Title: Love is a Flower
Series: Romancing Aaron Hotchner
Series Order: 3
Fandom: Criminal Minds, NCIS
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Tony DiNozzo
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Tony DiNozzo, Jack Hotchner
Summary: Aaron didn’t make it home for Valentine’s day, but that was okay because his lover has a surprise for him.
Tags: Valentine’s Day, Fluff, Romance, Falling-in-love
Beta: None. No non-consensual Beta
Aaron was glad to finally get home. It was now two days after Valentine’s day and he knew Tony was disappointed but understood. Aaron was also disappointed, but he was taking it all in stride. When Aaron parked in his driveway he saw Tony’s car parked out on the street and was both surprised, and happy that the man was there. Smiling to himself he stepped out after grabbing his briefcase and go bag.
Starting up the short walkway, Aaron heard his front door open and saw Jessica and Jack walking out. Jack was clutching a floppy stuffed bear that was almost the size of the two-year-old.
“Hey guys, what’s going on?”
Jessica smiled and kissed Aaron’s cheek.
“Tony called me yesterday when you said you were coming home today. He planned everything. Don’t think about it, Aaron. Relax and have fun. Jack will stay at my place tonight.”
Aaron crouched down and hugged Jack.
“You okay with this, Buddy?”
The two year old nodded his head and smiled.
“Daddy,” Jack sighed and babbled at Aaron for a moment, then pointed at the house. “I like Tony, Daddy.”
Jack took a big breath and leaned forward a little, “Yeah.”
“Are you going to have fun with Aunt Jess tonight?”
Jack looked up at Jessica, then back at Aaron and started to jump up and down. The stuffed bear in his arms bobbed with him.
“I think he’s excited to spend the night with you.” Aaron laughed and shook his head.
“I think he’s excited that his father is happy and has someone who cares about him. Don’t get too much in your head about this Aaron. I’ve seen you open up more in the last couple of months then you ever did with my sister. This is a good thing you have.”
Aaron felt a little overwhelmed by his ex-sister-in-laws words as she hugged him and gave him a kiss on his cheek. He couldn’t help the heat that he felt creeping up as he turned his head towards the house, then back again.
“Where’d you get the bear, Buddy.”
“Uncle Tony. His name is bear bear.”
“Well, you and Bear Bear have a good time with Aunt Jess, okay?”
“Okay, Daddy.” Jack leaned forward and gave Aaron a sloppy kiss on his cheek. Aaron stood and picked Jack up to hug him close and take him to Jessica’s car to get him settled. One more goodbye then he was heading back into the house.
When he stepped through the door his nose was assaulted by the most amazing smells, which meant that Tony had cooked. There was some soft jazz playing in the background, the lights were dimmed and there were candles everywhere. Aaron stood there a moment and closed his eyes, taking in the music and the general atmosphere Tony had created. For him. It was a bit overwhelming, but Aaron let all of the stress of the case go.
Aaron set his briefcase down underneath the table that sat next to the door. His go bag he put next to it. He wanted to go find Tony before he got any more comfortable. Of course it wasn’t going to take a genius to find him, all he had to do was follow those delicious smells.
Getting to the kitchen, Aaron leaned in the doorway and just watched Tony for a moment. The man was a master in the kitchen. Tony made it seem like some kind of exotic wild dance. His movements smooth and sure. Almost like he was casting a spell as he went, and Aaron knew the man had already cast a spell on him.
“That smells glorious, Tony.”
Tony turned to Aaron and smiled.
“I hope it meets expectations.”
Aaron walked the couple of feet inside the kitchen to get to Tony. Stopping him mid stride, Aaron grabbed Tony’s hands and pulled him close. He was a bundle of emotions and nervous energy. Tony did that to him. Made him feel more alive than he had been in a long time.
The kiss was slow to start, but built up as Aaron curled the fingers of one hand around Tony’s neck and the other around his waist. He backed Tony up towards the wall to give them some kind of support because at the moment, he was feeling weak in the knees.
Tony moaned as he laid his hands on Aaron’s hips and every so slightly dug his fingers in. It was just enough to spur Aaron on to deepen the kiss. When Tony opened his mouth to let out a gasp, Aaron took advantage of the opportunity by slipping his tongue in to taste and explore. Tony moaned as he moved his hands from hips to wrap his arms around Aaron.
Aaron tilted his head just ever so slightly to change the angle and pressure of the kiss. He was getting lost in the pleasure of those soft sensual lips, and that willing mouth. He pushed himself against Tony and the both of them hissed as their half-hard cocks just brushed against each other while Aaron pressed Tony into the wall.
Needing to breathe, Aaron pulled back and pressed his forehead against Tony’s.
“I missed you so much.”
Tony touched Aaron’s face with gentle fingers as they both worked to get their breathing under control.
“I missed you as well.”
“I’m sorry I ruined our Valentine’s.”
Tony smiled and softly chuckled.
“You didn’t ruin anything, Aaron. But if you don’t let me go, you just might make me burn dinner and I cannot let that happen.”
Aaron laughed as he pulled away. He needed some time to clear his head anyway, so he went to his bedroom to change out of the suit he was wearing.
