So, here's the promised sequel. This story is set a couple of months later, I think, I haven't really thought about that... It's pretty short because I felt it was a good time to stop...
For those who don't know: this story is the sequel to 'Touch'. 'Touch' is a crossover between Higher Ground and Criminal Minds. Now, not everyone knows either of those so I'll say that I made JJ, who's a character of CM, have the past of Shelby, who's a character from HG. Shelby was abused by her stepfather and eventually ran away, only to end up as a prostitute on the streets. She ended up at Horizon, a school for troubled teens and basically what Higher Ground was about. That's pretty crucial to understanding this story, so I suggest you either read 'Touch' first or read about Higher Ground, though I suggest the first (and not just because I want reviews! Lol). In 'Touch', eventually the entire team knows bits and parts of JJ's past, some more than others.
Enjoy! And review, please :)
This story is set a couple of months later, I think, I haven't really thought about that... It's pretty short because I felt it was a good time to stop...
Jennifer Jareau wasn't a woman who was easily sickened. Indeed, in her job it came quite in handy not to be squeamish when it came to cruel sights. But the scene in front of her was enough to make her stomach turn.
Seven bodies were piled up on each other, almost meticulously, as if it were some work of art. The smell was horrible. That depressing smell of death, of decomposing bodies, a smell she'd hoped to only encounter once or twice in her career, that she knew would follow her around for a long time to come.
It wasn't hard to see the state the bodies were in, either, despite the decomposition. She could clearly see the cuts in the rotting flesh. Not being able to tear her eyes away from the view, she stumbled backwards, up the stairs, until she turned at the door and went out of that horrible basement.
A police officer looked at her, surprised to see the usually cool media liaison so unstable now.
"They're in there," she managed to say before she stumbled outside. She needed fresh air.
Once she was outside, she took deep breaths of cool air to steady her stomach.
She was used to gruesome sights: she encountered them many times. But that was usually on photos. JJ hadn't gone out into the field very often: it was only that the New Orleans Police Department lacked officers that she'd been sent into the field too.
And why New Orleans? A city struck with grief after the storm; why would anyone choose to cause even more pain? Hadn't the people had enough to deal with already?
JJ had been in the city for a couple of days already. She had seen the devastation caused by Katrina, seen the help from the government the city lacked. Seen the way the city had to depend on civilians, people like themselves, to build up their lives again.
At least she could give some of the families some consolation now. Or whatever you'd call consolation… Several people were still missing, and nobody was sure whether it was from the storm or the work of the unsub. Now at least they knew who was dead, if they managed to get identification from the bodies, that was.
Sighing, taking one last deep breath, she turned to get back inside the house. She needed to collect herself to be able to give a good press conference when their work was done. They hadn't caught the bastard yet, but knowing where the bodies were certainly made it easier.
It had been a small operation, only Morgan, JJ and a New Orleanean police offer had checked out this house: as one of the many possible storage places, the team had split up.
JJ instinctively knew it wouldn't be smart to broadcast this particular find. Not only would it stir up the people, possibly causing mass hysterics, but they might still be able to use this place to catch the unsub.
Morgan was rushing out and, looking back into the basement, JJ decided to follow him instead of going back to that place. She turned around again and moved till she stood next to Morgan, overlooking the street.
"I called the others," Morgan let her know, his voice wavering only a little bit. JJ simple nodded, grateful for that piece of work he took from her.
"It's… damn!" Morgan yelled, his frustrations coming out. "That bastard… and here of all places…"
JJ knew what he meant. They were in the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the poorest places of town, the neighbourhood affected worst by the flood. A good place to hide bodies, since many families had not moved back and were probably never going to.
Across the street, she could see a small boy playing with a ball. He saw them and looked up at them, smiling. It amazed her to see how happy these people could still be.
"Hotch said we can go back to the hotel," Morgan interrupted her thoughts. "He'll set up a group to watch here in case the unsub comes back."
