A/N: Well folks, this is officially the end. I hope you've enjoyed my story. I got my happy ending, my next story will involve a little more turmoil. Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions. I couldn't have done it without you. Enjoy!
"A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home." ~Chinese Proverb
"Uncle Aaron, why do you frown so much?" Skye asked sitting on Hotch's desk. Reid was teaching a class so it fell on Hotch, who didn't have a class right then, to keep an eye on the kids. Ella was working out off the country and Skye was out of school for the day. He smirked at the little girl kicking her legs playing with the hem of the denim vest she was wearing over her bright pink Rolling Stones t-shirt. She was definitely Reid's daughter, having started third grade a few months ago at the ripe old age of 6.
"You're not the first person to ask me that, Skye. I don't always mean to. Sometime I'm just thinking too hard."
"Grandma told mommy that if she keeps frowning she'll get wrinkles. It usually makes mommy swear." Hotch snorted thinking about all the things his mother-in-law said that made his wife swear. It was a long list. It had been interesting when she asked Ella to dress Skye more like Sophie who is almost two years her junior. Today Skye was wearing a bright pink Rolling Stones t-shirt, a denim vest with red embellishments, khaki pants, red converse all star shoes that matched the tongue on her shirt perfectly, gold bracelets her aunt Penelope got her, and she had red ribbon tied around both braids in her hair. She was the only little girl any of them knew who owned a Rolling Stones book bag. She knew lyrics to songs that came out well before her parents were born and had a tendency to hold conversations with Jack and Henry somehow confusing the older boys. Henry was her best friend and she tended to keep him out of trouble even though he was almost four years older.
"Your grandma has a tendency to get under your mom and aunties' skin fairly easily. She loves you, Sophie, Jack, Liam, and Eli very much. She just has trouble showing it sometimes." Skye nodded her head showing understanding pushing her dark bangs away from her eyes. When she was born her hair was the same color as Reid's, now that color only lasted as highlights in her raven hair. Sophie's hair was the same color, minus the lighter highlights. Everyone always asked if there were sisters instead of cousins.
"Mommy told Daddy to ignore at least two-thirds of everything she says. I know for a fact that Uncle Ethan doesn't listen at all." She pulled a lollipop out of her book bag and offered it to Hotch. He accepted it with a smile as she opened one for herself. "Why couldn't I stay with Daddy while he taught his class? I know how to behave."
"Yes you do, but it's not a matter of behaving. We're not ready for you to learn what your daddy is teaching. We want you to be a kid as long as possible. Jack is older; I wouldn't have let him stay while I taught. I sent him to Aunt Emily's office while I taught. Your dad knows you're a good girl." She looked like she didn't want to accept that answer. "Your dad knows how good your memory is, there are some things he's just not ready for you to have to know." She nodded finally. Hotch tried not to heave a sigh of relief at getting away with his answer. Fortunately for him it was covered by Jack coming in with his little sister on his back. Skye looked up before hopping down and going to one of the chairs in front of the desk. She pulled out one of her books and got comfortable. She was reading one of those books the tween girls were screeching about all over.
"Dad, there's a woman her to see you and Uncle Spencer." He said stepping aside to let the woman in. Elle Greenaway stepped through the door looking at Jack in amazement. "It was nice meeting you, Mrs. Ryan." He said nodding.
"Yeah, what he said." Sophie responded cheerfully. It was her new favorite sentence.
"Skye, Henry's looking for you." Jack warned before heading towards the door.
"He knows where to find me." She replied saucily, sounding just like her mother when she did. He apparently missed something and Skye wasn't just here to see him. She was hiding from Henry. Elle walked over and hugged Hotch after he came from behind his desk.
"Mrs. Ryan?" he asked smiling. Elle nodded showing him the wedding ring on her finger.
"I hear you have a new one of your own. When did Jack get such a deep voice?" She asked in disbelief before turning to Skye. "Is she yours too?" he shook his head.
"No you just saw both of mine. This is Reid's daughter and my niece." She looked confused before Skye reached out her hand to introduce herself.
"Skylar Prentiss-Reid, my mom is Uncle Aaron's sister-in-law. And before you ask, I'm seven. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, Mrs. Ryan, but that just seems to be the first question everybody asks when they speak to me." There was a knock at the door causing everyone to look toward it. Skye rolled her eyes and went back to her book.
"This is JJ's son, Henry." Henry gave a wave before shoving his hands in his pocket.
"Aunt Pen told me to tell you that your wife and her husband are on their way home and Ashley needs a boyfriend. She also told me to say that I'm wrong and Skye's right and that men say the wrong thing all the time for the right reasons." A smirk appeared on Skye's face before she closed her book and shoved it in her bag.
"Uncle Aaron, I'll stay if you want me to." She gave him her full attention after giving Elle a sly distrustful glance. It was look that somehow managed to look like both her mother and her father's looks respectively.
