Series: Long Journey
Fandom: Criminal Minds, Sentinel
Category: Established Relationship, Sentinels/Guides,
Pairings: Hotch/Reid, Morgan/Garcia, JJ/Will,
Spoilers: Through Season 10
Summary: The BAU team minus Spencer figures out who exactly has been after the genius for years but will they arrive in time to save him from one of their own?
Warnings: Violence, Minor Character Death,
Aaron smiled as Jack came running into the house. What he wasn’t expecting was for the little boy to take off to his bedroom and slam the door shut, turning his white noise generator on full blast. Jessica was just steps behind, frowning as she shut the main door.
“Spencer cancelled at the last minute. He called and talked to Jack but from what I heard of the conversation, he never said why. Jack is upset.” Jessica looked upset but not mad.
Nodding, Aaron set down the case file he’d been looking at. It was the first time that Spencer had ever cancelled one of his visits with Jack except for the time he had come down with the flu a few months before. “How did he sound?”
“Distracted. Jack had paint on his hands so it was a speaker phone conversation. There wasn’t a lot of noise so he wasn’t on campus grounds. Jack will tell you it all once he calms down, I am sure. Just don’t get angry with him.”
“I won’t.” Aaron walked Jessica to the door giving her a kiss on the cheek as she stepped out. Once the door was shut, Aaron gave into what he wanted and reached out in the bond. There was nothing still. Spencer had kept his side of the bond open for three months after Aaron had kicked him out, but then one day three months ago, the bond had closed. It was still there and he could tell that Spencer was alive but that was it.
The Sentinel sat down on his couch, grabbing his glass of tea and taking a sip. He had never said a single bad thing about Spencer where Jack could hear, and he never would. Jack loved Spencer and Spencer loved him. Once his anger had calmed he had regretted everything but there was no going back at that point. Spencer hadn’t even fought for him. He’d turned tail and ran. He wasn’t sure how he thought about that. He needed to figure out everything before he tried to talk to Spencer.
Of course the team was still mad at him. There was anger at Spencer as well but it was mainly that he hadn’t kept in contact with them. Aaron had hurt Spencer and that was the end of discussion. No one was angrier than Morgan at him and he knew a great deal of it was justified.
Garcia still hadn’t figured out where Spencer was living. His mail was delivered to a PO Box that was close to the GWU campus. Short of tailing him, there was no trail that led anywhere. It was frustrating. Spencer visited Jack at Jessica’s house or took him out to a museum or to eat. It had taken Jack a long time to accept that this was life now. Aaron hated doing something else that would cause Jack pain but it had been unavoidable at the time. There was a lot he would love to change about what had happened but hindsight was twenty/twenty.
That night after Aaron put a still very sullen Jack to bed, Aaron let himself wallow in grief on the couch in the living room. A full glass of scotch was sitting on the table in front of him. He hadn’t touched it and he wasn’t sure he was going to. It wasn’t like it did anything for him.
The ache in his heart and in the bond was like a stab to the heart every single time that he breathed. The ghost of Spencer still lived in the house. The armchair that no one sat in because it had been claimed by Spencer as his reading chair. He couldn’t get rid of it either. The TV shows that were avoided because it made Jack cry.
The ghost of Spencer was everywhere. His desk sat exactly the same as it had been before he’d left. The younger man had never came into the BAU to get his things. The one time that it had been brought up that it might be time to clean up the area, it hadn’t been anyone on Aaron’s team that had blown up about leaving it as it was. It had been an agent from another team. Aaron figured it was everyone’s attempt at making him feel worse. Garcia took care of any mail that made it’s way to the office for him. Aaron let her do that without asking a single question.
Spencer had cut off contact with everyone except for Jack. And Jack wasn’t volunteering a single bit of information on the Guide. Of course, Aaron didn’t ask much either.
Spencer knew the feeling of the drug as it entered his system from the needle in his arm. Whoever had him was taking no chances but didn’t want him blind. He was handcuffed to a chair and had been for two days. His captor fed him and tried to keep him in good health, allowing him time to move around in the half hour after he was injected twice a day with the drug. The blindfold stopped him from seeing who had him.
“You did good on the phone, Spencer. Just remember, keep it up and I’ll leave Jack and his Guide alone.” The man’s voice was right at his ear and he could feel his breath ghost over his flesh. He chose not to answer.
His captor hadn’t been violent to him, not since he’d been knocked out. He’d woken with the drug in his system and hadn’t been able to do a thing to fight against the man that had him. The voice was someone that he had talked to before but he’d been unable to place it. The man also hadn’t touched him yet. That was the strange part of it all.
