AN: I've decided to end this fic (rather this part) with another introspective chapter. I expect that Part II will be mostly introspective from JJ's point of view, so I hope everyone has been enjoying these "Thoughts" chapters. *DISCLAIMER* I borrow a few lyrics from the song "Refugee" in this chapter. I did not write the lyrics and do not own the rights to it. The song was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (who absolutely rock), and was featured on their album Damn the Torpedoes. Also, as always, I do not own Criminal Minds or Higher Ground.

Water slicks off the Goodyear tires as I speed down the highway, but I don't care. I could hydroplane right now, completely lose control, and it would mean nothing to me. Death doesn't seem so bad anymore. Hell, I'm kind of hoping for it at this point. The team... They were my family. Chalk this up as the third time that my family has been snatched away from me. All because of him, all because of what he did...

Perhaps I'm not meant to be happy. Perhaps I'm not meant to be loved. Perhaps God's plan is for me to forever roam the world alone and miserable. What other explanation could there be for losing a life that I worked so hard to build not once, not twice, but three times? I try not to think about it as I drive on. I clear my mind and focus on two things: the road and the voices coming from the radio...

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some

Tell me why you will lay there, revel in your abandon

Honey, it don't make no difference to me baby

Everybody has to fight to be free, you see

You don't have to live like a refugee...

I immediately turn the radio off. Nothing against Petty, but that song has always hit a little too close to home. How could a man that doesn't even know me write a song that is so close to my situation when a room full of profilers can't even figure me out?

I shake my head. Forget about them. They are gone, they don't exist anymore. Lying to myself worked before, so why not try it again? They'll forget about me, and I should forget about them. They're probably better off without me dragging them down anyway...

Garcia would make a new best friend. She had that bubbly sort of persona that made making friends so easy for her. Maybe her and Morgan's bond would become even tighter. Morgan... Never did become all that close to him. Or at least I never thought I had. We had always butted heads, but deep down the guy had been like a brother to me. He had always pushed me, trying to get me to do better. He had always made getting along with Elle, Garcia, or Emily look so much easier. Emily... Emily had always been so good to me. So good to all of us, actually. I never really did anything to help her when she was down, pick her up, but she had always been there for me. And then there was Rossi, the "loner." As if anyone bought that anymore. He had a strange way of showing it, but he cared about each of us. Spence... Poor Spence. So I was a little freaked out when he was crushing on me long ago, but he was a sweet kid and a little bro to me. And Hotch... Hell, Hotch probably understood me better than any of them. He was so good with me, always knew what to say...

Hot tears run silently down my cheeks as I wonder how I'm supposed to forget these people. How can one ever truly forget their family? But I drive on, because there is no turning back now...

AN: So that's the end of "Secrets." Again, there will be a Part II. I'll probably title Part II "Exposed," but I'll let you know if I decide to go with something else. Like I mentioned in the prologue's author note, this part was meant to be very CM-centered, whereas Part II will focus a lot on Higher Ground and JJ's/Shelby's past.