Spencer looked over the list of names and was intrigued by some of the aliases. He wondered who they really were but also wanted to keep the surprises. He had needed something lately, not even really knowing what. Spencer only knew that he needed to get out of his head, to find his center again. Looking over the names again Spencer chose Casanova. He smiled to himself as he emailed them, then went back to what he was doing.
The book was coming along fairly well and Spencer was happy with what he had so far. He was going to finish off the chapter he was currently working on then he would send it off to Thomas to get his opinion on it. The story was a horror novel, using a combination of cases, Spencer was crafting a dark, mysterious tale of murder, greed, and things that moved in the night. He was influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and many other authors and comic book writers that Spencer loved. The story he was writing had a touch of Lovecraft to it and he hoped that others liked it as much as he did.
As he was lost in the words that he was typing as fast as his mind was supplying them, his email program dinged. After he got to a good stopping point, he opened the email that was from Casanova and given a date, a time, and a place. Spencer memorized the information and set it aside for the time being and got back to working on his novel.
Monday came and went, the team got a case on Tuesday, and Spencer worried they wouldn’t get back in time for his meet. He was currently staring at a map of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Sitting cross-legged on the table in the small conference room they were in, Spencer was trying to figure out the connections between where the victims had been abducted, where they lived, worked, played, and ultimately the dump sites where they had been found. He was lost in thought when he heard a deep voice he had not heard in a couple of years. Getting off of the table, Spencer went out to see who it was.
“You should have seen this one. He just can’t help himself when it comes to guns. If he put his mind to it, he would make a good fighter and never have to fire a shot.” John Blackwolf was smiling at Hotch, and Hotch was smiling back at him. Spencer watched them banter back and forth, trying not to frown. Something hard settled in the pit of his stomach and Spencer wondered where this feeling was coming from.
“Hey, if I had not have pulled the trigger when I did, then you would have been dead.”
“Yeah, yeah, Mr. FBI.”
Hotch laughed. Spencer frowned as he watched the two men and how they interacted with each other. Their actions spoke of two men who had become friends over the last couple of years. Spencer turned around and walked back into the conference room and went back to staring at the map, but now he was having a hard time getting his head back into the case. He frowned again as he kept one ear listening to what was happening outside. Spencer was not going to admit to himself that he was a bit jealous. That thought stopped him cold. He was jealous and he had no idea what to do with that emotion. There wasn’t anything between Hotch and himself. He enjoyed the friendship that was developing between them, and would not change it for anything in the world.
“Reid!” Spencer startled out of his thoughts as Hotch was standing there looking at him.
“Oh, um sorry. Was just a little lost in my head.”
“How is it going with the geographical profile?”
“Slow. I have two major points but the third point is sketchy. There isn’t anywhere the victims intersect with each other. This area here and this area here are the only places I can find that are similar.”
“Abducted here, and found at this location. So all of the victims lived or worked near each other. That is at least a start.”
“I’m hoping to get more information from Garcia when she is done with her searches.” Spencer turned back to the map to study it and bit the inside of his lip.
“Reid, you alright?”
“Yeah, Hotch. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You don’t seem like your head’s in this. We need everyone working this.”
“I know. I’m here, Hotch. I promise.” Spencer gave a quick grin, then went back to the files. Hotch was still in the room, going over his copies of the files as well, working on victimology. “So, you and Blackwolf?” Spencer was not going to look directly at his superior.
“We kept in touch. Emails, occasional phone calls. He’ll call if he needs a consult, or to lend an ear.”
“I think so. It is sometimes hard to tell with that man, but I’d like to think we have a friendship with each other.”
Spencer got a call on his phone from Gracia. He added the information to his maps and studied it. After a moment he was able to extrapolate the Unsubs main hunting area.
“This is good, Reid. Work victimology, see if we can’t narrow it down some more. When I get back we’ll present the profile.” Spencer nodded and tried to push thoughts of friendships and feelings aside.
“Yes, Hotch?” Spencer looked up from his files and waited expectantly.
“We’re just friends.” Hotch gave him a barely there quirk of his mouth in a bit of a smile. Spencer opened his mouth to say something and the man was gone. Spencer had no idea what to make of Hotch’s last words, but he was going to just set it aside for now, and if it came up in the future he would deal with it.
