The Dusk and the Dawn Chapter 21

From the Expansive Journals of Mimir, God of Knowledge

Gods can worship each other on certain days. Sometimes they do it in mockery but others its because they genuinely feel like they need it. It does not sustain Gods in the same way that Human worship does, but it does feel good. To humans knowledge is power. The power to get ahead in life, the ability to subjugate other Humans, the power to heal those that are sick, the power to care for those that need help. There is a human phrase about the fact that knowledge is power so study hard and be evil. Knowledge is not necessary to be evil, but there are those who do use their power to do harm. Gods do not get to pick who worships them. Those that are evil, those that are genuinely despicable Humans, their worship feels no different to the God that they worship than the worship of little Susie who just really wants to be able to read whenever she wants and hates having to wait for her mother to be the one to read to her.

If I could track the worshipers that I have and kill the ones who worship me for what their knowledge allows them to do to other humans, I would. I’ve seen what evil can be done in the name of religion. I want no part of it. I want no part of the slaughter of Humans because they believe differently than others. I’ve seen too much of that over my very long life.

I would not get away with that much murder though, not in this day and age.

April 2010

Aaron had never considered himself all that religious. He had seen what people who were considered good religious people would do to others long before he joined the FBI. Long before he had become a lawyer. Long before he had turned eighteen. His parents had gone to church every Sunday morning and for every holiday, and when something else didn’t interfere on Wednesday nights. Aaron was seven the first time that he realized that it had nothing to do with his parents actually caring about religion, about God and had everything to do with gossip. The gossip that would circulate if they were not a church as well as the gossip they could overhear for either his mother to spread or his father to take advantage of for his job as one of the bigger lawyers in the area.

As Aaron’s awareness of life expanded so did his understanding that humans did horrible things to each other in the name of religion. It wasn’t just the wars and crusades and other things in history. He heard stories of what his mother and her friends did to women who got pregnant out of wedlock, how horrible that they had made those women because they were not married. When Aaron had learned more and more about the New Gods, he had not thought about the worship needed to keep the God alive that his parents worshiped. It wasn’t until his few theology classes in college that he started to think about that. He interviewed a few New Gods for a paper, but they were unable to answer the base question because they did not need worship to live as the other Gods did.

In the Hotchner household, Easter was celebrated, but it was more the family part that Aaron kept and less the religious part. Jack had not been raised to worship any single God over another. If there was a God that Jack was going to grow up to worship it was Mimir and it wasn’t because Jack all but lived with Mimir but the fact that Spencer had made Jack a little boy who craved knowledge. He wanted to know everything. His brain was astounding, but then Aaron knew what brains could do when nurtured from a very young age. Hell, Aaron was pretty sure that Jack was smarter than him and that way saying something because Aaron was no slouch.

“Where’s Reid?” Aaron asked as the team was packing up their supplies. The jet was delayed in coming back for them, and the team really did not want to fly commercial. Another team had needed the jet for another case that was multi-state, and the team had several areas to visit that was over eight hours away by car but a lot shorter by jet, so the team was going to stay in the hotel and wait out the return of the jet for them.

“He went out on one of the ATV’s into the desert area,” JJ said.

“Did he say when he was coming back?” Aaron asked.

“No,” Morgan answered with a small grin on his lips. Aaron kind of wanted to punch it off. That look had been there in the time since the two of them had started to be more free with their affections when it was just the team around like on the jet to and from cases and sometimes even at meals. It had helped calm the team down in the wake of the changes that had been made.

Aaron was a light bit more famous when cases caught the eye of reporters more than just the standard. It wasn’t that hard to deflect them most of the time. Especially after Aaron had produced a press statement that was emailed to the head of every single journalistic entity the country over. It was about how if a reporter that was focused more on who Aaron was and not on the case that they were working on hindered the case in any way shape or form, Aaron would make sure that they went to jail under the charges of obstruction of justice. Aaron was pretty sure that he could defend that case to any judge the country over and at least get the reporter put in jail long enough for the people in that area to get wind of it and to raise a cry about it. Yes, humans craved the gossip and news that journalists printed, but when it came to murder and violence like the team handled, it wasn’t hard to understand that a journalist needed to focus on what was important and that was not the New God of the FBI.

“Sir,” one of the officers who had been helping them said. Aaron turned to look at him. The man smiled. “He used one of our ATV’s, and we have GPS locators on them. I can get you one from the shed, and you can go and find him if he doesn’t come back soon.”

“Actually, if one of you could take me to where he is. We can ride back together.”

“Sounds good. Give me a few to go and get one. Anything you need to take?”

