[Kid Rock] Livin' my life in a slow hell

Different girl every night at the hotel

I ain't seen the sun shine in three damn days

Been fuelin' up on cocaine and whisky

Wish I had a good girl to miss me

Lord I wonder if I'll ever change my ways I

put your picture away

Sat down and cried today

I can't look at you while I'm lyin' next to her

I put your picture away, sat down and cried today

I can't look at you, while I'm lyin next to her

Spencer Reid let out a breath and flopped on the bed in his hotel room. This was turning into a long, long case. This was day seven. And they were nowhere close to catching the stupid UNSUB.Correction. The UNSUB was obviously not stupid if he was avoiding the team. And the locals. For five years.

Reid pulled off his pants and shirt, climbing under the covers in his boxers. He lay right in the middle of the big bed, and hated how empty it felt. If this had been a night, roughly two or three years ago, JJ would be sneaking out of her own room right now. She would only be wearing his FBI sweatshirt. It would barely cover her, but she looked so incredibly beautiful in it. She would climb into bed, scooching him over to the right side. She always had to sleep on the left. It was one of her many quirks. God, he had loved her so much. And he'd thought she'd loved him too. But they had argued. And she had a fling with Will. And gotten pregnant. And stayed with Will.

In the time since Henry had been born, he had gone through changes. Subtle changes. So small they didn't invade his work. His co-workers had no chance to pick up on it. But, Spencer had taken to going to bars. Small, out of the way bars. Bars where he would never run into someone named Derek Morgan. He had tried breaking out of his shell. He talked to girls. At first, his only companion was the bartender, then he took a table, and chatted up a waitress. Then he returned to the bar, talking to his neighbors, before growing confident to start circling the room. He hadn't taken a girl home yet. Or gone home with her. But he felt that it was only a matter of time.

Spencer rolled onto his left. There was where he kept a picture of JJ. Just a small frame, but it was there. Time to sleep, he decided. But he couldn't. His eyes wouldn't stay shut. Finally, he turned on the light. It was only one a.m. The hotel bar would still be open.

To hell with open. The party was just getting started. Spencer flagged down the bartender, being tall had its advantages, and circled the room. He began talking to this pretty brunette, when her friend came over. Tall, with dark skin and long black braids, this woman looked nothing like the one he was trying to forget.

This is destructive behavior. Great. He was profiling himself. Leave the bar. Leave the woman. Go back to bed. This is becoming a new form of Dilaudid!

He ignored the voice. Probably not the smartest idea, since he had to work in the morning. UNSUB to catch and all that, but he couldn't help it. He spent ten minutes talking to her, and drinking. There were quite a few shots involved. And the next thing he knew, they were in his hotel room.

He felt awful. The sex had been horrible, and he didn't even know the woman's name! Reid set his watch alarm for five. He would kick her out then. He didn't have the energy to wake the poor woman now. He turned onto his side and saw JJ's picture staring at him. He took the picture, and flung it under the bed. Time to forget.

[Sheryl Crow]

I called you last night in the hotel

Everyone knows but they won't tell

But their half-hearted smiles tell me

Somethin' just ain't right

I been waitin' on you for a long time

Fuelin' up on heartaches and cheap wine

I ain't heard from you in three damn nights

I put your picture away

I wonder where you been

I can't look at you while I'm lyin' next to him

I put your picture away I wonder where you been

I can't look at you while I'm lyin' next to him

I saw ya yesterday with an old friend

JJ slept restlessly. She kept having the same dream she did every night. She was in a hotel, curled up after a horrible case. Spence would come over, and comfort her. They would find themselves kissing. And then back in his room. They always went back to his room. And she would take over the left side of his bed. She grinned at the memory. He'd called her out on it the third night they spent together.

