Fandom: Criminal Minds
Category: Romance, A/B/O Dynamics
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Emily Prentiss, Q, James Bong
Summary: Aaron thought he knew himself. He was a Beta, or so he believed. Then a miracle but as he was getting ready to tell his husband, Spencer, a young Omega walks into the Bureau and announces he’s answered Spencer’s Omega search. Aaron is devastated and doesn’t tell his husband his news. When Spencer brings the Omega home Aaron just can’t do it. Though he promised to try, it was just too much and he leaves for England where he’s cared for by old friends. He tries to find it in his heart to try to forgive his husband as his little miracle grows within him.
Words: 27, 959
Warnings: Implied/Referenced Cheating
Tags: ABO, Alpha!Reid, Omega!Hotch, MPreg, Bad Science, Knotting
Singleton: a person or thing occurring singly, especially an individual set apart from others
Aaron was in his office trying to work on the budget report to take his mind off the news he had been given by the doctor earlier that morning. He always knew there was a slim chance but he didn’t think it would ever happen. He was nervous to tell his husband. He hoped that Spencer was as happy as he was because he knew how much Spencer wanted children. They had talked about possibly adopting but so far they hadn’t decided on anything. He was about to call down when he heard a commotion in the bullpen. Frowning he stood and looked out to see a man in a trench coat with his hair pulled back in a long ponytail. Aaron made it down the stairs and stood next to Spencer’s desk. His husband was standing and Aaron frowned even more at the conversation.
“I was looking fo’ Dr. Spencer Reid.” The warm Cajun accent floated in the air and it reminded Aaron of Will.
“I’m Spencer Reid.” Aaron could see Spencer straightening, his Alpha preening as he subtly sniffed the air.
“Well cher, I’m here t’ answer your match request.” The man smiled and Aaron had two thoughts, first the man was gorgeous and second what the hell? Spencer put in a match request?. He scowled at his husband and hoped he’d get an explanation soon.
“Match request Reid?” Aaron didn’t know what to think, he thought they had been happy.
“Oh god, I forgot about that. I swear Aaron I…”
“You did an Omega match search? When?” There was no way Spencer didn’t see the devastation on Aaron’s face hearing that his husband, the man he had given everything to had somehow found him lacking.
“Can we talk about this in your office?” Aaron could tell Spencer was fighting with his Alpha not to demand privacy. He knew Spencer would never try to Dom him, especially at work.
Aaron turned back to the stranger who was watching the two men closely.
“I’m sorry Mr.?”
“LeBeau. Remy LeBeau.” Aaron shook hands with Remy and was rewarded with that devastating smile once again.He couldn’t help the quick smile he gave the man back.
“There is a break room just over there, do you mind waiting for a few moments?”
“Not at all cher, take y’r time. Remy in no hurry.”
Aaron turned and didn’t say a word to Spencer before he practically marched up to his office. He felt Spencer walking behind him but didn’t say anything till the door closed behind Spencer. He turned around and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Explain.” Aaron tried not to blow-up but he was hurt and angry.
“I honestly never thought someone would answer. Last year when JJ and then Derek were talking about kids I guess I started thinking about it more. I do want children Aaron, don’t you?”
“We talked about adopting Spencer, what happened with that?”
Spencer sighed as he sat down on the couch. “It’s an option but Aaron if there is a chance to have my own, shouldn’t I take that chance? I love you, god Aaron I love you but you’re a Beta and the only way for me to have children is with either a female Beta, which you know is harder, or an Omega.”
Aaron was about to tell him, wanted to tell him his hand even carefully slid over his stomach thinking about children. But he didn’t. He stopped himself and he wasn’t sure why. Maybe hearing those words hurt more than he thought they would. He turned around and closed his eyes tamping down on the pain that welled up inside him. He wasn’t a Beta, but how was he going to explain it to Spencer? He wasn’t even sure how it happened. His Omega biology had been suppressed so much as a child that even doctors thought he was a Beta.
“Do, do you want a divorce Spencer?” He asked so softly but he knew Spencer heard. Keen Alpha hearing there was no way he couldn’t have heard.
“What? No, no I don’t want a divorce. Aaron look at me.” Spencer stood and used his Alpha voice on Aaron. Aaron turned around to look at his husband as he tried to tamp down on the hurt. That should have been a clue to Spencer, but for a genius sometimes he just didn’t get the clues that were right in his face.
“Aaron, I love you. I, I’m sorry.” Spencer lifted his hand cupped Aaron’s cheek. He leaned in and kissed Aaron as he wrapped his arms and pulled him close to him. Aaron pulled away after a moment and just stared at Spencer, not knowing what to do.
“We promised each other we wouldn’t lie anymore. Why would you do this and not tell me? I thought after Emily we’d be open and honest with each other.”
Spencer closed his eyes as he lowered into one of the chairs at Aaron’s desk.
“I didn’t know how to talk to you about this. I didn’t mean to lie Aaron. I just, I didn’t think anything would come of this.”
“I’m going to stay with Derek for a few days. I need to not be around you right now.” Aaron went back to his desk and sat down effectively dismissing Spencer. He could almost feel the Alpha wanting to assert himself but knew Spencer would back down in a minute, he’d never hurt Aaron and he’d never assert himself at work.
“Please Spencer, don’t. I can’t believe you did this and I’m angry and hurt and I need to not be around you for a few days. I need to figure this out. And you need to figure out what you want.” Aaron looked-up at him and tried to keep that tight lid on his emotions.
“Okay. I understand. Aaron, just, I love you.”
Aaron couldn’t speak, he just nodded his head and went back to the paperwork on his desk. Spencer finally stood and left the office. Aaron first called Cruz and asked for a stand down for his team because there were some personal issues that needed to be worked out. Cruz was understanding and gave the team two weeks office time. Aaron thanked him then he called down to Derek and asked to speak with him. It didn’t take long for the man to make it up to his office. Aaron was waiting on the couch, he didn’t want to talk at his desk. Derek sat in one of the chairs facing the couch.
“What’s going on Hotch? Who is that guy that Spencer is talking to?”
Aaron took a breath to settle his emotions before he spoke. “Seems Spencer did an Omega search last year and didn’t tell me. The man is an Omega by the name of Remy LeBeau and he answered Spencer’s search.”
“What? Hotch, I, I don’t even know what to say.”
“Morgan, I hate to ask, but would you mind if I stayed a few days with you. I just need…”
“Whatever you need Hotch. Savannah might mother you a bit.” Derek laughed slightly thinking about his Omega.
“it’s fine I just need to get my head straight. I thought he was fine with my gender but I guess…”
“He loves you Hotch, never doubt that. You just need to talk to him when you’re ready.”
“Thanks Morgan.” Aaron sat back and tried to get himself under control before he spoke again. “I asked Cruz for some downtime. We have a couple of weeks. I should know better what I want to do by then.”
Aaron dismissed Morgan and he tried to get his mind off everything by diving back into work. He would look down to Spencer’s desk every so often and watch him interact with Remy. Each smile, each laugh was a stab to his heart. When he was at a comfortable stopping point he grabbed his briefcase and stuffed some files in it and started to walk out the door. He stopped at Spencer’s desk letting him know he was leaving early. When Spencer tried to stop him he just ignored him and walked away. He arrived at their house about a half-hour later, traffic co-operating with him for once. He went inside and packed a bag, changed into some more comfortable clothes and grabbed his laptop and some paperwork he had at home. He was out the door just as Spencer was pulling up to the house and he had the Omega with him. Aaron didn’t have any fight in him at the moment, he just backed out and drove off.
He arrived at Morgan’s in no time and knocked, waiting. When Savannah opened the door she just smiled that soft warm smile and let him come inside. She quickly showed him to a guest room, let him know that dinner would be finished in a few minutes then left him alone.
Aaron put his things down and sat on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands. There was a terrible war going on inside of him. He knew he should tell Spencer about the baby, but he just couldn’t. Not now, not when all those insecurities that he thought he had long buried rose to the surface. He never thought this was a possibility. He was told as a kid that he’d never truly be an Omega that the radiation and chemo had messed with his biology so much that he’d always present as a Beta. He never even went through a heat. His doctor had explained that there were a few cases like his, and sometimes when a male Omega starts to go through the purging of their cycle, similar to menopause in women, that the body goes on overdrive and those instincts will kick in. He said he has seen a lot of late in life pregnancies in male Omega’s.
He still didn’t know what he was going to do and he knew he wasn’t going to figure this all out that night, that he needed time to work through this in his head. He made it down to dinner and thankfully Derek and Savannah didn’t ask a lot of questions. And Savannah did exactly what Derek said she would. She was mothering him. He didn’t take offence and he let her. It felt nice for someone to care for him like that. Not that Spencer didn’t care, he did but it just wasn’t the same. When he was done he thanked Savannah for the meal and stood. He went to go wash the dishes but she stopped him, told him to go rest. Aaron was emotionally and physically exhausted when he dragged himself up to his temporary room. He changed quickly into his nightclothes and crawled into bed. He closed his eyes and all he could see was Spencer laughing with Remy and it tore a little piece out of his heart.
Aaron was up and out the door early. He wanted a short run, which his doctor had said was okay to do for now and they would evaluate as the baby grew. When he got back to Derek’s he looked in the fridge and found some orange juice. He had a small glass then went upstairs to take a shower and get ready for work. It was currently Thursday and he was anxiously awaiting the weekend. When he got to the bathroom he felt queasy and knew he was going to be sick. This was something else the doctor had warned him about. There was a possibility for the morning sickness to last more than a couple of months. His body was compensating for years of suppression and going into overdrive producing hormones to help stabilize the pregnancy. When he was finally able to stand on shaky legs he left the bathroom and found Savannah standing outside the door with a glass of ginger ale in her hand.
“How far along are you?”
Aaron’s eyes widened and his heart was pounding fast in his chest. He had thought he hid it well but evidently the good Doctor Savannah Morgan figured it out.
“You kept rubbing soft circles over your stomach last night. You also didn’t take as long of a run as I know you like to do. When I was passing the bathroom I heard you. Didn’t take me long to figure it out.”
“Savannah, please don’t tell anyone.”
“You don’t present as an Omega so it was quite a shock to be honest. I won’t say anything Aaron, but Derek’s going to figure it out too. As you get farther along he won’t mistake what’s going on.”
“And what is going on?” Derek had come out of his and Savannah’s room in workout clothes. Aaron assumed he was going to go to his home gym to get some exercise in before work.
“I think you should talk about this Aaron.” Savannah laid a hand on Aaron’s arm. “Maybe it will help you make the decision that’s right for you.”
Aaron took a moment to gather his thoughts while he looked between the couple. He thought that maybe an outside perspective might help. He hated telling someone else about his situation before he told Spencer but he just couldn’t think clearly.
“Maybe you’re right. Can we talk somewhere else though?”
“Yeah, come into the den.” Savannah smiled and led Aaron to their den. He sat in one of the chairs and rubbed a hand down his face. For the first time in a long time he was nervous around Morgan. He didn’t know if it was the situation or the hormones that were currently on overdrive.
“Hotch, what’s going on?” Morgan asked as he settled in one of the chairs next to Aaron.
“What I’m going to tell you, I’ve never told anyone else. I never thought it would become an issue. I was who I was and my secondary gender never came into question.” He frowned and looked down at the hands he was twisting together.
“When I was twelve I started to emerge as an Omega. My body, however, was producing too many hormones at once and it had an effect on me. I developed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My lymphatic system was severely compromised and I had to be hospitalized for a long time to reduce the risk of infection. The combination of chemotherapy, other cancer fighting drugs and the disease itself caused my Omega traits to become retarded. My doctors explained that it can happen with children who have those types of cancers. It’s quite rare that it happens. Most of the time when an Omega goes into heat their body will tend to ‘fix’ itself. I was able to fight off the disease but I was pretty physically compromised. Took months to get any type of life back. At the end, I was declared a Beta. I was monitored every six-months for possible spontaneous Omega regeneration but it never happened.”
“I’ve seen it happen at the hospital. You’re right it is quite rare. I’m so sorry Aaron, that must have been so confusing for you.”
“I was actually relieved. It made things at home,” he looked away a moment to try to tamp down on the anger at his father that had welled up inside him, “easier. My father was embarrassed that his son was emerging as an Omega.”
“Hotch, that’s, I can’t even imagine. I am so sorry.” Morgan didn’t know what to say but it just solidified how much he respected Aaron and with this knowledge his respect for his Unit Chief grew even more. “So Spencer doesn’t know any of this does he?”
Aaron shook his head no. “I never saw a reason to tell him. It was a long-time ago and not something I like to talk about.” He didn’t realize when his hand splayed over his stomach and he closed his eyes. A moment later he felt a hand on his knee and looked up into Morgan’s dark eyes. He felt the Alpha in Morgan trying to soothe him and his growing instincts took over.
“Hotch?” Morgan just held his boss, his friend’s gaze a moment.
“I’m pregnant.” Morgan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I haven’t told Spencer yet. I was going to tell him yesterday, before that Omega showed-up.” He didn’t fight the tears anymore, it was making him sick to hold in all of that emotion. When Morgan moved next to him and put an arm around him he wanted to fight it off, but he didn’t. He let go and let himself be cared for.
“You didn’t tell him because you got angry that he did an Omega search without telling you?”
“Yes. I asked if he wanted a divorce. He said no. He said that he wanted children and I wanted to tell him, right then but then my anger took over and I didn’t say anything. We had talked about adopting but he asked me to let him try. My fucking instincts kicked in and it was the first time I deferred to him, let his Alpha be in charge and,” Aaron looked away as he wiped his face of the tears that fell. “I was ashamed.”
“Hotch, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. And, if you need to stay here for a few days that’s fine with us. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. But, I think you should tell Spencer.”
“I don’t even know if he would listen to me. Look, I know it’s asking a lot, but can you keep this to yourself for now?”
Morgan hated lying to his best friend, but he could tell the conflict and pain that Aaron was in so he agreed.
Aaron thanked him then made his way up to the room he was using and got ready for work. When he put on the suit it felt like he was putting on his armor. He tried to remember that he was Unit Chief for a reason. He may not have been an Alpha but he often thought like one. Making the hard decisions and protecting his team as much as he could. By the time he got to the office he hardened himself though he still didn’t know what he was going to do.
It was noon before his husband decided to approach him in the office.
“Aaron, how are you?” Spencer asked as he slowly lowered into a chair.
“Where is LeBeau?”
“He’s at the house. I put him in one of the guest rooms.”
“You looked pretty happy yesterday.”
Spencer’s face fell as he leaned forward, “He’s charming, got a smart mouth on him and he’s intelligent. But he’s not you.”
“What do you want here Spencer? Do you honestly want me to be happy about this? You brought someone into your pack without telling me.”
“Is it selfish of me to want both?” Spencer looked down at the desk, not wanting to see Aaron’s expression.
“Frankly yes.” Aaron had been geared-up to tell Spencer but this conversation and the way it was going just made him upset and something else, something deeper he couldn’t put a name to was happening to him.
“Can you,” Spencer slumped as he sat back again.
“Can I what?”
“Do you think maybe you’d be willing to try?” Spencer looked hopeful and a part of Aaron just wanted to punch him. He knew, technically, Spencer could order him but Spencer didn’t know that. Besides, he didn’t think the Alpha would order him, he wasn’t that type of Alpha.
“I don’t know and I can’t believe you are even asking me this. So, what happens Spencer? You get this Omega pregnant, are you going to mate them? You know how Omega’s are with their children, would he share with me? Or would it be the three of you and I’m left out of this family you want? What happens to me in this plan of yours Spencer?” Aaron hadn’t realized the silent tears that fell until Spencer was practically in his lap wiping them away.
