- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Discussion-Domestic Abuse
- Discussion-Sexual Abuse
- Explicit Sex
- Hate Crimes
- Crime Drama
- Established Relationship
- Urban Fantasy
“Daddy!” Jack yelled as he got out of the back of Jessica Brooks’ car.
Spencer was a little shocked that the child safety door wasn’t engaged on the car but it seemed that Jessica and Aaron were not that worried about it. Aaron crouched down as Jack jumped into his arms, flinging his arms around Aaron’s neck and holding on tight. Spencer was still inside of the farmhouse looking out the window in the living room. Jack had not noticed him yet but Jessica had. Aaron was very happy they were there and Spencer was as well. Aaron wasn’t normally that secretive about Jack in Spencer’s life but he wondered if with the whole case and then claiming if it had slipped Aaron’s mind about whatever this was that Aaron had planned. It would be fun, whatever it was, Spencer knew that. With the team there, Spencer would have a buffer between him and Haley if it was needed.
Jessica was easy to get along with but Spencer hadn’t seen Haley since he and Aaron had started a relationship. It wasn’t that Spencer was avoiding her, it was just that when the time for a talk was going to happen, the team got a case and Spencer couldn’t help that. Jessica looked up at Spencer and waved her hand at him. That drew Jack’s attention to him. Jack’s face lit up and Spencer started to walk to the door. Jack was running full tilt at him and Spencer knew that if he crouched, Jack was going to knock them back but still he did it. Jack crashed into him and Spencer didn’t even try and stop the boy from tipping them over. He saw the near glow in Jack’s eyes. Spencer wasn’t sure that Aaron was ready for what that meant.
“I missed you, Spencer,” Jack said as he near laid on top of Spencer, his head going to Spencer’s shoulders and his arms trying to wiggle under Spencer’s body.
“I missed you, too, Jack,” Spencer said as he sat up enough to where Jack could hug him. Spencer looked at Jessica to see that she wasn’t concerned so either she hadn’t seen it or it was the first time that Jack had done it. Spencer knew that kids who were troubled and went through turmoil sometimes shifted for the first time very early in life and the very ugly divorce could have been what set it off. Especially if Haley and Aaron fought just enough after it that Jack felt the need to protect himself just a little.
“I have something to show you, Spencer!”
“Yeah?” Spencer asked. The last thing that Jack had showed him had been a fumbled magic trick that Jack had seen Spencer do once. Jack had replicated it pretty well for his age and the fact that he hadn’t been taught it.
“It’s a secret though.” Jack looked at Aaron and then Jessica his head turned enough to see them but he hadn’t let go of Spencer yet. “I want to show you and then Dad and Aunt Jessica.”
Spencer looked at Aaron and Aaron nodded his head. He didn’t seem that concerned. Spencer stood up, carrying Jack with him. Jack’s trust in Aaron’s team was near absolute. If the team ever got someone on it that was going to do bad things, it wasn’t going to be good as Jack would just trust them to be good to him.
“Where do you want to show me this secret?” Spencer asked.
“Back of the house.”
Spencer turned that way, giving Aaron a smile before they went around the side of the house. When they were at the back of the house, Jack wiggled so Spencer set him down. Jack took a few steps before he turned back to look at Spencer. His eyes were glowing again and Spencer was about to yell for Aaron when Jack changed into a tiny wolf cub, gray wolf like his father. Spencer was stuck on the spot and he didn’t know what to do. Jack stumbled over to Spencer, his legs not quite working right and he pawed at Spencer’s pants leg. Spencer leaned over and carefully picked him up. Jack fell over into Spencer, placing his paws on Spencer’s chest and licking at his face. Jack was tiny, barely old enough to do this at all but still here he was.
There was only going to be so long of time before Aaron came around to see what was going on especially with them being silent. Spencer shifted Jack in his arms just a little so that Jack couldn’t fall and then he walked toward the side of the house. He came around the last corner but Aaron and Jessica weren’t facing him.
“So do you know what the secret is?” Aaron asked Jessica.
“No. He’s been a little distant but we figured it was because this getting pushed back because of the case. I’ve not really pushed him on that front. Not while Haley has been working more.”
“Is she liking the job?”
