My Addiction Chapter 1 – 20


Aaron Hotchner stood at the window in his office and looked down at the street laid out before him, paperwork temporarily forgotten. He was thinking about the turn of events in the last few weeks of his life. His hands wandered over his chest and arms, stopping where he knew the bruises and bite marks lay. He reflected back on the evening before and asked himself, why?  I let it happen again, why?  It had been so long since someone had touched him that it felt so good. He just wasn’t sure when things got…darker and he wasn’t sure when it became his addiction.

There was a knock at his office door and without turning around he said, “Come in.”

Spencer walked in and saw his boss standing there at the window, “Aaron…”

Aaron turned around and looked at the young genius, “Yes Reid?”

Spencer cleared his throat, “If you want my resignation…”

Aaron looked at Spencer for a long time, “No.” Was all he said, he then turned around and went back to looking out the window. He didn’t hear when Spencer left and he knew he’d be back in Spencer’s bed, he just didn’t know how much of him would be left.


He had tried to stay away but he couldn’t. The case they had just finished was too much. Children, why children?  It’s a question he always asked, but the answer never came. He knocked on the door and without a word Spencer let him in. They don’t say a word and again Aaron falls into bed with the young agent. This secret that they share is both terrifying and intoxicating. They know they could lose their jobs, both of them, even though it was Spencer who initiated it. Aaron was complicit and for now he was unwilling or maybe unable to stop this affair.

He let it happen again, let Spencer take all the control, let his lover do whatever he wanted and there was a type of freeing and maybe, just maybe that’s what this was about. Aaron giving up control to someone else, letting them make the decisions, even if this was just sex, or was it?  Does he have feelings for Spencer?  Does Spencer have feelings for him?  He doesn’t know because they never talk, it’s always like this, silence except for the involuntary noises that are pulled out of him. He’s blindfolded this time and the fear thrills him. Maybe that was why he comes back.


 Aaron and Spencer had been having movie nights shortly after Maeve’s death. The two found a deep camaraderie in losing someone they loved. Aaron was trying to help the young man come to terms with his loss. Now months later he noticed Spencer trying to move on, which could sometimes be as paralyzing, he should know, it’s what happened to him after Haley’s death.

Jack was at a friend’s house for a sleepover and they were alone. Their routine was each week one of them would pick out a movie and they had to watch, no matter what it was. This night Spencer, who started an unspoken contest of pushing each other’s boundaries, had chosen My Beautiful Laundrette, an obscure 1980’s British drama.

At the end of it Spencer asked, “What did you think?”

“It was interesting and very thought provoking. I liked the conflict in Omar and Johnny’s relationship.”

Spencer smiled, but there was something behind it, something…wicked. Aaron was taken completely by surprise when Spencer crawled in his lap and kissed him. At first he didn’t respond, was too startled, then he felt Spencer’s hands on his flesh and it felt…so, so good.

“I want you Aaron, I always have…I’ll make it good, make us both feel so good,” And just like that Spencer pushed him down on the couch and took what he wanted. The problem was Aaron didn’t fight him.


The first time it happened Aaron thought he was going to throttle Spencer. They were sitting next to each other at the back of the plane going over victimology.

“So, what do these victims all have in common?” As Aaron asked the team Reid’s hand had wandered and rested on Aaron’s inner thigh. Then his nails dug in. Aaron swallowed hard and gave Reid a sterner than normal look. However good it felt they were in the middle of a case. Aaron wasn’t sure what game Reid was playing, but this was going too far.

The look that passed between them didn’t go unnoticed by Morgan or Rossi. They looked at each other and gave an almost imperceptible shrug. They knew something was going on with their Unit Chief, but not even Dave was brave enough right now to broach the subject. JJ and Alex were too pre-occupied with the case files to notice the exchange.

The second time it happened they were flying back after finishing up with the case. Hotch was in the kitchenette getting some coffee when Spencer came up behind him and dug his fingers in Aaron’s hip. Aaron rounded on him and saw the dark wicked expression on Spencer’s face.

In a quiet voice, so as not to wake the rest of the occupants of the plane, Aaron said, “Reid, you need to stop that.”

“Aaron do you really want me to?” Spencer asked as he backed the older man up in the small space. The curtain was closed so no one could see what was going on. Spencer leaned down and kissed Aaron, biting his lower lip in the process. He pulled away after a moment, smiled and walked back to his seat. Aaron stood there mind reeling not really knowing the answer.


