Hey everyone. So, instead of woking on my story, Taking Back What is Mine, I produced this not-so-short one-shot. I really was, and am, trying to work on TBWIM, but this would not leave me alone. It's a whole new form of writer's block, and it won't leave me alone. It kept distracting me every time I tried to work on the story you are all waiting for me to update. By now, I've scrapped three chapters of TBWIM that were just all-around too crappy to post. Finally, I gave in and have been working on this in between work and school (I can't believe I'm dealing with that already. Woohoo. College). This idea was relentless. It was like a mosquito bite...on a sunburn.

And now, I've got another niggling in the back of my mind. But, I will resist it, at least until I have another chapter of TBWIM up. Hang in there.

I'm sorry that I wasn't stronger and that I couldn't resist the pull of this fic. BAD SHAMELESS.

So...WARNINGS: Character Death, angst, implied (though may be one-sided) m/m love (nothing graphic). Do you warn for song-fics? This is a song-fic.

DISCLAIMER: Do you see an abundance of Derek/Spencer? No? Then I don't own Criminal Minds. I also do not own "What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts. If I did, I would be rich and not struggling with paying for my college eduaction.

This is a sad one. Sorry. I cried while I was writing it. I hope that you all like it and bear with me with TBWIM.

Italics are for thoughts and emphasis. You should be able to tell the difference.

Bold words are for past events and memories.


"We are going out tomorrow," Garcia stated in a tone that brooked no argument.

The young genius dropped his head down onto his desk with a thunk, not caring as the paperwork scattered out of their meticulously organized state. Reid looked slightly unkempt in a wrinkled sage green button up. The garment hung limply on his form. His worn leather belt was pulled tightly through the belt loops. However, Prentiss and Rossi noticed that the young agent had pulled it two holes tighter. Reid groaned mentally.

Tomorrow was Saturday. Saturday meant a lot of time to himself with no paperwork to distract him; Saturday meant staring at the same walls―again. Saturday was a day of recollections, remembrances, and…no…he wouldn't think about that. He couldn't think about that. Not here, in front of the team. They couldn't see that. They shouldn't see that.

The young genius rose with a sigh. It was nearly 5:30, in other words time to go home. Sometimes Reid was eternally thankful when they didn't have an active case. He liked his so-called paper work days. The BAU had a set schedule on paperwork days: arrive at 8:00 in the morning and leave at 5:30 in the afternoon. Glancing at the clock once more, it read 5:28. Normally, Spencer Reid was a punctual and remains-within-the-letter-of-the-law kind of man, but today he knew that he needed to get out of his workplace as soon as possible.

He quickly gathered his scattered papers into nearly-neat piles. If he could just escape unnoticed, they may not be able to make him go. He could always claim he hadn't heard Garcia say they were going out. He did have an eidetic memory after all. However, with his recent insipidness, as Rossi had coined it, even that marvelous facet of his genius façade wasn't worth much.

Reid grabbed his satchel and threw the strap over his shoulder. Slowly, so as not to draw attention to himself, he made his way to the door. Just as his hand was about to clasp the handle Reid heard, "And that includes you, Pretty Boy."

Reid's entire body tensed rigid as a board. His heart began to race. Just an influx of epinephrine responding to key receptors in your cells. It's just a normal, biological response to stimulus. It means nothing.

As the genius tried to convince himself, he heard JJ let out a small gasp. Garcia's eyes widened; her hand flew to her mouth. Prentiss quickly regained herself and saved the rapidly deteriorating situation.

"That's right, Reid. You are coming along. We'll see you tomorrow, Reid."

"I'll pick you up," Rossi said, "Around six."

The genius's head jerked forward in seeming agreement, and he bolted from the BAU. The youngest member of the BAU walked so briskly to the bus stop that most would have considered it running. The man could feel sweat trickling down his back and at his temple, and yet, he felt so cold, so numb. He boarded the public bus with an intense, yet somehow blank, look in his eyes. The other passengers quickly made room for him to walk unhindered. Reid sat in the back of the bus and stared at the seat in front of him. His eyes never wavered.

