louder than god's revolver and twice as shiny (x_forgetromeo) wrote in shesthesmoke,
louder than god's revolver and twice as shiny

Scar Tissue [1/1]

Pairing: Reid/Prentiss
Rating: PG-13
Summary: He doesn't tell her that it's over.
Prompt: "Scars" for angst_bingo
Note: Major spoilers for "Lauren".

"Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the world is made flesh." - Leonard Cohen

He shows up on her doorstep and he’s different. Of course he is—it’s been almost two years—but he’s stayed the same in her mind, and for a moment, it stuns her that her mental picture of Spencer Reid doesn’t match up with the man in front of her. His hair’s longer—just at the length where it’s starting to curl. The shadows under his eyes are darker, though that could just be the result of the long journey from Virginia to southern Italy. There’s a small but notable scar on the side of his chin that she’d never noticed before.

“Hi,” he says, and the simplicity of the statement is so absurd that she can’t stop the laugh that bubbles up from deep within her. She steps forward and pulls him toward her. After a moment, he wraps his arms around her, letting his forehead rest on her shoulder.

He doesn’t tell her that it’s over. They both know it never will be.


Doyle has been dead for six months, and that’s how long her former team has had to cope with the fact that Emily has been alive. She doesn’t see their immediate reactions, doesn’t see the violent bursts of anger, the shock, the unprofessional coldness directed at Hotch and JJ.

When she sees them again, all together, she just sees the distance.


“I missed you.”

She’s standing in his doorway now, driven to him by impulses that she can’t seem to control. He hasn’t opened the door all the way. 
She can’t read his expression. She’d always been the best at reading him, but he’d changed in the past two years. 
Grief had changed him. She had changed him.

He steps back and opens the door to her. 


“I’m dating Reid.” She says it to JJ as they eat lunch at their regular Wednesday diner. Dating isn't an accurate term, but it’s the closest thing she can think of.

It’s been three weeks since she’d shown up on his doorstep, two months since he’d shown up on hers. Reid’s been quiet about their…whatever they have, but she’s done with secrets.

It's more than sex. She thinks of the way it had felt when they’d stood that first night, her hands flat against his chest as he took her face in his hands and kissed her. His pulse had been rapid, beating furiously against her. His heart in the palm of her hands.

“How is he?”

She glances up at JJ, pulling herself away from the memory. “Sorry?”

“Spence,” JJ says, studying Emily carefully. “How is he doing?” There’s sadness in her eyes that Emily’s become too accustomed to seeing. “He doesn’t… We don’t really talk much anymore.”

Because you lied for me. The realization hits her and Emily flounders for words.


Spencer is different. More than his hair or his eyes or his physical scars, he is different. It’s the psychological scars that she doesn’t know how to handle. He’s not outwardly angry, which would be easier to deal with. He’s more quiet than she's ever seen him, and every once in a while, she’ll look up to find him watching her as if assuring himself of her presence.

She needs to say something, and she needs to say it soon. He isn’t going to be the one to start this conversation. But the words that had once come so easily between them stick in her throat, and perfect moment after perfect moment passes her by.


She’s not quite asleep when she feels his thumb skim across the scar on her stomach. She can see only glimpses of him in the moonlight—the sharp curve of his cheek, the outline of one shoulder—but she can feel his long fingers splayed across her side. As his thumb runs over the ragged flesh again and again in even intervals, she watches him through half-lidded eyes.

The headlights of a passing car briefly illuminate the room, and she sees the raw pain in his eyes as he takes in the wound that hadn’t killed her. Her breath hitches and he glances toward her, just realizing that she’d been awake. The light fades and she knows she should say something, but she can’t.

He turns over, facing away from her, and her chance is gone.
Tags: author: cait, challenge: angst_bingo, character: emily prentiss, character: jennifer jareau, character: spencer reid, fandom: criminal minds, pairing: reid/prentiss, type: fanfiction
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Chilling o.O

I have nothing to say. This is stunning and terribly sad.
Wonderful. Simply wonderful.
This is lovely. But, oh, my heart ;).
Ouch. Heartbreaking and beautifully written.
I wish I could convey just how much I like this by saying more than "I like this" but I'm not particularly good with words, I guess. I like this. Actually, you know, maybe I love this. It's really awesomely written.
Just so beautiful and heartbreaking and...I love it.
this is amazing in every little way, chilling and heartbreaking and beautifully written and the emotions just fly out of it. It's perfect, really.
Oh my goodness thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Oh, heartbreak. "Because you lied for me. The realization hits her and Emily flounders for words. " - that especially was so hard to take.
Eek, thank you so much for commenting.
Ugh crying. It could never go straight back to sunshine and smiled after what happened, but this is still terribly sad.

And I sort of wonder where he got the scar. I had this image of him getting it somehow in grief, doing something foolish or careless because he's thinking of her.
It ended up far darker than I actually intended it to. I wrote the last section the night "Lauren" aired, and intended that to be the first part, and then go through them putting the pieces back together, but I liked it more this way. /over-explanation

I'm actually thinking about working the scar into one of my other angst_bingo one-shots, which would be a bit of a prequel to this, so I'm glad you picked up on that. :)
This is really lovely, and so sad. What I like most is how you let the small scenes speak for themselves without hitting us over the head with meaning. You convey the pain Reid, JJ, and Emily are feeling so subtly, which is what makes it so powerful. This piece is all about distance between the characters, and the narrative mirrors that and makes it just that much more powerful. Just really well done.
I love the terribleness and the silence of these vignettes. So much of life is made up of tiny, important moments that we let slip by us.
Thank you so much!