--Alright, just a few things before we get started.

1. Alas, Criminal Minds is not mine

2. Alas, alas, the Joker is not mine either

Okay, that's all! : ) Enjoy!--

In Memory of Heath Ledger

April 4, 1979 - January 22, 2008



"I really think you understand," He said, staring at me, smiling. "I really do, you just tell me you don't." He was circling me, knife in hand. I swallowed. I followed him with my eyes, turning when necessary.

"You know how much you and I are alike Doc. These past few days for you have been denial, denial, denial." His grin broadened at his words.

"I am nothing like you." I scowled. He laughed. The sound echoed around us, rattling me to my core.

"Don't lie to yourself," He smirked, shaking his head. "You can't. Or to me either for that matter. You can try and be one of them but you're not." He stopped walking, then, after a moment, turned to me and walked toward me. Every cell in my body screamed at me to run, to back away and get as far away from him as possible. But intrigue must have stopped me, just one question made me stay where I was: He hasn't killed me yet, why would he now?

He was inches in front of me, still smiling. I don't know if he could hear my heart hammering in my chest, but it was something I wouldn't put past him.

"Doc," He began, his tongue striking the scar at the corner of his mouth. "You and I are tossed into the same category in conversation. Freak." The word struck me like he had hit me. "Isn't that what they called you, hm?" He nodded, though I had remained frozen. "And they call me the same thing. Like, uh, you're big friend. Same principal, different circumstances," He licked the other scar. "We're both apart from the majority…Different. People don't like different, hm?" I swallowed hard and shook my head again.

"You know better than anyone of the, ahem, 'normal people' you work with hate different." It wasn't a question, he knew. I stared at him, pushing back the memories that threatened to flood my mind.

"Both of us have made an impact on this pathetic world that no one can take back. Not even your boss." He paused, turning the knife over in his hand, looking at it as if it were made of gold. His eyes shifted back to me again, grinning.

"We may be on opposite sides of the spectrum, but you and I are the same," I stared at him in disbelief. He giggled, the sound in his throat, at my expression. "There's a fine line between genius and madness Doc, and I think we're both just over that line, hm?" He laughed again when I said nothing. Though I tried to deny it, tried to take his words back from my mind, I knew, no matter how terrible it was, The Joker was right. And he knew it.

I sat at the conference table, furrowing my brows at J.J.'s worried expression. She'd never had that look about any of our cases before, what was so different this time? I glanced at the pictures pinned up on the board behind her, and instantly wished I hadn't. The smile that had been carved in each of the victim's faces would remain in my mind forever, like so many other things in my life.

Everyone else had filed in, noticing J.J.'s grim expression just as I had. Hotch looked more troubled than usual, which worried me a little. Morgan sat next to me and looked at me for some sort of an answer.

"You knew we'd be called in on this one." I said quietly. He sighed.

"Yeah, I did. I just wonder why now." He said.

"That I don't have an answer to." I sighed.

"You all are familiar with this case, whether you want to be or not," Hotch said. "CNN has made sure the whole world knows what's going on." They all nodded in unison.

"Did they say why they're bringing us in now?" Morgan asked.

"Because they've realized they can't stop this man by themselves," Hotch said. He turned to the board behind him. "Twelve victims, three days. All connected to either some form of power, or a member of an illegal standing."

"Are we sure there's only one unsub then?" Emily asked. "I mean, that seems like opposite ends of the scale right?"

"It's definitely one unsub. This man just gets people to follow him and do as he asks. Most end up as casualties themselves." Hotch said.

"Hotch," Morgan began. "We've never had to deal with an unsub like this before. Not to this extreme."

"There's always a first for everything." Rossi said pointedly.

"We'll have to do the best we can," Hotch said. "And I realize what danger this case holds. If anyone wants to back down, I understand." No one moved, including myself. I've been so close to death so many times, I think it was starting to lose its affect.

I looked at J.J., wondering why she wasn't getting as far away from this case as she could. I glanced at her stomach, seeing the familiar bulge, and fearing for the child's life. And I know she was too, about a hundred times worse.

As if hearing my thoughts, she put her hand on her stomach and looked at me, a small smile on her face. A silent way of telling me it was alright. I gave her a half smile back, telling her that I wasn't assured.

"We're bringing Garcia. He keeps getting to the news through phone calls and video. She might be able to track him."

I sighed. "When are we leaving?" I asked. Hotch glanced at his watch before answering me.

"Now." Everyone stood, looking worried. I needed to look at anything I could get a hold of to understand this maniac. Try and get inside his head before the situation got worse, and it would. People like this always tried for more. Bigger. Meaning more deaths, bigger explosions, all of it.

"Reid," Someone said behind me. I turned. "Someone sent this for you," Morgan said, handing me an envelope. "Be careful, you know, just in case." He said. I nodded and carefully opened it, slowly pulling out the paper folded inside.

"It's alright." I told Morgan. He nodded, relieved and followed everyone out.

I looked back to the letter.


This is probably the most dangerous case you'll ever work, and you have to promise me you'll be careful. Promise me, please? Don't be stubborn and throw yourself into this like I know you will no matter what I say. I miss you Spence, but, I'll see you soon I promise.

I love you


I folded the letter and followed Morgan out, grabbing my bag. I could see the words the letter held as if they were painted on the space in front of me. Every solitary line that she had drawn, asking me to be careful. Worry in her every syllable. I guess the news of this case had reached New York. She said she'd see me soon…God, I prayed with all my might she wouldn't come to Chicago, just to make sure I was okay. No matter how much distance time put between us and high school, she'd always be her same protective self. It was just her nature.

God I missed her. So much. Her smile, her laugh, the way she giggled wrinkled her nose when I said something over everyone's heads. And she chewed her nails when she was thinking. And when she kissed me…There was nothing better on the face of the planet than that. In those moments, bliss meant absolutely nothing at that moment. The word wasn't enough to sum something like that up.

I looked up, focusing on my surroundings. I had walked all the way into the jet without realizing it.

"Reid," Morgan said, getting my full attention. "Are you alright?" I nodded.

"Just thinking." I said quietly.

"About what?" Garcia said, bouncing up out of the seat behind me. I smiled softly at her.

"A lot." I said. She rolled her eyes. Then smiled slyly at me.

"So, who's the letter from?" She asked in a sing-song voice. I gave her no answer but felt my face flush a deep red. I walked to the seat behind her and swiftly sat down, ignoring the grin J.J. was sending across from me.

"Don't say a word." I warned. She held her hands up.

"Hey, I'm not saying a word." She giggled.

"The flight won't be that long," Hotch said. J.J.'s smile faded. "And when we get there we have to immediately go to the Chicago station," The others nodded in understanding. "Reid, look this over," Hotch said, handing me a file. "See if you can find anything." I nodded and flipped the file open, scanning the words that flooded my mind in seconds.

"Hotch, why are we in such a hurry?" Morgan asked. Hotch sighed and sat across from him.

"Because I just got the call that the police chief's life has been threatened." Hotch said. Rossi bowed his head and shook it.

"If we don't hurry, thousands of people will die." He said grimly.

"And that's exactly what The Joker wants." Hotch said.

--Did you like? Push that pretty button and let me know. And don't worry, the Joker will make an appearance in the next chapter ; ) --