Title: Pulling The Wool
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Category: Romance, Fluff
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Derek Morgan, David Rossi, Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Emily Prentiss
Summary: Aaron has a secret and Penny Reid is happy to play along.
Tags: Genderfluid!Reid, Fluff, Flirty Morgan, Secret Relationship, Tricking the Team, Amused Aaron
Beta: None. No non-consensual Beta
Live Journal Prompt: ***Genderfuild!Reid AU – No Reid on the team
Hotch has a new bf the team knows about, but when Reid shows up at the BAU as Penny, the team thinks their leader is a cheater. Garcia makes it her point to reveal to Spencer that Hotch is no good. Funny ensues.
(Bonus points if Morgan or Rossi hits on Penny in front of Hotch before they find out the truth.)***
Well, I changed one thing. I just had to play with the team in this and I put Reid on the team anyway. But, everything is still there.
Penny walked in the doors of the sixth floor of the FBI training center in Quantico Virginia near the Quantico Naval base. The specific floor she was stopping on was for the elite BAU Serial crimes division and this was her first day. Stepping through the double doors she looked around and finally made eye contact with one of the agents on the floor.
“Excuse me, I’m looking for SSA Aaron Hotchner?”
“Oh, his office is right up there. Here I’ll take you up.” The pretty blonde said as she led the newcomer up to her bosses office. They didn’t say much, Penny was fairly quiet. She wanted to get the lay of the land, so to speak, before she unleashed her true personality onto whoever it was she was going to be working with. The blonde knocked on the door and waited.
“JJ, oh I see you found Penny.” Aaron smiled a broad smile, which gave JJ pause. Not many on the team have seen the serious stoic man smile much except when he was with his son Jack.
“Hello, Hotch.” Penny smiled back and waited.
“Jennifer this is our newest agent Dr. Penny Reid. Penny, this is Jennifer Jareau, our media liaison.”
“Oh, well I knew someone was coming in today. Sorry, was a little scattered.” JJ turned to Aaron and handed him three files. “These are three potentials the top one I’ve flagged for you because it looks urgent but I’m thinking the locals might be able to handle it if we give them the profile.”
“Thanks, JJ. I’ll go over these and let you know.” JJ looked between the two people and said her goodbyes and left.
“Come on I’ll introduce you to the rest of the team. That is if you’re ready?”
“You know I am Aaron.” Penny slipped and scowled at herself for it.
“It’s okay. But I prefer Hotch in the office.” He couldn’t help himself as he reached up and tucked a stray curl behind Penny’s ear. Of course, David Rossi took that exact moment to step out of his office and notice the almost intimate display.
“Aaron,” Dave walked over and had a scowl on his face. “Is this the new agent you’ve been telling us about?”
“Yes, it is. Dave, Dr. Penny Reid, Penny, David Rossi.” Aaron introduced the two and smiled at the slight blush that pinked Penny’s cheeks.
“A pleasure to meet you.” Dave gave her a flirty smile while he shook her hand.
“Come on, I’ll introduce you to the rest of the team then have JJ set you up at a desk.”
Aaron let his hand lightly stay at the small of Penny’s back as he led her down to the bullpen below his office. What he didn’t see was the deepening scowl on Rossi’s face. When they made it over to the other agents’ desks Aaron quickly got their attention.
“Dr. Penny Reid, this is Derek Morgan and Emily Prentiss. Guys this is our newest agent Dr. Penny Reid. Please, make her feel welcome.”
The two agents went to shake her hand, “Oh, ah sorry I ah, I don’t shake. The amount of pathogens that can be transferred by a handshake is rather alarming, it’s actually safer and much cleaner to kiss.”
Morgan smiled wide as he looked the attractive new agent up and down, “So, is that an invitation?” He says as he leans a hip against the empty desk in front.
Aaron literally had his tongue in his cheek as he watched the color brighten on Penny’s face.
“No, Agent Morgan, I was just stating a fact.” Penny frowned a little as she looked over at that darker man.
Morgan held up his hands as his smile widened, “Oh, well that was quite the interesting fact to just blurt out. You have much experience in kissing someone you just met?”
“I’m sorry Agent are you, are you flirting with me?” Penny didn’t look upset she was just a little confused.
“Unashamedly.” Aaron tried not to choke on the laugh that wanted to bubble up from his throat.
“Well I’m sorry to burst your bubble Agent Morgan but I am currently in a relationship. So I’m sorry but I will definitely not be kissing you. Now, where is the restroom? I need to go freshen up a little.” Penny turned to Aaron and tried to hide the amused smile on her face.
Rossi was observing them closely and realized that Aaron Hotchner was playing a game with his agents. He just didn’t know what the game was as of yet. He didn’t know whether to be amused or upset at his best friend. He knew that Aaron had a boyfriend but the familiarity he was showing with Penny told him they already knew each other and quite well.
