Aaron saw him out of the corner of his eye two weeks before. Breakfast out after a hard case that had them getting back to DC just as the day started. So it was decided that they should eat out before going and finishing their file for the case and then go home to sleep. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Dave had seen him too, Aaron would have chalked it up to being too tired.
Peter Lewis hadn’t been spotted since he escaped, until that day. Everyone from the DOJ to the Director of the FBI had made sure that Aaron’s file was clean after being taken into custody nearly a year before and marked as a terrorist. Despite everything that Aaron had done to Spencer, the young man still stood behind him, marching to where Aaron was being held and demanding to see him. As soulmates, no one could deny him that right. The big shock came when Spencer had set himself as Aaron’s lawyer. Aaron had known that Spencer had passed the bar, but he hadn’t been aware that Spencer had kept up with everything, much as Aaron did.
Dave had called Spencer out to help them deal with a subject that seemed to be off but not drugs off. When Spencer was done with that, he had come back. Demanding to see Aaron again but this time he had got Aaron released. It just wasn’t in time to stop the first breakout attempt or the ones that followed that allowed thirteen killers free.
Everyone on the team was ready for the fact that Lewis would be stalking Aaron. It was his MO just usually he did it online. He had to be getting desperate to have Lewis stalk him in person. Aaron wasn’t sure what the man was going to gain from it. Aaron had no significant other or a child to kill in a drugged frenzy. Spencer was his only weakness, but the shame of what Aaron had done to him still kept him apart from Spencer.
Aaron could still feel the utter disgust he felt for himself after what he had done. Spencer might be able to forgive Aaron, but Aaron couldn’t forgive himself. No matter Spencer’s intentions, he had made Aaron’s first time taking a cock a special night. It had been incredible, and Aaron had made Spencer’s first time a thing full of anger. It didn’t matter that there had been two more times after that, Aaron hated himself for what he had done to his soulmate.
Spencer had spotted Lewis one other time a week before. It had been when he was alone but driving Aaron’s car. Aaron and Dave had been in a meeting, and Spencer had offered to get lunch. He hadn’t driven in so Aaron had offered his car. Lewis had disappeared before the MPD had arrived. Aaron had figured that Lewis was mistaken, seeing Aaron’s car leaving and had followed, not realizing that he was following Spencer instead of Aaron.
Until today. Today Lewis had been spotted outside of Spencer’s apartment. Aaron had not been to Spencer’s apartment, ever. So there was no reason for Lewis to watch there. Both of their work files listed their soulmates as classified and it was only on a paper file in HR that no one had access to. Every agent’s mate was recorded the same way to protect them. While many lived with their mate, there was a high rate of divorce between soulmates that were agents or deferrals.
Aaron didn’t care the status of their relationship; Spencer needed to be protected. While he was safe from the natural turn of becoming schizophrenic, a psychotic break could still happen, especially if he was dosed with the stuff that Lewis used. The Marshal Service had already been called by Cruz. Aaron though was going to offer Spencer the same option that Garcia had taken, staying inside of Quantico. Aaron was watching the bullpen where Spencer was talking to Alvez about what he saw. Alvez was a good asset to the team at the moment with helping them catch the killers that were loose. Aaron closed his eyes to relax for a few minutes.
The door slamming had Aaron jumping up.
“You were going to stick me in WitSec without asking?” Spencer demanded.
“No. However, they had to be called to get them ready in case you took it. The only other option is what Garcia did when the assassins were after her, never leaving Quantico.”
“I refuse,” Spencer said.
“I figured that you would, that’s why I called the Marshals.”
“No, I refuse both options. I won’t run and hide and force the team to hunt him without me. I’ve done enough running in my life, Hotch.”
The name stung like it always did when they were alone. Before that morning, that stupid hungover morning where Spencer had revealed everything to Aaron, in private he had been Aaron for a while. Since that day where Aaron had thrown him out of the house, he had been Hotch. Always Hotch. It hurt, but it was best that way.
