From the Expansive Journals of Mimir, God of Knowledge
Blood is thicker than water. Humans love to think that this is true, but sometimes the bonds made that have no blood between are some of the best and last the longest. Family is someone you can abuse, and you expect them to always be around. When the family goes away because of abuse, they are usually considered outcasts after. They are the ones that have something wrong with them. Not the other way around.
When the family heals itself, there is nothing better. When brothers who have had valleys between them now only have a stream, it’s like the world is righting itself. To see, it is something that will stay with you forever.
Aaron looked at Jack as he still watched the world move around them. He smiled as he saw Jack’s face light up as they got close to New York. It went from trees and life to brick and stone. Aaron looked at Spencer, who was on the far side of the train car. He had rented out the entire car for their trip up to New York City not wanting to be anyone but himself in it. He was working on a case file for another team in the BAU even though he was supposed to be on vacation with Aaron for the next two weeks.
Two weeks in New York City so that Jack could get to know his Uncle. Sean had been out of jail for a while, but he hadn’t wanted Aaron, much less Jack to come up and see him before he was settled in. A month before, Sean had texted Spencer that he was ready. Sean kept in contact with Spencer as his lawyer of record and the ultimate person who was in control of his life. Aaron tried not to be upset about that, but Spencer was much less emotional than Aaron, and he was what Sean needed at that moment.
Adjusting to a life where Sean got to make every single decision for himself had been hard. Aaron had been woken up but a lot of calls from Sean when he was freaking out about what he was doing. Aaron listened in to hear what Spencer told him. Spencer had a specific ring tone that was attached to Sean’s number, and no matter what they were doing, Spencer answered it.
Aaron opened his mouth to ask Spencer a question when his phone rang, and it was Sean’s ringtone. Jack jumped up and ran over to Spencer, but he didn’t say anything.
“Hello,” Spencer said. He smiled at whatever Sean said on the other end of the phone. “Yes. We are seventeen minutes from being dropped at the station, and we would gladly pick up the food that you have ordered. Jack’s stomach has done nothing but make hunger noises for an hour. He’s a growing boy who eats his weight in food every single day.”
“HEY!” Jack near screamed, but he was smiling as he did it.
Aaron turned to fully face Spencer and found that he was looking at him as well. Aaron smiled at Spencer, and Spencer smiled back.
“So we can’t wait for you to show us your work. I’m glad you were able to take a little vacation.”
Sean had to say something funny as Spencer blushed.
“Well, it’s my money, and I can do whatever the hell I want, and I wanted to make sure that you weren’t running yourself ragged. You’ve been doing well, Sean and that deserves a treat, even if that is just you spending time with your brother and nephew.”
Spencer gave a weird look but kept his mouth shut as it seemed Sean said something he didn’t like.
“Well, Sean, I figured that you would hang out with me, but I do have a few things I’m doing the first two days up there. I’ve not made it up to New York City in a while as I’ve not been making my longer trips on weekends anymore. So I’m going to clear up all the personal things that I need to take care of before I get to enjoy my vacation. I had planned on heading up early, but Jack had a school function that he had forgot to tell us about that I did not want to miss. I think some time with just the Hotchner men would be better. You don’t have to perform for me. Yes, I am looking forward to spending time with you and getting to know you as you are now.”
Spencer smiled and shook his head as Sean seemed to have said something that made him laugh.
“Yes, well I’m sure that New York has changed a little since the last time I was there as a tourist. I am looking forward to taking Jack to Central Park. He’s been in some big ones but never any that are that big. I’m sure he will enjoy that as well. Do you feel better now?” Spencer cocked his head to the side, and his features softened. “Good. Then you go and get what you need to get and then before you know it we will descend on you. Now please be good.”
Spencer hung up the phone, and Jack rushed across the car to get to him. He dropped into the seat and leaned his head on Spencer’s arm. Spencer kind of bumped his head up and down a little making Jack laugh.
“I’m excited to see New York City and to see Uncle Sean.”
“I am also looking forward to seeing him. Seeing how he is doing now in his life and if he’s happy. He’s going to be a little rough, Jack.”
