A/N: This story is not exactly a missing scene from the EH episode "Flesh," but it follows directly from it.
Disclaimer: Done for fun, not for profit or fame.
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Rachel Young flicked a quick look at the passenger in her SUV. She couldn't figure out what could be disturbing him. Not that the sight of Jacob Hood fidgeting in his seat, his leg twitching back and forth while he had an abstracted look on his face was unusual. But those moments usually occurred when he was deep in thought about the problem they were facing; not when they were almost to his DC apartment after wrapping up their latest case. She wondered briefly if the problem this time was personal, rather than professional.
He had been a little sheepish when she caught him on the phone making a date with Professor Yang. She, on the other hand, had been pleased to see he was taking her advice. Her pleasure wasn't merely that Hood was, for a change, listening to her. She was relieved that he would be dating someone, anyone. Recently her thoughts of him had been taking a decidedly dangerous direction. She was sure it was sheer loneliness. It had been awhile since she had anything more than a casual hook-up with a friend. While the sex was fine, it didn't take the place of a real relationship. It would be a relief to have Hood involved with someone, making him even more firmly out of bounds.
But a small part of her felt a tug of regret.
Jacob wasn't sure exactly what it was that was bothering him about the prospect of going on a date with Anna Yang. He knew the slight guilt he felt about calling her wasn't because he thought he was betraying Maggie's memory. It was more likely because he hadn't been honest with her. The first lie was one of omission; he let her assume his reluctance to go on a date was due to his grief over Maggie's death. It wasn't grief that held him back, it was fear. It was far easier to lose himself in his work than take the chance of being hurt, or hurting someone else, again.
He also hadn't been honest with her about what prompted his call. It wasn't, as he told her, that he regretted the way their conversation ended. It was seeing the Jackson's at the hospital with their daughter. It was seeing a man, who looked to be the same age as him, happy with his wife and child. He'd always wanted a family of his own; it was a dream he thought he had buried along with his wife. It was the idea that maybe it wasn't too late for that dream that prompted the phone call to Anna.
But a small part of him wasn't sure he had made the right decision.
Jacob was yanked out his reverie by an exclamation of surprise from Rachel. He looked up expecting to see an accident in the street at the very least. "What, what's the matter?"
"When did that open?"
Jacob squinted at the store Rachel was pointing to. Located several doors down from his apartment building was a new ice cream parlor. He smiled briefly; trust Rachel to notice something like that. "I don't know; it wasn't open when we left for Palo Alto, was it?"
Rachel threw him a look of scorn. "That was a rhetorical question Hood. Of course it wasn't open then; do you honestly think I wouldn't notice a high-end ice cream store opening in your vicinity?"
"Well there is that," he conceded. Jacob came to a sudden decision. He wasn't looking forward to being alone tonight. He knew his doubts about going on a date with Anna would torment him in the hours before sleep came. He would try to postpone the moment and he knew he had the perfect bait to tempt Rachel into granting him the pleasure of her company.
"Look, there's a parking space right in front of my building. It's a sign. Why don't you park and we'll go get some ice cream." He smiled at her coaxingly, "I'll buy."
Rachel chewed her lip thoughtfully. While it was true that they lived in each other's pockets when in the field, during their time DC they didn't spend personal time together. Sure, if they got back into town late, they might stop and have a bite to eat before she dropped him off at his apartment, but that was it. And yes, she had gotten into the habit of picking up a few personal items or running some of her own errands on their weekends in the city; but more as a matter of convenience. It wasn't as if they were shopping buddies or anything.
On the other hand, they were kind of friends. Their relationship had evolved in the year they had been working together; she no longer thought of him as an assignment. Would it really be so terrible to spend a few minutes of time together every once in a while? Plus, the case they had just wrapped up was tough. Dealing with those slimy little bastards who had taken such pride in raping those girls had brought up some bad memories. A little ice cream would help soothe her soul. Maybe Hood was right; the fact a SUV sized space had opened up in the normally tight parking in his neighborhood could be considered a sign she was destined to have ice cream. And who was she to argue with destiny?
Jacob was relieved when Rachel suddenly grinned at him. "Deal, but," she lifted an eyebrow, "I want a double scoop."
