Pairing: Reid/Morgan, one sided Reid/Hotch
Spoilers: Up to the current season (Season 6, episode 21)
Warnings: Sex, Violence, Language
Summary: Derek leans on Penelope, Dave and Emily spend a little time together and JJ has a little chat with Hotch.
Chapter 21: Lovers and Friends
Derek had planned on going home but the image of Spencer lying still and unresponsive on his living room floor wouldn’t leave him alone and returning to the scene of the proverbial crime held appeal to him.
He drove around aimless and angry. He was angry at himself, at Hotch, at Spencer, at Gideon and Elle; the anger threatened to overwhelm him. He thought about going to the gym to work off some of the aggression in the boxing ring or on the heavy bag but he doubted his head was clear enough for him to avoid injury.
He pulled over, got out his cell phone and saw that he had one missed call and one voicemail. He hit the button and his day went from bad to worse.
“Derek, my name is Joshua Rowe and I got your number from your sister. Desiree is very worried about you and thought I might be able to help. I run an organization called Straight to Salvation and we specialize in helping people overcome their battle with unwanted homosexual feelings. These feelings quite often stem from the complex interaction of psychological, environmental and temperamental influences and our organization believes that we have found a way to lead people like yourselves out of the sin of homosexuality and into the –“
Derek erased the message and laid his head on the steering wheel. “I cannot deal with this shit today.” He muttered. He was never ready for the reminders that his sister saw his sexuality as a problem that needed to be fixed but today, on top of everything else, it was just too much. He was at his breaking point. He had opened his phone and hit speed dial. It rang twice before a familiar voice came through on the line.
“You’ve reached PG but feel free for the conversation to be NC-17 my statuesque god of chocolate thunder.” Hearing Garcia’s usual flirtatious greeting settled him a bit and some of the tension had begun to ease out of his body.
“Baby Girl.” He said quietly, not knowing what he wanted to say, only knowing that he needed to talk. “I did something stupid. I just…I need a friend.” Derek said.
Penelope noted the slightly defeated tone in Derek’s voice. “Your place or mine?” She’d asked softly.
“Yours.” Derek answered. “I’ll be there in twenty.” He’d buckled himself back into his seatbelt and turned over the engine. “And Penny…thank you.”
“Derek, you know better than that, no thanks necessary. Being there for you is practically in my job description.” Penelope said.
“Baby Girl, I’m pretty sure the bureau isn’t paying you to hold my hand.” Derek returned.
“First, if there was such a position as “Derek Morgan’s designated hand holder” there would a stampede of applicants. Second, I was referring to my position as your, and I’m quoting here, God given solace.” Penelope answered.
“What the HELL is that?” David Rossi’s voice was laced with both righteous indignation and complete shock as he’d pointed toward the television set.
“That, my dear Dave, would be Snooki.” Emily replied, as she kept her amusement at Dave’s reaction under wraps.
“That’s a trip to the free clinic, that’s what that is.” Dave noted, shaking his head. “What’s THAT?” Dave had asked again a minute later.
“That’s The Situation.” Emily told him, as she bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing.
They had spent the entire day on the couch with Emily introducing Dave to the treasure of trash tv. She’d decided to start with what she referred to as The Jersey Chronicles. They’d made it through several episodes of Jerseylicious, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and had moved onto The Jersey Shore. Dave’s reactions had alternated between the confused “in what world is this shit reality?” and the horrified “Why are they all so orange? Jesus fucking Christ, they look like escaped oompa loompas!” and Emily had thoroughly enjoyed watching the great David Rossi become completely flummoxed at the antics of reality tv “stars.”
“The situation is that guys a jackass.” Dave declared. A moment later a heavily muscled young man addressed the camera and spoke about something called GTL and referred to women as grenades. “Let me get this straight,” Dave said as he turned to Emily, “This station, which is supposedly Music Television, wanted to do a reality show about the Jersey shore-why I don’t know- and they picked those people to represent it?” He asked incredulously.
