AN: Thank you for your reviews. This chapter might be a little confusing, there were a few problems with flow because this is Emily's funeral told from Catherine's point of view.
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds. Catherine Jareau is mine, along with all the other characters you do not recognize.
Chapter 1: Please Let There Be Rain
The truth does not change
according to our ability to stomach it.
- Flannery O'Connor
Thursday, March 10th, 2011
I was having this really amazing dream about swimming through an orange sky last night and when I woke up and wanted to tell Emily about is because she loves swimming and she had a similar one back in December, I think the sky was a deep purple. Then I remembered that Emily is dead and the memory of the three am wake up call, stopped me short. Emily Elizabeth Prentiss is dead. No, It still sounds strange to say aloud, I've tried and it doesn't sound any more natural or real today than it did yesterday or the day before that.
Today is Emily's funeral. It is going to be horribly difficult to get through. But I cannot consider not going because that would be disrespectful to Emily's memory and I don't want that. I just want to stay here in bed, under my covers with Una for company. Maybe Spence if he comes back. He disappeared sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning before I woke up. I haven't heard from him since, he isn't even answering his phone. Maybe he needs time alone to deal with the aftermath. I just wish that he had woken me up to say good-bye before he left.
I haven't spoken to, nor have I seen anyone else from the team since they arrived at the airstrip. I have no idea how or where they are. I guess I will find out later today. Will is going to stay home with Henry and Jack, which is good because neither Will and Jen nor Aaron have figured out what to tell the little kids yet. I offered to stay with them or help find another sitter so that Will could attend as well but Will turned me down. He actually had the audacity to ask me to go to the funeral and "take care of his JJ."I almost spat back that, "She was mine first," before I realized that he was just trying to be helpful. Tempers are running hot and our emotions are all over the place from one moment to the next.
My big sister has been acting strangely. Sometimes she seems fine, like nothing has happened and then there are other times when I catch her standing in front of Henry's crib while he sleeps. Talking to him about how important family is and how every family member, no matter how old or young needs to be protected. Something is obviously wrong but there is no way Jen is going to talk to me about it when she won't even talk to Will. And I am one hundred percent sure that Jen has not talked to him because she has the look of someone carrying the weight of the worlds on her shoulders. I hope she finds someone she can talk to, maybe Aaron; he always seems to know have some idea of what is going on with his team. But Jenny isn't part of his team anymore, maybe I should just wait and see what happens. And if she doesn't get better, I'll talk to Aaron about Jen.
I know all about the clearance thing. I understand, really I do, but I still want to know how Emily died. Why her? Who did it? I have so many questions and I have no answers. Jen is certainly not going to give them to me. Perhaps someone else on the team would be willing to give me answers, maybe Penelope. She usually looks the other way when I want to read certain files. I still technically have some level of clearance because I worked on that case back in November. I don't want to think about that case ever again but if it will grant me access to information about what happened to Emily, I will put up with the extra nightmares.
Obviously I can't ask today, but maybe next week. I can be patient. I will probably have to be extremely patient because I have a feeling that the team will not be inclined to give me any useful information. They seem to be holding onto the misguided notion that I am one of the innocents that they need to protect. This is not true. I have been a victim, but so have Spence, Jen, and Penelope, even Derek has been a victim. I know it's not exactly the same but I have also been part of a team that catches serial killers, they are my family, and that makes a big difference to me.
The entire team rides in a limo from the funeral home to the church. The limo is huge, black and sleek. There is enough space for the entire team, as well as Jennifer, Ashley and myself. The visitation last night was packed and it looks like Emily's funeral will be just as overcrowded. However, I have been assured that only close friends and immediate family members are welcome at the burial. We're supposed to walk from the church out to the burial site. Aaron said there would be guards to make sure that no one who isn't welcome can attend.
Earlier this morning, I overheard Aaron and Dave talking about how the Ambassador, Emily's mother had made all the arrangements through the bureau. They also mentioned that the Ambassador will not be attending Emily's funeral. She has been delayed in Europe, something about work. That shocked me; Emily's mother will not be here for her only child's funeral. I can't help but feel if Ambassador Prentiss really wanted to be here this morning, she would have found a way. I know that she is supposed to be here tomorrow for the will reading but it's not the same thing. I hope she feels horrible about missing the funeral.
