Title: After Dark
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing:
Emily, OMC - gen
Genre: Friendship/Humor
Summary:
"Your brownstone used to be owned by a gigolo," Reid had said. What he didn't know (and what Emily would probably never tell him) was that she was quite good friends with the gigolo.

* * *

Emily gave a double-take when he said it – Spencer Reid knew a lot of things, but she wasn't entirely sure why he knew that a gigolo used to own her brownstone. It wasn't exactly the sort of thing he'd go out of his way to look up. It was, on the other hand, something that Garcia would find "très amusing" and she made a mental note to find out just what other parts of her life had been the subject of a cyber-search.

The funny thing was (and she didn't actually tell Reid this part) she was very good friends with the gigolo. Out of all the people she associated with during her free time, he was the one that understood the little things like keeping strange hours, or why certain types of people like to engage in auto-erotic asphyxiation.

She'd first met Armand, aka Clifford Weisman during the investigation into the kidnapping and vivisection of several prostitutes. The encounter hadn't made a particularly strong impression on her – good or bad. At the time, he was just another person who might have been able to shed some light into the deaths.

Three days later, though, when she was condo hunting, it had taken her all of eleven seconds to recognize the young blond man in jeans and a t-shirt.

'Not what I expected,' she quipped, after a long beat of silence.

'I like to put on a show for the clientele,' he replied smoothly. 'Leather is way too sweaty to wear all the time.'

And things went from there.

Being a "man of the night" as he described himself, he wasn't the most judgmental of people, and even then, he had his own collection of nerd memorabilia. She found herself sticking around after the real-estate agent had left, they'd spent the night drinking bourbon and watching Hitchcock movies.

It was fun, and it was ridiculous but more than anything else, it was relaxing. She wasn't looking over her shoulder every minute, or waiting for the other shoe to drop. Feeling numb after the latest case, she wasn't entirely sure why she'd called him and asked him around out of the blue – usually there was, at the very least, a few day's notice about such events.

When he knocked on her door, he was wearing tight leather pants, and dark eyeliner, because apparently that's what the women were going for these days. While she got the reference, she had never been much of an Anne Rice fan, herself, and she was still a little wary of fake vampires after the run in with Dante. Still, the rebellious teen inside of her always flared with joy at the thought of her uptight neighbors misinterpreting the gigolo at her door. She doubted any of them would recognize the man that used to live in the condo - not in this particular getup, at least. He never entertained on home territory.

The kiss on the cheek he gave her was friendly, unassuming. Despite her crippling loneliness, she didn't think about him that way, and she knew for a fact that the feeling was mutual.

'Vere shud I set up ze restraints?' Cliff asked, in a paltry imitation of a Romanian accent, holding up a bottle of red, and a bag of Chinese food. Armand was a French name, as she'd reminded him, time and time again, but he still always used the same horrible accent.

'Next to the iron maiden,' she gestured towards the sofa, where her glass sat next to an already empty bottle.

'That bad, huh?' Cliff asked, in his normal voice – a Midwestern accent with the slightest hint of a southern twang. Emily gave a non-committal shrug in reply. His profession, too, was about behavioral analysis – she'd asked one night (drunker than she was ever willing to admit) and he'd launched into a detailed treatise on how a capable gigolo had to anticipate a client's wants and needs, especially when they weren't the most articulate of people. A little too similar to her job, she thought sometimes, because the victims were rarely in a position to say anything about what had been done to them.

Emily wasn't about to readily liken her job to prostitution, though – she wasn't that bitter yet. Furthermore, she absolutely, definitely was not about to insult one of her best friends about his lifestyle choices. She had initiated a few conversations regarding a potential change in careers, but that was mostly due to the fact that there were a lot of batshit insane people around, and she didn't want to see Cliff lying on a cold metal slab.

'Yeah,' Emily said dully, falling into the sofa with a heavy thud. 'That bad.'

She pretended not to care as he slipped a DVD into the player, but raised an eyebrow when the menu screen came up. 'Plan 9?' she asked. 'Really?'

'"My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"' Coupled with the leather and the make-up, the words sounded ridiculously horrifying, but she had to admit, his Narrator voice was much better than his Romanian vampire dom voice.

'You're like an abandoned extra from Rocky Horror,' she laughed, and it felt good. It felt right.

The wine continued to flow, as did the laughter, which, at one point, shifted into tears without either of them really realizing it.

'We need to get you a boyfriend,' he hiccupped, after their fourth glass of wine. 'Or a girlfriend. I'm not fussed. Anything's better than that battery-operated love slave you keep in your nightstand.'

'That love slave is more reliable than any man,' Emily countered, though it stung a little, because she knew he was right.

'Oh, sure,' he said, waving his hands about dramatically. 'But, I…you know, I mean I love coming over here, but quite frankly, Emily you need someone to fuck your fucking brains out.' He tripped over his words, and seemed to pay no attention to the repetition, but he still was definitely not wrong. 'I know a guy,' he added, and it almost seemed non-sequitur.

'Maybe tomorrow,' she muttered, setting her glass down on the coffee table.

'Yeah,' yawned Cliff. 'Maybe tomorrow.'