“Snacks?” JJ asked as she walked over with Spencer’s messenger bag. He had left it at the station when they had gone out for the final trek to get the UnSub in Terlingua. Aaron took the bag and looked down into it. Reid’s normal appetite had been missing for most of the case with the damage done to the illegal immigrants that had crossed the border and hell the damage done to those who tried to protect them. It was a mess, and the city was going to be reeling for a while. Still, Aaron was more worried about Spencer.

“Are you sure there are some in there? He barely ate meals and lived out of this thing.” Aaron hadn’t actually seen him eat a meal besides breakfast which he ate more than Aaron and Morgan combined at. It had been interesting to see the locals watch him eat his breakfast.

“I restocked it with the supplied from the jet,” JJ said with a smile on her lips, it was a pained one but as close as any of them were going to get at that moment.

“That’s where Morgan disappeared after we heard the jet was going away.”

“Well, we can’t have Reid be without his food,” Prentiss said from the edge of the room. “Your chariot awaits, Hotch.”

Aaron smiled at her and shook his head. He looked down at his suit and frowned. JJ pointed to the side of the room where Aaron’s go-bag was.

“Rossi thought you might want to change when he heard that Reid had gone out into the desert,” JJ said with a slightly happier smile on her face. Aaron nodded and walked across the room to grab it and find the bathroom to change out of his suit and into other clothes. Aaron had started to carry more normal clothes in the bag since he had finally ticked over into not sleeping at all. He understood why Spencer liked to stay in the room on some cases, and work and Aaron did as well. But when cases were done, and there was nothing to do but wait for their departure, Aaron liked to wander around the towns that they were in.

It was but a few minutes, and then Aaron was back out in jeans and a long sleeved shirt. It was getting dark, and that meant cold weather even for Texas in April. The desert was its own place, and Aaron knew from Spencer that it could get frigid there. Aaron knew that Spencer loved the desert, but he hadn’t figured out yet why. Spencer had offered, but Aaron said he wanted to figure it out on his own. The lives of Mimir were not always published in order. Many of the original volumes that showed his life at the beginning were not out yet. Aaron was sure that the volumes were on the computer and he was waiting to get them done to publish them, or those were the ones that he was worried about publishing.

The trip out to find where Spencer had ensconced himself in the desert. He was not at the ATV, but Aaron had the officer leave him there. Aaron remembered the last time that Spencer had been out in the desert and wasn’t sure that the officer needed to see Spencer like that. Aaron had no clue what he was going to be like anyway. The officer left him with little issue. Aaron knew that all of the officers had been a little in awe that there were two New Gods on the team. Spencer had been the attraction before, officers who wanted to talk to him, just be around him but now that Aaron was the embodiment of the FBI, he was a new attraction. Aaron looked around the desert for signs of where Spencer could have gone when he heard the sound of the ATV disappear from his hearing.

Aaron picked a direction, and he started to walk. He followed that part of his gut that Spencer had been teaching him to follow. It was interesting to follow something that he could not see, could not quantify but it had led him to several places where Gods had refuges in cities across the country. Aaron stopped as he crested a dune in the desert. There was a little bit of foliage that was trying to survive in the cold spring weather. Aaron crouched down to touch the weird grass.

A sound reverberated through the area, and Aaron swallowed as he tried to figure out what it was. Aaron was used to the sound of coyotes and bobcats, but this was not either one of them. This was something else entirely, and Aaron wasn’t sure that it was a real live creature. Aaron wondered about the Gods of Old that still wandered around, he knew the myths and he knew what he had read in Spencer’s books, but there was nothing about if some of the Old Gods had kept their animal forms and stayed hidden in them over the millennia. Some of them had totally made up forms that would be easy to spot, but Gods like the Greek ones could hide, even the Egyptians had a few forms that would be able to hide in the here and now.

Aaron was a God in his own right, and if that noise was from a God, it was a good bet that they would know exactly who he was, even in his new body. So Aaron stood up and moved to where the sound came from. He was pretty sure that he walked a mile if not more before he saw the creature and it was only his education in grade school that told him what it was. A Jackal. An honest to Gods jackal in the middle of Texas. That cemented it that it was a God, Aaron just wasn’t sure which kind of God it was. Aaron watched as it hunkered down wiggled its ass like a cat getting ready to pounce. The jackal jumped over a small dune that Aaron could not see on the other side of, but he heard a squawk of what sounded like a bird and then the laughter of a human, well a God as Aaron knew that it was Spencer. Aaron took his time, moving to not make a sound and to not walk with rhythm as he did not want to disturb Spencer and his friend. The last time they had been in the desert Spencer had talked about walking without rhythm so that a worm wasn’t attracted and Aaron wondered if he was talking about Gods.

