Aaron was watching Reid on the plane as they made their way home from their last case. Something was going on with him that put Aaron on edge. A distance that had grown between them over the previous few weeks as the year headed towards the holidays. It started just before Thanksgiving, and every time that Aaron tried to talk to Reid about it, his lover brushed him off saying that nothing was wrong.
The plane landed, and Aaron and Reid headed towards their car, Aaron having driven both of them to work, then the airport.
“Spencer…” Aaron tried to start the conversation that had been brushed aside time after time over the last few weeks.
“Aaron, if you are going to ask me what’s wrong yet again…”
“You can’t deny that there is something wrong, Spencer. There’s been a distance between us, and you don’t want to talk about it, ever. I don’t want to happen to us what happened with Haley.”
“Aaron, don’t you dare compare me to your ex-wife.” Spencer glared at Aaron as he drove them towards home instead of the office. Aaron couldn’t face paperwork for once.
“I’m not, Spencer. I’m just saying that I’m willing to talk about whatever is wrong. If I’ve done something or said something, please tell me.” Aaron pleaded as he pulled into their driveway. The house Aaron and Spencer had bought together in the summer, just before Jack had to go back to school. It was everything they both had wanted, or so Aaron had thought.
“Aaron, please trust me. Nothing is wrong.” Spencer got out of the car and shut the door a little too hard. Aaron was getting frustrated, but he knew the harder he pushed, the more Spencer would distance himself till he was ready to actually talk. It didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt. This, whatever it was, was killing Aaron.
Sighing, Aaron grabbed his go bag and briefcase and made his way inside. Spencer had disappeared, and Aaron assumed he was in the library holed up. Aaron made his way to the bedroom and changed his clothes and wondered what to do with himself. A part of him wanted to go out and relax, but he didn’t want to go out alone.
“Spencer?” Aaron called out as he made his way through the house. When he got to the library, it was locked, which was unusual. Aaron knocked on the door and called out.
“I’m working on presents, Aaron. What do you want?” The tone was strange, and Aaron tried not to jump to conclusions.
“Since Jessica has Jack for the next few days, I wondered if you wanted to go out. I was thinking, Morton’s. We can have a drink and some dinner. Be nice just the two of us. And I promise I won’t push anymore.”
There was a thump and some noise on the other side of the door, then Spencer was opening up.
“I have a lot to get done before Christmas, Aaron. It’s only a couple of days away.”
“I know, but we so rarely get the two of us, I thought we could take the time just for us.”
Spencer smiled a smile that Aaron had not seen in the last few weeks, and it made Aaron hopeful.
“How about tomorrow?”
Aaron had become really good at hiding the hurt ever since he was a kid, this was just one more thing to push down inside of him.
“Sure, tomorrow.” Aaron knew his voice sounded hollow as he made his way towards his office. Shutting the door, he grabbed a tumbler and poured some scotch into it and knocked it back. Then a second, and by the third glass, Aaron was slowly sipping it and feeling the buzz. Sitting down on his couch, Aaron tried to reconcile what was happening in his relationship, but he just didn’t understand it. He thought they were happy. That after everything he and Spencer had gone through to get to the here and now, they were finally happy.
January 2nd was their one year anniversary, and Aaron thought that maybe Spencer was wanting out. That his slow distancing and not wanting to talk about what was happening was his way of saying that he was going to leave. Aaron’s insecurities welled up inside him the drunker he got. When Aaron passed out on the couch in his office, he had tried not to grieve or jump to conclusions, but Spencer was leaving him little choice.
Waking up after sleeping on his office couch, Aaron was stiff and sore. His head was also killing him. Sitting up, his stomach rolled as nausea hit, and Aaron remembered why he didn’t drink like that. Pulling himself off the couch, where a blanket had been draped over him, Aaron tried to find a smile as he realized Spencer had covered him. It was another layer of confusion that Aaron just didn’t want to deal with anymore. Getting up he made his way up to the master bath and took a long hot shower. As soon as he was done, and opened the shower door, there was a cup of coffee waiting for him.
Downing it, he dried off, dressed and went down to the kitchen to see a plate of bacon and eggs waiting for him. Spencer left a note saying he had some errands to run and he would be back later that day. He also made mention that he was looking forward to dinner that night.
Aaron took his food to the small nook in the kitchen and tried not to worry, but he could admit that he was. He was very, very worried and he didn’t know how to fix whatever it was that may have broken because Spencer was keeping him at such a distance. At a loss for what to do for the day, Aaron tried hard not to brood as he settled in with a book and fresh coffee.
“This was a good idea. I’m surprised you were able to get us a table on Christmas Eve.” Spencer smiled as he sipped the brandy he had ordered.
“I’ll admit a secret. I was hoping that you would say yes to coming and made the reservation a few weeks ago. I know how you like their steaks.”
Spencer hummed as he ate a shrimp stuffed mushroom.
“I do. Thank you, Aaron. This really is nice.”
“I’m glad you’re enjoying, Spencer.” Aaron tried to pretend that everything was okay. That there was nothing wrong.
