Title: A Christmas in Vermont
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Tony DiNozzo, Steve McGarrett, OC-TJ, Jack Hotchner, Mentions of David Rossi
Relationships: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid & Tony DiNozzo/Steve McGarrett
Warnings: Non Cannon Compliant for Criminal Minds, Hawaii 5-0, and NCIS, MPREG, Mentions of Cannon Level Violence
Summary: Aaron Reid-Hotchner takes his mentor David Rossi up on his offer of use of his Vermont cabin during Christmas. The only stipulation is that if his nephew shows up that they make him feel at home. Little does Aaron know this meeting will change his life.
Aaron was standing at the front window of David Rossi’s cabin in Vermont watching the snow fall. His mentor usually spent Christmas there, but this year he was pursuing a fourth Mrs. Rossi who hated the cold. When he’d offered the cabin, Aaron jumped at the chance. The only request made was if his nephew showed up to make him feel at home.
Apparently, the boy was the son of his middle half-brother Anthony. Dave had managed to lose contact with the kid or something, and refused to call his father for the information. His old friend was vague on the details, and Aaron wasn’t going to push. He knew that Anthony jumped enthusiastically into the deep end of the mob life, and never looked back causing the rift. Aaron was curious how the nephew was given an invitation to stay at the cabin, but hadn’t wanted to intrude. Dave’s family was a touchy subject, and he knew better than to pry.
Rossi was the agent who recruited Aaron for the FBI. The older man always had other passions, and the books he’d left to write turned into movies. They still kept in touch though, which was all Aaron really cared about.
Outside the window, little flakes had turned into quite the snowstorm. Aaron was glad that he wasn’t driving in it. While he had faith in his ability, this weather was tough on even the most experienced driver. Of course the second the thought crossed his mind, a car came into sight. He had a feeling it was the nephew, as the so called road was really just a long driveway.
He watched anxiously as the vehicle seemed to swerve possibly hitting a patch of ice under the snow. Horrified he saw the SUV head straight for the gulley on the other side of the drive. He knew that not far from where they were there was a sharp decline.
“Spencer!” Aaron hollered, already moving toward the door where their snow gear hung. When his partner and their son came running, he already had his gear mostly on. Seeing them come in, Aaron immediately started giving orders, hoping they would understand the urgency.
“Spencer, get your snow stuff on. A car went off the road into the gulley. Jack, I need you to get some towels and blankets, ok? Stay in the house. The snow is picking up, and I don’t want you to get lost.”
“OK, dad!” Their five year old son Jack agreed giving him a salute. The boy had been obsessed with being a military pilot ever since they took him to see Red Tails.
Trusting his son would obey, Aaron and Spencer quickly left the house heading to the gulley. He breathed a sigh of relief seeing the vehicle had missed the drastic drop off. Carefully, the two made their way down the slope. Aaron could hear a child screaming, and saw someone in the driver’s seat, but couldn’t make out much more.
“Spencer, can you get the child? I’ll get the driver.”
He tried to leave the boss at work, but in moments like this it was hard not to just jump into the command role making him thankful for Spencer’s easy going nature.
Opening the driver’s side door, Aaron hit the door unlock. Glancing back, he saw Spencer already had the door open speaking softly to the child. This allowed Hotch to turn his attention to the driver, surprised to see someone between himself and his husband in age wearing military gear.
It looked to be a military everyday uniform. The closely cropped hair supported that he was or had been enlisted. The man’s left arm was bound closely to his chest in a sling, and the left side of his face was one big mass of bruising too old for the accident suggesting a traumatic experience recently. Briefly, he cursed Dave in his head wishing that he’d been nosey for more details on the nephew.
“TJ,” the man moaned, and Aaron moved in closer.
“It’s ok. My husband has him. Are you David Rossi’s nephew?”
The man nodded groggily opening this eyes to look toward him, but soon was trying to turn around to see the child. Looking to the back, he saw Spencer had the child out of his car seat, and was moving toward the front passenger’s side door.
“What’s your name?” Aaron asked gently trying to keep the man from moving too much.
