Tell it to me slow
Tell me with your eyes
If anyone should know
How to let it slide
I swear I can see you
Coming up the drive
And there ain't nothing like regret
To remind you you're alive
If you could only see
What love has made of me
Then I'd no longer be in your mind
The difficult kind
-"The Difficult Kind", Sheryl Crow
"And do you, Spencer, take Lila to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, 'til Death parts you?"
Spencer Reid's fingers shook in the hands of his bride, and he looked up at her face. She smiled at him, her eyes rimmed with glassy tears. He looked at the man standing before them.
Reid sat up in his bed, leaning his back against the headboard and staring up at ceiling. He hadn't slept through the night in weeks.
It wasn't that he didn't want to marry Lila. He did. He knew that. But that dream... it felt so real. Why did he always hesitate? Why did he always wake up feeling queasy?
He looked beside him, to where Lila slept, her hair pulled to the side of her head in a messy ponytail and her body curled around a pillow. She was so beautiful. He wondered how she had ended up with him... how he could be so undeservingly lucky.
He turned away and looked at the digital clock on his nightstand. It blinked "5:36" over and over at him, which he knew meant it was only four in the morning, because the clock had been blinking at him since daylight savings time, and he just hadn't taken the initiative to fix it once he figure out it was an hour and thirty-six minutes fast. He cautiously climbed out of bed, carefully not to wake her, and crossed the room, picking up his t-shirt from the night before and slipping it over his head. He cast one last look at Lila, curling more tightly around the pillow, and left the room, heading towards the small kitchen.
When he reached it, he mechanically began a pot of coffee. When he heard it begin to drip into the pot, he went into the living room and opened the front door, stepping out into the chilly fall air to pick up the newspaper, which he knew, from his previous early mornings, had just been tossed at his door moments earlier. He paused on the porch, inhaling the cool slowly through his nose as he looked out over his neighborhood. Everything was still this early, and he liked observing that.
He turned and went back inside.
When he went back into the kitchen, the coffee pot was only half full, so he took a mug down from the cabinet and wiped it on the towel hanging from the handle on the stove, then he set the mug down next to the coffee pot and went to the refridgerator.
It was nearly bare, and he frowned, realizing he'd forgotten to go grocery shopping the previous evening as he'd been coming home from work. He closed the refridgerator door and went to one of the cupboards, pulling out a box of instant oatmeal that he'd been avoiding for quite some time.
He pulled a bowl out of the cabinet and wiped it clean, then set it down on the counter. He opened the box, pulling out two packets, and wondering at the same time why they made the packets so small with oatmeal, when clearly one was not enough for anyone but a small child. He squeezed the packages to break apart any lumps inside of them, then poured them into the bowl. He ran the bowl under the tap quickly, careful not to get too much water, then swirled the oatmeal with his finger. He popped open the microwave door and put the bowl inside it, then pushed the door closed, hit the 'Instant Minute' button, and went back to the now full pot of coffee.
He poured himself a cup, then put the pot back on the burner. He went back to the refridgerator, reaching far into the back for a bottle of creamer, then went back to the counter. He flipped open the cap with his thumb, poured a considerable amount into his cup, then closed and put it back. The microwave beeped, demanding Reid's attention, and he turned, placing his cup on the island in the middle of the kitchen. He pulled a spoon out of the dish drainer on the counter, then went to get his oatmeal. He returned to the island, setting down his bowl and spoon, then reached for the newspaper as he sat on one of the stools.
The rubberband snapped when Reid tried to pull it off, hitting his finger, and he put the finger in his mouth for a moment, then opened the paper and reached for his spoon. He took a bite, then heard a rumbling on the counter. He turned on his stool and picked up his cellphone, which read '1 New Txt Msg'. Flipping it open, he saw that it was from Garcia. He hit view.
"You're getting married today," he read, then snapped the phone closed.
Now when was he going to go grocery shopping?
"What did you do to this thing, Reid?"
"I don't know."
Morgan tugged at the ends of Reid's bow-tie, pulling it untied. "Didn't you ever go to a prom or something?"
