A/N: NOTE: This is slightly AU; Spencer was never kidnapped in Season 2. This doesn't really fit anywhere on the series' timeline, either, although Gideon has left, and Emily is apart of the team, and Reid is 24 at the very beginning.
Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape, or form own Criminal Minds or any of its characters.
Reviews/Feedback on what I can do better would be great! Thanks! :)
WARNINGS: I started writing this story three years ago and have never done a full revise (and do not plan to) so there are obviously bound to be some problems with it and how it's written. Be aware of that, if you so choose to continue.This story involves a lot of extremely heavy subjects, adult content and themes, such as non-con/rape, child abuse, murder, human trafficking/sexual slavery, drug use, severe mental conditioning, and PTSD. It involves horrible things, but they will all be treated as what they are: horrible. Nothing will ever be romanticized. This is not that kind of story. Nothing will ever be explicitly written, and individual chapter warnings will always be put when needed, but if the overall subject matter is in any way (understandably) upsetting to you, please avoid continuing. Thank you.
"They say when you are missing someone that they are probably feeling the same, but I don't think it's possible for you to miss me as much as I'm missing you right now."
― Edna St. Vincent Millay
I'm so scared. I'm scared, angry, and I'm sad…I'm so sad, Spence. I don't even keep a journal; I don't know what I'm doing. I just can't sleep...just like every other night so far. Maybe I'll just get this all out and feel better. Maybe? But we've been up for what seems like months. Ever since the morning you were just...gone. Taken from us. Randomly. Out of the blue. Unfairly. It's been confirmed that it was an abduction...but we already knew that. We found a fingerprint in...in your blood. Your apartment, god, the blood...not enough that you would've...but you must've been hurt. You...No. No, forget this. Fuck this, and everything, and everyone. THIS WAS A STUPID IDEA! Just come home! Please!
Please. Please come home.
It's your birthday. You're 25 now. Where are you? We would've made a cake, like always. Garcia always makes the most amazing cakes. But you know that.
Two months. You've been gone two months, and it feels like two hundred years. We're still looking. You know we're never going to give up, right? Not ever. Not until we find you. And we're gonna find you. We are. Not a single one of us believes anything less.
You're missing a lot already, you know. We had our first case since...well, we had a case last week. A series of (what first appeared to be random) drownings ended with an emotionally compromised twenty year old kid being brought into custody. Turns out, when he was in high school, he was bullied almost everyday (not to mention neglected at home), and at some point, his tormentors almost drowned him in the canal behind the place. Who were the victims? Yep, you guessed it. All 4 (almost 5, but we got there in time!) who had been apart of that incident. Thank Garcia, as always, for the background information.
Would have been easier with you.
Morgan asked me what I was doing yesterday. I told him I'd started a journal of a sort...of letters to you. Nothing, really. Just something to cope. His expression told me he was interested, even if he didn't say anything else. I think I'm going to leave this on his desk tomorrow morning. Whether he decides to write or not, maybe it'll make him feel better. Not that I've written much, either. It's been hard keeping up with writing about something I don't want to think about. Not you, Spence. I always want to think about you. Always. I mean...you know what I mean.
God, I miss you. I miss you more than anything.
I'm sorry Reid, JJ...I can't.
I thought I saw you today. I was more sure of it than I was last time, or the time before that. Or the time before that.
I didn't really see you today.
No one will be celebrating much of a Christmas this year. Remember when we all went to Garcia's last year for that party she threw? Remember how you got a rash on your forehead from the fabric of the Santa hats, and Morgan teased you about how he thought it looked like a Christmas tree? Did I ever tell you it kind of did? It really kind of did. Oh, and Rossi practically knocking the entire punch bowl on himself? God, he could never wear that shirt again! And of course, him and Garcia cooking, because well, if any of us did it, we'd burn the place down. But point is, it was amazing. Will is just about the pickiest person ever (though he would never admit it) when it comes to food, but clearly even he can recognize a masterpiece of a meal when he sees one!
Anyway. Merry Christmas, Reid.
I wish you'd come back and be our present.
Happy New year, Pretty Boy. Though it ain't happy.
