Title: The Office Visit
Original Challenge: The Great Alphabet Meme 2: H is for Honey
Prompt by agirlnamedluna
Author: Kuria Dalmatia
Rating/Warnings: FRM/R (profanity, frank discussion of mucus, mild D/s)
Summary: Reid had told him to stay home. Reid listed all the reasons why he shouldn't come into the office, the biggest one being, Do you want to infect the rest of the BAU with whatever you've got? Hotch didn't listen.
Word Count: ~1,250
ARCHIVING: my LJ and FFNet account... anyone else? Please ask first.
COMMENTS: Unbetaed. I'm on this D/s kick with Hotch lately. Hmmm… The bourbon-lemon-honey homemade cough syrup was a staple in our home when I was growing up. Vodka was also used when there wasn't any bourbon in the house.
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.
The first cough was a small one. Quiet. Quick. The type to clear one's throat.
The four that followed were the full-blown, "I'm hacking up part of my lung" type.
Hotch ignored the stares from his team.
He was fine, god damn it. He was fine.
He made it through the rest of the daily briefing by taking judicious sips of water whenever he felt a tickle in his throat. It wasn't until everyone had left the conference room that he dared to cough again.
There was aching. There was burning. And then, there was that special kind of searing pain that made his eyes water and every single muscle protest as he held on to the table with one hand and covered his mouth with the other. His coughs shook his entire body and had the audacity to attempt to choke him. He had no idea how long he hacked, just that it was long and constant and goddamn he never realized he had so many damn muscles in his chest even after he was stabbed by that fucker Foyet.
Phlegm coated his fist as Hotch belatedly realized he didn't pull out his handkerchief first.
Hotch pulled the cloth from his pocket and wiped his wet hand first before folding the cotton neatly and dabbling the sides of his mouth. He took a few shallow breaths before pushing himself to his feet. The longer he stayed in the conference room, the more questions he would get.
He gathered the iPad and the folders, tucking them beneath his arm but keeping hold of the kerchief with the other. Hotch knew he could make it to his office and close the door before another round of coughs hit. He kept his stride even and purposeful; he was careful not to rush back to the privacy that his office gave him. No one called out to him as he passed by Dave's office (the door was closed, odd) and then went into his own. The blinds were still drawn from yesterday afternoon's final performance evaluations.
Hotch closed the door and was almost to his desk when another round of coughs seized him. These were worse than the ones in the conference room. These made him drop his iPad and folders to the floor so he could grab the edge of the desk to steady himself with one hand as he pressed the handkerchief to his mouth with the other. He edged himself along the desk until he could drop into his chair, spitting out the gunk generated from his cough.
God. He hated this. He closed his eyes, pissed that he hacked hard enough to now have tears.
It took a few moments for him to finally get his breathing regulated to something somewhat close to normal.
Then, he heard a glass being plunked down in front on him. It startled him, because he hadn't heard anyone knock, open the door, or ask permission to enter. He opened his eyes, ready to give his patented glare. He found himself staring at Spencer Reid.
But this wasn't SSA Doctor Reid. No. The set of his shoulders was different. His arms were folded across his chest. His lips set firmly. That glow in his eyes conveyed his dominance easily.
Aaron's Master never showed up at work. Never. Oh, they had a whole bunch of rules they set out for themselves when their relationship began heading down this path, a path that Aaron had no idea he wanted to travel so badly until they did. It was comfortable and reassuring and safe.
Still. His Master only appeared at home. Never, ever on the Job.
There were some lines that just shouldn't be crossed.
So Hotch began dialing up his own Alpha male behavior, because by God, he wouldn't submit here in his office.
Then, he heard Spencer Reid's full command tone, low and hard as steel. One that Hotch swore no one except himself knew existed. "Drink."
The liquid was cloudy brown.
"Now," Reid snapped.
And, Christ, it was like Aaron's brain short-circuited. He obediently grabbed the glass and chugged, because that particular tone of Reid's voice overrode his higher reasoning. He would obey any order as long as Reid used that voice.
"You shouldn't have come in today," Reid admonished.
Dear Lord, whatever was in the glass was burning the hell out of his throat. Drain cleaner? was Aaron's immediate thought, but quickly dismissed by the fact that what was left on his tongue actually tasted kind of good. Weird good. Like sweet smoky fire with a lemon twist. But Aaron remembered the reprimand and he nodded in agreement.
Reid told him to stay home. Reid listed all the reasons why he shouldn't come into the office, the biggest one being, Do you want to infect the rest of the BAU with whatever you've got?
Aaron, of course, had ignored him. Pride made him straighten in his chair.
Whatever vile bug that had decided to invade his lungs decided to put him in his place. The sputum that landed on the white cotton was a bright green with brown threads. Before he could fold up the handkerchief to hide it, Reid's hand stilled his.
"Purulent," Reid observed, his voice clinically detached but Aaron could hear the disappointment in it clearly. This morning at breakfast, Aaron had waved off the suggestion of going to his PCP or an urgent care center. His reasoning that Reid wasn't a licensed medical doctor had made sense at the time; of course, Aaron hadn't said that aloud. He had opted for the I'm fine even though Jack had frowned. Now, Aaron just felt stupid. Reid continued, "The green color is caused by Neutrophil Myeloperoxidase."
Aaron honestly didn't want to know what that meant. He also cursed himself for doubting his lover's expertise. He just sat there, wallowing in Reid's disapproval.
"You're lucky Rossi keeps bourbon in his desk," Reid told him. "And that Prentiss is a honey snob. I would have used the packets from KFC in the BAU 'sauce' drawer if I had to, but high fructose corn syrup isn't the same as bee vomit."
The comment made Aaron snort, because he immediately thought of all the arguments Reid and Prentiss had over honey. It also made Aaron cough so hard he gagged.
"You're going home." Reid's voice was firm.
Instinct was to argue. To rally. To come up with a brilliant defense.
But Reid was using that particular tone and Aaron had absolutely no defense against it. He slumped in his chair.
"You can choose two case files plus one of the ones presented today," Reid said softly. "Pack them in your briefcase, along with your laptop. I will drive you home. You will call Doctor Reyes and get antibiotics to treat your bronchitis. You will stay at home until your mucus is clear."
"Reid," he warned because the orders bordered on boundaries that they had established.
"Aaron," came the soft rebuke.
Your Master is kind, was the unbidden thought that raced through Aaron's mind. Reid rarely pushed outside of the set confines of their relationship, but this … God.
His Master had shown up at the BAU.
Aaron hung his head. "Yes, sir."
When the large warm hand caressed his hair and then rested on his neck, Aaron leaned into the touch like a drunk. Reid's voice was gentle. "Let's go."
And Aaron obeyed.