Okay, firstly I'd like to thank whoever nominated my story, Consequences, for the CM fanfiction awards. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH. That made my day :)

This is a songfic based on the song "Just a dream" by Carrie Underwood. I'd recommend listening to it (you can find it on youtube) if you haven't already heard it, but you don't have to.


People so seldom say 'I love you'. And then it's either too late or love goes. So when I tell you I love you, it doesn't mean I know you'll never go, only that I wish you didn't have to. ~Unknown


That's all she can feel. Numbness.


She desperately wants to wake up, to finally feel something, but part of her doesn't want to. Because she knows that all she'll be able to feel is hurt and loss and loneliness.

Now, though, she cannot feel that. Now, all she can feel is shock. She savors it.

And when the church doors open up wide,

She puts her veil down, trying to hide the tears.

Oh, she just couldn't believe it.

She begins to shake uncontrollably. Somebody puts a hand on her shoulder, and she jumps.

"Shh," Emily Prentiss whispers. Then pulls her into a hug. "I'm so sorry, JJ."

Instead of hugging back, JJ just stands there, her arms hanging limply by her sides. Emily backs away, rubs her shoulder, and walks towards the crowd of people, most of whom are crying or at least teary-eyed.

(Since when did they get the right to cry? She's the one who deserves to be sad.)

She stands in the doorway, letting people she doesn't even know (or maybe she does. It doesn't even matter at this point) hug her and cry into her shoulder and let her know how terribly sorry they are about her loss.

But sorry isn't going to bring Will back.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, she is engulfed in a bear-hug. The other person is swaying back and forth, crying. Thin blonde hair tickles JJ's nose, but she knows it's not her own.

"Penelope." Her voice is scratched and she can barely talk. It's the first word she uttered since the previous night, and she suspects she lost it from crying. Or maybe something else. She was so drunk, she doesn't exactly remember.

She clears her throat, coughs, but it doesn't change anything. She mentally shrugs. Why does it matter? She doesn't care how she sounds.

"Oh, Sugar, I'm so sorry. Will was incredible, and you were great together. He was lucky to have you in his life."

But JJ just stares at her friend. She knows that all she wants to do is help, but she is still attempting to hold on to the numbness she feels.

"The service is that way," she whispers hoarsely after a long pause, nodding her head in the direction. For a moment, Garcia looks hurt, but then understanding washes over her face and she nods.

JJ just wants to forget. She wants to get all this over with, without anyone fussing over her and making her remember just how much she misses her Will. So Garcia respectfully walks away.

Reid and Morgan walk in together. Morgan's usually happy and upbeat face is drawn and sad. Reid's energetic, puppy-like features have seem to disappeared. They both walk over, but say nothing. Morgan rubs her arm sympathetically, and Reid sniffs. Together, they walk in the same direction of Garcia.

The whole time, JJ refused to look at them.

That would make it real.

Next comes Rossi. He puts a comforting hand on JJ's own, and says something she assumes to be reassuring. She closes her eyes and, when she opens them, he is nowhere to be seen.

Last is Hotch. He's holding hands with his own son, Jack. They are wearing identical black suits. In his other arm, he is holding JJ's son Henry.

He had voluntarily shown up at JJ's house as soon as he heard the news. She had been crying on her couch, something that pained him greatly to see. He offered to take Henry for a few days. Not surprisingly, she agreed without argument.

She didn't need her son to see her like that.

He doesn't stop to talk to her. Instead, he just closes his eyes for a split second and nods in her direction.

He is the only person that really, truly understands.

It's like I'm looking from a distance,

Standing in the background.

Everybody's saying, 'he's not coming home now'.

This can't be happening to me. This is just a dream.

People stop showing up (or maybe they did a while ago. How long have those doors been closed for?). JJ takes a deep breath and walks towards where the service is being held. She opens the door slowly, trying not to draw any more attention to herself.

As the loud doors creak, heads turn towards her and wide, sympathetic eyes stare at her. She looks down and walks to the front of the room, where an empty seat was saved for her. Hotch is sitting up there with Henry, and he had left Jack with the team. She takes a seat next to her baby boy, kissing him lightly on the head.

The preacher starts speaking, but to JJ, it sounds like gibberish. Just some noises he put together, to make it sounds nice and sad.

She takes a long, shaky breath. This is not happening, she tries to convince herself.

He's going to sit up in the coffin any second now, announcing a joke. She would scold him for days—no, years—for being such an idiot. But she would kiss him passionately, happy to have him back.

Baby, why'd you leave me?

Why'd you have to go?

I was counting on forever, now I'll never know.

I can't even breathe.

She strokes Henry's hair; the motion is almost robotic. Each time her hand brushes the top of his head, all she can think about is how it compares to Will's hair.

And from there, all she can think about is Will.

Her breath catches in her throat. Hotch notices the hitch in her breathing, looks over to make sure she's okay. A tear rolls down her cheek, and he looks away so he doesn't cry as well. Just the sight of her—her body language, her shaking jaw, her bloodshot eyes—makes him want to break down and hug her and never let go.

At least, not until she can control the tears streaming down her face.

Then the preacher-man said, 'Let us bow our heads and pray.

Lord, please lift his soul and heal this hurt.'

Then the congregation all stood up and sang

The saddest song that she ever heard.

Her ears buzz and she knows she is doing something wrong.

Oh. Everybody else is standing and singing—she probably should be too. She looks over at Henry, who has already leaped out of his seat and is pretending that he knows the lyrics. She smiles sadly at him. He has no idea what is going on.

And she envies him.

She tries to push herself up out of her seat, but her arms are shaking too much. She falls back down the short distance and gives up immediately.

