Spencer exited Tony's apartment and made sure that it was locked. He heard the noise of a door slamming and frowned. He had never heard a door slam in the building before. He looked down the hall and saw no one coming towards him.
"You are a veritable asshole!" Seeley yelled and then there was the sound of stomping moving away.
Spencer started to walk down the hall toward where it turned to go toward Danny and Steve's apartment. Spencer looked around to see Seeley walking toward the other end of the hall, away from the stairway that would take him right to his apartment, he only had a pair of underwear on. Seeley's place was two floors down and directly below Tony's apartment. Between was James and Q's.
The door opened, and a pair of tennis shoes went flying down the hall toward where Seeley was. Spencer knew that Steve had better aim than that, so he wasn't aiming to try and hit Seeley, which was good. Spencer wasn't sure that he wanted to know what a physical fight between those two looked like. Spencer stayed where he hoped neither of them spotted him.
"And here!" Steve yelled and then there was something else going flying. It sounded metal when it hit the ground. Seeley turned around then and looked down at his belt buckle. Seeley's eyes narrowed, and he stalked back toward where Steve slammed the apartment door shut. Seeley started to bang on it, trying the doorknob several times but it didn't open up. He kicked the door and then it looked like he had instant regret. He reached down to rub at his toes.
"ASSHOLE!" Seeley yelled, and he turned to walk down the hall to grab up his shoes and his belt buckle before he turned back to head toward where Spencer was. Spencer tried to get to the stairs before he was seen, but the sound that came from behind that sounded like someone was strangling Seeley told him that he had been seen.
"I was just leaving," Spencer said. He tried to go forward, but the door didn't budge. He saw that he was pressing the wrong part of the bar, the part where the hinge was.
"I guess it was way past time for you to see one of our after the passion is over fights," Seeley said, and his voice was way too close to Spencer for Spencer to be happy. The door was pushed open by a hand that was pressed to the door right on Spencer's hip. Seeley was too close to naked and way to close to Spencer for his liking. While he didn't mind being naked with lovers, others being naked or even just mostly naked was not exactly something that he liked.
"I would have gladly never seen one," Spencer said. He did not turn around, but he did push the door open the rest of the way and slip from the sort of shelter of Seeley's arms that he had been in.
"Why don't you join me for breakfast at my favorite place to eat that is not Tony's?" Seeley asked.
"As long as there is a dress code." Spencer squeezed his lips shut as he realized what he said.
Seeley thankfully just laughed.
"Yes. There is a dress code. I'll go and get dressed as I already showered. Hence why I am just in my underwear. I had just gotten out of the shower when Steve woke up."
"Does that happen a lot?" Spencer asked.
"Ah, psychobabble can come after I have had coffee and a little food into me." Seeley walked to Spencer's side to where Spencer couldn't not look at him as they talked. Spencer kept his eyes firmly on Seeley's face. He did not need to see naked anyone. "Wow, I didn't think that you were that much of a prude given you and Tony falling in bed as quick as you did and then your relationship with Aaron."
"I'm not a prude I just don't like seeing people naked, at least the ones I am not intimate with."
"I see. Well, then I'll take my naked self and get out of here so we can get breakfast. You are hungry, aren't you?" Seeley asked as he made his way to the stairs to head down to his apartment.
"Yes. Very. Tony's working with the new morning chef, and he's been at work for two hours now."
"Ah, you miss his breakfast, huh? Don't worry. You'll love where I am going to take you. Get ready and meet me down at my car."
Spencer didn't really have a lot to do to get ready. He was already dressed for the day, both he and Tony had clothing changes at each other's place as it was rare there was a night that they didn't spend together. It just depended on where they were when they got tired. More often than not, Spencer stayed over at Tony's as they were spending more time there than anywhere else. Spencer liked his apartment, but he hadn't filled it up with anything that made it feel like a home yet. It just felt better at Tony's. Tony was also in the middle of redoing his office. He had not given Spencer a reason other than because.
Five minutes later, Spencer was looking out into the area of the city that was finally waking up as he leaned against Seeley's car. It took another five for Seeley to walk out. Spencer looked him up down now that he was dressed. Spencer wondered exactly what was the hang up between him and Steve because Spencer knew that the shirt that Seeley was wearing was Steve's. The belt buckle that was now back on his person had been a gift from Steve years before if Jack's gossip was right. The buckle was huge and had the word Cocky on it. Which did sum up Seeley but never in anything that he wasn't proficient in. Seeley was good at what he did.
Spencer had done a lot of research into Sharpshooter Security and Protection before he had moved in, he had done it on all of the businesses in the building. It was one of the best-reviewed protection agencies that were local and not country wide. Between themselves being damned good and the tech from Gadgetry and Stuff for the actual systems, there were a lot of people that wanted them to expand to more than just California and a few places that were just across state lines. Spencer also knew that none of the places in the building wanted to be more than what they were.
"Ready?" Seeley asked as he opened up his car door.
Spencer turned around to open up his door and slip into the car. "Ready."
The drive was nearly half an hour but the place that they ended up out front of looked like a hole-in-the-wall type of place that served more of the night time post dining crowd than anything else. There was a sign that proclaimed they were open twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-four days of the year. Spencer wondered what the day that they were closed was. Seeley opened the main door for Spencer and waved Spencer in first. Spencer stopped when he was just a few feet inside because it didn't open into an actual restaurant but a hallway that led to a circle. Inside of that circle was five glass doors, and he could see five different themed rooms. Two had closed signs on them while the other three had open. Spencer turned back to Seeley as he had no clue which room he needed to go into.
