Monday mornings. Hectic for most people. The weekend has ended, time to drag yourself out of the comfort of your bed and get to work or school. Most people relying on the support of caffeine to make it through the day.
That's why every place open in the early hours that sell coffee, or other caffeinated drinks, are packed. The lines all holding people that are nervous and or anxious about being late to there 9 to 5 jobs or the more pressing jobs. Nurses, engineers, teachers, doctors, the list never ending. Some students stressing about being late to their first class, wondering if they got all their assignments completed.
Not all people are rushing to get to work or to class, some people just getting off work, looking for a quick pick me up so they can make it home or complete the errands they have to run that day. Some people not having work or school to get to, just taking some time to enjoy an early breakfast at their favorite café. The few who make their own hours, choosing to get out early and complete their other daily tasks.
Despite the packed cafes and other establishments, the sidewalks seemed to be just as crowded. People rushing one way or another to get to those early morning jobs or classes, maybe even just trying to get home. No one paying attention to anyone other than themselves and their tasks at hand.
That being the reason two people, walking fast, both distracted by different things concerning something that only themselves know of, run right into each other. The man jumping back as he feels the hot liquid of the girls newly acquired drink soaking into the top layers he's wearing to help ward off the cold air.
"Oh my gosh!" The young women gasped out, "I am so sorry! I wasn't watching where I was going and I-"
"No, it's fine. I wasn't really paying attention either," The older, yet still young man cut her off.
"No, no it's my fault. I swear I'll pay for w-whatever I ruined." She stuttered, looking the man over for damage the hot drink may have caused.
"N-no, really, it's mostly on my jacket. No damage done, I swear." The young man also stuttered slightly as he assured the women that it was alright. "Is your camera alright?"
Looking down at the camera hanging from her neck, the women quickly answered. "Oh, it's fine. It's an old one anyway." Calming down, the women sent the tall man a smile, taking in his appearance. He was tall, on the skinny side, with shaggy hair, it suited him well, she thought. His brown eyes shining in the early morning light, a few strands of hair falling in front of them.
"At least let me buy you a coffee or something, I feel terrible and I need a new drink anyway." She held up her empty, half squished cup for emphasis.
The young man looked at the girl, she was a bit shorter than him so he had to look down slightly to really see her face. She was beautiful, he had to admit. She had long brown hair, it falling in waves around her shoulders, freckles dotting around her nose. But what he seemed to focus on most were her eyes. Bright brown eyes shinning with the small smile that lit up her face as she looked up at him. It was just a small smile, simple, yet it seemed so bright. Something he didn't see a lot of these days.
"You really don't have too." He insisted even though he found himself not wanting to leave her company just yet.
"I promise, it's no trouble, I want to. It's the least I could do." She found herself saying as she looked up into the eyes of the stranger she ran into moments ago. There was something about him, something in his eyes. They seemed to hold so much. So much knowledge but also pain. They looked happy yet sad. Bright but dark.
"Ah, alright, if it's no trouble." The man in front of her said, pulling her from her thoughts.
Shaking her head, she gave him a bigger smile. "No, no trouble at all. You know Lilly's? I've heard they have the best coffee." She asked while pointing over her shoulder, referring to the café near by that she had just come from. "If coffee is what you want of course." She quickly added.
"Ye-yeah, a coffee is fine." He stuttered again, actually surprised he hasn't more. He's never been great at talking with people, especially women.
"Okay great. Oh, I'm Ryder, by the way. Ryder Matthews." She introduced herself, suddenly remembering she hadn't given her name.
"Uh, Spencer, Spencer Reid." He noticed she didn't offer her hand to shake, which he was grateful for, he thought it would make this awkward, or more awkward. She slowly turned around, motioning for him to follow, which he did.
"Again, I am so sorry for this." She told him with an apologetic smile as they walked next to each other.
"It's fine, really. I didn't like this jacket that much anyway." It wasn't a total lie, he wasn't attached to the jacket but he did like it. But he could live without it and he could see how guilty she felt and didn't want to make it worse. He found that he liked her smile and didn't want to give her a reason to frown.
She smiled at him as she opened the door to a little corner café that read "Lilly's". Spencer guessed it was maybe the owners name or something along those lines. It was a cozy little café, it smelled of freshly baked foods with a hint of coffee and chocolate. There were a few tall round table scattered around the floor with tall chairs to match, around the walls there were a few booths, some being window seats. Over to the left there were two couches and a chair facing each other with a large coffee table in the middle. The walls were a dark color, along with the dark hardwood floor. There was art and pictures lining the walls, adding the color the place needed, along with the chairs and couches.
