Choice of Happiness

Title: Choice of Happiness
Series: Choices
Fandom: Criminal Minds, X-Men,
Year: 2015
Tags: Established Relationship,
Ratings: R
Pairings: Spencer Reid/Remy LeBeau, Aaron Hotchner/Beth Clemmons,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 10
Summary: Aaron had thought he’d let go. It took a face to face confrontation with an UnSub to prove that he really hadn’t.
Words: 5,878
Notes: None
Warnings: Canon Character Death,
Beta: Charlie_Remington

Aaron looked around the hall where the museum was hosting a fundraiser. He’d stayed away from politics and other related things for the past five years because he didn’t want to run into anyone from his former life. He’d kept in contact with Dave that was it. He’d cut the FBI out of his life and he really hadn’t regretted it. He taught classes at Georgetown and was happy. Jack had been living with him full time since cancer had taken Haley three years before. It had been caught way too late and there had been nothing that could have saved her. Aaron had paid for her hospice care and made sure that her last moments were spent with him and Jack.

Beth was milling around. She was the reason he was here. A boarding school had opened up two years previous near Quantico and the fundraiser was for them. Aaron had wondered why it needed funds if it was a boarding school but then the truth of the place had come out. It was a boarding school for Mutants. It was the first active, known school for Mutants in the United States. One like it had opened up in London and had been doing wonderful. Aaron was happy that Mutants were becoming less and less hunted in the US.

Mutants were not the scourge of the Earth. Aaron had hunted the worst of the worst and the cases that involved a Mutant being the UnSub had been on average one case per year. Cases against Mutants had averaged five per year.

Aaron knew that something was up. The noise level at the front of the hall had picked up. He looked up just to see the doors being pulled shut by two men with ski masks on. There were nearly two dozen more scattered around. They all carried submachine guns. All of them pulled the triggers, guns pointed up.

“Silence!” One of the men yelled. Other than a few sobbing women, silence fell over the room. “On the ground.”

Aaron pulled Beth down with him, he settled on his haunches while the others dropped to their asses. He looked around. There was no security in the room. The UnSubs had been watching the room. They knew when to strike. It was a lot of them for a simple hold up. He itched to grab his gun but he wasn’t wearing either one of them. He heard someone shifting behind him but didn’t look. He didn’t want to take his eyes off the UnSubs.

“Now. If everyone cooperates with us, they will leave here alive. We are simply looking for one human.”

Aaron’s senses went on alert. The use of the word human shocked him. That meant two things, the masked men were mutants or were pro-humans. Neither was a good thing. The single empty handed man stepped up to the front of the group and looked out. He wasn’t wearing a mask. That was never good.

“The human we are looking for is SSA Doctor Spencer Reid.”

Aaron started at that. Spencer was there? He held back the urge to look around.

“Doctor Reid, please don’t make me hurt someone to make you step up and come with us.”

Aaron was startled when a hand gripped his, opening the palm. He was getting ready to look when a gun was pressed into his hand and he knew what kind of gun it was from the cylinder. It was a revolver. Then the man behind him stood up and breezed past him. He’d know that form anywhere. Spencer.

“I’m here,” Spencer called out.

“Aaron, he’s the guest speaker. I invited him to this. Why do they want him?”

Aaron wanted to know the reason for that as well. He’d not been following the BAU and specially Spencer since he’d left five years before.

“Stay where you are!” The unmasked man called out. He tipped his head and five masked men separated from the group and moved towards him. The civilians scattered from them. “Check his holster. I don’t know if security let him keep his gun or not.”

The first man to make it to Spencer parted his coat and shook his head. Spencer wasn’t armed because he gave the gun to Aaron. Aaron slipped the gun in his pants pocket and Beth saw him do it.

“Where did you get that?” Beth asked, shocked.

“You are alone, Doctor Reid. None of your team is here and the X-Men are in New York.”

“X-Men?” Aaron asked. He knew of the group but he didn’t understand why the X-Men would care about Spencer.

