Playing Games by JuliaBC

A/N: To SpenceFTW since your PM box is turned off...

You bring up a fair point. I did take that into consideration, finally concluding that Reid has been clean for enough years that, one night out of many, the team would let him get drunk with them. They'd all been drinking, Emily wasn't even noticing that Reid was until he'd already downed three shots of his own volition.

I didn't see it as the team egging him on; Rossi notes immediately that Reid has had three drinks, Hotch cuts them both off, and even all of Emily's lines are warning him not to do it.

Granted, Emily's words come off as more of a challenge, but no one was encouraging him, they just were recognizing that he can make his own decision to drink, on a night where they were all, probably, trying to forget the world around them a little. Hotch warns Reid at the end that he'll probably regret his decision, but I really also think that Hotch would let Reid make that decision.

I take the matter of addiction very seriously, but this was one night out of many and I didn't view it as a danger point for Reid to get drunk.

Reid stirred awake, a doggy face near his.

"Thanks for bringing him by, I wasn't sure if I'd wake you or not."


His foggy mind cleared and he sat up, Poe jumping onto the bed with him.

He was in a room he didn't recognize, and his mind was horrifyingly slow at processing his surroundings. He finally noticed the pattern of the wallpaper and a light fixture, pinpointing it as Kate's house.

He was hungover.

He should feel more worried about it. He knew he should. Addicts of any sort were warned to stay away from alcohol.

He clutched at his head, as there was a soft knock at the door and a very nice smell came into the room.


"Hey," Kate greeted, voice blessedly soft. "Considering that you came here to get Poe, I asked Travis if he'd mind bringing him over here."

She set the mug next to him, helping him sit up straighter. "Do you want to move to the chair?" She wondered. "It'll be easier to sit up there."

She didn't know about his former addiction troubles, did she?

He let her help him into the chair.

"First, drink water," she said. "Before the coffee, please."

There was already a large glass of water on the bedside table, probably brought in at an earlier time. He took the glass and slowly started to drink from it.

"You okay?" She asked, as he finished the glass and she let him have the coffee. "Remember much from last night?"

He took a sip of the coffee, feeling almost human. Poe curled up by his feet, and Reid let himself stay in the moment. Someone was worrying about him. It felt good to just sit here and let it happen.

"Emily," he said softly. "I remember her smile. And Hotch's glare."

"Sounds like an evening to remember," Kate said. "Which all the more begs the question, why would you get drunk?"

"I think some things finally caught up to me," Reid confessed. "I'm not saying it excuses my behavior but there was just this moment last night..." He frowned. "I reached for a glass, a shot. I remember just deciding to do it." He met her gaze. "I've been high before, but never that drunk."

She blinked at him, and crouched down by the chair. "I really don't recommend playing these YOLO games," she murmured, pushing hair back from his forehead.

"YOLO?" He asked.

"You only live once," she said. "People use it to excuse the stupidest of behavior."

He nodded. "It wasn't that. I was just tired." He handed her the mug, hand shaking a little. "Tired of being the one with the past."

"Everyone there has a past," she said, her soft voice soothing him. "I had Travis bring some of your clothes too, and I've got an extra toothbrush. How about you go get cleaned up? Or do I need to get Chris in there with you?"

"I can do it," he said, pulling Poe onto his lap. The puppy was getting to be a dog; soon he'd be too big to cuddle like this. Reid let Poe lick his face, burying his face in the dog's soft fur.

Kate nodded. "Bathroom is two doors down on the left," she said. "If you aren't done in half an hour, I will come in to see if you've passed out."

There was a ring on her doorbell at a little past 11. Reid sat in the kitchen, pretending to eat the food Kate had served him, trying to remember the night before, and flinching away from the sound.

Meg and Chris were gone, to school and work, and Kate walked past him to open it, Jamie in her arms.

Poe was very comfortably curled up in the other room, looking like that was where he always slept at Kate's house.

"Hey," he heard Kate say. "Emily, right?"

"Kate," he heard the other woman greet, and he stood up quickly, regretting it when it renewed his headache.

"He's so adorable," he heard Emily coo. "Can I hold him? James, yes?"

"Jamie," Kate said, and soon the two women were coming into the kitchen.

Emily was wearing sunglasses.

Reid wished for a pair himself.

"Hey, Spencer," Emily greeted, looking unusual with a baby in her arms. "How are you feeling after last night?"

