The best and brightest the FBI had to offer seemed to gravitate toward the BAU, combining their profiency with firearms and propensity for understanding the human psyche in a way most people wouldn't dare try, to be efficient at their jobs. It was a career that came with the things that caused nightmares, and a litany of sleepless nights. But, the reward of cases closed and criminals behind bars was far more tempting than the idea of doing something less dangerous; less scarring. That was the way both Thomas Reid and Candice Demarcus, both Supervisory Special Agents with the Behaviorial Analysis Unit, saw their job. They focused on the good they did, the lives they saved, and how they were making the world a better place. That's what was important. That was what they lived for. It was only a bonus that they were also both exceptionally talented at what they did.

It was during a case - the details of which no one outside of the bureau and local law enforcment were ever made privy to - that found the two of them working closely together that their relationship moved beyond that of co-workers. They all protected one another, at all costs, but both Thomas and Candice had been all too aware of how the natural fluidity of the team could change, which could result in far worse implications than just a disruption of team dynamic. There are some things that can't be ignored once they reach a certain point, though, and this was one of them. Within months after the two began dating, they were engaged, and by the end of the year - in a small ceremony that took place in the church that Thomas had grown up attending - they were wed. They settled into a pattern that was, for them, absolute bliss. Work and each other was all they needed.

And work was work. While they were on the clock, on a case, they were a hundred percent dedicated to their jobs; to catching the bad guy and giving everyone affected by what had been done whatever closure they could. The level of focus they displayed was a good thing, most of the time. It left no room for deviation, and made the entire team's success rate one to be envied. However, as with anything else, there was a downside to it as well. It wasn't until an injury while in the field landed Candice in the hospital that they learned she was pregnant. Almost five months along, actually. The reality of the situation at hand wasn't lost on either of them, though it still took Candice until she was almost eight months pregnant to realize that she would need to slow down for awhile, even though she didn't want to, for the sake of her health and the health of their still unborn child.

Quinten Thomas Reid was born on August 3rd, 1992 to a couple of very nervous, very worried parents. It was while in New York two weeks before her due, date while visiting her parents and the rest of her family, that Candice went into labor. And, after nearly forty hours (thirty-eight hours and twenty-three minutes, to be precise), she and Thomas welcomed their first - and what would turn out to be only - child into the world. He was tiny, and red-faced, with tufts of black hair sticking up all over the top of his head, and hands balled up into even tinier fists as he snuggled up against Candice's chest. But, as they watched him eat and sleep, and then eat again, for what felt like hours (and very well could have been), it was as if they'd both fallen in love all over again. With each other, of course, but mostly with the little boy that they'd created together; that they'd brought into the world.

His birth came with a litany of other decisions made that neither Thomas or Candice had every anticipated having to make, even after they found out that she was pregnant. It started with the most difficult one - a transfer from the BAU to counterterrorism, and a move from Virginia to New York. Unfortunately, old habits died hard, and that was followed by the decision to go back to work full time instead of taking the extended maternity leave like she'd intended on taking. After all, being in New York meant that she would have family close by to look after the little boy whenever a case took her and Thomas away from home. And as much as she wanted to be there for her son, she couldn't help but want to continue playing her part in keeping the world safe, and making sure that there was someone who would be around to protect those that couldn't - for whatever reason - protect themselves.

As a child, Quin barely noticed their absence. He was too caught up in discovering the world around him, ever precocious, and his grandparents were more than happy to keep him distracted by one thing or another as they carefully documented every little thing with pictures and home videos for Thomas and Candice. After all, it was the best they could do because their pleas for their daughter and son-in-law to take a more active role in parenting their son continuously fell on deaf ears. So, despite the fact that they'd already raised their children, they took care of Quin as if he were their own when his care was entrusted to them. And, despite the fact that his parents were away more often than they were around, they made sure that the little boy never wanted for anything as much as they possibly could because they had to. Because there were no doubts that he deserved at least that.

But, with age comes knowledge and wisdom and a better understanding of the way world is supposed to work in a side-by-side comparison of how one's own world works. And though Quin wasn't sure why, too young to understand what it was his parents did beyond being told that they were working, he did know that they weren't around. They missed his soccer games and school concerts, and there was always one excuse or another as to why they couldn't be around for his birthday. He knew that his friends didn't have the same problems, the same kinds of parents, and as he continued to get older, it was difficult for him to not shoulder the blame. To not feel as if the only person at fault for his parents not wanting to be there, for all the big and small events in his young life, was him. For a long time, no amount of offered explanations could change the way he felt about that.

Even at a young age, however, Quin was a very sociable individual. He was always talking to people, everywhere. At the grocery store. In the park. Walking down the street with his grandmother not far behind. As he got older, his proclivity for (attempting) to befriend everyone only grew. It was his way, even back before he knew what he was doing, to create his own family. To have his own "people" to go to; homes to hang out with after school where the parents were around more than they weren't. Companions that didn't tease him when his mom didn't surprise the class with cupcakes for Halloween, or when his dad forget (yet again) that he had promised to help out at practice. He had a family, of course, but it was the things he lacked that pushed him to surround himself with others. Friends that became an extension of the family that he had. Constants in his life that he needed.

In school, he was just the same. Precocious. Friendly. Always the first to welcome the new kid, or invite the token loner to join his table of friends during lunch. This was one thing the teachers and administration always made note of, on every report card that was sent home, though it was usually accompanied by a scribbled note. "Quinten talks to much in class." One couldn't change who they were, though, and the teachers soon learned that it was never on purpose; never meant to be disruptive. It was only his way of dealing with a home life that wasn't exactly ideal. And since his grades were decent enough, they got to a point where they accepted it for what it was. At the very least, they always had someone in class who was quick to raise his hand and answer questions, or volunteer to go first in presentations, when no one else would. They took the bad with the good, as necessary.

By high school, Quin's latent acceptance had evolved into resentment. He'd lost track of how many birthdays and family holidays his parents had missed, and he had absolutely no desire to try and figure it out. Instead, he focused on the things and people in his life that were there; that mattered. The family that he did have around, that was always there with him; the friends that had become like family over the years, and their families that he adopted as he own; and school (along with all the extracurricular activities he took part in), because as much as he resented his parents for the fact that they'd made a choice to put their career above, there was also this deeply ingrained need to be as successful, as passionate, as they were at and about something. And, though he would never admit to it to (almost) anyone, there was also a need to make them proud, though it was a need he didn't understand.

Graduation brought with it a whole new set of worries and concerns. A more intense level of studying and trying to figure out what to do with his life, but as he'd done so many times before, Quin took things one day at a time, despite the frequent nervous breakdowns over being a failure. He had no idea where he was going, and no idea how he would get there, but he had people in his life who cared enough to help. Who cared enough to care that there would be times where he couldn't help but allow the fact that he'd been given parents who cared more about the children of strangers than they did their own get to him. Who were always there when he needed them, in those moments, for a shoulder to lean on, an ear to bend, or someone to order pizza with in the middle of the night to take his mind off things. At twenty-two, he's still trying to figure his life out, but accepting of the fact that it isn't the end of the world that he hasn't yet.