"So do you want diner fare, brunch with mimosas, or take our chances with the place that serves random assed shit that I can't remember the rotation of?"
"Brunch," Spencer said. He felt like a mimosa was a good idea with whatever Seeley wanted to talk to him about. It was Sunday and morning, but it wasn't like the little bit of change in the drink was going to get him drunk.
"Perfect. It's what I do for breakfast when I come here. They do a whole spread, and the brunch is pretty much set outside of choices of how you want things cooked and preference on meats, of course."
"Because meat is sacred," Spencer said with a quirk to his lips. He knew that guys ate a lot of red meat and pork. Spencer went more for fish and chicken dishes if he had the choice, but there wasn't a lot of choices for either of those for breakfast in a lot of places. Though Tony did some really good shrimp dishes for breakfast. Tony had figured out Spencer's love of all things seafood and had been indulging Spencer in a lot of things like that.
"You are damned right on that," Seeley said. He laughed and pulled out a chair for Spencer at one of the two-person tables. It was strange that even the two-person tables were so large. Spencer frowned at that, but he settled into the chair as Seeley pushed it in for him. Seeley walked around the table and sat own. A waitress came over with two mimosa glasses already full of drink. Spencer frowned at Seeley, but the man just laughed. "The first glass is free for everyone who comes in and looks like they are old enough to drink. Which I'm shocked you didn't get carded."
"Hey, I've not been carded in two years!" Spencer said.
Seeley laughed and couldn't talk. The waitress waited for them to finish up before she pulled out her notebook. Spencer saw a peek of it and saw that there was a standard form already there. That made it really easy for the waitress to ask what they wanted, even if new. It took just two minutes for them to give her what they wanted as part of the meal. It had Spencer wondering what the rest of the meal was that hadn't been asked about.
"So, what is up with the fight this morning?"
"There are days that I think that we are ready to take that next step and start a real relationship, and then one of us gets scared. We've done this back and forth sex thing for a long time, but when we started it, we were never supposed to develop feelings for each other."
"And yet you have?" Spencer asked.
"I have, and sometimes I think that he has and then I think that maybe I'm just projecting. Tony's been trying to get me to talk to you. I know you have a degree in psychology, but then I think that you didn't become one for a reason and it's not like you've offered. Though you've been doing really well with Harry. He's been a little more settled and hasn't been slipping down into the restaurant as much."
"Except for when he slept in there because he and Draco got into a row, as Harry called it." Spencer could tell that Seeley wasn't quite ready to talk about him and Steve. Maybe just talking about others would make him feel a little better.
"Yeah, Steve and I have fights, James and Q have spats, Harry and Draco rows. It's quite funny that none of us has the same thing if you ask us. Aaron calls his and Danny's non-speaking periods."
Spencer had not noticed that, but he knew that Q had been in a spat with James for about two hours one day. James had come crawling in, figuratively, not literally to Q's shop and asked to be forgiven for being an arse. The dynamics were very strange for each of the couples and even the closest friendships like Steve and Danny's.
"So how did you and Steve meet?"
"Through here. While we were both the military, we never served at the same place at the same time. I was an Army Ranger, sniper and Steve was a Seal. There is not a lot of crossover for those two, though it happens. I met Jack, and Jack convinced me to start up Sharpshooter. We were just standard bodyguard like security at the time, but we built up more. So I moved into here when we set up shop here after running it out of Jack's apartment for a very long time. I literally ran into Steve after he had a bad day in court. He was half out of his suit. He looked me in the face and looked me up and down before telling me that he wanted to fuck something that wouldn't break. I couldn't say no to him because he looked really hot when he was pissed off. So I told him that I didn't care where we fucked as long as it was a bed. We had sex four times that night, with me sneaking down to steal food from Tony's restaurant. Back then he left meals in a cold case that were for the staff to take home when there were things that were left that wouldn't be good to serve the next day but would work for meals for staff. I grabbed a few and nuked them in the microwave."
"For the next year, he came to me when he had a really bad day. I didn't think much of the fact that I was falling love until it was too late in the game. He's hard headed and so am I so I think we will just be like this forever." Seeley leaned back, and Spencer saw that a plate of food was being set down in front of him. Spencer leaned back as well and looked at the fruit salad that was on a bed of multicolored greens. It smelled like there was some kind of dressing on the fruit. It had a smell of tart and of spice. Spencer picked up his fork and tried a bite of it. It was very flavorful, but not too hot. The fruit was watermelon, apples, pineapples, and mango. The dressing had the spices as well as what seemed liked a mix of lime and lemon juice. He really enjoyed it. It was clean and crisp and paired well. There was more spice than juice on it all, so Spencer figured it had just been tossed in the dressing and left to secrete their own juices to make the base what it was.
"So how did it become so...narrow?" Spencer wasn't even sure it was the right word. "Exclusive. How did it just become you two?"