“Yes, a lot but right now the other person that does what she does is sick and the other is on vacation so she’s pulling near full time just to cover.”
“Haley is still happy living in the house, yes?” Aaron asked.
“Yes. Though I think that she does want a change but I should leave that to discuss with her but do push her on it. She’s not going to bring it up on her own.”
“Should we go see? They are quiet, which is odd for those two. Usually they are making more noise than a herd of elephants.”
Spencer wanted to feel a little bad about that but Aaron had pushed Spencer to play with Jack, to have fun. Aaron called it Spencer learning about how to be a kid, even when he was an adult. Spencer just stayed here he was but Jack wasn’t content to just stand there. He barked. Spencer reached out and was about to muzzle him but Aaron stiffened and Spencer was scared of moving. Aaron slowly turned.
“That wasn’t Spencer was it?” Jessica asked.
“No, too small.” Aaron’s mouth dropped open and he took a half step forward. Jack barked at him and Spencer could feel his tail start to wag.
Spencer didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know why Jack would want to show Spencer first and not his father. There was a lot of things that Spencer thought Jack would want to show him but this wasn’t it. Spencer shifted his hold on Jack to where he could hold him out for his father to take but all Aaron did was step up and pet him on the head.
“You are cute, almost as cute as you are in human form.” Aaron scratched at the nape of Jack’s neck before he looked up at Spencer with happiness in his eyes. He leaned over and kissed Spencer on the lips making Jack bark again and playfully nip at first Spencer and then Aaron. Spencer looked down in time to see Aaron get bit. “Hey, puppy teeth are sharp.” Aaron’s tone was playful and Jack barked again. He started to wiggle so Spencer set him down.
Spencer backed up so he could carefully set Jack down but the boy just jumped from his hands about two feet above the ground. Spencer tried to lunge to grab him but Aaron held him back.
“He’s fine, Spencer.” Aaron wrapped his arm around Spencer and drew him to where Spencer’s back was pressed to his chest.
Spencer watched as Jack ran to Jessica who crouched down to pet him.
“Some kids are very independent in this stuff. Haley told me that she’s seen the gold glow to his eyes on occasion when he’s really, really happy. He’s like you, when he’s happy he wants to be in fur form. I don’t think that anger and strong emotions like that will be his hard to not shift emotions.”
“Why did he show me first?”
“Because you are learning how to be happy with yourself and he knows it. He knows that you were scared of showing him the form. He tried to get you to run when you were giving him a ride but you barely trotted. He’s showing you that it’s okay. That he’s just like you adn you don’t need to treat him with kid gloves. I mean don’t take him smoking and drinking but you don’t have to hold back.”
“He’s a child,” Spencer said in response to Aaron’s comment about smoking and drinking.
“Yes, I know he is and I was playing. I need to get food started but why don’t you and Jack take a run in fur form. I’m sure that you can trot fast enough that it will give Jack a workout. He can learn the land in wolf form while you learn what it’s like to have a kid who annoys you. Watch, though, his teeth are sharp.” Aaron laughed and pressed a kiss to Spencer’s neck before letting him go. Jack started to jump up and down in front of Spencer before he ran to the trees along the left side of the house. He raced back to Spencer and grabbed the leg of his pants to pull him along, like he could actually do it.
Spencer looked at Aaron with a pleading look on his face.
“Oh, no. He showed you first, he wants you. Go and bond, Spencer. It will do you both some good.”
Spencer knew that he had Henry. He knew that he wasn’t as horrible with kids as he used to be but Henry was still a baby. He was still in the whole peek-a-boo stage. Jack could really hurt himself in the woods. Spencer knew that Jack had been in them as a human a lot. That was different though than being in the woods in fur form. Spencer nodded though and shifted, not getting naked first. He was in clothes that he didn’t mind if they got messed up after the shower had taken. That shower had started out alone but after Aaron thank Joe and Ellen for dropping off the grill they had been holding for him for a month, Aaron had joined him. Spencer was still pretty sure that he had the faint odor of sex on him and Aaron’s scent was all over him after Aaron had rubbed them both off while pressing Spencer into the wall of the shower. Spencer wasn’t going to complain but if Morgan or Prentiss made mention of it, Aaron was going to get it.
