Edit 12/3/12: Wow, looking back on this story now, I can't believe I actually wrote all of this. In a notebook. XD
And this story is still getting favorited. Is it really that good? :O
Of course, my writing has changed a lot. I posted this a little over a year ago, but I had originally written it about two years ago. Still nice to look back on, I guess.
The only big edits I'm making are spelling mistakes and the like. Not really any changes to the story. And for anyone wanting more Reid/Hotch from me, check out my 100 Ways to Get to Know You fanfic. Also, some people somehow managed to miss that this story actually has a sequel…Rapid Eye Movement.
Anyway, happy reading! :D
Chapter One: Sorry, I Believe I Just Lied to You
"Have you noticed it, too?"
"Then it's not just me."
The whispers came from the corner entrance of the Behavioral Analysis Unit office of the FBI. Derek Morgan, Emily Prentiss, and Penelope Garcia were gazing at Spencer Reid from a distance, watching as he sat at his desk twirling a pen between his fingers with a bored look on his face.
"What do you think it is?" Prentiss asked.
"I'm not sure," Morgan said, scratching his bald scalp.
Suddenly, David Rossi walked in the door behind them. He paused and blinked as he noticed the group in front of him.
"Why are you guys just standing here?" Rossi asked, his voice hinting that he assumed something was up.
"Haven't you noticed that pretty boy has been acting strange?" Morgan glanced over at Reid again.
"Well," Rossi started, "he has been a little more on the quiet side. He asked me if he could leave early yesterday and told me to tell Aaron because he was in a hurry."
"Hmm…" Garcia pursed her lips.
"What is it, Garcia?" Prentiss took notice of her coy expression.
"I think I might know what's up with him." Garcia paced over to Reid's desk. He sat with his back to her, not seeing her approach.
"Genius," she placed her hand on his shoulder.
"Waahh!" Reid yelped, flinging the pen halfway across the office and narrowly avoided hitting someone. Garcia jumped, stunned by his reaction. He sighed, turning his head. "What is it?"
Garcia blinked. "Can I…talk to you for a minute?"
"Um…" Reid lowered his head. "Sure."
Reid stood up and followed Garcia to her computer room. Before they were out of sight, Garcia turned to wink at Morgan, Prentiss, and Rossi. The group glanced at each other and shrugged.
"What's up, Garcia?" Reid remained standing as Garcia took her seat in front of her wall of computers. She spun around to face him.
Garcia didn't hesitate. "So tell me…who's the lucky lady?"
Reid stared at her, not even flinching. "What?"
"Come on, Spencer, you can't hide it. You've been acting odd recently, jumping at every little thing, asking Rossi to leave early… It's gotta be a girl!"
Reid suddenly chuckled. "N-no! You're way wrong. I'm not acting odd, I'm just fine."
"Spencer, don't lie to me," Garcia frowned. "It's…love. Our little genius is in love!"
"No, Garcia…" Reid raised his eyebrow. "I'm not sure where you're getting this assumption."
"It's not an assumption!" Garcia huffed. "I'm damn sure of it!"
"Okay, Garcia," Reid shuffled toward the door. "If that's all, I'll take off now."
"Hey, maybe I wasn't done!"
"Goodbye!" he smiled and waved as he walked out.
"Damn him!" Garcia formed fists with her hands in frustration. "Such denial! I don't need to be a profiler to see that!"
Outside the door, Reid let his façade fall and frowned.
"Has it been the obvious?" he began to panic. "No, don't fret about it, Spencer. I can't let them find out…"
Garcia had been right…to a degree.
A few weeks ago, a sensation Reid had never felt before flooded through him while talking to a certain person. Reid thought nothing of it, but every encounter afterward with this particular person caused his heart to beat faster and made it difficult to have a comprehensible conversation with this person due to the random bouts of stuttering.
He didn't want to believe he actually had feelings, as people called it, for this person; it wasn't right, so Reid pushed these feelings back and tried to ignore them. He couldn't allow himself to fall in love, especially with this person.
