Author's Note: This story was inspired by a comment Diana Reid made during the episode The Instincts. She insists that mothers can sense when their children are in danger. I thought, "what if she could sense that Spencer was in danger during Revelations?" This brief (and kind of weird) one-shot was the result. I've included the specific quote inside the bars below.
REID: I also remember we moved houses, and you and Dad argued about it, and you told Dad that I was in danger.
DIANA: Because you were.
REID: Why did you think that?
DIANA: I don't know, I just knew. I told you, a mother knows. We're animals, Spencer. We feel things.
It comes upon me suddenly, at dinnertime. I'm breaking crackers to put into my bowl of soup when it washes over me like a baptism of fear. That vague feeling of dread. The knowledge that something is wrong.
I gasp. Freeze. Except for my hands. They release the crackers, most of which miss the soup. Crumbs shower the table and my lap. I've felt this way once before, but this time it's more intense. More immediate.
I don't know how long I sit there, staring in shock, hands in mid-air, before an aide notices me.
"Diana? Are you all right, honey?"
Spencer. I want to tell her that Spencer is in danger. I want to scream it so that the whole room hears. But I can't speak. I can barely move.
Numbly, I let her lead me to bed. I curl into a ball and lay there all night, trembling, clutching my pillow for dear life.
By morning, the vague fear has become a barely-audible voice. It whispers to me gently, softly... I can't make it out at first. I try to continue my routine. Obediently I get up, have breakfast, take the pills. I sit down at the window to write. But all I can write is one phrase, over and over again.
Spencer is in danger. Spencer is in danger.
By midday, the voice is loud and clear.
Spencer is in danger. He's hurt. He's hungry. He needs help.
Hearing voices is nothing new for me, but usually the medication keeps them at bay. But this one is different. It's not the product of a damaged mind. It's real, raw, primal. The voice of a natural instinct that science can't explain and no medicine can silence.
I can't eat. I set my lunch aside, because he needs it. Two aides gently encourage me to eat.
"I can't. Spencer needs it. He's hungry."
They exchange glances, and I want to scream at them. I'm not crazy. I'm a mother. We know when something is wrong.
"I want to use the phone," I tell them. "I want to call my son." One of them goes to clear it with my doctor. So much damn bureaucracy in this place. I'm a grown woman, and I can't even use the damn phone when I want.
Finally, an aide leads me back to the office. They dial the number Spencer gave them, for emergencies.
"I'm sorry, Diana. It's going to voicemail. Would you like to leave a message?"
"No, I want to talk to my son." My hands are shaking, and my voice is getting too loud. They're thinking about sedating me; I can see it in their eyes. I force myself to stay calm, at least on the outside, while inside the voice gets louder and louder.
By evening, it's a scream inside my head, tormenting me. I pace my room, picking up things and putting them back down, over and over again.
Spencer is in danger. He is almost out of time. He is dying, Diana. Help him.
Back and forth, back and forth. I throw books, pull my clothes out of the closet, beat my fists against the wall, but I can't ignore it. Can't calm it. My son is dying, and I'm trapped in this room like a caged animal.
Someone must have heard the crashes, because the aides burst in to see what's going on. They're saying my name, but my hands are clamped over my ears and I can barely hear them over the sound of my own screaming.
They grab me. I don't feel the needle in my arm, but I can feel myself slipping away.
Even in sleep, when I can't move and can't think, the voice is there. I float for minutes? Hours? Days? I can't tell, but finally the voice changes. It says my name, calmly.
Diana. Diana. Diana.
"Diana?" It's the middle of the night and an aide is shaking me, trying to bring me out of my drugged sleep.
"You have a phone call, Diana. From the F.B.I."
The world stops turning, for the longest minute. I'm so cold. They practically drag me to the office. I take the phone, but I can't speak.
"Mom?" he asks, hesitantly.
"Baby," I whisper as the world turns again and the voice is finally stilled.