A/N My submission for Challenge 23: The Crossover Challenge. The characters thoughts are in italics. I apologize if anyone sounds OOC. Hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Last time I checked I still didn't own Criminal Minds or SVU.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." – Mary Anne Radmacher
Olivia Benson hurried down the busy streets of Quantico, Virginia with her hands tucked deep inside the pockets of her favorite leather jacket. Her hair flowed out behind her in wispy strands as the cool, autumn, breeze wafted past her. She continued to maneuver her way down the street through the throng of people walking on the sidewalk headed in the opposite direction while offering noncommittal apologies to the people she bumped into. She kept walking until she saw a sign that said leaving Quantico. After a few minutes of going against the crowd, Olivia finally deviated from the people and wandered off the beaten path. She navigated through a small patch of underbrush and kept walking until she managed to catch a glimpse of her intended destination; Prince William Forest Park. Olivia allowed her gaze to linger on the campground for a moment as she got lost in her thoughts.
Prince William Forest Park, probably my favorite vacation with my mom since it was the only one we left the state for and she managed to stay sober the entire time. Of course, her idea of roughing it involved staying in an RV; but still…it was nice. I always wanted to come back here; I just didn't think it would be for this. New York was my home but this felt like the perfect place to say goodbye.
Olivia fingered the crumpled note in her pocket before tearing her gaze away from the park and abruptly turning on her heel to head back toward the convoluted maze of pedestrians, this time allowing her body to intermix with the crowd's general direction.
Meanwhile, at a little hole in the wall coffee shop on State Street, Spencer Reid stood in line waiting to order. The café was aptly named Mama's Café as it was owned and operated by an elderly lady called Mama Ethel. Spencer loved it when she was there seeing as how she had developed a soft spot for him since he shared such a close resemblance to her son, Jonathon. Mama Ethel always gave him a complementary chocolate chip scone free of charge, much to the jealousy of his teammates. However as Spencer made his way to the front of the line, he was slightly disappointed to see a young man about his age standing behind the counter instead of Mama.
Well at least I'll still get my coffee and get to enjoy the rest of my day off in peace…although a scone really does sound nice right now.
Spencer rifled through his pockets for his wallet but to his dismay, he found he only had enough for the coffee. Of all the days to be short on money; perhaps I should just get the scone and make coffee at home. As Spencer pondered this decision, the man behind the counter grew impatient.
Jerry sighed as he looked at the clock and saw that only five minutes had passed since he last checked.
Only 5 hours and 33 minutes left till the end of my shift, he thought to himself bitterly.
Jerry snapped out of his thoughts as he heard the angry mutterings from the growing crowd. At the front a thin young man was staring into his wallet and mumbling to himself.
"Hey buddy, are you gonna order or just stand there and hold up the line?" Jerry finally intervened.
At the sound of Jerry's voice Spencer snapped his head up and blushed furiously as he noticed the man was addressing him.
"Sorry about that," Reid muttered, "I'd like to order a plain cup of…"
Spencer continued talking but Jerry had tuned him out. As his eyes studied Spencer's face all he could think was
Wow, this guy is seriously hot. I wonder if he's single.
"So, just coffee? You sure you don't want to get something for your girlfriend," Jerry voiced indicating to the lady standing in line behind Reid although he knew full well they weren't together.
"Oh," Spencer blushed again, "She's not my girlfriend. I don't have one," Reid blurted out.
"Really, a guy like you can't get a girl," Jerry asked skeptically while inside hope blossomed.
"Uh, no, I generally don't ask them out," Reid said in a quiet voice feeling like he was being interrogated.
Inside Jerry beamed with delight. This guy didn't have a girlfriend and he wasn't looking so maybe, just maybe he had a chance.
"Here's your coffee, and umm, maybe if you're not busy we could get a drink sometime?" Jerry asked hopefully.
"Oh, uh, you mean like a drink between friends?" Spencer innocently asked.
"No, I was thinking more like a date," Jerry corrected with a grin.
Once again Reid's face lit up red hot as he stumbled over his words.
"Oh, a date, like you and me, on a date, well I'm uh flattered but uh I'm not gay, sorry," and with that being said, Reid grabbed a handful of sugar packets and awkwardly stumbled away from the counter and headed for the door.
Imagine if Morgan could see me now. The teasing would never end. Is there something about me that just screams 'I'm gay.' That's the third guy that's asked me out this month.
Maybe I should get a haircut.