On top of a dune, Aaron watched as the jackal and Spencer played. It was like Spencer was the young man he acted like he was. Carefree and young. Spencer had never been carefree, and it seemed that he had never been young. Aaron watched as they played and it was right then that he figured out exactly where Spencer’s love of the desert came from. He was all versions of the Gods of Knowledge and the area of time that had not been published was when the Egyptian Gods had ruled Egypt the areas. Spencer had to have been Thoth. Though Aaron knew about Seshat as well and wondered if she was a consort of his or that was just something that Humans had put to their deities to make them more Human.

The jackal barked its weird little bark and Aaron watched as Spencer turned his head right to Aaron. The jackal stilled and waited for Aaron to start walking toward them before he moved to Aaron. Aaron crouched down and held out his hand. The jackal sniffed him before licking at his fingers. The jackal backed up and took flight as a black ibis. The shift was seamless and happened in what would have been the blink of an eye if Aaron had actually blinked.

“Anubis?” Aaron asked.

“Yes,” Spencer said, but he didn’t get up off of his back where he was laying in the sand. He grinned at Aaron and held out his hand. Aaron glared at that hand, and Spencer started to laugh, letting the hand drop down to his chest. He looked up at the sky and sighed. Aaron tipped his head up to see what he was seeing. The stars were bright and clear, they were out far enough that the light pollution form Terlingua wasn’t affecting their ability to see the stars.

“He’s a little ways away from home isn’t he?” Aaron asked.

“Not really. The dead are everywhere.”

That stopped Aaron in his tracks a little. He had never thought about that. There were Gods of Death from every religion that had more than one God.

“How long exactly have Gods of Death been following us around?”

“Always. There are so many, and they come to collect the spirits of the dead to help them move on if they wish.”

Aaron tried to digest that. About the Gods following his team but he was sure that it wasn’t that. There was probably just Gods that followed the death, but that didn’t mean that Aaron had to like it.

“So what are you doing out here?” Aaron crouched down and then dropped down to his ass beside Spencer. Spencer hadn’t looked away from the sky yet. Aaron wondered when the last time that Spencer had gone home to Egypt was. Spencer could appear places where he was being worshiped, Aaron knew that. He could also move around a little in the area that he was, like the time that he had taken them from the brothel to the hotel for sex.

“I felt Anubis call to me, so I came out here.”

“You have a million names don’t you?” Aaron asked. He knew that Spencer had never really hidden that from him but the fact that there were so many names that Spencer had over the years, Aaron could understand why Spencer had chosen to keep the name of Spencer Reid personally even between them.

“Mimir and Lugh were two of my favorites. Behind that are Thoth and Seshat.”

“You were Seshat?”

“Before males started to dominate the Gods, I was Seshat. Humans worship, and they give gender to that worship, and it wasn’t hard to look female. I’m somewhat androgynous when I want to be. A little kohl and I can look a woman with the right top. There were a few times that I held two different ranks within the same set of deities.

“Thoth was the God of Justice. He was an incorruptible judge,” Aaron said. He remembered researching him a great deal when he was a child. He had hoped that his father would maybe meet him one day. Aaron laughed a little at that right then. He wasn’t sure what he thought about Spencer and his father going at it verbally. He would never want his father’s taint on Spencer, even just in passing.

“Yes. I sometimes make that decision when other Gods call on me to do it. I’ve been known to step in and kill when it’s needed. There is a reason I was drawn to his job.”

“That’s why with Hankel, Frank, and other people.” Aaron wondered how many others Spencer’s had decided were not worth living. It made Aaron think about Foyet. The man was never going to leave there alive if Aaron had a say in it. The man had proven he couldn’t be contained, not safely and not for long.

“I’ve judged them and found them wanting. In reality, there are two versions of me within this body. There is the judge who decides those matters and the humanity that has been born of a long life living among humans. I love with all that I have to those who I fall for. When I sought and killed the God who killed Ar, it was not the human in me that did it. It was the God.”

“How old is the youngest you have passed judgment on?”

“Seven. There was nothing but darkness inside of the girl’s soul. What had been done to her at the hands of those who had her was horrific, and she had lost all that made her human. I granted her peace. I spent three days and nights with her, we talked and talked and talked. She attacked me when she was scared and when she felt like I wasn’t paying attention. There was no way for her to live in the time that it was. There was no mental health and loving families that could try and take her in. I gave her a poison that let her go to sleep and just never wake up. I don’t regret it and I never will. I could see what she would become. What damage she could do. Have you ever seen a movie called The Good Son?”