“Pretty much.” Emily replied.
“Oh man, Jersey must be pissed.” Dave said, as he thought about the other programs he’d watched.
Emily couldn’t hold back her laughter anymore and giggled uncontrollably at Dave’s outrage on behalf of the state of New Jersey. Dave smiled at her and brushed her hair back behind her ear. “You’ve got a beautiful laugh.” He murmured tracing her lower lip with his thumb.
Emily’s breath hitched as Dave dipped his head forward to kiss her…just then his doorbell rang. And rang. And rang.
“Son of a bitch.” Dave swore. “I’ll be right back. Don’t move.” He said to Emily, as he stalked his way to his front door.
The ringing had turned into knocking and the knocking had turned into pounding in the moments it had taken Dave to reach the front door. “What!?” He snarled, yanking open the door and coming face to face with a disheveled and bruised Aaron Hotchner.
“Aaron, what happened to-“Dave began to ask his friend
“YOU!” Hotch yelled. “You happened. You and your Eggs Benedict and your man the fuck up and your asinine it’s ok to be selfish. Why did I listen to you?” Aaron moaned.
Ah, this is about Spencer, Dave thought. Then he was slammed with the knowledge that Emily was in the other room. “Aaron, give me a couple minutes and then we can talk and-“
“Oh no,” Hotch declared “I’m never talking to you again. Talking to you resulted in me engaging in a fist fight with Morgan, getting tossed out of George Washington University Hospital like a drunk getting tossed out of his favorite bar and declaring my intentions towards Spencer to Morgan-before I’d even decided what I was going to do! Talking to you-“He pointed at Dave, “Is what got me into this mess in the first place!”
“Why were you at a hospital fighting with Morgan? Never mind, Aaron please-“Dave broke in trying to silence his friend.
Hotch was in no mood to be silenced. He was angry at Morgan, mortified by his behavior, worried about Spencer and terrified he was about to ruin not one, but two friendships. He needed to vent and he and Dave had been friends long enough that he knew Dave was a safe place to go.
“You’d think I’d learn not to listen to you after that whole mess in San Francisco with the prostitutes and the drag queen and that god damn Chihuahua!“ Hotch roared, ignoring Rossi’s frantic hand waving and pleas to be quiet.
“Prostitutes, Chihuahuas and drag queens huh? Sounds like one hell of a tea party.” Emily remarked from the hallway. “I don’t know which has me more curious, the fight with Morgan or the San Francisco tale.”
Dave shook his head and tried not to laugh at the shocked expression on his friends face. “Aaron, as you might remember per our earlier conversation, Emily is here.”
Aaron turned into SSA Hotchner faster than Clark Kent turned into Superman. “Prentiss. I had forgotten Dave said you’d be coming by. Dave, I won’t keep you any longer, you two enjoy the rest of your afternoon and please accept my sincere apologies for interrupting.” He was every inch the calm, controlled unflappable Unit Chief, all traces of his earlier meltdown completely gone.
“Hotch, there’s no need for you to leave. I could-“Emily began.
“No, I interrupted and you two had made plans. Dave, I- I’ll call you later.” Hotch turned and was about to leave when Dave had taken hold of his arm.
“See that you do Aaron.” He said fixing him a level gaze, and indicating the bruise on his chin.
Hotch nodded once and left. After Dave had closed the door behind him Emily surprised him by wrapping her arms around his waist and laying her head on his shoulder.
“Emily…I know you’re probably curious-“Dave started.
“You have no idea.” She confirmed mischief in her tone.
“I can’t talk about it. Aaron’s feelings toward Spencer-“
“That’s so yesterday’s news.” Emily finished for him.
“You know?” Dave asked, shock making his jaw drop. He turned so he was facing Emily.
Emily rolled her eyes. “Dave, at this point the only person on the team that doesn’t know is Spencer.” She thought for a moment. “Maybe JJ too.”