Dave didn’t even knock. He barged into Aaron’s office, closed the door behind him and sat down in one of the chairs in front of his friend’s desk.

“Aaron, what’s going on with you?”

Aaron narrowed his eyes and glared at his best friend, “What do you mean Dave?”

“You and Spencer. Something you want or need to tell me?”

“Nothing is going on Dave…”

“Aaron, I’ve known you too long and I know when you’re lying.”

“Dave, I don’t really want to talk about this with you.”

“So something is going on.”

Aaron was silent. He didn’t want Dave to know about his relationship with Spencer. He wouldn’t understand. Hell he still didn’t understand. All he knew was this need. This soul-searing, bone deep need. He knew it was changing him, but he also didn’t want it to end. Not yet at least. His addiction to Spencer was getting stronger.

“Aaron, you’re my friend, if you need help…”

Aaron put up his hand to stop Dave, “I’m fine Dave, I don’t need any help.”

“Keep telling yourself that Aaron, but when you’re ready to talk, I’ll be here.” Dave left, worried about what his best friend had gotten himself into.

Later that night lying in Spencer’s arms he let hidden silent tears fall.


Aaron knew he had to talk to Spencer. Their affair had been going on for over six months now and he was falling deeper and deeper into the strange twisted relationship. Jack was at a friend’s birthday campout for the weekend so he knew it had to be now, if not he knew he’d lose his nerve and things would continue as they were.

They had dinner together, but Spencer noticed Aaron was unusually quiet.

“Aaron,” He asked looking at his boss and lover.

Aaron sighed, raised his head and looked at Spencer, “Yes, Spencer?”

Reid frowned, “You okay?”

Aaron pushed his plate away, sat back in the chair and contemplated what he was going to say. “No, actually, I’m not.”

“Have I done something wrong?” Aaron was confused, Spencer actually sounded genuinely concerned.

“Spencer, you’ve done everything wrong and I’ve let you. I let you be in control and now I feel like everything is out of control. You tease, you push boundaries and I…”

“You what Aaron?” Spencer frowned had he missed something?  He thought Aaron liked their relationship as it was.

Aaron’s heart was beating too fast, “I think…I think we need to end this Spencer. If not, it’s…it’s going to…” Aaron got quiet. He didn’t know how to say what he needed to say.

Spencer moved to sit next to Aaron, “Going to what?” Spencer was scared. His feelings had become complicated and tangled up when it came to Aaron. What started out simple no longer was.

“I think it will destroy me Spencer.”

“What? Why, why would it destroy you?” Now Spencer was truly afraid.


“Because, what?” Spencer was getting agitated and upset.

“I think I love you, and I think you’ve ruined me for anyone else.” There he finally said it.


Aaron still couldn’t believe Spencer had just left. He didn’t say anything after Aaron’s confession. He had gotten up grabbed his satchel and left.

They played professional, but the others took notice of their strained relationship. “We need to talk,” Aaron had called Spencer to his office.

“I know, but not here.” Aaron could see Spencer’s frustration. “Um, do you want to come to my place?”

“I’ll be there around 8:00” Spencer heard the dismissal in Aaron’s voice.

Aaron arrived a little after 8:00 and when he walked in Spencer slammed him against the wall and started to kiss him. Aaron put his hands on Spencer’s chest and said, “No.”

Spencer pulled back, “Aaron, that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”

“No Spencer, we need to talk.”

Spencer stalked off to his living room, “Fine, what do you want to talk about?”

Aaron was angry and he let it show, “I told you how I felt and you left, Spencer, you just left.” He was breathing hard waiting for the genius to answer.

“Aaron, I…I can’t…I can’t tell you what you want.” Spencer looked like he wanted to cry. This was too much, too much like Maeve, but he couldn’t tell Aaron that.

“Goodbye Spencer.” Aaron turned around and walked out the door.


The team was gathered in the conference room and they noticed Hotch was missing.

“Before we get started I have an announcement,” Rossi took a deep breath before he spoke again, “Aaron has taken a short leave of absence,” He said gravely, sliding a dark look over at Spencer.

“What? Why? Rossi, what’s going on?” Morgan asked.

“I don’t know Derek, but Strauss made me Acting Unit Chief till he gets back.”

“How long is he going to be gone?” JJ sounded deeply concerned.

“He has a lot of accumulated vacation time so I’m not sure JJ. Now, let’s get back to this case.” Rossi effectively cut off any more questions.

After the team broke-up Rossi stopped Reid from leaving the conference room, “What’s going on kid?”