It could get hard working with him every day with what happened between them. They'd had a bad fight. Thinking back now, she couldn't recall what sparked it, or what it was about. But she could remember the bad words spoking, the undeniable anger. Her own tears as she fled - right to Will. It had been one of the biggest mistakes of her life. She shouldn't have been so stupid as to get pregnant with some man she didn't really know. She wouldn't trade Henry for anything. But she would trade everything to have Henry be Spencer's son.

The team hadn't noticed, or had decided to ignore, the tension between her and Spencer. She was eternally grateful for it. She couldn't take their questions. Couldn't stand having them know. Even Will didn't know that she and Reid had once been an item! The moment that she and Will had decided that he would move in with her, she had packed up the only picture of Spencer she had. For a while, the picture weighed heavily on her heart, but now that they had moved into a new house, she couldn't tell you where the picture was. It was for the best, though. Will couldn't know. Move on, Will's a good man. Move on.

[Kid Rock]

It was the same ole same "how have you been"

He had JJ were completely alone for the first time since their break up. Reid couldn't tell you how they had managed to avoid it for years, but they had. But now, they were in a car together. Riding to the airport. Alone together. He could barely look at her. They could pull it off at work. Be perfectly civil on the phone, like the good friends they were. But now, alone, he couldn't pull it off. He could tell that she was tense, simply by the set of her jaw and shoulders. He looked at her hand, and had the overwhelming urge to take it. To make her pull the car over so he could touch her pale, cool skin again. Kiss her soft lips. Then he reined himself in. No way could he do that to her. She had made her choice.


Since you been gone my worlds been dark and grey

JJ felt his eyes weighing on her, and it was this that caused her emotional armor to crack. She could remember, one day, when they were in his apartment. It was a lazy summer day. And unbearably hot in the stuffy little apartment. Even when the A/C was on, so they walked around in right next to nothing. While she made lunch, she felt his eyes on her.

"What?" JJ turned to face him, a wooden spoon covered in spaghetti sauce in her hand.

"You're beautiful," he said, as an explanation.

She raised her eyebrows. "You're staring." She pointed out.

"Memorizing," he corrected. "Not staring."

"What's the difference?" JJ asked, curious now.

"If I were simply staring, I wouldn't worry about every little detail. Every perfect inch of you. I'm memorizing so I can have your picture for a rainy day." He told her, in his matter of fact way.

"I can give you an actual picture."

"It wouldn't compare."

JJ shook herself out of the memory. The last thing she needed was to be thinking about that with him sitting right there. But she couldn't help it. He was always on her mind. She wished for all the world she had the courage to fix it. To kiss him again, to tell Will she didn't love him like that, but that she didn't want much to change. That she wanted Henry in his life - always. She just couldn't be with him. But she wasn't that brave.

[Kid Rock]

You reminded me of brighter days

Reid closed his eyes. The sunlight fell on his face, reminding him of one summer morning, long ago.

He felt hot and muggy, lying in bed. He could tell it was late from the way the sun was falling on his face. It took him a second to get his bearings, but when he did, he noticed that there was something heavy on his back.

Reid tried to roll over, to look up, but her voice stopped him. "Crap! I hoped you wouldn't wake up until I was done!"

"Done what?" He yawned.

"Shh! You'll see! Don't move!"

He obeyed without question, although his curiosity was growing by the second. She was doing something between his shoulder blades. Drawing, perhaps. After a few minutes, she rolled off of him. "Sit up!" She ordered.

"Yes Boss." He monotoned.

She smiled a brilliant smile, before playfully hitting him and passing him a mirror. "Look." And held up a mirror of her own.

Nestled between his shoulder blades, drawn in black ink, was a heart with a banner through it. Written in the banner, in small, neat cursive, was JJ And Spence.

"I didn't know you were an artist," Reid had teased, although he loved it.

"So sweet!"

Reid returned to staring at JJ. She had to know he still loved her. Maybe she thought he didn't anymore! They'd never really talked after she'd dropped the pregnancy bomb, and they'd been avoiding each other before that. At least this way, she'd have the choice. And maybe he could get closure and stop with the bars. Thinking back, he didn't really enjoy the atmosphere. It was just something to do. Something other than wallowing.

