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It's the 'what if's that hurts the most

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“Gary Michaels?”

 

“I didn’t know that was his name back then but It wasn’t unusual for you to play with adults- and you’d win too.”

 

“Did- did he do something to me?”

 

“Oh no, oh God no. It never got to that point. But when I saw the way he looked at you, I knew what he was.” 

 

His mother sounded so sure, so sure that Gary Michaels had never laid a hand on him. Of course Spencer believed her, Diana was always right when it came to him- why would she be wrong this time? But as he nodded in agreement in that office at the police station he felt something rotten begin to build in the back of his mind. Something that he knew wouldn't back down easily, something that would try and take as much of Spencer down with it. It was the last thing Spencer wanted nor needed so he brushed it off and finished listening to his mother’s explanation on what happened. 

 

The man was dead. Gary Michaels had been bludgeoned to death by the parent of one of his victims. Although Reid preferred to have their unsubs face charges for what they’d done, he was glad the man wasn’t on this planet anymore. He had been wrong about his father and he couldn’t help but feel guilty about how sure he was that the man had been a murdering child-rapist. He knew that if he took a step back and looked at the situation from an unbiased angle he’d know that it was an underlying need for him to punish his father for leaving him and his mother to fend for themselves. Leave him to fend for himself. Turns out he had been wrong about everything.

 

It was a few nights after they’d gotten home to Virginia that the dream started again. Spencer thought that the dreams would stop after he’d figured out the truth and they had, for a few nights. Then they’d started up again, except for the fact that now, the dreams were different. 

 

It started similarly, he was sneaking through a house, the lights were turned off and it was eerily quiet. He had his gun out, pointing it out in front of him in case he was attacked. He crept through the house until he made it down the stairs into the basement where he found a child's body. Reid could see the black sneakers over white socks he’d come to recognize as Riley Jenkins. He lowered his gun, the familiar feeling of failure blooming in his chest as he studied the motionless boy. Suddenly the body began to move. Spencer stood and watched in horror as the corps turned around and sat up. Riley stared at him. He looked angry, betrayed. When the other boy had stood up Spencer realised that they were the same height. Riley took a step towards him.

 

“Why didn’t you tell anyone? You could’ve saved us-” the boy in front of him spoke. His eyes had a dead look to them that Reid had gotten used to over the years, as awful as that sounds it was necessary if you wanted to survive in their line of work.

 

Before Spencer even got a chance to answer he felt hands on his body from behind him. Touching him, groping him. He tried to grab them, push them away but he couldn’t stop them as they slid down to his crotch. He cried out as the other hand wrapped around his throat and-

 

Reid shot up in his bed, frantically kicking the sheet away from him. Everything was too hot, too much. He needed to get the hands off of him. Away from him.

 

“Off, off, off. Get off me! Get-” He screamed horsey before realising where he was. He was in his apartment, alone. He was fine. It was just a nightmare. Spencer looked at his hands that were still desperately clinging onto the sheets on either side of him. He was shaking and before he knew it he was sobbing too. It had felt so real, almost as if- 

 

No. No, it was just a nightmare. Reading so many police reports on rape and abuse cases was getting to him a bit. Like Morgan said, it happens to everybody in the field. It was normal

 

He was fine.