Spencer frowned deeply, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Dave was trying to keep his temper in check, “Something has been going on between you and Aaron and now he’s taken a sudden leave. You wanna tell me why?”

“I don’t know, nothing is going on between me and Hotch. Now, don’t we have a case to get to?” Spencer stared back at Rossi.

“Fine, but if he’s hurt because of you, kid there won’t be any place for you to hide.” Rossi was angry because his friend was obviously hurting and Spencer was obviously the cause, but neither man was talking.

They stared each other down for what seemed like a long time and Reid understood the unspoken threat. He gathered his things, still gave no explanation, and headed out towards the plane.


Spencer couldn’t take it anymore. It had been a month since Aaron’s leave and he missed the older man. He was agitated and upset and knew that it was mostly his fault that Aaron wasn’t there.

Aaron was playing a game with Jack when he heard the knock on the door. An angry look crossed his face when he saw who was standing there, “Spencer. What are you doing here?”

Jack heard Spencer’s name and ran to the door, “Uncle Spencer!” He yelled exuberantly and threw his arms around the young agent’s waist.

Spencer moved past the door and lowered himself to the ground and gave the 9 year old a tight hug. Aaron wasn’t the only one he missed.

“Jack, Spencer and I have to talk can you go to your room for a little bit buddy?”

Jack smiled, “Okay Dad,” Aaron watched as the boy made his way to his room and smiled. As soon as Jack was out of earshot he turned back to Spencer, “What are you doing here?”

“I’ve missed you Aaron.”

Aaron closed his eyes for a minute, “Spencer, please…”

“Where have you been?”

Aaron stared at Spencer and decided to tell him the truth, “In therapy.”

“What? Why?”

“You have to ask why? To deal with us, this,” Aaron waived a hand between them. “You left me Spencer. I told you how I felt and you left. I gave you a chance and you still didn’t say anything. I need to get past you,” Spencer could see just what this was costing Aaron to admit these feelings.

“Aaron…” Why couldn’t he say it? Why couldn’t he have the same courage?

“Spencer, I suggest you do the same.”

“The same what?”

“Therapy. Now, I have to get back to my son. Goodbye Spencer.”


Spencer was curled up on his couch staring at a bottle of dilauded. It was one he had bought after Maeve’s death. He never broke his sobriety then, but now he was more tempted than he’d ever been in his life. What started out simple, what started out as just sex, or was it? Did he actually have feelings for Aaron? Was that why this hurt so much? Had he lost love…wait love? Did he love Aaron? Love…Aaron? Was it possible, had he fallen in love again? Had he just lost his chance?  He stared at it, his personal demon. Had he replaced his addiction?  Was Aaron his new addiction? Why were these questions running circular in his brain?

He stared at the demon. Aaron loved him. Aaron loved him. Why couldn’t he get those words out of his head? He hadn’t eaten much, barely slept and he knew his teammates were getting worried. Except for Rossi who was angry at him, and Spencer didn’t blame the man. He had hurt Aaron. Aaron. Aaron loved him. Aaron loved him. Why didn’t he say it back?

He stared at the demon, his heart was beating too fast, his hands were shaking and he knew what the release would feel like. But he knew also what the crash would be like. He hadn’t been taking care of himself and his headaches were back. The pain was blinding, but he needed it. The physical pain blocked out the terrible pain in his heart.

He stared at the demon, wishing it would go away, wishing he could take it with no consequences, wishing Georgia never happened. He felt like he was going crazy. He laid his head on his knees and cried.

He stared at the demon. Aaron loved him. Aaron…loved…him.


The team knew something was wrong. Something was broken, Aaron was still gone and Spencer, though he didn’t falter in his job, was a walking ghost. Everyone could see the dark circles under his eyes and the thinness of his body.

“Morgan, you don’t think…” None of them wanted to say it. Morgan, JJ and Alex were in Garcia’s office.

“No, I don’t think it’s that Jayje, but there is something he is not talking about.”

“Morgan, this is how he was after Maeve. You don’t think this has something to do with Aaron do you?”

Alex spoke-up, “The timing is too coincidental. I know I have only been here a few months but I’ve noticed how close they are. Was it always like that?”

“Yes, Aaron stepped in after Gideon left and kind of took over as mentor, but there was always this closeness.”

“Do you think the baskets will help? They helped before…” Garcia looked at her friends, hopeful.

JJ knew how much Garcia wore her heart on her sleeve, “No Penny, I don’t think that will help this time.” All of them were at a loss. They knew that for Aaron to be gone this long that he was hurting too, they just didn’t know from what.

