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          Spencer Reid has only seen color once in his life, and that one moment of seeing the life dim in Maeve’s chestnut eyes has made him hope he never sees it again.

          It has been two years since Spencer touched Maeve’s hand, crying as he kneeled in a dark red, sticky pool of her blood, and he has long accepted the fact that the varying shades of gray are permanent as he continues his life after the death of his soulmate. 

          He’s read the journals, done the research; he knows the 0.564% probability of him  having two people perfectly suited to love, care for, understand him better than anyone else in the world. Only Maeve would ever be that for him, and she was gone. Despite Garcia and Morgan’s subtle and hopeful insisting, a force in the universe called Fate exists, and Spencer Reid is fated to only know the color of dead brown eyes and the blood of a loved one. 

          Then Fate sent a sky-colored blur to knock him flat on his back. Literally. 

          Spencer can only heave, a sturdy pressure on his abdomen and the press of cement on his back, and scrunch his eyes closed against the pain and quiet as his head clears after the impact on the ground.

          “–ey, hey, hey, are you dead, do you have a concussion, please, pleeeeea- wow.” Your voice halts as he open his eyes, blinking hard against the dull pain in his head. You move your knee off his torso, but the both of you are still breathless when your gazes meet, not a shade of gray in sight. “Your eyes… They look like the grass,” you whisper reverently as you prop yourself above his laying body, instinctively leaning down, closer to the new color- oh my god, you’re seeing color for the first time, and it looks different from the grass and yet the same, it looks like the trees except shinier and prettier. Only when his body tenses under yours do you gasp and lean back, suddenly understanding how severely you are invading his space. You throw yourself to the side, your butt hitting the pavement, before you attempt to restrain yourself from hovering, your eyes roving over his body and the surrounding park but still gravitating towards his- what do they call that color? Green, you think?- eyes. 

          Spencer takes slightly longer to react, not even his incredibly advanced mind able to take in all the overwhelming sensory and emotional input at once. He slowly sits up, one hand in his hair feeling for a mark and finding none, his eyes not able to tear themselves away from the sky. Has it always looked like that, he wonders? Has it always been that astounding, and he just hasn’t been able to see it? When he finally turns to look at you, the pale, sweet hue of your dress and the bright, sunny shade of your hair catch his attention, but he is riveted your eyes, the same color as the sky above you. He can’t look away, and suddenly, he is frightened. He hasn’t been this scared in two years. The vivid, rich world of colors before him tilts and swirls as he stands up way too fast, picks up his bag, and walks away as fast as the sad, terrified, pulling sensation in his gut allows. 

          “I’m okay,” he mutters, his hands tightening around the leather strap and his knuckles turning a blessedly familiar white. “I’m sorry for bumping into you. Have a good day!” he yells, subconsciously trying to shout over the sounds in his head of his own sobs, flashbacks drowning out the bright shades all around him with the velvet red of blood he had been so fortunate to forget. Suddenly, the colors around him go even sharper, brighter, the red disappearing as he is blinded with a flare of white and gold. He stops in his tracks, unsteady on his feet, only the tight grasp you have on his arm keeping him upright. He jerks his arm out of your hold, the colors around him immediately dimming to a manageable shade- if the relentless, blinding beauty of the world around him can ever be manageable- and glares at you. 

          “You… you see it too, right? You have to,” you implore, your fingers stretched towards him as if by gravity. The stern look on his face deflates as he softens under your sad, pleading gaze, but you only become more sad as his sternness falls to reveal a vulnerable expression on your handsome face. “I’m Y/N. I’m sure I must not be what you expected in a soulmate, me knocking you down and all, but I’m nice, I swear. I’m nice if you get to know me.” He cringes as you closer, and you recoil as if slapped. 

          “I don’t want to get to know you, Miss Y/N. Please excuse me,” he insists, turning back only for you to grasp the back of his sweater vest. He wants to glare at you, hate you, push you away, but the look of determination in your eyes keeps him still and enraptured.

          “You lost someone too, didn’t you?” you ask, stepping closer to him, your body only a hair’s breadth from his. His breath catches as he watches your eyes twinkle and hair glow in the sun’s light. It is so beautiful and so terrifying and fleeting that he wants to escape to safety, to escape to where there are no sky-blues or blood-reds, to escape to where the possibility of one half of his soul can be ripped away from him again no longer exists. 

          “My soulmate died before I ever got to touch her. I know the color of blood because I knelt by her side and held her hand after she died. She died because of me,” he whispers. You are close enough to hear, and you lift a hand to brush his soft, warm-colored hair away from his eyes. He can only whimper at the feather light contact as your eyes soften in sympathy and sadness. They are so soft and molten warm, he imagines they are gateways to the ocean about to drag him in and engulf him with no warning.

          “I bumped my soulmate on a sidewalk. He, the poor, beautiful thing, was so shocked, he fell back… into the street. The only color I have seen before now is the red of the car that took him from me,” you murmur, your hand stroking his cheek soothingly as he trembles next to you. “What a pair we make.” He lifts his hand to lay on top of yours on his face, and oh, his eyes shine like stars; you can’t help but lean closer, marvelling at the indescribable, unidentifiable flecks swirling in them. He leans with you, his eyelids lowering slowly as if he cannot bear to close them.

          When your lips meet, stars burst into rainbows behind your eyelids, the bright ribbons of color running through your veins like electricity. The way he gasps against your mouth, you know the same sparks are coursing through his body; you think you can feel it through his hand clutching your waist for dear life. When the two of you part, it is only millimeters between you, your lips still brushing against each other as you both take ragged breaths. Your sudden smile shocks Spencer, your laughter the only thing he can hear over the sound of the blood rushing in his ears.

          “What’s your name, love?” you ask. For the first time during this entire ordeal, for the first time in a long time, Spencer laughs, uncontrollable mirth bubbling up in his throat.