Courting

Title: Courting
Series: Secret Agent Genius
Fandom: Criminal Minds, James Bond
Year: 2013
Tags: Romance, Friends With Benefits, First Time,
Ratings: Explicit
Pairings: Spencer Reid/Alec Trevelyan, James Bond/Q, James Bond/Q/Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner/Jackson Grimes,
Characters: Spencer Reid, Alec Trevelyan, James Bond, Q, Jackson Grimes, Jack Hotchner,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 8 & Up Through Spectre
Summary: While enjoying a close friendship with Alec, Spencer starts to figure out that Bond and Q are not all that they seem.
Words: 15,807
Notes: Mentions of Sherlock & Mycroft Holmes.
Warnings: Canon Level Violence,
Beta: rivermoon1970

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American Honey

Title: American Honey
Series: Secret Agent Genius
Fandom: Criminal Minds, James Bond,
Year: 2013
Tags: Voyeurism,
Ratings: Explicit
Pairings: James Bond/Q, James Bond/Spencer Reid, pre James Bond/Q/Spencer Reid,
Characters: James Bond, Spencer Reid, Q,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 8 of Criminal Minds & Skyfall of James Bond
Summary: While on a honeypot mission in Austria, Bond finds himself in the position of not being what the mark wants. Luckily, Spencer is exactly what the mark wants so he’s sent along to help Bond finish the mission.
Words: 7,932
Notes: None
Warnings: None
Beta: Rivermoon1970

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Double O What Now?

Title: Double O What Now?
Series: Secret Agent Genius
Fandom: Criminal Minds, James Bond (Craig Films)
Year: 2013
Tags: Pre-Slash, Established Relationship, Eventual Threesome,
Ratings: R
Pairings: James Bond/Q, Pre James Bond/Q/Spencer Reid
Characters: Spencer Reid, James Bond, Q, Alec Trevelyan,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 8 of CM and Skyfall for Bond.
Summary: Spencer finds out the true reason that he was brought into MI6. He just hadn’t realized what exactly he was getting himself into.
Words: 15,842
Notes: Highland Park Ice Edition
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence,
Beta: rivermoon1970

Q had given in and started to drink coffee two days before because tea just wasn’t doing it anymore. He hadn’t left MI6, really Q Branch, in three weeks. Outside of a week ago when his tea had been drugged by a well meaning underling on the request of M. When he woke up, he used his watch to disable everything electronic in a thirty meter radius and went right back to Q Branch.

Four weeks ago two agents, a Double O Agent and a field agent, had gone to China on a mission. Three weeks ago their trackers went down. Two weeks ago, 002’s body had washed up in the Yangtze River with a bullet in his head. There was no still was no visual trace of Reid anywhere. 006 and 007 had been dispatched to try and find him, but up until two days ago they had been empty handed. Only three people had known the location of the tracker in Reid. Q, who had put it there himself, Reid, and a nurse in Medical who had found it during an exam after a lab explosion. That meant that there was a mole because as soon as it was figured out that the trackers had been pulled out of them, Q had looked for the nurse. She was found dead by Eve in her apartment with a bullet in her head.

M, Tanner, and Eve were handling the witch hunt for more moles while Q tried to find Reid. So far nothing had panned out. Reid was proving to be as elusive to find as Bond was when he wanted to hide. It was unsure if he was on his own or still in hostile hands, but Q had money on the fact that he was alone.

“Q, we have DNA confirmed. The skin and the blood belong to Doctor Reid. There was no evidence of 002 in the building. Not even a hair fiber,” R said as she came up behind him. She set down a stack of papers that stated in many more words what she had summed up for him. Bond had tracked a group of movers and shakers to a warehouse in Guangzhou where evidence of waterboarding and other tortures were found in a room. An eyewitness had put a man walking out of the place two and a half hours before the Double O Agents had got there. The description had matched Reid, but with no visual, Q didn’t want to go off of that alone. Especially considering the witness was Chinese and the man he described could have easily been anybody that the man saw as white.

Then the reports of what Bond and Alec had found inside the warehouse started to filter over the comms. Q wasn’t sure that the tone of voice used by both Double O Agents was exactly the tone they should be using to describe the utter horrors of what was inside. Fifteen bodies were found inside. Five were found shot in the head with a gun that looked like it was taken from a guard that was found in the room with a lot of blood. That guard had been shot in the stomach and left to bleed out. Three were found in the room across the hall from where the guard who had been shot in the stomach was Those three looked liked they’d been poisoned. Two in the hall were shot in the heart. Three more near the exit had been shot in the heart. What was the most disturbing was the man who had been found hiding in a corner. His body had been stuck in the position so long by the time that he’d been found that the clean up team had been forced to pull him out like that. Further tests had shown he had died of a massive heart attack. His body had been flooded with fear hormones in the moments leading up to his death. That was a mystery that could only be fully solved when they found Reid but guesses could be made.

“Thank you, R.” Q clicked on Bond’s comm and waited for the click of a answer that told him he was listening. “Blood and skin match Reid, so we have to assume that the man seen leaving that warehouse matching Reid’s description is him, which means he’s figured out that we have a mole, and is hiding from us as well.”

“Bloody hell,” Bond said over the comm, and Q had to agree.

“Reid knows the location of every single safe house in the world that MI6 has access to. And the cameras in the area around the warehouse he escaped from were down which means that he has his tech on him.” Q knew that because he had made that watch for Reid for the mission. It would knock out anything that recorded in a two block radius. Q’s own watch was another prototype for future missions. It was meant to be a way to slip away from cameras, not hide from MI6. He needed to invent a better tracker for troublesome Double O Agents and other field agents. Bond and Alec would be the first that it would be used on. If Reid proved to be just as bad as them, he’d get it too. There was something there. Between him and Reid. It was different than what he felt for James. Different, but no less thrilling. It hadn’t taken James long to figure it out. What Q had endured during sex after the agent had found out, held down by James. Arms pinned above his head, his lower half pinned by James’s cock, thrusting inside of him. James’s words had painted an erotic image of Reid in bed with them. He had come, cock untouched by James, in a short time. Afterwards, they’d laid in bed and James had admitted his own more than attraction to the man. Slowly they’d worked up a friendship with Reid and were slowly working towards more. Or, he and James thought they were working towards more.

“I only remember the safe house I blew up in Shanghai,” Alec chimed in. Q held in the sigh at the words. He knew what it was, and it was appreciated even if it was a misguided attempt to lighten a fairly dark mood that had overtaken Q Branch. Not only were they reeling from the death of 002, but they were all upset that they weren’t able to find Reid. Reid was all of Q Branches favorite. He was smart and capable, and had thrown out an agent or two who were causing mayhem in the branch.

“007, Reid hasn’t met 006 yet, even if you did use him as a ruse with Reid’s former team. He is not going to react well to him going in first. I’ll feed you the addresses of the ones in Guangzhou. Alec you keep checking around town. Anything remotely medical.”

Q waited for his agents to acknowledge his command before he clicked off. Turning, he found M standing there.

“May we speak in your office?” M asked and nodded towards the office.

Q waved the man into the small office. He hadn’t wanted a big one as most of his job took place outside it. There was a desk, a bank of monitors on the wall, a chair at the desk, and a couch. Bond had put in the couch and slept on it regularly when he was hiding from everyone.

“Sir?”

“Medical report on the body in the warehouse. The man died of a heart attack. Cause? Fear. Comm system inside warehouse was in use in the hours leading up to Reid leaving. The timeline paints a pretty interesting picture.”

“How?”

“Reid killed the two guards at the door four hours before the bystander saw him leave. The guard who died of a heart attack, died just moments before he left.”

“What was he doing for four hours?” Q knew that he’d walked out under his own steam. Had he been patching himself up for four hours? No. There were no medical supplies inside. Not even a bottle of paracetamol. He looked at M.

“Taunting the hiding man. From what we can get from the audio system inside he used what he knew of serial killers he’s caught before, and scared the man so bad that his heart stopped.” M looked rather proud of that, but it turned Q stomach a little. He could see the damage of thinking of talking about someone flaying someone alive. It was horrible. Sickening. But Q never let it show.

“Why?” Q asked.

“Because the man hiding was the one who was the ringleader of the whole thing. He was the one that had everything done to Reid. He gave the orders and the others followed them . They were lackeys, so Reid killed them and taunted the other. We also have a list of things that were done to Reid from his own mouth. He was going to do the same to the man. We still have no name on any of them.”

Q swallowed even though there was no moisture in his mouth. He knew that he needed to know. Reid was his agent more than M’s. He’d sent him on the mission. He’d swore that it was a safe mission, but someone within MI6 had betrayed them all.

“No rape or sodomy, but everything else was on the table. If I didn’t know that it was him on the recording, I never would have guessed. His knowledge of exactly what the human body can handle before passing out is astounding. Also, I would like to never hear the best order of body parts to flay a person for maximum torture ever again. I locked the recording to myself and you, but you can open it when he picks someone in psych to talk to.”

“Why are you telling me this instead of letting me read the report.”

“I’m giving you a go on Project X.” M’s face didn’t change as he spoke the words, but Q wanted to cheer, but it wasn’t the time or the place. He would have celebrated, except if Reid wasn’t recovered, it wasn’t going to mean a thing because he’d have to start at the drawing board again with another agent. He didn’t want to. He hadn’t found another man with the intelligence needed to fulfill Project X.

“Really?”

“With this op alone, Reid has the kills necessary by a long shot. We require two to make sure the agent has it in them to continue to kill when necessary. Psych is already having a field day with trying to figure out if he’s snapped. We know he hasn’t. Get him home, get him fixed up, and he’s yours.”

“We’ll find him. Get Bond’s face around China enough and Reid will search him out.”

“You think that Reid knows there is a mole. Why would he trust Bond?” M’s face held pure confusion.

“Reid trusts slowly, but he’s worked with Bond enough to trust him. He isn’t British born, but his loyalty is to us. If we attacked America it would be different, but we only go after those who would hurt so he doesn’t mind missions there. Reid trusts me, Bond, and before his death 002. You, he trusts that you know what needs to be done, but as far as a mole goes sir, it could be you. He trusts that Bond would never turn on MI6.”

“Unless MI6 turned on him first. When I agreed to this, to bringing Reid on. There was a lot of people who said he couldn’t be what you wanted him to be. This mission proves them wrong, but also kind of scares me. He reminds me a lot of you.” M did looked worried. If Reid was still all there, he could be one of the most deadly agents in the Double O Program. He would never be able to go hand to hand with someone like the rest of the Double O’s, but he could be deadly in a way that the program needed.

“I’ll take that as a compliment. Now if you will excuse me, I have an agent to find and bring home.” This M had no idea of the past that had put Q into place as Quartermaster. Olivia Mansfield had left no paper or digital trail left of him. Q had erased the rest of it. M had asked, but Q had never felt a need to give him any of it. His family was out of his life, and he needed nothing from them. He hadn’t since he was seven.

Q moved to the door and stepped out to chaos. R was running towards him.

“Blackout of all recording devices in the last known location of 006. 007 is enroute, but a shot was fired in the area. Locals are responding.”

Q went back to his station and brought up Bond. “007, report.”

“Unknown at the moment. I am half a block away and already it’s a circus. I’ll keep my…hold.” Sounds of Bond talking rough Chinese came over the comm and Q waited. “Medical extraction from wherever they take 006 will be needed. Looks like he was shot in the leg, and then knocked out. He’s also handcuffed to a pipe. He’s being cut free at the moment.”

“Bloody hell.”

“Hold.” More rough Chinese and then the click of the comm as it shut off. Q brought up the feed. He hadn’t turned it off. The feed had been cut.

“R, I want techs on the comms. I don’t want our kill device to short the comms anymore. Also, was Reid’s comm pulled from the warehouse?”

R grabbed her tablet and started going through it. “No. It was either tossed when he was taken or he has it on him. Track?”

“Yes. Direct Bond towards…” Q stopped when his phone dinged. It was an email. To his secure, private account. He’d designed it before becoming the Quartermaster. It was just as secure as MI6’s internal email system, but used for those outside it. He didn’t recognize the sender.

“Q?” Bond asked as his comm flared back to life. “Reid left something with 006. It’s ten numbers. 1123345569. Wrote on scrap. I recognize his scrawl. He ran the jammer again, but I turned my comm off and back on outside the blast zone and its working fine.”

Q opened the email. It was short and from an unknown account. Probably from a stolen phone. The mole won’t have the chance to take me alive. Call the dogs off or more will die. Q sighed and worked on getting a triangulation on the exact location that Reid sent the email from. He looked at the numbers he’d scrawled as Bond had said them. His mind started to jumble the numbers around.

“Q?”

“Pi. R! I need a list of everything in the…” Q looked at the map of the area and the location where the email was sent from. “Half mile radius around where 006 was found. Bond hang tight. I’m going to get back to you. Stay there.”

A box appeared on his computer and a list of things started to scroll over the screen. It was the fifteenth thing listed. He knew exactly where Reid was.

“This mission is now locked. R, keep our agents back and searching, but do not follow Bond.”

“Sir.”

Q locked his office down and encrypted the feed between him and Bond. “James, there are things that are not written down on paper anywhere about Spencer. There are links to him that if searched, will alert me. One of which is his mother. Diana Reid is in Bennington Sanitarium in Las Vegas, you know that. I know that. No one else does, that information can’t be found on a server anywhere without me seeing it. You were only told because of his team catching him in Vegas. A block and a half away is a sanitarium. That’s where you’ll find him. It’s the only thing in the radius that he gave that fits. If the mole knew, they’d show up there and he’d kill them and disappear because that means that he’s not safe. M doesn’t know that about him. The only person besides you and me was the old M.”

“I’m on it. I was sent on that Vegas mission as backup. Reid was always going to be sent on it. Why was I sent?”

“Reid told me to send who I trusted the most.”

“Lovely, Quin. Lovely. Was this before or after you decided that a roll in the bed with him was a good idea for the two of us?”

“It was that mission that made me think it could be fun.”

“Stand by.” The line went dead and Q waited. It was hard to wait. He looked at the cameras that watched the main area of the technical services section of Q Branch. He wanted to be in R&D, but he needed to be here. He wanted to be home, but not until Bond and Reid were in the air safe, and headed home. In R&D he could relax and he hadn’t in so long.

It was half an hour before the comm came to life again only to be cut again by the sound of an earwig being crushed. Three seconds later, a second one kicked on and he heard a sequence of bips before it was crushed as well. It was the code. The code that Bond swore he would use when he was going off radar for his own good and didn’t want MI6 to know he was alive. Just so that Q would know that he was alive. It had been the one concession that Bond had given him when they started whatever the hell they were.

Q stood up and moved towards the rest of the techs. “I lost contact with Bond, two miles from 006’s location. I want eyes and ears. R work on getting 006 out of China. I want Station C ready for anything. No one is stopping until I have eyes on Reid and Bond.”

The room became a flurry of activity and Q sat back. Whatever was going on, Bond thought it worth going off the grid for. He’d just have to keep the act up. Hopefully any loose ends would be found by them.

Seven hours later, Q got another email from the same device. Out of China. Taking the scenic route. He sighed and erased all record of the email and back end hacked the phone again to destroy it. It wouldn’t be good to have whoever the mole was try and access it. By Reid’s own words, he was pretty hurt. There were only a few reasons that Bond wouldn’t be getting him to medical care and every single one of them spoke of Reid not being safe to get into medical care attached with MI6. A text sent to Eve ensured that by the time that he got to M’s office, M and Tanner would be there as well.

Grabbing his personal tablet, Q ran from Q Branch. He bypassed the elevator, going for the stairs as it would get him there quicker. They were still in temporary housing as Vauxhall cross was being looked over to see if they were going back there or somewhere new, or even tearing it down and building a new place. Eve was at her desk just outside M’s office with a frown on her face, she motioned with her head into the office. He grabbed her arm and pulled. She followed him in.

“Sir, we have a situation.”

“Q, we are still dealing with the situation that is 002 and Agent Reid,” M said as if it would stop his situation. There was a tumbler half full of scotch at his elbow.

“That’s the new situation, a spin off of that one. We’ve been operating under the assumption that…” Q stopped talking and started tapping on his tablet. Finding the secure mode for M’s office and putting in his own override. The system screamed from M’s mobile and the man looked at it. He frowned but typed in his own bypass. The hum of equipment kicked up in the room.

“It’s a wonder that you even allow me an override.”

“Your office, Sir. Bond has Reid in hand, but we are the only four that know this. He’s taking the scenic route home which means that it could be up to two weeks before we see either one of them on home soil. We’ve been operating under the assumption that the mole is a general mole. The Quartermaster before me has tried for our X agent for ten years before I took over for him. What if 002 wasn’t the target but Reid?”

