Fandom: Criminal Minds

Title: The Nomad

Author: Duochanfan

Beta: Stacey, thanks bab, for the help and the wonderful ideas you have helped add to this fic!!

Rating: Mature (to be on the safe side)

Warnings: Will be Slash, mention of rape, murder, (maybe a little more graphic later unsure at the moment.)

Spoilers: LDSK, The Fox and Natural Born Killer. The first three chapters deal with the after affects of each episode and then it's onto the main part of my fic.
Parings: Hotch/Reid later on.

Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds, never will. I'm just playing with the wonderful characters for a while until I return them.
Summary: A new case becomes pain full for Spencer, as his past is dredge up. As this Unsub hit close to home once before. Will Aaron Hotchner be able to help his friend? Spoilers for LSDK, The Fox and natural Born Killer.

A/N: Thanks to my sister who helped with the plot at the beginning, she had only watched two episodes lol, then again I've only watched nine of them. And one massive thank you to Stacey, for not only beta reading this but for also helping me close up the plot lines and giving me a few more ideas on how to make this fic better. Huggles

This is my first Criminal Minds Fic so be warned!


'Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.' C.S Lewis

Chapter One

Spencer sighed as he walked with Hotch towards his car, the latest case still fresh in his mind. The young genius knew that the dark haired man still felt guilty about what he'd had to do in the hospital in Maryland. Spencer had already told him that he was alright, and that he only had a few bruises. Though that was a lie; he had a mild concussion from when Dowd had hit him with the rifle, and a few bruised ribs from Hotch. He was supposed to tell Gideon and Hotch about them, but he knew that if he told Gideon, then the older agent would have told Hotch, and Spencer didn't want the other agent to feel any worse than he already did.

He got in the car after Hotch unlocked it and had to suppress a wince as he jostled his ribs, sending a few shooting pains through his chest. Hotch started up the car and drove out of the parking lot. Spencer could see that Hotch was sending small glances his way, he could see the worry and the guilt in Hotch's warm brown eyes.

"Are you sure you'll be alright on your own?" Hotch asked as he shot the young man another worried look. Stealing glimpses over to the passenger seat, Hotch kept seeing evidence of his guilt as he stared at the increasing discoloration of bruises on Reid's face.

Spencer smiled and turned to face his colleague and friend. "Yes Hotch. I'm fine. You don't have to worry," he sighed as he tried to reassure the older man.

The rest of the journey was filled with silence, as neither man knew what to really say to the other. Spencer didn't think that Hotch fully believed the words he had been saying since he had stepped onto the plane. The doctors had explained that someone should be with him for the next forty-eight hours to make sure that there was no lasting damage from the blow to the head. Although, he had never been one to follow doctor's orders.

Hotch and the others had watched over Spencer for the last few hours and all noted that he hadn't slept on the plane flying back to Quantico. The team was worried about how things were going to affect their resident genius. Gideon had been his usual paternal self and had taken to sitting with Spencer on the way home. Hotch often wondered if anyone was going to be brave enough and call the unofficial 'Dad' of the team…well, dad.

Hotch pulled the car up to the front of the small two bed roomed house that Spencer called home. "Are you sure you're going to be alright on your own?" Hotch asked once again. He had the feeling that Spencer shouldn't be alone tonight. Gideon had told him that Spencer was still feeling numb about the events that had happened less than twenty-four hours before.

Spencer let out a little chuckle and answered. "Yes I'll be fine. I'm going to shower and go to bed. Nothing more." He undid his seat belt and opened the door, picking his messenger bag up off the floor. He stepped out of the car and stood up. He had to grip onto the roof and the open door to keep himself upright as he was hit with a sudden dizzy spell.

"Reid!" Hotch called as he saw the young man begin to buckle. He quickly got out of the car, racing to Spencer's side as he finished the fall to the pavement. "Reid?" he said again softly, hesitantly as he reached the young agent. Spencer had his eyes closed and his breathing was shallow, and he had his arms crossed over his chest as though they pained him.

"Sorry." The young man said as his finally got his breathing back to normal.

"Will you tell me now?" Hotch requested gently as he placed a comforting hand on Spencer's shoulder.

