Them’s the Breaks

Title: Them’s the Breaks
Series: Apartment for Rent
Ratings: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Fandom(s): Criminal Minds, Harry Potter, James Bond, Bones, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, MacGyver (2016)
Category: M/M
Relationships: Tony DiNozzo/Spencer Reid, James Bond/Q, Jack Dalton/Angus MacGyver, Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy, Pre-Relationship Aaron Hotchner/Danny Williams, Pre-Relationship Seeley Booth/Steve McGarrett,
Characters: Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, Minerva McGonagall, James Bond, Q, Tony DiNozzo, Seeley Booth, Danny Williams, Steve McGarrett, Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Jack Dalton, Angus MacGyver
Tags: Alternate Universe, All Human AU, Non-Canon Compliant, Established Relationship, Discussion of Torture, Animal Death,
Summary: Spencer learns a little more about James and Q and realizes that he has a family.
Words: 9,809
Year: Modern Day
Spoilers: Up Through Everything Current for Each Fandom
Notes: None
Beta: Grammarly

Spencer rolled over in bed and groaned. He hated his life right now. He felt the drag of his casted lower leg and foot on the bed sheets. He was glad that he had a few sets of sheets that were not that nice because they were going to be ruined by the scratchy cast and so he wouldn’t feel bad about giving them away to shop that sold things cheap. His stomach growled, but he didn’t feel like getting out of bed and cooking himself anything, and the restaurant wasn’t the same with Tony gone.

There was a huge cooking show going on in New York at the moment that Tony had been invited to be a judge at. He was going to be gone for a month. The restaurant was in capable hands, and the food was just as good as when Tony was there, but without Tony, the place didn’t feel the same at all to Spencer. He knew that he was being stupid, and he just needed to go down and get breakfast. He was still on limited time being allowed on his leg, so cooking was really not something he could do. He had one of those scooted things that he used to get around by laying his leg on it and using his knee as the push point. He hated the damned thing but living in a building full of nosy Nancys meant that he couldn’t away with doing much of anything without one of them yelling at him.

Spencer frowned as he settled into the bed. There was the smell of cooking food going on, probably next door and Spencer hated it. It made his stomach growl and reminded him that he had to at least get dressed before he could venture out. He did not have a lot of things in the apartment that he could just eat without cooking, so he had to either go down into the restaurant or he had to eat cold cereal like he had for dinner the night before.

The next smell that tickled at Spencer’s nose wasn’t coffee but bergamot. There was only one single thing that Spencer knew smelled quite like that, and it was Earl Grey tea. Q mainlined it nearly all day long, adding in other flavors whenever James made him drink something else. It smelled way too close, and Spencer looked at his bedside to see a steaming mug. He could just make it out without his glasses. He pushed up to where he could look around the room, but neither of the men was in there thankfully. Spencer’s scooter was there at the bed, and he sat up fully to where he could grab the cup. He took a sip. It was really good. He hated that he couldn’t have coffee until he was off of his stronger pain medication. There was a weird reaction with him, and it was making his heart race with coffee. It wasn’t the caffeine alone because it didn’t happen with tea or soda.

Spencer drained the tea, wanting the pick me up from it before he set the cup in the basket that was on his scooter. He checked to make sure that he hadn’t taken off his pants again in the night before he stood up from the bed carefully. He got himself balanced on the scooter before he started to make his way slowly toward the door. He opened the bedroom door and was greeted with the sight of Q sitting at the island in the kitchen and James standing at the stove. The food smell was coming from his apartment, not the one next door, which was a good thing. At least to him, it was.

“Good morning,” James said without turning to see him at all.

“Good morning for a break in is it?” Spencer asked. He scooted carefully forward, taking his time. He was still getting kind of used to using the damned thing. It allowed him to stay mobile and allowed him to work, but it was weird to use. Q didn’t even react at all, his eyes were glued to the laptop in front of him. He was frowning at it and sipping at a mug of tea that looked like it had gone cold as hell. Spencer knew that Q would keep on drinking until he was out of tea. The temperature, besides being too hot to drink, didn’t bother him. Spencer didn’t mind what temperature his tea was either. It only mattered when it came to coffee. Though he did love iced lattes, he didn’t like iced coffee as well. He had a small addiction to the iced lattes that Tony’s restaurant had started to make. Harry made the syrups and sauces for the drinks himself, and they were flavorful and just fucking wonderful.

Spencer frowned because now he wanted one and he couldn’t have it. At least two more weeks on the painkillers that he was on at the current and then he could. He was counting down the days. He missed his morning lattes. He really did.

“You need food, and it made no sense to bring up the food to get cold. Instead, it was just easier to cook it here.” James turned and finally looked at Spencer with a grin on his face. He looked like he didn’t give a shit at all about breaking into Spencer’s apartment, though given that Q knew precisely how to get past the security part of the system and it wouldn’t have taken much to get Seeley or Jack to give up a key, Spencer wasn’t shocked to see them. “Besides, it was good to make sure that my lock picking skills were still up to par.”

“Lock picking skills?” Spencer asked. He looked at Q and then at James. He knew that there were more mysteries involving those two than many of the others. Spencer also knew that others knew but didn’t feel like it was their story to share. Even Jack, the building gossip, if there was one to be called that, didn’t tell more personal things. Outside of Steve found leaving Seeley’s place with a hickey on his neck the size of Texas. That kind of stuff Jack seemed to live for. It was interesting to hear the man spill everyone’s open secrets as he called them but keep the others under wraps.