“Reid was left alive when 002 was killed.” M leaned back in his chair. “It makes sense. For now, Reid and Bond’s statuses are my ears only. Eve, keep an eye out for more on the mole. The moment that it’s firsthand knowledge that Bond and Reid are in the wind, they might make their move.” M looked at Q. “What can I do to help?”

“Right now nothing. Bond has only alerted me that he’s alive and is on the scenic way home. I’ll go into other candidates over the years for the position. Reid was M’s first choice when I brought up the program, and she was willing to try and woo him from across the pond to get him. That he dropped in our lap like he did was fortunate, but unseen. I wanted him as well, once I read his file, but I have no clue who else M wanted before him. I’ll start looking into them.”

“Carefully,” M cautioned.

“They’ll never know that I am looking at them.” Q tapped a few buttons on his computer and the total blackout on the office ended.

“I pity the idiot that decides that he wants to break into your flat,” Tanner said as he stood up from where he’d been sitting on the edge of M’s desk.

“Thankfully my security measures stop at non lethal for intruders who have a fingerprint match to those in my database as well as DNA. Bond found out two weeks after M’s funeral. He woke up in a holding cell in my basement.”

“Frightening,” Moneypenny said.

“I took pictures of him while he was still knocked out. He showed them to the other Double O Agents.”

“That’s what that picture is in their office?” M asked.

Q smiled. “Yes. Bond put it up as a reminder to those who would try. Since then seven of them have tried. All failed. 006, 7, and 9 tried a joint measure. They failed as well.”

“What happens if someone tries that doesn’t have DNA or fingerprints in the system?”

“Death.” Q strode to the door and opened it. He found R outside.

“We have 006 in hand and he’s pissed. He wants to speak to you.”

“I’ll deal with him.” Q started towards his branch and only smiled internally. Only one person had died trying to get into his house. A known assassin two days after he had taken over as Quartermaster. The old M had disposed of the body in some way and he’d never known.

XxXxXxXxX

Pain was something he had got used to. Pain was normal. Days of waking up in pain had taught Spencer a lesson that he hadn’t known that had already been instilled in him. That he knew how to cope with it. But waking up not in pain was new. He was shocked at the feel of a gun in his hand. He didn’t move though. He catalogued where he was. All he could tell was that he was in a house or a large apartment. There was no one in the room with him so he opened his eyes. The bedroom door was closed. He catalogued his body and found that he’d been given medical care. And it wasn’t haphazard care either. It was the care that meant that someone wanted him functioning in top form. That usually didn’t bode well.

Checking over the gun, he found it was his own. He wrapped his hand around the grip and found the lights going green. Still he popped the clip and checked the round in the chamber. Movement down the hall alerted him that he wasn’t alone. He tried to remember how he had got where he was. He remembered being in the sanitarium and sending the message to Q. Everything after that was a blank. He had flashes of waking and being knocked out again.

There was a single window in the room and Spencer had to climb off the bed to get to it. As he sat up in the bed, he catalogued all of his injuries. His broken wrist was set. His hobbled ankle was also set and braced. His wrist only had what felt like a strip of metal wrapped to it tightly. His skin felt tight so all of his injuries were healing. There was an ache in his thigh where the worst injury had been. The boxers he was in didn’t cover the wrapped wound at all. He pressed around the bandage and knew that infection had set in. He wasn’t that shocked. He was on the mend though.

The honk of a car drew his gaze out the window as soon as he was level with it. He was about five floors up in some kind of apartment. He tried the window and found that it was locked. He was able to unlock it, though, but there was nowhere to go. The window didn’t open to a fire escape or anything that he could use to escape. He closed the blinds halfway. He looked around the room. There was nothing there except the bed. It was easily a place that could have been a bolt hole for whoever had him. Nothing personal. The gun though. Whoever had him, gave him a working gun. Not just any gun, but the one that Q had given him. He’d had it on him in Japan. It wasn’t until a cop car went by the window that he knew where he was. He was in London. How had he gotten back to London, and why had whoever had taken him brought back here?

Steps came back towards him and stopped outside his door. He didn’t move and forced himself to breath normally. Whoever it was moved again after a moment. Once the steps faded again, Spencer stood up slowly. He found to the door and found that there was a set of glasses on the second pillow on the bed. He grabbed them and slipped them on. It was his prescription. The footsteps came back and Spencer moved to the door. He aimed the gun at head height and slipped to the area behind the door. The door opened slowly and then faster, but it wasn’t allowed to swing open wildly.

“Fuck,” a familiar voice said. Still Spencer didn’t lower the gun. Bond didn’t even react when Spencer pressed the gun to the back of his head. He just raised his hands and said nothing.

“How did you get me back to London?”

“An alias that only I know. I created it on my way back just before Skyfall. I had a stash of materials to get you back. I had medical papers forged. We took buses and trains from Japan to Russia and then to Italy. From there it was another train to France. From there it was a car I have in another alias. Q isn’t looking so we won’t be found.”

“How do you know?”

“I let him know I was coming home with you by the scenic route and with us, that’s two weeks. It’s been a week. In Italy you started to develop a fever and you’ve been in and out since then.”

“Why would Q allow that?”

“You are a profiler.” Bond sounded amused. Spencer pushed at his head with his gun and Bond stiffened for a few seconds but then relaxed. “I know that you assume that Q and I are fucking. He’d have my bollocks for garters if I fell off the map and didn’t tell him. We have codes and procedures. This is one of my two safe houses within London city limits. We are safe here.”

“So you want me to put down my gun?”

“No, just stop pointing it my head.”

“What the hell happened?”

“That I am unsure of. Q will be looking into it. I haven’t made contact with him, and I didn’t want to until you were up and about. I can meet with him soon.”

“Whoever sent those men after 002 and I were given mission specific details that had to come from Q Branch. Because the addition of a new tie pin taser was added last second and I was in Q Branch when Q gave it to me. I checked the mission log, Q didn’t update it.”

“Interesting. That I think will change what we need to do.”

“How?”

“I know of one place safe for you. And it’s not here. I won’t force you to go because once you are there, you will be stuck there until Q deems it safe for you to leave..”

“Where?”

“Do you remember that picture that 002 showed you, trying to pass it off as me drunk out of my gourd?” Bond turned and Spencer lowered his gun. He clicked the safety off, just as his leg gave out. Bond caught him and helped him to bed. Bond’s hands went right to checking over his wounds. Outside of medical, this was the only time someone had touched him since he’d left Aaron. He wasn’t able to hold back the shiver.

“The one that it was obvious that you were knocked out?” Spencer had wondered who in MI6 had believed the story.

“Yes. That’s the basement of Q’s house. I tried to break in. That’s what I got for it. If someone in Q’s department is helping, they’ll find me. Q isn’t looking, but if he was, two hours I would say. It’ll take us an hour to get there from here.”

Spencer looked at Bond. The man had yet to lie to him outside of things he wasn’t allowed to answer. Even then the man made it obvious he was lying. Bond had got him out of Japan. He had bandaged him up.

“And his first room is on the first floor. No stairs for hobbled geniuses. If I can’t get in, no one can.”

“I’ll have to try some time. We can get in?”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s go. I’ll need pan… trousers. I have pants.” Spencer smiled as he spoke. Bond gave a small laugh. Everyone loved to trip him up on words.

“You prefer shoulder holsters correct?”

“Prefer yes, but I can’t draw from one right now.”

“Okay then.” Bond thought for a few seconds and then nodded. He was up and gone before Spencer could even say a word. He was back four minutes and thirty three seconds later. A stack of clothes were in one hand and a holster in another. “These clothes should fit close enough. Turn towards me and I’ll dress you.”

“I can dress myself.” Spencer reached out for the clothes but Bond just moved out of his reach. He waited, but Bond showed no sign that he was going to give them over. Spencer sighed and turned to where his legs were off the bed. Bond dropped to his knees and laid the clothes down, keeping the trousers in hand. The agent carefully slid his injured foot inside before doing the same to the next. He slid them up to his knees before pulling out socks. Spencer was shocked. Bond had a pair of white tube socks in hand. He never thought Bond would own anything like it. He was shocked when both went over his injured foot. Another, pale purple sock was pulled out of the stack and slid onto his good foot. Then a lime green sock came next and stretched over the two white socks on his foot.

Bond stood, gracefully, and smiled before reaching out for Spencer. Spencer stood on shaky feet as the trousers were lifted to his hips. The button was fastened and then the zipper closed. Spencer couldn’t look Bond in the eye. He hadn’t been dressed by someone since he was a child. Bond moved behind him, wrapping an arm around his waist to hold him up. He felt a hand at his waist and looked down to see a belt being threaded through the loops of his pants. Thankfully his injured hand was his non-dominant hand. The holster wasn’t on the clothes pile. He knew then what kind of holster it was.

The only thing that stopped Spencer from an embarrassing moment was that it hurt to stand. Bond’s hands tightened the belt and fastened it. The gun was slipped in next.

“Make sure this works,” Bond murmured behind him. Spencer reached back and pulled the gun free. It pulled on his shoulder slightly but not too bad. A lot better than if it was hanging from a shoulder holster. “Good. Now back in.”

Spencer knew Bond flirted like he breathed. There were a few other Double O Agents that did as well. The only one he hadn’t met was 006. A memory from Japan filtered into his mind.

“I shot 006.”

“You did. Then knocked his ass out and cuffed him to a pipe. I assume he’s already been returned to MI6 and escaped medicals loving hands. If he let you get the drop on him as injured as you were, he deserves it.”

“I shot first and asked questions later.”

“That’s good. You’ll live longer.” Bond’s heat disappeared from his back, and he watched the man grab a t-shirt, and a jacket from the floor. Spencer slipped his arms in the shirt before Bond pulled it down over his head. His glasses didn’t even twitch.

“Did you break into my flat?”

“Yes. I grabbed glasses and checked what antibiotics you can use. Good thing as I would have given you something with Beta Lactams in it. I stock up on pills from medical so I had plenty you could take. Also found evidence of an opiate allergy. So you have the not quite as good painkillers in you.”

“Good.” Spencer was glad about that. He hadn’t even thought about what Bond had given him to combat his pain. He’d just been happy to not wake up in as much pain as he thought he was going to.

“We should go now. Your last dose will start to wear off soon.”

Spencer hoped the safe house had an elevator. He didn’t want to try and do stairs.

XxXxXxX

Q was tired. 006 had escaped medical and was not inside MI6 anymore. M had Tanner bully Q out of the building and Q was upset about it. No word from Bond in the week since he had gone off comms. M was playing well at being irritated, but it was helping. Q Branch looking for Bond and Reid had the added effect of narrowing down who the mole was. He had an uneasy feeling that the mole was in his own branch.

Setting his keys on the stand just inside his house, Q marveled at the emptiness of the place. He had got used to Bond being there. Then he realized that Mombi hadn’t come running to him. He walked to the kitchen and found it mostly as he’d left it except there were dishes in the dish drainer. Still wet. Reaching into his back holster, Q pulled out his gun. He cleared the kitchen before moving towards the living room again. Each room on the first floor only fed out into the living room. He’d remodeled the house that way before moving in. He cleared all the rooms before moving towards the stairs. It wasn’t until he was halfway up them that the first of his two cats made themselves known. He heard the tell tale scratch of claws before seeing a red ball go rolling down the hall, Ozma following after it. The cat slid on the flooring and grabbed the ball before running back down the way she had come. That red ball lived in Q’s underwear drawer as it was the only place the cats seemingly were unable to find it.

The ball was thrown again and Ozma ran after it. Q wondered exactly who broke into his house, and why the hell they were playing with his cats until he heard the telltale jingling of Mombi’s belled collar. James put that on her when he was home as she moved just silent enough post mission to sometimes startle him. The first time James had scared her so bad that she’d not come out from under Q’s bed for two days. After that the bell had been added to her secondary collar and post mission, James put it on her.

Still, as Q crested the stairs he kept his gun trained towards the direction that the ball had been thrown from. He moved closer and stared right at Reid, who had his own gun trained on him. Mombi was prancing around Reid, trying to get whatever he had been holding up. Ozma trotted back at him dropping the ball in his lap before nudging at his knee when he didn’t throw it.

“Bond said you wouldn’t be back for a few days at least.”

“M had me thrown out, not to return for seventy two hours. Where is Bond?”

“Grocery run. He said the fridge was a biohazard waiting to happen and spent an hour cleaning it before he left. He also left me here on the floor to get to know the cats. He should be back any moment.”

The sound of the door shutting alerted Q that they weren’t alone and given that no sounds of his security going off meant that it had to be Bond. Q though turned to aim his gun down the stairs, but he wouldn’t let Reid out of his sight. Reid was behind them his gun still in hand.

Q waited patiently, moving down the steps slowly until he could just see Reid’s leg. Bond appeared at the base of the steps. His hand moved towards his gun before he recognized Q.

“You are home earlier than I thought.”

“M threw him out,” Reid yelled helpfully from up the stairs.

Q waited for Bond to relax before he holstered his gun. “Is he okay?” Q mouthed at Bond. Bond motioned back with a tilt side to side of his hand. It was the same motion that Bond used after M’s death. He was okay enough, but on the mend.

“Can you help him down to eat? I think getting back to normal will help him more than anything. He’s not used to being betrayed like he has been. Betrayal never came from the inside,” Bond whispered.

Q nodded. He holstered his gun and stepped up the stairs. Ozma and Mombi were staring at him. Reid had the red ball in his hand, ready to throw.

“It’s just Bond. We are safe.”

“Okay.”

Q watched as Reid shifted the gun to his back. He figured that it was a holster that Bond had at one of his safe houses for him. He used back holsters as they were easier to hide with his clothing. He was a little shocked at how quickly Reid had started to adopt some of the more paranoid habits of the other Double O Agents. It would keep him alive longer, but it was sad to see. He wondered how many more habits he was going to pick up once he became a Double O Agent as well. Alec was going to be over him like crazy after he realized exactly how bad off he had been when the younger man had got the jump on him in Japan. Alec like dangerous things and Reid was dangerous, more in mind than body, but just enough to make the man sit up and take attention.

Reid climbed to his feet slowly. Q watched him, but didn’t offer to help. Instead, he hovered. The psychological profile of Reid was spot on, given the time that Q had spent with him. He’d take the help if he thought he needed it, but would bristle if someone tried to help him before he admitted he needed it.

Before Q could react, Mombi was climbing Reid’s trousers. The man stopped his movement and looked down at the cat. A smile broke out on his face and he moved to grab the cat but stopped, a look a pain coming over his face. Mombi meowed at the man so Q took pity and moved forward, untangling the cat from trousers, handing her up to Reid. Mombi started to purr as soon as Reid nuzzled at her face. Reid though looked up at Q.

“Bond said I was safe here but…” Reid looked unsure like he wasn’t sure that he was welcome here.

“You are. There is no way that anyone is getting in here, but I would like to see you try one day. I can disable all lethal measures and have them instead just knock you out. It’ll help me find any bugs. R went through when she started, and found two issues, but never made it inside the house.” Q motioned towards the stairs and Reid started to move that way. He moved without a crutch, but Q figured that it would hurt to even use that. When they got to the stairs, Reid motioned for him to go first and he did, pausing at the second step down and waited. The shuffling sound got closer and then there was a hand on his shoulder, holding tight. He let Reid get down a step before he went down to the next. It was slow going, and Q decided that Reid wasn’t going to be going up to the second floor anymore. There was a full bath on the first floor. He had that installed because there were days, before Bond, where he would never go up to bed. He’d bunk on the couch or even just slumped over his desk. So his first floor bathroom was just as opulent as his second floor.

Bond was in the kitchen and the counter was already covered in the makings of whatever Bond was cooking. Q helped Reid down onto where he assumed Bond wanted him. There was a stack of files there on the counter.

“What are these?”

“Files on everyone who was an option for the next opening in the Double O Agent group,” Q said. He wasn’t shocked that Bond had pulled them from his bag.

“Making a hole for themselves by killing 002?” Reid opened the first file and scanned page after page after page.

“We think something like that,” Q said. He watched as Reid’s eyebrow went up.

“At least do better at fake lying if you are going to, Q. I know when Bond is lying because he’s not allowed to answer anything else.” Reid stopped at the fifth file and looked up. “This isn’t just any regular replacement. This is more than a man to pull a trigger.”

“Yes. I can’t say more than that right now. Just…look over the psychology profiles and help us figure out who would go so far as to kill to get what they want.”

