Sleep At Last
A/N: no happy endings I'm afraid
The smells….its always the smells that get to me.
And the bleep bleep bleep of the machines next to my bed.
I thought it was over. I thought the last person I was going to talk to…to see…have contact with was Garcia…but no.
…………..I'm here…smelling of disinfectant and causing a fuss when really it's not necessary. I don't want to be here but I can't move. They've strapped me down again.
"Hello Dr Reid. Nice to see you awake at last."
And I want to just slide back into the darkness I was in and hide there. It's not nice to be awake again. How can this ever possibly be construed as nice? What is the woman talking about?
"I'm thirsty." Is what I say though and she gets me a drink of water and lets me sip through the straw at some luke warm water.
"Your friends have been worried about you Dr Reid. Let me know when you feel like saying hello to someone. They are all waiting."
But I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to see anyone…I want to curl up into a ball and pick at my scabs and be left alone….but I can't do that. They won't let me do that. I am stuck staring at the ceiling.
I must have fallen asleep.
Or time is just being really strange with me….I don't know how long I have been here but there is someone at my side now and he is in a suit and has a pair of glasses and is wearing a worried look on his face. I don't know who he is and I blink at him. I don't want to talk …I don't know who he is. I don't even know if he is really there…and my soul wants to laugh but I won't let it have that much pleasure.
"I just came in to see you. To introduce myself to you. I hope my being here didn't wake you up."
But I just stare at him. I really don't want to talk…I don't want to talk to him…or anyone for that matter.
"I'm Mr Bennet. Just someone you can talk to when you feel up to it."
So I turn my head and look at the machines next to me and twist my arms in the restraints.
"They are necessary for now." He is still talking to me but I'm not interested. "At least until you start talking to us properly Spencer and telling me what is going on."
Then they will be there a long time and so I stop twisting my arms and I clench my fists and wriggle my toes and I think I sigh.
I can see the drips by my bed….and they lead to the back of my hand but I don't know what they are. I don't know what drugs they are pumping into my system now and I don't really care…they don't seem to be helping much. I still feel like I want this to end…I still feel like I want to be alone…I hurt.
……………..I hurt Pen.
Of all the people I could have done this to….why Pen? So I turn and look at the this Mr Bennet and I want to ask to say sorry to her, but the words won't form in my mouth and my head won't let the question be formed so I turn away again.
I feel so ashamed. How could I do that to someone who cares?
But I didn't intend doing it………………………….
I did intend doing it…..I messed up. I messed up good.
I hear him walk away and I hear the swish of the door and he has gone and I am alone with my drips and my machines so I pull at the restraints and try to free my hands. I want to see what I did…I need to feel something and I just feel empty and numb.
………………….When I open my eyes again the lights have been dimmed and someone is touching my hair. I open my eyes and it's Pen and I want to scream at her to go away and leave me alone. I can feel the shame of pulling her into my messed up dirty world and I want her to stay safe and well and be happy….not be here stuck with me.
"Hello sleepy head." And she smiles and talks gently and I just look at her and blink. "It's ok…I don't need you to talk to me Spencer…I need you to listen. And her voice is gentle and there is no bubble in it….and I wonder if I have broken her. "I just need you to know that I am so glad you called me." Her hand is resting on mine. "I will always be here Spencer. If you need a shoulder…an ear. You know that don't you?" And now I want to cry because I thought she'd hate me because of the pain I put her through.
I want to tell her I'm sorry. I want to tell her something but still my head won't let me talk and I can feel the room suddenly spinning and the restraints suddenly feel too tight and I am being dragged away from her and I want to reach out and have her pull me back again but I can't move and she is drifting further away and she has stopped looking happy now and she looks worried……..
……………………..I'm in a different room now. A smaller room…..different smells…..maybe a different place. I don't know. I am in pain….my chest hurts and when I try it out I realise I can move my feet and legs so I pull my knees up tight to me and wriggle my arms…but they are still held down. I feel damp – as though have been sweating…I feel dirty and empty and I still don't know how long it has been since that time I called Pen….
I scared her again. What happened? This room is pale green…there are pictures on the wall and curtains at a window. As I look around it looks more like a hotel room than a hospital room but the drips still in my arm and the bleeping still by my head let me know that I'm not on vacation somewhere. I want to call out and let them know I am awake. I want to know where I am… but I don't. I just lay and look around the room and it makes me feel uncomfortable that this place feels like it is a home and not a hospital. I don't want to live here. I don't want to live in a hospital….
………………….It's a small panic. I'm not sure where the sounds came from. They don't sound like me. They sound like a wild animal screaming. I'm not even sure they are coming from me but I can't see anyone else in the room so it must have been me making that horrible noise.
They come rushing in. In their white coats and with stethoscopes hanging around their necks…their badge of office.
"Calm down Spencer…." They tell me, but I don't want to. I can't…..I need to get out of here and just curl up and die. I don't want to be forced to do something I don't want any longer. Can't they see that?
…..I think they can. I'm sure they can…..why else the restraints…..why else would they be hushing me and putting damp cloths on my face and stroking my face and as I listen I hear that the sound has stopped and I blink water away from my eyes and I wish I could ask them where I am, but I can't. The words I need aren't available. Some link between my brain and my mouth is broken.
"Penelope is here if you want to see her." Someone says… but it's not now…it's in the future they say it…at some distant future because things have changed again. I am in the same room…I think…unless all the rooms look the same…only now I have just one arm restrained and I am laying on my side.
I just look at them and I want to nod….or shake my head or do something to communicate but it's gone. I can't remember how, and it sort of amuses me that they think I would get up and find something sharp and take it to myself when I can't even find it in me to nod my head.
…………………….and so I close my eyes.
"Sweet-cheeks." And that is Pen. I open my eyes and look at her and her eyes look puffy and sad. She's not the Pen I used to know. I've dragged her down. I didn't want to do this….but I reach out with my hand….and she takes it and I feel her squeeze it. "How are you today handsome?"
And I want to do something…but what I do isn't what I planned and I feel the tear on my face and then her fingers moving them away. "Hey – it's ok. It's ok." And now she moves in and gives me a kiss on the forehead. "I'm happy with a one way conversation Spencer. You know that… I can talk the hide legs of a donkey." And she is smiling but it's one of those smiles you make at funerals. One of those 'thank god this is nearly over' smiles and I wonder if I am dying and if I am it's taking too long.
I visit him every day…and every day my heart breaks a little bit more. He is so thin I don't know how he can still be alive…and I really don't think he will be for much longer. The hospice is looking after him. They are giving him pain medication and something to stop the seizures but he is fading.
I don't know when I last heard his voice…that lovely excitable voice…that wonderful annunciation. So Spencer and so unique and it's gone.
Today I don't think he knows I am here. His eyes stay closed and he doesn't react when I wipe the damp cloth over his face or put balm on his chapped cracked lips.
……………..Nearly a year. The anniversary is due…..and I don't want to cry in front of him because that wouldn't be the thing to do….so I take off my glasses and wipe at my eyes and bend forwards and kiss him goodnight.
I will tell the staff when I leave "Call me if there is any change. In either direction."
And they will say they will and a couple of times they have.
Once when his heart gave out and they had to force him back to life and I cried and I wished they had just let him go.
I'm at home now….and I am sitting staring at my mug off coffee.
They just called.
I should go over there.
I should call Hotch.