Title: Family Ties
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Pairing: JJ/Reid friendship
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds, or the characters involved. I just make them bend to my will in my free time.
Summary: Two-Shot for "Amplification" and "Faceless, Nameless". Families are always there for each other. The BAU's members are no exceptions.
"Some things you do because you want to. Some things you do because of the needs of others in your family." Real Live Preacher weblog
She couldn't take it.
She thought she had wanted to be here.
To help. To help him. To help something.
She wasn't needed at the office, and the idea of him being alone unsettled her.
The commotion, the smell, people going every which way, it was overwhelming, she felt her throat constrict-
"Would you like to see him?"
Her shaky nod was followed by a short walk.
His room was quiet.
Or at least quieter.
She began to step closer when an arm grabbed her back.
"Agent Jareau, are you two close?"
"What do you mean?"
"Are you two friends?"
"We need you to talk to him."
He coughed again.
It hurt worse than the last one, were it possible.
He saw a new body outside his door.
There had been several in the last few hours.
Coming and going.
Going and coming.
Slowly, they had started to mesh together, but this one stood out differently, in a familiar way.
She came in.
He understood why she was different.
A set of fingers found his.
He tried, but no words could form.
Sadness overtakes their eyes.
"Are you ok?"
And he knew it.
So did she.
"Spence, Dr. Kimura said you refused narcotics."
Why attempt a slippery slope?
"Are you sure you're ok?"
He coughed again; the force shook the earth as well as his body.
The fingers grasped harder, and another hand found his back.
Soothing movements comforted him, but the pain was too present to notice.
His body eventually relaxed.
So did the hands, and she sat down beside him.
She fidgeted with the blanket.
Something was wrong.
"J...gay...guy..." He tried.
"Shush, it's okay." She assured.
Fear poured from her eyes.
"Spence, I have to talk to you."
He prepared himself.
"They want to give you a sedative, so they can put you on a respirator. You're oxygen levels are dropping to low, and you could... could get sicker." She stated slowly.
The doctors weren't worried about him getting sicker.
She wasn't either.
She knew what happened.
A patient went to sleep.
They didn't wake up.
He knew too.
She felt his hand tremble, saw his eyes widen, and the blood drain.
She hadn't wanted this.
She wanted to comfort him, see him heal.
He was slowly losing the battle of life.
The cure had to be relatively safe before used.
That took time.
Time was the enemy.
Tears sprung to her eyes, but she held them back.
He needed her.
"It's ok, Spence, I'll stay here with you, or someone will."
Losing him... no it couldn't happen.
Ice ran through her veins.
Then his face changed.
He looked determined, his hands tightened around hers.
"I... no... wur, wure..."
He wanted to cry in frustration.
"Spence, it's ok."
He shook his head furiously.
He grabbed over to the nightstand and found a pen and paper.
Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. Worry about the case.
"Hotch and Morgan are taking care of the case."
Is Henry ok?
"I'm sure he is. Brown was going for transits, and we hardly ever them. But, Spence, we need to worry about-"
You don't have to.
"But, Spence, I want to."
I'll be fine.
"Spence, it's about time you worry about yourself. You're dying!"
It wasn't supposed to be that loud.
He stared into her flustered and apologetic eyes.
I will be fine.
"How do you know?"
A cough answered them.
Blood stained his hands.
She tried to help.
It was futile.
She wasn't the cure.
Pain ravaged his chest, she caressed his back.
They cancelled out each other long enough for him to regain some strength.
Will you please stay until I'm asleep?
His request caught her off guard.
He finally listened.
She left to get a doctor.
They both watched the needle enter the port.
He had some fifteen odd minutes.
Then who knew?
Ice ran through his veins.
He feared what he could lose.
She hadn't let go of his hand, but she couldn't hide her fear.
He grabbed the pen.
Please believe I'll be ok.
"You are going to be fine."
No, believe it.
His belief came from his need to believe.
He needed her to believe too.
Even if there was no reason, he needed it.
Even if she was scared, he needed it.
He could face this, but he needed help.
She finally listened.
Her eyes refocused and her hand sent an wave of confidence into his.
His relief was visible and he settled into the bed, preparing for the coming slumber.
