Author's Note: Takes place during 'The Replicator' - obviously since it's a Derek/Spencer, no Maeve. The characters and borrowed dialogue are not mine, and do in fact, belong to somebody else.
Riding in the helicopter was never an easy experience. As used to he was at flying, Derek never really enjoyed a helicopter trip, especially one that led to the unsub that had been stalking his team for the past year. He tried to keep his eyes away from the view and instead chose to focus on his hands. He felt JJ suddenly reach over and grip his leg and wondered if she was a nervous flyer in these situations as well. When her grip only tightened, he looked over at her and saw her panicking. He knew he couldn't get an answer out of her as she turned to watch something outside the window. Curious, he looked where her eyesight had diverted and he could feel his heart sink. The helicopter that had been carrying Spencer, Hotch, and Blake was going down fast, and the pilot seemed to no longer have control. He screwed his eyes shut before it hit the ground and he winced.
"I-I'm sure they braced themselves for the landing. It's going to be fine. We still need to divert our path so he doesn't catch on," she explained.
He turned to face her. "JJ, we have some of the best pilots out there. There's no way that happened by accident, and I'm not turning the other way. I can't."
Instead of pressing the issue, she nodded, letting up on the grip she held and instead, focusing on her shaking leg.
He bit down on his lip, shaking his head. This couldn't be happening – this guy wasn't going to win this easily. He'd put everyone on this team through hell. He'd even had Rossi turn on him and point a gun at him, ready to shoot. The last thing Derek wanted to happen was for the team to lose three more people that day, especially the person that mattered to him most.
As the helicopter landed, he threw off the headphones and got out, running toward the crash site. The damage didn't seem too extensive on the outside, but that wasn't any indication of what had actually happened. Panicked, he grabbed the door handle and pulled it open. Hotch was in the front seat, a hand cupped over his ear, obviously in pain: someone would be lecturing him to get that checked out later on. The pilot seemed to be in good condition, and then his attention turned to the backseat. Spencer was curled up on the seat, wincing and resting a hand on his head.
"Are you guys alright?" he asked, moving toward Spencer.
Spencer quickly dismissed it, allowing Derek to get a look at him. "Yeah."
Spencer glanced at the seat where she'd been next to him and saw it empty. His eyes went to Derek and the team knew – the replicator had her.
The team had composed themselves the best they could and were making their plan of attack.
"If he wanted to kill all of us, he could've," JJ noted.
"He's playing God," Spencer started. "Just like he's done all year. He hard-landed us and knocked us out with whatever was in that canister so he could take Blake."
"He had plenty of chances to take her before tonight, he wants it to be a spectacle."
Derek separated from Spencer when Hotch had sent he and JJ to find the replicator. He was worried, but he knew with Hotch right there, if something were actually wrong, it'd be detected. Luckily their separation was short-lived, but he couldn't check on Spencer. The priority in that moment had to be the case, and they had to find the replicator to put an end to the torture they'd gone through.
When Derek opened the door, they all saw Blake chained to a chair, her mouth gagged.
"Which way did he go?" JJ asked, stepping forward and pulling the cloth out of her mouth.
Blake immediately shook her head. "I don't know."
"Morgan, you and JJ find him. We've got this."
Reluctantly, Morgan stepped out, following JJ out of the room.
"He said he used eight locks, because there used to be eight of us," Blake explained, looking down at them.
"That's all he said?" Hotch asked.
"About that, yes."
Spencer mumbled to himself, going through the keys and checking the locks. "There's only six keys, that means two keys will be used twice. Each key has a letter. That letter corresponds to a number on the locks. Seven, seventh letter of the alphabet, that's G." He went through the keys, looking for the corresponding one.
"What are the other letters?" Hotch asked, looking at the locks.
"Um, Z-U-W." His face froze. "Zugzwang."
Blake sighed, looking at Spencer and visibly panicking.
"It's too easy," Spencer said, turning to Hotch and starting to unlock the locks.
Derek and JJ had separated to try to find him, and JJ was currently in a different part of the basement. He heard JJ call out for him and immediately knew that it couldn't be for anything good. He ran over to her, and saw what she had seen: a countdown. With his years on the bomb squad, he knew exactly what was going to happen when that timer hit zero. He turned to her, and they wordlessly agreed that they needed to tell the rest of the team immediately.
"He's got the place lined with C4," he started, walking into the room. "We've only got three minutes."
"This seems too easy," Spencer stated. "Zugzwang also means that a dilemma in chess. The best move is not to move at all." His face paused, and Derek knew that he was deep in thought, though he felt it really wasn't the time for it. Suddenly his face changed: panic. "Wait, don't get up!" The team all turned to him and his face stayed the same. "It's a pressure sensor."
