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All Is Lost

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Emily was in Paris, and she was completely alone. She didn't let herself cry until she got to her new apartment. It looked nothing like her home back in D.C. She missed Sergio, her cat, and briefly wondered who would take care of him. She cut her hair again, and dyed it a lighter brown. She noticed it was almost the same color as it had been when she was Lauren Reynolds, and laughed drying before crying again.

Most of her friends, her family, thought she was dead. She would never see any of them again. Yes, she was alive, but it wasn't much of a life yet. When JJ gave her the IDs and passports, she couldn't even speak with her about anything. She had to take the documents and go, in case someone hostile was watching JJ. 

She wore shirts with high necklines and couldn't look at herself without a shirt, because of the clover Ian Doyle had branded her with. She had nightmares, dreaming about everything bad that had ever happened to her, but mostly Ian Doyle. She relished the nights where she fell into a black, dreamless slumber.  

At the two month mark, when she was still not quite settling into her new life, she made herself a promise: somehow, someday, she would make it back to D.C. She would make it back to the BAU, her friends, her family.


 

Aaron knew he couldn't tell anyone, couldn't talk to anyone, couldn't do anything to help ease his team's pain, but that didn't make it any easier for him. He sat by Emily's fake grave for hours, blaming himself for what had happened. He didn't talk to JJ, even though she too shared his burden, because he was the leader and needed to lead, and couldn't show weakness even if he felt so numb.

He put on a mask, a brave, stony face around everyone. He spent more time than usual with Jack, which made him feel better because Jack was so innocent but it made him feel worse at the same time because the world takes innocent people and tears them up until there's nothing left. He did his best not to snap at Erin Strauss when she came to demand to know what the hell happened, but let Dave take over the explanation and reports. 

He tried not to dwell on the fact most of the people he cared about tended to end up dead or lost to him. 

Emily wasn't dead, but it was the same as if she was, because nobody on their team would ever see her again. 


 

Spencer felt like he was drowning. He stopped reading for a few weeks, and took to turning on the television and just staring at whatever was one for a few hours. He blamed himself for what happened, because he was a genius he should have figured it out sooner.

Lauren Reynolds is dead. Now she really was dead, and he and the rest of the team were too late. 

He went to JJ's house multiple times a week, and cried into her shoulder as she hugged him. He played with Henry, which just made him think what if somebody else dies, what if it's JJ or Will or Hotch, what'll happen to Henry or Jack? He knew all too well what it was like when one of your parents suddenly wasn't there anymore. 

He visited his mother, and told her everything that had happened. He was pretty sure she didn't really understand it, though. 

He tried to ignore the headaches that grew more painful and intense each day.


 

Derek ran. He ran miles at a time, pushing himself as his lungs burned and his legs ached. He ran from the suffering, and pushed down his grief. He blamed himself, because Emily was still alive when he got to her, there should have been something he could do to help her. 

He visited his family, and talked with them for hours on end, discussing routine things until he was ready to talk about Emily. 

He went to church, and listened to sermons about Heaven and the glorious life in the world to come, and hoped with all his heart that Emily was someplace happy. Someplace better than the tainted world she had left behind. 

He cursed the world for holding so much evil and so much pain. He had tried to spend his life fighting evil, and look where it had gotten him. 


 

JJ kept the secret she was entrusted with. She didn't tell anyone about Emily, or where she was. She didn't tell Will when he held her as she cried into his shoulder, because even though Emily wasn't dead she was still lost. She didn't tell Spencer when he came to her house and cried, even though it broke her heart. 

She watched Hotch at the funeral, as they carried an empty coffin. She didn't try to discuss it with him, the secret they both had to carry, because if she said it outloud then it would be harder to bury. 

She came back to the BAU because they were her second family, and she needed her family with her. She took profiling classes so she could do more to catch the evil that tore apart so many lives, including Emily's. 

She mourned her friend, and tried to push away the guilt she felt at keeping that horrible secret from everyone.


 

Penelope cried. She cried at the hospital, cried at the funeral, then layed on her bed and cried for hours. She didn't want to do anything, didn't want to see anybody. She had lost one of her best friends.

She felt the darkness pop her usually brightly lit bubble of hope, and wrap itself around her, suffocating her. 

Derek came to her apartment, and wrapped her in a hug as she cried. They watched the happiest, cheesiest movie he could find, and she laughed for the first time in days. But she still felt the darkness.

She blamed herself, a little bit. There should have been something she could have done, with her knowledge of technology and skills. She should have been able to locate Emily sooner, and if that had happened maybe she would still be alive. 

She visited Emily's grave, and sat on the ground and cried, willing Emily back to life, as if that was all it took. As if during a briefing at the BAU Emily would just walk in and take a seat, and fill the hole left by her death.  


 

Dave had lost people before, to death and to other things. But it never got any easier, every time someone simply vanished from the world. 

He was Catholic, so he believed in the afterlife, and Heaven. Emily was in a better place, somewhere where she would no longer suffer. That didn't make it any easier to cope with for those left behind, though. 

He devoted more time to work, logging almost as many hours as Hotch. JJ and Hotch seemed a little bit off, they were both more withdrawn, but Dave chalked it up to grief. It was never easy to lose a friend. 

The evil in the world reached up through murky water, grabbing at people and trying to pull them down to die. Dave devoted himself to pulling people back up, away from that evil.


 

Ashley was the newest member of the team, and hadn't known Emily, or any of the others, for very long. Still, she mourned. Emily was another life taken by evil, the same evil that drove her father to take twenty-five other lives. 

She didn't leave the team, instead stayed and tried to help them as much as she could. She missed Emily as a mentor and as a friend, and tried to think of what Emily would say when Ashley needed help. 


 

Everyone felt Emily's absence keenly, and saw her in empty places. They saw her in the empty chair in the briefing room, eyes scanning a file. They saw her laughing at her desk, and reading on the jet. 

They saw her everywhere, and then gradually in fewer and fewer places. Then, they hardly saw her at all, until they saw her walk into the briefing room one morning.