As Reid walked out the door still caught up in his thoughts, he didn't notice the woman reaching for the door handle until it was too late. Reid plowed right into the lady, knocking her down and nearly landing right in top of her. To add insult to injury, his steaming cup of coffee proceeded to land on her with the lid unattached.
"Crap!" Olivia shouted while leaping to her feet. "What the heck is your problem?"
"Oh gosh, I'm so sorry, here let me help you." Reid stammered while reaching for her shirt where the coffee had begun to set in.
"Whoa, Olivia exclaimed while backing up and pulling her shirt as far away from her body as she could.
"You know most guys usually ask me on a date before trying to undress me," Olivia remarked with a wry grin.
"Oh, no, I wasn't uh, trying to, um," Spencer rambled.
Okay, think, WWMD; What Would Morgan Do. Ha, knowing him he'd probably turn on his charm and try to ask her out.
I suppose it's worth a shot since she looks like she's about ready to kill me. I doubt I could make it any worse.
"Uhh, what I meant was, you are very attractive and I was wondering ," Reid squeaked out all in one breath before focusing intently on his shoes.
Way to go you idiot, now she's really going to kill you, maybe I should just run away... while I still can.
However, before Reid had a chance to put his plan into action, Olivia responded. "Why not, it's the least you can do since you just ruined my favorite shirt."
Sensing Spencer was about to launch into another long winded apology, she cut him off.
"Relax, " she said with a smile, "Now seeing as how we're apparently going out; I think it might help if I knew your name.
"Oh, uh ,right, my name. My name is uh… Reid!" Reid stammered, mentally berating himself.
"Reid?" Olivia asked raising an eyebrow, "That's a peculiar name.
"Oh, actually I'm Spencer, Spencer Reid but everyone just calls me Reid. So um, is tonight okay; for our date? I was thinking maybewecouldmeetatCordelia'sat7, if that's ok with you," Reid rushed out all in one breath.
"Yeah, that works fine, I'll see you then," Olivia shouted while already turning away and running down the sidewalk.
Spencer stared at her retreating figure before picking up his wasted coffee cup.
Did that really just happen, did I really just ask a girl out, and did she actually say yes? Or maybe she was just being polite, maybe she won't show up tonight. Tonight! I actually have a date tonight for the first time in… I need to call Morgan; maybe he can give me some advice; that is once he stops laughing.
While Reid was focusing on his new dilemma, Olivia was a little preoccupied with a problem of her own. She was currently hunched over a garbage can relieving herself of what little food remained in her stomach. She pulled herself upright and wiped her mouth before pulling out a container of mints with trembling hands and popping a couple in her mouth and continuing on her way.
You idiot! What were you thinking, agreeing to go on a date with a guy who looks like he still belongs in college? You didn't come here to find a boyfriend. Besides, he doesn't really think you're pretty or even wants to go out with you.. He just said that so you wouldn't make him pay for the dry cleaning. I bet Cordelia's is really just a fast food place; he wouldn't actually take you someplace nice.
Olivia nodded her affirmation to her inner self before walking into the run down hotel she had called home for the past week and a half. She stared at the gun on her dresser and subconsciously touched the note in her pocket before heading to the closet. She had waited this long, she could wait one more night. Right now, she had a date to get ready for.
Spencer Reid sat at a booth in Cordelia's by the window so he could clearly see everyone who approached the door. Once again he surveyed the huge, crystal chandelier dangling over the entrance and caught a whiff of the strong cologne the bathroom attendant had offered him. He had gone home and Morgan had come over to help him get ready; after he finished teasing him of course.
"You know you must be the only guy in the world who can get a date with a woman you just spilled hot coffee on, maybe it's the hair," Morgan had remarked.
Now Reid was dressed in a casual but still dressy ensemble as he nervously tapped his fingers against the wooden table.
It's 7:03, maybe she's not coming. She could have just stood you up, or maybe she was in an accident and she's hurt, or maybe… Calm down Spencer, it's only three minutes after; it's not like anyone actually arrives exactly on time for an event.
At 6:53, Olivia had flagged down a taxi and after the driver assured her he knew where the restaurant was, she sat back and began to think.
