I do not own or have any rights to Criminal Minds or the characters created therein. This is a work of fan fiction with OC created by me. I have used artistic license in any scenes used from Criminal Minds to fit in with my OC. Credit with any such scenes goes to the writers of the story lines within Criminal Minds. Timing and Dates may have been modified to fit in with my storyline. Always appreciative of constructive criticism, please leave reviews.
The doors to the elevator came open and Morgan and Reid stepped forward together, not missing a beat in their conversation.
"I don't understand why you are arguing with me on this Reid," Morgan said with a cocky smile crossing his features. "If you don't go out with us once in a while, you know Garcia is just going to dog you until you fall in line…" Morgan stopped walking and shrugged. "You may as well save yourself the aggravation," he chuckled.
Reid sighed. He knew when he was being out maneuvered. "I thought Garcia said your sisters were coming in- isn't this going to be a family thing for you?" he asked, hoping to beg out.
"Spence, you guys are my family too," Morgan looked wounded.
Spencer glanced downward. "Well, umm, yeah, but I thought maybe you were looking for quality time with them. None of us get much of that," he scuffed feet against the carpet and lifted his eyes to meet Morgan's. He really hadn't meant to insult his friend.
Morgan clapped his hand to Spencer's shoulder. "You're not getting out of it that easily, kid," he teased. "Besides, this isn't a completely un-work related social – my sister who is coming in has been tapped to join the team. Garcia set this up so we could all meet up together before, and I quote, "all the icky stuff" is thrown on her plate. She met Scarlett some time ago and became close friends- so she feels like we should all meet on neutral ground," he explained.
Reid absorbed this information. He could see Garcia's point. The job had a way of quickly wearing some people down. If this Scarlett was joining the team, it would be a good idea to get to know her personally before she became jaded. He looked over to Morgan.
"I don't remember you having a sister named Scarlett," he inquired.
Morgan started walking towards the BAU offices. "Katy 'Scarlett' Ryan," he clarified. "She isn't a sister by blood. Her mom and mine were best of friends," he explained. "I know you met her at least once or twice, Reid. Little red-head, lots of attitude," he joked.
Spencer thought back to the few times he'd met Morgan's family. He remembered Morgan taking him and Garcia to his family's home over some holiday. Images of people flashed through his mind but he couldn't quite recall all the names.
"She pretty much grew up under our roof after her mom passed away," Derek was saying.
"And I couldn't have landed in a better place…"
Both Morgan and Reid turned towards the voice.
"Hey, there's my girl!" Morgan's smile lit up his face as he stepped away from the doors and opened his arms.
Reid watched as a very petite red head launched herself into Morgan's embrace. He shied away from them, giving them some personal space.
"What are you doing here today?" Derek asked as he swung the girl up against his chest for a bear hug. "I thought you weren't starting until Monday?"
Scarlett's smile matched Derek's. "I stopped by to fill out my paperwork," she answered and pulled back a bit from the embrace. "While I'm here, I thought I'd scope out the BAU offices." She turned her smile towards Reid.
"Hey, Spence," she said, pulling him into the conversation. Reid stepped forward clutching his messenger bag to his front. He gave a slight smile and a brief wave.
Her laugh was a soft throaty chuckle. Spencer felt a small current of electricity fissure up his spine at the sound. His brain took in her total appearance in about ten seconds, from her long reddish brown hair that hung in a thick braid down her back, the cream colored skin dusted with freckles, to a leather jacket and white ribbed t-shirt over black low rise jeans, then down to the thick engineer boots on her feet. His glance included a helmet latched onto the leather duffel that she'd dropped to the floor. As he lifted his gaze to meet hers, he found himself drowning in deep sea green eyes. He felt his mouth go dry and his pulse thrum in his ears as he suddenly recalled meeting her. In a few heartbeats, he realized he'd been staring; Spencer blushed and took a sudden interest in the toe of his shoes. Scarlett's grin widened.
"You haven't changed, Dr. Reid," she teased. Spencer watched her move a few steps closer. As she stood before him, she tugged on the strap of his messenger bag, brushing her fingers against the back of his hand.
His mind took him back as a memory cleared. He'd come with Morgan to visit his family after a tough case had brought them to Chicago. He had been looking to step away from the chatter in the kitchen and followed the sounds of music; she was standing by a window, wrapped in a thick oversized sweater that made her appear even smaller, listening to the song that was playing. He remembered thinking that she'd looked like she'd been crying; those haunted eyes had stuck with him.
'Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt,' he'd said nervously, stepping back to the door.
She'd offered a sad smile, with a shrug. 'You're not interrupting,' she'd said softly. 'Music is meant to be shared.' Those eyes held him.
