A/N: While I am at work on another Reid, Allie and Evan story, I thought I would write a little story for the Christmas season. Thanks to mablereid as always for her help.
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds
The snow had started as gentle, large flakes wafting softly to the ground, the kind that young children try to catch in their hands and on their tongues. As the hours passed and the BAU team zeroed in on their target, a sexual sadist abducting young children and using and abusing them to further his sick fantasies, the snow had started to fall in earnest. By the time they took Edwin Crosby down, thus saving four children from his sadistic clutches, the sky was a deluge of white. It was almost impossible to see beyond a few feet. The snow was building up on the ground and trudging through it became difficult. It crunched under the feet of Hotch, Rossi, Morgan and Reid as each man carried a child to awaiting ambulances and safety. It was Christmas Eve.
The team got into their SUVs and followed the ambulances to the hospital to see the children safely reunited with their parents. Morgan called Garcia, who had been flown in to dissect Crosby's vast computer system, which eventually led to the team finding his lair. He informed her of Crosby's capture and that they were headed to the hospital and would see her soon back at the hotel.
Driving through the heavy snow was difficult and progress was slow. Visibility was extremely poor and Hotch fought to keep the SUV safely on the tracks that previous vehicles had made in the deepening snow. Hotch applied the brakes slowly as the rear of the car in front of them fishtailed almost colliding with the truck beside it.
Morgan, driving the second SUV, behind Hotch, braked slowly as well. "I hate driving in this stuff," Reid said looking out the passenger window.
"Well, you're not driving are you," Morgan replied a little sharply. "Why is that anyway? How come you never drive when we're on a case? I mean, if you can drive that old rattletrap of yours, you can drive anything. Man, you need to get a new car."
"Morgan, it's vintage and it's fine for my needs," Reid replied sighing.
"I don't think it's because you can't afford it. What are you saving all your money for? You don't spend it on your apartment. I been there man and all I can say is…well I don't know quite what to say about it. You obviously don't spend your money on clothes and I know you don't spend it on the ladies. From the look of you, you don't spend much on groceries either. What do you spend your money on anyway?"
"I spend my money on different things," Reid was starting to get his back up over Morgan's questioning.
"What kinds of things," Morgan continued?
"Aargh, Morgan I belong to certain organizations. I pay for my license as a psychologist. I put money in an account at Bennington every month for my mother and I pay for health insurance."
"Reid, we all pay for health insurance," Morgan replied.
"I know that but you don't pay high premiums so that if you become schizophrenic like your mother, you'll be able to be cared for in the facility of your choice." Morgan glanced briefly at Reid and then back at the road. He said no more.
Rossi looked out the passenger window, sitting next to Hotch. The wind was picking up and the falling snow was now starting to blow as well. The mercury was dropping, the radio told them, as an Arctic cold front moved in from Canada. "This is not stopping anytime soon," he said, "We're not getting out of here tonight. Merry Christmas!"
The team, minus Hotch, was in the lounge at their hotel in Missoula, Montana. JJ had just finished her press conference informing the citizens of that fair city that their prayers had been answered and the four abducted children had been returned to their parents.
"Well, they didn't seem too bad off physically but the emotional trauma will be with them for a long time," Prentiss said as they sat around a table warming themselves with coffee and hot chocolate.
"Yeah, even though they're home for Christmas, it probably won't be a very merry one for them," Garcia remarked, her usual optimism seemed to be absent at this moment.
Hotch joined the group, "The weather department says it will be like this for the next day or two. The roads are closed and there are no flights in or out of Missoula I'm afraid," he informed the others.
"So we won't be home for Christmas," Morgan clarified for the group. "Isn't that just great."
"What were you doing Morgan," Emily asked?
"I was going to go to Chicago and spend it with my Mom and my sisters."
"Yeah, I was heading home to Pennsylvania too," JJ added. "What were you doing Emily?"
"My parents are out of the country at present so I was going to Baltimore to spend it with some friends. How about you Dave," she turned and looked at Rossi.
"I have an old friend that I always go hunting with; he's retired to a home in the mountains. I always spent Christmas with him and his wife but she passed away so now it's just us. It's beautiful in the mountains at Christmas time. How about you," he turned to Garcia, who was sitting next to him.
"I was going to one of my brother's. The other three were going to be there as well. It was going to be a really big get together, the first time we've all seen each other in a long time. That'll have to wait for another year, I guess."
