A/N: Thank you to the Gublerific editor frog for beta reading this chapter! No carachter death in ch 1
Morgan slowly opened his eyes
Morgan slowly opened his eyes. The room around him was dim and there was a strange smell in the air. It smelled of old wood and dampness. Frowning, he closed his eyes again. His head was pounding heavily, making him wince. It felt like the hangover from hell, but the dark skinned agent couldn't remember drinking the night before. Turning his head to the side, he realized he had a terribly stiff neck.
I must have slept funny... he thought.
Opening his eyes once again, Morgan looked straight into the motionless face of Aaron Hotchner.
The superior's eyes were closed as he lay on his stomach beside Morgan, his left arm twisted in an almost impossible position.
Rolling over onto his belly, the younger agent threw his arm over to Hotch to shake him awake. Trying to feel his superior's pulse; relieved, he found it. A dull moan escaped the older agent as he began to squint his eyes in confusion.
Morgan now noticed that he and Hotch were not the only ones just waking up. As he raised his head, he saw a too familiar set of blonde curls lying in a heap a few feet away.
"Garcia!" Crawling over to the blonde woman, Morgan banged his knee into something hard that made a noise, resembling a groan. He didn't care. He had to get to Garcia. Running his hands over her head, the man made sure she wasn't hurt before he gently shook her back to consciousness.
"Garcia? Baby, it's time to wake up. Are you all right?"
As the piercing blue eyes of the blonde technical advisor fluttered open, the tie around Morgan's chest loosened. The absence of glasses made the woman look completely different as she peered out from under her messy hair.
"Morgan...? Wha...whe...where am I?" The confusion on Garcia's voice was painfully obvious.
"I don't know."
Sitting up, Morgan realized he was sitting on a hard wood floor. And he certainly wasn't alone in the room. In the far end of the room, Reid was just coming back to life, crawling to his knees. Looking over his shoulder, the agent saw Rossi already sitting on the floor holding his head. They seemed to have the same headache that was tormenting Morgan.
A soft moan came from behind a green couch. Moments later a pair of pale hands gripped the armrest, and JJ pulled herself up onto her feet.
"What is going on?" she whimpered; also holding her head. Stumbling over the coffee table as she made her way towards her colleagues on the floor, she took a hard fall on the wood below her; nearly falling straight on top of Emily. JJ cringed as she felt her knee take a violent blow.
"What the hell is this?" Hotch had risen to his feet, holding a dresser by the wall. Looking around, he found himself in a room completely unknown to him, with his entire team at his feet; everyone just waking up as from a deep sleep.
Taking a few shaky steps over the floor, Hotch grabbed the curtains covering a window and yanked it aside. Inch-thick iron bars embellished the outside of the glass. Hotch felt an internal turmoil rush through his system.
What the hell is going on here?!
Trying to open the window, the superior agent pulled and yanked at the latch, but to no avail. It wouldn't budge.
"Hotch, what is this place?" Morgan quickly glanced around the room as he supported the still wobbly Garcia on his right arm.
"Where are we?" Reid squeaked from the other side of the room, still trying to get up.
Everyone's minds were blurred and confused; trying to focus as much as to see where they were. But none of them knew the answers, for no one knew. The room was strange to them all.
It was a normal living room. Spacious and old fashionably luxurious, but otherwise normal. There were two antique-looking couches placed in and 'L' in front of a large fireplace. Two silver candlesticks had been placed in top of it, but none of the white wax candles were lit.
A large oak coffee table stood in front of the couches, a colorful bouquet of fresh wildflowers decorating it. The image of fresh flowers did not compute with the rest of the house, as it was impregnated with the smell of abandonment. It smelled damp and moldy, like an old cottage in the mountains somewhere.
Two of the walls were covered in bookshelves floor to ceiling with an enormous amount of books; all of them looking more or less ancient. Figurines and empty picture frames adorned the few spaces on the shelves that were not packed with books.
A broad doorway to the right in the room lead into something that looked like a dim hallway. Lights were turned on here and there, but none of them giving a lot of illumination to the dusky house.
