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Characters this chapter: Tony DiNozzo, Spencer Reid, David Rossi, Aaron Hotchner, Anthony DiNozzo, Sr (indirectly)
Relationships this chapter: Tony DiNozzo/Spencer Reid, Spencer Reid/Tony DiNozzo/Brian O’Connor,
Chapter Warnings: Anti-Senior, Fallout from the Plague
Word Count: 6,301/112,298
Chapter Summary: Tony and Spencer have their first fight. After getting advice from each of their chosen parental figure, things get worked out. Senior’s reach is long, and even from prison he has the ability to cause his son trouble. Then Spencer finds himself on the other side of a situation he’s experienced himself, although never from his current point of view. He finds he doesn’t much like it, and it gives him insight into what others must go through when it happens to him.
Chapter Seven: Disagreements and Making Up, Blast from the Past, and Pain from the Other Side
~~*BAU Mid June 2011*~~ * ~~Disagreements and Making Up*~~
It was bound to happen. Every couple has their arguments. When you have two people with such deeply rooted insecurities, who hate talking about emotions, eventually a misunderstanding is bound to happen. Add to it a wealth of sensitive subjects in their past, and it’s almost a near certainty that eventually someone’s feelings are going to be hurt.
Tony wasn’t even sure how it happened. One second they were talking about their pasts, sharing secrets and old hurts. The next second, World War Three had broken out. Brian, the level headed calm one, was out on assignment, which left no one to cool them down when things got heated. They’d had little minor arguments before, but nothing like this.
Tony had started to talk about his time at boarding school when Spencer had launched into a long winded and excited ramble about what a positive experience they should be if approached with an open mind. Of course, Tony’s own experience had been anything but that. He’d started to explain, but hadn’t gotten past, “I’m sorry, Dr. Reid, but in my experience you are wrong,” when things went to the crapper. If there was one sure way to put Spencer on the defensive, it was to tell him that he was wrong. Tony knew this, but in his haze of hurt and disbelief he hadn’t thought of that. In the moment he only knew that he wasn’t being heard, and his pain wasn’t being acknowledged, as per normal in his life.
Eventually, things got to the point that neither of them wanted to be near the other. Tony didn’t know where Spencer went. He however grabbed his keys, and ran to Rossi, despite the fact that they were at his penthouse apartment. His heart was full of pain, confusion, and betrayal. His boyfriend had basically supported what he’s always considered one of his guardian’s worst betrayals, and what was one of the worst experiences of his life. Spencer seemed to indicate that it was basically Tony’s perception that was wrong, and not the slimy bastard that ran the place.
“Figlio, have you considered the possibility that you two were not on the same page? Because I know that I wasn’t there, but what you’re saying doesn’t sound like Spencer. It sounds like he was referring to Hotch’s time at boarding school, referencing in his head his own time at college as a child, and making assumptions from there to speak in general terms. There is no way he would have said those things had he known what a creep your headmaster was.”
Tony sat heavily in his favorite chair, and sniffled quite unmanly. “I’m scared.” Tony admitted. “I’m feel like I have no idea what I am doing, and any second he’s gonna realize that he can do so fucking much better than me. I’m afraid that he’s gonna listen to his friends who hate me. I’m afraid that when he does wise up and leave me, that I won’t survive, Angelo. I’m in too deep to get out of this unscathed, and we’ve barely been dating for 6 months. Then add Brian in on top of it, and all I can see is all the ways I am going to get hurt.”
“First off knock off this I’m not good enough for Spencer bullshit. He’s goddamned lucky to have you. And before you argue with me, please remember I’ve known him longer than you.” Rossi huffed and stood to refill his drink. When he was back in his recliner, he started speaking again.
“If I could get away with it, your father would be a dead man. I’m not knocking Spencer when I say that he’s lucky to have you. He is so much happier, and so much more confident in his own skin since you’ve come into his life. You deserve this relationship. As far as the fight goes, you need to understand that Spencer’s time at college was, from his point of view, mostly wonderful. He had a horrible time in high school, and at least college had offered him some measure of safety. He also has heard numerous stories from Aaron about his time at boarding school, which I can tell you was almost a complete 180 from yours. We don’t get a lot of cases with kids where the problem or the unsub is in a position of authority at the school. So, he’s managed to remain somewhat naïve about what can happen to children in the wrong academic environment.”
