Fandom: Criminal Minds
Tags: Super Hero!Hotch, Super Villain!Reid, AU,
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 10
Summary: Aaron just wanted a roommate and to find a way to help the world. He didn’t want to fall in love with him.
Aaron Hotchner watched his boyfriend, Spencer Reid, move around their apartment. He was moving gingerly and had been since he’d come home after doing homework in the library at GWU. He was worried. Spencer had said he’d fallen down the stairs at the college but Aaron wasn’t sure he believed him. He’d gotten a peek at what looked liked a knife wound on his lower back when Spencer had stretched up to grab a book earlier. He was afraid that someone had hurt his boyfriend.
It was too soon, Aaron know, but he was in love with the shy, younger man. He didn’t want to think that someone was hurting him and Spencer didn’t want want his help. He silently followed Spencer to his bedroom, even though they had been in a relationship for six months and intimate for four, Spencer didn’t sleep in Aaron’s bed every night. More often than not he was asleep on the couch in their small office.
Trying to sneak up on Spencer to see if he could figure something out, Aaron opened the bedroom door that his lover hadn’t shut all the way. He’d never seen much of Spencer’s upper body, other than what his tank tops covered as his lover was never without at least one of them on, even during sex. It hadn’t taken long for Aaron to understand that there was something under the shirt that Spencer was ashamed of and all he could do is just wait for him to be trusted with that secret. He was shocked to see a thin scar running from under ribs on Spencer’s left side all the way across his back to his right hip. That scar and what had caused it were nightmares he’d not been able to get rid of. He knew where those scars came from and he had been the one to cause it. There was only one person in the world who had a scar like that and he’d been looking for him for over a year. Aaron knew he must have made a noise because Spencer spun to face him, clean tank top in hand like he was getting ready to put it on. Aaron’s hand was stretched out across the distance and his fingers brushed across the start of the scar on his right shoulder.
Looking up into Spencer’s eyes, Aaron saw fear. And then all he saw was green. A flare of bright green that he knew well. There was only person whose eyes did that.
“Tech?” Aaron felt his own eyes start to get warm and then the world took on a green tinge. He’d taken on Spencer’s abilities from where he was still touching the younger man on the shoulder. The fear in Spencer’s eyes hardened. Then something grabbed him from behind but he paid it no mind. He didn’t try to fight.
“Knock Off?” Spencer asked, his voice barely a whisper. His lover took several steps back from him and it was then that Aaron got a good look at the front part of the scar. Spencer had been the young man who had broke out of the holding facility in California. Going on that knowledge that meant that Enforcer and Lady Silver were the other two who had got out at the same time. The three escapees he’d been denied the right to search for. He’d been sent back to DC to lick his wounds. Still he’d looked for the man he’d injured to make sure he wasn’t damaged.
Aaron knew exactly what it was that had a hold of him. It was Doctor Technology’s minion robots. He hadn’t heard a door open or a window break which meant that Spencer had at least one hidden in the apartment. The only thought that Aaron had was that his boyfriend was his arch nemesis.
One Year Earlier
Aaron knew that Spencer would take the room as soon as the young man saw it. He would be a perfect roommate. He looked like someone who wouldn’t care that his roommate kept weird hours for a lawyer. Aaron knew he was a student at GWU. He would probably keep weird hours as well.
The apartment was paid for by his job. Not the one that Spencer thought he had, the one that most everyone he knew thought he had. No, his real job. He was the leader of the government run super hero team the BAU. His codename was Agent Mimeo, because of his ability to copy any ability if he was touching someone while they were using it. He and his team were the best and that was why they were based out of the DC area. He was only getting a roommate because they hoped it would help keep him grounded and make him less obvious.
“I’ll take it!” Spencer said with a smile on his face. Aaron felt his heart skip a beat at the transformation on Spencer’s face with the smile. He was a beautiful young man. Aaron was afraid of losing his heart to the young man but he couldn’t back out of letting the man be his roommate. That would make Spencer suspicious and that was the last thing that he needed.
It only took one trip for the both of them to get everyting of Spencer’s from his car. It all looked like clothes to Aaron. How had he not acquired anything else wherever he had been living before moving to DC?
“I was in a furnished apartment in Vegas and the weather between there and here means I need a new wardrobe. I didn’t need that many summer clothes so I donated most of them and just brought my favorites with me. I have a lot of books but I am not going to send for them until I find a permanent place after I get settled after finishing school.”
“You like to read?” Aaron asked as he watched Spencer unpacking his clothes. He took a seat in the small rocking chair that had been in the room when Aaron had moved in. What the younger man unpacked barely filled up a quarter of the closet. Aaron made a mental note to take him shopping as soon as possible. It was starting to get really cold out.
