Fandom: Criminal Minds
Word Count: 2,498
Summary: Spencer Reid isn't a girl.
Author's Note: Ah~! My first ever Criminal Minds fic period! I actually, am a bit excited about seeing what you guys think! I've been fighting doing an angsty!Reid fic for a while now, but I was having a conversation and something someone said sparked something in my head. So I had to get it out *sigh* and now I have this. Comments are always welcome, even if you want to tell me I did a craptastic job; also I'm completely betaless, so if you spot a mistake let me know and I'll fix it. =3
the act or the state of expecting
the act or state of looking forward or anticipating
an expectant mental attitude
something expected; a thing to look forward to
the degree of probability that something will occur
the state of being expected
Spencer Reid isn't a girl. He's never wanted to be one, and he's never actually thought he particularly acted like one. He doesn't even particularly consider himself gay; although he supposed that since he'd never actually felt the urge to do anything sexual to a woman and often had to fight the urge to find out what it'd be like to do certain things with men, that he might actually be gay. Whether he considered himself to be or not.
So he isn't sure what to think when he hears Derek tell Penelope that men don't love without some kind of expectation. His friend had even turned to Spencer with a small smirk, “Hell pretty boy, even you would expect something if you were in love.” Spencer just blinked and he didn't need to look at Penelope to see the flash of pain in her eyes. Spencer knew that arguing it in the middle of a coffee shop was useless, and could end with slightly embarrassing consequences so he shook his head and shrugged not meeting Derek's direct gaze.
But Spencer knew his friend was wrong, because even as he settled himself back at his desk after they'd returned from their mid-morning coffee run he allowed himself a brief glance up towards Hotch's office he felt the quiet warmth spread through his chest at the glimpse of the older man.
He doesn't have to force himself to look way because he knows better than to let himself linger when looking at the other man. Spencer knows it's stupid to be more than half in love with the man who is for all intensive purposes his boss, it didn't really matter that for the moment Derek had taken his job title. But even as he worked through the inevitable paperwork that was the result of finishing a case, he felt something twisting in his gut and couldn't help but find what Morgan had said echoing through his mind.
“Even you would expect something if you were in love.”
Spencer shook his head; he had no illusions about what would happen if Hotch ever found out, but he also wasn't going to deny how he felt to himself. So the question remained, did he have expectations for something to develop between them? He wasn't sure he was comfortable with that thought, Spencer didn't want to expect anything. He just wanted Hotch happy.
But no matter how much he tried to convince himself that he didn't have expectations his mind would flash back to being jolted awake hot, sweaty, and decidedly sticky from images of Hatch that were definitely not proper or in anyway chaste. Spencer thoughtfully found himself chewing on his lower lip, wondering what kind of expectations Derek really thought men in love should have.
He even went so far as to look up expectation in the dictionary, even though he knew what it meant already. The definition he found made him feel if anything, worse the idea he had “a thing to look forward to” turned his stomach.
Spencer had never been one to sit by and let something like that bother him, so he shortly found himself in Morgan's new office rapping at the door. When his friend waved him in with a smile, Spencer couldn't bring himself to respond in kind while he shut the door behind himself. Derek studied him for a moment silently before motioning to a chair, “What can I do for ya kid?”
Spencer shook his head and kept standing, “I was wondering what you meant by expectations.”
Derek blinked at him, “What?”
Spencer felt an eyebrow raise, “At lunch, you said that when men are in love we have expectations. What kind of expectations did you mean? Physical? Emotional? Psychological?”
Derek frowned at him, “All of those I guess, why?”
Spencer realized it had been a mistake to come ask Derek, because he'd already known that his friend was wrong. He might be in love with Hotch, but he didn't have any expectations. Unfortunetly something still niggled at his stomach. He nodded distractedly at Derek's questions and left the office, without allowing himself a glance into Hotch's office, to go back to his desk.
