Title: Triggers & Ties, Part 5/?: Ignite to Close

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Rating: FRAO/NC-17, sexual and adult situations, profanity

Pairing: Hotch/Reid

Summary: Reid listened, knowing that he would need to remember exactly what Hotch said, exactly the way he said it, when this was all over. Reid – Spencer – was going to have to pick up the pieces of Hotch – of Aaron – even if Aaron didn't quite know it yet.

ARCHIVING: My LJ and FFNet account only.... anyone else? Please ask first.

SERIES: Criminal Minds

Feedback always welcome.

DISCLAIMER: The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television own Criminal Minds. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.

VERSION: June 2009

TIMELINES: Criminal Minds 4th season, after "Minimal Loss" and before "Amplification", quotes from "The Fisher King", "Revelations" and "Elephant's Memory".

Thanks to Pabzi for the encouragement and Lady_of_scarlet for the beta. Any mistakes left are mine. Also, thanks to Innerslytherin, Xbittersweet89x and Batgurl88 for the info on Reid's car.

COMMENTS: .

///***///

"Let it be neither mine nor thine; but divide it."

1 Kings 3: 26

///***/// Ann Arbor, Michigan ///***///

The briefing had been short.

A serial shooter was targeting divorced mothers who had sole custody of their only sons, little boys between the ages of three and six. The mother was shot in the genitals and then in the face. The son was shot execution style. Both bodies found in the family room, sitting up and facing each other.

Six mothers. Six sons. Six fathers left to bury their little boys and their ex-wives.

Victimology established that the UnSub was a white male between the ages of thirty and forty-five. Stable job that allowed him to observe and target his victims. Counselor, school teacher – bus driver even? – someone who interacted with both parent and child. He was separated or recently divorced, with the spouse winning sole or majority custody of the child after a lengthy and/or brutal court battle. The father had more than likely been declared absent or inadequate in some way with a tendency toward violence.

The UnSub was escalating; at the fifth and sixth crime scenes, bibles had been left, opened to the First Book of Kings, chapter three.

They had divided up: Hotch and Reid to the fifth crime scene where the first bible was found, Morgan and Prentiss to the sixth, and Rossi and JJ to speak with the victims' families.

"The Judgment of Solomon," Hotch said almost to himself as he circled the room, barely looking up from the gray carpet that had large brown splotches of dried blood. "Two women claiming to be the mother of the same baby. Solomon asked for a sword to divide the boy," he continued. "The true mother gave up custody rather than allow her child to be harmed." He glanced at the crucifix on the wall. "Why does this UnSub kill his only child… his only son?"

He's perverting God to justify murder.

The quote spilled off Reid's lips: "'Let it be neither mine nor thine; but divide it'."

Hotch stopped abruptly, hands at his sides. His lips then pulled to the side as he slowly took out his gun. He aimed at where the mother's body had been found. "I shoot my ex-wife but don't kill her. I force her to watch." He lowered the gun, pivoting to where the boy had been. He raised it and mimicked taking a shot. "I force her to watch me kill our only son."

Reid's mouth went dry.

"She took my son away from me. Now, I take our son away from her," Hotch said darkly as he had slid his gun back into the holster. It was rare for any of the team to use their weapons as props during a role play; it should have been unnerving, but Reid understood.

Sometimes, it just needed to be more tangible than others.

Sometimes, it was a test.

Could this be me?

Hotch turned again towards where the mother's body had been. His tone was vacant, matching the hollowness in his eyes. "Then, I kill her. But… I don't kill myself."

Reid ignored the chills shooting down his spine at Hotch's choice of pronouns. Instead, he speculated, "What if this has become a mission for him, to deliver the judgment to the women he sees as having wronged their ex-husbands?"

"Why didn't he start with his own family?" Hotch asked.

"Maybe he did," Reid countered. "A domestic disturbance call, perhaps? The UnSub confronts his ex-wife at her home and they argue. Their son is there. He threatens them both. The police are called. The stressor could have been the ex-wife obtaining a TRO."

Hotch stared at the photos on the wall; none of them included the ex-husband. "Call Garcia."

Reid's conversation with Garcia was as somber as the crime scene; she didn't even offer her usual comments to try to lighten the mood. The unspoken question was out there, like it always was when cases hit too close. Reid refused to acknowledge it.

He would never be pushed that far. Would he?

She came up with a name: Gavin Kurtz.

Reid relayed the information to Hotch, who was still standing in the middle of the room, gaze back on the carpet. Reid approached and touched him on the elbow, an echo of that time as they were about the board the jet after the Cyrus case.