Aaron told Penny where the restroom was then quickly detoured over to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee. He made it up to his office and got started on reviewing the cases that JJ had brought him. He agreed with her assessment of the first case. The second one he was going to pass to Morgan. The locals in Big Sur California wanted a second pair of eyes on an obsessional stalker case. The third looked like something they might want to keep their eyes on but there were only two bodies and the killer had been dormant for three months. Aaron called the police chief on that case and told him to keep Aaron or JJ appraised of the situation and if there was a third body to show up he would get the team out there right away.
Aaron put Penny out of his mind for the day and got busy with his other work. When he finally looked up at the clock he noticed it was just almost time for lunch. Getting up he started to go down the stairs and towards his agent’s desks but stopped dead in his tracks when a film canister came flying towards him. Chuckling he bent down and picked it up and moved towards Penny’s desk.
“Here I think you lost this?”
“Hotch!” Penny looked up smiling and wide-eyed. Aaron handed the canister back to Penny and couldn’t help brushing their fingers together. “I’m so sorry. I was talking about magic and then we got to talking about weird little tricks then I told them about the physics magic and they talked me into it.” She looked a little sheepish as she stored the canister away in her desk.
“It’s okay Reid. Just be careful. We don’t want Strauss to come down and get on our case.”
“Right. I’ll be more careful in the future.”
“I came down to see if you would like to go to lunch? We can talk a little more about the kinds of cases we work on and where I see you in the team?”
“I’d love to. Let me just grab my bag.” Penny stood and grabbed her leather satchel and wrapped it around her head and let the strap settle on her left shoulder. As soon as she had her things with her she told Aaron she was ready to go. When they were out of the office Morgan and Prentiss looked towards each other with confused looks on their faces.
“Well, that was interesting,” Prentiss commented as she watched the two people leave the building.
“What do you mean?”
“Did you see the way Hotch kept looking at Penny? The way he brushed his hand with hers and the way he smiled?”
“Oh come on. You know Hotch has a boyfriend, and you know he isn’t the type to cheat. He’s taken each of us out on that same lunch to give that same talk.”
“No, this was different. Just trust me on this.” Prentiss was sitting back trying to figure out what exactly was going on with their boss and the new agent.
Lunch passed quickly and Aaron was doing more paperwork. He didn’t realize it was getting later till someone knocked on his door. Looking up he saw Penny walking in.
“It’s late Hotch. Shouldn’t you go home?” Aaron smiled slowly as he stood and moved out from around his desk. He grabbed Penny’s hand and pulled her close slowly kissing her, eliciting a low moan in her throat. When they pulled back Aaron kept his hands firmly around slender hips keeping her against him.
“I’m almost finished here. How was your first day?”
“It was interesting. I like Morgan and Prentiss. They didn’t interrupt me all that much when I rambled. I think I’m going to like it.”
“I hope so. I want this to work.”
“So do I, Aaron.” Penny smiles as she cups the Unit Chiefs’ cheek and leans in for a kiss. “I’ll see you at home.” She whispers as she walks off to go gather her things.
Smiling Aaron sat behind his desk and finished off reviewing and signing off on completed files.
“What the hell is going on?” Aaron hadn’t heard Dave come in and looked up sharply at the man in front of him.
“What do you mean Dave?”
“Aaron Michael Hotchner I know for a fact that you have a boyfriend that you’ve been with for at least a couple of years now. Not that we’ve ever been introduced to him, but you talk vaguely enough about him that I know it’s serious. What are you doing with Penny? Are you cheating on him?”
Aaron sat back in his chair and eyed his second-in-command. “That is none of your business Dave.”
“No. I think you need to drop it. If I wanted to talk about my love life I would and I don’t.”
Dave glared and knew he wasn’t going to get a straight answer out of the younger man. “I hope you know what the hell you are doing.”
Aaron smiled a slow smile, “I know exactly what I’m doing Dave. Now I need to finish these reports so I can get home to Jack.”
“Fine.” Dave shoved out of the chair not realizing how upset he was at his friend. He always thought of Aaron as a stalwart, straightforward person who always did the right thing and at this moment he just wasn’t sure if he knew Aaron at all.
The rest of the week had them still in the office. Penny was getting acclimated more to the team and she started to bond rather quickly with JJ over the fact they both had children. When asked about pregnancy and childbirth Penny admitted that her son was adopted. She had adopted the boy when he was a year old and after she had moved in with her partner. The team peppered her with questions over who her partner was but Penny stayed fairly tight-lipped about it saying that they wanted some privacy.