“I don’t know. I don’t know Aaron. I don’t want to lose you, I don’t but I feel like I have to try.”
“Then you are going to have to give me some time to think about this. And you and LeBeau will need to have a very frank conversation and figure out what it is you want from each other and with me because I only see one way out and it’s killing me.”
Spencer shook his head as he stood leaving the office and a very heart-broken man behind.
He tried, he really did but hearing Remy in heat and his husband with the Omega was a stab in the heart. His hand settled on his stomach as he thought about the baby growing inside him. He didn’t know why he still hadn’t told Spencer but something, his insecurities over his gender mayber, was holding him back. He didn’t know, but what he did know was that soon he wasn’t going to be able to hide anymore. Soon he would be showing and everyone would be questioning how a Beta got pregnant. But, that was the kicker wasn’t it? He really wasn’t a Beta and this pregnancy proved it.
Aaron was in his study lying on the couch and staring up at the ceiling drinking some tea and wishing it were scotch. He knew though that he would never do anything to harm the baby he carried. There was a soft knock on the door and he closed his eyes trying to hold back the tears that wanted to fall. He hated that he was letting so much emotion get to him. Hated the near constant state of tears that threatened and he wasn’t sure if it was the pregnancy or the situation.
“Come in,” he answered quietly not moving from where he was.
“Aaron?” Spencer asked as he took a couple of steps inside.
“Yes Spencer?” His tone was flat to try to keep those emotions in check.
“I, I wanted to see how you were doing.” Their relationship was strained and Aaron knew they might be at the breaking point. He didn’t want to think about that, not right now at least. He had some plans in place and tonight just solidified his need to make them happen. To protect himself and the baby.
Aaron slowly sat up and looked at Spencer trying hard not to get angry. He had thought long and hard about what he wanted to say and the words were out before he could stop himself.
“I want a separation.”
Spencer stopped and really looked at Aaron and saw the pain and grief in his eyes.
“Aaron, please, please don’t go. I’ll do whatever you want.”
“I have to Spencer. I’ve tried to understand but I can’t. I’m packing-up a few things and I’m leaving for awhile. I need space and I need time.”
“Please Aaron, don’t go. Please just give it some more time.”
“You’re fucking another man Spencer. You brought someone else into our marriage and just expect me to understand. I know you’re an Alpha, I get it but if you wanted to have an Omega you should have been honest with me from the start. You should have just let me go. It would have hurt like hell because I love you. God help me I love you more than I probably should and I just can’t be here to see or hear this. I know it’s your right as an Alpha but dammit I thought we were happy.” He stormed out and went to their bedroom and pulled out his suitcase. He started packing up what he could. He also laid out a couple of suits to put in his garment bag. He pulled his valise out of his go bag and threw it in the suitcase.
He heard Spencer come up behind him.
“Don’t you need to be with your Omega?” Aaron turned and stared at his husband.
“He’s sleeping right now. What are you doing Aaron?”
“I put in for a leave of absence. I don’t know where I’ll be. Don’t look for me. I’ll come back when I’m ready.”
“Aaron please don’t do this, don’t leave like this.”
“Are you going to ask Remy to leave after this? That is if he isn’t pregnant?”
“No.” Spencer straightened-up and Aaron knew then that Spencer had started to have feelings for the Omega. “I like him Aaron and I want him as part of my pack. I need family Aaron, I’m tired of not knowing what it’s like to be an Alpha with a pack.”
“And I’m just the Beta, right?”
“No, dammit Aaron. I love you, I can’t even tell you how much and this is killing me too but my Alpha has needs that I’ve been denying for too long. I’m sorry, but I need this.”
“Then I’m leaving and making this easier for you. I have to Spencer. If I don’t there will be nothing left of me. I get it, I really do. You want children and you saw this as the easiest way. I see how you’ve started caring for Remy, you couldn’t do any less, but I can’t be here to watch this.” Aaron turned to continue packing when he felt a hand on his shoulder, then he was being engulfed in Spencer’s arms and he couldn’t help that he finally broke.
“I’m sorry Aaron. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know it was hurting you this much. I love you Aaron. I love you, please, please don’t go.”
“You knew Spencer. You knew that Haley left because I couldn’t give her children and now you’re doing essentially the same thing to me. I can’t, I need time to figure this all out.”
“I’ll let him go, just let me get him through this heat and I’ll let him go, let him find another Alpha.”
“No. You’ve already formed an attachment Spencer. I know you won’t be able to say goodbye. So, instead of you choosing, I’m making the choice.” He turned and closed up his luggage and grabbed it before he walked out the door. The cab he had called was there waiting for him. He didn’t once glance back to look at Spencer. If he had it would have broken his resolve. He wanted to protect himself and the baby he carried.
Aaron got through the airport and onto the plane with no problems. He knew Spencer was going to have Garcia try to track his movements but he left the bureau assigned phone at home. He had his second phone which he made sure that Garcia never touched. He laid back in his seat and tried to sleep.
A few hours later he was being woken-up by the flight attendant. He sat-up and when he did that was when the nausea hit. The seatbelt light was still off so he ran to the bathroom. It was mostly dry heaves because he couldn’t eat much the night before. When he got back to his seat there was some ginger ale and a pack of crackers waiting for him. He looked-up at the attendant and smiled. She just gave a little nod of her head in acknowledgement and somehow he thought she knew.
Aaron slowly sipped the cool carbonated drink and absently munched on the crackers trying not to think about all that he left behind him. He worried the ring on his finger and tried hard not to think of Spencer. About an hour later he was landing at Heathrow. He got through the International check-in with no problems then all he had to do was wait for his luggage. When he got them and started out towards the exit he saw a familiar face.
“Emily. Thank you for coming.” Aaron gave her a hug and smiled.
“Anytime Hotch.” He was thankful that she wasn’t asking a lot of questions as they walked to her car. “Do you know how long you’re going to be staying?”
“I don’t know. I’m going to be staying with an old friend and his partner. He’s someone I’ve known since I was a kid. One of my oldest friends actually.”
“What’s going on Hotch? This isn’t like you. You don’t run from your problems. God knows if anyone has needed to disappear a time or two it’s you. But I thought you and Spencer were good?”
Aaron knew he couldn’t hide from Emily and as much as he wanted to keep this to himself he knew he could trust her. He told her everything as he stared straight ahead as she navigated the streets of London heading towards her flat.
“Oh Hotch. I’m so sorry. Why haven’t you told him?”
“I don’t honestly know. Every time I started to say something the words just wouldn’t come out. Now, I just feel like it would be some kind of weird competition. I know I’m probably complicating the situation but the longer Remy was around the harder it got to tell Spencer.”
Emily didn’t know what to say or how to help her former boss. She was a Beta to the core. Alpha and Omega dynamics were beyond her but it did surprise her to find out that Aaron was actually an Omega. He never had acted like many of the Omega’s she’d worked with or come across at both Interpol and the FBI. She always thought that Aaron should have been an Alpha, he certainly exuded an Alpha like personality as Unit Chief.
“I have my guest room ready for you, I’m sure you’re exhausted from the flight. You can stay with me as long as you need to Hotch. But you know Garcia is going to be calling me wondering if I’ve seen you or if I know how to track you. Because if I know you, you left your bureau phone at home and have an untraceable phone with you.”
Aaron just shook his head as he smiled at Emily. “You are too good a profiler Emily. I wish I could have wooed you back to us. But yes I need time to think. I will only be a couple of days then I’ll be out of your hair.”
“You are never a bother Hotch. I’m just sorry that we are seeing each other under these circumstances.”
“Thank you Em.”
He was done talking. He didn’t know what else to say. His personal life was laid bare and it made him uncomfortable. He took a deep breath as his hand settled over his stomach protectively. It wasn’t long before Emily parked at her flat and they were walking up to her apartment. She showed him the guest room and he put his things down then stretched out on the bed. She said she’d order dinner in for them that he should just rest.He tried not to think about Spencer and what he had left behind.
It didn’t take long for the food to arrive. It was Indian take-away and luckily Emily kept the spice level down as he was having trouble with spicy foods as of late. The baby did not like hot food. They had a pleasant dinner and talked about anything other than Spencer and the current state of his marriage. He knew he needed to have some contact with the team and he promised Morgan that he’d keep in contact. He had called him from the airport to let him know what was going on. Morgan had tried to talk him out of leaving but he just couldn’t stay. He didn’t want to be less than in Spencer’s eyes and though he was pregnant, his other Omega traits hadn’t kicked in. He had no mating glands and that was one thing that he was always so conflicted about. He saw mated pairs all the time and most of the time they were happy and shared a profound bond that he would never know.
He stayed with Emily for three days then Gresham was able to come get him. His Alpha was finally off his assignment and the two of them showed up at Emily’s. When she saw who it was she was shocked that Aaron knew these men.
“James, I didn’t know you knew Aaron.”
“Yes. Summers in Virginia with my adopted family. We got to be very good friends back then.” The blue-eyed Alpha smirked at Aaron and Emily wondered if there had been more there at one time.
“And how do you know Emily, James?” Aaron asked as he let the couple inside.
“Sometimes our missions cross paths with Interpol. Q can’t always anticipate department crossovers.”
“Really James. Some of those crossover situations you instigated yourself when you found Miss Emily’s agents. M was really put out with him over this last one. We didn’t know that you were rounding up the last of Doyle’s men.” Hearing that name there was always that pang of guilt and how he had to lie to the team for so long. Emily knew where his thoughts went and she laid a hand on his arm.
“With Doyle gone, it was easy to break-up the operation. It’s fine, your help actually rooted out the one that freed Doyle in the first place and that was more than I could have ever asked for.”
“Emily, you didn’t tell us that was happening. You know we would have helped out any way we could have.” Aaron turned to his former agent and laid a hand on her arm.
“Hotch, you guys gave more of yourselves than you ever needed to and it was my fault you were ever dragged into it. I appreciate the sentiment, but you didn’t need to be put in the crossfire again.” Emily smiled at Aaron as she leaned in and kissed the side of his cheek.
“It is nice to see you again Emily, but I think James wants to get back home. The sitter was only available for a couple of hours and Maisie is just too excited about seeing her Uncle Aaron.” Gresham Ainsley Bond, also known as Q smiled softly thinking of the little girl.
Aaron turned to Emily, “Thank you Em. And, thank you for keeping Garcia at bay. I will call her but when I’m more settled. I really appreciate it.”
“Anytime Hotch. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to ask.” They hugged quickly while James and Gresham grabbed Aaron’s luggage and helped him out to their car.
The car ride was mostly quiet as they made their way to the couple’s flat. It was still early and when they entered a black haired, blue-eyed terror ran towards them. James scooped up the little girl and held her close.
“Daddy,” she cried out as she wrapped her arms around the taciturn man.
“And how was my little genius?” He smiled warmly as he kissed her forehead.
Maisie babbled like any two year old and Aaron tried to keep up with her but couldn’t. He unconsciously settled his hand on the bulge that had started to show. The gesture didn’t go unnoticed by the couple but neither man said anything for the moment.
“She’s beautiful James.” Aaron had to swallow back the emotions that welled-up inside him as he moved away from the bonded couple.
James knew much of Aaron’s past, having witnessed some of it and knowing what he went through with his illness. Handing Maisie to Gresham, James walked quietly behind Aaron.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“I take it you guessed.” Aaron turned around and took a deep breath as his eyes flicked back to Maisie.
“Doesn’t take a genius.” James led Aaron to one of the couches and sat him down.
“Spontaneous Omega regen is what my doctor told me. He said it can happen with Omega’s in my situation.”
“Aaron, you are welcome to stay as long as you need, but do you want to tell me what happened? You don’t normally run away, no matter how bad.” The piercing blue eyes of his friend practically bored into him.
“Spencer did an Omega Search and didn’t tell me. He kept it from me for a year. He claimed that he didn’t think anything would come of it. Then about a month ago an Omega showed-up at the office wanting to claim him.”
“And being 3700 miles away is the only thing keeping me from tearing the little shit limb from limb.” James growled low in his throat. Aaron almost felt the protecting nature of the Alpha and wanted to tell him to back down, but he didn’t.
“And what good would that do James? Aaron needs to talk to him when he’s ready. You know that in the end, no matter what happens he will need his Alpha.”
“Doesn’t stop me from wanting to make his life miserable.” James quirked-up the side of his mouth in a twisted smile.
“And you wouldn’t be you if you didn’t feel that way.” Gersham kissed his mate and laughed at the look on his face. “Don’t look at me like that. Now go play with your daughter while I take care of Aaron.”
James did as Gresham asked but kept the two men in his sight at all times
“Sometimes I wonder who is really the Alpha in your relationship.” Aaron joked as he sighed.
“It does make life interesting keeping people guessing. Now, you tell me everything Aaron and know that you have a room with us as long as you need it. You need to protect yourself and your child right now.”
Aaron was tired of explaining what was going on but he knew Gresham cared as did James. He sat back and started from the beginning and told him everything. While Gresham was very upset at what Aaron was going through he knew James was livid and if he wasn’t currently on forced downtime he knew the man would be doing something stupid.
“Aaron, you need to talk to Spencer. While a part of me wants to send him a rather nasty e-mail virus and ruin him in anyway that I can I know that isn’t want you want me to do. Just take the time you need to figure out what you want to do.”
“Thank you.” Aaron couldn’t help resting a hand over his abdomen as he let himself try and relax.
“We’ll order in some dinner and maybe watch the telly for a little while. Get your mind off of everything.” Gresham stood and prodded Aaron off the couch and into the room that would be his for however long he needed. The younger man left him alone while he put his things away and changed into some comfortable clothes. The first thing he did was call Spencer.
“Aaron,” he heard the worry in his husband’s voice but he wasn’t going to let it weaken his resolve. “Where are you? Are you okay? You left your bureau phone. I’ve been going crazy trying to find you.”
“I’m safe. I told you I’m not going to tell you where I am. I need space Spencer and when I’m ready I’ll either let you know where I am or I’ll come home. I left my phone so Garcia couldn’t trace it. This phone won’t be traceable either.”
“How can we work this out if you won’t talk to me? Tell me what’s going on, why did you run Aaron?”
Aaron wanted to tell him, god he was on the verge but then he heard a voice in the background, “ Where ya’ go cher? Remy got lonely…”
Aaron didn’t want to hear anymore so he hung up without answering Spencer’s questions. He put the phone down and fought hard with himself not to break apart. He needed to stay strong. He held the phone in his hand and waited till he was calmer, till he purged the voice of Remy from his mind. It took him a while to finally calm down and dial the phone again. This time to Garcia.
“Sir,” she shouted excitedly and it put a smile on his face. “We’ve been worried about you. Rossi is about to tear Reid a new one, Morgan is worried about you but told me I had to wait for you to call. JJ is also mad at our boy genius and Reid, he just looks so sad. But, I’m just worried about you Sir.”
“I’m fine Penelope. I needed to leave for a while. Now I know you’ll be tempted to look for me, but I need space Garcia. When I come back everyone will know why I left. Just don’t go too hard on Spencer, he doesn’t need the team mad at him. What’s between us is personal.”
“I can’t help it. He hurt you. I promise I’ve stayed professional during cases, but personal? I can’t help but feel angry at him for what he did to you. But, for you, I’ll try.”
Aaron smiled and settled his mind knowing that Garcia would indeed try her hardest to keep job and personal separated.