"Don't," Hotch tersely warned – the automatic response, of course -- and Spencer refrained from challenging. He looked out the bay window. "We don't have much time."

Of course, Hotch was right.

Seventeen hours later, they were facing down the UnSub – Gavin Kurtz – at the Kurtz's three-bedroom ranch home. Kurtz had his soon-to-be ex-wife Madison and their five year old son Jacob at gunpoint.

Somehow, Hotch had ended up in the finished basement with Gavin, Madison and Jacob. By himself, because the detective who was supposed to be Hotch's backup just had to take the cell phone call outside but didn't bother to inform Hotch that he was leaving. Isolated, because there was only one set of stairs to the basement and no windows… impossible for SWAT to set up a shot.

Just Hotch, a spiraling sociopath with a Sig Sauer, and two very terrified hostages.

Wasn't Reid supposed to be the one in these types of situations?

"I know you're angry, Gavin," Hotch's voice came through the walkie-talkie. Clear. Calm. Typical Hotch, who had managed to keep the radio on despite the circumstances. They could hear Jacob's whimpers that his mommy was hurt. "You feel like everything is falling apart. But this isn't the answer. You know it isn't."

Reid tuned out the police chattering around him: Rossi's dismissal of the SWAT commander's suggestion to dump tear gas in the room – "the man in there talking to that unstable son of a bitch wrote the fucking book on these types of negotiations!" – and JJ's orders that the local media needed to be pushed back at least another 500 yards. He ignored Morgan cursing the detective who had allowed Hotch to get isolated and Prentiss wringing her hands in an uncharacteristic show of distress. He listened, knowing that he would need to remember exactly what Hotch said, exactly how he said it, when this was all over.

Reid – Spencer – was going to have to pick up the pieces of Hotch – of Aaron – even if the person in question didn't quite know it yet.

It was the standard rhetoric. Hotch empathized with Kurtz. He knew Kurtz just wanted to spend time with his son, that he didn't want to be an absent father like Kurtz's own had been. But Kurtz was scaring his son and the worst thing in the world was to have a son afraid of his father.

"This is not what you want Jacob to remember when he thinks of you." There was a long pause before Hotch said, "You're in control of the situation, Gavin. I put my gun down like you asked."

Reid blinked. Rossi growled, "Shit."

"He carries a backup," Reid sputtered in a lame attempt of reassurance, as if the rest of the team didn't know. As if he didn't know. Reid had used that Glock 27 to officially pass his firearms qualification after the Dowd case; even though he carried a revolver now, he still had a certain disturbing fondness for that particular gun. "Doubtful Kurtz would check for that."

"Let's hope he doesn't," Prentiss said.

"… Madison needs medical attention, Gavin," Hotch was saying.

Madison. Where had Spencer heard that name before?

"You, Madison and Jacob. We can all leave here."

Madison.

Madison.

When we were engaged, Haley kept waffling on her married name. If she wanted it to be hyphenated.

It had been one of those rare, non sequitur, one-sided conversations with Aaron after a rigorous round of sex. Confessions were always made at the oddest times.

I told her I didn't care. It was up to her. She didn't have to take my name if she didn't want to. I'm not that old fashioned. Haley Madison Hotchner. She loved the sound of it. Did you know she used to dot the 'i' in Madison with a heart?

"I know you don't want to hurt Jacob. He's scared now. I know that's not what you want. You want to show him that you're a good father, Gavin. Just put the gun down. Put the gun down, take Jacob's hand and go upstairs. I'm sure Jacob would like to play outside."

Jacob.

Jacob.

Hebrew for "he who supplants" or "held by the heel". The French form was Jacques. Derivatives of Jacques included Jack.

Jack.

You have no idea how long it took us to decide on a name. Haley had at least six books. I wanted something simple. I don't know how we came up with Jack; no one in either of our families is a 'Jack'. She suggested the name Gideon, once. I was putting together the crib when she said it and, at the time, I thought she was just being silly. I know better now. … She used to call him my wife.

Reid let out a breath.

He glanced over at the file on the car hood and the photo of Madison Kurtz. Blonde. Blue eyes. Long hair. Slightly overweight. Not a perfect match to Haley (no, that would have been Kate Joyner and she was dead) but…

Close enough.

Hotch's voice sounded tinny through the radio. "…I believe you are a good father, Gavin. You want what's best for Jacob."

There were those seconds of hopeful silence. The one which all negotiators knew would make or break the situation.

Then. Kurtz spoke. His words were unimportant but the inflection said all: End Game. Reid met Rossi's gaze.

"Fucking hell."

He wasn't sure who said it. Him. Rossi. Morgan. Maybe Prentiss. Definitely not JJ.

