A/N: (I hope that this update doesn't take place during the blackout, but this is my ONLY chance to update in DAYS, so…) (winces)
I CANNOT believe that this is the final chapter already! (Already, being a very relative term…) Gosh! But, before actually getting to the story…
THANK YOU so much for absolutely all your love and support! It's kept this story floating and sent me sky high with joy. So thank you! I TRULY hope that you'll find this chapter worth all the waiting and expectations.
Awkay… I suppose it's go time, eh? (gulps) I REALLY hope that you'll enjoy this.
Ten Days Later
Spencer had always hated hospitals beyond all belief and his recent experiences with doctors didn't exactly help with the matter. That's why he couldn't breathe freely until that afternoon, while slumping into Derek's car.
The older man smirked, starting the vehicle. "Ready to go home, kid?"
Spencer nodded with utmost sincerity. "Yeah." A cold shudder crossed him, forcing him to add a inaudible "Thank you". After what he'd done to Derek… It was hard to believe that the man still trusted him enough to let him into the older agent's car.
He wasn't sure how long they'd been driving, neither feeling any particular need to talk, until Spencer heard something that made his skin crawl. He gasped, his hand flying instinctively to his stomach.
His head turned rapidly to the right, only to spot several birds sitting on the branches of a nearby tree. He wasn't entirely sure why a wave of disappointment and crushing sadness went through him. Almost like he'd been missing something.
"Reid?" There was a look of worry on Derek's face. "Are you okay?"
Spencer hesitated for a moment. Derek would probably think that he was out of his mind but… He swallowed, then licked his lips and looked away. "Would you… think that I'm crazy if I'd say that I… miss it, somehow?"
Derek took his time before answering. The right words were obviously hard to find. "Considering what you've been through… I'd say that anything you feel is normal." They took a turn to the right. "That thing… It formed a bond with you. It sneaked into your body and head without asking your permission. It's only to be expected that you're confused."
For some reason those words didn't make Spencer feel a lot better. His hand remained on his stomach, no longer feeling any life inside it. His eyes stung hellishly, forcing him to blink rapidly. "Yeah… I guess so."
They stopped to a red light. Even without looking he felt Derek's eyes on him. The man sighed. "Look… I know that you went through a hell. I can't even imagine what it was like. But… You're alive. You pulled through. And that thing… I'll make damn sure that it never comes anywhere near you again." There was a beat's pause while the car moved once more. "It's over now."
Spencer merely nodded, unable to speak. His eyes remained on the view outside the car, on the shadows that seemed to slip everywhere. He wondered what Derek would say if he'd voice what was troubling his mind.
Something like this… Could it ever be really over?
Did he want it to be over?
Six Months Later
Dr. Janet Miller was a woman of science and facts. At the age of forty-two she was a sharp, highly respected professional who couldn't be upsetted by anything or anyone. For all those reasons she'd been hired by CIA's secret laboratory. What she faced today, however, rocked the foundations of everything she'd ever believed in.
She rubbed her tired, brown eyes and tied her long, pale brown hair to a ponytail before making her way to her colleague and partner for four years, Dr. Natalie Gibson. "What do we have?" she inquired.
The expression on Natalie's face was the first warning – she'd never seen that kind of a look in the thirty-eight year old's gray eyes. The younger woman's short and curly red hair was a mess. "You'll have to see it to believe it." Natalie went on while they walked. "It… was found next to the completely shredded body of someone by the name of Mitch Garson from some sort of a cage. There was blood all over it. No one knows how long ago the kill took place. According to Adam Mirren from animal patrol, who was the first to arrive to the scene, there was no doubt over whether it killed that poor man or not. It was… hissing, and purring. Mirren couldn't tell if it sounded happy or scared. He called for backup immediately. It took ten tranquilizer darts from the police squad that arrived to take it down. That dosage should've killed the thing but the first five only got it upset and aggressive."
Janet shivered while they climbed down the stairs separating them from a heavy metallic door that needed a security code- and clearance to open. "Are you sure that it's not just some sort of a mutation?"
