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Note: This is for the Halloween Drabble Competition your character tries to ignore Halloween for the Criminal Minds Weekly Prompts

Words: 411 (not including Note, AN, Disclaimer or lyrics quote)

Innocent

Did some things you can't speak of but at night you live it all again.

You wouldn't be shattered on the floor now if only you'd seen what you know now, then.

Wasn't it easier in your firefly catching days, when everything out of reach someone bigger brought down to you?

Every Halloween she reminded herself Jennifer Jareau grew up in a tiny town that had a darts team because they were too small for a bowling alley. She played soccer and got a scholarship because it was the only way out. Her older sister had died when she was eleven, she was scared of the woods but she didn't know why. Every Halloween she reminded herself, she was Jennifer Jareau, not Shelby Merrick.

Shelby Merrick had been ten when she dressed up as a kitten for Halloween. She dressed up as her favorite animal and nickname. Shelby Merrick had once been a nice, naive young girl but that would be taken away from her later that Halloween evening when her step father would sexually abuse her for the first time. Once again she had to remind herself that Shelby Merrick disappeared in a hiking accident ten years ago and was never heard from again. Jennifer Jareau never met Shelby, never knew anybody like Shelby.

There are some things that no matter how hard you try, you can't erase, you can't pretend but that doesn't stop you from trying. Both Shelby and JJ have done things they're not proud of, things they don't speak about but that doesn't mean they don't see it in their nightmares at night. Maybe things would be different if Shelby knew back then what JJ knew now. Maybe Shelby wouldn't be shattered, maybe JJ wouldn't exist.

It would be so much easier if the butterfly; firefly catching days would come back. She longed for the days when somebody would bring things that were out of reach down to her. Shelby used to think that the monsters were in her closet and under her bed. She used to believe that the adults could make all of her problems and troubles go away, not cause them. From an early age Shelby realized life was a tough crowd that she could never end up pleasing, so she didn't. Jennifer was taught from a young age that even though we all do things that we're not proud of you don't have to be who you were or what you did, you're still an innocent.

That's why every Halloween JJ tries to ignore Halloween. Every Halloween she reminds herself that Jennifer Jareau is not Shelby Merrick; they're two completely different people. Everybody else believes it so the more she repeats it the more she'll believe it too, right?

Wasn't it beautiful running wild till you fell asleep, before the monsters caught up to you?

It's okay your life is a tough crowd, thirty two and still growing up now.

Who you are is not what you did, you're still an innocent.

AN: Just so you understand Shelby was a character played by AJ Cook in a TV show called "Higher Ground". Shelby changed her identity to Jennifer Jareau and got rid of anything and everything that involved Shelby Merrick but JJ's been having a hard time convincing herself that Shelby's not her anymore especially on Halloween.