"I was twelve when I graduated high school, Morgan, so naturally I went with the head cheerleader," Reid responded dryly, giving him a flat look, and Morgan closed his mouth, fixing the tie in silence.
When it was fixed, Morgan turned Reid to face the mirror, standing next to him. Reid frowned.
"You look better in a tuxedo than I do, Morgan," Reid said, turning his head to look at him. Morgan smirked.
"Yeah, well... what can you do?"
Reid sighed, then went to sit in one of the chairs, dropping his head into his hand. Morgan turned to him, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Reid, man, are you okay?"
Reid nodded, unconvincingly, and Morgan sat down next him.
"What's the deal, man?" Morgan asked, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. "You're not pregnant, are you?"
Reid scowled at him. "You're hilarious, Morgan."
"I'm just playin'," Morgan said, then frowned. "What's got you so wound up? I mean, I know you're supposed to be nervous, but you seem a lot more than nervous. Apprehensive."
Reid sighed again, leaning back in his chair and looking up at the ceiling.
"Swear to me you won't say anything to anyone else."
"I swear, man, what is it?" Morgan prodded, and Reid looked back to him.
"I... I've been having these weird dreams. Where we're in the middle of the ceremony, and we're at the 'I dos', and when it gets to me, I always hesitate. Then I wake up."
"And what? That's it."
"You're this wound up about a stupid dream?" Morgan asked, raising an eyebrow.
"It's not a stupid dream," Reid said, pushing himself to his feet. "Dreams are manifestations of the subconscious. Statistically, dreams are-"
Reid paced back and forth across the room. Morgan watched him, sitting up.
"Look, Reid. You want to marry her, right? You love her and all that?"
"Then don't hesitate. Just do it."
"You really think it's that simple, Morgan?" Reid asked, stopping mid stride and turning to him.
"Yeah... I do."
"Clearly, you have problem saying it," Reid said, frowning. "Maybe you should marry her."
"Don't tempt me, Reid," Morgan grinned. "Though, I don't know if I'd wanna take credit for that little you inside her."
"I don't imagine anyone would," Reid said, then he sighed again and sat back down.
Lila examined herself in profile in the mirror. Her gown, a candle light white lace gown that cascaded to the floor, fit snugly over her enormous stomach. Or, at least, she felt it was enormous.
"You make me sick," Garcia said, walking up beside her. "You're eight and a half months pregnant, and we wear the same size."
"Oh, you're lying," Lila said, turning to smile at her. "I'm huge."
She ran a hand over her stomach, feeling a tiny kick against her palm. Garcia watched her, smiling softly.
"You're lucky, you know," she said after a moment, and Lila turned to look at her.
"I know," Lila said, nodding.
"Reid is a really good person," Garcia said, taking hold of Lila's hands and squeezing them. Lila smiled again.
"I know," she repeated, more emphatically. Garcia nodded, then leaned forward to kiss Lila on the cheek.
"Congratulations," she said. "I know you'll make him happy."
"I hope so," Lila said, then turned back to look at herself in the mirror as Garcia put her veil in place.
The wedding was a small affair. Neither Reid nor Lila had invited many people. Lila's mother and stepfather had flown in the previous night, and Reid's father had come with his wife and their daughter. Reid's mother was there, too, looking healthier than anyone had seen her in a long time. She had remained on Gideon's arm for the course of the day, a small favor from Gideon to Reid, which Reid was immensely grateful for.
As far as friends went, there weren't many. The members of Reid's team had arrived, Hotch with Hailey on his arm, and JJ with a date that it had taken Reid a while to recognize as Detective LaMontagne, whom she'd met when they were in New Orleans. He had forgotten that the pair had been keeping in touch since they'd been there, and from the cozy look of the two of them together, Reid guessed they'd been more than 'keeping in touch'. Emily was there, looking lovely, and, as a huge surprise to everyone but Reid, Elle had snuck in the back of the church, taking a seat where she wouldn't be noticed, and where she could sneak off quickly. She had promised him she would show up, and he had taken her at her word, which he knew she was good for.
