Disclaimer: We don't own Criminal Minds—if we did JJ and Hotch would be married with kids.
A/N: So, we know you're thinking 'Oh geez, not another story about someone on the team getting kidnapped!' but we promise it's WAY more than just a kidnapping story—Trust us.
"Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind." - Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Hotch" JJ said seriously as she charged into his office, file in hand, "The Maine field office just called, they need our help finding a college athlete who vanished from her hotel room last night. They think it's related to another kidnapping that happened six months ago."
"How long has she been missing?" Hotch asked, putting down the file he had been reading.
"Six hours and counting." JJ answered, looking at her watch.
"Gather the team. We'll brief on the plane." Hotch instructed, he couldn't help but watch as JJ turned at walked away.
Thirty minutes later, the team plus Garcia were on their way to just outside Orono, Maine. "Aimee Douglass was abducted six and a half hours ago from a small town in Maine. Authorities believe that this abduction is related to that of Erin Larsen abducted a little more than six months ago," JJ said, starting the briefing.
"Well the UnSub definitely has a type." Rossi commented, looking at the pictures of the two women. Blonde hair, blue eyes, the girls could have been sisters.
"Did you know that Hitler favored blonde haired, blue eyed people because he believed that they were the true Germans and subsequently the divine race? It's interesting that he would chose his exact opposite as the one's his teachings said were the perfect race." Reid informed.
"So we're thinking this is the same UnSub who abducted Erin Larsen?" Emily asked, "Why keep her for six months before abducting another girl? And why abduct another girl when he most likely still has Erin Larsen? It says in the file that the locals searched the woods surrounding Orono, but they didn't find her body or anyone else's."
"Maybe he waits to kill one until after he kidnaps the next girl to make sure he always has one of the victim's whenever he needs the release that he gets from whatever he's doing to them?" Morgan mused as JJ's blackberry rang.
"Agent Jareau, this is Agent Michaels from the Maine field office. One of the local CSIs just found an envelope full of blonde hair and a photo in his mailbox that you're going to want to see-is there somewhere we can e-mail it to your team now or would you rather wait until you get here to take a look?"
"E-mail it to my address that's on my business card, my team will take a look at it here on the plane and brief you when we arrive." JJ instructed him, ending the call.
Moments later, the email came through. The entire team looked up in surprise at the findings, "Erin Larsen is not only alive, but healthy?" Emily asked, confused.
"Is that unusual?" JJ asked.
"For an UnSub that kidnaps women? Yeah, that's unusual." Morgan replied.
"You can really find out someone's health through their hair?" Garcia scoffed.
"Your hair contains tiny DNA fragments and reflects the health at each given time that the hair follicle was growing. So, if you were really malnourished and then started eating well, your hair would be weaker at the ends and stronger the closer to the scalp." Reid explained.
"Garcia open the attachment" Hotch commanded in his normal voice, knowing they didn't have time to mess around with a kidnapping case.
"Why would UnSub leave us a photo from what looks like the 1940's?" Emily asked as JJ leaned closer to the laptop to get a better look.
"I don't think this picture was taken more than a week ago, Em." JJ sighed, pointing to a girl in a dark dress near the back of the group in the photo, "That's Erin Larsen, it has to be."
"How is that possible?" Garcia asked.
"Not everyone updates new technology," Reid began, "I still have an original Nintendo, although newer gaming technologies are better, some people like the originals."
"It's possible this UnSub is taking women for wives in this small community." Hotch pointed out, it was a group picture and all of the people seemed to have light hair. It was a black and white picture, so it was difficult to tell, but all had similar hair color. "Prentiss, Dave, and I will go down to the precinct. Garcia and JJ, go check into the hotels, and Morgan, you and Reid go and check out Aimee Douglass's hotel room-I want to be certain what we're dealing with."
Garcia squealed with delight, grateful to be paired with her friend once more. The rest of the plane ride went quickly as the team focused on their prospective tasks at hand. It was early afternoon by the time the plane landed and Garcia and JJ hopped in a Bureau issued SUV.
"So, did you request a separate room for you and the Hotch-meister, or are you still playing the 'we're keeping it secret' act?" Garcia asked mischievously.
"Separate rooms." JJ admitted. She and Hotch had been dating a while, and though the team always seemed to know when she was dating someone, they hadn't connected the dots to Hotch just yet...at least none of them had except for Garcia. JJ hadn't wanted anyone to know about her relationship with Hotch until they were both sure that it was going somewhere, but her best friend had quickly gleaned the needed information and danced happily as she practically shouted how adorable the JJ/Hotch children that she decided would be romping around in the near future. JJ had only gotten her to quiet and promise not to tell the others by promising to give her all of the juicy details of their relationship-not that there were many. In the months that JJ and Hotch had been dating, they had determined to take it slow, much to the chagrin of Penelope Garcia.
"I'm sure he'd come stay with you if you asked him." Garcia wagged her eyebrows suggestively.
