Series: Italian Southern Comfort
Fandoms: Criminal Minds and NCIS
Characters: Aaron Hotchner & Tony DiNozzo w/various other CM and NCIS characters mentioned
Content: Established Relationship, Language, anti-marriage and anti-religion talk, non-canon compliant: NCIS and Criminal Minds, talk of past child abuse, talk of past spousal abuse
Word Count: 1998
Author’s Note: Tony has some pretty strong feelings against marriage and religion that come out when he’s angry. If this is going to upset or offend you I would recommend skipping this fic. The spousal abuse warning is for Tony’s mother. The child abuse warning is for Tony’s past. I have changed some of the background details for Tony and Aaron. This fic was written for one of the Rough Trade Workship pic prompts and has a 2000 word limit.
Summary: As Aaron Hotchner stands waiting to catch an unsub, he can’t help but wonder if maybe someday…
Aaron stood at the front of the aisle straightening his cuffs as he waited for Prentiss to walk down with Rossi in the role normally reserved for the bride’s father. The wedding was rushed, and the BAU chief hoped that the unsub didn’t notice. They’d been chasing a serial killer, and had narrowed it down to a couple people, but needed something to lure the killer out. It had been Aaron’s longtime life partner that suggested the fake wedding, and the team almost unanimously thought it was a perfect idea.
Turning his gaze toward the stand in minister, one former Gunnery Sergeant Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Aaron almost growled at the smirk on the man’s face but caught himself in time. It was a surprise founding out that the NCIS team leader was a licensed minister, and Aaron wasn’t sure he wanted to know why. The grumpy Marine sniper was just about the furthest thing Hotch could think of from a holy man, but for the moment he wasn’t going to ask. All he wanted was to be done with this sham of a wedding, hopefully with the unsub in jail so that they could go home.
Aaron had always though the worst part of his job was having to be so far away from his lover, who was mostly stationed out of DC with the exception of one horrific Agent Afloat stint and the occasional trip overseas to a base somewhere. However, this brutal case had taught Hotch that things really can always get worse. Being so fucking close to his lover for three weeks, but having to maintain a professional façade, meaning no sneaking his lover into the hotel room the FBI was paying for at night, was torture. The case in Jacksonville, North Carolina had quickly been found to overlap with an active case at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune that the MCRT was working. Aaron was embarrassed to say he’d gotten caught up in the chest beating as he and Gibbs tried to out Alpha each other arguing over whose case it really was.
Eventually though, Tony cleared his throat, with Rossi standing nearby looking highly amused, and told them that when the two of them decided whose prick was biggest to meet the rest of them at the conference room the Marines were lending the two teams work out of. The local PD didn’t have any stations with rooms big enough to accommodate the two teams, and the Marine Base Commander had been happy to invite not only the FBI in but the local PD if it meant their people would stop getting murdered.
Ignoring Gibbs and his stupid amusement, Aaron let his eyes roam around the park area they were using looking for the “bride’s brother” aka Tony DiNozzo the love of Aaron’s life. Hotch almost sighed when he saw the other man watching them from his spot at the other end of the aisle where he and Morgan were acting as ushers. It was hard not to let his eyes rest on the sight of the man Aaron loved without reserve. The two of them had met in boarding school as teenagers and had kept somewhat in contact as their paths wound away from each other and then back again before splitting once more. When they both found themselves based in the Virginia/DC area though, they’d seen it as a sign, and finally took a chance at the forever they’d both been waiting for.
They both came from homes with rich parents who had been part of horrible marriages. Therefore, neither of them was all that excited about walking down the aisle with anyone. Mostly. Except for moments like this when Aaron stood in his favorite suit because Tony bought it for him watching his lover, who was knelt down on one knee, his face bright with laughter as he joked with Morgan. Or mornings when Aaron was running late, and knew Jack was going to be late for school, only to find Tony in the kitchen blurry eyed making him and their two-year-old TJ pancakes. This despite the fact that Tony hadn’t slept for three days because his boss was a hardass and cases with kids turned Gibbs into an insufferable bastard. Or, quiet evenings when Jessica took the boys, so that the dads could have some quiet time on the couch together doing nothing but watching old movies and eating homemade caramel corn with peanuts because the peanuts were Aaron’s favorite part of caramel corn.
OK, so maybe Aaron had been thinking of it a lot.
The thing was, Aaron knew Tony’s stance on marriage, and knew that it wouldn’t change. Hell, over the years, Aaron even agreed with it, having suffered under some of the same situations as Tony had in his childhood. Despite the switch off his ‘I have no interest at all’ stance, marriage still wasn’t a deal breaker. The life that Aaron had with Tony and their sons was everything Aaron always wanted for himself. Running into his old boarding school buddy in some dive bar in DC after Haley had tried to force her will upon Aaron for what turned out to be the last time seemed then and now as something given by the Fates.