He had to find a way out. He had to help himself. He had no one else to rely on at the moment.
Derek was sitting in his office when he saw Penelope cross in front of his office door. She had passed by seven times in the past ten minutes. He wasn’t sure what was wrong but he needed to let her come to him. Finally on her tenth pass, she stopped, seemed to steel herself and entered his office. She didn’t shut the door. His Guide wasn’t meeting his eyes and he wanted to know why.
“Baby Girl?” Derek asked as he moved around his desk. She looked up at him and he saw horror in her eyes.
“I need to talk to you and Emily, alone.” The words were soft and full of pain.
Texting Emily to come to his office as soon as possible, he waited. Emily shut the door when she entered, her eyes glued on Penelope.
“I did a bad thing,” Penelope started.
“Okay?” Derek laid a hand on his Guide’s shoulder and pulled her close. She all but slumped into his touch.
“I’ve been looking into Reid’s life. I started at the beginning and went forward. I was trying to find whoever it is that keeps trying to mess up his life. The person who used to be in the Consortium? I never found him or her but what I did find is pretty shocking. Every single place that I have been into to find information, someone else has already been there. I’ve traced that back and found a server.”
“Let me get a hold of Rossi and JJ. I don’t want Hotch in on this yet.” Derek texted the two and waited. JJ was there near instantly, but Rossi took ten minutes. When the older man shut the door, Derek flipped the blinds and locked the door. He cranked the noise generator up on high.
“Garcia has been hacking things she shouldn’t be and has found some information that we think will lead us to the asshole who is after Reid.”
“I found scanned copies of files from a therapist. The actual files that list Reid’s name and everything. What I found there is horrible.”
“Mama?” Her feelings were leaking all over their bond. She’d never been this out of control before.
“His mother and father were a Sentinel/Guide pair. His dad is a lawyer in Las Vegas and his mother used to be a professor of fifteenth century literature.”
“Used to be?” JJ caught the words quickly and Penelope nodded.
“His father instead of obtaining a divorce and a regular bond break, he reached into his Guide’s mind and shattered the bond. Reid feeling the pain his mother was in, broke his own bond with his father with much better results. He saw a therapist for a while who used hypnosis on him. What they found is that while he wasn’t considered online at the time, he could feel Hotch. Hotch was reaching out to him and he was reaching back. While under he could see things. He saw the day that he fell in love with Hotch. The day of the party where we welcomed him to the team. When he caught Jack after he fell.”
“That’s insane,” Prentiss said as she took a quick seat on the corner of Derek’s desk.
“Yes, well the more insane part is that he also knew of Foyet and Haley’s death. Yet, when he would come out of hypnosis, he couldn’t remember a thing. The therapist never told him any of it, kept it all from him. The files were sealed and while it was shared with the Consortium, the Guide used is never named and it’s only mentioned as a thing to look out for in other strong Guides. Someone else linked the files with him.”
“Oh my God. Poor Spence.” JJ’s hand was at her mouth and her eyes were so sad. Morgan couldn’t even think about having that knowledge. It was better that he had never remembered. To know that one would have to wait that long to find their other half. Morgan would have gone insane. And to know what the Sentinel would have to go through to be able to get his Guide…Morgan shuddered.
“So fast forward to two years later, Reid came online. Four years before it’s on record that he came online. Now he’s online with massive potential and a mother with a shattered bond and mind. When he turned eighteen, he placed her in Bennington Hospital. That’s where she’s lived since there. What I was able to glean from emails I could find between her doctor and Reid, she is scared of all Sentinels. Even online children Sentinels will send her into a fright so bad. She’s tried to kill herself before because of it.”
“How did he take care of her for those eight years? With no help?” Rossi looked astounded. Every single one of the them knew that Reid was strong. Not just a strong Guide but a strong person. To hide all of this though.
“He went to the Consortium in the area but received no help. He cut all ties with the Consortium when he came online. I can only guess at what his life was like but he loves his mother. He writes her every day according to the emails between him and her doctor. It was also those emails that led me to this one.”
Garcia handed over a piece of paper she had printed off. Morgan read it over before handing it to Prentiss.
“Those two attachments are some of the files of when Reid was under therapy. Thing is, no word is in the attachments that Reid didn’t remember it. This was sent the day that Hotch followed Reid to Vegas and the recipient of the email is that Sentinel Smythe. I haven’t been able to track who the sender is. He or she used computers at cafes or libraries and the emails are sent on a time delay and I can’t figure out when it was sent so I can’t look at the camera footage.”
“So this UnSub wanted Hotch and Reid separated? Is the UnSub a human? Guide? Sentinel? Garcia, you spend every single spare second you have trying to find him or her. I don’t want to take this to Hotch until we have solid information.” Morgan watched his Guide nod, and he gave her a squeeze.