It didn't matter.

They rushed the house, guns drawn, just as two shots rang out.

Then, they were in the basement. Kurtz was dead in the corner with hole in his forehead eerily similar to Dowd's.

Hotch had always been the best shot in the BAU.

In the middle of the room, Hotch cradled Jacob, pressing his hand against the child's head while blood soaked his sleeve, shirt and tie. The Glock 27 was next to his thigh. Madison whimpered against the couch, eyes wide as she shook with shock and the red pooled around her.

Hotch's voice was authoritative, emotionless. Never let them see you sweat. "Get the paramedics down here now!"

///***///

The running joke in the BAU was that Hotch did not own casual clothes; he was the only one of the group who routinely wore a suit and tie, looking every ounce the pure FBI agent day in, day out. So Hotch on the jet, dressed in jeans and a gray fleece pullover, was definitely an unusual sight. If it had been any other time, any other case, the team would have teased him mercilessly. They would have used their cell phones to send photos to Garcia, who would probably create a collage to post next to Prentiss's now infamous high school picture.

Here. Now. No one said a word. And they did a lousy job at trying to hide their concerned glances.

Hotch's briefcase was next to his feet, untouched, and he stared out the window.

Jacob Kurtz had been declared dead on the scene.

Madison Kurtz had been DOA at the hospital.

Seven sons.

Seven mothers.

Are you keeping count now?

Reid knew he shouldn't. Knew that Hotch usually pretended that he didn't but, like them all, did anyway.

As badly as Reid wanted to sit next to him – team be damned – he knew he couldn't. Hotch's pride wouldn't allow it. The other man would simply open his briefcase, pick up a pen, pull out a folder, and begin working. His automatic defense. His shield. And that would send out more messages about the state of Hotch, the state of Reid, and the state of Hotch and Reid than Spencer cared to think about.

They weren't officially "out" but Reid knew better than to naively believe that the team didn't know. Hell, Morgan had stopped teasing about that "hot hunk you have stashed away somewhere" months ago.

Being hyperaware of each other's tolerances did have benefits, though, especially as they gathered their things after the jet had landed. JJ, Prentiss, Morgan and Rossi bade good night – Hotch responding to each like he was supposed to, while Reid gave an awkward wave – before they deplaned, leaving Reid and Hotch alone except for the pilot, who had the cockpit door closed.

"It's late. I'll drive you home," Spencer offered, echoing a conversation from so many months ago. The night when he had requested space and then everything had just gotten out of hand afterwards. Thank God they had progressed beyond that.

Hotch's tone was sharp yet quiet, "You don't think I'm capable of driving myself?"

Role reversal.

Spencer countered, "You need the company."

That earned a harsh glare. Hotch pressed his lips together, clearly wanting to lash out, but he looked away, sneering at the window instead. Control. That obsessive need for control and the absolute fear of losing his temper.

My greatest fear being a father is not whether or not I know how to change a diaper or knowing when to take the training wheels off or having the right answers. My greatest fear? It is… it. It is… what is the trigger that would make me hurt my own son?

Softly, bluntly, "You shouldn't be alone, Aaron."

"Stop." Bitten off. Cold. You crossed the line.

Spencer didn't care. "Then let me take you home."

///***///

The Hotchner home was almost completely packed up, brown moving boxes stacked in the main room, each labeled with Hotch's neat printing. Library: Law (reference and textbooks). Family Room: DVDs, CDs (all). Kitchen: casseroles, baking (Haley).

Spencer wasn't surprised that Aaron was moving, just that it took so long. Using the excuse that the housing market had tanked didn't cut it, not when Aaron lived in the perfect residential area for young families, especially ones of federal agents newly assigned to Quantico.

They stood in the hallway, go bags still on their shoulders and Aaron with his briefcase. Spencer closed the door and stayed there, his lover standing still a few feet in front of him.

"I never asked before," Aaron said suddenly. Distantly. His briefcase dropped to the floor as an afterthought. Honey, I'm home. The go bag was next.

Spencer set his own bag and satchel down against the wall. Curiously, "What didn't you ask?"

"Your car." Aaron didn't turn to face him. "The Volvo."

How was your day?

Spencer tilted his head slightly, narrowing his eyes as he said, "It's a nineteen sixty-five Volvo Amazon 121." He licked his lips. One time, Aaron had said that Spencer's discourses were the only things that made everything else seem normal or as normal as things could be in the BAU. It had taken the sting out of being cut off so many times. "Actually, the Amazon was the first vehicle to feature three-point seatbelts and have them as a standard feature. When it was originally marketed, Amazon was spelled with an 's' but later changed to a 'z'."

