Prompt: Next Stop, Valhalla

Fic title comes from the Battlestar Galactica season three soundtrack.

A Distant Sadness

Spencer Reid often wondered what death was like; it was one side effect of an over active mind. You spend the downtime ruminating over philosophical quandaries. The problem with philosophy though, was that there were no real answers. There's nothing like the laws of physics, or mathematics to help you calculate the answer. And maybe that's why he can't understand.

He comprehends the fact that the coffin is being lowered into the ground; that he will never see his friend again, save for photographs. There are some cultures that believe that taking a photograph of a person will ensnare their soul, but Spencer can't quite believe that.

Death ensnares the soul. That he can believe.

Sometimes, he thinks about what happens to the soul when it dies. Scientifically speaking, the soul contains a person's thoughts and personality, both of which are functions of the brain. Does that mean that when the brain dies, the soul does too?

He saw her empty, lifeless eyes. He still sees them every time he shuts his own. It's one among so many reminders.

He'll be reminded every time he sees Morgan thumping the wall. It had been the profiler's first reaction to the news. He had thumped the wall, making them all jump backwards. 'It's not supposed to happen like this,' he had said. 'They're the sons of bitches that are supposed to be dying.' Then, he had stormed off, presumably to vent his anger in one form or another.

He'll be reminded every time he sees the distant look in JJ's eyes. She's thinking about the dangers of the job, Spencer knows. She's wondering if maybe one day, her son will be without a mother, her husband without a wife. She's thinking about every single defeat they've racked up over the years. About the friends she's lost – both to death, and to other things.

He'll be reminded every time he sees the sleep in Rossi's eyes. He has nightmares, still. He was the only one there when she died. His voice was empty when he described the blood pooling beneath her barely breathing form, the flow that didn't seem to stop no matter how much pressure he put on it. What he doesn't describe, but what they all know he saw, was the look in her eyes when she realized that she wasn't coming back from this one.

He'll be reminded every time he sees the sadness that plagues Garcia. The usually vibrant technically analyst had spent two days moping, and even now, she hasn't fully recovered. He doesn't know if she ever will recover. To lose a family member is a tough thing to get over; God knows Garcia has lost them before, but that never makes it any easier. It will never be easy. Ever.

He'll be reminded every time he sees the lacklustre expression on Hotch's face; she had made him smile, Spencer thinks. She had been the light in the Unit Chief's darkness, had brought him back from the edge of madness. He wonders what things will be like now. Did they lose more than one person that day?

He just has to hope, that maybe, somewhere, her soul still lives on.

Even if he doesn't quite believe it.