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To: pgarcia@bau.fbi.gov
From: dalewis@starkind.com

Subject: Formal Inquiry for Doctoral Dissertation Interview

Dear Ms. Garcia,

My name is Darcy Lewis; I’m a doctoral student at Columbia University in New York, currently researching my dissertation in Politics and Terrorism at the College of Political Science. I understand this is a bit out of the blue, but I was wondering if you would be willing to provide me with any contact information for anyone you might know who might be willing and able to be interviewed in regards to the phenomenon of lone wolf attacks in the United States, primarily from a basis of determining behavioral, psychological, and cultural influences.

I completely understand if you are too busy to answer this email, but I would really appreciate it if you could give me even just one name. Obviously in New York City there are any number of people I could talk to about this, but I’ve heard really good things about the quality of knowledge and expertise exhibited by the BAU, and it would be a tremendous help to me if I could talk to someone whose entire career is centered around the psychology of lone wolf threats, be they terrorist-based or more criminalistically inclined.

Due to the nature of my dissertation and the topics involved, I have provided both my project proposal and a previous transcript (name blacked out) of a previous interview I have conducted to give you a better idea of the time constraints and topics which may be involved.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Regards,

Darcy A. Lewis
Executive Assistant
Phone: 212-555-0912 | 212-555-4938
Email: dalewis@starkind.com | dl9083@students.columbia.edu


To: dalewis@starkind.com
From: pgarcia@bau.fbi.gov
Subject: Re: Formal Inquiry for Doctoral Dissertation Interview 

Dear Ms. Lewis:

Well hello there smarty pants! I am not really the person that would best be able to answer your questions, so I’m going to forward your email to the person that would be. You should be hearing from Dr. Reid soon. You want someone with excellent quality of knowledge; he’s your guy. He’s also the most qualified member of the team based on the details of your proposal. In the meantime, if you need any sort of raw data, I am your gal. Within parameters, I can help with compiling data lists that might aid in your research. I’ve attached the form necessary to request information from me. It’s your typical government document, so if you need help parsing the red tape aspects of it, you know where to reach me.

Best of luck!

Penelope Garcia


To: dalewis@starkind.com
From: sreid@bau.fbi.gov
Subject: Re: Fwd: Formal Inquiry for Doctoral Dissertation Interview 

Dear Ms. Lewis:

The scope of your proposal is fascinating. You’re taking an interesting bent by considering the microcultures that produce these “lone wolves” and the potential predictable behaviors based on the norms of these cultures. It really calls into question the moniker “lone wolf.” I assume you’re planning to look at the socio-political implications should these behaviors have specific, identifiable features.

I’m curious, though, if your interest in this topic has to do with your own experiences at the hands of what many would consider a lone wolf. You were at the center of one such attack in New Mexico, though on a scale unlike other such attacks. Are you perhaps trying to find reason in a Norse God’s madness?

Whatever your reasons may be, I am happy to participate in an interview with you. However, I am unable to do so in person as my own schedule (as I’m sure you are aware) is rather erratic given the nature of my job. Phone might be better, though it is equally likely I will be called away. You can send along your list of questions and I can type up responses, or we can try over phone as long as you are comfortable with knowing the call might have to end abruptly.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Dr. Spencer Reid
BAU, Federal Bureau of Investigation


To: pgarcia@bau.fbi.gov
From: dalewis@starkind.com
Subject: Re: Re: Formal Inquiry for Doctoral Dissertation Interview 

Penelope,

Thank you kindly! I have been researching on my own, obviously, but I would love to get my hands on the documents that I’ve listed in the attached form. (I submitted a FOIA for these ages ago but you know how the wheel of bureaucracy grinds: slowly, and with many screams.) Also, I don’t know if you’d be able to access anything to do with the attacks in either Orlando, Florida (i.e. Pulse) or in Las Vegas (as obviously that’s an ongoing investigation, and I’m not even sure if it’s under the FBI’s purview) but if you could get anything on either of those at all, I would be forever grateful and probably owe you a chunk of my soul.

Hopefully I’m not being offensive when I say that you’re saving my butt, Miss Garcia. I appreciate it a lot, and if you’re ever in the city, you should claim a lunch from me; I owe you.

Cheers,

Darcy


To: sreid@bau.fbi.gov
From: dalewis@starkind.com
Subject: Re: Re: Fwd: Formal Request for Doctoral Dissertation Interview 

Dear Dr. Reid,

Thank you; it means a lot to hear that someone thinks this is a project worth pursuing. Obviously the national security issues are multivarious and complicated, not to mention the issues in the constitutional law sector, but I’m hoping to at the very least come to a better understanding of sociocultural drives in the fundementalization or isolation of those who eventually become lone wolf terrorists. Up until now it’s been impossible to be able to describe any one general personality type or come up with a list of characteristics which describe them, as they’re too varied in political or personal motives to really have any kind of overarching descriptor, but at the same time they have to have some kind of similarity somewhere. There’s also been studies done on mental illness in regards to lone wolf attacks, but I refuse to think that that could be the only possible reason.

On that note, I have to say that this is the first time anyone’s been so up-front about Googling me. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that an FBI agent has read any or all of the documents from Widowgate (though considering the literal tens of thousands of gigabytes of data Natasha Romanoff dumped, it’d surprise me if anybody’s read all of them) but I can say that no, that’s not really why I’m interested in researching lone wolf attacks. It’s slightly unsettling to consider Loki as a perpetrator of a lone wolf attack, though I suppose it does fall into the category in broad terms. Considering the attack on New York in 2012, though, it might be a better idea to call him the head of a terrorist cell? I’ll have to think about it.

Anyway, not to be distracted: I figured that it would be difficult to schedule an in-person meeting. I’ve heard how busy the BAU can be, and I’m sure that there will be days or weeks where you won’t even be able to get back to me via email, let alone phone calls or personal meetings! If you’re willing to try Skype at some point, that could also work, but we can start off at least with a list of questions (mostly in broad terms) about your background and occupation, about your experiences with those who might be categorized as lone wolf attackers, and a few other things. I’ll have a list of questions for you in the next few days.

Thank you so much, Dr. Reid! I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Darcy


To: dalewis@starkind.com
From: pgarcia@bau.fbi.gov
Subject: I like drinks that need limes in them

Darcy,

Attached is all the data I am allowed to release with regards to your FOIA requests as well as what is available for Florida and Vegas. Are you ever in DC? Because chica, I am always game for people that want to thank me with good food and even better stories. Reid said you’d probably have some, but I didn’t ask him to elaborate (sometimes he gives more detail than you need). Speaking of, if he happens to cause you any trouble, go ahead and let me know. I know all his soft places and will apply pressure accordingly.

The future is female,
Penelope


 

To: dalewis@starkind.com
From: sreid@bau.fbi.gov
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Formal Request for Doctoral Dissertation Interview 

Ms. Lewis,

Of course your research is worth pursuing. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Should your pursuit provide a series of characteristics or even similarities, it would be of high interest to me and my team. We use work like yours every day. My job is about understanding things about criminals that they sometimes don’t even know about themselves. Finding patterns is one of my specialties, and your work could help us understand one of the least understood groups of killers. It has the potential for great impact.

And it’s that interest in finding patterns and using them to trace behaviors that made me think that you had, possibly subconsciously, selected this topic based on your life experiences. I’ve been aware of you and what happened in New Mexico since the files dropped. I found the files to be light reading during down time on cases. While I could recall any detail from those files, I found your file to be particularly interesting specifically because of your behavior. You did what most people like to imagine they would do when faced with a life-threatening situation: you reacted with fearlessness and gentleness. That gentle compassion and concern for others, I promise you, is rare.

I’ve attached the answers to your first set of questions. We are heading into the field in an hour, but I will get back to you again as soon as I can if you’d like to send me some more questions.

-Spencer


To: sreid@bau.fbi.gov
From: dalewis@starkind.gov
Subject: I figured we should kill the Fwd chain before it grows fangs 

Dr. Reid,

I think you’re more supportive of my dissertation than my actual dissertation advisor, and that’s saying a lot. I’m pretty sure my advisor is convinced I’m going to join an ultra-liberal First Amendment cult and advocate for anarchy, though, so that’s….that, I guess.

I hope you don’t mind, but I might have Googled you a little bit after your last email, and holy jeez, I can’t imagine doing more than one doctorate right now, let alone as many as you have. It’s really impressive; thank you so much for being willing to take the time to answer these questions on top of everything else you must be doing. I don’t know if my dissertation will live up to the hype, but I can cross my fingers and hope to find some kind of answer to help all of you out in the field. 

I’ve given some thought about the influence Loki had on me, re: your first email. Maybe in some part of me it had some effect, but I think--at least, in my case--it’s more the fact that I’m a Jewish woman watching Nazis openly rally in the country I grew up in. Obviously there hasn’t been a lone wolf killer this decade that I’m aware of that ascribes to the Nazi political agenda, but judging from how the political climate has been leaning I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I’d rather be able to provide a way to find those people, and probably make Captain America mad in the bargain by doing it.

(Not that Steve would be angry with me for fighting Nazis, but he gets twitchy about anything that might categorize any sort of person. See: Widowgate. I’d rather he not drop me into the Potomac if I can help it.)

(Then again, considering he’s AWOL and he made my boss cry, I’m not super fussed about making Captain America mad anymore. I have my loyalties.)

Thank you for thinking that kindly of me. I’m nowhere near fearless and I’m not very gentle, either, but it’s really nice to hear.

I hope everything goes well for you in the field, and I’ve attached some follow-up questions to this email. Get to them when you can; I have to go through the answers you sent last time, still. Time crunch at Stark Industries.

--Darcy


To: pgarcia@bau.fbi.gov
From: dalewis@starkind.com
Subject: And I like drinks that don’t make me act like an absolute moron 

Penelope,

Hey, so. Dr. Reid hasn’t mentioned being offended by anything I’ve sent to him up until this point, has he?

I don’t know if you talk to him outside of work, or anything, but. I thought I’d ask.

….yeah.

The future is sober females,

Darcy

 



 


 

To: dalewis@starkind.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: So you drunk….mailed? 

Hey girl,

I decided to take this off the official email because that gets monitored and whatnot, so hopefully you opened this up. Anyway, based on your subject line and closing…I’m guessing you drunk emailed someone? I feel like I should dig more into that, but we’re not that good of friends yet, but should we become so, know that I will absolutely get the dirt.

As for Reid, well, the whole team is pretty close, but I can’t say he’s said a whole lot about working with you. That doesn’t mean much, though, because he can be kind of quiet like that and also they’ve been pretty busy lately. But, because I’ve got your back (and I have some guesses about who that drunk email went to), I asked him how it was going. He didn’t have much to say except that he thought things were going well so far.

Waiting for some gossip,

P


To: dalewis@starkind.com
From: sreid@bau.fbi.gov
Subject: Crossing a Line? 

Dear Darcy,

Is it acceptable to drop the formalities at this point? Not to be unprofessional, but this seems like it might end up being a long back and forth. Besides, I would think that after you Googled me, we could at least be on a first name basis. (I’ve never Googled myself before. I’m curious what you found besides my degrees.) If you’re not comfortable with first names and I’ve stepped over a line, let me know and I will cease all informality.

I’ll be frank, I don’t know a lot of people that also have doctorates, so it’s refreshing to talk to someone going through the process. Part of why I continue to pursue them is my personal quest to know as much as I can. Working for the BAU means seeing bad things happen to undeserving people. If knowing one more fact or making some new connection between pieces of information could help stop that from happening, I can’t allow myself to rest. Your topic feels important in a “better the world” sort of way, so I was fascinated, and am more than happy to continue to help. That doesn’t change though that I should apologize for asking such pointed questions in my earlier emails. Why someone chooses to research a topic is their business and not mine. I pushed you into sharing (fairly personal) information with me based on questions I had after reading files that were probably never meant to be unclassified. I possibly let my excitement at getting to talk to you get the best of me.

You still claim to not be fearless and gentle, but I’d ask you to consider the last email you sent to me and all those reasons you shared (and those you did not) for wanting to tackle this topic and even your degree. And then I’d like you to really consider whether or not those words describe you.

Spencer

PS. I’ve attached my answers to your most recent questions. I’m sorry for the delay, but we just got back from a rather difficult case.


To: sreid@bau.fbi.gov
From: dalewis@starkind.com
Subject: Why cross when you can jump? 

Dear Spencer,

Whoops, called out. To be entirely honest when I emailed Penelope about maybe talking to someone in the BAU, I didn’t expect an answer for a good few months, let alone such an immediate positive response, so I didn’t get a chance to look at any of the bios of anyone involved. Though I’d be lying if I’d say that’s the entire reason why I Googled you; y’know, you know stuff about me through Widowgate, but I didn’t know anything about you, so it seemed...fair? I don’t know.

(Plus, it’s good to at least have some idea where your specialties are, research-wise, so I have a better framework to develop questions from. Confession time: I might have been sucked into Youtube hell watching shaky cell phone footage of lectures you’ve done at grad schools in DC. I’ve always been most comfortable in a cubicle or liaising with one or two people, in controlled conditions, but I have to say, the work you guys do sounds fascinating. I wish I could observe at some point, though clearly considering respective schedules and the sheer unpredictability of cases that you get, that’s probably not possible. It’s fascinating stuff, and you’re a good public speaker, so that helped even with bad audio.)

(...that’s an obscenely long parenthetical, apologies.)

And while I’m on the subject: please don’t feel like you have to apologize. I’d be hella naive to think that talking to a behavioral analyst wouldn’t come with some prying questions, and to be quite honest, I don’t hide very much? I’m kind of boring, so there’s no point in keeping secrets, really. I’m still not used to people recognizing me from Widowgate files, so I’ll admit the suggestion about Loki took me aback a little bit--I’m usually more anonymous than, say, my boss, or her (possibly ex? I’m unclear still) boyfriend, or my best friend the Good Doctor Foster--but it didn’t offend me at all. Honestly I’m usually the one asking prying questions of people I barely know, so it’s good for me to have someone turn the tables.

All that babbling is to say: Don’t worry. You’re fine. We’re cool.

(Hey, you said dropping formality is okay. I reserve the right to go back to slangland.)

It’s kinda funny to be pursuing a doctorate in aspects of political science and criminology (kind of a weird blend, I know, but my bachelor’s is in PS and my master’s is in crim so I’m slamming the two together in some sickening spiral of hellscape) when I’m working at Stark Industries, y’know? I’m surrounded by physicists and astrophysicists and engineers and mechanics and that’s all wrapped up in one person. But it feels right to keep going as far as I can, so I can kind of understand that idea of wanting to learn as much as possible. Human beings are finite, but information is infinite, so to speak. (Jane would kill me for that analogy.) It’s a little weird to think that someone with at least three doctorates who flies around the country catching serial killers is excited to talk to me, since I was just an intern at the time and even now all I am is an assistant, but I’ll take compliments where I find them.

I’m still not sure I can really believe that I’m either fearless or gentle, but I can tell you I’m….digesting it? I guess? It still doesn’t really feel like those words really apply to me--if you read my file, then you’ll know that all I really did was kinda stand around and help sometimes and provide requisite snark--but I’ll accept that compliment, too. If it was intended as one.

Darcy

PS. Penelope said something about your work emails being monitored, and it made me realize that mine are too; if you’d rather switch over to private emails (just for convenience’s sake, since god knows I have like three different phones at this point trying to keep everything straight) mine is boricuapequena@freemail.com (Yes, before you ask, I am both Puerto Rican and Jewish; it happens.)

PPS. I hope everything went okay with your case, even if it was difficult.


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: You have your own website?? 

Heyo, lady,

Nixing the official email is probably a good idea. I know for a fact Stark likes to hack my work emails when he gets trashed.

I….kind of did? I mean. I managed to get a little trashed (whatever, I’m already pretty trashy even without alcohol) and I remembered I hadn’t responded to Spencer’s latest email or looked at his answers to the interview questions, so I maybe replied while I was kinda wasted. Not that it wound up mattering in the end; apparently my grammar and spelling are just as good drunk as they are sober, praise be to spaghetti. End of scene, exeunt stage right.

And I honestly really shouldn’t be telling you any of that, but from what little Google-fu I’ve been able to use about you, you could probably find out anyway by like. Breaking into my phone or something. So why hide?

It’s good that the whole team is close. I can get why, especially considering what y’all do. The Avengers were the same, before they broke up.

(....that makes it sound like they’re a band??? Which is a great image.)

Disappointingly lacking in gossip,

D

PS. ….is it weird to be stressed out by compliments? I feel like that’s weird.



 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: It’s Spencer 

Hi Darcy,

I actually didn’t have another email address, so Penelope helped me out. For some reason she thinks this is hysterical, but refuses to explain why.

You keep underselling yourself. Why is that? You talk about how you were “just” an intern; “just” an assistant. But Dr. Foster and (presumably) Pepper Potts are not the type of women to have “just” anyone working for and with them. You say you’re boring and not often recognized, but here I am, across the internet, seeing you. Since you confessed about being “sucked into Youtube hell” I can feel free to also confess to you. I read all the files in “WidowGate” and while fascinating, I didn’t walk away particularly interested in knowing most of the people that I read about. But for some reason, a few words in those Shield reports made you stick out in my mind. It was the saving of a dog while destruction rained down on you that made me pause in an otherwise boring field report and wonder what you must be like. And now I know; at least a little bit, that is.

You know, you don’t have to Google me to learn about me. You could just ask. There’s probably nothing else you need about me since you now have a bio and publication list. That should be all you need for your paper. But in case you need more, you can ask.

Considering we can’t make our schedules work out for even a Skype conversation, I’d say that having you follow us in the field would be difficult to arrange. Something to still consider, though. Perhaps once you get a bit further in your thesis it might be beneficial to see our work in action.

Related: did you forget to attach new questions? I didn’t see any attached to the last email.

Spencer

PS The last case wasn’t great. We caught him, but it wasn’t good. Thanks for asking.


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Why yes I COULD hack you... 

...but why would I when you tell me such interesting things? That’s right, Darcy, I can read between the lines and you said so so much there. Where to start? Hmmmm…

How about we start with this: When did he stop being Dr. Reid and start being Spencer? Was it after your drunk email? (Just what was in that email to lose all that formality??) And further to the point you said “I remembered I hadn’t responded to Spencer’s latest email or looked at his answers to the interview questions” which makes me wonder: just what’s in those emails that isn’t the interview questions?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Quick interlude before the second part of my interrogation: Um, YES. Imagining the Avengers as a boy band that broke up is a GREAT mental picture.

Now then, back to gossip I need to know. What’s this question about compliments? Who is complimenting you and what are they saying that is making it so hard for you to accept whatever awesomeness you exude that they so clearly noticed? I need names. I need details. I NEED DIRT.

Waiting not so patiently,

P


 

 

Chapter Text

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Don’t hack me, I’m wearing glasses

Okay to answer the questions before you get antsy:

  1. He stopped being “Dr. Reid” and started being “Spencer” when he asked to be called that instead (is that weird????).
  2. We’ve been talking about Widowgate and lone wolf shooters and a behavioral analysis overview of them mostly, and you’re making me nervous by being so excited about it; should I be concerned?
  3. Is it normal for Spencer to be super nice and complimentary? Or should I be worrying about some kind of weird flirtation thing going on? Or worse? Is this the moment where I ask about the Women’s Whisper Network of the FBI? Is there a spreadsheet for overly friendly male employees? Help me, Garcia-Wan Kenobi, You’re My Only Hope.

(Re: the Avengers Band: They’re called Rage Against Reality and Clint Barton is the bassist.)

Wait patiently! I’ll reply when I like,

D


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: You might be the one wearing glasses but I’m the one seeing

Darcy, dear, light of my gossip life,

Oh my sweet summer child.

I know it’s the last question, but it’s also the easiest, so let me get this out of the way: Spencer Reid never has been and never will be mentioned in the FBI WWN. That’s laughably not him. One time on a case a person of interest gave up allllll sorts of info just because she was attracted to him, and he Did. Not. Get. It. As in, didn’t even realize. Like, wasn’t even trying to use that in order to get the deets. So yeah, that’s not him; no worries on that front.

Back to #1. So…did he ask you to call him Spencer or was it implied? This is important. For reasons. (Though I kind of feel like this for even asking:

). Anyway, it’s not weird, per se. He sort of wears his title like armor. People tend to scoff because of his age or his stature when he shows up at crime scenes, and he sort of wields it like a weapon that says, “I belong here, and you will respect that.” So, I guess if he said the “Dr.” wasn’t necessary it’s because he doesn’t feel like you’re questioning his credentials. (Also, is it ”Spencer” or “Reid” he asked you to use?)

Finally, question 2. I’m not excited. Just intrigued. Intrigued that you seem to be talking about anything besides your project. (Also, WidowGate? Why did that come up? Did he tell you how he’s read literally the entire thing? I could see him bringing it up for that. He did, in case you’re wondering. Read it all.)

Anyway, you’re lucky that we just got a case and the team is heading out because otherwise I would have time for SO MUCH MORE.

P, out!


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I don’t know what you’re seeing but it might be a mirage

….he read all of it?

All of it.

As in, all tens of thousands of gigabytes all of it.

He said he read it as light reading in downtime between cases and while you’re traveling and stuff but like…

... how.

Re: names. He said, and this is just general, non-exact quotation because I don’t want to go and dig out the specific email, that because it’s probably going to be a long back-and-forth he'd prefer to be less formal, and if I would like to call him Spencer it’s okay, but if he’d overstepped he’d go back to calling me Ms. Lewis and I could call him Dr. Reid and all would be fine. I’m not super formal, so eh. (Do people usually call him Reid instead?? If they do I should probably switch. He did say Spencer, though.)

Re: Widowgate. This is me, if that provides some context. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darcy_Lewis

Hope the team is all okay and the assignment went well! I know you guys get bad ones sometimes.

Am I still going to be interrogated?

D


 

 

 


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: The Inquisition is Just Beginning

A thing to know about my dear Spencer: he reads at an insane speed and remembers everything he reads. No really. Like, literally. One time he had to read something like 20 composition books of some creep’s journal and it only took him a few hours, and then he later was able to realize it was a team because he remembered one sentence (ONE!) where the writer used “we” instead of “I”. So, yeah, he’s read all of the WidowGate files.

Which, speaking, of…HOLY CANNOLI. You’re famous! I only ran a quick check to make sure you were a student without outstanding warrants. WidowGate in the emails makes some more sense now. Also produces some more questions….

But back to the initial question that set this all off: If he told you to call him Spencer, then call him Spencer. The team calls him Reid, but pretty much everyone goes by their last names here. It’s a kind of professionalism, though they still tend to do it when we’re off the clock too. I wouldn’t slip over to that unless you wanted to get back to being more professional. So my question for you is: How do you feel about being less formal with him?

Deceptively simple questions are my specialty,

P


 

From: spencer@garcia.com
To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Project Check In

Darcy,

I just wanted to check in. I hadn’t heard from you in a while and wasn’t sure if that meant we were done.

Thanks,

Spencer


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Updates and Apologies

I’m so sorry I took so long to reply!(!!!) We’re not done, at least, on my end, but I understand if you’re too busy or something to keep answering my questions. I was just trying to correlate all the information from your previous answers and then work exploded and then I was trying to work something out socially so my brain was in ten million directions and that’s why I didn’t respond until now.

(I mean, if you want to be done, it’s totally okay. Like I said, you’re super busy and it’s a miracle I have even this much information from you, so. But I’ve also attached another list of questions, so if you’d like to answer those and keep going, I’d be really happy.)

Can I ask: did you not have another email address because you didn’t need one or did you not have another email address because you’re trying to keep yourself off the internet? I can see both sides but I’m curious. And I don’t know why Penelope would think it’s funny; obviously I don’t know her that well, but we’ve been emailing back and forth a little bit and she seems...really nice? Nosey, sure, but super nice and helpful. And protective. She’s very fond of you from what I can tell. I think there was a between-the-lines “don’t mess up my Spencer” in one of her first emails. I’m still trying to work it out, I’m not always great with between-the-lines things.

...well, when they’re not from Tony Stark.

The Googling-you thing was kind of rude, and I’m sorry I did it, but I’m also always in that headspace of “research research research” (comes from upper level academia, as I’m sure you know) and I didn’t think you’d have time to answer such simple questions as “where did you graduate with your first Ph.D.” or something. I’ll keep it in mind in future though, if you’re comfortable! :)

Re: possibly observing. I think my whole brain went !!!!!!!!!!!!! at the thought of being able to observe all of you in action, because that’s pretty much exactly the kind of implementation I eventually want to be able to do with this lone wolf analysis project. I guess what we’d have to do is just….I mean. You’d have to email me the next time you guys are in New York? Because honestly I’d drop anything and everything to be able to observe. But that’s probably far in the future if it happens at all.

And now there’s the hard answer, about the underselling thing. I don’t think I’m underselling myself, per se. I mean, I do have a Wikipedia page. I’m just really good at organizing things, I guess? And research. It’s not like I carry around a magic hammer or anything.

...sorry, this is kind of a touchy topic. I’m not mad, I’m just like. Genuinely surprised at being described like the way you did, I guess?

(I check on that dog by the way! Her name is Gretchen. She eats potato chips. I get photos once a week.)

Darcy

PS I’m sorry. I know you can’t talk about cases, but it always sucks when it doesn’t end well. Same with when the Avengers were together. Hurts like hell, y’know?


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Historically the Inquisition didn’t end well for Jewish women so I’m kinda scared now

Huh. Well, now I know. And that actually makes sense, come to think of it.

...I don’t know why I’m surprised at the idea of someone reading every single file, considering my boss’s on-again, off-again boyfriend is literally a supergenius with like ten different doctorates and who teaches himself thermonuclear physics in the night before a big meeting with SHIELD. I don’t know.

Hahahahahaha, I’m not famous, particularly. I just hang around with famous people, more like. I get into photoshoots sometimes though! It’s super cool.  

When it comes to the name thing, I’ll just keep calling him Spencer, then. But in regards to the formality question: we’ve literally never met in person, and while normally I’m all for the “internet friends are just as good as IRL friends” argument, I don’t know you well enough to answer that. Also, you work with him, so it might make things difficult for you professionalism wise. Also, I’m just not gonna answer it.

….yeah. That’s me, drawing a boundary line.

/dances away from all questions,

D


 

To: jefoster@starkind.com
From: pgarcia@bau.fbi.gov
Subject: Important Re: Darcy Lewis

Dear Dr. Foster:

My name is Penelope Garcia and I work with the BAU at the FBI. Recently, Ms. Lewis got in touch with me regarding her dissertation. I helped her acquire some data and put her in touch with one of my team members to interview. And while that is all lovely and nice, I also just sort of kept emailing her because she seemed like a really great person.

To be honest, I think there’s well…something going on between her and my friend that I connected her with for the interview, though I am not yet ready to define what that something might be. I am telling you this because I pushed a little bit to get her to consider what was going on in her mind. My friend is the kind that brings out protection instincts in everyone, and Darcy seems the same. Anyway, her defensiveness reminded me that we really don’t know each other all that well (even though it feels like we should!), and maybe someone else is better qualified to have this conversation with her.

Anyway, feel free to ignore this as I am certain you know Darcy better than I do, but also know that she confessed sending a tipsy email to my friend and that he responded by making things way less formal and telling her to call him by his first name (which doesn’t happen often). So Dr. Foster, I don’t know if you have the meddling heart that I do, but now you have a few facts to consider. (Also….maybe don’t mention I emailed you?)

Yours,

Penelope Garcia

If you’d like to respond, please do so at penelope@garcia.com


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I See You Making Me Feel Guilty

I’ll respect those boundaries -for now- because I like you. However, don’t think for one moment that this means I’m going to stop digging for that gossip gold, because you, Darcy Lewis, are an interesting woman (and we totally need to go out for…I’m thinking margaritas).

I know I’m being pushy. That’s part of who I am. So, just know that about me. But I also feel like you’re putting up walls because you need a push and that terrifies you. Just some food for thought.

And, for full disclosure, Spencer is my friend, and I worry about him. Especially with you. You know Rage Against Reality (drummer: Bruce Banner), and could quite easily make his life hell if you so decided. Is it wrong to want to try and make sure that isn’t going to happen? Is that what you meant by answering the question might interfere with my ability to be professional with him? (I assure you it would not, but just to clarify.)

-P

Have you considered the implications of Reid having an eidetic memory re: your emails?


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Apologies Not Necessary

Dear Darcy,

If there is still something I can do for you, then I’d like to continue to help. I wasn’t asking if we were done because I was trying to be done, but rather because I was simply uncertain because I hadn’t heard from you. It’s clear now that you’re just busy, which is to be expected with such a demanding job on top of your doctoral work. The fact that you have time to write full emails in addition to all of that just shows how excellent at organization you must be. I hope your work (both professional and academic) has calmed down and that whatever social issue was puzzling you is now resolved.

As for not having another email address: I’ve simply not needed one. There’s no one I email outside of work. Well, except you now.

As for Penelope, I’m still not sure why she would be amused by my email addresses (or lack thereof), but she is very nice. She’s practically family, so I guess that could be why she feels protective of me? Though what she thinks I need protection from, I’m not sure. Did you say something to her that made her think you’d “mess [me] up”? (What could that even be?)

Don’t apologize for being in research mode. I get into that too. Sometimes I get too far into it and people have to tell me to cut it off because I start rambling about topics. If I ever get that way, you can tell me to shut up. I’m used to it. I get excited by knowledge sometimes.

Observing is something I think could be very beneficial for both of us. You could learn from our team, and your research could be helpful to us (even if it’s not complete). We can look into making that work in the future, but, sadly, you’re probably right about how difficult it will be to pull off.

I still think you’re underselling, but I will graciously step back and instead ask you to tell me more about Gretchen (not that you keeping in touch with that family proves my point or anything.)

Sincerely,

Spencer

PS. Some nights it’s so bad I can’t sleep, but this case wasn’t the kind that keeps me awake (at least not yet).

PPS. I will get right to work on those questions.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: THIS EXPLAINS SO MUCH

Penelope,

Darcy’s under the impression that I can’t exist without her, and, I mean, in some ways that’s true; she’s my dearest friend, and practically my sister, and we’ve been through a lot together, and yeah, I’d probably forget to eat as often as I should if not for her constantly nudging at me with trail mix, but it also means that I know her better than anybody, and the kind of reaction you’re describing is pure Darcy Lewis. She picks up strays and then she gets super protective of them without a whole lot of previous interaction or even a whole lot of knowledge about the stray in general.

It mostly comes out of her uncanny ability to pick out good people from bad, and safe people from dangerous ones, so I’m comfortable with the idea of her having a something, as you put it, going on. At least on the internet. Despite her good sense in strays she meets, she really hasn't had the best luck with men; somehow she always seems to run into that one guy who seems nice and then turns around and tries to dump sexts onto the internet or threatens to send out nude pics to try and get what he wants. It's like this weird empty space in her good-bad radar and so I'm glad you're  teaching out.

I can tell you that the harder you push her the less willing she’s going to be to answer questions, so nudging isn’t going to help. I mean, it might eventually, but she’s far more likely to just start pounding her head against the wall and gluing her ears shut. If you want to get her to tell you things, you have to get her trust, first, and then she’ll just spill her guts.  

….that sounds horrible of me to put it that way, but it’s true.

Anyway, thanks for letting me know, and I’m very interested to hear more about this on your end. (First name? Last name? Is this a Thing for this guy? TIPSY EMAIL???) Keep me updated, and I’ll keep you posted with what I can tell you without betraying her trust, if that’s agreeable.

Jane


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Moi? Nah

Thanks for respecting the boundaries, chica. And thanks for calling me interesting. (Warning received, though.)

Pushiness is fine! I’m good with pushy, generally, and I’m pushy  myself, so no worries. I just don’t think we’re at a point in our friendship where you can be that pushy without me getting snippy, so, there’s my warning, I guess? Not that it’s a warning, because I’m very rarely actually snippy in a mean way, I don’t think. Or so I’ve been told, anyway. But. Yeah.

Spencer seems like a really, really nice person, and I’m glad he has people to worry about him. And just so we’re clear: I’d never sic Rage Against Reality (lead guitarist: Black Widow; vocalist: Wanda Maximoff) on him; I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, tbqh. They’re a Lot, in person. I really doubt that I could personally make his life hell, though. I would never want to, but even if I was that sort of person (and I like to think I’m not) I don’t know if I’d be able to manage it. I’m just a doctoral candidate, so.

I was more thinking that you knowing the details of his social (sort of?) life might make things complicated at work, because I know it can be complicated for a lot of people that way, but obvi I was wrong, so eh.

-D

PS. I have now, thanks much.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: But maybe I could send cookies anyway? I made way more than necessary

Spencer,

Yay! That’s a relief. I’m sorry again that I took so long to respond, it was just a really complicated week. And pshaw, organization is the one thing I’m really good at. It means that the entirety of Pepper’s schedule is perfectly managed and she has time to relax with a glass of wine at the end of the day even though Stark Industries is the worst at keeping to its 9-to-5 schedule. I’m frequently here until midnight, and it’s not because Jane is doing some Mad Science at nine pm and needs me to hold her blowtorch.

(Long story. Will explain later.)

It actually sounds kind of relaxing to not have a million email addresses?? I’ve had to make a new one every time I was involved in another Big World Ending Nonsense Bash, just because the old ones were hacked or something, so like….oy. It’s not fun. This new one is simple and it’s really difficult for people to work out that it’s me when it’s just little Puerto Rican in Spanish so here’s to crossed fingers that Thor won’t crash in and say that unicorns are invading the planet or something.

….if I’m babbling then sorry. I’ve had three shots of espresso trying to wake up this morning. My brain won’t kick into gear.

Who knows why people think certain things are funny? Penelope seems pretty tech-savvy--she said she can hack things? And she has her own website--so maybe it’s just funny for her that someone exists on this earth with only their work email. Who knows? And aaaaaahhh, she’s your Jane! Jane is like that for me. Family, basically. Overprotective and bitey. Also, I don’t think I said anything that would make Penelope nervous, but like I said, she sounds like Jane, and Jane is overprotective and bitey.

Spencer, you can ramble, it’s okay. I don’t mind. Getting excited about knowledge is a wonderful thing. More people should be. (And I mean it. Don’t worry about rambling, okay? We can make a deal: if you’re bothered by me babbling, then tell me, and I’ll stop. And if I’m ever bothered by your rambling, I’ll tell you. But I can say right now that it hasn’t bothered me so far and I don’t think it will in future.)

(Who tells you to shut up?)

We’ll keep the idea of observing in mind! Maybe something will work out.

Gretchen is the sweetest! She’s kinda old, but she’s a good pupper. Pit bull mix with a spotty nose. She sneezes every time you scritch her ears, it’s precious. Her family moved up to Tucson, AZ after what happened with Loki and I haven’t been able to see her since, but they keep me updated with puppy pictures. It’s great. I can’t have a dog (or a cat, sadly) in my apartment--building rules--but I’m thinking about getting a python so I can have some little animal to say hello to at the end of the day. Jane stays at work most nights because she’s Deep In Science and doesn’t realize it, and I can’t always tear her away. Kinda lonely to go home to an empty place.

Talk to you soon,

Darcy

PS. I get those too. I’m sorry you have to suffer through them. I usually get up and make cocoa for myself, or watch videos of baby sloths. They help.

PPS. I haven’t had a chance to build a new set of questions--I’m working on my first draft of the first section of the dissertation--but I’ll have those soon? Sorry to keep making you wait.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: At Least I Know I’m Not Imagining Things

Jane,

I wish I had read your warning prior to pushing just teeeeeeeny bit harder. She definitely resisted, so here’s to hoping you have better luck than I do.

Anyway, here’s the deets that I feel comfortable sharing with you; ie the facts in this interesting case study of adorable nerds in….something.

  1. His name is Spencer. Dr. Spencer Reid. If you looked me up, you probably looked at my team too and already had guessed, so I don’t think it’s a problem to share that, especially considering I know your and Darcy’s names and you know mine.
  2. Re: is this a Thing. Well, it depends on what you mean by “Thing.” Does he fall into “something” often? No. I think that’s why I’m concerned. This isn’t something that happens to him (not that he shouldn’t have this happen, just it doesn’t really). If by “Thing” you meant does he seem invested in this “something” then yeah, I think so, at least based on what little he’s been willing to share so far.
  3. The tipsy email. I don’t know much about it except that Darcy alluded to the fact that she emailed him after drinking and was worried about how he would respond to said email. He appears to have not even realized she was tipsy while writing it, so there’s that. However, it did pique my curiosity about just what might have been in that email since she was concerned.

Since our friends seem to bring out the protectiveness in each of us, I feel like we need a name for this. Something like….Operation Armor. (That’s terrible, but my mind is kinda mush at the moment. I’ve been on the clock for over 36 hours at this point. Feel free to come up with something better.)

Penelope

PS I just needed to fangirl over you for half a second because chica, you are the bees knees from what I’ve read about you and your work (even though I only kinda get the gist of it). Here’s to amazing women! (I will buy you a drink sometime because badass women still deserve to not pay for drinks on occasion.)


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Are You a Good Witch?

I find it interesting that you think we’re not close enough for me to be pushy with you without you getting snippy, but then you said you couldn’t be snippy in a mean way, so now I’m not sure how that’s a deterrent at all. Of course, I don’t want to push you into being snippy, so I’m just going to maybe not push anymore for now.

How do you feel about pulling? As in, say, pulling on a thread from earlier? Because I am dying to know what was in the not totally sober email you sent. You vaguely talked about it being about lone wolves and WidowGate, but for the life of me I can’t begin to imagine how something related to those things could make you worried about Spencer’s reaction to them. So here I go…pulling the thread, hoping your response will unravel my confusion at the whole thing.

And, just so we’re clear, I don’t really think that you would bring Rage Against Reality (triangle: Tony Stark) down on him, but I think you might be able to devastate him even without that. Just…the team cares for him, so take care yourself. (This is not some sort of warning of us coming after you, just letting you know that pretty much everyone here sees him as basically their little brother because that’s how he makes people feel because he’s kind of….I’m going to say naïve, but that’s not quite right. Maybe pure is closer?) Anyway, I don’t actually know what I’m trying to say, just, I feel like I needed to say something in response to that portion of your email, and now I’ve vomited a bunch of words so I guess I’m done.

And now, because I love a good parting shot, was I supposed to take the last part of your email to mean that you think emailing him is more about his social life than your academic life?

Disappears in a puff of smoke,

Penelope


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I Love All Sweet Things, Cookies Included

Dear Darcy,

You’re regularly at work until midnight? When do you sleep? I know you said sometimes you can’t sleep either, but it seems to me at some point your body would just pass out from exhaustion. (The longest recorded time without sleep is 11 days, but at that point you’re playing with the definition of “awake.” Most people experience cognitive impairment at 24 hours awake, though, obviously, there are also people that can go for 3-4 days without sleep before it impairs their ability to function, such as snipers.) That’s to say: I hope you are getting regular, quality sleep. It will certainly help with your dissertation because you’ll be able to give it your full cognitive force.

You seem surprised that Penelope can hack things, but I thought you knew that she was our technical analyst when you emailed her. If not, you should know that she is incredibly talented at everything relating to technology. She has the ability to manipulate data systems and search parameters to create lists of pretty much anything you could ask for. She’s created a lot of her own systems because she wanted something better than the standard issue FBI things, which should do more to explain her skill than anything I could say. I’m not exaggerating when I say she is a technological genius.

It’s kind of funny to imagine your best friend as “bitey.” For some reason that calls to mind a mongoose. In some folklore, the mongoose is stereotyped as being a loyal animal (much like Jane seems to be to you), but many people also associate it with stories where it fights snakes (thus the “bitey” connection). I’m not certain I’d categorize Penelope the same way, though I can’t, at the moment, decide what type of animal she might be.

(I feel like I have rambled twice now. You don’t need to know the history of sleep deprivation nor about animal stereotypes, but I also don’t want to go back and cut those parts out because you said it was okay to ramble a bit. But if that has changed, let me know. Usually the team just gives me a look, and I know I’ve given more detail than necessary. But you can’t give me a look over email, so words will have to do.)

