It is with bitter sweet pleasure that I present the last installment of the 'Come home with me' series. I must say Reid was a cool guy to hang out with. Thank you everyone who signed up for story alerts. I also can't believe the amount of people who 'favorited' this story. Thank you to all my loyal reviewers especially Momma, dragonflytwin, the vampire act and heyya15965. I never thought that anyone would be interested in my silly daydreams.
Chapter 10- Good night sweet prince
Reid had shared a hotel room with Hotch before but tonight he felt like an intruder inside the man's richly appointed bedroom. His eyes darted around trying to memorise all the expensive carpet, abstract paintings and beautifully carved wooden furniture.
'You know I really don't mind sleeping on the couch' he began a bit tentatively as he shuffled the cards with his nimble fingers.
'I know you don't mind but I do' Hotch replied as he watched his young colleague deal the cards with all the panache of a seasoned Las Vegas dealer, 'neither of us can sleep on that hard sofa and expect to walk in the morning'
They both studied their hands, exchanging and dropping cards unto the bedspread as appropriate.
'And we don't have to sleep with the stupid night light on if you don't want to' Reid blustered bravely.
The lead agent knew that the young man was actually quite embarrassed by this childlike fear, so he wasn't about to say that Jack always slept with one and as such he was use to it.
'Actually, I find having Sponge Bob's shadow on the wall to be quite comforting' Hotch replied distractedly as he realized that he had a lousy hand AGAIN.
If Reid hadn't been so sleepy, he would never have been caught cheating so early in the game. As it was he was only able to win two IOUs and a large box of Oreo cookies before the senior officer had called him out. Needless to say Hotch was not amused.
A few minutes later, the older man cracked one eye open as he felt someone staring at him. Sure enough Reid was curled on his side with his arms around an extra pillow watching him.
'Reid close your eyes and try and get some sleep'
All was quiet for a minute until Hotch heard the rustle of the bedclothes again.
'Reid, what's going on? I can hear that big brain of yours all the way over here' he mumbled irritably.
'I was just wondering if I could talk to you a little' the young profiler admitted quietly.
Hotch frowned heavily, 'Reid your hesitation displeases me. There is nothing you cannot say or ask me, at any time of the day or night. I know I am not the … "coolest" person to be around but I am …I am very happy that you are here'
At this open invitation Reid popped up from under cover and carefully sat cross legged on the bed. Hotch stacked his hands under his head and closed his eyes, resigned to the upcoming interrogation.
He WAS very grateful that the boy was here. When you were around Reid you couldn't help but feel lighter somehow. Well at least when you were not in the office and he was quoting all sorts of morbid statistics at you. Spencer had saved him from another night of staring vacantly at the ceiling wondering which nightmare he was going to have when he finally managed to fall asleep.
'Did someone upset you this morning when I found you in the archives?'
He exhaled heavily. He didn't want to answer these questions but the young man had earned the right and had the thorny scratches on his hands to prove it.
'It was an anniversary of sorts for Haley and I' he revealed vaguely, 'a memory that won't let go I suppose'
Reid shook his head compassionately. That he understood.
'Are you and Emily sleeping together?'
Hotch eyes popped open at that bald question. He had thought his friend would want some clarification on what he had observed tonight but really! After a moment, he cut his eyes suspiciously to the man next to him.
'You didn't actually expect me to answer that, so why did you ask?' the senior agent inquired curiously.
'Hotch, are you profiling me?
'Reid, are YOU profiling ME?
At this the young man lay back down and beat his pillow into a more comfortable shape, 'I thought I was your friend before I was profiler, sorry. Good night'
Hotch arched an eyebrow in annoyance. The boy was good.
'Reid, she knows I care about her and I know she cares about me. It's a good place to be in. It would be audacious of me to want more'
The doctor's long fingers traced the pattern in the sheets as he thought about that. Contrary to what women thought in general, men craved stability as much as they did. Hotch had lost Jack's mother and his position on the team all in quick succession. It was a miracle that the man found the strength within him to put his foot out the door every morning and come to work. He couldn't fault the agent for wanting to take baby steps now. Actually, in the bigger picture it was probably a good thing. Reid wasn't in any hurry for his BAU family to break apart, which might be unavoidable if the relationship got anymore serious.
'She's dating this guy down in Justice' the older man commented dejectedly, closing his eyes again.
'Really?' Reid's ears perked up curiously, 'have you met him?'
Why on earth did he start this train of conversation with the tenacious young man?
'Tax attorney. Mid thirties, I suppose he's handsome enough in this new meterosexual way everyone is talking about'
Reid snorted loudly, 'sounds like a pansy. It won't last'
For some reason, Reid's confident sentiment made Hotch feel incredibly pleased and a slow grin swept across his face. It was good to finally have someone to talk to about all of this. Not only was the young doctor trustworthy, he was also a sensitive and compassionate listener, a fact that the lead agent had registered during his divorce.
Hotch felt the bed dip as Reid tried out another position. The young man was also as twitchy as an insect.
'You don't think that it's a good match? I mean he's not into law enforcement, and he's young and appears to be healthy and they share common interests' the older man confessed worriedly.
Reid heard what his friend was saying with his lips but his head translated the words into, 'Don't you think he's a better choice? He doesn't have a hazardous job sure to get you killed at any moment, plus he is not old and heartbroken like me'
When the young profiler didn't respond Hotch turned his head in concern.
'I love Emily and I don't think she deserves better' the doctor replied firmly, hitching his blanket more securely across his shoulders, 'I think she deserves the best'.
Hotch blinked in surprise. He thought he had Reid's support but now he wasn't sure at all.
'And I know a great little Arabic coffee house you can take her to whenever you are ready to ask her out' he added happily as if pleased to be part of all the excitement.
Hotch was struck speechless with the encouragement the young man was offering him. His affectionate words warmed him inside like no garment ever would. No matter how things finally turned out, the senior agent would find some way of repaying Reid for this unspeakably welcome show of support.
'Reid?' he started uncertainly.
'Hotch you hesitation displeases me and you are welcome' the young man replied cheekily.
'Hotch, close your eyes and try and get some sleep'
'That bazooka was completely unnecessary'
For the first time in a long time, the young doctor fell asleep with a smile on his face.