“I used to be able to, with the help of the people I worked with, break into anywhere in the world.”

“Really? That sounds like it was fun.” Spencer had no clue what kind of job he would have had that was legal that would have had him breaking into places around the world.

“It was. I had a lot of fun in the job until something big happened. I was loyal, and I was good, and then I was shot off of a roof when a boss thought that I might have been disloyal. So I come back after that because I have more loyalty than sense and really, I wanted to find out who wanted me gone. So I come back to work after I healed from being shot off a roof and landing in a river to find that while I was gone, someone had attacked my work. I arrived while it’s in chaos and I tried to help out.”

“MI6 and the blowing up of their headquarters.” Spencer had heard about that even here in California years before. It had been horrible and seeing the smoke pour out of it. It had been marked as an act of terrorism, and it had brought back thoughts of 9-11 to Spencer and a lot of other Americans. Spencer had followed it as it just teetered out on the news and then was finally figured out who did it and they were caught and brought to justice. Spencer had never heard the name of the person.

“You are correct,” Q said as he lifted his head from where he was bent over the computer to look at Spencer. “I was the Quartermaster at the time, put into place after the last had died in the explosion. I was the one who made sure that the hack into our system wasn’t as bad as it was set out to be, and only eight people died instead of everyone in the building. When it was all said and done the man who had done all of this had been a former agent who felt that he should have been allowed to do whatever he wanted. He was caught doing something he was not allowed to do by another country, and MI6 let them have him as a lesson about staying in the job parameters, or you’ll be burned. Only they didn’t kill him or keep a hold of him. He escaped at some point and built a huge empire to take out the whole of MI6.”

“I have a lot of things I could label him as,” Spencer said. Narcissist was at the top of the list.

“Yes, well. After there was a witch hunt within MI6. Slowly the full grasp of what the man had done was figured out, and there were more than a few moles found inside of the walls of SIS, across all levels. Which led us to another person who was actually pulling the strings. A man that James had burned and nearly killed on one of his first missions inside of MI6 before he was elevated to the level he was when he was shot off of a roof. That person was horrible and a bastard. I was good at keeping him out, and he didn’t like it. He really didn’t like being denied what he wanted, which was killing James. He was the reason that James had been shot off of a bridge. So while I was focused on MI6, he set out to destroy me so he could get what he wanted.” Q stopped talking abruptly and looked down at his computer. He curled his fingers into a fist and then laid them in his lap. Spencer saw him shiver once just slightly before he stood up and walked over to the water kettle on the stove to start making more tea.

“MI5 was made aware that he was a threat. That he was the one who was controlling the whole of what had happened to MI6, no matter that he wasn’t anywhere near anything back when the first traps had been laid into the computers. It was found by those who were not Q that the first code was laid in computers on site long before Q was even out of school much less on the grounds. They wanted a witch to burn, so they did. Q was taken from the streets and tortured for a week before I found him.”

“Why you?” Spencer asked. He tried to fit it all together. “Why were you sent to look for him?”

“I wasn’t. I went off the job as did nearly every other agent like I was. We liked our Quartermaster. We liked that he treated us like tools that needed to be fixed and made better instead of thrown away when it was convenient. We were all alive for longer, in better shape, and able to finish missions without having to improvise as much because of bad intelligence. We knew that he was loyal to the country as we were. So we all told our boss that we were going to get our Quartermaster back and that he had better make sure that whoever was doing this was caught.” James looked at Q, who was standing beside him. There was such a look of love on his face as he stood there and looked at his lover. James was very much in love with him, and it showed.

Spencer stayed silent. The story would start up when they wanted it. Spencer sipped at his tea and thought about what he would do in a situation like that, and he couldn’t think of a damned thing.

“Those in sensitive positions are given torture training,” Q said when he turned around and started to set down three mugs of tea. Spencer looked at the cup in his hand and saw it was empty, so he handed it over. That was when Spencer saw the faded lines of scars on Q’s hands. Spencer had never paid that close of attention to his hands before. Some were rough, and others were not. Some torture and some medical to repair that torture. Spencer couldn’t even imagine that kind of thing.

“The agents, though, are given even more training. We are put through torture to make sure that we know what it was going to be like. When Q was assigned to work in the technical services area of MI6, he went through the agent training because he had aims on being Quartermaster one day. He had been hired in knowing that he was aiming for it, and the head of MI6 wanted that as well. It was just a longer down the road. So by the time that I found him, he was severely hurt because the idiots who were torturing him for Queen and country and didn’t even go through his file to understand what kind of training he had. They assumed he would be easy to break to spill his guts so as he didn’t, they assumed more and more that he was a spy in the ranks.” James turned around with two plates of food in his hands.

Spencer had not been paying that close of attention to what James had been doing and had been taking in the story that James was telling. It looked to be a full English Breakfast. Spencer was thankful that it wasn’t Scottish like James slight accent when he was tired told Spencer he was. Spencer wasn’t sure that he was up for black pudding in the morning time. He had tried it as something to eat with dinner but no breakfast.