When it came to Reid, Hotch couldn’t see clearly. He could understand with finding out what Hotch had found out, but even with the lack of information the Sentinel should have talked to his Guide. He could understand why the Guide had hidden his mother even from his Sentinel. He’d spent his life protecting her and he couldn’t shut that off. To her and even to him, Sentinels and her were a bad mix. Even his own.
Reid’s childhood had been one of the more horrible ones he’d come across. How Reid hadn’t ended up an UnSub they hunted was beyond him. The team filed out of his office and it wasn’t until he felt a burst of affection from Garcia that he figured it out.
Hotch and Reid had been connected for a long time before they met. Had it been Hotch’s influence on him that kept him from going crazy? He wanted to go to Reid and force him to talk to Hotch but that wasn’t the way to go. Not yet at least.
The man had entered the cabin again. Spencer had his eyes closed. It was day four of his captivity, and he had finally been uncuffed from the chair and allowed free range of a small bedroom. The drugs that he was being given were wearing off. The dosages were enough to keep him from using his gifts well enough but soon he would be able to. He just needed to convince the man that he wasn’t building up a resistance. He had been unable to figure out what the man was, human, Sentinel, or Guide. That irked him more than anything. He couldn’t figure out an escape plan without that variable. If he could force a touch between them, he would know what the man was.
The bond with Aaron was still closed and with the drugs in his system, there was no way for him to force anything on the Sentinel. If he didn’t make it out, the only thing that Aaron would know is that he died. He would probably never figure out how he died unless he cared enough to look for his body or if the man who had him was a serial, when the BAU was called in to find him.
Letting the thought of that give him a boost of grim humor, Spencer tried to imagine the looks of horror on the teams faces when his body was found. The thought of Jack feeling his death though nearly broke his heart. Jack had lost so much already. Spencer hated the thought of Jack losing another parent.
Spencer shook his head to clear those thoughts. He was going to make it out alive and he was going to hug Jack again. He was going to grab a hold of his son and never let him go.
Dave sat down in his office as he thought back over what Garcia had given them as well as what he’d been able to weedle from Aaron over the past six months. Aaron had always told him the truth and he had seen how hurt the Sentinel had been when he’d figured out that Spencer had been keeping pretty big secrets from him. Knowing the reason behind the smaller of the secrets in Dave’s eyes, he could see why Spencer had done it. Dave wouldn’t have done anything different if it had been his mother. He would do anything to protect his mother and she’d had a pretty good life. By all intents and purposes, Spencer had been living in a role as an adult since he was ten. His whole life had been dedicated to protecting the woman who had given birth to him. Was there a single fault in doing that?
Emily sat down at her desk, staring at Reid’s still empty one. While he hadn’t been her Guide, there was a calm that he projected that she had never noticed before. Hotch had been unbearable since the split between them had happened. Every single case was a tug between the alphaness between him and Morgan. She knew what it was.
Even though Hotch had been the once to force Reid away, it was still a case of a Guide leaving a Sentinel and that was rare. Morgan’s Sentinel instincts were telling him that something was wrong with Hotch. Emily could feel hers telling her the same thing but she was more able to fight it since she was unbonded and therefore not stable enough for the top spot. Morgan was. She just hoped that when this all ended, Reid was where he belonged, back with his family.
Penelope hated that her Guide brother was missing from her life. He was the only one on the team that got that part of her. She would do whatever she could to bring him back to her, even if Hotch never took him back.
Hotch was a black hole of pain. The pain that he had felt when Haley and Jack had gone into hiding and then when Haley was killed was nothing like what he was feeling now. She was afraid that if Reid didn’t come back soon, Hotch was going to lose his human self or possibly his will to live. He was doing well at not showing how much pain he was in to the rest of the team but she could feel it every single time that they were in the same room.
Even now with a great deal of distance between them, she could feel a small stab of pain in her heart. She had to figure this out for Reid and for Hotch.
JJ watched as the two Sentinels on the team squared off, case after case. Garcia tried her hardest to keep the both of them from going after each other’s throats but she knew that nothing would stop it. It was just like after Haley had died. Morgan’s instincts were telling him that something was wrong with Hotch and that he needed to step up but Hotch was just digging in further. JJ had seen two Sentinels get into a fight once on a case. Two LEOs at a station when she’d just started on the team. One of the Sentinels had snapped the other’s neck to prove that he was right. She hoped that didn’t happen between Hotch and Morgan.