But he must not have been doing a great job of locking his feelings away because if Garcia noticed, then the rest of the team must have noticed it, too.
The rest of the team…
Reid gulped. Does that mean he realized he was acting different as well?
Aaron Hotchner, his boss?
Aaron Hotchner, the target of Reid's affection?
He wasn't exactly sure how Hotch had grabbed his attention the way he had; Reid had worked with him at the BAU for over five years now. What was it about Hotch recently that interested him? He seemed the same, always with a stern expression on his face.
But Reid couldn't help what he was feeling. He was always thinking logically and scientifically, not emotionally. Love had never been in his vocabulary—well, the vocabulary he chose to use on a daily basis over his brain full of words from every book he's ever read.
"Love…" Reid slowly breathed the word. He closed his eyes and concentrated. "1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, esp. based on sexual attraction," he shuddered. "2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection." He began skipping around. "9. the object of such liking or enthusiasm. Hmm... 11. a score of zero, as in tennis?" Reid was definitely not sports-savvy, so he questioned the last definition. "14. to need or require. 15. to embrace and kiss as a lover?" he began raising his voice unknowingly in confusion. "16. to have…tch, sexual intercourse with?" While listing off the definitions, he was picturing Hotch at the same time. The sixteenth definition threw his mental images out of whack. Reid rushed his fingers through his loose brown hair and balled them into fists in frustration.
Without warning, someone suddenly appeared before Reid making a questionable face at his gestures.
"Blaarrgh!" Reid felt his heat jump to his throat in surprise. It wasn't just that somebody was suddenly there without him noticing but that he recognized instantly the deep voice that addressed him without even having to look up.
"That was a rather unusual response coming from you, Reid," Hotch said. "What's going on? What are you doing here?"
"Ah…" Reid didn't want to look directly into at Hotch, but he knew that if refused to make eye contact with him, Hotch would immediately catch on that something was up if he hadn't already from Reid's obnoxious yelp a moment ago. "Garcia wanted to speak with me. I just stepped out."
"Hmm," Hotch didn't move and stared at Reid for a moment.
Reid opened his mouth quickly to break what he believed to be quite the awkward silence. "Were you here to see Garcia, or…?"
"Oh…" Reid almost felt a little disappointed that Hotch hadn't been looking for him, even though this would have been an odd place to look for him. "I'll get out of the way, then…" he began to walk past Hotch but couldn't proceed when Hotch suddenly grabbed his shoulder.
Reid turned his head slowly to face Hotch. "Yes?"
Hotch shook his head. "Never mind," he patted Reid's shoulder and shifted past him, making his way into Garcia's room.
Reid let out a huff of air, not realizing he had been holding his breath. "That was strange. He wanted to say something but chose not to. Hmm…" he was curious. "Well, I need to watch myself. If I'm not careful about holding my feelings in place…" Reid couldn't finish the sentence. He didn't want to think about what would happen if the team found out about him being in love.
Or if Hotch found out.
"Love?" Morgan raised an eyebrow.
"Yes," Garcia answered simply.
"This is Reid we're talking about, right?"
"Of course! Are you saying he can't fall in love?"
Garcia rolled her eyes.
"It would explain him acting differently," Prentiss said. Rossi nodded.
"Are you sure, though?" Morgan asked, still trying to imagine Reid embarrassed talking about a girl.
"Positive. He was in such denial. I'm sure if you tired talking to him about it, he'll just try to cover it up. You guys are profilers; it shouldn't be too hard to notice…kyah!" Garcia squealed suddenly. "Oh, our little genius has a sweetheart! Do you think he's told her how he feels?"
"Well, with this assumption," Garcia glared at Morgan for his use of the word assumption, "we can probably take a guess at what's going on based the way he's acting."
The group of four turned to peek at Reid's unoccupied desk,
"Where'd he go?" Prentiss asked, glancing around the bullpen.
"Guys," Jennifer Jareau, known to the team as JJ, appeared behind Rossi with a folder in her hand, "we have another case."