Title: Grow Your Own

Author: Kuria Dalmatia

Rating/Warnings: R (profanity, sexual situations)

Characters/Pairing: pre-slash Reid/Rossi, Team

Word Count:~600

Timeline: Late 3rd Season.

ARCHIVING: my LJ... anyone else? Please ask first.

COMMENTS: This is one of the failed concepts for the "Great Alphabet Meme", specifically "Jump Rope" as prompted by ayashi_mikage. I have no idea where I was going with this or how I was going to fit 'jump rope' into the story. Unbetaed.

Feedback always welcome.

DISCLAIMER: The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television own Criminal Minds. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.

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The last thing David Rossi expected was a question about his goatee. Specifically about his goatee in relation to, of all the goddamn things, oral sex. It wouldn't have been as bad if his interrogator, Spencer Reid, was drunk off his ass. No. This was a stone cold sober Reid asking him very personal questions in a damn hotel bar after a case in Zeeland, Michigan. At first, Dave was convinced that Morgan and Prentiss put Reid up to it as a joke on both him and Reid; they probably cajoled the socially awkward kid into a line of questioning that, if the kid really thought about it, would be mortifying.

But as Reid launched into some detailed explanation of nerve endings between the anus and the base of the scrotum, Dave knew that it wasn't a practical joke. In the eight months since Dave returned to the team, he knew that it was simply Reid's voracious curiosity. Something had piqued Reid's interest and like any good scientist—or in Reid's case, a scientist whose social skills weren't much better than a five-year-old—he investigated it.

All Dave wanted to do was make it stop. So he dialed up one of his 'back the fuck off' looks and snapped, "What do you want me to do? Prove your theory about nerve endings by giving you head? Okay then. Drop your pants and I'll show you."

Reid's jaw dropped and he made a few nonsensical sounds. His hands did that windmill thing he did when he was flustered. He then delivered Dave the most earnest, wounded look that Dave had ever seen on a grown man. Reid bit his lower lip. He looked down to his hands (which finally settled around his glass of soda) and then met Dave's gaze again.

Guilt washed over Dave immediately. The look on Reid's face reminded him of the way an abused puppy looks up at his master, confused why he was being punished for wanting just a little bit of attention. He felt like a complete ass.

To make matters worse, Reid's obvious distress garnered the attention of Prentiss and Morgan, who were returning from the bar with a fresh round of drinks. Like all good people, both immediately went to defend the obviously cowed and scared puppy. Prentiss slid into the seat next to Reid and glared at Dave, while she patted Reid's hand comfortingly.

Morgan opted for the 'taking a long slip of my drink while I stare the explanation out of you' option.

Before Dave could answer, Reid blurted out, "He wants me to open my pants so he can give me head."

Morgan did a spit-take, but thankfully turned his head to spray the carpet instead of the patrons. Dave held up his hands and snarled, "That statement is out of context! He—" Dave pointed at Reid "—wanted to know about..."

Dave stopped. He narrowed his eyes. He really hadn't been hazed all that much. Sure, he was a senior profiler and all that, but there were certain rights of passage. Yet from the looks on all three faces, he knew that this wasn't some elaborate prank on their part. No. Reid looked too goddamn innocent to pull off such a stunt.

Instead he got up, yanked out his wallet, and dropped a few twenties on the table. Dave pointed at Reid. "The next time you want to know about beards and sex, grow your own."

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