“Captain Anthony McGarrett US Marines. TJ? Is my son ok?”
“It’s nice to meet you, Captain. I’m Aaron Reid-Hotchner, and if you look to the right you’ll see my husband Spencer has your son.”
The captain turned his head, and seeing his son, reached out his good hand toward the child. “Is he ok? Did he get hurt?”
“He seems fine, Captain McGarrett. His car seat seems to have done its job perfectly. I don’t see even the smallest bump on his head.”
Aaron touched Tony’s shoulder drawing his attention. “I’m going to help Spencer get TJ up the slope. Then I’ll come back to help you. Does anything feel broken?”
“No, sir. I don’t feel much more banged up than I already was. I think I hit my head on the side window here though, and my ribs are a little sorer than they were before. Fortunately, they were pretty well padded. Jus’ please help my son. He’s the most important thing.”
“Don’t worry, Captain,” Spencer assured gently. “Aaron and I have a five year old son inside, and completely understand.”
Aaron nodded in agreement, patted the man’s shoulder, and moved to help his husband. Between the two of them, they managed to get the squirming and frightened child up the slope. Aaron guessed the boy was about 2 or 3 from his size.
“Aaron, I’m going to take him inside, and leave him with Jack. He should be ok to watch him while we get the captain out. He does ok with Henry when I’m babysitting for short periods. There’s no way you’ll get the captain up that slope without my help, and we might as well get what bags we can tonight. I didn’t smell gas. So, I think just the essentials for now, don’t you?”
“I agree. I’ll go wait with Captain McGarrett. I don’t want to leave him too long.” Aaron leaned in giving Spencer a kiss noting that TJ was calling for Mamma, Papa, and someone named Elle.
When he got back to the vehicle, the captain had managed to get out, and was stretched out behind the driver’s seat looking for something on the floorboards of the SUV. There was no way it was comfortable or good for either his arm or ribs.
“Captain? Maybe you should let me do that. What do you need?”
Helping the man out, he noticed that he was shivering. His uniform was certainly not made for 20 degrees in a snowstorm.
“I need to find Ele his stuffed elephant. I think it’s wedged under the passenger’s seat. He’ll cry all night without it. It’s… his papa gave it to him. We can’t leave it out here.”
Aaron noted the miniature rucksack slung over the man’s shoulder, and from the pattern guessed that it was TJ’s.
“Let me do that. Do you have a heavier coat while I’m at it?”
The captain nodded. “Forgot. Steve’ll kick m’ass if I get sick, too. S’on the front passenger seat floorboard.”
Aaron noticed the slight slur forming in his speech, and suspected the man had at least a mild concussion. The captain seemed to be moving ok if somewhat slowly and stiffly, which he took as a good sign.
Hurrying around the vehicle, he got the heavy coat and a child’s jacket out assuming it belonged to the son’s. He then found the stuffed camouflage patterned elephant right where the man thought it was. When he turned back to the captain, he saw the younger looking man staring into the open back.
Moving to his side, Aaron saw a bag and a jumble of boxes appearing to be unwrapped children’s toys. “Captain,” he started getting cut off by the other man.
“AJ,” he heard the man murmur. “Please, call me AJ. Only higher ups call me captain, or my guys when their dumb asses are in trouble.”
“I understand perfectly,” Aaron agreed smiling. “My team calls me Unit Chief Hotchner when they’re asses are in the sling. Please, call me Aaron or Hotch. My husband answers to either Spencer or Reid. Why don’t we just take your rucksack for now? I see you already have TJ’s. Tomorrow we’ll get the rest. Are those TJ’s presents?”
AJ nodded then turned his head to blink at him. “I know it isn’t much. I don’t even have stockings, or anything to put in them. Things got… this was a little last minute.”
“I’m sure it’ll be more than fine,” Aaron assured. “Don’t worry about stockings and stuffers. We have more than enough crap for Jack to share. It’s the least we can do for someone who is working so hard to keep us safe.”
