while they were on the outs with each other. Of course, Spencer was all for Aaron getting all sweaty and coming back panting because that meant a shower, and he could normally talk the other man into sharing that shower. That always led to sex and, so far, other than a worry that he might want sex more than is normal, he’d taken to sex well. There were times he wanted it and times that he didn’t, but the same was said for Aaron as well. He hadn’t talked to Aaron yet and he knew research wise that he wasn’t sex obsessed, but he wanted to make sure he wasn’t pressuring Aaron into it more than he wanted.
“Okay in here?” Aaron asked coming up behind him. Spencer hummed as Aaron wrapped his arms around him. Aaron had cooked and Jack had helped so it was Spencer’s turn to wash the dishes. If Jack didn’t help cook on weekends he was on dish duty as well. During the week Jack’s only chore was homework and helping with Toothless when he was over. He had other chores at his own apartment but when he was at Spencer’s his chores were a match.
“Yes.” Spencer turned to kiss Aaron’s cheek.
“You stopped washing a few minutes ago.”
“Just lost in my head.”
“Also. I was afraid that you’d wipe through the pan.” Aaron motioned with his hand at the pan that was clean but he kept wiping.
“Oh.” Spencer set the plate down in the rinse water. Aaron stayed right behind him, just cuddling. There were just a few bits of silverware left and he focused on them to get done. It had been a fun day with Jack but he was tired, not sleeping well because of the last case. There was still something bothering him about it and he couldn’t figure it out.
“Go, I’ll finish these,” Aaron said as he wrapped his hands around Spencer’s wrists and pulled them up out of the sink.
“No. You cooked.”
“And your head is elsewhere. We are waiting on you to start the movie and if you take much longer, Jack will start it without you. So really, I’m just pushing things along.” Aaron moved unwrapped one arm away so that Spencer could slip away from him and the counter. The hand towel that was hanging on the hook beside the sink, he grabbed and dried off his hands. He looked in and saw Jack reading and decided to stay with Aaron.
“Jack. Like always. Then I was distracted.”
Spencer just smiled at him. He watched Aaron as he searched around the soapy water for the silverware that they had used with dinner. He watched as Aaron set the now clean and rinsed forks and knives into the silverware pocket of the drainer before he turned to take the towel from him. He dried his hands and Spencer turned to look at Jack again. Suddenly, something looped around his neck and before he could even register what it was, he was pulled forward and Aaron was kissing him. Wetness seeped into the collar of his shirt and he realized it was the towel.
“Eww,” Jack said with a giggle and Spencer tried not to squirm. He was slowly getting used to being more than just glancingly affectionate in front of Jack.
“Settle,” Aaron whispered as he pulled back to breathe before he dove right back in. Spencer settled his hands on Aaron’s hips and did settle down. Aaron turned him and pressed him into the island behind the sink. He pulled Aaron just a few inches closer and wrapped his arms around his waist. They stood there kissing for several minutes before Aaron stopped. “See, not the end of the world.”
“I know. I…Mom and dad weren’t affectionate, even when I was really young. Just give me a chance to get used to it.”
Before Aaron could say anything in response, a large crack of thunder sounded and a few seconds later, lightning lit up the entire sky and then the flat was plunged into darkness. An even larger sound kind of shook the building but it wasn’t thunder.
“Transformer blew, more than one by the sound of it,” Spencer said.
“But Toothless’s tank is still on!” Jack cried out. The sound of his book hitting the floor and then running feet was the only thing that told Spencer where Jack was. His head appeared in the light coming off Toothless’s tank.
“There is a generator in the building that’s pretty big and run a single outlet in each apartment. There are a few older people and their oxygen tanks run on it. Others swap what’s there as needed. Toothless needs a constant temperature so I thought that his tank was better for the generator. We can unplug it and use other things for short periods of time.”
The sound of Curiosity running full tilt from one side of the room to the other had Spencer chuckling. Jack laughed and took off after him.
“Want to help me set up the living room for camping?” Spencer asked Aaron. Aaron’s lips bussed his head as he was pulled towards the bedroom.
