Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Season 8
Tags: Angst, Kidnapping,
Pairings: Spencer Reid/Maeve Donovan, Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 8
Summary: It’s been three months since the death of Maeve and since Diane kidnapped Reid. Months of searching haven’t turned up a single lead. It’s like the pair disappeared in the night.
Hotch entered Quantico at five am like he did every morning since Reid had been taken. The guard was the same guard that worked the weekday night shifts for years and was used to the quirks of the BAU team.
“No, one else but the late shift in the building, Agent Hotchner,” Bob said.
Looking at the guard, Hotch wondered why the guard was telling him that.
“At about two am, a young man entered the building, wishing to speak with you. I asked him to wait over there.” Bob pointed to an area past the security devices but not actually into the building too far. It was a little out of the normal for someone to be waiting there. Hotch finally found the person. He was tucked into a chair in a corner, using the wall to lean on. His knees were tucked to his chest and his head resting on his knees. His face was hidden by the hood of the hoodie he was wearing. “I suspect that no one else will be arriving for a while but I think that it might be best to wait to talk to him until you get to your office. Let him lead.”
Now Hotch was worried. Why was Bob worried about people seeing? Cameras. Hotch nodded at Bob and moved over to the man. He cleared his throat and the person barely reacted. Hotch was worried because the man didn’t turn his face up. Bob obviously didn’t see him as a threat and had surely ran a check but there was still the worry about who this young man really was.
“We can go to my office and talk.”
Unfolding from the chair the young man stood at Hotch’s own height. He hadn’t looked that big before. The clothes he was wearing looked new but didn’t fit. Like the man had bought the size he used to wear, forgetting that he had lost weight. Hotch was surprised when the young man led him right to the BAU bullpen. Reaching out to the door, Hotch saw the bandage that wrapped around the young man’s wrist. There was blood peeking through like the wound was fresh.
As soon as the two of them stepped inside the office and Hotch shut the door in case the others came in early, he was enveloped in a hug. Hotch tried not to react and throw the young man off. The man hugging him started to cry and Hotch didn’t know what to do. Then a smell permeated his nose. Hotch wrapped his arms tight and just held on. He cupped the back of the man’s head and started to make nonsense noises.
“You’re safe. I have you. You’re safe.” Hotch moved them back to the small couch in the office and the man sat down as soon as his calves touched it. As Hotch sat down he pushed the hood back and was rewarded with the face of Spencer Reid. He pulled Spencer back in close and held on. Spencer moved into his side and just seemed to collapse.
Ten minutes later, Hotch figured out he was asleep. He wasn’t going to move because the look of Spencer’s face told him that he hadn’t slept well. He wanted to know everything. How he had escaped? How he had got back to DC? Why hadn’t he called? It was going to have to wait though. Wait until the younger man woke up. Hotch maneuvered his phone from his pocket and sent out a mass text to the team, getting them in the BAU early.
The team arrived at almost the same time nearly an hour later.
“Damn metal detector broke on us,” Morgan said as he opened the door to Hotch’s office. As soon as the team saw the man on Hotch’s chest they quieted down. Spencer had turned his face so that it wasn’t visible at all. “Do we have a case?”
Hotch took in the faces of the entire team. All of them looked ragged but none of them himself included had been able to rest and relax since Spencer had gone missing.
“Then who is that?” Blake asked as she finally got into the office.
Spencer shifted and one of his arms dropped, his sleeve pushed up and Hotch could see that the bandage had fallen off. The evidence of being shackled for a long period of time was evident on his wrist.
“I arrived this morning to him waiting on me. Bob pushed him through but didn’t let him go too far out of sight. I’m sure that Bob ‘broke’ the machines so that the whole of you…”
Spencer started to shift and Hotch could hear the start of a keen coming from him. Nightmare. Before Hotch could do a thing, Spencer rolled off his lap and down to the floor. As soon as he hit, he started scrambling to get his back to a wall. His eyes were searching the room was he wasn’t seeing a thing.
“Spence,” JJ said as she took a step forward. Spencer keened louder.
“He’s been in the hands of a woman, Jayje,” Hotch spoke. He put out a hand. “He’s not said a thing yet. I don’t know what is going on. Bob had to have talked to him. Let’s just give him space.”
