Three Fears - Spencer Reid (drabble)
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“What are you so afraid of?” Spencer asked me as he watched me as intently as he was curious. His eyes were squinted, and I could tell he was looking for micro-expressions on my face. “You’re usually first one in, last one out in a case. You’re not afraid of heights, spiders, ants, ageing, flying…” He trailed off, continuing to list down a number of phobias.
“There are a lot of things I’m scared of, Spence,” I told him after a moment, gaining his attention once more. “They’re just not things you can see.” I walked to my bookshelf and gazed at the number of books I had collected over the years. All of them ranging from romance, to thriller, to Philosophy, to science. I was never one to stick to something. I was constantly changing.
“Like what?” He asked me. I crossed my arms, not knowing how to respond for a moment. I didn’t even know if I should. Spencer saw my hesitation and stated, “you can tell me anything.” His voice soft, and cracking just a little bit. I wondered if he was afraid of the same thing I was.
“I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove to people that I’m something,” I finally stated. I turned away from my books and faced him. His brown eyes watched me, which wasn’t something new. “I’ve spent my entire life trying to prove that I’m smart and that there’s more to me that meets the eye.”
“You are smart,” he assured me. I chuckled, shaking my head.
“No, Spence, I just read a lot,” I sighed. “You know, I have the memory of a goldfish. I can’t seem to make things stick to my head. AP Chemistry was exceedingly difficult because I’d forget concepts and equations in the blink of an eye. I tried writing them down, over and over and over again, but it didn’t seem to work. I tried to draw it, so I could think visually, but I couldn’t. I was decent, Spencer. I was a jack of all trades and a master of none.”
“That’s a good thing,” he told me.
“No,” I shook my head, “it really isn’t.” I sighed, looking around my apartment. “You know what it’s like not to have your thing? Not to have something comforting that you know you could do better than a lot of people? I never had that. I was just… decent.” Spencer’s gaze softened. “You’re a genius, Spence. An actual genius. You’re smart and you have this wonderful memory of yours, and I know it can be a curse at times, but, god, if I could have that—“ I cut myself off. “I don’t even remember what it was like to have a childhood because mine ended at seven.” I looked at Spencer, teary-eyed, and I saw something in him that told me that, while he didn’t know exactly what he was feeling, some sort of it was relatable.
“There you go,” I sighed, “that’s one of my fears: being average.”
“You’re not average.”
“I’m incredibly average, Spence, I just try my best not to show it,” I chuckled bitterly. “Another fear’s somewhere there too, in that little spiel. I hate not knowing. I’m scared of the unknown. Not in the sense I’m scared of what is unknown. I’m scared of the concept of it. I’m scared of not having answers because in most of my life, I couldn’t make sense of anything. There wasn’t any rhyme or reason. No answers.”
“What’s the other thing you’re scared of?” He asked after a moment. His voice was husky from being quiet for a longer time than he was used to. I sighed, walking toward him.
I walked beside him, but was facing the opposite way. He faced my bookshelves, and I faced my kitchen. I put my hand on his chest as I moved my head to look at him. His gaze stayed on my bookshelf before my eyes flickered down to my hand. I could feel his heartbeat, which relaxed me more than anything else ever could.
“I’m scared of falling,” I admitted. Spencer’s eyes furrowed, and in a swift movement, he turned his head toward me.
“Falling? Like, tripping over your feet falling? Falling off a building falling?”
I couldn’t help the fact the corners of my lips twitched upward wishfully. I wished that that was the kind of falling I was afraid of.
“No,” I answered, my voice barely above a whisper. “I’m scared of falling in more ways than one.”
My hand lingered for a moment more before I retracted it and looked away from him. “You should get back to Maeve, Spence,” I suggested. “I’ll see you at work tomorrow, okay?” I walked into my kitchen and I didn’t hear him respond for quite a while.
“Yeah,” I heard his voice reply slowly. He was so quiet that, if you hadn’t been listening or anticipating his reply, you wouldn’t be able to hear him at all. “Yeah. See you tomorrow.”
The next thing I heard was my front door shutting and I sighed, leaning against the sink. I wiped a single tear from my face before taking in a deep, shaky breath and went on with my night, starting with the dishes.