*Ok, so I think I'm supposed to include disclaimers; I don't own criminal minds, or any of the characters, obviously. There's a bit of bad language, so it's rated T. And a possible character death. If it bothers you when the characters die in fanfiction, you probably shouldn't read it. Otherwise, you should. This is the first fanfiction I've written, so be nice. Or don't, I suppose it's your decision. Reviews would be awesome. Sorry if the formatting is screwy, I wasn't really sure how to separate the different chapters. This is just a short story about what would happen if Reid became schizophrenic. The title is pretty self explanatory.*
**Thanks to the couple of people who reviewed for "battling through it," so to speak; I'm not sure what happened but it deleted all of the paragraphs. I think I've fixed it now, but I'm not the most tech-savvy person so I can't be sure.**
The sky was dark; everyone else was gone, like usual. Hotch packed up his briefcase, stifling a yawn, wrenched open his office door, and started towards the exit. He couldn't wait to get home and see Jack, although his son was probably asleep. That was when he heard it.
Voices; no, a single voice. At first, he was sure he was imagining it, but then it got louder, and angrier; it sounded like an argument. It was coming from the break room; why the hell was someone in the break room at ten o' clock at night? Out of instinct more than anything else, Hotch put his hand over his gun and slowly made his way towards the voice. As he got closer and closer, the voice began to sound familiar. Hotch relaxed, taking his hand off of his gun.
"I already apologized," Reid's voice said stiffly. "What else do you want?" There was a long pause, and then he heard several gasps that sounded like sobbing. Feeling very uncomfortable, Hotch backed away from the door, realizing that Reid would probably be angry if he realized he was eavesdropping. He was exhausted, and it occurred to him that he should probably just go home; but something held him in place. "I'm sorry," Reid said, his voice constricted. "I had to do it. He would have killed us. You would have killed us."
Hotch frowned. Now he was even more confused. Who was Reid talking to? "If any of them find out about you…" he trailed off, and Hotch heard another sob. "Why can't you just leave me alone?" There was another short pause. "No, I don't want any!" he hissed. "You're not here! You're not my friend! Go away!" That was when he heard a smash.
Immediately, Hotch pushed the door open. Reid barely seemed to notice him; he was staring at the broken microwave, pieces all over the floor, with a shocked expression on his face. "Reid!" Hotch shouted. The young agent started so badly that he had to grab onto the counter for support. There was a tense pause.
"What happened?" Hotch demanded.
Reid swallowed, his eyes darting madly around the room. "I…my hands slipped," he said. He licked his lips nervously. "I'm sorry," he said.
"Who were you talking to?" Hotch demanded.
"Who was I talking to?" Reid repeated, his voice jumping several octaves. "I was on the phone. With a friend." There was no phone in his hands, or anywhere else that Hotch could see.
"Is there something going on that I need to know about?" Hotch asked sternly. Reid shook his head fervently, although he didn't meet his boss' eyes. Hotch sighed. "I'll help you clean it up," he muttered. Even if there was something going on with Reid, it was none of his business. He had learned by now that it was sometimes best to not ask questions.
Reid swallowed again, then nodded. "Thanks," he muttered. There was a brief moment of silence. "Sorry," he said again.
"What are you still doing here, anyways?" Hotch asked, bending down to pick up the pieces of glass. Reid didn't answer, nor did he make any move to help his boss. "Reid?" Hotch prompted, sounding annoyed.
Reid closed his eyes. "Sorry, Hotch," he said, "What did you say?"
"Why haven't you gone home yet?" Hotch asked again, louder, his irritation seeping into his voice.
"I haven't….haven't finished all my paperwork yet," Reid mumbled, embarrassed.
Hotch stood up. "What?" Reid was usually finished long before everyone else.
"I've been having trouble….focusing. I'm a little tired. Lot's to do, you know." His eyes were still closed. Hotch didn't reply, just made a mental note. He needed to tell Morgan to stop slipping extra paperwork into Reid's pile. The kid looked exhausted, not to mention emancipated.
Hotch frowned. "You know," he said, allowing a smile to creep along his lips, "It's usually considered rude when you make a mess like this and stand around while someone else cleans it up."
Reid opened his eyes. "S…sorry," he said, and squatted down to help Hotch clean up the microwave. After the break room had been returned to normal, Hotch made his exit, leaving Reid at his desk to finish the paperwork.
Hotch got home at eleven o'clock. Jack was already asleep, which he'd suspected. "I'm sorry," Haley's sister whispered as she was leaving. "I tried to keep him up for you. He was awake thirty minutes ago, but he just passed out." Hotch thanked her, but inwardly he was scowling. Stupid Reid.
Hotch arrived to the office at five thirty, barely awake. He was probably the first one there; again. Tomorrow, he promised himself. Tomorrow, he would drive Jack to school. He wouldn't let his son go another day without seeing him.
Upon entering the building, Hotch realized that he light was still on. Frowning, he entered the bullpen, a nagging suspicion forming. It was confirmed when he witnessed Dr. Reid, slumped over his keyboard with his head in his arms. He was fast asleep. Hotch rolled his eyes, approaching Reid's desk. "Reid," he said, shaking the young man's arm. "Reid. Reid!" He shook him more vigorously, but it was still several seconds before Reid jolted awake.
"Tobias!" he shouted, thrashing out and whacking Hotch in the mouth. Hotch cursed loudly, backing away from Reid.
"What the hell?" Hotch shouted, bleeding profusely from his lip. Reid didn't respond; in fact, he still didn't seem to notice that Hotch was there. His eyes were darting around madly.
"Hotch," he said after another minute of bleeding, "Hotch, you have to be quiet." Hotch stared at him in disbelief.
"I have to be quiet?" he hissed.
Reid's eyes looked clouded. "Shh," he whispered. "He's only just left. He's gone hunting, but if he knows your hurt he'll come back."
Hotch froze. What was going on? Was Reid still dreaming? He'd heard of people walking and talking in their sleep, but carrying on conversations? "Reid," Hotch said cautiously. "Are you still-"
"No!" Reid stood up, throwing his chair to the ground. "No! He doesn't- I don't-" Reid grabbed onto Hotch's arm, his grip vice-like. He studied Hotch for a moment. "Don't let him see you hurt yourself," he whispered. "He'll try and give you drugs. They won't help, much, in the end."
"I didn't hurt myself! You punched me in the face!" Hotch said, then swallowed. That wasn't going to help. "You're delusional, Reid, you need to wake up." He gently extracted his arm from Reid's grip.
"You're delusional, Reid, you need to wake up," Reid mimicked him. The impression was so accurate it was almost frightening. Hotch put his hand on Reid's shoulder, forcing him to sit down. "Reid. You are in your office. Tobias Hankel is dead. Everything is fine."
"Tobias Hankel is dead," Reid said. "Tobias Hankel is dead.. Tobias Hankel…" his voice broke off. "I'm sorry," he whispered. Then he passed out. Hotch supported his head, struggling to lift him up; Reid was quite a bit heavier than he looked. He carried him across the room before depositing him on a couch. Hotch patted his pocket, looking for his phone; should he call an ambulance? He had to call someone.
