Prompt: *shrugs* idk.. just wanted to kill Reid off and then write the aftermath
Fandom: Criminal MInds
Characters: Spencer Reid, Derek Morgan, Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau, Emily PRentiss, Aaron 'Hotch' HOtchner, PEnelope Garcia, Jason Gideon
Pairing: none

Spencer Reid couldn't take it anymore. He was tired of the victims' eyes staring up at him, asking him why he hadn't saved them. He was tired of the pitying looks from the team. He didn't want to hear Charles shouting at him, or Tobias' last words every time there was a moment of silence. He had tried to move on, to forget, but it had been years and it just wasn't working. He hated that he would be leaving the only family he'd ever known. His savings account would make sure his mother could stay at Bennington's, and his RRSP would be enough to send Henry to a good university. He hoped that it wouldn't be the team to find him.

*Oh, yeah, right, like anybody else would even miss you enough to come check on you*

He picked up the bottle beside him, carefully shook all the pills out into his hand and swallowed them one by one, dry. He didn't know how long it had been. It was strange, so unlike the Dilaudid he was used to, his brain felt like it had stopped. Slowly he felt his eyes close and his heart stop.

Then he wasn't in his apartment anymore. The room was pitch black but with a comforting glow around the edges. Hesitantly, Spencer started walking until he felt like he had walked completely around the earth.

"Hey, JJ, have you seen Reid? He's usually here even before I am." Hotch casually asked as the media liaison enters the bull pen area.

"Sorry, Hotch, I haven't. Maybe the metro was late or something." The blonde replied, knowing that the answer didn't satisfy her or her boss.

By the end of the morning every member of the BAU had asked every other member about Reid. None of them could come up with a better answer than JJ, although Morgan did suggest alien abduction. The young man was never late; Hotch had expected at least a phone call. Finally, Hotch sent JJ and Morgan over to Reid's apartment to check on him.

"Spence, are you in there?" JJ said through the apartment door, her soft tone in stark contrast to the booming sound of Morgan's fist on the door. "Alright" she said as she dug through her purse for the set of spare keys to each member of the team's house that had been made and given to her after what happened with Hotch and Foyet. JJ quickly unlocked the door and cautiously walked in until she was Spencer lying on the living room floor, then she flew protocol and caution out the window.

"OH MY GOSH… Spence!" she shouted as ran to him, frantically searching for a pulse that, deep down in the churning pits of her stomach, she would never find. "No, no, no, no… Morgan call an ambulance" JJ was freaking out at that point and tears were running down her faster than she could wipe them away.

"JJ… There's nothing they'll be able to do for him. He's been here for a while." Morgan said gently as he was now kneeling next to the young man and holding his wrist.

"No... No..." JJ was shaking as she moved to a sitting position, hugging her knees. "He can't be gone h-he's Sp-Spence" she said now sobbing uncontrollably.

"I know, I know" Morgan said as he pulled JJ into his arms and pushed speed dial 2 on his phone.

*Hotchner*

"Yeah, Hotch, it's Morgan. You should get over here; bring the team and a CSU.

*What? Morgan what's going on?*

"You'll see when you get here."

*Alright*

*~disconnect~*

Aaron Hotchner didn't like not knowing what he was walking into, but he trusted Morgan with his life, so he rounded up the team and phoned in a favor with the CSU from the local field office.

When they got to Reid's apartment, they were met at the door and told to go in, except for Garcia. Morgan held the tech kitten and hugged her tightly.

"Derek, what's going on?" Garcia said in a panicked voice, "why aren't I allowed to go in?"

"Baby Girl," Morgan said as he pulled back from the hug and placed his hands on her cheeks, "Reid's dead", he whispered.

"oh my god" the woman said equally as quietly as tears quickly overflowed her eyes as she pulled away and tried, but was stopped by Morgan, to run into the apartment.

"Penelope, you don't want that to be your last memory of him" He said simply and pulled her into another hug. Not long after JJ and Emily came out and Garcia rushed over to them.