The one big thing he and Tony had in common was their love of well tailored suits. Aaron carefully hung his jacket, but his pants went in the dry cleaning pile. The shirt and undershirt both went in the washing pile. His tie he hung up.
Aaron had seen how Tony was dressed. Casual slacks and a nice, but casual button down. Aaron debated on what to wear. Tony obviously wanted this to be special, and so did he. Pulling out a pair of khakis he didn’t wear all that often because they were fitted a little too well, he slipped those on and forewent the underwear. Then perusing his closet he smiled as he pulled out a soft chambray button down in a royal blue. It was short sleeved, but comfortable and still nice enough for the current atmosphere in the house.
He had a pair of slip on oxfords that were also comfortable but stylish. Aaron headed to the bathroom, turned on the water and dunked his head under to rinse off some of the product in his hair. He dried it off quickly and left it messy. Finally he was ready to head back to the kitchen.
“Dinner is almost ready.” Tony had not turned around yet as Aaron walked back into the kitchen. “I hope you don’t mind…”
Aaron looked over to see that Tony had stopped what he was doing and started gawking.
“How the hell do you do that?”
“Do what?” Aaron smiled.
“Fuck, Aaron. You even make casual look sexy. Here, take the wine bottle and those glasses and get out of my way. You’re a distraction.”
Aaron chuckled as he took the wine and glasses out to the dining room, that frankly didn’t see a lot of use, and poured the wine into the glasses. Aaron was charmed by the table set-up and wondered if Tony had brought over his own things. The tablecloth was a creamy white, the plate chargers were red glass and the plates were white with two thin red stripes along the edge.
There was a centerpiece of flowers, in reds, pinks and contrasting yellow. The candles that had yet to be lit were layered red, cream, and pink. Aaron knew Tony was romancing him.
Tony came into the dining room with a serving plate with several small things on it.
“A sampling of some of my favorite antipasti. Crostini bread with a bean and tomato topping, homemade breadsticks wrapped with prosciutto and soft mozzarella. This is an olive oil balsamic dipping sauce. And last we have a roasted aubergine and tomato spread served with parmesan crackers.”
“Tony, this looks wonderful.” Aaron was not only impressed, but his heart tumbled a little more knowing that this was all for him. That Tony already cared this much to do all that work for him was overwhelming. He grabbed his wine glass and took a sip to settle himself a little more.
Tony blushed as he sat down and served up the antipasti to each of them. Aaron enjoyed each bite of food. He didn’t even try to stop the moans, and obscene sounds that came out of him as each thing he tried was better than the one before. If this was the beginning, Aaron wasn’t sure if he could handle the entree.
“That tasted even better than it looked. But, Tone, you didn’t have to do all of this.”
“I know I didn’t have to, but I wanted to. I wanted to show you how much you mean to me and food has always been my way to show how much I care for someone.
“I know you would have been happy with a simple chicken and side, but there is no soul, no love, no anything in something like that. Italian food is made out of love. It’s colorful, bright, and so full of amazing flavors that sometimes take time to develop. I wanted our first Valentine’s to be special, Aaron. Not because it’s an arbitrary day to show those people we care about just how much we care, but because it was the first one that we would be spending together.
“I don’t care if our future Valentines days have pizza and movies while we snuggle on the couch, or we just fuck like rabbits. I want all of our firsts to be special.”
Aaron’s heart flipped in his chest at those words.
“I want that too, Tony. I don’t ever want to take advantage of you, of what this is between us. I don’t know yet if I want to say the words that are just there on the tip of my tongue. I feel them though.”
“I do too, Aaron.”
The couple finished their wine after eating up the rest of appetizers. Tony stood and went back to the kitchen and came out with two wide, shallow bowls full of beautiful, colorful pasta. There was a virtual rainbow of color bursting through the pink sauce.
“Wow, these are beautiful. Tony.”
“I spend one day every few months and make the pasta sheets and freeze them. For this dinner I decided on the bowtie, it seemed to fit.”
Aaron took a bite and the flavor of the pasta itself burst onto his tongue. He had tri-color pasta before, but nothing compared to this. He could actually taste the subtle hints of spinach, beets, carrots, and other vegetables and herbs. The sauce was light and simply spiced which let the pasta shine.
“I’ve had tri-color pasta before, but nothing like this.”
“That’s because there is no soul, no flavor, no love in the factory made pastas. If you’re really lucky, one day I’ll show you how I do this one. It’s not made everywhere, it takes a while to get all the pasta made to put together the ten stripes.”
Aaron reached over and took Tony’s hand, and twined their fingers together.
“Thank you. I don’t think anyone’s ever done anything like this for me. It makes me a little intimidated you know.”
“Why?” Tony asked as a tiny frown formed.
“Because I hope that I don’t disappoint you or don’t live up to your expectations of me.”
Tony squeezed Aaron’s hand.
“I don’t have expectations other than being with you and us making the time to work on this together.”
Aaron knew this was something special, he thought about an analogy he once heard where love was like a flower. As each layer of petals opened up the beauty that laid within was revealed. Aaron knew they were at the budding stage, but soon those petals would open and something truly beautiful would happen for the both of them.