"I tried dating another guy for a while, and while Steve stayed back, he didn't fit in well with the group. He got jealous of the time I spent with everyone but him even though it was times when he wasn't available. I got rid of him pretty quickly when one day he got off of work and drove to Tony's restaurant. There was about half of us around the table eating snacks and just talking. I had drunk a single beer and ate what I think was two chips with dip. I was supposed to go out on a date after that, so I didn't want to eat too much. He stormed into the restaurant and accused me of cheating on him with everyone at the table. Which at that point in time was Harry, Draco, James, Aaron, and Tony. Jack or Mac, maybe both were there. Tony is nice, but he's very much, not my type. Aaron is close, but he was still in very a no sex much less anything else relationship. Harry, Draco, James, and Q were all in a steady relationship. I put him out of the restaurant in a second, careful not to hurt him as it's hard not to hurt assholes. I didn't even bounce his head off the doors and shit. I banned him from there ever again and told him that we were over. I was done with his jealousy shit. I was just utterly done and just fucking done."
"How did that go over?"
"When I got back to the table, the assholes were trading money. Harry followed to see what I bounced him off of. James was the only one who won that one. The rest were put out."
"Yes, I see that bets are made on a lot of things."
"Yeah, you lost me two hundred the other day."
"How?" Spencer tried to figure out what he had been doing "the other day" that would have made the other make bets on him. He hadn't actually been around a lot, with the training of a new worker and Derek in Chicago for family time, he had been at the store more. That was why he and Tony had nearly fucked each other brains out the other morning. "Oh."
"Yeah. Harry heard you and was gossiping to Jack, and you know how that shit goes. We had bets on who was topping. Of course, Jack got that out of Tony pretty quickly. Given what Harry said he heard, I don't think that anyone has ever got Tony to scream like that."
Spencer looked around the area they were in and found that there were no other tables with people in hearing distance.
"McGarrett," a voice said from behind Spencer.
Spencer tried not to react at all. It was a voice that he had never heard before, but that wasn't that big of a deal as he knew so little of anyone's friends that were outside of those that lived in the building. A scrape of a chair said that the person was going to sit down with them. Spencer looked to his left and tucked his not in a cast anymore but still a little sore leg over to the other side of the table. The man who was sitting down was older, even older than Aaron on the age scale or just looked like it after a hard life. He was built a lot like Spencer thin and lithe, but there was a hint of muscle on the cording on his muscles. He sat like a soldier and carried himself like it as well. Spencer was finding it kind of strange that he recognized what military men and women moved like.
"O'Neill, what can I do for you?" Seeley asked.
"That thing we were talking about two years ago. Still interested?"
"Can you work with Dalton without bashing his head in?"
"He's mellowed, and I'm finding myself ready to settle into civilian life."
Seeley laughed for a few seconds before he nodded his head. "Yeah, Jack and I will both be back in the office tomorrow at nine in the morning. Come over around then. What about your-" Seeley stopped and looked Spencer before he looked back at Jack.
"He's retired as well. Looking for a little bit of space to set up something. We don't need money, but we need to keep busy, or we are going to go crazy. I'm out in four days. That's why I made the trip from Denver to here. I was hoping to catch you in the office. The less I have to deal with Dalton during this, the better."
"Sure, sure. If you want to make it a breakfast meeting, bring Daniel, and we can have a big chat. I might have a place in mind for him to set up what he wants." Seeley looked at Spencer with a grin on his lips. O'Neill looked at Spencer as well.
"Who are you?"
"Doctor Spencer Reid. And you are?"
"Jack O'Neill. You taking up with geeks now?" O'Neill asked.
"Jack, are you being-oh, hello Seeley."
Spencer looked at the new arrival and realized that he recognized him. Spencer though had not heard about him for quite a few years.
"Daniel," Seeley said. Seeley stood up to shake Daniel's hand and waved at Spencer. "Doctor Spencer Reid, let me introduce Doctor Daniel Jackson."
"Are you the Doctor Reid who owns the empty shop?"
"Yes, I move my bookstore to a new location." Spencer did not offer his hand to shake, and neither O'Neill or Daniel seemed to be that upset by it.
"And no, I did not take up with geeks. He's a friend and dating Tony. We can all talk tomorrow. I'm sure that I can get Spencer to join us so you two can talk about Spencer letting you rent the shop from him. Two business meetings to go off at the same time. That sounds like a plan to me."
O'Neill stood up and pulled Daniel with him, not a word was spoken. Daniel waved at them to say goodbye. Spencer looked at Seeley for a question of who the hell they were.
"O'Neill's been military for years. Air Force, stationed in Denver, no I can't say more than that. I had a since an instance of working with him as a Ranger, and I have been trying to get him to join us for a while, giving up his commission and such. I think we might have finally done it."
"But how does Doctor Jackson fit in that. He's an archaeologist."
"You know who he is?"
"I have a very fast reading speed Seeley, and I have a lot of interests. I went to a lecture of his once. He was laughed off the stage."
"I really can't answer a single word of that so please don't ask anymore."
"Sure. So your boyfriend made an ass of himself you kicked him out, and money exchanged hands when you didn't bash his head off of things."
Seeley started to finish the story and brought it up to where they were, currently in a fight because Steve was feeling too caged. At least that was what Seeley thought it was. Spencer wasn't so sure. He was pretty fucking sure that Steve was afraid of getting too close to Seeley and losing him, so he made him mad and hoped that Seeley just left him.
