When Geeks Have Kittens
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Criminal Minds
For the Springtime Challenge on Chitchat on Author's Corner Forum
Assigned Characters: Reid and Garcia
Springtime prompts: tree house, lemonade, kittens
Reid and Garcia stood side by side, waving goodbye to Henry as JJ drove away. They had just had breakfast with JJ and their Godson for his birthday, but now it was time to part ways and head to work.
"Hey." Garcia said, and Reid looked down at her. "You have a PhD in Engineering."
"… Yes." Reid confirmed. Garcia sipped her lemonade and smiled.
"You should engineer a tree house for Henry."
"… What?" Reid asked, following Garcia as she walked down the street.
"Well… spring is coming… Henry will be playing outside. You should design a tree house for him!"
"I can't build a tree house!"
"I know that, boy genius. I said you should DESIGN a tree house. Let Will build it."
"Oh. Nice." Reid grinned.
"How cool would it be?" Garcia insisted. "Every little boy wants a tree house."
"… Every NORMAL little boy wants a tree house."
"Oh. Thanks." Reid grumbled, frowning and shoving his hands into his pockets.
"Butter Cream… You are FAR from normal." Garcia said calmly. "And that's why we all love you." And she jerked his hand out of his pocket and took hold of it. Reid blinked, startled. He was NOT used to physical contact… and holding hands seemed so… intimate. But at the same time, it felt okay with Garcia. He just wasn't expecting it.
"I've never designed a tree house before." Reid confessed after a few minutes.
"You should. Henry would love it. And then you can design one for Jack, and make Hotch build it."
Reid grinned at that, saying "I can't see Hotch up in a tree building a tree house."
"We'll send Morgan and Rossi over to help him." Garcia announced, and Reid chuckled again.
"I can see Morgan doing that. I can see a lot of colorful words coming from Rossi that Jack and Henry should not hear."
"And our Mama Bear will then have to have a little chat with our Italian Stallion."
Reid blinked and frowned, mouthing the words "Italian Stallion" silently in his confusion, before just shaking his head and accepting Garcia's words.
Then, a girl of about twelve walked out of the apartment building that they were walking by. She was carrying a big box, which she set down on the side walk before heading back into the building. Garcia made a double take.
"Hey! What are you doing?" She cried, and Reid blinked as Garcia ran over to the box. On the box in black marker were the words "free kittens to good home". The little girl turned and looked at Garcia, tears in her eyes.
"Mama says we can't keep them." She said, sniffling.
"But… why put them out on the street?" Garcia asked.
"Mama said to."
"You should take them to a shelter." Garcia said, more gently this time.
"We don't have a car. And I can't take them on the bus." The little girl said, tears rolling down her face. "I really want to keep them! And putting them out here, I don't know who will take them!" Garcia sighed and walked over, giving the little girl a hug.
"Don't worry, sweetie. We'll take them and find them REALLY good homes. Won't we, Reid?"
"Really?" The little girl asked, staring up at Garcia with hopeful eyes.
"Really. I promise." Garcia nodded.
"You'll make sure they're okay?"
"Absolutely. I promise! I'll run a background check on anyone who wants them!"
"Really! You can do that?"
"Sure can, sweetie!" Garcia said, and discreetly opened her wallet, showing the little girl her credentials. The little girl's eyes widened and she flung her arms around Garcia.
"Thank you so much!" And then she turned and ran back into the building shouting "MAMA! The FBI is gonna take care of the kittens!"
"Bring the babies, Junior G Man!" Garcia commanded.
"… Seriously?" Reid asked, weakly. He looked down at the kittens and reached out with a foot, toeing at one that was trying to get out of the box and knocking it back in with its littermates. "But… we have to go to work!"
"We'll bring them with us!" Garcia announced, sipping her lemonade again.
"Catch it!" Garcia squealed, and Reid turned and pounced on the little calico kitten who had scrambled out of the box and started trotting down the street.
"NYAAAO!" The kitten squealed in Reid's hands, and he placed her back in the box and picked it up.
"Let's go!" Garcia announced, and marched away. Reid looked down at the box of nine kittens, and sighed.
"… Hotch is gonna kill me." He mumbled, picked up the box and followed.
Esther was parked only another two blocks away, so the pair got into the old convertible and Garcia drove them to work. Reid spent the ride with the box in his lap, trying to keep the kittens IN said box. At every stop light, Garcia cooed over the kittens. There were three calicos, two gray tabbies, one orange tabby, two tuxedos, and one all black kitten. The one calico kept climbing out the box and scrambling up Reid's shirt, and then yowling whenever he plucked her up and placed her back into the box with the other kittens.
When they arrived at the BAU, Reid sighed. "Are we REALLY taking them inside?" He asked.
Garcia polished off the last of her lemonade, and got out of the car saying, "Of course we are. We can't leave them out here."
After a pause, Reid sighed again and got out of the car, following after her with his messenger bag on his shoulder and the box of kittens in his arms. The security guard looked baffled and amused when he greeted them, and when Reid and Garcia got into the elevator, Reid was thoroughly embarrassed by the stares he was getting from other agents who were trying to be professional and not get excited by the kittens, who were being quite noisy.
