The Dusk and the Dawn Chapter 14

From the Expansive Journals of Mimir, God of Knowledge

Suicide is a touchy subject, even for Gods. Many Old Gods over the years have chosen to kill themselves than to adapt. It was never an option for me. Knowledge is everywhere, and the more humans crave it, the more that I feel alive.

Humans have a saying that the only constant is death and taxes. Well, knowledge is as well, but a lot of humans don’t prize knowledge. I know a God of Death. He’s never got bored enough to even think that he didn’t have something to live for.

Gods killing themselves sucks but what can another God do? Humans kill themselves because they feel they have nothing left. How can one fault a God for feeling the same?

April 2008

Aaron never understood Angels of Death. Not on a personal level. From the standpoint of his job he did. He could recite it all, but on a personal level, Aaron didn’t understand how they could do it.

“You look a little melancholy,” Dev said as he slid into the two-person booth that Aaron had claimed for the night. It was the first time that Dev had ever said a thing to Aaron at all.

“Just thinking about work.”

“While you are here?” Dev grinned and waved at a waitress. Aaron watched him pull her down by the lapel of the shirt she was wearing and whisper in her ear. She grinned and nodded before going up to the bar. “I ordered us drinks. Don’t worry we got the same thing. I know that Spencer warned you about taking drinks from strangers. The waitresses here would never give a tainted drink to anyone.”

Aaron didn’t answer, but he watched the bartender make the drink. It was too early in the night for the place to be full. Aaron and Dev were the only ones in the whole place with the purple bracelets.

“Here you are sweets,” the waitress said as she laid down her tray so that they could grab their drinks.

Dev took a drink of his first and grinned at Aaron. Aaron took a hesitant sip of his. It was fruity but strong as well, and the alcohol burned all the way down. It warmed Aaron up though from the inside. He took a larger drink and nearly slumped into the seat.

“So where is Spencer?”

“Jack wanted him tonight. Reid’s been busy with a new degree and hasn’t had as much time for him, so Reid declared tonight a him and Jack night.”

“Why do you call him Reid, even now? I’ve heard you call the one co-worker of yours Dave. What’s different between you and Spencer and you and Dave?”

Aaron opened his mouth but shut it because he didn’t want to go into that. He didn’t need to explain why he called anyone what he called them.

“So your job makes you see the worst of humanity. I have never been inclined to get to know many of my kind. Why do you fight to save humans?” Dev looked very interested in the question he asked, but Aaron wasn’t that interested in answering him. He didn’t mind the drink, he didn’t mind the company, but if he had wanted to talk, he would have gone somewhere else, where talking was a big priority and not here where drinking and dancing and sometimes even sex was the point.

“I think that maybe you should go back out onto the dance floor.”

“And I think that you and I should go into the back. The rooms are open all the time, not just Bacchanal nights. Come back, and I’ll show you what you have been missing.” Dev leered at Aaron as he said it.

“Go dance and maybe I will.” Aaron didn’t want to upset the man, but he really didn’t want to go back into the back with him. Dev danced with a new partner every song and between came back to the table for a swig of his drink. The waitress dropped off four more of the drinks for Aaron as he finished each one. Aaron got warmer and warmer as he drank. He was thankful that he had only worn a T-shirt to the club because anything more and he would have needed to strip naked to keep cool enough not to pass out.

“Come on, Aaron,” Dev said, and he helped Aaron up and out of the booth. Aaron leaned in to kiss him, but Dev grinned and ducked away. “Let’s take this private. I don’t fuck on the dance floor.”

Aaron felt lighter than air as he followed Dev into the back of the club. Down the long hallway, they went. Aaron tried to turn into the room that Dev, Scarlett, and Reid had fucked in, but Dev stopped him and pulled him down further. Dev showed him into a room that was muted in colors. Aaron grabbed Dev and shoved him into the wall, trying to kiss him. Dev slipped out of Aaron’s hold and pushed him back toward the bed. Aaron flopped down onto the bed, and Dev straddled his waist, grabbing his hands and pinning them down.

Dev’s face faded in and out of Aaron’s vision, almost like Aaron was blinking but he didn’t understand why. Aaron closed his eyes and tried to open them but they wouldn’t.

