Originally posted on AO3 This is a story made by K for J, based off of some of our favorite shows - Supernatural, Criminal Minds, and a show called "Forever" which is about an immortal we kind of fell in love with. Any similarities you see between that show and this story are because of that reason. You'll probably notice a lot of random similarities between this and the show, if you've seen it that is. If you haven't, well, don't worry, you don't have to know the show to understand this story. Besides, I changed it around enough to suit my own needs anyways LoL
Thanks to a curse placed on him long ago, the man now known as Spencer Reid has lived countless lifetimes, forced to live while unable to ever truly die. He's lived through famines and wars, through pestilence and plagues. He's lived and he's loved – deeply and irrevocably. And he has also lost. He's known the pain of losing those that become like family, as well as those that become so much more. For a long while the pain of it hardened him, pushing him to lock himself away so that he couldn't be hurt again. That is, until the day that he crossed paths with a woman and child who changed his life forever.
Now he's here, working at the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit with a group of people who have become like family to him. They don't know his secret and he'd much prefer to keep it that way. This is the closest that he's let anyone in years... until the day he runs into someone from his past, someone he didn't expect to ever see again.
Now suddenly Spencer's peaceful little world is being tossed upside down by the presence of one feisty little archangel who seems determined to break down every single wall that Spencer's built around himself to keep his heart safe.
That first gasping breath as Spencer broke the water's surface was always the hardest. His chest was tight and he had to strain to breathe past the burning in his lungs as he took in the oxygen around him. His brain, still caught in that moment of death, that moment of pain, was bracing for agony that was no longer there, and only the experience of far too many years kept him afloat.
It took him a bit but he pushed his body to move until he could finally drag himself up onto the shore. There, he flopped down onto his back, staring up at the sky while his chest heaved.
Amidst the water drying on his face, a single tear slid down his cheek. Spencer closed his eyes against it and tried not to let more fall. He had really hoped that this would be the final time. That this time he wouldn't wake back up. But here he was once again, alive, when he should've been dead so long ago. Would this cycle never end? How many times was he going to have to experience his death before he finally found a way to make it stick?
One would think that, for a being fated to never truly die, death would become easier after a while. That, after experiencing it over and over, one might almost become accustomed to it. But Spencer Reid knew that wasn't true. Death didn't become any easier. No matter how many times he died – and it had been plenty during his long years on this earth – it was never any easier. There were some that were simpler, sure. A gunshot to just the right place was quick and almost painless. It wasn't always the actual dying that was the hard part. It was the coming back.
For a very, very long time now, Spencer had lived with this curse, a curse put on him by someone who had hated him more than he'd ever been hated before. Not that she hadn't been justified – the pain he'd caused to her and to her family was something he'd never be able to make amends for. Because he'd been young and foolish and in love, he'd thought that nothing could touch him. His lover had been the one to pay the price for Spencer's stupidity. And in return, the witch had made sure that Spencer paid a heavy price as well. One that would make sure he never forgot the pain that he'd caused. She didn't kill him. No, that would've been too easy. Instead, he was cursed to never truly die, so he would never be able to escape the pain. To always, always be brought back, dying and immediately finding himself reborn again in the nearest body of water, all of his possessions gone and his body free of any wounds.
The first time that Spencer died was a date he couldn't actually be all that sure of. At the time, the place that he'd lived hadn't been all that big on charting the date. There'd been many times in the course of his life that calendars had been changed. It was that first death that he felt ended his life – and truly began it. Since then, he'd died countless times, in countless different ways. But he would never forget his first.
He'd lived many lives. Been many different men, sometimes under different names. He'd lived through wars and famine, diseases that took out entire cities. He'd loved and he'd lost – oh, how he'd lost. In those lives, Spencer had done the best he could to make the most of his years. To make sure that this curse he lived with might actually bring about some good for someone. But he'd never stopped trying to find a way to break it. To somehow make his next death be his real one.
That answer wasn't going to be found lying on the shores of the Potomac River, though. Spencer pushed himself up off the ground on legs that finally felt like they might be steady. Then, blessing the darkness of the night, he looked around to gather his bearings before he set off for the small area nearby where he kept a bag hidden for occasions such as this one. The Potomac was close enough to both his work and his home that any time he died in the area, this would be where he'd emerge. So he'd spent a bit of time early on and he'd mapped out the area and found the best hiding spots to stash away clothes so he wouldn't be forced to try to get back home while naked. He couldn't do it everywhere, but in strategic places along this river, he had a few.
