Author: bowie28 (Bow)
Warning: 2nd person narrative, hurt/comfort, fluff
Word count: 1,135
Beta: None. I hope I didn’t make too many mistakes.
Spoiler: Reid’s story arch in season 6.
Summary: Spencer Reid is a man of habit.
Author’s Notes: I felt this one had to be done, and fortunately it fits into drabbles_by_v's prompt ‘C for Catatonic’ on my long overdue H/R alphabet memes as well. Yay! I hope it doesn't suck.
It’s Friday night and you’re unlocking the door to his apartment as quietly as possible. Save the lights from the streets, the room is in complete darkness. This doesn’t alarm you but it confirms your concerns. You take in your surrounding before using your familiarity with the place guide you to him without bumping into things and making a racket.
The curtains in the bedroom are half drawn, most likely in haste. You can see him there, barely, lying on his back, legs stretched out along the bed, arms by his sides, eyes close, perfectly still. Catatonic, you wince. You remember the first time you saw him like this. The panic you felt. It wasn’t something you ever wanted to feel again. But that was before. You now know better. You tell yourself he does this on purpose, because it helps him shut out everything. Shut out the world. Which includes you.
You take a step, then another, and you’re by the bed, looking down, weighing your options.
You take the riskier one, the one you might regret taking, but it’s also the one you know you’ll regret not taking.
You take a seat by his side, careful not to touch his arm. “How bad is it?”
The reply comes after a long exhale. “Not as bad as you think.”
His eyes remain close, his body as still as a corpse.
“But bad enough to cancel on us.”
That stirs a reaction. A grinding jaw. A tick you’ve picked up on for some time now.
“Jack doesn’t need to see this.”
The reply shouldn’t still hit you in the guts, but it does. Because no amount of understanding, affection, sex or therapy will ever make the memory, no matter how distant it has become, any less real. Especially for someone who can’t forget.
You want to say something. Something nice. Something comforting. Something like “You’re not your mother” and “You’re not subjecting Jack to your childhood,” but you can’t, because you don’t know for sure if that’s true. And because he knows you know that.
So you say the only thing you can say. “What can I do?”
A sigh comes softly, slowly. You can feel the relief, the gratitude. “An ice pack is known to help.”
It still overwhelms you, after all these years, when Spencer Reid doesn’t completely turn you away. He won’t ask for help; his psychological makeup won’t allow him. All this you know, and you’re fine with it. For the most part. But when he actually gives you an opening, like he is doing now, it shows how much trust he puts in you not to think less of him afterward.
“Okay.” You say the word softly because that’s how you want to touch him.
You leave the room and navigate through the kitchen. The refrigeration is virtually empty except for a box of orange juice and a container of Jessica’s lasagna she insisted he took home the night before. You quietly reprimand yourself for not picking up actual food before coming here.
When you find your way back to his bed with the ice pack, you can’t help but stand there and watch him. It’s a little unsettling that a man who normally can’t keep still for five seconds hasn’t moved a muscle since you left the room.
“Where do you want it?” you ask finally.
“On the forehead is fine.”
You sit down, closer this time. Without thinking you reach out and brush his hair out of the way. You don’t realize what you’re doing until his head moves into your touch. Another opening. It leaves you a little vindicated. So you place the ice pack carefully on his forehead before tracing his cheek with the back of your fingers, willing him to open his eyes.
When he does, this is what you tell him. “You scare me when you’re like this.”
He leans into your touch more and closes his eyes briefly. “It’ll go away eventually. It always does.”
“Until the next time,” you say, because it’s what you both are thinking, only this time you decide not to let it go unspoken.
“And I don’t mean just this,” you add before he can protest. “Every time something’s bothering you, you’re gone.”
Now you wait for a response, but all he does is looking resigned and exhausted. Suddenly you feel like an asshole for doing this when he’s obviously already in pain.
“I’m trying,” he manages, closing his eyes again.
You run your thumb along his cheekbone, wishing you could do more, because he deserves it, because despite everything else he is telling you the truth—that he is trying. And at the end of the day, it’s all you could have hoped for.
“I know you are,” you reassure him with your voice and your touch. “And I know it’s not easy. But here’s why you have to keep trying.”
You want him to look at you, and he seems to sense it. He opens his eyes.
“I meant it when I said it while we made love, and I mean it when I say it now. I love you. And I want to love you the best way that I can.”
He looks at you like you’re speaking a foreign language, the one he doesn’t know.
“Doing what we do, I don’t get to show you that as often as I’d like, but the one thing that our jobs allow me to do is taking care of you. So let me. Even when you think I won’t be of any use.”
His eyes soften and you feel he’s leaning into your hand again as if to draw your strength through the touch. It makes you wish you possessed healing powers.
“You will always be of use to me,” he says, closing his eyes. He makes a humming sound and lets out a breath of relief. You adjust the ice pack and press it gently. This makes him hum again.
“Does this help?”
“A little. Thank you.” He smiles, eyes flutter, fighting sleep.
“And thank you for saying that. I knew you meant it. But it’s nice to have it confirmed.”
This makes you smile. “Glad I could help.”
You watch him close his eyes, and for a moment it looks like he’s finally fallen asleep. So you move to leave him rest, but his hand finds you.
“I meant it too.” His eyes flutter, barely open. “I do love you.”
The words freeze you for a moment, then they warm you up all over.
“Good.” You say and lean in to place a kiss between his nose and cheek. And you stay there, just a little bit longer to take in his scent. Then you whisper, “Rest. I’ll be here when you wake up.”