- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Other Trigger Topics
- Challenge Response
- Crime Drama
It had been a long, hard year for everyone. Both the team and their families, what with the mass breakout of serial killers, one of whom was specifically after Aaron and Jack, Spencer’s stint in prison and the accident that had taken the life of one of their new team members. Hell, it had been a hard few years now.
Nobody had been particularly surprised by the fact that Aaron had retired and stayed in the place he had made for himself and Jack even once Scratch had been caught. They had made a home for themselves on the ranch in Montana with enough land for a couple of horses for Jack to ride, and it made sense that Aaron wasn’t keen on moving Jack again. The poor kid had had more than enough upheaval in his life.
Aaron was teaching a course on law at the local community college, allowing him to be home for Jack more than he had ever been before. And both Hotchners seemed to be quite happy with their current circumstances. So, it fell to the team to visit them for Christmas rather than vice versa. It was a chance for them to see for themselves exactly what their old boss was doing out in the boondocks.
Spencer knew that the team was especially worried about him after being in prison for so long and his recent brush with his addiction. None of the team was aware of the slowly developing closeness between Hotch and Reid which had been abruptly cut off by the need for witness protection, and if they had been, they would have been even more worried about the young genius.
Spencer had been reluctant to join them. He had tried to make excuses, tried to say that he would be visiting his mother over the holiday. Unfortunately, the call telling him that his mother was having a bad few days and it would be better if he didn’t visit came while he was in the middle of the bullpen with the rest of the team laughing and joking around him and he hadn’t been able to hide his disappointment from them.
So here he was in the wilds of Montana visiting a man who had broken his heart. Intellectually he understood the need for secrecy and why Aaron had left so suddenly to protect Jack, but emotionally it had been just one more blow to his already dented heart when the older man had left without even a note to Spencer.
Spencer had so far managed to avoid spending any time at all alone with Aaron. Staying as close to JJ and her family or Jack or sometimes even Emily as he could see that Aaron was trying to get him alone. But somehow it hurt even more when the older man stopped trying after the first day. The genius wished his heart would just make up its mind on what it wanted.
Today Spencer had Jack and Henry outside with him walking towards the stables where the horses were kept. Jack was determined to get Spencer to like them, something the man himself didn’t think was ever going to happen. But he was willing to humour the boy. Henry, Spencer suspected, was just along to watch his godfather humiliate himself. Spencer winced internally and admitted, if only to himself, that it was a distinct possibility.
As they walked through the snow, Spencer suddenly heard a war cry from behind him. Spinning rapidly, he was just in time to get hit in the face by a snowball. The miscreant who had thrown it was grinning brightly at his godfather, very pleased with himself.
“That’s how it is, is it? You want war LaMontagne? You’ll get war.” Spencer said, smiling back at Henry and bending down to collect ammunition.
“Bring it on, Uncle Spencer.” Henry returned cheerfully, and both boys rapidly grabbed snow and started packing them into balls to stack at their feet in between throwing them at Spencer.
“This is not fair. Two against one.” Spencer complained between dodging snowballs.
“But Uncle Spencer, you have magic hands,” Jack answered cheekily, laughing and cheering a good hit to Spencer’s chest.
“Cheeky brat,” Spencer answered, sending his own snowy missiles flying.
The boys raced around to flank him, pelting snowballs at him from both sides as he tried to keep up. Spencer, figuring that his only chance was to get behind something that could shield him, ducked so the boys hit each other instead of him and raced for cover behind a large bush. Not to be daunted, both boys approached and attacked the bush screaming in delight and shouting war cries as they pelted Spencer and the bush.
Soon the sounds of their laughter and merriment had drawn the rest of the team. Garcia was the first to join in, persuaded by Spencer to make the teams more even, not that she needed much persuasion. The others were not far behind. Rossi needing the most convincing and only joining in when Aaron, in a fit of mischief, had pelted him with a snowball.
They tried to organise into teams but nobody was willing to stop for long enough to set teams. It had devolved into a free-for-all with every man or woman for themselves and nobody was spared. Spencer could feel his spirit lightening the longer they stayed out in the snow, and he felt some of the depression that this year had brought him sloughing away.
After an hour or so, they called a halt to their play and retired to the house for hot cocoa. As he relaxed into his chair with the warm drink in his hands, Spencer was even able to return Aaron’s smile as he sank into the chair next to him. Maybe he would even be able to speak to Aaron and resolve their issues, Spencer thought as he closed his eyes and rested his head back against the chair. There might be hope for them yet.
Time would tell. After all, Christmas was a time to bring people together as Garcia had told him many a time.
Profilers for Christmas is an anonymous crime drama Advent Calendar featuring both art and stories. Additional information about the challenge can be found here.