Author: Dani (speccygeekgrrl)
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Jason Gideon/Spencer Reid
Word Count: 515
Summary: Getting inside people's heads isn't easy. Neither is getting out of your own.
Notes: Challenge #53: "It isn't as easy as it looks." This is the first time I've done one of these, and the first time I've written this fandom, so... forgive my ineptitude? :)
It isn't as easy as it looks, but Gideon makes it look effortless to think in ways that Spencer can't even process on his own yet. "Think outside the box," he told the young genius, and it wasn't fair that all Spencer could do was look at him for a moment, mouth hanging open, caught on the horns of a thought and stuck there.
Then again, they would be out of their jobs if life were fair.
People were messed up in ways that sane, rational people really had to work to anticipate. Every time Spencer figured out what some criminal was doing and it made him feel abruptly sick, he had to wonder why he was still with the BAU; catching them and putting them away was the only thing that really settled his stomach. That, or time. Or, occasionally, Gideon's words, pulling Spencer's mind away from the case gently, distracting him with a game of chess or cards or just a quiet talk that always, inevitably, ended up being a way for him to show the younger man how to look at it in a different way.
Spencer wasn't sure that it was right to stay with the BAU as much because of Gideon as because of the good work they did. He wasn't sure of a lot of things, his own sanity increasingly one of them, but he wasn't going to go crazy or anything. No one would let him, not just Gideon but Hotch and Morgan and Elle and JJ, they were all doing the same stuff, they knew the signs. There was a difference between thinking outside the box and not realizing there was a box at all; he was slowly getting the hang of the former without ever being truly in danger of the latter.
Then he won a chess game.
He hadn't been planning to win it, any more than usual-- he always gave it his best shot, and Gideon always beat him, and that was that. This game didn't feel any different from any other one. But, yeah, that was definitely checkmate in four, no getting around it. Gideon looked up from the board with a slowly spreading smile, reached out to touch Spencer's hand, the one that was frozen on his knight, still surprised that he'd actually won that time.
Since starting with the BAU, Spencer Reid had been tackled, kicked, held at gunpoint, been threatened in more ways than he'd ever expected to be before the FBI became part of his life. He'd been forced out of his secure box time after time, shoved out roughly and made to see things in a different light.
Fingers uncurled from the chess piece, found themselves to be really quite comfortable around Gideon's fingers. This was more like falling out of the box, a sudden drop that wasn't at all the same as the click when he started thinking like a criminal. It might have looked easy-- perhaps because it was, finally, easy-- to lean forward, push his lips awkward but meaningful against Jason's. He'd won, at last.