"We don't want everyone to know just yet." JJ reminded her. "Besides, we're on a case. This is work."
"Fine Sunshine. But all work and no play will make JJ a boring girl, and we already know what it will do to Mr. Hotchman-we see it daily."
"There's no evidence of a struggle" Morgan mused as he and Reid went over Aimee Douglass's hotel room, "No evidence of anything. CSU didn't even find a fingerprint out of place."
"This person knows what he's doing." Reid mused. "Forensic counter measures suggest an organized personality."
"People." Morgan muttered, then looked at Reid. "There's no way to effectively drug and kidnap a grown woman and carry her out without making a sound or leaving any trace by yourself. We've got at least two UnSubs."
"I agree, and that would fit with the theory of the UnSubs taking the girls as wives like in the photo." Reid mused.
"Most abduction victims die within the first 36 hours unless the UnSub has a different plan for them." Morgan agreed.
"But it seems odd that the victims were spaced so far apart." Reid added.
"True." Morgan agreed, "Let's head back to the station, we can fill Hotch in on the way."
"Garcia, I'm starving, lets just run over to that little market for a snack." JJ suggested as they pulled up in front of the hotel.
"That's why you should eat breakfast." Garcia commented, "The most important meal of the day should never be skipped."
"I'm too busy to eat breakfast." JJ defended as they got out of the car and walked towards the market, ignoring the blonde haired men in the old truck that seemed fascinated by them.
"Little Mama" Garcia whispered so only JJ could hear, "Let's hurry, those guys in that truck are giving me the creeps."
Casually looking over her shoulder to see what her friend meant, JJ nodded, "Agreed."
"You guys must be the BAU." Agent Don Michaels greeted as Hotch, Rossi, and Prentiss entered the small sheriff's office. "I'm Agent Don Michaels from the Maine field office."
"I'm Agent Hotchner, these are Agents Rossi and Prentiss." Hotch introduced.
"And Agent Jareau? She's the one I spoke to on the phone." Agent Michaels asked.
"She'll be here in a few hours, she's checking into the hotel for the rest of us. Can you show us where the case files are?" Rossi explained.
"Right this way." The profilers followed the detective to a small, dark room where the poured over case files for hours. Nothing in the cases gave them any clues or anything to go on. These women were being abducted but the bodies were never found. Whoever was hiding them was doing a good job.
"Hey Mama, what's up?" Morgan asked as he, Reid, Garcia, and JJ, entered the precinct.
"It's nothing Angelfish, just some creepy guys at the gas station, that's all." Garcia informed, moving towards the conference room that would be the team's home base during the case, effectively ending their conversation.
"JJ what is she talking about?" Morgan asked his other blonde friend as Reid made his way towards the conference room as well.
"We stopped to get a snack at this connivance store across from the hotel, some of the locals don't like the FBI being here or something, I guess, because they watched us the whole time we were at the store." JJ supplied, "It's nothing new to be somewhere we're not wanted, let it go Derek."
"I don't like the sound of someone watching you." Morgan insisted. "Just promise me that you ladies will be careful."
"Derek, I think we can take care of ourselves." JJ scoffed, "it's nothing I haven't handled before."
"Just humor me, okay? If anything's out of whack, just tell me." Morgan continued.
"Or Hotch." Garcia blurted out, eyes widening at the revelation that had so easily slipped.
Morgan missed JJ's death glare that she shot Garcia, "Yeah, or tell Hotch. Or Rossi." He agreed.
"Or me." Reid added, slightly offended.
"Yes, Dr. Genius Boy, we'll let you know, too." Garcia conceded.
"Okay what do we know?" Hotch asked as the team gathered around the round table they'd be working from, "Anything we didn't already know from Aimee Douglass's hotel room?"
"Well we've got at least a two man team because even if she was drugged, one person couldn't lift her and get her out of the room alone without waking up the whole floor of the hotel. The crime scene was also wiped clean of prints, so someone would have to hold or at least watch the victim while someone else wiped down the crime scene." Morgan answered, pouring a cup of coffee.
"That would fit in with the theory that the UnSubs are kidnapping these girls and keeping them as wives, and so would the fact that we haven't been able to locate a single body that could be connected to this kidnapping." Emily pointed out.
"And given the fact that we now know Erin Larsen is alive and healthy makes me think along those same lines." Rossi mused, "Do the locals have any idea on where a community like the one in the photo might be located? It would have to be secluded, and fairly deep in the woods to keep out the world since they seem to have fixated on the 1940's."
"I asked the sheriff." JJ replied. "He says there's some childhood myths-scary stories-of a group of witches that will eat the fingers of the blonde boys and girls that go too far in the forest."
"Sometimes local myths actually reveal partial truths." Reid added.
"Yea, but a witch that eats fingers of blonde children? I guess I'd better stay out of the woods." Garcia teased, "So anything you lovely behavioral guru's need me to look up on the information highway?"
