Criminal Minds © CBS.

Welcome to the first of the Children of the Darkness saga! Please enjoy the awesomeness that is Jack and Henry, and a new addition to the crew.

Oh, and as an aside – I dislike OCs as a general rule (I don't like taking the time to create backstories for fanfic OCs), so this series will be a little like Spot the Crossover. With a lot of universe-bending as a result.

The Tendency Towards Compassion

When Hotch said that Jack and Henry had a tendency to collect strays, Rossi honestly thought he meant cats and dogs. Honestly, he should have known better. After all, they were raised by the BAU. Nothing is normal with them. So far the team only heard the stories about what Jack and Henry tried to bring home with them on a regular basis, but they hadn't actually seen it in person.

Until today.

Rossi stands at the front door, staring at this new person. Thirteen year old Jack stands to one side of the new girl, eleven year old Henry on the other. The dark-haired girl in between them looks like she's twelve, maybe thirteen if she's short, and her mess of curly hair does nothing to hide the bruise spreading across her face. Rossi finally speaks.

"New friend of yours?"

"Yeah. This is Jane Rizzoli." Jack says by way of introduction. "One of the kids at school hit her. Can she come in so Mom can look at her?" With a small sigh, Rossi takes a step back and allows them inside. He automatically casts his mind out for JJ, and both she and Garcia start down the stairs. Jane watches them all with a critical, almost suspicious eye. She glances at Jack.

Wasn't kidding.

Jack grins. Nope.

Rossi's eyes widen, but he quickly covers his reaction. He's pretty sure he's only catching fragments of what they're saying – the only one who can hear the entire conversation is Reid – and he doesn't want to disturb them. Reid and Hotch are still at work, filing some last minute paperwork for Strauss. They'd be home soon enough.

Jane's gaze flickers between Rossi, JJ, and Garcia. JJ kneels in front of her and examines the bruise. "Why would someone hit you?" she murmurs. "Garcia, get an ice pack from the freezer. It doesn't look like anything's broken."

"Some punk-ass kid was messin' with Henry." Jane says. She has a distinctive Boston accent. "I told him to scram, and he hit me."

Henry snickers. It's clear he's already taken an instant shine to Jane. He's practically plastered to her side. Jack at least moved away so JJ can work. "Should have seen what he looked like afterwards." he says. There's something akin to awe in his voice. JJ understands. Henry has been bullied nearly his entire school career, and until now, Jack's the only one who has even tried to protect him. Jane has her son's undying admiration and Jack's eternal gratitude.

Garcia hands JJ the ice pack. "Ooh, that does look bad." she says. "Does it hurt?"

Jane shakes her head. "Not really. Back home, my little brother got messed with all the time. I got beat up worse than this making sure they left him alone." She grins. "Used to freak them out by showing up before they did." She looks them over again. "Where's the rest of your group?"

Rossi doesn't even flinch. "How do you know there's more of us?"

Jane grins. "The same way you called Henry's ma down here without ever saying a word."

Henry quickly jumps in. "She's like Uncle Spencer."

"And you two." Jane points out. "You two can read minds as well."

"Only each others." Jack says. "And now yours." He leans against the wall, and in that moment he looks so much like Hotchner that Rossi has to smother his laughter. Jack's inherited his father's perpetually serious expression and his mother's light hair. Now he has that stare fixed on Jane. Jane just stares right back.

"Do you ever smile?"

"Sometimes." Jack protests. Henry sniggers, burying his face in Jane's shoulder to hide his smirk. Jack just gives him an exasperated look that makes him seem even more like his father, and now Rossi can't help but start laughing.

Jane sticks around for a few hours, but ultimately leaves before Hotch and Reid get home. A few days later she shows up again, this time with her little brother, Frankie, in tow. Frankie is even smaller than Henry, with his sister's dark hair and eyes, and it's no wonder he gets picked on a lot. He doesn't look like he should be able to take care of himself. Still, Rossi senses he's a fighter, if only because his sister makes him one.

Soon enough, Jane and Frankie become regular fixtures at the mansion. They're finally introduced to Hotch, Reid, Morgan, and Prentiss. It's a big family. Frankie says something once about never having so many people in the house at one time before, not even during family reunions. Jack just laughs at that and says that family reunions at Uncle David's mansion are a hoot.

Which of course results in teasing from Jane and Henry about Jack actually laughing and smiling.

A few times, the pair winds up spending the night. On one such night, after Jack, Henry, and Frankie have gone to sleep, Reid finds Jane sitting outside on the porch. He sits down next to her and reaches out.

Can't sleep?

She twitches, then grins. Not really. I always stay up later. Drives Ma nuts. She turns to face him, drawing her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. What's it like?

What's what like?

She nods towards the door. Having a whole family like you.

Reid grins. Wonderful. Doesn't leave much room for getting lonely, either. And you never feel like a freak, because they're all freaks just like you.

Jane nods and stares at the floor. Reid bids her good-night and goes back inside, smiling to himself.

It doesn't take long. A few days later, the four of them are completely inseparable. They don't say anything to the adults, and the adults don't ask, but they all know.

Jane has taken them and tied them together. The beginning of another family unit like theirs is well under way.