The doctor kept Reid in the infirmary for over a week. He knew that Reid was frightened even though he wouldn't admit it. He kept him longer than usual but he knew he had to send the boy back soon again and it wouldn't be pretty if he hadn't healed completely after his first round of shower room intimacy.
Reid felt the entire canteen stare at him when he showed up at breakfast Sunday morning. He grabbed a tray and a bowl of gooey porridge and sat in the first vacant seat. He ignored the snickers.
When he finished he just looked at his empty bowl waiting for the guards to the guards to lead them back to their workstations. He frowned when a guard began calling out names and even more when his was called.
“You are all having visitors after lunch.”
Then they were guided to work.
Reid was silent despite Conrad's desperate attempts to get him to smile, laugh or even just talk to him.
Conrad was seated next to him at lunch too. He didn't acknowledge his presence and just stood and left when the guards called for those who was having visitors.
When he stood in line he felt another feeling than despair and indifference for the first time since he woke in the infirmary. He recognized the man in front of him as the black man he felt attracted to. He couldn't help feeling a bit confused about his attitude. When he had arrived he had looked at him with what appeared to be a lusty look and in the shower it had seemed like he showed of his body to Reid. But why hadn't he done anything to help him? The doctor had said the guards was brought by a man called Derek Morgan, could this be him? Reid almost shook his head at the thought. With his luck it was probably the hairy man who had been right next to him before Hankel had appeared. But still he couldn't help it but breathing in deep, smelling the faint traces of musk and sweat from the body in front of him.
They started walking.
Reid hadn't thought about who it was that had come to visit him. It wasn't like he had a lot of family and his friends wasn't the type to stick through hardships, so when he saw his mother's face on the other side of the glass he simply sighed and grabbed the phone.
“Mom, what are you doing here?”
“I came to see my son! My poor baby, how are they treating you?”
“Horribly mom, it's a prison...”
“Why didn't you go to college like I told you to?”
“Mom, I'm sorry but...”
“ You've could have met a nice girl and gotten a nice job.”
“That' very unlikely to happen, Mom...”
“You'd probably think about settling down about now.”
“Mom, please, you can't keep denying the facts...”
“Getting a nice house and some children...”
“MOM, I'M GAY!” Reid cursed inwardly when he realized that he had shouted. Now everybody would know. He rubbed his eyes and looked back on his mother's heartbroken figure. “You know I am Mom. Denying it wouldn't make it not true. Even if I had gone to college, and I wish I had, I wouldn't have met a nice girl but more likely a nice boy. Children isn't going to happen. I'm sorry Mom, but you're only making this harder on the both of us...”
His mother sighed into the phone. “Why did you start going to the casinos a the time? If you hadn't done that you wouldn't be here...”
“We needed the money Mom, you know that. It was the easiest way to get the biggest amount of money in Vegas. And now I'm just paying the price.”
“But why did you stab that man Spencer?”
“I didn't stab him! He ran into the blade! Even the police could see that it was an accident!” Reid felt rotten inside when he thought about the man he accidentally killed in self defense. His memory of that evening was way too clear as his memory tended to be. The casino's gorillas pulling him outside. The beating he received before Tony had shown up. Tony the man and new lover who had turned out to be a gang banger sent in to seduce Reid to join their gang. He remembered clearly how Tony had pulled a knife and stabbed one gorilla in the chest. The look on the other gorilla's face when his friend dropped to the ground without making a sound. The blunt sound of the gorillas fist hitting Tony's body and face. The look in the big man's face when he looked down on the knife Reid held in his hands in front of him the understanding and hurt when the man realized he had stabbed himself. He had died in Reid's arms as he sat sobbing on the ground looking at the blood and death surrounding him. He was still crying when the police had arrived.
“I miss you baby.” His mother smiled sadly to him.
“I miss you too. I'll... I'll try to get to some paper so I can write to you. There's no need for you to come all this way to see me. You can't afford to fly across the country just to see me. And don't deny it – there's nothing else for you to do in New Mexico!” Reid glanced back as the guard announced that they had to say goodbye. “I love you Mom, I'll write to you when I get the chance.”
