Warnings: Slash, which means guy on guy, you don't like, don't read. Domestic abuse and violence.
Pairings: Reid/OC (briefly), Reid/Morgan
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Romance
Summary: It started with a knock and it ended with a gunshot.
Author's Notes: My first Criminal Minds fic. Unfortunately there is no casefile, hopefully next time if I write another. I'm really just testing out the fandom and hopefully I've grasped these lovely characters.
"I believe these are yours."
Derek Morgan looked up from his paperwork to see Reid standing next to him holding out a stack of case files that Morgan had left on Reid's desk earlier that day.
"That's cold man," Derek sighed good-heartedly. "Three years and you've never denied my file sharing before."
It was well known around the office that Reid could go through paperwork like lightning. His incredible mind easily recalled every detail of their cases meaning he got through his own paperwork in half the time of his colleagues. This led the others to sometimes drop off a few of their own files on Reid's desk to be completed. The practice had never actually been encouraged by their resident genius, but until now it hadn't been discouraged either.
"Sorry," Reid shrugged. "I've barely got time to finish my own before I have to leave tonight."
"Leave tonight?" Prentiss repeated as she walked by. "You usually stay later than the janitors. You got somewhere to be?"
Reid's hesitation to respond and the blush that slowly crept up his cheeks told the profilers more than anything he could have said aloud.
"Oh, maybe with someone?" Prentiss pressed when Reid remained silent, smiling with excitement for her colleague.
"That's …" Reid stuttered, dropped the files on Derek's desk and tucked a piece of hair behind his ear. "That isn't relevant. So enjoy your paperwork. I'll see you both tomorrow."
With that said Reid shuffled off to his desk, grabbed his bag and started to head for the elevators.
"Have fun!" Emily called out encouragingly to which Reid half-turned and waved in gratitude with a shy half-smile.
"Go get 'em Tiger!" Morgan yelled with an exaggerated growl but Reid was already gone. Prentiss turned around and was surprised to find the lightness of Morgan's words did not match the sudden dark look in his eyes or the tight set of his jaw.
"Did you know he was seeing someone?" Prentiss asked.
"No. I had no idea," Morgan admitted, not meeting her eye as he grabbed the first file off the stack Reid had returned and opened it with a sigh. Emily read it as the dismissal it was and returned to her own desk.
From her vantage point Prentiss couldn't see the expression on Derek's face, but she could see when he stared at the same page for over thirty minutes and never wrote down a thing. Something was bothering him and it had something to do with Reid.
When Reid got home he hesitated when he put his key in the lock and found his apartment door was unlocked. That had never happened before and he wasn't sure how to respond.
Stepping inside, he dropped his keys onto the hall table and listened for the sounds of anyone inside.
"Hello?" he called out experimentally as he moved down the hall. No sooner had he turned the corner than strong hands wrapped around his waist and a body was pushing him against the far wall.
"You're late," a voice muttered as hungry kisses peppered Reid's neck.
"Sorry," Reid gasped as his hands wrapped around the body pinning him to the wall. "Paperwork."
His 'attacker' pulled away slightly, shaking his head, "With all the paperwork you FBI guys have to do, I'm amazed you have time to catch serial killers at all."
"Well, I may do a bit more than most other agents. In fact, I may even do some for other agents sometimes … but not tonight of course. I said no," Reid added hastily. "I wouldn't do other people's work while I knew you were waiting, Craig."
"I would hope not," Craig replied, finally planting a long, deep kiss on Reid's lips. Reid relaxed into the kiss and enjoyed the warmth that spread through him from the contact. When Craig pulled away they were both smiling foolishly.
"Come on. Supper's almost ready."
As Spencer followed Craig into the kitchen he had trouble believing that things in his life could really be this good. He had only met Craig a few weeks ago – he was a firefighter who had been on-scene at an arson case they were working in town. Reid had been sent to question all the firemen to find out more about the ignition spots in the buildings and exactly where the victims and survivors had been found. At the end of Craig's interview the fireman had wished Reid good luck on his investigation and subtly slipped his phone number into the genius's front pocket. After catching their unsub the next day, Reid couldn't believe he had had the courage to actually dial the number. And now he was coming home to a dinner that smelt amazing.
"Mmm, I should have given you a key a long time ago. I could get used to this, it smells great," Reid said honestly as he looked over the meal: there was a pot of spaghetti boiling, tomato sauce on simmer and the oven was pre-heated.
"That's what I like to hear. I'll need five more minutes. I didn't want to put the bread in before you got home," Craig explained as he leaned over to shove a loaf of garlic bread into the oven. When he was done he sauntered back over to Reid and replaced his hands on the younger man's hips. "Hmm, what could we do for five minutes?"
Reid had some ideas but they were interrupted by the sound of his phone ringing. He sighed and leaned his head onto Craig's shoulder in disappointment.
