It was rainy in Virginia. It had seemed to be raining for a while, and if it were not, the sky was a deep grey. Aaron could hardly remember the last time he’d seen the sun. Even he and Jack had to stay inside often, because they never knew when it was going to rain or just be cloudy. There were things that made the rainy nights in Quantico easier, especially when Jack was visiting his aunt Jessica. There were people Aaron liked, people at bars who would forget him in the morning. Of course there were people who knew him like the back of their hand, inside out, every part of him, every piece of his personality; but they were few. Spencer was one of them.
The arrangement began shortly after the death of Hotchner’s wife. Aaron had came back far too early for anyone’s liking, and a case in Miami threw the pair together. It was all teeth and tongue and a struggle for dominance. There was no love. No preparation. Nothing was sweet of loving about it. It was a textbook definition of sex. And Spencer could not meet Aaron’s eyes in the morning. The two of them blamed it on alcohol they had not had, and went their separate ways.
Then, it happened again in New York. Once more in Maine, and twice in Philadelphia. They swore never to do it in Quantico. Aaron was the one to break that rule. He invited Spencer over, and the agent came, eyes empty, as if his body was on autopilot and his mind was on vacation. The arrangement continued, even through Beth, Hotch’s girlfriend he met while training. A piece of Beth knew, the way they were tensed around one another showed that, but Aaron was all over her. It hurt the agent to see, and Beth knew that. Part of her wanted Spencer to hurt, so he’d know that he and Aaron would never happen again.
But it did.
Tonight in particular, aforementioned, Jack was sleeping over at Jessica’s. Hotch found himself, almost robotically, getting dressed. The drive to Spencer’s apartment was memorized. He knocked once, and the door came open. A man was leaving, one Hotch didn’t recognize. A one night stand, he assumed, and his suspicions proved true when the stranger scoffed and commented about how Spencer was all his. Hotch found Spencer in his bedroom, sitting with his head in his hands.
He’d been crying. Hotch made coffee for him, and it felt domestic, until Reid threw himself at his superior. Hotch caught him by the waist, and it was a wrestle to remove clothes. Again came thr painfully formal act of fornication, where Hotch would hardly so much as look at Spencer, not because he didn’t want to, but because he could not bring himself to meet those dead eyes. When he entered him, Hotch dragged his hands through over Spencer’s arms.
”You lost weight.”
”Don’t talk,” Spencer instructed, before he hooked his arms around Hotch’s neck and pulled him closer.
Aaron’s hands slipped under Spencer and he pulled him closer, his back nearly off the bed. Aaron dragged his hands through Spencer’s hair, nearly pulling it. Spencer dragged his hands down Aaron’s back, wincing when teeth sunk into his shoulder, but he was too far away to object. Spencer had been slipping. He felt himself slipping right after Miami. And his downward spiraled only continued. Aaron finished, as did Spencer a few minutes later. He was gone far too early, leaving Spencer to clean up. It killed Hotch to leave him, but Reid never asked him to stay.
Rossi was the first to notice Reid’s behavior. They had gone to lunch together. Rossi had mentioned something about wanting to do a book signing in Italy, and he offered Reid an invitation. The smile Reid gave did not reach his baggy, darkened eyes. Rossi tried to talk to Reid, but the agent wouldn’t budge. He left the seasoned author in that cafe, and left disdain in the air along with him. JJ spoke too, and although he confided in her, he told her of everything but Hotch. The night in Miami, to JJ’s knowledge, was with a stranger. It wasn’t his first time, but Reid still wanted it to be nice. When it wasn’t, he had cried, but that stranger had left him to immediately shower, as if he were dirty. It hurt in a different way.
The second night Hotch came over, Jack was at a sleepover. Reid had been the one to ask Hotch over, and the older agent was there in record time. As soon as Reid opened the door, Hotch had grabbed him and pressed him to the wooden door that closed with the weight of them both. When Reid looked away, Hotch got concerned.
”What’s wrong?” Aaron pressed.
”Won’t you be nice to me?” Spencer’s voice broke.
Aaron pressed his thumb to a bite mark that was on Spencer’s collarbone. He nodded, and kissed over Reid’s neck and shoulders. Reid wrapped his arms around Hotch’s neck, and traced hands through his hair. For the first time since they began, Hotch spent the night. Reid fell asleep with Hotch’s arms around him, and he felt content. In the morning, Reid awoke to an empty bed. He looked towards the floor, thinking that Hotch might have just went to shower, but his clothes were gone. Reid landed back on the bed with a bounce. Just as he was beginning to fall asleep, his phone buzzed with a message from JJ.
The case was in Miami, of all places. The unsub was killing women who worked for wealthy families. Things were normal, until a female detective caught Hotch’s interest. She looked vaguely like his ex-wife. Spencer thought briefly about how things went the last time Hotch liked someone. Reid tried to hide his jealousy. On the night they completed the case, Reid invited Hotch to his hotel room. He was met with denial, Hotch was going back with that woman, and Reid was left to his own devices.
Bars in Miami were easy to find, and Reid needed a drink. He was approached by a man, and he went home with him. When he opened his eyes the sunlight and the sound of birds, Reid knew he had fucked up. He got up and got dressed, and he left as quietly as he could. He got the chance to look at his phone. He had at least ten missed calls from everyone. Even Hotch. That made him smile.
He called JJ.
’Spence?’ Her voice was loud, ‘Where are you? You missed the jet! Rossi said he’ll send you money to get home if you need it. Christ, Spence, are you safe?’
”Yeah,” Reid sighed, “I don’t need money. I went out for drinks.”
’Where are you?’ He heard Morgan call.
”Miami.” Reid replied, then he hung up.
When Reid got to the office, two days later, Hotch had to suspend him for his reckless behavior. Reid asked about the detective.
”Reid,” Hotch’s voice was cold, “That’s my personal business.”
”What am I?” Reid asked, his voice tired, “What am I to you, Aaron?”
Hotch frowned, “Reid. That was a mistake. I’m sorry. It can’t happen again.”
”Figures,” Reid scoffed, “You just use people. You used me, you used Beth, and I bet you used your ex-wife too.”
Hotch stood, “You’re out of line, Reid. You need to go, now.”
”Oh, it’s my turn to leave?” Reid stood too, “I half expected you to leave when I wasn’t looking. When I was asleep.”
”Spencer. We established what we were.”
”We did not!” Reid yelled, and he just knew the team looked up at the muffled shout, “We never did, and that’s the issue! You never told me! It happened, and after the first time you said it shouldn’t have. But it did, again and again!”
”Please lower your voice.”
”Why?” Reid was nearly hysterical, “You don’t want anyone to know? That’s so typical, Aaron.”
”Hotch,” he corrected, “You call me Hotch”
Reid froze, “I hate you so much.”
He left then, slamming the door as loudly and roughly as he could. He marched past wide eyes, and took the stairs so he wouldn’t have to awkwardly wait for the elevator. Hotch sat in his seat, and immediately busied his hands with organizing his desk. He didn’t love Reid. He had figured the younger agent knew that their connection never meant anything deeper than sex. Hotch stared off into space for a long while, before he ran his fingers through his hair.