“I know. Dad walked me through it all. How he’s not good at making a decision anymore, so if he asks me a question, I need to answer him and not tell him that we should do what he wants. That’s why Dad gave me the kid’s tourist book for the here. Then I made up a list of places that I wanted to go to in order. I will only bring it up if Uncle Sean asks.”
“Good.” Spencer raised his arm and wrapped it around Jack’s shoulder to draw him close. It looked good, and Spencer looked up at Aaron, and the look of love on Spencer’s face took Aaron’s breath away. He had seen that look a lot over the years, but it always took his breath away. It was so kind and so pure that it was easy to forget that they were both Gods, and it wasn’t ever going to end.
Aaron looked back the way that he was facing and waited for the train to start to pull into the station before he began to pack up. Their luggage was going to be the last taken off as it was in the secure compartment, and Aaron would need to be there with his key to the compartment to allow the porters to get it off. Spencer already had them a rental car ready for them, and it should be waiting for them at the area for drop-offs. It was something that generally Aaron would not have done, but he understood with the luggage that they had for the two weeks off, it was needed.
“Did you finish up the school work for the next two days, Jack?” Spencer asked as he slipped his phone into his pocket and started to stand. Aaron could see him moving around as the train began to brake.
The trip had been scheduled for just a few days but then New Haven had an issue where their pipes busted, like nearly all of them, so the whole school was going to be closed while crews worked around the clock to fix things. The work that the students would have done had been rounded up and sent home with them. Lectures and various things like that were pushed around, and the school didn’t think that the kids would have to take off for anything. A few of the teachers had gone ahead and were recording their lectures and uploading them to the website so the kids could watch them when they wanted.
Spencer had spent a while looking at a lot of the lectures that had nothing to do with Jack and making notes before emailing the teachers. Aaron still wasn’t sure that Spencer wasn’t lying about the fact that he had not corrected any of them. He couldn’t prove it of course, but he really hoped that Spencer didn’t insult a single one of them. It would not do good to make Jack’s stay there be a point of contention.
The three of them were ready as soon as the train was stopped, Aaron was going to go and grab the luggage while Spencer and Jack secured a trolley for them to use to get their things off. The porters were lovely and were very kind, and Aaron didn’t mind waiting until they were done with everyone else’s things to get to him. The secure compartments were new to a lot of trains and were made with Gods in mind, and some law enforcement officers who wanted to travel but not carry their guns up with them. It was very nice, and Aaron would gladly wait a while to get his things.
Before Aaron knew it, he was in the passenger seat of the sporty SUV that Spencer had rented for their use. It was just big enough for them to fit in but also fit their luggage. Aaron was glad that Spencer didn’t mind driving as Aaron hated driving in New York. Aaron’s eyes watched the city pass them by with Jack in the back making noises of happiness at seeing things. It made Aaron’s heart swell that Jack was so happy. They didn’t travel that much outside of the states that surrounded DC mainly because Aaron and Spencer traveled a lot for the job so going places was different when a horrific case was added to the memories of that city. There would be a day when they could, but at least New York wasn’t that bad.
Boston was a city that Aaron really never wanted to go to again.
“So I saw something interesting when I was looking around for things for us to do and I think it will be fun, so I bought tickets for it. Private box in the lower bowl.”
“Lower bowl?” Aaron asked. He scrunched up his nose and wondered what the hell they would do that involved them in a box in a lower bowl.
“Hockey?” Jack asked.
Aaron shook his head. After the Capitals had won the Stanley Cup in June, Jack had been wanting to see a game. Aaron had seen a few games here and there. The few bits of politics that he had to engage in had him sometimes going to games with other members of the FBI. He knew that Spencer followed the sport in a very standoffish way. He had been rooting for the Vegas Golden Knights to keep up with his thing of being Spencer Reid, Vegas born and raised. Morgan had even bought him a hat when it had been outed that he was a fan. He had been so happy when Vegas had made it as far as they did.
