Me: What do you want to eat?
Morgan: Italian kinda sounds good.
Garcia: I was thinking hamburgers.
JJ: What about Mexican?
Hotch: Could you guys just decide?
Rossi: Yeah, I'm starving!
Me: I was feeling like Chinese.
Reid: Chopsticks? Really?
I don't own Criminal Minds.
"Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than remember me and cry." ~Unknown
If you saw him on the sidewalk, you would go out of your way to cross the street and avoid him. He was unrecognizable to all but what used to be his closest friends. These friends hadn't seen him in years, ever since he missed the plane.
Derek Morgan walked down the sidewalk of New York City. The BAU was there on a case, and Morgan was on his way to get some breakfast for the rest of the team. He was lost in thought when he ran into him.
"Ouch! Oh, I'm sorry, man," Morgan said as he turned to apologize to the stranger.
The man looked at him blankly. His eyes were dull behind his glasses. His hair was unkempt and the shadow of a beard covered his lower face. His clothes were ruffled and not the cleanest.
Morgan looked closer at the man who was mumbling some apology back. Morgan cocked his head to one side in puzzlement. "Kid?"
The man was already walking away. Morgan grabbed his arm. "Reid? Is that you?"
The man who vaguely resembled Spencer Reid looked at Morgan in confusion.
"Spence, it's me, Morgan."
A slight glimmer of recognition seemed to light Reid's eyes. "Morgan?"
"Yeah, Morgan. Where've you been, kid?"
The question only received another blank look as a response.
"How have you been? What have you been doing?"
Reid rubbed a hand through his long hair. "I've been… around…"
"How are you?" Morgan asked again.
"Do you need anything?"
"No!" Reid said firmly.
"Okay, okay." Morgan could sense he was loosing him. Reid was going to run at the first chance he got. I'm not about to loose my friend again this fast. "Hey, I was just about to go get some breakfast for the rest of the team. How about I buy you a coffee, just like old times?"
Reid hesitated, but he still couldn't resist the pull coffee had on him. "Okay. For old times sake."
Morgan joined Reid at the table in the coffee shop. He handed the kid his coffee and watched as Reid greedily drank from it.
"Just how I like it," Reid half smiled.
Morgan smiled warmly. "I can still remember from way back when."
Reid nodded absentmindedly as he stirred even more sugar into his cup. He was acting a little more like the Reid Morgan used to know with the coffee in his system, but he wasn't acting exactly right. Morgan waited for Reid to drink about half the cup before he asked the question on his mind.
"What happened to you, Reid?"
Reid stared out the window at the passing people. The sunlight hit his face at the perfect angle, showing Morgan the hollow cheeks and sunken eyes. Morgan wondered how the smartest guy he had ever known had sunk to this level.
"Reid?" Morgan pressed gently.
"I just didn't feel…useful anymore with the job I guess…"
"Reid, you know you were the best of us. You could have solved half the cases all on your own."
Reid shrugged but made no comment.
"Really, Reid. Why? Was it…" Morgan couldn't finish the sentence. He didn't want it to be true. He hoped that if he didn't say it, maybe it wouldn't be.
Reid tugged at his shirt sleeves, as if wishing to make them longer. Morgan didn't know if that was a confession or simply the haunting memory he was trying to forget.
Morgan dropped the subject and caught Reid up on what was going on with the team. He told him about JJ's baby and about how Morgan was the godfather. He told about Hotch's divorce. He told about Gideon quitting after Frank came back.
"He left you a letter."
Reid looked up sharply at this.
"None of us have read it. We've always carried it with us, in case we ever saw you."
Reid drained the rest of his coffee. "Thanks," he mumbled as he stood to leave.
Morgan stood. "Come back with me and I'll give it too you. You don't have to see anyone if you don't want to. Just come and get the letter. I promised myself that I would give it to you." If I ever saw you again.
Reid hesitated. "No, I really shouldn't. I've got to go meet a friend."
Morgan saw straight through Reid's lie, but didn't call him on it. He simply nodded. He and Reid said their good-bye's and went their separate ways.
Four days later, Morgan and the rest of the team was back in Quantico. They were all leaving the office on their way to a celebratory dinner. They had successfully caught the killer in New York and had a free night. They were all laughing, enjoying one of the few moments in between cases that they were able to totally relax.
The figure standing near Morgan's car immediately killed the laughter and put them all on edge. None of them said anything, but all of them were ready for anything. The lean man jumped when he saw the group of profilers. He stood up from his leaning position while attempting to straighten his clothes and hair simultaneously.
Morgan recognized the man. He waved the team back as he approached Reid. Reid had shaved and trimmed his hair a bit. His clothes were neater and he didn't look as sickly as he had only days earlier. The old smile Reid used to always give materialized as Morgan approached and Morgan knew that the old Reid was back.
"You said you had a letter for me?"
"I sure do, kid, I sure do."
If you're a returning fan, sorry I haven't written in a while. School got kind of crazy.
This story has been building in my head for a while. I got to thinking what if Reid had decided to disappear after missing the plane in New Orleans.
I thought it was a neat idea, so I ran with it.
Hope you liked it!
Reid and Review!!!