The day is beautiful; the clouds are a soft shade of white and gray with just the right fluffiness. No ominous signs of any kind lurking around, just the soft warm breeze of summer and unrelenting flow of the city. Reid likes the way the noises mix together to cast a soundtrack feel to it, its never-ending repeat of the motions, if it were to ever become quiet that might actually worry him.
Reid made the train in time, and made better progress than he had expected. Walking inside the F.B.I. building he finally felt relief was over him, even if it was just marginally. He made it this far, now time to see if his absence went unnoticed. Seriously wishing, maybe even beyond that.. begging the cosmic universe and all its greatness to let some kind of luck be on his side. Crossing his fingers in hopes there won't be a new case today or at least not yet as he enters the elevator.
Shifting his weight back and forth, trying to unwind the tension from his body. Reid holds onto his messenger strap just to keep his hands preoccupied, he looks up as bell dings and signals this is level is up. Walking off the elevator he makes his way to those familiar glass doors, striding in and trying to find his team mates. To his much disappointment, he looks up to see them already inside the round table room talking.
Reid visible deflates. "Crap," he sighs.
The bullpen is already past the good morning easiness and greetings, and moved onto the steeling business atmosphere with phones ringing and papers being shuffled.
Hurrying up those metal stairs, with a heavy head and heart not to mention a painful knee, Reid walks towards the room. Biting his lip he can hear them already being briefed on the newest case. Trying to ignore the knowing look Hotch is probably sending his way already. Really wishing he had time for his coffee, this would have felt somehow easier with his liquid energy, goodness knows he needs it.
Reid takes a deep breath and just… takes that dive.
"Sorry," Reid says softy while keeping his head down and walks around the table past Rossi and Hotch to take his seat in between Emily and Morgan. Drops his bag down and grabs the file in front of him and starts flipping through the file in his inhumanly fast pace. Looking at the pictures Reid is already getting a bad feeling about this case.
JJ faltered in her presentation with his sudden presence and everyone gives him a brief glance. But ever the professional JJ continues on. Or maybe it's just her being nice and helping draw the attention away from Reid, he isn't sure which at the moment maybe both.
"This is believed to be the tenth attack in the last three weeks, all young males found naked and murdered," JJ standing in front of the plasma holding the remote control addressing the room. "The locals are starting to get paranoid and anxious. The police didn't want our involvement but with local pressure they finally called us in."
Hotch throws down his folders on the table and is now looking at the images on the screen with his usual stoic expression.
"With very good reason to… It seems this unsub is all over the place. Besides the victims all being male, anyone could be next." Morgan added rubbing his chin then folding his arms across from each other, while giving Reid a sideways glance.
Morgan knows there is something up with the kid, he can see through act he puts up. The boy is sweating, must have been running. Not to mention how he is rubbing his knee with a slight pained expression on his face while trying to catch up with the case.
JJ frowns and adds "Also the stab wounds seemed to have a powerful toxicant doctors can't seem to identify or understand."
"Do we have a copy of the toxicity report?" Reid asks with his hand curled up under his chin with a curious expression.
"No, not yet although the lab has assured me they are working diligently on it and will be sent to us as soon as possible when finished," JJ shakes her head. "They said they are having a really tough time with it for some odd reason, but anything we should be super worried about."
"Have any of the victims appear to have known each other?" Prentiss asked from her seat at the round table flipping through the files appearing in deep concentration.
"No, none that they police have been able to connect."
Rossi being his ever contemplative self has kept silent until now. "What is really interests me is that four of the victims were tourist." He stops mid thought, gives Hotch a look and continues. "The unsub is going after a particular type, so we can rule out a vindictive towards the locals at least."
Reid fidgeting in his seat and avoiding eye contact, Reid is glad that so far no one has brought up the topic of him being late. He is at the very end of the rope that is holding his nerves together at the moment. Maybe this case is what he needs to clear his thoughts and keep him busy. Prentiss's voice brings him out of his reverie.
