Prompt(s) used: AU where Reid and Adam/Amanda meet because Reid is a patient in the same mental hospital. Whether or not Reid was ever a BAU member is at the author's discretion.
Warnings: mild sex scene, mentions of abuse and torture, drugs, violence. AU, OOC.
Author's notes: So I decided to go with a universe where the events of “Conflicted” did not occur and Amanda was caught earlier. Spencer never got off drugs, and the team found out. It’s a weird story, from Amanda’s point of view.
Adam is ashamed. He doesn’t like it when I dress his body like a girl.
But secretly, he loves it when I put him in his dark little place and take over. I’m so much stronger, and I take care of things. It’s just too scary out there. He’d rather hide.
Everything I ever did was for him. He knows he doesn’t have anyone else, so he puts up with me. And I think he probably loves me in his own way. In the way a person could love someone who took over their body all the time.
My poor little man.
My boy never smiles. Sometimes, I reach inside and tickle him just to hear the little-boy-laughter.
I spend a ridiculous amount of time looking in mirrors. I watch myself talk and smoke and even breathe. If there’s a shiny surface near me, I’ll stare into it. Adam doesn’t look out my eye holes at those times. He doesn’t want to see himself looking like me.
We walk the hallways together. Inside, he’s perched on my hip. He watches out my eye holes when we walk. He sees the big, burly men and shrinks away. He sees the queens and looks harder. He is indifferent to the women.
In this place, there are people with dead eyes and people with crazy eyes. The people with normal eyes don’t really belong here. They come to get off drugs or learn to like eating again. Some come here because they can’t handle life on the outside, like Adam. And like me, some have skeletons in their closets.
That just goes to show you.
If I’d buried that damn body instead of stuffing it in the closet, maybe I’d still be out there.
And some of these people are really fucking crazy. Take that guy there. Lights people on fire. Got the crazy eyes. Fucking freak!
Don’t worry, Baby. He won’t hurt you. Do you want a cookie?
I talk to the doctor and I talk to the groups. Adam stays hidden when he can, but peeps sometimes. He doesn’t want to talk about the things his stepdaddy did to him. He doesn’t want to say the man dressed him like a little girl and touched him in bad ways. He doesn’t want to tell them he only survived because of me, because I started to take it for him, and because I stopped taking it and snapped.
He covers his ears when I have to talk about it. He doesn’t even want to hear.
You’re lucky to have me, Dear.
The others tell their stories. The skeleton girl talks about her daddy and how he yelled and yelled and never talked in a normal volume. And she stopped eating just so she’d be able to have some control over something.
And the big, burly man talks about beating his wife and kids. Adam covers his ears again.
The stories are too much for Adam sometimes; I have to pick him up and comfort him. No one ever did that for him before me. That’s why he puts up with me. That’s why he loves me.
Then there is a new man. He’s not the big and burly type and he’s not a queen. Dark eyes, light hair, pale skin. A long string bean of a man. Smart eyes, but sad. Adam peeks at him and I feel his shiver run up my spine. He even tries to climb up from the dark place into the bright sitting room, but I push him back down.
Not right now, Adam. Wait.
We listen to the new man’s story. It’s about another man with three men in his body. One is a mean daddy. One is a damaged kid. One is an Angel of Divine Vengeance. The new man talks without emotion. His face is blank. He says he was held down and the daddy hurt him. The damaged boy put drugs in his blood. And the Angel of Divine Vengeance made him choose someone to die. The new man had to watch the person die. And he felt like it was his fault. But he tried. He tried so hard.
Adam lies on his stomach with his head resting on bent arms. He’s listening and crying at the same time. He likes the new man.
Yes, Adam. Poor man.
The new man talks about his mother and how she was crazy. He had to take care of himself and her when he was just a little boy. Then he put her away. What choice did he have? It was a place just like this, full of crazy people. And it made her sad, but she was better off. Then she killed herself.
Adam thinks the new man is really brave and strong. He took care of himself and his mommy. Adam couldn’t even take care of himself. I had to come and take care of him, and he feels so weak and stupid sometimes. Poor Adam.
Amanda, I want the new man to be my friend. I’ve never had a friend before, except you.
We hang back a little and follow the new man to his room. He shuts the door and we read the sign together. S. Reid.