“Yes, and you don’t need to explain more. When was the last time you were home?”

“Home? I don’t have a home, not like you are thinking. I wasn’t born of a single place, I was born of everywhere. I can’t actually trace where my first memory is. Instead, I just was. While I adored Egypt better than other places, this is home, here with you. Egypt was the first place that I was happy again after your death, Aaron. I was alone for a long time, and I wandered, and I wandered. Anubis brought me to Egypt after I had been steadfast in being away from everywhere for a long time. I went there, and I didn’t leave for long at all for a long time.”

Spencer rolled to his front and got up to hands and knees before pushing to stand up. Aaron watched him before he stood up as well. Aaron dusted off his clothes while Spencer did the same. Spencer though was covered in a lot more but he just kind of shook himself to get the majority of it off.

“Have you ever…” Aaron trailed off and frowned. He wasn’t sure how he wanted to word the question that was burning in his mind. “Have you ever felt emotion when you rendered judgment on someone.”

Spencer gave Aaron a smile and pulled him close. He pressed their forehead together and pressed a chaste kiss to Aaron’s lips before turning his head back to where their noses were pressed side to side. “I’ll answer the question you have very badly worded. I have never felt emotion when judging someone but when I have chosen and fulfilled that method of death I have. Once was very recent in my memory. A man who was horrible. He was going to survive his cancer and become an even worse person. He was going to make the lives of his two sons horrible, and there was a ninety-eight percent chance that he was going to kill his wife within six months. I found him severely lacking in doing anything more for the world that was of value and so I killed him. He died quickly, I would have liked to have tortured him a little, but then that wouldn’t have worked because there would have been an inquiry into his death. Chemo especially back then did horrible things to the body, so it was easy to fake his death through a common cause of death for those on chemo. It was easier long ago. Men like that would have been found dead in their home, and no one would have gone in and out, and Humans would have not done a thing to anger the God who decided that it was time for him to die.”

“I see. I can understand that as well.” Aaron looked out at the sky and wondered at the beauty of it. “Walk with me?” Aaron asked as he held out his hand.

Spencer wrapped his hand into Aaron’s, and they turned to head deeper into the desert. It was beautiful, in the dark. The moon was shining bright and lit up their path as they walked. Spencer told him names for all of the things animal and plant that they came across in a few languages.

“You speak all the time of knowing every single word that is written down. You explained it to Morgan like you live in a library and you know where things are but not always and it’s hard to find a single line of text in a hundred books. Yet there are cases you steer us in directions quickly and others that take a while.”

“Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s hard. I can’t pick which.”

Aaron was silent again for a while. He looked out at the horizon and saw that it was turning into day. Aaron stopped and looked at the sun as it slowly rose and the heat started.

“I see why you like the desert.”

“It’s the quiet at night that’s not that quiet. The desert comes alive in the night, but it’s not the chaos that is the forest or the Human world. The desert has its guile, but it’s an honest one.” Spencer tugged on Aaron’s arm, pulling him toward a rock outcropping that was in the distance. Aaron followed behind like a child that needed to be guided, but he didn’t care. He just liked being with Spencer like this. It was like the night that Aaron used to join him on the roofs of wherever they were at the time. Spencer shoved Aaron down onto a gouge that was in the rock and pushed him to lean back on it. It was like a recliner, a recliner made of rock but still kind of nice. Aaron wasn’t sure what Spencer’s plans were until he felt fingers on his zipper.

“Spencer?” Aaron asked as Spencer dropped to his knees. Aaron’s eyes followed him down. The rock was at just the right height, and Aaron wasn’t sure that Spencer had led them there on purpose. As soon as Aaron was free from his pants, Spencer’s mouth was sliding down his cock. Aaron reached out and grabbed Spencer’s hair. He tugged on it, pulling Spencer onto his cock even more. The absolute need in Spencer at that moment was palpable in the air. Aaron didn’t thrust up into Spencer’s mouth, but it was a near thing. He controlled Spencer’s head though as Spencer moved up and down his cock. Aaron heard the sound of Spencer’ belt before Spencer pulled off of Aaron’s cock. Spencer’s dress pants fell to the ground, and he stepped out of them and his shoes at the same time. Next was his underwear, but those were set carefully down on top of the pants and shoe pile. His socks were tossed out into the desert.

“What if an animal eats them?”

“The only thing a desert animal is going to do with them is taking the socks back to their nest. No creature is going to try and eat them, and I am not put sandy socks back on my feet or carry them home with me.”

