CONSEQUENCES FALL 26- EPILOG
First of all my heartfelt thanks to all my reviewers. Your encouragement made me want to reach deep within and give you the story you deserved. I hope I have managed to pull that off.
To those that have mentioned in reviews and pm's about a sequel. I wont say no, but for now I am going to work on the Rossi and Reid story I have mentioned.
If I was to entice Alessa and the family out to play I would need a damn good plot. [ I don't want to piss her off]
So for now..here is the very last entries of Consequences Fall. Xx
McLean Virginia, 18months after New York SCIF
"SHOESTRING NO!...GIVE IT BACK...SHOESTRING!"
Spencer Reid glanced up from the files he was perusing when the irate voice thundered through the whole house.
"Here we go again." he muttered to himself, just as a flash of burnished red flew past the open office door. Reid gulped down the last of his morning 'wake up' coffee before getting up from his chair, to go avoid the Armageddon he knew was coming.
"Bloody mutt."Hotch cursed as he hobbled quickly by the door.
"He only does it now when Jack's not home." Reid stated as he quickly followed his upset lover along the bright hall.
"But why is it ALWAYS my shoes?" the dark haired man moaned continuing to search for the illusive dog. "NEVER yours or Jacks. Just mine!"
"He must like leather." Reid quipped unable to resist the temptation of repeating this annoying comment and watching Aaron boil.
Hotch threw his admittedly intimidating glare at the young man. Knowing full well that Spencer was pretty much immune to it. Even on full power.
"Aaron he steals your shoes so you- his Alpha- will play with him instead of growling at a budget spreadsheet on the damn computer. He steals your shoes when Jack isn't here so that you wont leave him behind when you go out." Reid explained patiently, as they moved into the colourful family room that provided plenty of hiding spaces, Even for a lanky Red Setter.
"Spencer please don't try and profile that thieving canine." Hotch begged with an exasperated amusement in his tone. Which announce to all that may hear it that this was a request made many times before. "I haven't even had my coffee yet..."
"Poor Aaron." Reid whispered pulling his lover's solid body back into his embrace. "You go get your coffee and I will hunt down your missing...trainer. And retrieve it from the Mangy mutt unharmed." he promised after glancing down at Aaron's shod foot.
Aaron felt every atom of stress flee from his body at his partner's actions. Even a year and a half after their declarations in New York it still felt so new, so amazing. For him to be able to show his fears, his anger, his frustrations, his weaknesses and know that they wouldn't be ignored or worse used against him. It was just amazing.
He knew that to outsiders it would seem that they were moving at turbo speed. But in reality they had had years of learning the good, bad and the horrendously ugly about each other. Not like there weren't any surprises, but for the most part they were good little ones.
Obviously the team knew what had occurred.
But when they officially came out to them...well Garcia and Prentiss had squealed like a couple of hyper schoolgirls at a One Direction concert.
Rossi had smirked and warned Aaron not to screw up. "The kids got connections."
Morgan however pull Reid aside for a private talk. Whatever was said Morgan was relaxed and happy afterwards.
"Thanks babe. I still need to run to the store to pick up the ice before the hordes descend." Hotch turned within the long arms, to be greeted by a bright wide smile that made his world right. With a light kiss on those warm lips he walked off to gain his own caffeine fix.
Spencer stood watching Hotch lopsidedly walk away. His honey eyes fixed on the fine denim coved butt and musing how he had got so damn lucky.
At the time of Emily's death and return he had felt so low. So in danger of using again to make the pain stop.
And yet here he was 18 little months later living with the man of his dreams and slowly creating a new family with Jack, in their brand new house.
When Maman had first brought up the subject of them moving into a home together four months ago he had been furious with her audacity...and had said so. He had felt that this was a private decision for just Hotch and him.
Then he had had to apologise...lots.
For Alessa was asking on Jacks behalf.
It seemed that Daddy smiled and played with Jack more when Spencer was there. And Jack wanted his Daddy happy all time. So after a bit of thought he phoned the one person that he thought could get them to listen to him...his 'Lessa.
After some major grovelling to Alessa. Spencer had gone to explain the situation to Aaron. And after many long talks about their future plans, they had ended up buying this 5 bedroom house in McLean, Virginia.
One of the bedrooms they had turned into a library for all of Spencer's books. In which Jack's books had been slowly appearing since they moved in. Which made both men smile.
The other two were guest rooms in name only. Jessica Brookes, Jack's aunt sometimes stayed over if they were late getting in from a case. This meant Jack got to see them before he went to school.
The other was mainly used by Alessa Dumbarton when she visited.