Spencer only drank a few mimosas and then switched to just water. Seeley might have been the one driving, but he didn't want to be cotton headed at all. He had a lot of thinking to do and not a lot of time to do it as he knew that Steve was going to be working a big case with Draco over the next week so if he wanted to talk to him, he would have to do it that night.
Spencer waited for Steve's door to open before he moved the two steps that put him in Steve's path.
"Hello, Sailor," Spencer said as he leaned against the wall behind him. He was dressed in casual clothes, but they were not too fancy that they would stand out where they were going to go. "Wanna eat dinner with me?"
"Is that the flirting that got Tony into you so quick?" Steve asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No. I suck at flirting. You are dressed well enough to be allowed in where I want to go without standing out. I'm driving very the way."
"I never said I was going to go with you." Steve was looking at Spencer like he was insane.
Spencer was used to looks like that.
"I know you are going to go with me because I know a place near Caltech that serves authentic Hawaiian food."
"I don't believe you." Steve looked like he outright thought that Steve was lying.
"Oh, really? Put your money, so to speak, where your mouth is, then."
"What stakes are we talking?"
"I win, you tell Seeley how you really feel about him. If you win, I'll stay out of your love life."
"That would believable if I knew that any of you all could actually stay the hell out of each other's lives. I'll decide what I want you to do or not do if I win."
"Deal. Let's go, McGarrett."
There was silence for the entire trip, but it didn't feel weird. Steve was looking around at the area and frowning as they got more and more into the college area. Spencer knew that he was very skeptical of where they were going. Spencer pulled into a communal parking lot and got out. Steve started to really look around the area they were in. He was looking for something that screamed they were going to a Hawaiian restaurant.
"Over here," Spencer said as he walked over to a stairway that led down below.
"If you are leading me into a trap, remember that while I might have been put out for injury, I could probably still kill you with my hands and not even hurt myself."
"I would never do that," Spencer said. He opened the door, and the smell of the food hit him. His stomach growled and then Steve's eyes lit up as the smell finally hit him. Steve came down the stairs and entered into the restaurant. It was made up to look like they were actually in Hawaii, with painted murals and lights that were soft but like sunlight. Spencer had loved coming here in college, so he went a lot he just hadn't felt like sharing it with anyone until he had found out that Steve had grown up his Hawaii.
"How in the hell did you find this place?"
"Curiosity at the age of fourteen and being damned hungry and willing to try anything. We are getting the appetizer platter. I don't care what you get for the rest of your meal, but you cannot get anything else for an appetizer."
"What's on the patter?"
"Pineapple curried rice, ahi poke, and coconut shrimp," Spencer said as he pointed to his favorite table to sit at. He figured that Steve would like it because the one seat had a view of everything in the place. He sat down and grabbed the menu on the table to hand to Steve.
"If they don't have what I want, you don't win."
"That's fine." Spencer looked at the waiter that walked up to them. "Virgin Mai Tai."
"Captain's Demise." Steve looked a little smug.
"You got it."
Steve looked a little less smug.
"See never bet on the house, Steve. You forget that I am a Vegas boy."
"I did forget that. So my feelings for Seeley, did he come crying to you?"
"No. I caught your drama this morning, and it was the first bit of one that I have seen before, so he filled me in a little. I have an outsider's perspective though, and I see that you two are two very thick headed neanderthals."
"You are in love with him."
"No, I'm not."
"You doth protest too much," Spencer said. He saw the waiter coming over with their drinks and behind him was the cook from the kitchen with the appetizer platter.
"Doctor Reid, welcome back. It's been a while."
"Yes, yes, it has. I've been getting things settled at the store and then I broke my leg. I've been a little homebound lately. Anakoni, this is Steve. Steve grew up on the islands and has lived here in LA for a while and never knew about your place."
"Oh, welcome and enjoy. I need to get back. I have a big order going out for a meal at a local place. I'll come and talk after." Anakoni quickly turned around to head back into the kitchen.
"He's a little..."
"He's always worried when he does big meals that go out to places. He's afraid it will be the one that ends his business. We have a few things in common like that. He obsesses about some things and me others." Spencer picked up his drink and took a sip. It tasted really good.
"I am not in love with Seeley," Steve said.
"Well, he's in love with you."
There was just silence as Steve looked at Spencer and tried to figure out if he was lying or not. Spencer knew that he would be silent for a little while longer. He felt locking them in a room together meant that one of them was going to kill the other. Aaron and Danny, on the other hand, well, they were fair game on that front. Spencer was pretty sure the unresolved sexual tension was going to kill one of them one of these days.
"No, he's not. You are just fucking with me."
"Nope, I knew it the second time we all had a meal together. You two are asteroids around the same planet and hit off every once in a while, but you are very much in love, and neither of you is willing to bite the bullet and actually fess up to it, so I took matters into my own hand cause I don't think I want to see that again. The whole fighting and throwing and Seeley running around naked."
Steve was looking at Spencer like Spencer was slightly crazy. "He was not naked."
"Close enough in my book. I hate naked people. If I'm intimate with them, I don't care, and Seeley was far too comfortable with his nakedness for my liking."
"He had on underwear."
"Which left nothing to the imagination. I saw what he had going on, and that was enough for me."
"So you don't like Tony naked?" Steve asked.
The appetizers were almost gone and as if by magic, the waiter was back, taking their meal order. Steve ordered his and was a little put out when the waiter didn't even react. Steve narrowed his eyes at Spencer, but he didn't look too upset.