“And 002 stood in their way?” Reid asked. He looked up at both Bond and Q and when neither said anything he smirked. He went through the rest of the files and pulled out three of them. He set those in a pile and then pulled out two more. “These two are listed as no longer working for MI6. I would say that they might have to do with it except for the fact that whoever took me, knew the kit that I had. Only your branch knew that. These three are members of Q Branch who fit it as well as were there when we went over the kit. So one of those three did it, or gave information to whoever did.”

“Thank you.” Q took the files and moved away. There was a smirk on Bond’s face where he was stirring a pot of something on the stove. He’d listened with both ears while concentrating on the food as Q and Reid had talked.

“Now Quin, get him a pad and have him make a list of everything that he wants from his apartment. Alec and I will be going over there later tonight and cleaning it out and moving him into storage for now.”

“What?” Reid looked up at Bond in shock.

“I’m sure that M will want you into secure MI6 housing and there is a flat available in the building next door. Even with Q’s house being so hard to break into, there is the chance that someone will burn it down to get to him so three Double O’s live next door.”

“002?” Reid asked. There was a look on his face that said he really didn’t like the idea of living where 002 used to, and Q could understand that.

“No. 008 married Louise in HR. Louise owns a house so 008 moved in with her. So it’s open and no other Double O needs a residence at the moment.”

“Though Alec just might when he gets bored of being on medical leave.”

“Hard to do when everything in his flat has been made fire resistant,” Q supplied. He glared at Bond a little.

“It’s Alec, he’ll figure out a way. In the meantime, Reid, a list.” Bond pointed with a knife to the pad that was on the counter just on the other side of Q. Q handed it over and Reid started to write as soon as he had pen in hand and pad set down.

Q watched him as he wrote quick as lightning.

“You already broke into his place once didn’t you?”

“Need glasses for him and clothes that were his. Creatures comforts are the best thing.”

Dinner was a quiet affair with Bond telling the tale of his trek from Japan to London with Reid in tow. The younger man was all for listening and trying to figure it all out. Q wasn’t shocked to find out that Reid remembered none of it. He could see the flush of the fever on him now that he was ensconced on the couch. Reid had started out in the center of the couch, but when he’d started to get a little tired, starting to slump down, Bond had turned him around to where he was resting on the older man. The genius’ legs were down the couch with a pillow propping up his hurt leg. Bond force fed him pills, promising that none of them were narcotics. Now the hurt man was dead asleep. Q draped a blanket over him and took a seat on the arm of the couch where Bond was seated.

“What was that with the narcotics?”

“His file states that he had an allergy,” Bond said.

“Yes. I know.”

“That allergy popped up within a year of him being in the hands of a man who took Dilaudid cut with something else to mentally escape his father.”

“Did that man inject him with the drug?”

“Case file on the FBI’s database says yes, but that he was coming down by the time that he was checked out. They didn’t believe that he developed a physical dependance on the drug, but I’m thinking that he might have developed a mental addiction to it. I’ve hid away the stronger drugs here in the house already. Anything narcotic is in your hidden safe, just to be safe. He’s stronger now than he was back then, but this comes before he’s fully back on keel after Agent Hotchner. Did you get a new phone for him?”

“Yes. I gave him one of the prototypes from Q Branch. He keeps in email contact with Henry and now Jack.” Q moved to his bag and pulled out not just one phone, but a second as well. He handed the first over to Bond and waited for the man to turn it on. It opened up with the standard operating system for all of the MI6 work phones. Bond looked over the phone, recognizing that Q wanted him to look it over.

“Two holes for voice pickup?” Bond asked as he stared at the bottom edge of the phone.

“No.” Q smiled as he took the phone from his lover and produced a paper clip. He turned the phone back off, pushed the paperclip into the far left hole and then handed it back to Bond. The agent looked at him as he turned it back on and instead of Q’s OS it was a standard phone again. Bond played around and opened the contacts and such. It was a perfect clone of the Android system. “Those two holes have a small push piston in them. Pushing in one side breaks the second and vice versa. 009’s first phone was found on him during a mission and it was easily figured out that he was an Agent by my operating system. The actual SIM card and SD card for the data for the secret part of the phone are hidden inside and only literally breaking the phone will have them found. There is a code that can be typed in either OS to switch to the other if needed, but this way it can be done without someone being the wiser. During missions, the new protocol will be to have it in personal mode unless actively needing to talk to Q Branch, or access mission specs. Each agent that will be given the phone will have their own server that is disconnected from the rest for the phone. Your mission files are dropped onto it and pulled off as each mission warrants.”

“Interesting.”

“Also it’s harder to figure out an agent if they only have a single phone instead of two in some cases. You and Reid have the first prototypes and will be testing them out. You on missions and him on making sure that it works well as a personal phone. I already have his standard work email synced to it as it’s what he uses with the boys. I also have the official work email synced on the other account.”

“Looks like a very fancy toy that we Double O’s will break easily.”

“The circuits are not that hard to make and it’s not like Double O’s don’t break both phones on occasion as well. Not using a standard factory phone for the base helps. It’s easy to buy the cases cheap. We might even be offering cases other than standard black that can be picked from after every time the phone is brought back whole to the branch.”

“Intriguing.” Bond took the phone back and turned it off before turning it back to the work phone and messing around on it. Reid huffed and tried to roll over and Bond settled his hand down on Reid’s chest before trailing it up and rubbing at the base of his throat. Reid settled down as soon as the warm hand stayed in contact with him. Q wasn’t even sure if Bond knew that he was doing it. Reid intrigued Bond to no end, sometimes Q thought even more than he did, but he knew that it was different. Bond liked broken creatures and Reid was that.

Q and Bond’s relationship wasn’t anywhere near statistical. Q didn’t really care about that. There was love there, it had formed slowly after their physical relationship had started, but then Q’s childhood had been less than normal. Bond didn’t care that Q didn’t want to talk about his childhood. He was quite fine with the lie that Q told him. As far as MI6 knew, Q was an orphan and given that both his mother and his father were now dead, that technically meant he was, but he wasn’t familyless. He just cared to never see his family again. He’d made a family at MI6 and was slowly building one with Bond.

“How long will he sleep?”

“Most of the night. His body is healing and he needs a lot of sleep. Help me and I’ll carry him to the bedroom.”

Twenty minutes later, Reid was asleep in bed and Bond and Q were on the couch again, this time Bond had Q pushed down into the cushions, reuniting himself with the taste of his lover.

“How long did Mallory kick you out?” Bond asked as he kissed down Q’s neck.

“Didn’t give a time.” Q shifted on the couch, spreading his legs so that Bond could slip in between them.

“Good. Take a week and we can do some work here while you help me with Reid.” Bond sat up abruptly and pulled Q with him, making his way to their shared bedroom. Q was looking forward to their naked reunion.

XxXxXxX

It was a week later that Spencer went with Bond and Q back into MI6. The agent drove them to work in an Aston Martin. Spencer has seen Bond driving it on occasion, but given that it had been in Q’s garage with many parts lying around, it was a sure bet that there were modifications to it. It was the newest model and Spencer just hoped that his wounds didn’t open and he get blood on the seat.

In the parking garage, Bond pulled up to the elevators where Moneypenny and Tanner were waiting. Q got out and helped Spencer out. The mission report from both Spencer and Bond had already been typed and sent over, but Spencer knew that M wanted to talk to him personally.

“Moneypenny, please see that Bond gets down to Q Branch. The underlings are waiting for him in the range.”

“You have prototypes that I don’t know about?”

“Enough to keep you busy for a few hours,” Q said with a smirk on his face. Spencer looked away. He had seen them living together for a week, and Spencer knew that the affection between the two of them ran deep. Over the week it had just driven home exactly how much he’d lost with Aaron. There was attraction to the other two men on Spencer’s part, but he wasn’t sure if that was just from living in close quarters to them, or if it was an actual attraction.

Bond took his leave with a kiss to Q’s cheek and surprising a peck to Spencer’s lips. Spencer stared in shock at the other man as he walked away. Q also was staring at Bond in a little bit of shock, but it wasn’t angry shock, it was more that he was shocked the man had even done that. Bond hadn’t stopped flirting with him even though they had been living together for the past week. Skirting touches that bordered on way too much while changing his dressings on his leg as well as just touches in general.

“M is waiting for us,” Tanner said, steadfastly ignoring what he had seen in favor of looking at his phone.

There was no wheel chair which Spencer was glad of. He was doing well at walking around on his own with only a little bit of a limp. As the day wore on it got worse, but the only option was a wheelchair. The elevator opened up to the empty antichamber before M’s office. Moneypenny was in Q Branch. Tanner opened up the door to M’s office and the man was seated there at his desk. Q stopped beside a chair and let Spencer use his arm to help himself down.

“You look well, Reid. Better than I expected after convalescing with Bond for over two weeks.”

“He took good care of getting me out of Japan, even if I don’t remember much of it.”

“The blood tests that Q sent back here all look fine. No diseases or anything like that, which is good.”

“Sir, is there a reason that Tanner and Q are here for the debrief?”

“This isn’t a debrief in the normal sense of the word. You fit in well in Q Branch and my bosses have finally seen the light in a few aspects. Years ago, the old M and the old Q tried their hardest to show that an agent of exceptional intelligence was needed in the field. Not an agent that can be cannon fodder, but someone who is trained to come back, and is trained to use everything to his ability to get the job done. Bond is close to what was wanted, but his intelligence isn’t up to what we want. When Q approached you, it was for the endgame of you being the first Q Branch agent. It’s been proven that you are valuable. I signed the budget to recruit five more agents exactly like you over the next two years, from anywhere in the world. Five agents are replacing you as a Q Branch agent.”

Replace. Spencer could only hear that word. M stopped talking and Spencer knew that he was expected to say something, but he couldn’t. He’d just got settled in there. He’d just started to build bonds. He tried to figure out exactly what he had done wrong. The mission went through his head lightning fast. He analyzed everything. He could hear voices, but he didn’t pay attention to them. Not until a hand cupped the side of his face. It was a familiar hand. Spencer turned towards the hand and looked into Q’s face.

“That was a poor choice of words on M’s part, Reid. You are being replaced, but that’s because you are moving up.”

“Up?” Spencer asked.

“Yes, I’m sorry.” M drew Spencer’s attention back to him. “The reason you were targeted in Japan was because it was evident to those who knew about the X Agent Program that you were Q’s only choice for it. On paper, nothing about you is going to change. You are still going to be listed to everyone outside of MI6 as a field agent for Q Branch, but in fact you will be 00X. The information on 00X attached to you will only be in Q’s brain, mine, and Tanner’s, besides yourself, and I figure that within a few hours all of the Double O’s will know. The monitoring of your solo missions will be under Q’s purview, and no one else’s. Outside of MI6, Agent 00X I’m sure will be talked about but given how someone is already gunning for you before you’ve even signed your name to it, I feel the more protection we can give you the better. Bond has already stated that he’s cleaned out your old apartment and started to move you into the building next to Q’s house. So is everything good?”

“I…”

“You like reading, read over this,” Tanner said as he handed him over a packet of information. Spencer started to read it over. There was the standard hiring clause that looked a great deal different than what he had signed the last time. The hazard pay was nearly triple and his yearly salary and it’s zeroes were startling. Every single aspect of his medical was going to be covered by MI6. A car that was going to be detailed by Q Branch after he picked it out. That explained the Aston Martin that Bond drove around. The apartment that Bond was already moving him into. There was a note to see page thirty five so Spencer scanned through the next pages until he hit page thirty five. The name at the top of the page had Spencer looking at M.

“Every Double O asks for something. Whether it’s someone they can kill with no strings, a ridiculous vacation or something like that. I figured that this was going to be something that you would want.”

Spencer looked back down to the paper and read through it all three times. It was care for his mother. That started from the time that he signed the paper to the time that she died. Not him. Better care than what he was able to give her. She would stay where she was unless Spencer and she decided to move her to the UK. Even if he died, she would be cared for until her death. There was also a clause in there that he would get one week of vacation a year that was uninterrupted that was just for the purpose of visiting her as well as three long weekends.

“Ninety percent of Double O’s are orphans but you…you are as close as we can get. Your love of your mother is strong, but you’ve proven that you’ll do what you can to get back to her, and to your Godson. I want to start to recruit agents like that. Ones who will give life for country, but only as a last resort. Family is a weak point, but having no ties makes for agents who go rogue. You can turn this down. If you do, you’ll stay as you are and help Q pick someone else. Obviously it’s going to be a little bit before you can do any of the tests needed to be included into the Double O program.”

“No, I want it. I will sign the paperwork right now.”

“You don’t need to read over it?” Tanner asked.

“He did read over it, Tanner.” Q laughed a little. “He reads at twenty thousand words per minute. You’ll be fifth in line in Q Branch. And Bond has agreed to share his office with you.”

“Bond has an office?” Spencer asked. He’d never heard anyone discuss Bond and an office other than how much he lived in Q’s.

“Bond took over what was supposed to be R’s office in Q Branch three days after his leave after Skyfall,” Tanner said a scowl on his face. “He rigged it to only open to him and when Q changed it back, he rigged it again. R gave up and took over another room. Of course, he spends more time in Q’s office than his own. I’m sure that you have heard him discuss it, he just doesn’t call it his office.”

Spencer ran over conversations in his head that he’d heard Bond have. The only room that Spencer had ever heard Bond talk about more than once was… “I thought that it was a joke!”

“No. He figured that if he called it that, most of the Double O’s would stay away just because of catching him and Q in a sex act. It’s the room in Q Branch that has the label of toxic. 006 put that sign on the door after he really did catch Bond in a lone sex act in there. Q was away at a conference in France with M, and Bond thought that phone sex was a good idea. When 006 was heard over the phone, Q hung up on him. Bond was grouchy for weeks. I’m sure, though, that if you are going to be using it for an office, Bond will behave. He likes you.”

“That’s evident,” M muttered. Spencer turned to look at him. M just looked at him with his resting face. “Sign the papers and then Tanner will take you to medical in a wheelchair. I saw the limp, and while I know that you can make it to there on your own, I’d rather not hear more bitching from them about allowing Double O’s to take care of their own medical problems. 006 has barricaded himself in his flat and isn’t coming out.”

“There is the question of the explosives that have gone missing from Q Branch right at the same time he escaped medical. Now that I am back I’m going to make sure whether he has them or not, and send Bond to get them back.” Q stood up and made his exit. The door though was shut again.

“We do mean it, Reid. The age of intelligence is here and you’ve proven time and again that you are just as deadly with your mind as Bond is with his body when you mean it. You will not be going out alone as much as other Double O’s, but you will be used to the best of our ability.” M stood up and moved around his desk to lean against the front, trying to tower over Spencer. That form of intimidation was normal to Spencer. He was used to people doing it. He just stared up at his boss. “I do however had one request to make. Do not start to act like the other Double O’s. Try and bring back your tech, and do not take on Bond’s habit of fake dying.”

“That’s three requests, Sir. And I make no promises.” Spencer smiled at him and Tanner laughed a little before he left the room and came back with a wheelchair. Spencer carefully transferred himself over. Tanner was silent the entire trek down to Medical and Spencer was thankful. He needed time to process it all.

Just outside of medical his phone went off. He looked down to see that it was an email from Jack. Spencer read over it while he waited for his turn with the doctor. Jack sent him near daily emails to tell him how his day had gone. It was rare for them to come at this time. When he got to the bottom though he saw why.

Jack forgot to click send on the email last night so when I woke and couldn’t get back to sleep, I logged onto the computer to find it. So I sent it.

The email ended there and Spencer looked at the time. It was just after nine which meant that Aaron had probably woke from a nightmare and couldn’t sleep. Spencer thought about what he wanted to open communication to the man with. Jack had sent daily emails, and knew that just because he didn’t reply didn’t mean anything. He’d responded to all of the backlog as soon as he had woke up after a good night’s rest at Q’s that first night.

Do you want to talk about it?

It was just a nightmare about not making it to the last victim in time from the last case. Aaron’s text came quick so Spencer knew that he had probably been waiting.

Still, I’m here.

I know, but it’s nothing that can be helped. I just need to process and move on. The team is on stand down as Blake, JJ, and I all have concussions. We were in a wreck on the way to the airport to leave. The SUV was rolled, but the only damage was the concussions. I think it’s part of why I had trouble sleeping.

And you mean that? You are all fine?

Yes, Spencer. We all went to the ER and were given a clean bill of health. I’ll scan and email the discharge orders if it will make you feel better.

Spencer didn’t know what to say to that. He felt though that maybe he ought to share back.

I was taken captive on my last mission. I’ve been on stand down for two weeks so far with a broken ankle, wrist, and a deep laceration to my thigh. I’ve been staying with two other agents and they have been taken care of me. JJ knows so don’t worry that I kept it from her. She gets worried when I don’t email Henry back quickly.

