Author's Note: I own absolutely nothing. These characters, the storylines, and everything else belong to a bunch of amazing people that I can't thank enough for creating this fantastic television show. Anything that comes from the show is all theirs, and I can only wish to have that much talent!
Celebrating Emily's birthday had been a great experience for the team. They were all happy to have her back, and having her birthday party was a fantastic way to keep them together after everything that happened since her return. Everyone enjoyed being able to get their minds off the job for a single night and holding conversations without fear of their phones ringing and a case coming up. All of them had gathered at Rossi's mansion, sipping wine and talking. Spencer kept to himself, leaning against the wall in the living room and admiring the artwork.
Garcia walked up behind him, squeezing his shoulder. "Are you okay in here, Boy Wonder?"
He smiled, nodding. "I'm fine, really. Just a little bit tired."
She pouted, rubbing his back. "Are you going to duck out early?"
"Probably. I have an assignment due for my Philosophy class, one of the last before I finally get my BA, and with the case in Philadelphia, it completely slipped my mind to get it done."
She looked around. "In fifteen minutes, I'll give you an out. Take it."
He smiled appreciatively. "Thank you."
"Anytime, my sweets." She kissed his cheek, before patting his back and walking back over to Emily and JJ.
He sighed, finishing his wine glass and walking out to the kitchen, setting it in the sink. His birthday had been a few days ago – three, in fact. He had just turned 30, which he considered to be a big birthday, but nobody on the team remembered. He went into work that morning, expecting one of Garcia's world famous gift baskets, or at least a card. When his desk was completely empty, he set his bag down and looked through his drawers. After a thorough search of his desk, he came to the conclusion that the whole team had, in fact, forgotten about him. As the work day was about to start, he shook his head, closing the drawers and starting on the case files.
He checked his watch a few times and contemplated leaving on his own, not waiting for Garcia to give him a reason. He saw that everyone was currently holding conversations and doubted if any of them would notice that he'd be gone. However, a few minutes later, Garcia walked up, patting his shoulder. "You're free to go."
"Oh?" he asked.
"I told everyone that the last case interfered with your course work, and you need to finish this work tonight, or you'll fail. Nobody on this team wants that, so you're good."
He smirked, shouldering his bag. "Thank you."
"Anytime. Go ace that class and make your professor look like a dunce."
"…More than I already do?"
She smirked, patting his arm. "See you tomorrow."
He nodded, before walking out of the house and closing the door behind him.
After getting back to his apartment, Spencer set down his bag and walked to his room, lying down and running a hand over his face. He shouldn't have been so upset about the team forgetting something like his birthday: after all, they had celebrated his 24th for a short while before going on a case. But something about them forgetting this one did hurt. For some time, he'd been contemplating leaving the BAU and doing something else with his talents, something that could actually matter. He wasn't sure how he felt about it now, but it was definitely always on his mind. He shook his head, turning off the light on his nightstand and changing into a pair of pajamas, before lying back and falling asleep.
A while later, he felt the bed dip beside him, but didn't open his eyes. Instead, he continued to lie there, pretending to be asleep.
Derek reached up, running a hand through his hair. "We missed you at the party, Pretty Boy. Did you at least get your homework done?"
Spencer had done his homework – a week and a half ago when it had been due. He simply nodded, taking a deep breath and sighing.
"What's wrong? One of your migraines?"
It wasn't a migraine – in fact, he'd finally found a way to keep them under control. Rather than getting into this conversation right now, he nodded again. "I already took something, it'll pass."
"Do you need anything? Some water, an ice pack, or maybe some tea?"
He shook his head. "Just some sleep."
Derek grabbed the blanket from the foot of the bed, pulling it over the two of them. Spencer laid awake for a while, unable to turn his brain off. When Derek started snoring beside him, he sighed, hoping to let all of it go.
Over the next few days, Spencer mostly kept to himself, and anytime Derek asked, he blamed it on a migraine. Every time he did, Derek tried his best to accommodate him, which only made him feel worse. When he and Emily had been asked to speak at a seminar with Patricia Cornwell, Spencer wasn't sure how he was supposed to feel. He would definitely enjoy speaking, even though it wasn't one of his strong suits, but didn't know if he wanted to really be alone with Emily. He didn't have a personal problem with her, but just didn't like the fact that the team chose to focus on her and ignore him.