"Oh, Jayje" She said softly as she wrapped the hysterical woman in her arms.

"Agent Hotchner?" a CSI tech called through the apartment. Hotch quickly walked over. "There's something you should see." The tech said as he handed the SAC a stack of envelopes, each one hand addressed to a different person.

"thank you" he said as he flipped through them and saw one addressed to every member of the team, one to Diana Reid, and one for, to Hotch's surprise, Jason Gideon.

Quickly walking back in to the kitchen he passed out the envelopes, and put the one for Mrs. Reid and Jason in his briefcase, and opened his own.

Hotch,

Firstly I'd like to say that you weren't the one to come looking for me. I'd also like to say that I'm sorry for this- for abandoning the team. Thank you for being the person I could lean on, especially after Gideon left. Thank you for putting your career on the line and not telling Strauss about the Dilaudid- yeah, I knew you knew. Thank you for believing in me when if felt like no one else did.

I understand why you and JJ had to hide the fact that Prentiss was alive. That doesn't make what you did acceptable- but I'd like for you to know that I'm not angry anymore.

Could you make sure that the letter I left my mom gets to her?

Thanks for everything.

-Spencer Reid

By the time that Hotch was done reading the letter he felt tears gathering in his eyes, and for the first time in a long time, he let them fall. He cried for the loss of the man who had seemed so innocent; for the loss of one of the few pure souls left on earth.

With shaking hands, Garcia opened the envelope addressed to her in Reid's messy printing.

Penelope,

I really hope it wasn't you who Hotch sent looking for me. I want you to know that you were one of the best friends I've ever had. Thank you for being your colorful self, please never stop being you, the team needs you more than you know. Thank you for not caring what people think of you. Thank you for, still after seven years, refusing to look at crime scene photos. Thank you for reminding all of us to smile. Thank you for coming up with ridiculous nicknames for me, and remember I'll always be your junior G-man.

I know that you're going to place yourself in charge of planning the funeral. Please, nothing huge, just the team, Ethan, and my mother in Vegas, if at all possible

Thanks for being the only thing that kept me coming in to work for a while.

-XOXOXO Boy Wonder

Garcia was sobbing even harder by the end of the letter. She cried for the loss of her junior G-man. She cried for the loss of one of her best friends.

JJ was hysterical when she opened the letter.

JJ,

I hope you weren't the one to find me. I'm so sorry that I'm leaving you and the team, and Henry, but I couldn't see another way out. Thank you for the time I spent with Henry, it was some of the best of my life. My RRSP should be enough for him to go to a good university one day. Could you tell him that I loved him and didn't want to leave him?

Thank you for being my best friend, for being the first girl I ever took on a date and most of all, for being the sister I never had.

I also want you to know that I know why you couldn't tell us that Emily was alive, it doesn't make it right, or mean that I like I like it, but I'm not angry anymore.

XOXOXOXO Spence

JJ was shaking so hard now that dropped the letter and her heart-wrenching sobs only got louder. She cried for the loss of her son's godfather. She cried for the loss of her little brother and she cried for the loss of the kindest man she ever knew.

Emily was trying to compartmentalize but she just couldn't, she couldn't lock this away and pretend that best friend wasn't lying dead in the other room. By the time she got the letter she was about to fall apart.

Emily,

I hope you weren't the one to find me. I'm so sorry that I'm leaving the team, so sorry that I'm abandoning you. Thank you for being the one person on the team that I always knew I could talk to, and who wouldn't tell Hotch or Rossi. Thank you for not hating me when you first joined the team and I was a total ass to you. Thank you for being the protective older sister, thank you for being on of the best friends I ever had.

I want you to know that I'm not angry at you for not telling us that you were alive. I understand why you did it.

-XOXO Reid

By the time she was finished the paper was dotted with wet splotches and Emily was sitting on the floor hugging her knees. She cried for the loss of her best friend and for the loss of a great profiler.