It took a while, but the two were soon seated at a small table in the back of the ice cream parlor. They had both taken one look at the size of the scoops and mutually agreed it would be impossible to finish even a single scoop in the time it would take to walk back to Hood's building. Jacob was delighted; anything that would delay his sleepless night was much appreciated. Rachel found herself enjoying herself more than she expected. The ice cream was, as she hoped, providing a nice dose of comfort; but sitting and talking to Hood was proving just as soothing. She felt herself relaxing and being able to push the memories brought up by their case to the back of her mind.
Her good mood was shattered when a small commotion erupted. Rachel instantly snapped to attention, assessing the situation. Her mouth twisted in disgust at what she saw and heard. The busboy, who obviously had Down Syndrome, had accidentally bumped into a chair, jarring a teenage patron. Instead of accepting the apology, the teenager was loudly berating the busboy, calling him a "stupid retard." The other boy at the table was laughing and adding his own comments. One of the two younger girls with them was giggling nervously while the other looked slightly embarrassed by the attention they were attracting.
"Jerks," she muttered. "I'm tempted to go over there and give those arrogant little pricks a piece of my mind."
"As much as I agree with you, it wouldn't be a good idea. You might escalate the situation." Jacob shook his head in disgust. "Unfortunately, in our culture it's not considered acceptable to parent other people's children." He turned his head to add his own disapproving glare. His eyes widened and he surged to his feet. With an oath, he strode over to the table, an angry look on his face. Rachel scrambled to her feet to follow him, wondering what changed Hood's mind about intervening.
Gently moving the busboy out of the way, Jacob confronted the table of badly behaving teens. "Well, good evening Katie."
"Uncle, Uncle Jacob," Katie stuttered. "Uh, what are you doing here?"
Rachel stood behind Hood, running the name Katie though her head, trying to figure out who the hell this girl could be. The girl had referred to Hood as uncle, but she knew he had only one nephew. She assumed the girl had to be the daughter of a close friend, the uncle being an honorary term. With a jolt, she realized this kid must be Director Fuller's daughter.
"I think I could ask the same thing," he retorted. "I'm surprised you would sit here and let your friends abuse that boy as they did."
To Jacob's surprise, the girl tossed her head and rolled her eyes. "Oh for Christ's sake, take a chill pill. It's no big deal. Hunter and Brendan were just playing with him." The boys snickered at her comment.
Jacob's lips thinned, "I hardly think that young man felt amused by the abuse he was receiving." He arched an eyebrow, "what do you think your parents would say if they were here?"
"Well, they're not here and you're not my father. So," Katie took a deep breath, "so you can just fuck off."
Jacob's mouth dropped open for a split second. He snapped his mouth shut, leaned over, and grasped Katie under the elbow. "That's it," he announced. "You are going home. Now."
As Hood hauled the girl to her feet, Rachel was surprised to note a flash of relief cross her face. At the same time a look of fear showed on the face of the other girl. "Wait a second Hood," she commanded. "Something tells me this one," she indicated the other girl, "is supposed to be with her."
"I am," the other girl spoke up quickly. "I'm spending the night at Katie's house." Gathering up her and Katie's purses, she jumped to her feet and followed them out the door, relief shining on her face.
Jacob ignored Katie's attempts to explain herself. "I'm not your father, remember?" he ground out. "Save it for when I get you home."
They reached the SUV and Jacob yanked open the back door and prepared to stuff Katie inside. She made one last stand. Digging in her heels, she gasped out, "I'm sorry for what I said Uncle Jacob, but I knew if I got you mad, you'd drag me out of there."
Jacob and Rachel eyed each other over the girls' heads. Nodding slightly, Rachel indicated she believed what Katie was saying. The girls' reactions had been off, for some reason they wanted Hood to behave as he did.
He looked at Katie in bewilderment. "What exactly have you gotten yourself into?"
"Umm, Hood?" Rachel nodded to the passersby who had slowed to observe their small group. "We're attracting attention."
Jacob looked around in irritation. He needed to get to the bottom of this situation before he involved Frank and Karen. "Fine, let's go up to my apartment."
Katie tried to explain in the elevator, but Rachel frowned at the girl and shook her head. She knew there were security cameras in the elevators and she wasn't entirely sure they weren't wired for sound as well. She felt instinctively that this story should be kept private.
Katie and her friend gaped a bit as Rachel cleared the apartment. Jacob waited patiently until Rachel, holstering her weapon, announced the apartment was clear. He motioned to the two girls to sit on the sofa and stood over them scowling.
"Now, would you mind telling me what you and …" he trailed off looking pointedly at Katie's friend.
"Jill," the girl offered shyly.
