Disclaimer: Do not own anything relating to Criminal Minds. Story loosely based on and entirely inspired by "Window Seat" by SugaKane01.
"Jack, go to your room," Spencer says. He's trying not to raise his voice.
"You can't make me. You're not my daddy. You're my daddy's boy toy," Jack taunts. Spencer is somewhat hurt.
"Jack, I'm your father's partner. I'm not a toy. I'm a person. An Adult person and I said you need to go to your room."
Jack shakes his head and plops down where he was once standing. Spencer bites his lip. The young boy had taken one of Spencer's most treasured items- an original writing from Charles Dodgson on mathematics. He'd kept it locked away in his personal box and both he and Aaron had told the child to leave it be.
But today, to act out or exact revenge, Spencer wasn't sure; the boy had unlocked it with his father's key and ruined it. Spencer had wanted to cry, but not in front of Jack. That was why he needed the boy to go to his room.
"Jack, get up right now and go," Spencer says, not knowing how much longer he can hold on.
Jack gets up and stomps to his room. "I'm telling my mommy that you're trying to take her place!" He shouts before slamming the door.
Spencer puts the ripped, colored-on piece of writing back in the safe he'd kept it in. He picks up all of Jack's crayons and markers while tears slowly slide down his face. He picks up all the toys in the floor and puts them away before sitting on the couch.
It is then that the dam breaks and he begins sobbing. He sucked at being a parent. Aaron was going to be disappointed that the first time he'd left Spencer in charge he'd failed so miserably. That meant the record was one hundred percent failure.
Not only that, but he'd had a one of a kind item. Something that meant the world to him, and though it was still a treasure to him, his step-son had ruined it specifically to hurt him. He hears a noise behind and sees Jack reaching for the safe.
He gets off the couch and tells Jack to go back to the room. Jack grabs the box and turns to run, but Spenser grabs his wrist. "Put it back and don't touch it again!" He finally yells. Jack drops it and runs back to his room.
Spencer picks the box up and hides it under his bed before shuddering. He'd never yelled at Jack before. His clock says that it's five thirty-four. Aaron wouldn't be home for another twenty-six minutes.
When Aaron comes home the first contact he has is with his crying son. Aaron scoops him up and hugs him.
"Hey buddy, what's wrong?" The boy sniffles. "I wanted to color earlier, but... but daddy Spencer got mad at me for no reason! And he sent me to my room and yelled at me and hurt me," the boy complains.
Aaron is stunned. He knew his lover wasn't very fond of children, but he didn't think he'd go this far.
"How did he hurt you?" He asks. His son snuggles in his arms. "He squeezed my wrist." Aaron grits his teeth and hugs his son.
"I'm going to go talk to him, okay? Can you go wait in the living room?" The boy nods and sits on the couch so he can turn the tv on. Aaron stomps his way to their bedroom. Spencer is lying on the bed, on his back, with the door open. He's spacing off and staring at the ceiling.
"We need to talk," Aaron says. Spencer looks at him and sits up. His eyes are red and puffy, Aaron notes. He wants to be candid with them, but he's genetically more observant of his son's distress. Spencer stands but Aaron pushes him back down onto the bed.
Spencer is surprised. The only time Aaron had ever man-handled him was to save him from danger. "Let me get something straight with you, genius. You are not his father. You're not even a step-father. You are just the weak little faggot that his father is fucking!"
Spencer feels shame course through his veins like he wished dilaudid was. And he feels a pain unlike anything he's ever felt. It wasn't that Aaron had called him... One of the most discriminatory names he could think of, nor that he had described their most intimate of moments so ruthlessly... It was that in one sentence he'd excluded him from their family and abnegated any idea that what they had was a relationship.
"You are never allowed to hit or yell at my child! That is what a parent does. You have no rights to punish him."
Spence is in shock. "I sent him to his room..." Spencer says dumbly. He can't believe that Aaron is this upset over something as small as that.
"Jesus Spencer, I know you don't like kids but I thought you'd actually try. You can read twenty-thousand words a minute but you can't handle a seven year old for three hours? I guess it makes sense," Aaron chuckles darkly. "You can't use chopsticks or drive, either. Maybe you just can't do the things normal people are supposed to be able to do. You've never been good at that whole being normal thing," Aaron says.
Spence slaps him and feels tears fall down his face. "You have no right," Spence growls.
"Just like you had no right to abuse my child?" Aaron retorts before tossing Spencer back on the bed. Spencer is frustrated.
"I didn't abuse him! I sent him to his room! I only yelled once!" Spence shouts back at him. "Did he even tell you what he did?"
