This is set right after Limelight.
Reid was sitting at his desk, reading. Morgan had noticed Reid was a little more quiet after their most recent case, and wondered why.
"Hey man, what's up? What's got you down?" asked Morgan, breaking Reid out of his trance-like state. Reid usually became slightly catatonic when he was reading, but reading at a speed of 20,000 words per minute could do that to people.
Reid looked up, breaking from his concentration. "I don't know what you mean," he said in a genuinely questioning tone, his head tilting to the side slightly.
"I don't know, you've been kind of down. I know you were excited to go on that road trip with Rossi. Hotch told me your reaction," Said Morgan, smirking.
At the mention of Rossi's name, Reid's expression became more downcast. "Do you think I'm annoying? Or, you know, weird?"
Morgan studied his friend. Reid refused to make eye contact, and he was fidgeting, more than usual for Reid. Did Reid think he was weird and annoying? "You're not annoying Reid. I mean, you can get a little chatty and sure, we wouldn't be human if we weren't jealous of your intelligence. But not annoying. Those traits are just you, Reid. That's part of the reason why we like you so much," Morgan said with feeling. He meant every word he said.
Reid looked a tiny bit happier, but then blearily asked, "But I can be annoying to people, can't I? I'm not completely oblivious to people's reactions."
Morgan was confused. Why did he want to know this now? "Reid, anyone can be annoying to anyone. Hell, I annoy people, and of course, I'm just a smooth talkin', likeable person," he said with a wink. "But why do you want to know? Did someone say you were annoying?"
Reid frowned, and scrunched his eyebrows together. "They didn't actually say it. I just kinda profiled him. Which, I know we shouldn't do, but I couldn't help it. I mean, I was in denial before, because this person was someone I idolized, and I really looked up to him. But he just thinks I'm annoying and can't stand to be around me. I can see it, and it's just, I don't know, kind of a let down, you know?" Reid looked dejected, and looked down.
Morgan sighed, and shook his head. "Well, who is it?" asked Morgan.
"Rossi," said Reid, not meeting Morgan's eyes. Morgan felt a wave of sadness, and guilt, and he could tell Reid was embarassed that Morgan would judge him. He used to be just like Rossi, he used to think the kid was annoying as well. But that was before he really knew Reid. And even then, he never gave Reid the cold shoulder or was mean to Reid. It was more like an 'annoying little brother' type of relationship. Morgan had seen Rossi get annoyed by Reid, they all had. But none of them thought Rossi would be cruel to Reid.
"C'mon, man. You can't be sure. What makes you say that?"
Reid looked up. "Well, he doesn't know it, because I hid it really well, but when we first went to look at the boxes from the storage unit in Philadelphia, I saw his reaction. When Hotch told him to bring me along, he looked like he was dreading bringing me. Then, in the car, he would tell me to shut off the tapes I was playing, and would ignore what I was saying. He's been like that for a while I guess. Then, on the way back, I was talking on the plane, and I thought someone was listening. And he told me to shut up 'cause no one's listening. I don't think he meant it in a mean way, but still. I think he was serious," said Reid.
Morgan shook his head. "Man, Reid, I'm sorry. It'll get better. Ok? Just do what he does and ignore him, unless it's obviously for a case." Morgan felt bad for the kid. And he didn't think Rossi would be that bad.
Reid nodded, and looked up. "Ok."
Prentiss and Reid were over chatting at the break station, getting coffee. "I just don't see how you can beat me! I've had lots of experience, and given my IQ, I shouldn't be able to lose to most people!" Reid exclaimed animatedly.
Prentiss smiled. "Well, I'm not most people," she said mysteriously. Behind her, Rossi came up to get a mug of coffee. "Hey, Dave. Didn't know you drank coffee," she said to him.
Reid didn't say anything and turned around, pouring more sugar into his coffee, avoiding contact with Rossi.
"Well, didn't get much sleep, so I needed something to wake me up." Rossi said, going to the espresso machine instead of the coffee. "Got enough sugar there, genius?" said Rossi, eyeing Reid's hands as they poured over five tablespoons of sugar into his coffee.
Reid looked over, and finally got mad. "Do you have to criticize every thing I do? I mean, come on. I know that you don't like me, but you don't have to be so annoyed at my very presence," he exploded vigorously as he waved his arms, splashing coffee on the floor.
Prentiss looked shocked. "Did I miss something?" she asked, her eyes glancing from Reid to Rossi.
Rossi looked at Reid with eyebrows raised. "I don't know, I think I did too," he said coolly. "Is there something you have to say, Dr. Reid?" he said, using Reid's full title.
Reid just looked away, and didn't reply. He looked upset, and this made Rossi feel guilty, and sighed.
"Reid, I'm sorry. Look, I know I give you the cold shoulder and I'm not the nicest person to you, but I'm like that to everyone. I'm sorry, ok?" Rossi said, looking at the younger agent.
"You know, I looked up to you. You were David Rossi, one of the guys who practically invented the BAU. Well, let me tell you something. You do not replace Jason Gideon. Not even close!" Reid exclaimed, storming off.
Rossi looked surprised, and looked at Prentiss, whose mouth was agape in surprise as well.
"How bad did I mess up?" Rossi asked Prentiss, not understanding the kid at all.
Prentiss looked at him, and shook her head. "Gideon was like the dad Reid never had. Then, he just left. With nothing but a letter to Reid. He didn't care enough to say goodbye. Or, at least, that's how some people see it. So, I would say, you coming in here trying to fill those shoes, then treating him the way you do? I'd say you messed up pretty badly," said Prentiss. She had no personal harsh feelings towards Rossi, she actually liked him. But she did feel bad for Reid, and wanted to defend him. Rossi was out of line when it came to Reid, and she had noticed it.
Reid, JJ, and Rossi were the last ones left in the bull pen. JJ was sorting through case files, and Reid was filling out reports. Rossi finally decided to talk to the young genius, and walked over to him. "Hey, listen. I'm not asking for you to talk to me, I just need to talk to you." Rossi waited for a response from Reid, and when he got no indication of him listening, he just sighed and continued. "I know I'm not Jason Gideon. I will never be anything like him. And honestly, coming in here and trying to fill his shoes isn't easy. So, I just wanted to say, Im not trying to replace him. And look, I'm not good with people, so don't take it personally when I act harshly towards you. And if you think I dislike you, well, you're not a very good profiler, Reid," said Rossi, smiling. Reid had looked up during Rossi's mini-speech, and was checking him for signs of discomfort or lying. Seeing none, he gave a hint of a smile in return.
"I always have been overly sensitive. It's a trait I can't really help. Did you know that traits in people really aren't hereditary, and that the whole Nature Vs. Nurture debate is really a moot point since scientific evidence clearly suggests . . ."
Rossi chuckled and pretended to be interested in what Reid was saying. He didn't want to hurt the kid's feelings after he had repaired them like that.