"Sorry," he said, the moment ruined as he pulled out his cell phone. Morgan. "It's work, I have to take it. If there's any sort of benevolent force in the universe it won't be a case, but …"
Reid left the possibility hanging in the air as he flipped open the phone. Craig just nodded tightly and stirred the pasta while Spencer stepped away to take the call.
"Reid," he answered just before the call went to voicemail.
"Hey man, sorry to bother you, I know you're out but this paperwork's killing me," Morgan told him apologetically. "I'd really love to pick that brain of yours for just a minute."
Reid, however, smiled and sighed – he wasn't being pulled in for a briefing.
"Sure, it's no problem. What are you having trouble with?"
"Our unsub, Lindman, he lived in the middle of nowhere, literally, I've discovered. I know the locals all had names for the streets and sections of the county but the official maps don't say anything. What was the address where we finally found him?" Morgan asked.
"The locals called it Dry Creek Bend," Reid replied. "As you said there are no official street designations, so there was no house number, but it was the fourth house after the bridge over the Dry Creek."
"Well, that'll sound official," Morgan grumbled and Reid could hear him scribbling down notes.
"Of course, the name is a complete oxymoron," Reid noted, slipping into lecture mode. "A creek, by definition, can't be dry, and this one definitely wasn't. The water flowed quite steadily, though it actually would have qualified as more of a stream, so really the entire title is fairly inaccurate."
"Well, maybe that's why it never got named officially. Okay, one more thing then I'll let you go, promise. The witness who came forth with the bad lead, what was his name? I just wrote Fred in my notes," Morgan admitted.
"Fred Benjamin Hadley," Reid supplied. "He actually had a street address, 417 Brunswick Street."
"All right, that's all I need. Thanks Reid, you're a lifesaver, I mean it. I'll bring you a cup of sugar with some coffee in it tomorrow to thank you," Morgan promised, making Reid's eyebrows light with excitement.
"From Second Cup, with the steamed milk?" Reid asked hopefully.
Morgan laughed, "Sure."
"Excellent," Reid answered happily as it meant he wouldn't have to stop for coffee on his way into work. "But if you forget you're going to be doing your own paperwork for a looong time."
"Oh don't worry, I wouldn't risk that happening. All right, sorry to keep you. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Okay. Bye Morgan."
Reid hung up and turned around to find Craig staring at him with a questioning glance.
"Morgan? That was Morgan?" Craig asked suspiciously. He had never met or spoken to any of Spencer's teammates.
"Uh, yeah. Is something wrong?" Reid questioned as he felt a wall of tension had just been put up between the two of them.
"That was a guy," Craig pointed out, clearly unhappy with the discovery.
"Yeah, Morgan's a man. Derek Morgan. We all call each other by our last names," Reid explained slowly, still trying to figure out what was wrong.
Craig's jaw was clenched tightly.
"I guess when you told me that you usually share a hotel room with Morgan when you're out of town, I was stupid enough to assume that was a woman."
"Uh, no. I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. I wasn't trying to be deceitful I just … I guess I thought I told you," Reid muttered, finally realizing that his new boyfriend appeared to be the jealous type.
"You know what, it's fine. I should have asked," Craig said as he moved the bubbling spaghetti onto a cold burner. After he put it down he turned quickly on Reid. "Can I see your phone?"
It wasn't so much a request as the bigger man snatched it out of Reid's hands and quickly scrolled through the contacts.
"Craig! What are you doing? Give me back my …"
"Wow! Look at that. Check out Derek Morgan," Craig sing-songed in a voice that was anything but playful as he held up Reid's phone that was displaying the picture of Derek he had attached to his contact name. "All soft lines and hard muscles. Must be hard keeping your hands to yourself in those hotel rooms you're always sharing."
Reid clenched his own jaw and stood his ground even as Craig stepped up to him.
"Craig, you're being completely irrational. Derek and I are teammates and friends, that's it. Nothing's ever happened between us and nothing ever will. Besides, he's straight …."
"Oh, so that's the only thing stopping you then. If he'd have you you'd be all over that, wouldn't you? So what, you like sharing a room with him because you enjoy the view?" Craig accused hotly.
"I share a room with him because Hotch pulls rank and Gideon snores. Now can we please drop this and just have dinner?" Reid asked softly in an attempt to calm them both down but Craig wouldn't be deterred.
"I'm sorry if I think it's too much to expect you to tell me when you're spending four nights a week in a hotel room with a guy that looks like this! What am I supposed to think here Spence? That it just slipped that genius mind of yours or that you're a little slut who's been lying to me?!"
Reid bit back the response that immediately tried to jump out of his mouth and instead stared at Craig coldly.
"I think you should leave."
Craig huffed, "That's not a 'no' is it?"
"Get out of my apartment," Reid repeated louder and reached for the bigger man's arm. "And give me back my phone!"
"Get your dirty hands off me! I do all this for you tonight and this is how you repay me you little …."
The struggle for the phone had escalated faster than Reid could follow and suddenly all he knew were stars and pain as Craig's fist slammed hard into the side of his face. The force of the blow sent him stumbling into the kitchen. He tried to brace his fall against the counter but he was so disoriented that his right hand ended up landing on the red hot element of the stove and the room quickly filled with the sickening smell of burnt flesh.