It was one of those things that Aaron wasn’t sure if Spencer just didn’t realize that he never talked about liking hockey or it was something that he thought that it wouldn’t be up the real Spencer Reid’s alley. Aaron could see it being up Mimir’s alley though. It was violence and control, all wrapped in one. The ability to follow the puck and other things made it a sport that Spencer had to watch carefully to see it all. Dave had fun with it and had presented them with sort of matching jerseys. Meaning that Spencer had one for Vegas that was the goalie’s while Aaron’s was the Capitals. Jack had been given a smaller version of the goalie jersey for the Capitals.
“Yes, hockey. We are pretty close to the Islanders’ box. I think we will have fun even if it’s not the Capitals or the Knights.” Spencer was smiling, and it made Aaron smile.
The trip was only mostly silent to get the food as Jack chattered in the back about the people that he was seeing and the fun things that he wanted to do when he saw no one interesting. Aaron’s eyes watched Spencer as he looked at people and things as he drove. Aaron was looking forward to having two weeks off with his family. He was looking forward to maybe finally having his brother in his life in a way that meant something.
“You okay?” Jack asked from the back seat.
Aaron looked back at him to see that Jack was looking at him.
“Yes, I’m okay. I’m really good, actually. I’m just excited to get to see Sean.” Aaron knew that Jack couldn’t understand the tenseness that had been between them. Aaron wanted a relationship with Sean, and he wanted to make sure that Sean knew that he was proud of him. Aaron was insanely proud of him for making it through what he had made it through but also had come out on top despite what he had endured while in prison. Aaron had made sure he had everything that he needed to make it through prison with his dignity as intact as it could be.
Spencer parked the car and got out to get the food. He had cash in hand to give to the person, and Aaron wondered if Sean had figured out that he wasn’t going to be paying for a single thing. Though Sean should have maybe already paid by debit card. That had been something that Spencer made sure that Sean had when he got out. He had a little cash to get him started, and it had come out of his checks a little bit at a time, but it was enough for him to get clothes and other things. The trip here though, Spencer was going to make sure that it was all paid for by him. Aaron was pretty sure that Spencer was going to bully Sean into accepting it as well.
To Spencer, money was a tool used when he could. He spent it like he was breathing, but he had more than enough to rule the world but just kept it on hand just in case it was ever needed. Aaron had no clue what that kind of money would ever be needed for, but he didn’t fight it. The money they made as FBI agents were put into an account that all of their bills were paid from directly as well as the debit card that Jessica had access to so she didn’t have to spend her money on Jack. Then there was the black credit card that was paid from Mimir’s account at the bank that protected all of the Gods the world over. It seemed that the bank had been slowly moving through the shadows to become one of the biggest and best, and it actually took care of its customers and kept the Gods and their money safe.
Aaron had been shocked at the hub of it that was in DC where Spencer had transferred all of his items. There were gold bars, gemstones, a few that Aaron was sure were not around and had never been seen before by humans, coins from ages that were long gone. There was even pirate treasure, which Aaron found funny more than anything else.
“Are we ready?” Spencer asked when he got back into the SUV. He handed the food back to Jack, who unbuckled to be able to grab the food and settle it on the areas to either side of him, so it was safe before he buckled back up.
“Yup!” Jack popped the P in the word and looked like he was ready to break into the food.
“Wait, did he order that much?”
“Yes. He remembered seeing me, and you ate in that interrogation room and made sure that he got enough. He said that if he had leftovers, it would be good for breakfast. He also asked what my favorite place to eat was, and I told him, so he ordered from there.”
“You love being indulged, don’t you?”
“I think after being alive as long as I have and dealing with the shit that I have dealt with, yes.” Spencer was smirking as he said it.
Aaron looked around when Spencer started to act like he was trying to find a place to park. It had not taken long at all for Spencer to get them from the restaurant to where Sean lived. It was a lovely area, and the restaurant was there and looked busy. He knew that it wasn’t good to have Sean be indulged in getting a vacation so quick, but Jack had been asking about him for weeks. It wasn’t a secret when Sean got out. So the whole thing with the school going on a vacation that soon had just been a perfect excuse to do it. The team needed the break after a long summer that seemed to have deaths after deaths.
