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Recruiting Strategy

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It was Friday afternoon after a thankfully slow week. They'd met in the roundtable room at three to go over the status of all open items for the previous week and to plan out the assignments for the next week and any long range travel.

Hotch had gone around the room once getting their reports and distributing the basic assignments when he said, "And for long range planning, Prentiss, the AD wants to use your Ivy League background for recruiting next month -- all nine of the Ivies, the old "Seven Sisters," and MIT. Reid, MIT has made it very clear that they'll only accept another recruiter if you're along for the ride, so are you two all right traveling together for a week?"

They glanced at each other and said, "Sure," nearly simultaneously.

Morgan shook his head. "Hotch, Reid can't do another MIT recruitment. Not after the last one."

The glare Reid sent Morgan should have caused blisters.

Hotch looked between them and finally said to Morgan, "Your report from two years ago didn't indicate any incidents or problems, so I'd need to know what your objections are before I deny one of the top schools in the country the agent it requested."

Reid was still glaring at Morgan who was trying to ignore it.

Hotch turned to Reid. "Do you know what Morgan's talking about?"

"Yes. I didn't do anything that warranted a report from either of us which is why there was nothing in either of our reports."

Morgan said, "I'll tell you all about it and let you make the decision."

"Not here." The rest of the team stared at Reid. "I don't want it discussed at the office."

"Now, I have to know what is," Rossi said.

"It does sound intriguing." That was from Emily.

"Just a minute." JJ left the room and made a cell phone call. When she came back a couple of minutes later, she smiled at them. "Will's going to make spiced shrimp and some picnic sides for dinner. Bring whatever you want to drink, and Hotch, please pick up Jack. We can let the kids play and talk afterward."

"Can I bring my honey?"

JJ patted Garcia on the shoulder. "Will's calling Kevin and asking him to bring dessert." She turned to the rest of them. "Six o'clock at my place."

Hotch said, "Sounds good. This was the last item for the meeting, and I don't have to give Strauss an answer until Monday. I'll see everyone tonight." He left the room and Reid followed with one last glare at Morgan.

Rossi clapped Morgan on the shoulder. "I hope this is worth it."

Morgan sighed. "Someone has to protect Reid from himself."

***
Henry was asleep in his crib, and Jack was sleeping on the day bed in Henry's room.

They were finishing up the coffee ice cream and butterscotch sauce Kevin had brought when Hotch said, "Reid would you like to take a walk with Morgan and me to discuss whatever this is?"

Garcia's head snapped up. "Come on, after that build up, we should all get to hear it."

Hotch kept his eyes on Reid. "It's up to you."

Reid shrugged and glared at Morgan. "I don't have anything to hide."

Emily whispered to JJ, "Do you think we should tell Reid he looks like an angry kitten?"

Reid turned the glare on her. They giggled.

Hotch said, "Morgan?"

Morgan took a swig from his beer and thought for a minute. "I'll start at the beginning. Two years ago, right before Gideon left, Hotch sent me and Reid up to Boston as part of the annual FBI recruitment song and dance."

"Yeah, I ended up covering most of Texas with Anderson," Emily said.

Morgan nodded. "The thing is, everyone thinks Reid is good for these things and on most campuses… " He turned to the younger man. "No offense, but most of the time you really aren't the right guy for it."

"None taken."

Morgan picked up the threads of the story. "So the first day we hit Regis College and Wellesley. Regis has more women than men and Wellesley's a girl's school. They were all trying to flirt with Reid, and you know how oblivious he is. He didn't get one phone number from them. Now, I did end up having dinner with one of the professors from Wellesley that night…"

JJ said, "And I'm sure you invited Reid along."

"Not exactly, but he said he was cool with it. The next day, Wednesday, we hit BU, BC, and Emerson. Thursday is U Mass Boston, Northeastern, and Bunker Hill Community College. Friday morning we hit Lesley College and then Harvard Law School. We have most of the afternoon off, and then MIT has scheduled us for six pm."

Rossi laughed. "Don't tell me, you had three people off the street and the janitor in the audience."

Reid said, "First of all, let me just say, Morgan did not eat alone on Wednesday or Thursday nights, either. I did. Breakfast too."

Morgan waved his hand. "You don't let a pretty lady eat breakfast alone. And," he said to Rossi, "three students plus the janitor was about what I was expecting. What I got was a thousand seat theater, standing room only…"

Hotch looked between his two agents. "On a Friday night?"

"Reid wasn't a bit surprised. He'd let me do most of the talking at the other lectures. I think he answered a couple of questions here and there, but you know what it's like."