“He wants to either kill you to get to me or have you kill me, or I kill you. There is no upside to this, Spencer. He’s proven to be very adept at hiding, and no one can track him. He will wait, and he will try his hardest to complete his goal.”
“And? I know he’s after me now. I can protect myself better. I upgraded the alarm on my apartment, and I change the code on a schedule, and I’m the only one that knows the code. The building I live in has cameras that run on their own power supply, and the second it’s cut, the cops are called. There is security there twenty-four seven. What more do you fucking want from me?”
“I want you to be safe.”
“You don’t have a say in that anymore. You are the one who told me to leave and wouldn’t talk to me. I tried. I went to your office that Monday morning and said that we needed to talk and you told me that professionally you had nothing to talk to me about and there was nothing between us personally. So tell me, Hotch, if there is nothing between us personal why do you have the right to demand anything?”
“I am your boss, and I order you to get into Witness Protection.”
“Fine. I quit.” Spencer pulled a letter out of his back pocket and tossed it onto Aaron’s desk. “I have enough leave saved up that I can take it as my two weeks. Sorry to leave you with a mess but I realized that the only reason you are keeping me around is to protect me. I’m where you can see and so I’m safe.”
Spencer turned around to walk to the office door, and Aaron couldn’t take it. He pushed himself up out of his chair and near ran at the door to brace his arm on it as Spencer spend it. The door slammed shut, and Aaron was sure that someone was going to get curious.
“You are not going anywhere,” Aaron said harshly in Spencer’s ear. “If you leave this building, you are doing so with the Marshals.”
“You can’t order me around as a private citizen, Hotch.”
“No, but I will as your soulmate. I’ll take it to court, get you declared non-competent to make decisions about your life and then you’ll be forced to do what I want or go to prison.”
“You just keep digging to make me hate you, don’t you. Is that what you want?” Spencer shoved back with his body, putting enough distance to where Spencer could turn to look at him. Spencer shocked Aaron even more by shoving him so hard that Aaron had to take several steps back to not fall. “You want me to do what you want, when you want and won’t even do the courtesy of fucking me. At least then you can have a reason to want to control my life. You chose for me to leave. You chose to cut me off, and I will not roll over and do what you want, Aaron Hotchner. You can go fuck yourself and this job too.”
Spencer jerked the door open, and he was gone. There was no way that Dave missed any of that if he was in his office. Aaron just stared as Spencer started to pack up his desk, JJ, Tara, and Alvez was talking to him.
“Reid,” A voice called out, and Aaron looked shocked as a woman pushed through the glass doors. “Where do you think you are going?”
“To talk to Cruz and see about maybe taking that offering in White Collar in Vegas that I was offered three weeks ago.”
“Hmm. No. You are not.”
“Who called you?”
“No one called me. Penny keeps me informed of everything about you. She alerted me that an UnSub had targeted you to get at your mate. I knew from everything that it would end with you running. You are going to march your ass to wherever WitSec has holed up to talk to you, and you are going to go with them. I don’t want a notification that you are being held for killing someone or have to attend your funeral.”
“That’s below the belt.”
“No, what’s happening next is below the belt. My team and your team voted. You aren’t going alone.”
“You and Hotch are not getting it together. We all know that you love each other, but you run, or he runs, and nothing gets fixed so, both of you are going into WitSec, and the Director of the FBI is going to make it mandatory. You two are either going to get your shit together, or you are going to kill one another in WitSec.”
“WitSec is voluntary,” Spencer said as he glanced at where Aaron was standing.
“And you will voluntarily go into it, or we will make your lives a living hell,” Carmen said.
Aaron looked at her and then at his team. He knew that they all meant business. Spencer turned around and looked at Aaron. Assessing him. Aaron swallowed because he knew that the whole of everything would come out while they were trapped together. Aaron knew that he hurt Spencer every day by not allowing the younger man close to him but that hurt was nothing compared to the hurt that Aaron had already done to him and would do to him in the future because as much as they were soulmates and they loved each other, they hurt each other. The blame for that was laid solely on the hands of the Government and not letting them get together on their own.