What happened to the person who had you?

There wasn’t a record of that mission anywhere other than MI6’s database and getting caught hadn’t been an issue. Still, did he want to tell the truth or not?

I killed the guards but the main man who had tortured me was hiding and in my condition I couldn’t go after him. I talked to him until he gave himself a heart attack.

Spencer waited nearly ten minutes for Aaron to answer him. He let the sound of Medical wash over him while he waited for his phone to vibrate. He barely paid attention as he was ushered into a room. He was left alone in there.

You know Dave once told me that if you ever turned dark, turned into someone we had to chase that he would be scared. I told him that he was stupid. That we wouldn’t know until you wanted us to know, and by then it would be too late. I think I won that bet.

What does Rossi have to do?

Dress in drag at Halloween.

What would you have had to do?

Be a wingman for him at his next seven dates. I’m very happy that I won. I can’t wait to see Morgan’s face when Dave’s in drag.

You’ll have to get me a picture.

That reminds me about a picture I need to send to you. Seconds later an image started to download on Spencer’s phone. It was Jack asleep at what looked like the park, curled on a blanket with a little dog curled into his body. This is Doc. He found Jack at the park and has decided to never let him go. He sleeps with Jack. Jack wanted to tell you about him in last night’s email, but I told him to wait until we made sure that we can keep him.

Why wouldn’t you?

We are not in one of the pet apartments in the building.

Hold on.

Spencer tapped on the screen for the Internet and searched his history. He found the house that he had seen when he’d gone looking for JJ. She’d been frustrated with neighbors. He copied the link and sent it to Aaron. Since then the neighbors had calmed down as the entire neighborhood had shown their dislike of them.

That…How did you have a link for that house so handy?

Looking for someone else. It has a nice backyard and is close to Jack’s school. It would be good for Jack to set down roots. There is a park a block over.

You looked for JJ.

Yes.

It looks like a good house. I’ll look into when I get into work. Thank you.

You are welcome.

You are doing what the doctors are telling you right?

Yes, I am. I’m in a doctor’s office right now waiting for them to do a checkup.

The door opened and Spencer looked up to see the doctor entering the room.

Good.

And the doctor is here. I’ll text later.

Bye, Spencer.

Goodbye, Aaron.

“Agent Reid, I hope you had no plans today because you are going to get a full workup and I’m going to cast your ankle and wrist better.”

“I prefer the soft wraps thank you.”

The doctor looked at him with a frown but Spencer didn’t really care. His body, his choices.

“I have a feeling, Agent Reid you and I are going to get along just as well as Bond and I do.”

“I think I would prefer to be called Doctor Reid.”

Hours later, Spencer was released from medical with new wrappings on his foot and arm and an actual prescription for his pain and antibiotic medication. He walked down to Q Branch, finding a few of the members who were staring at a door across the room. Spencer looked at it and sighed.

Bond & Reid Attorneys at Law was on a small sign that had been attached to the door. It looked like a sign one would find on the door to a lawyer’s office. At least he knew where his office was. He walked over and opened the door, shocked that it actually looked like an office. There was only a single desk that was a little on the small side, but he was sure it was because there was a regular sized couch along one wall, and a chair with ottoman in the far corner. Bond was sitting in the chair with a laptop in his lap.

“Well you escaped medical before I had to stage an intervention.” Bond closed the laptop and set it on the corner of the desk before he stood up. He stepped towards Spencer and offered him the chair. Spencer hobbled towards it and carefully sat down. Bond lifted his foot and carefully set it on the ottoman. A tablet was handed to him next. Spencer booted it up and he found a list of things in there that Q wanted him to work on over the next few weeks while he was on light duty.

“Busy, busy.”

“Q Branch never sleeps, even when it should. Did medical feed you?”

“No.”

“I’m meeting Alec for lunch, but I’ll have something sent down to you.”

“I’m capable of ordering my own food.”

“Yes, you are, but I am ordering lunch for Q as well so it just makes sense to order enough for the both of you.”

“And if I’m eating, he’ll actually stop and eat to make sure that I do.”

“You know me so well.” Bond leaned over and Spencer was expecting a kiss to his forehead, Bond did it all the time, checking for fever. He remembered when his mother used to do it. Instead, Bond kissed him on the lips again. Spencer stared at him as the agent sauntered away. If Spencer wasn’t sure that Bond would never cheat, he’d be worried. As it was, he chalked it up to Bond just being Bond.

XxXxXxX

Spencer wasn’t sure what to expect from his first solo mission as a Double O, but having to blow up a house, steal a hard drive, and shoot a woman wasn’t it. He came home on the standard flight with Q’s voice in his ear. The only injury was the knife wound to his back where the target’s wife had gone after him. It hadn’t even needed stitches.

In and out of medical with an antibiotic shot and a few days of pills, and Spencer was going to turn in all of his equipment outside of the explosives.

Spencer settled into his office with barely a word to anyone else. Q wasn’t there to turn his equipment into so he carried it to the office with him. He bypassed the desk and the couch and settled in the chair with his back on the seat and his legs draped up the back. The bed he’d slept on during the mission had wrecked his back. His head rested on the ottoman. There he worked on his mission report. He sat there typing out the entire report from the second he boarded the plane to Spain to the moment he’d come back to English soil.

The sound of breathing pulled Spencer out of his work as he caught up on everything inside of Q Branch. He turned his eyes upward to find Bond staring at him.

“It’s a boffin thing right?” Bond asked as he looked Spencer up and down, his gaze settling on Spencer’s mouth. There was a look on his face that Spencer couldn’t place. It wasn’t heat or desire. It was almost like longing. He had to be missing Q.

“What?”

“Q lays like that in bed with his tablet sometimes.” Bond stepped up to stand right at Spencer’s head. “I’ve been sent to grab you. You’ve been a good little minion and filed your report so it’s time for fun.”

“I’m quite fine here.” Spencer wasn’t sure that Bond’s version of fun and his own matched up. He just wanted to finish his work day and leave. A glance at the time showed that he was okay to leave at any time.

“Come willingly with me or Alec is going to kidnap you.”

“I’d like to see him try.”

“Q let him try a prototype delivery system for knockout gas. He stole several vials and then two weeks later, the device.”

“Better to give in to the devil I know?”

“That is one way of stating it.”

“Will I need a gun?”

“Need? Probably not. Want? Yes.”

“Hmm. Meet you topside in fifteen minutes.”

“Better or I’m sending Alec.”

Spencer wasn’t sure what to expect, but when he exited the building fifteen minutes and twelve seconds later, Bond waiting in his Aston Martin wasn’t quite it. They drove the roads that he was quickly equating with coming home. The Aston was parked in the garage and before Spencer could even touch the door handle, 006 was opening it.

“The others are already there and waiting.” Alec offered his arm, and Spencer wasn’t sure what to do except take it. Instead of being led into the house they started down the street towards an area Spencer hadn’t explored yet.

There on the corner was a bar. There was a sign on the door that stated it was closed due to a private party. Alec opened the door and ushered him in. The inside was lit just like many bars were in movies. There was light around the bar that faded to inky blackness in the corners. It didn’t take long for Spencer to figure out exactly who was inside the bar either. The rest of the Double O’s were all in there, including the replacement for 002, Clara Berkshire. Spencer had been the one to kit her out for her last mission, going out three week ago.

“What’s he doing here?” 009 asked.

“That’s right,” Bond said as he came up behind Spencer, stepping really far into his personal space. Spencer could feel every single exhale of breath on the back of his neck. “Jimmy Boy has been out of town.”

“I thought that we were celebrating the new 00.”

“We are,” Alec said with a grin on his face. “We celebrated Clara’s ascension two weeks ago when she came home from her mission. You decided to stay in Russia so you missed it.”

“Are you saying that the geek is a 00?” 003 asked.

“He is. 00X, a Q Branch 00. Newfangled and all of that. All I care about is how much he can drink.” Alex wandered to the bar and grabbed the bottle of vodka that the bartender was holding out. The other Double O’s had glasses and some a bottle of something in front of them.

“The way this works is that the bartender keeps track of how much we drink. There will be a waitress or two in here later, but for now it’s self serve. If we drink under what he would make in a night, we have to make up the difference, if we drink a lot more, we still pay. The rest of us Double O’s split that nine ways now. It’s an excuse to drink our asses off.” Bond’s voice was low in his ear and the man was still right there against his back. “It’s not a party that you’ve ever witnessed before, so don’t worry about loud noises that seem like someone is dying in the back rooms, that’s probably sex. Don’t worry about drinking us under the table, that would be near impossible. Just try and have fun.”

“And if fun is me leaving?” Spencer wasn’t so sure about drinking with the rest of the Double O’s. He might be one in name, but none of them would ever see him that way. He wasn’t going to waste the time to even try and make them see him any different.

“Then I’ll send you with a bottle of something and you can party alone at home.” Bond kissed the side of his neck, just below his ear. If it had been Aaron or anyone else in general, Spencer would have let the gasp inside of him out. As it was he kept that to himself. That was the one spot on his body that set his pulse racing. The bartender handed over a bottle of whisky to Bond before he moved over to a table with Alec. The man didn’t sit though. He just stayed standing. The Double O’s were paired off for the most part with 004 standing from his lone table to take the seat next to Alec. Spencer stepped up to the bar to look at what there was to offer. He saw a blue glass of Highland Park that was unopened.

“Ice Edition?” Spencer asked in a soft voice. Rossi had made him try a shot of Highland Park before, but he’d never seen a bottle like that. The bartender smiled and pulled an opened bottle from the counter and pulled out the wooden stopper in it. He poured some into a glass and handed it over. Spencer smelled it before he took a sip. It smelled like pineapple and mango and had hints of vanilla and what Spencer was sure was orris root. He nodded at the other bottle and the bartender handed it over.

“You the bloke that was staying with James and Quin?”

“I was.”

“James says you talked a dude into a heart attack.”

“I did.” Spencer looked over at James who was staring at him.

“Don’t worry about state secrets. I signed all but my leg over years ago. The two waitresses coming in later have as well. It’s why all of these are held here. One of Quin’s people already cleared the place, just drink and enjoy.”

Spencer took his bottle and glass and moved over. He slid into the seat next to Alec and startled a little when Bond slipped in on his other side.

“That’s an interesting choice,” Bond said into his ear, leaning into him.

“Rossi had a bottle, I think it was the thirty year. I liked it. This though looks really good and tastes even better.”

“You’ll have to let me try it later.”

Spencer offered the glass that had some in it.

“James likes it second hand,” Alec said.

“Second hand?”

“You take a drink and he tastes it in your mouth. Best seduction technique he ever taught me.” Alec bumped his shoulder into Spencer’s before he winked. “If you let him try it that way, you have to let me try it that way.”

004 laughed but Spencer didn’t blush.

“Why don’t you try a sip and then Bond can sample your mouth.”

“Ah, little boffin, you’ve been around Q too much. Come, lets go play darts. James will protect your drink.” Alec grabbed his arm and drug him out of the booth, after Bond stood up.

The two of them played darts until a poker game started. Every single one of them played that. It was exhilarating playing with people who were not only damned good at it, but sneaky as well. Even as all of them slipped farther and farther into drunkenness, they played like their life depended on the game.

When it ended near midnight, many of the Double O’s were slowing down on drinking but not on pestering Spencer.

“I can’t remember,” 001 started as he leaned into Spencer from behind at the card table. “Did we ever actually do the kissing contest or did I dream that?”

“Dream, we’ve talked about it. Last time there was a serious discussion, Q was brought up as the test subject and Bond nearly broke your jaw. Why are you wanting to try X out for a ride.”

It was the alcohol in Spencer’s system that he didn’t connect X as him. Not until the rules for the kissing contest was already underway. The bartender strangely enough had a blindfold on hand. Spencer let their voices wash over him. He’d never allowed himself to get drunk outside of his own home. Yet here he felt safe.

“Spencer?” Bonds voice was soft and Spencer opened his eyes to see the man crouched in front of him. “There you are. Have you been listening?”

“Nope.”

“You smile funny when you are drunk. Do you want to be the judge?”

“Of a kissing contest?”

“Yes.”

“I’d have to what? Judge who gets one of the waitresses the most horny? No thank you.”

“Pretty boffin,” 003 said. He leaned over so Spencer could see him. “We are going to kiss you.”

“What?” Spencer looked at every single one of them for a second each before settling his gaze on Bond. “Why?”

“We’ve all made out with the waitresses. We’ve made out with each other. You are the unknown entity. You can be impartial. So what do you say?”

Spencer tipped his head back and looked above. He thought about it. Every single Double O was a looker in their own way. He looked down at Bond and smiled.

“Blindfold me.”

The first Double O kissed liked it was his job. Spencer wasn’t sure how to react to it. After being blindfolded, Spencer had been moved to a bench seat. The man straddled him and kept his hands totally above Spencer’s shoulders. When the two minute timer went off, the man stopped.

The second, fifth, and eighth were the females and they kissed a hell of a lot better than any other woman that he’d ever kissed. It was heat and soft and mind blowing to him. He curled his hands for want of touching, but never did. Four and six were better than the others but still didn’t match three and seven.

The ninth and last Double O to go though, he kissed Spencer like it was the only thing in the world that he ever wanted to be doing. Spencer’s hands lost the battle to touch and as soon as they closed on the hips of the man kissing him, the hands on Spencer’s cheeks moved down down his neck, down his chest to just touch, everywhere. He barely paid attention to anything around him, holding the man right where he wanted him to try and consume him with the kiss.

The kiss ended abruptly, but before Spencer could try and remove the blindfold to figure out just who he had made out with, another person sat down, holding his hands still before leaning in. Spencer wasn’t sure who was coming back for seconds, but he knew it was a male. From the build it was one of two of the smaller build Double O’s.

“May I?” a voice asked and Spencer was nodding before he even figured out who it was. Unlike any of the other’s, this man was tentative. He coaxed Spencer into opening his mouth. They played a game of cat and mouse with their tongues, and Spencer barely realized that his arms had been pinned down to the back of the booth he was seated on. He flexed his fingers and the hands holding him let go only to threads fingers between fingers. Spencer held onto those hands tightly. Spencer lost track of time as he and the new man kissed.

Spencer had never felt passion like he did with the man he was kissing at the moment and the man before. He’d felt that way once before and it had been about Aaron, he’d never felt possessed like he had with him but this…the passion in the kiss he was sharing now left the passion he’d felt for Aaron in the dust.

“That is just a tease,” Alec said from somewhere to Spencer’s left as the man kissing him pulled back. The blindfold was slipped down and Spencer got an eyeful of Q, sitting on his lap. “You at least get to go home with one of them and fuck them tonight.”

“So,” 002 started like he was trying to stop a rant from Alec. “Reid, who is the winner?”

“Whoever the man who kissed me before Q was,” Spencer said. He didn’t look away from Q and whatever that look in his eye was. The man was analyzing him like he would a computer virus that he hadn’t figured out. There were groans all around, and it finally drew Spencer’s gaze from Q, and to the room around him. He watched as it looked like several hundred dollars from each Double O was dropped into Bond’s hand.

“But I have to say that being on the receiving end of James’ kisses on a regular basis, Reid’s enthusiasm was quite enthralling.”

“Did your boy say that Reid kisses better than you James?” Alec asked.

“I think that he said that because my kisses were becoming old, Spencer’s were more exciting. I’ll show him when I get home.” Bond smirked and stepped up behind Q, helping him off Spencer’s lap.

Spencer though just watched them for the rest of the night as Bond stopped drinking and Q started to. Q was rarely more then an arm’s length away from his lover the rest of the night. Spencer tried to figure out exactly why Q had done what he had done. Kissing Bond had been part of a bit of a lark for the Double O’s. He’d seen it as a way to integrate himself with them. There was little that he could figure out though in his own inebriated state. So instead he decided to keep drinking. He tipped his head back to lay against the soft cover of the booth that he was sitting in and closed his eyes for a second.

XxXxXxX

James settled into the booth just as Reid tipped over. Instead of falling down and startling himself awake, Q watched as James lowered the other man down into the seat, letting his head land on his lap. The calloused hands settled into Reid’s hair and James sipped at his beer like it was nothing. Alec followed him over, but Q was listening to 003 and 8 complain about the weather of their last two missions and who had it worse. He listened for a few more minutes before he moved over to where Reid was dead asleep and Alec and James were talking.

“…did he even do that?” Alec asked and Q stopped moving so that Alec wouldn’t see him. He wasn’t sure if James had or not, his focus might have been too much on Reid at the moment.

“Everyone wants to kiss him. I know that those in the branch want to do what we did. Q wouldn’t cheat on me, Alec. Q and I…” James stopped and looked down at Reid. “Reid intrigues the both of us.”

