Title: R is for Rage

Prompt by lj user=mrs_nott

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Rating/Warnings: R (adult content, profanity)

Characters/Pairing: Hotch/Reid

Summary: When a fist slammed in to the drywall of the partially-finished home, the only reason people gasped and stared was because it was Spencer Reid who punched the wall.

ARCHIVING: my LJ... anyone else? Please ask first.

COMMENTS: Part of the "The Great A-Z Multifandom Drabbling Meme. Unbetaed.

Um. Yeah. Stlil probably not what mrs_nott was expecting but…Still on painkillers when I wrote this one. Yeah. Sorry.

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.


It was an unspoken rule that they did not take out their anger, their frustration…their rage…on each other. Physically. Verbally. Psychologically. It was a good rule. A sensible rule. One that they needed to have not just because Aaron Hotchner's temper could be brutal and vicious but also because Spencer Reid could be just as a harsh, just as damaging.

However, there was no rule for furniture or for walls.

There couldn't be, really.

So when a fist slammed in to the drywall of the partially-finished home, the only reason people gasped and stared was because it was Spencer Reid who punched the wall.

And he left quite a sizeable hole.

Five little boys, all six years old.

And what the UnSub had done to the bodies…

Two LEOs were still puking in the bushes outside.

"Walk it off," Hotch ordered, sharp and crisp, because there was another unspoken rule in the BAU: never let the locals see you flinch.

Reid's eyes glittered dangerously. He rocked back on his heels, as if readying for another swing. He then spun around and stormed out of the house.

Of course he was angry. Furious. Who wouldn't be?

They were too late.

Too late.

Hotch couldn't help but stare at the empty space Reid's fist had left. He wanted to reach forward and run his fingers along the jagged edges of the hole. He wanted to break off a piece of the broken wall and tuck it in his pocket, a souvenir of Reid's uncharacteristic physical outburst.

He wanted to.

But he didn't.

Instead, Hotch issued orders to Morgan, called Rossi with the update, and consulted with the lead detective on their next steps. He didn't want to be there when the coroner arrived to deal with the bodies. He knew his limits. He thought he knew Reid's. Today's outburst was a new wrinkle, and even if it broke an unspoken rule, it was a good thing because it meant that they still felt.

When Hotch exited the residence, he found Reid standing by the SUV and surrounded by the four local cops who hadn't lost their lunches. It was an odd sight; officers always gravitated toward Rossi or Morgan in situations like this. Not the skinny white guy who holstered his gun like an amateur, dressed like a poor university professor, and drank coffee-flavored sugar.

The four locals were nodding, obviously in response to something Reid had said. One of them clasped Reid on the shoulder as they disbursed, yet another unusual gesture. It was perhaps a cruel thing to admit, but it was true: Reid usually didn't inspire camaraderie like that. Hotch couldn't think of a single time that he'd ever seen something like that.

It wasn't until Hotch closed the distance between them that Reid glanced at him. The younger man's fury was unmistakable.

Hotch hated having to say, "I need your head in the game," but it was needed. It was expected. It was the Job.

Reid drummed his fingers on his bicep for a few seconds before saying, "The UnSub isn't skilled construction labor. The way the bodies were dismembered? It was sloppy." Reid looked away. "The boys also weren't all killed at once. The UnSub's kept the bodies with him until now but something caused him to panic and…" He scowled and swallowed hard. "Caused him to panic and dump them. He wasn't interviewed during the last canvas but we must have gotten close. I think he works second shift."

The theory made sense, so Hotch made another call to Rossi and relayed the information. After he hung up, silence settled between them.

"I'm not apologizing."

Hotch let out a sigh. "I wasn't asking you to."

"Good." The sharpness was unusual.

He allowed a few moments to pass, watching as the coroner's van pulled up. He had another question he wanted to ask, but it was a delicate one more out of sheer curiosity than a need to really know. Hotch knew that he'd find out later, probably laying in bed with his lover and decompressing at the end of the day. However, the outburst was unsettling.

It wasn't Reid.

Quietly, Hotch asked, "What set you off?"

Reid's eye twitched and his arms tightened across his torso, yet the rest of his body was still. There was none of his usual nervousness or fidgeting.

"Reid?" he insisted.

The younger man's jaw worked for a few seconds but he refused to look at Hotch. "I didn't see the bodies of Jacob Derson, Gavin Korschek, Aiden Casten, Brady Ranier or Landon Church." He lifted his chin a little. He swallowed hard. He grimaced as he hugged himself a bit more. "I saw Jack." His voice broke, "I saw our son."

It was like a punch to the gut. Aaron sucked in breath. He swayed a little himself. In the three years they were together, Spencer never referred to Jack as theirs, always 'your son'. Never 'our'. Aaron pitched his voice low, knowing they couldn't discuss it here but God he wanted to. "Spence…"

"It's not something I can just walk off, Aaron," he added bitterly.

"I know," because Aaron remembers the first case when his mind identified the victims with Jack.

"But I am going to find this bastard."

"We," Aaron correctly softly. "We will find the bastard."

Spencer lifted his gaze over to Aaron's. Slowly, he dropped his arms to his sides, one hand resting on the butt of his gun. "We will."