When Morgan read his letter he was holding Penelope, letting her cry on his shoulder.

Morgan,

I hope you weren't the one to find me, but chances are that you were. I'm so, so sorry that I'm leaving the team but it's the only way… Thank you for teasing me about the sugar in my coffee. Thank you for listening to me talk about Star Wars and letting me kick your ass at cards. Thank you for trying to protect me and thank you for being my best friend, and the older brother I never had. Thank you.

-Pretty Boy

Morgan felt a warm tear trickle down his cheek leaving a wet trail. He cried for the loss of the most innocent person he'd ever met and he cried for the loss of his best friend.

David Rossi was the only person still holding it together by the time his letter reached him.

Rossi,

I'm so, so sorry that I left the team this way. Thank you for putting up with me following you around and quoting your books back to you when you first came back. Thank you for keeping Hotch sane after Haley died. Thanks for trying to put the team back together with that cooking lesson- it worked- mostly.

I know this is a lot to ask… but could you make sure that the team keeps going? Like when Elle and Gideon left, they were replaced and we moved on.

-Spencer Reid

David Rossi knew he had to be strong for the team; and for Aaron. Even though he didn't shed a tear, he mourned for the loss of a great profiler and an amazing person.

Jason Gideon walked out of the small cabin he had found himself in Nebraska. It was so much like his old one in Virginia. When he checked his mail there was a single manila envelope. The writing and return address was that of Aaron Hotchner.

*Why is Aaron mailing me? I thought the entire team had given up on me after the way I left.*

Inside the envelope was a letter and a second envelope. Jason decided to read the piece of paper first.

Jason,

This letter reaches you with great sadness. Reid ended his own life last night and asked me to make sure that this letter found its way to you.

Gideon was shocked. His hands shook as he opened the other envelope.

Gideon,

I regret leaving the team the way that you did- with only a letter. I want you to know that when you left I tailspined. I had been clean for three months and then you were gone…

You knew I would be the one who went looking for you at your cabin. How? Did you even think about the effect it would have on me; even consider the similarity to my father's departure?

For a while after Emily's 'death' I though that you had the right idea. I mean, if we can't even keep each other safe, why do we do it? You answered the question for me, once; it was something you said to Hotch. "We save one life; we save the world." I know why I stayed. I couldn't loose the family that I had found. I had finally found a place where people didn't laugh at me; they laughed with me. You were part of that… and then… you weren't. Just like that. You left the team, the family, short one supporting pillar. We almost collapsed until Rossi stepped in and filled the whole.

Thank you for helping me gets into the BAU. Thank you for teaching me to think outside the proverbial box and that I really can't trust people to always be there.

-Spencer

Jason was sniffling be the time he was done. The carefully-chosen words of the letter stung as if they had been well placed blows to different vital organs. In that moment he cried for the loss of his young protégé. He cried for the loss of the young man's adoration and he cried for the loss of the mind that had given do much to the field that Gideon had helped to start.

The area was silent; save for the birds chirping under the bright sun. It was a small gathering in the same field where the team had watched Ethan Hayes is buried. Now they were burying one of their own. The crowd consisted of the team, Diana Reid, Ethan, Jason Gideon, and William Reid.

The first person to stand and speak was Diana. The poor woman looked absolutely distraught.

"My Spencer, he was a smart boy, you know? Sometimes too smart for his own good. He's a good boy, wrote to me everyday… everyday… he never forgot about his old mother. One day I woke up… and I knew… I just knew that my baby wasn't with us anymore. A mother know thing you see…" she was sobbing uncontrollably and JJ stood up and wrapped her arms around her best friend's mother, leading her back to her seat. The next person to speak was Ethan.

"Wow, uh, all those years I swore I'd never come back to Vegas… Anyway, Spencer was a great friend; the only person who could out-spell me. Regional champ three years running and then the little squirt shows up and knocks me on my ass." The musician chuckled fondly. "Really though, he was great. I remember in middle school when everyone else made volcanoes and potato clocks for science fair, Reid and I tried to make a Flux Capacitator, like the one in "Back to the Future". We ended up blowing the science classroom up. But, hey, man did Reid look funny with no eyebrows!