Gretchen sounds great. I’m out in the field too much to have a pet, so having a Gretchen actually sounds nice. Of course, you don’t get to play with or pet Gretchen, but you still get to see her having a good time, and that still seems pretty nice.  I don’t have a roommate, so I understand what going home to an empty apartment is like. I like to fill my evenings with activities the city has to offer, and then being alone can be a welcome change. (For example, there’s a great art house theater a few blocks away that shows foreign films in their native languages. I like watching them because it keeps me up on my fluency, but also, something is always lost in translation, so viewing them as intended gives me the full experience.)

You mentioned sloth videos. I don’t think I’ve ever watched one. I might have to try that.

Sincerely,

Spencer

PS. I thought I had missed the new questions, but now I see that I didn’t. Take your time. I will be ready to answer them whenever you are ready to send them.


 


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Depends; are you defining good witch as Elphaba or Galinda?

That’s me! Snippy and nice all at once. Whoops, I’m a conundrum.

I mostly was worried because I was babbling and being ridiculous and I was concerned that he might have taken it the wrong way--I was kinda overcomplimentary in a way? I was fangirling a lot over one thing or another, and I was totally unprofessional since I mentioned my dissertation advisor being concerned about me joining a civil liberties cult, among other things, and then I was just talking about my reasons for doing this project, so it was just like….personal, I guess. Or more personal than a professional email should be. That’s all. Hopefully that unravels the confusion for you.

I’m glad that he has people who care that much about him. And I guess pure is a good word for it. From what I know, I mean. I really don’t think I can devastate him, but you know him better than me, so...yeah.

Well, I mean, we talk more about politics than we do about the questions I send, at least in the body of the emails, so I guess?? And it’s not in line with his work, so social’s the word I can use for it, I think.

Waves a magic wand,

Darcy


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Check Your Work Mailbox In A Few Days, Then

Dear Spencer,

Sometimes I take naps on the staff room couches, or I get the next day off if I’m up particularly late with some nonsense work thing or trying to manage the science department into keeping rational hours. (It was much worse when Dr. Banner was still around; he and Jane wound each other up into science tears that would last for days at a time and that meant nobody could go home, because we were all scared we’d come back to find Stark Tower either on fire or in the middle of another dimension.) I do pass out sometimes, but that hasn’t happened in a few years, since I’m so used to getting by on three or four hours sleep by now that my body just stopped whining about it. (I think, personally, the longest I’ve been awake is about six days? But that wasn’t for lack of trying to sleep, it was just a combination of work and nightmares and a really bad bout of stomach flu from the fourth day on.) (Also, re: snipers, Clint swears he’s been awake for thirteen days, but he’s also a jerk who likes to make up silly stories, so I don’t know whether or not he’s actually broken a world record. I think he’d be more crazy than he already is, if he had.)

The dissertation drafting is going well, I think? I get a little loopy staring at all the footnotes sometimes, and again, this is only the first part. It doesn’t help that I’m surrounded by people who do Hard Science at work (Quote from Tony Stark: “Ew, why are you even doing psychology? There’s no science there”) so I can’t talk about it, haha. It’s okay, though. I’m doing as well as I can, and thankfully it’s just a draft due next week, so if there are too many mistakes I’ll be able to fix them before the final submission date in February.

I knew that Penelope was the technical analyst for the BAU, but mostly to me technical analysts who aren’t Tony Stark kind of restrict themselves to hunting through databases, not building new ones or being the Superhacker Extraordinaire. Penelope’s a total badass. Don’t tell her I said that. I don’t think she’ll let me live it down and I’m pretty sure her head will puff up to the size of Texas.

I’m not lying when I say Jane is bitey though!! She bit me in the first month we knew each other when I tried to wake her up to get her into her trailer. I still have the marks. (I don’t. I’m lying. I just tell her that sometimes to make her feel guilty so she’ll go to sleep at a reasonable hour.) And honestly a mongoose would be a really good fit for Jane, if she weren’t so wide-eyed about everything. I think she’s more of a lemur, if I were going to pick an animal for her. She’s curious and wide-eyed and she’s smart as hell, even if she can be a bit helpless sometimes. As for Penelope….I hate to say this, but mayyyybe a mama elephant? She has tusks and she can use them, but she’s also really smart, and leaves no trace of herself where she’s been, at least, footprint wise.

(I read a story when I was a kid about a mongoose who hunted these two evil cobras, Naga and Nagini. I think it was by Rudyard Kipling? I’ll have to look it up to send it to you.)

(Ramble as much as you like. My opinion hasn’t changed. Besides, this way I feel like it’s...a little more even? That sounds weird, but like. I see more of how you think, now, as opposed to you just kind of getting the Full Darcy Blabbermouth Experience.)

(....that sounds really weird. But I feel like you won’t mind.)

Gretchen is a lovely dog, and I miss her when I don’t get to see her, even though she’s not mine, haha. My family had a pit bull when I was growing up, but then my dad left and took her with him. I guess I’m overattached to Gretchen because of that. Like I said, I’m looking into snakes; a ball python would be really cool, especially because they’re shy babies who will watch TV with you and curl around your neck, but I don’t know if you like snakes or not. A lot of people don’t. As for being alone vs. going home to an empty apartment, hoo, boy, I feel that. I don’t mind being alone at all, especially after a really long day at work where someone’s being obnoxious or sexist or gross (to me, or Pepper, or Jane, or anyone else at Stark Industries, it really doesn’t matter) but sometimes going home to an empty apartment is just kind of lonely.

(How many languages do you speak?)

Sloths are super cute. Baby ones squeak. There, your world has been made one bit better through knowing that.  

Jaj vlghaj!

Darcy

PS. It’s gonna have to be a bit longer for the new questions, unfortunately. My week has been dreadful. I appreciate the patience.


 


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: No Hidden Agenda

It’s been A. Week. (You know the kind, I’m sure. The ones where you win, but it doesn’t feel like you won at all and how could the world be like this???) So instead of my normal nosiness, just, let’s talk about something fun. I’ve attached a few of my favorite baby animal videos (the cute elephant taking a bath is a favorite of mine).

I need tequila.

And shopping…..shoe shopping.

And, like, just all the good things. Tell me something good that’s going on with you. I could use it.

-P


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: You’re So Sweet

Darcy,

(I can’t find the word I want to put before your name that would imply the happy sound I wanted to make because you are too kind; too gentle and fierce. It stings to not have the perfect word when I have so many. My brain’s a little bit foggy after the week we had, though, so perhaps you can forgive me this once and imagine whatever that word should have been there that will no doubt come to me tonight in bed or tomorrow morning in the shower.)

Thank you for the cookies. They were possibly the best surprise I’ve ever had at work. And delicious! I can’t believe you made them. They were not only my favorite kind, but also bakery quality. You’re a woman of many talents! (Some of the team wanted some, and I did share, but, to you I will confess that it was begrudgingly because they were so good.)

And now that I’ve seen the cookies, I hope that my gift to you was well received. I just wanted you to have some things that might help you get the sleep you so clearly need. Four hours is not enough, and falling asleep on couches has to hurt your shoulders and neck. If it was over the line, just know I had good intentions? (I feel like I am constantly begging forgiveness for crossing a line with you. I suddenly am worried that I’m one of “those guys.” I’ll work on it.)

Don’t listen to Mr. Stark. In case I haven’t made it clear, I think your research is important, and that is not just my personal opinion because I know you, but rather my professional opinion as someone that will one day get to use your research to catch criminals. You can tell him I said so, but I doubt he cares much what others think.

I can’t really talk about it, but the case this week was brutal. If you’ve been watching the news at all, you probably know about it. There were kids . And while we solved it, it wasn’t fast enough. And we just leave those towns to do the cleanup and prosecution, and those parents are never getting their kids back, and we just leave because our job is done.  I’m sorry for venting, but it was rough. I know I’m going on and on about you needing to sleep, but I don’t think sleep will come to me tonight.

On that note, I’m going to go. I’m too depressing to be a good email partner today, but I really wanted to thank you for those cookies that were such a bright spot in a dark week that it was blinding. Thank you. Really. The words aren’t enough, but they’re all I have. I’ll try your cute animal trick and maybe I’ll be a better email partner later.

Yours,

Spencer

PS How many languages I speak depends on how fluent you expect me to be, so I’ll say 7.


 

Chapter Text

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: So I Think Your Squishy Broke My Squishy

Okay, so from what I can tell:

  • Darcy (hereafter referred to as “My Squishy”) has been trying her best not to flirt and she might have a little crush on your Spencer (hereafter referred to as “Your Squishy”), which she’s coming to grips with in the last six hours, after a great deal of alcohol
  • Your Squishy said some really nice things to her which she can’t believe is not some kind of internet fishing gag because that’s happened to her before since she throws herself into everything with her whole heart and people jerk her around for it
  • My Squishy is not as hard-shelled and badass as she likes to think she is, so she’s understandably freaking out
  • Your Squishy might have no idea how effectively he’s breaking My Squishy’s brain
  • This is hilarious and also somewhat sad.

What’s going on with you?

(I like Schnapps more than tequila.)

--Jane 


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Good, Because Tequila Deserves To Be Openly Wooed

Good things that are going on with me. Well, my dissertation is going okay. I slept for a whole seven hours last night, which is a miracle. I think I’ve found a ball python on Craigslist that I can reasonably adopt without cutting too deeply into my food budget. (Then again, Stark Industries actually pays me, which is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT over my post-undergrad years, you have no idea.) I think I’m going to name him Monty, so he’ll be Monty the Python, and we can watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus together once he gets used to me. Ball pythons are shy precious babies, so you have to coax them to like you, and then once they feel safe they’re snuggly and wonderful and I love them.

Shoe shopping sounds fantastic. I’d invite you up to the city to go, since I know some wonderful shoe stores, but since y’all have the schedule you do, I dunno if that’d work out. If you want, though, we can Skype? It might help. I can update you on all the stupid workplace gossip I keep track of, because it’s absurd. Working at SI is worse than being affiliated with SHIELD. SHIELD was terrible at interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Hoo boy. 

(...I have gossip about Captain America if that’s tempting at all.)

-D


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I’m Not The One Who Sent Lavender Sachets...

...and that box is hands down one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. I don’t have words either. I don’t know how to have words about this, but I’m going to have to figure it out, because it’s too complicated to not find words for it. I don’t know. I start laughing and smiling every time I look at the box, if that gives any kind of indication about how it makes me feel.

(Is this weird? To get this soft about this? Because it feels like it should be weird, but it isn’t weird, and I don’t know when it stopped being weird. Is that weird??)

(That’s...remarkably incoherent, I’m sorry. But still.)

You’re welcome for the cookies. I wanted it to be a surprise, so I just googled the address for the BAU at Langley and made sure they were in packaging that didn’t seem suspicious. (I have practice. SHIELD was like that.) And I’m really glad you liked them!! I stressbake, and I usually make way too many cookies or cakes or whatever for two people (even when one of those people is Jane Foster, who I swear to god can fit a whole elephant down her throat when she wants) so I’m happy to share. They came through the postal service okay? Not broken or anything? (Next time I can send two boxes if you want. Then sharing is off the table.) 

Like I said, I love the gift. And you’re not one of “those guys.” I think the fact that you’re worried about being one of those guys is pretty much a guarantee that you’re not. But I knew that you weren’t before. You’re too genuine to be one of those guys. At least, from what I know so far.

Tony doesn’t give a damn what other people think, or that’s what he wants others to believe. I think that if I said something, or Jane, or Pepper, he’d make one hell of an effort to change his behaviors, since he loves us and trusts us and we’re basically the only family he has (the break-up of the Avengers hurt him quite badly; he’s very hesitant to lose anyone or make any misstep, now, and it’s even harder for him to trust, and it’s bad, Spencer, I can’t even express to you how bad it gets for Tony sometimes, so I’m more than willing to take some good-natured Hard Science/Soft Science teasing on occasion to make sure Tony’s okay) but like I said, it’s just how it is.

I saw. The case, I mean. I figured you guys must be on it, once reports started coming out of Wichita. (I have my Google set up to alert me to any cases like that. It helps me keep track of in-case application of psychological theories. Also, where you’ve been sent, and where you and Penelope are working, so I know when to expect responses.) I wish I could do more to help than to just say I’m sorry, but I can’t, for obvious reasons. I can tell you that not being fast enough, and not feeling good enough? That’s not on you. It’s on the monsters who were raping and killing children, not on you, and not on the BAU. It’s something that happens when people care enough to want to fix the world, that kind of guilt that you can’t do enough, or you don’t move fast enough, or “if I had done just one more thing maybe this would be different.” You caught them, you and the team. They can’t hurt anyone else. And those parents don’t have their children back, and it will come near killing them, you and I both know it, but they at least will know that the bastards who hurt their babies are off the street and dead, respectively. That helps, knowing that. I promise you.

(I’m usually awake until all hours if you want to email me. When you can’t sleep, I mean. You don’t have to, but just in case.)

Fondly,

Darcy

PS. Seven?? Seven languages. Holy jeez. Which ones??

PPS. I don’t know if there’s a word for the feelings you were describing, and I don’t know if there’s a word for the noise I made when I read that, but it made me smile a lot. For days. So. There’s that.

PPPS. Hopefully sloths helped. I’ve attached more videos to this email.

PPPPS. New questions attached, but don’t work on them if you don’t feel up to to it. The dissertation will be fine without new answers for a bit. 



 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: OF COURSE 

THESE TWO I SWEAR

  1. I thought there was flirting going on, but wasn’t 100% certain. I assumed that’s why both of them were a bit cagey about telling me anything about the content of the emails. And I do mean both. I’ve tried to bring things up to Squishy.S in casual conversation, and I get a lot of how much he admires Squishy.D and her work, but he clams up when I ask about her in general. He might have also been a bit jealous a while back when I mentioned I had heard from Squishy.D recently and he had not.
  2. WHO HURT SQUISHY.D??? Seriously. I need names. Let me work my revenge magic. I can wield data systems like you wouldn’t believe, and it’s amazing how much your life can suck with one click of a mouse. (Also, he isn’t the type to “just say” nice things to someone. He says them when he means them.)
  3.  Squishy.S also had a moment of freak out re: an email thing which I will describe later.
  4. I think the brain breakage is possibly mutual, and, again, I will explain with an email thing.
  5. THEY ARE UNSURE HOW THE OTHER FEELS. It’s adorable if a bit hopeless because it seems pretty clear to you and me.

SO THE EMAIL THING: I got an interesting set of texts from Squishy.S just clarifying that you can’t take back something that was said in an email once it had been said. So, like the good meddler I am, I pushed a little for the scoop. Turns out, it was just one word he was concerned about. So I asked what could be so bad, right? Like, it’s not as though he signed the email “love,” right? To which he replied NOT EXACTLY. Clearly he signed it some other way that basically meant the same thing?!! Anyway, here’s the other bit of that that’s out of character for him: he didn’t realize he had done it at first. Like, it was just instinctual and because he was all brain-jumbled because of work he just said the thing he wanted to without realizing he wouldn’t normally have told her because he’s like some pining idiot.

Additionally, there were cookies, sent by Squishy.D to Squishy.S at work just as we were heading out to the terrible case of eternal suck, and it was, seriously, the biggest smile I had ever seen on his face from something so simple. Also, I was surprised to see the cookies because HE was the one that had been asking me if it was weird to send something to someone, and I know he was talking about himself and not Squishy.D. So yeah. I’d be curious what (if anything) he finally sent her.

Have you had butterscotch Schnapps? It tastes like a Werther’s and I love it. (It’s especially good in cider or hot chocolate.) I like tequila when I want to forget or ignore something, which is what I’d like after this week. 

--Penelope


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I Know a Lot of Things That Deserve to be Openly Wooed

OH MY GOD SHOE SHOPPING IN NYC SOUNDS AMAZING. Seriously. I might just have to arrange a vacation to do it because this week was basically hell. This job definitely had its downsides, and this week was one of them. I’m not even joking. Everyone on the team deserves at least a week to decompress and just recover. But it won’t happen. In fact, they’ll probably be in the field again tomorrow because that’s how this sort of thing goes.

Also, you know I love gossip. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. You say you have some on Captain America? Because I’m sold. Yes please and thank you. I miiiight already know your Skype name (yes I was being nosey, but also hopeful), so I’ll send you a message tonight and maybe we can talk because I have a pint of ice cream in the freezer that has been calling out to be eaten while I hear something juicy.

Also, a ball python actually sounds pretty cool. I had an aunt once with a black cat she named Peeve. So her pet Peeve was a black cat. She got a kick out of telling people this. Will Monty help you bake? Because I got to try some of your cookies and WOW GIRL. You’ve got skills. I’m surprised Spencer let anyone else have one after tasting them. (That boy has a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe. He puts, like, alllllll the sugar in his coffee. You sending him cookies? That was like, a solid move.)

Anyway, I’m going to finish filling out my after action report and then head home because even I get sick of my (super awesome) office. 

--Penelope


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: and you sent smiles in the form of cookies

Darling Darcy,

(I am still struggling for the right word, but that one will work as a place filler while I figure it out. Plus, I’m partial to the alliteration of it.)

First of all, I have to say thank you for putting up with my last email. I sent it while we were on the plane home, and I didn’t proofread it at all. I just typed and sent. It was just pure emotion and I usually am more careful than that. I know that it probably wasn’t the most coherent email, but you seem to have interpreted everything just fine. I know that we did all we could do and it’s not my fault that these people did horrible things, but I can’t help feeling like I could have done something more that could have lessened their impact. See: reasons I keep getting degrees.

I’m glad you liked the box. I did some research about what things might help you relax or fall asleep, but a lot of them were food and smells and those can be very personal things. Not everyone likes the smell of lavender, so I’m glad you do. I hope the tea was to your liking as well. If not, let me know so I don’t send you any more. I’d hate to be sending you things that you didn’t actually like. I don’t see how liking the box is weird or makes you soft, though I might put your feelings about it into my exhibit box for Proof Darcy Lewis is Fierce and Gentle.

(Did some of this feel weird before? Has emailing me been weird? But now it’s not? I don’t know how it is on your end, but I have greatly enjoyed emailing you, and while you occasionally puzzle me, I’ve always been very happy with our communications.)

The cookies came through just fine! You must have put in just the right amount of tissue paper because none of them were broken. I know you offered to send two boxes, but, honestly, then I would want to keep two to myself, and that’s just greedy. But, if you happen to send some more, next time I’ll know what they are and will do something sneaky like open them in a supply closet and then hide them in my desk.

I didn’t realize things were so bad between the Avengers. I knew that they had disbanded, but I thought that was just until they were needed again. A lot of people probably look at Tony Stark and think that he has everything and thus his feelings don’t matter, but everyone has feelings and they do matter. I’m sorry I inadvertently stepped on them by saying I didn’t think he’d care about my opposing opinion. He’s lucky to have you (and Pepper and Jane) by his side. I don’t know Pepper at all, and Jane only from your emails, but they seem like genuine, good people. With how much you care and are concerned for him, I’d probably put him in my exhibit box as well.

Since you said you’re awake at all hours, I won’t fret over whether you will see a time stamp on my email and question why I was awake. I’m going to take that as an invitation to email you even if I haven’t heard back from previous emails yet. I’m not sure how often that will happen, but give how much this last case hit me, perhaps sooner than I think.

Yours,

Spencer

PS. English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Latin (does that even count?), Italian, Klingon

PPS. There needs to be a word. We’ll invent one if we have to. I’m glad to have been able to make you smile. (Is it strange that makes me smile?)

PPPS. Sloths were nice, as were the latest videos. Because you said Penelope was an elephant and Jane was a lemur, please enjoy the videos I have included. 

PPPPS. I’ll get right on them. That is the reason we started talking.


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: sorry

I just sent that last email a few hours ago, but I can’t sleep. I’m going to find a book to read or maybe a few more videos.  

Spencer


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: For Fuck’s Sake

  1. IT’S COMPLETELY ABSURD. He called her darling in the last email, apparently, and she’s still not sure he’s being serious. To be honest, I’m not sure how to take it. He bridges the line between earnest friend and flirtatious possible partner quite easily. It’s frustrating. Even if he is the type to say what he means, he’s not being very direct about whether or not his feelings are romantic. It’s driving her insane.
  2. A number of people, but Tony’s already dealt with them for the most part. If you want to deal insult to injury, though, I can tell you that two of them are going to Columbia Law right now. (There were three. The third is currently in jail for sexual assault, not of Squishy.D. so don’t pounce. I’m just glad that he was arrested before he could do anything more than jerk her heart around.)
  3. Squishy.S’s freakout sounds warranted, considering he signed it Yours, Spencer.
  4. GOOD. SHE SHOULD BE BREAKING HIS BRAIN. SHE’S EXCELLENT AND SHOULD BREAK THE BRAIN OF EVERY LOGICAL, DECENT, HETEROSEXUAL/BISEXUAL/PANSEXUAL/ASEXUAL-HETEROROMANTIC/BIROMANTIC/PANROMANTIC MAN AND/OR GENDERQUEER/GENDERFLUID INDIVIDUAL/ANYONE WITH A GODDAMN SOUL. Which honestly includes aliens at this point with no reference to human gender/sexual norms.
  5. It’s fuckin’ killing me, woman.  

If Squishy.S is doing it instinctively at this point, I don’t think we have that much to worry about, but who knows. I’ll keep you updated on Squishy.D.

I had not when you emailed, but now I have and hoo, boy, this is heaven in a glass. I love it. Thank you. And I heard about how terrible your week was. I recommend buying a bunch of cheap ceramic plates, and then throwing them off the highest surface you can reach without potentially killing people down below.

--Jane


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: don’t apologize

There’s a collection of articles by a professor named William Mann about lone wolf killers that I’m citing in my dissertation, but you’ve probably already read that.

Have you read The Silmarillion?

(I’ll respond to the longer one in a minute.)

Darcy 


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Cookies can be smiles or emails can be smiles, either way

Spencer,

(I’m blushing. I really am. Oh my god. This is dumb. I’m so red. What even is going on right now. Why are you so sweet.)

I didn’t “put up” with anything, you absolutely ridiculous human being. I thought it was lovely and honest and sweet, so don’t you dare imply that I was impatient with any of it. Pure emotion is good. I don’t mind if it’s coherent or no.

Saving people seems like an excellent reason to keep getting degrees, so if you ever need a character reference for another grad school application, I’m your gal.

I loved the box. The box was excellent. I wrote down all the types of tea and there’s only one that I wasn’t absolutely in love with right off the bat (and the cinnamon one is growing on me, so yay, success!), so consider it an A+++ gift with gold stars and everything. (Lavender is my favorite. All my shampoos are lavender.) As for whether it’s weird or if I’m too soft about it, I guess I’m just worried that I’m being...too effusive? Or something. That or like….I dunno. Like I’m acting like a teenager, which I don’t want to do. I’m writing my dissertation, for god’s sake. I’d prefer not to act like a fourteen year old.

(Proof That Dr. Spencer Reid Is The Sweetest Person On The Planet: accumulated.)

(Emailing you has never been weird. I’m just stupid and I tend to read into things and be too effusive, like I said. I’ve really enjoyed emailing you. And if I’m ever puzzling, you can ask me what I mean. I’m not great at explaining things sometimes, but I can try, at least.)

Excellent! (Re: cookies.) I was worried they might break; USPS is not kind to baked goods. Also oh my god, I must have sent like three dozen in that box, I’m not rotting your teeth no matter how cute it is to picture you hoarding cookies in your desk. One box at a time it is. (I told you, I stressbake. I usually have way too many to spare all the time.)

It was….yeah. It was bad. There are things I can’t talk about (government NDAs and stuff) but essentially Tony and Steve had a really, really bad fight, Steve betrayed Tony’s trust, and now Steve’s obviously gone AWOL. Tony’s still really hurt, even a year on, and it sometimes takes all three of us to hold him together. He wasn’t very whole in the first place (he has really bad PTSD from Afghanistan and from the Battle of New York, and won’t admit it, on top of all the guilt for what happened in Sokovia, since Ultron was Tony’s creation gone mad) but this is just...making it worse. I wish I could get him to agree to go to a therapist, but he won’t. He’s scared to. So I sit up with him a lot and make him Irish coffee and play music while he fiddles with his machines, just so he has someone with him. It helps.

Creo que eres adorable,

Darcy

PS. NO MAMES, ESE, UN POTERO DE IDOMAS, NO PUEDO CREERLO! JAJAJAJAJAJA NO SE. (And Latin totally counts.)

PPS. There absolutely should be a word. But I don’t know what it is. (Not at all.) 

PPPS. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA BABY LEMUR OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD

PPPPS. True, but I don’t think it’s the reason we’re still talking.


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I Might Also Know One Or Two

YOU TOTALLY SHOULD. Just take two days of vacation and I’ll clear my schedule for some weekend so I can show you around the city and take you to good shoe places. It’s not even that far by train. Also, I feel like that violates some kind of labor laws?? I know it’s a hard job but ay güey that really does not sound legal that they’re on the clock that long. 

You didn’t hear it from me, but Captain America was totally macking on the now-head of public relations at Stark Industries. She used to work at SHIELD. She’s also the scariest woman I know. You don’t fuck with Maria HIll. You just don’t. (She hasn’t spoken to him in months, not since the team broke up, and I also happen to know it’s breaking her heart that she hasn’t heard from him, but she won’t admit it. Honestly, if you do come up, I might drag her out shoe shopping with us. She needs it.) I have way more info than that, though, so I can give you all the details once you’re online later.

BALL PYTHONS ARE THE SWEETEST BABIES. I LOVE THEM. THEM AND THEIR SQUISHY NOSES. Also, oh my god, a pet Peeve is amazing. I wish I was that clever. I hope Monty will help me bake; he’ll have to get used to riding around my neck while I move around, first, but still. Fingers crossed! I meet him this weekend, so we’ll see if we get along, Monty and me.

Thank you for the cookie compliments! I try. (It wasn’t intended to be a move, exactly, but I’m...not upset that it could be taken that way, honestly.)

GO HOME AND SLEEP. I’ll talk to you soon. 

--Darcy


To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: He Did WHAT Now?

I think your email broke MY brain for a second there. He called her darling and signed an email Yours?!! Ohhhhh, my sweet sweet Spencer. You ridiculous man.

  1. So, I think that maybe he’s saying as much as he feels like he can say. Hear me out because this is a multifaceted issue. First, we have a guy on the team that is a stone-cold fox (look up Derek Morgan; you’ll see), and basically no one pays any attention to Squishy.S when he’s around. Add to that a bestselling author, and a few others that are more conventionally handsome and it adds up to Squishy.S not being the one that gets the attention. BUT on top of that he went to college at, like 12, so he’s never had any sort of chance at a normal relationship that evolves the way most of us do. SO I think he’s basically going through that middle school thing of “but what if she doesn’t like me?” with a side case, “how could anyone like me?” He doesn’t have a lot of past experience to draw on, so he’s protecting his heart just a little in case he’s completely wrong. (He’s not. You know that. I know that. Everyone knows that. Except our resident Squishys in Love.)
  2. I wish you could have seen his face when those cookies arrived. Seriously. I mean, I’m pretty sure you don’t have to be a profiler to know exactly how Squishy.S felt about Squishy.D based on the sunshine, rainbows, and heart eyes exploding out of him. He’s gone on her. Far gone. He’s just struggling with figuring out she is with him too.
  3. WHICH IS ALL FINE AND DANDY, BUT THE REST OF US HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEM BEING IDIOTS.
  4. If Squishy.D has responded in kind at all re: darlings and yours, then there’s a chance he will catch on and be more direct. (Again, this is confusing because he thinks he’s being direct, but his subconscious is holding him back, at least I think so.) He told us a story once about how some much older kids made fun of him once by telling him a girl wanted to meet up with him behind the bleachers, but it was just a trap to embarrass him/beat him up for even thinking she could be interested. I don’t think that was the isolated incident he made it out to be, and I do think it’s had an impact on how he is interacting with Squishy.D. So yay preteen drama messing up life!

I know that this is frustrating, but it’s also kind of fun to have front row seats to this. It’s like watching a romance novel play out live, except we can’t flip to them getting together already.

Some day, once they figure it out, we need to go out and celebrate our own survival of this ordeal. We love our friends, but this is TOO MUCH WILL THEY/WON’T THEY ANGST.

Re: Squishy.D’s unfortunate run ins with scum. I found the guys and had a little fun. One of them had the answers to an exam saved on his computer as well as a whole series of emails wherein he pays someone to write all his papers. He has been turned into the Dean and probably won’t be in law school much longer. As for the other, I forwarded some rather inappropriate emails he had been sending women to his mom and his employer. I’ll watch for the fallout for both of them, and if it doesn’t happen, I have a few other ideas.

Thanks for the recommendation about the plates. I miiiight have bought a full place setting for 4 that is sitting in a box for the next time I need to do that. (Also, I need to find a place where I can do this and no one will think it’s weird that I’m also screaming while doing it. Do you happen to know such a place?)

I feel like I need to ask what’s going on with you. We’re so wrapped up in Squishy stuff that we are ignoring the other parts of life. 

--Penelope


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: SHOES

As much as I would LOVE to take a few days to visit, there are two problems with that:

  1. The world doesn’t stop being terrible ever, so I’m always needed.
  2. I actually went on vacation a week before your first email, so it’s a little bit soon to do it again (especially when some of the others on the team haven’t been on vacation in a much longer time).
  3. Spencer might kill me? And I’m not particularly interested in dying right now. But really, I think it might break him a little if I met you before he did.

Okay, so that was three problems, but whatever. 1 and 2 are basically the same thing. But these problems are killing me because THAT WAS AMAZING GOSSIP AND I NEED MORE. OMG. I don’t even know Maria, but I want to take her shoe shopping and also maybe ruin Steve Roger’s credit score (HOLY SHIT I’M A BAD PERSON. Who says they want to fuck up Captain America’s credit rating?! But also, seriously, grow the fuck up CA and call her!!) Also, Skype was SUPER fun. We should make that a thing. (Of course with our schedules…..)

Okay, now for me to melt your brain a little with my own gossip: the team was curious about where your (amazing! delicious!) cookies came from, and Spencer BLUSHED. Like, he eventually said they were from you (though he played it off as a thank you for answering questions for your dissertation…which…LOL. I know better), but he definitely turned a bit pink at the tips of his ears and across his cheeks and STAMMERED a bit when answering. So take that as you will. (Ya know, in case you’re still trying to say it wasn’t a move. 

I need to try a new ice cream flavor? Any recs?

Penelope 


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: You Are My Newest Favorite Sweet Thing

Dearest Darcy,

I feel like I should apologize for making you blush, but part of me is oddly pleased by that? So, I’m sorry, but perhaps not as sorry as I should be. Maybe I should just make a declaration that I am going to try and make you blush, and then I won’t have to feel bad for doing so: you chose to read on knowing what I would do.

Thank you for the late-night reading suggestions. I ended up going for a walk and then there was a Doctor Who marathon on when I got home, so that kept me occupied until I fell asleep. However, seeing your email at the small hours of the night made me warm and happy, even though I wanted to take you and make you get back into bed and go to sleep. I sent you a whole box of things just for that purpose. Clearly they are not doing their job. Next time I can’t sleep I’ll research so I can find something that might work better. (Also, while I had read the works you sent me, I was thankful for the suggestions. You certainly picked an interesting selection that was perfectly tailored to us.)

I don’t think you’re being overly effusive. I’m glad that you liked what I sent you. Your appreciation of it makes me happy. I like that my small mailing could make you happy enough to give it some gold stars, so I will have to send you more things because I like making you smile. (And you must be smiling. I can read it in your words. I want to make you smile.) Also, I should point out that I’m not always sweet, and certainly not to everyone, but how could I be anything but to you? You are very deserving of more than I could ever give.

You think it’s cute to picture me hiding cookies in my desk? I’d argue it’s practical. If I didn’t hide them, others would want to eat them. They’re mine; from you. I don’t want to share. Besides, then they might question me about you, and I don’t think I want to share your cookies or you. At least not yet. Does that make sense? It does to me, but I don’t think I’m explaining it properly, which is not a problem I normally have.

You do still puzzle me on occasion, but I’m not certain how to phrase the question to make it the right question. I did try to figure it out, but there’s too much emotion clouding the proper phrasing. I guess the best way to explain it is like when you said you were trying to figure things out socially back in our early emails. I’m not always good at reading motives when they aren’t nefarious. I’m pretty good at picking out the actions that intend harm. (I hope so, anyway since I get paid to do it.) But I don’t think you want to harm me, so sometimes I’m not sure how to properly interpret things you have said or done.

Here comes the full attack from me with regards to making you blush: you mentioned Googling me and watching some YouTube videos of the talks I’ve done. So, turnabout is fair play, Ms. Lewis, and did you know there is video footage, on YouTube, of you during both the Destroyer and Dark Elves? It’s shaky, like you described my videos, but I was certainly able to get a sense of you from them (even if you are more of a person shape than a clearly defined person in them). I like your hats. Or, at least I think I do based on what I could see. But I am entering those videos into my exhibit box because they are further evidence that you are fierce and gentle. On one, there was some commentary. “Oh shit! She’s going back into it! I could never!” and that felt about right. Darcy Lewis: doing things others wish they could do.

(Also into the box: your entire account of how you help Tony Stark deal with PTSD. You truly are a marvel.)

And now to attempt to respond to the only PS that mattered: You’re right, I’m not still emailing you just because of your dissertation. It’s a lot more than that now. Defining that “more” is hard though, especially because I keep wanting to push the boundaries of just what that “more” is.

Yours,

Spencer 

PS. (I can’t help it, I thought of this after and it doesn’t fit anywhere in the rest). I think you’re adorable too, though possibly I’d use “beautiful” instead, if I thought you’d let me get away with it.


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: I Have Photographic Evidence, For The Right Price

He ABSOLUTELY DID. “Darling Darcy” was the opener; “Yours, Spencer” was the closer. I’m dying of cavities, and still amazed that human beings like these Squishies exist. 

  1. That….would make sense. (Especially after looking up Derek Morgan, because me-yow.) (I’m newly separated. I’m allowed to say that.) Hopefully he’ll feel safe enough to actually outright flirt with her soon, because I think she’s going to explode from repressed squishy feelings otherwise. 
  2. YES. GOOD. YES GOOD. SHE FRETTED ABOUT SENDING THOSE COOKIES FOR DAYS. HE SHOULD APPRECIATE THEM. THOSE COOKIES ARE LIKE GOLD DUST.
  3. I’m pretty sure she’s responding to him right now, actually. She’s making faces at her laptop. That’s usually a good sign. (Also, re: bleachers incident--please tell me you’ve tracked those bastards down and ruined their credit or something. Jesus Christ. Speaking as a once-bullied nerd: fuck them up.

I haven’t told Darcy about the fun you had with scum, but just so you know: all the Avengers know. At least, the ones I still talk to. They’re very approving.

Usually bridges work?? There’s typically water down below, so as long as you don’t hit a boat there’s no issue, and ceramic (at least, safely made ceramic) is just clay; it might be glazed, but it won’t exactly ruin the ecosystem the way plastic wrap does. Though I’m an astrophysicist, not a marine biologist, so who knows if I’m right. 

Eh. I’m okay. I’m working too much, as per usual. Squishy.D is offended about it. How are you? 

--Jane


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: GLORIOUS SHOES

  1. This is true, but it offends me.
  2. Where did you go on vacation?
  3. I think my whole brain went !!!!!!! when I read that, so thanks. 

PLEASE ruin Steve Roger’s credit score. Please. He MESSED UP MY TONY. HE MESSED UP MY MARIA. I LOVE STEVE BUT I’M SO MAD AT HIM RIGHT NOW. OH MY GOD.

Agreed; Skype was fantastic. Our schedules are terrible, but we shall persevere! WE SHALL RISE!

…….okay, I’m just going to shrine the image of a blushy Spencer in my heart forever, if that’s okay. He looks so unflappable in the videos. And I’m really, really glad he enjoyed them; I fretted about sending them for ages because I wasn’t sure if it would be too forward or too much. Just. LSKDFJSLDFKJDS STAMMERING SPENCER OMG ????? ???? ??

Oooooooo, coconut surprise from Bluebell is good. Love me some coconut. 

Darcy


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU LIKE THIS

Spencer,

(I’m not including an epithet because I don’t think I can coherently think of one. Also, alliteration is important, but the only word that starts with S I can think of is “sweet” and that sounds wayyyy too Shakespearean. So, uh. Picture me keyboard smashing.)

You keep making me choke on coffee, thank you very much. I should know by now not to be drinking anything while I read emails from you, because I keep inhaling really fast and then gagging on mochas because you’re so nice to me?? It’s so weird that I’m surprised every time when I already know that you’re actually lovely, but I’m?? Still?? Surprised. I’ve never met somebody as sweet as you. And boo on your claims, I’m sure you’re this sweet to everyone you care about, you just don’t get to show it as often as you do with me.

(Please keep trying to make me blush. It’s really, really lovely. Also other words I can’t actually think of, because I’m so happy all the time.)

Oooh, which Doctor Who?? NuWho? Old Who? Tennant? Baker? Davison? Eccleston? (DO NOT. FIGHT ME. ABOUT THE NINTH DOCTOR. HE’S MY FAVORITE. I LOVE HIM. I MADE A PLUSH NINE FOR MYSELF. YOU MAY LAUGH AT ME IF YOU WISH.) /grabby hands/ Tell!

Okay, okay, caught out again. I was up until three because I was Skyping Wanda. (Don’t tell anyone about that part, though. She’s not...technically supposed to be reaching out to me, not after what happened between Steve and Tony. It’s like a really bad divorce and all the kids are separated by which parent prefers them and it’s really hard on Wanda, because she’s been so alone since her brother died. We were pretty close before, though I know I haven’t mentioned her...at all, I don’t think? It still stings a lot that she had to go. I know why she left--Tony did some really stupid shit, and I’m not defending that--but at the same time, it’s, y’know. Being separated by circumstances you can’t avoid hurts no matter what. And you can read that however you want.

(You wanted to take me and make me get back into bed, hm? Should I be blushing now? Somehow I don’t think you meant it as an innuendo, but at the same time, be warned; I work for Tony Stark. It takes some really clever innuendos to get me blushing anymore. You can read that as a challenge if you want. Whatever you’re comfortable with.)

My leeriness about being overly effusive is like....I guess it’s Pavlovian. I’ve been told a lot that I get too excited about little things and that I should calm down and stuff, and some of it is like. I mean. I was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago and some of it is because of that (I know not a lot of girls are diagnosed with the hyperactive version of the disorder, but I have it and hoo boy it makes it hard to focus sometimes, thus why I keep myself so organized all the time; makes it harder to get distracted, especially if I’m taking Ritalin like I’m supposed to) but it’s also that...I dunno. I get excited when people are nice to me. Jane thinks it’s because my dad’s an asshole. I’m not thinking about it a whole lot in general, except for trying not to get too excited about things. I guess.

...wow, word vomit.

(I’m definitely smiling. I always smile when I’m reading a note from you. I’ll challenge your deserving thing, though. You’re the one who deserves someone kind and good and smart, way more than I do. So.)

I think it’s adorable to picture you hiding cookies in your desk. Practical, yes, but also downright adorable. I can always send you more cookies, you know.

(I don’t want to share you, either. Sometimes I talk to Jane about you and a few things you say, just to make sure I’m not crazy and that this is really a thing that is happening, somehow, but I don’t share much if I can help it. This is just like. My Thing. If that makes sense. I think it does, to you.)

(Would it surprise you if the social thing I was trying to figure out was you?)

Oh, honey. I really, really hope I don’t ever harm you. I’m sometimes idiotic and I say stupid things because I blurt out what comes into my head and that’s not always kind or right, but I’d rather jump off the GWB than hurt you. I’m serious. If I ever do, please tell me so I can figure out how to not. And if I ever do anything that confuses or puzzles you, please ask me. I want to be clear, but I’m not always good at it, for reasons that are hard to talk about. 

OH MY GOD YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THOSE VIDEOS. I LOOK AWFUL. I’M COVERED IN SOOT AND GRIME AND DARK ELF GROSSNESS. OH MY GOD WHY WOULD YOU WATCH THOSE. I’M SO RED??? GO DELETE THOSE OFF YOUR HARD DRIVE RIGHT NOW, DR. REID, I’M SERIOUS, THEY’RE AWFUL VIDEOS AND I LOOK TERRIBLE IN THEM NOOOOOOOO

(I make my hats, so I’m really glad you like them.)

(In your box: I’m not brave, but it’s lovely of you to think so.)  

