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Boy Meets Girl

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"That sounds dangerous." Ryder says through her phone as she walks out of her apartment to check her mail.

"Of course there's risk involved but it's a basic operation, we should be in and out." Spencer tells Ryder after stepping away from Emily, explaining his reason for canceling dinner.

"And it's in Colorado?" Ryder asks him while approaching her mailbox, pausing as another person stands in front of them. She had thought the hunched man was collecting his mail even though his figure didn't seem familiar, but as she watches him for a moment, he just seems to be standing there before moving on.

"Yeah, we'll hopefully be back soon." Spencer says with a glance over his shoulder.

"You better be careful." She demands after shrugging off the man's odd behavior, approaching her mailbox, and collecting her mail before turning back to her apartment.

Chuckling, Spencer shakes his head before responding. "I will, don't worry about me."

"You make it hard not too." She informs him as she walks up her stairs, holding her phone with her shoulder, allowing her to sort through her mail.

"Occupational hazard, I'm afraid." He mumbles with a helpless chuckle.

"I know, it just sucks." Ryder says as she opens the door to her apartment, closing and locking it behind her.

"I'll be okay, promise."

"I'm going to hold you to that." Ryder smiles, leaning against the back of her couch.

"I'll try to call you when we get there, but I gotta go."

"Okay, please be safe. I love you." Ryder says, worry settling in the pit of her stomach despite Spencer's reassurance that he would be fine.

"Love you." Spencer repeats before hanging up the phone, turning around only to jump back as he comes face to face with Emily.

"Sorry." The older women apologizes with a small laugh.

"I-it's okay." Spencer says, his heart racing from the small scare. How long had she been standing there?

"Who was that?" Asks Emily as she points to Spencer's phone.

"Uh, nobody." Spencer shrugs before walking around Emily. He hates lying to her.

"Uh-huh." Emily mumbles to herself as she watches Spencer walk away, wondering to herself if he always told "nobody" that he loves them.

After barking off orders and prepairing to fly to Colorado, Hotch takes a minute to lock himself in his office and pull out his phone, dailing the number in mind and letting it ring. "Hello?" A feminine, if not slightly worried voice responds after a few rings.

"Ryder?" Hotch asks, making sure it was her before he continues.

"Agent Hotchner?" She questions when she recognized his voice. "What's wrong?"

"Have you seen the news?" He asks the young women, already knowing she had.

"Please tell me that's not Spencer in there." Dread fills her voice. It's him, she knows it is. She knew the moment she saw it on the news.

"I'm sorry but it is. I don't want you to worry, my team and I are on it, we'll get him out of there safe." He assures the girl, hoping he was right. Spencer had given Hotch Ryder's number not long after he found out about the girl, he had told him it was in case anything ever happened to him, and as much as he hated that thought, he knew it was a risk of the job.

So he was calling her now because he knows she would've seen the news and no doubt would've guessed it was Spencer and gone out of her mind with worry. Especially if the things Spencer had mentioned to him about her was anything to go by. He was surprised sometimes, that Spencer was able to keep her a secret from the team for so long, he obviously loved to talk about her, the affection shining in his eyes as he did.

Taking a deep breath to try and control her emotions, Ryder nods before realizing he couldn't see her. "Okay, please jus-" Cutting herself off as she felt her voice quiver, Ryder takes another deep breath before continuing. "Please bring him home safe."

"I will." Hotch tells her before ending the call, taking a moment for himself before going out to meet with his team, prepaired to do whatever it took to get both of his team members home safe.

"Hey." Emily greets as she sits across from Spencer on the jet.

"Hey." He mumbled back, unable to meet his team members eyes.

"Hey," She says again, reaching forward to gently pull the book from his hands. "I need you to listen to me. What Cyrus did to me is not your fault. It was my decision, and I would do it again. Do you hear me?" Overcome with guilt, Spencer finds it hard to meet Emily's eyes as he gives her the smallest of nods and she rubs his hands with hers.

"Thank you." Smiling at his team member, Spencer turns back to his book for a moment before looking back up when he feels Emily's eyes burning a hole through his skull. "That phone call earlier?" She asks him, meaning both the one before they left and the one she'd heard him having before they boarded the plane.

"It was n-" Spencer goes to lie before Emily cuts him off.