She just wanted Spencer back. Henry and Jack missed him like he was oxygen. Jack had been spending more time at their house. Morgan and Garcia had both warned her it would happen. It wasn’t that Jack loved his father any less it was that he got more comfort from Henry than his father. The bond between the two boys was so strong at the moment. She ached for both of them. Jack was in pain and Henry shared that pain and there wasn’t a single thing she could do to stop it, except bring Spencer back.
Spencer was asleep when he felt the jab of the needle in his arm. He tried to reach out with his free hand but found it bound to the bed. Instead, he grabbed out with the arm with the needle. He felt the metal break and rip into his arm but he didn’t care. He touched skin and a flood of memories washed over him. He could see the life of the Guide who would have been this Sentinel’s Guide. He could feel the Guide out there now, sad.
Then the drug hit him. It wasn’t the same as before. The Sentinel had figured out he was getting to where he could fight the drug. He’d gone for the drug that would destroy any ability to touch his gifts for a long while. By the time that he would be able to fight the drug, this Sentinel could have done anything to him. He would have no connection at all to Aaron. He was well and truly alone with what seemed like a deranged Sentinel.
Turning his head, he tried to look at the Sentinel but it was too dark. He closed his eyes replayed the visions in his head but there was nothing that he could find that would help him figure out who had him.
“You’ve been fighting this for too long, Spencer. You will be mine, stop fighting it.” Then a door slammed and Spencer was left alone. He shifted on the bed and untied his good arm. After the metal part of the syringe was pulled from his arm, he was able to bandage it up using a ripped part of the bed sheet.
The drug was powerful. It calmed him down to where he didn’t want to fight but he knew that he had to. He wouldn’t allow this Sentinel to rip his bond from his mind. Aaron was his and he wasn’t going to let him go.
Aaron returned to his office after getting his fourth refill of coffee that day. He stopped when he realized that someone else was in his office. he looked up from his file and saw the Director sitting in his chair. It was a subtle power play and it immediately set Aaron on edge. It was a Sentinel game he didn’t care to play. He moved up and set the file and the cup down but didn’t sit down. He stayed standing.
“We have a big problem. Have you heard from Doctor Reid in the past week?”
“Sir?” Aaron knew that the Director was Spencer’s sponsor but he’d called him Doctor Reid and not Spencer so he wasn’t here as his sponsor. Still a nagging voice brought up the fact that Spencer had begged off seeing Jack several days before and that it might be because Spencer went back to Dilaudid. It hadn’t even crossed his mind before now. “I haven’t seen Doctor Reid in six months and as far as hearing from him, he called and spoke to Jack several days ago, telling him that he wouldn’t be able to see him that night. He hasn’t called back to reschedule.”
“Doctor Reid has been living on GWU campus with a friend but still stays at my house quite a bit.”
The Director let those words sink in by staying silent. He’d used the word still. Aaron took that to mean that Spencer had been staying with him after he’d left Aaron’s house. After Aaron had thrown him out. It made perfect sense but he hadn’t even thought of it.
“It’s not uncommon for him to stay at one for a few days and then the other for a few. He’s restless.”
The Director paused but Aaron wasn’t going to say a thing. So far the Director had stayed out of everything and for him to be here now meant something big had happened. Aaron wanted to reach out in the bond, open his side but he was afraid of what he would find. Afraid of what he just might have pushed his Guide to do to cope with the loss of him.
“One of Doctor Reid’s professors stopped his friend and asked him if he was feeling better yet. Seems that he emailed all his professors and told them he’d come down with a pretty bad flu and would be out the week. Now this friend knew that was a lie because if Doctor Reid was sick, he would have known because he would probably have stayed on campus and not gone to stay with me. So I got a call an hour ago. Doctor Reid isn’t staying on campus with any of his friends there and he’s not at my house. I know he’s not with you and I called Bennington. His mother hasn’t received a letter since the letter he sent out on Friday night. So it’s now Thursday and no one has seen him since Friday night when he supposedly left campus to spend the weekend at my place. He’s not at any of the hospitals in a hundred mile radius.”
“Jack talked to him on Sunday.” Aaron stiffened his legs even though he wanted to collapse on the floor.
“And it was Doctor Reid?” The Director looked hopeful at that. If Spencer had called, whoever had him knew his routine, knew that he would have been seeing Jack that night. Also that meant that the call had been placed to keep anyone from worrying. The kidnapper had also sent emails out using Spencer’s account.
“I wasn’t there. It was Jessica and Jack. Jack seemed to think it was him. I’ll have to get a hold of Jessica to confirm.” Worry started to claw at his gut. He opened his side of the bond a little but the nothingness that was there hurt and he closed it again.
