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Tough Guy

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Spencer had been the first to question the gifts. The woman at the front desk of their new, shared apartment had said that a delivery man came by every now and then to drop off the gifts in their mailbox, and she’d since been prompted to trash the boxes if they hadn’t any return address. That’s when the calls started. They were frequent, Derek was spooked by the heavy breathing, and the whole thing made Spencer very paranoid. He took after Hotch and carried two guns, one on his hip and the other on his ankle, ode to LDSK, and he didn’t like it when Derek went anywhere alone.

Derek had been reluctant to tell Hotch. He didn’t want it to be a big deal. He also didn’t want the team knowing of him and Spencer’s relationship, but that was a bridge to cross when they got there. Derek told Hotch six months after it all began, and it was only because a brick came flying through their window, four stories above the pavement, and it landed right on the couch just inches from Finch, one of Spencer’s cats. Derek tried to calm his very frustrated boyfriend, who was ready to go shooting blindly into the dark. 

When Hotch found out, about the stalker and about Spencer and Derek, he wasn’t upset. He told his superiors only of Derek’s troubles, and the agent was moved to a safe house and given a temporary new name while the remaining team looked into his case. Eventually the team was handed over elsewhere, Strauss had said something about it being too personal, so knowing nothing about his lover’s investigation upset Spencer. Two months came and went like a slug trying to cross three football fields. Suspicion of something having gone on between Reid and Morgan arose when Reid’s stress became clear in Morgan’s absence. He had no contact with anyone, not even Hotchner or Strauss, so Reid’s questions fell on clueless ears.

JJ had been the one to approach him about it. She came to his apartment, the one he had on his own, but decided not to comment about how it seemed like no one lived there. 

“So,” she had begun, “You and Morgan?”

Reid choked on his coffee, just barely catching the dribble on his chin. He coughed for a short while, and JJ fought a smirk and leaned back while he composed himself.

”Me and Morgan?”

”Yes. You and Morgan.”

Reid looked away, “How do you know about that?”

”You think that woman who picked up the mail said nothing about you? She slipped a few times, talking to Emily and I. Don’t worry, we wouldn’t blab.” She shrugged, “But I’m worried. If Derek’s stalker is still in love with him, knowing you and him are together might anger them.”

”I’m not scared.” Reid sipped his coffee, “I’ve dealt with stalkers before. It seems like every time I’m interested in someone, they’ve got a stalker. I succeeded in saving Lila, so I’ll protect Morgan too.”

JJ gave a strained smile, “I’m happy to see you so strong, Spence, but it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay. You can stay with Will and I. We’ve got room.”

”No thanks,” Reid set the mug down, “I appreciate  you, but I need to protect myself. If they come here, I’ll be ready for them.”

”Ready how?” JJ asked, stress arising.

”I’ll just be ready.”

And that had been how it went down. Emily mentioned it casually in a conversation she and Reid were having on the way to a crime scene in Chicago, and it flowed so easily that Reid wasn’t even embarrassed about it. Talking to Garcia about Morgan was a cry-fest for the two of them, which surprised Reid, who never thought he’d cry with Garcia in her fancy apartment. Rossi and Hotch never directly mentioned it, but they never flinched whenever Reid was tense with worry about Morgan.

The stalker came at night, to Reid’s hotel on the case in Chicago. Hotch was speaking to Rossi in the bar, but that didn’t mean subduing Reid was an easy task. When he felt the bed dip, and when the pressure came to his face and throat, he immediately started throwing punches. He got the guy off of him, onto the floor, he wasn’t very strong after all, and it seemed his intention was to knock Reid out and drag him away; or perhaps kill him right then. The pain that exploded on the side of his head knocked him off the guy, he groaned and touched his temple, feeling the flowing blood. He blinked, tried to stand, but he ended up crumpling to the floor.

Reid woke up now and again as the travel happened, he counted the passing street lights and turns whenever he could. He was reminded vaguely of laying on the floor of Tobias’ truck, wishing he’d never run into the corn field. He groaned, which was a mistake, because the guy spat at him, which obviously disgusted the doctor. Finally his eyes came open and stayed open, he was in some stuffy place, a locker room maybe, he noticed the footballs and jerseys, and he cringed.

He knew where they were. Reid blinked a few times and tried to make sense of the figure.

“Who are you?”

”Derek knows.” The voice was scratchy, this person had clearly been crying.

”Derek knows you? Or he knows this place?”

”Both.” 

“Well, I don’t know you. So how is it fair that you know me, and you know Derek, and Derek knows you, but I don’t have the slightest clue who you are.”

When he stepped into the light, it didn’t help. Reid tried to place him, but he could not.

”Derek and I were friends as kids.”

”Oh?” Spencer lifted his brows.

”Derek and I played football together.”

”Oh.” Spencer whispered, “I’m sorry.”

”Why?” He stepped closer, “Shit happens. You know that. You analyzed him. I watched you. You dug into every aspect of that bastard’s life. You were so happy when he was killed.”

Spencer nodded, “Yes. So what?”

”I was happy when he was killed.”

”You have every right to be. What’s your name? We’ve never met.”

”No,” the stranger shook his head, “But I know you. I know you’re with Derek.”

”Does that frustrate you?”

“Yes!”

Spencer tried to move his hands. They were bound to the chair. He huffed, pissed that he was in this situation. The man stepped closer, but he just stood there.

”Are you going to hit me?”

”Not in here.” The man replied, “I’m Roman.”

”Roman,” Spencer repeated, “Why did you bring me to this place? It clearly makes you feel weak.”

”I lived here. When I was a kid. This is where he found me. This is where I started playing football.”

”You lived with Carl?”

”Don’t say his name!” Roman shouted, but Spencer did not flinch, “Its what Derek and I had in common. And we went to the same university. But when I made a move, he rejected me. But he loved you. I don’t get it!”

”He wasn’t ready to accept himself back then. He still had a lot of internalized hatred for himself. There were things he didn’t understand. He thinks Ca- that man made him the way he is. But he had nothing to do with Derek loving me.” Spencer shifted in his seat, “And trauma may bring you together but more than likely it won’t keep you together.”

Roman looked distressed.

”Derek knew you were pining after him back then.” Spencer sighed, “It made him uncomfortable, That’s why he avoided you. It has nothing to do with me.”

”He was waiting for you.”

”I was 13, Roman. How could he have been waiting for me?”

”I don’t know.” Roman shrugged, “Why did he pick you?”

”I can’t answer that for you.”

Roman sat down, right near Spencer’s legs, and the agent stared at him. Roman looked small, and he seemed childish, but something shifted. Spencer released a knowing sigh, and he watched Roman stand, a different looked in his eyes.

”Oh, great.” Spencer sighed, “Are you the one who hit me?”

”If I was?” He spat, and Spencer wiped his cheek on his shoulder.

”Where’s Roman?”

”Oh, Roman.” He said it as it was not him, and it clearly wasn’t, “Don’t worry. He’s tucked away. You scared him.”

”Oh, tell him I’m sorry.” Spencer sighed.

”Where’s Derek?”

”What’s your name?” Spencer asked.

”Paulie.”

”Really?” Spencer laughed, and this Paulie guy hit him across the face, “Ow, alright, guess I upset you.”

”Where’s Derek?”

”How do you figure I know?” Spencer asked, “Haven't you and Roman been watching me? Clearly I have no contact with him.”

”He told you.”

”He didn’t,” Spencer snapped, “And even if he did, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Paulie paced for a short while. He moved his hands through his hair before he approached Spencer quickly. He grabbed his pajama shirt, and Spencer gave him a painfully bored expression.

”You're gonna tell me where Derek is,” Paulie said, “Or else he won’t recognize you when he returns.”

Spencer hid his fear, “Well, Derek’s never failed to call me ‘pretty boy’, so I’m not scared of what you might do.”

Chapter Text

When Spencer heard the rain, he wondered how long it had been since he had fallen asleep. He remembered, vaguely, Paulie hitting him across the face until everything got dark and cold. He also remembered someone nursing a cup of water to his lips. He wondered who it had been. Both Paulie and Roman were violent, two different sides of the same coin, so he figured there had to be a third, non-violent part of Roman that wanted to care for Spencer. Oddly, his mouth was dry, but not so surprisingly, his head was killing him. He pulled at his bound wrists, the rope digging into his skin. Spencer let his head fall back, it kept falling from one side to the other as he struggled to stay awake. He felt someone touching his face, lightly slapping him to cease the disoriented state he was in. He opened his eyes and could hardly register who stood in front of him.

"Spencer, wake up." Roman's voice was scratchy as usual, "It's time to wake up."

"What now?" Spencer huffed, "You asked me where Derek is, clearly I do not know. What else do you want from me? What else do you need from me?"

"I need you to tell me where he is," Roman's voice broke, and Spencer opened his eyes as best he could.

Roman was crying, bent over and looking at him with wide eyes. Spencer almost felt bad, before he remembered it had been Roman who hit him hard enough to surely give him a concussion. Of course Roman was troubled, Spencer knew that, but he was angry that Roman loved Derek so deeply. The gifts upset him, the letters, the phone calls, the devotion; it was all so frustrating, and Reid wondered if the team was looking for him or if the case was passed to a different team. 

"I already told you, Roman. I don't know where he is." Spencer closed his eyes, "Why did you bring me here? Are you trying to show me what you and Derek had in common? Why would you want to hold this so close to your heart?"

"Shut up!" Roman spat on him, and Spencer released a sound of disgust, "Please shut up. You don’t understand. You don't know him as I do."

 "Oh?" Spencer challenged, "I don't? You knew him back then. I know him now. I love him and he loves me too. But he doesn't love you, Roman. He hates you. You're the reason we're separated!"

Usually, Reid wouldn't be so mean. He would try to talk Roman down. He would want to prevent Roman from hurting him. Roman did not seem like the kind of person who would go out and hurt other people. All this time he had only been after Derek, and his motives were not violent. Reid had read the letters, and they were never crude or evil but more so desperate and sad. Reid needed to see Paulie. He wanted to learn more about him.

"Shut up!" Roman screamed.

"Why?" Spencer leaned forward, and Roman leaned back, "Why should I?"

Spencer watched the change. There was a cringe, a recoil, and Roman's eyes darkened. Paulie was here now, but Spencer was not afraid. Sure he might earn a few strikes, but they meant nothing to him if it meant understanding the ins and outs of his lover's stalker. Spencer turned his wrists in the rope, trying to hide his nerves behind his faux harsh, angry expression.

"Roman went to hide again," Paulie frowned, "What is it with you? Scaring the little guy? You know he's only in love."

"Who are you?"

"I already told you." Paulie approached him, fists clenched, "You already know. Make this easier for us all, why don't you? Tell me where Derek is."

"You already know I don't know." Spencer's breath shook, "Who are you? Who are you to Roman?"

"I'm only Roman's friend. I come when he needs help. When he's scared."

"Do you love him?"

"Like a brother." Paulie replied, and crossed his arms, "Tell me where Derek is."

"Do you know Carl?"

