A Party and a Surprise
A PARTY AND A SURPRISE
Spencer Reid was puzzled by the geographic profile he had worked out. The victims had no overlapping areas at all. They didn't live, work or play anywhere near each other. The unsub was all over the place which made their job all that much harder. He was sitting crosslegged on the conference room table, staring at the map trying to figure out some kind of pattern when his personal cell phone rang.
"Reid," He answered abruptly.
"Spencer, I am so sorry, I know you guys are working a case, but I can't calm James down. He's upset and nothing I am doing is helping. Even Jack is having no affect. Can you talk to him?"
"Jessica, of course, just give me a second". Spence then did something he never does, he shut and locked the door to the conference room that his team was using till they caught their unsub. This did not go unnoticed by two of his teammates that had just walked into the police station.
"Okay Jess, I'm here. I had to close the door,"
"Spencer, have you still not told the rest of your team?"
"Jessica, it's complicated, okay? Just let me talk to James". Spencer sighed. He had only told Morgan and Hotch about his son. He didn't want to answer a lot of questions yet and he was also trying to still figure things out between him and James.
"Okay Spencer," Reid then heard Jessica yelling for his son, "Come here kiddo, your Dad's on the phone".
Reid then heard an excited voice come over the line, "DADDY".
"Hey buddy, what's going on? Jess said you're having a rough day".
Reid heard the sniffles that his son was trying to hide, "I miss you Daddy. You told me to be strong, but.." James started crying softly.
"Hey, hey kiddo we've almost caught the bad guy and I promise we are trying our hardest to be home in a couple of days. I miss you too James". Reid smiled still amazed at how much he loved his little boy, even though he'd only had James for a few months it had already been a wonderful, if not scary and frustrating time. "I, um, I got you some new books and when I get home why don't we spend the day with me reading to you?"
James smiled wide, "Okay Daddy, you promise?"
Reid smiled, "I promise kiddo, just us and our books".
"I love you Daddy and I promise not to cry no more".
"I love you too James, now you be good for Jess and before you know it I'll be home".
"Okay, Jack got a new soccer ball, he's gonna teach me how to kick. We'll be careful and wait for Aunt Jessica".
"Okay buddy, you have fun. Let me talk to Jess".
Reid heard his son give the phone back to Jessica while yelling for Jack in the background.
"I think he'll be okay now Jess. I'm so sorry…"
"Spencer," Jess cut him off before he could say anymore, "Do you know how many times Aaron went through this with Jack? Too many times to count, he just needed to hear your voice. And, I'm sorry to call in the middle of your case, but…"
"It's alright, but I have to go now, I've got a promise to keep".
"Yes you do," Jessica teased him back, "Be careful and come home soon".
"Thanks and bye Jess". Jess also said her goodbyes. Reid went to open the door to the conference room and stared right in the face of his boss Aaron Hotchner.
"Um, Hotch. I'm sorry, Jess called and I didn't want prying ears. Probably should have left, but…"
"Reid, it's fine. I've had to take my share of calls from Jess because Jack was upset, but locking the door? Have you still not told the rest of the team?"
"Um, no, I just, I don't want to answer the barrage of questions I'm bound to get from everyone. We're still getting settled, I guess…"
"Spencer, it's been three months and the only person who knows besides me is Morgan. Now I know he can keep secrets, but everyone else has noticed a change in you".
Reid frowned when he looked at Hotch, "What, what do you mean?"
Hotch smiled and shook his head slightly and wondered about the young man sometimes. He was brilliant when it came to chasing down the bad guys, but sometimes completely clueless when it came to the people around him.
"Reid, you smile more, JJ even caught you humming the other day and asked me about it. Kids change you Spencer and this is the happiest I have seen you in a long time. But, I don't think it's just James, is it?" Hotch graced him with one of his rare warm smiles.
"Well, Austin and I do talk almost every night when she calls James. She'll even call when were out, like now. It's nice, I think, maybe, I don't know". Reid was getting a little flustered. He didn't really know what he was feeling for Austin, but he knew it was at least affection, she gave him James and that was a gift he could never repay. "I told her about Maeve". Reid looked up at his boss with wide terrified eyes. He hadn't meant to confess that to anyone.