The, what appeared to be, windows along the long side of the room that was not covered in bookfilled shelves didn't let any great amount of light into the shadowy living room. Thick curtains covered the glass ceiling to floor.
A large and extremely expensive looking chandelier hung from the ceiling and a huge oriental rug lay in the middle of the floor; most of the agents had woken up on it.
There was general confusion in the air as the agents began rising and orienting themselves. Reid steadied himself on a shelf as he made his way towards Hotch and the others.
"H-how did we get here?" he asked wearily, holding his head because of the intense headache. "It feels like I've been shot up with something...strong." Reid began to panic at the thought of having been drugged yet again. He was not sure he could go through the same hell as he once had.
Oh, God – not again!
Hotch shook his head. "I don't know how we got here. I don't remember."
"Me neither." Emily helped JJ to her feet and they walked over to the rest of the team. Her head spun like a tilt-a-whirl and she felt a sudden need to vomit.
"None of us do." Rossi came up behind Hotch, a very serious look on his face. "Everyone just woke up here a moment ago."
"What the hell is this? What the hell is going on?" Morgan was fuming the most he could with the thundering headache ravaging his skull. He'd woken up in his pajamas in a house he'd never seen before, surrounded by his teammates, who were as confused as he was. "Who put us here?"
Come to think of it, they were all in their pajamas. Looking at his team, Morgan came to the quick conclusion that they had been abducted – every one of them – in their sleep; from their own beds.
Morgan, Hotch and Reid were all in their boxers accompanied by t-shirts. Reid still had his bed-head on with his brown curls in a complete chaos. JJ and Garcia were in their pajamas and Emily wore a purple nightgown reaching her knees. Rossi's green pajama was a dreadful sight - but on the other hand, no one was supposed to see him in it either.
"Okay, this looks way too much like the Bates mansion..." Garcia crept closer to Morgan, clinging to his arm.
Starting to walk around in the dim room, the team tried to figure out where they were, why they were there and who had brought them there.
Looking out the window, Rossi sighed. "Woods." It was a short but accurate description of what was on the other side of the glass. There seemed to be a vast amount of trees as far as the eye could see, about 40 feet away from the house they were in. The woods were pitch black; the only light coming from the moon, set high in the opaque sky.
Turning to the others, Rossi frowned. "Who the hell brought us here?"
"Save that for later; we've gotta get out of here." Morgan began walking towards what seemed to be a hallway at the other end of the room, Garcia on his arm; refusing to let go of her knight in ebony armor. The rest of the team followed him close behind, ready for anything.
Reaching the hallway, the team came to a short stop. Looking at the front door at the end of the corridor, everyone felt their heart sink to a new low.
The large metal door greeting them looked like something taken straight out of a bank vault. What seemed to be an electronic lock embellished the outer end of the left doorframe. Whatever this was, it wasn't the way out.
"Okay, this is beginning to freak me out..." Emily ran her fingers through her hair, a very worried look on her face.
"You're not the only one." Hotch approached the door, examining the lock. "It's a timer. It's set for eight hours."
"Why would someone bring us here and hold us for eight hours?" JJ shook her head in disbelief. This whole situation was strange and intimidating to her - not to mention the house was giving her the creeps.
"There's gotta be another way out." Morgan turned around, searching for another exit.
Rossi shook his head. "Whoever brought us here made very sure we're not supposed to leave. I'd doubt there is another accessible exit."
Knowing Rossi was right, Morgan sighed. "We gotta look, at least."
Whatever this house was, it was huge; almost like a mansion. The kitchen had an adjoining dining room that Reid found bigger than his apartment. The youngest member of the team was very thankful that the lights had been left on, at least dimly.
Reaching the kitchen door, the team found an identical door, with a matching lock; also set to eight hours and ticking. 7.46 left.
"This is crazy! Where are we?!" Garcia was close to climbing the walls, but settled for climbing Morgan instead, refusing to let go of his arm as she almost crept into his pocket.
"Easy, baby. It's gonna be fine." Morgan stroke her hair as he held her close in protecting, muscular arms. Turning his head to Hotch, his look was more angry than scared. "Hotch, this isn't right."
"No, it isn't." The superior agent looked around. "None of this is right."