Paulie struck him, it was a fist across his face, knocking the wind from him for a moment. Spencer frowned, and spit to the side once the taste of iron filled his mouth. He shifted in his seat so he was facing Paulie again.

"You will not say his name. Not—"

"Not in this place?" Spencer interrupted, "Where he hurt you?"

"He ain't hurt me," Paulie spat.

"Oh? So he hurt Roman? When did you show up to protect him?" Spencer questioned.

Paulie was getting angry, "I showed up when he was older. When reality hit. When he was scared of his emotions. When Derek Morgan rejected him. When he saw you two together."

"But I didn't even know about you. So why are you punishing me?"

"You deserve it!" Paulie shouted.

"How?" Spencer asked calmly, "How do I deserve it?"

Paulie tried to form his words, then scowled and charged towards the door. Spencer watched it open, and he cringed at the sunlight that leaked through. For a second he heard the sound of children playing, or laughing, or whatever, and he thought to scream, but his voice was trapped. He didn't know why, but shouting out for help to children would make him feel weak. What if they were horrified by him? Reid did not even know what he looked like. What was stopping him? Reid felt like crying. He was angry, and he missed Derek so, so much. He hated Roman for loving Derek, and hated Paulie for somehow having this unbeknownst control over him. Reid wondered how long he would be here. He wondered how long it would be before he could use his voice.

 


 

It looked like a crime scene. The blood, the torn sheets, the items sterwn here and there. JJ stood in the doorframe of the hotel room. Her blonde hair was pulled up into a loose ponytail, and she had her cardigan tightly wrapped around her torso. Spencer was her best friend. And she could tell he had put up one Hell of a fight.

"Based on all of this," Prentiss began, "Reid and the attacker might be similar sizes. I mean, do you think it was a woman?"

"The letters we recovered don't suggest it." JJ cleared her throat, "I mean, think about it. In all of the letters, Derek's stalker spoke of how their love might not be traditional. How it was once illegal. How many people might look at them with disgust. We already concluded that it's a guy."

Rossi lifted the sheets. He sniffed what they were stained with. "Smells like chloroform. Looks like the guy's intention was to knock the kid out. It didn't go as planned."

Hotch looked around. Forensics were digging around here and there, snapping photos and dusting. Hotch assured the lead detective of the Chicago case that Reid's absence would not distract them from the case they already had on hand. Women were being killed, and they had that to focus on, but Reid was a priority took.

"I should've seen this coming." Hotch shook his head, and eyes turned to him, "If I had been in here—"

"Then you would be hurt too." Rossi interrupted, "Having the three of you gone would do us no good. Focus, Aaron, there's no logical way you would have know that today of all days Derek's stalker would come here."

Hotch tried not to show the stress he felt, "Yes, you're right. Rossi, Prentiss, you go to the station and work the profile. JJ and I will work on locating Reid."

Prentiss went to argue, but JJ touched her arm gently, "I'll keep you updated."

JJ and Hotch went back to JJ's room to look through the letters Garcia had sent over. They need to find clues, any clues they could. They had to find Reid before it was too late. Even if the stalker did not seem violent towards Derek, that did not mean he wouldn't be towards Reid. JJ read for a while, before she tossed the letters off her lap and onto the bed.

"JJ?" Hotch questioned.

JJ looked helplessly to him, "We need Morgan, Hotch. These letters are coded. There's a deeper meaning to them. Ones you and I couldn’t possibly understand with someone who knows what the Hell it all means."

Hotch frowned. After a few phone calls, and a grueling hour, there came a knock at the door. Hotch went to open it, but a heavy hand grabbed the knob.

"Code." A harsh voice said, and Hotch knew it mustve been an agent hired to keep Morgan safe.

"388-912," Hotch replied, and both the agent and Morgan walked into the room.

He hugged JJ immediately. He and her had never been too close, but that didn't mean he didn't miss her. Plus, Derek and JJ both loved Spencer with all their heart, so they shared a similar pain in not knowing where he was. Derek shook Hotch's hand, and the agent stood silently by the door while another, who had not bothered to speak; moved to the window. He stood there only after closing the shutters and blinds. Derek plopped on the bed with a deep sigh.

"You guys have no clue how much I've missed you," he sighed, "I can't believe he's missing."

"We'll get him back," Hotch assured, "How are you holding up?"

"I'm okay." Morgan sighed, "Just nervous. So, these letters? Let's see these codes you two spoke of."

JJ handed him one, "There a reoccurring phrase in each letter. 'Remember there are no more apples in the basket'. He adds that to almost every letter. Does it mean something to you?"

Derek frowned, "It was something me and my friends said growing up. We found out we all had the same secret by accident. There were four of us who were close. When something bad happened, we'd say that there are no more apples. We learned in school that in many places apples symbolize peace. It was something we never had."

"What was the secret?" Hotch asked.

"We—" Derek paused, and looked away, "We played football together. We had the same coach."

JJ's face fell knowingly. She remembered the case that brought on that secret from Derek's past. She remembered him talking to Reid about it. It was when she suspected something blossoming between the two of them. It was when they were only ever there for one another and the rest of the team felt alienated. She never minded, when Derek went to Spencer or vise versa, because she knew they understood one another in a different way. 

"I see." Hotch frowned, "Can you write their names down?"

"Yeah." Derek nodded, and Hotch handed him the pad of paper he'd been scribbling theories on, "Hey, do you think I can call Garcia? I really miss 'er voice."

Hotch nodded, "That would be okay. Since we're all here. And she's safe at the BAU. We'll have someone look after her too, for safe measures."

Derek began writing, but stopped when JJ put her hand over his. He looked at her with a small smile, but it failed to reach his darkened eyes.

"We'll bring him home, Derek."

Chapter Text

When Spencer opened his eyes, a headache made him immediately close them. He groaned and heard the shuffle of a person's feet. A cup was brought to his lips, but he turned his head away. He was getting angry. Angry with this situation. With Roman, and Paulie, and whoever the Hell else was in there. 

"You need to drink, Spencer."

"I need to eat. I'm weak, my hands are shaking. You can't fill me up with water and expect me to be fine. I'll die here." Spencer's voice was hoarse.

"I won't let you die."

Spencer scoffed, "Maybe not you. But Paulie definitely would."

"No, he wouldn't!" Roman cried, "I told Paulie not to kill you, so he won't. W-What do you like to eat, Spencer? I'll get you something to eat if you tell me where Derek is—"

"Oh, give me a break!" Spencer let his head fall back, "I told you, I told you I don't know!"

Roman grabbed Spencer's head so he would look at him. Spencer tried to break away, but Roman held onto his head with a surprising amount of strength for someone of his size. Roman brushed Spencer's hair back and stared at him as if his eyes held all the answers. Spencer watched the change in him, the darkening of his expression, the rise of his shoulders, the loosening of his grip. Spencer breathed in and out heavily, knowing Paulie was there now, but just as fast as he arrived he disappeared. Roman eyes were softer, Spencer noticed, and he was pretty in a way Paulie just wasn't, and Spencer figured for a moment, in a different life, Roman might just be someone he would be interested in.

"Please, Spencer. I love him. I love him and he and I need to be together."

Spencer looked away, with his eyes of course. "That isn't possible. Derek will never love you now that you hurt me."

"If I shaved your head, and sent him all your hair in a pretty little box, do you think he'd come crying to me? He did always seem to love your hair." Roman blinked back tears, "I remember you let him braid it. Both of yall were laughing like you were the only two people in the world. I want that, Spencer. I want that love."

"You can find it with someone else," Spencer began, "There are plenty of people out there who would love you."

Roman leaned back and kicked Spencer's chair. Spencer tried to keep his head up as he fell, so his head would not crack against the floor. He strained because of the pain because of the way his back landed. He turned on his side as best he could, and he looked up at see Paulie's dark eyes staring up at him. 

"People who will love me?" He shouted, and Spencer cringed at the spit that flew from his mouth, "You sound like him! He always said that there are plenty of people who would love me, plenty of people who would find me precious, you have no clue what he did to me! What he drove me to do!"

"Drove you to do?" Spencer repeated, whispering.

When Paulie sat upon his stomach, he shifted uncomfortably for a moment, but he could tell Paulie did not have such intentions. Paulie pulled at the threadbare sleeve of his sweater. He jerked it up, and Spencer's face fell. The scars on him were faint, but still there.

"What he drove me to do. I started hurting myself when I was very young. When I wanted some sort of control, but that's the answer all them therapists gave me. I don't have a reason for why I did it, Spencer. I just did." Paulie laughed, "People don't love people like me. People don't understand me."

"I do, in a way."

Paulie stilled, "You? Really? Perfect, precious little Spencer Reid?"

"Yes." Spencer shifted again, Paulie's weight making it uncomfortable, "Look at my wrists."

Paulie hesitated. He reached over and pulled Spencer's left arm from the knotted rope. Paulie pulled up his sweater and trailed his thumb over the scars. One caught his attention. 

"How old were you? When you tried this?" The softness lets Spencer know that Roman might be returning.

"Twelve."

"Why?" When his voice cracked, Spencer knew it was Roman without having to look into his eyes.

"I was bullied. At my school. These kids, t-they attacked me. Tied me up, made fun of me, threw things at me."

"That is awful," Roman sounded like he might cry, "Was it because of your mom too?"

"Partially. When I couldn't help her, I'd be so mad at myself. It almost became a punishment for me."

Roman caressed his face. He was sobbing, and Spencer took advantage of it. He threw his hips upwards, and Roman fell off of him. Spencer scrambled upwards, and he yanked at his other tied wrist until he felt a pop and an explosion of pain. Finding his voice he screamed out in pain. Roman stood, stumbling in pain. He threw himself on Spencer, further bending his wrist, making him shriek louder. This was Roman, Spencer could tell by his sobbing, and when he finally got his wrist free, he used both hands to try to push Roman back off.

"I'll kill you!" Roman screamed, "I opened up to you, I told you our secret!"

"Get off!" Spencer yelled, "You bitch, get off, get off!"

Roman was thrown off again, and Spencer stood with weakened legs. He ended up falling, so he was crawling towards the door. Spencer heard the faint snap and splinter of wood, and when a pain burst through his head, he fell to the floor. His body shook, and Roman dropped the leg of the chair and stood back to watch.

"Stop it!" Roman screamed, "Stop it, Spencer! Please stop, please!"

 


 

Harry Peach was not a man of many words as he once was. He was a family man now, a grueling, emotionless businessman who would not touch his wife after their second child. Derek asked him to come in, and surprisingly he did. He arrived straight from work in DC, with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and eyes not far from dead.

"Harry."

"Derek."

The two shared a heavy hug with a hard pat on the back. Harry gave Derek a knowing look, and the two of them went to the balcony of the hotel room. Of course, Derek's protection stood near, and Harry watched the man wearily. Derek handed his friend bottled water, and Harry unscrewed the cap and downed it as his life depended on it.

"My partner is missing."

"You think I did it?" Harry asked.

"No. But the letters I got from the person who took them have codes only we know. Harry, it's not looking good for you. Assaulting a fed is a felony. Kidnapping one? Doing God knows what else? That's at least 30 years."

