It had been a month since Maeve died, a week since Will had. JJ and Spencer sat on his couch, both facing forward, coffee mugs in their hands. Silent. Spencer, still in his robe and pajamas looked over at JJ as he lifted the cup to take a sip. "Can I take your coat?" he offered, voice flat.
JJ stared straight ahead. "No."
Spencer set his mug down and got up, scuffing down the hallway to the bathroom. He ran the faucet and splashed cold water on his face, looking into the mirror for the first time in a few days. He regarded his scruffy beard and tangled hair and grimaced, then shrugged. Fuck it.
He went back into the living room and JJ hadn't moved. She sat there like a lonely black bird, swathed in her dark trenchcoat and wool hat. He wished she'd leave. There was barely room in his apartment for his own grief, let alone hers.
Spencer hadn't gone to his funeral. He supposed he had cared about the man once, but since Maeve was murdered, he didn't care about anything. Anyone. The last thing he needed was another reminder of death. From the looks of things, JJ had come over straight from the graveyard. He knew why she did. He knew that she needed to be near someone who understood. Someone who was feeling like she was. Spencer wished it wasn't him… would give anything if he didn't know exactly what she was feeling at that moment.
He felt the now-familiar knifelike pain in his chest and breathed in sharply. He walked over to his bookshelf and got down a slim volume, bringing it over to the couch and handing it to JJ. She looked up at him and her stricken face made him cringe inwardly. Yeah, he knew that look.
JJ stared at the book for a second or two before setting down her coffee and taking it from him. She looked at the title, Tear Soup, and tried to hand it back to him. It looked like a children's book. It wasn't.
"Take it home, JJ," he said. "It'll help."
"Spence I don't think Henry…" she began.
"It's not for Henry, it's for you. Trust me." he said, unsmiling.
JJ looked at it again, then clutched it to her stomach, leaning forward. She stood suddenly, and said "I should go."
Spencer just nodded.
"Thanks for the coffee… and this."
"Sure," he said.
JJ moved to hug him awkwardly, and irritated, he went through the motions of lightly putting his arms around her, then let go. She looked up at him once more, her dry eyes searching for… what, exactly? He didn't know. Didn't want to.
She walked stiffly to the door, and Spencer leaned down to open it for her. Their hands met on the doorknob and as Spencer touched her tiny, cold hand he felt tears spring to his eyes. Ugh, not again, he thought. He tilted back his head, hoping JJ wouldn't see and quickly opened the door. She turned to look at him one last time and saw his tears fall.
"Spence," she whispered, tilting her head and reaching for his arm.
He sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve, wiping his eyes dry in the process. "It's okay, I'm alright, I'm fine," he said, his voice shaky. God he just wanted her to leave.
She dropped her hand and as she turned to go Spencer noticed all the color drain from her face. "I'll call you," she said, as he watched her retreating back, he lightly closed the door behind her.
He moved to latch the deadbolt when he heard something heavy drop in the hallway. He opened the door and saw JJ on the floor, a lump of loose black cloth.
"JJ!" he yelled. He hurried to her side and knelt down, picking her up. God she was so light, she weighed next to nothing in his arms and he carried her back inside and laid her on the couch. He sat next to her and felt her pulse. It was strong, but she was so incredibly pale. He patted her cheek and then caught his breath as her huge blue eyes fluttered open, swimming for a moment and then fixing themselves on his own.
"Spence… wha-" she said as she quickly tried to sit up, then slid back down saying "Whoa… dizzy."
Spencer patted her hand and asked her "When's the last time you ate anything, Agent Jareau?"
She looked at him guiltily. "Uh, I've pretty much been… living off of coffee the past few days… I don't remember…"
"Spence, I'm sorry, I should go." She said, starting to get up again.
Spencer sighed. "JJ, you aren't getting off this couch until you've eaten something. I've got some crackers around here somewhere, and I'll make us both some soup. Just sit. SIT!" he ordered, as she tried to stand up again.
JJ complied, grudgingly. "At least let me help with the…" she started.
"Sit," he said, softer now. He moved to the kitchen, silently heating up some canned soup for the both of them. He got the crackers down and set them on a plate.
JJ watched him, thinking how like an old man he looked. He moved so slowly, deliberately, like every motion was painful.
He brought the food over to the couch and they ate in silence. When she was almost done he looked at her. "Feeling better?" he asked.
She nodded. "Much. Thank you, Spencer."
He nodded back. "Give me a minute to dress and I'll drive you home," he said.
She started to protest and he wouldn't have it. "Look JJ, it wouldn't do for you to pass out again while driving. It's not happening, alright?" He looked directly at her.
She took a breath and looked back at him. It felt like looking in a mirror. The dark circles, the sunken cheeks, the emptiness in his eyes… so familiar. Despite how numb she felt on her own behalf, she felt such empathy for him… for his loss.
He saw what she was thinking and it was unwelcome. He got up abruptly, saying "I'll be right back."
He went to his room to throw on whatever was clean and thought about what had just transpired. Who was she to feel sorry for him? He didn't want any of that and she'd better not… but then he saw her crumpled in a tiny heap in the hallway again and his agitation vanished. God, poor JJ. She was going through exactly what he was. Looking after herself was the last thing on her mind and he could immediately relate to that. He walked back out to the living room fastening the last of his shirt buttons and… saw no one.
He looked at the coffee table and there scrawled on a napkin in lipstick was one word – Sorry.
Damn. He hurried to the door and looked out but she had gone. He closed the door and moved slowly to lie down on the couch. He took a throw pillow and hugged it to himself, curling his legs up in the process. Spencer lay like that a long time, until the afternoon shadows lengthened across the room, the light growing dim.