“I’d say you’re doing your own part in that, Unit Chief Hotchner. Uncle Dave’s mentioned you before. So, I’ll accept your thanks, and give it back to you.”
Aaron smiled growing to like the man the more he talked to him. Hearing the crunch of snow, he turned his head to see Spencer coming down the slope. “Grab your bag, AJ. We need to get you in the cabin. Oh, here’s your jacket. Why don’t you get that on instead, and I’ll grab your bag.”
Eventually, they managed to get the man, bags and Ele up the slope, then into the cabin. The building was less a small structure made of logs, and more mini mansion in the woods. It was also much more Rossi’s style.
After promising to keep a close eye on TJ, they managed to convince the injured marine to take a hot shower and go to bed. They set an alarm on Aaron’s phone to go off every 2 hours to check on him knowing how serious concussions were.
Once the rest of them ate, Aaron and Spencer settled on the couch in front of the fireplace to watch the boys play with Jack’s Legos. When Spencer rested his head on Aaron’s shoulder, the older man pressed a kiss to his forehead. “Does AJ look familiar to you?” Aaron heard his husband ask, and nodded before answering.
“I thought that it was just me. For some reason I want to connect him to work, but I can’t remember why or how.”
Spencer nodded curling in closer. Happy, Aaron put the mystery aside. His husband would figure it out eventually. He always did.
In the morning, Aaron wasn’t surprised that he was alone in bed. Jack was most likely still sleeping. After getting dressed and washed up, he made his way downstairs, finding Spencer in the kitchen with TJ. The little boy in a booster seat eating cheerios while chatting to Ele, and Spencer was staring at the TV on the counter.
When TJ shrieked “Mamma” pointing to the TV, Aaron looked up just in time to see AJ’s face before it was replaced with Curious George.
“OH! George! Ele likes scimmia.”
When Aaron looked to Spencer, who looked troubled. “Scimmia is monkey in Italian. TJ, stay at the table while I get Zio Aaron some coffee and breakfast, ok?”
“Si, juice per favore.”
Spencer nodded, and moved to the kitchen counter away from the table. Aaron ruffled the boy’s hair then followed curiously.
“Do you remember the serial killer who was murdering Americans in Rome?”
Aaron nodded frowning thinking through what he knew of the case. “American soldiers caught him killing the last victim right? I think Jack’s team was involved.”
Spencer nodded. “The Rome authorities didn’t want to believe that it wasn’t one of the American military men instead of the rich Italian, which is how Jack’s team got involved. The killer’s apparently the son of someone important. The surviving victim ignored pressure to change her statement, and accuse the two marines that saved her.”
“Captain McGarrett?” Aaron asked, and Spencer nodded.
“He and his SIC First Lieutenant Daniel Williams. Apparently, Daniel is in Bethesda. Both were injured at the hands of the Rome officers, and it’s caused a huge issue between the countries. Simmons says the commandant personally asked that they get Captain McGarrett and First Lt. Williams back to the states when they were finally released.”
“Simmons also told me Captain McGarrett’s husband Lt. Commander Steven McGarrett, who is a Navy SEAL, was ordered back to the states by the CNO. Apparently, he was also stationed in Italy, and the Navy is concerned for his safety.”
Aaron nodded looking at TJ. “I guess now we know why Dave still talks to his nephew, even though his father is he-that-shall-not-be-named.”
Aaron felt Spencer’s gaze on him, and turned to look at him with one eyebrow lifted. “Aaron Reid-Hotchner, did you just make a Harry Potter reference?”
Aaron smirked pleased with himself. “I did. Are you impressed?”
“Very,” Spencer confirmed, stealing a kiss before heading to the table with TJ’s juice.
Smiling satisfied, Aaron set about making his coffee and breakfast. It was good to be him.
Later that evening, the whole group was sitting in the TV room watching one of the many Christmas movies on. Given that it was Christmas Eve, the kids were full of energy. They hoped the movies would calm them down.