"Who brought us here? And why?" Reid hugged his chest, looking insanely uncomfortable, standing one foot on top of the other.
The house was quiet. Too quiet.
Suddenly, there was a sound emerging from an adjacent room. Morgan drew Garcia behind him, as they all spun towards whatever it was in the next room that had been the source of the noise.
There was only silence as the team collectively held their breath. Surprisingly enough, Reid was the first to speak.
"H-hello? Is someone there?"
Emily let her breath out with a sigh. "Good one, Reid; I'm sure they'll answer."
But to everyone's surprise and shock, there was an answer. "Yes..." A low, croaky voice emanated from the next room.
Everyone jumped at the word spoken into the silent house.
"Reid..?" the voice spoke somewhat less hoarse.
The young agent jerked as he clearly heard the voice he hadn't heard in a very long time. First walking slowly, then picking up pace to reach a rush, he ran into the next room. "Gideon?!"
Rushing into the room, Reid found his former colleague on the floor wearing a blue striped pajama; trying to get to his feet. The younger man grabbed Gideon's arm and helped him stand.
"Gideon, what are you doing here?" Reid was nearly in complete upheaval at seeing his old friend and mentor after such a long time, and in such a strange situation.
"I don't...don't know..." Gideon held his head as the young agent supported him with his thin frame. "I just...woke up here. Where are we?"
"We don't know yet." Hotch stood in the doorway with the rest of the BAU, looking at the unexpectedly reunited men. It was a shock to all of them to see Gideon again; especially right now as they had obviously all been abducted and put in a strange house for reasons unknown to all of them.
"Hello Gideon." Not one trace of emotion was shown on Hotch's face as he greeted his former co-worker. Momentarily, he forgot where he was, and felt a stabbing need to slam his fist into the face of the older man in front of him; but repressed the urge.
"Hotch." The older man, still supporting himself on his young friend, looked at his former superior, knowing that this was not the way he wanted to reunite with his team. Turning his head to his protégé, an unnerving look came over him. "What's going on?"
"We don't know, we just..."
Reid never got to finish his sentence before it was interrupted by a loud voice booming through the house.
"The famous BAU!"
Garcia jerked, burying her fingernails in the silken skin of Morgan's muscular arm; the man not even flinching at the sharp pain.
"SSA Aaron Hotchner. SSA David Rossi. SSA Jason Gideon. SA Emily Prentiss. SA Derek Morgan. Dr. Spencer Reid. SA Jennifer Jareau. Audio/Visual Technician Penelope Garcia."
Everyone shuddered at the sound of their names. Of course they realized that they had been brought there by someone who knew who they were, but still...
"You have been brought here for one reason. A simple game of elimination."
Hotch's eyes darted from wall to wall, trying to find the source of the voice booming through the house, but finding nothing.
"Elimination?" Morgan said straight into the air. "Who..?"
"One of you has been paid a large amount of money for completing a simple task; eliminating the BAU."
Emily frowned. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"As you have seen, the lock on the door is set for eight hours. As the door opens, only one of you will leave this house alive. The rest of you will not."
Garcia felt tears of pure fear run down her cheeks. This reminded her too much of a horror movie she had seen a few years ago. In the movie, everyone turned on each other, and everyone ended up being killed.
"Who it will be is up to you. But keep in mind that one of you will do everything to make sure that he or she is the one leaving in the morning."
JJ was starting to shiver in affect of the frightening message. Was this for real?
"To make matters a bit more interesting, there are weapons hidden around the house; including standard issued FBI firearms."
Reid's mouth was wide open as he listened to the voice roaring though the room. Staring straight out into the open air, his mind began processing the information.
"In order to survive, you will have to make sacrifices."
Gideon, now standing on his own, listened to every word the voice around them was saying; trying desperately to place it. As the message had been relayed, he had come to the conclusion that this was no ordinary UnSub. This was someone they had met before. Someone they had made very angry.
"I now wish you good luck during the night, and I will see one of you in the morning."
The house once again went silent as the eight federal agents stood as if petrified in the hallway. Hotch was the first to regain the ability to speak.
"What the hell was that?"