Title: The Animal They Make Me
Ship: Team One Shot with slight focus on Emily/JJ friendship
Summary: I know they're going to kill me, it's over as soon as they slip the thick black bag over my head. I suppose it is fitting, finally becoming one of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of victims that come across my desk.
Authors Note: Not a lot to say about this, I recently became a fan of Criminal Minds and especially of JJ. This idea came to me when I was studying for a Chemistry Exam, not sure what that says about Chemistry, or me for that matter. I hope you enjoy.
I know they're going to kill me, it's over as soon as they slip the thick black bag over my head. They are dehumanizing me so when it came time to pull the trigger I'm not a person with emotions and thoughts but simply an object, one to be disposed of as they pleased. They did it to help them sleep at night. I feel the duct tape being wound around the base of the bag and thus around my neck, the slight pressure hampering my breathing as I fight to remain calm.
I don't want to die.
Not at the hands of these psychopathic monsters. I didn't want to be just another victim, another poor soul that they had captured and killed. I was never meant to die this way, or maybe I was. Maybe this is what my life is surmounting to, being shot like a wounded horse in a dank basement in somewhere, Oregon. All the hours of work, the years of school, the training, the friendships forged and broken, the nightmares had and overcome, all of it, all of it came down to me dying in a basement.
I suppose it is fitting, finally becoming one of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of victims that come across my desk. Each case file, a tale of horror and depravity that begs for our attention. Detectives that plead with me so that they can close this chapter of their life and give grieving, angry families so peace, will now look over my body and wonder why.
Why this woman?
Eventually, maybe hours or maybe days, after they discover my body I will be identified. Maybe it's through my fingerprints or dental records or maybe even a picture. But maybe not, maybe I will forever be a Jane Doe, buried in an unmarked grave and forgotten amongst all the other lost souls.
Except, except, I am someone.
But isn't everyone?
Everyone is someone, to somebody.
Somewhere there is a person who will notice that we're gone. Maybe it's the waitress at the local diner or a parent or a sibling or maybe, god forbid, maybe it's a child. Maybe a little boy is going to grow up wondering what happened to his mom, why she left for work and never came back. Why he lives in New Orleans and his father has shadows of darkness over his eyes that have been there for as long as the boy can remember.
I'm not going to die like that. I'm not going to let myself drift unto the wayside to be unseen and forgotten. NO.
But for all the fighting spirit I've suddenly found, not even the will to live can undo the chains that keep me restrained to the wall. My wrists are slick with blood, gashes long and deep into the skin where I've fought against them, refusing to be bound like the animal they're making me.
The animal they're making me.
It's true, every second that ticks by is another closer to my death and knowing that is awakening a primal urgency. The sort of urgency that can't be summoned or created, it only exists when you're down for the count. It's your last chance, one last fleeting chance.
It's getting hard to think, the bag over my head reeks of sewage and gasoline, an intoxicating combination. Toss in my dehydration, hunger and overall emotional state and you've got where I am now. Desperate. Desperate to live.
I hear the chains being undone and the cold barrel of a gun is pressed under my jaw, death is getting closer.
I'm hoisted to my feet, but I almost collapse, unable to stand on my own from days without proper nutrition.
My time is ticking nearer.
My opportunity coming towards me.
But I am blind, blind but not deaf. People are scared of the woods because of how quiet they are, but that's not actually true. The woods are noisy places, if you know what to listen for, and just because I'm scared of them doesn't mean I don't know how to listen.
My hands hang limply by my sides, pretending they're useless, and I think the blood dripping, as I'm half dragged half pushed to where ever they're going to kill me, is helping that. I'm doing a lot of pretending at the moment.
Pretending that I'm not fighting consciousness.
Pretending that I can't support myself.
Pretending that my arms are useless.
Pretending that I have a plan of how I'm not going to die.
I hear a door close behind me, and the grating of metal against metal as a dead bolt is slid into place, and I'm trapped. Forced to my knees and trapped. The tears are unstoppable but I will not let them know I'm crying. I will not give them the satisfaction of knowing my terror.
I feel the barrel of the gun rest against the cloth, pressing into my forehead. There is no tremor, my want to be killer is confident in his actions. After all, I have been reduced to a faceless, nameless, voiceless, object. In his mind he is not killing a human, he is disposing of trash.
I hear his partner on the other side of the door, exactly what he's doing I can't tell but it doesn't matter, we are alone. I hear the safety being clicked off and I know that I must act now or forever be lost.
I lash out.
My hands fly up and grab the barrel of the gun, pointing it away from me as I dive to the right. A shot goes off but I'm not sure if the searing pain I'm feeling is from landing on my dislocated shoulder or getting shot. Either way it doesn't matter, the gun is still in my hands, and his hands. I'm kicking as many places as I can and each time that I hear a grunt or groan of pain sends another wave of adrenaline coursing through me. I need to survive.
And then the gun slips out of his hands and I have it. I have control.
My breaths are ragged and short, the feeling that I might pass out forcing me to stagger backwards. My fingers curl around the trigger as I wait, trying to gauge where my monster is because I may only have one shot.
And then I hear him, panting for a moment before he lets out a feral yell of anger and rushes me. I fire twice, the recoil proving to be too much and I slump back against the wall. I feel presence next to me and a sharp, pain laden, laugh echoes around the tiny room. I must have missed.
I feel the gun being ripped from my hands, I'm now to weak to even fight back. My last chance has failed me. I have failed me. I'm going to die.
I lash out one more time, not sure where my attacker even is anymore, my exhaustion and pain and terror overwhelming my sense and I threaten to black out before my death.
I get lucky.
