The young man smiles to himself as he stands in the doorway, staring at the sofa in the middle of the living room where his two favourite people in the world are currently asleep, the muted television playing in the background. His blonde-haired girlfriend is laying on her back, fast asleep, the slow rise and fall of her perfect chest with every breath she takes almost rhythmic in nature. Her left arm is draped over the edge of the sofa, slender fingers almost touching the carpet, and their 4-month old son, Jason, is curled up against her right arm, which is draped over her chest. For a moment he’s tempted to walk over, to kneel down beside her, brush a strand of her hair away from her forehead and kiss her, but then he pauses, reminding himself that, after everything they’ve been through at work and all of the hard work they’ve been doing trying to make the United States a little safer for everyone, she deserves to spend this little bit of time undisturbed with their son. She’s so beautiful when she’s asleep… Hell, she’s beautiful all the time, but when she’s asleep all of her worries leave her and she just looks so amazingly peaceful he thinks quietly. He stands there watching his girlfriend and their son as they sleep for a few minutes longer before, remembering that he has plans to make for the night ahead, turning and leaving the room, taking his phone from the charger on the table beside the door as he does so and closing the door quietly behind him.
As soon as the door clicks into place, he taps in the 4-digit code to unlock his phone, quickly accessing his contacts and picking a number seemingly at random. The phone rings twice before a woman’s voice answers it. “Prentiss”
“Emily, its Reid” the young man replies quickly, eager as he is to enlist her help in his plans for the night.
“Reid? Why are you calling me on a Saturday? Are JJ and Jason alright?” his friend asks, a worried tone taking over her voice.
Reid smiles. “Yeah. Yeah, Emily, they’re fine” he says softly.
There’s the soft sound of a woman exhaling from the other side of the line, followed by a brief pause. “Oh, good. I’m glad to hear it. So, what do you need?” Emily queries.
“Are you doing anything tonight?”
Emily doesn’t respond for a second, but when she does Reid can almost hear her smile. “I have a lunch meeting with my mother tomorrow, but, apart from that, my schedule’s pretty much free for the next two days. Why do you ask?”
“Would you mind coming over to watch Jason for a few hours tonight, perhaps between 8:30 and 10? It’s me and JJ’s anniversary tonight, and I want to take her out for dinner somewhere special”.
Despite the fact that Emily claims not to be any good with children, Reid knows that she’s a lot more caring that she lets on, and that she has a soft spot in her heart for little Jason. She may not see it herself, but he knows that it’s there. She sighs softly before replying. “Sure. I’ll see you at 8:30 tonight then”.
“Thanks. I really appreciate it”.
“I’m always happy to help out whenever you or Jennifer need it, Reid. You guys know that. Alright, I suppose I should go. I have a few errands to run. See you tonight”.
“See you then”.
Reid hangs up and slips his phone back into his pocket before turning and opening the door to step back into the lounge. And there he stops. From where he is standing in the doorframe he can see that his girlfriend is awake now, standing with their son in her arms, and she is gently rocking him back and forth, swaying slightly on the spot as she sings to him. A smile plays across his lips, and he can’t help the quiet chuckle that escapes, that causes her to pause in the middle of one line and look up and in his direction. She smiles and gestures for him to join her, and he willingly complies, his long legs quickly carrying him over to her side. His long, slender, arms wrap around her waist, and she subconsciously leans back, relaxing slightly into his touch and nuzzling her face into his neck. “I love you” she whispers, momentarily taking her eyes off of Jason, still held tight in her arms, to look up at him.
Blue eyes meet brown, and he lowers his head just enough to press his lips against hers. “I love you too” he breathes back, just loud enough for Jennifer to hear.
They stay like this for a while, the three of them lost in their own little world, but after around ten minutes Reid speaks again. “I asked Emily to come over tonight”.
For a moment, his girlfriend is confused. “Why?”
Reid chuckles slightly, and Jennifer leans further into his embrace as his arms slip slightly more around her waist. “Because it’s our 1-year anniversary, Jenn. Remember? Emily will be here at about 8:30 tonight to look after Jason for a few hours, and then you and I will go out and have a nice romantic dinner at an Italian restaurant a couple of blocks away. Celebrate the way that we truly deserve to”.
