Title: The Road to Love and Happiness
Series: Rossi’s Always Right
Previous Story: When History Repeats Itself
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Character(s): Spencer Reid
Warnings: Non-Canon Compliant: NCIS and Criminal Minds
Word Count: 985
Notes: This was written for the Forever Angst April Picture Perfect Challenge. Banner background image was the picture prompt. The story had to be more than 500 words and less than 1000 words.
Summary: Spencer has been living his life with a safe crush, but the open road makes it clear that his life and his friends’ lives deserve so much more.
The Road to Love and Happiness
Spencer imagined that it would surprise most people, even those closest to him, how much he enjoyed getting into his car and driving. He knew that anyone who saw his Amazon was surprised that it could make it around the block, let alone a road trip. The fact was, though, it might not look impressive on the outside, but what it looked like didn’t matter to Spencer any more than his own looks did. With a degree in engineering though, it was a little insulting that people thought he couldn’t keep his car in perfect running form. Specifically, he kept it in road trip form just for weekends like the current one.
The team had been given a long weekend, and Spencer had waited only long enough to pack a bag with some clothes and necessities before heading out. There was no specific destination in mind. The point was the drive itself, not where it was taking him. Usually, the trip was born of something that he was trying to work out in his head and couldn’t process with so many people around. This weekend it was the intrusion of a possible real romance into the isolated space that he’d created for himself in the aftermath of Maeve’s death.
Spencer was nowhere near as innocent as people like Morgan assumed. That didn’t mean however that he was faking how inadequate he was at making the first move. The easiest explanation of his sexual orientation would be bisexual if he didn’t want to go into an in-depth conversation of how his attraction to people worked, with people like Morgan, whom he wasn’t positive would understand. The more complicated explanation was that he was Demisexual, and the complicated part only came in because most didn’t understand what that meant.
As much as Spencer got lost in his explanations and sometimes, or often, loved to speak on anything he was knowledgeable about, the exception was anything related to his own life. For quite some time, and if he admitted the truth of it all to just himself it was much longer than Maeve had been dead, he’d been living with some teenage crush like fascination for his friend, his older brother substitute, and his fill-in mentor Aaron Hotchner. The longing for Hotch had survived as long as it had mostly because it was the safest thing in Spencer’s life.
Until recently, there was absolutely no indication that Aaron would even look twice at another man in a sexual manner let alone long enough to lead to a relationship. Then one former NCIS agent Anthony Dominic DiNozzo, Jr became a more significant part of their lives. Spencer knew the man of course before that. Hell, the whole team knew him thanks to Rossi, but it was only in the weeks and months since Tony had quit NCIS that he became a regular sight around the offices. Ever since that Valentine’s Day dinner, what had before only been a casual sort of friendship turned into something more substantial.
It was that friendship that clued Spencer in on the fact that his boss wasn’t quite as straight as he’d always thought. It was the undeniable physical attraction that Hotch had for Tony that led Spencer to the reality of things. While he was quietly and safely crushing on Hotch, Aaron was, well Spencer wasn’t quite sure of this part, lusting he thought though was the aptest description of the older man’s feelings for Tony.
Tony apparently had no interest in forming any kind of sexual relationship with someone who had such a close relationship with the man who was mostly his father. Therefore, anything between him and Aaron had ended before it even had a chance to begin. It was Tony who introduced Spencer to the man who shed light on just how imaginary Spencer’s feelings for Aaron were. Because, it took only a handful of intense encounters with Edward Paddington, who had come to the States from Britain for an extended stay, to put the sexy and highly intriguing Englishman within Spencer’s sights.
Aaron, it seemed had also moved beyond his own lusting and onto something more realistic. Although, as of yet, Spencer had no idea who that someone was. He did know though that once again the introduction had been made by Tony. The only one whom Spencer wasn’t sure had set his sights on someone romantically was Tony. While that seemed to be a shame, considering the mostly unintentional boosts he’d given to both Spencer and Aaron’s love lives, Reid wasn’t sure what he could do to help.
If he was terrible at making moves in his own love life, he was even worse at it on someone else’s behalf. So, it seemed Tony would have to find his own eventual happy ending, and Spencer would just have to hope that it came sooner rather than later.
As the miles of asphalt passed underneath the tires of his baby, he felt the tension and uncertainty melt away to be replaced with an understanding that just maybe things were finally going to move forward. Perhaps, he would stop being seen by his friends and coworkers as the hapless genius who couldn’t get out of his own mind long enough to remember that he had a penis. Maybe, they would stop seeing Aaron as too stoic and angry to move onto a healthy relationship after Haley’s betrayal and death. And, Tony… Well, maybe Tony could finally be rewarded for all the good that he’d done in his life with finding someone who saw past his masks and recognized the fantastic man that was just waiting underneath to come out of hiding.
Maybe, what all three had needed to get on the right road to love and happiness, was to form a friendship that went beyond their connections to one veteran profiler and instead became so very much more.