He looked through the small window of the door into the room where the police was keeping the their current victim of the case, the glass just dirty enough to make the features of the person he was staring at blur just a bit. Hearing the murmurs of his teammates as he opened the door, Spencer wondered how it got to this point in this investigation. That he would need the word of a small child to send her father away. That the life she knew for so long would be gone and she be left struggling for find something similar the rest of her life.
Making his way across the room, he saw the way she stared past him. Like she wasn’t even concerned about him being in the room or walking towards her at all. Spencer had seen this look in other victims in earlier cases, ones that experience some form of abuse. It was a coping mechanism, something to keep them sane while the actions were being committed against them or words said out loud that couldn’t stop.
Sitting down in a chair that was in front of a table, he saw a half eaten container of microwavable macaroni and cheese that one of the officers had given her earilier when they settled her into the room, sitting at a distance from her. Like she could only manage to eat so much before deciding she hated it.
Spencer then took another look at the small child. Her appearance was dirty, the clothes looking like they were barely washed with spots of dirt and other things that he had seen when walking around on the deplorable farm. Her short brown hair looked knotted and barely brushed. There was also the concern of smell that had filled the small room as she sat there in silence, leading Spencer to believe she wasn’t bathed properly as well.
The anger he felt towards this girl’s father only grew the more he learned about her life. Both from Garcia and what he was currently seeing in front of him now.
Shuffling some papers from the file he saw that she was looking at him and through him like before. There was distrust in her eyes, but there was also curiosity at this strange man sitting close by. From her body posture, she was waiting for him to do something that would earn her distrust. Still she didn’t say a word, waiting for him to talk first.
“Mia do you know why your here?” Spencer asked casually enough. Needed to make it an atmosphere for her to open up.
She took her time answering, the slight changes to her face telling him she was thinking it over. Then she looked up at his face, the height differences obvious even with the both of them sitting down. She stared at him, eyes filled with determination. “Yes. Daddy did something wrong and the police took me here when they got him.”
“That’s right. Your daddy tried to take you across the border when he didn’t have parental rights to you. He also didn’t live in the country with legal means.” Spencer answered. He watched as Mia took in this information, absorbing it like most children who were in her position. Her face scrunched up, looking displeased by the answer he had given her.
“He didn’t mean too. Mommy made him angry last time we visited her. He said that she was hurting the both of us when he started to drive.”
“Still he didn’t have the rights like your mommy did. He shouldn’t have done that.” He studied the nervousness, how she tightened her grip on her stuffed lion that she had held onto when being taken away from her father. He didn’t say anything further, watching as she turned over his words. For a few minutes neither of them said anything as Mia curled her body away from him, obviously trying distance herself from what she percieved as a lie.
Then suddenly all of that went away and she relaxed. The grip on the lion loosened and she returned her focus back to Spencer. The same determination from before had returned. Furrowing his eyebrows, Spencer tried to think of a reason why this would happen.
“He was bad. Daddy always made me cry, even if I knew wha I did was wrong. I never liked him as much as Mommy.” Mia paused for a moment, almost hesitant to say what was on her mind. “I’ve always wanted him dead. I’ve always wanted to shoot him in the head, so I could be with Mommy. Always.”
With that Spencer took his time to answer. The way she answered and what she confessed started to bring in the picture of the young girl’s life. “That’s completely normal, especially for what happened to you. Just as long as never goes beyond your imagination.”
“I always felt bad for having that thought. I’m supposed to love Daddy, no matter what. That’s what I’m supposed to do.” She said quickly, tears starting to form fast. Quickly they spilled over as she hugged the small stuffed lion to her chest and curled into herself, sobs slipping through her lips. It was a heartbreaking sight and sound and never got easier to see in his job.
Just before he could do anything to comfort Mia, he was called out of the room by Hotch.
It pained Spencer to leave her crying alone in the room. As he closed the door he was met with Hotch, JJ and an unfamiliar woman watching through the window. She was heavier woman and was a bit taller than JJ, but he didn’t pay attention to that. The look on the unfamiliar woman’s face showed she had a connection to Mia, possibly her mother or a close relative. The clothing she wore was scrubs, telling him she was a nurse or a caregiver, probably having just got off work to get her daughter after talking with the police.
Still she was calm enough to talk to him and members of his team.
“Did you know this would happen during your last visit? Or has he used other threats to keep you from taking Mia?” Hotch asked, glancing over at her.
“He’s used the threat that he would arrest me if I ever took Mia away from him. I was afraid that he would do that every time I try to bring up the fact he technically stole her away from me.” She answered, bitterness making its way through her tone of voice. There was also a look of anger in her eyes like she was mad at both the situation and herself. “I was always too scared of losing her to ever get her way from him.”
“It wasn’t your fault Miss Acker for thinking like that. He was manipluating both you and his daughter to keep the both of you in this situation and took pleasure of having such a control.” JJ said, putting a hand on the woman’s shoulder. Still Spencer could see the bitterness and anger were there. But it went away slowly as she continued to stare at Mia.
“She’ll be glad to be somewhere other than that farm with that bastard.” Was all she said.
Sharing a look, Spencer and Hotch quickly got her to go into the room and get her daughter. It took a few minutes as they hugged each other and Mia struggled to calm down, crying even harder at the that she would go home with her mom. The three of them watched as they saw a reunited family, glad that there was something good coming out of this situation.
Then when Mia had calmed down a bit from crying she looked around her mother’s body. Staring at him once more with the same look of determination as before, she walked towards the three agents. They all stayed still, watching to see what the little girl would. Her mother stayed where she was, smiling at her daughter, understanding what she was going to do more than anyone else in the building.
As Mia walked closer, Spencer could see how he towered over her. She was short for her age and clearly hadn’t been fed properly when living with her father. Still she walked with the confidence like any child her age, determined to do what she had set out to do.
It became clear what she was doing when she reached him and quickly hugged him. She only came up to his torso, pressing her face there and he could do nothing, but hug her in return. His hands came to her shoulders and gave her the best hug he could give at the moment.
Then she drew away from. For the first time he saw a smile from her.
“Thank you for getting me back to my Mommy.” Was all she said and then she returned back to her mother.
She may not be returning to her mother in the best of conditions. But Spencer knew that the woman would do everything to make sure her child would be given everything that would make Mia feel like a normal kid.