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Twelve hours - part 7

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: Garcia’s still buried somewhere in the woods of Chicago and the team only has another four hours to find her.

warnings: none

Please read and review!

“Hey” Lara greeted and slowly stepped inside the room. “any news?”

“Unfortunately not.” Spencer sighed and gave her a tired smile. “I fear we’re running out of time.”

“Why exactly do you brief a civilian about the state of affairs in this case?” Derek snarled and fretfully looked at the younger agent.

“Lara’s not only a civilian.” Spencer objected. “Maybe she can still help us – or her sister at least. So I thought it would not be amiss…”

“Oh, sorry, I forgot that she’s not just any civilian but your little girlfriend.” Derek said sarcastically.

“Lara is not my girlfriend.” Spencer put emphasis on every single word and gave Derek the angriest look the latter had ever seen on the young man’s face.

Lara started to feel uncomfortable and whispered: “I’d better wait outside.”

“No” Spencer almost shouted at her. “call your sister and ask her if she can come over and have a look at some files, will you? Maybe she’ll remember something.” He gave Derek a challenging look.

“Of course.” Lara quickly responded and almost ran out of the room.

“Derek, what’s wrong?” Spencer frowned in anger and concern equally. “They can help us.”

“I’m sorry” his tone was still sarcastic. “I just think that we should not let every civilian out there help us work our cases. We can’t even be sure that she is trustworthy.”

“She is.” he snarled.

Derek dropped the file in his hands to look at him: “Don’t you think you are a little biased towards her since you’re obviously in love.”

“I am not in love with her.” again he said that sentence very slowly stressing every word.

Derek snorted: “Where exactly do you know her from?”

Spencer hesitated, looked at Derek, back to the files on the table and again at his co-worker. “I…” he started but suddenly seemed even more nervous than usual. “I… know her from… rehab.” his voice was barely more than a whisper.

Derek dumped down the file and stared at him. “Rehab?” he repeated. “What exactly are you talking about?”

“Well” he nervously scratched his head. “after… Tobias had abducted me… I… kind of…” he cleared his throat and tried to speak a little louder. “For a while I kept taking the dilaudid.”

“You did what?” Derek almost jumped out of his seat as he shouted at him.

“Gideon found out.” Spencer went on without looking at him. “He promised me not to tell anybody if I… stop and have an ambulant therapy. That’s where I know Lara from.”

“Hang on” Derek started to arrange all the information he’d just gotten in his head. “does that mean this girl’s a junkie?”

“No, she’s not.” he replied in a low voice. “She was the only one in that therapy who wasn’t forced to go there. And besides if she’s a junkie, I’m too.”

Derek frowned and thought about what he’d said. Then he finally asked: “Is that all? I mean, you two are… quite close I guess.”

“She relapsed once.” he answered quietly. “And that kind of… discouraged her. She… she… One evening I was driving home and… well, I saw her standing on that bridge. She wanted to commit suicide.”

“So you saved her life?” Derek still stared at him.

“I don’t know” he shrugged. “I just talked to her and then I… I took her to my house. Not what you think” he quickly added. “I mean, nothing happened.”

“You’re much too kind, you know that?!” a barely visible smile crossed his face.

Spencer decided it was wiser not to apply to that comment. “Whenever I think I… need to take the drugs again, I call her and vice versa. We’ve talked sometimes the whole night since then and… I don’t know why but it helps.”

“It’s good to have someone who knows how you’re feeling.” Derek concluded.

Spencer opened his mouth to answer something but was kept from it when Hotch and Emily entered and disheartened sat down at the table. “Nothing.” Emily sighed. “We questioned every hospital, every damn doctor in Chicago. There were seven persons who had injuries obviously arising from a fight. But everyone of them had been in Chicago when Pen was abducted.”

Derek threw the file back on the table and ran both his hands over his face. “So we still don’t have anything. We’re running out of time and we still don’t even know where to start.”

Lara carefully knocked on the door and stepped back in. “Dayana will be here in about ten minutes.” she explained. “She said she doesn’t believe it’ll be helpful but she’ll have a look at the files nonetheless.”

“Thanks.” Derek tried his best to give her a smile although he absolutely didn’t feel like smiling. “And, well, I’m sorry that I’ve been so… harsh earlier. I know you just want to help.”

“I understand.” she smiled. “This is not easy, for none of you. But I promise Dayana and I will do our best to help you find Agent Garcia.”

“I’m not sure our best will be enough.” Derek murmured.

“Derek, we’ll find her.” Hotch tried to build him up.

“Oh, I don’t doubt that.” he answered cynically. “I just doubt that we’ll find her in time.”

“Derek…” Hotch started again.

He interrupted him by showing him the countdown on his watch: “Four hours, Hotch, four goddamn hours!”

“Garcia’s smart.” Hotch gave him a cheery smile. “She knows what to do in a situation like that. She’ll save as much oxygen as possible to give us more time to find her.”

“How much could that possibly be?” Derek sighed.

A little helplessly Hotch looked at the young genius across from him.

“Well, if she stays calm and breaths slowly… one hour I guess.” Spencer shrugged.

“I don’t doubt her intellect.” Derek replied sadly. “But she is simply not trained for situations like that. She won’t be able to stay calm forever.”

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Penelope took another shaky breath. Bit by bit she felt the carbon dioxide level rise and the oxygen level decline. She was afraid, although she still managed to keep this feeling under control. She simply didn’t want to die. She hadn’t even told Derek how sorry she was about their stupid fight. She had simply overreacted. But it had hurt so much hearing him say that his life was none of her business. She’d just wanted to hurt him as well and finally she’d achieved that. She’d seen the hurt in his eyes when she told him she doubted they ever were real friends. The truth was she’d never doubted that. She knew they were friends. Well, at least they had been before that stupid fight. Just because she’d been looking at bridal dresses. Just because he’d asked her about it and she’d teased him about not even knowing what a relationship means – mainly so that she wasn’t in the dilemma of having to tell him why she was looking at this dresses. She didn’t want anybody to know that she was hopelessly romantic, from time to time dreaming about her own wedding. It was silly but it was fun anyway. They’d fallen out with each other because she didn’t trust him enough to tell him about her girlish dreams. The last thing she said to him had hurt him and now maybe she would never be able to take that back, to tell him how sorry she was. She’d considered calling him when she’d finally decided that it was time for her to apologize. But than she hadn’t dared, had persuaded herself that it was better to talk to him face-to-face. So she had decided to apologize right after the team had returned to Quantico. Now she regretted that decision. If only she’d called him and told him how sorry she was, how much their friendship meant to her… how much he meant to her. If only she could hear his voice one last time.

She was going to become insane in here. This bunker was so poky and it seemed to become narrower every time she opened her eyes. So she concluded it was better to keep them shut. She had to stay calm, had to save her breath as long as possible. Derek wouldn’t give up until he found her, saved her. She knew he wouldn’t. He would find her. She tried to remember every single moment they’d spent together, every phone call they’d made, all their flirting and bantering. Finally she stopped shaking and smiled slightly. She couldn’t give up, she would survive at all costs. She needed to see him again, talk to him again. She couldn’t just leave him.