Disclaimer: Not mine
Author's note: Again... another long gap in my posts - so very sorry. I hope you haven't given up on me yet and hope you enjoy this one. :) Comments will make my day.
Thank you: Ex, thanks for betaing this even thought your o-chem exam was crazy and those physics lab homework drown you.
Dedication: For my dearest D, and Ex. :D
“Obsession does not necessarily mean sexual obsession, not even obsession for this or for that in particular; to be obsess means to find oneself caught in a mechanism, in a trap increasingly demanding and endless.”
Location: Lucille John’s cabin, Prince William Forest Park
Time: 11: 10 pm
The cabin was pitch-dark when the team – minus Rossi and Morgan – got there. Hotch divided the back-up agents into several teams, making sure JJ was with him. He had asked the woman to wait in the car but she wouldn’t listen to him. She needed it. She hadn’t said it out loud, but Hotch knew what she was trying to say. She needed to be there for Emily and she needed Emily to know that she was there for her. Even though it was against his better judgement, Hotch finally let JJ come along.
JJ was nervous. This was the worst raid she had ever been part of and she was afraid that the outcome may not be as good as she expected. She pushed the thought away and forced herself to focus. I’m here, Emily. I’m taking you home, she whispered.
Hotch didn’t wait long. He signalled every team and they forced their ways inside. The first thing that hit them was a putrid smell – it was so bad that JJ heard some agents gag. The blonde stopped breathing through her nose and kept on walking behind Hotch, gun drawn.
“Sara Mendell?!” Hotch shouted, trying to keep his voice level. “Sara Mendell, this is the FBI!”
Emily heard noises somewhere, but she didn’t know if they were real or just her imagination. She didn’t even know whether she was awake or dreaming. The woman had been staring blankly at the darkness for the past hour – her eyes devoid of emotion. She was tired of waking up in different places every time she closed her eyes. It was like living in two different universes without knowing which was real. She was tired of not knowing whether the darkness she had been staring at was real. Emily had lost track of everything and she did not believe in her senses anymore.
The brunette didn’t flinch when hands closed around on her neck, suffocating her. She didn’t gasp for breath; she didn’t struggle – not that she had the strength for it. Emily let her breath be taken away from her, little by little.
“No one can have you if I can’t, Emily,” a whisper came as the hands tightened. “Not even your Jennifer. It will be a thrill to watch your Jennifer see you dead, won’t it?”
At the mention of her name, Emily blinked. Jennifer! She choked as she tried to move away, but the hands were far too strong and she was too weak. She started to lose consciousness when she heard the door was kicked open. Flashes of light blinding her were the last things she saw.
“Let her go, Sara!” Hotch’s voice was steady when he spoke, his gun pointed directly at the woman who was trying to strangle the figure on the bed. The unit chief tried not to look at Emily; he didn’t want to distract himself. That could create more trouble. He prayed that JJ would be too busy upstairs to hear him. He didn’t want the press liaison to see Emily like this. “Let her go. It’s over,” Hotch repeated, a threat in his voice.
Sara Mendell didn’t look at Hotch. She had her focus on Emily – who was now unconscious. She could see the woman in front of her clearly now – badly bruised and wounded, and a tear escaped from the corner of her eyes; she loosened her grip. “She’s meant for me,” she whispered. “I’m taking care of her. Lucy is, too.”
Hotch didn’t waver at the mention of the little girl’s name – even though he had caught a glimpse of a small figure chained to a wall in the shadows, when he had entered the horrible room. His focus was on Sara. “Sara, let her go,” he said more firmly now. “You’re hurting her, can’t you see? Let her go, Sara. I don’t want to shoot you.”
“Why not?” she asked. “I have nothing to live for anymore. They took my Lu and the baby away from me. Now you’re going to take Emily away, too,” she rambled.
“You have me, Mommy,” a small voice whispered from the corner of the room before Hotch could say anything.
Hotch felt a stab in his heart when he heard the voice. It was unexpected and sad at the same time. A tortured little girl, trying to offer comfort to her torturer. Hotch knew that Savannah – Lucy – might not remember who she was before the kidnapping, even though it had only been a couple of years. The girl could really believe that this woman was her real mother.
“You heard her, Sara. Do you want Lucy, your daughter, to see you get shot?” Hotch said, emphasizing the words ‘your daughter’.
The disturbed woman laughed bitterly as she released Emily’s neck from her grips. Her eyes never left Emily as she stepped backwards. Hotch moved swiftly to cuff the woman, who, to his surprise, didn’t try to struggle at all. The unit chief motioned to one of the agents who just appeared at the door to take her away and to help the girl. He bent over the bed and reached out to check Emily’s pulse, still trying to not look at her. He took off his FBI jacket and covered Emily’s naked body with it.