"She has to be a classic." Still distant. Still soft. Wistful almost.

My day? Oh. Same old, same old. I took down another monster.

"You're the first person to call it that," Spencer snorted. "Morgan calls it my Grandpa car."

"Calls her that," Aaron corrected absently. "Cars and ships are always 'her'." While Spencer knew that – he still couldn't bring himself to assign a gender to an inanimate object – he remained silent.

What's for dinner?

"But she's not," Aaron continued. "Not a Grandpa car. She just needs some work." He took a few steps towards the stairs. "Garcia should know a good shop."

"Actually…" Spencer rocked back on his heels before letting out a small laugh, "I kind of want to do the work myself. I know I don't look like the typical grease monkey, but I have assembled a Pontiac 400 V-8 engine with 360 horsepower." Aaron looked over his shoulder, eyebrows raised. "My junior year at Cal Tech," he added with a shrug. "Engineering project."

It earned the barest of smiles from Aaron. "You never cease to amaze me, Spencer Reid." He looked back up the stairs.

I'm going to catch a quick shower before dinner. Do you mind?

What had Rossi once said? Aaron Hotchner has more pride than there are lions in Africa. But here. Now. The man wasn't going to ask for anything, but Spencer knew it wasn't necessarily out of pride. When Spencer had initiated that first chaste kiss in this very hallway, Aaron had automatically (uncharacteristically) relinquished control to him. Something had conditioned the other man do so, and Spencer refused to believe his initial conclusions. It wasn't impossible. It just didn't… fit who Aaron Hotchner was.

Yet the night Aaron had rushed upstairs in a pure panic, leaving Spencer half naked on the floor with an aching hard on and so close to orgasm, Spencer could no longer deny the truth. A husband reporting spousal abuse was rare; Aaron was just another statistic. Psychological abuse was just as damaging, perhaps even more so, than the physical. Life in the BAU demanded compartmentalization in order to keep one's sanity, but with the absence of the source that kept that particular unpleasantness locked away, Aaron's psyche had decided it was time to address it.

They never gave it a name. Spencer never suggested counseling although he knew he should. Aaron never volunteered anything except when a trigger set him off, and even that took dogged coaxing from Spencer to get it out.

The list Spencer had mentally compiled was… disheartening. Rules. Oh so many rules.

Spencer moved forward and touched Aaron's elbow. Aaron let out a long sigh and then nodded slightly. He didn't say anything. Perhaps he didn't trust his voice. Spencer didn't blame him.

Spencer got them upstairs, ignoring his own uneasiness at being in the master bedroom and bathroom, before carefully undressing his lover. It wasn't a sexy, slow tease, but one more of (hopefully) comfort. Spencer made sure his touch was reassuring, smoothing his hands along Aaron. Grounding. He wasn't bothered that Aaron didn't return the gesture; he got out of his own clothes quickly and then shuffled them both into the bathroom.

Shower on. Water more lukewarm than blistering hot. Aaron stumbled in; Spencer didn't follow. Showering together always sounded like a better idea than it actually was, especially in a space clearly designed for one. The other man washed quickly and, as he dried off, wandered back into the bedroom. Spencer took his turn, keeping it perfunctory. He came out with a towel wrapped around his waist to find Aaron sitting naked on the bed, feet on the floor and covers pulled back, and staring at the window sill.

Spencer recognized the expression and suppressed a shudder. This was different, though. This was Aaron.

He didn't say a word as he crawled into bed and behind him. Spencer settled his hands on Aaron's shoulders and gently began stroking his bare skin. Tense. Brittle. Fighting for every ounce of control, because compartmentalizing had always worked in the past.

If Aaron's mind hadn't made the connections before, Spencer guessed they were making them now.

Madison.

Jacob.

Haley.

Jack.

Gavin.

Aaron.

Spencer recalled the words said on the plane ride back from West Bune. "I know it's tough when you identify with the bad guy."

"Stop." A hoarse plea this time.

"You're not Gavin Kurtz."

"We are not talking about this," but without heat.

I promised not to bring work home with me.

"We can talk about this," Spencer replied with forceful gentleness.

I'm not Haley.

There was a long silence before the barely audible, "I want to forget" permeated the air.

Spencer's stomach clenched. His hands stilled. Images flashed in his head. The last time he tightened the belt around his arm and slid the needle into his vein. Jack Vaughan holding that shotgun, the word 'tomorrow' echoing in that high school bathroom. Spencer's thumb poised over the call button on his personal cell phone, the number of his dealer on the screen. Standing in front of strangers and saying, "your literature" in a pathetic effort to distance himself from the group of addicts who he swore, up until that moment, he was nothing like. Looking back over his shoulder as he spoke to Owen Savage, making sure that he blocked the line of fire of the people he trusted unequivocally with his life. Hotch telling him "it's none of my business" when, really, it was.