“Hotch?” Spencer asked as his eyes cleared and he focused on Hotch. “Hotch.” Spencer was moving again and was in Hotch’s arms. A few seconds and then he was hugging Rossi. He moved from person to person, hugging JJ last and the longest.
Hotch’s office phone rang and he moved to answer it.
“Agent Hotchner, this is Chief Alice Horton of the Georgia State Police.”
“How can I help you ma’am?” Hotch didn’t want this to be a case. There was no way the team was going to leave on a case right now and he didn’t want to force them. Other than Hotch’s name, Spencer hadn’t said a single word.
“I was called out to a house because coworkers hadn’t seen a lady by the name of Mary Snider in days. Calls to the house were unanswered and so weren’t visits. Her car was in the drive. We entered the house where a room to room inspection turned up nothing, till we got to the basement. We found a man changed to the wall with wrist chains and the body of Miss Snider dead from suffocation by the chains.”
“Yes?” Hotch asked.
“We ruled the death on scene a case of self-defense. The young man was taken to a local doctor to be checked out. He stole clothes and slipped away.”
“You are thinking that it wasn’t a case of cut and dry self-defense?”
“No, Sir. I think the young man killed her to save his own life. We ran the prints of the woman and your name popped up on the file. I have in my custody the body of Diane Turner.”
Hotch looked at Spencer who hadn’t left the arms of JJ yet.
“I am sorry to report that Agent Reid escaped our custody.”
“Thank you, Chief. I’ll put your mind at rest. Agent Reid showed up at Quantico early this morning.”
“Thank God. Is he doing fine?”
“He seems to be happy to be back among his family.”
“Good. I’ve locked the scene down and I figure that your team will want to process it.”
“Yes. I’ll send a few agents down within the day.” Setting the phone back down, Hotch looked at the betrayed faces of the team.
“Hotch…” Morgan looked between Spencer and Hotch.
“I killed her,” Spencer whispered.
Hotch didn’t know how to respond to that statement. “Georgia State Police have the house where Reid was being held on lockdown. I would like you and Rossi to go and process it and figure out what went on there. Reid, who do you want to take your statement.”
“Reid killed Turner and the state police have ruled it self-defense. We know though that the Bureau will need more than that.”
A week of leave for the team and a month for Spencer meant that Spencer had time to hole up in his house, refusing to leave. Hotch climbed the steps and found the baskets. He knew that Garcia had dropped them off and he knew that JJ and Garcia had been the only ones to get any kind of answer from the young man.
Hotch knocked on the door and was surprised when the door was swung open. Spencer was standing there in a robe. His hair was disheveled and he hadn’t shaved in a day or so. He looked down at the baskets and leaned to grab one. He turned and move into the apartment. Hotch grabbed two and set them inside the apartment and grabbed the last ones and carried them inside. Hotch shut the door and resisted the urge to turn on a light.
There were books scattered all over the floor. Spencer set his basket down on the coffee table and then sat himself down on the couch. The only other spot to sit in the room was the other end of the couch. Hotch sat down and waited. Spencer tucked his feet up and wrapped his arms around his legs.
“It’s the first time that you’ve come here.” Spencer looked at him, resting his head on his knees.
“I wanted to give you time. Your final meeting to be approved to come back.”
“You want to make sure that I am fine coming back after my kidnapping.”
“Spencer, we both know that you can talk circles around the psychologist and I just want to make sure that you are fine.”
“I loved Maeve. She and I were good together. You came to me, after Beth went to New York. After you weren’t sure that you could do it and do you remember what you asked of me?” Spencer shifted slightly so that he was facing Hotch more.
“When Diane had me chained down there. She came down every single day and asked me the same question over and over. She wanted to know if I loved her yet. Every single day I told her no. Every night I dreamed. Maeve came and visited me and talked to me. I got my closure with her. I got through the worst of it and while I craved, I wasn’t able to do anything about it. Sleep was my only solace.”
“But?” Hotch could hear the word hanging at the end of his statement.
“I know that it wasn’t Maeve I was talking to. I was working through it all in my mind in the best way my mind thought that I should. The final five days before I killed her, I wasn’t dreaming of Maeve anymore.”
“Who were you dreaming of?”
“I know that there is nothing wrong with…I just never cared about anything except getting along with someone. The brain is more what draws me in. I loved Maeve but I don’t think she was the love of my life. I would have been happy with her though.”
Hotch caught his breath but didn’t move.