Blackwolf proved to be an asset and Spencer could admit that his jealousy was irrational. Of course, when it came down to it, he and Hotch had nothing between them. They were just friends, even if secretly a part of him hoped that someday they could possibly be more.
The Unsub wasn’t that hard to crack. He wanted to brag about his crimes and what he did to the women he had abducted and killed. Prentiss and JJ had taken point on the interrogation as Jeffrey Watson had responded to them better than he had to Hotch or Rossi.
Getting home the next day, Spencer was tired. He had emailed Casanova to confirm their date. It was now late on Friday and the team was taken off rotation for the weekend. Spencer was happy about that, he needed the downtime. Getting home he once again considered getting a cat or a small dog. He thought that a cat might be better because they didn’t need to be taken out as much. A dog would mean a dog walker or someone to babysit while he was gone on cases. Thinking about a pet let Spencer stop focusing on the weekend and what was in store. Sitting at his computer, he pulled up information for the local shelter to see what they had going on in terms of adoptions.
Scrolling through all the pictures of the available cats, Spencer saw a few that he liked. He took down the hours of operation for it and decided to go the next day to see if any of them were compatible for him. When he finally shut down his computer, Spencer noticed how late it was. He was tired and decided to go to bed after eating a protein bar. He needed to go grocery shopping, his bare fridge had him sighing. Spencer knew he needed to take better care of himself, but sometimes old habits really do die hard.
Sleep thankfully didn’t elude him and Spencer was out almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.
The next day Spencer did indeed go to the shelter and found not one but two 10-month-old kittens. A pair of Blue Point Siamese. They were twins, a boy and a girl. The breeder had given them up because they weren’t perfect. They had heterochromia, the girl had a right blue eye and a green left eye, her brother had the opposite. The on-site vet explained that heterochromia is exceedingly rare in most Siamese, but the mother of this particular litter had been a rare pure white Siamese.
Spencer didn’t care. He had been allowed to spend some time with them to see if they were compatible. Both kittens were very affectionate with him, the boy more vocal than the girl. Spencer was surprised when a background check was done on him, but the shelter explained that Animal Control kept a database of those who had been accused of abuse or those convicted of collecting. He could understand, they just wanted to make sure the animals were going to good homes.
On the way home, Spencer stopped at the pet store and picked up everything that he would need for them, as well as toys, collars, and a carrier big enough for the two of them. When he got home, Spencer was more than excited. Setting the temporary carriers down, he opened them up and waited till the kittens decided that they wanted to come out. Deciding to let them explore, Spencer stretched out on his couch with a book and would look towards his new little charges every once-in-a-while.
“What am I going to call you two? I don’t think you want the names the shelter gave you. Mittens and Buttons seem so…mundane. Don’t you think?” The boy came over and jumped up on top of Spencer and butted his chin against Spencer’s. Scratching behind the kitten’s ears Spencer was rewarded with a very loud purr. The girl soon wandered over, and though she meowed a few times, she had a quieter voice. Her purr was deeper, and not as vocal.
“How about, I call you Pythagoras and your sister is Hypatia. Hy and Py for short. What do you think?” Py purred louder and bumped his head under Spencer’s chin. Hy snuggled down and stretched her small body against his. Spencer was in love.
“Why do I have a feeling you are just buttering me up and later the trouble will come.”
Py meowed and laid down on Spencer’s chest. Grabbing the phone that was near him, Spencer took more pictures of his new companions and without thinking he sent them off to Hotch. After he did it, he wondered why he had. Laughing to himself he just shook his head, then spent some time playing with Py and Hy. When he finally looked up at the clock he noticed it was getting late, he needed to get ready for his date.
Walking into the Sofitel Hotel Spencer was impressed. He had been there for a few small conferences but was never in any of the rooms. He already had been given the suite number by Casanova. He had also been told to bring a bag, to expect to stay all night long. Spencer could admit he was a little nervous but excited as well.
Finally, the elevator made its way to the top floor, and Spencer stepped out. The top floor only boasted a few suites, so it was easy to find the one he was looking for. Knocking, he waited, but not for long and the door was opening.
“Come in and make yourself comfortable. I took the liberty of ordering a charcuterie, and a fruit and cheese plate, as well as some wine. I don’t intend on this just being over quickly.” Spencer stood there a moment dumbfounded. The man had not actually looked at Spencer, but Spencer knew exactly who the man was.