The change was easy, easier than it had ever been for Spencer. There was few seconds of thinking about it and then it happening. It was instantaneous. Spencer loved the feel of it for once. Jack jumped up and down in place, barking as he did before he took off for the woods. He stumbled twice, the first time he recovered but the second he fell over and rolled until he got to his feet. He shook himself off and then took off for the woods again. Spencer raced to catch up, figuring that Jack would just fall more when he was inside of the woods and wasn’t running on straight grass.
Jack stopped and smelled at everything, including a hole in the ground that Spencer knew was home to a family of skunks about two hundred feet inside of the woods. Spencer laughed as Jack ran backward so fast he tripped and fell on his ass to get away from the smell. Jack chased a few birds, and even a chipmunk that he found. He wasn’t trying to catch it but just play so Spencer settled down into a sunny patch and let Jack play. Jack was good about not getting too far from sight when he was in Human form but in wolf he had a longer distance that he could go, Spencer’s ears were good enough to hear him even if he went out of sight.
The honking of a horn told Spencer that Morgan had arrived but Aaron hadn’t called out to tell them to come back so he didn’t. Jack was still figuring out the way that his body was moving now and the smells around him. Spencer followed behind when Jack started to head toward the pond. It was a nice and breezy day so that meant that the smell of the pond as on the breeze. Spencer knew that some fish lived in the pond so he wasn’t that shocked that Jack fell into the water after two seconds to try and get a fish. Spencer just ducked his head down and grabbed Jack by the nap of the neck and pulled him out. As soon as Spencer let him go, Jack shook himself dry, all over Spencer. Spencer pushed at him with his nose until he fell over.
Jack growled at Spencer felt lunging at him to try and fight. It was playful and Spencer knew that Jack needed that play to learn how to be what he was so Spencer nosed at him again. Jack fell and this time he rolled before getting to his feet. Spencer hunched down and waited for Jack to attack back. He was small but as Aaron had said, he was not going to be hurt easily.
Spencer wasn’t sure how long they played like that but it was a while as Spencer felt a little worn out from the day’s activities when he heard Aaron’s whistle cutting through the trees. Jack stopped what he was doing right away and looked up at where the sound came from. He ignored it though and jumped onto Spencer’s back again, trying to pin him down to the ground. Spencer stood up, Jack sliding off of him. Spencer carefully picked him up by the scruff of his neck and started to walk fast back to the house. Jack made a few mewling noises but after a minute he settled down some. Spencer was sure that it was a picture worth taking when he appeared between the trees with Jack in his mouth.
Haley was just getting out of her car while the rest of the team was standing and staring at Spencer.
“Uh, Hotch. Reid brought home a stray!” Morgan called out.
Aaron came out of the house with a tray in his hand. He settled the tray onto the grill and turned to look at Spencer and Jack. Spencer dropped Jack down to the ground and Jack took off running for Haley right away. Jack bounced up and down at Haley’s feet, barking.
“Really?” Haley asked as he reached down and plucked a stick that had got stuck in Jack’s fluffy puppy fur. “Have you been in the woods playing with Spencer?”
Jack barked and then shifted with ease into a boy again.
“I’ll be damned,” Morgan said.
“Mommy, I did it!” Jack screamed before he wrapped his arms around Haley and hugged her legs. Haley reached down and ruffled his hair.
“I see this. Please tell me you didn’t do it alone.”
“No. I had Spencer with me when I changed the first time. I really liked it. He let me play on him and run with him and I found skunks and I fell in the pond trying to catch a fish. Spencer bumped me for getting him wet and then we played and played until Spencer carried me back. I’m hungry.”
Spencer couldn’t help the laugh that came out after Jack’s hunger declaration. Spencer knew well what it felt like shifting and playing and getting so very hungry.
“Well your father is getting ready to start cooking but I bet Aunt Jessica can take you and get a snack.” Haley looked at Jessica and she held out her hand. Jack was a little dirty but there was no helping that as Spencer knew once everyone was done eating they were going to be taking to the woods again.
Spencer did brush off his own clothes a little bit before looking at Haley.
“Hello, Spencer,” Haley said as she took a step toward him.
