Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort
Spoilers/Warnings: One scene of explicit rape in the first chapter. A few possible spoilers from and up to season 5.
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine and I am not looking to profit from them.
Summary: A case goes badly wrong and Morgan and Reid are trapped at the mercy of two sexual sadists, Tom and Eric Faraday. Morgan/Reid slash. Focuses on their recovery and relationship after the trauma.
Sarah Parish lived alone in a small town a few miles off the highway. The house was neglected and looked vaguely sunken in on itself like the cheeks of the woman herself. She was in her twenties by now but she looked much older, lines on her face mapping out the torture she'd suffered. She was dressed in a faded salmon pink dressing gown with scarred bare feet and lank wilted white-blonde hair brushed over her face to hide the startling puckered burn scar which covered the left side of her face and neck.
Prentiss took the lead, knowing that victims who had been raped were often more comfortable talking to women.
"Hi Miss Parish, I'm Agent Emily Prentiss," she said gently, "This is Agent Hotchner and Agent Rossi. We need to ask you a few questions about a case we think may be linked to your abduction."
She looked at them as if they were a thousand miles away, some creatures of vague interest, but who couldn't quite pierce the smooth membrane of her apathy. Eventually she stood back from the door, inviting them inside.
"Call me Sarah. How did you find me?" she asked resignedly.
"Our technical analyst contacted the witness protection scheme but they said you'd left their care without your parents and disappeared. She then tracked you down through your account details. It's a method only available to us. Don't worry, there's no way for the unsub to have found you."
"Unsub?" she asked, leading them into the sitting room and sitting down in a shabby armchair.
"Unknown Subject." Rossi clarified.
She nodded. "So you say you have questions for me? Couldn't you have talked to the police?"
"We don't have much time, a girl is missing right now." Hotch explained. "Besides, some new information has come to light. We believe a large number of young blonde girls have been kidnapped and murdered by the same man, from five different states including Ohio."
"Oh God." she said. She stood up and walked over to a desk. She pulled out a stack of polaroid photos. Each one showed one of the missing girls, dressed up and posing for the camera, laughing, smiling.
"Are these…?" she asked.
Prentiss took them and looked at them.
"Yes, these are the victims, look there's Viola and Maria."
"Why do you have these?" Rossi asked.
She looked nauseated. "They keep being posted through the door, with a letter from a modelling agency. I was confused because it was asking for eleven to thirteen year old girls and I don't have..." Suddenly her eyes widened in shock and she put a hand to her mouth.
"What is it?" Prentiss put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"That's how old…how old our baby would be this year." She said numbly. "He got me pregnant."
Prentiss guided her back towards the chair, stroking her back soothingly.
"Is that why he let you live?" Hotch asked.
She nodded. "He told me it would make everything right again, but I couldn't, couldn't keep his baby inside me!"
"Did you tell anyone else?" Prentiss asked stroking her hand.
She shook her head. "I hid it from my parents. They were strict Catholics, they would never have let me abort it. But I couldn't accept their love and sympathy when I'd betrayed our faith like that, so I ran away."
Hotch and Rossi went into the kitchen to make some tea for the crying woman, while Prentiss continued to hold her hand.
"What do you make of this?" Hotch asked, filling the kettle.
"I'm not sure. If the unsub gets sadistic pleasure from hurting little girls, why is he angry at Sarah for killing their daughter?"
"And what did mean that her giving birth to his child would make everything right again?"
"Could this be about his own child?"
"Perhaps. But what can a child do that would hurt their father so much that he needs to punish them over and over?" Hotch asked.
"I don't know." Rossi sighed. "But we need to figure it out before time runs out for Lucy Davies."
"I wonder how Hotch and Rossi are getting on with Sarah Parish?" Reid said, handing Morgan a coffee. Morgan carefully switched the sleeping infant to his other arm and took the mug gratefully. "I hope we find her soon." Reid continued. "I keep thinking..." he stopped himself.
"Thinking what?" Morgan asked.
"Well about how scared she must be. I mean, what we went through was awful, but we at leas understood hat they were doing to us. She's got no idea what's happening to her."
He was starting to talk about it. That was a good sign, surely?
"What do you think it means that he referenced that Lolita book?" Morgan asked, to take Reid's mind off the little girl.
