Are You Listenin'?

Disclaimer: I do not own anything recognizable. Including, but not limited to: Criminal Minds, the characters, or the song Carol of the Bells.

A/N: Oh, gosh, it's been so long since I've written Criminal Minds! I joined this challenge in hopes of sparking my interest again and instead I procrastinated a whole bunch… but I'm feeling rather inspired now, so I hope this turns out. Speaking of which…

This is for the lovely SlasherrGirl, I do hope you like it!

Prompt: Carol of the Bells; a kiss in the snow, twinkling Christmas lights, silver bells.


Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

~Hamilton Wright Mabie


"Dance with me, Spencer!"

Reid's head snapped up at Garcia's words. He couldn't remember the last time she'd called him by his first name. She was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, looking at him expectantly, a radiant beacon of color amidst the shifting snowflakes. He wanted to tell her how beautifully her red-painted lips stood out in the semi-darkness of the snowy night, or how surreal she looked as she stood with snowflakes in her hair and wind fluttering her long coat. Instead, all he came out with was, "Dance with you?"

Garcia laughed. "Yes, dance. You know, the thing where you move your feet along with music? I know you don't get out much, but you may have heard of it…"

The genius' mouth drew to the side, somewhere in between a frown and a smirk. "I'm well acquainted with the definition of dancing- that isn't it, by the way- I was just surprised by your request."

"C'mon," Garcia stepped forward, grasped his hand and pulled him a little closer to where a group of carolers were making it their business to spread musical holiday cheer.

Instead of pointing out that they are in the middle of the sidewalk and are blocking the flow of foot traffic (not that there's much at this time on Christmas Eve), or that he can't dance a single step, or even that she's one of his closest friends and he really, really doesn't want to ruin what they have and if he stands too close to her for too long a time he'll probably break his self-imposed barriers (he definitely doesn't point that one out), he allows himself to be nudged into position by the blonde. She takes one of his hands in her own, places her free hand on his shoulder and prompts him to take her waist.

They dance to a lively rendition of "Jingle Bells," complete with the carolers ringing small silver bells to accompany their singing, and then slow down a bit to "Silver Bells." They're still dancing, both laughing a bit from the looks they get from the odd passerby, when "Jingle Bell Rock" is coming to a close and Garcia casts a glance at the group of carolers, who are blatantly Not Watching Them. "I'm sensing a theme here…" She said, a look of mock shrewdness crossing her face.

"I'm about to get tired of the sound of those bells…" Reid replied after a short moment of consideration.

The tech's laughter rang out again, clear and sweet as the bells, but something Reid could never tire of. Then, the carolers begin singing "Carol of the Bells" and are far more conservative and well-timed in their merry jingling and suddenly, Garcia is giving him a Look. Reid's not quite sure what to make of it, but it makes him feel nervous and affectionate and lightheaded and thoroughly happy and he doesn't really know what to do with all of that.

He settles on a course of action- which is to tell Garcia that the song "Carol of the Bells" was composed by a Ukrainian named Mykola Leontovych and then elaborate on the details a bit- but the vivacious woman seemed to have other plans. She stepped forward, invading his personal space even further, wrapped her arms around his upper torso, laid her head against his chest and declared, "I'm cold."

They hadn't stopped dancing, though the steps changed.

Reid desperately wanted to point out that the logical thing to do would be to get out of the snow, then, and go home. Or somewhere else warm. But he was loathe to ruin the moment, because it was oh-so-nice and perhaps the closest he'd ever come to getting to hold Garcia in his arms like this, even if the prolonged contact was making him a little uncomfortable. They were bathed in the perpetual twilight of twinkling Christmas lights reflecting off the falling snow and the chill was holding off now that they were wrapped around each other and the music was so soft and rather mesmerizing and Reid wondered if shutting his eyes would help him commit it to memory even better. He'd never noticed it helping before, but shutting his eyes seemed like a nice option anyway.

They flicked back open the instant he felt a pair of lips lay over his own, however. He came face-to-face with Garcia, who was standing on her tip-toes in order to be able to reach his mouth. Her eyes were shut, but she looked blissful and snowflakes were catching in her eyelashes. Reid wanted to keep looking, despite the fact the image was already pleasantly seared into his brain, but once again, closing his eyes seemed to be the appropriate thing to do.

The kiss didn't last long- not long enough, anyway- but when Garcia pulled away, she was smiling serenely and Reid was fairly sure he looked a like a kid who'd just gotten everything he ever wanted for Christmas, which was a partially truthful statement, come to think of it. The air was still for a second and even the caroling stopped. Then Garcia giggled and brought a thumb up to his lips to wipe away the red smudge she'd left there. Reid laughed a little, too, but frowned slightly when a genuine shiver ran through the woman before him. "We should go somewhere warm." He stated.

"Your place was warm." Garcia replied.

"Yes, I think it was." Reid agreed.

Garcia laughed again, then wrapped her hand around his, threading their fingers together, and began leading him home.

Christmas miracles, indeed.


Hark! how the bells

sweet silver bells

All seem to say

throw cares away.


A/N: Hee, that was pretty fun. Oh, obviously ignoring Kevin here. It makes things easier. I really, really hope you all enjoyed, but I very much hope that you, SlasherrGirl, enjoyed in particular!

I wish you all a pleasant December 25th, however you celebrate the winter solstice!