From the Expansive Journals of Mimir, God of Knowledge
The human mind is scary. It created Gods and creatures. Every single thing that Gods do, it’s because humans created us to do it. When confronted with the human mind, it scares them. Humans are always scared when they see what their mind can do.
If a mind can create a God is it any wonder that a human can make themselves forget that they have murdered. Or make themselves think that a comic book character is the one doing the murders. Or even drawing the murders but having no recollection of killing.
For the humans doings those immoral deeds, is there really a form of justice? Sticking them in cages with animals will only make them worse but is there really a mental help that can be given them? There are no black and white answers for some killers.
Aaron watched Reid on the rooftop of the apartment building. Aaron wasn’t even sure if Reid knew that he was there. It had been two months since Aaron had sought out Reid without Jack as a buffer. Reid hadn’t said a single about it.
Before that night, Aaron had never questioned his sexuality. After that night, all Aaron dreamed about was that night. Aaron had woke up the next morning only an hour later than normal, and he didn’t feel hungover at all. Other than Reid, the rest of the team had to drag themselves out of bed. Reid had spent the late night and early morning preparing a casserole which while high in everything bad for one, had done well on everyone’s stomach. By lunchtime, everyone was ready for work.
When Aaron picked up Jack at the daycare, Jack had been very happy to see him. Dinner had been waiting in the oven for them that night. A spicy paella for Aaron and a macaroni and cheese dish for Jack. The note said it had a full serving of vegetables in it.
Reid didn’t press visiting, he came when he was asked to and stayed away when he wasn’t, but Aaron felt like he had missed something very important.
“Are we alone?” Aaron asked.
“Yes. Everyone else is gone away to have fun for the night.”
“Why didn’t you go?”
“Their kind of parties don’t interest me.” Reid finally turned around and looked at Aaron, a cloud of smoke making a halo around his head. Aaron saw the case with the cigarettes sitting beside him. Aaron walked toward him, grabbing the case and pulling a cigarette free. Aaron reached into his pocket and grabbed the lighter that he hadn’t realized he had pocketed at some point during the case until he had found it a little while ago. It was Reid’s. “I wondered where that had gone.”
“Yeah, I found it when I got home. It was actually the reason I came up here.” Aaron lifted up the cigarette up to his lips and lit it. Aaron took a long puff of it. Aaron laid the lighter beside Reid. He moved to the corner of the roof and looked out at the sleeping city. It was two a.m., and Aaron was having trouble sleeping.
“Well, thanks for returning it.” Reid finished off his cigarette and dropped it into the ashtray between them. Aaron looked away from him because he wasn’t sure what he wanted to say about why he had pulled away. Aaron looked back down at the cigarette case and saw that it and the lighter Aaron had set down were gone, but a single cigarette was there as well as, the lighter that Aaron knew Reid left on the roof in the little shelter was there. Aaron turned around and saw that Reid was gone as well. Aaron quickly finished off his cigarette before dropping the butt into the ashtray. Aaron started down the stairs and looked at Reid’s door. He debated between entering without knocking and knocking.
Aaron inhaled and grabbed the knob to turn it. He gave it a twist and grunted when he ran into the door when it didn’t open. Reid had locked his deadbolt but not the knob. Aaron raised his hand up and knocked on the door. He waited the time that Aaron had waited before when he hadn’t started to just enter Reid’s apartment before he knocked again. Aaron pressed his ear up to the door and listened. There was no noise inside and the only time that Reid didn’t make noise or have a TV or music going was when he was reading. If he was reading, there was going to be no getting him to come out of that book except a text. So Aaron dug his phone out of his pocket and set off a text telling Reid to open his door as they needed to talk.
The response of Reid telling him that he wasn’t at home but was at the club shocked the hell out of Aaron. Aaron groaned and started down the steps to his apartment. The range on the baby monitor was massive, Aaron had bought a new one that could reach up to Reid’s apartment and by extension the roof as well not long after moving in. Aaron slipped back into his apartment quickly, checking on Jack. The toddler was dead asleep in his bed, his arm wrapped around the stuffed dragon that Reid had got for him just a week before. The dragon was a fast friend, and Aaron was half worried that Jack would start to not think about Ri anymore, and Aaron would end up with a tiny dragon living in his apartment than a pixie who at least helped with everything that she could.
Or Jack could still want Ri and Ri would have a pet dragon.
Aaron brushed at the hair on Jack’s forehead as he thought about what he was going to do.
“Hotch?” a voice called out just softly enough for Aaron to hear. Aaron knew that it was Jeremy. What was the young man doing awake at half after two in the morning? Aaron stepped out of Jack’s bedroom and saw that Jeremy looked half asleep. “Petal sent me up to see if you needed anything.”
Aaron laughed and figured that he was right and she was a God as well.
