A/N: This is kind of sad/sweet oneshot. I was watching "Profiler, Profiled" and then "Memoriam" and this idea wouldn't leave me alone... I'm sure stuff like this has been done before, but when I get an idea, I have to write it out... so let me know what you think, please!
WARNING: Mentions of child molestation!
"If we knew each other's secrets, what comforts we should find." -John Churton Collins
Spencer Reid sat in the seat across from Gideon, staring out the small window on the jet. Every few seconds he would glance back at Morgan, who was sitting alone, his eyes staring out the window as well. Reid chewed his lip, wanting to say something to the older man to let him know he wasn't alone, that he had friends and that there was someone who understood. But how was he supposed to say that without giving away his own dark secret?
It had been a tough case, that was for sure. Anything involving children was always bad, but when it became apparent that Morgan had once been a victim himself, things suddenly became even worse. Hotch had seemed angry that Morgan had tried to hide the truth from the team, but Gideon hadn't been so surprised. And Reid certainly couldn't blame Morgan for never wanting anyone to know about what Carl Buford had done to him.
He shut his eyes for second and memories began rushing at him. He had to fight back a wince as his eidetic memory recalled every detail perfectly as if it were all happening again.
"Freak!" One of the boys shouted, kicking the crying ten year old in the shin. He was just starting his sophomore year in high school and things were already looking bad for the little boy. He tried not to cry as one of them snarled, "Hold him down!"
He winced as strong hands gripped his arms and he tried to yank himself free but he was stopped by a fist to the chest, knocking his breath out of him. Another of the boys drew back to hit him again when an authoritative voice snapped, "Let him go!" He looked up to see his Geometry teacher, Mr. Gregory, standing there glaring at the teenagers.
They quickly let go of the ten year old, "Sorry Mr. Gregory," one of them, the leader, said innocently. "We didn't mean anything by it…"
The teacher's eyes narrowed at them, "I'm sure you didn't," he said slowly. "Now get going before you miss your bus." The boys scattered, leaving Spencer crying on the ground.
Mr. Gregory helped him to his feet, "Are you alright?" he asked gently, pushing a fallen strand of hair from his eyes.
Spencer nodded stiffly, wiping away the tears. "Thanks," he said quietly.
Mr. Gregory smiled, a strange look in his eyes that Spencer couldn't quite place. "You don't have to thank me, Spencer," he said kindly. "Do you ride a bus?"
The boy shook his head, "No… I live a couple of blocks away, it's faster to just walk." He didn't mention that the bus was just another opportunity for bullies to torment him.
"Why don't I give you a ride?" the teacher offered, picking up Spencer's forgotten bag. "It's awful hot outside today and you shouldn't be walking alone."
Spencer bit his lip and nodded thankfully, following Mr. Gregory to the teachers' parking lot and sliding in the passenger seat of his car. Mr. Gregory smiled as they pulled out of the school's gates.
"Wait," Spencer said after a few minutes, "That's my street," But Mr. Gregory ignored him, driving further down the road.
"W-where are we going?" Spencer asked after another minute. He just wanted to go home. He had to make sure that his mother took her medication.
Mr. Gregory didn't answer him right away. One of his hands moved from the steering wheel to Spencer's knee. His eyes widened, "M-Mr. Gregory?" he asked, squirming as the hand moved up his thigh.
"We're just going to make a quick stop by my house first, Spencer," the teacher answered finally, his hand still resting on Spencer's leg. "There's something I need to discuss with you."
Spencer tried to move away from the teacher's hand, staring at the man in fear. Something wasn't right, he knew that much. His mom… she probably hadn't taken her medication yet. He had to get home. But Mr. Gregory was driving away from his house. Spencer bit his lip, terrified about what might happen… He didn't want to go anywhere with Mr. Gregory anymore. He just wanted to go home.
"He's just trying to process things," Gideon's voice pulled Spencer out of the horrifying memory.
Spencer blinked, looking at the older man questioningly. He hadn't realized that he'd been staring at Morgan again. "How is someone supposed to process something like that?" Reid asked, frowning.
"It's not going to be easy," Gideon nodded slowly, "Not only did something terrible happen to him, something he worked his whole life to keep a secret, but now the people he works with everyday know that secret."
Reid nodded, "But you think he'll be alright?" he asked, looking back at his friend, concerned.
Gideon nodded slowly, "I think so… in a way, this was a good thing for him."
Reid's brows knitted together, "Good how?" he asked. How could having the people you worked with find out you were molested as a child be a good thing for anyone?
"He's been living with this secret since he was a teenager." Gideon explained. "He never told anyone about it all… he probably tried to pretend that it never even happened, but it did. And we all know that keeping things like that bottled up can do horrible things to a person. Having it all out in the open now is almost like a … a weight he won't have to carry any more." Gideon paused, frowning for a moment before continuing. "It'll be difficult at first, but I'm sure that eventually even he will realize that us knowing isn't going to change who he is or how we view him as a person."
Reid frowned, nodding slowly. What Gideon had said made sense… but could he really apply that to himself…? He glanced out the window again, then back to Morgan. He was still sitting alone. Hotch and JJ were staring down at file folders behind them, and Prentiss was listening to music. None of them had really talked to Morgan since they'd arrested Buford…
Reid looked back at Gideon, who was watching him closely from over the top of the book he was reading. He sighed and stood, walking to back of the jet and taking the seat in front of Morgan.
The older man looked up, surprised to see Reid sitting there. "Hey, kid." he said, a ghost of his usual smile flitting across his tired face.
Reid tried to smile back, but couldn't manage it and ended up staring down at his hands. "Is something wrong?" Morgan asked, sounding concerned.