“Your team is only working on this case, do you hear me? If you can’t handle it, I’ll pull you and put Agent Morgan in charge. You can be the one to explain to Jack why you aren’t out there looking for Spencer.” The Director stood up and moved around the desk. He stopped at the door way. “Your decision?”
“We will find him, Sir.” There was no way he was going home and telling Jack that Spencer had been taken by someone and he wasn’t out there looking. That was something that his relationship with his son might never recover from.
Aaron dropped into the chair beside him as soon as the Director left the room. He let his head drop into his hands and let silent tears fall. Spencer had been taken by an UnSub. There was little to go on and there was no clue where he had been taken from. He could have been snagged anywhere between campus and the Director’s house. He’d have to turn Garcia onto it and figure out where he was taken from. This was the second time that the team was going to have to do victimology on Spencer and the problem was that not a single one of them knew what he did over the six months he’d been gone from them. Jack was the only link.
Standing up, Aaron wiped at his eyes. He needed to save the dramatics for later. Now he had to go tell the team that Spencer had been kidnapped, again and it was his fault. He’d acted in anger and it had caused all of this.
Spencer kept himself entertained with reading books in his head. Just to break up the monotony, he would immerse himself into remembrances of his mother reading to him as well. The Sentinel was keeping him drugged out of his mind and it only helped him in getting lost in his head. He barely reacted anymore when the man would breach the room to inject him again. This dosage was higher than any he’d ever been given in the past.
There was no point to it all. The Sentinel hadn’t tried to break him yet. Hadn’t tried anything yet. He had no clue what the Sentinel’s plans for him were.
“I know what Hotch saw in you but taking you from me was not something he should have done.” The Sentinel muttered from the doorway. Spencer hadn’t even heard him enter the room. He was too far lost in memories. A hand brushed at his hair and he recoiled from the touch. “Always so touch phobic, ever since you were a kid.”
“Let me go,” Spencer pleaded. He felt the hand on his hair again and jerked away. He heard the hiss of anger and braced for a hit but nothing came. “Please let me go. Let me go back to my son.”
“You’ll see Jack again. First, we have to do a few things.”
The voice of the Sentinel was sharper now. He closed his unseeing eyes to try and focus.
“Hotch wasn’t taking care of you so I have to. He’s not good at helping those around him. Too many agents injured because of him. He gives too little help too late. Poor Elle was nearly killed because of him.”
“No.” Spencer’s heart broke at the knowledge of the man who had him.
When he’d join the team, he’d read through every single case file that pertained to the team. He knew everything. He just didn’t remember ever crossing paths with the Sentinel, not really. Not enough for this level of insaneness. Not enough for the Sentinel to know him at all. Back in the bureau at that time, Spencer had been a low level Guide with a great mind, he’d hidden enough that no one in the BAU ever looked at him twice. He’d kept his head down when Gideon had come to Cal-Tech and had done the recruitment speech. The man had given away enough to know who he was and Aaron wasn’t going to let the Sentinel live after this.
“Gideon, you know that he’s not going to let you live.”
“I’ll kill him if he tries to take you from me,” Jason Gideon said.
Aaron waited for Garcia to arrive before he turned away from the window. He’d been staring at Spencer’s desk for the last half an hour. He heard the Guide take the seat beside her Sentinel. Since he’d entered the room, he’d been opening his part of the bond more and more, getting used to the nothingness. It was his penance for what was happening.
“Hotch?” JJ asked, finally prompting the Sentinel to turn around.
“We have a missing high level Guide in the DC area. He went missing on Friday.”
“Why did it take so long for it to get reported?” Dave asked. The entire teams gaze looked around the table for files, anything.
“The Guide splits his time between living on the GWU campus and a house in DC proper. It was a case of everyone thinking he was somewhere else. The UnSub who took him emailed his professors and said he had the flu pretty bad. The UnSub also had him call his son and say that he couldn’t make it…” Aaron closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“No, Sir. Please?” Garcia said, letting out a sob. “No.”
“Yes, Penelope,” was all that Aaron could say. The Guide broke out into sobs. Aaron watched as the knowledge of who had been taken dawned on every single member of the team. Morgan was up and out of his chair before he could blink and then he was looking up at Morgan with his jaw radiating pain. Prentiss jumped up to grab the other Sentinel but Morgan raised his hands and sat back down, pulling Garcia into his arms to comfort her. The female Sentinel helped Aaron stand up and touched at his face carefully. When she was sure that nothing was broke she raised a hand and slapped him in the exact same spot. The pain flared even worse but he didn’t react. He was lucky that Morgan had stopped at a single punch. He was fairly certain that she would as well.
“How were you made aware?” JJ asked.
