Title: And All Things Will End
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing: Spencer Reid
Summary: He has always been alone. AU.
Author's Note: Betaed by Windy City Dreamer
Warnings: Implied character deaths.
And All Things Will End
Victory comes late,
And is held low to freezing lips
Too rapt with frost
To take it.
Victory Comes Late – Emily Dickinson
The snow whips across his vision, looking more like the grey ash of nuclear fallout than anything else. It's not surprising, really, considering what happened to the world.
It's been a long time since it happened. A long time since he last saw any of them. He's a little older now, stubble lining his sun-worn face, hair going prematurely grey. His figure is a little more defined, muscle where there once was bone. No-one's called him "the skinny kid" in a long time.
Sometimes he misses it. Misses the laughter, and the warmth, and that feeling that he isn't alone. No, that's a lie. He misses it more than sometimes. He'd much rather be back catching serial killers than lying here in the bitter cold, icy fingers clutching at a rifle he wishes he didn't know how to use.
They've left him here alone. They always leave. First his father, then Elle, Gideon. The rest follow in quick succession. Of course, when it comes down to it, he's always been alone anyway. A lost little boy trapped in his own mind. He thinks that, beneath it all, in spite of the scars, and the nightmares, and the endless torment, he's still that lost little boy.
The place looks different to when he was here last. Indeed, he almost hadn't recognized it. It had been spring when he laid their bodies to rest, the trees thick with leaves, the sun shining down on a much happier world. In the end, the church had been what tipped him off. In his time of grief, the place of worship had been his solace.
The red brick has crumbled in places, and the inside has been vandalized by teen hooligans who had thought that the end of the world should be accompanied with appropriate destruction, but that doesn't seem to matter. It isn't the church that he really wants to see right now, anyway.
It had been just after dawn when he'd made it to the church. Not long since the last one of them had stopped breathing. Still in shock, it had taken him until the sun was well above the horizon to finish digging their graves.
He doesn't know why he did it. It had been a big risk to take, simply to ensure their bodies were laid to rest. It's worth the risk, he thinks, to make sure that their souls are in a better place. At least that's what he tells himself. He's not so sure what he really believes about death, and souls and the afterlife, but he knows that burying them had been the right thing to do. He regrets that he hadn't had the capacity to give everyone else the same closure.
His knees jar as he lets himself fall to the ground. The grave markings have long since worn away, but he'll never forget where their bodies lie. He lets the rifle rest beside him, hands rushing to brush away the dirty snow that impedes imaginary borders.
He's come a long way, yet in a sense, he hasn't gone anywhere at all. He's back where it ended. No, that's not really true. It had ended in blood and death, in a place where he thinks he might have worked once upon a time. This is where it began, in sweat and tears.
And it's about to end again.
He feels the weapon pressed up against his skull, and he knows that it's all over. It doesn't bother him as much as he thinks it should. Part of him wants to believe that he died a long time ago, with his friends and his family.
The world is a different place now. It's not his world. Not Spencer Reid's world.
He hears the tiny click, and his last thought is that maybe they'll bury him with his friends. At least then he won't be alone.