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hotchmadepink

In a Moment There is Time

Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Hotch/Reid
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Spencer can see it in the moments in between.

-I know it's a bastardized version of Eliot. I apologize. Also, I love feedback of all kinds <3



The first one is when he and Aaron are on the plane, sitting side by side, elbows jostling one another’s occasionally. He glances up from his file at Aaron, and the profile of his strong jaw doesn’t match the softness in Aaron’s eyes, and Spencer inhales sharply. And as he watches Aaron’s expression soften he wants to smile, he wants to reach out and place one of his hands over Aaron’s.

Watching Aaron being so open, so relatable and so calmingly perfect, that’s the first moment that he realizes he wants something more.

He shuffles the papers in his lap, tries to go back to work, but he can’t help watching the way every emotion reads through in Aaron’s expression as he reads the case files. The intensity the he’s feeling is clear, and he tries to settle into the new weight it brings. In that moment he knows that he wants something more than friendship from Aaron.

-

The second one is when Spencer is on the edge of breaking down, torn apart after a case where the unsub had tied his victims to a chair and beaten them. He thinks about running, about taking time off from the BAU and getting out of DC, being anywhere but there. The thoughts remind of him Gideon, though, and he cringes when he thinks of himself doing the same thing, running away from his life.

Instead he becomes surly, curling over his paperwork and barely sparing a glance for the rest of his team, spending minutes at a time staring blankly at words and wondering why.

He’ll never understand why it hurts so much, and the irony is that his whole job is to know. He’s supposed to know why these unsubs do these things, and he’s supposed to be able to help these victims, and suddenly he’s having moments where he can’t escape from being the victim himself.

Aaron approaches him late afternoon, asks Spencer back to his office, and when Spencer follows him in Aaron just leans against his desk and watches Spencer quietly. Spencer tries not to fidget, and his fear that Aaron is going to reprimand him slowly dissipates until Spencer finds himself looking Aaron in the eye.

Aaron’s expression conveys compassion but not understanding, and in that minute Spencer realizes that Aaron doesn’t want to know everything Spencer has been through, everything he’s going through. He realizes that Aaron just wants to be there, just wants to help Spencer through this.

Spencer starts to relax, and in that moment of silence he realizes that Aaron understands.

-

The third one is when Aaron tells Morgan to back off when Morgan is teasing Spencer in a way that Hotch knows is just going too far. Spencer is piecing things back together and he’s on tenuous grounds- from time to time a case just hits *too hard*- and maybe Morgan can compartmentalize, was trained to do so as a cop, but Spencer just can’t do that. And it’s been years since Hankel, but Spencer knows it takes more than just time for wounds like that to heal.

Aaron must read the anger on Spencer’s face because he cuts in just before Spencer snaps a comment about Morgan’s childhood that would have been outright over the line. Spencer drops his gaze away from Morgan, staring at the floor while Aaron tells Morgan to back off and tells Spencer to relax. He bites the inside of his cheek and furrows his eyebrows, still upset. When Aaron comes to a stop in front of Spencer’s desk, though, and Spencer sees the concern in his eyes, he can’t help but let it go.

When Aaron looks at him with concern it’s not the ‘little puppy in the middle of the road, can I keep him?’ look that Garcia and JJ use, or the ‘I care but I don’t want to show it without being pushy’ look that Morgan and Prentiss use. Aaron looks at him with an open ended question, never pushing, never assuming, just letting Spencer know he’s there.

When Spencer meets his gaze he manages a half smile and nods his thanks, and the way Aaron hesitates before he half smiles back tells him that Aaron understands. And then Aaron starts asking about statistical relationships between race and victimology, and in that moment when Aaron stands resting against his desk, half smiling and asking Spencer about what he knows best, Spencer thinks that maybe he has a chance.

-

The fourth one is when Aaron looks at him and Spencer can read the desire that flashes in his eyes. But that one is during a briefing, and he’s just walked in, incredibly late and his hair still damp, and when he pushes it out of his face and looks up Aaron is there, watching him, desire sparking in his eyes.

He recognizes it, and he sees Aaron flush and try to hide it, but there it is. In that moment he realizes that Aaron might have feelings for him, as well, and something goes tight inside his chest, making him feel a little breathless, overwhelmed by the thought that maybe he could have what he wants.

-
The fifth one is when they’re on a case, out at the victim’s boyfriend’s house, trying to figure out where she went after she left her shift at the local pub. Aaron gets nowhere; the boyfriend obviously has gang ties and he’s not speaking. Spencer decides to chance the reprimand and step in.

“Statistically speaking,” he says, and he sees the way that Aaron’s mouth quirks up into an almost smile, “the deaths of those close to gang members are more than five hundred percent more likely to be gang related crimes.” The boyfriend stills, his left hand curls into a fist so tight his knuckles go white. “We know you didn’t kill her,” Spencer continues, “but it’s highly likely that you know who did, and that you probably know why, as well.”

The boyfriend ducks his head for a moment before he looks up at Spencer. “It was because of me?” He asks, and Spencer has a hard time believing he didn’t already know that, but sometimes you need to hear it from someone else.

Spencer just shrugs and says, “Statistics.” He sees the way Aaron’s smirk gives way to a smile for a quick second before he’s looking down at the boyfriend again, completely serious. When the boyfriend begins to confess that he’d been part of a recent drug deal gone wrong, Aaron gives him a thankful glance.

Aaron lets him recites statistics, lets him use them to their advantage. Aaron has always listened, even when other people shoot him annoyed glances or cut him off. In that moment, watching Aaron gather the rest of the information from the unsub, Spencer realizes that Aaron appreciates his idiosyncrasies, appreciates him.

-

The sixth one is when Spencer gets shot three times, all in the kevlar vest, but in the chest, over his heart. Aaron must know he’s not hurt, not really, but he’s hovering over Spencer and unbuttoning Spencer’s shirt and checking to make sure for himself, mumbling something about 'terrified, losing you.'

When he looks up and meets Spencer’s gaze, Spencer sees something like desperation in his eyes. He can’t help the wide grin that stretches it’s way across his face, and Aaron blushes, bites his lip.

Spencer thinks that he’s probably trying to find a way to talk his way around what he just said, accidentally admitted.

Aaron is a good litigator, Spencer thinks, but he’s not that good. And there, with Aaron kneeling above Spencer’s chest, blushing as his fingers brush the bullets caught in the kevlar above his heart, that’s when he knows that he and Aaron are going to become something else.

In that moment he knows he’s going to integrate himself into Aaron’s life, and they’re going to worry each other and annoy each other, and intricate their way into each others lives, and that Aaron is going to give him that same amazed look a hundred more times.

-

The seventh one is when he and Aaron are the last two in the office one night and Aaron presses him against the doorframe and kisses him, and when they pull apart Spencer grins and says that he’s been wondering when that was going to happen. Aaron flushes and says something about it being spur or the moment, and Spencer laughs and leans forward to catch Aaron’s lips again.

In that moment he knows that he and Aaron feel right together, and he knows he can’t ask for much more.

Comments

thank you :)