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Now his feet were too hot. The windows didn’t open, the room’s climate controls seemed to be stuck on ‘extreme mediocrity’, there was a really bad smell coming from the bathroom, and one of the beds had a questionable stain on it which forced him to share the remaining bed with his boss.

And now his feet were scorching. It was too hot for the duvet but too cold for just the sheet. He tried to think about glaciers and ice floes and getting turned around in a blinding blizzard so that he’d just have to sit down in a snow bank and wait for the blissful onset of hypothermia… at least he’d get some sleep that way. He was so tired that his eyeballs itched if he even thought about something other than unconsciousness. He’d tried sleeping on top of the duvet but started shivering almost immediately. He could feel his bedmate willing him to just. settle. down… Maybe if he poked his toes out sideways…

“What’s going on over there?” Hotch sighed and half rolled towards him.

“Umm, nothing. Go back to sleep.”

He held still for a minute before the sensation of being roasted alive forced him to erupt from the blankets like a missile from a launch pad.

“Reid…” Hotch sounded exhausted.

“Sorry – ‘M sorry… Aren’t you hot?”

“Yes, but I’m also so tired that my state of mind might qualify as clinical psychosis. Just sleep on top of the blanket.”

“Can’t. It’s too cold.”

“Well, Goldilocks, what’s the plan here? Because if you don’t let me sleep I will be forced to put you out in the hallway. Or use my sidearm.” It was sort of eerie how calmly Hotch outlined Reid’s options.

“Sorry.” Reid mumbled and aligned himself on top of the covers once again. He wondered if he could convince his perfect memory to replay his scorching toes experience over and over while he lay there and tried not to shiver. He really didn’t feel like getting shot tonight.

“Worst motel…” He wasn’t sure that he had said it aloud until Hotch mumbled ‘Agreed’ into the pillows next to him.

Bonfire. Lava. High voltage electricity. Liquid tar. Boiling oil. Chemical burn.

It wasn’t helping. Within two minutes he was shaking all over. Damn, I’m gonna get shot… I’m gonna get shot… He felt the bed shift as Hotch moved beside him. The sheets rustled and Reid thought that maybe the man was going to physically haul him from the bed and kick him out of the room.

“Okay…” Hotch said quietly a moment before Reid felt the man’s arms wrap around him and pull him against his chest.

Reid went completely still. He didn’t have an appropriate response in mind for spooning with his boss in a Hitchcockian motel room. For Hotch’s part, he seemed to fall asleep almost immediately – clearly a testament to the man’s exhaustion; Reid couldn’t convince himself that Hotch would ever do this if he was awake and in full possession of his faculties. What was more disturbing was that Hotch felt good wrapped around him. He was the perfect temperature and his form seemed to slot into the curves and voids of Reid without effort. No matter how shocked his brain was, Reid’s body relaxed as if it had come home, all warm and safe. His eyelids started to droop despite himself.

“We’re not going mention this after tonight.” Hotch’s sleepy statement breezed past Reid’s neck. “And if you write it into your case summary I’ll shoot you.”

“It seems like you might shoot me for any number of reasons.” Reid huffed.

“Not really.” Hotch pulled him a little closer so that they were well and truly snuggling. “I just need you to let me sleep. A healthy REM cycle will offset my itchy trigger finger.”

Reid chuckled – he couldn’t help it. “That’s good to know.”

“Goodnight, Reid.”

He almost felt Hotch’s lips brush the base of his neck and he did his best not to start shivering again.

“Goodnight, Hotch.”

He was asleep within minutes.

Good as his word, Hotch never mentioned the unusual sleeping arrangements. Reid was prepared to selectively edit the memory from his consciousness until Hotch started randomly referring to him as ‘Goldilocks’ around the office. The rest of the team thought that it was another bizarre haircut reference, but Reid had to fight back a blush every single time. Uncontrollable capillary reaction aside, he found that he didn’t mind the gentle ribbing so much. And he wondered who he’d get to share a room with on the next ‘away’ case…