Author's notes: This is my first ever "Five times/things" fic. I've always wanted to try this format but now that I have I'm a little nervous about it. Please let me know if it sucks, but let me know nicely. My ego can only take so much bruising. ;) Also, when I wrote the fic I had it in my brain that "Profiler, Profiled" comes after "Revelations." It was pointed out to me that I was wrong, something I should have checked before writing. However, I like the idea that of it happening that way, so I'm keeping it that way. So I suppose this is slightly AU?
Again, I was too impatient to send it off to my beta, so please excuse an and all mistakes.
He was on fire. Oh God, he was on fire! Every inch of him screamed in pain.
Wake up, Sir Percival. Wake up before the dragon devours the fair maiden!
Spencer woke with a start, heaving air in loud gasping breaths. His eyes darted around the unfamiliar dark surroundings and he panicked before a murmured 'Spencer, do you need a glass of water?" floated toward him and he remembered.
He was in the sanitarium, in his mother's room. He all but demanded they let him sleep there after he had spent a rather pleasant afternoon with his mother. It almost felt like it did before her schizophrenia deteriorated. But then they had to wait as attendants went around the room with medication and Spencer nearly left until his mother smiled and took his hand, just as he had done to her on the plane.
He laid back down on the couch, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness and the details of the room grow clearer. He had planned to stay the rest of their allotted vacation time, as the director had deemed they deserved to relax after what they had gone through. But as he stared at the plain ceiling, devoid of cracks or flaking paint, Spencer felt almost homesick.
The darkness and the silence allowed him to be honest with himself, to admit things he would never admit in the harsh reality of daylight. He missed Derek. They had only been on a few dates, but even if they hadn't Spencer knew he was closest to Derek out of all of them, and the fear in his voice when Spencer went unarmed toward Randall Garner frightened him more than the unsub had. He needed the older agent to reassure him he was okay, to feel those arms hold him tight and hear the rumble of the baritone voice.
Spencer glanced at the clock on his mother's beside table. It was 3 a.m. here, which meant 5 a.m. in Virginia, as Derek decided he didn't want to go anywhere next seven days. That didn't mean, however, he would divert from his pattern and Spencer knew Derek ran every day at 5 a.m. So technically he could call without the fear of waking Derek, but he didn't think the older man would appreciate the disturbance to his solitude. He remembered their conversation about dreams, and while it did comfort him to know even tough Derek Morgan had sleepless nights, Spencer couldn't help but think having so many wasn't normal.
If he told his mother she would either spout off something irrelevant, but completely connected in her mind, or she could offer some wisdom that would make him feel better. Derek always knew what to say, as did Gideon but he didn't dare try and call the man who took this invasion of privacy the hardest. Spencer tried not to feel guilty that he preferred the advice of others to his own mother.
His eyes began to droop and he relaxed deeper into the surprising comfortable mattress. He had managed to convince himself the dreams were merely a manifestation of stress combined with the lack of sleep over the past two days and ignored the sickening feeling there were many more sleepless nights to come.
Spencer's glazed eyes took in the sight of him in the mirror. He looked at his thinning frame, his hallowed cheeks, the darker than normal circles beneath hooded eyes, with tired detachment. The Dilaudid was heavy in his left hand, the syringe ice hot in his right. Morgan's words echoed in his mind and he wanted so much to deserve that second chance, to be worthy enough to become a better person. For the first time in his life he wanted someone to see the beauty in him for he could see no semblance of it now.
His cell phone gleamed in the flickering of his vanity lights. He should pick it up and call Morgan. If he needed anything, Derek had said, he would be there. His veins hummed, begged for the bottled relief in his hand and Spencer knew if he ever needed someone, it was now.
All he needed to say were three little words, yet they seemed almost impossible to think, let alone say.
He had always had to shoulder the burden, whatever it was, on his own. He had dealt with being a constant contradiction his entire life: parent and child, young in age yet beyond his years in knowledge. Yet now he was having trouble with balancing agent and…victim. He swallowed the thought noisily, thickly and it settled sour in his stomach. It shouldn't have happened to him. He should have been able to stop it before J.J was hurt, before he had those people killed, before he murdered Tobias Hankel.
It would all be over, only now he had to decide how: call Derek or inject the drug. He stared at the phone longer, weighing his options. Asking for help would acknowledge his weakness, a weakness he hadn't felt since he realized he was to blame for Garner betraying their privacy. He couldn't face the weakness himself, how could he bare it to Derek?