Harry scoffed, "So? You’re accusing me of stealing your partner, was it? Of sending you letters? It could be Devon, it could be Roman! He's the one who’s all fucked up, Derek!"

"You’ve been holding a lot in, Harry. You’re the only one who never saw anyone. Like we promised we would."

"You think I want Bella to know I was being r*ped by some bastard? You think she'd want to know her husband, her provider, her strength, was weak at any point?" 

Derek blinked, "It doesn't make you weak. And it's pay to be hurt, it's okay to be upset about this, Van."

"Don't call me that!" Harry shouted, "I'm not out there anymore! I'm not Van anymore, I'm Harry!"

"I'm sorry," Derek whispered, hurt that Harry had abandoned his group nickname, but understanding all the same, "I'm sorry, Harry. But man, you gotta understand that that bastard doesn't have any control over you. He's dead."

"Y'know I went and pissed on his fuckin' tombstone. Hard to believe that bastard even got a plaque. You saw that shit they wrote on it?"

Derek nodded, "Yeah, I went to see his grave. Harry, I can tell you didn't take them. But you gotta understand that it was one of the group. Have you had contact with anyone as of late?"

"I run into Devon from time to time. He and I don't talk though."

"Why?" Derek whispered.

"Cause he's a f*g, Derek. Got himself one of them fuckin' men, I guess? That bastard, I knew he was twisted."

Derek tried not to look too hurt, "I see. You’re free to go now, Harry. Get some rest, OK?"

Derek walked with Harry to the door. The man stopped though and turned to look at him.

"Hope you find your girl."

Derek gave him a stiff nod, "I'm sure we'll find my boyfriend real soon. You be safe out there."

Derek closed the door on his disgusted face. He leaned his back against it, and let out a few ragged breaths he had not even been aware he was holding. JJ came up to him, her hand on his arm. She always had a talent of keeping her friends grounded. Derek looked at her with only his eyes, before he fell onto his backside in front of the door. JJ sat with him, and Hotch came over as well.

"Maybe you should take a break, Derek. Get some sleep."

Derek placed his head in his hands and shook his head wearily. "I can't sleep knowing he's gone, Hotch."


Roman was in the corner rocking. He stared at the bloodied leg of the chair and Spencer's limp body. He was crying, and dragging hands through his hair.

"You killed him, you killed him," He sobbed.

"No!" Paulie's voice filled the space, "You did this! It was you! Derek will hate you!"

"No, no, no," Roman sobbed harder, his shoulders shaking.

"It's your fault, Roman! Stop crying, you fucker, run! Get up and run!"

He coughed a few times, nearly throwing up. He pulled at his coarse hair as tear stains wet his dark cheeks. He pulled knees to his chest and tried to make himself as small as possible. He froze however, when he heard Spencer groan. He cralwed over to him, and carefully pulled his bleeding head onto his lap. Spencer's skin was cold, and he was shaking. He looked sad and tired at the same time, and his face was all swollen from hitting the floor when Roman struck him with the bat. Paulie's punches he had thrown did not help either.

"My head," Spencer sat through clenched teeth, "My fuckin' head."

"I'm sorry. You just made me so angry."

Spencer pulled away, and though his head landed softly, he still groaned and rolled on his side painfully. Roman touched his shoulder, but flinched back when Spencer swung at him. The movement must’ve been disorientating, because he groaned again and lifted his uninjured hand up to nurse his head. Roman could not help but feel terrible. He got on his knees and crawled toward Spencer. The agent spat at him, and blood splattered on Roman's cheek. 

"Oh, oh you’re mouth is bleeding."

"That's cause I bit my tongue when I fell. Now I'm bleeding. And my head hurts, and my arm hurts, and I want to go home. I want Derek to hold me, not you!"

Roman slapped the ground, "Don't say that!"

"Fuck you!" Spencer screamed, sitting up only a little, "You're hurting me. How could you ever expect him to love you now? Maybe Roman, maybe you had a chance once upon a time, but that chance was lost the day he asked me out! And now you've gone and hurt me, so how could you expect him to do anything but hate you, especially when you hurt the only man he loves?!"

"Stop! He won't hate me! He'll love me when you're gone!"

"Fuck you! If you kill me, he'll want you dead! He'll never see you in prison. You'll rot, Roman! You, and Paulie, and whoever the Hell else!"

Roman scrambled back, sobbing, and pushed himself into a corner. He started rocking, pulling at his hair, and scratching at his skin. Spencer turned on his back, and closed his eyes. His body was aching. It all hurt so much.

Chapter Text

Spencer awoke to what he assumed was the next morning with a headache worse than what he had before. It was a pain he had not experienced before, and the ache from the blow along with the migraine did nothing to ease his troubles. On top of his all, his wrist was broken and swelling, and Roman was still shaking and rocking in the corner. That’s what made him pray he had not been asleep for just a few hours. He was unsure how much more of this Hell he could take. The door was so close, he was only about four feet from it, but he could move nothing but his fingertips. His body hurt, and he felt like he was suspended between a rock and a hard place. The rock being the bright sun outside and children potentially seeing him in such a state, and the hard place being Roman’s crazed and unpredictable moods. 

 

When Spencer did try to move, Roman hurried over and grabbed his leg. He pulled him away from the door, towards the gated area where the footballs were kept. He pushed him in there and locked the door. Spencer’s vision was blurred, and his hearing was hazy, but he heard the door open and shut. He groaned and tried to move, but he could not bring himself to do anything but slope to the side. Spencer was angrier than he ever thought possible. It felt like hours passed before Roman came back. Spencer watched from the floor as he set up a camera. The flash made him flinch, and he winced and turned away, He knew the pictures were for Derek. It made him sick, to think of his lover sobbing over his state. Spencer figured he might recognize the room. Spencer prayed he would.

 

When Roman was all finished, he set the camera down and unlocked the gate. He pulled Spencer out and put the camera on a tripod. He switched on the recording and Spencer keened knowingly. Roman tied his hands in front of him and straightened out his shoulders as best he could.

 

“Tell me where Derek is.”

 

“I don’t know,” Spencer shook his head.

 

Something heavy, maybe leather, hit his leg. He screamed and looked at Roman’s hand. He was holding a leather belt. Spencer squeezed his eyes shut.

 

“Tell me.” Roman hit him again, and Spencer closed his eyes tighter as he tried not to scream.

 

Roman hit him again.

 

“Once you tell the truth, it’ll be over!”

 

“I am!” Spencer screamed, “Fuck you!”

 

“Don’t lie to me, boy!” Roman screamed, “If I can even call you that! Boys don’t cry, Spencer!”

 

“Eat shit!” Spencer wailed, and Roman hit him twice.

“Tell me the truth, boy!”

 

“I am, I am, I promise!”

 

“Should I go ask your mother?” Roman enticed.

 

“No!” Spencer looked at him with wide, tearful eyes, “She didn’t do anything!”

 

Another hit, “Tell me the truth!”

 

“Dad, I promise I am!” Spencer screamed, sobbing as he hunched over, “I am, I am!”

 

Roman paused. He didn’t know it would work. He had broken into Spencer’s apartment and stole his journal just weeks before he kidnapped him. He remembered he was so stressed out when looking for it. Some of the things broke Roman’s heart. Reading about Spencer’s father was one of them.

 

“I promise, I promise, I’ll be good, I’ll be good,” Spencer’s hair fell into his face, “I’m telling the truth, please, please, I didn’t take it!”

 

“Take what, Spencer?” Roman whispered.

 

“The chess pieces! I know you didn’t want me touching them, so I never did!”

 

Roman was shaking. He switched off the camera, dropped the belt, and hurried out the door. Spencer watched him go, and he crumpled to the floor, feeling the ache of the developing bruise on his legs. He sobbed into the floor, bringing his tied wrist to his chest. Eventually, he stopped, and just stared aimlessly at the crack on the door.


'I am, I am, I promise!'

 

The CD had been left at the front desk for them. The woman said a little boy had said someone gave him money to give it to them.

 Hotch and JJ had checked the security cameras, and when they located the child, he had said some hooded, masked man approached him and said that he’d give him ten dollars to deliver something. It was on the kid’s way, so he agreed to it. Derek flinched everytime Spencer was hit. Spencer had told him the story of the chess pieces, and he told him about how horribly his father had punished him. Derek remembered wanting to kill William.

 

“He was at Spencer’s place.”

 

Derek looked to JJ, “What?!”

 

“Spence told me a while ago that his journal was missing. He said he didn’t want anyone to find it and read it. H-He said he wrote about his mother, and his father, an-and his love life.”

 

“He told you that?” Hotch asked, surprised, because all his and Reid’s conversations consisted of was textbook profiling.

 

JJ nodded. Derek got up, when the video ended, and punched at the bathroom door. He slammed it, locking himself inside. JJ and Hotch exchanged looks, and only tensed when they heard Derek throwing up. Eventually he came from the bathroom, running hands over his damp face. He stared at the freezeframe, of his lover looking so weak and defeated. He walked over to the laptop and sat down. He stared and stared, until Hotch put a hand on his shoulder.

 

“I know where that is.” Derek grabbed the screen, “That’s the locker room. O-On the field where we used to play!”

 

JJ stood up immediately. She grabbed her vest and began putting it on, while Hotch hurried after and dialed for back-up. JJ, Derek and Hotch all jumped into the SUV, with Derek’s protection not far behind. The flickered on the sirens, and county police began following after them. JJ was driving quickly, and Hotch was sure she would have broken the pedal by now if it were possible. Morgan shouted directions, and JJ popped a few dozen curbs on her way. It was so close, God it was so, so close, Spencer just had to hold on a tad longer.


Roman had come back not too long after leaving. He was sitting on the chair, watching Spenver shiver. Roman had been using the hose to drench him with ice cold water. His lips were blue now, as were his fingertips, and he looked a lot like a drowned rat. Roman didn’t understand why Derek loved him. He didn't understand what was so goddamn special about some skinny know-it-all with a bad back and a crazy mother. It pissed him off.

 

"They're coming." Roman sighed when he heard the sirens.

 

He picked up the leg of the chair after throwing the one that was not broken across the room. He pulled Spencer to a sitting position, and hit him once to knock him down, then another time to further his pain. He kept hitting him, slamming the bat against his body as many times as he could. When the door came open, he stopped, and looked at Derek, who'd pushed past JJ.

 

"Roman?" He whispered.

 

Roman dropped the leg. It was coated in blood. Roman put his wrists out, and JJ walked up to him. She was not kind, she slammed him to the ground and pulled his hands behind his back as roughly as she could. Derek went straight to Spencer, who was passed out. He brushed his hair lovingly from his face. Hotch took his wrist and checked his pulse.

 

"It's weak. We need EMTs."

 

Derek nodded. An officer called for them, and they were there sooner than Hotch expected. Roman watched from the back of an SUV as Spencer was loaded into an ambulance. The children in the park had been ushered away by parents, who were shocked to discover their loving groundskeeper had been keeping someone locked up in the lockerroom/equpiment shed. Derek's breathing was ragged as he stepped into the ambulance. Being in that place, being in this field, even for the short time he was there; it was all too much for him. He was just happy Spencer was safe. Now, all that was left was the recovery.

