And the Fluff Prevails

Title: And the Fluff Prevails
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Any
Tags: Fluff, I Mean FLUFF, It’s So Fluffy I Could Die,
Ratings: NC-17
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through 12 of CM,
Summary: The bunnies, they breed and the fluff bunnies are the worst of them all.
Notes: Yeah this happened
Warnings: Um Fluff?
Beta: None

This is a series of one-shots that were written and posted on AO3 in a writing war with Rivermoon1970.

Chapter 1-Apron

Spencer had thought that Aaron was joking. They were three weeks in his lover’s retirement and two days into Spencer moving into the house that Aaron had bought. The team was still unawares of the relationship and for the moment that was fine with them all.

Aaron’s retirement had come just after catching Peter Lewis for the second time and finding out that even after the SWATing incident, Aaron was still being watched. The relationship between the two men had only been unrevealed by his Interrogator because if push came to shove, the DOJ was willing to use Spencer ad leverage against him. The only upside was that Jack had been off limits. Aaron had talked to Cruz, talked to many higher ups, and then two weeks later was retired.

The team had functioned as normal, breaking in Alvez who had joined the team in the middle of the hunt for the fugitives. Spencer had known Aaron was leaving from the first talk. He’d kept his mouth shut. Cruz had not liked all that he had found out about them wanting to use Spencer as a weak spot in Aaron’s armor. Still even after five weeks from it being announced, there was no mention of a replacement for Aaron on the team or as Unit Chief.

That was until Spencer had gone to work that morning and found the bullpen rearranged. JJ’s desk was the same and so was Lewis’s. But Alvez’s temporary desk was moved in front of Lewis’s and Spencer’s was nowhere to be seen. His stuff was just gone. Across from JJ was now someone else. There was no plaque with a name. Aaron’s former office had been in remodel for a week. It was now open. From where he was, he hadn’t been able to see the name.

Spencer had known something was up as soon as he saw Rossi. The man never beat him to work.

“Aaron’s team replacement has been picked. Fresh off the plane from England.” Rossi pointed behind him and there stood Prentiss. It made sense, Spencer thought when he had looked back on it. Shed led her Interpol team, she’d not come back for less than thought but she hadn’t moved to the office. Instead she’d sat down her stuff at Spencer’s desk before she moved to give him a hug.

“Where is my stuff?”

“Sign this and I will tell you.” Rossi handed over a form and Spencer let his eyes wash over it. The words registered but his brain didn’t quite understand. He wanted to punch Aaron. He really did.

“How long have you known?” Spencer asked.

“Two hours. From what I can get from Cruz we three and him are the only ones that know. It was a uphill fight as Aaron abstained from supporting you. He said that you would make a good chief but that he couldn’t say yay or nay on the subject. He turned down every other name. Cruz called me last night and wanted me to be here to see over the installation of something to the kitchenette.”

Spencer turned his eye that way and saw nothing new. He looked back at Rossi. He’d worry about that later.

“Why do they want me?”

“Because I don’t want it. When Strauss let me come back, I made it plain I didn’t want to be Unit Chief. I didn’t even take it when Aaron asked me to during Foyet. You though would do good. With your brain and the confidence that you have built up. God knows your social life won’t suffer.”

Spencer kind of took offense to that. He grabbed the paper from Rossi and signed it before moving up to his new office. He saw all of his stuff but shockingly there was still some of Aaron’s stuff in there. The set of law books that Spencer was halfway through. Most telling if all was the frame that he recognized from the back. It was Aaron and Jack. It was most telling of what Aaron wanted. He knew that Aaron had come in and done this. The walls were the same shade of blue as the office in the house.

“Why didn’t Hotch support you as UC, Reid?” Prentiss asked as she stepped into the office.

“Favoritism.”

“Cause you are on the same team?” Prentiss asked.

“No.”

The sound of running feet heralded the arrival of the Hotchners. Aaron was still going to be teaching at the Academy so he was allowed in the building. Spencer moved to the door just as Jack was running up the stairs and launched himself up and into Spencer’s arms. He was too big for it but Spencer wanted it at the moment.