"Ah!" Reid hissed and pulled away falling backwards and landing on the floor in a heap, his burnt arm tucked tightly against his body as he gasped through the pain and disorientation.
"Oh god, Spencer! Spencer, are you okay? Shit, shit!" he faintly heard Craig muttering obscenities in the background as pots and pans were shifted around and water started to run from the tap. Reid had only just started to push himself into a sitting position when he felt his burnt hand being tugged away from his chest and wrapped in a cold, wet dishtowel. The relief was immediate and he tipped his head back against the cupboard door behind him.
"Just hold that there for a few minutes okay," Craig was instructing. "Do you have a first aid kit, just in case it's bad?"
Reid's cheek still throbbed from the punch across the face even as his hand ached dully through the cooling washcloth. He looked up into Craig's eyes, confused by the sheer concern he saw reflected there from the man who had done this to him.
"What …?" Reid mumbled softly, unable to reconcile these two moments in his own mind.
"Can you talk to me Spencer? I'm so sorry. Spencer, I'm sorry I don't know what happened."
Craig was so gentle, so remorseful. Had it all just been an accident, a misunderstanding? He felt hazy, he knew they had been fighting about something, Reid had asked for his phone back and then … this. A part of his mind tried to tell himself that this was his fault, he had grabbed Craig's arm, he had been asking to be pushed away. But the logical part of his mind told him that he was trying to justify what had just happened. Craig had hit him, out of anger, over nothing. There had been no insults from Reid towards him no threat of violence. Rationally he knew this had been an unprovoked attack.
And yet the only thing he wanted to do was forgive those sorrowful eyes. To say it was all right and sit down for supper and go back. Go back to ten minutes ago when he was excited to walk into his home and not scared of the man kneeling in front of him.
"Reid, babe, say something."
Reid's mind flashed back with infinite clarity to one of his first courses at Quantico, a day lecture about domestic abuse.
Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely he will continue to physically assault you.
Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn't "play fair." Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.
Reid closed his eyes, forcing himself to embrace these facts and deny his immediate impulse to forgive this transgression, to continue on as if nothing had happened and hold on to the weak hope that this relationship could be salvaged, that this could all somehow lead to something loving and wonderful.
But that chance was gone, he was smart enough to know that.
He lifted tired eyelids and met Craig's seemingly concerned gaze.
"Get out," he said, soft but resolute.
"Spencer, come on, it was an accident. Here, let me help you up," Craig offered and started to take his arm. Reid pulled it away.
"Don't touch me. Just leave," Reid ordered, staring at the floor now and willing his voice not to crack.
"Spence, don't be ridiculous. We … we're going to have supper," Craig pointed out and then stood as if the matter was settled. "Let me get you some ice for your eye."
Reid almost gave up, almost accepted the comfort and regret, but his mind was relentless and would not let him forget.
Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.
His mind was his greatest asset and he knew when to listen to it. Cradling his arm he stood up and closed the freezer Craig was rifling through.
"Craig, every single number on my speed dial is to someone who works for the FBI. I am giving you one more chance to GET OUT before I call every single one of them," Reid promised, his tone sounding more like a fact than a threat.
Craig's lip twitched in what Reid catalogued as enraged annoyance.
"You're throwing me out? That's rich. You little shit, you think you're so high and mighty cause you work for the god damn FBI?! Because you got guys like Derek Morgan that you can fantasize giving a shit about you?"
"No, I think I'm giving you one more chance to get out of here before I have you arrested," Reid answered, his resolve strengthening with each angry word out of Craig's mouth. When the bigger man stepped into his space again Reid had to fight the urge to back away despite the fear in his gut and his desire to reach for a gun that wasn't there.
"You condescending son of a bitch. You think I need you or your lying ass? I hope you like being alone. I was here for pity sex because you obviously can't get any without paying for it, but you're not worth my time. I'm done here," Craig hissed with a cruel smirk as he stepped back and grabbed his coat off a kitchen chair.
"Have a nice life, Spencer. I know a lot of guys who aren't stupid enough to turn down something this good. Oh, and enjoy your dinner," Craig taunted as he suddenly grabbed the handle of the pot of spaghetti sauce off the stove and hurled it across the room. Reid flinched and ducked as the pot hit the far wall of the kitchen and sauce splattered every surface in sight.
When he looked up Craig was chuckling.
Then he walked out the door and slammed it shut with a bang so loud that Reid jumped again. This was followed by a terrible silence that gave Reid the chance to realize what had just happened, to get over his shock and take in the sight of his crimson apartment and truly feel the pain radiating through his body and mind.
Gasping in his first breath in what felt like minutes, Reid crumpled to the floor in the corner of his kitchen and told himself not to cry.
It didn't work.
As I said, my first CM fic ever. How am I doing? Hopefully I can get the boys together by next chapter. Thanks for reading, Robin!