Shortly after he'd said the words, the door they'd all entered in closed on its own. Derek ran to catch it, but it was too late. He tried to pull it open and get them out, but his strength was no use. He turned around to face them and their faces all read the same. They didn't go through all of this for it to end this way, and there had to be a way to get them out.
When the door reopened, all of them could never remember feeling so relieved. Even if it was the replicator who had freed them, they at least had a chance to fight. What they didn't expect to see was Rossi standing there, propping the door open and sticking something in the lock. They all wanted to speak to him or say something, but now wasn't the time. On top of that, none of them were quite sure what to say. They all patted him on the arm as they walked out, starting to run for the exit. Derek didn't turn back, knowing that Rossi was right behind them and they were on their way out. He soon learned that was a mistake.
After Rossi had set them free, they all ran outside to get away from the blast. Derek couldn't help but keep an eye on Spencer while they were getting away, worried about his knee giving out and him not making it far enough away.
"Everybody back!" Hotch called out, running and motioning for everybody to move away.
"Wait. Where's Rossi?" Spencer asked, looking around.
"…He was right behind me," Derek said.
"Dave!" Hotch called out, trying to find him in the crowd.
"He just let us out, why would he go back in?!"
The team went into a panic looking around for him, calling out his name. Derek couldn't help but notice that Spencer was gingerly rubbing his temple anytime someone shouted.
When Rossi came running out, the team was relieved as they watched the building explode with the replicator still inside. Most of them would've preferred to take him alive and get some answers, but by the look on Blake's face, they would get answers from her when she was ready. Watching the building burn, they all stood there in an awkward, yet comfortable silence, relieved that it was finally over.
A few ambulances pulled up to get everyone checked over. Derek saw Rossi leading Hotch to one of them and knew he had to convince Spencer to get himself looked at. He walked over and rested a hand on Spencer's arm.
"Everything okay over here?"
Spencer nodded slightly, resting a hand on the side of his head.
"Spencer, you were just in an accident. I'm sure you have plenty of statistics about it, but I don't want to hear them. Will you please get yourself looked at?"
Spencer groaned. "Derek, it's a headache. The most they can do for me is give me a few painkillers and tell me to get some sleep. Just let it go."
Derek sighed, squeezing Spencer's arm. "Will you at least do it for me? When they say you're fine, you can brag until your heart's content."
"They'll want me to get x-rays and get checked over. All I want to do is go home and get some sleep after everything that's happened the last twenty-four hours. All of us are sleep deprived and that should take top priority right now. Can't we just go home and if I still hurt tomorrow, I'll go to the hospital then?"
He shook his head. "This team's already lost somebody. I'm not losing you because you thought nothing was wrong."
Spencer gave him a look. "Low blow, Derek."
He took a deep breath, sighing. "Stay with me?"
"I'd like to see them try to keep me away." He rested a hand on the small of Spencer's back, leading him up to the ambulance and sitting him down.
Once the EMT came over, Derek looked at him. "He was just involved in a helicopter crash – they were close to the ground when they braced themselves, but the other two members of the team involved seem to have minor injuries. There's a cut on the side of his head from the impact, and he has a headache."
Spencer rolled his eyes. "Anything else, dear?"
The EMT gave a quick smile before pulling on his gloves. "Can you tell me your name?"
"Spencer Reid," he said, reaching out and lacing his fingers with Derek's.
"Okay, Spencer. I'm going to do a quick head to toe exam. If I press on anything that hurts, let me know."
He nodded slightly and sighed. He didn't like being touched by strangers on a good day, let alone after being through an accident. It didn't hurt as he pressed on his head, but it was tender when he pressed the right side of his face, as well as the right side of his forehead. He visibly winced and saw him making a mental note.
"You okay?" Derek asked.
"Mhm." He closed his eyes, biting down on his lip. "You owe me." He winced again when the EMT pressed on the side of his neck. "Big."
After the exam, he checked Spencer's pulse and checked if either of his shoulders hurt.
"The right is a little tender," Spencer explained, chewing his cheek. "I was on that side when it crashed."
"Is it a sharp pain?"
He shook his head. "Dull, and it throbs if I move it too much."
Derek squeezed his hand, attempting to comfort him.
"Any allergies to medication?"
"Narcotics. No narcotics," Derek answered for him.
Once he finished checking him over, Spencer laid back on the stretcher, sighing. "Can he stay with me?"
He nodded. "But we need to get you to the hospital, get you a few x-rays and scans to be sure we didn't miss anything."
Derek sat beside Spencer, rubbing his arm. "Thank you."
Spencer looked at him, pointing a finger. "No I told you so's."