Inside of his little bag was a change of clothes, thankfully looking like they hadn't been messed with, and a bit of money that was hidden inside of a tiny pocket on the inside of the cuff of one sleeve. Enough to get him a cab ride home. Spencer dressed himself quickly before anyone might come along and see him and then he headed out to hail himself a cab.
Spencer tried hard not to focus on what didn't happen tonight and instead focus on what did. Tonight hadn't been a controlled experiment where he tried to test a new way that would hopefully, finally, allow him to die. Tonight had been a case of bad judgement and a rather unfortunate set of results. Walking alone at night in Washington DC while slightly intoxicated was never a good plan. Tonight had proved that. A wrong turn, a bad part of town, a dark street, and he'd been a prime victim for being mugged.
Absently, Spencer rubbed at his stomach where the knife had sunk into his flesh not even a full half hour ago. That wound was gone, as was any of the alcohol that had been in his system.
He had to hope that his mugger hadn't seen his face enough to be able to recognize him. The life that he'd built here was one that he loved and Spencer didn't want to have to abandon it. He felt like he'd done enough running over the years. There'd been so many times he'd had to pack up and abandon town when his secret would've been revealed or when questions were starting to be asked. That was why he'd spent so long in solitude. This life here, the life of SSA Dr. Spencer Reid, was his first real foray back into the real world in almost a hundred years. He'd actually made himself a life here. Not the smartest one, sure. He put himself at risk every time he went on a case. All it would take was one person killing him – completely killing him and not just putting him almost there the way that Tobias had done – and his whole secret could be blasted wide open. People would ask questions when a freshly killed body up and vanished.
But, he was happy here. He had a life. Friends. Sure, he'd have to leave at some point when they eventually noticed that he didn't age beyond thirty. That didn't mean that he couldn't enjoy things until then. He just wished he didn't have to lie to them. Not just about what he was, but about everything. About the whole fictitious childhood that he'd created and that he was lucky enough William and Diana Reid were willing to back him on.
"Hey, buddy." The voice snapped Spencer out of his thoughts. He looked up only to realize that the cab had stopped and the driver was turned around looking at him with a slightly concerned look on his face. "We're here."
A bit of color stained Spencer's cheeks as he realized just how deep in thought he'd been. "Of course. I'm sorry." He pulled out his money and paid the driver before quickly climbing out.
His feet carried him upstairs to the small apartment that he lived in here. It wasn't the grandest place that he'd ever lived, nor was it the worst. It was, however, home. At least for now. Spencer made his way inside, needing to use his spare key, and made a mental note to once again get the locks changed. Luckily the only keys he'd brought out with him were his apartment keys. There wasn't much else he needed a key to right now and the other keys he had were ones he only pulled out when they were needed.
Spencer sighed. "Another great night." He mumbled to himself. He didn't even bother turning on the lights after he shut and locked the door behind him. Right now he needed to just get inside and record this little incident before going to bed. Morning was going to come soon enough and he needed at least a little sleep before then.
Despite his wishes, sleep didn't come as easily to Spencer as he'd hoped. Morning found him needing to make a quick stop off on his way to work to get two coffees – one with an extra shot of espresso – just to make him feel a little more human. Being immortal didn't mean that he wasn't susceptible to such things as exhaustion or even illness. He still had to take care of his body, still had to eat and sleep and other human things. There were others out there who had immortality, he knew. Supernatural creatures that the world liked to pretend didn't exist. Creatures that could and often did kill. But they were different than him. Many of them had been turned, like vampires and werewolves, or created, like demons. Or else they bargained for their immortality by binding themselves to being greater than them.
Spencer hadn't done any of that. He was still human – just a human with a curse that he'd never been able to remove, no matter his research. He'd looked into curses, studied witches and magic, and he'd even talked to some creatures that he might not ever speak with otherwise. No demon, witch, or even a pagan god he'd found once, were able to do anything.
It took most of Spencer's ride to work for him to get his thoughts under control. If he didn't want his friends seeing something was wrong the minute he walked in the door, he needed to get himself under control. If he walked in like this they'd take one look at him and know something was up. One of them even more than the others.
By the time Spencer made his way into the BAU bullpen he'd somehow managed to contain his thoughts and actually wake himself up a little. He was grateful for it when he saw his teammates Derek Morgan and Emily Prentiss were already there, the two gathered around Emily's desk. It was good to see Emily back with them and smiling. After everything with Ian Doyle and Emily's subsequent 'death', it was good to have her back. To have her home. There'd been a lot of pain and anger that had gone around when they'd all found out she was alive. But they were all making an effort now. They were trying to work past it and become not just a team, but a family once more.
