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14 September 2014 @ 03:15 am
The Soul Taker  
Title: The Soul Taker
Author: Montiese
Category: Drama/Post-Episode
Characters: Erin Strauss, David Rossi, Carolyn Rossi
Rating: TEEN
Spoiler: From Childhood’s Hour
Summary: “One doesn’t decline to Death, Erin.”
Warning: A death takes place in this story as it does in the episode. There is also talk of suicide.
Author’s Note: I was minding my business, procrastinating finishing one fic by going on Tumblr when this OTP prompt came across my dash, Person A is the Reaper, living for centuries amongst humans. Person B meets him/her, likes them, starts a relationship, but person A can’t tell them who they are or what they do for a living. When one of person B’s closest friends has to die, person A feels the need to explain it to person B. The story develops from here. I almost instantly came up with this fic though my story is a bit different.

He cried as he lay her down on the hotel bed, trying but failing to get a hold of himself. He knew why she’d done it but that didn’t mean he was going to forgive her for it. She’d just dropped back into his life and now this. She asked him to help her, knowing that he wouldn’t do something like that. He spent a week on the road anticipating seeing her again.

He had just a few days to over think her request and now this. He didn’t care if he was being a selfish bastard by thinking how she could do this to him. Surely it wouldn’t always be the first thing he thought of when memories of her emerged. Dave walked over to the nightstand and picked up the bottle of Valium. Had Carolyn really taken the whole bottle?

What was she thinking as she swallowed each pill one by one? He knew her well enough to know she would never do it by the handful. Did she think of their little boy and how every day since that day she had to be just a little stronger to wake up in the morning? Was she thinking of nothing she left behind on earth and only thinking of seeing him again in heaven?

But you couldn’t go to heaven if you committed suicide. There hadn’t even been a priest there to give her last rites and ask the lord to forgive her sins. Dave fell down on his knees by the bed. He clasped his hands in prayer, crying and silently begging God to take her.

Carolyn didn’t deserve purgatory. She made mistakes in life, everyone had, but the end shouldn’t be a reflection on all the other years. She was kind, loving, full of life and light…she had to go to heaven. She had to be with their baby and make up for the 20 plus years she had to be without him.

He was still on his knees when he heard a noise from the bathroom. Dave’s face was in his hands, he looked up and his mouth fell open in shock. His wife was walking out of the bathroom, except it wasn’t the one who was lying on the bed. It was his fourth wife, dressed in black slacks, blazer, and a red blouse with black leather boots, looking at him. She looked at Carolyn too, a solemn look on her face.

Neither one of them spoke; Dave was temporarily speechless. Erin looked as if she wanted to say a million but now wasn’t the time for any conversation. She’d never found a right time though she had tried for years and years. There were times when he had to go and times when she did. They didn’t question each other, it was all part of the job. Except that Erin Strauss wasn’t just Section Chief of the NCAVC…she was a whole lot more.

“I guess he got tired of you not working up the confidence to tell me. I mean I'm assuming it’s a he.” Dave wiped his face and stood up from the floor. He felt a bit lightheaded and slumped down into a chair.

“As soon as I figured out who this assignment was, I attempted to decline.”

“One doesn’t decline to Death, Erin.”

“I'm more aware of that than you could ever know. I am so sorry, David.”

“She didn’t deserve this.” He looked at Carolyn.

“She didn’t deserve to go out on her own terms?” Erin asked.

“She didn’t deserve to be diagnosed with ALS. She didn’t deserve to have to make the decision between life and death.”

“Death isn’t the opposite of life. So many people who barely lived will eventually die. It’s one of the few constants on this earth.”

“As are staying black and taxes, depending on who you ask.” Dave said. He stood up from the chair but struggled a bit with his footing. “Do you want a drink? I definitely want a drink.”

“I can't drink on the job.”

“You weren’t ever going to tell me, were you?”

She watched him as he grabbed a mini bottle of Jameson’s whiskey from the counter. He put a tumbler on top of the mini fridge, dropped a few cubes of ice in it, and poured. Erin had loved him for so long. She let herself go to him just once, in her youth, but it didn’t last for long. She had more things on her plate than just moving up the ladder in the FBI.

There were so few people on earth chosen to take souls; it was a privilege. Even fewer people were aware of those select few. Her mother knew; her mother knew everything. Kirk knew…he might even know more than her mother. The list ended there. Erin was suspicious that her youngest child knew but Ted hadn’t even hinted that he was aware of his mother’s gift.

