Fandom: Criminal Minds
Rating: PG-13 (FRT) for mentions of drug use and one swear word
Pairing: Hotch/Reid pre-slash
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their copyright holders. No profit is intended.
Summary: Reid watches Hotch struggle
Author’s Note: I have recently become obsessed with the show “Criminal Minds”. Maybe it comes from my love of Sherlock Holmes, and the team of FBI profilers on the show reminds me of a whole group of Holmes’ running around and trying to save the world. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it definitely made me fall in love with the series. This is my first foray into the world of CM fanfic. Enjoy.
Spencer Reid knows that addiction comes in many forms.
His own personal demon, dilaudid, has rendered him, at various times, shaking with want and need and fear and obsession. It has left him terrified of narcotics, terrified of that sweet release and oblivion.
Terrified because he craved it so badly.
Perhaps it is his eidetic memory. Perhaps it is ingrained physical sensory perceptions. But Reid knows that he will never forget the feeling of the fast-moving, cold vibrations as the drug made its way though his body within mere seconds of injection, the frigid buzz that brought relief from pain, and fear, and horror. Mostly he will never forget how diluadid allowed Spencer Reid to escape from the mind of Spencer Reid, if only for a little while.
Reid also knows that he will always hunger for that feeling. That is why he rejects narcotics, all narcotics, fights against them in fact. He would not allow a morphine injection when he was dying from anthrax. He would not allow any narcotics even when he was fucking shot in the knee.
He glances down at his brace, the reminder of the bullet that went through his leg. It hurt. Crazy hurt. And even then he was too afraid of the addiction to allow himself the relief from the pain. He fought too hard to beat the addiction. He would not succumb again.
But addiction takes many forms. And he’s not the only one on the team to suffer from it.
Reid shoots a quick look across the plane at his boss, Aaron Hotchner, and then quickly down again at the floor. Hotch has his head buried in a file. Foyet’s file, Reid is certain. Hotch is losing himself into his own addiction – the addiction of guilt and despair.
Reid knows that Hotch blames himself for what happened. He blames himself for not being strong enough to stop Foyet. For being stabbed nine times. For being weak. For being human. Reid knows that Hotch blames himself for being the victim. Reid knows, because he blamed himself for the same things after his torture at the hands of Tobias Hankel, or whichever personality of Hankel’s was inflicting the pain.
It’s worse for Hotch in some ways, Reid thinks, because Foyet is still alive, still out there, still wreaking terror in Hotch’s life. At least when Reid limped out of that cemetery, Hankel lay dead and the immediate nightmare was over. But for Hotch, Reid thinks, the nightmare has only just begun. The attack was only the first part. It is the psychological torture of knowing that he cannot protect his son and ex-wife continues to torment Hotch. There can be no healing, no peace, until they are safe. And Hotch, who attempts (and mostly succeeds, if the truth is known) to control everything, cannot control what happens now.
Hotch is addicted to the pain of his guilt, Reid thinks. Hotch is addicted to his suffering because he cannot allow himself to find comfort while those he loves (even his ex-wife) suffer because of Hotch’s perceived weakness. Hotch feels he must suffer until he has ended the suffering of his family.
Hotch also feels, Reid knows, that he has lost the respect of those around him. Reid can tell by the way that Hotch reacts, expecting the team to challenge him. Reid wants to laugh, shake the man, cry out in denial, because he knows that he feels such strong admiration and pride for Hotch. He always has. He always will.
The fact that those feelings of admiration and pride have transmuted to something deeper, something more primal, Reid refuses to acknowledge. Reid is used to have his heart broken. At least having it broken by Hotch would be for a good cause.
Hotch feels he is alone. Reid knows this, because he felt he was alone. And Hotch will never turn to anyone for help even though, Reid thinks, Hotch desperately needs it.
Reid risks another quick glance at his boss.
He wonders if he’s strong enough, brave enough, to offer his help to Hotch uncalled for, unasked for. Reid wonders if he could survive Hotch’s rejection. He also wonders if he can stand by and watch helplessly as Hotch succumbs deeper and deeper to his despair.
Reid watches Hotch read Foyet’s file and wonders what he should do.
Addiction has many forms, Reid thinks again. He doesn’t know if he is powerful enough to fight the one he feels toward Hotch. He doesn’t know if he wants to.
Reid closes his eyes, letting the hum of the plane ease his tension. He knows that he has already decided to approach Hotch. He has to—for both their sakes. Now he just needs to decide when.