“That’s all I ask. Don’t worry Penelope I’ll come back, okay?”
“Okay, sir. Just be safe.”
“Always,” he said with a smile on his face. Talking to Penelope Garcia, even on cases, was always a bright spot. She wore her heart on her sleeve when it came to the team and Aaron was going to miss her, just not enough to put himself back in the situation he left.
He knew he should call Dave, but he didn’t think he could handle the third degree that the man was going to put him through. He wasn’t emotionally ready for that talk and until he was, Dave would go on being ignored. After getting all his calls out of the way he stood and decided to take a hot shower. When he got out he looked at himself in the full length mirror on the back of the door. He paid attention to the scars on his chest and stomach. It had taken him a long time to come to terms with the scars and how it was Spencer that had come to his rescue. Now he was worried for a different reason. His hand settled on the bulge in his stomach and wondered if he was going to have any problems as his stomach expanded. He was almost three months and he just barely started showing. He wished more than anything that Spencer was there to share this moment with him, to see the baby bump, to feel his husband’s hands on him and a smile on his face. Aaron closed his eyes and leaned his head against the door as he fought against the pain of loneliness that settled in his heart.
It was several long minutes before he was able to shore-up his feelings enough to leave the bathroom. He changed into comfortable sweats and made his way to the living room hoping that he had made the right decision.
Maisie Aurelia Bond was an absolute delight at the same time as being a holy terror. She had Q’s quick mind but James’s fearlessness and she and Aaron had bonded in the month that he had been there. He agreed to watch the little girl while the two men were at work and for Aaron there was nothing better. He felt he was getting some practice in because he knew his own child was going to be just as smart.
“Mais, where are you?” Aaron smiled as he searched the large flat trying to find the little girl. He heard the stifled giggling and found the two year-old had climbed up onto the counter. She had the cabinet open and was trying to haul herself up onto the shelf. Aaron took three strides and grabbed her before she did anything stupid. He was going to have to talk to James about having his cupboards child proofed.
“Now how the heck did you get up there?”
“Climb, see?” She pointed down to the drawers that were pulled out. Aaron had to admit the girl was just too smart, but it also meant that her father’s had to be more careful.
As he was holding the little blue-eyed terror Aaron felt himself get light-headed. He put the girl down and grabbed the corner of the counter to help steady himself. He hadn’t gotten sick that morning, the first time in three-months, but he’d never felt faint like he was. When the spell passed He carefully stood back-up and slowly made his way to the living room where he lowered himself onto the couch. Stretching out he took long deep breaths to try to settle. Maisie came over and settled on his legs. A not too unfamiliar thing for her to do.
“Baby?” she softly stroked Aaron’s stomach. He wondered if she was starting to emerge as an Alpha because she had become very protective of him and fascinated by his belly.
“Baby is fine honey.” Aaron smiled as the dimples on the girl came out a mischievous glint was in her eye. Aaron wondered just what she was going to do when she bent over and tried her hardest to give him a raspberry on his stomach.
“Baby,” she laid her head down and softly patted his belly. “Go sleep baby,” she whispered. Aaron couldn’t help but be thoroughly charmed at his goddaughter. Which he hadn’t found out about till a couple of weeks into his stay. James had said there was no one he trusted more with his daughter than Aaron should anything happen to him and Q. The events after the attack on MI6 had made both men paranoid. It also had made James admit what he felt for Gresham and a few months later they were mated and the Omega was pregnant. Aaron had been flattered and he adored Maisie.
He was amazed at how fast she was picking-up language and talking. He still didn’t understand a lot of her babble and was rather fascinated by the fact that both James and Gresham did. All of these thoughts were randomly rolling around in his head when he felt himself drifting off to sleep. When he felt a hand on his shoulder he jerked awake and immediately looked around for the two-year old menace.
“Gresham found her in her room playing. She’s fine Aaron.”
“I’m sorry, I, I’ve never done that.” Guilt crept up as he sat-up trying to figure out what happened.
“It’s fine. If it were anyone other than you, I’d be more than put out, but I know you Aaron and I know you wouldn’t do something like that intentionally. Maisie said you needed to sleep.”
Aaron just shook his head and wondered about the little girl, “I think she’s emerging as an Alpha. She’s very protective of the baby.”
“We know. We have a appointment to get her tested.”
“I’m so sorry James, you trust me to watch her and I can’t believe I fell asleep like that.”
“Aaron, don’t, okay? Nothing happened, everyone is fine.”
Aaron just shook his head and started to stand when he felt that dizzy feeling again. James steadied him then made him sit back down. Aaron protested said he was fine, that he would be fine and he shouldn’t worry. They had a pleasant dinner but shortly after Aaron started to get tired and he wondered off to bed.
Over the next few days James and Gresham watched him like a hawk. The spells were getting worse and he was sleeping longer and longer during the day. Gresham was trying to get an appointment with his OB because he was deeply worried for his friend.
Emily had come by several times during the time that Aaron was with his friends and she too saw the changes. Her worry over him had prompted her to call Spencer and break Aaron’s confidence. She was worried for him and knew that he needed Spencer, even if the man was totally being an ass at this point.
Aaron was just waiting to hear back from the doctor’s and when he could get an appointment. He was on the floor playing with Maisie, talking to Gresham about his doctor when he felt the spell coming on. He wrapped a protective arm around his stomach as he felt the himself falling to the floor. He heard the shouting of his name but it was as if he was hearing it through thick glass. He was trying to get his mouth to work, to respond to the shouts of concern but he couldn’t get anything out. Then as he reached for James who was hovering over him everything went black.
Aaron didn’t know what happened. One minute he was talking to Gresham, making plans to see his OB, playing with Maisie and relaxing for the first time in months. He slowly opened his eyes and saw first Emily, then James and Gresham. The Alpha was pacing looking like he wanted to kill someone. Aaron’s hand immediately went to his stomach and he breathed a sigh of relief as he felt the baby bump.
“What happened?” he croaked out as he looked around the room. Emily quickly went right by his side and fed him some ice chips. “Thank you Emily. Now, what happened? Why am I in the hospital?”
“You collapsed in our living room Aaron. James is quite put out with you.” Aaron snorted at Q’s dry humor knowing the affection behind it.
“I’ll get the Doctor.” James stormed off and Aaron frowned.
“He learned about the Foyet attack. When the emergency medical technician had to take off your shirt we saw the scars. After you were settled and he felt you were in good enough hands he called Emily and demanded answers. She told him what happened. She also said your husband almost went feral when he walked in and saw what was happening.”
Aaron closed his eyes and laid his head back against the pillows as he recalled the night of Foyet’s attack. Spencer had decided to go out with Morgan for a couple of drinks to try to forget everything that happened with the case they had in Canada. It had been one of their worst with no one winning and too many people losing. The whole team had reeled from it.
Aaron had opted to finish up some preliminary reports to get the case behind them a quickly as possible. When he got home Spencer had texted he would be just a few more minutes. Those minutes were all it took for Foyet to attack. He was straddling Aaron’s hips with the bloody knife dripping in his hands ready to stab yet again when a blur rushed the man and knocked him to the side. It was one of only a handful of times that he had seen his husband in full Alpha mode. Foyet hadn’t even realized he was dead the moment he dared to touch Aaron.
Aaron was brought out of his memories when a doctor entered his room and called his name.
“Mr. Hotchner. I’m Doctor Anderson Berkshire and I specialize in male Omega pregnancies.” He held his hand out and Aaron took it. He was pleased with the firmness of the handshake.
“May we speak privately?”
Aaron looked to James and Gresham, who looked like they wanted to stay, but Aaron just gave them a nod that it was okay. The couple left, though James didn’t look happy about it. He was in full Alpha protective mode and Aaron knew only Gresham could bring him out of it. He waited till they left before he turned and addressed the doctor.
“Is everything okay?” Aaron tried not to let the anxiety over his current situation set in.
“The baby is fine so far and we’ll come back to that in a moment.” The doctor opened a file and started to look through it. “I was looking through your medical records, they were given to me by the younger Mr. Bond. I went over it extensively and am troubled by the treatments you received as a child when they were treating you for the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.”
Aaron frowned at the doctor. No one had questioned his medical file in the past.
“What do you mean Doctor?”
“Well, there are some medications that you were given that troubled me. I consulted with one of our own oncologists and asked if he would have ever prescribed the series of medicines that you received. The adriamycin, chemotherapy and radiation treatments were all verified by Dr. Byrns. But, there was another cocktail of drugs that you were given. An Omega suppressant called Acloitrina, Soflexicon, which is used to help Omegas transition their genders, and Bettine. This last one is usually only used to treat Omega males who have had to have a malestectomy, essentially the male version of a hysterectomy. Mr. Hotchner, these should never have been given to a child, especially a child that was on a course of chemo and radiation such as you had. Someone was trying to suppress your secondary gender, permanently.”
Aaron’s breath was taken from him at that moment. He closed his eyes and knew it could only have been one person, his mother. Aaron had never felt so alone as he was feeling in that moment. He felt he would never escape the abuse heaped on him by his parents. He worked to get himself calmed and under control before he addressed the doctor once more.
“What does all that mean Doctor Berkshire?”
“Your pregnancy is essentially trying to get your body to re-set itself. Your are being flooded with hormones and there has been spontaneous regrowth of your Omega cells. This is not rare, but it is quite uncommon. The level of damage to your natural secondary gender is extensive. Now, the reason for your collapse is that your mating glands became infected…”
“Wait, what?” Aaron looked at the doctor frowning his confusion.
“Your mating glands. They didn’t erupt when they should have during your sexual maturity. I believe it’s because of the drugs you were given. They grew inverse. The fluid in them became infected and the gland on your right started to leak fluid into your lymphatic system. We had to drain the gland and then remove them. Both for your safety and your child’s.”
Aaron felt his whole world shift. He knew it was a panic attack but he couldn’t stop what was happening. James burst into his room and immediately went to his friend and wrapped his hands around Aaron’s wrists. James looked him in the eye and used his Alpha voice on him, something he would normally never do, but right now Aaron need to calm down..
“Calm down. It won’t do you or your baby any good if you don’t calm down.” Aaron knew how much James hated asserting his Alpha against him but it was working. His heart slowed and the panic that had seized him started to abate.
“What in the hell did you tell him?” James glared dangerously at the doctor.
“I will only tell you if Mr. Hotchner gives his permission.” The doctor glared back, he wasn’t intimidated by Alpha’s. It was one of the reasons he was considered the best prenatal Omega doctor in London.
Aaron couldn’t talk, all of the information the doctor had given him left him emotionally crippled. He nodded his consent and the doctor led James out of the room, he assumed for privacy. A few minutes later Gresham and Emily entered the room and sat near the bed, trying to be a comforting presence for him. He didn’t acknowledge their presence and knew he was retreating. He felt so lost and alone. He wanted Spencer, he desperately wanted his husband. He reached out and grabbed his cell phone that one of his friends must had put by his bedside and started to call. Then thoughts of Spencer with Remy entered his mind and he turned off his phone, set it aside and turned away. He curled protectively around his stomach as he tried to sort through all his emotions. he heard someone leave but he didn’t even look-up to see who. All he wanted to do was fall asleep and forget.
Emily was pacing outside the hospital with the phone held tight in her hand. She was trying not to let her anger at Spencer cloud what she wanted to say.
“ Reid,” Emily heard the growl in Spencer’s voice and wondered at that.
“Reid, it’s Emily.”
“ Hey, what’s going on?” She heard him shifting around but didn’t know where he was currently.
“Reid…Spencer, you need to get on the next flight out to London. I don’t care where you are but you need to be here.”
“ Emily, I’m on a case and I can’t just drop everything to rush out there. Tell me what’s going on?’
“Yes you can and yes you will. Aaron needs you.”
“Then he should have called me himself.” The Alpha growled angrily in his ear.
“Cut the crap Spencer. I told you a month ago where he was and that you needed to come. You didn’t listen to me. I’m not kidding this time, you need to get your ass here now.” Emily snapped at Reid. She had figured why Aaron hadn’t called, he was protecting himself against anymore pain. But, she knew Spencer loved him and he was just being stubborn.
“ Then tell me what is going on, why did Aaron leave?”
Emily sighed as she gripped the phone wondering just how much she should tell him. She didn’t want to break Aaron’s confidence so she took a moment to gather her thoughts before she spoke again.
“Reid, Hotch is in the hospital and its serious. I don’t want to break his confidence but there was a reason he left. I’m not saying it was a good reason, but there’s a reason. He needs you Spencer. He feels lost and alone.”
“Emily, what is it you don’t want to tell me?”
“Spencer, if you really love him as much as you say you do then you will get here on the next available flight and stop arguing with me.”
“ Emily, you’re scaring me.”
“Good, you should be scared.”
She heard silence and heavy breathing on the line and knew that Spencer was either looking up flights or trying to understand what was going on. She waited patiently for him as she continued to pace..
“ I’ll be there as soon as I can . We’re about an hour outside Chicago. I found a flight that leaves in three hours. I’ll be on it .”
“Good. See send me your flight information and I’ll pick you up.”
“Can you tell me anything? Is…is he going to be okay?” Emily heard the uncertainty in Spencer’s voice and knew that he would do anything to win back his husband. She just hoped it wasn’t too late.
“He’s physically better, but that’s all I’m going to say.”
“Okay. I’ll see you in a few hours.” The phone went dead and Emily hoped she did the right thing. It felt like the right thing to do but she knew how stubborn Aaron could be, especially when it came to his own heart.
It had been a long day of tests, being poked and prodded, and given vitamin supplements as well as treatments to regulate his rapidly regenerating Omega cells. By the time it was late afternoon James and Gresham finally felt okay to leave him.They knew Emily was there and it put them at ease. Emily was allowed to bring Aaron dinner, the doctor saw no harm and figured it would do him some good. They talked and she tried to pull him out of the depression she saw him slipping into. She was nervous for him and the baby he carried.
By the time he was drifting off to sleep Aaron was emotionally and physically exhausted. He finally succumbed letting his body relax enough to go to sleep. It was a long night but he was able to stay asleep and only woke several hours later. He felt another presence in the room and at first thought it was James or Emily. When he looked to the back of the room where the person was sitting, stretched out in what looked like an uncomfortable position, he saw the shaggy hair and immediately recognized him even through the partial darkness of the room. His heart leaped in his throat but he didn’t know what to think as he watched Spencer for a few minutes. He could tell when the man woke and waited for him to settle back before he said anything.
“What are you doing here?” Aaron asked more harshly than he meant to.
“Emily called and said you were in the hospital. God Aaron, I was so scared.” Spencer stood and took two long strides to get closer to him.
Aaron was quiet for a moment as he looked his husband over.
“When did you get here?”
“About an hour ago. The only way the doctor would let me in here was to prove I was your husband.”
“Did you come alone?” Aaron turned his gaze down to his hands that were twisting together because he didn’t want to see whatever expression was on Spencer’s face.
“Of course I came alone. How can you ask me that?”
“Wasn’t sure if you were mated now. I guess I didn’t want to know.”
Spencer slowly sat in the chair that was next to Aaron’s bed and started to reach out and hold his hand. Aaron pulled away but still didn’t look at Spencer. He felt the man’s hands land on his stomach and waited as fear creeped up and lodged in his heart. He felt it when Spencer stood and didn’t stop him when the covers were thrown off him. He only looked-up when he heard Spencer stumble back and fall on his ass to the floor.
“Aaron?” Spencer’s eyes were on him and his confusion clearly came through.