"No signs of sexual assault." Prestiss commented to the team.
"Although there are signs of physical torture, as well as ligature marks on their wrists and ankles," Morgan said while looking at her. "Definitely points to no signs of remorse."
"The victims were reported missing for two days before their bodies showed up. They were discovered in random parts of the town." Reid injected with a thoughtful expression already seeing geographic profile running through his mind.
Hotch looks at Garcia. "Garica, do you think you can dig up information on why the four tourists were there and what they were planning on doing while on vacation?" Getting up out of his chair he adds " I want everything you can dig up about them and the victims."
"Aye Aye captain, I'll get right on that." Garcia says with a smile and salute.
Prentiss gives a small laugh and Morgan just shakes his head at her with a huge smile on his face.
"Where are we going this time?" Reid chimed in with an expectant expression.
Hotch gives him a stern expression and says, "If you were here on time you would know that already, wheels up in 30 minutes. Gather your things, we'll debrief again on the plane."
And with that he turns and leaves already with a Rossi at his heels and calm demeanor.
Reid inwardly flinches at those words, so much for hoping to go unnoticed. With the hurt puppy look on his face the others take pity on him.
"A little town named Globus, in Louisiana." Morgan gives him an amused look, amazed at how that look will get him almost anything he wants.
"I couldn't even find it on a map at first. It's really remote, but close enough to the major cities to get the attention." Garcia answered hovering towards the door with her pink and purple notebook in hand.
"Oh!" Reid jumps from his seat, but instantly regrets the action when it causes his leg pain. "I want to get a map out then before we go and study the area." Reid added excitedly.
He always loved going to new places and seeing the different areas and people. People watching as his mother called it in her lucid moments. Analyzing human behavior in different areas has always been an intriguing thing to him.
As they started gathering their items and files, Reid could sense he gained a pair of concerned eyes. Looking up he was proved right, as the eyes of Morgan were staring at him.
Ignore him he told himself.
Reid resisted the urge to just barge out of the room before he could be questioned. Luckily he was saved by JJ asking him a question.
"Hey Reid have you finally read Twilight yet?" JJ asked with giggles while Garcia had a huge grin on her face watching his reaction, with Prentiss giving a look of amusement.
Reid hunched his shoulders and gave them a scowl. "Unfortunately … yes. I was bribed into reading it." Giving Garcia a look that she and the girls call his 'Kitten Glare'.
"She said she would hide and without hold coffee from me the whole day unless I would read it. It didn't take me long of course, but it was excoriating." Reid shutters at the memory and biting his lip.
"It's so out there. I mean, sparkle….seriously. Did the author not research the topic enough? It's still baffles me." Reid added with look of annoyance.
This only made the girls laugh more.
Reid quickly picked up his items and rushed to join the girls out of the room but before he was home free he felt Morgan grab a hold of his arm.
"Hey kid, can we talk a minute?" Morgan asked with a disarming grin on his face but the concern in his eyes shown was evident.
The moment his gaze is on Morgan's he is instantly taken aback, he finally recognizes the face in his dream that he was reaching for. It's as if someone had slapped him, and he breaks the look. The shocked on his face must be evident because Morgan's eye brows shoot upwards and he looks at Reid with caution. But in the blink in the eye Reid gets it under control, closes his mouth that fell slightly open and gives a forces smile that doesn't quiet meet his eyes.
Morgan saw it though.
That quick look of fear on his face, almost as if he saw a ghost pop up right in front of him.
He can't figure out why Reid would act that way towards him though. Something must be up. If only he can get him to talk. He's been so edgy lately, looking more and more tired every day. He doesn't think he is back on drugs, Reid may have struggles but this just seems different.
Admittedly since the time he became the temporary Unit Chef things have been getting slightly more distant between Reid and himself. As if Reid has something to prove to him, just like Reid always has with authority figures such as Hotch and is afraid to be seen as weak. The boy should know better by now though, shouldn't he?