Taking a sip of his drink, Dave tried not to let his frustration with JJ and the initial problems with Derek seep into his voice. “I know that you are scared to lose Reid. It’s that fear that convinced me how serious about him you were. As for his friends… I will have you know Derek has come a long way. He will probably always be on Spencer’s side first, but I don’t think he’d let Reid be unfair to you either. JJ is… well let’s face it. She has made herself Spencer’s mother hen, and frankly no one will ever be good enough for him in her eyes. You I also both know that there is something more than that going on though. She’s got some bur up her ass about you, and while I am not certain I have a few ideas why that could be. I am frankly quite disappointed in Ms. Jereau.
“So, don’t take her crap as a knock against you. Stop letting her make you feel bad about shit that isn’t her business. If you keep assuming you’re gonna mess it up you will, eventually it will happen. If you keep assuming that it’s going to go bad, eventually you’ll make a mountain out of a molehill, and all your worst fears will come true.”
Setting his glass on the end table by his chair, Dave leaned forward resting his arms on his legs. “I know we don’t talk about this emotional crap much, but you couldn’t be more my son if I’d created you myself. You fucking deserve this, Figlio, so stop doubting this.
“Now go home and make this right. Spencer is most likely at Hotch’s. I believe Aaron was taking Jack somewhere this evening, so you have time to do an ‘I’m an asshole’ dinner before Hotch sends him back to you. So go home, turn on Frank, and make him some homemade lasagna. Say you’re sorry. He’ll say he’s sorry, and then you two can have whatever your equivalent of makeup sex is.”
Tony chuckled blushing. “Netflix in a blanket fort with caramel corn and wine.”
Rossi snorted. “Whatever floats your boat, kid. Get out of here and make me proud.”
Smiling Tony stood and kissed Rossi cheek. “Thank you, Angelo. Just so you know… you’re more my father than Senior ever will be.” Turning Tony left Rossi with a grin on his face.
Spencer walked through the door to the penthouse, a little worried about using the key he’d been given when Tony moved in. Hotch had assured him that it would be OK, but he wasn’t quite comfortable with the idea. Hotch had given him a stern talking to, and helped explain where he’d gone wrong. He hadn’t meant to get so excited and override Tony’s feelings. It just happened sometimes. He’d also explained that Tony’s insecurities may always be an issue, and that the three of them would need to keep that in mind. Emotions were hard.
His high IQ and his early home environment were not the best conductors to being emotionally intelligent. He hadn’t really been in the best emotional environment until he’d found the BAU family. College had been better than home, but he still often found himself falling behind emotionally. He didn’t have a lot of people that he could relate to, and his conservator had been, looking back now as an adult, a snake who was more interested in his own career path and less interested in Spencer’s well-being. The friends that he’d had were like him. Highly intelligent people who didn’t really understand emotions, and therefore avoided them at all costs.
Hotch suggested that, while Tony was working on remembering that his past was not an indicator of his future, Spencer work on his awareness of other’s emotions outside of case victims. He did pretty well at work with victims and their families, but probably never would be as sensitive as say JJ or Tony who were amazing with helping people who were hurting.
Inching through the penthouse, Spencer made his way to the kitchen and hovered in the doorway holding the pastry box in front of him like a shield. He wasn’t ashamed to admit that he was scared to death. It wasn’t until Hotch had helped him calm down and he’d explained the conversation that he’d understood what Tony may have been so upset about. The idea that a person of authority over children abusing that position still baffled Spencer, and he never quite expected it. His experiences had been, jealous conservator aside, life affirming.
Hotch though explained that he should not use Hotch’s stories from boarding school that he’d loved, or Spencer’s time at college as a child that he had also loved, to assume that had been everyone’s experience. They had both gotten away from home and loved their new environments. For them the escape had led to safe havens, leaving behind abusive or neglectful, even if it was unintentional on Spencer’s mother’s part, behind. He should also keep in mind that Aaron had for the most part cherry picked stories, and left all of the hard or hurtful stories securely locked in their closet where he kept them and refused to think about them.
