It’s Friday night, so Spencer has let himself in Aaron’s apartment and taken a shower. He has Aaron’s old t-shirt and sweat pants on when he hears a knock on the front door. Drying his hair with a towel, he quickly makes his way from Aaron’s bedroom to the small foyer, picturing his lover balancing their takeout with one hand and fumbling for the keys with the other. With a wide smile he opens the door only to find a completely different Hotchner.
Sean Hotchner is wearing the same things he wore the last time Spencer saw him—black leather jacket and blue jeans, only this time instead of a motorcycle helmet, there’s a duffle bag in his hand.
“Sorry, must have got the wrong apartment,” Sean says, ready to turn away.
“No,” Spencer blurts, which stops Sean in his track. “I mean, you’re here for Aaron.”
Sean looks confused. Spencer doesn’t blame him. If Spencer had a brother and found a stranger, a male stranger, freshly showered in his brother’s apartment, wearing his brother’s clothes, using his brother’s first name, he would have been horrified.
“You probably don’t remember me, but we met at the BAU five years and seven months ago,” Spencer says. “I mean we didn’t actually meet, but I saw you. I’m Dr. Spencer Reid.”
Sean’s confusion turns into astonishment. “You’re the Dr. Reid?”
Spencer doesn’t know what that means. “Um… yes?”
“I’m Sean. Very nice to meet you.” Sean grins, takes Spencer’s hand and gives it a firm shake.
Sean’s reaction leaves him a little giddy. Spencer can’t help wondering how much Aaron has told his brother. He hasn’t even told his mom. They haven’t been together that long, and call him superstitious, Spencer doesn’t want to jinx it.
“Would you like to come in? He’ll be back soon,” Spencer offers.
Sean seems reluctant, so Spencer adds, “He’s just dropping off Jack at Jessica’s. I’m sure he won’t mind.”
After a moment Sean nods and steps inside. “Thanks.”
Once Spencer closes the door, he turns around and finds Sean’s standing in the middle of the living room, staring at him. It makes him feel a little feverish. Spencer wonders if it’s a Hotchner thing.
“Would you like something to drink?”
The question seems to break the spell. “Sure, water is fine,” Sean manages.
Grateful to have something else to do, Spencer walks into the kitchen, fetches a glass and fills it with cool tap water.
“I meant to call ahead, but it’s been so hectic in the last couple of days,” Sean says.
Spencer wants to tell Sean he doesn’t need to justify a visit to his own brother and nephew. Especially not to him.
“Don’t worry about it.” Spencer hands Sean the water, which Sean sips as he looks around the apartment. That’s when Spencer spots Jack’s toys still scattering on the floor, so he does what he always does on a Friday night while he waits for Aaron, he starts picking them up.
“So you’re the reason he’s not moping around anymore.” Sean’s voice fills the room. Spencer’s hand hangs in the air. When he turns, he finds Sean sitting on the couch, waiting.
Spencer can’t think of a response, which is why he’s so thankful for the familiar sound at the front door. He leaps out of the living room and finds Aaron in the foyer. He steps up and takes the food from his lover’s arm.
“Hey,” Aaron greets him in a tired voice before leaning in out of habit, but Spencer stills him and tilts his head toward the living room.
“Your brother’s here,” Spencer whispers.
“What?” Aaron follows Spencer’s eyes.
Sean is now grinning from ear to ear. “Hey, Aaron.”
Spencer can feel Aaron’s body stiffen by his side. After a moment Aaron turns to him. “Will you give us a minute?”
Spencer nods, puts the food on the dining table and makes his way back to Aaron’s bedroom, but not before receiving another smile from Sean.
“I thought you were in France.” Aaron’s voice pierced through the door.
“I was. Until yesterday. My flight landed here so I thought I’d come see you and Jack.”
“You should have called.”
“I should have, but then I would have missed Dr. Reid. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I don’t know,” Aaron’s voice is so low Spencer can barely make out the words, which is the point where Spencer realizes he has been eavesdropping and should stop.
“It hasn’t been that long. I just didn’t want to…”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“You really do love him.”
There is another pause. His heartbeat is drumming in his ears.
Spencer paddles backward until the backs of his legs hit Aaron’s bed. He sits down, letting the words play themselves over and over. I do. I do. I do.
He doesn’t know how much time has passed. He doesn’t ask when Aaron cracks the door open and pops his head in. Aaron’s lips are moving but Spencer doesn’t hear a thing.
“I said ‘how do you feel about French cuisine?’ ”
“Uh… I haven’t tried that many.”
He must have looked as strange as he feels because Aaron pushes past the door and walks up to him.
“Are you all right?” Aaron feels the back of his neck, which makes Spencer look up.
“Yeah,” he clears his throat. “Just a little unexpected.”
“I know. I’m sorry. He should have called.”
Spencer remembers the question then. “Why did you ask me about French cuisine?"
“Oh, he offers to cook us these dishes he’s learned in France in exchange for my couch. Just for the weekend.”
Of course, he should have figured that out. Spencer feels like an idiot.
“Oh, I should go then.”
“What? Why?” Aaron frowns.
“Your brother’s staying over. We can’t…”
“We can.” Aaron gets down on one knee and looks Spencer in the eye. “We just have to be quiet.”
Spencer blinks. “Are you sure? I don’t mind.”
“I mind,” Aaron insists. “Stay. Please.”
With that and the longing in Aaron’s eyes, Spencer doesn’t have much choice. “Okay.”
Spencer nods, gives his lover an assuring smile.
Aaron smiles back and pulls Spencer in. The kiss is brief but deep, leaving Spencer’s breathless afterward.
“Come on.” Aaron stands up and holds out his hand. “We’d better get out there before Sean devours all the food.”
Spencer chuckles before taking Aaron’s hand.