See note at the end for explanation into where I've been.
Am not always like this
It's something I've become
A terrible weakness,
In my nature in my blood
Save me, oh save me, save me from myself.
Before I hurt somebody else again... – Imogen Heap
Aaron had thought of everything and Spencer was truly thankful for the man taking charge. His mind had been in chaos ever since they touched down in Las Vegas. His palms were getting sweaty and he kept losing his grip on his bags. Aaron even rented them a nice black sedan and the hotel rented was definitely not one that the FBI would ever pay for.
"As I said, I have to make a good impression for your mother," Aaron said when they were led into the fancy suite. "I hope you don't mind. I thought it would be nice for our first real trip together."
"I love it," Spencer said sincerely walking over to the window. It was still early due to the change in time but Spencer was not yet prepared to go onto the sanitarium.
Aaron chuckled. "I try. I'm not much for high end suites, but I kind of thought we deserved this." He slipped behind Spencer and gathered the man up in his arms. "When I made reservations, I was told that this place offered a very nice view."
"It does. You know, I've been kicked out of half these casinos. I needed some fast cash when I was at Caltech and I made most of my income here. I didn't have any insurance for mom at the time and my father was long gone, so it fell to me to make sure she would be taken care of. There were times when I would come out of the casino with twenty grand in my pockets."
Chuckling, Aaron nuzzled the back of Spencer's neck. "Perhaps we'll have time to play a little. I'd like to watch you. But first we should have an early dinner and take advantage of the time change. I want you to enjoy the night."
Spencer turned in Aaron's arms and kissed him softly. "I will. Just having you here is all I need. We need to change our clothes before we leave the hotel. I don't feel like playing the part of an FBI agent tonight, especially in Las Vegas." He glanced down at his tie with slight disdain. He knew his work wardrobe had always been atrocious but he'd always used them for practical reasons, it made people underestimate him. It also helped him keep his guard up around some of the best Profilers.
"Neither do I, how about a shower together to get things started?"
Spencer grinned. "I think you read my mind."
Spencer wound up wearing the same thing he had worn to the Rossi seminar, his hair had lengthened since then and it was brushing across his chin and attempting to curl up. He swept his fingers through his hair a few times until he was satisfied and waited for Aaron who had decided to dress up for the occasion; a silk dark blue button up and finely black tailored slack.
Spencer could only stare at the man in front of the full length mirror in admiration, the silk shirt did wonders for his back and chest and the trousers should be illegal especially when the shut was tucked in and Spencer had a very clear view of his backside.
Aaron smirked when he caught Spencer staring at him. He buttoned the cuff and snatched up the small handgun. "I'm not leaving my sidearm behind or my badge in case of an emergency."
Aaron placed all their valuables in a safe that he always brought and set the combination to Jack's birth date. He smiled and curled his arm around Spencer's slim waist. "Let's go."
If it hadn't been for Aaron's whispered words of comfort and encouragement, Spencer would have remained in the parking lot of the Sanitarium. But with renewed confidence, Spencer made his way up the stone steps. There were a few people outside sitting on the lawn and the orderlies were about watching and giving assistance so some of the more lucid patients.
It was a warm day and it was almost always summer in Nevada. The sun was sparkling and Spencer twitched a little. Despite his upbringing he did not like the way the sun beat down on his skin.
They were met inside by a familiar woman who smiled. "I wondered when we would be seeing you, Dr. Reid."
Spencer smiled weakly. "Uh, how is she doing?"
"She has her days. She'll be thrilled to see you. You and your letters are all she talks about, and who is this?"
Spencer's smile strengthened, "This is Aaron Hotchner. We work together and other stuff." He didn't like the idea of introducing Aaron as his boyfriend, because that sounded extremely plebian and Aaron was no boy. But calling him a lover would be too revealing.
Aaron flashed a smile in understanding and staked exactly who he was by wrapping an arm around Spencer's back. "It's nice to meet you, ma'am."
She brightened. "I think I've heard of an Aaron Hotchner. Mrs. Reid often talks about her son's letters like they're stories. She's right over here..."
Spencer clammed up and he was about ready to back out when Aaron's hold tightened. "Spencer." He didn't want to bully his young lover into doing something he didn't want to do. But he knew that Spencer had wanted to see his mother and was too scared.
"Right..." Spencer cleared his throat and pulled out a brown wrapped book. "Just a Marjorie Kemp book. I think it's one of her more minor works." If it hadn't been for Aaron standing beside him, he might have gone off on a tangent of useless facts and information.