“I was going to tell you that day. The day Remy showed up. I don’t know why I kept it quiet. I was just so hurt and angry. I left to protect myself, to protect our baby.
“Oh god Aaron, why didn’t you just tell me?” Spencer stood-up from the sprawl he had found himself in. Aaron could tell he wanted to reach out and touch him but he hesitated. Taking a deep breath he gently grabbed Spencer’s wrist and laid it on his abdomen. When he finally really looked at Spencer he saw tears in the Alpha’s eyes.
“Because I don’t know what I am Spencer. My whole identity was thrown when I was told I was pregnant. I’ve lived as a Beta so long that even I believed it. Now I’m pregnant? I’m not even a whole Omega Spencer.”
Spencer slowly sat in the chair behind him and Aaron could almost feel the anxiety coming from him.
“Tell me everything Aaron.” Spencer reached for his hand again but this time Aaron allowed it. He started from the beginning and told him almost everything. He left out, for now, what the doctor told him about his mating glands. That part was too raw, too fresh and he didn’t know how he even felt about them being gone when he never even knew they were there in the first place.
“Why didn’t you tell me any of this Aaron?”
“Because I never saw it as an issue. I’ve been living as a Beta for so long that I never expected this. When Remy came that day to claim you, I don’t know, I think, I think those instincts kicked in.” Aaron wiped a hand down his face as realization hit. “Shit, I think I went into protection mode. All I could think about was another Omega touching our child and it made me crazy Spencer. I didn’t understand what was happening, just that I needed to get away. All I thought about was you mating Remy, taking out child and….” Aaron couldn’t help the tears that fell. Everything he’d been holding in he started to release.
He felt Spencer’s hand tighten on his and a gentle hand wiping away the tears that fell.
“I royally fucked this up. I noticed a change in your scent but I didn’t want to ask about it. I chalked it up to the stress you were under with Strauss. Fuck, Aaron, I think a part of me knew. How could I not? But I was afraid to ask what was going on. Afraid to hope. I’m sorry, god I don’t even know how I’m going to make all of this up to you.”
Aaron went to say more when the doctor came back in the room followed by a nurse and an ultrasound machine.
“Aaron, you look better this morning, how’s the nausea today?”
“Not as bad as it has been. Is this why the nurse kept plying me with water earlier?”
The doctor chuckled, “ I want a look to make sure everything is fine. Do you want anyone with you?”
Aaron took a deep breath and took a sidelong glance at Spencer taking a few moments to decide on what he was going to do. He was still angry at Spencer but when he looked-up and saw the look of hope on his face Aaron made his decision.
“He can stay Doctor.”
“Okay, let’s get started. The gel will be cold and no matter how much I press need you to hold it, Okay?”
Aaron nodded in understanding. His bed was lowered so that he was almost flat on his back. He was grateful that the doctor only exposed his stomach. The gel was indeed cold but Aaron didn’t flinch. Spencer’s eyes were on his belly and if the doctor hadn’t been starting the ultrasound Aaron was sure that Spencer would have reached out and touched. The doctor pressed the wand across his stomach and smiled when the first pictures of the small fetus came up on the monitor.
“And there we go.” The doctor had a small smile on his face when he looked over at the two men who had wide-eyed expressions on their faces. He went back and estimated size and weight. He couldn’t tell the baby’s gender because of the way it was laying. He hoped there was movement and they could get a gender reading that day.
“That’s our baby,” Spencer lowered himself in the chair as his breath was taken from him. Aaron squeezed his hand as all anger and pain was pushed aside for the moment. When he looked back up at the doctor again he saw a slight frown on his face.
“The baby is fine but what I am worried about is this thick spider webbing of scar tissue. As the baby grows and your abdomen expands I’m concerned with the possibility of tearing.”
“And what do we need to do to reduce any risks?” Spencer stood and let his Alpha side take over. Aaron glanced up at his husband and tried not to be impressed. He knew it was the Omega part of him responding to an Alpha, but his human side wasn’t going to let the Omega win. At least for the moment he wasn’t.
“I want to prescribe a month of bed rest to help build-up your Omega cells. Mr. Hotchner. I’ll also monitor the scar tissue and see if it will become an issue or if there will be a gentle, natural breaking up of the adhesions. I also want to do an amniocentesis to make sure that the infection from the mating fluid didn’t pass through the placenta and affect the baby in any way.”
Aaron felt Spencer’s eyes on him and when he snuck a look he saw the confusion on his husband’s face.
“Will I have to stay in the hospital for it?”
“No, but if I release you I want your assurance that you will follow my directions.”
“And you have a safe place to go?”
“Yes. The men who were with me yesterday, James and Gresham, I’ve been staying with them.”
Aaron saw the look the doctor gave them but he wasn’t going to say anything about their situation. It was a personal matter between him and his husband. He’d hash this out with Spencer in private.
The doctor didn’t say anything and went back to the ultrasound. The baby had turned slightly and he was able to get a good look.
“Do you want to know the gender?” The doctor asked as he kept the wand on Aaron’s belly. He was scrutinizing closely to make sure there were no anomalies.
“What do you think Spencer?” Aaron waited to hear what his husband was going to say.
“Yes. Let’s find out. That way we can get things ready. Maybe JJ will be able to help get a room ready for when we go back.”
Aaron didn’t want to think about that right now, all he could think about was what was happening right here and now. He wasn’t sure if he trusted Spencer and to go back home with him, he knew he would need to feel like he could trust the man he loved. After taking a moment to decide he nodded his head yes.
The doctor turned back to the monitor and was about to announce the news when he chuckled slightly.
“Well, I didn’t expect this.” The fetus on top had moved enough to see more.
“What is it Dr. Berkshire? Is there something wrong?”
“No, no nothing wrong, but, brace yourselves. You are having twins. Twin girls to be precise.”
Aaron swallowed hard as he raised himself up a little. “What?”
“Mr. Hotchner, you are going to have twin girls.”
Aaron felt like he was going to hyperventilate when Spencer wrapped his hands around his wrists and ordered him to calm down.
“Right, calm.” Then he started laughing hysterically. When he was finally calm he was still chuckling when he looked at Spencer. “You don’t do anything by halves, do you?”
Aaron stifled the laugh that wanted to burst through as he saw his husband almost preening.
“Do you want copies?” The doctor barely got the words out when both men said yes. He printed them copies and let them settle a moment before he brought the conversation back around to Aaron’s living arrangements.
“Mr. Hotchner, you were saying you wanted to speak with the men you are living with now?”
“Yes, please. Thank you doctor.”
“I’ll get them, they’ve been anxiously pacing outside the room. I’m going to be prescribing some prenatal vitamins and the Omega boosters. We need to even out your Omega cells and hope to calm the growth rate of the cells at the same time. We don’t want to have you end up back here.” He patted Aaron on the shoulder just before he left.
When the doctor left Aaron knew Spencer had questions. Now that the rush of emotion was waning Aaron was quiet in the presence of his husband. He waited till James and Gresham came in before he said anything more.
“And what did the doctor say Aaron?”
Aaron told James about the bedrest, the continuation of the prenatal vitamins and the Omega boosters and about the amniocentesis.
“You know you are welcome to stay as long as you want.” James said to Aaron while staring dangerously at Spencer.
“I’m sure I can find suitable accommodations for my husband and myself. I can take care of him.” Spencer stood with his back straight and his shoulder squared. He glared at the blue-eyed man and was practically growling low in his throat.
“Considering you couldn’t figure out that he was pregnant, why should I trust you anywhere near Aaron? You’re an Alpha or have your senses been dulled by stupidity.” James crossed his arms and stood, legs apart and glared at Spencer.
Spencer glared back at James and was gearing up for a scathing comment when Aaron put a hand on his arm to stop him.
“I want to stay with James and Gresham.” Aaron stated matter-of-factly as he also glared at Spencer.
“Because I need to know that I can trust you again and right now I don’t. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be involved, it just means you need to prove to me that you aren’t going to do something like this again.” Spencer knew Aaron meant ‘this’ was bringing someone else into their marriage. He wiped a hand down his face and knew without a doubt how badly he hurt Aaron.
“I will Aaron. I will prove to you that you mean more to me than anyone. That our children,” the shock wore off and Spencer sank down onto the chair, “our children. Aaron, I don’t think I understood fully before. But seeing you, seeing the ultrasound, god all I want is to protect you, take care of you. I, I don’t feel that with Remy. I don’t. And, I think, even if he did get pregnant I wouldn’t feel what I am now.”
“So you didn’t mate him?” Aaron hated that he was even asking this question but he had to know.
“No, I didn’t. I don’t think I would have. We had a very long discussion after you left and he basically told me I was an idiot.” Spencer held Aaron’s hand in his and looked down at the bed a moment. “He left Aaron. He didn’t want to be the reason for breaking up our marriage. He was very perceptive to your feelings after his heat was over and frankly he felt guilty. He became upset that I put him in that position. I wanted to tell you but I didn’t know how to contact you. He actually found someone.”
Aaron didn’t know what to say, he found that he didn’t want to comfort Spencer on this issue. He did all of this to himself and Aaron, though it would take time to forgive, he couldn’t feel bad for Spencer.
The tension in the room was thick as the two Alphas stared each other down. It was only slightly broken when Gresham was shaking his head at both men. He laid a hand on his mate’s arm trying to calm him down. The boffin smiled over at Spencer.
“Just remember how much damage I can do to someone’s reputation with just a few keystrokes. I think the esteemed Dr. Reid is quite proud of his accomplishments and wouldn’t want anything to tarnish his good name. Isn’t that right Dr. Reid?”
Spencer just stared at the bespeckled man standing next to his mate and swallowed hard. Even he was no match for the two of them. He nodded his understanding and the very open threat that if he hurt Aaron further there would be consequences. It made him wonder just how Aaron knew these men, but he would wait for that conversation.
“You can come by, everyday if you want but my decision is made. I’ll be more comfortable there Spencer.”
“Okay Aaron. I understand.” Spencer sat back and tried not to feel dejected, tried not to let his Alpha assert itself because he knew if he did, the damage would be irreparable.
A nurse came back in with a stack of papers and shooed everyone out of her way.
“Mr. Hotchner, here is the prescriptions for your prenatal vitamins and the Omega boosters. This one is for nausea and it’s only if it comes back. This is a list of recommendations for your diet. Dr. Berkshire would like to see you eating a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and a good amount of healthy protein. Easy on the fish and nothing raw. Your choice of milk but it needs to be something fortified with vitamins. I know not everyone can digest cow’s milk.” She handed him the first stack of papers and he looked the over quickly.
“This is a list of your appointments. The first one for two weeks from now and it will be for the amniocentesis. This pamphlet will tell you what you need to do the night before to get ready and what the test entails. The rest are rather self-explanatory.”
Aaron looked a little overwhelmed with all of the information he was given but he put that with the rest of the papers.
“And here are your discharge forms. Please sign where indicated, the Doctor will be back in to give you any final instructions.”
“Thank you, for everything.” The nurse smiled and as she turned to the three men still standing by Aaron’s bedside.
“Don’t do anything to upset him. He needs all the care he can get,” she snapped at them as she turned to leave. Aaron wanted to laugh at the expressions on their faces and tried to hide his amusement. The doctor came in and just raised a brow and shook his head.
“I see the nurse has brought you all the paperwork. I have your signed release and you are free to go as long as you follow orders.”
“Thank you doctor, for everything.”
“I’d like to make one last recommendation, if I may,” he had a stern look on his face as he waited to get Aaron’s okay. “Mr. Hotchner, losing mating glands can often be a rather emotionally and mentally traumatic experience. You aren’t going to process this immediately and when you do I’d like you to talk to someone. Someone outside of your circle that will help you through what I know will hit you in a couple of days. The stress of those emotions can cause complications that I don’t think you need right now. Please, think about it at least.” Dr. Berkshire handed Aaron a list of counselors which he just added to his packet without saying anything.
“I’ll leave you to it then and I’ll see you in two weeks.” The doctor smiled as he left the room.
“I brought you a change of clothes.” Gresham put a small travel bag on the bed. “We’ll let you get dressed and come back in a moment.” Gresham practically pushed James out the door. Spencer looked like he wanted to stay but the look on Aaron’s face told him he should leave as well.
Aaron carefully sat-up and didn’t feel any light-headedness like he had been having over the last few weeks. Carefully he stood and found he was a little shaky but overall felt okay. He quickly dressed in the jeans and t-shirt that, he assumed Gresham, packed in the bag for him. The clothes were a little tight and he knew he’d have to buy some new things to accommodate his growing stomach. Twins the thought crossed his mind as he sat back on the bed, his hand softly caressing his belly. He took another moment to process that thought then stood once again, grabbed the packet of information the nurse and doctor gave him, then he was ready to leave. He still wasn’t sure about Spencer, he was going to take that one step at a time. He knew he was still in protective mode and part of what he was feeling were his Omega instincts, but the other part was his broken heart. He knew he would never keep the children away from Spencer he just didn’t know about his own heart.
The first week at James and Gresham’s was a little stressful for Aaron. Spencer wanted to come see him but Aaron was still reeling from all of the information he had been given in the hospital and James was keeping him away. Aaron knew if he said something James would let the man in but even Aaron wasn’t sure if he wanted Spencer there at the moment or not. Gresham had taken it upon himself to be Aaron’s nursemaid to the point where he was running the latest mission from his living room. He assured Aaron, more than once, that it was just a milk run and nothing he couldn’t manage from home.
That morning James had to go into the office and Spencer came by yet again. Aaron let himself smile a little and started to believe that Spencer was serious. He wasn’t quite ready to forgive and they did have a lot to talk about and he knew he couldn’t avoid it any longer.
“Gresham,” he called out after the man let Spencer in the apartment.
“Ta, Aaron,” the boffin walked into his room and looked him over. “Your husband is here again. James is at the office so he didn’t throw him out this time but if this goes on any longer the two men just may come to blows and I really don’t want to explain to M why his top agent got into a fight outside of work.”
Aaron couldn’t help the laugh that escaped at the image that formed in his head.
“It’s okay, let him in.”
Gresham narrowed his eyes a moment but Aaron just raised his brows and stared his friend down. He knew they were just trying to protect him and the babies but he couldn’t put off Spencer any longer.
“Gresh, it’s fine. We have a lot to talk about and I’m not keeping him from this. I couldn’t no matter what’s happened between us.”
“Fine, but the moment he causes you any upset I am not above throwing him out. And I can still ruin his bank account.” Gresham didn’t quite huff but Aaron tried to hide the smile at the put out expression on his face as he turned on his heels and went back towards the front entrance.
A couple of minutes later Spencer was standing at the doorway to Aaron’s room with a look of hope on his face that Aaron almost completely relented. He still loved this man with everything he had and that’s what made this so difficult. Loving someone and trusting them were very different. He knew that he would trust Spencer in the field, he had no doubts about that, but his heart had been broken into a million pieces and that was going to be harder to fix. If it could.
“Gresham said it was okay to see you. Your friends are almost as bad as Rossi, except there are two of them. Can you imagine putting James and Gresham in a room with Rossi and Morgan?” Spencer chuckled nervously, “And I’m more than positive that Rossi would win.” He stood there, hands twisting as Aaron just looked at him. “I ah, I’m renting a car and I found a little flat not to far from here. Emily helped with that, she has a friend who is out of town and was willing to sublet to me.” He swallowed and took a deep breath and when Aaron didn’t say anything he continued. “Driving took me a couple of days but I think I’ve got the hang of it. Though the roundabouts confused me the first time I drove around the city. I just, I needed to get out, think…..Please Aaron say something because I don’t want to do this. I don’t want this silence between us.”