"That's good Reid". Hotch didn't want to push this particular subject with the young man. Hotch knew Reid was still having trouble letting go, but he was happy that Reid was coming to him about it. He knew all too well how difficult it was to let go of someone you loved.
"Anyway, you really should tell them Spencer".
"I will, but I ah I wanted to ask you something. I've already talked to Austin about it and Morgan was also okay with it, ummm.."
"What? You know you can ask me anything Spencer".
"Hotch, would you be willing to be James's Godfather?" Reid looked at his boss with a little fear and trepidation in his eyes.
Hotch was taken aback, "Spencer, are you sure? Morgan is your best friend.."
"I know, and like I said I talked to him first before I asked you and he was surprisingly okay with it. He said that as long as he got to be James's Uncle, he was fine with you being his godfather. So, it's okay if you say no I understand…"
Hotch put a hand on Reid's shoulder and looked him in the eye, "Reid, I would be honored to be James's godfather". Another rare warm Hotch smile broke out and Reid couldn't help feeling a little overwhelmed.
Spencer cleared his throat and looked down at his feet, "Thank you, Hotch. I can't tell you what that means to me. I'm um, I need a minute". He turned and walked out the front door of the precinct to catch his breath.
JJ and Alex came into the conference room to see Hotch staring at the map that Reid had been working on. They had waited, looking over at the two men every once-in-a-while and noticing the obvious private conversation between them.
"Hotch, is Spence okay?" JJ had noticed the small changes in her friend over the last few months. She knew she'd been distant from him for a while and also knew it was mostly her fault. They hadn't really been on an even keel since she had come back to the team three years prior.
"Yes JJ, why?"
"I don't know, I've just noticed he's been…happier? Is he finally seeing someone?"
"Jayje, that's for Reid to tell you, now do we have anything on this unsub?" JJ looked at her boss standing there with arms crossed and his customary frown and knew that this conversation was over.
Morgan followed his friend and partner outside to see what was going on, "Hey pretty boy, you okay?"
"Hey Morgan, yeah, I'm, I'm fine. I ah, I asked Hotch about being James godfather. He ah, he said yes. I guess I got a little, I don't know, emotional". Reid frowned slightly at his friend.
"That's a good thing Reid. Hotch has been there for you through so much kid. We all saw how he stepped in when Gideon left. It's only right that you asked him". Morgan smiled at Reid to let him know there were no hard feelings.
"Thanks Morgan. Now I have the harder task of who to ask to be his Godmother. I know if I ask JJ, Penelope will be hurt, and if I ask Penelope JJ will be hurt. Of course JJ and I haven't been as close lately".
"You mean since she came back to the team three years ago?"
"Is it that obvious?"
"It's been noticed. And you haven't even told the rest of the team yet, have you? Just Hotch and me?"
Spencer sighed, "No, I haven't. It's just…I wanted to keep him to myself for awhile, you know?"
"Yeah kid, I get it. We live in each other's pockets and sometimes you need a little somethin' for yourself. But, they also care about you and you know Garcia, when she sees that little cutie you've been hiding…"
Reid smiled at the thought of how their friend Penelope Garcia would spoil and dote on his son, "Yeah, I know. I just don't want to overwhelm James. He's still a little shy but Jack has really been a great help with that".
"He's a lot like you pretty boy. Shy, quiet, but quick witted. You're doing a great job with him Spencer. He's opened up a lot more when I've come around and I know you and Hotch will go out on the weekends Beth isn't here. He's a good kid".
"Yeah, he is. I miss him when we're gone. I understand better why Hotch pushes us so much in the field. He and JJ have something wonderful at home waiting for them, and I get it now".
Morgan smiled and understood what the boy genius was trying to say. "Reid, you haven't really thought of yourself as a father yet have you?"