“Thanks,” Spencer said as the plate was set down in front of him. James nodded and turned around to grab the third plate. Q sat down at his computer again, moving it out of the way and shutting it before he focused on the food in front of him. James scooted the plate closer as soon as he sat down on the other side of the island. “So, what happened?”

Spencer grabbed the bottle of pills in the middle of the island and downed two of the pills that were for pain and washed them down with his cup of tea. He wanted them to start to work, and he was going to be putting his food into his stomach

“The actual head of the terrorist organization who wanted me taken down was found as one of the higher-ups in MI5, and there was a huge scandal that never made the papers over it. Then Q was expected to start back to work without even a cursory we are so sorry for not actually fucking doing our jobs without checking. The standard checks that happen to vet a person who is accused of things like that were not followed. That would have given them enough to question the intelligence that pointed its fingers at Q. So Q walked into MI6 on his first day back. He endured the party for his branch, welcoming him back. His fingers were still mostly unusable as he went through therapy to help make sure he didn’t lose the ability to use them. He went into his office with his cake and his tea and started to work, or so they thought. When he was signed into working for MI6, he brought the program that would become the operating system for all of MI6. He signed papers that stated that while he was working for MI6, they would not have to pay for the use of it but that once he retired the ownership of the system would revert to MI6 but if he quit or were fired, he would have to be paid a million pound a year to use it. Upfront.”

Q was grinning as he cut into his tomato and lifted it to his mouth to eat. He had covered his toast in beans and had it in his other hand. He took a bite of that. “So I typed up my letter that stated that I was quitting. I was not giving them two weeks notice. I took that up to the head that had been running MI6 since the one guy took out the other head. I handed it to him. He looked down at it and frowned. Another man we worked with, Tanner, wasn’t shocked, but he didn’t know a thing about the operating system. He just started to get the paperwork figured out. I had a second in command who would do well enough with everything as far as running the branch. So I was cycled out, and the moment the system found the paperwork and that my status was marked as left the service and not retired from the service, it shut down. MI6 was still in the waters. There were no running missions as most of the staff were still being run through to check loyalties, and the ASAP mission that had come up had the agent returning home.”

Spencer felt that it was a bit of karma on them. There was silence as they ate their food. When the Q had finished off about half of his, he picked up his tea and settled back into his chair and looked at Spencer.

“The head was pissed and wanted to know what the hell was happening. That was when someone from HR came up with the file that had been printed on their computer in the instant the system shut down. She handed it to Mallory, it’s a common enough name, and I am sick of saying head without talking about James giving it to me.”

Spencer snorted, which Spencer figured was the name of the game in that instant. “What happened?”

“Mallory read over the paper and looked at me before handing it to Tanner. The system is unique, and it took six months of a careful switch over before it was fully up and running and MI6 didn’t have that time. Hell, MI6 barely had the time needed to even pay me the money and shit. They had missions that needed to get started. If there had been an active mission, those functions of the system would not have shut down. We would have been able to get our agents back in perfect working order. After another five minutes of Mallory, just staring at me another sheet of paper printed on his own system. He frowned at that, but he read it. It was from the other M, set to print when the next head waffled overpaying me the money for my system. I wasn’t aware that she had done that. It laid out what it would have cost for our people to create the operating system that was near unhackable, except for files that were already in the system, which if there had been no moles no one would have got that through my firewalls. I have an account that is only for that payment, and it was already in the system. Mallory transferred that amount to it, and it’s transferred on the same day each year. I work on upgrades and other things throughout the year and every six months those are sent in a hard drive to the new Quartermaster, and she installs them. She knows my system from the ground up but refuses to make it run without that payment.”

“That explains why you left, but why, James?”

Q looked at James, and it was like his face was changed in that instant. He looked besotted and in awe, all at the same time. Q looked at James like James was the only reason that he was alive.

“I had quit before Q had even come back,” James started after he finished chewing the last bit of his food. He leaned back in the chair he was in and looked at Q for a few seconds, a shy smile on his lips. “I had always served Queen and country because I had more love of country than anything else in my life. Seeing what MI6 allowed MI5 to do without making sure that Q had done what he had. Without even a fight at all, it made me look at what I was serving. I quit the day I found Q and forced myself into the medical facility that Q was being sent to for medical services all on MI5’s dime. I stayed with him every single second. I wasn’t going to let an assassin come in and save MI5 from having egg smeared on it’s by getting rid of the issue. So I was there through it all. I knew that Q had a crush on me. A lot of people inside of MI6 did. I found that the trust I had him had led me to have a few feelings more than work-related building in me. I went home with him when he was released to go home, and I helped him take care of his cats. I was there through every single second of it.”

“Love came later, but I took what affection he had for me, and I held it close to my heart.”

“How did you end up here?” Spencer sat back in the chair he was settled in. He looked at his leg, checking his toes. For now, they were fine, but he would have to get his leg elevated soon. He just wanted to do it outside. Spencer grabbed the blanket that was on the chair beside him on the other side of his scooter and threw it over his foot, which was a little chilled and he didn’t feel like getting a sock on his foot at the moment.

“One year after I quit, a new agent that thought he could save the poor MI6 from a hassle of having to pay for tech decided that he would get his two kills to become one of the elite agents by taking out two thorns in MI6’s sides. He was a threat in the making. He made it inside of my flat but wasn’t aware that I had James in my bed. James heard the locks disengage and had his gun ready to take out the man. I woke up to the sound of James’s gun going off. The man never even noticed James at the side of the door, and as soon as he stepped into the room, James shot him in the head.” Q stood up and walked to get himself some more tea.