With a sheepish look he nodded and told him. "I have a mild concussion from Dowd and a few bruised ribs." There was no need for Spencer to say where he got the latter from.

A shot of guilt passed through Hotch's eyes. "I'm going to stay with you tonight, you shouldn't be alone especially with a concussion." He said as he helped the still slightly unsteady Spencer off the ground.

Hotch quickly locked his car and walked with Spencer into the small house. "Thanks but you don't have to," Spencer tried to argue as they walked through the door and went into the living room. Spencer was leaning against Hotch a little, he still felt slightly of center.

"I'm not leaving you alone. So go and get ready for bed, I'll sleep on the couch. I'm just going to call Haley and let her know where I am." Spencer sighed in resignation and went up the stairs so he could do as Hotch had told him, deep down he knew it was for the best.

Hotch watched him go as he took out his cell phone, flipped it open and pressed the speed dial button for home. It rang a few times before it was picked up. //"Hello?" came a sleepy soft-spoken voice that Hotch recognized as Haley's.//

"Hello Haley." He smiled.

//"Aaron?" she questioned. "When are you coming home?"//

"Sorry, but I won't be able to come home tonight. Reid has a concussion, so I am staying with him." Hotch apologized, he knew he should be home but what about Spencer, he would be by himself and if there was something more serious wrong then there would be no one to help him.

//"Aaron, I want you home, surly there is someone else that can watch over him," annoyance lacing her voice.//

"No one else knows. I was taking him home when I found out. You know someone with a concussion should not be left alone," he tried to reason with her. Ever since Haley had become pregnant she had become increasingly unreasonable. Every time he had to go away on a case she argued with him that he should be at home. And although a part of him said that she was right, another part was saying he was needed elsewhere, and that she at least had a loving sister that was taking care of her when he was away.

//"Aaron I want you home!" She practically yelled into the phone.//

"Haley I don't want to argue with you, I'm staying here for the night. Your sister is there with you in case something happens. Reid needs someone too; he has no family to rely on like you, and it seems that his only friends are his colleagues." He could hear the water running upstairs in the bathroom and knew that Spencer would not be long in coming back down.

//"You're a bastard Aaron, I'm your God-damn wife, and yet it is always the fucking BAU that gets the attention. Do what you want, you always do!"// The next thing Hotch heard was the slamming of the phone and then a dial tone.

Hotch closed his eyes tiredly and sighed deeply. Sometimes he wished he had never married. He could see why marriages often broke down. Working with the FBI was not only tiring physically and emotionally, but also time consuming, taking agents away from their homes as well as their families. He now understood why most agents had a tendency to hook up with one another after a while, as only they could see how important their work was, and why it took priority most of the time.

Hotch heard the water shut off upstairs and sat down on the couch to wait for Reid. It was a midnight blue. It stood out with the mahogany furniture against the white walls of the living room. The room seemed conservative. There were a few mementoes of the trips they had taken over the last three years to different parts of the country. They were all cluttered on a small end table out of the way; one had to look to see them. There were two bookcases filled overloaded with books. There was also a book out on an end table next to a large and over stuffed armchair.

There were very few pictures hanging on the walls around the room, he noted, telling him that Spencer had very few memories that were worth recording in such a way. There was one of the team taken a few months ago at the Christmas party, everyone had fun that night, and Morgan had even managed to get Reid a little drunk that night. In the picture Reid was a little flushed and leaning on Morgan, the whole team was smiling and having a good time. It was a really fun night. There were a couple of pictures of a young boy with a sickly looking woman, both were smiling though Hotch could see a little pain within both sets of eyes. He guessed that the young boy in the pictures was Reid, though looking a little older in each picture. The woman must be his mother, she became more pale and withdrawn in each picture as her son aged. It was the last picture that surprised him. It was Spencer at around eighteen. There was another young man in the picture. The two looked comfortable with each other, and had their arms around each other's waists. In the picture Spencer was smiling and looked more relaxed than Hotch had ever seen him, well except for the time at the Christmas party.

Hotch heard dulled footsteps come down the stairs. "I have a spare room that you can sleep in. The bed is made and everything," Spencer said. He was now dressed in old sweatpants and a t-shirt.

