Okay, so, I'm not at all satisfied with this one-shot but I had to post something to keep me writing. Inspiration's gone on holidays, it seems.
Anyway, this scene takes place right after JJ told the team about Emily's death in "Lauren" and before the funeral.
To understand this story completely and fully enjoy it, I suggest you read "Memory Lane", "A Night Visitor" and "A Shoulder to Cry On" first.
Please, tell me your thoughts on this one. Thanks.
Some days Elle Greenaway hated her life. This was one of these days. It was almost three in the morning, and she was ready to go to bed after an exhausting day at the office in Seattle filing reports, but her phone started buzzing. She swore and picked it up. When she saw the ID, she suddenly didn't feel so sleepy anymore.
Since she had left the BAU four years and eight months ago, he had only called her twice. Sure, they had exchanged letters and e-mails but they had never seen each other and they had tacitly agreed not to call or ask for a meeting unless it was vital—or at least really important. He had respected the deal. The only two times he had called, it had been to tell her about Hotch being in the hospital, and then about Haley's death. Elle had never been the one to dial his number. The only member of her former team she had seen after leaving was Hotch. And Gideon too, when he occasionally came to Seattle, but he had quit a year after she had resigned from the Bureau.
Tonight, watching her phone ringing in her hand, Elle shivered. A call from Spencer meant bad news. And as much as she wanted to pretend that she hadn't heard her phone and let him leave a message, she knew she couldn't. She had to answer. So she did.
Just by hearing her name said with such emotion in his voice, Elle knew something was terribly wrong. She sat down on the edge of her bed and held her phone tighter.
"Reid, what happened ? What's wrong ?"
"I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't call but…"
He was crying. Little genius, her friend was crying. It broke her heart to listen to his sobs. There was nothing she could do from the other side of the country.
"Spencer, talk to me. Has something happened ?"
"It's Emily… He killed Emily, she's gone…"
"Wait… Emily Prentiss ? She's… She's dead ?"
"Yeah. I just got home from the hospital and I… Elle I can't stop crying. It hurts… Why does it hurt so much ?"
She knew his question was rhetorical. There was no answer to that, no good answer. She could feel his pain through the phone; his voice conveyed so much sadness and grief that she almost wanted to hang up just to spare herself the feeling of powerlessness that was invading her in that exact moment. But of course she wouldn't do that. Spencer needed someone to turn to.
"Can you tell me what happened ?"
"It's a long story. I… She wanted to protect us from her past and it backfired. We couldn't get there in time, and she died in the hospital."
Elle could barely make sense of what he was saying, but she understood the most important part : Emily, the agent that had arrived shortly after her departure, was dead. And Reid was crushed. He was probably blaming himself.
"I already lost you, and Gideon, and now Emily… Why does this keep happening to me, Elle ?"
"Spencer, listen to me. First of all, you did not lose me. I'm here with you, on the phone, okay ? I'm your friend and I'm not forgetting about you. Never. And I'm so, so sorry to hear about Emily… I know she meant a lot to you and you had a great deal of affection for her. I wish I could do something but..."
"You already do. You're talking to me. You're listening. Thank you, Elle."
And yet she felt like it was nowhere near enough.
"Do you… Do you need me to come ? Because I will if you ask me. I can be in a plane in an hour and—"
"No, it's okay. I… I just need some time. I guess I'm in shock. This was not supposed to happen… I didn't… I didn't even say goodbye !"
She kept the phone to her ear, listening to him crying, and her eyes closed. There was so much distress, so much hurt that Elle actually had to take a deep breath in order to keep herself from crying too. She had never heard Reid so upset. Briefly she thought of her time spent with the team and how close they had become before everything had fallen apart. And then she thought of Emily Prentiss, a woman she had not known but read so much about in Reid's letters, and her heart clenched. She seemed to be a great agent and Elle couldn't even begin to imagine how her death would affect her team. She had a vague idea of the pain they were probably all feeling. It had been hard to leave the BAU and not a day went by without her thinking of the team she had left behind. Of what could've been had she not been shot in her house that day. Of how close they would be now.
"Reid ? You still there ?"
"Uh, yeah… I'm sorry, I probably shouldn't have called… I hope I didn't wake you up."
"No, you didn't and it's alright, you did the right thing by calling me. I'm sorry for your loss, Spencer. I wish I could help, or tell you that it's gonna be okay but… You're not stupid. You know how it works."
His sobbing had stopped, and Elle guessed that he couldn't cry anymore.
"You're exhausted. You should try to sleep."
"You think I'm gonna be able to sleep ?"
"No, but you need to rest so just put some music on, lie down and close your eyes. I'll call you back in the morning. I'm with you, Spencer. You're not alone."
He remained silent for a while, and then she heard a whisper, so low that she almost missed it :
Then the line went dead. Elle sighed and put her phone down next to her. How was the team coping with their partner's death ? She had a feeling she didn't want to know. She just hoped that they would help each other and that in time, they would get better.
Shaken by her conversation with Reid, it took Elle another whole hour before drifting off to sleep, her mind filled with bloody images of dead bodies and Spencer Reid's cries echoing in her head.
I originally wanted to write another part, where Reid announces to Elle that Emily is in fact alive, but I wasn't sure I'd know what to write. So we'll see. Would you be interested in another short story ?