I needed a little angst, thus the following story. Again, I adore this pairing: Lila needs to be brought back on the show. I think that would be great. Just sayin'.
DISCLAIMER: No progress on the whole owning Criminal Minds yet. My check bounced. Shame.
There had been an eight car pile-up. The most brutal one this year the news teams were calling it. There were at least five confirmed causalities and half a dozen people were being transported to the hospital, already in critical condition. A few walked away unharmed. Others weren't so lucky.
The phone call came at four in the afternoon, just as the team was headed into the conference room to be briefed on the newest case. They had ignored the ringing phone until a secretary came running in, eyes filled with fear.
"There's been an accident." The words were out of the woman's lips and she looked directly at Spencer Reid, sorrow lining her face. "Your wife is being operated on at the hospital. The nurse told me to tell you to hurry. There isn't much time."
A collective gasp filled the room as they watched the youngest male member of the case seemed to crumble in front of their eyes. He was released from the case and sent in a cab to the hospital.
Running through the automatic doors, he raced up to the nurse's station, flashing his badge and wedding ring, demanding to see his wife, only to be told she was in an operating room and he needed to sit and wait in the private waiting room they had down the hall. The nurse listened patiently as he shoved his badge over the counter for her to see he was in the FBI and told him softly that she wouldn't even know he was there if she let him in, which she couldn't do. He understood protocol, didn't he?
She led him down into the quiet, brightly-lit room and placed a chair near the window for him. She murmured a few words of consolation and left the room before returning with a cup of coffee only to disappear again to look for any updates for him.
Doctor Spencer Reid was alone for a few minutes to sink in his dark thoughts. What if she didn't come out of this? What if she died? What if she did wake up and had lost her memory? The nurse from earlier came in and sat down across from him, her bright pink scrubs grating his eyes.
"There was massive internal bleeding, broken ribs, a severe concussion, and her left leg was broken in three places. She was one of the lucky ones."
"Lucky? You call that lucky?" Spencer had to restrain himself from shaking the woman fiercely. He instead clenched his fists in his lap and looked up at her. "When will I be able to see her?" He swallowed heavily, studying her strained face.
"They're just finishing up the surgery, its going as well as expected. She'll be in a recovery room in about an hour. I'll come and get you when you can see her."
Spencer didn't need to be told what to expect, he had already imagined in his mind a thousand times before the nurse lead him into the dimly lit room. He knew what to expect, but when he finally saw his lovely broken wife lying prone in the hospital bed, a low sound filled the nearly silent room. The nurse quietly left the room, closing the door behind her to leave him alone with his grief and ailing wife.
Her light blonde hair was darkened with her own blood and he mentally noted to ask for some shampoo to wash her hair later if he's allowed. Her face was magically unmarred aside from a deep gash on her left cheek where shattered glass had penetrated her milky skin. The rest of her was hidden underneath the thin sheet but he already knew what it must look like. Broken leg in a loose cast that will soon be changed to a hard cast once the stitches heal. Tightly wrapped midsection to hold the broken ribs in place. A few deep cuts where the doctor had to slit her body to stop her organs from dying inside of her. All of this would lead to her least favorite thing: scars.
He sat down on the chair that was placed next to her bed, taking her cold hand in his, praying to feel her squeeze it back. But there was no response. She was deeply under a twilight sleep. The nurse had said and she wouldn't have the energy or the idea to respond. He couldn't help himself as he reached forward to brush lips against her lifeless ones. If only life was a fairy tale and he would restore her to her full health just by the mere act of kissing.
He settled in, holding her hand in his lap, listening to the steady beeps of her heart monitor, allowing it to lull him into a light sleep.
Chaos broke out a few days later when Lila woke up earlier than expected. The nurses flooded in and out of the room to constantly check her vital signs to make sure nothing was wrong. More than a few times they had muttered to themselves that it was a miracle she was alive. If Spencer hadn't been so enthralled that his wife of a little under a year was awake, he would have scoffed at the nurses' words. Instead, he almost allowed himself to believe that they were right.
"Spencer." Lila stated as evenly as she could with a dry throat. He grabbed her a cup of ice water and delighted silently as she started to drink it. Her eyes were hooded and it seemed to be very difficult for her to keep them open. He knew this to be a side effect of the heavy amounts of pain killers she was on. He watched as she looked around the room to take in the many arrangements of flowers and teddy bears littered near the windowsill and on the little bedside table. A ragged smile appeared on her lips as she reached for a card to read. It was from the entire BAU and each person left a little note for her.
She looked up and noticed that there were tears in Spencer's eyes. She put the card down to grasp his hands in hers. She knew that her husband rarely cried so the current situation she was in had to be serious. She didn't even have to ask her question as he read it in her eyes and slowly swallowed to explain how long her recovery would be, the physical therapy she would need for her leg, the pain she'd feel nearly twenty four seven. He told her she was one of the few survivors of a horrific car accident that had been caused by a broken down car. It was only then that he allowed himself to cry after days of holding himself together, afraid that if he did so, it would be equivalent to mourning her. But she was alive and he couldn't help but kiss all over her face, avoiding the healing cut on her cheek. She smiled briefly and closed her eyes again, letting the drugs in her drip flood her mind with happier thoughts.