Derek was in Spencer's room, flipping through some magazines, not really processing the content on the pages. Hotch was in a room getting his ear checked, Blake was in a separate room after her ordeal, and Spencer was currently up getting his x-rays done. JJ had gone right home to Henry after the case, but wanted to get any updates on the team. Garcia also needed to distance herself from everyone after everything they'd gone through, but was sending Derek texts every twenty minutes to figure out if anything changed. Rossi was keeping Hotch company in his room, which left him by himself. He could've left and came back to check on him later, but knew Spencer would never let him live it down if he'd forced him to get checked out and wasn't there when he came back.
Spencer walked in, lying back on the bed and sighing.
"Any word yet?" he asked, throwing down his magazine.
He shook his head slightly. "My doctor's checking them over now." He rubbed his eyes with his palm and yawned. "I just want to sleep, Derek."
"I know. Once he lets you leave, we'll go home and go to bed. I'll turn off the alarms, I'll take care of walking Clooney, and you can sleep as long as you want."
Spencer raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"…While waking you up every few hours, just in case you have a concussion."
Spencer groaned, but knew it wasn't a good decision to argue with Derek on this. Anytime he was hurt on the job, Derek didn't let it go until he was positive he was fine. He pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing. "How's Hotch doing?"
"He's getting his ear checked, but Rossi says he's going to be fine. He's apparently worse than you when it comes to sitting still and getting checked over by a doctor. I didn't think that was possible."
"Watch it," Spencer snapped. "What about Blake?"
"Her husband's still in town, so he's in with her. She's fine and just getting some sleep."
Spencer groaned. "Lucky her."
His doctor walked in a while later, putting the x-rays up on the screen. Spencer watched as he turned the light on and took in his scans. He was relieved to see nothing was broken.
"Everything okay?" Derek asked.
The doctor nodded. "You must be Derek," he said, holding out his hand.
Derek shook it, then turned to Spencer. "You talked about me?"
"I talked about my pain in the ass boyfriend who insisted that I needed to get checked over even though I felt fine."
"You got stitches in your head, Pretty Boy. You're welcome."
Spencer ignored him, turning to his doctor again. "No breaks?"
"Your shoulder was dislocated – definitely a case of subluxation."
"Excuse me?" Derek asked.
Spencer sighed. "The shoulder was slightly out of its socket. I felt it when I hit that unsub with the luggage at the airport, but I thought I popped it back in. I guess the accident popped it right back out." He glanced over at his doctor. "Please don't tell me I need to be in a sling."
"Just for a few days. You'll need to ice the area to reduce swelling and relieve the pain, and take Tylenol as it starts bothering you. Just don't completely immobilize the shoulder."
He nodded slightly, licking his lips and thinking. "Anything else?"
"So long as you keep it rested and watch out for the signs of a concussion-" he saw Derek smirking and resisted the urge to backhand him out of pure frustration, "-you should be fine. If anything happens over the next few days and you don't feel as great as you could, come back."
"I can go home?"
"I'll get together your discharge forms now." Spencer sighed as his doctor left the room. "A sling? Of course. I've gotten everything else on the job, I guess it's time for a sling."
Derek smirked, shaking his head and taking out his phone. "I need to text the mother bear and the paranoid big sister that you're okay."
Spencer just nodded, leaning his head back and sighing.
He looked through his phone, landing on Garcia's contact information. He chose to send her a text and thought about his message.
Your Boy Wonder has a few bumps and bruises, but he's going to be fine. He popped out his shoulder and is going to be in a sling for a few days, and we need to watch out for any signs of a concussion, but we're going home in a few.
He waited a minute for her response and checked his phone, smiling.
Thank god. Get some sleep, you two. And actually get some sleep. I know that's your code for hanky panky, but none of that!
He shook his head, smirking.
Don't worry, we will. He's been complaining about sleep since before I got him checked out.
His phone buzzed and he looked down.
Take care. Love you both – kisses!
He then scrolled through, sending a message to JJ.
Spencer's got some stitches and he dislocated his shoulder, and we need to make sure he doesn't have a concussion, but he's being released tonight and we're going to get some sleep once we get there. Please don't call so I can get him to relax.
His phone buzzed and he checked.
Thanks for letting me know – take care of him. And have fun with a complaining Spencer while he's healing.
Wish me luck.
"I saw that," Spencer mumbled.
Derek shook his head, putting his phone in his pocket. "Sorry, Pretty Boy."
Spencer pulled on the sling, wincing slightly. "This is going to suck."
"It's just for a few days," Derek said, trying to have him look on the bright side.
Instead, Spencer gave him a dirty look. "How are we supposed to get home? We both came in the ambulance, and we don't live close enough to walk-"
Derek put up his hand. "I had Garcia grab the car, drop it off, and have her friend pick her up." He held up the keys. "And she said 'don't be surprised if there's a present for Boy Wonder waiting on the front seat'."
He shook his head, adjusting the strap on the sling and following Derek outside.