Spencer stopped in to say hello when he was in New Orleans a few years ago. I could see that he wasn't doing well, and I can only hope that isn't why he we're all here today.

Well, buddy, here's to spelling bees, science experiments, one day at the academy, and the best friend I ever had." He concluded his speech relatively dry-eyed and made his way back to his seat and Penelope Garcia made her way up to the front.

"It breaks my heart that we're here for my baby genius but, I've heard that law enforcement significantly lowers your life expectancy. Reid survived being held hostage multiple times, a then-incurable strain of weaponized anthrax, being kidnapped and held for two days, blocking a clean shot from cops or the team so he could talk to a UnSub, and being involved in a few explosions.

The one thing I loved most about my Junior G-man was his innocence and the way he retained it even after everything he that he saw everyday. I think that if I looked at the crime scene photos I wouldn't be able to smile anymore. There's a quote by my favorite author, Dr. Seuss, "You are you that is truer than true. There is nobody alive who is youer than you." I think it applies to Spencer so well because there was no one like him. So, thanks Reid for taking our jokes with grace- mostly- and just being you." She finished with tears running down her face as JJ stood.

"Spence was such a great person. I know that when I first joined the team he had a crush on me. At Gideon's" she flinched slightly saying the names, "insistence, he took me to a Redskins game and we ended up better friends. He was the godfather of my son, Henry, and I don't think that there was a person in the world who would've made a better godfather. H-h-he was supposed to help Henry in school and l-life and now… now…" she broke down, unable to finish, and walked back to her seat as Morgan stood up.

"Reid was a great profiler, and amazing friend, and above all, my little brother. Most of the time he took our jokes well and understood that we didn't make them to be mean, but because we loved him. I'll miss the little facts he used to know about everything, and the office is going to be really quiet without him.

In the last few months he'd lost a lot. We thought that Emily was dead, and then we found out she wasn't. Reid was pretty upset but I know that he forgave them. That was the kind of person he was.

So here's to way too sweet coffee, cheating at card games, and physics magic, Pretty Boy." Derek concluded using the nickname that he'd so often called his friend by. Prentiss was the next person to speak.

"Reid was such a sweet person, loyal to a fault, too. When I first joined the team, I think he felt like I was trying to replace Agent Greenaway. Once he decided to trust me he was a great friend and I don't think he had a mean bone in his body. I betrayed his trust and I don't really know if he ever forgave me…" she trailed off when tears caught in her throat. Rossi was next.

"Reid, well he was one of the best profilers I've met and certainly had the brightest mind. The BAU is a family. Aaron is the stern but caring father, Garcia is the sister who's always in your things, Emily's the sister you know that you can trust with anything, Morgan's the older brother who threatens to bash anyone who messes with you's lip, and JJ's the mother hen of the group. Reid, Reid was the little brother whom you just wanted to wrap in bubble wrap. Whether it was burning his hand on an espresso machine or getting shot, or simply stubbing his toe, that kid was always injured, and he took most of them with relative dignity." Rossi finished as Hotch stood up to speak.

"Reid was probably the most innocent person I've ever met who's done our job for as long as he has. No matter what the case; he had a statistic or fact on the subject. Sometimes they were bizarre and had almost nothing to do with the case, and sometimes they helped solve it; but they were something that you could always count on. Whenever one of the team was going through a hard time he was always there; just sitting and listening; not saying a word. So thank you Reid, for being our rock to lean on and our little brother." After Aaron had sat back down the service continued and concluded.

A/N: So that's it. I just started writing this one day. Hope y'all didn't hate it. (other than Reid dying). THX in advance for the reviews. Reviewers get a Garcia-baked cupcake! C'mon! You know you want one.

Also just wanted to say that I cried more than once while reading this.