A/N: Soooo… Now that I'm finishing off one project, I'm quite willing to TRY and lose my heart to another. (grins extremely nervously) This idea is the newest 'number one' of my CM-poll. THANK YOU so much for all those amazing people who have already voted! (glomps) (And the poll's still open, btw…)
WARNINGS: DEATH FIC. Language, a tiny bit of gore. (blinks) WOAH! That's gotta be the shortest one ever from me!
LENGTH: If you wish to read more of this, there'll be five more chapters. One for each stage of grief.
DISCLAIMER: Pft… If I DID own 'CM', well… You've seen my stories. The series would be quitea a bit different. (smirks sheepishly) Mah! I wish there was enough money on my bank account. (pouts)
TAKES PLACE: After JJ's departure and before Prentiss' 'death'.
(This story has nothing to do with the movie title as the title, btw, if someone's wondering.)
So… Yeah… (gulps) I hope you're all ready for this. Because I don't think there's any way of stalling this.
I REALLY hope you'll enjoy the ride!
An Unfinished Life
'Death never takes the wise man by surprise. He is always ready to go.'
(Jean de La Fontaine)
It was snowing in Quantico on that day of early January, and every weather report announced that the day was atypically cold. Against all statistics.
Jude Kinney, who at the age of barely thirty-four was the youngest member of her forensics team, shivered while she pulled on her uniform, hiding her long, scarlet hair. Irritation shone in her green eyes.
She'd always hated the cold.
She chased away the discomfort with a single deep breath for which she closed her eyes, then felt ready to do her job. Icy water splashed under her feet as she moved towards her destination under a brutally gray bridge. "So…", she started when seeing the actual scene of the 'event'. "What do we have here?"
"A John Doe", TJ Stamos, her forty-five years old colleague who'd hidden his black hair with a similar outfit to what she was wearing, responded in a gruff voice. His deep blue eyes appeared darker than usual as he stared at the corpse before him. "Looks like a jumper, although there's no suicide note I can spot. He died instantly."
As soon as she glanced towards the body Jude winced. With his brown hair swept away from his face, she realized just how young the man looked. Not even thirty – her best guess was that he was of her age. "Jesus… I hate it when they're this young."
"Hmph." TJ got up, stretching his stiff muscles. "See if you can find something I missed. I'm gonna go and report the cops."
Jude nodded, not paying much attention to the man as he passed by. All her focus was on the body that just lay there, halfway pulled out of the freezing, hungrily running water. After a moment she coaxed herself forward, kneeled slowly by the body. It was amazing, really, that although there must've been a huge amount of damage inside him his face had remained practically unharmed. There was only one, heart-shaped scrape on his colorless forehead.
Even with his eyes open in death, he looked like he was sleeping.
Jude grit her teeth. This was just duty, she reminded herself. She was doing this for him.
"'Sorry, kid", she whispered while flipping the body over cautiously. "But if it gives you any consolation, I'll try to be discreet."
His glazed over, half lidded eyes gave her no response so she looked away from them – to discover that there was something she'd missed at first, almost hidden by his shirt. Her eyes widened a fraction while realization dawned in.
It was a badge.
"Hey, Stamos!" she called out in a slightly choked tone, unable to look away from the item. "I think you should see this."
TJ's steps were slow, almost lazy, when the man walked towards her. "I'm expecting you to have something important."
Jude swallowed thickly, feeling sick to her stomach all of a sudden. This was going to be ugly. "This kid… He was a FBI."
TJ swore through his teeth. "Well shit."
It was ten thirty, Derek Morgan observed while drumming his desk restlessly with a pen.
His eyes shifted quickly, easily finding a unoccupied workstation nearby.
Ten thirty, and no sign of Spencer Reid. Of the same Spencer Reid who was pretty much every morning the first one present.
Those thoughts vanished for a microsecond when Emily Prentiss approached him. Her eyes also swept towards the empty chair and she frowned. "Still not a trace?"
Derek frowned as well, and at that moment he couldn't hold himself back for another second. He took his cell phone and dialed the same number he'd tried to reach about a hundred times over the past hour. He unleashed a growl when becoming directed to a voicemail. "Kid, unless you got really lucky last night you'd better hurry up and get your ass over here. You're kind of getting us all worried here."
He'd barely hung up before David Rossi's quite gloomy voice spoke. "When he shows up, it looks like he's in quite a bit of trouble." The older man nodded towards Aaron Hotchner's office. "I just saw Strauss going in there. And she didn't look happy."
The frowns from before deepening, Derek and Emily looked at each other.
What the hell was going on?
"It's me again." It took a moment before Derek realized that the voice came from his computer. There was a look of near terror on Penelope Garcia's face. "Please tell me he's already in there." Her voice was nearly pleading.
Derek grit his teeth, looking away from the computer screen for a moment. "Sorry, baby girl. Still not a trace."
Penelope's eyes flashed with distress and he was almost sure she chewed her lower lip. "Tell me as soon as he shows up. I… I'll see if I can trace his cell phone, or something." He could tell she was just trying to keep herself busy to stay sane. He couldn't really blame her.
It took a moment before Derek managed to lift his gaze from his tightly balled fists to Emily and David. Their grim faces told everything necessary.
After five agonizing seconds of heavy silence Emily pulled out her cell phone. "I'll try to call him again."
She never got the chance to dial the numbers, though. Because just then the door of Aaron's office opened and he walked out beside Erin Strauss. Just one look towards the unit chief's face made the three of them stiffen. Blood froze in Derek's veins, and it became hard to breathe.
They'd only seen their stone hard boss fall apart once, after Haley's death. But at that moment there was no mistaking it. There were barely controllable tears in the unit chief's eyes.
And suddenly the temperature was even lower than outside.
"Hotch?" Derek's sharp voice shook ever so slightly, and there was wild panic in the man's eyes. "What the hell is going on?"
When it became apparent that Aaron wouldn't be able to produce speech Erin stepped in. There was a great deal of grief in her eyes. "An hour and a half ago I got a call from the local police. They wanted to report to us immediately, considering the circumstances."
Emily frowned. Her jaw twitched twice. "What circumstances?"
Erin swallowed and glanced towards Aaron, as though hoping that he'd miraculously regain his ability to speak and spare her from having to do this. When he didn't she pulled in a long, slightly unsteady breath and looked directly at them. They'd never seen the kind of a look in her eyes they had now. "Dr. Spencer Reid was found dead this morning."
'A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.'
TBC, OR NOT?
A/N: Oh boy… Now there's a start… (sweatdrops)
So, whadda you say? Would you be willing to read through five more chapters of this? Or should this be put out of its misery? PLEASE, leave a review to let me know! It'd seriously mean the world to me.
Thank you so much for reading!
Who knows, maybe I'll be seeing ya guys around.