A/N So I'm only up to season seven and don't know what's going to happen but I needed Jack to be a little older than season seven in this. So if anything conflicts with later episodes don't spoil it. Aside from that I hope you enjoy the weird plot bunny that popped into my head and refused to leave ~ Gabz
Spencer Reid's eyes were wide with fear as her shut the door. Taking a few deep breaths, he tried to centre himself before he turned on his heels. His hands involuntarily twitched at his side as he fought the urge to run. Lifting his eyes slowly he felt his heart speed up in his chest as he met the two pairs of dark eyes staring at him from the couch.
His fear continued to multiply as one of the owners slipped off the couch and started towards him. It made no sense, he'd dealt with this particular individual many times before but now the fact that there were two of them had him paralysed.
Henry LaMontagne continued to walk slowly towards his godfather as he would a startled dog. His daddy had taught him to do that when they found their neighbour's dog Lulu shivering at their door apparently locked out in the rain. He knew his Uncle wasn't a dog but he was acting quite scared at the moment.
The trust that covered Henry's face as he opened his arms was enough to kick Spencer into action. Scooping up his godson, he tickled him slightly before pulling a piece of candy from behind his ear. The five year old smiled as he eyed the treat he'd been waiting for all day.
"That was so cool, how'd you do that."
The loud voice startled Spencer so much that he nearly dropped Henry, regaining his hold of the young boy at the last moment. "Uh…"
Henry turned his head confused at why his uncle was acting so weird. Maybe he was sick and that's why his mummy told him in the car to 'take care of Uncle Spence and not do anything crazy.'
Wrapping his arms around his uncle's neck he followed his gaze back towards Jack who was starting to rise from where he'd been sitting. Seeing as his uncle didn't seem to be able to say anything Henry answered Jack's question. "Uncle Spencer's a magician."
Unfortunately for Spencer, Henry's answer seemed to only excite Jack further and he had to fight to keep from running out the door. Spencer was well aware that 'The Reid Effect' as Hotch so kindly referred to it was far from a joke. He never was a child in the traditional sense and as such he has no idea how to interact with them. He was convinced Henry was the only exception because he had made sure he saw his godson at least once a fortnight since he was born. Jack on the other hand, he only saw when the team and their partners got together at someone's house or the few times he was over at Hotch's. And even then he had made sure not to interact with him too much lest he make Hotch uncomfortable by scaring his kid.
"Cool, what else can you do?"
Spencer hedged closer to the other boy fighting the urge to run. "Uhh…" Trying to calm his breathing Spencer remembered his remark after had faced down Chester Hardwick. He had jokingly told Hotch that he did his best work under intense terror, but now he knew he was wrong. He did his best work when he was under intense terror and someone else's life was at stake. When terror was the only emotion present, Spencer froze.
"The Rocket?" Glancing at Henry, Spencer hugged the boy tighter momentarily wondering how it was possible that less than a minute had passed. At this rate he wasn't going to make it the five hours he'd agreed to do this for.
"Okay. Why don't you go and get the ruler, tape and notebook." Following his statement, Spencer put Henry down and stared with uncertainty at Jack.
"You know I'm not going to bite you right. I'm eight, not two."
Without meaning to Spencer found his lips curl into a smile as he glanced at the young boy trying to decide how he was going to get past this fear.
Taking the smile as a good sign, Jack moved a little closer to Spencer and peered up at him curiously.
He always saw Spencer when his Dad's friends all got together and he knew that twice a year Spencer stayed in the guest room at their place. Sure there were other times when he stayed such as when his daddy was too tired to drive Spencer home from the airport after a long case and didn't want him to catch the bus that late at night, but those times were a surprise. The two times a year when Spencer stayed were always the same two days.
It was always the day that his Dad took him to visit his mum at the cemetery and then the other time Spencer would start playing with some sort of circle thing that he would flip across his knuckles during dinner before he left for some meeting and then he'd come back afterwards looking more relaxed. Jack knew enough to know not to ask what those meetings were. Instead of fulfilling his curiosity Jack asked something else this time.
"Why does Henry call you Uncle Spencer?"
Startled by how close the voice sounded, Spencer looked down and noticed that while he'd been trying not to panic, Jack had moved closer. "I'm his Godfather and according to most Western Societal norms the godparent is generally addressed as either Aunt or Uncle depending on the gender. The inclusion of a Godparent in infant baptism had been widely accepted in Christian practises by the second century." Realising he was babbling, Spencer cut himself off and risked a glance at Jack.