“Aaron,” Spencer reached across the table and took Aaron’s hand. “I’m sorry I’ve been distant. I promise to explain everything, just give me a little more time?”
Aaron put on a smile and squeezed Spencer’s hand.
“Sure, Spencer. When you’re ready to talk, I’m here, you have to know that. I love you.” Aaron choked a little as he reached for his water to try to swallow down the surge of emotions as he looked at the man he loved more than anything in this world. “You’re it for me, Spencer. I…”
Looking down at his plate, Aaron pulled his hand away and resumed eating. He didn’t want to voice his fears, didn’t want them to be true.
“Aaron, I love you too.”
Somehow it both hurt and helped when Spencer said that.
“So, Rossi invited us to stay at his place tonight so that we are already there for Christmas,” Spencer said as he picked up his glass and sipped at his brandy.
Aaron wasn’t surprised. Rossi had pretty much said the same thing to Aaron before the team went on their Christmas leave. He knew everyone was going to descend on Rossi’s for Christmas anyway, he wanted everyone over for a big holiday dinner.
“I didn’t know whether to say yes or no because we haven’t talked, Spencer.”
“I think it would be fun. I know you, and Jack usually spends Christmas Eve and the day with him ever since Haley died.”
“You’re saying you want to go?”
“Of course. Why break tradition?” Spencer smiled that megawatt smile of his, and it made Aaron’s heart flutter like it always did.
“Alright, when we get home we’ll get everything together and head over there. I’ll call Jessica and have her bring Jack to his place.”
“Perfect.” Spencer picked Aaron’s hand up and kissed the back before tucking back into his food.
After dinner, Aaron called Rossi to tell him they were coming over after all. It didn’t take long to pack their bags, Aaron got one ready for Jack, they packed the presents in the car, locked-up then drove over to Rossi’s. Aaron was a tad disappointed they wouldn’t be spending their first Christmas together in their new house, but he decided it wasn’t worth fighting over. They, hopefully, had plenty of time to make their own memories later.
Christmas morning dawned, and Aaron stretched out on the bed. He rolled over to snuggle with Spencer, and his love wasn’t there. Trying not to feel disappointed, Aaron got out of bed, slipped on his pajamas and a robe and made his way through Rossi’s house.
Even the festive nature of the house didn’t dispel Aaron’s fears as he made his way towards the kitchen, where he hoped Spencer was going to be. The smell of bacon cooking had his stomach growling. When he finally got to the kitchen, there was Spencer with Jack, and the two were working together on breakfast.
“Spencer?” Aaron called out, and when the man turned around, he had the biggest smile on his face. That smile Aaron had not seen for far too long.
“Merry Christmas, Aaron.” Spencer took two steps towards him, then dropped to one knee and pulled something out of his robe pocket. Aaron’s brain wasn’t quite catching up as his heart pounded hard in his chest. Swallowing, he looked down at Spencer and furrowed his brow as an all too familiar velvet-covered box was held up. With a shaking hand, Aaron took the box out of Spencer’s and opened it up. His heart about stopped as he looked at the beautiful platinum band with a center band of gold. Taking it out he saw there was an inscription on the inside.
“You are my heart, my home, my life.” Aaron read aloud as the words stuck in his throat.
“Spencer….” Tears pricked the corners of his eyes as he looked down at the man he would always give everything to. “Yes. Yes. Yes.” Aaron said through the tears that fell down.
Spencer stood and took the ring, slipping it on Aaron’s finger.
“I’m sorry I made you worry so much these last few weeks. I…I wanted everything to be perfect, and I know my actions hurt you, but Aaron you are my everything.”
Aaron pulled Spencer to him, wrapping him up in his arms and letting go of the fear that had gripped him over the last few weeks.
“I thought I was losing you, Spencer. I thought you wanted to leave me, and when you wouldn’t talk to me, I thought I had done something to make you want to leave.” Aaron buried his face against Spencer’s neck and tried to calm the storm of emotions inside of him.
“I’m so sorry, love.” Spencer held onto Aaron, reassuring him that he wasn’t going anywhere. “I have another surprise.”
“Spencer, I’m not sure I can take another surprise.”
Spencer smiled as he pulled away and took Aaron’s hand. Leading him through Rossi’s house, after turning off the oven and stovetop, they walked out to the large backyard and Aaron’s breath caught in his throat.
“I thought that we could do this today. Everything has been taken care of. Rossi and JJ did most of it under my strict direction. I knew I didn’t want to wait. I want that forever with you Aaron. I knew just how serious you were about us when you wanted to buy the house.”
Aaron looked out over canopies that had beautiful Christmas lights strung all around, tables draped with silver and gold linens, Chrysanthemums and other festive flowers decorated all around. There was a dance floor raised off the ground ready and waiting for people to dance on, Another canopy surrounded it just in case it snowed.
“Spencer, this is beautiful. This will be the best Christmas ever.”
Aaron’s heart was full, and he felt a little stupid for doubting Spencer and his feelings. He couldn’t wait to stand up there in front of his friends and family to declare to the world that Spencer Matthew Reid was his now and forever.