I know, I know, I have too many going right now, but I can't help it. This story is aching to be written. Some of you probably saw this in my drabbles and there are already written chapters on my comp that I just need to proofread to get up. So I don't have to totally write this story from scratch lol. I already did most of hte work a while ago :D Really, I hope you guys enjoy. This is another I'll be updating most likely weekly. I know it's another "Reid's past changed AU" kind of thing but its going to end up being my dark fic and trust me, it'll earn it.

This is not a slash, this is not a het. This is not romance. At all. Not in this story. So, yeah, no worries on that front.

Now, before you read on, warnings.

First warning - this is AU! I am taking Spencer's childhood and changing it around. Which means one thing that some of you may not like and if you don't, I'm sorry. To do this the way I want, I have to take out part of Reid's history we actually know. I have to take out Riley Jenkins. I'm sorry folks, I know, I know. But there's a reason this is labeled AU. I'm taking Riley away completely, okay? The rest of what's changed, well, I cna't tell you as that's part of the story. If you still want to read, then continue on. If not, I understand.

Major whump in way later chapters. Mentions of child abuse/sexual assault. Adult rape. Basically, all those icky, nasty, hard, horrible things? Yeah. For now let's just assume they'll be here. So if that's a trigger for you or you can't handle it please don't read this story. It may start out easier to read but later on, it'll earn its M rating. At least, as I have it planned right now. This is my story where I'm not going to care what people say and I'm going to indulge my really-mean-to-Reid side. You've been warned. :D

Dear Sparrow,

I like to believe that you would have been so proud of me the other day. Monday, I stood before a group of people and I was sworn in as an official agent of the FBI. I am now officially SA Dr. Spencer Reid of the BAU. Can you believe it? Who would've ever thought that I, little Spencer, would one day become a part of the FBI, let alone have the privilege to serve underneath one of the greatest minds in the BAU – Jason Gideon. As I wrote you before, this man has worked hard to help me get to where I am. Without him, I might still be wandering through college, adding yet another degree to my name but doing nothing with them. Now, I will do good with what I've learned.

The only damper to the day was my wish that you could have been here. It was too difficult for Mother to show and that I understand. I don't condemn her for that. Where she is at is the best place for her and bringing her here would only have been an unneeded disruption to a routine that would only hurt her to deviate from. But as I looked out into the audience, I found myself wishing to see your face. To see that little smile of yours, or the way your eyes would be alight with pride. I know that, in spirit, you were with me. Yet I'm selfish enough to wish for more.

However, I am pragmatic enough to accept that which cannot be. You could not be here and that is the simple fact. So here I sit, writing this letter, telling you everything I wish you could have seen. You would have laughed at me when I walked up when my name was called. Would you believe I stumbled slightly over my own feet? Then again, maybe that's not that surprising. I'm just lucky I didn't manage to actually fall on my face.

After the ceremony, Gideon took me to his place for a celebratory dinner. We spent the night eating and talking and playing chess before he drove me back to my apartment. I'm glad that I made the decision to trust this man. You know how hard that was for me. Trust is an issue I struggle with daily. To join a team like this, where my life will occasionally be in the hands of others, is a big step for me. Gideon says I'm making great progress in my healing. Telling him the truth of my past, the unvarnished truth, was harder than I had thought it would be. It was strangely cathartic, however. So now there are two in the Bureau that know the truth – and both have agreed with me that it is my right to keep it that way. No one else need know.

I know you would shake your head at me over that if you were here. I don't think that they need to know the truth. Who I was helped shape me into who I am, yes, but it does not define me. And when I tell people, when they find out, that is exactly what happens. The truth begins to define me in their minds so that they cannot look at me without seeing what they now know. Here in this job I start my adult life, my career, and I refuse to have it tainted by the past. I am who I have made myself, not who I was forced to be. I am what I have done, not what has been done to me.