"Yeah, uh, uhm, sure.. that's fine. What's up?" Reid smiled and backed up a foot step or two, shoving his hands in his pockets.
Of course, he should have known Morgan of all people would see how upset and upside down he's been lately. Fortunately, the rest of the team has been too preoccupied to look at him too closely. It's an annoying quality of Morgan, which Reid finds bothersome sometimes. As if insulating Reid can't take care of himself, he's a grown adult who's been independent almost his whole life. Yet at the same time, he knows he needs help, but he just can't find the words or strength to go right out and say it. And for that, he is thankful for Morgan's insistent push and pull. He is the brother Reid always wished he had, and can only wonder if Morgan feels the same sometimes, or if he is just that annoying kid to him still.
Morgan continues to look at him with curiosity and leans against the wall, "I was just wondering how you've been doing? You know if something is bothering you can come to me, right?"
"Yeah, yeah," Reid answers quickly with a nod. "I know that, I'm, uh, al-alright." Looking around the room and rolling back on his heels. "I just overslept in this morning, nothing major. Had to rush and just a bit flustered,"
Cocking his head slightly to the side Morgan absorbs that and replies, "Okay if you say so," Then he switches gears and puts on a grin and teases, "So you read Twilight? Never thought they'd get their hands on ya Pretty Boy, you're tainted now," He reaches up and ruffles Reid's hair.
Reid huffs and glares at him while feeling the tension ease, "Yeah, well you weren't facing imperial doom," and starts to smooth down his hair.
Morgan just shakes his head and laughs, "It's just coffee Reid."
"Says you!" Reid said, with a look of mock horror.
Clapping Reid on the back Morgan leads them both down the hallway, retreating towards his own office, while Reid heads towards his desk in the bullpen.
Picking up his Go-bag in his office, Morgan already is feeling the intensity of this case weighing on his shoulders. Rolling his neck side to side, trying to ease the knot that's already too soon forming there. They are on a time schedule and it doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon. They've got to hit the ground running. Even though he knows he isn't the Unit Chef anymore, it's hard to let that state of mind go so easily. That insight into the mind of the killer that he is so good at, is giving him a chill that doesn't suit right with him this time. As if his mind is trying to warn him of something to come. Shaking his body and the thoughts out as fast as they came.
As soon as Reid hits his desk he plops down in his chair and discreetly starts massaging the soreness and ache from his leg. He really doesn't want to take any medicine for it. Maybe if he just rests for awhile it will go away, that or he can concentrate on the case at hand. With a faraway look to his face Reid goes through the mental folders of his brain and just works things out piece by piece. It isn't till 15 minutes have gone by that he has totally forgotten to look at the map he so eagerly wanted to get a head start on.
Must be really spacing out to forget something he was looking forward to. Searching on the internet he finds a map and starts researching the area as thoroughly as possible, till Rossi announces 'Time to go kiddos.'
Somewhere in deep confines of Louisiana, two dark figures are lurking around. News spread quickly. They've been on the move for a while now trying to pin point the sense murderous.
They yearn for it usually, but not this time.
And for a whole different reason, the only thing that could pull them out here and even remotely care.
They've turned their back to society and its ways a very long time ago. No longer caring if people kill each other, innocents will die, it's inevitable whether they act or not, so why bother?
It's all trivial in their eyes.
Struggling humans, it is meaningless to stop the act that is already set in motion. Fate has spun its wheel, and all they can do is ride or try to conceal themselves long enough to say a prayer to whomever deity they serve.
They stand ever vigilant watching people as they pass by, with no knowledge of how close to death and danger they really are. It's humorous really. Emerging themselves in the darkness with a fascination one would find disturbing.
Toying with a necklace of ruby red and gold, one asks the other a question that's been on his mind for awhile now.
"Do you think he'll show up?" he asks with a slightly curious tone coupled with hope.
Scowling with an air of distain, "How can you even question that fact? Of course he'll come." As if it's the most obvious fact, he should know better by now. He has so much to learn.