She brought comfort to the dead, something most humans couldn’t believe they still needed. Just as birth could be traumatic for a human so too could death. It could be peaceful, it could be a battle, it could be sudden, or something that happened slowly over time. But every single soul she’d collected over the past 350 or so years needed some kind of pep talk to accept their fate. Carolyn Baker Rossi wasn’t going to be any different.

“I couldn’t keep it from you forever.” She replied. “I just needed to find the right time. How in the hell did you guess?”

“I'm a brilliant profiler who also happens to have a vivid imagination and a slight obsession with the mythology of death.”

“Did Kirk tell you? He has a serious soft spot for you and me…ships us like a soap opera super couple or something, and is rather shameless about doing so.”

“He hinted at something almost too strange to fathom a lot of years ago.” Dave nodded. “He pretended he didn’t and so did I.”

“Human eyes can't see me do my job, David.”

“What will happen if I refuse to leave?” Dave asked. He wasn’t going to make things difficult for her, he honestly just wanted to know.

“I’ll make you forget whatever you see. Don’t make me do that; it zaps too much of my strength. I promise it won't be pleasant for you either. Think Vulcan mind meld, it’s very similar.”

“Can you make me forget that she died in my arms?” he drank down half of the whiskey.

“I'm afraid not.” Erin shook her head. “I’ll let you finish your drink but then you have to go.”

“If you're not busy later on I think the two of us need to have a long conversation.”

“That’s probably the last thing you need to do tonight.”

“I won't let it go for too long. No more secrets, Erin. I have enough of those to last another lifetime.”

“Promise that it won't end up in one of your books?” she asked.

“The Adventures of Reaper Girl.” He managed a quarter of a smile. “I'm sensing a bestseller. Tell Death I’ll let him in on 15% of the bottom line if he doesn’t smite me.”

“Finish your drink, David.”

The veteran profiler nodded, doing what she said. He put the tumbler on the table and walked over to the bed. Bending down, he kissed Carolyn’s cheek. She was still warm. Dave stroked her skin and closed his eyes. This wasn’t the way he wanted to remember her. But he had to touch her once more. With so many memories, good and bad, he wanted to put what her skin felt like close to the front of the locked bins in his mind.

“Goodbye, Carolyn.” He whispered. “I hope you two are together; tell him Dad loves him.”

He took a ragged breath, turned and began to walk out of the room. Erin reached out her hand for him. Dave let their fingers touch but nothing more. He didn’t say a word as he got to the door, opened it, and walked away. Erin sat down on the edge of the bed.

She left Carolyn’s arms at her sides as if she was just sleeping. She slipped the empty Valium bottle inside her blazer pocket. Then she put her hand on Carolyn’s chest, below her breasts but above her navel. Erin felt the warmth there as her soul stirred. She wasn’t gone yet, at least not spiritually.

The body was still in use until a reaper came for the soul. There were all kinds of reapers, good and bad. No, the reapers weren’t good or bad, the souls they collected were. Life was much grayer than most humans wanted to think. Carolyn was going to a good place despite how she ended her life and Erin would make sure she got there.

The orb of light was about the size of a softball. Human souls averaged the same size though some shone brighter than others. Carolyn’s was warm; full of pain, peace, and many things in between. Erin put her other hand on top of the light, compressing it until it was no more than a twinkle. She took a leather satchel from her blazer and put the light inside. Rising from the bed, Erin walked back toward the bathroom and left the same way she came.

Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: accomplishedaccomplished
Background Noise: silence
glinda_w: Girls who wear glassesglinda_w on September 14th, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
oh yay! so good to see something from you again...
SSA McGeek: David Rossi....smirkaliciousmcgarrygirl78 on September 14th, 2014 11:07 pm (UTC)
I actually am writing on AO3 now, just posted this here cuz I am waiting to post fic #1200 there.
Blender Ovenarathesane on September 15th, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
I really like this, I love how they both are still so clearly themselves even in this type of setting.
SSA McGeek: Erin and Dave...say my namemcgarrygirl78 on September 15th, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
I think that's what I love the most about writing these two. No matter where I put them their core personalities are going to shine through. That's why they're such a wonderful ship to me...I dont have to make it up or force it, its already there.