You stopped running when you reached the top step of the Lincoln Memorial, wiping sweat from your forehead and finally catching your breath. You took the headphones out of your ears and put them in your pocket. It was only 6:30am, a little earlier than you’d planned on getting there- sunrise wasn’t for at least another 20 minutes. It was your absolute favorite time of day, you always thought watching the world come alive felt like magic.
You’d woken before your alarm and started your run earlier than anticipated. As usual, there were few people around- some had dogs, others were running. However, unlike usual, there was another person atop the steps of the Lincoln. He had his back to you, reading the Memorial Wall, so you could only see that he was tall, with tousled brown hair and a messenger bag thrown over his shoulder. He wore jeans and a light jacket and would run his hands through his hair ever so often. Without thinking, you stepped toward the wall, standing next to the guy.
“You know, the word ‘future’ was misprinted up there- they spelled it with an E accidentally. You can still see where they tried to cover it up,” you said, even though you rarely spoke to strangers.
“What? Uh, oh yeah. I did know that!” the stranger said softly, his voice oddly soothing, “you know the Lincoln Statue itself is nearly double the size the original plans had intended?” You smiled, already knowing that.
“Yeah, and about 40% of the Memorial is actually underground- even though most of that is just supports for the external structure” you quipped back happily. The man finally turned to look at you, surprise written across his face.
“Yeah…” he said, still speaking softly, “I’m uh..Dr. Reid..uh Dr.Spencer…uh Reid”.
“Dr.?” you said incredulously. Seeing his face, you would have thought he was an undergrad, maybe a new graduate student.
“Uh yeah I have um 3 PhDs…I um…did them young,” he blushed, which you found endearing.
“Well hello Dr. Reid. I’m Y/N. I actually thought maybe you were a student at GW, too”.
His eyes followed your glance to the sweatshirt you were wearing, which displayed your school name. Conversation flowed easily between the two of you for a while- you learned that he worked for the BAU and loved Washington, DC but had grown up in Las Vegas. He had told you to call him Spencer, and had stopped stumbling over his words as he realized how interested in them you were. You, in turn, told him about growing up in a tiny town and coming to DC for college and how you had loved undergrad so much, you were staying for a master’s degree. He asked the perfect questions and seemed genuinely interested in your answers.
In what felt like 5 minutes, the sun you had come to see was ascending over the Washington Monument, setting the Reflecting Pool on fire with its reds and yellows and illuminating the Capitol Building, in all of its scaffolded glory. You watched the sunrise with a smile, fixated on how the Mall just seemed to light up, but you could feel Spencer’s eyes on you. Once the sun had taken its place in the sky, you turned around to face him. He looked mesmerized, exactly how you felt about seeing the city awaken.
Suddenly, you felt his arms around your waist, pulling you closer- and slightly off balance. You laughed out of surprise and he steadied you and tilted your chin upwards, before pressing his lips to your own. You were stunned- you didn’t exactly make a habit of kissing strangers in public places- but the kiss was soft and sweet and you reciprocated until Spencer pulled back, blushing furiously. He took two steps back and looked at the ground before mumbling.
“Y/N, I..I’m sorry, I..I um I don’t do things um like that. Never. I don’t k-know what came over me… I’m sorry!” he looked like he was worried you were going to slap him or call the police.
“Don’t! Don’t be sorry, it was…nice. I don’t make a habit of kissing strangers though, so I’m going to have to see you again. Here,” you said boldly. It wasn’t like you, but there was just something about him- and he was an excellent kisser. You handed him a business card, since you always had at least 1 with you, “call me soon.”
He accepted the card with a smile and promised he would. With that, you waved and made your way down the stairs of the Lincoln and jogged toward your apartment. Sunrise had solidified itself as your favorite time of day.