grateful for compassion

The Old and The New: One Man’s Desperation

Chapter 4 of The Old and The New @coveofmemories @gublersmind @heavenlycevans

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“What do you mean?” Spencer asked as Mrs. Herzfeld invited them inside. “Did he say anything specifically about his past? Or was he just being vague?”

She sat down on the couch, her head hanging in her hands as she sobbed. “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Herzfeld,” Y/N said, reaching across the table and placing her hand on the woman’s arms. “Take your time. Anything you might be able to tell us would be immensely helpful.” Spencer took in the way Y/N interacted with people. Despite her out-there nature, she was compassionate and sweet when she needed to be. Interacted with people very well.

A tear rolled down the woman’s face as she looked up with a half smile, grateful for the agent’s compassion. “He said he did something stupid when he first joined the force more than 20 years ago.”

“How old is your husband?” Spencer asked. Y/N was glad he said ‘is’ rather than ‘was,’ even though it was more than likely that her husband was dead.

“46. He joined the force when he was 23.”

As Mrs. Herzfeld grimaced, probably coming to the realization that she wasn’t going to see her husband again, Y/N squeezed her hand gently. “Did he give any indication as to when this part of his past occurred?”

“I’m not exactly sure,” she shrugged, “But at one point I thought I heard him mention that it happened, ‘a couple years’ after he started. “So he was maybe 25?”

“And he said nothing about who else was involved?” Spencer encouraged. “About what happened?”

Mrs. Herzfeld sucked in her lips as they quivered. “Cogswell and Heskett,” she said sadly. “And…someone named Bohen…or Cohen…I’m not sure. He never mentioned what it was. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.”

“Ma’am,” Y/N said, squeezing her hand again. “You’ve been more than enough help. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.”

As mentor and mentee stood up and walked out, they told the grieving wife that they’d be in touch as soon as they found something out. “Well, Bohen or Cohen leads us in a better direction than when we went in,” Y/N said. “And we know that it does have something to do with something that happened between 20 and 25 years ago.”

“Having a time frame and a possible name will go a long way to narrowing this down. She was much more help than she realized.” The two piled into the car and headed back toward the station. A text from Luke read that they’d examined the concrete bricks. Whoever the unsub was had a basic, but definitely not extensive knowledge of concrete. Jack and Luke were on their way back as well, and they’d left much earlier, so everyone would probably convene back at the station at around the same time. “So, Y/N, do you have a nickname you prefer to be called?” Spencer asked with a smile. 

“Kiddo,” she replied quickly, waiting to see if Spencer would understand where the name came from. There was some inkling, but he couldn’t place it. “I watched Kill Bill a ton as a teenager. The Bride was always the most badass human being ever to me. Beautiful and brutal. And I was always picking fights with the school bullies, so the guys would be afraid of me and they’d also make a move on me. I, of course, never gave them the time of day. But from a young age, they started calling me either Kiddo, or Ripley. They meant it as an insult, but I adopted the names happily and proudly.”

“Movies from my day. Yes. So, I can call you Kiddo? Because I like that one.” Spencer asked. She shook her head, excited to already have a nickname from one of the famed members of the BAU. “Well, Kiddo, you are aware that Agent H…Agent Brooks has a crush on you, right?”

Spencer almost panicked. He’d almost said Hotchner and he promised he wouldn’t. Y/N seemed to notice his slip up, but she let it slide, smiling at the prospect of Jack having a thing for her. Spencer thought they’d be cute together, and Jack deserved the best. “I’m aware,” she smiled, as they pulled up to the station. Without another word, she flooded out of the car and walked back inside. For some reason, Spencer thought she knew more, of what he didn’t know, than she let on.

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After an hour and a half ride back to the station, Jack and Luke pulled up just as Spencer and Y/N did the same. “Anything?” Luke asked, slapping Spencer on the shoulder as they walked inside with Jack following closely behind. 

“Mrs. Herzfeld gave us a possible last name of Bohen or Cohen, as well as a possible timeline of 20-to-25 years ago,” Spencer said, walking around Y/N in such a way that he had to place her in Jack’s path. As he watched her smile, he kind of understood why Penelope enjoyed playing matchmaker so much. “Hopefully Garcia has a list of names for us.”

Once inside, the four agents walked into the conference where Smith, Jones, JJ and Emily were situated. “Any news on Herzfeld?” Luke asked. They still hadn’t heard anything on where he was. Garcia had attempted to track him, but his cellphone was found down the block from his house smashed to pieces. Emily shook her head, snapping around when one of the local officers caught her eye. 

“That can’t be good,” Y/N said, her hand grazing Jack’s as they looked on. “Herzfeld is dead.”

“How can you possibly know that?” Jack asked incredulously. “There is no way you could know that from all the way over here.”

“Sure there is,” Spencer smiled. “What is it, Y/N? How do you know?”

Swallowing hard, she realized she’d just opened herself for a chance to truly prove herself. Read body language. Prove she knew her behavior just as well as anyone else on the team. “Well, that’s Officer Giovanni,” she started. “As soon as we walked in, I noticed that he was sitting at Herzfeld’s desk. He sighed - heavily. My guess is that he was Herzfeld’s partner. Just before Agent Prentiss was called over, he was on the phone with someone and his face sank seconds after he answered, meaning he got bad news. Then when he hung up the phone, he looked back at the picture on Herzfeld’s desk; it’s a picture of his wife and son. He’s thinking of having to tell them that their husband and father are dead.”