Emily was the one to see him first and her smile was bright enough to draw an answering one out of him almost immediately. "Reid! I was beginning to wonder about you."
Her words had Derek turning until he could see Spencer. Then he was smiling as well and calling out his own greeting. "Hey, kid." His eyes landed on the cup in Spencer's hand and a knowing look lit his eyes. "Stopped off for an extra cup, huh?" Derek knew the name of the places that Spencer liked to go to for his coffee. They'd made the stop there plenty of times when Derek had driven them both to work. The two friends had ridden in with each other more than once.
Spencer chuckled as he made his way over to his desk. "I found myself in need of a bit of a pick-me-up this morning."
Just as he'd intended, the humor in his words gave them an entirely different meaning, one that Derek took to easily. His grin grew and he turned to better face Spencer as he teased him, "That's what happens when you actually get out and have fun, kid. You should do it more often."
"Your definition of fun and mine are two entirely different things." Spencer teased, making the other two laugh. After setting down both coffees, he pulled the strap of his messenger bag over his head and dumped the bag down onto his desk.
The group talks teasingly for a moment and then another voice joins into the mix. Emily moved her chair over so she could look around Derek to still be able to see Spencer. She eyed the two cups and then flashed a smile up at him. "Must've been some night if you need two coffees just to recover from it."
"Only one of them is mine." To prove that point, Spencer picked up the one cup and took the last drink.
"Aw, kid! You shouldn't have." Derek said, leaning forward to reach for the other cup.
Spencer snatched it up before Derek could get to it and shot him a dry look. "It's lucky, then, that I didn't."
"Look at you!" Emily let out a low laugh. "Aren't you just snarky this morning, Dr. Reid?"
He smiled at her despite the blush that warmed his cheeks. Lack of sleep always made him a bit more sarcastic and mocking, something that those close to him could attest to. To try and cover up his embarrassment at being caught out he took a step back from his desk and turned to head for the stairs. The sound of their laughter followed him up the staircase and only deepened his blush more. Spencer knew they were going to be having fun with this for the rest of the day. Much as it would probably worry Derek, the other profiler would most likely take advantage of it. He always joked that he loved when Spencer showed some of the 'attitude you hide under all those sweater vests and shy smiles'.
Spencer ignored his friends and went down the row, pausing to rap his knuckles at one of the closed doors. The low "Come in!" had him opening the door up and sticking his head in first, double checking to make sure no one else was in there and that he wasn't interrupting anything. When he saw no extra people in the room, Spencer let his smile grow and stepped inside, holding out the coffee with one hand while he shut the door behind him with his other. "I come bearing coffee."
David Rossi set down the papers in his hand and smiled right back at Spencer. "Is that Lucille's coffee?"
"Of course." Walking over, Spencer handed the coffee over before he sat down in one of the chairs across the desk from Dave. "Would you expect anything less?"
"You spoil me, kiddo."
A scowl touched Spencer's lips. He glared at the man across from him, getting a low chuckle in return. "You get far too much enjoyment in calling me that, David."
The smile that Dave wore as he settled back in his chair said that Spencer was right. He took a sip off his coffee, making a happy humming sound in the back of his throat at the flavor. The both of them loved Lucille's coffee. She was the woman who owned the little bakery that Spencer loved stopping at. She had the best muffins, cakes, and coffee in DC. "It's only fair." Dave said, taking another sip. "You still insist on calling me David."
"It's the name your mother gave you."
"And you're the only one that uses it."
There was no denying that. Pretty much everyone they knew called Dave either 'Rossi' or just 'Dave'. The only person that used his full name was Spencer – and even then, only when they were in private. Otherwise he used Rossi just the same as everyone else did.
The coffee was cradled between both of Dave's hands as he stared at Spencer for a minute. One eyebrow arched up over those sharp eyes. "I get the feeling you didn't come in here to talk about my name, though. What's going on, Spencer?"
There were very few people in Spencer's life that he felt he could talk candidly with. With most people, there were so many lies that Spencer had to hold on to, things that he couldn't or wouldn't say openly. It made it hard to get close to anyone. But there were a select few that knew there was more to Spencer than met the eye. Even fewer who knew some of the actual secrets that lurked underneath the surface. A few members of the Reid family tree – and the man sitting in front of him.
