Spencer sighs as he fills out paperwork for his mother. She had been dead for over five months now. He'd had time to come to terms with the loss, but time didn't magically make him stop hurting. The pain had gone through what he considered to be appropriate stages. He no longer needed to cry to random intervals. He wasn't craving dilauded to the point of needing extra meetings anymore.
She had already been buried. Her final affairs, bills and possessions already handled. This was a new order of business, and as much as Spencer didn't want to relive his mother's death, he knew he was doing something worthwhile. The university she had taught at during her clear years wanted to memorialize her and her dedication to literature.
They had recently added a wing to the main building and wanted to name it after her. The Diana Reid building of classic literature they would call it. They wanted some recollection of who she was and her thoughts. They were planning on making a memorial for her inside the building itself as well. But they didn't want to go through with this until Spencer allowed them. After he'd granted them permission they asked for his help.
Teaching had meant the world to his mother. When she had nothing else, she had books; she had teaching. Even when she was clouded by schizophrenia she had teaching. He couldn't say no to this request; not when he knew how much it would have meant to her.
But it was stressful. He was giving them his private memories of his mother. Not only that, but it was now public knowledge that she had been ill. Aaron had tried to be supportive. Even Jack had picked up on the tension. But Aaron was having his own problems. It was very public knowledge that the two of them were romantically involved.
They had never tried to hide it from the team. Their family had a right to know what was going on. Strauss had had concerns, as she should. There was no favor that they could call in to go over FBI policy. They would have to do it the only way the rules permitted and go in front of a judge and a jury made of their peers within the FBI and give their case and hope that they were allowed to stay together while remaining in their positions.
It had taken up a lot of Aaron's time. It had brought down an avalanche of problems. The board now insisted on looking through all of their recent cases to see if they were any different from their old cases. There are questions being asked about things they'd buried long ago. They're getting unnerving close to discovering Reid's addiction problems.
He had been advised, at first, and then commanded to stay home with the trial was ongoing unless he was to be at said trial. He ws excused from work, save for a consult basis. They were allowed to call Reid and ask for help. He could map for them. He was still being paid, but they didn't want him on the field or in the office with the team until this was over.
So now he's at home. He's doing the housework and taking care of Jack and keeping up with his studies and taking care of his mother's business and it's wearing him down.
All of this worry and this anguish is hard to handle. He barely has time to see Aaron anymore. He'd had to go to Jack's school and be gawked at by his teacher. "This is my other daddy," Jack said proudly. The teacher had given him an odd glance and made sure to keep a chair between them during the duration of the meeting.
He'd had to deal with neighbors that snorted at his appearance and reason for being there. He's staring at the papers in front of him but not truly seeing anything but the thoughts in his mind when he hears a crash in the kitchen and jumps up to investigate. He sees Jack trying to clean up broken dishes in the kitchen.
"What happened?" Spencer asks, his tone a little angry. Jack is frowning. "I was trying to reach my cup so I pulled on the towel, but the dishes fell," he answers. Spencer runs a hand through his hair in angry. He'd just done those dishes and mopped that floor, and now he'd have to do it all over again.
"Jack, you know better!" He yells. "I would have handed your cup to you if you would have just asked. How did you not process that the dishes would fall if you pulled the towel?" he asks, not understanding. "I didn't think about that! I just wanted to get my cup. Daddy always leaves it near the edge so that I can reach it."
"Are you stupid?" Spencer yells before he can stop his self. His eyes widen and Jack begins to cry. He runs to his room and Spencer begins cleaning the mess in the kitchen. Aaron comes in before he's finished mopping for the second time. He walks up to Spencer and kisses. him on the cheek.
"I yelled at Jack. he didn't deserve it, but I was angry..." Spencer tells him. Aaron raises an eyebrow. "I called him stupid," he admits. Aaron has a completely blank look on his face. He turns away from his lover and goes to his son's bedroom. Spencer walks into his study and gets his important papers put together. He may need to leave for a while until the tension settles... or Aaron might want to make it permanent. He just wants to be ready.