He heard a yawn; Reid's eyelids fluttered, and Hotch backed away instinctively, not eager to be punched again. "Reid," he said sternly. "This is Aaron Hotchner. You're at work right now. There's nothing to be afraid of." Reid sat up, looking around.
"What happened?" he asked. Hotch just stared, waiting for him to say something else. Reid frowned. "Did I fall asleep?" he asked. Hotch nodded once. Reid giggled uncharacteristically. "What happened to your face?" he asked.
Hotch just glared. "Reid, I'm sending you home," he said. Reid tried to sit up further, looking confused.
"Why? I'm not too tired. I'm almost finished with all the paperwork. In fact, I feel great." A huge smile lit up his face. "Is there any coffee?"
"You're going home," Hotch snapped. "As soon as Morgan, or JJ, or anyone else gets here, they are driving you home."
Reid looked extremely indignant. "Why can't I drive myself home?" he asked.
"Because your behavior has been very concerning lately." Hotch sighed. "Go home, get some rest, I'll even drive you in tomorrow. You can pick up your car then." To his surprise, Reid didn't argue further. He just shrugged, lying back down on the couch.
"You're the boss," he muttered, and closed his eyes again.
Morgan had been very confused when Hotch had asked him to drive Reid home. He had looked tired, sure, but they all were. Morgan scowled slightly as he glanced at his colleague, sprawled out across the back seat. Hotch treated Reid like a child.
Reid repositioned himself, stretching out so that his feet were pressed against the window. Morgan sighed. Great. That was definitely going to leave a mark.
"So," Morgan said, his voice taking on a teasing tone, "What happened to you? Did the coffee machine break?" He chuckled to himself.
There was a long silence, so long that Morgan glanced into the backseat to make sure Reid hadn't fallen back asleep. Then Reid muttered, "No, just the microwave."
Morgan frowned. "What happened?" he asked.
Reid yawned again and rolled over onto his stomach. "I smashed it," he mumbled.
"What? Why?" Morgan demanded, growing more and more annoyed by the second.
"Mistake," he murmured.
"Well, why don't you go home and smash your own microwaves, from now on," Morgan snapped. What was he supposed to eat for lunch, now? Reid obviously hadn't heard him; his mouth had fallen open and he was snoring quietly. Morgan rolled his eyes. By the time they arrived at Reid's apartment, he had woken up again and was staring absentmindedly at the roof of the car. He didn't move when Morgan opened the door.
"You know," Morgan said, "As much as I'd like for my car to serve as your own personal lounge area-"
"S…sorry." Reid sat up quickly, whacking his head on the roof of the car. Dazed, he grabbed his head, then stumbled out of the door. Morgan frowned at his younger colleague.
"Why don't I walk you up?" Morgan asked cautiously. He was beginning to see why Hotch had sent Reid home. Reid didn't say anything, but grabbed onto Morgan's shoulder for support.
He closed his eyes. "I just….need to get home," Reid muttered eventually. Slowly, Morgan led the young doctor into the building and up the stairs.
"What's your apartment number, again?" Morgan asked. "I've forgotten."
Reid kept his eyes closed. "I'm sorry," he muttered.
Morgan sighed. "It's okay, Reid, I just need to know your apartment number."
Reid didn't answer, but he opened his eyes, and with a determined air he broke free of Morgan's hold and started forward down the hallway. He made a weird hand motion on the way there; as if he were swatting someone out of the way; before stopping at door 205. Morgan jogged forward as Reid fumbled with the key. "Look, man," Morgan said, as Reid stumbled inside his apartment. "Do I need to take you to the hospital? You're acting really…" he trailed off.
Reid swallowed, his eyes darting around madly. "Hospital? No…no, I'm just tired. Thanks Morgan." Then he slammed the door.
Hotch didn't look up when he heard the knock on his door. "Come in," he said curtly. He was surprised to see Morgan enter with a solemn expression on his face. "What's the matter?" he asked.
"Reid," Morgan said. "There's something wrong with him."
Hotch exhaled, irritated. "I know. That's why I set him home." He glanced back down at his paperwork.
"No. I mean, something really wrong. You know…" Morgan swallowed. "You know he's been getting headaches lately. And you know how he's always saying that schizophrenia is passed-"
"Morgan," Hotch interrupted sharply, "I don't have time for this. Get back to work."
Morgan folded his arms. "Hotch, if there is something wrong, denying it isn't going to help."
Hotch paused. "Dr. Reid is an adult," he said eventually. "If there's something going on in his life, it's none of our business unless it starts to affect his work."
"You had to send him home. So obviously-" They were both interrupted by a knock on the door. Hotch frowned as JJ entered, looking hassled.
"We have a case," she announced. Hotch and Morgan exchanged a look before following her into the conference room.
The phone was ringing. Garcia waved her hands back and forth in the air, trying to get the nail polish as dry as fast as possible. Finally, she let out a sigh, and extended her hand towards the phone. "You've reached the office of-"
"Supreme genius. C'mon, beautiful, don't you think I know that by now?" An automatic smile formed on her face as she heard the voice of her favorite agent.
"So, gorgeous, how's Florida going? What do you need?" She asked, wheeling her chair over to her computer. There was a pause. "Derek?" she asked.
"Actually, I was wondering if you could check on Reid for me."
She frowned. "What?"
"Just drive up to his apartment and see if he's alright. He's been acting strange. I'd do it myself, if I were there."
Garcia frowned. "I don't know…"
"It'll only take thirty minutes. You can have Kevin man your office while you're gone." Garcia bit her lip. She just couldn't say no to Derek.
"Alright," she muttered.
"Thanks, baby girl. Call me afterwards, okay?" She nodded. "Sure," she said. The call disconnected and she hurried out the door.
She knocked loudly. "Reid?" she called. "Reid?" She paused. How did she even know he was home? She pursed her lips. She could give Morgan a call, let him know she had tried. Then again, she knew that this would just worry him more.
She knocked one more time, and was about to leave, when she heard him. "Why can't you just leave me alone?"
Garcia froze. "Reid?" she called. "This is Penelope." There was a long silence.
"It's Penelope. From work." There was another pause, then she heard a lock being undone, a doorknob turning. Then the door opened. He was wearing the same thing as he had been yesterday. His hair was sticking in many different directions, and the dark circles under his eyes were even more pronounced than usual. He had a long, red, scratch across his forehead, which he didn't seem to notice.
"Am I late?" Reid asked her. Garcia just stared at him in confusion. "Am I missing work?" he asked. He narrowed his eyes. "I have coffee."
She swallowed. "Hotch sent you home, Reid…don't you remember?"
"Right…of course," he murmured. "Do you…do you want to come inside?" Before she could say anything else, Reid grabbed her hand and pulled her in. She could feel his hand shaking. "I have coffee," he repeated.
"I don't think you should have any more coffee," Garcia said.
"No, no, I have to stay awake," he said. He collapsed onto the couch and put his head in his hands. Garcia stood in front of him, frowning.
"You don't have to stay awake," she said. "Hotch sent you home so you could get some sleep."
"If I sleep…" Reid mumbled, "He'll come back. I know he will."
"Who?" Garcia asked.
Reid yawned. "Things have been weird lately," he said. "Do you want some coffee?"