Spencer still had a half a cup, between eating and listening he had forgotten about the tea and hadn’t drunk much of it at all. Q settled himself at the stove and looked into the cup of tea like it was holding all the answers.

“You don’t have to tell me more.”

“No, we do. Everyone has heard this story at some point. It’s like telling a bedtime story at this point. It’s just today is the anniversary of that day. I just realized that.”

“Then let’s go sit on the couch. I need to get my leg up anyway.” Spencer started to carefully stand and found that James was right there to help him. He was sure that James would have carried him if he had would have asked. Maybe even without Spencer asking if Spencer stumbled at all. It was strange to be around the two of them like this. He was used to being around them in a group but not the two of them alone.

It took a few minutes for them to get set up on the couch with Spencer with his leg up. A stack of pillows was on another cushion on the couch for Spencer to get his leg elevated. He frowned as he couldn’t get them right with how useless he was at the moment. Q was there in a second with a hand stilling his leg. He lifted Spencer’s legs and moved one of the pillows a little with his other hand and settled the leg back down when he had pillow moved.

“James got injured a lot as an agent. He always came to my place to hang out while he was healing. He trusted me too much, I think.” Q looked at James and gave him a weird little look.

“I trusted you as much as warranted.” James sounded fond as hell of Q in that instant. While the two of them were a little cold with each other in public, Spencer had always seen the depth of emotion between them. It was in the way that James always made sure that Q had what he needed most of the time before Q knew that he needed it, especially when eating. Q always knew where James was and what he was doing. Spencer had seen a monitor in Q’s office at the shop that had a line of sight of James at all times. It had been a little weird right up until this morning.

“Still, I woke up to the sound of a gun going off, and then James making a phone call. See while we had left MI6 we knew many ways to get a hold of those who worked there. James calmly told Mallory that one of his agents was dead in their bedroom after slipping in there in the middle of the night to kill one of them.”

“Mallory was a good liar, but even over the phone, I knew his tone when he lied. He was shocked as fuck. It was easy to hear that he was pissed off as well. It seems that Mallory had been trying to figure out a way to get both of us back in a part-time capacity. Me training agents and Q working on whatever he wanted to work on. Mallory knew that this was going to end whatever little bit of loyalty we had, even if MI6 or 5 didn’t send them. We can’t trust the agents who are supposed to protect us to actually protect us. We were normal citizens at that point. MI6 can’t act within our borders unless given permission. It’s close to the CIA in that way. We can follow threats home, but MI5 handles domestic things. It was only after I had left the bedroom that I realized exactly what lengths that agent had gone to just to make sure that we stayed asleep while he killed us.”

“Mallory came himself to deal with the team set to clean it up. I made sure that the video, and there is a camera that records in our flat at all times, just a safety precaution against someone doing what that agent did. I showed the camera that records in zero light of the agent entering the flat. It recorded him going to the couch and killing both of my cats before advancing on the bedroom.”

“The cats?”

“They were waking up and would have alerted us that something was up. I get it rationally, but they were my children. I had raised them from kittens when I had found the pair of them asleep in a gutter after being tossed out. I was not rational when I threatened to utterly destroy MI6 for what had happened. Mallory promised to get to the bottom of it, but at that time, a friend of ours offered us a position that we couldn’t refuse. Sanctuary in the US. We became legal dual wielding citizens of the US, and the CIA uses me on occasion for hacking into places. I refuse to go into MI6, but I’ll hack into anything else as needed and I get paid handsomely for it. I do hack MI6 for fun on occasion to make sure that they are keeping this up to par to make sure that our country doesn’t fall. It’s become a game I have been told by Tanner, one of the higher-ups that we keep in contact with. Whichever tech running security for the system throws me out gets a promotion and a weekend off.” Q looked damned proud of himself, and Spencer was sure that it was warranted. It was no small thing, getting as high as he did given his age.

“And what of the agent?” Spencer asked.

“It seems that someone in MI5 that he was friends with was pissed at how I screwed MI5 and kept on bitching to his friend, the agent. He took it on himself to take care of things. The guy in MI5 lost his job because it was nothing like that. Instead, it was part of my contract, and it’s not like they could have Microsoft, Apple, Linux or any of the other big companies make them a system and keep it running for less. It was fucking cheap, really. I spend at leave three hours a day just checking on the running of the system and then another one or two working on error reports that are generated and sent to me. I still have my security clearance and so doesn’t James as my protection. The million is pocket change in that aspect. It’s the short nearsightedness for not seeing the forest for the trees.”

“He’s also on call for issues if someone does get in further than they can repel. We’ve had a few of those calls over the years. His medical issues that stem from the torture at the hands of MI5 and all of his therapist bills are covered by MI5. Yes, we all know what we are signing up for, but even a little bit of checking into the claims would have thrown flags, as happened when MI6 actually fucking did the work. It was stupid and insane that unsubstantiated rumors got credence where they should not have.”