Struggling to look away from her intense gaze, he said the first thing that came into his mind. 'It gets better…' he saw a slight change in her composure and wondered if he should have just kept his mouth shut.
'What?' she asked.
Nervously, he shifted his feet, unable to break contact with her gaze. 'The pain,' he said quietly. 'It doesn't go away, but it gets better in time…' he half expected her to tell him to mind his own business, but instead just cocked her head and watched him. 'Sorry,' he muttered, backing away again.
Another memory shifted forward; Morgan had dragged him along to family picnic a few months after Maeve had been murdered, insisting he get away from Virginia for a while. He'd been trying to hide away from the chaos that came with large family gatherings when he'd run into her again, literally. He'd turned a corner and she was chasing a runaway toddler and they bumped into each other. He'd instinctively reached out to steady her and found himself holding on. Her eyes locked on to his and when she smiled he felt his heart bump up into his throat.
'Sorry, we have an escapee from nap time,' she'd said with that throaty chuckle. She'd scooped up the baby that was now struggling between them and he dropped his arms. She moved away to carry the child back in the direction she'd come from. 'Gotta get you back to your mama, pumpkin…' she was telling the baby. She turned back to look at Spencer once more before entering the house. 'You were right, farm boy… it's gotten better,' she'd said in reference to their last conversation, as if it had just happened instead of having been months prior. She watched him closely for another minute before telling him 'It's your turn to remember that now,' with a gentle smile. He stood watching her retreat dumbfounded as she disappeared into the glass doors.'
"Grab that for me, will you farm boy?" she asked cheekily, indicating her duffel as she moved thru the door Derek was holding open. He was grinning and shaking his head.
"Don't get him going baby girl," he laughingly scolded.
"Farm boy?" Spencer said at the same time, frowning. "I'm from Vegas…" he reached down, picked up the bag and followed behind them. "You can't get much further from a farm than Vegas," he continued.
Scarlett stopped at Morgan's desk and took her items from him, depositing them to the floor. She leaned a hip against the desk and looked curiously at Reid.
"Please don't tell me you've never heard of the Dread Pirate Roberts?" She shook her head at his blank stare. Rolling her eyes, she clarified, "The Princess Bride?"
Spencer shrugged his shoulders. "I don't watch much television or movies," he stated in response.
"Inconceivable!" Scarlett laughingly teased him and Morgan shook his head. Sighing, she reached over and rubbed Reid's upper arm.
"It's okay farm boy. I'll work on you…"
Derek picked up the helmet from the bag. A look of concern crossed his face.
"Please tell me you did not ride in all the way here…"
Spencer watched Scarlett turn a raised eyebrow towards Morgan and stood straighter.
"Why did anyone really think I would leave Juliet behind?" she shook her head. "You all really do not know me…"
Morgan set the helmet down on his desk and sighed. "We all do know you- and feel the need to try to keep you alive," he countered.
She tapped a pink painted nail against the helmet. "I was careful. I stopped a lot and watched myself."
Morgan looked over to Spencer for help. "Do you have stats on motorcycle accidents that you can rattle off to my little sis here?" he asked.
"For this past year? Or during a longer time period? Of course, the statistics vary based on geographical area…" Reid stopped as something occurred to him. "Wait. Juliet is a motorcycle?" he asked Scarlett.
She turned that 1000 watt smile towards him and Reid felt his breath catch.
"You know it. She's my baby; built her from the frame up."
"You rode a motorcycle all the way from Chicago to Virginia?" he asked, shooting a look towards Morgan.
"Oh, no… you two are not going to trade looks over my head. There is nothing wrong with my bike, and I am perfectly capable of riding her wherever I need to go!" She crossed her arms and challenged either of them to say something against her edict.
Reid didn't understand the nuance of her words. His mind was already filtering through the statistical information he had summoned while picturing this tiny fairy-like girl before him speeding down the highway on the back of two wheels and an engine. The idea both worried and awed him.
"Technically, most accidents that happen to motorcycle enthusiasts are due to other vehicles on the road, other drivers not paying attention and causing these accidents. The fatalities are higher just from the nature of the design…" he trailed off as he noticed Morgan grinning and Scarlett's bemused expression. "Sorry," he muttered.
Scarlett shook her head. "Spence, half the fun of it is the danger," she told him with a wink. A little more darkly, she added, "And I am not a 'motorcycle enthusiast', farm boy. I am a biker. You need to learn that distinction." She moved past him, casually brushing a finger along his jawline.
Morgan coughed to cover a laugh at the look that came across Reid's face. It seemed to be something between fear and longing. Shaking his head, he wondered how long it would take before their resident genius figured out that baby sister had a full blown crush on him. It would be interesting to find out.