Aaron swallowed as he let his emotions settle before he could speak.
“I know we need to talk.” Aaron closed his eyes a moment to gather his thoughts. He didn’t want to fight and he knew if he said what he really wanted to say there was that possibility. He looked up at his husband and made a quick decision. He patted the empty side of the bed and Spencer immediately jumped at the chance to sit next to him. “Where do you want to start?”
“What did the doctor mean Aaron? About your mating glands?”
Aaron went silent. His hands were shaking as he tried to hold in the feeling of loss over something he never knew he had. It had hit him hard a couple of days after coming home from the hospital. Something that he had secretly craved for years he had come to terms with never being able to have it. Then waking up and being told that such an important part of himself had to be cut out caused him to silently breakdown. He tried not to let James or Gresham know, but when he woke-up the next day to the two men sandwiched on either side of him, calming him down, he knew he hadn’t hidden it as well as he thought. When he looked to the side at Spencer it still hurt. This was a deep ache that he wasn’t ever sure would go away. He tried to speak but the words just wouldn’t come. The pain too fresh as he sat there wondering what his husband was going to think of him.
After a couple of fumbled starts and stops Aaron was finally able to tell Spencer, but he couldn’t look at him when he did. He didn’t want Spencer to see him as less and this was just another thing making him different. He was surprised when all Spencer did was wrap an arm around his shoulder and pulled him in close.
“I am so sorry Aaron. I’m sorry you went through that alone. It doesn’t change that I love you and I will always love you.” Aaron sat-up and pushed away slightly, he wasn’t going to let himself be comforted till they truly started to talk out their problems.
“What do you want Spencer? Please, be absolutely honest with me.”
Spencer smiled softly as he reached over and cupped Aaron’s cheek.
“I want you. I want you back home Aaron. I know I screwed-up believe me I know, but I don’t want to lose you.”
“Are you saying that just because you know that I’m an Omega and I’m having your children?” Aaron hated how it sounded but he knew that was the crux of their problems. “Because after they are born, I’m taking the suppressors Spencer. I’ve lived as a Beta almost my whole life. It’s what I know. I don’t know how to be an Omega, I don’t know how to do any of this. So, if you really still want me, want us, then it will have to be me as a Beta.”
He watched as a range of emotion passed over Spencer’s face. He knew the Alpha usually carefully chose his words so he was patient as he waited for Spencer to process.
“No Aaron. I’m saying it because when you left it made me realize what we had. That even though I had Remy, an Omega and one compatible with me, I wasn’t happy. I had what I thought I wanted, but the truth was I already had what I needed, with you. Those two months I was miserable Aaron. I missed you.” Spencer raised a hand and wiped his face. “I will do whatever you want Aaron, I just, I need you.”
Aaron laid his head back against the pillows and reached over and grabbed Spencer’s hand. He placed the hand on his stomach and sighed. The babies had been moving around more, he felt them and wanted Spencer to as well. He wanted him to understand what he almost lost.
“Then you can’t do something like that ever again Spencer. I couldn’t take it. I’d have to think about what is best for me, and now our children.”
Spencer closed his eyes and sat back on the bed just as he felt movement under his hand.
“That’s, that’s our babies,” he looked wide-eyed at Aaron then lowered himself towards Aaron’s stomach. He laid his head carefully down and closed his eyes. He felt movement under his head and Aaron felt a wetness on his exposed stomach. Sighing he gently carded his fingers in Spencer’s hair.
“Yes, Spencer, that’s our babies.” He was startled when Spencer moved and flung his arm around Aaron and held him close. “I almost lost you. I almost lost them.”
Aaron fought back what he was feeling as he wrapped his arms around his husband.
“We have a lot to work through Spencer.”
“I know, and I want to.”
“What about work?”
“I put in a temporary leave. I’m not leaving till you do.”
“Okay.” Aaron knew he needed to say more but he was too overwhelmed. This, though was the first step to repair what they once had with each other.
The time came for the amniocentesis test and Aaron wasn’t afraid to admit that he was nervous. Spencer was with him, having driven them to the doctor’s office that morning. He was currently laying in bed in a room already set-up for the test. He was informed that Spencer could stay and that he would be awake for the procedure. When he saw the needle that would draw the fluid Aaron was more worried for Spencer than he was for himself. His husband still got nervous around them, even though his ordeal in Georgia was more than five years prior.
Aaron looked up to see Spencer visibly swallowing.
“Spencer, you don’t have to do this if it’s going to be uncomfortable for you. I completely understand.”
Spencer closed his eyes a moment and Aaron almost felt it when the man had let the Alpha take over. He knew that was what was going to get them both through this.
“No, I’m staying.” Aaron couldn’t help the smile that crossed his face as he squeezed Spencer’s hand. It amazed him, even though they were a little shattered at the moment, at that spine of steel in Spencer. It had nothing to do with his Alpha and everything to do with his own hard won self-worth. Aaron wasn’t ready to completely give his heart back to Spencer, but the way he was taking care of him and staying by his side, it made Aaron believe and right now that was a dangerous thing to him and his heart.
“Aaron. I’m glad to see you looking so well. I’ve got the results of the rushed blood work back and your levels are starting to even out. The Omega cell reproduction has slowed down enough that I’m going to let you have limited movement. I still want you to take it easy, especially for the next couple of days.” The doctor reached for his gloves and smiled at the two men, “Now, are you ready?”
Aaron nodded that he was was ready. He had opted not to have the local anesthetic. He was already considered a high risk pregnancy and he wanted to do everything in his power to keep his babies safe.
The doctor had brought an ultrasound technician with him who was ready when the doctor was.
“Okay Aaron, the technician is going to keep the ultrasound going so we can find the best spot to remove a small amount of the fluid. It won’t be more than two tablespoons and the babies will quickly make more. We are going to keep it slow and steady, and I just need you to breathe normal, okay?” The doctor put on his gloves and picked-up the long, thin, hollow-tubed needle then waited for the signal from the tech of where the best pocket was to draw the fluid from. The tricky part came from the fact that it was a multiple birth and there was less room to maneuver.
Aaron closed his eyes and breathed through the discomfort while Spencer gripped his hand. It didn’t take long and the doctor was finished. He had what he needed for the tests.
“I should have something back in a week, two at the most. I’ll call you as soon as the results are dropped on my desk. Now take your time and I want you to take it easy the rest of the afternoon. No sex, no flying and nothing strenuous for the next week. After that you can have limited movement then I’ll reassess and let you know what would be best. Okay?”
“Thank you doctor. We’ll be waiting to hear from you.” Aaron sighed as he softly rubbed his belly. Spencer reached out and laid his hand over Aaron’s.
“Everything will be fine.” He didn’t add that he was thinking that it had to be, he knew if something happened to the babies his husband would not come back from that. He knew it would devastate him. Spencer vowed to be there every step of the way.
“I think so.” Aaron took a breath then carefully slid off the bed and grabbed for his pants. Once he was dressed again they left the office with promises of results soon.
“I’m starving, you want to get breakfast before we head back to James and Gresham’s?” Spencer bit his lip while he waited for Aaron. He knew he could order it and his Alpha part really wanted to. He wanted to assert himself but knew he had to hold back. If he didn’t, if he tried anything like that with Aaron he knew it would end up tearing them further apart and that was not what he wanted.
Aaron knew Spencer was trying. He could feel the anxiety pouring off the Alpha and reached over and laid a hand on his thigh. It helped him to settle as well.
“That sounds good Spencer.” There was still tension between them but each day Aaron felt Spencer trying. His husband had been there for him in the last couple of weeks and he felt like this was the start of something better between them. He just hoped that Spencer was fine with him wanting to take the suppressors. They hadn’t talked about it after Aaron had brought it up. He knew they did but he wanted to make sure that Spencer was truly in this and not just for the babies.
Spencer drove to the restaurant in silence, but it wasn’t completely uncomfortable. Aaron had kept his hand on his leg and it felt nice. They hadn’t touched very much other than Aaron’s stomach, but he was patient, he needed to be.
The restaurant was similar to an American cafe and Spencer had found it weeks prior. He liked the atmosphere and the food and had hoped for the chance to bring Aaron. He parked and helped Aaron out of the car. Their relationship might be rocky, but he was going to do his damndest to protect his husband and their children. After getting inside they were shown to a table quickly. Aaron went to order coffee but Spencer just glared at him. This was one thing that Spencer was going to exert his Alpha on.
“Aaron. Doctor said no caffeine. If you want coffee, decaf. Or juice or water.”
“Spencer,” Aaron glared at his husband as he set the menu down. He went to say something else but Spencer put his hand up to stop him.
“I don’t care what you are going to say Aaron. And, right now I don’t care that we have issues, in this I am not going to let you be stupid. You’ve done everything to take care of our babies, so, no caffeine.” Spencer’s eyes went flat as he glared at Aaron hoping he didn’t have to take it a step further. He never wanted to Dom his husband but he would if Aaron was too stubborn.
Aaron frowned a moment. He hated that he felt compelled to obey, he really didn’t want to but Spencer was right. He needed to make sure he was doing everything he could to keep himself and his unborn babies safe.
“Okay,” Aaron clucked his tongue and would worry about the dominant side of Spencer later. He turned back to the waitress who was trying to suppress an obvious smile at the couple. “I will have some orange juice then. And the full English please.”
“Ta, and for you sir?” She turned to Spencer who had memorized the menu and was more than excited to see a dish he hardly saw in the other restaurants and pubs he had been to thus far.
“I see you have the traditional Toad-in-a-hole?” His eyes sparkled and he quirked up his lips in a very geeky smile. Aaron watched and he ached at that smile. This Spencer, that smile and geeky boyish charm is what had made him fall for the genius. The first time he saw that smile, Aaron was gone. The two had danced around each other for two years, Aaron never thinking that an Alpha would fall for him, and when Spencer finally confessed his feelings the rest had been easy. Aaron wondered as he watched his husband with the waitress when it stopped being so easy.
“I’ll bring your drinks right away and your order should be coming up soon, loves.” She smiled at them both before she walked off to take care of their orders.
Spencer swung his gaze back to Aaron and saw him watching.
“What? Did I do something wrong?” Spencer was feeling insecure at the look Aaron was giving him. When a hand reached across the table and fingers entwined with his he couldn’t help but stare. His heart pounded as he lifted his gaze up to his husband.
“When did we make everything so complicated? It used to be so easy for us Spencer. I have come to realize that maybe I had a part in what happened. I don’t know what it is, because you never told me there was anything wrong but obviously there was. We’ve been avoiding talking about this.”
The waitress came back with their drinks then quickly left. Spencer was taking his time to answer. He knew it was an important conversation and Aaron was right, they were dancing around the subject of their marriage. He took a sip of his coffee and was happy with how strong it was, even after he doctored it with milk and sugar to his liking.
“I love you Aaron. More than I ever thought I would love anyone. You are right, everything was so easy with us. We were talking about adopting and then JJ got pregnant again. I looked at her and Will and,” Spencer signed as he closed his eyes a moment to get himself settled. “I was jealous. Then I hated myself for feeling jealous. I knew, or thought I knew, that it would never be like that for us. You were a Beta and I was okay with that I really was but seeing her going through her second pregnancy…”
“You wanted that experience.” Aaron finished for him.
Spencer looked down at his coffee, moving it around in his hands he felt a blush creep up. He was feeling ashamed and it wasn’t a good feeling.
“Yes. I wanted that. I’m sorry Aaron. I should have talked to you but I buried those feelings, buried something that I wanted because I love you and I know that isn’t a good enough excuse. I acted selfishly as if there was only me in this marriage, instead of two.”
Aaron sat back and wondered what he would have done if Spencer came to him with this information. The possibility of him getting pregnant had never entered his mind before, but would he have sought out a specialist to discuss possible treatments to make it happen? He wasn’t sure. He thinks that maybe part of this really was his fault. He wasn’t truthful with Spencer over his secondary gender and maybe keeping silent about it helped to push his husband into the arms of Remy.
“I feel that maybe I’m partly to blame. I never told you the truth of my secondary gender Spencer. It’s not that I actively wanted to keep it from you it’s just, having my biology suppressed all those years it just didn’t seem to matter. I’m seeing now that I was wrong. I can’t say that I would have wanted to be treated like an Omega, I like my life. I like my status in the FBI and if my true gender had come out, getting where I am would have been a hell of a lot harder.”
“Aaron, I don’t blame you. Now that I know it doesn’t change how I feel and I know a part of you is wondering if I’m here just because of the babies. I’m not. I was genuinely afraid I was going to lose you. When Emily called, god Aaron you scared the shit out of me. I wanted to be here before I found out you were pregnant. I stay because I love you and if anything happened to you, I’d never forgive myself.”
Spencer saw the waitress coming with their food and sat back in the booth. She set the food down with the check but told them to take their time. She left after refilling both their drinks.
“Can I ask you something?” Spencer picked at his food not knowing if his question was going to make Aaron mad or not.
“What is it?” Aaron was hungry enough that he didn’t wait. He also wondered if the extra toast and extra sausages was because he was pregnant. He slightly chuckled as he looked at the amount of food on the plate. “I think she told the chef I’m pregnant.”
“I think so too. You are eating for three you know.” Spencer’s heart warmed under his chest as he thought about the twins that Aaron was carrying. “If I had asked, well, would you….would you have seen a geneticist?”
Aaron set his toast down and leaned back. He watched as Spencer ducked his head down and the long curls hid his face. Spencer was nothing like a typical Alpha. He held back a lot because he was afraid of what people would think of him. He also didn’t want to get involved in Alpha posturing if he didn’t have to and on cases Aaron was grateful for that. The few times Spencer really asserted himself, it had always been necessary.
Would he have gone to see a geneticist if Spencer had asked him? He thought about it long and hard before he answered. He wanted to be truthful, that was the only way that they were going to have any chance at repairing their relationship.
“I don’t know. I never gave us the chance to have that conversation did I? I have no idea what is going to happen to my body once the babies are born. The doctors don’t either. I, like you, are a bit of a conundrum to them. What my parents had done,” Aaron was surprised by the low growl that came from Spencer and would never admit, to anyone, that it made him happy. “They don’t know the extent of the damage. Hell, they all said it’s a damn miracle I’m even pregnant.” Aaron took a few bites of food to help settle himself. The silence between them was almost deafening.
“I’ve never knotted anyone.” Spencer’s voice caught in his throat at the suddenness of his own confession. He quickly took a sip of coffee to hide his embarrassment.
“Oh, I ah, never knew that.” Aaron didn’t really know what to say to that. He’d never experienced being knotted. He wasn’t sure how his body would have reacted. But it made him wonder.
“You’ve held back all this time haven’t you? You did it for me didn’t you?”
“Yes. I didn’t want to hurt you, ever.”
“I think it’s time we need to be completely honest with each other Spencer. After the twins are born I don’t know what’s going to happen. Part of me, like I said earlier, wants to take the suppressants and live like I always have, as a Beta. But, a part of me wonders if I should give us a chance to experience, at least once, what it would be like. You know to be an Alpha/Omega pair.”
Spencer felt his face heat up again. He wasn’t sure if they should be having this conversation out in public like they were. Then Aaron’s last words clicked in his head as he stared, trying to comprehend what he heard.
“You, you want to still be with me?”
Aaron didn’t think when he fled to England that his marriage was going to last. And he wasn’t ready to forgive Spencer completely yet, they still had a ways to go but here now with both of them opening up and being honest with each other Aaron did want to try, he wanted his husband back.
