Notes: I do not own Criminal Minds or any of its characters. For ranger_zenchi, Help Japan Auction.
"So, Reid," Rossi said the next morning while he and the Genius were both at the coffee machine, "I've been thinking about getting another pet, one that's low maintenance, and I was wondering if you had any suggestions. I'm thinking something like a hermit crab or a goldfish?"
Reid's eyes widened. "Oh, if you want one that's low maintenance neither of those are the way to go. Hermit crabs are actually very delicate creatures and they need at least a 10 gallon tank. Then you need to buy water conditioner to get rid of the chlorine and aquarium salt so that it has fresh and salt water. Then you'd need to get at least one other crab for it to be happy and if you have two you need to make sure that you get-"
As Reid kept on rambling Hotch quietly came up behind him and palmed the container that held the sugar. Only after making sure that it was securely in his pocket did Aaron speak up. "Hey, we're meeting in the conference room in about five minutes to discuss our findings."
"Oh." Reid jumped slightly and turned to face Hotch, just noticing him. "Okay. Rossi's thinking about buying another pet and he thought that a hermit crab or a goldfish would be simple." He chuckled.
"Wouldn't it?" Hotch asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Of course not!" Reid exclaimed. "Like I was telling Rossi. Hermit crabs aren't nearly as easy to care for as most people think they are. They-" Hotch noticed that bowl that held the cream packets had also mysteriously disappeared and took this as his cue.
"Reid, I'm really sorry, but could you maybe tell me this after the meeting? I'd love to hear it but-"
"Great!" Reid beamed, glad that people were taking an interest in his knowledge. "We can talk about it in the Bull Pen!"
"Well, actually, I was thinking we'd switch with Morgan and Prentiss," Hotch answered, "so that people don't get suspicious. But maybe in the Conference Room or my office?"
"Thanks." Hotch smiled. "I'll meet you in the Conference Room."
"Bye." Reid said and Rossi gave a small wave. "So like I was saying," Reid continued, turning back to the counter. "hermit crabs need-" He paused, looking at the counter. "Hey, do you know where the cream is?"
Rossi made a show of looking in the different drawers and shrugged. "Maybe it ran out?"
"No." Reid protested. "We just got restocked yesterday and- and-and wh-where's the sugar?" He bent down and opened the cabinets, moving the plastic utensils and plates around so that he could look. After Reid was sure that it was empty, he tore open the drawers and rummaged through them. Once it became clear nothing was in there, he glanced wide-eyed at Rossi. "I-It must be the kleptomaniac!" Reid said in a strangled voice and dashed off towards the Conference Room.