“You don’t think they were….” Alex didn’t want to presume, but from what she’d seen it was possible.

“What Alex?” JJ asked.

“You don’t think they…may have been together, do you?”

“Like a relationship?” Garcia’s eyes widened because that’s exactly what she was thinking.

“It’s possible, there was always something more there, but they were always professional. Maybe both of them losing someone they loved, they turned to each other.” JJ speculated and somehow they all felt the truth in that.


JJ didn’t know if she should try to talk to Spencer. They’d been distant since she came back. All of the lies and half-truths had damaged the special bond that they had, but she saw her friend was hurting. She saw that he wasn’t eating and that he was living on coffee. She saw the pain in his eyes and knew the headaches were back. So, after the teams talk she decided to confront him. She knocked on his door and hoped he would answer.

He opened the door and saw his once best friend standing there, “JJ, what are you doing here?’

“Spence, I’m worried about you. You’re drinking too much coffee and you’re obviously not sleeping or eating, what’s going on with you?”

“JJ, I’m fine, okay, I’ve just…” JJ didn’t believe him and she barged into his apartment. It was a mess, almost like it had been after Maeve. She saw the bottle on the coffee table and became angry.

“Do not tell me you’ve been using again Spencer Reid.” The fire in her eyes actually had him stepping back.

“NO, god no JJ…”

Then why do you have this?” She yelled

I don’t know, I don’t know Jayje,” He sank to the floor and cried.

“Spence?” She gathered him in her arms and held on, “Tell me Spence.”

“JJ,” He choked on a sob, “I…I think, I think I love someone, but I didn’t tell him, and now I’ve lost him and it’s killing me.”

So the team’s suspicions were true about him and Aaron. “Spence look at me,” He looked up into her eyes, “Do you know if he loves you?” Spencer nodded his head yes, “Then you need to tell him. You need to pull yourself together and tell Aaron how you feel.”


It was the second month into Hotch’s leave, and Dave didn’t know when his friend was coming back. He was trying to give Hotch distance, but if this didn’t end soon he was going over there and demand some answers.

Spencer knew it was time, time to try to put into words his feelings. He was scared to go up to the apartment. Scared he’d be rejected again. He gathered his courage and made his way to Aaron’s apartment and knocked on the door.

Aaron knew it was Spencer and when he opened the door he sighed in resignation and waived the young man in, “Spencer, why are you here?”

Spencer rushed in and the words came pouring out, “I got scared Aaron, I got scared and I ran. I ran because I saw Maeve all over again, only this time it was you that Diane was holding a gun too. Our jobs put us in danger all the time and I…I don’t think I could handle it if I lost you too,” He took a deep breath, eyes wet with unshed tears, “And now, I’ve done it again, I didn’t say it to you just like I didn’t say it to her. I think I believed that if I didn’t say it then this wouldn’t be real and I could move on too, but Aaron I can’t, I can’t move on and it’s…I think it’s killing me.”

Aaron looked at Spencer and saw the dark circles under his eyes, the thinness of his body. He walked over and laid a hand on Spencer’s cheek, “I’m not going anywhere and you still have a chance to say it, but only if you really mean it Spencer.”

Spencer’s breath was shallow and his heart was racing, “I love you too Aaron.”


Aaron took control this time and it felt right, for the first time in this relationship something felt right.  He backed the younger man against the wall, lips possessing, taking and leaving a trail of want and need singing all throughout Spencer’s body.

By the time they got to the bedroom all clothes had been shed and Aaron continued his assault on his lover. His goal was to make Spencer feel as undone as he had felt. To feel possessed, to feel what it was like to be taken, to have the control out of his hands. And from the appreciative noises that the young agent was making, Aaron was succeeding in his goal. By the time he entered his lover his passion consumed him and in turn, consumed Spencer.

Aaron watched as the young genius was torn apart by ecstasy, watched as Spencer’s eyes darkened and lost focus, watched the ultimate undoing of the man beneath him. Aaron’s power and control were taken back in that moment. And when his demon was finally satisfied he fell on top of Spencer, holding him there, “That was what you made me feel Spencer,” he whispered as his lips softly made contact with Spencer’s.          

“Aaron, you never told me. Why?” He asked after he got his breath back, after the raging storm caused by Aaron had settled.

“Because, at the time, I didn’t want to stop, but it was hurting me Spencer and I didn’t realize it, not till recently.”



“Do you really want this? Us?” Spencer asked with hope in his eyes.

“Yes, I want this. I love you.”