“Sounds like fun. If the storm dies down we can open the windows right?” Aaron asked.
“Yes. But not until the rain stops. I’d rather not mop up a whole bunch of water. If it starts to get too stuffy in here we can unplug Toothless’s lights and hook up the fan.” Spencer’s bedroom only had a little light from the emergency lighting that he had installed. Each bedroom had one as did each bathroom. The lights were LED and the batteries would last most of the night.
“Do you want me to just grab the pillows from the beds?”
“Sure.” Spencer opened up his closet and slipped into it, going to the back left corner and finding his stack of thick blankets there. He’d bought them with the idea of non storm related nights sleeping in the living room. He could hear the sounds of Jack and Curiosity playing their varied game of hide and seek. He had no clue how exactly Jack had trained the kitten to play it but he did. It was cute to watch them because Curiosity would actually hide from Jack and then would bury his face in the couch while Jack hid from him. It had to have come about when Jack came over in the afternoons after school. Several times a week, Jessica would bring Jack over after school. The boy would do his homework and play with Toothless and Curiosity. “Does Jessica like where she lives?”
“I don’t know. She’s been there since college. It’s pretty far from her job but she mostly works from home. Why?” Aaron’s tone said that he was a little unhappy with where she was but Spencer wondered why.
“I didn’t know. Jack’s made mention of her and him coming over here more and more when we are on cases or even just working at the office. I just wasn’t sure if it was her wanting Jack happy or just not wanting to go home.”
“It’s a one bedroom so I’m sure that Jack having room to run around and do things is nice.”
“Why doesn’t she take him back to your place?”
“Because it’s where I moved into after Haley left me. I don’t think mentally that she can separate that. Here there is no history.”
“Ah.” Spencer set the blankets down on the bed and grabbed a sheet from the top of the dresser. He’d just washed it but he didn’t want to dig out one from the high shelving in the closet. Aaron had all the pillows from the bed in his arms and was smiling. Spencer stacked the sheet on top of the blankets and moved out into the living room. Jack had settled down on the couch with Toothless in his hands and Curiosity sitting on the back of the couch, flicking his tail in Jack’s face. Spencer laughed. “Lift your feet and tuck them onto the couch. I need to push the coffee table over.”
Jack did as Spencer asked and tucked his feet up. He lifted Toothless up by both hands and once Spencer had moved the coffee table over to the couch. As soon as the table and couch were touching, Jack set Toothless down on the table. The lizard scrambled around and found a book to crawl up on. Jack giggled. Curiosity stood up and jumped down onto the couch cushion and then walked onto the table. He sprawled on the edge of the book and Toothless kind of snuggled into his warmth.
“You and your pets,” Aaron said. He tossed the pillows down on the futon couch that was closest to the windows at back of the room and stepped up to look out. Spencer stepped up behind him. Everything in what looked like a four block radius from the building was out. The only lighting was the headlights from cars that were slowly driving in the darkness and pouring rain. “I’ll call the team and make sure they are fine. You and Jack get the bedding set up?”
“Sure. Once Jack gets Toothless back in the cage in a little while, we can charge the phone that has the least amount of battery power.”
“Okay. That’ll probably be mine as I use mine a lot more than you.” Aaron kissed his forehead and moved towards the kitchen. He tuned out as Aaron got a hold of Rossi.
Jack worked diligently to help him get the first bit of layers down on the floor and then the sheet. The boy laid down the pillows before going back to his room and getting his pillow as well as the cat pillow that Curiosity slept on when he slept with Jack. Spencer moved back to the bedroom to grab a fresh comforter from the closet and a lighter blanket as well. It was probably going to be a cool night but he wanted to be prepared in case it wasn’t.
“Spencer, can you make hot chocolate? Since your stove is gas.” Jack asked.
“And we can sit and you can read to us?”
“Sure.” Spencer looked up at Aaron and saw that while he was talking to someone, he was listening to them as well. He had a pan on the stove and was getting out the milk. “Why don’t you keep Curiosity company in here while I go start the hot chocolate. Then you and your father can see about lighting the emergency candles I have. We can set the lantern up on the futon and I can use it to read.”