“That’s enough on us,” Q said as he settled into James’s lap in the chair that was closest to the couch. Q looked comfortable, and all that James did was spread his legs a little spread Q’s weight around. “We knew that it was only a matter of time before you started to really think about us even though we’ve both stayed a little on the edges of you getting used to everyone in the building. Tony’s away. You broke your foot, trying not to kick a kid who should not have been running loose in your store, and I know you’ve been without your coffee.”

There was a knock at Spencer’s door, and he started to get up, but Q stood up and pressed Spencer down into the couch cushions. Spencer huffed and settled down and took the last sip of his tea that he hadn’t seen someone set down on the coffee table. Spencer heard two sets of feet walking toward them, and he looked to see that it was Aaron, dressed in his running clothes. Spencer felt his mouth go a little dry at the sight of him in the tight-fitting Lycra, but there was no other reaction. Aaron was a handsome man, and he would always turn heads. He handed over a cup, and there was a strange smell to it.

“What is this?”

“London Fog Latte. Harry made it for you since you are missing your lattes. He promises that as soon as you are off the meds, he’ll make you seven normal lattes that first day.” Aaron was smiling.

“Oh, thank you.” Spencer took a sip and sighed as the milky tea washed over his tongue. There was just a hint of sweetness to it, and it was kind of perfect to him. Spencer settled down on the couch and was almost hugging the cup to his body. It was his regular reusable latte cup that he used. He hated using throwaway things unless he had to.

“You are most welcome. Okay, Q you can head to the shop. Spencer had been thoroughly fed, thank you for doing that while I dealt with a client and his freak out over his upcoming court case. I can handle Spencer for the rest of the day.”

“I don’t need handling,” Spencer protested.

“Entertaining?” Aaron asked.

“Okay, I’ll grant I need that.” Spencer was going insane as he was relegated to his regular storytimes with the kids and paperwork. He was also allowed to run the register a little on Wednesdays which was Morgan’s typical day off in the middle of the week and their assistant managers as well. Spencer was going insane. “What kind of entertainment involves that outfit?”

“We are going to the park. I had Q hack your phone, and I called your chess buddies. I’m going to do my run and then hang out with you. We are going to spend the whole day at the park with your leg up. I’ve got everything we need, packed up, including a picnic lunch from the restaurant all chilled perfectly. I have strict instructions on what to do and how long it’s to sit like it is before we eat it. Then dinner out somewhere. I am your friend and distraction today.”

“I just need to get changed.”

“I figured. Let me have the latte-”

Aaron stopped talking when Spencer tipped the latte up and nearly chugged it down. He took a few breaths through his nose while he was doing it, but the drink was at the perfect temperature for him to drink like that. He figured that Harry had made it that way on purpose. Spencer pushed himself up and lifted his leg off the stack of pillows and settled it onto the floor to use it to sort of balance as he stood up. He pulled the scooter closer to get headed toward his bedroom. Spencer looked at the clock that had the temperature on it as he passed by. It was warm enough for shorts, and he could take a blanket to cover his legs if the breeze picked up.

“Okay, I’ll go obtain you another while you go and get dressed.”

“Lock up after you clean up,” Spencer tossed over his shoulder to James as he entered his bedroom.

“Told you he wouldn’t forget about the dishes,” Aaron said.

Spencer got dressed as fast as he dared. After he had been able to get around well enough on his scooter, Tony had taken Spencer to the store to get him shorts. Spencer didn’t have much in the way of shorts, but those were better than cutting the pants leg off of his pants so he could wear them. Spencer had bought many pairs, a few that were quite clashing. He had got those because they had made Tony laugh. He chose one of those now, line green and purple with little pink swirls. It was very nice to Spencer, but Aaron would disparage being seen in public with him. It was payback for Aaron wearing tight clothes.

Aaron walked slowly to match Spencer’s pace as they made their way to the elevator in the building. It was the same as they walked to the car that Aaron had moved close to the door. Spencer got settled into the car while Aaron put the scooter in the trunk of the vehicle. It was a lovely day, and Aaron had the windows down. Spencer could feel his pills, making him a little sleepy.

“Wait up,” Harry said as he came running out of the back entrance of the restaurant. He was carrying a tray with two drinks in it. They were more the reusable cups of Spencer’s. Spencer probably had way too many of them. “Two chai lattes.”

“Thanks,” Aaron said. He settled his into the cup holder that was close to him while Spencer settled his in the other free one.

The trip to the park wasn’t that long, but Spencer could feel the ache in his leg from being down too much. He tried to adjust it, but there was no making it better. Spencer waited for Aaron to come around after Aaron parked next to a handicap spot. Spencer listened for the pop of the trunk and then the sound of his scooter on the asphalt. Aaron helped to pull Spencer up into standing on one-foot position. It was strange to need help, but he wasn’t afraid to ask for it.

Spencer looked at the people already gathered and playing chess. He saw that one of the women had brought a sign and everything. It was going to be a day-long tournament it seemed. Spencer saw his opponent waiting on him. Spencer leaned over and kissed Aaron’s cheek.

“Thank you.”

“You are very welcome. Tony is going to call tonight after I text that you are home.”

“Let’s go,” Spencer said, pointing out at the chess tables. There was thankfully a path made of concrete-headed toward the middle table, where one lone person was waiting. It was nice that they made sure that Spencer would be safe getting to his seat. He figured that others would come to him instead of him coming to them.