Alessa had made it clear to everyone that she adored Jack and expected to be part of his life.
Which jack was totally over the moon about as he had no contact with his biological grandparents.
Alessa had also kept in touch with Will La Montaigne and visited him and Henry frequently. This had shocked the hell out of the team until Spencer had explained it.
"Henry is important to me. So he is important to Maman" he told them with a happy smile.
Spencer grinned to himself as he spotted a tuft of furry tail belonging to his quarry.
"Shoestring if you want fed today. I suggest you get your butt out here." he stated calmly, knowing shouting would just excite him more.
A puppy growl preceded two bright black eyes peeping round the corner of Jack's couch in the far corner of the room.
"You do know he is gonna be in a snit the whole day with you" Reid continued which earned him a high whine and puppy dog eyes.
"Well shouldn't have taken his shoe. Then he would have played with you. Now you'll just have to wait till he calms down. Now give me the shoe."
Shoestring growled at that and disappeared back round the couch.
"NO!" Reid commanded firmly. " Shoestring give me that shoe NOW!"
The young Red Setter knew that command and reluctantly came out with his prize dangling from his mouth.
"Just as well you don't damage his shoes." the young doctor muttered to himself as the dog dropped Hotch's brand new leather trainer at his feet.
"Oh man that is gross!" He moaned as he gingerly lifted said shoe by the heel, so that the mangled and extremely soggy laces didn't come near his hands. "Okay Shoestring. If I was you I would make myself scarce for awhile. So...Shoestring Bed." he ordered pointing along the hall.
Shoestring looked back up at him pathetically as if begging for a reprieve
"NO Shoestring Bed!" Reid repeated while wondering if Jack was copying Shoestring's expression, or Shoestring copying Jack's.
Shoestring trotted off with a dramatic sigh and a droopy tail.
Spencer laughed at the sight as he followed the disgraced canine along the hall. " Drama Queen" he called as he entered the kitchen.
Hotch grinned into his coffee mug upon hearing that happy tone emit from his young lover. It had been a long emotional month, and the last two weeks on a case in the Everglades hadn't helped in the slightest.
"I think we should invest in a shoe cabinet." Spencer declared dropping the soggy shoe into the kitchen sink, then bent to rummage in the cupboard below for gloves.
"I think we should invest in a muzzle." Hotch retorted while watching Spencer's cute butt .
Spencer ignored him as he put on the gloves and gingerly pulled out the well chewed sodden lace and discarded it in the bin. Then he meticulously cleaned the shoe with disinfectant wipes he had bought for just this purpose.
Hotch sat and silently watched his actions, wondering just what was running through that amazing brain.
"You don't seem to be worried about Alessa and Rossi being in the same place at the same time?" he finally queried.
Alessa had putting Rossi in a tizz down to a fine art. Hotch had to admit if only to himself he found it extremely amusing to see the pugnacious Agent so on edge. And he was very glad it wasn't him in Alessa's sights.
"I think Maman has finally had her fill. She didn't even growl when I mentioned him last week." Spencer smiled, glad the feud might be over between the two. Rossi had apologised personally to him two weeks after they had returned to work. He hadn't needed it, but it seemed that Rossi needed to get it off his chest.
"I am sure Dave will appreciate the respite." Hotch said finishing off the last of his toast and jelly.
Spencer deftly rethreaded a new lace into the now dried trainer and dropped it on the tile floor, in front of Hotch's feet.
"Yeah cause that is all he has on his mind." Spencer laughed dropping a kiss on Hotch's still damp hair.
"It is just gossip." Hotch rebuked bending down to retrieve the trainer.
"Garcia saw a ring box on his desk.." Spencer crowed grinning as Hotch popped back up in shock. It wasn't often he was ahead of his Boss so this was fun.
"What? When?" Hotch demanded. Could Rossi be serious? Why hadn't he told him? He mused to himself.
"Before we went to Hell."
Hotch laughed at that. Reid had hated the Everglades and moaned instantly about them from the second they had landed. Much to everyone's amusement. It had be Hot, moist and the bugs seemed to enjoy feasting on Reid's pale skin.
No matter what remedy the Genius had tried. And there had many over the two weeks.
Spencer smiled to himself. He got a real buzz out of making Aaron laugh, even if he himself was the butt of the joke.
But as Reid saw it, it was part of Jacks reason for moving in together. So it was his duty and pleasure to keep Daddy smiling...well at home at least.
But back to today...
"Everything is cooked that can be done early. So it you pick up the ice we can throw it in the chest freezer now that the Gateau's are thawing out." He stated glancing at the two huge cakes sitting on the worktop, complete with fancy stands.