“No. No! NO!” Spencer yelled.
Aaron took off, running from where he was reading on the couch in Sean’s apartment. It was a huge one that had enough rooms for them to stay over so Spencer had asked and Sean had gladly let them it seemed.
“Spencer?” Aaron asked, but he saw that Spencer was standing in the living room on the phone. Sean was eating a bowl of cereal. He kept weird as hell hours with his job, so he slept when he was tired and stayed awake when he wasn’t. He was currently staring at Spencer like he was enthralled. Sean was nowhere near bisexual like Aaron, but at that moment, he looked a little in lust with Spencer.
“I don’t give a shit what you think you have. If you publish that as it stands, I will sue you for libel. I will make sure that you never find a job even writing tag lines on memes on the Internet.”
Spencer hung up the phone, and Aaron realized that it was his Mimir voice. Spencer reached out, grabbed the cordless phone that was in Sean’s apartment. He started to dial a number as Sean finished off his bowl of cereal. Sean went to the kitchen and grabbed a banana before he peeled it and handed it to Spencer. Spencer shoved nearly the whole thing into his mouth and started to chew. Sean rinsed out his cereal bowl before walking over to stand by Aaron.
“So…I know that voice.”
“Sean,” Aaron said as he closed his eyes and ran his hand over his face.
“I won’t say a damned thing, Aaron. He’s an asshole, and he scares the shit out of me. I read those books when I was in prison. The whole set is there. I don’t know if the Warden thought it would straighten some of us out or someone donated them. I wanted to understand you more. What you were going through. The differences I saw in you since I had seen you that year that Spencer joined the team to when I saw you in New York here. You were vastly different but also strangely the same. It said you were working on that path from the moment that you decided to become an FBI agent.”
“I need a gag order on an asshole at the New York Times who covers the Gods. I can’t even remember his name. He thinks that he has the origin marked on how to stop Humans from becoming Gods and how to kill them and he wants to publish it. He found my work cell phone number and called me to tell me that I could get in on it since I was here in New York, and he would keep my name out of it.”
“For fucks’ sake.” Aaron looked around for his cell phone. He had no clue where it had ended up. He didn’t need to keep it on himself at all times since he wasn’t on call at all, but he had wanted to bring his work cell with him just in case. He found it buried under a stack of books on the coffee table.
“Yes, Sir. I’ll gladly march down and stick my foot up his ass, but that won’t actually do anything. I do like to keep myself hidden as Mimir from the world, and I would rather keep that for a long time. You need to make sure this shit doesn’t come out because what it’s going to do is stir up the religious assholes who already hate all of us, and it’s going to get Humans killed. I see it every single day in my job, Humans hating other Humans because they think they might become a New God. Instead of conversion therapy places for those who are not straight, we are going to end up with ones for those who others think they are on the path to becoming a New God and they are going to be tortured. No one wants me to release my word on it all to the world as it’s going to do more harm than good.”
Spencer was silent as he listened to whatever whoever he was talking to had to say. He smiled after a minute and gave a small laugh before he nodded his head and then agreed before saying goodbye. He turned and looked at Sean.
“Don’t even,” Sean said with a grin on his face. “I would rather die than reveal who you are. You love my brother beyond all reason, and I might not understand why someone like you would love someone like him, you do. It would hurt Aaron, and it would hurt Jack if I ever did anything like that to you. Though I do have to wonder why him after Mimir hasn’t had a lover for a long time since the lover mentioned in passing the memoirs.”
“Because I am that lover. I was killed and taken from him. He killed the God who did that not too long ago. Killed him so he can never threaten me again. I was reborn and shoved into his path as well the path to become a God again. Of the same shit just a little different.”
Sean looked between them both before he just shook his head.
“You know I know that reality is stranger than fiction, but this reality is just…so strange. So that’s how you are able to bully people around like you do? How many people know who you are?”
“The team, close friends who need to know. A few of the upper brass at work but they are too scared to actually attempt to reveal any of it.”
“What are you going to do if that reporter person recognized your voice?”