The day went by in a blur, Aaron forcing everyone to stop so that Spencer could eat when he needed to for his next pill. It was strange to have Aaron around for as long as he was, but Spencer wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Aaron touched him more than he probably should, but then he had been touchy around Tony and Tony had not said a single thing about it. Tony didn’t care that Spencer sometimes lingered on his hugs to Aaron. He understood that while they used to be intimate, they were no longer, and Spencer would never do that. Aaron would never do that. Aaron was too wrapped up in Danny to even think about anything like that.

Spencer was worn out by the time that he was shuffled to bed by Aaron when they got home. Aaron had helped him change, his hands never touching anywhere that they were not really supposed to.

“What about Tony?” Spencer asked as he fought his eyes, trying to close.

“I never said the conversation was going to be long,” Aaron said with a smile on his face.

Spencer heard his phone going off, and he forced his eyes open to look for it. He frowned when he saw Aaron swipe to accept the call.

“Hey, he’s pretty sleepy so I’ll put you on speaker phone and go clean up a few bits of his apartment and I’ll check back on him after about fifteen minutes,” Aaron said into the phone before pulling it from his ear and hitting a button.

“Sounds good,” Tony said over the speaker. “How do you feel, Spencer?”

“Tired but really good.” Spencer felt the phone get laid down on his chest. He frowned as Aaron walked away without a word, but he also knew that he wanted privacy.

“I’m glad that I mentioned to Aaron about you talking about not getting able to get to the park to see your chess buddies yesterday. It sounds and looks like you had a good day.”

“I did. Aaron was really good for me. He took me on a walk around the small track after I ate to get in my moving around. He also kept me in water, and bottled tea, which isn’t nearly as good as real tea like Draco likes to make.”

“I bet it’s not. You sound like you could pass out if I stopped talking.”

“Don’t. I miss you.”

“I miss you too, Spencer. I should be able to come home for a few days soon. They shouldn’t need me for a weekend or something close to that. I miss you slipping into my bed at night if you can’t sleep in yours.”

“I miss waking up with you.” Spencer knew that he wouldn’t usually be as honest as he was except for the fact that he was half asleep and slightly drugged.

“You know you are making me want to hop a plane and get home to you now and say screw this thing. I think that cuddling you like you are would be wonderful.”

“Aaron used to say when I was on these pills, I turned into an octopus. I had a severely strained muscle when we were together, and I had to take these pills.”

“That’s not helping,” Tony said, and his tone was only half playful.

“It’s not supposed to. It’s to make you want to come and see me.” Spencer closed his eyes because keeping them open was taking too much. “Tell me about what happened today.”

Tony told him about the people who were on the show today, and how horrible one of the dishes has been. Spencer felt himself slipping off into sleep as Tony talked. He really hoped that Aaron rescued the phone not too much longer as he finally went to sleep. He didn’t want to have to dig for his phone in the bedding in the morning.

Spencer rolled over to lay on his side. He was warm, and he was glad, but something was stopping him from moving. Spencer knew that he had been sleeping for shit the past few days. His leg had been aching from healing, and he had been stepped down to over the counter medication by his own want instead of doctor’s orders. He hadn’t wanted to be on the strong stuff for long. Tony was still gone but home for good soon as the show was getting ready to wrap up.

“Quit,” Tony said behind Spencer as he tried to wiggle free of what he thought was blankets.

“Tony?” Spencer asked. He wondered if he was dreaming.

“Yes. I caught a red-eye as soon as I was free. Had my hotel room packed up and taken care of before the last day of shooting. I went straight from the studio. I’m just glad my flight wasn’t delayed. As soon as I got into bed with you, you rolled over and cuddled into me. It was an excellent feeling after a few weeks away from you. I have missed this so much. I missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too. I wish we could spend a week together.” Spencer successfully rolled over in Tony’s arms to allow himself to look at Tony. He was a little rough around the edges with a beard on his cheeks and chin. There was thankfully no mustache as Spencer wasn’t sure he could handle that. “What’s with this?”

“I was talked into it by the producers of the show as the show went on. I don’t like it that much, but it kind of grew on me.”

“And you didn’t shave before getting into bed why?” Spencer asked. He reached up and threaded his fingers through the short hairs. The hair was softer than Spencer thought that it would be. He sighed as he scratched skin and hair with the tips of his fingers. Just having his hands on Tony, even in this fashion felt good. It felt too damned good. Spencer felt himself start to harden just from it.

“I wanna see what your thighs look like with beard burn,” Tony said as he rolled Spencer onto his back and straddled his body to kiss him. The beard was a strange feeling but not enough to stop him from enjoying it. Tony was naked, Spencer found out as he ran his hands down his body. Spencer was just in a pair of boxers so those would be easy to take off for Tony. Spencer was looking forward to what was to come, even if he did get beard burn as it were.

Spencer allowed Tony to do what he wanted, not moving at all for fear of hitting him with his cast. He did not want to have that on his mind the next time that they got into bed for sex.

Exiting the bedroom after a wash up with a rag and a pan of soapy water, Spencer didn’t like bathing like that, but he was not coordinated enough to take a bath like he had been with his leg protected or even a shower with his leg protected. Especially after Tony had ruined his thinking for the rest of the day with a damned good orgasm. The whole apartment was full of people. Tony was at the stove with Harry and Danny helping him with things. The rest of the group were all spread around the island talking among themselves. The smell of food was only masking the smell of tea and coffee. Spencer wanted coffee very badly. He was, as of today, able to drink it again.