“What are you going to do? Ask him to let you two bed him?”

“Not quite,” Q said as he sat down on Alec’s side of the table. The agent moved over to allow him to do so. Alec looked between the two of them and James was just paying attention to Reid.

“I think I found my type,” James muttered under his breath.

“Lanky, smart, and looks like a kitten until they have their knife to your throat. I knew that years ago, James. Take your boffins home. That one drank too much for his own good. And good luck getting him in bed. His boss turned him against getting involved with someone he works with.”

“That’s the good thing of already having a partner. It seems all friendly while we woo him.” Q smiled as James’ hand never stopped playing with Reid’s hair. He stood and cleared away their drinks, putting the stopper in Reid’s and slipping it in his satchel. There was no sense in taking Reid home. He still had things at their place and James would cook breakfast. It wouldn’t take much to convince Reid to stay the day as they all had the next day off.

Walking in and seeing James kissing Reid, Q hadn’t been able to stop himself. There hadn’t been much of the taste of the whisky that Reid had been drinking left in his mouth, but the taste of James had been all over him. The smell.

Q knew his kinks and knew that James delighted in letting him peruse them at his will. There was a new kink forming though, just a spin off the old one.

After he and James had got together, Eve had brought up the honey pot missions. It had taken several minutes of her talking to understand that Eve didn’t want him to be upset, but that James had not asked to not be sent on them.

Eve had even gone as far as to be in Q Branch when James went on his first. So Q had locked himself in his office to oversee that section of the mission alone. Q knew that James and fidelity didn’t seem to go hand in hand, but James did what was needed for country, and when he was with someone, that meant only fucking when there was no other resort.

Q had listened in as James had fucked the target so hard she’d gone hoarse. Once James had been signed off, the information he needed on the hard drive, Q had wanked to the noises he’d heard. Just as he did on every single one of James’ honey pot missions.

James had been the one to start it, making sure that Q was the one to cover a mission where the man he had to steal info from was much like Q. James had seduced the man over the comms and Q understood that when James had fucked him, James would rather be fucking Q. It had devolved from there, and Q was quite certain that M and Tanner knew as he’d never been asked for the recordings of those missions.

“Come Q,” James said as he lifted Reid up into a bridal carry. “Mombi has missed him.”

Q followed behind James, letting his mind slip to his new kink. Reid fucking James.

One day soon, he’d get his wish.
The End

Leaving Home, Finding Home

Title: Leaving Home, Finding Home
Series: Secret Agent Genius
Fandom: Criminal Minds, James Bond (Craig Films)
Year: Season 8 of CM, Post Skyfall
Tags: Pre-Slash,
Ratings: R
Pairings: past Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid, Pre James Bond/Q/Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner/Beth Clemmons,
Characters: Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, JJ Jareau, Emily Prentiss, David Rossi, Derek Morgan, Penelope Garcia, Alex Blake, Beth Clemmons, Jack Hotchner, James Bond, Q,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 9 of CM and Post Skyfall but Pre Spectre James Bond
Summary: Spencer had enough with the team. He knew that he needed a break and Emily wanting to go to Interpol was the perfect opportunity. While Aaron has to deal with the fallout of him being the cause of Spencer leaving.
Words: 14,491
Notes: None
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence, Sanctioned Kills,
Beta: Rivermoon1970

Secret Agent Genius

Made by the wonderful Chestnut Nola

Spencer tried it for a year. He really had. He tried to be what Aaron needed but in the end, he couldn’t be that. He couldn’t be the secret from the team, from Jack. He looked at the happy couple as they danced. He couldn’t fault Aaron for finding what he wanted. He just hoped that Hotch allowed him to have happiness as well.

Pulling Emily into his arms Spencer laid his cheek against hers. “So have room for a genius on your Interpol team?”

“What?” Emily pulled back and looked at him. He didn’t think that he’d ever seen that much shock on her face.

“I know you, Emily and I think it’s time I spread my wings a little.” Spencer tried to keep his face neutral.

“But this team is your family.” Emily’s eyes were raking over his face. She was trying to find exactly what was wrong.

Spencer looked at Aaron. It had been his family. He needed space. “I think it’s time I left the nest.” He was sure that his face was full of emotions. With her he could let them With her he could always let his guard down.

“Oh, Spencer. What’s wrong? I’ve never seen you looking so sad. Is it space you need, away from someone?” Emily pulled him back in and they were cheek to cheek. Spencer closed his eyes and sighed, letting out all the frustration.

“I had a lover, Emily.”

“Spencer…Why didn’t you…”

“He wanted to keep it a secret. I understood but after a while…” Spencer trailed off as JJ stepped up to take the place of Emily. “We’ll talk later. Me and you and wine?”

“Sure.”

Spencer danced through the night with anyone who wanted to dance. Even Morgan at one point. That had got everyone laughing. Aaron stayed far away from him and he kept the distance his former lover seemed to want. When JJ moved over to dance with Aaron, Spencer started off the dance floor until Beth touched his arm and offered. He danced with her, never meeting Aaron’s eyes but also never really saying anything to Beth other than her asking about him. He answered and it was the third question that Spencer finally settled and enjoyed the dance with her.

When the night ended, he went home with Emily. The talking didn’t start until halfway through the first bottle of wine.

“So you had a lover? Not a boyfriend or a partner but a lover?” Emily would of course narrow in on the word he used. She knew better than most how economical he could be with his words.

“Friends with benefits just seems so juvenile and well fuck buddies is so coarse. I wasn’t allowed to talk to you guys about it. He wanted to keep it a secret even from his child, Emily. At first I could understand it but at the sixth month mark I started to get antsy and then on our one year anniversary I tried to talk to him and he said no to me meeting his child. I told him that was his choice and mine was to get out of the relationship. It’s why I took the sabbatical well that and your death. I just couldn’t handle it all. It’s been a year and I can’t handle it anymore.”

Emily pulled him into a hug and he went willingly. He’d cried himself to sleep more than once over the loss of Aaron. Even before they’d officially broken up. Aaron had taught him what love really was. He’d given himself heart, body, and soul to the man and that man had destroyed it all.

“I bought Dilaudid but I never took it. I brought it home and I sat it on my kitchen table and I just stared at it. I had the needle ready to draw in the drug but I couldn’t let him take my job away from me too. I couldn’t let him take my sobriety away.”

“But why leave the team, Spencer? Why the country?” Emily looked at him so confused.

“Do you know what it’s like to go to functions with the love of your life. A man you love almost more than your own life and not be able to be his partner? To go to a cookout and be around your lover’s son as a really great uncle and know that it’s a part of your lover’s life you are denied access to?” Spencer drained his glass of wine and turned to look at her fully. “I do and it fucking sucks. Slipping in after bedtime and keeping quiet and then slipping out again just after sex or the next morning at an ungodly hour. I know that I agreed to it and it was my fault for thinking that I could change it. But Emily I just couldn’t take it anymore when we were woken up with his son having a nightmare and I had to hide in the closet, then dress quickly and rush out while he was in the other room consoling him.”

“I thought Jack wasn’t having nightmares anymore,” Emily said and Spencer just laughed. Emily wasn’t an idiot and he wasn’t going to treat her like it.

“I guess that night Jack saw something on the news that reminded him of that day at the house. I don’t know as Hotch wouldn’t talk to me about it and I couldn’t take it. I ended it that next day. I told him I wasn’t going to be his dirty little secret anymore.”

“I’ll talk with Clyde in the morning. I am sure we can find a place for you. I told Hotch I’d go in and talk with him in the morning. Given what’s going on. Maybe you should as well.”

“I already sent in my resignation to Strauss. I’m going to go to the office and clean out my stuff in a few hours long before anyone even steps foot inside. I need to get away because if not, I’m going to destroy myself and Aaron just isn’t worth that.”

XxXxXxX

“You know, Erin joked once to me that it was going to be the five of you until the end of time. Morgan, Garcia, JJ, Reid, and you. I guess we figured out what it takes to roust the good Doctor Spencer Reid out of the BAU.”

Aaron looked up at Dave, confusion on his face. He really didn’t understand exactly what he was talking about.

“Erin’s upset at losing a star like Reid. I guess she liked attaching such a smart man to the unit. She tried to bribe him to stay but he said that he needed this. She said that he needed space from everything to get a grip on his life again.”

“What are you talking about?” Aaron was seriously confused. Spencer was still there. He hadn’t left. Dave looked at him in utter shock.

“Aaron, Reid resigned from the BAU and the FBI. He’s going with Prentiss to Interpol. Paperwork has been filed. He’s no longer employed by the Bureau.”

“What?” Aaron yelled as he stood up. That drew the attention of Garcia, JJ, and Morgan. The three started to move up to them. He heard Dave telling the team what Strauss had told him but all he could hear was the blood in his ears. He knew this was because of him. He started to looking through the files on his desk. He found the file from Strauss. The papers had been sent in before the wedding. While they had all been working on getting JJ and Will’s wedding planned, Spencer had been running from them.

XxXxXxX

Aaron listened as Morgan and Garcia regaled Dave and JJ about their visit to Prentiss and Spencer in England. The two agents had been gone from the team for two months. He let the words about Prentiss’s nice flat wash over him. He was waiting for word about Spencer. The team had all piled in the round table room to talk about their missing teammates. Blake and Callahan were still out at their desks, working on paper work. There was still twenty minutes before the actual briefing started.

“And where is Spence living?” JJ asked.

“Don’t know. We met up with him at cafés and the like,” Garcia answered.

“He didn’t take you back to his at all? What about his job? His last letter to Henry said that he’d finally got settled in.” JJ looked confused.

“Don’t know. I know that he uses his profiling skills. And whatever he is doing, he’s a field agent.”

“What?” Garcia asked, looking at Morgan in shock.

That told Aaron that whatever it was, Spencer hadn’t told them. It was something that Morgan had seen but chose to not bring up.

“No matter where we went, he had a backup piece on his ankle. It was a Walther PPK, I got a glimpse of it once. From what I know it’s a pretty popular piece for all of law enforcement in Britain. The one thing that shocked me the most was the day that we called to meet him for lunch.” Morgan spared a glance at Garcia who just looked like he’d burst her bubble. He reached out and rubbed the back of her hand. “Shoulder holster with his revolver in it.”

“So agent of some kind,” Dave said with a glance out of the corner of his eye. “That’s not shocking.”

“No. He just didn’t bring it up and whenever asked a direct question, he lied to my face,” Morgan said. He had a sour look on his face. “And he knew that I knew he was lying but knew I wouldn’t draw attention to it.”

“Probably why he met you in public. Reid knows us all well and knew that if he was alone, we’d interrogate him. Blake and Callahan are on their way up.” Aaron turned from friend to boss in seconds. He didn’t like that it seemed that Spencer had gotten himself into a job that was a little more dangerous than the one he’d been in here. There had never been a thought of Spencer wearing a backup when he worked in the BAU.

When the briefing was done and everyone scrambled to get their things together, Aaron was shocked to see Beth standing outside his office with Anderson beside her. When he stepped out of the room, Anderson smiled at him and started moving away.

“Beth?”

As Aaron got closer, he saw that she was upset about something. She was supposed to have gone out to breakfast with Jessica and Jack.

“It looks like you have a case but I wanted to talk about something that Jack brought up at breakfast.”

Waving a hand, Aaron motioned for her to enter his office. He moved to the couch to sit and was shocked when she shut the door.

“What’s wrong with Jack?”

“He’s confused about something and wanted mine and Jessica’s opinion on it. He said he’d been worrying about it for several months. Since JJ and Will’s wedding.”

“Okay.” Aaron tried to think over the past two months, to see if he could find something that showed him that his son was upset about something.

“Jack wanted to know why you took me out on dates and brought me to the wedding. I was shocked. I didn’t understand what he wanted to know. I answered that we were dating and that’s what people who were dating did. That just seemed to confuse him more. His next question shocked the hell out of Jessica more than it did me. He wanted to know what it meant when his dad brought home someone after he’d gone to sleep and the person was always gone the next morning before he woke up.” Beth’s eyes were on him and he knew that she was waiting for a reaction.

Aaron leaned back on the couch. He hadn’t thought that Jack had ever seen Spencer. He’d been so careful. He tried to think and he couldn’t figure out a time where Jack would have seen him outside that last night and Aaron had thrown the covers over him before Jack had made it inside the door.

Beth took his silence as permission to go on. “He said that the person stopped coming around just before you went overseas. Jessica was rather shocked and she just stared. Jack asked why I was allowed to go out and be with him when the other guy wasn’t. I was rather shocked when Jack said guy but Jessica. Her reaction wasn’t that big of shock. I think she knew who it was then but Jack just tucked his legs up and laid his head on them. He said, ‘I tried a few times to wait up but those nights he never came or I fell asleep before he got there. Then one night I had a nightmare. I’d watched something I shouldn’t have and Dad threw the covers over him before I got fully in the room. Dad took me back to bed and I heard him move down the hallway and slip out the door. But I’d seen his bag before Dad carried me out of the room.’ Jessica asked what bag. Do you know the answer he gave, Aaron?”

There was no use in lying. “Uncle Spencer’s bag.”

“Yes. He went on to tell Jessica and I that he wasn’t sure why Spencer didn’t want to play with him at home considering that he played with both him and Henry when the team got together for things. We had no answer for him. Do you have an answer for him?”

Aaron shook his head. He wanted to stay silent. If he opened his mouth, it was going to make it a lot worse. He didn’t have an answer for her.

“I thought not. You are not the man that I thought you were. I don’t care that you were sleeping with a subordinate. Jessica told me that you’d always been close to him and that she wasn’t shocked that you’d started something with the young man. But I’m thoroughly disgusted that you hid him from Jack and Jessica. Mid-life crisis? Dirty secret? I’m glad he got himself away from the situation. You are not the man that I thought you were. You need to figure out what you want out of your life before you try and pull someone else into it.” Beth stood up from the chair she’d taken and then she was gone. Aaron was pretty sure that she was gone forever.

XxXxXxX

Aaron spent every day for over a year trying not to think about Spencer. Beth was gone, never returning his calls. He’d talked to Jack telling him that he’d made a big mistake. Explaining his irrational fears of why he kept Spencer a secret. Jack had taken a while to get over it and he missed Beth but the woman visited from New York and talked to Jack often. At Jessica’s. If Jack wanted to continue to meet with her and be friendly, Aaron wasn’t going to stop it. She would be a good role model for him.

The jet was silent as the team all thought about the place they were heading to and not the case that should be at the forefront of their minds. Las Vegas, Nevada. Hometown of Doctor Spencer Reid. All of them were missing the man who was no longer there. Blake was downtrodden as well. Aaron had only found out after she’d been on the team a few months that Spencer used to guest lecture in her class.

The shifting of a body was the only indication that someone was moving around. Aaron watched as Callahan moved from the front to the back, taking a seat across from Dave.

“Everyone is acting weird.”

Dave laughed. “The man you replaced on the team. Doctor Reid is from Las Vegas. Born and raised. It’s making us a little maudlin is all. Normally by this point in the flight we would be regaled with stories of gambling or weird little facts that only Reid knew.”

“I remember him from a joint case once.”

“We’ll be fine by the time we land, I hope.”

“Usually rumors are abound about why an agent leaves the team, especially the BAU. I’ve never heard a thing about Doctor Reid.”

“We don’t know why. Oh, we have our theories. If he’d have gone home, it wouldn’t be hard to figure it was to be close to his mom again but he went to London. Morgan, JJ, and Garcia think that he followed Prentiss because he was in love with her.”

“And you?”

Dave laughed. It wasn’t a nice laugh. It spoke of pain. Aaron swallowed hard. “I think that he wanted to escape something that would have broken him and following Prentiss to have something familiar was the lesser of two evils.”

“He sends gifts and letters so he can’t be mad at you guys.”

“I know. The kid kept his private life just that. Private.”

Aaron turned his head to look out the window and blocked out the sound of talking. He couldn’t be certain but he thought that Dave knew. He looked up and saw that Blake was staring at him. He met her gaze and waited. Outside of Jack he hadn’t had a staring contest that didn’t involve an UnSub in years. The woman’s gaze didn’t waver. The contest only ended when the captain announced for them to fasten seatbelts. It was ingrained in him to do it and he ended up looking away first. When he looked back up at Blake, she was looking at her book again with her belt fastened. He felt like he’d lost something a lot more important than a staring contest.

The case progressed as normal and in the end, Rossi had tried to talk down the UnSub but it had ended horribly. Aaron was packing up when his phone started to ring. He looked at the ID it was Cruz.

“Hotchner.”

