Title: My Bones on Your Bones 5/5
Rating: FRM for the case, profanity, kissing
Pairing: Pre-Slash Morgan/Reid, but mentions of Hotch/JJ, Garcia/Kevin
Summary: It’s Christmas Eve and the team is racing against the clock to save Melanie Chase.
Comments: Better than watching Reid suck on a lollipop (and that was pretty darned good)
SPOILERS: *I quasi-stole some lines that Hotch said to Haley in 5x09, reworded them a bit and changed the context. References to season 2. If you have issues with that, then you really shouldn’t read fan fiction in the first place lol j/k.
Don't you wanna come with me?
Don't you wanna feel my bones on your bones?
It’s only natural.
Come and take a swim with me.
Don't you wanna feel my skin on your skin?
It’s only natural
~Bones, The Killers
Disclaimer: I don’t own any rights or trademarks to Criminal Minds, the FBI, CBS or any of the characters within. No infringements of these copyrights are intended. Any similarities between original characters therein are a coincidence. I make no profit from the following fictional story. (Fictional, maybe, but I swear this happened all in my head).
10:30pm on Christmas Eve, Douglas Police Station
Agent Derek Morgan
Even with lights going and sirens blazing through intersections, it still took us an hour to get to Douglas from Omaha. The six of us practically run into the station, which is quiet save for one uniformed officer on the phone and what could easily be taken for his mother on the other, hopefully calling other officers to come in.
“Fifteen-year-old Melanie Chase,” Detective Bernero says when he sees us arrive. “She and her parents had a fight yesterday when she refused to go to the family Christmas party, so they decided to leave her home alone for the night.”
“Who would do that?” Rossi asks.
“You ever try to raise a fifteen year old?” Bernero retorts. “Anyway, her father decided to come back and pick her up to take him to his sister’s with the rest of the family but she wasn’t home. The only things missing were her coat, boots and the money he left on the counter for her in case of emergency. He called all her friends and nobody even knew she was still in town. Then he called us.” Bernero points. “He’s in the office, pretty distraught.”
“Prentiss, you go talk to Mr. Chase and ask for a list of everyone he already contacted, we’ll follow up. JJ, get her picture and get on TV, the radio, anything. Get some deputies to make up as many flyers as they can. Detective Bernero, call every volunteer and officer you can from Lincoln, we’re going to have to go door to door.” Hotch sighs. Even though he’s just in jeans and a black dress shirt, he’s still the picture of professionalism.
Bernero grabs his phone, “they ain’t gonna like this but if we can save this girls’ life I don’t give a fuck.”
“Reid, we don’t have time for JJ to do separate interviews, so you’re going to split the tasks. You take the radio.”
I see him look uncomfortable but he doesn’t argue. Hotch turns to Rossi and I. “The moment we get a list we’re going to have to spread out—pair up, go nowhere alone. These unsubs will violently protect their secret or they could kill Melanie if they find out we are looking for her.”
Within fifteen minutes we have Melanie Chase’s photo on our phones and several dozen flyers in our hands. Reid is already on his phone in the far corner of the now much louder room, talking to one of many local radio stations while JJ prepares a statement to beam to the TV station back in Omaha for Detective Greene to read. Giving Reid a quick glance, my chest constricts as I follow Rossi out the door and into a crowd of about twenty people waiting outside in civilian clothes and at least ten uniformed officers from Lincoln.
“These are all the volunteers I could get,” Officer Davies says. “There are a few more coming from Lincoln.”
I nod. “Okay, the name of the girl we are looking for is Melanie Chase,” I look into the crowd. Jesus, JJ is a saint for organizing these searches off the top of her head like she does. “Go door to door, don’t go inside the residence.”
Officer Davies pulls out a map of Douglas. “We have a grid set up for search-and-rescue, pair up and come to me for a street assignment. We’ll be sending a few pairs to each park as well.”
“Officer, we’ll need teams to go to the farm homes and rural houses so we can search properties. When they get here, let Agent Jareau inside know.” I point to the map. “Agent Rossi and I will start downtown.”
“Those are businesses,” Officer Davies questions.
“Someplace nobody would go door-knocking to search for a missing girl,” Rossi whispers. “If they’ve found out we’re searching for Melanie, they could try to hide her.”
Since we are already downtown, Rossi and I break from the team and start walking up the street, shining flashlights into store windows. “We need a warrant to search,” Rossi says.
