A/N: I don't own Without A Trace, CBS, or any other known entity. This was a story that came to me as I was watching the show, and it is split into two parts. It's my first attempt at a Without a Trace story, so please be kind. I hope you all enjoy this part, and please review!
Just Another Day
Martin shifted his position as he shrugged off his suit jacket. The warmth of the sunshine was enough for him to feel like he didn't need his jacket as he stood in front of the office windows, looking out across the city. New York always looks a lot nicer from up on the twelfth floor, he thought to himself as he picked at the buttons on his cuffs.
"We've got an abduction," Danny said as he walked up, heading over to the whiteboard.
"Who?" Martin asked, turning away from the windows.
"No one got a clear look at the guy's face. Best we got is a grainy surveillance video that shows someone coming up to our guy and dragging him into a van."
"That's the best shot they have?" Sam asked as she looked at the photo Danny tacked up on the board.
"Lucy's trying to pull something out of it, but she says it might take her some time," Danny said.
"Where did this happen?"
"A parking garage. 38th and Broadway."
"Any shots of the abductor?" Martin asked.
"Not sure if we have a clear shot of him," Danny said. "Lucy's working through the footage, but we may not have anything."
"Should we head out to the scene?" Sam asked.
"Jack and Viv are already there, talking to witnesses. Elena's helping to track down any other security footage in the area. Jack wants us to run down any cars who leave the garage in the timeframe of our abduction."
"Can we even get any license plates to run down?"
"Lucy's very busy."
"So, we don't know who got taken, we don't know who took him, and we don't know what they're driving," Martin recapped.
"Should be fun," Danny said.
It was cold.
Either somebody cranked up the air conditioning, or maybe the sun finally disappeared behind the clouds, as the showers they forecasted crept across the city. That was the least of his worries, though, as Martin struggled to put his jacket back on. He was trembling so hard that it became incredibly difficult for him to get his jacket on.
Why was it so cold?
"Where are we?" Jack asked as he made his way in.
"Lucy's still working on clearing up the face, but we did notice one thing about our victim," Danny replied as he walked back from Lucy's office. He put a picture up on the board and pointed at their victim's hip. "He was packing."
"Who abducts an armed man?" Martin asked.
"How does someone abduct an armed man?" Sam asked.
"Without him reaching for his firearm?"
"We're working on that," Danny said. "Right now, it looks almost like he was coaxed into it."
"If he was coaxed into it, then was he actually abducted?" Martin asked.
"Or, maybe he didn't get to pull his gun," Vivian said as she walked up. "We should assume that if our victim was armed, then our abductor probably was too. Maybe he didn't pull his gun because he had one in his back."
"But, why wouldn't he fight back?"
"Did the canvass get us anything?" Danny asked.
"Witnesses weren't close enough for details, but they did see two guys talking, and then they got into a black sedan," Elena said.
"What time did the car leave?" Martin asked.
"Did anyone catch the plate?" Danny asked.
"That's where it gets a little strange," Elena said.
"Only there?" Martin asked. "This whole case is a little strange."
"The witnesses say that the black sedan had government plates."
"Wait, government tags?" Danny and Martin said simultaneously.
"Yes," Elena replied. "But, they don't remember anything else about them."
"What time did the car leave?" Martin asked again.
"Let's run the footage over the exit," Jack said. "Focus on any black sedans coming out of the garage, try to get a plate."
"You got it."
The jacket wasn't helping.
Martin was fighting not to shiver, as he sat at his desk, attempting to work and finding it difficult to concentrate. Part of him wanted to snap out about the air conditioning, but, as he had begun to notice, he seemed to be the only one affected by it.
"Am I the only one who's freezing right now?" he asked the rest of his team as he buried himself further in his jacket.
They seemed to be too preoccupied to notice the question, as they worked their case. Each of them was working on a different piece, but it was Danny that seemed to hit a shocking revelation first, as he burst back into the squad room.
"You guys," he said, a weird combination of sad and worried. His tone of voice got everyone's attention. "Lucy was finally able to clean up an image on our missing person…"
The team watched as Danny tacked a picture up to the whiteboard, one that caused everyone to gasp.
Martin stared at his face on the picture from the security camera, shaking his head in disbelief. "No," he said softly. "No, it's not me. I'm not missing."
Martin looked at the team, realizing that they were moving around him, suddenly in a bigger hustle with this case. Beyond their increase in pace, they were talking around him, as if he wasn't even there.
"Guys," Martin said, trying to draw their attention. "Guys, I'm right here."
And yet, no one heard him.
Martin looked around at the team, noticing the fear and concern in their faces. "Guys," he tried again. "Guys, can you hear me? I'm right here. Can't you see me?"
And as the realization set in that they, in fact, couldn't see or hear him, he started to realize that this entire time, they'd never heard him at all. That he hadn't been there at all. He tried to stand from his chair, to reach out to them, but found himself unable to do so. There was something stopping him, something blocking him.
And then came the pain.
It crashed over him like a tsunami on a shore, practically drowning him. He couldn't breathe, couldn't move. Couldn't think any more about anything other than the pain. He choked and sputtered for every breath, fighting to stay alive as the pain and the chill settled deep within him.
"Guys?" he choked out.
"I'm right here," Martin said, his voice barely above a whisper. Suddenly, he was entirely aware of his surroundings, and the cocoon he was fairly certain he was going to die in.
The seatbelt was tight against his chest, and his arms were pinned by the driver's door and the shifter. The engine was pushed so far in that his legs were pinned. The steering wheel had made friends with his seatbelt, which led to further constriction.
He was trapped.
He couldn't remember what happened, or how he'd gotten here, but one thing was certainly clear: he was going to die here.
"I'm right here," he said again, trying to rouse someone's attention.
He didn't get the response that he'd hoped for. Because he heard nothing. And, he sadly realized, he wasn't going to hear anything.
As he felt the life draining out of him, the last thing he'd ever hear was his own shaky voice muttering, "I'm right here."