“Aaron. I got your preliminary report. Look, it’s been a few rough ones after the other. Why don’t you and the team take a few days down in Vegas? Let the lights and action distract you all. Take in a show. Lose some money. Clear heads.”

“Mateo, I can’t just drop everything. Jessica is wonderful…”

“And I’ve already talked to her between her and Garcia, Jack will be covered. Your team needs a break and a little bit of bonding. Garcia waved off coming out wanting some down time here instead.”

That was how the team found themselves wandering around Vegas at two in the morning all of them with a little bit of alcohol in their system. Enough to loosen them up but not enough to compromise their judgement. Morgan was talking about how he’d already pulled out all the money he was going to spend on gambling and wasn’t going to take anymore out. The darkness seemed to breed people hiding so Aaron had stopped paying attention to the couples who hid in the darkness. Privacy was lacking and if they wanted the risk of doing things outdoors, what was he to say anything.

“That was a very interesting game. Remind me when we get back home to warn the others to never play poker with you for more than pocket change,” a male voice said from behind them. The accent was British. The man laughed and Aaron could hear another man laughing as well. There was something familiar about it but there was something that was strange as well. It had to have been the last couple they passed.

“Now that’s a voice I wouldn’t mind waking up to,” Callahan said with a giggle. The other women laughed and agreed. Aaron just smiled. The woman looked at JJ. “Of course, your Will has a wonderful accent.”

“It’s not my fault you all think that I can’t play poker. I was born and raised here, Robert. And what you call pocket change and I what I call it are two very different things.” That was a voice that Aaron had thought he’d never hear again. He turned around to see two men huddled against the side of a building, Aaron had seen them when walking past but hadn’t paid them any mind. The rest of the team had stopped as well. All were turning to look at the men. He could see Spencer laughing so hard and he was leaning on this Robert.

“Now, Spencer, I thought you didn’t like stereotypes.” Robert leaned in and Aaron got to watch as the two shared a kiss that spoke of old intimacy more than a new thing. It was like a knife to the heart to see him seemingly happy with someone else.

“Reid?” Morgan called out just loud enough for the couple to hear him. Spencer turned and while his eyes widened in shock, the other man Robert’s did not. Aaron could tell that the man wasn’t startled easy. There was something very deadly about this man.

“Morgan. Guys. Hi.” Spencer’s eyes moved across the team. He wasn’t shocked to see Blake there and his eyes just glanced over Callahan. Robert pulled back enough to where Spencer slipped from between him and the building and stayed right at the genius’s back as the couple walked towards them. There was no other word for them except couple. It made Aaron’s stomach clench. “Robert Harrison, this is my former team at the BAU. Agents Aaron Hotchner, David Rossi, JJ Jareau, and Derek Morgan. Kate Callahan is the lovely lady who replaced me and Alex Blake is the wonder who replaced Emily.”

“Lovely to meet you all.” Robert extended a hand and shook with each male member of the team and kissed the back of the hands of the women. He kept a hold of JJ’s hand though after kissing it. He clasped his other hand around it and smiled. “You are the mother of Spencer’s Henry. Spencer has shown me many a picture of his Godson.”

As soon as Robert let go of her hand, JJ went right for Spencer and pulled him into a hug. That broke the ice and Morgan and Blake were right there on her heels for their own greeting. Callahan hung back with Aaron and Dave only stepped up when JJ finally pulled back. Spencer though didn’t let her go far. Morgan was pulled into a hug that for Spencer was a little out of place. The hug with Blake was what he would have expected from Spencer with Morgan. Dave shook his hand.

“Why didn’t you tell us you were coming home for a visit?” JJ asked.

“Because Robert and I are here on vacation. A few days home to show him where I grew up and to introduce him to mom.” Spencer still had an arm around JJ but Robert had an arm around him as well. Aaron looked up and saw that Robert might have been smiling but his ice blue eyes were zeroed in on Aaron. Aaron stared back, profiling as he did. It wasn’t until several minutes into the stare that he realized that Robert only showed what he wanted someone to see. He was an agent of some kind. The shoulder holsters worn by both Spencer and Robert told him that whatever they were doing in Vegas, it wasn’t strictly a full holiday. Spencer was wearing an ankle holster but Aaron couldn’t detect another weapon on Robert. He hadn’t worked enough with British intelligence agents to know exactly what branch the both of them worked for.

“You weren’t even going to stop by to say hello to Henry?” JJ looked really upset about that.

“Not this visit. This one was kind of impromptu. We found ourselves with a few days off together and decided now was a perfect time to introduce Robert to mom.”

Aaron tried to find the lie to that statement but he couldn’t. He knew that there was one though. Spencer was fully managing what he was putting out to the team. Robert though was openly profiling the team.

“I’m a little shocked, Pretty Boy. I kind of figured that you followed Prentiss to Interpol because you were in love with her.”

“With Emily? No. Really good friend yes but I would never have sex with her. I left the FBI for other reasons.” Spencer’s gaze barely flicked to Aaron but Aaron noticed it.

“Personal reasons,” Robert muttered, his gaze still wholly on Aaron. When Aaron shifted his gaze to the team, he saw that Blake and Callahan were looking at Aaron while Morgan was looking at Robert. Dave was looking at Spencer. The look though that Spencer gave Robert told Aaron everything that he needed to know. Robert knew the truth of why Spencer had left the FBI and America. Knew that it was Aaron.

“Garcia tried to convince me once that you were pansexual. I didn’t believe her,” Morgan said with a smile on his face. “It wasn’t that I…I kind of figured you to be on the Asexual scale somewhere.”

“Pansexual is a good term for what I am.” Spencer’s eyes darted over to a sign on the Strip. Robert’s eyes moved over as well. It was an ad for some kind of tea. Aaron wondered why they both looked a little worried at it.

“We must be going,” Robert said. He pulled Spencer in close and whispered in his ear. The genius laughed and slapped at Robert’s chest. “Early morning meeting with Professor Reid.”

Then Spencer and Robert were turning away. The team was in shock. Aaron watched as Robert pulled Spencer close and then they were off. There was no light slipping between where their bodies were touching. Aaron bade his goodnights to the others and moved towards the hotel they were staying in. It wasn’t until he slid his card in the reader that he realized that Dave had followed him.

“Hurts doesn’t it?”

“What?”

“To see him happy? Without you?”

“Say what you mean, Dave.” Aaron entered his hotel room. Dave right behind him.

“You and I both know the reason he left the team. He went with Prentiss to have something of his life left. Obviously he got a better job offer. Found someone better.”

“You have all the answers.”

“No. I just know you. I’d keep the wounded puppy look off your face if you don’t want the team to know.” The threat was there. The team would not take well to finding out exactly who was the reason for Spencer leaving. Aaron didn’t dignify that with a comment and within a few minutes, Dave was gone.

The team didn’t see Spencer again until their last day in Vegas. JJ and Morgan had tried to call him only to find that his cell phone number was disconnected. Garcia couldn’t find a hotel room under the name of Spencer Reid or Robert Harrison. Then again, their own hotel rooms were not under their names either. There were too many hotels to try and track which one the couple was staying in and footage watching was Spencer’s forte.

Morgan pointed out Spencer in the lobby of the Bellagio where they were planning on gambling the last bit of their money before the jet left in six hours. Robert had his hand on Spencer’s lower back, each man a tumbler of some liquid in their hands. The team headed towards him but stopped when the couple was ushered into a private poker room.

“That has a three million dollar buy in,” Dave said with a little bit of awe in his voice.

“Three million?” Morgan questioned. The team just stared at where he’d gone. After a few minutes, they all scattered away and Aaron made his way to the bar.

An hour later, Robert exited the room with a nod to the security guard at the door and made his way over to the bar where Aaron was. The look on his face told Aaron that the Brit had expected him to be there.

“Agent Hotchner!” Robert’s smile was bright and sunny but Aaron could detect malice underneath it.

“Mr. Harrison.”

The smile that the name got from him was predatory. “What brings you to the Bellagio?”

“The team wanted to gamble away the last few hours before our jet left and they chose this place. You?”

“It’s where Spencer and I are staying and Spencer got invited to a game this afternoon.” The bartender handed over a martini glass and Robert settled in beside Aaron at the bar.

“Robert!” Morgan called out and Aaron felt the other agent settle at his back. “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine, Agent Morgan. Your boss said that guys are leaving in a few hours. Spencer’s preoccupied with a game. I’ll make sure that he comes out on the break and says his goodbyes if you guys are still here.” Robert turned to take a drink of his martini and that was when Aaron saw the wireless earwig. It was barely visible but it was there. That was interesting.

“So how did you and Reid meet?” Morgan asked.

“Through work. Different departments but we crossed paths enough that I was intrigued by him.”

“How…I knew Reid for eight years, he never went on a date with anyone. I’m just shocked to see him with someone.” Morgan’s voice was full of shock.

“There are twelve in my department including me. All of us took a shot at asking him on a date within the first month after he started working there. He agreed to three. Stella was wonderful but they had very little in common. Alec was just not a right fit.”

“And you obviously did well.”

“Actually, he turned me down. Third was Greg. Greg showed us all exactly what Spencer doesn’t like. The black eye he came home with had Spencer’s department very angry at us for a whole month. I spent that first month and the month that followed just talking to him. Bringing him little things that I learned he liked through conversation and his failed dates with the others.”

Aaron drained the last of his drink and waved for another from the bartender.

“Look, man. Reid won’t talk about what happened that drove him away. Do you know?”

“I know every intimate detail and I’ll tell your whole team if you wish. How about lunch? I’ll go see if they have room for us?” Robert drained his martini and then wandered off. Morgan moved to round up the team. Aaron didn’t like it but if he begged off, it would send up a flare to the team and would show Robert that he was scared of him. He wasn’t going to show weakness.

Half an hour later had the team with Robert sitting at a table off to the side.

“Lunch is on me. I’m very excited to get to talk with Spencer’s former team.” Robert ordered caviar and champagne for the table as an appetizer. Before it arrived, Aaron had decided that he really did hate the man. JJ and Morgan were on either side of the Brit and the man was showing them pictures on his phone of Spencer in the office. Including the birthday party that was thrown for him just two days after he’d started working there. There was also a picture that was passed around of him asleep on a couch in an office. While the leg of the man he was lying on was only a little visible, it was the way that Spencer’s was buried into pants and the curl of hand over thigh told Aaron that it was Robert. The position was innocent and intimate at the same time. It was a way that he and Spencer had never adopted before. The only non-sexual intimacy between them happened cuddled in bed. The stubble on Spencer’s face told Aaron that he hadn’t shaved for a few days.

“A project ended up taking a great deal longer than anticipated and it was working on a deadline. None of the boffins got much sleep.”

“Boffin?” JJ asked, looking at Robert as she handed the phone back. She looked over at Blake.

“It’s a word of British slang that is used to describe a scientist, engineer, or other person who works in or is interested in technical or scientific work. It was used in World War II and lends to the concept of war-winning researchers so many who are used to the term of egghead, nerd, or geek tend to look on it more favorable because the word itself has a more positive connotation.”

“Ever the Linguist, Doctor Blake.” Robert had a smile on his face and raised his glass of water up in a toast of sorts to Blake. The woman smiled and nodded at him.

“And what exactly do you do where you work?” Morgan’s voice was tinged with something and Aaron could tell it was a mix between anger and inquisitiveness. He’d caught on that Robert was dodging questions as well.

“Upper management that does not directly oversee the department that Spencer works in. It’s all rather boring but someone has to count the pennies and keep people in line.”

More questions about exactly what Robert and Spencer did were cut off when the food arrived and it was silent for a few minutes as the team settled in to eat.

“So…” Morgan started and Robert flashed a smile.

“Spencer’s reason for leaving the team and the Bureau.” Robert set his fork down and settled back in his chair, like he’d been waiting for it. He’d only ordered water for himself after the champagne was gone. “He told me that he’d been in a relationship for a year and while I know who this man was, I will not give his name over. He made his choice and Spencer made his. The choice that Spencer made was to leave a relationship that was harming.”

“Harming?” Aaron asked. He’d never applied what he and Spencer had been to each other as a harm to him.

“This man put hands on him?” Morgan asked.

“Not that way. Spencer loved him with his whole heart. I can still see the breaks that are slow to mend. It took six months of showing my interest for Spencer to even agree to go on a serious date with me. We’d been on little ones. Coffee shop visits, book stores. Skittish was a good term for him. But that love was far from whole when he finally decided to leave the relationship.”

“What was so bad about the relationship?” Dave asked.

“When Spencer and he first started to see each other in a more than work capacity, the other man wanted secrecy. He agreed. It was smart. He didn’t realize that it would be secret from everyone, forever. Six months in and he started to feel upset. I gathered that there was a work function and something happened at it. He never told me what. That night when he snuck into his lover’s apartment he asked him and was told no.”

“Why would he need to sneak in?” Callahan asked. She looked shocked. “Was he married?”

“No. He had a young child.”

“So, you said you weren’t going to name names but you’ve put in that the person works or did work for the FBI,” Dave said.

“Yes. Spencer thought that after six months it was time to be introduced to the child of his lover as a more than friend and he was turned down. He gave it another six and then one night the child had a nightmare and he was relegated to slipping into his clothes while the father comforted the child in their bedroom and then sneaking out. He ended it there. It was just after that he took the sabbatical.”

“That’s…I couldn’t see dating someone and not wanting to introduce them to Henry if Will and I ever split. I just…Spencer must have felt horrible.”

“You made it sound like he had contact with the kid, outside of the relationship though,” Blake mused.

“Yes. I surmised that the work function had the child at it and he was allowed to interact with said child then.”

“That’s just deplorable,” Callahan said.

“Yes,” Robert said an odd note in his voice. Aaron looked up at him; the other man was staring at him. Morgan was looking at him and then over at Aaron and back again. He knew the man’s game now. He wasn’t going to name Aaron outright but he was going to give the team enough for them to figure it out. “I do hope the child never finds out. It’s one thing to go on a date or two before introducing said child to someone new but to have a yearlong relationship that lives only in the dark and never leaves a bedroom. Spencer has never used the terms but he felt horrible about himself after it. That he’d stayed so long.”

The chime of a text had Robert raising his phone up. The smile on his face told Aaron exactly who the text had come from.

“Excuse me. Spencer needs me. Please stay and finish. I’ve already given the waitress my card to pay. Have dessert. There should be a break in about a half an hour. I’ll send Spencer out.” Robert stood up and left, buttoning his suit jacket back up.

Aaron sat in silence finishing eating while the team talked a little bit about Spencer. Dave was engrossed in his phone. Half an hour came and went and no sign of Spencer. In fact, they waited an hour, getting dessert and just relaxing. When they finally left, Dave noticed that there were a lot of cops in the area. And the room where Spencer had been playing poker was sealed off with police tape.

Hours later, on the jet, Dave sat down beside Aaron as the pilot told them it was okay to move around.

“Been in contact with a few friends in the CIA and the NSA. Reid’s passport was used to gain entry into the US a few days ago. Robert Harrison’s as well. It seems that Reid is now holding dual citizenship for both England and the US.”

“Is there a point to this?”

“Yes. CIA chatter is that seven MI6 agents including a Double O came to Vegas for a mission. Data retrieval.”

“Are you trying to say that Reid is working for MI6?” Aaron asked.

“No. I thought that Robert was familiar. He’s the Double O but I don’t know his real name. I don’t have the number but I’ve crossed paths with him in my time overseas at embassies. Reid is MI6. Don’t know what section but just thought I’d let you know.” Dave stood up and left Aaron alone to his thoughts. Did that mean that it was all a cover? That Reid hadn’t moved on? He thought about how territorial Robert had been, how easy Spencer had allowed his touches. And the pictures.

Aaron knew he’d messed things up with Spencer. He’d let his own securities harm himself, Spencer, and Jack in it all. There was no way to fix it though. Not with an ocean between them.

XxXxXxX

Spencer let the idle chatter between Q on the computer screen and Bond in the seat across the jet lull him into a state of near sleep. It hadn’t taken him long after starting in Q Branch to figure out that something was going on between Q and Bond. He’d never got actual visual proof of anything and their words were always so careful when other people were around. The horrible thing was that none of MI6 had been able to figure out if the two of them were a couple, fuck buddies, or both just oblivious to what the other wanted, which was each other.

When the mission had come up to go to Vegas and he’d found out that he’d been tapped as part of Q Branch to go, he’d been excited. He hadn’t had a chance to go and see his mom since he’d moved to London.

That the BAU team was there in Vegas had been a shock. While his and Bond’s cover had been that of lovers, up until that night when Bond had shoved him into the wall, they hadn’t acted the part that much. Still he’d been prepared for it. He hadn’t been prepared for Morgan’s voice to call out to him. The lies had spilled from his mouth easier than he thought that they would have. He’d looked at his team and had seen the family they used to be but had stopped being in the aftermath of Prentiss’s miraculous resurrection.

