"Can we come?"
"Uh...I mean, I guess, if you...are you sure you want to?" Morgan stuttered, confused.
JJ looked at Jess, who was still in her arms. "Yes, we're sure."
"Um, okay, well we should probably go talk to Hotch."
JJ nodded. "You go, I'll be there in a minute." Morgan nodded and left.
Sophie smiled at the sisters. "Congratulations, girls. I'm so proud of you two. You made it; you won."
JJ gave her a weak smile. "Thanks."
"Are you okay?" Ezra asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little overwhelmed is all." JJ was glad they weren't profilers; they couldn't see through her lie.
"You do want to go, don't you, Jess?"
"Yeah, of course I do!" Jess said.
"Okay, just making sure."
"So, Shelb, we've told you everything," Daisy said. "Can you please tell us about your life as JJ?"
JJ sighed. "Well, after I graduated, you all know that I got a soccer scholarship to University of Pittsburgh," she grinned proudly, "and you all know what happened to my mom. After Walt got arrested, it became too much for me. I was taking a class about criminal justice and we had a unit on the witness protection program and the idea just came to me. As soon as I graduated from Pittsburgh, I changed my name. I became an FBI agent, and well, here I am."
"Jayje! Jess! Come on, we've got to go," Prentiss called from the doorway.
JJ sighed. "Well, that's my cue. Come on, Jess, let's go." JJ and Jess hugged everyone goodbye and promised a visit soon. "I love you guys," JJ said before leaving.
"Okay, girls, you're going to be with Hotch and me." Emily said as they threw their bags in the trunk.
"Awesome," Jess said.
JJ yawned. "As long as I'm not driving, we're good."
Emily laughed. "Come on, we don't want to miss this." Emily jumped in shotgun, next to Hotch. Jess and JJ got in the back.
"How long do you think the ride will take?" Jess asked.
"About two hours," Hotch answered.
"No problem. Uh, girls in the back, I need you to understand something."
"Yes, Agent Hotchner?"
"Please, just call me Hotch. I need you to understand that what's happening...well, it's not going to be easy."
"Please, this isn't my first party, Hotch," JJ said.
"No, but this is going to be more difficult than usual," Hotch explained. "You know the unsub this time, you know the details of what he did."
"What are you saying, that you usually hold back on me? I've got a strong stomach, you know."
"JJ, this is no time for joking." Hotch said sternly. Jess chuckled. "What's so funny?"
"Uh, nothing, it's just Shelby's never been good under pressure. I guess that's one thing that hasn't changed."
"JJ, Jess, I need you to listen to me." Hotch said, ignoring Jess's comment. "This is serious. Your step-father is being charged with premeditated homicide, plus attempted murder plus attacking and trying to murder a federal agent. All I'm saying is, it could get bad in there, and I need you to be prepared."
JJ looked at Jess before saying, "Hotch, this man molested me and my sister for a decade, not to mention tried to kill both of us. If it doesn't get bad, it's not good enough."
Hotch just shook his head from behind the wheel. "It's not what you think it's going to be. Just ask Morgan—it's not what you think."
"I'd love to, but he's in the other car and cell service is horrible. So, if you don't mind, I haven't slept in days. I'm taking a nap."
JJ closed her eyes. When they thought she was asleep, Jess said, "I'm sorry about that. It's just...this is hard for both of us, and when things get hard, Shelby gets bitchy."
"JJ had the right idea with a nap," Hotch muttered after a moment's hesitation. "Why don't you go to sleep as well?"
Despite her best efforts, JJ nodded off.
"Come on, Kitten, just one more time."
"No, please don't! That's what you said last night! Please, Walt," Shelby begged. She was fourteen.
"I told you not to call me Walt. It's too formal. Call me Daddy."
But Shelby refused to give in.
"I said," he growled, taking off her pajamas, "Call me Daddy."
"No," Shelby whimpered.
"Do what I say!"