Instead of backing away from him as if he were contagious or peering at him as if contemplating whether they should institutionalise him, the way most adults and even children did when he got too factual, Jack simply nodded as if that had answered all of his questions.
"So that means I can't call you Uncle Spencer?"
Taken aback by the innocent question, Spencer stammered for a bit before spitting out one word, "why?"
Jack paused for a second as if unsure why he would need to clarify before moving a step closer and initiating eye contact with Spencer. "Well you work with my dad and Aunt Jess said that you were all like family to him and I call Uncle Derek, Uncle Dave, Aunt Emily, Auntie JJ and Auntie Pen Aunt and Uncle because they're basically our family but you're Henry's real Uncle so you can't be mine. Can you?"
Feeling his eyebrows furrow as he failed to comprehend how he'd managed to make Jack feel so excluded, Spencer wondered if he was any better than the bully's he had grown up with. It appeared in his attempt not to scare or hurt Jack he had only made the situation worse. "Did you want to call me Uncle Spencer?"
Jack shrugged as he opened his mouth to answer, unsure whether to tell the truth or not. However the choice was taken out of his hands as Henry returned, brushing past him as he ran to show Spencer what he had grabbed.
"I got it all and even grabbed some of the rocket bases!"
Unable to help his response, Spencer stepped back slightly in the face of all of Henry's excitement. "Okay, that's really good Henry. Do you remember how far it flew last time?"
As the four year old nodded his head excitedly as he sprouted off measurements, Spencer moved to lay the ruler down before calling Jack over to place the tape. He knew he should finish the conversation but he figured Jack probably didn't want to do that in front of Henry, so unfortunately it would have to wait. Now as he saw the smile that stretched across Jack's face as he placed the piece of tape on the ground, Spencer made a promise to include the boy more even if it came back to bite him on the butt.
Turning back to the table, Spencer saw Henry had excitedly open the notebook and already started jotting down their measurements. He couldn't keep the smile off his face as he saw the excitement that shone through the little boy.
"This one is Physics Magic, so we have take measurements so we can make more magic next time and make the rocket better!"
Jack nodded as Henry talked at him. Jack knew this step was important as his science teacher at school had given him an A for his measurements while everyone else in the class got C's. "Okay, can I help?"
"That's a silly question, 'course you can. Uncle Spencer's teaching me to be a magician, I'm his apprentice. If you get the ruler you can measure how far it goes this time."
Seeing Jack had looked back at him for permission, Spencer simply smiled and handed him the ruler. Earning him a soft, shy smile back.
"Is everything ready Henry?"
Looking up at his Uncle, Henry nodded excitedly. "This is where you have to tell the audience to look away. They can't see the magic ingredients or else it won't work."
Spencer smiled as he heard Henry parrot back the words he had said to the boy when they'd first done this together. He was well aware the common threat was 'if I tell you I'd have to kill you', but Spencer had decided that given his line of work it was best not to buy trouble and that their home life was designed to be a respite from the violence that they immersed themselves in on a daily basis. As a result he may have taken some liberties.
Moving over to the table, he added the 'magic ingredients Henry had grabbed before turning the canister upside down.
With baited breath the three of them waited as they watched the rocket launch itself across the room.
Barely giving it enough time to settle, Jack was already running after it, ruler and tape at the ready as he measured the distance from the last bit of tape and placed a new strip down. "Now what?"
The grin that crossed Henry's face held an odd sense of foreboding for Spencer as he glanced at his godson, while trying to figure out an appropriate reply to Jack's question. He should have known Henry would beat him to it.
"Now we do it again."
Unfortunately the one trait Spencer had shared with his peers as a child had carried over to adulthood, so while most well-adjusted adults could only do the same thing over and over again until the monotony became too much, Spencer was all about well timed variations. It was part of the reason he didn't complain when Morgan and Prentiss slipped him their paperwork. It appeared this trait was helpful when it came to babysitting as well.
That said everyone has their limit. So grabbing one of the many kids movies scattered throughout his DVD collection, Spencer sighed as the first scene from Nemo started playing. Unfortunately the one thing he had not calculated was that Henry and Jack were fundamentally still young children and even some of the adults he knew cried at Coral's death, so he should have realised that even though they were half distracted with their rockets that would still register another hurtful, character defining plot point of a disney movie.
