Title: The Ache for Something More
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Genre: Drama, Established Relationship, First Time, Het, Hurt/Comfort, Menage or More, Slash
Relationship(s): Aaron Hotchner/Haley Hotchner, Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid, Haley Hotchner/Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid/Haley Hotchner
Content Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Violence – Graphic, Canon Drug Use, Discussion of Canon Typical Cases, Canon Torture
Beta: Alpha-greeneyesblue, Beta-ScarsLikeVelvet
Word Count: 244,735
Summary: After rescuing Spencer Reid from the hands of Charles Hankel, Aaron invites him to live with him and his family. It starts a journey that none of them were prepared for but none of them want to let go of either.
Aaron looked down at the phone as it rang. He didn’t know the number, and for once, he debated not answering it. Haley was puttering around the kitchen, working on dinner, and Jack was playing in there with her. Aaron pressed a kiss to the top of Spencer’s head, where he was lying on Aaron and reading. It wasn’t exactly the most fun-filled Friday that they had got onto, but it was cool outside and rainy and so very not worth going out into it. Aaron was more than content to stay inside.
The phone stopped ringing and picked up again right where it left off. Aaron pushed forward, Spencer leaning up some so he could grab it.
“Hotchner,” Aaron said into the phone.
Aaron listened with a close ear as the woman was talking. He knew the names, but he had no clue why he was being asked to go to Boston. Aaron looked at the TV and knew that it was probably just the fact that he was the only person who Tom Shaunessy felt like he could talk to on his deathbed.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can get a flight,” Aaron said. He hung up when he got the address that he needed. He repeated the address and felt Spencer nod his head as he reached over to start to write it down.
“Aaron?” Spencer asked.
“An old officer from Boston wants to talk to me before he dies. I need to go.”
“Did you want me to come?” Spencer asked.
“No. Stay here. I’ll fly up and back tonight. Save me a plate, and I’ll eat it before I go to bed. You’ll sleep with her tonight?”
“Sure.” Spencer sat up so that Aaron could get off of the couch before he scooted up and laid down again to read. Aaron tipped his head so that they could kiss. Spencer kissed his back with fervor, and Aaron loved it. There was no bit of hesitance at all in this. It had been a year, almost. Monday was a year since the day they had talked, but Aaron was okay with pushing their actual anniversary to another date that was a little more indicative of them thinking and agreeing. He was more than okay with that. They just hadn’t sat down yet and talked it out. Spencer would probably go for the twenty-third, but Aaron was okay with a few after that. Haley would be the divider on that.
“I’ll not take anything with me since I am not staying the night.”
Spencer nodded his head, and Aaron noticed that he was on his phone. Aaron couldn’t see what he was doing.
“Flight leaves in just over an hour. I’ll get you booked on it. Guns?”
“Yes. Both of my standards.”
“Good. Go.” Spencer turned his face for a deeper kiss, and then he was getting up and heading into the office.
Aaron found Haley in the kitchen, and she ushered him out with a few kisses and a promise that food would be waiting on him when he got back. There were a lot of flights to and from Boston, so it wouldn’t be hard for him to get one back.
The flight to and from Boston was quick. He barely stayed in Boston before heading home to DC, but he didn’t go home. He texted both Haley and Spencer to tell them that something had come up and he needed to go into work. Aaron found what he was looking for. Garcia in her office. He told her what he needed before going to his office. The night passed in a blur, and then it was morning.
Aaron waited all weekend for the news to break about Tom Shaunessy, but it didn’t until late on Sunday. Then it was just a waiting game on everything that was happening.
Monday dawned, and Aaron felt like his skin was crawling. It was the twenty-third. Haley had dinner planned, and Spencer had slept with them the night before. It should have been a wonderful morning, full of fun in the bed before heading into work, but today was not meant to be that. Aaron couldn’t settle. He ran with Spencer a few steps behind him. Spencer knew that something was up, but he didn’t ask what it was, he didn’t demand anything. Haley knew and told him that she would be there when he was ready.
Then they were heading to Boston.
Aaron dropped down onto the couch, alone in the house other than the cats. Haley had gone shopping with Jack, and Spencer had gone over to see JJ and Henry. Aaron knew that Spencer wanted to do it so that he was there and focused on Aaron for the rest of the time, and Aaron loved him for that. It was also why Haley had gone out shopping on the day that she usually didn’t. Her routine was off, but she had been easy to get out of the house. Aaron’s guilt over the dead on the bus was long gone, but Aaron just felt emotionally drained. There was no anger, that was long gone as well. Aaron knew that he needed to be happy that they knew who the Boston Reaper was, but he just wasn’t sure that it was worth it, really. The Reaper was going to live out his life in prison. He was going to live while his victims, all of them, were still dead and their families left devastated.
Sleep came almost too easy with Aaron being home. He tipped himself onto his side and let the world just disappear.
The smell of cooking meat pulled Aaron away from his sleep. He tried to move but found that someone was in front of him. He opened his eyes to see that it was Haley. She had laid down with him. Beyond her, Jack was playing on the floor with a pile of blocks. There were sounds in the kitchen, so that had to be Spencer cooking whatever was smelling really good. Aaron could tell now that the meat was pork. There were a few dishes that Spencer liked to make, but this was not one that Aaron had smelled before. It was a good smell, though, something tangy and sweet about it.
“How are you feeling?” Haley asked.
“Tired, so very tired, Hales.”
Haley rolled over, Aaron bracing her to make sure that she didn’t fall down. She kissed him as soon as she was close enough. Aaron allowed it, drowning himself in a passionate kiss that did nothing to arouse him. He was okay with that. He didn’t feel the want for that, he was too tired, too emotionally unbalanced, but the kissing, the intimacy felt wonderful.
“Dinner!” Spencer called out a while later.
Haley grinned at Aaron before she got off of the couch and held out a hand to Aaron to help him up. Aaron pulled her close and kissed her again, tasting her mouth before he let her go. He was feeling better, a hell of a lot better than he had been before.
Dinner smelled wonderful, and when Aaron entered the kitchen, he saw that it was some kind of rice dish. There was a bowl of brown rice on the table and then another larger bowl that had pork, pineapple, onion, peppers, and mushrooms in it.
“Sweet and sour pork. Anderson gave me the recipe after he shared his lunch with me one day when some asshole ate mine from the fridge. He had brought two days worth with him.”
Aaron grabbed the fork from the table and snagged a bite of pineapple, tasting it. It did taste really good. He smiled at Spencer. The table was set for them to sit down. Jack even had a plate of food already sitting ready for him. Jack came running in and waited for Spencer to get him into the booster seat at the table. It was something normal.
“Drinks?” Haley asked.
“Water,” Aaron and Spencer said at the same time.
Haley grabbed glasses for all of them and filled them with water and milk for Jack.
Aaron dug into his food as he was starved. He listened to Jack talking with Spencer and just enjoyed being around them all. He didn’t want to drag them all down, but he was more than willing to just listen. He was sure that Haley and Spencer understood because neither of them bothered him. When the food was mostly gone, and Aaron was full, he started to clean up, pressing Spencer and Haley down into their chairs. Jack wasn’t a horrible mess as he could have been, but there was rice on the floor around his chair. Aaron did let Spencer clean that up. Haley worked on cleaning up Jack.
They made a good team, and it broke the mood that Aaron had been in since arriving in Boston. Aaron snagged Spencer after he cleaned out the rag he had been using into the trash before tossing it into the sink. Aaron wrapped his arms around Spencer and drew him into a kiss that didn’t stay chaste for long at all.
“Sleepy,” Jack said. He yawned loud enough that even Aaron could hear it. Aaron broke the kiss and looked at Jack to see that the boy did seem very tired. That would mean an early morning wake up, but Aaron could easily handle that.
“Then let’s get you to bed,” Aaron said before he pulled Spencer in for another kiss before letting him go. Aaron dropped a kiss on Haley’s lips as he pulled Jack from her hold. Jack wrapped his arms around Aaron’s neck, and then they started across the kitchen and up to the bedrooms. Jack wanted down to tuck in his doll before he wanted to get into his own pajamas. He grabbed the book that he had been reading to Jack and settled in on the bed. Jack’s Christmas present had been a new big boy bed that was red and blue like Spider-man and Superman. The bed was big enough that Aaron could slip into it with him, and Jack still had more than enough room for his collection of stuffed animals that were on the side pressed against the wall.
The bed was messier than Aaron would have ever been allowed to keep his bed, but Jack was good at helping when it was time to change sheets. He always grabbed his animals off the bed and then put them back after whoever changed the sheets was done. It was nice that Jack had a room that was all his, though. Where he could do what he wanted as long as he kept it mostly clean. Jack was good at not liking a lot of things on the floor anyway so Haley could easily run the vacuum in there.
Jack was asleep before Aaron even got halfway through the chapter that he was reading. He left the night light on and then slipped out of the bedroom, shutting the door most of the way. He found Haley and Spencer in bed. Haley was just sitting down when Aaron entered the room while Spencer was reading a book. It was way too early for any of them to be going to bed. Aaron just watched them for a few minutes, though. Haley was rubbing lotion on her arms and hands. Aaron knew that she did that a few times a day during winter when the cold and wind was too much and tried to crack her skin. She drank plenty of water, so that wasn’t an issue on that front.
Spencer looked up at him after a few minutes, probably noticing that he had eyes on him. Spencer slipped the book to the nightstand that he was sharing with Aaron. Haley’s was full of various things that she used, so Aaron’s had more room to fit Spencer’s glasses case as well as a book. Spencer was already in his glasses, contacts were in the bathroom. Holding out a hand, Spencer coaxed Aaron into bed. Aaron stepped forward and allowed Spencer to get him into the middle of the bed before he straddled him. Spencer was already naked, and it took no time at all to get Aaron down to nothing as well. Haley’s was a single T-shirt that was quick to remove.
Aaron grinned up at Spencer before tugging him down for a kiss. Aaron felt Haley start to kiss down his back before he felt slick fingers brush his hole. Aaron moaned into the kiss with Spencer, letting Haley know that he was more than ready for that. Aaron felt like he was going to break, and he wanted to hold on for as long as possible before doing so. Haley got him ready quickly before Spencer was pushing Aaron up and flipped them on the bed. Aaron watched as Haley rolled a condom down Spencer’s cock. Aaron was all for that, no clean up was best when they were all as tired as they seemed.
Spencer didn’t push inside of Aaron as soon as the condom was done, he dropped down and kissed Aaron. Aaron wrapped his legs around Spencer’s waist and held him tightly there as the kiss turned into something that was wonderfully dirty. Aaron rocked up into Spencer, trying to get him to move it along when Spencer broke the kiss and reached down to hold his cock steady as he finally started to push into Aaron. Spencer gasped when he was entirely inside of him, and Aaron looked to see that Haley was still behind him. Spencer might not like having a cock inside of him, but they had found that he loved having his prostate gently massaged. Haley had gotten that down while giving him blow jobs.
“You feel so good,” Spencer said as he gave into kissing Aaron again. Aaron brought Spencer down to where his cock was getting rubbed by Spencer’s body as he thrust into him.
“You feel better,” Aaron whispered into Spencer’s ear when they broke to take a breath.
Haley dropped down onto the bed and pushed her face close, kissing Spencer before she kissed Aaron. Spencer came a few thrusts later, and he dropped to the bed after he had shrunk down enough to slip out of Aaron easily. The condom was disposed of, and Spencer watched as Aaron wrapped an arm around Haley to flip them. Aaron pushed into her with no problem, finding her wet like he knew that he would. She loved watching, and her preference was to always see them going at and then getting hers. Aaron and Spencer were both more than willing to indulge her in that when they could. There were days though that Aaron wanted to be buried inside of her as soon as he could get it.
“Fuck,” Haley gasped as Aaron found a rhythm that he liked, fucking her hard and fast. He was chasing the last of his demons away, and it felt good. He slipped an arm under her and tipped her hips up to where he could get just that little bit more inside.
Spencer’s eyes were on them as they rutted together, and he stayed back until Aaron got up on his knees. Aaron ground down into her, his pelvis rubbing her just right as Spencer started to kiss her. Aaron watched as Spencer snuck a hand across and tweaked a nipple. Haley’s head shot back, and she moaned loudly before Spencer licked at her other nipple. She nearly choked on air, it seemed, with that. Aaron kept up the pace as he fucked into Haley hard and fast, pushing her up to that peak a little more with each one.
Haley came with a strangled cry as she was worked over by both of them before she dropped down onto the bed, panting. Aaron pulled out, and before he could get a hold of his cock to jerk off on her stomach, Spencer’s hand was there, using the slick from Haley to get him off fast. Aaron’s orgasm slammed into him, and the world blacked out a little, but he stopped himself from collapsing down onto Haley. He laid down on his side, watching as Spencer stopped kissing her, and then he got off of the bed.
Aaron heard Spencer making noise as he cleaned himself up in the bathroom and then came out to clean up Aaron and Haley. Aaron heard the gasp that told him that Haley was still pretty sensitive as Spencer cleaned her up. She would still have to get up and at least go pee, but for the next few minutes, she could stay cuddled on the bed with Aaron. Spencer went back to the bathroom and then came back to clean up Aaron. Spencer had a smirk on his face as he rolled Aaron away from Haley enough to clean his cock.
“One of these days, when we all aren’t worn out, I’ll use my mouth to do this,” Spencer said.
Haley laughed at the glare that Aaron gave Spencer. If he was up for that, he would tell Spencer to do it now, but he really didn’t think that even that would get him hard. He was mentally exhausted, but he needed what they had just done. He smiled at Spencer to lessen the glare, and Spencer leaned over to kiss him. Spencer left again to put up the items he had used. Haley tugged on Aaron until he was in the middle of the bed. There were not a lot of actual sides in the bed with the three of them, but Aaron stayed on the one and Haley the other unless one of them was in the middle. Spencer laid down wherever there was room ad it seemed that today Aaron was going to be the middle one. Aaron was kind of glad about that.
“Love you,” Aaron whispered into Haley’s hair as he wrapped himself around her. Aaron was glad she was on her back as he didn’t want to cuddle her back. This was so much better.
“I love you too,” Haley said back. She smiled at him and stared until she broke the look, and her eyes darted up.
Aaron felt Spencer getting into bed and getting them covered up before he pushed his face into the patch of skin between Aaron’s shoulder blades. It was one of his favorite places to cuddle Aaron. His arms worked its way across Aaron’s hips, and then his legs were pushed into Aaron’s. Spencer was clingy, and Aaron understood it all. Foyet had targeted him there at the end, and Aaron had turned him down. They had no clue what that was going to make the killer do.
“Love you both,” Spencer whispered into Aaron’s skin. Aaron and Haley said it back, and then they were all drifting off to sleep.
Spencer rolled over and pressed a kiss to the back of Aaron’s head, where he was curled around Haley. It was after midnight, and Spencer couldn’t sleep. Even the sex they had hadn’t been able to stop the swirling thoughts in his head. He used the bathroom before slipping back out of the room as a whole. He turned before shutting the door most of the way to see that Aaron and Haley were still asleep. Spencer walked down the hall and checked on Jack, who was dead to the world. His newer stuffed wolf was clutched in his arms. He was adorable as hell to Spencer, laying there and trusting in the world that his father was making for him. Jack never worried about anything, but Spencer couldn’t help it.
George Foyet had watched Tom Shaunessy for years as he lived his life with the fear that someone would find out. It wasn’t like Shaunessy could ever tell anyone. There were a lot of issues that would come from that, and it was understandable. His life was never the same, even if he was living a life with a little bit of happiness. Foyet wasn’t going to let that go. He was going to figure out a way to do it again. Foyet was also smart and well-adapted enough to change his MO and strike somewhere else and then get that promise from someone one. It would be impossible to track him in any way, shape, or form with a new MO. In fact, it was impossible to track him at all at the moment.