They'd all had to do the recruitment at some point and nodded.

Morgan continued, "He'd told me from the beginning of the week that he'd do all the talking at MIT, and it would be a bit different, longer, than our usual session. I figured fine. I go out on the stage. I'm shocked by the packed audience and then Reid comes out, and they're cheering him like he's a rock star. For the next forty minutes, he's working the power point, giving a completely different recruitment talk from the one I'm used to. This one's all about analysis, statistics, computers, and holistic approaches to crime. He's talking to the engineers about armor for SWAT and to the computer people about hacking. Then, when he announces the Q and A, he tells them that the first twenty minutes of questions have to be about the Bureau."

JJ said, "The first twenty minutes? I do some of the recruiting at journalism schools, and we're lucky if we get ten minutes of questions."

"Yeah. Exactly. But there are questions, many of them about tech analysis. He mentioned your name, baby girl, and got a cheer."

Garcia preened.

Kevin wrapped an arm around her shoulders and said, "My woman is a legend."

"At minute twenty-one, the math and science questions start. The people in the audience have read Reid's theses, and we finally have to break it up at quarter to eight. People are coming up to the stage to talk to him. I might as well have been a wax dummy. I think the only words I said were my name when Reid told me to introduce myself." He shook his head remembering. "Then a group of them suggest hitting Toscanini's, and I think, 'it's Friday night, a club sounds pretty good.'"

Emily laughed. "You thought Tosci's was a club."

"Yeah, well, I learned. The ice cream was fantastic. What was it you told me to try?"

Reid said, "Kulfi."

Emily made a lustful noise at the back of her throat. "I kept dating this one guy up in Boston, just to have an excuse to go there and have their kulfi. It's so good."

Hotch interrupted. "So Reid shouldn't lecture at MIT because people ask him questions about math, and he'll eat too much ice cream?"

Morgan sighed. "The ice cream is sort of part of it. There's this one couple Jan and Jen who are making out on one of the sofas. They're taking part in the conversation, but they've got their hands all over each other."

Reid said, "Jan and Jen are kind of exhibitionists." He pronounced the first name like it began with a "y."

"And then there was that red-haired boy who was practically sitting in your lap, and you weren't exactly pushing him out of it."

"Don't tell me that shocked you." Rossi sounded incredulous. "I worked out Reid was bisexual my second week with the team."

Emily looked at him. "What took you so long?"

"They'd moved the supply room since my day," Dave said drily.

Morgan looked at his team. "Not one of you is even surprised?"

"I already knew," Reid said.

Hotch gave one of his rare smiles. "I've known for years."

JJ shrugged. "He told me on our one date."

"Anyway," Morgan continued, "the group of them is talking about work being done at Cal Tech on cognitive emergence theory or something, and I decide it's too early on Friday night to be listening to a bunch of geeks ramble about math. I call someone we'd met at Harvard and meet her for a drink."

He took another sip of his beer and made certain his audience was still following his story. "The next morning, around eight, I go and knock on his door to see if Reid wants to have breakfast."

"I'd like to remind everyone that we haven't had breakfast together all week because Morgan usually had a guest." Reid looked at him pointedly.

Morgan looked at him just as pointedly. "The circles around the boy's eyes are dark, like he hasn't slept all night. I could tell he'd just pulled some clothing on. There's a hickey on his throat, and what looks like a bite mark on his abdomen. And all he can say is 'you're not room service.' I hear two giggles, not one, two, and … "

Kevin grinned at Reid. "A threesome, you are so my hero."

Reid blushed. "Not exactly. Besides, I'm sure I'm not the only one at this table to have..."

Emily shook her head. "No, you're not."

Rossi and Will were shaking theirs too.

JJ looked at her s.o. "Really?"

"I've tried most things once, cher, just to see if I liked it." He grinned.

She grinned back at him. "Tell me about it later."

Hotch shrugged. "I started dating my wife in high school, but I'm sure most men have thought about it."

"So room service comes while I'm still standing there, and they bring three trays of food and three big pots of coffee, and Reid says I can leave my bag in his room when I check out at noon since he's staying the weekend and closes the door in my face."

Garcia patted his arm. "I know you usually breakfast with Clooney, but I'm sure it wasn't that bad."

Morgan raised an eyebrow. "If it had just been the giggle, but there's the bite mark. And, I don't know, I'm mad, so after breakfast, I pack up quickly and take my book to sit in the hall where I can see the door to Reid's room."

"Which I still maintain was stalking." Reid's glare was back, and Emily and Garcia each patted an arm.