“You and your socks.” Aaron watched as Spencer climbed up onto the rock and straddled Aaron’s waist. His fingers wrapped around Aaron’s cock and stroked, something wet and slick that was more viscous than saliva was there. Aaron did not want to think about Spencer carrying lube around on his person while on a case much less into the damned desert. Aaron felt Spencer making sure that his cock was covered in lube before he reached behind himself with his other hand. Aaron felt the skin of Spencer’s ass as Spencer lowered himself down onto Aaron’s cock.

Spencer had his eyes locked with Aaron’s. Aaron reached out and grabbed Spencer by the hips. When Spencer was all the way down, seated on Aaron’s lap, Aaron trailed one of the hands up his side to his neck and then tangled it in his hair. Spencer’s mouth dropped open, and he moaned. Aaron had started to learn his lover very well when it came to sex. Spencer didn’t care what they did as long as it felt good. He allowed Aaron to direct his rocking on Aaron’s cock with the hand on his hip, controlling how far up or down, how fast, and even when he was going to still on Aaron’s cock. It was heady having someone like Spencer at his command. Knowing that if he wanted it, Spencer would not orgasm at all and would just deal with the frustration. Spencer knew that Aaron would make it up to him as soon as they got home. It was intoxicating at a visceral level to Aaron that Spencer didn’t care about what they were doing as long as they were doing it together.

Aaron used his hand in Spencer’s hair to drag him down to where they could kiss. Spencer’s back was bowed, and he had to grab the rock to stop from falling over. He shuddered as the change in position changed the angle that Aaron’s cock was rubbing inside of him.

There were times that Spencer was utterly silent as they had sex, Aaron had been worried at the beginning, but as it happened a few more times, Aaron got used to it. Too many emotions, Aaron assumed though he had not asked. He didn’t need to, it was another quirk of Spencer that he loved. Aaron wasn’t sure what had brought on this want of sex, but there were still times that Spencer was having an issue asking for intimacy that was not sex. It was dawn, and the jet would be leaving soon so there would be no cuddling in bed while waiting for that. Aaron wondered what kind of touching he could get away with on the jet as they flew home. Maybe he would sit on the couch and settle Spencer at the other end with his legs thrown over Aaron’s lap. Aaron could touch at least a little skin then, and when they got home, maybe they could talk Jack into taking his nap with them in Spencer’s bed. It would be nice to be able to though Jack sometimes didn’t nap the greatest, but he was getting better at that.

Spencer came first with a startled cry. Aaron knew that he was going to be covered in Spencer’s release, but he really didn’t care. He would clean up before they left and force Spencer to do the same. The jet was entirely too small not to clean up before they got onto it. Aaron lasted through Spencer’s out of sync rocking on his cock before he came. Spencer settled in on Aaron’s chest, just leaning there as the sun rose just a little more on the horizon. Aaron wrapped his arms around Spencer’s back to hold him close.

“Anubis is who came for you before. He won the fight to be the one to help you crossover, and he wouldn’t allow me to say goodbye. I never hated him for it, but I was angry for a long time about that. You died so horrifically, and I was the one to find you just after the act was done. I wanted to tell you goodbye because I had not been able to in life.”

“Maybe he knew. Knew that I would be reborn.” Aaron pressed a kiss to the temple of Spencer’s head, finding the skin there sweaty. Aaron didn’t care though. He wrapped his arms around Spencer even tighter, not wanting to let go.

The chime of their cell phones several minutes later had both of them jumping. Spencer had to force Aaron to let go of him as Aaron didn’t want to let go even though he knew that he had to. He pressed a kiss to Aaron’s lips as he settled on his ass on Aaron’s lap again. Spencer’s fingers traced Aaron’s forehead and down to his cheekbones.

“I never saw you coming into my life again. There were dark times that I thought about killing myself so that I could join you, but I knew that you would hate me for it. I’m glad now that I never did.”

“I’m glad as well. Let’s get going before JJ starts to call. We have to clean up before we get onto the jet.”

“Yes, Sir,” Spencer said with a quirk to his lips and mischief in his eyes. Aaron swatted at his hip as he slid backward off of Aaron’s lap. Spencer held out his hand and Aaron slipped his hand into it. Spencer tugged Aaron up and off of the rock before he leaned down to grab his pant, underwear, and shoes. Aaron wondered why he wasn’t putting them on before he blinked and when he opened his eyes again they were in their room. Aaron laughed, and he knew that Spencer would be very sedentary on the jet ride home and that was going to work with Aaron’s plans so well.


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