Morgan had never run so fast in his life.

He could feel the adrenaline, the heat, his heart pumping wildly as his legs began to move so fast he could barely feel them anymore…

There was another scream; he ran faster.

He was vaguely aware of Detective Walker falling behind him, but he wasn't going to wait for the older detective. He had to find Reid; he had to stop him.

There was a third scream; much longer and drawn out this time. It was louder, too; he was getting closer. Morgan turned a corner and ran down an alley.

Scream; Morgan followed it, gasping for air; he turned.

He saw them.

Morgan barely recognized Reid; he had blood-shaped handprints all over his face, and his matted hair hung down into his eyes. His clothes were torn and disheveled; his eyes were huge, wild, terrified; like those of a caged animal. He was clutching a sixteen or seventeen year old girl, holding a knife to her throat; she had her eyes closed and continued screaming. Reid gripped her tightly, but Morgan could see his hand was shaking.

Morgan stopped running; he advanced slowly, his hands up, never drawing his gun.

"Reid," Morgan called softly, hoping that the boy would recognize his voice.

Reid's eyes darted all around, before finally resting on him. "Are they coming?" he demanded.

Morgan swallowed. "I'm here," he said. "Nobody needs to get hurt."

"You aren't!" he exclaimed, his voice quavering, "Stop lying!"

"Nobody's lying to you, Reid," Morgan said, trying to keep his voice calm. He could hear Walker finally catching up to him, and motioned for him to stay back.

"Tell them that it isn't funny," Reid growled, his grip on the knife tightening. The girl let out a terrified sob.

"Reid, it's Morgan, I'm here," he said, slowly inching closer to the pair of them. "Whatever this is, we can work it out. But first, you have to let the girl go."

"They need to be punished," he choked. "They have to see that it isn't funny."

Morgan was standing right in front of them now. "I know," he said, "You're right. It isn't funny."

"I need to talk to them," Reid asserted. "If I can't talk to them, I'll kill it." He paused, then smiled. "I know they don't like that. It's not how I'm supposed to behave."

The girl sobbed again, looking up at Morgan with wide, desperate eyes.

"Let her go, Reid," Morgan said quietly.

"I NEED TO TALK TO THEM!" Reid shrieked, his voice so distorted by fury that it was almost inhuman.

Morgan swallowed. "Who are 'they?'" he asked patronizingly.

This seemed to make Reid even angrier. "You know who they are!" He hissed, each word twisted with hate and desperation. His eyes flickered around madly. "Show yourselves, you cowards, you…" his voice constricted and broke off.

"You…you're right, Reid," Morgan began, trying desperately to end this peacefully. "I do know who they are. But that girl doesn't. If you come with me, I can show them to you."

Reid eyed him suspiciously. Then he laughed; it was a cold, humorless laugh that Morgan had never heard from him in his life. "You're just an illusion," he spat. "You're not them. You're an it. Tell them I won't talk to an it."

Morgan was so confused.

"I'll kill it," Reid hissed, "I'll kill it, I will, unless they talk to me. They have to…make it go away." He whispered the last part, and his eyes fell to the ground. They stood in silence for a moment; the only sound was the girl's choked sobbing.

Morgan's microphone crackled to life; he heard Walker's voice in his ear. "I have a shot, Agent Morgan."

"Don't take it," Morgan hissed back. He didn't care if he was being unprofessional; he knew he could talk Reid out of this. The kid just needed to listen.

"It's not her that's been lying to you," Morgan began suddenly. "Killing her won't stop them."

Reid shook his head desperately. "It's the only way," he said. "They don't like it when I kill the distractions."

"That's right," Morgan said quickly, "They don't like it. And they'll be much less likely to talk to you if you make them angry."

Reid bit his lip; for the first time, it seemed like he was thinking about what Morgan was saying. "It'll go on forever," he murmured.

"That's right," Morgan said.

"I just want them to stop it," Reid whispered, "I just…I just want them to see that it isn't funny, and I want them to stop it."

"Of course you do," Morgan said soothingly.

Reid hesitated; Morgan held his breath for a moment that seemed like forever.

Slowly, ever so slowly, Reid lowered the knife. "I won't kill it," he whispered.

