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24 May 2013 @ 07:25 pm
Fic Post: If You're Not OK, It's Not Over  
Title: If You're Not OK, It’s Not Over
Author: Montiese
Category: Angst/Drama/Missing Scene/Post-Episode/Romance
Characters: Erin Strauss, David Rossi, Aaron Hotchner, OFC, OMC
Pairing: Rossi/Strauss
Rating: TEEN
Spoilers: The Brothers Hotchner, The Replicator
Summary: “I might have to put this at the top of the list of worst New York trips ever.”
Author’s Note: This episode tore me up on the inside. I can't really handle all that happened so I had to change it to fit my fanon lines and keep my sanity. I don’t usually write Erin as an alcoholic but it was such a huge part of the storyline. I want to thank all the fans and friends who comforted me and made me smile as I was losing it, especially rebakitt3n who read over this before I posted it. I love this character, I love this ship, and I just hope to keep going as long as I can.


I'm dead, oh God I'm dead. No, I'm not dead yet but I will be soon. I can feel it, the strength leaving my body, and I know my time has come. They put a sheet over my head. Why put a sheet over my head if I'm not dead?

I'm not ready yet. I have more to do, more to see, more to say and experience and enjoy. That son of a bitch is not going to kill me. I can't let this happen but I know there's nothing I can do. They are going to put me in the back of that ambulance and later onto a cold, metal slab.

No! No dammit, it’s not time. I have to fight my way back…is it possible to fight my way back. I hear voices all around me but they can't hear me. I can hear Aaron and David and other muffled sounds.

David? David, don’t make me go alone. I don’t care if I don’t sound badass or boss or whatever I'm supposed to sound like, I can't be alone right now. What about my children? Who’s going to tell them what happened to me?

How will they react? What will they think or feel when they first hear their mother is dead. They’re in three separate cities right now, one not many miles from here. Who will tell them, their father or my mother? What will the Bureau say about me when the time comes to give those ridiculous speeches?

Oh God, I do not want those bloated overtures at my funeral. Stop thinking about funerals! You're not going to die. Fight, Erin, fight goddammit! You can't let that son of a bitch win. You’ve come so far since those days.

He can't have this moment; he can't have any moment. You were supposed to be spending your night in bliss with the man you love. You were supposed to be going on vacation at the end of the week. Death can't have you yet. You need more time. I need more time
!


The light was blinding as the sheet was pulled back. Erin couldn’t see anything, just the white light. Was this what the road to heaven was like? Would she see her father? Would she see her first child, the one she and Eli lost when she was as young as her mother had been when she was born?

Wherever she was it was cold and there were pinpricks all over her body. She had to get out of there, couldn’t stay. It wasn’t her time yet; of that she was sure. This might be one decision that Erin didn't get to make. She was used to being in control but someone took it away from her.

Maybe she should just let go. The light was surely better than purgatory or hell. At one time in her life she knew she’d done some things to get there. Erin had spent the past year making up for them. She actually spent a lot of years making up for them. She worked, she lived, she loved, and she made amends. She went to meetings and finally admitted that while she was powerless over alcohol she wasn’t powerless over herself.

“You're going to be alright,” Dave said, taking her hand. That’s when he saw the infinity symbol on her wrist. “Baby, you're going to be alright. I promise.”

Don’t let me go, Erin wasn’t sure if she was talking aloud. Don’t let my life end like this.

“What are you giving her?” he asked the EMT, who was working another needle into Erin’s vein. The first had been fluid IVs.

“We’re giving her diazepam for her anxiety and we need to get her blood pressure and temperature down. As soon as we get to the hospital we might have to give her an ice bath. Coleman’s already called ahead to alert them. It’s a miracle she’s still alive.”

“Don’t you dare stop working on her.” Rossi said.

“We’re not going to do that. She definitely fought her attacker; he might not have been able to fully dose her.”

“I want a full tox screen before anything can leave her system.”

“Our top priority is getting her stabilized and keeping her alive. Everything else comes after.”

I did fight, Erin said. I fought like hell…I wasn’t going to let him do that to me. I wasn’t going to let him do that to us. We will catch him; he’s going to pay. He worried that he might have slipped up in Philly. He ain't seen nothing yet.

“Just stay with me.” Rossi whispered, kissing her hand. He exhaled when Erin gave him the best squeeze that she could. It wasn’t much but it was something. “Stay with me, Erin. We’re going to get through this.”

***


“The Director is giving us 24 hours,” Hotch said. “He wants this contained.”

“I'm coming back to Quantico.”

“Dave, I wouldn’t ask you to leave her…not now.”