Aaron wasn’t sure if he was asleep and dreaming or if he heard Reid’s voice after a while or not. It was hard to understand because he sounded like he was in a well but that was impossible as they were in a club.

Something was pressed to Aaron’s lips, and he parted them to accept whatever it was. It tasted like water, but it didn’t at all the same. Aaron drank it deeply, hoping that whatever it was would help how he was feeling.

“Shhh,” a voice that sounded like Reid’s but didn’t. Aaron didn’t realize that he was making a noise. Aaron felt like he was floating.

“I thought he was-”

“Shut up, Dev. Just shut the fuck up. You’ve done enough. Get the fuck out of here, and I don’t want to see you for a while.” Reid’s tone was angry, and Aaron didn’t think that he had ever heard him that angry before. Aaron shuddered on the bed and tried to get Reid back to him. He wanted the warmth again. Reid came back closer to him, and Aaron sighed.

“Pen,” Dev protested.

“Let’s go,” a new voice said.

“Just let me-” there was a crunching sound and a very pained outcry.

The warmth at Aaron’s side disappeared, and he tried to open his eyes, but all he saw was darkness. He felt something shift on his face and forced his hand up to grab it. It was soft, and Aaron petted at it for a few seconds before he grabbed it and lifted it. Aaron looked around, and when he could focus, he saw that Reid had Dev by his neck and Dev was pressed into the wall. Reid’s other hand had a hold of Dev’s arm, and even Aaron in his weird state knew that no arm should be at that angle.

“Reid,” Aaron called out.

Reid turned his head around to look at Aaron, his face going soft. Aaron realized that he was in Reid’s bedroom when Reid dropped Dev down to take a step toward Aaron. Someone else moved, and Aaron saw someone that he had never seen before standing in Reid’s bedroom door.

“Put up a fight, and I’ll make sure that Smart Boy’s broken arm that he gave you feels like your being fucked like the whore you want to be treated as.”

Aaron could barely hold his eyes open.

“Don’t fight it, Hotch. Just shut your eyes.” Reid reached out and grabbed the cloth that had been over Aaron’s eyes and laid it over them again. The cloth still felt cool, and Aaron realized that it was damn near frigid. “Shh.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for. You both drank the same thing, and you didn’t know that it would affect you like this.”

“Last time I drank, I drank a lot more than that, and it didn’t bother me.”

“I know.”

Aaron raised his hand that had the bracelet on it, and he tried to open his mouth to ask about it, but he felt so tired that he dropped his hand down. His body had been so hot, but now with that cold cloth on his face, he felt cold. The bed dipped, and Aaron felt Reid slip into the bed with him. Blankets were drawn over Aaron, and the warmth from Reid was there. Aaron didn’t even think twice about trying to scoot as close as he could to the young God.

Fingers tangled into Aaron’s hair and directed his head around to rest on Reid’s thigh. Aaron took that as permission to cuddle as close as possible. Aaron threw an arm over Reid’s thighs and soaked up the warmth. Reid’s hand didn’t leave his hair at all. It scratched at his skull and helped to calm him down enough to where he slipped into sleep again.

Aaron felt like shit as he slowly woke up. His stomach rolled, and he almost felt like he was going to throw up. Instead, though, Aaron forced himself not to. He didn’t feel like moving and especially didn’t feel like moving fast enough to make it to the bathroom to throw up in there and not all over the floor.

“Shush,” Reid said.

“‘Kay,” Jack whispered back at Reid.

Aaron knew that he wasn’t in the same position that he had been in the night before. He could feel that he was pressed into Reid’s side still and that the young God was still sitting up.

A page turned in a book, and Reid cleared his throat a little before he started to speak. “‘From then on, Matilda would visit the library only once a week in order to take out new books and return the old ones. Her own small bedroom now became her reading-room, and there she would sit and read most afternoons, often with a mug of hot chocolate beside her. She was not quite tall enough to reach things around the kitchen, but she kept a small box in the outhouse which she brought in and stood on in order to get whatever she wanted. Mostly, it was hot chocolate she made, warming the milk in a saucepan on the stove before mixing it.'”

