Chapter 85

Baptist Health Medical Center

Little Rock, AR


Rome. Atlanta. Little Rock. She didn't even have any luggage. As soon as Doyle was finally on a plane to Gitmo she'd gotten on the first available flight. She hadn't taken the time to speak to anyone. And no one had briefed her.

Now she was here, finding her way through a strange hospital, not entirely certain where she was going, exhausted, worn out, aching body and soul. She'd left everyone, had ripped everyone's life to shreds, all to stop a monster. It was what they did, what they all knew, and yet in the end it had been impossibly hard.

And yet Declan was safe. The only son she would ever have was safe to lead a good life.

That was enough. That had to be enough.

But if this wasn't then…then…

She turned down one more hallway and finally saw a familiar figure. It was fitting that the hardest one to face would be the first. "Morgan." She said by way of greeting as she walked up to him.

Morgan turned to look at her. She had expected to see anger in his eyes, confusion or pain. But all she saw was bright amusement there. "Hey. Aren't you supposed to be dead?"

"Um, yeah," Emily shook her head in confusion. "Aren't you supposed to be mad at me?"

"Oh, I am. But it's been kind of a long night. I'll work on being mad tomorrow." He looked at her a long moment, then opened his arms.

Emily didn't turn it down. A moment later she was getting the first real hug since she'd walked out of that briefing ever so long ago. "What's happened? No one's told me anything in months. Tell me it all worked out; tell me it was worth it." Tell me, she thought, oh please.

Morgan just chuckled. "Come here." He led her down another short hallway to what felt like an anti-chamber. There a nurse stopped them, made her take off her coat, wash her hands, put on a yellow paper gown that made her feel like Big Bird, none of which helped her confusion at all.

Then they stepped into one of the adjoining rooms.

The first thing she saw was Elizabeth. She was lying in the hospital bed in the sunlight, looking pale and wan and ill, still. But she was smiling in her sleep. Next to the bed Spencer was occupying a recliner. He might have been dozing when they came in, but he opened his eyes, very carefully looked around, spotted her, and smiled.

There was a very small person resting on his chest.

Emily bent over to take a long look. Yes, there were wires running to a monitor, yes there was a tiny oxygen tube resting at her nose, but she was round and warm and pink and when her father moved a little she stretched and blinked and made a small sound like a cat. Emily looked and looked and felt the tears start to slip down her cheeks, "Hi Sophie."

"Hey." Spencer murmured quietly. He had the kind of smile that seemed permanent. "Welcome back to the world of the living."

"Thanks. Being dead sucked. How is she?"

"Better than they expected. Her lungs are good for her age; she didn't need to go on a ventilator, that's the big thing. They want to keep her here for treatment for another week before we try to get her on a plane, but they don't expect any lasting effects."

"How about Elizabeth?"

Spencer looked over at his wife. "She made it. She's going to need a lot of rehab to get her strength back, but they think she'll be fine in the long run. They don't even expect problems with another pregnancy, so long as we wait a few years."

"So there wasn't any permanent injury?"

"They think she's going to need glasses, of all things, between being in the dark for so long and the pregnancy and the drugs she might be nearsighted. But otherwise they both should be fine." Spencer looked down as Sophie squirmed again. "Do you want to hold her?"

"Oh." Emily shook her head. That was too much, after everything that happened, that was… "I couldn't, really."

Spencer grinned. "Oh yes you can. Come here; careful of the wires." Before she knew it Emily was sitting in that recliner with a warm, perfect little being resting her head against her shoulder. "Hey Sophie," Spencer murmured, gently brushing the back of her head, "This is Emily. She's going to be your Godmother, if she wants the job."

"Oh Reid!" No, I couldn't. Not after everything I did. I walked out on you, just like everyone else."

"You gave up your whole life to keep us all safe. You went out there on your own to protect us. If it wasn't for you finding Doyle, Elizabeth and Sophie wouldn't be here. Who better?"

"Oh damn it." Now she was going to cry on the baby. "Who's the Godfather?"

Morgan spoke up from the doorway, "Right here."

"And Elizabeth has nominated Henry and Thelma as honorary grandparents on her side. I've got Mom, of course, and then…um…" He looked a little sheepish.

"What?" Emily looked from him to Morgan.

Morgan had to. "Grandpa Dave."

"Oh. Oh, just for that I'm in."

Spencer reached out and stroked that downy soft head again. "Hey Sophie, your godmother is cooler than James Bond. I have video to prove it. She was throwing around grenades and everything."

Emily gently stroked Sophie's back as she started gumming that gown, right above the shamrock scar. She looked up at the two men watching her. "You know, I know I hurt everyone, but for this it was worth it."

St. Martin's Episcopal Church

Woodley Park

Washington DC


It was almost Christmas. The church was bedecked with boughs of evergreens, mounds of poinsettias, a thousand twinkling lights. Outside the world was covered in a pure blanket of new fallen snow. Inside, in years past, he'd been made to understand, they had decked the place in rich colors, chosen red flowers, put up a rainbow of lights, all to celebrate the beauty and majesty of the birth of Christ. But this year, by agreement of the vast majority of the parish, they had chosen to deck the halls in pure white, the better to celebrate another new birth.

He stood at the front of the church, wearing the cream colored suit he should have worn to his wedding. Next to him, sheltered in his arms, Elizabeth wore a dress today instead of her usual clerical gear. She was still healing, still not back to work, but getting stronger and surer by the day. She expected to be saying mass again after the holiday season, but for now she was here as a Mother, not a Priest. She watched the proceedings through a pair of red-rimmed glasses which seemed to him to highlight her beauty and utterly suit.

The rest of their family was gathered around them. Hotch steadied Jack, who was standing on a chair so he could see. JJ and Will stood there holding a squirming Henry between them. Grandpa Dave had just passed a handkerchief to Thelma, who finally had the grandchild she always wanted. Ashley Seaver wasn't paying attention to the proceedings as much as she was watching Rev. Pat assist. Garcia and Kevin were manning a video feed back to Bennington, where Diana was watching with her friends and her doctor, just in case. Further out were Bobby and Sharon, Danny and Sam, Nanny and Rabbi Shulman and his wife; and behind and around them the rest of the parish and half the Bureau, or so it seemed. He thought he'd even seen John slip in the back. The small church was full to bursting. With friends and yes, family

And over there, by the side door, a smaller, dark man leaned up against the wall. Spencer spotted him there and was utterly shocked for a moment. Well, he thought, maybe he never really left after all. Maybe he has been there, would have been if I had truly needed him. So he just smiled and nodded a hello.

Jason Gideon smiled and nodded back.

A small noise from the front of the church pulled their attention. Sophia was fussing in protest as Emily and Morgan carefully held her over the baptismal font and Harry carefully dripped the water over her head. "Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces that rebel against God?" Harry had asked them earlier as part of the rite, "Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?" I do, Spencer thought as he watched his family bond together. I will spend the rest of my life fighting evil in this world in order to make it safe for my family, to pass a better world on to Sophie. This is why they tried to stop me, to stop me from having this family, from knowing this love. I'm not alone and afraid anymore, my family has made me strong. And so do I promise to spend my life fighting the monsters? I do, I do, I do.


Note: While I'm sure Spencer and Elizabeth will have many more adventures and tales to tell, this part of their story has come to a close. Thank you all for reading along with me.

Much thanks to my Beta Reader REIDFANATIC for joining me on what became a marathon. I could not have come so far without her.

Now I will finish at least one of my other stories, and another is already in the works. Stay tuned.