Contrary to the image they put out at the Bureau, one that the two of them had carefully crafted, Spencer and David had known one another for quite a long time. It was only to protect Spencer and his secrets that they kept up the façade of having only just met when Dave came back to the Bureau.
That openness was one of the reasons that Spencer had come in here this morning. He needed someone who understood. Someone who knew his secret and who he could talk freely in front of.
"I died last night."
The bluntness of his words probably would've elicited some sort of stunned or sad response from the few others that knew his secret. Dave, however, snorted before taking another drink off his coffee. "How'd it happen this time?"
Spencer licked his lips and arched both eyebrows at Dave. "Your sympathy is overwhelming, David. Try not to be so emotional – it's embarrassing."
"I'll try to restrain myself."
This was one of the reasons why Spencer chose Dave to talk to. The man's good humor, his easy-going personality. He was a perfect counter to Spencer's logic and facts. Sometimes he was exactly what Spencer needed to help pull him out of his dark headspace. Wiping a hand over his mouth, and conveniently covering his smile, Spencer shook his head. "I was mugged on my way home from my night out with Morgan. They took my things and stabbed me in the process."
"Not the best way to die." Despite Dave's cavalier tone, his eyes sharpened. "Did you see their face? Or did they see yours?"
"I don't know." Which was the problem here. Spencer had no idea if his mugger had seen his face. He didn't think so, but 'maybe' was a hard thing to live with in this scenario.
The same worry that Spencer felt was reflected back at him in Dave's eyes. Spencer wasn't just in here for what Dave had often called the 'after death blues' that hit sometimes. He was here because they might potentially have what could turn out to be a very serious problem. If this mugger had seen Spencer's face, could actually identify him if he saw him, then Spencer was going to be in a world of trouble. It wasn't like Spencer was the most popular and famous person in the world. He was, however, a federal agent, and was occasionally seen on television. Being at the BAU often put them in the public eye. If his mugger saw video of him, recognized him, he'd know that the guy he attacked hadn't actually died there.
Dave absently tapped his fingers against his coffee cup. His brow furrowed and his lips pressed together for a moment in an expression that Spencer knew meant he was thinking. When dark eyes flashed up to Spencer again, they were more serious than before, the teasing edge gone from them. "Whoever did this – did they stick around afterwards, or just take their loot and run?"
"Last I saw before I was in the water was the man backing away from me and turning like he was going to run." Spencer answered. He'd replayed the memory enough times through the night to be sure of that, at least. "It's highly unlikely he saw me vanish. If he turned back to check on me, however, he would've seen the empty ground." But that was fine. That, at least, wouldn't arouse too much suspicion. The human mind was quite adept at making up excuses for things it didn't understand.
The reassuring way Spencer said that had Dave relaxing just a little. "Good. Anything left behind?"
Many a personal item and piece of clothing had been lost when Spencer 'vanished' after death. If he wasn't fully wearing it, or carrying it in his pocket, it was left behind wherever he died at. Whatever he wore on him – he had no explanation for it, but they all ended up right back where he'd gotten them from that morning. His clothes were always back in the bag, drawer, or closet where he'd pulled them out from that morning, and any items in his pockets were back in the little box that normally held them or on top of his dresser. "No, nothing. It all made it back."
"Then you should be fine." Dave let himself relax now and his smile was warm and open once more. "We just make sure to try and keep you away from the press for the next little while so your face isn't out there. If the guy sees and recognizes you later, he'll just think he failed in killing you. You're safe, Spencer."
Many a time through the night Spencer had tried to tell himself that. Hearing it from someone else was different, though. It helped him finally start to believe it. When he smiled at Dave, it was both relaxed and shy, more like his normal smile. "Thanks, David."
Their conversation proved to have rather perfect timing. No sooner had they wrapped things up than there was a rap at the door. Both men looked up as the door opened and Aaron Hotchner stuck his head in. The Unit Chief didn't even bat an eye at seeing the two of them sitting in there. It wasn't the first time he'd walked in when they were having a conversation; most of the BAU seemed to think the two rather suited to talking with each other. Aaron wasn't bothered by it and wasted no time in telling them "We've got a case." before he ducked back out.
In an instant Dave and Spencer were moving. They pushed up from their chairs and made their way quickly towards the door that Aaron left open.
Spencer held the door open for Dave, gesturing for him to pass. "Come on, kiddo." Spencer said, amusement making his lips twitch. "Let's go to work."
He couldn't help but smile as Dave laughed his way out of the room.