Because of popular demand, here is another chapter. I also slightly altered the ending of the previous chapter.
"I'm surprised we're flying back now, and not waiting until tomorrow," Rossi commented to Hotch on the plane back to DC.
Hotch nodded absentmindedly. "Reid asked to. He has an appointment," he said.
"NA?" Rossi guessed.
Hotch startled. "No, he's going to a movie," he said after a moment while glaring at Rossi.
"Of course," Rossi said. "I might have messed up there," he added guiltily.
"What do you mean?" Hotch said, frowning.
"I asked him why you were all so.. tense, when watching that video. As though you were reminded of something else."
"Dave, you didn't," Hotch said reprovingly.
Rossi shrugged helplessly. "I didn't know, alright? Then he told me about that case in Georgia, practically spelling out for me that it was him, and I just didn't get it. He just flipped a coin on the table." Rossi was silent for a moment. "It was a three year coin. I really messed up, didn't I?"
"I received it last month," a soft voice said from behind Rossi. "Would you mind returning it to me?" Reid stepped forward, so he was standing next to the table Rossi and Hotch were sitting at. He was fidgeting.
Rossi's hand immediately went to his pocket. "Reid, I'm sorry," he began as he handed Reid the coin.
Reid just shrugged. "So am I." He then continued to his seat, where he sat down, staring at the coin and occasionally playing with it – making it appear and disappear in his hands.
Rossi didn't miss Reid's slightly trembling hands, nor the way he kept fidgeting and how he sometimes had to stop himself from scratching at his inner elbows.
Nor did Hotch. "He'll be alright," he said after a few minutes. "He's strong."
Rossi had to keep himself from snorting. "He's had to be," he said. "Who did he pick? To die, I mean."
Hotch shook himself out of his musings. "Himself, himself, himself, himself and me," Hotch said softly. "I choose Aaron Hotchner. He's a classic narcissist. He thinks he's better than everyone else on the team. Genesis 23:4. Let him not deceive himself and trust in emptiness, vanity, falseness and futility, for these shall be his recompense," he recited softly. "Do you know what Genesis 23:4 really says?" Hotch didn't wait for an answer. "'I am a stranger and a sojourner with you. Give me property, forbear a place among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight.'" Hotch sighed. "Reid was held in a graveyard. He was as high as a kite – by all rights, he should have OD'd – and he still managed to get that clue across. It was pure luck I remembered we had argued about the definition of classic narcissism – the rest of the team was too shocked to really think about it, you know?"
"You found him, though," Rossi said. He could see Hotch was feeling guilty.
"We did. We found him waiting for us next to the still warm body of Tobias Hankel. And you know what he did? He gave me a hug and told me that he knew I'd understand." Hotch gave a humorless laugh. "The clue I told you about was the second clue. We didn't even know there was an earlier clue until after that second one."
Rossi was silent. He didn't really know how to respond to that.