Hello! I am very nervous, as this is the first story I ever published. I've been thinking about posting a story myself for a while now but I never seem to finish a story properly. Today I did, Yay! And I really should be sleeping right now, since I am supposed to attend a wedding tomorrow but I was afraid if I shut down my computer now, I will never post this story.
So, a few side notes:
English is not my first language. I tried my best to write it properly, but if you see any error in my grammar or spelling, please don't hesitate to tell me. I'd like to improve my writing, so any advice on my grammar or constructive criticism on my writing is welcome.
I'm not really happy about the first chapter, but the second one pleased me a lot when I was finished. I guess I needed to get in the flow.
It ends really cheesy though, in my opinion. So maybe I will change it later. I'm also thinking of continuing, but I need to wait if my inspiration agrees.
I'd like to hear your thoughts
Lastly, I do not own Criminal Minds. But you expected that much.
Dr. Spencer Reid was lying in his bathtub. The fact that his relatively small apartment was equipped with this heavenly thing made him rent it without even considering the other apartments he looked at. On this Friday night, with an entire free weekend ahead of him, he decided to soak until he was cold. And thus dr. Spencer Reid ended up with a pile of books and some tea in his tub after dinner.
He had just closed his eyes for a minute, enjoying the warm water and the good smelling soap he put in when his doorbell rang.
And rang again. He opened his eyes and sighed.
He was just getting relaxed and didn't feel like opening the door. He closed his eyes again, trying to block out the sound of his doorbell but whoever was ringing it was very persistent.
"Reid, open the door. I know you're home"
Reid opened one eye when he recognized the voice. 'Great.Hotch.That better not be another case'
He stepped out of the tub and grabbed his towel while he called "Just a second, I'm coming"
After he quickly dried himself he found his sweatpants and a t-shirt on his dresser and dressed himself before rushing to the door. He unlocked it and opened it for his boss. "Sorry Hotch, was in the bathroom." Hotch nodded and walked inside the apartment when Reid stepped aside to let him enter.
About 30 minutes earlier Hotch had tried calling Reid on his cell. The rest of the team was already notified of the case that interrupted their weekend off and he Reid was the last one on his call list. After being put through to Reid's voicemail tree times he became worried. Reid 's phone never went to voicemail. He always answered. So he asked Garcia to start the briefing without him and drove to Reid's apartment to see if something was wrong.
The fact that he had to ring the doorbell for seven minutes didn't ease his worries at all, but he knew Reid was home since he saw the lights in the apartment on. He was relieved when Reid's voice sounded and after some muffled and hurried sounds Reid appeared at the door. "Sorry Hotch, was in the bathroom." His wet hair underlined his statement and Hotch nodded. He walked inside the apartment when Reid stepped aside to let him enter. As of habit he looked around the hallway. It was empty but had a friendly blue color on the wall and he followed Reid, who had made an inviting gesture in the direction of a closed door, he assumed the living room. "Why didn't you answer your phone, Reid?", he asked while Reid opened the door to his living room. Reid looked apologetic at him. 'Sorry Hotch, I assumed we would have the weekend of. Didn't expect a phone call so I left it in the kitchen when I went to bath' Hotch looked around in the living room. Reid walked to a comfy looking chair. It was buried under clothes and books and Reid threw them aside and offered Hotch a seat. 'So, we have a case, then?', Reid asked. Hotch nodded without looking at Reid. He was too busy looking around the living room. To his unpleasant surprise it was a huge mess. Clothes, both clean and dirty, and books were scattered all around the floor. The table was stuffed with more books, a few DVD's, several notebooks, and a laptop. The coffee table was in the same condition and looked filthy. The other furniture was obviously not much better, and the floor looked like it hadn't been vacuumed in a long time. 'Just give me a minute to change, I'll be right out', Reid called while he went to his bedroom to get his go bag and put on some clean clothes.
Hotch was speechless. How could Reid live in such a mess? He had never been to Reid's home before so he didn't know if it's always been like this. He suspected it, but it was a little off since Reid's personal hygiene was always impeccable and his clothes were always clean and nicely ironed. The clothes Hotch saw in this living room were far from clean and ironed.
When Reid appeared he immediately asked what was on his mind. "So, this is your place.", he said casually. Reid nodded. "It's…. nice; but don't you like it neat and clean?" Reid shrugged. He walked to the hallway and put on his coat, Hotch followed. 'It's not like it's dirty here'
"Not dirty?", Hotch asked incredulously, and Reid shrugged again. "Reid, this place really needs to be dusted and cleaned thoroughly. I'm sorry." Reid looked at him, stunned. 'Really? You think it's dirty?' He turned the key to lock the door and followed Hotch to the parking lot. Reid's reaction surprised Hotch. "Yes, well, it for sure needs to be cleaned. What's with the clothes? You always wear neat, ironed clothes." Reid shrugged again. 'Dry cleaner.'
On their way to the BAU Hotch continued the conversation. "So, do you ever clean your place?"