“Hello M-Haley.” Spencer wasn’t sure what to call her but he was a little tongue tied at it. Aaron was at the grill and he only grinned. Spencer promise to pay him back for that.
“He’s been talking for days about wanting to show you something. I assume that his first shift was it?” Haley asked.
“I think so, Ma’am. He was quite proud of himself. He doesn’t seem to have an issue on it, the whole back and forth. I was stuck for a little while in my wolf form the first time. Though I was more reluctant about it all than him.”
“Aaron’s told me a little about your issues over the years. A little more when I was worried about how you were acting around Jack. It helped explain a lot. I was raised among the pack, even though I can’t shift, but I never once thought that my pack didn’t love me. It’s not big but it’s full of love. Jack loves to go and visit them. Maybe the next run that they do you and Aaron should come with Jack, Jessica, and I. I know you have this pack but Aaron’s always been welcome in mine, even after the divorce. I wasn’t the nicest for a while but he’s been coming some, mainly for Jack.”
“And Aaron and I as a couple?” Spencer knew that a lot of packs looked down on same sex couples.
“My aunt comes with her two female life partners,” Haley said with a smile.
“Yes, they are the pack crazy aunts as Jack calls them. They are the fun ones and the ones that watch over the kids if the adults want to have a bit more…animalistic fun.” Haley’s eyes darted to Spencer neck where the wound was still evident where Aaron had bit him. There were scratches on his person as well. “How is your leg?”
Spencer looked at Aaron and frowned. He knew that Aaron talked to Jack each night but he wasn’t aware that Aaron kept Jack or even Haley that informed on Spencer.
“Jack told me. He tells me a lot about you, things that you do with him, what he really likes about you.” Haley turned to the side and settled into Spencer a little bit, slipping her arm through his. Spencer stiffened.
“Haley,” Aaron said.
“I’m not going to hurt him. I would probably have a screaming Jack if I did. I just want to have a talk with him, away from prying ears,” Haley said. She kind of forced Spencer to run and they passed by Aaron. She leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek and Spencer just blushed at the look of worry on Aaron’s face.
Spencer knew if he said one word about not wanting this, Aaron would stop it. He would have Morgan or Prentiss go with them but Spencer agreed that maybe a frank discussion would be good fro them. Especially if she was going to be in the woods with all of them.
Haley said nothing until they were near the pond, she went right there with no issue which told Spencer that she had been out there with Aaron at least some. She was in shorts so when she let go of Spencer and sat down to take off her shoes, Spencer didn’t really think about it when she dropped her legs into the water, kicking a little. Spencer hadn’t really paid that close of attention to see that the water line there was a straight drop down.
“Aaron likes to run in his pelt so he would drop me off here and I would sit and enjoy the sun and just exist out here. The first time I didn’t have a place I could do this so the next time, he had come out during the weekend and dug this down and lined it with a netting that’s hooked into the dirt pretty far to stop it from collapsing. He checks it on occasion. It was a stop gap measure until he could build up a little dock. The pond is just big enough to fish on and Jack does want to try and fish. We both got a little crazy there for a few years and Aaron didn’t come out as much as he wanted just to try and be with me. I started to resent this side of him and I hated that when I was clear of the jumbles of emotions.”
“He’s been talking about working on this place some during out little vacation. I’m not the greatest with the physical stuff but I can help him some. Morgan’s offered.”
“He loves you and I could tell that two years ago.”
“What?” Spencer stopped as he had been leaning over to take off his shoes and roll up his pants legs to sit down beside her. He let his feet slip into the water after finishing up. Haley said nothing else so Spencer waited. She seemed like she was gathering her thoughts.
“Aaron loved me but we grew apart and neither of us tried to hold onto it until we were too far apart. I resented him for caring more about his job than he did me but I saw afterward, when I wasn’t looking at it through the eyes of a resentful wife that it’s the help on the job that Aaron craves. He wanted to be helpful, he needs to be. His family life wasn’t the greatest, even on the best days. I had a really good childhood, Spencer. I mean like one of those ones that’s picture perfect. I wanted for nothing that I needed and I knew that I would never go without love and care. Aaron had more bad days than I had good. He rose above that. He made sure that I would have a life that I loved, at the sacrifice of his own happiness for a while. Then he started to care about himself and stupid me started to hate him for that. I can see where I went wrong and I’m not laying the blame wholly on me. He could have tried more but I knew that he wouldn’t. He doesn’t fight for things because if he does, he’s going to lose them. He’s lost the things he wanted most at the hands of his parents. He loves Sean with all of his heart but that boy needs a lot of help because he resents Aaron for some reason.”