“Tony?” The man whipped around and stared at Spencer, then smiled the biggest smile Spencer had ever seen from him.
“Well, well, well. I see I finally get the Genius in my bed. And it only took you joining a sex club to do it.” Tony’s grin had Spencer anticipating the evening even more. “I think, though, you need to get comfortable. This isn’t going to be a quick roll, Dr. Reid. I want to take my time with you.” Tony walked over to Spencer and took the bag out of his hand and set it down, then cupping his cheek, Tony leaned in and kissed Spencer. The noises he made would have been embarrassing any other time, but Tony was slowly and deliberately keeping him off-kilter.
“There are robes in the bathroom. Thick, fluffy and sinfully soft. Go put one on.” Tony ordered and Spencer shivered as he quickly complied. When he came back out of the bathroom the lights in the room were dimmed, a few candles were placed strategically around and Tony was lying on his side on the bed. “Take off the robe, and lie down.”
“I just have to ask,” Spencer untied the robe and let it slide down his body at the foot of the bed. Tony’s eyes darkened with lust as Spencer crawled up the bed on all fours. “Why the Club? I always assumed you did fairly well on your own.” Spencer stretched out on the bed, and turned his head just enough to see Tony’s face.
“You realize it’s all an act. I work more than I play and for now, I’m not looking for that forever. Hell, most of the time I’m not even really looking. But, I enjoy sex. I enjoy letting go and getting out of my head for a while. With the Club, I know I’m safe. I know more than half of the members and being part of the initiation process? Well, that lets me meet new people. There is no pressure, and I can be more myself than I am even in real life.” Tony moved on the bed and a moment later he was straddling Spencer’s thighs. Spencer felt the soft fabric of the robe Tony was still wearing falling against his body and Spencer sighed as he relaxed down on the bed. A moment later he hissed as warm oil was poured all over his back. Strong sure hands started at his hips and lower back, massaging the knots and tight muscles. Spencer was slowly letting all of the stress of the last week or two go as hands worked slowly up his back and up either side of his spine.
“That feels amazing, Tony. Where did you learn massage?”
Spencer felt Tony shift as he moved to the end of the bed and started working on the back of Spencer’s legs. He was careful around the bend of the knees, knowing how fragile the muscles were in that particular area.
“After I couldn’t play ball anymore I still wanted to do something in Sports. I switched majors to Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy. Wasn’t till after graduation I even thought about being a cop.”
“I can say without prejudice your hands are deadly,” Spencer teased as his body melted even more into the mattress.
Tony chuckled as he continued to work on Spencer. A few moments later, Tony was prodding Spencer to turn around, repeating the process on Spencer’s front. Working around hips and groin, Tony avoided Spencer’s cock, but that didn’t mean Spencer wasn’t affected. His cock was hard as it lay against his belly, already leaking with precum.
“Someone is rather excited.” Tony leaned down and took Spencer’s mouth in another kiss. “Would you like me to take the edge off? Like I said, I want to keep you all to myself all night long.”
“Yes, please,” Spencer tried not to sound like he was begging. Fingers dug into the covers under him as a hand wrapped around his cock. Spencer was both relaxed and worked up that it didn’t take much for Tony to help him find some relief. Lying there, out of breath as Tony went to wash up, Spencer felt like he was floating just a bit. A warm cloth wiped him down and cleaned him up.
“Can you sit up?” Tony asked.
Spencer nodded, and slowly started to sit up on the bed. He was a little wobbly at first, but then he found his balance.
“Come on, a little food, some water, then some nice chilled wine I think are in order next.” Helping Spencer into the robe, Tony then helped him stand and led him to the table that was set-up in the small living room of the suite.
“This looks fabulous. Tony, you’ll have to let me pay for some of this.”
“Nope. This is all on me. Now, come here.” Tony sat down, then pulled Spencer onto his lap. Reaching out to the table, Tony grabbed a remote and turned on some music. It was a mix of Jazz styles, Spencer figured from Tony’s own music collection.
“I can sit and eat on my own.”
“Spencer, let me take care of you tonight.” Tony’s smile, his hand wrapped around Spencer’s hip, the other hand stroking up and down Spencer’s arm all worked to calm and relax him more, Spencer relented and let himself give into Tony’s sensualist desires.