When they arrived at the BAU, Reid had every intention of hiding the kittens in Garcia's office… but the woman grabbed him and steered him right into the middle of the busy bullpen and announced loudly, "Who wants a kitten?"
And Reid found himself standing there, completely humiliated as he held the box of kittens for the inspection of all the curious and amused agents. Morgan laughingly picked up one of the tuxedos and Prentiss cuddled the black kitten, calling it "Sergio Junior". Agent Anderson ended up with a curious orange tabby exploring his desk, and Rossi howled and cursed in Italian as the mischievous Calico managed to escape and climbed his trouser leg, digging her claws in the entire way up, making her way under his coat. Garcia had taken the other kittens out and two were gamboling around on the walkway to the Round Table room, while the others played on the desks of the agents in the bullpen.
And this was the scene that Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner and Section Chief Erin Strauss walked in on, their serious conversation grinding to a screeching halt. Kittens were everywhere… Rossi was turning in circles, taking his coat off to reach the kitten that was crawling up his back, Anderson was teasing an orange tabby kitten on his desk with one of Garcia's fluffy feather pens, Emily was playing with a black kitten on her desk, Morgan was grinning at a black and white kitten who was perched on his shoulder and nibbling his ear, Garcia was trying to catch a tuxedo and a calico as they ran for the Round Table Room, Kevin Lynch was howling about a gray tabby piddling on his newspaper while he checked his horoscope, and one more little calico ran around some desks and scampered straight up to Hotch and Strauss, then past them, only to be caught by a startled JJ who had just arrived.
And in the middle of all of this was a bewildered Spencer Reid, holding a box that said 'Free Kittens to Good Home'.
"… What the hell is going on here?" Hotch demanded, his voice cracking like a gunshot in the room, and everyone froze and stared at him, kittens included. "Reid?" The young man tensed, eyes widened and mouth falling open.
"I… I… We were walking and there was a girl and the box and she was crying and her mom wouldn't let her keep them and so Garcia said to take the box and we're supposed to find them homes and one kept crawling out and then we got here and… and…" He trailed off, gulping at the glares of Hotch and Strauss. "Ah… did you know that simple act of petting a dog or cat has been known to reduce stress and high blood pressure, and people with pets tend to lives longer than people without pets? Exact numbers... fail me at the moment...?" He winced when Morgan let out a low chuckle at his friend's predicament, and Emily offered a sympathetic grimace.
"MREEEEW!" Squealed the calico in JJ's hand, and Strauss turned to stare at the kitten, who was flailing in her attempt to escape the hand that held her.
"OW! SON OF A BITCH!" Rossi suddenly blurted, jumping as the cat on his back began to climb up higher.
"Everyone put them back in the box! NOW!" Hotch ordered, and after a moment the agents all did so, some groaning in disappointment. Emily helped to detach the kitten from Rossi. And Reid was left standing there with a box full of kittens again. He stared at Hotch guiltily. Hotch stared at him.
"You said Penelope was with you?" He asked. Reid nodded.
"It's my fault, sir." Garcia said, moving to stand with Reid. "A little girl was putting them out on the side walk… and I couldn't leave them there for just anyone to take. I had to make sure they made it safely to good homes. So I told Reid to bring them with us. He's just carrying the box for me. That's all."
"… One is missing." Reid said suddenly, inspecting the kittens in the box.
"What?" Garcia asked.
"There." Morgan pointed. And everyone watched as a little gray tabby made her way over to Erin Strauss, and began rubbing up against the woman's ankle, meowing softly. Strauss looked down and blinked at the cat, then slowly knelt and scooped her up. The kitten immediately curled up in the woman's hands, purring. Strauss stared at the kitten, and then began to pet her head.
After a moment, she looked up. "How many are there?"
"… I see. Well, eight still need homes. Do what you need to do." She said. "Just… don't bring them back to the office again." And then she turned and walked away, the kitten curled up in her arms. Garcia and Reid gawked, then slowly turned and looked at each other.
"Well… THAT was unexpected." Rossi said after a moment, breaking the silence. Garcia looked at him, then grinned.
"You know… that little calico really seemed attached to you." She said. Rossi pointed a finger at her.
"Don't press your luck." He said, then turned and headed for his office. Hotch eyed Reid and Garcia, and the mewling kittens in the box (including a tuxedo who was trying to get out of the box and nearly snagged his tie with his little claws), then just shook his head and made his way to his own office, shutting the door. Several Agents waited a moment, and then crowded around the box again.
Word spread through the building, and by the time the end of the day came around, six kittens had homes, and the other three had potential homes; spouses had to be consulted.
"Well, that worked out well." Garcia sighed happily as she pulled her car to a stop at Reid's apartment, as she had offered him a ride. He looked at the Tech Analyst, then sighed and shook his head, getting out of the car and leaving the box on his seat with three snoozing kittens inside. "We're on a roll, Boy Wonder. Next up, we present the plans for the tree houses to the team and see if we can talk them into building them!"
"The plans you'll have drawn up by tomorrow."
"I knew I could count on you, Butter Cream! Don't stay up TOO late working on them! Ta ta!" And she drove away, leaving Reid in the dust crying "Wait! GARCIA!" He slumped where he stood.
"… Crap… Guess I should put on the coffee…" And he turned and headed up to his apartment to start working on some sketches…
Hope you enjoyed! Please review!