"Still getting used to it. Maybe that's why I haven't said anything, I'm still trying to get used to it myself. Morgan, this isn't temporary. I'm a father, and it sometimes messes with my head. I can't believe how much James has come to mean to me in such a short time. It's wonderful and scary and overwhelming and, and…"
"Reid, breathe kid, breathe". Morgan looked at his best friend and saw the changes that had taken place in Reid over the last few months. He had also noticed that Spencer was finally healing and letting go of some of that pain from losing someone he loved so deeply.
"Morgan?" Reid knew they needed to get back inside, but he needed to get this out.
"Is it strange that through James that I've, I don't know, been able to start to move on?" Reid looked at Morgan with a mixture of pain and happiness shining in his eyes.
"Reid, Hotch knows more about this than I do, but losing someone you love like that is never easy. I think James has helped you see that there are other kinds of love out there man. I don't know, maybe he's giving you something to look forward to everyday".
Reid smiled pensively and thought about how much he really does love his son. "Thanks Derek".
"You're welcome, now can we go catch this son-of-a-bitch so we can get you back home to that special someone?" Morgan slapped a hand on Reid's shoulder as the two of them walked back in.
Clearing his head had helped immensely. When he looked back at the map he noticed what he missed and called their tech analyst and got what he was looking for. By the middle of the next day they caught the unsub and were heading home by 6:00 that evening. Hotch gave them the morning off, it being Friday, and Spencer didn't even think twice about that. It meant that he got to spend more time with James and that was always a good thing.
After picking up his son from Hotch's, then getting them both dinner, bathed, story time and their nightly phone call from Austin the two quickly started to fall asleep. Reid put James to bed in his own room then he got ready to go to bed himself. Reid quickly dropped off into a deep dreamless sleep, something that hadn't happened very often since Maeve had died.
Spencer woke late in the morning to see that James was already up and watching cartoons. Reid had finally broken down and bought a TV after they had moved into the house that Morgan had helped him find. The house needed some work, but with Morgan's help they were making it better.
"Good morning James," Reid smiled down at his son.
"Daddy," He ran into Spencer's waiting arms. It still amazed him the bond that had quickly built-up between them. There were a few hiccups here and there, but for the most part James loved and trusted the man who was his father.
"I've got the morning off, and I know today is a half day, what do you want to do till I go in?"
"Will you read to me Daddy? Because that is the best way," Reid smiled. He had told James what his mother had always told him and it made him happy that his son remembered.
"Yes, James, it is. What do you want me to read you? You go pick it out, and I will get us some breakfast started". Jessica had started showing Reid how to cook and he found that he actually liked it. He didn't know how to make much, but breakfast and lunch were pretty easy. Dinners were still a challenge, but he was learning.
After a few minutes he had a plate of scrambled eggs with goat cheese, some thick sliced ham and fresh fruit for the two of them. Reid was exploring James's palette and was surprised by what it was the boy liked. Luckily for him the kid wasn't picky. He still wanted to keep it healthy for the both of them. The positive side was that Reid was actually eating more regularly and trying to set a good example for James by having meals together as often as they could.
After they ate, they snuggled on the couch and Reid read to James from the Judy Blume classic, Superfudge. After reading for about an hour, Reid put the book aside and pulled his son around on his lap so they could look at each other face to face.
"James, I want to ask you something".
"Well, you know Uncle Aaron and Uncle Derek, right?"
James nodded his head, and Reid continued, "Well, there are some other people that Daddy works with that I think you would like also. One of them is named Jennifer and she has a little boy too and I think you two would get along. He's special to me and his name is Henry. Would you like to meet the rest of Daddy's friends?"
James looked at his Dad and thought about it for a minute, "Are they nice like Uncle Aaron and Uncle Derek?"
"Kiddo, they are the best, and you are going to love them".
"They're your friends Daddy?"
"Yes James, they are".
"You're sure? Because I want you to be comfortable around them like you are with Aaron and Derek".
"If they are your friends Daddy, they should be my friends too, right?" James looked at Reid with his bright golden hazel eyes that were just like his own. He pulled James into a hug and just held onto his son relishing the fact that James was not only smart but kind and compassionate too.
