The Surprise of His Life
Okay all you wonderful readers you, I have done what you asked and spun this off into its own story. I am going to be working on the next chapter soon, so be patient with me as I am trying to finish up When Worlds Collide.
What Have You Done Dr. Reid
Dr. Spencer Reid was lazing around on a rare Sunday off of work. He was a little restless and was trying to think of something to do. Normally he would be reading or studying up on a new subject that had piqued his interest, but today he had no desire to do either one of those things. It hadn't been quite a year since the woman he loved had been killed by a jealous stalker. Maeve's ghost still haunted his dreams and often his waking hours as well. For the most part he was moving forward, everyday picking-up the pieces of his shattered heart. It helped that his boss Aaron Hotchner knew the pain that he was going through and he had someone he could talk to when it got bad. This Sunday was one of the better days, but he was still restless. Then it hit him, he'd start working on that story that kept rolling around in his head, a detective novel actually.
Spencer wasn't one for technology and it had taken him forever to actually get a computer, but once he had he found he rather liked the convenience. It still didn't quell his overall distrust of technology, but he appreciated the usefulness of the machine. So, he sat at his desk and started working on his novel. His main character was a magician who has a knack for helping the police solve the unsolvable. He wanted his character to be a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Houdini.
As he finally settled down with his laptop open, coffee by his side and his hands ready to type there was a knock at his door. Slightly annoyed he decided to ignore it and if it was important, or someone he knew they would call and leave a message. He turned back to his computer ready to begin again when the knocking became more incessant. With a heavy sigh he got up from his desk went to his door, flung it open and said rather harshly, "What!" And looked into the face of a woman he hadn't seen for six years.
"Austin, what, what are you doing here?" Reid was rather shocked to see the woman standing at his front door. He had spent a pleasant weekend with her, but then their case load became so hectic he hadn't gotten in touch with her. Besides that in his head he kept going over the statistics of the likelihood of a successful long distance relationship. So he never pursued anything more with her.
"Spencer, I know it's been a long time, but I need your help".
"Okay, why don't you come in and tell me how I can help you". He held the door open wider for the woman to enter.
"Umm, well, I'd better show you. Come on sweetheart, its okay". Just then a little boy of about five peeked around Austin's legs.
"Austin, what's going on?" Reid asked with trepidation in his voice.
"Well, Spencer, I don't think we should do this out in your hall, don't you agree?" Austin looked-up at Spencer expectantly.
"Okay, come in".
Austin and the boy came in and made their way over to the couch and sat down. Spencer, a little fearful at what he was about to hear, slowly made his way to the reading chair across from the couch.
"So, Austin, again, what's going on?" He looked right in the woman's eyes.
"Well, this is James Matthew Reid. Spencer," She took a deep breath, "He's your son".
Spencer jumped off his chair and started pacing wildly, "What, what do you mean? Why didn't you tell me? I thought, you know we used, well, we were cautious and well…" He stopped and looked down at the little boy who he could see looked remarkably like him. There was no denying it in Spencer Reid's mind that this was his son.
"Well, Spencer I didn't tell you because, because well I'm not really sure. You guys left after the case and you called here and there and there was always another case and it just never seemed the right time and now here I am in a bind and I really need help and James has been asking questions so here I am and I'm rambling aren't I?"
"I uh, I need a minute, just give me a minute this is, this is, I don't know. I um yeah I'll be right back". Spencer, usually so articulate had lost all control over his thoughts and speech. He really didn't know what to do and he was freaking out. He turned and stalked out of the living room, grabbed his cell phone and locked himself in his bedroom. It took a few minutes to calm his breathing and the thoughts swirling around in his head. He looked down at his phone and called the one person he knew could talk him off this ledge he was on. He dialed the number and waited.
"Hotchner," Aaron Hotchner answered with a rare smile in his voice. He had seen that it was Reid calling and was glad the young man turned to him in recent months to help with his grief. He knew Spence was having a difficult time and Hotch understood more than most his pain.
"Umm Hotch, I umm, well it seems I'm a dad and I'm terrified and don't know what to do. What do I do?" Spencer rushed his words still trying to understand his emotions.
"Reid, calm down and start over, what are you talking about".
"Remember that case in Atlanta a few years ago? The pick-up artist with the cleanliness fetish?"
"Yes, I remember that case. Why?" Hotch asked with confusion in his voice.
"Well, I had met a girl, one of the bartenders actually, her name is Austin and she liked my magic tricks and my jokes..." Reid smiled inward at how the girl laughed at his slight-of-hand and the corny joke he told to go with it.
"Oh, right, well anyway I went down to see her the next weekend and we, well, we spent a pleasant weekend together. We tried to stay in touch but with our frantic schedule and she was going to school we just never reconnected. Well, she showed up today, with a son, he's five and she says he's mine and well he looks a lot like me and well I'm terrified, what do I do?".