Chapter Text

The room lights were dimmed, thank God. Spencer sat up, and immediately Derek was at his side, adjusting his pillows. Spencer jumped, spooked, and Derek lifted his hands.

"Woah. Woah, I'm sorry, love." Derek touched his hand, "How are you feeling?"

"F-fine, thank you," Spencer touched his throat, "Um, do you think I could have some water?"

"Yeah, yeah!" Derek handed him a bottle, "I'll tell the doctor you're up!"

Derek left in a hurry and returned with a tall woman. Her coat read 'Morrison', so Spencer was glad he would not have to ask her her name. She approached him with a smile.

"Hello, Spencer."

"Hello."

Doctor Morrison furrowed her brows, "How are you feeling?"

"Fine."

"Good, good. I'm going to ask you a few questions, alright Spencer?"

"Alright."

Derek held his hand, and Spencer tried not to let his eyes widen.

"Can you tell me today's date?"

Spencer shook his head, so Doctor Morrison let her lips purse together to become a thin line. She asked him a few more questions, and finally, she gestured Derek.

"Can you tell me who this is?"

Spencer turned to Derek. He stared at him, then looked at their hands.

"My boyfriend?"

The doctor nodded, "Good. Now, what's his full name?"

Spencer looked at his hands again. He looked around, but when he found no clues, he softly shrugged. Derek became worried. If Spencer had amnesia, did that mean he did not recall what had happened? Did he think he was just in some accident? Derek let go of his hand, and Spencer gave him a pitiful look of apology. He turned back to Doctor Morrison when she cleared her throat.

"Can you tell me your full name, Spencer?"

"Um, no. But I like the name 'Spencer'."

Doctor Morrison smiled, "I'm sure you do."

"I-I don’t remember what happened. Why does my body hurt? Why am I in this hospital?"

"You were in an accident, Spencer. A bad man took you away, but only for a few days. That man is gone, and you are safe now. I'm going to tell you some information. Stop me if it is too much."

"Alright." He squeezed the sheets beneath him, so Derek held his hand.

The Doctor gently smiled, "You are Doctor Spencer Reid, but not a Doctor like me. You have PhDs. This is Derek Morgan, your partner. He's been at your bedside for hours and has only left to use the restroom. You are an FBI agent, you—"

"Stop, stop!"

She immediately did. "What was overwhelming for you, Spencer?"

"Everything!" Spencer panted, "Please, I don't want to know anymore. I-I want to sleep."

Doctor Morrison nodded, "Ok, you can sleep. I'm going to go now."

When she was gone, Spencer turned hesitantly to Derek.

”Hi.”

”Hi Spencer.”

”Are you sad that I didn’t remember you?”

Derek sighed, “I’m sad. But I’m not sad because of you. I just feel bad because of everything you went through.”

”Oh.” Spencer looked around, “Do we have a home?”

”Yes, an apartment.”

”Can we go to the apartment?”

”You don’t like it here?” Derek asked.

”No. I know that being in familiar places is good for people with amnesia. I also know that familiar sights and smells ca trigger memories.”

”I see. They might have to do CT scans first.”

”Oh. That machine is big.”

”Is it,” Derek nodded.

”I don’t think I want to,” Spencer whined.

”You’ll be okay.”

Spencer stared at him, “Do you have a shirt beneath your sweater?”

”I do.”

”Can I wear your sweater?”

Derek blinked, “Yeah. Are you cold?”

”Um, yes,” Spencer lied.

Derek slid off the sweater and handed it to Spencer. He watched him tug it over his head. He pulled the sleeve over his uninjured hand and inhaled once he pressed the fabric to his nose.

”What does it smell like?”

”Familiar.” Spencer decided, “Do you wear cologne?”

”Yes,” Derek smiled, “The one you got me.”

”Is it lavender?”

”Yeah!” Derek grinned, “You love lavender.”

”I see.” Spencer sighed.

After a few minutes of sniffing Morgan’s sweater, the doctor came in. She blinked, then gave Morgan a look as she walked up to Spencer. He jumped when he saw her, and she smiled.

”I’m sorry if I scared you. Spencer, do you know what a CT scan is?”

”Yes. With the big machine.”

”Yes. We’ll have to take you to one of those. And we’ll have to run some tests too.”

”I see,” Spencer touched his face, “Can Derek come?”

”To the test yes, but not to the scanner.”

Spencer looked at her, “Can we do the scan first? Then the tests?”

”Yes,” Doctor Morrison nodded.


Derek all but trudged back into the waiting room. He looked miserable and the others noticed. Doctor Morrison had told them what happened, so Derek did not have to break the news. When he sat down, Garcia, who had hopped on the plane and hurried there after solving the Chicago case, placed a hand on his back.

”He didn’t remember me. He didn’t remember anything,” Derek shook his head, “What if he never remembers us again?”

”Then we’ll be here,” Garcia whispered, “And we’ll help him put all the pieces back together. And when he has questions we’ll answer them. And he’ll fall head over heels for you all over again.”

Derek shook his head, “I want to be strong for him. I want him to not be scared. But fuck, Pen, I am so scared.”

”That’s okay,” JJ interjected, “I’m scared too. We’re all scared, Derek. But it’s okay because we have each other.”

Derek tried to hold back his tears, but he broke down. Garcia, JJ and Prentiss were at his side in seconds, while Hotch and Rossi sat awkwardly. They knew how to comfort victims, but they knew Derek knew their victim procedures and might just kill them for treating him like one. 

“It’ll be okay,” Garcia assured, “I’m sure he’ll be okay.”

Chapter Text

After the CT scan, Derek was permitted to return to Spencer's hospital room. He was surprised to find that Spencer was still wearing his sweater. He looked dazed, and a bit angry, as Morrison hooked him up to the machine to track his brain waves. Derek came and sat beside Spencer, who turned slowly to him before he looked away again. 

"OK, Spencer," Dr. Morrison smiled, "Just a few questions, OK?"

Spencer nodded, and he watched Dr. Morrison shuffle with the papers on her clipboard. She leaned against the table the machine sat on, and Spencer watched it scoot back ever so slightly.

"Spencer, where were you born?"

Spencer frowned, "Um, here?"

"Vegas, Spencer." Dr. Morrison patiently corrected, "You were born in Vegas. Spencer, I'm going to hand you some objects your boyfriend brought over. It's some stuff that your coworkers stopped by to get. Everyone wants you better, Spencer."

"Oh," Spencer whispered, and looked to Derek, "Alright."

Doctor Morrison handed him a little red book. The cover was coarse and the spine was cracked. The pages were cared for but had yellowed with age. He opened it up to the bookmarked page and stared at the printed writing inside. He squinted, his eyes hurting, but he was alerted when the Doctor placed her hand over the page.

"Can you tell me what this is?" She asked softly.

"My book, I'm assuming. It's important to me," Spencer supplied.

"Why is it important?" The doctor pushed as she glanced at the readings.

"Uh," Spencer furrowed his brows, "Someone read it to me. When I was little. Someone read it to me whenever I was sad."

Derek and Doctor Morrison exchanged glances. 

"Who read it to you, Spencer?"

"I-I don't know," Spencer frowned, "Someone. I don't remember. I don't like this."

"It's okay, Spencer," she assured, "I'm going to hand you something else."

She took the book, and in its place, there was a coin. It was pretty until Spencer read it.

"Two-year sobriety?" he read, "I'm an addict?"

"No," Derek touched his shoulder, "No. You're better, Spencer. You fought, and you won. You fought all by yourself."

"Did I lie to you about it?"

Derek shook his head, "No. We've only been together for a year and some months. But you were strong, Spencer."

Doctor Morrison smiled and took the pin. She handed him Finch's collar. Finch was Spencer's cat he had had for a few years. When cases were out of state, he had a pet sitter come over and watch him. Finch was a lot like Spencer. He was quiet and kept to himself an awful lot. Spencer loved him. Derek prayed he would remember.

"A cat?"

"Yes," the doctor sighed, "A cat. Do you know the cat's name?"

Spencer shook his head, so the doctor supplied him with an answer. That's how it continued, with Doctor Morrison handing him things and Spencer giving the surface of a deeper answer. When the doctor found what she needed and left the room, Spencer turned to Derek and frowned deeply.

"Are my friends here?"

"Yes," Derek nodded, "Do you want to see them?"

Spencer nodded, so Derek sent JJ a text. Not too long after, the team slowly filed in, looking awkwardly to Spencer, who stared at them with a very clear shock on his face. JJ waved shyly, as did Garcia. Prentiss had more confidence in her wave. Hotch approached him slowly.

"Hello, Spencer." He gestured himself, "I'm Aaron."

"Hi Aaron," Spencer said, "Derek says you are my friend. Is that true?"

"Yes, Spencer, we're friends." Hotch nodded, "But I am your boss first and foremost."

"My boss?" Spencer hummed, "Friends with my boss? Alright, I suppose."

JJ grinned, "Hi, I'm JJ."

"JJ," Spencer smiled gently, "We're friends too?"

"Oh, yes," JJ nodded, tearing up, "I missed you."

"Oh." Spencer whispered, "Because I was with that bad man."

JJ nodded. 

Prentiss walked up beside Hotch, "I'm Emily. I'm your friend too."

"Hi, Emily." Spencer squeezed Derek's hand.

"I'm Rossi," A voice said, and Spencer turned to him, "Or Dave, whichever you prefer."

"Hi, Rossi. I-I mean Dave." Spencer said, but it felt weird on his tongue.

Spencer sat there awkwardly, squeezing Derek's hand. He looked at his boyfriend, then down at his lap. He got a pain in his head, and he winced and touched his hand to his temple. He nearly whimpered and looked towards the curtain. The light shone through, so Derek hurriedly closed the curtains and rushed back to Spencer's bedside. Derek took his hand, and Spencer gave him a thankful look.

"I'm sorry I don't remember anything," Spencer whispered, "I can tell that you're all supposed to be important to me. B-But I don't remember anything."

"You don't have to apologize," JJ assured, "None of this is your fault, Spence."

"Somehow I feel like it is." Spencer shook his head, "I want to sleep. Can you all please go?"

JJ wanted to protest, wanted to say she had just gotten there, and didn't want to go so soon; but if she were in a room with a bunch of people she did not know, she would probably want them gone too. So, the team filed out, even Derek, who pulled up a chair and sat beside the door. Hotch and Rossi occasionally brought him coffee and whatnot, until he dozed off and a nurse gave him a pillow. It was the middle of the night when a different doctor came by and walked into Spencer's room. He was older than Morrison, maybe later fifties, and his presence alerted Spencer, who was looking at his photo ID in his wallet.

"Dr. Reid?"

Spencer looked towards him, "Oh, please call me Spencer. It feels so odd, you saying doctor and me saying it as well."

"Spencer," The man nodded, "I'm Frank, then. Can you tell me anything about you, Spencer? Doctor Morrison asked me to check in while she's doing a patient's surgery."

"About me? Well, apparently I am from Vegas. I have a boyfriend. He seems nice. I heard he has not left the chair beside the door." Spencer sighed, "Doctor? Do you know anything about the man who took me?"

