"Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one?"

-George Orwell

Schizophrenia is a disease that typically begins in early adulthood; between the ages of 15 and 25 (…) the odds of familial schizophrenia developing through traumatic experiences or recreational drug use are one in three; from the American Medical Journal.

"I know what it's like to be afraid of your own mind."

Someone was whispering to Spencer Reid.

He sat at his desk, minding his business with a tattered copy of Grimm's Fairytales because an unidentified serial killer found himself obsessed with recreating the original, gruesome fates of the fables' heroines, when he heard it. A voice, soft and silky and just a little lazy.

They'll kill you, this voice said. They'll gut you like a fish.

Reid jerked his head, glancing at JJ beside him. "What?"

She looked up from her paperwork, her blond hair scooped back into a sagging ponytail. "What?"

He sat straighter, crinkling his eyebrow. "Did you say something?"

She mimicked his mannerisms, lifting her pen just slightly. "No. Why?"

His breath caught, bony fingers balling into fists and lips tightening into a straight line, upturned in mockery of a smile. "Just thought I heard something."

Reid walked into his apartment, twitching and gripping his bag as thought it were the only thing in the entire world keeping him on the ground. He fumbled with his keys and pushed the door open. Ran in, ran to his room, to his dresser, to his drawer, dug through piles of socks and underwear until he felt it. A little glass bottle of nothing.

No. No.

They'll kill you, the voice whispered to him. They'll hurt you worse then anything else can you can't trust what they say you need it you know it they don't know anything they want to kill you.

"Shut up," he said quietly. "Please shut up."

Thousands of statistics ran through his mind telling him why he was feeling this way and why the voice was whispering to him and even why he was so cold (and so warm, for that matter) and numbers and calculations and quotes, so many quotes, flooded him until he felt his head shaking and hisses ripping from his throat.

He slammed the little bottle back into his drawer with a thud and, while he was in there, snatched an old sock and twisted it around his knuckles, wringing it like a wet rag. Teeth clenched, he paced.

Should he call his mother? Or Gideon? Or Hotch? Or anybody? One of those anonymous help lines?

Spencer Reid did not have a fact available to him to the first time since he could read. His skin itched so badly he ravaged it with his fingernails until small beads of blood reached the surface (did you know blood is white until it breaks through the skin in which case…)

This is normal, he told himself. You are experiencing symptoms of a disease which has caused you much trauma throughout your life and you are painfully aware of it. You could get fired, detained, locked up and forgotten should this make itself known any sooner then necessary and you will be quiet and hide because they will kill you.

Statistics be damned, he was alone.


Morgan looked down at Reid, with his head ducked over a book and his hand shaking and his hair (greasy as a cheeseburger) fell in stringy tufts over his eyes. His shirt was untucked and his tie was loose and his face was pale, except for two cherry red blotches beginning at his chin and ending at the base of his neck as though he'd been riotously scratching at the skin for hours. He was muttering.

"Hey," Morgan said, stretching his neck to catch the younger man's attention. "That a good one?"

Reid broke his mumblings and looked up, quickly snapping the book closed and straightening his tie (with no real effect). "Yeah. Fifteenth century poetry. Chaucer. Good."

The clipped edge to his words stopped Morgan. Reid's eyes were bloodshot, bags like bruises swallowing his thin face. His entire appearance was uncharacteristically disheveled.

"Cool," he said. "You, uh, okay?"

"Excellent. Perfect." That strained, forced smile strangely reached Reid's eyes, tightened and suspicious and flighty, falling and sparking back to life at regular intervals. The right side of his face twitched.

"Uh…" Morgan trailed off, unable to look away from the…thing in his partner's eyes. Like that of a frightened child clinging on to the edges of sanity. It was like a car accident. Shit.

"Morgan, Reid," Gideon quipped from across the room. "Conference room. There's this new case…"

Shut. The hell. Up.

Reid smashed his textbook onto his desk top, his knuckles white gripping the edges. It was some kind of collection of medical journals, insanity throughout the ages. One he'd read twice over by the time he was sixteen and his mother was drowning in her own manic-depressive behavior. It was outdated and largely inaccurate, but for some reason the thought of his younger, less inherently damaged self comforted him, right up there with statistics and magic.