The woman smiled and nodded. "I'll leave you to it. If you need me, I'll be right over here."
When Spencer pointed his mother out, Aaron smiled. "You have your mother's curly hair," he recognized. His fingers were already playing with the ends of Spencer's light curl and he could see that it was helping his youngest agent relax.
"I like to think I look more like her than my father," Spencer admitted.
"You do, I've never seen your father, but I do see the resemblance between you two."
Despite her disheveled bed-head appearance, Aaron could see a once beautiful woman behind age and stress lines. She was writing silently and her eyes were glued to the notebook on her lap. She also had a scatter of books around her and they looked well worn and read.
Aaron saw how Spencer had developed his fascinating mind and capability to read and understand. She probably read to him when he was still an infant and she seemed to have passed that gift on to Spencer because he often read to Jack.
Spencer slowly made his way over, his heart was pounding and he was feeling a little light-headed. He smiled when he saw a Jane Austen book sitting on the arm of the chair. "Mm... mom?"
Diana Reid's head snapped up and her eyes widened. "Spencer!" she gasped and broke out into a wide smile. "Oh, you look so skinny! Don't you ever eat?" She was up and he struggled from weeping when she pressed into him for a hug.
Spencer laughed weakly. "I – I do," he assured. "How are you, mom?" He looked over at Aaron who was smiling encouragingly.
She pulled back and nodded without really answering. It was awkward for a moment before Spencer decided to hand her a book. "Here, she's one your favorites. I remember you reading it to me when I was a child."
"Oh, yes!" Her eyes lit up and taking the book. "She was always a splendid read."
Spencer glanced back at Aaron and cleared his throat. "Uhm, mom, I want to introduce you to someone."
Aaron took that as his cue to enter the scene and he placed on his warmest smile, the one he would use whenever he was around Jack. "It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Reid, I'm Aaron Hotchner."
"Diane, please! It's nice to meet the man I've heard so much about. But I always thought you'd be sharper and harsher."
Spencer blushed as Aaron chuckled. "Only on the job, and Spencer is special, so he gets to see this side of me."
Diana's eyes lit up and Spencer's cheeks got brighter in color. "I always knew you'd find someone, Spencer. You just needed to be in the right place at the right time. And he's so dark and handsome."
"Mom!" Spencer groused covering his eyes in embarrassment.
Aaron chuckled some more, "Thank you, ma'am. Spencer has told me a lot about you. I can see where he gets his loves for reading from."
"Spencer was always fascinated with reading. He was three-years-old when he picked up his first novel and read all by himself; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and I was astounded by the fact that he understood what he was reading."
"He astounds us every time he opens his mouth," Aaron teased gazing at Spencer who moaned helplessly at that. "He's always telling us something that no one else in the world could possibly ever know."
As they sat and talked, Spencer took a silent assessment of his mother. He hadn't seen her in so long and he was pleased that Bennington seemed to be taking good care of her. They ought too; Spencer had spent months pouring over every hospital in the state and even the ones out of state. He had personally conducted interviews with the doctors and orderlies and every time someone new was hired he got notified immediately.
She looked good if a little pale but that was normal. Diana Reid was a lot like her son and that was what scared Spencer immensely.
One of the nurses came over with a smile. "Dr. Reid, this was brought in for you." It was around that time when Aaron's phone rang.
Both men looked at each other sharply before Aaron excused himself.
"Who sent you that?" she asked curiously.
"I – I don't know," Spencer admitted unclipping it carefully. His frown deepened when he pulled out a wrought black iron skeleton key. He took the note. 'SAVE HER.' "What the-"
Immediately, Aaron was on him and his face was grim. "Spence, what is that?"
"A skeleton key but that's not what's really weird. Look at this." He handed the letter to Aaron.
Aaron sighed heavily and shook his head. "I just got a call from Morgan; Elle has been accused of murder."
Spencer's eyes widened. "What?"
"There was a murder last night at the hotel Elle and Morgan stayed in, apparently the blood led to her room. I'm going to have to fly down…" his phone rang again and he quickly answered. "This is Hotch." His frown turned into the typical harsh work expression and he turned away briefly. "It was delivered with a baseball card? I'm in Las Vegas and Elle is being held in Jamaica. What the hell is going on Gideon?"
Diana was looking from one to the other before focusing on her son. "Are you alright, Spencer? What's wrong? You have that face on; you're worried about something, aren't you? Is it another adventure?"
