Seaver asks Reid a question.
She knew that the team was doing everything that they could to make her feel welcome. That was why she wasn't particularly worried when Derek had invited her to see a movie with him and Garcia.
The movie was one that Derek had seen before but he'd insisted that she and Garcia see it. He said that it was cinematic mastery at it's best. And it was a movie that every BAU team member needed to see. When Seaver had inquired as to why he'd said that it would give her some insight to the mystery that was Dr. Reid.
After the movie ended the three of them went for a walk. As soon as they turned the corner, Derek turned to face her. "So, what did you think?"
"It was a good movie." She absentmindedly moved a wisp of blond hair that had been moved into her face by the wind.
Morgan smiled; she had missed the point of his question. "Did you figure it out yet?"
Garcia lightly tapped Derek on his shoulder. "I don't think our genius would like you spilling his secret all over the place."
"Don't worry about it baby girl."
Seaver chewed on her bottom lip, she had a feeling that the answer was right in front of her. "Before I make any guesses, can I talk to Reid, see if I can get any clues from him?"
Derek smiled, "Now you're thinking…" He knew that she would have to be very careful about how she approached Reid. Most of the time he was good but occasionally he could be tempermental. He contemplated telling her this and then quickly decided against it. Part of being a good profiler was being able to effectively read people; he figured why not start with people that know you.
The next day Ashley entered the BAU bullpen long before anyone else was there, well almost everyone. She had already begun to observe that Spencer made it a habit to be there hours before anyone else, that way the coffee would already be made and he would have some time to himself.
So she knew when she arrived an hour before anyone else was due to be there would be Spencer. She found him at his desk, cup of coffee in one hand, while the other hand ran down the length of page after page of the file in his lap. She smiled as she realized that he was reading.
"Dr. Reid?" She cringed at how tiny and unsure her voice sounded.
Without looking up he answered, "You can call me Spencer."
She smiled, she was sure she was doing the right thing but at the same time, although Derek seemed pretty sure that it was alright, she knew that she was more likely to side with Penelope in the area of it was none of her business and she should leave it alone. "Okay, Spencer. I was wondering if we could talk."
He looked up from the papers he'd been dealing with. H pushed his glasses further on his nose. She was the last person that he'd expected to see, he was further surprised that she wanted to talk to him. He figured that it was probably to pick his brain about past cases he had or to see if he really was as smart as they said he was. "Sure. What's up?"
She sat in the nearest vacant close to his desk. He had shocked her by how relaxed he seemed. Every other time she had seen him he was so up tight she had a hard time imagining him as human. "Well," as she spoke she tossed her hair over her shoulder; a habit from high school she had never broken out of. "Morgan, Garcia and I had gone out to see a movie, one of Derek's favorites."
"A Requiem for a Dream."
"Right, Derek had said that the movie had more in common with you than I realized." She noticed that as she spoke Reid was shaking. She wasn't sure if it was out of nervousness or fear but she was willing to bet that because of the fact that he'd gotten white as a sheet of paper all of a sudden. "If you don't want to…"
Spencer shook his head. "It's okay, I just didn't realize that they were hiding it. A few years ago I was kidnapped, mentally and physically beaten and then drugged by Tobias Hankel. He was a very scared and confused man with three different personalities in his head. The drug that he'd used was Delaudid, and so for quite awhile I was a user. I have since kicked my addiction; I don't even get the cravings anymore. But whenever I feel myself starting to slip I watch that movie or read the book. I use it as a reminder of what can happen if I allow myself to go down that path."
Ashley watched as he made eye contact with her but he'd been fidgeting with his pen the entire time. He was uncomfortable, not that she blamed him. It wasn't easy to tell anyone any of your dark secrets. From what she knew about him he was a very private person. So she was surprised that he didn't lie, blame someone else or try to cover it up. After all admitting to illegal drug use could easily end his career.
Reid put his pen down, exhaled and waited. He knew that everyone else on the team knew about it and accepted it as something terrible that had happened but something that he'd overcame. He waited to see the look of disgust, disbelief and rejection that he'd seen one too many times.
"I'm so sorry Dr. Reid. If I had known, I never would have brought it up." She'd decided right then and there that the next time she saw Derek she was going to punch him.
"It's alright. If I'm correct, Derek told you to ask me." Reid shook his head. "He specializes in behavioural patterns and the way that people react when put in stressful situations, either that or he's trying to get you used to reading other people; getting you used to being confronted with other people's demons and masking your surprise."
Ashley just looked at Reid in total shock. "Aren't you mad at him?" She looked into his eyes; he looked so sad and lost. She wanted to hug him, and try and fix him. Although she knew realistically none of that was going to happen.
Spencer took a minute to formulate his answer. He knew that he could be angry with Morgan, it would be easy. But he also knew that he had to take responsibility for the consequences of his actions. "It would be easy for me to say that I am, and give dozens of reasons but the fact is I have no real reason to be mad." He knew that she didn't get it, mainly because she was looking at him like he was an alien. "Let me explain. Tobias Hankel may have drugged me the first few times but all of the times that I chose to do it were my own fault. Morgan spilling the beans, as the saying goes, I figure is just part of my punishment for allowing myself to fall into such a common trap. That and if you were to become a permanent member of the team, you would learn about it anyway. I guess he was just trying to save time."
Ashley nodded her head, pretending that the scenario didn't bother her and pretending that she understood and that everything made sense.
"Is there anything else that you need to know or talk about?" As he talked, he basically said that the conversation was over by getting up and shakily walking to the break room. She followed him.
"No. But I don't think that you're okay with it."
Spencer turned to her. His eyes, had gotten a shade darker, and his hands were balled into fists at his side. "Who do you think you are? You come in here, asking questions that were technically none of your business but I gave you the benefit of the doubt and answered them. Don't presume know how I should feel, the drug addiction was my fault, and it is something that I will always struggle with." He turned his back to her finalizing the end to their conversation.
Ashley knew that she had to fix this somehow. "Dr. Reid, I didn't mean to offend or upset you. I'm sorry."
Reid put his coffee cup back on the counter. He had let the situation; memories and his feelings get the better of him. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. He pushed his glasses further up on his nose. "Believe it or not, I'm not offended. It's just this last year has been hell, and I guess I'm just not used to having to explain what happened and why. I'm just tired of all of it. I'm sorry that I took it out on you."
Ashley went back to staring at him like he was insane. The last thing that she'd expected was for him to apologize but she accepted it as part of who he was. "Like I said it's alright. I understand." She gave his shoulder a pat; she didn't want to imagine the stress that he was under. Just as she was about to say something the elevator doors popped open and Derek, Penelope and Hotch stepped off.
Reid tilted his head, obviously considering something in his head, he hugged Seaver. "Thank you for understanding, now if you don't mind I think Penelope's black Adonis needs to be knocked off his pedestal."
She nodded and whispered to him, "I hope you kick his ass." For the first time since joining the Behavioural Analysis Unit she saw Reid give her a real smile as he made his way to Derek.
She watched as he clapped a hand on Derek's back and couldn't suppress her own smile as she watched the scene play out.
"Derek, let's discuss the words private and personal."
Without a second to spare Derek made a beeline for the safety of Hotch's office, with Reid close behind him.
Penelope walked over to Ashley shaking her head. "Boys never change." All Ashley did was smile.