Spencer decided to stop drinking coffee after being admitted to the hospital for a caffeine overdose. He'd thrown away the caffeine pills and started drinking teas instead. He knew that stopping like this would cause some withdrawal effects, but he didn't expect it to be this bad.
After being released from the hospital Spencer was back at work and steadily avoiding the coffee machine. He hadn't had any coffee in a little over two days and he was starting to feel it.
There was an impending ache in the back of his head and his eyes were hard to keep open.
"You okay over there?" Derek asked after he had yawned for the fifth time in an hour and a half.
"Fine," Spencer grumbled not looking up from his files.
Derek frowned but didn't say anything more.
Spencer kept writing his reports and doing his consults. Every once in a while he'd shake out his hand to loosen the stiff muscles or stretch his arms. Once he twisted in his chair to pop his back, sighing in relief when it did.
"He okay?" Emily asked Derek as the genius rubbed his eyes tiredly.
"I'm not sure," Derek says. "I haven't seen him get up once today."
"There's no lasting effects from the overdose is there?"
"I'm not sure."
Deciding to just keep an eye on their friend they continued working, glancing up every few minutes or so.
Spencer tried to hold down his irritation as his eyes kept threatening to close. Digging his nails into his palms he refocused his eyes onto his file. The earlier impending headache was steadily making itself known with a building pressure behind his eyes and at the top of his head.
Deciding that maybe water will help he stands up from his desk, stretches for a moment, and makes his way to the break room. He grabbed a glass out of the cupboard and filled it from the pitcher in the fridge.
As he took a drink someone spoke from behind him causing him to jump.
"Hey Reid, how you-" Rossi started as he walked into the room.
"Shit, fuck, dammit come on," Spencer swore as water spilled out of the glass and down his shirt.
"Reid?" Rossi asked, slightly concerned.
Spencer shot the man a glare as he put the glass down and pulled at his shirt. "Dammit." He muttered again stalking out of the room to grab a new one.
Rossi just stood there confused before turning to watch the younger man.
"You okay there Spence?" JJ asks as he walks past her.
"I'm fine! Why does everyone keep asking me that?" Spencer exclaims rushing out of the room.
The profilers look to each other with matching looks of concern.
"If I didn't know any better I'd say he was high," Derek muttered.
"Don't even suggest it," Emily says shaking her head.
"Yeah, yeah sorry." Derek nods watching as Spencer walked back in going straight to his desk.
Spencer sighed as he collapsed in his seat. He rubbed his forehead, headache getting stronger with every passing minute. He knew his friends were getting worried, but he felt like he couldn't control his emotions. He was tired, his head hurt, his stomach was starting to churn a bit, and every little thing was irritating him.
Steeling himself he sat up and pulled another file towards him and tried to concentrate. Eventually he got into the groove and managed to push his headache away enough to get some actual work done.
The next few hours past peacefully. The agents managed to get some work done before deciding to take a bit of a late lunch around 1:30.
"Do you want anything pretty boy?" Derek asked as he got up from his desk.
"No thanks," Spencer tells him, moving a file to his growing finished pile.
"You need to eat Spence," JJ says still concerned about him.
"I'm fine," Spencer says, trying to push his irritation down.
He didn't even let Emily finish his name before he stood up quickly, grabbed his completed files, and walked up to Hotch's office.
The three watched him walk in and shut the door behind him.
"What is going on?" Emily asked confused.
"I have no idea," Derek says. "I'll see if Penny wants anything, meet you downstairs."
The two nodded and they went on their way.
Spencer huffed as he closed his boss' door behind him.
"Reid? Hotch asked as he entered the office.
"Here," Spencer says holding out his files.
Hotch took them still watching his face. "You know you don't need to bring these up here."
"I need an excuse to escape the others," Spencer says. "Now if you'll excuse me."
He was almost to the door when Hotch spoke again. "Why don't you sit down a minute."
Spencer huffed and sat in the chair across from Hotch, refusing to meet the man's eyes.