“I actually do.” Aaron thrust the monitor at Jeremy. “I need to find Reid and talk to him.”
“Sure. Can I crash on the couch?”‘
“Good.” Jeremy took the monitor and turned it up to its loudest setting and literally fell onto the couch. Aaron swore before he got to the door that Jeremy was asleep. Aaron near ran down the steps. It was cold out, but Aaron wanted to walk. DC at almost three a.m. was a different creature than DC at any other time. Aaron regretted not grabbing his gun, but as he walked around the block, he found that the few drunkards and even hookers that were around didn’t even try to talk to him. One of the drunks even crossed the road to get away from him. He must look pissed off or something, Aaron thought to himself.
It wasn’t until Aaron hit the edge of the block that the club was on that he realized that he didn’t have the fee to get in. There was still a line to the regular entrance, but Aaron saw that no one was at the other. Aaron stepped up, hoping that maybe the bouncer God would let Aaron call Reid or go in and get Reid.
“Hand,” the bouncer said.
Aaron held out his hand, and the purple bracelet was wrapped around it. Aaron almost asked what it meant, but then the bouncer was talking.
Aaron frowned as the door was opened. Aaron looked at the bouncer before he stepped in, afraid that the door would slam on him. It didn’t. Aaron looked back as the door did shut after he was several feet inside. The coat room door was gone from the wall, so Aaron had no clue what to do. There was no sound, just like before but there was a light at the end of the hall, so Aaron walked toward it. As he got closer to the door, the music started to pulse even though he couldn’t hear it. He could feel it.
The door was a lurid shade of pink, and it made Aaron’s stomach roll a little bit as he touched the knob, it swung open. The club was packed. Aaron could barely see over the throng of people who were all writhing on the dance floor. Aaron stepped inside and the door shut behind him. When he turned to look at it, it was gone. Aaron wondered who the patron God of the club was because whoever it was, they were powerful. No one paid attention to Aaron.
“Coat, Sir?” A voice asked.
Aaron turned to see a man standing there. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a very tight shirt.
“Um. Sure.” Aaron peeled off the jacket he had been wearing, shocked he wasn’t cold because he had just thrown on a light one. Aaron shrugged it off and handed it over to the man. The guy touched his bracelet, and a number appeared on it. With the smirk, the man disappeared from sight.
“Aren’t you gorgeous,” twin female voices stated.
Aaron tried not to jump as the two women touched him. They stepped around to get into his line of sight. It was a set of twins that looked like they were barely out of college.
“I’m sorry I’m meeting someone.”
“Pout,” the woman on the left said. She turned to her twin and grinned. “Are you sure we can’t tempt you?”
“I’m very sure.”
“What about us?” A male voice said from behind him. Aaron turned but didn’t put his back to the women. No, he put his back to the wall. There were two men standing there, they also were twins. Aaron gulped.
“Back off,” a new voice said. Both sets of twins looked up and behind Aaron. Aaron had never felt so trapped or scared in his life. He never should have come. There was no way he was going to find Reid in the crowd. “Go find someone else to toy with.”
Aaron waited until the twins were gone from sight, blending into the crowd before he turned around. Aaron saw no one behind him.
“Go to the bar,” the voice said, again behind Aaron. There was no fighting with the urge that he had then to go to the bar. Aaron found the crowd splitting just perfectly to allow him to slip through. At the bar, the female bartender for that area was setting down a drink just as Aaron stepped up.
“B said you were going to need this,” she said with a wink before she moved down to take another order. Aaron picked up the drink, not as wary as he should have been. Instead, he took a drink and found that it did calm him, but it didn’t take like any other beer he had ever drunk before. There wasn’t a taste of alcohol at all.
Aaron turned around to watch the crowd. He couldn’t see Reid at all and wondered if the young God was in the back again, fucking his two humans. Aaron remembered what Reid had said before about his sexual proclivities. It seemed that Reid didn’t go for Gods at all, just humans, despite his words prior. Aaron drank deep of his beer-like drink and looked around. He spotted Dev at a table in the corner. Aaron thought that maybe asking him where Reid was would be better than hunting for him.
Draining his beer, Aaron set the empty glass back on the counter before making his way over toward where Dev was. Aaron was about five feet away, and Dev wasn’t looking up at him but down at his phone when Aaron felt eyes on him. He stopped and looked around. There was no one looking at him. He turned back to Dev, but the feeling didn’t go away. Aaron looked around again, but this time he noticed something that hadn’t been there before. There was a catwalk around the top of the building. There were some people scattered around there, and he quickly spotted Reid staring at him. There could have easily been another floor added to the building, but instead, there was just the catwalk.