“Dad said you’d need a hug.”

“I do, Jackers. Thank you.”

“Dave, Emily,” Aaron greeted as he moved up behind his son. When Spencer set Jack down he moved into the office interior and started to pull things from his backpack.

“What are you doing here Aaron?”

“Come to see Spencer on his first day, before the hoards descend and try and upset him.” Aaron looked at Spencer with a raised eyebrow, asking a silent question. Spencer just smiled back, daring him. Aaron stepped close to him, cupped his face in both hands and kissed him. The twins gasps from behind Aaron just prompted Spencer to keep the kiss going a little longer.

“That…” Prentiss said when Aaron finally pulled out of the kiss. “Huh.”

“Close Rossi’s jaw, Prentiss. He’ll catch flies,” Spencer said. He turned away from Aaron and saw Jack setting up a small desk area that he hadn’t noticed in the corner. Crayons, markers, papers, and a few books were set in top. “Taking over my office before I can even get a chance to do it?”

“Yep.” Jack turned and smiled at him. “Dad has class on Wednesday afternoons so he’ll come get me from New Haven and bring me back here. I get to hang out with you if you aren’t on a case.”

“I see. And if I am?”

“I can use your desk!”

“That’s a very…open way of outing us, Aaron.”

“Better than just rumors. It’s made the gossip rounds that I did not put forth a name from my own team to be UC. So you being it and finding out that we are together, will stop some rumors of favoritism.”

“How long exactly has this been going on?” Rossi asked.

“Spencer moved in with us this week!” Jack supplied helpfully. He was around to Spencer’s desk, slipping a pack of colored pencils in his top desk drawer. Where they were in his desk at home. He had a feeling all if his drawers were laid out the same. He knew that Aaron had set up the office. Those few late night meetings to hash out with the upper levels just what his level of involvement in the academy would be had to be a ruse to do this.

“He did. Tried to get him to move in for a year. Since the last time his lease was up.”

Spencer didn’t even hold back the urge to stick his tongue out at him. “I have a lot of work to do it seems and so you Mr. Hotchner, are going to have to leave.”

“What about me?” Jack asked.

“You can stay,” Spencer said smiling at Aaron. Aaron just raised his hands up and leaned in for a last kiss.

“Do you not have school today, Jack?” Prentiss asked.

“Nope. Long weekend. It’s soooo cool. I get to hang out here. Dad never let me do that.” Jack moved back to his desk and drew out his drawing stuff, setting down before he grabbed his MP3 player from his bag and started to get lost in drawing.

“Already the cool dad huh?” Prentiss asked.

“Spencer has always been the cooler parent. He can recite anything and his head is full of superhero knowledge. I am relegated to just being the superhero dad.” Aaron left with little else said and before anyone else had arrived for the day.

Yet just as Spencer was getting into the paperwork on his desk, having help Aaron with his for the last few years and knew the majority of it, a text came over his phone. It was Aaron asking forgiveness and that he would make it up to him. Spencer pushed it out of his mind as he focused on work. It wouldn’t help him at all to obsess about it. It would come to light or it wouldn’t.

An hour passed by with paperwork for Prentiss’s return, Alvez’s first review on the team, and just budget paperwork. It would take him a while to get into the hand of it but Spencer was more than up for the challenge. Hidden away at the bottom of the first stack was his new salary. He’d never asked Aaron about his. Joining accounts had only come up in the past day. Spencer looked over the paperwork before signing. His own salary was greatly increased because of his degrees and there was a rider for how much it would go up for each on that followed. He wondered what Cruz was going to say when he took the week off to give his dissertation on his three latest, two more PhDs and a new BS. He figured at some point he’d have a cap put on him.

The sound of more running feet told Spencer that someone else with a kid had arrived. His was still sitting in the corner at his desk so he looked up in time to see a mop of blonde hair run past with a wave with one hand and a stack of comics clutched in the other. First day on the job and he was reduced to babysitter at the hands of his lover.