Frank slowly sat on the edge of the bed, "I'm not sure it's a good idea to throw any new information at you."

"Oh, please? How would you feel, Doctor, if you were put into a hospital because of a man who you couldn't even picture? Did he— do something terrible to me?"

"No, no, Spencer, nothing like that." Frank cleared his throat, "The man who took you away was very ill. He believed something that was not true, and it lead him to take out his frustrations on you."

"Where was I? I want to go back there."

"W-What?" Frank stood. "Spencer, you cannot leave until you are discharged. And even if you are, I do not think it would be the best idea for you to go back to that place."

Spencer frowned, "I'd like to be alone now, please."

"Doctor Reid-"

"Please."

Spencer looked so upset, pleading with the doctor like that, that Frank stood and nodded. He scribbled something on his chart and walked out. Derek caught the door, noting the apparent stress on the doctor's face. When he saw Spencer, he glanced at him, looking for anything out of place.

"Did that guy do something to you?"

"What? No," Spencer shook his head, "I just want to go home, Derek. This is all very stressful for me. How am I supposed to be able to do anything if I cannot even remember my own lover?"

Derek walked to him, "Hey, it's okay. I'll remember for the both of us. I'm here to answer any of your questions. So, lay them on me."

"Why did I do drugs?"

Derek immediately regretted his words. He cleared his throat, and with stumbling words, he explained. He talked about Tobias and Charles, and the angel the young man thought himself to be. He talked about how Spencer opened up to him. He told him about the NA meetings, the recovery— everything he could think of. By the end, Spencer was staring aimlessly at him. That night, they stayed up half the night talking about Spencer's old cases, like Tobias, and Adam, and anyone else who happened to come to mind. By the end of it, Spencer cuddled up with Derek and gripped his shirt tight. The breathing of his lover lulled him to sleep, and thankfully, the night had not come with any bad dreams.

 

 

Chapter Text

Doctor Morrison had come in that following morning to run a few more tests on Spencer. She tracked his brain waves and such, and even took a blood test after forensics found out Spencer fought back pretty hard against Roman. When Derek and Spencer were alone, there arose a question that made Derek tense.

 

”Where’s the man who took me away?”

 

”What?” Derek stopped, touching Spencer’s hand, “In jail, why?”

 

”I want to see him.” Spencer sighed as he pulled his hand from Derek, “I want to know why he hurt me.”

 

”I can tell you that. You don’t have to meet with the guy who hurt you.”

 

Spencer frowned, “I want to. I want to know why he did what he did. Doctor Frank told me that he was a very troubled person. I want to know what sort of troubled he was.”

 

”H-He wants that, Spencer. He wants you to come to him for answers. His intention was for you to end up like this. It’s why he hit you in the head so much,” Derek gestured his bandages, “Why would you want to see someone who did all of this to you?”

 

”No one is supplying me with very good answers. Everyone is saying I have to get my memory back, but how does anyone expect me to remember anything if this goddamn room is all I know?” Spencer snapped angrily, “I want to go somewhere else. I want to be somewhere else!”

 

Derek paused. He understood that feeling, wanting to be anywhere else but where you were. So, he spoke to the doctors. They agreed to let Spencer go home if they went to their city’s hospital and reported his condition after one week. After signing his discharge papers and receiving his prescription, the team was on their way to the airstrip to leave what seemed to be an everlasting nightmare. The plane ride back home as quiet, Spencer did not really say anything besides the occasional question. JJ showed him photos of his godson and Hotch showed him some of Jack. He was surprised to learn that the children enjoyed his company. Spencer did not remember if he liked children or not. 

 

Garcia, who had to go home early because of office duties, was so happy to see them back. Spencer greeted her, she seemed nice and colorful, though at first he thought she was just a greeter at the airstrip because of her airport-themed outfit. Derek did not mind the silence in the car. It was quite soothing actually. Derek kept glancing at his boyfriend, who still wore his sweater, but had been given a pair of his own slacks. Derek had laughed at the strange face Spencer made at them, and had nearly toppled over when he asked Derek if he really dressed like that everyday. Seeing the sweater on his usually formal-business-esque boyfriend was a sweet change of pace. 

 

Finch ran up to them when they got to the apartment, and Clooney trotted not too far behind. Spencer stared, unsure.

 

”These are our pets?”

 

”Yep!” Derek smiled, “I adopted Clooney. And you rescued Finch.”

 

”Rescued him?”

 

Derek nodded happily, “Yep! The shelter said he was a runt, he was sick, and he had a bad eye infection. You took him and nursed him back to health. He’s blind in his left eye, but that’s not fault of yours.”

 

”I see,” Spencer bent down and pet them both, but picked up Finch before he stood, “It smells like coffee in here.”

 

”No wonder!” Derek laughed, “It might as well be built into the walls. You drink it so much!”

 

”I do?” Spencer lifted his brows, “That cant be good for me.”

 

”Oh, it’s not, babe. Your doctor has told you to stop millions of times.”

 

Spencer paused, “Okay, uh, babe? Can you show me around?”

 

Derek’s brows shot up. Spencer never called him pet names. They were so cheesy to him. He’d drop the occasionally ‘love’ or ‘sweetie’, and he recently had a new found obsession with ‘bear’ for some reason Derek could not discern, but babe had never been on his list. Either way, Derek held his hand out to Spencer and led him past the foyer. He showed him the kitchen, the dining room, the living room ( and home office ), the bathroom ( and his extensive collection of hairbrushes) and finally the bedroom. Spencer hummed, and Finch stayed calm in his arms the entire time. 

 

“Do you like it?” Derek asked.

 

”Yes,” Spencer nodded, “I think I remember something.”

 

”Oh, great! What did you remember?” Derek touched his wrists gently, and Finch crawled across his arm and jumped to the ground.

 

”There’s another apartment. A different one.”

 

”There is,” Derek’s face fell. 

 

“Because we were a secret.”

 

”We were,” Derek frowned, fear rising.

 

”Why?”

 

Derek gulped, “We both we’re scared. I was afraid the team wouldn’t accept us. And you were scared that your mom wouldn’t.”

 

”Well, we’ve told our friends. So why don’t we tell my mom?” Spencer asked, “Shame I don’t remember her.”

 

Derek looked uncomfortable, “Your mom isn’t well, Spencer. She’s got a disease that makes life hard for her. Her doctor sent us a letter a few days ago, sayin’ she might need a bit more time before she gets visitors.”

 

”Oh.” Spencer frowned, “I’ve been having dreams about a blonde woman. Does my mom have blonde hair?”

 

”She does. Um, wh-what are your dreams about?”

 

”She’s yelling at me, mostly,” Spencer shrugged, “Sometimes she’s chasing me with something. But I wake up before she gets close.”

 

Derek frowned. He didn’t know what he should say. Spencer was staring at him with that woefully blank expression. He looked so sad and lost and confused at the same time. Derek couldn’t imagine how he felt, having such a vast mind filled with memories he could not place. He must’ve been so scared. Derek must’ve stayed silent for too long, because Spencer walked into the kitchen. 

Derek followed. He watched Spencer open the fridge. He stood there for a moment before he pulled out a plastic tray of slice pineapple. Derek chuckled.

 

”Why’re you laughing?” Spencer asked.

 

”You hate pineapple. I’m shocked you didn’t go for the brownies.”

 

”I have a sweet tooth?”

 

”A big one,” Derek laughed again, “We ho snack shopping and all you get is sweets, sweets, sweets.”

 

Spencer laughed, and Derek grinned, because it was so nice to see his boyfriend smiling again. Even if he was all injured and what not, it was nice to see him look happy. Derek walked over and helped him open the tray since his wrist was in a cast. Spencer tasted it, then made a face and frowned.

 

”I really don’t like pineapple.”

 

Derek laughed loudly, then took the fruit and handed him the brownie. He seemed more content with that. Derek was just staring at Spencer, watching him eat the brownie with a fork, because he insisted he wanted to do it by himself by any means necessary. Spencer kept glancing at Derek, until finally he held up the fork with some brownie on it.

 

”Want some?” He offered.

 

Derek nearly blushed. He felt his cheeks beginning to darken, a few shades darker than his skin, but he shook his head nicely and eased away the shock. Having Spencer offer something to him, especially sweets, made his heart skip a beat. He loved Spencer of course, the real Spencer, but this Spencer was sweet too.

 

”Y’know,” Spencer began, “I can see why we’re dating. You’re very nice. And I know it sounds silly, but I have quite the crush on you. Me, y’know, the part that doesn’t remember. Not that the me that remembers is a different person. I just wish I remembered. I’m sure the me who remembers loves you.”

 

Derek stayed quiet.

 

”But,” Spencer blushed, “I have a crush on you.”

 

”Well, I have a crush on you too. Quite the crush, really. My heart just might burst.”

 

”Really?” Spencer couldn’t help but smile.

 

Derek nodded, “Really.”

 

Spencer rolled his eyes as if Derek had said the silliest thing in the world. He looked away, and Derek nearly squealed. How could his boyfriend be so cute? He felt like he was flirting with Spencer all over again. It was a lot like how his confession went. Except instead of brownies it was cheesecake, and they were the only two left in Rossi’s kitchen after everyone else had fallen asleep about thirteen minutes into Die Hard. Derek remembered telling Spencer he liked him, and he remembered Spencer blushing and running out of their like he had suddenly become a track star. The next day Derek was too embarrassed to come to work, but Spencer showed up at his apartment with a small cheesecake and a small bag of chocolate hearts. It was so, so, corny, but Derek couldn’t help but smile when he thought of it.

 

”Hey? Derek?”

 

”Hmm?”

 

”How did we meet?” 

 

Derek looked at him, “How did we meet?”

 

”Yes.”

 

Derek laughed, “Um, well, there was a man you worked with named Gideon. And I worked with Hotch— or, Aaron, rather. And Aaron and Gideon were friends. There was this case, and Aaron went to Gideon, but he had left the job so he rejected him. He’d end up coming back later on, but we’ll focus on this. Anyway, I was with Aaron. And you came in, fumbling with your papers and trippin’ all over yourself. So you hurry in and fall forward, and my first instinct is to catch you—“

 

”No!” Spencer laughed, “Like some sort of movie?”

 

”— Yeah! So, so I catch you. And Gideon looks at you and Aaron looks at me, and I’m staring at you and you’re staring at me. Then, you thank you, I help you upright, and you go hurrying off to the desk where you were headed. I didn’t even get your name at the time, pretty boy. I just caught you. And the rest is history.”

 

Spencer hummed, “You said Gideon. Who’s that?”

 

”Oh. Um, well you and him were good friends. He went away somewhere, Spence. To figure some stuff out.”

 

Spencer hummed, “Oh. You called me babe earlier. Now you called me pretty boy. Do I call you pretty boy?”

 

”If you want,” Derek laughed, “But I think pretty boy is reserved for you. ‘Cause you’re very pretty, Spencer. You’re the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen.”

 

“Me?”

 

”Yes, you.” Derek pecked his cheek, then immediately snapped back, “Oh shit, I’m sorry. I should’ve asked.”