She turned to the person next to her and he said, "I wasn't really looking forward to Christmas this year anyway. Haley and Jack are away at her other sister's and I wouldn't have even got to see him on Christmas. I was going to go to my Mom's place. Sean was going to be there as well, doing most of the cooking in fact." He finished and turned to the last member of the group.
"Me," Reid said, "Oh, I wasn't doing anything. I'm just home like always."
Garcia stood up, saying, "God, mother nature or fate has decided that the plans we all had for Christmas are dead in the water, so what we need to do is get together and make this a good Christmas anyway. We need to get a tree and some decorations and we can set it up in somebody's room."
"That's a good idea Garcia," JJ took up the cause. "We could get some little gifts for each other and some eggnog."
"Sing some Christmas carols," Morgan added.
"Let's get started," Emily said, "There's a big department store a couple of blocks from here, we could get an artificial tree and some decorations, a few little gifts and some wrap."
The men looked at one another realizing that the women had taken charge and there wasn't much they could do about it but go along. Hotch was definitely not about to pull rank on a determined Garcia. Hotch, Morgan and Rossi got to their feet and started to move but Reid was still seated. They looked at him and he said, "I'm not really into this Christmas thing."
Garcia grabbed his arm, hauling him to his feet and said, "You soon will be sweetcheeks, you soon will be." She put her arm in his and steered him toward the door of the lounge.
The girls had already chosen a tree and decorations and now they were each trying to pick out gifts for their teammates. "Morgan," Reid whispered, "I have no idea what women like. What would Emily want?" He shrugged his shoulders at his friend, looking for assistance.
"Reid, how do I know that? I got my own problems here. You'll think of something with your superior brain power." He turned back to his own shopping considerations leaving Reid in a quandary over what to get for the women.
The girls were likewise hard at work trying to decide on gifts for the rest of the team. Garcia came up behind Emily and JJ who were looking at various books and whispered to them, "Look what I got and we just have to use it on Reid." The two turned to find Garcia holding up a sprig of mistletoe and shaking it. "That boy is getting under this mistletoe with somebody, so be warned?"
The team headed back to the hotel with their purchases and decided to put the tree up in Garcia's room. They moved some furniture around in the room and made space for the small tree. The girls brought out the decorations they had chosen and the group began to decorate the tree.
"Come on Reid, you're not doing anything," Emily said, pulling Reid who was sitting on Garcia's bed to his feet handing him some tinsel and pushing him toward the tree. Reid wound the garland awkwardly around the tree professing that he was not very good at this.
"It looks fine Reid," Hotch said. "These things are always a challenge. At least it came with the lights already attached. Now there's a nightmare, untangling lights." Everyone nodded and agreed heartily with that.
After the tree was decorated to Garcia's satisfaction, everyone was sent back to their room with a roll of paper and tape to wrap their gifts. Reid looked at the things he had bought spread out on the table in his room. He didn't know if anyone would like what he got but he proceeded to wrap them up.
The team returned to the room with their gifts and Garcia put them under the tree and squealed with delight when they were done. She went to the mini fridge and got some eggnog which she poured into glasses. They toasted the season and each other and then Garcia suggested they sing some carols.
Each team member picked his or her favorite and the group sang it, sometimes off key and with some flubbing of the words which produced much needed laughter. When it came to Reid's turn he said he didn't know if he had a favorite carol. He hadn't heard or sung them much. "There must be one that you know and like Reid," Garcia pressed.
"Well, I guess I like Oh Holy Night," he said.
"Okay, you start and we'll all join in," JJ said.
"You want me to start! You mean singing?"
"Yes Reid, singing," Emily said, "It's your carol so you start."
Reid was silent for the longest time but finally he started to sing,
Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
The team looked on their mouths gaping as Reid began the carol in a beautiful tenor voice in perfect pitch. He had closed his eyes and appeared lost in the words of the song, reaching and holding the high notes masterfully. He had sung the whole song when he opened his eyes, realizing that no one had joined in with him. "Oh, I thought you were all going to sing. I uh, I uh, you should have told me if you didn't want to sing that song." He looked at the floor.
"No Reid," Emily said, "It wasn't that we didn't want to sing, it's that no one realized you had such a beautiful voice. I'm afraid we were kind of mesmerized by it."
"It was really beautiful Reid," Garcia wiped a tear from her eye.
The team decided to call it a night and broke off to their own rooms wishing each other good night and a Merry Christmas.