Of Gazelles and Lions

Dr. Spencer Reid was never one to venture to places like this… and double so with his teammates. How Garcia of all people managed to get Morgan here… well, he was sure the promises of hot sex were involved. He blushed appropriately as they entered the gay nightclub.

Garcia had insisted, and insisted that the music here was amazing, and that the drinks were great, people were friendly, and that everyone would have warm reception… but that there was one itsy bitsy catch… the club catered to GLBT crowds. Of course, she had convinced Morgan that if he was secure enough in his sexuality that he could just lean back and enjoy the complements just as he would when he was surrounded by droves of women he also didn't feel like sleeping with. Reid, who was much less secure about his own sexuality, namely because he was really starting to question if asexual was just a front for being Hotchsexual, a specific type of homosexual when Reid donned the budding fascination.

He looked around at the others, Morgan was wearing Garcia's pick for her chocolate god, faded black semi-fit leather pants that had a shine but didn't stick directly to his skin, a gray fitted t-shirt that's sleeves went to his elbow and a faded black open vest, his large silver watch decorated his wrist and Reid was sure that all of it would have been a very big lure to the crowd if not for the pin on Morgan's shirt that said STR8. He noticed none of the other men within his group had gotten a pin. He glowered. Garcia was playing favorites.

He was amazed, even Hotch, a widower, had tagged along on this outing. He sited that he too needed adult time every so oft, and besides it was past Jack's bedtime. He just had to thank Jessica for staying over after dinner so he could attend. Apparently, the fact that it was a gay night club had been a selling point to her, not feeling like her brother in law was on the prowl. Reid felt more awkward, Hotch, that cheater… he was even wearing his wedding band. He glanced over at Rossi, he was too. That bastard, he wasn't even widowed, he was happily divorced three times! Prentiss was marking territory something fierce, anyway.

He looked at JJ hopefully, maybe he could convince her to pretend to be his date so he wasn't the only one there who was stag… he looked at her and then his eyes dropped to the floor, he didn't have the stones in him to ask her that. She was a new mom for crying out loud… After pondering his situation, Reid realized there probably wasn't as much to 'fear' as he was pretending there was. He was in a group, he was nowhere near being the hottest member of the group, either. He relaxed at the realization that anyone aggressive enough to pursue anyone here wouldn't target him. So, with that in mind, he drank.

Reid always seemed to underestimate himself. That thought wouldn't hit him until he felt someone cut through, between Morgan and Garcia and himself. Well, Morgan and Garcia were practically attached, so they weren't cut through so much as cut around. They had probably let the man pass thinking he was aiming for the bar. He draped an arm over Reid before he could register to step over half a pace and let the man get through.

"Hey sexy, what're you doin' here all by your lonesome…?" The man, to Reid's surprise, was fairly attractive. He wasn't Reid's type, but then again with such a small window of what his 'type' was, and that being a five letter word that started with Hot and ended with ch.

Reid stammered, "I'm not alone. See there?" He pointed to several small clustered groups of people that were all within ten feet of him, "We're all together." He was surprised he didn't see Hotch anywhere but was sure he was using the restroom or something.

The man glanced around, his light brown hair swayed slightly as he pretended to glance at the others. "None of them are with you though."

Reid stammered a second time, "I'm… a… straight."

That was followed by a laugh, "Yeah, me too." He winked and gave Reid a coy squeeze. "That's why I come here, all the time. To celebrate how straight I am."

Reid groaned, "I'm not interested!" He offered, thinking maybe this line would work, after all most people did take no for an answer still, right? The other man withdrew his arm only to cross them in front of his chest.

Certain he was going to get put down, Reid started erecting his mental shields, this is where he'd say something along the lines of 'don't flatter yourself, honey… you aren't my type anyway…' or the whatnot.

"Hmm… Nope, I don't believe it. You're coming with me for a dance." The man smiled, he pulled Reid back through the gap, past Garcia and Morgan who didn't so much as glance at him despite his distress, past JJ who was doing shots and chatting up with several women about good hairstyles to use when kickboxing, and he didn't even see where the other three had stowed themselves.

The whirlwind romance ended quickly with the Lady Gaga song, to Reid's surprise as the aggressive would-be suitor was chased off by several other candidates, all wanting to dance with Reid, and doing so, aggressively. He felt several hands snake onto his hip or try to tug at his sweater-vest, all while he just tried to move his feet in make-shift dancing until he could work his way back and off the dance floor. He kept darting his head left and right, trying to send signals to his friends to help him off the floor, as it were, his knee was starting to ache and he didn't want to spend the rest of his weekend laid up in bed with ice packs to reduce the swelling. Sure he didn't need a cane anymore but his knee was still on the mends, damn it!

Some particularly frisky hands squeezed his ass making his eyes shoot wide, he spun around sharply to look, which was all it took to send him reeling to the ground, 'Great…' Reid thought through gritted teeth, 'I just wrenched my knee!'

Apparently, going down after spinning around to someone squeezing his ass was some kind of social cue, because the squeezer looked at the squeezee excitedly. Reid gave him a dirty look, "I'm NOT interested!" He drew his badge, "Back off or I bust you for possession." He bluffed, but he figured at a night club, someone might bring something to the party, and that would be enough to clear some of the mess out. He held his knee with one hand, looking between it and the room, finally, FINALLY spotting Hotch making his way over to him.

"Reid, what happened!" Hotch didn't ask, he demanded.

"My knee, I think I twisted it a little…" Reid said while still clutching his knee, he hoped Hotch would have helped him up and then assisted him to the nearest bench, because the alternative of an ambulance seemed excessive.

