This is an unfinished sequel to one of my other one-shots, Why Indeed, story ID 8785529.
Jennifer Jareau was reading a case file when she gasped and paled rather dramatically. "Oh God, Spence.." she whispered to herself. Then she stood and stormed out of her office into the office of David Rossi.
"Dave.. is this.." she thrust the file at David. "Is this Spence's dad?"
Rossi, who had looked up amused when JJ came storming into his office, lost his amused expression and gave her a considering look. "It appears to be so," he replied after half a minute.
JJ closed her eyes. "Oh, God.."
"Why don't you sit down," Rossi said, while standing to close the door behind JJ. He then handed her a glass of water. He then gently took the file from her. After a few minutes he resumed speaking.
"Hotch and I didn't intend for the rest of the team to find out about the identity of the unsub unless Reid said so, and Reid didn't. I'll take care of the paperwork for this case," Dave concluded.
JJ nodded shakily.
Rossi didn't think JJ had actually read the whole file before storming in here – after all, the name change was on the second page of the file, before the evidence – and thus JJ probably suspected that Reid had been a victim of his father, but she didn't actually know for sure. That was good, in Dave's opinion. It meant that Reid and JJ could pretend that it never happened, but should Reid wish to tell JJ, it wouldn't come as a shock either.
That was about as good as it was going to get in this situation.
Reid was working at the kitchen table while Hotch was in his study. Reid couldn't concentrate, though. So he decided to call Dr. Norman. Reid had the phone number from Dr. Norman's office. After the Fisher King case, where his mother had been placed in protective custody, Reid had received Dr. Norman's direct phone number, so he wouldn't have to go through the secretary. After Dr. Norman had consulted with Reid on the Bates case (the psychotic woman who abducted a five-year-old in Las Vegas thinking it was her newborn child), Reid continued calling Dr. Norman sometimes when he needed a consult with a psychiatrist.
"Dr. Norman? Hi, this is Spencer Reid.."
After asking how his mother was doing, Reid quickly relayed what had happened – William Reid had been arrested and was guilty. He also said that he wanted this to be kept quiet from his mom until Reid could speak to her, unless Dr. Norman didn't think that was a good idea.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Norman wasn't sure whether or not it was a good idea. Given that Reid had once before accused his father of a crime, which his father didn't commit, Dr. Norman wasn't sure how it would go over if Reid would say something like that again. Reid was saddened by that, but agreed it was quite possible. In the end, they agreed that Dr. Norman would tell Diana about her husband.
Somewhere, Reid was glad, though, that he didn't have to do it himself.
"Are you alright?" A voice startled Reid from his thoughts. He looked up to see Hotch watching him somewhat concerned.
Reid thought for a moment. "I don't know," he decided.
Hotch nodded as though expecting that answer. "Coffee?"
Glad for the normalcy, Reid nodded.
They drank their coffee in silence. Hotch noted that Reid kept scratching his left forearm. He was craving, apparently. Hotch decided that distraction would probably help.. He quickly decided on what to do.
"Come," Hotch said softly. Reid looked at Hotch with an unsure expression, but thought it best to go along with him. If – if – Hotch wanted to hurt him, there was nothing Reid could do.
Hotch handed Reid his jacket, and also put his own on. He had changed out of his suit soon after they got home and was now wearing casual clothes. After exiting the house, they got into Hotch's car.
"Hotch? Where are we going?" Reid asked, trying to keep his voice under control.
"My main idea was to go for a walk, but we might as well pick up some clothes from your apartment so you have enough for a few days at least. I'm not forcing you to stay with me, but I don't want you to feel compelled to go back because your clothes run out."
Reid nodded. That sounded acceptable.
After driving by Reid's house, where Reid filled a bag with clothes, they went to the woods and walked. Hotch allowed Reid to choose the route, carefully noting – profiling – which parts of the forest the man preferred.
The result was disconcerting.
Reid very obviously stayed away from any part that even remotely looked like the part of the forest where Gideon's cabin was. That included any clearing that looked like the clearing near Gideon's cabin and any road that looked like that road.
Reid also stayed away from anything that could be confused with the graveyard where Hankel had made Reid dig his own grave, but Hotch had expected that, at the very least.
They walked in a companionable silence, Hotch always half a step behind Reid. Near enough to see Reid's face, or even to catch him if he fell, but it allowed no misconceptions about who was leading who.
After walking for about an hour, Reid started to get upset. First it was just the way he walked.. just somewhat less coordinated. Then his steps became heavier. A tear rolled down his cheeks. And then his pace increased so much he was nearly running. Reid tripped a couple of times, but always caught himself before he fell. The near-falls only seemed to make him more angry. After walking about two kilometers like that, Reid fell and didn't get up.
He just sat at the side of the road, held his head in his hands and cried.
Reid was trembling. That was partly because of the adrenaline that came with being upset, and partly because he was upset. Hotch crouched down next to Reid. He lightly touched Reid – making sure he wasn't touching his shoulder or wrist, because that could be perceived as constraining. Hotch just touched Reid in silent comfort. Reid leaned into the touch. Hotch yearned to embrace Reid, but didn't – he knew it was important to give Reid space, but also to let him know he wasn't alone.
At some point, Reid fully leaned into Hotch and Hotch couldn't help but hold him, much like after the Hankel case. Hotch didn't bother with mindless platitudes, because he knew Reid wouldn't appreciate them. He just was there, and apparently, that was enough.
When Reid pulled away, Hotch let him go.
"Can we go back?" Reid asked quietly.
Hotch nodded. On the way back, Hotch and Reid walked next to each other, because Hotch knew the way.