How did I let my life get so out of control? Just two weeks ago, I was back in New York feeling perfectly happy. I was the one who cracked the case we had been working on for weeks. I found the crucial piece of evidence that put a ring of scumbag child molesters away. I had a kid, I mean he wasn't technically mine but I was going to adopt him. I even had the man I had been pining after for years. Everything was perfect, until it all came crumbling down. The child pornographers were let out on a technicality. Apparently the evidence I found with the search warrant was inadmissible because it wasn't in plain sight. Langdon was far too happy to point that out. I was standing on a ladder to reach a book and accidently knocked down a jar that had the camera inside it. Then Vivian came back and in an unreasonable outrage, took Calvin from me. However, the final nail in my metaphorical coffin came from Elliot. We were on a date and I kissed him right before he pulled away. He told me that he didn't have feelings for me and he never actually did. He told me the only reason he went out with me was out of pity. He said he knew that I was lonely and wanted to offer me some temporary comfort in the form of him. Despite my best attempts to put my mask back in place and pretend like his words didn't wound me, a couple tears slipped out. Then he had the nerve to tell me if I was going to get emotional about this and make it awkward at work, then maybe we shouldn't be partners anymore. After 12 years together, he was willing to throw it all away. I couldn't take it anymore, I left the restaurant. I called Cragen the next day and told him I was taking some vacation time. Naturally he was concerned, since I never ask for time off but I told him not to worry. I said I was fine, I just needed a break. He accepted my answer, only now; I wish he hadn't believed me.
Spencer Reid watched as a yellow cab pulled up to the restaurant and stared mesmerized for a moment as Olivia stepped out. She was wearing a maroon red, sweetheart cut dress that came just above the knee with matching red strappy heels. He saw her glance at her through the window in surprise before coming inside to join him.
Dinner progressed rather smoothly with Spencer only spouting out 27 statistics and 17 little known facts. Olivia was a little shocked to discover that he had 3 PhD's and worked for the FBI. He didn't seem like most agents she had met. For the most part, however; Olivia seemed to enjoy listening to Reid and added a few random facts of her own.
Things got a little rocky when dessert came and Reid nearly dropped his sundae on her lap, but for the most part the date went rather well. Once the check had been paid, Spencer walked Olivia outside. She rifled through her purse for the number of the cab company when one happened to be driving past. Reid flagged it down for her and escorted her inside.
"Goodnight Olivia, it was nice to meet you…and maybe sometime we could go out again?" Reid asked hopefully. He really had a good time with Olivia; she was perhaps the first girl to take an interest in his ramblings.
"I think I'd like that, Goodbye Spencer," Olivia responded with a phony smile plastered on her face.
Goodbye indeed Spencer, Olivia thought to herself as the taxi pulled away from the curb.
Reid stood on the corner and couldn't contain the grin that slowly overtook his face. He stood looking up at the sky until he decided to start making his way home. He had only taken two steps when he heard a paper rustle under his shoe. Curiously, he bent down to inspect it. As he unfolded it and read the words his face lost all color and blanched white as a ghost. Reid stood up so fast and whirled around that he nearly gave himself a headache but he ignored it as he saw another cab pull around the corner. He wasted no time in signaling it and climbing inside. To his amazement, Olivia's cab was only a few blocks ahead on the deserted street. It seemed like every light had caught them or the driver was going slow to run up the meter; probably a combination of both, Spencer reasoned. Reid felt like a character in a bad action movie as he told the driver to follow that cab but he quickly pushed those feelings aside as he replayed the words of the note in his mind.
To whomever it may concern,
I'm sorry for doing this. I know it must be an inconvenience to you. I just couldn't take it anymore. I finally had everything I ever wanted before it was all ripped away from me. I don't feel comfortable at home; the house now seems too quiet. Every criminal I've ever arrested is now fighting to have their conviction overturned because of my mistake. Even work has become too difficult to focus on with the object of my distractions in the same room. I hope you will understand and maybe even one day forgive me for having done this. I just couldn't handle it anymore.
Olivia Serena Benson
Olivia sat in the cab ignoring the meter as it constantly rose higher. It seemed like the driver was intentionally going slowly just to make more money, but Olivia didn't care. It's not like she would have a need for money anymore anyway. Sighing, she put her hand in her purse to feel the comfortable reassurance of the letter she had poured her reasons and feeling into to remind herself it was for the best. Olivia frowned when her hand didn't reach the folded piece of paper. She dumped the contents of her bag out on the seat, but still no note fell out. She suddenly froze as she thought about the only place the paper could be.
It had to have fallen out when I was looking for my phone outside the restaurant. Maybe I got lucky and it just blew away before anyone could read it.