“Oh, I love reading. I can read twenty thousand words per minute.” Spencer stated like the fact that it was, not a boast. It fit with what little he knew of the man for only spending about an hour with him.
“Where were you living before this? It’s October, classes started last month.” Aaron hoped he hadn’t been sleeping in his car or on campus on benches. It was way too cold outside for that.
“I crashed with a friend. But he has a one bedroom and his couch was getting uncomfortable for me. I’m a little tall for the couch.”
Aaron was happy that the man wasn’t sleeping on a couch anymore. He had done it for a while after high school and before he’d gone to college and it had been horrible. The clock on the wall in the living room chimed the new hour. It was seven.
“It’s dinner time and I haven’t ate yet. Do you want to order in or go some place to eat?”
Spencer looked at him with a strange look on his face. His hands worried at the hem of his button up.
“I want to go out but if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. I can go alone.”
Aaron waved him off with a smile. He wanted to get to know his new roommate. “We can go out. Have a place in mind?” Aaron could tell that he wanted something but he was afraid to say anything.
“I always eats Mexican on my birthday. I just haven’t found a good Mexican place yet here in DC.” Spencer wasn’t looking at him. Aaron stood up from his chair and took a step towards the younger man.
“Today is your birthday?” Aaron asked and Spencer nodded, not looking at him still.
“I’m twenty three today.”
“Twenty three?” Aaron swallowed. Seven years between them. His thirtieth birthday was next month. Spencer had introduced himself as Doctor Spencer Reid and Aaron had assumed that he just looked really young not that he was that young. “You have a PhD at twenty three?”
“Four.” Spencer finally looked at him. “And four BAs.”
“And you haven’t taken over the world?” Aaron joked but something on Spencer’s face stopped Aaron cold. He didn’t draw attention to it. Instead he just smiled and started out of the bedroom. “I know a great Mexican place. It’s just two blocks over. Let’s go.”
Spencer was silent during the walk to the restaurant. Aaron kept trying to get him to talk but the younger man would just give one word answers and then was silent. Aaron wasn’t sure what he had said that had made the man clam up but he was going to get him to talk at some point. He just had to find the right subject. He’d already said he liked reading.
Aaron waited until they were seated before he tried again to get the younger man to talk.
“So four PhDs. What in?”
“Mathematics, Robotics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering.”
“So college at a pretty young age?” Aaron sat back in his chair and let the waitress set down a basket of tortilla chips and a bowl of salsa. Spencer looked at the salsa and then grabbed a chip to dunk into it. He tried just the salsa and smiled at Aaron when he swallowed the bit in his mouth. Aaron coughed to cover his staring at him and grabbed his own chip to give his hand something to do.
“I graduated high school at age twelve and I started college right after. Cal-Tech really wanted me and they moved my mom and I into a nice house there. Mom wouldn’t let me go to college at that age without her tagging along. She was offered a job there as well teaching literature. We were really happy there.”
Aaron was surprised by how much he was talking. He’d been so quiet on the way but maybe he just didn’t know what to talk about. Aaron smiled and continued to eat chips. Spencer was munching on them as he talked, small bites so it didn’t take too long to chew before he could talk again. He didn’t ask about his dad.
“I worked on degree after degree and mom taught. I only came…” Spencer stopped talking and seemed to deflate on himself. Aaron wondered what was going on. “Mom died six months ago in a car accident. She was driving to LA when a drunk driver caused a thirteen car pile up. It’s why I moved to DC.”
“I’m so sorry, Spencer. That had to be hard. You seem to love her a great deal.”
“She was my best friend. I know that many call that creepy but she accepted me for who I was and not who everyone thought I should be. My senior year in high school, I was bullied pretty bad and one night it got really bad. I was tied naked to a goalpost by the football team and when mom realized I was late, even for me. She drove to the school and found me tied up. She called the cops and she brought up charges on the entire team as well as the other students who watched and didn’t help me. It was December and nights can get cold out there.”
“She sounded like a great mom.”
“She was. What about your mom?”
“I was raised by my aunt. Mom died giving birth to my brother Sean. Neither of them made it. I was only three. Dad…I’ve not seen him since the day my aunt took me in at five. He didn’t take the loss well.”
“I’m sorry, Aaron. That…My dad left mom and I was when I was eight. It was bad for a while but mom and I got through.” Spencer opened up his menu and Aaron watched his eyes glance over it. He closed his menu and set it down at the edge of the table. Aaron wondered if he was looking for a certain menu item and had stopped when he found it. He didn’t want to ask though. Aaron took his time looking over the menu. This wasn’t a date and he needed to make sure he acted like it. Even if so far Spencer seemed to be hitting all of his buttons for what he liked in someone.
The waitress came and took their order. Spencer rattled off a complex sounding dinner in Spanish. The waitress smiled at him and wrote it down before turning to him. Aaron ordered his regular chicken fajitas.
