Okay, this one was just written quickly for fun. I felt like writing a cheesy, silly, slightly angsty story using one of my favorite, romantic at heart kind of scenarios. So like it or don't…but, as with the more carefully crafted stories, reviews are always welcome as well as appreciated. :D
"Amanda, I know you don't like them that way but…Look, it's one towel… But it's mine…I understand that too but…Amanda please, there's no need to yell…You're right. I'm sorry. Just please don't be upset. I'm at work, can we talk more when I get home?
Of course you're important but if I get fired…I know. Yes….no, don't say that. You know I do…Please…okay. Me too… Because, everyone is watching. Fine. I love you…I do. We're getting married aren't we? I'll call you later. All right. Bye."
Reid ended the call and slumped in his chair suddenly looking ten years older.
"You okay?" JJ asked.
"Yeah." He grumbled.
"She freaking out again?" Prentiss asked.
"No, not freaking out…" Reid said defensively.
"It sure sounded like it." JJ confirmed.
"She's just angry because I have this old towel I really like and I keep it by the tub…well, she's right, I need to replace it. Get one that matches hers. It's not a big deal. It's more important to her anyway…she just likes things to be nice for us…" He trailed.
"Reid, why the hell are you marrying her?" Prentiss blurts.
Spencer's eyes shoot up with a look of anger in them.
"What kind of question is that?" He spat.
Prentiss put her hands up in surrender.
"Why do you hate her so much? She's going to be my wife. A little support would be nice."
"Look, I am trying to support you. I just feel like you can do better. She's the first relationship you've had since I've known you and I just feel like you're selling yourself short." Prentiss explained.
"Thanks." He said sarcastically.
"Hey, you're a good lookin' guy. You just have to put yourself out there. Amanda isn't right for you. She's controlling, obnoxious and abusive." Prentiss rattled.
"She's really not…"
"Reid, she made you pack up your books. Even your favorite ones your mother gave you. She sold off all your collectibles to pay her debt, she doesn't work, makes your job impossible, she loses it if you don't answer, even if we're in the middle of a case, and if she thinks she hears a woman within a hundred feet of you she holds it over your head for weeks! She berates you, calls you stupid, she hates JJ, Garcia and I with a passion, and she hits you!" Prentiss said, blood boiling.
"She doesn't hit me!"
"I saw it with my own eyes! She slapped you! For giving me a birthday hug! And then you came in with that fat lip I'm still convinced she gave you."
"I walked into a door."
"Yeah, that's what they all say." JJ interjected.
"She's going to ruin your life Reid. Get out now before you knock her up and you're stuck with her for good." Prentiss admonishes.
Spencer stared at her with a disturbed look on his face. He looked over at JJ who's expression seemed to express agreement with Prentiss's assessment.
"It's not like women are beating down my door. And I care about her. I think we have a future…"
"Wait, wait, wait! You care about her? Reid, that's no reason to marry someone. You should be madly in love! The person you commit yourself to should make you happy. Make you feel good about yourself. Support you and trust in you. You're settling. And not even for something descent. You can't honestly tell me that you can see yourself with this woman in ten years. How is she going to treat your children? Seriously, think this through."
"I have. And besides, we're not having kids."
"What!" JJ exclaimed.
"We discussed it and…"
"You mean she decided and you caved! Spence, you always said you wanted kids. That you wanted to make up for the childhood you never had. You're giving up your life. Your dreams. Your entire sense of self…" JJ said, eyes tearing.
"Look," He said, getting to his feet. "I'm sorry you both feel this way but it's too late. It's going to happen. You're still invited next Saturday, but if you can't be happy for me then just don't bother coming." He said storming off.
"What are we going to do?" Prentiss asked.
"What the hell can we do?" JJ said, wiping a tear away.
"Maybe if we take him out and get him really drunk…"
"What? He'll sleep with some random stranger? Emily, Spencer would never do that. Besides, he hardly drinks."
"We could drug him."
"We're FBI, we can make her disappear…"
"Are you listening to yourself right now?"
"I'm desperate! He's about to make the biggest mistake of his life JJ! We have to do something! That woman is a fucking nightmare. We can't let him throw his life away."
JJ thinks for a moment eyeing the genius from across the bull pen.
"What do you have in mind?" She asked.
"Well, there's this place downtown…"
"No!" Spencer said for the umpteenth time.
"Come on Spence! It's a few hours of fun."
"I can't go to some club with a group of women JJ! Amanda would castrate me! We agreed no bachelor parties."
"It's not a bachelor party! It's just some friends hanging out celebrating together. You're going to be married in a week and we just want to spend some time with you before the big day."
"Can Amanda come?"
