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: When the team finally finds out who’s the next victim ten hours have already past. Will they be able to find her in time?
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The first thing she felt was the incredible headache. Then there was the sickness. And finally she realized that she was not lying in her bed. It was hard to remember what had happened. She was sleeping – astonishingly enough – and suddenly something woke her up. There was this… man who… attacked her. She fought him and then she passed out. Where was she? What had he done to her?
Unwillingly she opened her eyes to find out where she was. But it didn’t help. Wherever he’d brought her it was dark. She couldn’t even see her hand in front of her face. She tried to get up. The floor was hard and the room seemed empty. She fumbled around in the darkness but couldn’t feel anything except the cold metal. The room was rather small and one side seemed to be the door. There was a bull’s eye in it and she wondered if it was still dark outside since not a bit of light came through that little window. She tried to open the door but it was locked.
All of a sudden a blinding light came on and she blinked for a few moments.
“Welcome to your new home.” a voice said and from its sound it was clear that it came through a loudspeaker. This was not good. “It will for sure be your last one.”
This was not at all good. She slowly opened her eyes and looked around. In front of the small bull’s eye she could see something that made her blood run cold: damp, loamy dirt. This was definitely far from good.
“Why don’t you talk to me, little girl?” the voice asked and then laughed sardonically. “Okay, if you don’t want to talk, I’ll take over that part. Here are the facts: You’re in a bunker and the oxygen will be enough for more or less twelve hours. More if you stay calm and less if you… well, if you act like the last victims. But I think you already know that. What you for sure don’t know is that one of my… guests managed to survive almost thirteen hours – while Mrs. Porter didn’t even survive ten hours. So I think it’s up to you.”
‘Yeah and one of your victims escaped.’ she thought but she didn’t answer. She knew what he wanted, he wanted to see her will break, wanted to see her freak out. She knew that he could hear her, see her as well. The forensic people had found three cameras in the bunker where they’d found Mrs. Porter. She knew exactly what he wanted but she wouldn’t give it to him. He wouldn’t break her, she wouldn’t let him. She smiled when she finally spoke.
Two and a half hours earlier:
“What do you mean she didn’t show up?” Hotch almost shouted at the man on the phone. “Did you check her apartment?”
“No, Sir.” the man replied a little puzzled. “Why… should we have?”
“Let me think about it.” he answered sarcastically. “Maybe because one of our FBI agents was late for work without any excuse. Let a team check her apartment… immediately!”
“Yes, Sir. Of course, Sir.” the man stammered. “I’ll arrange that instantly.”
“If I were you I would pray that nothing happened to her.” he murmured and hung up.
“She still doesn’t answer her phone.” Derek said and closed his own mobile phone. “What happened?” he looked at everyone in the room.
“We’ll find out.” Hotch promised and tried to sound confidently. Although Derek’s profiling skills were too good that he wouldn’t recognize Hotch was as concerned as he was.
“Maybe it was an emergency in her family.” JJ said nervously drumming her fingers on the table.
“She would have taken her phone with her.” Derek said and stood up to pace the room. “No, something happened to her. I know that.”
“Her apartment’s only twenty minutes away from the bureau.” Hotch sat down hoping it would make Derek do the same. But it didn’t. “The team will call us as soon as they arrive there.”
“Twenty minutes.” he said in a low voice running his hand over his head. That was too long, much too long. What could have happened? Had someone attacked her? Why should anyone? Well, he knew too well that there were many reasons for criminals to attack a woman on her way home. They saw things like that every day and all of them knew that this could even happen to them – and that only made things worse.
The twenty minutes seemed like hours. Derek kept pacing the room periodically looking at his watch. None of them spoke. They all stared at the triangular hands-free kit on the table until it finally rang.
“Hotchner.” he picked up only half a second later.
“This is Agent Henriks.” a male voice said. “We’ve reached Ms Garcia’s apartment. She… she’s not here but it looks like the scene of a fight.”
Derek’s heart stopped beating for a few seconds. He stared at the phone unable to formulate one of the thousand questions that ran through his brain.
“What does that mean?” Hotch wanted to know.
“There’s blood on the floor.” the man answered.
Blood! Derek breathed deeply and once again ran his hand over his face.
“The sofa’s overthrown, a lamp is broken as well as some vases. And there is a handkerchief on the floor.” he paused. They heard him move and then snuff. “Chloroform.”
“Chloroform?” JJ burst out.
Hotch pressed a button so the other agent couldn’t hear their conversation anymore. “That doesn’t necessarily mean it was our unsub.” he explained. “If he really abducted her he couldn’t have taken a flight for obvious reasons. And by car it would take him at least twelve hours. There is no reason for him to run such a risk.”
“She’s been chloroformed and abducted.” Derek objected. “How much evidence do you need? This sick bastard has Penelope and we have twenty-four hours from the point of abduction to find her.”
Hotch frowned and pressed the button again. “Agent Henriks, get the traces of blood checked. We need to know if you find any other DNA than Agent Garcia’s – and make it fast.”
“What happened?” he asked a mixture of confusion and concern in his voice.
“We don’t know exactly.” Hotch replied. “But if our assumption is right we only have about fourteen hours left to find out.”
“I understand” Agent Henriks said. “this case has first priority now. We won’t work on another one until Agent Garcia’s found.”
“That’s what we expect from you.” Hotch answered and hung up.
“I can’t believe this.” Derek whispered, finally sat down and buried his face in his hands. “Why her? Why Penelope? Why did he drive twelve hours just to get her?”
“We don’t know.” Hotch softly replied. “But we’ll find her. We still have fourteen hours.”
“How can you know?” Derek asked.
“When I sent Garcia home it was around midnight in Quantico.” he said. “She went home after that. I called the security guard to check it. Let’s say he abducted her right after she went to sleep. Now it’s ten o’clock. We are one hour behind
Derek set the alarm in his watch and said: “That would mean he didn’t reach
“What can we do?” JJ’s voice was almost not audible.
Hotch nodded. “At first we’ll check on that flavor Mrs. Raven mentioned. Maybe… maybe we’ll find something. Derek, you check all property markets if anyone had bought material for such a bunker recently. JJ, talk to the police officers and brief them about the new situation. Tell them to block all the roads that lead into the city, to check all cars that want to pass. As Agent Henriks said this case has first priority. All other things can wait until we found Garcia.” he commanded.
“What if” Spencer burst out and took a second to calm down. “What if Mrs. Jenkins wasn’t found in a bunker not because he wasn’t able to finish it but because it was meant for… someone else.”
“You mean for Penelope.” Derek snarled.
“Yes.” the young man whispered and looked down.
“So he planned to abduct her?” Emily asked.
“We already know that he observes his victims before he abducts them.” Hotch replied. “But he usually waits until he has finished the bunker before he abducts the women. He never abducted two women in such a short interval.”
“So you think the bunker he built was usually meant for Mrs. Jenkins?” JJ looked at him in shock. “And then he changed his mind… because he suddenly wanted Penelope?”Hotch nodded. “He didn’t take a long time to observe her. Maybe that means that we were close in on him. And he obviously wants us to find her – or at least to search for her. And that’s exactly what we’ll do now. This is a game and we’ll win it! Go to work!”