Entering the office, Spencer turned on the computer and logged onto the database for the FBI. He found what he was looking for, but it didn’t help him at all. He knew the case backward and forward. It was not going to help him. And yet here he was looking through it. Spencer groaned and closed it out and shut the computer down. He was worried about Aaron, but all that he could do was watch him to make sure that he did not obsess about this. That was all that either of them could do for Aaron.
The downstairs was totally silent outside of the machines in the kitchen. Spencer walked into there and turned on the water kettle so that he could make a cup of tea. He wasn’t sure if he was going to have sleep come or not, but he still found an herbal tea that he liked. Aaron loved it and that like had transferred to Spencer as it was Aaron’s go-to choice after a nightmare woke up either one of them. Spencer would almost rather that he was having a nightmare. If he was, he wouldn’t feel bad about waking up Aaron or Haley to get some attention from either one of them. A restless night wasn’t worth that. Not with Aaron getting little sleep on the case and with Haley worried about both of them.
Spencer rarely had doubts about his relationship with Aaron and Haley. Not anymore. Back in the beginning, he worried that they would get tired of the novelty of having another lover in the relationship and then go back to how it was. He didn’t worry about that anymore. Now he worried about how Haley was going to cope if she lost both of them. How she would make it through if she lost even just one of them. Haley loved them both equally yet in different ways.
It was like Spencer had filled in the gaps that had been empty around the holes in each of their hearts for each other, and in Spencer’s heart, there were two holes that were filled perfectly by Aaron and Haley. It was nice to have those holes filled, but Spencer wasn’t sure what he was going to do if he lost Aaron. Or Haley. There was every single chance that she could die in a stupid accident. Spencer knew the stats on relationships that didn’t survive the loss of a child, but he wondered what it was like for a triad who lost one of the three in it.
Losing Jack would kill all of them, Spencer was pretty sure that the relationship as a whole would never survive that. Spencer didn’t want to think about a world where Jack wasn’t fully in their lives. He didn’t want to have a life where Jack wasn’t there to crawl into his lap and demand that he get attention to help distract Spencer from the dark thoughts in his mind.
The click of the water kettle told Spencer that the water was ready. He poured some into the two cups that he had pulled down. The first had a tea bagwhile the second had a packet of hot chocolate. It wasn’t the greatest with water in it, but he could live with it as he didn’t want to warm up any milk to go with it. He grabbed both mugs and walked to the back door. He debated going out but stopped as he didn’t want to turn off the alarm. For a while, at least all of them would be more vigilant about that. Spencer didn’t want to fall asleep out there and leave the house vulnerable, so he turned around and headed toward the living room. He settled the tea down before stirring in the mix. He settled onto the couch with a sigh and looked out the front windows. The world was dark, and even in their area of DC, it was pretty quiet at this time of night. Spencer wouldn’t be shocked if there was no car down the street at all over the next while. Usually, it was him and Aaron that was coming home at all hours when the team decided to head home instead of staying in whatever city they were in for the case they were working.
The other FBI people who lived in the area worked steady jobs that had set hours. The only time they came home late was after trips with the family.
“Pen?” Jack called out.
Spencer looked around for the baby monitor, but it wasn’t there. He looked behind the couch to see that Jack had a blanket wrapped around him, and his stuffed wolf clutched in his hands. He had made it all the way down the stairs without Spencer hearing him. Lifting his mug up, Spencer drank the last of his hot chocolate before he waved Jack over. He pulled the teabag out of the other mug and dropped it into the empty one.
“Couldn’t sleep?” Spencer asked as Jack crawled up onto the couch. He tucked himself into Spencer’s side. Spencer got the blanket wrapped around Jack and his wolf before he tugged the bigger one off of the back of the couch and tossed it over the both of them. His feet were cold. Jack laid his head on Spencer’s hip and sighed, it sounded like a big sigh.
“Cuddle,” was the only word that Jack said.
Spencer laughed to himself. He went to cuddle and found that Aaron and Haley were alone in bed, so he went looking for Spencer. Jack was doing the stairs well now, but if he went to the basement, he had to call out first to make sure that Spencer was down there before he went down. Spencer wasn’t spending a lot of time in the basement anymore. He had all but moved into Aaron and Haley’s bedroom. Spencer’s clothes were still down in the basement, but there was some in the master bedroom, and Spencer restocked that from what was down in the basement.
“Yeah, it’s a good night to cuddle.” Spencer laid his head down on the back of the couch and just looked outside some more.
Foyet’s resurgence had put a halt to the plans that they had for celebrating a year since the relationship had begun in a very innocent form. Since the day that Spencer had figured it all out. It was all good, really but Spencer didn’t like it. He reached out with one arm and snagged the notepad that Haley had on the coffee table. She had started to work the menu for the next week for all of them. There were always two different plans for dinner just in case Aaron and Spencer weren’t there so there were not a lot of leftovers.
Spencer flipped to a clean page a few pages back and started to make plans for what he wanted to do for Aaron and Haley. Strauss had given them a week off after they went in the next day and finished off the paperwork for the Reaper case. She didn’t want to see them until Tuesday, she said, and everyone had taken that with full agreement. Jack would love to hang out with them for the day before dropping him off at Jessica’s for an evening at home with no chance of being disturbed. Spencer made a note at the top to text her as soon as it was time to.
Looking down, Spencer saw that Jack was already asleep. He took a sip of the tea before setting it down again. It was warm enough that he could drain the entire thing, but he wanted to savor it, no matter the temperature.
Spencer balanced the notepad on his leg and then used his now free hand to card it through Jack’s hair. It was almost time for Jack to get another haircut. Spencer wondered if Jack would mind him taking him. Jack allowed more things like that now that he was used to Spencer more. In fact, it had been a fight to have Haley be the one to take him to his last doctor’s appointment. It had ended up with Spencer tagging along since that was who Jack wanted to take him. Spencer knew that Aaron was working on the paperwork that would allow Spencer to be a third parent in all legal ways that he could be. The talk about what had happened just a few weeks before and Spencer had agreed to it with a whole heart. It felt good that they wanted him in their lives that much that they would share their son like that.
The plans for their anniversary were slowly taking shape as Spencer planned out a day of fun for all four of them before it moved down to just the three of them. Spencer wasn’t sure that he wanted any of it to end really, the three of them. He wanted them for the rest of their lives.
Spencer jolted awake and looked around. He was still on the couch with Jack tucked in at his side. He saw Haley in front of him with a smile on her face and a cup of coffee in her hand. She swapped it for the long-gone cup of tea that was on the stand. She pushed in for a kiss but said nothing. A few seconds later, Jack was being pulled up. Spencer looked to see that it was Aaron. Spencer looked at the clock on the wall to see that it was just after six. It was very early considering last night, but Spencer knew that if he fell back asleep, Aaron and Haley wouldn’t care. He didn’t want to stop and do anything else really, so getting into work and getting things done was the need. He looked at where Aaron was carrying Jack over to the recliner and settling him down into it. It was already laid back for him. Aaron tucked the blankets around the boy with a fond look on his face.
“He wake you up?” Haley asked.
“No. I was already down here. He woke up and wanted to cuddle, though. He went to the bedroom, and I assume that he saw I was gone, so he went looking for me. We cuddled until we both fell asleep.” Spencer looked for the notepad, and it was still near him. It was pressed between his knee and the couch. Spencer lifted it up and ripped out the sheet that he needed before slipping the pen back into it and laid it on the coffee table.
“Breakfast is nearly ready, drink your coffee.” Haley kissed him again and then slipped away.
Spencer looked at Aaron, who looked at Spencer with a fond look on his face. Aaron walked over to sit down beside him on the couch. Spencer grabbed the coffee and took a sip to find that it was the perfect temperature to just drink it down. He did.
“Here turn around,” Aaron said.
“Huh?” Spencer asked. He sat up straighter, and his neck hurt. He had slept in such a horrible position, and it was then that he realized what Aaron wanted him to do. Spencer pulled the sleep shirt he had slipped on off and turned to where his back was to Aaron. Aaron’s hands were sure as they touched him all over and tried to figure out just where the worst of the offenders were as far as his sore muscles were. Aaron found one large knot and worked on it before he just rubbed at Spencer’s neck for a few minutes. It was the same thing back and forth, Aaron worked on the knot before going to another spot that was in less need. He was happy that Aaron’s hands were so good at this. Spencer loved it when Aaron did this. It made him feel good. It made him feel like he was cherished. Spencer had returned the favor, letting Aaron teach him on Haley but also using what little he had learned on Aaron as well after a long day at the office sitting in a chair.
“How do you feel now?” Aaron asked as the oven timer went off.
“Much better. Thank you. I didn’t mean to fall asleep like that. I’m getting too old for that kind of stuff.”
Aaron laughed and pressed a kiss where the worst knot had been. He moved over to allow Spencer to get up before he got up as well, his hand settling on Spencer’s lower back for a few seconds before it gripped Spencer’s arm to turn him around.
“I say we skip running today and just relax before going into the office. How does that sound?”
“Really good.” Spencer found where he had tossed his shirt and slipped it back on. Aaron gave him a little pouting look. “I am not going around half-naked with how cool it still is outside. I’ll run around the bedroom like that later if you want but not right now.”
“I’ll hold you to that, Spencer.”
“Good.” Spencer grabbed the coffee cup before wandering toward the kitchen to find where the coffee was so that he could get more. He didn’t get anywhere near enough sleep last night, but a little more coffee, and he thought he would be fine.
“Hungry?” Haley asked.
Getting ready to head into the office didn’t take much time at all. They left early so that they could leave even earlier. They only have the paperwork for the case to finish, but Spencer also knew that Aaron would have more paperwork to do that he would need to get done before days off, and some of it might go home with him. It wasn’t a lot, but still, it would help Aaron when he felt a little too much like he was slacking on the job even though they were days off. It hadn’t taken long for Spencer to learn that once he had paid attention to what Aaron was really doing when he disappeared for an hour or two every once in a while when they were off for more than two days at a time.
The news was on in the bullpen when Spencer pulled himself out of the files that he was working on. It was the station that they watched when they wanted countrywide news instead of just local to DC or international.
“Hotch!” Morgan yelled out, and Spencer turned to figure out what had the man acting like he was. Then he saw the news.
George Foyet had escaped the Boston jail that he had been held in.
“JJ, get us everything that you can that was in the house,” Spencer said as he grabbed his phone and started to dial the number of the cop he had made friends within Boston while working the case. Normally, the BAU would have still been there, but it had been decided that they could go home and finish things out after everything. Boston PD had it all in hand, and they wanted to have a little bit of pride in what they were doing after the stain that Foyet had left on their city. Spencer could totally understand that, and he applauded them.
“You got it, Reid,” JJ said.
The number just rang, so Spencer left a message to call him as soon as he could to discuss the case. Spencer had thought that Foyet was going to use his place in prison to find someone new to jerk around, but it seemed that it was a bit more than that. There was no way that this wasn’t planned. Spencer had no clue what they had missed.
“Ma’am,” Aaron said loud enough in the bullpen to draw all eyes.
“I know that I promised you all time off, but given the new situation, the fugitive retrieval squad needs help finding Foyet.” Strauss looked grim as she stood there and looked at Aaron. “I would like all teams to help as much as possible in going over everything. I’ve already called to get all evidence that is not directly linked to the crime driven down here. It will be here before the close of the day, so take the day and get some rest. Tomorrow we will look for this bastard.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Aaron said.
Spencer put a hold on the plans that he had for their anniversary. Foyet was loose and going to come after someone. They had to find him first.
Haley knew long before the boys got home that something was wrong. Aaron and Spencer had not texted her at all during the course of the day. That was something that just really didn’t happen when they were working in the office, especially after a case and with the long weekend that they had been granted after working the case in Boston. Haley wondered just how horrible it really was. Aaron had been a little cagey the night before, and Spencer had been more cautious than he usually was. Hell, Spencer had been the one to check everything after they had finished up in the bedroom. Haley hadn’t been too worried, but now she was. She tried to remember what they had said about the case. The killer had been caught, and that was all that Haley knew.
The news turned on for the mid-afternoon with an update on a special bulletin that had come up that morning. Jack was down for a nap, so Haley took it off of mute and settled in to watch.
“The manhunt for George Foyet has been underway since the man escaped from jail last night in Boston.”
Haley dropped the remote. Boston. She lunged forward to grab the remote and turn the volume up.
“Reports have not come in yet on how Foyet escaped, but the Boston Police Department have been in contact with the FBI’s Fugitive Retrieval Squad as well as the BAU. It was the BAU who caught the man who used to be known as the Boston Reaper just yesterday in Boston after he came back after a ten-year hiatus and started to kill again. The BAU has not made a statement yet. We will keep you updated as we find out more information.” The screen swapped back to a local newscaster.
“And that’s the latest update in what is shaping up to be one of the largest manhunts in recent years as Boston grinds to a halt to deal with the escaping of their biggest serial killer in recent years.”
Haley felt her heart in her throat. She looked at the front door before dashing over to it and locking the deadbolt. She set the alarm as well. It was just on the windows and doors, but it was better than nothing. At least now she knew why Aaron and Spencer hadn’t texted her at all. They were probably dealing with whatever was needed to get the manhunt going. It probably also meant that the manhunt was going to cause them to not have a long weekend. Strauss was good for it, though, about making sure that the team had the downtime that they needed so they might just get it next week. There were a lot of things that were racing through her brain.
The license to carry a weapon for her had gone through, and Haley kept up the required hours in a shooting range, usually going with Aaron on the weekend at some point. Spencer was all for staying with Jack while they did it, and usually the next weekend, Spencer went with Aaron. Haley had a small handgun in the safe in the bedroom. She had asked for it after Aaron had joined SWAT and had just never felt the need to not have a gun near her when it could be needed. Now that there was Jack, hiding and running was the best option as Jack would probably not be quiet. Though he had been around with them to one family visit to the shooting range that Aaron preferred and with the ear covers made for kids, he seemed to be fine with the suddenness of the loud noises.
“Fuck,” Haley said as she walked toward the stairs to go up and grab the gun to check it over. Aaron had a few in there were his. There was another in the safe that Haley hadn’t seen in three years. She picked it up and looked at it. It was the same serial number and everything. Haley had figured that Aaron had sold it. It had been his backup piece for the job, one that he could carry on his own even though it wasn’t a full standard issue gun.
Haley pulled her gun out as well as the cleaning supplies from the lower shelf of the gun safe. It was a lot bigger than a normal one, but then Aaron had more than two guns that he kept in there. Some were personal items that Haley was sure he only cared for because they were something of a sentimental hold for him. Haley looked at the gun that had reappeared and frowned. It wasn’t on the shelf with Aaron’s guns. No, it was laying right beside Spencer’s backup revolver. That had been something that Aaron had bought for Spencer at Christmas just to make sure that he had one here that stayed here, just in case. Spencer’s newer standard gun was with him at the moment, but there was a spot for it. The revolver had been something that Aaron had fought to get Spencer approved to carry. He had so many issues with the Glock, and he never really fired enough to need a bigger clip all that needed.
Haley tried to remember the last time that she had seen Aaron with that gun, and it was about a year and a half after Spencer had joined the team.
The team had gone to Des Plaines, and Haley knew that Aaron had been worried since Spencer had failed his re-qualification for his gun and had to wait two weeks to take it again. There hadn’t been a lot that Aaron said about the case other than Spencer had saved his life in an ER. She tried to think about after that, but it was around then that Aaron had not brought the gun home. She tried to remember the name of the guy that they had gone after, but that name was gone.