“Hotch said to bring Henry to work…” Spencer heard JJ say but her voice trailed off. “Who is in Hotch’s office?”

“I figure that you can get away with calling our new boss anything,” Rossi answered back.

JJ’s heels clicked and clacked over the floor and then her head was appearing in the doorway. The look of shock on her face was huge.

“Welcome to the Unit Chief Babysitting Service,” Spencer said with a smile on his face.

“You? What? How?” JJ took a deep breath. “Spence?”

“I found out when Rossi handed me the paperwork to promote me. Don’t feel bad.”

“What is Jack doing here with you?” JJ looked at the desk that her son and Jack were at.

“In all seriousness? I think he’d a shield to protect everyone from me.” Spencer looked and saw that the boys were now sharing earbuds. If this was to become a regular thing, he’d see about getting one of the splitters so that they could both listen at the same time.

“Why was this dropped on you like this? What if you had said no?”

“Aaron knew that I wouldn’t. Morgan is gone and Rossi doesn’t want it. I’m not going to let some stranger come in. Did you see who is out there at my desk?”

“No one was there and I didn’t pay much attention.”

“I also think that it was a gift from Aaron.”

“Who?”

“Me.” Prentiss was leaning in the doorway of the room, smiling at JJ. “Hotch called me every single day the last two weeks he was working and begged me to come back. He knew a week into that who the new UC would be and he said that they would need my help in keeping the team together. I didn’t expect it to be Reid. So we are doing lunch somewhere kid friendly. Since Reid’s babysitting more than just us today.”

“Pizza!” Jack and Henry said their heads never coming up from where they were discussing comics and drawing.

“I have work that I have to get done. Cruz and Aaron hide files that I need to look at all through all of the files on my desk. So please, if you are old enough to drink, leave the room. If Alvez and Lewis want to talk when they get in, send them up to me. JJ please introduce Prentiss and Alvez.”

Prentiss smirked at him and JJ laughed as they left the office.

The rest of the day was paperwork except for lunch which was pizza as even Rossi caved to the face of two boys begging. The only really good thing was that when JJ left with Henry and Jack when she took off, Aaron had made the plans to have Jack kept over for the weekend.

Cruz had stayed away the entire day and the one time that Spencer called him, his secretary said that he would be in early on Monday to talk to him about everything. So Spencer left for the day and drove home. He wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from Aaron when he got home. There was still a lot of his unpacking that had to be done and after that organizing.

The windows in the house were open and the soft sounds of jazz music was coming from the kitchen. As Spencer got closer he could smell something spicy cooking. The kitchen was visible through the open windows and Spencer looked at Aaron, in the kitchen standing in front of the stove. He was wearing the purple apron that Jack had bought him just two weeks ago. Jack had seen it in the store when they had been shopping for dinner. It was a deep purple and it had the words Kiss the Cook on it.

Something must have caught Aaron’s attention because he turned around and locked eyes with Spencer. The smile on his face was worth anything though. It was the smile that Spencer was seeing more and more over the weeks. Happiness. Pure happiness.

Aaron started towards the door and met Spencer at it. As Spencer stepped up to it, the door was opened and he was pulled into a kiss. He could live with this.

Chapter 3-Roses

Spencer was sitting down at his desk when he heard the noise pick up around him. He was lost in the new book that had been published in the United Kingdom on paraphilias. Spencer was twirling a pen in his fingers as the noise got closer. It was getting harder and harder to ignore it. He finally turned and saw that the sixth floor courier was carrying roses headed into the BAU bullpen. Spencer wondered what day it was for JJ that Will was sending her flowers.

Turning back to his book, Spencer waited for the squeals that told him that JJ had been given her flowers.

“Doctor Reid?” the courier said.

Spencer turned back around and the man was standing there with the roses in hand looking a little uncomfortable.

“Yes?”

