A Full-size version of the gorgeous banner can be found at HERE at the artist’s website. Much thanks to her for it. I think that it matches the feel of the story perfectly.
See Master Post for full content and warnings.
Chapter Four: Getting to know you
Aaron lay in bed looking at his new Guide. They were starting day three of their forced nesting. Although, Aaron had come to admit at least privately to himself that Spencer was right. Once he could think semi-logically again, and the bond had settled a little, he knew that taking a few days away from the case was the correct course of action. He knew that Tony’s sentinel would never be able to calm down enough to complete an Alpha level bond in a random hotel room. No matter how thorough the cleaning staff, there was simply too much traffic though each room, meaning too much resonance of other people left behind.
Tony would need his own turf before he could relax enough to complete the spiritual aspects of the highest level of all Sentinel, Swing SentinelGuide, and Guide bonds. That meant Aaron had to settle his own bond enough that he could take his new Guide out into public. Two days of incredible sex went a long way to making that happen.
Aaron had always enjoyed sex, despite what his image may make people think. He knew that most people assumed an uptight stuffed shirt like him probably only had sex four times a year max, with a socially acceptable guide, preferably a woman he’d known since high school, and using only the missionary position. The reality of that was so far from the truth, it wasn’t even in the same sport, let alone the same ballpark. The reality was that Aaron had a very healthy and active sex life.
While he wasn’t much for the bar scene, he did belong to a few of the SS&G clubs around town where he could meet a safe guide and enjoy an evening of… well just about anything. He enjoyed being the top and the bottom, the Dom and the Sub. He enjoyed being tied up and tying others up. He enjoyed wall sex, shower sex, public sex, role play, and pretty much any other kind of sex that didn’t fall into the realms of things he’d see in an unsub. No scat, no golden showers, no blood play, but most healthy sexual acts he was open for. Somehow, he’d managed to find in his perfect match the perfect sexual partner.
Dean Winchester seemed to be open to whatever Aaron suggested, and more than willing to throw options out there on his own. No, the sexual side of their bond was more than adequately settled. Now, they needed to settle the rest, which meant talking. He hoped that his new mate was as willing to spend the day getting to know each other beyond their bodies, as he had been letting Aaron physically map out every tiny nook and cranny of his delectable physique.
Feeling his Guide coming awake through the bond, Aaron leaned down and kissed the back of the man’s neck. “Morning, Guide,” he greeted, feeling the happiness and contentment blossom on Dean’s half of the bond at the words. He hoped that the greeting always drew the same reaction from his mate.
“Morning, Sentinel,” Dean offered back. His voice deep and gravelly with sleep. Aaron couldn’t resist giving his skin another kiss before pulling back to look down at him, with his head rested on a fist. “What’s on the agenda today?”
“I think we’ve reached the getting to know you with words portion of the program,” Aaron teased lightly. When Dean moaned slightly, he couldn’t help but chuckle. “It won’t kill you.”
“It might,” Dean whined lifting his head then rolled over so that he could look up at Aaron. Aaron noticed that he typically slept on his stomach with both hands under his pillow. The large knife that Dean had placed under there hadn’t escaped his notice.
“Do you mind if I text Sammy really quick?” Dean asked suddenly looking worried. “I haven’t checked in on the kid since the interrogation room, and I know you said they let him go too, but the kid worries.”
Aaron tried not to show his smile of amusement. The concern for his brother was a constant he’d noticed through the bond and knew it wasn’t just Sammy who worried. Nevertheless, he nodded wanting to call Tony to check in himself.
“How about I go shower. You order breakfast and text your brother. When I’m done, you can get into the shower, and I will call Tony. I need to at least check in with him and see how the case is going since we go back to work tomorrow.”
When a frown crossed Dean’s face, Aaron leaned in and gave him a quick peck to the lips. “This is why we need to talk, love.” Aaron offered. He had a momentary ping of panic at using the endearment until he felt the burst of pleasure through the bond. Grinning he stole another kiss before pulling away and heading to the bathroom for his shower.
By the time he had the door closed, he could already hear his mate pecking away at the phone, and knew the brothers were reconnecting. They’d have to think about where to live. At the moment, Aaron just lived in a one bedroom apartment, and with a mate, he definitely wanted something more secure. He wondered if the townhome on the other side of Tony’s place was still for sale. He liked the idea of living near his teammates.
It felt like they were forming their own little tribe. Although, if they did, Tony and Sam would be the leaders, but that didn’t bother him as much as most people would think. Aaron had enough responsibilities at work. He honestly didn’t need another one, and it would be nice to not have to be in charge for once in some aspect of his life.
Then there was the Dean aspect. He could feel the strong brotherly bond between the two Winchester siblings and knew that there wasn’t much of a chance that his new Guide would be willing to live too far away from his brother. He spent the rest of his shower considering the dynamics of such a move, and the ramifications of them forming their own tribe.
