I Would Rather

Summary: His team always tries to protect him but he just wishes he could tell them how he feels. (Sorry I suck at summaries.)

Disclaimer: I own CM only in my dreams!

Italics are thoughts.

God I hate hospitals.

I slowly crack an eye open, yep, the site is what I expected, hospital. I let my eye close again. It just took to much effort to keep it open right now, especially when the bullet wound in my hip was making itself known. During the brief time I did have my eye open I took in the site of my team.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to tell them exactly how I feel?

Several hours later I awaken again, my team still around me. They are all asleep Rossi in the chair right beside me the chair pulled close to the bed, Morgan on a bench against the wall on the same side. JJ sits with him. Emily, Garcia, and Hotch are on the other side of me. Hotch farther down the bed nearer my feet, Garcia at my head.

Wonder how long it took her to get here? I chuckle. Emily is sitting on the floor between Hotch and Garcia facing me. I feel a hand on my left wrist, an I look over.


The look he gives me is one I have never seen on his face before. Part guilt, part gratitude, part anger, part profound sorrow. The sorrow is the one that confuses me the most.

"Rossi," I croak out in a very small whisper.

"Do you need me to call a doctor," he asks quickly, also whispering.

"No, how long has it been."

"Twelve hours, kiddo, and if you ever do that again I will put you in the hospital myself," he replies.

"I think you'll need to get in line, Garcia is gonna kill me," I return trying to be playful so he doesn't know how much pain I'm currently in. It doesn't work. He just stares at me leaning carefully back in his chair his hand still on my wrist as he quietly tells me to go back to sleep. I can't argue I close my eyes…. I'm out.

When I wake up next Rossi is still there along with Hotch.

Wonder when they ordered the others back to the hotel. For I know it would have taken a order to get Morgan to leave my side and even then he wouldn't he gone easy, neither would any of the others, I smile.

It took me over twenty years but I have a family. One I would do nearly anything to protect. Take a bullet, walk into a lab with a deadly pathogen whipping around inside it, make them laugh at my physics magic when all I want to do is cry, take more paperwork on myself so they can all go home to their families and lives. I go to work to be with mine.

Will I ever be able to tell them how I feel about them?

"I'm so sorry, kid." Rossi's whispered voice startles me out of my thoughts.

"For what," I ask confused.

"I was suppose to be the one that took that bullet, Reid," he answers looking down. "Maybe I'm just too old and should get out before I get one of you younger agents killed."

"Rossi," I start angrily. "Don't you dare think like that! The guy surprised us both, I just reacted on pure instinct faster cause I saw him first! Don't make me sic Garcia on you," my voice raising then dropping as I remember Hotch sleeping on my other side.

"I was point," he starts, but I cut him off.

"We partner up for a reason, Rossi, to have each others backs and I do not want a new teammate! I want the team I have, I trust you guys," I whisper at the end, it's the closest I've ever come to telling one of them how I feel.

Rossi's small smile warms my heart, he'll not talk about leaving now but it will be awhile before he gets his confidence back, he'll stay.

"You're gonna make me go gray, kiddo. I would have rather it have been me in this hospital with you visiting me," he says softly.

"I know," I answer cause I understand. It's always harder to watch suffering than to be the one that suffers. Its one of my selfish qualities, I hate! I mean HATE watching a member of my family suffer.

I can feel sleep pulling me to it.

"I just would rather it be me."

Are my last words to him before I'm out again, damn bullet.

Rossi smiles gently brushing the hair out of Reid's eyes as he slept.

"I'm still sorry, kid, we all are every time you get hurt. We love you too, you know, and for the record you've had your way far to often since I've known you. Next time it had better be me."

AN: This was my very first attempt at fan fiction, so please be gentle with your reviews (if you feel I deserve a moment of your time) but I would love some constructive criticism, are Rossi and Reid too OOC let me know. (I did try to keep them in character but maybe not Idk let me know.) Thanks for reading! J