A/N: This story has been bouncing around in my mind before I began writing for Criminal Minds. It deals with the subject of child rape, so if this topic doesn't appeal to you I will understand. I do not own Criminal Minds or any of its characters but do the DVDs which I watch daily. Please read and review.
***I'm thrilled For The Love of My Child has been voted Best Hotch and Reid Fanfic in the 2010 CM Profilers Awards. Thanks to all who voted for me, and congrats to the other winners and nominees.***
For The Love of My Child
Jesse Darwin Mandrin was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for his ten-year-old daughter Cyndi Anne and his wife Angela in his home in Manassas, Virginia when he heard a child's scream of terror coming from the living room. Instantly forgetting what he was doing, he turned off the stove and raced into the living room where his daughter and his wife were watching television. He saw his daughter, sitting on her mother's lap with her face buried in her chest, clinging to her tightly and crying hysterically. There were also tears rolling down his wife's face as she hugged her only child tightly and tried soothing the hysterical child. She looked around when she heard her husband's hurried footsteps come into the room.
"What happened? Angie, what happened? I heard…."
Angela pointed to the television with a shaky hand. "That's him," she sobbed. "The man who Cyndi said hurt her."
Jesse stared at the television screen and noticed there was a press conference being held. Whatever had been on the television had been preempted as across the bottom of the screen were the words announcing: 'Special News Bulletin.' He watched a man with dark hair speaking and took a deep breath. He studied the man carefully and instantly recognized him. You bastard, he told himself.
"Is she sure he's the one?" he asked seriously. "I mean really sure this time?"
"Yes," Angela told him as her daughter's trembling body began to calm down in her mother's arms.
Mandrin quietly approached his daughter and knelt beside her. "Cyn, look at daddy for a minute." He reached out and placed a hand gently on his child's back, rubbing in a circular motion hoping to calm her. "Please, honey. Look at daddy." The little girl turned her puffy red and swollen eyes toward her father, sniffling. "Honey, I need you to look at the man on the television again make sure this is the man. Can you do that, sweetie? Can you do that for daddy?"
Cyndi turned her small body and glanced at the television screen again and immediately buried her face again in her mother's chest.
"Is he the bad man?" Angela asked her trembling daughter. Her daughter nodded her head. "How do you know, sweetie?"
"His eyes," Cyndi said, her words muffled. "Bad eyes. Bad man. Hurt me."
Angela again looked at her husband's darkening face as he stood up watching the screen. This man had to pay for his crime. He had to pay for the rape of his ten-year-old daughter. Mandrin kissed his wife's lips and then the top of his daughter's head. He turned and started to leave the room.
"Where are you going?" his wife asked, her voice trembling. She had a fearful look on her face after seeing the slow rage building on her husband's face and the dangerous glint in his brown eyes.
"To see that he pays for what he did," he said just before leaving the room. He knew what he had to do next.
The agents of the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI in Quantico, Virginia, had returned to their office on the sixth floor and, with two exceptions, went straight to their desks. Supervisory Special Agent and Unit leader of the BAU, Aaron Hotchner, ran a hand through his black hair while walking up the ramp leading to the upper level and in the direction of his office which overlooked what was known as the bullpen. He was immaculately dressed in a charcoal gray suit, white dress shirt and a light gray tie. The handsome man with the deep-set brown eyes, resembled the CEO of a large corporation instead of a profiler of the BAU. Known affectionately as 'Hotch' by his friends and co-workers, he walked into his office and closed the door. Today had not been a good day so far for the profiler. The profile they had given at the press conference of a child rapist was not something he enjoyed. Crimes against children he always took personally, and the UnSub or unidentified subject so far had raped five children between the ages of ten and thirteen years of age. Hotch secretly told himself that if he was alone with the UnSub for even five minutes in an interview room with nobody watching on the cameras, he would teach him a lesson he'd never forget. People who harmed children always left a bad taste in Hotch's mouth. But being the professional he was, he also knew he would not take the law into his own hands regardless.
The office next to Hotch's was of the same size but furnished differently. It belonged to Special Supervisory Agent David Rossi. He had followed Hotch up the ramp but at a slower pace. Dressed in his customary blue jeans, a white shirt open at the collar and shoes was lost in thought. His black hair and beard both with streaks of gray, was angry. Like his supervisor, Aaron Hotchner, Rossi hated those who targeted children in the worst way. Children were defenseless people who needed protection from those who would do them harm. And child rapists, to him, were the worst of the lot. He was never a fan of vigilante justice, but secretly, if anyone deserved to be hunted, it was those who preyed on children. Walking into his office, he also closed the door needing to be alone right now.
In the bullpen, Agents Emily Prentiss, Derek Morgan and Dr. Spencer Reid were seated at their individual desks looking grim. Prentiss ran a hand over her dark raven hair which hung just below her shoulders. She also believed today was not a good day, but it wasn't all bad either. They had come up with a profile of the child rapist which was good, but unfortunately not before another child, age 11, had been raped in her bedroom at home. As the child of a mother who was a diplomat, Emily had sort of been sheltered from the depravity of some people. But when she joined the Bureau about ten years ago she quickly found out just how low certain people could go to inflict suffering and pain on innocent people. She also knew if she let it affect her as a person she would never be able to do her job, so, she compartmentalized everything. It was a way to hopefully protect herself from drowning in the pool known as depravity in the world. But all the compartmentalizing in the world couldn't help her regarding the rape of their last victim. She was now massaging the back of her neck and sighed.
