It's the third night of his visit home when Derek finds himself slipping out the front door, leaving his mother asleep in her bed to climb down the stairs of the apartment building to the rental car waiting outside. It's late – later still in Virginia – but he knows Spencer will still be awake. He never sleeps all that well after his meetings, like he's too keyed up from the bad coffee and the reminder of an itch he'll never quite scratch. Derek likes to be there on those nights, to help distract him until Spencer relaxes enough to get some sleep.
He could have called from his mother's guest room, kept his voice low while Spencer told him the details of his day and what he was missing back at the office. But he knows exactly what it takes to get Spencer to relax on nights like this, and he's not going to take the chance of his mother overhearing him. So he slides behind the wheel of his rental car, starting the engine and pulling away from the curb before he pulls his phone out of his pocket and presses number one on his speed dial.
Spencer picks up on the third ring, and when he hears the familiar voice Derek smiles into the darkness. "I didn't wake you, did I?"
"No," Spencer answers, and Derek hears him shifting papers on the other end of the line. "I was working on that article for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis."
Something else Spencer does when he's too keyed up to sleep: work. But Derek knows from experience that his method of getting Spencer to relax is a lot more effective, and he smiles and drops his voice. "And you haven't fallen asleep yet?"
"It's a fascinating subject, actually," Spencer insists for at least the tenth time since he started writing the damn thing. And Derek's sure that it is interesting, in a psychology geek way, but he doesn't want to think about work right now.
"Yeah, well, you got time for a break?"
"Sure," Spencer answers without even hesitating, and Derek imagines he can hear the soft click of Spencer's laptop closing. "How's your mom?"
"Good," Derek says, slowing for a red light and glancing around to take stock of where he is. He's not really paying attention to where he's driving, but when he looks up he realizes that he's on his way out of town. Which is probably for the best, because there's still traffic at this hour in the city and his mind's not exactly on driving. "She's got me fixing just about everything in her place while I'm here."
Spencer laughs at that, and Derek closes his eyes for a second and pictures Spencer's smile. When he opens them again the light's green, so he steps on the gas and heads north. "Lucky for her you're good with your hands."
"Yeah, lucky," Derek murmurs, hand gripping the steering wheel a little harder as he pictures sliding his hands down Spencer's back, pale skin flushed and Spencer's breath coming a little faster as Derek leans in to press a kiss between his shoulder blades. He loves that spot, loves seeing Spencer stretched out on the bed and totally open, completely relaxed in a way that only happens when they're alone, because Spencer's too damn wound up all the time and Derek's the only one who knows how to get him to let go.
"So how was your meeting?" he asks, a slight husk creeping into his voice and he wonders if Spencer can hear it. Wonders if he already knows what Derek's thinking about, or if Derek's going to have to spell it out for him. Not that he minds spelling things out for Spencer, because it's kind of nice to be the expert in at least one field, and with someone like Spencer, that's not easy.
"Long. Boring. Too many people felt like sharing tonight. It got a little old after awhile."
And Spencer's pretty good at acting like he really was bored, but they've been through this enough times for Derek to read between the lines. The truth is that every story somebody stands up and tells just reminds Spencer of the craving that's still there, just lurking beneath the surface and waiting for an opening to swell back up again. Derek knows most of the guys in his meeting are in law enforcement, knows how much time they spend talking about how easy it is to get their hands on quality stuff, and he knows the reminders make Spencer just a little more twitchy.
It makes him wonder sometimes if NA and all those other support groups are worth it, but he figures it's more about feeling like you're not alone than anything, so he never says anything to Spencer. Instead he just asks Spencer how it went and listens while he answers, then he gets down to the business of making him forget all about it for awhile.
He's been following 94 out of the city, up past Highland Park. When he reaches the turnoff for 137 he takes it, watching the lights of the city reflect on the surface of Lake Michigan as he keeps climbing north. And he's not really going anywhere, but it doesn't matter as long as Spencer keeps talking.
"I miss you, you know," he says, just to hear the little catch in Spencer's breath. Like he's still surprised, even after all this time. Like he doesn't realize just how crazy Derek is about him. Derek shakes his head and smiles at nothing in particular, fingers tapping out a rhythm against the steering wheel as he drives. "When I get back I'll show you how much."
There's a pause on the other end of the line, then Spencer clears his throat and Derek can picture him blushing. "I miss you too. It's pretty quiet around here."
The road stretches out in front of Derek, dark except for his headlights and he's a little surprised to have it all to himself. But he's pretty close to the edge of the city now, and most people who are out at this hour are probably closer to the action. "You know what I've been thinking about all day?" Derek asks, guiding the car around a curve as he listens to Spencer breathe.
"Your hands," Derek answers. "I've been thinking about the way they grip the sheets when I fuck you. The way your knuckles go all white and you press back into me like you can't get enough."
Spencer's breath hitches again, and Derek knows he's picturing it too. Knows he's hard already, and he smiles in the darkness and slows the car just a little. He scans the horizon for somewhere to pull off the road, where he can give Spencer his complete attention until he's sure Spencer's relaxed enough to get some sleep.
"I've been thinking about you touching yourself while you're thinking about me. That what you've been doing while I'm gone?"
Another pause, and he can tell Spencer's weighing his words. Because he's not as shy as most people expect him to be, but he's careful, at least when it comes to this. And that's part of what Derek finds so irresistible; he likes breaking down Spencer's walls, seeing how much it takes to make him let go.
"This morning. In the shower."
