Waiting For Morning
Summary: Spencer tries to deal with his demons.
Mentions Revelations and Third Life.
Set immediately post-Third Life.
Spencer gets by on too little sleep these days though those that notice the naturally occurring dark circles under his eyes might beg to differ. A cat-nap on the jet on the way back home after a case, an hour or two snoozing over a text book, studying for his latest PhD works fine for him. He figures his eidetic memory actually comes in handier these days when his mind is still fuzzy after pulling an all nighter than it did when he was a student at CalTech or a fresh-faced new member of the BAU. He can fake being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the perpetual optimist of the team and no one is any the wiser.
He knows he needs to get more rest. The weight of his fatigue is beginning to drag him down and he is certain that Hotch at least has noticed.
Sleeping means dreams though, or more likely, nightmares, as he tosses and turns, reliving his torture at the hands of Tobias Hankel’s alters. Every new case seems to become entangled in his memories of those two horrific days and nights. Every battered body brings back the agony of having the plank of wood slammed against his foot. Every wide-eyed dead stare reminds him of choking on his own vomit, knowing he is dying.
He doesn’t know why he has begun to crave the drugs again. They hadn’t brought the blessed oblivion that Tobias had promised. All they had done was remind him of how he had failed his mother – and Raphael had punished him for that. He’d thought he was recovering. He is only too aware that the PTSD had lingered for longer than he’d expected, and the drugs had become a crutch he was too afraid of losing. Or perhaps he welcomed the ready reminder of how badly he had screwed up by leaving JJ and chasing Tobias into the cornfield.
Slowly though, he’d been able to distance himself from the urge, to wake up in the morning, refreshed, knowing he had not dreamed, to finally begin to move on… until he’d watched helplessly as Jack Grahame had brutally gunned down his daughter’s kidnapper. Now he can think of nothing else. He longs to feel the prick of the needle on his skin, to feel the burn as the liquid snakes through his veins. He longs for oblivion, or even the guilt-wracked dreams of his past. Better than the living hell his life has become.
He relishes the sting of heat as he wraps his cold hands around his coffee mug. His hands tremble as he lifts the cup to his lips then a sudden spasm causes scalding hot liquid to slosh over the sides. He wipes his burnt hand on his trouser leg, welcoming the pain. Another distraction in the long night ahead. He lowers his head, inhaling the aroma of the sweet, rich coffee… and waits for morning.