Coercion - 10
@coveofmemories @reiding-and-writing @myxomatosis-s (I feel like I may have been tagging you wrong, SO sorry sweetie) @skeletoresinthebasement @passionate-hedgehog @camigt1999 @eideticenticement @ultrarebelheart @remember-me-forever-silent-angel
You are just about to start your new job at the BAU after years of working to get there, when a man you don’t know approaches you with an evil plan and knowledge of every sordid detail of your past. What will you do? Will you give into the man’s demands? Or will you be able to find another way out?
By the time you got back, you were livid. The rage was coursing through you to the point where you stood at the steps of the jet before they’d even been lowered. As you rushed off the plane, Hotch called after you to return your gun, which as part of your continued involvement in the case, was ordered to be returned every night before you went home.
You’d barely heard him through the haze of frustration, but you spun around, handed him your gun without a word, and sped to your car, more than ready to go home. The thought of spending another moment with your team, who you’d disappointed for the second time in a week, made you want to explode. “Tomorrow, 9 AM,” you heard him call.
When you returned home, it was barely 7PM, but you were beyond done. Sleep was necessary. As your head hit the pillow, you prayed for relief from the continuous torturous thoughts that were plaguing your mind. Little did you know those thoughts would continue for weeks. Ashton had dropped off the map.
Ashton was here. There was no place else he could be. Every possible method of ingress and egress was covered. They were going to get him and this was all going to be over. You’d never been more confident than in this moment.
Until you heard something hit the wall somewhere behind you. You gently tiptoed your way through the apartment, gun at the ready. The code of law enforcement was that if he could be taken into custody that was what you were supposed to do, but that wasn’t happening. If you found him before someone else did, Ashton was dead. You wouldn’t give him the chance to buy his way out of prison a second time.
“No!” you breathed. The noise you’d heard was Emily. In front of you was Emily’s lifeless body, her head caved in just under the blood splatter on the wall. When you went to put your fingers to her throat, you sobbed, covered your mouth with your free hand. She was gone.
Where was this fucker?
Spinning around on your heels, you picked up your pace and rounded the corner, heading to the noise your heard at the opposite end of the expansive apartment. “Aaron,” you heard, the noise gurgling from someone whose voice was distorted by blood. “No, Aaron, stay with me.” As you walked into the room, you saw Hotch’s hand slip from Rossi’s grasp. They’d both been stabbed. “It was one of the bodyguards,” he said, the dark crimson liquid spilling forth from his mouth and flowing onto the floor. “Go get him, Y/N.”
“I’m not leaving you,” you cried. Let them come to you.
There wasn’t any time, and Rossi new it. “The longer you stay here, the more likely he’ll get away. Go!” He choked out the last word and as you left the room, your eyes drowning in tears, you could feel his last breaths.
Stealth was no longer an option. Without any regard for who might hear you, you ran to where you’d heard another noise, only to find JJ sitting up against the wall with a knife in her stomach. “He went that way. Go!” She looked like she’d lost a lot of blood, but Rossi was right; you couldn’t wait.
No, no, no, no, no…”Morgan!” you screamed. He was gone. “Spencer!” You yelled your throat raw, pleading for Spencer to answer your cries, but he wasn’t saying anything. In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to save the man you loved, you screamed and cried as you ran through the apartment, knocking over anything and everything to gain Ashton’s attention. Everyone else was dead or close to death. If he wanted you, let him take you, just leave Spencer alone.
When you rounded the next corner, he was there. Alive. “Spencer,” you breathed.
A rattling, screaming cry emanated from your throat as Spencer fell to the floor, a bullet shining right between his eyes. “You could’ve saved his life if you had just done what you were told,” Ashton said, stepping out of the shadows. “It’s your fault.”
Shooting up in bed, you were alarmed at the sound of screaming, only to realize seconds later that it was your own. After you grabbed at your arms and patted your legs, ensuring you were in fact alive and awake, you grabbed your phone and shot Spencer a text. He wasn’t speaking to you. He’d barely said ten words since he’d learned of what you’d done to JJ, but you needed him to answer. You needed to know he was alive. Even if he hated you. Pieces of this nightmare had been plaguing your dreams for the past two weeks. Two weeks since you’d been this close to Ashton and had him slip from your grasp. But this time was the first time it had felt so real. You needed Spencer to text you.
What do you want, Y/N?
It took a minute to adjust to his tone of text. It was so foreign to you, but at least he was alive.
I had a nightmare. I needed to make sure you were alive. I know you hate me. But thank you for messaging me.
The shaking you’d woken up with didn’t subside as you got dressed and drove to work. It was still early. It was 6 AM. But you couldn’t sleep. Ashton was still out there. You’d work for three hours. Comb through everything you could to see what clues you could find. Maybe Garcia would be in and you could scour every camera across the globe and spot the fucker in the crowd.
When you got into the office, the only one who was there was Hotch, giving further credence to your theory that he was in fact superhuman and didn’t need sleep to function. After grabbing a cup of coffee, which was probably the worst idea for you considering you were still jittery, you sat down at your desk with whatever files you could gather.
