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Hostage at Midday
Morgan raised his eyes from his desk and stared as Garcia entered his office, eyeing cautiously her surroundings.
"Are you alright?" he asked worriedly when she locked his door and hurried to sit in front of his desk.
She looked afraid and wary, he realized and kept his feelings in check. His friend was upset about something and, as Prentiss had so nicely mentioned early in their partnership, probably needed him to shut up and listen. Thinking of Emily made him want to grimace. He couldn't recognize his partner lately. Ever since she returned from the dead, her whole behavior had been off. And the impromptu return of her former partner/boyfriend hadn't arranged matters. If anything, he'd even say she had been distancing herself from them.
Not to mention the recent hitch with the hostage situation. Hotch had brushed everyone's concerns that Prentiss wasn't in deep trouble in spite of the two weeks on probation. Still, it made Morgan uneasy about how easy she was left off the grid.
"I'm not supposed to say this, and I'm most surly in big trouble if anyone hears this but I needed to get it out." She blurted, hands fidgeting with the file she was holding.
"You know you can tell me anything." He attempted to reassure her, but she only bit her lower lip nervously.
"Then I need you to swear you won't tell anyone, especially Emily." Morgan's focus was all hers and he promised. Penelope breathed in sharply and blurted: "Emily's been hiding something and I know what it is. Or rather, I think I know and I definitively am onto something but I can't research further it or they'll find me and not only I but all of you will be dragged into this and-"
"Baby girl, just breathe." She obeyed. "There. Tell me."
"Coulson." Morgan held back a frown; that name was not being associated with good things in his mind. "He isn't from the CIA. I mean, he's got the background and the ID set, but that's just a cover. He's part of something else, something bigger; like a huge underground organization."
"Okay, now I've never pegged you for the conspiracy kind, but this isn't this a little bit overthinking?"
Garcia turned on her tablet and nearly shoved it into his hands. The picture of an eagle in the shape of a logo appeared on the screen. But more interestingly he recognized the pictures of the couple that had been taken into custody for a series of murders not so long ago.
"This was the logo on Coulson's USB device. I thought it was familiar and that I've seen it before, but it didn't came to me until yesterday. This a secret organization, SHIELD's logo." She said. "There were rumors about them, nothing more, nothing that I thought worth paying attention to but before the FBI caught me, a friend of mine –well, you'd call him more of a colleague than a friend –mentioned he had found a lead on them. And three days later, pouf, he disappeared, vanished. When the FBI came for me, I was digging onto them and I thought they had found me. And even if I couldn't find anything through the FBI channel, I'm sure they exist. I would bet my best computer Coulson is part of it, and so are those two."
"Listen," she interrupted abruptly. "I tried to find the footage of their interrogation and I came up with nothing. They were destroyed before a transcription could be made. And those two…I saw them with Coulson, during the hostage situation. They were leaving a van with that kind of luggage, if you see what I mean."
"Coulson saw me and said it was a matter of National Security, and that I shouldn't dig deeper but I hate not knowing. And then I thought it was odd Emily dismissed them as suspects, maybe because she knew who they were and they had nothing to do with the case, but if they are SHIELD, that means Emily was part of SHIELD and she's been lying to us again and that, I can't…it's just too many lies and I don't want her past to be another lie."
Morgan shut his eyes and was brought a couple months back, in the police station, when he was announcing the identity of the two first suspects they had in custody. He remembered Emily snorting in her mug, and although it was nothing, her words had struck like odd, but he hadn't understood why.
'It's been a while since I've heard that one'.
Maybe she did know they weren't an heiress and a bodyguard. Maybe she actually knew them and –he felt a pang of anger at the thought –she had decided to cover her former partners. Had they come to rescue her, at the hostage situation? He found it odd again, that Emily had managed to take down the entire squad with just a partner. Her friend from the CIA had slipped out when the hostages escaped, so her story of them both taking down those people one-on-one was based on her words alone. But no security cameras had recorded anyone entering the building, and Emily's statement at the police station hadn't lasted over two hours. An in and out, even though she had just shot a cop. A dirty cop, yes, but a cop nonetheless.
Morgan groaned inwardly and rubbed his hand over his face. At the time, he had been glad for the chief's cooperation and the story to be over with, but if Penelope's theories were true…Then who knew how much information had been filtered and deleted by the hands of Emily Prentiss? How long had she gotten back in contact with her former colleagues? Had she been a mole the whole time of her stay to the BAU?
"I called her my friend." He told Rossi, back at the apartment when they were still looking for an escapee Prentiss. "Now I can't even say I ever really knew her."
"Okay Penelope." He muttered, reaching a conclusion. "There isn't much that we can do for now, so is what we're going to do. Nothing. We keep an eye out on Emily, see if her behavior changes. If you notice anything amiss, you tell me and we tell Hotch."
Garcia's expression reminded him of a kicked puppy.
"I'm not a spy Derek. I don't want to spy on one of my friends."
"I know," he replied softly. "I don't like it either."
And those words followed him through the week, up to the time he left for Chicago to meet with his family for the weekend. He had thought returning to them would help him get over this uneasy feeling. But as a matter of circumstances, his sisters were out for a shopping spree and his mom down with a cold. He offered to do the grocery shopping and went out, cursing his lack of good timing.
"Fuck you peacock!" a familiar voice exclaimed. "I totally outscored you!"
Morgan froze and turned around the corner. A group of four people were heading towards a car, and he recognized all of them. Coulson, for starters, Emily and –he felt a pang in his chest –the two suspects that Garcia claimed to belong to an underground organization. His partner was scowling at the man as he glared petulantly back. The profiler noted that they were all dressed casually, as if they had been going out as friends.
"For one, you didn't outscore me, you just happened to spot that one guy standing in your sight and out of mine. For two, I was stuck under a building which is why I didn't spot the guy. For three, I'm not at my best with a gun, even less a laser gun, and it wasn't functioning properly."
"Excuses, excuses," Emily replied, waving her hand in thin air. "You're just saying that because you don't want to look bad in front of your girlfriend."
"Children, behave," Coulson intervened while the redhead looked amused. "Or I'll ground you."
"She's started it!" the blonde protested. Emily glared at him.
"I didn't start anything. You're just pissed I beat you by ten points! And even Natasha beat us both and you're not making a big deal out of it."
"Tasha's the best, so she got an excuse. You're supposed to be rusty!"
This time, she whacked his shoulder and he pretended to retaliate.
"That's it, you are sharing the note at the restaurant." Coulson intervened before it could degenerate further. Prentiss frowned.
"I thought we were going at Maria's?" she asked hesitantly.
"She's back on the heli again; last-minute call in."
Prentiss rolled her eyes.
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" she snorted and slid in the backseat with the three others. The car took off and Morgan turned around and pretended to read a text not to draw attention. He decided to write to Hotch about Emily's suspect behavior, and much to his surprise, the answer came within two minutes.
Let it go. For now.
Five words. Five words than convinced him Emily was actually deep into something, that their team leader knew about it and was waiting for the right moment to dig in. Morgan frowned and put his phone back in his pocket.
He'd keep an eye open, he promised himself, and find out what was going on.