“The night is young.”
“And how did I let you talk me into this?” Aaron asked as he and Dave were sliding into a booth at a local upscale Jazz club.
“Because you were moping and I caught you at a perfect time.”
“You mean you waited till my defenses were down.” Aaron glared at Dave, but his eyes sparkled with humor.
“Okay, you got me. But trust me, my friend, you will thank me for it later.”
A waitress came to take their drink orders as well as an order for appetizers. Aaron would let himself indulge in a way he had not in a long time. When he saw the look on Dave’s face, he knew his best friend had an ulterior motive.
“Okay, spill. You didn’t bring me here just for bad food and some alcohol.”
“You know me too well, my friend. Have some patience, and you’ll find out.”
Aaron sighed and sipped at the water the waitress had left for them. A few moments later the lights dimmed and a gorgeous woman took the stage. When Aaron saw who it was he almost choked on his drink.
“Easy there, my friend. I know it’s been awhile, but come on.” Dave teased.
“I recognize her, that’s all.”
“Right. And I have a bridge to sell you in New Mexico. Spill.”
The waitress brought their drinks and appetizers, smiled and said she would be back in a little while.
“Michelle Simms. Haley and I had met her at a party a few years back. I never understood why she hasn’t made it. She has an amazing voice.” Aaron smiled as he watched Michelle sing, the barely there cocktail dress hugged every curve just right. He saw Dave smirking at him as he shifted in his seat, thinking of past nights with the beautiful Michelle and her then fiance. Aaron wondered if the man was still around or not.
“I don’t know if I want to know what kind of party you met her at. She’s beautiful. Wouldn’t mind spending a very enjoyable weekend with a woman like that.”
Aaron blushed as he picked up his scotch and took a sip.
“Dave, you are the most hedonistic man I have ever known.”
“And rather proud my friend.”
Dave lifted a toast towards the singer, but her eyes were on Aaron. She smiled and sent him a little wave. Food eaten, a second scotch and Aaron was feeling more relaxed than he had been when they walked into the nightclub.
“Sir, the singer wanted me to bring you this.” The waitress handed Aaron a slip of paper, she gave Dave a smile and then walked away.
“If I were you, Aaron Hotchner, I would not pass up whatever it is that Miss Simms is offering. You’re a free man, I assume she is a free woman and you two are adults.”
Aaron glared at his friend as he slipped the note into his pocket.
“Are you trying to get me laid here, Dave?”
“Maybe not here exactly, but what if I am?”
Aaron shook his head and chuckled. Nights out with one David Rossi were never boring.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
“Oh, please, take all the time you need.” Dave smiled salaciously and Aaron just sighed. He gave up a long time ago trying to wrangle Dave, that was an almost impossible task.
Aaron slipped out of the booth and walked through the darkened nightclub until he found the row of dressing rooms. Knocking on the one that Michelle had written down in her note, Aaron waited.
“It was quite a surprise to see you out in the audience.” Michelle licked her lips, grabbed Aaron by the tie and pulled him into her dressing room. Shutting the door, she locked it and pushed him against the wall next to the door. “I hear you are a free man.”
Aaron settled his hands on her hips, holding her close.
“I am. Whatever happened to Richmond?”
“He wanted me to give up singing and dancing. I am not willing to do that. Not yet at least.”
Aaron flipped them around and pushed her against the wall, then nuzzled her neck.
“Haven’t seen you around the Club. Is that because Richmond is out of the picture?”
“I can’t afford to drop 10k on anything right now. God, Aaron don’t stop.”
Aaron pushed her dress up and his hand brushed over her barely covered sex. Michelle moaned as she thrust her hips forward, seeking more from his hand.
“Don’t you think it’s a little cliche to have sex against the wall.” Michelle’s voice was husky as she bit her lip.
“Who says we are having sex. Maybe I just wanted to come back to see how you are.” Aaron kept his stoic mask in place, but let a small smile form on his lips.
“Then why did you hike up my dress, and your hand is suspiciously close to my vagina.”
Aaron laughed, he couldn’t even help it, the situation was a tad ridiculous. Taking a few deep breaths he looked up at her and smiled a real smile.