Hotch smiled to himself knowing that the genius was running through his to-do list for the 100,000 th time. Getting to his feet he pulled the lean frame close to him.
"Babe it isn't a Gala event. It is just a house-warming for our families. And it will be no where near as stressful as the first meeting. So please calm down."
Spencer snuggled into Hotch's warm embrace. "I know I am over thinking it..oh!"
"Hmhm!" Hotch muttered in agreement as he began to kiss and suckle the delectably pale ear that he just had to have. He felt the delicious shiver run through his partners frame as he moved his hand under his shirt to the smooth warm skin of his back.
Spencer knew he was seconds away from falling.
"Aaron. Ice." he reminded, his voice horse and not quite steady.
"In a minute" Aaron whispered, now tormenting that sinfully long neck with kisses and nips.
"Aaron..." Spencer began knowing he had something to say. But it was lost in the heat Aaron was creating.
"Ice?" Hotch muttered as Spencer's long fingers tangled in his short hair.
"Ice?" Spencer panted, vaguely remembering the word in maelstrom of feelings.
"Ice?...Oh yeah Ice." Hotch reluctantly remembered why they need ice as he drew in several deep breaths.
"We may need extra.." Spencer muttered pulling away, and trying to straighten out his rumpled shirt and hair.
Aaron couldn't restrain the smug smile that he could cause such combustible feelings in the young genius.
But then again it was a two way street, he thought adjusting his suddenly very constricting denims.
Aaron smiled as Spencer's hands shook pouring out another cup of his lifeblood.
"Be back as soon as I can. So just relax okay." he ordered lovingly, dropping a soft kiss to Reid's nape as he grabbed his keys from the bowl on the fridge.
He moved quickly to the front door intending to make this a fast trip. But when he reached it he stopped...
Spencer sat down at the kitchen table with his coffee sweetened to perfection. And in a brand new mug that the now teenage Yusif had sent him.
As he drank his mind wandered.
It had been a roller coaster of emotions for all of them since the first awkward meal in New York that Aaron had mentioned earlier.
Spencer shook his head in disbelief as a memory of the morning after the meal surfaced.
"I am going to KILL her!"
Everyone at the breakfast table looked toward the open door at the sound of Alessa's angry shout.
When she marched into the room; her flashing eyes and flushed skin upgraded Angry to unbridled Fury.
"Daughter or not I am going to mangle that little idiot for this." she screamed to the room in general as she paced around the silent table.
Spencer put down his fork, a deep bad feeling enveloping his tummy as he remembered Zanni's absence last night.
Aaron took his cue from Spencer and stayed silent, even though he was curious as to what Spencer's sister had done to freak Alessa.
Three circuits of the room and Alessa slumped into the chair beside Spencer.
"I was getting worried...so I tracked her cell...she is in D.C." she finally growled low and furious.
"Oh crap!" "Where in DC?" "Damage?" "Oh Zanni!" exploded round the Table.
Alessa reached for Spencer's thin hand.
"What did she do?" he asked squeezing her hand back.
"SHE didn't do anything personally. But I know she is behind what occurred last night." she declared never taking her eyes off of his. She needed him to know that what she said was 100% the truth.
"And just what did occur?" Hotch demanded, hoping that Spencer's sister hadn't crossed the line.
Alessa bent her head and took a deep breath, knowing she had to answer the question.
"Zanni travels to DC frequently, both on company business and with her own work. She has personal connections there that I am not supposed to know about...Crap! Why did she have to inherit my temper...sorry!...It seems that after DC Metro where through with Ms Jareau. She left the station alone, she got into an altercation with one of the StreetGirls..."
"How bad?" Spencer cried out. He didn't want this...to his mind Jareau would pay through the courts..and the loss of Henry. But he knew ...God he should have known that wouldn't have been enough for his sister.
"Sore but no permanent damage, although Prentiss' punch did fracture her nose. I am so sorry Spencer, I should have realised she would be after revenge." Alessa said her voice scratchy with the emotions fighting within her.
Spencer pulled her close, her head falling onto his shoulder.
"I did...But I thought that Jareau being in custody and taken to DC, would give her time to cool down. And I thought I would be able to talk her down night...Who knows and can it be traced back?" he asked wincing at his words.
what would Hotch think of all this? After all they were still officers of the Justice department.
Hotch could practically read the worry running through his lovers brilliant head. And he understood them.
But if he was honest with himself he understood Zanni's need for revenge too. She had seen first hand the attack on one she called brother. She had seen the emotional and physical damage done by the lies and betrayal.
He was glad she hadn't stepped to far over that line.