They’d have to notify Gibbs over at NCIS, who had his own little tribe, out of courtesy. There would be some overlapping because the NCIS building and the FBI building were both housed within the Quantico base, but he didn’t expect it to be an issue. Neither tribe would be very big, and while Aaron didn’t know where Gibbs lived, he didn’t believe it was anywhere near the downtown townhouses that Tony, Spencer, and Martin lived in, which was the important part.
By the time he came out, Dean felt much more relaxed. From the big smile on his face, things must be going well with his brother. “Yum!” Dean purred looking at his naked body. Aaron couldn’t help but blush as a smile lifted the corners of his mouth.
“Down boy,” Aaron deadpanned, but then ruined it by grinning.
“Shower is yours when you’re ready for it. I left the water running. It’s fairly hot. I wasn’t sure what temp you like it at.”
Dean tossed his phone onto the bedside table and began heading toward the bathroom. As he passed, Aaron got a kiss, and a smack on his ass that left his Guide giggling manically as he headed into the shower. Shaking his head, not even trying to hide the wide grin on his face, Aaron wrapped a towel around his waist then sat on the bed. Lifting his cell, he checked his messages before dialing Tony to check in.
“I thought you were nesting. Do I have to tell Dictator Reid on you?” Was the greeting he received as the call was answered. Aaron chuckled as he moved around to lean against the headboard.
“I will have you know that we haven’t left the room since we were put on hotel room arrest by his lordship. Dean is in the shower, so I just wanted to check in real quick to get an idea of what’s going on with the case before tomorrow.”
He could practically hear the exhaustion in Tony’s voice, but oddly enough he also heard pleasure. He hoped that his own bond was working out as well for the Team Leader despite the fact that they hadn’t finalized it yet. “Don’t worry, I won’t rat you out. Spencer and Martin aren’t in yet. I finally convinced Reid to go get some rest about 4 AM. Of course, I had to make it an order. So , I’m the one on the hot seat now instead of you.”
“Have you gotten any rest yourself?” Aaron asked worried and heard Tony sigh.
“Sam and I have caught some catnaps here and there. It’s… it’s hard, Aaron. We had to check out of the hotel. I couldn’t last five minutes in that place, even in the bonding suite. It made my skin crawl. So, the S&G couple that you talked to that took the rookie down to the Center? Anyway, they gave us their guest room to use. So, we’ve been trying to catch a few hours a night at least. Taking time to be alone together and connect has helped some. We’ve talked about a lot of things. I have an idea… but I don’t know… How would you feel about moving in next door?”
Aaron chuckled and reached for the bottle of water on his nightstand. It wasn’t cold anymore having sat out all night, but it was wet and would work. “I was going to ask you who the realtor was, and if it was still for sale.”
“Umm well there is no more realtor, and no it’s not for sale. After we purchased my unit, we realized how much we felt like a tribe, so… as other townhomes have come up for sale, we’ve purchased them. Right now, we have also purchased the one next to Spencer and Martin. Then we have like five in a row behind us. The one next to you isn’t technically for sale yet, but there’s an elderly couple in it who are moving to Texas to live with their son and his family at the end of the year. So, we’ve worked out a deal, and have already paid them for it. That gives us the whole block and all the yard space between them.”
Aaron chuckled not even a little bit surprised. “How exactly did you manage this? That’s a lot of property, and I am not letting you give me a townhouse for free. I don’t care if you are my Alpha.”
The line was quiet for several long minutes, and Aaron was wondering if the call had dropped when Dean came out of the bathroom with a towel around both his hair and his waist. He couldn’t help but smile at the image. When his mate hurried over to snuggle next to him, he just wrapped an arm around his shoulders.
“I wasn’t sure how you would feel about that,” Tony finally said drawing Aaron’s attention back to the conversation. “I mean, I could try to let you be in charge but…”
“No,” Aaron said swiftly and firmly. “We’ll have to talk about this more, but please, Tony, I would be honored to follow your lead. This isn’t about work, this is about our personal lives, and also about your Sentinel’s health and happiness. To be frank, it would be a relief not to have to be in charge somewhere. Who are you filling these homes in with besides Dean and I?”
Aaron was glad that he’d quickly shot down Tony’s offer to give up control because the relief was evident in the tone of his voice. “Well Kate for sure, and we’ve already talked to Emily and Will. Tara and Alex already belong to a tribe of Blake’s with people from Georgetown University, and Rossi felt like it wouldn’t be the right thing for him.
“He says that if he ever finds his mates, they’ll most likely already belong somewhere. At that point, he plans on retiring and joining them wherever they are. Daniel and Raven also already have a tribe of people from the main FBI building in DC. That’s why they live in DC and drive in every day. I have a feeling that at some point though they’ll move further away. Raven has some people on the West Coast that she’s close to, and she basically admitted that they’re just waiting for an opening in LA to move within the Bureau.