“I love you too Spencer. I wish I had told you more often, but I always did!”
“I know Mom. Love you.” He hung up the phone and rose when the sound of chairs moving filled the room on his side of the glass. He waved at his mother before getting back in line.
Bad conscience haunted him as they walked down the hallways.
“STOP,” a slightly familiar voice called. Reid looked up a saw Hotch talking to another guard. “Everyone stay here.” Hotch and the guard left leaving a handful of prisoners in the hallway.
“Oh Mom,” Reid breathed. He was feeling bad for being so hard to her but he was just so sick of the way she had been ignoring hints and the men he had brought home.
“I second that,” a deep voice rumbled behind him. Reid looked over his shoulder and felt his breath hitch in his throat. Chocolate man!
“My mother always makes me feel bad about being in here. Especially about being so far away from home and stuff, but I really can't do anything about that, you know?”
“Yeah,” Reid nodded. “My Mom just did that too. And I'm not even sure she tried to.” The man smiled.
“They don't try to – it's in their nature. They're mothers and we're their sons. We should be there to protect them but instead we fucked up and got sent to prison.” Reid smiled.
“That sounds like a likely theory.”
“I actually left my mother a quite lucrative business and she will be able to watch out for herself and my sisters perfectly for as long as they need... If she handles things right and I expect she will. But every time she comes to visit I get to hear her going on about what I miss because I was so stupid and got my ass in jail.” He smiled a small sad smile that resembled the one Reid had put on his mother's face.
“And she just sits there with that sad look and you just know she's thinking: what did I do wrong?” Reid said.
“I couldn't say it better myself. You really are the smart one, huh Reid?”
“You know my name?” The black man cocked a brow.
“You don't know mine?” Both of Reid's eyebrows rose.
“I've been in here for 10 days. The first day I spent getting cold showers, the next sends me to the infirmary where I have stayed until this morning. Please enlighten me by telling me exactly when I should have heard your name.”
“ALRIGHT,” the guard yelled and Reid stared at him angrily. He would very much like to know the name of the man behind him.
The guards lead them down to the exercise yard and the other prisoners started to scatter and join their friends.
“My name's Derek Morgan,” the deep now familiar voice said close to Reid's ear. His eyes grew wide and he turned to see the man smiling at him.
“Wait... That means... You're the one who helped me in...” Morgan winked.
“I'll see you around, Pretty Boy.”
Reid gaped after the dark man as he joined a big group of other African-American men. Some on them sent less than friendly glances in his direction.
Reid looked around confused. Why were everybody in the exercise yard in stead of working? Reid walk along the wall until he came to some free benches. He took a seat and glanced around. His thoughts were all messed up and he couldn't seem to remember a reason for this habit break.
“Hey you,” a voice sounded to his left and Reid turned to see if he was the one called. He hoped he was.
Reid's head flew back as something hit his head with thundering force. His hand went to his face as he felt for blood or broken teeth. Everything seemed to be alright. Reid gathered the composure to open his eyes – he wanted to know who or what hit him.
A young man with a basketball under his arm was hurrying in his direction.
“Hey man, I tried to warn you – are you alright?” He asked and looked at Reid's face concerned.
“Nothing seems to be broken,” Reid said feeling the pain as he realized that his lip was split. Again.
“Shit, man – I'm sorry about that!” The young man smiled at him. “We were totally caught up in playing some hoops and I lost control over the ball and it just slipped out of my hand.” Reid was a tiny bit confused. He hadn't played any sports except some chess when he was a child but the man in front of him seemed wrong to be playing basketball.
“Aren't basketball players usually really tall, strong, black men?” He asked. The man in front of him smiled a crooked smile. He was around 5'7”, slim build and blond. And white.
“Well... I guess... But usually is a bitch, and I'm proving her wrong.” He put his hand out for Reid to grasp it. “I'm JJ.” Reid took it hesitantly.
“I'm Spencer Reid.” JJ's face changed to that of a pitying look.
“Man, I'm sorry to hear that.” He pulled Reid's arm and he couldn't help but to stand up. JJ smiled smugly. “I knew it! You're joining my team!”