“Doctor Reid is the liaison between the FBI and the X-Men. Do you not follow the news at all?”

One of the masked men ran to the unmasked man with a clipboard in hand. “Sir, Hotchner is here.”

The unmasked man looked down at the clipboard and then back up to the crowd. “Aaron Hotchner, former Unit Chief of the BAU. And Doctor Reid’s ex-lover. How fitting.” The man looked until he found Aaron. When their eyes locked, Aaron held in the shiver. The leader’s eyes lit up at the sight of him. “With Miss Beth Clemmons, the wonderful lady who made this possible. Thank you for getting Doctor Reid to accept this invitation to speak.”

“Aaron?” Beth asked. Aaron cursed silently. He’d discussed that he’d been in the FBI but never talked about what he’d done. It hurt to do that.

“It’s me you want, Jackson. Leave Hotch and Miss Clemmons out of it.”

“No. See this is perfect. The whole world is going to know about this. Your precious Gambit will hear of this. He’ll know he couldn’t stop it and the last thing he’ll know about you is that you cheated. Kiss your ex boyfriend, Doctor Reid or Miss Clemmons dies.”

Spencer turned to look at Aaron. There was pain in those eyes. Aaron stood up and Beth tried to pull him back down but a masked man separated from Spencer and grabbed her. Aaron lunged but the switching off of the safety of one of the guns stopped him.

“That going to get your rocks off? You are an idiot. Gambit will come after you. He won’t stop.”

“He’ll come after the man that has turned down his proposal seventeen times? How many more times are you going to do it, Doctor Reid? How many times are you going to say no? What are you going to do if he never asks again?”

Proposal? Who the hell was this Gambit that they were talking about.

“I’m no more scared of you than I was of Phillip Dowd, Jackson.”

Aaron’s head shot over to look at Spencer. Dowd. Was that for him? He looked down at Spencer’s leg and saw him shift his right leg. Spencer had a secondary weapon there. There was no way that they could take out over twenty men armed with machine guns. What the hell was Spencer thinking?

“Some serial killer you put away? I’m no mere serial killer Spencer. Now kiss him.”

The safety switched off several other guns and Aaron watched as Spencer was left alone and the guards surrounded Beth. He was shoved forward and nearly crashed into Spencer. Spencer steadied him.

“I’m sorry,” Spencer’s voice was soft.

This was everything that Aaron wanted. Spencer leaned in and kissed him. It was a crushing of lips and it was over long before Aaron wanted it to be. Aaron opened his eyes that he wasn’t aware that he’d closed and he looked into Spencer’s eyes. He couldn’t read the emotion in them.

“You call that a kiss? Two lovers separated by time and a death? I’ve kissed my mother’s dead corpse with more passion.” Jackson moved through the crowd and stopped beside Aaron. His machine gun raised up and Aaron could smell the gun oil from it. “Now Doctor Reid. Kiss your former lover and make it so that when Gambit sees this, he’s going to think you still love him.”

Aaron looked at Jackson and then he saw that there was at least one of the masked men filming this. He looked back at Spencer and all he saw was darkness in his eyes. He didn’t know this Spencer. The younger man’s hand at the back of his neck startled him and then lips were crashing on his again. He gasped when his other hand gripped his hip and pulled him close. He was drowning in the feel of Spencer’s tongue inside of his mouth.

It was heaven. Aaron reached out and pulled Spencer even closer using his hips. There was more muscle on his body. He felt the damn break in him. Everything he’d kept locked away. The love he felt for the genius that was now in his arms again. He poured every single bit of that love into the kiss. The cat calls from the masked men were brushed from his mind.

Then it turned to hell.

Aaron couldn’t feel a thing from Spencer. Oh, their tongues were tangled in the younger man’s mouth but there was no emotion. His body was relaxed like this was what he wanted but Aaron could feel the tenseness to his muscles. He was like a cat, ready to spring. His heart broke. There wasn’t an ounce of love in the kiss. The only blessing was that there wasn’t anger.

“Fuck, that’s hot. I can see why women like to watch male on male porn.”