Re: the PS. I think this is the only thing I can think of that describes any of this is this: 

No estés lejos de mí un solo día, porque cómo
porque, no sé decirlo, es largo el día
y te estaré esperando como en las estaciones
cuando en alguna parte se durmieron los trenes.

Very fluttery,

Darcy

PS. I’m not beautiful. But I’m really red now, too. So you can call me that if you want.


To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Could We Broker a Trade?

Okay, so first and foremost, I absolutely NEED to see your photographic evidence. And since you mentioned a price, let me tell you what I have to offer. I have video footage of Squishy.S reading the email from Squishy.D, getting called out on his physical response to said email, and HIDING IN A SUPPLY CLOSET PRETENDING HE NEEDED PENS (in order to avoid questioning from his peers). Before you ask, yes, this IS appropriate use of FBI resources. (And yes, I have saved the video to my “cute things” folder already.)

Secondly, no need to underestimate my thirst for revenge. And please, allow me to offer my services to you. I kind of look at it this way: I always use my powers for good (well, now anyway), it’s just sometimes those powers are used with the full force of the law and other times….well, not.  (Also, it is oddly satisfying to know that literal superheroes approve of what I have done to scum.)

Do bridges still give the satisfying “crack!” of throwing dishes? Because, if so, I know exactly where I’ll head next time I need that.

I also work too much and, interestingly enough, Squishy.D seemed offended by that also. I am currently single and in platonic love with one D. Morgan, but other than that, my life is sadly rather boring. With an unpredictable work schedule, that’s just how it is. It sounds like you know that feel.

--Penelope

PS. I feel like the thing that would make this complete is if you were also for some reason emailing Squishy.S. Because sometime Squishy.S gets jealous that I talk to Squishy.D but refuses to admit it and that’s it’s own kind of adorable fun too.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Meet Shovel

Since you seem to enjoy mental images of what you seem to do to Spencer, I am going to withhold his reaction to your email until you tell me what you put in it because WOO BOY was that a visceral, physical reaction that I’m sure you’d like in your memory bank.

And just so we’re clear, he is unflappable and incredibly pulled together in the field. And most areas of his life. Really, it seems to be you that does this to him. If you’re not currently flirting with him, I can’t imagine what he would do if you were. While you are allowed to break him a little bit, do know I will make your life hell if you break his heart. You know what I can do with a computer, so you should understand just what a shovel talk that is. (As proof, I have attached a video of you singing loudly, off key today in Jane’s lab. That’s right, I hacked Stark and he didn’t notice. I won’t share this with Spencer….for now.) But also know that I get that sometimes things just don’t work out. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about really hurting him. You’re capable of it, not because I think you’re some sort of evil mastermind, but because he’s put a lot of faith in you. Just….use your power wisely, ok? If you do, I will too. 

I’m only vicious when it’s called for,

Penelope


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Scarlet is one color of red

My Darcy,

(Did that work? Did I start off right away making you blush? I am making it my mission after what you clearly tried to do to me.) (Also, maybe I like “My Darcy” because you’re mine to keep for me and not to share with anyone else. You’re not just any Darcy, you’re MY Darcy, and that makes a difference.) (Also, I think you will understand this sentiment perfectly because it seems to be one we share.) (Finally, how many parentheticals does it take to start one email??)

You did say I could keep trying to make you blush and implied that it’s because it makes you happy. So now it is my duty to do so because all I want is to make you happy. So far it seems to be pretty easy: I just tell you all the true things about yourself and that seems to do the trick. Let’s see what I can come up with in the next 30 seconds: you’re sincere, you care deeply about people and causes, you are loyal, and you have excellent taste (in readings, in tv, in Doctors, in poetry….)

The poetry. (There is a period because it deserved a full stop, much like my brain when I read it.) I know you knew I would be able to read it. Turnabout is fair play, and since you fancy Pablo Neruda, perhaps it is fitting that I tell you “Every Day You Play..” reminds me of you. Do tell me how you respond to that.

While I am perhaps, “sweet” by nature, I am not that way quite so much with others as I am with you, and I can have a sharp tongue when needed. I know you are still emailing Penelope, so ask her if you don’t believe me. But there’s something about you and your inherent goodness that makes me want to be all the nice things you’ve ever wanted; always deserved (whether you believe you deserve it or not). (I’m not; I can’t be; but I will try.) As such, though, I’d like to point out that making you choke on coffee is sort of the opposite of my intended purpose, so please don’t hurt yourself while reading. I won’t be there to help you. (This is where, I assume, others might make some sort of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation joke, but know that kissing you could never be a cheap joke.)

(I thought long and hard about deleting that last line.)

(Also, I did not mean to imply anything suggestive about taking you to bed in my previous email, though perhaps since neither of us seem to sleep as much as we ought to, we could just lie side by side and talk until we finally are able to drift off.)

Since I make you choke on coffee, I think it’s only fair that I send you some to make up for all those café mochas you’ve wasted due to me. Expect a package in the next few days. And if there’s more than coffee in there…well, I hope that’s okay too.

I want to quote something back to you. You said, “You’re the one who deserves someone kind and good and smart.” Now I want you to think about all the words I’ve used to describe you and my exhibit box. That’s all. Just think. I already know you’re very intelligent (or have you forgotten I’m still reading and responding to your dissertation questions, soon to be Dr. Lewis?), so I know you can reason through this.

(I’m still worried about crossing some line, breaking this thread of something that reminds me of spider webs that can only be seen when the light shines just right.)

In a complete change of topic, please do send more cookies next time you bake as I am almost out now. Don’t go out of your way or anything, but just…whenever in the future you might have a surplus, I am happy to help. (Though you did say you stress bake and I’d rather wait a very long time than have you so stressed you need a coping mechanism.)

And now a few rapid fire things to finish up this response:

  1. You staying up late to Skype with Wanda just makes you more of that person I see you to be. You know that, right?
  2. You made your hats yourself? What a lovely thing to learn about you. Next time I end up at the yarn shop with Penelope I will pick you up something special.
  3.  While the profiler in me could easily track down why you’re so worried about being overly effusive, I’d just like to say that I happen to be fond of your effusiveness, so please don’t stop.
  4. I am surprised that I was the social thing you were trying to figure out
  5. I certainly don’t want to push, but your comment that you’re not always good at being clear for reasons that are hard to talk about made me want to fight whoever made you feel that way. (This is a terrible idea. I get waivers for my physical exams for work. But the sentiment is there.)
  6. You looked fine in the videos. I didn’t know that they could be downloaded. I just viewed them. I will have to go back and look again.
  7. You are beautiful. 

Your Spencer

 


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: You Don’t Know Me But My Ex Could Rip You Into Eighty-Eight PIeces

Hi,

Darcy’s probably mentioned me, but just so we’re clear: my name’s Dr. Jane Foster. I’m a Nobel Prize winner in astrophysics, I currently work for Iron Man and Rescue, my ex-boyfriend is a Norse god and he still does anything I ask, and I have War Machine, the Vision, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, and the Hulk all on speed dial. They can and will destroy you if you do anything to hurt Darcy. And then when they’re done, I’ll do enough science to bring back an alternate you from another universe, and then have that you destroyed as well.

Just so we’re clear. I’m sure you’re a perfectly nice person and everything--Darcy wouldn’t turn so red when people say your name if you weren’t--but seriously. Darcy is the one good thing a lot of us have had over the last few years. She’s a dear friend, and our sister, and our ally, and the rock, and if you mess her up, we will wreck you.  

Anyway, nice to meet you. I’ve heard good things. How many Ph.D.s do you have, out of professional curiosity? 

--J

 


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Deal

I stole her phone, took some screencaps, saved them to my Z drive, and have now attached them to this email. Knock yourself out. Now GIVE ME THAT FOOTAGE, because that sounds precious.

(And before he outs me: I sent him a shovel letter. I promise I was nice. Well, sort of.)

I’m kind of tempted to ask what you did to those bastards, but I’m also sure that what I imagine could be never be topped by reality, so it’s up to you if you want to share. 

Mmmmm….I mean, that depends on if it’s a bridge over a dry creek or over water. If it’s over water then they mostly just go splat. If it’s a dry creek? They shatter. It’s fucking fantastic. And that way you don’t have to worry about screwing up the environment somehow.

Squishy.D is always, always offended by people overworking, and then promptly works herself into unconsciousness. I’m not sure she’s actually aware of doing it, to be honest. She just goes and goes and goes and goes until her little battery dies, and then she’s asleep on the couch with Netflix blaring in the background. (You can share that with Squishy.S, if you want, but you have to promise to snap a picture of his face as he considers it, because good lord, I need blackmail material on her right now. She’s on a tear about how I don’t eat enough when she barely eats a granola bar a day at this point. That’s half the reason why I let her nag me into eating, because it means that I can get her to eat.)

My work schedule is less unpredictable and more never-ending; I have the benefit of loving what I do, and it means that my hobby is literally my job, so I never want to stop. Squishy.D just gets grumpy when I’ve spent too long building interdimensional transmitters (she calls them The Beep Boop Family) and she goes on a tear about hygiene and sleep schedules and REM cycles. Which, FYI, it’s not like I don’t care if I smell, it’s just sometimes I don’t notice if I smell. Which is why Darcy thinks I need her to function. She’s not wrong, exactly; she’s just not right, either. It’s hard to explain.

So what do you do for fun? 

--J

 


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I happen to look good in red, come to think of it

My (My??? My!!!) Spencer,

(It took me three hours to sit down and write this; it’ll probably take three more to finish it. Every time I read that email it’s like fireworks are going off in my chest. Believe me, it worked, right from the very first line.) (I keep laughing when I think of what might happen if my dissertation supervisor ever saw these emails, because “of course this is what happens with women who go for doctorates” but yes, you’re mine, my friend and maybe more if you want to be and not someone I want to share, and I can’t believe this came out of the interviews, I really can’t.) (I went back and reread all the emails from the first day to this and now I have the courage to ask: Spencer Reid, did you have a bit of a crush on me from the Widowgate files? Because if you did, good sir, it’s going to take literally every scrap of self-control I have at this point to keep myself from getting on a train to DC and kissing your face. I can’t believe it. I want to believe it. Did you?) 

(I won’t--somehow I want to make the first time we meet in person more than that--but the impulse is definitely there. Doesn’t matter about the answer.)

Of course it makes me happy. You make me happy. And it’s funny to say that when I don’t even know how much sugar you take in your coffee or who your favorite musician is or what the first Tolkien you read was, but it’s true. (I’ll have you know, though--you never answered my question about what Doctor Who you were watching that night. NuWho? Old Who? Say it was Nine. I love me my Nine. I want to ask ten million questions. There’d never be enough space for them all. Not for sixteen lifetimes.)

And as for the poetry: “Do tell me how you respond to that,” you say. “When are you going to be kind enough to give me my brain back,” I say. If that’s how you see me, then no wonder you think I’m beautiful. I don’t think I’ve been able to take a full breath since I read it and I know I haven’t stopped blushing in hours.

(Some part of me is terrified that I’m never going to be able to live up to that image in person. You keep saying all these things--that I’m good, and kind, and fierce, and brave, and brilliant--and I don’t know what I want more, to accept that you could really think that of me and try as hard as I can so that maybe, someday, I could come close to being that person, or to just be greedy, and keep you anyway, even though I know I’m not that person and I never could be, but I really don’t want to let this go.)

No, shut up. You are sweet. You’re sweet and brilliant and funny and I can’t believe you even want to talk to me, let alone flirt with me, let alone anything else. (You are more than I could deserve. You’re more than anyone could ever deserve.)

Obviously, I haven’t received the package yet, but I’m going to have to get revenge for this, you realize. And I may, possibly, have been humming and twirling around the kitchen as I made cookies this afternoon (for fun! Not stress) so that’s your fault.

(Kissing you would be a miracle, I think.)

(I’m glad you didn’t. Still: I thought about deleting that last line, too, and my hands are shaking a lot, so. Sorry if there are typos.)

I think sometimes that with society being so sexualized, people forget how intimate and important it is to just rest, side by side. And I’m realizing now I don’t know what you’re comfortable with, I don’t know what you’d want in a physical relationship, or if you even would; I don’t know if you’re hesitant about touch, or if you crave it, but at least know that I never want to make you uncomfortable. I’d be happier than I’ve ever been just to hold your hand.

I’m thinking about your exhibit box, I promise. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever be able to unpack everything about myself that makes me doubt it, but I promise I’m thinking about it.

And now for the answers, in which I return to my fantastically witty self and stop being maudlin (am I being too maudlin? I can stop if I am. I’m not usually maudlin and soft like this. Apparently you just bring that out in me):

  1. Pshaw, sir, I say pshaw. Wanda is just a kid and she’s lonely and lost and I’d rather have a case of botulism than deal with a grumpy, self-righteous Steve Rogers, which is all she gets twenty-four-seven. Of course I’m going to Skype her. She’s very curious about you, by the way, so she might email you. Two warnings: her spoken English is fantastic, but her written English, not so much; she will definitely call you by some Sokovian nickname she won’t translate, and make jokes that you won’t get. It’s fine. She makes jokes nobody gets. I think Pietro (her brother) could understand them, but Pietro died when Sokovia was attacked, so she just...lets them trail off into space. It’s like watching a puppy being kicked. Or put into an Iron Maiden.
  2. I make all my hats! And my scarves and gloves and legwarmers (laugh at me if you dare, but I have bad circulation, I get cold all the time). And alskdfjsdlfs you don’t have to buy me yarn, sweetheart, I have a lot, but it’s lovely of you to offer. (It’s okay if I call you that? I’ve been trying not to for ages.)
  3. Spence, you are a profiler. It’s not just some part of you, it’s what you are, and what you’re good at. That being said, you could always just ask if the problem is what you think it is. I’m trying to get more comfortable talking about shit that’s happened to me (though obvi it’s nowhere near Avenger level angst! I’m not that kind of girl, thank god) and, y’know. I trust you. So you can ask and I’d probably answer. You should mention that bit to Tony if you guys ever talk, he’ll be really jealous and then you can say you have Iron Man jealous of you over an intern.
  4. (Tony’s like my dad, only he hasn’t left. If that helps.)
  5. Spencer, honestly. I spent ages trying to figure out if you were flirting or not. I’m bad at telling that when it’s not all sexual innuendos and “lol eggplant emoji.” I couldn’t work out if you were being super nice just because you’re super nice or if you were being super nice to try and get something out of me (which you aren’t! And I know that. But still.)  or if it was some kind of fishing thing. Which obviously it’s not. But like I said. Bad experiences.
  6. I see you wanting to fight on my behalf, and raise you with: I have been trained by the Black Widow and Maria Hill, I could probably break half the known population of humanity with my pinky, and it still makes me smile that you want to fight for me. Because you’re lovely. So there. (Those people are long gone, so you don’t have to.)
  7. ….DON’T. YOU. DARE. DOWNLOAD. THOSE. SPENCER. REID. DO NOT.
  8. So are you. 

Your Darcy

PS: I like your hair.

PPS. Are you allergic to any nuts?

 


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I’d Rather Eat Glass Then Hurt Him, FYI

Mmmmm, girl has to have her secrets. I’ll say that there was a poem tossed in there, though I’m keeping mum on which one, since, y’know. Private. There were some other things in there too (hush, nosy) but I’m pretty sure that must have been the thing that provoked whatever you saw, because he used a sentence fragment when he responded and he never does that.

NOW, GIMME.

Honestly, if I do anything to come anywhere near breaking his heart, I will beg you to wreck my life. And I mean that. I don’t know if that helps you feel better, but it’s true. I’m just...terrified I’m not going to live up to expectations, to be honest.  

Oy, I don’t mean to drag you into my insecurity. Sorry.

HAHAHAHAHA, JOKE’S ON YOU, GARCIA, BUT I DON’T CARE WHO SEES ME SINGING BADLY. NOT EVEN IF IT’S SPENCER.

I’m pretty sure you’re the best friend anyone could ask for, just FYI. I’m really glad he has you.

Hoping to be a good friend someday,

Darcy

PS. Could you, uh. Maybe enter into a plot with me? And tell me Spencer’s favorite colors? And height? And weight? And shoe size? And possibly his measurements? Please. I’ll explain in a few days.

PPS. Also, what are your favorite colors/height/weight/measurements/shoe size?


 


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Hello to you too

Hello Dr. Foster,

I’ve read several of your papers. You’re doing some fascinating work. I’d love to discuss it sometime with you, when you’re not, you know, threatening me. Darcy’s told me a little bit about you, so this is not completely unexpected, but it was still a surprise nonetheless. (Also, the number is currently 3, but I’m working on PhD number 4.)

I promise you I have no intention of ever hurting Darcy (though plenty of people hurt others and don’t mean to). But whatever you’d do to me would be nothing compared to what I would do to myself. So, bring it on. I’d deserve to be dragged out of alternate universes and beaten up if I ever hurt her. Just know that it probably won’t be very satisfying because I’ll have already done worse to myself. 

Dr. Spencer Reid

PS. She turns red just at mention of my name?


To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: My half (plus bonus material!)

So attached please find said security footage and a few bonus screenshots of a conversation he and I had yesterday. (I swear! These two!!)

It’s just as well you sent him a shovel letter. I sent one to Darcy a few days ago. You know how it is when you have someone so precious: you have to make sure others know their value and are aware that while the Squishy might be, well, squishy, there are others that are not and will absolutely do something about it if you take advantage.

(Sometimes the revenge I take is really petty. There was one guy that I just kept making everything inconvenient. His ATM and credit cards would get declined the first time he tried to use them every time he tried to use them. His emails were on an hour time delay. He almost always got his second choice when signing up for something. His mortgage went through but it took two extra months. I just…made his data stream molasses. But also, he wasn’t one of the bigger assholes I’ve done things to, so don’t think everyone gets off easy like that.)

I do love my work, it can just be incredibly depressing. Because of that, I love to spend my spare time only doing things that make me happy: I go out for karaoke and drinks with my friends, I shoe shop, I knit, I cook, I learn ukulele, I binge watch TV (because I can never watch it when it airs because work).

So, you mention the overwork/undersleep thing, and I need to know if you are aware of a package that was sent to Squishy.D from Squishy.S. I know I told you I thought he was sending one, but now I have confirmation (because he let slip he was sending a second one!). He vaguely talked about how the first one was meant to help her sleep (????) and I need some details about that if you have them.

Anyway, once they fully get their heads in the right places, we all need to go out. Email is nice, but in person would be nicer. 

P


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Just a quick reply because we’re in the field again

If you broke Spencer’s brain, you will have to answer to the entire BAU. WE NEED THAT BRAIN. THAT BRAIN DOES IMPORTANT WORK FOR US. Also, poetry? Are you two in some like Regency novel or something? (I kid. I’ve never had a guy send me poetry. Is that actually romantic or do the books just lie to us?) 

I’m glad you said you don’t care that he sees that video. I used it as leverage to get something from him and now he has it.

Penelope

PS. I’ve attached what you asked for. Do not ask how I got this. (It doesn’t matter. The FBI had databases for everything)

 


From: spencer@garcia.com
To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I can’t imagine anything you wouldn’t look good in

My Darcy,

I want to spend hours responding to your email partly because there’s so much to respond to and partly because I just want to spend hours talking to you.

But.

That’s not to be right now. We’re back in the field. We’ve been here just under 8 hours, it’s late, and I should be asleep, but instead all I want to do is email you. My brain won’t stop thinking until I do it (though I’m not sure it will ever stop thinking about you), so here is an email that might be pitiful compared to the incredible one you sent me.

Before you yell at me: It was Old Who, but I like all of it. If you want more opinion than that, you’re going to have to sit down and watch it with me.

I hate your dissertation supervisor. What a sexist prick. This not “of course what happens when women go for doctorates.” This is what happens when a woman unwittingly emails someone who had a crush on her for years. (Was I that obvious, even from the start?) I tried to stay professional, but I confess I didn’t always want to. It was such strange luck to have you email after all that time I spent thinking about and wondering about you; it was something I never imagined would happen and then you were there and real and so much more than a few words in a SHIELD file could ever capture. And I refused to let myself hope for something that I didn’t think was possible. It’s easy to not be disappointed if you don’t have hopes. (I do now; have hopes, that is.) (Perhaps this is also why I was so confusing at first? Because I didn’t want to allow myself to dream? But parts of the dream still poked through the cracks and seeped into my words, try as I might to keep that from happening.)

(Please don’t get on a train to DC now that I’ve told you the truth. I’m not currently there.)

(But also, the thought of kissing you makes me breathless in a way that makes my head swim and my chest tighten, and even though this should scream danger, all I can think is that I want to keep feeling that way.)

I like sweet things (like you), so it should be no surprise that I like lots of sugar in my coffee, classical music is usually playing at my apartment, The Hobbit (but I don’t know if that counts since my mom read it to me), and just to add some more, my favorite color is blue, I can’t stand the smell of stale popcorn, I’m not allergic to anything (including nuts), and I like socks with little designs on them. (I want to share these details with you organically, but email doesn’t allow for that to happen. Instead I’ll have to tell you and hope you’ll do the same for me.)

I’ll confess that I can be fairly hands off in general. I prefer not to shake hands or touch all that much, but that has nothing to do with how I feel about touching you. Touching you would be something reverent and cherished. I want to be close enough to you to feel your warmth (or perhaps lend you mine since you are always cold). I want to memorize you with my fingers. I want to kiss you with my hands on your face, until we are both breathless and pull away just enough to catch our breath and rest our foreheads together while I tuck strands of your hair behind your ears (because it seems to always be wild and free, so it would be there to tuck). Also, I should maybe mention that I know this not just from those videos (that you can’t make me delete), but also from one Penelope shared of you. (I didn’t ask how she got it, though I’m pretty sure I already know.)

Penelope asked me about poetry and I think she is confused about how it could be so meaningful, but poets have a way of capturing the essence of something in a way that is both completely true and never how I would have thought to describe it. So yes, I do see you just as Pablo Neruda described (and yes, he seems to speak for me too. I want to be your spring, and cause you to bloom like the cherry tree.)

There’s so much more I want to say, but I might actually be able to sleep now, so I’m going to take advantage while I can. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll fall asleep with thoughts of you allowing me to hope and dream in a way I didn’t think was previously possible.

Your Spencer

PS. My hair????

Chapter Text


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: REDACTED
Subject: you think you’re sneaky

I see you, Miss Nosy.

Stay out of my security systems. I’m not nice to trespassers.

--ts


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Hellos waste time

Dr. Reid,

She turns scarlet whenever people mention you. I’ve tossed in a few photos. It’s ridiculously adorable. You should be proud of yourself.

Thank you for reading my papers. Once things have settled down and I’m not automatically suspicious of you for making my Squishy Darcy all fluttery, we can maybe talk shop about astrophysics. Not until then, though. Prove yourself first, bucko.

Re: your intentions. Good, but again, see above. Prove yourself first, bucko. I have spies. I’ll know if you mess up.

--J


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Ignore Tony

He’s just salty that he’s only recently caught on to the whole situation. He’s a proud papa and he’s also freaked that his little girl is getting Squishy about some boy he’s never met, so he’s posturing. He’ll settle in a few days.

(No, Darcy’s not actually his daughter. Her dad was some bitchass white man who walked out on her and her mom when Darcy was about ten years old, and took her puppy with him. That is not an exaggeration. I have his name and contact information. I’d be willing to hand it over in return for evidence of vengeance. Tony’s basically adopted her, though. He adores her, and she’s very fond of him, and they have some kind of weird parent-child relationship that I don’t get too close to because they parent each other out the wazoo and then get pissy when the other tries to do the same thing. It’s weird and awkward, because Tony used to be my boss. Then again, Darcy’s not great at remembering the lines where work is concerned, see: this whole circumstance.)

(Also, update: he had a crush on her from the first time he read the Widowgate files. That’s what I’ve gleaned from the noises coming from her room. She’s been freaking out .)

OH MY GOD. WHY IS THIS VIDEO SO CUTE. WHAT THE HECK. (He’s just her type, too, but don’t tell him that. Tall and skinny and nerdy. And kind of hipster. What the fuck even is this romance novel bullshit.)

I used to play the French horn in high school. I keep meaning to pick it up again.

Ah, right, the package. He sent her this box with like twelve different types of tea and lavender sachets and shit, I don’t know what else. She squirreled it away pretty fast.

(He sent a second one?? It hasn’t arrived yet. I’ll give you details when I have them.)

(I’ve included a photograph of sleepy couch Squishy.D, so if you want to use that as leverage on him at some point, feel free.)  

J


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Please be safe

I DIDN’T MEAN TO BREAK HIS BRAIN. Well. No, okay, I did, but not THAT badly.

(I started the poetry game, but hoo, boy. He returned the ball hard. And yes, it is actually that romantic. Holy jeez, Penelope.)

HAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m kind of tempted to ask what you were trying to get out of him, but eh. My voice is terrible and he should know that.

Darcy

PS THANK YOU. You’re a queen.  


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Neon green is not my friend

My Spencer,

YOU HAD A CRUSH ON ME. OMG. I’M DYING. WHY ARE YOU SO PRECIOUS??? (If it bothers you when I say that, let me know. Personally I don’t think it’s emasculating at all to be precious and adorable, but I don’t know. It might make you uncomfortable. So let me know.) I’m really tempted to be like “BABE, YOU HAD A CRUSH ON ME?? THAT’S SO EMBARRASSING” like in Parks & Rec , but, y’know. I don’t know if you’ve seen that, but that’d be kinda awkward, whoops.

(IT’S STILL TRUE. YOU’RE PRECIOUS. OH MY GOD.)

To be more serious: please be careful. I don’t know where you guys are, or what you’re investigating (I have a few ideas, but there are too many murders going on in this fucking country, I can’t be sure) but I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you, especially now. Please, please be careful. AND SLEEP. Don’t not sleep and then get yourself hurt. I’ll be very upset with you. Very upset.

(Though I have to say, I really like the image of you not being able to sleep until you talk to me. I think that makes me some kind of sadist.)

(I never really stop thinking about you either, lately.)

EXCELLENT. I thought it might have been that Baker marathon. I went and checked the TV Guide, haha. (I’m a garbage can. It’s fine.)

I mean, you get a certain Kind Of Guy in the national security business. Tall white dudes who get super critical of anyone who isn’t white or straight or male is That Kind Of Guy. It happens. He doesn’t bother me too much. (You did a very good job at being professional. Well, mostly. It slipped through. That’s why I was confused.)

(I have hopes too.)

(Excuse me while I fan my face a little, because the idea of kissing you is wow. )

I like sour things (and sweet things!), all kinds of music (I’m in a Mexican hip-hop mood, but that’s really not to the taste of most Americans), The Hobbit was my first Tolkien too (!!!), my favorite color is purple, my favorite breakfast is cold pizza, I’m allergic to strawberries (please don’t go “oh no I’m so sorry,” I get that all the time), and I like any kind of clothing that has a cartoon on it. Also, I’m Jewish but agnostic, I was born in Puerto Rico, I spoke Spanish before I learned English and I still talk to myself in it all the time which drives Jane crazy, I’m going to get a ball python next weekend, and when I was twelve I wanted to be a veterinarian. It obviously didn’t work out.

(If I knew where you were, I’d get on a bus and come out there and kiss you. And then hold you until you slept. You need to sleep. You’re working, it’s dangerous, and as much as I really like the idea of you needing to email me before you can fall asleep, I wouldn’t be able to handle it if you were hurt because you were tired because of me. [Ignore grammar, I’m stressed.] But just…I really want to be there with you. I hope you know that.)  

I want to know where I’d fit with you, and if my head would be under your chin or not. I want to know how our hands would fit. I want to know what it would be like to breathe you in. And I’m really glad you’d be okay with touching me, because I really want to touch you.  

Be safe. Please.

Your Darcy

PS OF COURSE YOUR HAIR. IT IS FLUFFY AND GORGEOUS AND I WANT TO PET IT. GOOD LORD MAN.


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: I am sneaky

Listen here you walking ego, I know for a FACT that you were headhunting me before the FBI swooped in and grabbed me. Don’t deny it. I’VE SEEN THE FILES. (Also, I’m flattered, really.) So trust me when I say that I went in following a path you could theoretically follow if you felt like it. I didn’t have to give you that courtesy. And, really, I bet you only knew to look because you’re hacking Darcy’s emails. (Again, don’t deny. SHE TOLD ME YOU DO.)

I know you care about Darcy, so let me make this very clear: LEAVE SPENCER THE FUCK ALONE. I get the distinct impression that neither of them have had something this good in a long time, if ever. (And if you’re monitoring her emails, you know that it’s currently a very sweet interaction.) So while you might be curious, just let her have this. A wise woman (Jane) once told me that Darcy opens up when she trusts you, so give her the chance to trust you and tell you all about it.

And since we’re on the topic, I plan to hack into that open space on your server tonight (say 8ish). You and I should talk about some people that need a little technological torture dropped on their heads.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Writing you is a waste of time (when I could be emailing Darcy)

However, it’s not a waste of time when you send me such nice gifts. I actually hadn’t seen what she would call a “good” picture of her. I’ve seen a lot of alien invasion candids and one video of her singing, but nothing quite like what you’ve sent.

She’s more beautiful than I had imagined.

(I am oddly proud to make her blush like that. Let me know if I continue to succeed.)

S


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Yes You Did

You ABSOLUTELY meant to break his brain. You’re lucky he’s recovered.

Also, I had an interesting email from your boss. He’s adorable. You can tell him I said that.

-P

PS (The team in the field is THE WORST. I need them all to come home to me safe. We should Skype tonight….10ish maybe?) (Don’t lie, I know you won’t be asleep. Spencer’s in the field. There’s no way you’ll be asleep before midnight.)


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: (no subject)

Tony and I are good. I think we’ll be seeing eye to eye very soon if not already. I have plans to chat with him tonight about ruining one shitty father’s life.

See, I told Darcy I love gossip, but it’s YOU that send me the good stuff.  HE HAD A CRUSH ON HER FOR YEARS??!! What the even?! Ohhhh, I have GOT to know more about this. The good doctor and I will be having some words. Also, yeah, the two of them seem very well suited, even without this romance novel madness they have going on. She’s smart and funny and kind, which is basically perfect for him. She’s also a knockout, so there’s that too. (Also, if you liked that video, behold this new one. I don’t think he’s told Darcy yet, but he’s a MAGICIAN. Use this video for leverage if you see fit.)

I plan on using the sleepy Squishy.D as leverage to get the deets on this crush thing (ya know, since he seems so interested in her sleeping with the package and whatnot.) Yeah, he mailed the new package before they left, so it should be there like today. I’m very interested in how you follow up a box of sleepytime tea and lavender sachets (???? What even????)

--P

Does watching the Squishys ever make you…I dunno…yearn?


 


 


 


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Send me pictures of your snake when he arrives!

My Beautiful Darcy,

It’s 3 AM. I read your email hours ago, and it’s haunting me. (Before you yell at me: It is 3 AM because we just got in from chasing a lead that went nowhere. I have to be up in a few hours, but sleep won’t come until after this. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me getting hurt. I researched all that stuff about sleep deprivation while testing my own limits. Sometimes there’s not a lot of sleep in the field. I’ll be good with the 3 or so hours I’ll get as long as I get that much or more tomorrow night.)

(Yes I want you here until I fall asleep. I don’t know if I actually could sleep if you were here. To see you and have you be real in front of me? Sleep couldn’t happen; I’d be too busy seeing you.)

The definition of precious is something of great value or not to be wasted or treated carelessly. If that’s how you want to describe me, I see no problem with that. You are precious to me, and it would be a lie to say I didn’t want to be like that to you. Call me that if you please.

You’re not a sadist FYI. Trust me. I’m an expert.

Now that I know a bit more about you, I can send you better packages. I already have ideas for the next one. Speaking of, the second should be arriving…well, today if it didn’t already. It’s small, but hopefully you will still like what’s in it. (You already know about the coffee, but there’s more. I tried to figure out how to put some of my hopes and feelings in a box and settled on being more restrained since I sent it when I still wasn’t 100% certain you hoped too.) Penelope told me it was very important to tell you that you saying you hoped “broke” me. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but I certainly froze up momentarily while my brain adjusted to that truth. Have you ever wanted something so much that doesn’t seem possible? And then it happens and it’s like the universe has to resituate because the world is different now – you’re different – and it’s like you see colors you never knew before? That’s what it was like to know you had hopes too.

(I have to clarify because I need to be positively certain, but you have hopes about us , right? About there being an us??)

Re: kissing you. I only have this in response:

Kiss someone who makes you feel their magic in your bones, who makes you wonder how can someone who looks like witchcraft at midnight taste so holy. - Nikita Gill

(You are this someone, I think.)

(What is it about a set of parenthesis that makes whatever I put in them feel like a whisper in your ear where I can share some secret I am worried you will reject if I say it in more than just a hushed breath?)

(I want to touch you too. Your body is a canvas and my fingers are paint: they need to cover you in brushes and caresses and movement and emotion.)

I think I’ve said enough to perhaps make you blush just a little (by the way, did you know Jane had been in touch with me? She sent me some pictures of you blushing. I am definitely working on making you look like that as often as possible.)

Now I will sleep so I can “stay safe” as you’ve commanded.

Your Spencer

PS You can pet my hair. That actually sounds kind of lovely.


 


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: I was sneaky before you were even born

Oof, no wonder Lewis likes you.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, I have people who hunt people who hunt people. Maybe your name crossed my desk one day, Garcia. Doesn’t mean I looked at it. (You should be flattered. Everyone I pay attention to should be flattered. Clearly, most people don’t remember this. Well done, kid.)  

You leave my Darcy alone, I leave your Noodle alone.

Re: 8pm. Fine, I have an opening, it works. Ten minutes tops, though. And you’d better have a good target. I’m itching to pick on people.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Correct answer

I’ve attached some more pictures. We went out to a cafe today and I was feeling artsy. I told her I was going to send you one and she turned red and didn’t believe me, so here’s my revenge.  

(She’s beautiful. And she doesn’t believe it, because the men in her life have been absolute assholes. One wrong word from you, bucko. Just one.)

J


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Whoops

Tony will be dealt with. I haven’t yanked his ear yet this week. He’s probably due.

I started doing that breathing thing you talked about. It helps. I still had a nightmare about them getting shot, though. (Well, I mean. About him getting shot. I feel bad, but I don’t know anyone else on your team, so.)

Please rest, Penelope. And I hope everything’s okay. Just be safe. I know you’re not in the field like the others are most of the time, but...still.

--D


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: (no subject) back at you

APPARENTLY SO. Let me know when you learn about that, because I can hold it over Darcy’s head as necessary.

Darcy is gorgeous, and absolutely refuses to believe it. She’s also a hell of a lot smarter than she thinks she is, a hell of a lot more capable, a hell of a lot more (insert descriptor here). She doesn’t talk about it a whole lot, but she’s really, really not good at seeing anything positive about herself aside from her, and I quote, “wicked sense of humor, dawg.”

See also: the photograph of Darcy with her new pet snake. She named him Charley. He loves her already. She’s a fucking Disney princess.

(The magician video is fantastic. )

He sent her. A fucking. Lemur toy. Thing. And coffee. So much coffee. AND A NOTE. WHICH SHE WON’T LET ME SEE. He’s killin’ it with his game, I’ll say that much.  

--J

PS. All the time. But I had a magic romance, once, and the guy couldn’t decide where he wanted to go or what he wanted to do. And he broke the damn bridge to get back to Earth and left me for months on end. A girl gets fed up with magic romance after a while if it’s not the right person. Sometimes it just hurts more than it helps.  

 

...Darcy says I’m the realist to her pessimist, but honestly I’m the pessimist to her optimist. Science is It for me, I think. And I’m cool with it.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Pictures enclosed! He’s a shy baby, and I had to pick him up early, his last owner was hospitalized

YOU!!!!!

YOU SENT ME A LEMUR PLUSH. AND A POEM. YOU’RE IN TROUBLE. I CAN’T STOP SMILING. I’M GETTING YOU BACK FOR THIS, SPENCER, WHAT EVEN.

(I hope you slept. I’m sorry I didn’t respond until now. I didn’t have time to sit down in between work and going to pick up Charley. [He’s not a Monty, he’s a Charley, I could tell right off the bat.] I really hope you slept okay and that everything is going well with the investigation and that you’re safe and everyone else is all right. I realized this morning that I haven’t actually met anyone on your team other than Penelope, and you’ve [APPARENTLY] been talking to Jane, so I’m??? I mean. I don’t want to share you but it seems like other people are going out of their way to make me share. Dunno what it’s like on your end.)

(I know I wouldn’t be able to sleep if you were here.)

You’re not allowed to send me another package until I get my revenge. (Also, you never responded on if it’s okay to call you sweetheart. Or honey. And I’m tapping my fingers on the table trying not to but I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. But. Guh. Let me know?) (Let’s be clear: I hope. I hope a lot about there being an us. Be positively certain with nobs on, you precious, ridiculous man.)

Oh, I broke you. Let me remind you: you sent me a postard.With “Love at First Sight” by Wislawa Szymborska on the back. You utter darling. And I’m the one that broke you.

I hope you’re okay with snakes. I mean, you said that you want to see pictures of Charley, so here’s one:

He’s a precious baby and I love him already. He’s so scared of all the big grumpy noises Jane makes when I yell at her to make food. (Usually I make food, because I’m better at it, but I had to run around getting the terrarium ready and I had Charley in my bag the whole time, the poor boy, he was so frightened.) He’s loosened up a bit since I took that picture and now he’s in his hide. He’ll probably go exploring tomorrow once I get off work.

(I HAVE A PET!!!!!)

Re: the world resituating: Yeah, I know that feeling. Mostly because of you.   

Re: Nikita Gill. STAHP. S T A H P.  A GIRL CAN ONLY TAKE SO MUCH HEART FAILURE IN ONE DAY. OH MY GOD. GUH. BLUSHING.

(I wish you could whisper into my ear in a crowded room so I could feel the words against my skin and catch your hand and turn and whisper back to you and make everyone stare because you’re my Spencer and I get you. No one else.)

( Christ, Spencer, don’t say things like that without preparing me first. I swear to god my heart is going to explode.)  

Sweet dreams,

Your Darcy

PS Consider it a date.


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Status Report

Attached please find an update on what I’ve accomplished so far re: Operation Parent Trap. The case is getting pretty busy so I didn’t get to everything, but I’ve made a nice start.

Also, I hope our chat satisfied both your concerns about me and about “the noodle.” If you’ve done your part, you can see a video deposit within the hour.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: You should ask her

That picture…..

I’ll have to ask Garcia how to make it the background on my phone.

(How can she not think she’s beautiful???  I’ll work on that.)

You should ask her why I sent a lemur.

S


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: (no subject)

Here are the goods as promised: When all the SHIELD files dropped, I grabbed all of them and saved them to a secure server. He asked me to make him a copy (because, bless him, he had no idea how to do it himself. He’s not the most technological of people.) Anyway, he has an eidetic memory, but apparently that didn’t stop him from reading about New Mexico and London over and over again because he was intrigued by one D. Lewis. I vaguely remember it now that he’s spilled his guts. I definitely remember him talking about “appreciating people for who they are” with some sort of wistful look on his face. Apparently that wasn’t a vague someone – it was Darcy. And that was really it. I mean, he sort of just pined from afar in the way one might over a celebrity, but, like, in a super nerdy bookworm kind of way. I know there has been poetry, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had been reading love poetry and thinking about her and now it’s paying off.

I would provide excellent reimbursement if you could find out what was on that postcard. I’ve attached another video as a deposit.

-P

And jesus girl, you don’t have to be just science. You deserve way better than a dude that disappeared for months. Forget that noise. You and I are going to hit the town and come home with a bunch of phone numbers (that we’ll probably never use, but it will feel good to have them nonetheless). Seriously, I felt like I needed to give you a hug after that PS.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Whoops?! WHOOPS???

WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HIM?  Seriously, I’m dying to know what could cause him to send me all caps messages (about kissing you, no less). You might have considered that he works with profilers, so this probably isn’t a surprise, but I got a LOT of texts asking me to ask you to tone it down so he can think. (He recovered quickly, so don’t actually worry about that.) Hilariously, there’s one member that for sure hasn’t figured out that you exist, and I can’t wait for the light to suddenly come on for him. (Seriously, how does a profiler not realize his team mate is mooning over someone??) Also, no one knows WHO you are, just that there is a you. He’s been tight lipped about your name (and you for that matter), so he and I are the only ones that know who you actually are. Everyone is actually pretty good at respecting boundaries, so there’s that.