She babbled to him
She talked about Henry.
And the team.
And what they would do when he returned.
And something else, but her words were no longer clear.
Lines began to blur.
Shapes began to merge.
He could feel his body become heavy.
The coughing slowed.
His eyelids slid further and further...
He had repeated this three or four times by now.
She continued to talk but slower.
They didn't move.
He didn't move.
His hand didn't grab back.
His breathing slowed.
Doctors, nurses, aides, all came bustling in.
She was shooed out.
Outside, she couldn't help it.
The tears flowed.
Two hours later, the cure had been prepared.
She watched the needle's contents enter the line.
His eyes hadn't flickered.
It wasn't expected; it was just her hope.
He still hadn't stirred.
The doctors watched vigilantly, every observation positive.
He would be ok.
It was just a wait.
Heavy footsteps entered behind her.
"We got Brown. Everything is fine."
"They think the cure worked."
"Great. You can head back Jayje, finish up what you need to, then go home. I'll take over from here."
The stress depleted her fighting abilities.
Before she knew it she was back at the office.
All had ended well.
Just as he had told her it would.
Just as she had told him it would.
Just as it was supposed to be.
"The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself." George Bernard Shaw
***"False friendships, like the ivy, decays and ruins the wall it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation to the object it supports." Robert Burton
The jello wiggled on his spoon.
Cherry, his favorite.
"Thanks for bringing this JJ."
The tension permeated every corner of the room.
She had wanted to talk to him.
Discuss with him their fallen leader.
About their new task.
About their most important case.
Through everything she said, he was stoic.
She waited for his brain to begin whirring, the wheels turning.
Her patience was dwindling.
"Reid are you ok?"
"Huh? Yeah, I'm fine."
"Reid, you sure?"
"Yes. I'm just tired."
The silence returned.
Normally she would joke or chat with him.
Talking was her specialty.
And he always reciprocated.
Today was off.
"JJ, you should really go back to Hotch."
And then she saw them.
Even after weeks, they haunted her psyche.
They told the truth.
However, they didn't explain it.
"Reid, I'm staying here."
"JJ, you don't have to."
It wasn't supposed to be that sharp.
She didn't care.
"Spence, something is up. Please, tell me."
"It's... it's just not that big a deal."
"So tell me."
He struggled, as if debating internally.
His look averted his.
His fingers played with the blanket.
"When, when I was coming off of the anesthesia, the doctors were talking about my recovery."
Her look pushed him to continue.
"They think I'll be lucky to get 75% mobility back."
Her fingers found his subconsciously.
His fear flowed from him to her.
She knew his fear.
Losing the job.
No longer seeking out unsubs.
Finding their habitat.
Proclaiming victory with their defeat.
"Reid, you're going to be fine."
"You don't know that." He whispered.
His eyes glistened.
"Yes I do."
"JJ, you're not the doctor."
"They don't know you Reid. You are one of the strongest people I know. You will find a way to come back to the field with us."
He wasn't convinced.
"JJ, I appreciate that, but I'm still... scared."
He hated those words.
"I know how pathetic that is, I mean Hotch lost contact with his family-"
"And you think he's not scared?"
"I doubt he's showing it."
"For once in your life, Spence, you're wrong. He's scared. We all know it. But he's going to fight. Just like you."
"That's it JJ, I can't fight this. I have no control. If I can't heal, I'm... done. I don't want to lose this job."
He was whispering again.
She had slowly been getting closer to him.
Now she was sitting next to him on the bed opposite his injured leg, her arm around his back.
The silence spoke loudly.
His fear hadn't budged.
"Spence, I know you. And that's all I need to know. Anyone who has gone through what you have has enough strength to beat this. You will get through this. We'll be by you every step of the way."
Confidence flowed from her fingers to his.
Deja vu crept over them.
Weeks ago, they had been here.
Last time had taught her.
She knew what he needed.
He had won then.
He began to ponder if he could again.
He clutched onto her hand tightly.
She snuggled closer to him.
Her warmth comforted him.
A tiny flame of hope reignited.
His mind drifted off.
He imagined the day when he would return to the field with his family.
"When someone allows you to bear his burdens, you have found deep friendship." Real Live Preacher Weblong
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