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Armed & Dangerous
For a minute, Spencer's eyes flashed like a doe caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. His thoughts, normally ordered and easily contained, ran rampant for those few milli-seconds it took for his synapses to suddenly connect and create coherent words. "It's nothing, Dave," he shook his head, dropping his gaze as he attempted to step away from the elder man.
"When has that answer ever worked on me, Doc?" Dave asked quietly, tightening his grip on Spencer's wrist as he tugged the younger man around to face him, unwilling to allow an escape now that his target was in sight. "We've had this discussion before. You know you can tell me anything. No fear. No repercussions," he reminded him gently, well aware how hard it was for the soul in front of him to divulge those well-kept and buried secrets. But, hell, this was him. The man that loved Spence more than he had three previous wives combined. That had to count for something, didn't it?
"I know that, Dave," Spencer said quickly, lifting worried eyes to Dave's face. Seeing the determined set in Dave's clenched jaw, Spence mentally winced, not wanting to have a stupid argument about his foolish insecurity today. But, his lover was nothing if not a persistent pain in the ass when he wanted answers and Reid could tell by the shine of Rossi's honest eyes that he was determined to have full disclosure of whatever problem, real or imagined, there might be. Finally, Spence muttered, "I just...you'll think I'm being stupid."
"Over the last year, I've accused you of being a lot of things, Doc," Dave said with a slow smile, his thumb rubbing soft circles against Spencer's thin arm. "Stupid has never been one of them, has it?"
"Well...no," Reid admitted uncomfortably, blushing under the scrutiny of Dave's penetrating eyes. "It's just silly, Dave. Can't we just drop it?" Spence grumbled, absently kicking one sneaker against the weathered deck planks.
"No," Dave replied flatly as he carefully watched the younger man's agitation grow.
"Why not?" Spence groaned, glaring up at his lover with a frown.
"Because, obviously it bothers you...whatever it is. And you know I'm not a guy that likes to let things fester. So, spit it out, Reid," Dave demanded, his tone hardening with each passing word.
Oh, he knew that tone...that timber that warned Rossi was reaching the end of his patience. From experience, he was also aware that the next phase of Dave's wrath would be shouting. Loud shouting. And then cursing. And honestly, he didn't have that kind of energy today to attempt deflection or distraction. Especially when he knew that, in the end, he was still gonna be forced onto that dratted firing lane anyway.
"I don't want you to see how weak I am," Spencer blurted in a faint voice.
"Huh?" Rossi grunted, taken off guard by Spence's confession, the words jumbling around him in confusion. Weak? How could anyone, let alone him, think that the brilliant mind standing before him was weak? Had this feeling of inadequacy stemmed from the good-natured teasing he'd endured at Derek Morgan's hands? From the well meaning guidance Prentiss and JJ had tried to offer him? From Hotch's direct order that the man before him needed to practice more? Or even from him..from Dave himself? Where the hell had this come from?
"You heard me," Reid mumbled, turning to stare out over the wooded property behind the house, his acute vision blurring for a moment as he stared at the hazy line of pine trees. "Don't make me say it again, Dave."
Dropping Spencer's arm, Dave shook his head dumbly. "On what planet in which universe did you ever come up with that shit, Spencer? You're one of the single strongest men that I know," Dave rumbled behind him.
"Yeah, right," Spencer snorted in disgust, his shoulders hunching as he tugged his jacket a bit tighter. "I'm so competent that it takes an entire team to help me qualify on my weapon every year."
"We all have different strengths and weaknesses, Spencer. It's what makes us a good team. We complement each other," Dave replied, frowning as he realized that the man he loved actually believed the nonsense flowing from his lips.
"God, Dave," Spencer muttered indignantly, his spine stiffening as he felt his chest tighten, "Now you're spouting platitudes? Do us both a favor and save it," he ordered, lifting his eyes as a bird cawed overhead.
"It's not a fucking platitude, damn it. It's the truth and you know it. Your mind works faster than anything I've ever seen. In the time it takes me to gather one coherent thought, you've had three. Your brains works faster than anyone's on the team. That's your strength. I can't do that, but I'll be damned if I think it makes me weak."
"People look at you, Dave, and nobody wonders if you're gonna come out of an apprehension alive. But, me? Me, they feel the need to protect," Spencer muttered, staring down at his scoffed shoes.
"Because you're invaluable, Doc. Your skills can't be replaced. Of course we're gonna do everything we can to ensure your safety," Rossi replied reasonably, gently turning the younger man to face him. "You are not weak. Your mind is your most lethal weapon, Spencer. But that doesn't mean that a gun won't save your life, too. I just want you to be able to wield both with equal accuracy."
"It's never going to happen," Reid sighed as Dave rested his hands on either side of his body against the wooden railing.
"Defeatist talk," Rossi snapped impatiently, pressing his foot against Spencer's. "And complete bullshit," he added, his eyes boring into Spencer's. "Do you trust me?"
Rolling his eyes at the question, Spence stared back at Dave, his heart literally swelling as he confided, "You know I do."
Leaning forward to speak against Spencer's ear, Dave demanded, "Then trust me enough to believe that I can help you."
Shivering as Dave's hot breath gusted against his neck, Spencer turned his head to brush his lips against Rossi's whiskered cheek. "I trust you with my life."
"I'd rather you trust me with your heart," Dave countered easily, smiling slightly as he felt Spencer's stiff body relax slightly against him "Trust me enough that you don't doubt my motivations. That you don't feel like you have to hide your feelings from me. I thought we were past that."
"We are," Spencer insisted, covering the hand resting beside his hip on the railing with his. "I just hate feeling inferior and sometimes...your persona...it..."
"It's a persona, Spencer," Dave said softly. "It's other people's perceptions of who I am. I've SHOWN you the genuine me. You KNOW who I am. Stop doubting me. And above all, stop doubting YOU."
And in that moment, with the glowing sun filling the sky behind them and the faint sounds of birds chirping in the distance, Spencer Reid felt a freedom that he had never experienced before. For the first time ever, he knew that he could allow himself to release those feeling of inadequacies and to rely on this man in front of him to catch him if he fell, proverbially or in reality. "Okay," Reid swallowed, moving to cover Dave's lips with his, pouring his unspoken apology into his kiss.
Moaning softly as Spencer's tongue gently asked entrance into his mouth, Dave parted his lips. He could taste the younger man's regret. "I love you and all your insecurities, Doc," he whispered against Reid's mouth, relief and something that could only be described as elation flooding through him as he deepened the connection.
Finally breaking the kiss, Spence leaned his forehead against Dave's. "I'm glad," he commented gratefully. "And I love you, too." Clearing his throat as he looped his arms around Dave's waist, he asked, "Now, tell me about this grand plan of yours to make me into an expert marksman."
A slow wicked smile playing against Dave's lips as his eyes twinkled, he drawled, wriggling his eyebrows, "Weeeelllll...have you ever heard of strip shooting, Doc?"
And eyes widening, Spencer knew David Rossi was prepared to teach him a whole new meaning of the phrase "Armed and Dangerous". Something told him that this would be a lesson he'd never forget.