Spencer struggles with how he's going to approach the subject of Ryder with his team. He wants her there when he tells them, wherever there was. It's a rare moment for Spencer, not knowing how to do something. He's thankful to Emily as well for not saying anything to the team, but he doesn't miss the looks she gives him whenever he leaves to take a phone call or rushes out of work some nights.
He even considered asking Emily for advice at one point but decided against it. The problem soon got pushed to the back burner as a case comes up and he has to give all his attention to it. And little did he know that when they returned from their case that the perfect opportunity would present itself.
"Team dinner, my house, tomorrow night." Rossi announces to the room, not even voicing it as a question. He doesn't plan on taking no for an answer. The team tries to get together to have a calm dinner on occasion, usually hosted at Rossi's. The team goes out a lot, usually for drinks and or food but half the time the whole team can't come and being at a crowded bar or someplace else with lots of people isn't the same as a quiet sit down that the team can relax and enjoy each other's company outside of work. It was the perfect opportunity.
"Um-" Is all Spencer was able to get out before being interrupted by Morgan.
"No, not this time, kid, you are not canceling." He says sternly as he points a finger at him.
"No, actually I was just wondering if..." Spencer trails off, glancing first at Hotch then at Emily, the latter giving him a small nod of encouragement. "I was wondering if I could bring someone." He finally gets out, nearly shrinking in on himself when he feels everyone's eyes on him.
"Uh, of course," Rossi says as he shares a look with the others. "The more the merrier."
Nodding his head, Spencer continues collecting his things before making his exit, not wanting to stick around for the questions he was sure the others had, briefly catching Emily's eye and she sends him a smile.
It was almost like a weight off his shoulders but it was replaced by a pit in his stomach that he guessed would be there until dinner the next night came.
"Ryder?" Spencer calls out as he steps into her apartment, setting his stuff on the table. He turns around when he doesn't get a response, the sight of a barstool knocked over catching his eye. "Ryder?" Walking closer, Spencer feels his heart drop and his hand go to his gun at the sight of blood, a decent-sized pile on the floor, a trail leading down the hall.
Keeping his gun holstered but his hand near it, Spencer follows the trail down the hall until he comes upon the cracked bathroom door, slowly pushing it open to reveal Ryder sitting atop the closed toilet with her bloodied wrist in her lap.
"Ryder?" Spencer says for the third time, finally catching her attention as he rushes to his girlfriend. "What the hell happened?" He asks while taking the towel from her, lifting it slightly to see a gash down her small wrist.
"I'm an idiot, that's what happened." She tells him, trying to laugh it off but he can hear the pain shinning through her voice.
"Shit, this need stitches," Spencer mumbles and applies pressure on the wound, trying to ignore the way the towel was becoming soaked.
"Is it really that bad?" Ryder asks, looking down at the wound, happy that she wasn't affected by the sight of blood.
"Yeah, come on, I'm taking you to the hospital." Spencer leaves no room for argument and helps Ryder to her feet before leading her out of the bathroom. "Where are your keys?"
"In my purse, on the table." Ryder answers and holds her wrist to her chest, watching Spencer grab them before he returns to her, helping her outside and into the car where they then drive to the hospital.
"This is a pretty nasty gash." The nurse observes as she starts stitching up Ryder's arm, having already numbed it and stopped the bleeding. "Mind if I ask how you got it?"
"I wasn't paying attention," Ryder reluctantly admits, watching the nurse work. "Broke a glass, tried to clean it up, somehow ended up with this. Probably would've bled out on the bathroom floor if Spencer hadn't come home."
"Ah, been there, I've always been clumsy." The nurse says as she continues her work.
"It's a curse." Ryder mumbles, turning her attention to Reid who stands by her side, holding her uninjured hand in his own.
"You scared me half to death." He mumbles while squeezing her hand.
"What can I say, it was my turn." She jokes.
"And we're all done." The nurse announces, half of her cheeriness faked. She's been on her shift for many hours. "Just keep the wounded area clean and dry, change the bandages daily."
"Thank you." Ryder tells the lady politely, standing from the bed and walking with Spencer to sign some papers before finally leaving the hospital. Ryder doesn't like hospitals and didn't want to be in there any longer than she had to be.
"I'm canceling dinner tomorrow." Spencer says once their both seated in Ryder's car.
"What?" She question, turning her furrowed brows towards her boyfriend.
"The team's having dinner at Rossi's tomorrow and I told them I was bringing someone. But I'm going to cancel." Spencer explains as he navigates through the streets.
"What? No, I'm fine." Ryder shakes her head. No way she's going to miss out on this opportunity to finally meet Spencer's team. "Really Spence, it's not that bad. I'm okay."
Quickly glancing over at her and seeing the hopeful look in her eyes, Spencer sighs in defeat. No way he could tell her no when she looks at him like that. "Okay, if you're feeling okay we'll go."