That was how he found out that any and all boundaries one has are immediately ignored if a child under your care starts crying. And if there is anyway of them squishing to your side they will find out how to do so. At least now Spencer felt reassured in the fact that he could tell Hotch and JJ that neither Jack nor Henry were a budding sociopath. He was aware of it before but Spencer stands by his belief that the animated death of a parental figure in a Disney cartoon was a good secondary measure of sociopathic tendencies. The first measure obviously being the movie Up.
Henry tore his eyes aware from Crush who was currently explaining the intricacies of 'fin, noggin, dude' and giggled as his Uncle Spencer snored again. Moving his pointer finger with the intention of pocking him in the cheek, Henry frowned as Jack stopped him.
"Just let him sleep Henry. We'll wake him up when the movie's done."
Turning back in time to watch Dory speak whale. Jack pulled the blanket Spencer had at the end of his couch over the three of them, smiling slightly when Henry snuggled under the soft material laying his head against the arm rest. Pretending he didn't see Henry wiggle so he could rest his feet on Spencer's lap, Jack pulled the blanket up until only his head was peaking out, Jack gently rested his head against Spencer's shoulder careful not to wake him.
The sun was already beginning to set as a car pulled up outside Spencer Reid's apartment. "I hope Reid's not too traumatised. He doesn't usually seem too comfortable around Jack but I didn't know what else to do."
"He'll be fine Hotch, besides I told Henry to take it easy on his Uncle Spence. And Spencer understands at the moment with whatever move Strauss is planning, when she says jump we as a team have to say how high and today Spence was the only one she didn't want to have a go at." Despite her words, JJ was a little worried about her friend. Especially given they were already three hours later than they were supposed to be. That worry only compounded when a minute after they'd knocked and Spencer still hadn't answered the door.
Fingering the keys in his pocket, Aaron tried to understand if this counted as an emergency.
When another minute passed Aaron pulled them out, flicking through them until he found the purple key. Pushing open the door, Aaron stepped in ensuring he was in front of JJ and began to call out. "Spen-"
Cutting himself off, a rare smile crossed his face as JJ slipped past him, her phone in her hand, the camera loaded as she snapped away. The scene before them was priceless. Both boys were snuggled up against Spencer, one on each side. The blanket was only really draped over Spencer as both boys appeared to have already kicked their ends off. Meanwhile the menu screen for Finding Nemo, repeated once again, drawing their attention to what the last activity before they fell asleep seemed to have been.
Carefully walking towards the couch, Aaron brushed his hand across Spencer's forehead trying to quietly wake him without disturbing the other two. "Spencer. It's time to wake up."
"-otch?" Spencer brought his hand up to rub his eyes, his vision clearing enough to take in the fond expression on Hotch's face. "I didn't mean to fall asleep. Are they okay?"
JJ immediately bent down far enough so that he could see her. "They're fine… sleeping against you in fact. I guess The Reid Effect has been disproven."
The shy, sleepy smile that crossed Spencer's face warmed them both.
"Are you teaching my son Physics Magic?"
Spencer looked unsurely towards Hotch, not sure how he was going to react but instead of seeing any disapproval, he only saw pride and amusement. Casting his eyes around the room Spencer groaned as he saw the unbelievable number of film canisters that littered his floor and one that appeared to be stuck to his wall. "Yes, he's quite a good apprentice."
Leaning forward Aaron ruffled Reid's hair and smiled at him. "He couldn't have asked for a better teacher. Just keep it out of the bullpen."
Seeing Jack had awoken slightly, Aaron picked the boy up, settling him on his hip. "Hey buddy, have you been doing magic with Uncle Spencer." Almost immediately after the words left his mouth, Aaron felt Jack stiffen slightly as he turned to look at Spencer who simply smiled warmly and nodded at him in response.
"Yep. He's a magician. I'm just an apprentice but if I practice enough I can be a magician too."
JJ sighed as she looked around the room knowing it wouldn't be right to leave Spencer to clean it up on his own. Just as she was psyching herself up to do the cleaning, she felt a tug on her leg.
"Mama?" Seeing his mother nod, Henry rubbed at his eyes as he straightened up. "If Jack and I clean everything up really quickly, can we go with Uncle Spencer to get ice cream?"