"No," Garcia said firmly. It was then that she noticed what a mess his house was. There were about fifty different books lying open in different places; clothes and blankets were sprawled haphazardly around the room, and there were about twelve mugs of half-drunk cups of coffee that occupied practically every available surface. Garcia had no idea how he kept his house under normal circumstances, however, so she didn't say anything.
The silence lengthened, and Reid kept his head in his hands. "I should've gone to see her," he muttered eventually.
"What?" Garcia asked. "My mom," he said. "Should've gone to see her more often."
Garcia frowned. "You're busy," she said. "But I'm sure that Hotch will give you a couple days off, if you need to see her."
"Can't now," he murmured.
"Why not?" Garcia asked.
Reid took his face out of his hands, staring straight ahead. "We need more coffee," he announced, and stood up.
"No, Reid," Garcia said adamantly, "That's not what we need right now." Reid didn't listen to her, but instead began pacing back and forth, running his hands through his hair.
"He's trying to find me," he said.
"Who are you talking about, Reid?" Garcia asked. Reid didn't answer, but he let out a long breath. Then he resumed his earlier position; back onto the couch, head in his hands. "Reid?" Garcia prompted. "Reid, honey. What's wrong?"
Reid raised his head slowly, meeting her eyes for the first time. "He'll win, in the end."
Morgan answered his phone as soon as he saw who it was. "Did you check on him?" he asked.
"Yes," her voice sounded higher than usual.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
She swallowed. "He's acting…weird. No, Morgan, weird is an understatement. The place is a mess. Nothing he's saying makes any sense. He's drunk about twenty cups of coffee…"
Morgan sighed. "Are you still there?" he asked. He heard an annoyed huff.
"He kicked me out," Garcia said.
"Well, he started talking about his mother, and how he should go and see her more often. I told him he could, he said he couldn't anymore. Then he starting talking about how he needed more coffee…needed coffee because he couldn't fall asleep, or else he would come back."
"Who's he?" Morgan asked.
"I don't know! I tried to convince him to get to sleep; but then he got angry and started yelling. He practically forced me out of the door." He could hear Garcia's anxious breathing on the other end of the line. "I'm still outside his apartment now. I…I wanted to call you." Morgan closed his eyes, sighing. This was not what they needed right now.
"It's alright," he said. "You did the best you could. We're on a plane back now-"
"You solved it?" Garcia asked excitedly.
"If by 'solved' you mean the unsub killed himself and his two kids by driving off a bridge," Morgan said bitterly. He could hear Garcia's breathing get heavier.
"Oh," she squeaked. Morgan immediately felt bad.
"Hey, I'm sorry," he said, "We've all had a long day. Why don't you…get back to the office. Hotch and I can deal with Reid after we land."
He heard her breathing calm slightly. "Alright," she said, "See you soon."
It was a silent ride. Hotch could feel Morgan's eyes on him the entire time, waiting for him to say something. Hotch didn't know what to say. He kept his expression neutral and focused on driving. Finally, Morgan's phone rang, breaking into the monotony. He answered it after the first ring, then said, "Hold on, Garcia, I'll put you on speaker."
"Right," Garcia said, her voice now echoing throughout the inside of the car.
"What's going on, Garcia?" Hotch asked. They weren't even on a case.
"Well," she said cautiously. "There's something I thought you should know before you visit Reid."
"What is it?" Morgan asked impatiently. She swallowed.
"Well, I got to thinking, about how Reid was feeling guilty about not visiting his mom; and, I mean, I thought maybe it was just the sleep deprivation and caffeine talking, but I figured I'd do a bit of research, first, and I know you guys don't like me sifting through your personal lives, but-"
"Garcia," Morgan prompted, "Get to the point?"
"Diana Reid died four days ago," she blurted out, then let out a breath, as if she was relieved to get it off of her chest.
Morgan and Hotch shared a look. "Thanks, Garcia," Hotch said.
"Make sure he's okay," she said, then the line disconnected.
Morgan knocked loudly. "Reid, open up. It's Hotch and Morgan." There was no response, but they could hear the television blaring. Hotch knocked this time.
"Reid, it's your boss!" he shouted. "Open the door!" They got no response. Hotch gritted his teeth, frustrated.
"What do we do?" Morgan asked. "We have to make sure he's…" he trailed off. "Alright."
Hotch shook his head slowly. He knocked again. "REID!" he shouted, to make sure that the young agent would hear him over the blaring television.
Finally, Morgan let out a sigh. "Here," he muttered, taking a key out of his pocket. Hotch raised his eyebrows.
"You have a key to Reid's apartment?"
Morgan rolled his eyes. "Chill out. He gave it to me so I could feed his cat while he visited his mom."
"And you kept it?" Hotch asked.
"Do I see you complaining?" Morgan replied. Hotch didn't answer, and Morgan inserted the key in the lock. Only after he had pushed the door open did they realize how loud the television truly was. Reid was nowhere to be seen, but the house was exactly how Garcia had described it; there were books and clothes scattered all over the floor, and the coffee machine appeared to be overflowing with new coffee. Immediately, Hotch ran over and unplugged it. It looked like it was going to explode. When Hotch turned around, he saw Morgan looking inside a small notebook, frowning.
"What is it?" Hotch asked.
Morgan smirked slightly. "A diary," he answered. "Reid has a diary." He snickered.
"Put that down," Hotch chastised, "It's bad enough that we're breaking into his apartment."
"It's not breaking in if he gave you the key," Morgan replied. He flipped open the first page, and began to read; "'It was necessary to start a new book today, as I ran out of room in the other one,'" he began, in a poor imitation of Reid's voice.
"Stop it!" Hotch snapped, snatching the book from Morgan's hands. He glanced down at it. "We're supposed to be making sure he's safe, not looking at his personal…" he trailed off as his eyes grazed the page of Reid's latest entry.
"Hotch? What is it?" Morgan asked, the grin sliding off his face.
Hotch cleared his throat and began to read. "'He won't say where he's taken her. She disappeared thirty-four hours and twenty minutes ago. It's my fault. On the other hand, I know he won't find them. He wouldn't think to look there.'"
"Who is 'him?'" Morgan asked.
"And 'her…'" Hotch trailed off, flipping backwards to previous entries. "This one's from yesterday. 'I can't find her. I know he's watching me.'" His eyes trailed further up the page. "Two days ago: 'They asked me to apologize, but I already did. I know he'll hurt her if I don't tell him where they are.'" His eyes skimmed up further, and the entry that he saw made his blood turn to ice.
"Hotch? You alright?" Morgan asked. He advanced closer, reading over his shoulder.
The entry read, "I don't know what to do anymore. I can't let them find out. I don't want to kill anyone else." Hotch flipped back further, but there were no other entries except one from over a month ago. He paused, thinking.
"If Reid's mother died a week ago," he began, "He might be suffering from a psychotic break."
"Come on, man," Morgan said. "Reid would never hurt anyone." Hotch stared at the entry for another moment, then closed the book.
"You're right," he said. "And even if he would; he's been at work with us the whole time. And we would've known if there was anyone killed in the area. Obviously." Suddenly, they heard a loud alarm coming from the bedroom. Frowning, Hotch turned off the TV while Morgan advanced, pushing the door open. Hotch frowned at the small diary in his hands, opening it again. Maybe there was something he'd missed.