It was true that Tony had been sent away after one parent was murdered and the other sent to jail for the act, and that both parents had been at least somewhat abusive or neglectful. Both losses were highly traumatic acts. He also needed to remember that Tony adored his mother, and she had quite literally been his whole life by her design. The child he’d been did not most likely in any way resemble the man he was now. So, the little boy sent away to live with strangers had probably not been emotionally prepared for the sometimes harsh and cut throat environment that was boarding school. Spencer suspected that his mentor knew something more about Tony’s time at school than Spencer himself did. He recognized the flare of anger in his friend’s eyes that appeared at the mistreatment of a child. He wasn’t going to ask though. It was Tony’s tale to tell him, and if his boyfriend so chose he should get to do it in his own way and time.
Of all the things Spencer had encountered in his life abuse from an adult was not one of those things he considered having gone through. Most of his abuse in his opinion had been in the form of bullying from jealous children. He knew that Hotch and Rossi at least believed that there was some unintentional neglect between himself and his mother, but Spencer refused to think about it. His mother was his everything some days still, and he wasn’t going to throw around terms like neglect when he knew she’d been battling such a serious mental illness. She’d done her best for him, and Spencer was thankful for it every day.
“Are you going to come in? Or, are you just going to stand and tease me with whatever is in that pastry box?” He heard, and looked up to see Tony hadn’t turned from the counter where he was working on garlic bread. Two whole full sized loaves, and he’d even gotten the frozen pre-made kind that Spencer loved instead of making it from scratch! Maybe Aaron was right, and all was not lost. Surely he wouldn’t have bought the kind that he personally hated if he wasn’t going to forgive Spencer.
“I wasn’t sure I was still welcome after the way I behaved.” Spencer admitted softly and nervously shifting from one leg to the other continuously. “I wouldn’t blame you for not wanting me here any longer after the way I acted and made you feel.”
He watched Tony set the bread aside and turn to look at him appearing puzzled. “Why would you not be welcome? It was a fight, Spencer. While it was angrier than our normal squabbles about some philosophical issue, it was not the end of the world. You jumped to conclusions, I got my feelings hurt even though I knew you didn’t have all the information, and we ended up with a mess. You went… somewhere… Angelo said most likely Hotch. I went to Rossi, and we both probably got the same butt kicking followed by parental love and affection to sooth the open wounds before sending us back to do the right thing. I understand that it is the way the world works, or at least that is what people tell me.”
“We have things to talk about before dinner. Homemade pasta cannot be eaten over anger. There’s too much love put into it. It’s one of Angelo’s rules. So, let’s go sit on the couch, and talk this out.” After taking the pastry box from Spencer, and putting it on the counter, Tony moved back to him placing a kiss on his cheek. He then led the man to the living room where they could work things out.
Spencer wasn’t completely sure, but he thought maybe the kiss to the cheek was a good sign. When they got to the living room, they both sat on the couch. Tony talked briefly about boarding school and without going into detail explained that it hadn’t been a positive experience, especially at first. He’d been young, angry, and grieving for a mother that he’d adored. It hadn’t been positive, uplifting, or anything else. It had been sad, miserable, and painful. While he appreciated, and was glad to hear, that Aaron and Reid had better experiences in boarding school and for Reid in college, it had hurt to hear what sounded like his boyfriend insinuating his childhood pain had been all in his head.
He then explained that he knew that Spencer didn’t have all the information, but sometimes he can’t help but getting defensive. There had been too many people in his past that either discounted his feelings, or acted like he shouldn’t have any right to an emotional reaction at all. His past was a large part of who he was, and while intellectually he knew that he shouldn’t let it affect the rest of his life, sometimes it still did. When he’d tried to stop Spencer and explain, the other man just kept on going and talking over him, and it felt like he didn’t care that he was hurting Tony.
Sometimes his feelings got hurt a lot quicker than people understood. His masks hid it well, but after the way his stint at NCIS ended, he was tired of all the masks. Tired down to the bottom of his soul. He needed to be able to be himself, and at the same time was fucking scared shitless of doing it. He told Spencer that he didn’t want to put that all on Brian, and he didn’t want to take the emotional things away from Spence just because he wasn’t as good at them. He needed to know that he could count on Spencer to shoulder Tony’s emotions and feelings, too.
