a/n: Obviously this takes place just after Reid got himself shot in 5x01, "Nameless, Faceless."
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not one lil bit. Thanks to Jeff Davis, et al. for creating them and letting me play. :D
Just Breathe - Reid
I need for something,
But not more medicine.
Somethin' has me...actin' like someone I don't wanna be
Ill with want...
-The Avett Brothers
The nurse, round-faced and placid, held out the Tylenol with absolutely no expression marring her perfectly smooth countenance. If nothing else, she looked stubbornly weary. “There’ll be no drug-seeking on my shift, thank you very much, I don’t care if you are some fancy FBI agent,” that look said.
Reid stared at the clear plastic cup containing the two white pills. When he’d asked for pain medicine, this wasn’t exactly what he’d had in mind, but of course he should have known. With a resigned sigh, he reached for the pills and swallowed them. The nurse checked his IV, told him to try to rest, and bustled from the room.
He leaned back against the starched white pillowcase, the muscles in his finely-cut jaw dancing as he ground his teeth against the pain. The pain. Wasn’t there a bigger word in the English language to describe what he was feeling? It was like something alive, an organism growing out of his thigh, down his leg, then up again. His entire body throbbed with it, and the nurse brought him TYLENOL.
He had saved a man’s life today. Spencer Reid, boy genius, had thrown himself between a trauma surgeon and a hurt, confused man’s bullet. Really, on closer thought, he’d saved two lives: he’d talked the gunman into giving himself up. Well, ok, so he’d been shot, but the doctor had saved him…
Anyway. Maybe all that would matter more if he weren’t busy being eviscerated by two separate, vicious monsters: pain, of course; and his overwhelming desire for Dilaudid.
Reid had craved the drug since quitting, of course. Any recovering addict who said he didn’t was either stupid, or a liar. Three-time Dr. Spencer Reid was most certainly not the former, and he was trying desperately to avoid being the latter. So, yes, he’d wanted it since the first time he’d said those words – “Hello, my name is Spencer, and I’m an addict” – but all those cravings were as a grain of sand to the Sahara.
Now, as his long-fingered hands fisted the sheet, turning his knuckles white, and even breathing was agony, the only pain comparable to the bullet hole in his leg was the agony of longing. He wanted that needle in his arm. He needed it. He wanted that warm, cotton-wrapped oblivion. He wanted to float away on a cloud of nothingness.
He shuddered, groaning. Dilaudid, morphine, oxycodone…Tylenol! Tylenol for a gunshot wound. What’s next? A Band-Aid for a severed limb? Here’s something they didn’t warn you about in D.A.R.E: don’t do drugs, kids, because when you get shot saving someone’s life they won’t give you any FUCKING PAIN MEDICATION!
He clutched his stomach, wondering if he were going to vomit again.
No, too much movement, hurt too much.
He opened his eyes, not bothering to brush away the tears that streamed down his temples and into his tangled light brown curls. He sniffed, sparing a moment’s mourning for the tailored black pants he’d been wearing. They had been new, and expensive, and part of his effort to dress less like a geeky grad student and more like a (slightly less geeky) grown up.
Realizing he was feeling a bit punchy, Reid closed his eyes again and concentrated on breathing. In, out. In, out. Simple.
Time passed, and his world reduced to pain and breathing, breathing and pain.
Gradually the edge of his craving faded.
Alone, exhausted, hurting, he just kept breathing.
that's it! short and, er... sweet? perhaps. I just thought... the kid's been shot, right? but he's an addict, so they can't give him narcotics for the pain... geez, that must be hell!!