“I have a delivery for you.” The courier set down the roses on the desk and took a few steps back. Spencer looked at the roses, frowning. It wasn’t red roses but peach colored. His mind supplied the information that peach colored roses were an elegant way to say thank you and to show appreciation.

“Um, thank you.” Spencer looked at the courier and the man left just as Morgan and Garcia entered the bullpen with JJ and Callahan on their heels.

There was a card stuffed in the middle of the two dozen roses and Spencer grabbed it before Morgan could. He smiled at the writing on the card. There was no name and there was no identifying anything but Spencer knew who they were from.

Thank you for loving him was all the card said. Spencer knew the him and also knew why the flowers had been sent to work and not just left at home for him to find.

“Pretty Boy, you do understand that flowers go to the girl right?” Morgan asked. Garcia smacked the dark skinned agent over the head with her purse. “What?”

“My boyfriend sent me the flowers,” Spencer said.

“For what?”

“Stepfather’s Day.”

“That’s not a real thing,” Garcia pointed out.

“September has Stepfamily Day and there is an actual Stepmother’s Day but my boyfriend’s son wanted a day for me so we picked a date on the calendar in March that we liked so the first Sunday of the month is Stepfather’s Day for us. We didn’t want it in June like Father’s Day. May is Mother’s Day, Stepmother’s Day, and Memorial Day. July is the Fourth. August is getting ready for school, September has Labor Day and Stepfamily Day, October Halloween, November Thanksgiving, December Christmas, January is New Year’s, February is Valentine’s Day, Easter falls between March 22nd and April 25th. So the beginning of March was chosen. And we were on a case up until yesterday so the flowers being delivered makes sense today as tomorrow is Saturday.”

“When do we get to meet this wonderful boyfriend of yours that he and his son go to all the trouble of making what is basically a Spencer’s Day?” Garcia asked.

“At my new house tomorrow.”

“New house?” Morgan asked.

“I say my I should say our. Cookout tomorrow. I’ll text you all the address.”

“Springing a cookout on all of us?”

“Too much time and you all would drive me nuts.” Spencer smiled as he heard feet behind the team that was gathered around his desk.

“Hi, Uncle Dave!” Jack yelled before he barreled between the team and handed over a card to Spencer. “Ready to go home, Spencer?”

“I am Jack. I am.” Spencer reached behind himself and grabbed the book before he stood up. His bag was already packed and ready to go, he’d just been waiting on Aaron to get back with Jack. Aaron was waiting at the elevator for them so Spencer laid his hand on Jack’s shoulder before he grabbed the flowers and carried them with him. As they got close to Aaron, he stepped forward and took the flowers with a smile. Spencer knew that the rest of the team would be jumping at that. That was why he didn’t plan on texting the address of the new place until an hour before he wanted the team there.

“Ready to go home?” Aaron asked with a smile on his face as they stepped into the elevator. Spencer turned and looked at the shocked faces of the team and smiled. He waved at them as the doors closed.

“I love the flowers, Aaron. Thank you.”

“I wanted you to have them as soon as possible. And I thought that flowers at work was something that you might like or at least want to experience once. You are all about new experiences.”

“I am. Thank you for the roses. I do love them.” Spencer bumped his shoulder into Aaron’s. As much affection as he was willing to do at work. Aaron smiled at him and Jack tucked into their bodies, connecting them. This was Spencer’s family and he’d do anything to protect it.

Chapter 4-Saving Christmas

Spencer was sitting at home and reading. His mom had sent him a present, a new set of books from the eighteenth century, all in French. It was Christmas Eve and he was actually happy to be alone. Rossi had gone home to visit his family, Prentiss was at some party with her mother and her father. Garcia was doing something that Spencer still wasn’t sure exactly what it was but it had to do with a LAN party. JJ and Will had taken off for New Orleans after a lunch with Spencer. Henry had been excited for presents from Spencer, including several new audio books that Spencer had recorded for him. The boy loved to listen to them to go down for his afternoon nap. Spencer had got him a lot of other things but those the boy had been happy for. Morgan was in Chicago.