Also, don’t worry about me and Tony. We had a chat. We’re good. We’re even collaborating on a project right now. He’s an ass, but he’s funny and good with his tech, so I can appreciate it.

Penelope

PS Charley is great! I love him!


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com

Subject: I’d Like to See You Try

(To get me back, that is.) Though I’m not sure what I’ve done you need to “get back” at me for. I just sent a package that didn’t even have all that much in it. It made you smile, and that’s what I told you (repeatedly!) I want to do.

I did sleep after I sent that email. We’re close now, I can feel it. But if we finish up in the next two days, I’ll be heading right back out to present at a conference with Rossi. Someone will probably upload terrible cell phone videos of that too, so I guess you have that to look forward to? As for the rest of the team, I think you’d like them. JJ is fabulous at communications. I’m godfather to her two sons (Penelope is godmother). They’re cute kids and it’s always a lot of fun to do things with them (especially now that they’re old enough to go to a museum and do some of the kids activities.) Prentiss is kind of like our version of Natasha, Morgan is kind of like the jock, and Hotchner keeps us all in line like some sort of stern dad. I’m sure you’ll meet them eventually. Especially if you end up observing us in the field.

(Confession: I wanted you to follow us for your dissertation, but I also just wanted to meet you. But, absolutely, academics first. Please know that. I truly am excited about your dissertation, which I haven’t asked about recently because I’ve been so caught up in the thought of you.)

But back to the point: I don’t want to share you either. And I really haven’t. On my end It’s only Penelope that really knows you, and that’s because you emailed her first. On your side, it’s only Jane emailing me, and mostly that’s been warning after warning to not hurt you. Well, that in addition to several photos. She sent me one of you looking out the window of a coffee shop and you’re breathtaking in it. You’re always beautiful, but this picture really captured it.

You can call me sweetheart or honey, or any other endearment you want. The fact that you want to at all makes my chest tight and full.

I like Charley! He looks very friendly. I hope he feels a little less afraid soon and you are able to get some more pictures. He’s lucky to have you.

I would like to say that I warned you several emails ago that I was going to try all I could to make you blush. Apparently you did not heed that warning. I was being serious (and it appears I am succeeding.)

(But so are you with your comments about whispers in crowded rooms. Is it wrong to like the slight possessiveness of it? To want you to be MY Darcy and to have others be jealous of that?)

(If you were mine I’d trace my name in your skin with my looks and touches but also with a presence that would tingle like phantom touches when I’m not there.)

I have to go; we’re getting ready to head back to the station. My breakfast of hotel coffee with all the sugar and a stale donut was still great because I got to spend it with you during this email.

Your Spencer

PS “From Blossoms” Li-Young Lee


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: You sent her a mini-me

Right?? It’s a good picture.

(I’ll leave her to explain the details, but basically she’s had a lot of shit from people over the course of her life, and she absorbed some of it. Other parts of it just rolled off her like water off a duck’s back, but some bits she internalized. The prettiness factor is one of them.)

Darcy says that you want to learn everything you can; what’s the current Ph.D. you’re pursuing?

J


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Not putting in a subject line is like killing a small baby

Oh.

My.

God.

I cannot wait to drop that infobomb on her. She is going to freak out. In a “super nerdy bookworm kind of way”-- Christ. As Darcy says when she burns her hands on the stove: maldita sea la madre que te pario.

From what I can tell? A poem. Haven’t been able to get close enough to it to figure out which one.

-J

Awwwww, boo. I’m fine, don’t worry about me. I’m more than over it.


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Meh

…..how is this noodle human.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: See, You Shouldn’t Challenge Me, I’m Competitive

(I usually try to wait to respond to you until all my other emails are handled, so I can spend as much time as I want thinking about it, but I couldn’t this morning. You first. I feel like that’s what it’s gonna be from now on.)

ARE YOU KIDDING ME. You gave me coffee. And a lemur plush. That’s like...way to a girl’s heart, Spencer, you have no idea. (I love this plush. So does Charley. He hides under the lemur’s tail.) And the postcard is in my purse, in a secret pocket so I have it with me all the time. “Didn’t even have all that much” my ass.  

Confession: I was rewatching some of those conference videos the other night so I could listen to you talk. I like your voice. I like your sweaters and your fluffy hair and how you talk and how you keep your hands in your pockets when other people are talking but how you express with them when you talk. I like your dorky science jokes. I like how you wear high top tennis shoes to big grad school conferences and how you went into a tangent at the University of Arizona about Jack the Ripper for like...fifteen minutes. I just like you. Have I mentioned I like you?? I feel like I need to say that more often. I like you. I like you. I want to kiss you and hold your hand and sit next to you and watch Doctor Who and Last Week Tonight and NOVA with you and have you read over my dissertation at four in the morning when I’m doing stupid edits to prove this idiotic sexist White Boy advisor wrong. I just like you.

(Effusiveness, one million; Darcy, zero.)

I forgot to tell you!! The day I picked up Charley I had a seminar class in the evening (and poor Charley was so uncomfortable that I took him out of my bag to hide him in my sweater; one of the other students screamed and it scared him more, but I feel like him sitting in my shirt against my heartbeat ensured Our Forever Bond, because now he likes curling up there or winding around my neck while I watch Netflix or work on my homework) and it was like...on counter-terrorism and lone wolf killers in a way, and they mentioned the BAU! They were talking about a case that you guys did years ago (easily a decade and a half? I don’t think you were working for the BAU then, so it must have been your SSAs) and then my goddamn dissertation advisor (he’s the prof in that class) mentioned that I’m talking to the BAU and I was cross-examined for like...twenty minutes. But anyway, the reason I mention it is like...I was sitting there with Charley around my neck and all these people looking at me and asking me questions and all I could think was I’m not sharing Spencer with you. So I hemmed and hawed and said that I hadn’t asked about this old case specifically but that my main line of interview questions was more related to how you profile LWKs and not sexually abusive psychopaths and they left me alone after that.

I figured you’d get a kick out of that.

Speaking of the dissertation: I...feel like it...might be advisable for me to start interviewing other people in the unit? Not because I’m doubting your answers--I don’t, at all, I have absolute faith in you, and I trust you, and you’ve helped me tremendously--but re: the sexist dissertation advisor, I’m just...worried that people might claim the research is tainted somehow. I don’t think it is--we’re both perfectly capable of being adults and anyone who knows you would know for a fact that you’d not slant the answers to these questions just to do whatever with me--but I don’t want to get a black mark on your record, or have to deal with the questions if, god forbid, someone figures this out. I know Penelope has your email address like...triple encrypted (she told me) and I have some pretty heavy security on mine that Tony installed, but...just in case.

(I really hope I didn’t offend you. That’s the last thing I want. I’m just trying to be logical, and I’m bad at being logical when it comes to you.)

OH MY GOD. GODFATHER. I DEMAND PICTURES OF YOU WITH THESE CHILDREN, SPENCER. I DEMAND THEM. Preferably at the museum, but other places are fine as well.

I do hope I get to observe you guys in the field some day. We’ll have to see.

They all sound wonderful. I kind of really want to meet them, since you guys all do so much work together and you seem so close, but again, I like being your secret. I want to shout about it everywhere and keep it crammed up inside forever at the same time. Does that make sense?

(AWWWWWWWWWWWW. YOU HAD A CRUSH ON ME. YOU GOOFBALL. WHY ARE YOU SO GODDAMN CUTE.)

(Also, um, if you’re interested, you could...read it. It’s a terrible draft, but I’m more than halfway through it now. Sort of? I mean, dissertations take ages, obviously, but I’m through at least the first part that I was going to finish by the end of the this year. So!! If you want to. You don’t have to. I know you’re super busy. But.)  

Oh my god. She said she was going to send some of those but I didn’t think she would. I’m going to kill her. God. Goddamn. Now you have pictures of me. I demand compensation. I’ll ask Penelope if you don’t cooperate, and you know she’ll send embarrassing ones. *clicks fingers* Gimme those photos, Spencer.

(Every time you call me beautiful I think my heart’s going to stop.)

CHARLEY ATE A RAT TODAY. I’m so proud. I didn’t think he’d eat for ages. Moving is super stressful for snakes, and ball pythons are especially shy, but he ate a rat. And now he’s asleep, the lazy bastard. (I love him. He’s my son. My scaly son.) It’s good for him. Actually I’m not supposed to feed him more than once every twelve days or so, so I don’t have to give him another rat until then, but I messaged his old owner and he was super surprised and pleased.  (Old Owner called Charley “Ratface.” I’m so mad. He’s so not a Ratface. Why do some people even keep animals.)

Yeah, you warned me but oh my god there’s a difference between warning and actually being on the receiving end of Spencer Reid On The Romantic Prowl. (You are definitely succeeding.)

(I think I cackled a little when I read that. About me succeeding, I mean. Because I’m generally kind of bad at flirting, but yes, good. I want to make you blush. I’m glad that you just tell me that I make you blush. I’m really glad that you’re honest and lovely and you. I’m glad you’re you.)

(Is it weird to say I miss you terribly when we’ve never met in person?)

(It’d be wrong if it was anybody but you. You’re you. I know you don’t mean the possessiveness in a gross patriarchal way. For god’s sake, you hunt down the people who mean it in a gross patriarchal way. And besides: It’s the same way I mean it. You’re my Spencer . And I’m lucky you picked me. I’m really, really lucky.)

(Re: presences: oh, honey. That’s already a thing.)

(Re: re: presences: the mark I’d leave would be much more obvious. You’re going to need scarves.)

Please eat more than a stale donut today. Please be safe. Please come back to DC. Please let me know you’re okay before you sleep tonight.  

Your Darcy

PS The Revenge Box should be in the mail in two days.

PPS. “if (touched by love’s own secret)” -- ee cummings


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Yeah, Whoops :P

He did? Really? Omg. I would feel bad but….I don’t, haha.

There may have been an implication of whispering things in his ear in a crowded room. Among other things. I’m honestly surprised it affected him as much as it did, if not for other things. Which I’m not talking about.

I just?? He hurts my heart. In a good way. He goes from completely unflappable and REALLY ROMANTIC PENELOPE YOU HAVE NO IDEA to like….doubting any of it is even happening in the space of three sentences. Which I can get!! I mean, I doubt it sometimes because it’s so unbelievable?? Good things don’t happen like this. Not to me, anyway. But he’s also like--he’s honest about it?? He doesn’t act like most guys. He talks to me. And shares worries and doubts. And tells me what he thinks and what he feels and that’s?? Not something I’m used to. It’s so difficult to believe sometimes. I feel safe. I don’t know if you want to hear any of this. But--yeah.

He’s killing me a bit with the sudden ricochet from “how is this real, how are you real” to some of the things he says because OH MY GOD WARNING??? WARNING. WARNING BEFORE YOU GIVE ME HEART FAILURE.

(How is he this sweet????)

OH MY GOD WAIT. WAIT. TELL ME WHICH ONE. WHICH ONE HASN’T FIGURED IT OUT. Spencer’s told me a little about the team and I of course know most of you by sight from research but….TELL ME. TELL ME. T E L L. I WANT TO KNOW IF I GUESSED RIGHT.

….somehow I feel like I should be more concerned that you and Tony are working together on something?? Because I feel like it’s going to end in some kind of world domination initiative.  

Darcy

PS CHARLEY IS A DARLING. HE CURLS AROUND MY NECK.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Just a Quick One

The case is over. We’re back in DC. I wanted to tell you right away because you wanted to know, and it seems like you were worried. I’m sending you this from my bed in my apartment, so all is well.

I am too tired to properly respond to your….amazing, glorious, blush inducing email. I need all of my faculties to rise to the challenge you’ve so clearly laid down. So, instead, for just right now…

Goodnight precious Darcy,

Spencer

PS You should be hearing from Rossi and JJ re: your dissertation. I forgot to mention Rossi in my last email, but I assumed you already had an idea who he was since I saw him on your reading list.

PPS. “To Fanny” – Keats


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Good Question

A few of the team used to think he might be a robot because of his insane ability to just know all the random facts you could ever want. But, I think the videos show that couldn’t be true.

I really enjoyed seeing how you implemented Phase 2 of our little project. It was an unconventional way to go about it, and I liked it. A+. Gold Star. 100 Internet Cookies.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I Forget OK??

I sometimes get caught up in the juicy meat of the email that I forget to go back and write the subject line (that I attempt to make witty but related to the content). Sorry for being swept up in the romance of the ages.

The team is back now, though Squishy.S will be heading to Atlanta tomorrow to present at a conference with Rossi. I miiiight know the access code to the livestreaming of their keynote address that you could use to…say…throw an office viewing party with. But I’ll need some goods in return. (You know the drill.)

WHAT IS IT WITH THESE KIDS AND THEIR POEMS?? Seriously?! There’s been so much talk about poetry I don’t even know what to do. I knew romantic poetry existed, but I swear to god, their reactions to poetry are like how I reply to sexts. (OMG, how fucking PURE are these two?!)

And I totally am good if you’re not interested in dudes now or ever again – I just didn’t want you to like…give up? Especially if that is based on a bad experience with an ex. (I know about those. I went on a date (ONE DATE!)  with a guy and he shot me at the end of it. So there’s that.) Anyway, just, like maybe take the Squishys as proof that there’s better out there. I mean, I doubt either of them thought they would end up with what they currently have going on.

-P


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I am not them

I know you probably can’t trust that yet. But I’m not those guys. Or, at least, I’m trying not to be. I can only be myself, but profiling has taught me that sometimes we don’t see ourselves fully; don’t see how the past has shaped our present.

Hopefully she’ll never think I am one of those guys. Honestly, as long as she doesn’t have you guys tape me to a goalpost and leave me there overnight, I’ll consider the whole thing a win because I’ll still get to have every email she sent me in my head.

My current degree pursuit is Statistics. It’s actually been pretty easy work since I do a lot of statistics on a daily basis for my job.

Spencer

PS…I wouldn’t be opposed to more pictures if you have them.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Is Poetry…

…the nerd version of sexting? Because I swear to god, I usually see guys turn that red or shut down like that when getting really good tit pics (usually of the unexpected but not unwelcome variety).

Look, it’s not my story to tell, but you’re not the only one with a shitty romantic past. He was like 12 when he graduated high school. Imagine what it’s like to hit puberty with a bunch of people further into it and less raging hormone than you and unjustifiably angry and or jealous that you’re there kicking their ass in every class. You went to high school. I’m sure you can imagine what that was like. So if it seems like he doubts? Yeah, that’s just his past creeping in. (I might not be a profiler in the same way the rest of them are – people are not data – but even I can see that’s probably the case here.)

Re: sharing and honesty. Sounds like you crazy kids might actually have a mature adult relationship (from what I understand about how those work). I mean, isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? Open, honest communication?

(Also, seriously, if he’s telling you that he is worried and about his doubts then he is really emotionally invested and I will END YOU if you shatter him.)

I will NOT tell you which one it is. (Though you can tell me who you think and I will confirm/deny your suspicions.)

Don’t worry about Tony and I. We’re just getting into a tiiiiny bit of mischief together. Also. I’m converted. I’m a fan. I’ll say it (and since he’ll probably read this: HI TONY), I’ll admit it…I like your Tony and I miiight have played around with a certain credit score because of (now overwhelming evidence) that I should.

-P

PS…He curls around your neck?! Are you a Disney princess? SO PRECIOUS


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I’ve Always Been Good at (non Physical) Competitions

Last night I fell asleep thinking about you, and, while I don’t remember it fully, I’m certain you were in my dreams. That has to be why I’m in such a good mood this morning. I have some paperwork to finish with regards to the case we just finished, and then I’m meeting with Rossi to discuss our presentation. We fly out tomorrow morning, and while we basically have this specific presentation down, we try to tailor a few elements to the crowd, and we need to go over that. He promised to email you before that meeting (which will be in a few hours), so you should have that sitting in your (school) email soon.

I haven’t been fully honest with him, nor JJ. I told them that Garcia (that’s what we usually call Penelope) and I had been working with you on your dissertation and that you now needed some additional opinions. They both seemed very keen to help you out. I didn’t mention any of the other parts, like how we now have nonacademic emails that sometimes include poetry to say the things I want to say but (strangely) don’t have the words for. I also didn’t mention how sometimes at night I lie in bed and imagine you there with me talking about just small tiny things that seem inconsequential but aren’t because they’re about you and every detail about you is important. In other words, they think you’re just a student working on her paper and that’s all you are to me. (That’s not all you are to me, not by a longshot; but they don’t get to know that because you are My Darcy that I don’t want to share just yet.)

I am really pleased at how much you liked my package. There’s a bit of a thrill with knowing you have a secret pocket in your purse where you keep a postcard I sent to you, with more of those words I don’t know how to properly say. I’m excited (and nervous) for your package to arrive because I’m curious just what you will send to me that I can keep as a secret to keep on me and cherish while no one is the wiser.

I can’t believe you’ve rewatched those videos. They can’t be all that interesting or good. And I don’t know what to say to you liking my shoes, my hair, my sneakers other than to say thank you and to let you know it put a smile on my face that stayed there for an hour. (You also said you like my hands and how they are expressive. They want to be expressive with you; show you things when words fail me, which seems to happen a lot with you. They want to map out your secrets and create new ones just for us. Something special where a small gesture across a room can tell you a thousand things I couldn’t otherwise say.)

Your story about Charley in class made me laugh. I’m sorry you got put on the spot and it was a bit awkward (because apparently I am lucky enough to have a something with you that is not academic), but it sounds like you handled it with aplomb. Hopefully the bonding with Charley went well and he’s a little less shy and a lot happier to be with you. (How couldn’t he be? You don’t call him something as insulting as “Ratface.”)

Since I’m (sort of) on the subject of your dissertation, I want you to not feel bad about your comments. The logical part of me (which is all of me except where you’re involved), completely understands. Regardless of…us…you should talk to them anyway. They have a breadth of knowledge and have worked on cases I have not, which could really help your research. And I will gladly read over your dissertation draft and give you some feedback (if you like). I’d advise against the 4 AM edits. They are rarely good choices. (I speak from experience.)

I’ve attached some pictures of me with the boys. They’re great kids, and they seem fascinated whenever I do magic for them. I love performing for little kids (not because they’re easy to fool, but because of their sense of wonder). The ones I’ve attached are from when we went to the Air and Space Smithsonian. I think they had a really good time based on what JJ has said. She told me they kept asking when they could go back, which could have nothing to do with me and everything to do with the amazing draw of space exploration. I won’t be upset if it’s the latter.

“Spencer Reid on the Romantic Prowl” is a thing you said to me, and for some reason it made me laugh. I guess that is what’s going on, in a way, but that also sounds more calculated than I have been. I haven’t mapped out a plan to woo you. I just….write what comes to mind when I think of you or in response to what you have said. I like this flirting with you. I like you flirting with me an awful lot too. I like the sort of bubbling feeling that happens under my skin every time you say something soft or sweet or (on occasion) intimate. (Like your comment about the scarves. I suddenly could feel the heat of you on my neck; feel your lips on my skin and it made me want .)

(I miss you too. The space between emails feels so long and far. If I were to email you every time I missed you, that’s all I would do.)

After the presentation, I’m flying out to visit my mom. The place where she lives has this event every year, and I try to go. She has schizophrenia and can’t live on her own. That was…not an easy discussion nor decision. But I love my mom dearly and try to see her a few times a year. There are strict visiting guidelines where she is (which is part of why I picked it), so each visit is usually planned well in advance. I think she’d like you. She used to be a 15 th century literature professor and she’s the reason I love words. In any case, I might not be fully in touch while I’m there. It’s only for two days, but I wanted to warn you.

I need to end here if I want to finish up that paperwork in a timely fashion, even if I’d rather email you than fill out forms about expenses in the field.

Only yours,

Spencer

PS You are very good at this poetry game. I see your e.e. cummings and raise you “A Glimpse” Walt Whitman


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Figured I’d Combine Responses

Of course I was worried, you absurd fluffball. I care about you. A lot more than I can say sometimes. I kept waking up every time my phone went off thinking it’d be someone telling me something had gone wrong or someone was hurt and it was awful. But I guess I knew that was a thing that would happen once I started figuring out “oh, wait, I like this guy. Oh, wait, I like this guy. Okay then.

(Whoops, I’m gonna be blush-inducing again and say: I can picture you curled up in bed writing to me and I wish I could just rest my head on your shoulder and fall asleep.)

I heard from both Rossi and JJ! They’re both highly competent and professional (and Rossi has a sense of humor I like) so that’s personal approval from me for both of them! And then they’re obviously super helpful. (I sent them the first question set I sent to you, with a few things tweaked based on their respective focuses.) (I also kept myself badass enough to not tell Rossi that I read one of his books when I was like thirteen and it kind of shaped what I wanted to do with my life, but it was a very near thing.)

I fell asleep last night curled up around the lemur and trying to remember that you’re most likely safe, that the team would keep you safe, that everything would be all right (but telling me you need waivers for physical exams and then mentioning that you’re out in the field all the time makes me worry ) but I woke up to both these emails from you and that made my whole week. I’m kinda torn because I both want to give you my number so you can text me all through it, but I also...really like the emailing? Like. It’s long and expressive and I can download all my thoughts and I don’t get distracted or confused by what I’m trying to say, even if I can’t find the words for it.

(AKA my number is yours if you want it but I really like the emails so??? Up to you.)

I’m actually a little overwhelmed with how helpful JJ and Rossi have been so far, haha. They’ve answered all my questions and more and they did it in a turnaround of like...two hours. It was crazy. I gave them forty questions each. I mean, you know. You had those questions. Just….dang. Lots of information to parse through. That’s my afternoon today; going through all the answers, cataloguing them into my graph charts, going out and doing one more (in-person) interview with a counter-terrorism dude who works at Langley when he’s not at the UN, and then heading right back to leaving repetitive, increasingly jerkish messages with prison executives about getting interviews with LWKs like Dylann Roof. (Sigh. They don’t want to talk to me. I’m getting ready to drop the Tony Stark Card on the table.)

(I do that too. Lie in bed and think of you there with me and talking. Glad I’m not the only one.)  

Good news: I’ll be able to send my return package a day early. I’m taking it to the post office in the morning. And Penelope has to take a picture of you when you get it. I’m informing her of this in my next email to her.

Of course I rewatched those videos. First of all, Dr. Reid, I like watching them. Secondarily, they’re interesting to me. Thirdly, you’re in them . So of course I watch them when I miss you, you loon. (Hoo, boy, Jane just asked why I’m red again. How am I supposed to tell her it’s because of secrets ? And hands? And the sudden image I had of reaching up to touch your cheek and get your hair out of your eyes and going on my toes to lean into you? How am I supposed to tell her that?? I KEEP TELLING YOU TO WARN ME.)

Charley is doing much better! He’s still scared of cameras so I can’t get many good pictures of him at all, but I’ll see if I can con Jane into taking a picture of me with Charley in his customary hiding spot in my hair, and she can apparently send that to you, because you two apparently do that. (Right?? Ratface is insulting and awful. He’s Charley. Obviously.)

(See, the thing that I focused on about the 4am edits was you being with me at 4am to do those edits. Probably with the pair of us in the same chair and both staring at the computer. So I could whine into your neck and not have to care who saw.)

Dude, no wonder the kids loved the museum. The Air and Space Smithsonian is colloquially what the Kids Today call The Shit. Jane gave a talk there once and I went with her and went exploring and it was amazing.

(I want all the time. I just wasn’t sure if saying that would be too much.)  

!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could go see my mom more often. I only go around Passover. Her new husband and I really don’t get along, and I haven’t been able to get along with my mother for seven years as a result. It’s not fun. I’d love to meet your mom someday, though (if I can say that), and...I mean. I really, really hope she’d like me. She sounds lovely. And of course she would be, if she had anything to do with raising you.

(Please, take as much time with your mom as you can. It sucks when you can’t have it anymore. Don’t worry about me, okay? I can handle two days, pretty sure. Especially with my lemur.)

Yours,

Darcy

PS OHOHOHOHO YOU GET TWO BECAUSE YOU EMAILED ME TWICE. Ono no Komachi - Without End and Emily Dickinson -- My river runs to thee.


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: And I have a better answer

Could he possibly be an android? I wouldn’t put it past Lewis to have the first human-robot baby.  

Your Trojan was inspired. Well done.  


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Your forgetting leads to the death of my soul

I called this whole circumstance “the romance of the ages” to Darcy’s face yesterday and she spat her cappuccino out on the table. A+.

The poem was “Love At First Sight” by Wislawa Szymborska. Now gimme.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS WITH THESE POEMS BUT SHE GETS ALL PINK AND PLEASED. He’s doing well. I’m thinking he might be worthy to talk to her. (Also, from personal experience: getting a poem is intense. I admire their emotional stamina.)

I might be interested again eventually, but work is just easier right now. Also, OY. I’M HOPING THE GUY WHO SHOT YOU IS DEAD. JUST FOR REASONS. I KNOW PEOPLE.

-J


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: I’m starting to get that

Just know that I’m keeping an eye on you, and if you do turn out to be something other than advertised, I’ll deal with it.

(Kids used to handcuff me to the jungle gym and then shove sand in my mouth. So.)

I see. I’m debating going back to school. It’s difficult, considering the time constraints.

Jane

PS I’ll see if I can take some sneaky ones. You could also, y’know, ask her.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: SWOON

15/10, re: poetry. Highly recommend. Get you a boy that sends you “A Glimpse” by Walt Whitman and see how you feel after.

(I think tit pics might break him irreparably at this point. Definitely would break me.)

…..please tell me that whoever hurt him in high school is dead, incapacitated, ruined, and/or otherwise fucked up. I need to know. I need to know.

Re: open, honest communication: Yeah, it is. I just...having this now makes me realized I didn’t have it then. And how much better it is now.  

(I’d end myself if I shattered him.)  

Okay okay okay here’s my guess: I’ve talked to JJ and Rossi, and I think (I think!) they both know just because they both sound slightly sarcastic when they call me “Reid’s doctorate student;” Spencer called Hotchner “team dad” and anyone with that title will know when shit like this goes down, without needing to be told; Prentiss was compared to Natasha and Natasha knows everything , so she knows; and obviously you know, so the last one is Morgan. Which delights me, because that’s a fantastic image.

…..do I want to know about this mischief?

(BLESS YOU. BLESS YOU FOR FUCKING UP CAPTAIN AMERICA’S CREDIT SCORE. BLESS YOU.)

--D

PS HE DOES. HE IS THE SWEETEST BABY. I LOVE MY SCALY SON.

Chapter Text

To: penelope@garcia.com, jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com
From: david.rossi@freemail.com
Subject: The Girl

Reid’s girl is the doctoral candidate, right?


 

To: david.rossi@freemail.com, penelope@garcia.com
From: jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: The Girl

It has to be. If it’s not, I’d be shocked. They seem like they would be a good match. Did you see those questions? She’s smart, articulate, and witty. Has to be her.


 

To: jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com, david.rossi@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Ding Ding Ding!

You are correct! Darcy is the girl, and they are adorable . They send each other poetry and packages with tea and lavender, and apparently Reid has had a crush on her for years.


 

To: david.rossi@freemail.com, penelope@garcia.com
From: jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Ding Ding Ding!

How has he had a crush for years? Didn’t they start emailing just a few months ago?


 

To: penelope@garcia.com, jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com
From: david.rossi@freemail.com
Subject: Re: Re: Ding Ding Ding!

She made those cookies? She’s a keeper.


 

To: jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com, david.rossi@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: It’s a Romance Novel Up In Here

So, Darcy Lewis is a bit player in a few of the SHIELD files from WidowGate (she worked with Dr. Foster when Thor first arrived). According to Reid, when he read about her he was very interested in her, but assumed it would never go anywhere, and then one day she emails, looking for interview subjects for her dissertation, and he basically was a puppy.

Yes, those cookies were hers.

Dr. Foster and I like to swap pictures to use as leverage to get our respective friends to spill details. This is how I found out that one of the things Reid sent her was a postcard with the poem “Love At First Sight” by Wislawa Szymborska. Look it up and then tell me this isn’t ridiculous.


 

To: david.rossi@freemail.com, penelope@garcia.com
From: jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: It’s a Romance Novel Up In Here

HOLY SHIT. THAT POEM. Who knew Spence had such game???


 

To: jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com, penelope@garcia.com
From: david.rossi@freemail.com
Subject: Re: Re: It’s a Romance Novel Up In Here

Kid’s got moves, that’s for sure.

What do you think you might be able to get for a picture of him asleep in a chair with his glasses still on? I might have one, but I’m wondering if the intel will be worth it.


 

To: jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com, david.rossi@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: GIMME

Get me that picture, and I will get us something good.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: This is me, not killing your soul

You said you have no idea what’s with these poems, but did you read that “Love At First Sight?” Because I did. I had to fan myself halfway through. If that’s something he sent earlier, hot damn must there be some really good poetry flirting going on.

Sooooo…the team has figured out who Darcy is (I mean, they’re profilers, it was going to happen). BUT, before you freak, they are pretty good with boundaries and don’t plan on doing anything really. HOWEVER, one of them maaaaay have provided the attached picture. Please get us something good with it.

(Also I need to know the deets on the livestream…that is separate. That was a condition of the link. Don’t be stingy with the goods, Foster!)

Penelope

PS SUUUUUUPER dead. JJ shot him right here in the BAU. (I may or may not occasionally go stomp on his grave.)


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Not an Android

Did you know about the poetry? Have you seen any of the poetry? Yeah…no android could be that smooth.

We’re pretty close to wrapping up. I’m actually going to miss this. It’s been too long since I had this kind of fun. Thanks for doing it with me. I’ve learned a few tricks.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Poetry it is

I guess I can see it now. SWOON indeed. Except I can’t think of Reid that way, so I’ll just imagine the hot guy from the bus. (Also, I’d say no on the tit pics. He is not ready for that. Look at how gooey he gets with whatever words you put in your emails and the few pictures he has seen. Don’t sext my Spence just yet.) (Also don’t tell me if you already have. Apparently I have a line and that is it.)

Re: high school assholes. Yes and no. I’ve pieced together most of it, and those have been dealt with, but I have the distinct feeling I don’t know all of it.

BWAHAHAHAHA You are so spot on with your guess. A+ work you. (Not that expected anything less.) (Also, yes, Rossi and JJ have guessed that you are (in their words) “Reid’s Girl.” (Me? I’d probably say it the other way because whoo boy does that boy worship you. He's all yours.) Of course, they’ve just met you, so they don’t know better like I do.

Is it weird that I’m going to miss making mischief with Tony when we’re done? He’s a lot of fun to cause trouble with. I can’t imagine what he’s like to work with. (infuriating I imagine. I bet he’s best in the small doses I have.)

P


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject:  I’m Sorry

I’m sorry such terrible things happened to you. There’s no way to make it nice or better, but I can say that I’m sorry and it shouldn’t have happened.

You should go back to school if that’s what you want. It’s definitely been worthwhile to me. Any program would be pleased to have you, as they should be. You’re a Nobel laureate. You can do anything.

I will ask her, but the pictures you send are really beautiful, so I’ll still welcome them.

Spencer

PS I’ll be sending her email off shortly. If you see this in time, you might want to have the camera ready.


 

From: spencer@garcia.com
To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: A Warning

My Precious Darcy,

You…..you sent me those poems and I read them in public . (This is really my fault. I should know better by now. I can’t laugh at you wanting warnings (when everything I’ve done previously should be a warning) when I should be heeding my own advice. Of course there was going to be poetry, and of course it was going to be perfect.) (Mostly what I took from it was the intimacy of night. There’s something about the small hours of the morning that makes a whisper, a touch, a dream, feel like something more , and with you I find myself always wanting , and wanting more .)

The case finally caught up with me. I fell asleep in a chair in Rossi’s office today. (I don’t know how he swings it, but he has office furniture that is actually comfortable. That chair is made of the high-quality leather that is soft but not slippery and it’s deep. He must have brought it in from his house.) Falling asleep at work doesn’t happen often for any of us, and I’m surprised no one tried to prank me while I was asleep. (Morgan…he’s the one I expected it from. He likes to think he can win a prank war with someone that went to college at 12. If the magnitude of his stupidity isn’t clear, you could perhaps ask Tony. I’m sure he got into other types of trouble too, but he should, additionally, be good at pranks. It’s practically self-defense mechanism for all the young geniuses.)

WARNING (I dreamed of you; possibly because the poems willed it. You were there, crowding into my space, filling all the cracks and crevices I didn’t know I had; seeping into me until I wasn’t sure where either of us started or ended. When I woke up, I could swear I still felt you on my skin.)

Rossi and JJ are great, and they had only nice things to say about you. They were impressed with the scope of your research and the thoroughness of your questions. Rossi even said you had a good sense of humor. (Should I worry? I know you said reading his books at 13 shaped your career goals. Has this all been a ploy to get to a best-selling author?) (I’m kidding, by the way. If it had been, you would have gotten to him much sooner.) (Just, maybe don’t send him any poems.) They keep calling you my doctoral student, and JJ’s been writing down things she wants to remember to discuss in her next round of questions.

Because I don’t want you to worry, I’m going to tell you a bit about being in the field. First of all, as you know, my work is mostly focused on linguistic and geographic profiling. That means I spend a lot of time in the station. Everyone (me included) usually works with a partner. It’s rare for anyone to be in the field alone. And yes, I get waivers, but that has more to do with my complete disinterest in running for any reason beyond, “RUN NOW.” I don’t find it the enjoyable activity most of my team does, and what I don’t practice I don’t get better at. So yes, I can’t run a mile in 6 minutes, and my arms have some similarities to twigs, but I’m capable and as safe as I can be. (Also, maybe don’t ask anyone else about whether or not I’ve been hurt in the field. Just know that everyone has at some point or another, and knowing more than that will just make you unnecessarily worried.) (Besides, there’s a you now, and my Darcy is an excellent reason to stay safe and come home.)

I’m going to be honest and say that it’s 97% likely to be a terrible idea to give me your phone number. Part of why I can focus is precisely because I don’t have instant access to you. Besides, I really enjoy taking my time to write to you in a longer format. There’s always so much to say and sometimes it needs time to be said right. You have no idea how many times I’ve sat and looked at something in parenthesis and decided it was too much. A text wouldn’t let me take that back. WARNING (Though the thought of your voice in my ear is very tempting. I imagine your voice is like smoke, swirling around me, tendrils caressing me, slowly suffocating me in the best way.) (I’ve just realized I’ve never heard your voice. I’ve heard you singing and yelling, but not just your everyday voice.)

Re: 4 AM edits. I see now how I misread that. I didn’t think I would be there. I thought you were just sitting up at a time that is neither night nor morning, tapping away. WARNING (Is your hair a tumble around your face so early in the morning? Is it wild and untamed; making my fingers itch to run through it not to contain, but to feel the raw energy escaping like puffs of dragon breath?) However, now that I have a better idea of what you meant….yes, I’d like that. I actually don’t know what else to say to that other than this tiny thing that others might see as one of the mundane parts of life is actually more intimate and precious than the surface might say. I can’t think of a better way to spend pre-dawn hours than curled up with you in academic pursuit.

I guess I can’t begrudge you the videos (tomorrow you will likely have another), because I can understand the sentiment. I have a handful of pictures Jane has sent me, and I like to look at them even though I could call every detail up from my memory if I wanted. I even asked Penelope to help me set one as the background on my phone. But maybe you wouldn’t be opposed to sending me some more? (Jane told me I should just ask you for pictures if I wanted them. Even if your answer is no, let her know I took her advice. I think she might smack me if she doesn’t know I asked.)

There was a song on in JJ’s office just now, (she likes to have the radio on softly sometimes-some top 40 station or another) that made me think of you. I asked her what it was (I was dropping off some files), and she gave me a funny look and told me it was John Legend? I will look him up later (because I need to close this soon so I can go home and pack), but perhaps you know him or the song?

And now, dearest, I leave you. I need to pack for not only the conference, but also visiting my mom. I know she’d like you because she always has good taste in the things that matter. I’ll probably tell her about you because she’s a mother and she can always tell these things whether I say them or not. (I’m sorry you can’t see your mother. Do you stay in touch? Emails? Phone calls? Pigeons?)

Your Spencer

WARNING PS. Your poem today is The Dream -John Donne


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Joke’s on you, I don’t have a soul

If that’s something he sent early on, I don’t want to know anything about what he’s sending now, because holy shit. I went back and double-checked it and hrgh. I don’t want to know. Darcy’s my sister. I don’t want to know. Oy vey.

I figured they’d work it out eventually, so as long as they stay in their lanes and don’t make Darcy uncomfortable, I’m cool with it. Also ohmigod. This photo. Ohmigod. (I managed to bully her into telling me what’s in the box she mailed out last week, so please be aware that there’s a package incoming, and it contains:

  1. A handknitted sweater. Doctor Who themed. She’s been working on it for a while, but I didn’t realize it was for him. I demand video of what happens to his face when he opens this box.
  2. More cookies. She’s stressing about things and so she went on a baking spree.
  3. Aaaaaand a letter, but of course I didn’t get her to open up about that.  

OKAY. LIVESTREAM DETAILS. She didn’t want to watch it with me at first, because she was convinced that “[I] was going to mess with [her] the whole way through.” Which, okay. It’s true. I was teasing the shit out of her the whole way through. But she totally still just….curled up with a pillow crammed into her lap and hiding half her face in the thing’s fringe, and she kept smiling. I maybe possibly attached a photo of that, because it’s very soft. I felt kinda awkward sitting there to be honest.

Jane

PS GOOD. G O O D.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject:  Don’t be

Happened years ago, and, I mean. I’m now a Nobel laureate, and they’re doing whatever the fuck they’re doing. I don’t really care. I just don’t have any intention of letting them keep on bothering me years later.

(Enclosed: another snap of her falling asleep at the desk . She’s been doing it more often. I think there’s some deadline coming up.)

Jane

PS What are you gonna do for me to get your hands on those pictures?


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: that works then

LALALALALALALALALALALA I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE POETRY I DON’T WANT TO KNOW DON’T GIVE ME THAT INFO DOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOT

I’ll let you know if anything new comes up.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Apparently warnings don’t matter

Cariño,

You honestly should know better than to read the poems in public. Silly. I’m not as good at words, so I try to put a lot of thought and a lot of feeling into the poems I pick.

I feel like I should film myself cackling, but I’m still scarlet, so I’m just gonna….hold off on that notion.

WARNING: Please picture me settling on the edge of the bed while you’re dozing and petting my thumb over your cheek, just because I can. Or crawling into bed and tucking my head under your chin, because you’re so tall and I’m a hobbit and it works. I think about that a lot.

(Re: wanting more: it’s like….I don’t know what it’s like. Not enough. I don’t know what could ever be enough except maybe being able to touch you.)

AWWWWWWW, HONEY. I wanna wrap you in blankets. And I’m glad that they didn’t overtly prank you, but, uh. Jane showed me a photo today of you asleep in a squishy-looking chair, so I’m not gonna say that they didn’t do something. I don’t know who took the picture, but it’s deffo my phone background now. You’re dozing and your hair is a fluffy mess and you’re wearing glasses (!!!!!!!) and it’s lovely. You’re lovely.

(Ohhhh boy, prank wars. I wasn’t a young genius, but I was also the tiniest girl in class right up until senior year of high school, so I had to learn that for my own safety too. Sometimes the quarterbacks would think that I was easy to overwhelm, because of that.)

(Did I ever tell you about the time I was suspended for breaking a guy’s hand in six place?)  

I maybe should not have read that line about dreams while half-blushing, because I was completely incoherent for like twenty minutes. Thanks much.

WARNING (I want to tangle together so close that we can’t tell which part is whose, or who’s sleeping or who’s awake, or whose heartbeat echoes against our bones.)

Okay. Hold up. I know you’re kidding, but just to be absolutely clear: I don’t dream about Rossi. I don’t have dreams about Rossi or Morgan or Captain America or anyone else. I don’t have dreams or spend all day thinking about them. I don’t get caught out being coldcalled in class because I was daydreaming about meeting them . I don’t get teased by Jane and Penelope and Tony about turning red when I say their names. I don’t fall asleep listening to them talk about profiling. That’s all you . I swear to you. I don’t give a damn about them. I give one hell of a damn about you . We clear?