“The Director came to me. Spencer has been staying with him since I made him leave. Prentiss, JJ, please go speak with him and have him take you to his house to look at the room he’s been staying in. Morgan, Dave, I’d like you two to take the GWU campus. As soon as I figure out from the Director who he’s been staying with, I’ll text you. Garcia, we have no clue where he was taken from. I need you to track him from the campus to the Director’s house.”
“Jack was the last to talk to him?” Dave asked, gently. Aaron could only nod.
“Garcia, I also need you to try and track down anyone who has a grudge against him, before he started on this team and after.” Aaron watched as Garcia looked at her Sentinel and the two of them seemed to have a silent conversation with just looks on their faces, finally she turned back to him.
“Well, Sir. I’ve been looking into his life before now.” Garcia spent the next ten minutes telling her boss what she had already told the rest of the team. By the time she finished, Aaron had his head in his hands, fighting back emotions again. He needed to get them under control because there was no way that he could come out of a zone out at this point. And zoning out wouldn’t help Spencer.
“I’ve already talked to Jessica. What she can remember of the conversation, there was nothing that stood out as odd. When she asked Jack, he relayed a great deal of the conversation and I agree. He didn’t slip anything in that would have alerted me that he had been taken. So that tells me that whoever has him, really does know a great deal about him. Enough that he couldn’t risk it. JJ, Jack has decided to stay at your place for the foreseeable future.” That had hurt. It wasn’t just because Henry was there either. It was to get away from him. He understood though. If he could get away from himself he would.
An alert sounded from Garcia’s laptop and everyone in the room turned to look at her.
“Oh my God! Sir, I found…I found everything. He kept in contact with Smythe by email for over a decade. This man became obsessed with Reid when he was eight. He rejected his Guide when he found her. He crossed paths with the Guide here at Quantico. Oh my God, he was an agent here!” Garcia’s eyes scanned the computer screen. “He’s tried to break him. Oh, my! Sir, he talks about an UnSub.”
“He uses the term UnSub?” Morgan asked as he shifted to look at her screen.
“Yes. I’ve hacked his computer so if he’s tech savvy, he is going to know. I’m tracking the address while I look at everything. The UnSub was convinced to kidnap Reid while he was on a case with terrorism.”
“The guy who tortured him for three days and got him hooked on Dilaudid,” Aaron said. Garcia nodded.
“He was trying to break him. He wanted Spencer away from Quantico and you. He’s known since he got a hold of the therapy transcripts that you were his Sentinel. He got a hold of them just after Jack was born.”
“Name, Garcia. We need a name.”
“I’m trying. He’s crazy, Hotch. He wanted to break Reid so that he would go home. If Reid wrote his mother daily, no one would miss him. He speaks of a cabin the woods in Utah where they were going to live until Reid was fully his. He speaks of a turning point, where he lost the woman he used as a Guide. That it was senseless and he couldn’t trust himself anymore. That’s when he started to try and break Reid. You bonded with him and he watched as Reid grew more and more stable in his eyes, that he would never leave you willingly. He hatched a plan with Smythe to get you to reject him. He was excited when he watched him move the boxes out but he wasn’t expecting Reid to stick around. He figured out it was Jack that was keeping him around and that he was unwilling to kill a child so he knew he had to take him.”
“Name,” Morgan said.
“I don’t know. The address is in the middle of the woods an hour from here. I don’t know if that’s where this guy has taken our baby. There is not a single thing…what is this?” Garcia’s eyes widened as she looked at something. Aaron jumped up from his chair and stalked around the table, stopping behind her. It was a picture of young Spencer in his cadet uniform. She clicked through hundreds of photos and there was a time period where Aaron could tell that whoever it was, had no access to Quantico anymore.
“He stopped having access to Quantico around seven or eight years ago, that’s when the photos change to a mixture of in and outside to just Spencer outside of the FBI. We need to find this guy.”
“Hotch, I have the name of the woman and how she died. Her name was Sarah and she was killed in his apartment.” Garcia paused as she clicked onto a new image. “HOTCH!” Garcia’s arm shot out and grabbed Morgan’s arm squeezing so hard that his skin was turning white. A single picture was the screen. Every single member of the team knew that man. Frank Breitkopf. They knew who had Spencer now and it wasn’t good.
“Track that IP address now, Garcia,” Aaron said as calmly as he could.
Garcia clicked away from the pictures and over to her own operating system. She clicked until she saw the top of a cabin.
“That’s Gideon’s cabin. I want full SWAT detail but they can’t breach or get close enough for him to hear. We have to be very careful.”
