Title: Written on My Skin
Fandom: Criminal Minds, Stargate
Characters: Spencer Reid, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Jack O’Neil
Pairings: Spencer Reid/Daniel Jackson
Word Count: 2511
Tags: Skin Writing, Soulmates, Pining
Spencer Reid has lived with the writing that has shown up on his skin since he could remember. Daniel Jackson started to see the writing when he was first in college. The two men have never tried to find each other till on gruff General points out the obvious. Now, they both have to decide is they want to meet, or will they live with the ache they have for each other for the rest of their lives. In the process, someone will get hurt and Spencer knows who it will be.
Spencer was sitting at his desk trying to get paperwork finished. He had his sleeves rolled-up and he was down to his last few folders when he felt that familiar skittering across his skin. He smiled and looked down to see the all too familiar writing flowing across. It was tight neat handwriting, someone that was used to having to write small to save space.
‘The Odarians are a unique race. Though they have many traits of homo sapiens, they have some traits that break away from their once fully human nature. The double eyelids, thickened skin and larger lung capacity show how they have adapted to the wet, humid climate of P5S-634. They have the most musical language I have ever heard and I hope Jack lets us stay here long enough for me to be able to study them.’
Spencer never knew who it was, but when the writing showed-up he always took a picture, before it slowly disappeared over the course of the day. He had a notebook of his own that he had been jotting down some of the more interesting aspects of the writing. SG-1, Asgard, Stargate, and the many mysterious place designations. He had figured out a long-time ago that these were some kind of places, but he just didn’t understand the context. He tried numerous times to put all the clues together, but he just never could. He thought that maybe the person was some kind of science fiction writer, but even that didn’t sound right to him. The one time he had tried to do a deep internet search on SG-1, he ended-up in an endless loop of conspiracy websites that just kept looping back onto each other. Every search was cut off and it made him ponder. He had thought about asking Garcia to look, but something in the back of his head told him that was probably a very bad idea.
The writing never came at the same time of day, sometimes it was in the early morning, sometimes at night. Sometimes it was in the middle of a take-down, and that was always awkward. There were even times it showed-up in the middle of sex. Spencer chuckled to himself at that one.
The writing started to appear when he was sixteen, and he knew intellectually what it was, but he never had tried to find the person on the other end. There just weren’t enough clues. Then when he was defending his third doctorate, and making plans to go into the academy, the writing disappeared, but then a year later showed-up again. He couldn’t really tell anyone how elated he was when it did come back. That year that it was gone was one of the hardest for him. He had always found a comfort in the writing and when it was gone, Spencer thought the worst.
Some days, the writing didn’t stop and Spencer had to wonder about that. Today, it seemed like it was going to be one of those days.
“Jack made us leave, but there was a promise to come back. Especially as initial negotiations went really well…….he asked me to dinner. Again. And I gave in. Again. What am I doing? I know his feelings for Carter, and I know that with me….well…it’s safe. I’m a civilian and he can’t….I need to stop this…”
These were the personal entries in some kind of diary that Spencer was smart enough to read between the lines. He almost felt the man’s pain, for he knew it was a man, he just didn’t know their name. Sighing, he gently ran his fingers over the words and wondered who this was.
“Hey, ready to go?” Spencer looked-up at the man and smiled. If he couldn’t have his soulmate, he would have the man he had a major crush on for the last two years.
“Yeah, let me just get my stuff and we can go.” He stood and gently brushed his hand down his boss’s arm and smiled softly. He grabbed his satchel and slung it over his head, smiled and walked with him to the elevator.
Daniel was lying across Jack, arm slung around his waist and closed his eyes trying to come to terms with falling into Jack’s bed, yet again.
He was falling asleep when he felt it, the scratching sensation that told him something was being written again. He extricated himself from Jack and looked at his left arm. It was late and he wondered why the other person was still up.
