Title: Giving into temptation
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Spoiler: Tag to In Birth and Death (season 3, ep.2)
Summary: After finding his house empty when coming back from Milwakee, Hotch goes to Reid for comfort.
Disclaimer: The characters and settings are not mine but the property of their creators.
Giving into temptation
It really shouldn't have surprised, Hotch mused. He should have seen it coming. And, in a way, he had. He had known when he had decided to go to his team, even though he had been suspended, even though it hadn't been his job to do it, much to Haley's delight, that it would mean the end of his marriage. He had already been aware of Haley's affair, the phone calls revealing enough, even though he hadn't thrown the accusation, even though she hadn't try to reassure him like adulterers usually did, he had known. That didn't mean that coming home to an empty house didn't hurt.
He had tried so hard, for so long, to make it work, to reconcile his work and his family life and now he had to admit that he had irremediably failed.
He let his bags fall to the ground, took off his jacket, before sitting down on his now too large bed, taking his head into his hands. What was he going to do now? He knew he didn't have to be too worried about seeing Jack; Haley would never prevent him from seeing him, from taking him home when he had some time. That was already a relief. Still, not being able to see his son whenever he came home from a long day at work was going to be painful.
He would miss his son, miss him very much so. Haley too, to a lesser level. He couldn't deny that he still loved her; he may not have been in love with her, he had to admit it, but he still loved her. Of course, he couldn't help feeling relieved that it had ended. It may have been selfish of him but he had been dreading the time to come home more and more recently, because he knew that it would lead to awkward situations, where both Haley and he knew that there weren't going to be able to repair their relationship but neither of them willing to admit it. At least, now it was clear.
It didn't change the fact that the house was too big, and he was drowning. There was too much empty space and he could feel the pain of being alone making its way in his heart. Everything hadn't been well with Haley, but she still was a presence, as was Jack, and a presence was always a relief when his mind, if unoccupied, went back to the criminals they had put behind bars, went back to being into their heads once again. He couldn't lock it out anymore, not when there was no one else to bring him back from that depth. He couldn't stay in the house.
Moments later found him getting out of his car, in the middle of a barely known neighborhood, not very certain he was doing the right thing. But he needed it, needed to be with someone, and Reid was the only person he could think of. Once upon a time, it would have been Gideon he would turn to, but it had been a while since the older man had been that dependable and, after what just happened to him, Hotch didn't think it would be fair to bother him with his problems.
Of course, it was probably unfair to Reid also, but the younger man had been the one to start their sort of relationship. He had been the one to come to him when he had first thought that Hotch needed someone to talk to, needed someone to give him some comfort after Elle's harsh words, accusations of being responsible of her being shot. Since that day, it had seemed to Hotch that Reid had always kept an eye one him, whether he wanted it or not, making sure his supervisor kept his head out of the water.
Hotch had never let himself go to Reid, no matter how much he had sometimes wanted to. He was his boss and he shouldn't go to his subordinate to talk about his problems; it wasn't proper. He hadn't wanted Reid to see him weak. But Reid never had such qualm, not since that first time. He had been hesitant that night but, after that, he had come to Hotch whenever he thought that the older man needed it and, usually, Hotch hadn't made him go away. He had never really talked about what was bothering him, only speaking a few words to reassure Reid, showing him that he was keeping it together, but he had mostly just enjoyed the company of someone who could understand what was going on in his mind. It had nice.
After the Hankel case, Hotch had done whatever he could to help the young man overcome what happened, helping him detoxing after it became clear that he had become addicted to the dilaudil. Still, even through that time, Reid had been there for Hotch as much as the contrary. Reid may have lashed out a lot during the first few days of the severing, but he had never accused him of being the one responsible for it, no matter what Hotch thought. And when it had been over, when Reid was once again in control of himself, he had taken the time to tell Hotch that being taken hostage, being tortured, becoming an addict, hadn't been his fault.
Hotch wasn't certain he could have actually been able to go on if Reid hadn't been there to pull him out, to prevent him from drowning, during the past year and, thankfully, he wouldn't have to find out. He would be eternally grateful for it and now, it was time to show Reid that he trusted him enough to go to him instead of waiting for him to come.
Once in front of the door, he knocked softly and waited for the younger agent to come and open. The look of utter surprise on Reid's face when he saw who was on his doorstep would have made him laugh out loud if the situation had been different.
"Come in, Hotch," he welcomed, putting himself together and knowing better than beginning their encounter with an interrogation.
Hotch had come to him this time around, which was different. The least he could do was to let him take his time, especially considering what it must have taken to drive him there. He motioned for the older man to sit down and, even thought Hotch wasn't all that comfortable in his subordinate's flat, he took the time to look around and see the natural environment in which his colleague evolved.
"You know, we're not at the office. You can call me Aaron," Hotch suggested, finding it a bit inappropriate to have Reid call him that when he was at the younger man's place.
"Then you have to call me Spencer, it's only fair," Reid answered, knowing that some step had just been made; in all the time he had spent with Hotch, the older man had never once told him to use his first name, which had kept the barrier between supervisor and subordinate in place.
