Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, shape, or form, own Criminal Minds.
Dedicated to the writers. Come on! Almost there!

Chapter 28: No More Secrets

The nearest doctor along with three others professionals rushed towards the room. Hotch stood to the side holding the door open for them as they entered. After they were in the room Hotch looked at the other team members and continued holding the door for them with a look of urgency on his face. They were lucky that, though it was a single occupancy room, it was a large room.

The team stood near the, now closed, door listening to the alarms ringing wildly. They tried to hear the doctor's yells over the noise. "He's gone into respiratory arrest! We need to get him breathing again ASAP." A nurse has stuck a mask over Reid's nose and mouth and was squeezing a bag to represent breathing. The doctor picked up Reid's chart from the end of the bed, and was reading his reason for admittance and current treatment. He put the chart back, "Any change?"

"No, sir. He's still not breathing on his own." another in the room answered, he looked like a resident.

"Stop manual breathing." The nurse did as told and the doctor looked at the remaining person in the room, another nurse. "Get a crash cart in here stat! He's about to go into cardiac arrest!" The other nurse rushed off, and Hotch stepped forward.

"What are you doing? Letting his heart fail is a step backwards!"

"I'm a doctor; I know what I'm going to do! I can't give you a guarantee that it'll work, but I'd like to try, if not we'll put him on a ventilator. Do you trust me?"

Hotch frowned but nodded once, and the doctor rushed over to Reid's side, making sure the bed was completely flat. Morgan was swearing under his breath and Gideon was eerily silent as he watched Reid's lips slowly turn blue.

The nurse still in the room was studying the monitor, "He's crashing! Heart rate's dropping!"

"I know that!" The doctor snapped back. "Where's that crash cart!" The doctor paused, raising his arm, and waited for the precise moment of when and where to strike. He brought his fist down hard on the centre of Reid's sternum, performing a pecordial thump. It didn't make any change to the crashing rhythm, and the monitor quickly dropped to zero in that section too. "I need that cart!" the doctor yelled as he started chest compressions.

The second nurse rushed back into the room; and her and the resident started hooking up the defibrillator while the first nurse did the breathing side of CPR, with the mask and bag again. The resident then took scissors off a tray and cut the front of the hospital gown, gaining access to the chest in order to place the gel pads down.

The doctor was handed the paddles, and called out "Charge to 120!" The dial was set, and the charge button was pressed as all the personnel moved away. The tone sounded and the doctor firmly pressed the paddles to Reid's chest. "All clear! I'm shocking on 3... 1, 2, 3!" He pressed the red button on each paddle simultaneously, and the charge was released. It lasted 2 seconds, and then he kept the paddles in place, watching the monitor.

"No change! Charge to 150!" He repeated the same set of actions.

"Charge to 200!" And again he released a shock into Reid's slender frame. The monitor beeped, and his heart picked up a regular rhythm again. Everyone in the room breathed a sigh of relief. The doctor watched the respiratory rate which, though it had recovered due to resetting the system, was still low and not picking up. It read 10, and then dropped to 9. The nurse kept his breathing steady with the mask over his face once more.

"Damn it! Don't you dare crash on me again!" the doctor demanded of an unconscious person. He looked over to the stunned team. "Is he on any medication we don't know about?"

Hotch and Gideon shook their heads and collectively answered, "No."

A small "Yes." sounded from behind them and everyone turned to JJ. She bit her lip, looking at Hotch, "I wanted to tell you, but you told me to wait."

Gideon's eyes widened as he made the connection, and he started pacing.

The doctor didn't feel there was time for this news to be given gently, "Just tell me, it's rather urgent I find out!"

"Dilaudid." she choked on the word and the rest of the team's expressions changed from worry, to a mixture of disbelief and dull acceptance. It made sense, and none of them could believe they hadn't seen it.

One of the nurses had gone to fetch a ventilator anyway, and the doctor barked an order at the two other persons in the room, "Get him off that morphine! Pronto! The Dilaudid in his system is having a heightened reaction to the morphine!" The resident jumped into action. "They're both opiates, and can both cause respiratory depression. When used together there's always a risked of heightened respiratory depression or respiratory arrest. For it to have reacted like this, he would have had to have taken it within the last six hours." He checked the monitor; Reid's breathing was still stable at 9 breaths per minute.

