Disclaimer: I own nothing. Characters are fictional and not a depiction of their portrayers.
Summary: Missing scene from "Fix" set between chapters 10 and 11. Spencer doesn't want to leave Derek's side. JJ's point of view.
Pairing: Morgan/Reid pre-slash.
Warnings: Best to read "Fix" chapters 1-10 first for context. Very, very mild allusions to self-harm, violence and romantic situations.
Notes: It was pointed out to me that Derek's shooting in "Fix" was rushed - which I agree with. It was really a means to an end when I wrote it. Hoping this missing scene will add some depth to those chapters. Apologies for any OOC behavior. I have very limited knowledge of the FBI and the medical field.
Jennifer Jareau took a deep breath before entering the dimly lit hospital room, and was instantly accosted by the incessant sound of beeping and the smell of antiseptic. She stood frozen for a moment, letting the door click shut behind her, and stared at the two figures laying close together on the narrow bed. The one closest to the door, the one with his back to her, was Spencer Reid, his lanky frame curled around the man beside him.
JJ felt guilt overtake her as she neared the bed and reached down to stroke her hand over the young doctor's chestnut curls. "Spence," she whispered as her fingers carded through his hair. "You need to wake up now."
She continued stroking the silky locks for a moment, afraid she was going to have to shake him awake, when he finally lifted his head and peered over his shoulder at her. She wasn't sure he had been sleeping after all when she saw the evidence of tear tracks streaked down his face. His cheeks were pale, his eyes puffy and red from crying. He sniffled hard and looked up at her, the expression on his face so distraught and lost she wanted to pull him into her arms and rock him in her lap, just as she would for Henry.
She managed a poor half-smile that she hoped was reassuring. "It's time for us to leave now, Spence," she said softly, as though she was asking a trivial task. "You need to get some sleep in a real bed. I promise we'll come back in the morning."
Spencer stared at her for a moment, unblinking, then turned away from her and laid his head back down on the corner of the pillow. "I'm not leaving him." His voice was soft and scratchy from crying, but didn't waver.
She knew this was going to be his reaction – it's what she had told the nurse to expect and why she had volunteered to be the one to tell Spencer it was time to leave for the night. "Spence," she said, sitting down on the edge of the armchair next to the bed. "I know you want to stay here, but visiting hours are over. We have to let Derek get some rest on his own. He needs to be strong enough for the transfer to Quantico tomorrow." It was a horribly manipulative way to phrase it and she felt guilt rush over her once more.
"I'm not going," Spencer said decisively, refusing to look at her again. His hand trailed up to the sleeve of Derek's hospital gown and he rubbed the thin material between his thumb and forefinger.
"Spence…honey…they aren't giving us a choice. I have to take you home now. Doctor's orders."
He lay there silently for a moment. Then, suddenly, he fisted his hand in the sleeve of Derek's gown and his shoulders began to shake. "I'm staying here until they're ready to take him home," he said, his voice wet with tears. "He needs me. I'm not leaving him."
JJ pressed her lips together tight to keep from crying. She had suspected, yes, how much Derek and Spencer had come to mean to each other, but to have the truth become apparent because of such an awful situation…it was heartbreaking. She wasn't sure exactly what had been going on with Spencer, but from her brief conversations with Derek it seemed he was getting better. Now she saw how much the young doctor had come to depend on the older agent. And the way that Derek had asked her to bring Spencer here…she knew the feelings went both ways.
JJ reached out to rub slow circles on Spencer's back until the trembling began to subside. She was strongly considering begging the nurse to let the young man stay. So what if he wasn't immediate family? That damn rule was ridiculous.
Suddenly, a low, gruff voice broke the silence. "Spencer…" Derek turned his head towards where the young man's rested beside his on the pillow, but didn't open his eyes. "I'm going to be okay, kiddo, I promise. Listen to JJ."
Spencer kept his voice low but JJ could still hear it teetering on the edge of despair. "I don't want to leave you." It was a child's plea and Derek cracked his eyes open slightly at the sound, a smile ghosting across his lips.
"I don't want you to leave either, baby boy," he whispered. "But I don't make the rules. Besides, it's going to be a long flight back to Quantico tomorrow and I need you to be wide awake to read to me."
Well, it seemed JJ wasn't the only one with powers of manipulation.
"I don't…" Spencer trailed off and then began again in a whisper. "I don't want to be alone…."
"JJ will stay with you," Derek promised him, and managed to open his eyes wide enough to toss a glance her way. She realized this was important…the same way she knew it was imperative that she retrieve Spencer from home and bring him down here in person.
"Yes I will," she agreed, finding the strength to speak.
"…not the same…" she heard Spencer murmur.
"I know, kiddo, but I need you to be strong right now, okay? And I have to be strong too. That means I don't get to have you with me tonight."
"What if something happens while I'm gone?"
"Nothing's going to happen."
JJ sat frozen, feeling like she was intruding on a private moment and wishing she could just leave them here alone together for the night.
"I'm sorry," she heard Spencer whisper. "I'm so, so sorry for everything I said to you."
"It doesn't matter, kiddo. I know you didn't mean it."
"I'm going to spend every minute taking care of you until you're better."
Derek chuckled. "Is that a promise, or a threat?"
"Both." JJ thought she heard a smile in his voice.
She cleared her throat, knowing she was still probably going to have to forcibly drag Spencer out of the room. "Spence," she said quietly. "It's time for us to go."
He slowly pulled himself away from Derek, sitting up and slipping off the edge of the bed. At the last minute, the grabbed the older man's hand, squeezing it tightly. "I'll be back in the morning."
"You better be."
They stared at each other for a moment, and then JJ reached out and captured Spencer's other hand in her own, linking their fingers. "Come on," she said softly. Reluctantly he let Derek's hand drop and moved with her toward the door. "It's going to be okay," she promised. "I'm not going to leave you alone tonight, just like Derek said." As they left the room Spencer threw one longing glance back over his shoulder.
Somehow, she had managed to drag Spencer away from Derek's side, but she knew it hadn't been her doing. He never would have left if Derek hadn't asked it of him.
JJ kept her promise and stayed in a hotel room with Spencer that night, pretending to read while she kept an eye on him from the bed opposite. She watched his huddled form beneath the blankets shake with quiet sobs for over an hour before he finally managed to fall into a restless sleep. It was the first moment since Derek had been shot that she felt like she could finally let out the breath she had been holding.
But she didn't sleep a wink.
Continued with "Fix" chapter 11.