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A/N 2 - Thanks to Kelly Palmer for her Reid/Emily prompts: Fresh snowfall, Christmas Lights, A present wrapped in plain brown paper and twine.
The Definition of a Miracle
When you'd spent your childhood surround by slot machines and tourists in the City That Never Sleeps, you learned to appreciate the small joys to be found in life.
Like the first fresh snowfall on the deserted street. Standing in the window of his apartment, Spencer Reid sighed as he watched the twinkling Christmas lights framing the doorways below cast colorful shadows against covered sidewalk.
His lips lifted in a half smile as he felt the familiar brush of lips against the nape of his neck as two slim arms slipped around his bare midriff. "Mmmm," he hummed, sliding his hands against the smooth arms surrounding him.
"What are you doing out of bed?" Emily asked huskily against his shoulder, her lips lightly grazing the warm flesh as she spoke. "Don't you know that Santa's sleigh won't stop if the house isn't asleep?" She yawned, her arms tightening reflexively as she inhaled deeply.
"Santa already stopped here," Reid murmured as he smiled over his shoulder. "You snored right through it," he teased, reaching for the plainly wrapped package bound with twine on his nightstand. "He left you this." He grinned, passing it to her over his shoulder.
Eyes widening, Emily lifted a hand to accept the gift. "You got me a present?" Emily whispered, taking the package, plainly wrapped in brown paper, into her eager hand. "I thought you hated supporting the commercialism of Christmas?"
"I do," Reid agreed, turning from the window to face Emily. Lips twitching as his eyes swept over her, he realized he had never seen a woman as beautiful as her right then. Her hair was pulled in a messy makeshift knot on top of her head and she wore one of his baggy tee shirts over her slim body. "I didn't buy it," he admitted as he shrugged. "None of my very noble principles were violating in the distribution of that gift."
Emily smiled widely as she arched slightly on her toes. "A handmade present?"
"Not exactly." Reid shook his head slowly. "Open it," he invited.
Biting her lip, Emily dropped her eyes to the small package in her hand as her fingers fumbled with the string, pulling the loose knot out and carefully peeling back the crisp paper. Jaw dropping at the battered book she'd revealed, she looked up into Reid's anxious face. "Slaughterhouse-Five?" she whispered.
Nodding, Reid swallowed nervously. "Yes," he murmured, "I know Vonnegut is your favorite author. It's a first edition," he explained, opening the cover and showing her the title page. It's autographed," he said, pointing at the scrawled signature.
"Oh, my God." Emily blinked, staring down at the page. "Spencer, I can't take this," she protested as she shook her head. "It's your book. He made the inscription to you," Emily breathed. "There's no way I can accept..."
"Emily," Reid said, sliding his hands around hers, trembling as they held the book, "I want you to have something that's special to me. During one of my mother's very rare lucid times, she took me one Christmas Eve to one of Kurt Vonnegut's book signings in an obscure shop in the middle of nowhere. I was eleven. It was one of the happiest moments in my life. That Christmas, we stayed up all night reading it aloud. We even made notes of our thoughts in the margins," he pointed out, his fingers flipping the pages to the middle of the book and pointing out the handwritten notes. "Some were mine. Some were Mom's."
"Oh, Spencer," Emily breathed, blinking back tears. His gift pierced her heart. He'd never shared himself easily with anyone, guarding his heart and privacy with an almost stalwart vigilance. And he was allowing her...the person that had broken his heart in two...to step inside his world. "I can't believe you trust me enough to give me this. After everything that's happened this year...everything I put you through..."
"I love you," Reid mumbled under his breath, still uncomfortable with the admission, even with the one person on earth besides his mother with which he could say the sentiment was entirely truthful. "Isn't it one of the fundamental concepts that Christmas is the season to forgive completely and begin anew?"
"A completely fresh start?" Emily murmured hopefully, gripping her gift to her chest as she pressed against his warm body. "You're offering me a Christmas miracle," she whispered tremulously.
Wrapping his arms around her, Reid frowned. "A miracle is defined as an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is often proclaimed an act of God. This isn't a miracle. But rather a rational decision made based on my emotional attachment to you and our relationship. It's a choice made by myself, not a higher power."
Caressing his jaw with a gentle hand, Emily smiled softly. "It's my miracle, sweetie. You're my miracle. Just go with it, okay?"
Pursing his lips as he considered her request, Reid inclined his head slightly. "If you insist."
Laughing against his chest, Emily hid her grin. "I do," she sighed, pressing a damp kiss to his neck. "I only wish I had something as special to give you, but the only thing my mother and I ever read together was the menu at Le Cirque," she snorted.
Tightening his embrace around her, Reid shook his head, his chin brushing against her silky hair. "I received the only present I wanted the day you walked back into the BAU alive, Emily. That was my miracle...and mine actually fits the parameters of the definition of the word."
Lifting her head, Emily linked her arms around her, the book still held in her hand. "I love you, Spencer," she whispered, lifting up on her toes to press a kiss to his lips. "Do you know what I want to do for Christmas?"
"I know what I hope you want to do," he replied, wriggling his blonde eyebrows as his hands curved around her hips, pulling her flush against his body.
"Oh, I want to do that, too," Emily giggled, pressing her hand to his cheek. "But afterward, I want us to read this book together and add our notes to the margin," she suggested quietly.
Touched, Reid stared down at the woman in his arms. "I'd like that," he agreed slowly. "Our very own holiday tradition," he mused aloud, drawing her closer.
"Exactly," Emily agreed. "Now, why don't we go back to bed and discuss the miracle that occurs every time we touch," she suggested huskily.
Smiling, Reid nodded. Not even he could argue that logic. And with a woman like her, who would want to anyway? "I think that's an excellent suggestion," he acknowledged, lowering his head to kiss her parted lips, his tongue sweeping against hers in unadulterated glee.
And as he walked her backwards toward the bed, their mouths meeting passionately, Spencer Reid was fairly certain he'd found his definition of a miracle.
It was her.
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