Before he truly understood what was happening, the needle slipped beneath his skin and the drug flowed with the blood in his veins.
I need help.
After Hotch had called, letting him know they found Derek and arrested Buford, Spencer Reid found himself standing in a nearly empty room, surrounded by a few boxes (of which he now knew the contents intimately), staring at a framed picture on the wall. A young Derek Morgan stood grinning with pride holding his first place ribbon of what looked like a science fair. He had made a potato lamp, and it reminded Spencer of the science fair where he won first place for "physics magic."
Now, he thought as he stared at the picture, this would give him the rare chance for him to tease Morgan about something. The great Derek Morgan, proud of a science project, who would guess? But maybe now Derek wouldn't want to be teased about his childhood. The grin slid slowly off his face. Things had changed and he wasn't sure how to handle it.
"Thought you got lost," a warm voice said from the doorway. Spencer jumped and turned guiltily to see Fran Morgan staring at him with a maternal gentleness he always associated with a tinge of madness underneath. "Is Derek alright?" She asked softly, nodding toward the cell phone still in Spencer's hand.
"I, uh-" She had made him feel nervous since he first walked into the apartment. He guessed it was only fair he met Derek's mother during an investigation since he had met Spencer's the same way. Then, however, they had just begun their relationship beyond coworkers.
Now… now Derek introduced him as his partner (in that sense) when they go out to where no one knows them and it made the current situation very unnerving for the young genius. He looked at the older woman's worried stare and pushed his own nerves away. "They found him, and the real killer. He's down at the station giving his statement and filling out reports."
"Who was he? The man who framed my son?"
Spencer paused and his fingers fiddled with his glasses. "I'm sorry, but I can't tell you that now."
"So you'll be leaving, then?" She asked, sounding genuinely disappointed, though he wasn't sure if it was because he didn't tell her who the killer was or because she enjoyed his company.
"Actually, I'd like to stay for a little longer, if you don't mind." The words were out of his mouth before he even thought about them. Derek had the same effect on him. Maybe it was in the Morgan gene.
"Of course you may!" She answered happily. She joined him in front of the picture. "That was his first science fair. His teacher had made all the students participate that year. He complained and groaned the first few days, but once he saw what he could do..." she smiled the proud smile of a mother, one he had rarely seen on his own. But that probably had to do more with his lack of visits than her lack of love. He hadn't written to her lately, and that had all to do with the vials of Dilaudid weighing heavy in his pocket.
"Dr. Reid? Are you alright?" Fran's voice drew him from the need to shoot up growing steadily within him.
"Yes, I'm fine, just...it's just been a very confusing case." He swallowed thickly and turned his focus to the next photo. It was a rather strange room. Usually if a mother subconsciously awaits the return of a child, she'll keep the room as it was when the child left. But Derek's room had no furniture, no posters; just pictures and boxes. Like she was storing the memories he couldn't stand to bear.
Derek was a little older in this picture and his smile seemed strained. To the untrained eye he was standing comfortably in front of the grown man in the picture, but Reid could see the young Derek straining away from the warm hands on his shoulders. His brow furrowed. Was this him?
"Carl Buford," Fran said as though answering his question. The reverence in her voice made Spencer ill, but Hotch had forbid him from saying anything to the family. It was Derek's secret to tell. "He helped Derek get back on the track that lead him out of here." Spencer made a noncommittal noise to cover up the rage that was building in him. How could a grown man betray a child like that? And how come his family never saw the signs?
But then again, none of them knew either. If this ordeal taught him anything, it was that Derek was very good at hiding his secrets, and Spencer also knew that it was harder to hide things from those who did it all too well.
After his behavior in New Orleans, Spencer knew his struggle to keep his head above water was killing him. When he had first shot up voluntarily, after everyone had gone home and he was alone for the first time since he was rescued, he promised himself if this every impaired his judgment or took his focus while out in the field, he had to tell someone. That time had come and gone with Spencer feeling no better.
He had told Derek, or rather Derek had all but forced it from the young genius before he left for Chicago. Derek had known something was wrong with Spencer, something more than what he told Gideon and he was determined to go to home knowing what it was.
After Spencer explained stealing the drugs and shooting up every so often but staring at it more than not, Derek had urged him to get help, offered to find a place for law officers, done everything except what Spencer felt he needed; comfort. He had only wanted someone to say they understood, that it wasn't Spencer's fault he was addicted and couldn't stop. But Derek never offered that, even though everything he did offer was out of concern and perhaps even love. So Spencer lashed out, said things he never meant and kicked Derek out. They hadn't spoken outside the job yet and it was killing Spencer to think Derek possibly needed his comfort now but out of stubbornness wouldn't accept it.
