(Hello everyone

(Hello everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I've posted, but hopefully you all will enjoy this new one. I'm picking up where the season finale left off and making a possible guess on what could happen when the show returns this month. I hope I'm wrong actually, but I've got a nagging concern for my favorite character, and it seemed there was a story begging to be written from my fears for him. So here goes…)

(As always the show and the characters aren't mine, I'm just borrowing them.)

Trial By Fire

Prologue

Hotch had sent them each on their own separate errands and the each member of the team had scattered to fulfill their own jobs. Derek Morgan drew in a deep breath, trying to calm his rattled, frustrated nerves as he twirled his key ring once around his finger before catching the set of keys more firmly in hand and striding forward to his black Suburban. He unlocked the door, then got in, letting out the breath he'd been holding and scrubbing a hand over his face. They were all already dog-tired, and he wasn't seeing much rest in the near future. This case was going to be a bad one – he could feel it.

It didn't help matters that he'd let his anger at Joyner cause him to challenge Hotch. He knew the other man well enough to know that he wouldn't really be carrying on anything inappropriate while working a case – but he hadn't appreciated being put in his place like an errant teenager. He had been in the right, and he didn't like feeling ganged up on when he expected his team leader to have his back.

Well, it was done now, and he had apologized for losing his cool. On to the next thing. He turned the key in the ignition and put the SUV in drive, pulling out onto the quiet, dark street, heading for the Homeland Security offices where he was supposed to update them on the turn their case had taken.

As he rolled up to a stoplight, the quiet, and now deserted the street suddenly seemed "off" to him. It was too calm, too dark and devoid of noises, lights, and other traffic. It was New York City after all, the City that never sleeps, and it made his defenses flicker to life as he immediately went on alert. Something wasn't right.

Alarm bells were going off in Morgan's head, and for some strange reason, he stopped and had just gotten the door cracked open to step out and try to figure what it was about his surroundings that seemed so out place, when it happened. For a moment the very air around him seemed to hum and vibrate, crackling over his skin like a living thing. Time seemed to freeze, to suck in on him, then rapidly expand…and suddenly the world exploded.

He was flung roughly from the vehicle and hit the pavement hard. It was as though he were on fire – burning all over his body – and it panicked him enough to try to roll and put it out. His alarm only lasted a second or two as the pain enveloped his senses and they gave way to a roaring in his head. Inescapable, overwhelming paralysis took over his limbs, and he couldn't think anymore about what had just happened. Everything went black and he lost all knowledge of the world.