Once Derek parked in front of the house, Spencer sighed, unbuckling his seatbelt and opening his door.
"Derek, I love you dearly, but if Clooney even thinks about barking and waking me up at all tonight? It's your ass."
"That's fine by me, Pretty Boy. Once we get inside, you can go right to bed, I'll let him outside and back in, come back, and join you. Then I'll be up every few hours to check on your concussion status."
Derek took the keys out of his pocket, unlocking the door and holding it open. Spencer ignored Clooney running up to him and walked to their bedroom, kicking off his shoes and lying down on the bed. Derek shook his head, whistling and opening the back door. He walked back inside, locking the door behind Clooney after he ran in. He grabbed a couple of water bottles from the fridge, before walking to the bedroom and setting them down on the nightstand. He took off his shoes and went in the dresser drawers, taking out pajamas for the two of them.
He kissed Spencer's forehead, whispering. "Spencer, you should probably put on some pjs so you can be a little more comfortable."
Instead of groaning, Spencer nodded in agreement, sitting up and grabbing his clothes from the foot of the bed. He changed and threw his dirty clothes on the floor, before curling back up. Derek smirked, changing and lying down beside him, wrapping his arm around Spencer and kissing the back of his head.
"You okay?" he whispered.
He nodded slightly, reaching down and grabbing Derek's hand, lacing their fingers together. "Thank you for having me get checked out, even though you, Derek Morgan, are the biggest pain in my ass."
He smirked, kissing the back of his head again. "You're welcome."
A few hours after Spencer fell asleep, Derek glanced over at the clock, sighing and nudging his arm.
"Hm?" Spencer mumbled, pulling the blanket over him and keeping his eyes shut.
"Look up at me, Pretty Boy."
He whimpered, groaning and shaking his head.
He pulled the blanket off his head, turning around and glaring at Derek. "What?" he snapped.
"What day is it?"
"You heard me. What day is it?"
Spencer groaned. "Check your phone, or an old fashioned thing called a calendar. I don't care."
Derek shook his head. "Spencer, I need to know if you have a concussion. Now, tell me what day it is."
Spencer opened one eye, looking up at him. "If it's not yet midnight, it's Thursday. If it's past midnight, it's Friday. If we fell into a time warp of some sort, I don't give a damn and I'm going back to sleep. Are we done?"
Derek leaned over, kissing his forehead. "Yes we are. I'll see you again in a few hours."
"Looking forward to it," Spencer mumbled, before putting the blanket over his head and curling up. Derek knew he was now dead to the world and set an alarm for a couple of hours later, lying down and wrapping an arm around him.
Surprisingly, Derek wasn't woken up by his alarm going off. Instead, he was woken up by a crying Spencer. He moved the blanket off of his head and saw that he was still asleep. He rubbed his back, hoping to calm him down.
Spencer sniffed, whimpering softly. "No," he sobbed out, "please stabilize the helicopter. Please."
He sighed, kissing Spencer's forehead. "Pretty Boy? Come on, wake up, it's just a dream. You're home, you're safe. I promise."
"Derek, I need to talk to Derek. Please."
Derek bit down on his lip before shaking Spencer's arm. Spencer's eyes shot open and he looked up at Derek, terror in his eyes.
"You were just dreaming. I'm here. You're here, and you're safe."
Spencer sniffed, sitting up and burying his head in Derek's shoulder. Derek reached up, running a hand through his hair and shh-ing him, trying to calm him down. "You're fine, Spencer. I promise." He took a deep breath, closing his eyes and rubbing Spencer's back. "It was just a nightmare."
He wiped his eyes, chewing on his lip. "Derek, I'm sorry. I couldn't do anything to help. I'm sorry. It's my fault he got Blake. I should've stayed conscious and fought off whatever was in the canister."
Derek shook his head, kissing the top of Spencer's head. "There's nothing you could've done in the situation. If you read up on flying planes, you couldn't have changed him jamming up the autopilot. And as for staying conscious? I don't think anybody could've done it. If you'd fought him, I'm not sure we'd be here having this conversation. If he was after Blake, I think he would've discarded all non-essentials, and as essential as you are to me, you weren't to him."
Spencer sighed. "But-"
Derek put a finger to Spencer's lips. "But nothing." He kissed his forehead and continued to soothe him until he finally calmed down.
"Thank you," Spencer mumbled against his shoulder.
"Don't mention it." He ran a hand through his hair and laid back down with him. "Spencer?" Derek asked, right before Spencer was going to fall asleep again.
Spencer sighed, opening an eye to look at him. "Yes?"
"What's your favorite color?"
"Derek, what sort of concussion concern question is that? It needs to be actual information, not the little things, personal about myself-"
"What's your favorite color, Spencer?"
Spencer sighed. "My favorite color is purple, Derek. Anything else?"
