December 15th: Christmas Blues

Status:
  • Complete
Content Rating:
  • PG
Fandom(s):
Criminal Minds

Relationship(s):
Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid

Warning(s):
  • Violence - Canon-Level
Genre(s):
  • Angst
  • Challenge Response
  • Hurt/Comfort
Word Count:
1,862

Author's Note:
Prompt: Holiday blues alleviated by the return of an old flame

Summary:
The holidays aren't always happy for everyone. The holiday blues can bring the entire season down. Sometimes nothing can make it better, except that certain someone.


It was December 15th.  Spencer was in line at the airport.  Christmas music droned over the speakers.  His face told the entire story. The wrinkled brow, the smileless lips, the sorrowful eyes, made him look like a lost puppy that had just been kicked across the room.  He stepped up to the desk.

“Your ticket please, sir.” The attendant asked.

Spencer slowly handed her the ticket.  She checked him in. She tried to chit chat with him, but could tell he wasn’t in a talkative mood.  As she got his boarding pass prepared, she noticed his seat would be between two other people. Since she felt for him, she tried to improve his seat.  His long legs wouldn’t be comfortable in regular class. After he was upgraded to first class, he tried very hard to muster a smile. He hoped that it seemed sincere.

Meanwhile Aaron and the team were working a case in DC, the unsub was terrorizing women who were shopping or not shopping in certain areas.

Everyone commented, “What a wrong time for Spencer to be gone.”

Aaron and Penelope tried to fill in the geographical profile.  They both had previous experience with them, but it had been a long time since either one had done one.  Aaron’s phone would ring and they would both sigh. It was either more information that changed something, called Aaron away, or pulled Penelope to her computers.

Spencer arrived in Vegas.  He picked up his luggage and rental car.  He headed to check in at his hotel, but drove straight to Bennington.  He was on autopilot. Since he was there, he went in to see his mother’s doctor.  They discussed the developments in her care. It seemed she was slipping at a faster pace than predicted.  This made Spencer feel better for dropping everything to be with her. He knew there would soon be a time that she didn’t know him at all.  He heart broke at that thought. They had seen each other through so much. When he reached his empty hotel room each night, he wished Aaron was here to hold him.  Spencer needed a shoulder to cry on, but there was none.

Meanwhile, the case lumbered on day after day, dead end after dead end, long, endless seeming days.  Aaron was so tired some nights that he just collapsed on the couch. The Christmas tree half decorated was just a reminder that Spencer wasn’t here.  Aaron’s heart ached. He knew that Jack was missing out on all the holiday fun that Spencer usually planned and created for him. Messy though it might be.  Aaron told himself that he would do some of those things, just as soon as this case was over. Jack was understanding, but he was always understanding. Aaron tried to remember a time that Jack really spoke freely about how he was feeling.  What a terrible place to end the day, but this is where Aaron fell asleep, December 19.

December 20th.  A group of grade school children came to sing holiday songs for the residents.  Diana was being belligerent and unhelpful, until she saw a small thin blonde boy.  He was shy and hid behind others. Her face lit up.

“That’s my son Spencer.  He’s always so shy, but he does a great job once they get started.  Which one is yours?”

“Mine is the most beautiful girl in the world.”  Spencer said, as he wiped a tear from his face.

Spencer fought hard to keep from being upset.  He knew it was the disease but it still hurt each time she didn’t remember him.  The holiday songs were cute and the children sang well. Just before the last song, the kids came around to each resident for a hug and a candy cane.  When little “Spencer” went to someone else, Diana started to yell at him

“You can’t give your mother a hug?  Am I that much of a burden? It’s not like you come and see me anyway.”

A nurse headed over with a shot for her, as Spencer’s heart sank.  She was once a professor whose opinion and teaching was well respected.  Now she looked like a lonely lady. Spencer asked to escort his mom back to her room.

“I guess so, you’re the only one who has been willing to talk to me.”

Spencer tried to bring up a memory of their time together.  She just went on about Spencer hating her. The doctor suggested sedating her for a nap and that maybe Spencer do the same.  Spencer went back to his hotel to rest.

* * *

Aaron and team were at their wits end.  The unsub was a man, no a woman, no a man.  He was frustratingly elusive. Just as they narrowed it down and got close, poof, he wasn’t there.  It was as if someone was warning him. Jack’s last day of school was today. Aaron had hoped to take a few days to do some Christmas things with him, but with still being wrapped up on this case, Jack was going to have to go with Jessica.  Aaron had passed sad and was heading for depressed. He walked into the FBI elevator to hear Christmas tunes play on. When he arrived in the BAU, Dave was there.

“Hey.  We have a new body this morning.  I sent Prentiss and Morgan. Penelope added it to our map.  If Prentiss and Morgan can find the right evidence, I think we have it narrowed down again.”