Jack was impressed; he needed to study up on his body language. She was apparently very good at reading people. Did she know he had a thing for her? That he was jealous of his Uncle Spencer’s ability to work with her? His aunt turned around and locked eyes with Spencer and Luke, nodding just enough to convey what she needed. Y/N was right. Herzfeld was dead.

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“Herzfeld’s been found in a nearby river with the same rope and concrete attached to his body as the other victims,” Emily said as the five agents and five mentees walked into the conference room to discuss the situation away from the prying eyes of the members of the precinct.

“The river wasn’t deep at all, was it?” Y/N asked. If Herzfeld was the last living person that knew the unsub’s secret, he wouldn’t care to drive two hours away to dump the body. Through their investigation, he would’ve found out that the weights used on the first two victims didn’t work the way he expected. And if Herzfeld was the final piece then he’d just go with what he knew to get rid of him rather than tweak his method of disposal for future victims. “Our unsub is cocky and desperate.”

“What makes you say that?” JJ asked. “Don’t forget to justify your statements with facts.”

“Sorry,” she said. She didn’t just pull that out of nowhere. “Under the assumption that Herzfeld was the last living person who knew the unsub’s secret, getting rid of him the same way says two things. One, he’s cocky. He thinks we’re not going to be able to connect the concrete with him. If he thought that, he would’ve used a different kind of concrete or a completely different method of disposal as a forensic countermeasure, but he didn’t, so he’s also desperate, which makes sense if in fact Herzfeld is the final piece.”

Jack interjected, nudging Y/N slightly but playfully. She liked to talk a lot, but he was here to prove himself too. “We’re onto him. We know his disposal method, but he chose to do the exact same thing with Herzfeld, nearby, and in a river that is barely deep enough to cover a person who’s standing. He didn’t have the time to drive two hours. It needed to be done now.”

From the background, Agent Jones made a deduction as well, something that the senior members had already thought of. “The disposal method has to be symbolic too,” he said. “If the river where Herzfeld was dumped wasn’t deep enough for him, there was no need to weigh him down, but the unsub chose to anyway.”

“I’m still working on checking and cross-checking our lists,” Garcia said, coming out of the shadows along with Agent Holden. “We’re still going to be a while. There are way more rich men in this area than one might think. If they need help spending their money, I’m here for them.” Smith and Y/N sniggered in the background. Garcia was eccentric that’s for sure.

“And Herzfeld is being sent to the medical examiners’ office, so we’re not going to have any new information from there until tomorrow morning,” Luke said. “I guess that means we’re staying the night.”

Emily smiled. That meant that people needed to double up. There was no way the Bureau was going to pay for 10 separate hotel rooms. Not a chance. “Well, people are doubling up.” Immediately, Luke went over to Holden to save him from Garcia, which gave Jack the opportunity Luke could tell he wanted. 

“I call Emily!” Garcia screamed, running over and grabbing onto her arm.

“Spence is mine!” JJ called. 

So Emily and Garcia, Spencer and JJ, Luke and Holden, Smith and Jones decided to room together, which meant. “I guess that means that you’re stuck with me Brooks,” Y/N laughed.

“Okay, but are you going to talk incessantly or will I be able to get a word in?” he asked playfully, leaning away when she went to punch him on the shoulder.

“Watch it,” she said, going for his chest this time, “Or I’ll smother you in your sleep.”

This should be fun.

Sometimes it’s so easy to focus on all the “bad” people in this world, and to say, “I hate people” and complain about others, but can we just take a moment to appreciate people? People who make you so grateful to be alive at the same time as them, people who encourage you, who tell you to go after your dreams, that your dreams are possible, people who believe in you so much that you start to believe in yourself too, people who remind you that you are more than “enough”, people who make you feel as if your life is worth living, who make you feel as if you matter, who love you unconditionally, who remind you that love isn’t the same as a broken heart, that love doesn’t tear you apart, it makes you whole. People who are so kind to you even though you don’t even know them or you just met, people who haven’t let the world put out the fire in their soul, who help others out of dark times and help them shine again. People who aren’t afraid of being vulnerable and still smile at strangers. Who are by your side no matter what, who genuinely care about you, who wish the best for you. People who help bring out a different side to you, who show you a whole world you didn’t even know existed, who make you feel alive. There are so many people in this world that make life worth living. I love people so much.

I found the surgeon who fixed my unilateral cleft lip when I was a baby, on twitter. He did an amazing job and I cannot thank this man enough for the amazing job he did for me. I read up on him and found him to be a top class plastic surgeon in the UK and in recent years he also went out to India to fix the clefts of children who live in poverty, as their parents simply cannot afford the hospital bills to get it fixed.
I think this person is amazing & is clearly so compassionate about the work he does. Well done to that human for giving me the opportunity to grow up with a smile to be proud of!

I want more fics about Saavik on Romulus, both as a child and when Spock goes there to start his reunification efforts. Her proposed backstory is so sad, but it makes her relationship with Spock by the time we meet her in Wrath of Khan so much more powerful because of it. His family saved her from complete hell, and she’s forever grateful for the love and compassion they showed her. 

They’re by no means a “conventional” Vulcan family, but their love helped Saavik heal at a time when she needed it most. She may still struggle with being ashamed of her emotions (due to spending a good portion of her life on Vulcan), but Spock proved to her that there’s more than one way to “be a Vulcan,” and breaking those barriers of expectations so that Vulcans can coexist with other species is what allows Saavik to eventually find her place in the universe. 

Also, if we are to assume that the intended half Romulan story arc that got cut from the canon content still remains true, it would only make sense for her to aid Spock in reunifying Vulcans and Romulans when the time comes.