"Hey, Henry, don'tcha think that's a little too much glitter?" Reid winces as he watches the newly turned four-year-old upturn the tube of glitter onto his Styrofoam Christmas ornament cut-outs.
"Nuh uh." The small boy shakes his blond head. His tongue sticks out from the corner of his mouth as he concentrates on adding the finishing touches to his project.
"Tadaa!" he announces a few moments later. "All done. Do you think mommy will like it?" Reid glances down at the roughly painted and very glittery Christmas ornaments.
"Very much," he says smoothly. "Now, since you're finished. Time to clean up, 'cause we don't want mommy to see all the mess we've made, do we?" Henry glances around, wide-eyed.
"Did we make all this mess?" he asks in innocent disbelief.
"I believe it was actually yo- uh, yes, squirt, we did." Henry giggles.
"I not a squirt, Uncle Spence." He stops. "Do I have to help?"
"Help clean up? Of course."
"I'll get the paint."
"Henry, wait!" In his haste, Henry manages to knock his arms both on the dirty paint water and the opened tube of glitter. The cup falls with a loud crash and the water splashes over the floor. Seconds later, the glitter sprinkles down, coating everything in a light dusting of gold. Reid winces and sighs heavily.
"Ooops?" Henry blushes, apologetic. He carefully places the paint bottles back on the table top, then folds his arms behind his back. Reid runs his hand through his bangs, thinking. He wants to teach Henry the importance of cleaning up, but know it'd be much faster and easier if he just did it himself.
"New plan, squirt. How about you carefully walk upstairs and wash your hands then you can watch a movie whilst I clean up in here? How does that sound?"
"Yay!" The younger Jareau dashes out of the room, eager for a movie.
"Slowly and carefully," Reid shouts hoping that Henry wouldn't get into any more mess. Grabbing a roll of paper towels, he carefully dabs at the puddle, hoping to stop the staining on the hardwood floor. He exhales loudly, unaware that he'd been holding his breath, at the sound of thumping footfalls down the stairs.
"Can I watch Cars?" Henry asks, appearing in the doorway.
"What do you say?"
"Sure, squirt. Give me two seconds, 'kay?"
A peaceful silence falls over the house, punctured only by the giggles of one Henry Jareau. Reid finds that, as much as he loves spending time with his godson, he also loves the peace and quiet of an occupied child. He gets to work mopping up the spilled water and dusting the glitter into the trash can. He wonders just how to glitter ends up on the other side of the room, but shakes his head, figuring that he really didn't want to know.
He is cleaning the last of the glue off the table, when screams of "Mama! Mama!" alert him to the fact that a key is turning in the lock and the front door is opening. He glances up at the wall clock, realizing forty-five minutes have actually passed since Cars had started. Wiping his hands on his pants, he steps into view.
"Hi," he greets. "Need a hand?" She flashes him a grateful look as Henry dances circles around his mother. "Hey, squirt, let your mama get inside first. Go watch the rest of Cars, then you can talk."
"Thank you," JJ murmurs as she shuffles past, laden down with bags.
"No problem." He steps outside, then stops. "Wow, it's really coming down out here."
"Yeah. I'm hoping it'll keep going for another half an hour so Henry can have a play." She glances back inside to see her son still engrossed with the TV.
"Quick," she says, joining him outside. "We have about ten minutes before the movie finishes." Reid grins and grabs the last of the bags.
"I take it you guys had fun." JJ groans and rolls her eyes jokingly.
"Every year I promise myself I won't go overboard and every year I end up under the influence of Garcia." They laugh and he is grateful that he, being the organized man that he is, had already purchased and wrapped everyone's gifts. They unpack everything inside as the tones of 'Route 66' filter through from the living room.
"Cars all finished, Mama," Henry calls, bounding in to meet the two adults.
"Hey, squirt, want to show your mom your artwork?"
"Yeah! Mommy, mommy, mommy, lookie what I made with Uncle Spence," he crows, dragging his mom through to the dining room.
"Wow, baby, that's so wonderful. I love all the colors and glitter you used." She shares a look with Reid, unseen by the younger Jareau. The Styrofoam Christmas ornaments are an explosion of color covered in sparkling gold glitter. Henry holds up a particularly colorful one.
"I made this one for Aunt Pen. She says she likes lots an' lots of glitter."
"An' this one's for Uncle Hotch an' this one-" JJ stops his tirade before his could follow in the footsteps of his Uncle Spencer.
"Henry, baby, have you seen outside? It's snowing. Wanna play in it for a while?"
"Yeah!" Henry bounces up and down on the spot. It's not often it snows before Christmas and this year, Henry is old enough to understand that.
"Well, go get your snow boots and jacket. Uncle Spence will help you tie your laces."
"Com'on, Uncle Spence." JJ laughs as she watches her son drag his godfather up the stairs.