His mind wanders momentarily to the object sitting securely in the inside pocket of his jacket, the object that represents the plans that he’s been making ever since two months before Jason was born. Plans that he can’t wait to put into action. He just has to wait a little longer to do so…
~8:30 pm that night~
There’s a brisk knock at the door to their four-bedroom house about forty-five minutes away from Quantico, and Reid opens it, greeting the brown-haired young woman who’s standing just outside. “Emily. Please, come in”.
She steps over the threshold into the hallway, shrugging off her jacket as she does so, and he takes it from her, hanging it carefully over the coatrack by the door. “Where are JJ and Jason?”
Reid pauses for a second to think. “Jenn is just putting the finishing touches on her outfit for the night and Jason is asleep. He should probably sleep for the entirety of the time that we’re gone, but you know where everything is in case you need it, right?”
Just then, there are quiet footsteps in the hallway that leads to the bedroom, and both turn to see Jennifer step into the room. She’s wearing a gorgeous strapless black floor-length dress and 2 inch black heels, only enough makeup to accentuate her natural beauty and a simple black leather purse is slung over her shoulder. She smiles at Emily and her boyfriend, who is gazing at her with a stunned expression. “My god. Jenn… You look absolutely radiant” he breathes.
The blonde blushes. “Thanks, Spence. Ready to go?” she queries.
“Just about, yes. Just give me a second to grab my jacket, and then we can go”.
He disappears down the hallway, and Jennifer and Emily sit down on the couch together. “Thanks for agreeing to watch Jason, Emily”.
The brunette smiles at her blonde friend. “No problem, JJ. He’s a great kid. Besides, if I wasn’t here I’d probably just be at home, mourning the fact that I’m in love with a married man”.
“Let me guess. Hotch?”
The brunette seems momentarily startled, but quickly regains her composure. “Yeah, it’s Hotch. How’d you know?”
“I’ve seen the way you look at him when you think he’s not looking. Really, it’s obvious”.
Emily opens her mouth to respond, but Spencer re-enters the room before she can, his black jacket now on. “Alright, Jenn, let’s go. We should be back by around 10, Emily”.
The older woman nods. “Jason and I will be fine here. Go celebrate your anniversary”.
Spencer’s girlfriend slips her hand into his, and he squeezes it gently. They turn and head for the door, Jennifer calling a quick “Call us if anything comes up” over her shoulder.
~Thirty minutes later~
Spencer takes another sip of his champagne before turning his attention back to his amazing girlfriend, who is sitting just across from him. He can’t help but admire the way that her blue eyes sparkle when they catch the light, the way that her blonde hair falls delicately around her slender features and falls down to just below her shoulders. The locket he gave her when they started dating just over a year ago is clasped around her neck, the locket itself resting just above her breasts, and he can’t recall a time when he has felt more in love with her than he does now. And he knows now, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is what he wants. That he has wanted to build something permanent for months now, even more than he did before Jason was born, and he wants more than anything for her to be the one that he does that with. “Jennifer?”
She swallows the bite of pasta that’s currently in her mouth and looks questioningly towards her boyfriend. “What is it, Spence?”
Her hand is lying flat on the table, and Spencer reaches over and puts his hand on top of it. Their hands fold together like two pieces of a jigsaw, and the young man reaches into his jacket with his free hand, withdrawing the object tucked inside. He keeps it concealed for the space of a few seconds, and takes a deep breath in before speaking again. “The past year has been… absolutely amazing. I have never felt the way about anyone else the same way I feel about you, and I want it to last more than anything in the world. So…”
He uncurls his long fingers from around the object in his hand, revealing it to his girlfriend’s eyes. She gasps quietly, and, as Spencer holds the small white-gold ring between his fingers, the diamond on top seems to almost glow in the candlelight. “Jennifer Jareau, will you marry me?”
Tears of joy appear in the young woman’s sapphire eyes, and she nods furiously. As Reid slides the ring, which she has only just noticed is simple enough to be suited for work, yet elegant enough for her to wear on special occasions, onto her finger; she finally manages to find her voice. “Yes. Yes, Spence. I will marry you”.
Thankful for the fact that their table is relatively obscured from the rest of the restaurant, both lean in simultaneously, sealing their engagement with a kiss. And Spencer knows that, no matter what turns their lives may or may not take, they will be moving forward. Together. And, if he has to be honest, he’s never been happier.