Another story came to mind though about Spencer shooting a guy in the head because if he hadn’t got a headshot, the man could have had a death spasm and killed a lot of people when Spencer and Aaron had been taken hostage in an ER. The shot had been made with Aaron’s backup gun while Spencer had been bound and just beaten. It had been a story that Haley had overheard Aaron telling to another agent at a party that they had gone to. Spencer had been brought up, and Aaron had been defensive. It had been before everything had been cemented, and they were a triad. That had to be the case, the man in the ER had to have been the one that Spencer shot and afterward, Aaron had given him the gun as a reminder of some kind. That Spencer still had it meant a lot of things.
Aaron kept all of the guns in the safe, clean and ready, even Spencer would sometimes sit down with him and go through it with him. The easiness between them when they were like that filled Haley’s heart with love. They were happy together, all of them. It was the quiet moments together that reminded Haley of why they had started this, how it had truly begun long before this, and Haley never wanted to let it go.
It was like an old routine, getting the gun taken apart and cleaned in Aaron’s office on the little stand that Aaron used to do it so that oil didn’t mess up anything. Haley listened for Jack, who was still out. He had woken up pretty early, even with the getting up with Spencer in the middle of the night. He hadn’t been grumpy either.
Haley wondered if that was what kept Spencer up all night, the fear of Foyet doing this. They hadn’t talked about the case at all when they got home, and Haley understood. If this was something that could happen, that might have happened anyway, she could understand the fear. She could also understand if Aaron was pissed as hell at Boston for allowing the killer to escape. Ten years the Reaper had been silent. It wasn’t like he couldn’t just pick up somewhere else and start all over. Haley remembered the first time that Aaron had been in Boston for the Reaper case. It wasn’t a big memory, but for a long while afterward, Aaron had been focused on finding the killer after he had finally stopped.
Aaron had been gone for six weeks with him going home for a day here and there while he worked it. Haley had been terrified of what was happening, and Aaron hadn’t let her go to Boston. Yet Aaron came home when he needed it. It wasn’t like an afternoon here and there put a dent in the case, and there was nothing that could be gotten from him working himself down into the ground. It was something that Aaron talked about new people to the BAU, not understanding. Everyone needed sleep. Everyone needed to unwind. Yes, there were moments where it wasn’t good, but there was always time to read a book for five minutes while waiting on results to come in. To look at pictures of family, call and talk to them.
Haley loved it when Spencer texted her on a case now. It had been hesitant at first, and Haley had to kind of coach him into it. Nightly calls to Haley and Jack involved both of them, even if they were not sharing a room, which didn’t happen all that often anymore. Even if they were somewhere that the rooms were cheap enough to get singles, Aaron and Spencer shared one. It had been a long while, actually, and Haley knew that they slept in two beds but would only cuddle if one of them had a nightmare.
The chime on her phone had Haley looking up as she put the gun back together. It was from Aaron, she could see before the screen went dark. She cleaned her hands-off with the rag before picking up the phone. It was Aaron telling her that they were going to be getting home later that night and that they were just going to grab a meal in Quantico before heading home. Haley texted him back to take his time before she put everything up with cleaning the gun. If Aaron was worried about anything, he would text her or call her about that. Still, Haley figured that staying home was the best option for the day, just for her own sake. She didn’t want to be freaked out. Foyet could have gone anywhere. There was no reason for him to come to DC at all.
The afternoon passed by quicker when Jack woke up, and they played in the backyard some, playing hockey with the set that was still in pretty good condition. Jack still loved to play it thankfully, nearly as much as soccer. Haley had already looked into leagues in the area to get him into for both. Thankfully, the time didn’t overlap. Aaron was more than happy with Jack playing any sport that he liked, or none at all. Aaron had been forced to do a lot of activities growing up. Spencer had been forced into sports as well.
Haley was looking at the listings that she had on her docket and working on narrowing down a time for the open house for the newest house that she had taken over. She had more than she usually did, but two families had backed out on houses right before they had closed, and Haley had already taken on new ones. She was working on getting those showed off again and had the new open houses set up, and then she would do the newer one.
Mrs. Carlisle down the street was up for watching Jack when she had an open house that Jessica couldn’t watch him for. She was retired Air Force due to a medical injury and was disabled enough to where she could only work part-time with her arm issues. She and her husband had moved to the area a few months back, and Jack loved hanging out with her. It worked well for Haley, and even when she was working, Mrs. Carlisle never minded having Jack underfoot as he was a good boy who didn’t cause too much havoc.
The sound of a car pulling into the driveway pulled Haley from her thoughts as she started to close down the laptop. She laid it on the coffee table and waited for Aaron and Spencer to come inside. As soon as they were inside, Spencer started to get out of his layers, and Aaron worked on getting his shoes off. By the time that they made it out of the hallway and to where Haley was, neither of them had taken off their guns. Which wasn’t out of the ordinary if they were carrying things, but neither of them seemed to be. They looked worn out, and Haley could understand.
“Strauss wanted us to take the day and relax, but Spencer and I knew that we wouldn’t be able to. So we stayed and got things rolling on getting the room set up to look at information to give to the Fugitive Retrieval Squad when they come for a meeting tomorrow. We will have a few days at the start of next week off, depending on how long we are working with the others before taking the break we need.”
“I saw the news break about the Reaper escaping. That’s who you were hunting, wasn’t it?”
Spencer nodded before he walked over and dropped down onto the couch. He hissed and pushed his hips up to get the gun off of his hip. He laid it down still in its holster onto the coffee table. Jack came running and jumped up onto the couch. He looked at Spencer with a frown on his face before looking at Aaron. Jack was trying to figure out who he needed to comfort more, and it was precious. Aaron solved it by pulling Haley down into his lap as he sat in the chair. Jack nodded his head and got a look that was so much of Aaron on his face, and he crawled over to where Spencer was before flopping on his lap dramatically. It made Spencer laugh so hard as he watched the boy’s face. He was adorable, and even with the shit of the day and then what was coming up, it made him feel better. He had a family to come home to. He was happy, and he had a family that loved him just like he was. He could be himself and just do what he wanted.
The sound of soft thuds told Spencer that either Midnight or Curiosity were heading into the living room area. Probably didn’t like being ignored. He watched as a white bit of fluff jumped up onto the couch and pranced over to where Jack was before just deciding that she didn’t want in Spencer’s lap and dropped onto Jack. Spencer laughed as Jack started to pet her.
Midnight darted around the chair and then appeared at the back of Aaron’s head. Aaron reached up to pet her with the hand that wasn’t wrapped around Haley.
“Yes, we were looking for him,” Aaron finally said after the room had been silent for a few minutes, outside of the cats’ purrs that filled the room.
“He had planned on the chance of himself getting caught, though. He had the escape planned down to the smallest detail. It was a thing of genius as far as we can tell. We knew that he was good with technology based on his IDs that passed background checks, but we didn’t realize that he was this damned detailed. It was humbling,” Spencer said.
That was what he had spent the day doing, going over everything to figure out how Foyet had done it. Aaron had tasked him with that, and he had run with it. Especially after Spencer had gotten all of the items inside of Foyet’s house, which included the plans for every single jail and prison that he could be shipped off to. It had been strange to have those laid out in front of him and for Spencer to figure out how he had escaped without seeing the video evidence that Garcia had been able to get a hold of. It didn’t stop Foyet from walking out the front door but every single bit of information that they had helped. Spencer hoped.
“He’ll be found and brought in to face justice for what he did,” Aaron said. His tone was full of conviction, and it was one that sent a chill down Spencer’s back.
Aaron might be a hard ass, and he might seem like he had no emotion at work, but Spencer had known what it was the first time that he had seen him. Aaron kept them close, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t feel them. Aaron, though, could be stone cold. Spencer had delved deep into what Aaron had done for the years between graduating high school and then getting into the BAU where he was second by the time that Spencer had joined. Aaron’s career path had been more varied than Spencer’s, but Spencer had learned one big factor with Aaron. He might not have ever stated his IQ, but he was smart as fuck. He had left high school a year early, he had finished college in a shorter amount of time than what was standard. He just kept that part of himself a secret, and after everything that Spencer had gone through in school, Spencer could understand that. So Aaron was smart enough to be dangerous and dangerous enough to scare the socks off of anyone that pissed him off.
It wasn’t like Aaron did it to those that he was around. It was those who pissed him off and those who tried to hurt innocents that got that level of dangerous from him. Aaron had been SWAT for the FBI, and he knew well what kind of dedication that took. The physical toll as well. Morgan was badass, but Aaron had been even badder ass. Spencer had seen pictures of him in it when he had worked cases that had gotten media attention. Archives were Spencer’s friends, and he knew well how to make them give up their secrets to him. It’s why Aaron gave him those kinds of jobs.
Yet, Aaron made sure to give Spencer other ones as well. To make sure that Spencer’s mind was always expanding and wasn’t going stagnant.
Together, they would find this fucker and put him in a cell or in the ground.
Aaron had been the first to be called. He knew why. He looked at Spencer behind the glass. Spencer was looking around the room, and Aaron was just stuck still where he was. He didn’t want to move forward because that would make this real. It would make it all something that was going to hurt in the long run. Spencer was infected with Anthrax, there was no way around that. It was impossible that he wasn’t. Aaron had heard everything that Morgan said.
Pushing Aaron down and bringing up Hotch. Aaron walked forward to see what Spencer’s thoughts were.
“Reid,” Aaron said. Purposefully using Spencer’s last name.
Spencer looked up at him and frowned before he got why Aaron called him that. He pushed off the table he had been looking at and walked over to the glass.
“Walk me through it.”
“I was heading into the room, but I had to get further into it to see what was on the floor as well as the body. Just as soon as I got in there, I noticed that the air was on, and I slammed the door shut before Morgan could get inside. I was not expecting the body. We knew that he wasn’t here, so I wasn’t the best at what I was doing.”
“You wouldn’t be expecting that, Reid. No one blames you. What can I get you to make this better?”
“I am going to stay to look through everything here. I’ll go faster without a suit.”
“I’m already exposed, and there is no reason to limit what I can do by putting on one of those suits. The answer is here somewhere I just need to figure it out.”
“And if I ordered you out of there as your boss?”
“I would tell you that I needed to do this. That I needed to find the antidote to this because, at this point in time, it’s going to be quicker.”
“And as your partner?” Aaron knew that Spencer would get which type of partner Aaron was talking about.
“Then, I would tell you that I refuse to leave and die without even trying to get home to Haley and Jack.”
Aaron nodded his head, and he pressed his hand to the glass. Spencer was seconds behind him. Aaron thought that he could feel the glass warm up more when Spencer pressed his hand there as well. Aaron looked around to see that no one was around, other than Morgan. Keeping the area safe for them to talk to each other about everything.
“Morgan is worried about you, so expect him to stick to here like glue. I’m reluctant to pull him away because he’s worried about you.”
“I might need him to go inside, so it’s good that he’s staying. Paranoia makes for some strange bedfellows and acts. You need to get going because otherwise you aren’t going to leave and you need to be at the front of this and taking one for the team in dealing with the assholes who keep things hidden even though it would make our job easier.”
Aaron laughed at that, and he really didn’t mean to. Spencer gave him a smile for it, and Aaron knew that this was just going to get worse.
“You can’t call Haley. She’ll know.”
“I know that, Aaron.” Spencer looked to the side, and when his eyes had raked over everything, he stopped and pressed his lips to the glass. Aaron pressed his in the same spot and kept them there until Spencer pulled back first.
“I’ll see you soon.” Aaron pressed his hand to the glass again and waited for Spencer to press his hand there before he stepped away. He walked backward until he couldn’t see Spencer at all before he finally turned around to face Morgan. Morgan looked worried. “He’s staying inside with no gear. He can look easier and better without it, and time is of the essence, and it’s not like he can get more infected.”
“I’ll keep an eye on him,” Morgan said.
“Pull him if he starts to not make sense.”
“You got it. I’ll protect him.”
Aaron nodded his head. He needed to get away, or he wasn’t going to make it that far at all. He would go back and send Morgan in his place, but Aaron agreed that he was needed. Morgan wasn’t going to have the power needed to get done what needed to get done.
Aaron pressed his head into his hands and sighed as he listened to the machine as it pumped oxygen down the tubes toward Spencer’s face. The antidote was being checked, and Spencer was asleep. It wasn’t a good sleep because he was not getting better. He wouldn’t without the antidote, and it was still being tested, and Aaron hated everything. He felt his phone vibrate again, and he leaned back so that he could pull it from his pocket.
It was a message from Garcia telling him that she had something for Aaron.
The case was over, and the timestamp on the text was after Garcia knew that the case was over. Aaron dialed the number.
“That was a subdued greeting,” Aaron said.
“He’s still sick, and I can’t be bubbly when he’s still sick.”
“What did you have for me, Garcia?”
“Reid called me while he was looking for the antidote in that stupid room, and he had me record some things. The one for his mother is ready to go to Bennington and is on your desk. I figure that when he gets better, he can decide what to do with it. The other was for you and Haley, and while I had to listen in as I was sitting right here. I tried not to, but he sounded so wrecked that I just wanted to hold him. I emailed you the audio file for that, and you can do what you want with it, Sir.”
“I see, and you think I need to hear it?”
“I think that at least you need to, Sir. He said he wanted you to hear it, but unlike his mother, he didn’t say only if he died.”
“Thank you, Garcia.” Aaron hung up after saying his goodbye, and he frowned at the email that was there on his phone. He was connected to the secure Wi-Fi of the hospital, so he downloaded the audio file and saved it. He needed a pair of headphones to listen to it, and he would have to leave Spencer’s room to do that.
“Hotch,” Doctor Kimura said as she entered the room. She was smiling and gave him a nod.
“It’s the antidote?” Aaron asked.
“Yes. It is, and he’s more than healthy enough to take it. He’ll be out for a while after he takes it, so if you want to go and get a shower and change your clothes, now would be the time. I figure you have two hours before he’ll even attempt to wake up. One of your team dropped off a go-bag for you. I placed it in my office, and as I have a full bathroom there.”
“Thank you.” Aaron stood up and held out his hand, and Doctor Kimura shook it.
Kimura walked around the bed, and Aaron watched as she gave Spencer the antidote. It was interesting to watch as she brushed the hair back that had plastered itself to his forehead. She looked at Aaron with a smile on her face before she left.
Aaron followed her out. He was tempted to touch, but if he did, he wouldn’t stop, and a shower sounded like a very good idea.
It was an hour later that Aaron walked back into Spencer’s room. Spencer looked much the same, but it seemed like his breathing was a lot better. He had his headphones in his pocket from his go-bag and settled down into the chair that was moved a little from where it had been. A nurse or even Doctor Kimura had been in to check on Spencer, it seemed. It was something that was good if they were just checking, and someone wasn’t hovering around him all the time. Aaron looked at the machines that gave his heart rate, O2 levels, and his respiratory rate. It was all good. Aaron had learned because of Haley what was good and what wasn’t. Spencer was doing good.
Dropping down into the chair, Aaron smiled as he saw that another blanket had been added to Spencer’s bed. Aaron fixed it as well as he could and then settled back to listen to the audio file. He figured that Spencer had probably meant for it to be just shared if he died, but Aaron wanted to hear what he said while he was asleep. He needed to hear Spencer’s voice. Aaron brought up the media player on the phone and tapped it to start up.