And Hotch was spending his first Christmas with Jack without Haley. No matter how bad the relationship had got and no matter that they were divorced, Hotch had always spent the night at the house so that on Christmas morning, Jack woke up to his mother and his father and presents from Santa. Spencer set down his book and closed his eyes. He’d offered to come over after Jack had gone to bed but the man had refused. Hotch was stubborn but he had a feeling that the night was going to go worse for Hotch than he thought.

The vibration on his phone against the wine glass on his table. He’d pour a single one after coming home and had drunk it all but hadn’t got up to get another one. Figuring that it was someone on the team giving him a holiday wish, Spencer ignored it. It wasn’t until thirty seconds later that it went off again, followed by another message just three seconds later that Spencer leaned forward and grabbed the phone.

Reid, can you come over?

I hate to bother you on Christmas Eve but Jack wants you and he’s upset and I can’t disappoint him.

Reid

Spencer felt bad about ignoring the messages when he read over all three of them. He typed back that he’d be there as soon as he could. He grabbed his wallet and debated for a few seconds about his messenger bag before deciding not to take. He then grabbed his presents to Jack and the one he’d got for Hotch. That he was going to slip under the tree so that the man wouldn’t see it. He’d been planning on going into the office and leaving it but this would work better.

It was insane out with everyone rushing around so Spencer didn’t want to take the bus or the train to Hotch’s so instead he actually got into his newer car. He still drove the Amazon when he felt like it but a better car to use for local casework and even visits to colleges was a good idea.

Spencer pulled into Hotch’s a little sooner than he thought he would given the traffic patterns that was DC on Christmas Eve from years past but he didn’t question it. The apartment that Hotch rented had two spots and Aaron always made sure the second stayed empty for Jessica. Spencer took that spot and quickly got out. The stack of presents wasn’t hard to juggle as he made his way to the elevator. Hotch’s present was tucked to his chest so that the man wouldn’t see it. Jack’s were all wrapped in the same paper and Hotch’s was in a different so the man couldn’t see it.

Pushing the presents to one hand, Spencer knocked on the door. The door flung open and by the look on Hotch’s face he expected to hear a crying boy in the background.

“What are those?” Hotch asked, sounding harried. More than Spencer had ever heard him, even on cases.

“Jack’s presents.”

“What?” Hotch asked. He looked at them like he was shocked.

“I’ve always sent presents to Jack. I usually messengered them over to the house.”

“I never realized,” Hotch said, looking a little put out but not at Spencer more at himself.

“What’s wrong?”

“I think that I would have preferred to deal with an upset Jack over the fact that Santa couldn’t bring him his mom back but he’s already explained to me that Santa can’t bring the dead back to life.”

Spencer swallowed a little because he’d kind of been the one to put that bug in the boy’s ear, he thought that it was something that Jack might have asked for. He’d known a friend in grade school who had been upset that Santa hadn’t brought his dad back for him.

“And what is he doing instead?”

“Trying to figure out how Santa gets presents to everyone the world over from sunset in Japan to sun rise in Hawaii. He’s five and this year magic isn’t a good enough answer and he knows that you are a scientist so you can help to make him understand it. He’s waiting in his bedroom.”

“Oh.” Spencer frowned because he’d never believed in Santa. It just hadn’t been a possibility to him. His father had been upset but his mother had been quite happy to not have to lie to him. “I’ll put the presents under the tree and then I’ll go back there.” Spencer stepped into the apartment as Hotch stepped back. He tucked Hotch’s present in the back behind a rather large present from Hotch to Jack. There were other scattered presents under the tree from the rest of the tree but only a few for Hotch and those had a feminine handwriting on them so he assumed that it was what Jessica had bought for Hotch. The giver was listed as Jack. At the front of the entire pile of presents was a very badly wrapped present that was covered in way too much tape. Jack’s writing proclaimed it from him to his dad. Spencer touched the present. No matter what was inside of it and what was inside the others, he knew that Hotch would like it better than any other because Jack had done it all up by himself.