Feeling the tension behind his eyes, Spencer knew he would already be contending with a headache soon and wasn't too sure how he was supposed to turn down the ice cream offer. Looking up at JJ and Hotch as the two boys quickly ran around the room putting things back in their place without having an answer to their question yet, he shouldn't have been surprised when he saw the understanding in their eyes.
"Henry, that's a very kind offer but I'm afraid, your Uncle Spencer may not be up for it." Aaron sighed as Henry unleashed the full effect of his puppy dog eyes on them. "I think we should let him get some rest but if you and Jack ask nicely maybe we can all get ice cream tomorrow."
Dropping the last film canister into the bag Jack was holding, Henry raced over to his godfather. "Will you, Uncle Spencer? Please, please come with us to ice cream."
Smiling slightly at the boy, Spencer nodded his head before moving his arms to wrap around Henry returning the excited hug.
"Mama, he said yes!"
JJ ran her hand over Henry's head before leaning over and doing the same to Reid. "Get better Spence." Pressing a kiss to his forehead, she smiled as his eyes began to close as he drifted closer to sleep. "I'll meet you at the car Hotch, then we'll drop you and Jack home before we grab Will from the airport."
As the jumping four year old followed his mother out, Aaron took her position next to Spencer. "Are you sure you don't want to move to your bed?" Seeing the stubborn shake of his head, Aaron sighed before rearranging the young genius so his long limbs were actually on the couch and not hanging off at weird angles. Smiling as Jack grabbed the blanket that had been tossed to the ground in Henry's excitement, he helped his son pull it up to Spencer's chin. Finally fluffing the pillow under his head, Aaron leant down and ran his thumb from Spencer's brow up his forehead to his hairline, repeating the movement, watching as Spencer's blinks got heavier. "Thanks again for taking care of Jack. Promise me you'll call me if you need anything okay?"
"Promise." The word sounded mumbled and incoherent to his own ears, but as Spencer felt Hotch brush thumb across his forehead one last time before stepping away, he figured he got what he wanted.
Prepared to fall back to sleep, Spencer was surprised when he felt a small hand gently grab his arm. A quiet, uncertain voice following the action.
"Did Henry and I do this? Did we make you sick?"
Fighting off the heavy chains pulling him into the land of dreams, Spencer shook his head once more, moving his arm so he could grip Jack's hand in his. "No, don't ever think that." Sensing the disbelief in Jack's lack of a response, Spencer continued. "The last bad guy we had to catch just took a lot out of me and I haven't been sleeping properly. Having you and Henry around kept the nightmares away." Seeing the uncertainty, Spencer brushed his thumb across Jack's cheek the way his mother used to when he was Jack's age. "Trust me."
Despite knowing that adults usually lied to try to make him feel better, Jack trusted that that was something Spencer would never do. "Okay."
Feeling the hand leave his own, Spencer smiled glad that he'd been able to help Jack, though he still felt guilty that Jack had thought he'd caused the headache in the first place.
Returning back to the couch, Jack placed the soft but worn rabbit in Spencer's hand. "Daddy said you gave me that when I was a baby. He keeps my nightmares away, maybe he'll help you too. you an give it back tomorrow when we see you for ice cream."
Feeling a laugh bubble in his throat as he realised Jack had inherited Hotch's ability to make a statement an order and threat, Spencer fought back the tears as he realised this was the first time anyone outside of his team had ever really tried to take care of him. "Jack-" Spencer cut himself off as he wasn't sure how to express his gratitude.
"It's okay. We'll see you tomorrow. Get better." Hesitantly giving him a hug Jack smiled as he felt the long arms wrap around him in return. "I love you, Uncle Spencer."
"I love you too, Jack." Pulling the rabbit closer as Jack pulled away, Spencer felt Hotch squeeze his shoulder one last time in farewell, before they too moved towards the door.
Aaron smiled down at his son, amazed at his thoughtfulness. As Jack reached up and grabbed his hand, Aaron felt the warmth that only the unconditional love of a child can instil in a person. "Come on, Aunt JJ's waiting to drive us home. We'll get to see Uncle Spencer tomorrow." Twisting the lock, so that he didn't have to be worried about Spencer's security all night, Aaron chuckled as he heard a slight snore from the couch.
- THE END -
A/N That's all folks, hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you thought :)