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A/n hey all, here's the last chapter. Thank you all for your great support and reviews. A special thanks for my fantastic beta REIDFANATIC for all her help and support.


Reid pulled his scarf closer around his neck as he stood looking out at the night sky. Snow fell lightly from the heavens, coating the cars parked next to the building, like sugar cookies. The windy day had given way to a snowy night. He should go home before the snow really cranked up, but he couldn't make his feet move in the direction of the train station.


He jumped and turned to see a familiar face approaching.

"John! I didn't see you here tonight."

"I sat in the back tonight. I wanted to observe."

"You were watching me." Reid extrapolated.

"I'm worried about you son. You talked about everything except what happened in Baltimore six weeks ago."

Reid turned back to the glass door. "I'm not ready to talk about that or at least the things I can talk about from the case."

"And yet you passed your evaluation to come back to work."

Reid turned around again and planted his feet. "Is that so hard to believe?"

"Yes… You're smart enough to trick the department shrinks."

Reid sighed heavily. "I don't want to talk about it."

"I understand," John said stepping up to stand next to Reid.

He looked out at the Christmas lights blinking in white and gold along the street. He waited for long minutes.

"I'm ashamed." Reid said slowly.


"Because I cracked under pressure… All he had to do was inject me with a sedative and I broke. I'm just as weak as -"

"As weak as who, your father, or Tobias Henkel or both?" John asked?"

"Don't," Reid warned.

"I'm just saying you have to let it go."

"Let go of what?"

"You couldn't save Tobias Henkel from his father. The damage was done long before you crossed paths with him. Even if you'd taken him alive, who knows if he'd break free of his father's domineering personality? You know all of that's true. You can't save everyone. You have to let it go and then you'll truly be free."

"It's not that easy."

"I know that… If it was easy, this group wouldn't be necessary."

Spencer looked at John. "I don't even know where to start."

"You need to be honest with the group. You've never had a problem with that in the past. We trust you with our secrets. You need to trust us with your secrets again. We'll get you through this if you let us."

"It's as easy as that?"

"Of course not, you know better than that. The battle starts over every day."

Spencer smiled then he chuckled. "That's not very reassuring."

John put an arm around his shoulders and squeezed. "Sorry… That's life as a recovering addict."

"Okay, tomorrow I'll come back and spill my guts."

"When you put it like that?"

They both smiled at each other in the reflection of the glass door.

"You want a ride tonight Spencer?"

"Sure," Reid opened the door to cold and snow and dark, but now, the dark didn't matter that much.

Reid opened the door to his apartment and found lights on all over the living room and the kitchen. His hand froze on his gun as he began to edge into the room. His alarm system showed a red light, meaning someone had deactivated it with the code. Only a few people had the code. His hand relaxed on his gun.

"Morgan… Are you here? If you are I'm gonna kill you!-"

"It's not Morgan." A female voice said from his bedroom.

"Scotty!" He squeaked.

"Who were you expecting, an early visit from Santa?"

He hurried into his bedroom to find Scotty hanging clothes in his closet. They were his clothes. He'd left them in the hamper when he'd left that morning to spend the day out of his apartment with Morgan and Garcia. Katherine had washed them for him.

"Wait! How did you get in here?"

"That's a nice greeting."


"You gave me the alarm code two weeks ago and I can pick a lock."

"Very funny! I thought you were coming in tomorrow."

"I decided I couldn't wait."


"Why do you sound so surprised? You're pretty damn cute Spencer Reid."

She hung up the last of his shirts and walked over to wrap her arms around his waist.

"I'm glad you're here." He said.

"Good because I'm here to stay if you want me."

"You are?"

She pulled away from him and left the bedroom. He followed her out into the kitchen. She began pulling plates out of the cabinet.

"You're cooking?" He asked, just then realizing that something on the stove smelled very good.

"Why must you sound so surprised?"

"I thought you didn't want to be in the kitchen."

"I don't, this is a one time only event Bones."

"I guess I better enjoy it then." He kidded, while taking silverware from the drawer.

"You better," She agreed.

"So, about you staying here in Washington," he reminded her, his heart beating very fast.

"I asked for a transfer. I'm now a proud member of the DC police."

Reid dropped one of the glasses he held. It bounced but didn't break on the tile floor.

"Careful!" She scolded him.

"I thought you didn't like this political town."

She put the glass in the sink and went to him. She kissed him hard on the mouth. "I can deal with it as long as you're here."

He pulled away and took her hands in his. He turned them over and looked at the faint scars that marred the palms.

"Thank you!" He chocked out.

"Bones I -"

He stopped her with kisses to both palms. "Don't say anything. I'm glad the bandages are gone because I can see the scars."

Tears filled her eyes. "I don't -"

"He could've killed you. You took him down alone for me. You saved my life."

"Agent Rossi got Justin to talk, if he hadn't gained his trust…"

"I know, but you bled for me. "I'll never for get that. He hugged her tight. "I'm glad you decided to stay. I need you very much."

"Good, because I need you too, silly."

"So what did you cook for me?"

She gave him a withering look. "I made beef stew."

His eyes lit up, "Your mother's recipe?"

"Of course," she laughed.

"Wait here," he said suddenly hurrying from the room.

He rushed back into the kitchen with the white teddy bear from his hospital room. "I want you to have this," he said.

"Your friends gave you this. I can't take it." She said as tears filled up her eyes again.

"I don't need him to look after me anymore."

Katherine blushed crimson. "You heard me?"

"Yes, I'm pretty good a faking sleep." He said proudly.

"That's not funny Bones."

"Yeah, but you'd be surprised what you hear when people think you're sleeping."

She slapped him on the shoulder. "I shouldn't let you have any of this delicious stew."

He pouted and she laughed. "Oh all right… Who can say no to you?"

He smiled. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Whatever… Let's eat."

He joined her at the table. The long darkness had finally receded. It might come back, but as long as he had his friends and Scotty, it wouldn't engulf him.