Spencer closed his eyes to school the flood of emotions, “I love you too.” They wrapped around each other and fell deep asleep, both happy for the first time.


“Jack, can you come out here please?” Jack ran out to the living room and saw his Dad and Uncle Spencer sitting together on the couch. It looked serious and it scared the young boy.

“Daddy?” He asked with apprehension in his voice.

“Hey buddy, its okay, come here, Spencer and I want to ask you something.”

“What is it?”

“Well, how would you like it if Spencer came to live with us?”

Jack furrowed his brow thinking that they only had two bedrooms and he wasn’t sure where his Uncle Spencer would sleep. “But Daddy, where is he going to sleep?” He asked with the seriousness that was so uniquely Aaron that Spencer had to smile inwardly. And, not for the first time he thought that Jack may resemble Haley, but in truth the boy was all Aaron.

“Well, that’s what we wanted to talk about. Spencer would be sleeping in Daddy’s room. Are you okay with that?”

Jack thought about it for a minute, “Daddy?” he asked with that same serious tone.

“Yeah buddy?”

“Is Uncle Spencer your boyfriend?” Aaron smiled at how matter-of-fact his son was.

“I don’t know, Uncle Spencer, am I your boyfriend?” Aaron asked teasingly.

Spencer was a little flustered because he wasn’t used to Jack’s frankness. “Well, only if your Dad wants me to be. Do you…want me to be?”

Aaron smiled the warm genuine dimple showing smile that always set Spencer’s heart racing. “Yes Spencer I want you to be.”

“Yay,” Jack yelled enthusiastically and jumped into Spencer’s arms.

“So, you’re okay with this Jack-Jack?”

“Yes Daddy. You smile more when Spencer is here.”

Aaron looked at his son and wondered when he got so perceptive.


A couple of weeks later Spencer moved in. Aaron used the remaining time of his leave to help him. It came as a shock when there was a knock at the door because they weren’t expecting anyone.

When Aaron opened the door there stood Beth, the woman he was supposed to be seeing. “Beth, what are you doing here?” He hadn’t heard from her in the few months she’d been in California overseeing the transfer of some art from her museum to the Norton Simon in Pasadena.

She smiled, “I thought I’d come by to let you know I’ll be back in New York.”

Just then Spencer came around the corner, “Beth…” His eyes widened and he swallowed hard, “I’ll just be in Jack’s room.” He did not want to be there for this conversation.

“Aaron, what’s going on?”

“I was trying to call you, but you haven’t returned my phone calls. Beth…” He closed his eyes, he knew he was going to hurt her, and he hadn’t wanted to. He had come to realize that she had been a rebound relationship. He cared deeply for her, but he didn’t love her, not like he loved Spencer.

“Well, I wanted to talk to you anyway, I ah, just wanted to tell you I’m accepting a Directorship of a museum in Hong Kong. It’s ah, it’s a great opportunity…” She had gotten the offer of the post but originally turned it down because she thought her and Aaron were going somewhere, but now….


“No, don’t say anything else Aaron, I hope you’re happy.” She turned and ran out of there, tears streaming down her face.


Aaron was back and the rest of the team breathed a sigh of relief. The first case they handled after Hotch’s return they noticed how much more in control their Unit Chief was. They all knew how private Aaron was so no one asked about why he was gone, all except Dave.

Aaron was paired-up with Dave as they went to the ME’s office, “So, you want to tell me what’s been going on or am I going to have to stalk you to find out?” Dave half-joked.

“Do you really want to talk about this now?”

“You don’t seem to want to talk about it at all Aaron and I’m just concerned. You’re my best friend and I care.”

Aaron took a deep breath and looked to the side at Dave and told him the truth, “I’m in a relationship with Spencer…”

“I thought something was going on between the two of you.”

“It became…complicated.”

“How complicated?”

Aaron quirked up a brow, “Dave, there are just some things you are better off not knowing.”

“Okay, but what about Beth?”

“She had been in California for all those months, only sporadic phone calls. When she came back she…”

“She what?”

“She walked in on Spencer moving in.” He let the other bomb drop.

“And were you ever going to tell me that little bombshell?”

“Maybe, eventually.”

Dave just shook his head and didn’t press it, “So what happened?”

“She told me she decided to take a position at a museum in Hong Kong. She wished me luck and she left.”

“Just tell me one thing, and I’ll butt out…Are you happy Aaron?”

He looked at Dave and said with a genuine smile on his face, “Yes, Dave I am.”