A. Argon. A noble gas with an electron configuration of 3s23p6. Ar. Atomic number eighteen. Atomic mass 39.948. Melting point of 83.80 K and a boiling point of 87.3 K. Density of 1.4 g/cm3. Argon is the third most common gas in the atmosphere at .93%.

B. Barium. An alkaline earth metal with an electron configuration of 6s2. Ba. Atomic number and mass of fifty-six and 137.33 respectively. Melting point 1000 K and boiling point 2170 K. Density of 3.51 g/cm3. Barium, which is rarely found in its pure form due to is reactivity with oxygen, is derived from the Greek word barys meaning "heavy."

C. Cobalt. A transition metal with an electron configuration of 4s23d7. Co. Atomic number twenty-seven. Atomic mass 58.933. Melting point and boiling point of 1768 K and 3200 K respectively. Density of 8.9 g/cm3. Cobalt is a lustrous gray metal that is used to make blue pigmentation…

Reid's ABCs continued on until he reached Iodine, and the bus had reached the stop just outside his apartment complex. The young man's hands gripped tightly at the strop of his satchel. His breathing was slow and measured, controlled as he stepped off the bus. An emphatic sigh of relief ghosted through his lips.

On shaking limbs, Reid made his way up the two flights of stairs to his apartment, 4D. His fingers faltered as they attempted to grasp his key. Finally, after what felt like an eternity of frustration, Reid unlocked his apartment and bolted inside. The door slammed behind the genius as his back landed heavily against the door. A strange sound filled Reid's ears as he braced his body against the entrance to his apartment. The young man tried to calm his racing thoughts as the sound continued to distract him.

It wasn't until Reid felt the lukewarm splash of tears on his forearm that the agent realized that he was crying and that the sound was his body-wracking sobs. Instinctively, his arms wrapped around his mid-section. His body crumpled to the floor. Reid curled in on himself; his forehead laid against his knees. The young genius tried to soothe his sobs and gain control of his mind. But no amount of periodic table recitation or recollection of convoluted math theorems could focus Spencer Reid's mind or calm his sobbing frame.

The young genius cried until his face burned from the salt-laden tears. He cried himself sick to his stomach. He sobbed and sobbed until there was nothing left to cry out but still plenty to cry for.

Gradually, Reid uncurled from his fetal position against the door and proceeded to wipe a hand over his saline-chafed cheeks. He realized that there was little to no moisture left, quantifying just how long the aggrieved agent had been sitting against his apartment entrance unable to cry. Slowly, ever so slowly, Reid began to crawl away from the door. He didn't have the strength to stand up and walk like a normal homo sapiens.

But, then again, Spencer Reid didn't much feel like a homo sapiens at that point. His grief and despair had complete power to strip him of any human qualities he possessed until he simply would drag himself to an arbitrary spot, lie down, and not react to any form of stimulus, whether it be hunger, thirst, or intruder. All he was capable of was crying and sleeping.

As Reid crawled over the old, slightly-crunchy-feeling linoleum that was most likely installed in 1973, the ailing man glanced up and noted that there were stacks of dishes waiting to be cleaned and dishes waiting to be put away. In his state, though, Reid couldn't have cared less. He continued his four-legged trek through his living room. He glared in disgust as he noticed his up-close and personal view of the vomit-colored carpet.

On a normal day, the derisive thought of "What was the landlord thinking?" would've crossed his mind instinctively, but today, all Reid could think about was not letting his stomach add to the already horrendous color. Spencer continued to plod through his much-neglected living room until he reached his bedroom.

He stopped.

He stared.

His cream-colored walls and coffee-brown bedspread stared back.

The young genius sighed and continued on into the wood-floored room. His cracked nails clicked hollowly as he proceeded to his small twin bed. He hoisted his arm up to the top of the bed, but try as he may, he couldn't pull his exhausted body up on top of it. Reid plunked back down on the floor, on all fours. Slowly, he moved to the other side of his bed.