For a day or two, we just watch S. Reid. He stands up straight and tall. But at the same time, seems to have been beaten down by life. His head is so heavy. You can tell by the way he has to work so hard to keep his chin up. He is always frowning and reading books in the garden. He’ll walk out when a small stack and read them all in a few hours. It takes Adam forever to read a whole book. Back when he was a kid, they called him stupid. Here, they said something about a learning disorder.
Adam watches from inside while we smoke our cigarettes. He wants to watch from outside too, but he’s very shy.
S. Reid talks more in group. He seems to feel relieved to have a place to say all these things he says. We wonder what he does out there and why there was no one to talk to. He must have friends. He gets letters.
We weren’t paying attention when S. Reid first spoke, so we didn’t notice the moderator calling him Dr. Reid. It’s hard to pay attention when there is always some conversation between us, now that Adam knows I’m here. Now we wonder what kind of doctor he is. He seems so young to be a doctor, after all. Adam wants to know very badly, so I ask.
“Dr. Reid, what kind of doctor are you?”
He clears his throat before he answers. “I have a PhD.” He says. “Three of them, actually.” He isn’t bragging, just stating fact.
He must be real smart, huh, Amanda?
College degrees impress Adam because he isn’t certain he could get one himself. He didn’t finish high school. But they tell us he can get his GED in here. If he does, then they’ll be more likely to let us out. But I think they are worried about him cheating, since he always has me looking over his shoulder and whispering things into his ear.
It’s time for us to share with the group again. Adam runs back to his hole and I talk about the stepdaddy. S. Reid looks at me with this expression on his face. I don’t know how to read it.
Now S. Reid watches us.
One day S. Reid gets a visitor. It is a man with a very serious face and dark hair. He sits with S. Reid in the activity room and talks at him. S. Reid looks sad when he listens to the serious man. It looks like S. Reid is being fussed at. He’s in a worse mood after the visit. He goes out into the garden to sulk. Adam feels anger toward the serious man.
We walk outside too and smoke. S. Reid watches us curiously.
You should go and talk to him, Amanda.
I figure it’s about time. Maybe I can cheer him up for Adam. I put my cigarette out and walk over to his bench at the edge of the garden. It’s cool out and S. Reid shivers in his sweater.
“Hi, Dr. Reid.” I say sweetly.
“Hello,” he says back. “It’s Amanda, right?” He looks at us sideways and tries to smile. We sit like a proper lady, smoothing my skirt down, and Adam looks out my eye holes again, trying to be part of this. It’s rare for someone like S. Reid to come in here. And he’s close to Adam’s age.
“Are you alright, Dr. Reid?” I ask, making a motion to indicate I plan to smoke. S. Reid nods that it’s okay.
“I’m okay,” he says, sighing. “Just some work-related stress.” He keeps trying to smile.
I decide to be nosy. “So, you got a visitor today. Lucky you.”
“My boss,” S. Reid says. “Or he was. I’m not so sure anymore.”
So he might get fired. That’s really crummy.
“What sort of trouble are you in?”
“I’m addicted to Dilaudid. It got in the way of work.” He shows so little emotion. It’s like he’s dead inside.
“What do you do, Dr. Reid?”
“I work for the FBI,” he tells us. He looks even sadder now. “What about you, Amanda? What sort of work do you do? What are you in here for?”
I tell him I never did much of anything, besides take a life. He doesn’t even seem that shaken about it.
We have to go because the man is coming to bring us our monthly allowance. He’s a lawyer who decided that Adam was entitled to his stepdaddy’s life insurance money since I was technically the one who killed him. He comes on the first and brings cash, along with a few cartons of cigarettes and other necessities. The publicity from our case made him a local celebrity, so he feels grateful. He’s trying to get us out too.
After he leaves, we get to go to the store on the bus. But Adam has to go. It’s the rules.
We make a list first, so we both get what we need and Adam doesn’t forget my pantyhose and mascara. Then I strip off the dress and lacy underwear. It feels good to peel off the pantyhose and wig, though I feel naked without them. Then I dress Adam in his own clothes. Soft, worn-out jeans and a t-shirt, white socks, Converse Allstars.