He heard an intake of breath from Morgan, and looked up. "Hotch," Morgan said weakly.
"What? What is it?" Hotch asked, advancing towards his colleague. Morgan just shook his head. The floor was covered with blood; the carpet, the walls, the bedspread. On the bed lay the mangled corpse of an animal that had literally been torn to pieces. A cat, Hotch realized, feeling sick.
"Reid's cat," Morgan said.
Hotch let out a sigh. "We have to find him."
Everyone on the team was out on the streets, looking for Reid. He hadn't been seen since Garcia had visited. Morgan had opted to stay at Reid's apartment, so that someone would be there if he decided to come back. Morgan had looked through all of his things; his books, notebooks, his bedroom, everything; but nothing gave a hint as to where the kid might have gone. He found himself sitting on the couch, looking through Reid's diary; he knew it was an invasion of privacy, but for some reason the earlier entries made him feel better; like there was no way Reid was losing his mind, there was no way Reid had hurt that cat, and there was no way Spencer Reid could hurt anyone, ever.
I read three books today on the plane. Although the first offered an interesting view of existentialism, author's the preferences seemed nihilistic as opposed to absurdist. Although the book claimed to be based in the philosophical doctrine of dysteleology…
Reid then proceeded to give a six page book review, followed by ten more pages on the other two books. Although they gave Morgan a headache, and he had no idea what he was reading, it made him feel like the old Spencer was back.
That was when he heard a key turn in the lock. Morgan stood up immediately. There was only one other person with a key to this . He remembered Hotch's words; "Don't get angry, don't antagonize him. We don't know what level his psychosis has reached." Morgan had known that, of course; he had dealt with plenty of psychotics in his lifetime; but this wasn't just some random unsub that he needed to calm down. This was Reid.
The door opened; Reid entered. He was carrying a grocery bag filled with items, and he had his sunglasses on. Even though Morgan was standing right in the middle of the room, Reid didn't seem to notice him. Morgan kept silent as Reid poured the contents of the grocery bag onto the floor. It was filled with soda cans; like Reid had gone and ransacked someone's recycle bin. Then, the boy proceeded to sit crossed-legged in the middle of the floor, sorting through the soda cans and humming to himself.
Morgan cleared his throat. "Reid?" he asked, his voice sounding a lot weaker than he'd intended.
Reid didn't look up. "I'm going to find her," he said, "You can't stop me." Morgan opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it.
"Those soda cans are helping you find her?" he asked hesitantly, inching closer to Reid. He took out his phone and sent a text message to Hotch- He's here.
Reid jerked away, then frowned. "W…who is that?" he demanded. "M…Morgan?" Morgan stepped back.
"Who did you think it was?" he asked.
"N…no one. I…what are you doing in my apartment?"
"You gave me a key, remember?" Morgan said, trying not to make it sound like he had invaded Reid's home. Reid stood up, and he could see his hands shaking violently.
"I…I have to clean my room," he stammered, stumbling forward.
"Reid, don't bother. I already saw." Reid froze in place.
When he didn't say anything, Morgan asked, "Why'd you do it, man?" He tried to keep his tone from sounding accusatory.
Reid's face looked pained. "Nothing to be done," he said eventually.
Morgan sighed. "Come on, Reid," he said. "I'm going to…where are you going?" Reid had gotten to his feet and walked to the kitchen, abandoning the soda cans on the floor. He began opening up cabinets at random, apparently looking for something.
"Reid," Morgan said, "Everything is fine. I just want to take you back to…to work, so you can talk to…Hotch." Reid grimaced.
"Hotch is mad at me," he said.
"Why?" Morgan asked.
"Because I punched him in the face," Reid said, in a matter of fact voice. Morgan raised his eyebrows. At least that statement had been logical. Reid ruined the moment when he reached into the cupboard and began pulling packets of pop-tarts out of the cupboard, peeling them open, and putting the wrappers in his pocket, abandoning the actual pop tarts on the counter.
"Reid," Morgan said, "Hotch is coming. If I call now, we can meet him…there." Reid didn't respond, simply moved onto the fridge, where he lifted the carton of milk and began examining it closely. "Come on, kid," Morgan said, forcing himself to stay calm. "Let's go."
"We can't," Reid said, setting the milk back down on the table.
"Why not?" Morgan demanded.
Reid paused for a moment, thought about it, and exclaimed, "We're waiting for Godot!" Then he collapsed against the counter, giggling hysterically at his joke. Morgan helped him to his feet, half guiding, half dragging him towards the couch. Reid was still giggling when he set him down. Morgan inched away from the boy, slightly unnerved. He had never heard him laugh like that before.
"Reid," Morgan said, "Is there something you're…worried about?" After he'd said it, he realized that he hadn't worded the question very well. "Is something wrong?" he asked, trying again, although something was already very obviously wrong.
The smile disappeared from Reid's face. "Can't tell," he muttered. "It's a secret." Morgan swallowed.
"Does it have to do with your mom?"
Reid kept his eyes fixed on the table. "He's hidden her," Reid said, "It's my fault."
"Who," Morgan began, then took a deep breath. "Who is 'him?'"
"I have to save her," Reid said. Morgan inhaled once more.
"Reid," he said quickly, in a desperate attempt to jolt his friend back to reality, "Reid, your mother is dead. She died four days ago." Reid's head shot up, meeting Morgan's eyes for the first time. He looked furious.
"Stop it!" he shouted.
Morgan put his hands up defensively. "Stop what?" he asked, trying to sound as friendly as possible.
"Lying!" Reid got to his feet and paced around the room.
"Reid, I'm not lying. You're upset, you're…confused," Morgan said, although that was an understatement.
"No," Reid said. "He's trying to trick me. He doesn't want me to save her. And you, you…" he trailed off, staring at Morgan. "You're supposed to be my friend!" he shouted, disgusted.
"I am your friend, Reid, and I'm trying to help you," Morgan said slowly, begging Reid to understand. "I need…I need to…" Reid trailed off, then made a beeline into the bedroom. Morgan followed after him, keeping close but not too close; he didn't want to make Reid any more skittish than he already was. Reid had crawled underneath his bed, his legs sticking out, obviously searching for something. Morgan glanced down at his phone, and saw the message from Hotch: I'm coming. Morgan immediately felt relieved as Reid began to pull himself out from under the bed. Maybe Hotch would be able to reason with him…
The relieved feeling disappeared immediately when he saw what Reid was holding. It was a pair of glass vials; they were filled with clear liquid, and Morgan knew that it could only be one thing…
"I thought you stopped," Morgan said, before he could stop himself. Reid stood up, examining the bottles.
"I kept them here, so they would be safe," he said, looking at them with affection.
"I thought you stopped," Morgan repeated, anger leaking into his voice.
Reid glanced at him, confused. "I didn't use them," he said. "I kept them safe."
Morgan nodded. "Okay," he said. "I believe you." He paused. "Why don't you give those to me?" Reid recoiled, clutching them to his chest.
"They aren't yours," he snapped. "I have to give them back to Tobias. If I don't give them back to him, I'll never see my mom again."
