Fake Strength

"...Takes place a little after the season finale. Maybe an hour or two (not meaning two eps, but in fact only two hours :) after Spicer's killed. Pleaz R&R!"

"Reid, is something wrong?" Hotch asked, causing Reid to jump. "Er, sorry. I didn't mean to scare you.."

"No, it's not your fault. This case is just putting me on edge." Reid stammered.

"Want to talk about it?" Hotch asked.

"It's just...I've always been afraid of the dark, and now Morgan's missing..." Reid gulped, pressing back tears. Fortunately, the darkness around them hid the tears that silently slid down his face.

"Hey, I know this is hard, but you have to stay strong- if not for me, for Morgan. I know how close you two are, and I know that this must be pretty tough for you. You're afraid of the dark, your friend is missing, you have no control over the situation, and we have no idea where the UnSub is. Trust me, I feel just as bad as you do right now." Hotch soothed.

"I know. I shouldn't be acting like this. I'm an FBI agent with multiple doctorates degrees and an IQ of 187. I should be smart enough to know that everyone's in the situation with me." Reid said, nodding his head. "God, I must sound like an idiot kid right now." Reid added with a disgusted laugh.

"No, you sound like a worried friend who wants to know his friend's okay." Hotch replied. Reid stayed silent for a moment, roughly wiping away tears. Hotch noticed the action and frowned. He didn't like it when people cried. "Reid, come here." Hotch gently said, pulling Reid closer to him. "Come on, let it out. You need to be strong for him, so let it out now." Reid obediently started crying, not that he needed someone to command him to; he already was. He felt Hotch's warm arms wrap around him, letting him cry on his chest as he hid Reid from the public's eye-view in case someone was to walk by. He let Reid nuzzle closer to him, knowing the emotional toll that all of this was taking on him.

"I'm sorry." Reid sniffled, backing away from Hotch's warm embrace. "And...and thank you."

"You don't have to apologize, or thank me, for that matter." Hotch said sternly. "Everyone cries, Reid, it's normal." Reid nodded in understandment before standing up again.

"We should, uh, we should get back to the case." Reid prompted, wiping away his final tears and gaining his vision back.

"Yeah." Hotch nodded. "Are you going to be okay?"

"For now, I think I will be." Hotch gave Reid a sympathetic smile before walking into the room where everyone else was again.

Just before they entered the room, Reid looked over shyly at Hotch. Unfortunately, Hotch noticed. Seeing he had been found out, Reid faked a smile and reached over to Hotch. He gave him a half-hearted hug, which Hotch had returned with a peck on the cheeks. Reid blushed, not used to the physical affection. Hotch pushed a strand of hair out of Reid's face before he opened the door.

Reid stood up as tall as he could, ready to fake the strength that his best friend and his boss had taught him so well to do...

"...Not too slashy, but still slashy. R&R?"