1,000 words in the mind of Dr. Spencer Reid following the events of 2x15 Revelations. Spoilers for all preceding episodes; specific mentions of Derailed, Poison, and The Fisher King, parts 1 and 2.

Hyposthenia: (n.) a condition of abnormal weakness or loss of strength.


Spencer tells his mother everything. His letters to her are daily and never neglected, no matter where he is or how demanding the current case might be. He's sent them on postcards, loose notebook paper, once even on a Hallmark card that offered congratulations for the recipient's successful pregnancy; whatever he can find. He knows his mother enjoys that, which is why he's never gone to the effort of buying his own stationary. The haphazard methods he uses make his 'adventures' more real and interesting to his mother – she's remarked on it before.

And though Spencer's reasons for writing are far less noble than he would like, he does write, and writes everything. It's likely a coping mechanism, as though telling his mother absolutely everything in perfect detail makes the way he never visits less important. In fact that's exactly it; and though Spencer is aware of this, he still does it. He tells her in perfect detail only he could manage about every case he goes through, every secret he learns, his speculations and tribulations. She probably knows just as much about his coworkers as he does, at least when she's having a good day. And though it might be difficult for her, Spencer has never once lied or omitted details about the danger he goes through. Usually the mere fact that he's still around to tell about it is enough reassurance that he got out of it okay, and his mother enjoys hearing about his brave moments. Especially when they utilize his unique talents or background; the case in which Reid had to use his 'magic' to pretend to remove a chip from an unsub's arm particularly made her proud.

It may not be the healthiest way to communicate with her. Sometimes Spencer knows she gets very worried for him; but he still writes in every gruesome detail, and she knows he does, and she loves him more for it. He thinks she deserves that knowledge, guilt-driven or not.

When Spencer is abducted by Tobias Hankley, his mother is already on his mind and the drugs bring that forth. His guilt puts him in mortal peril, but it also brings him outside and thus indirectly gives him the opportunity to shoot his kidnapper. It rescues him, in a sense. And though he isn't specifically focusing on it (he didn't have the energy to, not with the fear and pain and reality-blurring Dilaudid), this is the first time in his entire FBI career that Reid hasn't written a daily letter to his mother. She won't notice; the mail from some parts of the USA is slower than others, and though he writes daily, she knows better than to expect to receive letters at that rate. But he knows, and it's just another thing to curl his stomach in on itself, eating away at him from the inside out.

Spencer has always told his mother everything. He's written her a letter a day for years by now, and not once in that time has he kept a secret from her. Those letters are almost like a diary, a place where it's safe for him to admit weakness because he knows she will always believe he's strong. She has faith that he is strong. She trusts his strength. She does not think he is weak.

Spencer is shivering uncontrollably in the hospital room. He writes his letter on the back of unused credit information forms, and his handwriting, always small and neat, is shaky. The letters slant all over the place where they would normally stand up straight. The pen bleeds and Spencer can't turn off his mind so he's analyzing what this says about him even as he writes it, running stats and comparing it to past cases. It's the worst it's been yet: no surprise.

He blinks rapidly and stops writing whenever the world tilts, and works his way through two days of hell and the knowledge that whatever Gideon says, two people were killed as a result of his choice. He writes about dogs and cornfields and burning fish-guts. He swallows dryly and writes about a sick game of Russian roulette with an archangel. He talks about the fear of burying himself alive and adds in details about bells in graveyards and the history of several sayings. He knows she'll be proud with the way he told the team how to find him, and he tells her what it's like to die and come back to life (nothing at all).

He folds the papers off-center and licks to seal the envelope, wondering if there's poison on this one too. Scrawls her name and address on the front and puts it in the mailbox outside the airport, Garcia giving him a soft look.

Throughout the plane ride back to Quantico, Spencer sits with his knees up to his chest and eyes watching wide out the window. He's covered in a blanket, so no one can see the way his fingers tap uncontrollably on his thighs. It's night and cloudy; he can't see many stars and he's thinking about his letter and the two bottles in his pocket, the needle-marks searing in his arm. He's thinking about the way he whimpered, "No, no, I don't want it, please," and the way the world relaxed and tilted back into a soft swoon where the pain didn't really matter. He's thinking about strength and weakness and Tobias trying so hard to help him.

He's thinking about his letter, which tells everything but which never once mentions needles or drugs or small bottles of clear liquid heavy in his pocket. Spencer Reid is thinking that he's not such a strong one after all, because for the first time he's left something out and wants to inject it again, wants nothing more but the soft press of pain going away.

He has always told his mother everything; she loves and trusts him.

She doesn't need to know how weak he really is.


Handwriting: "neat" refers to simple, uncomplicated handwriting with no extraneous strokes. This tends to mean the writer is a person who "thinks on his feet and sees the whole picture". Small handwriting indicates the writer is more likely to be shy and prefer small groups of friends to large crowds. Letters that are straight up-and-down mean the writer is "genuine but very independent"; letters slanting every which way indicate the writer is under severe stress. http: / / www . ehow . com / how_2083181_analyze-handwriting . html

Dilaudid: I don't know much about the specific effects of this drug, but dilaudid (also known as hydromorphone) seems to be essentially a more intense version of morphine, at least twice as powerful and perhaps more.

"Bells in graveyards and the history of several sayings": In England in the 1500's, when it became necessary to reuse graves, people discovered that some coffins had nail marks on the inside lid, indicating people had been buried alive. This led to some families tying a string to the wrist or finger of their dead and threading it through the ground to a bell above the grave. A hired person, family member, or close friend would sit next to that bell the first night after burial and wait to see if it was rung. Some people believe this to be the origin of such sayings as "saved by the bell" and "dead ringer".