“You want to ask, just do it,” Spencer said as he smiled at him.
Aaron laughed and shook his head. Spencer saw a lot more on his face than anyone else ever had. He laughed so that he didn’t react in another way. He’d have to make sure to keep his face straight when he received messages about his job.
Aaron dodged the first robot and punched out at the second one that flew at him. He knew exactly who had set the robots loose and he needed to figure out where Doctor Technology was to stop him from getting inside Quantico. It had been his goal the3 first time that he’d attacked the base. He’d been alone that time, other than his robots. This time he had two new people. The woman had taken out Dave the instant the fight had started. She sent him off walking and well, no amount of calls or intervention by Emily had stopped him. FBI agents were moving off to keep an eye on him.
Aaron barely saw Spencer for the first month they lived together. The genius was always in his room or at school. So when he woke up on his birthday, a day he’d taken off from his day job, he was excited to spend at least a little bit of the day with him. He hadn’t had a weekday off from his day job in a while. Looking at the clock, Aaron figured Spencer was already at school. It was Monday so he would be back to the apartment after noon. He’d eat a quick lunch of whatever was in the fridge that was his and then he would disappear into his room where he would maybe come out for dinner. More often than not, Spencer would just run out and get take out and eat it in his room. On a special occasion, Aaron could talk him into eating with him.
Plans for the day had been made the night before just before bed so Aaron got ready to do some rearranging in the office. He’d taken the second largest bedroom and had turned it into an office. Of course, the size difference between it and the smallest was like two feet shorter at one wall. He had two walls lined with bookshelves and was going to move two of them to one of the other walls and then Spencer could put his desk there. The other two bookshelves were going into his bedroom so Spencer could put his own in there. There would be just enough room for the couch in his bedroom to be moved into the office as well. He didn’t use the office much, taking calls and sometimes working on cases when he had one that he wanted to see through all the way to the end. It wasn’t going to be hard for him to move it all around.
If Aaron had felt more comfortable in their friendship, he’d go into Spencer’s room and do it all but the young man seemed to like his privacy. The door to the room was shut more than open, even when he was in it but while the door was never locked, Aaron took it as a keep out. So instead he just made room for the desk, roughly remembering the size from where he’d helped Spencer move it in the first weekend he’d been living there. Spencer had found it at a second hand shop.
At ten minutes before twelve, Aaron was done with moving all of his things around. He was happy he was done before Spencer got home. He was just about to sit down on the couch when the sound of the front door opening told him that his roommate was home. He was home early.
“Aaron?” Spencer called out. There were no sound of footsteps though. He’d stopped just after entering. The man must have seen his car in his spot out front.
“In the office,” Aaron called back. He waited for the genius in the entryway, blocking his view of the room. When Spencer came into view Aaron smiled at the cocked eyebrow.
“Are you all right?” Spencer asked as his eyes traced up and down Aaron’s body, looking for signs of an injury or sickness. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I took off a day from the office and we are going out to dinner tonight but first. We are moving your stuff into the office. I have room made for your desk and two bookshelves. I also brought in the couch from my bedroom.”
“I know you need space sometimes. I’ve seen your bed covered in books with you sitting on the floor. You can at least take over both desks in the office. I hate that you spend al your time in there. I know you need to work but at least in the office you are out of your bedroom some. This way you have another place to go.” Aaron smiled. He’d tried to get Spencer to do some of his homework in the living room or kitchen but the younger man always nodded and never did.
“Why do you care?” Spencer looked shocked that he worried about him like that. It was like no one ever cared for him. Aaron remembered that first night and what he’d learned of his childhood. Bullies, no father. His mom had been the only one every care for him.
“We may be just roommates Spencer but I like you and I think we are friends. How can I not care that you come home from class most days and barely leave your room? I don’t use the office much. It wasn’t a hardship to move everything around.” And it wasn’t. It made it more an Aaron and Spencer place and not so much an Aaron place.
“I just…all my other roommates would rather never see or hear me. I just figured you would be the same. I mean you have a job and it’s hard and time consuming and I would just get inte way.”
“Spencer, if you are bothering me. I’ll tell you. I meant it when I said you could use the living room. It’d be nice to see you when it’s not super late or really early.”
Spencer blushed and ducked his head. “ So why did you take the day off?”
“I always try to take my birthday off work. It’s the only day a year I do.”
Spencer’s eyes lit up. HIs face changed and Aaron was treated to the same smile he had seen that first day. Aaron knew then that the genius was getting past his the armor around his heart. Spencer never talked much about the heroes that were in the news and Aaron didn’t bring them. He’d rather live in ignorance then have Spencer dislike Agent Mimeo.
“What are you going to do with the rest of your day?” Spencer set his ever present messenger bag down on the couch and started looking around. Aaron watched as he figured out where he wanted his things.