Author's Note: I want to thank our loyal readers that are sticking with us. I know my postings are sporadic these days and I apologize for it. I've received a couple of negative anonymous reviews over that very issue. Real life, especially mine, is complicated. Going from a loving two parent household to a single parent with a husband fighting in a dangerous war is difficult. I'm not asking for sympathy, just please be patient. I promise, I'm writing as fast as I can, but I want to bring you guys something of quality instead of garbage I wrote on the fly.
Also, we have two new open discussion threads. One is called, "Cyclones, Snowmageddon, and Egyptian Uprisings, OH MY!" Feel free to leave your best wishes for our friends in Australia and throughout the US suffering from the ravaging affects of Mother Nature.
And finally, as some of you may or may not know, there are some changes coming for our favorite show and we have opened a "Show Spoilers" thread for readers and authors to discuss their take on episodes and upcoming plotlines.
As ever, I don't own Criminal Minds.
The Power of the Last Words
Fanfic Challenge 2010 - Round 2 Assignment: JJ/Emily, Movie Title: PS…I Love You
Horrors came in many forms. And they didn't always have to be seen. Sometimes, the imagination was far worse than reality.
How many times had she pressed her cell phone to her ear and listened to that broken last message from the woman she'd loved: Hundreds? Thousands?
She'd known the instant she'd first listened to that hideous voice mail that her lover's life had met an abrupt, horrid end. A psychotic unsub had kidnapped the only woman she ever truly loved and held her for three horribly long days.
On the third day in her new scheme of time, she received a call. The bastard had found JJ's cell phone in her purse and automatically dialed the number marked simply, "My Love". He team had been racing the clock to locate her, each member of the team knowing her time and chances were slipping away, and that one simple call was the lynchpin to the entire case.
The sounds...they were forever etched in Emily Prentiss' mind. JJ's voice trying to remain brave...attempting to reason with a psychotic mind that wouldn't know sanity if it bit his ass. She could still hear Garcia frantically tapping her laptop, trying to triangulate a signal...anything to get them a general location of where JJ might be.
The tone...that eerie bodiless voice of the man that had stolen her love…that tone was permanently ingrained in her mind.
"Do you like that, Sweet Thing?" that pig had dared to ask the woman she'd built a life...a home…with.
"Mmm, does it feel good when I do that?" he'd asked as Emily had heard the sound of a belt slashing against JJ's fragile skin. Her imagination could provide the details of what her lover must have looked like at that moment, and bile had risen in her throat as she'd felt Morgan's strong arm surround her waist, lowering her to the floor as her legs suddenly collapsed.
Through it all, JJ, the one who was enduring the torture, had struggled to remain calm...composed. The consummate professional, she had obviously attempted to use every psychological weapon in her arsenal to control an unstable mind.
But unstable minds...they weren't meant to be controlled...and the unsub had only grown more frenzied. The blows landing with a startling frequency as JJ's gasps pervaded the line.
"Please don't," she heard her love's weak voice, finally breaking. Closing her eyes, Emily squeezed hard trying to stem the tears as she felt Rossi ease to the floor beside her, wrapping an arm around her shaking shoulders. "I have a son," they heard her say with what little energy she had left.
"He's going to be an orphan," the heinous voice hissed as a cold shiver ran down Emily's spine.
"No!" JJ screamed hoarsely as a knife apparently pierced her flesh. "Emily! Emily, take care of him!" JJ screamed, her words coming in gasps filled with ever-increasing pain.
"I will!" Emily's voice cracked, knowing JJ couldn't hear her as she leaned against Dave's chest, her tears drenching him.
"You're gonna die bitch," the unsub laughed obscenely, muffled sounds filtering through the phone line as the torture increased.
"Fight, JJ," Emily heard Hotch yell hoarsely at the speaker phone. But Emily had known her lover. The fight had gone from JJ's voice, her hollow shallow breaths speaking volumes. Everyone in the room knew she'd just taken a killing blow.
"Where are they, Garcia?" Hotch barked, his tone feral as his eyes had narrowed.
"I don't know," Garcia sobbed, tears flowing down pale cheeks as she tried desperately to hack an encrypted system. "I don't know!" she screamed hysterically as Morgan's hands surrounded her shoulders, grounding her back to the present.
"Emily?" JJ rasped, praying her lover could hear her as she stared into the cold eyes of a determined murderer.