Natalie nodded, typing in the code. "Hell yes." She'd never heard the woman swear before. The eyes meeting hers as the door opened were filled with excitement and fear. "Like I said, you'll have to see it to believe it."
Nothing, absolutely nothing, could've prepared Janet for what she faced when they entered the room. For what was inside the bulletproof walls of the cage in the middle of the room.
The first thing that met them were the horrifying, wrenching screams. Those, and claws scratching the cage with absolutely all of the beast's might.
"Put your hands to your ears", Natalie adviced, her voice barely carrying to where Janet stood rooted to the spot. "It's angry again."
It wasn't until then Janet got a good luck at the creature that was banging the walls of its cage, visibly desperate for a way out. It… was so close to a human child in many ways, and absolutely nothing alike at the same time. Ten toes, ten fingers. A long tail, a part of which was hidden from her. A bizarre, although somehow beautiful shape of a head. Horrifyingly long, sharp nails. Huge, completely black eyes that had fear and rage flickering in them.
Then those eyes met hers, stared directly at her. She could've sworn that she saw tears running down its cheeks. And it screamed once more.
Janet's eyes widened dramatically. At the moment there was only one thing she managed to utter. "Holy shit…!"
It was getting horribly late and Penelope was almost falling asleep behind her desk when the sound of her cell phone ringing startled her. Expecting it to be Kevin – complaining that she was working too hard again – she took a look and blinked. A unfamiliar number.
She picked up cautiously, shivering at the shadows everywhere around her. Why was she so jumpy today? "Penelope Garcia."
"Oh, thank God!" It took a second before she recognized the voice of Trevor McKenzie. When they were fifteen they were best friends. She hadn't heard from him in over five years. Knowing him and his dangerous lifestyle, she'd only been able to hope and pray that he was still alive.
She frowned, terror sneaking in. "Trevor? What's wrong?"
He swallowed loudly. "I… know that these days you're a FBI, that you present cases to your… team. I've… got something, but… I'm not sure if you'll want this one." He was gloriously drunk, or perhaps high. There was a pause. "Don't think that I'm crazy, okay? Because I'm not. But… Someone, or something, has been attacking people in the shelter where I'm staying. Five men have been attacked. Three of them… They were butchered, brutally. But two… They ended up pregnant, Penny. Pregnant. Then they… disappeared." By then Trevor was crying. "I'm scared."
Penelope barely heard him, for it took all she had to breathe and to not pass out. Her heartbeat sped up while her eyes widened. It took less than a flash for the memories to resurface.
Spencer… The thing that attacked him… There couldn't be that many of those monsters lurking around. Either it was whatever the hell he carried, or what turned his life into a nightmare.
"Penny?" Trevor sounded desperate. "Can you help me?"
She had absolutely no clue. Whatever it was after Trevor's friends… It couldn't be human. Quite possibly it wasn't even completely from this world. But still, for Spencer… "Where… Where are you? I need to know where the…" Her frail voice was lost completely. "… deaths took place."
"In Quantico, Virginia. Right where you are, Penny."
A/N: I… can't believe that it's over! (gawks, and gasps) Is it weird that I feel sorry for that… baby-thingy?
I must admit that I'm toying with the idea of writing a sequel for this lil' beast. I don't make any promises but who knows what future might bring.
PLEASE, leave a review – let me know if you enjoyed this final piece! I'm always a bit nervous when it comes to final chapters so it'd mean a lot. I've got some ice-cream as a reward… (winks)
BUT, before I tune out… THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for sticking around for this whole ride! It's been long, bumpy and many times I was sure that it'd never be finished. You can't even imagine how happy I am that you never gave up on this. So thank you!
Awkay… I've gotta get going now. Until next time, folks, with whichever project that may be!
Deathangle23: I'm really glad to hear that you've enjoyed the ride. (beams) 'Hope the rest turns out worthy of your expectations.
Gigantic thank yous for the review!