Title: A Quick Look into the Mind of Spencer Reid (as directed by your tour guide, Raven)
Summary: Why Reid joined the BAU and various other long-winded reflections.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Author's Notes: So, this is my first attempt at humour. I've been reading Terry Pratchet, so that's the kind of style I used here (far less intelligent than his works, unfortunately). In a strange way, this is also angst, but not really. But yes. But no. I'm not sure. Anyways, I hope it works.
He was good at the naïve, blundering idiot act – he knew that. There was that sickeningly hurt look he'd adopted for the gun-guy hostage situation – which was later proved to have actually fooled Hotch (Hotch!) into thinking he was some fragile victim. Oh yes, and, of course, there was the time with the inarticulate arguing with Morgan which had, in fact, carefully disguised a hidden worry that the older man be left too long alone with a deranged, overly-intelligent teenaged boy with hormonally-charged rage on his side. (In another area of his densely populated mind, Reid's brain began wondering about the syntax of run-on sentences, and quickly came to the conclusion that his inner thoughts obviously didn't care much about the numerous grammar rules they broke.)
So, he was good at the acting thing. Which was obviously an advantage in his line of work (could he call it a line of work when he'd really only been doing it for a few months?). But sometimes, he wondered if perhaps he was a little too good at it. Did the other agents really understand that he knew what he was doing (for the most part, at least)?
Not to say that at first he wasn't a little inexperienced. At the beginning he flailed around for a bit, but after a certain period of time he got his job as the resident encyclopaedia of the BAU down pat. It was really quite easy. Insert a few relevant facts (or, not so relevant, depending on how his brain was feeling that day) into the conversation every now and then, make nice with the baddies (if only he knew they were baddies at the time), contribute some inane comments to interrogations (then be embarrassed about how completely they fail to make any impression on the interrogatee), play the victim in said interrogations (not to mention the numerous other instances where this aspect of the job was considerably more dangerous), and perhaps even (if he was lucky) get to apprehend the mysterious Unsub (preferably without any life-or-death situations – maybe a nice plead of guilt, or a simple cuff-'em-and-go).
(At this point, his brain had a little mental freak-out about the length of that sentence, but as the trainwreck of a thought whispered and died along neural pathways the crisis passed and it all happened so fast the only thing he was consciously aware of was a quick blip in the activities of his mind which he easily attributed to a blink, or a very short nap.)
So he really was quite well-versed in his job as a behavioural analysist (or at least, his role in the team), but sometimes he worried (more like agonized over, but who cares about the particulars?) that the other agents didn't take him seriously. He wasn't just some bored kid who decided that being an FBI agent would be cool. Nor was he a genius who joined the BAU just because he thought it would be interesting to learn the ins and outs of the abnormal human mind (because really, the normal human mind was a horrifyingly dull place, in which Reid liked to spend as little time as possible). No, he had very real, very substantial reasons for joining the unit (of which those mentioned above were only two).
It all began with his terrifying childhood on the streets of the infamously corrupt Las Vegas (not to say that he lived on the streets – just that he spent some time on them, walking to and fro from such places as his house, the school, and the library). His parents weren't the nicest people, you see, so they couldn't really afford the time it would take them to drive him places. That was fine with him – he wasn't overly fond of his parents either.
He had long since outgrown them and their sophomoric ways. He'd considered himself self-sufficient just about as soon as he'd learned to walk (to reach the dictionary on the second shelf of the bookcase, of course), and his fingers had grown enough to work the can opener. After that, he'd quickly come to the conclusion that he really didn't need his parents, nor did they particularly need him, considering the lack of attention on their part (and, to be completely honest, his).
But really, it wasn't a bad childhood at all, in his opinion. His parents might have been cold and uncaring, but he didn't feel particularly traumatized, and anyways, based on some of the books he'd read, things could be Much, Much Worse.
Actually, it was those very books that wormed the idea of being a bad-guy-catcher (at that point, condensed into 'cop') into his head. He'd seen some of those kids who had Much, Much Worse happen to them. Nobody else seemed to, but he saw the bruises and lack of appetite that marked the group (strangely, his own perpetually bruised body and borderline anorexia went unnoticed by himself). He didn't like it at all – nobody deserved to have an eye puffed up to that impossible size, or a bruise that deep a shade of purple (well… there was the occasional bully that could do with some beating, but other than that). He thought that maybe, if he could see the victims, he could see the bad guys too (sometimes he daydreamed about having special eyes that could do things like that: catch bad guys, see people's thoughts and emotions – maybe even shoot lasers).
(At this point Reid's brain asked him if he was absolutely sure that he was remembering this stuff correctly, to which Reid replied that if his brain were to check the memory banks he was sure there would be a clear memory in there of a warm, dark, squishy space, a bright light, and some pretty gross floaty liquids.)
So, as you (whoever you would happen to be – accountant, lion tamer, exotic dancer, or, god forbid, IRS guy) can see, Reid really isn't quite so shallow as some people might make him out to be. Or do they make him out to be far, far too deep (perhaps so deep that space twists upside down and he's all of a sudden clichéd again)? Reid still isn't quite sure how deep he is, himself, really. (Some neurons have been sparking non-stop about this question since middle school. In a few years they'll give up and retire to a nice calm existence as a piece of grey matter, leaving Reid with the inevitable conclusion that some questions just aren't meant to be answered.)
All Reid really knows for sure is that he's at the BAU now (for whatever reason), and that he'd like to keep that position. He'd also like to make some friends, influence some people, and increase his cash flow (among other things, some of which include vague notions of hot sweaty bodies which I won't get into detail about).
He wants to be cool like Morgan, funny like Garcia, attractive like Elle (well, not like Elle), intelligent like Gideon, and dependable like Hotch. (J.J. … well, he'd have to think that one over a while.)
But right now, more than anything else, he'd really just like to get to sleep.