glorious_spoon: (troll)
[personal profile] glorious_spoon
Title: a little piece of this dream
Pairing: Morgan/Reid
Rating: PG
Warnings: PTSD, very vague mentions of child sexual abuse and drug abuse
Summary: They're both a little messed up.

Derek freaks out sometimes.

It’s never during sex, which is what Spencer would have predicted if he’d had enough details about the precipitating event to predict anything at all. He gets those later, after Chicago, and by that point they’ve been doing this long enough that nothing he learns actually makes much of a dent in his mental gestalt. He already knew that Derek freaks out sometimes; knowing why doesn’t change that except as an analytical problem and he tries not to treat the people he’s close to as such. Derek wouldn’t appreciate it. Derek didn’t want them knowing; he’s certainly not going to appreciate it coloring Spencer’s opinion of him in any way, so Spencer tries to make sure it doesn’t. Color his opinion, that is.


It’s never during sex. Derek is as confident with sex as he is with any physical thing, smooth and strong and playful, and Spencer knows that in that particular arena, he’s the one who’s fumbling and awkward. He doesn’t have anything like Derek’s experience, and he’d be self-conscious about that if it weren’t for the fact that Derek doesn’t seem to mind. Seems to enjoy the challenge, in fact, and if any of the tricks he uses to drive Spencer out of his mind are things he learned under Carl Buford’s grotesque tutelage, he’s clearly long since made his peace with that.

It’s not usually something that can be predicted, either, and that may be what actually bothers Spencer the most. There’s no specific thing that triggers it, no words or actions or touches that he knows for sure are safe. A few things he knows: Derek doesn’t like to be crowded, doesn’t like being backed into a corner or against a wall or anywhere he feels like he can’t get away. It’s a defensive kind of claustrophobia that makes him tense and antsy in crowded elevators or other tight spaces, nothing so unusual that an outsider would think anything of it. Spencer didn’t, himself, for the longest time, and it isn’t really arrogance to think that if he didn’t make the connection it’s vanishingly unlikely that anyone else would.

Derek doesn’t like to be touched when he’s not expecting it, either, but it’s not a predictable thing. Sometimes when it looks like he’s lost in thought Spencer will touch his elbow and he’ll look up and smile, grab Spencer’s wrist, and pull him in for a kiss. Sometimes he’ll flinch. And sometimes, like today, he shoves Spencer away hard enough to knock his head against the corner of the mirror and open up a shallow but remarkably bloody cut across the edge of his hairline.

Head wounds tend to bleed heavily, and the glass of wine that Spencer had with dinner is almost certainly acting as an anticoagulant and slowing the clotting enough to create the impression that he’s been scalped. He hasn’t actually lost all that much blood, but his shirt is a complete loss.

Derek tilts his head toward the light with gentle fingers, the cloth cool and damp against the stinging cut. When he sets it aside, Spencer can see the smears of his own blood staining the blue cotton. Derek has the first-aid kit open in his lap, hands sifting quickly through the detritus within to come up with a box of band-aids. It looks like the sort of thing a pediatrician might have on hand, silly plastic bandages decorated with cartoon dinosaurs. Spencer doesn’t remember why he bought them, and the sight makes his mouth tilt into an embarrassed smile.

Derek doesn’t smile back; his eyes are dark and wounded in a way that Spencer doesn’t know how to fix. “I’m so sorry,” he murmurs.

“I shouldn’t have startled you.”

“That’s not--” Derek looks away for a moment, jaw tightening. “Spencer, man, you shouldn’t have to worry about this, these are my issues, I shouldn’t have--”

“You put up with my nightmares,” Spencer points out.

“That’s not the same--”

“I kick in my sleep. I’ve seen the bruises on your shins. You put up with me re-organizing your sock drawer and losing my keys three days in a row and leaving important documents in the vegetable crisper.”

“I still want to know how crime scene photos ended up in the fridge,” Derek interjects. He’s smiling a little, and normally this is the point at which Spencer would let it go, but he can’t this time. This is important. It needs to be said.

“You put up with the Dilaudid,” he says, and Derek’s fingers still on the band-aid wrapper. These are the things they don’t talk about. “The withdrawal, you were the one who sat up with me through the whole thing. You drive me to my meetings.”


“I’m an addict.” He looks down at his hands, which are still bloody. His bangs feel sticky against his forehead, but it seems like the cut has stopped bleeding. When he looks up again, Derek is watching him intently, like he’s trying to figure Spencer out, and that’s a good thing. It’s important that he understand. “We’re all a little bit messed up. And that’s okay. You know?”

There’s a long, terrifying moment of silence, and then Derek’s hands are moving, smoothing Spencer’s bangs back and pressing the band-aid to his forehead, smoothing the edges down with gentle fingers. “Yeah, Pretty Boy. I know.”
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