We follow behind the hearse bearing Emily's casket. I don't want to think of her body being in there. It was a closed casket funeral, which is odd for a practicing Catholic like her mother, but maybe Emmy was horribly mangled. Damn it. I really need to stop this particular train of though. It is going to make me feel even worse than I already do.
When we are finally ready to exit the church, I find out that Aaron, Dave, Derek and Spencer are all going to be pallbearers. This was probably one of the things Spence didn't want to tell me. It never occurred to me to ask who was going to carry Emily's coffin. Somehow, it seems right for Emily's family to carry her. I don't know who the other two men are, but Jen quietly informs me that they worked with Emily before she came to the BAU.
Jen and I hold hands while we follow Penelope and Ashley who are directly behind the boys and Emily. Jen squeezes both my hands in one of her's as the white haired Priest talks about Emily. It seems hypocritical that he should be allowed to talk about our Emily when he has never even met her. I notice that Derek and Penelope are also holding hands. Spence is standing diagonally behind me and I want to reach out and offer him comfort but I would have to let go of Jen's hand. If I were to do that, my carefully crafted composure would crumble and I would be a bawling, trembling, mess.
There is a exquisite bouquet of white roses on the coffin. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and there is not a single cloud in the sky. It doesn't seem appropriate for it to be such a gorgeous day in March. They sky should be filled with dark grey clouds and it should be pouring rain, possibly sleet, to reflect the moods of everyone here who matters.
Jen hands me a rose before she walks calmly towards Emily's coffin, for her last chance to say good-bye. Derek follows Jen and Ashley, Penelope, Spence, Dave and Aaron in turn follow him. There is not a single dry eye amongst the teammates. I notice that Penelope and Derek are holding hands again. The public display of affection is reassuring; not everything has fallen to pieces, not everything has changed. I walk forward cautiously, unsure whether or not I will be welcome in their private moment. It is Dave who beckons me closer and so I follow his lead, and my feet stop me at Emily's casket.
The red rose clutched tightly in my hand reminds me of fresh blood. I wonder if Emily bled out? Was she scared? Was she cold? I drop my rose on the casket as quickly as possible so that I don't have to look at it anymore. I back away quickly, stumbling over the mound of fresh earth. I start crying softly. I am unable to maintain my self-control. My grief is overwhelming and I keel over, landing in a heap on the freshly mowed grass.
Jen breaks away from the team when I fall down. She picks me up and dusts me off before pulling me back to the rest of the team. Jen wraps me so tightly in her arms I cannot move, even if I wanted too. There is a two person sized gap in the ring around Emily's coffin. I am more grateful than words can express that they made space for me as well as Jen and that no one looked at me or said anything about my breakdown. We truly are a family, a broken one at the moment but it will get better because time heals all wounds right?
When the rest of the team stands back, Jen pulls me with her and my tears start again in earnest. I know what is coming next, and sure enough the undertaker lowers Emily's casket into the ground. We stand guard while he shovels dirt into the grave, filling it in its entirety. We watch with tears streaming down all our faces but without a single word passing any of our lips as Emily is buried. We wait, unable to move, as the undertaker flattens out the dirt and covers Emily's fresh grave with new sod.
Aaron is the first to leave; I'm sure he wants to get back to Jack. Ashley and Dave, and then Penelope and Derek follow Aaron's departure in swift succession. Spencer is standing a few yards away under one of the many oak trees. Jen lets go of me and starts to walk away from Emily's grave. I know that we are supposed to go back to Emily's condo to have a late lunch but I can't move. I don't want to leave Emily. I can't willingly leave her alone.
Jen tries gently tugging on my arms but it feels like my shoes are filled with cement I can't move my legs. When Jen tugs on my arm a little harder and tries to pull me away from Emily I wrench my arm out of her grasp as my legs give out under me. I land on the ground, right in front of Emily's grave. There is a rushing sound in my ears, I know Jen it talking to me, but I have no idea what she is saying.