“Haley, by now, you’ve probably been made aware of what happened to me, and I have to say that I am so sorry for what I have ended up doing to you. You worried for so long about losing Aaron, and then you went and fell in love with me as well. And now, I am gone.” Spencer paused, and he coughed. It sounded like it hurt, and he already sounded so tired. “I love you so much. I love you more than I ever thought that I could love someone. You and Aaron both. And Jack. Fuck, I love him so much that it hurts like a knife in my heart that I’m leaving him. He’ll not fully understand, and by the time that he can remember, I’ll be just a memory. I hope it’s a good memory, but I know that it will hurt you every time that you tell Jack about me and his love of hockey. Keep that up with him, please. He can play it and soccer as the seasons don’t match up for school-sponsored or private leagues. Just let him be a happy kid with it, please. That’s all that I ask.”
Spencer made a sound; it echoed across the headphones, and Aaron had to hold back the sob that wanted to be released from his chest. He heard a matching one from Spencer over the audio track.
“I hate that I’m leaving you, Hales. I hate that you are going to be left with your grief and Aaron’s on top of that. I hate that I’ll never get to see us be happy over the years. That I’ll never get to see Aaron retire to spend more time with you. I hate what I am going to miss. I fucking hate it.”
There was silence, and Aaron thought that it had ended, but then he looked at his phone to see that there were several minutes left of it. He could just barely pick up Spencer’s breathing now.
“Aaron. Fuck.” There was another sob over the audio. “I don’t want to go. I’m going to hold on with everything that I have. I want to wake up and see you both by my bedside. I want to hold you tight as you cry happy tears that I have woken up from whatever has happened to me. I want to feel you taking care of me when I’m too weak to do anything else. I hate that this is happening. We were just getting into a nice routine. We were finally settled into this relationship, and then this had to happen. I know that you said it wasn’t my fault, but I can’t help but feel that it is. I didn’t feel like there was danger and I just blundered in.
“I’m sorry for leaving you. You don’t deserve this. I love you with everything that I am, both of you. Right now, that love is the only thing getting me through this. I’m a fighter, and I’m going to fight until the end. Be safe, my loves, and remember that it’s okay to mourn, but don’t let your love break because of this. Hold tight to each other. You are going to need each other.”
The track ended there, and Aaron stopped it from playing again. He just looked at the phone and the track. He laid the phone down after a few minutes, pulling the headphones off of his head, and he stared at Spencer. He wanted nothing more than to crawl up into the bed with Spencer, but that wasn’t a good idea. No matter how much Doctor Kimura wouldn’t mind, there was too much that could go wrong, and Aaron didn’t want to block access to Spencer.
Time just slipped away until Aaron heard a noise in the doorway.
“He’s in here along with his boss,” Doctor Kimura said.
Aaron looked up to see that it was Haley and Jack. Haley looked shocked, and before she could grab Jack, Jack was running across the room to him.
“Daddy!” Jack jumped into Aaron’s lap and cuddled down into him.
“Agent Hotchner?” Doctor Kimura asked.
“Please come in and shut the door.” Aaron stood up and waved for Haley to take the seat. He adjusted Jack into his arms better and looked at Doctor Kimura.
“I called the number that was starred in his phone besides yours, Hotch and the number for Bennington in Las Vegas. I didn’t…I asked if you were his significant other.” Kimura looked at Haley with a look of shock on her face.
“Yes, that’s because the three of us are in a relationship,” Haley said. She reached out and laid her hand over Spencer’s. “He’s cold.”
“Pen cold?” Jack started to wiggle as he spoke, and Aaron looked at Doctor Kimura, and she nodded. Aaron transferred Jack to Haley, and then he went out to get one of the warmed blankets before swapping it with the colder one on the bed. When he was done with that, he laid Jack down with Spencer. Jack yawned, and Aaron looked at the time. It was nearly Jack’s nap time.
“No cold no more,” Jack said before he closed his eyes and laid his hand over as much of Spencer’s chest as he could get to. He fell asleep like kids did when they were that age. Spencer wasn’t hooked up to nearly as many machines, so it wasn’t as scary. Haley had to have told him that Spencer was sick and needed them.
“All three of you?”
“Yes, Doc. It started slow, but we are a true three-person partnership.” Haley looked at Aaron before she got up out of the chair and leaned over to brush the hair back from Spencer’s forehead.
“Obviously, your son loves him. He doesn’t list either of you a partner on his file at the FBI.”
“Those who need to know do and will make sure that things are taken care of if needed. The team knows.” Aaron looked down at Spencer and Jack before he looked at Haley. She looked worried but calm.
“I’ll leave you to talk about what’s going to happen. I think it will be best for you. There is supposed to be a visitor limit, but you three will be fine. I think that young Jack might be one of the better things for young Doctor Reid when he wakes up. Let me know if you need anything at all. Any of you.” Doctor Kimura gave them a smile before she left the room.
“What happened, Aaron?”
“I can’t tell you a lot, but he was exposed to something while we were on a case. He had to find the antidote himself while trapped in with the contagion. He found it, and he has been given it. Now we just have to wait for him to wake up. I didn’t want to leave him alone, but now I can leave you with him. He needed to sleep as much as possible, but I think he’ll do that better with you and Jack here. The UnSub had been caught, but I’m dealing with military and federal agencies. I need to get out there and take care of that. I’ll call you as soon as I can. Please text me when he wakes up.”
“I will. He’ll be okay right?”
“He was having trouble speaking, remembering words and such, but that should go away when he wakes up, but it’s all unknown. This was a modified version of something, and that means we can’t know what might happen. He’ll be here for a little while.”
“We will get a hotel close to here. I’m sure that there is a suite. I can stay with Jack during the day and visit Spencer as much as I can. Keep him stocked in books. He’ll go nuts here within a day.”
Aaron could only agree with that, but first, Spencer had to wake up. Aaron sat down on the edge of the bed that Jack wasn’t lying on and looked down at Spencer with a smile on his face. His lover was going to wake up, Aaron knew that. There was no doubt in Aaron’s mind that Spencer was going to wake up and start to bug Doctor Kimura about at least letting him read. Before Aaron left, he would hit up the hospital’s shop and grab any books that he thought that Spencer would read. There would have to be at least two or three. Then when Aaron got back, Haley could go home and get things for all of them to stay in the hotel and grab the books that Spencer hadn’t read yet.
Jack would stay with Aaron. It would be good for them. Easy to do and easy to make sure it was easy to keep going.
There wasn’t a lot left for Aaron to do before leaving, so he pressed a kiss to Jack’s forehead before he kissed Spencer’s lips. He walked around the bed to stop where Haley was and kiss her. He kissed her like he wanted to kiss Spencer but couldn’t. If he stayed, he wasn’t going to leave.
“I’ll call when I am heading back this way. You can go home and grab things for three two of you, and I’ll get a go-bag from work. I’m going to grab a book or two from the shop here and then send them up with a nurse or something. If you need anything, just ask Doctor Kimura. She likes Spencer a lot.
“I will.” Haley smiled at him. “I love you.”
“I love you. Tell him when he wakes that I love him as well.”
Aaron made himself leave even though it was the last thing that he wanted. Spencer would want him to go, though. Spencer understood the pressure and the needs of the job. And Aaron knew that Spencer would dislike it if he stayed when he was needed elsewhere.
Spencer heard the machines that were helping him. He knew he had been in and out of sleep for the last little while, his body so tired so he didn’t push to wake up. He knew that someone was with him, but there was no sound that told him. It was probably Aaron or Morgan. They would keep him safe. It wasn’t like Spencer was really in danger. He was in the safest place that he could get. Everyone knew exactly who they were looking for, and that meant he couldn’t get in here. There was nothing to do except for just lay there, so Spencer let sleep retake him.
The next time that he was aware of what was going on around him, Spencer heard the pages turning in a book, and there was someone in bed with him. He moved his arm and found that it hurt, so he moved the other, dropping it across his chest to feel the body with him. He knew it was Jack as soon as he felt the hair. That meant it had to be Aaron with him, but he had no clue why Jack would be. It didn’t make any sense. Spencer tried to claw his way to full wakefulness, but it was hard. The pain in his body with every single breath was too much.
“He’s in pain,” Haley said.
“I’ll add something to his IV,” another voice said that Spencer knew, but he couldn’t place. “We have no clue what most of the aftereffects will be, but I don’t want to give him anything too strong that might make it harder for him to breathe. He’ll have a rescue inhaler for a little bit with his breathing.”
Doctor Kimura. Spencer knew that voice now. He liked her. The feeling of pain all across his chest was there, and Spencer tried to force his eyes open, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t at all. Seventeen breaths later, Spencer felt the pain medication take over, and the pain started to dull, but it didn’t go away at all.
“What did you give him?”
“It’s not a narcotic. Hotch gave me the list of things that Doctor Reid has agreed to take. I would never force something on him after the reaction that he had on his way here.”
“He was drugged against his will on a case and was emotionally vulnerable.”
“I can see why he wouldn’t want that here.”
Spencer wanted to keep on listening, but the pain medication just made him drift off.
Jack was moving the next time that Spencer woke up. He was somewhere around Spencer’s feet, and the bed was moving a little bit as Jack moved. The feel of a car moving on his leg made Spencer laugh a little.
“Spencer?” Haley asked.
“Hales,” Spencer croaked. His voice sounded raw even to him. His throat was parched, and before he could open his eyes, there was something at his lips. He parted them, and an ice chip slipped into his mouth. He closed his lips and sucked until it was gone and opened his mouth again. He kept on moving his lips like that until he felt like he could talk again. He wasn’t trying to open his eyes, not just yet. He wanted to have one sense of his going haywire at one time.
“How are you feeling?” Haley asked.
“I’d say good, but even that’s too strong. I’m alive and happy.”
“Pen,” Jack said, and he was moving. He gently laid down on Spencer’s chest, not putting a lot of pressure anywhere but just being there. Spencer pulled up his arm that didn’t have IVs and wires coming off of it and laid it on Jack’s back. Jack was too young to fully understand what was going on, his grasp of the world was narrow, and death wasn’t a part of it yet.
“Hey, buddy. I’m glad you kept me company-” Spencer stopped and coughed. He could feel the pain in his chest from that. The pain of doing it too much. It subsided, and Spencer felt like he had run a marathon after chasing an UnSub for miles. “Glad you kept me company.”
“He’s not wanted to leave since we got here. I had to go and get food and bring it back up to the two of you. One of the nurses has offered to stay with him when I need to go and do something. Aaron’s working on getting the final bits of the case locked down so that he doesn’t have to leave again once he gets here. He’s texted me a few times. I texted him that you are awake.”
“Good. I’m glad. I’m also hungry.”
“I have some Jell-O here as well as tapioca pudding. They make it here, and it’s not from a can from what I can tell. Which means you should love it. Let’s get you the Jell-O first. Open your eyes. I have the lights down low, so you don’t have to worry about that.”
Spencer cracked his eyes open, and they felt just as dry as his mouth had. He blinked a few times, but it hurt. Spencer shook his head.
“Here,” Doctor Kimura said, and then there was the sound of movement.
“Spencer, I have some eye drops here, and I’m going to put them into your eyes. Just open your eyes for me.”
Spencer forced his eyes open, and he felt Haley grab one and hold it open enough to add two drops to his eye. She didn’t let go, and the drops just kind of settled all over before she moved to do the other one. She held that one open as well, and Spencer could feel that pain going away.
“One of the others woke up with their eyes hurting like that, so I made sure to have the drops on hand. You can use them every two hours and please do use them when you wake up. Haley, if you don’t mind taking Jack out to get a snack. I’ll do everything with Doctor Reid that I need to do, and then you can come back in.”
“Sure.” Haley leaned over and kissed Spencer’s forehead and then brushed a few fingers on his cheek.
“Hey, buddy, go with Mom while I talk to the nice doctor.” Spencer ruffled Jack’s hair as he said it, and Jack looked torn. “I need you to find me a good stuffed animal to cuddle with and to help your mom get a few other things that I need.” Spencer looked up at Haley. “Chapstick. I need that a lot and lotion. I feel like I’m scabby.”
“Sure.” Haley gave Spencer a smile that told her that she knew what he was doing but that she understood and would get him what he needed. Haley kissed him on the forehead again and then picked up Jack, and they left the room.
“How are you feeling?” Doctor Kimura asked.
“Death warmed over, twice but happy to be awake and speaking correctly. How is Haley and Jack here?”
“You needed someone, and I knew that your team couldn’t be what you needed. So I found your contacts, and you texted her the most outside of your co-workers. So I called her. I didn’t read any of the texts, but maybe I should have. She arrived with Jack in tow, and Jack ran right to Hotch and called him Daddy and jumped in his lap. He explained what was going on, so I really don’t regret it. Even if the paperwork after the fact was hard to fill out until your team member Morgan brought up to my bosses that you live with them. Have for a long while after needing it after a case had gone bad.”
“Yeah. I didn’t trust myself not to do something stupid. Being around them helped, especially Jack. It kept me sober when I was afraid nothing else would.”
“Ah. Haley told me a little about you being drugged against your will on a case and having emotional issues after that. That gives me a little more context. You know I wondered how a young man like you could get into a relationship with a man and a woman with a kid. Then I saw the way that Jack was with you. He adores you, and Haley was so worried. The knowledge of the relationship changed what I thought of Hotch as well. He had been here for a while after I had given you the antidote and looked worried. I thought that the reaction was a little over the top for co-workers, but then Haley told me you have had a few emotional cases this past year and then this on top of that. You’ve had a run of it, and I think that those three are perfect for you.”
“It’s good with us. Really, it is. I am so happy with them.” Spencer knew that he didn’t need to give his reason why. The look on Doctor Kimura’s face told him that she understood.
“Good. Now let’s talk about what you should expect and what I need to know about your recovery from this. I’ll be giving you a few papers of things to look for. I know that your memory will help you learn, but I want Hotch and Haley’s views on things as well. They might see behaviors of yours that you might not. A small change in diet or even the taste of foods. It’s all needed to help me understand this version of Anthrax. Especially for the others who are recovering. You’ll be not allowed in the field for a little while, and then once you are, you are not allowed to chase UnSubs. Leave that to Morgan and Prentiss. They look like they are pros at it.”
“I don’t do the running after them all that much, but I’ll agree to staying back in the station as much as I can. I will have to go out into the field some to look at sites, but we can make sure that those are safe before I go. Believe me, Aaron was very protective of what I could and couldn’t go to when I felt under the weather before we started a relationship. He makes sure that no one does stupid shit and gets themselves hurt more on cases. I’m sure that he’ll be in contact with you to confirm everything about what I can and can’t do in the field.”
“He’s your secondary on contact information so I can talk about that with him, but I would like to have you sign another form or two on that so that I can discuss everything with him and with Haley. This is going to be a joint effort for you on getting better. They will make sure you are not hurting yourself more. I have a lot of things you are going to need to do to make sure that you come back from this, but in the beginning, they are all going to wear you out to where you are going to feel weak as a kitten.”
“I already do, and yeah, I’ll sign anything that you like. Given that I am living with them, it’s easy to hide that stuff behind that. That’s what we do at the FBI. Those who need to know do know, and everyone else just gossips.”
“Gossip can be damaging.”
“Everyone already thinks that our team is too close, but we get results. We go after the worst of the worst and so those above us kind of look the other way as we are all too close like I said. It’s given us good results on cases. We can predict each other and what we would do in a situation, and it’s made sure that we could find each other when no one would.”
“That sounds a little personal.”
“The case where I was drugged. I gave them what they needed to find me, but I couldn’t just say it out loud, or the guy who had me would have killed me. Aaron was the one who figured it out, just like I knew that he would. I never worry about Aaron finding me in time. Just like this one. I knew I would find what I needed because I refused to leave them.”
