Disclaimer: I own nothing. Characters are fictional and not a depiction of their portrayers.
Summary: Reid replaces one addiction with another. Morgan swears that this time he won't stand idly by.
Pairing: Morgan/Reid pre-slash.
Notes: Apologies for any OOC behavior. I have very limited knowledge of the FBI and the medical field.
There was a silence among the members of the BAU that was prevalent through every case and every trauma that they faced, like a constant elephant in the room that couldn't be discussed. Derek Morgan had long wondered if that resistance stemmed from a respect for the privacy of co-workers, or from fear; fear of what might be learned, and fear of implying that one of their members couldn't take care of themselves.
He knew he himself was guilty of it. The night that the team had found Spencer Reid on his hands and knees in a cemetery, hunched over in the dirt next to the fallen body of Tobias Hankel, he had found himself frozen. Reid had trusted Hotch to find him, JJ was the one who blamed herself for his capture, and Gideon…well…Gideon was the closest thing Reid had to a father since he was a small child. Spencer had welcomed all three into his embrace while Derek stood silently on the sidelines, wanting nothing more than to enfold the young man – his pretty boy – in his arms and hold him until he was sure he was really flesh and blood.
While watching Reid's torture on a computer screen he had been unable to contain his rage, and wasn't ashamed to let the team see it. After Reid was found, it was like resetting a clock, and he felt himself bury his emotions again, not wanting to draw attention to himself or overwhelm the young man who was finally safe once more.
That was only the beginning. And that's what infuriated him. For so long after the kidnapping it was apparent that something was wrong with the doctor. They had learned at the hospital that Spencer had been injected with Dilaudid against his will, and that it was an extremely addictive drug. He swore up and down that he was fine, but no one believed him, not really.
No one said anything either. It was as though the topic was off limits. In retrospect, Morgan wanted to kick himself for not offering to help the kid when he could tell he needed it so badly…when Spencer was falling apart right before their eyes. He couldn't justify prying it out of him, though. After all, each and every one of them had their secrets. He wasn't exactly forthcoming about his history in Chicago with Carl Buford.
But at what point was it warranted to force someone to confess that they needed help?
He had watched from the sidelines once more, just as in the cemetery where Reid had been forced to dig his own grave, as the younger agent tread water, began to drown, and surfaced once more. He had asked again and again if Spencer needed to talk about anything, but didn't dare broach the real issue at hand. On the rare occasions that he found himself confided in, he was relieved to be able to impart advice.
In the end, Reid kicked the habit on his own and Morgan couldn't have been more proud of him.
He was also furious with himself.
When Jason Gideon left the BAU – the man that Reid looked up to more than anyone in his life – Morgan could see him crashing once more. It started small: Reid showing up a few minutes late to work…then 20 minutes…then a half hour. There were bags under his eyes that proved he wasn't sleeping, and he drank twice as much coffee as usual, if such a thing were even possible. His hands shook when he took notes in the briefing room. He tried to hide it, and when he caught Morgan looking at him over the conference table he shot him a look with narrowed hazel brown eyes.
The more Derek witnessed, the more he began to fear that Reid was sinking back into his addiction once more. Derek was convinced that Spencer had been clean for months. Then it all seemed to go dark again, and Derek was determined not to stand idly by this time and watch Spencer Reid go back down that path and self-destruct.
Every time he thought about Spencer he ignored the fact that his heart beat twice as fast, his palms sweat, and he couldn't tear his eyes away from where the young man sat at his desk in the pit, constantly bent over paperwork with his eyes narrowed in concentration.
He couldn't admit that he was falling in love with one of his coworkers. That was another secret he wasn't willing to reveal, not even to himself.
Not long after Gideon left, the team returned exhausted from a particularly brutal case on a beautiful, sunshine-warmed day – a sickening contrast to the bodies of the 4 little girls they had found dismembered in West Virginia.
Reid was withdrawn, Morgan noticed, and significantly more so than usual. While the others muttered around him about the case, he walked silently along with them, hanging back slightly with eyes downcast and hands in his pockets. Derek decided that he couldn't wait much longer to speak with him. It wasn't like these tough cases were going to get fewer and farther between, and without Gideon to lean on he could tell the kid was unraveling and fast. If he was back on the drugs, Derek wasn't going to let him face it alone – not this time.
As Reid made his way over to his desk, Morgan stepped in front of him slightly, blocking his path. "Reid," he said softly. "How about you and me grab a bite to eat tonight?"
Spencer regarded him through chestnut brown bangs that mingled with long lashes. "No thanks, Morgan," he said, his voice hollow. "After I'm done here I'm just going to go home and pass out."
"Come on, kid," Morgan prodded, desperate to get Reid alone so they could talk. "If not dinner, then how about just a drink. I definitely need one after today and I'll bet you do too."
Reid shifted uncomfortably where he stood, hands still resting in his pockets. "No…really. I'm really tired. Thanks for the invite, but I'll take a raincheck."
"Reid…" Morgan began to protest, but Spencer ignored him, dodging around the much larger man to reach his desk.
Derek reached out and grabbed Reid's forearm on his left side – he wasn't really thinking when he did it, but Spencer gasped out in pain and tugged away.
"Sorry," Derek murmured, watching as Spencer straightened the sleeve of his button down. "Didn't mean to hurt you."
"It's ok," Spencer said distractedly, and hurried over to his desk.
Morgan watched him go, his heart in his throat. It wasn't absolute proof, no, but if Spencer's arm hurt he couldn't help but think that it was because the kid was using again. And there was no way he was going to let it go, not this time. He was determined to help the younger agent, no matter how much Spencer resisted.