Title: Crossfire 1/?
Rating: FRT (series overall FRAO)
Summary: It’s been a year since Spencer Reid went undercover. For Morgan, it seems like his time stalled the moment Reid left.
ConCrit: Better than Reid’s boy band haircut. Wait, nothing’s better than that :)
SPOILERS: Some canon from all seasons, but not always in the way it happened on the show.
*This is the 8th, and last, installment in the ‘Least Expected’ series. I might do a one-shot in a few months to follow up with the team, but after this this ‘verse is done.
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).
8:12pm, Spencer’s apartment in Washington DC
Agent Derek Morgan
I open the door and throw my keys on the table, getting all the way into the kitchen before Taffy and Sally assault me with meowing and leg-rubs. I lean down and scoop them both up in my hands, snuggling them close. Sally crawls onto my shoulder before hopping on the counter, while Taffy purrs loudly in my ear.
“I’m happy to see you too,” I whisper.
It isn’t until both cats are eating their dinner on the kitchen counter and I’m sitting on the couch with a glass of water that I remember. It’s Spencer’s birthday today. Here I am on the verge of tears for the millionth time since he left when I should be laughing at him as JJ lights thirty-one trick-candles on his ice cream cake.
I go to the bedroom and change into my pajamas, slinking back to the couch and turning on the TV. The lease on my apartment ended two months ago and I just moved in here. He’s been gone for a year. We knew that there was never a timeline for this assignment, but I wake up every morning hoping that when I go into the office he’s back at his desk, smiling, saying that he’s all debriefed and ready to stay. Stay in the BAU, stay in my life.
Disgusted with myself, I go back to the kitchen and grab half a pan of cake and a fork, sitting back in front of the TV with my dinner. Lizzie comes over at least once a week and brings me food, makes sure I have clean clothes, takes care of me. Prentiss and JJ tried to do the same in the beginning, but I won’t let them. Garcia is too busy with her daughter, and Hotch and Rossi just don’t know what to do or say to me. Better off.
There’s a soft knock at the door. “Come in,” I say, knowing I forgot to lock it. I used to be so vigilant, but I’ve been distracted.
Prentiss walks in, locking the door behind her. She sits down next to me on the couch. “Nice dinner,” she points to the cake.
“It’s carrot cake, I’m getting my veggies.” I reply. “How are things?”
“Rossi’s still smarting, but other than that we can’t wait to have you back tomorrow. As if we haven’t been unbalanced enough, your time off has really shaken things up.”
“Just how hard did the unsub punch him?” I ask, referring to what I heard about the team’s last case. The team. Not me.
“Hard enough to hurt his ego.”
I’ve been on ‘psychiatric leave’ for the past six weeks. Ordered by Hotch. We were on a case in Maine when I passed out during an interview with a witness. I hadn’t eaten in almost a week. Every time I had a full stomach it made me want to throw up. The first few weeks after I got out of the hospital, after being blown up by Barry back in Autryville, I was fine. I just kept thinking he’d be home any minute so why worry? Then after a few months, I realized I could go a whole day without thinking about it. If we were in the field, I could slink into my hotel bed and not have a single reminder of Spencer Reid.
That’s when I felt ill. Guilty, all over again. The moment I forget him he might as well be dead. I moved in here four months ago, let my lease expire. I boxed up most of my things, only bringing the essentials to Spencer’s apartment. It just kept getting worse and worse, distracting me from my job. I found myself writing ten-page letters to Diana, telling her all the little things that make Spencer great. I told her that I loved him, and would die to protect him, and that he was safe. That was the first, and so far only, time she wrote me back. Happy. Lucid. She was very congratulatory and seemed very happy that, even though her son is working a dangerous assignment, that he has ‘your love to guide him’. I even told my sisters about my feelings for him.
“Derek? You’re spacing out on me here,” Emily taps my cheek.
“Sorry, I was thinking.”
“I’d stay, but I’m exhausted and I have to take a shower and repack my go-bag,” she stands up. “We didn’t get back from North Dakota until an hour ago.”