Aaron thinks about it. He had never mentioned why he was in trouble. Had he even mentioned that he'd been in trouble? Spence reaches under the bed to his lock box. Aaron's stomach falls. Spencer pulls out a piece of haggard looking paper. He shoves it to Aaron's chest and crosses his arms.
Aaron takes the paper and looks it over. It was some sort of writing about math that he was sure he could learn, but at the moment had no experience with. He raises an eyebrow until he sees the signature. Charles Dodgson. Holy Lord. Jack had been told never to get into Spencer's box... And he'd obviously gotten a hold of it.
Aaron looks at his lover's angry face. "I sent him to his room, without yelling, when I found out what he did. I put the paper back in the safe and put it on the table. I picked his toys up and sat on the couch and sobbed," Spencer tells him. "And then he came back and tried to take the safe to his room. I grabbed his wrist when he ran from me with it. I don't know what he was going to do with it. I only yelled once, and it was to get him to drop the box," Spencer explains.
Aaron closes his eyes in shame. "He told me he doesn't have to listen to me because I'm just daddy's boy toy. I guess you agree." Aaron hands the paper back. Spencer wants to be childish and snatch it from his grasp, but that would only hurt him and his already mangled document.
Aaron goes to the door and calls for Jack. The child runs up the stairs and enters the room. "Yes daddy?" He asks sweetly. "Did you get into daddy Spencer's box and rip up his paper?"
The boy glares at Spencer. "I took something special from him because he took something special from me!"
Spencer closes his eyes. Was Jack going to lie and say he stole something from him now? He'd better just start packing, because Aaron would never take his word over Jack's. "What did he take from you?" Aaron asks. Jack points an angry finger at Aaron. "He took you! You're my daddy, and now you spend all your time with him!"
Aaron wraps his arms around Jack. "Sonny, you know I love you," he says. Spencer finishes packing his clothes. He doesn't need much. Aaron looks at him curiously. "I resign as lover and as Agent Reid." He looks at Jack and the boy is smiling at him.
Aaron grabs Spencer into a hug. "I love you and I... I can't let you go Spencer." Spencer is biting his lip. Jack takes this moment to scowl. "I thought you loved me the most!" He shouts.
Aaron sighs. "I love both of you the most. Go to your room, Jack. I need to talk to daddy Spencer." Jack walks out but turns around. "He isn't my daddy," He says before going to his room.
Aaron doesn't release Spencer. "What I said was out of line. It's human nature to just... Believe your kids when they say something. As a father, I want to believe that he would never lie to me, especially about something like this."
Spencer doesn't wrap his arms around Aaron, but he doesn't pull away. "You're admitting that he lied?" Spencer asks. Aaron lets him go and leads them to the bed. "You didn't hit him. And you didn't punish him without reason."
Spencer doesn't sit, but he puts his suitcase down. "When I was a kid, if I had shown such a blatant disregard for someone else or disrespected one of my parents I would have been hit. Not even spanked," he admits. "I would have been beaten. I'm skeptical around kids because I don't want to mess up."
Spencer looks into Aaron's eyes. "I would never purposefully hurt Jack. As you mentioned, I very 'faggotly' consider him my step-son. I would never hurt any child purposefully, but especially him because I love him and I love you, even if those feelings are not returned."
Aaron winces at Spencer's recap of his words. Aaron looks down in shame.
"I don't know if I should stay," Spencer tells him. "It's only a matter of time before he accuses me of something worse. Of beating him, or stealing from him, or God help me, molesting him."
Aaron looks at him. "I wouldn't believe that."
Spencer shakes his head. "You believed that I had unjustly hurt him."
Aaron stands and holds his young lover against him. "Spencer... Baby..." He whispers.
Spencer's eyes betray him as tears fall. "He ruined my Charles Dodgson paper," Spencer tells him, sobbing on his shoulder. "And I thought I did this all right! And... You hurt me! You called me..." Aaron hushes his boyfriend.
"I was wrong. Please don't leave me. Don't leave us," Aaron says. Spencer nods and moves away from Aaron. He unpacks his suitcase and hangs his clothes back up. Aaron leaves to make dinner and Spencer takes a bath.
Aaron knocks on the door an hour later to let him know food is done. Spencer gets out and wraps in a towel, a courtesy neither of them had performed since they'd begun having sex. Aaron is watching him come into the room.
"I don't feel like eating," Spencer says, quickly sliding his boxers on.
Aaron frowns."Are you sure?"
