Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds or any part of the characters…

Summary: Episode tag for 7x02 "Proof". Based off of Reid and JJ's conversation upon Emily's faked death. Alternete Universe

Author's Note: Thanks to hot4booth for suggesting these episode quote prompts to write as a tag in the July Bonus Prompts. The characters are kind of OOC, this story is definitly AU, but I guess that is what fanfiction is for, lol.

"We build too many walls and not enough bridges. "
-Isaac Newton

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Painful Remedies

"What if I'd taken Dilaudid, again? Would you have let me?" those painful words uttered Reid's mouth, settling into the air like smog on an overly hot summer day. Silence was his answer for about three seconds until he heard JJ respond slowly, as if her words were going to be mistaken or misheard.

"You didn't" JJ voiced, her tone containing the slightest hint of annoyance, as if she didn't want to have to be the person that bore the burden of being blamed for keeping a promise that she couldn't tell.

"Yeah, but I thought about it." Reid answered. Simply, he turned around and walked away from his longtime friend, the one whom he had always turned to when he needed a shoulder to lean on, and a person to talk to. He failed to notice the tear that had been building up in JJ's eye for their entire conversation. Her pretty face was twisted in a saddened, and slightly offended, expression.

She had never seen Reid this upset before. Sure, many cases hit home for the entire team on more occasions then any of them could count, but this case was personal. One of their own, a member of their family, had been involved in this case in more ways than one. When JJ thought of Emily, the women in question, she thought of a stable, straight-laced, determined, strong brunette who could pretty much withstand anything. But lately, whenever JJ looked at Emily, really looked at her, she could tell that her longtime friend was tense, slightly worried, tired and depressed for a number of reasons.

When Doyle had nearly killed Emily, he had left an impression on her soul, and not a good one. Every night, she would lie wide awake in bed, wondering if the bad dreams would ever end, if her conscience would decide to stop making her feel so guilty, as if this whole thing was her fault. In a way, she thought it was; her faked death had taken a major toll on her team and she had ruined her relationship with them, their trust for her had faded all together, not that she blamed them for it either. Yet, in another way, she felt as if this whole thing wasn't her fault, she was just the victim.

Garcia's words "Things always happen for a reason" rang in Emily's ears constantly since then, never giving her a chance to gather her thoughts completely. It had been a difficult road to get back to normal after such trauma, and she knew that they all knew it. Hell, they knew her better than her own mother did; on the plus side, they were profilers for crying out loud.

JJ watched Reid climb into his car and drive away from her, leaving her standing alone in the street. The one person she wanted to see was Emily at the moment. There were so many things to discuss since all of this had happened. All JJ wanted was for things to go back to the way they used to be, carefree, fairly happy, mostly supportive in all the right ways. Mostly, the blonde was blaming herself and she felt like she had every reason to.

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"Will, I'm home" JJ called, slowly walking into their house in search of her fiancée at the time. Work had ended on a note of pure tension, leaving JJ with the choice of either staying at the BAU, all of the guilt, lies and pressure surrounding her, or heading home to see her family. Of course, she had picked the easier option; it just made sense to her.

"Hey Jay" Will answered, entering the living room to give JJ a quick kiss. JJ had to smile when she saw her son, Henry, running to her at full speed, wrapping his arms around his mother's legs.

After greeting her son, JJ plopped herself down at the kitchen table, trying to get ahold of herself. Reid's words kept pounding through her brain, giving her a headache. Their conversation from earlier wouldn't stop haunting her until she saw Reid, comforted him like a good friend of nearly seven years should.

Will didn't ask any questions when she hassled out the door, car keys and purse in hand. He could tell that his JJ was in distress. She deeply cared about her team, her family at work, he got that. He just hoped that she would be able to handle the remorse that was going to be requiring a huge amount of lenience, tolerance, humanity and patience, pending with all of the stress of the modern situation at hand.

~*OoO*~

"Reid?" JJ nearly cried, pounding on his apartment door. What was actually about ten seconds in reality felt like hours for JJ. Upon seeing his puzzled expression when the door opened, she leaned forward and pulled the young genius into a warm, bittersweet hug. Before she could stop them, fresh tears were spilling down her cheeks.

Reid pulled back from the hug, looking carefully into her teary blue eyes; his brown eyes were etched with concern for the young blonde agent. Brushing away her tears with his thumb, he led her into his apartment, carefully closing the door behind both of them.

A few moments later, JJ and Reid were settled on the couch in Reid's somewhat nerdy living room. Books of various genres were piled on the floor, awards from college, scholarship documentations and other certificates were hung in frames on the walls. It was so Reid. JJ had to smile at how much the vision in her mind of how she imagined his apartment would look actually matched the existing apartment of Spencer Reid.

"Reid" JJ began in a choked voice. "I'm so sorry, for everything. I admit that the loss of trust that the team has for Emily is my fault. I was the one who lied to them about her death. Emily couldn't have told them, I wasn't supposed to either, but I should have placed my innermost faith in you guys. I should have known that you all would have handled everything. I was stupid not to expect that all of you would have had our backs in this. I know that you probably hate me for what I did, or what I didn't do, but please forgive me. I was wrong and I know it. I don't want you to hate me, Spence. Our friendship is special and I want to keep that as something to always hold onto, through thick and thin".

When JJ was done speaking, Reid looked shocked. What JJ had just told him had shocked him. He supposed that he should tell her the truth as well. He reached into the drawer of the coffee table, revealing a needle headed syringe, the canister filled with an unfamiliar liquid.

"I've been taking Dilaudid again. I have an addiction to it, an addiction that needs a cure. I've been so stressed lately that I couldn't help it. I thought about telling you, but I wasn't really sure. Now, I know what to do". Reid took the small item and headed to the bathroom. JJ heard the sound of the toilet flushing, and she knew what that meant.

"JJ, I would never be able to hate you. I never could if I tried to. I really think it is impossible to hate such a sweet, kind hearted, down to earth person like you. We are going to go through this together, JJ. I know that we can make it if we try". Reid took the blonde's hand and squeezed gently, letting her know that she had a shoulder to lean on.

For a couple of minutes, JJ and Reid sat on the couch, wrapped up in a hug, their hands caressing each other's as a sign of reassurance. JJ finally realized that if she stuck together with a supportive person like Reid, her future was bound to be heading in the right direction, at least she hoped so.

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"Love... it surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be."
-Khalil Gibran

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Thanks for reading.

Reviews are much appreciated!