Dave laughed. “I told him the two of them weren’t exactly subtle.” His eyes narrowed. “If you know how Aaron feels about Spencer, what are you curious about?”
Emily traced Dave’s goatee before she answered. “San Francisco.” She answered.
Dave grimaced then laughed before he shook his head. “Oh hell no.” He replied. “That’s going with me to the grave.”
Emily wound her arms around Dave’s neck and pulled his head down. “I guess I’ll just have to find a way to make you talk.” She said, before she gently brushed his lips with hers.
“I thought I was the expert negotiator.” Dave teased, as he ran his hand through her hair.
When he made it to Penelope’s Derek had gained a modicum of control over himself. He knocked on her door, apology for interrupting her evening at the ready.
“Derek! What on earth happened to you?” Penelope gasped when she got a good look at her friend.
“Spencer. Hotch. Mostly myself.” Derek replied as he made his way inside. “He winced at a sudden pain in his ribs when he sat down. “I take that back. It was mostly Hotch.”
“Hotch?!” Penelope squeaked. “But it looks like someone hit you!” Derek raised an eyebrow and understanding came crashing down on her. “HE HIT YOU?!”
“He’s dead. I mean, I can’t kill him literally but he’ll wish I had.” Penelope declared, grabbing her laptop. “Who does he think he is? What right does he have to put his hands on you? I am going to take his life apart bit by painful bit until he’s a whimpering mass of –“
“Penny don’t.” Derek interrupted her mid sentence. “When you find out what happened you might just hit me yourself.” He said ruefully.
Penelope slowly closed her laptop. “Derek, what happened?” Penelope questioned.
Hotch didn’t think his day could possibly get any worse but when he pulled into his driveway and saw a determined Jennifer Jareau waiting for him he knew that it could, in fact get much, much worse.
He steeled himself for what he knew would be a barrage of questions he didn’t want to answer and got out of his SUV.
“JJ, it’s been a really long day and I-“
“Need to talk about it with a friend.” JJ announced as she marched past Hotch and up his front step. As she waited expectantly at his front door Hotch bit back a curse and threw up a prayer that JJ wasn’t there to tell Hotch where to go and how to get there.
A few minutes later they had sat down at Hotch’s kitchen table, sipping tea, somewhat reluctant to start the conversation they both knew was coming.
JJ reached put her cup down and looked over at Hotch. “You ready to tell me what happened?” JJ asked.
Hotch pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled. “JJ, I know that you and Spencer are close-“
“Then you know that I’m not leaving until I find out why he was in the hospital and why you and Morgan were fighting.” JJ quietly interrupted.
Hotch gave JJ his best Unit Chief glare, which she steadily returned. Hotch huffed a small laugh; he should have known better. JJ’s blonde hair, blue eyes, all American girl looks and gentle demeanor had fooled more than one UnSub and LEO alike into underestimating the media liaison and they’d all paid the price for doing so. Hotch knew he wasn’t going to escape this conversation until JJ had gotten what she came for.
“Where would you like me to start?” He asked.
“Try the beginning.” JJ suggested.
“I’m thinking that was sometime around the time I got stalked, stabbed nine times, dumped on an ER doorstep and my life went to hell in a hand basket.” Hotch replied bitterly.
“I-I didn’t mean to-“JJ stumbled over her words, confused as to how Foyet had made his way into the conversation.
“It’s ok.” Hotch took a deep breath and exhaled. “When Foyet infested my life, especially after he stabbed me and Jack and Haley had to be put in WITSEC, I wasn’t very pleasant to be around.”
JJ raised her eyebrows a bit at the understatement. “We all understood. It was a difficult time for you.” She said diplomatically.
“I was an ass.” Hotch asserted. “I didn’t have –“Hotch almost said control, but he was reticent to admit that to a subordinate, even if she were a friend, “balance.” He finished. “I was struggling.”