Reid nodded, 'Sure'. Hotch looked at him for a second. "How often?" Reid thought of it, he couldn't really recall the last time so he just shrugged. Again. 'Uhm… Like, once a month or something. I think'
"You think", Hotch said. "And when was the last time you cleaned?" After giving it some thought Reid answered: 'Four weeks, two days ago'
Hotch was stunned. Reid seemed completely oblivious and Hotch wondered why.
"So, did your mom clean a lot when you were little?", he asked Reid. 'No, why?' Hotch ignored the question. "So no one taught you how to clean properly?"
Reid stared at him. 'Did I do something wrong?', he asked with an unsure voice. Hotch looked at him again and gave him a comforting smile. "No, Reid. You didn't do anything wrong. I just didn't expect you to live like that. You're personal hygiene is always good; and you always wear clean clothes. So I guess I expected your apartment to reflect that."
Reid thought about it. 'My house doesn't have to be clean, right?', he asked Hotch in a childlike voice. Hotch shrugged. 'I mean, I have to be clean and I have to wear neat clothes', he said while his mind wandered back to his childhood. He did everything to prevent the possibility of someone finding out about his mother and their situation and that meant bringing the laundry to the dry cleaner and shower every day so no one would suspect anything.
"Reid? Did you hear my question?" Hotch's voice interrupted his thoughts. 'Sorry', he said and Hotch repeated his question. "Why do YOU have to be clean and neat, and your house doesn't?"
Reid didn't understand why Hotch asked this question so he shrugged and told him about the memory he just had. 'Well, no one cares if my house is dirty. But people do care about my appearance so when I was young and had to take care of my mom I always saw to it that I was neat and clean if I left the house, so no one would get suspicious and look in to my life. But I didn't know how to clean the house properly'
Hotch understood and while he entered the parking garage of the FBI building he concluded their conversation. "Well, you will know soon. I'll help you as soon as we return from this case.
Sure enough, five days later Hotch rang Reid's doorbell again. This time he was expected and the door swung open almost immediately. Reid fiddled with his fingers while Hotch hung up his coat. He just didn't understand why Hotch would take the time to come and teach him how to clean properly. He surely could use his time to do something with Jack and Reid felt a little guilty to take up Hotch's time like this, but since Hotch insisted they'd clean together he had agreed.
Reid enjoyed Hotch's company and had a lot of fun watching his superior vacuum and dust like his life depended on it and Hotch enjoyed seeing Reid happy to have company. His heart ached a little when he realized Reid had fun cleaning with him. He remembered Reid telling him that he didn't have people over a lot and then and there he decided to spent more time with Reid outside of work. The boy looked extremely happy and carefree while stacking all his books and he chattered about relatively nonsensical things. Hotch enjoyed listening to Reid, and when they sat down for a little break, coffee mugs in their hands, Hotch invited Reid to go to the museum with him and Jack the following weekend. Reid beamed, and accepted the invitation. The smile on his face grew and when they continued the cleaning, he thought that Reid's face would break if he didn't stop smiling so wide.
Hotch was surprised it took this little time and effort to make Reid happy. He felt sad that Reid didn't get to experience this kind of things when he was young and when he left he gave Reid a fatherly hug, determined to make more happy memories with and for Reid. Reid awkwardly accepted the hug and blushed slightly. He fiddled with his fingers again and thanked Hotch for his help and for the lesson. After Hotch left, he sat down on his couch and relived the afternoon with a happy smile.
He was looking forward to the weekend.
On Saturday, two days later, the doorbell rang again. Reid was ready to go and he opened the door, Hotch and Jack were standing behind it and he invited them in when he realized he forgot to put on his shoes.
He blushed, ashamed that he forgot such a simple thing. 'Sorry, I have to find my shoes. I won't be long, promise', he said and Hotch nodded with a gentle smile. "Take your time."
He led Jack to the living room and let out a sad sigh. Reid looked incredibly young and the fact that he forgot to put on his shoes made him think Reid had missed out on a lot of lessons.
The living room was still clean, but it was scattered with books and clothes again. Hotch sighed again. Apparently his cleaning lesson was not enough, even though he was under the impression Reid had understood all of it. Maybe it was just too much in one day for Reid.
The trip to the museum was a lot of fun. Reid taught Jack a lot of things, Hotch just followed and listened to the two boys, chattering happily. His heart warmed at the sight of them. Maybe they could do this more often, he pondered.
Closing time came way too soon for Jack and Reid and they left the museum. In the car, Hotch casually asked Reid if he would like to go out to dinner with them. Reid shyly accepted, after asking twice if he wouldn't be any trouble and if Hotch really didn't want to spend time alone with Jack. Hotch assured him he wanted Reid to join them and Jacks happy, energetic bounce in the backseat underlined his statement. Hotch chuckled at Jacks reaction and thought that it would really do some good for all of them to spend more time together.
It felt nice to have a second son. He just hoped Reid felt the same way and would accept him in his life more.
After all, Reid was a very private person.