“He’s not. The line was horrible, I made it that way as I knew I wouldn’t be able to correctly modulate my voice. The Mimir voice that I use is an old accent of mine, one that I miss a lot, so I tend to fall into it when I’m tired or angry.”
“I can vouch for the tired,” Aaron said. His stomach rumbled, so he wandered to the kitchen area to find something to eat. He didn’t want a banana, and the only other options were cold cereal or quick oatmeal. Sean had a lot of the packages of flavors that you just added boiling water to. Aaron checked the kettle and filled it up before turning it on. He grabbed four of the packages and dumped them into a bowl that would hold them and waited for the water to boil. He also set out three teacups and found tea bags that all three of them would like. He added sugar to Spencer’s and left his and Sean’s without it.
“So how did that work? I mean isn’t the FBI pissed you are hiding among them?”
“Their forms cannot ask anything except for if we are a God. I never corrected anyone and never stated that I was the God of Psychology unless they said it first.”
“So I don’t need to feel bad about you being a sugar daddy for this entire trip?” Sean asked.
“No. I could never work another day in my long asked life, and with the money I make from stocks and various other things, I would never run out of money. I spend a lot of money during the year, and the FBI knows it. They also know I play a lot of cards and various other things. Anything else I had hidden from them and they know not to ask. I would never take a bribe for anything, I’m not built that way. I go after justice, and that’s all I care about, sometimes revenge.”
“I’ll remember that,” Sean said and he looked like he very much would remember it.
Aaron laughed and wrapped his arm around Sean to drag him into the kitchen as the kettle went off that the water was boiling.
Aaron watched as the skaters took to the ice for the warm-up. It was their third hockey game that week. Everyone single one of them against the Flyers. Two games had been the Islanders, but this was their first Rangers game. They had one more game they were going go to, and it was the next day against the New Jersey Devils. Spencer was debating going to Connecticut for the Saturday game between the Islanders and the Rangers.
“Dad, why did they bring that back?” Jack asked.
“I have no clue, but their fans seem to love it.” Aaron looked at the ball of orange fur that was skating out on the ice. According to Spencer, its name was Gritty, and it was freaking out Aaron. It was not anything like what a Mascot should be, but everyone else seemed to love it. Jack was only a little freaked out by Gritty, but he still laughed at the crazy things that Gritty did. It was pre-season, so the Flyers were trying to gain as much gumption for the new mascot as they could. Aaron still wasn’t sure why it was there at a game that wasn’t at home, but he knew that it was getting the crowd worked up.
“Where is Spencer?” Sean asked. He eyed the thing that was skating on the ice trying to get the crowd worked up.
They were in seats that were in a small private box at the edge of the ice near where the Rangers team sat.
“Dad!” Jack yelled, and his arm pointed over to where the skaters came out during TV commercial breaks to clear the ice of snow. A person was being escorted out onto the ice with a black bag over his head. Aaron recognized Spencer from just the outfit that he was in. Which was a Vegas Knights jersey. Aaron knew that something terrible was going to happen, but the Knights had sent that to him overnight for proudly showing his Golden Knights pride at the first game they were at. Spencer had been shown on TV for it. The jersey was signed by every single member of the team, with Marc-André Fleury’s number and name on the back.
“Hey, give him back!” a few of the Rangers who were on the ice called out.
“He’s mine!” Gritty called out as he skated over to take possession of Spencer, and he took the black bag off of his head.
“No, he’s ours we kidnapped him first,” one of the Rangers said as he skated closer.
“Does anyone want to fight for him?” the announcer called as he stepped up onto the carpet area at the edge just behind Spencer.
“Hey, little man,” A voice said from beside Aaron. He looked to see that one of the bigger of the Rangers was standing and looking at Jack. “Wanna go and fight with us to rescue your Papa from that orange monstrosity?”
Aaron realized that the voice was also being put over the speakers. He had no clue what the hell had happened while Spencer had been getting them food, but it seemed to have turned into a giant show.