“Hotch we all understood.”
“Yes you did. You all did. Garcia made sure I had something obscenely bright and sparkling around me at all times. You made sure I ate and left the office at a decent hour. Morgan made sure I got out and about in the real world. Emily made sure I knew I wasn’t alone. Dave gave me an ear to bend, a shoulder to lean on and an occasion kick in the ass. You were all supportive, and all so kind but Spencer…Spencer was different.”
“How?” JJ asked softly.
“He was quiet. He didn’t try to force me to go out, or tell me not to work the case or suggest I take some time off. Spencer intervened without me realizing that’s what it was.” Hotch gave a little laugh and continued, “It started with cups of coffee. One morning he knocked on my door with a cup of coffee in one hand, a case file in the other, trying to balance it all on his crutches and pretended to need my help. Eventually he dropped the ruse, left out the case file but kept bringing the coffee. We talked…about things that had nothing to do with the BAU or the Bureau. I got to know Spencer…not the genius or the agent, but the person. And I don’t think I have to tell you that Spencer the person is pretty amazing.”
“That he is.” JJ agreed softly.
“Then after Haley was killed, Spencer was the only one I could…he was just there. Teaching Jack magic tricks, questioning me about The Beatles, forcing me to go to something called Comic-Con. Somewhere between letting me beat him at Scrabble and me teaching him to actually enjoy baseball things changed for me. I just, he’s just…he’s Spencer.” Hotch explained the best way he could.
JJ smiled at Hotch. “He is Spencer,” she agreed, “Why do you think I chose him to be Henry’s godfather? He’s a good person.”
Hotch nodded. He wasn’t one to normally share his emotions and even though JJ was a friend, he wasn’t entirely comfortable getting into the depth of his feelings for Spencer. He certainly wasn’t about to tell JJ about the nights he spent fantasizing about making love to Spencer or the times his thoughts drifted during briefings and he imagined how it would be to throw him on the conference table and just take him. He shifted in his seat and cleared his throat. No he definitely would not be sharing that with JJ.
“You and Will made a good choice.” Hotch said instead. He had often envied JJ and Will for the role Spencer played in Henry’s life. Jack had, over time, grown to adore Spencer and it always warmed his heart to see their interactions. Hotch had known that his affection and attraction to Spencer was something much deeper when he’d realized that it wasn’t just his life he wanted to share with the young genius, but Jack’s as well.
“Yeah we did. Henry is completely immune to the Reid Effect.” JJ reported proudly. She sensed that Hotch was holding back but she knew that being so candid about his emotions wasn’t easy for him. She wanted to leave him with as much of his privacy intact as she could but since this involved Spencer she couldn’t just let it lie.
“Are you…Hotch, what are you saying? You…you care about Spence?” She questioned carefully.
“JJ…” Hotch knew he didn’t have to answer. He hadn’t talked to Spencer yet and he didn’t know, despite what he’d said to Morgan in the heat of the moment, if he wanted to.
“Hotch.” JJ said, getting his attention. “I think you know how much he means to me. I would do practically anything for him and I want nothing more than for him to be happy, really truly happy with someone who loves him and can appreciate him for who he is.”
Hotch braced himself before he spoke. “And he’s found that with Derek and you don’t want to see me mess that up for him.” He said bitterly.
JJ looked down at her lap for a few moments then looked up at Hotch. “Spencer loves Derek. They were pretty happy together until recently…and that’s something Spencer’s never really had. I don’t think Derek has either. They’re good for each other, in a lot of ways.” She said.
“I get it JJ.” Hotch said quietly.
“No, Hotch, I’m pretty sure you don’t.” JJ said. “What they have between them, we’ve all spent years watching it grow and waiting on them to realize it. Once they did, I think Spencer really did expect happily ever after and it hasn’t turned out that way at all and he’s confused and hurt.”
