It is with a heavy-heart that I say this is the final chapter for History counts for something! Thank you guys so so so much for being with me on this journey! It means so much to be shrouded in your constant support! I love you all so much!
Without further ado, The Final Chapter!
Reid was jumpy the whole ride. Constantly looking out of the window, leg jostling, eyes shifting, he was definitely nervous.
The high towering buildings soon turned into trees, sparsely decorating the dry land as they headed into the more secluded outskirts of Vegas. It almost felt like a different world. Almost.
Of course Derek knew where they were headed, Garcia had texted him the details, albeit hesitantly. She really needn't worry, Reid surely wasn't angry with her, and anyone any more for that matter. He just needed to blow off some steam. Pretty boy always had the tendency to bottle everything up until it explodes on whoevers closest.
After a few short minutes of trying to make small talk with the younger agent, Morgan resigned himself to the fact that Reid was very nervous and didn't want to distract himself with annoying chatter. Derek took advantage of the forty minute ride, opting for a nap. He had to admit, he was starting to feel the nerves too. What ever happened at the Morris household today, it would either make or break Spencer Reid. Closing his eyes, he let sleep swallow the worry dripping steadily into his conscious mind.
Agent Derek Morgan woke with a start. His eyes popping open; man was he that tired that he was basically dead to the world? Upon looking to his left, he found Reid had been shaking him awake with worried eyes. So they had arrived.
Derek didn't say a thing as he paid the taxi a generous sum, and exited the vehicle, lugging the bags out of the trunk before the driver drove steadily away.
The Morris' family home looked exactly like that, a family home, despite the secluded location. Spikes of bright crisp green grass peppered the dirt lawn where well-trimmed shrubs lined a pavement path to the doorstep. The house was painted a light blue, and could use another layer, but it was still nice looking nonetheless. Standing at the wire fence gate, Derek could see a small vegetable patch with various foods growing soundly in surprisingly fertile soil. Some fruit trees stood lining the back fence behind the garden, its produce looking just as juicy.
Reid didn't move, staring at the two-storey house. He thought about how many times Ally must've played in the dirt, making mud pies, or skinned her knee running freely over the pavement; how happy a childhood she must've had here, in the beautifully domestic blue house.
Sighing heavily, Reid turned towards his company. His worn frame was practically buzzing with a mix of anticipation and nerves.
"I, uh, I think I should go in alone. I mean, this is something I need to do. By myself." Reid spoke uneasily, he wished Morgan would force him to let him come along, but he knew he wouldn't. He tucked a curl behind his ear, and smiled uncertainly.
"Uh, yeah. Sure thing, Reid. I will guard the bags." Derek said half-heartedly, his arm sweeping out gesturing to the vast isolation; in the distance he could see a small service station cafe. Nobody would steal their bags, but Reid smiled at the joke, a bit more genuinely, and that was a victory in Derek's book.
Steadying himself, Reid turned away from his best friend, someone who kept him grounded in all this; he really did need to do this alone. The sound of his singular crutch crunching on the pavement could be heard as he hovelled up to the door. He mentally thanked the Morris' for having no front porch, no stairs to climb as his aching limbs would protest violently. Standing in front of a dark blue oak door, Spence reached his bony hand up to the knocker, hovering. He chanced a glance backwards at his friend, who was looking towards him, a smile in his eyes. Derek nodded encouragingly before mentioning that he was headed toward the service station for a bite to eat, and, drawing up on the strength Derek seemed to seep, Reid dropped the knocker against the door. It was almost as loud as his rushing heart to his ears.
"Won't be a second!" shouted through the door, an older female voice pronounced. And soon, the blue door opened, and a pale, wrinkled face could be seen peeking out. "Yes, m'boy?"
The woman was quite short, smile lines littered her face, salt and pepper hair sprouted from the top of her head that had been combed back neatly. Her smile was missing a few teeth, giving her a friendly demeanour.
"Uh, Hi, yes. Hello, Uh. I'm Doctor Spencer Reid with the FBI's behavioural analysis unit; I would like to ask you a few questions. May I come in?" Reid resorted to default, hastily yet shakily grabbing his wallet out of his pants, flashing his ID.
The woman's face portrayed a flash of something, before returning to normal. With a smile, she opened the door, allowing him entry, before closing it behind him.
"Ronald, get down here. We have a young man from the FBI here to see us!" she shouted without hostility, she gestured to the right where there was a florally decorated sitting room. "While Ronald makes his way down, would you like anything? Tea, lemonade? A biscuit? You sure are a skinny boy, when was the last time you ate?"
Sitting down gently, Reid was grateful for the hospitality, his limbs happy to be having a rest despite the long drive about fifteen minutes ago. He asked for lemonade for his parched throat and the woman nodded and set about it, traveling out of Reid's sight.
Looking down at his hands, Spence wiped them against his pant legs; they were sweating heavily, no doubt the nerves. Genetically, Reid knew the kind lady was in fact Allyson's mother, the same eyes, the same lips. There was no doubt about it. Shakily taking a deep breath, he prepared himself for what he was about to confess. He knew it was wrong to convince these people that he was here on official business, but they mightn't have let him in otherwise.
Thankfully, the kind lady returned with his beverage, and an unwarranted plate of biscuits, setting them down in front of him. Reid thanked her at the precise moment a large man entered the room. His beard was white, his eyes a kind green, and a bald head littered with moles adorned his features. The air about him seemed to radiate dominance and made Reid instantly more nervous, but when the bearded man spoke, his nerves were not needed.