Spencer stood in their bedroom, looking at his go-bag. "Maybe I shouldn't do this seminar."
Derek looked away from the TV screen, eyebrow raised. "You're going to turn down speaking in the same room as Patricia Cornwell? After her last book, you didn't shut up about her for a week."
"One, it was four days, not a week, and two, I'm just not feeling it."
"…Not feeling it? What, more migraines?"
He shook his head, folding a pair of pants and putting them in his go-bag. "No, I just… I don't know if I want to leave work."
Derek smirked. "Let's see… you could speak at a seminar and meet one of your favorite authors, all the while getting the hell out of the BAU for a while… or you could sit at your desk for a few days and do boring, monotonous work, hoping for a case to pop up. I don't know about you, but that trip is sounding pretty good right now."
"Sometimes, I hate you. You know that, right?"
He smiled. "But the rest of the time, you love me."
Spencer mimicked him, packing his bag. "Hey, Derek?"
"Yes, Pretty Boy?" he asked, attention still on the TV.
"Why is it pretty much everybody else on the team has had an office or at least gotten some form of recognition except for me?"
Derek looked at him, confused. "What are you talking about?"
"Well, Hotch is unit chief, and he's had an office as long as I've worked there. You were acting unit chief, got an office, and stayed there. Garcia has her lair. JJ had an office when she was the liaison. Hell, Rossi started the job and got an office his first day. I've been in the bullpen for over eight years and have never gotten any form of recognition or advancement." He avoided eye contact as he put his glasses into the bag, zipping it up. "I don't know, it's just sort of demeaning."
"If you think about it, Emily never had anything either-"
"But she had plenty of recognition at Interpol, as well as the jobs before that, not to mention with her connections, she could very easily have any position she wanted." He bit down on his lip, willing himself not to get upset. "It's slightly humiliating, if you think about it. Eight years at the same job and nobody remembers anything about me."
Derek sat up, turning off the TV. "I remember that your favorite composer is Beethoven, your favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip, after a long day of work all you want is a backrub, and that on your days off, you enjoy watching soap operas."
Spencer smiled slightly. "As great as it is that you can remember those, I don't think that'll help my standings at work." He grabbed his bag, walking out to the living room and throwing it down on the couch.
He walked back into the bedroom and looked through his nightstand, setting his book on the surface and turning on the lamp. After sitting down, he reached for his book, but was interrupted when Derek wrapped his arms around his waist, pulling him toward him.
"What are you doing?" Spencer asked, turning to face him.
"Making you feel better," Derek said, kissing his cheek.
He smiled slightly, licking his lips. "Derek?"
He bit down on his lip, clearing his throat. "Is there anything you'd like to say to me? Anything that may have slipped your mind or been forgotten?"
Derek thought for a minute, before shaking his head slightly. "It's not our anniversary-"
Spencer shook his head. "That's in a few months, and I hope for your sake, you don't forget it."
He smirked, thinking again. "It's not quite Halloween yet."
"That's a few weeks away, and I fully expect you to be ready with a costume."
"You're not going to choose for me?"
"Not a chance."
Derek sighed, chewing on his cheek and looking up at the ceiling. "Something I've forgotten…" He then turned to face Spencer, who felt hopeful. "I'm sorry, I really can't think of anything. Is it something important?"
Spencer contemplated telling him, before shaking his head. "Nothing important. I have an early flight tomorrow. Do you mind if we just get some sleep tonight?"
Derek kissed his forehead. "No problem. Do you need a ride to the airport?"
"Emily's picking me up, so you can enjoy sleeping in. I'll walk Clooney before I leave so you don't have to get up until you want to."
"And that's why I love you," Derek whispered, pulling him closer and kissing the top of his head.
Spencer smiled slightly, resting his head on Derek's chest, trying not to focus on how hurt he felt inside.