Title: Cómo duele el Corazón

Challenge: The Great Alphabet Meme 2: W is for Winded

Prompt by drabbles_by_v

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Rating/Warnings: FRT/PG-13 (mild profanity) Spoilers for S6's "Corazon".

Characters/Pairing: Hotch/Reid, established relationship

Summary: Aaron wasn't going to be blindsided again.

Word Count: ~775

ARCHIVING: my LJ and FFNet account... anyone else? Please ask first.

March 2011.

COMMENTS: Thanks to StarOfOberon and Pabzi for the beta. Any mistakes left are mine.

"Corazon Espinado" is one of my favorite songs off Santana's Supernatural album. Thanks to http : / community . livejournal . com / songlations / 4665 . html for the lyric translation. "Cómo duele el Corazón" is "how the heart hurts" but the only thing that this song has in common with the story is the word "Corazon."

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 wasn't the first time that Reid ditched his Kevlar and faced an UnSub armed only with his mind.

It was the first time that Hotch didn't have confidence in Reid being able to handle the situation.

And it scared the unholy hell out of him.

He thought they were beyond all the secretive stuff, that when Reid would go off on his own like he had for the past month, Reid would eventually explain why. Hotch got the whole thing about cravings—not with the intimate knowledge that Reid had but still he fully understood the lure—so when Reid began distancing himself, Hotch believed he knew the reason.

There were only two parts of his life that Reid refused to discuss with Hotch: the issues with his father and the issues with his addiction. Hotch liked to think that he was supportive, that he could handle those limitations. After all, it wasn't like Hotch ever disclosed his own childhood to his lover in blunt, open terms. No. There were hints. There were passing comments. There were never outright confessions.

But this new thing? The headaches? The doctor's appointments. The scans. Oh hell yes, Aaron knew about them. It was unethical and untrustworthy and such behavior on his part—snooping because Reid wrote down everything in his Daytimer—jeopardized their relationship. But…but…

Aaron wasn't going to be blindsided again.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

It was why he had pulled the car into the deserted parking lot of the K-Mart on their way home after the case in Miami. It was why Aaron stared straight ahead and just talked. Honestly. Bluntly. He wanted to think he was saying these things fearlessly but that was a lie.

Aaron was downright terrified.

The line between unit chief and lover was blurred beyond belief.

Added in to the fact that Spencer was a big a part of Jack's life.

And Jack had already lost one parent.

He shouldn't … shouldn't, goddamn it … lose a second.

So Aaron voiced his concerns. Voiced his fears. Voiced his anger and frustration and … and everything in the confines of the sedan. His eyes burned with unshed tears. He couldn't take his hands off the steering wheel because if he did, he would be gripping Spencer by the upper arms and shaking the hell out of him.

"What were you thinking? What were you thinking?" he demanded.

Aaron kept talking, the speed and the passion of his words making him winded. He detailed the case. He praised when he was supposed to praise and censured when he was supposed to censure. "We are a team," he concluded, feeling the hot tears on his cheeks. "We are partners. We are parents."

And God help him, his voice broke on the last word.

The silence was painful. Horrifying. There was that split second when Aaron thought Spencer was going to open the door and just leave. Right there. In the middle of a fucking K-Mart parking lot.

Spencer's voice was barely above a whisper. "I will not allow Jack to grow up with a crazy father."

"You're not crazy."

Spencer lifted his arm, the yellow bracelet loose against his wrist. "Schizophrenia is genetically…"

"Don't."

"Why not?"

"Please."

"You wanted the truth," Spencer spat back. "Or was your big speech now just a bunch of bullshit?"

"I love you," Aaron ground out the words.

"And I love my mother. It doesn't mean that I shouldn't have committed her."

"Let me in, Spence. Please. Just let me in."

"I just tried to and you shut me down. Just like everyone else."

Aaron's face contorted and he hit the steering wheel with his fist. "Damn it, Spencer." He exhaled loudly. "I know what schizophrenia is. I've heard your lecture countless times. You're using scientific discourse…"

"I'm scared," he breathed out so softly, so breathlessly that it drained all of Aaron's anger and resentment.

Aaron reached over a grabbed Spencer's hand, turning his head so he could see the profile of his lover. His friend. The one person he trusted with so much. Spencer stared out into the parking lot. Aaron swallowed a few times, words like lumps in his throat. "So am I."

"You're supposed to say something like, 'then we'll be scared together.'"

"You didn't let me finish my sentence."

Spencer's lips tugged to the side, as if trying to form a smile. He squeezed Aaron's hand hard but didn't look over. "Can we go home? I really … I really want to see our son."

"Okay."

It wasn't the best resolution but it was one that Aaron could accept. Whatever the headaches were, they would deal with it. They had to. It was who they were.

/***/ Finis /***/