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Twelve hours - part 8

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 is running out of time.

warnings: none

Please read and review!

Dayana put the file down and languidly rubbed her eyes. She buried her face in her hands and tried to breath deeply. This was exhausting and not a bit helpful. During the past three hours she’d seen so many pictures of bodies and these bunkers and read so many autopsy and other reports. She was tired and at the end of her tether – as well as the rest of the team. They all went through the files and all the evidences over and over again. Agent Prentiss was questioning the relatives of all victims again while Agent Hotchner still examined every man that had gone to a doctor with bruises and cuts during the past twenty-four hours. Lara kept serving them with coffee.

“Maybe you should have a little break.” Lara suggested and handed her sister another cup of coffee.

“We don’t have time for a break.” Derek said pointing at his watch, the timer said fifty minutes.

“She won’t be any helpful if she collapses.” Lara said and angrily looked at him.

“Well, too bad” he shouted at her. “she hasn’t been helpful at all!”

“Derek!” JJ gave him a censorious glance.

“I’m sorry.” Dayana sighed. “I really wish I could do anything. But no matter how often I look at these pictures or read these reports I can’t remember something I didn’t tell you yet.”

“I know.” Derek sighed. “It’s just… so… annoying. I feel… helpless.”

She looked at him and gave him a tired smile: “Me too.”

“Anyway” he frowned. “we can’t give up. Penelope still has fifty minutes, maybe more if she stayed calm. Can you look at this file, please?”

Dayana took the file from him and asked: “What’s it about?”

“You” he answered. “They set it up when your stepfather reported you missing.”

Frowning she opened the file and looked at the missing person’s report. She read it briefly and then paged forward. The next page was a report about finding her car empty at the mall, the keys having slipped under it, a handkerchief with chloroform found. She slightly shivered at the memory of that smell, the feel of the damp material on her face, the grip of his hand round her neck. She quickly banished this thought and turned the page. The next was the report from the hospital where she’d gone after she’d managed to escape that bunker. A concussion, carbon dioxide intoxication, but all in all she’d been lucky. At least luckier than all the other women. She cringed at the thought that there could have been photos of her body in that file as well. She’d really just been lucky.

“Look at the photos.” Derek suggested. “Maybe that’ll help.”

She nodded and took out the pictures with shaky hands. The first one was a photo of her when she’d been sixteen. Her stepfather had certainly given it to the police when he’d reported her missing. The next picture showed the mall, then the parking lot and finally her black car. It had been a present from her stepfather for her seventeenth birthday. As if that had helped to erase all these years before when he’d been hardly a good father for her and her sister. She looked at the car and the sudden flashback took her by surprise. She gasped and let the photo drop at the table as if it was a poisonous reptile or something.

“What’s wrong?” Lara asked and gave her a concerned look.

“I…” she started still stunned by the memory that had just come into her head. The man grabbing her, attacking her. His body behind hers, his hands grabbing her throat and her mouth at the same time – and the reflection of that scene in the black metal of the car. “I think I saw him.” she whispered.

“You did WHAT?” Derek immediately jumped out of his seat.

“I just remembered that I… When he attacked me I saw the reflection in the car. I… I think I saw his face, well, the reflection of it at least.” she explained.

“Can you describe him?” Derek suddenly seemed excited. It was a hint, the first and only one they had.

“I… I think so.” she nodded.

“Come on, we mustn’t loose any more time.” he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the room. “Where’s the sheriff?” he shouted at a puzzled young deputy.

“I… um… he left about half an hour ago. I’m not sure where he went. He… you know, he sometimes just patrols.”

“Listen.” Derek placed both his hands on the desk and leaned over it to stare at the deputy while he hissed: “You better get me the sheriff as soon as possible.”

“Agent Morgan?” Dayana asked in a low voice.

He didn’t react, didn’t even seem to notice her words, as he continued to stare the frightened man down. “Or you get me someone who can draw an identikit picture. Can you arrange that for me?”