The hand around my forearm vanishes as a howl of pain echoes around the room, almost masking another commotion in the hallway. Now there is so much noise, crashing and yelling and the ragged breaths of my captor as he scrabbles to get the gun. But he's too late. Somehow, even in all my darkness, my fingers had slipped around the grip and as I felt his hand grab my leg I fire twice more.
The hand goes limp.
I can barely breath anymore, my body now sapped of its energy. I can't push myself to my feet, I can't drag myself across the floor. My ears are ringing from the shots but even through the buzzing I can hear something else going on. I can hear words being shouted but they're muffled, I can't make out what they're saying. And nor can I respond, the gag I woke up with still forcing my silence.
The noises get louder, but the words no more distinct. I level the gun for where I think the door is. I have one shot left and I'm going to have to make it count. Too bad they never train you for blind shooting at the academy. More words and this time, this time amongst the crashing noises I can make out some parts of it.
"Where-she? The-Jareau-where is-"
My head is throbbing and the feeling that I'm going to pass out is getting stronger but I fight it. Because in all my confusion I still don't know what's going on. There's a thud and hiss of pain from the other side of the door. Another thud. And a third.
Someone shouts something, but I can't figure out what. Not that I could respond.
Then there's a crashing sound and in an instant the gun is once again leveled at the door. There are so many noises and then, one voice speaks "JJ."
I know that's my name, if only a nickname.
"It's okay." That one voice repeats "It's Emily and Derek, you can put the gun down."
Flashes of the dark haired women bombard me, and it's almost too much for me to handle as the same happens for Derek. Safe. That's the one thing I know, Emily means safe. Derek means safe.
I drop the gun.
It clatters to the floor and I flinch away from the noise, even if I did cause it. I hear footsteps come towards me and instinctively I know that it is Emily. Her fingers are gentle on my neck, although I flinch as she touches me, and her voice calming my nerves "I'm going to cut off the duct tape okay?" she asks, placing the knife she's going to use in my hand, so I can feel it.
I nod, now I just want this thing off my face, I want this gag out of my mouth.
I feel the cold, blunt edge of steel press into my neck as the layers of duct tape are sliced through with one motion. The sudden light hurts my eyes and close the, squeezing them tight to try and come back to the darkness. I open them a crack and the blinding light is gone, blocked by something, or rather I think, someone.
"Can you stand?" Emily asks as she takes the gag out of my mouth.
I try to speak but my mouth is so dry I end up coughing instead. I feel a hand on my back and her voice in my ear "It's okay. I'm going to wrap one arm around you and then you're going to stand okay?"
You're going to stand.
Not, I'm going to help you.
I push myself to my feet, ignoring the fact that it is mostly Emily doing the lifting. I can't stand on my own but I will force myself out of these woods if it takes me all day and night "One step at a time." Derek says from in front of us.
I look up, my eyes once again adjusted to the light, and see the room where I was kept, the chains that had restrained me. I see the man who I had killed and his friend who was arrested. I see Rossi and Reid and Hotch all of whom are relieved to see me. Hotch can almost hide his horror as he registers my wounds, but Rossi and Reid fail, both turning away to hide their emotions.
It takes me a grand total of I think seven minutes to get out of the house. Even when my teeth were clenched in pain and I saw spots, I refused to let Derek or Hotch or Rossi or anybody carry me.
I was going to walk out of this place.
And while everyone else offers at least once to carry me up the stairs Emily never said a word, she simply stopped when I stopped and urged me to keep going. She knew that I needed this right now. She, and rather quickly I think Hotch knew, that I needed to prove to myself that they hadn't won.
That I was still alive.
I collapse onto the gurney provided by the EMTs and all the adrenaline of being alive seeped out of me. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to eat and I wanted something to drink. But most of all "I need to call my son." I say as soon as some water is poured down my throat.
"Ma'am we need to take you to the hospital." The EMT says
"Give me a phone." I say, knowing full well I don't have the energy to hold it up to the ear.
"You need to go to the hospital." He repeats, like my throbbing ribs and head and shoulder and everything else aren't telling me that.
"And I'll go to the hospital as soon as someone gives me a phone." I grind out, is it that much to ask for that I talk to my son?
"Calm down" Hotch says gently, appearing at my side "Emily will ride along with you to the hospital, you can use her phone on the way but as soon as you get there, you're going to do everything the doctors say."
I nod, really just wanting the phone "Fine." I say as I'm loaded into the ambulance "Just give me a phone."
I slur out the number to Emily who holds the phone up to my ear with one hand and gently take one of mine in her other.
"Hi" I say, my voice wavering slightly "Melissa, it's JJ."
"Oh my gosh Ms. Jareau, are you okay? Will said somethin' about you being missin' and all-"
I cut her off "Can I talk to Henry?" I ask
"Of course." She says without question and I hear her call for Henry.
"Did you get saveded?" he asks eagerly
I smile at his innocence"Yeah, yeah mommy got saved."
"Does that men you get to come home and play wif me?"
"Yeah" I say, tearing up again "We'll play whatever you want."
There's a pause as Henry seems to be distracted by something going on at his end of the phone. Then he speaks again "Mommy."
"What's up buddy?"
"I love you mommy."
And it was at those words, with Emily holding the phone to my ear that I realize I'm not going to be forgotten or lost in the shadows. I have my friends, Hotch and Rossi, Derek and Reid and Emily. I may not have Will but I will always, always have Henry.
"I love you too Henry." I mutter, consciousness finally evading me as I surrender myself to the abyss "I love you too."
Welcome to the end, I hope that you enjoyed it. Thoughts and comments are always appreciated, especially those regarding characterization. It means a lot to me when people take the time to tell me what they thought, and I will always respond.