Dave didn’t write it down anywhere.  When Morgan called with the evidence, that they had found at the crime scene.  Dave went into his office, closed the blinds, and carefully took the information down.  Dave slipped Aaron a piece of paper, as they headed out. Dave, Morgan, Prentiss, and Aaron drove to a ratty,

rundown building.  Since they were avoiding the leak, it was only the 4 of them.

His voice at a whisper, Aaron gave instructions to the team.  They quietly entered the building to find the unsub on the phone.

“What do you mean you don’t know where they are Anderson?”

Anderson’s voice came over the speakerphone.  “They left. I missed any message or communication that said where or what they were doing.  Best I could get out of Garcia was there was a new body. Sorry boss.”

“If they have found me, I swear, you and your mother are dead, you hear me?”

“Click” Went the gun beside his head.

“I don’t think so.” Dave said.

“Turn yourself in, Anderson.  I don’t want to have to chase you.  If I have to, I can’t be responsible for what might happen to you and your career.” Aaron firmly stated in his best unit chief voice.

When they got back to the BAU, Anderson was ready to explain his role in all of this.  A team was sent to search the house for his mother. She was found just barely alive. Aaron’s heart ached to see such hardship on one family.  He knew Anderson was going to do some jail time. Anderson’s detailed confession would help in sealing the unsub’s doom.

Spencer looked at the date on his ticket. December 26th.  He was so lost in his thoughts, as he ran his fingers over the date and sighed, that he didn’t hear his phone ring.  Today was the 24th, Christmas eve. All that ran through his mind were the traditions that Aaron and he had begun with Jack.  Decorating the tree, baking cookies, opening a gift on Christmas eve, which always contained matching pjs. Spencer stopped himself before he had himself in tears again. This trip was supposed to be about his mom.

Spencer arrived at Bennington to find Christmas music playing and the residents dressed festively.  Diana was in her corner. As the sunlight hit her, she looked like an angel sitting there. Her dress had a white lace collar that encircled her face.  It gave her a look of youth that had been stolen away a long time ago. Spencer found himself smiling.

“Good morning mom.” Spencer said ahead of his approach.

Diana turned to look.  This was the hardest part of Spencer’s day.  Would she recognize him or not. She looked around the room, even made eye contact with Spencer, then returned to her notebook.  Spencer just started to cry. He couldn’t help it. He loved his mom. He had taken care of her for such a large portion of his life.  His mother was gone now. It hurt as bad as the day he had her put in Bennington. He didn’t mean to lose his composure like this. Spencer had always been strong or he usually had friends or Aaron to lean on.  This felt worse than the day that the football team tied him to the goalpost.

The nursing staff tried to console him, but he was inconsolable.  Finally the doctor helped him from the day room. He found Spencer a quiet place to regain his composure.  It took a while, but eventually Spencer had talked himself through the science of her illness. It wasn’t her fault.  His mother was still in there somewhere. Her brain just couldn’t access her anymore.

After several hours of trying to give her the Christmas present he had made for her.  He left the gift and headed back to his hotel. The short drive seemed to go on forever.  When he arrived, he realized that he hadn’t eaten all day. He stopped at the front desk to order some room service be sent up.   Spencer had never felt this defeated, unwanted, and just plain blue.

He knew he needed a shower, but why?  He almost cancelled the room service. He wasn’t really hungry, but he knew he needed to eat.  As he undressed, he just dropped his clothes. The shower was warm and comforting. He stood under the spray for a while.  He heard room service shout that his dinner was there. The towel felt fluffier than before. Spencer wrapped it around his waist, then headed to the living area to eat.

“Papa!  You know the rules. You can’t have dinner dressed like that.” Jack scolded.

Spencer froze.  Was he having a mental breakdown?  Certainly Aaron wouldn’t just show up.  He looked around, where was Aaron? Jack wouldn’t be alone.

While these questions and more were going through Spencer’s head, two arms went around his waist.  There was a kiss on his shoulder. Jack giggled and he ran off to the bedroom. He returned with sleep pants and shirt.  Aaron pulled the t-shirt over Spencer’s head. Jack was in the alcove serving the food, as Spencer slid on his sleep pants.

Aaron took Spencer’s hand and led him to the dining area.  It wasn’t much two chairs and a table. Jack had plated up a Christmas Eve dinner for them all.  He had pulled the table and chairs close to the couch. Jack sat on the arm of the couch to eat with his fathers.  Spencer’s blues melted away through dinner. It seemed that family is the best cure for the blues. Even when the dynamic of that family changes day to day.


Profilers for Christmas is an anonymous crime drama Advent Calendar featuring both art and stories. Additional information about the challenge can be found here.

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One Comment

  1. Oh. Ooohhh. *wibbles* Sad and happy at the same time. I’m glad they have one another. Thanks for this. :}

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