Moments later, they're all outside standing in the few inches of snow that has fallen. Enough snow has fallen to create snow angels, which Reid points out, leading Henry to become damp from head to toe. JJ merely watches and takes photos as the boys roll around. Reid shows Henry how to roll and pack the snow into a ball to make a snowman. JJ takes the opportunity to ask Reid if he's staying for dinner.
"Uh," Reid hesitates, wanting nothing more stay but also not wanting to intrude.
"Pwease, Uncle Spence? Then we can watch Polar Express," Henry interjects, overhearing the conversation. Reid hasn't the heart to say no.
"Okay, squirt. Sure."
"Yay!" JJ and Henry shout. JJ checks her watch. "Five more minutes, bud, then it's time to go in, okay?" Henry nods, too intent on creating a face for his snowman.
"Mommy, come sit this side," Henry calls, patting a spot on the couch beside him. "Uncle Spence, you sit this side." He pats the side opposite to JJ, so that, when the adults finally sit, he'd be in the middle.
"Hang on, baby. Let me just- there." She places the last dish in the dishwasher, then joins the boys on the couch.
Partway through the movie, Reid feels a weight in his lap. Henry had curled up into a small ball with his head resting on Reid's thighs. JJ notices what he's looking at and grins.
"Want me to put him to bed?"
"Nah, I got it." He slips his arms beneath the small boy and hefts him up. Walking carefully, he makes his way up to Henry's bedroom. Placing the small boy on the bed, he covers him the blankets, tucking him in nice and tight.
"Nigh' Unc' Spence. I loves you," Henry mumbles, burrowing into the pillow. Reid's heart melts.
"I love you, too, squirt," he whispers back, placing a tender kiss on the blond's forehead.
JJ notices the grin on his face as he settles back onto the couch. She shoots him a look.
"Just your son being adorable," he confesses. JJ nods, understanding.
"Wanna watch the rest of the movie?" she asks, handing him a glass full of a creamy substance. He takes the glass, and sniffs the contents.
"It's eggnog," she explains, "and don't worry, it's got barely any alcohol," she adds, before he can protest, knowing full well he is a lightweight. He grins, tilting his cup in thanks before taking a sip. Nice and creamy and not too strong. Just the way he likes it.
He settles back into the couch, one arm resting along the back of the couch, the other holding his eggnog. It doesn't surprise him when JJ leans into his open embrace, her legs tucked up on the couch beneath her. He places his hand on her shoulder, giving it a quick squeeze and a rub. They'd often spent many nights snuggling on the couch later after Henry had gone to bed when they didn't have a case.
Sometime during the second movie, after they'd finished their third cup of eggnog, they'd moved so that JJ was laying between Reid's outstretched legs with his arms wrapped around her petite body. Her head was resting on his chest, one hand clenched in his shirt, and she was snoring softy.
The credits were rolling when Reid next opens his eyes. He wants nothing more than to spend the whole night with his arms wrapped around the blond profiler, but figures it is probably better if he went home. He places a kiss on the blond's temple, then begins to whisper in her ear.
"Jen, it's time to wake up." She groans, and tries to bury deeper into him. He chuckles. "Com'on, before it's morning and Henry wanders down, wondering why his mama and Uncle Spence are curled up on the couch together." This makes her wake up. She sits up, blinking, then moves off him. He can't help but be disappointed at the loss of contact.
She grabs their empty glasses and moves into the kitchen, dumping them into the sink. He wanders in a few seconds later, snatching his coat off the bench top from where he'd thrown it earlier that day.
"I had fun," he says as he always does, moving to hug and kiss her goodbye. Just like the last few times he'd been over, this kiss is on the lips, full of love, warmth, and everything he knows Jennifer Jareau to be. They break apart, slightly breathless.
"Stay," she says quietly, snagging one arm as he moves to walk past her and out the door. He spins to face her, surprised.
"Really?" She nods. He searches her eyes for a moment.
"Okay." It is his turn to nod. He replaces his coat and satchel on the bench, then follows JJ up the stairs. He pauses in the doorway to her bedroom, slightly nervous. He'd never really been in here before, other than to grab something of Henry's that had somehow made it's way into the room.
The pale orange walls remind him of the sun rising and give a nice contrast to the dark mahogany bed and drawers. The curtains and bed spread are blue, accenting the walls even further.
"I'll just change in here," JJ says, ducking into the en suite, and it occurs to him she is just as awkward as he is. When the door closes, he strips off his clothes, leaving only his boxers and his white undershirt. JJ emerges wearing an navy oversized FBI agent tee, and gray short shorts. She slips beneath the covers and pats the bed beside her.
He obliges, spooning himself behind her. Much like on the couch, he wraps one arm around her stomach, pulling her flush against him.
"Goodnight Spence," she mumbles, folding her own arms over his.
"Goodnight Jen," he whispers back, kissing her first on the lips then on the temple. He closes his eyes and dreams.