It was a dangerous place to be...he knew.
Hotch placed his hand on Reid's knee and squeezed. Hoping that would be enough reassurance for the young man until they could talk privately.
Spencer felt a little of the tension slip from his body at the small demonstration.
"This is Zanni, the twisted brain." Jayden stated quietly. " No one will be able to trace anything."
he wouldn't ...couldn't condemn his sister's actions. He had thought about revenge to, although he would have gone a different route. That bitch had hurt his brother..if Zanni got a little payback so be it.
Alessa and the Uncles nodded in agreement.
Zanni was detailed and obsessive when planning anything. She never took the obvious, easy route, and if necessary would leave convoluted red-herrings to waste a trackers time and resources.
"So where is she now?" Eric asked quietly, his anger at his niece locked down for now. He wasn't angry about her actions, just the panic she was causing.
"Last position I have puts her at the Train Station." Alessa informed the room, her eyes closed as she rested on Spencer's shoulder"
"Train station? Why the train station?" Talon mused out loud as he munched his toast.
Spencer grimaced , his gaze fixed on Jayden's worried green eyes.
" Less of a paper trail...and she's giving me to cool down."
Jayden nodded sadly in agreement.
that cooling down period took three months and had killed them both.
Spencer found it exhausting to be angry at his sister, and Zanni was depressed to have disappointed her Brother.
What Alessa had to say when Zanni returned home he had never found out. Because no one was talking.
But he knew it would have been loud and fiery.
At around the same time as the reconciliation Alpha team finally got a new permanent team member. They had had two temporary agents but they just didn't gel.
Dr Alex Blake did. She was a strong intelligent and confident, and had slowly become Reid's sounding board.
They had also gained a new Unit chief when Strauss surprised the hell out of everyone and requested a transfer.
She was given a White Collar Unit in the Hoover building. And it seemed like a good move.
Not to say that she wasn't seen in the BAU unit still.
But that was because she and Rossi were dating...again.
And the whole department was in on the pool about when Erin Strauss was going to become Mrs David Rossi, mark 4.
Spencer found himself really pleased that the bickering couple were giving it a go. He knew that Rossi's polished playboy image was just a shield so no one saw his loneliness. But he had been alone and lonely for too much of his life not to recognise its face in another.
Erin Strauss, recovering alcoholic was a different woman from the one who had terrorised Hotch. Not that she wasn't a driven ambitious and sometimes aggressive woman..she was. But now she picked her battles more cautiously and enjoyed life, and those in it more.
Hotch hadn't been too sure about the relationship.
But decided to wait and see when Spencer explained why he thought it would work this time.
"They were too alike when they were younger. Now the 'scars' have taught them both lessons they'll fit better. And work together as a team."
The loud music coming from his phone threw out of his musings. And reminded him to have a word with Garcia about showing Jack techi -things.
"Hi Reid it's Mick."
"Hi man, what can I do you for?"
"Em asked me to check that you guys didn't need anything brought?"
"Thanks Mick. But no, between my obsessive lists and Aaron's control issues I believe we are all sorted."
"So hows Emily?"
"Beautiful...and ruddy insane."
"Well take care of her and we will see you later." Spencer laughed at the poor Brits pathetic tone.
"We will be there. Bye."
Spencer continued to laugh to himself as he put the phone down and freshened his cup.
Emily Prentiss and Mick Rawson, the odd couple Morgan called them.
But they seemed to be beating the odds and seemed very happy together.
Which was just as well considering.
Monday morning, first morning back from Everglades
BAU , Quantico.
"Hey prettyboy we still on for this weekend?"
Reid looked up at his friend with a wide smile.
"Yeah. Lets hope that the weather and any psychotic UnSub's got the memo and don't interfere. Zanni will not be amused if they do.." he laughed knowing how much his sister was looking forward to this get together/ house warming.
"It would be a brave, or terminally stupid UnSub who rattled that cage." Morgan joined in, thinking of the volatile woman that Reid called sister.
"Although Hotch seems to enjoy baiting her"
Reid pulled a face at that statement.
Although Zanni had eventually got over her hatred of 'that liar'. Their relationship was totally adversarial. Whether it be sports, board games or just debating...the two of them went all out to win.
"Yeah he does like playing with fire." he chuckled going back to his files as he wanted away early today.
The entrance of a very pale Prentiss though had him rummaging in his ever present satchel.
As Emily flopped down into her chair he leant over the small partition and handed her a tube of biscuits.
"Maman sent them for you." he informed the gaping woman with a small grin.
"What? How?" Prentiss blustered staring at the packet of Saltines in her clammy hand.