When Tony fell silent, and started playing with the pillow that he’d pulled into his lap, Spencer nodded and took a deep breath. He explained that emotions were hard for him, and sometimes especially outside of work they were even harder to recognize and understand. He told him that he got excited about things, especially things he thought that he could relate to, and lost track of other people in his zeal to explain what he knew. Sometimes he got so caught up in his worth at work being about his brain that he forgot when he wasn’t working that sometimes his IQ wasn’t the most important factor.
Spencer admitted to Tony that he was scared too, because this relationship was made of things he’d only ever thought he’d be able to dream about. He didn’t and couldn’t lose this thing that they were building. He never meant to hurt Tony. He admitted that Hotch had helped him see where he’d ignored his partner’s feelings, which lead to the hurt. He admitted that he couldn’t stop replaying the fight in his head, and cringing at the moment he now recognized as being when he’d started the path that led to the anger and the hurt.
He was so in awe of the fact that people as beautiful and popular as Tony and Brian wanted to give a weird intellect like him a chance and do it on Spencer’s terms. He was petrified he was going to ruin this with his oddness. He admitted that he’d been terrified that his key wouldn’t work anymore when Aaron sent him back.
Tony winced, and pushing the pillow aside, took Spencer’s hands. “Doc, there was never a chance of that happening. This isn’t some little thing that we’re creating here. As far as I am concerned what the three of us are working on is a forever kind of thing. There are going to be growing pains related to that. I promise you that as long as you have that key it’s gonna work in that lock. I am hoping that someday this will be all of our home, and not just mine.”
Tony leaned forward and after letting go of Spencer’s face, cupped his cheeks pulling the genius closer toward him. He felt the slighter man relax, and hoped that he understood this was the part where everything was forgiven. By the eagerness and zeal the genius was putting into the kiss, he guessed that he did. Tony let himself fall backward slightly pulling the genius to lay on top of him, knowing he would feel more comfortable that way. He wasn’t sure that he’d ever been able to appreciate kissing until he met Spencer. When that was the furthest you could go to sexually express your love for someone, you learned to appreciate all that went into it.
When they were done, and both gasping for breath, Spencer curled up so that he could lay his head on Tony’s chest. Closing his eyes for a moment he felt Tony wrap his arms around him holding him close. He was pretty sure that he’d never understand the need for sex, because to Spencer, this right here was all that he needed to know that he was cared for and loved. This moment right then laying on the couch on top of Tony listening to his heartbeat, was all that he needed to know all was forgiven, and just maybe all of their hopes and dreams for this relationship the three of them were building could come true.
~~*BAU August 2011*~~ * ~~*Blast from the Past*~~
One thing Tony had learned early in life was that, if he could find a way, Senior would try his best to fuck up Tony’s life as best as he could. Even from prison he seemed to still be able to reach out, and insert his sticky fingers into whatever good was going on in his son’s life.
One afternoon Tony was sitting at his desk in the bullpen going over a cold case from NCIS. It was one of his own that he’d been watching forever. He was batting around the idea of having Reid or Emily look it over to see if a new point of view could catch something, but he was a little sketchy on if that was allowed.
He was staring at his monitor without actually seeing anything when the mail courier dropped an envelope on his desk. “You got a Prison Pen Pal, DiNozzo?” The mailbox quipped. Every muscle in Tony’s body froze. He felt like he’d forgotten how to breathe, and as if a lead ball had settled into his stomach. He couldn’t stop the thought that he should have been safe here. He was supposed to have been safe here.
Things had been going so well lately. Derek and he were getting along really well. JJ was… well he’d written off anything other than being civil to the woman, so he didn’t really count her. Hell, he’d even managed to flirt with Garcia the other day. So, everything had been going great. He should have known that his father would find a way to change that. “DiNozzo? Hey, Tony, you OK? I was just teasin’ man, ya know? Tony? Hey, hey you, Bossman. I think you’re needed down here!”
Somewhere inside of Tony’s head he could hear the voice of the mailman Rick, but it was muted, like when you listened to a conversation underwater. “Tony? Tony, it’s Hotch. Can you answer me? Spencer go get Dave. Never mind, here he comes.”