Hotch listened to the younger man ramble and took a deep breath, "Reid, didn't you use, you know, protection?" Hotch was a little embarrassed asking the young Dr. this but he was trying to make sense of what was going on.
"Yes, but the statistics on something going wrong are higher than the average person realizes according to the CDC there is an 18% failure rate with the use of condoms alone…"
"Reid, calm down. Is she still there?"
"Yes". He said with a slight tremor in his voice.
"Have you talked to her? Or did you lock yourself in your bedroom and call me?" Hotch asked.
"Um, I sort of ran out of there and locked myself in my room and called you". Reid said sheepishly. He hated how Hotch knew him so well, he even knew him better sometimes than his best friend Derek Morgan.
"Reid, hang up the phone and go find out what she wants. If this boy..."
"James, she named him James". Reid said with a smile to his voice. He was beginning to like the idea of being a dad, but he was still terrified at the same time.
"Okay, if James is your son you're going to have to take some responsibility. Hang up and go talk to her, then if you need to talk again, call me back, okay?" Hotch said in his usual measured voice.
"Okay, okay I can do that". He hung up without saying goodbye, which everyone on his team was used to by now. They knew how much Reid hated saying goodbye and the reasons for it. He took a deep breath and walked back out the door to find out what Austin wanted.
"Sorry about that, it's just you took me by surprise and I don't know what to say". Reid looked at the young woman expectantly.
"Spencer, I'm sorry for springing this on you. I have meant to call you so many times, but I never seemed to find the right words. But, I need help and I think he should know who his father is, don't you?"
"Um sure, okay, what, what do you need help with?"
"I need you to look after James. I'm going to be gone for a while and I don't trust a lot of people to look after him. And, I think he needs to spend time with you".
"Austin, you know what I do for a living, I'm away a lot I don't know if this is a good idea. Don't you have any family that can help?"
"No. My parents are gone and they were only children so I don't have any aunts or uncles. I have a godmother, but I haven't seen her in years. Please Spence, I really need the help. Plus I don't know how to engage him anymore. I think he's got your smarts. I haven't had him tested I just haven't had the time, but all his teacher's tell me that they are having a difficult time keeping him occupied. He's way above his first grade class. He's retreated into himself and I don't know what to do".
"Austin, where are you going that you can't take him with you?"
"I recently received a grant to finish up my psychology dissertation. I'm going for my doctorate, but I am going to be living and working in a mental health facility. I just don't think that is the right environment for a five year old".
Reid sat back and thoughts of growing-up with a mentally ill mother were swirling around in his head and he knew that Austin was right. He looked down at the little boy and saw himself reflected back. The boy was shy and quiet and Spencer wondered if it was due to his peers or if there was something deeper going on.
"Austin, were you ever going to tell me?"
"Eventually. I know, I know I should have told you sooner and I'm sorry. I have a few CD's here with videos and pictures that I always meant to send". Austin looked at the young Dr. and waited patiently for his answer.
"Okay Austin, I'll do it. But you know you could have come to me, I would have been there for you".
"I know, but I know how much you love your job and I didn't want to be the cause of taking you away from that. You're here now, so thank you".
"Do you have clothes and things for him?"
"Yeah, I've got a couple of suitcases in the car with clothes, books and his favorite toys. Spencer I can't thank you enough for this, I really can't".
Spencer smiled at Austin, "It's okay, I want to do this. I'll be honest I'm scared and I don't know what I'm doing, but I want to do this".
Austin turned to the shy little boy with the floppy brown hair and wide dark brown eyes. "James honey, why don't you go say hi to your daddy? Okay honey?"
The boy looked up at his mother, then looked over at Spencer and shook his head. He slid off the couch and walked over to Reid and looked right up at him. "Are you really my daddy?" He asked in a quiet voice.
Reid smiled down at the boy, "Yes James, it seems that I am. You're going to stay here for a while would you like that?"
The boy looked back up at Reid with sad eyes and shrugged. "Come here little man," Spencer, in a rare display of physical affection pulled the boy onto his lap and hugged him giving himself and the boy some comfort.
Austin kneeled on the floor next to Spencer and James, "James honey, you know I'm going away for a while, right?" The little boy shook his head yes, "It doesn't mean I don't love you, I do but I can't take you where I'm going. You're going to stay here and get to know you father, would you like that?" James slowly nodded his head yes and Austin took the boy in her arms and hugged him close. "I'll miss you little man. Be good for you father and before you know it, I'll be back, okay?"
"Okay Mommy. I love you". James had tears in his eyes, he didn't want his mother to go but he was also excited to get to know his father.
Austin went back to her car and brought up the suitcases with James's things, kissed him goodbye again and thanked Spencer yet again for helping out, then with a heavy heart turned and left.