By now it hurt, really hurt, to move. Every single joint in Reid's body screamed as a burning fire scorched them from the inside. It felt as if every joint dislocated and relocated with every movement. Reid could almost hear the pops and the snaps of his appendages as he continued his motions. The burning, as his movements lessened, made way for a ever-present ache. Fatigue gripped the young man.

When Reid reached the other side of the bed, his weary body collapsed. He glanced up at his digital clock.

7:22 pm.

Using the last of his energy, the young genius pulled the coffee-tinted duvet completely off his bed and onto himself as the cold, numb feeling grasped his body once more. He pillowed his head on the crook of his arm.

And Spencer Reid knew no more.


Knock

Knock-Knock

Silence

A slight creak

Thunk

Thunk

Thunk

Even measured sounds rang in the apartment. The intruder entered the abode; he eyed the rather poorly decorated rooms with revulsion. He entered the bedroom, which was probably the only pleasantly colored room in the entire apartment. The walls were devoid of anything characteristic. The bed was covered with simple French vanilla colored sheets, but surprisingly, no blanket. The pillow was untouched. The room felt cold and lacking life, like no one had lived in it for weeks. The interloper looked at the digital clock.

6:07 pm

Where was he?

The man walked around the bed and immediately startled backwards. There, lying on the floor, was what, rather who, he was trying to locate. On the floor, half-covered by a dark brown blanket lay Spencer Reid, fast asleep. The blanket was askew and entangled around the sleeping form as if the man's slumber was anything but restful.

Rossi shook his head. He couldn't believe the man was sleeping at this time, let alone on the floor. He gazed up to the heavens with a pleading expression. With an exasperated sigh, he nudged the genius with his foot.

The figure didn't stir. Rossi frowned. The man groaned. Why had he volunteered for this duty yesterday?

"C'mon, Reid. Wake up! I promised Garcia I would have you there by the time everyone got there. Now. GET. UP!"

A soft, whimper-like sound fell from the awakening man. A hand reached up and pushed the lank chestnut hair back and then moved to rub at the tired eyes. Slowly, chocolate eyes opened fully. They were blood-shot and weary, Rossi noted.

"Alright, genius, get up. You know that Garcia, Goddess of Will-Dig-Up-Every-Secret-You-Possess-If-You-Anger-Her, expects you to be there. So, if you don't want her to discover any embarrassing pictures from some obscure and youthful shenanigans you may have committed, I suggest you get your backside motivated and ready to leave. We are already late."

Spencer Reid pushed his sleep-wobbly arms up and staggered into a standing position. He was still wearing the same clothes that he had been the day before. And, unsurprisingly, Rossi had noticed.

The genius trudged into the bathroom and splashed ice cold water onto his face and stared into the mirror. He grabbed his comb and ran it swiftly through his hair, not caring one whit what it actually looked like. Quite frankly, if someone objected, they could go fly a kite in Reid's opinion. Peeling the sweater and undershirt off his body, he left the bathroom and strolled to the closet. He missed Rossi wide-eyed stare.

The fact that Reid had essentially stripped in front of anyone, let alone a coworker astonished the senior profiler. They, the BAU, all knew that Reid was incredibly shy and self-conscious about his body. And here he was, flinging his clothes off like he was a common stripper, though with a lot less finesse and seduction. But far more worrisome than that was the fact that the youngest member of the BAU looked very underweight. Rossi knew that the man possessed a high metabolism and had always been on the thin side, but this was different. Reid's skin was a pale, translucent color, and it held a hint of gray. The outline of both the genius's spine and ribs was just a bit to prominent for comfort.