“Unless we have probable cause.” We head to the nearest alley and look for lights in back offices, touching the hoods of the cars we walk by to see if they are still hot.
After twenty minutes, my phone rings. It’s Reid. “Tell me someone found her Reid.”
“Andy Buell and Ronnie Defeo,” he says quickly. “Foster brothers who both grew up in Douglas. Andy runs a private auto-repair business on his own property out on County Road 4 just one mile outside of town. One of Melanie’s friends said Ronnie liked to come into the station and flirt with Amanda Jenson, who worked there. Bernero, Prentiss, Hotch and I are getting in a car now to meet you there.”
“ROSSI GO GET THE CAR!” I yell, turning my attention back to Reid. “How did we not know this sooner?”
“There’s no apparent connection between Melanie and Amanda. It wasn’t until Hotch asked Melanie’s friend the right questions that we put two and two together.” While Rossi pulls up the SUV and I quickly tell him where to go—and no sirens or lights but backup following us, when Garcia calls.
“Hey Morgan, I’m on a conference call with you and Prentiss.”
“Tell me what you got baby girl,” I say.
“Alright my G-men and ladies…Andy Buell was born to single mother Lucy Buell here in Douglas and worked as a prostitute in Lincoln. When Ronnie was four, his mother—a friend of Lucy’s—left him with her for a weekend and never came back. Andy ended up raising Ronnie while Lucy worked multiple legitimate and illegitimate jobs. Ten years ago Ronnie graduate high school and went to Oklahoma to get his MBA where he met his wife Rachel. The pair moved to Omaha two years ago and that’s when Ronnie and Andy reunited, if you will.”
“What about Andy?” I hear Prentiss ask from her end.
“Andy Buell barely finished high school, became an apprentice at the local body shop at seventeen and worked there until about two years ago when his mother passed away and left him the house and a life insurance policy big enough to buy some equipment to start his own autoshop, mostly doing cheap break jobs and simple engine and break work. Here’s the squiky thing about these guys—Andy seems to have a fondness for Internet bondage and torture pornography. Now that I know the IP address, I can track him—he’s active on two sites and his spelling is terrible.”
“Penelope Garcia, when we get back to DC I’m going to kiss you under the mistletoe,” I say, hanging up as we arrive at the Buell residence.
Only seconds behind us are Bernero, Prentiss, Hotch and Reid. They hop out of the SUV with vests on, guns in hand, but don’t risk closing the car doors and making sound. “I’ve got cars at the end of the drive ready to come on command,” Bernero says quietly as they approach us.
“Prentiss, you and Bernero head to the front, see if anyone is home. Reid and Rossi take left, Morgan and I take right,” Hotch says, nodding to us.
While Prentiss and Bernero remove their vests and grab flyers to take to the door, I follow Hotch around the right side of the building. There are lights on the main floor, but none that I can see from the second. We turn the corner and notice a back door. Hotch approaches and opens it surprisingly quietly and we enter.
It’s a kitchen, with the smell of burning in the air. I move to the stove, turning it off and peering inside. Someone got distracted from dinner, noting from the unfinished meal preparations around the room and the set table with milk warming in the glasses. I look around, trying to identify signs of a struggle but I see none. I can hear Prentiss and Bernero knocking on the front door, which means nobody is answering. But there are three cars here, which means someone is home. They could be somewhere in this house, killing Melanie.
We move through the back hallway, clearing a very neat bedroom with two suitcases on the bed, a bathroom, and a second bedroom that’s very unkempt. I notice a box next to the bed filled with pornography, just a glance reveals some of a BDSM nature. Sharing a look with Hotch, we move back through to the kitchen and meet with Rossi and Reid. Hotch looks to them and nods they go upstairs to search, while he points to a door.
There’s a padlock on it, but the lock isn’t secured.
He opens the door and I descend first. There are lights on, but I don’t see anyone in the main room. I get to the bottom with Hotch behind me when I hear muffled arguing come from the closed door nearby. I nod, he goes around and prepares to open it, letting me take lead.
The door swings open to reveal a bedroom with dark walls and a bed on the far end. Melanie Chase is bound and mostly naked underneath a tall redheaded male who is holding a scissors in his hand. Hotch comes to my side to cover the other unsub, who is standing next to the bed with a woman bound and unconscious on the floor next to him.