Spencer jerked his face away from Aaron and it was only a split second before Aaron saw the butt of a gun flying towards him. There was a crack and then Spencer was going down. In a move that Aaron would have never believed, Spencer landed on his back, his leg coming up and his hands going down. Then before Jackson could even react, Spencer had the Glock in his hand and aimed. The single shot was deafening in the silent room. Jackson fell to the floor with a bullet hole in the center of his forehead.

Before any of the masked men could react there was shattering glass and a weird noise. Aaron smelled ozone and then the noise sounded again. He drew the revolver from his pocket as Spencer spun, still on the ground and aimed at the masked men that had been holding Beth. She wasn’t there anymore. Women were screaming. It was chaos.

“The X-Men are not in New York. Now Nightcrawler will be back in a few seconds and he’s going to take you someplace. Where you go depends…” Spencer stopped talking when the men dropped their guns, fell to their knees, hands behind their heads.

Aaron looked around to see the place flooding with the mutants he saw on news clips. The doors were opened and many of the guests fled out into the hands of the waiting cops. The noise sounded again and Aaron saw two men standing there. He recognized Nightcrawler now. Blue skin with black leather over it. The other man though, Aaron didn’t recognize. He dropped to his knees beside Spencer and his hand reached up for his hurt cheek.

“Don’t.” Aaron grabbed that hand and tried to shove the man back. He was young but he wasn’t weak. “I heard his bone crack.”

“I know.” The man jerked his hand free of Aaron’s hold and then it was moving towards Spencer’s cheek again. “Doc wants me to make sure it’s iced before you start to talk.”

Spencer nodded and closed his eyes. Aaron watched as a glob of ice formed and was pressed to Spencer’s cheek.

“Fearless is keeping Wolverine and Gambit on getting the civilians calmed down as they flee. Nightcrawler has Miss Clemmons in a cop car at the edge of the blockade. I’m on Spencer duty.”

Spencer laughed and his eyes sparkled. The sound of running feet drew Aaron’s gaze up and he braced but all he saw was the team. Morgan, Dave, Garcia, JJ, and two others he didn’t recognize but he really didn’t look at them.

“Hotch. Man, are you all right?” Morgan asked as he stopped beside Spencer. He looked down at the younger man but didn’t crouch down. Garcia though dropped down to her knees with JJ. JJ took the ice from the man with a leather gloved hand and the man smiled and stood up.

“I’ll go check on the others.” The man clasped Morgan’s shoulder and then he was gone.

“Thanks, Iceman!” Dave called out and then he looked down at Spencer. “You said that he wouldn’t miss the chance. You were right kid.”

“I’m always right,” Spencer said through clenched teeth.

The team laughed.

“How are you doing, Hotch?” A familiar voice asked. Aaron looked at the younger of the two other women and that’s when he knew her. It was Ashley Seaver. Her now brown hair had confused him. He looked at the other woman, he didn’t know her.

“Confused.”

“Jackson Swift has been a prohuman supporter who has tried five times before to either kill or capture Reid.”

“Why?”

“You don’t…” JJ stopped and Aaron looked down to see that Spencer was trying to stand up. Garcia was trying to hold him down but he shoved up despite what she wanted. JJ came up with him, holding the ice there.

“Given what I heard Miss Clemmons tell Hotch. He’s not followed the BAU at all.”

“Doctor Reid!” A voice called out. The entire team turned to see a man standing in what was now a pretty empty hall. Aaron recognized him. Cyclops, the leader of the X-Men. “Incoming!” The man was smiling like a loon.

“Fuck,” Spencer said as he dropped the chunk of ice and looked around. “Little shit.”

The sound of claws on tile drew Aaron’s gaze to a broken window at the top of the hall. A flash of brilliant blue and then wings. When what looked like a dragon was five feet away from Spencer there was a shift and then a small child was in Spencer’s arms. A flash of face told Aaron it was a she.