Let me stop myself now. This letter was not meant to turn depressing. Let me draw us back to the topic at hand. Allow me to tell you about when I first met the other members of the team. I do believe I was not quite what they were expecting to gain to the team and my reputation was already preceding me. Youngest ever agent to be let into the FBI, with exceptions made to allow me in the field, barely able to make a shot, yet with one of the 'brightest minds'—they label me this, I do not call myself that—to grace the Bureau. Quite an interesting way to start introductions, wouldn't you say? Yet, I think there couldn't have been a better way to be introduced. In a way, I sort of proved my worth. An initiation of sorts…

Nerves ate away at Spencer's insides. He really, really hated meeting new people. It was something he never did very well at. Yet it was something he was definitely going to have to get used to in this new job. But meeting these people was so much more important than meeting anyone else. These people were going to be working with him day in and day out. They were going to be a team and therefore, their opinions and reactions mattered so much more to Spencer than anyone else. Because of that, he couldn't seem to hold still as he rode to the Bureau in the passenger's seat of Jason Gideon's car. The whole time he rode, he was clasping and unclasping his hands in his lap, a sort of nervous twitch.

"You know, it's a normal sensation, to be afraid of meeting new people, most especially in a job setting." Jason said conversationally. His voice was that steady, calm tone that he always seemed to maintain, no matter what topic they were discussing. "But you have to be careful not to let it deteriorate into a full social phobia."

Spencer chewed on his lip and clasped his hands together in an effort to still them. "Anthropophobia, also known as social phobia or interpersonal relation phobia, is a pathological fear of people or human company." He rattled off the facts as they jumped into his head, another habit of his when nervous. "I wouldn't go so far as to classify my problems as a phobia. Though it is above and beyond the standard nerves one might experience in this situation, I do not believe my fears are quite unjustified."

"I'd have to agree with you. It's not quite a phobia. Not yet." Turning the wheel, Jason pulled the car into a parking spot. He shut off the engine and turned his head to look at Spencer. "With awareness and willingness to work at it, I think that we can keep it from growing into a phobia. I simply wanted to make sure you were aware. I have every faith that this will go fine, Spencer. I brought you onto this team because I believe you're going to be an asset to the team. Remember that, when you get nervous in there. All of this aside, I have faith in you."

Strangely enough, that did help to settle the nerves in his stomach somewhat. There hadn't been many times in his life that he could recall that someone had faith in him and actually sounded as if they meant it. "Thank you."

The two were quiet when they made their way inside and as they rode the elevator up to the BAU. Spencer felt his nerves growing more and more the closer that they got. He reminded himself, over and over, that he was not alone here and things were going to be fine. Gideon is right here with you. He's an intelligent man and a brilliant profiler. If he sees something in you that's worthy of this job then obviously there is something there, whether you yourself see it or not. The rest of the team is going to realize that as well. This is going to be fine.

The bolstering words helped him carrying himself into the BAU and through the bullpen. Jason lifted a hand to indicate a conference room that sat above the bullpen. There was a group of people in there that appeared to be looking at something. "Looks like a case came in while I was gone." Jason told him. "What a way to be welcomed to the BAU. Come on, Spencer. Let's go see what they've got."

Spencer followed behind Jason as they walked up the ramp and over toward the room. Yet, as he walked, Spencer found his eyes drifting away from the people ahead of them and to a board that stood in the room. Papers with long series of numbers were hanging up. When he reached the door, Spencer didn't even notice the eyes that turned toward them. His attention was focused solely on the board. He only vaguely heard Jason's voice saying to the room "Everyone, I'd like you to meet Dr. Spencer Reid, our newest member."

"Welcome to the team." A woman said from nearby. She stuck her hand out in front of him; Spencer didn't even see. He furrowed his brows as a pattern started to emerge in the numbers.

The room was watching him now as his focus was drawn to the set of numbers. "What are those?" Jason asked them, smothering a smile.

"We're not entirely sure. There's been a page with the numbers at each crime scene. So far, no one's been able to make any sense of them." Someone answered.

As he moved toward the board, Spencer spoke in an almost absent fashion. "There's a pattern in the numbers."

"A pattern?"

He didn't even look to see who said that. He just nodded, walking right up to the board, looking from one sheet to the next. "Yes. A rather simplistic one, actually. The author used a substitution cipher."

