I'm back (again). Sorry for the excessively long wait; working two full time jobs is hard! (And I never thought I'd be happy to get the flu!) Enjoy!
P.S.—I don't own anything: the characters, show, etc.
The song in this chapter is "Lullaby" by Josh Groban feat. Ladysmith Black Mambazo. It's a beautiful song that I thought was rather fitting (and no, I don't own any right to the song).
Hush now baby don't
Rest your wings my butterfly.
Two weeks had passed since the team had gone out for dinner. They were now gathered on a sunny day. It was cool for late June, but it was comfortable as the sweet smell of freshly cut grass as it permeated the air on the gentle breeze.
The gathering was small; only the team assembled around the tiny gravesite as the priest began reading Psalm 23 from the Bible, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death; I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
As he finished reading the beautiful passage he gently shut his Bible and walked over to Spencer and JJ, laying a hand on Spencer's shoulder before kneeling in front of JJ's wheelchair, "I'm very sorry for your loss. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. May the peace of God be with you both."
"Thank you Father," JJ whispered while looking at her clenched hands, gripping the white rose in her lap as she blinked rapidly to prevent her tears from falling. The priest rose to his feet and nodded at the team before leaving.
Peace will come to
you in time,
And I will sing this lullaby.
There was a beat of silence before Spencer breaking voice spoke up, "Samuel Rutherford once said 'Ye have lost a child--nay, she is not lost to you, who is found to Christ; she is not sent away, but only sent before; like unto a star, which going out of our sight, doth not die and vanish, but shineth in another hemisphere.' I pray that once day I'll be able to go to Heaven and hold you Kayla. I'll see you soon, my love."
Know though I must leave, my child,
That I would stay here by your side.
JJ finally lifted her
head and studied the tiny casket and its smooth, dark wood, adorned
with a beautiful arrangement of white roses the colour of purity
she thought absently to herself. JJ opened her mouth, but no words
came out. She cleared her throat quietly and began again, "I waited
so long to find the right man; instead I found a soul mate. I waited
even longer for a child, to feel the growing anticipation, to see
your first ultrasound, to hear your heartbeat," Her voice broke,
"To feel the first flutter as you moved from within me. I waited,
watched and felt as my belly grew and your movements became more
pronounced and strong. You loved the nighttime like your Dad because
you would dance and keep me up with you, as if you wanted to share it
with me and didn't want me to miss anything. For my whole life, all
I ever wanted was you, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Fate
can be cruel, but you can believe that I will be waiting, like your
father, until I can hold you again. I miss you everyday and I always
will, but at least now I know you won't be tainted by this world. I
know that you will never be touched by violence and that comforts
me." JJ took a moment to calm herself before continuing, "But it
also breaks my heart because I'll never be able to see you take
your first steps or your first smile, hear your first laugh or your
first word. I won't be there to hold you when a boy breaks your
heart for the first time. I won't be able to see you get married or
have children of your own. However, I believe that you are safe and
happy and that's more than any parent could ever hope for their
child to have. I love you Kayla." And if you wake before
Remember this sweet lullaby
And if you wake before
JJ managed to maneuver her wheelchair to the casket where she kissed the white rose in her lap and placed it on the lid of the casket. She gently put her hand on the sun warmed surface before lovingly kissing the lid of the casket and whispering softly to her daughter.
Spencer followed suit by kissing his rose and placing it across JJ's before standing beside his wife and tenderly kissing her hand.
And all love through darkness,
Don't you ever stop believing.
Gideon stepped forward
and placed his white rose beside Spencer and JJ's. He kissed his
hand before placing it on the casket. He walked to the Reid's and
shook his head, "This shouldn't have happened. I'm sorry." He
turned and walked across the peaceful cemetery to wait beside the
car. With love forlorn,
With love you'll find your way.
With love forlorn,
Hotch was the next one to place his rose on the casket; he stood for a long moment just starting at it before blinking slowly and moving to the Reid's, "This was my fault. I should have listened to you Spencer. You were right and I would give my life in a heartbeat to trade places with Kayla."
Something in his haunted stare made JJ reach up and pull him down into a hug, "Hotch I want you to listen very carefully to me," she whispered into his ear, "This was not your fault. You need to believe that neither Spencer nor I blame you for this, not one bit. I promise you that. Please stop blaming yourself." She held on for a minute more before holding him at arm's length and letting him study her eyes where no blame or accusation rested.
JJ's words meant a lot to him, but it was her eyes that convinced Hotch the truth of her words. They really didn't blame him for the death of their daughter, "Thank you," he whispered before joining Gideon.
Emily moved forward and placed her rose amongst the others before approaching the Reid's, "I—I," she stuttered as tears clogged her throat, "I'm s-so—"
"Thank you Emily," Spencer supplemented.
She nodded before
retreating to the car. The world has turned the day to
I leave this night with heavy heart.
