Author: Magrat 70
Disclaimers not mine blah blah
Spoilers: Season 7 Buffy, Season 2 & 4 Criminal Minds and Lauren
Author's Notes; one time huge Buffy fan but couldn't watch after Tara's death. Wrote a few Tara/ Willow fics. One part of this was an adaption of one of my storyline's which had 2 x-files type FBI agents go to Sunnydale to investigate the attack on Tara by Glory and why she is the only one of the mental patients who had her sanity returned. They used it as an in to investigate what is going on.
I have screwed around with their dates of births because according to their headstones there is almost ten years between Tara and Emily which doesn't work for the story. Instead I have made JJ 10 years older than Tara. It is based just after Revelations for Criminal Minds for part of it, and just before and including Minimal Loss; I have made the gap between the two 18 months, which isn't probably quite right, and spoilers for Lauren, and just before Tabula Rasa for Buffy. Will be totally AU for Season 6 Buffy; after that, slight changes to Chosen but all the stuff with the first happened, but as this isn't a Buffy fic we won't be touching on what goes on there. Femslash Jemily, not a Willow/ Tara fic. Willow will go bad, but in a different way. The main story is about Emily and JJ. No Will no Henry.
I know that Tara is considered to come from a small Southern town, with Amber Benson coming from Alabama but for the sake of this story she comes from a small Pennsylvanian town :-). I have taken what is believed to be the cannon truth about Tara's background, the only thing I have added is early graduation from high school and emancipation. The first few chapters are Tara heavy to try and explain the whole story about Emily and JJ, which sounds crazy I know.
I shouldn't be writing something new with so many other stories open but I can't concentrate on anything else until I get this out. I haven't written anything for a couple of weeks, I have a torn tendon in my shoulder and apart from the pain I am having problems with my meds
Thank you to Sao21 for listening to a crazy idea even if not convinced by the whole thing and for beta work; couldn't do this without you kid. Also Call me OT who also listened to a little of the craziness without getting the whole thing. With all the problems going on with my health I wouldn't manage without the two of you. :-)
-Following the footsteps
Of a ragdoll dance
We are entranced
- Quote Spellbound by Siouxsie and the Banshees
JJ brought an end to a normal morning briefing. There were a couple of cases that were very close to them being called in, but not quite. She gave the usual roll call of the agents who hadn't got their reports in on time. Morgan and Emily doing their best avoidance. Emily tried to give a little grin and held up her coffee cup to her lover to try and get her mind off the paperwork situation. The scowl on JJ's face told that all privileges might be revoked if she didn't get her ass in gear. As brown met blue their eyes seemed to glow gold for a second before stopping. The cup in JJ's hand shattered into tiny pieces as she gripped it hard.
"Did anyone see JJ's eyes glow before her cup exploded?" Spencer asked, the only member of the team who didn't look spellbound by what happened.
"No, but I saw Emily's eyes look gold for a fraction of a second," Hotch said almost to himself, like he didn't want to admit what had happened.
Emily could swear she could hear the different heart rates of everyone in the room. Her sense of smell felt overloaded, everything felt overloaded. As she looked at JJ understanding flashed in both woman's eyes; Tara.
Neither could say a word nor look at one another as they left the part of Quantico that held the BAU offices to go to the academy. They knew that she was going to be on the range or a tactical course that day. They hit pay dirt first time around as they watched the blonde stand with her ear protectors on, glock in hand. Emily watched with pride as the paper targets were brought in and the instructor gave a congratulations to the small blonde; the woman who was hardly recognizable from the shy, devastated, scared, young Wiccan they had encountered eighteen months ago.
Emily had, at first, tried to dissuade her from her decision, saying that she had the wrong temperament for the FBI and that she was putting herself in danger; it wasn't until JJ pointed out the youngster had spent at least 2 years fighting demons on a hellmouth that she stopped; danger was hardly anything new. Tara looked over, spotting her two mentors.
"Hey, I almost beat your score, JJ." Tara grinned, the happiest that she had ever been in her short and painful life.
JJ pulled Tara into a crushing hold before whispering in her ear. "You used witchy powers to cheat." Before laughing at the dumbstruck look on the witch's face. "I was only joking, Tara."
"W-w-what's happened?" Tara stared at the aura that was bursting with gold on both women.
Emily jumped; she hadn't heard Tara stutter for over a year.
