"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live." - Norman Cousins


Morgan would have screamed. He would have ran to her in an unconscious, vain attempt to keep her alive, or to check for signs of life. He would have ran trembling hands over her rapidly cooling body, trying to memorize, or preserve, what was already fading, already gone, and all the while denying what was right in front of him. No. No, no, no, no, no...

Hotch would have knelt beside her. He would have cradled her in anguished embrace, hands growing slick with blood as they tangled in lifeless locks. He would have clutched her to himself as though he could restart her too-still heart simply with the proximity of his own wildly beating one. As though he could transfer life back into her body if only he held on tight enough.

JJ would have stumbled, a hand over her mouth to stifle disbelieving sobs, or to physically prevent herself from breaking apart. She would have shaken her head as treacherous tears spoke the truth she refused to see. She would have approached his body on unsteady legs, composure only crumbling as she dropped to the hard cement to cup his face one last time.

Garcia would have stood stock-still, mouth agape in a voiceless scream, eyes shining with an unspeakable horror. She would be torn between rushing to his side and running away from the nightmare as fast as she could. She would do neither, however, and instead turn to bury wracking sobs into the strong embrace of the friend who would never leave her side.

Blake would have turned away, shutting her eyes to try and keep the image of him alive clearer than the reality waiting behind closed lids. She would have pressed her mouth into so tight a line that no scream, no cry, could ever escape. She would have strode from the room, blinking back the burning in her eyes before it could break through her hastily erected mask.

Rossi would have sank to one knee, head and shoulders bowing under the weight of the world in some gross parody of a prayer. For once he would appear far older than his years, with shaking frame and breaking heart, tears beginning to traverse well-worn tracks of sorrow down his face.

But Reid was not Morgan, and he was not Hotch. He was not JJ or Garcia or Blake. He was not Rossi. And it was not any of their soulmates lying in a growing pool of blood. It was Maeve. It was the only person in the whole world that had ever held the key to his heart, the only one who ever would.

And he had yelled for the suicidal stalker to "wait."

To wait.

As if that had ever done him any good before.

Because why, oh why, couldn't anything ever happen in his life when he was ready for it? Why couldn't his father have waited a few more years before skipping out on him and his mom? Why couldn't his schoolmates have waited and listened to his desperate pleas to stop and reconsider their cruelty? Why couldn't Hankel have waited before beating him and injecting him with drugs against his will? Why couldn't Gideon have waited and given him a proper goodbye before abandoning him like his father had? Why couldn't JJ have waited and thought through the ramifications of lying to him about Prentiss' "death"? Why couldn't the universe just slow down its exponential expansion and wait a bit for him to catch up to all the loss, all the hurt, it had dumped on him over the course of his short, pain-filled life?

But the universe does not wait for anyone, let alone one Dr. Spencer Reid. Almost as soon as the tortured plea tears from his throat, the universe answers back with the cackle of a gunshot.

And because he is not Morgan, he does not shout his anger and grief and shock to the world. He does not move to hold Maeve's lifeless body like Hotch, or caress her expressionless face like JJ. He does not turn to anyone for support, he does not run from the room, he does not drop to one knee.

No. Because he is Spencer Reid, he stands where he is as the edges of who he is are set aflame, curling his shoulders in on himself like the blackened pages of a burning book. He does not cry out or release the earth-shattering pain that builds with each passing moment. He holds onto the hurricane of torment from the eye of the storm, and he holds the end of all time and all space and all worlds within his thin frame and gangly limbs. He implodes, collapsing in on himself instead of exploding outwards. He becomes a black hole, and the tears that begin to run down his face are the last bits of hope and life and light fleeing a sinking ship.

The curtain of his hair does nothing but provide shadows and depth to the hell he has entered. It does not shield him, it does not comfort him. It blocks the view of the friends and family beside him and behind him, so that there is only himself and the grisly sight before him: his soulmate, the love of his life, lying dead next to the body of her killer.


"There are no happy endings.

Endings are the saddest part,

So just give me a happy middle

And a very happy start."

- Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic


AN: Sorry, guys. No happy ending this time. (But in my defense, it's not like the episode had a very happy ending, either…)

Anyways, I would loveto hear what you thought of this little one-shot, especially because I literally just wrote it at 2am/3am. Fun times. ;)