A Penny for Your Thoughts
Reid stepped off the plane feeling uneasy. As soon as it had landed he’d gotten a gut feeling that something was wrong, that something had changed and he had a feeling that it had to do with Elle. Taking in a deep breath he moved with quick footsteps towards the parking lot.
“Reid,” Morgan called after him. The young doctor stopped walking and waited for his colleague to catch up.
“I’m serious. Don’t beat yourself up about this,” he said, laying a hand on Reid’s shoulder.
“I know,” Reid answered simply before shrugging off Derek’s hand and climbing into his car. Derek stepped back, allowing Reid enough space to pass him. The agent just shook his head as the car sped off down the road.
“Is he ok?” JJ asked.
“Can never tell with him,” Morgan answered.
Reid’s eyes were focused on the road ahead of him, the car somehow working with a mind of it’s own to bring him to the destination. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was going to say but he figured it would come to him. He pulled the car into the lot, letting out a breath he’d been holding in. His legs seemed to be working of their own volition, carrying him at lightning speed to the door of Elle’s apartment. He stopped; his hand poised to knock but didn’t complete the action. Did he really want to be here? What if she wasn’t home? Or worse, what if she didn’t want to talk to him? Shaking the doubts from the forefront of his mind he knocked twice on the hard wood. He took a step back as he heard footsteps within. They stopped short and after half a minute of suspenseful silence, the door was pulled open to reveal Elle.
“Reid,” she said simply.
“Elle…hi…I’m not bothering you am I? I can leave if you want. I just came to see how you were,” Reid babbled.
“No, you’re not bothering me. Come in,” Elle answered, opening the door wider to allow him entrance. Reid crossed the threshold and once he had passed her, Elle closed the door.
‘So, how are you?” Reid asked, his hands shoved in his pockets.
“Why don’t we sit down?” Elle suggested, walking past him to a couch. He dutifully followed and took a seat.
“Do you want something to drink?”
“No thank you.”
“Well…how are you?” Reid repeated. She was avoiding the question.
“I…I’m not sure,” Elle admitted, sitting across from him, a glass of scotch in her hand.
“Want to talk about it?” he asked.
“I killed him, Reid. I went to his apartment and I shot William Lee. He was unarmed,” she admitted, tears stinging the corners of her eyes.
“And…I quit the Bureau,” she added quickly.
Reid didn’t know what to say. The news hit him like a ton of bricks and guilt returned full force. He stood and began to pace back and forth in front of the couch, trying to wrap his head around the fact that Elle was a murderer.
“Why?” was all he could say.
“I felt what those women felt. They should have been able to feel safe in their own homes and they couldn’t,” she explained after downing her drink.
“And neither could I,” she muttered in a softer tone. All this emotion was starting to overwhelm Reid.
“I never should have left that night. If I hadn’t left, then you wouldn’t have done it. You wouldn’t have killed Lee and you wouldn’t have had to leave the Bureau,” Reid berated himself.
“No, Reid. It’s not your fault. It was my choice. I chose to do what I did,” Elle countered, standing up and grabbing him, turning him to face her.
He couldn’t speak. He was too overcome with emotions. He felt guilt and frustration and a whole host of other emotions he didn’t care to classify at the moment. He stared at her and without thinking just pulled her into a tight hug. Elle inhaled slightly at the gesture. She hadn’t expected him to do that but she returned the hug full force. He rested his head on her shoulder, fighting back tears. One finally managed to slither down his cheek and onto her shirt.
“In all my life, I’ve never known Dr. Spencer Reid to cry,” she whispered, half laughing.
“I’m going to miss you,” he breathed, pulling back to gaze at her face again.
“You’re always welcome here, Reid,” she assured him. She would have said more but any attempt was stayed by his lips brushing ever-so-lightly against her.
“I should go,” he murmured, pulling away, embarrassment encroaching fast on his cheeks.
“You don’t have to,” Elle told him with a smile.
“I don’t think I can do this…yet,” he explained before hugging her lightly once more and heading for the door. She followed him and laid her hand on the door handle.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she whispered as he gave her a smile and left.
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