"Well...it means he's fairly well read and educated. And I guess maybe that he empathises with Humbert, even though the profile says he isn't a paedophile. Throughout the book he's constantly either manipulating or being manipulated by the girl he's molesting. So maybe this guy feels like he's been controlled or tricked by a girl in his life."
Morgan tried to think about that, but his tired brain kept short circuiting.
"Man this kid is heavy." He complained.
"Aww suck it up superdad. You had the chance to give her back and you didn't."
"I wa trying o save them the trouble of getting her back to sleep."
"Of course you were." Reid smiled and sat down next to him, looking at the baby snoozing obliviously in Morgan's muscled arms.
Morgan laughed. "You know, she punched me in her sleep a couple of minutes ago. It wa adorable. And hey, put your finger in her hand, see if she grabs it."
Reid put his mug down and leaned over, stroking his little finger against the baby's hand. Immediately she clamped her fingers around it.
"Wow she's got quite the grip on her." He said, wincing a little. He smiled at Morgan. "You're really good with kids aren't you?"
"Yeah I guess. I always liked hanging out with the boys at the youth centre back home. I think you just gotta treat them like adults. They know if you're patronising them and they stop trusting you."
"Kids don't usually like me so much." Reid admitted. "Normally whenever I try to talk to them they stare at me or point and laugh and then walk away."
Morgan laughed. "You probably just need to practise more. I mean you were an only child, so that makes it harder to relate to them."
"Yeah I guess. Even when I was a kid myself I got pretty much the same reaction from the other children. Except sometimes they would stick my head down a toilet first." Reid said wryly.
Morgan gave him a sympathetic smile. He didn't trust himself to speak, since he felt compelled to apologise, to confess how guilty it made him to know that he probably would have been the one shoving Reid's head down a toilet if their paths had crossed. He'd been full of anger and self-loathing as a child, and quite often he'd gone too far in order to impress one gang or another, and done things to other kids which made him feel sick to remember. Sometimes he got the feeling that Reid knew this, and as a result he and Reid had formed a kind of unspoken pact not to ask about each other's pasts.
Even so, it always struck him as incredibly ironic that ten years or so down the line, the quarterback had fallen for the outcast.
At this point Joseph wandered in sleepily like a ghost in borrowed PJs, his blonde hair sticking up at crazy angles.
"Hey little man, you alright?" Morgan asked. Joseph sighed and sat down on Morgan's other side, with the weariness of an old man.
"Yeah." He said.
"Couldn't sleep?" Reid asked.
"Come on kid, it helps to talk about them."
"It's no big deal. I get them all the time. I dream that my dad leaves without me. It's stupid."
"Why would your dad leave you?" Reid asked.
"He always wants to move. Every few months it's a new house, new school. I hate it."
"Have you told him that?"
"Yeah. He just gets mad at me and says if I want to stay so bad he'll leave me behind."
"What about your mom?" Morgan asked, concerned.
"I haven't seen her since I was six. Dad says I make her depressed because I look like my sister Lindsay, and she died when we were 5. It sucks, it would've been so cool to have a twin."
"I'm sorry man. That's rough."
"When I marry Lucy we're going to stay together all our lives, even if all our kids die." His face fell. "I hope you find her soon.
There was a grim silence.
Then the doorbell rang.
"Sarah, are you absolutely certain you can't remember any other details about the unsub? I know it's hard for you to think about it but it's vital that you try. A little girl's life depends on it." Prentiss said gently to the crying woman.
"I'm sorry! I honestly don't remember anything that could help you!"
"Well we'll be the judge of that. Please just tell us whatever you have."
She thought for a moment.
"He was blonde Handsome or at least I thought so when I first saw him. He had one of those faces that look like they belong on TV. He found me playing on a swing in the park near my old house."
"What did he do?"
"He approached me with a story about some modelling agency, Little Starlets. I was taken in at first but when he asked me to come with him to his studio I got nervous and tried to back out. Then he got angry. He punched me in the face until I blacked out, then all I remember was waking up in darkness hurting all over. He never spoke, except to give me commands. I begged him to stop, to let me go, but he just looked at me like…like…" she couldn't seem to find the words.
"He never gave anything away about his life?" Prentiss asked.
