Final Lesson

A/N last chapter for now.

Criminal Minds is not mine.

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.-- Mahatma Ghandi.

In the months that Reid had been in this place he had learned his final lesson. He did not have a mental illness. He had an illness of the soul. His spirit had been taken and devoured and spat out again. Over and over again.

He listened to advice from those voices right in the back of his head, and he waited for his man to return to him as he promised he would.

As Gideon promised he visited and sorted the medication out. At least now he felt he could function on basic levels. He recognised hunger. He knew when he was cold. He knew when he was thirsty. All good signs of a slow recovery, but it was a recovery.

Morgan came to visit. It was strained and uncomfortable. Derek hated what had become of his partner and friend. A jumpy paranoid young man, where Reid used to be. His stuttering and stammering had become so bad that he could hardly hold a conversation and on the times Reid had the urge to spout off some random facts, his mouth wouldn't let him. He wrote long letters to his mother, hiding the truth of what had happened to him, and fabricating a life he no longer had.

JJ came to visit and they sat and looked at each other, then she got out a book and started to read. Her voice was soft and calming and sent Reid to sleep, when he awoke she was gone, but he had a feeling that she had left a kiss behind on his forehead.

Prentiss sent a Get Well Soon card, and a short note attached.

Reid,

Sorry you are not feeling yourself recently.

We all miss you.

Get well soon

Garcia came armed with Ben and Jerry's and a spoon with DSR engraved on the handle. He liked that. He wouldn't eat the ice cream though. He was sure he saw something moving in it. No..he didn't fancy the ice cream…..He put the spoon under his pillow.

Aaron came to see him, but Reid wouldn't talk to him. He asked in future that Agent Hotchner only be there on official business. He didn't want to break the rules. Hotch knew that. He would be ok with that. He was sure.

……….

Hotch sat with what was left of the team in the roundtable room.

"I know we didn't want this to happen, but the time has come, and a replacement for Reid has been found." He waited for reactions and got nothing but big staring eyes. "Agent Lewis will be joining the team as of tomorrow." A big sigh. Hotch suddenly turned and left the room, leaving the rest of the team just sitting looking at each other.

Gideon was gone, Reid was gone. Elle was gone. They all really thought they would get Reid back. But now Morgan wondered if they had ever really had him in the first place. His mind had started to slip from after the Georgia incident. They lost him the day JJ and Spencer went off to see Tobias. Derek tried to think back to happy times they had had together, but all he could see now was a broken man who never really fitted in. Damnit he wanted to kill that Flanders. How the hell had he just walked out of a high security state mental facility? How the hell did someone do that? And if he could, what the hell chance did they have against him unless they killed him?

What would Flanders death do to Reid?

A replacement! They could never replace Spencer. Morgan would never want to replace Spencer. He had never met Agent Lewis, but he disliked him already.

………….

Reid was standing as he did day after day. Listening to the quiet words in the back of his mind. They weren't too busy today, and were not giving him a headache. They seemed to be having a rest. He felt in his pocket and found the spoon Garcia had given him. He looked at the engraving DSR Doctor Spencer Reid. That was him…..that was who he was. He was not the man in room 18 he was Dr Spencer Reid. He needed to remember that. He had to remember.

Hey.

The spoon tumbled from his fingers. That was loud. He hadn't had a voice shout at him like that for a long time now. Distant past. A fading memory.

Spence?

Oh.

Oh? Is that all you have to say?

Go away. You are too loud. Go away.

Spence? What's wrong?

Shaking hands swept over the floor and picked the spoon up. He looked at it and tried to concentrate on it. "Go away, you are not real." He muttered under his breath.

I told you I would come back for you Spence.

"NO!" and his hands shot to his face. A nurse looked over to him. The spoon fell back to the floor again.

"Dr Reid? Are you alright?" she started to walk over to him fingers ready to press the emergency button.

Talk to me Spence.

"NO! Go away!" She had seen this before with Reid. The sudden eye movements followed or accompanied by the hands flailing at nothing she pressed the emergency button as Reid jack-knifed backwards and started to seize. He guy didn't like taking his meds. The anti psychotics seemed to have the side effect of causing occasional seizures, but he refused to take the Phenobarbitol to counteract it so once again the orderlies were called and once the limbs had stopped jerking he was carried back to his room. The nurse saw the spoon laying on the floor and picked it up and placed it in her pocket.

…………

It was dark when Spencer awoke with a headache from hell and no memory of what had happened the day before. This was the one good thing about the seizures, they let him forget. Forgetting was a good thing sometimes. He was aware that he must have had a bad one this time because his muscles ached still and his tongue was chewed. Even his eyes hurt from the uncontrolled muscle spasms. He slowly sat up on the edge of the bed and put his head in his hands. He was still in the same blue/grey robe he always wore. His slippers were no where to be seen. He stood slowly and made for his door. Locked. They had locked him in. Locked in? Why would they lock him in? Shaking hands reached for the call button next to the door and he gave it a quick buzz to let them know he wanted out.

An orderly arrived and checked through the window, then obviously at the notice written on his door.

"L L Let me out." The man nodded and disappeared. "Let m m m me…….let me……OUT!" Reid was panicking. He didn't need this. He didn't need them messing with his head. Not today. Not now…Unlock the door…unlock the door. He could feel his heart thumping in his chest to loudly and too hard, he could feel his breaths short and shallow, and he could see the familiar greyness of oxygen starvation creeping around his eyes as he hammered on his door. Breath Reid Breath you are hyperventilating…breath. Slow down. It's ok…they lock everyone in at night. Stop panicking. It's probably the middle of the night.

The orderly returned and unlocked the door…he motioned Reid to stand back and entered the room…closing the door behind him. He put a pile of clothes on the bed.

"Get dressed." The man looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn't work out where from. Reid's mind was still foggy from the fit and from all the medications they hand pumped into him

"Do I know you?" he asked as he glanced over at the clothes.

"Just get dressed. Hurry up. We don't have all night."

Reid picked up the clothes. Jeans, and sweatshirt, and a pair of trainers. He quickly slipped them on and turned back to the orderly who had been watching.

"Where – where are – where…….."

"Quiet…follow me. Quickly." And he opened the door and started to walk down the corridor to the big barred security door at the end. The man opened the door and took Reid down another corridor and up to a fire exit. "Through there. Move it." And Reid was half dragged out towards a big SUV parked in the docking bay.

"What? Who are……….."

"Get in." and he opened the door and virtually stuffed Reid onto the back seat. Spencer just sat and stared as warm arms wrapped around him. The man ran to the drivers side, jumped in, and they were moving away.

"Heya Spence. Told you I would come back for you." And he ran his fingers slowly through Spencer's hair and looked into the deep empty eyes of his broken toy.

………………….

END

Just a perfect day

Problems all left alone

Weekenders on our own

It's such fun.

Just a perfect day,

You made me forget myself.

I thought I was someone else.

Someone good.

-- Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground

A/N This journey will be continued as a new story.