He wasn't expecting it when he felt a hand settle softly on his shoulder and glanced up to see Penelope, her smile was understanding “Come on suger, I think you and I need to have a bit of a talksies.” Spencer just blinked and nodded before following her to her office. It felt surreal to watch her close the door firmly and he felt himself settle cross-legged on the floor feeling hopelessly young as she settled in her chair and turned to face him. “Now what has Derek calling me up in such a tizzy, hm? Although I think I can see it already.”
Spencer felt himself blink at her again before looking down and shrugging, “I...don't have expectations. Is that bad? And how do I know what kind of expectations he meant? And is it that odd to not have expectations when you're in...” He felt himself trail off and turn a beet red.
Penelope looked floored, “That's what's gotten you all wound up like a cuckoo clock ?”
Spencer forced himself not to bury his face in his hands and nodded solemnly, attempting to salvage at least a bit of his dignity. “Oh Spencer.” Penelope sighed, and pulled him up into a slightly awkward hug “You're in love with someone, and that...that...man got you all confused didn't he.” The glower in her voice didn't bode well for Derek Morgan when she got her hands on him and Spencer felt himself smile a little.
She pulled him back slightly and studied his face before affectionately brushing his hair behind his ears, “Now tell me all about it.” He blinked at her blankly and she pouted in an almost comical fashion, “I want details Reid! You've been holding out on me! I want her name, who she is, how you know her, and why on earth you haven't told me before now! Emily and JJ are going to be so pissed you haven't told them either!” Spencer sat staring at her with wide eyes as she rattled on and on and on until she finally stopped and raised an eyebrow, “It isn't JJ or Emily, is it?”
He shook his head frantically, “NO! And you can't tell them!” at her indignant squawk of protest he just held up his hands, “No one can know how I feel about him-”
They both froze, and Spencer felt his eyes grow impossibly wider and Penelope's face was almost comically shocked. Finally the moment ended when Penelope whispered loudly, “HE? Spencer! You've not just been holding out on us you've...you're...” She shook her head, “Why didn't you tell us? Wasn't there that thing you had for JJ for awhile...I mean...?”
Spencer felt his face grow hot again and shook his head, “JJ is really cool, and I enjoy spending time with her but it was never like that, no matter how much Morgan wanted there to be more to it.”
Penelope's eyes narrowed again, “He has a lot to answer for that one.” She looked at him and her eyes narrowed further, “I have a deal for you.” She held up her hand before he could protest even as one was forming in his throat, “Ah, hear me out. This wont just be a normal tell all session with you're friendly neighborhood Mama-Bear. This will be an exchange of information, complete tit for tat. I will tell you who I have feelings for, allow you to ask a few follow up questions, and then you will do the same for me. Dealio?”
Spencer frowned, “You're relationship with Kevin is hardly a secret.”
Penelope frowned at him, “Kevin is not who I'm talking about. At all. I mean he's great and all, but he isn't...” She paused and pointed at him, “Do we have a deal or not Spencer Reid. Because what I'm about to tell you is Top Secret, you can't tell anyone. Ever. I've got a lot of people fooled here, and you can't ruin that got me?”
Spencer felt himself nodding almost before he realized what he was doing, and Penelope sighed “I have feelings for a certain Derek Morgan that we all know and love.”
Spencer blinked, before frowning “SO not fair! Of course you do! You two flirt all the time, and it's obvious that it's just...it's just....” He trailed off and the expression on Penelope's face. “It's not “just” anything is it! You! You've been holding out on us too!” She tried for a grin and failed, and Spencer felt like an ass. “If um, it makes you feel any better your distraction technique has been completely effective in fooling me, and everyone else.”
Then Penelope did smile, if a bit smugly, and Spencer felt less like an ass. “I knew it'd work, hiding in plain sight is seriously the best way to hide something. If they can see something, but not realize it's being hidden they'll completely dismiss it.”
Reid nodded, “That's...that's actually really clever?” She gave him a slight glare and he held up his hands in a pacifying gesture “Very clever, I haven't come up with something that clever for my own problem.”