Unfortunately for Olivia, Lady Luck was on Reid's side. His driver, secretly thrilled that someone had actually told him to follow another car, expertly sped and swerved through the streets of Quantico. Spencer sat perched on the edge of his seat while clutching the note as they rode through green light after green light.
Olivia stepped out of her cab in front of the run down motel and paid the driver. She had to have the slowest driver in the world, that ride had cost her way more than it should have, but Olivia shrugged it off. Complaining about the cost was the last thing on her mind at the moment. She pulled her room key out of her purse and prepared to head inside.
At least I had one last night of fun. Maybe I don't have to do this, maybe things can get better.
No, I can't talk myself out of this again. I can't give myself false hope anymore. Sure Spencer was nice, but he's just like every other guy I've dated. He'll only break my heart. Elliot was right, I'm unlovable. I can't do this anymore.
Reid's cab stopped in front of the motel and he hurriedly paid the driver and raced out of the taxi. He glanced around and felt his heart soar as he saw the brunette standing in front of a door.
Olivia had just inserted the key in the door when she heard someone call her name. She turned around and involuntary took a step back seeing as how Reid had somehow managed to materialize right behind her.
"What are you doing her, did you follow me?" Olivia asked masking the fear in her voice.
"No! I mean yes, uh what I mean is, I found your note," Reid blurted out finding it best to just spit it out instead of sounding like a stalker.
Olivia felt all the color drain from her face. She propped herself against the door to keep her legs from collapsing from under her.
"What note?" She asked trying to stop her voice from shaking.
He couldn't have found the note, he has to be talking about something else. Like maybe…I don't know but he just can't be talking about that.
"You know what I'm talking about. I want to help you Olivia." Reid said gently taking her hand in his.
Olivia pulled away from his grasp, "I don't need your help; I'm fine.
"Well if you're fine, then how come you're trying to kill yourself?" Reid reasoned.
"I'm not, I mean I just don't know what to do. I just want to feel okay again," Olivia said in a shaky voice.
"You will, it just takes time, but trust me; this isn't the answer." Spencer consoled her.
"How can you be so sure," Olivia hiccupped having gave way to the tears that were now falling freely.
"Because; I was in your position once. Long story short, I was kidnapped and drugged and I became addicted. Eventually the drugs stopped helping and made me more depressed. I thought about ending it all and I almost did." Reid confessed.
"What stopped you?" Olivia questioned.
"As I was writing my suicide note, I started thinking about all the people who would miss me. I tried not to think about it but the thought wouldn't leave me. I couldn't help seeing all the devastated faces of my team, my family, and I knew I couldn't do that to them. I forced myself to get help, not because I wanted to live, but because I didn't want to die." Reid confided feeling himself well up with emotion as he thought about how difficult that point in his life had been, not only for him but for his family.
Olivia had stood still and listened to Spencer's story. She felt her mind drift to that of her team. She could see Cragen, Munch, Fin, and even Elliot gathered around her grave with tears streaking their faces. She didn't want to leave them behind, but she couldn't see herself going back to the way things were.
"Spencer, I had no idea you went through all that and I appreciate what you're trying to do but I just can't. I don't think I'm strong enough to handle all this on my own and I can't tell my team. They have enough problems of their own; I can't burden them with mine as well." Olivia said with a sniffle.
"You won't have to. If your team is anything like mine, they won't see this as a burden. They'll be glad you confided in them and want to help in any way they can. But," Reid added seeing that she was about to interrupt, "they don't have to know. At least not yet. It took me long time to tell my team what I was feeling and once I did I wished I'd told them sooner. But I understand what it's like to not want the people closes to you to know. I want to help you Olivia, you won't have to go through this alone. I promise to be there for you every step of the way…that is if you'll let me." Reid whispered. He wondered to himself why he was getting so invested in the welfare of a person he just met, but he pushed it aside. On their date, he quickly found that Olivia was nice and easy to talk to and so unlike the other girls who would just laugh at him. Even if they would never become something more, he still felt the two of them could become friends and right now she needed his help. He wasn't going to let her down.
Olivia pondered Spencer Reid in her mind. She knew almost nothing about him and he knew even less about her. Yet he still was willing to help her. A part of her suspected that his intentions were less than noble, but as she looked into his large brown eyes staring earnestly into hers; she quashed that thought and decided for once in her life to take a chance and accept help from someone else.
Thoughts? Comments? Advice? Leave a review and let me know Thanks for reading.
"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death." ~Earl Wilson.