“You should have been mine!” Gideon’s voice was strong and it had Spencer flinching back. “I was stuck with a Guide that was so weak that she couldn’t even use her gifts like you do. She was so stupid that she could barely get a good job.”
The words that came from this man’s mouth were so different than he remembered from when he’d been at Quantico with him for those few years never in person just saw him from afar. From the classes he’d watched. He’d dealt with too many snapped Sentinels to not recognize what was going on with him.
“You’ll be mine. I’ll get what I deserve.”
Spencer stilled at the words. His mind uncomprehending. Surely he wasn’t going to…the drugs. If he was drugged out of his mind and unable to fight, the bond he had with Aaron could be broken but it would damage him. If someone else forced it, he would never be able to bond again. Gideon knew that. Gideon had to know that.
Reaching out against the drugs, Spencer wanted Aaron with him. He needed Aaron. He barely felt it as Gideon jerked him up from the bed and chained him in the chair again. His hands in front, handcuffs holding him there.
Aaron approached the cabin. Morgan and Prentiss were behind him. Garcia was on hand in case but the Sentinel was aiming for no zone outs from any of them. There were no sounds from the cabin but infrared showed that Gideon and Spencer were locked in a room in the center of the cabin. That even the Sentinels couldn’t hear them meant the room was well soundproofed. Gideon could leave the room at any time, meaning that they needed to so a very soft entry. If they were heard or seen before breaching the room and taking Gideon out, Spencer could very well end up dead.
A shift in the wind had Aaron stopping as he stepped up onto the porch. When it settled again, he moved. The door was unlocked which shocked the hell out of Aaron. Gideon knew everyone on the team and should have known that they would find him. Unless he was that far gone. He waited for Morgan and Prentiss to get to either side of the door before he gently opened it and entered the cabin. Morgan followed and after he was fully inside, Prentiss. She shut the door and swung around the left side of the house. Morgan stayed in the main room while Aaron went left.
Aaron nearly stumbled to his knees as he felt the bond swell. He looked up to see the door to the room as well as Prentiss. She was looking worried. Morgan moved up behind him, reaching out and taking ahold of the doorknob. Aaron shook his head telling him to hold on. Aaron tried to probe into the bond but found it muddied. It was how Morgan described the bond feeling when Garcia was drugged.
The coldness swept over him as he heard a scream from in the room. He pushed past the cold and nodded at Morgan. The door was flung open and Aaron barged in to see Gideon standing with his hands on Spencer’s head. The smell of blood and sweat were suffocating to him. When Gideon stopped screaming, Spencer slumped down into the chair and the older man swung to look at him.
“You can’t have him! HE’S MINE!”
The want of Aaron pushed so hard in his mind that Spencer could feel himself winning against the drugs. Gideon wasn’t going to find him as easy of prey as he thought. He just needed to hold out a little longer.
Shapes were appearing at his eyes. He could make out Gideon pacing in the room and then the Sentinel turned to him. The shape moved closer and Spencer felt the hands at his head. He was out of time. The drug wasn’t gone enough that he could kill the man. There was only one option left.
Pulling at every single thing that made him Spencer Reid, that made him Guide Reid, that made him Doctor Reid, the part of him that loved Aaron and Jack and the team, he pulled it all into a small ball and he wrapped that in a shell that no one could break. His power flared and Gideon screamed as Guide Supervisory Special Agent Doctor Spencer Reid disappeared.
Spencer’s last thought was that he wasn’t even sure if he could save himself from what he was doing.
Aaron raised his gun and fired a single bullet into the head of a man he used to look up to. As soon as the blood started to pool from the hole and the body fell to the ground, Aaron was on his knees at the feet of his Guide. Spencer hadn’t moved since Gideon had stopped screaming. Setting his gun down on the floor, Aaron reached up to cup Spencer’s face. He patted at the young man’s face but there was nothing.
“Spencer?” He didn’t pay attention as Morgan yelled clear and then secured his gun. He reached down to the bound hands and found the cuffs. He looked at the body but Morgan was already going through the pockets.
“Not here man. Prentiss and I will find them. Just hold on.” Then Aaron was alone in the room with Spencer. That cold feeling wasn’t gone. It had reached his heart, and he didn’t like it. He tried to grab at the bond but every single time he thought he had hold of it, it would slip from his grasp. The pulse under his fingers and the aliveness to the bond told him that Spencer wasn’t dead but he was more than just unconscious. This feeling of nothingness had him worried as did the cold. Gripping the spot on the chair where the handcuffs were linked to the chair, he pulled. The metal snapped easy in his hands and Spencer slumped down into his waiting arms. He stood with his Guide cuddled close to his chest.