Reid’s voice was soft, and Aaron wondered what book he was reading. He hadn’t read it, he knew that. Reid kept on going, flipping the pages as he did. Aaron thought about the fact that Reid was actually using a book. Did that mean that he hadn’t read the book before or did he have it in front of him for Jack? Aaron shifted on the bed trying to fake waking up. The hand that had been in his hair the night before was still there, and Aaron nearly moaned at the feeling of blunt nails on his scalp. Aaron pressed his lips together to keep the sound out, but he pressed his head into Reid’s hip.

“Your Dad doesn’t want to get up, Jack-Jack.” Reid’s voice was full of humor.

“Up, Dad, up,” Jack whispered loudly.

Aaron grinned into Reid’s pants, rubbing his face back and forth some. It was nice to feel happy despite how shitty he felt.

“I have breakfast almost done, once you get up and get into the shower to wash the stink off, I’ll finish it up.”

“Pancakes,” Jack whispered. His voice in awe at the word.

Aaron opened his eyes and rolled back enough to where he could find his son. Jack was sitting on the bed on the other side of Reid. He was already dressed for the day and his still slightly wet hair told Aaron that he had been given a bath. Aaron had assumed that Reid had stayed in bed with him all night, but it seemed that he had got up and had done a lot of things already.

There wasn’t a lot of the night before that Aaron remembered but some of trickled back into his brain. He remembered trying to kiss Dev. A blush came up on his face because he knew now in the stark light of day that it wasn’t Dev that Aaron wanted to kiss.

“We can read more on Matilda later, Jack. Why don’t we let your father get up and awake for the day.”

“‘Kay.” The bed jiggled as Jack scrambled off and took off at a run out of the bedroom door.

“How are you feeling?”

“What was that shit?”

“Something that you shouldn’t have been given. If you had drunk one, you would have been fine. The more you drink, the worse it gets. I have had a long talk with Dev about what he did.”

“Did you…break his arm?” Aaron tried to remember if he actually saw that or not.

“No, I dislocated his shoulder and put a hairline fracture in his collarbone at the same time. He didn’t realize how bad you were affected and he never should have taken you to that backroom no matter what.”

Aaron looked at where the bracelet had been the night before. He thought about those that he had seen with them, and they were almost always with a God of some kind. A claim. The damned bracelet meant that Reid had claimed him in some fashion. Or he had known that Aaron wouldn’t want to get advances that meant anything and had used it to protect Aaron. He could see the young God doing that, and it fit more than Reid staking a claim.

The thought of Reid staking a claim on him sent a shiver down Aaron’s spine. Aaron raised an arm and draped it over Reid’s legs again, clutching him close. Reid’s hand in his hair didn’t stop, and that wasn’t helping. Nails dig in a little more, Reid probably thought that it would be calming but it was arousing, and Aaron’s cock had been too long without someone touching it. Aaron wanted to throw his leg over Reid and give his steadily growing cock something to press into. He could even shift his arm around to where he could finger Reid’s cock. It was very arousing the thought of that and Aaron bit his lips to hold in the moan.

Reid’s hand left Aaron’s head, Aaron threw out his hand to catch it as Reid slipped from the bed. Aaron didn’t know what he was doing, but he didn’t want Reid to leave. Reid grabbed Aaron’s hand with his free hand and pried it off of his hand. Reid laid Aaron’s hand on the bed and patted it before he left the room. Aaron laid there and looked at the door hoping that Reid came back but minutes passed and the young God never did.

Ten minutes later, Aaron knew that Reid wasn’t coming back, so it was time to shower. Aaron crawled to the edge of the bed and forced himself up. His body ached, and he had never felt like this after a night of too much. He hoped that Reid never told anyone on the team about this, especially Dave.

Half an hour later, Aaron was shambling into the kitchen, feeling mostly like a human being. Jack was laying on a rug in the living room that had cars scattered all over it. Aaron looked at the rug and realized that it was a town. There were roads and buildings, and even parks on it. Aaron had seen one like it in the toy store that last time he had gone to find small toys to give Jack while he was being potty trained. Jack had started to rip off his diapers and run around the house naked, and Aaron knew that it was a sign. Jack was doing well on potty training. There was a small kids toilet in the two different bathrooms in Aaron’s apartment and one in the main bathroom at Reid’s.