Okay I’m...slightly mollified, re: fieldwork. (I still reserve the right to feel like my heart’s going to stop at the thought of you getting hurt, though.) Also: running is literally the devil, and I hate it. Natasha and Maria drag me out running most mornings (when I haven’t been up all night, anyway) and I go, but I hate it. I hate it . I don’t know why they love it. It’s horrible and humans aren’t meant for this. We have walking stamina. For a reason. God damn.

(Just come back home for me, okay?)

(I thought about deleting that. But I’m not going to.)

Well, well, well : are you saying that you’d spend literally all day texting me if I gave you my number? I don’t see anything wrong with this, necessarily. Hmmmmmm. I’ll have to think on that one.

(I did this thing in undergrad while I was traveling around with Jane during the first part of the Thor Debacle where I...maybe was a voice in a podcast. So I’ve attached that. Don’t shame me. I know it’s all creepypastas. I love creepypastas. And they paid well! Especially because I scream well. So. Yay?)

WARNING (I fall asleep most nights thinking about you whispering in my ear.)  

My hair is coarse and awful and never stops curling, but thank you for calling it dragon’s breath. I really, really like that descriptor; it makes me feel too big for my skin and like I’m something more than just a silly human thing with too much snark and too little self-control about what I say.

WARNING (The one thing I can think of that would be better is waking up before you and petting your cheek while you sleep.)

I actually had a code to watch the livestream!!! Is your ankle okay? (I saw you trip. Don’t lie.) (You have me as the background on your phone? I can’t stop smiling. I haven’t stopped smiling for hours. Oh my god.) I’ll have to go through and find some actually decent pictures, since there aren’t many of me; I always wind up making weird faces when the camera goes off, for some reason. Whoops. Ah, well. (I’ll let her know you asked. She gets weird about sharing pictures and things. A lot of her exes were sharing private photos of her after it came out that Jane and Thor were a thing, so….yeah.)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE JOHN LEGEND WHICH SONG WAS IT OH MY GOD

Please tell your mother (if you see this before you leave her) that I think she must be a wonderful woman, and that she has a wonderful son, and that if it’s not weird I’d like to meet her someday. (If you’re comfortable with it, anyway.)

(Re: my mother: I text her sometimes. It usually ends in an argument, so it doesn’t happen too often.)

Your Darcy

WARNING PS. This poem doesn’t have a name, but the one by Nayyirah Waheed that starts “she asked ‘you are in love’”


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Damn straight dude

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t laugh. I just did the thing where I basically shoved your brother’s dick pic in front of your face, didn’t I? Except not grossly. (I haven’t. Sexted him, I mean. So no worries for you on that front.)

Re: high school assholes. I don’t want to ask and like...potentially worry him or bother him or bring up bad memories, but I’m...sickly curious. Like, how you’re curious when you see a dead body. You can’t help it. And I want to know who did it, so I can tear them to pieces.

…..am I a sick puppy for being like “YES. MY BOY.” at that analysis? Because I kind of want to.  

Tony’s great once you get used to him. He’s (ugh, why am I saying this) the closest thing I have to a dad, since mine left when I was like….ten. And my stepdad is a hot mess of asshole. SO. I’m glad that you like him. Makes me happy.

D


 


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: What Even

Obviously the team is supportive but also keeping out of it. (Well, mostly. I mean, Rossi did give me that picture. Still, that’s pretty harmless stuff.) Speaking of: dang woman! You DELIVERED. That was quite a get for such just one picture. She must have really wanted it.

So let’s talk about This Box (capital letters and all because whooooo-eee). That box is Grade-A Dr. Reid fluff. He is going to melt into a pile of goo when he gets it. Actually…it should arrive while he’s visiting his mom, so I might just snag it and hide it in my office so I can get all the pics (maybe a video??) of him opening it. I’ll have to check his paperwork pile because he probably won’t be functional after that.

THAT PICTURE. How adorable is she??!!  It’s like…if I could dream up a picture of what it must be like to be the lead in a romantic comedy, that would be it. It’s all the right emotions. I’m gonna get something GOOD in exchange for this.

P

Soooo….how long do you think it will take before they meet? (Will they just combust when that happens?)


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Extortion

You know, I knew Penelope was using pictures to get things from me, but you too, Dr. Foster? Is this another test of some sort? To prove my worth? To grovel at your feet? And you sent me that absolutely gorgeous picture of her asleep at her desk (which shouldn’t be happening!! She needs to get proper sleep! We talked about this! There was a whole box about this!!). You gave me that because you knew it would tell me that what you have is even better.

Well I won’t play that game.

Actually I absolutely will. That was a complete and total lie. Even though I asked her for pictures, I will clearly give you something in return for the pictures I encouraged you to take. The question is, what do I have to offer? If I provide you with any material on either of us, there’s a good chance that you’ll just use it to extort her, which isn’t all that fair; to push this back onto her. So instead, I offer you this: one favor to be granted by me some time in the future (though it can’t be anything I think will embarrass and/or upset Darcy.) Does that fill your thirst for my blood?

Spencer


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject:  Something New

I just learned that step might suck as much as bio. Anything happened to that loser yet?


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Gossip Time!

So you know how you got that picture of Reid asleep in the chair? (Which, fun fact: is super rare. This was like a once in a blue moon opportunity.) That might not have been mine. Well, I mean, I provided it because someone has to have the proper channels and whatnot (and yes, Jane is totally the proper channel for this). HOWEVER, in this case I was just a messenger and not a provider. Someone else on the team took that picture expressly for you. I’ll give you one guess who it was. Use those profiling skills you’re working on!

In other news, I might have found a new project for Tony and I. We’ll see what he thinks of my proposal.

P

PS He is so your boy. I mean, hasn’t he been signing those emails “Your Spencer”?


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Minx

Dearest,

**Here is a general warning for the whole email. Yes, all of it. I’m going to try and make every paragraph make you blush.**

You are certainly excelling at conveying your feelings through poetry. I am getting all sorts of emotions from those poems (all of them exactly what you intended me to get, I’m sure). Obviously you’re playing with fire, so allow me to return the favor. (“I like my body when it is with your” -e.e. cummings)

If you think I haven’t pictured you curled up next to me, your head on my chest as I absently run my fingers through your hair, you are mistaken. I certainly have thought of that and considered how you might fall asleep there and I would lean over and brush my lips against your temple because you are so precious, and I am so lucky.

(I want so much I ache sometimes. It’s the worst just before I drift off to sleep and dreams and reality mix just enough to be confusing. Touching you could only be enough if there was a possibility I’d never have to stop.)

Of course there was a picture. I knew it was unlikely that something hadn’t happened. I suppose that works in my favor, though, for this email, since I know you think about me asleep, and now you have proof of what that looks like. Can you imagine being curled in that chair with me? A chair meant really for just one holding two? (And you like my glasses?? That’s….interesting to know.)

I wanted to kill those quarterbacks, but clearly you don’t need me to, what with the broken hands, running with Natasha and Maria, and just being your incredible self. And while you’re obviously very capable on your own, I don’t want you to need to be. I want to protect you and keep you from having these terrible experiences at the hands of people that don’t see your worth, your value (which is priceless. You are so precious to me. Just because you don’t do fieldwork doesn’t mean I don’t worry. You work in a high target building with high target people and you go to prisons to interview killers and I know that that isn’t always safe. So…come home to me too, okay? Come home safe, too.)

(That last paragraph didn’t do a good job meeting the goals I set forward at the start of this email. Let this aside make up for that. I want to know all the parts of you, all the pieces that you hide and all those you show. I want to take you apart and watch you come back together under my hands and watchful eyes. I want the parts of you that are for no one but me; and I want to feel that secret pulse between us.)

Darcy, you already consume me and all I have are emails that I force myself to wait for a reply to before writing you again. Even the mundane tasks of getting dressed or pouring coffee are enveloped by thoughts of you. I wonder if you’d like my sweater, if you’d drag your fingers over the fibers to “feel the texture” which is just an excuse to touch me , and we both know it. Would you grab the coffee from my hand, wanting to feel the taste of me in your mouth with a sip before you run out the door? If I had your phone number, I might as well just quit my job and follow you around all day because you are all I’d be able to think about and I’d have no more restraints stopping me from letting you know.

Of course, now that I have that podcast, I can go back and reread all your emails in your voice and it’s so much more than I could have guessed. Your voice is steaming bathwater to luxuriate in. Thank you for sharing. (You are good at screaming, but I hope I never have to hear such fear in your voice in person.)

I can guess who sent you the code to the livestream, but I also assumed that it would be shared with you. Tripping was not my finest moment, and my ankle does still hurt. (Would you come take care of me? I could exaggerate the injury if it meant you being my nurse.)

(“All of Me” was the song. I looked it up. It’s pretty easy when you can recall all the lyrics.)

Finally, you have my mother to thank for this email. She told me I had to email you as soon as I got to the airport and, “Prove to her you’re the only man she’s ever going to want. You have words, Spencer, use them. She deserves to be wooed and you have the obligation to do it flawlessly like I know you can. You are my son after all.”  (She is fond of saying that words are our blood.) (This is as good as her saying she approves of you. She nodded her head in an “of course” sort of way when I mentioned the poetry. She pulled out some books and offered some suggestions. If/when I use them I’m not going to tell you.)

We’re getting ready to board, so I’m out of time,

Your Devoted Spencer

PS Just one more quick poem: Sea Poppies- H.D.


 


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Boy oh boy oh boy I don’t know if they’re gonna be able to manage if they don’t bang or at least meet soon

SHE REALLY REALLY WANTED IT. REALLY BADLY. I’ve never seen her go so Slytherin so fast. She’s usually such a Gryff.

There’d better be video, because I have some Grade-A intel on Things Dr. Reid Has Said. I can’t talk about them in specifics, because I promised, but let’s just say the bar has been raised re: flirting to the point where Squishy.D had to take a cold shower. I’ve never seen her have to do that before, so. Kudos to ya boi Spence.  

Darcy is, quite honestly, the most adorable person I’ve ever met in my life. She says that about me, because I’m shorter than her (somehow) and shaped like a skeleton that had skin put over it (she thinks it’s cute) but she’s precious. Which is why I will break your Squishy into eighty million different pieces and put them in a blender if he hurts her ever.  

J

See above: cold shower. They’re either gonna have to meet soon, or Darcy’s going to spontaneously explode into flames. Debateable if they’re going to be from pure, unchecked lust or complete emotional meltdown.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Extortion implies I have impure, monetary motives

Nah, not a test. Just letting you know the state of affairs.

“Your thirst for my blood”--I’d say you’re joking, Dr. Reid. That’s a good thing. Good to know you have some steel somewhere in your skinny noodle body. (Yes, I know there was a whole box, but the thing with Darcy is that despite her best intentions sometimes time gets away from her, especially when she hyperfocuses. I think the only thing that could absolutely guarantee she sleeps properly every night would be if someone escorted her to bed to make sure, and I can’t do that, re: our friendship [she’d be very freaked out by the idea of me mothering her . It’s hard to explain.])

I’ll accept the offer of a favor at some point in future (and it would never embarrass or upset her; I know better) but be aware that the favor may be coming sooner than you think. I just have to work a few things out, first.  

Jane


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject:  That better not be a reference to that stupid wedding poem

Kiddo, I’ve had stepdad on my radar for a while. Just haven’t found anything to properly nail him on. Why, you have something different in mind?


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Is it like hammer time but with mojitos?

Jlskdfjldskfjsdl of course it wasn’t from you. I figured it was too good to be true to wait for Spencer to actually tell a crew full of profilers. And neither of us wanna talk about it yet to most people, so I wasn’t sure how long we had, and now, y’know. This.

OO GUESSING GAMES I LOVE ‘EM. I LOVE GUESSING GAMES. UM UM UM. Okay so Morgan is (unless his knowledge has expanded recently) out of the picture for this challenge I wanna say. Just going off of the fact that Spencer told me he was in Rossi’s office, and in Rossi’s special chair, I WANT to say it’s Rossi. Process of elimination, y’know. Also, I know that JJ has her own office as well, so it’s not her, not unless she went in to drop off files, and Prentiss might know but she hasn’t like….expressed interest in me as a human yet beyond my abstract “Reid’s Girl” status whereas Rossi and JJ like...actually speak to me.

Again, I’m concerned, but I’m pretty sure the pair of you are both chaotic good enough that nothing really terrible will come out of it.

D

PS He has. It just...really sunk in recently. That he is. Mine, I mean. It’s so surreal. But in a fantastic way.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: You’re a goddamn tease...

***Maybe be careful about reading this at work. Just saying.***

...and I am going to bite you for all of that, I really am. (I had to take a freezing shower to get any semblance of self-control back and not just fly to DC and lurk in the BAU office to goddamn jump you in a supply closet after that email. Jesus Christ , Spencer. You’ve been keeping that close to your chest for a while.)

(Please don’t hide that anymore. That was….destructive. But in the best way.)

“I like my body when it is with your” indeed. “I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair” by our old friend Neruda, back at you.

Good. And if you think I haven’t pictured waking up lying on your chest and brushing my lips against the pulse in your throat just to feel it race, then you are mistaken.  

(Once I get to touch you, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop.)

(I love your glasses. I like how they fit on your face, and the frames, and how they were slipping down your nose. I have a Thing for glasses on you. I have a Thing for a lot of things on you, honestly. And about you. And maybe off you, if you’re cool with that.)

The quarterbacks were how they are. I dealt with them because I had to, and now I don’t have to look at their stupid faces anymore. Years beyond high school, now, obviously. Sucks that the patriarchal establishment convinces men that it’s okay to catcall and grope and attack women and femme-presenting folx, but I’m sure you know the statistics on that. Society’s changing, but it’s one step forward, twelve back. Especially lately.

(When I wrote “come back for me” I want you to know: I deleted “come back to me” instead. Over and over, because I thought it was too much. I should have known better. You have to come back to me. I don’t know when your next assignment is, or where you’ll go or who you’ll be hunting, but you need to come back home to me. Even if we’re not in the same city. Please.)

(I want to know what it’s like to put my hands on you. I want to wreck you. I want you to wreck me. I want. )  

Hmmmmmmmmmm. Still not seeing any problem here. You, following me around all day, being so very, clearly my Spencer? And I get to touch your sweaters or your hands or your back (or slide my hand up under your shirt when nobody’s looking) (or kiss your throat when no one can see) (or taste coffee on your tongue) and bring you with me everywhere instead of restraining myself from writing out everything I want, for fear of being too much ? (Effusiveness, again.) Seriously, I mean, aside from you not being in the BAU anymore (and they need you, I know they do) I see no issues here, Spencer.  

Plus, just saying: numbers mean selfies.

Confession: I think the way you say the word “elusive” will actually kill me someday. Jesus Christ. (I may listen to the latest talk you guys did more often than I should.)  

Re: your ankle. No sprains? All okay? (Honey, you don’t have to exaggerate anything. I don’t want an excuse to touch you. I just want to touch you.)  

Holy shit. I have so much to thank your mother for. (Also: “prove to her you’re the only man she’s ever going to want?” You’ve been doing that for a while. Dunno if it’s too early for that, but, y’know. Courage.)

I hope your plane landed safe. Let me know when you get home okay. (I’m tempted to say, let me know when you get home, let me know when you sleep, let me know when you wake up, let me know everything, but I know that’s illogical. We’d never be able to function that way. I still want to know.)

Your Darcy

PS The Good Morrow--John Donne.


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Since you asked

I’m home and getting into bed, and I’m thinking of you. Are you in bed too? Why is it not the same bed?


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Another

I’m awake and the coffee is taking too long to brew. I might not mind it if I had you to fill the time and all my hollow spaces.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Secret Still

I’m at work and now I can see how everyone already knows even though I haven’t said anything. (But I have; said something. I don’t always speak in words and they can see how you have crawled inside me and made me shine with happiness and lightness and hope.) I’m not going to tell them with words just yet. I want to pretend you are my secret a little while longer. (Words might torrent out of me about how much you are and how much I want and they would drown in my desires for you.)


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: You’re Definitely Testing Me

Why else would you suggest that “someone” needs to escort her to bed every night? Well, just so you know, I would; but I doubt that she would let me because she’d always have something more that needs to be done. It would be a struggle to make her see the value in sleep, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. Everything worth having is worth working for.

I am concerned about what you might ask for as a favor, but those pictures were worth whatever price you put on them

Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Coffee

It’s the afternoon, but I’m just starting cup number 3 of coffee. The coffee here is not very good, but any cup can be saved with enough sugar. And while I enjoy sipping coffee, I’d rather taste it from your lips.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Explosion Indeed

I can tell something happened because he’s really happy and a tiny bit smug.

Or, at least he was .

But then The Box happened. So here’s the thing. I wasn’t certain that I could get my hands on The Box, which is what I would need to make sure I got a video. There’s been a weird crackdown on who grabs mail here, so this was a real thing. Anyway, I got it and you’re welcome .

Christ on a cracker these two. Did you see the way he sort of….pet? the sweater with an incredibly dopey grin and just kept repeating, “she made me a sweater?” Or how he just was so pleased by the letter? (There was another poem. I could tell by the way the lines were written. Who knew that by the end of this I would be like, “where’s my poetry asshole?” to all my dates.) (Hypothetical dates. Haven’t been on one in a while. But why would I? Seriously, no one is going to be able to compare to the crap I’m getting second hand from these two. I think they’ve wrecked me for life.)

Anyway, enjoy this video that I actually haven’t really spoiled. If you don’t go into a cuteness coma, hit me back with the goods.

P

Also, yeah….meeting needs to happen. I don’t know how they do it because I know by now I’d be needing some face-to face (sucking) time.

And….yeah, while I don’t want to think about it, I bet some cold showers might happen here too.

Also, he’s refusing to share the cookies.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: My Sweet Summer Child

First of all, Spencer has seen and opened The Box. Jane has….more detail for you, but I just wanted to say well done . That was the perfect Dr. Reid box. He is refusing to share the cookies and claims the letter said that he didn’t have to share. He won’t let anyone see the letter…so there’s no way to verify.

And you are correct that it was Rossi that took the picture, though it’s a little unfair because I didn’t realize Spencer had told you he had been in Rossi’s office. That made it easier to figure out. Also, you say Prentiss hasn’t shown any interest in you, but she hasn’t been interviewed by you, so how is she supposed to if she wants to respect Reid’s privacy? Additionally, since JJ was running interference with Morgan so he wouldn’t be there during The Box opening and I was guarding the door, the details Jane has for you come from Prentiss. So there’s that.

Finally, if all of us feel like combusting over you two (and you haven’t even met yet!), I have no idea how you both aren’t just piles of ash.

P


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject:  Details

I’ve attached a video for you. I know you don’t want to know about your daughter and the noodle, but just watch this video and know that this clearly is good for both of them. (Don’t worry, it’s a highlights thing and not like the whole damn ordeal. Just a few tidbits so you can see what she does to him.)

Now for the less nice part. I’ve found some encrypted files on a deep net server that I can trace back to him (through practically barely any threads, but it’s there). I’ve attached my path so you can see it. I haven’t been able to break the encryption yet, so it could just be puppy videos.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Is it teasing if I mean it?

I read your email last night and then sent you all those emails during the day, but now it’s nearing midnight because I didn’t know just how to respond to, well, everything. I was too light and bursting to properly sit down and respond.

You made me a sweater.

You made me a sweater.

You made me a sweater.

You made me a sweater.

I haven’t taken it off since I pulled it out of the box. If I can’t have you wrapped around me, this sweater is the next best thing because it was made by you and is infused with you, and I think it might even smell like you. (I wonder what you smell like. Is it home?)

What a fool I was, sending all those little emails when this was waiting for me. In the words of Penelope, you “broke” me. But it felt so good to be broken. I want you to shatter me again and again and then fill up the cracks with pieces of you so that I always have you there in me, part of all I do, and think, and feel.

(I’m wearing my glasses today. I put them on specifically because you said you like them, even if I knew you wouldn’t see them. But I guess you will now since there’s a video that I’m certain is going to be given to you for some price or another. I hope you see it and can be satisfied at how ecstatic I was, and I will be satisfied knowing there’s more than just my happiness for you in that video.)

(You say you’ll bite me, and I find I do not mind. I welcome the drag of your teeth on my skin, the way it makes my pulse quicken and you can feel it under your lips and tongue.)

I wouldn’t say I’ve been hiding this part of me from you, but rather that you’ve slowly drawn it from me. I didn’t know all of this was in me, but there’s something about you that pulls at my gut and makes me want , and what that want is evolves the more we talk. There is a mountain of things I want, and I sincerely hope you’ll let me try them all.

(I want to crowd into you in a dark corner where we can blend into the shadows and whisper desires with our fingers.)

(I want to place my hand on the small of your back and lean down to tell you something, but instead just brush my lips against your ear in a promise of later.)

(I want to trail fingers down your neck and spine at a party when someone else thinks that they might be able to steal you away. You are mine and I don’t want to share. Can’t they see the evidence of me all over you? In your smile? In the way you lean gently toward me? In the way your eyes seek me out?)

(I want I want I want)

My ankle is much better now. Perhaps it is because it knew that you didn’t want an excuse to touch, but, rather, just the chance.

(I want I want I want)

I need to go to bed, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep. I’m going to wear the sweater. Maybe it will trick me into thinking you are there too.

Always your Spencer

You give me Donne in the email and “Love’s Philosophy” in the letter. I return to you with “Wild Nights!” Emily Dickinson

Chapter Text


 


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I’m going to respond to all those lovely things in a few hours but I’m panicking

I heard from Wanda for the first time in a while and she’s really, really not doing well so I might be talking to her all day, on and off.

Just wanted to let you know why I’m not responding as fast as usual so you don’t worry.

She’s not in any physical danger or having any issues re: world-ending anything, she’s just….not having a good mental health week. I don’t know how much you know about Wanda in general (she came along after Widowgate, so no dropped SHIELD files for you to glean info from) but just as a quick primer: mutant, orphaned, recently lost her brother and her country to a demented robot, she and her brother were experimented on by Nazis and then brainwashed to think they joined them voluntarily, she’s Romani-Jewish so there’s that whole thing to unpackage (re: being experimented on by Nazis, in the 21st fucking century, as a Romani-Jewish woman), she’s stuck with Steve Rogers with all his stupid goddamn posturing about what’s The Right Thing To Do when he lied to his best fucking friend about who murdered his parents (the best friend’s, not his own), and she just learned her birth father is a fucking terrorist .  

I’m upset. And angry. And really worried. So I need to be on high alert all day in case she calls or texts again, and I don’t know when I’ll have the time or the energy to respond properly to your lovely, lovely messages.

I miss you fiercely. I’ll respond as soon as I can.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: I’m assuming you heard

Darcy’s fine. She’s stressed, and worried, and wants to fly out to Wakanda to either beat up Captain America for taking Wanda away from all her friends with his stupid arrogant asshole move , or fly out to Wakanda to get Wanda out of Wakanda and back to the US. Which she can’t do , because the UN has classified Wanda as a war criminal and if she steps onto US soil she’ll probably be fucking arrested.

(I’m violating NDAs. Darcy probably has too. Don’t get us arrested.)

(She’d go to bed if you asked, I’m pretty sure. And I’m not saying that as an “ew she’s my sister don’t tell me gross sex shit” thing, I’m saying it as a “you have more power over her than you know and if you asked she probably would .” Just FYI.)

Favor’s in progress. I’ll let you know in a week or two.  

Jane


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: I’m really glad they had something that sweet

Because shit has hit the fan and Darcy’s going to be in meltdown repair for days if not weeks from this point.

Has she ever actually told you everything she does every day? She’s the executive assistant of Pepper Potts. She follows around the head of Stark Industries, all day, every day, in heels that she hates, keeping up with Fortune 500 company executives. She manages Pepper’s insane schedule, flies with her around the country when necessary--she didn’t mention that bit, did she? She doesn’t do it as often now because of her academic life, but she used to spend more time on a plane than she did at home--and basically is the right-hand woman in running the biggest damn tech company on either side of the U.S.

She’s working for her Ph.D., and that takes hours and hours every week. She runs the Stark Industries’ program for working mothers, so she’s always dealing with stuff that happens in that department (because a tech company providing actual decent working conditions to new mothers?? Babies at work?? Sakes alive, I think the board is having collective heart failure.) And she took that on because she just decided one day that’s what she was going to do.

On top of that she’s finding the fucking time to be Darcy. She has alarms on her phone to make sure she knows Tony’s eaten something. She has alarms on her phone to make sure I’ve eaten something. She knits and bakes and stresses and loves so fiercely I think it might kill her sometimes. And now on top of everything the woman she thinks of as a little sister (Wanda Maximoff and Darcy bonded so fast I’ve never seen the like, except, maybe, with your Spencer; she doesn’t talk about Wanda because she’s terrified anything she says might get Wanda arrested , for fuck’s sake) just learned that her father is a fucking genocidal terrorist, and for a Romani-Jewish woman? That’s a lot. That’s too much.

Just...be aware that once Darcy mops up Wanda, we might have to mop up Darcy.

I’ll save the Box video for when she really needs it. She’s not going to be in a mental space to handle the ricochet between fear and heartbreak and adoration right now.

J

(I’ll send more cookies. She still has approximately a metric fuckton of them.)


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I’m making like Bran and vanishing beyond the Wall

I’m okay. I just won’t be able to respond to this properly for a while.

I’m okay, I swear.

(I told him he didn’t have to share, this is true. Sucks to be yoooooouuuuuu.)

--D


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject:  Details, Schmetails

Ugh. Ugh. I think I barfed in my mouth. That’s grotesquely adorable. Never show it to me again.  

Motherfucker. FRIDAY will crack it.

(You heard about Sparklefingers?)


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: How can I help?

I don’t know that there’s anything I can do, but I’m here to help in any way I can. Whatever you need, I’ll try to do it.  Wanda is important to you, and thus important to me. And after reading what’s happened to her, I’d care even if I didn’t have you to be my connection to her. That’s…awful is the first word that came to mind, but that doesn’t really convey the magnitude of situation.  Devastating, ruinous, unconscionable. Let her know that others care, please?

Keep in mind that you can’t help Wanda if you aren’t taking care of yourself. So while you are making yourself available to her, make sure you eat and drink and do your own work (hard as that may be). You’re no help if you pass out or are too stressed about deadlines to think logically. She shouldn’t need to worry about you when she has plenty on her plate already. Help her by taking care of yourself.

My poem for both of you: Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Your Spencer


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I Did

Darcy told me. If there’s anything I can do – for either of them – let me know.

What good is this power if I don’t have a chance to use it? I doubt emails will make her go to bed.

Spencer


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I have a very particular set of skills

Lord Almighty. I had no idea just what all Darcy’s job involved. How does she function day-to-day? When does she sleep?

I would like to point out that while I don’t have a lot of resources, I do have a lot of skills, and one of those happens to be the ability to create entire backstories, histories, and documentation for people. I’ve only done the whole shebang once (I’ve done all the parts a few times, but creating an entire person takes a bit more), so if that can be of any use, just say the word. Theoretically I could create a whole new persona for her….though I can’t get her out of wherever she’s hiding and to you guys. Just a thought.

I will accept those cookies and I will send some Schnapps your way. I think you’re going to need it. Any flavor requests?

P


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: HUG

Girl, you do you. Whatever you need to do, do it. I’ve given Jane a rundown of what I can do to possibly help, but my main concern at the moment is you not feeling like you have an obligation to anyone but yourself and the priorities you have decided on. That includes Dr. Reid. You owe him nothing. (And honestly, if he can’t deal with you doing what you need to do and dropping him for a bit to make it happen, he’s not worth having anyway. Real love is communication and dealing with the hard times in addition to the good.)

Penelope


To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject:  Motherfucker Indeed

You’ve seen what I can do (though not all of it). Let me know if I can help with Sparklefingers (which is what I assume her last email to me was about).

(The adorable made you realize they are like MFEO or some other such sentimental bullshit, right?)


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Again

It’s terrible timing, but we’re heading back in the field again. The plane leaves in an hour. Maybe it’s easier to think of it this way: you don’t have to be concerned about responding to me (which you shouldn’t be!!) because I will be very busy too.

And don’t worry about me while I’m out there. I have you to come home to. There’s nothing that could make me more determined to come back than that.

“Longing” -Matthew Arnold

Your Spencer


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject:  Don’t yell at me

Yes, fine, possibly.

I think Darcy’s going to kill me if I offer to help with this, since it’s my fault Sparkles had to leave in the first place (I did something supremely stupid--I know! So unlike me), but whatever you need on your end. Let me know.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Get on it, Liam Neeson

I talked to her. Wait for Darcy’s confirmation, but Wanda’s apparently interested.

Also maybe erase this email trail if so possible. Because hoo, boy, I don’t want to end up in international court.

Butterscotch, please.

J


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: It’s a shitshow

She was crying all night last night, to keep you updated. She said you’re in the field, but you’d better send her another note if she doesn’t reach out to you soon. She needs to hear from you.

(Honestly, emails might be enough. Especially now.)

I’m going to fucking kill Steve for putting us in this fucking situation.

Jane


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I need like ten million hugs

I hope everything is going okay with the case. I haven’t slept in like three days, so I’m gonna crash (Pepper gave me the day off, thank god) but I just wanted to check on you to make sure everything was okay.

(I talked to my friend. She’s definitely interested in what you explained to Jane. She just has to work a few things out, first.)

Spencer understands, and he’s been really good. Better than my psycho ass deserves, to be honest. I just am--really upset. I’m really upset. This shouldn’t have happened to her. This shouldn’t have happened. She’s dealt with so much already. It’s not fair.  

D


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: You help just by existing

I’m going to sleep here in a minute, since I’ve been awake for the last three days. You probably have too. I hope you’re safe, wherever you are. I hope the case isn’t too terrible. I’m not particularly thrilled with humanity right now, so I don’t have a lot of faith in that, but I want you at least to not have to be suffering because of horrible people doing horrible things even if they’re for understandable reasons.

So for background: there’s no extradition from Wakanda. Never has been, probably never will be. Wanda’s safe in Wakanda, and Wakanda, as you probably know, is one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet. Wanda’s always known she was adopted (her parents never hid it from her and Pietro, which, kudos to them) and since she went away with Steve after everything that happened last year, she’s been thinking about trying to get into contact with her birth parents. Just for closure, or to have some kind of family, y’know? Like. Her parents are dead, her brother is dead, she’s stuck in Wakanda because the international legal community wants her head on a spike, she’s desperately lonely and frustrated with Steve, and she’s nineteen, Spencer. She’s only nineteen, poor kid. So she asked some scientists in Wakanda to like...try and help her figure out how to track her heritage through her genetics.

First off: her genes are really messed up, so it took a while. The experiments they ran on her fucked up her genetic code, trying to draw out her latent mutant abilities (they were pretty deep down there, apparently, but they make up for it now in sheer power; she might be one of the most powerful mutants on the planet, honestly), so the geneticists in Wakanda have been working day and night trying to get this sorted for her. And one of them, on a whim, put her DNA through their database of all registered genetic identities. And lo and behold, it came back with a paternity match with Erik Lensherr.

She’s been crying for days. I’ve been crying for days. I don’t know how this is possible. Erik Lensherr should be too old to have children. How is this possible?? I don’t know. But she’s panicking, and it’s taken everything I’ve had over the last few days to convince her that she’s not somehow, inherently, evil.

Fuck, I’m not going to cry again tonight.

I’m trying to take care of myself. I finally managed to convince Wanda to sleep. I have a lot of catch-up to do with work and my doctorate, but I’m just….not doing that tonight. I’ve eaten. I’m okay. Please don’t worry about me. Pepper’s given me the next three days off so I can sleep and get caught up on everything, so everything is fine. I’m just very tired. And scared. And alone. I wish you were here.  

I told Wanda that everyone in the BAU is worried about her, and I told her about you (just to give her something else to think about). She likes you. She’s going to reach out. I just hope that it gets better from here.

I don’t have the energy to find a poem tonight, but know that the ones you sent helped. More than I can ever say.

Your Darcy


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: I wasn’t

Not to volunteer your bank account, but eventually travel will need to happen and that’s not free.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Kicking Ass and Inventing Names

Most of the groundwork is done. I just need some final details and we’ll be good. But Spencer had a brilliant thought the other day, and that might be an even better avenue. I’m not going to play go-between because there’s a lot of delicate details involved, but someone will be in touch.

Also, babe, c’mon. There’s no record of the two of us corresponding ever, period; and certainly not about this. I take care of my people. There’s a reason I gave Spencer an email tied to my website. There are allllll sorts of protocols covering our asses.

P

I sent two bottles, via a courier I know in the city. They should be on your desk today.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: On It

The case has been busy, but I’m working on something for her right now. I didn’t want to add myself to her pile of stress, so I tried to not be in her way. But don’t worry, she’ll have an email tonight.

(Email is all I have. We didn’t exchange numbers. On purpose. It was a choice.)

Make sure she’s eating and drinking water, please? Use me as leverage if that’s what it takes.

Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Sweet Baby Jesus, go to sleep woman!

Seriously. If I find out you responded to this email without having slept for at least 12 hours I will cancel your subscription to that knitting club that sends you the fancy yarn. For real woman: you can’t help your friend if you’re in no condition to help.

I’m done on my end, minus the details that we talked about, so when she says ready, it can be done within the hour. However, you’re going to get another email, and you might want to take the time to think about it before you fully commit to me.

Also, I need you to stop the worry train re: Better than my psycho ass deserves.  It’s very clear to everyone that he is head over heels for you, and that’s the real you; not some you that you think you need to be to be worthy of his compassion. There is no way he thinks that you are “psycho” or that your emotions and feelings are unjustified. You’re right that all of this is unfair and shouldn’t have happened, and all of us agree. So don’t let the stress of the situation gnaw at everything else you have. You, Darcy Lewis, have always been more than enough, no matter what some assholes in your past might have wanted you to believe.

All the internet hugs, and then like a 15 minute real life one when we finally meet,

Penelope


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: This isn’t enough, but it’s all I have

Darcy, darling, three days is too many to be awake. Please tell me you have slept since you sent that email. I need you to take care of yourself. Remember how I told you I worry about you. This falls under that. Come home to me so I can come home to you. (I feel like that sentence shouldn’t make sense, but it does.)

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be Wanda right now, but let her know that her genetics are not the end all be all of her makeup. She is so much more than just her DNA. She is also her adoptive parents and her brother and her desire to be good. (And she does, clearly, want to be a good person. Her reaction to the paternity match tells me so.) So, in my professional opinion (which matters because I am fantastic at my job), she does not need to be afraid. Bad things happened to her, but she is not bad. Besides, how could she be? You’re an excellent judge of character (case in point: me), so if you believe in her inherent goodness, it must exist.

Do you need me to read over the latest draft of your dissertation? Is that a way I could help you tackle the mountain that has shown up in front of you? Take a breath and remember, "When eating an elephant take one bite at a time." You have this, even if it feels like too much. Let people help. Lots of people want to help you, so take advantage of that. (And please, please, listen to Jane. Let her mother you for just this one time.)

I was talking to Prentiss about Wanda’s problem, and she thought she might be able to help. I gave her your email, so you should be hearing from her soon. I hope this was okay. I know that a lot of what you said isn’t exactly for public consumption, but she’s excellent at international issues, and I really thought she might see something no one else had.

A poem for you to share with Wanda: “Friendship” Henry David Thoreau

A poem from me to you: “Sonnet X” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Your Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: notyoursweetheart@freemail.com
Subject: Spencer Gave Me Your Email

Ms. Lewis,

I know you’ve spoken to most of the team at this point, so hopefully you don’t mind that I’ve decided to take a turn. Reid was telling me about the situation that you’re dealing with, and I thought I might be able to help. My mother was an ambassador, and I have many diplomatic connections both through her and my work with Interpol. I’ve made a few discreet inquiries, and I might be able to help your friend.

Not all countries are in agreement about the current status/treatment of individuals, your friend in specific. Frankly, her history can be considered quite heart wrenching when told by the right people (and trust me, that is how it is going to be told if I can make it happen), and as such, there are places and people that are uncomfortable with treating her like a fugitive. When you start throwing in details of being experimented on and brainwashed, people understand that sometimes people make choices in order to survive. I think I can swing asylum somewhere, though that will probably just be one step into getting her to the US (if that’s even what she wants).

I’ve also put a bug in a few ears to reconsider the ocean prison (that must be a human rights violation). I don’t think everyone was fully aware of just what that place was, and I can see that being the downfall of one General Ross, which would also ease your friend’s return to the US. There are a lot of sticks in the fire, so to speak, and I can’t guarantee that any of them will pan out, but the word is out. If you’d like, I can continue to put pressure on the right places for maximum effect, or I can leave it alone for now and you can pursue some other course of action. I just wanted you to have options.

Emily Prentiss

PS You make him smile. That’s good enough for me.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com; penelope@garcia.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: Thank you

Hello,

I think you know me, but I have not met you in person. (I am not good at writing English; I am sorry for mistakes. I had a scientist here look at it to make sure everything is spelled correctly but she is also not a native speaker, so something may have slipped through.) Darcy told me about you both. Apparently there’s been a lot going on she has not mentioned, though I knew something was happening. She smiles much more than she used to. (I think that is because of you, Dr. Reid. She told me a lot about you, once I was calmer. It took a while. Hearing she is so happy helped.)  

I wanted to thank you. I told Darcy to tell you this, but I wanted to do it myself as well. Neither of you know me, though I am sure you know what I used to do. I have done terrible things. I have killed people, or let them die. I let evil inside my mind and let it use me like a puppet on a string. It is hard sometimes to remember that there are still good people in the world when all I have seen for much of it is cruelty and fighting and unhappiness.

I do not know what Darcy has told you about what happened last year. It is difficult for me to imagine that I could go back to the United States after everything. I do not know if I would trust Tony Stark enough to do it, but the idea of having a new life, and a new name--I am very tempted. I want to redeem myself for what I have done. If I were to become someone new, I could become someone better. But another part of me says I should keep my name and make the world proud of it again. I am not sure which I will choose, and I need more time, but for now I would like to come back to the United States to at least be with the people who make me feel safe. I will need a new name for that. I just don’t know if it will be mine permanently.

Steve says that I should be making the choice that best suits me. He does not like that I am going back near Tony. Nor do I, if I am honest. I know Darcy and Tony are very close, but Tony tried to put me back into a cage after knowing what happened to me. I do not want to see him. It makes everything much more complicated.

You want to help me despite knowing who sired my brother and I, and that means very much to me. No matter what I choose, I am very grateful to you both, and to your friend who has done so much.

I hope I will meet you both someday as Wanda. For now, I will probably meet you under another name.

Thank you,

Wanda Maximoff  


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: More privately

Thank you for what you said about my DNA. It means a lot to me.

Thank you for making Darcy smile. That means a lot to me too.

--W


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: I’ve already talked to Darcy about it

There was a shouting match, but it’ll happen. She’ll pay me back, she says. (She doesn’t need to.) (She’ll argue if I don’t agree to it.)

Visa’s cleared on this end. Don’t tell them I did that.

FRIDAY broke into the stepdad's deep net files. You’re going to want to take a second look.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Being Badass Since Always

Wanda’s going to leave Wakanda in a few days. She’s flying into JFK via Cairo. Biggest hurdle is US customs. She’s changing her hair and wearing contacts. Hopefully it’ll be enough, on top of everything you’ve done. I’ll let you know exact times when I have them.

Emily’s idea is fantastic, but I don’t think we have that kind of time right off the bat. Wanda just needs to feel safe. If it means smuggling her back out of the country and then in again when she gets asylum, we’ll do it. At least this way the Wakandan officials can truthfully say they have no idea where she is.

Bless you and your genius, Penelope Garcia.

J

You’re a fucking goddess.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: A+ and a gold star, Reid

She’s been asleep for eighteen hours now, thus no response yet. She should be up soon. I have matzo ball soup and water and ice cream waiting for her out here. She’s not leaving my sight until she gets it all down her throat.

I don’t think you could stress her out unless you managed to get yourself hurt. So don’t.

For full disclosure, here’s the situation:

>The best friend Steve lost in WWII is actually an assassin that was brainwashed by Nazis and kept alive to the present day.

>This assassin murdered Tony’s parents in the nineties as a job. He does not remember doing it.

>Steve learned this when he took down SHIELD. He did not tell Tony.