He's sitting at his desk pinching the skin on the side of his wrist when the door opens and Aaron walks in. "I want you to come apologize," he says calmly. Spencer stands and avoids looking at Aaron. He keeps his gaze on their feet and walks to the boy's room. Jack's eyes are puffy and he's still hiccuping.
"Jack, I'm really sorry for yelling at you and for what I said. I'm cranky, and it wasn't right to be mad at you." The boy doesn't really look at Spencer. "I... I am suh...stupid. I bet when... when you were my age, you... you were a lot smarter," Jack tells him. "I'm not normal," Spencer tells him. 'Jack, you're a very smart boy. I was just upset that you did something that wasn't a good or safe idea. I'm sorry, buddy."
Jack nods and accepts his apology. Aaron takes his hand and leads him to their bedroom. When his hand is released he sits on the bed. "Jack offered to leave the house. He said we should get rid of him and find a child that is smart, so that you will love it and we can be a family." Spencer puts his head in his hands. What had he done?
"He apologized to me, Spencer. He apologized for not being good enough. For not being strong like daddy or smart like papa." Spencer looks up. Jack called him papa?
"I want to hit you. You have no idea how much I'm holding back. I want to degrade you. Instead," he says as he takes a deep, calming breath. "Instead, I'm going to let you know that I am disappointed. I'm hurt that yo would bully our child. I'm sad that you would treat him do poorly when you know what it is like to not only lose a parent and need the support, but to be bullied."
Spencer closes his eyes but he can't stop the tears. "I'm not going to leave you two alone anymore. Not for any extended time, at least. I don't think you can handle it. I'll hire a sitter and send him over while I'm at work. I hope you understand what this means to me, Spencer. Jack is my number one. I can no longer trust you with him. I will no longer daydream of you being a father to him. If this tension doesn't resolve in due time I will be forced to end this relationship."
Spencer is sobbing and Aaron tries to feel pity, but he doesn't. Not after what his son had offered. "For now, I would prefer if you slept on the couch. I don't think I can stand being very close to you. You are dismissed."
Spencer stands and heads to the bathroom for a shower. When he's done the light is off in their bedroom. The door is slightly ajar. Jack's light is off and Spencer can see his lover's son curled up in bed. He sees that Aaron has left his pillow on the couch and brought him a blanket.
He wakes up to Jack shaking him. "Papa Spencer? I had a bad dream. Will you read me a story?" He asks. Spencer stumbles in the dark to the boy's room. He tucks him back in and gets on his knees so his arms and head can rest on he bed beside the child. "This is a story my mom used to read to me," he says with his eyes closed.
He recounts the story of Alice in Wonderland. It was a child appropriate story that thy both enjoyed. He falls asleep half way through with his hand resting atop the sleeping child's own.
Aaron checks on his son in the morning and is surprised to find Spencer looking mighty uncomfortable half on and half off the bed. He pulls his lover up and sets him in bed. He sits beside him and runs his hand down his face. "Spencer, why were you in Jack's room?" He asks out of curiosity.
Spencer stretches and bundles under the covers. He'd fallen asleep without them and is cold. "Jack had a bad dream, so I was telling him a story. I fell asleep." Spencer is asleep again and Aaron pets him. Maybe he'd been too hasty. Everyone has days where they're stressed. He'd yelled at Jack before. He'd never gone as far as Spencer had, but still.
He curls up in bed beside his lover. He hates to admit that he hadn't been sleeping well without Spencer. He hears Jack walking into their bedroom. "Spencer was keeping the nightmares away, daddy. You stole him," he says with his child's logic. It was almost true. "Spencer keeps my nightmares away too, buddy. Do you want to get in bed?" He offers.
The boy climbs up and gets in the middle of his fathers. Aaron puts an arm over him and Spencer does too. Whether he realizes, it Aaron doesn't know. They would have to have a long talk. All three of them. They could get through this. Obviously they loved each other. The rest would fall in.
He makes sure they're all covered snugly and closes his eyes.