The truth is rarely pure and never simple - Oscar Wilde

Man's a genius...

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Yeah, I'm starting to see.
Yeah, I do believe.

Aaron Hotchner stood in his bathroom, staring blankly into the mirror. The bruises were starting to show on his face in a darker red than when he had been examined by the ER doctor. He flexed his hands and winced as the cuts on his knuckles started to weep. Looking down, the bright red of the blood sent him back to that afternoon - and what he had done.

He surrendered? George Foyet would never surrender unless he had already accounted for it; he's taunting, there's something I'm missing. Something he has planned. It's not that easy, he didn't fight this hard.

I used to have a soft Southern, glowing face.
I used to leave my heartaches away on the chase.
When you get stung with the heart of a little child,
Well, that's how you get that rattlesnake smile.

He's grinning. Haley's dead and this bastard grins at me. He's taken my family...


Absolutely not. I will not let this monster anywhere near my son.

Two punches and he sees Foyet in his apartment. No, this is about him killing Hayley. On the third punch he sees that fucking mask. Not that, I have to protect Jack. He's in his apartment again, remembers the pain Foyet inflicted on him - just because. No! He's the murderer! He killed people because he liked it! He keeps seeing the sonofabitch in his apartment as he beats Foyet's head against the floor.

You better keep your distance.
In this tangled shape I'm in,
Now, no one better touch me right now,
In this cold-blooded thick skin.

He let them take him to the hospital; he let them think he wanted to be alone with Jack. He gave them the slip when he said he was going to have his prescription of painkillers and sleeping tablets filled. He'd been doing that all day - giving them the slip.

I think you better run real fast,
When you hear that rattling sound.
Well, you better run real fast, man,
Or this one's gonna knock you down.

He beat a man to death. With his bare hands, he had taken the life of another. He'd done it before, with a gun, in the line of duty. This was not about duty. This was about family. His family.

He felt sick.

I sit alone trying to shed this skin that I live in.
Trying to clear my vision once again.

Hotch physically shakes off the memory. He can't be around people right now. This is why he is alone in his apartment, standing in front of a mirror, wondering what he's going to see staring back at him.

Well, I ain't no good to no one, no how, not right now.
Because I forget to run myself and I got run down.

Jack is with his aunt. Rossi calls by after he is finished debriefing and yelling at Erin Strauss. The last part, the older agent kind of enjoyed.

The two men sit quietly, both holding a glass of Scotch. Hotch wonders if he should have walked away years ago, Rossi wonders if his friend will make it back.

Eventually, Hotch manages to break the silence.

"I killed George Foyet." He chokes out, barely above a whisper.

It is then that Rossi knows Hotch will be alright.

He raises his glass slightly in salute, and answers with a serious expression,  "Good man."

That is when Hotch believes that he might not be the monster he fears.

It's My Life
Better stand tall when they're calling you out
Don't bend, don't break, baby don't back down

They all watched as she walked towards the house, arms away from her sides, palms out, no resistance. It was her way; offering herself to save others. Hotch and Rossi stood nervously around a laptop, one eye on the feeds from several SWAT officers positioned to cover the house. Reid was chattering desperately to Garcia, trying to find the last link that would solve the puzzle that was this case. Morgan waited, hand resting on his unbuttoned holster, fingers twitching, as his eyes followed her slow path.

The State Troopers ducked for cover as gunfire erupted from the front window.

SSA Emily Prentiss fell as multiple rounds pushed her back; her head bouncing forcefully on the concrete.

Morgan was the first to race past Emily, firing as he took up a covering position behind a small wall that enclosed the front yard; brick dust flew up in his face from the returned fire. Hotch was the first to join him, taking up a similar position at Morgan's back - he glanced behind to see Emily still down and gave a sharp nod.

"Now, Morgan!"

Rossi saw Hotch's signal and ran for Emily. He fell to his knees as Morgan and Hotch rose above the wall to protect him with a hail of bullets. He grabbed the straps of the Kevlar jacket and began to drag his fallen comrade. He felt the whistle of a bullet around his head and instinctively shielded Emily. Hotch and Morgan were reloading, then resumed their cover fire; Rossi hooked an arm under Emily's shoulders and heaved, the process made easier as Reid slid an arm under her knees as he joined the effort. A tight smile and a curt nod was the only exchange between the two men.

Hotch and Morgan retreated as Rossi and Reid began to move with more speed. The four men forming an unconcious barrier between the prostrate Emily and the chaos of a SWAT assault on the house.

A small groan snapped their attention back to Emily.

"Sonofa-What the hell happened?!"

Morgan responded before anyone else had the chance, "You fainted." He deadpanned.

Emily pushed herself up on her elbows and stared at him, then the others, before returning to Morgan with a scowl, "No!"

Rossi supressed a smirk as he walked off towards their SUV. Reid smiled enigmatically, before following as he realised that he had dropped his cellphone without hanging up on Garcia. Hotch and Morgan both extended a hand to pull Emily up and steadied her as she stumbled.

"No arguments. Hospital." Hotch warned, pointing a finger to make his point. He left Emily to Morgan as he made a beeline for the SWAT leader.

"You okay, Prentiss?" Morgan asked, turning serious.

Emily studied his face and smiled softly, "I so didn't faint."

Morgan returned the smile and then his face broke out into a grin.

"We'll show you the SWAT feeds on the plane. Took a dive straight into the sidewalk...I'd give it a 6.8 - you need to work the landing..." Morgan wrapped one arm firmly  around Emily's waist and he held the other in front for her to hold as he manoevered her towards a paramedic.