>The UN supposedly came up with an agreement to try and get the Avengers to be under the control of the government. I have doubts. You can’t get 190 countries to agree on the price of cheese, let alone superhumans. My instinct is Ross made it up, but I can't prove it.

>Tony wanted there to be more restrictions on the Avengers after Sokovia, so he wanted to sign the agreement. Steve wanted less, so he wouldn't.

>They fought.

>King of Wakanda was assassinated. You probably read about the results.

>Tony tried to trap Wanda in the base in upstate New York. Through a series of other incidents, she, Clint Barton, and some guy from California wound up in a secret detention center in the middle of the ocean. Wanda has, justifiably, not forgiven Tony for this.

>The Avengers split down the middle.

>It’s bad.

Just in case Darcy doesn’t explain things fully. She doesn’t always remember to, when she’s tired.

Jane


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: All you have is more than enough for me

My Spencer,

I did sleep. I slept for eighteen hours, thirty-seven minutes (give or take about twenty minutes when I woke up with a nightmare), and I’ve showered and Jane’s made me food, so I’m currently sitting in the corner of the couch with Charley curled around my neck and the lemur in my lap, emailing you, while the TV plays Disney movies off Netflix. So I guess that is to say: Honey, I’m home.

I feel kind of numb, honestly. Or like all my guts have been carved out and nobody’s put them back yet. Thank you for what you said to Wanda. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It helped her more than I can actually explain. She likes you. Or, more accurately--she likes what you do to my emotions, since she can sense them. (Yeah, like I said, mutant. It’s easier for her over Skype. She has to see people to pick up on them. She says you make me feel like champagne and being curled up in warm blankets on a snowy day.) I think she said she was going to email you, but I’m fairly fuzzy on some of the details of our conversation on Day Three. It was a rollercoaster.

Please, please, please thank Prentiss for me. Knowing that there’s more than one option, that she has more than one out, means a lot to all of us. She’s nineteen, though, and even with all she’s been through, that shows sometimes. I told her about the options and she thought very hard for a while before saying she just wants to come home. I’m kind of surprised, still, somehow, that she thinks of home as me and Jane, not her brother, or Sokovia, or anything else.

Apparently Steve has been better than I expected through all of this. I talked to him once or twice. It’s weird. We haven’t spoken since everything that happened with him and Tony. It’s like kids talking to one parent or another after a really sticky divorce. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. I think he knows how disappointed I am in him, and it’s feeding into his I’m Going To Break All The Rules thing that he has going right now. Like--I can understand wanting to break the rules. It’s just his fucking arrogance , Spencer. I’m so angry. And Steve and I were really good friends, before all this happened. Steve is--or was--the sweetest man I’ve ever met. (You’ve trumped Captain America. Tell Morgan that. ) And then just--I think Widowgate broke something in him. The Winter Soldier definitely did. And I can understand why he wanted to protect Bucky, I just--don’t understand why he dumped all the rest of us to do it. Why he threw all the rest of us under the bus, and broke the family the Avengers made, and ran away, and lied to Tony about who killed his parents. I don’t understand why he thinks that’s acceptable behavior. And now because of that Wanda and Tony don’t speak (I had a screaming fight with Tony about him trying to help Wanda, because I know he feels guilty about what he did in trying to keep her out of the fight, I know he feels guilty about what Ross did to her, I know he feels like he’s done nothing but fuck up, and he did fuck up, but he doesn’t understand that he can’t just fix things by sweeping in and making it better on the surface; he and Steve are really similar that way) which means that Wanda wasn’t sure she would be welcome back in New York. And she feels guilty for leaving Steve. And just--all of it. But she said she just wants to be safe, and not feel like anyone wants her to do anything, and that means leaving Steve, too.  

He (Steve, I mean) never apologized, is the thing that kills me the most. At least Tony is trying.

I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be ranting to you about this. I know it’s a lot to take in. I’m just--really tired. And really empty. And apparently, somehow, angry at the same time.

(The thing about coming home to you so you can come home to me: that makes sense. I’m sorry I took so long to reply.)

I would love for you to read over my dissertation. I was working on it yesterday--the day before yesterday, I guess--trying to keep myself from completely losing my shit. It didn’t work out super well--I cried a lot the past three days, whoops--but I have no idea how many things I’ve like...mistyped or mischaracterized due to stress and lack of sleep.

(Honestly, more than anything, I just want to curl up in the same chair with you and watch you read it and be held, but it’s not gonna happen right now. For obvious reasons. I wish it could, though. I feel like every step is chipping off pieces of me and I can’t put them back where they were before. I don’t know how to breathe. I wish you were here.)

You didn’t overstep by talking to Prentiss. I trust her if you do, and she’s already helped a lot just by looking into it. Ross is a son of a bitch, and I still don’t have any fucking clue why he hasn’t been sacked for all the shit he tried to pull with Dr. Banner. It’s good knowing that there’s more than just us who know that.

Three poems for you, for sending me so many:

Sonnet 29--Shakespeare

somewhere i have never traveled--e.e. cummings
gold--Nayyirah Waheed

I’m going to call Wanda again. She’s awake and texting me. Please let me know you’re okay, and that the case is going all right, and that you’re safe. Please don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay in a few days.

Your Darcy


 

To: notyoursweetheart@freemail.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I like your email address

Ms. Prentiss (or Emily?),

I absolutely do not mind. I’m glad you reached out. And I’m grateful--very, very grateful--that you’re helping.

I don’t know if Penelope’s told you the situation, but at this point, my friend just wants to come back home to what family she has left. I still think keeping the sticks on the fire is the best option, and I’ve told her so, but she’s young and lonely, and needs reassurance, so she’s coming back when she can.

Please keep me updated with everything that happens on your end. I want to know that she can go back to her old life someday. Also, can you tell me anything about the status of mutants in the international community? I’ve been trying to look into it, but a lot of the UN meetings are blackboxed, and don’t have any records available to the public. I’m not brave enough to try and get my hands on them yet.

I’m sure the prison is a human rights violation, and yet Guantanamo still stands. I don’t know what we can do to end it, but I’m willing to try. Whatever you need. (Though I can’t give much.)   

I will keep you posted with everything that happens, so long as you’re still willing.

Darcy

PS He makes me smile. Please keep him safe for me. I don’t know what I’d do without him now.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I feel like a zombie

I slept for nineteen, talked to Wanda for an hour, emailed Spencer, emailed Emily, and now I’m emailing you. Jane made me eat something. Don’t worry. Don’t take my yarn away.

Wanda said she emailed you, so I’m guessing it’s all ready and waiting on your end. She wouldn’t tell me what she said, but she’s been talking a lot about thanking you, and Spencer too, for something he said. But I need to thank you, too. You didn’t even hesitate; you dropped everything without question to get this done, and get her somewhere she feels safe, and give her a chance and an opportunity to rebuild her life after everything that’s happened, and I’ll owe you forever for that, Penelope. I don’t think I can ever repay you for giving Wanda a second chance.  

I need to thank you, too, for believing that I’m enough. It’s still weird to hear that people think that, and I don’t think it will ever be Not Weird, but it helps.  

We might actually be meeting sooner than expected; I’m juggling something that might get me down to DC for a conference. Don’t tell Spencer yet.

Darcy


 

To: vrajitoare@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: No Thanks Needed

Honey,

You’re the cutest, and there’s no need to thank me for doing the right thing. I’m happy to help. And while I hope to someday meet you, I’m also pleased to meet temporary-you. You’re always welcome to visit us (though it might be safer if we visit you).

Penelope

PS You and Darcy need to make sure the other gets some sleep, You guys must be exhausted.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Please Don’t Eat My Brains

Giiiiiirl,

Spence is going to be so mad you didn’t take care of yourself. He’s been so worried about you. If he had your phone number (which, that was news to me. How…?  I just…? You crazy kids.). Anyway, if he did have your number, he would have been sending you regular texts to sleep and eat. Actually, now I think I get it. He would have been doing that instead of working. (I think they’ll be home within the week? This has been a weird one.)

Also, like I told Wanda, you don’t owe me anything. However , should you feel like you must do something, then I think the two of you could make me some cookies. Let me make that clear:   I want the two of you making cookies together at the same time making some new happy memories together. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you even mail them (but also mail them because you are practically a kitchen goddess that I should start praying to every time I bake).

Also, warn me before you tell him that you might be meeting soon. He’ll probably need someone to make sure he gets home safely while he’s in a haze of happiness.

P

Seriously, you’re enough.


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Son of a….

WE ARE NAILING THIS ASSHOLE.

Seriously, I am over everyone who messes with the people I care about. Fuck this guy and every other one like him.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I need a drink

This has been Too Much. I feel good confessing to you (don’t you fucking breathe a word of this to Darcy), but it was A LOT of work on top of the case. It was worth it, mind you, and I don’t for a second regret doing it, but I’m SPENT. If I could just get the team home, I think I might call in sick the next day and just have a day of tequila in bed.

But seriously, I can’t imagine how it’s been for all of you who also had a huge emotional investment that I didn’t have to work through. Can I declare tomorrow a national holiday and send all of us to Drink in Bed Day? We all deserve it.

P


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I Wish

Dearest,

I wish I could be sitting with you reading over your dissertation, maybe after making you a cup of tea so you’ll hopefully fall back asleep sitting there because it sounds like you could use some more sleep. (Did you know I read incredibly fast? Reading your draft would take but a minute or two, but I’d draw it out as an excuse to stay there with you.)

Please let Jane take care of you just a little more. Just because you’ve (finally!) gotten some sleep doesn’t mean you’re back to functioning. In fact, you said you feel numb and hollow. Let her take the time to fill you back up. She probably needs to do it just as much as you need it to happen.

While things are not “done” yet, hopefully Wanda is starting to feel better about her options and her choices. She’s had a long period of bad things happening to her. Hopefully this will be the start of some good. (You are clearly one of the best things since she thinks of you as home. I can understand why she’d feel that way since I do too.)

(Is it wrong that I still…

I want I want I want)

I have to keep this short. We’re getting ready to head back into the station, but know that now that you’re home I’m working on coming home to you.

Always,

Your Spencer

“lady I will touch you with my mind” e. e. cummings


 

To: vrajitoare@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Re: More privately

Thank you for telling Darcy that I make her feel like champagne and warm blankets on cold nights.

Spencer


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I don’t know why I got an A+ but I’ll take it

Thank you for taking care of her. I know she is probably fighting you every step of the way, but it’s nice to know she has you there. I didn’t get to write her a lot today because we are short on time, but also because I think some of what she said was the sort of thing that she just needed to let out, not necessarily have a response to. Hopefully I haven’t read that wrong.

Between the things each of you have said to me, it seems like there are no winners in this situation. Everyone made some bad choices and then hurt not only each other, but also people that were related but mostly uninvolved. I’m sorry you guys are caught up in call this, and I hope having Wanda with you helps some.

As soon as I’m back in DC, I’ll put together a box for her to make up for my lacking emails.

Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: notyoursweetheart@freemail.com
Subject: I like it too

Darcy,

I don’t have any of the official pieces, but I could maybe get my hands on some of the information you’re interested in. As is the state with most things in life, some places have better views than others. I can get more specific than that, but if I’m going to be able to help in a diplomatic capacity, that information probably shouldn’t come directly from me. I’ll keep applying pressure here and there, but I can be a bit more subtle and take some time now that I know what she’s doing (which I don’t blame her for. 19! I can’t imagine 19-year-old me dealing with all this.)

This is the point where I’d feel like I should give you a shovel talk, but based on what the others have told me, you don’t really need it. I’ll watch out for him in the field (I always do), but I can’t do that if you are constantly distracting him . Last time we were in the field he walked into a door. As in, forgot to push it open. Considering he had just checked him email, I assume we have you to blame. (But seriously, keep it up. Everyone deserves something this good in their lives, and I’m glad it’s happening to him, even if he still tries to play it off like you’re just his doctoral student.) (I may not have a PhD, but I also know that saying you’re “his” student, isn’t how it works either. Silly boy. Always so obvious.)

Emily

What am I, chopped liver? Why haven’t you asked me to do some interview questions?


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: Thanks always needed

(My speling frend is asleep. Apologes for errors.)

Still. Thank you.

I will tak care of Darcy. I feel terible that I have puled her into this.

If all goes wel, I will be in the US in 38 hours.

Thank you again.

--W


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Me too

My dearest Spencer,

Before I start: people have been grumbling at me for distracting you while you’re on a case. They’ve been doing it good-naturedly, so don’t be grumpy with them, but they do have a point, you know. You should be focusing on murderous killers when you’re hunting them, no matter how much I wish you could just fly up to New York and be here with me. So if you’re in any kind of tight spot or pinch or moment in the investigation where you need to be prioritizing that: do not read this. Promise me? And I’ll promise you if there’s some emergency I will let you know, and not make you wait to read my emails. But until then, focus, sweetheart.As much as I love that you’re distracted because of me, I couldn’t live with myself if you were hurt because of it.

Now that that’s been said:

Do not apologize for your parenthetical. It isn’t wrong. It’s by no means wrong. I’ve been a bit of a wreck the last few days but hearing that helped. And I mean it. That you still want me after me becoming an absolute disaster trying to take on all of this? That means more than anything, especially right now.

I wish I could be there with you. I wish you could be here with me. I wish I could doze off with you threading your fingers into my hair. I wish I could just hide with you and forget all of this is happening. And I feel guilty for that, because it’s not like it’s anybody’s fault, here. It’s just a lot.

Speaking of things I feel guilty for: I’m so sorry for ranting as much as I did. It was incredibly unfair of me to drag you into this situation when you’ve met none of these people, and even though some part of me knows you probably didn’t mind, it still wasn’t fair. I was just a rambling idiot and most of that was directed at you and I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to throw all that on you.

(I wish you could be here. I wish I wish I wish)

Please tell me something good? It doesn’t matter what it is. Something good that happened or something you know. Facts are good. Just talk. I wish I could call you and hear you speak, but since you’re on a case that obviously doesn’t work. Tell me something. Tell me anything. I just need to not think for a while.  

It’s...weird letting Jane take care of me. I get that she’s older and everything, but it’s still weird. I’ll let her, though. For you. (I feel less numb and hollow now. Fear’s kind of crowding in the gaps, but it’ll go away once Wanda gets here. She’s in the air. We’re meeting her at JFK tomorrow. Cross your fingers, if you believe in luck.)

(It still makes me smile and breathless to hear that you think of me as home. I don’t think it ever won’t.)  

Please be careful, Spencer. Please be safe.

Yours,

Darcy

“A moment of happiness” Rumi


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: But your brains are so high quality!

Darling Penelope mine!

I’m doing better. I slept more. I screamed and cried a lot. I feel really, really terrible to have just...dumped a lot of shit on Spencer (which I can’t even technically talk about but HAH) but now that Wanda’s in the air (which is its own kind of hell, let me tell you) I’m doing...better? I just know she’s going to be here soon, and that helps.

I just--feel so terribly guilty. I didn’t mean to make him worry. I didn’t mean to make you worry. I’m usually better at keeping myself together in dramatic situations. (See: the Dark Elves.) I haven’t had an enormous meltdown like this in a while. I’m going to be apologizing until the end of time.

(We decided phone numbers were a bad idea for now because then neither of us would get anything done.)

(....weird like gross or weird like gross and spectacularly dangerous?)

Confession: I sent Spencer a long, very rambly, very exhausted, very tear-streaked email about the whole situation, and all my stresses about it, and I just...feel really terrible. I hate dumping things on other people. I hate dumping things on him, especially, because he means so much. And I don’t want to be too much. And at the same time I’m desperately scared I won’t be enough. I don’t know if that makes sense.

(Jane says it doesn’t, but Jane is biased on my side. I figured it’d be better to run it by you, since you’re biased towards his and would know more.)

I will keep you posted re: cookies. Wanda has to make it into the country first.  

In other news: apparently my stepfather has been arrested and I am SUSPICIOUS.

D


 

To: notyoursweetheart@freemail.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Good because I said that to a guy on the subway the other day and then kicked him in the balls (don’t tell Spencer, he’ll worry)

Emily,

Yeah, I figured you wouldn’t have anything official. Just...anything you can give me would be really good. I feel like I’m on that gigantic chessboard in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and someone else is sending pieces everywhere and I’m just standing there as the rook or something trying not to panic when other people get knocked down. It’s terrifying. I’m an executive assistant, for god’s sake, I’m not made for international political schemes.

Oof, that’s me chastised. I’ll try to tone it down while he’s at work. I’m not always aware that I’ve toned up , to be honest--I’m...really bad at this, and it shows--but. Yeah.

(That’s definitely not how it works . But it still made me smile for the first time in days to hear that, so thank you. And thank you for being there for him. And for being so kind. And everything else.)

SLKDJFLSDFJDSL IT WASN’T MY IDEA TO NOT ASK YOU I SWEAR. I was talking to Spencer about maybe spreading out my questions to other members of the BAU just so my dissertation advisor doesn’t find out that Spencer and I are. Well. What we are. And then toss out all my research just to be an asshole. And Spencer reached out to JJ and Rossi. I can send you questions if you want though!!

I feel like at some point if I ever get to DC we all just need to go out for a goddamn drink.

Darcy


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Bitch?

Word.

(Random question: how do regular people make up for things done badly?)


To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Seconded. Motion passed.

Jesus, woman, I figured. Go the fuck to sleep. (As soon as you can, anyway. I get that they’re still out in the field and shit, but sleep. ) And take a day in bed with tequila and possibly some rando bar dude if you’re up for it.

It’s been….hard, on this end. Tony and Darcy still aren’t speaking. Which, I mean. He’s about due to crawl into my office or Pepper’s to ask how regular people say sorry for things that they fucked up. I’m expecting him any minute now. I don’t know why he thinks I’m better at this than he is, since we’re both the kind of awkward that only genius (/flips hair) can truly bring about. The difference, I think, is that (Darcyspeak regurgitated) we’re women, in both presentation and identity, and we learned how to smooth shit over. Tony, as a little genius boy, was never taught how to apologize. And from what I can tell? His parents did jack shit for him beyond a certain age. His dad was an absolute dick who spent Tony’s entire life pining after Captain America and ignoring (and occasionally, possibly, physically abusing) his only son. Like? Tony is a product of his circumstances beyond anyone else I’ve ever met in my life. It’s why he fucked up so badly during the fight with Steve.

(I’m still on Tony’s side. If there can be sides. You don’t just lie about murder. You don’t. )

Anyway. It’s been hard. Darcy’s doing...slightly better? She’s been letting me mother her a little, which is, as you can imagine, rare as diamonds in dog shit. She’ll snap out of it in a few days and then it’ll be back to her regular “oh for god’s sake Jane I’ll do it” ways (love that girl) (even when she says I smell) but she’s letting me fuss. Pretty sure I have either Spencer or her utter exhaustion to thank for that.

Pepper’s also been a goddess and insisted Darcy take one more day off, so there’s that. She won’t have to do anything for her official job until she knows, for sure, Wanda is safe. And it sounds like Reid is helping with her dissertation, so she has support on all sides.

(I still think it’s fucking weird they don’t have each other’s numbers, but eh. To each their own.)

J


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: Re: Re: More privately

(Sorry for speling.)

I am in Cairo.

Shes never felt this happy befor. I hope you know that.

--W


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: You get A+’s when you answer questions correctly, kid

“Fighting [me] every step of the way” is accurate. Usually using your name on her works. I can’t super often, because she’ll pick up on it, but she looks like a kicked puppy every time I say “Spencer would want you to feel better than this, Darce,” and then she does whatever I’m telling her to do, so. Thanks for that.

She understands, trust me. And she feels terrible for, quote, “dumping this on [you] while [you’re] out on a case.” Just so you know.

(You didn’t read it wrong. I’m glad she’s ranting to someone. She doesn’t rant enough about the things that matter.)

Honestly the best thing you could do for her would be to come home safe. That, on top of Wanda getting through customs? That’s what she needs to hear right now. Box or no box.

Jane


 

To: ppotts@starkind.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Darcy Lewis

Dear Ms. Potts:

My name is Dr. Spencer Reid, and I am going to be presumptuous and assume you know who I am. (Darcy has mentioned some teasing? Using my name?) I was hoping I could beg a favor from you. As you know, Darcy has had a bit of a trying time recently. I have not been able to help as much as I would like since I have been out in the field during most of it. I’d like to do something nice for her, but find I am lacking the necessary knowledge; knowledge which I believe you can provide.

I’d like to send Darcy and Jane to a spa for the day. My problem is I don’t know how to select one, and, furthermore, my name might not open the doors that yours would. If you are so inclined, would you be willing to make the appointments for me? I will, of course, provide the compensation for the day, but I need help setting it up. I’d prefer it to be a nice surprise, but you do whatever you see fit since I am not only infringing on your kindness, but also on her work time with you.

Please let me know if you will be able to help in this endeavor,

Spencer Reid


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: notyoursweetheart@freemail.com
Subject: Heading Home

Darcy,

I’m pretty sure Spencer is emailing you right now too, so you probably already know that we are on our way home. Everyone is fine, but tired. Which is why it will take a few days before I can get what you asked for, but watch your spam folder in the next week or so. It won’t be arriving from this email address.

We tease Reid (a lot), but we also think it’s really damn cute what you two have going on. While I don’t like that your advisor would think that falling for an interview subject would bias all your research, I can now see why it took so long before others were interviewed. You don’t have to send me any questions (though I am certainly willing to help). However, I absolutely will be heckling him about not picking me.

Drinks are a good idea. JJ, Penelope, and I go out fairly regularly. You should join us.

Emily


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject:  Sonnet XVII -our friend Neruda

My Darling,

You’re not really distracting me. They are just having more fun teasing than they should. (That’s not to say that thoughts of you can’t be distracting, because they can, very much so. But I’m still a professional.) Though I’m assuming Prentiss told you about running into a door. She probably failed to mention that all of us were operating on very little sleep by that point and she laughed somewhat like a hyena when it happened. Even Hotch snorted . (I know you don’t know him, but imagine a very serious man who always seems to have something to disapprove of snorting .) We had decided to call it a night when JJ tried to pour a cup of coffee and didn’t realize she didn’t have a mug.

You’ll be happy to know that I am on my way home right now, so I am safe and coming home to you. I also have tomorrow off (we all do). We were in the field long enough that it’s policy we have to have the day off. (Technically it’s supposed to be 48 hours, but at least half the time that doesn’t happen. If the world decides to be a little less murderous for those 48 hours, I might get all of them.) I tell you this because I plan on going straight to bed once I get home. (Is knowing that I’m going to bed perhaps interesting information for you? I know that my dreams will certainly be filled with you, which should not be a surprise.) I also say this to let you know that if you wanted, I’m free tomorrow to be thoroughly distracted.

(Be warned that means that I am free tomorrow to thoroughly distract you.)

That probably isn’t the “something good” you asked for, so instead I will tell you that Nutella was created by Pietro Ferrero during WWII when he decided to mix hazelnuts into chocolate to extend chocolate rations. I picked this fact because Nutella is a sweet treat, much like each email from you. I wonder if you like it; if you’ve ever had it on toast, or possible straight off a spoon. There’s so much I still don’t know about you, and I want to learn it all. (I’ll confess that I’ve put it in my coffee. Does that surprise you?)

(Never apologize for anything in your emails. I treasure every word. It pleases me to know you feel safe enough to share the rough edges in addition to the smooth curves.)

If having Jane take care if you was so hard to allow, does that mean you wouldn’t let me do that either? I certainly think I might enjoy it, but perhaps you wouldn’t if you don’t like to be taken care of. These are things I should know.

We’re about to land, so I leave you with the song that someone on the plane is softly singing. I don’t think they know we can hear them. (I think it’s called “Bleeding Love.” I’m going to have to learn some more modern songs.)

Your Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Who Me?

Darcy!

I’m really not sure why you shared with me that you have suspicions about things to do with your stepfather. I mean, really, I can’t see why that might be. Have you said that to everyone you correspond with? Also, what was he arrested for? Perhaps he deserved it? You did say he was a jerk.

Stop feeling guilty about your response to crisis. I don’t know a single person that is judging you or that has changed their mind about you. Honestly, the only thing Spencer was concerned about was how he could help. Do you really think so little of his feelings to imagine this could have changed them?  Stop worrying about this “being too much” or being “not enough.” You are perfect just the way you are. (He certainly thinks so.)

Tell not-Wanda all of us say hello and hope she enjoys being home.

P


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: She’s on to us

Usually they apologize and ask what they can do to start to regain the trust they broke and/or fix the problem they created. Mostly it’s about listening (really really listening) to what they say, making them feel like they’ve been heard, and taking the time to prove themselves.

You can’t buy your way out. Sorry.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Help?

I’m on my way back home and I’ve started to put something in motion. If possible, I’d like to ask you to go along with it when it happens. I know that maybe you still don’t trust me enough to just accept my word, but I do hope you know that I wouldn’t do anything to intentionally hurt her. I’m hoping that’s enough.

You’ll know what it is when it happens (cryptic, I know).

Spencer


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: ppotts@starkind.com
Subject: Consider me hooked

Dr. Reid,

There has certainly been teasing, though I don’t know if you would call it extensive, from me at least. I leave that part up to Jane and Tony. I will say that Darcy does turn a fairly pretty shade of pink if I mention her new doctor friend, though, so that I’ll cop to.  

Honestly, a spa day sounds perfectly lovely for the pair of them, and if you can convince them to take you up on it, I’m sure they’d enjoy it. I’m going to volunteer my own funds to put Wanda through it, too; they could all use it, and the more people who can blackmail Darcy into taking a day for herself, the more likely it is she’ll go. I’ll make some calls and let you know days and times.

And please, calm down. You’re not “infringing on her work with me,” you’re giving that woman a damn day off. She needs one. She nags me to take them often enough.

Cordially,

Pepper Potts


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: And you were doing so well, too

….Darcy doesn’t like surprises.

Okay, no, lie. I don’t like surprises. Darcy loves them. I’m just suspicious so she doesn’t have to be.

Better not involve paintball. That’s all I’m saying.

Jane


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: have a little mercy on my poor heart

Darling one,

Oh, for god’s sake. Emily made it sound like some horror-fest. (Though I have to admit that it’s hella cute to picture you walking into a door.) (SLEEP. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. SLEEP. You can’t tell me to sleep and then not do it yourself, that’s not fair.) (I’m teasing. But SLEEP.) And I’m glad you have people there teasing you, because I don’t think Wanda is ever going to stop teasing me. I would send you a photograph (she’s borrowing one of my sweatshirts and it’s huge on her, she’s so thin) but I don’t want to have any photographic evidence that she’s, y’know, here. So you’ll just have to picture an Eastern European waif with hair she’s dyed BLOOD RED (I almost didn’t recognize her) and chopped off at the chin, all bundled up in a Culver hoodie way too big for her and draped in blankets. She’s stopped straightening her hair, too, so it’s all fluffy and curly, and it’s fantastic.

(She has a nickname for you in Sokovian but she won’t tell me what it means. She assures me it’s something cute and fluffy.)

(Then again, she calls me putina leoaica , which means little lioness. I don’t trust her definition of cute and fluffy. )

I’m glad all of you had a chance to laugh, though. You need it, on long cases like that.

And GOOD. GOOD. Sleep for most of tomorrow, please. Do something fun. (Hmmmm...now, would knowing you were going to bed be interesting information? Yes. Yes it would. That way I can curl up in my bed and pretend you’re here with me.)

“Free tomorrow to be thoroughly distracted”--I’m taking that as a challenge, good sir. You know how I deal with challenges.

( Good. I’ve missed being distracted by you.)

Updates here: Wanda came through okay, obviously. She apparently did some hocus pocus at the JFK customs stop to “eliminate the evidence of my status as a wanted fugitive.” That’s how she puts it, anyway. It’s Wandaspeak for “I tore the wanted poster out of the custom official’s booklet and rolled it under his desk with my magic sparklefingers while he wasn’t looking.” Penelope’s ID (of course) held up fine. She came through with no issue. She’s here. Here in mine and Jane’s apartment, sleeping on our foldout couch. She’s going to look for jobs, as soon as she recovers from jetlag. She says she wants to do something normal. I keep telling her she could go to school, Penelope’s identity is so well crafted. The point is she’s free to choose, now. I think she’s a bit overwhelmed by it.

(She’s fallen asleep with her head on my legs. Apologies for typos. I have to shift my computer sideways to keep typing and now it’s awkward.)

My stepfather has been arrested for embezzlement. I suspect both Tony and Penelope, since they’ve been crafty lately. I can’t prove it. My mother won’t see me, but it doesn’t….bother me, exactly. Well, it does. But she won’t see me, and if I go to see her she’ll just slam the door in my face. So I have to wait, at this point. See what happens. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll be able to go see her. I envy you your relationship with your mother, Spencer. Sometimes it feels like I haven’t had a mother since I was fourteen years old. (And she was , before that. My mother. My stepfather turned something sour inside her and now I don’t recognize her at all.)  

Jane is stomping around making the grumpy noises that mean she’s pleased. (She makes grumpy noises about everything. It’s cute.) She also keeps pointing at me with her ice cream spoon and saying that “he’d better not be pulling weird shit” which, eh. Have to love Jane. She’s my saltmate.

It does not surprise me at all that you put Nutella in your coffee. I’ve done it. It’s amazing. A+ decisions, Dr. Reid. And I did not think anything good came out of WWII, but now I know: Nutella did.

(I sometimes put Nutella in sandwiches with chunky peanut butter and eat that. Don’t tell Jane, she thinks it’s disgusting.)

(I would share everything with you, if I could.)

See, the thing about Jane taking care of me is that I’m the one that’s spent the last few years trying to keep her dumb ass from starving or collapsing from lack of sleep. So it’s weird. I don’t think I would object to you taking care of me. Though now that I’ve said that, I’m trying not to blush, because there are some interesting images down that train of thought.

(I want to take care of you. I want you to take care of me. I just want.)

“Oh, come to me in dreams, my love!” -- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. And as for songs: Courtnee Draper, You Belong To Me.

Your Darcy


 

To: notyoursweetheart@freemail.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Thanks for the heads up

Emily,

I’d love to be able to send all the BAU questions to be honest, but I don’t want to make it too much work for everybody. Also, according to Penelope, Morgan still doesn’t know who I am, and if I pop his hypothetical bubble then Penelope will be mad at me. She’s deeply amused by his obliviousness. (I am too, to be honest.)

(I’ll keep an eye on my spam folder.)

Yeah, for sure! If/when I ever get down to DC, I’ll hit you up.

Darcy


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Yeah, you, you sneaky person

Penelope,

First off: Wendy is here. She’s curled up in the side of the couch with tea and a fluffy sweater, and she wants me to tell you that she is very, very happy I know you, and that I can’t be angry with you for getting my stepfather thrown in jail.

(I’m not angry. He was a douchebag. My ears are just ringing from being yelled at by my mother for a good hour.)

I called my mom. I expected her to be in hysterics. She was just kind of….calm. Well, until she started yelling at me. She doesn’t believe it’s true. I don’t know if she will for a while. She told me to stay away, since “you hate him anyway, Darcy” and hung up. I can’t really do much about that. I think on a normal day I would be more panicked about this, but I’m still really fucking tired and Wanda keeps telling me that until Mama lets me in, I can’t do anything to help her, so...I don’t know. I haven’t really had a relationship with her for a while, so I can’t say I’m super surprised. She kind of lost track of me as soon as she married that guy and let him toss me out of the house.

(Hey! Guess you know where all my issues come from now.)

Also: ouch. Ouch. I don’t think little of his feelings. But thank you for checking my self-pity in its tracks. I needed that.

(Wanda keeps calling you Mama Elefant. It’s cute. She calls Spencer putin bufnita [do NOT ask me about accent marks, I have no fucking clue, I speak Spanish, not Sokovian] and I don’t know what it means but she assures me it’s just as cute.)

D


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: YOU THINK SO???

You’re no help at all, Mama Elefant.  


 

To: ppotts@starkind.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Thank You

Ms. Potts,

Thank you, truly, for helping me. If I can ever return the favor, let me know.

Sincerely,

Spencer Reid

Chapter Text

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I’m going to tell you…

…but only because Pepper Potts convinced me it would be a good idea. I’ve asked her to schedule a spa day for Darcy (since I didn’t know when she could take off or which spas were the best). So, when the time comes, please make sure she doesn’t fight it.

No paintball,

Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Was that challenge accepted?

Corazón,

I woke up this morning alone in my bed, but for a moment before I realized, I half dreamed you were there. I could feel a strand of your hair tickling my nose, smell your shampoo, feel the heat of you pressed to my side.

(What do you smell like? Will it slowly change over time and mingle with mine, as I mark you atom by atom? I want to know; to breathe you in and let you overwhelm me.)

(I want I want I want)

I took a shower and put on the sweater you made me, and it was like having you wrapped around me. I’m curled into the oversized chair I own explicitly for reading, and all I can think about is you being here with me; curled in person instead of sweater. Instead I’ll make due with flicking through the handful of pictures I have of you and writing you this email that will hopefully make you blush. (How far does that flush go? Can I trace it with my eyes; chase it with my lips?)

(I want I want I want)

Tomorrow or the day after I have to go back to work and back to the real world, but for today I can do anything I want. What would you do with an open day to spend with me? There’s so much I want to know about you, and a full day seems like the perfect time to explore you. (I could get lost in you, and I don’t think I’d mind.)

(I want I want I want )

I’m drinking a cup of coffee and the heat of it in my hands is one of my favorite things. I don’t particularly like being cold, so anything that heats me up is appreciated. Sometimes thoughts of you warm me. It starts deep in my diaphragm and radiates out like rays of the sun. You keep me warm and fill me with heat.

( I want I want I want )

What makes you happy? What makes laughter bubble out of you? How many different smiles do you have, and what do I need to do to see each of them? Which smiles is your favorite? What makes you so incandescently happy that you can’t even express it? (I need to know so the answer to all of the questions can be me.)

( I want I want I want)

If you haven’t noticed, everything I want is you. That’s it. Nothing else. But nothing could be worth more than having you. I want you to be mine . I want to possess you the same way you completely own me.

( I’m yours I’m yours I’m yours )

“Body, Remember” Constantine P. Cavafy

Your Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Wasn’t Me

I’m happy Wendy is doing well. Hopefully now that she’s here she has a chance to recalibrate she can find a much calmer normal.  I’m not certain why I’m an elephant, but I think I like it.

So….where are you at re: visiting? Just trying to make sure I’m prepared.

Penelope

PS Also, uh, I know he’s kind of an ass, but I told Tony that he couldn’t buy his way into your forgiveness, so if he’s trying to make amends, maybe give him a chance? (But don’t make it easy.)


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Excuse You

I am ALL the help. You just don’t like to hear it’ll be work.


 


To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Oh I see how it is

No fighting from her, for sure. I mean, there will be fighting, but I can defuse it. No worries.  

(Also: please enjoy the attached photo from Pepper. There’s a mother with a sick baby here at SI and Darcy’s been carting baby Ruby around all day. It’s driving CEOs bonkers.)

J


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: If it wasn’t before, then it definitely is now

My Spencer, cariño, precioso,

When I woke up this morning and reached out across the blankets I thought for a second that you might be there. I keep imagining what it would be like to wake up with you and fall asleep with you and tangle together with you in the same bed, legs all knotted, lips on skin. You’re almost a foot taller than me and that means that if we were in the same bed my feet would only reach your shins and I’m oddly pleased by that. I like that we’re so different, that you’re tall and thin and angular and that means that when I curl around you I’m somehow not enough and more than enough to drown you. (I want to drown you a little. In me. I want to be able to leave marks all over to claim you as mine, so nobody comes near you, so that people take one look and they see that you’re written all over with me. I want to smell like you. I want you to smell like me. I want the pair of us to lose track of what we used to be, with what we are now, mixed together at the seams.)  

I want to find all the marks on you that you won’t tell me about, the scars and scrapes, and I want to make them over as mine. I want to put my mouth to the places that have been wounded by other people and I want to make them mine, make them a place of softness, make them over with memories of me and not of the pain that put them there in the first place. I want to spend days at a time wrapped up in your clothes and curled up next to you and being with you. I want to spend months exploring every inch of you with every tool I have, and I want to know how to make your eyes go dark and your face flush with just a look. I want to know.

I can think of any number of things I’d want to do with you all day. The question is if you’d let me do them. Sometimes it just hits me hard in the face, the idea that you’re mine, that you’ve let me have you, the thought that if I ever saw you in person I could see myself all over you and you could see your name written all over me. That this is real , and that we are us.

(I smile every time I think of you.)  

You have me, you have me, you have me.  

Hyakunin Isshu, No. 18, Fujiwara no Toshiyuki, “The waves are gathered”

Your Darcy


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: On another note

I’ve been working up the courage to tell you this for a while, and I was going to right before the whole Wanda thing happened, but:

I’ve been invited to be a session speaker at a national security conference in DC at the start of December. I get that that’s only a few weeks away, but like I said, Wanda kinda distracted me, and before that I wasn’t totally sure that we both hoped for the same thing, so it’s been...kinda crazy? Yeah.

Anyway, I have….maybe nagged the head of the conference to set aside a ticket for you, if you want to come and see me speak. And if you don’t it’s okay!! That’s fine. But I’ll be in DC. And we can maybe meet in person. In like two weeks. If you want.

….yeah.

Your Darcy


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Why don’t I believe you

I’m not sure why I’m a lioness, but I don’t question Wendy’s nicknames anymore.

(Tony is an armadillo.)

HOKAY SO BACKGROUND. A few months ago I signed up to go to this conference for national security experts. I’m giving a talk on lone wolf killers, though that’s like...one bit piece when faced with ALL THESE MAJOR NAMES like goddamn I have to spill wine on General Ross since he’s gonna be there bUT! Anyway. It’s in...two weeks, and I spent a lot of time waffling back and forth about whether or not I should pull out of it, especially after everything that went down with Wanda, but I’m still signed on, so I’ll be in DC for a couple days in like….December.

…./jazz hands

I told Spencer in the last email I sent him. Haven’t heard back yet. Obviously y’all are having your day off, so I dunno if you’ve seen him or if I broke him or if he’s like. Having a crisis about what to do.

(I mean, I’m having a crisis. HE’S GONNA BE IN THE SAME CITY. LIKE RIGHT THERE. HE’LL PROBABLY WANT TO COME SEE THE TALK. HOW AM I GONNA GET THROUGH IT WITHOUT BEING STUPID. WHAT IS HAPPENING. OH MY GOD. I DON’T KNOW WHY I THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA. OH MY GOD.)  

Shrieking like a banshee,

Darcy

PS (I’ve never made it easy for Tony.)


To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Excuse *You*

Bah.


 


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Yup, You Broke Him

I’m going to assume he hasn’t written you back yet because I just got a hilarious series of texts from JJ. Apparently, she asked if he wanted to go to the park with her and the boys, and he just sort of exploded about meeting you and a picture of a baby. She got him to the park (see attached photo of him pushing the boys on the swings), and she finally got him to explain about why he was rambling and sending her yell-y all caps messages.

Basically, it comes down to he’s built you up in his head as this person that is too good for him and the fact that you continue to email him and possibly feel the same way as him is more than he can believe. He’s certain you’re going to meet him in person and be all, “You’re not who I thought you were, BYE.” (For someone who is normally so logical, this is crazy weird for him. Like…I haven’t read your messages, but there’s no way you would be completely disappointed by him. I mean, based on the emails you’ve sent me talking about him, that is.)

Have I mentioned I will END YOU if you happen to not be as lovely as we all think and you break his tiny precious heart?

Anyway, there’s also the part where he saw a picture of you holding a baby, and I know he doesn’t have ovaries, but basically his ovaries exploded, but, like, the male form. He LOVES kids (and is really good with them!) and hopes to have some one day. I don’t think he had really considered that whatever is happening with you could actually go there some day if it kept going.

So, yeah, you broke him. It’s a good thing he was already home and we didn’t need him in the field. JJ’s still with him, and she said Will is losing it at how out of character this is for Reid. (Will’s her husband.) I’m sure the two of them (and the boys) will help bring him back around and he’ll be ready to respond to you soon.