"No. Once I thought I heard a child crying, but I might have imagined it. Oh! And when he got really angry and lost control, he called me Cassandra."
The agents exchanged glances. Hotch pulled out his phone and dialled.
"You've reached the Magical Emporium of Dreams, tell me your wishes oh puny mortals."
"Garcia I need you to look for girls named Cassandra who lived near…" he turned to Sarah Parish. "What was your old address?" he asked. She gave him an address and he relayed it to Garcia. "…around or before the time Sarah disappeared."
"I know it's not much to go on but it's a fairly uncommon name isn't it?"
"It would be a lot quicker if I searched by school."
Rossi cut in, "I have a hunch, something Sarah said about him having the kind of face for TV, and his ruse of the talent agency."
"You think he's in showbusiness?" Hotch asked.
"We know he's a narcissist. It would suit him well. Look at private school records in the area. TV stars don't send their little darlings to state schools."
"Okay Garcia check the nearest private schools. Cross reference girls named Cassandra with fathers in showbusiness. Actually, with fathers wh were n showbusiness."
"Losing his job may have been a stresser." Rossi nodded.
"It's a long shot but it's worth a try." Hotch said.
"Aye aye Captain." Garcia said. There was the sound of frantic tapping. "Aand…there are four private schools in the area, one of which only takes boys…" there was a pause. "Okay, sorry boss but there are a higher number of Cassandras with famous daddies than you'd expect in private school."
"Okay can we narrow them down by hair colour?"
"Six of them are blondes…no wait, five that girl's hair colour is totally fake. Honestly, who lets a ten year old bleach their hair blonde?"
"Focus Garcia. Look for girls with troubled backgrounds."
"Oh here's something." More tapping. "Cassandra Jones, was taken out of school when her stepfather who was a children's TV presenter and her mother who owned talent agency ivorced over allegations Cassandra made that he'd been sexually abusing her."
"That would certainly explain his rage." Rossi said.
"The case went to court but there wasn't enough evidence to convict. It was her word against his, and her teachers admitted she had a history of lying to get her own way, and that she hated her stepfather. Even so, he lost everything. No one wanted to hire a presenter to work with kids when he'd been accused of being a paedophile, his wife took nearly everything he had in the divorce and stopped him from seeing his two biological children. Basically she ruined his life."
"What was the name of the stepfather?"
Reid opened the door. "Oh hey Mr...umm..."
"Miller. But call me Frank." Joseph's dad smiled, looking tired. "So sorry to leave him with you, I had some things I needed to sort out. I hope he hasn't been a bother. I'll take him home with me now."
"Oh...sure." Reid hesitated, feeling suddenly uneasy. He told himself to get a grip and called for Joseph.
"Hey son." Frank said when Joseph came to the door. He ruffled the boy's hair, but the boy just looked up at him unsmilingly. "Come on, get in the car. Thanks again agent Reid."
He held Reid's gaze for a moment.
"Sure. No problem." Reid said. An icy chill crept down his neck. He looked down at the man's right hand, which had stayed in his pocket the entire time, arm tensed. And he knew. He just knew with a sickening certainty what he was concealing, and cursed himself for leaving his gun in the other room.
Reid's phone rang in his pocket. Fear congealed in his pounding heart as he realised he knew exactly what Hotch was calling to tell him. Frank Miller looked down at the phone where it was clipped to his belt.
"Right. Goodbye." He forced himself to sound friendly, knowing that if just one syllable sounded unnatural or worried it could cost his or Joseph their lives. He shut the door, trembling and forced himself to walk calmly into the next room.
Morgan stood up and looked at him with concern. Reid held a hand up for him to be quiet.
"Hello?" he answered the call. It was Hotch.
"We've got a name, Frank Miller. He's the father of the boy who you talked to isn't he?" Hotch said.
"Yes." Reid's heart sank. "He just left here. With Joseph."
He saw the expression on Morgan's face change to horror as he realised they'd just let a little boy walk off with the unsub.
Unfortunately so did Frank Miller.
The glass of the living room window shattered as five shots were fired at the agents inside.
Link to chapter 6: http://colourmebipolar.livejournal.c
Link to chapter 8: http://colourmebipolar.livejournal.c