This short piece came to me upon thinking about last night's episode. Hope you enjoy. Note: Spoilers for "Confused."


Why do you come?

It's a simple enough question. Really, there's no reason why I should. Every time I go, 'she's' still there. 'Amanda's' in control. And judging from her parting response this time, she may well outlive me.

She's not the only one who questions my coming, either. I know Hotch has given me a few looks when I put in for the trip every two months. Morgan just shakes his head as he watches me pack my bag with the case files. I don't begrudge them. They know why I do it, but only a part of it. They didn't see the browbeaten, terrified man I saw in that horrible place so long ago—a gentle, broken man who for all his faults truly only wanted to live in a world without abuse and fear.

But then I think of Adam. Adam, terrified and beaten and afraid of his own shadow, a young man who could no more commit open murder than I could. I remember his shy gentleness, the confusion, his insistence that he wasn't involved and didn't know anything.

I think she knew. That moment in the station as they were leaving, I think Amanda knew I was onto her—even if I didn't quite know who 'she' was. There was no way for her to know that I'd seen people like her before—dealt with them, interacted with them, even survived torment and abuse of my own because of them. Still, somehow she knew, all the same. There's a part of me that thinks she was almost flaunting it.

Why do you come?

Her question is serious. So too is my answer—that Adam deserves a life. I've seen what happens when someone is deprived of that life, that reason for living. Existence is not the same as living. Tobias knew that; he knew it after it was too late to save him. He'd been destroyed long before he hauled me into that shack of horrors in his lonely cemetery. Adam, on the other hand, still has a chance.

If only she'll let him live.