A/N: Hello, all. I wrote this a while ago… I'm not quite sure why, but I did and I kind of like it… I hope you guys do, too.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything recognizable. Including, but not limited to: Criminal Minds, the characters, or a sanitarium. I do, however, have a mother… but I guess that's a given…
Do not measure loss by itself; if you do, it will seem intolerable; but if you will take all human affairs into account you will find that some comfort is to be derived from them.
Jennifer Jareau rubbed a hand over her eyes, no longer caring if she smudged her makeup. It was late and she hoped to get home soon. Reid would be returning from Vegas tomorrow and the last thing she wanted to be was cranky; a visit with his mother was trouble enough for the both of them. With her head down, JJ walked back into her office and straight into Reid. Stumbling back, JJ looked up to see that Spencer Reid was indeed standing in her office at 10:30 on a Thursday night, placing steadying hands on her shoulders and apologizing for startling her. "Spence, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be back tomorrow."
Reid looked away from her, suddenly finding great interest in the floor. He mumbled something unintelligible. "What?" JJ asked, placing a hand on his arm.
"I just- I wanted to be back here… with you. But, it's late. I'm sorry, I should just go home. I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay?" Reid said, turning towards the door.
"No, not okay. Spence, what's wrong?" JJ asked, taking one of his hands in her own and turning him to face her.
"She's getting worse." He said quietly, looking JJ full in the face for the first time.
"Schizophrenia is a lifelong disease, but she's been okay since she's been at Bennington… but now… they've been trying all different medications and she's still getting worse."
JJ watched as the young man's shoulders sagged and he swayed on his feet. The ever-present shadows around his eyes now looked like bruises. She wondered if he had slept at all over the course of his 72 hour visit home. Gently, she pulled him out of her office and into the break room, where they sat down on the couch. "Do you want to tell me what happened?" She asked quietly.
Reid shook his head but spoke anyway. "The first day she wasn't coherent. She just- sat there. I came back the next day and she didn't recognize me at all. At first she thought I was student… I'm kind of used to that." Reid let out a small derisive laugh. "That's a ridiculous thing to get used to."
JJ didn't say a word, she simply held his shaking hand firmly in hers and allowed him to continue. "Then… she thought I was…my father. She called me William… saying I abandoned her. She was so angry. I- I wouldn't have gone back today. I don't think I could have, but they called and said she was begging to see me. She was hysterical… so I went."
He began to shiver a little more, his eyes growing hollower. "She was… hysterical. I know I can't… can't believe what she says when she's like that… But I… I can't get it out of my head."
JJ opened her mouth to speak when he suddenly jerked his hand from her grasp and sat up abruptly, banging his head against the wall behind the couch. As quickly as he had sat back, he leaned forward, his face in his hands and his elbows resting on his knees. "It's my fault." He said angrily.
"I know I did what I could and I did the best thing for her, putting her in the hospital but… there are some days. Days like today. She blames me for leaving her there. Abandoning her. How can she not? I did abandon her. I dropped her as soon as I was able to… It's my fault she's all alone in there and I feel like it's my fault she's getting worse!"
"Spencer!" JJ finally managed to catch Reid's attention.
Reid looked up at her, his large brown eyes full of tears he wouldn't allow himself to shed. The look he gave her just about broke JJ's heart. Sighing, she wrapped her arms around his middle and lay back against the couch with him, resting her head on his chest. He let his arms come to rest around her shoulders and they sat there until his breathing evened out and the shivers subsided. Finally, JJ broke the silence. "Sometimes, I hate your mother."
"JJ!" Reid sat forward, his arms coming from around her shoulders.
"I know it's not fair of me. But sometimes I can't help it. I hate her for upsetting you, even if she didn't do it on purpose. I hate it when you're upset."
"It's not her fault… it's the schizophrenia."
"Well, I hate schizophrenia." JJ scooted closer to him as he leaned back against the couch again.
"I know." He mumbled.
"I hate that too." She muttered back with a small smile.
Reid chuckled quietly. "None of those things can be helped… she is the way she is. I'm going to be upset sometimes. Schizophrenia exists whether anyone wants it to… And I know a lot of things… whether you like it or not." He paused and frowned pensively. "And how do you always do that?"
"Do what?" JJ asked, not moving from her spot.
"You always manage to make me feel better by saying something that seems simple and making me reexamine the situation."
JJ smiled mysteriously. "It's a gift, I guess." They both laughed quietly before JJ spoke again, more seriously. "Spencer, please promise me you'll stop blaming yourself. It's not your fault, and you didn't abandon her. Don't let her make you feel like that." JJ said, sitting up and looking her lover in the eyes.
"I promise to try." Reid said quietly.
"That'll do for now, Dr. Reid." JJ conceded, giving him a gentle kiss. "Now, come on. Let's go home."
The couple stood and Reid allowed JJ to lead him out of the break room, both of them leaving their shame and hatred and blame behind, if only for a night.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
~Martin Luther King Jr.
A/N: Hm… that was interesting. I rather like it. I hope you guys do too. Review, if you want to, it would certainly make me happy.