“DROP THE WEAPON!” I command.
He smiles at us before pushing the tip of the scissors into her shoulder. I fire two shots directly into my target, causing him to collapse on Melanie. The other unsub crawls to the ground spread eagle and allows Hotch to secure him without a struggle.
I run over to Melanie and roll the other unsub off her. A check of his pulse and I confirm a kill before rushing to her side. “Melanie we’re the FBI, I’ve got you girl.”
I holster my weapon and pull the sheet on the bed around the crying girl now in my arms. I check the wound, quite minor in fact, and hear others come in. Soon Reid is at my side with the scissors, cutting the rope free from Melanie’s wrists and ankles. She clings to me when she’s free, crying and crying.
“Medics are coming,” Reid says quietly. “You’re safe now Melanie.”
Once the EMT’s have taken Melanie and Rachel, Ronnie’s wife, off to Lincoln for medical treatment, I leave the basement ‘torture room’ and find myself leaning against the hood of one of Andy or Ronnie’s cars, staring out at the landscape as the sun comes up.
“Here,” Prentiss’s harsh voice comes from behind, handing me my coat from the SUV. “Hotch said we’ll be leaving in a few hours, we have to meet the jet back in Omaha.”
“Torture porn in the bedroom, containers of hair somewhere in that basement, right?” I ask her, still staring out at the low sunrise.
She nods. “Bernero and the crime techs from Lincoln are combing the place.” She looks towards the same sunrise. “Andy’s dead and Ronnie is back at the station, making claims about being afraid for his life.”
“In a way he was,” I sigh, turning to look at her. She too has found his coat to wear over her Kevlar vest. Her nose and cheeks are red from the cold his nose is running just a little, causing her to sniffle. “Did you talk to Reid?”
“I gave him the gift,” I try to hide my smile. “Good choice.”
She gently nudges my shoulder with hers in one of her newly acquired non-verbal cues. I look to the side to see Reid approaching. Prentiss nods and smiles, heading back to the house. Reid, wearing his coat over his vest, stands right in front of me. “Detective Bernero wants your statement recorded before we leave. He has a handheld recorder and he wants to just talk to you in the house.”
I nod once. “Yeah.”
“Remember after JJ was taken?” Reid says, somehow sensing exactly what I’m thinking. Then again, he is a profiler. “I was sitting on a curb and we had a conversation nearly identical to this one.” He looks at me. “I wonder sometimes, if life isn’t just a series of repeated events. Nothing’s ever really new, just different players and locations.”
I pat him on the shoulder, wanting a hug but knowing better. “Merry Christmas Spencer.”
“Merry Christmas Derek.”
Seven hours later, BAU at Quantico
We walk into the office as a group, totally exhausted. Even sleep on a jet isn’t quite sleep. I haven’t had a private moment with Reid, but that’s okay. We’re working. Garcia approaches us, practically wearing a Christmas tree. For having just as little sleep as we’ve had, she’s surprisingly cheery. “Hey, I’m glad you all came here before going home! I have a little surprise for you.”
Exchanging looks, we follow her down the hall to the round table room. Inside it’s specially decorated. I turn to her. “Is this what you did all day?”
She smiles. “Well, after my paperwork was done, yes.”
Kevin walks into the room with a cardboard box, setting it on the table. “This should be it.”
“What’s this?” Rossi asks.
“There’s Christmas cookies, candy, a cheese and cracker tray and eggnog in here,” he says, unpacking the box. “All the stuff Penny told me to bring in.”
“Thanks hot stuff,” she goes to kiss him on the cheek. “I gathered a few Secret Santa gifts from your respective offices and desks, but I’m missing some for JJ, Reid and Morgan.”
“Actually, we had ours in our bags and already exchanged them,” Reid reaches into his bag and pulls out the Incredible Hulk figure. “This is what Morgan gave me.”
I smile, almost too big. “He gave me a Sherlock Holmes book.”
“Awww, how sweet is that, Morgan reading a book!” Garcia smiles. “Okay, the rest us…” she hands Hotch a gift bag. “Merry Christmas.”
JJ and Prentiss exchange packages, Hotch gives Rossi a gift and Rossi hands a gift to Garcia.
“Derek Morgan!” Garcia stands in the threshold of the room, underneath some mistletoe. “You promised!”
