It was late, and the team was a couple of hours into their flight back from Oregon. The long, intensive case they’d just completed had understandably drained everyone’s energy. In fact, most of the team was currently asleep. This included Reid, who was curled up on the couch.
Reid was just as exhausted as the others, and sleep deprivation had long since won out over the copious amounts of coffee he’d consumed to get through the last portion of the case. He’d passed out soon after they’d taken off, and he’d been sleeping heavily ever since. Now, though, the profiler had begun to occasionally shift around in his sleep. Barring ambient noise from the jet, it was nearly completely silent in the cabin, but his slight movement wasn’t enough to draw the attention of the still awake members of the team. Which, at this point, only consisted of Hotch and Rossi.
Unbeknownst to anyone else, Reid’s fidgeting was a manifestation of his building internal discomfort. He was becoming deeply lost in a nightmare that was growing increasingly distressing. Not only that, but Spencer’s full bladder was pressing urgently at him, although he was unaware of this. The nightmare was seemingly preventing his body from waking him up to use the bathroom at the moment.
Subsequently, what started out as intermittent shifting grew more frequent over the next few minutes. It even caught the attention of Hotch briefly, the unit chief turning in his seat at the rustling coming from the couch. As he saw Reid unconsciously shift positions, he noted the hint of discomfort on the younger man’s face. He didn’t find it exceedingly out of the ordinary, though. After all, sleeping on the jet wasn’t known to be the most comfortable thing in the world, and Aaron interpreted the behavior as merely a side effect of that.
Hotch turned back around, catching David looking at him from across the small table that separated them.
“He’s moving around a lot,” Rossi murmured absentmindedly, glancing at Reid and then back down at the papers in front of himself.
“Well, that couch isn’t very comfortable.” Hotch responded quietly, mindful of the sleeping team members. He went back to focusing on the report he’d been filing, both men dropping the subject.
But Reid wasn’t just uncomfortable. In his vivid nightmare, he was terrified.
A lot of gunshots.
That was all Spencer could hear as he ran into a building, down a hall, turning the corner and then suddenly there were so many bodies, bodies of the people he loved the most and he felt…warm? His legs felt warm, and wet, and he turned his horrified gaze from the dead bodies to his own body, and he saw his pants rapidly darkening with urine and—
Except, it wasn’t just his dream-self that gasped. Real Spencer gasped, too, suddenly jolting awake. He partially sat up after a second, his heart hammering in his chest. The first thing that registered with him as he became aware of his surroundings was that he was on the jet.
The second thing Reid became aware of was the warm wetness spreading across his lap and pooling under him.
He hadn’t just wet himself in a dream—he was wetting himself for real.
Reid felt panic rush through him as he sat up a bit more, leaning against the wall behind him. By the time he had realized what was happening, he was already nearly done going, and the profiler could do nothing to stop it as his bladder finished emptying. He looked down at himself and almost instantly felt tears of shame and panic pricking at the corners of his eyes. This was bad. This was very bad. He was absolutely soaked, and the pattern of wetness that had spread out from his crotch and the puddle soaking into the couch underneath him was tell-tale.
“Reid? Are you alright?” Hotch asked, voice tinged with concern. He’d heard the gasp and had turned in his seat to look at the other man again in response. The problem wasn’t immediately evident to him as he watched Spencer sit up against the wall. Did he have a nightmare or something? It seemed like the most obvious explanation for how shaken up he looked, but as he followed the younger profiler’s gaze, Hotch realized that there was more to the story. Even in the dimmed lighting, Aaron could see that Reid’s pants were undeniably wet. It didn’t take a profiler to figure out what had happened. This probably explained all the previous squirming, then.
“I, um...” Reid fumbled for words and then trailed off, too mortified to speak. He knew Hotch had to have noticed by now. He glanced up briefly before looking back down at his lap, his mind racing.
Hotch glanced over at Rossi, whose expression was one of half-hidden surprise. He’d clearly noticed Reid’s predicament as well, then. Their eyes met for a moment before Hotch turned back towards Reid, the latter man rapidly looking more and more like he was on the verge of a panic attack. Aaron felt a pang of sympathy.
“I’m so sorry.” Reid suddenly said without looking up, voice quiet and wavering slightly.
“It’s okay,” Hotch responded instantly, careful to sound kind, but not pitying. “Don’t worry about it.”
“You want me to get your bag?” Rossi asked softly after Reid remained silent for a few moments.
Reid glanced up again and briefly met Rossi’s eyes, has face flaming. He merely nodded in response, blinking quickly as he dropped his gaze downward again, struggling to keep his emotions in check. Crying would only make things worse. He knew that. Apparently, his tear-filled eyes weren’t getting the memo.