"Because, you just aren't yourself with her around and the whole point is for you to get away for a night. Just to relax and not worry about who's watching and what they'll do. Come on Spence. Just this one time."
"She's not going to like it…"
"Lie. Tell her you're going out with Hotch and Rossi."
"I can't lie…"
"Yes you can. And you don't have to feel bad about it either because you know yourself. You're a good boy and if you have to lie to get a breather that's her own damn fault."
"Please Spence! Come on, for us."
Spencer chewed his bottom lip thinking so hard JJ could literally hear the gears turning.
"The place we want to go to is a bit of a drive so you can bring your books on tape…" She offered.
"Really?" He asked brightening.
"Okay." He smiles. "I guess it couldn't hurt this once."
JJ wanted to laugh at the child-like glee brought on by the promise of such a simple indulgence, but at the same time cry because he honestly didn't believe he was worth more than Amanda made him believe he was. Which wasn't much. This woman was a master manipulator and she had Spencer trained well. It broke JJ's heart to see him losing himself to the point where he would lie just to listen to some lousy tapes. She was erasing her best friend and JJ wanted to break her face.
"So, what did you tell Amanda to get her to let you out of your cage?" Prentiss teased.
"I told her Hotch and Rossi wanted to meet to play poker with some other guys from the bureau. I said it was good to network since I want to move up and make more money."
"I didn't know you wanted to move up." JJ said.
"I don't." Spencer said simply.
"Oooh, look at you! Being all rebellious!" Prentiss stated proudly.
Spencer couldn't help but smile as he took out his disks. Prentiss groaned.
"Hey, it was part of the deal!" He declared.
"Fine, but Garcia is going to fight you on it when we pick her up."
They pulled up to the club about an hour later, Spencer feeling very out of sorts being with three lovely ladies in surroundings he'd never become accustomed to, even for growing up in Las Vegas. He fidgeted and hesitated when they got to the door forcing the girls to drag him in. What he saw when he entered caused him to struggle against them as he tried desperately to retreat.
"Calm down Spencer!" Garcia half giggled.
"Calm down? You said we were going to a club to dance!"
"This is a club and people are dancing." Prentiss pointed out.
"It's a strip club and I shouldn't be here, you know that!"
"It's only for a little while and it's for your own good. Besides, these aren't real strippers. It's armatures night. Anyone can dance and most of them don't make it past their skivvies." Garcia explains.
"I don't care! And neither would Amanda!"
"What did we tell you about using that name tonight? God Spencer, just cut loose and have a little fun for a few hours." She grumbles.
"If she finds out…"
The girls drug him to a table and forced him down in a seat.
"Now sit here and enjoy yourself!" Garcia growls.
Spencer takes a deep, shaky breath and relents. He didn't drive and there was no way he could slip out or call for a cab before he was missed, so he just decided to get it over with.
The girls had a plan. They knew he would never do anything stupid while he was in a committed relationship, but they hoped to take turns sending women in his direction for some harmless flirting, to show him he was desirable and boost his self confidence. If anything, he might drink more to calm his nerves and maybe then, by the grace of God, something would give.
After the sixth woman approached to chat Spencer up and suggest that he get up and shake what the good lord gave him, he was beyond flustered. He had a feeling that something was up but he was surrounded. Finally, he stood and made his way to the bar claiming he needed a refill. The girls reluctantly allowed him enough liberty from captivity to do so, keeping him under close surveillance. When he turned in the crowd to see if they were still watching, he collided with something. Someone.
"Woah buddy!" a voice said.
"Oh, sorry!" He replied before coming face to face with a rather large, good looking, dark skinned man.
"It's cool. You okay? You look like you've seen a ghost." The man said with a chuckle.
"Y-yeah. I'm just…well, my friends, they kind of forced me here and…never mind." He replied, trying not to ramble.
"I feel ya. Women can be kind of…persistent when they want their way." He smiled.
"Yeah, you're telling me. Hey, wait, how did you know I was with…"
"I saw you awhile ago. You're kind of hard to miss in a place like this. No offense. I mean, you just don't look like the kind of guy that frequents these places. Even if you do seem pretty popular." He said, smile widening into a grin.
Spencer was a bit taken aback. He hadn't realized people were genuinely noticing him, and was embarrassed that he was such a spectacle, let alone having anyone use the term popular and him in the same sentence.
"Um, I just, I don't usually…my friends are just trying to help me out. I'm not exactly a ladies man, so I'm pretty sure they had something to do with it." He said quickly, blushing.
"Is that so. Well, I don't know about that. A pretty boy like you must do alright."
Spencer's eyes widened and he about fell over. Did this guy just call him pretty?
"I'm sorry. Did I say something wrong? I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable." The handsome man said.
