I shouldn't do this. I know I shouldn't do this. But I'm doing it anyway.
A few things before we delve into the real meat and potatoes...
I managed to find a better name for this universe. I never liked "Life in the BAU" but I needed some way to indicate that they were all in the same universe. I promise not to change it again, but the universe was changed to "Years Go By" since it's covering so many points of life. The stories are One of Your Own, Growing Up BAU, Out Living My Life and Fair Winds and Following Seas.
This story specifically was spawned because Silvia asked if I was planning to flush out the two chapters in Out Living My Life that had to do with Emily being kidnapped. And she's been an absolute godsend in ironing out the details and helping me build the case. Hon, I owe you this story. Consider it dedicated to you for being so integral in the planning process.
The chapters in Out Living My Life that correspond with this story no longer exist. I took them down so I could start this from scratch and get a chance to write a case-centered fic for this universe, rather than just chapters. For the purposes of a timeline, however, this would theoretically be taking place during Out Living My Life.
I'll put a family refresher course at the bottom of this chapter.
Years Go By - Interlude
"Hey there, Blake! It's been a while."
The seven-year-old nodded his head sadly at a woman he usually chatted with just before he walked into the office of Dr. Leo Dale. Blake had been seeing a psychologist for years, most specifically this psychologist. His father had gotten worried when his only child had become more and more reclusive and when he couldn't do anything to bring him out, sent Blake to see someone who could.
Blake liked Dr. Dale, very much. They were a lot alike, or at least, they had been when they were kids. They both liked soccer, they both collected rare comic books and action figures – Dr Dale had even brought a few in to show Blake – and both loved Monopoly. But most importantly, at least in Blake's mind, was that Dr. Dale's mother had rarely been home.
Blake himself had a mother that was a flight attendant, often gone for days at a time because of her schedule. He was close with his dad, but he missed his mom. It had been Dr Dale that had helped Blake see that he also resented his mother, a subconscious part of him believing that she was leaving him behind on purpose. Sure, his mom brought back all kinds of neat things from her travels, but it wasn't the same as having her there all the time. His mother had missed soccer games, parent-teacher interviews, parents' days… There had been a lot of disappointment in Blake's life.
Then, the unthinkable happened.
Three weeks ago, there had been a plane crash. There had been survivors, and Blake had been hopeful, but to no avail. His mother had perished in the crash. His father was devastated, heartbroken and it had taken him three weeks to get out of the house. That was the main reason Blake had missed three weeks of twice-a-week appointments.
"Hey," Kelsey, Dr Dale's secretary came around the desk to squat in front of him. "What happened, honey."
Blake felt the tears welling his eyes for the millionth time since his mother passed away. Kelsey had become a second mother to him. They'd talk on the phone when he made his appointments sometimes. She checked in about his life, asked him all of the questions his mother should.
"Where's your dad?"
"He dropped me off and left," Blake answered finally, the first words he'd said to the woman. "He probably went home."
Kelsey's hand came up to Blake's head, stroking over his hair. "Sweetheart, what happened?"
Blake slammed his eyes closed, forcing himself to take deep breaths like he had every other time the tears threatened. "Hey Dr. Dale."
"Come on in, Buddy. Let's get started."
Blake took his customary seat on the couch, Dr Dale taking the seat beside him. Their relationship had become less doctor-patient as they discovered how much they had in common and though Dr. Dale still took notes during their sessions, he sat beside Blake instead of across the small coffee table from him.
"My mom was one of the ones killed in the plane crash."
Blake saw Dr. Dale jolt out of the corner of his eye. He'd known there was no other way he'd be able to tell the story than bluntly. Working up to it just wouldn't work, wouldn't help him, and Dr Dale had always encouraged him to speak his mind.
"I'm sorry, Blake."
"That's what everyone's been saying. It's why I haven't been here in a while."
"But you're here now. What do you want to talk about?"
For the hour he was scheduled, Blake talked about his mother, about her death, about her funeral, about his resentment, his anger and how he still loved her. He'd always loved her, always would love her, even though she was rarely around. For the first time since they'd started, Dr Dale was virtually impassive through the entire exchange and Blake found himself getting frustrated.
"I just want it to go away. I want to feel normal again," he said as Dr. Dale ended their session.
Blake didn't believe him. His smile was tight, but he put on his coat and went back to the waiting room. His father was there, ushering him out the door. He had enough time to wave to Kelsey and thank Dr Dale before he was being whisked down the hall.
But he did hear Dr. Dale say he had an errand to run.
John rolled his eyes in his head as yet another customer came through the line. It was lunch time, and while he understood why the upper management liked the idea of having their little boutique café right beside a conference center, it drove John nuts. The line was always endless from about eleven am right up until two. But he was due on break any time now, whenever Lindsay finished taking out the garbage.
"Come on, Linds," he said under his breath. "It's just the garbage."
Then he heard her scream. He bolted, following the sound, knowing it was coming from outside. Lindsay stood there, her hands over her mouth, looking wide-eyed at something behind the dumpster. John had expected to find a dead rat, or a massive spider.
Instead, he found a body.
Okay, first chapter! The second one is just as short so I might put it up in a couple of days, and some more of Alive into the vault before I update. I have a backlog on this one, thankfully. A whole bunch of chapters.
Now, the families and the ages of their children for the purposes of this story:
Penelope Garcia married Derek Morgan in the first chapter of Out Living My Life and they have a daughter, Gabi (11) and a son Chris (6)
Jennifer Jareau married Spencer Reid in Growing Up BAU. They have a daughter, Calleigh (8), and two sons, Nate (6) and Eric (4)
Emily Prentiss married Aaron Hotchner in Growing Up BAU and they have three biological children, and Jack (17). Anna-Joy "AJ" (10), Kate (8) and Seth (5)
I do believe that is all the relevant information you're going to know to be able to understand this story.
Reviews are appreciated!