"What happened?" Hotch asked walking into the room, refilled wine glass in one hand, near empty bottle in the other.

Sat on the edge of the chair nearest Reid's head Rossi held out his empty glass, placing a finger to his lips.

"Don't you dare wake him," he hissed drunkenly.

Hotch leaned over to pour and smiling settled himself down on the opposite couch, leaving Reid snoring softly between them. "He seemed okay when we were driving back from the hospital, you must have looked after him well."

"I do try." Rossi mocked. "Kid's not going to get over this quickly though. Despite how he came through in the end, he's still pretty messed up over it, I may well thump his Dad if he ever comes near Spencer again."

"No chance of him coming back into his life then?" Hotch was almost disappointed, a happy ending for Reid after all of this would have been nice.

Rossi shook his head, playing with his wine glass between both hands looking uncharacteristically nervous.

"No that ship has definitely sailed, even if Spencer hadn't been intent on nailing him for a child's murder, then the murder of the murderer, finding out the bastard had been living nine miles away the whole time the kid was struggling to keep his mother and himself alive pretty much sealed the deal." He raised his glass taking a large gulp.

"He really stayed in town the whole time without contact?" Hotch asked, sounding not so much surprised as hoping it wasn't true.

"Apparently." Rossi snubbed, taking another drink. "I mean I get the whole lack of confidence thing I do, but even a coward – exactly how do you walk away from your kid at ten and never look back?"

Rossi pinned him with an angry, almost righteous glare, one that said if William Reid was in the room right now he'd be getting a piece of his mind. And fist.

Hotch snorted at the prospect of witnessing that stand off, glancing at the 'kid' in question sleeping peacefully on Rossi's couch, looking content and warm and happy within their enclosed circle. Being able to be that vulnerable in front of others spoke of a trust so great it warmed him that he was a part of that group. Rossi eventually followed his gaze looking like he was thinking a similar thing.

"You think he didn't regret it?" Hotch asked openly, his thoughts ruling him tonight, the wine and the occasion blurring the boundaries he usually tried to keep intact while on cases. He truly wanted to know too, not prethinking anything for a change.

"He's sorry," Rossi sighed giving the man that, "but sorry only goes so far. He carried on with his life, built a career, appeared almost content with things. Not a man heavily burdened or carrying baggage in anyway as you expect from someone who felt so helpless they'd see no other option than to run out on their family. It was almost-"

Rossi cut himself off paling at the thought.

"What?" Hotch grew worried noticing the change.

Rossi sighed, wishing for once he wasn't a profiler and he didn't have to see so damn much.

"It was like all his problems were solve the minute he left them, he'd removed his burdened." He said sadly.

"That really sucks." Hotch deadpanned trying to lighten the mood, but Rossi continued as if he hadn't heard.

"And you know if I could see that after only a few minutes with the man…"

Hotch paled this time, in realisation and glanced sadly, pained eyes casting over Reid. "His genius son did too."

"We won't be seeing him again." Rossi announced, sure enough to stake his life on it.

"Spencer doesn't need him, he has us." Hotch said randomly emotive, taking another sip.

Rossi smiled beaming bright, "I'll drink to that!"

He raised his glass and waited patiently for Hotch to raise his and together they toasted their rather unique but ever so loving little family.


"Rossi, you bore him to death?" Morgan joined Emily following her into one of Rossi's many living rooms.

"Ha ha, for your information he happened to be telling us about the origins of Vegas Poker laws and just talked himself to sleep." Rossi winked at Hotch.

"He's right," Hotch smiled happily, downing his wine and taking the bottle off Morgan to refill his and Rossi's glass with the last.

"Wow, and I thought it was just us that happened to."

Everyone laughed and Reid stirred slightly, turning around, legs stretching until they were hanging over one arm of the sofa.

"Sshh" Emily laughed silently and so did Morgan.

"Can you people laugh more quietly," Reid moaned.

"Okay people, its time for the toast!" Garcia pushed through the door carrying a jug of her own alcohol concoction on a tray with six brightly decorated glasses.

Morgan nudged his leg, pulling him around and up, "wake up pretty boy, you sleep now and you won't sleep when its bedtime."

Reid rubbed his eyes and looked at his watch, "It's gone ten, its already passed my bedtime."

Everyone chuckled, but Emily was the only one to comment, "now why do I believe that?" she winked to soften the blow.

Reid was awake enough to take the joke and smiled back.

"What were you two drinking to anyway?" Morgan asked the older guys.

Hotch and Rossi shared a guilty look. Garcia got up and handed everyone a new glass and poured from the jug.

"Well," Rossi raised his eyebrows at the bright pink glass he was holding, taking in Reid sitting up leaning against Morgan still half asleep and thinking of JJ with her new baby, "how about 'famiglie di scelta'?"

He looked at Hotch for approval knowing he'd understand what he meant. Reid surprised him by blushing, maybe he wasn't as asleep while they talked as they had believed.

"And that means?"

Rossi grinned smugly, raising his glass waiting for the others to raise theirs, "to families of choice"

"Ahhh I love that," Garcia gushed happily.

The small family toasted.

Hotch relaxed, content to listen to Morgan and Rossi tell some interesting stories, Emily laughed and Garcia kept the drinks coming. Reid lasted another round before ending up crashing on Rossi's couch, sleeping right through undisturbed until morning.


An: well once again thanks for reading until the end, hope you enjoyed, and feel free to leave a review if you did!