The two men hadn’t seen each other in several years at that point. If Aaron hadn’t run into Tony that night, there was every chance that Aaron would have succumbed and given into Haley’s wants and demands eventually losing himself in a relationship that was at best boarder line abuse. Her constant cheating certainly wasn’t healthy, or the way Aaron had learned to just overlook it and blame it on himself. Fortunately, Tony had reappeared when Aaron needed him the most, and it was the Unit Chief’s opinion that both of their futures were changed for the better. Aaron shuddered to think of what NCIS would have become for his life partner if Hotch wasn’t around to remind Tony of all the things that he didn’t need to tolerate or pretend that he could live with.
For one thing, that Mossad agent would probably still be on the team. Tony would probably have bowed under the former Director’s pressure and taken the questionable undercover operation. Gibbs certainly would still be running the team ‘his way’ pitting his agents against each other constantly and giving his Senior Field Agent no real authority. Likewise, there were certainly things that Aaron would have done differently.
The situation with Reid’s kidnapping would probably have been handled differently if Tony hadn’t been a voice of reason to suggest that maybe they couldn’t just take Reid’s word for everything. He reminded them that sometimes victims needed saved from themselves. The brother like connection that Tony and Reid had formed certainly helped to ferret out the addition that who knows would have gone unnoticed otherwise. As it was, Tony was able to sniff out secret that Spencer hadn’t wanted to share, and Reid got the help he needed sooner rather than later. Tony certainly helped soften the blow of Gideon’s disappearing act and been a shoulder that both Aaron and Spencer could lean on during a tough time for the BAU team has a whole.
Looking around the yard to get his mind back on the situation at hand, Aaron couldn’t help but overhear the discussion that Tony, Morgan, and Tim were having over coms about marriage. Aaron still wasn’t sure how he felt about the man his partner called Probie and felt that in several areas the younger agent still had a great deal of maturing to do. Take for instance the conversation that everyone was listening to as McGee mocked Tony for not believing in marriage.
Aaron had to wonder if it was the unsuitability of the timing of the conversation, or the fact that the Junior Agent hadn’t grasped the fact that marriage was a sensitive subject that his partner had genuine reasons for wanting to avoid. Turning his head slightly, Aaron glanced at Gibbs once more, and was not surprised to see the earlier humor had vanished from the man’s eyes and been replaced by a visible irritation that warned of nothing good coming the computer genius’ way. When Tony finally snapped and let his Probie have it, Aaron was not surprised in the least, and guessed that Gibbs wasn’t either.
“What exactly is it that you think I can achieve with my partner, Tim, with a fucking piece of paper and the approval of some dude in robes pretending to have the blessing of some mythical higher power that I don’t have now? It won’t make my partner love me more. It won’t be any more of a guarantee that he’ll never leave me. It won’t make either of us better fathers. So, what exactly is it that you think a piece of paper and a ceremony performed by a fraud will do for me? Because let me tell you what it won’t do.
“It won’t guarantee that he’ll never hurt me. My father would berate my mother tirelessly about the smallest misstep until she killed herself to escape him. A woman he still claims to be the love of his life. It won’t stop child abuse. My father used to beat me without even the smallest provocation. The man’s been married at least six times since mom died, so it obviously won’t guarantee some fucking childish notion of forever. So, what exactly do you think that a piece of paper and some dude in a robe will accomplish that my partner and I haven’t built together already built together?
“You need that to believe that your relationship has the blessing from something that is at worst fake and at best some fucking alien? Have at it. I hold no ill will against someone that wants and/or needs it for their own relationship.
“What I know though is that I don’t want it and have no intention of making a mockery of someone else’s beliefs by subjecting myself to a ceremony that I don’t believe in just so a bunch of people whose opinions I don’t give two shits about can feel good about my relationship. It won’t make us love each other more than we already do. My partner shows me every fucking day how goddamned much he loves me. He shows his commitment to our family every time he comes back from his job alive, and every time he makes our lives a little safer by locking up the worst of the worst. He shows me forever every time I open my eyes in the morning and he’s still fucking there. I don’t believe in your God. I don’t want to believe in your God, and I’m not going to believe in your God.
“I don’t want to be married. I’m not going to get married. Is it possible that someday something will happen, and I’ll change my mind? I suppose so. If it does though it still won’t be any of your fucking business and any ‘I told you so’s’ that you throw at me should that make-believe time ever come won’t be welcomed or tolerated. My relationship is mine. My beliefs are mine. My forever is mine and his. It’s no one else’s. So, I suggest that you keep your fucking bullshit to yourself and have some respect when a person says, ‘that just isn’t for me’. Fuck off.”
“If you don’t all shut up, I’m gonna head slap you all into next week,” Gibbs finally offered with an added, “McGee, don’t think you and I won’t be having a conversation about this either.”
Taking a deep breath, Aaron forced himself to focus, for once letting another Alpha handle things, and slowly packed away the influence he’d let the world have on his relationship. Aaron agreed that marriage wasn’t for them. Not at that point in their lives anyway. But you never knew.
I write fanfiction for fun. It’s a hobby and a stress relief. I refuse to stress over my writing. What you see is what you get. Errors, plot holes, and all. Thank you for reading my story!