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Your alarm woke you, the flashing light just as offensive as it was every morning. You smacked it until it turned off and sat up, checking your phone. Two text messages from Spencer. 

6:18am Got a call into work. Didn’t wanted to wake you. Sleep tight and I’ll update when I can. 

10:23am Case is local. We’re still in the office. 

You texted him back right away. 

10:31am Want me to bring lunch? I can order for the team.

When you stood, you put on your smartwatch. It was a Christmas gift from Spencer, and he had Penelope set it up so it would flash with your alarms. It had an app that could transcribe speech in case you didn’t want to read lips, and you couldn’t deny the convenience of the buzzing feature for your texts.

Slipping your sweats on, you padded to the bathroom and brushed your teeth. Your watch buzzed, and you checked it. 

10:33am I’ll send you orders for JJ, Garcia, and Hotch. 

The orders that followed were pretty simple – their favorite sandwiches from their favorite sandwich shop on the way to Quantico. The owners knew you by then, as you always tried to feed the BAU when they were working local cases or stuck in the office with piles of paperwork a mile high. 

For convenience and time, you slipped your hearing aids on to make the phone call. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch, but anything was better than nothing. They needed to hear you more than the other way around, anyways. 

+++

You waved at the owner and her son as you picked up your box. She signed her thanks, and you grinned back at her. She had been exposed to a few signs on the rare occasion that you and Spencer had the opportunity to sit in the little deli and eat at one of the checkered tables. 

+++

The security guards on the first floor were more than happy to help you shuffle lunch through the checkpoint, and they may have stolen a few fries from JJ’s meal.  

By the time you finally made it up the elevator to the BAU, you’d yanked your hearing aid out and threw it in your purse. The building was far too loud, too busy, and it never failed to give you a headache. 

You went to shoulder the glass door open, only to find it held open for you. You smiled at Hotch. With your hands full, you couldn’t sign. You spoke instead. 

“Hey, Hotch.”

Hey! How are you? He looked happy to see you, but you knew him well enough to see the strain behind his eyes. 

“Good,” you said. “Busy morning. Your lunch is in here. How’s Jack?”

Thank you, he signed, gesturing toward the box. Want help?

You shook your head, and he let you lead the way into the office. When you settled in the kitchen area, he propped himself against the counter and started to sign. You unpacked the box, keeping your eyes on Hotch as he signed. 

Jack is good. Doing well in school. He passed his math test last week and will probably be ahead of his classmates next year. 

Wonderful, you signed back. Tell him I’m proud of him. 

Of course. Come to Dave’s next time we’re all there together. The boys love your stories. 

I will, but you’ll need to keep Spencer honest for me so he doesn’t forget. You grinned at him, and he offered a small smile back. Other than Spencer, Hotch was the only confident signer in the unit. You’d become fast friends because of it. Emily was picking it up rather quickly, though she stumbled and got nervous often. Derek was getting better. Last week, he proudly informed you (in adorably broken sign) that he practices with Spencer on the jet on the way home from every case. 

Hotch’s gaze tracked up over your shoulder and he raised his eyebrows. You whirled around. Spencer stood in the doorway, a smile on his face and hands in his pockets. You bounced toward him and he brought you into his arms, keeping one of your hands pressed to his chest. You spelled “Hi” into his hand and felt him laugh. 

He leaned back and met your eyes. Thank you for bringing lunch. This case is crazy. 

Aren’t they all? 

Spencer laughed. True

He taught you a few industry-specific signs, but serial killer and family annihilator were your favorites because of the faces Spencer made with them. He walked backward as he told you a few details about the case – ones he could share, anyways. His sandwich was tucked under his arms so his hands were free, and Hotch trailed behind you with his sandwich and JJ’s. 

You sat on his desk and he sat in his chair, your legs hanging over his lap as you ate your lunch. You both had grown out of your aversion to PDA long ago and were happy to be among your friends for a quick respite. The team always made an effort to regale you with tales of Spencer’s antics in the field whenever possible, and today was no exception. 

“And then he looked at me and said ‘I gave the profile to this one woman and she asked me if I was the unsub.’ I just about died,” Derek said, laughing. They all made sure they were facing you when they spoke, so you could read their lips. Without your hearing aids, they were just a dull thrumming. The direction was easy to pick up, but the content was almost lost entirely. 

JJ said something, and you knew you missed it before she was finished talking.

You glanced down at Spencer, who was watching JJ. He interpreted. 

Spencer did great on that case, Derek. Give him a break. 

You reached out and squeezed Spencer’s shoulder. He looked up at you. 

Thanks. You leaned over and signed at JJ. Hotch voiced your signs. He better be on his best behavior for all cases. Hotch’s glares look tame compared to mine. 

At that, they all laughed and you winked at Spencer. His eyes were more than a little distracting, and you got lost in them for a minute.  

Hotch waved his hand at you to get your attention, and you looked up at him. He signed as he spoke, and you relaxed a little, taking a bite of your sandwich. “That was the same case Spencer used magic to find the unsub.”

You barked a laugh around your bite, absolutely delighted. Really? Magic magic or physics magic?

“Magic magic,” Hotch replied. 

“Okay that’s not,” Spencer looked up at you, continuing to sign. “That’s not what happened. I had to deliver the profile and –“

“The way he was doing it definitely didn’t work,” Derek said.

So what did you do, really? 

You saw Hotch relay your question to the rest of the team. 

“Well,” Spencer started, signing as he spoke, “I managed to deliver the profile using a trick that kept the bartender’s attention while I outlined the key features of the unsub. It wasn’t –“ he huffed, “it wasn’t that ridiculous, all things considered.”

“In fairness,” JJ said, making sure to face you more directly so you could see her mouth as she spoke. “Spence has used magic more than once to help with a case. Remember the train?”

Spencer rolled his eyes and dove into the refuge of your arms. You scooted to the edge of the desk and held him to you, brushing his hair back. It was getting longer, and would probably need a cut soon. 

You felt him say something against you, the vibration of his voice against your hand drawing your attention. Looking up at Hotch with a frown, he helped you out. 

It’s a useful skill, okay?

You laughed, and Spencer held onto you a little tighter. 

The team looked up suddenly in response to something. You watched as Hotch pulled his phone out of his pocket. “Hotchner,” you saw him say. After a few seconds, his mouth fell into a grim line.

All at once, the team was in motion. They wrapped their sandwiches and organized their desks, picking up their keys and backpacks on their way. Spencer stood and kissed your forehead, and you took his sandwich off his hands, wrapping it tightly and putting it in your purse. 

Spencer stood in front of you as he clipped his gun to his belt. He took your hand and signed with the other.  

Sorry. 

That’s okay, you replied. Duty calls. Go get the bad guy.

He kissed you, and you leaned into him. 

“I love you,” you said quietly against his mouth. 

He leaned back and met your eyes. I love you too. 

Please be careful. 

Spencer grinned at you. Always. He kissed you once more and bolted out of the bullpen behind Derek, who held the door for him. He threw another smile at you over his shoulder, and you waved at the team as the elevator doors closed.