It's cutting it close, but here it is: my submission for the March Madness prompt from Chit Chat on the Author's Corner. It's not nearly my finest work because I don't feel smart enough to be writing about Reid (he intimidates me), and I don't feel funny enough to be writing about Garcia (she's larger than life :) ). But, I'll take whatever comes my way. Just promise to be kind and let me down easy? -Taylor. xx
Disclaimer: Criminal Minds isn't mine, neither is the NCAA. I do however live in the state of one of the final four teams. Can you guess which one that is?
It was late on a mid-March night that the BAU was stuck in the office doing tedious amounts of overdue paperwork. Even Garcia, who avoided paperwork like the plague, stopped her daily routine to help out her favorite crime fighters. They were all leaned over desks, necks aching like they'd slept on it wrong for weeks and hands cramping like crazy. It was nearing nine o'clock before Reid declared that he was going to take a break. The reason that he wasn't questioned was because they all secretly had put a few of their own files in his stack, knowing he would still finish before them either way. Only Penelope's eyes followed him out of the room, suspiciously. She had no guilty conscience, so she excused herself to the ladies' room.
With more stealth than she thought possible, she crept along behind the unsuspecting genius to the only room on the floor with an actual television (aside from her office, of course); the janitor's closet. The janitor, Hal, was a curious fellow, who never said more than he was asked to and got his job done quickly, and never left any mess in his wake. Though Garcia had never personally met the man, she knew quite well how the team liked him, and knew almost everything there was to know about Hal (as the Bureau's best TA, they asked her to do most of the background checks). She had never known Reid to be a friend of his, or a friend of many people, to be quite honest, so the fact that he suddenly slipped into the closet was a complete mystery to her.
Curiosity getting the better of her, once again, she followed him into the small room. It was large enough that she could stand without touching him, but small enough that she still had to control her breathing so as not to be detected. Hal was noticeably absent from his post, but the television was alive and bright. Spencer's eyes were glued to it and Garcia's mouth hung open slightly. He was watching basketball. Not even the NBA, but college basketball. As far as she knew, she didn't even think that Reid knew any of the rules of basketball, let alone that he was a closet fan.
After a minute, he glanced over his shoulder, her figure falling right into his line of vision. He jumped, and then wheeled around. "Garcia!" he squeaked. " What are you doing here?"
"I was… Following you, Boy Genius," she stammered. There was an awkward beat of silence. "So I see you're watching basketball… I didn't know you were a fan. Honestly this is kind of like an episode of the Twilight Zone; to see Doctor Spencer Reid watching college basketball is quite a sight."
His eyes widened as he looked from the TV to Garcia. "Yeah… Uh. You know, statistically basketball is a fairly easy sport to gamble on. There are few variables to consider as long as you place your bet the day of the game," he covered, hurriedly.
Her eyebrows lifted and her lips twitched upwards. "Oh yeah? Who do you have the bracket against?"
"March Madness; you've never heard of it? You know, the time that everyone fills out a bracket of who they think is going to get to the final four and who's going to actually win? Come on, Spence, I know for a fact Derek had his money on Duke winning and lost almost three hundred bucks to his sisters when they lost. So, who are you betting against?" She crossed her arms over her chest, and leaned against the wall, nonchalantly.
He thought for a moment, or at least that's what he appeared to be doing. "My friend Ethan from New Orleans. His entire bracket has been right so far, but he thinks that Butler is going to win the championship."
"And you don't? They're a pretty good team, Reid."
"Yes, but I think statistically that UConn has more of a chance to win than Butler does."
"Maybe if the women played, but come on, the UConn men are a wild card. You never know when Calhoun will have a good night or not. They need to get their team together before they win anything else." She surprised herself with the knowledge of who the coach was for a minute, but then realized she'd heard the exact same rant come out of Derek's mouth at the start of the tournament. He'd been right. Some of the game's they'd played had been pretty iffy.
Reid didn't look convinced. "Did you know that Calhoun actually has more of his players turn out to go pro than any other coach in the country? I'd say he knows what he's doing. He's gotten them this far, I think he could get them all the way."
Garcia shook her head. "You, Spencer Reid, are one tricky enigma. The day that changes is the day people start forgetting the Twilight Zone's theme song. Remember that."
He creased his forehead. "That I'm an enigma or the Twilight Zone theme song?"
She slipped out the door, refusing to answer, with a sly smile on her face. When she returned to the group, none even noticed the change in her attitude. Her otherwise dull night had just been brightened once again by the boy wonder they were so lucky as to call him their own.