But that voice, breathing down his neck, feeding him nonsense and crawling under his skin like a maggot, kept him from reading, sleeping, eating, thinking. Three times since he had returned from work five hours ago had he sprinted to the dresser and held the bottle maniacally in his hands, like a dying man clutching his only salvation. And each time a terrible ache sent the bottle back into the drawer, and each time Reid reprimanded himself with the recitation of entire pages of scripture, which only succeeded in making the voice louder, the maggots larger, the ache as consuming as a spike-clad blanket and he couldn't think so shut up and let him read.

It has been two weeks since Spencer Reid had asked JJ if she had something and, oh, I thought you did, and he had missed work willingly for the first time since he'd been brought in at the age of twenty two. His absence was felt even before he was officially late.

"This is…" Prentiss said, staring at the clock, "…unsettling."

"I just realized I have never craved knowledge as much in my entire existence as I do now," Morgan muttered, unable to keep his eyes away from that empty desk.

"He didn't call in," JJ noted.

"He hasn't been looking too hot," Hodge said, not looking up from his manila folder of test results. "Probably just slept in."

"He doesn't sleep in, Hodge," Morgan snapped. In all honesty, the only reason he was so worried was because he had called that kid five times just last night and all he got was voice mail. "Have you seen him lately? He's twitching like a rat."

Garcia suddenly burst out of the tech room, pushing past agents and officials in her beeline towards the group, a phone tightly pressed against her ear and her mouth running rampantly.

"-wait, sweetie, just stay there, stay exactly where you are and don't touch anything, don't do anything-no, it's okay, your not, you'll be okay-we need to go to Reid's apartment now."

JJ stood up. "Why? Is that him?"

She was already sunk back into the conversation, spewing comforting nonsense into the earpiece and looking as though she were swallowing tar.

Hodge, standing to the side of Garcia, quickly reached out and grabbed the phone from her hands, "What is it?-Reid? It's Hodge…"

His face reached three different levels of unpleasantness in about three minutes.

First; confusion.

Then; realization.

Finally; horror.

"Reid," he said, above Morgan's demands and Prentiss' shouts and JJ's irritation and Garcia's breathy half-sobs, "Listen to me, Spencer. You have to wait, for just ten minutes…"

Morgan turned to Garcia, placed his hands on her shoulders and shook her, just slightly. "What was he saying?"

"I don't know, I don't know," she breathed. "I called him about a file I had unlocked and he was screaming about voices and his mother and I don't know he's going to hurt himself, Morgan!"

Hodge was out the door before Morgan could react.

Schizophrenics often suffer from hallucinations, most commonly 'voices', that can lead to excessive self-harm and even suicide; American Medical Journal.

He saw red, he heard red, he felt red.

He was red.

His textbooks were soaked to the indexes, fingernails cutting holes deep within their pages. Sheets of loose paper, obsessive equations scrawled out in chicken scratch, were all around him. A single glint, a single shine, stood out on Spencer Reid's desk. A needle, a knife, one of his instruments, mocked him. Dilaudid coursed through his system, not so much relieving the shakes but accentuating them and he knew he had taken too much, whether it be his intent or not (he'd guess the former, since he had immediately gone at his enlarged veins with a steak knife immediately afterwards).

And now his head was swimming and all he could see was blood, his blood. Did he regret it? Yes, because now his philosophy texts were ruined and the voice still jeered, the ache still throbbed, the twitch still…twitched. His breathing became erratic.

The phone, which he had placed safely on his counter without turning it off, was now alive with tiny little shouts. He heard his name, he heard nonsense, he heard squeaks and arguing. He heard many things from that phone, things that comforted him with the thought that, yes, maybe there was some hope for him.

He was sitting at his desk, swimming in drugs and blood loss, when his door flew open and the voice hissed, "They're here to kill you."

Now's not the time.