 

”It’s okay. It was nice.”

 

Derek smiled, “That’s good. I’m glad.”

 

”Um, will you kiss me again?”

 

”Oh, Spencer. I don’t think it’s a good idea that we go too far. Especially with your condition. I want you to be able to recognize every part of me.”

 

Spencer nodded, then looked rather sad, “Does that mean you cant hold me?”

 

”Of course I can hold you, Spencer. I-“

 

Derek was cut off when Spencer practically threw himself at him. He nearly fell down, but he stayed steady. He noted Spencer’s trembling, and immediately wrapped arms tightly around his waist as if the pressure would stop the shaking.

 

”Woah, woah. Spencer? Are you OK?”

 

”I’m just scared.” Spencer whispered, “I’ve wanted to be held all day, but I didn’t know how to ask. I’m very scared, Derek. I just want to remember.”

 

”I know,” Derek stroked his hair, “I know, pretty boy. You’ll remember, I know you will.”

Chapter Text

Derek had noticed Spencer's eyes on him as he got ready for bed. He was standing at their dresser, trimming his beard ( not in the bathroom, which Spencer would usually hate ), when he glanced towards his lover's reflection in the mirror. Spencer looked away as if he were caught staring at something he should not have been. When Derek was all done, he wiped down the dresser and walked over to the bed. He paused before he slowly sat down.

 

"Spencer? Are you okay with me laying beside you?"

 

"Yes, of course." Spencer nodded, "I trust you not to hurt me. You aren’t the one who made me forget everything."

 

Derek was not quite sure what to say. He laid down, and Spencer curled up beside him. Spencer was tall, by no stretch of imagination was he short in any way, but he was very, very thin, so Derek did not mind the face full of hair so long as he had room on the bed to stretch out. Besides, having Spencer close to him after missing him for so long felt like Heaven on Earth. But nothing good lasts for too long. Derek stirred when he heard the short, quiet groan, but he bolted up, terrified when Spencer began screaming in his sleep. He screamed incoherent words at the top of his lungs, and his hands seemed tied to either side of him. His face was red but looked pale, and the red irritation from the stress had trickled down to his throat and chest.

 

"Spencer!" Derek touched his arm, which sent Spencer swinging. 

 

Derek dodged a few of the hits, but that didn't mean he wasn't a victim to the onslaught. Helpless, Derek firmly touched Spencer's shoulder, then held his chin. He kept shouting his name, until those brown eyes of his burst open. Spencer's breathing was ragged, as he pushed away from the hands on him. Derek let go and stared at him, confused, scared, and powerless.

 

"Derek?"

 

"Spencer. Oh my God. Are you OK?"

 

Spencer reached out and touched the scratch under Derek's eye, "I hit you."

 

"No, no, you didn't know. You were terrified, Spencer. Do you want to talk about it?"

 

Spencer grabbed both Derek's hands, "I was in a room. With two people. And they were both hitting me, but one harder than the other. They kept asking about you. They kept screaming at me. It was dark, and I was so scared."

 

"Oh, love," Derek kissed his cheek, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Do you want to go back to sleep?"

 

"No," Spencer said, "Can we eat more sweets?"

 

"Those might give you more nightmares. How about we drink some cocoa?"

 

Though he sighed, Spencer nodded. Derek took his hand gently and led him to the kitchen. It was quiet, the way Spencer would usually like it. Derek put on the pot of milk, and Spencer leaned on the counter with his chin in his hands as he stared at his lover. Spencer watched Derek get all of what they needed, and he tried not to cry because he wished that he knew where everything was. Derek got small marshmallows from the cabinet and grinned at Spencer.

 

"You love these things."

 

"I thought you said no sweets?" Spencer smiled.

 

Derek rolled his eyes playfully, "We won't tell anyone."

 

He handed him the marshmallows and watched as he tried one without hesitation. Derek was surprised at Spencer's blind trust, especially because Spencer was usually very opposed to trusting people. Of course, Spencer trusted him, but he was cautious in trying new things. Derek couldn't help but smile. This-Spencer reminded him of how he acted when he was unwinding from a case. 

 

"These are so good," Spencer whispered before he ate more.

 

Derek playfully plucked the bag from Spencer's hands. He handed him the coca, and Spencer hummed and sipped it. He was quiet as he did, and Derek watched him with careful eyes. It was as if he were afraid Spencer would choke or something. Under any other circumstance, Spencer would have been embarrassed that Derek was watching over him so much. He would have turned away, and Derek would playfully follow him until the two of them were laughing hysterically.

 

"Derek? Will you be sad if I never get my memory back?"

 

Derek was winded. He knew Spencer meant no harm with his questions. He was just curious. 

 

"I think I would be sad, but it would never be because of you." Derek explained, "I will love you anyway, Spencer. I'll love you when you remember and even if you never do. You're the love of my life, and I could never imagine myself with anyone else."

 

Spencer stared at him. He was still holding the cocoa, both hands wrapped around his cup. He looked about ready to cry, but not because he was sad. He was very happy that Derek loved him so much because he wasn't sure what he would do if he had to go through this alone. Spencer set the cocoa down, pulled at the sleeves of his shirt ( Derek's shirt ), and went to hug him. Derek hugged him back and lifted his hand to run his hands through Spencer's hair. The two of them stayed up since it was around five in the morning, but Spencer fell asleep on the couch around noon. Thankfully no nightmares came, so Derek could page through some files to keep himself busy.

 


 

When Derek's phone rang, he was shocked at the caller ID. He had honestly never expected to see that name again. He stared and stared until he reigned in the confidence to pick it up and hold it to his ear.

 

"Harry?"

 

'Derek.'

 

"Is everything okay? Why'd you call?"

 

'I don't know, man. You're usually the person I call when Bella and the kids are out of town.'

 

"You can't expect me to come down there. Not after what you said."

 

'I'm real sorry, Derek. It was wrong of me. It's not what I really believe. I-Man, you gotta understand why that shit bothers me. After Carl, I-'

 

"Harry, you don't have to."

 

'No, I do. After Carl, I hated them. Y'know, gay people. I'd see them with their partners in public, and I-I was so angry. It disgusted me. But man, your boyfriend never did anything to me. And you didn't do anything to me either.'

 

"Harry."

 

'I want to be friends, Derek. I don't want our friendship to end over my immaturity. I wanna meet Spencer, and I want—'

 

"I know, Harry. But Spencer isn't well right now. So I want you to meet him when things are good."

 

'Oh, great! Thanks, Derek. And I'm sorry.'

 

 

After they bid their goodbyes, Derek hung up and released a few heavy breaths. He leaned back in the chair and dropped his phone to the ground. He wanted to hold Spencer again, but he was asleep and Derek did not want to bother him. As if by some miracle, Spencer stirred. He stood up sleepily and shuffled to Derek, who looked up at him. Spencer blushed, then sat on Derek's lap and hugged arms around him.

 

 

"Are you okay?" Spencer whispered.

 

 

Derek hugged him tighter, "Yeah. Just thinkin'."

 

"No," Spencer released a playful gasp, "You?"

 

"Haha," Derek laughed, then kissed his cheek, "You should be a comedian."

Chapter Text

 

After cuddling for a few hours, Derek finally decided it was time he went food shopping since it seemed he and Spencer would be holed up in their shared apartment for a little while. Spencer insisted he stay and Derek agreed only after Spencer showed that he knew Derek was on speed dial. Being in the apartment alone, even with Finch and Clooney, was stressful to Spencer. He had a lot of questions about a lot of things. Doctor Morrison had recommended he read a little to try to retain some knowledge, but this was the first time since he was home that he decided to pick up a novel. He was halfway through his second book when there was a knock at the door. He looked at it, unsure, but he followed Clooney over. He knew that if whoever behind the door was a threat Clooney would spring into action, he was small but very strong, so Spencer opened the door for the man who was there.

 

"Hello."

 

"Spencer! I didn't know y'all were back. Derek told me what happened," the man said, "I'm Liam, I live next door. I watch Finch and Clooney when you guys are away."

 

Spencer opened the door further, and he watched as Clooney's tense demeanour faded. The dog wagged his tail and looked happy to see this Liam fellow. Liam kneeled, and Clooney started licking over his hands and arms. Liam laughed as he pet Clooney, dragging hands through his fur now and again. Spencer stared at them until Liam stood up and smiled at him.

 

"Can I come in?"

 

"Derek isn't here." Spencer pulled Clooney back gently, "He probably won't like me alone with someone else. I-If I don't remember."

 

"I wouldn't hurt you. Besides, I'm your friend, not Derek's. Not that there's anything wrong with Derek." Liam smiled, "Can I come in?"

 

Spencer paused and looked back unsurely into the apartment, but he nodded and allowed Liam inside. The man shrugged off his coat and laid it across the chair as if he owned the place. Liam picked up the novel Spencer was reading and grinned at him.

 

"You never give it a break, huh?"

 

"Reading?"

 

Liam grinned, "Oh, yes, Spencer. You love to read. You're very intelligent."

 

"I am?"

 

"Yes, Spencer." Liam stepped closer, "You're so smart. You're one of the smartest guys I know. Um, I came over for the paycheque. It's usually in the cabinet above the sink."

 

Spencer paused, then walked to the sink. He reached to the top cabinets and opened it up. There was an envelope up there that said, 'Liam', so Spencer picked it up and handed it to him. He kept on staring, and Liam stared at him right back. It was as if he could see right through him.

 

"One more thing, Spencer. Will you relay a message for me? To Derek?"

 

"Yes," Spencer nodded.

 

Liam touched his chin and forced his head up, so his eyes were on the ceiling. Clooney got tense and barked, alerting Finch, who rushed somewhere into the apartment. Clooney kept barking, quite viciously, he was even scaring Spencer, who felt frozen with Liam's hand on him. He couldn't decipher if it was threatening or not. Was Liam playing around? Was it just something he did?

 

"Tell him I said his nightmares aren't over. Tell him I said they're just starting. This isn't the worst of it. Tell him I said I'll get my revenge. OK?"

 

When Spencer nodded. Liam let go. He swung his foot towards Clooney, making Spencer tense. Thankfully he did not kick the poor dog. Liam left, and Spencer focused on calming Clooney down. He touched his chin, it ached quite a bit, especially because his swelling had just started to go down. Spencer wasn't sure how long he sat there with Clooney, but the door jingled and came open after a while. Spencer looked towards the foyer, surprised to see Derek with flowers. As soon as Derek saw him, however, his face fell.

 

"What happened?" He walked over and helped him to his feet, "Spencer, your face is swollen."

 

"My face has always been swollen."

 

Derek gently touched his chin, "Who was here, Spencer?"

 

"A man. Someone named Liam. He came to get his cheque. He said something too. And he touched me."

 

"Liam?" Derek walked slowly towards him, "What did he look like?"

 

"Um, about my height. Brown eyes, his hair was short, he wore a very nice suit."

 

Derek gently held Spencer's arms, 'Did he say he watched our pets?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Spencer, love, the Liam who watched our pets died two months ago. He was in a really bad wreck. The guy you met wasn't Liam. And that cheque he took, it's null and void after 60 days, so it's no good to him. Did he say anything else?"