“So, I guess I don’t know who will fill in all the rest. But, it felt like… I mean it felt like I needed to. So, I did.”
Aaron nodded and turned the conversation to the case. “How’s the case going?”
Aaron felt a faint burst of smugness coming through from somewhere new. He wondered if it was Tony, and from the response he got, the Sentinel guessed that it was. He must be already forming a stronger bond with his newly recognized Alpha.
“Case is coming along marvelously. The Bureau is going to get Professional Hunters whether they like it or not, and this case is going to prove why we need them. Sam and I explored all the dump sites, and he was able to clarify some things that we had been kicking around profile-wise. We were each half right.
“It is a human and an Animal Guide, but the other is a creature, not a creature guide. Sam said that it appears to be a werewolf, and he believes that the human, whom we believe is a male Sentinel who lost both his human Guide and his own Creature Guide, has bonded the Were to him and is making this person kill. He said that if the Were got locked in wolf form long enough he or she would slowly lose their human side.
“Raven is working on a list of Sentinels who had Werewolf creature guides in the area and lost their mate within the last 2 years. We don’t really think it was that far back, but I wanted to be safe. We’re expecting an answer any time now. Sam called in a couple Hunter friends of his to help us track this fucker. So, the hope is that we’ll have this wrapped up soon, and we can all go home. Then you can explain to the brass how they now have two Professional Hunters on the team whether they like it or not.”
Aaron huffed amused. “I should make you do it, except I’m afraid you’d end up telling them all to suck it and get fired.”
“I’d protest, and argue my ability to be professional, but we both know it’d be a sack of horseshit. I’m going to let you go so that I can go sniff my Guide’s neck for a while, then go have breakfast. Hopefully, by the time we see you tomorrow, this thing will be over. By the way, Hotch, congrats! It’s an honor to be your family, now. You’ve been my friend for a while, and technically we’re essentially brother-in-laws, but to be honest, you’re just my big brother, and I couldn’t be luckier. Enjoy your last day of mating.”
Aaron smiled. He’d always liked Tony but would enjoy being family with the man even more than he thought. “Thank you, Tony, and being your big brother will be a pleasure. I will talk to you tomorrow, if not before. Call me if you catch the unsub, and we’ll leave ASAP. Good job.”
Just as he was ending the call, there was a knock on the door. Standing and wrapping the towel tighter around his waist, Aaron waited for Dean to cover himself with a sheet before answering. Seeing the food his Guide had ordered while he was in the shower, he thanked the man and took the tray from him. Settling at the table, he dug into his food, as Dean wandered over and did the same.
“So, the case may be wrapped up soon, and that means we need to work out some details. So, tell me about Dean. I know from the background we ran that you do graphic design out of your home, correct?”
Dean nodded swallowing the pancakes in his mouth before replying. “I mostly work on commission. That way I can work my jobs around my baby, which is Supernatural, and our hunting jobs. Although we don’t get to do that as much as I’d like sometimes, but Sammy gets busy with school, and that’s more important than anything else. Kid’s a genius, and I’m gonna make damned sure he’s allowed to stretch that brain of us. Hey! Will that guy let him finish school?”
Aaron nodded, reaching out he covered Dean’s hand with his own, switching his fork to his other hand. Sometimes being ambidextrous came in handy. “Tony’s a good man, Dean. Sam will have to switch colleges, but that’ll be easy once they get bonded. They’ll work something out that lets him study as he travels. Both Spencer and Tony take classes almost continuously. So, depending on what point Sam is at in his degree, he may even be able to do the same thing through Stanford. His degree will be perfect for the team.”
“And, what about me? I can’t imagine you have much use for a graphic designer.” Aaron put down his fork, and reaching across the table wrapped it around the hand he was already holding so that Dean’s hand was cradled inside both of Aaron’s.
“Graphic Designer, no. We do though have a huge need for a Professional Hunter or two, though. I see no reason why you can’t travel with us and do your work on the road if you want. If you don’t want to join the Bureau, then you and I’ll just quit, and we’ll find something that suits us both. I’m not interested though in any option that either leaves you behind or makes you feel like you’re not an important part of my life. I have waited my entire life for you. Nothing else is as important as your health, your happiness, and your welfare.”
“I can’t… There’s no way that Sammy’s not gonna jump into this whole Special Agent thing with both feet first. It’s his dream come true. Kid’s wanted to become an agent since we found out the truth about dad, but before this, he never thought a federal agency would give him a chance. I can’t… I can’t stay behind and let him put himself in danger. Is there… I mean…”
“Then we get you trained to be part of the team,” Aaron said gently. “I’m not gonna lie. You don’t qualify to be a profiler officially. You’d need a shitload of more schooling than you have now. From what I have seen Sam’s law turned criminal justice degree will be perfect. We can though have a regular agent on the team, especially if you’re my mate. There’s a precedent set for such a thing in other units, and we can even do your training on the job. If you want to be an agent you can be, or you can sign on with the team in a consultant role.
