ICON ARTIST: Me
AUTHOR: Kuria Dalmatia
No beta. All mistakes are mine. Standard disclaimers.
It all started with Dave's casual, "You don't have a photo of you together, do you?" as the man sat across from Aaron on the jet and paged through a book. "I mean, I'm sure Garcia can photoshop something up but..." followed by that effortless 'just saying' shrug.
Aaron was tempted to tell Dave that Gideon used to do the exact shame shoulder shrug, just to make the older man uncomfortable (because, honestly, there were only a few things that really made Dave twitch). Because talking about his relationship with Reid...
'Inappropriate' was the first term to come to mind, quickly followed by Spencer's comment about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sodomy laws were unconstitutional on June 26, 2003, and Aaron's question, "That was Lawrence versus Texas, wasn't it?" He remembered preening a little when Spencer grinned and said, "Good memory."
Weird how things linked together in his mind.
But Dave was right. They didn't have a photo of them together. One of just them, because semi-annual Team Photo that Garcia insisted on didn't really count, even if Aaron and Spencer always managed to stand next to each other and Aaron's hand always seemed to rest on Spencer's shoulder.
Aaron, of course, didn't respond to Dave's comment, just kept slogging through the paperwork in front of him so he could actually leave the office at six.
And when he deplaned with the others, the whole "photo of Spencer and me" took a backseat to Jessie's voicemail about Jack and the stomach flu.
He didn't think about it again until four cases later, when the Team had been dispatched to Gary, Indiana to track down a serial arsonist. He and Reid had holed up in the police station's conference room, pouring over the geographical profile and victimology. Hotch had already sent the rest of the team back to the hotel; Reid had refused to leave until Hotch did, giving him that look which meant that no matter how many times Hotch would order him, threaten him, or anything else, Reid wasn't going to give in.
It was an act of defiance that three years ago, Reid wouldn't have even attempted.
It made Aaron smile. He glanced around the conference area, noting that no one was really paying attention to them. "C'mere," he suddenly said and tapped the table.
Reid blinked at him, confused, but sidled up to him the same. To outside observers, it was just two men standing a bit close to each other in front of a map with large splotches of color.
Aaron pulled out his personal phone and flipped through the controls. "We don't have a picture of us together."
"What?" Spencer stared at him, jaw slightly opened. He looked around before dropping his voice. "I don't think this is, ah, the appropriate place?"
"I know you could tell me what percentage we spend our time at precincts," Aaron replied, "so it's only appropriate that we have a photo of us in our, well, natural habitat."
His lover gaped at him momentarily and then shook his head. "You definitely need to get some sleep."
"Take this photo with me and I'll go back to hotel without protest," Aaron offered.
And so they did.
It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Something had caught Spencer's attention the moment that Aaron had snapped the photo, so that the younger man wasn't looking directly in to the camera but off to the side.
Still... it was a photo of the two of them. Finally.
Not perfect, because they weren't.