"I like Tony naked, just fine. When we are alone in our apartments and actually wanting to have sex. I don't run around naked just for the sake of running around naked. I won't allow Tony to either. There are no naked asses on the couch unless we are fucking on them."
Steve was taking a drink as Spencer the words and nearly coated Spencer in his drink as he tried not to spit it out for laughing.
"You know you seem rather buttoned up during the meals we have eaten together as a group. You don't take part in the razzing that we give each other on the sex front."
"I've never had friends like this before. I went to high school before most kids even enter junior high. I was vastly younger than the other students. I was too smart for my own good. College was no different. There were only a few underage geniuses, and I was the only one that was taking a track like I was. I was utterly alone throughout most of college, even after I became of age, I was in classes different than those who were the same age as me. I was utterly alone, and I knew it. Aaron was the first friend that I had. Even though we were fucking more than anything else, he cared about me, and he taught me how people who are friends care for each other. I've gotten better at talking to you all over the months I've been here. I just have to learn it all."
"I never thought about that with your schooling. You really wouldn't have learned the social mannerisms that friends or at least people who are around the same age got into. That means you didn't go to dances. I'm now rethinking everything that I have thought about you."
"Because there are a few things that you do that make you seem snobbish to a few of us, but we like the rest of you well enough that we look it over and just ignore it. Now seeing it through the eyes of a maladjusted adult who didn't have the same social interactions that we did, well you are a hesitant person who doesn't put himself out there for fear of being branded weird, or a freak."
"And you are smarter than you let on."
"I took a few things here and there while I was on recovery from my injury until it was figured out that I wasn't going to be able to serve anymore and not ride a desk, which I am not made for. If it was interesting, I took it. Not really paying attention to much of anything except that the class was interesting."
"It's a good way to pass the time."
"Yeah, I was forced into therapy after as well to adjust to the fact that I was now not going to be doing what I thought I would until I died."
Spencer didn't know what to say to that. He poked at what was left of his part of the poke and thought about it.
"Sorry. I am too blunt with things like that."
"It's fine. I just never know what to say. Saying sorry sounds kind of stupid because I had nothing to do with any of it and it's too late for a sorry to make you feel any better, from anyone."
"There is nothing much to say at all in response." Steve looked up, and Spencer followed his line of sight to see that their meals were coming out.
Spencer wolfed down the last bits of the appetizers and finished what was left of his virgin Mai Tai as he saw another headed his way. There was also a second drink for Steve.
"I think, Doctor Spencer Reid, that you have become my favorite person in the world with this." Steve's eyes were huge as he looked at the meal in front of him. He looked like he was happy enough to cry if the little moisture in the corner of his eye was anything to go by. Spencer was glad that he was able to give Steve a little bit of home so far from it.
Spencer looked around his empty bookshop. The last two people who had wanted to rent the space from him had backed out at the last minute due to funding issues or finding a place that they liked better. Spencer owned it outright, so there was no issue on that. He had kept the electricity on to make sure the security system worked, but the rest of the utilities had been turned off. The weather had not got that bad to where the gas had to be turned on to run the heating system. Spencer had made sure that he had one as books needed good climate control and the damp on cold days were not good for books.
"Hello, Doctor Reid," Daniel said as he entered the shop. He had a backpack across his one shoulder, but his movements were very military like. Spencer didn't even want to attempt to guess what an archaeologist was doing working about the military long enough inside of the United States that he had adapted to their mannerisms.
"Please, it's Spencer." Spencer held out his hand to shake.
"That's good as we already have a Danny."
"Williams, right? McGarrett's roommate?" Daniel asked.
"Yes. So how do you like this spot from the first impression?" Spencer asked.
"It's really good. How did you come to have this place?"
"I bought it outright about two years after I opened my bookstore here. Then I outgrew it by a great deal, and so I have a new store inside of the complex that McGarrett and Dalton have their business run out of. I've kept this place in my hands to see about renting it or selling it if someone made me a good offer. Thought the resting has kind of fallen by the wayside. I've kept the place up to date on everything. The security system is run through Sharpshooter with Gadgetry doing the tech part. The water pipes were replaced three years ago when one started to leak a little bit. I just had the whole thing replaced to save money in the long run."
"How did that do for business?" Daniel asked.
Spencer waved him back toward the back of the store, to the little alcove where he had set up the staff area. "Pretty good. I bought huge book trucks, and we loaded the books onto them, and we sold everything from the street for the week it took to get the pipes fixed, and the walls were redone. It was interesting, but thankfully, it did not rain the entire time. It was a challenge which was good for the staff as they had to think outside of the box."
"So you have the bookstore in the building. It looks like it's a pretty odd little place."
"I had small amounts of the oddities and stuff, most of it was kept in the stock rooms and not on display as much as what I wanted. It's why I wanted to get a bigger place. I just happened on a really good place falling into my lap. So do you think that this place would work for you?"
"You can keep up with Jack and him being an asshole, McGarrett likes you. Tony looks like he's got stars in his eyes when he talks about you."
"When did you see him?"
"Jack and I did dinner at his restaurant, and you were brought up by Hotchner."
"Tony and I are pretty happy," Spencer said. He didn't know Daniel well enough to say more than that. Seeley trusted O'Neill enough to add him into the business so Spencer figured that as far as business went, he could trust Daniel as far as that went.
