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Twelve hours - part 4

Title: Twelve hours

Pairing: Morgan/Garcia friendship

Rating: PG-13 – just to be sure

Disclaimer: All BAU characters belong to CBS, the rest came out of my own freaky mind

Summary: Will a former victim be able to help the BAU find the unsub?

warnings: none

Please read and review!

“Listen” Hotch sighed. “you are the only person who can at least give us a hint about the unsub.”

“And you think THAT will make me talk to you, right?” she said and hold up her cuffed hands.

Hotch frowned and darted a glance at Derek: “You attacked two of my agents and hurt one.”

“Dayana, please.” Lara begged and looked her sister in the eyes. “I know it’s hard but…”

“You don’t know anything.” she shouted at her and then looked back at Hotch: “And you don't either! I can’t help you, even if I wanted to. And now… let me go!”

“I can’t” Hotch tried to stare her down. “your attack will have consequences.”

She smiled and stared back at him. “I don’t think so.” her voice was low but confident.

“Dayana, please don’t.” Lara looked at her in shock. “You already have enough problems. Please don’t do that!”

The smile on her face disappeared and she gave everyone an expressionless look. Then she suddenly jumped out of the chair and knocked Hotch down with a targeted kick only a second before she grabbed Derek, took the keys out of his pocket and got rid of the handcuffs.

Emily and JJ pointed their guns at her.

“Drop your guns” she said and tightened her grip around Derek’s throat. “or I’ll break his neck.”

“Dayana, please, let go of him!” Lara begged.

Hotch got up and rubbed his jaw. “Now I know why you don’t really hide.” he murmured.

“After he’d almost killed me I figured it was a good idea to know how to defend myself.” she replied with a smile. “Which doesn’t mean I want to appear in every phone book.”

“Emily, JJ, drop your guns!” Hotch commanded.

“But, Sir…” Emily started to protest.

“Agent Prentiss” he interrupted her and gave her a look that told her he didn’t want to discuss his order. “drop your gun!”

Unwillingly Emily and JJ laid their guns on the table and stepped back.

“Now, please, Mrs. Raven” Hotch turned to the young woman again. “let go of Agent Morgan.”

“So that you can shoot me the second I let him go?” she snorted.

“I promise we won’t.” Hotch replied calmly. “And I know it was a mistake to cuff you, not only because you obviously have gotten the better of us but because you’ve already been through too much. I promise you can go and we won’t bother you again.”

Dayana studied the expression on his face and finally loosened her grip around Derek’s neck.

“Thank you” Hotch gave her a smile. “I’ll walk you out.”

He left the room under the puzzled looks of Lara and his four co-workers and followed by Dayana who gave her sister a triumphing smile.

“I’m so sorry” Lara’s voice was barely more than a whisper. “Did she… hurt you… again?”

“No” he said his voice full of anger. “I’m fine.”

“What was that?” Emily almost shouted and took back her gun. “He can’t simply let her go. Not after she attacked us… twice!”

Spencer looked through the windows of the office that was now their briefing room and shrugged: “I guess he wants to make her talk.”

“Who’s that?” Dayana asked shortly after they left the room and pointed at a young man who held a little girl in his arms. He looked a little lost sitting in a chair at a free desk.

“This is John Porter.” Hotch explained.

“The husband of the first… new victim.” she nodded. “I read about her in the news. Who’s this girl?”

“Her daughter” he replied. “Jessica, she’s seven years old.”

“Can I” her voice had changed suddenly, seemed more gentle. “Can I talk to him?”

Hotch frowned. This didn’t seem like the best idea. “Sure.” he said.

She slowly walked over and looked at the man for a while. “Mr. Porter?” Dayana finally asked softly.

The man looked up, a little puzzled, and it was obvious he had cried a lot lately. “Who are you?” he wanted to know.

“I…” she started but she wasn’t sure what to tell him. “My name is Dayana Raven. I’m… I just wanted to tell you how… how sorry I am for what happened to your wife.”

“Thanks.” he whispered and gave her a sad smile. “It’s good to know that everyone here does his best to catch this bastard – or her best in your case.”

She smiled back at him but didn’t answer.

“You know” he continued. “although I knew she… was probably dead I… I didn’t really believe it until they found her. There was still… a spark of hope I think. Now I just wish that whoever did this to her will be jailed soon. I… I want to be able to sleep again.”

“I understand.” she whispered and then looked at the little girl on the man’s lap. She was asleep and had snuggled up at his chest. “And again I… want to tell you how sorry I am.”