Spencer winced and looked down at his mom. "I'm not really sure. No one knew I would be here, at least, I didn't think they would know." He turned the key over in his fingers a few times and pondered over the odd little note as if it were about to tell him a secret.
Aaron turned back after the call and sighed. "I have to get to Jamaica and have Elle released. But that's not all; I just got a call from Gideon."
"What'd he say?"
Aaron gently pulled Spencer to the side so that Mrs. Reid couldn't overhear. "Gideon received a baseball card and a box with a head inside of it."
Spencer's eyes widened. "A head?"
Aaron nodded solemnly. "Garcia's computers were hacked, her entire network is offline, and no one has any idea what's going on. We need to get to Jamaica and reroute back to Quantico and find out what's going on. I'll book our flights and cancel the hotel; you say good-bye to your mother. I'm sorry."
Spencer shook his head. "It's not your fault," he insisted. "I'm just thankful that she got to meet you and that she likes you."
"And I like her, a lot." He pressed a kiss to Spencer's forehead.
The chain of clues and the mysterious video did not end well, especially when Gideon made the mistake of defying the man's rules and having JJ ask for the public's help and it resulted in Elle being shot. To make matters worse, Spencer felt like it was his fault when he realized that the delusion the Unsub had was connected to the letters he sent every day to his mother.
Not only did the truth about his mother wind up passed out to everyone at the BAU but he had to deal with the internal ramifications of Randall Garner and his unstable psychosis. The man had very nearly blown all of them up, and he could remember very briefly how he had been set ablaze and both Aaron and Morgan had come to his aid.
Spencer was only grateful that they found the girl alive and before the house was completely taken over by the flames. In the end that was all that mattered, but the weight of the blame was not lost on Spencer and seeing the worried expression in his lover's face only intensified everything.
"Are you hurt?" Aaron asked frantically. "You were on fire-"
"I'm fine!" Spencer insisted. "Really, I'm okay. There were no burns, maybe a little sensitive but you and Morgan put out the flames in time."
"You don't look okay." Aaron searched his face, hoping to find and understand everything before his personal genius could back out and lie about being fine. Spencer knew how to bottle up feelings and he knew how to cover his tracks well but he was set up for surprised because Spencer looked right at him.
"I feel a little responsible for everything," he confessed quietly. "It's because of me that Garner knew everyone's weaknesses."
"Don't say that. Blaming you is like blaming Gideon for Elle. The only one to blame is the Unsub, no more and no less. In this line of work you have to remember that."
"I – I know, I really do know. It's just a feeling. How is Elle?"
"She'll… make it," Aaron said grimly.
Spencer bit his lip. "She'll make it physically and but mentally?"
"That's a toss up, we'll have to see. Now, I think you should get some rest. Jack's expected to be back tomorrow and we still have a week of vacation left."
It was nice going home and even better being able to lie down in their bed together. Aaron was like a cuddly safety net and Spencer couldn't help but chuckle as he snuggled closer.
"What?" Aaron asked tightening his hold on Spencer.
"You'll kill me."
"I doubt it. You're laughing and that makes me smile."
Spencer snickered some more and sighed lightly. "I was just thinking you're cuddly."
"…" Aaron cocked his head to the side. "Oh really?"
"Mhmm, like a big bear but soft."
"… I don't know whether to be insulted or not." He was smiling though, he couldn't help himself. "And you better not put that in your letters to your mom."
Spencer slipped one of his slim achy legs between Aaron's. "Nope, my own personal and private bear. I think Jack would agree in a few years as well. So, I'll make room to share that bit of information with him."
Spencer was feeling very warm now and his eyes were drooping on their own accord, the events of the evening had transpired so fast. "I love you, Aaron. Thank you for everything."
Aaron pressed a soft kiss to the top of Spencer's head. "Love you too."
A/N: That was so hard to write and I didn't even do what I initially wanted to do. There were several scenes in the Fisher King I and II I wanted to do but the Flu destroyed all my ideas. I've only just began to feel like myself. I had to go to school with the Flu and I tell you that's not fun and I know it was a bad idea because others are likely to catch what I had but it was the first official week and missing was NOT an option. I don't want to piss teachers off so early on.
I hope you're not too disappointed.
Now, I have been searching for a good Hotch/Reid story but I can't find any that doesn't revolve around rape of poor Spence. Can anyone recommend anything? I can't STAND to read rape fics where the main characters are involved.