Aaron walked over to where Jack was playing on the rug. It took up most of the free space in Reid’s living room area, and Aaron knew that things had been moved to accommodate it.

“My Pen,” Jack said before he babbled a little and Aaron knew that Jack was telling him that his Pen had bought it for him.

“Breakfast is ready,” Reid called out slightly from the kitchen area.

Aaron reached down and picked up Jack when the boy held out his hands.

“So Jack wants to go to the park today. I told him that it was up to you.” Reid set down a plate of pancakes that looked…red. There was a plate with some gently cooked sausage patties and another with bacon on it. The red pancakes though drew Aaron’s gaze more than the rest of the food. Even Jack’s pancake was red. Jack’s pancakes was cool to the touch so Aaron set him down in his booster seat so that he could reach the table. Reid had already cut up Jack’s pancake, so the boy grabbed a bite of it and chewed in happiness.

“Why are the pancakes red?”

“When have I told you anything about what I have put into the food until after you have tried it?” Reid asked. He sat down and grabbed a small cup of butter that looked like it had lavender flowers in it. Aaron thought about what was red that would stain enough to make pancakes red and knew that there were several things but one of the main things were rosehips. Aaron reached out and ripped a small piece of his pancake off and popped it into his mouth. He grabbed his glass of juice to wash the taste away if it sucked but as he chewed he couldn’t place how it all tasted, but it was just sweet enough that all would be needed was a little butter and no syrup. Aaron scanned the table and realized that there was none on the table anyway. Aaron watched Reid cut up a piece of sausage and drop the pieces onto Jack’s plate along with a soft piece of bacon. Jack picked up the bacon whole and before Aaron could stop him raised it up to his mouth. He bit off a piece though and set the bacon down.

“It’s his second piece. I had him help me cook, and he munched on a piece. He’s learning things he had to eat in small bites really well.”

“Yeah?” Aaron still hadn’t found parenting books in Reid’s apartment, but he would find them one day. Reid had a knack of knowing just how to push and when to pull back when it came to Jack and his education on well everything that a two and a half-year-old could learn. Aaron wondered if he would be testing Jack for a genius level IQ and he wondered if a lot of it was Reid. He wondered if genius could be taught if one started young enough.

“He did good with his first piece, so I told him if he did good at breakfast, we could see about you not cutting up his food as much at lunch.”

“Sure. What were you thinking about for lunch?” Aaron ducked his head down to get some of the butter to slather on his pancake. He watched as Reid stacked another on top of his, repeating the buttering of it and until he had five stacked high. Reid didn’t answer, and it made Aaron look up. Reid was staring at him. His eyebrow quirked as he asked the silent question about if they were really going to do this. “I have no plans for today.”

“Neither do I. There is this nice bistro that has good sandwiches and soups in Alexandria that I’ve not been to in a while. There is also a really nice park near there. We can hang around the apartments this morning and then go out for lunch and play in the park after.”

“Sounds good.”

“I also got that baby gate that Petal mentioned. Two of them.”

“Baby gate?” Aaron thought about why one would be needed.

“Oh, it was just Jack and me getting dinner that night. She mentioned that a baby gate at the top of my landing and the bottom of yours meant that we would allow Jack to move freely between apartments and not worry about him going up too far or down too far. I guess that’s what a family did once who had kids about the same age. Jack’s good at stairs, and he knows not to run.”

“Sounds good. That’s actually really a good idea. So leave around eleven to head out to lunch?”

“Why don’t we make it one?” Reid pointed at the clock on the wall, and Aaron saw that it was just about nine thirty. He had slept a lot later than he thought given that he had got drunk early as well.

“One sounds good.” Aaron would spend the morning doing some things around the apartment and getting a hold on his traitorous brain before an afternoon with Reid.

Jack started to babble, more understandable words thrown in than anything else as he told a story as he ate. Reid listened with a sharp ear, and when Jack’s words were really close, he corrected him but left the mostly scrambled words alone. Jack’s vocabulary was still growing in leaps and bounds. Aaron was sure that Jack would be starting to read soon. Aaron wondered briefly what he would have been doing with his personal life if he had thrown Reid off the team as soon as Gideon had left and he didn’t like that thought.

Aaron pushed his thoughts away from that and onto happier things. Like a quiet day with his son and Reid.



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