He shook his head, kissing his forehead and wrapping his arms around Spencer, pulling him closer. "Get some sleep. I'll be here when you wake up."
"What, no more questions?"
"I'll quiz you in the morning – you need some sleep."
"That, Derek Morgan, is the best thing you've ever said to me." He tilted his head up, kissing Derek's cheek, before resting his head on his chest and drifting off to sleep.
The next morning, Spencer woke up to Derek's arms still wrapped around him. He smiled to himself, patting his arm.
"Derek, I need you to let me get up," he whispered.
Derek shook his head. "We don't have to work. I think today would be the perfect day to stay in bed."
Spencer raised his eyebrows. "As intriguing as that sounds? You need to let your dog outside before he goes on the carpet, and I need some coffee in my system."
Derek kissed the top of his head before letting Spencer out of his grip and getting up. "What are you thinking for breakfast?"
He looked over at the clock. "Considering it's almost noon? I'd rather have lunch."
Derek turned his head to look at the alarm clock on the nightstand. Sure enough, it was well into the morning. "How did we manage that?"
Spencer shrugged. "It was a long night."
Derek pulled on his shoes. "So, where are you right now?"
Spencer groaned. "I'm in our bedroom, and in a few minutes, I'm going to be in our bathroom, and after that? Our kitchen, making coffee."
"What's the first place where we slept together?"
Spencer's eyes widened. "Derek!"
"Hey, I have to test your memory too."
He groaned, leaning his head back. "Two weeks after the Fisher King case, started on your couch, ended in your bed. Happy?"
"Ecstatic." He pulled on his shirt. "I'm going to let him out in the yard, then breakfast, or in this case, lunch, is on me."
After Derek came back into the apartment, Spencer sat on the couch, adjusting his sling.
"Having trouble, Pretty Boy?"
Spencer shook his head. "I'm fine. This thing is a pain in the ass."
"Any headaches?" he asked, taking out a loaf of bread and setting it on the counter.
Spencer sighed. "I woke up with a migraine, but I took some Tylenol and it's seemed to dull it. It's expected after a trauma, really. I promise, it's nothing serious."
"I believe you."
Spencer pushed himself off the couch, walking to the kitchen and sitting at one of the stools at the island. "What's for lunch?"
"Grilled cheese sandwiches," he explained, flipping one.
He raised an eyebrow. "I'm sorry, are we suddenly twelve years old?"
"I don't know about you, but even after sleeping, I'm still wiped out from everything that happened yesterday. It's the simplest thing I can make. I could go for complex and make something, but possibly burn the house down in the process if you'd like."
He rolled his eyes, shaking his head. "No, grilled cheese will do just fine, thank you." He twirled the salt shaker in his hands. "So what are we going to do today?"
"Considering it's way too late to go into work even if we did have to work today? I think the two of us need to spend a quiet day in. I'll let you pick the movies for a marathon, and let you commentate as you please."
"As if I need your permission?" Spencer asked as Derek set the plate down in front of him.
Derek smirked. "Touché."
Once they finished lunch, they were sitting in front of the television, watching Doctor Who.
"Spencer, I thought I said we could have a movie marathon."
"And I told you, the next time you call a 'dalek' a 'valek', or call his 'companion' his 'buddy', I'm going to hit you. Now shh, tenth doctor." He leaned over, resting his head on Derek's shoulder.
Derek looked at the screen. "Isn't that the dude from one of the Harry Potter movies?"
Spencer sighed, rubbing his temple. "Just shut your mouth and look at the TV."
Derek's phone started going off and Spencer reached for the remote, pausing the show.
"You could keep it going," Derek suggested.
"And have you constantly asking me 'what did I miss?' 'what's that dude doing?' and 'where did they go?'. I'll pass. Who is it?"
Derek picked up his phone, checking and answering it. "Hey, Baby Girl. I'm putting you on speaker."
"Derek, you completely suck!" she snapped.
"Tell me about it," Spencer mumbled, resting his head in his hand. When both Derek and Garcia started laughing, he paused. "No, not like that. God, why does everything have to be perverted with you two?"
Garcia laughed. "So I take it you're feeling okay today, 187?"
"Did you check on Hotch and Blake yet?" he asked.
"Right to the point I see. Yes, I checked on them. Blake's husband told me she's slept most of the day away, and Hotch is doing just fine. He's back with Jack and Beth in New York for a few days. Good for him, getting away from everything."
Spencer bit his lip. "How about Rossi?"
"He's… coping? I don't know, sweetie, he's never been one to put his emotions on the table and talk about them. When I talked to him, he seemed to be doing okay. It's as expected, really."
"Makes sense." He cleared his throat, shaking his head. "Why'd you call?"
"Just checking up on my favorite genius. How's the head?"
"…Derek, is he lying to me?"
