Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
Sir Winston Churchill
It had been almost two months since the "France incident", as it would thereafter be remembered as. Reid was significantly upset that they had missed Halloween due to the trying nature of their latest case; it had taken them almost two weeks to locate the unsub. Now, though, he was trying to convince them to attend his – admittedly, rather late – Halloween party.
'It's kind of short notice, Reid,' complained Emily, as they walked back to the bullpen. 'What am I going to wear?'
'I think you could do a pretty convincing Princess Leia,' joked Morgan.
'I am not doing the Danish hair, thank-you very much.'
'There's always the metal bikini.' Reid spoke just loud enough for Morgan to hear him, and was thus unprepared for Emily's swift elbow to the ribs.
'Did you hear that Reid tried convincing JJ to name her son Luke?'
'I didn't,' Emily grinned. She was almost thankful that JJ had eventually decided on Henry, and even more thankful that he hadn't even attempted to convince her of the merits of D'Argo or Kal-El. Her smile dropped as she saw who was waiting at her desk. 'Oh no,' she groaned. It was her mother.
'Do you want moral support?' asked Morgan.
'Please.' She welcomed their company, even if it was only to stop her from lashing out at her mother. She had the strangest desire to be polite in their presence.
'Hello mother.' She had straightened her blouse, and flicked the dirt off her pant legs, and yet she still felt that she was being silently criticised.
'I left a message on your answering machine. Did you get it?' There wasn't even so much as a hello. Straight to business, as usual.
'I've been in California for the past two weeks. I haven't been home yet.' She felt somewhat irritated. Her mother exuded an air of crippling self-importance, as if anything Emily did was somehow less significant.
'I left the message almost a month ago, Emily.' Truth be told, she had taken to deleting all of her mother's messages. It seemed easier to deal with the inevitable outburst than to attend a function, or turn down a suitor.
'Perhaps we should take this elsewhere.' Elizabeth Prentiss eyed Morgan and Reid warily. 'Agent Hotchner gave me permission to use the conference room.'
'Here is fine,' Emily replied bluntly.
'This is a delicate matter, Emily, I would prefer if we...' she trailed off, something behind Emily catching her eye.
Before Emily had a chance to see what it was, she heard a voice calling her name. It was not her mother's voice, but a voice she had only heard in nightmares for the past fourteen years. Every night, for weeks on end, she would hear his screams, over and over again. It was a blade to the heart, and it just kept on stabbing.
Morgan noticed the look on her face. It was a mix between shock, confusion, fear and pain. She relaxed her features, trying to keep the feelings from overwhelming her. Slowly, she turned. Her mother was speaking, but she blocked out the words. All she wanted was to look at his face.
It was worn, every bit of torture he had experienced still haunted him. His eyes were hollowed, his cheeks gaunt. Beneath the Pandora's Box of emotion that graced him, she sensed that tiny bit of hope.
'Hassan,' she said. She hadn't spoken his name outside of sleep for a long time now. Morgan's eyes widened, recognising the name from her series of nightmares, and the explanation that accompanied them.
Without thinking, Hassan embraced her in a tight hug. She couldn't move, and she wasn't quite sure she wanted to. Finally, he let go.
Elizabeth Prentiss looked towards Morgan and Reid. 'Now, perhaps, could we have some privacy?'
Not wanting to see the reaction on her colleagues' faces, Emily looked to the ground as she followed Hassan and her mother into the BAU conference room.
A/N: Thus ends Angels Fall First II: Sanity Frontier. I hope you enjoyed the ride, and stay tuned for part 3, coming to screens near you some time in the future. Thank-you to those who read and enjoyed, and an extra special thanks to those that took the time to review.