"Ohmygod." It came out as one word from Hodge, whom he recognized for the sluggishness in which he had kicked the door down. Morgan would have gotten it open quickly and Prentiss or JJ would have used their feet.

Reid stared forward at his papers, his books, his life, right there in front of him with the manic edge to his thoughts softening only slightly as the stupid goddamn voice was drowned out by shouting that only increased as the rest of his team caught up.

When he had spoken to Garcia and then Hodge on the phone, he wasn't completely aware of his actions, the words coming out of his mouth, because there was already rubber around his forearm and a needle breaking the skin. His phone had rang and he had answered it, just because, and he suddenly found solace in the lightness of Garcia's voice as she discussed her blatantly illegal hacking activities from a federal office of all places. He was so enamored with the sound of it that he hadn't realized the plunger was down completely and this was his part to talk, causing Garcia's tone to become less casual and more urgent and Reid spoke, just to calm her down, not caring what he said. His voice was hoarse, dry, from screaming all night, screaming at the voice, and he spoke to Garcia softly, quietly, before the passion of what he said caught in his through and he was shouting again, shrieking into the phone because this was a toe-to-toe battle with the voice, who was crazed in beating Reid in octaves, and he said something like, "it won't shut up I'm going to cut my head off make it shut up."

And Hodge was on the phone and repeated himself along those lines and now Hodge was here, ten minutes as he had promised, tailed by everyone except Gideon, who was probably sitting in his office drinking coffee and scanning case files. Even Garcia had been lured outside of her techie layer.

Reid was slumped over his desk, his blood, gazing at the red and he swore he could see himself in it. He swore.

His bloodied arm was pressed against his stomach and he was muttering again, to himself and to the voice and to Hodge and to Morgan and to JJ and to…everyone. He was muttering to everyone. They just couldn't hear him.

"Wait, it's his arm, look, his arm-get a towel, a shirt, something," Prentiss shouted above it all. He felt a hand on his shoulder, shaking him lightly but frantically, pulling his chair out and taking his arm and feeling and looking and trying to stop the gushing but Reid knew in his gut they were all too late. He could tell you the ratios and factors and statistics and numbers that went behind this assumption, but right now he was content with just knowing, not having all this information pass through his brain as he did so. For the first time since he was born, he didn't have to think.

He slumped over farther, his arm held out in front of him by a pair of soft, delicate hands, light headed and unable to hold himself up any longer. The voice said something else, spoke in clipped monologues and Reid came to the realization that the voice was his voice, his and Tobias' and his mother's and his father's and Jeremy's and Harper and everyone who had ever wronged him and who had ever righted him and the voice was just part of the larger picture, and he would be part of a statistic despite his genius, despite his status, yes, he would be a square on a graph, a blip on a pie chart. In his time of dying, Spencer Reid finally listened to the numbers that had been screeching at him since the day he first read them.

"No, why couldn't you wait five seconds?" Morgan cried like a man losing his child, shaking his shoulders violently in a now complete disregard for the delicacy, the paper-thinness, of Reid's skin. "You're such an idiot and your going to be okay, Spencer."

He could heart an ambulance and now he allowed himself to fall fully on his desk, let himself be taken by the pool of blood and all the knowledge at his fingertips, as he said, "It won't shut up."

But it did shut up. As the noise and sirens reached a crescendo and Reid's heartbeat was frantic with bloodloss, and the final light of his apartment shone brilliantly down at him, the voice that still plagues his mother and the countless other graphing squares hushed, for only a moment. And it was enough.

A/N Tis late at night, I have no work tomorrow, I slept will three thirty today so now I will be up all night. Look, Criminal Minds is on. I am watching it. Hey, look, Microsoft Word!

This is kind of just a filler for me to squirt out some creative juices while I'm waiting for something interesting to happen this summer. The other is my Glee story, which is probably just as potentially offensive as this one.

Keep in mind I've only seen about a season and a half's worth of episodes of this show and this is all a product of insomnia and my fetish for twitchy dudes. Did ya'll know this kid was in (500) Days of Summer?

Oh, look, sleeping pills…(in a sleeping way, not a suicidal way).