A/n: yeah, yeah, I know I said I'd update this a lot sooner. But I didn't get any reviews for Won't Get Fooled Again, and it bummed me out. BUT! A few people favorited/alerted, which I appreciate, but I'd love to hear from you!

For those of you who haven't heard the madness, CBS has let AJ Cook go and is reducing Paget Brewster's screen time. If you're as outraged as I am, join the facebook group "Save AJ and Paget!" and sign this petition: http : / www. petitiononline. com / cmwomen / petition .html (get rid of the spaces).

I'm not entirely sure what to do with Broken Mirror. If ANYONE has ideas, PLEASE feel free to share them with me.

Also, I will not be writing a redux of "The Fight". It pisses me off too badly.

Disclaimer: *glares at Ed* This guy will not budge…so, for now, they're still his.

Chapter Six: Plain Sight

"Don't worry so much about proving others wrong. Just focus on proving yourself right."

She could do it. She knew she could. But that was before the BAU was assigned a rape case.

She wasn't ready for a rape case. Yes, originally wanted to go into sex crimes. Yes, her knowledge, paired with Elle's, would be exceedingly useful during this case. But she just didn't feel ready.

Lydia found herself sitting in an undercover car with Gideon and Elle, just waiting for a rapist to show up. An extremely pissed off rapist who looked like he belonged in the neighborhood. Forget needle in a haystack. It was a hunt for a needle in a pile of needles.

And that needle's name was Franklin Graney. A telephone repairman. Gideon had said it best, "Who looks for a phone guy up on a pole?" He could watch everything. Husbands and kids leaving. Police patrols. He could even tap into phone lines to make sure the victim was home.

He was angry. He was on the move. And he swore he'd strike today. Now it was just a matter of finding him. Hotch met up with the trio and they split up, checking the block for signs of him. They'd found his truck, so they knew he'd be close.

It was the first time Lydia had been on her own in the field. She wasn't going to lie, she was terrified and almost losing her head. It wasn't until the sound of a baby's cries pulled her towards a house that she snapped back into agent-mode. She found the gate open and back door open, a baby left screaming in the kitchen, and a phone-technician's belt on the counter. She didn't have time to wait for backup, but she called Gideon with the address. 875 Orange Street. She had the rest of her team on the way, but for now she was operating solo.

She quickly ascended the stairs, her small frame nimbly stepping on the stairs, making almost no sound. She crept down the hallway, hearing muffled shouts from the bedroom. Perhaps the final verses of "A Dialogue Betwixt Death and a Lady", the poem he seemed to be so fond of. Lydia stopped short as her foot hit a creak in the floor. Graney's voice stopped abruptly. Now that he knew she was in the house, it was useless to stay quiet. She rushed down the remainder of the hallway, took a deep breath, and turned the doorknob.

"I'll shoot her." The words were out of Graney's mouth before Lydia even had a chance to look him in the face. The profile was absolutely right. He was completely ordinary, just a phone technician that no one would look twice at unless told to. His victim was bound and gagged, lying on her stomach on the bed.

"No you won't," she stated, not allowing her nerves to show in her voice, "And I'm going to tell you why. If you shoot her, I'll have to shoot you. The way my gun is pointed right now there's no way it won't be a headshot. Then you'll be dead, and the Tommy Killer will be no more."

"That's a lie. The Tommy Killer will live on forever!"

"Actually, no, he won't. You see, it'd be great for me, as a rookie agent, to be able to say that I caught the Tommy Killer, unassisted. No backup. I'd have bragging rights from now until the next century. But…no…I think I'll just tell them that…I caught a low-life burglar. Yeah, a burglar with no connection to the Tommy Killer at all." Graney looked horrified. Lydia had him exactly where she wanted him. "And then what'll happen? Well, the case will go unsolved. The attacks will stop. The file will get pushed behind more important cases. And once and a while, sure, someone will ask, 'hey, whatever happened to the Tommy Killer?' but after a while, no one will care. The Tommy Killer will be forgotten. YOU will be forgotten."

Graney stared, wide-eyed back at her. "You…you wouldn't do that…"

"You wanna bet?" she snarled, her demeanor switching from taunting to intimidating. "Shoot her. See what happens. " Lydia softened again. "I'll make you a deal. You give me the gun. You leave quietly with me. I have a media specialist outside, and I will make sure that she gets your face plastered on every TV and newspaper in the country."

Silence hung between them for a moment. Graney looked from Lydia, to the victim, and back to Lydia again. "You promise?"

"Yes sir. I promise." Graney nodded, slowly moving away from the bed. Lydia outstretched her hand. "Give me the gun. That's right. Just walk away." Hotch, Elle, and Gideon arrived behind her, just in time to see that she didn't need them.

The victim began to sob, yelling about her baby, as Elle eased the gag from her mouth. "He's fine," Elle said, reassuring her, "We have an agent with him right now." Gideon cuffed Graney and took him out of the room.

Elle carefully unbound her, helping her to her feet. "Thank you," she said to Lydia, "Thank you."

Hotch looked over to Lydia, with a look in his eyes that she didn't recognize. "Nice job," he said, before leaving the room.

Later on the plane, Lydia sat with headphones in her ears, head back, and eyes closed. Though she hadn't let on at the scene, she'd been shaken by the encounter with Graney. She'd done good work, that much was apparent. But nonetheless, she didn't feel like talking to anyone. She lost her shot at that when she felt someone sit across from her. She opened her eyes to find Morgan sitting there. She shot her eyebrows up by way of greeting. Morgan returned the gesture. "Happy one month."

Lydia knit her brows together. "What?"

"You've been here for a month."

A cold sense of dread crept through Lydia's veins at this realization. "Great…just great," she said.

"What's wrong?"

"Probation's over. Hotchner has to make his decision. This might've been my last case. At least it was a hell of a way to go out. I just hope Joyner will take me back."

Morgan chuckled. "Do you even remember what happened today?"

"What about it?"

"Did you really take down the Tommy Killer, without backup, and without firing a single shot?"

"Yes…"

The older agent nodded. "Then you have nothing to worry about. You saved that woman's life today. That'll be good enough for Hotch. And even if it isn't, you have Gideon on your side. And he's a very persuasive man. You have nothing to worry about."

Morgan was right. The next morning, Lydia found a set of permanent credentials on her desk, complete with the notation that she was with the BAU. She glanced around to make sure Hotch wasn't watching, and then shot Morgan and thumbs up. She belonged. For real this time. She honestly and truly belonged.

Rose Kennedy said, "Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?"

A/n: To borrow a line from two of my favorite authors (Cara and Ava, collectively ), reviews are love…