“She’d kill me if she knew I was here at her bedside and not out there catching that bastard. I called Nora and she’s on her way. She’s distraught so I'm going to stay for a little while but I’ll be there. Don’t get this son of a bitch without me Aaron. I mean it.”

“We won't. How is she?”

“They're working on her. Right now it’s an ice bath. She’s rambling on and on, which is something people do when coming down from an ecstasy overdose. But she's alive. She's alive because you got to her in time.”

“It might be better if you just stayed at the hospital,” Hotch said.

He barely got to Erin on time. If someone had gotten to Haley on time he wouldn’t have left her side until he knew she was going to make it through. The bastard talked about Haley; he talked about George Foyet. They needed to find The Replicator and they needed to do it quickly. It wasn’t just because the Director was trying to put his boot on their neck.

That happened a lot actually. As long as he was out there the threat of someone else close to them dying was real. Hotch already put his security detail on Beth and Jack. They were safe in the condo and had no idea they were being watched. At least he was sure it was the good guys.

“Call the Deputy Director. If I can't be here then he’ll be the second best face.”

“He's actually on a flight out as we speak.” Hotch said.

“I’ll be there Aaron. I'm coming back to Quantico.”

“We can hold the plane for 30 minutes. Do you want us to try and wait?”

“Yes.” Dave nodded. “Nora and her husband…”

“Dave!”

He turned when he heard the frantic voice of his stepdaughter. It was ironic, but until that moment he never realized just how much like her mother Nora sounded.

“She’s here. I’ll meet you on the tarmac.”

Hanging up and putting his cell phone back in his pocket, Dave opened his arms and enveloped her.

“What happened?” Nora murmured. “We didn't even know that mom was in the city. Is she going to be alright? Did someone call Nan?”

“I'm not going to call Joanna until your mother or a doctor tells me to. Erin's not out of the woods yet but the fact that she made it here proves that she’s tough. I'm not going to be able to stay long, we’re on the trail of the person who did this and I need to get back to Quantico. The doctors will bring us both up to speed. Uncle Kirk is on his way.”

“OK.”

Nora steeled herself but still held onto Dave. She still didn't know what happened. Obviously it wasn’t an accident since they were on the trail of the person who did this. Had she been shot, stabbed, beaten, or thrown out of a window? Nora didn't even want to think about such things.

She remembered when she was very young that her mother worked in the field. She had always been a part of the BAU, first in white collar and then in Crimes against Adults. By the time both Mary Kate and Ted came along Erin decided to take the administrative route instead. She said she wanted to be home for bedtime stories and movie nights.

It didn't quite work out that way. But Nora was so proud of her mother and all she accomplished. That didn't always make it easy to be her child. Still, dying in the line of duty was never anything that crossed her mind until her phone rang this evening.

***


“Hey you,” Erin whispered as she ran her fingers through Rossi’s thick hair. She heard him sigh and then he sat up and smiled at her. “I might have to put this at the top of the list of worst New York trips ever.”

“Oh baby.” Dave didn't mean to but he burst into tears. He got up from the chair, sat up on the bed, and wrapped his arms around her. “I didn't want to lose you. I just needed you to fight and I don’t care how selfish that is. I didn't want you to leave me. I love you so much.”

“I love you too and I'm still here.”

“Curtis is dead.” Dave kissed her temple.

“Curtis?”

“John Curtis was the Replicator.” He gently laid her back on the bed. It was so hard not to touch her face; so hard not to touch her everywhere. Seeing her in Hotch’s arms on that park bench, feeling her slipping through his fingers…Rossi knew that pain too well.

“I know that name. I didn't really get a good look at him. When you're fighting for your life, the face of the person trying to take it isn’t your top priority.”

“He was part of Alex Blake’s team; sent to Kansas City after taking the fall for that botched case.”

“Oh my God,” Erin sat up some. She took a deep breath and tried not to let the pain show. She was alive; that was all that mattered. Later on she would worry about feeling like she got into a fight with Mike Tyson and lost. “I remember him, David. The transfers were the Director’s choice, not that it matters. Are you telling me that he let that hatred simmer for over a decade and then came after the BAU?”

Rossi didn't have the heart to tell Erin right now that he came after her. She was the target all along and the rest was just a sick game of cat and mouse. She needed to rest. She’d nearly died; he didn't even know all she’d been through in the past day. She was still hooked up to monitors and IV bags.

Just that morning as Rossi arrived she had more convulsions. The doctors gave her something to help her sleep. He didn't need her thinking this was all her fault. She made a call…they did it everyday. It affected a lot of people and careers, including her own.