The team got a case at the end of the week. It was the one that Aaron had flagged and was watching. They quickly went to work and because they already had a preliminary profile in place they were able to narrow down their suspect pool, but it was when Penny caught on about the unsub using an obscure text to act out a sexual and visceral fantasy that they got their break. The case ended after four days of hard work. When the team got back to DC Aaron gave them the Tuesday off and told them not to show up until ten on Wednesday.
Smiling to himself Aaron drove Penny and himself home and asked Jessica, his ex-sister-in-law if she would keep Jack for the day. Getting home he planned a nice romantic dinner with Penny. It was light and playful and afterward, he took the attractive brunette to bed. When they laid there in a tangle of limbs softly caressing each other Penny looked to her lover and smiled.
“So, when are we going to stop playing with the team?”
“Well, you could always show up on Wednesday as Spencer you know.” Aaron chuckled as he took those soft full lips into a kiss.
“Yeah. I’ve been having too much fun keeping them guessing.”
“And Rossi is about to cut my head off thinking that I’m cheating on my boyfriend.” Aaron and Spencer laughed at the continued charade and decided they finally needed to come clean with the team. “Besides I do have to talk to him about doing your assessments as we agreed with Strauss. It’s the only way that the bureau is letting you stay on the team with me.”
“I know Aaron. Besides, it’ll be good to be Spencer for a while.”
“You know I love all of you. I don’t care if you’re Penny or Spencer. You are just exactly who you should be.”
“That’s what made me fall in love with you Aaron. The fact that you understand me and that you’ve never tried to change me. I never had that with anyone before you.”
“It’s been the best four years of my life Spence. I wouldn’t change any of this for anyone.”
Spencer smiled softly as he kissed Aaron and slowly fell asleep in his lover’s arms.
Aaron was in his office waiting. He and Spencer agreed to come in separately that morning. They wanted to tease the team just a little bit more. He knew he should feel bad, but in all honesty, he really, really didn’t. Smiling when he heard voices he slowly got up from his desk and went to the railing to watch the show. Spencer had shown up a little early and was sitting at his desk working on consults that had come in over the time they were out on the case.
“I’m sorry that desk is for Penny Reid.” Prentiss looked confused at the young man that was sitting there.
“Good morning Prentiss.” Spencer smiled then went back to his files. He looked at her out of the corner of his eye and chuckled at the shock on her face. It was pretty much the same with Morgan. And when Rossi came to stand next to Aaron he just glared at his friend.
“Well, you really know how to pull the wool over our eyes don’t you Aaron?”
Aaron couldn’t help the laugh that came out, “Yes Dave, the jig is up. Come on we’ll explain everything.” Aaron was still chuckling under his breath when JJ came over to the group frowning at what was going on.
“I’m sorry guys, we just couldn’t resist. This is Dr. Spencer Reid or Penny. Spencer is genderfluid and doesn’t subscribe to what anyone else considers gender should or shouldn’t be.”
The team all stared at him with slightly confused looks on their faces.
“You guys thought he was cheating on his boyfriend with Penny. I’m actually Aaron’s spouse. We’ve been married for almost three years. Jack is my son too.”
“I asked Spencer to adopt him after he had been living with me for just over a year. We met a few months after Haley passed away. He understood my reluctance to date, especially being a widower with a newborn. It didn’t matter to me when I found out Spencer’s gender identification. And Jack, well he loves it. When Spencer identifies as Penny, she’s Mom and as Spencer he’s Papa.”
“You want Jack to call you Mom? Isn’t that a little odd Spencer?”
“Why would it be odd JJ? I’m don’t identify as heteronormative. It was Jack’s idea anyway. He is a very intuitive kid and when he was two he called me Mom when I dressed feminine and Papa when I dressed more masculine. It works for us.”
“Why didn’t you tell us you remarried Aaron?”
“Because we’ve been working towards Spencer getting into the Bureau for a while now. I didn’t want you guys to have any preconceived ideas about him and I wanted to know that I could be fair and impartial. On this last case, it worked well and we both understood our roles in the job and neither one of us let our personal relationship get in the way. Dave will be doing all of Spencer’s evaluations and Strauss knows about his identification.” The team was silent as they were processing the information Aaron had just given them and found that they were all okay with it.
“Okay. That’s good enough for me, what about you little mama?”
“I’m fine. Welcome to the team Spence.” JJ smiled as she started to walk back to her office but turned around to look at the young man. “And Penny.”
Spencer grinned at her and blushed. Aaron settled a hand on his shoulder and looked down. “Happy?”
“Couldn’t be happier Aaron.” He stood and gave Aaron a quick peck on the cheek before getting up to get a cup of coffee.
“Alright, back to work.” Aaron gruffed out as he turned on his heel and started back to his office. He looked down once and couldn’t help how his heart filled having the team accept Spencer for who and what his is.