“What are we doing, Michelle?”
“I honestly don’t know. I saw you sitting with your friend out there and you just looked so uncomfortable, I thought I’d save you.” Michelle pushed him away and walked over to the small loveseat and flopped down. “How are you really, Aaron?”
“I’m okay. How are you?”
“I’m actually leaving DC. Going to Vegas, got a part in a show. It’s something, at least.”
“Just tell me you’re going to be okay. You know Haley will worry.”
“I promise, Aaron. I’ll be fine. Why don’t we have a drink before my next set and you go out and make up a bunch of lies to make your friend jealous.”
Aaron shook his head and settled in next to Michelle glad to just be talking with an old friend.
Spencer thought he just might die a happy man. Tony had just finished kissing, licking, biting, marking, touching every inch of skin on Spencer’s body, from the tops of his feet to his neck. If Tony had not put the cock ring on him, Spencer would have come just from Tony’s ministrations. Now he was on his front, legs bent under him with Tony’s tongue doing very wicked things to his ass. Spencer had never been eaten out before, but when a tongue pushed inside him, that was when he knew he could die right at that moment and be one-hundred percent satisfied with his lot in life.
Spencer had his hands wrapped tightly around the wrought iron bars of the bed as he was being thoroughly worked over. Fingers joined tongue and he keened and panted as he willed his body not to tense. Moments later, Spencer moaned and dropped his head down onto the pillow as a hard cock slowly pushed inside him.
Strong hands wrapped around his hips holding him down and Spencer had no more thoughts in his head. His body trembled in pleasure at the intrusion.
“God, Spencer. I could spend days with you and still not be satisfied,” Tony groaned as he gave over to the sheer physical pleasure he found in Spencer’s body. Spencer didn’t think of anything else other than the slide of Tony’s cock in and out of him. Hands gripping his sides, noises, made by both men as their passion ebbed and flowed between them. Spencer had thought his last short-lived relationship had been passionate, but he never got from Lila what he was getting from Tony. His undivided attention and Spencer took it all in. When he felt the swell of Tony’s cock, he knew his lover wasn’t going to last much longer.
“Look at you Genius. Have I reduced you to nothing but grunts and moans?” Tony growled as he pushed in hard once more, his body stiffened, and Spencer knew the man had come. Pulling out, he rolled Spencer onto his back, then took the head of his cock in his mouth. Unsnapping the cock ring, Spencer took that as permission to finally be able to come. Tony took everything Spencer had to give him. Crawling up his body, Tony settled on top of Spencer and proceeded to ravish his mouth, not letting him go just yet.
“Fuck, Tony. I don’t think I have anything left.”
Tony lifted up and fell to the side of Spencer where he propped his head up on his arm. His other hand he splayed across Spencer’s stomach, lightly rubbing the soft skin.
“I’ll go get us a bath ready. Join me when you can.” Tony smiled crookedly as he rolled off the bed, landing on his feet and sauntered into the bathroom. Spencer sat up and watched him go. He shook his head and often wondered at Tony’s ease with himself. Spencer had never really felt that. It took a few minutes for him to find his strength, but Spencer finally got up from the bed and went into the bathroom. While the bathtub wasn’t one of those large round spa tubs, it was most definitely big enough for the two of them.
“Come on, Spencer. I won’t bite. Well, not unless you want me to.”
“And why are we friends?” Spencer teased as he sank down into the warm bubbles Tony had going on the Spa setting. Leaning back into his friend’s body, Spencer once again gave himself over to Tony’s pampering.
“Because we both love that little revival theatre in Arlington. We still on for next week, or has this whole thing changed our friendship?” Spencer melted against Tony’s magical hands.
“I don’t see why it has to change anything, Tony. We were friends before this. We are both adults and I think we can handle some recreational sex. Besides, I have a feeling we would have ended up in bed at some point.”
“The flirting give it away?” Tony kissed Spencer’s temple.
“Just a little. I am a profiler you know.”
“Hmm, I do know. And a damn fine one at that.”
They took their time in the bath. At some point, bubbles came into play, as did Tony’s hands and what they could reduce Spencer too. He was past the point of being able to ejaculate anymore, but that didn’t mean Tony couldn’t pull a dry orgasm or two from him. When Spencer was fighting to keep his eyes open, Tony prodded him out of the bathtub. Quickly Spencer rinsed off in the shower, then stepped out and wrapped a towel around himself. There was a knock at the door which had Spencer frowning.