"So when can I sign the paperwork for renting?"
"Whenever you want to drop by Aaron's office. They are the ones that take care of that part. I'll text Aaron and tell him to expect you. Seeley or Dalton will make sure you set up the security system so no one else can enter from my store. Right now the code is the sixth through the fifteenth decimals of Pi."
"Got it. You are pretty damned trusting, aren't you?" Daniel asked.
"I don't know. I mean you have been working for the military long enough to have their mannerisms, Doctor Jackson. And you were stationed with General O'Neill in Denver of all places. What are an Air Force General and a slightly disgraced, in some circles, archaeologist doing in Denver?"
"Touche," Daniel said with a grin on his lips.
"So you can head over there right away, Aaron's aware you want to rent the property with the option to buy if things go well down the road."
"That sounds like a good plan," Daniel said.
Spencer watched as Daniel looked around the area, his eyes tracking over the walls and the floor space. Spencer could see his gears turning to figure out where he wanted things.
"Lock up when you are done. The keys are there on the counter." Spencer pointed where the second set was. "I have a set, Sharpshooter has a set. And you have a set. The locks were changed when I got the last of my things out. I trust my staff but not that much."
"Cool. I'm sure a new set will get made when I get control?"
"Yes. They will change them again. All of the locks can be rekeyed easily. That's why they were picked when I changed everything. It makes things a lot easier for them. Have a good day."
Spencer let himself out and walked toward the coffee shop. He entered to find that a lot of the staff had changed. He frowned at that. His favorite barista wasn't working, and that really made him feel sad.
"Welcome, what can I get for you?" the barista at the register asked. It looked like a slow time, so there was only the one up front. He could hear the others in the back.
"Doc, you've got to try this," Melanie said as she came out of the back. She handed over a cookie. It looked a little weird but smelled good. It was still warm enough that it started to sag in his hand. Spencer took a bite of it quickly, chewing to savor it.
"Oh, that's good," Spencer said as he swallowed. It was a very unsweet cookie and used the glaze on it and the fruit inside to give it the sweetness that one would want in a cookie. He ate the other half of the cookie and wished that he had a drink to wash it down with. He turned back to the lady at the register when he saw that Melanie was at the espresso machine steaming milk and then she turned to add pumps of syrup to a cup.
"Large latte, with a flavor shot," Melanie called out to the girl at the register.
Spencer swiped his card when the machine prompted him to, and he slipped his card back into his wallet. Melanie handed over the latte with a smile on her face.
"Come on back, and we can talk about desserts, and you can tell me about how good DiNozzo is in bed."
Spencer laughed but followed her back, slipping a few bills into the tip jar as he passed by the register.
There was a huge thump just outside of Spencer's apartment door, it didn't sound like it was someone at his door, but still, Spencer got up to open the door to see who was out there. A few kids had snuck into the building the day before to have some fun in an area they were not allowed. Spencer had called Seeley, and a few of the guards had come and grabbed them. Spencer was pretty sure that the kids had learned their lesson when the guards had talked about calling the cops on them for being where they weren't supposed to be.
Spencer opened the door and slammed it shut just seconds later. He walked over to his landline phone and dialed Aaron's number by heart.
"Your partner is about to have security called on him for indecent exposure and given that the other person involved is one of three heads of security, I don't think it's going to go over well."
"What the hell are they doing naked in front of your place?" Aaron asked. There was the background noise of someone talking and then a door.
"I have no clue. I assume that they started down at either one of their places and tried to get to the other for some reason, I'm right below Steve's place. So they either went up and over or just down to get where they are." Spencer walked back to the door and opened it. It was very evident that they were having sex, Seeley pressed face first into the wall and Steve fucking him. Spencer left his door open and walked over to grab the spray bottle that he had for his plants. He turned the nozzle into a stream instead of a mist and walked back to his door. He sprayed at Steve's back. It took three sprays for Steve to realize that he was getting wet and not in the way that he should be.
"What?" Seely asked when Spencer's next spray got them both across the left sides of their faces. Steve growled though and thrust hard. "Love your cock in me."
"Love you," Steve said.
Spencer raised his eyebrows before he just took the lid off of the sprayer and took two steps to toss what was left over the both of them. He walked back to his apartment and shut the door loudly and made sure it was locked. "They are fucking like rabbits and even spraying them like a cat didn't get them to stop. Though Steve did tell Seeley that he loved him so I would assume that they finally admitted their love and that was why they couldn't wait to get inside of a room much less find a bed somewhere." Spencer hung up the phone when Aaron cursed and said something to Danny.
"Get your asses into a room of some kind," Danny near screamed from outside Spencer's door.
"Danny?" Steve asked like he was lost and just waking up.
"Yes, it's Danny. Tuck your cock back into-oh wait you don't have pants on!"
Spencer laughed and shook his head. He walked back to his bedroom to find that Tony was still asleep. An early morning catering had Tony staying up all night to help get it together before he had crashed on Spencer's bed, still dressed. Spencer had let him sleep a little before he had got him mostly naked. Spencer looked at the stack of papers he had been working on before he had gone to get himself a glass of iced tea. He had wanted coffee, but he didn't want the smell to take up Tony. The call of papers was not enough to keep him from getting down to his underwear as well and slipped under the covers with Tony. Like Spencer was a divining rod, Tony rolled over and laid his head on Spencer's chest, wrapping his arm around Spencer's stomach and then throwing a leg over his legs. It was a really good feeling to just lay in bed with Tony.