He still heard the girl calling for Sara when the woman was taken in custody, while he was trying to find a pulse. He was relieved when he felt a faint pulse. He motioned to someone to get the paramedics inside.
“Emily!” Hotch turned around and saw JJ at the door. Her eyes were widened when she saw the horrific scene before her. The blonde moved quickly to the bedside and knelt. She checked for her pulse but she couldn’t find it, her hands cold and trembling. She looked at Hotch helplessly. “Hotch, is she...” she couldn’t finish her sentence.
Hotch shook his head. “She’s alive, JJ. The paramedics are coming,” he replied firmly, hoping that his words would assure the young woman.
JJ sighed in relief. She nodded and turned to see Emily. JJ whispered words of encouragement in Emily’s ear. One of her hands stroked Emily’s hair, and the other hand found its way to hold Emily’s – their fingers entwined.
JJ still didn’t let go of Emily’s hand when the paramedics came and put the unconscious woman on a stretcher. She didn’t see Hotch when the man walked past her, holding the little girl in his arms. She didn’t see the look on Reid’s face when he came down to the torture room. She didn’t see Morgan and Rossi get out of the car; she didn’t hear Morgan calling her. She saw no one else but Emily.
Location: Potomac Hospital, VA
JJ couldn’t stop looking at her watch while she was sitting on a hospital-issue chair in the waiting room. She was alone. The guys were still working on the case and Hotch had told her they would be in right after they finished what they had to do. The unit chief had even tried to make sure that JJ understood that all he and everyone wanted was to be with her and Emily, but they had responsibilities – processing Sara Mendell, informing the Taylors, informing the Ambassador, among other things. Emily was still in an emergency room and she was worried sick. She had seen her injuries when the paramedics had tried to treat her in the ambulance and she was horrified by the extent of them. Emily’s body was bruised badly and there were a lot of small cuts on her skin – not deep enough to leave a scar, but deep enough to make her bleed. And there were the puncture wounds. JJ shivered involuntarily remembering the injuries.
Emily had only been gone for less than 36 hours and already she was in bad shape. JJ closed her eyes and silently prayed for her friend to be okay.
Garcia arrived at the hospital a couple of minutes later to find her friend sitting alone on the waiting room with her eyes closed and head hung low. Garcia sighed. It was hard for all of them, but Garcia knew that JJ was the one who had felt the hardest blow. The woman sat quietly beside her friend and pulled the smaller woman into a hug.
“She will be okay, Jayj. Emily is strong,” Garcia comforted. “You have to believe in her.”
JJ shook her head defeated. “You didn’t see her there, Garcia. Emily was...” JJ couldn’t find the right word to finish what she wanted to say. She didn’t have the time, either, as a doctor came out of the emergency room, calling her name.
JJ jumped from her seat. “Is she okay?” she asked the doctor. “Can I see her?”
“She is still unconscious, but I can assure you she’s out of danger. She has multiple wounds and bruises and she was injected with drugs – we’re lucky she didn’t overdose. We are letting the drug run its course out of her system, she may be still disoriented when she wakes up. She has two cracked ribs but they will heal nicely,” the doctor explained. “We still have to monitor her for at least 24 hours to see if there are complications. You can see her, but please no more than one visitor at a time.”
Garcia smiled when she heard the news, but JJ still looked worried. The young press liaison looked uncomfortable as she began to ask the doctor another question. “Um, Doc, I... um... was she... err... I mean, the kidnapper was a woman but I...” JJ looked flustered.
The doctor nodded understandingly. He smiled at the two women encouragingly. “There was no sign of sexual assault, agents. Don’t worry. Now please follow me if you wish to see her,” he said.
JJ sighed. She was relieved to hear that Emily hadn’t been raped – one way or another. She still considered every touch on Emily a violation and she hated it. She looked at Garcia, asking her friend’s permission to see Emily first. When the other woman nodded, JJ smiled and hugged her before following the doctor.
Emily looked so different in a hospital gown, JJ thought. The brunette was pale and her face was bruised. JJ moved closer and reached out to touch Emily’s hand. She held it loosely for fear of hurting her friend. Her other hand moved to stroke Emily’s hair, her eyes fixed on the sleeping figure in front of her.
“I’m so sorry, Emily,” JJ whispered close to Emily’s ear. “I’m so sorry.”
JJ was startled when a whisper came out of the unconscious woman, “My... Jennifer.”
It was as if something broke inside JJ when she heard those two words. The blonde could no longer hold the tears she had been pushing back since they found Emily. She broke down and sobbed, holding Emily’s hand.
“There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.”
a/n: What do you think?