‘This case is proving difficult. Everyone left for the hotel, but I just couldn’t let it go. The map makes no sense to me, the Unsub is all over the place. I know I need to put it away, but I just can’t not when the stakes are this high.’
Daniel wondered just who this person was. Their life had been…interesting. Daniel smiled a bit and grabbed his phone to take a picture. He then sent it to his personal cloud and would download it later. He was making a timeline, trying to see if he could figure out who the person was by the clues that were in these little notes. He also made note that most of the time it was during times of high stress that the writing would appear. It was quite often when he was younger. In fact it didn’t start till he was almost 19 and defending his second doctorate that the writing first appeared. They were almost childish, and for the first few years it made him uncomfortable, but slowly he got to know this person and he wondered who it was.
He was being pulled from his thoughts as an indistinct map appeared as he was sitting there brooding. He looked down at Jack, and shaking his head at himself, laid back down and tried to be happy with what he had. There just weren’t enough clues, even with everything he had collected over the years, to get a name or location. The only thing he had to go on was the person was either a Government agent, or crazy. He chuckled softly at himself and thought about how he had attracted so much of the crazy over the years. Sighing, he wrapped himself around the warm comfort of Jack and tried to go back to sleep.
In the morning there was more, and before he stepped into the shower he looked down to see what was going on.
‘He asked me to move closer to him. The apartment next to his is open and it would be….convenient. I’m not sure if I want….convenient. I know where it’s coming from, everything that has happened in the last year as made him afraid. He fears for us, as a team and as individuals, but I think he fears for me the most. He doesn’t voice it, he rarely talks…I wish he would.’
These were the passages that always pained him. The thought of someone else touching, kissing, even making love to his soulmate was a deep ache in the pit of his stomach that he wasn’t sure how he was ever going to resolve. Of course he had no reason to throw stones, wasn’t he doing the same? Giving into something because not to hurt worse. Running his hands through his hair and Daniel knew he needed to either look for this person, or forever live with the tenuous hold they had on each other.
He was brought out of his brooding when warm calloused hands encircled him, pulled him back against a hard chest and lips were being brought down on his neck. He swallowed hard as he let Jack, once again, have him.
Spencer didn’t want to look. He pulled his sleeves down, buttoning them up, he didn’t want to see the words today. Not today. This wasn’t the time for it, he thought it would be obscene. He pulled the dark jacket on, grabbed his cane and looked once more in the mirror. It was the best he was going to do. He grabbed his purple scarf and wound it around his neck and started out the door.
He felt the words flowing over his arm as the priest was talking about death and heaven. Spencer had long ago lost his belief in god, but he was here because of Hotch. He was here for a man he cared for deeply, one who was hurting.
He felt the words flowing over his arm as Hotch stood there talking about Haley, his heart breaking as he spoke. Though they had been divorced, the man never stopped caring. Spencer looked to Jack and his heart ached for the boy as much as it did for the man. Today would be about them. He could, for once, ignore the words as he focused on something, someone more important.
He felt the words flowing over his arm as JJ was telling them they had a case and no one else was available. The anger in the team was palpable, he started towards Hotch, to tell him he was sorry, but saw him turn away and look towards the cemetery. He wanted to help him, wanted to ease the pain, but he was being pulled away and all he could do was say he was sorry.
He felt the words flowing over his arm as they flew away and headed towards Nashville. He still didn’t look, he knew he would lose this day, possibly lose the opportunity to find out who it was, but he just didn’t have the heart to look. After they talked about the case, Spencer stretched out on the small couch and tried to block out the ramblings of his soulmate.
“Hey, you okay Pretty Boy?” Morgan looked over as concern for his friend showed on his face.
No, he was not okay. He was torn in two different directions and it was hurting him. He knew, whenever he found the person on the other end of the writings, he was going to hurt someone he never wanted to. He felt it deep down that this person was going to look for him. He didn’t know how he knew, he just knew. Wiping his face he looked over at Morgan and sighed.