Completely oblivious to his colleague's incredulity, Spencer Reid reached into his closet and grabbed a plain white undershirt. He proceeded to don a charcoal dress shirt. It was far too big for Reid. And Rossi recognized it immediately, but strategically said nothing. The older profiler looked away quickly as Reid began to unbuckle his belt and shimmy out of his wrinkled corduroys. When Rossi heard the belt being re-buckled, he looked back and noted the simple black slacks that Reid had slipped on.

"Ready," Rossi asked.

Reid nodded and walked out of the room toward the front door. As he grasped the handle, Rossi put his hand on the much-too-thin shoulder. "A coat? It's raining outside, didn't you notice?"

In fact, Reid had not noticed. He shrugged and stated, "I'll be fine."

Rossi opened his mouth to push the issue, but he decided against it; his mouth closed with a snap. They walked down to Rossi's black Audi. Both profilers silently entered the car and sat in an awkward silence. Rossi was silent due to the fact that he had no idea what to talk about with the genius without getting a slew of statistics from the genius. Although, that had become a rarity recently, and Rossi found that he almost missed it. Reid, quite simply, didn't want to be there, didn't want to talk, and didn't want to interact in any form. He wanted to be alone in his apartment on this dreary Saturday. So, Rossi watched the road, and Reid watched the wind shield wipers swishing back and forth.

Eventually, the car pulled up to a small bar. Reid noted the name of it, The Stand. How fitting, I feel as if I am going to fight a battle. He shut his eyes and took a calming breath. As he and Rossi approached the door of The Stand, Reid felt his heart rate begin to escalate. The rain left small disks of moisture on his shirt. Reid was sure that the shirt was going to be damp for some time.

Calm down, you idiot. This is just something you need to get over and done with. Buck up.

The genius looked up to see Rossi patiently holding the door open for him. With a nod, he entered the building. He was surprised by the lack of obscene flashing lights, an over abundance or bass, and grinding couples.

Just what kind of bar is this?

The walls were a pale blue and the furniture a modern, yet statuesque, black. A grand piano was playing in the background with an elderly, white-haired man at its helm.

"Spencey!"

Reid cringed at the squeal of one Penelope Garcia. He looked over at the boisterous tech-analyst and was pulled into a tight hug. Garcia was dressed in her normal Garcia-esque color combinations of brightness. Reid noted that Hotch was attired in his normal suit; this one was a deep navy blue. Seated immediately to his right was Emily Prentiss. Much to his surprise, she was wearing a bright red v-neck shirt and a stylish and flattering black skirt. Something struck Reid as odd about that.

Coming up to him next was a whirlwind of blonde hair, otherwise known as JJ. She hugged him gently and stuffed something in his back pocket.

"You forgot these in the bullpen yesterday, Spence."

His hand ventured to his pocket after she stepped out of the mostly one-sided embrace. Reid pulled out a leather bound object roughly the size of his wallet. He opened it. Staring back at the genius was…himself. SSA Dr. Spencer Reid of the FBI. His smiling face stared at him, and the smile met his eyes in the photo.

He had left his credentials in the BAU. Reid gripped them in a firm fist while he proceeded to the table that his colleagues were gathered around.

"H'lo everyone. So, what are we doing?"

Emily looked at him. "What do you want to eat or drink?"

"Nothing," came the clipped response.

"Hey, Reid," Rossi queried, "When exactly was the last time you ate, kid?"

The genius flinched and muttered, "Not hungry."

The member of the team scrutinized the young genius. They noted the way the all-too-familiar charcoal gray shirt hung off the young man's form. It reminded Hotch of when Jack sometimes put on his white button-ups. JJ noted the hollow look to Reid's cheeks. His high cheek bones seemed even more prominent now. Garcia frowned at the distant and empty look in those normally vivid chocolate brown eyes.

"But, seriously, what are we doing tonight? This doesn't seem to be a club we would normally frequent," stated Reid.

"Well, my genius friend," Garcia said as she ordered a drink from the bar, "I decided we need to have some fun. We have all been a little too serious as of late. They are having an open mic night tonight. And we are all participating."