Before anyone could answer her one of Tara's class mate's shouted over at her. "Hey Maclay, isn't your Interpol girlfriend in Sunnydale? The whole town has fallen into a sinkhole."
Emily rushed forward as Tara's knees start to go from under her. The young blonde pulled out her cell as soon as she was lowered to the ground. She was surprised when the call was picked up, but not from the woman she needed to hear from. "G-Giles? Is she?" A sigh of relief before the bad news was given to her that one of her old friends didn't make it and tears started to flow from her eyes.
Emily took the phone from Tara's hand. "Rupert, what's happened? I'm sorry to hear about Anya." She felt sad that the former demon had lost her life; she had found her odd and off putting at times but she could be extremely funny, and she knew at a time when Tara needed friends, she had been there for her. "You want to talk to Tara?"
"Tara your girlfriend wants to speak to you," Emily stated, making no attempt to hide the brusqueness from her voice.
Tara knew quite well that Emily didn't like or trust her other half. They butted heads every time they met. "God are you okay baby? I thought you had died, I could still feel you but things are a bit weird here. Something has screwed up that spell, hasn't it?"
"My power, my pleasure, my pain, baby
To me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny
Won't you tell me is that healthy, baby?
- A Kiss from a Rose- by Seal
Quantico 18 months earlier
Hotch sighed as he looked at a file he had been handed previously by Strauss. He was unsure what this had to do with this team. His suspicion was always that his superior was trying to trip him up. He had been trying to look into Sunnydale for years. The small town's death rate and crappy excuses for what looked like at least 2 or 3 unsubs active there and the refusal of town officials to allow them in had been driving him crazy. Now he had a request from the welfare department at the university to look at one of their students. The reason given for their being in the town was to try and find out if the victim could remember what was done to her and for them to gather facts.
He sighed. The request was bullshit; their own welfare department should be looking after the poor student if they were so worried. He looked at her bio; her background of possible childhood abuse, mental health problems, responsibilities, and sexuality made it difficult for him to decide what to do. Her high IQ and other problems would have him leaning towards sending Reid to make a connection with her; however, his recent run in with Tobias Henkel made him vulnerable. Emily's child advocacy background made her ideal too, but he still had suspicions about his newest agent that made it difficult to trust her. He decided that the only action open to him was to send them both.
He noted with surprise the young woman's town of birth. It made him pause for a second; sending three agents seemed a little overkill, but made a lot of sense. If Strauss wanted to argue about it, he would throw the fact that it was her own idea back at her.
Hotch picked up his phone, "JJ can you come through to the conference room? Bring Prentiss and Reid with you."
JJ sat for second before moving; she wondered if this was going to be about Henkel. Even in her waking hours, she could still see and feel the dogs. She was shaking. The nightmares that, at times had been threatening to engulf her, were affecting her worse and worse, and her guilt over what had happened to Spence wasn't helping. She slowly walked out of her office reaching the walkway above the bullpen. "Prentiss, Spence you're wanted in the conference room."
"Wow, what could pretty boy have done wrong? Princess without a doubt has done something..."
"Bite me Morgan," Emily snapped out at her partner. She had been enjoying the easy rhythm of a relationship they had, but he had pissed her off with his treatment of JJ at Henkel's.
"Hey, I was only joking, princess," Morgan backtracked quickly, his partner was quick to get riled with him at the moment.
Hotch watched as his three agents looked at him expectantly. He was worried he made the wrong decision; JJ looked exhausted and Reid looked even more pale and skinnier than he could ever remember him looking. Unfortunately, the town was too dangerous to send in Prentiss by herself, and he doubted that either Morgan or Gideon could build up any trust with the kid.
Realizing that he drifted off into a world of his own, he cleared his throat. "Has anyone heard of Sunnydale?"
At once life seemed to spark into the almost dead looking eyes of Reid, as he felt an excitement about a case he hadn't felt since he was abducted. "It has the highest death rate per head of population in the whole US. There has been many rumors about biker gangs on PCP, disfigured muggers, and even soldiers running around on black op missions which is why no one wants us in there."
"Didn't the high school blow up and part of a mall get hit by rocket grenade launcher?" JJ chipped in.
"Hmm, didn't they have a rash of strange mental health patients that eventually got blamed on some young doctor that was fired from the local hospital?" Emily added.