Derek Morgan, an African American, leaned back in his chair and disgustedly threw his pen on his desk. He hated cases like this. Even when he was a Chicago police officer, he hated crimes like this. They had gotten the profile out to the reporters and the police, but the look on the face of that terrified 11-year-old was something he would never forget. Having been sexually molested as a child himself by Carl Buford, a youth center coordinator who took Morgan under his wing as a youth after his father, also a cop, had been murdered, Morgan knew what that young girl would feel and suffer without help and that recovery would not be instantaneous. But he also knew after speaking with the child's parents that there was nothing they wouldn't do to get her the help she needed and would need. He swore to himself he would beat this bastard to death with his bare hands if he caught him. Clasping his hands behind his head he let out a deep breath and glanced at the young man who's desk was near his, Dr. Spencer Reid.
Spencer Reid was the youngest member of the BAU. At twenty-one, he was a genius, and that was not just a term used because he had more education than others, but because he was a certified genius. He had an IQ of 187 and an eidetic memory, and could read twenty-thousand words a minute. He also had PhDs in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering as well as BAs in Psychology and Sociology, and was working towards a BA in Philosophy. But with his long wavy-brown hair, youthful face, and preppy clothes, he resembled a college nerd instead of an FBI agent. And even though he was an excellent profiler and an experienced FBI agent, it never ceased to amaze Reid at the levels of depravity some people could sink to considering the atrocities he'd seen. It had a profound effect on him, after-all, he was still human, but he tried to make sure it didn't keep him from doing his job. He couldn't afford to let it or he would drown. With a mother who was institutionalized with schizophrenia and always fearful it would eventually affect him, right now he felt he was drowning and really needed to talk to someone. Looking up, he saw both Rossi and Hotch in their offices and making a decision, slowly got to his feet.
"Where you going, kid?" asked Morgan seeing the man he considered the brother he never had standing up.
Reid, his hands jammed into the pockets of his brown pants, gave him a strange look. "I need to speak with Hotch for a minute."
Morgan's head turned and glanced up into his boss's office before turning his attention back to his friend. "Maybe now would not be a good time, Reid. Maybe it's something I can help you with?"
Reid again looked up and then again at Morgan. "No offense, but you can't help me. Not this time anyway. I really need to talk with Hotch." Then, before Morgan could respond, the young profiler walked away and headed in the direction of the ramp. He didn't notice the security guard entering the office.
Quickening his pace, Reid walked up the ramp and knocked on his boss's door.
Opening the door, Reid walked inside and stood in the doorway. "Hotch, can I speak with you for a minute?"
Hotch, seated behind his desk, had been trying to concentrate on the paperwork regarding their case and found that the interruption by Reid was more than a welcome one. He folded his hands on top of the papers on his desk and studied his young profiler with a soft look on his usually unreadable face. "What can I do for you, Reid?" he asked gently already suspecting what was on the young man's mind. Coming further into the office, Reid closed the door and walked to the sofa, sitting down with hands clasped between his knees, arms resting on his thighs and staring at a spot on the carpeted floor, silent. Hotchner looked at him, waiting. He knew he couldn't push Reid to talk but would just have to be patient.
As Reid looked up about to open his mouth and speak, there was another knock on Hotch's door. Looking up, both men saw one of their security guards standing outside.
"Come in," Hotch said. The door opened and the guard walked in. "I have to see you for a minute, Agent Hotchner," he said. "It's extremely important." He glanced sideways at Reid who was looking at him, his mouth shut again. There was a dangerous fire in the man's eyes that told Hotch something was very wrong. He looked at Reid with an apologetic 'sorry' expression on his face.
Understanding, Reid slowly nodded. "I can come back later," he said. He started to get up but the guard waved his hand motioning for him to remain seated.
"You should stay," he said. "This won't take long anyway," he told the young profiler. It was then Reid noticed the name plate pinned to the guard's uniform. The name MANDRIN was printed on it. Reid simply shrugged his shoulders and again looked at the spot on the floor he'd been looking at before. Only now something else was bothering him, he just didn't know what it was at the moment.
Hotch gave the guard his now undivided attention. "What can I do for you, Jesse?" he asked. He knew all of the security guards on the sixth floor. They too, were like family, although not as close a family as his team. But he knew the guard's daughter had been the third victim of their rapist and for a short time, they thought they had caught the man responsible only to discover they had the wrong man.
"It's about the rapist," Jesse said. "I know who he is."
That news hit Reid and Hotch at the same time causing both of them to react simultaneously. Reid looked up while Hotch stood up behind his desk. "You know who he is?" asked Hotch, his deep-set eyes hardening just a bit.
"Yes," Jesse replied his voice hardening. "Cyndi saw him on television today." He glared at Hotchner. "How could you?"
Hotch moved his head sideways just a bit. "Excuse me? How could I what?" he asked, puzzled, as what the guard was inferring hadn't dawned on him yet.
"You have a child of your own. How could you?" he repeated.
Reid's eyes narrowed as he watched the guard's nervous actions; the feeling he had becoming stronger.
But before anybody could speak or move, the guard whipped out his service revolver and aiming it at Hotch who reached for his own weapon, squeezed the trigger twice, both shots hitting their target. The first one slammed the agent against the bookcase behind his desk; the second one caused him to slowly crumple and slide to the floor, landing half behind his desk with the upper part of his body lying face-down on the floor with his head facing the door of his office.
"HOTCH!" Reid screamed jumping up just as his boss collapsed but was prevented from going to him by Mandrin who, seeing other agents racing to Hotchner's office, roughly grabbed Reid around the throat with one arm and, holding the young man in front of him as a shield, yanked Reid's weapon from his holster and tossed it on the sofa, pressing his own against Reid's head.