Hotch let a little smile grace his face and Reid sat down at his side, on the couch, still letting some space between them. He would have proposed to fetch something to drink but, for now, it wasn't what Hotch needed. Once the reason of his presence had been explained and Reid had been able to ease his troubled mind a little, then it would be alright.
Reid stayed silent. He was waiting for Hotch to talk. He knew that something bad had to have happened for the older man to have willingly come to him, something that had deeply affected him but he couldn't for the life of him guess what it was. He knew it couldn't have been something on the job. The case had been bad, they all were, but not enough to trigger that kind of response. Sure, Emily had been hurt but it was essentially just a scratch and Strauss had finally backed off, which meant that both profilers were keeping their job. That let something in his personal life, but what exactly?
"Haley left," he finally admitted, his voice barely above a whisper.
Reid inhaled sharply. He didn't know what he had been expecting but certainly not that. Of course, he knew the two of them were having problems, he just hadn't thought it had been that serious. Apparently, he still had a lot to find out about human relationships. Poor Hotch.
"I'm sorry," he apologized immediately, reflexively. "Are you alright?"
Hotch had to smile at the tentative question, but it was a sad smile and that told Reid everything he needed to know, more than any words could have done. No, of course Hotch wasn't all right! His wife had just left him, for god's sake, could he find a lamer question?
Hotch shook his head to answer to Reid's interrogation and looked down at his feet. He wasn't sure what to do, what to say. Coming to Reid had been an easy choice; he hadn't wanted to be alone and the young genius had always known what to say to him. That didn't mean he had any idea of what he was supposed to do now that he was there and had said what happened.
Reid took care of that for him. The young man scooted a bit closer, tucking his legs beneath his body, before attracting his boss to him, gently but insistently. Although he still tensed, Hotch went willingly, not thinking about property that time around. He didn't care about the obvious evolution of his relationship with Reid, an evolution that went the way he had wanted to for quite some time now, forcing him to be careful all the time around him, not letting himself go completely because he just wasn't an adulterer. For what good it did. Of course, now it just didn't matter anymore. Haley left so why would he have to worry about that anymore?
He swiftly turned into Reid's arm and surprised the young man, who wasn't expecting more than being able to hold Hotch like he had the first time around, by hiding his face in the crook of his neck, holding on strongly. Reid automatically closed his arms tighter around Hotch and let his chin rest on top of his head.
Reid didn't know how long they stayed like that but he sure as hell wasn't going to comment on it, even though the position was certainly not the most comfortable in the world. For once that Hotch really allowed himself to be supported by someone else, he wasn't going to jeopardize that.
"Sorry," he heard Hotch mutter, the sound muffled by his own skin.
That didn't surprise him. Of course Hotch would apologize for showing what he perceived a weakness in front of his subordinate. Sometimes Reid thought that the older man forgot they weren't only coworkers but also friends.
"It's all right," he answered promptly, knowing that it wouldn't make too much difference for Hotch, and kissed softly the top of the black head.
He hadn't thought before doing it; it had just come naturally. Of course, he had been aware of his feeling for the other man, aware for a very long time; he had just made an effort to keep it in check, knowing that the affection wouldn't be welcomed. After all, that hadn't been the reason Reid had gone to him and he hadn't wanted to betray Hotch's trust by asking for something he knew he wasn't ready to give. Of course, now that the main obstacle that could have come between them was gone, it wasn't as easy to resist.
No matter how soft the brush of lips had been, Hotch felt it and it made him smile, warming his heart. It was hallucinating how a gesture as simple as that one had the capacity of making him feel better. But it was Reid…. He drew back and looked at the younger man, locking their eyes together, softly asking: "Spencer?"
Reid saw the question in his eyes, as well as a desire that he knew to be mirrored in his own. It was time to act, but he had to be sure first. He couldn't forget that Hotch was his boss and that a wrong move could have repercussions. Of course, Hotch being his boss also meant that the first step had to be his choice, because the older man would not try anything for fear to feel like his was coercing him into something Reid wasn't sure to want but couldn't really refuse.
"Tell me if I'm reading you wrong," the young genius murmured before closing the small distance left between their lips.
He heard Hotch moan softly as their lips met and, even though that should have been answer enough, Reid still had to hear the words before they went further. He drew back reluctantly and looked into the lust-filled eyes of the older man.
"You aren't," Hotch encouraged him. "Spencer, please."
He was almost begging but he didn't care. He wanted it, needed it so much. It had been growing between them since the day Spencer came to him; neither man had been blind about it but they knew that nothing should come out of it, not at that moment in time. It was a temptation they had to rest but they couldn't fight anymore and losing was so sweet.
So Spencer gave into the plead and once again captured Aaron's damp lips with his own, one of his hand coming to lightly caress the cheekbone of his soon-to-be lover while leaning back on the couch, forcing Aaron to follow the move; he ended up on his back, the older man lying atop of him, both lost in sensations, uncaring about the rest of the world for now at least. Tomorrow would come soon enough.