"Yes James, they should be your friends too. What do you say we have a kind of party? Everyone can come here and you can all meet each other all at once? And, if you get overwhelmed, you can go to your room where it's quiet".
James looked pensive for a moment, then looked up at his Dad, "Daddy, can Jack come too?"
Reid smiled, kissed the top of his son's head and said, "Of course, kiddo, Jack can come too". James threw his arms around his Dad's neck and said that it was okay, they could have a party.
The following Monday Reid had talked to Hotch about having a party on Sunday, but he was concerned that they would be called out on a case. When Hotch asked why all Reid said was that it was time. That was all Hotch needed to know. He called Cruz and asked that the team have a couple of weeks stand down time. When Cruz asked why Hotch explained how they all needed the down time and there was something that Reid needed to take care of. Cruz, knowing the dynamics of his best team, didn't need any more explanations and he readily agreed.
Reid sent the invitations by e-mail and waited for the barrage of questions.
"Spence, when did you move?" JJ turned around from her desk to look at Reid. She was a little hurt that he hadn't told her he had moved. He also hadn't been spending as much time with Henry as he used to and she wondered what had changed.
"I bought a house, about 3 months ago".
"You bought a house and you didn't tell me?" JJ sounded surprised.
"You sound so surprised Jayje. Why is it strange that I buy a house?" Reid asked.
"I don't know, you just seemed so happy where you were. Why did you need to buy a house?" JJ was utterly confused; this was so un-Reid like.
"Well, come on Sunday and you will find out". He smiled devishly at her as he got up to go get more coffee.
"Morgan, what is going on?"
"That, pretty mama, you will find out".
"Come on Morgan, you know what's going on".
"Jayje, it's not my story to tell, okay?" Derek looked at her pointedly.
"JJ, just go on Sunday and you'll find out. I won't betray Reid's trust. Okay?" Morgan walked away to get his own fresh cup of coffee leaving an utterly confused JJ sitting there.
As the day progressed Reid got bombarded with questions and he deflected them as only he knew how. Which made everyone try to figure it out, but no one could. They knew that Reid wouldn't tell them before he was ready.
When Sunday rolled around Morgan, Hotch and Jack came over early to see if Spencer needed any help. Spencer had broken down that week and bought a grill, but stood outside on his small patio looking at it utterly confused.
"You know for someone with an IQ of 187 I should think that I'd be able to figure this thing out". He looked up at Morgan with raised brows.
"Hey pretty boy, let me take care of this, you go back in the house and worry about that, okay?"
"You sure? Isn't the host supposed to be the one to 'man the grill' so to speak?"
"Reid, I got this".
"Okay," He turned on his heel and headed back inside.
"Hey, everything looks good in here Reid. You've done a pretty good job, and James's room is great". Hotch had a warm smile for the young man as he looked around.
"Morgan is still insisting on renovating the kitchen. He keeps coming up with all of these ideas on how to make it better. It's nice, but a little overwhelming".
"Yeah, well you should have seen Haley when we first moved into our house. The bathrooms were a 'disaster' according to her. It took us three months to finally agree on any type of renovations". Spencer noticed that Hotch was having an easier time talking about Haley in the last couple of years.
"Hotch?" Spencer got quiet for a moment. He was trying to form his question so that he wouldn't offend his boss, his friend.
"Does it get easier? You know, to talk about her".
Hotch knew exactly what Reid was talking about, "Reid, if I didn't then I couldn't keep her alive for Jack. It's hard, but it does get better. I'm assuming you've been talking more with Austin about Maeve?"
Reid's expression softened, "Yes. Is it…Is it wrong that I do that? Austin's never said anything but am I…am I being insensitive?"
"Reid, as long as Austin is okay with it, then it shouldn't be a problem". Spencer just smiled, "So, are you sure you've got everything?"
Just as Reid was about to confirm that he thought he had everything ready the doorbell rang. Well here we go Reid thought. Hotch put a hand on Reid's shoulder for a bit of encouragement. He answered the door and it was JJ, Will and Henry.
"Uncle Spencer!" Henry ran in and jumped into Reid's open arms.