But she knew that even if she gave him what he wanted, he would never stop. So she just shook her head, tears streaming down her face as he lay on top of her, naked.
She closed her eyes as the inevitable happened.
"JJ, wake up," Emily said, turning around in her seat. "We're here."
"Shelb, get up," Jess said as she got out of the car. Emily and Hotch followed suit.
Hotch walked around and opened JJ's door. "JJ, get up. JJ," he shook her slightly. She whimpered slightly and thrashed in her seat. Hotch knelt down next to her and put his hand on her shoulder. "JJ, wake up," he said forcefully.
JJ's eyes shot open and she lurched forward in her seat, panting. She looked around quickly, eyes resting on Hotch. She screamed.
"Get away!" she shrieked. He sat, shocked at her reaction, unable to move. "Get away from me! Don't touch me!" She shook his hand off her shoulder. "Oh my G-d, oh my G-d! Dammit, get away! Get away!" She thrashed around, still buckled in her seat. JJ kicked and slapped at Hotch, pushing him away as tears ran down her cheeks. "Go," she moaned before completely breaking down. Her sobs became loud and persistent, not stopping.
Prentiss ran up to the stunned Hotch, pushing him out of the way so hard that he bumped into Jess. She knelt down to JJ, putting her hand in hers. "JJ, it's me. Calm down. Look at me," she demanded. JJ obeyed. At first, Emily was shocked by the intense fear in her eyes. "It's just Emily, JJ. It's just me and Hotch."
"Go away," she ordered hoarsely.
Although she was reluctant, Emily noticed the recognition in JJ's eyes. She knew that JJ knew who she was, the nightmare was over. She nodded and backed away slowly, not taking her eyes off of her hurt teammate. However, seeing JJ in that much pain and suffering—well, she couldn't take it. Her eyes shined with unshed tears.
She turned around, nearly running into Hotch. She was surprised to see him almost crying as well.
JJ was hurt.
Jess approached both of them as JJ monitored her breathing, trying to calm down. She heard Jess talking to her friends.
"It's not your fault, you know," she murmured reassuringly. "It's her scar tissue. This could have happened—no, would have happened to anyone. You just happened to be there. It's not your fault."
JJ took one last, deep breath before getting out of the car. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
"You have nothing to be sorry for," Hotch said sternly. "Absolutely nothing. Do you hear me?"
"Yeah, Hotch, I hear you. It's just...I'm so sorry for acting like that. I just had a nightmare, I should be able to deal with dreams by now..."
"JJ, what happened to you was horrible. There is no getting over that 100 percent. We accept you for who you are, no matter how many bad dreams you have. You are amazing, Jayje, and we love you no matter what."
"Thank you," JJ whispered. "Thank you for everything."
Hotch nodded. "Let's just go inside, okay?"
"Did the police officer read you your rights?" Morgan said from inside the interrogation room. At first, the team was reluctant about letting Morgan question the unsub alone, thinking he may get carried away. After all, it was extremely personal for all of them. But he had convinced them that it was okay.
"Answer me," Morgan roared, slamming his fist down on the table, making Walt flinch. He nearly laughed at the fact that he was such a monster to so many people, but jumped at a loud noise. "Did he or did he not read you your rights?"
"He did," Walt answered. He sat up straight like he wanted to feel in charge.
And right then, Morgan decided that it would never happen. He stood tall, lifting his chin ever so slightly.
"So you are aware that you can have a lawyer present?"
"Yes, I am aware, but I've done nothing wrong."
"Nothing?" Morgan snorted. "Do you call this nothing?" he whipped out the pictures of the victims, throats slashed and dead.
"I did nothing wrong."
"Are you saying that you did not murder these women?"
"No, I'm just saying that I did nothing wrong."
"Are you saying that you did not molest your step-daughters?"
Walt hesitated. "I didn't do anything wrong; I just loved them."
Morgan laughed dryly. "What you did wasn't love, it was torture. You call that nothing wrong?"
"I call that unrelated."