“Yes. Yes Spencer I do, but we have to be honest we cannot do this to each other again. No going behind each other’s backs, no lying and hiding. Okay?”
Spencer’s smile was the biggest smile that Aaron had seen on him in weeks. If he hadn’t already been wanting to try again, that smile would have been the deciding factor.
Both men were quiet as they finished their breakfast. Spencer paid then helped Aaron out of the booth. He kept a protective hand on Aaron’s back as they walked out and back to his car. Aaron wasn’t going to begrudge him his protective nature, he was pregnant after all.
A little while later they were walking back through the apartment. Gresham was there and he asked about the test. Aaron said it went well but now he was tired and wanted to go lay down. Spencer helped him into bed and was going to leave, like he had been doing every other time he came to spend time with Aaron.
“Don’t leave.” Aaron patted the side of the bed. He watched as Spencer turned and closed the door.
“Are you sure?” Spencer fiddled with his hands while he waited.
“Yes Spencer, I’m sure.”
The Alpha practically crowed as he made a beeline for the bed. He crawled beside Aaron and laid down next to him. He settled a hand on Aaron’s chest and laid his head on his shoulder. When he felt his husband’s arm come around his shoulders he wanted to weep with relief. This was just the first wonderful step towards what he hoped was reconciliation.
A week later they were back in the Doctor’s office, the results of the amnio had been rushed.
“Mr. Reid-Hotchner, the test came back negative. There are no anomalies with either baby. In fact they are well above normal. Which is good. Now, I could tell you that it’s fine if you wanted to go back home to the States. I’ll have all of your medical records ready to take with you, but, I’ll be honest in saying I’d rather you stay here. The flight back to Virginia is a long one and I worry about you being in a pressurized environment for several hours. If it was a short flight I would still be cautious but allow it. However, due to your age and the suddenness in the reactivation of your secondary biological gender I worry over the risks of travel. You are now almost five months along. You are closing in on your third trimester and travel could exacerbate the problems that we have been working hard to reverse.” The doctor sat back in his chair and let Aaron ponder the information.
“I don’t know what your financial situation is but I can recommend a couple of agencies that do help foreign persons in your situation. This is not the first time I’ve had Omega’s with high-risk pregnancies and many are visiting from somewhere else.”
“It’s not that, both of us are fairly flush Doctor. It’s a lot to consider. We’ll talk about it and I will call you in the next couple of days and let you know my decision. In the meantime, what would you like me to do?”
“I’m fairly certain that you will be fine with limited exercise. Walking is what I recommend. No running or jogging, no lifting weights or any heavy lifting for that matter. Biking and if you have access to a pool, swimming are fine. I do want you to rest with your legs up for at least an hour off and on throughout the day. The medication that is helping to keep your Omega cell production even can sometimes cause issues with swelling. Keeping elevated and rested, with lots of water will help. I’m writing a prescription for a different set of vitamin treatments as well as mineral supplements. Please take them properly. Continue with the fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins as I outlined to you previously. That’s it. If you decide to stay I’d like to see you every two weeks to monitor your progress.”
“Thank you doctor. I will let you know of our decision in a day or two.” Spencer helped Aaron out of the chair. In the last three weeks the babies had grown quite a lot and Aaron’s stomach was quite stretched. He already needed help getting up out of chairs, he did not want to think what the next four and a half months were going to be like. He laid a hand on his stomach and frowned.
“I’m huge,” Aaron pouted as he rubbed his stomach. He hadn’t been able to fit in any of his suits and it was pissing him off. He liked his suits.
“Why don’t we go shopping? Emily is meeting us for lunch, I’m sure she knows the perfect place to go get some clothes.”
“You hate shopping.” Aaron narrowed his eyes at his husband and wondered what was really going on.
“Yes, but you’ve been complaining about not fitting into anything for the last couple of weeks. Now, let’s go have lunch, then after we’ll find some new things for you.” Spencer took Aaron’s hand as they got outside of the doctors and was happy when Aaron didn’t pull away.
“Fine, but you have to get something new also.” Aaron teased, “It’s hard enough to get you shopping on the best of days.”
Spencer laughed softly as he pulled Aaron into his arms happiness radiated off him and Aaron just pulled him in even closer.
“Okay, I will.” Spencer wanted so badly to kiss Aaron but he wasn’t sure if it would be accepted. When tentative soft lips touched his he about melted in Aaron’s arms. He didn’t push, but this was progress and any small gesture on Aaron’s part made him happy.
Neither man said anything as they walked back to Spencer’s car and got in.
“I find it quite ironic that you normally hate driving back home but for some reason you seem to like driving here.” Aaron curled his lip in a half-smile as he watched Spencer carefully back out of the parking space.
“It’s a puzzle. Driving on the left side, figuring out the correct lane and those roundabouts. I spent one whole day just driving from one end of London to the other and testing out all of the roundabouts I could find. It also gave me a better mental map in my head.”
Aaron burst out laughing as he looked over at Spencer and saw the sparkle of humor in his husband’s eyes.
“Only you would find driving in a foreign country amusing.”
“It’s different and I like knowing that I’m the one driving you.” Aaron didn’t know what to think about this side of Spencer. His protective instincts have been coming out more and more and a part of Aaron liked it.
“We have an appointment with the Embassy tomorrow to apply for temporary immigrant visas. That is if you wanted to stay. I set it up a couple of days ago in anticipation of what the doctor was going to tell us.”
Aaron looked around as Spencer drove. His hand settled on his belly and he sighed. A part of him really wanted to be home in his own bed but he knew the doctor was probably correct that travel would push boundaries with his health that he wasn’t ready to push.
“I think I want to do everything I can to stay healthy, so yes I think we should stay.”
“You, you said we.”
“I did. And maybe we should find our own temporary place.” Aaron stared straight ahead as his heart pounded in his chest.
“Okay. Then that’s what we’ll do.” Both men were quiet as they contemplated on what was happening. Spencer’s Alpha was practically rumbling in his chest with happiness as he thought of how Aaron was letting him back in little by little. The wide chasm that had been there when he first flew out to England and saw Aaron in that hospital bed was closing inch by inch. He was now hopeful for so many things.
They made it to the pub Emily had picked out for them and was engulfed in hugs by her when they found her table.
“Aaron, the last time I saw you, you were barely showing.”
“Well, twins will do that to you.”
Emily laughed at her former boss as they all sat down. Lunch went too quickly and Aaron was a little sad letting her go, but not before Spencer got a location for some good shopping for them. While on the drive there the couple was quiet but it wasn’t the deafening silence that it had been in recent weeks.
The area that Emily gave them was replete with small boutiques, as well as medium priced stores and a few high end as well.
“I don’t want any suits, not for the short time I’ll be in them. But I can’t do just casual.” Aaron said as he held Spencer’s hand as they walked around the shopping district.
“Whatever you want Aaron, you know that.”
They found one store that catered to male pregnant Omega’s and Aaron liked the clothes on display. When they entered it was warm and inviting. The shop girl came over and greeted them and told them to take their time to look around. Aaron pulled a few pairs of slacks and some shirts then went to try them on. When he came back out a few minutes later he looked happy with his choices.
“I’ll take them all.” He laid the clothes on the counter. “I’m just going to go look over the jeans and casual shirts you have.”
“I’ll just get these ready for you then sir.”
Aaron smiled then picked out some casual things for him to try on. Spencer watched with calm fascination as Aaron moved through the store carefully choosing items that he knew were both practical and stylish. Spencer didn’t expect any less when it came to his husband.
By the time they were done Aaron had enough that would get him through the next few months.
“And now you.” Aaron turned to Spencer as he made sure the younger man was going to keep his promise.
“Fine. I did see something I liked.” They walked towards a store that had suits cut more for Spencer’s body frame. In the window was a grey and plum suit that Aaron liked immediately. When they went inside the sales girl almost squealed when she saw Aaron. She had run up to them and was about to touch Aaron’s stomach when Spencer practically growled at her.
“I would think someone working in a higher-end store would be better about their manners. No one touches my husbands stomach without permission.” Spencer was in full Alpha and the girl, clearly a young Omega was almost cowering next to them. It wasn’t but a moment later when another woman came over to see what the commotion was.
“I’m sorry gentlemen is there a problem?” The sales woman asked in her very posh London accent.
“Yes, you’re girl here was about to assault my husband. Just because someone is pregnant it does not give them permission to touch. And I would think she would be wary around an Alpha and their mate.” Aaron raised a brow as he looked over at Spencer. He had never been called Spencer’s mate before and he was both pleased and confused.
“I’m sorry ma’am I know you told me about this. I didn’t mean anything by it.” The girl was practically in tears, but it didn’t sway Spencer at all.
“June, go to the back and work on the stock that just came in. I will help these gentlemen, then you and I are going to have another talk.”
“Yes ma’am.” The girl practically scurried away from them, head down and fear pouring off her.
“I would like to apologize. We have spoken to her several times about her behavior. Sometimes growing up in a large pride makes a lot of these new girls have no manners at all. I hope that I can help you and put you at ease?”
Spencer tried to find any falseness in the sales woman and when he didn’t he backed off a little while he kept a possessive protective hand on Aaron’s back.
“Yes, I’d like to see the grey and plum suit you have in the window, and that three piece burgundy suit as well.” He gave the woman his measurements while he kept a cold flat look on his face. His possessive side was out and he was having trouble pulling back. Thankfully Aaron didn’t say anything till after Spencer had tried on the first suit.
“I like it. That cut if perfect for you. Maybe we should have Ainsley start cutting your suits closer to this London style.” Aaron grinned heatedly as he watched Spencer preen in the mirror.
“You think so?” Aaron moved up behind Spencer and wrapped an arm around his waist as best as he could.
“I know so. You look gorgeous.” Aaron whispered in Spencer’s ear. He wasn’t sure if it was the rush or hormones or the fact that he hadn’t had sex in months but he was very hard as he pressed against Spencer’s back. He felt the Alpha rumble low in his throat and the heat flare up in his eyes.
“I ah, I think I should try on the other suit.”
Aaron nuzzled Spencer’s neck and scraped his teeth across. “Okay.” He said as he pulled away. He chuckled low when Spencer practically stumbled back into the dressing room. By the time they walked out Spencer had three new coordinating suits.
“I ah, I haven’t seen the place you are staying at.” Aaron bit his lip and tried to settle the butterflies in his stomach.
“You’re sure?” Spencer’s heart sped up at the thought of having Aaron at his place.
“Yes.” Aaron’s heart sped up because he wasn’t sure what he was offering.
When they got to Spencer’s apartment and his scent assaulted Aaron’s nose it was all the pregnant man could do not to whimper. His legs had almost given out. He hadn’t realized just how much he missed his husband till this exact moment.
He had moved to the window to look out while Spencer moved around the apartment. When he felt arms come around him he sighed and carefully leaned back against the man he loved.
“Spencer.” He turned and cupped the back of Spencer’s neck pulling him in close. He kissed him soft and gentle at first and it slowly became more heated. He didn’t care at the moment about all the problems they still had to work out, right there and then he wanted Spencer more than he thought possible.
“I want you Spencer. I want to feel you inside me, I want you to make love to me,” Aaron was on the verge of pleading till he felt his shirt being lifted off him. Hands softly caressed him as they touched everywhere.
“Are you sure it’s safe?” Spencer growled next to Aaron’s ear as he scraped teeth across his neck, pulling moans from the man in his arms.
Aaron swallowed hard as Spencer started to unbutton his trousers.
“Yes. The doctor said as long as we aren’t too rough. On my side is one of the safest positions.” He moaned as Spencer moved behind him, never lifting his hands, keeping them always on him.
“Then lay down and I’ll be right back.” Aaron looked towards Spencer and felt his cock hardening as he watched his husband walk towards the bathroom. Aaron laid down on his side, his hand lazily stroking himself as he waited. He didn’t have to wait long before Spencer was back and laying flush against his back.
Spencer took his time kissing and touching everywhere he could, relishing the feeling of Aaron in his arms like this once again. By the time Aaron was begging for him he slipped a finger down and touched Aaron’s hole. When he did he got quite the shock.
“Oh god Aaron,” Spencer scooted down the bed and spread Aaron’s cheeks and buried his nose sniffing. His body shuddered at the smell of sex and natural lubricant coming from his husband. He stuck his tongue out and licked. The Alpha in him was practically shouting his joy. Pushing his tongue in more he started to push inside Aaron more.
“Fuck, Spencer, god that, that feels so good.” Aaron pushed back against the tongue, wanting more. He felt fingers dig into his hip keeping him still. He couldn’t help the whine that escaped his throat as Spencer worked his tongue inside him. Just when he thought he couldn’t take it anymore Spencer moved up behind him and thrust his cock against his ass.
“Please, oh god please Spencer. It’s been too long.” He didn’t have to wait too long as Spencer grabbed his now throbbing cock and started to slip inside him.
“Aaron,” he moaned as he slipped a leg between Aaron’s and started to slowly thrust. Aaron laid his head back against Spencer’s shoulder as he flung an arm behind him grabbing Spencer’s hip. His heart soared at the feeling of his husband inside him once again. He gripped the sheet under him as Spencer started to thrust harder, a hand gripped his hip as teeth scraped across his neck.
“Aaron, I’m close, I need to pull out if you don’t want it, I don’t think I can hold it this time Aaron.” Spencer was panting heavy as his thrusting became more urgent.
“Go ahead Spencer, I, I want it.” And he did. He hadn’t known that he had wanted something like this but right then he wanted it more than anything. Soon he felt Spencer’s cock expand inside of him then he felt it, the knot, and Aaron almost came at the feeling of fullness.
“Oh fuck, oh fuck,” Spencer pulled Aaron even closer to him as he thrust gently as the knot expanded fully. He was in heaven. While it had been good with Remy, the man didn’t want to be knotted, not till they knew each other better. Spencer was glad now that he waited, this was better than anything he’d ever felt. He moved his hand to grip Aaron’s cock and started to move his hand up and down while he made small thrusting motions. Always careful not to hurt Aaron.
“Close Spencer,” Aaron whined his mind was pinging all over the place as the pleasure from both hand and cock had him almost dizzy. It wasn’t but a couple of quick thrusts and he was coming all over Spencer’s hand and his own stomach.
Spencer felt Aaron’s muscles clamp down on him as he thrust in hard once then he came. He buried his head against Aaron’s neck and rode out his orgasm. He was still locked inside Aaron, so he pulled the man as close to him as he could.
“Aaron, that was, I, I have no words other than I love you.” Spencer settled his hand over Aaron’s stomach and smiled to himself as he felt the flutterings of movement. He started to fall asleep, happier than he had been in months.
Aaron was overwhelmed with emotions as he started to drift off in Spencer’s arms. This was the only place he wanted to be at the moment. He fell asleep feeling safer than he had felt in the last three months. His last thought as he fell asleep was that maybe all wasn’t lost after all and maybe it wasn’t so bad being an Omega after all.
A few days later Spencer and Aaron found a small furnished apartment that wouldn’t break either of them financially. The bonus for Aaron was it was in James’s building a floor below his and Gresham’s place. Spencer wasn’t sure if he was happy about that or not but he was letting Aaron take the lead and making the decisions. He wanted to rebuild the trust they once had in each other and it was slow going. Aaron had wanted to nest for a while with Spencer, talking out their issues and working on better ways to deal with what brought them to their current situation.
Aaron also kept up his appointments and the doctor was so far pleased with the babies progress. The only thing they were worried about now was a possible early delivery.
