Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds. It is the property of Mark R. Gordon and CBS. I also do not own Numb3rs, property of Ridley and Tony Scott and CBS.

Author's Note: This is going to follow a slightly AU timeline. For Criminals Minds, it takes place directly after Revelations. For Numb3rs, this is where I'm taking some liberties. It's post Democracy in season 3 with Megan leaving. However, Larry never wandered off to space. Basically the main thing to know is that Megan is away on assignment. I'm also taking some liberties with the bits of information and the lack of information on some of the back-stories for a few of the characters. You'll see what I mean once it gets going. Furthermore, this is not a case-based story like my Bones/Criminal Minds crossover is. There is a case, but it's just there because it was needed. The focus of this story will be on Reid and Charlie and the relationship (non-slash) they have. Because of that, particularly because its slightly more Reid than Charlie as well, I decided to only post this under Criminal Minds. So to all of you that are also Numb3rs fans – feedback on character depiction from that show would be greatly appreciated.

And, as always, please read and review! It's what I live for!


Good Friends

Chapter One: Need to Talk

By Ann Parker


Reid leaned against a large tree on the quad of CalSci University, studying the entrance to the math building. When Hotch had forced him to take a week's vacation to recover from his ordeal with Tobias Hankel, he hadn't known where to go at first. He had thought about seeing his mother, but he didn't want her to see what had happened to him. She was too fragile for that and he didn't think he could handle seeing the pain in her eyes when she looked at him. If she even knew who he was that day. He needed to talk to someone, however, and the team would be busy. He didn't know if he could talk to any of them about what happened even if they were free. So he somehow found himself on this college campus, mustering up the courage to enter the building where his friend worked. Sighing, he pushed himself off the tree and entered the building, his messenger bag in tow.

He made his way through the hallways, finding his way to the room he had looked up in the faculty directory. He hoped he wouldn't end up intruding, but he just felt that of the few people in his life, he would be the most understanding. Not because he had experienced anything remotely similar, but because they were on the same wavelength. They had fallen out of touch the last few years, but he was optimistic that that wouldn't matter too much. Both got easily pulled in, consumed, by their work, sacrificing their social lives. Not that Reid ever had much of a social life. When he reached the office, he noticed the door was open. He cautiously walked through the doorway to see three people having a discussion. Two he recognized, the third – the lone woman – he didn't. They all had their backs to him, standing near a chalkboard filled with a problem. He decided to wait and find the right moment to announce his surprise arrival.

"You know what though Charles? Einstein stated that 'as far as the law of mathematics refers to reality, they are not certain,'" commented the older man with brown, wavy hair. Reid smiled; he must have walked into another Fleinhart musing. This was as good of a time as any.

"'And as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality,'" Reid finished, taking a step forward. The three spun around at the sound of a new voice. He dug his hands into his pockets, slightly uncomfortable with their gazes. He felt a little better when he noticed a smile creep across the two men's faces, particularly the young man with black, curly hair.

"Spencer!" greeted Charlie, walking over to him. "What are you doing here?" The two shared a brief, slightly awkward hug.

"I, um, had some vacation time and thought I'd pay you a visit," Reid replied, pushing some of his brown hair behind his ears, trying to push away his worry. "I hope that's okay." He noticed Charlie study him for a second, probably examining the few bruises and scraps that remained visible. It didn't take his genius IQ to tell something was wrong, very wrong.

"Yeah, absolutely," Charlie replied, patting Reid's shoulder and offering him a slight smile. "It's been a few years, huh?"

Reid smiled, "yeah."

"Um, Charlie?" interrupted the woman. The two turned back to the other occupants of the office. Reid noted that she was quite beautiful, her long black hair cascading around her shoulders. Although, in his mind, she wasn't quite as pretty as JJ. Not that many women were in his mind.

"Oh, right, I'm sorry," Charlie stated and guided Reid over to them. "Amita, this is Dr. Spencer Reid, he was a former student of mine when I was at Stanford. Spencer, this is Dr. Amita Ramanujan, also a former student and a professor here at CalSci." Amita smiled and stuck out her hand, which Reid awkwardly shook. He noticed how Charlie looked at her and fought back a smile.

"It's a pleasure to meet you," she greeted as they pulled their hands apart.