"Oh, Hello there, you must be the FBI man that my Daffy here was yelling about. I'm sure you had a long trip, coming all the way out here, no need to stand up." His voice was deep and as imposing as his largeness, but he was as kind-hearted as the best of them. He moved to sit on the flowered couch across from Reid, grabbing his wife's hand and pulling her down next to him.
"I'm Ronald Morris, and this beautiful lady here is my Daffodil." He turned to his wife lovingly as he spoke her name, and caressed her hand with his large fingertips. "How can we help you, Mr uh-"
"Spencer Reid." Spence intervened smiling lightly, surprised at the steadiness of his own voice. He left out the 'Doctor' part on purpose, this was more of a social visit, he didn't want to seem superior in any way, his heart knew he was anything but superior to these kind people. "And I'm afraid this is about your daughter, Ally- Allyson Morris." He breathed, his voice catching.
"Oh, our Ally-Bell." Daffy whispered endearingly, smiling. "We were wondering when you would show up." She added sincerely, looking into Reid's now wide eyes. Ronald just smiled, seemingly caught in a memory.
"I'm sorry?" Reid frowned, until he clicked; that something that flickered across her face when he introduced himself, it was recognition.
"We know who you are Spencer; we know how you know Ally." Ronald smiled kindly toward Reid, pausing at the mention of Ally. And, as if the older man knew exactly what the young agent was thinking, he spoke again, the words that washed over Reid heavily cleansing his soul. "And we know why you are here, and I have to be the first one to tell you, son, It wasn't your fault." Ronald spoke firmly; his eyes boring into Reid's so heavily that Reid broke the contact guiltily, looking at his hands. He didn't say anything as pure, bombarding emotion rolled over him.
"It was that man that did this to her, Spencer, the man that took our Ally Bell from us. You didn't deserve any of this as much as Ally did, you are a victim too, honey." Ronald leaned forward slowly at Daffodils added words, toward the hunched agent, he could make out the water in his eyes through the curls of chestnut hair that hung over his face. After what must've been an eternity of silence, Reid spoke quietly.
"I-I just can't help but- but think that- if I could have…" Reid mumbled, tears fogging his voice. He cursed himself for getting this emotional, but he knew it needed to come out sometime. At that precise moment, the meaty gruff hand of Ronald Morris reached forward, grasping his own. It was like an avalanche of redemption in his head. The person who should be mad at him the most, the father of the daughter he was held captive with, was holding his hand, he was comforting him as tears dripped down his face. Everything seemed so petty now; all the things he worried about were dwarfed by this small act of comfort. For which, Spencer Reid was and forever would be eternally grateful.
The next 30 minutes consisted of stories. Of Allyson. Of her childhood, her teenage years, her embarrassing moments, her best times and her worst. Tears were shared, laughter was heard, a cloud of pure, honest love was forming between the people in the room. And as much as Reid could argue against the fact of the afterlife, he couldn't help but feel that Allyson was in the room with them. Standing by him, she was always there with him along the way.
It no longer felt like a burden. Allyson Morris was a blessing, and in the short time that Reid had known her, Reid felt blessed to have done so. This beautiful young woman had blossomed into Reid's guardian angel.
As the chatter in the room dimmed, so did the sunlight that was now beginning to set on the horizon. Reid knew it was time to go, and his heart was heavy with that knowledge. Walking, his head now held high, to the door, he stood lingering before turning to Daffy and Ronald.
"I… I am sorry I couldn't save her. But in the short time I knew Ally; she was the brightest, kindest person. You- You should be very proud of your daughter." He spoke with sincerity, blinking and smiling at the couple.
"Thank you, Spencer. That really does mean a lot, m'boy." Daffodil said, patting his shoulder lightly, smiling through the water in her eyes. Ronald smiled too, before asking Reid to hang on a moment, and rushing off to the other room, out of Reid's sight. Daffy seemed to know what he was doing.
He returned a minute later, sliding a piece of card in Spencer's breast pocket. Reid smiled, said his goodbyes, getting a hug from the parents before turning and hearing the door lightly close behind him; closing on this chapter of his life.
Strolling slowly down the street at sunset, towards the now glowing service station, Reid smiled contently. Suddenly he remembered the paper in his pocket, his curiosity peaked, and he reached to open it.
It was a picture of Allyson, small in size, big enough to fit in Reid's wallet. Her hair was a lighter brown, her eyes sparkling emerald, and a dimpled smile brightly shone on her face, it was a very recent photo. Spencer Reid's eyes began to fill again as he turned it over to find a roughly scrawled message.
You are always welcome back here, Spencer. You are part of our family now. I'm sure that is what Ally would want. Don't forget to visit.
One single tear washed away the grief that always seemed to deem on his cheeks, one single tear of happiness.
Reid chuckled lightly, a sound that was strange to him, but was always welcome, before tucking the picture into his wallet. Whispering a Thank you he didn't know who to, and wandered off to the service station.
After all of this, all he had been through, he was now in dire need of a strong, sugar-filled coffee.
WOW! I CANT BELIEVE IT! Thank you all so so much for bearing with me through this journey of writing my first story. Thanks for your critiques and your lovely kind words! And thanks to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. For following, favouriting, reviewing and just generally supporting me by reading this story. I love each and every one of you. So much, its criminal. Thanks SO MUCH!
Hopefully this is not the last of me, I will be back with other stories! See you guys soon!