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Home Sweet Home @whiitewolf
Chapter 6

Author's Note: All of your support honestly blows me away! Thank you so much.

JJ sat up on her bed, gasping for air. Her fingers clutched the blanket so tightly it was painful. "Say you like it." Their voices echoed in her ears. It had been another nightmare. She was covered in sweat. There was so much sweat that her hair clung to her neck. She could feel it dripping down her face. Her shaky hand reached up to wipe some of it off her forehead. She was safe, right? Her hand now covered her mouth as she tried to hold back sobs. It felt like her stomach was in knots. She could feel their hands on her like it was happening all over again. Even though it wasn't happening now, a part of her felt like she couldn't make a sound. They'd hurt Henry. No... It's not happening now. It's okay. You're safe.

It was hard to hear over the drumming of her heart, so loud, but she could hear a voice down the hall. JJ felt panicked until she realized it was a woman's voice. Emily. That's right. Emily had stayed for her. But who was Emily talking to? JJ's legs felt like jello as her bare feet touched the soft carpet floor. She paused momentarily to take in a couple deep breaths in an attempt to calm herself from the terrible nightmare she had. These nightmares were a frequent occurrence and yet they did not seem to be getting any easier. Through all her years in the bureau, she had known the terrible effects a trauma like what she had been through could have on her and yet there was nothing that could have prepared her to experience it firsthand.

"I don't know that it's smart to tell her," she heard Emily say.

Her... her who? Was it about her? JJ felt her body tremble. It felt uneasy. Emily wouldn't be talking about her behind her back, would she?

"She finally reached out to me. It's a good step, but she seems so..." Emily's voice trailed off. There was a pause for a few moments and then "No, I know she's strong. She's one of the strongest people I know, but she deserves some peace. She deserves a break."

JJ inched closer to the door, opening it as quietly as possible. The hallway squeaked as she stepped out of her room, and she froze. It didn't appear that Emily noticed as she kept talking.

"I'm staying with her. She will definitely be safe. I'll make sure of it."

Safe? Why wouldn't she be safe?

"I don't want to keep it from her, but I don't think she needs to know now."

"What don't I need to know?" JJ asked suddenly as she stepped into the living room, watching as Emily paced back and forth in her pajamas. If it hadn't been so serious, JJ may have been slightly amused by the Scooby Doo pajamas and the pink bunny slippers.

"JJ!" Emily exclaimed as she nearly dropped her phone. "Hotch, I'll call you back." Emily ended the call and looked at JJ with a slightly guilty expression.

"What don't I need to know?" JJ repeated, trying to ignore the terror she felt in her chest. She was trying to appear strong and keep her voice even but she would have been surprised if Emily could not detect the way her body trembled.

Emily looked at her, and sighed. She so badly wished to protect JJ from everything, but as she saw the spark of determine in the blonde's eyes, she decided it was best to be honest with her.

"One of the other women killed herself," Emily said softly. She looked closely at JJ's face, trying to read her expression carefully.

"Other women?" JJ asked, her heart beginning to hammer. No, she couldn't mean... By other women, she must mean the other women the men had targeted. "You mean...?"

"Yes," Emily said stepping forward to put an arm on JJ's shoulder reassuringly. "There were five other women. You were the sixth victim."

JJ stepped back, pulling away. "You're still not telling me something."


"No! I might not be working right now but that does not mean I cannot pick up on things. What aren't you telling me?" JJ felt tears spring to her eyes. As frustrated as she was, she could feel a weight on her chest. Even though deep down she knew that Emily was doing what she thought was right, JJ felt betrayed.

Emily hesitated, trying to figure out how to deal with the situation that was unfolding. They had agreed as a team to keep JJ out of all of this but it did seem like there was not much choice in the manner. "Can we sit down at least?" Emily asked, gesturing to the couch.

Begrudgingly, JJ sat down. At first, she crossed her arms, feeling a bit defensive but then she rested her hands on her legs and began trying to subtly wipe off the sweat as she watched Emily sit down. JJ could see the sympathy on her face. Some of her annoyance waned. She knew that Emily was just doing what she thought was best but it all felt wrong. "Please," JJ said a bit softer this time. "Tell me what's going on."

Emily looked at JJ for a brief moment before nodding. If she was in JJ's position, she would want to know everything. She felt a bit guilty when she imagined how she would have felt if there had been a secret kept from her, regardless of how she was coping in similar circumstances.

"You were the sixth victim," Emily said watching her friend carefully to make sure she was as okay as she could be given the situation. "We think that they were trying to pick riskier targets that escalated with each victim. They went from a stay at home mom to an FBI Agent."

JJ grimaced as she felt her stomach turn. When she heard Emily mentioned the stay at home mom...

"All the women had children, yes," Emily answered her unspoken question. JJ felt her eyes begin to water again and she desperately tried to ignore the lump in her throat. Up until this point, she had not questioned the team at all. She had not pried. She imagined they were not allowed to work the case due to her being involved in it but she knew that they would have looked into it. A part of her had not wanted to know but she had a sinking feeling that she needed to know. The phone conversation she had overheard gave her a bad feeling about this.

"Go ahead," JJ said trying to sound encouraging despite the fact that a few tears had fallen down her cheek and her voice trembled almost as much as her hands did.

"That call that you overheard-"

"One of the other women killed herself?" JJ asked, her voice growing quieter with each word. Her heart hurt desperately for the woman. Having been through a similar ordeal, JJ knew how she had felt at times. Numb, at first. The brain's way of trying to protect her and then as time went on after the event, the pain grew heavier and heavier. If it had not been for Henry, JJ wondered if she would have done similar.

Emily froze, feeling unsure of how to put the next part into words. When the team had debated on whether to tell JJ or not, she remembered Morgan telling her that JJ had a right to know and had said it would be like ripping off a band aid. It did seem like the best way... "She's the second one to have killed herself and at this point, we suspect there might be something else happening here."

Individually, JJ understood what each word in that sentence had meant but when they went together it felt like her brain shut down. It seemed impossible to comprehend. Emily was implying that it wasn't suicide? That it had happened to two of the women? JJ was sure Reid would be able to tell her that statistical probability of this being a coincidence and that it would lead to the conclusion that this was not.

This was intentional and this told her that she still wasn't safe.

She felt Emily's hand take hers and squeeze. "We won't let anything happen to you, JJ," Emily said a sharp determination in her voice. "We will keep you safe."

Would she ever be safe again? Would she ever feel safe again? As if the recurring nightmares weren't bad enough, it turned out the nightmare in her life wasn't even over yet.

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