Spencer couldn’t delay any longer so he stood up and as he moved to the back of the apartment he was shocked when a hand shot out from the small kitchen an in it was a cup of coffee.

“Thank you, Reid. I just…I can’t make him happy on this and I am very grateful that you are willing to at least try.”

“That’s what friends are for.” Spencer smiled at his boss as he took a sip of the coffee. It was strong with just enough sugar to make it drinkable. Exactly how he liked it when he wasn’t drinking it to keep himself awake. Spencer set the cup down on a table between the living room and the kitchen before he made his way into the back of the apartment. He stopped at the door to Jack’s bedroom and saw the boy with a giant world map spread on the floor. He was looking at it with confusion on his face. Spencer watched him as he tried to figure out exactly how to explain it all to the boy. Another year of believing in Santa would be good for him because it meant that magic was still a real thing for him.

“Spencer!” Jack cried out as he jumped up from where he’d been laying on the floor staring at the map. The boy grabbed his hand and pulled him farther into the room before pushing him to sit down on the floor. The boy crawled into his lap and Spence wrapped his arms around his middle to hold him there. Jack was too big to fall over and it hurt but Spencer didn’t want to be the one to hurt Jack. “Daddy tried to tell me that Santa was magical and that was how he got all over the world to give every kid presents but I’ve heard you say that magic is just another word for science so explain please.”

“Well Jack your dad is right that it’s magic. But it’s not magic like you are thinking. Magic is a term for science, but it’s still so advanced that we can’t understand it yet. Santa is so advanced that I don’t think that we can ever understand it him and his ways before your kids are having kids of their own. But there is a little known secret about Santa.”

“Yeah?” Jack asked and he turned his head to look at Spencer, leaning close as Spencer spoke softer and softer.

“Do you see all of these countries?” Spencer asked, pointing at the map. He wasn’t shocked that Hotch had bought a very detailed world map for the boy. It looked like it had come off the wall as Spencer could see a big hole. What was a little shocking was the little holes all over the United States and even a hole in Canada. Then it clicked in his head about the cities they had visited. It was a map used to track where Hotch was and where he had been. “Santa doesn’t visit them all. Instead there is more than one. There is a Russian Santa, a Germanic Santa,” Spencer leaned over, psuhing Jack down with him as he pointed at each country. He trailed his finger down to Africa and spoke the name of few countries there. “And do you want to know what the big secret for America is?”

“What?”

“Each state has it’s own Santa as well. Santa magic is really powerful but it’s still not able for a single man or woman to travel the world over in a single night. So instead Santas are all recruited from the world over and maybe one day, if you believe and wish hard enough you can become a Santa.” Spencer was certain that Hotch was behind him and he hoped the man wasn’t upset by his answer. “A very long time ago when the world didn’t have as many people in it, there were less Santas. But as humanity spread out farther and farther all over the world, more were needed.”

“Why a different one for each place?”

“Well, think about it. Each country has their own traditions. It’s easier if each had a Santa who knows all of that.”

“Is there a book about this that I can read?”

“No. It’s one of those grown up secrets.”

“Why are you telling me?”

“Because I’ve never been a good grown up.”

“Like when you started that food war and blamed it on Uncle Derek?” Jack asked.

The laughter behind the both of them had them turning. Spencer saw Hotch standing there with a smile on his face that Spencer had never seen before. Jack jumped up from Spencer’s lap and ran to stand in front of his father.

“I was right. Spencer was able to explain it all. Can Spencer stay for dinner?”

“I wasn’t going to send him home to Chinese alone.” Hotch looked up at him. “I know what your plans on Christmas Eve usually are but since you are here.”

“You can eat Chinese here with us, Spencer. Dad was getting ready to order it. Dad’s going to let me open up two presents before I go to bed.”

“That’s good.”

“Did you bring any presents for yourself?”