Derek smirked, shaking his head. "He's telling the truth. He doesn't have a concussion from what I can tell, and he slept well last night. There was a quick migraine this morning, but that was taken care of. Get this, he slept until 11 today."
Garcia gasped. "No way."
"11:39 actually," Spencer said, running a hand through his hair.
She smiled. "Well, I'm proud of you. How's the shoulder?"
He adjusted the sling, chewing on his cheek. "Sore, but fine."
"Derek, don't let him lift anything. I don't care if it's a book or his bag or laundry or anything. I want him to rest that shoulder until it's healed. Do you hear me?"
"Crystal clear, Baby Girl."
"So what's my favorite couple up to this fine day off?"
Derek looked at the screen. "Watching… the tenth doctor?" he turned to Spencer, who nodded. "And Rose Tyler?" Spencer nodded again, giving him a thumbs up.
"Finally getting an education on all things Whovian?"
"…I guess you could say that?"
She laughed softly. "Then I won't keep you. You two relax – you deserve it."
"Will do, mama."
"Bye, Garcia," Spencer said, lying back on the couch and resting his head in Derek's lap as he hung up.
Derek glanced down at him. "Can I help you?"
"I've seen all the episodes multiple times. I don't need the education – if I want to take a nap, I'm going to."
Derek shook his head, running his fingers through Spencer's hair. "If anything starts bothering you, you'll tell me, right? You won't pull a typical Spencer move and dismiss it, pretending you're fine?"
Spencer nodded. "I promise." He reached for the remote, handing it to Derek. "Now, educate yourself."
After a few hours of Doctor Who, Derek looked down at Spencer, running his fingers through his hair. "Are you feeling okay?"
He nodded slightly, taking a deep breath before sitting up.
"You know, if you need to talk about it, we can."
Spencer froze, chewing on his lip.
"It's not going to help to keep it inside, and all of us are hurting after this, Spencer. Maybe getting all of it out is going to help. Maybe it's what you need to feel better and get over everything that happened over the last few days. Nobody's going to hold it against you if it impacted you in some way, I promise."
He swallowed, grabbing the remote and stopping the current episode of Doctor Who. "What do you want me to say, Derek?"
"I don't know. Anything you need to. I've seen you hold something inside before, Spencer, and it doesn't help."
"Sometimes it's easier for me to internalize," he explained.
"And sometimes, internalizing does more harm than good."
He exhaled. "Why are you doing this?"
"Because you need to talk about it. Keeping everything inside isn't going to help you get over this."
He took a deep breath, looking at him. "Where do we start?"
Derek saw him twirling the ring around on his finger and smiled to himself. "I'll start. First, I think it's pretty badass that you took down an unsub with a piece of luggage, and proceeded to cuff him all on your own."
He shrugged. "People say you become who you marry. I guess it applies to relationships." He eyed Derek with a smile before pulling his arm into his sleeve. He was quiet for a minute before looking at him again. "How are we supposed to feel about Strauss? I mean, it's a death, and we should be sad, and we should be upset because Rossi is going to be upset. But...I can't help but remember all the bad times with her. She tried to push Hotch out of his job and make Emily rat out the team. Emily could've very easily told her about my drug problem and I'd be god knows where right now. She had a family and friends and people that cared for her, but all I can think about is how manipulative she was to the team when we needed to stand together." He bit down on his lip. "Does that make me a bad person?"
Derek shook his head. "No, Spencer. It makes you human. I'm sure everyone on the team except Rossi is thinking the exact same thing."
He licked his lips. "It sucks, Derek. It really sucks. Everything that happened does. Replicating the crimes we already solved, the zugzwang taunts, and going into our personal lives? It's so much worse than the Fisher King. I mean, yes, he sucked. He shot Elle and stalked us. But he was never that hurtful – he was just messed up mentally. This guy took it to a new extreme and I don't think it's very fair."
"No part of this job is really 'fair'," Derek reasoned, wrapping an arm around him and pulling him closer.
"I know that, and it… the job is amazing to do, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I can't help but think-"
"What if you were in something less dangerous?"
He nodded, sighing. "I've thought about it before. Right after my 30th birthday, I thought about leaving the BAU, and doing something that could actually help more people. I contemplated going into the sciences or becoming a teacher or something where I'm not at risk for injury every single time I go to work."
He sighed, lacing his fingers with Derek's. "And I decided that even though sometimes this job sucks, much like it did yesterday? There are a lot more good days than bad days." He moved his shoulder, wincing slightly. "There are the on the job injuries: hell, I've been held hostage, shot, abducted, drugged, and poisoned before. But then I remember cases like the one in Louisiana with Sammy Sparks. I was the person that was able to get through to him. He felt comfortable around me and I figured out how he was communicating with the team, and days like that show me that I belong with this team and on this job." He looked up at him, smirking. "Sad, right?"