Morgan smiled, trying to appear comforting. "Its okay, Reid," Morgan said, "You don't have to do anything. Tobias Hankel is dead. He can't hurt you anymore. You killed him."
Immediately, Morgan knew that it had been the wrong thing to say. A convulsion ripped through Reid's body, as if he had been administered an electric shock; he dropped the vials onto the floor and fell backwards onto the bed.
"NO!" he screamed, thrashing about so viciously that Morgan had to run in and pin Reid down onto the bed to keep him from hurting himself.
"Reid! It's okay! Hey, man, everything's fine!"
Reid continued to thrash about, screaming things like, "I confess! I'm sorry! I killed them! I'm sorry!" Morgan gave up trying to reason with him, and simply focused on holding Reid to the bed, keeping the thrashing to a minimum. Gradually, Reid ran out of energy; he lay on the bed, panting. He gazed up at Morgan imploringly.
"I don't want to kill anyone else," he whimpered.
"It's okay," Morgan said, brushing his hair out of his face. "You haven't killed anyone, Reid. We're going to get you some help. It's okay." Reid didn't appear to hear him.
"I sent her there," he choked, "I sent her there to die. Now I can't save her anymore." He took a deep, gasping breath. "I have to give them to Tobias," he repeated, "tell him I'm sorry…"
Morgan didn't say anything; he just stood up, took the vials, and put them in Reid's top drawer. He would deal with that later. Reid lay still, save for the panting and occasional choked sob. Morgan went over and helped his friend sit up, wrapping his arm around his shoulder.
"It's okay," Morgan said, although he felt like crying himself. "Everything's going to be fine." They stayed like that until Morgan heard the doorknob turn; he whipped around as Hotch entered, with Rossi and Prentiss not far behind him.
"Its alright, Morgan, we've got him," Hotch said, and Morgan backed away slowly. Reid's eyes were vacant; he stared straight ahead, saying nothing. He allowed Hotch and Prentiss to help him stand up, but his face remained expressionless; as if he were in a trance.
"Reid?" Hotch called. "Reid? Can you hear me?" The boy's face remained expressionless, his eyes glassy.
"We have to get him to a hospital, he's going catatonic," Hotch snapped, and he and Prentiss practically dragged Reid out of the room. Morgan made to follow him, but Rossi's hand held him back.
"Why don't we wait a bit," he suggested, "Give them some space. Too many people might overwhelm him." Morgan stopped moving, but continued to watch as Hotch and Prentiss dragged an unresponsive Reid out into the hallway. Morgan's mind raced, recalling a snippet of a conversation that had taken place over two months ago. "
You know my mom has schizophrenia, there are many different types," Reid had said, "Catatonic, disorganized…"
Morgan closed his eyes, remembering a snippet from a textbook he had read on the very same topic. "In some cases of schizophrenia, affected people may exhibit a dramatic reduction in activity, to the point that voluntary movement stops, as in a catatonic stupor."
Morgan shook himself, shuddering. He thought of Reid only this morning, talking to him about the broken microwave. He winced, remembering how annoyed he had been. He thought of a few days prior, when Reid had spent twenty minutes straight talking to him about Star Trek.
"How could he have devolved so quickly?" Morgan muttered to himself.
"He's a profiler," Rossi said, making Morgan start. He had forgotten that the older man was there. "He probably saw the signs coming. He hid them from us for as long as he could."
Morgan put his head in his hands. "He didn't want to end up like his mom…" In a moment of anger, he lashed out, slamming his fist against the door. "He told me about his headaches…he confided in me…I should've watched him more closely…I'm a profiler, too…"
Rossi put his hand on Morgan's shoulder. "Sometimes there are things you can't control," he said. "There was nothing you could have done, Derek." Morgan just stared straight ahead, the guilt mounting.
"Are you okay?" Rossi asked suddenly. "What happened to your arms?" Morgan looked down his hands; they were covered with drying blood, claw marks running up and down from where Reid's fingernails had scratched him. "I…I was trying to restrain him," he explained.
"You should put something on those," Rossi suggested, "Don't want them getting infected."
Morgan shook his head. "I need to see Reid," he said. "We have to follow them…we have to call the rest of the team…"
"We will," Rossi said, "But the last thing the boy needs right now is overstimulation. So, disinfect first." Morgan didn't like it, but he knew Rossi was right. The last thing Reid needed was six people crowding around him, staring at him.
"We should…clean up his apartment," Morgan suggested, after his arm had been properly bandaged. Rossi simply nodded, and the two of them set to work.
"It's a defense mechanism," the doctor explained to Hotch. "He'll come out of it when he's ready. Just keep talking to him." Hotch approached Reid hesitantly. After a moment of hesitation, he reached for the boy's hand, hoping foolishly that human touch would bring him out of the trance. Prentiss stood in the doorway, staring. Her eyes were dry, but hollow. They didn't speak.
Garcia told JJ as soon as Morgan called her. They were in a car less than three minutes later. She didn't care what Morgan had said; Reid didn't need space, as far as she was concerned. Reid needed his family and his friends. And since his only true family member had apparently just died in a mental hospital, he really needed his friends.
They all stood in a circle around Reid; all six of them, just as Morgan had feared. He sighed, and shook his head. Well, they were here. Obviously no one was going to leave. The best they could do was hope and wait.
The room was quiet. It was safe. He could see his mother smiling at him from the bed.
"Recite it again," she said, "They like it. I can tell." Spencer never knew who "they" were. He assumed it was grown-up stuff, like when he dad held business meetings or paid the taxes.
"Can we read a new one?" Spencer asked. He was getting very tired of reciting the same things over and over. She shook her head.
"They don't want that," she answered. Spencer sighed.
"Okay," he said reluctantly. This wasn't one of his favorite poems, but if it made them happy…if it made her happy…then he could be happy, too. He laid his head down in his mother's lap, closing his eyes.
"'This friar boasts that he knows hell,'" Spencer began, "'And God knows that it is little wonder; friars and fiends are seldom far apart. For, by God, you have oftentimes heard tell, how a friar once was taken to hell in spirit, once by a vision; and as an angel led him up and down, to show him the pains that were there, in all the place he saw not a friar; of other folk he saw enough in woe.'" Spencer paused for breath.
"'Now sir,' said he, 'Have friars such a grace that none of them come to this place?' 'Yes,' said the angel, 'many a million!' And unto Satan the angel led him down. 'And now Satan has,' said he, 'A tail, broader than a galleon's-'"
"Spencer!" He paused in his recitation, frowning. It was his father. The door to the room opened, and William Reid stood there. "Spencer," he said, "Everyone's been looking for you." Spencer frowned.
"What?" he asked. "But was just going to bed!"
His father gave him a small smile. "You can't rest for long," he said. "Not after what you've done."
"What have I done?" Spencer frowned, sitting up. That was when he felt something warm running down the back of his neck. Fingers trembling, he reached down his back and withdrew his hand. It was wet with blood; but it wasn't his.
"Mom!" Spencer turned around, and there she was; but she had changed. Her hair was short, cropped; her face was lined, aged. Her eyes were vacant and staring; blood was everywhere. Frightened, Spencer scampered from the bed, but as he stood he realized that he was no longer a child. He looked down at his hands. There was blood all over them.