I walk over to her, nodding to Kevin and getting unspoken approval. Dipping Garcia in my arms, I plant a sweet closed-lipped kiss to those perpetually red lips. “Don’t expect this every case baby girl,” I say when we part.
“Oh honey, that was good enough to last a lifetime,” she laughs.
Taking a cookie from the tray Kevin brought, I sit down. Reid takes a gift and sits down next to me, putting a Santa hat on his head and giving me a big goofy grin. “Found this in the box, how do I look?”
“Happy,” I reply.
He looks down. “I should get home soon, see Taffy and Sally. I mean, Garcia and Kevin promised to cat-sit while we were gone, and they always take really good care of them, but I have noticed that when I come back from being gone for more than the day that they seem extra affectionate. Most cats, especially when there are more than one in a household, tend to be more independent but Taffy and Sally are very much attached to me.”
“Do you want a ride home?” I ask, trying not to assume anything. “I don’t think the Metro is running today.”
He hesitates before nodding. “Sure.”
One hour later
The ride back to Reid’s place is silent, because he fell asleep in the car. Once parked, I brush the hair from his face to wake him up. “Come on Spence, you’re home.”
He wakes up, scrambling for his things from near his feet. “Uhm, ah, do you want to come up? I’m sure they’d like to see you. It’s been a while.”
Wordlessly, I lock up the car and follow him up and into his apartment. Sure enough, the cats practically howl when we walk through the door. I pick up Sally and nuzzle her close while Reid does the same with Taffy, yawning big. He walks over to the couch and sits down, eyes closed and cat curling up and purring on his lap.
I sit down next to him and reach for his hand. His long fingers intertwine with mine and he hums quietly. “I don’t trust this,” he says.
He opens his eyes. “I want to, but I’m still hurt.”
“I understand Spencer.”
He shakes his head. “No, you don’t. I know it doesn’t make much sense and that you’re going to say this isn’t the same…”
We are so close to something that my body hurts from watching the internal struggle in his eyes. “Spencer, just stop thinking.”
“I can’t, I don’t know how.”
“I’ll teach you how,” I say, reaching to pull him closer.
He pulls away. “Not a good idea. You don’t know…”
“I know you.”
“I hurt people.”
“You can’t blame yourself for Tango…”
“I put him in danger because I couldn’t do my job, Derek.” He stands up and goes towards the door, wrapping his arms around himself nervously.
“And you can’t begin to blame yourself for Toby. I know you liked him and maybe if he was still here it might have gone somewhere but you can’t blame yourself. You did everything you could, everything.”
He shakes his head almost neurotically. “You don’t know.”
“I know, I was there. Waiting in the snow, hoping everyone else is okay. You don’t know what it was like when I was on that snowmobile with Rossi looking for you. I have no idea what I would have done if I lost you Spencer.” I move towards him, but he keeps pulling away.
“You should stay away from me.”
“Look, your father was a jerk, Gideon was a self-centered prick…I’ve told you this before.” I sigh, feeling exhausted and scared and desperate. “I love you Spence, and I’m not about to let you go that easy.”
He bites his lip and looks at me, so much hurt and fear around those eyes. “I don’t trust myself.”
“Do you want to give us a shot?” I ask him, point blank. “No other excuses, just…do you want to try?”
He nods. “I want to.”
“Is it worth it? Are you worth it?”
He eases a little, still looking me in the eye. “These past few months when we’ve barely spoken to each other, at least I knew you’d be at the office in the morning. When you broke your arm I was scared, worried that I’d lose you. If we try and it doesn’t work, I’ll lose you forever. I can’t lose anyone else, I can’t.”
I finally get close enough to pull him into a hug, his face pushes into my shoulder and inhales as I cradle him there near his doorway. “We’re both exhausted, let’s get some sleep.”
He shakes his head. “Maybe you should go. I need to think.”
I swallow the lump in my throat, that desperation returning. “Spencer…”
He looks at me, pleading with his eyes. “Please?”
I sigh, feeling pain in my chest. “As you wish.”
*AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’ll return with a ‘interlude’ one-shot that follows this story but serves for the criminal_prompts challenge as well before another sequel that is going to deal more with their budding relationship This ‘verse isn’t over yet! I hope to have the ‘Interlude’ one-shot up by Christmas and rest I’ll start posting afterwards
I’m also working on another one-shot not in this universe at all that I want to post before Christmas! Not like I’m studying for the GRE or anything lol…