And I send Adam to find S. Reid. Everyone needs to get out sometime. At first, he doesn’t recognize us. “The bus takes us to the store in twenty minutes,” Adam says. “It’s a special privilege for good behavior.”
S. Reid walks like a zombie next to Adam. It strikes me that he’s humiliated to be going to the store on a bus for mental patients. Mostly the sane ones go. We used to be considered dangerous, but I’ve kept up my behavior since we got here. I keep my hands to myself and leave the crazies alone. And I send Adam to visit the doctor twice a week, like a good boy, in jeans and a t-shirt instead of a dress and pumps. We’ve been downgraded to slightly risky.
In the store, Adam finds a tube of blue lipstick for eight dollars.
This one, Amanda?
No, I’ll look like an idiot. Get the blood red.
S. Reid follows us around like a toy on a string. He looks at everything and buys some Little Debbie snack cakes. Adam and I have picked up lots of things and we carry them out in reusable shopping bags because it’s better for the environment. Some psychology student brought them to us and talked on and on about the whales. We like whales.
We wait for the bus with S. Reid.
Make small talk, Adam.
“Uhhhh… So, h-how do you like it so far, Dr. Reid?” he asks nervously, running his fingers through his hair. It hangs in his face.
The question is kind of stupid, but I don’t say anything. I don’t want to make Adam feel stupid. He does that enough on his own. After all, how hard is it to tell that sometimes, during your blackouts, you walk around in a dress and wig and commit homicide?
S. Reid says something that we can’t quite hear, then clears his throat and says it again. “You can call me Spencer. I guess it’s okay, for a mental institution.”
“Oh,” Adam says. “So… You feel okay?”
“The withdrawal symptoms are pretty much gone. But the cravings are still there. And I feel really numb from the medication they have me on.”
Adam knows all about withdrawal symptoms. He got on stuff because of the headaches. After he found out about me, he understood them and they started to go away. But we both know about the numbness. Adam hates to see Spencer look so sad, so he tries to talk about music. But Adam likes that shitty Death Metal and Spencer likes Classical. I like Country and Folk.
It leads to a lot of arguments between Adam and me when we want to use his Ipod.
Personally, I don’t care much how other people feel, besides Adam. But I kind of like Spencer as a person. At least I don’t want to kill him.
Spencer is much better at small talk than Adam. He likes to give people information that is completely random, but usually interesting all-the-same. For example, he knows that more than one percent of adult Americans are in prison. And that suicide is the number three cause of death for people in their late teens to early twenties. Who would just know that?
Adam has thought about suicide before. But that’s why he’s lucky to have me. He likes to hear the random facts.
They serve dinner late because something happened while we were at the store. Spencer has trouble eating. Adam shovels food down even though I tell him I’m watching my figure. Oh well, he’s a growing boy.
After dinner, coffee is served. I like that because it’s how they do things Down South. Sometimes, though, it’d be nice to have a glass of red wine or something. Spencer dumps loads of sugar in his coffee. He must want to stay up late. We need a cigarette, so Adam asks if he’d like to go for a walk outside.
While we all walk together, Spencer talks about his job.
“I’ve seen so many horrible things,” he says. “And I’ve learned to deal with it. But lately, things are coming back to me. I’m having nightmares. I don’t even want to sleep.”
“I get nightmares too,” Adam says. We walk into the trees. The sun is beginning to sink, but there is still plenty of light.
“What do you do when you have nightmares, Adam?”
Adam tucks a lock of dark hair behind his ear and blushes. “Amanda takes care of me. I’m never alone anymore.”
“That must be nice,” Spencer supposes, but there isn’t any feeling in the statement.
“Sometimes,” Adam admits. “I don’t like to be alone. It’s sort of comforting. But it’s embarrassing too. People think I’m a freak here. I guess that’s sort of true. When I first found out about her, I was really freaked out. But I’ve gotten used to her.”
Gee, thanks, Adam.
Sorry, it’s the truth.
“I don’t think you’re a freak,” Spencer says.
That’s nice. I’m really starting to like him.
Stop, Amanda! I’m trying to talk to Spencer. You’re distracting me.
“No. It’s not your fault. I understand what it’s like to feel embarrassed and alone. And you’re not the only person in the world with an extra personality living inside you.”