So we've been recently notified that there's been other kidnappings. One every month and a half or so, since June 21st. No witnesses. All children. One of them is a girl who's only ten. No one is entirely sure if they're related to yours, or really if they're even related to each other. Kids go missing, unfortunately, all the time. And you're so much older than any of them...why would they want you if they were looking for children? But it does seem to have been in a sort of line...you here, the second a state over, all the way to Illinois where the rest of them have been taken, and so until something steers them away from that conclusion, they're investigating it all as the same unsub. A male, white, forties to mid fifties. Someone who's clearly good around families, who looks non-threatening...but, of course, is.
The good news is, no one has found any of their bodies.
So where ARE you, Spence? God, I hope you're okay. It's eating me alive not knowing.
Hey, Kid. Where are you, huh? JJ needs a little charming. Will forgot what yesterday was. You'd get her some flowers, wouldn't you? Roses, no doubt. 'Cause you're like that.
(Morgan, Will did give me flowers! I mean, like, a couple days ago. It was in advance!)
(Oh, you hear that, Reid? In advance. Like being fashionably late, but...romantically early.)
Well, Pretty Boy, it's me again. JJ's decided to leave this at the bureau as...I don't know. Therapy, maybe. None of us went very long to the one that was offered. "Let's talk about exactly what you don't want to talk about while I sit here and stare you down." Yeah. Sure. Helpful. Anyway, she left a note on the top of the binder she's putting all of these entries in. Says, 'Dear Reid.' In a way, it's kind of like you're gonna come in tomorrow and see it. But you're not. And that's real upsetting, to say the least.
Everyone misses you. We haven't given up, and we won't.
(Reid, look, that's Hotch's handwriting. He does have a heart. -DM)
Come home, genius. It just ain't the same without you.
Hey there, Spencer. I've been thinking about writing in this for a while now, since JJ told us what it was, but...I don't know. It's very hard to think about. We all miss you so much; it hasn't been the same...and it won't be until you get back.
No real leads on any of the kidnappings so far. Lots of new cases, as always, but...we're still focused on the old. They've all been so...well planned out. Honestly, the only scene that left anything short of a brokenhearted family was yours. I wish the fingerprint had led us somewhere. It's almost impossible how good this guy is. How bad, I mean. But how...professional. It's disgusting.
And even more disgusting is what could be happening...why the kids were taken. But you? Why you? You are, in a lucky sort of way, too old for what most people would go for if this is all about trafficking, which, we hope to God it's not. That seems to be what a lot of the agents on the case think, however. But that can't be right. Anything else. Anything.
We're all trying, Reid. You never leave our minds. No one has laid a hand on your desk. No one else has been in your apartment, other than to sweep through it all again. When you come back, everything will be the same for you.
Just hold on, okay? We're going to find you. We love you. So much.
Come back, sweetness. The fireworks could never be as intense as the hurt in my heart.
Your very favorite computer whiz,
Well, here we are. The twentieth. One year later. We've survived an entire year without you. Barely. I can't believe it's been this long already—I can't believe it's only been this long. It feels like it's been thirty years. Some days are easier than others; and then some...well, some days are harder. Some almost too hard. God, I miss you. We all do, I mean. It's not just me. It's taken this long to even get back to our normal selves...not that we're really back, but...you know. Occasionally, we can have a lightheaded conversation about something. Usually it's while the adrenaline is still pumping right after a successful case. Other times we can't, and don't for days. This job is a constant reminder, one we can't escape. I still haven't slept a full night through. Maybe none of us have.
I mentioned your name yesterday. It's the first time out of the blue that I can remember any of us doing it. We just finished up a case in Atlanta—an executive was murdered, his daughter kidnapped. Don't worry, she's okay. We found her just in time, even though it was pretty touch-and-go for a while. But her room—wow, Spence, you should've seen it. Star Trek posters everywhere; a geek's paradise. That's what I said, on the plane back. Only I said "Spence's paradise" instead. Simple slip of the tongue; not hard when you're always on our mind. But there was this moment where…no one got that look, that look, that…awful look, when we start feeling that emptiness inside again, the one that sucks all the air out of our lungs and stops our hearts for a minute. Some of them almost smiled. I smiled. I smiled because I was thinking about your room as a kid. What did it look like, huh? Like hers? Or was it just a ton of bookshelves covering every inch of the wall, filled up with physiology and technology textbooks in, what, Latin? Probably a mix of both, right? I would ask you if you were here.
