Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds or Higher Ground… sadly. If I did own Higher Ground, I would have kept it going for more than one season.
-This is my first Criminal Minds/Higher Ground fic. So, please review with any suggestions/comments. I love getting reviews Insert Smiley Here!
In season three of Criminal Minds, we discover that JJ has some sort of secret. What if JJ's secret wasn't that she had a secret boyfriend, but that she had a daughter, who she had to put into foster care? Shelby, from Higher Ground, is that daughter. Shelby would have had all the same experiences, only in this fic. Walt and her mother are her foster parents. Shelby knows who her real mother and father are, and it was her real father who sent her to horizon. This is a future fic. That takes place three years after season three. The team doesn't know about JJ's daughter. JJ never got pregnant, and is still single.
Agent Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau is the BAU's media liaison; she picks out the cases that her team would take. JJ was rarely ever sick, and always showed up for work on time. So, this morning when Agent Hotchner arrived, and saw that she was not in her office, he immediately called her. "JJ?"
"Hotch? What… oh God!" She managed to croak out a sorry.
Hotch knew by the sound of her voice that she had just overslept, nothing was really wrong.
"It's ok JJ, just come over as soon as you can, I'll pick out a case."
And with that, she hung up raced to get dressed.
Hotch had finally found a case that look like it was worth a shot. Seven dead, all but one were father and daughter. Each person had an X carved on their foreheads, and a burn of some sort on their necks.
JJ had arrived, and the team headed into the briefing room.
Hotch had gone over most of the victims, but when he reached the last picture, JJ felt like she was going to be sick.
"Thomas Griffin Bradford, 32." Hotch stated as he pointed the photo.
JJ fought with the tears that welled up in her eyes. Tom… my Tom.
"The only thing different about him was that he was killed alone, not with a daughter." Hotch added.
Agent Prentiss was the first to comment.
"We should look into his records, to see if he has any children. If he does we may want to bring them here for protection."
"H-here? Why h-here?" JJ stuttered.
"We need to keep them as safe as possible, and as far away from New York as we are permitted." Prentiss replied coolly.
JJ took a deep breath. "I need to do some paper work, call me if you need anything."
And with that she stood up, and headed to her office.
"Ok, who else thinks JJ's acting weird?" Read blurted out.
"Yeah, this case is effecting her… in an odd way." Morgan added. "Garcia, can you look up some information about Thomas Bradford? Records, personal information, anything you can find."
An Hour Later
Garcia walked swiftly over to Hotchner and Rossi, who were discussing the case.
"Excise me, Sir, I found some information about Mr. Bradford. I… it's… you need to read it for yourself…"
Hotch took the paper and read it over with wide eyes. He was shocked. JJ? Why didn't she tell us about this?
"Everyone meeting in the briefing room." He said loud enough for the whole team to hear.
Once they were all gathered together Hotchner explained what Garcia had shown him.
"Thomas did have a daughter. Her name is Shelby. She has been in foster care with the same family for her whole life. She was recently sent to Mt. Horizon high school, for troubled teens. I think it is in her best interest if we bring her here temporarily to keep her safe until we can solve the case."
"Why was she in foster care?" Morgan asked.
Rossi was quick to respond. "Her mother and father were not capable to caring for her. But, they wanted to be able to care for her when she was older, so they didn't put her up for adoption."
"What do you mean when they were older?" Reid asked.
"When Shelby was born. Her mother was 14, and her father was 18." Rossi replied.
JJ froze. They Knew. They read his file, and now they knew. They would never look at her the same way again.
"What happened to her mother?" There that was it. Someone asked the inevitable question.
Rossi looked at JJ. She knew what he meant. So, she finally spoke.
"Her mother… is, um, I'm her… I'm her mother."
"What?" They all seemed to blurt out.
"When I was 14, I had a baby, and I put her into foster care, with the hope that one day I would be able to take care of her again. About eight weeks ago, Tom called me… He said that Shelby had gotten into some trouble, and that he could control her. He said that she showed up at his house. He tried to take care of her. But, when it became too much, he sent her to a school for problem teenagers. Called Mt. Horizon."
The team was shocked. But, still they tried to be supportive.
"JJ, don't worry. Everything's fine. We'll bring her here. She'll be safe." Hotchner said.
JJ looked around the table and saw everyone's looks of encouragement. It really is going to be ok…
At Mt. Horizon
Peter had asked Shelby to come into his office. When she arrived she was asked to sit down.
"What is it… my captain."
"Shelby, you were informed about your father's death the other day." She ever so slightly flinched at the words.
"Yes. Your point being?"
"The FBI believes that you are in danger, and that you need to be protected until the… killer is found."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you will be going to Virginia for a while, to stay with your mother."
"My mother doesn't live in Virginia. And you can't make me go there."
"Actually, under the current circumstances we have to make you go. But, Shelby I don't mean your foster mother. I mean your birth mother."
She almost laughed at the words. Her birth mother had never cared before. Why would she want to see her now?
"Well isn't that a surprise. Time for a field trip then?" Shelby commented. Peter knew her walls had gone back up again. He knew this was too much for her right now. She still wouldn't even admit to being abused.
"A car will be here to pick you up tomorrow at eight AM. SO make sure you are ready to go." He added.
"What? Mommy dearest isn't coming?"
"She'll be here too."
"Great." Shelby said sarcastically. Just… great…