“There are classes and certifications that you can take through the Bureau that will allow you to carry a weapon. Then you’d still be able to travel with us. You can help the team when we need you, and you can work on Supernatural when you want. Then later, if you want to try to become an agent, we can do the training classes. You have options, Dean. I have no interest in separating you from your brother.”
Dean nodded and huffed pulling his hand back. “Jesus, I’m gonna grow tits with all of this chick flick crap. What else were you and that Tony guy talking about?”
Aaron explained the new tribe that Tony was building, the townhomes the three men had acquired, and how it would be basically a mini-community for the tribe.
“So, I get to live near my Sammy?” Dean asked, and Aaron nodded smiling.
“None of us have any urge to separate you two unless you should decide that you want it.”
Quickly, Dean shook his head. “No, we… we do better when we’re together. A shrink once said we were co-dependent, but… I don’t know about all that shit. I just know when I’m away from Sam or he’s away from me then bad things happen. As much as I have enjoyed our time together, I’m glad that I’ll get to see him tomorrow. Sam’s not just my brother, he’s my best friend, my compass, and my biggest supporter. I wouldn’t have Supernatural if it wasn’t for Sammy. I certainly wouldn’t have had the guts to go to art school. Sammy’s important to me, and I don’t want that to change. I don’t care if people need to put some stupid label on it. It’s worked for us our whole lives, and I don’t see a good reason to change it.”
“I don’t either. I just hope that there’s room for Tony and me in there somewhere.”
Dean nodded jerkily chewing on his bottom lip. “It wouldn’t be horrible to have more people around us. Bobby and Jody are good people, but… I had parents. S’not my fault one was murdered and the other went crazy. Doesn’t feel right just replacing them.”
“Then don’t,” Aaron offered gently. “None of us are going to dictate to you how your relationship with your brother should go. Certainly, not Tony and I. I can’t talk about his background, that’s Tony’s secret to tell. I can tell you that my father wasn’t much better than yours. He just had a rich pedigree to hide behind. Despite his law degree though, and all of his family money, he was just as much of a drunken, abusive father as your file suggests that your father was. While I hate the bastard, my younger brother Sean adored him. Even knowing what he did to mom and me, there’s still a part of him that misses the man.”
“Sounds like me and Sammy only reversed. Sammy hates dad. He won’t even say his name. Just calls him that man. I mean, I get it. Dad tried to kill him, but I mean he couldn’t help it! He was sick. If he hadn’t gone crazy, he never woulda done that to Sammy. MY dad woulda never done that to Sammy.”
Aaron nods gently, and reaching out took Dean’s hand in one of his again. “I get it, Dean. I don’t want you to worry. This is all going to work out. You and me, Sammy and Tony, the team, the job, the living arrangements will all work out.”
“Tell me about the new team, especially this Tony guy my brother is mated to. Is he a good guy? ‘Cause Sentinel or no, he hurts my brother and I’m kickin’ his ass.”
“He is,” Aaron promised. “Tony is a good man, and I am lucky that he applied for the spot when Derek left. He’s actually the Alpha for the new tribe, along with your brother. Are you going to be able to handle that? I mean, technically, Sam will be your Alpha Guide.”
Dean frowned but shrugged. “Better Sammy than some wimpy Guide with no backbone. Sammy will fight for himself and the other Guides… hell, the whole rest of the Tribe if needed. So, I’d rather it be him than have two new Alphas that don’t know. I just… I just want a place where Sammy and I can be us with people who want to keep us. It sucks always being on your own. I don’t wanna do it anymore, and I won’t want Sammy to have to do it anymore, either.”
“You don’t,” Aaron assured pulling the younger man to lay with his head on his chest. “This is forever. If nothing else, you and me, Tony and Sammy, and I would be my life Spencer and Martin will always be Tribe. Everyone else may be fluid, but us 6 aren’t. We’re Tribe and we’re family. So, you and Sammy will never have to go through life alone again.”
Dean nodded and took a breath then rolled to look Aaron in the eye. “Sentinel.”
Aaron felt something settle deep within him. In that moment, he truly believed his own words. Everything would be alright.
When Dean stood, Aaron just scooted back to make room as the man quickly crawled in his lap wrapping himself around him. Closing his eyes, Aaron breathed in his mate’s scent until it filled every cell of his being, and then just let go.
It would all work out. The tribe would protect them. They would find a way to see to Dean and Sam’s needs and protect them from every other person in the world if they had to.
Finally, after decades of wait, Aaron was no longer alone.