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That Old Familiar Sting

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It didn’t hurt.

As Spencer stared down at the knife sticking out of his thigh, that was all he could think, that it didn’t hurt. There was a knife in his leg, and it should have hurt. It should have been excruciating. But there was nothing but numbness.

A combination of adrenaline and shock, he knew, coursing through his bloodstream were keeping him from feeling anything. Which he was actually a little grateful for, because it was also the only thing keeping him on his feet. Keeping him between the Unsub and his intended victim.

“Move!” the boy screamed, tears streaming down his face. Weaponless after he’d tried to stab his stepfather and Spencer got in the way, but there were other weapons well within reach on the kitchen counter, and Spencer knew he wasn’t fast enough to stop him.

“I can’t do that, Clay,” Spencer said, trying to sound reassuring. His pulse was pounding in his ears and he was feeling lightheaded and dizzy, but he couldn’t let himself collapse. Not yet.

“I have to do this!” Clay cried, his voice cracking on the words. “You don’t know what he did to my mom, to me-”

“I do know,” Spencer said, quietly. “Clay, I do know, and I promise you, he will go to jail for a very, very long time. But you have to let me do my job, okay? Please.”

The rest of his team had to be coming, soon. He really hoped they were coming, soon. All he had to do was hold on.

“Clay,” he tried again, drawing the boy’s attention to himself. “Clay, think about your mom. She doesn’t want you to do this.”

“She’s in a coma!” Clay yelled at him. “She can’t tell me what she wants!”

“She woke up this morning,” Spencer told him. “Clay, your mom woke up, and you were the first person she asked about.”

“You’re lying,” Clay accused him.

“I’m not,” Spencer promised. “Look, let me get my phone out. I’ll call the hospital and you can talk to her. You can hear her voice for yourself.”

Moving slowly just in case Clay got jumpy, Spencer reached into his vest pocket and pulled his cell phone out. Dialing, he listened to the phone ring before JJ picked up.

“Is Mary Lawson awake?” he asked, before JJ could get a greeting out. “Because I’ve got her son, Clay, here, and he really wants to talk to her.”

At JJ’s affirmative answer, he put the phone on speaker and held it out to Clay, biting back a pained gasp when the movement jostled the knife in his leg. It put him off balance for a moment - and Clay’s stepfather took advantage of the moment to shove him out of the way, going straight for his stepson.

Spencer landed on the floor hard enough to drive the knife further into his leg, making him yell as agony shot the length of his body. But he still forced himself to lunge after Clay’s stepfather, grabbing the older man by the back of his pants and dragging him to the floor. Unable to go for his gun, Spencer had resorted to using his own body weight to keep the taller man pinned and was struggling to keep him down when the front door slammed open. Luke, Emily, Rossi, and a trio of the local cops blasted into the room, guns drawn, and Spencer let himself slump to the floor with relief.

Everything after that was kind of a blur. Spencer was vaguely aware of Clay’s stepfather being taken into custody, the cops being none too gentle with him, and of Emily talking to Clay, her tone calm and even as she led him out of the house. He was a good kid, he’d just been in a bad spot, and Spencer was determined to get him the help he needed. As soon as he could move from the floor, that was.

He could hear the sound of his own name coming from a distance, and he looked away from Clay to see Luke and Rossi hovering anxiously over him. They both looked worried, and it took Spencer a second to realize it was because he’d been stabbed. He opened his mouth to reassure them that he was going to be okay, but nothing would come out. Black spots danced in front of his eyes, and he groped wildly for something to hold onto as everything started to go dark. He felt someone grab his hand in a warm, strong grip.

“You’re okay, Spencer,” he heard Rossi say, his voice growing more and more distant. “We’re here, now; you’re okay.”

Okay. Spencer held onto that word as he let himself slip into the darkness. He was going to be okay.