Criminal Minds

Author's Note:

Today is my younger brother's birthday – he's turning fifteen. I try to make something for him every year, and this is the thing this year. So, happy birthday little brother! I know that you're not exactly "little" anymore, but you'll always be my little brother. I know that they celebrated Reid's birthday in the first season, and he turned 24 then – this is his 25th birthday. I'm going to say that Elle's still there because the seasons don't always go as if a year has passed – his 25th birthday could have easily been in the first season as well and gone without mentioning, since they don't always mention the character's birthdays. Either way, enjoy.

This will be a two part story – the first part, this chapter, being much shorter than the next chapter. The reason for this is that I wanted it to be posted on my brother's birthday so that he could see it. xD

"Kid, we're going out tonight." Derek Morgan announced, leaning across the two desks to speak to the younger agent. "Whole team, night out." The team at the BAU did this sort of thing once every few months, a break from the hectic life that they held at work. It was one of the chances that the agents had to remind themselves that psychopaths weren't the only thing out there in the world- the rare chance to see their teammates in an environment completely free of cases and stress.

"And if you don't come with us, JJ is going to string you up by your toes." Elle tossed in, nodding her head towards the blonde liaison across the room, typing away at a laptop. Elle grinned, lacing her fingers behind her head. "She's been planning this night for awhile." She stood and moved to sit on the younger agent's desk, crossing her ankles. "Whatd'ya say, genius? Is it your toes or enjoying the night?"

Reid lifted his eyes, tapping a yellow number two pencil on the surface of his desk. "Option three is filing you for harassment with the state of Virginia." He said, lifting his eyebrows.

"You wouldn't do that, Reid." Morgan said, a wide grin making its way onto his face. "Because I still have pictures from the 2005 Christmas party, and it'd be a shame if they made it into the wrong hands."

"You're blackmailing me?" Reid squeaked, his face a mask of badly disguised horror and embarrassment.

Elle winked and jumped lightly from his desk, her high heels making a distinguished clack on the tile.

"You bet, kid." Said Morgan, his grin only widening at the genius's horrified face.

--

It wasn't that Reid didn't want to join his team for a night on the town. They'd done it countless times, and Reid always enjoyed it. Whenever they did, it always turned out to be a night of tremendous fun – the interruption from a new case depending. Tonight, though, Reid wasn't up to pretending to be happy.

It was his twenty fifth birthday today.

For most people, birthdays were a happy time. They marked the only day of the year that was completely for them, and them alone. It marked the day that friends would celebrate him or her, that they'd go out and have a good time, forget their problems, because it was a day that they were supposed to be happy.

Reid had rarely felt this phenomenon on his birthdays. The previous year, yes, had been fantastic – despite a rather embarrassing birthday hat, but he hardly expected the team to remember such an insignificant date again. The tickets from Gideon had honestly been one of the greatest gifts he'd received. It wasn't that he didn't enjoy the odd gifts he got from his mother – when she remembered his birthday – a leather covered notebook on his 6th birthday, he remembered that one well, a book full of Chaucer's stories when he was eight … the gifts didn't really matter at all, as long as his mother remembered. As long as his mother wasn't having one of her episodes that day.

Those had been his childhood birthdays.

His eighteenth birthday had marked, like all other boys, his move to being a man and not a teenager. Most young men spent that day with the friends that Reid didn't have, laughing and enjoying the move to the newest phase of their lives.

Reid spent it filing out the final paperwork for sending his mother to an asylum.

His birthdays were always marred by that fact, that it was the anniversary of a different date he was reminded of on the day that was meant to be for him. It wasn't exactly something someone – eidetic memory or not – could forget.