Spencer was walking on his foot again, not needing to keep it down as much, the scooter was still around for when he needed to go to work or go out and about. Spencer slipped up to the wiggled between the second bit of island and Aaron, pinching Aaron’s ass as he did.

“Hey!” Aaron cried out, and he turned to see who did it. “Oh, Spencer’s awake.”

“I’ve been awake,” Spencer groused good-naturedly with Aaron.

“Weren’t sure that you didn’t go back to sleep,” Tony said as he turned from the stove. He picked up a cup, one of Spencer’s and walked over to hand it to him. Tony bussed a kiss onto Spencer’s cheek, the beard scraping just a little.

“When are you getting rid of that thing?” Spencer asked as he ruffled the beard. He was smiling as he said it.

“Tomorrow morning. I have plans for tonight with it. And you.” Tony waggled his eyebrows as he spoke. Everyone around them laughed, and Spencer covered himself by taking a drink of whatever Tony had handed him. It was a mocha latte and how Spencer had missed it. It was at the perfect temperature for Spencer to just chug, so he did.

When he was done, he heard that no one was talking. He looked around at those around him just as they all started to laugh, and then a little bit of money changed hands. It all went to Tony or Aaron. Aaron then walked up to Spencer and slipped the money into a pocket on his shirt.

“That’s for your coffee addiction over the next few days.” Aaron pressed a kiss to Spencer’s forehead before he stepped back. Tony was slipping his money into his pocket. “And that’s going to be for your date tonight.”

“You guys made bets on me and my coffee?” Spencer asked.

“Well,” Steve said as he finally stopped laughing enough to speak. “We all figured that you would savor it. Tony and Aaron were the only ones that said chug. I should not have bet against Aaron, I will say that.”

“No, you shouldn’t have.” Aaron was back in front of Spencer with a second latte. It smelled like spicy chocolate. That one, Spencer would savor, and Aaron knew it.

“How many more do you have hidden around here?” Spencer looked around where he could see.

“None. One to chug and one to savor. Tony also made regular coffee, his really good brand that he doesn’t share with any of us often at all, and never as a group. It tells us that he missed us.” Aaron was grinning as he said it and then ducked as an oven mitt went flying at his head.

“Everything smells good.” Spencer carefully walked over to look at what was going on as far as food went on the counters all around. It looked like there was only eggs, meat, and potatoes. Harry was cutting up a fruit salad. There was evidence of the meat and potatoes, but they were not in sight, so Spencer assumed they were in the oven staying warm. Tony reached out and snagged Spencer by the arm and pulled him in slowly for another kiss.

“I hope you would say that. Fruit salad will be done in a few, and the eggs are nearly done. Draco you can get the meat and potatoes from the oven.”

“Sure.” Draco waited for Tony to pull Spencer away from the oven and stove, Tony carried the eggs with him, letting the warmth inside of them finish off the cooking. Spencer didn’t even try and help, his hands were shaking a little from chugging the latte. He knew it was a bad idea at the time, but he didn’t care. He had missed his coffee.

“I think I’ll take this,” James said as he laid a hand on Spencer’s shoulder and pulled him back to sit on a stool by the island. There were plates all laid out, and Spencer hadn’t been paying attention, so it had to be when he had been by the stove. They were all going to eat around the island. James picked up Spencer’s leg and settled it on a slightly shorter stool. “You look like you were about to vibrate out of your cast.”

“Thanks,” Spencer said as James also threw a tea towel over Spencer’s foot. He had not put a sock on it yet to keep it warm. So he had a towel he had been using throughout his being in a cast. It wandered around the house everywhere so for James to have it on hand, he had gone looking for it. The other guys in the building had been taking turns entertaining Spence since he couldn’t exactly get out and do a lot. It had been raining a great deal since he had been put into a cast, so his trips outside were few and far between because Spencer hated wrapping his leg in enough plastic to make sure the cast didn’t get wet.

Tony settled a plate in front of Spencer that had just about as much as he normally ate for breakfast already on it. He smiled up at Tony in thanks.

“This looks and smells really good.” Spencer looked at the food and then at the people around him. He had not ever thought that he would have a family. He had not thought that since he had turned ten, and his father left him and his mother. He had good, close friends that he worked with at the bookstore, but even Derek was just a friend and not someone that he would call family. Aaron had been about as close as he thought he was going to get on that front, but still, before this, Aaron had been that little bit distant. The rest of the people around him he had figured would be acquaintances when he moved in. People he said hello to, people he waved at when they passed in the halls. Nothing close to this. People that he wanted to share meals with. Even if those meals were with one or two at a time. Minerva might not have realized what she was creating when she bought the building and renovated it to suit what she wanted, but she had created a place where all of them could be themselves with no hesitation at all to their lives. Spencer knew that he could walk down the hall with Tony’s hand in his and no one that mattered would blink an eye. The upper floors were more protected than the lower thanks to Q and Mac, but even the people who visited the stores on the lower two floors were not those who Spencer would fear.

It was well known that the owners of a lot of the shops were either gay or bisexual. It wasn’t that hard to understand that it meant that those that were along the rainbow of sexuality were welcome.