"Look at what you've done!" William Reid screamed from the doorway. Reid put the bloody hands to his head, trying to block it out.
"No," he whimpered, "No, I'm sorry…" When he opened his eyes, Tobias Hankel stood in front of him, obstructing his view of his mother.
"Do you think I'll get to see my mom again?" he asked.
"P…please," Reid muttered. "I have to get by, I have to help her."
"Do you think I'll see my mom again, agent Reid?" Tobias prompted. He looked down at his stomach; there was a dark, red spot that was growing with every passing moment. "We don't have a lot of time…" Tobias collapsed to the ground.
Reid pushed by him, trying to get to his mother; but she wasn't there. Confused, he turned around; his father had disappeared as well. In fact, the whole room was disappearing; everything was spinning, everything was changing, everything was going dark…
And then he was in blackness. Frightened, Reid tried to open his eyes; but they wouldn't budge, as if they were weighted down. He trembled, trying to cry out; but there was no noise. There was nothing.
That was when he felt something on his hand. Something warm; another hand. Reid desperately reached towards the hand, trying to move. He could feel someone there. Someone waiting. Someone who hadn't given up on him. Reid felt the weight of the blackness being lifted off. Someone was calling his name. Using all of his strength, Reid wrenched his eyes open, and he was thrust into blinding light…
Hotch rubbed Reid's hand absentmindedly, humming to himself. Everyone save him and JJ had gone to eat dinner; although Rossi had practically had to drag Morgan from the room. JJ sat in the corner of the room, her chin in her hands, staring at Reid.
"He asked me to go to a movie with him," she said suddenly. Hotch frowned.
"It was a week ago. He wanted me to go with him to watch this…science fiction-existentialist documentary." JJ paused. "I asked him how long it was. He said it was five hours and forty-eight minutes."
"Oh," Hotch muttered, allowing the faintest of smiles to grace his lips.
"I declined," she added unnecessarily. The two of them sat there for some time in silence, staring at Reid.
"Maybe you can go see it with him," Hotch said. "After he wakes up."
JJ nodded. "Yeah," she said, "I think I will."
That was when Hotch felt it; the fingertips twitched slightly. Hotch leapt to his feet, keeping hold of the boy's hand. "Reid?" he prompted, moving closer to the boy's face. "Reid, can you hear me?"
JJ stood up immediately. "Spence? It's Hotch and JJ. We're here." Slowly, ever so slowly, his eyes flickered open. He squinted at the harsh light, turning his head into the pillow.
"Reid…it's okay," Hotch said, trying to keep his voice level. He squinted up at them.
Who's there?" he murmured, before flinching into the pillow again.
"It's JJ and Hotch," Hotch replied. "The rest of the team is here, too."
Reid sighed, closing his eyes again. "M' sorry," he breathed.
"You don't have to apologize," Hotch said.
"I…just don't want to kill anyone else," Reid breathed. "I have to find my mom."
Hotch and JJ exchanged a look. He was still delusional. Although Hotch wasn't surprised, he was overwhelmed with frustration. For some reason, a part of him had been hoping that Reid would wake up as his old self.
"Everything is alright, Spence," JJ soothed. "You're in the hospital."
"...are they here too?" Reid asked, opening his eyes further. Slowly, he sat up.
"The whole team is here," JJ said. Reid shook his head fervently.
"Not them," he said. "Tobias. He and my mother are hurt." JJ froze, her mouth halfway open.
"Spence…" she murmured, and spoke the words before Hotch could stop her. "Tobias and your mother are dead now. You don't have to worry about them anymore." Reid just stared at her. Hotch felt his hand begin to shake.
"Reid," Hotch said, "Calm down." He cleared his throat. "Reid, you need to calm down."
"N…no," Reid said, "I have to go…" he attempted to get out of bed but Hotch immediately pushed him back down.
"Stay," Hotch commanded. "JJ, go get the doctor."
"I won't," Reid snapped. His arms were folded, his mouth clamped shut. Morgan sighed. He felt like he was arguing with a child who didn't want any vegetables.
"You'll feel better if you take them," he said. Although it broke his heart that it had come to this; he knew the side effects of antipsychotic medication; but all he wanted was to get Reid back to his old self, in whatever way possible.
"No," Reid said. "I'll feel better if you get me out of here, so I can save my mom."
"They aren't going to let you out of here unless you take them," Morgan said. Reid stared at the pills.
"They're watching," he said. "They're angry that I didn't finish reading."
Morgan had stopped trying to understand what he was talking about. "If you don't take them, you can't leave," he said.
"Untrue," Reid responded. "They can't keep me here against my will."
Morgan bit his tongue. "Okay," he said. "But they can keep you here for awhile. And…you need to get out soon, so you can save your mom. Isn't that right?" Morgan felt riddled with guilt, but he knew that he had to get Reid to take the pills somehow.
Reid paused, obviously contemplating his options. "You're right," he said finally. Morgan watched in relief as Reid swallowed the first, largest pill with a swig of water.
"You're doing the right thing," Morgan assured him, while glancing back into the hallway where Hotch was standing, watching anxiously. The rest of the team had been forced into the waiting room by the doctor. Reid finished the pills, then tried to sit up.
"Can I go now?" he asked.
"They haven't started working yet," Morgan said, putting his hand on Reid's shoulder, "Just…sit still for awhile."
"Are you leaving?" Reid asked, as Morgan turned to go and speak with Hotch. He paused, then went back over to his friend's bedside.
"No," Morgan said, "I'll stay here."
After several minutes, however, Reid fell asleep. Sighing, Morgan moved the tray and the empty cup of water out of Reid's way, and then went into the hallway.
"He took them," Hotch said, even though this was obvious.
Morgan nodded. "Let's just hope they work."
Reid slept for the rest of the day. Every so often, Morgan would look like he wanted to go in there and wake him up, but the doctors said it would be better to let him get some sleep.
"Go home, Morgan," Hotch said after the day was nearly over. "You look exhausted."
Morgan shook his head, biting his lip. "I told him I'd stay."
"The others have left," Hotch pointed out. Morgan's eyes narrowed; he looked slightly resentful.
"I'm not the others."
"I'll stay with him," Hotch said. Morgan hesitated for a moment, then sighed.
"I'll take a shower, change my clothes, and then come back in an hour. You need to get home to your son." Hotch nodded.
"Go ahead," he said. Once Morgan had left, Hotch meandered slowly into Reid's bedroom. He looked more like a kid than ever; his skin was chalk white, and the dark circles underneath his eyes were even more prominent than usual. He looked like he was whimpering in his sleep, muttering something undistinguishable. Hotch wasn't especially concerned by this until the nightmare apparently became more violent. Reid suddenly started thrashing madly, waving his arms around as if he were battling demons in his sleep.
"Whoa! Reid!" Hotch leapt to his feet and grabbed onto Reid's arms, pinning him down so he wouldn't hurt himself. Reid struggled for several more moments before letting out a small moan and falling limp. An Asian doctor poked his head in about a minute later.
"Everything alright?" he whispered.