"How does that woman know half the things she does?" Morgan laughed, as he realised that Reid had beaten him to this conversation.
"So when and does Mick know he's becoming a Daddy?" Reid questioned quietly knowing that Emily wouldn't deal well with any fuss right now.
"I hate Profiler!" Emily stated in-between nibbling at the crackers. "I am three months and I told Mick last week. I think he is still recovering." she grinned thinking of the goofy smile that had exploded on her boyfriends face when she had shared her condition.
Morgan smiled at Prentiss far away expression. He was so glad to see her so happy. But he knew he would be the one to bring this up.
"So when are you telling Hotch?" Morgan asked scooting his chair over to Emily's desk.
"Oh come on guys! I've got ages yet...Oh come on you cant tell!" she begged her dark eyes wide as she looked between her team mates.
Reid stood up and came round to sit on Emily's desk. So that no one could hear their conversation.
"Emily I love you dearly, but if you think I am sleeping on the couch over this. You are nuts." he informed the now glaring brunette.
"I keep this news from my BabyGirl I wont get in the house to reach the couch." Morgan continued reaching for Prentiss' hands as she started to picking at her nails.
"Oh man this is gonna Suck!" She moaned, laying her head on the desk face first.
"Emily We all know how much you want to become a mum. Of course we are going to protect BOTH of you." Reid stated quietly, giving a reassuring grin to the one eye that appeared through the dark hair.
"Go on Prentiss. He doesn't Bite." Morgan encouraged.
"Actually he does." Reid corrected with a mega watt smile.
"Awh man Reid. TMI..." Morgan groaned pulling a face at his mischievous little brother.
Emily erupted into hysterical giggles at Morgan's face.
Since Hotch and Reid had officially confirmed they were together. Reid had found a new hobby...winding Morgan up about their relationship.
Reid had told the rest of the team it was payback for all the mortifying tales he had suffered from Player Morgan. Which Garcia and Hotch had decided was a good enough reason not to interfere in the Doctors fun.
And Morgan was so easy!
It seemed although the older agent totally supported their relationship. He just couldn't handle the mental pictures of his little brother being sexually active.
Which Reid found hilarious.
"Okay...okay you two win. But if he benches me now. You two will suffer every single hormonal mood swing caused by my boredom" Emily threatened while trying to brush the stubborn crumbs off her red jumper.
Which to be honest kind of negated the effect of the threat.
Not that either of the male agents was insane to inform her of this fact.
She was after all a pregnant lady with a gun.
With a last glare at her team mates she stomped up the stairs and sharply rapped on the door to Hotch's office.
At a call from within Prentiss disappeared into the Lions den.
"Would you really have told him?" Morgan queried as she disappeared from sight.
Spencer sighed as he moved back to his desk.
"I would have given her a weeks grace. Unless a bad case appeared. You?"
Morgan moved his chair back into its normal position.
"Yeah the same...although I would have to have told Pen. That woman can read me like a line of code." he laughed knowing it was true but not caring.
"True...by the way where is the Cyber Goddess today? I haven't seen her this morning." it was very seldom that Garcia didn't find a reason to visit, he mused.
"She's with Alex at the Academy. They should be back soon." Morgan replied checking his watch. He was glad that Pen and Alex had weathered the rocky start to become friends.
"Is that the one she was working on about Language Online?" Reid queried absent-mindedly as he returned to reading his next file.
"Yeah!...What the hell?" Morgan cursed loudly.
Reid looked up to see what had caused it, and nearly swore himself.
For coming back down the stairs was one pissed off pregnant agent.
"Emily?" Morgan questioned softly not wanting to be her target if she exploded. Which right now looked likely.
"I freeking hate Profilers!" she spat throwing a folder on her desk as she sat back down.
"What happened?" Reid asked confused. What the blazes had Aaron said or done to cause this fury.
"What happened?...what happened is your sneaky boyfriends knew and had that all typed up." Emily growled throwing the brown FBI at Reid.
Surprisingly Reid caught it and immediately digested its contents.
"Oh what?" Morgan exclaimed not liking being in the dark.
"His manipulative bastard of a boyfriend has my pregnancy all worked out, from now till after I come back after my maternity leave." Emily snarled viscously while glaring at Reid,
"Hey this isn't my fault!" Reid squeaked, his hands thrown up in surrender. Even if his honey eyes sparkled with restrained mirth at Hotch's control issues.
Emily knew this was true but said nothing, just grabbed the folder back off of him with a grunt.
"So just what has the boss decided about now?" Morgan asked trying to restrain his chuckles, and stay out of range of Emily's booted feet.