“Aurora, who did you hitchhike with?” Spencer asked as he cupped the back of the child’s head. The child didn’t answer though. She just buried her head in his neck and cried.

“Gambit’s going to be the only one to get her to talk. Go, Pretty Boy. We’ll talk to Hotch.”

Spencer nodded and turned with the crying child still in his arms. JJ kissed his non broken cheek.

“What the hell is going on?” Hotch asked. He raised his hand and realized he still had Spencer’s gun. Dave held out his hand and Aaron handed it over. Spencer’s backup was in JJ’s hands inside an evidence bag.

“We should start at the beginning. You guys go. I’ll handle Aaron and get him back to Beth.”

Aaron watched as the rest of the team left. Garcia hugged him and JJ smiled. Dave ushered him over to a table and they sat down. There were mutants and humans milling everywhere. Dave paid them no mind.

“Six months after you left, Spencer came home one day to find a letter addressed to his guard at the house.”

“House?”

“The man we met in Las Vegas? That James? Wolverine of the X-Men. We didn’t find that out until much later. The letter detailed that someone was targeting and killing mutants across all fifty states. Like clockwork every single day at noon local time one was dying. Whoever sent the letter knew that his guard’s name and that who he lived with worked with the BAU. Once we were able to confirm that the method of death in three cases was the same and that it crossed state lines, the BAU stepped in. Then the X-Men did as well. We were able to figure out the states but not the cities. That was guesswork until Reid found the pattern.

“By this point in time, we’d got used to Shadow as we all called him. No matter what, he waited in the cities we had cases in, in Reid’s hotel room at night, even when we had to double up. It was a psychotic mutant. He was stealing powers. He thought that Reid was a mutant since he was able to track down his pattern and set a trap. Morgan and I broke into the hotel room where he had Reid tied up and was about to cut out his heart. The room started to glow pink. We were shocked. Shadow stood up from where he’d been knocked out it looked like. He had deck of cards in his hand and five in the other. The five were glowing pink.”

“Gambit.” Aaron recognized the signature of that mutant. The cards and the pink.

“Yes. To say that Morgan and I were shocked was an understatement but Reid wasn’t. He told Gambit not to miss and singe his hair. The UnSub charged at Gambit and in the end he was dead with a knife in his heart. After that it wasn’t hard to get the truth. Wolverine was worried that Foyet would pay to have Reid killed for besting him. Gambit is on guard duty until the needle is placed in Foyet’s arm.”

“Then why does Jackson think that Gambit and Spencer are a couple?”

“That started about a year after you left. Well, that’s when Reid actually said yes to a date with him. That man courted him something fierce. When the Bureau found out he was a mutant, they tried to take him into custody. That was laughable. The end result was that Reid was appointed the liaison between mutants and the FBI. It didn’t take long for the X-Men to approach and talk to him. Cyclops, Phoenix, Storm, Beast, and Wolverine showed up at Quantico to talk to him.”

Aaron sat back and stared at him. He could tell that Dave wasn’t lying but he couldn’t believe it.

“By this point in time there were so many research papers coming out about how the mutant population has less people who commit crimes per percentage than humans. That most mutants who are jailed are attacked first and the humans aren’t given a sentence at all.”

“I’m not that much of a hermit, Dave. I know that.”

“The X-Men were escorted into the round table room. We didn’t even know that Gambit was in the building. Wolverine kept himself back while Cyclops and Reid talked. It took two hours of conversation that few of us understood. Beast chimed in from time to time as did the girls but Wolverine was silent. Finally, Cyclops lost his temper and slammed his fist down on the table. Reid had told us not to step in, no matter what. He crowded Reid into the corner and then he was on his ass.”

“What happened?”

“Reid put him there. Seems that Gambit had been training him in fighting. Reid leaned on what I’ve learned is called a bo staff. Gambit’s signature weapon that isn’t his power. He has a retractable one and had another made for Spencer. Whatever metal it’s made from, doesn’t show up on detectors. Every single X-Man recognized it. Then Gambit entered the room. That’s when Wolverine stood up and hugged Spencer.”