Everyone was different after Prentiss’s faked death and it stayed through finding out she was alive again. JJ had come back from her time at the state department jaded in a way that told Spencer that horrible things happened but she couldn’t talk about them or didn’t want to talk about them. Morgan was angry at everyone. Prentiss tried too hard. Hotch was distant in a way that spoke that he felt bad about lying but wasn’t trying to fix anything. Garcia started to cling too tight to everyone, worrying too much about them. And Rossi was the same as always.

The only regret that he had with leaving and going to London had been leaving Henry and his mom behind. He wrote letters to his Godson nearly every single day and to his mom every day.

“Mission thinking?” Bond asked as he settled in the seat across from him. The rest of the agents that had flown over with them had stayed behind while he and Bond got to go home on a private jet. Bond was needed for another mission and it was still undecided if Spencer would be going with him.

“No. Just thinking on the past.” Spencer tipped his head to look at Bond. The ice blue eyes raked up and down his form, profiling him. He was used to it. From the moment he’d joined MI6, Bond had kept an eye on him. He’d figured it was to do with how he came to join up. He’d been in the needed training courses for Interpol when he’d corrected a bit of a hacker program written on a board in a classroom. The door had been open and no one had been in there but the math needed correcting. He’d just placed down the marker when he heard footsteps. A man about his age had come in and just stared.

Two days later he’d been basically headhunted by British SIS. He’d shown up for weapons training and had found the same man there from the classroom. He hadn’t paid attention to the man but instead had put in his time at the gun range, using each type of gun laid out. When he was done, the man had stepped up with a revolver. Spencer had smiled and fired at the new target that had been set up. Better marks on it than the other. Then the man had reloaded the gun and aimed it at Spencer. A click had been the only sound when the trigger was pulled. The man showed no emotion at the lack of response to the threat.

“You can call me Q, Doctor Reid. That is now your personal gun on record for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In two hours, an agent is going to show up for you here. Try not to kill him, no matter how much he may try and make you bloody cross. We have a proposal for you.”

“And am I allowed to decline the proposal?” Spencer had asked. Q had only smiled at him and left. Spencer had gone about his day and hadn’t been shocked that when leaving the range he’d been given a proper holster for his revolver. He’d slipped into the bathroom to put it on under his jacket. No one stopped him.

Two hours later, on the dot at that, a man had stepped up to him. He’d taken in the ice blue eyes before anything else. It hadn’t taken but a two second look to tell Spencer that the man was more dangerous than any UnSub he’d ever come across. Seven hours later, he’d left Vauxhall Cross with a lot to think of. The man Mallory who had been in the meeting with Q and the still, then, unnamed agent had kept things from him but it wasn’t hard to figure out that whatever they wanted of him was going to be deep undercover. His actual boss was Q. He was a field agent that Q sent out when he needed someone more than a field agent and little less than a Double O. Q had likened him to a laser in surgery rather than a scalpel.

“Spencer,” Bond called out.

Pulling back from the memories, Spencer looked at the agent with a smile on his face.

“Q is diverting the jet. We are headed straight for France. I guess we need a few hours to get things ready. Thankfully Jean likes me.”

Spencer cocked an eyebrow and just looked at Bond. “And who is Jean?”

“My favorite tailor in France. You may have packed well enough for a vacation in Vegas; you are not dressed for a party in France. There is a party we need to be at. I need your eyes and your mind.”

“But the sale of the weapons wasn’t supposed to happen for another two weeks.” Spencer remembered the brief. Q had been happy that he’d have enough time to outfit a full kit for Bond and whatever field agent went with him as his plus one.

“Q got word that the time table moved up. Something to do with MI6’s eyes being in Vegas. Word traveled fast that a Double O was there. Q’s having the kits sent to France and will be waiting at our hotel.”

“I thought that Perkins was tapped to go with you? Couldn’t she meet you?” It wasn’t that Spencer didn’t want to do the mission. But the both of them would be under much more scrutiny in France. Adjoining rooms in Vegas with the rest of the agents had meant that the single king bed registered to the group saw Spencer and Bond retiring there every night but Spencer slipped into the room next door which had two queens and only one agent staying inside. There would be no such luck in France. It was just the two of them with only over the comm support.

“Well it seems that things got really interesting. Q has a list of attendees and for once I’m going to play the twank.”

Spencer sat back in his seat quickly. He looked at Bond and just started to laugh. Bond smiled back at him.

“Q’s minions had a very close reaction when he told me who had shown up for Martinez to hand off the weapons. He wouldn’t take a second look at you as my play thing but me as yours? Sale is taking place in three days. If I can charm him before then good. If not we will just outright follow and steal.”

It wasn’t hard to follow Bond’s lead. But seeing Bond play someone’s submissive and at his beck and call was a sight to behold. Q was in their ear for the entire mission, relaying whatever was needed. While there were other handlers, Q always oversaw Spencer’s missions. He figured that was why Bond had offered to be the Double O sent with Spencer to Vegas. He was guaranteed Q’s undivided attention. The verbal flirting and snark between the two had only increased as Spencer had worked with them. The flirting was also turned onto Spencer more and more but he’d ignored it because there was no way he was coming in between those two.

Spencer had never thought that he’d have a thing for dangerous men but Bond attracted him in so many ways. There was a fair bit of intelligence that he liked to keep hidden behind the rakish smile and quips. Q was just dangerous enough to be truly terrifying. He was the epitome though of what Spencer was attracted to. There was of course the issue of he’d made a promise to himself to never get involved with anyone that he worked with again. So he listened to them flirt and just imagined the two of them in bed together.

The second day of the mission saw Spencer too tired from the party the night before to even want to do a bit of sightseeing. Instead he was lying in bed in the suite, a book laid out in front of him on the bed. Bond was doing stretching before setting out to go on a run. Spencer had ran on the exercise equipment in the hotel. He wasn’t for running in strange places.

“That’s not your normal speed,” Bond commented as he watched Spencer from the floor. He’d known that the older man had been watching him. He always knew.

“And what is my normal speed?” Spencer asked as he finally looked up after finishing reading the page he was on.

“Too damned fast. Q won’t tell me the actual speed. Nor your actual IQ. In fact, Q’s rather tight lipped about everything when it comes to you.”

“And the hack into my file didn’t tell you?” He was well aware of the lengths Bond would go to get information. It hadn’t taken him long to realize that Bond hated not knowing things. He hadn’t come home to find Bond going through his place yet or just waiting for him as he’d heard Q say that the man had done with him and that he used to with the previous M. He had a security system that Q used himself so it was Bond proof.

“Q has chosen to take things like your IQ and reading speed and list them under Bond doesn’t need to know in your file. Which means it’s only in his head. Infuriating boffin. So I’m stuck trying to find out like a normal person. I have to ask.”

Spencer couldn’t hold back the laugh at the look on Bond’s face. He looked so much like a child who was told that he couldn’t go to the fair across the road from his house. Spencer closed his book and sat up on the bed. He hadn’t changed out of his t-shirt and pants. Bond was dressed simply in boxers. “I read at a much slower pace when I am reading for pleasure. I savor each word and let it caress my mind before I store it away. You can ask one question. I will choose whether or not I answer it or another question.”

Bond smirked at him. “Why did the FBI want you?”

Spencer let his mouth relax a little in shock. He hadn’t expected that question and he wasn’t above showing Bond his surprise.

“For the exact same reason that Q wanted me. My brain. The only difference is that here I am treated better.”

“What do you mean?”

“Q-branch is a haven for me. In the FBI I was recruited for my IQ, reading speed, and my memory. I was used as a tool and while my old team was easy going about it, I never once got to forget that while I was part of the team, I was off to the side. They wanted fact after fact out of me but yet would in the same sentence mock me for having that knowledge. Q is much more willing to flaunt his intellect than me. I had a coworker ask another one if he’d ever been around someone who every day showed that he was smarter than him. That coworker pointed at me. If I was there for my knowledge and using my knowledge solved cases, then how was that showing that I was smarter? How was I supposed to act when I was there for my knowledge? Those outside my team hated me. I was given a spot on my team that usually takes at least five years in the bureau to get into. The average is eight. No one in MI6 makes a comment when Q out hacks other hackers or does magic with the computers because that is what he is there for.”

“No wonder you jumped ship and followed that woman to Interpol. Throw in Agent Hotchner and that’s a mess.”

“I was happy there. Brushed things off, didn’t let them get to me. It was while I was there at JJ’s wedding that I realized exactly how much of myself I was giving up to be happy in that situation. I was having debilitating headaches. Which are a sign of schizophrenia. I told Emily about them and then when I told Morgan he was nice about it but there was no offer of help more than him saying he’d watch out for signs. I switched to tea and it helped but it was all stress. I wasn’t aware of how much stress until it was gone. Haven’t had a one since I left the BAU.”

A knock at the door forestalled anymore discussion. Bond jumped up and shucked his boxers, slipping into the bed under the covers. No food had been ordered yet so it wasn’t room service. Spencer slid the book off the bed on his side and stood up, removing his shirt. He walked to the door and opened it, a look of unhappiness on his face. Standing there was young woman in a skirt. She didn’t look happy to be there.

“Can I help you? I was a little busy.” Spencer leaned to the side to block her view when she tried to look around him.

“Mr. Vargas would like to extend a lunch invitation to you, Mr. Morris and your companion.”

“Oh. I see. When?”

“Whatever time works for you.”

“Where?”

“The on location restaurant is fine with him if it’s fine for you.”

“One o’clock is fine with me.” Spencer stepped back and shut the door. The woman’s eyes were locked on Bond and Spencer wondered exactly what the older man was doing. He turned to find that the man had pulled most of the covers off himself and only had a small corner of the sheet draped over his crotch. The woman was going to go back to Vargas and tell him that she’d interrupted them in the middle of sex, which was good for their cover but horrible on Spencer’s own mind.

“That means that we need to pick up the rest of your suits from Jean,” Bond said as he slid out of bed. Nudity was something that Spencer had gotten used to since joining MI6. Most field agents and especially the Double Os didn’t care who saw them naked, given that most had been seen naked on camera during various missions. Bond was the worst at it though.

Lunch proved to be boring for Spencer. While they discussed the weapons for sale and the current estimated bidding price, Vargas paid little attention to him. He realized though the second that Vargas made a move on Bond. Bond’s eyes sought him out with wide confusion and Spencer just waved a hand. Telling his companion that he didn’t care what the man was doing. The profile that they had on Vargas was that he liked to fuck the men of other men, use them and send them home when he’d got what he wanted. Vargas was not much older than Bond and was the closest Double O that they had that fit what Vargas liked in a bed partner. Spencer’s cover as David Morris was that of a bored millionaire who bought and sold high value weapons. He moved from man to man and even woman to woman as easily as some bought and sold stock. Bond’s cover was Samuel Peck a man who was a step away from an escort. He bounced from male lover to male lover when he got bored. Their covers were a match made in heaven.

“And what are your afternoon plans?” Vargas asked, his hand hadn’t appeared above the table in the past twenty minutes.

“I have a little bit of work I have to do in the room. Samuel is going to spend the afternoon outside of the hotel, where I won’t be distracted.”

Bond’s shoulders fell in the perfect mockery of crestfallen and Vargas’s eyes lit up like a beacon.

“I would be more than happy to show Sam around the town. Maybe he can find a nice present for you.”

“If he wishes.” Spencer pulled out his phone as it buzzed and looked at it. It was from Q telling him that Vargas’s men were doing an online search for David and Samuel. With a disinterested air, Spencer locked his phone and sighed. “I’m sorry. I need to take my leave now.”

As Spencer passed Bond, he leaned over and gave him an absent minded kiss on the shoulder as he passed. It was their code for be wary. Q kept Bond’s comm open and linked to Spencer’s so he heard every whispered seduction that Vargas tried on Bond. He allowed himself to laugh openly at the words that were so close to what Bond used on marks were used on him. The only time the comms muted at all was during the sex. Muted but not off. A particularly loud yelp had Spencer turning his eyes away from his computer, where he was working, and he listened. The moan that followed told him that Bond was fine.

“Q?” Spencer asked when the sound on the other end of the comm quieted.

“Yes, Doctor Reid?” Q queried back. The use of his title told him that he was in the main section of Q-branch and not in his office.

“What room are they in?”

“Three Thirty seven. So just down the hall really.”

“If Bond’s not able to extract himself in a timely manner, I’ll throw a hissy. Sound good?”

“Sounds wonderful.” Q’s voice was soft and full of mirth. The sounds of an active workplace disappeared and Spencer wondered what Q was doing. “Tell me about the newest adventures of Henry, Spencer.”

“Well last Halloween Henry overheard his mom and dad talking about real life monsters, the ones I used to hunt so he decided that he wasn’t going to go trick or treating. Thankfully, his mom was able to talk him into going out just so he could try and profile who the real monsters were and who was fake.”

“Sounds adorable. So he went as an FBI agent?”

“Yes. Was even wearing a badge that proclaimed him the profiler he’d dressed up as. His favorite profiler.”

“So his mother.”

“No. Me. Little messenger bag and everything. I guess JJ had kept my badge after it was deactivated. I wasn’t aware of that until she sent me the picture. I wonder how much that it…hurt the team seeing him dressed as me.”

“I don’t know. Who is he going as this year?”

“Einstein.”

A weird sound floated down the comms and Spencer sat up straighter on his bed and listened harder. The sound from Bond’s comm got louder and then there were voices. None of them Bond. Spanish floated down the comm and Spencer closed his laptop and started to pack up everything. There were mission essentials that had to go with them and all fit inside the backpack that Bond had in his suitcase. Tech that couldn’t fall into the wrong hands. The two laptops were slotted into their padded and bullet resistant pockets. Kit cases were tucked into theirs. Spencer stripped out of his suit jacket and pulled his holster from his own suitcase. His revolver was slipped into one side whilst Bond’s Walther went on the other. Ankle holster was slipped on as well, with his own Walther fitting snug inside. A few smaller pieces of tech were tucked in the bag and then Spencer pulled out his tablet. Q already had the hotel security feed loaded and the hallway outside their room was empty. Slipping his jacket back on, Spencer left the room. He kept an eye out for anyone suspicious and waited. The backpack was heavy in his hand but not from weight.

Vegas had gone belly up but it hadn’t been hard for Spencer to gas the men in the room, take what he wanted and leave. Q-branch had developed a knockout gas that a salve on the inner nose would cancel. Spencer had used the salve and made sure to breathe in only through his nose. He’d faked passing out and then when everyone else was out, he struck. No dead and no clue when they woke and the data was gone. This was going to be different.

“I can’t raise him on the comms, Reid. I have no visual in the room.”

“Is his comm still functioning?”

“Yes. I get a pingback.”

“Bloody hell!” Bond yelled over the comm. Spencer braced and waited. “I agreed to you, Mr. Vargas not your three friends. Nor did I agree to be tied up. What did you dose me with?”

Spencer’s blood ran cold. He pulled his Walther from his ankle and checked it over and made sure the safety was off and a bullet in the chamber before he started down the hall. He slipped the gun back into the holster, swapping his for Bond’s in the shoulder holster. There was no guard outside the room that meant the three in the room were most likely guards.

“Just something so that I could have a chat. Now, Samuel, what is your lover planning? Tell me and I won’t have to harm you.”

“I don’t have any clue what he has planned. David tells me nothing of his business outside of when to sit and look pretty and when to keep my mouth shut.” Bond sounded terrified but Spencer knew it was an act. He’d read the report that Bond had given about Le Chiffre. He knew what had been done to him. Samuel Peck though was weak and pretty much a pretty face. A scream sounded over the comms but Spencer waited. He hadn’t been given the cue to go.

“Bond, where are the guards?” Q asked.

“You cut me! You cut my stomach! I hope you know that I’ll be getting plastic surgery out of this and making you pay for it.” Bond’s scars that been covered by fake skin since the start of the mission. He looked flawless. Another scream. “And you three there hiding by the door, you are just going to let him do this to me?”

“Reid, get ready for infiltration,” Q warned.

Spencer crouched at the door and pulled the slim lock pick set from his backpack. He pried the box off the card readers and clipped a bit of plastic free from the wire before clipping a small alligator clip over the exposed wires. Next he slid a blank card into the lock. The program silenced the beep that would sound and when the light turned green, he pulled down on the handle.

“Now, Bond.” Q’s voice was calm and steady and it helped to keep Spencer calm as well.

Bond screamed again to be let go. It covered the sound of the door opening and then Spencer slipped a foot forward to keep the door from shutting and freeing up his hand. He rested said hand on the gun inside his jacket.