"I am allowed to travel with the team until my 5th month, if my doctor agrees. But as of now ..NO Raids, No solo interrogations, NO...stop your laughing Morgan. It is so not funny. Then I am between here and the Academy.." she announced her glare fixed on Morgan's laughing face.
"What are you teaching at the Academy?" Reid asked quickly. He knew, but thought it prudent to interrupt Prentiss' homicidal thoughts concerning their team mate. He had no intention of having to stay late to clean up that mess.
Emily looked rather shame faced, and a lot embarrassed when she realised she hadn't looked yet so didn't know.
Which threatened to set off the hyena in their midst.
But luckily the Bullpen was saved from destruction by the return of Penelope and Alex, with a laughing Rossi in tow.
"Greetings my doves...Hello my hunk of burning love." Garcia announced enthusiastically with a gorgeous warm smile that just made the world a little brighter.
"Well you are in a good mood woman." Derek smiled at this wild woman he was honoured to call his BabyGirl. " I take it the class went well."
"The class went down very well." Alex stated her smile softening her normally serious demeanour
"We blew their collective socks off" Garcia stated firmly. Then turned to face Prentiss. " So why are you picking your nails again?"
Emily immediately hid her hands behind her back.
"Hey what is it pick on Emily day?" she demanded, her voice coming out higher than normal.
"No." Rossi answered. " I have that pencilled in for next Wednesday. So Emily what's going on?"
Prentiss's dark eyes flew round the group, frantically trying to think up a way out of this. Who was she kidding?
"Oh bugger!" she muttered unconsciously using one of Mick's terms.
"Emily?" Garcia asked softly worried it might be bad news.
"I freeking hate Profilers and Cyber Goddess" she griped scowling at her family. "I am three months pregnant and Yes I told Mick. And he is happy."
Before Garcia and Blake could say [or in Garcia's case squeal] anything, Rossi nodded his head and gave a long "Aaaaah!"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Prentiss demanded.
"It means you just told Aaron!" Rossi replied.
"I FREEKING DETEST PROFILERS"
The loud chimes interrupted his mental laughter at Emily's outburst. He quickly navigated his way to the front door and opened it to find his friend and sponsor on his doorstep.
"Hi! You're early. Where's Eleanor?" He demanded pulling the older man into a hug before letting him enter.
"Oh she's making herself pretty. We will be over later. I just wanted to check in on you. Its been a stressful month." Carentine explained as they walked back to the kitchen.
Spencer began preparing a mug of coffee for his guest without asking. He was taking the time to formulate what he wanted to say. He knew full well John wasn't talking about the case in the Everglades.
"I don't know that I have really processed everything yet to be honest." he finally declared placing the mug down before his former Boss. "I didn't have contact with my father so his passing doesn't really...I am sad at his death. But it doesn't really touch my everyday life."
Carentine nodded but stayed silent. They both knew this wasn't the incident that had shaken Spencer.
"As for Zanni's accident ...yeah that gives me nightmares. I am trying to focus on the positive...she is healing and with time and therapy will be back to her annoying self soon. But what if those three days had happened when we weren't talking..." Reid fell silent, shivers running through him at he horrible thought.
A stupid stiletto heel had caught in a space in a tiled stair throwing Zanni off balance and down the stone stairs. The damage found when she was rushed to hospital was bad, but fixable What scared them all was the coma she had fallen into...for three interminable days.
Spencer drank some more coffee, before speaking again his gaze fixed on the pine table. But that wasn't what he saw.
"Maman was totally amazing...I don't know how she did it. I felt totally helpless and useless." he whispered remembering Maman's attitude as Zanni lay there silent and still.
"Mothers really are a different breed." John smiled truly believing his words. His Eleanor was proof of that. To look at her you would never guess the strength inside that had kept him and their family in line, and in love.
"Maybe that should be Parents are a different breed. I could see Hotch doing the same if..." Spencer halted his words not even wanting to temp the fates about the young boy who meant the world to him.
Carentine nodded with a grin.
Yes Aaron Hotchner would walk through hell for his son, he thought. But I don't think you quite realise he would walk through it for you too.
"So how is Alessa now that Zanni is healing? Spencer?" he probed seeing the glaze of withheld tears in the young man's eyes.
"When..She..she broke down in the corridor the afternoon Zanni came back to us. I had never seen her cry like that...it was scary. I guess my shock was evident cause uncle Martin pulled me away.." Spencer explained knowing he could trust John to keep his own counsel.
"He wanted to tell me...he told me about the day I woke up after the attack.
He told me she had collapsed then too." Spencer confided. Still awed that she loved him that much.