"Likewise," Reid stated. He turned slightly to the other man, sticking out his hand. He normally didn't like to shake hands, but he decided to fight that for this moment. "Larry, good to see you again." Although Larry never taught at Stanford, he had given a few guest lectures as well as visited Charlie occasionally and that had given the pair time to briefly get to know each other.

Larry shook his hand and smiled, "as it is to see you, Spencer."

"So, Dr. Reid, where are you currently teaching?" asked Amita.

Reid dug his hands into his pockets again, "you don't have to call me doctor. Spencer or Reid is fine," he stated. It served a purpose with their cases, making sure he got some respect, but he didn't need that here. It was already given. "And I actually don't teach."

"No, Spencer here actually works for the FBI," added Charlie with a smile. "What is the unit you work for again?"

"The BAU, the behavior analysis unit," Reid replied. He noticed Amita nod.

"Oh, so kind of like what Megan does?" she asked Charlie and Larry, receiving nods.

"Who's Megan?" he asked.

"Agent Megan Reeves works, well right now worked, with my brother Don at the local FBI office," started Charlie. He was about to continue, but he noticed Reid's face light up.

"Did you say Reeves?" he asked. The three nodded. "She worked with us a few years back for a little while. I forgot she moved out to LA. What did you mean by 'worked?'"

Charlie sighed, "She got called to join some task force for awhile."

Reid nodded. "I see. Well, anyway, Amita, I do exactly what she…did. I'm a profiler."

Amita nodded. That's not what you'd normally find one of Charlie's students doing. "Well, I should probably get back to grading some papers. I'll let you two catch up." Charlie flashed her a smile of gratitude. "Are we still on for later?"

Charlie glanced at Reid and then back at her, "let me call you." She nodded and quickly pecked his cheek before leaving. Charlie watched her leave with a smile before turning back to Larry and Reid. Both men had slight grins on their faces due to that scene. "Don't even start."

Larry simply waved his hands in the air, "I didn't say anything. I'll bid you two farewell as well." He turned to Reid. "Spencer, I hope we have some time to catch up while you're here." He could sense the young man was troubled as well.

Reid smiled slightly, "Me too. I'd love to chat with you about your paper on quantum cosmology." Larry and Charlie both smiled at that comment as Larry walked out the door. Once alone, Reid turned back to Charlie, fiddling with the strap of his messenger bag. Both were silent for a few minutes. Charlie wanted to ask him out right what was wrong, but he didn't know how to word the question. Reid wanted to talk about Tobias, but he didn't want to dump it on Charlie so soon. Reid glanced around the messy office before landing back on the problem on the board. He squinted at it for a second, trying to decipher what Charlie could be researching. "What are you working on?"

Charlie sighed, glad to have something to talk about. "It's actually cognitive emergence theory."

Reid looked at him, raising an eyebrow. "Mathematics of the brain?" Charlie grinned and nodded. "You picked quite the area of research, Charlie. Then again, you always were an overachiever."

Charlie chuckled, "says the one with the three PhDs." Reid smiled slightly. "You know, you might be able to provide some insight on the dynamics of the brain. Although, this will take a while."

Reid smirked at that comment. "Call whenever you need to run something by me. Just add my name when you publish it in 20 or so years." Both slightly laughed at that knowing Charlie would be lucky if he figured it out in that time. If he ever figured it out.

"I'll do that," Charlie replied. He gestured to the chair at his desk and Reid sat down, setting down his bag. Charlie perched on the edge of his desk and decided to ask the burning question. "So, Spencer, what's going on?"

Reid looked down and sighed. "Remember during my first year at Stanford when you asked to see me in your office?"

Charlie smiled, "yeah. I didn't ask that in the best of ways. I didn't realize I'd frightened you until you showed up."

Reid nodded, "I thought I was in some sort of trouble. Then again, I was 12 at a new school, college, and didn't really know what to expect." Reid glanced up briefly to see Charlie's knowing gaze before looking back down.

"I know the feeling, which was why I asked you to visit me. To let you know that you weren't alone and could come to me if you needed to talk," Charlie replied. "What's this got to do with now?"

Reid looked up again, locking eye contact with his first mentor turned friend. "I need to talk."