All of his fucking life his father had been taking things away from him, and fucking things up. Sure he knew that they were already aware that his father was a murdering bastard, but seeing it sometimes made things worse, or more real. He wasn’t sure which. He’d fucked up Peoria. He’d unknowingly helped him take down one of the biggest mob families in Philadelphia history, but his reputation had been hurt. Afterwards when it was over he hadn’t been able to escape the questions of his own integrity, which forced him to move, again. He’d fucked up Baltimore. His partner had decided that it was perfectly fine to share his dirty deeds with his partner, who must be a chip off the old block. NCIS though… he hadn’t found him at NCIS. But, he’d found him here.
“Figlio? Ahh, hell, kid. No, Spencer don’t touch him. He’ll swing if you do. Just… everyone who isn’t on the field team clear the floor. Give us half an hour people. Consider it an unexpected coffee break.”
“You heard Dave. Clear the floor. Spencer go get him a bottle of juice out of the machine.”
“Good idea Aaron, and something sweet, too. Chocolate is best.”
What were they gonna think of him now? How were they gonna treat him now? How… How would Spencer treat him now? Brian knew about Senior. Brian had been there when the letter had been delivered to the frat house. Spencer, he’d never stay. He’d never love him again. He’d….
“Spencer, talk to him. Hotch, he needs to break the rule. I’m worried about what will happen if this goes on much longer.”
“Agreed. Talk to him, Spencer. We’ll step a little bit away, and give the two of you some privacy.”
“Spencer, every time his father has done one of these little appearances from prison, as Tony calls them, its fucked things up for him in some way. He’s probably scared shitless that it’s gonna change here too. More than that he’s afraid it’ll change he and you.”
“I understand, Dave.”
God he didn’t want to lose Spencer.
“Tony, it’s Reid. It’s… it’s just us now. The others are… Hotch corralled them up to the walkway outside of his office like a shepherd herding his flock of sheep. It was a little amusing to be honest. Tony I…
“I won’t claim that I know what you’re going through right now. I mean, my mother may be in a mental institution, but she’s not… she isn’t in jail. She didn’t kill someone I loved. But, Tony this… this isn’t gonna change things here. It’s not… We don’t care. I don’t care.”
Tony felt his head twitch as the voice penetrated his haze. It couldn’t be telling the truth though. Senior ruins everything. Senior has always ruined everything.
“I… I love you, Tony. You know what those words mean to me. You… I know it isn’t the same, but I understand how a parent can throw off your life. I… I never told anyone about my mother. People freak out. People don’t understand. They start treating you as if you’re the sick one, as if you’re some kind of ticking time bomb. So, I never told anyone about my mother until she almost got someone… There was a case, Tony. A man my mother knew in the… at Bennington. He, he was… he thought her stories about he were real. She…
“When she talks about me she doesn’t always remember reality. She had turned me into some kind of knight who could cure his illness. He’d… he’d been horribly burned saving his daughter, and she… she told him I was the keeper of the magical question that could heal all of his wounds. I had to bring her here to keep her safe. My schizophrenic mother was here during a huge case. It… I was so scared that they’d laugh at me. I was scared they’d mock me; that they’d take away my place on the team. But, do you know what really happened?
“They accepted me, Tony. They sympathized, and they… well OK Derek was kind of an ass…”
“Derek shut up. He’s right you were kind of an ass.”
“They still loved me though in the end. I swear to you they will love you, too, Tony. I will love you. I do love you. Brian loves you. We’ll make sure he can’t reach you again. You should see the way Hotch can terrorize the mail room staff.”
“Hotch, shut up. You do terrorize the mail room.”
“For God’s sake both of you shut the hell up! The kid’s finally making progress. Fuck this up and I’m punching you both in the throats!”
“Tony, please come back. It’s safe here too, I promise.”
Tony closed his eyes, as his hand twitched on the desk. “Spencer?”
~~*BAU Late March*~~ * ~~*Pain from the Other Side*~~
Spencer walked into the bullpen setting his satchel, on his desk, and frowned when he noticed that Tony’s desk was empty. Picking up his bag, Reid looked for the note that his new and double top secret boyfriend had taken to leaving him if he wasn’t going to be there in the morning. The older man was almost always there before Spencer, unless he’d come in overnight to work on a cold case, or a consultation that he’d gotten an idea about. The team had become aware of the quirk not too long after Tony had started.
Hotch had caught him in the locker-room one morning after their boss had finished a workout before work. Tony had just been coming out of the shower, as Hotch was getting undressed so that he could go into one. Surprised at his presence, and the fact that he looked like he hadn’t slept all night, the Unit Chief questioned his new agent concerned about an issue he was unaware of.