"And what's a substitution cipher?" A man's voice asked.

Spencer moved from one paper to the next, shifting himself so that he stood to better see. His eyes never moved from the pages as he answered. "In cryptography, a substitution cipher is a method of encryption by which units of plaintext are replaced with ciphertext, according to a regular system; the 'units' may be single letters, pairs of letters, triplets of letters. The receiver deciphers the text by performing an inverse substitution."

This time he at least recognized the voice talking to him as belonging to Jason. "Can you decipher it, Spencer?"

He was already reaching for the pen and eraser at the bottom of the board. Without thought he erased the numbers people had written beside the printouts—their obvious attempt at figuring out what it was. Then he started to write. It only took him a moment to figure out the substitution that was used and then he was putting the translation on the board for them all to see. When he was done, he stepped back and looked it over one last time before nodding.

With the finish of his work, reality intruded once more for Spencer. He flushed slightly as he turned around and found everyone in the room staring at him. Jason was watching him with amusement while the others were watching him with various emotions playing over their faces. It was a pretty, blond-haired woman who broke the silence by smiling at him and saying "Welcome to the team, Dr. Reid." She said in a teasing sort of way. "I'm JJ, the media liaison for the team. It's a pleasure to have you here, Dr. Reid. I've heard great things about you already. It's good to see they're true."

He made himself shake her hand, despite his discomfort at the gesture. The next person to move forward was a solidly built dark-skinned main who had a broad grin that almost instantly worked to set Spencer ease some. He shook his hand as well, telling him "I'm Morgan. Welcome aboard, kid."

Kid? Spencer didn't get a chance to comment on that before he was being introduced to the next person. This man was more serious looking and his handshake was firm. "I'm Aaron Hotchner. Welcome to the BAU. Hell of a way to start your first day but, as you see, we have a case."

"So, our Unsub's quoting poetry at us now?" Morgan asked with a gesture toward the board.

And just like that, Spencer found himself brought not only into the middle of the team, but into the middle of their work as well. Without any more qualms or fuss, he was brought to the table and started his job. Maybe it was that they were used to working with people they didn't know, as they traveled to so many different places for their jobs. Or maybe it was just something about this group of people. But not a one of them made him feel like an outsider. They didn't judge him, or try to profile him too obviously. They took what he said at face value and attributed it the same respect they might have anyone else's. Spencer found his nerves gone; forgotten, under the press of information and facts and statistics. At one point, as everyone sat and bounced ideas off one another, and someone brought coffee over to the table, setting cups in front of everyone, Spencer couldn't help but smile to himself. It seemed like, for the first time, he'd found somewhere he fit in.

and just like that, they've brought me into their group. Can you believe it? Never have I been so easily accepted somewhere as I have been here. Oh, I don't doubt that I have quite a ways to go before I prove myself to them. And the capability to work with one another is only one aspect of our job, albeit an important one. Trust will take time to build and I can both understand and respect that. I get the impression that it will be harder to earn with some than with others.

Aaron Hotchner—or Hotch, as I was told to call him—seems like a stern individual, yet he does know how to smile. He seems to be a natural at profiling, almost as if it has become second nature to him over the years. He's got quite a reputation himself at the Bureau. I found him to be a little intimidating, yet friendly still.

Derek Morgan—talk about an interesting individual. Most definitely an alpha male and physical appearance suggests he was or is a jock of some sort. Honestly, he reminds of guys on the football team. Not a great thought to have, I know. However, he doesn't act like them in any way. He's friendly, good humored, pretty patient in explaining random things, and easy to get along with. He has this tendency to call me kid, more so now that he's seen it fluster me. He likes to tease, I've noticed, with everyone. So the fact that he teases me indicates he's willing to accept me into the team for the moment. I have a feeling he'll work with me, but withhold full trust until I've proven myself to him. That's fine. I really wouldn't expect any less.

I'd continue on, but my eyes are starting to droop and I feel myself falling asleep as I sit here and write. Though this letter is shorter than most, I guarantee that the next will be longer.

Until next time, know that, as always, I love you and you are always in my thoughts.

Your brother,