Aliens and Unsubs
Note: written for the Ficathon Walks Into a Bar challenge on Livejournal
Spencer Reid walks into a bar, only to turn around and walk right back out again so he can throw up in peace. He isn't sure how he got here from the creepy, serial killer basement and he doesn't know which one he prefers. He can't find any edges, the colors don't look like colors and Reid's pretty sure there's a squid sitting at the bar. Plus (and here's where Reid throws up again just thinking about it) something with four arms tries to talk to him and Reid doesn't understand a word. In fact, he's pretty sure there is no language that makes those noises and Reid knows enough linguistics to have a BA in it, even though he doesn't.
"Hey mate, you alright?" someone asks above him. British, Spencer's mind supplies, London. It reminds him that accent in England is still a fair indication of class and that it used to contain location information to within spitting distance. What a Londoner is doing in a bar with no edges and no language, Reid has no idea.
He wipes his mouth and straightens, desperate to see who is speaking English and hoping it isn't an incandescent cactus. He doesn't think he can handle that right now.
It isn't an incandescent cactus. It's a man, black, medium build, wearing what Spencer would be wearing if he followed the fashion trends of his peers.
"You're not a cactus," Reid says.
"No," the man says. He looks a bit worried, but not about the fact that Reid thought he might be a desert dwelling plant. "Look, I think you should come with me. Us Earthlings have to stick together, right? And there's this guy you should meet." He waves his hands in the direction of the door. Spencer feels a little panicked. The man catches the look.
"Yeah," he says, "It's a bit much at first, but you get used to it. Just…Just don't look too hard."
Easier said than done; looking too hard is 90% of Reid's job. He lets the man go first and keeping his eyes on his nicely human head.
Another man appears in front of them, with too tall hair and a smile full of teeth.
"Mickey!" he says, "Who's your friend?"
Reid thinks he's speaking English, but he can only understand him if he lets his mind go a little loose. Then the words bypass his ears and run into his brain, skipping right past audiology and going straight on into understanding. If this is a dream, Spencer hopes that he doesn't wake up anytime soon because that is the coolest thing ever.
"Supervisory Special Agent Doctor Spencer Reid," Reid says and flashes his badge out of habit.
"Fantastic!" the stranger says, "Sit tight with Mickey, I'll be back in a tick." A puddle of purple goo oozes up his arm to wrap itself around his neck and envelop his head. He flashes them a thumbs up and disappears through the crowd towards the back of the bar. Mickey seems to take this in stride.
"Was that a badge?" he asks, "Can I see it?" Normally Reid would say no, but given how the day is working out, why not?
"FBI," Mickey says as he examines it, "So you must be some sort of super secret agent. That's so cool. Wait till I tell everyone at home, they'll flip." He sounds like meeting Reid is the most exciting part of his day so far and doesn't seem to notice the irony. Spencer raises his eyebrows and pointedly sweeps his gaze across the room.
"Yeah," Mickey says a bit sheepishly. He can't seem to keep a grin off his face. "But this is all the Doctor, you know? It's not like I'm going to be telling everyone about this place down at the pub. It's cool though, right? Bet you didn't wake up expecting to meet some aliens today. Bet you didn't even know they existed."
No, he woke up this morning expecting to talk a serial killer out of his suicide by cop end game and shoot to kill if necessary. When he thinks about it like that, this alien deal isn't that bad.
"Actually, the Drake Equation was written by Doctor Frank Drake in 1961 to predict the number of extraterrestrial civilizations. Historically, this equation has been shown to equal 10, but with less conservative, more optimistic estimates this value increases significantly," Reid says.
By the time Spencer's finished, Mickey looks a bit glazed. Reid's used to it; he's been getting that look since he was eight. He scratches idly at his chin and waits for it to pass.
The Doctor comes running past, skidding a little to slow down as he nears them.
"Mickey, time to go," he says. "Your friend too. Run!" Mickey rolls his eyes and lets out a long-suffering sigh. Reid looks back to the group the Doctor was with. He doesn't expect his expertise in human behavior to translate well to aliens, but if he had to make an educated guess, he'd classify their body language as homicidal.
"Again?" Mickey says. He grabs Reid by the shoulder and drags him towards the door. The Doctor is already outside and running. Spencer can feel the familiar buzz of adrenaline building.
It's just his luck that he walks into an alien bar and ends up running for his life. He may not be in Quantico anymore, but his life hasn't changed that much.