JJ nodded again gratefully. Though their hotel wasn't great, with crotchety beds and showers that went cold if you were the unfortunate one to be last. Still, it was okay to some of the other places they'd visited. And it was in the centre, which she greatly enjoyed, since there was such a great atmosphere. It was laced with sadness and loss, but it was as if the New Orleaneans were determined to enjoy themselves.
All in all, she really liked this city, though the reason why she was here sucked. But she definitely planned on going back someday, to help and to enjoy the general feeling of together-ness.
Blinking, surprised by the direction her thoughts had gone to, she sat down in the passenger's seat of the black SUV and they drove back to North Rampart Street, where their hotel was.
There wasn't too much to do, but JJ was quite intent on just sleeping for a while. She was tired from all the thoughts that had been going through her mind, and sleeping would definitely be a good remedy to get those images out of her head. Though they would probably provide her with nightmares, at least she'd get some sleep.
While waiting in front of a traffic light, Morgan turned his head to her and looked at her, taking in her face to determine her mental state. The crime scene they'd just seen was more gruesome than usual and he wanted to make sure she'd be alright. He knew she would be – he knew exactly what it was like to have the pictures stuck in your mind. He just wanted her to know that.
"Stop staring at me," she suddenly snapped, and he blinked surprised, but continued staring.
He saw a small smile appear on her face, telling him she wasn't that annoyed.
"Whatever the lady wants," he said graciously, determined to make her mood lift, if even a bit.
"That's right," JJ continued, grinning. "Finally, a man who's chauvinistic enough to admit it!"
It was nonsense, this conversation, but at the moment it was just what they needed. The levity might just be the thing to ensure a good night's sleep, not interrupted by nightmares.
The traffic lights turned green again and Morgan sped. They drove in silence until they arrived at the hotel. He parked the car and, getting out, noticed that JJ was staring at a man who was collecting the garbage.
"He your type?" he asked her jokingly. The man was at least fifty, with a pale complex. To Morgan, he somewhat resembled a rat.
JJ simply shook her head and turned around to Morgan. "Let's go," she muttered.
He nodded and followed her, eyeing the man suspiciously as he did so.
"I'm just gonna go try get some sleep," JJ said to him as soon as they reached their rooms.
Morgan nodded again. "Sleep well," he told her, and he watched her as she closed the door behind her.
This was what she did, he knew that. JJ shielded herself against such things, she didn't talk about it, tried not to show any discomfort over it. Yet, lately, with everything they'd found out about her, he found himself worrying about her more and more. She was vulnerable right now, she needed someone to hold onto and as far as he knew, she didn't really have that person. Everyone in the team supported her, and they'd always be there for her, but she didn't have that one special person in her life. Not yet, anyway.
Not that it was him. He'd had his eyes set on someone else and that wasn't going to change anytime soon. So until JJ had that special one, he was going to look after her, keep an eye on her just to make sure she was alright, just to make sure she knew that people cared for her.
Yeah, how could I visit New Orleans and not write about it?
I agree with everything I've said about NO in this chapter. I LOVE that city. Don't take that the wrong way because of Katrina, but the spirit and overall feeling there is just great. I've hardly ever experienced it before.
And another thing: Talk about coincidence! So, one afternoon I was writing on this story, in particular the part where JJ and Morgan are heading to the hotel. In the evening, I watch Bones (which is one of my new fave shows), and guess where one of the episodes takes place? Yup, you guessed it! And guess what else? This one might be a bit harder, but the hotel room Bones (=main person) stayed in looked suspiciously much like the one I'd stayed in! It wasn't the one, of course (though in this story I did use that hotel - on N Rampart Street).But how cool is that! I mean, I've never had that before. Sometimes something I recognized was on the news (Dutch news then), but that was just local. This is AMERICA we're talking about. Like halfway across the world. And I recognized places. I was so excited after that...!
I'm sure I've forgotten some things, but this is getting ridiculously long, so I'll suffice with saying please review!