Chapter Summary: Aaron decides that he and Tony need some time together after everything that has happened recently. A date night seems to be the perfect fix. Then, someone else decides to try the shovel talk with Tony. Hopefully, this time it will have better results.
Chapter Twenty Two: Date Night & A Shovel Talk
The next evening, Aaron stepped up to Tony’s office and watched him through the open doorway. Things had been both busy and stressful for them both. He’d decided that the two of them needed a break. When Anderson came to his office and offered the tickets, Aaron jumped at the chance.
Anderson was dating one of the agents on one of the other BAU teams. When Martin’s team was called out of town, they knew they wouldn’t be able to use the tickets. His partner suggested Aaron and Tony. Aaron smiled remembering Anderson telling him how Tony had helped them close a case after nothing more than overhearing a conversation in the elevator. Then when he’d gone to check out how things turned out, offered a pair of tickets to a Museum Opening he wouldn’t be able to use. Grant said that he’d been wanting to see the exhibit because ancient Egyptian archeology was kind of a hobby of his, but he never imagined that he’d be able to get into the private opening.
“What are you smiling at, Unit Chief Hotchner?”
Coming back to the present, Aaron stepped into the office as he smiled at his boyfriend. “I was just thinking about how amazing you are. Are you almost done? We need to leave soon.”
Tony blushed looking confused as he glanced at the calendar on his phone. “I can be done whenever. I am just getting some reports started for things I will need on a regular basis. That way it’ll be quicker to do them once I need them. Did I forget something?”
“Nope,” was all Aaron offered as he smiled mysteriously.
“We should leave soon.”
Tony arched an eyebrow but nodded before shutting his computer down. After gathering what he needed to take him, the AIC headed out locking the door behind them. He watched as Tony stopped in Elijah’s office to check in before leaving, and then the two of them
About an hour later, the two pulled up to a local dinner theater, parking around back. When he looked over to his passenger, Tony was smiling bright enough to light up all of Los Angeles.
“You got tickets to Witness for the Prosecution!”
Aaron grinned nodding. “Kind of. Anderson offered them because Martin’s team got called out of town. I wasn’t sure if you liked the theater, but I was hoping. Maybe if we like it, then we can get a membership to share?”
Tony nodded quickly before he leaned across the divide. Aaron happily accepted the exuberant kiss.
“I love the theater,” Tony confirmed happily. “Mom even took me to a handful of plays on Broadway before she died. Saw Phantom of the Opera and a few others.”
From the happy grin on his face, Aaron could tell that it was one of the few pleasant memories of his childhood, and was glad that he’d accepted the offered tickets. The two men got out and headed around front to wait to be let in. The two stood slightly away from the others hanging around in the lobby. When Tony stepped up and wrapped an arm around his waist giving him another kiss, Aaron happily pulled the Italian close.
“Thank you,” Tony said softly, and Aaron just nodded.
“I am glad I could do it. I figured after the last few weeks that we needed some time to ourselves. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have a partner who understands my job and the time that I need to devote to it.”
Tony shrugged and Aaron saw him raise a hand before he felt a finger run up and down his cheek. “I understand completely. Believe me. I’ve had more than one date get irate because a case came up or something else work related. And, those were just casual dates. In my humble opinion, it’s not about the amount of time you spend together, but what you do with the time you do have to be together.”
Aaron could see a contemplative frown cross Tony’s face, and let him be. He could tell the man was turning something over in his head.
“I suppose that someday, if this keeps working out, that maybe we’ll be old and retired and can spend all of our time together. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on doing that anytime soon. While I am hoping that we can spend at least one week of non-holiday vacation time together somewhere wet and hot and sandy, it’s not a deal breaker if we can’t. All I want is for you to be there when you can, and communicate as best as you can when you can’t.
“I get the feeling that Haley was not so nice about your work, and I’m sorry about that because you deserved better. Regardless of when you started with the FBI, being a lawyer, especially a Federal Prosecutor, isn’t exactly regular 9 to 5 hours. So, I don’t honestly understand what she could have been expecting.
“I’m not trying to bash her because I don’t know her. I just… you deserved better. I plan and hope to be able to give you better. I just… this means a lot to me as well, Aaron. This thing between us combined with the awesome new team I have is honestly everything in my world right now. So, I will accept your thanks, and give it back for giving me something I can believe in, again.”
Sighing happily, Aaron pulled Tony in for another kiss as they announced seating was taking place. Briefly, he took a moment to rest his forehead against the other man’s to take a second to revel in their closeness. Breathing in the Italian’s scent, he let himself feel how right it felt to be together like that standing in public, and not caring who saw them. He was a damned lucky man, and he prayed that he never forgot it.
Tony wandered up to the BAU to see if Aaron wanted to do lunch, only to be disappointed when he found out the man was in a meeting. He was standing outside of Aaron’s door, holding the deli bag, and trying to decide what to do when he heard someone call to him from behind him.
“What’s up, QB1? Hotch is in a budget meeting.” Turning, Tony smiled seeing Derek walking toward him from his office.
“How do you feel about pastrami on rye and lintel let soup?”
Derek just shrugged indifferently and then smiled. “My mamma didn’t raise no fool. I never turn down free food, man. We can eat in my office if you want. There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about anyway.”