“Don’t worry, Genius. I ordered us something decadent from room service.”
Spencer put on the robe and went to go answer the door. A waiter pushed a cart inside the room. He pulled the plate cover off to reveal a sampling of desserts. Coffee and a dessert wine were also on the cart.
“Just leave the cart outside when you are finished, Sir.” The room service waiter smiled and Spencer gave him a generous tip. Moving the cart to the table, Spencer placed the sweets and drinks on the table, then pushed the cart out of the way.
“Thought you might like something a little sweet. That is if you aren’t too sleepy.”
Spencer grinned, and he knew he probably looked goofy, but truth be told he didn’t care. He had not had someone pamper him like Tony was doing in too long a time. Spencer finally understood about halfway through the evening that part of Tony’s letting go was the pampering.
“This looks amazing.” Spencer poured them coffee from the french press, and each of them doctored it how they wanted. They shared the collection of mini desserts ranging from a coffee pannacotta to one of the best strawberry shortcakes Spencer had ever tasted. When they were done, Tony was pouring them some wine.
“You look absolutely delectable, Dr. Reid. Can I just say that looking completely fucked out is an utterly charming look on you?”
Spencer laughed as he took a glass of wine and sipped.
“It’s all your fault of course.”
“Oh, believe me, I am happy to take the blame for it.”
Spencer took his time savoring the desserts and wine Tony had ordered. By the time he was done he couldn’t keep his eyes open anymore.
“I think it’s time for Genius’ to go to bed.” Tony stood and gently pulled Spencer up out of his chair and put him to bed. Spencer was drifting off when the lights went out, as well as the candles. Tony slipped into bed and spooned behind Spencer.
“Go to sleep, Spencer.”
Haley wants to know if you’d like to come to lunch with us.
Spencer picked up his phone and looked to see who was texting him. He furrowed his brow as he saw Hotch’s text. He wasn’t sure what this was about, and he could admit that he was intrigued.
Sure. What time and where do you want to meet?
1:30 at that little cafe near your place?
Yes, that’s the place.
Sounds good. I’ll meet you there.
Spencer picked up his coffee and sipped at it and tried to figure out why Haley of all people was inviting him to lunch. Fingers buried in his hair and a quick kiss to his temple pulled him out of his thoughts. He looked over to see that Tony had taken a shower and was wrapped up in his own robe.
“I’ll need to be going in a few minutes. Have to get home and get some rest because someone didn’t let me sleep,” Spencer’s mischievous grin had Tony laughing as he poured coffee into a cup and took his first sip.
“I warned you I was going to keep you all night long.”
“You did. I know I should never underestimate the DiNozzo charm.” Spencer buttered a piece of toast and snacked on it, thinking.
“All right, Dr. Reid, what is going through your head? You look like someone with something very serious on your mind.”
“Nothing serious, really. I am just trying to figure out why my boss’s ex-wife invited me to lunch with the two of them. It’s not like I’ve spent all that much time around her.”
Tony slouched in his chair munching on some bacon and sipping coffee. Spencer felt like he was being put under a microscope with that penetrating gaze of Tony’s. Days like today, Spencer knew his friend was being wasted at NCIS, he just wished he could talk Tony into leaving his working environment. He understood loyalty, he just did not understand Tony’s loyalty to Gibbs.
“Is this the same boss you’ve had a crush on ever since I’ve known you?”
“What? You’re like the tragic best friend in love with the romantic lead in every bad romance movie I’ve ever seen. Pining over something you think you can’t have.”
Spencer looked down at the belt on his robe, suddenly finding something very interesting in it, but truthfully he didn’t want to look at Tony or have those beautiful, intelligent green eyes boring into him.
“He’s just a friend and my boss, Tony. He’s also very straight.”
“Right. Well, maybe she just wants to get to know Hotch’s friends and coworkers better. There is no use in worrying about it till you actually get to lunch and find out what it is she wants.”
“I know you’re right.” Spencer took a deep breath and set his cup down. Standing up he took off the robe and pulled fresh clothes from his overnight bag. He quickly dressed, gathered up his things and packed them away getting ready to leave. “I do need to go, as much as I would like to stay a while longer. I have to get home to Hy and Py and hope they didn’t destroy anything while I was gone.”