A few friends of Lila's had made the trip as well. Her agent and her publicist were there, though Lila suspected that had nothing to do with sharing in Lila's happiness, and more to do with how they could make money from it in the media. A few co-stars from her past were there, including the entire casts of 'Dust', and her next film, 'Darling Nikki'. The cast of the movie she had finished filming right before her move had also arrived, and Lila had been happy to see everyone, but it was bittersweet, because all of these people made her wish that Michael was there.
Gideon was there, of course, escorting Reid's mother. Garcia and Morgan were the only members of the wedding party.
Reid's hands were shaking when he and Morgan stepped out and stood at the altar. Morgan reached to him and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly as the doors at the back of the church opened and Garcia stepped through, holding a single yellow rose in her hands. Her hair was down, naturally curled around her shoulders, and Reid was almost surprised at how pretty she looked. He'd never thought of her as a girl before, but in the light blue dress, she was hardly recognizable as the quirky computer tech they all knew and loved. Reid glanced sideways to Morgan, who was looking at her not with a look of awe as Reid was, but a look of great approval. Reid smiled lightly at the wink she cast them. Morgan was grinning as she stepped up opposite them on the altar.
The music swelled through the room, and the small gathering of guests rose to their feet and turned to welcome the bride.
Lila's arm was curled through her stepfather's, and Reid's breath caught in his throat at the sight of her. Her dress gave her the illusion that she was glowing, and her hair hair, half up and half down, fell around her face in the perfect frame. She was smiling her light half smile, and when she started down the aisle, her eyes met Reid's and locked with them. Reid didn't blink until she was standing next to him.
Lila's stepfather lifted her veil over her head, leaning forward to kiss her lightly on the cheek, then he took a seat next to his wife, taking hold of her hand.
The ceremony wasn't a traditional one. The minister was a younger man, and he had given Reid and Lila permission to do with his words what they wished. Reid had taken the initiative to put everything together. There were a few passages from the Bible, as well as many more from literature, and Reid didn't have to see his mother to know she was mouthing the words right along. He was doing the same.
The time came to exchange vows, and Lila went first. She held Reid's hands tightly in her own.
"Do you feel anything yet?" she asked, and Reid's face broke into a wide grin. "I don't have some big long eloquent thing prepared to say to you. I wracked my brain for weeks, and came up with nothing that could suitably explain what I wanted to say to you."
She paused, swallowing, then began again, her voice shaking. "I love you, Spencer. You've saved my life, more than once, and without you, I would be lost."
She bit down on her lip lightly, her eyes beginning to tear up. Reid lifted his hand to wipe them for her, and she mouthed a thank you. Reid took a deep breath.
"Lila... when I'm near you, I feel like a different person. You make me better than myself. You are the most important thing in the world to me, and you have made me happier than I could've ever imagined being for as long as I live. I would be nothing without waking up next to you, without hearing you laugh, without feeling your fingers laced with mine."
He paused, taking another deep breath. "You've shown me who I am. And for that, I thank you. I love you."
He squeezed her hands and she took one away, turning her face away from him to wipe her eyes again. She smiled broadly when she turned back to him.
The minister took a step forward.
"Do you take Spencer to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, 'til Death parts you?"
Lila looked to the minister, then back at Reid. "I do."
"Do you take Lila to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, 'til Death parts you?"
Reid smiled. "I-"
Reid looked down at Lila, who had suddenly grimaced, squeezing his hand painfully in her own. She looked up at him after a few moments, nodding that she was okay.
"I do," Reid finished, and cast a look at Morgan, who was smiling almost smugly.
"The rings please."
Morgan reached into his pocket and extracted the rings, holding them out to the minister. He handed them to Reid and Lila.
"Lila, repeat after me. With this ring..."
"With this ring..."
"...I thee wed."
"...I thee wed," she finished, sliding the ring onto Reid's finger.
"Spencer, repeat after me. With this ring..."
"With this ring..."
"...I thee wed."
There was another tight grip on his fingers and Lila looked up at him, biting her lip.
"...wed," Reid finished, then slid the ring onto Lila's finger quickly.
"And with the power vested in me by the state of Virginia, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Reid didn't seem to notice him saying this, because Lila was still grimacing and gripping his hand so tightly that his fingers were numb. She apparently heard the minister, because she kissed him quickly, earning an applause from the small crowd. Then Lila let out another yelp of pain and Reid looked to Morgan helplessly. He stepped up in front of them.