“Everybody’s excited that you’re coming back tomorrow, but they promise to act cool about it. Oh, and PG is having Kevin bring Jane and donuts in the morning.”
I smile. “Nothing like that little baby to cheer up Morgan, right?”
“No no, Jane will be there to put a rare smile on Hotch’s face. The donuts are for you,” she jokes. “Get some sleep Derek.”
I watch her leave, locking the door from the outside with her key behind her. She’s right, I need my sleep. I need to eat a real meal and get some sleep. I grab my phone and dial the Thai place that delivers. While I wait, I look at the picture of Jane sitting in a glittery frame on the coffee table. I can’t believe she’s six months old already. She smiles just like Garcia, and the way they dress her...I swear Garcia is hell bent on breeding her own army of cloned techno-hacker savvy minions.
After my meal and cleaning up after the cats, I slide into Spencer’s bed. On my side. His side I leave well enough alone until he gets back. I set the alarm and turn off the lamp, waiting for the cats to jump onto the foot of the bed. I won’t cry myself to sleep. I can’t. I am supposed to be better, good enough go back to work. I need to remain focused. Calm. Crying doesn’t do any good. Spencer would have something to say about how my actions here would not affect him where he is now. I don’t even know where he is. Joe said that the only time we’d hear from him is if something went wrong.
That’s what scares me the most, that I don’t even know where in the world he is.
8:42am at the BAU offices in Quantico
I get off the elevator to see nobody from the team in the bullpen. Looking up, I see them in the conference room, smiling and talking. I see baby Jane in JJ’s arms. I set my things down and go to meet them.
“There’s your Uncle Derek,” JJ says, handing Jane to me. “She’s too big, I can barely hold her.”
I take Jane and hold her close. “Just how much pink did mommy dress you in today sweetie?”
“Kevin dressed her today,” Garcia says, coming over and giving me a kiss on the cheek. “Welcome back. We missed you.”
“You’ve been over every other day momma,” I reply, smiling at Jane.
“It’s just not the same without you around,” Rossi says.
“Getting all sentimental on us now?” Prentiss says. “Who are you and what have you done with David Rossi?”
Rossi scoffs, grabs a cruller from the box on the table and leaves the room. I turn my attention back to Jane, who is now reaching for my nose. “No no Jane, that’s my nose. Where is your nose?” Of course that doesn’t stop her from taking a firm hold on mine and smiling.
“Guys, I’d hate to break up the fun, but we have a consult,” JJ says.
“Glad I brought my go-bag,” I reply, handing Jane to Kevin.
The following morning in northern Minnesota at The Gaia compound
It’s still cold. Springtime hits northern Minnesota late I’m learning. At least the snow is gone. I pull my clothes off the line and carry the messy pile back to the main cabin. The cabin where I sleep, along with Hank, Strawberry, and Peck. There are a few RV’s and other cabins and trailer homes on the compound, but the main house is the nicest. Hank is pretty fair to everyone, but he does have the nicer things. I get to sleep in a real bed. My own room, as small as it is. Our cabin has generators, and hot water.
“Loki, come on, coffee is ready!” Strawberry calls from the door of the cabin.
Last week she asked me to chop off all her hair, she looks like I did a few years back. It suits her. “I’m coming,” I reply, walking up the stairs and wincing a bit at the pain in my knee. Living off the land most of the time requires a lot of work. I help with caring for the animals when we are in between projects. That and the cold weather isn’t helping. “Pour me a cup, I’ll fold my clothing and be right out.”
I go towards my room and set the clothes on the bed. I begin to fold my plain shirts, denim jeans and solid-color boxer shorts. I don’t have much, I don’t need much. Hank is surprisingly generous, moreso than Barry was from all accounts. As his second in command I get to live in the main house, eat some of the best food we get, and I don’t have much in the way of chores around the camp. My job is mostly to travel, do research and recon for Hank and The Gaia. Strawberry is pretty much my co-worker and my best friend.