Being picked up princess-style and carried out of the club and to the car was probably even more dramatic, no, scratch that, it was downright melodramatic. He heard in the background a few breathy sighs from the men whom he had danced with briefly, upset that someone had snagged him away. He wasn't sure of what to make of that. It all felt like it had to be some sort of sick joke at his expense, that after all had been what his life experiences had prepped him for.

"How bad is it?" Hotch asked, still helping to adjust Reid into the front passenger seat of his own car.

"I'm hoping if I spend the next 48 hours with ice and elevation that I won't have set back my P/T by two months… seriously, what the hell was with those guys…" He let out under his breath, he was amazed Hotch heard him, what with the hearing damage.

"You're an attractive male at a gay bar, how do you not get that you'd get attention?"

Reid plucked his sweater-vest at Hotch as if that were all the answer he needed, "This is not exactly high-fashion. I think Garcia calls it Retro-Dork?"

"She doesn't and it isn't." Hotch gave Reid a tempered look before sticking his hand out expectantly, "Keys…?"

"I can drive back, you don't have to leave on my account…"

"You might be able to drive, but how do you plan to get to your apartment without crutches or a cane with your knee like that? I'll take you home and call a cab or something. It's no big deal."

"What about the others, won't they wonder where you went to?"

Hotch gave Reid a look, "I've been at the periphery of their vision the entire night. This isn't exactly my scene."

"I thought you came because you wanted to cut loose…?" Reid asked, looking at Hotch.

"You really haven't figured it out, have you?" Hotch laughed, a sound Reid always was wont to hear. "Think about the play-list, just from when you were dancing. It's all pop. How many nightclubs in the DC area can you think of cater to that genre?"

"Most of them… depending on the night of the week…"

"Exactly, now ask yourself what this club specializes in?"

"…It's a gay nightclub… I don't see where you're going, Hotch."

"And yet Dave Rossi and Derek Morgan went there, without hesitation."

"With dates, yeah, what…? You went too…"

"That I did."

"You wore your wedding ring." Reid also pointed out.

"I didn't want anyone hitting on me." Hotch mentioned.

"Yeah, and no one thought to warn me or give me a button about being Straight…"

"That's because they were trying to set you up." Reid looked hurt for a moment, Hotch began to explain. "Not in a mean-spirited way, Reid. They were trying to hook you up. Play wing-man…"

"Then why did the girls come? To watch…?"

"To make sure no one got you that they didn't want getting you." Hotch continued, "Morgan and Rossi might attract their own crowds if left to their own devices, and just imagine the tabloids if anyone recognized Rossi… so, they had to have dates to ensure it."

"Then why'd JJ come too?"

"She was probably curious to see if I'd make my move."

Reid's head snapped up at that. Sure he had been using intermittent eye-contact but for the most part he'd been watching the scenery go by as they drove. "Huh… wait… what…?"

"They brought you there to show me something they obviously think I don't already know; that you're an incredibly eligible bachelor who has more suitors than I can easily shake a stick at, especially if you want to pursue them."

"Hotch… if you're making fun of me…" Reid looked at him, measuring.

"We've both been beating around the bush about this for far too long. Spencer, I really like your company, and I love your personality, in fact I just love you. If you feel the same, invite me in when we get back to your place and I'll make sure that you won't be bored for the 48 hours you'll be on your back icing your knee for."

Reid's cheeks, ears and neck turned bright red as Hotch said that, and coincidentally turned into Reid's apartment complex's parking lot. "Uh, well… then… um, did you… uh… want to… come in?"

"For ages." Hotch said as he unbuckled Reid's seatbelt, after getting out of the car, he came around to Reid's side, opened the door and then helped him out. He helped walk Reid to his door, the young man swaggering thanks to the injury to his accosted knee, once at the apartment door Reid fumbled with his keys nervously.

"I… uh… I've never really… done this before… you know, have someone over… for… uh… this." He mentioned, still red in the face.

"Don't worry. I'll be gentle." Hotch stroked the hair from the side of Reid's neck to behind his neck, blowing a wispy breath along the now-exposed skin. "I'll be anything you want me to be, in fact."

"You… already are…" Reid closed his eyes as his good leg shook, Hotch was amazing and this was just his curb-side manner… Reid didn't know how long he'd last under the lion's gaze. Briefly he thought back to gazelles on the safari, and how their last moments of life were so intense before violently cut short and thought to himself that this is exactly what Hotch was doing to him… he was about to be consumed and he couldn't see it as anything short of fantastical.

He silently pinched himself once he crossed the threshold to his apartment and was happy that it hurt, that made this all real, didn't it?

True to his word, Hotch took Reid gently three times before falling asleep intertwined until the morning hours, when they took a brief intermission for breakfast and then went back to the bedroom. By the time the second day had come and went, Reid was sure Hotch had memorized his entire body, and he was starting to wonder where exactly Jack really was.

"Jessica and her husband took the kids on a camping trip this weekend. They didn't think I'd be back from the case until sometime mid this week, but we wrapped up early thanks to that insight of yours." He laced aggressive then gentle kisses up and down Reid's chest as he spoke, "So, we have all weekend to do this, instead. I'm not complaining, how about you?"

"I'll get back to you when I can do weight-baring on my knee again. At least I have a good excuse if I can't walk straight come Monday morning." He smiled. "…Hotch, I know you said you love me… and, well, I love you too… so, now what? What does this make us?"

"It makes us whatever you want it to make us." Hotch laid back into the bed, intent to discuss the topic at hand for the moment.

"I… I think this… this is wonderful, but do you really think we could pull off dating? I mean, I'd like to try to make this work, if it's possible." Reid blushed gently once more before turning to gaze into Hotch's eyes.

"I'm glad we're on the same page then." Hotch contemplated, "So where should we go on our first date?"