Author's Notes: This is my first ever Criminal Minds fanfiction though I have been a fan of the show for a long time. I wrote this as an introspective piece into the BAU's dynamic and how the affect the youngest member. Part of the reason I love Criminal Minds is because of the family atmosphere and I just wanted to give voice to my feelings. I know that's it not grammatically correct, I keep changing tenses and use too many commas but I really just wrote this to get something off of my chest. I'll probably come back to this later and fix it up but for now it stays as is. Thank you.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Criminal Minds.


Spencer Reid didn't know a lot about families. His own had been…unique, to say the least. His parents talked about algorithms and the metaphor of the Fisher King in the Holy Grail, not home renovations or what colour to paint the kitchen. Even when his father had been there, it was difficult to ever pretend that they were normal. Still, he knew a bit about families from television from his admittedly limited number of friends. Spencer Reid knew that the BAU was a lot like a family.

He knew the idea wasn't sound and didn't have much evidence to back up his observation, and he would never tell the other agents about his query. It was too embarrassing, childish and desperate. No, he kept his thoughts to himself. But the Behavioural Analysis Unit was a lot like a family.

JJ was like the older sister that gave you lunch money and watched out for you at school. She wanted the best for you and would let you make your own decisions. JJ would probably be the cheerleader, captain of the debate team and student body president. She wouldn't mind hanging out with her dorky little brother.

If JJ was the older sister, that made Morgan the older brother. The one who would pull pranks on you, teach you how to swim, play basketball and tease you in front of your friends. He would ruffle your hair, drive you to school and beat up the bully who pushed you into a locker, or tied you to a goalpost. Morgan would be your wingman when you tried to pick up girls, be proud when you made that goal in soccer.

Garcia would be the twin sister. She'd know you inside and out but you'd be as different as night and day. People would stare at the two of you in disbelief when they found out you were related but you wouldn't care. Garcia would be the confidante, the one you'd tell your secrets too and she'd cry with you when you broke down. Present you with mint chocolate chip ice cream when you needed cheering up.

Of course, Gideon would've have been the mother. "Mama Bear" would go to school to confront the teachers who gave you a bad grade, or didn't recognise that you were being bullied. He didn't ramble on about long-dead authors, or yell at empty air. Gideon would soothe over harsh words with a comforting squeeze of the shoulder. Gideon would make sure you ate, slept, did your homework and always knew when you were lying. Gideon was the one you talked to after your nightmares, always ready with a kind word and a cup of hot chocolate.

Hotch. Agent Hotchner would be the father. He would scold you when you gave too much attitude or when you shirked your responsibilities. Hotch would be the first to notice your faults, question your moments and say "I'm proud of you" when you accomplished something. You sort of afraid of him, he always handed out the punishments but you secretly wanted him to like you, to be proud. He never turned you away when you asked him for help and for that, you were thankful.

Elle was the sister who went away to college. The one who was damaged, like you and that you worried over. You two had your moments; conversations that you mulled over that night when you went to bed. Elle was the one you never thought that you would miss until she was gone. You still think about her sometimes and wonder if you'll eventually leave the family too.

Rossi was the step-mother. The one who came in when Gideon left. He was like an interloper and even though all you wanted was for him to recognise your talent at the same time you wanted your family back the way it had been before he came. You know it's not his fault but you find it very hard to like him when you feel like your betraying Gideon.

Of course, that made Emily the step-daughter. The one who came into your family and fit in perfectly. She was smart and capable and even funny, and you couldn't fault her for that. She just tried to belong but you were always suspicious of her. She joked with Morgan, sympathised with JJ, even joked with Garcia. She even tried to get to know you but you lashed out. You want to make things right and make an effort to be nicer. It's not her fault that Elle left.

Spencer knew that it was an insane notion. What kind of family fought crime together? And he knew that in the BAU the case always came first. Still, he relished those moments when their masks would drop, when they would all get together, it was almost like a family dinner. He knew that it wouldn't last. That eventually they would all leave, or die, or leave him but just for now he thought that if he could have chosen his family. If he could have chosen, in another life, he would've chosen all of them.