"Look in the missing persons database for girls ages 18-25, who have the same physical description as Aimee Douglass." Hotch commanded, "I have a feeling this is a lot bigger than we think."
"Okay we've got three who match that description that have disappeared in the last two years from all over the state" Garcia informed, "Erin Larsen, Aimee Douglass, and Stephanie Milligan who disappeared from her off campus apartment just outside the University of Southern Maine. Looks like she wasn't reported missing until a week after she was last seen because she had little contact with her family, only seeing them on 'Parent's Weekend' and holidays."
"Then who reported her missing baby girl?" Morgan asked, taking a sip of the black coffee he'd just poured.
"Umm...it says her sorority sister when to check on her after she wouldn't answer her phone and didn't show up to their weekly chapter meeting-something her friend claims our girl would not have missed, even if her life depended on it. Apparently Stephanie was all about being a sister with Alpha Omicron Pi."
"Rossi, go take JJ and interview the sorority sister. Maybe she knew something." Hotch commanded. He wasn't about to send out an agent that fit the victimology alone, especially when he was dating that agent-even if they still hadn't told anyone about their relationship.
Hours later, no significant leads had been granted. Hotch had decided to stay back at the precinct and instructed the others to get some sleep to start in the morning.
Hearing his cell phone beep, he looked down to find a short goodnight text message from JJ. "Don't stay too late, I'll keep the bed warm until you get here. I love you.-JJ."
Allowing himself a small smile at her message, he quickly typed one back promising that he wouldn't be much longer, and dove back into the profile-only heading out after 2 a.m. Resigning himself to sleeping in his own room when he reached the hotel since they would all have to be up in less that four hours, he slipped into the warm bed only to realize that sleep would almost be impossible without JJ there with him-but since JJ was likely to be in a grumpy mood the next day if she didn't get a good night's sleep, he promised himself to try, eventually falling asleep well past 4 a.m.
"Hey Derek can you check my window? I think I heard something, but I was washing my face so I'm not sure-it could just be my imagination." JJ admitted, slipping a Pittsburgh University sweatshirt over her head as she stood at Morgan's hotel room door.
"Sure JJ." Morgan nodded following her into her hotel room. Inspecting the room and the window locks, and finding everything to be safe, he continued, "Everything looks okay to me, maybe you just heard a cat jump on the fire escape of something."
"That's what I thought." JJ said, then seeing Morgan's raised eyebrow, insisted, "Hey, it was you all that said that if something was weird I should say something. Give me a break!"
Morgan laughed quickly, "Yeah, but I didn't expect you to freak out over every little bump in the night." He teased, heading out the door to go back to his own room.
"Last time I tell you anything." JJ grumbled in mock anger. This was how her relationship with Morgan had always been-they joked and teased each other, but at the end of the day, they were always there for each other. "Goodnight!"
"Night JJ!" Morgan called back, entering his own hotel room again. Lying down on the comfortable bed, his last thought before sleep overtook him was, 'I don't think I've ever been this tired...'
JJ tossed in the hotel bed as she slept fitfully. She never slept well when Aaron wasn't around. Looking at the clock that informed her it was just after two in the morning, she looked curiously at the window-it was open. I'm almost certain that I closed it before I went to sleep. JJ thought, her instincts going on overdrive. Sitting up in bed, she got no further as she felt a cool cloth press against her mouth as someone put a strong arm around her to diminish her struggling.
Within seconds her body fell limp against her captor's chest as she floated off into a deep sleep. While the larger one carried her out through the window, the younger of the two wiped down all traces that they had ever been inside the room-even wiping down the railing on the fire escape to get rid of fingerprints.
Finally reaching the van they had arrived in, the larger man looked over at his younger brother, "I hope she's worth it Jamie, I mean she's FBI, you know they're not going to give up looking for her as easy as the others."
"She's worth it, she's perfect Ty." The younger man, Jamie, promised as the two drove away into the night with JJ sleeping soundly in the back of the van.
Most days Penelope Garcia was not a morning person, but something about being out in the cool, clear state of Maine made her feel energized enough that she found herself walking towards a local coffee shop just after 6 a.m.-Morgan would never believe that she was actually up and about before seven.
Rounding the last block before she reached the main street of the small city, she felt someone watching her. Brushing it off as nothing, she kept walking-at a somewhat faster pace than before-towards where she knew people would be, so she would be safe and the Morgan could come rescue her.
Hearing the sound of tires squealing, she turned her head quickly to see the source of the noise-feeling a wet, cool cloth press against her nose and mouth as she did so. Holding her breath she managed to keep from passing out for a few extra seconds while she tossed her badge into a nearby bush, hoping her captors wouldn't find it and that her team would.
The last thing she registered before she drifted into unconsciousness was being loaded carefully into a large van of some sort. "Hurry my prince, I need you to save me..." was her last thought as they drove into the sunrise.
A/N 2: So? What do you think? To continue or to not continue?