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: Another woman is abducted and the team once again only has twelve hours to find her. Will a surviving victim help them rescue her? Besides after a serious fight Garcia refuses to talk to Morgan. What will it take to bring them back together again?
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“We’ve got the identikit picture.” Derek said handing it over to Hotch. “JJ’s giving it to the press. Hopefully somebody will recognize her.”
“This is quite possible since she was already seventeen years old.” Spencer said taking the picture from Hotch. “She shouldn’t have changed that much during the past ten… oh my God.” Spencer’s face went pale when he looked at the picture, his last words barely more than a whisper.
“What’s wrong, boy?” Morgan frowned looking at the young agent’s pale face.
“Do you know her?” Hotch assumed.
“No” Spencer whispered. Then he cleared his throat and added a little louder: “I don’t think so for the woman I know is only twenty-three but… say look so similar… I… I think I have to call someone.” He dropped the picture on the table and fishing his phone out of his pocket left the room.
“Wow” Derek ran a hand over his head. “Who would have thought our little genius had a little girlfriend.”
“Don’t jump to that conclusion.” Hotch warned. “Maybe this young girl’s just a friend of Spencer's.”
“Honestly, Hotch” Derek grimaced. “do you really believe he has friends outside the bureau?”
He shrugged: “He obviously has, right? He’s even got her phone number.”
Derek furrowed his brow looking at the young agent who was pacing the other office talking into his phone, his hands gesturing heavily. It didn’t look like he was talking to his girlfriend, did it? Derek felt a little upset. Spencer was his best friend, he always considered himself his only real friend. So if he had a girlfriend he would have told him, right? There was no reason for him to keep that from his colleagues and friends.
Spencer returned, frowning on his own now, not saying a word. He stared at his phone for a moment and then put it back into his pocket.
“Are we going to meet your lovely girlfriend?” Derek asked looking at him full of expectation.
“Lara’s not my girlfriend.” he replied, still obviously deep in thought.
“But you wish it was different, right?” Derek teased.
Finally Spencer’s eyes jerked up to Derek’s staring at him for a moment. “No.” he simply said. “We are friends, that’s all.”
“Ooooh” Derek grinned at him. “You’re in love with someone else! Who is it?”
“Derek” Hotch saved the youngest agent from having to answer. “I think we’ve other fish to fry! Sheriff Logan just informed me that two hours ago another woman was abducted.”
“Damn.” he sighed, running his hand over his face.
She was pretty, not like the other women he’d have. Her hair fell over her shoulders in long golden locks, her full lips were bright red and she was wearing a black skirt and a bright pink shirt. Her tread was fast and confident and it seemed she was smiling at everyone all the time. A very cheerful person. What would she be like in that bunker with only a couple of hours to live? Would she scream, cry, stay calm? Hopefully not the latter. It was no fun when he couldn’t hear anything of his victims. Would it break her swinging mood to be buried alive? He definitely wanted to find out.
He stared at her while she was getting into her car, followed her when she left the parking lot. He waited in front of her apartment house the whole night, watching her through the window. She closed the light curtains and he could see her shape through it while she undressed. Every movement was full of energy. She switched off the lights at three a.m. and he was waiting patiently the few hours her apartment was dark thinking about what it would be like to beat her down. Would she fight him? Oh, he hoped so. It was more fun when they were defending themselves. He imagined her lovely voice shaking with fear, begging him to let her go, begging for her life, screaming for her friends to rescue her – and slowly fading away while the carbon dioxide level in the bunker became deadly. At eight a.m. she left her house again, driving back to work with an amazing amount of energy for someone who had slept only about four hours. Her energy, her fun-loving nature thrilled him. She would definitely fight him, fight for her life – and in the end he would finally break her. Facing death broke them all sooner or later.
“Hey, Spencer” the young girl greeted in a low voice.
He got up, almost ran to her and hugged her for a few seconds. “Can you have a look at something for me?” he asked leading her to the table.
Insecurely she sat down next to him and looked at the four smiling faces, two men and two women. She nodded and then took the picture from Spencer, staring at it for a few seconds. She slowly laid it down on the table and looked at Spencer.
“Do you know her?” he asked softly.
Lara hesitated for a moment studying his eyes. Then she simply nodded.
“You know, Ms Raven, this is really important.” a young blonde said smiling at her.
“This guy who buries his victims in a self-made bunker.” she replied looking at her hands. “I know. He’s back, right?”
“He is.” Hotch nodded. “That is why we need your help. Who is this girl on the picture?”
Silence filled the room for at least three minutes. Then she finally raised her head and met Hotch’s eyes. “My sister.”
“Can you tell us where she is?” Emily asked softly.
Lara shook her head.
“Ma’am, this is really important.” Derek added. “A young woman is missing and she only has another six hours to live.”
“I’m sorry” she answered looking straight into his eyes. “but I don’t know where she is.”
“You two are not in contact with each other?” Hotch raised an eyebrow.
“We are” she objected. “it’s just… she is phoning me every time. I don’t even know where she lives. This guy… made her kind of paranoid. She thinks that he… wants to have her back or something.”
“She’s afraid he’ll try to kill her again.” it was more a statement from Derek than a question.
Lara nodded and explained in a low voice: “He’d attacked her in a mall, knocked her out and when she woke up again she was buried alive with only a couple of hours to live.”
“How did she manage to escape?” JJ asked.
“I don’t know” she shrugged and looked at the beautiful young woman. “She never talked about what happened in that bunker.”
“The first victims were only a few inches beneath the surface.” Spencer explained. “Maybe that’s why she managed to open the door and escape.”
“And that’s definitely why he’s now burying them one meter deep in the earth.” Derek added.
“How” Lara looked at the four other agents before her eyes met Spencer’s again almost looking daggers at him searching for an answer. “How could she help you?”
“She’s seen him.” Spencer answered. “I mean, she must have seen him. It would help us having an identikit picture of him so that we can give it to the press. No one else knows who he is.”
She took a deep breath and then said: “There is a drop where I can leave a message when I need to talk to her. Maybe I can convince her to… cooperate. But I can’t promise anything.”
“Please try anyway.” JJ smiled. “The life of a young woman depends on that.”
Lara nodded again and stood up. Gently caressing Spencer’s cheek she whispered: “I’d wished we would have met again under better circumstances.”
“Me too.” he smiled, stood up and led her out of the room.Derek smiled watching his young friend and co-worker giving Lara a gentle kiss on the cheek. Maybe she wasn’t his girlfriend, but they were definitely too gentle with each other to claim not to be more than friends. On the other hand, there really didn’t seem to be something sexual between them. It was more like his relationship with Penelope – well, the one they had before that stupid fight about something so unimportant he honestly wasn’t able to remember. His heart sank at the sight of what he had lost. It was true, you didn’t recognize how important something is to you until you loose it. Maybe after this case he should try and talk to her. He should apologize for… well, for whatever he’d done wrong. But they definitely needed to talk. Maybe… Hopefully there was a way for him to get his best friend back. They’d been too close to simply throw all that away. Maybe he should bring her flowers, or even better some chocolate. Yeah, chocolate was a good idea. Chocolate and one of her favorite frappuccinos. Maybe then she would finally give him audience.