Author's note: The last chapter! Hope it was a fun and exciting ride for you guys! xoxoxo
I stumble out of bed and call Reid, right away.
"Hotch?" he answers.
"I saw her again."
"What happened?" he pipes up.
"I think I," the reality of the situation hits me. Harder than I expected. I thought I'd be thrilled, but now I feel so strongly depressed I could cry. Figures. "I think we said goodbye."
"How? What'd you say?" he pauses. "Did you tell her I miss her?"
"Yeah. She was confused, but I told her. I told her you love her."
"You did?" I can hear how happy this makes him. "What - what did she say?"
"That she loves us too." my voice cracks and I can barely speak anything at all. This makes Reid so happy, and it's making me so incredibly sad.
"I can't believe it. So...is it really over?"
I blink repeatedly. "I think so. I don't know. I haven't tried falling back asleep."
Reid sighs. "Then try and call me back." he practically demands.
"Okay." I mutter and hang up. I'm not really focusing. I'm thinking about not ever seeing her again. About how much I've wanted this to end and now that it has, it's so devastating because for the first time, I really have to let go and move on like I'll be okay. I head downstairs and fall on my couch, putting my head in my hands. I hear soft feet on the wood floors. I'm not scared. I know it's Jack and not Emily. Although my heart does race a little, up until I see his little feet standing beside me.
"Daddy?" he asks softly.
I put my hands down and smile. "Hey buddy, your awake? You don't have to go to school until an hour and a half from now."
"Yeah, but I heard you talking." he looks worried. "Did something happen?"
I scoop him up and sit him on my lap. "No, nothing happened. Daddy's fine." I reassure him, taking his toy that he's always dragging around in my hands and cuddling it's furry softness in my palms. I can see why he likes it so much, it's so soft.
"You look sad." he insists.
I shrug. "I'm just..." I look into his eyes and decide not to lie. I think he can tell when I'm not telling the truth. I wonder how many times he's seen me lie. "I'm sad about my friend, Emily, being gone. That's all." I force a smile. "I'll be okay. Eventually."
Jack half-smiles. "I know you will," his eyes are super-shiny once the sunrise starts peeping in through the half-open blinds. "Because you always have me, daddy. I'll always be your friend."
A lump appears in my throat and I try to smile. It's funny how children can be more wise than you sometimes.
I ate breakfast with Jack and watched him go off onto the bus and then I got dressed or work, intending on sneaking up on my team members. But once I finished tying my tie, I decided against it. At least not until tomorrow. I had one last thing to do. But before doing so, I called up Reid and invited him along on my last quest. I was glad when he said he'd love to.
Reid and I pull up and walk over to Emily's tombstone, which is shorter than most of them and doesn't say nearly as much as it should. Like, Has the most amazing smile you'll ever see. The most expressive eyes. The most likable personality. The best sense of humor. It just says her full birth-name and birth-date and stuff like, Lovely daughter and friend to many. It just sounds so...blah. Reid brought flowers.
"What should we say?" Reid looks skeptical.
I inhale, then look at him. "Do you really believe she can hear us?"
Reid pauses. "I'm not sure...I hope she can."
I hope she heard and felt everything in my dreams, too. But I have a strong feeling we'll never really know. "You know, in my dreams, I kissed her." I admit.
Reid looks up at me. First, he looks shocked. Then his face softens and he smirks. "Really? How was it?" The way he asks that he sounds like he feels funny even thinking it.
"I couldn't feel it, because I was, you know,"
"Dreaming," he declares for me.
"Exactly. But it was still amazing." I try to ignore the sadness that's building up not only in my throat, but in my mind and even in my chest. "I just wish I didn't wait so long."
Reid shrugs. "At least you got the chance to. Think about it that way. At least now you know."
That idea makes me feel less sad. I actually smile at him. Reid and I stand there, very silently, staring at her grave for about twenty minutes. Eventually it starts raining and we head off, where I drop Reid off of at work.
"You coming?" Reid asks, standing outside of my car.
I pause, ponder it then shake my head. "I'll be in tomorrow. I just have one last thing to do."
Reid looks like he's about to ask, but decides against it, and then nods and walks off into the BAU.
I drive, about two hours out of my way, to the hotel her mom is staying at. It takes me a long while to weasel her hotel room number out of the desk-clerk. Eventually I use my FBI badge to get inside.
When I first see her mom, she looks less than extremely annoyed to see me.
"I know I'm the last person you want to see."
She doesn't disagree. I didn't expect her to. I wouldn't have said it if I didn't think it were true.
"But I need you to know something I might've neglected to say when Emily was alive, and believe me, that will forever haunt me. But I love your daughter. Notice something?" I say. She raises her eyebrows expectantly. "I said I love her. Not loved. Because we all still love her. And I'd give anything to see her again, alive and well. But if I could do those last ten minutes over again, I'd only change one thing. I'd tell her exactly what she means to me. I hope you know that I tried my hardest to save her. I wouldn't leave her side."
She looks down. I think she's about to throw me out, but she doesn't. I'll handcuff her to the bedpost if I have to.
"Your daughter was everything a woman should be. Funny, beautiful, strong and independent. She was sensitive and open-minded and never judged anybody. She was honest, to-the-point when she needed to be and refreshingly bold sometimes. She was selfless and would crawl her way to the end of the Earth if it meant saving someone else."
"I know my daughter." she responds.
"Then you know at least that she died saving a victim. You know what she said to me after she got shot?"
Her mom barely flinches, but I can tell she wants to know.
"She asked me, 'how's Kathy?' The victim. I tried to tell her not to talk, that she needed to relax, but she demanded to know if she was shot too. I told her she wasn't, and that she was alright because Morgan found her." The words are hard to say because I, too, am realizing what an amazing person she truly was. "You should've seen her face. The relief when she found out she was okay."
Her mom breaks a little, and she begins to cry. I don't know what to do. She then begins sobbing and I do all that I know how to help. I hug her. She doesn't push me away. Because I think she finally understands what she means to me.
That lasted for about twenty-five minutes. She regained her composure and to my surprise, thanked me. I drove home and laid down for a nap. I lay there, frightened and almost excited. You know those things in your stomach they call butterflies? I had those. Fluttering around. I close my eyes. And nothing. She's gone.
Once I wake up from my super-long nap (three hour nap! I hadn't slept a full hour in days.) When I wake up, I rub my eyes. Once I realize that the dreams have officially ended, I lay back and think about each and every one of them. In some way, they were important for me to see. Though the dreams made me miss her that much more, it also made me love her much, much more. I felt a tear stroll down my cheek, without acknowledging I even wanted to cry, and I realize it's the first time I actually allowed myself to miss her. I think about kissing her and her kissing me and it's all too much and too painful, but it's also amazing and incredible and somehow, it gives me strength. It makes me laugh to think that even in dreams, I still don't understand love.
Author's note: I hope it was worth reading! Thanks for reading guys! XOXO -Carrie.