"Yes!" Ryder says happily and sits straight in her seat, suddenly feeling tired, a yawn escaping her.
"Let's just get you home."
"Good idea." Ryder mumbles, leaning to rest her hand against the cars cool window.
The next thing she knows, Ryder is being shaken awake by a hand on her shoulder. "Five more minutes." She mutters, drawing a small laugh from Spencer.
"You can't sleep in the car, Ry." Spencer tells her. He hadn't wanted to wake her but Spencer knew he wouldn't have been able to get her out of the car and up to the apartment without doing so anyway.
Grumbling, Ryder opens her eyes with a yawn and allows Spencer to unhook her seatbelt before he goes around to car to help her out of it. "I'm sorry."
"You don't have anything to be sorry for, let's just get you upstairs so you can sleep." Spencer says as the two make their way inside and up to Ryder's apartment.
Letting Spencer lock the apartment door, Ryder walks passed the kitchen and living room, down the hall and into her bedroom, sitting on the bed to remove her pants so she wouldn't fall over. After fighting off the tight fabric, Ryder stands before walking over to retrieve her sleeping shorts and slipping them on before removing her slightly bloodied shirt. She'd probably just throw it out, she didn't like that one much anyway.
"You feel okay?" Spencer asks the younger women as he wraps his arms around her from behind, his hand skimming over the uneven ridges in her skin, reminding him of the first time he'd seen them. It had been a night a lot like her birthday. Spencer had come over, the couple having plans to go out, and found Ryder in her studio lost in her head. He had watched her for a moment before reminding her of the time, causing her to rush to her bedroom, shedding her shirt as she went.
He hadn't meant to watch her but his eyes had landed on her back and he found himself walking closer to her as he caught sight of the marks on her smooth skin. He had asked her about them carefully, not wanting to make her uncomfortable, but he'd already seen them and there was no way he could've ignored them.
She had acted like she didn't mind, but Spencer could tell by the shift in her body language that she was uncomfortable about it. He had apologized for asking but she just shook her head and reminded him of the time she'd spent in foster care before being adopted. She didn't give any details, she had just said, "I'm sure you know better than anyone that not all people are good people." And left it at that.
"I'm okay, just tired." Ryder nods weakly, pulling Spencer from his thoughts and back to the present time. "My whole arm is numb."
"The feeling will be back by morning." Spencer mumbles into her ear and gently lifts her injured arm in his own. "I walked in and saw the blood, I didn't know what to think."
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to worry you." Ryder says and spins in his arms, wrapping her arms around him. "But now you know how I feel every time you walk out that door." She reminds him, pulling away to look up at him, only half-joking.
"Yeah," Spencer mumbles against her lips before kissing her. "Come on, you need sleep."
Nodding her head, Ryder pulls away, grabbing a random T-shirt she assumes is Spencer's and throws it on before climbing into bed.
"Goodnight," She says to Spencer, her voice muffled by the pillow she buries her face in.
"Goodnight, love." Spencer whispers with a smile, leaning over to place a kiss to Ryder's cheek
Ryder has been nervous before, many time actualy, she's had trouble with anxiety in the past. It's safe to say this was one of those times.
"What should I wear? Do we need to bring anything? Are you sure they'll like me?" She fires the questions at Spencer rapidly while looking through her many clothes. Spencer watches her with amusement from his seat in her desk chair he had rolled over. She had asked him these question already and he had assured her that it didn't matter and of course they would love her. She would calm down for a few minutes before jumping back up, her nerves preventing her from sitting still.
"Don't look at me like that," She says with a pout when she turns to see his face. "I just want tonight to go perfect."
"I know, me too." He tells her as he stands. The truth was Spencer was also nervous, he knows the team will like Ryder, it's impossible not too, but he's still scared about how the night would go.
"Okay, it's fine," Ryder nods, to herself or to him, Spencer isn't sure, but he guesses it's a mixture of both. "Should I go casual casual, or dressy casual?" She asks him as she battles to get her emotions under control.
"Whatever you decide will be perfect." Spencer shrugs and he crosses his arms, leaning against the doorframe.
"That's no help," She tells him before turning back to her clothes, trying to decide over pants or a skirt. After much debate with herself, Ryder finally decides on some grey jeans with a pastel pink sweater that hangs loosely on her thin frame, deciding to wear her black high-tops. The only jewelry being some earrings and the necklace Spencer had gotten her for her birthday. Her hair styled into loose curls.
"You look beautiful." Spencer is sure to tell her.
"And you look very handsome." Ryder returns the compliment as they walk out of her apartment. "We're not going to be late, are we?"
"We'll be fine." Spencer shakes his head and climbs into the car.
"Okay." Is all Ryder says before she looks out the window, wringing her hands in her lap. Reaching over, Spencer takes them into one of his own and squeezes, drawing her attention back to him.
"We'll be fine." Spencer tells her one last time and Ryder nods, trying her best to believe him.