Spencer nods. "And I think... I'd prefer it if you slept on the couch tonight," he tells Aaron. Aaron looks down, but he accepts it. He grabs his pillow from the bed and walks out of the room.
Spencer lies in the bed and closes his eyes, though he knows sleep isn't coming easily. He remembers, word for word, in his head the tales of Hans Christian Anderson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle until it is light outside and the sun begins to rise. Only then does he fall asleep.
Aaron makes Jack and himself a plate of food. He makes Spencer one too, but puts it in the fridge for later. Jack moves his food around his plate grumpily.
"Why does Spencer have to live here?" He asks. Aaron sighs. His appetite had died long ago.
"He's here because I asked him to live with me. I asked him," he elaborates when his son's mouth opens, "because we are in love."
Jack shakes his head. "Mommy says Spencer wants to be my new mommy so that I can't see her anymore. And she says he's just a convenient fuck," Jack says smugly.
Aaron can't believe what has just come out of his mouth. "She said that to you?" He nods his head. "That is a very disrespectful thing to say! And you do not use that language in this house, young man!"
Jack snaps his head over at his father. "I'm sorry..." He says, seeming frightened. Aaron leans his head on his hands.
"Did she say anything else?" He asks, needing to have a long conversation with his ex-wife.
"She calls him your boy-toy and says you abandoned us for him." Aaron is beyond angry.
"Jack, look at me." He says firmly. His son makes eye contact and maintains it. "First of all, I love you very much. I would never abandon you. That's why I fight so hard to get you here. I want you to live with me too, because I love you. Its mommy and I that don't want to live together. I didn't leave her for Spencer."
Aaron doesn't see it necessary to tell his son just yet that his mother is the one that asked for the divorce, and that she had been cheating.
"And second, Spencer means a lot to me. I wouldn't let him call you names and I'm not going to let you. You don't have to call him 'daddy Spencer' but you will either address him as Spencer or Mr. Reid."
His son nods. "Yes sir." Aaron sits back. "When Spencer wakes up, you're going to apologize." His son nods again. They finish their meal in silence.
When Aaron is putting Jack to bed, a little hand holds his. "So, no matter how much you love Spencer, you won't leave me?"
Aaron shakes his head. "I want to be with you and Spencer for the rest of my life."
Aaron wakes on the couch. It had been a long and restless night. He goes to the kitchen and stops in the doorway. Reid is making coffee. He's in his pajama pants and one of his cute little hobby shirts that he only wears at home.
He watches Reid sweeten his coffee and lean against the counter. They meet eyes and Reid takes a drink.
"You mind if I have a cup of that?" Spencer shakes his head and moves from the counter to the table and sits.
Aaron fills a cup of coffee without adding anything and sits across from his lover. "Do you want some breakfast?" Aaron asks softly.
"No thank you," Spencer says before taking a large mouthful of coffee.
Aaron frowns. "You've got to eat soon," he tells his already thin boyfriend.
Spencer looks up at him with a slight glare. "I know how to take care of myself. I'm not a child, remember? I'm a faggot boy-toy," he says before getting up and taking his coffee to the bedroom.
Aaron wants to kick himself. He'd really fucked up. His son walks into the kitchen and rubs his eyes. Aaron gets him a glass of juice and makes him some breakfast. He helps the child find clothing and then knocks on their bedroom door.
"I'm going to take Jack to school and then I'll be back… Do you… Do you want anything?" He asks through the door.
Spencer replies with a simple no and Aaron leaves with a sigh. He drops his son off with a hug and a kiss and the promise of returning to get him when school is over.
He returns home and finds Spencer once again making coffee. This time he tries a new tactic. He walks over to Spencer and pulls him into his arms. "Spencer, I'm sorry. It hurts to be away from you, so please… Can you possibly forgive me?"
Spencer doesn't say anything. Aaron releases him and runs a hand through his hair as he walks away.
"Maybe this is just over," he says, mostly to himself. "It's over, and I'll be here with Jack and you'll live somewhere else and we'll see other people. But we need to continue working well together, or that will be a problem."
He turns and looks into Spencer's sad eyes. "I value my job, Spencer."
Spencer nods. He is terrified of losing Aaron. Not only that, but he does love the man. They'd been together for a year now and living together for half of it. If Aaron makes him leave, he will have no other place to go.
"I don't want us to be over," Spencer says softly. He would rather be torn down every day by Aaron than be asked to leave the relationship. Aaron grabs Spencer back into his arms.
"Can you forgive me?" Spencer shakes his head. Not yet.
