All the Colors of the Rainbow Challenge
Pairing: Spencer Reid / Emily Prentiss
Sentence: 'Flakes of rust fell from the grating as he pulled it off the wall; they tinged his hands a faded red colour and left behind a smell that was far too reminiscent of blood.'
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds, the characters from the show, etc. I am not making any money off the writing of this story.
A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favour.
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
'I can't believe Morgan talked us into this,' Prentiss looked over at Reid. He continued working across the basement of Morgan's latest renovation.
'Cajoled until we gave in is more like it. Though getting Garcia in on the persuading was a bit of a low blow, I thought.' He called back, not turning from his current assignment. Flakes of rust fell from the grating as he pulled it off the wall; they tinged his hands a faded red colour and left behind a smell that was far too reminiscent of blood. He coughed, accidently inhaling some on the falling flakes.
'You ok?' Prentiss turned back to see what had the young doctor coughing. The smell made its way over to her and her nose wrinkled in disgust.
'Good grief, even our weekend project smells like a bad crime scene.'
Reid finished clearing his airways, straightening up. 'Blood is one of the most pungent scents that can linger for a significant period of time. And yes, I'm fine.'
The radio in the corner crackled as the song changed again. They had managed to find a good oldies station that both enjoyed. Nat King Cole's song, L-O-V-E came on and the pair stared at one another. Both burst out laughing.
'Remember the look on Morgan's face when the two of us danced to this song?'
'Remember it? I thought we were going to have to call the EMTs!'
Their laughter calmed as the memory of JJ and Will's wedding reception continued to play in their minds. Emily mock-bowed to Spencer, 'May I have the honour of this dance, doctor?'
He smiled and took the offered hand, pulling Emily into him.
'I would love to cut a rug with you, Agent Prentiss.' He began to lead her in a slow jive.
It had been his second year at Caltech when he started. The usual table he sat at doing his papers at the park had been moved. Not terribly far, unless he wanted to move it by himself (then any distance was too far) just a good 50 feet over closer to a pavilion. The covered area was used by local musicians and groups for small performances. There was a group just cleaning up as he walked closer to the table.
Before he knew it, he was putting his textbooks out of the way and held a girl's hand as her partner stood next to Reid giving instructions. Swing dancing – Jive in particular – he was actually good at it.
The group didn't care about who he was, or where he went to school. They became a safety for him twice a week. He put down Spencer – the freaky genius, and became Spencer – the kid that could pick up dance moves so well they were convinced he had to have taken lessons before.
He kept the dance separate from his life at the BAU. When he first started it stemmed more from the fact that he hadn't found a new group, later it was something that was just his.
Until the party night, no one at the FBI had any clue. Grateful he had driven to work before the last case and had left his outfit in the trunk, Reid made sure the bullpen was empty before he pulled the carefully folded dry-cleaners bag from his messenger bag.
The party would start before he got there, that couldn't be helped anymore. He just wanted a few good dances before heading home. A few good turns would go a long way to putting the case aside. Walking down the hallway to the elevator, he heard a voice behind him.
'Hello? Can I help you?'
Reid froze. Prentiss hadn't left as he had thought. Swallowing heavily, he turned slowly.
'Oh my, Reid! I'm sorry I had no idea…' she trailed off as his outfit registered. 'Where are you off to all dressed up?'
'N-nowhere,' he stammered nervously. 'Uh – home, I-I mean.'
'Then why change?' She probed gently.
Reid's mouth moved but sound refused to come out.
'If you're not headed out for a date, can I hitch a ride?'
'B-but but where's your car?' The stunned genius finally managed.
'In the shop, I can't pick it up until tomorrow.'
'…or I could just go with you to where ever you're headed. Looks like a fun place by your outfit.'
Reid's mind worked overtime to find an acceptable excuse but none would come. Seeing the defeat in his eyes, Prentiss took his arm and steered them over to the BAUs glass doors. In no time, they arrived at the hall. Reid barely made it past the ticket table when a redhead bounced up to him, her partner following a few paces behind.
'Spencer! You made it! We were beginning to worry you were out of town again. Come on, we have a table over here.' She grabbed his hand and dragged him over to an almost full table. Those sitting nearest shook his hand in greeting. Prentiss' presence was temporarily lost in the hubbub of his arrival. He turned to the redhead and smiled in a way Emily had never seen before.
'Z, you owe me a dance and I'm collecting.' He said formally before seizing her hand and marching out onto the dance floor. Z's partner noticed Emily staring at the couple.
'Don't worry, he'll return none the worse for wear. Unless Z finally manages to exhaust him…'
Emily snapped out of her daze, 'uh, excuse me?'
'Z really has no designs on Spencer other than as a dance partner. It's the long limbs, he can so what a lot of us struggle with. She's really not romantically interested in your boyfriend. By the way, I'm Rick.' He held out his hand. They shook.
'Emily and Spencer is a co-worker, not boyfriend.'
By the time Emily walked into her apartment after midnight, her feet, calves, knees and hips hurt like never before. She had no idea dancing was such work. After confessing to the fact that the waltz was the only type of dance she really knew, the group took up the task of teaching her how to Jive. Thankful she had been wearing slacks and not a work skirt, she didn't manage to sit for over two hours. Two numbers later, Reid finally made his way back to the table. She nearly gaped at the content, relaxed look on his face.
As she showered, fed Sergio and headed for bed, Emily found herself looking forward to the next week. They had made Reid promise he would bring her to practice. If they were out of town for work, she would be expected the next time Reid showed up.
Their 'coming out' to the team at JJ and Will's wedding reception was a blast. The dance partners were the talk of the BAU for weeks.
The song ended and Morgan clapped from his place at the bottom of the stairs.
'While I appreciate the performance, can we finish this?'
'Awweeee…' Emily drawled. 'I think someone wants to come with us tonight.'
Life may not be the party that we hoped for… But while we're here, we should dance."
~ Author Unknown
Dancing is the art of getting your feet out of the way faster than your partner can step on them."
~ Author Unknown
Ladies and gentlemen, there it is… my first challenge fic complete. I always like the idea of the team having that one special secret from the rest, Reid especially. I hope this wasn't too serious. Humour was the goal, but I don't think I'm up to laugh aloud funny quite yet.
Thanks to DarkSideO'Me for the sentence, I hope you enjoyed how I used it.
Thoughts, comments, opinions (no flames – fragile ego here) welcomed.