Chapter 166

David Rossi sat in the bar, surrounded by some of his oldest friends, the friends he used to call on back in the day when a BAU case had been particularly bad. He hadn't had to use their 'services' in years, but today, before he'd left the hotel, he'd placed the call.

The men were all involved in law enforcement; they'd come together as friends during college. Normally, once the request was made by any of them, all would gather at the bar nearest to the requester's place of work. But Rossi had selected another location, as he'd assumed Morgan and Prentiss would be heading to the normal FBI hang out.

The group of about a dozen men were parked in the corner, swapping stories, drinking liquor, and providing the sort of support that men of Rossi's generation did for other men. A few slaps on the back, a couple of hand squeezes on the shoulder, and a lot of good natured teasing. They would listen to the case that had necessitated the group getting together; hash out their take on the results according to their own expertise, and then it would be set aside; the strength of the adverse reaction to it by the person who'd been involved slowly dissipating during the rest of the raucous evening.

Except Rossi hadn't gotten the emotional relief he usually did after sharing his case with his friends and discussing what was gnawing at his gut about it. Because Rossi hadn't been able to share with them the real reason he'd been left in turmoil. It wasn't just because his friend from his past had been killed, or the reminders of his long lost love, or the regrets about what might have been if he'd stayed and married the girl all those years ago.

And the reason for his silence was due to the fact that the main issue about the case which was affecting him so deeply, so negatively, concerned Reid, his secret boyfriend. The feelings and emotions, and doubts, that the case had conjured up in Rossi, were making him seriously consider that he might have made a terrible mistake.

He and Reid together was a mistake, an error in judgment, just a midlife crisis experiment; they were wrong, very, very wrong.

This was the statement that kept repeating in Rossi's mind. It was forged on the plane as he discussed his past love with Hotch. He'd realized he'd never stopped loving her, even after all of these years; he'd surmised this was probably a huge part of the reason that his 3 marriages had failed. And why he knew he couldn't be gay.

Rossi's mind raced, as he silently stared into the bottom of his glass, his friends voices a dim echo in his ears. Trying to reason it out, Rossi unconsciously used the very arguments that his family was using against the couple; Rossi had always dated women, he'd never been attracted to men in any way before, it was crazy to think a man over 50 would suddenly change who he was sexually attracted to. Rossi had never even been the slightest bit curious about men; had never, even when full of liquor in his wild youth, ever had any inclination to find out what it would feel like to kiss another man, never mind anything else.

'But that's the thing; I'm not attracted to any other man. I wouldn't even call myself gay,' Rossi thought to himself.

Reid was the first, and only, man Rossi had ever had even the remotest romantic feelings about; feelings he was now beginning to doubt. Rossi's heart and mind ached with torment. The case had taken a major emotional toll on him, and not being able to speak to anyone about his sudden uncertainty concerning his relationship, only made his qualms loom ever larger in his mind.

As Rossi sank deeper into his thoughts, his depression intensified. Just a few days ago, he'd been happier than at any other time in his memory; he loved Reid, Reid loved him, they enjoyed each other's company, their sex life was hot, and Rossi had been anxiously waiting for Reid's leg to heal a little more so they could take the next step towards physical intimacy. He'd been on top of the world, so to speak.

Now, Rossi felt as if that same world was crushing him, flattening him to the ground. He wondered if it was actually 'love' that he felt for Reid; he decided that Reid probably wasn't really in love with him as he was sure the young genius had no clue what it really felt like; and if he was truly honest with himself, and this was the crux of the problem, he was now unsure if he wanted to, if he even could, go through with having anal sex with a man.

Because that would be the ultimate indication, that he, David Rossi, was indeed, gay.

Rossi downed the rest of his drink, then lifted his glass at the waitress, indicating he wanted a refill. Smiling at the story his neighbour was telling about the time he'd served a search warrant on a rock star while he was in bed with 2 groupies, and how the star had continued to have sex with them while the police combed the rest of the house, Rossi once again recessed back into his own bleak mood as another scotch was set in front of him.

