Author: mabelreid PM
What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to decieve... Reid's about to learn the truth of that statement when a friend gives him some startling news. Set between Lauren and Durado Falls JJ/Reid.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Drama - S. Reid & Jennifer J./JJ - Chapters: 7 - Words: 12,444 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 23 - Updated: 10-25-11 - Published: 10-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7459999
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First attested in English 1380, the word coffin derives from the old French, cofin, from Latin cophinus, which is from the Greek kophinos, meaning, 'basket.'
One foot in front of the other, he kept saying in his head as he carried this most unwanted of burdens across the yellow green grass of early spring. One foot in front of the other, don't slip, don't fall, don't let go, do not pass Go.
He hated the feel of the hard brass in his right hand as he helped the others carry her to her rest. It stayed cold to the touch as though it were impervious to the warmth of his hand. He squeezed tight as he walked because he loathed his burden, but he didn't want to give her up to the cold, dank earth that waited to receive her body.
Tears stung in the corners of his eyes. He was so tired of crying, of thinking about everything left undone and unsaid. It wasn't fair, but he knew better than anyone that life wasn't fait.
Why did it have to be her? Why did he have to lose someone else he cared for, a treasured friend he loved?
He free hand went up to his eyes to wipe away two tears rolling down his cheeks as they finally came to the spot where she would lie until her body crumbled away to dust. He lowered the coffin as gently as he could, knowing he'd have to let go and step back, but oh how it hurt.
The brass handle slid from his grasp, but he couldn't stop feeling it in his palm. He stuffed his hand in his pocket and stepped back to await the beginning of the simple graveside service she'd wanted.
He couldn't stop staring at the polished wood of the casket. Perhaps if he wished it with enough belief, if he clapped his hands or said 'there's no place like home," she'd open the lid, sit up and tell them it was all a joke. He'd be mad, but he'd get over it just to have her back again.
She didn't sit up; the lid didn't swing open like the climax to some old horror movie. The priest began to pray, but Reid just stared at the coffin. She'd never come back and soon there would be six feet of earth covering her body, hiding her away from them so they didn't have to see the reality of death.
It hit him in the stomach like a physical blow, the pain excruciating, and a thousand times worse than his headaches. He nearly lost control of his gag reflex, as he had in the men's room of the hospital after running away from JJ's words, "She never made it off the table."
Oh God… It was real. This wasn't just some dream he was having from which he couldn't awaken. It wasn't a cruel joke. It was real and he didn't know how to handle it. He almost took a step away from that place, to run, to hide, but he didn't know where he'd go.
He found his eyes drawn to JJ. Her eyes were red, and she stood hunched over like she'd received a blow. He supposed she had because she and Emily had been the best of friends. He should go over, but he didn't know what to say or do and the priest was still talking about everlasting salvation.
He shook his head. What good was everlasting salvation when Emily was going to be in the ground and never coming back? Where was God now when he needed another miracle?
His stomach clenched again. If the priest didn't hurry up, he'd lose it right there and he'd never stop screaming. Unexpectedly, cravings for Dilaudid fired hot in his mind and his blood. His hands began to shake. If he could get his hands on a needle…
Finally, it was over. He left first, ignoring the looks and the half-spoken words of comfort from JJ and Garcia. He refused to look at Hotch or acknowledge Morgan and Rossi. There was somewhere he had to go, the only place he knew could help.
It was nearly eleven pm when he shut the door to his apartment and dropped his messenger bag on the floor next to the coat closet to his left. He stood in the darkness of his home, trying to figure out how to go on without Emily.
His friends at BCC all said it would get better with time, but for the first time since he'd met them, he didn't believe it could be true. The only good thing that came from going to a meeting was that the insane craving for escape through Dilaudid was gone, or at least retreated to where it went when he forced it into submission. It was never truly gone, as he'd come to learn.
He leaned against the wall letting his eyes adjust to the darkness broken only by a bit of streetlight from the window in his living room. Once, he'd feared and hated the dark. Now it was his best friend. His head pounded and his stomach was raw and empty, but he couldn't make his fingers reach for the light or his feet take him to the kitchen for something to eat.
It was the beeping of his phone that shook him out of just standing there staring into blackness and hoping it was all a dream. "Reid…" He said automatically.
"John, I just saw you. What's wrong?"
"I'm afraid I have some news that you're not going to like."