Earlier that day, AJ took the two boys out back to play in the snow, while Aaron and Spencer snuck the presents in and wrapped them transferring some of Jack’s loot to TJ. They’d found TJ a stocking with Mickey Mouse on it, and Spencer donated his red and white striped wool socks that came up past his knees for AJ and Steve. TJ insisted papa needed one, convinced daddy would find them before Santa.
They were just starting the Disney version of A Christmas Carol when they heard sounds from the front of the house. It sounded like the front door slamming, and heavy boots walking across the wooden floor.
“Daddy!” TJ yelled, and was up and out of the room before anyone else could even move.
Spencer chased after him, and Aaron tried to help AJ out of the chair. He’d stiffened up quite a bit after the accident, and even more after running around with the kids. The smile on his face when he came in though it made it worth it.
By the time Aaron had AJ up, Spencer was leading in a tall dark haired man. From the way TJ was curled up in his arms, Aaron guessed the little boy’s prediction came true.
After giving him a few minutes with daddy, Aaron tried extracting a fussy TJ from his daddy’s grasp to give mamma and papa a moment alone. The little boy only gave in when daddy whispered something in his ear.
As they were leaving, Aaron heard what sounded like a choked sob from AJ, and an equally emotional, “Fuck, baby, what did they do to you?” from the SEAL.
Promising mamma and papa would kiss him before they went to bed, Aaron and Spencer put the boys together in Jack’s room where they could giggle and watch videos until they fell asleep. Hoping they would stay there, the two adults moved to sit in front of the fire. Aaron couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of Spencer’s red and white socks hanging with the stockings.
“I feel like Christmas has already come, even though Lt Commander McGarrett’s arrival really doesn’t have anything to do with us.” Spencer said quietly, and Aaron had to agree.
“It almost feels like a perfect holiday movie ending, doesn’t it?”
“I think I can make it better,” he heard Spencer say, and cocked his head to one side trying to figure out what he meant. When he pulled out a baggie with a white piece of plastic inside that looked like a pregnancy test, Aaron was afraid to hope. They’d wanting another child for a few years.
Talking it he saw the pink plus sign, and knew what it meant. “Merry Christmas, daddy,” Spencer whispered. Aaron pulled him in wrapping him up tight in his arms.
“Merry Christmas, mommy,” Aaron choked out. “Merry Christmas, little one. Daddy can’t wait to meet you.” It really was a Christmas movie come to life.
A week later, Aaron stood in front of the cabin watching Spencer and AJ say goodbye. Feeling someone next to him, he smiled seeing the SEAL.
Steve nodded. “I know I’ve said it already, but thank you for helping Tonio. If you ever feel like an island holiday, or decide to change jobs, let us know. I have room for you in my father’s house, and on my team.”
“You’re taking the job then?” Aaron asked, and Steve nodded.
“The governor agreed to hire Tony’s SIC Danny Williams, so that sealed it. We just need to hire an equal amount of people with civilian investigative experience. Two highly successful profilers can easily be part of that.”
Spencer had already said that he didn’t want to travel as much with the second child on its way. They’d have to talk about it but…
“If you’re serious, I’d like to talk more about it with you in a week or two. We just might take you up on that.”
“Dead serious,” Steve promised pulling Aaron in for a hug. “Mahalo and malama pono*. I look forward to you joining our ohana, brother.”
After the two men shook hands, Steve walked off. When Spencer made it to his side after getting his own hug, he looked suspicious.
“What’s that look on your face, Aaron Reid-Hotchner?”
“How would you like to become an island boy? Think Hawaii has enough sunscreen to keep you from becoming permanently red?”
“Aaron?” Spencer questioned, and after pulling him in, Aaron answered the mostly unspoken question.
“Steve offered us spots on the task force. We’re going to discuss details in a couple weeks.”
Spencer just smiled, and hugged him tight. Underneath his boots, he was wearing one Mickey Mouse sock, and one red and white striped former stocking.
*Thank you, and take care of yourself.
End Note: This was part of the FA Christmas Advent Challenge. My Prompt: Stockings – Innocent or kinky, do as you please. There’s a bonus cookie if they are red and white ringlets.