See? I told you.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Adam says, trying to follow two conversations at once. He heard about the man who hurt Spencer and realizes that’s what happened with us.
We come to a stop next to a tree. There’s no one else around and Adam’s palms start to sweat.
Say something, Adam.
“I had to kill him,” Spencer says. “In order to save my own life, I had to kill Tobias Hankel.”
“Which one was he?”
The damaged boy.
Let him answer!
“He was innocent. His father was one of the personalities. The one that tortured me. Raphael was a murderer. Tobias tried to help me. Unfortunately, the only way he knew how was by injecting me with drugs. But I wanted to help him.” Spencer tries to smile again.
“That’s too bad,” Adam says. “I wish someone had wanted to help me.”
Stop being ungrateful. I helped you.
I’m not being ungrateful, Amanda. Stop taking things personally.
“I would’ve,” Spencer tells us. He reaches out and touches Adam’s shoulder. Adam can’t move because he’s sort of in shock from being touched by someone besides me and the staff.
I think he wants to kiss you, Adam.
Spencer pulls his hand away and apologizes. “Not you,” Adam explains. “Her. She keeps talking to me in here.” He points to his head. Spencer stares for a second, then starts to laugh. At first, it’s just amused laughter. Then Adam laughs too. It gets more intense until they’re both in hysterics, bending and clutching their stomachs. They laugh themselves out. I laugh too.
When they stop laughing, Spencer hugs Adam. I have to step back, because I don’t want to feel his arms around me. But I won’t ruin Adam’s moment. He hugs back. Spencer begins to cry, and Adam is confused. He just holds on.
When the tears run out, Spencer keeps hugging. He lifts his head and kisses Adam on the mouth. I watch, but don’t feel it, just like I never felt the headaches. His tongue dips between Adam’s lips. They both hold on and breathe heavily. Adam is getting hard.
Spencer presses Adam against the tree and grinds against him. He breaks the kiss just long enough to make sure no one can see us.
We don’t need to be in for another hour or so. Adam wants it and Spencer wants it. So we all walk deeper into the trees.
Adam is nervous, so Spencer goes first. On his knees while Adam leans against a tree. Adam’s fingers clutch Spencer’s light hair. Adam likes it.
Spencer doesn’t complain or anything. He swallows and stands up.
What now, Amanda?
Oh, now you want my help?
Please, what do I do? Should I do that to him?
Duh, Adam. You give what you get.
Adam shakes while he’s getting on his knees in front of Spencer. His fingers can barely get Spencer’s zipper down.
“You don’t have to,” Spencer assures us. But Adam does anyway. Once he’s started, he likes doing it to Spencer. He knows what to do. He’s had to do it before. But this is different. He doesn’t even mind the taste.
Adam likes the noises Spencer makes. He’d like to do it again sometime.
They zip up and we start walking back slowly. They hold hands until we come to where people can see.
Saying goodnight is awkward for them. But Spencer doesn’t seem like such a zombie anymore. His cheeks are pinker and his eyes are more alive. He’d like to hang out with Adam some more. They steal a kiss from each other before bedtime.
In our room, I demand Adam rinse out his mouth with mouthwash and brush his teeth. I can’t handle the taste and it lingers.
“Thanks, Amanda. Your turn now,” he says into the mirror. We only talk out loud to each other in our room.
He lets me take over so that I can do my own thing. It involves a facial and manicure. You’ve got to pamper yourself sometimes.
Adam stays in his dark place for now, talking to me, but not looking. I have the wig on again. I paint my toe nails.
I wish I had female parts. But Adam’s body will have to do. I slip into a silky nighty with lace trim. It’s bright red. We look good in red. I wash off the mask and apply moisturizer. I stare into the mirror for an hour.
We lie down together in the dark. Adam feels great. He wants to hang out with Spencer again too.
Our room is dark and quiet and comfortable. It isn’t hard to fall asleep, though Adam wishes Spencer could sleep with us too.
“You’ll see him tomorrow, Adam.”
“I know, but it would be nice to sleep with him too.”
“I’m not sleeping next to some man,” I say. “If that ever happens, you have to do it without me.”
“What if he gets out and we don’t?”
“Well, we’ll just have to work on that, won’t we?”
Before we fall asleep, Adam begins to really think about that GED.