"N-no. You didn't. I'm just not used to…uh, do you come here often?"
Spencer mentally slapped himself. Do you come here often? Had he really just said that? It's sounded like a pick up line! This guy was going to kick his ass!
"No, just twice. My job is stressful and I was drug here same as you the first time. But I found it was a good outlet." He laughed.
"Outlet? What do you do?" Reid asked, still surprised the guy hadn't laid him out.
"I'm a cop."
"Wow, really? So what's the appeal in coming here?"
The girls looked all around the bar and couldn't see Spencer.
"He didn't take off did he?" JJ asked worried.
"Nah, he values his life too much." Prentiss replied squinting through the crowd.
"Hello chocolate thunder!" Garcia whistled.
"Garcia, focus. We're looking for Reid." Prentiss scolded.
"And I found him. He's talking to that gorgeous hunk of man over there." She pointed.
"Psh, leave it to Reid to find another guy to chat with to lower his guilt quotient. At this rate we'll never get him away from that bitch." Prentiss griped.
"Well he's certainly got better taste in men than women." JJ smirked.
After a long while of chatting, Reid suddenly realized that a good twenty minutes had passed as he'd talked with this man. He was surprised at how easy the conversation seemed considering he didn't know him. Usually he was so self conscious he had trouble talking to people, but this guy seemed to put him at ease. He supposed it was because it was part of his job, and the fact that the guy was so easy on the eyes didn't hurt his ability either.
He'd learned that the man, now known as Derek, had moved here from Chicago about two years earlier. He'd been on the force for about ten years, and to Spencer's amazement, had come in hopes of joining the FBI. When he found out that Spencer was an agent, he seemed shocked but wasn't exceedingly obvious about it. Reid explained how he'd come to work with the bureau and Derek just stared in awe.
"Wow, three PHD's huh? You really are just full of surprises kid. That's amazing."
Spencer smiled brightly. He couldn't help it. Positive attention was rare for him. Especially from someone like Derek.
"Well, if you want to come by sometime I can show you around. Introduce you to some people that might be able to help your chances."
"Ah, I wouldn't want to put you out like that."
"It's no bother. If it's what you want to do, well, it couldn't hurt right?"
Derek shot him a gleaming smile that made Spencer's stomach flip. He pulled out his wallet and handed him his card. Reid did the same.
"You know, I don't really believe in coincidences." Derek said as he slid the card into his wallet. "Who knows, this could be the beginning of a beautiful…"
"Is there a Derek in the house?" A voice boomed through the house speakers. "You're up Derek! Let's make him feel at home folks! Come on! Show the love!"
The whole place cheered and people were clapping.
"That's me. It was great talking with you. Gimmie a call Spencer. We'll grab lunch!" Derek yelled running toward the stage.
Spencer smiled and laughed as he watched the man rush up the side steps, a rhythmic techno beat overtaking the room. He headed back to the table where the girls sat, eyes glued to the stage as the man he'd just spoken to got his groove on. He definitely had a commanding presence. Everyone's attention was on him. Garcia whistled and every woman screamed as Derek all but ripped his shirt off, hips gyrating to the beat. Spencer sat staring wide eyed at the man he was now mentally equating with a Greek God that had descended from the heavens. His exquisitely sculpted form was enhanced by the swinging lights that played across his body as his muscles flexed with his every movement. Even as a straight man, Spencer had to admit he was quite a sight. And one hell of a dancer.
"Huh?" He said, brought out of his strange daze by JJ's voice.
"Wow, that must have been one hell of a conversation." She joked.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"She means that maybe Amanda is even more wrong for you than we'd thought." Prentiss giggled.
"What?" He said confused.
"Oh, come on, dish! We saw you talking with him…and exchanging numbers!" Garcia squealed.
"Oh, um, I just bumped into him. Turns out he's a police officer. He hopes to join the FBI someday, so, we exchanged info." Spencer summarized.
Now the girls were really curious. Spencer was never that short about anything. They kept prying and teasing until their attention was drawn back to the stage. Derek made his way closer as Garcia got up and waved a dollar. He turned, and shook his ass at her as she tucked the bill into his underpants. Prentiss slid something into Reid's hand and he glanced down to find a crisp five in his palm.
"Did you want a drink?" He asked her confused.
Emily shook her head and motioned toward Derek. Reid sat for a moment until understanding hit.
"No! No way!" He yelled. "I just met the guy! And…I stress the word GUY!"
"Do it or I'll call your fiancé." Emily said with a dead serious glare.
Spencer looked at her like a deer caught in headlights.
