Title: Hush

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Warnings/Rating: FRT/PG-13 (adult situations), Spoilers for S4's "Omnivore"

Pairing: Hotch/Reid

Summary: It was an unspoken request and Spencer knew why. Seven deaths on that bus in Boston and Aaron wasn't going to forgive himself for anytime soon (if ever).

COMMENTS: Unbetaed. Originally posted for CMAli's Birthday back in January 2011 but never made it to FFNet.

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.

VERSION: January 2011

TIMELINES: Criminal Minds 4th season, after "Omnivore"

/***/

"…Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few."— Pythagoras

/***/ /***/

"Will you come over tonight?" murmured so low, that at first, Spencer thought he had imagined it.

But, no. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Aaron at the BAU's kitchen sink, he knew he heard correctly.

Spencer blinked. Twice. And promptly dropped his coffee cup. Aaron deftly caught it before hit the bottom, handing it back to him before washing his own Bureau-emblazoned mug.

"Of-of course," Spencer stuttered, hating hating hating how his voice still tended to raise an octave whenever he was nervous or surprised. This was the first time Aaron had ever approached him at work about coming over. Before, they exchanged text messages or simple nods, but given the circumstances...

Seven deaths on that bus in Boston, something Spencer knew Aaron wasn't going to forgive himself for anytime soon (if ever).

George Foyet escaping from jail, something the bastard had been planning for years.

And people wondered why Spencer hated Boston. Nothing ever good happened there, at least not for him.

He glanced quickly at his watch as the logistics spun in his head, but he refrained from looking around the kitchen. Aaron would never initiate this type of conversation if people were within earshot. "I, ah, d-drove." Spencer cleared his throat, willing to get his voice under control but words were another matter. "So. Um. What? Er…"

"How about in an hour?" Aaron offered quietly and set his mug on the rack to dry.

"Yeah. An hour."

There was the barest hint of a smile—the one that translated as, 'Thank you' in the Hotchner lexicon of unspoken communication—followed by Aaron's fingers oh-so-casually curling around his.

That gesture was the very clear: Love you, Spence.

Spencer couldn't drag his gaze from their intwined hands.

"See you in an hour," Aaron said softly and then left.

"Yeah. An hour."

/***/

They all had keys to each other's homes, although Spencer had the distinction of being the first to receive the one for Aaron's new place. He was also the only one, he was sure, to have ever actually been there.

Aaron's move had been without fanfare, no apartment-warming party or well-wishes. Just the usual sentiments from the rest of the team that they hoped they never had to actually use the key. What were they supposed to say? "Glad you're finally moving on with your life"?

Spencer still knocked on the door, refraining from using the key. It just felt too… familiar. Invasive? Intimate? You have sex with him, he chided himself. If that isn't 'intimate', then what is? But, like always, he refused to answer himself.

The locks tumbled and then the door swung open. Aaron favored him with a half-smile before gesturing him to come inside. As Spencer stepped in, Aaron said drily, "You have a key."

"Yeah. And you have a gun," Spencer retorted. "I'm not taking any chances on you thinking I'm an UnSub."

Aaron gave a light laugh before gently settling a hand on Spencer's shoulder. He automatically covered it with his own and lightly squeezed. Then Aaron briefly, chastely kissed him—translated as 'I'm glad you're here'—before heading back to the kitchen.

Aaron was clealry distracted. Then again, there were seven dead. Seven were dead because Aaron refused to make the same deal as that cop did those years ago.

Platitudes of "It's not your fault" or "You did the right thing" really meant nothing.

Spencer couldn't suppress the shudder that ran through him, knowing that they'd have to deal with that. It worried him. It had been a difficult year. How much more could Hotch… could Aaron take?

Spencer didn't realize he was staring at the floor until Aaron's hand grasped his and gently tugged him towards the couch.

"Dinner's getting cold."

Spencer glanced at the coffee table. Store-bought roasted chicken was still in its black-bottomed plastic container, the lid opaque from the condensed steam. A second clear plastic container overflowed with mixed lettuce, cherry tomatoes, raw mushrooms, and cheddar cheese. Plastic plates were stacked next to it with paper napkins piled on top; metal flatware gleamed in the low light. A decanter of wine with two glasses completed the setting.

"I thought…" Aaron began but didn't finish as he sat down on the couch, letting go of Spencer's hand. This translated as: 'I hope this is okay.'

It was like that sometimes. Just as Spencer had stuttered in the BAU's kitchen where anyone could see, Aaron became flustered in the privacy of his home where only Spencer would be the witness. It was flattering, of course, when the coolest kid in the neighborhood only allowed his guard down for one specific person.

"Thank you," Spencer said softly as he settled on the couch. Aaron's warm smile was, as always, devastatingly sexy.

"No spinach, I promise," Aaron murmured as he added the leafy greens to Spencer's plate.

"No cucumbers either, I see," Spencer teased back. Everyone knew about Spencer's peculiarities when it came to food; few knew about Aaron's. The man ordered extra pickles on sandwiches all the time, but thoroughly detested the vegetable in its raw state.

They made quick work of the chicken and the salad. The wine was good, heavier than Spencer was expecting but went well with the meal. They ate in companionable silence, not even bothering to turn on the stereo or play a DVD. They didn't need to.

They could have entire conversations just by the way that Aaron held his fork and Spencer paused before he sipped his wine. Silence exchanges that conveyed so much more than even the most eloquent words.

I didn't want to alone tonight.

I didn't want you home alone, either.

I'm tired.

I know.

I should have…

You did the right thing. You know you did.

As they finished the meal, Aaron's fingers brushed Spencer's wrist.

Spencer knew precisely what that particular gesture meant. Usually, he'd return the touch since usually there was no need for words.

But tonight? Tonight…

"I love you," Spencer said aloud, his tone hushed. He traced Aaron's jaw with his fingertip as he leaned closer. "Always believe that." He initiated a series of soft kisses, his tongue lapping Aaron's chapped lips until Aaron opened his mouth.

Gentle yet passionate. Slow but intense.

Then puffs of breath making the sounds of, "I do," followed by "I love you."

And Spencer knew that it was going to be okay.

At least for tonight.

/***/ Finis /***/