When Hotch found out that he’d been there since about 1AM when he’d gotten an idea on an old NCIS case he was reviewing, he immediately sent Tony home. He’d assured him that he wasn’t in trouble, but that he wanted him to get some sleep. In Hotch’s mind there was no need for his agents to be rundown and sleep deprived when not on a case.
The older man had called Gibbs, and after a lengthy decision, Hotch had come to a decision. Later that day, once Tony returned well rested, Aaron filled him in on how things were going to work from here on out. Hotch absolutely did not want his agents working more than 10 hour days when they weren’t on a case. If he had his preference, he’d not want it on a case either, but things happen in the field, and sometimes it was necessary. When not on a case though, Hotch saw no need for Tony to be rundown, and knew it would only lead to issues when they did need him to work a long night.
Gibbs had advised that it would be a bad idea to forbid Tony’s overnight hours. Hotch had learned that Tony and Reid had more in common with how their brains work that people would expect. It seemed that his newest agent’s mind didn’t ever really stop thinking, and often was focused on several different tasks at once. Often he would wake up in the middle of the night with an idea that would break a cold case wide open. Gibbs had been frank and admitted that he should have been more supportive of Tony’s late night needs. If they took away Tony’s ability to come into the office when he needed, the younger agent would simply do what he could from home, where they couldn’t monitor his hours.
Because of this, Hotch had decided to give Tony a more open schedule when they were in town. He could come in when he got an idea for a case or a consult, and work ‘til he’d exhausted his lead, or gotten it out of his system. Hotch expected him to log the hours as he would any other. He also expected him to then leave, and come back after sleeping. Gibbs had advised that Tony didn’t usually need a full 8 hours, but that he was also well in tune with his body. Gibbs had assured Hotch that when Tony’s body told him it was time to take a weekend to relax and catch up that, if encouraged, then younger man would do so. So, that was the expectation that was set. So far it had worked out marvelously.
Since they’d decided to explore their feelings with each other, Tony had taken to leaving Spencer a note when he had come in overnight, and left before Reid got in. That way the younger man would not worry about his absence. After thoroughly searching on and around his desk, and checking Tony’s desk to see nothing changed from when they’d left the night before, Spencer decided to call the other man to see if there was something wrong.
When that didn’t work, and he only got voicemail, Spencer decided to go talk to Hotch. With being Federal Agents, you never knew when someone’s past was going to come up and bite them in the ass. Heading to Hotch’s office, Spencer decided to try for casual, and leaned against the door jamb with his hands in his pockets. “Did Tony come in overnight?”
When Hotch looked up and frowned at him, then glanced out the window, Spencer knew that there was a problem. He watched as his boss got into his computer, Spencer expected his email, and saw the frown deepen. “I don’t have an email, and I don’t see anything in his time sheet.” Taking out his own cellphone, Hotch tried to call, but he also had no better luck than Reid. “No answer.”
Picking up his desk phone, Hotch called over to Rossi, and after a quick conversation, looked up at Reid. “Dave wants to know if you’d be willing to go check on him. He says that he’s a little concerned. He has a key and the code to Tony’s penthouse alarm. He and I have a meeting in 15 minutes, or one of us would go.” Nodding quickly Spencer hurried over to Dave’s office where he got the apartment keys, and was verbally given the alarm code. The he headed off to his desk where he got his gun, credentials, and satchel before hurrying off.
Stopping his car, Reid quickly headed into Tony’s building, nodded at the doorman, before hurrying over to the elevator, which would take him up to Tony’s penthouse apartment. Once there he unlocked the door with Rossi’s key, and hurried to the kitchen to turn off the alarm. The lack of light and sound had him pulling out his gun as a ball of trepidation formed in his stomach. Nothing seemed out of place. They had supposed to have had dinner the night before, but Tony had begged off. Spencer hadn’t thought twice about it in the moment. Now he wished that he’d been more inquisitive about it.
Quietly he made his way through the house, and up the stairs checking the rooms ‘til he came to the closed door. Remaining silent, Reid opened it, and slipped in not able to see in the total darkness of the room. Thinking Tony had just overslept, Spencer felt the wall next to the door, and flipped on the lights.
