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On The Wrong Side of that Iron Door
Sullenly staring through the thirty-six iron bars (yes, he'd been that bored that he'd counted) that separated him from freedom, Dr. Spencer Reid silently seethed, grinding his teeth together as he waited for his so-called friend to arrive.
He'd had high hopes when this evening had commenced. In hindsight, obviously entirely too high.
Why had he taken Derek Morgan's lousy advice? Time to move from wingman to pilot, the elder man had said when they'd spoken earlier in the night on the phone and the other profiler had backed out of their plans to go to a local nightclub. "But that shouldn't stop you," Morgan had said as an unexpected feminine laugh had echoed through the line, "You've been studying at the feet of a master for months now. It's time for your first solo mission. Go get some, Pretty Boy!"
He had the intellect of a genius...an IQ so high that it terrified most people. These were documented truths that could not be denied. So, how was it that such a keen mind had not managed to evade arrest? Better yet, why had he taken Derek's guidance in the first place? He could have been home tonight, munching on a bowl of popcorn, watching the Dr. Who marathon on the BBC.
It was one of those moments that he should have taken the extra second to properly analyze his emotions and reactions rather than wildly jumping into the fray with both feet. He was a trained scientist, after all. He was well aware of the scientific method and the reasonable analysis that was expected, nay demanded!, in order to evaluate all possible outcomes based on proven interaction of all of the combustibles that could possibly occur in any situation.
But he hadn't. But, no, he'd allowed himself to be goaded out of his house, the niggling mockery in Morgan's voice enough to make him determined to achieve lift-off on his own tonight, damn the historical precedents that would beg to differ.
And now, here he sat.
A recognized and decorated Federal agent with an otherwise pristine service record marred forever by an arrest for, of all things, solicitation!
Leaning his head back against the cement wall behind him, Spencer breathed shallowly, the pungent smell of rancid human and alcohol hanging heavily in the air.
This was all Derek Morgan's fault, and Reid would be entirely lucky if homicide wasn't added to his growing list of offenses. With solicitation and resisting arrest already on his record, what was a little murder rap added to the mix?
Rising from the wooden bench along the wall, Spencer paced the small cell. At least he could be grateful that he was the solitary occupant. From his hastily viewed inspection of the other cells, seen as he had been ingloriously marched into his current cage, he realized that the others were at least double and triple occupied.
But then, his rational mind reminded him, he was technically considered police. And police officers were always segregated from the general population for their own safety. Although, right then, he was more than willing to take his chances with the drunks and two-bit petty thieves. They couldn't be any worse than the future he would be facing, could they?
The sound of scraping metal interrupted his depressed musings, and Reid's eyes flew open, well expecting to see his gloating absentee partner. But the face staring at him through the metal bars was not the expected grinning, mischievous face of Derek Morgan.
Oh, no. This face was completely devoid of a single emotion that could remotely be characterized as a grin.
This face belonged to Aaron Hotchner. And he was not smiling.
Not at all.
"Hotch?" Spencer asked incredulously, his eyes widening in shock and surprise. "Why…how…"
"Protocol, Dr. Reid," Hotch said evenly, crossing his arms over his chest, his jersey jacket scrunching around his shoulders. "It's standard procedure for the DCPD to call the supervising agent in cases like this. One agency tries to watch the back of the other agency. Although, I have to admit that I fully expected to be getting this call one day about Morgan instead of you."
"It's all his fault!" Reid blurted out as he rubbed one hand over his eyes, willing this obvious hallucination to go away immediately. "He should be the one here instead of me! I only did what he told me to do!"
"Morgan told you to solicit an undercover cop for sex in a bar?" Hotch asked drily, arching one dark brow.
"Not exactly," Reid hedged, flushing as his Unit Chief's dark eyes bore through the metal bars separating them. Perhaps being on this side wasn't as bad as he'd earlier assumed, he thought desperately as he watched Hotch's jaw clench.
Opening his mouth to retort, Hotch abruptly stopped as both men heard the deep familiar masculine laughter filtering down the long concrete corridor. "Is that..."
"Morgan!" Reid yelled, holding on to the bars and attempted to see down the hallway.
Hearing the metal scrape of keys unlocking a door, Reid held his breath as his erstwhile partner in crime emerged around the corner.
"So...somebody spent a night in the pokey, huh? What'd ya do, Pretty Boy? Jay walk?" Morgan teased as he walked closer, unaware as yet to Aaron Hotchner's presence.
Glaring at one of his most senior profilers, Hotch growled, "You wish. He's been arrested for solicitation."
"...and resisting arrest," Reid mumbled, looking guiltily down at the soiled floor beneath his feet before jerking his head up again. "But, Hotch, I assure you it was a huge misunderstanding."
Eyes wide, Morgan involuntarily took a step back as he felt the menacing weight of two gazes fall on him. "Now hold on here! How can I be blamed for this? I was home with a fine honey tonight."
"I was following your advice," Reid bit out, glaring through the bars at the man that was conveniently free on the other side.
"And you let someone as inexperienced as Reid loose in one of the wildest nightclubs in D.C.," Hotch added dangerously.
"Hey!" Reid yelped, turning affronted eyes toward his boss.
"Which part of my statement was inaccurate, Dr. Reid?" Hotch asked sarcastically, raising an inky brow as he waited for an answer.