Nodding, Jacob continued, "what you and Jill were doing with those, those cretins? And why in the world you felt the need to provoke me into dragging you out of there?"
"We were on a double-date and it got boring," Katie said. "When I saw you I decided it would be easiest if I got you to give us a ride home."
"You honestly expect me to believe that cock and bull story? If you were so desperate to get home why didn't you call your parents? I'm sure you both have cell phones."
"My parents went out tonight," Katie replied quickly. When Jacob turned his gaze on Jill she added, "Jill's parents went away for the weekend, that's why she's spending the night at my house."
"Of course," Jacob snorted. "And rather than saying something like, oh I don't know, hello Uncle Jacob, could you give us a ride home, you thought it would be more amusing to stage that little scene?" He folded his arms across his chest. "Now what the hell is really going on?"
"Nothing, we only wanted to leave, honest."
Rachel had been hovering uncertainly in the hallway. She hesitated to leave, in case Hood decided they should give the girls a ride home rather than calling the Fullers. But seeing the way Katie was stonewalling him, she decided it might be more effective if she took over the interrogation.
"I think we could all do with some tea," Rachel said as she entered the room.
Jacob looked at her in surprise. "Tea?"
"Yes, tea," she replied firmly. With a lift of her eyebrow, she titled her head toward the kitchen. "Why don't you go and make us some?"
Jacob's lips twitched. He realized what Rachel was doing and he was frankly grateful for her intervention. "Uh, yes, tea does sound like a good idea.
Rachel waited until Hood was out of the room before asking the girls casually. "So, where do your parents think you are tonight?"
"They know we went to a movie, why?" Katie asked warily.
Rachel bit back a smile. It looked like Katie and her friend has used the old trick of lying to their parents by telling half the truth. "With those boys?" She narrowed her eyes, "they seemed older than you two, does that have anything to do with why you were so relieved to see Dr. Hood?"
Her direct attack caused both girls to crumple. Patient questioning brought out the whole story. They and the boys attended the same high school. As freshmen, they had been flattered when the seniors had asked them out, suggested the four of them go on a double-date. Both girls knew their parents wouldn't let them go out with boys so much older, so they had implied they were meeting boys who were in their grade at the movie theater. They assured their parents the boys' parents would drive them home.
Things had started to go wrong from the very beginning. The girls had suggested they see the movie Twilight but both boys had rolled their eyes and declared the movies showing at the local theater were lame. Instead, they wanted to go to a movie showing in the city. The girls had protested at leaving their familiar neighborhood theater, but the boys were insistent.
They admitted they hadn't enjoyed the movie or the comments the boys had made while they were watching it. But they were afraid to complain or ask to be taken home because they didn't want the boys to think they were immature. When Rachel asked about the movie Katie admitted she wasn't sure of the title; it was real long, but the movie was about a couple who made a porno. Rachel's eyebrows rose; she was familiar with the movie; several of her friends had seen it and thought it hilarious, but pretty raunchy. She also recalled being told it had a NC-17 rating, not something suitable for a couple of 15 year old girls.
They had been relieved when the movie was over and the boys suggested ice cream since that meant the end of the evening was near. But Brendan announced at the ice cream parlor he had lifted a couple of six packs of beer from his father's stash and they should go to the local park to drink beer and make out. Then scene with the busboy occurred. They couldn't believe how Brendan and Hunter taunted him, that they could be so mean. When Katie's uncle Jacob had approached the table it seemed like an answer to a prayer.
Rachel sat silently for a moment, trying to decide what to say, if anything. Hood was right; it wasn't her job to parent other people's kids. She should tell him what the girls had confessed and let him deliver them to their parents.
Then Katie smiled at her cheerfully, "But everything turned out ok, right?"
Rachel sighed; these two obviously didn't realize they had dodged a bullet tonight. Now they were safe they seemed to be regarding the whole night as some kind adventure. She unconsciously squared her shoulders. It might not be her business, but she'd be damned if she'd let these two get out of this situation without hearing a few home truths. She's be damned if she'd let them be victimized again by a couple of smooth-talking jerks. They had to learn that decisions had consequences.
"Didn't it strike you as odd that a couple of senior boys, who by your own admission never gave you the time of day, suddenly asked you out?" She tilted her head, "you know the only reason senior boys ask out freshmen girls is because they figure they can talk them into having sex easier than girls their own age."