"What's going on Reid?" Hotch asks gently.
"Nothing," Spencer says, slightly gritting his teeth.
"We both know that's not true," Hotch says. "You've been upset today, we're worried."
"No lingering effects from a few days ago?"
"None." Spencer huffs. "May I go now?"
"Not just yet," Hotch says. "Can I ask why you're upset?"
"I'm not upset."
Hotch thinks for a moment before he realizes what must be going on. Love of caffeine or not, a hospital trip because of it is a bit scary. Spencer must not be drinking any. Caffeine withdrawals. And for someone who drinks as much as Spencer does, of course the effects are worse. Seeing the irritability and knowing it wasn't totally the man's fault he got an idea.
"Come with me," Hotch says getting up.
"Where are we going?" Spencer asks, doing as he's told anyway.
"Locker rooms, put on a t-shirt and shorts and meet me in the gym."
"What the hell," Spencer mutters walking past his boss.
Ten minutes later found the two standing in the middle of a sparring mat.
"What is this," Spencer demands.
"You're upset and irritable and need to let it out," Hotch tells him.
"I'm fine and I don't," Spencer says coldly.
Hotch raises an eyebrow at him.
"I don't think so," Hotch says stepping into the man's path as he tried to walk away.
"Let me go," Spencer says stepping in the other direction.
"No." Hotch follows.
This continues a few more times before Spencer exclaims "Just move!"
"Make me." Hotch challenges the man.
Spencer looks at him for a second, looking for something before his eyes harden. His hand curls into a fist and he swings.
Hotch, waiting for the man to let go, ducks. He'd rather Spencer let out his irritation in a controlled sparring match than blow up at some innocent intern or one of the others who didn't seem to know what's going on.
This went on for a while, neither men noticing the rest of the team walk in.
"Wonder how this started," Rossi says observing.
Hotch and Reid are bother getting hits in but nothing too bad. Reid is red faced and mainly offensive at the moment as Hotch dodges and delivers quick jabs.
Ten minutes in Hotch decided enough was enough and swiped his leg under Spencer's and knocked the man to the ground.
Spencer landed with an 'umph' and he groaned turning on his side. He took a deep breath as the activity caught up with his stomach. He had been feeling nauseous before this and the aggression, body heating up from fighting, his still present headache, and the fall jostled him just a bit too much.
Pushing himself to his hands and knees, he dry-heaved over the mat. Immediately Hotch was kneeling at his side and rubbing his back.
"You're okay," Hotch says gently. "It's alright."
There was a water bottle being placed next to his hand by someone else and a cool cloth placed over the back of his neck. He heaved one last time before his arms started to shake. Hands helped him into a sitting position and the water was pressed into his hand. Carefully he drank the water and looked up to see the team watching him worriedly.
"You okay?" Hotch asks quietly.
"Yeah, better," Spencer says, this time meaning it.
"You want to explain what today was about?" Rossi asks from his other side.
Spencer avoided any eye contact, taking another sip of his water.
"Caffeine withdrawals." Hotch answers for him. "Irritability, nausea, headache I'm assuming, and a bit of drowsiness."
"How-" Spencer started.
"Don't think I didn't notice you yawning all morning," Hotch says with a small smile.
"When did you last have any caffeine?" JJ asks.
"Three days ago," Spencer says.
"No wonder you felt so bad today pretty boy," Derek says.
"You know you didn't' have to give up all caffeine," Emily tells him. "You just can't drink as much."
Spencer blushed lightly and shrugged his shoulder.
"Now that I think about it." Emily continues. "Did you even eat anything today? You've been at your desk since I got in."
Spencer looked down as the team stared him down. He shook his head lightly.
"You gotta eat Spence," JJ says.
"Was nauseous, didn't want to," Spencer says in explanation.
"Come on," Derek says helping him up. "We're gonna go see Penny and get you a cup of coffee and some food. Maybe a shower too."
Spencer smiled lightly and followed his friends out of the gym.
He was grateful to have so many people looking out for him.