Dave was waiting just outside the door and cleared a path through the people for him to leave the cabin with Spencer. Medics were waiting with a gurney at the base of the stairs leading onto the porch. Aaron laid him down, being careful of the arm that he could smell the blood on. Once he was comfortable on the gurney, Aaron reached out to try and find the wound. It was a near inch long gash, smack in the middle of a few spots that looked like injection holes. Spencer had jerked away during an injection. He could smell the drug on Spencer’s skin and in his sweat. It was the same one that had caused him to go blind the last time he had been taken.
“Sir, we need you to step back,” one of the medics said as he reached out for Spencer. Aaron growled and curled himself protectively over Spencer. The medic’s eyes widened and he stepped back. A small first aid kit was laid down on Spencer’s stomach and Aaron looked up into Prentiss’s face. She held up a pair of keys and handed them over. Aaron took them and unlocked the cuffs on Spencer’s wrists, looking at the damage there. He’d ripped open what looked like wounds from a few days before. Scabs and fresh blood stood out in a ring around his wrists. He closed the first aid kit and shook his head. He looked over to where the ambulance was parked. He hadn’t heard it drive up, too worried about Spencer.
“Let’s get him in there and then you can take care of him.” Prentiss took a hold of one side of the gurney and started to push. Aaron did the same with the other side and in under a minute, Spencer was in the back of the ambulance. “This is his bonded Guide and he’s been missing for a week. If you two ride up front we can head into town. I’ll stay in the back with Agent Hotchner and Doctor Reid.”
“Sounds good, Ma’am.” It was always good when the medics knew and understood Sentinels and Guides.
Aaron crawled up inside, starting to pull open drawers to get to what he needed to take care of his Guide. Prentiss handed him everything that he needed that he couldn’t get to without leaving Spencer’s side and by the time that the vehicle was on paved road, his Guide’s wounds were bandaged. The smell of blood was leaving the enclosed place and the scent of his lover was getting stronger. He could hear Prentiss talking on a phone but paid no attention as he was focused on the beating of his Guide’s heart and his breathing. His heart was strong but the coldness wasn’t going away. He wanted the coldness gone. It ached his heart.
It took no time at all it seemed and then they were pulling into the Emergency Room area of the hospital. The doors were jerked open and Aaron looked at the two women nurses standing there.
“Agent Hotchner, we have a room set up for yourself and Guide Reid. Please allow us to take him there.” Both nurses were Guides, bonded Guides. Prentiss was already crawling out of the ambulance and he followed, letting the nurses pull Spencer out. As soon as the gurney was on the ground, he stepped up to Spencer’s side, grabbing a hand. The nurses said nothing and just started to wheel him inside. “Doctor Allen is on his way in. He’s our on call Guide physician. Twenty minutes.”
Aaron followed the gurney down the hall and then into a room. The doors were shut to the room as soon as the nurses left and the room was filled with just the smell of the two of them. Prentiss was standing guard on the outside. It was safe now. He shifted Spencer over as far as he trusted and laid down to curl into the side of this Guide. He closed his eyes and sought out what he had missed for so long.
Not opening his eyes, Aaron knew that something had changed. There was a new smell to the room and what he was lying on was softer. The beat of the heart of the new person was so familiar that he wasn’t surprised to open his eyes and see Jack lying on the other side of Spencer.
“Dad? Why does daddy feel so cold?”
“I don’t know, Jack. I don’t know.” And that truth broke his heart. He didn’t know what was wrong. Jack tucked his head against Spencer’s neck and let the tears fall. When Aaron reached out for him with his hand, the boy didn’t jerk away. He just gripped Spencer even tighter and sobbed.
It was two days before anyone could find a Guide that could even theorize at what was wrong with him. It was a woman who was over a hundred years old who had a twin sister who had gone into a coma much like Spencer was in during World War II. She had died after being in it for ten years. It wasn’t the coma like state that had killed her. It was when she woke up and had found that her Sentinel had been killed that she died, not from the coma like state itself.
“He’s locked his mind in there so tight that there is nothing but the body left. That spark of life you feel is all that is left of him. The coldness is the feel of the bond as it’s protecting itself,” the woman had said as she touched Spencer’s still hand. “My sister had stayed home with our parents when her husband went off to war. She caught the eye of a man who was visiting town and he tried to force her to bond with him. My sister was powerful and beautiful. When she spurned him, he tried to kill her bond. My sister walked and ate, did everything her body needed to live but there was nothing in her mind. I am sorry this happened to you, Agent Hotchner. I hope that your outcome is happier than my sister’s was. He’ll come out of it, I just don’t know when.”
Aaron’s heart had broke at the words. He couldn’t live ten years with the guilt.
Next Part: Whole