Feeling slightly nervous suddenly, Tony nodded and followed the man back the way he’d come. When they reached the office, and Derek closed the door behind them, his nerves increased.
“I know that Rossi already had this talk with you,” Derek said, as he moved around to sit behind his desk. Tony sat in a chair in front, as he frowned remembering the fiasco that was the elder profilers attempt at the shovel talk.
“I also know that he was at jackass about it,” Derek admitted, and Tony just watched the man blankly trying not to jump to conclusions. “I’m not here to tell you that you’re not good enough, or any of that shit Rossi tried to pull. I just want to make sure you know that we see how happy you make Hotch. We all want that to continue.”
Tony nodded listening, as he distributed the food.
“No relationship is perfect, and sometimes shit just falls apart. I get that. However, if you hurt him on purpose, then you and I are gonna have a problem. Deal?”
Tony nodded smiling faintly. This talk he had no issues with. Aaron deserved people who would give this kind of a shovel talk.
“I know what my reputation is,” Tony started speaking quietly. “What people don’t know is that I’d been in what I assumed was a relationship for several years with someone that I thought was on the same page as I was. Turns out that I was the only one who had to follow the no dating other people rule.”
Tony spent a few moments on eating, and let the hurt ease before he continued. “I’m not gonna sing you a sob song, but I haven’t had the best luck with people wanting to stick around. My mom died when I was a kid, and my dad was only interested in the next big deal. If he did notice me it never turned out well for me in the end. So, yeah, I’ve been hesitant to trust.
“I care for Aaron though. We were honest with each other up front. Frankly, this is the first time I’ve dated someone where it feels like he actually sees Tony and not just the clown everyone wants. Until they don’t anymore that is. I know you don’t know me, but I’d never play that kind of games with someone. You have my word of honor.”
“That’s all I wanted to hear, QB1. Now, did you hear your Probie and my pretty Boy have a thang goin’ on?”
Feeling relieved that it went so smoothly, Tony leaned back in his chair, with one-half of his sandwich in one hand. Grinning big, he took a bite as he turned over the new information in his head.
“So McGeek and Doc are dating. Who made the first move? Has the first date happened yet? McHeartthrob is going to get so much shit from me for not revealing this information. Spill, Morgan. I need all the details.”
Derek laughed as he took a bite of his sandwich, and then nodded appreciatively. “This isn’t too bad. I do believe that it was your Probie who asked Pretty Boy out. I believe they went out for coffee at this place that has live Jazz, and on Wednesdays does Trivia contests. Apparently, it was Star Wars night, and the two of them cleaned house. They have a second date scheduled for this weekend, cases permitting. I think Pretty Boy is considering taking him to the Smithsonian, but he wasn’t sure if he’d like that.”
Tony snorted finishing off his sandwich half and picked up his soup. “Are you kidding me? I don’t call him McGeek for nothing. The only thing better than that would be one of those video game conventions. Elf Lord would probably squeal with enthusiasm.”
Derek laughed and threw a packet of crackers at Tony. “Hey, now. Video games are cool. I play Call of Duty and Gears of War sometimes.”
Tony smirked and shook his head. “My guess is you’ve never named yourself Elf Lord. Seriously though, as long as they’re happy then I’m all for it. I am glad that Tim got out of NCIS. The change seems to have snapped him back to reality.”
Derek nodded growing serious. “He told us how he hadn’t been a very good teammate at the end of his NCIS tenure but was working on it. I think that spending time with Reid will help. I may give him shit, but he’s probably the most down to earth genius that I’ve ever met. He’s not one for shoving his intelligence in your face, or throwing around his degrees unless he has to.”
“That’s good to hear. Things aren’t completely smoothed out between McArrogant and me. But, it would nice to get back to where we were. At one time I thought of him almost as a brother, but then he let Ziva fill his head with nonsense, and got a big head over his Deep Six bullshit that changed.”
“Yeah, he told us about that, too. I think Rossi is mentoring him there, and I overheard him saying that he was starting a new series with new characters. He admitted that he might have come too close to crossing a line.”
Tony snorted but waved a hand in the air not wanting to get into his Probie’s writing nonsense. “I’ll believe it when I see it, and I will pass on my judgment of how helpful SSA Rossi will be.”
Derek winced, and Tony wondered if he was remembering the current situation with the older Italian. “Man, I don’t know what to tell you there. Hopefully, he’ll pull his head out of his ass soon. None of this shit is y’alls faults. I am hoping he comes back from his so-called vacation with a better attitude.”
A knock was heard on the door, just as the two were finishing eating, and Emily poked her head in. “Sorry to interrupt. Derek, I just wondered if you were still on for helping me with that consult. They’ve called me again.”
“That sounds like it’s my signal to leave. SSA Morgan, thank you for having lunch with me. I will keep your words in mind. Madame Prentiss, it is nice to see you. You are looking quite lovely and badass today. I have minions to go corral. Heaven only knows what they’ve gotten into while I have been gone.”
As Tony left he could hear Emily asking Morgan about their lunch meeting.
“How did the shovel talk go?”
“Just fine, Em. I think things will be just fine.”