Emily picked up her phone and scrolled to Amanda's number. Spencer leaped up toward the stage waving the five like Garcia had. When Derek caught his eye, he though the guy would kick his teeth in. To Spencer's surprise, not only did the man make his way back, but he was grinning at him. When he came close enough, the awkward agent tried to just slip the bill in as quickly as possible, but Derek kept pulling back teasingly. Spencer met his eyes trying to understand the game and tingles ran over his flesh at the look in the other mans dark gaze. Derek came forward once more rolling his hips in slow circles. He didn't move back this time but thrusted forward as Reid slid the bill in, forcing his slender hand to brush his groin. He about died. Suddenly, a hand gripped his wrist and he was being pulled upward toward the stage.
The next thing Spencer knew, he was face to face with a half naked man and the whole place was going wild. Derek took his shoulders and turned him around to face the crowd. Spencer looked out at the sea of faces and freaked. He tried to dash off stage but was pulled back as a pair of strong hands grasped at his hips.
"Just move with me." Derek said in his ear.
Spencer closed his eyes tightly as the hands guided his hips in circles, then back and forth, encouraging him to dance. When the women started screaming again, Spencer felt his arms being raised in the air. Then, without warning, his sweater vest was being pulled up over his head. He tried to grab it back, to turn and flee, but arms were wrapping around him from behind and he was trapped. Then, he stood horrified as hands began to unbutton his shirt eliciting more excitement from the crowd. Spencer grabbed the culprits and tried to still them.
"Come on. Just go with it. It'll make you a new man." The strong voice soothed.
Just then, the music changed, now that classic striping tune was on, making the whole situation that much more ridiculous. When the last button was popped, Derek opened the right side, closed it, opened the left, closed it, then pulled the entire thing right off as it was thrown to Garcia and the crowd went crazy. Now shirtless, in front of his friends and the whole establishment, Spencer hung his head in utter humiliation knowing how he must look in comparison to Derek.
When he felt the hands working his pants open, his head shot up, but before he could stop it, there was a tug and his eyes nearly popped out of his skull as the garment pooled at his ankles. He knew he should have worn a belt. Then he froze as the cursed hands found his waist as their owner pressed against him and moved.
"Let go. Have fun. Just focus on the music. Focus on me."
Spencer turned his head slightly in question.
"Look, you offered to help me, I'm just returning the favor." Derek said. "Now loosen up."
Spencer did as he was told knowing the sooner he complied, the sooner it would be over. He stepped out of his pants and shoes and followed the older man's hands, hips moving. His arms were brought into the air again and Derek's knees hit the back of his, forcing him to dip. A new song came on as he was turned to face his captor. Hands were on his hips again and Derek caught his eyes as they swayed and shimmied to the beat. Spencer's gaze faltered as two fingers caught his chin bringing it back.
The young agent soon became transfixed by the heavy beat reverberating in his chest, and the dark eyes fixed on him. Before he knew it, they were moving around one another, dancing like they were in a normal club on a normal dance floor.
Spencer became so far removed from the reality of his surroundings, so possessed by this strange new liberation, that his awkward limbs became almost graceful, his movements more fluid. Derek came closer, not quite touching him, but close enough to feel the heat radiating from one another. They continued on like that for what felt like forever, but in actuality was maybe five minutes. When the hypnotic beat ended, and Reid was once again aware of the room full of extremely vocal voyeurs, he scurried to collect his discarded clothes and ran off the stage.
Spencer just stood there in a dark corner trying to process. Finally, he puts his pants, shoes and sweater on making his way back to the girls for his shirt, eyes downcast to avoid anyone who might be staring.
"Oh my God Reid! That was so hot!" Emily screamed.
"I can't believe you did that! I about died!" JJ cried.
"Wow, good thing you gave him your number. He'll definitely be using it!" Garcia said excitedly.
Spencer went to defend himself then glanced at his watch.
"Damn! I have to get back!"
"Oh, chill out. What's the worst she can do? You do have a gun you know." Prentiss mumbled.
"Ha. Ha. Just get me back now please." Spencer retorted, un-amused.
"But I think your boyfriend is looking for you." Garcia teased.
"Don't start with that again Garcia. I'm straight. I'm sure he is too."
"Seriously? Did you just see…"
"He was putting on a show for everyone." Reid said. "Trying to get me to loosen up."
"Uh-huh. I'll bet he wants to get you loose." Prentiss said with an evil grin.
"Ugh. Guys, quit making it into something it's not with those fevered imaginations of yours. I'm practically a married man."
"Don't remind us." Prentiss huffed.
"Come on. I did what you wanted, I came out with you, I traumatized myself beyond repair. Now if I don't get home soon, you'll be attending a funeral instead of a wedding."
"Is there a difference?" Emily snorted.
Spencer ignored the comment heading quickly toward the door. They reluctantly followed him out of the club.