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Drabbles: Battles of Wits

By PaBurke
Distribution: ff.net, lj
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, no money made, no characters created.
Spoilers: season one of Criminal Minds, season three of Highlander, season seven for Buffy, all of Pretender, season two of House, season eight of SG1, season three of NUMB3RS, all of Harry Potter
Summary: There are so many interesting people who play chess. A reviewer mentioned one I missed.
Chapter Word Count: 100
A/N: I've had the first 7 chapters posted on ff.net for 2 yrs now, but added to it and so it goes onto the lj

Civilized War
AN: For Tammy. I hope you get a little grin out of this for your troubles.
The bar was unfamiliar territory for Dr. Spencer Reid. Gideon had sent him here for a chess game. After Reid had beaten Gideon at chess four times in a row, his boss had decided to increase the challenge. So here he was, meeting with the mysterious –and tardy- Adam Pierson.

The lanky man finally arrived. An hour later, Spencer had lost his third game and Adam was gloating –a lot. The man had no shame and he liked playing mind games with Spencer. Granted, Spencer could outmaneuver most, but this man was determined to defeat him in every bloodless manner.

Since he would be out of town for the weekly chess match, Adam had planned for someone else to fill in. Spencer was looking forward to another challenge. It had taken him months to beat Adam at a game. He knew that he could win against this new person.

This new person was not what he was expecting. Adam was a professor, William was a punk. Adam was invisible, William was flashy.

Spencer managed to win the first game, but that had been a close one. Then William had become serious and won the second one in half the time.

Spencer showed up at the normal place and time and was disappointed that neither Adam nor William was there. A stranger noticed the chess set and introduced himself as Jarod and offered to play.

Judging by the man’s friendly manner and almost childlike innocence, Spencer hadn’t expected a challenge. He had warmed up to the man and was chatting easier than he did in most social circumstances. Jarod proved him wrong by laying a trap that Spencer didn’t see until Jarod declared, ‘Checkmate.’

But Jarod was so nice that Spencer laughed as he set up the board for a rematch.

Trojan Horse
Spencer should have suspected something when Jarod showed up with a pre-teen asking for a game. He should have known that the boy was special. Then the boy maneuvered Spencer into the exact same trap that Jarod had used. Spencer had not been expecting it.

While Jarod had distracted him with genuine interest in Spencer’s life, JR distracted him with shyness and social inadequacy. JR was like looking in a mirror.

As Jarod had made him comfortable before, Spencer now made JR comfortable. The emotional rewards made up for the fact that he had lost to a twelve year old.

Bitter Enemy
Adam had said that Dr House would be a suitable replacement for himself. Spencer had been expecting a brilliant and unpredictable foe. House was really good at placing the pieces on the board, but he was better at choosing crude, bitter and just plain mean words to distract Spencer. If he had met House months before, the physician would have won, but after ignoring Adam and William and even Jarod, he was mostly immune.

It felt really good to win the first game even if it made House even more virulent. Spencer lost the second game, but not the third.

Underestimating His Opponent
The DC bar that Spencer frequented had gained a reputation as a ‘chess hot spot.’ He could pick up a game anytime he wanted. So when the Air Force general came looking for a match, Spencer was willing to accommodate. O’Neill even had his own set and board. Spencer had to laugh at the Roswell Greys on one end and the grotesque Snake Aliens on the other. O’Neill didn’t even offer Spencer a choice, just took the Greys.

And then he took the game.

Spencer had been underestimating too many of his opponents. He really needed to stop doing that.

Equal Sides
Spencer grinned. He had learned much. He had just trounced California math genius, Charlie Eppes, at chess for the third game. He had used some of the unexpected moves learned from Adam, some of the flashiness from William, some of the friendliness from Jarod, some of the empathy from JJ and even some of the bitter words from House. He didn’t realize until later that he had exhibited the same aura as O’Neill to be underestimated.

He had learned to think outside the box. Thankfully, Charlie was mostly a good sport and Spencer hadn’t absorbed any unsportsmanlike conduct from Adam.


Ron Weasely had red hair, freckles and a British accent. He wanted a challenge, but Spencer profiled to win. Ron played as if someone’s life was on the line. He played chess with an intensity that few matched. He was trying to forget something, or someone dead.

Ron and Spencer exchanged pieces until only a handful remained on the board. Ron understood sacrifice, Spencer decided. He wanted to throw the match but that wouldn’t relieve Ron’s grief.

Then a pregnant woman laid a hand on Ron’s shoulder. Ron relaxed and said as he tipped his king, “thanks for the game.”


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
interesting, I wonder how these changes were perceived by others
Jun. 4th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
hmmm now I'm wondering now too.
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
That was a really cool idea. Loved seeing all the different verses intersecting.
Jun. 5th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
thank you for the review. it was a ton of fun to write.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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