“Gambit’s not left his side since?”

“That bit about the proposals? That’s the truth. That man is so in love with Reid but none of us can figure out what is stopping the kid from saying yes. I know that this has to hurt. That footage? It was being broadcasted. We were all outside watching. Gambit wanted to gut Jackson. I could tell the second that you figured out that Reid wasn’t harboring feelings for you anymore, not active ones. You need to get your head in the right place.”

“Who was the kid?”

“Lapis? She’s five and Reid adopted her two years ago. We caught a stalking case only it turned out to be a lot more than what we thought. She was being stalked by a mutant who wanted the child. She was running from him and before we could track her down, the mutant killed her but never got the location. She was super smart, a geneticist. Left clues for Reid to find the daughter. She became attached to him and he adopted her after she’s fled the home of the X-Men for the third time and traveled a few states to get to him. Right now, he’s the face of the mutant movement in the United States. There are those who want him pulled since he’s obviously in a relationship with a former X-Man but the rest of America and the world are in love with their love story. Gambit’s a probationary agent. He can get into most places and carries a badge.”

“Bodyguard.”

“Exactly. Foyet has threatened Reid in seven letters and to whoever will listen. He’s nearly forgotten about you. This last letter had a drawing of what he’s going to do to Lapis.”

“Her name is Lapis?” Aaron’s head was swimming. He needed to get away. He needed to get away from it all. To get home to Jack and where he was safe. Where he could process everything.

“That’s the name the public knows. Her birth name is Aurora. Her powers manifested at the age of one when her father was murdered by the mutant after her.”

“I need to go.” Aaron stood up and blindly walked until he found the exit. He heard Dave calling after him but all he saw was Beth sitting in the back of a police car with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. She was up and in his arms before he could blink. He heard Morgan’s voice but he ignored him. Pulling Beth to the car, he found his keys in his pocket and pushed them into her hands. She nodded.

Aaron knew that he had to have zoned out because it wasn’t long before they were pulling up outside his apartment. He could see the lights on. Jessica was still awake. He wondered if she had seen the news. He hoped that Jack hadn’t.

XxXxXxX

Spencer watched as Aaron fled the museum. He looked out and found Kurt. The man nodded and then disappeared. Tonight had been horrible. He’d known that Beth and Aaron were dating but he hadn’t thought she’d bring him. It had never entered his mind. Then Jackson realized it.

“Cher?” Remy asked as he stepped up behind him. Aurora was asleep in his arms. The little girl had cried herself to sleep in Remy’s arms while Spencer had given his statement to the FBI agents on hand from Domestic Terrorism. Jackson’s group had been labeled terrorists a year before. He was just happy the man was dead.

“I’m fine, Remy. Beast doesn’t think my cheek is more than fractured. As soon as I am cleared, I’m going to the hospital to get it scanned. Morgan and JJ are going to go with me. How did she get here?”

“Hitched a ride wit’ Nightcrawler. She knew somet’ing was going on and when he brought Remy from de house, she shifted and latched onto his clothes. Den when we broke in de windows, she came through. She saw y’ get hurt and waited. Fearless caught sight o’ her scales.”

“She’s too much like me.”

“Remy’ll stay and make sure dat no one has issues. Y’ go get looked at. I’ll have m’ Stormy take care of de petit.”

Spencer kissed Remy’s cheek and smiled at him. There was no running anymore. Looking down at his phone, Spencer sent off a text.

XxXxXxX

Aaron entered the small diner that had the address that Spencer had texted him a week before. It wasn’t hard to miss the two mutants in the corner, watching him. He took a seat that gave him the best view of the entire place as well as good eye line on the entrance to the parking lot. He wanted to be upset about the mutant guards who were to watch him but he wasn’t.

The roar of a motorcycle was loud and drew his attention from looking at the menu to see a man riding up on a bike with two vehicles trailing behind it. He recognized Wolverine as soon as he moved off the bike. The car parked beside the bike with the jeep parking on the other side of the car.