He pressed a kiss to Aaron's shoulder. "You don't get over it." Spencer's voice was rough. "You go through it. Not over, not under, not around. Through."

And, wow, with the sheer number of things locked permanently in Spencer's mind, the best he could come up with was that?

Aaron reached up, sliding his hand gently against Spencer's face, then tangling his fingers in Spencer's damp hair. "I know."

They kissed, but it was hesitant. Testing. Cautious. Neutral. Like the second time they were together and they both had been out of sorts, unsure of this relationship and just what everything meant.

Aaron let out a shaky breath, resting his forehead on Spencer's chin. "I want to forget," he repeated, voice still soft. "Just for tonight."

Fair enough.

Spencer tipped Aaron's chin up and began kissing him again, coaxing the other man to lean back and lay down on the bed. Spencer straddled his hips, running his hands up and down Aaron's chest and arms, but never breaking contact with his lips and tongue as he focused on Aaron's mouth.

Ignite the body. Close the mind.

Spencer had done that plenty of times, both with and without chemical assistance.

Aaron responded slowly, tentatively. Hands skimming Spencer's sides, down to his hips. Settling there, thumbs stroking his hip bones. Spencer nibbled along his jaw, down his throat, and then to that one little spot guaranteed to make Aaron gasp. He focused on specific spots. Neck. Earlobe. Collarbone. Tip of the shoulder.

A quick, hard fuck would only provide blankness for a while; Spencer had learned that lesson after the case in Chula Vista, with a random hookup (and fellow recovering addict) named Danny. Distraction by touch? That lasted longer. Much longer.

Spencer alternated between Aaron's nipples, sucking on one while pinching and twisting the other. He worked his way down the torso, across toned abs. Aaron's fingers gliding across his shoulder as "Spencer" spilled from his mouth.

Hipbone.

Rasp of the tongue. Gentle bite. Light rake of nails.

Top of the thigh.

Rasp of the tongue. Gentle bite. Light rake of nails.

Inner thigh.

Rasp of the tongue. Gentle bite. Light rake of nails.

"Please, Spencer." The hand fell away.

Knee.

Calf.

Rasp of the tongue. Gentle bite. Light rake of nails.

Ankle.

"Christ." Aaron fisted the sheets.

"Actually, according to you, I'm God," Spencer corrected with an impish grin and a nip at the other ankle. Spencer slid to the end of the bed, taking one of Aaron's feet in his hands and pressing his thumbs against the arch.

Aaron sucked in a breath and lifted his hands slightly, pulling on the sheets. Those movements alone conveyed that no one probably had ever given Aaron a foot massage. Another thing to add to Spencer's "do to Aaron" list.

"Zoku Shin Do is what traditional East Asian foot reflexology is called, with the roots going back to China over five thousand years. The Egyptians also practiced a form of reflexology, with hieroglyphics found in a tomb in Saqqara." Spencer moved to another spot. "There are different places on each foot. This area corresponds with the heart. Lungs here. Let's see. Shoulder. Arm." He paused. "Groin."

Spencer moved to his other foot, spreading Aaron's legs in the process. He didn't spend much time on the reflexology before working his way back up, alternating between legs but keeping his pace slow.

Rasp of the tongue. Gentle bite. Light rake of nails.

Calves.

Knees.

The spot just above the patella.

Keeping his touch light not ticklish, firm yet rousing. When Spencer stroked Aaron's inner thighs, the man gasped and spread his legs more. His cock was hard against his belly, precum smearing on his bare skin.

"Please..." desperately from Aaron, his knuckles turning white as he gripped the sheets.

Thumbs sliding just below Aaron's balls, pressing against the perineum.

Letting go of the sheets, Aaron drew up his knees, raised his hips, and then stuffed a pillow under his lower back. He blindly pawed through the nightstand then dumped a few condom packets and a bottle of lubricant next to his hip.

Spencer's mouth went dry. "Aaron…"

"Please." The unspoken I don't know how to do this hanging in the air.

Spencer mouthed Aaron's balls before reaching for the lube one-handed, flipping open the cap and slicking his fingers. Nerves hit next because while Spencer wanted this – badly, oh so badly – why the change now?

I don't know how to ask.

Spencer swiped his tongue up Aaron's shaft as his forefinger circled Aaron's entrance. Aaron shuddered but nodded, biting his lower lip as he gripped the sheets again.