"Dr. Reid? Spencer?" That voice, warm like a hug, drew him out again. The concern on Fran's face was tenfold. "What's bothering you? I know you barely know me, but you are close to my son and I want to help you if I can."
The cake that Spencer had politely and eagerly accepted earlier now sat like a stone in his stomach. He didn't deserve this kindness from the women whose son he turned away after going to him for help.
He wanted to make things right with them, he needed to make them right. They had fought, but isn't that what normal couples do? His fingers twitched around the cell he was still clutching. Surely Derek was done with his statement by now, he could call and they could work it out.
But what if he didn't want to?
Spencer realized Fran was still waiting for an answer. "It's a very long story, Mrs. Morgan," he answered wearily, turning to leave. He needed to find Derek. The older woman placed a gentle hand on his arm, stilling him.
"I'm a mother, Spencer, and I know when a child is lost. I also know just how close you are to my son." Spencer couldn't help but blush and Fran smiled. "That makes you part of my concern and I want to help you."
Her understanding was almost too much and Spencer almost told her everything, then and there. But he couldn't say those things to a woman he barely knew when he hadn't yet told them the one man he wanted to tell the most.
"Talking to me won't make any conversation you have with Derek later any less important," Fran said and Spencer couldn't help but wonder if she somehow read minds. It was impossible, of course, but she was giving his scientific argument pause. "It might even help."
Spencer looked down at the phone in his hand and sighed. Perhaps she was right, he needed to sort out what he wanted to say, especially since all his powers of rational argument seemed to vanish when Derek was around. It was like all he could feel was the other man's emotions and he reacted without thinking.
"Is there more cake?" Spencer finally asked. Fran grinned and they sat in the the living room and talked until he could no longer ignore his phone. With a new perspective and some much needed insight on Derek Morgan, Spencer left ready to face whatever awaited him at the airport.
Dawn rose slowly, casting a grey haze around the forest and fields surrounded a lone cabin. Birds began to sing and the world slowly woke to what most would call a beautiful day.
Spencer Reid acknowledge none of it. He sat unmoving at the kitchen table inside the cabin, staring unseeing at the letter before him, his numb fingers clutching the shield of the man he considered a father. He couldn't bear to read the letter again, and he cursed his perfect memory for recalling every word with singular clarity.
Jason Gideon was gone.
He was gone and had left nothing but a letter and questions for the young man who he had watch grow under his guidance and care. Watched him grow then abandoned him. Father-figure indeed, it was too close to the real thing for him not to feel a similar betrayal.
The phone on the table buzzed violently, but Spencer didn't even blink. It knocked against the wooden surface intermittently before finally stopping. He should have answered it, they needed to know Gideon had left. But the pain was still too cold with shock, to private and personal still to share with anyone.
The buzzing began again, causing the phone to inch closer to the gun sitting neglected on the table. Another few rings and it would be bumping against the firearm. Would that be enough to set off the gun? Without thinking, Spencer pointed the muzzle at himself, just in case.
His brain caught up with this action and he stood quickly. Now was the time to call someone, now when his behavior had turned inexplicably irrational. Now, before he did anything he couldn't fix.
A third time the phone buzzed and Spencer snatched it up. Penelope. They were supposed to meet up for coffee this morning, he belatedly remembered. She probably wouldn't talk to him for a week, or until she found out where he had been. But she wasn't the person to tell about Gideon's disappearance. Logically, he should let Hotch, now senior field agent, know of his impromptu promotion. But he would be all business and no comfort and all Spencer wanted to do was sit and be consoled.
Morgan probably wouldn't allow a pity party, but he would give the strength, reassurance and comfort Spencer figured he would need. He was possibly still at Spencer's apartment since Derek claimed it was closer to the office than his home. But from the way they clutched to each other at night, Spencer knew it was for a much better reason.
A phone call wouldn't do, he decided as he began to ache for the warm presence of his...lover? Boyfriend? They hadn't dealt much with labels. They were just Derek and Spencer. But whatever the label Spencer needed him and he needed him now.
Gently placing Gideon's things in a plastic bag left on the counter (He probably wouldn't send any of it in for evidence, but the option was there all the same) and quickly left the empty cabin. He tried to ignore the pain settling in his chest as he drove farther away from the isolated area, but that only seemed to make it worse.
