|The Girl Who Lived
Author: ilovetvalot PM
A violent nightmare from JJ's past has serious implications on the team. JJ/Rossi, Morgan/Garcia, Hotch/Emily. And the reemergence of Jason Gideon! Welcome to our next epic! Co-written with Tonnie. THE GRAND FINALE is UP!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - D. Rossi & Jennifer J./JJ - Chapters: 179 - Words: 259,414 - Reviews: 2,038 - Favs: 212 - Follows: 225 - Updated: 05-09-12 - Published: 12-30-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5623350
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Let me preface this by saying that events surrounding this story are Alternate Universe. For my storyline purposes, Will and Henry never existed on the show. I feel fairly certain that this will end up being another epic, so I hope ya'll enjoy it. Drop a line and let Tonnie and myself know what you think. As ever, we own nothing.
The Girl Who Lived
She'd thought it was going to be just another normal day at the office. It was their intrepid team's stand-down month. Mountains of paperwork to complete and endless boxes of case files to sort through were supposed to be her primary concerns for now. It was supposed to be simple, easy, rote. Definitely not this.
This was supposed to be over. A vague nightmare from a distant past she did not, could not remember clearly. Whether the memories were dulled by time or the drugs he'd injected into her, she didn't know. Didn't care, really. But that one image that had glared at her from the seemingly innocent white screen had been enough to bring the nightmare that hadn't plagued her in over ten years rushing back.
Kneeling on the cold linoleum in front of the toilet in the ladies' room, JJ pulled in a deep breath, sternly willing her stomach to stop its roiling. It was a useless effort. Feeling that breath catch in her throat, she weakly shook her head, her blonde hair swaying loosely against her skin. Avoidance, as determined as she might be, was useless. Raising a hand to unconsciously touch the brand burned into her back, the raised skin still evident to her touch, she suddenly realized that soon, everyone would know. Even if they didn't already, she'd have to tell them. A part of her, the part that was patiently reasoning with the screaming voice in her head, knew that she had no choice. Somewhere, buried in her subconscious, she might have information that could help them.
For she, and she alone, had been his only survivor to date.
For years, she'd spent valuable time wondering why. Why her? What had been so special about her that allowed her to survive the unspeakable horrors when others didn't? How had she managed to survive those two weeks when so many before her had not? She couldn't imagine that she was any more determined than any of his other victims. They'd been children, for God's sake!
And how was it even possible that this was happening again? Her unsub was dead! She'd watched him die, hadn't she? Hadn't she?
Roughly wiping her cheeks, her fingers swiping the tear that she hadn't even realized she was shedding, she bit her lip, worrying the delicate skin. Pull it together, she ordered herself sharply, biting a smidge harder to draw her attention back to the present. Hearing her father's soft steady voice in her mind's ears, she smiled faintly as she heard him demand tenderly, "Shoulder to the wall, girl! You survived. The others didn't. Don't taint their memory and sacrifice by falling apart now."
Closing her eyes as she leaned heavier against the cold, sterile tile, she wondered if her father had handled this any better than she had when he'd been told. Knowing him, she couldn't imagine he would have. This monster had kidnapped both his children, and, in the end, only one had been returned to him. Lacy had died the day before they'd been found. She didn't remember it, however. Her mother had told her later in the hospital, the moment a strange, hazy recollection playing on the corners of her mind.
Mama…oh, Mama. For once, Jennifer was glad her mother had already passed on. She and Lacy were together again, somewhere where neither one of them could ever be hurt again. Only she and her father remained of their small family. Nodding at that thought, she reminded herself that she was still living. She was still a part of a family. She was alive.
Forcing herself out of the floor, muscles complaining harshly, she walked slowly out of the small bathroom stall and headed toward the sink. Twisting the water on, she cupped her trembling hands under the flow and splashed her face, drawing her eyes up to the mirror. Staring at her pale complexion, she winced, casting her eyes back down quickly. If she had looked this rough earlier, then, God, she could only imagine what her colleagues were saying about her inside the war room right now.
When she'd turned to blindly run from the room, unable to she'd caught a brief look at Hotch's stricken face, his normally stoic expression gone. Rossi had looked on the verge of implosion, his coloring rising as quickly as his temper. And Jason Gideon's dark eyes had pitied her, his gaze a mixture of sympathy and quiet knowing.
God, how bad was it if Erin Strauss had recalled Jason Gideon back to the Bureau? More importantly, how bad a sign was it that he'd agreed to return? She knew he'd worked the original case all those years ago. Not that she remembered him or any of the others that had repeatedly interviewed her, spoken to her family, searched for details that just couldn't be found. Truthfully, there wasn't much of anything about that time that she could see clearly. Those recollections were all shrouded in shadows, whispers on the edges of her consciousness, waning with time and circumstances. Her long ago therapist that her father had insisted she see had defined it as a self protective mechanism, her mind's ingrained ability designed to protect her body, her psyche .
Logically, she knew that made sense. The mind had a way of blocking out what the body couldn't handle, shouldn't handle. And up until this moment, she'd been grateful for that small mercy. Unfortunately, now, though, she needed those memories.
She needed them because Jennifer Jareau was the girl who lived.