Swipe of the tongue. Circle with the finger tip.

Swipe. Circle.

Swipe. Circle. Engulf. Breach.

"God, Spencer!"

It was all about association.

Spencer's motions became like engine pistons. Suck down on Aaron's cock, push up into his ass. Slide back to the tip of Aaron's cock, pull back until his finger was just inside. He kept his pace agonizingly slow, allowing Aaron to get used to the sensations.

"Faster… please." Breathless. Aaron still wasn't used to voicing what he wanted during sex. It was only after they were well in the rhythm, when Aaron gave himself over to sensation, that he would make demands.

Spencer slid his finger out completely, earning a whine (of all things) from Aaron. "Shhhh," he said, tongue flicking the head of Aaron's cock as he got more lube. He brushed Aaron's asshole with two fingers. "Aaron?"

His lover canted his hips slightly and said, "Yes."

Swipe of the tongue. Circle with the finger tips.

Swipe. Circle.

Swipe. Circle. Engulf. Breach.

Aaron choked out a moan as Spencer went back to the same pattern. Point. Counterpoint. Then, he crooked his fingers and found Aaron's prostate.

"God, Spencer!" Yelled this time, which made Spencer grin.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Aaron's hand curling in the air, clearly wanting to touch but not allowing himself. Spencer gently grabbed his wrist and pulled until Aaron's fingers threaded through his hair.

Hesitant about that part. Always so hesitant. Even after Spencer specifically told him how much of a turn on it was when he did it.

Aaron stroked his hair before trailing his fingers along Spencer's cheek and then down to his lips wrapped around his cock. Spencer hummed his appreciation.

Aaron shuddered. "Yes. Please."

Spencer quickened his pace, sliding his hand along Aaron's hip. A fine sweat had broken out across Aaron's skin as his breathing grew more erratic and his muscles strained to hold still. Spencer wondered what it would take for Aaron to give in to the request to fuck his mouth, but not here. Not now. Not with two fingers stretching Aaron and Spencer ready to add a third.

When he did, Aaron's entire body shook once and then stilled, breath caught in his lungs, fingers tightened almost painfully in Spencer's hair while the other hand had a white-knuckle grip on the sheets.

Spencer pulled off of his lover's cock, but didn't remove his fingers, which he kept moving ohsoslowly. "Too much?" he asked, concerned.

"Don't. Stop." Brokenly, between harsh pants.

"Do you want me to stop?" Spencer asked. Clarification and permission.

"No." Whispered. Strained. "I…" Aaron breathed hard for several seconds, fingers sliding from Spencer's hair, and then said, "I want you." He leaned up and for the first time since Spencer began this assault on his body, looked him straight in the eyes. No hesitation. No fear. Pupils dilated. Brow beaded with sweat. "Fuck me, Spencer."

The words made him shiver, made his cock throb hard. Words he'd never thought he'd hear from Aaron. Still, "I don't want to hurt you."

Aaron quirked a small grin. "I'll let you know if something bothers me."

And Spencer let out a laugh and licked the tip of Aaron's cock. He then wrapped his other hand around Aaron and began to pump slowly, using his hand as a counterpoint to the thrust of his fingers. "Relax," he coaxed. "Breathe."

With those words, Aaron dropped back on the pillows, hands gripping the sheets again. His breathing was still erratic but he was making the effort.

"There you go," Spencer said softly. "Just a little more."

"Spencer…" His skin was slick with sweat, thighs trembling slightly. "Please." As if fearful he would lose his nerve.

Spencer slid his fingers out – Aaron made an odd sound but didn't move – and wiped them on his discarded towel. He then tore open the condom packet, rolled one on – damn, his hands were shaking; this wasn't his first time but this was Aaron – and then coated himself liberally with lube. He arranged Aaron's legs as he settled between them, guiding his cock until it was just there.

With the huge issues that Aaron had about missionary style, Spencer was genuinely surprised that he'd allow it now. "Breathe," he said as he pushed forward. "Breathe."

"Oh God!"

Tight. Oh so tight and hot. Trembling flesh. It ate away at Spencer's control because it had been far too long since he'd been on this side of it but he slowly pressed on. "I've got you," Spencer said against Aaron's lips. "Trust me." He stroked Aaron's cock, thumbing the head, as a distraction. "Relax."

"Oh God… oh God…" and then the resistance melted away.

Spencer groaned as he slid until he was fully seated. "So good," he murmured. "So sexy. You look so sexy… Aaron—" He wasn't expecting the hand briefly over his mouth before fingers latched onto his hair.

A new trigger.