Aaron releases him. "Then I don't see how we can stay together." Aaron feels a twinge of guilt. He's using the overwhelming fear he know Reid has of being alone and losing the people around him.
Reid's arms quickly wrap around him. He can feel Spencer trembling. "Don't go…"
Aaron leans down and kisses a reluctant Reid. "Can you work on forgiving me?" Reid nods. Aaron's arms bring him closer. "I said the worst things possible to you, and I'm sorry. I know you'll never forget them, but I didn't mean it. I was angry and trying to hurt you. Next time, I'll come to you calmly and assess the situation."
He runs his hands down Spencer's sides. He can almost touch his hands together when they rest at his lover's waist. Spencer repeats his words in his mind. "Next time… Next time…"
When Aaron returns home with Jack after he's let out from school he pulls his son to the couch where Spencer is reading. Spencer looks up from his book at the disdain on the child's face. "Daddy said I need to apologize to you," he mutters.
Aaron pushes the boy closer. "I'm sorry I wasn't listening and that I hurted your paper," Jack says.
"Hurt, not hurted," Spencer says. Jack bites his lip."And… And I'm sorry I made daddy yell at you." That's the only thing the boy has said that seems genuine.
Spencer looks at him and nods. "Thank you for apologizing Jack," he says before going back to his book. Jack walks away and Aaron sighs. Spencer was still mad at both of them. He begins making dinner while Jack does his homework at the table.
"My teacher wants up to draw our families and I don't know what to draw," the boy admits to his father.
Aaron turns around with a frown. "Just draw your family." He tells the boy. He's not sure what the problem is.
Spencer comes in and makes himself a cup of coffee. "Spencer, are you my family?" Jack asks. His little eyes are focused on him and somewhat confused.
Spencer is somewhat surprised but still very hurt. "No," he answers before going into the living room with his cup.
Aaron is shocked and Jack seems to frown before drawing a woman with blonde hair. He assumes it is his ex-wife. Once the food is cooked he serves it onto three plates to cool and goes to the living room to find Spencer. He's zoned out; not reading or watching anything, but staring at a wall, probably thinking.
"You are his family," Aaron says. "I love you and he does too, even if he's not showing it."
Spencer looks at him. "I'm not his father; I'm not even his step-father. I'm just the weak little faggot that his father is fucking," Spencer repeats to him.
Aaron growls. "Do you also remember the part where I apologized and said I was completely wrong?"
Spencer stands up to refill his coffee. "We share a common interest by feeling love for a mutual person. That doesn't make us family," Spencer replies. He doesn't want to get his hopes up.
Aaron slams his hand to Spencer's face. He drops his coffee mug and hits the floor. He's dazed for a moment.
His first thought is that he's glad that was empty. The second is him wondering why it didn't break and deciding it must be the carpet. He lifts himself off the ground and Aaron still looks mad.
"Get in there and tell him you're family," Aaron hisses.
Spencer picks his mug up and walks into the kitchen. The boy is coloring grass beneath the drawings of his parents and self in slow, short lines. He's drawn his mother and father on opposite sides of the paper and him in the middle with a sad face.
Spencer puts the cup in the sink and sits across from the boy. "Spencer, your lip is bleeding!" Jack tells him. Spencer ignores him.
He grabs a crayon and draws a heart between Aaron and Jack. "We are family. We live together and eat together and we both love your father." The boy smiles a little and Spencer watches the boy make his caricature.
His lip is throbbing and he licks it every few seconds. "You should put a rag on that. You'll make it worse," the little boy tells him. Spencer shakes his head. He's not going to move until Aaron tells him to because he still looked mad.
His heart is clenching. Was this going to become normal? Would Aaron lash out physically every time they fought? Was it just when the fight was about Jack? Would he have to end it and break up his little almost-family?
"I'm going to draw Miss. JJ and Henry and Mr. Will and Mr. Morgan and Mr. Rossi and Miss. Prentiss and Garcia!" The boy says excitedly.
Spencer half-smiles at him. "I bet they would be really happy to know you consider them family."
The boy begins to focus on his drawing. Spencer feels a hand on his shoulder.
"Come upstairs so I can clean your lip," Aaron tells him. He looks at Jack once again but he doesn't look up. He follows Aaron up to the master bathroom and sits on the toilet seat.
Aaron drops down to one knee and dabs his lip. He's avoided looking into Spencer's eyes. He finishes and neither of them moves. Slowly he raises his head and looks at Spencer. Spencer's eyes bore into his. "You hit me," he says.