"Nobody?" She's not an idiot, she'd figured it out at this point. She was a profiler, after all, the phone calls only confirming it for her. Spencer had a significant other and he was keeping them from the team. She understands why to a certain degree. He wants something separate and untouched by his work. She could understand that. And with the relentless teasing from Morgan, she couldn't blame him. But she wasn't going to push him on the matter, not too much anyway. "You could've told us." She informs him, smile on her face as she watches the moment Spencer completely realizes she knows.

"Please don't tell the others." He asks her in a whisper as soon as he was able to speak again. He couldn't believe he'd been so sloppy, letting Emily and who knows who else here his phone calls.

"It's okay Spencer, we won't judge." She tells him, wanting to know more about the person who seemed to have stolen the young doctor's heart.

"It's not-it's not about that." Spencer sighs as he let his book fall closed.

"Then what is it?" Emily questions, not pushing completely gone from her mind.

"I just- It's' different when I'm with her." Spencer admits as he looks to the window, once again not able to meet Emily's eyes. "It's like I can turn everything off and not think about all the awful things we see every day."

"And you think if you bring her into this part of your life it won't be like that anymore?" Emily guesses, earning a nod from her friend. He knows it's selfish but for the first time in his life, Spencer wants something for himself, and that was Ryder.

"Oh, Reid," Emily mumbles, looking to her friend with something akin to sadness in her eyes. "You love this girl, don't you?" Nodding his head, Spencer finally turns to look at his friend, wondering where she was going with this. "Then it won't matter." Furrowing his brows, Spencer looks down at his hands as he thinks over Emily's words.

"It doesn't matter if we know or not, this girl and this team are apart of your life. At this point, mixing the two won't matter." Emily tells her friend. She felt a pang of sadness shoot through her heart when Spencer told her why he'd been keeping this girl a secret. He just wanted to escape from the horrors the team deals with and she was how he did it, and he was afraid that if she came to close to this part of his life that it wouldn't be the same.

And deep down Spencer knows that isn't true, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. "Thanks, Emily." He tells his friend, seriously thinking over her words. Maybe it was time he told the team. It would definitely make things easier.

He had a lot to think about before he got home.

"You promised." Ryder's voice breaks as she wraps her arms around Spencer's neck.

"I know, I'm sorry." Spencer says, his own voice muffled when he buries his face in the crook of her neck, his arms holding her close.

"No, I'm just glad you're okay. I was so worried." Ryder pulls back, looking Spencer over. "Are you okay?" She asks. He had called her on the phone the moment he could and assured her he was fine, but she had to see for herself that he really was.

"I'm okay, really." He nods and grabs her wrist and holds her hand in place on his cheek where she had placed it while looking him over, turning his head to place a kiss to her wrist. "I'm okay."

"You better be." She tells him, meaning to sound stern but failing as she falls into his arms, letting him guide her into her apartment.

"Emily knows." Spencer says as the couple sit comfortably on the couch, watching tv, enjoying the feeling of being close to each other again.

"About me?" Ryder asks, looking up at Spencer but his eyes stay on the tv.

"Yeah, she figured it out." She can't help it, but Ryder feels a smile pulling at her lips.

"I thought agents were supposed to be good at keeping secrets." She teases, earning her an eye-roll and smile as Spencer finally looks down to meet her eyes.

"I think maybe," Spencer starts hesitantly. "I think maybe it's time you meet my team."

"Oh my gosh, really!?" Ryder asks, her eyes going wide with excitement. "Seriously!?" She squeaks out, sitting and grabbing Spencer's arm.

"Seriously," Spencer says with a laugh, thinking he would've told them sooner if he knew this is the reaction he would've gotten.

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh." Ryder repeats before taking a deep breath to calm herself down. "No, I'm calm, I am fine." She says before a thought hits her, causing her to drop back down into her seat, the smile gone from her face. "What if they don't like me?"

"What? Don't be ridiculous, they'll love you." Spencer quickly tells her, shifting to face her better. "You wanna know how I know?" Nodding her head, Ryder takes Spencer's hand as she looks up at him. "Because I love you."

"Don't be cheesy." She tells him before letting a smile take over her face, excepting Spencer's kiss.

"It's settled then, we'll tell them."