TITLE: Three Weeks
ICON ARTIST: Me. I have no idea where I got the original photo from so any help is greatly appreciated.
AUTHOR: Kuria Dalmatia
Characters/Pairings: Hotch/Reid

No beta. All mistakes are mine. Standard disclaimers.

Original Icon can be found at: kuriadalmatia . livejournal . com / 77240 . html


Aaron was completely baffled. On the desk in his hotel room was a packet of stationary with cartoon cowboys, a fat fountain pen with dalmatians on it, a wax envelope with twenty-one Looney Tunes First Class postage stamps, and an eight GB USB memory stick still sealed in its package. He knew who had left the gift—Spencer—since his lover and JJ were the only persons who had keys to hotel room and their media liaison would never send something like this. Hotch picked up the pen and uncapped it. A quick scribble on the hotel notepad showed that the ink was green.

The box of stationary was already open and Hotch thumbed through the pages. Twenty-one, the same number as the stamps.

He glanced at his watch. It was ten minutes after the team had parted for the evening in the lobby; five minutes since he'd 'dropped' Spencer off at Spencer's hotel room. The latter was pretty ludicrous if Aaron really thought about it: old-fashioned, out-dated, and chauvinistic by unfairly casting Spencer in the role of 'female' in their relationship. However, Spencer had never protested even if it meant Aaron going six floors out of his way.

He slid the pen in his pocket and picked up a case file, more out of habit than in an attempt to fool the Team. Aaron quickly walked down the hall (they were on the same floor at least) and knocked lightly on Spencer's door. He heard a muffled, "Innaminute" (which meant teeth-brushing) and after a few moments the door opened. Spencer waved him in and then went back to the sink to finish up.

Aaron stepped inside and closed the door, but didn't move inside the room. It was another old holdovers of manners, one that he couldn't quite remember learning and certainly hadn't figured out how to break.

Spencer finished quickly, exiting the bathroom with a smile on his face and brushing his lips across Aaron's. "Good evening."

Aaron held out the pen. "I got your gifts."

Spencer beamed. "Fantastic."

"I...I don't get it," he admitted, surprising himself with his own candidness and feeling his cheeks flush.

"Research has proven that it takes twenty-one days to start a habit," Spencer explained and then moved further in to his room. He gestured for Aaron to sit on the bed as he himself plopped down behind the desk. "I've been thinking about what you said the other day, how you felt that sometimes the phone calls to Jack weren't enough."

"Okay," Aaron acknowledged.

Spencer's smile softened. "I still write my mom daily, even after what Randall Garner did." He shrugged. "Conversations aren't as memorable as the written word. It may be just two words or a goofy postcard or something... but it is something from you."

"He'll know by the envelope."

"By the ink color," his lover added. "And when you run out of that stationary, you and he can pick out the next kind."

"And the dalmatian pen?"

Spencer shrugged. "It was either My Little Pony, Hello Kitty, or Spongebob Squarepants."

"I'll take the dogs."

"Thought so."

"That doesn't explain the memory stick."

Spencer beamed. "You can take photos with your camera phone and we can load them on to the stick and print them out at the hotel's business center."

Aaron closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Spence."

A lean arm wrapped around his shoulders. "It doesn't have to be Shakespeare," whispered in his ear. "It can just be a photo of you smiling...just like you promised Haley you'd do. Show him that you can smile."


"I'll mail them with mine, so we only have to make one stop."

Aaron dropped his hand from his face, turned, and pressed his lips against his lover's. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Spencer then waved something behind Aaron's head.

Aaron took the page and was stunned. It was a photo of him and the centipede from earlier in the day, when Spence had 'double dog dared him' to let the thing crawl on his hands. Morgan and Prentiss had egged him on.

"I think this should be your first one," Spencer whispered. "I've been told little kids love creepy crawly things." Aaron huffed out a laugh surprised at the wet sound it made. Spencer kissed him softly. "You should go now. Write your letter."

"Can I bring it back here when I'm done?" Aaron asked hoarsely. "So his Uncle Spencer can write a hello as well?"

"Maybe next time," came the soft reply. "The first one... it should be from you alone."

"I love you, Spencer Reid."

"I love you, Aaron Hotchner."

With another chaste kiss, Aaron left Spencer's room and went back to his own. He pulled out one sheet of cowboy stationary. He uncapped the green pen.

Dear Jack, I was thinking of you this morning. Look what we found!

/ Finis /