There was clear worry in her tone, and he smiled to hear it, wincing when that, too, aggravated his head.

He sat back down on the stool, looking down at his breakfast again; scrambled eggs.

"I could ask you the same question, but I'm guessing it's similar to how you felt the morning of Hotch's race," Reid said.

"Pretty much identical," Emily agreed. "How'd you know?" Her voice was heavy with sarcasm, which cleared when she stepped forward. "You're okay, right?"

"I'm fine," he said. "And I'm going to do exactly as you told me last night and never do it again."

"You remember that?" Emily said, delight in her voice. "I don't! But it sounds like me. I think."

She looked at the room around her; the accessible, light colored kitchen.

Reid wondered if Kate knew that Emily was profiling her, but Kate had slipped to the sink to finish up some dishes and was letting them have a conversation.

"How'd you know I was here?" Reid finally asked.

"Hotch told me," she said, dismissing the question.

"How did Hotch know?" Reid asked. "I don't remember all of it but I don't think sleeping over at Kate's was on my agenda."

"I texted him, he was worried," Kate spoke up.

"Thank you," Reid said quietly.

Emily started looking a bit lost holding Jamie, and Reid took him from her, feeling his weight settle into his arms quite nicely.

He was older than Michael was, and had put on weight nicely. Reid compared the two babies and found Jamie very nice to hold.

"So," Emily said, taking a clean fork and stealing a bite of Reid's breakfast, sitting on the chair next to him. "Morgan is gone and that brings up one question, Kate."

Kate turned away from the sink, looking surprised. "Does it?" She asked, a smile in her voice.

"Who's going to replace him?" Emily said. "You...or Alex?"

That was something that Reid had not anticipated Emily asking, and his grip on Jamie slipped, just a little. The mental image of both Kate and Alex rejoining the team was a very good one, and he opened his mouth to speak.

"I'm not coming back," Kate said. "Not to the BAU. My year of not working is up, but I just can't see myself leaving Jamie. I can't. Not until he's...much older. I was thinking of applying for a desk job in the sex crimes unit. I have high hopes that Andi will give it to me."

"Oh, yeah, you worked with Andi," Emily said. "I always forget that part. How is Seaver? I don't call her nearly enough."

"I haven't talked to her in a while either," Kate admitted. "But when I worked with her, she was fine. She closed a lot of cases and I think that was largely because of her training with you guys."

Emily nodded, flipping her hair. "I was the one to convince Hotch to keep her on the team," she faked bragged. "She owes everything to me."

Kate laughed and Reid cracked a smile. "And I owe other things to this guy," Emily said, ruffling Reid's hair. "He's so good to me. More than I deserve after everything I put him through."

She stood up. "I need to be getting to Derek's," she said. "I told him I'd make lunch and they'll be waiting, and I want to be early to spend as much time as possible with Hank."

She embraced Reid tightly, baby and all. He saw her go towards Kate and Kate, hesitant, stuck a hand out but Emily laughed, pulling her into a tight hug, almost a full head taller than Kate.

"Keep taking care of them for me, would you?" Emily asked, taking her purse from the island.

"Of course," Kate said. "I'll show you out."

Reid looked down at the baby in his arms, touched one whisper soft cheek.

Kate came back, humming a little.

"You aren't coming back," Reid said, and she smiled.

"I can't," she said. "I've got this guy, and that guy," pointing at Poe, "to keep me home. What'll you do if Travis moves out? Or if you forget that he's there?"

He nodded at her, head feeling sorer than ever.

"I can schedule you a massage," she said. "One to relieve your headache, rather than meds."

"I'm supposed to be in the office this afternoon," Reid said.

"I know a girl," Kate said. "She could be here in fifteen minutes."

He started to say no, but found himself nodding instead. "Sure, let's try that," he said.

"She isn't licensed," Kate warned. "But she's a student and I trust her work."

"Okay," Reid said, feeling like nothing could help at this point so he might as well try anything.

Raissa was a nineteen year old, with a shaved head and tattoos all up and down one arm.

And she had magic hands.

She'd brought a chair and he was sitting on it, and she was giving him a chair massage and Reid couldn't remember ever feeling quite so good. All the tension he hadn't even known was in his back had melted away, leaving him feeling like a puddle of butter.

Plus, his headache was gone.

So it was time to go back to work.

A/N: Also, freaking out because of Paget Brewster's crypticness. Is she coming back?