"I know you murdered these women." Morgan said, pointing at the photographs.
"Good for you."
"Are you admitting to murder?" Morgan asked, confused.
"I'm admitting to giving them justice."
"Okay, I'm tired of playing games-"
"As am I, Agent Morgan."
"Were you present when these women died?"
"Did you kill them?"
"It's just a yes or no question, sir. Not too hard."
"I'm taking the first."
"I have the right to remain silent. Do I have the wrong amendment?"
Morgan groaned. "Either get a lawyer or answer the damn question."
JJ sighed. "Okay, that's it." She pushed herself up and made her way to the door.
"JJ, where are you going?" Hotch asked, blocking the doorway.
"I'm going to go help out Morgan."
"I wouldn't do that."
"Yeah, Hotch? Why not?"
"Because...because it's hard. Because it's going to be difficult, and-"
"She's strong," Jess whispered. "Shelby's strong, she can handle it. I don't know this JJ very well, but as long as it's Shelby going in there, she'll be fine. Let her go."
After a few seconds, Hotch stepped out of the way. But before JJ could get by, he put his hand out and looked at Jess. "JJ is strong too." He moved his hand out of the way.
JJ smiled at him sincerely and left the room. She turned right into the interrogation room, ignoring the curious gazes from her teammates.
"Jayje, what are you doing here?" Morgan asked, baffled.
"Walt, do you remember me?" JJ asked, ignoring Morgan's question.
"Shelby." Walt smiled, a sight that made Morgan want to vomit. But then his expression turned to anger. "It's your fault. It's your fault I had no life."
JJ ignored this comment. "Do you remember hurting me again? Do you remember trying to kill me? Do you remember giving me this?" She asked, pulling up her pant leg to reveal a nasty scar.
"Yes. I was so close, but then your girlfriend came and saved you."
"My coworker," JJ stressed, "saved my life. Unfortunately, she couldn't do the same for the others you killed."
"They deserved it."
"They deserved to die!" He yelled. "They deserved to be tortured and murdered!"
"Why? Because I ruined your life?"
"Yes, because they were no better than you."
JJ looked at Morgan in a there you have it kind of way.
"Sir, you're going to have to come with me." Morgan's pulled Walt up violently and dragged him out the door.
"I'm sorry, Kitten!" Walt screamed at JJ. "I hope we can still be together! You were always so good to me, don't make it end!"
"Come here," Morgan snarled, jerking him out of the room.
JJ, meanwhile, was terrified. She fell into the chair, her breathing fast and uneven.
Hotch came into the room and knelt in front of her. "JJ, it's okay. He's gone; you're fine now. It's over."
JJ shook her head. "No I'm not. What he did, Hotch—it can't be undone. I'm not okay, I'm not fine, and it's definitely not over. It will never be."
Jess sprinted into the room as well. "Shelby, come here right now." She demanded.
Hotch turned around, shocked. "Jess," he whispered harshly, "don't speak to her like that. She's obviously panicked-"
"Don't tell me what to do," Jess spat. Then she turned to Shelby, "Look at him, Shelb. Look at him!"
JJ remembered what Shelby had told Jess so long ago. She dashed out into the hallway right behind Jess just in time to see Morgan turning the corner, Walt in handcuffs. She remembered the first time he got arrested, and she made a promise to herself. A promise that she would keep for several reasons.
Because this promise was impossible to break.
Because she had seen the affect of a broken promise, and it resulted in another life ruined.
But mostly because Jess had made this promise to her so many years ago.
So JJ promised to herself that she would remember this.
She would remember everything.
The end! Hope you all liked it, and I hope it lived up to your expectations. This was actually my first completed fanfiction, so please review! What did you think? Comments, questions, concerns? (I don't know what you would be concerned about—it's just a story. maybe my over-active imagination? Because I promise, it's nothing to worry about lol).
By the way, yes I did intentionally put Higher Ground moments in with all the characters throughout the story.
Thanks for reading and reviewing!