She turned to look at Reid sternly, "And since I know your propensity to wheedle your way out of such situations, we will be going in age order. Youngest to oldest. That makes you first, g-man."

Spencer groaned. Why me? As if I am not going through enough. Which god have I upset now?

"But Garcia, what am I supposed to sing?" Reid whined.

She flicked her hair over her shoulder and stated, "Whatever you want, Spencey. You just have to serenade us lonely ladies and provide competition to your male counterparts."

Prentiss piped up, "You could do Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake. You do add a whole new attractive element to intelligence, Spencer."

Reid's cheeks blushed a faint pink while the team snickered at the thought. He let out a nervous laugh of his own. He really, if he was being honest, wasn't interested in the least. His eyes slowly slid shut.

Really, what is the point of this? Quality time isn't going to make this right. Happy, touchy-feely emotions won't make me a spontaneous, euphoric man.

Reid's eyes opened slowly as the host of The Stand announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to The Stand's Saturday night open mic night. Let's get this show on the road. Would our first volunteer please step forward?"

The young agent felt a hand land squarely between his shoulder blades and thrust him forward. The host smiled and motioned Reid forward, towards the performing platform. The agent's mind was racing. He didn't know what he was going to sing. He didn't even like to sing…in front of crowds. He stepped up next to the host. The 30-something year old smiled and asked him to say his name and just let the band know what he was going to sing.

"Um, my name's Spencer."

He turned to the band, and an idea struck him. He knew what he was going to perform. He knew what he needed to perform just so he could release some of his pent-up grief. He turned to the band and whispered the song to them. The fiddle player, who would have the most lyrical part, looked at him quizzically. This wasn't normally the song that people picked to sing, but he simply nodded his acquiescence.

Reid approached the microphone as the fiddle began to sing its haunting chords. He closed his eyes and let his heart feel the evocative music. His introduction came, and he began.

I can take the rain on the roof of this empty house

That don't bother me

I can take a few tears now and then and just let 'em out

It was raining, again. Spencer Reid stared out his apartment window. He watched the rivulets of water trek down his window. The weather matched his mood quite well. He sighed. He couldn't believe what had happened. This kind of situation was something that belonged in Hollywood, not real life. As he watched the sky cry, Spencer Reid, too, began to cry. It was time to simply let it all out. And maybe, just maybe, he would feel just a little bit better.

The members of the BAU gazed almost doe-eyed at Spencer Reid as he was singing. Emily's jaw dropped. She recognized the song immediately. She also realized its implications. Of course, she had had her suspicions, but to have them confirmed like this…it hurt. She recognized how much the young man singing was suffering. It was more than any of them had thought.

I'm not afraid to cry ev'ry once in a while

Even though goin' on with you gone

Still upsets me

There are days ev'ry now and again I pretend I'm okay

But that's not what gets me

"You're gone," he whispers, "I can't believe it." The resident genius of the BAU stared at the headstone. Why didn't this happen to me? I'm the one that wouldn't be missed like this. I wouldn't incite so much mourning. But you, you are sorely missed by those you loved, by those who loved you…by me. I wish it had been me. You wouldn't fall apart. But I guess now I have to be the strong one. I have to be okay. For everyone else. They need me, right? Don't they?

Tears were forming in Penelope's eyes. She felt guilty. She had put him up to this, forced him to do this. It had been so obvious that he was hurting. She just wanted to help him see that there still were people who cared about him. She had just wanted him to see the good left in his life. She had no idea that his pain ran so deep.

What hurts the most

Was being so close

And havin' so much to say

And watchin' you walk away

And never knowin'

What could've been

And not seein' that lovin' you

Is what I was tryin' to do

"Hey, got a minute?" The scholar asked.

"Sure," came the reply. Almost immediately, Reid's heart began to beat a little faster. His throat began to close. No! I need to tell him. He needs to know. Even if it doesn't go well, he needs to know. I can't bear to have this go unsaid. After everything that just happened, I need to have this cleared from my conscience.