"Thank you." Hotch smiled as he watched Spencer sit down in the comfy looking armchair. Hotch was beginning to relax and let his emotionless mask fall slightly. He only kept it up at work, as it was easier to deal with the things he saw that way. "Who's the young man with you in the picture?" he probed, more than a little curious, as he had never seen Spencer that relaxed before.

Spencer smiled sadly, "He was my first boyfriend, Michael. I was 18 and was just finishing the last year of my second PhD. He was 19. He always found me no matter where I was. He dragged me out and made me socialize. He became a friend first and then a little while later things went deeper and we started dating."

Hotch looked at the sad smile that his friend was wearing and asked softly, "What happened?"

"Two months and twenty-seven days after that picture was taken he… he was murdered." Spencer uttered, his eyes taking a far off look as though remembering something other than the murder.

Hotch was quiet as he took in what Spencer was saying. He saw the look in the other's eyes and wondered about it. He didn't think he should pry into that far away look just yet. Whatever Spencer was remembering it still hurt him, though he hid it well. "What about the killer?" he asked a few minutes later.

Spencer looked at him and noticed that the older man was a little more relaxed than when he was at work. That was one of the reasons he was confiding in his friend. "They never caught him. There were another three killings, exactly the same after him in the area," he replied softly, his eyes still haunted with memories of the past.

"Never caught," Hotch said quietly to himself. The two were silent for a few moments, while Hotch let what he had just heard sink in a little. "I think we should get some sleep," he said as he picked up his overnight bag and stood up.

"Yeah, good idea," the young man said quietly as he too got up. The two walked up the stairs and Spencer showed Hotch the spare room and the bathroom. They said goodnight to each other and Hotch went into the bathroom to have a quick shower before going to bed.

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxX

Hotch had trouble sleeping. He had kept an ear out for the young genius, but had only heard him shift around in bed. He felt guilty for not only the physical pain that Spencer was in but also the emotional pain as well, especially having brought up the past. Hotch was thinking of what Spencer had told him just before they had gone to their separate rooms. He didn't care about the fact that Spencer was gay; he himself was bi. No, what kept him awake was thinking about Spencer's first boyfriend. He was murdered, the first of what he supposed was a serial killer. Hotch rolled over hoping that sleep would finally come. It had been a long twenty-four hours.

Sleep was beginning to clam him when he heard a muffled cry. Hotch got out of bed and went to Spencer's room. He opened the door and caught sight of the young genius sitting up in bed, knees drawn up, so that Hotch couldn't see his face.

"Reid" he said softly, hoping he wouldn't startle his friend, and walked further into the room, taking a cautious seat on the bed.

"It just hit me… I killed someone… I …" Spencer whispered as he trailed off.

Hotch put a comforting hand on Spencer's shoulder. "Reid can you tell me what would have happened if you hadn't made that shot?" he asked softly as Spencer lifted his head a little and looked at the older man with teary eyes.

Spencer was quiet for a moment as he thought about Hotch's question, "Dowd would have killed the hostages and us," he answered slowly.

"He would have, with no hesitation. So yes, you killed him, but in doing so, you saved a lot of innocent lives, as well as our own. Don't feel guilty for saving those people," Hotch told him sincerely, not really sure what he should be saying to the young man.

Spencer gave a small smile, "I know but I still took a life." His voice was small as he spoke.

Hotch pulled the young man into a hug. "You will always feel like that after taking a life. That little stab of guilt that hits you when you take what is a precious gift. But you have to put this in perspective, by killing Dowd you saved the lives of everyone in that emergency room as well as future victims. When you stop feeling that pang of guilt that is when you should truly worry. But don't feel so guilty about it, you had no choice," Hotch said as he held the young man, and kept quiet for a while hoping that his words would help Spencer just a little bit. "Feeling any better?" he asked after half an hour.

"Yes, thanks. What you said helped," Spencer answered honestly.

"Lie down and try and get a little more sleep. Okay Reid," Hotch said as he let go of his friend.

"Thank you. For staying," Spencer said softly as he lied down in his bed. "Goodnight."

Hotch smiled as he stood up. "Goodnight Reid," he said as he left the room and went back to his own, hoping to finally get some sleep.


A/N: I hope you have all enjoyed my first foray into the Criminal Minds fandom. Leave a comment/Review and tell me what you all think!