"I always want you around, Skye. But it's okay if you go play with Henry. Just don't leave the bullpen." She nodded and went to grab her bag. "You can leave that here, be careful."
"It was a pleasure meeting you, Mrs. Ryan." Skye said sweetly before walking toward Henry. "You're lucky I like you, LaMontagne."
"So you always tell me." He replied rolling his eyes as they left. Elle looked back at Hotch in complete disbelief.
"She's only seven?" Hotch just nodded smiling at her. "She's definitely Reid's daughter."
"Henry William LaMontagne, if you don't give that back I'll break your face!" Ella couldn't think of anything she could be happier to hear. When she walked into Spencer's office and saw her daughter beating her best friend to a pulp she felt like she was home. She'd been in Brazil for a week on a photography job with her one year old son and Honor. She'd missed Skye and Spencer; she now had a glimpse of how Spencer felt leaving for cases. Instead of going over to pull them apart, she put Ollie down and whistled with her thumb and middle finger in her mouth. Henry and Skye looked when Ella whistled. Skye used Henry's face to get off the floor and ran to her mother. Ella scooped her up and kissed her little girl's face until Skye begged her to stop.
"Oh, Cielo, I missed you so much." When Skye went to pick up her little brother Henry gave Ella a hug smiling when she kissed his hair. "Henry, you're mom is looking for you." He nodded and headed towards the door.
"Auntie Ella, I think it's safe for Skye to quit kick boxing lessons. I'm starting to lose our fights." Ella laughed and mussed his hair.
"You may be my favorite blonde blue eyed boy but I'm not condoning you beating up my kid." She said as he left. Skye already had her brother set up on the floor as Ella took off her leather jacket. She'd turned her father's office into a playroom. "Cielo, where is your father?"
"His friend came to see him." No sooner did she get the words out than the door opened. Spencer walked in talking to someone behind him. He saw Ella and his whole face lit up. She smiled back meeting him halfway across the office. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her breathless. She tangled her hand in his long hair and held his long body against hers. When he pulled away he was still smiling as he pressed his for head to hers.
"Hey beautiful." He said softly pushing her hair behind her ear. She smiled and threw her arms around his neck.
"Hey yourself, handsome." She replied hugging him tight. His arms wrapped around her body filling her with warmth. "I've missed you so much; video chatting is not the same."
"No it isn't. I've missed you too. I can't wait to see your pictures." She was about to respond when someone cleared their throat behind him. She looked up to see a dark haired woman standing there looking very uncomfortable. "Oh, sorry." Spencer said blushing. He pulled back so only one arm was around Ella. "This is Elle, Elle this is my wife, Michaela Prentiss-Reid." Ella reached out her hand to the woman she swore she'd hit if she ever met her. Spencer squeezed her side to tell her she was wearing her feelings in her body. So Ella forced a smile.
"You can call me Ella. It's nice to meet you." She said hoping it sounded believable.
"So I take it you know our history." Before Ella could respond Ollie came to her and pulled on her jeans to get her attention. She reached down and picked up her son. She took one breath and handed him to his father.
"Oliver needs to be changed, Dad. Go bond with your son." He looked weary and was about to say something when Ella shoved the diaper bag into his arms. He gave her a look begging her silently to behave and she waved him off.
"You don't like me, do you?" Elle asked sitting in one of the chairs in front of Spencer's desk. Ella sat in the other one watching her daughter as she pretended to read.
"Skylar Giovanna, I know you aren't reading." Skye gave her a sheepish smile and hopped out of her father's chair.
"I'm going to go see what Aunt Penny is up to." Ella nodded as Skye kissed her cheek then watched her take off out of the room.
"I don't know you, just a sad story." Ella finally answered after Skye was gone. She crossed her denim and leather boot clad legs and gave the woman across from her guarded eyes.
"He told me you said you would hit me if you ever met me."
"That was years ago, plus I've reached my fist fight quota for the year. If he's forgiven you, I can too." Elle looked at the door and then back to Ella.
"He looks happy."
"I like to think he is."
"How long have you been married?"
"Seven years in June." Elle nodded. The two women looked at each other trying to feel the other out.
"He's all grown up, married, and he has two kids. He's not the Reid I remember."
"And he did his daughter's hair this morning." Ella said smiling. Elle laughed out loud.
"You're kidding." Ella shook her head smiling slightly. "He really can learn anything."
"Are you ever going to tell me what you two talked about?" Reid pleaded with his wife. She refused to tell him what he wanted to know. She would just look at him and laugh it off. Now was no different.
"Why is this so important to you? Did she say something bad about me?" Ella called from the bathroom.
"No, she practically sang your praises. She told me not to screw this up. She came in on my side and left on yours." She came to the door of the bathroom brushing her hair. Even though they had been together for 9 years, he still had to work to pay attention sometimes. Moments like this, when she came out of the bathroom in nothing but a pair of purple lace boy shorts and a borderline see through black racer back tank top, it was hard to hear anything but his blood pumping.