Aaron followed the catwalk until he spotted the stairs leading up. There was a bouncer there as well. Aaron didn’t pause, and the bouncer let him up with no issue. Aaron went up the steps as quickly as he could. Reid was still on the far end, and Aaron saw that there was another set of stairs that led off the catwalk and down into the building somewhere else. Aaron saw Reid staring down at the dancefloor, but from where he had moved, he couldn’t see Dev anymore. Coming around the catwalk to Reid wasn’t unlike stalking prey. Reid never looked up at all and Aaron was sure that he would shock him.
Just before Aaron got to Reid, a group of three walked past Reid and Aaron looked at them, seeing they all had the purple band tattoo on their skin. He opened his mouth to ask them what they meant compared to the other bracelets but stopped when he heard the music change. Aaron looked down to see that many of the dancers were now writhing like they were having a massive orgy. He watched for several minutes before jerking his face away to look at Reid, who was staring at him with a smile on his face.
“Why did you leave?”
“I had a prior appointment, and I didn’t want to be late.”
“So you just left?”
“I wasn’t aware that we were really speaking at this moment in time, Hotch. You have your reasons for doing what you did over the last two months, and they are yours. I won’t disappoint a friend who came all the way from England to visit me, and since he hates planes, I wasn’t going to make him wait on me when he has to fly back the day after tomorrow.”
“And where is this friend?” Aaron asked.
“Down there.” Reid pointed, and Aaron saw that there was a small section of the dance floor that had everyone keeping a wide berth around the kid dancing. Aaron thought at first that it was the way the kid was dancing, he was all arms and legs, and his body wasn’t dancing in any way that was attractive. But as he watched he saw that every time the kid stopped for a few seconds, his eyes went right to a pair of men sitting at a table right in front of him. It was those men that were keeping the others away. Aaron saw the kid stumble on tired legs over to the men, but he didn’t collapse into the booth they were in. No, he sat down on the tabletop and reached for a glass. He pouted when it wouldn’t let him pick it up. The two men grinned, and one of them reached for the glass and handed it over to the kid.
“One Old God and two New Gods. James has been a dear friend for a few years. I wasn’t aware that he knew Findlay or Alec. Findlay wanted me to meet his two beaus. I was pleasantly shocked.”
“Who is who?”
“Alec is a New God of well explosions. I blame James for that. Took Alec under his wing in Her Majesty’s Navy and made him love to blow shit up. James is a Death God. Never has admitted which one to me in the past ten years. Findlay is a New God. Hacking. He was seven when that happened. Poor kid aged up to eighteen and stopped. I, at least, stopped after I had turned twenty-one.”
“Death, hacking, and explosions. How in the hell did they meet?”
“Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I should say MI6. They tried to seduce me into it, but I wanted FBI. Our job is a little more black and white, and we don’t fight our battles in the shadows. CIA never interested me, so neither does MI6.” Reid turned to look at Aaron again. His eyes darting around Aaron some. Aaron looked around to see that there was no one close to them anymore. No one could hear them. “Don’t worry, Hotch. I figured out tonight what happened.”
“What do you mean?”
“Yes, I went dancing with Dev but the look that you were giving him tonight tells me that you saw more than that. So what about watching us have sex with Scarlett upset you?”
“I thought I knew my sexuality.”
“Ah. So you liked it too much. Well, Dev is unattended tonight, and I’ll be leaving with James, Findlay, and Alec in about half an hour. So you can figure out what you are really feeling with him. Have a good night, Hotch.”
Before Aaron could even form words, Reid was gone. Aaron turned to lean on the railing of the catwalk. Reid joined Findlay in sitting on the table, grabbing a drink up as he did. Findlay started to laugh, and the matching smile on Reid’s face lit up his whole face. A few minutes of talking and then Findlay held out his hand and pulled Reid with him onto the dance floor. There was an ease to the way that they moved together in a weird dance that spoke of the intimacy of friendship and not sex.
A man wandered a little too close to Findlay and James was up in an instant, and even from where Aaron was he could feel the weight of James’s Godness on him. The man stumbled back, and Aaron saw the band on his wrist that marked him human. James though didn’t go to Findlay, he went to Reid and said something to the human. Reid laid a hand on James’s shoulder and pulled him back. The trio went back to the table. James picked up a glass and handed it to Reid who downed it. Findlay finished off his, and Alec handed his over to the kid as well. Reid grabbed his glass and drained it. Aaron watched the foursome move out to the door, and they were gone.
Aaron thought about staying, but it would better to go home and maybe cuddle with Jack. He had got good at picking up the toddler without waking him over the past month. It would be better than standing and staring at a man that he didn’t understand what he felt for staring at him.
The walk home in the cold December air did nothing to clear the fuzziness from his head. In fact, he thought about the case. The artist who did graphic novels who was going to be in a psych ward for the rest of his life. The phone that was his only lifeline to a woman that he loved and lost. It wasn’t a good feeling, but the team had done the best that they could for him. It was never enough though.