"She is a strong Lady and a fierce mother. She loves you kids with all she has." John declared knowing for a fact that it was the truth.
"My mother and Maman have loved me, even when I didn't even like me, never mind love who I was." Reid said remembering the first time his mother and Alessa had met.
"That's what good parents do." John announced. " Talking of parents a bird told me that La Montaigne is coming back to DC permanently."
"Retired my ass! You are a nosey bastard John" Spencer teased as he started giggling. "You just cant help yourself can you?"
John started laughing too, knowing he had no defence against the younger man's words.
"Yeah Will is returning to DC. He believes its the best thing for Henry and him.
He has no family down in new Orleans, and now that he is finally comfortable with the Team and me again... And mark Gaffney in the Cold case Unit is interested in having him on his team." Reid informed him wondering what John would think of that.
John looked into that Innocent face and wondered just how many UnSubs had fallen for that crap.
"How much of that was you arm twisting?" he asked softly. " Don't you dare try and pull the 'who me' crap on me. I am quite aware that you meddle in the archives quite frequently. If Gaffney didn't know Hotchner would shoot him. He would have asked for you on his Unit long ago."
Spencer just laughed into his coffee and stayed silent on that subject.
John enjoyed seeing the boy so happy, but there was still one thing he had to ask if La Montaigne was returning.
"I am glad Henry and La Montaigne will have the team's support. Its tough enough being a parent, never mind a single parent. I am guessing that if he is returning you and Aaron have discussed Jareau's visit and stories?"
Spencer shuddered even as he nodded.
He had seen Aaron Hotchner in many moods, but his anger at Jareau had scared him a little.
The flight back from New York to Arlington had been so familiar, yet very strange.
It was one of those everything has changed, but the core remains the same, Spencer thought to himself as he read the book Jayden had given him before they left.
It was full of family, love, betrayal and revenge.
Jayden wasn't being to subtle, but it was an okay book.
When they had landed Carentine shepherded Rossi and Strauss into his town car without a word and left for Quantico.
Morgan, Garcia and Prentiss commandeered the first black SUV and followed them waving happily to their stunned Team mates.
"Think it was something we said?" Hotch demanded po faced as the threw their bags in the back.
Which made Reid giggle as he took his place in the passenger seat.
Hotch was driving ...of course.
"So finally alone." Hotch muttered as they pulled out into the morning traffic.
Spencer smiled but stayed silent. He was enjoying taking everything in; the familiar road, being in the passenger seat with Hotch, being back home.
"Are you ready to tell me about the drunken visit?" Hotch asked suddenly.
Reid realised then, that the other man hadn't wanted to push him on this. But his patience had reached his limit. He also knew that trying to avoid the issue would irritate the prosecutor even more. But this wasn't something he wanted to discuss on the highway.
"Pull off at the next turn off and we'll talk" he finally huffed out in one breath.
Hotch's hands tightened on the wheel as he did what Reid had suggested. Obviously whatever he h ad to tell him he wasn't gonna be pleased about. But if Reid was having him pull over ...it was Bad.
They sat in silence for a while after they had stopped.
Both trying to find the words that would make the situation go away.
"As you heard she turned up at my apartment. She was drunk, but not plastered. When I opened the door I found myself pushed against the wall and her mouth on mine before I could ask what she was doing there at 2230.
She was wearing this low necked dress, and really strong perfume. I have no idea what she had been drinking but it tasted vile to me...I grabbed her upper arms and moved her away from me. I was shocked and really angry, but I didn't want to hurt her by just pushing her off me. Unfortunately she wasn't taking the hint. She had the front of my shirt in her hands trying to undo it...Luckily Zanni appeared at that moment in her pj's. Then things got really bizarre..."
"Bizzare?" Hotch growled glaring through the windscreen, his knuckles white on the steering wheel.
Reid swallowed hard, then continued wanting this done.
"Yeah bizarre is a good description. Zanni appeared and Jareau started screaming that I had been leading her on and cheating on her. At which point Zanni burst out laughing as she knew that I was attracted to a male...you.
Which had Jareau screaming that I would pay for embarrassing her. I just put it down to too much alcohol at that point, and called her a taxi before Zanni decided to kick her down the stairs for her troubles...I found out though that she told Will that I had tried to force myself on her while we had been out as a team that night. She told Will that you knew and you were handling it quietly so that she wouldn't be the centre of the gossip mill. Before he could get a hold of you to discuss what was happening she was moved to the Pentagon. I don't know if she told him the promotion was to get her away from me. But I am guessing she did as I didn't hear from Will after that point."