"Aww baby, are you worried she thinks I'm prettier than you?" He frowned at her retreating form as she walked back into the bathroom.
"Now you're making fun of me." He replied folding his arms over his chest.
"Aww, Dolce, it was a little joke. Stop pouting." She cooed crawling on the bed and climbing into his lap. She kissed both his cheeks before kissing his lips. "It was tense at first but after I told her you did Skye's hair the ice broke. She told me she had regrets, and how she treated you was one of them. She's going through something we both understand. She quit drinking when she got pregnant. She's on step nine." Reid nodded silently. Ella was right, he did understand. Suddenly, her sudden appearance made a lot of sense.
"Wait, you told her I did Skye's hair?" Ella smiled brightly and nodded. "Why?"
"She was saying that you were so different from the Reid she remembered. You know, the wife, the kids, the calmer job, and the muscles. When she knew you, you didn't have any of those things. You grew up and she was expecting to find the same guy she screwed over."
"So you told her that so she would know for sure that I've grown up?" He asked still slightly confused.
"That and I'm proud of my husband. Will you please stop worrying about this? It's been three days, Christmas is tomorrow. In a few short hours we will have a very excited seven-year old on our hands. And it's Ollie's first real Christmas. And you, Dr. Reid," she purred before pulling off her tank top. His hands immediately went to her body missing the feel of her skin under his hands. Since she'd been back he'd been consulting on a case and she was working on a new opening for the gallery. Add that to Christmas shopping and taking care of the kids, they hadn't seen each other much. "Have a very horny and grateful wife on your lap who wants to give you a gift early." She reached down, her hand sliding into his pajama pants.
"Don't think I don't notice what you're doing." He sighed pressing his face against her neck to nip at the soft skin there. He rolled her over pinning her to the bed.
"I'm trying to make love to my very sexy and very amazing husband. I hope you notice that. So, come on Dolce, open your present."
Spencer and Ella woke up to the sound of little fists pounding on their door. Ella groaned and wrapped herself tighter around her husband. He sighed into her hair. When she opened her eye to look at the clock she swore in Italian. Spencer chuckled and rubbed her back as she buried her face in his neck.
"Maybe if we stay silent, they'll go away for another 2 hours." She whispered against his neck. He chuckled silently pressing his cheek against hers.
"The chances of that happening are slim to none."
"I saw a movie like this once; they ate the parents when they got in."
"Next year, we liquor them up the night before. We'll sleep till at least 12." Ella laughed so hard her body shook.
"If only it weren't illegal in every place accept France." She whispered between giggles. They were full on laughing when they heard Ollie screech and a loud thump.
"That's never a good sign." Then they heard giggling and the sound of paws before hearing Ollie's squeal of glee. "We should probably get up before they do something horrible to the dogs." With one last kiss they hopped out of bed and got dressed. Christmas had become Reid's favorite holiday in the years since he met Ella. The kids just made it all the more amazing. The way their eyes lit up when they opened their presents in their Christmas pajamas warmed his heart in ways he could never imagine. Things he'd missed when he was a kid, he was eternally happy his kids could experience it and he could watch and be a part of it. Ollie let out a squeal of pure joy opening a present and he realized just how lucky he was.
A little while later, while they were watching the kids play, Ella plopped down on the sofa next to him. She was holding another present in her hands staring down at it apprehensively. Reid put his arm around his wife and pulled her closer to his body kissing her forehead. She snuggled against him and sighed. He couldn't remember another place where he felt this at peace. He was almost sure it didn't get any better than this. "I have one more gift for you. It's proof that you always get your way." she handed it to him giving him the full effect of her pale brown eyes. He pulled away to open it after glancing her way once more. She was kind of making him nervous. He pulled off the festive red paper and the bow to find a velvet jewelry case. When he cracked it open there was a folded piece of paper inside. He glanced at her again to find her biting her lip. His heart pounded as he pulled the paper out to look at it. Most of it was in Portuguese but he understood enough to know what one part said. When it clicked in his mind he gasped and turned to his wife.
"Does this say what I think it says?" he asked with eyes as wide as saucers. She nodded and let out a breath he hadn't realized she was holding.
"I always said you were an accurate shot. There's more, keep looking." He looked under the paper and there was something else inside that made him gasp.
"Oh my God!" he said staring at the sonogram picture with wide and eyes and an even wider smile.
"I know that asexual new baby no name is only about the size of a grain of rice and doesn't have any appendages yet but I was thinking about names. I'm thinking Lennon if it's a girl and Caleb if it's a boy." She said as she slouched down and threw her arm across his chest and her leg across his legs. Reid wrapped his arms tight around his wife and held her against him. surrounded by the people he loved most, a crackling fire, the smell of food, and more family on the way; he couldn't think of anything that sounded better.
"Home-that blessed word, which opens to the human heart the most perfect glimpse of Heaven, and helps carry it thither, as on an angels wings." ~ Lydia M. Child