“No, I’m really not okay but I’d rather not talk about it. And, please Morgan, for once respect my privacy.” Spencer put on his serious face. He knew his best friend meant well, but he just wasn’t ready to talk about it.
“Okay, but you know if you ever need someone to talk to.”
Spencer smiled and nodded, “Thank you.” He let his head fall back against the wall of the plane and tried to rest. Ignoring the scratching on his arm.
Daniel knew something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong. He hadn’t seen any writing for days and it worried him. He frowned as he looked down at his left arm, trying to assess what he could do.
“Something wrong Daniel?” Jack asked from across the mess hall table.
“I’m sorry Jack, what?”
Daniel saw Jack visibly sigh as he took a bite of food then put his utensils down.
“Do you want to tell me why you are always, and I mean always, looking at your left arm? It’s been what? Nine years and you haven’t once ever explained it.”
This was the conversation he hadn’t wanted to have with Jack yet. Not here, not in the open.
“Its because you never actually asked.”
“You’re right. And the strange writing and pictures that just appear every so often?”
Daniel put his sandwich down and rubbed at his temple. He really didn’t want to have this conversation with Jack at the mess hall table.
“Can we not talk about it here?”
“Okay. My quarters.”
Daniel gave him a look but Jack held up his hand, “To talk Daniel, that’s it.”
Daniel shut up and nodded. The two men made their way to Jack’s quarters on base. Once inside Jack cupped Daniels face, gently rubbed his thumbs over Daniels cheeks.
“It’s soulmate writing, isn’t it?”
Daniel swallowed and tried to to turn his head away from Jack. He really, really didn’t want this conversation.
“Danny, come on.” The look he was getting from Jack was of concern, and that’s what was hurting the most. He genuinely cared about Jack even though he wasn’t even sure what it was between them.
“Yes, okay, yes it’s soulmate writing, but I’ve never, there’s never been enough of a clue to find them. I’ve tried to catalog everything, and I remember everything they’ve ever written, but, it’s never been enough.” Daniel tried to push Jack away, but he was stopped by hands that were just too soothing and familiar.
“Just one that pops up every so often. Hotch, that’s it. I don’t know if it’s a first or last name, all I know is that it isn’t his name.”
“When did it start?”
“I was eighteen when it started. The writing was….almost childish and it really freaked me out at first. Then as I got older, there was an intelligence behind it. I know they had a rough time in school. I know they went to CalTech, I even know the year, but without more I just, I never could find them. I think, but I’m not sure, that they are some kind of Government agent.”
“Better not be NID.”
Daniel gave him his long-suffering look and this time really did push away from him. Jack let him go and Daniel just paced the room.
“No, Jack. I think FBI, or Justice Department or something, but do you know how many FBI agents there are out there?”
Jack gave Daniel his ‘I thought you were smart look’.
“Daniel, I know you’re smart but sometimes the most obvious escapes you.” Jack crossed his arms and leaned against the wall.
“Have you ever tried asking him his name?”
Daniel opened his mouth to say something and snapped his mouth closed with a click of teeth.
“Yeah, no I…I never did think of that.”
“So, for, what almost thirteen years you’ve been seeing his writings on your arm and I’ll assume he has seen yours, but you never once tried to ask his name?”
“Because that big brain of yours over thought it, didn’t try the simplest solution.”
“Well, then you know what you have to do.”
“Jack.” Daniel tilted his head and had a pained expression on his face. “I didn’t want to hurt you.”
Jack breathed deep as he lowered himself to the bed and looked-up at the younger man.
“Daniel, I think you need to do what’s best for you. I think you need to find them, don’t you? Haven’t you wasted enough time?”
Daniel smiled softly as he frowned, “You’re right. I should have looked after I came back, after Sha’re was…taken. I was afraid.”
“Stop being afraid, Danny. If you want them, go after them.”