Spencer took the anger that flared up in him and stuffed it into a box in his mind. He kissed Aaron hard, lip-bruising and tongue-demanding. Aaron responded by threading both hands into Spencer's hair to hold him in place. Spencer gave a shallow thrust and Aaron arched against him.

The pace was slow. Aching. As badly as Spencer wanted to drive into his lover's body, he held back, waiting for Aaron to adjust as best he could, to signal he was ready. Aaron's left hand then dropped to Spencer's hip and pulled forward. Spencer increased his speed, angling his hips differently with each thrust until Aaron suddenly broke away from the kiss, a sound breaking from his throat that reminded Spencer of the time Aaron had fucked him senseless on his couch.

Spencer smiled. He gripped Aaron's cock and, like before, tugged and twisted to match his rhythm. Aaron keened, thrashing slightly as he exposed his throat.

That's it. That's it. Ignite the body, close the mind. Feel. Do not think.

With Aaron this keyed up, Spencer knew he wasn't going to last long. He increased his pace, demanding Aaron to keep up with him as his strokes became tighter, more urgent. His lover's body trembled, supplications pouring from his mouth. Aaron's eyes were closed tightly, lashes wet and moisture trickling from the corners.

It had to hurt, but Aaron was urging him on, hand gripping his ass, insisting on the pace.

"Spencer… Oh God, Spencer." A ragged whine.

So close. So close.

Aaron's eyes suddenly snapped open. He focused completely on Spencer. Spencer didn't dare look away. When his orgasm hit, Aaron's eyes rolled back, his body shook hard, and thick white threads coated his belly. He bayed, just like that other night, and Spencer drove him through the climax, watching in fascination as his lover flew apart and gave in to the pure sensation.

"Aaron," Spencer whispered as he captured slack lips for a kiss. His own orgasm right there on the edge. "Yes." With two final pumps of his hips, Spencer came – a silent scream in his throat – and collapsed on Aaron.

I want to forget. I want to feel.

They were a mass of panting, sweaty, sticky flesh. Spencer withdrew, earning a hiss from Aaron. He removed and knotted the condom, tossing it in the trashcan beside the bed. He grabbed the towel and wiped Aaron's chest down, then his own, Aaron's cock and then his. He pressed the cloth into Aaron's hand, but his lover didn't seem too interested in cleaning up. Spencer wasn't about to wipe the man's ass.

Aaron rolled to his side, settling Spencer next to him. Their breathing eventually slowed, Aaron wedging himself so that Spencer's chin rested on his temple, one arm tucked under a pillow, and one hand resting lightly on Spencer's hip. Unusual but given everything that had happened, not necessarily unexpected.

Suddenly, "I wasn't fast enough," Aaron whispered hoarsely, his voice catching as he clutched Spencer. "Wasn't fast enough."

People tell me their secrets all the time. Think it's 'cause they know I don't have anyone to betray them to.

"I know," Spencer replied, because all the reassurances, absolutions and rationalizations in the world didn't mean shit at this point. Aaron had tried. He did the best with what he had, but not every case had a happy ending. "I know."

///***///

The times that they had shared a bed, Spencer had either curled around Aaron or Aaron spooned behind him. This morning? Spencer found himself on his back, Aaron holding onto him like a child clutching a stuffed animal in his sleep.

A talisman.

New. Odd. Not especially surprising.

Spencer's eyes felt full of sand as he belatedly realized he had left his contacts in.

"Christ," he muttered, carefully rubbing the corners of his eyes to remove the grit.

"You're God, remember?" Aaron murmured sleepily as he snuggled closer.

The last thing Spencer expected was a joke. That combined with the intimacy made Spencer nearly panic, but he managed to calm himself – recitation of multiplication and periodic tables were good for that – and then gingerly stroke Aaron's arm.

"Stay," Aaron mumbled, leaning into the touch.

"Of course." Spencer knew the importance of early morning reassurances. Still… "But I really need to take my contacts out."

That earned a snort. "The Nespresso machine is already packed," he yawned, "so no coffee. Get back here when you're done."

Spencer extracted himself from Aaron's hold – the man wasn't especially interested in letting go – and padded downstairs naked. He picked up both their go bags and made his way back to the bathroom. It only took a few minutes – contacts out, glasses on, quick washcloth scrub because who knew what kind of mood Aaron was in – before Spencer returned to the bedroom.

It still felt odd being there, in the one place in the house he had studiously avoided since starting this phase of his relationship with Aaron. Spencer sighed and crawled back into bed, depositing his glasses on the nightstand.

He wasn't expecting to be pulled and tugged and arranged so that Aaron was spooned around him. His lover's hard cock nestled against his ass, nose buried in Spencer's hair, and one hand not-so-innocently straying down to stroke his dick.

