A/N - This is your friendly reminder that if any of my fic disappears from this site, I crosspost to other sites as well and you can find that info on my profile.
The first thing that goes wrong is that Cyrus expects the bugs.
They sweep each box after Rossi leaves and smash them all, one by one.
"Me. It's me," Spencer says quickly, hoping Emily won't try to protect him.
Cyrus stares at him with eyes that remind him of Raphael and Spencer shivers in fear.
There's a loud pop and a woman's scream and then he hears nothing at all.
'I've seen gorier crime scenes,' Emily repeats over and over in her mind.
It's one thing to go into shock – that's normal, that's completely normal, especially because she's not FBI, she's not an agent, that woman's not here right now, this one is a social worker who doesn't deal with guns and guts every day – and another to cradle his dead body and sob. The last thing she needs is to draw attention to the fact that one of her lovers' brains is splattered against the painted cinder block walls. Distantly, she knows there's something wet on her face and it's blood or brains and she can't think about that for too long or the grief will suffocate her.
Cyrus has been staring at her and she wonders what Cyrus will do with her now that Spencer's gone.
And what Derek will do if he loses them both.
She's thankful it's just a beating.
She's thankful she's too old to be his type.
She's thankful there's no bugs to hear the extra beating she gets for this.
"Your friend should have told Cyrus who he was from the beginning. He's a prophet, he predicted Satan's armies would come and lay siege to us."
"There's a name for that kind of prophecy – self fulfilling."
"You don't know how dangerous it is to lie to him."
"I know it would take a brave woman to defy him, knowing the consequences and that that woman would have to have a damn good reason to do it."
Kathy leaves abruptly and Emily can only hope that the seed has been planted because there's not much else to hope for.
Cyrus comes to Emily a few minutes later.
"Did you know he was FBI?"
She tenses, sensing the possibility of yet another beating, but her training allows her to spin a lie about Nancy telling her that Reid was an expert, that she'd never met him before, that she's angry Nancy lied to her.
Despite the skepticism lurking in his eyes, this seems to satisfy him. She starts to suggest some ideas for how to test the FBI, but Cyrus just sneers and leaves her without any new bruises.
Emily feels like a modern day Peter, but she knows that if she'd taken another beating, she'd be no good to her team or the people she's try to save.
'Do they even know he's dead? Am I the only one who's mourning him right now?'
The idea rolls around in her head like a bowling ball while she waits. It's almost too much of a burden to bear.
But perhaps it's better if it's just her – the rest of the team is still making all the hard decisions at this point and she can take it. Really, she can take it.
'Don't they say pride comes before the fall?'
For some reason she's yet to untangle, they bring her back downstairs.
Emily hears whispers of the child they let go and she realizes the names he's reading are the people who failed the test of faith.
This is the only sign that something must be going right on the outside that she gets before she's ushered back upstairs.
And she wonders, not for the first time, if they think she's an agent too.
"If you can hear me, I know you're coming," she says to seemingly no one, hoping beyond hope that they have the parabolic microphones trained on the windows and that the food drop will make them listen extra carefully. "I can try to get the women and children down..."
Emily pauses, hearing a scuffle below her.
'Rossi, that's Rossi, he was dropping off food,' her brain supplies. He's too calm and smooth, so something isn't right, the plan must be going to shit and she's still trussed up and in pain and...
...gunshots, two, very close together.
There's a only small commotion, so Emily knows exactly who got shot and who is lying on the church floor, dead or dying.
"He's dead, they're both dead," she tells the windows.
They must have heard her, at least the first part, because there's a red dot telling her they're coming at 3 am.
First, she hopes the red dot is Hotch or JJ or a local or anyone other than Derek. But she knows it's probably Derek, so instead she hopes he didn't hear the last part.
And just in case he did, she hopes he won't be reckless because he'll remember she's still alive, that she still needs him alive.
"I wanted to save her from Cyrus."
"I can give you another chance. The FBI is coming here at 3 am. I need you to gather Jessica, the kids, the other women, get them into the basement just before 3 am."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because I have faith that you're a strong enough woman to do the right thing for Jessica."
Kathy runs off again and all Emily can do is wait.
When Kathy rushes to bring her downstairs at 2:45 am, she thinks, 'Finally, something is going right.'
She should have known better.
They make her watch as they gun down the women and children before the gun plastered to her head releases her.
The utter destruction in the tunnels would have been bad enough without finding Emily's body among the dead.
Derek presses onward. He will see this thing through. He can break later.
Derek sees Cyrus press the detonation button before the bullet strikes him.
He does try to get out, he really does.
When he wakes up in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down, he's not terribly surprised.
They all died on that ranch, he thinks.
Garcia spent some time in a psych ward. Then Hotch ate his own gun less than a year later and Garcia checked back in for a bit to deal with that. Even though she'd transferred to a different government position, she'd lost her the light in her eyes. Kevin still loves her, takes great care of her, and for her to have that one constant in her life, Derek is eternally grateful.
JJ had an abortion, which wasn't her "death," just the catalyst. She said she'd been so unsure about having a child in the first place and that there was no way she could bring one into the world after Colorado; Will didn't agree with her decision. It was Derek who took her to the clinic and held her hand. He brought her to his home afterwards to recuperate. She was angry when Will left her, but she didn't regret her decision in the least. He worries about her constantly – now that she no longer has the BAU as her family and no personal life to speak of, there's nothing tying her down and he wonders what's kept her from following Hotch's lead.
For himself, so much of his life was gone that Derek didn't even feel like he was a real person for a very long time. It wasn't just the physical aspect because he could still lift weights and some parts of home renovation were still possible, but clubbing and running were out. He felt people look at him and his wheelchair with pity he didn't want or deserve. The worst part was the time. He'd taken the early retirement package Strauss had generously offered him, so without work or a majority of his old hobbies and activities, all he had was time to think about his dead lovers.
He couldn't watch Star Wars or most sci-fi really. He couldn't read Kurt Vonnegut. He had to get rid of the bedsheets. He thought about boxing up Spencer's bookshelves, but couldn't think of anything to put in their place and the idea of them being empty was worse than them being full. He donated most of Emily's clothes to a women's shelter and most of Spencer's to a half-way house. The items he kept – a turtleneck, a red blouse, that damn purple scarf, his favorite sweatervest – were stored under the bed and only taken out on anniversaries.
Eventually, he took over Garcia's victim's support group. He got Clooney certified as a therapy dog, so now they visit the children's hospital twice a week. It's not much, but it keeps him from spending every minute mourning.
Derek tries to remember that Cyrus is the only one at fault for what happened. Still, he spends far too much time wondering how everything went so wrong.
A/N - I love reviews and when I get a bunch of them, it really eases my anxiety regarding writing (see my profile for more explanation), but please don't ask me to continue a fic that I've marked as complete. While I can logically recognize it's generally a compliment to my writing and/or the general story idea, it actually aggravates my writing anxiety and makes me less likely to write overall. I hope I still get reviews from people who wish there was more, but when I mark complete, I really do mean complete. Thank you so much for being understanding.