"She hasn't left." The doctor explained to the RN peering through the window into the hospital room. Across from the white sheeted bed where the bruised form of Spencer Reid slept, a young woman lay curled in a chair, a cup of coffee gone cold next to her. "It's been thirty two hours since Dr. Reid has been conscious. She's been here since we let him have visitors."
The blonde in the chair stirred and shifted to her other side, curling into the wooden arm of the chair. A dark red mark where her cheek had pressed into the other side was clearly visible.
"She hasn't left?" The RN parroted, meeting the doctor's eyes. "That's not exactly protocol, she's not family." The nurse was young, new to the hospital, and eager to please. Having a federal agent in their hospital meant even more opportunity for her to do exactly that.
The doctor shook his head, balancing the clipboard with Reid's information on it in the crook of his arm. "Dr. Reid doesn't truly have any family to speak of. His mother's over at Bennington." The doctor's voice lowered out of respect for his young patient as he spoke. "His father hasn't answered his cell." He shook his head in disgust. "Nobody had the heart to make her leave. The rest of his team's been visiting on a regular basis as well, they don't want him to wake up alone. He's gone through a true form of hell."
The RN shifted uncomfortably, feeling a wave of guilt for having asked of protocol. Itching to redeem herself, she let hazel eyes fall to the clipboard in the doctor's arm. "His blood work, Dr…"
Perhaps, even if it wasn't for the coffee that raced through her system, Jennifer Jareau still would be unable to sleep. It was a near impossible act, with a guilty conscience such as hers. Sleep was a relative thing, something that she may have perchance drifted in and out of, most of the time she pretended, letting the doctors buzz around her.
Twice now she'd heard a loud bang that she'd assimilated to some sort of dog, jumping as if shocked by an electric bolt – the affects of which shook her for several minutes afterwards, arms wrapped around herself, eyes squeezed shut willing the demons to go away. She doubted she'd be able to be near any sort of canine without shaking.
When she was 'asleep', JJ could pretend she didn't notice just how wounded and vulnerable he looked among those sheets. The left side of his face had turned a deeper purple than the maroon of the right side, and his right foot was swollen and wrapped in a bandage. Deep marks and cuts marred his pale skin where the chains had cut in, he broke out in a cold sweat every few hours, something that JJ forced herself to contribute to fear.
These were all of the things that she could pretend to ignore.
There were other, more heart wrenching things, that Agent Jareau couldn't pretend to miss. It was the way that he would cry out in his sleep, begging for forgiveness, or the way that just when JJ was certain that the worst had passed, Spencer would cry out and startle her, that made her both positive that she couldn't leave and sure she was encroaching on his personal space.
Yet Agent Jareau stayed in her corner of his hospital room, unwilling to let him wake up alone. Getting a good night's rest, or eating a proper meal were of minimal concern.
It should have been her in that hospital bed anyway. She never should have let them separate, letting Reid dash into that corn field had been her mistake. She should have sent him into the barn, should have gone after Tobias herself. She should have been the one tortured for two days, should have been the one forced to dig her own grave, should have been the one hooked up to those beeping monitors now, she should have been the one…
Her name was spoken so softly that the B.A.U.'s media liaison was almost certain it was a product of her own imagination, hearing things from exhaustion. The federal agent blinked herself out of her thoughts, straightening up her aching back. That was when she heard her name called for a second time, louder and more insistent, and her mind snapped to attention.
"JJ?" Reid's voice was hoarse and dry, but it was unmistakably his, and it was certainly his soft hazel eyes that watched her now.
"Hey, Spence." Her voice was quiet, but upbeat and encouraging.
He blinked a few times, a long fingered pale hand moving to rub at a face that was skinnier than she remembered, and paler too – were his eyes sunken? She moved quietly to his side, pulling the chair behind her. "How are you?" He turned his head towards her, and she could see the exhaustion that still lived in his eyes. His foot looked frail in the bandage that encased it; he looked lost. She rubbed his shoulder encouragingly. "Are you in pain? I could get a nurse – do you want me to?"
He blinked a few more times before shaking his head, dirty hair falling into his eyes. "N-no, I-" He swallowed and licked dry lips. "Am I allowed to have water?" The innocence in his voice pained her heart.
"Of course, Spence." She turned to the water pitcher on the bedside table, pouring a cup and helping him bring it to his parched lips. His face calmed considerably once downing the water, letting his head relax against the pillow. "Better?" He nodded.
"Anytime." She smiled at him before sinking back into the chair, legs curled beneath her.
"JJ?" He asked, his head tilted to the side, a curious expression living in his eyes.
"Yes, Spence?" She wondered what could possibly have given him the sudden change of expression.
"Did you enjoy sleeping in that chair?" His voice was playful, teasing, but she looked away. "The mark, on your cheek – it's exactly the same shape as the arm on the chair. They have pillows for the visitors, actually – you could have asked for one…" His voice trailed off as he noticed her striken expression.
"Do you want me to leave?"
"No." He said, shocked. "I was teasing, JJ, I didn't-"
"You scared me. You scared all of us. I've never been so scared in my life." She wiped at the corner of her left eye. "Spence, I thought I'd never see you again. I don't think you know how much that hurt."
"And you thought that it was your fault, didn't you?" He pried.
"What else was I supposed to think? We separated!"
"And I told you to do that – JJ, I spent the majority of those two days thinking you were dead."
"I'm not." She said, quietly, suddenly more tired than she had been all week.
"And, since I'm not either, I think this is a moot point." He nodded with sudden certainty. "Agreed?"
She sighed. "Agreed." She reached out a hand and clasped his in hers. "If you could try to never do that again, we'd all be appreciative."
With a twinkle in his eyes that she'd surely missed, he said, "I'll try to give everyone a fair warning next time I'm planning something like this."
"I'd like that."
They settled into a comfortable silence, and for the first time in what seemed like ages, JJ slept.
The title comes from a song of the same name.
I don't know if I necessarily liked this ending, but I enjoyed writing this – I hope it seemed in character, and I hoped that you enjoyed it.
Also, yes - this story was taken down due to a few errors that I fixed, at which point I put the story back up. The summery changed very slightly since did not like how the original summery suited the story. Other than that and the grammer error that I fixed, it's the same exact story.