Spencer got out of the passenger side of the car while a man that Aaron now recognized as Gambit got out of the driver’s side. Three people jumped out of the jeep. He recognized Cyclops from his sunglasses and the woman beside him was his wife, Phoenix. The other woman was Storm. The back door on the car opened and a blue man stepped out. He recognized him as Nightcrawler, the teleporter. He’d done his research on everything Spencer in the two weeks since the night of the attempted kidnapping of the young genius. Beth had talked to him about everything she knew. She also understood his intention wasn’t to push her away but that he needed to know.

Gambit was staring at him and he knew it but he didn’t change what he was doing at all. Spencer pushed at his chest until he sat down on the hood of the car. Wolverine stepped up to sit beside him and Storm moved to stand in front of him. Phoenix moved with Spencer into the diner. She moved over to sit with the two other mutants and Spencer sat down across from him.

“Aaron.”

“Spencer. Gambit not trust you?”

“We are driving to Nevada after this. Logan, Scott, and Remy want to be there days before. I want to drive to and from so it’s become a road trip.” Spencer didn’t look happy about that.

“So you are going?” Aaron knew what he was talking about. He still hadn’t made his own decision on whether he was going to go. Massachusetts didn’t have the death penalty but a little bit of fun with legalities had Nevada giving him the death penalty for all the crimes he committed. There were a few groups that were protesting but the majority of America wanted George Foyet where he could harm no one.

“Yes. I want to be there when they stick the needle in him.”

The waitress came and took their drink order. Aaron wasn’t shocked when Spencer ordered coffee. There was silence until she brought back the drinks and then seeming to understand what exactly was going on, she went into the kitchen.

“I’ve looked into you and everything that is going on with mutants and the team and just everything.”

“It’s not like you to keep yourself that hands off,” Spencer said.

“I…When we went our ways after the goodbye dinner, I told myself that I was happy with it. I understood it but I was lying to myself and I know that now. I hoped that I could come back and slip into your life. I also know the secret that you are keeping from even the team, Spencer.”

“You can take the profiler out of the job.” Spencer looked behind him at Gambit with a smile on his face that Aaron had never seen before. It was the smile of a man so totally in love that it hurt for others to see him like that. There had been a time that Aaron wanted to have Spencer look at him like that. Aaron knew then that it was better the way that it was.

“Beth was offered a job in Hong Kong. Jack and I are going to go with her. Jack’s looking forward to school over there. He’s spent the past two weeks looking things up.”

“I always knew who Beth’s boyfriend was. She just called you Aaron but…Logan and Scott keep an eye on you so that you can’t be used against me. Jackson was the first to try it but now there may be others. Hong Kong could be a really good move. I’ll get you some information on friends there who could help if something does go down.”

“How does the Bureau think that having you in a relationship with a mutant is going to go when you are the liaison as well?”

“One of New York’s SWAT teams has a mutant on staff now that can remotely see into rooms using only her abilities. Closed windows mean nothing. The only thing that she can’t see into is bank vaults and other places with super thick walls. It’s not X-Ray vision like Superman either. It’s full color. Coast Guard employs seven different mutants country wide who can go to depths that human’s have trouble with and can breath with no equipment. Do you know what that means? The rescuer can take a tank of air down to search for survivors and slowly come up to stop bends and the likes. Or find wreckage, bodies for swifter better recovery. It was a six month decision but in the end, it was the fact that I was dating a mutant that locked in the decision. I’m human. I was tested thoroughly with my IQ, reading speed, and memory. The Director figured that if the FBI did anything that would have me turning my back on humans, well they deserved whatever came to them. It’s caused issues on a few cases but it’s died down. There was a case in New Mexico about three months after it was announced. The press was dogging the team so much that in the end we were pulled another team sent in. When the case was finally solved, the FBI blamed the additional eighteen deaths on the hands of the press.”

“Does your team get all the mutant cases now? Victim and UnSub?” Aaron sipped at his coffee while Spencer seemed to not really want his. He was warming his hands on it more than anything else. He was nervous and so nervous he was afraid of lifting his drink.

