"What's going on in this one?" Rossi asked, turning his book. Spencer took one look and burst out laughing.
"Lulu took one look at me and decided that I should play the role of an angel's tempter. Misty quite literally fell and I somehow managed to catch her. Totally unplanned shot…I think I was…19 at the time."
"Why don't you dress like this?" Hotch asked, pointing to Spencer's runway shot.
"Um…well that's couture…and honestly, I don't think I want to ruin designer pants, shoes and that shirt, which I still have. I guess I could wear similar clothes…but…I don't want to have people staring at me like that again. I didn't like the attention at 22 and I won't like it now."
"You certainly look like you enjoy the attention in this shot," Morgan pointed out. "I never imagined you as a ladies' man, but wow. How old are you in this?" Spencer was leaning against the wall with two women pressing themselves to him while he gave the camera a "you know you want me" look.
Spencer smiled sheepishly and scratched his head. "I was 18…and the point of modeling is to act, Morgan. You have to push through the pain and give the photographer what he wants without him giving you directions."
"There's pain modeling?" Derek asked.
"You have to hold certain positions for a while and wear uncomfortable clothing and have makeup run into your eyes…stuff like that."
Emily kept flipping between two pictures. "This picture," she asked, "is this real?" In it
Spencer was naked and had several scars and bruises. He was sitting diagonal to the camera, arms wrapped around his sides and his hair hiding most of his face.
"That's one of my first pictures. It was taken a few days after I got beat up. The photographer…he was real…impersonal…he didn't care that I was 10 and bruised. It fit into his tortured soul collection. I guess he figured I had an abusive father or whatever. Most of the scars are fake, except for the long one on my thigh. I got it from broken glass in my house."
"Oh Spencer…" Emily said.
"What's the other picture you keep looking at?" Emily flipped to a page much later in the book. Here Spencer was laughing, head thrown back and arms over his head while he lay on a couch. Spencer smiled. "Bella managed to completely trip over air when she left the area and I was still laughing when Jacque took the shot."
"What's your favorite picture?" Garcia asked. Spencer took a picture frame from the box. In it, Spencer was kissing the cheek of an attractive light-redheaded girl; they were holding hands and shopping bags.
"We were supposed to look like a young couple in love on a date…Tracy and I worked together a lot…that was the last shot we had together. She was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks afterwards."
"Oh brain dumpling…"
A few moments of silence passed.
"Would you ever go back?" JJ asked.
"Would you ever consider going back to modeling?"
"No, I'm happy at the BAU."
"Can we stop checking out pictures of young Spencer Reid and celebrate his birthday?" Rossi asked.
"Of course! I'll light the candles now!" Garcia said excitedly, pulling out a lighter.
Spencer smiled. Even though a part of him that he didn't really want to share was now out to the team, he realized it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. Even though Garcia would now be extra determined to dress him better.
Best birthday ever.