Here he was, an FBI Agent with an IQ of 187—and he was sitting in a puddle of his own urine, shaking, and on the verge of tears. In front of two men he greatly respected, no less. Spencer almost wished the jet would just crash.
It wasn’t...completely unheard of. The bedwetting, that is. It’d been known to happen to him on occasion, but never often enough that he’d had to worry exceedingly about occasionally falling asleep on the jet. Now, though, Reid was currently vowing never to fall asleep in the air ever again. Out of his peripheral vision, he saw Rossi leave his seat and head for where their bags were kept.
Hotch was about to open his mouth to speak to Reid again when he noticed Morgan looking at him from across the aisle. The commotion must have woken him up. He inwardly cringed; he was sure the last thing Reid wanted was even more people seeing him in this state.
“Is everything okay?” Morgan asked in confusion, picking up on the tension in the air. He’d only woken up in time to hear Rossi ask about getting a bag. He couldn’t see Reid without turning around, something he hadn’t done just yet.
“Everything’s fine,” Hotch murmured, hazarding a glance at Reid, who looked newly panicked at the sound of Morgan’s voice.
Morgan frowned, moving to turn around when he saw Hotch glance towards the couch behind him. He leaned into the isle and turned his head, spotting Reid sitting up on the couch with his head now in one of his hands. A flicker of worry ran through him. Was Reid sick or something? Before he could ask, Derek’s eyes drifted over the rest of the younger agent’s body. Oh.
Raising his eyebrows in surprise, Morgan looked back over at Hotch. In response to this, the unit chief shook his head silently, his expression wordlessly communicating ‘don’t say anything.’ Derek frowned again, concerned about Reid, but he turned back around in his seat. He knew just as well as Hotch did that the kid probably didn’t want any more of an audience for this than he already had.
Reid felt even more mortified (if possible) now that Morgan had seen what had happened, too. God. They probably all thought he was a giant baby. Hell, he thought he was a giant baby at the moment. He swallowed, feeling a single tear escape and run down his cheek, something he instantly wiped away with his sleeve not-so-subtly.
Hotch suppressed a sigh, glancing at Morgan for a second before quietly getting out of his seat and walking the couple of paces it took to get closer to Reid. He knelt down in order not to be towering over the other man, given that he was still sitting down, but he was careful not to get so close as to invade Spencer’s space entirely. If he kept trying to speak to him from farther away, though, he’d be risking waking up Emily and JJ, too, if they hadn’t already woken up.
“Are you okay?” Hotch inquired, voice softer than usual, and now even quieter. He knew Reid wasn’t okay, but he needed to be sure he wasn’t actually drifting into anxiety attack territory.
“Yeah...I’m just…sorry.” Sniffling quietly and taking a shaky breath, Spencer glanced at Hotch now that he was closer. Tears were still gathering in his eyes, but he’d managed to stop them from spilling over anymore.
“It’s okay,” Hotch repeated his words from earlier, speaking kindly, but firmly, in order to convey that he actually meant what he was saying. “No one’s judging you. It could happen to anyone.”
“The couch…” Reid mumbled, glancing down again and grimacing. His clothes he could change out of, but he knew that the minute he stood up the wet spot on the couch would be even more obvious than it already was.
“It can be cleaned. We’ll say something got spilled.” Hotch responded.
“Okay…” Reid sighed quietly, dragging a hand over his face, still visibly stressed, but no amount of reassurance was going to make that vanish completely. He was grateful for how nice Hotch was being, though. Even though Spencer knew it was a bit illogical, he’d been worried that Hotch was going to be annoyed or upset with him.
“Nightmare?” Hotch guessed, figuring that was what had predominantly caused this accident.
Reid merely nodded in response, the nightmare still fresh in his mind. Like the bedwetting, nightmares weren’t unheard of for him. However, they were infrequent enough that he couldn’t predict when he’d have one.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Hotch asked gently, although he was quite certain he already knew what the answer would be. Still, he wanted to offer the opportunity.
“No, thanks,” Reid declined quietly, shaking his head. He shifted uncomfortably, his pants now cold, and the saturated fabric clinging to his skin. He really wanted to change clothes. Just as he was thinking this, Rossi reappeared, coming down the aisle with Reid’s bag in hand.
“Thank you,” Reid murmured sheepishly, voice barely above a whisper as he took the bag that Rossi handed him.