"Hey Henry, how are you?"
"I miss you Uncle Spencer, you haven't come to see me". He said with a pout on his face.
Spencer looked up at Will and JJ and they both were trying to hide the knowing smiles.
"Well kiddo there is a good reason which I will explain in a minute". He put Henry down and warmly greeted Will and JJ.
"Wait here, I'll be right back". Reid turned around and went to go get James.
"Hotch, what is this all about? Reid never does this kind of thing and a house?"
Hotch gave her one of his warm smiles and said, "Just wait".
Just then Reid walked into the living room where Will and JJ were standing. JJ looked down to see the little boy walking hand in hand with Reid and couldn't keep the surprise out of her face, "JJ, Will, Henry I'd like you to meet James Matthew Reid, my son". He looked at JJ nervously.
He was expecting the shocked look from JJ, "Ahhh Spence?"
"Remember that girl Austin I told you about? Well, James is our son. I only found out about him three months ago…."
JJ's heart melted at seeing the awkward genius gently holding the boy. She got down on her knees and looked at the boy, gentling her voice, "Hi James, my name is JJ".
James hid behind Reid's leg, but held out his hand. JJ smiled and shook it. "Do you want to meet my son Henry?"
The boy peeked around Reid's leg and JJ gestured to Will to put Henry down. The little boy came over to stand next to his mother, "James, this is my son Henry". Henry, being the outgoing sociable type held out his hand to James who came out from behind Reid and shook it.
"Do you like Spiderman?" James asked in a quiet voice, and Henry's face lit up. He shook his head wildly.
"Daddy, can I show Henry my Spiderman?" Reid crouched down, placed a kiss on his son's head, "Of course". James grabbed Henry's hand and pulled him down the hall to his room. Reid beamed at him the whole time.
"That looks good on you Spencer".
He turned back to JJ, "What?"
She smiled wide, "Fatherhood".
"It's been, um, different". Just then the doorbell rang and Reid went to go answer. Luckily it was the rest of the team all at once. Penelope Garcia with her boyfriend Sam, Alex Blake and her husband James and Dave Rossi were all there.
"Good, you're all here. Come in". They all greeted each other with hugs.
"Wow Spencer, this is nice, but I never pictured you buying a house". Alex said beaming.
"Well, I've been careful with my money, and the extra that I pick-up from guest lectures and speaking engagements has left me the ability to invest, thanks to Dave and his advice that is. I was able to get a good price and bought it outright. Morgan's been helping me with renovations…"
"Reid, slow down. The place looks nice, but I have to ask, why did you want a house? I thought you were comfortable where you were". Dave slitted his eyes as he was trying to figure out the young agent's motives.
Reid smiled wide, he was starting to warm up to his friends knowing about James and he really liked it. "Wait here…" The rest of the team looked over to Hotch who just smiled.
"Aaron? What do you know about this and how did you keep it from me?" Dave asked.
"Well, Dave…." He was about to answer when Spencer walked back in with James in his arms.
The shocked looks he got from Alex, Garcia and Rossi were quite comical. "Reid, why do you have a little boy in your arms?" Garcia asked as her eyebrows shot up and her eyes got huge.
"Everyone, this is James. My son".
"You're…you're son. Spencer…" Alex was trying to form a question but it just wouldn't come.
"There was this girl, her name's Austin. We met a few years ago on a case and well…"
"Wait a minute, bartender girl Austin? The one Morgan teased you about for weeks after that one case?" Garcia let out a little squeal.
"Yup, this here is James Matthew Reid, our son".
"Spencer, can I ask where Austin is now?" Alex gently inquired.
"She's in California working on her psychology dissertation. She ah, got a grant to study at a small mental health facility…" Reid faltered, the team knew about his mother, about growing-up with a schizophrenic personality and they all understood.
"You didn't want him there". Alex smiles at Reid knowingly.
"Yes. Austin came to me three months ago…"
"She didn't tell you before?"
"No, she didn't, but…" A slow smiled crossed his lips and he was beaming, he looked at his son in his arms and said, "I'm glad she finally did".