 

Spencer looked ready to cry, "Yes, he said that your nightmare isn't over. He said it gets worse after this."

 

Derek cursed under his breath. He gently touched Spencer’s face again. He looked scared and hurt, and he looked guilty too. Derek kissed his cheek, then his jaw, and finally he planted a very soft kiss on his lips. He was hardly even there. When he pulled back, he checked Clooney, then called up Hotch. Spencer was not sure why, but Aaron made him nervous. His demeanour was very serious, and when he arrived, Spencer stood very close to his lover, who recounted Spencer’s encounter with Liam.

 

“Reid?”

 

Spencer looked at him, “Yes?”

 

“Are you alright? Do you need to go to a hospital?”

 

Spencer shook his head, then gripped Derek’s arm as if he were worried Hotch might lift him up and take him away. Hotch noted Spencer’s apparent fear and backed up a little, while Derek straightened his shoulders. The usual-Spencer was afraid of Hotch too, but not to this extent. It was worrisome, but it would have to be put on a back-burner for now. Hotch ended up having them pack so they could spend the night at a safe house. Derek knew it was no good for Spencer’s healing process, but he also knew they needed to do it to keep themselves safe. Derek packed a few of his hoodies and whatnot so Spencer could wear them so his memories would not fade completely. Being in a brand new place because of a man he did not even know would add so much pressure and stress on Spencer.

 

“Reid? Do you think you would be able to describe the guy?” Hotch asked from the doorway as he watched them pack.

 

Spencer just shook his head dismissively. Derek gave Hotch an incredulous look, not because Spencer was bothering him, but because he was surprised that Spencer would actually be that way towards Hotch. Derek watched as Spencer opened the top drawer of the side table. He pulled out a pen and small notebook. Derek stared with a stilled breath.

 

“This is mine,” Spencer whispered, “I haven’t written in so long.”

 

He opened it up and read the first page. He showed Derek, who averted his eyes very quickly. Hotch’s brows shot up as he watched Spencer pull his hands back in uncertainty. Just as he was about to look sad, Derek swooped back with an explanation.

 

“That’s your journal. Y-You never wanted me to look, because you wrote about a lot of personal stuff. Maybe you could bring it with you though? You can read some stuff about yourself on the way there.” Derek smiled.

 

Spencer paused, then nodded. He looked back in the drawer, then hummed. “That’s weird. I didn’t expect us to be the sort of couple to use condoms.”

 

“Spence!” Derek laughed, “Why don’t we finish packing our clothes? You can comment about anything you want when your boss isn’t here.”

 

“Isn’t he a friend?” Spencer asked, “He’s a grown man, surely he knows how sex works.”

 

Hotch cleared his throat before he turned on his heel and left to stand at the end of the hall. Derek laughed, then put his hands on Spencer’s shoulders. Spencer watched with a small smile as Derek continued laughing and laughing until he was able to compose himself and stand up straight.

 

“Spencer, there are some things that make other people uncomfortable that might not make you uncomfortable. Hotch is a very interesting case.”

 

“He’s very scary.”

 

“Why’s that?” Derek asked softly.

 

“I don’t know. He’s done nothing wrong. He’s just a mean-looking person.”

 

Derek lifted his brows, “Well, don’t worry. Hotch is very nice. Especially to us, because we are such great friends. Now, let’s get on those terribly plain disguises so we’ll be safe.”

 

“Sunglasses and hoodies won’t make us invisible,” Spencer grumbled, and Derek chuckled as he set a pair of sunglasses on Spencer’s face.

Chapter Text

The safe house was the sort of place a person might want to sit and collect their thoughts. It was a brick building, sitting among a frenzy of others in a secluded neighbourhood in DC. These people clearly had a lot of money, money that would only come to Derek and Spencer in retirement. It made Derek smile, on the way up the driveway, about a life with Spencer after the BAU. Of course, he would not care that he was old because Derek would be old as well, as silly as that sounded. Spencer had glanced at him when he smiled, but he did not say anything. Derek had given Spencer his hoodie this time, it was a dark emerald sort of green and Spencer could tuck his thumbs in the holes in the sleeves. Derek had picked it up accidentally a while ago while he and Spencer were shopping. He never tossed it though, because Spencer wore it sometimes around the house, or threw it on in those dewy mornings on the way to the airstrip.

 

It broke Derek a little, seeing Spencer take it off before they got on the plane, but they were both closeted back then and wanted to keep it that way. Now, Derek and Spencer were free to be themselves. Derek just wished Spencer was completely present. Hotch pulled Derek from drifting thoughts when he cleared his throat. A CIA agent, Adam Emerson, had been made to tag along to make things safer for the agents. Hotch was the only one who would know their location. Everyone else would be left in the dark. Derek felt terrible about it, especially since this was his second time going AWOL on his team. Emerson and Hotch led Spencer and Derek inside. Spencer paused at the doorway, but Derek urged him carefully inside. It was terribly spooky in the unfamiliar house. Everything was dark, the narrow hallways stretched far into pitch blackness, and the only thing that sounded through the home was the echo of the AC running and the refrigerator’s hums.

 

“You okay?” Derek turned to Spencer.

 

They could not be too close right now. Not with Emerson around. Derek had explained that, and Spencer understood. Even with the situation, Derek wished Spencer did not act so standoffish in his next few movements. He nodded firmly, then carried his bag to the living room without looking at Derek once. Spencer was a terrible liar, he would stammer and glance around, and Lord knows he’d sweat; but when it came to a case, or rather having to lie for the sake of one, he was as calm as anyone could be. So having Spencer essentially treat their situation like a case— even though it was— hurt Derek for reasons he could not explain. Maybe he was overthinking it. Emerson made sure the cameras were set up, ones without audio of course, and they were only in the foyer and in the front and backs of the home before he left them to their own devices. Once they were gone, Derek walked up to Spencer and touched his arm.

 

Spencer hugged him gently, wrapping soft arms around him and pulling him as if he were made of fine china. Derek hugged him back. He hugged him like Spencer was the last breath of air he would ever take. Of course, this was hard for Derek. Even if his monster was dead, that didn’t mean the memories didn’t affect him. Even if Carl was six feet under, that had nothing to do with the fact that every waking moment since this case started, Derek felt hands all over him. It was horrible. He wanted to replace it all with Spencer, not in a sexually forward way, he just wanted Spencer to be his rock. And right now he was. Spencer leaned back and gently kissed his cheek before he slipped away from Derek, who chuckled.

 

“You never did that before.”

 

“I never kissed you?” Spencer was surprised.

 

“No, no, you have. I mean, you’ve never been so calm and put together while I’m a wreck. Usually, it’s just you, or the two of us.”

 

Spencer smiled, “Oh. Well, it’s okay to be sad, Derek. You’re more than welcome to be as sad as you want.”

 

“Thanks, pretty boy,” Derek ruffled his hair, “I love you. And you don’t have to say it back at all.”

 

Spencer was quiet for a moment, “How about, I like you.”

 

“OK. I like you.”

 

“I—” Spencer blushed, “I like you too.”

 

Derek grinned. Spencer smiled back at him, and the two of them eventually decided to sit on the couch. Derek sat near the corner of the couch with his arm rested on the arm, while Spencer lay back with his head on Derek’s chest, nodding off while he read his book. Spencer’s novel eventually toppled from his hand and he was breathing peacefully for a moment until Derek felt him stop. Derek looked down at him and noticed Spencer was damn near purple. He jumped up and released that somehow the strings from the hoodie got tangled up underneath them when Spencer scooted down. God, it was so ridiculous, and Derek would have laughed if Spencer didn’t look half dead. Derek pulled Spencer to a sitting position and watched him slowly come to. Derek just barely dodged the hit sent in his direction, and though he was shocked for a moment, it became clear that Spencer was not completely there. So, Derek gripped his shoulders tightly and ignored the hands that pushed against his chest.

 

“Spencer! Spence, it’s me! It’s Derek!”

 

Derek yelled above Spencer’s shrieking, his words were slightly incoherent, but Derek picked up a few words and figured out what the Hell he was dreaming about. Spencer ended up pressed against his chest, panting and struggling to catch his breath. When he leaned back, Derek looked him over, but Spencer just wanted to be held by him again.

 

“I’m sorry things are like this,” Derek touched his hair, “It’ll be okay soon enough.”

 

“What?” Spencer sniffed as he leaned back, “It’s not okay now?”

 

Derek blinked, “Well, um, I wouldn’t say it was. Y’know with Roman hurting you, and you losing your memory?”

 

“So it’s my fault?!” Spencer wailed, and Derek became pale.

 

“No, no , Spencer. Of course, it isn’t your fault. I’m just saying I wish you had your memory back.”

Spencer pushed away from Derek, but not in a harsh way. It was just firm.

 

“You don’t like me like this?”

 

“No, Spence—“

 

“No?” Spencer whispered.

 

“No, no! I-I don’t mean no, I don’t like you, I mean no, I don’t like you like this!”

 

Spencer looked ready to cry, “What?”

 

“Oh shit, wait! No, no!”

 

“Why are you yelling?” Spencer asked, nearly cowering.

 

“Oh, no, no, Spencer. I’m not meaning to scare you. I-I meant to say I do like you like this. B-But I also like the you who remembers too.”

 

Spencer frowned. He stood up, then walked quickly to the bathroom nearest the kitchen. He slammed the door, and Derek dropped his head into his hands.

Chapter Text

Spencer had been in the bathroom for hours. He had only come out to grab his journal, but he ended up marching right back in there and closing the door. Derek sat on the couch and watched a movie because Spencer had simply asked to be left to his own devices. Derek was fine with that. He had to adjust to this new version of Spencer. Derek was watching the credits scroll slowly down the screen when he felt the presence of someone behind him. He turned quickly, and Spencer jumped, looking at him with a set of widened eyes.

 

“Spencer.”

 

“I shouldn’t have gotten upset.”

 

“Spencer—”

 

“No. Listen, please. I know that what I remember is part of who I am. I know that the way I’m acting isn’t how I usually do. I know that this isn’t the person you started dating. You love the Spencer that remembers because you’re able to bring something up. And maybe I’d laugh, and we’d fall into a conversation about our good times. I read, in my journal, that I was scared that I’d lose my memory with old age.”

 

Derek watched Spencer shift.

 

“Now I’m hardly twenty-seven and I can’t remember anything. I-I know it has nothing to do with my mental health, but it’s scary. To think that one of my fears came true, and I could not even remember that I was afraid of it. I hate this, Derek, and I hate that I can’t remember you. I hate that you won’t kiss me, although I respect your reasoning. I want my memory back.”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“Tell me about Roman.”

 

Derek lifted his brows, “What do you want to know?”

 

“How do you know him?”

 

“We played football together,” Derek said, before he remembered that this-Spencer did not understand the weight of that sentence.

 

“Oh?”

 

“We were assaulted by the same man. When we were kids.”

 

“Oh,” Spencer whispered, “We can stop if you want.”