Penelope


To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Explosion Imminent

As I’m sure you know, Darcy is heading to DC and she told Spencer. He….he definitely lost it a little in a bubble of insecurity and excitement which swirls into a really odd mess. Anyway, it looks like things are about to get intense and real. Are you coming to DC with Darcy? If so, we should have a little support group meeting for the rest of us that have been putting up with this craziness for months. (Also, I still have some plates and know a place we can throw them from if the mood strikes.) (Also, also, I need someone to join me on the prowl. Meeeeow!)

P


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: She likes me, right?

You know her better than anyone else I know. She’s going to like me, right? In person?

Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Am I dreaming?

You tell me you’re going to be here (in two weeks!), and I should be ecstatic, but instead I feel my insecurities rising up, clawing their way out my mouth and fingers. “What if I’m not enough? What if I’m not what she expects? What if she decides reality isn’t as good as the fantasy?”  I, uhm, might have had a bit of a “freak out.” (Wording courtesy of JJ who had the pleasure of sending me a text moments after your email arrived.  She made me go to the park with her, Will, and the boys and “talk about why [I’m] a mess.”)

Even though there were fears, behind them was a chorus of I want I want I want . And I do; want, that is. I want to see you; have you really be there to caress with my eyes and my hands, to pull close to me and breathe in. I want to tuck your hair behind your ears and just lean into you; content to be. I want to watch you present and be proud to know you. I want I want I want.

Yes, I’ll meet you.

And if you decide I’m acceptable in the flesh, we can get started on the items in your first email. Where would you like to start? (I’m a fan of the waking up together, but I’m not sure I could fall asleep if you’re really there, and that’s a prerequisite for waking up.)

Happy to do your bidding,

Your Spencer


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I know I shouldn’t be but I’m frustrated

Please picture me seizing you by one of your ties and yanking you down to my eye level and scowling at you right now, Spencer Reid.

You are enough. You are enough. You are enough. Reality won’t be as good as the fantasy. It’ll be better, because you’ll be real. You’ll be real and there and a physical being I can touch and yeah, flawed, like all humans are flawed. I’m flawed. I’m scared too. I don’t want you to meet me and be disappointed. But you ? You could never disappoint me. No matter what. You are enough.

Don’t you dare argue with me. You are.

(I hear there was a photo that Jane sent you of me with Ruby that, quote, “made your man ovaries explode.” [Yes, it was Penelope.] Precious, ridiculous, soft-hearted man that you are, and you think that you’re going to disappoint me? Christ, Spencer.)

(I’m not angry, or disappointed, or anything other than just... frustrated. How can you not see that you’re enough????)

Re: waking up with you: I didn’t want to be presumptuous and assume that I was just going to stay with you but I would...like that. If I can. I can’t imagine anywhere else I would rather stay, but if you’re nervous and would rather keep your own space for the moment, then I totally understand, okay? You don’t have to worry about disappointing me or any of that. You can tell me no and I’ll be okay.

Re: times: I’ll be flying in on December 3rd, with Jane in tow. Wanda is staying here in New York, in our apartment, snakesitting. The flight’s scheduled to come in at about five in the afternoon. I don’t have enough time off after the whole thing that went down to stay more than three days (two for the conference, one for recovery and return time) but my session is on the first day, so the second day I can just...wander around the conference with you and network and maybe skip out on Ross’s keynote speech because I hate his guts and want to set his car on fire.

Mostly I just want to kiss you and never stop, right now.

I’m going to bite you when I see you,

Your Darcy

PS. I’m not mad. I really am not mad, I promise you. I’m dancing. I’m giddy and excited and I keep humming too loud for Tony to concentrate. Wanda’s making fun of me ALL THE TIME. She says I can’t stop smiling. I get to meet you??? I get to meet you.

PPS. Tony keeps teasing me with “I get that you’re going to visit your boyfriend in two weeks but can you hold yourself back from smiling angelically for like ten minutes because it’s giving me a headache” and I couldn’t...correct him?? I don’t know if you’d even like being called that. But, I mean. I wouldn’t...mind being able to call you that. Or something like it maybe.

PPPS. I’m really, really glad I’m not the only nervous one.

PPPS. I think when I called the head of the conference to let him know that Dr. Spencer Reid of the FBI is the name he should put on the ticket I had him set aside he nearly had heart failure. So, thanks for making that part a little easier, Dr. Reid.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I’m not feeling very whole at the moment either

He has now, and I’m just...confused?? And frustrated. Because me being too good for him is ridiculous. I want to shake him. Penelope, I’m just--it’s stupid that I’m frustrated! I shouldn’t be!! But I’m not?? Too good for him?? If anyone’s too good for anybody here it’s him being too good for me and I want to scream .

LIKE WHAT THE FUCK THOUGH PENELOPE??? HE HAS THREE DOCTORATES???? HE’S A GENIUS WHO READS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF WORDS IN MINUTES????? HE SPEAKS SEVEN LANGUAGES??? HE WORKS FOR ONE OF THE TOP DIVISIONS IN THE FBI AND FLIES AROUND PUTTING AWAY SADISTS AND MASS MURDERERS AND SAVING HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF LIVES IN THE DOING OF IT AND HE THINKS I’M TOO GOOD FOR HIM???? HE’S THE SOFTEST, SWEETEST, MOST GENUINE MAN I’VE EVER MET AND HE’S GORGEOUS AND ROMANTIC AND INTELLIGENT AND REAL AND HE THINKS I’M TOO GOOD FOR HIM ???

JESUS FUCKING SHIT A CAT I’M GOING TO SHAKE HIM . DISAPPOINTED IN HIM??? LIKE I EVER COULD BE ANYTHING BUT ASTOUNDED??? LIKE HE COULD BE ANYTHING BUT EVERYTHING?????

Also I did NOT know that Jane a) took a picture of me with Ruby and b) sent it to Spencer but SLKDFJLDSFJSDLFJSDLFDSJFLSD.

PENELOPE I’M DYIN’.

Darcy


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: “Imminent,” you say

She’s the same way.

I need to throw plates, I need to drink a shitton of vodka, and I need to bang a hot guy and not call him the next day. Or, at least, pretend that I’m gonna and then get trashed and go home to sleep on the couch. If I weren’t already coming to DC, I would be now.

J


 


 


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: For a genius, you’re pretty stupid sometimes

Yes. Stop worrying about her liking you and start worrying about other things. Like the fact that Natasha Romanoff now has you on her Observation list.

Jane


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I’m sorry?

I feel like I should apologize? I made you do a lot of yelling? At me? For being honest with you? (Which is rich, considering Penelope sent me screenshots of parts of an email you sent her? And it seems like I was not alone in these feelings?)

So maybe instead of apologizing I should return the (much appreciated) favor.

Darcy Lewis, you are the most genuine, kind, interesting person I have ever met. You have all sorts of terrible things happen to you and it all just rolls off your back and you don’t let it stop you from being gentle and fierce. (That last email? Into the exhibit box.)

(How funny that you think you can pull my tie to get me to eye level and think that you can yell instead of kiss. I sincerely doubt either of us have the control for things to go the way you described.)

YOU, Darcy Lewis, are more than enough. You’re everything I could want you to be, and that includes the rambling and exuberance that you seem to think are a bug but I see as a feature. I think it will be interesting to see what happens when we are able to talk face-to-face because we both can fill up spaces with a lot of words. But, honestly, I think you might leave me speechless just because you’re you and you’d be here with me .

Men don’t have ovaries, but yes, that description is still apt, I guess. I liked the picture. You were lovely in it and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

You being here, with me? I…I like that idea. I wasn’t sure I would, but after letting it roll around my head a bit, I think I do. But I don’t want you to feel trapped here either. I’d want you to have somewhere else if being here wasn’t right for you. (And now I need to clean. Oh god. There are books everywhere….) I can sleep on the couch, if that will make you feel more comfortable. (Oh and about a million notebooks that should be organized and put away….)

Re: what to call me. Everyone here already either calls you my doctoral student (and yes, I’ve caught onto their tone of voice), or my girlfriend. (Well….everyone except Morgan.) And while I don’t mind, I also don’t know that girlfriend feels right either? Can that be right if we haven’t met yet? (Can these emails count as meeting? I know I don’t have to ever see you in person to feel this way about you.) I guess what I’m saying is I don’t have a problem with those terms, but I’m also not certain they’re right. Can’t you just be mine and I’ll be yours ? Because, I must admit, I spend a lot of time thinking of you as mine and the ways I would like to prove it.)

(What kind of shampoo do you like? I know you said lavender, but I don’t have any bath products for you in my bathroom and you might be here and I need to be prepared.)

(Oh god. When was the last time I dusted??)

I’m very excited to hear you speak. I’ve read the drafts of your dissertation and, you’re an expert. I promise to take some shaky cell phone footage of the speech (though maybe I’ll keep it just for me instead of putting it on YouTube). I’m so proud to know you and see you show everyone how damn smart you are (and show that asshole you call an advisor how great you are). I’m going to sit in the back and just think mine as you wow the crowd with your amazing intellect.

(What do you like in your coffee? I’ll need to have some so we can enjoy a cup in the morning. After we wake up. Together.)

(I don’t think I replaced those mugs I chipped….)

I look forward to your biting,

Your Spencer

PS (If you’re lucky, I’ll return the favor.)


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: YOU TWO I SWEAR

Can I just like, have you reread your email to me and instead aim it at yourself and call it a day? Christ on a cracker. You two are insane. You are the friggin love story of the modern era and you’re going on like the most insecure pre-teens I’ve ever met. HE LOVES YOU; YOU LOVE HIM, OKAY?? Done. Stop stressing about anything else. You’re going to meet in two weeks and probably burst into UST flames. (That or just, like, resolve all the UST in public and get arrested.)

JESUS WOMAN. GET IT TOGETHER.YOU’RE DARCY FUCKING LEWIS AND SPENCER REID WANTS TO HAVE BABIES WITH YOU.

I swear to god you two owe me a bottle of good tequila,

Penelope


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Come to Momma

You’re going to be in DC with Darcy, but you don’t have to spend all your time with her, right? Do you really want to lose your lunch watching those two moon over each other nonstop? Come stay with me and we can make all your debauched dreams come true. We owe it to ourselves.

P


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Honestly?

I assumed I already was. Does she like flowers? Maybe I should have flowers for her….

Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: IMPORTANT

Do I get to pick you up from the airport? I need to know so I can set a proper countdown until I get to see you and kiss you senseless.

Your Spencer


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Don’t be

So you need to stop making me cry???? You really do. (They were good tears!! Don’t freak out. Good tears only here. Very overwhelmed happy tears. Like, ten times better than the tears you get when you watch Free Willy or something, because it came from you. It was good. Don’t freak out.) But seriously, how do you just keep saying the sweetest things anybody has ever said to me, and then just--top it?? Like it’s no trouble at all. I don’t get it. You’re going to kill me. And I’m going to enjoy it.

PENELOPE SENT YOU THAT EMAIL. THAT SNEAK. I’M GONNA KILL HER.

So I guess...I guess from this point we both just--wait? And get excited. And nervous. My palms are sweating just thinking about it, to be honest??? But it’s good. It’s good nervousness. Anticipation, not fear. If that’s right.

(.....okay I was gonna argue the point about the tie but you’re. Probably right at this point.)

(I think I’m slightly verging on hysteria, but--I can get Dr. Spencer Reid to lose control? God damn I must be awesome. And I haven’t even kissed you yet.)

Well, some men have ovaries (see: transmen; transmasculine nonbinary peeps; occasionally intersex folx, et cetera) but yeah.

I’m gonna say it one more time just so I know that I’m being absolutely clear: I know you said that you don’t always feel comfortable with touching or with people in your space, so if I’m pushing too hard by basically inviting myself over, you can tell me no. I’ll understand it and I won’t be hurt or offended or anything . Okay? You can absolutely tell me no. So don’t worry about me; I can find a hotel somewhere near the convention center and come see you after the speech is done and everything will be fine. Worst comes to worse I can crash on Penelope’s couch or nag Maria to lend me the keys to her DC apartment. She still pays rent on the damn thing, somebody should be using it.

(Oh no . Books everywhere. Be still my heart, I’m gonna cry . How dare you have books everywhere?)

(I’m being sarcastic. I know that doesn’t always translate well with text. But seriously, books and dust and mugs and things??? Don’t worry about those. I wouldn’t care if you lived in like. A cardboard box. I just want to be there with you.)

(Also re: shampoo I’m bringing my own so no worries there.)

(SERIOUSLY. TELL ME NO IF I’M BEING TOO MUCH. I always worry I’m being too much. I can’t help it. Penelope called us Insecure Middle School Children but I can’t help it?? I can’t. I’ve never been enough for somebody before. I want to do it right.)

(Is it rude to say I want to read your notebooks?? They’re probably classified but I want to see your handwriting again. I’ve read about the cases in your responses to my interview questions; I want to read about them right from you and see where you stopped to think and your pen dipped on the page.)  

It’s cute that you think I’d let you sleep on the couch if I did stay there. (Though again, if I’m being too much, blah blah blah.) I trust you, Spencer Reid.

No, boyfriend and girlfriend seem...juvenile? I don’t know. Partner just sounds like a cowboy movie. (MORGAN STILL HASN’T CAUGHT ON???? OH MY GOD I’M DYING LAUGHING .) I think boyfriend and girlfriend can be right for some people who have relationships (connections??) like this, but I also don’t think it...fits. Not quite right. (Emails count. Emails definitely count.) It’s just hard to correct people who already have a set idea of the right word for something and then you just kinda stand there with your mouth open trying to figure out how to put it.

( Mine and yours sound right to me. But I can’t exactly tell Tony that “No, I’m not going to see my boyfriend, I’m going to see my Spencer .” Because then he’ll just go bonkers.)

(Sweetheart. Calm. Again: I don’t care about dust.)

Oh god don’t put me on Youtube. I’m really not a very good public speaker. I get nervous and then say stupid things. Knowing you’re going to be in the audience is already enough to get me fluttery and nervous as hell. (Though honestly if I can pick you out somewhere in the audience I might just talk to you and that could help with nerves.)

(Nutella, obviously. We’ve talked about this, Spencer.)  

I look forward to your biting (because you can’t just say “ maybe ” with that shit, son),

Your Darcy

PS. If you hear from Natasha: don’t be scared. She’s really harmless underneath.

PPS. Please come and pick me up. If you want to, that is.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: YOU SNEAK PENELOPE GARCIA

I GET THAT YOU’RE TAKING SIDES IN THIS BECAUSE HE’S YOUR TINY SQUISHY BUT ALSO WHAT THE HELL MAN YOU CAN’T JUST SEND HIM SNAPSHOTS OF SHIT LIKE THAT

I’M SO RED I’M GONNA EXPLODE OH MY GOD

I’m not really mad but COME ON GIRL.

Darcy

(Did he…say he loves me or are you just like…saying that to be dramatic.)


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: GET ME OUT OF HERE

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET ME OUT OF THIS FUCKING APARTMENT. SHE KEEPS SINGING. I WANT TO DIE. YOU’VE HEARD HER SING. YOU KNOW IT’S TERRIBLE. I CAN’T LISTEN TO IT ANYMORE.  

J


 

To: spencer@garcia.com

From: quarkulous@freemail.com

Subject: For the love of god

A) There’s a difference between being in Natasha’s periphery and actually being on her list. She’s going to contact you soon. Do not panic. She probably won’t kill you. But if you’ve read all the Widowgate files, then you know that she 

  • Could
  • Will if you do one thing wrong
  • Know that I’m not joking
  • Know that no one will EVER find your body
  • She will enjoy it
  • And that’s without doing more than lifting her pink

B) Darcy will be happy to see you if you turn up in a clown costume. She’s terrified of clowns. She has nightmares about them. But it’s you, so she’ll be happy. Plus, if you bring flowers, they might get squashed. She’s good at hugs with no warning.

C) STOP ASKING ME STUPID QUESTIONS.

J


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Start like you intend to finish

My Darcy,

“I can get Dr. Spencer Reid to lose control? God damn I must be awesome. And I haven’t even kissed you yet.” I am highly aware of the fact that you haven’t kissed me yet. I am acutely aware of that. I’ve spent time considering that and wondering what it will be like when it finally happens. My understanding is that there are many different kinds of kisses, that they all convey different things, and I wonder which one will be first. (My guess: a kiss that is like air; instinctual and necessary for life.) This morning I happily spent an hour alone in bed thinking about it, and this was not time wasted. That’s the effect you have on me; so, yes my Darcy, you are awesome. I’ve never thought anything else. (Do you think about what it might be like to lose control together? I have. I imagine it feels like improvised jazz under the skin, jolting through the fingers as we make music together.)

I can tell you’re making fun of me and my panic induced list of things to clean, but my mother would kill me if I didn’t have a clean apartment ready for you. She called last night, and I told her you were visiting soon. She said, “You’re going to need to clean your apartment. The one thing I always let you get away with was being untidy and that will simply not work anymore. You have to show her she matters enough to not trip over the books you keep on the floor like it’s a bookshelf.” She was also pleased to know that some of the poetry she had suggested had been well received. She also, oddly, talked a bit about perfect timing? I couldn’t get her to explain what that meant. Anyway, I have to clean because mom said so.

(Also, maybe I wanted to have your shampoo because it would be like a tiny reminder that you’re coming, and, later, a reminder you had been here. And if I maybe wanted to know what your hair smelled like, well that’s my business.)

I’ve mentioned my mom a few times, but not my dad, and I almost feel like I’ve been keeping things from you? (I haven’t, but I feel strange that I haven’t volunteered this information yet.) My dad left when I was 10. I assume it was because he had difficulty dealing with my mom’s condition, but neither of them really explained. My mom just spent a lot of time making sure that I knew it wasn’t because of me. Anyway, he left, and I never heard from him again. I did see him, not that long ago. He was only a 10-minute drive away from us the entire time. It was…difficult to even understand how he could be so physically close and emotionally distant. He had kept track of me through news articles, but that isn’t enough to make him a dad. (I always wanted to know everything to make the world better, but at first, I also did it to spite him; to make him see what an idiot he was for throwing us away.) I’m still a bit angry (who leaves their son completely alone with a paranoid schizophrenic and no support system?), but it’s not worth my time or energy to think about him. So…there you go.

What does it mean to be “middle school children”? I assume we’re talking about some sort of psychological behaviors that take place as kids are raging with hormones while their body and brain go through a rapid transition. Actually, I retract my question. That basically answers it, I think.

Why are you mad that Penelope shared parts of your email? (Just parts. She refused to share the whole thing.) I think we might have both been anxious in silence without knowing the other was having similar fears if she didn’t. I’m glad she did so we could realize we didn’t need to worry alone (because there was nothing to worry about anyway). (Because you are so amazing that you couldn’t be anything but exactly what I want. I already know it. You could have an extra head I don’t know about and it could be true. You could smell like old onions and it would be true. The only way it’s not true is if you haven’t been yourself in these emails, and that is highly unlikely. You’re linguistically consistent, and the details you have shared with me line up with what I would glean from an analysis of the emails. If you have, in fact, not been authentic, you are possibly one of the best fakers I’ve ever met.)

(That sounds weird…like I profiled you. I guess I did, in a way, but I didn’t mean it as a job activity, but more as a reassurance thing. You have to be real because I am good at my job and those skills tell me you are real.)

Morgan has been completely obtuse at this point. I was naïve and thought that no one had caught on earlier, but of course that was wishful thinking. While he hasn’t said anything about it, I’m certain Hotchner knows because occasionally he rolls his eyes when I grab my phone because it pinged with an incoming email. (They aren’t all you, so this is very undeserved eye rolling.) I know Rossi was responsible for that picture that let you tell me you like my glasses. (I wear them most of the time now, if you’re curious. Just for you, even though you can’t see them.) JJ was there when I saw I would be meeting you. Penelope, of course, emails you and blackmails both of us. And Prentiss likes to spend time softly singing love songs to see if I will give up and ask her what they are. (The last song she sang was “Falling Slowly”) (She forgets that I can simply remember the lyrics and look it up myself.) (I take that back. She doesn’t forget; she just likes to see me start to pay attention.) But Morgan. Nothing. No idea. I’m starting to wonder if he’s a profiler or a pretty face to bash in doors. (He’s very good at his job. I’m just joking because this seems to be a hilarious blind spot.)

I want you, my Darcy,
Your Spencer

PS. You are correct, of course, re: men with ovaries. But I still am not going to comment more on that picture and the state of my metaphorical ovaries.

PPS. I asked Jane if you like flowers and she didn’t answer. So instead I ask, if you could have me pick you up with anything at all, what would you like? Flowers? Coffee? (with Nutella?) a real sandwich because airplane food is never good?

PPPS. I was just thinking that we gave animals to Jane and Penelope, but none to ourselves. What would we be? (I haven’t thought on it yet, so I don’t have an answer for you.)


To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: THIS IS WHY YOU’RE NOT INVITED

Jane is mine when you get to DC. You can’t have her. You and Reid are so FUCKING RIDICULOUS that Jane and I NEED A GODDAMN BREAK. (And a drink…..)

We love you, really we do. But holy smokes are you two insecure about how the other feels. Nothing has been more obvious ever. You practically have neon signs over your heads.

You know what? I’m not going to tell you (re: your PS). Figure it out Darcy. What do you think? Maybe if you look into the evidence you’ll REALIZE YOU’RE A FUCKING ROMANCE MOVIE.

I’m off to the store to get some Schnapps for when Jane arrives. Does she have any current cravings I should have in stock?

Penelope


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: So that’s a no on flowers?

Natasha likes Darcy, right? If so, I (theoretically) shouldn’t have anything to worry about since hurting me would hurt Darcy.

(I’m not stupid; I understand this is not necessarily how it works, and I should be terrified. I’m trying to reason through not having that (understandable!) reaction.)

But also, does Darcy have a favorite book?

Spencer


Dear Miss Lewis,

My son has told me a lot about you, not all of it in words. You make his face light up and his cheeks turn pink. When he calls, his voice is lighter when he talks about you. Thank you for making him into the messy human he sometimes forgets that he is. He is by no means perfect (no one is), but learning to like the jagged edges and the cracks is important if a relationship is going to last. It sounds like you might like all the pieces of him, so it was time I stepped in to have this chat.

He is my son. I might be here, in Las Vegas, in an institution, but that does not mean I won’t break out, cross the country and cut you into tiny pieces if I need to. (I am a “good” patient, and sometimes that allows me leniency. I will use it to my advantage to end you if I need.) I also will get away with it because, as I’m sure he told you, I’m here for medical reasons that would likely get me off.

Now, I’m predisposed to like you, Miss Lewis, because when he talks about you, it’s like he’s a balloon so full of happiness that he might float away. He’s been too serious for too long. You seem to make him back into the sweet boy that used to show me new magic tricks and laugh at my delight in each one. It would be a shame if that had to stop.

Diana Reid

Chapter Text

Dear Mrs. (Ms.?) Reid,

I spent a long time thinking about how to respond to this letter. Not because I didn’t have a lot to say--I do! I always have a lot to say, to be honest--but because I wanted to figure out the right way to make it come out right. I don’t always manage that, even in writing.

I don’t know what all Spencer has told you about me, so. Obviously you know my name. I was born in San Juan. My mother and I moved away from Puerto Rico when I was ten, after my dad left. I look like him, which I hate. My mom remarried when I was fourteen, and by the time I was sixteen my stepdad had thrown me out of the house because I was ruining his Perfect Family ideal. My mom let him do it, because...I don’t know why. Because she did. She’s been different ever since she met my stepfather, so I want to put the blame all on him, but I don’t know if I can. I think that if I talked about it more often then Spencer would be able to say “ah, that’s why you’re so nervous about people caring about you,” but it’s probably true. People just leave, so it’s hard for me to remember that they might stay.

(It’s also recently come out that my stepfather is an embezzler and he’s probably going to jail, so that’s a whole new can of worms. My mom won’t see me. I haven’t heard one word from my dad in over a decade. I don’t think I ever will.)

My best friend in the world (other than your son) is an astrophysicist. I work in New York City (mainly I’m an assistant) and I’m pursuing my Ph.D. in criminalistics. (He’s probably already told you that part.) I’m going to see him in less than two weeks and it makes me shaky and excited and terrified that I won’t be enough and elated that he’s real and not some magical person I made up in my head, to pretend I wasn’t so terribly lonely. I told him to tell you this, when he went to visit you, I never confirmed whether or not he did, but: thank you. Spencer is beautiful. He’s good and sweet and gentle and funny and he makes me happier than I’ve ever been in my life and I’m sure most of that comes from you. He thinks the world of you.

I love that he’s messy and distractible and insecure (well, no, I don’t love that part, I don’t understand how he can’t see what I see, it frustrates me to no end, but I think you get what I mean). I love that he’s stubborn as hell and that he’s shy and that he’s panicked about dust of all things. (I don’t care if there’s dust or books on the floor or a damn jar of eyeballs in the fridge, to be quite honest, so you know. I really, really don’t.) I love that he doesn’t always know when he’s saying things right and that his first instinct when he doesn’t have the word for something is to use poetry for it. I love that he’s smart and funny and that he does magic tricks (which I still haven’t seen; I’ll need to ask) and that he taught himself a bunch of languages just to have more words to talk about things with and that he loves you so much.

I love him?? I love him.

I haven’t said that in writing or aloud before but I think I have to now.

I guess you might think that it’s dumb for me to say that when we’ve not met in person yet and won’t for days more (eleven days, eighteen hours, to be exact) but it’s true. I love him. More than I’ve ever loved anybody in my life.

That is to say: if you need to get out of the institution and come and cut me to tiny pieces for something I’ve done to him, I’d probably let you do it.

This letter is incredibly incoherent and spastic, I’m sorry. I hope it doesn’t completely destroy your opinion of me, or made you uncomfortable in any way. That’s the last thing I want. I just wanted to respond somehow, and this is the only way I knew.

Thank you,

Darcy Lewis


 


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: I really can’t fucking take this anymore

She apparently just figured out she’s in love with him.

Please kill me.

How’s he on that spectrum?

--J


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: fyi

Darcy is stressed about her presentasion. Email her if you can.

I do want to met you at some point. I cant come to DC yet but. Maybe someday?

--W


 

To: REDACTED
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: hi

Did u find him yet?

--W


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: That’s one hell of a start, then

My Spencer,

I wasn’t making fun of youuuuu. Well, not a lot. I just think it’s really cute that you’re stressing about dust and books everywhere when really I’m just nervous as hell that I get to meet you . I won’t notice the books or dust or anything if I can have that, that I can promise.

Please thank your mom for her letter. It was really, really lovely.

(A secret: I spent most of my day yesterday thinking what it would be like to kiss you, and talk to you, and tell you things that I can only say in person. Not that I’m keeping anything back, really, I just--would prefer to say them to your face.)

There are many different kinds of kisses, according to Natasha, who’s studied them all so she can use them on unsuspecting marks, but I’m not really that well-versed in the playbook of kissing. I mean, not that I haven’t kissed people before, but most of the things I’ve had before this (and that sounds...trashy?? Not like, slutshame trashy, but to describe this as a thing is wrong ) were just kinda deeply uneven in that I liked the other person way more than they liked me and they were really just kinda hanging around to either a) get at the Avengers b) have sex with me and then run or c) have sex with me and then say they banged that chick that hangs around with the Avengers all the time. (Not that I’m saying that we have to have sex or anything, like--that’s fine if you don’t want to, and like I said ages ago, I’d be happy just to see you, let alone anything else.) But yeah, so you can...have that information, I guess.

Tl;dr I’ve had really bad relationships with guys for the most part so there’s...that.

(I can’t picture us losing control together as anything other than magic .)

(Well, if that was the case re: shampoo, I have an extra bottle I can leave with you.)

Also: fucking hell. Can I kill your father? Is that okay? I want to. Bastard. You’re a bit angry and I can be incandescently angry, that’s okay, right? Fucking hell, Spencer.

I told you my dad left when I was ten, too, but I didn’t--explain all of it? I’m really bad at talking about it. But essentially what happened was like--I mean. He and my mother had been fighting for years before that--I don’t...think I can actually remember a time when they loved each other? Maybe right when I was born, or a little before--but there was this really, really bad night, and my mom found out that my dad had been sleeping with someone from work, and she told him to leave, and he just...did. He didn’t say goodbye to me, he took the dog with him, he just...walked out. So I get it, believe me. Okay? I don’t know where he is now, and I don’t want to know, and I can’t imagine learning he was only ten minutes away?? I can’t. But it’s not worth your time and energy, you’re right, I’m just...upset.

I’m not...mad at Penelope. And now that I’m thinking about it, I’m really glad she shared it, I just kinda...wanted to explain it to you myself? I guess? It’s hard to phrase. (You made me cry again. Happy tears. No panic.)

(No no no no no. It doesn’t sound weird, sweetheart, no. You’re a profiler, you can’t just turn it off. And it’s my fault if I haven’t reassured you as much as I should have that this is real , and that this is me. This is more me than I’ve been comfortable sharing with people in a long time.)

(The same goes for you, you know. You could be a brain in a jar or have a prehensile tail or eat guinea pigs and I’d still want you just as you are, because it’s you . You’re what I want. Just as you are.)

I’m sorry I keep laughing at someone I’ve never met, but Morgan. He doesn’t strike me as oblivious normally??? Just from what I’ve read about the cases and what the rest of you have said about him in the interviews. I wonder why???

And I want you, my Spencer,
Your Darcy

PS. So they did explode.

PPS. Sweetheart, I will say it again and again: the only thing I want for when I get there is you . (....though a sandwich would be a good idea so I can actually speak instead of just growl for food.) (The thought of you showing up with flowers just made all my insides turn to honey, you absurd romantic . You don’t need to do that. They’d probably get squished when I tackle you to the floor.)  

PPPS. I looked up what Wanda’s nickname is for you! She calls you little owl. I can see it. Big-eyed and curious and a night-person and a symbol of knowledge. (Though sadly in reality most owls aren’t particularly smart. But we can forget that bit.) I don’t know what I would be, though I know Wanda calls me lioness. I don’t think I’m scratchy enough for that though.

PPPPS. Sorry if I sound kind of flat. I’m scripting out the last part of my speech and I’m exhausted from stress. Do you want to read it and tell me if I’m crazy?


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I think I’m going to explode

Please have Jane. She’s mocking me.

I know I’m insecure and I know it drives people crazy I just??? Can’t help it???? I’m trying. I’m trying to be more confident about myself. I swear I’m trying. It’s just hard.

(Penelope: I???? I’m overwhelmed. I have a lot of feelings. I can’t say them right. How am I supposed to email him now without him realizing????)

Honestly I need Schnapps too. But Jane likes the butterscotch ones now for some reason.

D


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Stop messaging me until you can be a coherent conversationalist


Flowers are a no.

Darcy’s favorite book is Northanger Abbey.

I’m calling in that favor you owe me. I need you to profile somebody. I’ve attached the relevant info to this email. Do not email me back until you have a coherent profile, I can’t hear about your love lives anymore.

Jane 


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: REDACTED
Subject: Turn around

And don’t scream.

--N


 


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I’m about to be mad at you

Did you know that the Black Widow was going to interrogate my squishy and not tell me?? Because I bought TWO bottles of butterscotch Schnapps and NONE OF THEM will be shared with you if you kept this from me.

He’s refusing to tell me what they discussed. “Just boring things,” he says. “She told me I take my coffee very sweet.” WELL NO SHIT. I ALREADY KNEW THAT CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. “She told me Darcy likes to go dancing.” I SWEAR TO GOD. He’s like….the most obtuse man ever.

I will say, though, that being pounced upon in the coffee shop did throw him off balance enough that I got him to say that he was in love with her. So yeah, that’s where he’s at on that.

These two might kill me before we get to share that drink.

Penelope


 

To: vrajitoare@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Thank you

I’ll make sure to talk to her about it. I’m sorry we can’t meet here, but maybe I’ll find myself in New York soon. I’m glad you’re here.

Spencer


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: What other surprises does today have?

My Darcy,

It appears that today is a day of surprises because my mom did what now ? She wrote you a letter?! What did it say? She didn’t tell me she was writing you! I don’t even know how she knew your address! I would like you to take a moment and imagine my day. Normal morning: paperwork and meetings. Morgan and I go out for coffee briefly when I get an email. Of course I checked it because it might have been you. Instead it’s a command to turn around without screaming. (Which I was capable of, obviously.) It was your Natasha. (She told me to call her that. Is that normal?) She gave Morgan a look and then motioned for me to follow her to what Penelope was annoyed to find out was a table in a blind spot from the security camera. She proceeded to ask me a bunch of fairly mundane questions (though I know she learned plenty about me from them), and sipped my coffee. (She declared it sweet and “just how Darcy would like it.”) Then Morgan had to interrogate me all the way back. (Which, no, I did not tell him why she might have wanted to talk to me, and he was positive I wasn’t telling him everything when I recounted the conversation. I didn’t tell him I knew that it was you that made her question me, but other than that it was a faithful account of the conversation.) And then I come back to your email that tells me my mom wrote you a letter. It’s been a strange few hours.

I’m nervous about meeting you too. I know that we’ve gone over and over the reasons neither of us should be, but emotions aren’t logical. In fact, that’s one of their defining characteristics to most people. Chemicals in your brain and suddenly you’re nervous about meeting the woman you’ve been falling for since before she even knew you existed. No logic in that. None whatsoever. I could tell you, again, that there’s no reason to be worried because there’s nothing about you that could disappoint me, but I know I don’t fully believe it myself.

(Are the things you can only say in person that way because putting them into words on paper that you can read over and over again is terrifying (though not necessarily in a bad way)? Because if so, I have things to say to you too, I think.)

(I want them to be the same words.)

I hate most of the people you’ve kissed in the past. Not because they’ve kissed you, but because they didn’t see it for the amazing treasure it is. They treated it like something tawdry and cheap and that is not okay. I want to catalog every kiss we have and file it away to recall later, to compare to the others, to compare and contrast all the minutia that makes it so different but just as powerful as the last. How would you feel if I kept a notebook of all our kisses? What if I promise to let you read it any time you like?

If a case doesn’t pop up in the next two hours, I’m going to go home and clean my apartment because no matter what you say, it needs to be clean for you. It’s another way for me to say you matter. You matter enough that I want you to like my space, which means it needs to looks its best, just like I plan to look my best when I finally see you. I’ve tried to imagine what it will look like, but all I get is a flash of your hair and a hat. (By the way, did you make Natasha’s hat? It looked very much like yours and it made me wonder.)  Anyway, I will clean and I will put on the playlist I finally wore Prentiss down into making me (it’s everything she’s been humming lately). I fully expect to have a new song for you come tomorrow. Be prepared!

JJ is getting a little fidgety in her office. Either we have a case or she’s just gotten off the phone with Will. It’s hard to tell just at the moment. (One of the boys is sick and it’s making her anxious.) I should probably close this though, just in case.

How many kisses do you think we can catalog in the first hour,

Your Spencer

PS. I would hardly know. I assume an explosion would render me unconscious.

PPS. Jane said something similar about flowers, but a sandwich I am more than capable of. Any requests?

PPPS. An owl and an lioness. I like it.

PPPPS. Send it to me. I’m certain it’s perfect and I’m happy to make sure you know. Is this your first conference? That one’s always the hardest.


 


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Don’t be mad at me, I warned him

I told him to be on the look-out for Natasha!!! I told him he was on her observation list now!!!! And she told me she wouldn’t be back in the country for a few more weeks so I figured he’d be safe until AFTER they met and thus we needed to focus on that!!!!! DON’T PUT THIS ON ME, PENELOPE. I DON’T CONTROL THE BLACK WIDOW. NOBODY DOES.

Darcy says Nat told her that they (Natasha and Spencer) talked about Darcy, mostly, and where Spencer is from (which probably means “I know you haven’t been back to Las Vegas since X date at X time and how did you like the cinnamon roll in that cafe you went to once in your whole life?” because it’s Natasha. ) He should be okay, though. Nat likes him and that she thinks he’s “sweet and surprisingly intelligent.” From Natasha that’s like….gold nuggets. She also probably did a deep-plumbing background check and also quite probably stole his wallet out of his back pocket to confirm his identity without him even noticing before she ambushed him. Also knowing Natasha, she prooooobably shoved a condom in there as a joke. She has a weird sense of humor.

(Natasha is very fond of Darcy. Literally every single one of the Avengers is. I’m honestly surprised Spencer hasn’t been ambushed by more people. The Falcon would walk over hot coals for Darcy, honestly, I’m half-expecting him to sweep in on his wings and threaten to drop Spencer off the edge of a skyscraper. And hoo, if Thor ever remembers to turn his gaze towards Midgard, he’s going to flip. )  

THANK GOD. I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS SHIT FOR MUCH LONGER. HOW MANY DAYS DO WE HAVE LEFT AGAIN?

Jane


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: Thank you

Maybe.

--W


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Wanda keeps laughing at me for some reason

My Spencer,

She’s your mom, Spencer, she wanted to make sure I was legit all on her own. And she said a number of very sweet things which I am not telling you about, dear one, because a) it’s kinda fun to watch you squirm a little, even long distance, and b) like I said, it was very sweet. So I’m keeping my mouth shut on that one.

I have...had words with Natasha. You can’t really yell at Natasha honestly. I mean, you read her file, Spencer, you know what she’s like. She’s been programmed to be a spy since she was born, basically, and she’s protective. The fact that she actually warned you she was going to show up before she did is a big gift from her. (You kinda have to...recalculate all previous tools used to measure human behavior when it comes to Natasha. It’s like having a stray cat that knows karate come in your window and give you a dead mouse and then get mad the next day when you don’t say thank you. I don’t know if that even makes sense.)

I’m actually really excited because Nat’s gonna be at the conference!!! She’s been out of the country for like three months now (she left a few weeks before we started talking) on a deep undercover op thing and now she’s back and it’s great.

OH MY GOD. TELL ME HOW MORGAN REACTED. TELL. Nat does this thing sometimes where she like--gives guys the once over and then turns and leaves them hanging, which I know she wouldn’t have done with you (not because you’re not worth a once-over, or a million of them, but because she’d already made you uncomfortable by popping out of nowhere; she didn’t have to knock you off balance after the email) but I can guess she did it to Morgan just to throw him off and I’m laughing. I’m also wondering how well it’d actually work on a profiler, so I’m curious.

(I swear to god Natasha is a lovely human being. She just has weird habits.)

(And no, it’s not normal for her to tell people to call her Natasha . Usually if she’s not sure of someone she goes by Nat. She told me once that it’s to make them feel like they’ve overestimated her. She thinks a lot about this stuff. So if she asked you to call her Natasha, that’s her saying she either knows she can’t try that with you because I’ll kill her in her sleep, or she respects you enough to not play that game. Probably both.)

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW MANY TEASPOONS DO YOU TAKE IN YOUR COFFEE THOUGH?? BECAUSE NATASHA KNOWS THESE THINGS.)

Then we can be nervous together. That’s...kind of reassuring.

(I really, really hope they’re the same words.)  

EXCUSE ME SPENCER REID BUT THE NOTEBOOK IDEA HAS BEEN MAKING ME TURN RED EVERY TIME I THINK OF IT FOR THE PAST SIX HOURS. Also, um. /coughs/ I’m pretty sure we’d kinda outpace anyone’s ability to keep track by writing, even with your eidetic memory, good sir. Just saying.

(I want to kiss you until I can’t remember how many times it’s happened, and how many times it’s left me breathless. I always want to be breathless from kissing you.)

Fingers crossed that there’s no case and that the apartment cleaning went well (and I’ll bite my tongue about how you don’t need to from now on, because you darling ) (okay no I lied: I DO NOT CARE IF YOUR APARTMENT IS DIRTY OR IF YOU ARE COVERED IN MUD OR ANYTHING ELSE, SPENCER.) (And…. now I’m done.) (I did make Nat’s hat!! I make hats for lots of people. Or scarves or gloves. I’ve only made two sweaters in my life, and one of those was for me.) (Actually now that I think about it I need to finish Penelope’s scarf before the conference so I can give it to her when I see her.)

Tell JJ I hope her boy gets better and that everything is okay, and I look forward to meeting her in person.  

Don’t put a number on it,

Your Darcy

PS. You’re a nerd. It’s fantastic.

PPS. Nothing with strawberry jam or with olives, but otherwise it’s up to you.

PPPS. I’m nooooooot though. A lioness is like. Way too badass for me.

PPPPS. Attached. And lksdjfldjsfdlksfjs. Yes. I want to pound my head against the wall. This is like my undergrad thesis AND my master’s thesis smashed together and then combined with like….a bout of leprosy and a migraine all at once. I hate it.