Tony stood and grabbed Spencer’s hand.
“And who are Hy and Py?” Tony furrowed his brow in confusion.
Spencer grinned like a loon as he pulled up the pictures he took the day before and showed Tony.
“Hypatia and Pythagoras. I adopted them yesterday.”
Spencer agreed wholeheartedly.
“Thank you for last night, Tony.”
“Even Genius’ need some pampering. You need to be better to yourself, Spencer. Go home before I try to kidnap you and not let you leave this hotel room all afternoon.”
Spencer laughed as he picked up his bag and started to go out the door. It hit him then why Tony might be staying at NCIS. It was part of why he stayed in the BAU.
“Tony, you need to be good to yourself as well. Maybe you need to look at your own feelings for your boss.”
“Oh, believe me, Spencer, I am well aware that I am a tragic character in my own movie. Gibbs may never be ready to hear what I have to tell him. I don’t know if I’m ready to have my heart broken. So, I’ll let the movie play out, see where it leads me.”
“No. I’m fine, Spencer. Go. Go home and play with your cats, go to that lunch and live a good life, Spencer. I’ll see you in a few days unless either of us catches a case.”
Spencer said his goodbyes once again and left the hotel. He couldn’t help feeling a touch of bittersweet at leaving Tony behind, but he hoped that his friend would somehow find his own peace.
Getting home, Spencer was glad to see that his apartment was intact. When he stepped through the door his new furry companions came running out from wherever they had been. Py much louder than his sister let Spencer know just what he thought of his human being gone all night. Spencer checked their food and water, then walked into his bedroom, shedding his clothes and slipping into bed. The cats jumped on the bed demanding his attention.
“I see how it’s going to be. You two are going to yell at me every time I’m gone for a while, aren’t you?”
Hy bumped her head against his bare shoulder and Spencer turned to his side on the bed. Curling up in his arm, she gently purred next to him. Py settled on his hip, his purr much louder and the force of it made his little body shake. Spencer set the alarm on his phone, then let himself fall asleep. His two charges snuggled up with him and Spencer felt it was just about the most perfect Sunday morning he could think of.
Walking into La Boulangerie, Spencer was a little nervous. He had his messenger bag with him as a defensive shield. He was well aware that was what he was using it for. He looked around the restaurant and found the table where Hotch and Haley were. Putting on a nervous smile, he walked over to their table.
“Reid, glad you could make it.” Hotch stood and let Spencer slip into the corner of the booth. Too many days spent in diners and inexpensive restaurants, they all knew each other’s quirks and preferences.
“I hope you don’t mind I ordered you a coffee,” Hotch said as they sat back down.
“Thanks.” Spencer saw the cup and pulled it to him. He added his preferred amount of sugar and cream, then sipped and closed his eyes a moment savoring the rich dark brew. Spencer liked this cafe because it was casual but comfortable and more upscale than a burger joint. It was a walk-up and order type of restaurant, but he wasn’t hungry just yet. The silence stretched on for a few moments and Spencer was feeling a little out of his element.
When Jack started to babble, Spencer was shocked that he had not seen the boy was there. He leaned up a little and saw Haley picking him up to put him on the booster seat that was on the bench next to her.
“Aaron, why don’t you go order us something to eat?” Haley smiled at him as she grabbed a snack for the toddler out of the oversized bag she had with her.
“All right. Reid, you want something?”
Spencer was going to say no, but there was a look in Haley’s eyes that had him pausing. He knew the menu by heart and took a moment to think about it.
“Yeah, I’ll have the turkey and avocado croissant. And, the homemade chips instead of the french fries.”
“I’ll be right back.” Hotch stood and walked towards the counter. It was going to take a little time as they had arrived between the brunch and lunch hours.
“Please, call me Haley.”
“Okay, and call me Spencer.” Taking a sip of coffee to clear his throat, Spencer set his cup back down on the table and leaned forward. “Haley, I don’t really understand why you asked me here. Obviously, this is a family get together.”
Haley crooked her mouth into a smile as she leaned back against the back of the booth they were occupying.