“I know that your lover is here to steal my weapons. What did he think that letting me have you would distract me enough to let him rob me blind?”

“I don’t know anything! Please, he just pays me!”

That was the code. Spencer stood up and slipping into the room. The three guards were standing just in front of him. There was no way to kill all three of them with the gun without risking getting killed himself or Bond killed. He relaxed his hand on his gun and reached back for the thin not quite metal knife that was hidden in the backpack.

One of the guards was thankfully a few steps back from the other two. Spencer slipped the backpack off for freedom of movement and then quickly stepped up, covered the man’s mouth and drew the blade across his throat in the same movement. There was no sound as the man died at Spencer’s hands. He easily laid the man down and stepped to the man to the left just as he started to move forward. Stepping back, Spencer went after the man on the right. He repeated the movement. The third guard had stepped up and handed over a strip of cloth before stepping back into Spencer’s waiting arms. The third man was dispatched as easily as the first two. He waited though. Vargas was wholly interested in Bond. The man hadn’t noticed a thing.

Bond’s gaze flicked back and forth between Spencer and Vargas. Spencer let the blade rest in his hand and drew the revolver with his free hand, raising it and then bringing it down onto Vargas’s head. The man crumpled with a satisfied thump off the side of the bed. Bond twisted his hands and the rope binding him to the bed slid off. Spencer grabbed the cloth and tossed it at the older man, letting him use it to try and staunch the flow of blood from the cuts on his stomach.

“Get him tied up while I dress,” Bond said as he slipped from the bed.

It didn’t take long to tie Vargas onto the bedpost. Once Bond was dressed he found a small bottle of lube and tossed it to Spencer.

“It was the only substance he used on me. I didn’t think anything of him using gloves to prep me because other marks have demanded I use gloves when I prep them. I really didn’t think a thing of it.”

Spencer slipped the lube into backpack as he handed over Bond’s gun to him. Bond crouched and found his holster in the backpack. The man slipped it on before holstering the gun and putting his jacket back on.

“Go get ours things. We’ll get what we need and leave. Hopefully no more guards come in that time. Leave the pack.”

Spencer nodded and slipped out. Thankfully he’d not got blood on his clothes. His hands had been easy to wipe down with the bedclothes in the room.

“I have no eyes on more guards making their way to you, Reid. But please be quick. Bond is pissed and he’ll more than likely kill Vargas and try and find the data we need than to wait for the man to break.”

“Right.” Spencer quickly packed up everything. Making sure to put Bond’s shaving kit back exactly as he’d seen the man unpack it the first night.

“Now, Vargas, why don’t you tell me what I want to know?” Bond asked over the comms. Spencer cursed and started to pack up even quicker. He had his suitcase packed and Bond’s and was slipping their bespoke suits into the garment bag when he heard the first telltale sign of a punch landing.

By the time that Spencer reentered the room, Vargas was spilling all the secrets. Q recorded every utterance and then when he was done, Bond put a bullet in his brain.

When they were flying home to London, Spencer thought about how much he’d changed. If he’d have been asked to join an agency like MI6 before him and Aaron, he would have balked. Introspection into his life on the team had hardened him in ways that his team wouldn’t have liked. He was happy where he was and very happy that there was a great deal of distance between them.

XxXxXxX

“So, Morgan’s on a warpath,” Dave said as he stepped into Aaron’s office and pulled the door shut. The lock clicked and that brought Aaron’s full attention onto the older man. “Jessica stopped by with Jack. I know that we were able to get Morgan to look elsewhere for Reid’s reason for leaving but…Jack let something slip today it seems.”

“What did he say?”

“That he missed Uncle Spencer. That he wished that he hadn’t had to leave but he understood. It was just a throwaway comment but Morgan latched onto it. Jack then said that he even missed Beth but he understood that as well. Morgan went to Garcia and I don’t even want to know what he found.”

There was a knock at the door and Aaron stood up to open it. The entire team was standing there, Garcia included, with laptop. She looked stricken. It had been a little over a month since Vegas. He wasn’t shocked that it hadn’t taken long at all for Morgan to figure it out.

“Sir, I…I’m on my personal laptop but I’ve been hacked.” Garcia turned the laptop around and Aaron was looking at a young man with mussed up hair and a pair of glasses. All that could be seen of his clothes was a cardigan and a tie. He did not look happy at all.

“Don’t worry; I won’t be hacking into the FBI. I’ve been warned that it’s not nice when it’s not for an op. So, why don’t we have this conversation where everyone can see me?” The British accent threw Aaron a little. Who would want to hack Garcia’s personal computer but not the FBI? Garcia moved forward and placed the laptop on Aaron’s desk and the team stood around in a semi-circle. “That’s better.”

“Who are you?”

“My name is unimportant. Miss Garcia, never try again to hack into Doctor Reid’s financials and other things, please. While the world may remember The Black Queen in fondness, many in our circles would not like to know that she now works for the FBI. I am assuming that someone on the team finally put together Robert’s words and have traced Doctor Reid’s previous lover.”

“Who are you?” Aaron looked at Garcia and she shook her head. She had no clue.

“My real name is unimportant. Miss Garcia would know me only as Q.” The gasp that brought from the tech told Aaron that she did know who he was.

“You disappeared a few years ago for a while and then came back. You’ve always been selective in the targets you cripple.”

“Cripple?” Dave asked.

“Oh. Yes. I can do a lot of damage to anything that I want while still in bed. I was serious, Garcia. You don’t touch Doctor Reid’s anything online. I have many things set up that will protect him and I don’t think that you want my counter measures to cripple the FBI. This includes Professor Reid.”

“Wouldn’t this have more weight with Reid’s guard dog at your back?” Aaron asked. Q only smiled a deadly smile and turned to look at him.

“Oh Robert is with Spencer now. And Agent Hotchner, I would have thought by now that you’d be more scared of those who choose to do their attacking with their minds. Robert is a wonderful guard dog as you call him but me? I’m the poison that you don’t know you are taking in disguised as something you love. I’m aware that you may have a good idea of exactly what Robert’s job is with David Rossi’s contacts so remember this, there are eleven others and they, they love me and will do anything I want. Agents Morgan, Jareau. Spencer chose to leave to make himself happy. As much as he detests what happened, he doesn’t want retribution whether it’s done by him or in his name. You figure out how to live with what you know. He is a grown adult.”

“Then why are you fighting this battle for him?” Morgan demanded.

“Because he’s away on a mission right now and it’s not the time for personal things to bother it. Robert needed support in the field and I sent Spencer to him. Good day.” The screen blinked and the computer shut down.

“I…I think,” Dave started only to stop and sigh. “I think we all just met the infamous Quartermaster of MI6.” Dave looked shell shocked.

“Let them in young do they?” Morgan asked.

“Q has been an online presence for nearly twenty five years. I… he had to have been under ten before he started hacking.”

“So Spencer level genius in tech where he was written word?” JJ asked.

“What exactly did you do?” Blake asked.

“I was looking at online transactions. Looking for anything that could prove what Morgan thought was wrong. He’s wrong isn’t he?” Garcia asked, turning to look at Aaron.

“No.” Aaron wasn’t going to lie. He’d told himself that when the team wanted to know he would tell them.

“What the fuck, Hotch?” Morgan demanded to know. A chime on the phone in the agent’s pocket distracted him for only a few seconds before he looked back at Aaron. “You…you seriously kept him a fucking secret from Jack?”

“Yes. I’ve discussed with Jack and while he’s not exactly the happiest, I made him understand that it wasn’t him and it wasn’t Spencer. It was always me and my insecurities. I feel horrible for what I did, I just couldn’t accept what I wanted and it ruined me. Beth found out. Jack knew long before. He’d try and wait up to see Spencer but he always fell asleep or Spencer wouldn’t come over those nights. He wanted to know why I was taking Beth places and never did Spencer. He asked this of Jessica and Beth, wanting to understand.” Aaron sighed and sat down. “My reasonings are my own and they hold no bearing on the team. If Spencer ever decides to talk to me again, I’ll explain them to him and no one else.”

Morgan’s phone chimed again and then started to chime even more. It sounded like near a hundred messages came in. He finally pulled his phone out. His eyes widened and then he frowned.

“It’s from that weird fellow. Telling me not to touch Hotch. When I didn’t reply he spammed my phone with shit.” Morgan moved to slip his phone back down in his pocket but before he could it started to ring with an incoming call. “Blocked number. Derek Mo…” Eyes wide, Morgan listened to whoever was on the other end. He pulled it away and Aaron heard what he swore was the sound of a sniper rifle firing. Morgan clicked over to speaker phone. A second shot went off. “Reid?”

“Still here, Morgan. Q told me he just talked to you all.”

“Where exactly are you?” Morgan asked.

“Ass end of none of your business,” Robert called from the background.

“Hush.” There was a sound of fondness in Spencer’s voice as he said the word. “I’ll be in the States in two weeks. One week in Vegas getting some legal things done for mom and the second is a vacation in DC, closing up some final things and having the rest of my stuff…” A pause and another shot went off. “sent over to my flat. We can meet and talk.”

“Will Robert be with you?”

“Not unless he needs to be.” Another shot went off and then the sounds of a rifle being taken apart sounded over the phone. “Five for five. Not bad. Anyway, when I get home I’ll text you my new phone number. It’s always going to show up as blocked when I call though. JJ, I’ll let you have the exact days when I have them narrowed down. I’d like to see Henry.” There was sounds of a running and the phone cut out for a few seconds and then the sound of hand gun fire. “Extraction is late. I’ve got to go.”

Morgan just stared at his phone while the rest of the team just stared. While it was obvious that Robert had been the one firing the gun, Spencer had been there. Five shots. Five dead people. Aaron wondered if he’d turned him that hard.

“MI6? I…that wasn’t on my radar. Five maybe,” Morgan said. He pocketed his phone and turned to look at the team. “We will discuss this. Later. Not here.”

“Of course.” Aaron knew that the team would want to air grievances. While Q had said that Robert and those like him adored Q, there was the unspoken bit that Spencer was Robert’s and the Double Os seemed like a bunch that would protect family.

The team left the office and Aaron took the rest of the day off. He was sitting down at a park when he got a text. Blocked number.

Does Jack like Harry Potter? It had to be Spencer.

Yes. We haven’t started the books yet but he likes the movies.

I’ll get another set for Jack then. Any other books you would like me to bring to him?

Aaron leaned over and let his head rest on his hands as they cupped his phone. Spencer had always bought books for Jack. Ever since he was a baby. Since he’d left the team no books had come. If this was the only contact that Spencer wanted. He’d live with it. He wondered though why Spencer hadn’t texted Morgan and said that he’d wait until he got home to do it.

He was talking the other day about a book series called the Seventh Tower and Keys to the Kingdom. I haven’t had the chance to see if they are something for a kid to read.

Spencer always read the books before he gave them over once Jack had started to read chapter books. Aaron trusted his word that if he sent the books, Jack could read them.

Once I get back to London I’ll have the day off. I’ll see what I can find at the store. Are signed copies of the Harry Potter books okay?

Of course. I think he’ll like that. Do you want to give them to him in person?

I’ll text you the day I can meet up with him and Jessica.

He knows about the relationship. He’ll want to talk to you about it. Aaron wasn’t going to let Jack blindside Spencer.

That’s fine.

Aaron didn’t know what to answer to that. He expected Spencer to want to know what he had told him. He didn’t realize how much he’d miss just talking to the younger man. About even just job related things.

How is your mom doing with you in London?

It took a while to adjust. Doctor Norman thinks that he might have her ready to start using email to write me. I can’t send letters when I am out on missions so I have to save them up and send at once and she gets worried. I can do short emails through Q to mom when in the field. I’ll miss handwriting but maybe that it something I can pick up with Henry. A few seconds later another message came through. Or Jack.

Jack would love to get a letter from you even if it’s just one every few months.

Maybe we can talk books. Then I could write him more.

Aaron wondered what exactly extraction meant. He wondered if he was in a car, train, plane, or helicopter. He’d never imagined Spencer in a higher risk job. His scores at the academy had been miserable but he’d been young and unused to anything physical. He’d often wondered how the genius had done in gym class in high school. Being six years younger than the other kids and then in college it wasn’t required so it was no wonder that he’d been horrible at it.

Whatever you want, Spencer. Aaron sighed and closed his eyes. He looked at the on screen keyboard and sighed again. I am truly sorry about how things ended with us. It wasn’t what I wanted to happen. I don’t know exactly what I wanted to happen but that was not it. I’m sorry I made you feel like less than what you are. I’m sorry that it drove you from DC and the Bureau. I am sorry that I ever made you feel like a dirty secret.

You were not the whole of the reason for me leaving. I loved my job and I probably would have stayed, despite you. It was a little bit of everything. Like did you know that while I am not as good as Garcia but I do know my way around a computer? Many who have known me for years take me not wanting to use a computer to read as meaning that I don’t like computers. I can read at a fast enough rate that most e-readers and tablets can’t keep up. Why limit myself to be fashionable? I didn’t have people in my personal life that I needed to email outside of the team so why have a personal email? Robert set me up with one two months after I started here.

I didn’t know that the team thought that. You have a degree in engineering. Chemistry. Mathematics. All of those would have something to do with a computer at some point in your education. Your continued journal submissions and proof work would need it as well.

And I don’t know if you knew but the night before your marathon, JJ, Garcia, and Prentiss went out. She got a neighbor to watch Henry. She told me that she didn’t want me to give up my plans, even though I told her that I had none.

It was just words on the screen but he could feel the hurt in them. He hadn’t realized that JJ hadn’t let Spencer watch him.

I know that it’s not my fault but I am sorry about that.

If things had been different between us, if we’d not been lovers, would you have trusted me with Jack?

If we were in town and Jessica couldn’t watch him, yes. That was never in question. And to Aaron it wasn’t. He trusted Spencer with Jack. Spencer would never hurt Jack or allow him to get hurt. He’d seen the child care and delivery books that the younger man had read before and after work while JJ had been pregnant.

Imagine I’m glass. A few things before you put small, almost too small to see cracks in me. Being with you fixed a few but you…you shattered me. Made all of them worse. I was still there. The cracks hadn’t reached the edge. Things kept piling on and then at the wedding I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was leave the BAU or start taking dilaudid again.

Aaron stopped at those words. he thought back over the year between their end and when Spencer left. The whole of the team had been focused on the return of JJ and Prentiss. Spencer had drifted farther and farther to the edges and no one had noticed it. Aaron had made it a plan to never notice anything to do with him. He’d made his choice and while it hurt, Aaron could never be what Spencer wanted him to be.

I’m glad you didn’t. I don’t think that I could have lived with that knowledge. That I’d pushed you that far.

I’m not ready to have the talk that we need to. I want to have that one face to face but I’m glad that you and Jack talked. I have a little more time before I have to shut off my phone. I’m sure that Rossi has figured out who Q is. He has entirely too many friends from his years in the business.

Called him MI6’s Quartermaster.

And Robert is not my boyfriend. That was just mission but he’s very overprotective. Think of him like a very overprotective brother.

And that is none of my business anymore. He certainly played smug well.

Smug is his way of life. He’s interested in someone else and is very much a philanderer when it comes to relationships that are not job related.

Aaron smiled. That was a word that Spencer would use to describe someone. He was typing out his response when his phone buzzed again.

Extraction is here. sreid@omnitech.org is my email. I’m sure that you can set Jack up with a Gmail or Hotmail account or something. Bye.

Be safe. Text when you get home please.

Aaron waited five minutes but nothing came back. He locked his phone and slid it in his pocket. There was no way to get back to where they had been but he hoped that one day he and Spencer could consider themselves friends. He really hoped so. He knew he’d messed up. He hadn’t been thinking and had for once in his life hadn’t followed his actions to the conclusion.

The sun was setting when Aaron got home. Jessica was sitting on the couch with Jack, watching a movie.

“Hey, buddy. Do you want to set up an email account?”

“Why?” Jack asked

“Well, Uncle Spencer gave me an email address for him so that you and he could email back and forth to talk about books. He’s also going to look into the books you asked me about and maybe get them for you.”

“Can we do it now?” Jack jumped up off the couch and ran towards Aaron’s office. By the time he and Jessica got in there, Jack had the computer started up and set to his profile.

“No matter whatever else you are, Aaron. You are a wonderful father. Just remember that.” Jessica kissed his cheek and bade her goodbyes to Jack. Aaron settled down in the second chair behind Jack. Aaron agreed with her. He might have been a bad husband and an asshole for what he had done to Spencer but he loved his son and he’d make sure to be the best father he could be.
The End

Secret Agent Genius-Holly

by rivermoon1970