Emily tightened her grip on his arm and leaned more of her weight on him as they passed back in front of the house.

"Jeez...." She muttered, looking around. As the violence became apparent, she looked around at her team, busy working the scene. She gratefully sat at the rear of an ambulance and she sought out Morgan, who was still hovering. "Thank you."

He frowned slightly and shrugged one shoulder. "Just another day."

Emily barked a short laugh as she took another look at the bullet riddled house and its front yard. "Yeah."

Writer's Block: Mind blitz
Is there anyone you would permanently erase from your life and memory? If so, who and why?

If I say Nina Tassler, do I really need to say why? Here's my open letter to CBS:

I would like to voice my anger and disappointment at the news that AJ Cook has been dropped from Criminal Minds. I have been a fan of the show from it's first season and have loyally tuned in each week. I have no favourites on the show as all the characters are well-written and equally important to the show's dynamic.

I watched 'Law & Order' for many years, through various incarnations, because the writing was sharp and the characters were nuanced. The revolving door of cast members was no problem because we were invested in the stories. With Criminal Minds, the viewers become invested in the characters. We see their strengths and weaknesses, their hopes and their fears, every week. To upset the balance by changing the cast is to fundamentally change the way the show works.

I am not sure I believe that the reasons for AJ's departure are purely financial - you seem to have found money for the CM spinoff that the fans and critics did not warm to. I doubt you are naive enough to not monitor internet chatter, but you may have underestimated how many of the CM fans were only intending to watch the spinoff because of loyalty to the original. I fear that most of those who were willing to give it a chance have changed their minds because of your actions. I certainly have.

The show works because of the differing roles the writers have mapped out for the characters. Emily Prentiss is the perfect foil for Derek Morgan and has a wonderful relationship with David Rossi. Jennifer Jareau is the nurturing presence that calms and provides a solid foundation the others are anchored to. JJ shows that a woman can have a family and a career in law enforcement; both women provide strong, capable, fearless role models.

Paget Brewster and AJ Cook play their characters with a depth and humility that is rare in television today. Neither woman portrays a caricature but shows the vulnerability and the determination of their characters. They are not female FBI agents, they are just FBI agents.

Finally, the fan response you are getting is largely because of the open and mutual respect of the cast - for each other, for the fans - and it is reciprocated. The loyalty of the fans is not just to the show - we can adjust to cast changes - it is to the actors. Even the cast has voiced their shock and disappointment, going so far as to encourage people to sign the petitions. These actresses are not divas; they are not demanding; they go to work, do a job, and always have time for the fans. Reports say that Kirsten Vangsness kept her job because she has a large fanbase - these are probably the same fans you have alienated with your decisions.
It appears that you are operating under the misguided belief that jettisoning two thirds of the cast and replacing them with - what will no doubt be - a younger, sexier, cheaper model to boost your young male demographic will give you a greater return...I am a 23 yr old male who will not watch, or buy the DVDs, of any future seasons of Criminal Minds.

I sincerely hope that you take the protests seriously. I have watched CM out of loyalty for 'my' show and because I follow Paget Brewster's work. I will not bother to support a show that cannot support its cast. I think this is something you fail to grasp as a network: people love their shows, but they love their actors too. I watched 'Andy Richter Controls the Universe' and thought Paget Brewster was fantastic. I then watched 'Huff' because Brewster was cast (it was not a show I would have ordinarily watched). I came to Criminal Minds because of Brewster. I will now go with AJ Cook, to the point of hunting for a copy of her film 'Misconceptions' which I had not planned to watch.

This is the intangible. This is the 'brand loyalty'. Not to a network, or a show, but to the actors we find entertaining.

For your information, I will be watching 'In Plain Sight' because Mary McCormack impressed me in 'The West Wing', 'Leverage' because I like Christian Kane's music and gave the show a try, and 'Rizzoli & Isles' because I think Angie Harmon is worth watching. Nothing else is worth investing my time in without the pull of a favourite actor now that 'Law & Order' is over. I don't have the free time to watch a lot of TV, so when I do it is because I will enjoy it.

You might want to note that the shows I will be following are all on cable television.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Bradman..

More fanart
One for AJ this time:

Fanart for the campaign
I am spitting blood here. Anything I make for the 'Save AJ and Paget' campaign is going on this LJ. I'm going to tag with #savecmwomen so anyone can find it if they want.

I'm off to leave Nina a message explaining that 'jumping the shark' is a BAD THING.

Working On A Dream
Story: Working On A Dream
Author: mighty_quill
Rating: T, no language, sex or violence. Like the disclaimer on the TV says: Parents, the following may be unsuitable for young children.
Character: Team, big emphasis on JJ, some Emily and Morgan being 'Emily and Morgan'. No ships unless you look really hard for it.
Summary: Sequel to Truth and Consequences. JJ has to deal with the repercussions of the case and figure out what happens next before the team stage an intervention.
Status: In progress.

Song used is 'Long Walk Home' by Bruce Springsteen.

Chapter 2Collapse )

Working On A Dream
Story: Working On A Dream
Author: mighty_quill
Rating: T, no language, sex or violence. Like the disclaimer on the TV says: Parents, the following may be unsuitable for young children.
Character: Team, big emphasis on JJ, some Emily and Morgan being 'Emily and Morgan'. No ships unless you look really hard for it.
Summary: Sequel to Truth and Consequences. JJ has to deal with the repercussions of the case and figure out what happens next before the team stage an intervention.
Status: In progress.

Song used is 'Lonesome Day' by Bruce Springsteen.

Chapter 1Collapse )


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