The air and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Jason Gideon was no longer with the BAU or Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. It has been almost six years since his retirement. For the first two years all he did was wander around the states, stopping here and there to enjoy a singular aspect of our beautiful country. In Pennsylvania he stopped and talked to the Amish about God, quilting and their shared distrust of technology. In Kentucky he went to a small batch Whiskey distillery and talked for hours about the process and love of the golden nectar. In New Mexico he was invited to a Pow Wow and learned the rich history of the Iroquois. In California he went to the Arboretum in Los Angeles and took pictures of their famous Peacocks and sat for hours watching the males preen for their mates. When he finally stopped he ended up in a small seaside town in Washington State. He bought a small but comfortable cabin, sent for his things that were in storage and decided to finally settle down. He spent his weekend’s bird watching, or sitting on the docks watching the fishermen bring in their daily catches. Some days he bought fresh seafood from those fishermen and enjoyed a simple meal out on his patio. He spent weekdays voluntarily counseling victims of violent crimes and consulted with the local police from time to time. And in those two years of wandering, before settling down, Gideon, as his old FBI teammates called him, started to finally heal from the death of his friend and lover Sarah Jacobs.
It was on one of those peaceful weekend days that an unexpected visitor had arrived at his cabin. A young man that he once thought of as a protégé, someone he thought he would never see again.
“I thought I would never actually see you again Spencer”. Gideon said as he heard the footsteps approach.
“How’d you know it was me?” Reid asked.
“I just knew. How’d you find me?”
“How do you think?”
“Why’d you come here Spencer?” Gideon was a little sad. Seeing Spencer again brought back too many memories, too much ugliness that he had worked hard to forget.
“I know you explained everything in the letter you left me, but I never got to truly say goodbye”.
“So, you looked for me because I’m unfinished business?” Gideon asked cynically.
“No Jason, I looked for you because you would know, you would understand”.
“What am I supposed to help you understand, what more could I teach you Dr. Spencer Reid?”
“How do I get over losing the woman I loved, and how could you not even be there for Hotch when Haley died. You were one of his best friends and you weren’t there Jason”. Reid had almost never called Gideon by his first name.
Gideon finally looked up at Reid and saw deep sorrow in the younger mans eyes. “I called him Reid. When I found out about Foyet and how our profile missed him, I called him. And, Spencer, you didn’t need me, you had the team”.
“Gideon, you were always the one that understood me. Yes, everyone likes me and cares about me but they don’t always understand me and its…” Reid didn’t know how to continue. He sat down across from his former mentor and bowed his head. The pain he still felt from losing Maeve was always there, like a hole that could never be filled.
“Spencer, you are much stronger than you’ve given yourself credit for. You don’t need me. You have the ability to stand on your own. You just doubt yourself too much”.
“I still struggle with it Gideon. Henkle took something from me and I’ve struggled to get it back. Then I found Maeve and with her I felt, finally for the first time since you left that someone else understood me and listened to me. Now she’s gone and I’m having doubts. If I couldn’t save her, how can I save anyone?”
Gideon looked at Spencer and weighed his words before he spoke. “I thought after losing Sarah that all there was in this world was the evil that men do to each other. I spent two years looking for the answer, but you know what the real answer is Spence?”
“Life. Not the job, not the chase, not even saving the victim. It’s living. I live now for Sarah. I tried to take the time to enjoy the things around me but everything was tainted with what we saw. I didn’t step back, I let too much of it in and blamed myself for every person I couldn’t save. It was killing me slowly and after Frank took my Sarah away, it tainted everything good I had left. That’s why I really left Spence, why I had to leave, so that I could find beauty and goodness again”.
Spencer just looked at his friend and tried to understand the words and the feelings Gideon was trying to convey, but the sorrow in his heart was still too heavy.
Gideon thought for a moment, trying to figure out the best way he could help his friend and it dawned on him. The Symphony and the special guest they had planned for the evening. Gideon had an extra ticket, a new found friend couldn’t make it after all and he was left to go alone. “Can you stay the evening Spencer? I have an extra ticket and The Washington Symphony Orchestra has a special guest, I think you should come”.
Spencer had a confused look on his face. He enjoyed classical music very much, but the way Gideon had said he should come implied that there was something he should know about the special guest, he just wasn’t sure what.
“Um, yeah, I would love to. Should I meet you there?”
“7:00, meet me in the bar”.
Spencer got up to leave without a word. He went back to the hotel to think over the conversation and to get ready for the evening.
The two friends met in the bar and talked about the mundane everyday things that they’ve missed out on in each other’s lives. Spencer talked about reconnecting with his Mother and finding his Dad after so many years. He told Gideon about Riley Jenkins and how it haunted him for much of his life and how finding the truth made him understand his parent’s choices even more.
Gideon talked about his work with the victims and the advocacy group he helped to sponsor. He told Spencer how he and his son have a better relationship than ever before. He talked about his travels and how he found his smile again after so long. So when the bell finally sounded for them to take their seats both men realized how much they had missed each other.
Spencer sat next to Gideon with a little bit of a lighter heart. He looked at his program to find out what was so special about this particular concert that Gideon wanted him to see.
“Spencer, have you not figured it out yet?” Gideon asked with a bit of a twinkle in his eye
Gideon just smiled and didn’t say anything else. The house lights came down and the curtain parted to reveal a young man in his mid twenties with a cello. The featured music was Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2. Spencer let himself be carried away by the rise and fall of the dramatic, yet melancholy music. He was fully immersed in the feelings that this suite always conveyed in him and for the first time in months he thought about how much Maeve would have loved this. But instead of sorrow, he felt joy and peace. Spencer let the music fill him up, let it into his heart, his mind and his soul. He let himself go and finally understood what Gideon told him about living.
When it was over, he looked at Gideon with renewed hope in his eyes.
“Did you not recognize him Spencer?”
“The Cello player. That was Byron Sheffield, but his real name was Riley Dawes”.
Spencer took a moment to let this news sink in. This soul searing beautiful music he just experienced came from the son of one of the worst husband and wife serial killers of all time. Spencer knew, however that the wife hadn’t actually killed anyone. She died in the electric chair protecting the one good thing in her life, her son.
“Thank you Gideon”. Spencer was awed that such beauty came from such evil. He decided on that day that he would live. He would live for Maeve.
Spencer left the next day and Gideon again sat on his patio, drinking some of that whiskey that came from that small batch distillery he visited years ago, picked up the phone and decided to call another old friend he had tried to leave behind.
“Hotchner”. The man on the other end of the line said.
“Hello Hotch. It’s been too long.”
I thank my God for graciously granting me the opportunity of learning that death is the key which unlocks the door to true happiness.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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