Derek shook his head. "Not at all, because I have cases like when we went to Arizona after Angel had been found in the desert. I stayed with him, and he opened up to me instead of one of his doctors or nurses. I was the first person he talked to after the ordeal and I made him feel comfortable. Everyone on the team has their demons, but they also have the good days that remind them why they do this." He kissed Spencer's forehead. "If you need to take a break, I'm sure everyone would understand."
He sighed, resting his head on Derek's shoulder. "I need to go back to work. I need something to get my mind off of it. We all do. I don't even think Rossi's going to take time off after the funeral. Just like when his ex-wife died, he'll want to get back to work as soon as possible." He reached up, wiping his eyes and exhaling. "I'm sorry."
"Do you feel better?" he asked, rubbing his arm.
Spencer thought about it and nodded. "Loads, actually."
"So talking about it helped?"
Spencer glanced up at him. "Don't be cocky and go get me some ice for my shoulder."
Derek had given Spencer his Tylenol and ice pack, sitting back down on the couch and pulling Spencer's feet into his lap.
Spencer put a pillow behind his back. "Derek, I'm fine. I don't need you constantly taking care of me. I could very easily do everything on my own-"
"And do everything the doctor said not to, only injuring your shoulder worse and having you in that sling another few weeks instead of until the weekend's over?"
"Come on, it's not that much to do-"
"Not only would you further your injury, but I'd have my Baby Girl on my ass if you get anymore injured. I'm sure she's hacked into the hospital records and knows everything that's wrong with you. If you have anything else, she'll come after me, and I do not want to be on the receiving end of that."
He sighed, leaning back against the pillow and putting the ice pack on his shoulder. "Are we going to continue this marathon or what?"
Derek reached for the remote, grabbing it and pressing play, patting Spencer's feet.
Spencer reached over the back of the couch, grabbing the blanket and putting it over himself.
"How are you always cold?"
"Because you're always hot and this apartment is always freezing as a result?"
Derek smiled, shaking his head and turning his attention back to the TV.
A while later, Derek patted Spencer's leg. "I'm gonna go grab myself a drink, do you want one?" When it was silent, he raised an eyebrow. "What? No coffee, no water, nothing?" He looked over and saw Spencer was fast asleep on the couch beside him. Rather than moving him to the bedroom, he fixed the blanket that was over him so it covered his whole body and kissed his forehead, before getting up and walking to the kitchen.
Spencer sat up on the couch a few hours later, confused.
"Well, good morning," Derek said, looking over at him from the arm chair.
He ran a hand through his hair, glancing at the cable box and seeing that it was already time for dinner. "Don't you mean good night?"
He smirked. "I guess so. What are you thinking for dinner?"
He thought to himself before shrugging. "Anything that doesn't involve either of us cooking."
They ate dinner together and had a discussion about anything and everything Spencer could to keep his mind off of the pain and everything that had happened just 24 hours prior. Unsurprisingly, Spencer was trying to distract himself and talk about anything else, but the one thing he couldn't mask was the pain written all over his face. After Derek gave him something for the pain, he insisted on Spencer lying down while he cleaned up and tended to Clooney. Walking into the bedroom, he saw Spencer curled into a ball on the bed, his eyes closed and a blanket pulled over him. He carefully tiptoed over to his side of the bed and slipped in beside Spencer, trying to make as little noise as possible.
"I'm awake," Spencer mumbled, eyes still closed.
He sighed, reaching over and rubbing Spencer's back. "Feeling okay?"
"Waiting for the Tylenol to kick in," he said softly, "just keep the lights off please."
"Mhm." He moved closer, resting his head on Derek's chest. "And the best possible thing you can do for me is quiet and cuddling."
"You sure we should be cuddling with your shoulder?"
"I'm sure I don't give a damn about my shoulder and deserve some cuddling."
He laughed to himself, squeezing Spencer's arm. "Don't worry, I won't deprive you."
Spencer yawned. "That's because you know better."
The next morning, Derek stayed in bed until Spencer woke up. When he finally did, Derek rubbed his back.
"How are you feeling today?"
Spencer scratched his head, running his fingers through Derek's hair. "I need coffee."
He smirked. "I meant your shoulder, but thanks for pointing out the obvious."
"Okay, I guess?"
Derek reached over, pulling up the velcro on the sling.
He quickly looked at Derek. "...What are you doing?"
"Putting you out of your misery. If it hurts, you put it back on, deal?"
He nodded. "Definitely a deal."
He pulled the rest of it off, moving the sling off of Spencer's arm and setting it on the nightstand. He watched as Spencer attempted to move it and, not seeing any difficulty, turned to him. "So, should I deliver your coffee, or do you want to get it yourself?"
"I've got it." He leaned over, kissing Derek's cheek. "Can I interest you in a cup?"