"Hey, everybody. Looks like things are going a little off schedule, because it would appear that Lila has to go give birth now. So, if everyone would like to go ahead and make their way to the reception hall, feel free. Oh, and someone might want to call an ambulance."
He glanced over the crowd, who had begun to stand and awkwardly make their way towards the door, glancing back at Lila and Reid and the others, and he found JJ had already pressed her cell to her ear. Hotch had stood, and he began to direct the guests out the door for them, sending a nod in Morgan's direction. Morgan turned back to Reid and Lila, who was barely standing. Garcia stepped forward, setting her rose in the minister's hands, then tugged Reid out of the way. He moved slowly away from his new wife, and Garcia slid an arm around Lila's waist.
"Hey sweetie. We're going to go change your clothes, okay?"
Lila nodded. "This dress was really expensive."
"I know, babe. Think you can walk?"
Lila nodded again, and Garcia helped her out of the chapel into the room where she'd gotten ready. Reid stared after them, numb.
"Reid?" Gideon called, and he looked down at him. "What do you want everyone to do?"
"I... I don't know," Reid said. He sat down hard on the altar steps. "I don't know."
Reid gripped Lila's hand tightly as the ambulance bumped its way towards the hospital. He was still wearing his tux, his tie now loose around his neck. Lila looked up at him, her pain now lessened slightly.
He looked down at her, and leaned down, kissing her fingers. "Yeah?"
"I love you," she said. He leaned down and kissed her lightly.
"I love you, too," he whispered, before another painful contraction made her yelp, digging her fingernails into Reid's skin. He didn't even flinch.
"The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck. She'll have to undergo an emergency C-section," the doctor explained to Reid, who was leaning against the wall outside the delivery room, doing his best not to collapse.
"Will she... she'll be okay, won't she?" Reid asked, steeling himself. The doctor was silent a moment.
"I can't promise you that everything will be fine. There's a risk with any kind of surgery. But she's healthy and strong, so her odds are very good. Reid nodded, casting one last look into the delivery room where Lila lay.
"Can I go in with her?"
The doctor shook his head. "I'm afraid we don't allow anyone in the OR during procedures. There is a waiting room right down this hall, and we'll come tell you the second we know anything. Reid pushed his hair back from his face and looked down at the floor as the bed carrying Lila wheeled out into the hall. She reached for his hand when she passed.
"I love you," he said as she squeezed his hand. She did her best to smile at him through her pain and nodded.
"I love you, too," she responded weakly, then let go of his hand as they pushed her down the hall. Reid watched until the bed disappeared around the corner, then turned and started towards the waiting room. When he reached it, he found it already full of wedding guests. Lila's parents, his team, his mother, Hailey and Bill, and a couple of Lila's friends all sat around the room, talking quietly amongst themselves. Reid's mother was the first to notice him enter, and she got to her feet, stepping towards him. She put her hands on his shoulders and kissed his cheek, and he wrapped his arms around her, hugging her, tightly, as he finally began to cry. His mother held him, and the group fell silent.
Reid's head shot up quickly, and he saw the doctor standing before him, still dressed in his surgical scrubs. Reid blanched and stood, stepping towards him.
The doctor took a few steps away, and he followed, his arms wrapped tightly around himself.
"Dr. Reid... you have a son," said the doctor first, and Reid felt his heart rise into his throat.
"She's lost a lot of blood, but she is stable, and as far as we can tell, she'll make a full recovery."
Reid stared at him with his bloodshot eyes, and he swallowed hard. "Thank you."
The doctor nodded and moved back down the hall. Reid stared after him, frozen in place, until he felt a soft hand in his. He looked down to see that JJ had taken his hand, and looked up at him questioningly. He let out a shaky breath.
"He said she should make a full recovery."
"Oh, Reid, that's great," JJ said, smiling at him. She squeezed his fingers lightly.
"I... I have a son," he added, simply, and then suddenly his knees buckled and JJ had to grab him quickly before he hit the floor.