"Its fine now," Hotch replied, and the doctor nodded and went on his way. Hotch heard another moan, and saw that Reid was finally stirring. Apparently, the violent nightmare hadn't been enough to wake him up, but the hushed conversation had been.
"Reid?" Hotch murmured. His eyes fluttered open very slowly, and finally, his eyes settled on Hotch. "How do you feel?" Hotch asked him. Reid stared at him for several moments, confusion mounting. He sat up and looked around. He opened his mouth, then closed it again.
"Why am I in a hospital?" he asked. Hotch pursed his lips. He knew that the medicine could cause amnesia.
"What do you remember last?" Hotch asked.
Reid frowned. "I don't…" he trailed off. "What happened?"
"What's the last thing you remember?" Hotch prompted again. Reid closed his eyes for a moment.
"Morgan," he said.
"What about Morgan?"
"He's…in my apartment." Reid's eyes widened. "Is he ok? Oh, god…"
"He's fine," Hotch assured him. "Everything's fine."
"Then why am I here?" Reid asked. Hotch didn't answer for a moment.
"I think you know," he said softly, after a short pause. Reid remained frozen for a moment, then drew his legs up to his stomach and put his head in his hands.
"Fuck," he said. "I'm crazy. Fuck. I knew this would happen. I knew it." His whole body started shaking as he began to sob uncontrollably. Hotch stood up immediately and walked over to his bed, putting his hand on Reid's shoulder.
"It's alright, Reid, you'll get through this. You aren't crazy." Reid froze.
"Could you not touch me please?" he asked, gasping for breath. Hotch retracted his hand, and Reid buried his face in his hands again.
"Reid…" Hotch began.
"Just leave me alone."
"Reid, I know you're in shock. But you aren't delusional anymore. That's a good sign that the medicine is working." Reid let out a moan.
"There aren't any side effects so far," Hotch said, "Aside from your lack of memory." Reid didn't say anything. "Everyone is here for you," Hotch said. "I'll call the team and tell them that you're awake again."
"Again?" Reid asked. "I was awake before? And I don't even remember it?" He swallowed.
"It's just mild amnesia brought on by the-"
"But I'm supposed to remember everything." Reid muttered brokenly.
Hotch faltered, unsure of what to say. They sat there in silence for about ten minutes. "You don't have to stay here," Reid said eventually, speaking into his hands.
"I'm obviously going to lose my job. I've been planning for something like this to happen. I already knew it was happening, really."
"Reid, we don't know anything yet," Hotch said sharply. "If the medicine continues to work like it is now, and you get better, there's always a way-"
"They aren't going to let a schizophrenic work for the FBI," Reid said scathingly. "Just get out of here, Hotch. I want to be alone."
Hotch sighed. Reid obviously wasn't going to talk to him right now. "Morgan brought some of your clothes," Hotch said, "And he'll probably be back here in about an hour." Hotch paused. "He cares about you. We all do."
Reid said nothing. Hotch sighed and exited the room, informing the doctor that Reid was awake. Morgan would be there soon, and Hotch hadn't seen Jack in three days. If Reid wanted him to go home, he was going to go home.
Reid stared at the bed, unmoving. He tried to gather his thoughts through the haze of the medication, but now that Hotch had left, he just gave up trying to fight it; he slumped against the bed, staring apathetically at a spot on the wall. This is the rest of my life, he thought to himself. Sitting in a hospital and staring at nothing. A mental image of his mother flashed through his mind; sitting in a chair, staring out the window.
A pointless existence. He had known this was a possibility. Vaguely, his brain mulled over his odds; there was an eleven percent chance that he would develop it if one parent was afflicted. Other environmental contributors include poor childhood health, advanced paternal age, drug and/or alcohol abuse, head injury, and trauma. Well, could certainly check off drug abuse, head injury, and trauma; those had all come with his job description. Reid would have punched himself, if he'd had the motivation. It was almost like he had been asking for it.
In bits and pieces, Reid's memory began to come back to him. He remembered Tobias; and the soda cans. The message had been in the soda cans. It had all made so much sense back then. Then he remembered his mother; could he still save her?
"She's dead," Reid muttered aloud. "She's dead, and I was delusional in thinking that she was alive." Then Reid sighed. What was the point? Who cared what was true and what wasn't? Life was meaningless; his mother was dead, he had lost his job, he would lose his friends, and he would spend the rest of his life in a sanitarium staring at the wall, just like his mother. He missed being delusional. At least then, there had been an escape. The medication offered a reality even more terrifying than the fantasy; the reality that he was insane.
Hotch had told him that the team cared about him. But why, then, was nobody here? Reid smirked. The team had only ever needed him for his mind. Well, now he was losing his mind. So who needed him anymore?
"Nobody," he said to himself. This realization was almost a relief. Nobody needed him. Then he realized what he could do. What he needed to do. The obvious solution.
"So you just left him there? All by himself?" Morgan was outraged.
"First of all, he's not all by himself. He's in a hospital. Second of all, he asked me to leave." Hotch sounded impatient; Morgan could hear Jack's voice in the background.
"He's all alone! He's schizophrenic, and he's terrified, and he's all alone!" Morgan was in complete disbelief at the older man's insensitivity.
"The medication's made him lucid. I thought I'd give him some space to think things over for himself. I told him you were coming within the hour." Despite Hotch's protests, Morgan could detect a hint of guilt in superior's voice.
"Well, I'm here," Morgan said, pushing open the door to the hospital. "I'll call you later, Hotch." He hung up the phone, then pushed his way through the lobby and jogged up the stairs to the third floor, deciding that the elevator wouldn't be fast enough. He almost ran into Reid's doctor on the way to his friend's room. "How is he?" Morgan asked breathlessly. The doctor looked confused for a moment, then responded.
"Oh, you're Dr. Reid's friend?" Morgan nodded. The doctor frowned down at his clipboard, then flipped through a couple pages.
"He's doing better," the doctor said. "The medication is affecting him positively, despite slight amnesia and possible depression, both which are side effects. But he's not having any hallucinations, and it seems like he's free from his delusions for the moment." Morgan nodded.
"Do you think he'll be able to go back to work?" The doctor gave him a strange look.
"Its agent Morgan. I work for the FBI. So does Dr. Reid."
"Agent Morgan; how long have you worked at the FBI?" Morgan folded his arms, not liking where this was going.
"A while," he said eventually.
"So you must be aware of the fact that anyone attempting to join the Bureau must undergo a rigorous psychological evaluation before they are admitted?" Morgan rolled his eyes.
"Reid isn't 'attempting' to join the bureau. He's already a part of the bureau. And he's a genius. And you said that the medication was-"
"Agent Morgan, in your experience, has the Bureau ever employed an agent who was taking antipsychotic medication?" The doctor asked, sounding impatient.
"No, but Reid is-"
"I'm sorry, Agent Morgan," the doctor said. "But as a doctor as well as a citizen of the United States, I would not condone a schizophrenic man working as an agent, no matter his experience or intelligence level. And I don't think you need me to tell you that," he added sharply. "It doesn't matter much what I think, but what the Bureau thinks."
Morgan gritted his teeth, clenching his fists together. But he knew that he couldn't be angry at the doctor; he was only doing his job. "Alright," Morgan said. "Anything else?" The doctor glanced down at the clipboard.
