An/ This is a story requested by Brynnifer, so thanks to her for the idea--I must apologize, however for the delay (I hope it was worth it).
Warning, the subject matter for this story is rather dark and due to seriousness of the material, I'd prefer to keep it as real as possible. This is basically saying, don't expect a happy ending because you aren't going to get one. This isn't saying I won't try, but I will definitely be hard pressed for one. I debated splitting each perspective into seperate chapters, or do it this way, but I liked having it all come out as one story, so you get it like this.
The prompt was about JJ being involved in human trafficking. This is what I came up with.
I don't own Criminal Minds.
"Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering."
There was only one rule for The Room: You must never tell what happens Outside.
JJ felt tears spring to her eyes as she caught sight of the door to The Room. Her captor released his tight grip on her arm and flung her unceremoniously onto the floor.
She had made it. Another day. She had made it back to The Room. Hearing the heavy door lock firmly behind her, she collapsed into her familiar corner. For now, she was safe. For now, she could pretend that she was back in DC where her greatest worry was which bad guy to find next and whether the coffee stain on her shirt would come out.
But the silence of The Room weighed on her thoughts, bringing reality back to the forefront. They were never getting out of here alive.
The Room was far more than a symbol of their captivity. More, it was an escape. A release. The Room that had been strengthened and fortified to prevent the captive's premature release had a consequence that her captors had not intended. If they ever found out, they would take The Room away from her. Because The Room became a safe haven from the horrors that met her Outside.
She wondered if this must be purgatory. Where all life consists of is suffering and the short space of time between suffering. Being inside The Room meant that she had a respite from suffering. So while The Room was in itself a hellish exercise in waiting, the world outside of it was far more disconcerting. It did no good to think of life before The Room--because no matter what happened, nothing mattered anymore. She now knew that there was no life left outside of The Room.
Even if she did manage to escape, she wasn't sure life would ever be an option again.
She wasn't even sure if she would want life to be an option again.
Normally, she didn't have time to wallow in her circumstances. Normally, he was already in The Room and they spent their time sleeping or filling the silence. Now, she had time to reflect. To remember the period of time where life was good--where justice and truth prevailed. Now those seemed like memories of summer on a cold snowy day, whistful memories that only served to mock her current station. Now in a country where she didn't understand a word, she could barely come to grips with what was happening to her. She did everything she could not to think about what was happening to her Outside. Because once she returned to The Room, it didn't matter anymore.
Nothing mattered anymore.
The rule--the one rule--for The Room was not imposed by their captors but by the captives.
Because life was currently too harsh and cruel to admit what was happening Outside. Outside was frightening. Once she could escape Outside and return to The Room, she could almost pretend that everything was normal.
But it was far from normal.
Pretending could only get her so far. Usually, she didn't have time to brood over the curse that her life had become. Usually he was already in the room by the time she got there, and her time inside The Room was spent trying to pretend. But pretending didn't make it real.
Because reality is a bitch.
This was the nightmare that was too dark to ever dream taking over her life. She couldn't say she had ever feared for this, because the possibilities of it had always seemed so far away.
But it had happened.
It was happening and there was nothing that they could do to stop it.
Realistically, she knew that this was all a sick, twisted, elaborate game to them. Their sole purpose in being here was to destroy the BAU. To teach the Government not to mess with Global Traders. And to teach them that the traffickers were far more experienced than any team of the FBI. Because, really, she wasn't even the same person that she had been just a short time ago.
And she wondered, if they did find her, would her family even recognize her?
What about her son?
Would the team get to her in enough time?
Were they even trying?
Did it matter?
How long had it been since she hadn't had to worry about The Room and Outside?
She wasn't sure.
She wasn't sure of anything anymore.
But time didn't matter inside The Room. Time only mattered Outside, and right now, inside The Room, she was safe.
It was when she stepped Outside that she got hurt, it was Outside that she had lost all that she had once known.
It was when she stepped Outside that the real hell began.
Outside, she wasn't even sure she existed anymore.
Because there were only two realities now, the world had been separated into two opposing sides. Like night and day, these two forces governed her life.
There was only The Room and Outside.
Nothing else mattered.
They just had to find a way to stay inside The Room.