“Yes, I am well aware of how stubborn you are. Let me get the last checks out of the way, and then you can sleep again.”
Spencer nodded his head because he felt tired as hell. It was like a string had been cut when Doctor Kimura said the words. He felt her checking him over, the stethoscope on his chest for longer than usual, listening to how his lungs were really. As Spencer watched her make notes of everything that she did, he felt himself starting to drift off again. He looked up to see that he was just on a standard drip, but when he looked down to the machine, he saw that there was something else there.
“Two hours, you get a low dose. Right now, it’s enough to make you sleep with everything else that is going on, but as you get better, it will just take the pain away.”
“Ah,” Spencer said. He gave Doctor Kimura a smile just as the door opened, and Haley and Jack came in. Jack had a large stuffed wolf that was nicely adult-sized.
“Look what they had, Spencer!” Jack said loudly.
“He’s adorable.” Spencer held out his hand, and Jack walked over to give it to him. The movement caused Spencer to start to cough, and he tucked it to his chest to hold onto while he coughed. It would work perfectly for that, and Spencer loved it.
“You okay, Spencer?” Jack asked.
“Yeah. I’m much better, but just like any time you are sick, it takes a while to get better. I got really sick, and that means it’s going to take me a long time to get better.
“What about hockey?”
“I have our tickets to the first and second games of round one for DC as well as the ones after. I have tickets for all four of us, so if your dad can’t go, that’s fine, but I’ll be off the team for a while, so we might just have the entire Stanley Cup playoffs where I don’t have to go to work. So we can have a lot of fun with hockey.”
“As long as you stay in your seat and don’t get too excited, I think you’ll be fine for the 15th.” Doctor Kimura gave him a smile. “I’ll call you daily once you are home, and I think you’ll be able to go home in a few days. You’ll rest and heal better there, and you’ll be watched over very nicely.”
Spencer smiled and nodded his head in agreement to that. Haley would make sure that he didn’t do anything too much. He figured that he was going to be relegated to their bed for a while as well. He was okay with that. It and staying on the couch or in the recliner during the day. It was better than the alternative, which was death.
Spencer smiled as he allowed his ticket to be scanned and then started toward the throng of people. He had taken the latest appointment that Doctor Kimura had that day, and the visit had taken a long time to make sure that he was back enough to be allowed to go with the team on cases. He was still station bound and wasn’t allowed out in hot and humid weather for long at all, but it was all good.
The energy of the arena was enough to make Spencer smile as he looked around to the people who were partying before the game even started. It was game five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers. So far, the Rangers had won three of the last games. Spencer just hoped that today the Caps won because otherwise, they were out of the running. Spencer looked down at the ticket and smiled before he slipped it into his wallet and then started for where Aaron, Haley, and Jack were waiting. Warm-ups should be starting by about the time that Spencer was getting there.
Looking down into the area, Spencer saw Jack first, who was dancing in the aisle right in front of the glass to the music that was being played over the speakers. He was covered in just as much Capitals stuff as Spencer was while Aaron only had a scarf on and Haley a shirt. It was good enough for them, and at least wearing a little made Spencer feel good. He started down the stairs, stopping to watch the players head onto the ice. He laughed as Jack started to bang on the glass. One of the players came over and pressed his hand to the glass, and Jack gave him a five.
Spencer kept on going down and stopped a step behind Jack, watching the players until a puck cracked the glass right about Spencer’s head level. The player pointed at him and then down at the kid.
“Up we go,” Spencer said as he grabbed Jack and lifted him up. The netting stopped just a few feet from where they were.
“PEN!” Jack yelled as he tried to turn in Spencer’s arms, but Spencer had a good hold on him. Spencer stepped them over to the glass all the way, and another player came skating over with a small kid-sized stick that was covered in signatures and handed it to Jack. A warm-up puck came over next.
“Thanks!” Spencer said with a grin.
“Yes, Thank you!” Jack said as he clutched both to his body. “Mommy!”
Haley was laughing as she reached out for Jack and tucked him to her chest. Jack had the seat closest to the bench where the team was, and then it was Haley and Aaron with Spencer on the aisle. It had just become their way of sitting. Jack in safe in the corner but enough room for him to crawl into everyone’s laps as he wanted. Haley took the puck and laughed when she looked at it. She turned it over so Spencer could see that Jack’s two favorite players had signed it. It was a fresh puck as it was still wet in a few spots, but they had to have used it for a few and then saw them and signed it.
“So that stalking incident that you worked on,” Haley said.
“You said that you couldn’t talk about it as even Aaron told you to keep your mouth shut, yet a few guys on the team keep on looking at you and smiling and giving you thumbs up. That’s never happened before, and they did the first two games of the quarterfinals.”
“I can neither confirm or deny.” Spencer laughed and shook his head. He had forgotten about all of that, really. He had got to meet the team and had come home with a few things for Jack from it, but it was all things that could be bought with money, so it wasn’t that big of a tell. There had been a violent edge to a few letters given to a few players on the team between October and January, with the last having blood on it. The blood had been run, and there was no match in the database. The FBI Had been tapped, and Aaron had assigned Morgan as well as Spencer to it. It was local, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Security of the team had been stepped up, and nothing had happened until just before the end of the regular season. Spencer and Morgan had been there as another letter had been sent, this one was more serious, and then the attack had happened. It had ended with a very happy ending and no deaths on either side.
Haley laughed. She turned back to the ice to watch the end of warm-ups. Before the team left the ice, all of them came over to tap the glass where Spencer was. It was a damned good day, and it was going to be a great night, and Spencer hoped the morning would be just as good. He was allowed to have sex again, and he was going to make the most of it.
Haley heard talking as she slowly woke up. Aaron’s tone was worried, and Spencer’s was sure, but she couldn’t figure out the words they were saying. She wasn’t sure that she wanted to be awake at the moment, but the talking wasn’t stopping. Haley looked at the clock, forcing her eyes open to see it. It was after nine. The bedroom door was shut, and the sounds from Jack’s room over the monitor told her that he was playing. He would be content with that for a long while, and everything would be good.
The words were finally making sense, so Haley focused on them.
“You don’t like it.”
“I know that, and I’m not doing it out of some urge to be normal or anything like that, Aaron. I just…I just want to do it.”
“You’ve been cleared for sex as long as it’s not too athletic, and the first thing you want to happen is that I fuck you?” Aaron asked.
“It’s been a while since we’ve tried it, and I want to make sure that things haven’t changed. Please, Aaron. I want to feel alive.”
“Last night’s game wasn’t enough to make you feel alive?” Aaron asked.
“Last night’s game was a lot of fun, and Jack loved the stick and puck that he got, but it wasn’t just you and I connecting or just Haley and I. I know you two have been keeping things out of the bedroom when I am in there because you didn’t want to upset me since I couldn’t take part and I just want to feel better about it all.”
There were no other words, so Haley figured that Aaron was looking at Spencer’s face to see how much Spencer really wanted it. What Aaron didn’t know was that Spencer had been playing a little before he had gotten sick with one of Haley’s smaller dildos that vibrated. The sensations had been very strange for Spencer at first, but he had gotten used to it. It had been interesting to watch him getting himself off with it while she watched. Spencer knew that sex like that didn’t make either of them less or more of a man, but he didn’t like it was an act that Aaron didn’t get to do when Spencer enjoyed doing it to him so much. It was interesting to hear Spencer with this. Haley was pretty sure that Spencer was going to win.
“You want to feel everything, don’t you?” Aaron asked. His tone told Haley that he was finally getting it.
Haley smiled and rolled over. Spencer was on his back, and Aaron was on his side on the other side of him, his hand drawing non-sense things on the skin of Spencer’s belly. Both of them were down to just underwear. Haley knew that Spencer was still having issues sleeping in anything more than that. He was having issues with constriction, and it made him think he couldn’t breathe. Haley was the only one that slept in anything more than just underwear. She got colder than the two guys and so she liked to stay warm. It was April, near the end of it, but they were in a cold spell, winter not letting its grip on the area go easily. Haley watched as Aaron leaned over and kissed Spencer.
Even just a week ago, kissing at all took it out of Spencer, but it was the only thing that Spencer could do so neither of them had denied Spencer that act up until he started to pant or gasp, and not in a good way. It was good, almost too good to get lost in Spencer’s mouth. Haley knew that they would get over it, nearly losing him like that, but now both of them were more than willing to do anything that Spencer wanted as long as it didn’t hurt him or set back his recovery. He had gotten better by leaps and bounds over the past week, and it was why Haley hadn’t been shocked that he had been approved to go back to work and at least work at the stations during cases.
Haley rolled back over to grab a condom and the lube. There had been a discussion between the three of them over the last month about forgoing condoms with Spencer and Haley. About not caring who got Haley pregnant and who the father was. The conversation was deeper than most they got into. Spencer hadn’t understood it at first, but he’s come around to that way of thinking. It wasn’t about being even, it was more about just the fact that Haley didn’t care whose child she carried. She would be more than happy to carry another for Aaron or to have one that was half Spencer. It was more than okay that Haley could carry one for Spencer. She knew the worries that he had about his genetics, but they had talked about that as well.
Aaron looked at Haley, and he had a little glint of playfulness in his eyes. He pulled out of the kiss, and Spencer made the most interesting sounds as he tried to get him back. Spencer liked sex, but there was something about kissing that drove him crazy, and Haley loved seeing him strung out on kissing and just wanting more and more of it. Haley was pretty sure that she and Aaron could have sex, and as long as one of them got Spencer off after and kept on kissing him during, he would be fine with that. Haley figured that they would try that at some point. They both wiggled out of their underwear, and Haley stripped down to nothing as well as she watched Aaron’s eyes dart over Spencer’s body.
“Spread your legs for me, love,” Aaron whispered before he pushed back in for more kisses. Aaron shifted to where he was half on top of Spencer and pressing his already hard cock into Spencer’s hip.
Haley figured that Aaron was going to go for getting Spencer as worked up as possible before getting inside of him. It would minimize the amount of time that Spencer had a cock in him, and that could only be good. It was the downfall of this plan.
“Fuck,” Spencer gasped as Aaron stroked his cock a little bit.
Haley handed over the lube, popping the lid on it before doing so. Aaron looked up at her and gave a smile before he moved to where he was fully between Spencer’s legs and kneeling there. Aaron coated two fingers to start and rubbed his fingers up and down Spencer’s hole before he pushed in with them. Haley played enough with him with her fingers while going down on him that Aaron was able to get in easily. Haley could see the way that his fingers just sunk inside. Spencer arched his back, moaning loudly.
The sound didn’t carry outside of the room all that much, but still, they did need to be a little quiet. Jack was awake and inquisitive. Haley shuffled over to where she was able to kiss him, swallowing up the next moan that Spencer let out. Aaron must have done something a little fun because Spencer’s body arched again, and Haley had nearly been bucked off of him. He reached up and grabbed Haley’s head, holding her in place as he started to thoroughly kiss her back while Aaron played with his hole. Aaron was good at this, taking Spencer apart. Haley was pretty good at it too, but there was something about the way that Aaron did it that pushed past every single barrier that Spencer had built up.
Aaron moved with purpose again, getting settled even more on the bed before he leaned over and grabbed something from the floor. He wiped his hand on it. Haley looked down to see that he had already slicked up his cock. Aaron dropped down to where he could take over kissing Spencer for a few minutes. It was hot as hell to see them like that. She loved watching them kissing, rubbing on each other, and having sex. It was all too good looking. She knew that they liked watching her have sex with whichever one she was doing. It was good that they all seemed to have a kink for watching. It was kind of really nice to know that nothing that they did was all that outrageous. It was easy to get lost in what was feeling good, and they had found a few kinks that even Haley hadn’t realized that she had.
Double penetration had been a shock to Haley, but it had felt good. The guys had liked feeling their cocks rubbing each other with the walls of Haley’s two holes separating them. Spit roasting had been another thing that Haley hadn’t realized she would like. Some time when she felt a little more sure about it, she wanted to see what it was like to take both of them inside of the same hole. That one might take a little longer to get the guys into as neither of them wanted to hurt her. She knew she could take it, but it was one of the riskier moves with how big both of them were. It was still something for down the road.
“Fuck,” Spencer gasped.
Haley looked to see that Aaron was pushing into him. It was a slow movement that was dragging it out for both of them. Spencer was trembling, but Haley wasn’t sure if it was arousal or something else. It was something to see, though. Spencer looked like he was going to shake apart at the first little bit of pleasure over his body. Aaron started to kiss him again, swallowing whatever Spencer said next. Spencer’s hand on the back of Haley’s head twitched, his fingers curling into a point that pushed on her skull. She followed the pull, and Spencer turned his head, breaking his kiss with Aaron to kiss Haley. Aaron sat up and grabbed Spencer’s hips.
Aaron’s thrusts turned harder and harder, the bed jerking under the power of them as they kissed. Haley pulled back to watch, looking at where they were joined. It looked so fucking good, watching Aaron’s cock push in and out of Spencer’s body. Haley kissed down Spencer’s chest, stopping to lick at the head of his cock. She didn’t do more than that because she wanted to have it inside of her at the nearest possible moment. With Spencer’s body still recovering, there was little chance that he would be able to go again for at least a few hours.
A few moments later, Aaron thrust his hips into Spencer’s and didn’t pull out. He moaned out his orgasm and let his head drop down to where his chin was on his chest. Haley took that time to get up to her knees, waiting for Aaron to pull out before she draped herself over Spencer’s body. Spencer’s hands grabbed at her hips, rocking her ass on his cock a little before he reached out for the condom. Haley shook her head. She hadn’t even realized that Aaron hadn’t grabbed it to use. It wasn’t an always thing with them, just usually when they wanted to clean up to be easier. It was something though that Spencer kind of disliked in the morning. He would rather shower afterward and help clean out Aaron that way than to use one.
Aaron pressed a kiss to Haley’s shoulders and grabbed her hips to hold her up while Spencer grabbed his cock to hold it up, angling it so that it was sliding inside of her as Aaron pushed her down onto it. Aaron kept on pushing until Haley was pressed down onto Spencer’s hips. He was warm, and his cock felt good inside of her.
“You look so good, sitting on his cock,” Aaron said into Haley’s ear before he reached around and cupped one of her breasts. He turned his hand and tweaked her nipple, making Haley’s hips stutter on Spencer. She watched as Spencer’s hands moved up to grab her hips, coaxing her move on him; it felt good. Aaron at her back and Spencer under her. The feel of his cock dragging on her walls. Haley knew that he wasn’t going to last long, not after the stimulation that Aaron had given him, but Haley was okay with that. One of them would go down on her if Spencer didn’t last to her orgasm.
Spencer must have the ability to hold off because he kept on going, Aaron and Spencer manipulating her until she came, and the shuddering of her body pulled Spencer over with her. Haley didn’t want to let go of that connection, so she leaned forward, finding Spencer’s mouth and rolled them. She heard Aaron moving behind them, and then Haley was under Spencer with Spencer still kind of rocking into her body even with a half-hard cock. It felt good, the fact that he didn’t want to let her go. Haley felt Aaron get off of the bed, and then he was walking to the bathroom, but Haley didn’t pay that close of attention to him as Spencer was still kissing her like he was drowning.
Haley was shocked that Spencer didn’t seem to want to get away from her, she knew that he was sticky, in more ways than one. After a few minutes, Spencer broke the kiss and dropped down to the bed, panting a little. Haley rolled where she could hear him breathing and found that while there was a slight hitch, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. He would have to use his inhaler before taking a shower, but he usually did anyway, just in case.
