Main characters: Josiah and Vin
This is written to celebrate the anniversary of the LB list on Yahoo. This is a little tiny story about Uncle Josiah and Vin. I donít think Hannah has ever been introduced in to the ATF LB au, so Iím doing it.
No warnings I can think of. I donít even pretend to know anything about mental illness. Every thing is just made up in my head. If this is your field, please, remember this is fiction.
Again I donít own them except on DVD.
LB au was created by K. Poffenberger and S. Berry. Mog created the ATF au and Barbretta H and Pat M turned it into ATF LB. Iím eternally grateful to all of them for giving us this wonderful au to play in.
Josiah felt his cell phone vibrate as he waited for the traffic to move out of the school parking lot.
He pulled it out and glanced down at the number. "No! Not now. Not with Vin here."
Opening the phone he said. "This is Josiah."
"Mr. Sanchez, this is Sister Lucy. Sister Martha requested I call you. She says you need to come right away."
"Now is not a good time Sister. Is it really that urgent?"
"Sister Martha said to tell you if you canít come sheíll have to medicate Hannah without your presence. Iím sorry Mr. Sanchez, but Iíve never seen Hannah so bad."
Josiahís hands clenched the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white. "Thank you Sister, Iíll be there as soon as I can." He flipped the phone closed and glanced over at his small passenger.
Vin sat quietly watching his uncle talk on the phone. He could tell that Josiah was upset.
"Iím sorry Vin, weíre going to have to make a short detour before we go to the office."
"Okay, Uncle Josiah."
Sanchez winched at the absolute trust in those big blue eyes. He drove out onto the freeway. He knew he should explain, to prepare the little boy for where they were going.
"Uncle Josiah, do you think Dad and the others will be finished with Court by the time we get to the office? I sure hope so."
"I think so, judges usually dismiss around 4 or 4:30."
Clearing his throat, "Vin I need to tell you something about the place weíre going too. I donít want you to be afraid. Weíre going to a kind of a hospital that is run by Catholic Nuns. Do you know what they are?"
"Yeah. Theyíre ladies dressed in penguin suits. There were nuns at the place my momma and I stayed. They was real nice to her, when she got sick. They was always praying with momma and the other ladies."
"Good. Anyway this hospital, itís a special one. They take care of people who canít take care of themselves."
Vin looked out the window.
Glancing over Josiah asked, "Vin?"
"You mean crazy people donít Ďcha? There was crazy people on the street. You have to be real careful about them."
Frowning Josiah knew this wasnít the time to correct Vinís terminology. "That was who the phone call was from, a Sister at the hospital. MyÖthat is I have a sister and she lives there."
"I didnít know you had a sister."
"No one knows, Vin. Hannah is very sick and it, uh, it makes me very sad to talk about her."
"Ya Ďshamed of her Uncle Josiah?"
"What? No, Vin, IÖitís just hard for me to explain about Hannah."
"But Uncle Josiah, weíre not just people weíre family. Every one says so."
"I know Vin, itís just hard to explainÖ" Josiah shook his head glad that the turn off was here. He turned into the drive way. After he parked he waited for Vin to get out. As they neared the big wooden door Josiah said, "Vin I need you toÖto kinda be invisible in here. I know that youíre real good at being invisible."
"Okay, I can do that." Vin watched as Josiah knocked on the door. A little door opened in the big door.
"Sister Lucy called about my sister. My names Josiah Sanchez."
The little door closed and the big one opened. Josiah stepped through with Vin on his heels. The Profiler knew where to go. Heíd been here more times than he wanted to remember. They stopped by another door and Josiah knocked again. The door opened slowly.
The Profiler knew where to go. Heíd been here more times than he wanted to admit. They stopped by another door and Josiah knocked again. The door opened a crack.
"Sister Martha, Iím here."
The small dark nun stepped outside but left the door ajar. She looked relieved to see Josiah. "Thank you for coming."
Vin looked past the nun into the room. It was a big room; there were papers, chairs, and all kinds of things thrown all round. Sitting at one of the tables was a small woman. She was wearing pants and a sweater even though it was late spring outside. Her short hair was almost white and showed somecurl like Josiahís. She was bent over the table her nose almost touching the surface. She tightly held a dark crayon in her fist and scrubbed it back and forth covering the paper completely with shiny black. Around her on the floor were other papers covered in black or red and thrown down crumpled. But the colors never mixed.
Little Tanner walked slowly to the table watching the woman. Standing across from her he watched for a few seconds. Then in a soft voice, "Can I use yer blue to color with. I like blue, it looks like the sky or the ocean."
Hannah slowed and then stopped as Vin talked. Without looking at him she reached under a pile of paper and pulled out a box of big crayons, and pushed it toward the edge of the table. Her frantic scribbling resumed but was slower than before as she watched the boy.
Sensing something different the Sister turned. Her eyes widened at the sight of the boy. Turning back, "You brought a child here? How could you?"