“You think I’ll be taking advantage.” Hotch said flatly.
“No Hotch, I don’t and I wish you’d let me finish.” JJ sighed. “I know you better than that. You aren’t that guy. You aren’t the rebound guy or the guy that takes advantage. I know that you wouldn’t do that to Spencer or to yourself. What I’m trying to say is that…Spencer and Derek are, for the most part, a good thing…but that doesn’t mean that you and Spencer wouldn’t be a good thing too.”
Hotch stared at her in shock for a moment. “Are you saying I should…that you think I should-“
“I’m saying,” JJ broke in, “That I care about Spencer and want him to be happy. And I’m saying that you are a good man, who would be good to him and that’s all I want for him. I’m saying,” JJ looked Hotch in the eye, “that Spencer deserves to know that he could have a chance to be with you and make his own mind.”
“And what about Derek?” Hotch asked.
“I care about Derek and I don’t want to see him hurt.” JJ answered. “But Spencer is my top priority. And Derek’s done a lot to hurt him lately. I’m not saying that erases all the good things he’s done for him in the last few years, but it does…change things. He’s Spencer’s first real love,” JJ saw Hotch almost blink at that so she reached across and grabbed his hand, “but that doesn’t mean he’ll be his last love. If they can work it out and Spencer’s happy then I’m happy. If you tell Spencer how you feel and he wants to see where things go with the two of you, I’m happy with that too. I just want you to know that the only side I’m on in all this is Spencer’s.”
As the implication of JJ’s words sunk in, Hotch felt himself relax. “That’s…that is more than fair. Thank you.” He said.
“You’re welcome.” JJ said. “So…is this why you and Derek were fighting in the hospital?”
Hotch froze. As angry as he was with Derek he was still a friend…or so he hoped, maybe. Whether Derek was a friend or not, he was still his agent-hopefully- and given JJ’s closeness to Spencer, Hotch didn’t think any good could come from JJ knowing the particulars.
“I may not be a profiler and I may be a blonde but I’m far from dumb.” JJ murmured. “You can tell me or I can hunt Derek down and he can tell me.”
And there it was Hotch mused. JJ was a veritable iron fist in a velvet glove. Hotch sighed. “Partly.” He answered.
“And the other part?” JJ prompted him.
Hotch sighed. “Derek…told me something I wasn’t happy to hear.”
“About Spencer?” JJ pushed.
Hotch hedged yet again. “Yes about Spencer.”
JJ was done playing games. “Did Derek hit him?” She asked bluntly, her tone leaving no question just what would happen if the answer was yes.
“No.” Hotch replied quickly.
JJ processed the information. “But he did have something to do with Spencer’s injury.” She pressed.
Hotch gave JJ a half-smile. “You would have made an excellent attorney.” He noted.
“So that’s a yes.” JJ replied, refusing to be distracted.
Hotch pinched the bridge of his nose. “He said he and Spencer were arguing, Spencer tried to leave and Derek pushed him against a wall to prevent him from doing so. Spencer apparently hit his head, and Derek sought medical attention for him.”
“So he didn’t hit him, but it wasn’t exactly an accident.” JJ said slowly. She couldn’t help but be angry at Derek, but before the anger could fully come through she was hit with the knowledge that Spencer didn’t remember what happened.
“What is it?” Hotch had been watching JJ intently.
“Spencer…he doesn’t remember. He said it’s normal sometimes when you get a concussion not to remember events immediately prior to or surrounding the incident, but he doesn’t remember. He knows you two got into a fight but he doesn’t know why. He doesn’t know Derek…” JJ trailed off.
Hotch was quiet for a moment. “I think its best if that comes from Derek. I’d rather not say or do anything that could be construed as trying to manipulate Spencer or turn this…situation to my advantage.”
- I can be found...:Spinning in my desk chair like Reid
- I'm Feeling...: cheerful
- Currently listening to....:In The End ~Lincoln Park