Spencer realized that someone had their arm wrapped around him, holding him from the side. He also realized that he had a bullet proof vest on. It wasn’t strapped on very well, but enough to protect him. He looked down at it before looking up into the face of the man who had a hold of him.
“Oh!” He exclaimed in shock as the face of Hotch stared back at him. He looked around and there was Jack. Before he could say anything, Hotch helped him sit down on the bumper of the ambulance that the other man had evidently been trying to get him to sit on before. He moved his arm that wasn’t pressed into Hotch’s body and pain shot down it. He looked to see a bleeding gash in his arm. He remembered the flare of pain as the shot had rung out. He hadn’t even realized that he’d been shot. He felt Hotch’s hand settle on his shoulder, and then his other hand grabbed the top of his sleeve. He braced himself for what he knew what was coming. Hotch ripped the sleeve of his shirt off. He was shocked, though when Hotch stumbled back from him.
“Dad, stay away from Doctor Cane!” Jack yelled. The boy set himself between Spencer and his own father. Spencer laid his good hand on Jack’s shoulder. All of the kids in the school learned that he didn’t like to be touched. Jack, though, had learned it, and decided that he was exempt. Spencer hadn’t had the heart to tell him to stop. Hotch took another step back from them with his hands raised. He looked up from his son.
“Do you still do your best work under intense terror?” Hotch deadpanned.
Spencer was shocked when a laugh escaped his throat. He saw a medic coming towards them.
“What do you mean?” Jack asked, looking between his father and Spencer.
Spencer leaned towards him and turned him to face him. “Jack, before I taught, I worked in the FBI. I was on your father’s team. I left when you and your mother went into hiding, before she died. When you didn’t recognize me, I chose not to tell you because I wanted a clean slate.”
“He’s the one who got you hooked on planes, Jack,” Hotch said as he leaned over to speak low in his son’s ear. Spencer heard him though. He didn’t look away from Jack’s face, yet he wanted to. Jack was smiling but his eyes were thoughtful. The medic stepped closer, coming up on Hotch’s left side. “Doctor Reid is probably going to need stitches, and he had to run on his knee, I’d like it checked out before he is released.”
Spencer looked at him and glared. Hotch looked at him for a second and then looked back at the medic who was standing there. Hotch looked at the medic for a second and then sought out the woman, Callahan who had been with him.
“Callahan, do you have this under control? I want to get Reid’s witness statement as soon as possible to get Rossi all the information needed to deal with Quantico.”
“What’s happening in Quantico?” Spencer asked. He looked around and saw that only Hotch and Callahan were there. If anyone else had been there they would have been hovering around him. He was glad that the rest of the team wasn’t around, but something big had to have happened to cause them to be split-up. Especially with such uneven numbers.
“Nothing that you can help with. You need to get to the hospital.” Hotch glared at him before looking at Jack. Spencer knew it was only a matter of time before the man used his son against him. Hotch always used the weak points when he was getting what he wanted. And it was very evident that Jack was a weak point.
“Hotch.” Spencer wanted to go and see his doctor, but he was quite certain that Hotch would force him to a hospital. There was something about the way that he was acting that didn’t fit with how the man had acted before. Spencer needed more information on the man before he would be able to manipulate him into leaving.
“No.” Hotch looked at him and Spencer closed his mouth, that stare was all Hotch. Spencer knew he wasn’t going to get what he wanted. He resigned himself to a full hospital workup. “Now Callahan, are you good here?”
“Go Hotch.” Callahan smiled and turned to the HRT man. Spencer didn’t recognize him, but he knew the patch on his shirt. Jack took a few steps closer to him, and Spencer wrapped his arm around the boy’s shoulder. Jack had yet to even start to process what had happened, and the fact that the infiltrators had been after him. Spencer was glad that he was able to make sure that none of the other kids were hurt. Jack would have taken on the guilt, even though there was nothing for him to feel guilty about. He would have seen it as his fault if any of the kids were harmed since the men had been after him.
Hotch was watching them out of the corner of his eye. The older man was stripped out of his suit jacket and had the bullet proof vest encasing his upper body. Spencer knew that he’d been doing marathons from JJ, but he hadn’t realized how good he would still look. He didn’t want to get caught eyeing him, so he turned his head a little as he did it. That familiar feeling in his gut started. The same as it had been in the aftermath of the anthrax case. Years separated them, but he was still someone that Spencer wanted. He didn’t want to feel that though. He didn’t want to feel the urge to be with Hotch again. He didn’t want that in his life, but the heart always wants what it wants.
The medic moved away and started into the back of the ambulance. “Let’s get you strapped in, Doctor Reid.”
Spencer nodded and let go of Jack to climb into the back. Once he was strapped into the gurney, Hotch lifted Jack up and he scrambled in after him. The medic looked at Hotch and laughed a little. Obviously, it was someone that Hotch knew.
“If it wasn’t for the fact that I think that your son will be a good deterrent to Doctor Reid trying to fight treatment, I’d have him and you coming seperate, but Agent Hotchner, agitate Doctor Reid and I’ll knock you out myself.” The medic looked serious and Spencer was sure that he had what was needed to do that.
Hotch nodded and Spencer kept his laugh to himself. Jack was smiling though. The medic leaned over and opened a drawer before handing Jack a sucker. Jack thanked him and popped the sucker in his mouth after taking off the wrapper. Spencer subjected himself to his wound getting cleaned a little bit. Just enough to see exactly how much damage was done. He held on as the ambulance took a turn into what seemed liked the local hospital. He knew it wasn’t far.