As the duo walked up to the counter to order, a lady in a floral dress walked passed them, having just received her order. "Just order whatever you'd like." Ryder said to Spencer as she leaned on the counter.
"Hey Ryder, back so soon?" A small girl with a pixie cut asked as she walked up to them from behind the counter.
"Hey Amy, I just love your company so much I purposely ran into someone and spilled my drink on them so I could come see you again." Ryder said to the young girl, teen most likely, with a smile. Spencer realized she was being sarcastic and smiled slightly at her easy going and light personality. It's refreshing as he finds himself surround by the opposite most times.
Amy gave a small laugh and shook her head, not seeming surprised at all. She took their orders, Ryder reordering her hot chocolate, stating that she wasn't much of a coffee drinker, and Spencer got a normal cup of coffee with lots of sugar.
"I can't say I'm sorry enough. I've probably made you late for work or something." Ryder apologized again as they set there drinks on a near by table, allowing Spencer to remove his chocolate stained jacket, leaving him in a sweater and button up shirt.
"That's alright, I don't mind." Spencer didn't mind being a few minutes late and he found himself not wanting to leave. It's odd he thought, he had only just met this women yet she's had some affect on him. He's not sure what it is, but he can't seem to take his eyes away from her smile. "I hope I'm not making you late for anything." He added quickly, hoping he wasn't inconveniencing her.
"Oh no, I wasn't on my way anywhere really. I have odd hours, I guess you could say." She said with a small chuckle, cause Spencer to smile. Even her laugh was beautiful he thought as he smiled down at her. "I was just going to sit and read my book, nothing to exciting."
"What book?" Spencer asked, his interest peaked. Books are sometime he knew, something he could talk about.
"Oh, um.." Ryder said as she put her bag on the table, carful not to knock their drinks off as she pulled out a book to show to the young man beside her.
Spencer turned his head slightly to get a better look at the cover and soon found himself reading the tittle "Knights Gambit". "Have you ever read it?"
"Uh no actually," Spencer said, surprising himself a little. He was familiar with the book. He was familiar with all of William Faulkner's books. He had just never gotten to that one. "Although I have read some of his other works."
"Really? You like to read?" She seems truly interested as she asked, setting the book down on the table.
"Yeah, I read a lot actually." He decided to keep the whole reading 20,000 words a minute thing to himself, he didn't want to scare her off. "Did you know that William Faulkner was rejected from joining the United States Army in 1914 because he was too short. He reportedly gorged on bananas and glasses of water before the medical examination, in order to give the impression that his short and puny frame was more robust than it appeared; the plan failed. Instead, Faulkner succeeded in joining the British army in 1917 – having forged letters from a fictional referee, a vicar named Edward Twimberly-Thorndyke."
"Really? I didn't know that." Spencer was surprised he hadn't gone off on one of his little rants sooner, it normally scared people off, but Ryder didn't seem to mind, she actually seemed interested. "You don't meet a lot of people who read these days it seems." Ryder said before taking a sip of her drink. She was amazed by this man, she had just met him but he intrigued her. He was one of the nicest people she'd ever met, that being after she spilled her drink all over him. She's not the biggest reader but she does love it and she's never met someone else who shares in her love. He was also kind of cute. She found herself not wanting to leave his company and for a moment her mouth seem to take over and say things before she even fully processed them. "You can barrow it if you'd like, I've already read it once and I'd hate for you to not get the chance to read it."
Spencer pushed past his surprise as he watched the women in front of him. She seems shocked by her own words, a pink tint coming to her cheeks as she looked down at the cup in her hands. "I mean," She quickly started talking again, not letting Spencer get a word in. "You totally don't have to, but if you want I don't mind. I could just maybe write my number down and when your done we could meet up and give it back." If she was going to be honest, she was looking for an excuse to see him again. She knew he would have to leave soon and she would never see him again after he left. That thought itself bringing an odd feeling to her stomach, one she did not like.
"Re-really?" Spencer asked. He probably wouldn't normally do it but he thought it was the perfect excuse to see her again. He knew she couldn't possibly ever like him in that way, but he couldn't help the feeling he got when he thought of not seeing her again after he left. It was an odd feeling in his gut, and he did not like it.
"Yeah, it's no problem and I did ruin your jacket. Here," Spencer watched as she dug through her bag, soon pulling out a pen. She opened the book and on the first empty page, she wrote something down before closing it and handing it over to him. "Just read it and whenever you've finished you can call me or send a text."
Spencer carefully took the book, opening the hardcover book to see what she had written. It was a number with her name below it, a smiley face following soon after. He smiled down at it, before carefully closing the book, almost like if he did it any faster it would all blow away.