He accompanied her each time to physical therapy, richly rewarding her afterward with a special treat of ice cream or a nice dinner. She grew ashamed of her stumbling gait, longing to have her way of walking back, the sensual one that Spencer had commented on numerous occasions. Slowly but surely, she started to walk normally but she became aware that it would be a while before she could walk in anything other than flats or sneakers.
She accepted no new offers of roles, instead choosing to lie in bed and read new scripts, fantasizing about what she could have done with them. Often, the medicine would make her too sick to eat anything let alone keep a meal down, so Spencer watched as his already thin wife grew thinner. He said nothing, finding himself at a loss of words once again. Frequently, she would open her mouth to say something but no sound would come out and she'd start to cry and shake and he'd hold her for as long as she let him.
One night, he helped her bathe, taking a washcloth and tenderly washed each part of her. He could tell she was embarrassed to be naked in front of him. It was the first time ever that she had that reaction and it hurt so badly to know that there was nothing he could do to fix them. The scars were ugly she insisted, cowering behind her hands despite his gentle coaxing. He stood up, dropping the cloth into the water and paced away from her, crossing his arms over his clothed chest.
"Lila, I'm about to say something that I'm sure I'll regret in a matter of mere minutes but this is it. You are alive! You're fucking lucky to be so quit acting like you died in the accident and embrace life the way you used to! I miss how early you used to wake me up on my days off and how late you'd keep me up on work nights. I miss hearing you laugh. I miss making love to you. I miss everything about you and I know it's hard to come back from something like that, but Lila, you are strong. I've known that since day one. You're so much stronger than this pathetic person you've become and I'm sick of it! I'm sick of babying you!" The anger left his body in a wave and he sat down heavily on the counter, studying her reaction. At first there was no emotion and then suddenly tears welled up in her glazed eyes. "I'm sorry." He added quietly.
She sat there in the cooling water until she started to shiver and even then, all she did was pull her knees to her chest and hug her legs tightly. Lila wondered if Spencer was going to say anything else but watched him stride quickly over to her. He pulled her gently out of the tub guiding her to stand dripping on the rug as he rubbed a finger over the scar on her cheek. She winced but kept her eyes open as she watched him continue his examination of her body and all of its faults. He caressed each one, often kissing the paleness that surrounded the healing skin. A shuddering sigh escaped Lila's lips as her body slowly felt itself come alive. She looked down, studying the dark roots on her husband's head noticing for the first time how shades of light blonde were shot through the strands. He looked up as she pulled gently on his hair to get his attention. There was a slight smile on her lips.
"Well, don't just stand there, Spencer, pick me up and carry me to bed and ravish me." She watched as his eyebrows disappeared behind his hair and he stood up, drawing her ever closer. Spencer was afraid to talk in case his voice betrayed him. Instead, he easily scooped her up into his arms, burying his face in her neck to inhale her sweet scent. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he walked into the other room and placed her on the edge of the bed, wrapping a fuzzy blanket around her shoulders to keep her from shivering.
Once she was leaning against the pillows, he joined her on the bed still fully clothed. Lila tugged at his tie impatiently and he stilled her hand with his. "Slowly, Lila, we're going to pretend this is the first time we've done this." He sat up and unbuttoned his shirt and untied his tie. He lifted his hips off the bed to release himself from the restraint of his pants and then happily as naked as she was, returned to her side.
"Why?" Lila asked curiously, her hands staying by her side for a moment before greedily reaching out for him.
Spencer shrugged his shoulders before kissing her lips. "It's been a while, wife, and it feels like it's the first time all over again. So we're going to pretend it is." She nodded knowing there was no use arguing with her naked husband. Unlike the first time, he took the teaching role and she took the learning role.
Fully sated, they lay in each other's arms to admire the glisten of sweat on the other person. He traced his fingers along her bare body, lingering over the sensitive bones that protected her lungs. Spencer suddenly seized her body in his hands and held her close to him, nearly knocking the wind out of her. She squeaked loudly and he reluctantly pulled away, his eyes avoiding hers.
"What was that for?" She asked incredulously, rubbing her neck where his shoulder blade had hit it.
"Please don't ever do that to me again. Leave me on my own for that long without your smile." His voice broke and her face softened.
"I don't think I can promise you that I won't get hurt again or that I won't fall ill one day, but I can promise you that I will fight tooth and nail to always come back to you." He smiled, her vow enough to grant him peace of mind. That night, they didn't leave each other's arms once. The next morning, they went to her last physical therapy meeting and that night went to a birthday celebration for Derek Morgan.
Spencer watched his wife dancing with his colleagues and couldn't help the wide grin that was plastered on his face. "Watch it, Romeo." His best friend warned with a chuckle. "You're one step away from eye fucking her."
"Yes, thank you, Morgan, I was well aware that I was objectifying her but… Look at her. She's smiling. And laughing. She's beautiful." His coworker said nothing, getting the whole meaning of his words without any further sentences.
"She's your wife, Reid, you're allowed to objectify her if she doesn't mind." Morgan answered back, keeping the tone light.
"She doesn't mind. Oh, she doesn't mind at all." As he spoke, Lila turned to face the boys and placed one hand on her hip and the other she held out, beckoning to Spencer to join her. He didn't bicker or try to dodge out of it, deciding there was nothing better than swaying with her in the middle of a crowded dance floor, his eyes locked on her, hers on him. Everything else ceased to exist.