Based on the TV Show "Criminal Minds"

A.N. This is kind of the prologue extended...the fun stuff will be coming up next chapter. As always, I own nothing. Please enjoy and Review!

Audrey turned at the sound of footsteps, inwardy flinching at the memories such a simple sound could dredge up. Unintentionally, she gripped Aaron's hand tighter then before as she forced herself to turn her head. An older man (Rossa, Rossin, something like that, she thought) stood in the doorway watching her...them intently. Meeting her eyes he gave her a sad sort of smile before stepping further into the room.

"Do you mind if I...?" he asked, gesturing with an open hand towards the second chair pressed against the far wall by Aaron. Audrey pondered the question for a moment. She knew they were safe and that the man was a friend of Aaron's and Derek's. She knew that he and the others wanted only to be there for their friends and colleagues, but a part of her didn't, couldn't let that happen. Even now, an irrational wave of protectiveness seized her, almost as badly as the shaking that came over her when she heard any footsteps behind her. Gritting her teeth, she forced herself to slowly nod to the man.

The sad smile returned as he quietly crossed the tile floor towards the chair. Audrey felt a glimmer of relief as he picked it up and quietly carried it to the other side of Aaron's bed. Rossi sat down quickly, resisting the urge to take Hotch's other hand. Judging from the way the young woman was watching him, her blue eyes sunken and darkly shaded by the bags under them but eerily sharp, he knew the gesture would be unwelcome. He watched as she unconsciously shifted in her chair to face him, placing her person squarely between Morgan and his own line of sight. It was a protective gesture and one far too similar to the way they had found the pair.

"I just thought you'd like to know that the doctor cleared you for tomorrow morning," Rossi said, testing the waters gently, "Is there someone you would..."

"I'm not leaving," the girl practically hissed, her shoulders tightening visibly, "I'm not leaving them."

"I know," Rossi replied. It hadn't taken Garcia more then two minutes to pull up Audrey's scant history. Her parents lived somewhere in the middle of rural Missouri where cell phone service was apparently not believed in. Garcia was still trying to contact them.

"I just meant," he continued, remembering to keep his tone as conversational as possible, "Was there anyone you'd like us to contact to bring you some toiletries or fresh clothes."

He noted sadly as he spoke that the girl was in little more then dark blue hospital scrubs that accentuated her fine bone structure The clothes they found her in were to torn, bloody, and stained by bad memories for them even to consider returning them to her, even if they hadn't been put into evidence. The white bandages along her wrists stood out starkly from the blue, reminders of the raw cuts and burns caused by ropes and manacles she had worn the past thirteen days A faint bruise was already starting to fade just below the upper half of her thin cheek bone right beneath her left eye. It was the only visible mark on her face telling what she had endured. That and a worn, if not permanently haunted set to her gaze.

"No," the girl replied calmly, her face droping in what seemed to be apologetic embarrasment, "I'm fine."

Rossi noted the way she flinched slightly as an orderly passed by the door. Closing her eyes, the girl inhaled slightly before opening them again to look first at Hotch then Morgan. He watched as a brief glimmer of relief passed over her features as though she needed the extra assurance that both men were safe. He chose to ignore the way her grip tightened on Hotch's hand, turning her knuckles white.

"Are you sure?" he continued, trying to draw her into conversation. While he knew the young woman would need far more counseling then he or the other remaining team members could give her, he also knew they could at the very least aid in the first few steps. To do that, though, meant a trust had to be attained. He resisted the urge to add he or another of the agents would be willing to go to her apartment or drive her there and back. Based on a initial interview, Audrey had revealed the unsub had broken into her apartment when he kidnapped her. Rossi was certain the idea of another individual whom she did not know in her home would be unwelcome at best.

The girl nodded slowly, her eyes turning back to Morgan. For a long time a heavy silence filled the large hospital room, punctuated only by the heavy breathing of the sleeping Glancing over briefly at Rossi, Audrey saw the older man watching her intently though not overtly. She frowned, her gaze traveling to Aaron once again. She was glad, for once, to see both men asleep. Despite their nightmares or maybe because of them, she (better then anyone else, she believed) understood how much they needed the false peace slumber provided. She'd be damned if she let anything interrupt it. She owed them that much at least.

Glancing over at Rossi again, she saw the older profiler look down at Hotch. For a second only, she watched his features fall. His expression seemed darker somehow, sadder. There was something like anger in the set of his jaw which she recognized for what it was. Aaron had spoken Rossi's name enough for her to understand the two were friends. Though she didn't know the man, she knew the worry that briefly blanketed his features. It was enough for her.

"I'm sorry," she said suddenly, catching Rossi by surprise, " I know you're trying to help. It''s been a difficult couple of weeks."

The worried expression vanished, replaced once again by cool professionalism. A memory flashed through Audrey's mind. A similar mask cracking beneath a mixture of anger, pain, and guilt. Her insides felt washed out in cold water as the memory carried with it arms wrapping around her so tightly she couldn't breath. She almost didn't hear Rossi's reply.

"There's nothing to be sorry for," the man replied. Though his expression was rigid, his tone was warm and kind, "Difficult probably doesn't even begin to cover it."

Audrey smiled weakly at him. The gesture felt almost foreign to her now. Tears felt more befitting now. Always silent tears, except once

"I think I made it through okay," she said casually. Better then some at least.

Rossi didn't respond. Seconds past, each one carrying it's own silence but for the breathing. Audrey shifted in her seat, uncomfortable in the suffocating silence. While she had craved it before, Rossi's presence changed things. It brought back thoughts she would rather forget. Footsteps sounded in the hall, deafening to her ears. Before she could stop herself, she flinched physically.

"Why don't you turn the chair around?" Rossi asked, noticing the way self-irritation drew her lips into a tightly twisted frown.

Audrey looked at him, her face falling in sheepish embarrassment. Shaking her head, she withdrew her hand from Hotch's. Rossi wondered if that was the first time she sat without holding either of the men's hands since she came in. Grasping her other hand the way she had held Hotch's, he watched as she squeezed tightly on the thin fingers before releasing them and squeezing again. It was as though the digits were permanently frozen in the action, unsure of how to do anything else anymore. Suddenly, the girl seemed smaller and weaker then before.

"I read somewhere that a symptom of PTSD is a need to be in site of a doorway," she replied, modeling his cold impassiveness, "I'm...that is I...I won't let what happened run the way I live my life."

Rossi nodded, taking in what the young woman said. He couldn't say he didn't admire her courage, given what she had just come through. It bothered him, however, how quickly she seemed to be shoving the experience aside. Granted, she was not denying it happened though Rossi was almost certain denial might have been better. It seemed to him that she was denying how deeply it had effected her. He knew on a personal level just how deeply the scars of her experience could go. He knew how they never could perfectly heal and the ways in which the mind bent to protect them, to adapt. He knew because he himself had been in her shoes and had seen it in the faces of countless others. He also knew the results of the approach she was taking. But who am I to throw stones, he thought to himself.

"," a soft voice moaned from the other side of the room, so soft Rossi wasn't even sure if he had heard it.

Even admits a nightmare, Morgan seemed incapable of allowing himself to show weakness. Yet Audrey was up and moving in an instant, sitting on the edge of his bed so that his hand fell just on the edge of her left thigh. As she took hold of the same hand, Rossi watched her speak quietly to the injured man, gently trying to wake him before the dream grew worse. It was only seconds before Morgan began to thrash.

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