 


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’M GOING TO KISS YOUR FACE AND EVERY PART OF YOU I CAN REACH

A SPA??????

SPENCER REID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(DO YOU HAVE A MIDDLE NAME BECAUSE I WANT TO YELL IT AT YOU)

I’M YODELING

YOU SENT ME ON A SPA DAY???????????????? AND JANE??????????

SPENCER THAT MUST HAVE BEEN SO EXPENSIVE WHAT

OH MY GOD????? OH MY GOD

YOU CONSPIRED WITH PEPPER BECAUSE OF EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED???? AND KEPT THAT TO YOURSELF ALL THIS TIME??????

S P E N C E R!


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: You’re forgiven

Coming out with it: I was kinda pissed at you that you were sending Darcy on a spa day without me (because I’m a selfish hag) but you utter sap , Reid. And you convinced Pepper to send Wanda with us.

You’re forgiven. Bar any other major fuck-up, of course.

Any luck with the profile?  

J


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I listened but I did not hear

I should have heeded your warning a little better when you gave it to me. I knew that Natasha was going to be interested in me, but I didn’t really expect her to show up while I was grabbing coffee. (I honestly expected a series of text messages from a restricted number more than an in person meeting.) Once I got past her being in front of me asking purposefully bland questions, she seemed pretty nice, even if she did lift my wallet. (I don’t have a way of getting in touch with her, but if you could perhaps pass along that I know when she did it, and what did she need the sugar for anyway since she didn’t have any coffee?)

I might have purposefully forgot to mention that you were going too when I told you about the spa. In my defense, you were very unhappy that I was asking you to make sure she didn’t fight going to a thing I refused to tell you about, and I’m not above being occasionally petty. Sorry. That’s just part of who I am sometimes. (But really, do you think it’s going to be a good time and that Darcy will like it?)

The profile is coming along slowly. You certainly realize what a huge undertaking it is (and that there aren’t files for everything, so I’m doing a decent bit of research on my own). You asked for thorough and detailed, and that takes time. There’s decades worth of material to look at, and I want to do this right because it’s important. I’m estimating I should have it done about the time you get to DC. Is that an acceptable timeframe?

Spencer


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: forgiven

I’m sorry, all this crazy kids in love but being insecure puddles is getting to me. I should have known better than to yell at you, and of course you don’t control the Black Widow. I fully expected a shovel talk to happen, but it doesn’t sound like one did. It actually sounds mostly like small talk? Whatever. I don’t want to try and understand the mind of super assassin spies. At least not tonight.

Please don’t let the Falcon drop Spencer from a skyscraper. That’s just….mean. Besides, am I right in hearing that he’s sending you to a spa? Like, doesn’t that help his cause even a little bit? He might drive me up a wall with how obtuse he can be sometimes, but that doesn’t mean he is not my squishy and to be protected at all costs. (Even when he makes me want to puke with how in love he is.)

We should go to the movies when you’re here. Sneak the Schnapps in and maybe find some random dudes to make out with instead of watching the movie. Because goodness knows I’m never getting a romance of the century-these two have sucked up all that mojo in the tristate area.

Ready to die bitter and alone,

P

8 days I think? Dear god, how is there still more than a week to go???


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: !!!

FYI I am going to hold you personally responsible if any single member of Rage Against Reality harms Spencer. YOU TOLD ME THEY WOULDN’T. Now, I know Natasha did not harm him, but I thought I should make myself clear. Messing with credit scores is nothing compared to what I will do to them if they try to hurt him.

Just so we’re clear,

Penelope


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: MINE

My Darcy,

Natasha was a surprise, but not a bad one. I couldn’t be too upset when she wanted to talk about you (one of my favorite topics) while also learning details about me that I’m sure she’ll bring up some time in the future in a way meant to throw me off balance. It’s also hard to be too upset when she’s watching out for you by checking into me. I probably shouldn’t be so pleased that she did this, but I’m happy you have people like her watching out for you (even though you don’t need it). (Sometimes it’s just nice to know people care.)

Also nice? Morgan’s reaction. She did do that once over thing with him, but it was almost dismissive at the end? It was like she had found him attractive, but ultimately not worth it. You should have seen how his mouth dropped open when her eyes flicked away from him and she motioned for me to join her. I think she must like me a little bit for giving me that gift of shocking him.

She pickpocketed me before she came up to us and before I got the email. I didn’t know it when it happened, but later I saw something she had left in my wallet and I knew when it happened. It’s a bit of a magician thing? Sometimes I watch others perform and I’m fooled until it’s over. Then I think back, and I know what they were doing. This was the same sort of thing. Once I knew it had been taken and replaced, I knew when it had happened. This all makes me sound a lot more interesting or talented than I am. A lot of the magicians I know have at least tried to pickpocket a friend just to see if they could. (It has to do with the nimbleness of fingers and ability to hide actions just like most sleight of hand.) And when you’re a 12-year-old genius trying to survive high school, sometimes you do things that you’re not always proud of later. (I say not always, but….most of the time.) Before you ask, I’m not telling you what she put in there that made me realize it had happened.

I’m glad she’s going to be at the conference. Did you put a ticket at will-call for her too? (I kid. Of course she doesn’t need a ticket. She’ll just be there and no one will know except you.) Hopefully that will help you calm down because your presentation is ready to go. The flow is well structured, you have a good variety of examples from your research. (Also, I’m flattered to see a few of my answers made it in.) You have a strong closing. I’ve been to this conference before, and you have the right tone. Take a breath, practice again, and then put it all away for a day or two. You’ll drive yourself crazy thinking about pauses and become over rehearsed. You’ll hate your presentation by the time you give it. You don’t want that. So put it aside and come back to it fresh in a few days.

The thing with the notebook is, eventually you will go back to New York and I will have time to recall everything and write it all down. I’ll need to do something . You won’t be there anymore, and I have a feeling that once I’ve had a taste of you, I want I want I want will become I need I need I need . I’ll have to deal with that somehow. I find research soothing (that sounds weird, doesn’t it?), and I am certain I’d want to thoroughly research all the ways to make you blush and flush; make all sorts of involuntary lovely sounds. It’s because I’m a scientist (not that either of us believe that for one second. We both know that it has a lot more to do with words I can’t say in an email, at least not for the first time.)

(I think they must be the same words.)

There was no case. (JJ was actually fidgety to get home because Henry’s fever finally broke and she wanted to see it for herself.) So now my apartment is mostly clean. I will need to do a few things again just before you come (like vacuum), but I feel much better about it now. I even organized my kitchen cabinets, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Go ahead and continue to tease, but I am going to make sure that my apartment is perfect for you. (I even bought you a bath towel that will be new and fresh and clean just for you.)

Your second email makes me think you liked my surprise? I know you haven’t gone yet, but I hope that you really enjoy going. You’ve been very stressed, and you deserve to have other people take care of you and help you relax. And since you can’t do that without your friends…well of course they needed to go too. (My middle name is Walter for future use. Though I hope you never yell it angrily at me.) I needed Pepper’s help, so please do give her a lot of the credit. I approached her with the idea, but I didn’t know where to begin to find a spa or make sure it was scheduled for a day when you could go. She did all the work. I just asked nicely. (If I don’t end up being blackmailed in order to obtain a picture of your face covered in mud, I’ll be surprised.) (Jane is very good at getting things from me. I once offered her a favor in return for pictures. She drives a hard bargain.)

I take my coffee with anywhere from 5-7 teaspoons of sugar depending on where it is made. The coffee pot in the office is usually very strong and requires more sugar. At the coffee shop it’s a bit weaker and rates 6. Diners usually only need 5 because it’s so watery.

Mine is the only other sweater you’ve ever made? That’s….that’s I don’t have the words. “You, Therefore” Reginald Shepherd.

Everything I want is you,

Your Spencer

PS. As promised, here is a playlist based on the one Emily made for me.

Paperweight-Joshua Radin
Best of My Love-The Emotions
Wonderful Tonight-Billy Joel
First Day of My Life-Bright Eyes
Time After Time -Cyndi Lauper
Crazy for You-Madonna
Lifetime-Emeli Sande


 

To: ppotts@starkind.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Thank You Again

Ms. Potts,

Thank you, again, for your help with surprising Darcy. Based on the email she just sent me, you have told her, and it wouldn’t have been possible to do this without your help. (Well, possible, but probably not terribly good. How is one supposed to know what types of mud are the right types of mud and where on the body it should be applied?) Please let me know if there’s ever anything I can do to repay this favor.

Spencer Reid


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Damn straight

Rawr, Spencer Reid has claws. Excellent. I was starting to wonder if you were just this squishy slug and we’d have to crush you.

(Joking.)

(Don’t ask why Natasha does things. She’ll turn back up to explain it to you again, in monosyllables. It’s unpleasant.)

(Darcy will love it, if her email weren’t already obvious enough.)  

Take your time. I’d rather it be well-done than rushed. And that timeline seems fine. Thank you for doing this.

J


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Cheers

Nah, Natasha wouldn’t actually give anyone a shovel talk. She’d just be the one to turn up in the dead of night and actually follow through on the shovel talk everyone else expects, probably with needles under fingernails.

Also: as much as I joke about the Avengers coming after him, they’re all actually really lovely. Obviously there’s been a lot of tension with them, lately, but they would never, ever hurt an innocent person, and they’d want to hurt someone Darcy loves even less. Like I said, she’s like….the core of the Avengers, in a way. A lot of them only keep in touch with anyone in Stark Tower because they keep in touch with her . I mean, you saw what happened with Wanda. She literally had Captain America right there when she learned about her birth father and she went out into the Wakandan court and stole a damn cell phone so she could get in touch with Darcy. They’re protective, but they’re not going to do anything to hurt him. Maybe just scare him a little, and even then he’ll be perfectly safe the whole time.

…well, I say that, but Thor might forget his own strength and whack him on the shoulder so hard as an “OH HO HO HO HO SO YOU ARE THE ONE” move that he dislocates something. But that would be entirely unintentional.  

GOD PLEASE. I NEED A MOVIE.

J

Six now. Plz kill me.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: !!!!! Yourself

They’d never hurt him. They really are good people, even if they’re….weird about how they show it. I promise you, Penelope.

Also like…I’m sorry for being such a screechy moron the last few weeks. I’ve been hella selfish and not a very good friend and it took me too long to realize that.

How are you doing?

Darcy


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: BACK AT YOU, SHOUTY PERSON

My Spencer,

I’m glad everything went okay with Natasha. (I’m REALLY curious about what she left, but I could just ask her and she’ll tell me, so it’s not worth teasing you about.) (Was it a shell casing??? She does that sometimes.) (Also SLDKFJSDLFJDSFLSD /whacks you repeatedly/ FAVORITE TOPICS SHUT UP OH MY GOD.) Natasha’s great. A lot of people are terrified of her, which like…some part of me can get? But like I said in my last email. She’s just a stray cat. She doesn’t come when called and she hates being treated like a pet but if you respect her she’ll purr all the same.

…that metaphor could be taken in an extremely sexual way, which I feel bad about, because Natasha’s asexual. Sex-positive, but asexual. /shrugs

HAHAHAHAHAHA MORGAN OH MY GOD. Bless him. (I say, with all Southern intent.) Natasha’s good . And that was most definitely a gift from her. Congrats.

I REALLY WANT TO SEE YOU DO MAGIC TRICKS. Jane keeps saying she has a video of it but she won’t give it to me yet, she wants to save it for like….Extreme Favors or something. WHICH ISN’T FAIR. YOU’RE MINE, NOT HERS. I WANNA SEE.

….come to think of it, she never gave me that video of you opening the sweater box. I’m gonna have to go yell at her after I finish this.

Natasha honestly could walk in anywhere and nobody would question it, so I didn’t bother asking for a ticket. And hhhhhhhrrrrrrgggggghhhhh. I’ll try.  

Please picture me cuddled up in the corner of the couch in a squishy sweater and SQUAWKING LOUD ENOUGH TO WAKE UP WANDA upon reading the notebook paragraph. JESUS, Spencer. Heart failure. It’s a thing that happens to poor, pining ladies who can’t get their hands on their not-quite-boyfriend yet and KEEP PICTURING THINGS LIKE THAT .

(I find research soothing, too.)   

(I hope they’re the same words.)

!!!!! I hope Henry is feeling better. If you see her before she reads my next email, please tell her she doesn’t have to worry about the questions for a week at least. I have the conference to worry about and she WILL NOT worry about me on top of her kid. (Yes, that was a command, and not a suggestion. I’m apparently feisty today.) Also !!!!!!!! NEW BATHTOWEL. FLUFFY NEW BATHTOWEL. That’s like…number 4 on the Ten Best Things On The Planet.

I LOVE YOUR SURPRISE. IT MUST HAVE COST SO MUCH BUT??? SPENCER!!! HOW COULD YOU SPEND THAT MUCH ON ME??? I CAN’T NOT GO BECAUSE THEN THE MONEY WILL BE WASTED BUT OH MY GOD THAT’S SO MUCH????? GUH. (I won’t yell it angrily. Promise.) I gave Pepper a HUGE HUG when I came into work this morning. THANK YOUUUUUU.  (Okay, Jane? Jane would have been a fantastic high-stakes Wall Street trader. She’s really good at getting a lot for a little. I have never told her this, because I think Wall Street Trader Jane would be legitimately more terrifying than Natasha. But that’s me.)

!!!!!!! COFFEE TWINS. SAME. SAME SAME SAME TO ALL OF THAT. SUGAR BUDDIES. YES GOOD.

Yup. The only one. Take that how you will.

Six more days!

Your Darcy

PS. MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSIC


 

To: ppotts@starkind.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: No need

Dr. Reid,

You really honestly don’t have to thank me. It was a lovely thought and I was glad to help engineer it.

Only favor I want from you is for you to treat that girl right. I might not go superhero on people often, but I would if Darcy was hurt.

--Pepper


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Of course I have claws

Don’t all bullied geniuses?

Darcy has requested I bring a sandwich when I meet you at the airport. Would you like one as well? If so, what kind?

Have you given more thought to going back for another degree?

Spencer


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Great Visuals

I can really picture Thor (unintentionally!) smacking him so hard Spencer falls over. That…is much funnier than I will ever admit to Spencer. And while I am fully aware that Natasha did not hurt him, you did mention Falcon dropping him from a skyscraper. And, yes, I understand that he wouldn’t actually hit the ground, but, hear me out here, Darcy might die of heart failure. They can rattle him intellectually and intimidate him, but, could you maybe ask them to not touch him? (He actually really doesn’t enjoy being touched in general. In fact, that might be the worst part of said dropping for him.)

I’ve picked up a bottle of the good tequila and margarita mix to add to our party. I might invite Emily; she’s also single and I think you two would get along great. Besides, then maybe we won’t seem so…pathetic is the word that comes to mind, but I really don’t like it.

Penelope

SO CLOSE. I CAN SEE THE LIGHT ON THE OTHER SIDE.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: You’re not a moron

I mean, you are if you doubt for one second that Spencer is head over heels in love with you, but I guess that’s understandable because sometimes that stuff isn’t as logical as anyone would like it to be. But also, seriously, you guys are like a Hallmark Original Classic vomited rainbows onto a Precious Moments collection. I really am concerned that you might spontaneously combust when you finally meet. It’ll probably be an explosion of, like, glitter and unicorns.

Things are good here. Jane and I are planning our own awesome time, and I’m pretty excited how that’s shaping up. Other than that, things have been a little quiet, which is actually concerning because that usually means something gross is going to happen, and I hate gross cases. I have an entire server of cute animal videos to combat those images.

Penelope


 

To: david.rossi@freemail.com, jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com, notyoursweetheart@freemail.com, ahotchner@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Place your bets!

Okay people. This is not a drill. Reid is meeting The Girl in T-4 days. It is time to place your bets about what will happen. I have attached a spreadsheet of betting parameters and current odds. Minimum bet is $5. (Personally I bet it all on him passing out at the airport when he sees her.) All bets are due in 3 days by the (theoretical) end of the workday at 5.

Penelope

REMEMBER: no one tells Morgan. He needs to figure this out on his own. Bets for that are still open.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Almost

My Darcy,

We’re almost there. It’s almost time for you to be in DC, and I find that time seems to have slowed down to draw this out as much as possible. I know that’s not actually possible because seconds are specific measurements and whatnot, but time is also a construct, and right now it seems to be constructed to keep me from getting to the moment when you’ll be here. (Perhaps it is obvious that I eagerly await your arrival? If not, let me make it clear. I cannot wait for you to be here. I can’t wait until I can see you in person and feel your warmth beneath my fingers. There is so much we’ve said that we would do once we’re together, but the very first thing I want to do is just see you and take in everything that I am so lucky to call mine. I want to trace every bit of you with my eyes so that it burns there, and I will see you in my sleep when I close them.)

I can show you some magic when you are here, that way you don’t have to ask Jane for a video, but also WHERE DID SHE GET A VIDEO? I’m assuming Penelope, but I’m not totally certain where she got it either. At least I know Penelope and Emily are responsible for the sweater video.  (I’m worried that my utter delight at the sweater might make you think I’m (as Penelope calls me sometimes) “extra.”) By the by, I’ve taken to wearing the sweater whenever I get home like it has some magical properties that will prepare me for when you are there with me and we can want together.

I’ve…maybe picked out a notebook for us? I like nice, leather bound notebooks, and I saw one the other day at a shop that felt like it was made for recording All the Ways to Kiss Darcy Lewis (and Her Reactions to Them).

Also, really, don’t worry about the money. It’s probably not as much as you think, and based on just your email responses alone, it’s already been worth it. But I’m not kidding when I say I want some pictures. Just so we’re clear. How else am I to begin to classify all the parts of you if I don’t have sufficient evidence? I want to know all your facets, and Darcy at the spa seems like an interesting one. Besides, you said you’d be excited to see me if I was covered in mud, and you’re about to be so….

The countdown in my head slowly marches toward being closer to you,

Your Spencer

(I’m sorry this is shorter than normal, but I’m very close to done with Jane’s favor and I really just want to complete it so I can think about you being here with me , and how entirely wrecked I am imagining it.)


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Done

I finished earlier than anticipated. Finishing this profile kept me from stress cleaning my living room yet again (though now I have time to vacuum…again). Please find the profile of James Buchanan Barnes attached. I hope this does what you want it to.

Spencer


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Another gold star

Tuna melt pleaaaaase.

I have. I have enrolled in a night course under a fake name. Hopefully no one recognizes me.

Jane


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: You talking about the smack or the needles? Pun intended

Ah. That, at least, I can keep them abreast of. Don’t Touch The Noodle With Personal Space Issues. Darcy Will Be Upset. Simple enough even for the Hulk.  

YES GOOD PLEASE. ALL THE TEQUILA. And if we all go then we can just call it a girls’ night and maybe get discounts from sexis bartenders. Win/win.

Jane

F o u r  m o r e  d a y s.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: But I feel like one

Dude, if I could become a unicorn, the world would be a much purer place than it is.

UGH GOD PLEASE LET NOTHING HAPPEN. I think I would like...have a breakdown. It wouldn’t end prettily.

...also I don’t want people to, y’know, die. But.

Guhhhhh. I just want this conference to be done. I’m excited to come to DC but I’m TERRIFIED OF SPEAKING IN FRONT OF CROWDS.

Darcy


 

From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
To: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: Almost almost almost

My Spencer,

I couldn’t sleep last night. Three more days. I  can’t focus at work or at school. Jane and Wanda yell at me every time I start  humming (well, Jane yells. Wanda chucks plush toys at me with her brain.). I  can’t get anything straight in my head. I’m going to see you!!! In three  days!!! I have the spa trip tomorrow and then two days and then!!!! DC!!!! And  I get to stay with you and be with you and actually see you and I think  I’m going to explode. Time is a bastard.  

….are you saying I get a personalized magic show?

I’m assuming from Penelope??? Jane clammed up when I ask. And AAAAAAAAAAAAAA JANE FINALLY SHOWED ME THE SWEATER VIDEO AND YOU!!!! YOU AND YOUR GLASSES AND YOUR LITTLE SMILE AND YOU PETTING THE SWEATER SPENCER HOW ARE YOU THIS CUTE??

(It fits right, right? I can’t remember if I ever asked. And I tried to keep the TARDIS design at the hem subtle, so you could wear it to work without people commenting on it.)

(You are DEFINITELY not extra.)

(I love that you’re wearing your glasses all the time now just because I like them. You don’t’ have to if you don’t want to, but….I love it.)

LSKDJFLSJFKLSDFJSDLFDSFLDSFSLF DSLFKJDSLFDS JFDLSFJLSD FJLDSKF SL NOTEBOOK. WHAT THE HECK. MY BRAIN IS MELTING.  

If you want mud facial selfies then I guess you’re getting mud facial selfies. I can attach them to my next email so you don’t have to worry about Jane extorting you. And I didn’t??? Know??? She’d asked you for a favor. Can I ask what it was or did she swear you to secrecy?

THREE!!! DAYS!!!!!

Your Darcy

(No worries! I’m packing and trying to get all my work sorted before I fly out.)


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Same

Thanks.

I hope so too.

Jane


 

To: REDACTED
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Don’t ignore me

I want you to read what I have attached, and then I want you to sit and think about it. For a week. And then when you’re done thinking, I want you to send it to that commission in the UN that keeps talking shit.

Don’t argue with me, either, or I’ll sic Pepper and Darcy on you at once.

And I’ll tell Wanda you’re planning on helping her get a scholarship to that school in Maine she’s looking at. Do not test me, Stark.

--J


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: REDACTED
Subject: gremlin

Don’t hand me things.

How’d you get the Noodle to do this?


 

To: REDACTED
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: ask me no questions

I will rip you to shreds if you don’t read this, Tony. With my fingernails.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: FINALLY

I am going to sleep SO MUCH better tomorrow (partially because this UST headache will be over and partially because alcohol).

P


 

From: spencer@garcia.com
To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Tomorrow!

My Darcy,

You’ll be here tomorrow! And it’s All! I! Can! Think! About! I’m not even writing complete sentences anymore!

“Waiting” – John Burroughs

Your Spencer


 

From: spencer@garcia.com
To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: 12 hours

My Darcy,

It’s 5 AM, and that’s earlier than I normally wake up, but you’ll be here today . Today in less than 12 hours. I’m making coffee and I know you’d take it just like I do, and tomorrow morning I won’t have to just know that from emails. I’ll know that because you’ll be here. With me .

I bet you’re adorable when you just wake  up.

Your Spencer


 

From: spencer@garcia.com
To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Just a little longer

I have a bag with sandwiches for you and Jane. I picked them up during lunch. I also folded a little origami flower for you. I know you said no flowers, but my fingers are excited and I needed to put them to work.

Your Spencer

Chapter Text


 

To: david.rossi@freemail.com, jjifyourenasty@yahoo.com, notyoursweetheart@freemail.com, ahotchner@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: RED ALERT

PLEASE watch him!!!! This is going to devastate him. I’ll return everyone’s money when you get back.

Damnit.

Fuck . I have to call her. She doesn’t know yet .


 


 

From: spencer@garcia.com
To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: …

WHY?????

I’m on a plane.

Flying away from you.

I’m so so sorry my dear, darling Darcy. Penelope has a spare key to my apartment. It’s yours to use. Maybe the case will wrap up quickly and I’ll be able to come home to you. For real.

I want I want I want.

(but I don’t always get what I want)


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I have my presentation in three hours

Honey no, no no no, that’s not on you, okay? It’s this—stupid fucking situation where some asshole had to do something horrible and I know that you’re going to catch him and we’ll figure it out soon, it just—the universe has a twisted goddamn sense of humor. It’s not on you. It’s not.

I need you to tell me that you understand that, okay? I know that’s illogical of me but you cannot feel guilty for this. You’re doing a job that needs doing and it’s important and you’re doing good things and saving people and it’s no one’s fault but the bastard who’s doing this and taking you away from me. Okay? And yes, before you ask, I’m disappointed and upset, but I’m not disappointed in you, and I’m not upset with you, so do not feel guilty.

I know you’ve been…wherever it is that you are for almost a full day now and I didn’t want to distract from the job in case it might be dangerous, but I just wanted to tell you that I’ll be talking to the audience as if I’m talking to you, and that’s done more than anything to help ease my anxiety about giving this presentation.

I can’t think of a poem. I just need you to come home to me safe, okay? Please.

Love,

Darcy


 


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: So

I know you probably won’t see this until after I'm asleep, but I let myself into your apartment after the presentation. It went REALLY WELL!!! It went REALLY well. And Jane has video of it so you can see it. I’m sure that there’ll be something posted on Youtube or something soon, but Jane was in one of the front rows (behind all the generals anyway) and she made Natasha hold the phone so the footage is ABSURDLY steady. Natasha has the steadiest hands of anybody I’ve ever met.

I’m curled up in your bed. I can smell you here. I was kind of tempted to steal one of your sleep shirts, but then I saw that you only had three and that seemed mean of me. I’m still tempted, no lie. You’re reading Great Expectations , there’s a big old-fashioned copy next to your bed and I keep trying to stop myself from opening that up and reading it and losing your place. Or leaving something inside for you to have proof that I was here.

I found the gift on the tabletop. You bought me wool socks. And they even have little lionesses on them, you utter dork. I love them. I’m wearing them.

I’m going to sleep soon because I need to get up at five to get ready for the conference in Dupont Circle tomorrow, but I’m here and I’ll be leaving traces of myself on your place, even if I might not be able to leave them on you yet.

We can get through this.

Love,

Darcy


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: This is like watching kittens drown

Darcy’s doing a really good job of holding herself together, but it was bad when you called her.

I hate your job. She refuses to, so I’ll hate it for her.

No offense to you, obviously, just…fuck.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Coffee

I’m kinda picturing you in this kitchen here with me while I make coffee. And we have the same TARDIS mug, so you know.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Conference over

I’m sitting in what I assume is your reading chair. I found more origami flowers on your desk. And I found your shelf of notebooks!! I haven’t opened any, but I’m tempted. I like your handwriting, like I said.

I know you probably won’t get back to DC before I have to leave tomorrow morning, but I’m hoping, at least. I’m definitely going to steal one of your sleep shirts and take it back with me. I can buy a new one for you later.

I can’t find your sweater anywhere. Did you take it with you?


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: I get that you’re working but

Let me know you’re okay? I woke up with a nightmare and I’m worried. So just email when you can.


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Fuck the universe

I’m flying back to New York in an hour. We’ll figure it out, okay? Until then, I have some fires to put out at Stark Industries. Apparently they’ve been trying to harass the moms back into breastfeeding in the basement again, and that shit shall not fly.

Send me a message when you can.

Love,

Darcy


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: ALL THE CURSE WORDS

I want to scream because not only did this case fuck up things for the squishies, but also the team is in the middle of fucking nowhere and we can’t get a signal to save our lives. I have to call the landline to the station, and I can’t really get them out in the field unless they use a sat phone. It’s a real clusterfuck. I hate everything about this.

I gotta say, I hate my job right now too.

Also, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to be able to respond to anything she sends, so bully for us to deal with that shitshow too.

(Honestly, I think he almost quit when JJ said there was a case. If he hadn’t frozen from a broken heart, I think he might have.)

Penelope


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I’m so sorry

Honey, I’m so sorry this job is terrible. I need you to know that this is the last thing he wanted. I can’t do anything to make it better. But I can listen. So, let me do that if you need me to.

Penelope


 


 


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject:

Jane told me.

Have you heard anything??????


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: Offer

Do you need help?? I can come help.


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Reid

Tony. Start looking.

--N


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: I know elephants don't always need help but

I can task a satellite over the area in three minutes if you need it.

Let me know.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: anything????

Darcy is sitting on the couch in my office and hasn't said a word in eight hours. Know you're busy, but PLEASE say you have something. Anything.


 

To: vrajitoare@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Re: Offer

Hon, I want to say yes, but he would be very mad if I let you be in that kind of danger after we just got you back.

But keep an ear out? (Or however that works?) And let me know if you’ve got any ideas.

P


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Come to mamma

Yes.

41.4373° N, 77.4130° W


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com, boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: WHY DO YOU HAVE PHONES IF YOU NEVER ANSWER THEM

WE FOUND HIM!! I COULD TELL YOU THAT IF YOU ANSWERED YOUR PHONES, DAMNIT.


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: Thank You

I don’t know what I could ever offer you, but thank you . We found him. The cell coverage is still spotty, so I don’t have all the details, but we have him, he’s a little roughed up but nothing serious, and WE FOUND HIM. (But the guy….we don’t have the guy yet.)

(Do you have the power to make Darcy answer her phone? I can’t get in touch to let her know.)


 


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com, boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: !!!

HE IS COMING TO YOU!!!!!


 

To: REDACTED
From: REDACTED
Subject: FYI

You need to make sure Darcy is in the Tower NOW. The unsub is trying to track her down to hurt Spencer. Based on driving directions and when everything went down, you have about 2 hours.

All of this, of course, means Spence is on his way to Darcy to keep her safe.

You know what I need from you when they meet.


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I’m Coming Home to You

Darling,

I’m sitting in the back of a car on someone else’s phone, trying not to think about how many more minutes or how many more miles, but instead focusing on you. My hands are shaking enough that I keep having to retype things so this can be readable. I (finally!) saw all of your messages when I got back to the station and I bullied Rossi into letting me use his phone.

The unsub has mine, and is heading to you.

But I’m going to get there first.

(Morgan is driving. He drives faster than Prentiss.)

I’m glad you found the socks. I was going to give them to you before your presentation to remind you how strong and fierce you are. I can’t wait to see the presentation (which I don’t have to see to know you wowed everyone), and I’ll be sure to compliment Natasha on her incredibly steady hands. (I could use some right now. I’ve mistyped everything at least once.)

I wonder if my pillow smells like you.

You could have taken anything in my apartment, but knowing you took a shirt is somehow the best thing I could have heard. I hope it felt like you were wrapped up in me when you wore it. That’s how I feel in this sweater. (I was wearing it to pick you up. That’s what you couldn’t find it.)

I know I’m rambling, but I might go crazy if I don’t do something to keep my mind occupied while the miles tick by.

I won’t let him hurt you. I know that you don’t need me to protect you, but this is my fault, and I need to make sure that you are safe, and I can’t do that from afar. I have to see you and touch you and know through every sense that you are okay.

I’m coming home to you.

And we’re almost there. We’re on the outskirts of the city.

Love,

Spencer


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: FUCK

SHE TURNED HER PHONE OFF FOR A BOARD MEETING

SHE WON'T BE OUT FOR ANOTHER TWO HOURS

FUCK FUCK FUCK CAN'T WARN HER

(KINDA DON'T WANT TO)

DOES SHE KNOW HE'S OKAY????


 

To: vrajitoare@freemail.com, ppotts@starkind.com, REDACTED, REDACTED
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: DO NOT LET DARCY OUT OF THE TOWER

Darcy CANNOT be alone right now. Bad guy coming. BE CAREFUL. RED ALERT.


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: ????????

???????????????????? EXPLAIN


 

To: vrajitoare@freemail.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Spencer

The guy who took Spencer might be coming after her. Come to the Tower ASAP.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THE LOOK ON HER FACE????

SHE DROPPED THE MUG, PENELOPE

I THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO FAINT WHEN HE SAID HER NAME

Also I knew logically that he's tall but he's tall. I'm so mad. They're so cute. What the fuck.

Darcy, Spencer, Morgan (HIS FACE WHEN SPENCER CALLED HER DARLING) and Prentiss are in conference with Tony and Wanda and Natasha now about where Darcy should hide. I just snuck out to email you.

SO CUTE.

--J


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: Decision

Darcy, Spencer, Wanda, and Morgan are going to go upstate to a house outside Schenectady while Tony, Nat, and Prentiss stake this place out to snag the bastard if he tries to break in here.

(I don't think Darcy's let go of him since he turned up. She's definitely not gonna respond to anything for a while. Not until they get out there at least. I'll keep you posted how I can.)


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: I SAW!!

I saw the mug! And her face! Did you see how he kept wanting to reach out to her and then stopping? I swear to god I couldn’t watch the look on their faces too long because it was TOO MUCH. Like, there was a whole novel written there and I felt like it was actually a diary I was snooping in, ya know? (I mean, I have no shame so it didn’t actually stop me, but still.) And when she finally noticed that they weren’t touching yet? UGHHHH. SO GOOD! I could feel the electricity and I was still in DC. (Well, am. I mean, work.) I wouldn’t be surprised if they just like, suddenly are one and the same now because I don’t think they’ve stopped touching (from what I can see anyway).

Did he just tuck her hair behind her ear?! CUTIES!!

I remember one of them telling me something about how whispering had been mentioned in the emails and it was hot. (I’m going to guess Darcy? Spencer wouldn’t phrase it that way.) Anyway, I didn’t get it at the time, but looking at them right now, as he whispers to her? Yeah. I get it. Jesus. They need to get a room. (Except they’re not doing anything?! How is this so….intimate?!)

Morgan’s texting nonstop, I’ll hit you back with that soon because it is going to be PRICELESS.


 


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: Safe

They are so stinking cute I don’t know what to do. He looks at her like she’s the most important and only person in the room. I don’t think a guy has every looked at me like that. (And I don’t begrudge them, but GAH. I wish I had a fraction of that in my life.)

I’ve talked to Prentiss and she thinks that they’re close to getting the unsub, but I kinda don’t want to tell the squishies once we do. I feel like they deserve this time together, ya know? Morgan says they’re sickeningly cute, and I want to shake him because how did he not realize all of this sooner?! (How is Wendy holding up being stuck there with them? Doesn’t she read emotions??) He said that they refuse to leave the other and fell asleep on the couch and Darcy was sort of curled in his lap. Morgan said it looked like they would wake up with cricks in their neck, but I thought it sounded cute. Obviously I demanded evidence so I could see for myself, so enjoy the attached picture.

Anyway, we should still try to make a girl’s night to happen now that we don’t have an UST explosion to worry about. I kinda forgot there was life after all this, ya know?

P


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: quarkulous@freemail.com
Subject: GOOD

Wendy hasn't reached out to me yet, so I'm assuming she's doing….okay? I imagine that all the squishy feelings are a big improvement on Steve Rogers' arrogant self-righteousness. Also, she can generally escape if she goes to walk around or fly or something and that usually helps her feel better.

Yeah, why didn't Morgan notice them tho?? I thought he was a profiler??? THE BAU IS SUPPOSED TO BE FULL OF TALENTED PEOPLE, PENELOPE. THIS IS A LEGITIMATE QUESTION. MORGAN IS TOO PRETTY TO BE A MORON.

THAT PICTURE IS SO FUCKING. ADORABLE. I'm putting it in the slideshow I'm gonna make for their wedding. Goddamn.

Girls' night has to happen, for sure. I just don't have a fucking clue when. Stark Tower feels like a bomb about to go off, waiting for this guy to turn up. Prentiss keeps storming around muttering in Russian. She and Nat would get along.

--J


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com; penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: !

I figured since the pair of you would be passing information back and forth between you I could just email you both at once and cut out the gossipy middleman. (Kidding, I love you both.) (Spencer says for me to say hi from him. So, hi from Spencer. Or, excuse me: "hello." He's talking to Wanda and he obviously doesn't have a replacement phone yet anyway. Morgan won't let him use his.

(Morgan's scowling at me now. Somehow I don’t think he's normally this scowly. Poor kitty's still grumpy he didn't notice everything going on until Spencer gave me the worst heart attack OF MY LIFE BY TURNING UP WITH NO WARNING.)

(Also: Penelope, why the hell haven't you jumped him yet??? He talks about you like you're made of like. Spun sugar and steel. It's gr10 and you should eat him alive.)

Spencer wants me to say that Prentiss hasn't been very good about keeping in touch. He wants updates. So do I, honestly. If some guy is apparently coming out to kill me because Spencer took his victim away from him, I'd rather know the progress than not.

Also. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Kissing is excellent, yes it is.)

Spencer's okay, before I forget to mention it. He's bruised and one of his ribs is broken (according to FRIDAY in the Tower, and she would know) but he's doing okay. I'm fucking fantastic. For obvious reasons. (HE LOVES??? ME???? HE LOVES ME.)

Words are hard. I'm all bubbly inside.

Back later,

D


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: vrajitoare@freemail.com
Subject: I like him

Don't worry about me. I'm doing okay. It just feels safe and warm here, not too much for my head. And happy. They're both very, very happy. It feels like warm water but under your skin.

(Darcy is checking my spelling.)

I'm wondering if there's anything more I can do to help? I'm all right with guard duty, but Morgan is still very grumpy and hurt that nobody told him, so that gives my headaches sometimes. We're both irritated there's nothing we can do here but wait. Please give us something else to do.

--W


 

To: quarkulous@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: You too?!

I have also been putting together a slideshow for their inevitable wedding. It’s totally inevitable now, right? I mean, you saw her email. There were like 5 rows of exclamation marks just about kissing. (Also, don’t lie to me, I have to know how she felt about him being all mushy at seeing her with a baby. I feel like that made her a bit mushy too. Besides, I know she asked for pics of him with JJ’s boys.)

As for the case, we’re about there. All we need is the asshole to turn back on the phone. We have him pretty much pegged to a 3 mile radius, but it’ll be faster if he just turns Spencer’s phone back on. I know it feels like this is hella slow, but welcome to the FBI. The team never thought he’d go after Spencer, so this kinda meant rethinking parts of the profile and then applying that to him in a new city. (And we are certain he’s in the city. We have two credit card receipts with store security footage to back it up.)  It’s almost over, but almost is never fast enough.

P


 


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: penelope@garcia.com
Subject: TREES

Darcy and Spencer sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. He kissed you and you liked it . (Imagine that last part in my best Miss Congeniality voice.)

Ever since he came back he can’t stop smiling like a loon. I think you might have made his face permanently stuck that way. (This is not a bad thing. It’s nice to see him so happy.) He’s still not allowed back in the field yet (doctor hasn’t cleared him), but he’s back here and all of us are happy to have him back. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen Rossi so upset as when he was missing.) JJ has had him over for dinner two nights in a row. Prentiss even stopped by his house to make his coffee one morning (which he was grumbly about. It was adorable.) This is all to say, we all hated that he was missing and are happy to have him back (though maybe all of us are a little sad to have made him leave you.) He’s clearly back to his old self because he’s been teasing Morgan about his inability to spot a team member in love, and there’s no way he could be so cavalier about that if he wasn’t certain you loved him.

So, thanks for loving our Spencer. It means a lot to all of us.

Penelope


 

To: boricuapequena@freemail.com
From: spencer@garcia.com
Subject: I love you

My Darcy,

I’m finally back at work. (I know you know because I sent you a text this morning when I left...and again when I got here...and again when I made coffee…) And while texting you is lovely (perfect even!), I can’t help but want to send you another email because...well, so much happened over email. And I like the longer form where I can think about my words and consider just how to phrase them to have the right impact. Now that I’ve had a chance to touch you; feel you real and here and mine , I feel like I have a whole new set of ways to make you blush. (And now I can perfectly picture what it looks like; how far it goes; how it heats beneath my fingers.)

I can’t stop thinking about how now that I’ve had a chance to actually be in the same place with you… I want, I want, I want. (And I like that you know exactly what that means now.) (Game on.)

Your Spencer

PS. I’ve started on the notebook. We should work on filling it up.


 

To: penelope@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: Hush, you

I'm curled up watching The Prince of Egypt because somehow that's what I always do when I need time to myself, so please picture the screen filled with snakes eating each other and ancient Egyptians bopping along talking about their pantheon.

YES. YES, I LIKE IT VERY MUCH. THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT. Make sure he takes it easy, if you can? I know he probably won't listen to you, but trap him in a closet if you have to. He needs to recover from his ribs, not pretend they aren't broken.

Thank you , Penelope. None of this would have happened if you hadn't forwarded that email. (Which means you get Ultimate Bragging Rights.) I can never thank you enough.

--Darcy


 

To: spencer@garcia.com
From: boricuapequena@freemail.com
Subject: And I love you

But if you ever get kidnapped again I am going to murder you, Spencer Walter Reid, I swear. And do not aggravate your ribs. I'll be very unhappy with you if you do.

I love you, I love you, I love you. I can't wait to see you on your next day off. Until then, I can be patient.

(We're going to need more than one notebook.)

Your Darcy