"The original Spanish name for the town had the literal translation of Mouth of Hell," Reid added, feeling more excited about the chance of going on a case than he had for years.
"Nice," Emily snarked, "I bet that helped the real estate to no end."
The agents all could feel a little excitement, the place they should be investigating, but weren't allowed to, was maybe, finally, opening up to them, before Hotch crushed them.
"We still haven't been invited in," Hotch could see the look of reproach in their eyes like he had been playing with them. "However, we have had an invite by the local university who are worried about the welfare of one of their students."
"Even with us wanting a way in there, I don't see what that would have to do with us," Emily said puzzled. "Shouldn't the university look after their own students? It's hardly a federal matter."
"I agree Prentiss; however, this student was one of the mental health patients..."
"They're all hospitalized," Reid frowned at them, " and their mental illness has been described as almost like a locked in syndrome, where it seems at times the patient might know what's going on but they can't communicate with the outside world; even if we wanted to we couldn't help them."
"She is the only one that regained her mental health," Hotch handed out a file to all of them. "She was the only one physically tortured..."
"Jesus, what the hell did that to her hand?" Emily asked, flicking through the file she had stopped when she found the x-ray and the report of an open fracture and mangled hand and wrist.
"No one knows. The psychologist that spoke to her after her recovery tried to question her. She claims to remember nothing, but she has a high IQ and is a psychology major; they were sure she was hiding something," Hotch answered.
"Are we sure she was the same as the other patients?" Reid asked. "She was the only one tortured, and she was taken home and looked after by her power of attorney. The other patients were seen as being too unstable to be cared for at home. She could have had a psychotic break after being attacked."
"They held her in a pysch ward for twenty four hours. Her symptoms were exactly the same as everyone else; there is no doubt. Our stated goal is to see if she will agree to a cognitive interview so we can find out how a young, resident doctor could drive so many people insane," Hotch stated.
"Aren't we taking a risk? If her psyche is in any way damaged we could end up doing more harm than good," Prentiss objected.
"I know her," JJ said almost to herself before Hotch could answer Emily. "She comes from my home town. She's a painfully shy kid but sweet. God the poor kid, not like she hadn't been through enough."
"What do you know, JJ? The university has stated that they believe she may have been a victim of childhood abuse." Hotch was pleased with his decision to bring in JJ; he had hoped there was something they could build on.
"My mom was always seeing her or her mother in the ER. Cuts, bruises...and Tara had broken arms, ribs etc. Her mother was ill with leukemia and I think that's when the beatings were transferred to the her. My mom was even of the opinion that the father had encouraged her older brother to take part."
Everyone in the room felt a stirring of anger against the monsters they couldn't stop, that raised the type of unsub they usually had to catch.
JJ cleared her throat before carrying on. "Tara's mom eventually died when she was seventeen, she had already skipped a grade so was graduating at that point. To everyone's surprise her mom had a small legacy plus a decent death insurance payout that was left to Tara. She hired a lawyer, got herself emancipated, and disappeared."
"There's no doubting her intelligence; if she doesn't want to talk to us, I don't think we will have much luck. I think any type of perceived aggression will not work in our favour. The information supplied by JJ might mean she's distrustful of men; I suggest JJ runs the initial interview because she knows her, and Emily does the cognitive interview in the unlikely event she agrees. She is openly gay and in a relationship with Willow Rosenberg, who was her carer and power of attorney after the attack. The weird thing is that she is a joint guardian of Dawn Summers along with Dawn's sister Buffy, and they all live together in Buffy's home. Oh, and her and Willow are Wiccans," Hotch supplied a brief recap of the important parts of the file that had been sent to him.
"Sunnydale also has one of the highest densities of Wiccans in the Unites States," Reid explained. "It also has unconfirmed werewolf and vampire attacks, but not many alien abductions; although, at the time when there were reported black op missions being run in the town, people reported a Frankenstein monster type being."
"God, as if this town can get any weirder," Emily said, rolling her eyes at Reid's enthusiasm.
"Right," Hotch said, bringing the meeting to an end. "Wheels up at 9 AM tomorrow. Study the files I have given you for the rest of day. I hope I don't need to remind any of you that this is potentially a very dangerous town with unfriendly local law enforcement; you need to have each other's' backs, and while you're there if anything does turn up that could be a federal crime, do not hesitate to bring the rest of the team in."