Currently Aaron and Spencer were in James’s apartment and Gresham had a video feed set-up that was being sent to the BAU offices. Aaron had called two days prior and talked with Cruz to set this up. He wanted to talk to the team all at once and Gresham thought this was the best way.
Aaron was sitting in a chair awaiting the team to come on camera. He was nervous but started to calm when Spencer laid a hand on his shoulder. When Dave came on screen he smiled. He knew in that moment how much he had missed them.
“Aaron, so you finally decided to grace us with a call.” Dave teased as he smiled at his friend.
“Dave, where are Morgan, JJ, Garcia and Blake?”
“They are coming.” Aaron didn’t have to wait long and the rest of his team showed up. After many hellos and we miss you’s he knew that was his cue to tell them what was going on. Slowly he explained what he was comfortable with telling them. He wasn’t surprised by the stunned looks on their faces.
“And why are you telling us all this Aaron? It isn’t like you to open up about your personal life to the whole team.” Dave pursed his lips and waited.
Aaron locked eyes with Morgan and nodded his head. He then stood-up so they could all see. There was no mistaking what they were looking at.
“You-your pregnant?” JJ asked, stunned at her boss’s news.
“Yes, I’m pregnant. Twins. Spencer and I are going to have twins.”
“Oh my GOD,” Garcia squealed as her face lit up. “But, why aren’t you home?”
“No one would have thought less of you Hotch.” Blake said what was all on their minds.
“It’s complicated. I had a complication, and before you ask the babies are fine. But, due to my age, the complications from a few short weeks ago, and the fact that it’s a multiple birth the doctor has recommended that I don’t fly. I want to do everything I can to keep them safe.” Aaron smiled softly as he rubbed his stomach.
“Do you know what you’re having?” JJ smiled as she watched the soft look come over Aaron’s face.
“Girls. Twin girls.”
“We are so going to have a party when you get back and I don’t want to hear any protests.” Garcia crossed her arms looking hopeful at her boss.
“Small Garcia, make it small.” Aaron shook his head at his subordinate’s barely contained enthusiasm.
‘I promise.” Aaron hoped like hell that she would keep her promise.
“So, how far along are you?” Dave couldn’t even be upset with Aaron, he figured out that this was probably very difficult for him to have accepted. He wanted to talk alone with him but he knew it would be a while.
“Almost six months. Doctor wants to see me weekly now. They want to make sure that we can make it to at least 32 weeks. And they want to make sure I don’t develop preeclampsia. It’s all too common in my situation.” Aaron rubbed his stomach and smiled softly.
They talked for a few more minutes then they had to go. Aaron sat down and was a mix of emotions. He wanted to be home very badly but he also wanted to do everything he could to keep healthy.
Maisie ran into the room and climbed up on what little there was of Aaron’s lap. She laid her head on his stomach and softly cooed.
“Babies, soon?” She looked up at Aaron with wide blue eyes.
“It’ll be a few more months Mais.” He chuckled at her pout. He thought that sometimes Maisie was more excited for the babies than even he and Spencer were.
“Now,” she frowned as she patted his stomach again.
“Now Mais darling, we talked about patience.” Gresham grabbed his daughter off Aaron’s lap and held her. “You are sometimes too much your father.” He shook his head as he kissed her cheek.
“And too smart like you.” James walked in and wrapped his arms around his mate. “Stay for dinner? We’ve got plenty and Mais misses you.”
“I’d love to but I’m really tired guys. I just want to get home and bed down.”
“Alright, we’re here if you need anything.” Gresham showed them to the door Maisie wanted a hug. Aaron chuckled at the little girl as he kissed her cheek and gave her a hug. It didn’t take long for Spencer and Aaron to make it back to their own place. Aaron was getting more tired, more easily and it sometimes worried Spencer. The doctor reassured them over and over that it was normal and everything was coming along fine.
When they got home Aaron quickly changed into the comfortable sweatpants and a large t-shirt. As he stood in front of a full mirror he couldn’t help that he touched the scars on his neck. While he did everything the doctor ordered for his physical health, Aaron didn’t take his advice to talk to someone about the profound loss of his mating glands. He closed his eyes and tried to keep his breathing under control, but it was getting harder to control his emotions.
Spencer walked up behind him and held him close.
“Aaron, what’s wrong?” Spencer kissed his neck as he splayed a hand over his stomach, smiling at the movement he felt there. The twins had been moving around more making Aaron feel sore in the mornings sometimes. He tried to help soothe the back and stomach pains as well as making Aaron put his feet up to help the swelling.
“It’s nothing.” Aaron went to put on the t-shirt when Spencer moved to his front and stopped him.
“It isn’t nothing. Tell me. I thought we were trying to be better Aaron but I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.”
“It’s just, I can’t be a mate to you Spencer. That part of what we could’ve had, is gone. I,” He looked up into warm hazel eyes and all he saw was love, and concern for him. He put the shirt on and walked to the bed and laid back on the propped-up pillows. “Even though my secondary gender was suppressed, a small part, a buried deep hope, was that I’d have what other Alpha-Omega couples had. Yes, we’ve seen a small number of those relationships go horribly wrong but, I see so many that just, it was more than love, they were connected and I, I, we will never have that.” Some of those insecurities that he still had reared their ugly head. Tears spilled as the loss he suffered hit him fully. He knew part of it was the hormones from the pregnancy, but not all of it. He hadn’t dealt with this, or even talked about it but now that it was out there it hurt more than he ever realized.
“Aaron, that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is us. What matters is that I love you and I’m never going to hurt you like I did ever again. I know, I know how much it’s hurting you but it doesn’t change that I want to be with you. Yes, it would be nice to be mated, but in the long run, it doesn’t matter. I love you, and when I think about how I almost lost you…..well that hurts worse than anything.” Spencer crawled up on the bed and gently laid his head on Aaron’s stomach. His favorite position to be in.
“You’re okay with this Spencer? You’re okay with not being mated?” Spencer lifted his head and saw the expression on Aaron’s face and it broke his heart. He knew he put those insecurities there, those doubts and he sometimes wondered if he would ever be able to make-up for it.
“If if means that it saved your life? Then yes I am okay with this. I love you more than anything and I know I put that doubt in your head, but if I have to spend the rest of my life making-up for my mistakes, then that is what I’m going to do. I love you Aaron Michael Hotchner, and nothing will change that.”
Aaron wanted to believe that, he really, really did and a part of him had started to believe it. Spencer had been more than wonderful. Attentive, caring, making sure he did everything right but a voice in the back of Aaron’s head kept telling him that Spencer was only doing it for the babies, he tried to squash that voice but he just couldn’t.
The Doctor didn’t look happy which put Aaron on alert. He was twenty-eight weeks and so far everything had been going fine. He was doing everything the Doctor had told him to do. The headache he had been experiencing for a few days now was growing. He felt it behind his eyes and the longer the Doctor was taking the worse he was feeling.
“Is something wrong Dr. Berkshire?” Aaron tried to keep calm as the Doctor was looking over some of his test results.
“I want to monitor you over the day Aaron. You’re blood pressure was elevated and I don’t like some of the results from your routine testing.”
Aaron knitted his brow as he stroked a hand over his stomach. He couldn’t lose them, was his only thought.
“What is it you’re worried about?” His voice was calm but that little voice in his head was screaming loud for the Doctor to just tell him what was wrong.
“I don’t want to scare you and I know we’ve discussed the possibility, but I think you have developed preeclampsia. There are some elevated protein markers in your urine tests and right now your blood pressure is 145/90. I want to check it again in a few hours and if it is still elevated then we’ll have to schedule a delivery Aaron.”
Aaron scrubbed his face and tried to calm his breathing. He had done everything right, everything. He thought that this couldn’t be happening.
“Will they be okay Dr.?”
“Babies born at 28 weeks have a very good chance Aaron. They will need to stay in the hospital to continue developing but we will do everything we can to make sure the’ll be fine.”
Spencer stood and paced. He hadn’t said a word the whole time.
“And Aaron Dr. Berkshire?”
“Once the babies are born we’ll put him on a low dose acetaminophen to keep his blood pressure down but it should normalize shortly after.”
“And his headaches?” Spencer crossed his arms and his full Alpha was on display.
“Headaches Aaron?” Dr. Berkshire turned a glare onto Aaron.
“They started to develop about three weeks ago. I didn’t say anything because they wouldn’t last long but this last one had been two days and it hasn’t gone away.”
“Alright, I’m getting you in a prenatal room and setting-up a blood pressure monitor. If there is anything unusual I’m beginning induction.”
“Dr.” Aaron started to protest.
“This is not something to trifle with Aaron. If you are preeclamptic then I’m inducing. Trust us Aaron, we’ll take care of you and those babies. Now, let me go get the nurse who will take you to a prenatal room then fit you with the monitor. I’ll check on you every couple of hours. If your blood pressure goes down in that time, I feel safe in releasing you but I’ll want to monitor you.”
“Thank you Dr.” Aaron watched as the doctor left the room and rubbed his face. This was their one fear and it was coming true.
“Spence,” he cried out as he reached a hand out for his husband. Spencer didn’t hesitate as he rushed to his side and took his hand. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Aaron’s emotions were on overdrive as he tried not to let the tears that had gathered at the corners of his eyes fall.
“This isn’t your fault Aaron. The Doctor warned us this was a possibility. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
He went to say more but the nurse came into the exam room and gave directions to Aaron and Spencer on where they were to go to be admitted into a prenatal room. It didn’t take long to get to the main hospital and to be shown to a room. All the paperwork was brought in to them and a nurse came in a few minutes later and set Aaron up on a blood pressure monitor.
Spencer tried to keep him calm, never leaving his side. The Doctor finally came back after about four hours and sat down next to the bed.
“Aaron, you’re blood pressure is not going down. In fact it raised slightly. With your headaches and the protein markers that I’ve found I’m fairly confident in saying that you are preeclamptic. How long has it been since you last ate something?”
“Ah, it was what, 6:00 this morning Spencer?”
“Yeah, we got up early, and I made a light breakfast. He hasn’t been able to hold anything heavy. Fruit, scrambled eggs and some toast. That was it. Some juice and a cup of decaf. We haven’t had anything since.”
“That was about either hours ago. Okay, we can work with that.”
“You’re going to induce?” Aaron looked scared. Spencer had never seen his husband this scared. Not even Foyet had him this afraid. He gripped his hand hoping to reassure him.
“Yes. We are going to start with that and failing the results we want, we may have to do a c-section. Just try and relax. I know you’re scared but we have an excellent prenatal unit Aaron. We will do everything in our power for your babies.” Doctor Berkshire patted his hand and got up from the bed. A few minutes later a nurse came in with a syringe.
“May I ask what that is?”
“Its prostaglandin. It’s to help start the labor induction. I’ll need you to lift your legs and spread wide.” Aaron took a deep breath and did as she asked. It was over quickly and the nurse patted his leg telling him she was done.
Aaron laid his head back and tried to calm his racing heart. He thought they were okay, that they were going to make it to the thirty-two week mark. He wiped his face as he laid a hand on his belly.
“They have to be okay Spencer. They have to be…” his face scrunched up as he tried not to cry.
“Aaron, they will, okay? They will be and everything will be fine you have to remember that.” Aaron nodded as he swallowed hard and wiped a hand down his face. His voice was stuck in his throat as words failed him at the moment.
All Aaron could do was nod. The nurse came back a few minutes later with an IV and she set it up but didn’t administer it as of yet.
“This is pitocin. We’ll start the drip after your second injection of the prostaglandin and we’ll keep you on it, Mr. Reid-Hotchner until you are ready to deliver. We’ll also give you a dose of oxytocin which will help start your contractions. If you start to feel any discomfort at the injection sites or the IV site let us know immediately. We’ll also be bringing in an ultrasound that will monitor the babies. Don’t worry, Dr. Berkshire is the best and we’ll do everything we can to make sure all three of you are safe.” She smiled as she left the room.
Spencer sat on the side of the bed and brushed Aaron’s short hair aside. His Alpha wanted to soothe and comfort his mate. Spencer smiled as he shook his head realizing just how stupid he had been. Aaron had always been his. Something in him had always recognized what he was, but he didn’t want to acknowledge it. He didn’t want to hope because, like Aaron, he never thought of him as an Omega. But, it explained so much. The first time they touched, Spencer felt that spark between them and it had never gone away. Aaron had been going through a divorce when Spencer first joined the team and he was introduced as a Beta. But, deep down, that part of him, the Alpha always knew but he just didn’t want to listen.
“I love you Aaron. I love you more than you will ever understand. You are my mate. I just didn’t want to acknowledge it, I didn’t want to push for answers but deep down I knew. You will always be mine and I promise Aaron, I promise I will never hurt you like I have. I need you, I need our children. I don’t need anyone else.” Spencer couldn’t help the tears that slid down his face. The emotions that were churning up inside him as he waited and worried were almost too much.
“Spencer,” Aaron’s heart melted a little more and all that pain of the last few months started to melt away. This was what he needed to hear and Spencer staying, taking care of him was what he needed. “I love you.” He held tight to Spencer’s hand and tried to settle more, tried not to worry about what was going to happen next.
Fourteen hours later and Aaron was exhausted emotionally and physically. The labor had been hard and his blood pressure had spiked twice. After the delivery the babies were both immediately laid in an incubator and hooked-up to respiratory machines. He didn’t even get a chance to hold his girls before hand. He was warned that was a possibility. It had depended on how developed their lungs were and how their breathing was.
Now he was in a room and heart was aching for his children. Spencer was there the whole time, holding his hand, helping with the breathing exercises and trying to keep him calm and focused. He didn’t think he could have asked for anything else from his husband. He was glad Spencer was there, he hadn’t thought that he could have done this on his own.
Spencer had a small bucket of warm water and some washcloths, wiping him down and trying to settle him more. His blood pressure hadn’t gone down yet, and they were warned that this too was a possibility. That it would take a few days with proper treatment they should see improvement quickly. The only thing they had to worry about was their babies.
“I’m glad you were there Spencer. I couldn’t have done this without you. I don’t know if I would have done this without you.” He reached up and grabbed Spencer’s hand stilling it. “Please tell me they’ll be okay.” Aaron released his grip and let Spencer continue.
“Dr. Berkshire said they are strong. Their lungs need some developing as well as their stomachs and liver. Madison is slightly smaller at 2lbs 3oz and Courtney is 2lbs 7oz. The Doctor is rushing their blood and urine tests and we’ll know those results by tomorrow. The good news is neither of them had to be intubated, but they do have infant ventilators on them. They are moving so that is a good sign. I’m confidant Aaron that they will be fine. The statistical survival rate for preemies at 28 weeks is 95%. The only thing they are watching closely for is possible jaundice if the liver is having problems and infection. They are strong though, and aware. Have faith Aaron.”
Aaron smiled and knew that Spencer would have found out everything he could. He would have demanded answers in that way that only Spencer could. He knew how to push when necessary and his own children? Nothing would keep him from getting answers.
“They just need a few weeks in the hospital to help them continue growing.”
“Thank you. How many people did you have to bully to get answers so quickly?” Aaron tried to smile but he was just too tired.
“Just a couple. And I don’t bully.” Spencer teased back as he continued caring for Aaron. “I called Dave and let him know. He’ll tell the team, but he will also run interference so they don’t call you too much. I told Emily and Gresham and James but asked them to give you, us, a couple of days.”
“Good. I don’t think I can deal with anyone else right now.”
“Sleep Aaron, and when you wake, I’m sure we’ll be able to see them.”
