I’ve been sitting on this for weeks because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but I figured if I didn’t post it now, then I never would. It’s my very first fanfiction, so go easy on me. I do welcome constructive criticism, so please let me know what you think.
Just for clarification, this snippet takes place October 12, 2018. The team celebrated Reid’s 24th birthday in Season 1 Episode 4, “Plain Sight,” which aired on October 12, 2005. Season 7 Episode 11, “True Genius,” which aired on January 18, 2012, saw the team belatedly celebrating Boy Wonder’s 30th birthday. I’m going with an October birthday for Reid because, well, duh. I’m also keeping his age ambiguous.
Stories don’t need to be told in chronological order, so I’ll be jumping around a little. The next one will cover the party and provide a lovely segue to the actual start of Spencer and the OC’s relationship.
Finally: drawing isn’t my strong suit, but I felt that the fic needed something extra. Okay, I’m shutting up now.
Word Count: 1,275
a bright, warm October morning in Washington, D.C. Penelope Garcia and Derek
Morgan strode into the apartment building swiftly, the former with an air of
sheer determination, the latter with one of mild trepidation.
Girl, I’m not so sure we should -”
“Shush, you,” Garcia interjected, playfully slapping Derek on the arm. “This. Is.
Happening. I put a lot of thought into today’s festivities and he will have fun, even if it kills him.”
raised his arm in front of her, halting their climb up the stairs. He had a
stern expression on his face. “Penelope, Reid said he didn’t want a huge fuss
on his birthday,” he said reproachfully.
he doesn’t know what he wants,” Garcia countered as she rolled her eyes and
waved her hand dismissively.
released a heavy sigh, resignedly following the clickety-clack of Penelope’s
ridiculously high heels when she resumed her journey up the staircase. “He did
agree to dinner with everyone tonight, but as much as he’ll love spending time
with us, it’ll also exhaust him. We know how overstimulated Reid gets – all
that noise, the camera flashes, the crowd – he needs quiet time alone to
prepare himself for that.”
had reached Reid’s floor. Garcia paused on the landing before turning to face
Morgan. She looked crestfallen and slightly ashamed of herself. “I know, you’re
right,” she conceded, “I just…but,” she pouted as she defiantly raised the platter
in her hands, “…Doctor Who cupcakes.”
flashed his impossibly white smile. “I know, Mamma. I worry about him too.
Let’s just leave these at his door and we can text him so he knows they’re out
here. That work for you?”
however, wasn’t paying attention to him. “Shhh, can you hear that?”
listened for a few moments, then he caught it; somebody nearby was playing an
electric guitar. More like making it sing. “They’re talented, whoever they are…ummm,
it’s coming from Reid’s apartment.” They meandered towards the door, their
heads tilted in curiosity, their hearts warmed by the performance. It had
clearly been practiced to perfection, but not for a packed concert hall or a
panel of judges.
this felt more…personal, more intimate. Morgan opened his mouth to say just
that when Garcia interrupted his thoughts. “Hold on, Reid doesn’t play guitar,
so how…oh, wait…” realization dawned on Garcia’s face as she broke into a devilish
Spencer, you naughty boy,” she giggled quietly, prompting Morgan to raise his
in the world are you on about, Penelope?”
it has to be. I guess she took the day off work. Well, no wonder he didn’t
wanna spend the day with us,” whispered Garcia, whose cheeks were now flushed
eyes shifted between Garcia and the apartment door while he processed her
statement. “You mean the McKinley? Works
at The Smithsonian McKinley? The one he’s been dating for almost a year?”
nodded in confirmation. “Ley’s also in a band; they sub for a couple of house
bands around the city.”
chuckled admiringly, impressed with both this mystery woman and his kid brother.
“All right, Pretty Boy! Get some,” he cheered quietly. “Man, I really need to
keep in touch more; I’m missing a lot – too much.” In the background, the last
few notes of “Für Elise” rang through the air, quickly followed by lilting, if
somewhat nervous, laughter.