“Aaron talks about you quite a lot. The only other people he talks about almost as much were Gideon, and Dave. While Dave was easy to figure out, I have to admit Gideon was…difficult. Aaron has a tendency to get close to people that have strong personalities. I never really understood his relationship with Jason, and he won’t admit it, but he was angry when Gideon left. Our problems didn’t help with that. When he moved back into the house we talked about it, then you were brought up. He likes you a lot, Spencer. I wanted to get to know the person that he holds such admiration for.”
Spencer felt the heat in his cheeks and wasn’t sure what to say.
“Hotch is a good man. I know he struggles to keep the team together, especially under our Section Chief.”
“There’s more, isn’t there?”
“I, I’m not sure what you mean.”
“Spencer, Aaron and I aren’t married anymore and although we are living in the same house, it doesn’t mean we are living together. We have separate lives and I realized some hard truths about myself. Aaron and I would have been much better if we had stayed friends. I love him, I do and I probably always will, but I think we fell out of love with each other a long time ago and didn’t want to admit it.”
“I like Hotch if that’s what you mean. I mean I think we’ve been getting closer as friends. He has a way of seeing into you. He helped me out when no one else knew how to. I care about him.”
“Good. He needs more people like you. Someone that sees him for who he is.”
Spencer looked down at the table, then slid his gaze over to Hotch who was almost at the front of the line to order. A small smile played out on his lips as he watched the man wait with a patience and easy grace that Spencer could admit that he never had.
“You’re very frank.”
Haley smiled as she fed Jack and looked over at him.
“Living with a lawyer, then later a profiler, I’ve had to learn to be frank. Being less than honest it never gets anyone anywhere. Aaron and I are living proof of that.”
Spencer broke his gaze away from his boss and turned back to Haley. He had an idea that in some weird roundabout way she was giving her blessing for something that Spencer wasn’t even sure he was ready for.
“What are you two up to over here?” Hotch smiled that megawatt smile that was so rare as of late as he set their order number down, then slid back into the booth next to Spencer.
“Nothing. Just telling Spencer that I wanted to get to know the person that you can’t stop talking about.”
“Haley.” Hotch blushed.
“Oh don’t give me that, Aaron. I did the same with Dave and Jason. Now, come and get Jack, I think he wants to sit over there with you.” Hotch stood and held out his arms for Jack. When he sat back down again, Spencer felt a little nervous as he looked at the toddler that was being settled in between them.
“Reid, he isn’t going to hurt you.”
“Hotch, you know me and babies don’t mix.”
“Reid, I think it’s only because you have not been exposed to kids very much. Here, I can guarantee one way to get Jack on your side is snacks.”
Hotch chuckled as he shook his head.
“Here,” Hotch handed him a baggie of what looked like the goldfish snacks. Spencer took it and shook a few out in his hand then held out his hand for Jack. The boy giggled as he looked between his father and the new person. Babbling away, Jack took a few of the crackers and put them on the napkin Hotch had spread out on the table.
Spencer had no idea what he was doing or why he was doing it, but he let himself try and relax around the boy. He looked up to see the amusement in Hotch’s eyes and it did things to his emotions he truly was not ready for.
“Right. You say that now when he has food in front of him. But what happens when I stop being his source of amusement.”
“Jack likes you, Spencer.” Haley too had a sparkle of amusement in her eyes and for some reason, the approval of Haley Hotchner set Spencer a little more at ease. Looking down at the boy once more, Spencer smiled. Maybe there wasn’t anything that mysterious after all.
Spencer was playing with Jack when their food arrived. The quiet conversation lulled as they ate and for once Spencer didn’t try to question why he was there. The comfortable companionship was enough. He tried not to hope that there would be more days like this, he would just take them as they came. Spencer looked up at Haley and saw the soft look on her face and he thought he might know what she was doing. Trying to give Spencer a family. One outside of work where he could be himself. Watching the couple, interacting with Jack, the gentle teasing from Hotch, Spencer felt himself relaxing more and admitting to himself that family might not be all bad.
The next day Spencer was able to get an appointment with his tattoo artist. He knew exactly what he wanted, a film reel to remind him of Tony. He was thankful that the artist was not only good but exceptional at making all of the disparate parts of the tattoo work well together. He knew by the time it was done, it would be quite the statement, but only he would know the full meaning, and Spencer was okay with that.