But you're not. You're still not here, so get your stupid fucking self back so I can ask you that stupid fucking question, okay? Please? Spence, please. Please come back. Oh god, I'm getting tears all over the page again. Sorry.
Well, this thing was just looking like it needed a little loving over in its spot by the coffee machine. Besides, all I've got is paperwork to file, so I thought hey, I haven't written in a long while. I also haven't slept, so bare with me. There will probably be some shit that don't make sense.
It's been a pretty boring few months, though, honestly. Slow. Very slow. I saw JJ covered the basics of our last big case—that sure was something. The less details, the better. Don't need more depressing shit, right Kid?
Oh who am I kidding, every one of these pages is depressing shit. We've almost filled an entire binder in one year, all depressing shit! A few pages (or more than a few, maybe) never made in it in here. I think sometimes we say things we end up wishing we hadn't. Only unlike in real life, we can take it back before you hear it. Other reasons, too, maybe. Maybe we wrote too much and didn't feel like adding a novel to take up space. Either way, I'm pretty sure no one threw them out, though. I didn't.
But that's how you know we care. I think it's pretty great that all of us have written, even Hotch. Yeah, even Hotch! You heard me. I think I added a note to it. I think he thinks that, because he didn't sign it, he's fooling us. You're gonna have to break the news to him.
Oh, speak of the devil. He's waving us all to come into the conference room. I'm sure JJ will fill you in when we get back.
Talk to you again soon, Pretty Boy.
Happy 26th Birthday, Spencer.
all of us.
Happy New Year, Reid. We miss you. Miss you a lot. Of course, just like before, it's not very happy without you.
(Garcia, I swear to God, I knew you were gonna do something like that. Don't make me hurt you, baby girl.)
Back in pen so our hungover friend Derek can't erase it, as I, too, knew he was going to do that, and, as I was saying, you should've seen him last night. We all went out for a drink, you know, as we do. He went for drinkS. He also proceeded to join karaoke night. He might try to tell you he didn't.
Ohhhh, but I filmed it.
(Reid, if she ever tries to show you that video, burn it! I'm serious! Don't watch it!)
(Watch it, Reid. He sang Madonna. –Dave)
(Reid, get your ass back here, I need a right-hand man for when I take my revenge.)
Cases are all going well. There have been a few we could've solved much quicker had you been here.
There have been a lot, actually. It's been hard. It's not getting any easier. I don't think anyone expects it to, however.
Spence, guess what? I'm pregnant! Isn't it great? Will and I are hoping for a little boy. No names in mind yet, it's only been a month (hey, I didn't tell anyone else until now either; we were being thoroughly sure!) but we should probably get on that, huh? I think Alexander is a nice name. That was my grandfather's name. But who knows?
Maybe you'll be back before s/he's due on November 4th. I hope you are. I hope you're back tomorrow. I was hoping you would be back last week...I was hoping you would be back an hour after you were gone.
P.S. I just realized what the date was; Morgan thought I was kidding! But I'm not. It's one of the only good things that have happened so far...
Oh, Reid. There's a new exhibit at the science museum, and it's all about the solar system. It's got the planets hanging from the ceiling and everything. Aaron brought Jack to it; they got pictures, a few specifically for you of the overall thing. You told us how much you liked astronomy and the likes once. Of course, you like it all, don't you? Yeah. I'm sure there'll be something else there when you come back though.
Reid, I'm serious, get your ass back. This isn't okay anymore. Not that it ever was, but...
I miss you so much. I cried myself to sleep last night for the first time in a while. I thought I was starting to be a little bit better, a little bit okay. But I'm not.
I love you, Spencer. Please be okay.
They found the body of one of the abducted children. We're scared to death, Reid.
Two years now. That's too long. Somehow, it's getting harder to let you cross our minds. It hurts. So much. And it hurts even more not knowing when this torment will end, for any of us...for you.
Missing you more every day,
"Mm...Morgan, there had better be a reason you're calling me this early, otherwise you're gonna get a sneak preview of the hormonal rage Will's been dealing with. And, trust me, that is not something you want."
"What is it?"
"They found him. He's alive."