Aaron came back into the room with a glass of water and grabbed Spencer’s inhaler from the bed. Spencer took the inhaler as he sat up and shook it before taking his first puff. The next puff followed, and he grabbed the glass and handed the inhaler back before he got up off the bed. He took a drink, gargling the water as he walked to the bathroom before spitting it out. He gargled again and then drank what was left in the glass. He smiled at Aaron before leaning in to kiss him. Haley laughed as she passed them. They would very much standard do that for a long time if she let them, but the thought of her in the shower and wet was going to be enough to draw them both into there. It was a good feeling when they stumbled through before she even got fully soaked. Aaron pulled her back to his body as Spencer grabbed the shampoo.
Haley settled in for being washed. She didn’t mind it at all, she loved it really, both of her guys giving her attention like this. It wasn’t that they didn’t give each other attention too. Hands that strayed from her body to somewhere else and eyes that roved over skin that wasn’t hers. Haley loved shower time for that reason. They were at the center of each other’s worlds, and all felt good.
After they were dressed and ready to face the world, Haley slipped into Jack’s room to find him already dressed. She checked to make sure that he had underwear on, and he did. The only thing that was off about his outfit was that his socks didn’t match.
“Here, baby gotta change these.”
“No!” Jack stomped and crossed his arms over his body.
“These don’t match.”
“Pen picked them!” Jack tried to run past Haley out of the room, and she stopped him and glared at him until he stopped trying to wiggle away.
“What do you mean, Jack?”
“I laid out his clothes for him last night. He told me yesterday before I went to the doctor’s appointment that he wanted to try and dress himself. So when I put him down after the game, I laid out his clothes. I kind of forgot that the socks weren’t for me.”
Haley looked down at Jack’s feet. It wasn’t that big of a thing, and really it should have become something before this. Jack loved Spencer’s mismatched socks and giggled when he saw them. Haley waved for Jack to leave the room, and the boy took off running, halting just as he got near the steps. He walked down them with care, Haley’s eyes on him as he went. She looked up at Spencer when Jack was out of sight and running to where Aaron was already getting breakfast started. The smell of coffee filled the house, and Haley wanted a cup of it.
“No, it’s fine. It’s totally fine. As long as he meant to wear mismatched socks, it’s fine. You did good on the outfit, the socks match different elements.”
“I do try and match somewhat when I wear mine. Except for October, and that’s all Halloween themed, and I love it when they clash.”
“Yes, I’m aware the orange and purple socks are Aaron’s favorite.”
“I know. He doesn’t even take them off when he rubs my feet after a hard day at work, and we are cuddling on the couch.” Spencer pressed a kiss to Haley’s forehead, and then he started down the stairs.
Haley followed behind at a more sedate pace. She looked at Jack, who was standing on a stool that was beside Aaron as he worked on cutting up some potatoes to be cooked with breakfast. He was closer than Haley would typically like, but she knew that Aaron was safe. He would never do anything to harm Jack.
Laying her hand over her belly, she hoped that she got to have that thrill of being pregnant one more time. She ached with it but knew that she couldn’t make it happen.
Aaron was more tired than he had ever been, and he just wanted to sleep. He looked at the asleep neighborhood as he pulled onto it and smiled when he saw that Haley’s car was not inside of the garage. There was something about seeing it outside that made Aaron feel like he wasn’t coming home to an empty house even though he knew that it wasn’t empty. Haley was there in the bedroom, maybe on the couch asleep. Jack was in his bed with the monitor turned on. It was everything he had wanted for years with Spencer there beside him.
“Home sweet bed,” Spencer said.
Aaron laughed at Spencer’s words. It was something that was new to Spencer. The love of the new master bed. The custom bed was perfect for all three of them to sleep and barely touch if it was hot out, which it was the end of May, but summer weather hadn’t fully hit yet. Aaron had put in the order for it just after Spencer had come home from the hospital after being exposed to Anthrax, and it had arrived just a week and a half ago. Aaron hoped that Spencer’s words meant that he was going to sleep with them. After this case, after the devastation of no one who was innocent and should be protected was saved, Aaron needed both of his loves close at hand. Even if that was just feeling Spencer on the other side of Haley’s body and not having both of them on either side of him. It was a good consolation prize for him. He wanted it all, and he wanted to keep them close for days.
Strauss had already been contacted. Aaron had gone over every single bit of the case that they had worked before it had become too late. She agreed that the team needed time and to talk with someone to put their thoughts in order. It wasn’t going to be an order but a recommendation. Aaron had also asked that even if the world was ending if they didn’t take a case, that they did not get one at all until at least two days from then. They were all too worn out mentally to be able to do anything with it, a case that would get it done. Strauss had told him that she was going to call in a few other people to take any case that came in, even if it wasn’t a full BAU team. It wasn’t like there weren’t a few people who had moved on who would take on a case just to make sure it was done if it was needed.
The rest of the actual BAU teams were already on cases. It was a rare thing, but it did happen.
Aaron pulled into the spot next to Haley’s SUV, and he parked. He looked at the trunk of the car in the rearview mirror and sighed. “Let’s leave the bags for in the morning. It’s not like we need anything out of them.”
“That sounds fucking awesome.” Spencer gave Aaron a very tired smile before he opened up the door to the car. He frowned as he looked at Haley’s SUV. “It looks like Haley’s SUV got a scratch. I’ll call someone in the morning to see when she can get in to see it taken care of.”
“Sounds good.” Aaron opened up his door and slipped out before shutting it. He waited for the sound of Spencer’s door shutting before he locked it. The soft chirp helped Aaron to settle down a little bit.
Spencer was moving faster than Aaron, so he made it to the front door first even though he had a longer distance to go. He unlocked the door but waited for Aaron to be there behind him before he opened it up. The soft chirp of the alarm was a balm to Aaron’s soul. He reached up to start to type in the code to disarm it as Spencer shut the door and locked it. When the deadbolt slid home, Aaron armed the alarm again.
“Sweep?” Spencer asked.
“Yes.” Aaron moved to the left while Spencer took the right. Spencer had fewer rooms to cover, but he had to go down into the basement to check all of the windows. When they were sure that the ground floor was locked up, they met at the base of the stairs. Aaron saw that Spencer had a pair of sleep pants thrown over his shoulder. He looked like he was going to join them up in the master bedroom. It was a rare night when he didn’t, but Aaron was glad that he was doing it without Aaron having to ask him. He would have, but this was good.
Aaron pulled Spencer close and kissed him. It was soft and loving, with no heat. It was the same kiss that Aaron had given him in the galley on the plane before they headed home. To remind himself that Spencer was there. That Spencer was his and wasn’t going to leave. It was perfect for Aaron. It had taken years for Aaron and Haley to settle down into kisses like this, but then they had been hormonal teenagers and young adults through those first years. It was a good kiss, though, even if there was no heat. Spencer’s hands settled on the edges of Aaron’s suit jacket, pulling him into the kiss more. Into Spencer’s body more.
“I love you,” Spencer whispered when the kiss finally broke.
“I love you.” Aaron rubbed their noses together.
“Shit, I need to check the cats’ food. I forgot. I’ll go down and do that to make sure they don’t bother us in the morning. Meet you up in bed?” Spencer pressed a simple kiss to Aaron’s lips before he stepped back and turned to head back down into his bedroom.
Aaron watched him go. He knew that at some point, the master bedroom would become Spencer’s full-time bedroom, he rarely slept in it now, but Spencer liked having a room of his own. Aaron figured that even if Spencer slept with them full time soon, Spencer would still spend a little time down in his room. It also would be nice to have a room where one of them could go if they were sick. Aaron knew that he worried over Haley when she was sick, but he also knew that none of them like to keep each other awake if they were coughing all night long. No one slept, and then there were three pissy people in the morning.
The hall was dark on the second floor. Aaron stooped down and checked the nightlight to find that it had a dead bulb. He unplugged it and laid it on the stand that was halfway down the hall to help remind him to find the spares and replace that. He would do it for the ones all over the house. They always replaced the bulbs after the first one went out. The hallway was usually first as it was nearly always on. The units were light-sensitive and turned on when it was dark, and outside of full summer, when the sun was high in the sky, it rarely reached this part of the hallway. Aaron turned into Jack’s bedroom and saw him asleep in the bed, spread out like a starfish. It was a new way that he was sleeping, stripped down to his underwear because he wanted to sleep like daddy and Spencer. It was only when the temperature stopped dipping below freezing at night that they had started to allow him to sleep in just underwear.
Aaron stopped dead as he saw the light from the moon outside reflect off of something that it should be reflecting off of. Aaron stepped forward, seeing that there was a bullet sitting on Jack’s nightstand. Aaron wondered where Jack had got it until he saw that it wasn’t a round for a gun that Aaron had in the house. It was a round for a .44. Aaron swallowed and stepped closer to Jack’s bed. The boy’s chest was rising and falling, but despite that, he had to touch. Aaron pressed two fingers to Jack’s neck, feeling the beat of his heart.
Leaving Jack’s room, Aaron stumbled to the master bedroom after he checked every other room on the second floor to make sure that Foyet wasn’t hiding in the dark there. He found that Haley was asleep, snoring a little with the allergies that were acting up with her. He looked around the room and found one thing that was out of place. It was a picture that had not been in the room before. He walked over to see that it was one of Haley and Jack and had been in Aaron’s office on the board that was above his desk. There was a smattering of images there of the four of them. The only difference with this one was the fact that there was red on the image and Foyer’s signature Eye of Providence there. It was meant to look like blood, but Aaron knew it was a Sharpie.
“Hales,” Aaron croaked. He stepped to the bed and shook Haley awake.
Haley jolted awake and looked at Aaron with a smile on her face that fell within seconds of her seeing the look on Aaron’s face. Aaron wasn’t even sure what his face looked like. He wasn’t feeling a damned thing at the moment.
“You need to get dressed and pack a bag for yourself for a few days. I’ll have Spencer get one for Jack. We need to leave, and we need to leave now.”
“I’ll explain once I talk to Spencer, and we are in the car.”
“Okay.” Haley sat up in bed and moved to get dressed. Aaron saw her grabbing the over clothes from the day before but putting on fresh underthings. He watched her getting dressed, not wanting to let her out of his sight until she was dressed.
The sounds of steps in the hall finally drew Aaron out of the bedroom. He saw that Spencer was standing stock still outside of Jack’s room. He had a glove on the one hand and a look of anger on his face. He turned the gloved hand around, and Aaron saw that it was a picture of the four of them with the eye on it.
“I didn’t see it the first time I went down. I only did because Midnight knocked it off of the nightstand. I thought it was odd when they didn’t come out to greet me before. I checked the basement, it’s clear. I also did a second check of the first floor in the closets. It’s all clear.”
“Are they?” Aaron couldn’t finish the words.
“They are fine. I already snagged them both into that large carrier. So that they don’t have to be alone. Curiosity is skittish, but then I’m sure that Foyet tried to get them.”
“There is another picture of just Haley and Jack with the eye on it in the master bedroom. Jack’s has a bullet on his nightstand. Leave it alone but get some things packed up for him and get him. I’ll get the cats downstairs. We are going to Dave’s.”
“And if he’s outside waiting for us to leave?”
“He probably is, but he won’t want to do anything to us tonight. He wants me alive and hurting. He wants to see what I do to protect my family, and he wants to see me suffer for it. He got addicted to seeing Tom Shaunessy living with that lie in his life. He wants that again. He wants to see me destroy myself to find him while he looks from the shadows.”
“How do you know that?”
“It’s the only thing that has gone through my mind since I saw the bullet. Otherwise, he would have killed them already. He probably would have been waiting for me if I had been coming home alone. Hurt me, but he left the threat to the family there. He’s sadistic, but he’ll be watching. Once we are outside, we say nothing. Just get into the car.”
“Sure.” Spencer leaned in and pressed his cheek to Aaron’s. It felt good. It was almost too good, Aaron thought. He wanted to wrap his arms around Spencer and hold him tight, but Aaron wanted to get out of there. Their house had been invaded. Foyet had even turned on the alarm again. Aaron knew that Foyet was good with computers. He had made himself several IDs to be able to teach around Boston. That wasn’t easy to do. Aaron had just assumed that he had paid someone to do it for him, but this was different. No one was going to break into a federal agent’s house and just forget it. There was a loose end on that. One that Foyet wouldn’t allow to happen.
Aaron had to wonder just what Foyet had spent the decade of his life while in hiding doing. Yeah, he taught at schools, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t teach himself a lot of other things. There was a lot that Foyet could learn. He was stupid. He couldn’t be a survivor like he had while all of the Boston and the FBI had been looking for him. He had hidden for months since his escape from Boston, and it seemed that he was in DC, the hub of the FBI, with no one seeing him. There had been no tips on the line for a month, and none of them had ever pinged around DC.
Spencer slipped into Jack’s room, and Aaron heard him draw the curtains closed. Aaron walked to the master bedroom to do the same. There were no lights on anywhere, so Aaron flicked on the wall light that barely lit up the room but would allow for Haley to see. She had a bag packed, and she was nowhere to be seen. Aaron listened to hear her in the bathroom. He walked to the door to see her pulling everything from the bathroom into a different bag. There were a lot of things that they could replace, but Aaron understood her wanting to have her things with her. She also threw in Spencer’s pack of contacts and Aaron’s straight razor kit from under the sink. When on a case, Aaron didn’t use it. He used a bladed razor and threw away the head when it was done. It was so much easier, and most mornings on a case, he didn’t have the time for the ritual that was the straight razor.
“Ready?” Aaron asked. He tried to think about the two go-bags at the office and what was in them. He had a few suits there as well. He could do it with that. Spencer had three bags, but one of them was a cool weather bag for the areas up north where at night it was still too cold for him. Spencer would be good.
“Yes. I set out the case for the guns.” Haley’s head flicked toward the bed.
Aaron looked at the bed and saw that it was there. On the other side of the bag that Haley had packed for herself. Aaron went to the safe to get out the guns. He still had both of his on him, and Spencer still had his. It was just the backups and Spencer’s secondary as well. Aaron looked at Haley and then pulled the stun gun from the safe, and when Haley passed by him, he handed it over. Haley took it with words. She knew how to use it. She knew well how to protect herself. It wasn’t just that she was the wife of one of the Unit Chiefs for the BAU. It was that she was a small woman in DC. There were classes locally for women to learn to defend themselves, but Haley had never taken them. She went to classes at the FBI that did better at teaching her how to use what she had to defend herself better. They were also free offered to all of the spouses of FBI agents.
“So, what’s the plan?” Haley asked.
“We are going to Dave’s, and then I am going to call in the FBI to go over the house. I want to know where he has been in here. Spencer’s going to get Jack, and I’m going to carry the bags. You get the cats. Spencer’s got them in a carrier downstairs already.”
“Did he…” Haley trailed off.
“No. They are fine. I think he tried given that Spencer told me that they were skittish, but they got away. They are good at hiding from Jack.” Aaron tried not to think about what would have happened if Foyet had got a hold of the cats. It wouldn’t have been good at all. Foyet didn’t care about who he killed.
There was silence as Aaron packed up the last gun and then shut the safe after grabbing the cash that he kept in there. It was just two thousand dollars and was quick money for things he didn’t want to have to go to the bank for. It was also for Jessica to grab things for Jack to make sure that Aaron didn’t owe her money even if Jessica wouldn’t mind being paid back later while she watched him when the three of them had longer overnight dates that they didn’t go home for. It was overkill for that, but Aaron liked to have cash on hand, like the time that the drains backed up, and the plumber came out but demanded cash on hand. The man had been ripped off one too many times during that period. Since it happened across DC and Virginia, Aaron called a friend who handled crimes like that and a little strong-arming, and the plumber got his money. He was on Aaron’s to call list every single time, and Aaron always paid in cash even if credit was allowed for him.