Grabbing a book, Spencer started to read with the light from the windows giving him enough light to read by. He turned his head to press a kiss to the top of Tony's head before he settled in to read.
A short while Later, Tony actually started to breathe like he was waking up.
"Morning," Spencer said as he closed his book and laid it down on the nightstand. He looked at the time to see that it was just getting to be lunchtime. Which was when Tony wanted to be woken up. Spencer had set the alarm, so he grabbed his phone to turn that off. He didn't want it disturbing them as they cuddled.
"Morning. I'm hungry, and I want to go to the place you took Steve. I think I deserve your secrets more than he does."
"I took him there because he needed a little bit of home. You don't need a little bit of home. I'll take you there though, because I love you." Spencer waited for the response, and it was a few seconds before Spencer started to worry, but then he realized that Tony had turned his head to bury it in Spencer's chest.
"I love you, too." Tony let go of Spencer to crawl above him. "I didn't think I would find someone like you. You were dropped in my lap, and I loved it. I was so happy that I had found someone was beautiful and kind and smart as you. Then you looked at me like you were seeing me, the real me, not the one that a lot see. The one that everyone in the building sees. And you said yes to the first date. You said, and you were happy to be there with me."
"You see me too, the shy person who is scared of losing everyone because I always do." Spencer reached up and ran his fingers through Tony's hair. He scratched his nails a little bit and pulled Tony down to kiss him. It was simple press of lips, nothing more. Spencer laughed as Tony grabbed him to roll to where Spencer was on top.
"You'll never lose me, Spencer Reid. I promise you that. Nothing will ever take me away from you." Tony leaned up to kiss Spencer's forehead and smiled against the skin there. He pulled away and looked at Spencer for a few seconds before both of their stomachs growled. "Let's catch a cab there so we can both drink."
"Sounds good but we might want to make sure that the peep show has moved on."
"Peep show?" Tony asked with a grin on his face.
"Steve and Seeley fucking against the wall outside of my apartment. Though I think they have finally admitted their feelings for each other."
"Yeah? How do you guess that?"
"Steve said he loved Seeley after Seeley proclaimed that he loved Steve's cock in him. I might have sprayed them with a water bottle and then just tossed the water on them. I sicced Aaron on them, and he sent Danny."
"Oh, I sleep through all of the fun bits, and it sucks. I wonder if we will see them for dinner tonight," Tony mused as he leaned up to kiss Spencer once quickly and then wiggled like he wanted to get up.
Spencer rolled off of Tony so he could get dressed again. He grabbed a pair of jeans he had been dressed in but was stopped with a hand on his arm.
"I need a shower, and I was hoping that you could join me. I'll wash your back if you wash mine."
"You strike a hard bargain, Mister DiNozzo but I'll agree to your terms."
"Why the hell did we agree to this?" Tony asked as he slumped down and looked at everyone who was standing around with boxes and waiting on Seeley to tell them where he wanted the boxes. Spencer was already moving to where the kitchen things that he had were going. Spencer had taken the easy task of the kitchen, most of which didn't need to be boxed up but just carried up carefully. The stair doors were already propped open, and the elevator was getting a workout. The moving Seeley to the fifth floor was much easier than moving him if he was in a different building, but it still sucked.
"Because you want to stop finding them in the halls in various states of undress and they fight over where they are going to fuck for the night. I swear your honeymoon phase wasn't nearly as bad as this," Q said as he settled Seeley's computer tower onto the desk beside where Steve's already was.
Seeley had decided to move into Steve and Danny's apartment as Steve wasn't ready to leave Danny behind in an apartment alone. Spencer didn't think that Danny was going to be long for living there though as he and Aaron were seen talking more and more. Spencer had even seen them touching. It was nearly as bad as Steve and Seeley, but at least those two had a leg up but actually getting a leg over each other as Q had said. It was like Danny and Aaron were refusing to see anything that had to do with their personal lives and how they felt.
"We haven't been caught in four days."
"There is a word you used there that admits that you have done it. You said caught. That means you've been doing it and none of us saw you."
"No, someone saw them," Mac said as he entered the room with a box in his hand with jack behind him with another box. Spencer mentally calculated that there were about ten more boxes of shit to grab. There was a lot of kitchen stuff left. Danny was excited to get his hands on Seeley's kitchen stuff. "I just kept on deleting the footage."
"Cheers," Q said as he handed over one of Steve's really good beers to Mac before he turned to look at Seeley. "I really didn't want to know what you look like in the throes of orgasm."
"You are the only couple that likes to get watched while fucking," Aaron said.
"No, we don't get off on being watched we just don't care where we have sex," Seeley said. Steve was behind Seeley, nodding his head in agreement.
"Hey is this a personal party?" Minerva asked as she entered the room.
"No, Ma'am," Draco said as he stood up straight from where had been resting after bringing up the couch with Harry and James.
"Good. So I will have a clear apartment by the end of day, yes?"
"Yes," everyone answered.
"Good. I have a couple who are looking to rent it."
"That's a little quick, isn't it?" Danny asked.