Garcia said, "It's a little creepy, my genius, but it shows he was worried."

"Hmmmph." Reid was not mollified.

"My point is," Morgan started, "that I was keeping a watch on Reid. At, what, around ten-fifteen, the door to his room opens and out come that exhibitionist couple…"

"Jan and Jen. I'm still working with Jan on a new article about game theory."

"And they both kiss him goodbye, not a little peck either, I'll bet they know exactly how many fillings our boy here has. They go call the elevator, and these two girls that I remember seeing earlier come out. Reid has an arm around each of them, and they're nuzzling him and kissing him goodbye like it's the end of a war movie."

"Rosalind and Celia have applied to the academy, by the way." Reid's voice was off hand, but he was having trouble meeting anyone's eyes.

"Really? Rosalind and Celia, like Shakespeare?" Emily thought he might be making it up.

"They met when they were deciding where to live on campus and decided they had to be roommates. They've been together ever since." Reid shrugged.

Everyone digested that for a moment.

Finally Rossi said, "How together?"

"They got married. Now that DC recognizes same-sex marriages, they've applied." Reid took in the glances. "They're bi. They're committed to each other, but if there's a man they both like, they'll sometimes approach him."

The look on Kevin's face was nearly worship.

"They did a hell of a lot more than approach you," Morgan muttered. "That's not the end of it though. Reid heads back into his room. Over an hour later, the door pops open again and there's last night's redhead…"

"Zach. His name is Zach, and he's a cosmologist."

"Well all I know is, if you two hadn't stopped kissing and rubbing up against each other, the hotel might have burned down." It was Morgan's turn to glare at Reid. "Did you ever see him again?"

"That night, actually. And yes, Zach's come down to DC a couple of times to visit."

Morgan turned to Hotch. "I'm just trying to protect Reid."

Hotch looked puzzled. "You're trying to protect a twenty-seven year old man from having consensual sex?" Hotch raised an eyebrow at Reid. "You did use condoms?"

Reid rolled his eyes. "Of course."

Hotch said to Morgan, "Safe, consensual, sex. Since he still seems to know everyone's name and stays in touch with them, I don't think the Bureau is going to come out of it looking badly. Though, honestly, if Reid were willing to discuss how he got five people to share a bed with him, Bureau applications might go up substantially."

"The hotel had king-sized beds."

Morgan shook his head. "No one has a problem with this?"

Kevin said, "My only problem is that I've never had a threesome much less five. Mind you, I'd settle for just the girls. Guys have never really done it for me." He looked at Garcia. "Not that I need more woman than I have."

She grinned at him. "Fantasies are fine, sweetie." She stood up. "Will, it was an excellent dinner. Are we still sitting Henry tomorrow night, JJ?"

"If you don't mind." JJ stood and walked them to the door.

Rossi got up. "I'm heading home, too. I have a round of golf in the morning." He patted Morgan's shoulder and shook his head.

Emily stood. "Need a lift, Reid? I promise I'll keep my envy to a minimum."

"That'd be great." He picked up his bag and turned to Hotch. "Is it all right? My doing the MIT recruitment again?"

"Of course. I do expect two things from you. First, make a private report about any incidents like this on future recruiting trips. I want to be able to say I knew about it, if someone does ever complain to the Bureau."

"Agreed. The second?"

"Make a list of the relevant journal articles about modern tribes and 'found families' for Morgan. He's weaker on sociology than psychology, and I think that's what caused his cognitive dissonance."

Morgan put his hands on Reid's shoulders. "You know I'm just worried about you. That whole incident seemed so unlike you."

Reid looked at him. "I don't read clubs well. The crowds, the music, the dancing… but Hotch is right, I understand the geek tribe and can play by its mating rituals. That's why I stay away from flirtatious Wellesley girls. I don't understand their rules."

Morgan nodded and let him go.

Reid smiled at Hotch. "See you on Monday. Thank you."

"Don't mention it," Hotch said.

Reid joined Emily and JJ at the door. He said goodbye to Will, kissed JJ on the cheek, and held the door open for Emily.

Morgan turned to Hotch. "Need help getting Jack into the car?"

"I'd appreciate someone opening the doors while I carry him." He handed Morgan his car keys and wandered back to the bedroom.

JJ came up and gave Morgan a pat on the back. "Spence has been taking care of himself a long time. Trust him."

"Yeah." He opened the door for Hotch and called a goodbye to Will.

When they were gone, JJ turned to her partner with a gleam in her eye and said, "So tell me about the threesome in your decadent past."