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Ultimatum

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As she glanced around the circle, vitriol tearing through her gaze, she wanted more than anything to find her blade. Take it down her wrist or thigh just one more time.

How could they do this to her?

Go to a psych ward or lose her job. What kind of fucking friends did she have anyway?

“Fuck all of you,” she spat, biting her bottom lip as it began to quiver. She glanced toward Reid - her so-called best friend. “But especially fuck you. This job is all I have and I know you’re the one that started this. Go fuck yourself.”

“I’m doing this for you,” he said softly. He couldn’t even meet her gaze. No wonder. Because how do you look directly at someone you’re actively betraying? “I don’t want to walk into your apartment one day and find you dead.”

It wasn’t like that. This was just her stress relief. She never cut deep. She’d never even tried to kill herself before. Everything just sucked in her life and if a train came and ran her over, she didn’t imagine herself caring. “Fuck you.”

“So you’ll go?” He asked, his eyes flickering with hope.

He stepped toward her, but she took a step back and held up her hand. “Don’t touch me. What choice have you given me? All I have in my life is helping people and this is what you do!? You take away my ability to do that? Yea, I’ll go. You haven’t given me any choice.”

Spencer swallowed hard, dejected but firm in his decision. “Okay, I’ll take you.”

“No, you won’t.” She glared at him and turned toward Hotch. “You will. You’re the only one that won’t try and talk to me. I need to grab some things at my apartment.”

All he did was nod. On the way out and toward the elevator, she made eye contact with Garcia. Someone else she considered a sister. “The one I’d need you to open your big mouth and you keep this from me.”

She started to cry, her crocodile tears hardening Y/N to her core. Every single one of them should go screw themselves for ever calling her a friend. “Don’t.”

After grabbing what you needed from your apartment, which happened to include a pair of jeans with a razor blade in the pocket. They’d probably find it, but it was worth a try.

She sat in the back of the car and noticed one slight hitch in Hotch’s breath, but when she glared at him, he kept quiet, saying nothing for the rest of the car ride.

When they arrived, paperwork was filled out and her belongings were of course taken, that small hitch of breath escaping her at the thought of her razor no longer being within arms reach. “Welcome, Y/N,” the woman said. “I’ll be happy to walk you to your room.”

Hotch wanted to say something desperately. But before he could get anything out, she turned around. “Don’t say anything, Hotch. I don’t want to hear it.”

All she wanted to do was sleep. Maybe in the morning, she’d wake up and realize this was all a bad dream.

—-

The day after she was admitted, Spencer and Garcia went to go visit her, but she refused any and all visitors outright. The only person she wanted walking through that door was someone with a razor in hand.

“Y/N, it’s time for your medication.”

After a lengthy conversation with a psychiatrist the night before, which left her even angrier if that was even possible, they’d decided to put her on a heavy dose of an antidepressant. She was expecting it, but it sucked nonetheless. Last time she was on one she felt numb; she couldn’t feel anything. Razors were better than that, weren’t they?

Reluctantly, she swallowed her pills and headed toward group therapy, which felt like a bad hangover. Everyone here was just as miserable as she was, with a few notable exceptions. Their unbelievable cheeriness set her on edge. “Y/N, why don’t you introduce yourself.”

She rolled her eyes and pitched herself forward, her hands resting forcefully against her knees. “My name is Y/N. I work for the FBI. And the assholes that call themselves my friends - my teammates. Told me I had to come here or they’d 302 me, which means I’d never be able to carry a gun, which means I lose my fucking job. So I hate everything. And my teammates. Also, group therapy is a complete and total waste of time. I didn’t talk to my teammates about this shit. What makes you think I’m going to talk to a room of random strangers? Nice to meet you,” she spat sarcastically.

That was about all she said that day.

—-

The next few days brought on the numb feeling she hated - the one she normally made go away with the sting of metal. Without it, those four days were absolute hell. She spoke to no one, save for a few words to her one-on-one psychiatrist. She ate her meals in silence. She went to the gym and hit the punching bag harder than she ever had at the Bureau, and even fended off a few glares from people who couldn’t stop staring at the fading scars on her stomach.

But on the sixth day, she woke up feeling different. It was a feeling she hadn’t experience in years. She felt…okay.

Ah, guilt…her old friend.

She’d been such an asshole to her friends. Fucking hell, she’d told her best friend to go fuck himself. Jesus. With her head in her hands, she headed to the gym. Group therapy still wasn’t going to happen. A room full of strangers didn’t need to be privy to her bullshit, but she’d consider talking openly in her individual session.

Sweating out everything at the gym made her feel a bit better. The was group therapy time. She told them she would talk to an individual therapist but she still wasn’t about to spill her guts to a room of random people no matter how nice they might be. The leader of the group therapy session seemed to take that as progress and left her alone.

Thank god.

A few hours later, one of the nurses came by her room. “You have a visitor. Should I let him in?”

“Is his name Dr. Spencer Reid?”

The nurses nodded. Goddammit. She felt sick. How was she supposed to look at him after being such an ass? “Yea, sure, let him in.”

Taking a deep breath, she leaned back into her bed and stared at the window, trying her best to ignore the subtle footsteps that approached far too quickly for her liking. “Y/N? You…you agreed to see me.”

“Don’t get too happy about it.”

Why was she still being an asshole?

“I’m…” She dropped her head into her hands. “Sorry. Sit down.”

Spencer sat down on the edge of the bed; he looked tired. Even more tired than usual. It was because of her, wasn’t it? “Y/N, I-”

“I know, Spence.” His lips twitched upward at the mention of his nickname. “I know you told the team because you were worried about me. And I know you all gave me the ultimatum because you care and wanted me to stop. I…I get it.”

“You do?”

Nodding, she forced herself to look at him. “I do,” she said as she began to cry. “I’ve felt like such shit for so long and I never wanted to put my problems on anyone else so I turned to the razor. I had…have a problem. I know I do. You all knew before I did, so you did the only thing you could do which was threaten my job. It’s one of the few things that keep me going in life. Well, besides you guys. I had to be backed into a corner.”

Spencer took a deep breath. “I’m sorry it had to come to that. But I don’t regret it. You being mad at me for a few days was the price I had to pay to make sure you stayed alive.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat and reached out her hand hesitatingly, choking out a sob when his hand rested over hers. “I’m sorry, Spence. I’m sorry I was such a dick to you. And everyone else. God, tell them I’m sorry, would you?”

“I will, but they all want to see you too.”

She laughed through tears and wiped them away with the back of her hand. “Yea, just…one at a time. I’m too overwhelmed otherwise.”

“No problem,” he said, pausing a moment. “How…how are you?”

“I’m okay today. I…better than I’ve felt in a while. I’ve been punching the shit out of the punching bag at the gym. Been very therapeutic.”

“I can imagine,” he laughed. It was exactly what he expected of her.

For a while, they sat in a comfortable conversation, talking about matters both serious and frivolous until he finally decided to leave her so she could go to therapy. “Spence?” He turned around in the doorway. “I know I need help. And I’m gonna work on it. Hard. Because I need to get out of here with this shitty food and no job to focus on, but I’m…trying.”

Taking a step forward, he pulled her in and wrapped his arms around her. “I love you, you know.”

She knew. “I love you too.”