Aaron nodded because he couldn’t talk his emotions were running high. He wasn’t sure if it was stress or the hormones running through his body but he just felt so empty. He wasn’t quite sure what Spencer was doing other than helping to bathe him but it was soothing and soon he found himself falling asleep.
When next he woke he felt a warm comfortable presence wrapped around him. When he slowly opened his eyes it was Spencer. The bed that he had been given was one specially made for Alpha/Omega pairs. Alpha’s were territorial at the best of times, after their Omega’s gave birth they were even worse. Separating a mated pair in the past had resulted in some very disastrous results. So a medical company had developed beds just for these types of pairs. They were made so nurses could get around them easily when pulled apart, then pushed back together just as easily.
“Hey, how you feeling?” Spencer propped his head up and laid a hand on Aaron’s heart.
“Tired and sore and I want to see them Spencer, I need them. It’s this painful ache that just won’t go away.” Aaron looked up at his husband and felt his heart beat rapidly. The blood pressure monitor was beeping and Spencer laid his head on Aaron’s forehead.
“You need to calm down. I know you’re instincts are all over the place. I know you’re also still having a hard time reconciling being Omega, but you need to calm down. As soon as the Doctor comes in I’ll tell him you need to go see them. Okay? Take a deep breath love and let it go.”
Aaron breathed through it and slowly the beeping stopped. Thankfully no one had run into their room to see what was going on. It was a few minutes later when an orderly was coming in with food for both of them.
“And the Doctor said that you can have one cup of coffee Mr. Reid-Hotchner.” A small cup was set in front of Aaron, who almost groaned obscenely, even if it was bad coffee, it was still coffee. Two plates were set down and the orderly left. Spencer pulled the lids off both and was surprised. It actually didn’t look half bad. They ate in a comfortable silence that hadn’t been there in a long time. But Aaron was radiating anxiety the whole time. Spencer just laid a hand on his thigh, trying to settle him. Aaron finished and gently stood to go to the bathroom. When he came back Spencer had his bag that had a couple of changes of clothes.
“When did you get this?” Aaron said as he put on a comfortable t-shirt and running pants.
“I ran to the apartment last night after you fell asleep. I figured that you would need something more than the hospital gowns.” Spencer walked over to where Aaron was standing. He lifted his hand and cupped his husband’s cheek. “I know you’re anxious and I know how much you need to be near our children, and you will be, I promise.” Spencer leaned in and gave him a gentle kiss.
“I just, I feel this pull and the need to be near them keeps getting stronger.” This was part of what Aaron had been so afraid of. His Omega instincts kicking in. He kept staring at the door and frowning. If the Doctor didn’t show in a few minutes Aaron knew he was going to start tearing through the hospital looking for his babies.
“Its your instincts and I know you don’t want to hear that, but its true.”
“I know that Spencer but knowing that isn’t helping me from not tearing this place apart to be with them.” He was shaking as the anxiety built up in him.
Spencer knew he needed to go to the NICU and not even he could stop the man.
“Let me find the Doctor, but you need to calm down Aaron.” His husband just glared at him as Spencer left the room. By the time Spencer got back with the Doctor Aaron was pacing back and forth.
“Aaron, you should be resting in bed.”
“I need to see my babies Doctor.” He growled as he stood that clenching and unclenching his fists.
“You’re Omega instincts are amping up because you’ve given birth. But, you need to relax and I will take you right to the NICU. Okay?”
Aaron could only nod as he put his slippers on. The Doctor let the parents into the NICU and Aaron practically shoved the man aside as he pushed his way in and went straight to the incubator with the twins.
When he saw them a part of him wanted to cry. They were hooked to the ventilator as well as several IV’s. He knew one was to help keep them hydrated, and one was to help build their immune systems. He ached to hold them as he laid his head on the top of the unit.
“Mr. Reid-Hotchner, I was told to expect you. Come here.” When Aaron turned a hard glare on her the nurses expression softened. “I know how it can be Mr. Reid-Hotchner. But, if you come here I can show you how to hold them.”
His eyes widened as his heart hitched. “I…I can hold them?”
The nurse smiled softly. “Yes, you can hold them. It’s encouraged, but until their skin thickens and they are breathing completely on their own we do need to keep them in the incubator. Twins of Alpha/Omega pairs we try to keep as close together as we can. Normally we separate but we have found that in Alpha/Omega twins, if they are separated complications became more frequent. We don’t know why, but we feel it’s safer to keep them together. Which gives them and even greater fighting chance.” The nurse smiles again as she gently prods him over to her small station.
‘Hold out your hands.” He does as she asks him to. She slips on a special pair of gloves then takes him back to the incubator. “Okay now slip your hands and arms just to your elbow through those round openings.” The nurse nods her encouragement as he does what she tells him to. “Now Madison is the one closest to you. Slip your hand between her legs and under her butt and back. Your other hand carefully cradle her head in your other hand and gently lift.” He looks back-up at the nurse, his eyes wide with concern. She just nods her head and he gently lifts. The tears that had been threatening since the night before freely fell as he held one of his daughters in his hands for the first time.
After a few minutes Aaron put her down, he was told to pull his arms out and they changed out his gloves. The hospital was doing everything they could to keep any possible infections away from the girls. Aaron didn’t mind. If it kept his children safe, he would put up with whatever the hospital wanted. He was ready and he moved to the other side of the incubator and did the same thing.
Aaron looked up to see Spencer hovering.
“They’re beautiful Spencer.” Aaron couldn’t help the smile that came over him as he held Courtney. “So small. I didn’t know they were so small.” His heart ached as he held his daughter in his hands. He wanted to hold her properly and it was driving him crazy that he couldn’t
“Soon, Aaron. You’ll be able to hold them properly soon.” Spencer knew what his husband was feeling as he walked over and laid a hand on his shoulder. “I promise you, they’ll be fine. They have a good chance Aaron.”
“I know, I’m just fighting everything in me not to just take them. I can’t describe it. I just need them. I need them close and it’s making me crazy Spencer.” He gently laid Courtney back down and pulled his hands out of the incubator. He was shaking again as the nurse took the gloves from him.
“I know Aaron. Why don’t we go back to the room and you can lie down. I know you are fighting yourself but you need to calm down. It won’t do them, or yourself any good.” Spencer wrapped an arm around Aaron’s waist and led him back to his room.
Aaron laid down on the bed once they got back to the room and he could already feel the ache of separation. He turned on his side and buried his face in the pillow and wondered why depression was slowly creeping up on him.
Dr. Berkshire entered the room and he didn’t move. The doctor moved to sit down in a chair next to the bed so that he could talk to Aaron.
“I could start you on a low-dose of a suppressor. It would help with your feelings of separation. It’s often much harder for Omega’s who deliver early to handle the stress of being away from their children. I wish I could bring them in here, but until they are breathing completely on their own we can’t risk it.”
Aaron shut his eyes as he tried to control the need to be near the babies.
“Will they help?” The pleading sound he made almost broke Spencer’s heart. He didn’t know how to help Aaron, they were both so far out of their depth.
“Yes, they will help get you through the next few weeks. I know you aren’t going to want to leave the hospital. We have a special wing for cases like this. In a day or so your twins will be transferred to the NICU there and a room right across from it will be ready for you and your husband.”
“Then I’ll try them.” The Doctor held out two pills and poured some water for him. Aaron took them then laid back on the bed. They talked for a little while on what would happen now and somehow it put Aaron a little more at ease.
They next day they quickly got Aaron moved to what looked like a set of small apartment like rooms. The large wing was set apart from the main hospital and it was used mostly for long-term care of Alpha/Omega pairs. There was a smaller version of the NICU as well as other facilities catering to the needs of Alphas and Omegas. The small apartment was just big enough for Spencer and himself but still had everything they could ever need. When Aaron asked about payment the hospital administration told them that everything was paid for through generous donations. The only thing they needed to worry about was their own personal needs.
The weeks went by and Aaron spent everyday in the NICU. He couldn’t think about anything else other than being with the twins. Even if all he could do at first was hold them through the plastic of the incubators. The suppressors were working but he still felt the strong need to be there with them. But, it wasn’t as overwhelming and they staved off the depression he had felt himself spiralling into after they had been born. At night he spent the time in Spencer’s arms, reading, talking and learning to for slowly forgive. Spencer hadn’t left and he got to spend his own time with the babies. Some days they were there together, and some they split the time between them. Aaron was learning more about himself and his biology and coming to an understanding more and more of who he was.
Then one of the happiest days of his life came when he walked across the hall.
“Good morning Aaron. Here, put this on.”
“Marita, what’s this?”
The nurse smiled wide, “Its a surprise. Now put that on, open at the front then sit in that rocking chair over there.”
Aaron frowned but did as she had told him. While he sat there he was a little nervous but when Marita started to walk towards him with a small bundle in her arms his breath quickened and his eyes misted over.
“A-are you sure?” It took every ounce of strength he had not to knock down the nurse and take his daughter from her. At least she was a Beta, it would have driven him insane if another Omega had been taking care of his twins. The hospital administration was extra sensitive to the needs and rights of Omega’s. Most, if not all the nursing staff in the neonatal unit were Beta’s.
The nurse just smiled as she laid Madison in his arms first.
“They have been breathing well on their own for the last few days. And here, a light formula that the doctor wants to start them on.” She handed him a bottle of just barely warm formula. He gently laid the nipple of the bottle against his daughter’s lips and she eagerly took it. Hazel eyes looked up into his own chocolate brown and his heart swelled. He knew he loved them. Knew it the moment he found out he was pregnant, but this, this was like nothing else in the world.
After she was all done and the bottle taken away he gently lifted her to sit up in his arms and against his shoulder. He closed his eyes and gently rocked back and forth holding her close. After the little burp came Marita came to take her back. He didn’t want to let her go, but he knew he needed to. Then little Courtney was placed in his arms. He fed her as well and by the time he was done he was almost overwhelmed. When he looked up he noticed that they were no longer in the enclosed incubator.
“They are strong. There has been no other complications and all their tests came back normal. The PDA that the doctor was monitoring for never occurred. Their lungs are strong and when we get them up to at least five pounds each they maybe able to go home.” The nurse laid a hand on his arm before he moved away, “You did excellent Dad. They are strong and healthy because of you.”
Aaron made his way across to his room and sat in the reading chair. He was stunned and emotional. Spencer had come back from doing some shopping for food and essentials for them. He looked over at Aaron and immediately went over to him. He sank to one knee and laid a hand on Aaron’s thigh.
“What’s wrong? Are they okay? Did something happen? Aaron? Aaron?”
“I got to hold them. I don’t mean just through the incubator, but in my arms. I got to hold them and feed them and I… i don’t know what to do with what I’m feeling.” He looked up at Spencer and knew right then that everything was going to be alright.
Spencer stood then sat straddling Aaron’s lap. He kissed Aaron with passionate toe-curling kisses. He moaned deep in his throat as Aaron wrapped his arms around him. It had been a while, the Doctor didn’t want them having any kind of sex for at least six weeks. It had been almost eight.
“Bed. Now.” Aaron panted against Spencer’s mouth. Luckily he had already shut the door to the main room. They stood from the chair and clumsily stumbled into the small bedroom. They tore at clothes getting them off of each other and collapsed on the bed touching, kissing, and nipping at flesh.
“I want to be in you Spencer. I need…” He buried his head against Spencer’s shoulder as he rutted against his husband’s thigh.
“Oh god yes.” Spencer moaned as he felt his cock pressed against Aaron’s stomach. Spencer wasn’t one of those Alpha’s that only topped, he liked to feel Aaron inside him, he loved it when his husband wanted to make love to him. Taking the bottle of lube from the nightstand Spencer pressed it into Aaron’s hand. Smiling Aaron squeezed a little out onto his fingers. Slowly he slipped one inside Spencer’s hole and crooked it just a little. He knew how much Spencer liked to be fingered and it helped him to relax.
“Ready for me Spencer?” Aaron asked as he nuzzled against Spencer’s neck.
“Yes, Aaron please,” Aaron liked hearing his Alpha plead for him. It wasn’t often and it always made him feel special that Spencer trusted him like this. He slicked up his cock and slowly pushed the head inside. As soon as Spencer nodded that he was okay Aaron pushed all the way in. He moaned at the feeling of being inside Spencer. It had been so long.
“Move, Aaron, please move.’ Spencer begged. Aaron started to move slowly at first then faster and harder. He knew he wasn’t going to last long, and watching Spencer fist himself while he was fucking into him had him groaning in the back of his throat. He watched his husband as he arched up into him and came. The hard pulsing muscles against his cock had him coming quickly.
He was panting hard as he laid his forehead against Spencer’s. He chuckled softly as he waited for his cock to soften enough to pull out without hurting Spencer too much.
“What’s so funny?” Spencer knitted his brow as he cupped his husband’s cheek.
“We haven’t done it that quick since that one time we were driving back to the office and you got very handsy. I pulled over into what we thought was a secluded park. You fucked me hard and fast. We laid out on the backseat, barely enough room for the two of us. You told me you loved me that night.” Aaron bit his lip as buried emotions rose to the surface. “I love you Spencer. Even through everything, I loved you and that’s why it hurt so much.”
Spencer reached-up and pulled Aaron down to lay next to him, holding him close.
“I know Aaron. I love you too. I promise you, you are all I want, all I need and it’s not just because you bore our children, or that you’re an Omega. That doesn’t matter because I loved you way before all of that. I meant what I said, I’ll never hurt you like that ever again.”
Aaron got up and padded into the small bathroom and brought out two warm cloths for them. After cleaning up Aaron fell down on the bed again and curled up against Spencer, the two men fell asleep in each other’s arms. Their future looking better than it had just a few short months ago.
The nursery was beautiful. Morgan had outdone himself. It was his present to them when they had gotten back home. Home, it felt good to walk in the doors of their house, with their healthy twin girls and a lot of repair to their relationship. They still had things to talk out, like Aaron’s Omega status but that would come in time. Right now they were happy and content to lay in their bed, tired but happy.
“I’m glad we are finally home.” Aaron smiled as he tapped Spencer’s sock covered feet. He had a striped toe-sock on one foot and an orange one with ducks on the other. It made Aaron laugh and the normality of it helped put him at ease.
“I’m glad to. At least if we ever go back to England we know where all the best and cheapest stores and restaurants are.”
“Yeah, you just want to go back to Forbidden Planet to see if you will run into one of the Doctor Who actors.” Aaron smiled and teased.
“You got me there.” Spencer moved to where he was lying half on top of Aaron.
“You still willing to talk to the couples counselor?” Aaron bit his lip as he wrapped an arm around Spencer.
“I’m still willing. I know it’s not perfect Aaron that we didn’t get it all out in the open and I want this, I want us. I know it’ll take time but I think, I hope we are on the right track.”
“We are Spencer. We just need a little help the rest of the way.” Aaron kissed the top of his head. They were just drifting off to sleep when the first cry sounded. Aaron shook his head and got up to go check on the twins. He picked-up Madison and held her close and almost immediately she settled down. She hadn’t liked the travel where Courtney had seemed to. Aaron wandered over to the rocking chair and sat rocking his daughter in his arms back to sleep. The thought came into his mind that he was happy.
After she finally went back to sleep Aaron put her down again then made his way back to bed. He slipped under the cover, pulled Spencer close, wrapping his arm around his husband’s waist.
“Everything okay?” Spencer asked as he rolled over and burrowed down into the covers close to Aaron.
“Just fussy. Go back to sleep” Aaron said as he kissed the top of Spencer’s head. He fell asleep knowing how much he was loved.