Her glare softened, “Well, you get good at hiding that kind of thing when you're me.”
“So why...?” Spencer shrugged “Why the charade at all? I know why I haven't told, but Derek does flirt back.”
Penelope raised an eyebrow, “I know better than to ask a question I already know the answer to. Our dear Derek Morgan might like to dance and flirt around with me, but I am not ultimately the girl he takes home.”
Spencer frowned, “But you don't know that unless you ask him. You can't know his answer for sure until you ask.”
Penelope frowned and poked him in the chest, “You mister, don't need to worry about that. All you need to do now is tell me what you've been hiding, hm?”
Spencer sighed, “Yeah well, I don't...I'm not...good at telling people things like this.” He sat in silence for a few moments, and sighed again when she poked him, “Hotch. Okay? It's Hotch.”
The silence was thick for a few moments before Penelope finally broke it with, “Well you don't do anything by halves do you lover boy?”
Spencer choked, “W-what do you mean?”
“Well just how long have you been in the pining business Cupid? 'Cause I might be good at hiding in plain sight but you're just plain good at hiding!” She sounded impressed, and as Spencer finally glanced back up at her he didn't see any scorn on her face so he gave a small sigh of relief. “So seriously, how long have you been suffering in silence mon comrade?”
Spencer heaved a sigh, “A long time. I mean, I don't know how to make it stop and I didn't even think of it as a possibility so I didn't take any precautionary measures-”
“Precautionary measures? In love?” The curiousity was evident in Penelope's voice even as Spencer winced.
“Yeah, you know...like heading it off by not allowing yourself to see that person in that light? I did it with Morgan, because he seemed far more likely for me to develop feelings for since he's closer to my age, attractive, and he doesn't mind having me around most of the time.” Penelope just blinked at him, and he sighed “I learned early on that it's easier to head that sort of thing off. It'd gotten to be second nature to me, but I guess...” He trailed off and bit his lip thoughtfully.
Penelope gave him a small understanding smile, “The supreme leader of us all was a bit too much for your mega-anti-love shield?”
Reid nodded glumly, “and if Morgan's right, something's wrong with me. Unless I do have expectations, which I don't think I do, sometimes...” he glanced down and felt his cheeks go red yet again “sometimes I want things, but...is that considered expectation? I don't know anymore, this...this isn't something I can quantify or use statistics against. I don't understand it, and I hate that.” He sighed, “Expectations just makes it sound like...like I wanted something to happen to make him mine or something. I don't think I even really want anything to happen ever, it'd ruin his career possibly. I didn't want anything to happen to Haley, she and Jack make him happy. And no matter how many times I might want other things, I always want him happy. It's just...I don't know how to explain it.”
Penelope's smile grew and she pulled him into another hug, “Spencer, you don't have expectations hun, in my own opinion I think you're a bit too unselfish with this whole deal. You're allowed to want things for yourself. But no Spence, dearest, you don't have expectation. You have hope. And that is in no way a bad thing.”
Spencer felt himself bury his face into her comfortable shoulder, “I'm allowed to hope then?” He felt lighter knowing that it wasn't something as petty and selfish as expectations he was feeling.
Penelope's laugh was gentle, “Honey Bun, if I'm allowed to hope, you're allowed to hope. So yes. We really should think about telling the girls though. Because when they find out, they'll be mad.”
Spencer sighed, but was saved from responding by a short knock and Morgan sticking his head in. “Whoa am I interrupting something?” Reid heard something clatter and a small “hey!” and then he pulled away to see one of Penelope's fuzzy pens laying on the ground in front of Morgan, “Girl when did you get an arm?”
Penelope scowled at him, “When you started behaving like an ass!”
Morgan gave an indignant, “What'd I do?!”
But before she could respond Spencer Reid stood up and sent his friend a smile, “It doesn't matter, you were wrong at lunch though. I have hopes, not expectations.” and he strode past the other man with renewed purpose, leaving Penelope Garcia with a large grin and Derek Morgan speechless.
"Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another's personhood."