Looking at the man finally, "He'll no doubt feel the call, and once he does he'll regret it," he says with a face full of not sadness, no, a bitterness he feels. Turning his head towards the gray and purple sky, "We'll just have to deal with him when that time comes, brother."
After the team is settled on the plane and have gone over all the details of the case that they have available once again. Hotch orders the team to relax for awhile till they land. Everyone immediately start to get out their books or iPods out.
Reid looks around the cabin.
Morgan is listening to his music and reclines back on the couch that he and Reid called dibs on. Prentiss is reading a new romance novel Garcia recommended. JJ is on the phone looking through more files, and Rossi is sitting with his eyes closed as if taking a nap, and Hotch is still going through the case.
Sitting down is making things complicated for Reid. On one hand he is so tired and wants to relax, but he is to scared he might have a nightmare. And waking up screaming or something noticeable like that for his whole team to see is not something he wants to do… If he was standing it would be different. He could shift his weight foot to foot, and keep himself busy somehow. Sitting in this so soft and comfortable couch though, is like a deal he cannot refuse. Secretly cursing B.A.U. for having such a nice jet, he eventually lays back and lets out a breath he hadn't known he was holding.
Morgan raises an eyebrow at him at this, which doesn't make sense. He has his headphones on; he must have it on low. Oh great, maybe if he just closes his eyes and counts his breaths and recites song lyrics he'll relax some. Reid has an iPod also, but sometimes he likes the way the lyrics can be read in his mind. Must be from all the lyrics his mother used to have him recite and write down as a child. Makes him think of her in little ways he supposes.
Searching his memory for a soft song to ease his mind, he finally picks one by Straylight Run called Hands Up To The Sky.
As the words 'Tearing out all these open pages, Women and kids of all ages,' Reid feels himself being absorbed into a calm peace of mind.
'Millions of men with blank faces, Italicized lies, headlines, bold type ', Floating in a vast sea of notes and letters that dance rhythmically across his eyes.
'Living lost just like deer in headlights, Terrified, blind, and wait to die, I wonder when they'll come get me,' Suddenly without even his permission he feels himself relating to much to the words, that alarms him.
The melody is taking a chance in pace and feels himself falling more and more into the deep vastness of it. 'It never ends, never ends, never ends'.
Reid opens his eyes and finds himself no longer in the safety of the jet's cabin, but standing in a new area. This place is filled with streets and blank faces of people walking by. It's as if someone has smudged or erased their features off and it disturbs him, but he doesn't feel just scared yet.
A nagging feeling over comes him, as if something is tugging at the back of his mind, telling him to turn his head to the right. When his eyes focus it's a coffee shop that he is standing in front of him. He vaguely wonder's if he should move from this spot and go in. The idea intrigues him, a curiosity that needs to be quenched. But something grounds his feet the ground and he feels like lead.
What is going on? Why is everything so heavy? His arms are glued to his sides. He wants to grab out and ask someone where they are, and what he is doing there.
People are moving so fast now; it's as if someone is playing everything on fast-forward. The soft hum of feet moving and wind whistling is silenced, nothing but quiet stands. Reid's heart thumping at a million miles an hour trying to find out what happened. Did he go deaf, is something approaching he wonders.
Looking around and shaking. His feet are moving forward without his consent. Raising his head up Reid sees a familiar face, not too far away. This time it isn't Morgan's. His memory tells him this face is a stranger, yet something reassures him he knows.
Suddenly someone walks out behind the man, but wears the same face. Four sets of eyes are on Reid now. They seem empty and longing. Fear quakes in Reid's heart and he wonders why.
In a small voice Reid asks, "Who are you?"
"They will come for you, be careful Spencer…" is all they answer with.
As soon as the last syllable is out of their mouths, it's as if explosion suddenly erupts. Loud screeching clash of metal, cars, and screams threatens to bust his ear drums. Desperately willing his arms to move, they unsnap from his sides and he raises them to his ears and snaps his eyes shut. Squinting at his surroundings Reid observes how everything is has changed; no one is around, night has fallen and the city is in ruins.