"I had no choice. There was no where to leave him after you called."
Shaking her head the nun started into the room. Josiah grabbed her arm.
"No, wait!" He commanded, "Watch!"
They stood watching the little boy work magic on the disturbed woman. Listening to his chatter, only Josiah understood how odd it was for the usually quiet boy to talk so much.
"I like blue, you can make it really dark, but I like it best when itís barely showing. Kinda like deep water that so clear you can see the bottom. You ever see water like that? My dad says heíll take me to see something like that as soon as they finish this case. My dadís Uncle Josiahís boss. I call him Uncle Josiah, but heís not really my uncle. Uncle Ezra says its an hon-or-ery name. Uncle Josiah aní Uncle Ezra aní Uncle Nathan watch after us, me and JD, when my dad or Buck are busy."
The tiny woman cocked her head to one side. "Jo-si-ah? My brother Jo-si-ah?"
"Yeah, I guess. Heís a real good uncle. But he was awful worried when he got that phone call and we had to come here."
"Uncle? Worried? Why?"
"Donít know, maybe about you."
Josiah couldnít stand it any longer. He was so happy to hear Hannah talking he slowly went inside the room, "Hannah?"
Wide frightened eyes darted to the source of the voice. Fear made her voice shake, "No! Go away!"
Trying to keep his voice low and steady Josiah begged, "Hannah donít you know me? Iím your brother, Iím Josiah."
Hannah shook her hand, "No, bad man. Brother gone. No manís here. Sister? Sister make bad man go away! Hurts me! Hurts the boy!"
Sister Martha pushed past the big man. "Enough, Josiah. Take the boy and go."
The profiler seemed to deflate under the nunís orders. "Come on, Vin. Lets go."
"Wait. Manís not hurt little boy?"
Vin reached out and gently took Hannahís hand. "Uncle Josiah would never hurt me, Miss Hannah. I know heís great big but heíd never hurt me or you. I gotta go Ďcause my dadís probably waiting by now. Maybe I can come see ya again sometime."
Hannah pulled her hand back, "You come see Hannah again. Yes Sister?
"Iíll make a picture for you."
Vin smiled, "Thanks Miss Hannah, Iíd like that."
Vin set the crayon down and slipped past the nun. He was almost running trying to catch up with Josiah. Before he could ask any questions they were outside. Josiah seemed to forget the boy as he stormed across the lawn to a stone bench.
Sanchez needed to scream, to hit, to do something yet he held it in. Hannah broke his heart every time he came. He use to go on a drunk but since he joined Team 7, heíd controlled that urge. Sitting down hard the profiler put his head in his hands. It was his fault. If heíd only been a better brother: been there to help her when she needed him; been there to protect her from their father. But he hadnít. Heíd been away, living his own life. And now his penance was seeing Hannah like this and not being able to help her.
Vin followed Sanchez over and sat down beside him. Unlike most children Vin could sit quiet and still for a long time. He watched the birds that came down to drink at the small pond and waited to see what Josiah was going to do.
After what seemed a long time the older man looked up and suddenly realized he wasnít alone.
"Iím sorry Vin."
"Fer what Uncle Josiah?"
"For bringing you here, for allowing you to see all this."
"Itís okay. I donít mind. Is Miss Hannah really your sister?"
"Yeah sheís my little sister. Vin, how did you know what to do with her?"
Vin sat quietly picking at a hang nail. "When IÖI mean before Dad found us, I knew people like Hannah. They was nice mostly. But you had to know how to talk to Ďem. Sometimes they could be real scary aní if you werenít careful you could get hurt. One time Olí Timmy went crazy cause Sally was trying to take somethiní of his and he hurt her real bad. The cops and a ambulance with lights flashing came. We all hid til they were gone. Never saw Timmy anymore."
"I see. Well, thank you for helping." Josiah wasnít sure he wanted to know all the details of the boysí time on the street. It was too familiar, too close to think of the little boy heíd grown to love being alone on the streets and vunerable to the dangers there.
"Uncle Josiah how come I never heard you have a sister?"
"I donít suppose anyone knows about Hannah. Sheís not even on my insurance or listed as a dependent. I donít talk about her because it hurts so much to do so. I mean it makes me very sad to talk about her."
Little Tanner nodded, "Like talking about Mrs. Sarah and Adam makes Dad all sad?"
"Yeah, exactly like that."
Vin watched a dove land by the water and take a drink. Then he said, "Donít worry, Uncle Josiah. I wonít say nothing about here to no one, not even Dad or JD. Not unless you say its okay."
"Thank you Vin." Josiah sighed, "Weíd better go. I think your dad will be waiting for us and wondering where weíve been."
"Okay." Vin reached out and took the manís hand. "Iím glad I met Miss Hannah. I hope she gets better soon."
"Thank you, Vin. I hope so too." Sanchez said as they walked toward the car.