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19 October 2013 @ 11:23 pm
Fic Post: Moving On and Moving In  
Title: Moving On and Moving In
Author: Montiese
Category: Drama/Family/Humor/Romance
Pairing: Jason Gideon/OFC
Rating: TEEN
Summary: “It means that family can be important but relationships you form on the battlefield, in the fight for life, become more so.”
Author’s Note: This is #13 in the California Dreaming series, chronicling Jason Gideon’s life after leaving the BAU.


“Oh, I didn’t know you were out here.” Jason walked up to the sliding glass door and saw Cameron sitting on the deck. Light rain was falling but that didn’t seem to bother him much. “I was just about to lock up for the night.”

“I had to clean up the dogs.” Cam said, not looking at him. “After dinner I read a couple of chapters from my book and then came out here.”

“That was hours ago. You’ve been out here the whole time?”

“Yeah.”

“What have you been doing?” Jason asked.

“Thinking.”

“What are you thinking about?”

“Just stuff.” Cam shrugged.

“Well it’s almost bedtime so you should come in.”

“I just want to sit a little while longer.”

“Is there anything you want to talk about?” Jason came and sat beside him. He wouldn’t push, knowing from experience that it was never the best thing. Cameron had been quiet and to himself for over a week. That wasn’t his nature so it was a concern.

“I want to talk about a billion things but I can't.”

“You can try saying just one thing and we can go from there. If you want to.”

“I'm never going to see my mom again, am I Gideon?” now he looked at him.

“I hope that’s not true.”

“C'mon, be honest with me. You always say that we have to be honest with each other. She’s gone; she might even be dead. The police don’t care because she does drugs. She’s somebody’s mom and they should care.”

“I hope that your mom is alright Cameron. Its not that police don’t care because she does drugs. It’s just difficult to launch an investigation into a missing person when they’re an adult and there are no signs of foul play.”

“Why doesn’t she want to be my mom?” he asked. “I think I'm an OK kid.”

“You're an awesome kid.” Jason smiled but it was sad. “She's just really sick right now.”

“What do you mean?”

“Drug addiction is an illness and I've seen what it can do to people firsthand. I know you have as well. Even when someone wants to stop it’s really hard. Your body wants it so much that your heart and mind can't fight it. You stop caring about everything except getting high. You end up leaving a lot of good things behind.”

“That judge is gonna make me a foster kid forever.” Cameron said. “No one wants to adopt me. I'm not a cute kid like Maddie or some baby they can pretend was always theirs. I'm doomed.”

“You aren't doomed.” Jason shook his head. “I know that right now you're confused and upset. You might even be angry; you surely have a right to be. But you have a place to lay your head and people who love you very much. Family comes in all shapes and sizes, Cam.”

“Blood is thicker than water. My family is supposed to stand by me no matter what. Other people, even if you think they care, can just run off.”

“That saying is often misquoted.”

“Huh?” Cameron looked at him.

“Blood is thicker than water isn’t a real quote. People have been using it for centuries and now it’s part of the culture but they’re saying it wrong. The true quote says that the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. So it means the exact opposite of what people think.”

“Huh?”

“OK, tell me what blood is thicker than water means.” Jason said.

“I think it means that family is important and no matter what they should be there for you through everything. Friends and stuff can leave when life gets tough but family is forever.”

“That’s exactly what the misquote means.”

“What's the other thing mean?” Cameron asked.

“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. It means that family can be important but relationships you form on the battlefield, in the fight for life, become more so. You're right, in a way, family is supposed to be there for you no matter what. That’s not always the case. The bonds we form with those who stand by us no matter what will always be the strongest.

“Sometimes those people can be blood. Others are family by choice. The second shouldn’t be belittled because the choices you make about those you want to fight through the hardest times with, even if they came into your life by misfortune, are crucial to who you are. Do you understand or did I slip too far into nerd speak?”

“I think I get it.” The eleven year old smiled some. “So we’re a family because we battle together.”

“Absolutely.” Jason nodded.

“What does covenant mean, Gideon?”