“Deep thoughts for so early in the morning,” Danny said as he sat down beside Spencer with a plate of food.

Spencer looked around to see that the rest of the people were all sitting down with plates piled high with food. Tony took the seat that was open on Spencer’s other side. Tony ate one handed and laid the other on Spencer’s thigh, touching but not trying to do anything more than that.

“I’m just being happy at having friends,” Spencer said.

“That wasn’t a look of happiness. It wasn’t sadness, but it wasn’t happiness either,” Steve said.

“He’s high on caffeine, almost half of his second one is gone, what do you expect?” Aaron asked with a wink in Spencer’s direction.

It started everyone talking on what they were going to do for the day, those who had to work, and those who didn’t, which was only Tony. Other than the weekend he had come to see Spencer, he really hadn’t had a day off, so he was taking the week.

“A week off?” Spencer asked when Tony was done talking to Harry.

“Yes, and you are off for a week as well. If you don’t believe me look at the schedule.”

Spencer pulled out his phone and looked at the digital calendar that was the work schedule for the book store. Derek was working Spencer’s normal shifts, and a few others were jumping up to cover on Derek’s days off. Spencer turned to look at Tony, glaring at him. “What the hell are we going to do for a week in this weather? With me in a cast?”

“I was thinking movies in bed.”

“And other things in bed,” Draco said with a grin and then a waggle of his eyebrows.

“One of them would have their cock fall off if they fucked the whole time,” James said. Which earned him a smack to the arm from Q. Tony started to laugh, and the others joined in a little.

Spencer felt his cheeks heating up, and he knew that he was blushing. It was all good-naturedly with everyone, but still, Spencer wasn’t used to sex being discussed at all really, especially around the breakfast table.

The conversation turned away from him again, and Spencer just listened as the others talked. He liked this part of their meals down in Tony’s restaurant. He liked just listening and learning his new friends. They still were weird to think that he had gone from Aaron as a friend to all of these men. He knew though that they did count him a friend.

“I have the movies picked out for today. I have a runner bringing us food when we want it for the restaurant. I just want to lay in bed and cuddle all day long.”

“That sounds like a plan, but I do have to get some walking in, even if it’s just back and forth in the halls. I have to keep my leg muscles in good condition. It’s helping with the healing, or that’s what the doctor told me.”

“I’m sure that your leg will be slightly bigger from carrying around that cast.”

Spencer worked on finishing up eating and looked around to see that the others had eaten at a much slower pace. Spencer drank the last of his latte and frowned as he looked at the empty cup. A cup of coffee was scooted over to him from Danny.

“Thanks,” Spencer said in a low voice. Danny nodded his head in response before he started to talk to Steve again from across the island. Spencer looked at the coffee and saw that Danny had a second cup in front of him that was drank from. Danny had made him a cup of coffee before sitting down. Or someone else had and gave it to Danny to give to him.

The talking washed over Spencer as he leaned into Tony and just kind of existed. Tony’s hand on his thigh moved to wrap around him and hold him close. It was really, really lovely to just be around people without having to talk if he didn’t want to. That was one of the things that he loved the most about their little group. No one was ever forced to be something that they were not or do something they did not want to be.

Spencer was lazing in bed on his stomach. He felt the washcloth being run over his back and closed his eyes. He was near sleep, and Tony knew it. A day of laying in bed hadn’t bothered him at all when he thought that it would. Tony and he had taken three different small walks just before lunch, a snack, and then dinner. Tony kissed down Spencer’s spine.

“Hey,” Spencer said, and his words sounded slurred even to him. Tony had been so damned gentle during the sex they had just had ad Spencer was still feeling a little high from the orgasm.

“Not trying to get you going again,” Tony said. He chuckled before stopping about six inches above the top of the crack of Spencer’s ass.

The rest of the clean up just took another few minutes and then Spencer felt the blanket being pulled over his body. Spencer had never really slept naked before. He had never done it with Aaron and any other lovers he had, he had not stayed the night with them. Spencer loved the feel of Tony’s skin pressed to his. Tony’s fingers started to trace non-sense patterns onto his back. It was making Spencer sleepy, and he didn’t like that.

“Don’t,” Spencer said. He knew that he was close to falling asleep, but he wanted to talk to Tony or at least exist in the same place for a bit longer.

“You need to sleep. I have a big day planned for us tomorrow, and I want you well rested.”

“Do I get a say on this vacation of ours?” Spencer asked. He let his eyes fall closed as Tony’s fingers turned from just barely there to sweeping up his spine a little harder. It had turned into a back rub of sorts. Tony found a few spots on Spencer that were in a knot and worked them out slowly. Each one had Spencer going a little bit more to sleep.

“Yes, but not for tomorrow or the day after.”

“Bastard,” Spencer said with no heat in his words.

“But I’m your bastard,” Tony said kissing at a spot between Spencer’s shoulder blades.

“You are. Mine. Mine forever,” Spencer said as he finally let sleep take him over.

The End

I write fanfiction for fun. It’s a hobby and a stress relief. I refuse to stress over my writing. What you see is what you get. Errors, plot holes, and all. Thank you for reading my story!

I can be found on MeWe (a FB replacement that’s better) here, join me there and we can discuss my fics and whatnot. My writing page for the moment is kind of dead in the water on a FB front as links are being banned for content.

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