[Sheryl Crow]

I hoped you were comin' home to stay

I was headed to church

Some part of JJ prayed he'd stop staring, just so she wouldn't keep remembering how much she still loved him. The other part adored being the object of his attention getting up. Remembering how much she had enjoyed being doted on before. Being everything. God! Could one human being really love another this much?

Then, he said five fateful words. "JJ, pull the car over."

[Kid Rock]

I was off to drink you away

Reid had no idea where the courage to say that came from. But he hoped it kept coming. He felt his hands start to shake as she pulled onto the shoulder, other cars whizzing passed.

"Is everything okay?" She finally turned her eyes to him.

"I hope so," he answered honestly, feeling overwhelmed by the blue of her eyes.

"What is it?"


I thought about you for a long time

Can't seem to get you off my mind

I can't understand why we're living life this way

I found your picture today

I swear I'll change my ways

I just called to say I want you to come back home

I found your picture today

I swear I'll change my ways

I just called to say I want you to come back home

I just called to say, I love you come back home

Inside, her heart was pounding. Was he always that beautiful? Had his eyes always been that soft? That comforting shade of brown? She tried to stop chattering in her mind, focusing all her energy on being calm instead. "What is it?"

A skittish look appeared on his face. "I don't know how to say this."

LIE! His mind called him out. His courage was failing. But he needed her to know now. He was committed to this.

"Just blurt it out. It can't be any worse than what you said last time we talked." JJ felt horrible the second the bitter words were out of her mouth. She hadn't meant to bring that up. To show how hurt she had truly been by the anger she would never have believed Spencer Reid could possess.

Pain wracked his whole body at the mere mention of the end of their relationship. "I'm so sorry for that, JJ. That word is so overused now that I know it barely means much anymore, but I have no idea what got into me. I don't even know what it was about any more." Reid swiftly cut himself off. This conversation was going in the wrong direction anyway.

JJ felt her heart stop. She'd waited years for an apology, and the moment she was faced with one, she didn't know how to react. "Is that all?" She didn't want to believe he had done all this for just an apology that he could have given before. Or when she didn't have to face the team in just a few minutes.

"No." Get it over quickly, like pulling off a Band-Aid. "I don't want to get in the way of your life. I don't want to screw up your family. But I need you to know that, I love you. I tried to make myself stop so many times when I saw you with Will, or when you talked about Henry because that was your life now. Who was I to go against that? But I can't. Not when I feel this way about you." Reid bit down hard on his lip to keep himself from tearing up.

JJ felt speechless. "You still love me?" The words were unbelievable. He really loved her. Oh! She had waited for this! Forever!

He took her words as doubtful. Like she couldn't believe that he would love her. That she could love him. "You loved me once too," he reminded her. She stared back. He tugged off his top and turned around. "Look! I don't know what you used, but it's still there."

JJ's eyes went automatically to the small, faded heart in the middle of his shoulder blades. "JJ and Spence." She read, reaching out to touch it. "I can't believe it's still there. I can't believe you're still here."

He turned to face her. "I've never gone anywhere." That wasn't true, but it was the corny thing you said in this kind of moment.

"What if I kissed you right now?" JJ asked, softly. She and Will were done. She knew that they had become more friends than lovers. She knew he'd been meaning to speak to her about it too.

"I'd kiss you back." Was all Spencer had time to say before he found himself kissing her.

He thought back to the hotel room when he'd debated leaving the picture of JJ behind. Now he knew why he packed it.

Unbeknownst to JJ, there was something in the breast pocket of the jacket she was wearing. A jacket she hadn't warn for years. In it, was something she thought she had lost. In it, was a picture.

Oh, what a long one! I really hope you liked this. I don't own the song Picture by Kid Rock and SherylCrow. And I don't own Criminal Minds. If I did, Will would never have entered the picture! That is all.