She shouldn't have to stand, anyways. Will would want her to be comfortable.

So she decides to sing along. But, she realizes, the lyrics they are singing don't make sense. She's sure she has heard the song before, but the music and words blend together. It's all a mush of sounds, meaningless noise.

She feels fingers wrap around her upper arm, and she flinches away.

Is this some kind of joke?

Because that's what Will always did when he wanted to go out and she wanted to rest at home.

He would let his fingers curl around her arm, and gently pull her toward the door...and she'd have no choice but to go along...

She looks up, and sees Hotch standing there. Not Will. His hand—the hand he tried to grab her arm with to lead her outside—is held up in innocence. His eyes are wide; confused and shocked and guilty. She shoots him what she believes to be an apologetic look (although, to be honest, she's not sure if her expression changed in the slightest), and she reaches out her hand limply. Hotch, slowly, cautiously, pulls her up and brings her and both their sons outside, where the sun is letting its last gleam of light over the horizon. It was Will's favorite time of day, just when the sun was setting and the stars are tiny dots above them.

JJ tears her gaze from the sky to where Will's old coworkers, plus Garcia and Reid, are carrying the coffin to the hole in the ground where he will be put to rest forever.

JJ shudders, and Hotch squeezes her hand comfortingly. Just the mere thought of Will, her Will, stuck in a box under six feet of dirt and grass and people walking all over him makes her want to curl up in a ball with him and sleep there.


Then they handed her a folded up flag

And she held on to all she had left of him

Oh, and what could have been.

And the guns rang one last shot

And it felt like a bullet in her heart.

Someone she doesn't recognize slides a rough cloth in her hands. Looking down, she sees the red, white, and blue of the American flag. She holds it tightly, brings it to her chest and cradles it.

A single tear slides down her cheek and onto the flag. She furiously wipes her cheek and smudges the wet drop, trying to dry it faster.

She doesn't want what's left of the one man she really, truly loved to be stained with her sorrow.

The cocking of the gun should have alerted her, but nothing seemed to prepare her for the first firing of the gun. She flinches dramatically, closes her eyes. An arm wraps comfortingly around her shoulder—Hotch? She's not sure, but doesn't care—and buries her face in, grateful.

Another shot. She takes a deep breath and looks up. For the first time today, she sees more than just obscured shapes and colors. She sees people. Real people, with faces and human characteristics. Looking to her right, she sees that it wasn't Hotch who comforted her for the first two firings of the guns—it was Rossi. One corner of her mouth curls up ever-so-slightly, but she's sure he saw it when he gives her a short, quick nod. Her attention is drawn back to the men with the long guns and uniforms as they take one last shot at the air.

The last bang seems to echo endlessly in JJ's ears. She bites her lip.

Her legs start to shake uncontrollably until her knees turn to jelly and give out and she sinks down, down, down into the ground, trying to make herself smaller.

Wishing she could fall through the cold ground and be with her Will.

A hand falls on her shoulder, and she knows it's Rossi without looking up. Another person starts stroking her messy hair (she didn't take the time to look good for today. What was the point? The only person who she ever wanted to look good for is sleeping for eternity). She hears feet shifting on the ground as somebody bends down and hugs her, loosely.

She opens her eyes and blinks away the tears that are blurring her vision yet again. The entire team is there, surrounding her and giving her sad looks. Garcia, who is hugging her, has makeup trailing down her face with the tears. Reid and Prentiss both have red-rimmed eyes and noses. Even Morgan, Rossi, and Hotch have tears in their eyes. And for a moment, they are all she can see.

Just the people who really care about her, the ones who she knows will never leave her no matter what.

A big, salty tear falls down her cheek. Then another, then another. And in that moment, she knows she won't be able to stop crying. She knows that the only way she can stop the tears from coming are to wait them out.

Sooner or later, she won't have any left. Right?

Looking up at the caring faces surrounding her, JJ seems to see beyond them. She sees the stars twinkling in the sky, winking at her, shining so bright. There is no moon now—tonight is a new moon. Tonight, only the stars glisten above them.

Reid follows her glance, looks up at the sky. "Perhaps they are not stars," he whispers, just loud enough for JJ to hear, "but rather openings in the heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know that they are happy."

Through the light of the stars—through the light of Will's happiness—JJ can see Hotch's eyes fill up with tears as he mutters, "Eskimo Proverb."

Will and Haley and so many other loved lost ones shine their happiness and love on the team. Penelope's parents, Derek's father. Maybe even Emily's friend. JJ's sister is probably up there too; maybe right next to Will.

And as she can feel the emotions race through her, their strength fills her up as she finally works up the courage to say what has been haunting her for weeks. "He proposed."

Her voice is hoarse and scratchy, and it is painful to talk (painful physically as well as emotionally). But she still forces out the three words which, just weeks ago, were a blessing. Now, though, they were just another thing lost. Another thing that slipped through her fingers.

Another thing she can never have.

"I said yes."

A loud sob, an agonizing wail escapes.

And she cries.

Baby, why'd you leave me?

Why'd you have to go?

I was counting on forever, now I'll never know.

Oh, I'll never know.

It's like I'm looking from a distance,

Standing in the background,

Everybody's saying, 'he's not coming home now'.

This can't be happening to me.

This is just a dream.

"This is just a dream."

And they let her have that fantasy.

Because it would be wrong—it would be downright cruel—to take that away from her.

This is just a dream.

Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have. ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A/N- I stalked the hell out of the first quote, and couldn't find who said it. Oh, well :\

I've never been to a funeral, and I've never been in love, so I could only use my imagination for this. Reviews are loved!