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Chapter One

The Assignment

Dr. Spencer Reid, 24, did not know that his life was about to change when he rolled out of bed that morning. He dressed in his normal clothes: cords, white button down, cheesy cheap tie, sweater vest, and Converses. It felt just like a regular day as he clutched his coffee while on the Metro on his way into the BAU, overcast and the threat of snow hanging in the air. He was earlier than the others that shared the bull pen, as usual. He planted his satchel on his desk and was about to pull out his chair to get a head start when Hotch's voice sliced into his attention.

"Reid. My office."

What was it now? He had not done anything against the handbook lately. A sense of dread filled Spencer as he made his way up into his boss's office.

"Close the door and sit down." Hotch's voice was devoid of emotion as usual. After closing the door, Reid settled himself down into the chair, trying to prevent his leg from shaking.

"What is it, Hotch?" The older man looked at the young profiler and bit on his bottom lip before he spoke.

"We got a request and you fit the qualifications."

"What type of request?"

"Undercover work."

"Me? Why me? Wouldn't Morgan be more suited for undercover work?" Spencer liked being himself, even if his shyness and brains kept him somewhat lonely outside the team.

"No. This is for you." Hotch handed Spencer a somewhat thick file. "You'll be going to New Jersey. Thompson University to be exact. There have been four murders in the fall semester. We need you to enroll, see if you can detect any patterns or anything of the like. You'll be coordinating with the field in Philadelphia since Thompson is closer to Philadelphia than Newark. Everything you need to know is in the file. You will be give an apartment off campus. Any questions?"

Spencer's mind was racing. He was going back to college. To catch a killer. Undercover. Without the team.

"No, Hotch. I got it. When do I leave?"

"Tonight. Go home and pack. We have no idea how long you'll be gone, so you need to shut down your apartment for now."

"Oh okay, Hotch." Spencer stood and had his hand on the door when Hotch's voice rung out again.

"And Reid?"

"Yes, Hotch?"

"Try to act your age while there. Act like a 24 year old college student. Got it?"

"I'll try my best, Hotch."

"I know you will. I'll tell the team. Now, get out of here and get ready."

Spencer nodded and left the unit chief in peace.