Katie and Jill squirmed uncomfortably. "They wouldn't do that," Jill protested. "Brendan and Hunter asked us out 'cause we're not stuck up like the girls in their grade. They said…"
"I'm sure they said a lot of things," Rachel retorted. "The same crappy lines guys have been handing out forever. You're special; I've never met anyone like you; you're the only girl for me. Anything to break down your defenses and convince you to do something stupid."
"Agent Young is absolutely correct." Jacob came into the room with a tray containing four mugs. He had been waiting out of sight listening to the girls' story. He couldn't believe that Katie and her friend could be so naïve.
"Only look at the way they behaved in the ice cream parlor. They obviously have no sense of decency; do you really think you could trust them?"
Rachel was annoyed. She could see the girls' faces tightening at the lecturing tone of Hood's voice. She looked at him pointedly, "Cookies."
Interrupted in mid-rant, Jacob looked at her, puzzled. "What?"
"Cookies," Rachel repeated. "We need something to go with our tea." Giving him a level look, she said, "why don't you go back into the kitchen and see if you can find us some cookies or something."
Understanding dawned as he realized she wanted to continue with the girls on her own. "Umm, ok, cookies." He left the room, but rather than retreat to the kitchen, he kept in earshot of the living room.
Rachel waited until Hood was out of sight. "You do realize what those boys intended tonight don't you?"
Katie and Jill exchanged glances and shrugged. "They wanted to make out, but we wouldn't have let them do much of anything."
"Really?" asked Rachel sarcastically. "Just like you didn't let them take you to a neighborhood you weren't familiar with, just like you didn't let them take you to a movie that made you uncomfortable, just like you didn't stop them from tormenting that busboy?"
"Ok, yeah, we didn't say anything then, but this, this is different," Jill said.
"We're not those kind of girls," Katie added. She reddened a bit. "we wouldn't let them, you know, go to far."
Rachel heart twisted. All she could think of was Tabitha Jackson, sitting on the bed in her motel room, crying uncontrollably; telling her and Hood she wasn't "that girl." The kind of girl who drank too much and had sex with multiple partners.
"That's what the beer was for. They were counting on getting you drunk enough that you wouldn't have been able to stop them." She shook her head in disgust, "willing or not, if Dr. Hood hadn't dragged you away from them, I can guarantee you those boys would have taken your cherries tonight." She looked them squarely in the eyes, "and in my book, that would have been rape."
"No," Jill's lips were trembling. "They wouldn't, I mean, they're nice, they go to our school. I mean, Brendan's mom is in my mom's book group." Katie, clearly upset by what Rachel had said, bit her lip and nodded in agreement.
The impatience that had been building in Rachel evaporated at the looks on both girls faces. 'Shit, was I ever this young?'
"just because a boy looks nice, comes from a good family doesn't mean that he can't be a rapist."
"You keep saying that, but you don't know them," Katie said. "they wouldn't have, have, hurt us."
"Then why," Rachel asked, "were you both afraid of them?" She stopped their protests with a lift of her hand. "I know Dr. Hood didn't introduce us, but surely," she looked at Katie quizzically, "you know who, what, I am?" At Katie's slight nod, she looked over at Jill. "I'm Dr. Hood's protection detail. I've been trained to observe people, note their emotions, reactions."
"You," she pointed to Katie, "When Dr. Hood grabbed you, you should have exhibited either embarrassment or anger. Instead, you showed relief." She pointed to Jill, "and you, in that split second when you thought we were going to take Katie and leave you with those boys, you looked terrified. I think both realized you were in over your heads. "
The girls looked at Rachel tearfully, while they admitted they were upset by the boys behavior, they refused to believe anything really bad would have happened. Both boys were good-looking, star athletes; they didn't need to force themselves on anyone. While Katie and Jill virtuously maintained they would never have considered going all the way with them, there were plenty of girls at their school who would.
Rachel sat for a moment, chewing her lip, considering what she should say next. Maybe she should tell the girls her story maybe that would lay the ghost that had been raised by this recent case. How one bad decision could lead to a life-altering event.
"When I was in college, my roommate was raped." She smiled faintly at the look of skepticism on the faces of the girls. "Yes, it really was my roommate, and yes, this really did happen."
The story was quickly told. How Rachel and her roommate, Hillary, had made a pact their freshman year. They would always go to frat parties together and they would always watch each other's back. They would make sure that neither of them drank too much; if one of them did get tipsy, the other would stop drinking immediately to insure they got home safely. The girls stayed roommates and the pact was honored, until the fall semester of their junior year.