The boy flung his arms around Reid and quietly said, "I love you Daddy", then pulled back and placed a kiss on Reid's cheek.
"Ahhhh, that is so sweet. He looks just like you Spencer". Garcia was gushing over just how adorable James was.
"That's what Hotch keeps telling me. James, this is Penny. She's the one that likes computers". James looked over at the brightly dressed analyst and did something that surprised them all, he held out his arms for her to take him. She looked at Reid for his approval, and he nodded yes.
Garcia gathered the boy in her arms and smiled, "Well, hello James. You can call me Penny, you're dad and I are good friends and I hope I can be your friend too".
The boy nodded wildly, which made everyone laugh.
"Okay kiddo, let's meet the others. This is Alex and her husband is named James also," The boy looked at James Blake with wide eyes as he shook their hands. "And, this is Dave". Rossi also held out his hand for the little boy and was thoroughly charmed.
Garcia put the boy on the ground. He ran back to his room to continue playing with his new friend Henry.
"Oh my god, genius boy," Garcia slapped his arm, "Why didn't you tell us?" She then grabbed the surprised Reid in a forceful hug. "Congratulations". She said, her eyes wet with happy tears.
"Well, it's complicated. We just live so much in each other's pockets that I don't know…"
"You wanted him to yourself". Alex finished what it was Reid was trying to say.
"Yeah, yeah I did". He was grateful that Alex understood.
Garcia looked over at a beaming Hotch and narrowed her eyes at him, "You", she said playfully angry, "You Mr. bossman knew all along didn't you?"
Hotch looked to Reid and he nodded yes that it was okay to tell them, "Yes Penny, he called the day Austin came to tell him".
Just then Morgan came in from the small backyard, "Hey pretty boy, I got your grill worked out so anytime you want me to fire it up…"
Garcia stalked over to Morgan and jabbed him in the arm, "So, the bossman knew," And in a sugary sweet voice that Morgan knew all too well was Garcia's way of being mad at him, "And what about you my hunky chocolate Adonis? Hmmm?"
"Yes, you crazy woman, he told me that Monday morning. But sweetheart, it wasn't our place to tell you, and I know you, this was the type of secret you wouldn't have kept to yourself".
Garcia went to protest but she knew it was true. "Okay, I guess you're all forgiven". Everyone laughed at the pouty face that Garcia was making.
The rest of the afternoon passed with Spencer fielding questions about him and James. He thought he should be annoyed, but he wasn't he was actually quite happy about it. He knew his friends cared and the way they accepted his son warmed his heart.
After a heated debate on how to properly grill chicken between Morgan, Hotch and Rossi, they finally got it done. Everyone was sitting around the folding tables enjoying the food and conversation. James was pretty much in Reid's lap the whole time, the boy still having quite the shy streak, didn't know what to do with himself. The group was watching the way Reid was with his son and just how happy the boy made him. Conversation flowed easily with much teasing and bantering all around. As everyone pushed their plates away feeling full and sated Reid cleared his throat.
"Um, thank you guys for coming, and for understanding. I uh, I know I could have told you anytime, but I just wanted to get to know my son before having to share him". They all looked at Reid with expressions of understanding, they knew how private Reid normally was, so this was a huge step for him. "I've asked Aaron to be James's Godfather, and he said yes". They all looked to Hotch who again was smiling wide. "But, uh I've had the harder task of figuring out who I should ask to be his Godmother. And after much over thinking," This got a chuckle from everyone. Reid took a moment to look between Penny and JJ, "I know it's not customary, but I just couldn't decide…Garcia, Jayje, would you…would you both agree to be his Godmother's?"
The two women looked at each other and smiled because this was so Reid. They turned back to him and said at the same time, "Yes". Everyone cheered, and the two women came around the table and crushed Reid and James in a tight hug between them. Reid blushed and James looked between the two women and said to his Dad, "I think they'll do". The whole table exploded in laughter and Reid was truly and genuinely happy.
Did you enjoy my ongoing story so far? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Holly KeasWrite a Review