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Distance

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Distance

I Wish We Would Just Give Up

 

Here it was, the moment of truth.  The end of the third date.

The third date was when you went from casually dating someone to dating them.  There was at least some level of commitment there, if things don’t work you have officially wasted your time.  It’s not like the first date where it’s just one evening wasted away, or the second date where it was maybe a few weeks of talking to someone.  Three dates meant things were going at least an entire month.  In your case, it was more like two months with the way cases kept filing into the BAU.  It wasn’t necessary that a long-term commitment come out, but it was the proverbial gateway to a long-term commitment.

To make matters more complicated, the third date marked an agreement between you and Spencer.  If things went well, you’d tell the rest of the team you were dating.  If things didn’t go well, you’d call it quits.  No harm, no foul, go back to being friends and coworkers, and just…not tell the others.

It had become clear that would be easier said than done after the Reaper killed Haley.  You’d postponed any attempts at a date, out of reverence and the fact the two of you agreed you needed to focus on being there for Hotch and Jack.  Though, weeks later, it was time for everyone to keep going on with their lives again, but there was no ignoring the complications.  If things continued, it was clear just how much danger would surround the two of you.  You were, to be completely honest, the exact type most unsubs chased after, and it’s not like Spencer hadn’t gained the attention of unsubs himself.  Even if things were going well…

It was something the two of you had honestly discussed over dinner, in detail.

Spencer had walked you back to your apartment door, the Reaper had set everyone on edge even more than most cases, and then stayed behind to make sure you got inside safely.  The date had started like the others.  Spencer had arrived right on time while you were still fumbling with a few things, and so you made him swear to keep his eyes closed until you told him otherwise.  He’d laugh every time, reminding you that you were beautiful no matter what you looked like, but you’d still reply that kissing your ass wasn’t going to get him anywhere. 

You’d finally be done closer to ten minutes later because Spencer kept distracting you, but when you told him to open his eyes again, he’d always have the same reaction.  He’d look at you with that heart-wrenching look of adoration before gently cupping your cheeks in his hands and pulling you in for a deeply loving kiss that made you week in the knees.  You'd never met someone who treated you like that before, someone who cared for you so purely, that you were just left speechless.

The ending of the last two dates varied a little.  After the first date you’d pulled him inside your apartment because he’d never seen The Princess Bride.  The next day you’d asked him to get you a cup of coffee from the break room as you were buried in your own paperwork – you had a large cubicle and still turned a few desk drawers into shelves – and blushed so furiously when he replied with ‘as you wish,’ that you barely managed to squeak out a ‘thank you’ when he’d gotten back.  After the second date you found yourself giggling as you made out on your couch.  You’d just gotten back from a film festival and couldn’t help but teasing Spencer – in French all because he’d questioned your knowledge of the language when he suggested the outing – before he pulled you over and started tickling you – the jerk. 

The ending to this date was going to be wildly different.

You turned around after stepping into your apartment, still holding your tan clutch in your hand, in front of your mid-thigh length pale peach colored skirt matched with a white long-sleeve shirt decorated in pale leafy patterns that were almost impossible to see. 

You used your free hand to comb through your honey-blonde hair, you’d left it down for once as Spencer once – absentmindedly – mentioned you looked pretty with it down.  That had been months before you started dating, you’d been in too much of a rush to get to the precinct from the hotel during a case and planned on putting your hair up when you got there.  Spencer, who had yet to wake up as he wasn’t even half-way through his first cup of coffee, furrowed his brow and tilted his head as if he was noticing something new about you and casually stated that you look pretty with your hair down.

He then started scrambling to add that you always look pretty, but he’d just never seen you with your hair down before, and then there was a clumsy explanation that keeping your hair up gave a better view of your striking sky-blue eyes.  It was sweet, the intentions were good, and considering your already strong feelings towards the genius you rather enjoyed the compliments.

Just like then, he couldn’t quite meet your gaze, hands tucked into his pockets as he looked off to the side, it almost looked like he was just staring at the doorknob of your front door.  You needed to say something.  It wasn’t the turn of events either of you wanted, but it was what needed to happen.  You had both agreed on it, and it wasn’t his fault.

“Hey.”  You cut into his thoughts, bringing him out of his mind in a way only you’d been able to, and just with one word.  It was like you were made…no, know he couldn’t think about that.  He could just listen to you as you spoke.

“We’re making the right decision.”

“I know.”  He nodded and agreed, trying desperately not to look heartbroken as he stared into your eyes.  He had to stop doing that, he had to stop staring into your eyes or he’d never leave without kissing you.  He knew it was the right thing to do, you’d both talked about that and weighed your options, considered the facts as they were, the statistics, and made a clear decision, but that didn’t help with the hollow feeling in his chest. 

Spencer knew there was something else you weren’t telling him.  Something from your past that haunted you.  You’d admitted to ending up in the system, you’d admitted to the abuse your foster father put you and your foster-siblings through.  After a certain age, though, you refused to speak about what happened.  Spencer never pushed but…you were the type to talk about things you’d gotten over, and keep silent about the things that still haunted you.  The way you pulled away from everyone after a ghost from Hotch’s past created a tragedy made it obvious you were worried the same thing would happen to you.

It had only been three dates, it wasn’t anything serious, but he still found himself heartbroken.

“I’ll see you on Monday.”  He offered a small smile, his heart wasn’t in it, before leaving.

“See you,” you replied just before Spencer turned to leave, slowly closing the door and locking it out of habit.  After your first date, you leaned back against your door as you held back your girlish squeal and the urge to skip through your apartment.  After the second date you just had this warm feeling, like when you sipped on a nice cup of hot tea on a cold day.  Now you were leaning back against it and suppressing the urge to just slide to the floor and sit there for hours, recognizing that hollow feeling of being alone start to take over.  You had been used to this feeling, completely numb to it, and part of you wished you hadn't let the team as a whole - and Spencer in particular - convince you to chase that feeling away.

You wished things could be different but…

It wouldn’t be the first time Cat killed someone you loved, a boy named Jacob you had naively thought you’d spend the rest of your life with, all because she perceived he had hurt you.  You had cut off all contact, went into hiding, created an entirely new identity within the FBI with the help of the FBI.  You hadn’t seen or heard from her in years.  For all intents and purposes, you were safe.

You couldn’t let what happened to your first love happen to Spencer too.

Not when you feared you loved Spencer far more than anyone you loved before.