“My mom sent me my present over a week ago from Las Vegas and I opened them up tonight so that I could call and thank her. So no. I didn’t bring any presents to open but as I have already opened mine, I don’t need to open more.”

“You can have one of mine!” Jack declared before he moved in towards the living room before Hotch could grab him. Spencer stood up and followed the older man into the living room. Jack was holding up a present. Spencer knew that he hadn’t seen the wrapping paper on it when he’d set Jack’s under or hid Hotch’s. “This has your name on it!”

Spencer looked at Hotch who was facing away from him and he was pointedly not looking at him. Spencer had never seen him blush before but there creeping up his cheeks was a blush. Jack set the present down and dove back under the tree. He found the present that Spencer had slipped under there for Hotch and came back out with it.

“Daddy, this is for you! Aunt Jessica and I didn’t wrap this. Did you get this for him Spencer?”

“Yes, Jack. I was trying to be sneaky about it though.”

Jack laughed and started digging around in the presents. He took his new ones and put them in piles and moving Hotch’s to a pile. He took Spencer’s present and set it in between. A look came over his face and he took off towards his bedroom. “Don’t disturb me.”

“Okay.” Hotch looked at the shut door then at Spencer. “General Tso’s?”

“Sure.”

“I made sure I had a clean fork, don’t worry.”

Spencer stuck his tongue out at Hotch, pulling it back in when he figured it out. He’d not let himself be that familiar with the man. Not since their talk after Haley’s death. Hotch needed time. The older man didn’t look upset though. Instead he looked…determined. Spencer wasn’t sure what exactly to do in reaction as Hotch took a step towards him. Hotch waited a few seconds for a reaction before taking another step towards him. Spencer gasped as Hotch’s hand settled on his waist, holding him in place.

“What did you ask for as your Christmas wish?” Hotch asked.

“I never believed in Christmas so I didn’t wish for anything.” Spencer tilted his head up to look into Hotch’s eyes. Hotch’s other hand settled over his heart. Spencer wasn’t able to keep it from racing. “Hotch?” Spencer’s voice was soft and he wasn’t sure what was going on.

“I know what I said and I was an idiot. Can I kiss you?”

“No going back? No second thoughts?”

“No. I want this, Spencer. I’m not going to back track. Will you give me what I wanted for Christmas?”

“What did you want?” Spencer asked. He leaned in closer to Hotch.

“I don’t want to wake up alone. We don’t have to do anything but I want to fall asleep with you in my arms again.” Hotch didn’t even wait for him to answer. He leaned in and kissed Spencer. Spencer didn’t even wait, he opened his lips and pressed into Hotch. Hotch wrapped his arm around Spencer’s waist and pulled him that last little bit of distance into him. One night he’d had of this. One night of happiness before Foyet had dropped into their lives and ripped Haley from Jack. Before Hotch had pulled back so that he wasn’t taking time away from Jack by being with Spencer. Spencer never faulted him for it. He needed time to get his head around it all.

A gasp from behind Hotch had Spencer pulling out of the kiss and looking at Jack. The boy was standing just a few feet behind Hotch with a smile on his face.

“Santa gave me what I wanted!” Jack ran forward and wrapped his arms around both his father and Spencer’s waist. Spencer couldn’t help laying a hand on Jack’s head and pressing his face just a little farther into Spencer’s stomach.

“I guess you don’t have to worry about telling him.”

“No. Chinese should be here soon. Why don’t you and Jack get drinks ready for us? I have some of that sparkling grape juice in the fridge. Did you drive?”

“I did and I have two spare go bags in the trunk. So after dinner I can go down and get them.”

“Both?”

“I’ll empty the contents out of one and leave it here and use clothes out of the second for tonight.”

“Sounds good. So let’s start new Christmas traditions for the three of us.” The smile on Hotch’s, no Spencer corrected himself that he should start thinking of him as Aaron when they weren’t working. The smile on Aaron’s face was bright enough to light up the night and Spencer knew that his smile was the same. His first Christmas that wasn’t alone and it was going to be awesome.

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