The pained half shriek\half moan had him immediately turning them back off. Spencer was very familiar with that sound. A migraine exposed to bright light. Feeling horrible, Spencer moved forward putting his gun back in its holster, and sat next to the lump on the bed laying his hand on what he thought was Tony’s shoulder.
“Do you have medicine?” Spencer asked quietly. An arm came out from under the blankets and pointed in the general direction of the bathroom.
Hurrying out of the room, Spencer hurried to the medicine cabinet. Finding the appropriate pills, he filled one of the paper cups with water, and hurried back to Tony. “Here are your pills. You’re going to have to sit up. I’m sorry. I know it’s going to hurt.”
Tony groaned and whimpered, but rolled over and sat up. Squinting at Spencer he took the pills and water. Swallowing both, he sighed, and rested his head back against the wall behind his headboard.
“This sucks,” Tony moaned closing his eyes. Spencer watched concerned. He wasn’t used to being on this side of things.
“Have you tried the shots? I hear they…”
“No shots!” Tony blurted cutting him off. “Plague. Hospital. Numerous shots, blood tests. No needles!”
Signing, Spencer nodded sympathetically. “OK,” He agreed. “No shots, and no needles. I wish I could do something. How’s your stomach?”
“I’m a little nauseous,” Tony conceded. “Actually some Sprite, and some oyster crackers would be awesome. I don’t think I have any though.”
“I can go get some! Do you need some soup?” Tony sighed scooting back down to get under the covers. “Soup would be awesome, Reid. I don’t know if I have any in the freezer though. If I do it’ll be labeled. Feel free to check. I appreciate this.” Spencer watched as Tony closed his eyes, and went back to sleep.
On his way to the store, after verifying the soup-less state of the freezer, he contemplated the oddness of his situation. While he was used to dealing with his mother, and feeling helpless that he couldn’t ease her fits, he wasn’t used to dealing with other people’s every day illnesses. He had never stopped to think about how those around him felt as they watched him suffer with his headaches. It wasn’t an enjoyable position knowing someone that you loved was in pain, and you couldn’t stop it.
It took him a few moments to realize the word he’d just thought in relationship to Tony.
Did he really love him already? Was it too soon? Was there really anything that he could do about it? Was there anything he should do about it?
Pausing to sit with his car door open, Spencer turned the possibilities over in his head. Was it really a big deal if he did love him already? Wasn’t thus a good thing?
Pulling out his phone, Spencer dialed the first person he thought of when he needed advise on matters of the heart. “Is it too soon to be in love?”
“Hey to you too, Pretty Boy. Where are you?” Derek asked trying not to chuckle.
“I’m at the grocery getting Tony some things for his stomach. Answer my question, Morgan! Is it too soon to be in love?”
Derek smiled and leaned back in his chair holding up his finger to Hotch who had come into his office. “It’s never too soon to be in love, Pretty Boy. If you feel it, then it’s right. I hope this is QB1 were talkin’ ’bout.”
“Of course it’s Tony! Are you sure?” Spencer bit his lip afraid to hope that what he was feeling was really alright.
“Yes Spence I promise. It’s OK if you love him. Tell the man how you feel. Nothing good ever came from holding shit like that in.” Derek recommended, and grinned as Hotch rolled his eyes, but smiled fondly.
“OK, thank you.” Spencer hung up the phone, and headed into the store suddenly feeling lighter.
In Derek office Hotch snorted as Derek hung up the phone. “Reid?” Hotch asked, and Derek nodded smiling.
“Yeah, I think you’re gonna have to have that talk with them soon. The kid’s using the L word.”
Hotch lifted his eyebrow and nodded his agreement. “I will meet with them this week. I’ve already discussed it with Cruz. We’ll monitor it, but I don’t anticipate any problems. With Tony still part of NCIS there’s no actual fraternization issue.”
Derek nodded and grinned. “Pretty boy’s growing up.” Hotch just shook his head, and left. “Meeting in my office in 15 minutes. Don’t miss it because you’re gossiping with Garcia.” Derek laugh followed him down the hall. Aaron was happy for the young genius he considered almost a son. Reid would do well with someone like Tony in his life who understood when to let him alone, and when to bring him out of his shell. Hotch resolved to do everything that he could on his part to make sure this relationship succeeded.