 

“No, no, it’s okay. Roman and I were good friends. We started this small club, but it never went past four people. Harry was a boy in the group. He and I talked recently. Devon and I haven’t spoken since grade school ended. Roman was a good person. He was sweet, really, and he had a good head on his shoulders. He was the last person I expected to hurt you.”

 

Spencer did not speak.

 

“Roman has three personalities. Him, Paulie, and someone he calls Seabird. Don’t ask me where the hell he got that name from. You saw Paulie and Roman. Seabird showed up during his interrogation with Aaron and Dave. They told me Seabird was the peacemaker. Paulie was the really violent one. Roman’s the ring leader, but he’s also the submissive counterpart. He’s in control most of the time, but he’ll give it up when—”

 

“When he’s scared?” Spencer’s voice was not above a whisper.

 

“Yeah!” Derek sat up, “How’d you know that?”

 

“It only makes sense.”

 

“Oh.”

 

“You thought I remembered?”

 

Derek nodded.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“It isn’t your fault.”

 

Derek picked up the remote and switched off the TV. White noise buzzed in the room and was accompanied by the sound of Spencer’s dry hands brushing against each other nervously. Spencer leaned back on the couch, and Derek looked at the leather book sitting in his lap.

 

“Spencer, I don’t want to kiss you because I feel like you’d only kiss me because you know we’re together. I couldn’t take advantage of you like that. Trust me, pretty boy, I want to kiss you, but right now I can’t.”

 

“It’s alright, I know.” Spencer paused, “You’re a good guy.”

 

A silence settled between them. It was an easy one, where they both faded off and escaped to their own minds, so no one was awkwardly looking about or scratching the barrel for the beginnings of a conversation. Derek drifted off on the couch, and Spencer turned to look at him when he released an especially loud sigh in his sleep. He stared and stared until he gathered the courage needed to cross the narrow stretch of couch. He sat on Derek’s lap and leaned his head on his shoulder. He felt strong arms wrapped around his lower back, Derek signalling it was alright, so Spencer laid his head down and the two of them slept in the company of one another.

Chapter Text

Spencer missed Derek. There was no doubting that. He missed him, in the sense of not remembering him too much. Derek was a good man, from what he could tell, he was gentle, and sweet, and patient beyond anything Spencer would ever grasp. Even if his fingers were wrapped up in Derek’s shirt, even if he was sitting on his lap and listening to his shallow breathing, Spencer missed him. It was enough to make him cry, but he did not. He stood, unraveling himself slowly from Derek’s hold. He walked to the kitchen, one that was extremely unfamiliar to him. Spencer looked through the cabinets, until he found a small cookbook. He ended up making eggs, sausage, toast, waffles, pancakes, and blueberry muffins. By the time it was all done, Derek was stretching and standing to his feet. He looked at Spencer, who stood near him with a plate.

 

“C’mere,” Derek said sleepily, and he reached out and took Spencer’s wrist.

 

He pulled his lover close to him, and Spencer sat on his lap. Spencer wasn’t uncomfortable, he wanted this closeness with Derek. Derek looked sleepily down at the plate in Spencer’s hands.

 

“You cooked?” Derek smiled, “You never cook. You’re a great cook, though. I love it when you cook.”

 

Spencer smiled, “You do?”

 

“Yeah. You say you don’t cook because once you start you can’t stop. What did you make?”

 

“Um, pancakes and sausage.”

 

“And muffins, and waffles, and eggs?” Derek laughed as he looked over the plate, “And toast too!”

 

Spencer watched as Derek picked up the fork. He was still holding the plate, but he didn’t mind. He watched as Derek ate some, then he took the plate and ate some more. Spencer slid off his lap and stared at him, almost longingly. When Derek looked to him, Spencer blushed at him and away. Derek laughed, then set the plate down.

 

“Do you enjoy the way I look?”

 

Spencer furrowed his brows, “I’m sure I do. Do you like the way I look?”

 

“Of course I do,” Derek smiled, and he filled his mouth, “I love everything about you, Spencer.”

 

“I wish I remembered.”

 

“I know.” Derek patted his legs, which were still tangled on Derek’s lap, “I know.”

 

 

Things were stressful at the BAU. Questions about Derek and Spencer’s whereabouts were getting more intense. Hotch had told them that they were in a safe place, away from the man who approached Spencer. JJ had argued it wasn’t good for Spencer’s recovery. She had said that the team was more than capable of protecting them. A case had come up in Philadelphia, a serial stabber had been traveling through subways and stabbing random people. He did not steal anything, he just stabbed the people, who stumbled for help, but died from whatever the knife was covered in. Rossi had fathomed it was a high dose of ricin, which usually took three days to kill. Batrachotoxin was Prentiss’ guess. It would be easier if Reid were there.

 

On the way to Philly, Hotch sat near the plane window, his hands folded on his lap. He looked up when Rossi sat across from him. The man had a grim expression on his face.

 

“You’re worried.” Rossi leaned his elbows on the table.

 

“I am,” Hotch leaned forward too, “What if he never recovers?”

 

Rossi looked back. Prentiss and JJ were playing cards. Being down two agents meant they didn’t have to worry too much about someone overhearing their conversation. When Rossi turned back to Hotch, he saw the stress apparent in his eyes.

 

“It’s Reid. Of course he’ll recover. The kid has been through Hell, this is the tip of the iceberg for him.”

 

“Is that a good thing, Rossi? What if he remembers all the bad things all at once? How will Morgan calm him down?”

 

“Morgan’s smart. And he’s good with Reid. They’ll be alright, Aaron. You worry too much.”



Hotch pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose as he shook his head. Rossi could tell the situation was stressing him out. Reid losing his memory was not only hard for him, but hard for the team too. It made Hotch wonder if they relied too much on the younger agent. He’d have to ask Reid about it once he was better. Though Hotch was worried about what the answer might be.

 

“What’s this talk about the guys?” Garica’s voice hissed from the computer, “Are they alright?”

 

“Garcia,” Hotch said firmly, as he turned the screen from Rossi’s grin, “How long have you been there?”

 

“Long enough to hear you worrying, Boss man. Listen, I know my beautiful babies are safe and adorable, wherever they are. Rossi’s right, Morgan’s got Reid. And as long as Reid has Morgan, he’ll be fine. Even without his memory, he knows anywhere with Morgan is safe.” Garica tapped her fingertips together and made a kissy-noise, “Plus, they’re probably getting to know each other again~.”

 

“Goodbye, Garica,” Rossi said as he closed the laptop.

 

Hotch, when the laptop was fully closed, gave Rossi an incredulous look. Rossi only smiled.

 

“Knowing Morgan—”

 

“It wouldn’t happen,” Prentiss sighed as she walked over, and she sat beside Rossi, “Derek’s his knight in shining armor right now. And one thing he wouldn’t do, is try to get it on with a guy who doesn’t remember anything.”

 

“How long have you been listening?” Hotch would have sounded hysterical, if he were just a bit more open around them.

 

“Far too long.” JJ’s voice lifted from the back of the plane, “No such thing as privacy on this flight, boys.”

 



Spencer was reading his journal again. Derek sat nearby, his chin in his hands, staring at his lover, who he thought as beautiful, even with his brows furrowed. Derek would wait until Spencer looked up, and he’d ask him a question, and when supplied with an answer, he’d hum and go back to his book.

 

“Who’s Ethan?”

 

“Your friend from Vegas. You guys went to school together. You also—”

 

“It says here we were in some sort of relationship.”

 

Derek frowned, “Sort of. You told me about that. It was a FWB situation. I remember you being very embarrassed about it, but there’s nothing embarrassing or taboo about sex.”

 

“Hm. It says I was your first.”

 

“First guy,” Derek laughed, surprised Spencer had wrote about that, “You’re the first guy I decided to be with.”

 

Spencer pressed his lips together so they formed a thin line, “Who is Hayley?”

 

“Hotch’s ex-wife,” Morgan sighed, “You and her enjoyed each other.”

 

“Who’s Bethany?”

 

“Bethany?” Derek nearly howled, “No way! You wrote about my ex? Wait, wait! Don’t tell me.”

 

“Apparently I thought she was a bitch.”

 

Spencer ,” Derek gasped, as if shocked his boyfriend would think that of her.

 

Derek knew back then that Spencer hated Bethany. He never showed a strong liking towards her. Whenever she’d tag along as Derek’s date anywhere, Spencer would not go out of his way to go; but he would go out of his way to leave. Derek recalled a sit-down he had with her, where he told Bethany it took Spencer a while to warm up to someone, and not even a week later she was in their bed with some rando she met on the subway. Derek did not hate her for it, she and him talked about her mindset in the moment, but the betrayal was still there. Derek disliked her, but he never liked that word— bitch— though it seemed to be Spencer’s go-to insult. Cliche, for a guy who almost never cursed. It was really something to hear Spencer curse. Derek had gotten somewhat used to it. Spencer would curse a lot at home, especially if Finch got into something, Spencer would curse under his breath while walking past Derek to get the broom, but never, never did he curse directly at their pets.

 

“There’s a letter here. Addressed to me. From the Spencer who remembers.”

 

Derek lifted his brows, “Do you want to read it?”

 

Spencer nodded. He unfolded the paper, and looked at the little polaroid pictures that fell out. He stared for a moment, then he read as follows;

 

“Dear Spencer,

I write this letter, in good health, to you, or me rather, the one who does not remember. I know you are scared, Spencer, so I included some pictures and descriptions of everyone who might be in your life right now. I narrowed it down by probability that they will still be alive by the time this letter finds you. Let’s hope it’s not too soon.”

 

Spencer pulled out the first picture.

 

“This is our mother. She is called Diana. You can tell her anything. She will move mountains for you, and you will do the same for her. If you remember nothing else, remember she did everything for you. So you must do everything for her. She has bad days, where she does not recall you. She has days where she thinks you are still a little boy. She has days where she believes the world is against her. Do not leave her.”

 

Derek blinked back tears. Spencer pulled out another photo.

 

“This is Derek—” They met eyes, “He is your boyfriend. Maybe your husband, if you finally get the guts to ask. He is a beautiful person, inside and out. He loves you more than the moon loves the sea. If possible, he would give you the world. He is an amazing man, and a great listener. Hold on to him. He loved you when you remembered, and he will love you when you do not. That’s just who he is. Do not be discouraged, on days where he seems distant or sad. Understand that this is a lot for him. Understand that he only wants the best for you. Love him dearly, hold him closely, and always leave the bedside light on.”

 

Derek, in the midsts of tears, threw his head back and laughed, “Jerk. You just had to poke fun at me?”

 

“You’re afraid of the dark?” Spencer bit back a laugh.

 

“So are you!” Derek teased.

 

Spencer read slowly through the letters. When he was done, he’d worn himself down, so Derek suggested they take a nap. Spencer was more than happy to climb onto Derek’s lap and lean his head on his shoulder. They slept peacefully, in the company of one another, not caring that the day had come and gone already.



Chapter Text

I've decided to make this a two-part story because I don't LOVE to go over the number 13, although I'm not sure why. I have one fic with 24 chapters and I absolutely hate it because it's over 13 lol. Anyway, why not make this a series? Keep an eye out, it'll be published in this series soon!