Title: Sunset
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: 2017 (Season 12)
Tags: Happy Endings,
Ratings: PG-13
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, Jack Hotchner,
Spoilers: Up Through Current Aired Episodes of Season 12
Summary: There was something lovely about the beach that just drew him in and as the sun set over the dock in the distance, Spencer didn’t want to ever leave again.
Words: 1,458
Notes: None
Warnings: Minor Character Death
Beta: None

Spencer hadn’t taken a vacation just for himself ever. He had gone to see his mother many times and he’d even taken a trip to Paris with her just months before but he’d never actually taken one where he did what he wanted, when he wanted.

While this vacation hadn’t started as something he’d wanted but Prentiss had bought it all with money from Rossi after his mother’s death and then JJ and Garcia had forced him into the actually getting on a plane and flying to Cancun. He’d pouted in his room for a few days and then actually got out and saw some of the city. He had list of places from Rossi to avoid and a few places that he should visit.

Which was why he was currently lost on a beach. The directions that Rossi had given him on how to find a lovely out of the way place to eat dinner in the near wilds of Cancun had led Spencer into someone’s backyard. The sun was setting and Spencer was ready to just head back to his hotel. His rental car was parked just off the side of the road two miles back and it would be full dark before he made it there.

The sun slipped behind the boathouse on the dock on the other end of the property and it drew Spencer’s gaze. He stopped and looked as the sky started to turn all sorts of colors. The shades of red, orange, and yellow were ones that he had never seen before. Arcing out from there was the blackness of the bottom of the clouds as they stopped reflecting the sun. The blue sky was deepening into an almost royal blue and Spencer found himself entranced.

As the sun finished its trek through the shy, Spencer watched. For once there were no stories going through his mind about the myths and legends behind the sun and the moon. There was only beauty in his mind. He watched as the colors receded and there was only blackness.

The sound of a kid whooping, drew Spencer out of his beauty induced zone out. He saw an older kid, not yet a teenager, running out of the fence that cut off the actual backyard from the beach. The boy stopped in his tracks as he saw that he wasn’t alone in his backyard beach. Spencer turned to move back up the beach and hoped that he’d find his car. The sand was still warm and when Spencer’s feet sunk, he could feel the warmth on the sides of his feet. He tried to remember how many steps down the beach he’d gone as he heard not just a single set of running feet towards him but a second larger, heavier set as well. Spencer stopped moving and hunched down into himself. He just hoped that whoever’s beach it was, wasn’t upset about having Spencer invade his property.

Spencer nearly fell down when instead of stopping, the boy ran into him, wrapping his arms around Spencer’s waist. When Spencer tried to turn though, he did fall and the boy fell down with him. Spencer forcibly rolled over and the boy, who was acting like a monkey, moved up to wrap his arms around Spencer’s chest and lay his head on Spencer’s chest, right over his heart.

The other person who had been running at him stopped at his feet and stared down at him. There was enough light from the setting sun still in the area that Spencer could make out the man’s outline but there was nothing else that he could see.

“Why’d you leave?” the monkey boy asked but his voice was muffled as he was rubbing his face on Spencer’s chest. There was something about his voice though, something that he knew that he knew. His mind jumped back to a young boy who always buried his face into his father’s neck when he had been forced to talk to people who were strangers to him in public.

Spencer relaxed his entire body and brought his arms up to wrap about the monkey that he was sure he wouldn’t be able to get rid of for days.

“I didn’t know that it was you, Jackers.” Spencer looked up to Aaron and saw that he was moving. Spencer was shocked when the man stretched out on his side along Spencer’s body. His face close enough to make out his features, including a face full of scruff that told Spencer that he’d grown it out on purpose.

“Rossi has been in contact sort of. Messages through the Marshall that checks on us every few weeks. Said that he was going to turn you in this direction at some point soon. I didn’t expect it.”

“I resigned.” Spencer kept his mouth shut because more words wanted to creep out but he didn’t want to start crying, not yet and he knew that he would. The utter desolation after he’d found out that his mother had died, a reaction to a new medication for her Alzheimer’s on top of her Schizophrenia medicine. How for the week after when all the tests had been done to see what the exact cause and extent of the reaction was, in hopes of stopping it from happening again, Spencer woke, every night a sob stuck in his throat, and imagined that Aaron had come to him, even though the man was still in hiding from Mr. Scratch. That Spencer’s grief had been worth the risk. He knew though that Aaron hadn’t even known. It wasn’t like Diana Reid’s death was countrywide news.

“Why?” Jack asked as he sat up, realizing that Spencer wasn’t going to leave at all. He sat down on Spencer’s lower stomach, just back enough to where Spencer could still breathe.

“I…” Spencer closed his eyes, the grief taking him over again. He took in a breath and his entire body shuddered at how hard he was trying to keep the tears back. Aaron leaned closer, wrapped an arm around the front of Spencer’s neck, cupping his cheek and used it to pull Spencer’s face close. The older man buried his face in Spencer’s cheek.

“I’m sorry, Spencer,” Aaron whispered on the skin of his cheek.

Spencer let out a single sob, the first he’d done since he’d got the call that his mother had died. He’d not broke down and cried for her yet. A second sob followed and then a flood of them. Spencer couldn’t stop them and he didn’t want to. He had held back the tears because he was afraid that if he’d let it out, he’d never stop and he trusted Aaron to pull him out.

The air was cool and there was only Spencer and Aaron when Spencer could finally stop crying. He felt worn out in a way that he hadn’t felt since Maeve and he wanted to just sleep but he didn’t think that sleeping on the beach was a good idea. He’d rolled over into Aaron and his head was tucked under his chin.

“I never wanted to leave you and I told you that I’d come for you when it was time. I meant when you left the BAU but also a few years from now but I’ll take now. I’ve made a life here, on the beach, in the sand, and there is a hole in our lives that we’ve left for you.” Aaron tilted Spencer’s face up and kissed him, softly. Despite the tears, and the mess his face was, Aaron kissed him like he had that first time, just days before Mr. Scratch had escaped. And how Aaron had kissed him before he’d lied and said he was going on a TDY. Spencer was still upset about that and the letter in the mail hadn’t helped but he agreed that Spencer never would have let them go quietly.

“I’ll stay,” Spencer whispered, his voice not able to go higher due to crying.

“Good. Jessica will love the help with Jack. We home school him here, his wishes as he wants to go home one day and doesn’t want to be behind.”

“You live here?” Spencer asked.

“Yes. I have done well the past six months here. Also the DOJ cashed out all my money and it’s in a Caymen’s account. You don’t have to work but I wouldn’t stop you from working.”

“Seriously, we live here?” Spencer asked again and he looked around. He couldn’t see a thing now except in the distance where he could see Jack sitting at the edge of the water with torches all around him. He could be happy here. He’d be happy anywhere where Aaron and Jack were.
The End


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