I don’t own Criminal Minds or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also, Chopin probably owns Nocturne, Op. 9 in B flat minor.
---Children should never return to the places where they were the happiest – it is almost never the same.
He doesn’t expect to ever see her again, at least not alive. For the last thirteen years, he’s made peace with the fact that he would only ever see her again in the morgue.
They’d grown up together, if you could call it that. They’d become adults in a heartbeat, too soon and too fast for kids their age.
He doesn’t have a choice, he supposes. With his father leaving and his mother’s increasingly frequent episodes, little Spencer Reid, only seven years old, learns how to take care of himself.
At first he’s all alone. But then he finds her, huddled and broken behind the dumpsters in the park. She’s all legs and brown hair and light brown eyes and bruises and blood and pain. She flinches when he comes close and snarls when he tries to touch her. She cries when he asks if she is okay. He holds her hand all the way to his house, and he hugs her and promises her that she never has to go back again.
Then her father shows up, red and crazed, and drags her out by the hair.
He sneaks out of his house every night to see her after that. He brings her bandages and food and water and wipes her tears away and cleans her cuts. And she just looks at him with bright eyes that never seemed to stop shining.
It is her eyes that he remembers most.
Her eyes are always bright, hopeful, determined.
They stretch out on the roof together and stare at the stars. Legs and arms and broken stories intertwined. She whispers excitedly about the day she is going to be able to leave, the places she is going to go. She tells him stories about little girls who don’t have fathers who beat them, and little boys that don’t come from a broken home. She wants to go to Paris, and he remembers her six year old voice say, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, and you’ll come with me Spencey, and we’ll live happily ever after.
He also remembers the day he discovers that she would never come home. He is heartbroken and angry and hurt but most importantly, he is glad. She will never have to go home again. He will never have to push her shoulders back into place or pour alcohol on her face to clean her cuts. But she has abandoned him and disappeared and he cannot help but think her selfish for saving herself and not letting him save her.
He thinks about her every day for years. He wakes up tossing and turning at the sound of her screams, and he says a prayer that wherever she is, she is safe. He learns to live without her. But he will never be without her. So he goes to school to learn how to protect people. He fills his memory with things to push her away, but it doesn’t help because he remembers everything. So every little girl he saves becomes a pang in his heart to remind him that she is still gone from his life.
He doesn’t know what is different about today, because there is nothing different at all. He wakes up and visits his mother, one of the rare visits he makes a year, and for some reason she forgets that he has grown up and asks him about his Faith, and then he feels it. The air is different, the day is different, he
is different. It is the faintest ripple by his left ear and he remembers that that ripple has gotten him out of more than one sticky situation, so he gets into his rental car and he drives.
He doesn’t know what he expects to find when he gets out of the car. He really doesn’t expect anything at all, in fact, he expects everything to be exactly the way he has left it and he certainly does not expect for someone else to be here.
She’s standing by the dumpsters at the park, crushing a cigarette under her left heel. She doesn’t seem to notice him at first. She’s just standing there, her face to the wind, her eyes closed and her hair whipping around her shoulders.
She is so beautiful, and he doesn’t want to disturb her. But then he steps on a twig, and her eyes snap open, and he is frozen in time. Because the woman in front of him is not the same little girl he met when he was seven. She’s tall and strong and new, but when her eyes lock onto his, she is the same. They are the same brown eyes that had held his gaze all those years ago.
That’s the first thing he notices. The second is the gun casually stuffed in her waistband. The third is the badge clipped to her belt and then he smiles, because somewhere along the line they both managed to turn out alright.
She grins at him, toothy and crooked, and he smiles back because he never thought he’d see that smile again.
She grabs his hand and spins him around and around and then gives him a look that burns him to his toes because she came to remind him that he’d promised to save her and she just wants to make sure he knows that he did.
We’re going to assume that Faith is on some mission where she gets to tote around a gun and a badge. I wrote this because I just remembered that Spencer graduated from high school at thirteen, so he would have had to know Faith up until he leaves for college or before, factor in that she was probably called around fourteen or fifteen, and thus a relationship is born.
And please excuse my little Criminal Minds rut. I’m kind of annoyed that I haven’t written a ”real story”
in a long time, but I keep getting these little pop-up ideas that only turn into one shots so yeah.