A look of absolute horror plasters itself on Reid's face, walking backwards saying a mantra of "no, no, no, no, no, no, no.."
A hand is on his back, drawing backwards, pulling him. He is too weak and stunned to resist.
Reid's eyes snap open and instantly he sees Morgan's face hovering over him with a worried expression and hears someone's heavy breathing, then realizes he must have fallen asleep. That's when he catches that it's his heavy breathing he is hearing, taking a deep breath.
Closes his eyes and lets it out in a loud exhale, and finally a start being aware of the presence of a hand on his shoulder, its grip is tight so it must be Morgan's hand he assumes. Running his hands through his hair, Reid raises himself up on the couch to a more straighten sitting position, though the hand still remains.
"Hey, you okay there kid?"
He opens his eyes and as they dart around finds himself to be the center of his unwanted attention. Really hoping he didn't do anything embarrassing while in his nightmarish sleep.
He can practically feel his bones rattling inside his body. Not being able to focus has left him with a sense of drowning. As if he has the weight of the world's concern on his shoulder, pushing him deep down into his seat, even though that's impossible.
Then why does it he suddenly feels like someone's dropped a 100 pound weight on top of him. Trying to concentrate; he feels a mixture of curiosity and sympathy also swirling around him.
"Y-yeah, I-I'm good…" he manages to answer very sheepishly, struggling to put a smile in place over his haze but just managed a slight grimace instead.
"Uh-Huh, sure," Morgan just raises an eye-brow and gives him a knowing look like 'yeah, I see through that bull'.
"Just a dream," Reid said his voice going a little cracked at the end, while resting back into the comfort of the couch cushions. He is finally starting to get a grip on himself and the drowning sensation is leaving him the more he concentrates on his team mates.
Prentiss gives him a sympathetic smile from her seat, "If you're sure… you seem kind of pale."
He just gives her a nod, not sure to trust his voice just yet to relay the example of calm.
JJ moves around the plane and comes back holding a water bottle and hands it to him, he smiles her a grateful thanks.
She is still giving him a worried expression but is at least trying to hide it now. In the mean while Rossi isn't even trying to hide his measuring gaze. Hotch was watching him with his usual unreadable face, but then quickly went back to his work.
Letting go of the kid's shoulder that Morgan had used to shake him awake with earlier, he sits back and puts his headphones away then folds his arms.
In his sleep the kid was shaking, deathly pale with an expression of absolute agony on his face, not to mention murmuring words he wasn't quite able to understand. But it almost sounded like the kid said 'no'. That itself raises his worry level a bit. Reid obviously seems upset about something, but is trying to hide it very well. Probably having nightmares, he made it a mental note to corner the kid once again later to talk to him after they land.
Right now though, he needs to clear his mind and work on the only thing he can at the moment; which is the case. They all need to hit the ground running. The information they've been given is already limited, they just need more information and evidence if they are going to be able to do any good.
Holding his breath in for seven seconds then releasing it for a hold of five, Reid is starting to calm down. The shakes he has hidden so far by sitting on his hands are dying down. His stomach is feeling funny though, but he reasons that's from not eating anything yet. He can't get the warning out of his head though. It keeps replaying over and over again in his head, so clear, that when he closes his eyes he still sees those faces. Possibly he has seen them in case files or a movie Garcia and Morgan forced him to watch, he does have an eidetic memory after all. It could just mean something else entirely.
It's just a dream.
No need to let it affect his real life Spencer concludes. That would be letting his subconscious win in it's not so nice taunting way of giving him these nightmares.
As the plane's intercom speaks up and informs the team of their impending arrival, they buckle up their seat belts put their items away and get ready for the ride…
A/N: By the way I made up that town. How's it going so far, making sense? Am I matching the character's personalities up okay?