Rossi nodded wordlessly in response, wearing a kind expression and hiding his surprise at the situation much better than he had been earlier. He could see how much this accident had understandably upset Reid, and he felt bad for him. He went back to his seat after handing over the bag.
Hotch got up from his kneeled down position, knowing Reid probably just wanted to get changed now. “It really is okay,” he quietly reassured once again as he briefly met Reid’s eyes before moving out of the way, giving the other man the freedom to head to the bathroom.
Clutching onto his bag, Reid gingerly got up from the couch. Moving around made him feel even more disgusting—not to mention self-conscious—and he walked to the bathroom as quickly as he could manage without it seeming abnormally fast. His haste was partly because of his desire to change, and partly because of his desire to have a moment alone without someone being able to look at him and his childishly wet pants.
The profiler shut the door to the bathroom behind him. It was a little hard to comfortably fit both himself and his bag in the small space, but he managed it. Actually cleaning up and changing was going to be the harder part. Without access to a shower, there was only so much he’d be able to do. Anything he could do was going to be better than staying in his current clothes, though. Reid opened his bag, starting to look through it to pick what to change into.
Meanwhile, Hotch had found a dish towel that was just big enough to cover the wet spot on the couch. While it wouldn’t clean it, and while the towel gave away that there was something to be covered up, it would hopefully keep it from being as much of a strong visual reminder of what had just happened. After laying the towel on the couch, Hotch returned to his seat, where both Rossi and Morgan looked at him.
“Is he really okay?” Morgan asked quietly, worried about Reid. He’d never known the kid to wet the bed. Was this a new thing? Did it happen a lot? He had a lot of questions, but he wouldn’t dare mortify Reid by actually asking him any of them.
“I think so,” Hotch murmured, “although I’m sure he’s quite embarrassed.”
“Well, that’s understandable,” Rossi commented.
“Yes; and I’m sure he’d appreciate it if none of us brought this up to him.” Hotch said pointedly, glancing at Morgan in particular.
“I wasn’t gonna say anything to him!” Morgan quietly defended himself, holding up his hands.
“Good,” Hotch nodded. They all fell silent afterward.
In the bathroom, Reid has managed to remove his soiled clothes and clean himself up. It wasn’t perfect, and the first thing he was going to do when he got home was take a very hot shower, but he was a lot cleaner than he’d been a few minutes ago. He grabbed underwear, pants, and a different shirt (the one he’d been wearing had been tucked into his pants, thus getting wet as well) out of his bag. After changing clothes and stuffing his old ones into a plastic bag he luckily had, Spencer mentally geared himself up to exit the bathroom. He wished he could be alone right now, but they still had a while to go before they landed. His embarrassment was still raw and intense, despite knowing that the other members of the team probably wouldn’t say anything else to him about his accident.
Taking a breath, Reid unlocked and opened the door, coming out with his bag in hand. Instead of going back to the couch, he sat down in a seat near the bathroom, closer to the still sleeping JJ and Emily this time. He couldn’t avoid Hotch, Rossi, and Morgan forever, but he wasn’t about to go and sit down next to one of them and act like nothing happened. He couldn’t do that just yet. Instead, he pulled out a book and began halfheartedly reading it to distract himself from everything he was currently feeling.
Hotch wasn’t surprised that Reid sat somewhere else; he probably would have done the same thing in that position. The rest of the plane ride was welcomingly uneventful. As they landed, Prentiss and JJ woke up, as well as Morgan, who had fallen back asleep shortly after the Reid incident. After landing, everyone got up and retrieved their bags before exiting the plane.
As they were walking, Emily looked at Reid, and then thought for a moment.
“Reid, weren’t you wearing different clothes earlier?” Emily asked, looking at him in confusion.
“Um—“ Reid swallowed, feeling his heart rate pick up at the question. He wasn’t surprised she had noticed, but he was caught off guard.
“He spilled water all over himself. You know clumsy he is,” Morgan answered before Reid could continue, laughing a bit to perfect the lie. He could tell that if he’d let Spencer come up with a lie on his own, it probably wouldn’t have sounded as convincing as his own right now.
“Oh,” Emily chuckled a bit, “Sorry I missed that.” She kept walking after that, not really questioning the situation any further. That must have been why there was a towel on the couch, then.
Derek clapped a hand on Spencer’s shoulder comfortingly for a moment as they walked next to each other.
Reid sighed under his breath, extremely grateful for Morgan at the moment.
“Thank you,” Reid mumbled softly, glancing at the other.
“Anytime, man,” Morgan smiled, letting go of him and continuing to walk without another word.
Reid thought to himself, that if anything good had come out of this ordeal, it was the reminder that he had some pretty great friends.