A/N: Why am I such a sucker for run-on sentences? (title from a song by The Long Winters)
They've been spending a lot of extra time together lately, and JJ is pleasantly surprised to find that she thoroughly enjoys his company.
He's cute and kind and quirky and just about as fortuitously charming as he could be, standing should-to-shoulder with her at the counter of the empty BAU kitchen, so close that she can feel the warmth from his coffee permeating through her blouse. For once in his life, Dr. Spencer Reid is without words, just listening to the steady rustle and ringing of life in the office and wondering the same thing she's wondering, if he should feel weird standing here, like this, with her. Because he doesn't, and neither does she.
It just feels like oh, this is how it is.
His knuckles are against the back of her hand, and her mind is stuck on seventh grade and shiny teeth and proximity, proximity, proximity. And so she hooks her pinky around his like she's promising him something, because he makes her feel young and foolish and pure, and when she flits her eyes up to him, he's staring at her like he's never seen anything quite like her before. The faint tinges of rose are rising up in the fair skin of his cheek, his mouth a crooked line quirked up at the corners, and he ducks his head bashfully, letting his bangs sweep across his eyebrows. She lets out a little hum of pleasure and lifts her chin and before he even has time to work out whether or not the ghost of a brush of her lips against his jaw was accidental, she's halfway out the door.
Twelve days later, Thursday afternoon, she can't wait any longer, and halfway up the stairs of the BAU she turns around and catches him by the collar and kisses him.
It's chaste yet lustful and exquisitely simple, all shoulders drawn and elbows in and her eyelashes on his cheek. Her fingers find their way to his forehead and push up, under, through his hair and down, around to the nape of his neck, drawing little trails of warm shivers and cracks filled the whole way. He isn't quite sure what to do with it all, so he settles for spreading his hands across the sloping expanse of her back and hoping that somehow through his fingertips he can make her understand what he lacks the ability to tell her with his kiss (that he's been smitten with her from the day they met, that this is like having the world dangling from his lips, that she amazes him in ways he can only explain in metaphors). His papers are in a scattered and forgotten heap at their feet, and the raspberry Italian soda he bought for her this morning is still on her lips, and oh it's him and it's her and it's them and it's perfect even though it isn't quite.
When she finally pulls away he lets his hands slip off of her waist, but she keeps one of hers on his chest, her dainty fingers splayed across the deep blue fabric of his sweater, over his heart. The beat beneath her flattened palm is frenzied, and his face is crimson laced.
"You just kissed me," he says slowly, because this is something that has to sink in for a moment.
"Wow," he says, and his voice cracks in the most irresistible way. "Let's... let's do that more often."
And so it begins.
There have been countless moments when he's said or done something that just strikes her as so unintentionally adorable that she suddenly finds herself resisting the urge to knock things over and seize him by the shoulders and lay siege upon his mouth.
These days, though, she remembers Oh, right, we're official now, and she doesn't bother resisting anymore.
This time around, it's something he says to her in her empty office about peas and how they contain some sort of chemical that affects the love impulse in the brain, or maybe it's just the way his voice positively squeaks with enthusiasm; either way, the next thing either of them know, it's nothing but her hips pinning him to the filing cabinet, his hands braced against the cool metal behind them, her knee hooked around his leg, and his lower lip caught between her teeth.
They can only take themselves seriously for so long though, and they're laughing into corners of each other's mouths when Morgan comes strolling through the door with his lunch in hand, catches sight of them, and promptly chokes on his mouthful of roast beef sandwich.
"Morgan!" they gasp in a horrified unison, attempting to spring apart but hindered by the fact that one of the buttons of her blouse has gotten itself tangled in a loose thread of his sweater.
"Reid, man, I didn't think you had it in you!" he says with mingled pride and amusement, and it's then that they know that they'll never live this down.
They've been dating for months now, and still no one knows about it but Morgan, who was blackmailed by gave his word to Reid never to tell a soul.
It's been the cause of a few arguments between them – his shyness, his reluctance. As much as he loves her, as much as he adores her with every last infinitesimal speck of his being, she wishes he could be more daring, more open with their relationship. He's proud to be with her, to call her his, and he'd gladly shout it from the rooftops if he could, but for some reason, he keeps insisting that there's no need to bring it to the team's awareness. The last time it came up, he told her that he didn't want them to be treated differently, but she called him on his fear and it took him a day and a half to get her to let him hold her hand again.
He's thinking of those hands as he steps triumphantly over the threshold and through the already trampled flowerbed of a crisply uniform suburban house that's surrounded by crime tape, another job well done as the culprit is wrestled into a police car by two burly officers. Hotch, Gideon, Morgan, and Prentiss follow behind him, and he kicks this dust from his shoes and slides his gun back into its holster, knowing that she's waiting for him, knowing that she's been worrying like she always does. Sure enough, he sees her leaning against one of the patrol cars, her arms crossed and her fingernails digging into the fabric of her sleeves. He meets her eyes through the still settling dusk and her shoulders relax, because she can see him again, and he's safe. He watches her watching him make his way back to her with her hair caught up in the wind and her teeth caught up in an anxious smile, and it feels just like coming home.
This is it.
He covers the last spare bit of distance between them in three great strides, and all she has time to say is "Spence" before he gathers her up in his arms and swings her around and kisses her. Kisses her right then and there, in front of God and everybody, in the middle of the street like a black-and-white photograph soldier back from war. His palms fit perfectly in the curves of her waist, his fingers spanning her ribs, pulling her in so closely that her toes are just skimming the ground and she has to loop her arms around his neck for balance.
"I love you," he says when his finally slides his mouth off of hers and lets her go, his breath still caught in his throat. She beams at him, glowing with pride, and he's reaching whole new and never before seen levels of euphoric boldness now, wanting nothing more now than to show her that he is everything but afraid. He puts one hand on her back and turns them around to face the four remaining members of the team, who are staring dumbly at them in various states of disbelief. "I love her!"
Smiling somewhat stupidly, he points emphatically and unnecessarily towards her, and she snorts into his shoulder and loves him a little bit more, because God, he's such a dork.