Hotch didn't say anything. He sat taking deep breathes, thinking about how many times he had put off talking to Spencer about the rift between and him and JJ. How had Spencer worked so professionally with that...grrr
Hotch?" called worried by the audible growls he could hear from the older man.
"So Gideon just amped up what was already there. She had me fooled Spencer. I am so sorry...What a f###ing mess!"
"I think she wanted Will to walk away leaving her Henry. Then she could play on the teams and more importantly You sympathies. But Will really does or did love her, and is a pretty honourable guy. I just hope that one day he will be comfortable in my company again." he finished sadly.
Hotch finally looked over at Reid and took in the exhaustion and emotional limit he had reached. He should have postponed this discussion till a later date. He really was a selfish ass.
"I am sorry Spencer. Do you want me to talk to him?" Hotch offered trying to calm down and tend to his lovers needs.
"No thanks Aaron. This has to happen when he is ready. Its gonna be hard enough for him to deal with what she's done without any extra pressure." Spencer replied putting one of hands over the tense one on the wheel.
"You are a good man Spencer Reid." Hotch stated after a few moments silence and even more deep breaths.
"So are you...But we really need to get going or Garcia will track us down and come up with some XXX rated reason why we are parked here." Spencer teased knowing he could because it was just them.
"REID!" A very red faced Hotchner exclaimed , before bursting into loud guffaws of side splitting laughter.
After Hotch had gathered his dignity back together he pulled the car out to re enter the highway traffic.
"I am not totally calm, but I can handle our trip without killing us. I may ask Morgan to spar with me later." Hotch answered. A little surprised that his normal 'I am fine' didn't surface.
But then remembered he had promised not to ever lie to Spencer again.
And he intended to keep it.
"Yeah we talked about it the day we returned from New York, and a couple of times after that. It wasn't fun, but we got through it. He was furious, and hurt by the further betrayal. But of course he will deny that with his dying breath."
Spencer answered wearily. He just wanted it all to go away. But life wasn't like that. The past always affected the present, and the future.
"Alpha bullshit. According to your friend Eleanor" Carentine laughed getting to his feet. "Well thank you for the excellent coffee and the chat."
"No. thank you John." Spencer stated firmly getting up to face his friend. " I wouldn't have any of this if I had stayed an addict, instead of a recovering addict. And I owe many people for helping me, you more than most. So thank you."
"You did the hard work yourself Spencer." John growled pulling the young man into a bear hug. "Now I better get back home or I wont get my chores done before we come back for your party."
Spencer laughed at the tough ex-fbi man. "You love it and you know it." he accused as they moved into the hall.
"That comes under National Security my friend. By the way where is your other half? You've not buried him under the patio already surely?" Carentine teased knowing how besotted they were with each other.
"Not yet no. he went to collect some ice with a Shoestring in tow." Spencer laughed thinking of this mornings antics.
"Has he stopped yet?" John queried.
"Nope! Aaron's trainers got pillage this morning." Spencer replied shaking his head.
"I thought that dog trainer of Rossi's said he would grow out of it." Carentine laughed heartedly, wishing he had been a spectator to this mornings chaos.
"He did. And to be honest all the rest of his training took. Now it is just Aaron's shoes he pilfers." Reid explained in the face of John's hilarity.
"Poor Aaron." John gasped out. He found it hysterical that the debonair Unit chief was being terrorised by his own dog.
With all the hilarity they didn't hear the front door open.
"Poor me. Why?" a familiar deep voice questioned moving into the hall his hands full of box with bags of ice in it.
"Morning Aaron. We were discussing your dogs lace fetish." John teased offering his hand to the younger man.
Aaron put the box down and shook the offered hand.
"Bloody mutt." he cursed looking down at the happy dog sitting perfectly at his feet. " He is great, apart from the shoe thing. But Mr Genius has suggested a solution..." he smugly announced.
"You didn't?" Spencer demanded as giggles overwhelmed him yet again.
"Oh but I did. One 'dog-proof' shoe cabinet..its in the truck. So tomorrow you can assemble the damn thing." Hotch declared before Spencer could start on him about his total ineptitude with assembling furniture.
"And on that note. I will take my leave gentlemen. See you later." Carentine laughed as he slipped out the door, and down the stairs to the gravel driveway.
He was still able to hear the faint sounds of raucous laughter when he reached his car.
They definitely weren't 'FBI Standard Issue' agents, but protocol be damned they worked. Both professionally and personally the worked, he declared to himself with a huge grin as he drove away to get ready for the party.
Whew ! the epilog got rather away from me.
Thanks again for reading my ramblings.
Till next we meet.