“Yes, Sir.” he whispered.

“Agent Morgan!” Dayana said a little louder.

“What is it?” he asked, turned to her and froze. Her face was pale, even her lips had lost their color and she stared at a picture on the wall.

“Who’s that?” she whispered and pointed at the picture.

Derek followed her finger with his eyes and his blood ran cold. “That’s the sheriff.” he swallowed hard. “With the mayor. I think it was when he got his bravery medal for saving a young girl from drowning.”

“Not those two” she said in a low voice. “the man in the back.”

Derek stepped a little closer and looked at the blurred person a few inches behind the sheriff and the mayor. His eyes widened and he turned to look at her.

“That’s him.” she whispered.

“Are you sure?” he stared at her in shock.

Finally she took her eyes away from the photo and looked at him. “Absolutely.”

Derek turned once again to the deputy and pointing at the picture on the wall shouted: “Give me the address of this bastard, now!”

“I, Sir” he stuttered. “I can’t just give you the address of one of our…”

“This guy has killed sixteen women by burying them alive and letting them smother. One of our agents is buried out there slowly running out of air.” he seized him by the collar, pulled him to his feet and shook him. “So you better give me his goddamn address or I’ll screw it out of you!”

“You can’t do this.” he squeaked.

“I can” he snarled. “and I will. I don’t worry about the consequences, believe me.” he raised his fist threatening him to beat him.

“Okay” the voice of the young deputy was almost higher than Derek would have thought humanly possible. “I’ll…look it out for you.”

He finally released him and levelled his lapel. “You’d better find it really fast.”

“Derek, what’s wrong?” Spencer and JJ were standing in the door to the office and looked at him equally in shock, concerned and confused.

“We have his name.” he said. “And in a few seconds we’ll also have his address.” he ran his hand over his head and added: “We briefed him about the case, about our progress, about everything we found out. We told him about Penelope! Damn we let him through the road block and Penelope was certainly in his trunk!”

“Derek, who is it?” JJ wanted to know.

He didn’t answer but fished his phone out of his pocket and dialled a number. “Hotch” he almost shouted into his phone. “we have his name and his address.” he turned and took a slip of paper from the still shaking deputy and read the address to Hotch.

“Call Emily, we’ll meet you there.” Hotch said. “How did you find out?”

“Dayana remembered she saw his reflection when he attacked her and then she saw the picture on the wall. You know the one where the mayor hands the sheriff the bravery medal. Deputy Miller’s standing in the back.”

“Deputy Miller.” Hotch sighed. “Damn we gave him all information he needed to always be a step ahead of us.”

“I know” Derek replied in a low voice. “we even told him about Penelope and her marvellous skills of finding almost anything with her babies. If we hadn’t…”

“There’s no time to blame ourselves now.” Hotch interrupted him. “We have to hurry!”

Derek hung up, called Emily and informed her about the news. Then he ran back into the office and grabbed his jacket from the chair. It was already September and getting cold outside. The five of them jumped into the black SUV and Derek switched on the sirens.

“You’ll stay in the car while we enter the house.” Derek commanded over his shoulder. “I don’t want one of you being hurt. But as soon as we know where to search for Penelope we’ll need your help.”

“We’ll need all help we can get.” JJ murmured.

Derek nodded, fished out his phone and dialled another number. “Mom” he said. “we found the unsub… I mean, the killer. We’re on our way to his house.” he listened for a while and then answered. “Thanks, mom, as soon as he told us where to search we’ll definitely need your help.” Another pause and then: “Believe me, I’ll make him tell me.” he gave his mother the address and told her to stay at least half a mile away from the house until he called her.

“I reached the sheriff.” Spencer said and hung up his own phone. “He’ll send us all his deputies to scan the area as soon as we… well, have some more information about the actual area.”

“My mom and sisters will help, too.” Derek explained. “We’ll find her.”

At that moment the alarm of his watch beeped.