“Sean has never let himself see the horribleness that their parents put on Aaron. Everything that Aaron has in his life he has fought for. He wasn’t handed a good education, he made sure that he got it because he thought that if he was good, if he was perfect he would get the attention that Sean had but all Sean saw was that Aaron had things that Sean wanted while Sean had everything that Aaron wanted and never could get. In the end his parents made him lose Sean too.” Spencer had thought long and hard on all of that over the years. There was supposed to be no inner team profiling but it was hard when you saw bits and pieces of things. Actions that were in congruent with the whole of what the man before them was.
“I never understood why Aaron didn’t push for more with Sean but after the last time that he was in town for a quick visit after Jack was born, I could see how much Sean resented Aaron for having a family. Sean could have one if he really wanted and settled down but he thinks it’s something to be handed to him not something he has to work for. Do you know if Aaron has told him about you?”
“I don’t bring up Sean,” Spencer said. No one on the team did. They all knew that there were issues there and never brought him up unless they had to.
“I can understand that. I never did after that visit. I don’t want you to ever feel like I hate you. Aaron was my best friend for a long time and I think we let ourselves both be blinded to the fact that maybe we should have stayed best friends. He’s happy with you in a way that he hasn’t been for a long time. I knew he was falling in love with you two years ago and I took a little but I became happy for him. Then I thought he was never going to make a move on you. He was happy just being around you. I didn’t even understand that his reasons for staying away was because he thought you were human. I thought you were as well and then he told me about you, about what little he felt safe telling about your life.”
“It wasn’t the greatest but then I think that helps when it comes to him and I.” Spencer looked out at the pond. He could see the fish swimming up some distance away from them.
“That’s why I want to talk to you about this before I mention it to Aaron. Aaron will probably want it but he might not ask for fear of upsetting you. Jack’s been asking me to move for a while. Not because he doesn’t like the house but because he wants a place that Aaron and I can live in along with Jessica. I know what the marks on you mean, the way that they are. Those were not made by human fingernails and you were not injured like that on the case, not that it would look like that now anyway. Jack told me everything that Aaron told him and you would have been healed from those scratches already. You and Aaron are now a package deal and I understand that.” Haley reached into her pocket and pulled out a phone. She touched the screen a few times and then showed Spencer it.
There was a house on there, or mansion might be the correct term as it looked bigger than Rossi’s house that he called a mansion. It had two very distinct wings in it. It would be big enough for four adults and Jack. It would make Aaron happy to be able to be around Jack more and Jack wouldn’t have to be shuttled back and forth between two places all the time. Spencer was already going to have to move. He could hold onto his place until a bigger, much bigger place was found. He could still stay with Aaron most of the time, them going back to his to check on the other apartment. Spencer could do that and it would better than packing up to move in with Aaron and then moving somewhere else all together.
“Why talk to me first at all? Do you want me to influence Aaron in one way or another?”
“No!” Haley was emphatic on that. She looked upset that Spencer even mentioned that. “No. No. If you hate the idea, I wasn’t even going to ask Aaron. If you didn’t think that you could live with Jack, me and Jessica full time, I wouldn’t ask Aaron. This is new to you, you’ve not even lived with Aaron full time. It would be different if this had happened before this, if Aaron had lived with us and you knew what you were getting into. Or if you had been living with Aaron alone for a while, it would be different. This is a lot of change on you and I would rather move at a pace you are comfortable with than to have Aaron looking at you like a kicked puppy and you doing something you are not ready for. I know Aaron. I might have forgot for a while but he’s my best friend. I want what is best for Jack, yes and I think that living with his mother and his father would be best for him but it’s not just us three in the relationship.”
“I’ll think about it and let you know sometime today.”