He looked into her eyes and said quietly: “This is not your fault.”

This sentence was like a stabbing in her heart. This was her fault. She should have talked to the police, to anybody at least. She hadn’t even told her sister for quite some time. No one had asked her about her injuries and the carbon dioxide intoxication so she’d felt safe. For almost ten years he hadn’t made a single move and she’d thought it was over. But it wasn’t. He was still out there. He was still killing women. She didn’t know very much but maybe it could really help to stop him if she told them what she knew.

She went back to Hotch and looked at him. His jaw was slowly turning red. “I’m sorry” she whispered. “about beating you I mean. I… it was wrong to attack you. I simply… I don’t know.”

“You wanted to show us you don’t need any help.” he said softly and frowned. “You wanted to show us that you’re not afraid, not of us and not of him. And you are right, you don’t need to be afraid and you don’t need our help. But we need yours.”

She nodded and looked straight into his eyes. “So, what can I do?”

“Come back with me into the office and tell me anything you can remember.”

She tried to smile. “I fear it’s not much.”

“Anything can help.” he reassured her. “We need to get as much information as we can.”

“I’ll try.” she promised.

Hotch smiled slightly and led her back into the room. “Mrs. Raven changed her mind.” he said and offered her the chair she’d been sitting in just a few minutes ago.

“Finally.” Derek murmured.

“This is the right decision.” Lara smiled.

Dayana smiled back at her sister: “I know. I just hope I can… tell you anything helpful.”

“He abducted you in a mall.” Hotch started.

“True” she nodded. “I was… My stepfather had forbidden me to go there and meet with my friends but… well, I was seventeen. We split up at about five p.m. I guess and I went back to my car. I remember I couldn’t find my key and searched my bag for it when suddenly someone grabbed me from the rear. He pressed something on my mouth and I passed out. When I woke up I was buried in that bunker.”

“How did you manage to escape?” Emily asked.

“I… I shouted at him, begged him. When I felt I was running out of air I… simply destroyed the window. The dirt flew inside and then… I was able to open the door. The bunker wasn’t buried very deep.”

“Well, now we know why he changed that part.” Derek added.

“Did he talk to you?” this time it was Hotch who asked her.

Again she nodded. “He welcomed me and told me that I had about twelve hours to live. Afterwards he just tried to scare me. He… told me what it would feel like when I’ll die, when the air runs low and I’ll slowly asphyxiate. He also told me about his former victims, how they’d reacted, if they screamed or cried or shouted at him. He told me what they said to him and… how he watched them dying.”

“Have you ever seen his face?” Hotch wanted to know.

“I’m sorry” she whispered. “but no. As I said he attacked me from the rear and chloroformed me. When I woke up I was already buried in that bunker.”

He nodded and tried not to look too disappointed.

“When he attacked you” JJ said softly. “did you recognize something… a special smell or a noise maybe?”

Dayana frowned obviously trying to remember. Then she said: “It smelled like… vanilla I think, but the flavor was somehow… artificial. He smelled like vanilla and… alcohol I think. I don’t remember exactly what the second aroma was but it was something chemically. As I said I don’t have much to tell that could help.”

“Thank you anyway.” Hotch said. “Maybe this will help. What you smelled probably was his after shave. Spencer, call Garcia and let her check all after shaves that smell like vanilla.”

He nodded, fished his phone out of his pocket and left the room.

“How should that help?” Derek asked. Great, even Hotch recognized that something was wrong between him and Penelope. Well, it wasn’t hard to guess if he’d just heard a single call between them. There was none of their usual bantering anymore, no single word that was not work-related.

“I don’t know.” he sighed. “But maybe… maybe this flavor is something special. An after shave you can’t just buy in every shop.”

“Yeah, fat chance of that!” he murmured.

“At least it is a trace.” Hotch sighed again.

Spencer stepped back into the office, frowning and staring at his phone. “She didn’t pick up.” he said.

Hotch gave him a puzzled look. “How often did you try?”

“At least ten times.” he answered still staring at his phone as if it had an answer for him.

“I’ll try her mobile phone.” Derek got his phone out and dialed the number he knew by hard. The phone rang, once, twice… ten times. He hung up. “She doesn’t answer.”

Hotch frowned more than ever before and took in a deep breath. “Spencer, call the security and let them search the building for her! I’ll call the receptionist and ask if she’d come to work.”

“She wouldn’t stay away without telling anyone.” Derek declared.

Hotch gave him a concerned look: “Exactly.”