Gideon's laugh was infectious, and it had even Hotch laughing. Reid picked another piece of popcorn out of his hair and glared at his three friends from across the table. The peace weighted heavily in the room, covering them in a blanket of calm. Hotch eyed every member of his team, and he was surprised to find himself overwhelmed by a feeling of family. These devoted men and women were his family, the very family that had held him steady through the hardest times in life. His love and devotion to each of them as individuals, and as a team made his world go round.
His eyes landed on Reid, who's flustered face was trying to stay facing forward as another piece of popcorn hit him. The symbol of innocence on the team, the one and only of them that would never break a trust and was loyal more then anyone else he'd ever met. Morgan's foot tapped at the back of Reid's chair, and the younger man pushed his chair forward, pushing his long hair out of his eyes. Prentiss leaned over the table, pulling gently on Reid's hair before quickly sitting back, suppressing giggles.
Hotch wasn't sure if he should intervene or not, but Jason beat him to it. Jason leaned over towards Reid and pulled his chair closer to his and patted his back; all without taking his eyes off the projector screen. Reid visibly relaxed, and Morgan leaned over to whisper something to the girls; then more laughter erupted. Spencer's mouth broke into a smile, and he quickly turned around; launching a handful of popcorn at the other agents. Shocked, they stared back; and Jason shook with silent laughter while Reid's eyes sparkled with satisfaction.
Hotch grinned to himself as Reid wheeled his chair back around the table, stopping right next to JJ. She ruffled his hair, resting her arm on his shoulder. Amused, Hotch watched from the corner of his eye as Reid's eyes widened. Morgan leaned over and whispered something to Garcia who turned to observe the scene, then she whispered something back in reply. Jason didn't give the room a second thought as he got up to change the reel to the next one.
Reid had been doing much better as time had gone on. For awhile, they'd all been extremely worried. Reid's irritability, impulsiveness, and erratic behavior was so out of character and scary that Hotch had actually considered demanding a psych evaluation. The only reason he didn't was because he knew what that would do to his youngest. With all of Reid's fears and paranoid thoughts, he may never trust in them again. Instead, he'd calmly escort Reid into a private area when Spencer would begin to show signs of distress.
Without a word, he'd sit with him; without the eyes of others. No words needed, Hotch would sit within a reasonable distance as Spencer shook and rocked, scratching at his neck and arms. The only sounds in the room would be Reid's labored breathing as he struggled to control his wave of withdrawal symptoms. He pretended he wasn't there, except for the few times Reid actually reached out to grab his hand, squeezing until the pain went away. He knew it'd be his career if anyone outside the team got wind of him covering Reid's drug abuse. But he just couldn't turn his friend away when he'd scramble to the garbage can to throw up the food that wasn't in his stomach. Weakened, but not weak, Reid would get up and rush out the door and go on like nothing happened. Hotch would follow, keeping his emotions off his face.
Seeing Reid now, smiling and almost back to normal, he knew he'd make the right decision. Ever since the last time, Reid had looked at Hotch with more friendly then intimidated eyes, and Hotch knew Reid would never look at him the same way again. Morgan got up from his chair to stretch, poking Garcia in the side before walking to the door, hesitating to flick Reid's ear before heading out the door. "Where's he going?" Prentiss whispered to Garcia who licked her lips.
"Bathroom," she giggled and Prentiss nudged her with a wink, "Or so he says he's going to the bathroom, but with all that leg touching he was doing, I'm not sure if I believe him. There's many things a man can do in the bathroom." Prentiss and JJ cracked up and Jason shot them a look that wasn't completely annoyed.
"Why would he be going to the bathroom if he didn't have to go?" Reid chimed in, confused. "What else do you go in the bathroom for?" Three more handfuls of popcorn hit him in the head, and Hotch finally understood why he cared so much for every member of the team.