That semester Rachel had changed her major. Because of the change, she had had to take an full load of difficult classes. By the time mid-terms had finished, she was exhausted; so when Hillary wanted to attend a party at the Alpha Kappa house, Rachel had demurred. She tried to talk Hillary out of going, but Hillary was determined. The president of the frat was in one of her classes, they had been semi-flirting all semester. Hillary had been flattered when he specifically asked if she was coming to the party; there was no way she was going to miss her chance with this guy.
Forgetting that her friend wasn't there to watch out for her, Hilary had too much to drink. Taking advantage of her condition, the boy had taken her an upstairs room where he had sex with her. Hillary hadn't been a willing participant; but she had been too drunk to resist. Even worse, when he had finished, he invited two of his buddies to take their turns with her. Hours later, Hillary woke with an awful hang-over, torn clothes, and nightmarish memories of trying to fight the boys off. She had called Rachel in tears, asking her to come and bring her home.
Despite Rachel's urging, her friend refused to call the police. She didn't want anyone to know she had been raped. But she never got over what happened to her. When the semester break was over, Hillary didn't come back to school.
She finished gently, "Hillary and I both made bad decisions that night. I decided to not to honor a promise to a friend. She decided to not to follow rules we had set up for ourselves years before. And at the end of the night, we both had to face the consequences of those decisions.
For the two of you, going out with those boys was a bad decision and you almost had to pay a pretty stiff price. You were incredibly lucky tonight; you could have ended up like Hillary."
In the hallway Jacob sucked in his breath. 'So that's what happened.' He had been surprised by the open contempt Rachel had displayed toward Lenny Reese. While he had no sympathy for the boy, her behavior had been out of character. He had seen her face murderers and thieves with nothing more than a cool indifference and a faint sneer. He wondered at the time if she had been a victim of a sexual assault herself but had been reluctant to ask. He wasn't sure if it was because he didn't want to invade her privacy or if he was afraid the answer would cause them both some pain. Straightening, he walked back into the living room. It was time to get Katie and her friend home.
"Sorry, no cookies," Jacob said. He checked his watch. "But it's getting late, I think we need to get you girls home."
Katie looked at him apprehensively. "Are you gonna tell my parents what happened?"
"Of course he isn't," Rachel smoothly interjected. She smiled faintly at the look of surprise on his face and the look of relief on the faces of the two girls. "You're going to tell them yourselves." Her smiled widened at the dejected looks the girls gave her. "It's the right thing to do. You need to tell your parents what happened and assure them you've learned your lesson." Standing up she continued, "trust me, your parents will go a lot easier on you if you're upfront about what you did."
Jacob's lips twitched as the girls turned imploring faces to him. "Don't look at me like that. I agree with Agent Young. Let's go, we'll give you a ride home." He looked at Rachel doubtfully, "or would you rather take the girls on your own? That way you could head straight home; you wouldn't have to go out of your way to drop me off again."
Rachel hesitated briefly, it would take her out of her way if Hood came along."Um, yeah, that would be easier."
Jacob was instantly intrigued. In all the time he had known her, Rachel had never given the least hint as to where in DC she lived. Absently saying his goodbyes, his mind called up a map of the city; trying to figure out likely locales.
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Stretched out on his bed, Jacob considered the enigma that was Rachel Young. She was Special Agent Young, tough as nails and no-nonsense. In that persona she had no trouble man-handling an uncooperative suspect or, if the situation called for it, shooting a man without blinking an eye. Thinking about the story she had related, he wasn't surprised that she assigned some of the blame for what happened to her friend to herself. She had a fierce protectiveness and sense of duty, it was what allowed her to excel not only in the EPD, but in the FBI.
She was also Rachel, a woman with a tender heart. In that persona she worried about the white mouse who was the subject of his experiments. She also went out of her way to comfort the children who became involved in their investigations. He wasn't surprised she related so well to Katie and her friend; she had a natural empathy and her calm manner made children feel they could trust her.
He recalled her telling him once, on a late night flight, that she had never considered settling down, having a family. It was a shame, he reflected; she would make an excellent mother. But then, she was young, not even thirty years old; plenty of time for her to change her mind.
Jacob slid into sleep with thoughts of Rachel still dancing through his mind. And not once, before sleep claimed him completely, did it occur to him that he hadn't thought of Anna Yang at all.