Spencer was outside of Jack’s room. A bag was thrown over his shoulder and a still sleeping Jack in his arms. Nothing was said as the four of them went down to the first floor, and then Haley grabbed the cats and away they went. Spencer had his gun in his hand before the door was opened. Nothing happened as they walked to the car. Aaron got the trunk open, and everything shoved down into it. Spencer was getting Jack into his seat from the driver’s side, and Haley slipped the cats in before shutting the door.
Aaron heard Spencer’s gasp, and he walked around to the passenger side. He saw the marking that Spencer had been talking about, but it wasn’t just a little scratch. It was a large Eye of Providence. Aaron had no clue if them arriving home had stopped Foyet from finishing it, so he had done so when Aaron and Spencer had gone inside, or the moon’s light had been hidden enough that Spencer hadn’t seen it all.
“Clear the car. I’m going to start it without getting in,” Aaron said.
“Yeah.” Spencer got Jack out again. Haley grabbed the cats, and Aaron left the bags. He put the key in the ignition and turned his face to the side as he started it. When nothing happened, Aaron sighed. He looked at Spencer and pointed at the seats. Spencer nodded. He handed Jack off to Haley before coming over. He snagged a flashlight from the trunk and helped Aaron sweep the underside of the car as well as the seats for anything that shouldn’t be there. GPS didn’t matter, but a bomb did.
“Clear,” Spencer said a few minutes later for his half of the car.
“Let’s get out of here.” Aaron waved Haley over, taking Jack from her as Spencer grabbed the cats. He slipped them back into the car on the driver’s side and strapped the carrier in after Aaron got Jack inside.
Silence filled the car as they drove the distance to Dave’s house. It took less time than Aaron thought for Dave to come to the door. He looked at the four of them and waved them inside with no other words spoken.
“Foyet was inside of my house. He left a bullet on Jack’s nightstand and two different pictures with the Eye on them on Spencer and the master bedroom’s nightstands.”
“I’ll call the CSU team and get them to your house. Keys?” Dave held out his hand, and Aaron dropped his keys into it. “You handle Erin?”
Dave looked at Jack, who was in Spencer’s arms again, and the carrier that was in Haley’s. “I have a guest room that you guys can stay in. I have the pack ‘n’ play in there already.”
“Pack ‘n’ play?” Aaron asked.
“Garrett’s water line busted and he’s got the young ones. I let them stay here. I bought it so that they didn’t have to buy one.”
Dave followed them up to the room, and Spencer laid Jack down on the bed. The cats were let out, and they sniffed around the room while Haley pulled thing out to set into the bathroom and when Aaron was done pulling out clothes for him and Spencer to change into that were not suits for the case but comfortable and wouldn’t be too bad if they fell asleep in them, the cats were curled around Jack on the bed. They could move him later when they were going to sleep. If they went to sleep at all.
Aaron pulled his cell phone out and saw that it was at thirty percent.
“Hungry?” Dave asked.
“Yes,” Aaron and Spencer said at the same time.
“I’m going to stay up here with Jack.” Haley kissed both Aaron and Spencer before they left the room.
Aaron dialed Strauss’ number as they walked down the hall.
“Aaron?” Strauss asked. She sounded like she was more than half asleep.
“Dave’s calling a CSU to get to my house. George Foyet left a few calling cards behind. Me and mine are fine, even the cats. It was a threat. We are at Dave’s. My wife’s car has the Eye scratched into the side of it, and there was a bullet left on Jack’s nightstand. A .44 shell. There were two pictures. The one in the master bedroom wasn’t touched, but Spencer touched the second that was in his room with gloves. I left it with the bullet in Jack’s room. The cats had knocked it off the stand.”
“I’ll make sure that the team is told after they get a little bit more sleep. I’ll be over as soon as I can, and I’ll get the keys to let the CSU team in. You don’t need a broken door.”
“The alarm was set when we got home.”
“So he’s more tech-savvy than we thought. I’ll get FRT on the case as well. We need to discuss what to do with Haley and Jack.
“Yes, Ma’am.” Aaron looked over at Spencer, who was messing with Dave’s coffee pot. “We are getting ready to drink some coffee, so we will be awake.”
“I’ll see you soon.”
Aaron hung up and grabbed the cell phone charger cord that was coming from the wall near the recipe stand that Dave had on the counter. He turned the volume on his ringer up a little before he walked over to Spencer and wrapped his arms around him from behind. Aaron wanted to be up with Haley, but he didn’t want to have to leave her once he was with her. He needed to talk to Strauss, and then he could go up to talk to Haley. It was better this way. He knew that he was going to pass out as soon as he got level with a bed, but Spencer wasn’t. Aaron could tell that. Spencer and Dave would protect them while Aaron comforted Haley. Aaron had no clue what was going to come next.
Spencer looked at the coffee cup in his hand. He hadn’t slept at all. Haley had, and even Aaron had a little bit, wrapped around Haley in the bed. Jack had been asleep most of the morning with Strauss arriving and then the team. It had been a shuffle to get everyone inside and settled in the kitchen, where Spencer had dragged a stool over. There weren’t a lot of stools, and the bar of the island was too high to allow for anyone to sit at that wasn’t sitting on a stool, so most had stood. Aaron had been there right at his back nearly the entire time as they recounted what happened to the team and team from Fugitive Recovery that had arrived.
It was going to end in a very big dead end. Foyet was more than meticulous enough that there was a slim chance that he was going to be caught that way. Spencer really didn’t care how he was caught, alive or dead. He just wanted the man gone. A closer inspection of Midnight had revealed that there was a tuft of fur that had been pulled from her rump. Spencer had found it when petting her when she escaped the bedroom and found him. Rossi had been nonchalant about it all, but Spencer figured that was just him not wanting to make the cat go away when she jumped into Spencer’s lap. Curiosity wasn’t leaving Jack’s side, and wherever the boy was playing, that was where she was. Midnight was sticking close to Spencer, and for a few minutes, Aaron when he had been getting dressed to go to the house to discuss anything that was out of place.
Aaron and Spencer had cleared the house of someone, but they hadn’t turned on all of the lights to know what was out of place and what wasn’t. Spencer and Morgan, along with the agents that were outside, were staying to protect Jack and Haley. Spencer wanted to go with Aaron, but he had to trust Prentiss and Rossi to protect him. Aaron had asked Spencer to stay specifically, and Spencer wasn’t going to ask him to change his mind. Spencer wasn’t sure that he wanted Haley and Jack without one of them.
At this moment, Spencer wasn’t even sure if he could tell anyone what he had seen and where it was in the house. His mind was racing from trying to figure out how the fuck they had missed what had gone on until they had seen the bullet and the picture.
“Hey,” Morgan said as he sat down on a stool that was beside Spencer. He pried the cup of coffee from Spencer’s hand and replaced it with a warm and full one.
Spencer tipped the cup up and took a sip. He found that it wasn’t a standard coffee. This was something with chocolate and espresso. He hadn’t even heard Rossi’s fancy machine being used. He really doubted that he was going to be good for much except for shooting anyone who tried to break in at the moment. He might even go after them with his fists. He wasn’t sure.
“Hey,” Spencer said back after he drank down about half of the cup of coffee. Morgan had one in his hand and another at his elbow. Spencer raised his eyebrow at that one, and Morgan just scooted it closer. Spencer drank the first cup the rest of the way down and then picked up the second to savor. This one had chocolate and caramel flavors in it. He hummed in happiness.
“How are you doing? Really doing?”
“I really don’t know. I’m numb. I’ve been kind of numb since I saw the picture that the cats were playing with. I mean, I want to choke Foyet out, but that’s just my knee jerk reaction to it all. I know what it’s like to worry. The Fisher King and pulling mom out of Bennington to protect her. Haley and Jack are easier and harder to control.” Spencer looked at his hands, shocked that they were steady. “I’m afraid.”
“I would worry if you weren’t afraid. JJ’s handling getting people moving on everything. Garcia is hunting for his ass, and the security company has handed over all of the files on the system there at the house. There is a team going through the devices at the main doors so that they can see what Foyet did to gain access to the house. It’s going to be-”
Spencer glared at Morgan and Morgan raised his hands.
“Okay, I can’t promise it’s going to be okay, but Hotch is at the Hoover building, and there are a lot of things being discussed. I know you want to be there and you want to be here. He trusts to protect them. He loves you.”
“I love them.”
“Yeah, that was pretty evident at that last dinner we went out to. Haley and Jack joined us, and you were smiling so much I swore your face was going to break. Jack wanted to be with you and with Hotch, and so he made JJ move the chair so that he could sit on each of your legs. The waiter we had found it adorable as hell and gave Jack dessert.”
“That’s why Jack got dessert? Aaron said to Haley that the waiter was trying to flirt with one of us by showing that he cared for the kid. He assumed with the grumbling that Aaron made that he and I were no longer together.”
“Well, it could have been that as well. I wasn’t paying that close of attention to the waiter, but I think that Hotch was.”
Spencer tried to remember that night, and he realized that his happiness at being with his family, both sets of them after a horrible case had colored what he saw. He played a few minutes of each time the waiter was there and realized that Morgan was right, and the waiter was flirting with one of them, but it was a casual touch about halfway through dinner that had sunk it for Aaron, which one of them the waiter was flirting with. Spencer couldn’t even remember the waiter’s name, but the check had been given to him. Aaron had snagged it from him, and something had fallen out. Spencer had been going for it, but Jack had made a comment, and it had been forgotten. He did remember seeing Aaron reach over and grab what looked like a napkin from the floor and drop it into a glass on the table, but Spencer had been dealing with a Jack who was dead tired and clingy.
“The waiter was flirting with me, and I think that he might have given me his number, and Aaron dropped it into a glass of water.”
Morgan raised his eyebrows at Spencer.
“Oh, no. Don’t give me that look. Did JJ tell you about the story of what happened when I took Jack and Henry shopping one day to pick up a few things that Haley needed while I was watching Henry so that JJ and Will could sleep all day?”
Morgan gave Spencer a look that was asking if Spencer really thought that they were sleeping. The thing was that Spencer knew that they were, or if there was sex, it wasn’t vaginal. Spencer knew well that JJ hadn’t been cleared for that at that time. Spencer had heard all about JJ not being able to have sex.
“No, JJ didn’t tell me about what happened.”
“Single moms happened. Five of them in the store. Jack was in the cart, being helpful and dropping things down in the bottom of the cart, and I had Henry in one of the slings on my chest. It was so much easier than holding him.”
“Now that I have seen pictures of. JJ showed those off, and the few that you had got for her and Will. JJ said that Will loved it.”
“Yeah, he ordered more just so they didn’t have to wash them except for like once a week with Henry and his throwing up when he gets excited. So there I am shopping in this store and a woman walks up to me. She looks at my face, at Henry, and then at Jack and finally my hand. Seeing no ring and no impression of one, she starts to flirt. That one I caught right off because she kept trying to touch me. I finally had to tell her to remove her hand from my person. She looked a little affronted. Jack kept on calling me Pen. I got away from that one, and there was a second the next aisle over. Jack started to get upset by the third. Then he started to call me Papa.”
Morgan’s eyebrows really raised at that; if he had hair, it would have disappeared into his bangs.
“Yeah. Then he asked when Mommy was going to be home. The woman was very interested in that. Thinking that Jack wanted to go home. I said that Mommy and Daddy would be home by the time that we made it home. The woman looked really confused until Jack looked at her and said he had two daddies and a mommy, and we all lived together. The look of utter horror on the woman’s face was priceless.”
“What about the fourth and the fifth.”
“They were tame compared to the third. I told them I was in a relationship the first time they tried to touch me. The fifth was a little more persistent, but as soon as I dropped that I was in a triad, she ran like her ass was on fire.” Spencer looked down at Midnight in his lap, she was asleep, curled in a ball. He had no idea what was going to be done, but he didn’t like leaving Haley, Jack, and the cats at home while they went on cases. Spencer wondered if Aaron would be okay with Spencer staying behind. He could set up in the home office and work on cases from there. Or they could take turns. Rossi and Morgan could step up and deal with anything that cropped up if Aaron was the one staying home for that case.
“Reid?” Morgan asked.
Spencer blinked and looked at Morgan, subtly checking the time on the clock. It had been about five minutes since he had stopped talking.
“Sorry. I was thinking about what we are going to end up doing as far as protecting Haley and Jack.”
“It’s fine. I was going to leave you to your thinking, but Hotch just pulled up, and he’s not alone.” Morgan turned his head toward the windows that they could see from where they were, and he was right, there was a small group of people with Aaron.
Spencer stayed where he was as Aaron, and the guys entered the house and talked to the guard who was just inside of the door. The FBI agent went outside and then pulled the door shut. Aaron looked around, narrowed on Spencer, and then started toward him. He reached out and petted Midnight as he got close. Midnight made a low hissing noise, and Spencer grabbed Aaron’s hand as he stopped him from pressing too hard on her rump.
“Foyet tried to get her, I think. She’s got a patch of fur missing. It was a little bloody, but I cleaned it up. She’s really sore there.”
“She’s fine. I checked her over after I did Midnight. The dangers of having long fur. She’ll be fine, but she doesn’t like anyone getting close to there.”
Aaron nodded his head and picked her up from Spencer’s lap. He flipped her onto her back like a baby and cuddled her close. Midnight started to purr.
“Morgan, can you play with Jack for a while. We’ve got a few plans, and I want to discuss them with Spencer and Haley before we make the moves.”
“Sure, I’ll take him upstairs.” Morgan patted Spencer’s shoulder before he tapped the mug in Spencer’s hand.
Spencer drained the coffee before he grabbed up the mugs to set them in the sink.
“Yeah,” Aaron said. He waved for the guys with him to move first. Making sure that he was the last one in the room with Spencer.
Spencer knew the men were from WitSec. He didn’t even need to see their badges. Spencer swallowed as he thought about what that meant. It was something he hadn’t even thought about. He didn’t see Aaron letting go of Haley and Jack like that, but it made a lot of sense. If all files on where Haley and Jack went were kept on paper and not digitally anywhere, Foyet had a less chance of figuring out where they were. It made a lot of sense, but Spencer didn’t want to say goodbye to them for even a few weeks. Foyet had hidden himself from the Boston PD for ten years. Even if the main cop on the case stopped, Spencer knew that others didn’t. Aaron never fully did. He had looked at the file time and again. Jack would be a teenager in ten years.
Aaron wasn’t going to go with them, so they would literally be a split family. There was a lot that could happen in even a year. Spencer tried not to let his brain jump ahead of him.
Waving Spencer forward, Aaron stepped in front of him as Spencer got closer. Hypervigilance. They were already at that point, it seemed. Spencer could feel it himself. He knew that things were only going to get worse. Foyet was going to be watching Aaron. They knew it. It was his MO. Instead of watching a cop breakdown over calling the cops and waiting for the other shoe to drop, this time it was Foyet watching as Aaron broke down because they knew he was watching them and waiting for everything to go down. Spencer sat down on the couch and saw two of the four WitSec agents leave the room after clearing it of bugs. Spencer knew that there wasn’t any. Rossi was just paranoid enough that he had scanned for those as soon as he had got a chance.
Haley came down, sent by Morgan. She was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. She looked at the two guys who were sitting in chairs and then at the couch where Aaron and Spencer were seated before he sat down right between them.
“Hotch,” the first man said. He looked at Spencer and then at Haley.
“I said that I had a weird relationship going on,” Aaron said.
“Yes. I think it would be best if your agent left. This is personal between you and your wife.”
“Spencer isn’t just Aaron’s agent; he’s our lover.”
The look of shock on the two WitSec agents’ faces was priceless.