“Then that’s all I need to know.”


Aaron, Reid and Jack were spending a rare quiet Sunday together watching movies, playing games and reading. The knock on the door came as a surprise and Aaron got up to answer it. When he saw who was standing there he was shocked.

“Sean, what are you doing here?” He hadn’t heard that his brother had been released from prison.

“Well, big bro I got out a couple days ago. Good behavior and all that. I wanted to come by and surprise you.”

“Um, well come in,” The brothers tentatively embraced.

“Uncle Sean,” Yelled Jack as he ran to his uncle and jumped in his arms.

“Hey little man, how are you?”

“I’m good Uncle Sean. Did you know that Uncle Spencer moved in with us and that he’s daddy’s…”

“Okay buddy I think that’s enough for now, why don’t you go read in your room for a little bit, okay?”

“Uhhh, Aaron?” Sean had a questioning look on his face.

“What Jack said is true. Spencer has moved in with me, us.”

“Soooo, you two are….together?”

Aaron smirked, “Yes, we are together.”

“Well, okay,” He looked over at the quiet man on the couch, “Hello again Spencer.”

“Sean,” Reid said a little stiffly.

Sean pulled his brother into the kitchen for some privacy, “Aaron, when did that happen? And…well, I don’t know how to ask this…”

Aaron sighed, “We’ve been seeing each other almost 10 months now, and if you’re asking if I’m gay, I’m actually bisexual.”

“Wow, does, you know, Mom know?”

Aaron’s face darkened and he had a hard edge to his voice when he answered his brother, “No and you aren’t going to tell her.”

“Okay, okay but I wish you’d tell me why.”

“Sean, there are some things you are better off not knowing.”


The team was having dinner at a quiet restaurant. They wanted to get away from the station and get their minds off their current case. Sometimes going at it too hard caused stumbling blocks and that’s why Hotch was such a hard ass about food and rest. He was sitting next to Spencer and gave him a look that said he was going to tell the team about them. Spencer sat up straighter and tried not to look at anyone.

“I have something to tell all of you.” Hotch cleared his throat, took a sip of his drink to steel his nerves. They all looked to him expectantly, waiting for whatever he was going to tell them. “And I need all of you to keep this between us.” He looked at Spencer and smiled warmly, “Spencer and I are in a relationship, and he’s moved in with me.”

“Well, finally. We wondered when you were finally going to let us in on your secret.” Morgan joked. He smiled and lifted his glass, “Congratulations.”

“You guys already knew?” Spencer looked around confused.

“It didn’t take a profiler to see something was going on, and watching you two around each other for the last few months we started to put two and two together.” Alex laid a hand on Spencer’s arm, “Are you happy?” She knew how hard it had been for him after Maeve’s death, for him to find love again was something she had hoped for.

Spencer slowly smiled and looked at Hotch, “Yes Alex, I am.”

Alex looked over at Hotch and didn’t need to ask, but she did anyway, “And you Hotch?”

He smiled his real dimple revealing smile and said, “Yes Alex, I am very happy.” And that right there was all they needed to know.


Hotch was in the kitchenette of the plane getting some more coffee when Garcia walked in. He stopped what he was doing and turned to her, “Garcia,” he took a breath because he didn’t know how to tell her how grateful he was. His normal stoic mask slipped a little and his emotions leaked through.

“Oh, bossman, you don’t have to say anything.” She laid a hand on his arm.

“I don’t know…” He looked up and off to the side trying to regain his composure. He and Spencer hadn’t told Cruz about their relationship yet, so he was trying to keep it together.


“Penny, if you hadn’t done what you did, I don’t know…” She knew what he was trying to say.

“Hotch, don’t, he’s still here, just remember that, okay?” She gathered him into her arms and hugged him.

After a couple of seconds he hugged her back and whispered in her ear, “Thank you.”

She smiled, “Anytime, well not really anytime, I mean I don’t really want to do that again, but you know if I ever had to because one of my babies was in danger than I would…sorry, I’m rambling aren’t I?”

Hotch laughed slightly and laid a hand on her shoulder, “Penelope, I never want you to have to do that again, but I can’t say that I’m sorry you did it this time.” He swallowed the lump in his throat as he made his way to the seat directly across from where Spencer was sleeping.

“Hotch,” Morgan looked at his unit chief, “He’ll be fine, it’s not the same, okay?” Morgan knew exactly where his boss’s thoughts had gone and he was trying to get Hotch out of his head.

Aaron breathed deeply nodded and said, “Thank you Morgan.”