Reid took a deep breath and sighed, "Why didn't you tell any of us before?" he asked quietly.
Morgan blinked, surprised by the question. "Look, Reid I don't really want to -"
"I know you don't want to talk about it…" Reid said, his voice still oddly quiet. "But… I'm not asking you to talk about it, not really. I just need to know why you didn't trust any of us."
"It's not that I didn't trust you, Reid. It's not that I don't trust any of you… That part of my life was supposed to be over and I would rather not bring up old memories. Why rub salt in my wounds, you know? It was in the past and that's where I wanted it to stay."
Reid nodded slowly, thinking for a moment, trying to phrase this next question carefully. "So it wasn't because you thought that we would think of you as less of a human being because of what happened to you?"
Morgan blinked, "Wh- why would even ask that?" he asked, looking confused and angry. He didn't want to be talking about this, especially not with anyone on the team. It was far too personal for his co-workers.
Reid bit his lip and Morgan frowned, studying his friend closely. Something was wrong… The younger man took a deep breath before looking up, remembering what Gideon had just said about getting rid of a weight on his shoulders. This way, he figured he could kill two birds with one stone. Help his friend realize he wasn't alone and get rid of the burden he'd been carrying for so long.
"Because that's why I never told anyone." Reid whispered, staring Morgan in the eyes.
The older profiler blinked, "Reid… are you…?" he looked confused and instantly sympathetic to the younger man. A man who had always been more like a little brother than a friend. Could he really have been through the same hell that he'd gone through as a kid? Could someone do something like that to someone as innocent and kind as Reid?
Reid nodded slowly, "I was ten," he whispered. "My… my math teacher, Mr. Gregory, he saved me from some bullies one day after school and offered me a ride home -"
"Reid, you don't have to talk about this -" Morgan interrupted, knowing exactly how hard it was to tell someone a secret like that.
"I have to," Reid said slowly. "I - If I don't I'll just keep trying to convince myself that it never happened…" He paused for a moment. "He said he was going to take me home, but he didn't. He drove to his house…" Reid's face was pale. "I just… I was so scared. He took me inside and… and he … he touched me… and he raped me." His voice was so quiet Morgan could barely hear him.
"I just wanted it to be over, but after he was finished he said… he said that I couldn't tell anyone because if I did, they'd take me away from my mom… I had to take care of my mom. And he said that… that he would give me a ride home everyday after that… and he did. Until I graduated two years later." The young man's large brown eyes were far away and filled with pain and fear from a very haunted childhood.
Morgan bit his lip, tears glistening in his eyes. He understood why Reid had told him… and he couldn't believe that he had managed to keep something so terrible a secret so long, but then… hadn't he managed to do the same thing?
"I was fourteen," Morgan said quietly. "The first time… Carl took me up to his cabin for the weekend… he got me drunk… and I… God, I don't remember being so scared in my entire life. But I couldn't tell anyone… I thought… I thought I'd lose everything I'd gained. I couldn't go back to the streets, the gangs… Carl had saved me from all of that and if I told… if… I couldn't lose that. I was scared no one would believe me anyway, and I didn't want anyone to know because … because I didn't want them to know. It was too humiliating." Morgan took a deep breath, almost sighing. There, he done it. He'd finally managed to tell someone the truth.
Reid's smile was sad, but it made Morgan feel better. Better than he'd felt in days. He smiled back, glad to no that he wasn't alone. He hated that Reid had gone through that, after everything else that was wrong with his childhood, but he was also deeply grateful that he had trusted him enough to tell him about it. And he was proud of himself for actually trusting someone else enough to talk about what Carl had done.
The two men sat like that, in silence, for several minutes, neither really knowing what to say to the other. Finally, Morgan pulled out a deck of cards and smiled. "Wanna play a game?" he asked.
Reid smiled, "You know you'll lose," he said, taking the cards from the older man.
"Things change, Pretty Boy." Morgan said quietly. "And I'm not gonna let you cheat this time."
"I don't cheat!" Reid protested, his sad smile growing just a little. They played cards, talking quietly to each other for the rest of the plane ride back to Quantico. It was easy for both of them to get lost in the game and momentarily forget the horrible memories that were haunting them. It was made easier with the knowledge that they weren't alone. There was someone who understood.
Across the jet, Jason Gideon watched the two younger men and smiled a knowing smile.
"I wonder what Reid said to him to get him to loosen up?" Hotch said, taking the seat Reid had abandoned.
Gideon smiled, looking back at the unit chief. "He probably just let him know that he understood." he said quietly, turning his attention back to the book he'd been reading. Hotch frowned and glanced back at Reid and Morgan, wondering what Gideon meant by that. He tilted his head slightly before sighing and giving in to a yawn. It didn't matter what Reid had said, he was just glad Morgan was finally talking to one them. The supervisor closed his eyes and leaned his head against the seat, drifting off to sleep slowly, sound in the knowledge that his team would be ok.
E/N: So, like I said, sad and kind of sweet...
E/N: So, like I said, sad and kind of sweet...
And just to clear my concious and make sure everyone understands: I KNOW that Reid wasn't sexualy abused on the show. It "suggests" he could have been in the "Memoriam" epsiode, but when his dad is found innocent it's proven that he wasn't. I just couldn't keep my mind from wandering there however when Reid was having that nightmare in "The Instincts" and started screaming "Get him off me!" I think he was talking about the leeches, but... well, it really could've been something worse and my mind wanders too much...
Plus, with the content of "A Place To Call Home" that I'm writing... it's not surprising that my mind came up with this...
Anyway, please review! I really want to know what people think of this!