Doctor, what’s the verdict? Give me your honest review.”
took a moment to respond. “It’s not what I expected, but that was lovely, Kinley,
know, for someone whose career hinges in no small part on controlling your
affect and demeanor, you’re
surprisingly terrible at lying, Spencer,” McKinley admonished him.
the door, Derek snorted lightly.
I’m not lying, Kinley,” Reid exclaimed, his voice rising an octave or two.
it is! You’re using your squeaky voice! Always a dead giveaway.”
voice? I do not have a – never mind.
I meant what I said, McKinley.”
started shaking with silent laughter, while Penelope smiled proudly as she
leaned against the doorframe. She had evidently borne witness to this type of
exchange between the lovebirds before.
hedging, and you know I don’t tolerate that. I’m a grown-ass woman, Spencer. I
can handle constructive criticism. I welcome it, in fact. You’re censoring
yourself in an attempt to spare my feelings, and that’s just insulting. It’s
unfair – to me and to you.”
played beautifully,” Spencer reiterated.
McKinley wouldn’t budge. Judging by the full minute of awkward silence, it
appeared that Reid wouldn’t either.
she’s good,” Derek mouthed at Penelope, “and she calls him on his b.s. I like
her already.” Garcia waved her hands dramatically. “Wait until you meet her
tonight,” she gushed.
Reid finally relented, “I just don’t believe that classical music ought to be
played on electric guitars – electric anything. The juxtaposition is too
jarring. It feels…wrong. They shouldn’t mix, and I’m quite certain the
composers would agree.”
Beethoven totally would’ve been a metalhead,” McKinley declared. “Anyway, I
understand; classical music and rock are to you what meat and sweet are to me.
Bacon dipped in maple syrup? Ewww! And yet some people like the combination. Now
I know to pull out my keyboard for certain songs.”
want to sound disparaging or ungrateful,” Reid mumbled apologetically.
complimented me on how well I played, didn’t you?! We’re not required to enjoy
all the same things just because we’re dating. And Spencer, every day you show
me how much you appreciate me.”
must’ve worked on that for weeks, though, Kinley.”
and you burned the midnight oil on that Edgar Allan Poe painting you gave me
for my birthday. It’s unconventionally beautiful. The painting is very…you. That’s why I love it;
that’s why I love you, Spencer Reid. You couldn’t be cookie cutter even if you
and Penelope swore they felt the heat from Reid’s blush oozing through the
Reid replied, he sounded pleasantly breathless. “That’s one of the reasons I
love you, too. You’re unashamedly different.”
silence fell, except this time a sweet bashfulness hung between the two.
exchanging ‘I love yous’ now?! Yes!” Penelope
whisper-screamed, punching the air. “My OTP grows stronger by the day. Derek, I
can see it now,” she murmured dreamily, placing her hand on his chest. “They’ll
have a spring wedding. JJ, Em, Tara, and I will help with the planning. We’ll
be bridesmaids! You’ll be the best man.” Garcia did a little happy dance, then suddenly
gasped. “And baby geniuses! Maybe this time we’ll get a goddaughter!”
be cool, baby, damn,” Morgan snickered.
goodness,” McKinley’s voice echoed from within the apartment, “look at the time,
Spencer! It’s nearly 9:00! We need to hustle if we’re gonna finish everything
before we have to head over to Rossi’s.” Morgan and Penelope could hear the two
moving around, packing up her guitar, setting mugs in the sink.
our cue to leave, Penelope. You know what, let’s take these cupcakes to the
front desk. If we drop them at the door and text Reid now…well, it’s bad enough
that we eavesdropped, but if he finds out, he’ll be mortified.”
I’ll write a note saying we figured he was still asleep and we didn’t want to disturb
minutes later, the two were walking arm-in-arm around the corner to Derek’s
rental car, Garcia enthusiastically discussing the details of the party she and
JJ had organized, and wondering out loud if McKinley had slept over at Reid’s.