Spencer held on tight to the gurney as he was wheeled into the ER. He was shuffled to a different bed as he was mobile. Hotch kept a hand on Jack’s shoulder as a nurse came over to Spencer. “Can I have paper and pen?”
“Sure. I’ll get it and then work on cleaning out the wound more. Do you have any allergies?”
“Beta lactams and I prefer to not be given narcotics.”
“Okay. I’ll make a note in your chart.” The nurse wandered away. She came back with his chart and a pad of paper with a pen. He started to write out his statement while the nurse debrided his wound and got it ready for stitching. He tried to focus on his statement, letting his mind block out the pain. He wrote down every word that the hostage takers had said. Every event from the moment that the last class started until he looked up at Hotch. He only registered that the nurse had finished when the doctor walked up.
“Doctor Reid, yes?” The doctor extended his hand and Spencer slipped the pen between his legs to shake his hand. “And who is this?”
“One of my students, Jack. And his father Agent Hotchner.” Spencer picked up the pen again and started to write. “Go ahead and stitch me up.”
Spencer worked on the statement as the doctor injected a local and then stitched him up. When the doctor finished, Spencer was done with his statement. The doctor said something about getting his discharge papers then moved away. Spencer handed over the pad and the pen to Hotch. Jack was still standing beside him, but he was fidgeting. Hotch picked him up and set him down beside Spencer on the gurney and then handed him a magazine. Spencer saw that it was Sports Illustrated for Kids. Jack found a section that looked like it was about soccer.
Hotch asked him a few questions before his phone rang. “Excuse me,” Hotch said as he walked away. The look on Hotch’s face as he answered it told Spencer that it was Rossi on the other end. He hoped that Hotch kept his mouth shut about him being there. He didn’t need Morgan and Rossi descending on him. Or Garcia. He especially didn’t want her there.
“Why didn’t you tell me that you knew me?” Jack asked as he closed-up the magazine and looked up at him. Spencer sighed and looked at Hotch for a second before turning to face Jack more. He’d lied by omission once, he wasn’t going to lie anymore to Jack.
“I was a different person then Jack. Before this.” Spencer waved at his leg. “When I looked up and saw you when you first came to my classroom, there was no way that you weren’t your father’s son. Being an FBI Agent was a different part of my life. I don’t talk about it at the school.”
“But I’m me and we are alone in class for over an hour each day.”
“I didn’t have a lot of family growing up Jack, and I thought that the team was my family, but some things happened, and I realized that my family wasn’t as large as I thought. I learned at a young age with my family that you couldn’t count on them and well…I relearned that when my knee was injured, and it wasn’t a burden I wanted to place on you. It was better to keep it all inside and not let it taint my teaching of you. You didn’t need to pay for the faults done to me by anyone else. So that morning started a clean slate for both of us.”
“I don’t…I don’t understand all of what you said, but I can tell that you are sad.” Jack leaned into him and Spencer wrapped his good arm around him. The doctor came back and he looked at him.
“Is there anything else?”
“I…” Spencer looked at Hotch, hating to admit that he had hurt himself. His knee was aching, and he knew it needed to be looked at. “I twisted my knee when I was running from the school.” Hotch only gave him a smile that told Spencer he had already figured that out.
Hotch pulled the phone down from his ear and covered the receiver slot with his finger. “Reid, I need to talk to Dave. I’m going to step outside. Can you keep an eye on Jack?”
Spencer nodded, but before he could say anything, Hotch was moving out the double bay doors where they had come in.
“A nurse can stay with young Jack outside the X-Ray room while you are being checked over,” the doctor said as he helped Jack down off the gurney, and then had him walking beside while Spencer was wheeled into the X-Ray room.
Half an hour later, Spencer had his diagnosis on the knee. Thankfully, he hadn’t done more damage to it, but he had sprained it. He was going to be on crutches for a few days and on light duty. He’d have to wait until he got home to contact the Deputy Headmaster to figure out exactly what was going on with the school. He figured that the school would be closed the rest of the week. His cellphone was in pieces in his classroom. The FBI was going to do clean up, but he wanted to clean the room himself as well. He had a lot that he needed to do and first he needed to get a cellphone.
Spencer was sitting on the gurney with a generic scrub top on his chest and his slacks back on. His knee had been wrapped, and he’d been given a muscle relaxant to take for a few nights. This he was used to. This was normal. Spencer had already signed his discharge papers, he was just waiting on Hotch to come and collect Jack. The ER wasn’t full at the moment, but it was braced for the fallout of whatever was happening elsewhere in Quantico. He had thought that he’d be more worried about what was happening, but he wasn’t. They were in Dumfries, which was far enough from Quantico that he felt safe..
“Reid,” Hotch said as he came close again. He had a worried look on his face. “Jessica is in DC and the road to here is on lockdown. I have to go and help the team. I know that I have no right to ask this…”
“As long as you drop us off at my house, I will gladly watch him until the case is over, or Jessica can pick him up.” Spencer wasn’t going to let Jack be watched by someone else. The hostage takers had already tried to get a hold of him, and Hotch knew it. Even though he was being asked to watch Jack, he was certain that there would be a guard outside his house. He was more than willing to take it. “As you know my cell is broken. I’ll give you my house phone number.”
“Good. That’s good.”
Spencer took the phone when it was handed over, and found his contact information saved from before, and updated it include to his new house number. Without Hotch noticing he found the messaging app and opened it. Finding that Hotch’s message of sorry was still in there, he wasn’t sure what to think about that. He wasn’t sure what to think about any of it.