Dave hadn't been there and wasn’t going to play judge and jury on what took place. He knew Erin could be impassable but she was rarely vengeful. She fought for her teams, her colleagues, but she also didn't mind kicking their asses. It was all so long ago. He wasn’t going to be like John Curtis and never let it go.

“We’ll talk about all of it later, I promise you.”

“I’d like to talk about it now.”

“No.” He shook his head. Sometimes he had to be firm with her. Sometimes it was a lot of fun. This morning it was just necessary. “I have something of yours.”

“Don’t.” Now Erin shook her head. She leaned back, closing her eyes and letting a tear fall. “I knew if I left it you would find me. But I don’t deserve it anymore.”

“Don’t you talk like that.” Sitting down on the edge of the bed, Dave took her face in his hands. He pulled her close and they just breathed together. “He forced you to drink, Erin. You are strong and I have faith in you. No one can take all you’ve accomplished away from you.”

“I have to start all over again.” she whispered, holding back the flood of emotion that threatened to overtake her. Erin didn't know if she had the strength. He'd almost taken her life. Somehow she wasn’t as angry about that as the taking of her sobriety.

“You are never alone. I'm always here, the kids are here, and your mom is here…we love you. We’re going to fight just as hard now as we did a year ago.”

“Damn him to hell.” She tried to put on a smile but if there was anyone she didn't have to fake for it was Dave. “Day one.”

“Day one.” He leaned and kissed her lips. “You need to get some rest. I sent Kirk down for some coffee so he should be back up any minute.”

“I'm already here.” Kirk walked back into the room and handed Dave his cup. “I'm not the kind of guy who interrupts touching moments.”

“I almost died…can you not be sarcastic?” Erin rolled her eyes. “Where's my coffee?”

“I tried but the doctor said no.” he kissed her cheek. “There are still drugs in your system and the caffeine could make you go haywire. You might be off caffeine for the rest of the week.”

“Perish the thought.”

“She doesn’t need coffee.” Dave got up from the bed after giving her another kiss. “She needs rest. Kirk is going to tell you a bedtime story while I go and find the doctor. We need the results of the tox screens.”

“Don’t you keep me out of the loop, David.”

“Close your eyes.”

“You'll be here when I wake up?” Erin asked, deciding not to give him hell at the moment. They had time for that…they made time for it.

“I'm never leaving your side again.”

“I think you mean that in the metaphorical sense.” She closed her eyes.

“I mean it in the forever sense.”

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: coldcold
Background Noise: silence
 
 
 
Blender Oven: CM - Erinarathesane on May 25th, 2013 05:33 am (UTC)
I have a feeling I might ramble a bit so I apologize in advance.

Thank you for writing this. I haven't been this angered by a character death in years - and reading Messer's interview didn't help. This fic was just what I needed. It is my head cannon now.

Somehow she wasn’t as angry about that as the taking of her sobriety.
This? I love because it rings true and Curtis forcing her to drink was probably the thing that bugged me the most with her death. Even more than cutting And I even thought before the ep aired that the replicator would probably force her to compromise her sobriety and I'm still pissed!

I also love how you tied in Nora and Kirk. And the bit about the coffee. And the final four lines.

This may be my first comment on your fic(well, apart from Tumblr) but I have read quite a bit of your work, mostly Rossi/Strauss stories. As far as your series go I've read The Heart of the Matter, Family Man, Everything After, When We’re Together and California Dreaming. I enjoyed all of them - your characterizations are wonderful.

And I've started Madame President because the idea of Erin Strauss being POTUS is impossible to resist. I've read too many of the stand alones to comment on but I have to say that I liked your post season eight post-ep fics more than most of the episodes that aired this year. Probably more than all of S8's eps when I think about it. I'm sure I will continue to watch the show but Erin and Emily were my favorite characters and the writing has been so off for so long. Watching this show is starting to feel more like a chore than anything else.

Um, did I mention that I might ramble? It's probably time for me to go to bed. Once again, thanks for writing this - it helped dull some of the pain of losing (canon) Erin.
SSA McGeek: Erin....smilemcgarrygirl78 on May 26th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
Ramble on, I dont mind...I'm a rambler too : )

I'm so glad you like all of the stories, and the original characters, its notes like this that make me happy to be a writer and have such fulfilling characters inhabit my brain who not only capture my heart but those who read as well. So thank you thank you.

I'm always happy to have comments so definitely let me know what you think of Madame President. AUs are my favorite to write. I never thought I'd have a ship beyond Hotch/Prentiss so when this one came to me, in an AU of all things, I felt so lucky to be able to start the adventure all over again. And what fun its been. I'm not going to let canon decisions, which I strongly disagree with, ruin something that has meant to much to me as a fan and a writer. I know how much its meant to other people too.