The world has turned the day to
Spencer closed his eyes and took a shaky breath. He was trying to be strong for JJ, but he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold himself together. When he opened his eyes Penelope and Derek were stand before him.
Penelope's eyes were bloodshot from a lack of sleep and crying almost nonstop throughout the day. She let go of Morgan's hand and hugged Spencer before repeating the process with JJ, "If there's anything I can do, please let me know. I'm only a phone call away."
The Reid's nodded and she turned back to Morgan, "Do you want me to wait for you at the car?" Derek only nodded so she returned to the car.
A long moment of silence passed before Derek's face finally rose from the ground and he didn't bother to hide his tears or the grief playing over his face and clouding his eyes; he didn't feel strong or tough, not today. Today he felt his best friends suffering added to his own and the force of it nearly crushed him, "I wish there was something to say that would make the two of you hurt less, but I know that right now words don't mean much. That they won't stop the two of your from hurting. I want you to know that I'm here," he hugged Spencer fiercely for a long time before backing away to allow the younger man to breathe again. He knelt in front of JJ, "JJ…I just…" he tried as tears clouded his vision and choked his throat. A sob burst from his lips as tears rained down his cheeks; he shook his head as words failed him and looked up to the sky, searching for some kind of reason, something to help him justify this loss of life and regain control over himself. Derek let his grief overwhelm him as JJ hugged him close and Spencer put a shaking hand on his shoulder.
After a little while he leaned back on his haunches and roughly rubbed his hands over his face. He opened his mouth, "Don't you dare apologize Derek Morgan," JJ interrupted. "Everyone is allowed to grieve in their own time. It just hits different people at different times."
He nodded, "The two of you don't deserve this. Neither did Kayla, but you are both showing grace and understanding where I can't find any. Your unshakable faith and love for each other is something I want to work towards having with Penelope. I'll be keeping all of you in my thoughts. My Mom also wanted me to pass along her condolences and to tell you that she's put all three of your names down so her whole church is praying for you guys."
"Please tell her thank you and that it means a lot to us," Spencer said hoarsely.
"Thank you Derek."
He shook his head again. As he rose he kissed JJ on the cheek. "Do you want us to wait for you?" Morgan asked as he nodded towards the rest of the team waiting under a large oak tree by their cars.
Spencer looked at JJ, "Sure. We'll be over in a minute."
Derek took one last glance around him, memorizing everything. He walked over and kissed his hand before placing it on the casket and returning to his second family.
When I return to dry
I will sing this lullaby.
Spencer took a shuddering breath, "Are you sure you want to go for lunch with the team?"
She eyed her husband, "I am if you are."
"I could use some time out of the house."
"Me too. Besides, you look like you need to eat something. People are going to start saying I'm starving you," she gently teased, managing to muster a small smile.
Spencer lightly chuckled before looking guilty.
"Spence? It's okay to laugh. I'm sure one day it won't hurt to smile and laugh and joke. I'm sure we'll stop feeling guilty for being alive, but we just need to give it time."
"Has anyone ever told you how smart you are?"
"This coming from the genius with the eidetic memory and three PhD's? I'll take that as a huge compliment."
Silence crept back over them, "Are you ready to go JJ?"
"Give me a minute, okay?"
"Sure. I'll be waiting over there," he said, pointing to an elm tree about halfway between the gravesite and the team.
"Thanks." Spencer assembled the energy to make himself physically walk to the tree, where he kept a close eye on JJ.
After she was sure Spencer was out of earshot, she gave her wheelchair a gentle push and sighed, "Kayla, I need your help sweetheart. Your Daddy and I…we're trying really hard just to make it from one day to the next without you, but your Daddy hasn't been sleeping much. Please help him make it through this because I can't live without both of you. Take care of him." She laid her cheek against the casket just so that she could feel close to her daughter for the last time. She pushed herself away from the diminutive casket and raised her face to the sky, feeling the sun warm her face and begin to thaw the chill that seemed to have crept into her soul. "I love you and I'll see you soon kiddo."
JJ began to make her way towards the team when Spencer jogged up and began pushing her wheelchair, "You shouldn't be doing that."
She rolled her eyes at him, but reveled in the simplicity of that statement and the complexity of emotion behind it: love, friendship, protection, compassion, honesty, loyalty and so much more. JJ knew as they left the cemetery that they would both be okay because these were the emotions that brought them together and they had only grown stronger and more ingrained over time. She knew that as long as they still had these and were willing to fight for each other they would make it.
Yes I will sing this
THE END! O
A/N: I finally finished this! cheers Thanks to absolutely every single person that reviewed this story, especially my regular reviewers for sticking with me on this. I know it was a rocky road, but I learned a great lesson from this: I'm going to write the entire story before I begin posting!
This is probably the last story I'm going to be writing for a while, but I'm also going to catch up on all of your stories. Thanks for all of the support!!