“I’ll do it,” Aaron said.
Spencer’s eyes narrowed, and he looked away from Aaron before he nodded.
Six Months Later
Spencer ran through the living room, trying to escape Aaron’s grasp but the slick just waxed living room floor betrayed him and his socked feet, and he fell onto the couch. Aaron was right there behind him, rolling him onto his back and straddling his waist. Spencer reached up to shove him off, but Aaron caught his hands and pinned them to the arm of the couch above his head.
“I win,” Aaron crowed.
“Fine, fine, I’ll cook dinner,” Spencer said sighing loudly as he did but grinning. Aaron leaned down and kissed him. Spencer reached out for the TV remote, aiming to shut the TV off as the news didn’t hold his interest anymore, food and sex did. He didn’t grab the remote though but instead hit the unmute button.
“Authorities say that the man in question was a wanted fugitive who escaped from Federal custody in the escape over a year ago,” a female voice on the TV said.
Spencer jerked his face away from Aaron, who didn’t care and started to press kisses down Spencer’s throat before nipping at the juncture where his slightly unbuttoned shirt met skin.
“I have just been handed the name of the man, Peter Lewis.”
“Aaron,” Spencer said, and he shook Aaron’s shoulder.
“Concentrating,” Aaron whispered before he started to suck a hickey into Spencer’s skin.
“Aaron!” Spencer said, and he shoved at Aaron harder this time, showing him that Spencer meant business.
“What?!” Aaron demanded, looking at Spencer slightly upset.
Spencer pointed at the TV. Aaron grumbled but turned his head, and that was when Rossi was flashed on the screen, talking to several members of the MPD.
“So the team is on a case, what’s new?”
“No. You didn’t hear?” Spencer asked. He grabbed the remote and rewound the broadcast.
“Authorities say that the man in question was a wanted fugitive who escaped from Federal custody in the escape over a year ago. I have just been handed the name of the man, Peter Lewis.”
Aaron gasped, and he sat up on the couch, watching the replay of the scene with Rossi. Spencer sat up as well, and when Aaron turned to look at him, Aaron was grinning. Spencer didn’t fight it when Aaron pulled him close to straddle Aaron’s lap. Spencer leaned in and gave Aaron as good as he got in the kiss.
The past six months had been full of a lot of different things. The first two weeks had been hell. Aaron and Spencer had spent more time fighting than doing anything else. There were nights where they ate across the table from each other and said nothing. The cooking rotation had been set up by JJ and Tara, as well as the cleaning and other various things. That way they would have one less thing to fight about. The only thing that stopped them from killing each other was that their lives had been micromanaged by the team before they even set themselves up in the new life.
Spencer was a teacher of science at a local high school; his educational background faked for him to be able to do it. Aaron was working as a law clerk in the local courthouse. Both were low enough that they didn’t worry about being recognized. It was hard though to find a place that neither of them had been to in the course of their work that also afforded them enough cover as newlywed couples. Thankfully, they were both excellent at being introverts to where no one questioned them wanting to be at home for days on end instead of being out there and acting lovey-dovey with each other.
The change had been slow, and it had started when Spencer had broken his arm just three weeks into them being in the town. The injury seemed to break whatever was keeping Aaron apart from him and had allowed the man to actually talk about what was wrong, why he had been so driven to drive Spencer away from him after finding out about Spencer’s first time being penetrated. What had followed had been a week of talking about everything. There was nothing left in their lives that they didn’t know about each other. Spencer remembered more his younger years, but Aaron had more years in general.
Then five months of truly and totally falling in love with each other.
Aaron’s hands came up to cup the sides of Spencer’s face, and Spencer could feel the press of metal on his skin. While warmed to the temperature of Aaron’s skin, Spencer could still feel the smoothness of the metal. It made him shiver like it did every other time. The rings might not be genuinely valid as Spencer Reid and Aaron Hotchner was not married to each other, they promised that when they got out of hiding, they were going to do it. They had spent the last month planning it, and now they could do it.
Then they could get on with their lives in the BAU