I will continue to watch the show, my mother and I enjoy it together and its one of the few things we have in common so....I'm there to stay. I also love all the other characters though I do have my fair share of writing complaints. Erin and Emily were my favorite characters as well but Alex really grew on me (despite the beef with Erin thing) and now she's moving up the ranks as my favorite so I want to see where they take her next season. And I love my boys, Hotch, Morgan, and Rossi as well so...yeah, I'll still watch.

Edited at 2013-05-26 12:21 am (UTC)
Blender Oven: CM - Rossi/Straussarathesane on May 26th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
Ha, there's quite a typo in my first reply - thought I had deleted that bit.;) That's what I get for commenting when I'm exhausted. Glad you don't mind rambling.

I'm sure I will continue watching, I love or like most of the characters. Maybe the writing will improve somewhat next year. Hoping they won't try to do a season-long story again anytime soon. I adore series that tell stories that way, but I've yet to see CM do an arc well.
SSA McGeek: Writingmcgarrygirl78 on May 26th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
Welcome to the "You guys dont do arcs well, please for the love off god stop" club...there are a few members, cookies and tee shirts.

There are strong writers on that show, Erica, Rick Dunkle, Virgil Williams, Janine Sherman Barrois, and Jim Clemente to name a few. And I was very impressed with Kim Harrison this season as well. But when you have a room full of writers all writing different stories and usually working alone, something that lasts over 24 episodes is going to end up clunky and ridiculous, just like every arc they've ever done has. I much preferred the way it was handled in Season 2, when Frank just popped up again out of nowhere. There was no threat of him all season, he just came back and wreaked havoc without speculation, spoilers, and the like while nothing happened at all in canon. you know?
Blender Ovenarathesane on May 26th, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, "clunky and ridiculous" applies to many story arcs I've seen on procedurals that primarily feature stand alone episodes. Criminal Minds is hardly the only show to have this problem. I remember being driven nuts by most of the story arcs on House for example.

I much preferred the way it was handled in Season 2, when Frank just popped up again out of nowhere.
Yes! Completely agree.

glinda_wglinda_w on May 25th, 2013 06:22 am (UTC)
Please keep writing this pairing as long as you can? (As far as I'm concerned, they took the show to an alternate universe; in the *real* show, Strauss survives. Well, no, I don't believe that, but I want that to be true, if that makes sense?)
SSA McGeek: Erin and Dave.....happy togethermcgarrygirl78 on May 26th, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
I will do my absolute best to continue to write this character and ship that I love. I had them in my heart before they were *canon* and I still do. Cant let a little thing like character death ruin a good relationship, can I?
jnnyjohnson on May 25th, 2013 11:34 am (UTC)
Relieved
I'm so happy you are still writing.
SSA McGeek: Erinmcgarrygirl78 on May 26th, 2013 12:12 am (UTC)
Re: Relieved
I hope this doesnt stop me from writing. When a character is strong and beloved and amazing they can go on and on and on. I've been writing for 5 years now, at least in the this fandom, and I know it cant last forever. But I wont let it be this canon event that stops me.
dreamaway78dreamaway78 on May 26th, 2013 06:13 am (UTC)
I had to think a bit before putting a comment... I am still not sure how I feel about the last season finale of Criminal Minds and I am still sort of feeling of why go there and did she really have to die. But to get off that and comment on your story:

Still love everything you write with this couple. Really everything you write is most awesome, brilliant and many other words too...

So parts I loved. That Erin lived. That Kirk was there, love him. And love how David didn't tell Erin that she was John Curtis's main target all along, that is something she can worry about later. Really just loved it all.
SSA McGeek: Erin.....mcthinkymcgarrygirl78 on May 26th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
I'm feeling the exact same way. I know Jayne has lots of work, and family, on the East Coast so she's busy but they could've kept her on like 3 or 4 times a year. I feel her character is important and anyone who replaces her will just be a seat filler used for drama as far as I'm concerned. Maybe for the series finale Hotch will get the promotion but for now I dont see the necessity in having it be anyone but Erin.

I'm glad you liked the story though. I had no choice but to write it my way and put whatever right that I could. There was so much more in my head, I bet this story could've been 15 pages or so but I just decided to get down the important stuff to reestablish my fanon and the rest will come in time. Sorry, I think I was just rambling (I havent had coffee yet).

Kirk had to be there, Erin is like a daughter to him. Nothing like this would happen without him. And Dave did the right thing in making her rest and not jump right into the who, what, and whys of this case. There will be time for that. Erin is a smart woman, she'll figure out what happened and why.