“No…I want a story from your head.”
“Okay. I’ll think of something.”
By the time that they were all three on the makeshift bed with hot chocolate in hand, the storm was still raging outside. Toothless was in his tank. Curiosity was curled on the pillow Jack had grabbed for him. Aaron’s phone was on charge and Spencer’s was beside them on the futon. Spencer was in the middle with Jack curled into him. Jack’s head was pillowed on his thigh. Spencer was playing with Jack’s hair. He was leaning up onto the futon. Jack’s hot chocolate was half gone before he’d even laid down. The cup was resting on his hip and he’d lean up a little and take a drink every few minutes.
Spencer started to tell a slightly modified version of King Arthur from one of his mom’s favorite authors. He changed words around to ones that Jack would understand. He was about a quarter of the way though the book when he realized that Jack was dead asleep. Aaron had taken his mug and had set it on the floor far behind him.
“Keep going,” Aaron said as he laid down too. His head nestled on the pillow. Spencer leaned over and kissed his forehead before he started the narrative again. He was getting tired but not enough to sleep. He stopped and sipped at his now cold hot chocolate when he needed a drink, but otherwise he didn’t stop until he was done. Aaron was asleep, his head tucked close to Spencer as he breathed in and out.
Getting up and collecting the mugs, Spencer moved towards the kitchen. He ran water in the sink. It was cold as he didn’t touch the hot at all. The water heaters were gas for each floor, but if the gas was off at the entrance due to chance of leaks, there was only what was in the pipes. He was finishing rinsing out the mugs and the pan when the lights flicked back on in the flat. Spencer looked over to see that Aaron and Jack were still asleep so he worked on getting all the lights out and plugged in his phone to a charger as well. He set the clock on the stove before he moved to reset the one in the bedroom as well. His phone would go off with an alarm to wake him up at a time he liked.
Spencer was tired by the time that he laid down. He laid on his side in between father and son, facing Jack and wasn’t shocked when Aaron wrapped an arm around his waist and snuggled even closer to him. He could tell that the man was awake. He waited to see if he was going to say anything.
“I want to ask you a question.”
Spencer smirked. He’d broke the entire team of that one during his first six months. Every single one of them asked if they could ask him a question and he always answered with “You already did but you may ask another.” Morgan still poised questions to him in that format even though he didn’t correct anyone else anymore.
“You bought the whole building didn’t you?” Aaron’s voice was sleep roughened.
“And Jessica put in a request for the next available didn’t she?”
“There is a two bedroom that is a floor below us that will be available for rent in four weeks. She put you as a reference and my building manager knew your name. Is she doing it to get out of where she is or to be closer to Jack?”
“I don’t know. This place is a lot closer to work and she is having to go in a little more with a project.”
“She was given a range of apartment prices but given that there are a lot here, she’d never know the exact price of the apartment…” Spencer wanted to sound him out.
“But you’d feel better if she was here versus where she is now.”
“I would but you don’t…”
“Even if we weren’t together, Aaron I’d do it because no matter what your divorce papers say, she’s your family. I’d prefer she not know that I own the building but that is mainly because the only tenants that know are the building manager and her husband as they do maintenance and things. If you think it’s better she knows, just make sure that she knows that no one else knows it.”
“So how did you end up buying?”
“The old owner was moving to Arizona and none of her kids wanted it and she was going to sell to one of those places that own like half of the apartments in DC. I liked it all so I bought it. I had to dip into a few things and sell a few other things, but I got it and I was very happy that I did. So…”
Aaron pulled him in just a little tighter. “She’d rather know so you can talk to her about that and I hope you understand that your poker face had better be good enough for me to not see the lie when you tell her the price for her place.”
“She won’t know I am lying. I promise.” Spencer settled down. “You know that means that Jack’s basically going to live here then right?”
“And?” Aaron asked.
Spencer relaxed down into the bedding and closed his eyes. He smiled as he knew that it wasn’t going to be long at all before Aaron would breach the subject of living together.