Aaron wants to cry. "You hurt his feelings," he responds. It's not an excuse; it's honesty. Spencer doesn't know what to say. He knows that Jack comes first. He encourages it... But at what point is Aaron going too far? Is hitting him for hurting Jack's feelings justified? He had been a little cold when telling the child that they weren't family.
Aaron kisses his lips softly. "I'm sorry I hit you," he tells the younger man. Spencer nods. Aaron shouldn't apologize. He'd deserved it. "I.. I.. I under s.. stand," Spencer stutters. Aaron pets him. "Thank you."
Aaron puts Jack to bed and Spencer is sitting up in their bed. He doesn't feel up to sleeping next to Aaron yet, but he doesn't want Aaron to end it and he is willing to do anything. Even if Aaron's son hates him... Even if their family laughs at him... Even if Aaron were to start beating him... At least he has a family now.
Aaron comes in and gets undressed for bed. Does Spencer ignore him if he makes an advance... Or should he initiate it in order to pacify him? Aaron looks at Spencer and is worried by the look on his face. He looks utterly repulsed and confused.
He sits down and pulls the younger man in for a kiss. "What are you thinking about?" He asks.
Spencer looks into his eyes. "If you want to try... you know... And I said no, but you can do it tonight..." Spencer stammers.
Aaron had explained his fantasies to Spencer once and they agreed on many, but there were a few Spencer said he would not participate in them. Was this permission for any of them?
"Anything I want?" Spencer nods without looking up at him. This is redemption. Aaron will defile his body and he will be back in good graces with him and will have given up part of himself in repentance.
Aaron flips him onto his belly and Spencer spreads himself.
Spencer is puking and Aaron waits outside of the bathroom door. Aaron had put him through to his limits. His stomach empties itself and he's shivering and holding onto the toilet. He doesn't want to move but he needs to shower.
He gets up on shaking legs and turns the shower on. "Spencer, let me help you," Aaron calls through the door.
"I.. I'm f..f..fine," Spencer calls out. "G..go to be..bed." He gags and has to stop talking and take a deep breath. Aaron doesn't respond so Spencer gets into the shower.
He'd lost a lot of blood. His logical mind notes that it's not nearly enough to kill him, but his body shows it that it's enough to weaken him. His self-loathing makes him rethink that fact. He really is the weak faggot Jack's father was fucking.
He feels like he's having an asthma attack and gasps for air. His body is sore and he doesn't want to live.
Aaron jimmies the lock and walks into the bathroom. Spencer is sitting in the shower with his eyes closed and breathing erratically.
Aaron shuts the water off and whispers soothing things in his ear. "Spencer, you need to breathe," he reminds him. Spencer makes himself think of happy things. Books he'd always loved. When he next opens his eyes he's in bed and its morning.
Aaron is asleep beside him. He moves and it hurts. The sheets still have blood on them. He gets out of bed and puts his clothes on quietly. He goes downstairs and sees that Jack is looking in the fridge. It's already ten in the morning.
"Spencer, is my daddy going to wake up soon? I'm hungry," the boy says.
Spencer shakes his head. Aaron must be worn out. "I... I'll make yo...you breakfas...st," he tells Jack. Jack frowns at Spencer.
"Did my daddy hit you again? You're talking funny and you look sad." Spencer shakes his head again. Best not to speak.
The boy sits down and Spencer makes enough food for the boy and his father. His own stomach was still bitter from the night before and threatened to unload itself every time he took a breath in through his nose.
"Spencer, do you love me?" The boy asks after almost twenty minutes of silence. Spencer had just set two plates of food on the table. He looks at the child with wide eyes.
"Of course I d... do, Jack. I l...love you very much," he tells him. The boy nods without smiling and eats his breakfast.
Spencer goes to their bedroom to wake Aaron. As soon as his eyes open and sits up and pulls Spencer close. "How are you feeling?" He asks. Spencer pulls back. "F... fine. Breakfast is read... ready," he tells his boyfriend.
Aaron gets up, slightly concerned about his boyfriend's continuing stutter. He goes down to the table and sees his son eating a large piece of bacon. There's one other plate and he looks at Spencer.
"Aren't you going to eat?" Spencer wraps his arms around his belly.
"I... I did. While... while I was cooking." Jack frowns. "I didn't see you eat anything," he says innocently. Aaron raises an eye brow at Spencer and Spencer feels panic and vile rise.
"I...I...I still feel il...ill from... from last night," he explains.
Aaron sits down and pat the seat next to him. "At least eat some toast," he says holding up one of his pieces. Spencer sits down and nibbles on the toast. Truth be told it felt good to have some food in him again.