Spencer patted his cheek before getting up, walking out to the kitchen.
Derek listened intently as Spencer grabbed the mugs, poured the coffee, and added the sugar to his own, making sure there weren't any winces, whimpers, or whines to accompany them. All seemed to be going well and Spencer came back to the bedroom a couple of minutes later, a mug of coffee in each hand.
"How does using it again feel?" Derek asked, motioning toward his arm.
"Foreign," Spencer admitted, holding out the coffee to him. "Splash of cream, teaspoon of sugar."
"And that's why you're the best." He took the cup, holding it up in a silent thanks, before taking a sip.
"Sure, that's it. It has nothing to do with any other aspect of our relationship, oh no, it's my ability to make a cup of coffee for you." He sat down beside Derek, sipping his own and setting the cup on his nightstand.
Derek chuckled. "Nothing else at all. What do you want to do today?"
"... I have to admit, I'm looking forward to another day of doing as little as possible."
He raised his eyebrows. "Seriously? The great Spencer Reid wants to do nothing all day?"
"Mhm." He finished off his mug. "Possibly more TV and stretching my arm some, but other than that, nothing."
"I think we can manage that."
Most of Spencer's day was spent on the couch, relaxing. Anytime he needed something, Derek would grab it for him, giving him the chance to rest his shoulder. Every half hour, Derek would ask Spencer how his shoulder was feeling, just to be sure he didn't need to use the sling again. Luckily, it wasn't acting up, and Spencer only took something for pain in the morning when Derek insisted on it. He was lying back on the couch, his feet rested in Derek's lap, all of his focus on the book he was reading.
At one point, Derek reached over, rubbing Spencer's arm. "Can I get you anything?"
He set the book down, looking up at him. "I could go for a cup of coffee and a snack, but I've got it." He put the book on the table, pushing himself up on his elbows.
Derek shook his head, putting Spencer's legs back on the couch. "Don't sweat it." He walked out to the kitchen and came back a minute later, setting Spencer's things on the table beside him. "How are you feeling?"
He closed his book again. "My shoulder's not sore, if that's what you're asking. If it's not? My headache's non-existent, I'm not sore anymore, and I've yet to get my stitches caught on anything today, so I'd say it's a good day."
Derek laughed to himself. "I guess so. Are you going to be okay to go back to work tomorrow?"
"As much as I love you and Clooney? The fact that I've only seen the two of you the last couple of days? I need other company."
"So do you want Garcia to stop by?"
He quickly shook his head. "I love her, but she'd insist on constantly taking care of me, and you're enough of a pain." He pointed a finger at Derek. "And do not tell her I said that."
"You have my word."
The next morning, the two of them were getting ready for work, both quiet. Neither of them would admit it, but they were both worried about what the day would bring, considering everything that had happened to the team over the past week. They wondered if the day was going to go on as usual, or if there was going to be a different feeling in the building. All of them had gone through an ordeal with the Replicator, being personally targeted in one way or another: Spencer with the zugzwang taunt and Derek with Rossi going after him.
Derek looked across the room while Spencer was fidgeting with his tie. "Do you need some help?"
He nodded slightly, letting go. "My shoulder's just a little tender to move certain ways and I can't get it done just right. I'm sorry."
"Don't apologize." He walked over, taking the tie from him and tying it. "If you need to talk today, at all, about absolutely anything, my office door is open for you. You know that, right?"
"Mhm. And if you need to stop bottling everything up inside and actually talk about something, just give me a call and we'll talk in your office." He exhaled. "Did you get the text message from Hotch?"
"Yeah, Strauss' funeral is going to be tomorrow." He fixed Spencer's tie again before holding out his jacket. "How do you think Rossi is?"
"I don't know. When his ex-wife died, he was out for a few days and came back. I think more than anything, he'll want to get his mind off of everything that happened and bury himself in some work, you know?"
"I do." He kissed the top of Spencer's head before reaching over, grabbing his car keys off of the dresser. "Want to stop for a coffee on the way?"
"You know me so well." He patted Derek's cheek before putting his bag over his shoulder, following him outside.
At work that day, the entire team stayed to themselves, sitting in silence and getting their work done. To everyone's surprise, Rossi had come into work that day, but he stayed up in his office with the door closed, as did Hotch. There was little interaction between them, aside from small talk of how they spent their weekend and talking about anything they could to get their minds off of everything that happened. At one point, Derek had called Spencer to meet in his office, and that was where he finally started talking about everything that was bothering him. It felt good to Spencer that he was finally able to help Derek through his problems, as Derek had dedicated the few days off to taking care of him. After comforting him, the two of them went back to work. None of them knew what the future held at this point, but for now, they had each other to lean on, dealing with the aftermath of one of the most exhausting years at the BAU.