“Sam Kassmeyer, this is my wife Haley Hotchner, and as she said, our partner Doctor Spencer Reid. He’s been living with us for just over two years. Foyet has targeted him in this as well.”
“Aaron, what is going on? You’ve talked about Kassmeyer before. He’s a U.S. Marshal.”
“Yes, I am Mrs. Hotchner. This is my partner James Peachtree.”
“Hello,” Haley said.
Spencer gave them both a wave.
“Look, I’ve talked to Strauss. I’ve talked to the Director of the FBI, and if it wasn’t for Jack and the cats, I would be placing you at Quantico, but the cats don’t need to be locked up, and Foyet’s already hurt one of them. I refuse to give them up, and I refuse to keep Jack trapped in Quantico. So witness protection.”
“Okay,” Haley said.
“We’ve already started to work on getting things set up for the two of you. Once you are on the ground where you are going, there will be more done at a local level.”
Aaron cleared his throat, and Kassmeyer waved for Aaron to talk. “No trail digitally on this end. You will not exist in the main mainframe for WitSec. It’s never been hacked, but then most of the people who had tried are not George Foyet. Fugitive Recovery has gotten a few leads on some classes that he took over the last ten years, and he’s just dangerous with a computer to be an issue. Yes, Foyet is probably watching this place in some way, shape, or form, but once you are in the air, he’ll never know where you are going. We have ways of hiding that and making sure that you are not sighted anywhere. Once you are at a bigger airport, it will be easy to hide you. We just need to figure out where you want to go.”
“California, southern,” Spencer said.
“So far?” Haley asked. She looked at Spencer for the first time.
“Anywhere on the east coast is too easy for him to look around. He stayed in Boston, and we’ve been able to track that. He’s never really gone anywhere else for long periods of time. The further the distance between where Aaron and I are and where you are is better. He can’t get around to just doing random searches. California has a lot of people, and it’s easier to hide there. Anaheim.”
“Anaheim?” Kassmeyer asked.
“We can watch the Ducks,” Haley said with a smile.
“Hockey fans?” Kassmeyer asked.
“Very much so,” Haley answered. She smiled at Spencer and leaned into him.
“Anaheim is large enough for them to hide in easily, and people move in and out of there easy enough. It wouldn’t be hard to hide there, even if you were going to a major sports game.”
“It’s easy to hide in the arena,” Spencer said. He went on to explain about places to hide and how to make sure that even Jack isn’t caught on camera.
“We can get that stuff started easily. I already have the small regional jet ready to head to Georgia to fly you to where you are going. We just need a few other things.”
Haley had tuned out the discussion between the Marshals, Aaron, and Spencer as she looked at the empty fireplace. She was scared. She didn’t want to go where Aaron and Spencer weren’t, but she was also scared of being attacked. She wanted to yell and scream at Aaron for bringing this on them, but she knew that it wasn’t his fault. There had been a point in college where Aaron had come home scared as hell. They had spent the day in class discussing what it really meant to be a lawyer, and Aaron had brought up prosecutors. That had turned into a longer discussion on a local prosecutor who had been killed by the family of a man that he had put away for life.
Days had been spent after that by Haley researching that. No matter what part of the job he took, even leaving after a few years and becoming a politician like Haley wanted, they would never be safe. Hell, him being in the FBI was safer than being a prosecutor and a politician. The BAU went after the worst of the worst, and they usually didn’t get out of jail all that soon, and even if they did get out, they were going to be too old to do much of anything.
Haley felt a hand on her back, and she looked at Spencer, who had a grim look on his face. She looked around to see that the Marshals were gone.
“Where did they go?” Haley asked.
“Who?” Aaron questioned.
“When did you tune it out?” Spencer asked.
“You were discussing the arena and how to hide.”
“Ah,” Aaron said. He gave Haley a smile and laid a hand on her knee, turning to fully face her. Haley felt Spencer moving beside her, and then she was being drawn back to his chest. “Perfect time to tune out if you wanted to miss the most important parts.”
Haley stuck her tongue out at Aaron. She knew that he was teasing to try and help to calm her down. It was kind of working, and she hated him a little bit for it. This wasn’t the time to calm down.
“Anaheim?” Haley asked.
“Or somewhere like that. You and Spencer are going to discuss that while you fly to Georgia.”
“Spencer’s going to escort us?” Haley asked.
“No, Hales.” Spencer rubbed his cheek against Haley’s as he wrapped his arms around her from behind. “I’m going with you and Jack. Aaron’s got more clout to get things moving here and using his name to make sure that Foyet’s being hunted hard. I can do better, do more with you two. It will settle Aaron down some to know that you have a backup and that it’s me and not some random Marshal.”
“Oh, thank God.” Haley wiggled out of Spencer’s arms and launched herself into Aaron’s arms. Aaron held her tightly and kissed her forehead. This was part of why Haley didn’t want to go. She didn’t want to be alone.
“He wants me, and despite how good of an agent Spencer is, he’s still under threat of some kind, and I would rather have him safe as well and him with you means that he can protect you and Jack. I don’t want to be alone, but I would rather be alone than lose any of you.” Aaron’s voice cracked, and Haley just held him tighter.
The couch dipped, and Haley felt Spencer’s hand on her back. There was the sound of running feet, and then Jack was crawling up as well. Her family was all there, outside of the cats. They were all together, and this was the last time for who knew how long. Haley clung to Aaron and let him rock her.
After a few minutes, Haley pulled back and settled on the couch between the two men. Jack was in Spencer’s lap, and he looked upset.
“Hey, buddy, come here, would you?” Aaron asked.
Jack smiled and crawled across Haley to get to him.
“You gotta do me a really big favor, Jack.”
“You and Mommy, and Pen are going away on a vacation for a little bit.”
“Why?” Jack asked.
“Someone who I caught is threatening you and Mommy, so I am going to make sure that I catch him, and Spencer is going to go with you to protect you.”
“Okay. You’ll catch him. No one beats Daddy.”
Haley looked at Aaron’s face to see that he was crying a little bit. Haley wondered if Aaron had ever felt like that about his father. The unwavering truth that his father would protect him no matter what. Haley figured that he never had, not with what she knew about him. Aaron’s father had hated him from the moment he was born. That was no secret. The city had thought that the sun shone out of his ass, but Haley had seen him for what he was not long after meeting Aaron.
“Yeah, no one beats Daddy,” Spencer said before he placed a kiss to Haley’s forehead.
Aaron reached into his pocket and pulled out money. Haley knew that Aaron kept a few thousand dollars in cash on hand in the safe at the house but never that much.
“Dave had some cash on hand as well. Use this to get clothes and things. The Marshals will get you a house that is furnished, but you guys are going to need clothes and things for the cats. Dave’s order of supplies that were delivered quickly won’t be able to be taken with you outside of the carrier you are already using.”
“Aaron, that’s five thousand dollars.”
“Yes, I know. I have no clue what kind of identities you are going to be going under and what kind of jobs, but I want to make sure you guys have what you need. Jack’s in a growth spurt, so it’s not like his clothes are going to last long at all.”
Spencer took the money and slipped it into the pocket that was inside of his suit jacket. Haley looked at him for the first time and saw that he had dressed up a little more than she thought he would for hiding at Dave’s. She was in around the house clothes as she called them, a shirt that had seen better days. She had wanted comfort after finding out that she and Jack had been in the house with the Boston Reaper, and they hadn’t known. He had been close enough to kill Jack if he had wanted, close enough to stab Haley, and he had done nothing.
After the Reaper had escaped from jail, Haley had looked at Aaron’s files that he had on him. She knew that she shouldn’t, but she had been worried when the guys had come home like they had every day for a week. She had read over the profile that Aaron had put together and then the one that was in Spencer’s writing. There were a lot of things that had been the same, but Spencer’s hit more on the psychology of the Reaper and that he was someone who played with his victims. There had been no evidence of that in Aaron’s outside of what the Reaper had done to the cop he had made a deal with.
For now, the Reaper wanted to play with Aaron. He wanted to see what Aaron would do with his family. He wanted to see what Aaron looked like as he scrambled to protect his family. Removing them from the board was either going to piss off the Reaper in a way that made him do something, or he would watch Aaron break down as he was kept away from them. Spencer was the wild card. There was no chance, in Haley’s mind, that the Reaper didn’t know what the relationship was like between them. It was impossible to not understand it when one looked in the bathroom. Spencer’s things were in there just like they were in the basement. Products that were very much just used by Spencer and not by Aaron and Haley. The glasses at the bedside. The books that were Spencer’s in the master bedroom.
Haley knew that the Reaper had done his research on the team, at least after they had arrived in Boston, and he had escaped. He wasn’t stupid, and he knew how to look at the threats that were bearing down on them. It was something that Haley knew was going to work in the Reaper’s favor. Yet, she knew that she was safe as long as she did what Spencer and the Marshals told her to. It would be hard to be away from Aaron. To be away from Jessica and her parents. The relationship between her and her parents had been strained since she had stayed with Aaron after talking to her mom about maybe leaving him. Her father had always disliked Aaron, so she had ignored him in all of that, and it had turned their relationship a little sour. Yet, Haley loved them.
“Can I call my parents?” Haley asked.
“Yes. You can. The Marshals are getting things ready for you five to leave.”
“Five?” Haley asked, looking at Aaron and trying to figure out who the other two were. Was he talking about the Marshals?
“Midnight and Curiosity,” Spencer said.
“Oh. Yeah.” Haley laughed a little. She knew that they would be going. She just kind of forgot to include them in the numbers. She agreed that leaving them defenseless with the Reaper finding ways to hurt Aaron. Yeah, they weren’t people, but they all loved them, and it would hurt all of them if they were injured more than Midnight had already been injured.
“I’m going to…” Haley stood up and waved toward the phone in Dave’s office. He had already told everyone that they could use it.
“Take your time. We leave when we want,” Spencer said.
Haley spent an hour on the phone with her mother, hearing her father yelling in the background before he finally just left the area where she could hear him. After she hung up with her mother telling her that she would not be calling or sending anything to her until this was over, Haley called Jessica.
“Haley, dad called me. He was screaming and yelling, and then he just hung up after telling me that Aaron was going to get you killed. What happened?”
“You remember the Boston Reaper?”
“The man who escaped after Aaron’s team caught him? Yes.”
“He threatened Jack, Spencer, and I. We are going into WitSec.”
“Yes. Aaron doesn’t want us to be alone, and frankly, I don’t want to be alone either. He was in the house with Jack and I. He left a bullet on Jack’s nightstand, Jess.” Haley felt her body shaking, and then there was a hand on her neck, thinner than Aaron’s, so it had to be Spencer. Haley leaned back into it, and Spencer moved to wrap his arms around her.
“Don’t do anything stupid. I’ll take care of mom and dad; you take care of you and Jack. Dad’s not going to be happy until you are safe. You are his favorite.”
“Not as much since I didn’t leave Aaron, but I can’t live my life for him. I love Aaron, and I refuse to give him up for anything. I refuse to give up Spencer as well.”
“You love him, and you love Aaron. I know you won’t ever give them up. Just make sure that Aaron keeps me updated on how everything is going. I know that the Marshals will keep him updated given who he is.”
“Take care of him, Jess. He’s going to be alone, and while his team will protect him, you need to check on him. Call him at the office instead of on his cell. I don’t want the Reaper to target you, but please, make sure he’s okay.” Haley rattled off the direct number to Aaron’s desk phone. She repeated it when Jessica asked her to then Jessica repeated it back.
“I will. I love you. Be safe, please.”
“I will. Love you, too.” Haley hung up before she started to cry. She turned in Spencer’s arms and clung to him, crying. Spencer pulled her with him, and they settled in a chair in the corner.
“Aaron will make sure that she is fine. Your parents are going to have someone watching them, and so is Jessica. It’s not going to be a big detail, but between LEOs and other agents, they are going to make sure things are safe. Someone is going to both places to install security, and then there is going to be patrols. Jessica will have someone watching her a little more. It’s not exactly a secret that you’ve had a falling out with your parents. It’ll be fine.” Spencer’s words were soft, and Haley knew that he was trying his best to calm her down. He talked, that’s what he did, and Haley loved him for it.
The next two hours passed in a blur as Haley worked on getting everything packed up that she was going to take with her. There was a new change of clothes for all three of them in their bags. Their cell phones and other things were going to be locked in Dave’s safe under his bed in his bedroom. It wasn’t an easy safe to find. Haley left her wedding ring there as well.
“JJ is flying to Vegas right now,” Aaron said as he stood at the front door with Jack at his side. The Marshals were already outside in the SUV waiting to take them to the airstrip they were flying out of. There were going to be three planes taking off with the passengers for all of them the exact same. None of them were going to be landing where the flight plan said they were, and everyone who needed to know knew that.
“Why?” Spencer asked.
“She’s meeting with the local agents there who are going to keep an eye on your mother. They are going to do daily checks and make sure that the staff at Bennington are aware of what Foyet looks like and that no one outside of those on the printed list with images on it are allowed to visit your mother. Her wing will kind of be on lockdown to make sure that no one gets access. She’s also going to talk to your mom about how you are still going to write to her every single day, but you won’t be able to send them until you get back. I’ll call her every single Sunday and reassure her that you are fine. Then JJ is going to tell William about this and make sure that he understands that he could be targeted and that if he feels like he’s being followed, he needs to make sure that he calls someone and that an alarm might be a good idea.”
“He’s not going to go after him, but thank you for making sure that he’s aware.”
Haley knew that everything was strained between Spencer and his father, and Haley knew that nothing was going to fix that relationship. There wasn’t anything that was ever going to right the relationships that all of them had with their fathers.
“I’ll do everything that Spencer tells me, Aaron, I promise. I’m not going to make this harder on us.”
“Don’t lie, Haley. This is never easy, and you are going to feel smothered, but as long as you stay alive, I don’t care how much you curse my name.”
“You didn’t ask for this. You didn’t plan this. It’s not your fault. You are never at fault for what the monsters you hunt do.”
Aaron nodded his head, and he looked like he believed it, at least a little. Haley stepped up to him and drew him into a kiss. She was telling him goodbye and that she loved him all in the same instant. Haley knew that she was going to see him again. She couldn’t believe anything else.
When Haley pulled back, Aaron drew in Spencer and kissed him. When they were done, Spencer rested his forehead on Aaron’s.
“I’ll protect them.”
“I know you will.” Aaron picked up Jack and hugged him tightly, smelling his hair. “I love you, Jack. You be good for Mommy and Papa, okay?”
Haley looked at Spencer, seeing his heart breaking a little at the name Papa. It hadn’t been used a lot, but it was best to get him used to it now. It was going to be better than trying to pass Pen off as a nickname for whatever name Spencer picked for his identity. All of that was going to happen while they were in the air. It was safer that way.
Spencer broke away from them and walked to the SUV and opened the door. Haley grabbed Aaron’s elbow and drew him with her to the SUV. Spencer got into the back, sitting on the other side of Jack’s car seat and then buckled in. Aaron leaned in and put Jack into the SUV. Aaron reached out and cupped the side of Spencer’s face and smiled at him before kissing Jack’s forehead. Then it was the final goodbye between Aaron and Haley.
“I love you three so much, never forget that,” Aaron said, his voice breaking.
Haley got into the SUV, and she locked her eyes with Aaron as he shut the door, and then they were driving off. Jack was crying, not fully understanding, but knowing that he wasn’t going to see his father for a long while. Haley held onto the tears until she couldn’t see Dave’s house anymore. Spencer was silent, his hand buried in Haley’s hair from across the SUV backseat. He was looking out the other window. Nothing was going to be right for a long time, not until they were a family again.