"Does Dr. Reid have anywhere to stay?" he asked.
"What?" Morgan replied.
"Not that I have much say in this, but I would recommend that Dr. Reid not live alone; for his own safety, as well as the safety of others. Although the medications are having a generally positive effect right now, they do have many serious side effects; as well as the fact that most schizophrenics will forget to take their medication, or simply decide to stop taking it." The doctor glanced up from the clipboard. "I'm assuming Dr. Reid has a relative he can stay with?"
Morgan shook his head slowly. "His mother just died," he said. "His father…well, he's not on the best terms with his father."
"In that case," the doctor continued, "I have a list of mental health facilities in which Dr. Reid-"
"No," Morgan said loudly, talking over the doctor. "No, thanks, we don't need that. He'll find somewhere to stay. Thanks, doctor." He pushed past the confused looking doctor, searching for Reid's room. When he entered, Reid was laying slumped against his pillow, staring straight ahead. Morgan worried for a brief moment that he was catatonic again; but then he saw his friend blink, and Reid's gaze travelled slowly towards Morgan.
"Hey," Morgan whispered, unsure what to expect. Reid didn't respond for a moment.
"Hey," he said finally. His voice was emotionless.
"How're you feeling?" Morgan asked, and immediately after he realized what a stupid question it was.
"I'm alright, considering." Reid didn't meet Morgan's eyes, and his voice still sounded dead and apathetic.
"We're going to get you out of here soon," Morgan said. "Tonight, if we're lucky. We just have to get your prescription filled, then boom; you're out of here."
A ghost of a smile drifted across Reid's face. "Did you get that list of mental health facilities?" he asked. Inwardly, Morgan cursed himself. Reid must have heard the entire conversation.
"Don't worry, man," Morgan said. "We'll get through this. You can…you can stay with me, until we figure things out." Reid fixed him with a disbelieving look, and Morgan knew he was right. Morgan was at work all day; he couldn't watch over Reid and do his job.
"That's alright," Reid said tonelessly. "You have a life, too."
Morgan sighed. "For the weekend, at least," he said. "We'll go from there."
To his surprise, Reid nodded once. "Thank you," he said. Then he paused. "You're a good person."
Morgan frowned. "I'm your friend," he said. Reid seemed to stare through him, instead of at him.
"I'd like to go back to my apartment, first," Reid said, and for the first time Morgan noticed an edge to his voice. "I need to get some things."
They left the hospital early the next morning. Reid was silent most of the time, aside from thanking Morgan every so often, and telling him that he was a good person.
"I'm doing this because I'm your friend," Morgan insisted each time, but Reid never seemed to hear him. The sat in silence on the car ride there; Reid staring out the window, keeping his sunglasses on. He seemed surprisingly calm; Morgan wondered if it was the medication, or if Reid had been expecting this for a very long time.
Reid's apartment was very clean when they arrived; Morgan had given Garcia the key, and he supposed she had probably come in here to clean up the mess; particularly the dead cat. Reid stood in the center of the room for a long time, watching as Morgan went around and picked up books that he figured his friend would like. Each time he asked Reid what he wanted, his friend would simply shrug. He seemed to be deep in thought.
Finally, after they had been in the apartment for fifteen minutes or so, Reid let out a very long sigh. Morgan immediately turned around, looking at Reid.
"What is it, kid?"
"Come here," he commanded to Morgan, with such an intensity that Morgan decided not to disagree. He walked across the room towards Reid; his mouth opened in shock when the other man reached out and pulled him into an embrace.
"You're a good person," Reid repeated for the umpteenth time. Morgan patted his friend on the back, unsure of what to say. Then Reid pulled away. "I'm sorry," he said gravely.
"Reid, you have nothing to be sorry about," Morgan began, but Reid didn't seem to be listening to him. He stepped back; his face was set, determined.
"I'm going to take a shower," Reid said. "I haven't had one since before the hospital."
"Sure, kid, whatever you want," Morgan said, seeing this as a positive sign.
Reid nodded once and headed for the door to his bedroom. He paused briefly in the doorway. "Hey Morgan?" Morgan turned around. "Thanks…for everything," he said.
"Sure thing, kid. I'll see you in a few," Morgan replied. Reid gave him a small smile and then closed the door.
They were still here. Of course they were; Reid had seen where his friend had put them. How could he ever forget? He went into the bathroom and turned the shower on, then returned to his room. He put the letter on the desk; he had written it months ago. Then he picked them up, along with the needle, and walked over to his bed. Everything was strange and mechanical, but he felt oddly calm; almost sentimental. Somehow, for some reason, it was meant to be this way.
Reid positioned himself to look like he was sleeping; his head on pillow, lying on his side. He hoped that Morgan would find the letter before he came to his body. The rest was easy. It was so easy. He filled the syringe with as much liquid as it would hold. He smiled at it, like it was an old friend. Then, as if in a trance, he found the vein; the needle went in; and then he pressed down, emptying the drug into his bloodstream. His body went limp, and the bottle clattered to the floor, the needle still in his arm.
Everything was beautiful for a few moments; Reid struggled to keep his eyes open, hoping to catch one last glance of the bedroom. That was when he was aware of someone on the bed next to him. Morgan? He mused. But it wasn't Morgan. It was her. And she spoke to him.
"You never finished reading," she said.
"I'm sorry," Reid breathed, although he wasn't sure if the words came out. She understood anyways.
"We'll see each other soon," she said sweetly. Reid sighed, closing his eyes. The darkness was cool, black, peaceful. He was safe now.
He stared out at the crowd of people in front of him. The team was there, of course. Rossi and Prentiss stood side by side; their expressions unreadable. JJ and Garcia stood holding hands; Garcia's face was puffy and red, and JJ just stared blankly ahead. Will was worried about her. He kept talking about how she hadn't grasped it yet. Will was there with Henry; and Hotch, of course, with Jack. Jack just stared at the ground; he had already been through one of these before. Agent Strauss stood in the back, looking tense and unhappy. Gideon was there, staring straight ahead; he hadn't spoken a word to anyone since he'd arrived. Elle was there, too, along with Agent Seaver and Agent Todd. Reid's father was there; he looked uncomfortable. Lila Archer was there, her mascara running all over her face. Nathan Harris was there with his mother, Tom Barden was there with his son, Jeffery; along with two dozen or so others and their families who owed their lives to Spencer Reid. Derek Morgan took a deep breath, looking out at the mass in front of him. He looked down at the speech he had written, then closed his eyes. He wished that they could just bury Spencer and leave this awful place. He wished he didn't have to open his eyes, look at those people, and pretend that things would eventually be okay. Because they weren't. They would never be. And there were no words.
*Yes, I really killed Reid. I'm sorry if that offends you. I don't think he would have been very happy in a mental institution, do you? Also, I had to restrain myself from writing a bunch more about existentialism, because I like that stuff. If I write another fanfiction it'll probably have a LOT more of that in it. "Waiting for Godot" is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, for anyone who hasn't heard of it; Reid wasn't actually waiting for anyone called Godot, he was just making a Reid-like joke. Please give me reviews! This is my first one ever, so even very negative reviews or any suggestions would be appreciated (although positive reviews are accepted as well…)*