“Yes. Until the theta team is restructured in two months. They were pulled and two members went willingly to other teams. Two mutants are going through the academy right now and Burrows, Anderson, and Grimes went back as well. They are going as a team, living in the same dorm and training totally together. Our first full joint team. Remy is helpful but other teams borrow him as much as he goes out with us. Mutants watch everywhere and sometimes are more willing to talk to other Mutants when they see things. Remy goes everywhere that a reluctant mutant is a witness or a victim if it’s not a case that’s going after mutants as a whole victim profile.”

“Sounds like the FBI is campaigning mutants rights from the inside out.”

“Garcia has a new best friend. A technopath that came out of the academy six months ago. Stole him from the NSA. When she needs things that are not on the up and up she calls him up. He mainly works with counter terrorism but the BAU borrows him on occasion.” Spencer lifted his coffee to his lips and took a healthy drink of it.

“When are you going to tell the team that you are already married?”

“We are not. Garcia and Rossi have already planned a wedding for Rossi’s backyard. It’s going to be in the same theme as JJ and Will’s. We got married in Vegas the first time I went back after mom. Logan and Ororo were out witnesses. It was spur of the moment and not something I regret. Remy asking me is a running joke at this point and the team expects one every few months.”

“You are happy?”

“Ecstatically.”

Aaron hadn’t wanted to hear that but he needed to. He had to live his life for him now.

XxXxXxX

Watching George Foyet’s eyes close as he died gave Spencer only a sense of utter relief. Remy was outside the prison with Logan. The rest of the X-Men were at the hotel. The rest of the team was scattered around. Aaron had come. Beth had as well but she’d stayed outside with Remy and Logan. It was a packed room. The press outside was massive. The death of the Boston Reaper was a nationwide event.

Spencer knew that he wasn’t any safer than he had been before Foyet had died. There were still so many threats against him. Aurora was safe at the school in the DC area but he’d be targeted for her and for Remy.

His love for the mutant had grown like a carefully tended garden. He’d thought after what had happened with Aaron that he would never let someone into his heart again but Remy had slipped in like a weed and grown into a beautiful flower that never wilted. When the curtain was pulled back so the needles could be removed from the body, the talking started then. Spencer let the words wash over him.

Morgan’s hand closed over his shoulder and he looked up at the man.

“Let’s get out of here. Binion’s is calling our name.”

Spencer nodded and looked at where Aaron was trying to escape. “One last team meal, Aaron? Before you and your family fly to Hong Kong?”

“Sure.” The smile on Aaron’s face told Spencer that he’d finally fully made peace with his place in Spencer’s life, or a lack of a place.

When they were released from the prison, Remy was all smiles. Beth was standing there with her arm wrapped around the shoulder of Jack.

“Uncle Spencer!” Jack yelled out and took off towards him. Spencer crouched to hug the boy. He was excited and moved from agent to agent.

“Kurt made a trip to DC,” Logan said.

“Papa, Jack said he’s going to live in Japan. Can we go visit him there?” Aurora asked as she appeared behind Logan, standing on the hood of the car they’d taken to the prison.

“We can’t just pop over there when we want but we can visit. Uncle Logan has a house there that we can use I’m sure.”

“My house and all that shit,” Logan said with a smile. The group piled into their vehicles with Ororo and Aurora going with Aaron, Beth, and Jack to Binion’s. It was going to take a lot of time to get the friendship fully back between them but hopefully Aaron fully committing to Beth meant that he really had finally moved on. Spencer was happy that he was allowing himself to be happy.

Remy drove them to Binion’s his hand never leaving Spencer’s for the entire drive. The stress of the time was taking it’s toll and Spencer was happy that he’d been talked into starting in the morning after a good night’s sleep for the trip back to DC.

When they passed the cemetery where he’d buried his mother, Spencer let a tear fall down his face. His mom would want him to be happy, no matter what had happened to bring him and Remy together and he wasn’t going to waste a second of it.
The End