Climbing to her knees with Rossi's help, Emily gasped as loudly as possible, "JJ, I'm here, sweetheart. I can hear you!" Looking at Garcia's tear drenched face, she whispered, "Can she hear me?"
"I don't know," Garcia cried brokenly, her fingers flying as Hotch paced behind them all like a caged animal.
"JJ, if you can hear me, I'm here and I love you. Hold on! Hold on for me and Henry, okay?" Emily begged, thankful for Dave's hands at her waist, supporting her.
JJ could hear Emily's frantic pleas...the teams' various sounds of misery…and as she watched the steel knife gleaming with her blood, she knew the end was near for her. Biting her lip, as she watched the evil thing wipe his knife against the blue shirt he wore, she wished she could see his face. "Listen to me, all of you. I love you all!" she panted frantically, her chest constricting as she tried to draw in enough air for the words she knew she had to say. "But, Emily, you were the love of my life…do you hear me? You've got to go on for me. Take care of the baby!"
"JJ," Emily screamed, her heart shredding as her finger clawed into her legs. "Fight!"
"She doesn't have any fight left, do you, Sweet Thing?" the unsub laughed, tenderly brushing the bloody hair from JJ's unmarred face.
Tears rolled from JJ's eyes as she watched her killer raise his life one final time. "Emily?" she whispered brokenly, her body starting to shut down even as she tried to control her panicking thoughts. "P.S., Sweetie...I love you."
Each member of the team heard the last blow struck...each knew she was gone. And seconds too late, Garcia managed a location, rattling it off in a choked voice as the team flew from the room.
They caught the unsub in the living room of a dilapidated house in the middle of South Central, LA, strung out on drugs. And Emily had taken extreme pride in the kill shot that no one denied her. She watched the bastard fall with a dispassionate eye, a single gunshot hole in the center of his forehead, before turning toward the staircase to the basement.
Two strong sets of arms stopped her as Hotch and Reid ran for the door. And she'd never forget...as long as she lived...the primal scream the unflappable Dr. Spencer Reid had released.
She'd fought then, desperate to get to her fallen lover, but she'd been no match for Rossi or Morgan. No match at all.
Meeting Hotch's shattered eyes as he'd reappeared in the doorway, she'd watched him shake his head.
"I want to see her!" she'd screamed hoarsely, trying to escape the all-too-tight hold her teammates had on her. "I want to see my wife!"
Gently clasping either of her shoulders, she had watched Hotch's face crack. "Not like that," he whispered raggedly. "I've never hit a woman in my life, but I won't let you see her like that, Emily."
"She can't be alone," Emily wept, her throat threatening to shut completely as she tried to swallow. "I can't let her be alone."
"Reid won't leave her," Morgan whispered against her ear, tightening his arm around her waist. "Let them do their jobs, Em."
"I want to see her!" she'd begged as paramedics had rushed into the structure, once again fighting against the restraining hands holding her back.
"Medic," Rossi had called hoarsely over his shoulder, tears in his own aged eyes.
"Sir?" a nameless face asked, appearing immediately at their sides.
"Sedate her," he ordered, holding onto a struggling Emily. "NOW," he'd barked when the young man had hesitated.
"Noooooo!" Emily had screamed as the needle pierced her skin. And suddenly, she felt weightless. And then there was nothing.
She awoke hours later on board the jet, concerned eyes surrounding her. "It happened, didn't it?" she asked Hotch, sitting next to her head.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, his eyes kind but grief-filled as he met hers.
"I want my son," Emily said immediately, her last link with JJ the only thing that had a hope in hell of keeping her sane.
"We're landing in ten minutes. Strauss already has him waiting at the airfield," Garcia promised from Emily's feet.
"And JJ?" Emily whispered, the simple name slipping off her lips with more love than she had ever thought possible.
"She's being transported home, Emily. I took care of it," Rossi assured her, leaning forward as he waited for Emily to understand.
Nodding, Emily dropped her head back to the cushion and stared at the ceiling, her mind trying to process how she'd gone to work two days ago a wife and returned a widow.
JJ's last words echoed in her mind. "P.S. Sweetheart, I love you."
And as Emily closed her eyes, she responded in the only way she could, knowing JJ was listening from wherever the angel she was now rested. "I love you, too, my love. For eternity."
Dedicated to Our Brave Men and Women Fighting Overseas!