Spencer had forgotten how affectionate Aaron could be in the morning, before the demons fully woke and the unit chief specter slipped into place. He stretched a little and then wiggled, earning a grunt from Aaron. Spencer laughed lightly, "We can do something about that."

"Shhhh," Aaron murmured although his hips canted up. "More sleep."

"You don't want to fuck me?"

An explosion of breath. Forehead pressed between his shoulder blades. "God."

"Yes?"

"I don't think I can move."

"I'll take that as a compliment," Spencer shot back lightly, hoping the concern didn't bleed into his voice. He was almost certain that last night had been Aaron's first time, and first times – hell, even fifth times – took a bit to recover from no matter how good said lover was.

"You never cease to amaze me, Spencer Reid."

An echo of a conversation from last night. "I try my best."

Aaron snorted but then began to move his hips, his cock sliding against Spencer's ass. The "need you" was barely audible.

"Then take me," was just as low. Spencer was surprised when Aaron moved away, rolling him on his back and then moving to be on top of him.

It was the first time since that fateful night when Aaron had a panic attack that he initiated the missionary style, Spencer on the bottom.

The only position Haley obviously had allowed.

Bitch.

Aaron rocked against him, faced buried in Spencer's hair as he moaned. It had to be half-awake sex because Spencer fully believed Aaron would have no part of this if he were fully coherent.

Regardless… "Yes," Spencer breathed, because Aaron needed acknowledgement and permission.

His lover moaned and picked up the pace, short and intense thrusts. For a man who moments ago claimed he couldn't move, he was certainly feisty. "Need you, Spence," repeated with a low growl.

He wanted to echo, "Then take me," but realized that this wasn't a simple act of frottage. It was claiming in a different way, Spencer supposed, as if Aaron were trying to exorcise the bad memories from this room. Yet, flesh twisted awkwardly, painfully, and then Aaron changed how he was pressing into Spencer.

"Fuck," Aaron grunted.

Spencer wanted to say "need lube" because there was no way he was getting off with the way his skin was being abused, but was too afraid to break the spell. Then Aaron reached for something and Spencer could hear him rummaging around the drawer. A few seconds later, there was the soft the click of a cap and then Aaron's slick hand reaching between them, grasping their cocks, and –thankfully—lubrication to ease the friction just enough.

Then Aaron showered his shoulders, neck and jaw with kisses and nips, murmuring "Spence" as he did. He worked them with brisk strokes. No teasing. No slow build up. Just hard and fast and primal and Spencer knew neither of them was going to last too long.

"Yes," Spencer moaned as he bared his throat more.

Teeth dug lightly into his collarbone, Aaron's pace relentless.

"God, Spence. So good. So right. Love the feel of you."

Spencer wondered if Aaron even knew what he was saying. He wanted to reply, "Work me. C'mon, stroke our cocks. Make us come," because Aaron had definite kink for dirty talk.

In the right situation.

Instead, he let out an "aaah!"

"Fuck!" Aaron's movements became sharp. Demanding. Like that night when he had claimed Spencer so thoroughly on the couch. Spencer would never admit to just how many times he had jacked off to those particular memories.

He could feel the rapid build of release, drawing his balls up and making his thighs almost tremble. "Close, Aaron. So close."

Lips crashed down upon his. Hand tight around him. Words. Words muttered between movements and… no… Spencer did not just hear: "Love you, Spence."

No.

No.

It didn't stop him from climaxing, a cry ripping from his throat.

"Love you so much."

Hot fluid shot across his stomach.

Spencer's mind tried to shut down.

No.

No.

It was just sex talk. Just orgasmic ramblings that triggered the automatic response, "Love you, too," because God knows, Spencer had never spoken those words aloud to anyone except his mother.

"Good."

And Aaron moved away and a towel swept across Spencer's stomach. Spencer did nothing but allow his body to be arranged, allow Aaron to curl around him.

Love you, Spence.

They were just words.

Words.

Words from a man broken down last night and somewhat resurrected this morning.

They didn't mean anything.

They couldn't.

Spencer closed his eyes. They'd get up later, one of them going to Krispy Kreme to get coffee and breakfast. It was a little known fact that Aaron could devour six obscenely sweet, raspberry jelly-filled doughnuts in less than ten minutes and not come crashing down from the sugar high later. They'd lounge around maybe, Spencer perhaps offering to help pack but would be politely turned down.

Spencer would take him back to the airstrip so Aaron could pick up his car.

And Spencer would drive back to his own apartment, alone, and wonder if Aaron really meant what he said.

///***/// Finis ///***///