He stepped on the gas, eager to get home to Derek.
Never had Spencer Reid been in more awe of someone than the tiny bundle in his arms. J.J. had fallen asleep with Will curled up beside her. The three of them had been talking when the couple had nodded off, leaving the young genius essentially alone with his new godson.
He hadn't taken his eyes off the sleeping baby since he had been placed back in his arms and he used that distraction now to forgo sleep. He was afraid if he did shut his eyes, he would remember some other terrible memory from his past. Another secret kept away from the boy who knew so much but was told very little.
Spencer tried to shake off that lingering resentment that had grown ever since he dreamt of his father killing Riley Jenkins. It wasn't helpful, especially now with the case solved and everyone happy. Yet he couldn't seem to get rid of that tiny seed that had been planted since the his father had left them. He abandoned his ten-year-old son to care for his sick mother, moved mere miles away and never thought to help. Never thought to own up to what he left behind.
Spencer had ranted all this to Derek earlier in their apartment, before coming to the hospital alone, as Derek claimed he was tired. He eventually dropped by later, congratulating the couple before quickly leaving. Spencer had a feeling it had something to do with Emily's sudden interest in families and the desire to know if everyone else felt the same.
It was the one hurdle in their relationship they hadn't jumped. Things had grown very serious in the past months and talk of a civil partnership had been casually brought up but never seriously discussed. Then J.J. started to show and suddenly Derek avoided the topic all together, leaving Spencer at a loss.
He even called Fran, to see if well-meant teasing about grandchildren had perhaps made her son feel guilty about his lifestyle. She insisted they hadn't talked about it in a while, but that she was happy that Derek had found Spencer and their happiness was the most important thing.
Henry squeaked as only sleeping babies can and Spencer focused on him rather than this current problem in his personal life. Soon a nurse quietly walked in to tell Spencer in a gentle, but very firm tone that even though he was FBI, visiting hours were over and Henry needed to be returned to the nursery.
Reluctantly he handed his godson over to the nurse, placed a kiss on J.J.'s forehead, who simply murmured and burrowed into Will's side and left the room. A glance at the hallway clock told Spencer he had stayed much longer than had intended. Three missed calls told him Derek was probably one hour away from driving down to the hospital and dragging him home.
Just as Spencer made to dial the phone and let Derek know he was on his way, he paused. Looking back he would chalk it up to resentment over their disagreeing view on their future, but in the moment Spencer wasn't sure why, but he shut the phone and walked out of the hospital in swift, long strides.
Foyet had shaken them all to the core. The fact that he could kidnap, torture and dump a senior FBI agent before the rest of them realized what happened was terrifying. Now Aaron clung to every moment he could savor with his family while Kevin and Penelope burrowed in either in her bunker or their apartment and J.J. spent every single moment with her husband and child. Even Rossi and Emily had gravitated toward each other, which wasn't quite surprising,. And he…Spencer glanced at Derek's empty desk.
He knew the reason he was still here and not with Derek was his own fault. Seeing Reid in the hospital had snapped something inside the older agent. Maybe it was too soon since the Anthrax scare, but whatever the reason from the moment Spencer had been released Derek barely left the genus' side. At first it was touching and helpful, but as physical therapy allowed his leg to grow stronger, Spencer was eager and able to get around on his own, do things for himself again, yet Derek still hovered.
Finally Spencer's patience broke and he snapped at Derek, who always goes on the defensive when attacked, and they fought. Things were said that were never meant, bags were packed and now he was crashing with Penelope and Kevin. And despite Penelope's best efforts, she was unable to sway either man to see reason.
He could try to convince himself that these feelings were merely him responding to Derek's protective nature, yet he knew it false. Somewhere between the teasing of his hair, the concern in Derek's eyes before he boarded that train and the conversation on the rooftop before Spencer went to interview Amanda, he had fallen and hard for Derek Morgan.
He tried to hang on to his resolve that he had been in the right, but now it seemed so petty, especially now. They hadn't needed more proof that they weren't infallible, but the fact it had happened to Hotch, the one who talked down countless of unsubs without fear had woken them up to the fact it could all be over tomorrow.
That in mind, Spencer wanted nothing more than to make up with Derek as they both knew the fight had been pointless and unneeded. So, straightening in his chair and swallowing the last of his pride, Spencer nearly dialed Derek's number when a shadow fell across his desk. He looked up and grinned.
It was Derek.
Please let me know what you think!