“It’s a promise. In the Bible, God makes a covenant with the Jews of Israel. He will always protect them as long as they remain faithful to him. Our covenant is similar. We protect each other and in doing so remain faithful to the family we’ve made.”

“You know the suckiest part about being in foster care?” Cameron asked.

“What?”

“Well there's a ton of sucky things but the worse is that you never feel settled. Kids I know at school don’t have to worry about being packed up one day and moved to another house. They don’t have to worry about being a stranger or being alone and scared. Most of them don’t even know how lucky they are. They rag on their parents but at least they have them.”

“If the judge decides to terminate your mother’s parental rights then I’ll adopt you.”

Jason didn’t usually say things so quickly. He’d been debating the whole adoption situation since the twins brought it up on their birthday. There were some thoughts before that but they were fleeting. He had a lot of worries about it though none of them compared to Cam’s. Any child feeling that way was like a punch in the kidney. To hell and back as an adult, Jason Gideon had a safe and secure childhood.

“You're gonna adopt the twins and Jake too?” Cam asked.

“I'm working on things where all of that is concerned.” he replied.

“You wouldn’t lie to me would you?”

“No.” Jason shook his head. “I can be called a lot of things, and surely have been, but I'm not a liar. You shouldn’t lie to kids…they have enough to deal with.”

“Sometimes grownups lie to kids and say it’s for the best.” Cameron said. “Whatever that means.”

“It’s just an excuse. Are there things that kids should be blissfully unaware of, absolutely? But honesty is the best policy when the questions are direct. I’ll be here to comfort you when the truth hurts.”

“That sounds like a good deal.” He nodded.

“Good.” Jason put his arm around his shoulder and hugged him.

“Jason?” Paloma poked her head out of the sliding glass door. “Oh, I didn’t know you weren’t alone. I just wanted to make sure you were OK. I knew you came to check the dogs and lock the door.”

“I'm good. We’ll be in soon.”

“Alright.” She nodded and went back into the house.

“You should get to bed…you’ve got school in the morning.”

“OK.” Cameron stood up from the step. “You know, if you and Paloma get married we could have a mom and a dad.”

“I hear you.”

“Do you love her, Gideon? Do you love her like guys do in the movies when they have those fast, funny conversations and kiss a lot?”

“I think I do.” Jason did a solemn nod.

“Maybe you should make a covenant with her then. Paloma is awesome and I know she’d battle with us until the end. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Cam. Brush your teeth and have sweet dreams.”

“I will.”

Jason sat for a few minutes longer after Cameron went in. He smiled when he felt the warm hand on his shoulder. He caressed it before taking it in his own and holding it to his lips.

“Is Cameron alright?” she asked, sitting down beside him.

“We just got honest about the situation with his mom. He's worried about his safety and stability.”

“I hate that kids have to worry about things like that.” Paloma put her head on his shoulder. Their joined hands rested in Jason’s lap. “Sometimes this world sucks and you want to make it better for everyone.”

“We talked about how blood being thicker than water is a misquote. We talked about covenants and adoption.”

“Wow, it got intense out here.”

“A little bit, yeah.” Jason nodded. “Cameron said something really interesting before he went in. He asked me if I love you the way guys in the movies love women.”

“Oh really?” she laughed some. “What was your answer to that?”

“I said I thought I did. So he said I need to make a covenant with you because you're awesome and would battle with us until the end. My kids really want a family. They deserve it even more so.”

“What do you want, Jason?” Paloma asked. “You're old enough to know by now that you cannot live for anyone else. You can't be the key to their happiness or sadness.”

“If I adopt those four there will still be room for two more foster kids, as long as they're of the same sex. I don’t want to close off the opportunity to take in more kids who need a place to be safe.”

“I told you that I know a lawyer. I can make one phone call and get the ball rolling.”

“I don’t want to make any moves until we know the judge’s decision in Cam’s case. If he gets his hopes up and then dashed it would be heartbreaking.”

“The judge could make a different decision if he knew someone out there wanted to adopt him.” Paloma said.

“No,” Jason shook his head. “I don’t ever want to be the reason his mother loses her rights.”

“I understand.”

