A/N: Hello again, my lovelies. Once again, I have had an insane week. However, I am back with my lovely ladies from the BAU. I was watching "Demonology" the other night and this is just a little story that started playing in my head. Also, I had gone to the cemetery today to visit some loved ones and the story really took hold while I was there.
A/N2: So, once again, none of this belongs to me. I'm just a rabid fan of Criminal Minds and the characters of JJ and Emily. CBS, Viacom, and whoever else claims them, owns them. Since I can't have my lovely ladies together on the show, I shall have them together in my stories.
The cold wind slices right through you, but you barely notice it. You stare out at the Potomac River, lost in thought. Today is an anniversary that you wish you never had to face, but yet, you know that each year; this is why you take this day off work. Why you come to the river and reflect. Thinking about your time in Italy when you were fifteen. You think about how you walked to that Catholic Church and how the priest told you if you had an abortion there would be no place for you here.
How Matthew found you, sobbing, wondering what you were going to do. You were fifteen; you weren't emotionally ready to be a parent. How you knew then and there, if you could get out of this, you would change your life and do good for the world instead of trying to rebel. You would never truly be a part of your parent's world; you hated politics too much. You hated the games, the corruption, how it stole the soul and made your parents something you hated. You were done rebelling after this.
You remember how Matthew comforted you and made the arrangements. You remember arriving at the clinic and you were scared and clung tightly to Matthew's hand and he wiped your tears away. How the doctor seemed to leer at you and label you a slut right away. How conflicted your emotions were. How once it was done and over with, you walked out of that clinic with your head down and decided right then and there that you would carefully compartmentalize everything so that emotions would never show through again.
You think back to learning about Matthew being dead and being forced to confront your past once and for and all. You think of the conversation with Rossi, fearing judgment, but instead, the gentleness and the non judgment are what surprised you the most. The only thing he told you was that you needed to tell JJ. You looked at him, surprised, wondering how he knew. He chuckled lightly and reminded you that he is a profiler. You smiled slightly at that.
You remember going and visiting Matthew's grave, placing flowers on the headstone and telling him thank you. Thank you for being your friend when no one else would, and thank you for giving you the strength you needed at the time. You remember feeling the raindrops and smiling slightly, brushing your fingertips over his name before bending down and kissing the stone. It was then you felt someone's eyes on you and you turned and noticed his mother standing there.
You remember swallowing hard and her nodding slightly before walking past her. She reached out and placed a hand on your arm. Looking at her, she searched your face and you stared back at her steadily, no longer afraid of her, no longer under the power and control of anyone but yourself. She dropped her hand and you nodded once more, before turning and walking away, finally putting Matthew and that time to rest.
The wind cuts through you like a knife again, and you pull your coat tighter around you. You stand and stare at the water, wondering. Wondering what would have happened all those years ago if you wouldn't have had the abortion. Twenty-five years is a long time to hold on to the past, but yet, even though you catch murderers, everyday, since you were fifteen, you've felt like one yourself. You sigh and wonder what your child would be like at 24 years old. What he or she would have grown up to be like?
You sigh again and blink back the tears. You feel a hand on your shoulder, and without looking up, you ask quietly, "How did you know I was here?"
"I know where you go every time about this year. You know, it's not your fault Em."
"I feel like a murderer. Like I could have done something differently."
The blonde moves from behind you and sits next to you on the bench, taking her hand into yours. "What could you have done? You were only fifteen."
"I could have had the baby, given it up for adoption. I could have married and had the child."
"At fifteen? What fifteen years old is ready for that?"
The Ambassador's daughter, who fucked up her life."
"Emily, listen to me. You made the choice you had to make at the time. No one is judging you for it, except yourself."
"I wonder what she would have looked like. What she could have become." You feel the blonde reach up with her gloved hand and wipe your tears away as you continue to stare out at the river. "Do you know how angry I was at myself for years? How angry I still am?"
She doesn't say anything and lets you continue, taking your hand into hers. "How I hate myself every day? That the pain of what I did never completely goes away? How at night I dream about the baby, hearing her call me a murderer?" You stand up suddenly, taking your hand from hers. "How in my mind, I don't deserve anything good because of what I've done?"
She turns you around to face her, the wind blowing the beautiful blonde hair in front of her face. "Listen to me, Emily. You did what you had to do at the time. You were fifteen, not 25, not 35. You were the Ambassador's daughter. There was no way she would have let you have a child out of wedlock. You weren't ready. Quit blaming yourself." She leans up and brushes her lips across yours and you pull away, looking down at her.
"I don't deserve you." You turn your back to her and blink back the tears.
"I'm not going anywhere." She steps in front of you and looks up at you. "I love you. I told you once, I'll stand by you and I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight, and I will hold you tight. No matter how far you try to push me away, I'm not going anywhere." The tears that have threatened to spill over all afternoon flow freely down your face as she wraps her arms around you and you bury your face into her shoulder, finally giving into the tears.
She tightens her hold on you and whispers "I'm right here to catch you. I've got you."
After the tears have finally subsided and you're able to control your emotions, you look down at her. You look into the eyes that you fell in love with so many years ago and the smile that she gives you makes your knees go weak. This is the smile of someone who isn't going to let you fall. You lean down and brush your lips over hers and she pulls back, taking your hand into hers, saying quietly, "I know you have another part of the ritual that you do. Do you want me to leave so you can finish it privately?"
You shake your head mutely and take her hand, tugging her over to the railing. You reach into your inside jacket pocket and pull out two flowers, one for the baby you lost and one for Matthew. You drop them silently into the river, watching them float for a few seconds before turning away, tears once again running own your face. You whisper a goodbye, wondering if the pain of this will ever lessen over time.
"Come on, Emily, let's go home." She tightens her hold on your hand and pulls you close for a few minutes, letting you gather strength from her. You cling tightly to her, sobbing into her shoulder, the wind blowing around the both of you. She strokes your back gently, whispering into your ear. Pulling back, you whisper, "I love you.
She nods and says quietly, "I love you too." She looks up at you. "And they forgive you."
Throughout life, there are many battles won and lost. Sometimes, just sometimes, the toughest battles can be won when you finally learn to let go.