"Before work? Naughty boy," Derek says. "Bet you spent the whole day thinking about me."
"Not the…the whole day," Spencer answers, voice catching in his throat and Derek sucks in a sharp breath of his own. He's picturing Spencer sitting in his favorite chair in the living room, long legs splayed wide apart and fighting the urge to unbutton his pants and reach inside. He pictures Spencer's hand moving on his cock in the shower, water dripping from his hair and beading on pale skin. He thinks about the last time they showered together, the way Spencer leaned back against his chest with his eyes closed while Derek brought him off in long, sure strokes. And he did spend that whole day thinking about Spencer, so it was a good thing there hadn't been a case to solve.
"I love watching you get yourself off," he says, voice rough and he gives up finding a parking lot and just pulls onto the shoulder.
"I like it better when you're…oh God…here to do it for me."
"Lazy," Derek says, smiling at Spencer's breathy laugh. And he's getting better, because there was a time when Derek would have to coax him into letting Derek listen while he jerked off.
Derek's cock twitches at the thought, but he doesn't do anything about it. Mostly because he's in his car on the side of the road, and if there's one thing he never plans to do again, it's spend any amount of time in a Chicago jail cell. But he doesn't mind, because this is about getting Spencer to relax a little, and anyway he knows Spencer's worth the wait.
"You gonna come for me, Pretty Boy?" he says, and when Spencer moans he has his answer. He pictures Spencer worrying the edge of his bottom lip between his teeth, heat staining his cheeks red and Derek knows from experience just how far down Spencer's blush goes. He imagines running his hands down Spencer's chest, following the line of his flushed skin until he wraps his own hand around Spencer's to match his strokes.
"Tell me what you were thinking about in the shower this morning."
There's a pause where all he hears is Spencer's harsh breathing and the wind rattling against the car. Then Spencer lets out a little moan, just desperate enough to tell Derek how close he is already. "You," Spencer answers, his voice higher than usual and a little breathy. "I was thinking about…about the morning you left."
Derek's been thinking about that himself, about waking up at four in the morning to a wet mouth wrapped around his cock. He's been thinking about running his hands through Spencer's hair, fingers grazing the tips of his ears and feeling the heat there, like Spencer was blushing. He remembers wondering at the time if Spencer was embarrassed about waking him up, or if it was just the effort of all that focus he was putting into sucking Derek off that was making him flush.
He's been thinking about the way Spencer's fingers flexed against his hips, the way he arched up into Spencer's grip and the way he murmured Spencer's name when he came.
"Best wake up call I've ever had," he says, smiling at the breathy laugh on the other end of the line. "I'm planning to return the favor just as soon as I get home, just so you know."
"You already did," Spencer says, voice breaking just a little on the last word. And it's true; as soon as he caught his breath Derek had Spencer on his back, hands moving everywhere as he kissed Spencer so thoroughly he was sure Spencer would still be thinking about it when he got on the airplane. It didn't matter that he had time for a couple more hours' sleep before Spencer left for work and he left for the airport, not when Spencer was warm and hard and thrusting up against him like he couldn't get close enough.
"I'll let you make it up to me," Derek answers, laughing softly as he gazes out of the dark surface of Lake Michigan stretching out to his right. "You can show me what you're doing right now. I want to watch you thrusting up into that hand of yours, watch you come all over your pretty fingers."
Spencer's breath hitches again and Derek closes his eyes to picture it, the way Spencer's arching up into his own grip. The way he bares his neck and closes his eyes, totally trusting and Derek wishes he was there to run his tongue along all that exposed skin. He hears the whine at the back of Spencer's throat, pictures his fingers gripping his cock and stroking fast, and when Spencer finally lets go and comes Derek can picture that, too.
He sees the way Spencer's eyelids flutter against his cheeks, the patches of red in his cheeks and the way his lips part as he breathes hard. He can picture every detail, and there's a twist in his chest when he realizes just how much he wishes he were home right now.
"Spencer," he says, smiling at the distracted 'hmm?' on the other end of the line. "Maybe next time you should come with me."
"What?" Spencer asks, still distracted and it's a little unfair to do this when he's finally relaxed, but Derek isn't crazy about the idea of coming back to Chicago next year alone.
"Next time I visit my family, you should come with me. In fact, my mother insisted as soon as she found out we were seeing each other."
"You told your family about us?" Spencer asks, voice still sleepy but Derek can tell he's alert enough to be surprised.
"Didn't have to. Mom said it was written all over my face," Derek admits, smiling in spite of himself at that conversation. He'd never been able to get much past her, though, and he wasn't really sorry. The truth was he'd planned to tell her himself; she'd just saved him the trouble.
"What was?" Spencer asks, and Derek can picture his confused frown.
"That I'm in love."
It's not the first time he's said it, but he wishes he was there anyway, because he loves seeing the expression on Spencer's face when he does. It's a mix of love and awe and maybe a little fear, and Derek's going to keep on saying it until that last one goes away and stays gone.
Another pause, but Derek waits it out because he knows Spencer's family is totally different from his own, and there's no way he understands the concept of taking someone you love home to meet your mom.
"Hotch will never give us the time off," Spencer finally says, and Derek smiles into the darkness.
"We'll work it out," he answers, and his heart does that weird little twisting thing again. "Get some sleep, Spencer. I'll see you soon."
"Okay," Spencer says, and Derek's pretty sure he actually means it. "Derek?"
"I love you too."
"I know," Derek says as he pulls the car back onto the road and heads south.