They sat in the quiet for a while. Paloma kissed his neck and listened to the rain falling. The nights were turning cooler but it was still nice to sit outside, despite the wet weather. She knew Jason had tough decisions to make. She didn’t want to influence him one way or the other, only wanted to be there if he needed her.

This was her job, at least it was for now. Finding good families for kids was always her goal. It wasn’t easy as they started to get older, and the system was overwhelmed with minority kids. These four kids, aged 11, 13, and 15, still had the chance to be someone’s little ones. To some people that made no sense. To Paloma it made all the sense in the world.

“Cam asked me if I would ever lie to him and I said no.” Jason broke the silence. “I did bend the truth a little earlier.”

“When did you do that?”

“He asked me if I love you and I said I think I do. I know I love you and it’s the most frightening and fascinating thing I've dealt with in some time. When I'm dealing with my own mind, I somehow manage to make it. I don’t know if I should risk someone else’s.”

“I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better.” Paloma said.

“You're sitting here…mission accomplished.”

“We could go inside and snuggle under the covers. I don’t think there’s anything better on a rainy autumn night.”

“Will Odie be alright by himself?” Jason asked. Odysseus was Paloma’s tabby cat.

“He has enough food and water until late tomorrow morning. I also gave him extra snuggles today in case I didn’t make it home. He's a fiercely independent soul. Sometimes I don’t even think he likes me and then I have to remember that humans are needy creatures.”

“He can move in here. I guarantee he’d never be lonely.”

“I know three little fur balls who would plot his quick demise.” Paloma laughed. “Odie likes to sleep in the bed; Pumpkin doesn’t like to share. She even gives me side-eye when I stay the night.”

“Well I was thinking about his mother coming with him.” Jason said.

“Did you not just hear me say that Pumpkin gives me side-eye? I wake up in the middle of the night and she’s just staring at me. I think she’s contemplating taking my breath and making it look like an accident.”

“Will you move in with me?” he asked. He held their joined hands to his heart.

“No.” Paloma said softly, shaking her head.

“Wow…ouch.”

“I want to. I want to go and pack a bag right now, get the kitty carrier, the wine rack, and rush back here. It’s just not the right thing to do. I'm forty years old Jason; I love my space. I love my little house that’s bought and paid for. I love the bad gardening I do and the little plastic table and chair I put out on the side porch.

“It’s all mine. The idea of sharing a space with you, with the kids, I do love that. But I'm not sure moving in together is the right way to go about it. I'm not pushing you for something that you can't give. We can do it, we can do it just like this until we decide we want to do something more.”

“So my asking you to move in wasn’t something more?”

“It was, but I have to say no.”

“You want to get married.” He said.

“I want to love you. I want to love your kids and be a part of your lives. OK, yes, I want to get married but that’s because I've always been taught that that’s the brass ring. You meet someone you love, you look into their eyes, a Peabo Bryson song plays in the background, and you rush out to buy that white dress. We don’t have to do the conventional thing.”

It was all happening so fast, sometimes Paloma had to stop what she was doing and stand still. She’d had feelings for Jason for a long time but never thought it would be like this. The idea of being his wife was appealing; the idea of being his bunk buddy wasn’t. Jason Gideon didn’t seem like the marrying kind.

He’d done it before and it ended tragically. He didn’t like tipping the scales while dancing with the devil. Women who loved him died. Paloma didn’t think there was anything she could do to eradicate that fear.

“Will you stay with me tonight?” Jason leaned and kissed her neck. The soft way Paloma hummed and tickled his lips made him do it again.

“I will. I’ll wake up early and make the kids’ sandwiches and then we’ll go to breakfast before your first class.” She said. “Does that sound good?”

“That sounds wonderful. You can also give me the number for that lawyer. I'm going to call and at least discuss my options. I never want the kids to think I'm just hanging this over their heads with no intention of following through.”

“They love you and trust you Jason.” Paloma stood and pulled him up. “You’ve never given them reason not to.”

“If we wake up early enough the kids will never have to know that we slept without clothing.” Jason said. They walked into the house; he closed and locked the sliding door. Hand and hand they made their way to the living room to turn on the alarm.