“It doesn’t have to be today, it doesn’t have to be this place. Jack and I take walks and we see this place as it’s close to where we walk when we take the car to walk somewhere that we don’t go everyday. It’s a little on the edge of the city, closer to Quantico and closer to New Haven.”
“That’s the Shifter friendly school in Dumfries right? Aaron was talking about it and Jack would be starting there for kindergarten after he’s done with pack schooling.”
“Yes. Jack’s already got a place there because of his estimated IQ with how he talks and stuff. I blame Aaron for that. Aaron’s read to him so much. I swear that Aaron read him the dictionary and encyclopedias when he was a baby.”
“Shifter children are not stupid. There really aren’t any that could be considered dumb in any way shape or form unless there was on outside influence. I guess I’m just used to smarter kids that I didn’t think that there was anything different about him.”
“He loves reading, he’s been drawing too and those are a little more detailed than other almost four year old children. I think that outside of New Haven being a good school that includes Shifters, I think that the way that we can modify Jack’s educational track will be wonderful. I want you to be in on that, when we go in the spring to talk to them.”
“You are one of his parents Spencer, whether you’ve realized that or not. He felt safe coming out to you, so to speak. he wanted you to be the first. Aaron and I got over the jealousy of that kind of stuff a long time ago and it wasn’t hard to understand why Jack wanted to show you of all people in his little world. You are a parent.”
Spencer was a little shocked at that. He hadn’t thought of himself that way. He stood up from the water and was a little dazed. He heard Aaron’s whistle and the smell of food that was making it’s way all the way to where they were because of the breeze had Spencer feeling hungry. Lunch felt like such a long time ago.
The walk back was by smell to Spencer. He followed his nose to the scent of freshly grilled meats. He looked at the team, his family, just grown a little bigger in his eyes since he had fully committed to Aaron. He now had his mate’s ex-wife, her sister, and a kid in that family. In his pack.
“So was it a good talk?” Aaron asked as Spencer tucked himself into Aaron’s side.
Spencer nodded his head. Aaron reached out to turn Spencer’s face to look at him. Aaron looked really worried. Spencer tried to form words but those were hard. He had no clue how he was feeling.
“Haley?” Aaron questioned. He looked at his ex-wife with a frown on his face and anger starting in his eyes.
“We are all moving in together!” Spencer near yelled.
Aaron’s eyes darted from Haley to Spencer and back and forth a few times.
“What?” Aaron asked.
Haley started to laugh and she looked happy. She rushed at Spencer and hugged him tight. Spencer hugged her back.
“Really? Daddy and Spencer are moving in with us?” Jack asked.
“I’m a little lost here,” Aaron said.
“Jack’s been wanting you to move back in,” Jessica said.
Spencer listened as she explained everything that Jack had wanted and what Haley wanted to talk to Spencer about.
“And no one asked me?”
“You would do it in a heartbeat if it was going to better for Jack,” Spencer said as he finally let go of Haley. Jack was there to hug her and Spencer looked at his mate. “We all know that but Haley didn’t want me doing it because it would make you happy. She was willing to wait until I was ready without the pressure of you being upset at me saying that I wasn’t ready. We can close down my apartment and I check on it every few days and I move in with you with a little bit of my stuff until we find a place that all of us would fit in.”
“I found a castle!” Jack said. He looked up at Haley with expectation on his face.
Haley sighed and moved to grab her phone to show Aaron the house that was on sale. Spencer could see the castle bit with the two sides of the houses having almost towers in them. Spencer was pretty sure that Jack was going to get rooms on either side of the house with Jessica and Haley taking one side and Spencer and Aaron taking the other. It was big enough that there could be two of everything pretty much.
Spencer looked at Aaron and saw that he was in shock but seemed happy. Spencer got closer and gave him a hug.
“Are you sure?” Aaron asked.
“No but then I can’t be sure of everything. It just feels right,” Spencer said honestly. Aaron kissed him, hard and deep and made Morgan start to make gagging noises. Spencer laughed as he pulled away from the kiss. Aaron didn’t let him go far at all but then Spencer wasn’t shocked. Aaron probably wasn’t going to let him get too far the rest of the evening, wanting to be close to Spencer just to be close to him. Spencer had no issues with that now or ever.