I’m about to set my few items on the shelf I built when the phone in my pocket begins to vibrate. For the past two months I’ve been carrying my phone on my person. Hank allows his members to have more privacy than Barry ever did. Hank’s Gaia is non-violent. I’m proud to be a part of this group.
Wait, no, my phone. Someone is calling Spencer. SSA Dr. Spencer Reid. Not Loki. I’m Spencer.
For the past two months Joe has been talking about a raid. Ever since Hank started planning on breaking into several government-contracted testing facilities to not only free animals, but gain information that belongs to the US government that would be leaked to the press. Information not just about animal testing, but about military operations and secret service intelligence.
Making sure my door is closed, I answer. “Loki.”
“3 hours. We’re coming,” Joe’s voice is calm over the phone. “All our agents know who you are and what you look like. We’re not keeping your cover. I’ve got your badge, a gun and a Kevlar vest for you. Has anything changed?”
“No, plans are still set to go forward.”
“We apprehended Marcus Klidell down in St. Paul, just like you said. He’s under lock and key, so he wouldn’t call and check in. Listen, we are not coming in with guns blazing but we will be armed.”
“I understand,” I mentioned that there are very few firearms and explosives on the camp site. The little bomb making gear in the possession of Hank or The Gaia is kept in a storage facility in a town four hours away. “Three hours.”
“Right.” Joe hangs up.
I pocket the phone and take a deep breath. It’s going to be over. It’s been a year of trying not to think about Spencer. Of succeeding. Of becoming Loki. Being a best friend to Strawberry. Trying not to correct Hank when it comes to statistics and facts. Going to sit-ins and marches, participating in mild breaking and entering, graffiti. Of being someone else.
Now I’m going to be Spencer again. I don’t know how to feel about that.
I grab a backpack from under my bed. I throw in a change of clothes, because who knows how long it could be before I get back to DC and get to wear Spencer’s clothes again. I toss inside my journal, which is mostly just drawings and sketches and tic-tac-toe games I played with Strawberry in long car rides to protests. I grab a small wooden box from my home made nightstand and toss it inside. There are things in there that I know Loki can’t be without. An extra jacket and a picture of Strawberry and Loki taken in a photobooth in Salt Lake City three months ago.
Stashing the backpack near the bedroom door, I quickly compose myself and go into the living area for some fresh coffee.
I’m at the table, looking over schematics for the first facility on our list, when the SUV’s begin to pull up in droves. Hank grabs my arm but I resist. “COME ON LOKI!” he yells.
I stand up slowly, putting my hands out. “Hank, it’s done. You need to stop. Lay down on your stomach, hands on the back of your head. You need to go with them.”
“What the fuck Loki? There’s too much evidence here, we have to go out the back. We’ve got the dirt bikes. Come on!”
Strawberry gets up off the couch and starts to cry. “Loki...”
“I suggest you do the same Strawberry, it will only help you.”
There’s a loud knock at the door. “DHS OPEN UP!” I recognize Joe’s voice.
He doesn’t give us time to open before kicking down the unlocked door. The moment I see Joe and Agent Ringer, I approach them. Joe hands me the badge, vest and gun while Ringer and three other agents secure the house and apprehend Hank and Strawberry.
“Loki....you’re FBI?” Hank says as he’s stood back up.
Putting the vest on, I turn around. Strawberry is crying, staring at me in disbelief. “Loki?”
“Strawberry...” I stutter. “I’m Supervisory Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid with the Behavioral Analysis Unit.” I watch her face fall as I say my title and name. It’s alien coming off of my tongue. It makes me feel wrong, almost like I don’t believe it either.
“Agent Reid, any more rooms to check?”
Joe’s voice cuts through my foggy brain. Agent Reid? Who is that? “Uhm, there’s no one else left in here. No explosives. Fire arms are loaded, but safety is on. One in Strawberry’s room, a few in Hank’s in the loft. One in mine at the end of the hall, in a metal box by the door. It’s unloaded and secure.”
I follow everyone out of the cabin, trying to avoid looking at my best friend directly as she’s loaded into the back of a black SUV.