Fandom: Criminal Minds
Summary: Short chapters on the growing relationship between Hotch and Reid, from the stares, to the slow burning feeling, and then the obsession that questions Hotch about everything he has and how love can be different for everyone.
Warnings: Slash: Male/Male Relationships, Spoilers here and there, Strong to Mild Sexual Content, Language, Strong Violence, Drama, a little bit of angst, and other such things.
I need Another Story
Something to get off my chest
My life gets kinda of boring
Need something that I can confess- Secrets, One Republic
Aaron 'Hotch' Hotchner supposed it all started sometime after he joined the BAU. His thoughts began to change, his outward look on life was slowly being altered and for once, he knew why. His job was consuming and addictive, his agents meant a lot to him and being able to put away the most disgusting and vicious men and women was like an adrenaline rush.
He was happy, he loved Haley, and he loved their unborn son even more. Hugging her had always been easy, he cared for her deeply. He really did, hell, she was having his son. He should be the happiest man alive. But when he stared into her eyes and caressed her cheek the burn seemed dull and he didn't know why. He hadn't noticed it before, because he'd never felt more than the diluted ember that came whenever he looked at his wife.
He sat beside her as they went on about names, he held her like a good husband and listened as attentively as he possibly could, shaking his head or nodding when the names came out one by one. He was rather curious as to why the change was occurring and he refused to believe that he was falling out of love.
Hotch didn't believe that for one single second, he couldn't. Not now, and not when their lives were changing. He would not be a bastard of a man, no. His happiness was third, his son's being first and Haley's being second.
But it didn't stop the thoughts swirling around in his head, wondering if he had chosen the right life for himself. Whenever he was at work, the burn inside of him would flare, and when he got a call to go in. He inwardly leapt for joy as Haley gave him a disgruntled look.
"I better go." It had taken Hotch a lot not to run as the adrenaline surged through him.
And now here he was sitting in Washington, listening to Derek Morgan trying to verbally figure the Unsub out, but he already knew what Morgan was saying, he'd read the file as much as anyone, well, anyone except for Spencer Reid who only needed to read it once and memorize the entire contents.
As of right now, Reid was spinning around in a chair and he looked so adorable doing it as well. Often times, he could be seen talking so fast about something that caught his attention and then other times he would sit quietly and observe, waiting and watching. He would piece together the puzzles around them and he could not have been more proud of him.
Hotch could see a flare of excitement every time he looked over at Gideon, the young doctor idolized Jason Gideon from the very beginning and Hotch had to agree that Gideon was definitely a good choice in that department.
He enjoyed Reid's company more than he liked to admit and it was one of the highest points during his day at the BAU. Reid brought out something inside of him, something that demanded that he protect the strong-willed boy. Perhaps it was his face? He didn't even look old enough to be out of High School. He had a baby-face and he often charmed the elderly ladies because he was so innocent looking. He was also naïve and Hotch envied that greatly.
Reid had a very complicated little mind and he could imagine if he were to slip inside of the young man's head that he would find a rather busy little person.
It was these small moments when Hotch realized that he was more aware of Reid than he should be and the strong burn for his profession seemed to grow a little hotter. True, he was Hotch's youngest agent and he felt a need to protect him more than the others, but he knew that deep down, he was feeling something small and warm. It buzzed underneath the surface of his skin leaving tremors.
That well known burn that seemed very little at home.
Reid looked over and he blushed a little when he caught Hotch watching him. Briefly, Hotch smiled and Reid's shoulders relaxed as he paused in his spinning and clasped his hands together, like some innocent child playing nice.
Hotch's thoughts were about to take a significant turn when Gideon interrupted Morgan and insisted that he was ready for the profile.
At first, Hotch wasn't sure about that but he saw out of the corner of his eye that Reid had brightened, trusting Gideon completely and Hotch felt another twinge of envy. He wanted that trust from Reid.
But for now, he had a case to worry about and he had to evaluate Gideon, as if the older man didn't know he was going to evaluate him. He knew, he expected it from the Director of course. Hotch's personal feelings could not come into play with this and that also meant his personal feelings for his youngest agent.
It was a couple hours later when Hotch found himself walking through the police department and he saw Reid standing there so solemnly at the fax machine, and the burn in his chest seemed to spring to life and a tiny flicker of embers danced around his heart. He mentally brushed those off, chalking it up to how proud he was of Reid.
"Did you get an address on Linder?" Hotch asked walking by the coffee and sugar addict. He was so cute the way he would chew on his lip when something was on his mind or it was troubling him. He winced inwardly, his thoughts were not helping any.
Haley was his wife. Haley was his life. He had to keep repeating this but whenever Reid was in the room, everything else seemed almost pointless.