“And this is the portion of the evening when the 58 year old turns 18 again.”

“Mmm, 30…I think you make me feel thirty. That was quite a good year for me.”

Jason pulled Paloma to him and kissed her breathless. Smiling, she wrapped her arms around him and went in for seconds. Time would stand still when they kissed. Paloma would only feel his lips and his hands.

She would hear his heartbeat and sometimes things whizzing by as if they were caught up in their own whirlwind. She’d been in love before but kissing never felt like that. She did it with Damian because she enjoyed it. She did it with Jason because it filled every part of her body with pleasure.

“If we go now we can get about seven hours of sleep.” She said, kissing him once more as they walked up the stairs. “That’s give or take the 45 minutes or so we’ll spend making out like horny teens on spring break.”

“I'm going to check on the kids.” He squeezed her hand. “Why don’t you see if you can find something good on the radio?”

“OK.” Paloma smiled and they went their separate ways.

Jason walked to the back bedroom, checking first on Jake and Cameron. They were both asleep, Cameron leaving his book lamp on because he wasn’t fond of the dark. One of his arms was hanging off the side of the bunk bed but Jason didn’t want to risk waking him by moving him over. He checked on Dylan, the ten year old slept with The Book Thief clutched to his chest.

Jason wasn’t sure he was going to let him read it. The themes weren’t exactly something a ten year old could understand or needed to explore. But Dylan begged and in the end Jason relented because he knew he would’ve wanted the same thing at his age. The door creaked when he looked in on the twins and a flashlight immediately went dark. Jason stuck his head into the room.

“Goodnight Tashima.” He spoke low so not to wake her sister.

“Goodnight Gideon.”

“For real this time; you have school in the morning.”

“I'm going.” She pulled down the blanket fort, put the magazine on the nightstand, and laid down on the pillow.

Jason blew her a kiss before pulling the door up. When he walked into the master bedroom both Pumpkin and Gus were on this bed. One didn’t look delighted to see the other but there had always been a tentative cat agreement to share space until one found a way to rule the land.

“If you guys kill me,” he said as he walked over and petted Gus’ head. “There will be no one to feed you. It’s not a well thought out plan.”

“And you think it’s a good idea to add one more to the mix.” Paloma laughed some as she walked out of the bathroom.

Jason looked at her and couldn’t stop looking. She wore one of his tee shirts, for the Boston Symphony’s 100th Anniversary and a pair of striped hipster panties. For so long he’d been trying to count her body art, it seemed to be everywhere. He didn’t think he’d ever know the true number.

“What is it?”

“You're a very beautiful woman.” He said.

“Thank you.” She smiled as she slipped under his covers. Jason smiled when she lifted the shirt over her head and threw it at him. He held it to his nose and inhaled the scent of her. Not as good as the real thing but lovely just the same.

“I’ll be right back.”

He went into the bathroom and closed the door. Sighing, Jason looked at himself in the mirror. He looked his age today, and though there was nothing wrong with that, feeling his age came with some issues. He took his cell phone from his pocket, sliding his finger over the screen to activate it. In the contacts he scrolled nearly to the bottom until the number appeared.

Sliding once more, Jason listened to the phone ring. By ring number four he knew he’d get voicemail. That was probably for the best tonight. With time zones and all, he didn’t want to be responsible for anyone losing anymore sleep.

Please leave a message after the tone. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you.’ BEEP!

“It’s been a while since we talked and I know that’s my fault. I'm sorry, and I'm not saying that so you'll call me back. I need to talk to you. I need to talk to someone who doesn’t just know me now but knows me better than nearly anyone.

“So when you get this message I’d love to hear back from you. Whatever time it is doesn’t matter to me. Alright? I love you; goodnight, Hotch.”

Jason hung up the phone and began to undress. He didn’t know if he would hear back…the years had been rough on past relationships. He’d done his best but sometimes his worse showed more. The blood of the covenant would always be thicker than the water of the womb. It had been battle that he went through with all those people he loved most. There was little doubt, even when that was all he did, they would help a faltering comrade.

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: indescribableindescribable
Background Noise: silence
 
 
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