I can feel Jen trying to lift me up, but I am an unresponsive dead weight. Emmy why did you leave? Why are you dead? Who did this to you? Who killed you? Why won't the team tell me anything? I need to know why. You promised me Emmy. Why didn't you keep your promise?
I am peripherally aware that Jen has given up trying to move me. Maybe she understands my reluctance to leave, maybe Jenny understands my sorrow. My hyper-vigilance is reveiling to me that Jen is rather far away and it is also telling me that someone else, a non-threat is very close to me, much too close for comfort. I blink a few times, coming back to awareness; I need to know who is sitting so close to me. I look away from Emily's headstone, it's Spence and he is the one who is so close, he is practically leaning against me.
Spencer is not looking at me when he starts to talk, I don't know what he is saying, everything still sounds distorted but the sound of his voice is comforting. He offers me his spare handkerchief and I give him a watery smile, which he returns. I lean into Spencer because there is only one reason that he ever sits this close to me: he is offering comfort. He is actually going to let me touch him. I believe Spence thinks that I'm just about as non-threatening as I know him to be. Before Montréal this would not have been as rare of an occurrence for me as it would be for the rest of the team, but in these past few months, the moments Spencer and I have spent together are few and far between.
"Kitty Cat," Spencer's softly spoken words are the first that I have actually heard properly since the priest said "Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust."
Spence saying my nickname is comforting but it's not the voice, nor the nickname that I really want to hear. I want Emily to show up, call me Creirwy (kree-ree) and tell me that it was all just a big joke, a mistake. I want Emily to be alive. I need Emily to be alive.
Spencer tries again, "It's time to go, Kitty Cat."
"No Spence. Please?" I beg him, "I can't leave. I can't leave Emmy alone."
Spencer wraps one arm around me, "Staying here crying won't make a bit of difference. She's gone Kitty Cat. We need to accept that, as much as it hurts."
Tears are clouding my vision, "No one will tell me anything Spence. I need to know. I need to know that she didn't die alone. I need to know that she isn't alone now."
"Well," Spencer starts slowly, "Emily believed in heaven so if there is a heaven, we have to believe that Emily is in it. She will have friends and family there."
"But she won't have us," slips out and I blush. Spencer smiles, but there is no humor in it, "That is true, she won't have us with her."
Spencer looks nervous for a moment, "I'm not supposed to say anything Kitty Cat but you need to hear this. Emily did not die alone."
A single candle's worth of hope flickers to life inside my chest, "She didn't?"
He smiles, "No, she didn't Kitty Cat. She was surrounded by doctors who were trying to save her life."
The candle's flame flickers and is extinguished.
Spencer takes one look at my crestfallen face and tries again, "I don't know anything else Kitty Cat and even if I did, I couldn't tell you."
I sigh quietly and mop my face with the hanky, "I know Spence."
"Are you ready to leave?" Spencer asks me, trepidation filling his voice.
"Yes Spence," I answer. Before I try to get up, I take out from my pocket, a tiny silver cat ring and tuck it under a corner of sod. It was supposed to be for Emily's birthday but I misplaced it. I think it appropriate that I leave it with her now. I struggle to rise from the ground because my legs have fallen asleep.
Spencer helps me up before taking a few steps back.
I place my hand on Emily's grave stone and say one last silent goodbye before turning away. Spencer has his hand extended towards me. It is really very sweet of him to put up with so much physical contact today. I wonder if he needs this just as much as I do.
Spencer and I walk away from Emily's grave hand in hand. The sun is still shining, the sky is still blue and I still wish it were raining.
But sunshine you shone. Sunshine you've grown.
I'm just a shadow when you're not here to shine.
- Her Velvet Voice, by The Juliana Theory
AN2: Thank you for reading please review. What do you think of this chapter?
AN3: I will not be posting for a week or so because I am going to attend a Medical Conference in Cincinnati. So I won't be posting on the 10th and probably not on the 13th either. Regular updates should resume as of August 16, 2012.