"It's coming right now," Reid said looking up and their eyes met briefly.
Hotch had to pass him by to keep from stopping and pulling a stray piece of brown hair out of the young man's eyes. But he did stop when Reid began to talk.
"Does the Senior Management want a field assessment on Gideon?" Reid looked truly worried and of course he would have noticed. They were all profilers, it was their job to notice.
Hotch retraced his steps until he was standing in front of Reid. His gaze had softened completely. "Don't worry about it."
"Are they nervous about him being in charge?"
Hotch couldn't say anything no matter how much he wanted too. "Aren't you supposed to be helping Morgan?" And he chuckled when Reid asked why Gideon always introduced him as Dr. Reid.
Hotch couldn't help but smile, he was so young, and filled with so much curiosity. Gently, he touched Reid on the shoulders. "He does that because he knows that a lot of people look down on you because of your age. They think of you as a kid, and you're not."
Reid continued to chew on his lip, his cheeks becoming flushed. "Sir? Sorry, I know I ask a lot of questions, it's just…" the panic flashed through Reid's eyes and Hotch couldn't help but calm him down.
"I know, Reid," Hotch whispered. "I want him back too and I promise you, I will not stand in the way of that. Gideon is way too good to have me criticizing his work ethics, but don't tell anyone I said that."
"O.. Of course!" Reid's whole expression lit up and Hotch smirked.
"Address?" He had to quickly change the subject before the moment grew, his heart was beating a little faster than it should and when Reid pulled it out he sighed.
"Don't think it matters anymore."
That night when it was finished and all was said and done, they all boarded the jet in hopes of getting home before dawn. Everyone was exhausted, twenty-eight hours without any sleep at all. He was sitting across from Gideon but he couldn't help but look beyond the older man to where Reid rested, he was lying down on the extended seat and he looked so cute as he shifted and his brown hair flopped. He got up briefly, ignoring Gideon's grin and he pulled the cover further over Reid's body.
There was a sniff and Hotch smiled and went back to his place.
"You care a lot for that boy or rather young man."
"How can I not? He's so young, when I was his age I was just out of law school. I hadn't even seen a dead body."
"Yeah it's all different for the both of us. Have you and Haley picked a name for the baby yet?"
Hotch looked down into his cup of coffee. His unborn son always made him feel warm and fuzzy. "It's funny, Haley liked the name Charles, but I kept thinking, Charles Manson, and then Jeffery-"
"Yeah, there's just too many of them."
"How did your report go?" Gideon asked changing the subject abruptly. Hotch chuckled and Gideon shook his head. "Didn't think you could hide that from an old profiler did you?"
"You belong here. It wouldn't be the same without you Gideon. You really saved that girl today, and that's good."
Gideon smiled. "Yeah, it is a good thing."
Hotch patted him on the shoulder and he calmly went over to sit where Reid was resting. An invisible hook had been latched onto him and it was pulling him into the young man's direction. It was like someone somewhere was the fisherman, Reid was the bait, and he was the fish that became hooked.
He couldn't stay away any longer. When he sat, he continued to drink his coffee and watched into the night, his swaying thoughts continuing to circle around him, and he was almost sad when they landed and his time of silent contemplating was over.
As Morgan stood and stretched he snorted at the sleeping prone figure of Reid, but before Morgan shake the youngest agent awake, Hotch was already moving.
"Good luck, he sleeps like the dead," Morgan remarked.
Hotch hid his smile as he turned his back to Morgan. So he did, gently he shook Reid's shoulder. "Reid."
Morgan laughed out loud. "It's going to take more than that, Hotch." When Morgan left for the bathroom followed by Gideon, Hotch crouched down in front of the seat and brushed his fingers across the loose fringe aside.
"Reid!" Hotch took advantage of the situation by patting him on the cheek causing the young man to huff in his sleep and he tried to bury himself deeper. Hotch chuckled lowly and it was this that woke the genius right up.
Big brown eyes blinked at him. "Hotch?" His cheeks dusted red and Hotch withdrew his hand and smirked.
Hotch flashed him one of his rare smiles and Spencer stilled completely, his eyes open and watching. "You need a ride home? I know your car is broke down."
Spencer withdrew a hand from under the blanket and rubbed his eyes. "It's okay. I know you want to get home."
"It can wait. Come on, I'm not taking no for an answer."
Spencer bit down on his lower lip attractively and Hotch had to avert his gaze before Morgan and Gideon caught on. He stood up and winced as his knees popped, reminding him of his own age, and he rubbed them unconsciously.
The small burn in his chest almost exploded when long slim fingers curled around his wrist. He looked back down at Spencer who reminded him of an innocent angel.
"Anytime," he said before he could stop the words from flying out of his mouth.