Reid found himself being pulled towards the group of waiting men on the basketball court.
“But I-I've never played basketball before.”
“That's okay. You just have to stand underneath the basket and hit the ball away when someone from the opposing team is trying to score.”
“How? I'm not that tall?” JJ had pulled Reid all the way to the court and Reid was eying the baskets.
“You do know how to jump?” JJ said in a slightly mocking tone but with a smile on his face.
“Sure – it's a simple physiological phenomenon.” JJ looked at him blankly.
“Sure – whatever man. Just do it when one of them try to score in our basket.” He gestured first at the small group of men standing at the other end of the court and then at the basket closest to him. “Do you know how to catch a ball?” JJ threw the ball at Reid in a soft loop. Reid caught but fumbled with it trying to get it under complete control.
“Now throw it back.” Reid threw the ball trying to copy JJ's movement. The ball flew in the right direction but more left than he had intended. JJ smiled at him.
“That's alright. But we might want to practice a bit before heading into any kind of serious games. But fortunately now we're just playing.”
His team lost. He suspected. The game had quickly turned into a fight when one on the opposing team had run straight into Reid sending him flying to the ground. JJ had in turn launched himself at the much taller and stronger built man yelling his lungs out before helping Reid to his feet. The other man had winked at Reid as he apologized and Reid flashed a small smile as he accepted the apology. They had resumed the game and he had made JJ proud by hitting the ball away from the basket a few times. It wasn't hard to jump up and reach the incoming ball although he did fine it a bit boring and tiring in the long run.
Fortunately he didn't have to run back and forth as the other players did.
And all of a sudden the game ended. The opposing team had gotten the ball into the basket yet another time but instead of running back to defend their basket everyone started high-five'ing as Reid watched them puzzled.
“We'll get them next time!” Reid jumped a bit when he finally noticed the small light haired man next to him.
“We lost?” He couldn't help but ask. JJ nodded with a resigned sigh.
“You just need to gain some familiarity wit the game.” He started to walk towards the benches leaving Reid to feel lonely and suddenly wishing that the dull game wasn't over yet.
“Are you coming or do you enjoy standing right in the middle of the court looking like a lost little boy?” JJ grinned at lanky man who immediately started towards his new friend. “There's someone I want you to meet!”
Reid realized that JJ was leading him towards one of the big established groups sitting on the eastern corner. It was the big Caucasian group that Reid earlier had concluded wasn't Nazis, that group was centered more north. It was clear to see that it was two different groups though there were some interaction between the different members. JJ walked up to a dark-haired man who held his hand out and pulled the young boy down on his lap.
“Where have you been all day Jacob?” He glanced briefly at Reid. “And who is your new friend?”
“Don't call me Jacob! You know I hate that.” The man next to the dark haired one chuckled. “I was playing ball with some of the others and Reid here was so nice as to help us out when we were one man down.”
“Reid? Spencer Reid?” Reid shifted under the curious glances directed at his figure. Apparently he had become quite the celebrity over night. JJ nodded and moved off the man's lap to go stand beside Reid.
“Eric, meet Reid my new friend. Reid meet Eric Prentiss, leader of White Bread and my boyfriend.” Reid felt his eyes grow wide.
“Prentiss? As the ambassador?”
“Elizabeth Prentiss is my mother.” He looked back at Reid with a cocked brow and a small smile. “I'm not used to getting recognized as the ambassadors son. I doubt that half of our fellow convicts know the name of the vice president.”
Reid nodded absentmindedly as he took in the appearance of the man call Prentiss. The shaggy haircut, the nose who looked like it had been broken and grown back wrong at some point. The enormous amount of tattoos and the motives seemed inappropriate for an ambassadors son (especially the woman wearing a nun's headgear crying out in ecstasy).
“I heard you got off to a bad start.” Reid frowned at the man in front of him. “It seems like you need stronger friends.”
“At this point I could do with just about any friend I could get.”
Prentiss smiled a broad smile and the man next to him laughed out loud.
“Let's hope we're enough so far.”