Morgan let out a long sigh of relief. "Put the knife on the ground, Reid," he instructed.

But Reid didn't seem to be listening to him. He was looking around. "Where are they?" he asked. "It's still here."

"Put the knife down, Reid."

He raised his voice. "It's still here!"

"Reid, put the knife down."

"It's still here! You're lying! It's still here!" He dropped his hands to his sides, his face contorting with rage. Morgan dove forward, pulling the girl away from Reid and practically flinging her into the wall.

Reid froze for a fraction of a second, the knife dangling from his hand. He turned his gaze at Morgan.

Then he lunged.

Morgan put his hands out, trying to wrestle the knife from Reid; but terror made the boy stronger, and Morgan felt the knife barely graze his shoulder; Morgan struggled back; Reid was strong, but Morgan was stronger; he could restrain him, he could handle him, everything was going to be alright…

That was when he heard a shot.

Morgan froze in shock as the young man stopped fighting and fell into his arms, limp. Morgan collapsed to the ground, desperately trying to hold his friend's head up.

Blood was running from Reid's mouth; his eyes were dazed, but focused slightly on Morgan's face.

"I'm here, Reid," Morgan gasped, "I'm here, and you're fine, you're going to be fine."

"You're here?" Reid whispered. It sounded like a question.

"I'm here," Morgan repeated, "I'm here, and you're here, too, and we're going to go to the hospital, and you're going to be-"

"Shh," Reid interrupted, his voice barely audible. His lips moved for several moments before he could finally form words. "They're coming," he choked.

His eyes closed. His head fell back.

"Reid?" Morgan whispered. There was no response. He could hear ambulances in the distance; or was it police sirens? Did it make a difference?

He sat there for what seemed like an eternity, calling his friend's name. He could feel a pair of arms trying to lift him away from Reid; he struggled, refusing to let go.

Walker's voice sounded like it was coming from the end of a long tunnel. "I had to do it, Agent Morgan."

Morgan shook his head, still not relinquishing his grip on his friend.

"I'm sorry, Agent Morgan, he could have killed you." He tuned out Walker's voice, closing his eyes, clutching the frail body to his chest. He had let Reid down. He could feel bitter, angry tears running down his face against his will.

"Morgan." This was a different voice now; a familiar one. "Morgan, you have to let go of him."


"He just wanted it to go away," Morgan mumbled.

"I know," Hotch said solemnly. There was a pause; Morgan could feel the presence of others, now. They were watching him.

"Morgan," Hotch said, "You have to let him go." There was another pause. "Nothing can hurt him anymore," Hotch said. His voice was softer, but still firm.

Morgan forced his arms to release their hold; he could hear people murmuring around him, but it was all strange and disconnected. He stumbled backwards, and he could feel his boss supporting him.

"He needs an ambulance," Morgan muttered, "I should go with him."

Hotch was silent; he forced Morgan to turn away. "No," Hotch whispered. "We're going to take a walk. Alright?"

They walked for some time. There was silence; the silence was deafening, because each stroke of silence was a reminder of its cause.

"I have to go," Morgan said, "I just…"

"Morgan?" Hotch inquired, frowning. "It's alright."

Morgan shook his head. "No," he said firmly. "It isn't. I need to…be alone."

Hotch stopped walking, understanding. Morgan continued. He wasn't even sure where he was going until he arrived.

Reid's apartment.

He pushed the door open; someone had left it unlocked.

Probably Hotch.

It was empty. Nobody was concerned with Reid, anymore.

He walked into the living room, glancing at the books lying in piles on the floor. He wondered what would happen to them.

Suddenly, Morgan was overwhelmed by a feeling of nausea; he ran into the bathroom and keeled over the Reid's sink, taking deep, calming breaths. He felt panic trapped deep inside him, threatening to escape; but the most frightening feeling of all was the shock; the disbelief; the numbness.

He looked up at the mirror; he needed to see himself, as if somehow the expression of pain on his face would make the numbness go away. But he couldn't see his reflection; it was obscured by the words that had been etched into the mirror's surface.

Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.

Jean Paul Sartre

*The end! I hope you liked it. Or if you were extremely disturbed by it, I hope you found it interesting. Anyways, review please! As always, positive and negative reviews are both very much appreciated.*