"Um…well…you see…it's just…"

"Hey, it's okay. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes there are things that you cannot control. We've all lost victims. We've all had to make decisions we didn't want to. Reid, you know that we stand behind your actions. No one is doubting your ability to perform in the field. You did what you thought was best. We can't know the consequences if you had decided differently, but if you had acted in another way, the results could've been devastating. Hey, I've got to go. You did fine. I'll see you later."

He walked away.

Wait, I need to tell you something. Please, I have to tell you. It hurts to keep it a secret.

"Wait…"

But he was gone.

Hotch stared at Reid's vice-like grip on the microphone. The knuckles were white with strain. The man was shaking in the slightest. The stoic team leader's eyes widened as the pieces fell in seamlessly together. He remembered some of the tension that had been present on a few occasions on cases. He remembered the agitation as Reid was tortured by Tobias's alter egos. He hadn't realized that Reid had felt so strongly, nor that he had been grieving so fiercely.

It's hard to deal with the pain of losin' you ev'rywhere I go

But I'm doin' it

It's hard to force that smile when I see our old friends

And I'm alone

Still harder gettin' up

Gettin' dressed

Livin' with this regret

But I know if I could do it over

I would trade

Give away

All the words that I saved in my heart

That I left unspoken

This is a nightmare. That didn't happen. It didn't happen. It couldn't happen…but it did. The thoughts raced through a truly extraordinary mind. Reid stared at the mirror. His eyes were blood-shot. They were red and puffy from a night of endless sobbing. It was a common look for him now. The man dragged himself away from the bathroom and approached his closet. His movements were sluggish at best. He had taken to setting his alarm an hour and a half earlier just to give him time to convince himself to leave his bed and then to get dressed. It seemed like these everyday activities fatigued him more than walking up the endless staircases at the FBI headquarters in Quantico. Reid snapped back to himself and slipped into a deep burgundy shirt and a diamond pattern vest. He left his apartment and commuted to work. When he reached the building, he plastered a soft, but dauntingly fake, smile on his face. The team was still recovering; he couldn't set back their progress. They were his friends. I wish I had told you. I wish I could have screamed to the heavens how I felt. I wish that they knew how much you meant, still mean, to me. I'd give anything to try again. He thought of his coworkers, his friends. He cared about them too much to hurt them further. He cared about himself too little to confide in someone just how much he was suffering.

Rossi thought back at all the times since that day that Reid had walked in slightly rumpled with red-rimmed eyes and a strained smile tugging at his lips. He was astonished that the doctor had managed to hide it from a team of top-notch profilers, and that said team had missed the ever-present signs. He had seen today just how much Reid struggled to pull his body up off the floor; he had noted what an arduous task it had appeared to be for Reid to dress himself. But, the difference today was that Reid wasn't even trying to fool them with his small smiles that never seemed to reach his eyes anymore. Reid was openly displaying just how much he was suffering. And that, more than anything, shook Rossi to his core.

What hurts the most

Is being so close

And havin' so much to say

And watchin' you walk away

And never knowin'

What could've been

And not seein' that lovin' you

Is what I was tryin' to do

Oh

Oh hey yeah

Reid stood in the police station. He stared at the young genius clearly waiting to hear what was so important that he had pulled him away from the group that was preparing to bring in the unsub. The youngest agent stood awkwardly with one hand clutching the upper portion of his upper arm. The other man's foot tapped impatiently.

"Come on, Reid. Spit it out or get going. The unsub isn't going to wait for us to arrive. The longer you hold this up, the longer he has to get away. Now, what is this all about."

Tell him. You have to. You know how this could go down. You know that the unsub is incredibly dangerous. He gets ready, shoots, and aims later. Tell him!

"I…I…it's just…"

"Reid…"

"I can't."

The older man stared blankly. Then, as he stormed out of the precinct, not bothering to grab a vest, he shook his head. Within seconds, he was gone.

