TITLE: Foxtrot Whiskey Bravo
AUTHOR: Kuria Dalmatia
See Chapter 1 disclaimers, author's notes, etc.
Elle is not physically tired, but linguistically tired. It's hard to explain to her non-bilingual colleagues, especially when Morgan says, "English, please" for the fourth time that evening because she's lapsed into Spanish without realizing it. Reid gets it; the man can read Latin and Greek fluently. She's seen some of his reports, the ones Hotch returns with circles of red ink and scrawled question marks. Reid's embarrassed when he makes slips like that, but explains to Elle that Greek is sometimes faster to write and more precise when it comes to descriptions.
Reid's Spanish is horrifying. His accent makes her cringe and while she tries to coach him a little, he waves her off and blurts out Latin. She hears Hotch coughing out a laugh somewhere on the jet, and it reminds her that as a former prosecutor, Hotch must have learned Latin somewhere along the line.
After the case was over, Elle ends up at Reid's apartment. She's restless, impatient. She doesn't want to close her eyes for fear of what her dreams will be like. The victims turning their rapist "into a woman" is unsettling, especially when Maria Sanchez, the district attorney general, praises the women publicly. It's only when Elle is naked and curled up against Reid that she says, "Sanchez basically green-lighted vigilantism."
He's half-hard as she speaks, yet unnaturally still which can be unnerving. It took Elle three or four times to realizes that Reid is simply lost in his thoughts, trying to figure out the best way to explain his point of view. Finally, he says, "Sanchez didn't really have a choice. Her subordinate called in experts from another country to work the case. Then, the victims hunted down the UnSub and castrated him." His lips turn downward. "It's all political."
"You're supposed say, 'Elle, you mean you're not happy those women cut the UnSub's dick off?'"
Reid doesn't chuckle or snort. Instead, he lets out a sigh. "On one hand, you admire the women for coming forward and banding together to take him down. On the other, you think about the repercussions, how someone later—probably a man—is going to use the same type of excuse to hurt a woman."
She pokes him. "Hey. No profiling."
"You started," he shoots back and jostles her a little. After a few moments, Reid asks, "Did you feel like you where at home? Speaking Spanish all the time?"
Elle stiffens and moves to roll away. Reid's grip tightens; he's far stronger than he looks. She glares at him, willing for him to let her but also pissed that she can't get away.
"Physics," he explains simply and then relaxes, allowing her to escape if she chooses.
Elle doesn't move. She thinks about home and her mother. The last words her mother spoke before Elle left for good. She says them now, the tildes rolling off her tongue easily. "Ninguna hija mía será policía."
There's a long moment of silence; Reid breathes in deep intervals. Finally, he ventures, "Policía is police. Hija is daughter and mía is a possessive." He pauses and shifts slightly. He's done his part, and is waiting for her to translate. It's like that between them, this give and take.
Sighing, she tells him, "No daughter of mine will be police."
"Ah." Reid nods and then, of all things, laughs—but it's bitter. His voice takes on that confessional tone. "On her good days, my mother thinks I chose to work for the fascist government. On her bad days, she believes I've been brainwashed."
It takes a few moments for Elle's mind to catch up to what he's saying. When it does, she's stunned. It's the piece of the puzzle missing from the Bryar case. Reid understands Bryar because he's dealt with it firsthand. Elle can't help the gasp as she sits up in bed. She looks down at Reid, but his face is turned away. "Hey." She taps his chin. "Hey."
"She's a paranoid schizophrenic in a Vegas sanitarium," he admits and there's so much shame in his voice that Elle settles back down and pulls him tightly to her. It takes a few moments for him to relax into her embrace but when he does, he tucks his head down so that her chin rests on his temple. She's surprised that he doesn't scoot down further so that his head is between her breasts but then realizes how maternal that position will be.
"I won't tell anyone," Elle swears, because that's what they do for one another. Share those most intimate secrets that others wouldn't guard as carefully.
"I know," he says, hands ghosting across her skin. Their breathing falls into sync. His next question is quiet, cautious. "Have you always had something like this?"
"Foxtrot Whiskey Bravo." He clears his throat. "With, you know…others."
"Yes, back in Seattle," she tells him, running her fingers through his hair. Elle stares at the ceiling, wondering if this can ever progress beyond simple 'friends with benefits'. She wonders how emotionally vulnerable Reid is, if he's thinking that this is more that what it is. "You're okay with it, right?"
"I don't think I could handle if it was more than this," he blurts softly.
Elle kisses him and meets his gaze. It's her turn to say, "Ditto."
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