The nurse came back with the ventilator and the doctor gave her an order. "Prepare for a nasotracheal intubation." She nodded and the doctor turned back to the distressed team, Gideon had still been pacing, but now stopped to listen. "Rather than a traditional tracheotomy, inserting a tube straight into his neck and throat, or an orotreacheal intubation, a large tube through the mouth, larynx, and vocal chords to the trachea, I feel nasotracheal will be best. When he wakes up he'll be able to talk better without a tube in his mouth, and a smaller tube between his vocal chords than a larger one. Now that he's no longer on the morphine he may wake up in pain. Are you family?"

"Yes." Hotch replied.

"Good," he eyed Morgan for a moment, before adding, "I'll let you all stay with him. He'll want to see familiar faces when he wakes. The anaesthesia should wear off within a half hour, maybe less." He walked back over to Reid, and observed as the resident inserted the small tube down Reid's nasal passage, without any trouble. The two nurses and the resident left the room, the doctor following behind. "Feel free to borrow some chairs from the hall." he added before leaving the room.

The team stood in silence at the end of Reid's bed for a few minutes. He looked flushed again, which was undoubtedly better than pale and blue-lipped. He was alive. He was going to make it.

Slowly, Hotch turned to JJ, "How did you know?"

"It just clicked on Friday, but I wanted to be absolutely sure before I mentioned it. I check his bag last night. He caught me; you should have seen how angry and defensive he became. It's in the small pocket inside his bag." No one moved towards the bag to check, seeing it would mean having to fully accept. JJ continued explaining everything, even though she was sure everyone could figure it out, it was better than silence. "Yesterday, when you were with him Emily, after he slapped you," Gideon looked up slightly shocked, and then looked over at Reid's still form, "the shakes, dizziness, and vomiting, they're all withdrawal symptoms."

"So he's been trying to wean himself off?" Morgan asked.

Gideon sighed, "Yes, he was trying Morgan. He was using me like a recovering addict would a sponsor. I didn't realise it was that bad, and I left him to sort it through on his own. That's the worst thing a sponsor can do."

Hotch matched Gideon's sigh, "He knows something like this could get him fired. Will get him fired if I report it."

"He'd never do anything to put his career in jeopardy. If he was trying to quit he obviously cares about this job more." Prentiss said, coming to Reid' defence, since he currently couldn't.

"I know that, Prentiss. Let's discuss this with him when he wakes up. Let him tell us everything like I told him he'd have to."

Everyone nodded, and Morgan and Prentiss went out into the hall to grab more chairs.


Gideon sat on Reid's right; Hotch was directly across from him. They both had Reid's hand clasped between their own. Prentiss was beside Gideon, and across from her was JJ. At the foot of the bed was Morgan, his chair farther away from the bed so that he could lean forward and rest his arms on the small metal frame at the foot of the bed, and look up at Reid. They formed a silent barrier of protection around him. One would have to be insane, or have a death wish, to dare try and disrupt Reid at this moment.

Reid moved a couple times, a grimace passing over his features as he did so. It broke all their hearts, every time. He turned his head to his right, and swallowed. None of them knew how hard it was to swallow with a tube down your throat but it couldn't have been very easy, and it sounded painful. A few moments later Reid's eyes slowly opened and met Gideon's. A small smiled crept across Reid's lips. "You're backā€¦" he whispered hoarsely.



A/N: Yes final chapter... Never fear! I have written more already that picks off right where this left off. Just a small sequal to tie things up with Reid. However this was never about the case, it was about Reid's struggle without Gideon. It felt appropriate to leave it there. (wrote over 600 more words of babble before I realised I'd gone too far and ruined the ending, though. So it was cut and is ready to go on the start of a new fic.)
If anyone actually is interested on any loose ends I didn't tie up here, feel free to ask me in a PM. Be specific or your won't get specific answers lol. Cheers everyone! Hope you enjoyed it!

P.S. I've made a video to go with this fic, the link is available in my profile. Not my best quality work, but Windows Movie Maker was being evil. Enjoy!