“YES!” Jack screamed. Jack turned to Aaron and held out his arms like he wanted to be picked up. Aaron picked him up and raised him up to where the Ranger could get him over the glass that separated them from the team.
“First we gotta get your armor on,” one of the other members of the team said.
It took a few minutes, but Jack was in a small New York Ranger set of hockey pads and uniform. Aaron felt a little off at that, but as soon as Jack got onto the ice with two of the Rangers, the uniform changed to be the Capitals.
“Sorcery!” Gritty cried out as he moved Spencer to be in front of him. Even the Rangers moved back to where Jack was alone on the ice.
“Let my Papa GO!” Jack screamed. He looked like he was having the time of his life. He started to skate closer to Spencer, and as soon as he got close, he touched him. There was a flash of light, and then the whole arena went dark. Spotlights came on again, and Aaron saw that Spencer was free and in skates with Jack behind him. Gritty roared, and then it was a few seconds, and smoke started to envelop Gritty. He pulled his mascot outfit off, and there wasn’t another costume underneath. It was the real deal. It looked like a giant orange furry thing.
“So you finally reveal yourself, huh?” Spencer said. He was smiling and took a few swipes of his feet on the ice and skated closer to him. “I felt you escape where you were stuck years and years ago. I’ve heard whispers of you. So what are you going to do now?”
“I like these guys. They play with me. I’ve always wanted a friend. They found me when construction in the arena broke into where I had been trapped. I’ve learned the error of my evil ways. I just want to play. I promise.”
Gritty dropped to his knees and looked like was about to start to beg.
“Then I bind you to these men and women, and you are never allowed to be anything but the fun little brother of the Flyers.”
It felt like electricity went through the entire arena. The crowd was dead silent until Gritty bowed his head. Cheers started up from the Flyers, and then the crowd followed after. Jack wrapped his arms around Spencer’s waist and looked at Gritty.
“It’s not nice to kidnap people!”
“No, it’s really not, but he doesn’t know any better. The Flyers are going to have to teach him a lot of good manners. Let’s go back to our seats.” Spencer turned around carefully and waited for Jack to turn as well before he started to skate over to where Aaron and Sean were. He snapped his fingers, and instead of skates, they had their shoes on, and then Spencer walked through the glass before he tugged Jack after him.
“Did you know about this?” Aaron asked, hoping his voice wasn’t projected. He looked out at Gritty who was still creepy but at least was less creepy now that he was not a creature hiding in a suit that looked like him.
“No. I was getting food, which should be dropped off to us soon as I was promised that, and a few staff came up to talk to me. They had a New God from the area tapped to do this, but she flaked on them. So they asked me since they knew who I was from the news with that stupid cult. I thought it would be fun. Though the faking being kidnapped was not that fun. I would do it again, though.”
“So that’s really a creature?” Sean asked.
“Yes. At some point, a kid-created it and didn’t want to let go, so the thing that is now named Gritty was trapped to become what he is now. Though, I don’t know how he got trapped like he did. Probably a prank from a God and the God forgot about him. That has happened before. More than you would like to think. He really did get found when they were doing construction on the area.”
“Only you would go to a hockey game states away and become part of the show.” Aaron laughed as he sat down, pulling Spencer with him. Spencer laid his head on Aaron’s shoulder and watched as the rest of the warm-ups happened before the start of the game.
“Still, best game ever,” Sean said while laughing. He sat down as well, but Jack was pressed to the glass, his eyes wide in admiration of everything that was going on.
“We will be going back after the game before the teams leave, and Jack will get to shake hands with both. The Rangers were very kind to allow the Flyers to do this tonight. It was part of a big public relations spot for the whole of the NHL,” Spencer said.
“Still a lot of fun, even if I was a little worried.”
“Sorry to worry you. I could have escaped at any point.”
“Oh, I know, but you weren’t where you were supposed to be. Usually, something bad happens.”
Aaron watched as the team started to leave the ice. He saw that one of the cameras was focused on them. Aaron bounced his shoulder and pointed. Spencer looked before he turned to kiss Aaron. Aaron submitted to it, and the crowd cheered. Hockey was for everyone. Including creatures and Gods.