"Well, I prefer to rent to those who have businesses, but I can't exactly make a store appear by magic but it just so happens I talked to a lovely man and his partner who are moving to the area and are currently staying at a hotel. They are coming by to look at the place. I expect you'll handle the viewing and the paperwork, Steven?" Minerva looked at Steve like he was a kid in trouble.
"Yes, Ma'am." Steve was standing ramrod straight like a soldier who was at attention.
"Good, the General and his Doctor, will be here at six to view the place. Dinner is at seven, yes? I expect you all to be nice to them."
"Yes, Ma'am," everyone answered.
Minerva turned to leave, taking her time as she looked around the apartment that had a lot of boxes in it.
"So General and Doctor, it's a fool’s bet to not assume it's O'Neill and Daniel right?" Spencer asked.
"Yes," Steve said.
"Looks like I have to add another two to the table." Tony walked over to the side of the room and pulled out his phone. He started to make a call, talking low to someone. Spencer wanted to go over and listen in, but he had more stuff to do to make sure they got everything out in time for the cleaning crew that was coming into clean the carpets and walls. The place was going to spotless for the new couple. DADT might have been overturned, but it was still a huge gamble for an older soldier like O'Neill to be out and open with a person he worked with, but Spencer knew that love was worth it.
"I'll help you with that mixer," Aaron said as he stepped up to Spencer, bumped his shoulder into Spencer's.
"Sounds good." Spencer knew that he didn't need help with it, but Aaron wanted to help him. Probably didn't want to be left alone with Danny like he had been the last few times.
"So I have a pair of tickets to the Kings," Aaron said as he and Spencer walked through the doors.
"You were supposed to go with me!" Seeley yelled as he ran after them.
"I told you if I saw your ass one more time I would take someone else," Aaron said with a grin.
"That's not fair," Seeley said.
"Then grow up and stop fucking in the halls. I'm taking Spencer."
"He probably doesn't even know what hockey is."
"I have a box seat for the Golden Knights, and I bought it before the start of the season. I'm a Vegas boy, and while I'll go and see the Kings, I'll root for the Knights. That's who they are playing, right?"
"Yes." Aaron gave Seeley a big shit eating grin. "Spencer is the one who got me started on watching hockey. We went to several games last year, including flying to Vegas for a few playoff games."
"I wanna go to a game when the Flyers play in the area," Seeley said.
"Sure but I'm gonna make fun of Gritty," Spencer said. He laughed at the look on Seeley's face.
Aaron tugged Spencer after him, and Spencer went, tucking himself into Aaron's side. That look on Seeley's face was kind of priceless.
"Everyone should make fun of Gritty," Aaron said with a laugh in his tone.
"It freaks me out," Spencer admitted.
"Gritty is just weird. I'm not shocked that Philly thought it up."
Spencer was having fun moving Seeley into Steve's place if the trudging up and down the stairs sucked. No one was on their best behavior. Everyone griped about stupid, little shit, and no one had manners when it came to bumping into each other. There was no constant call of I'm sorry, even if Spencer almost lost a toaster oven when James ran into the back of him. They all knew there was going to be issues and accidents.
There was Danny's room which had the only shut door, and Spencer didn't even venture close to the door because every time that anyone got close when Danny was in the room, he got really tense. Danny was the last big enigma that Spencer had. He was talkative, but it was hiding who he really was. He loved Aaron though, and Aaron loved him, there was just something that was between them both that stopped them from admitting it. It wasn't like Steve and Seeley where just cluing each of the parties in it was going to fix it. There was a bigger obstacle that had to be tackled first.
"Are you happy?" Aaron asked as he leaned on the counter in Seeley's apartment in front of the mixer.
"I am. I'm happier than I have been, I think ever in my life." Spencer stepped up to Aaron when his arms opened up like he wanted to hug him. Spencer settled into his arms and let Aaron wrap him into a hug that he wasn't released from that quickly.
"I'm glad. I had ulterior motives in getting you to move your store here. I had hoped that Minerva would move you into the next place that opened up, but I had not thought about you and Tony until the first time you talked. I just knew that you two needed each other then. I was glad when you accepted the date."
"What about Danny?" Spencer asked.
"Ah, leave that one alone for right now. Danny will tell you when he wants to, and then you can figure it all out for yourself. I'd rather had his friendship than to lose it by doing something stupid. I'm happy, and while I could be happier, I'm not stagnant in life without him. I love him dearly, and I want his happiness more than I want my own, Spencer."
"Fine. I'll leave it alone, for now." Spencer knew that he would crack it and figure it all out at one point, but he would leave it all alone until then. He could do that, for his friendship with Aaron.
"I'm looking forward to dinner tonight. I don't know O'Neill or Doctor Jackson that well. I've met them in passing, and they were in to take care of the paperwork on Sharpshooter and your place, but I didn't get one on one time with either of them."
"I like Daniel, what I know so far from talking to him. He's smart, and I think he and I will get along really well. He'll fit in with Mac, Q, and I really well."
"Good. You need more friends like that. I'm glad you get along with them well."
"You are a schemer, Aaron Hotchner, and you felt like I needed more in my life, and that's why you did all of this. Though I'll agree you weren't expecting Tony in all of that."
Aaron started to laugh, and the sounds of the others heading their way had Aaron turning around to pick up the mixer, and he tipped it over to where Spencer got a hold of the top and the back while Aaron took the bottom and the base, so they didn't break it.
Spencer didn't really want to be anywhere other than where he was.