After nearly two and a half hours, you’d found nothing that would indicate Ashton’s whereabouts. You downed the last sip of your now ice-cold coffee and looked at the case reports from two weeks earlier, when you’d lost him in Scotland. Those words. ‘How does it feel? Knowing you were so close?’ They stared back at you- mocking you, torturing you – with a range of thoughts, none of them kind. “Fuck!” you screamed, throwing the files off your desk and collapsing into your desk in a fit of tears.
This was All. Your. Fault.
“Y/N?” Hotch said sternly, nodding his head in the slight but noticeable way that said he wanted you to come to his office. Lovely. Now he’s going to reprimand me for throwing papers everywhere.
You tugged your shirt down and walked toward Hotch’s office without any regard for picking up the papers. No one was in yet anyway. It didn’t fucking matter. You weren’t sure what mattered anymore.
“Look, sir,” you started, “I’m sorry for the outburst. It’s just-“
“Sit,” he said firmly. Despite wanting to protest, you sat down in front of him, reading for the tongue-lashing. “How are you?
Excuse me. “Sir?
“I can see you’re not getting enough sleep. Ever since we got back from Scotland, you’re shaky and on-edge, even more so than before. You’re downing cups of coffee faster than the pot can make it; that is when you’re not to in your own head so much that you forget that five hours have passed. It’s not healthy.” He finished speaking and you looked at him confused. He was talking to you like a dad that was worried you were overworking yourself, not a federal agent that nearly killed one of his teammates and closest friends.
“Sir, Ashton is still out there. I can’t focus knowing he’s out there. Living a life that none of us could ever hope to live, knowing what he’s done,” you said. How could he even ask you that kind of question? What else should you be doing? “I’m not sleeping until he’s caught. I’ve fucked up enough in my life. I’m not gonna do it again and allow that bastard to take the one thing I’ve worked so hard for, at least not without a fight. I can’t…I just…” The sobs started to wrack through your body again. You’d lost count of how many times you’d broken down when you promised yourself you wouldn’t. The shaking from this morning intensified as you hanged your head in your hands. “Hotch…Sir, I’m so sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen. I didn’t want to hurt JJ. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I-“
“You chose Reid,” he said simply. “I understand.
Your head rose from its position to meet his gaze. “You understand? You don’t think I acted hastily?”
He shook his head. “My assumption was that you weighed all your options. From what you knew, he had all the resources to do whatever he wanted, including killing Reid. From there, you chose him. If I were in your position, your exact position, I would’ve chosen Jack, and no one could’ve convinced me otherwise,” he said, the surety in his voice steadying you slightly. “I wish you could’ve trusted us enough to know that we wouldn’t have judged you, but other than that, I can’t completely fault you for what happened. I can tell that you wouldn’t have done it if you assumed there was any other way out.”
“I appreciate that, Sir,” you said. “But it’s not about trust. When you come from where I did, you’re ashamed. I was violated and told I was worthless, that I was nothing but a vessel to be used for someone else’s pleasure for more than a year. Rocco Mitchell beat out my self-esteem to the point where I thought I was nothing. Despite getting to where I am now, you don’t just lose that belief. Every day I struggle with whether or not I’m worth a damn thing to anyone. The only reasons I keep going at all anymore are my mother, my father, and Leslie.”
“She was the one that was killed in front of you?” he asked his voice shaking at the thought of two teenage girls cowering before a man with too much power.
You caught sight of Spencer and Morgan walking in for the morning and Hotch got up to close the blinds for you. “Despite everything she’d been through, she was always so positive. Garcia reminds me of her in a lot of ways. I had had my arm basically broken the night before. I made myself a makeshift sling, but I was in such pain that when Rocco called us for the night’s work, I begged for a break. He said no. Leslie said she’d take my client and when she mouthed off to him, he shot her, shoved me toward my client and that was that. When he dumped me on the side of the road, I swallowed some pills I’d found hoping I would die, but I didn’t. The next morning I got up, ran two towns over to someone who I knew could give me a new identity and I ran until I couldn’t anymore.” You hadn’t realized you’d been rambling until Hotch got up from his seat and sat on the edge of the desk. “I got a waitressing job under my new name and saved everything I possibly could. I lived in random shelters on a rotating basis. I had nothing. But I used whatever time I wasn’t working to apply for grants so I could go to school. I finished high school and then I received a full ride to college. Since then, it’s been my dream to work here. I thought I’d finally become something, but I guess…” You couldn’t even finish the sentence. Again, you broke into sobs, but this time, they were muffled by Hotch’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry, Y/N,” he said, placing his hand on the back of your head. “We’ll catch this man. Then once we do, I can plead your case to the director to let you stay.” You were stunned. He’d already taken a hell of a lot of flack for insisting you stay until Ashton was caught, but as he’d told Morgan, you were an asset.
You looked into his unwavering gaze. “I’m an asset, Sir. Once there’s no need for me, the director will want me gone. He already wants me gone.” When you mentioned the moniker you’d heard weeks ago, he wavered slightly.
“That was a word I used to calm Morgan,” he said. “I’m sorry you
heard that. But it’s not how I feel. Once this is all over, we can work toward
trusting each other again. Okay?”
“Yes, sir.” A small, hopeful smile painted its way across your face. “I’ll meet you in the round table room in a few.”
“Y/N?” he asked again, just as you went to leave his office. “Remember what I said when we met?” You did. “Call me Hotch.”