He didn't need to be a profiler to realize he must have had these doubts in the back of him mind all along; this recent case wouldn't have just manufactured them from nothing. But it had never seemed to matter; the doubts, the opposition, the anger, none of it had ever caused his love and desire for Reid to waver. Until now.

'Anyways,' Rossi thought, 'If I really loved Reid as much as I say I do, how can I stand in his way and prevent him from finding a wife, who could give him children. Little genius children. Just like I would have had if only I'd chosen to …'

Rossi left the thought unfinished. It was the same one he'd been grappling with since yesterday.

'After all,' he reasoned, as much as a currently deeply depressed, emotionally battered, slightly tipsy man could reason, 'He had a crush on JJ for years, everyone knows that. And he got close to the blond actress in Los Angeles, according to Morgan. Plus that bartender. So, Reid can't actually be gay either. It was me, I forced him into it.'

He sighed, knowing he really needed to be discussing all of this with the man in question. Problem was, Rossi had no idea how to even begin the discussion with Reid, a man who had absolutely zero life experience with relationships, and who wouldn't have a clue what Rossi meant if he said he had been thinking things over and decided they were wrong together.

"Rossi, you're awfully quiet there. Why don't you call up that sweet morsel you had in the shower with you and invite her over to join the party? I have a few things I'd like her to do to me with that beautiful wavy hair."

Rossi smiled as the familiar voice first boomed over the table at him, and then proceeded to regale the others with a story of the night at Rossi's house, heavily embellished of course, as he'd been so drunk he actually didn't remember much.

For a moment, Rossi recalled that night, and felt himself firming up a tad at the memory, while his heart skipped a half beat as he thought about Reid; causing a niggle of doubt to penetrate his funk and remind him of his feelings for his young lover. Unfortunately, David Rossi had a very well-developed stubborn streak, and he refused to divert his thoughts from their dismal path; he wasn't gay so he couldn't really be in love with Reid, and Reid wasn't gay so he should be out there finding a wife to give him children. Rational, Agent Rossi would have picked every argument to pieces, but sad, depressed Rossi decided to develop a plan of action.

'There's no way I can face those beautiful eyes,' he thought, the reality of never holding Reid again causing his depression to deepen. Again, rational Rossi would argue this was a good indication that he was making a mistake, a big mistake! Standing up, Rossi moved away from the table of men and walked to a quieter area of the bar, which happened to be near the entrance to the bathrooms. Once more, memories of 'fun' with Reid surfaced.

Shaking his head, determined to carry out his plan, Rossi phoned Reid's cell. When it went to voicemail, he was slightly taken aback. Usually Reid answered his cell immediately; even if they were in the middle of 'stuff' Reid would try to move towards the buzzing phone. Rossi elected to leave a message anyways, deciding maybe it would be easier if he didn't have to hear the confusion, and hurt, in Reid's voice. He wasn't going to go into details, but just wanted to say enough that when Rossi met up with him later, maybe tomorrow, Reid would have had time to get over the initial shock.

"Spencer, uh, Reid, it's me, Babe. I have to see you about something, it's important. It's about us. I love you Babe, but…. well, the thing is, I think we might not….Reid it's important that we talk, because you deserve baby geniuses. And.., and if I was gay, or you were gay, then I think I might have… before, you know? Anyways, I need to see you, but I wanted you to understand that I don't know if it's right, if maybe we need to… The thing is Reid, well, we'll talk about it when we get together. Give me a call when you get this."

Rossi was disgusted with himself, he'd chickened out. He should have come right out and said he was mired in doubt, was considering ending the relationship, or at least taking a break. 'How the hell will I explain 'a break' to Spencer?' Rossi thought, feeling absolutely miserable.

Wondering for a moment if he should go back to the office so he could see Reid this afternoon, Rossi decided to just head home where he could continue to drown his sorrows in private. Dejected, heartsick, and now suffering a pounding headache, he punched in the number for a taxi.