"Th-thanks." He stuttered, not knowing what else to say. He's never been in situation like this before. But she was just being nice right? She felt bad for spilling her drink on him and was trying to be nice.
"No problem really, I hope you enjoy it." Just as she fished saying that, Spencer phone went off. He mentally sighed, knowing what it meant. He wasn't ready to leave. Saying a quick apology, Spencer pulled out his phone to look at the text he'd gotten.
"I'm sorry, that's work. I got to go." Spencer said as he looked up at the girl.
"Oh no, it's fine. I'm the sorry one, I hope I didn't make you too late and again, I sorry about your jacket." She gave him another smile and Spencer couldn't help thinking that he'd ruin all his jackets if it meant he could spend time with this young women.
"I-it's fine really, uh, thanks for the coffee and t-the uh the book." Spencer scooped up the book and slid it into his messenger bag as he found himself smiling back at Ryder.
At seeing his smile, Ryder's grew bigger. He had an amazing smile she thought. It wasn't a big toothy smile but it was enough for her to see how amazing it was. "Yeah, just let me know when you finish it." Ryder said as she walked around the table, heading to the door with Spencer. "And," She started hesitantly, "Maybe I could buy you another coffee sometime. Or any drink."
"Uh, um y-yeah. T-that'd be great." Spencer found himself stuttering. Did this girl really want to spend more time with him? He had just thought she was being nice but now she's offering to buy him another drink sometime.
"Okay," Ryder breathed out with a smile. She surprised herself buy saying that, she's not normally the type, but there was something about this man and she found herself not wanting him to be out of her life just yet. So when he said yes, she gave a sigh a relief and smiled up at him. "I look forward to it."
"Y-yeah, me too." They both stood at the door for a moment, looking at each other before Ryder shook her head.
"You're going to be even more late for work, I won't hold you up anymore."
"Right, thanks again for the coffee." Spencer said as he opened the door, allowing both of them to walk out onto the sidewalk.
"No problem really. Well, I wish you a good day at work, and I hope you enjoy the book." Ryder motion to the messenger bag hanging off his shoulder, where the book now resides. Spencer knew it would only take him a few minutes to finish the book, but he wasn't going to tell her that just yet. He really wanted to see her again and didn't want to do anything to prohibit that from happening.
"Thanks, I'm sure I will." Spencer adjusted the strap on his messenger bag as he stopped in front of Ryder. He wasn't sure what else he should say, he's been being cautious this whole time, not wanting to say something wrong.
"Alright, I guess I'll see you when you finish the book." Ryder gave him another smile, earning her one in return.
"Yeah, see you then." Spencer said before slowly turning to walk off. He knew he needed to get to work, Garcia texted him about a case, but it was like he was being drawn to this women. As he walked away it was like there was a rope pulling him back. He stopped after a few strides and turned to see her still looking at him. When she caught his eye, she waved and sent him a smile. He'd only just met her but he couldn't seem to get enough of her smile. Smiling himself, Spencer waved back before turning and making his way into work.
"You're late, you're never late." JJ said as Spencer walked into the briefing room.
"Yeah, what you do? Fall asleep on your couch watching Star Trek?" Morgan teased as Reid sat down to his left.
"No, I uh... got a coffee." Spencer wasn't going to tell the team about Ryder. He knew the teasing would never end. And he would admit to himself that he wanted something that was untouched by his work. Spencer saw Ryder as something pure and untainted by all the bad things he sees everyday and he would do anything he could to keep it from infecting her. She was like a brightness seeping into all the darkness he sees. And he didn't plan on snuffing out that light anytime soon. If ever if he could help it.
"Then where is it?" Emily asked, pulling him from his thoughts of Ryder. Reid looked to his left, seeing Emily's raised brow.
"I drank it." He quickly answered, wanting them to drop the subject already. He loved his team, he really did, they were his family, but sometimes he wished they would just let him keep some things to himself.
"What happened to your jacket?" Morgan asked, inspected Spencer still damp jacket that he hung on the back of his chair.
"Isn't there a case?" Reid asked, looking around at everyone.
"Yes, there is." Hotch spoke for the first time, drawing everyone's attention to him. Reid didn't miss the small looks the team gave him as they all turned their attention to the screen as JJ turned it on. "If you would JJ."
As JJ started to talk about the case, Spencer found himself glancing down at his messenger bag. The bag holding a simple book with a few simple numbers, and found himself thinking back to the most beautiful smile he's ever seen.
A spilled drink, a ruined jacket, and a love for books. Who knew that was all it took to change someones life forever?