“How’s the family reunion going?” Emily wasn’t asking to tease you, she was legitimately worried about how you were doing. It was easy to tell when your mother was in town. Normally you tied your long hair into a ponytail or in a hairclip, but instead you had bothered with a side braid down the left side of your face with a few strands loose on the right side. You always had a light smoky-eye, but this was the first time you’d bothered with lipstick since the last time you were undercover. Then there you’re your shoes. You normally wore boots, flats, something that was easy to maneuver in, but you had chosen heels instead. Adding in the fact that you had spent most of your day in the break room and just staring into space as you stirred creamer into your coffee, and it was clear your mother was in town.
You weren’t ugly, in fact you were quite the opposite, but your mother was always brutally critical. It only got worse when she found out that, not only had you studied to be a Forensic Anthropologist but you now chased down the worst criminals by getting into their heads and predicting what they’d do next. Because dates weren’t hard enough to get when you worked in law enforcement, you had to work in a particularly dark part. If you weren’t examining bodies far too decomposed or burnt for local coroners to make any sense of, you were trying to break into the mind of the crazed or chasing them down in a bulletproof vest.
“Apparently my ears aren’t my best feature, my apartment is never clean enough which is weird since I’m barely there, and my mother is glad to pay for my brother’s wedding because she’s afraid it’s the only wedding she and the old man will get to pay for,” you reported as you sat back in your desk chair, holding one edge of your capped felt-tip pen in each hand, “Which is a little interesting because this his second wife and they’ve known each other for maybe a year. With how my brother is there’s at least one more on the horizon, he’s never going to stop trying to scam people, and he’s the favorite.”
“You talked to your father?” Morgan couldn’t help but ask as he got his own coffee.
“Johnny has, I’m still pissed he forgot to bring home that milk he said he’d get when I was thirteen,” you lightheartedly explained exactly where you stood before taking a sip of your now room-temperature coffee, “Not sure what to do about the five-year-old little sister.”
“A study by the University of Georgia stated that women that are critical of their daughters do so to prepare them for the world, to try and push them to do better than their predecessors,” Spencer spoke up, trying to give you the comfort that your mother was, likely, just trying to do right by you.
“That exact same study also showed that women with hypercritical mothers have comparatively poor social skills, unhealthy eating habits, low self-esteem, and hate their bodies,” you pointed out, though you weren’t snappish as you knew he was just trying to help and even said as much with a soft smile, “Thanks for trying to help, Spence, it was sweet and I appreciate it.”
That was the thing about talking with you, something that specifically stuck out to Spencer. Every time he spouted off something he’d read somewhere, you’d either have a retort or something to add. You didn’t have a 187 IQ, but 167 was still far above average and he could tell just by talking to you. Your memory was sharp too, not eidetic memory sharp, but you could still remember details most people couldn’t. The biggest difference, however, was there were parts of you that were just so…normal. You’d drop the books and the studies, you’d leave the lab and the job to go outside and smell the roses. You’d enjoy the moment for what it was, nothing more than a single moment to sit and enjoy without picking apart the details.
Sometimes a book is just a book. Sometimes a movie is just a movie. Sometimes a flower is just a flower. Sometimes a moment is just a moment. Life is short, take enjoyment in the simple things while you can. Don’t be stupid, but keep hope alive. Become the light in the abyss, because you won’t find it in the places you’re going, and you need it to face the people your chasing. It was all very…Shakesperean. As the English playwright had said…
Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to none.
You were the brightest light out of all of them, the one that knew exactly how to pick up your fallen team and keep them going. Even in Spencer’s darkest times, you’d kept him going. He’d been smitten with you since you walked into the BAU years ago. You were witty, kind, brilliant…he only fell harder and harder as time went on. The only catch was, as he fell harder and harder, he was less and less willing to confess and risk losing you as a friend. Dr. Spencer Reid would – by far – rather pine after you or watch you find happiness with someone else than risk losing you as his friend.
It was a conversation he’d had with Morgan, over drinks, and the older profiler wasn’t about to try and convince the genius otherwise. Morgan’s suspicion that you harbored your own feelings for Reid wasn’t enough to tell the doctor to go for it. Not until he could sit you down and get you to spill, anyway. After that Reid got infected with that anthrax a week ago, you weren’t about to leave his side. Stuck with him on the ambulance, sat by his hospital bed and slapped Morgan upside the head before leaving to replace the Jell-O he’d stolen from your friend. You’d even bought that set of hair-ties and dropped it on his desk with a slap. No words were said, just your teasing smirk and his stunned eyes before you made your way back to your desk. It was pretty obvious, at least to someone looking for the signs, but with your family in town…it wasn’t exactly the time…
“There’s a new exhibit at the Smithsonian, they found hidden remains of Roman warriors mummified in Egypt and have them on display for the next few days.” Spencer looked up at you with those damn puppy eyes as he suggested something to do. He would be the one taking you, of course, but his invitations tended to be simply stating that there was something else to do. You had to admit, that sounded fascinating. Now, the only question was whether or not an evening with Spencer at a museum was worth the following nagging about missing a family dinner.
“That sounds great,” you smiled as you brought your coffee mug to your lips, already excited for you new plans for the evening.
Yeah, it was totally worth it.