"Way to go, genius." Reid let out a calming breath. "Okay, just tell him when he comes back. Tell him when this is over. Gather your courage and tell him when this case is finished. There will be a next time."

Except, there wasn't.

JJ remembered what it was like when she told Reid what had happened. He was lying in a hospital bed with a bandage wrapped around his head and various other bruises riddling his body. She remembered how Reid had attacked the unsub in a fit of rage. The overzealous agent had been struck in the head with the butt of a gun. Shortly after, the criminal had succumbed to the wounds that he had suffered. Their side had not been without loss though. And unfortunately, JJ was the one who had to tell Reid of their loss. She had to explain that the doctors had done everything they could; it just hadn't been enough. She remembered how Reid turned his face from her and stared out the window. A single tear trickled out of the corner of his eye. Listening to Reid sing, she realized that that sorrow had never left her friend. It probably never would.

What hurts the most

Was being so close

And havin' so much to say

And watchin' you walk away

And never knowin'

What could've been

And not seein' that lovin' you

Is what I was tryin' to do

Not seein' that lovin' you

That's what I was tryin' to do

Oooo

He stared at the headstone. Everyone had left. He was alone. He was crying. And the sky was crying with him. A black umbrella was clutched in his hand as he crouched before the gravestone. A shuddering sob wracked his slender frame. He cried for the cruelty of Fate. He cried for a friend lost. He cried in regret for words he never found the courage to speak.

"I love you," Reid whispered at the unfeeling headstone. The body it marked had long since lost its ability to see, feel, or understand.

"I love you. If you had known, would you have still done it? I love you. I love you. I love you," the genius sobbed.

"I love you, and you'll never know."

Everyone in The Stand stared at the singer as he finished his piece. Even the host, who had been jovial at the beginning of the night, was quite solemn. Most of the members of the BAU had some form of tears, whether they were lurking in their eyes or running down their cheeks. On the stage, Reid took a deep breath.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he said, "I'm sorry for thoroughly depressing your evening. Have a great night."

Reid stepped off the stage and reached into his pocket. He pulled out his credentials and as he passed the table with the members of his team, his friends, he dropped the leather-bound identification onto the table. He walked right past them. He walked right out of the bar. He walked out into the rain.

His face rose to look towards heaven. The tears fell from his eyes as the droplets of water splashed against his face. Reid had always liked the rain. It was cleansing, and it would be his purification tonight. He walked briskly down the road and took a sharp right turn. He could hear the voices of this friends calling out his name. He ignored them. He kept walking until he reached the cemetery.

Stoically, he walked through the rows of markers for the deceased. By now, Reid was soaking wet with rain and shivering in the cold of it. His body had never been good at keeping him feeling warm, and the rain only exacerbated the issue. Finally, the young agents stumbled upon the gravestone that he was looking for.

He knelt in the muddy grass. His fingers reached out and began to trace over the engraved lettering that was etched there.

Derek Matthew Morgan

June 6, 1973 - March 28, 2008

Beloved son, brother, and friend

Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed.
Bob Riley

Reid leaned against the headstone and sobbed. It just hurt too much. He couldn't take it anymore. He knew that his body was weak from his lack of both sleep and nutrition since Morgan had died. He just simply couldn't bring himself to care anymore. But, he didn't have the courage to actively end his suffering either. He had made it nearly four weeks with this millstone of anguish around his neck. Blackness began to close in around his peripheral vision. He did nothing to try and stop it. He just couldn't fight the tide anymore. But, there was one last thing he had to do before he would let his body succumb.

"I love you, Derek Morgan."

And as he felt the darkness overtake him, he thought he heard a low voice whisper in his ear.

"I know."


So, did you guess who Spencer was pining over before he reached the cemetery. I was trying to be a little ambiguous over it. Did I manage okay? This was my first go at Criminal Minds, though I do have many more ideas swirling around in my brain. I thought I would try something new with the time shifts and reactions of each character.

Until next time (hopefully with a TBWIM update)

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