A/N: Okay, so my new plan is to have all of my stories finished by the end of March 2012. I know that several of these stories have been hanging in limbo for years, and I apologize for the HUGE delays. Thank you to all of the readers that have hung in there with me, and to all the new readers I may pick up. You guys are the best! Please read and review. Let me know what you think!


"Derek, I just found something kinda interesting on Michelle Ramirez." Penelope quickly input.

"Whatcha got, Baby Girl?"

"Her light bill, cable bill and internet all are in two names, hers and a man named Jackson Smyll. When I ran a check on him…wowza. He's got a record longer than Mike Tyson, and just as nasty."

"What's his record?"

"That just it, he's got arrests for everything… I mean, he started out at 17 with an armed robbery. He's been arrested for DUI, vagrancy, public intoxication, public indecency, assault and battery, breaking and entering, and sexual assault. Oh, and he also was caught with kiddie porn on his computer."

"So how long is he serving?"

"That's the interesting part. All of the charges since he was 22 have been dropped. He only served time for the armed robbery. All of the other charges were dropped, due to either lack of evidence, police ineptitude, or witnesses refusing to testify."

"Hmm… Sounds like he's got some money and power backing him. Send all that to Hotch's phone. They are going to want to interview him."

"Really, hot stuff… I sent it like three minutes ago. Who do you think you are dealing with here, a newbie?"

Morgan leaned down close and whispered in her ear. She immediately blushed and slapped his arm playfully. "Derek Morgan, you are dangerous."


"Derek Morgan is dangerous. I told you that before. I don't know why you are all so surprised by this, but…"

"Derek Morgan is an innocent man, convicted by your own hate and personal prejudice. He did not commit the crimes you accused him of in the past, nor did he commit them this time. Having bomb squad experience does not make a person a bomber. Or did you want to also have us do a background check on your entire bomb squad? What secrets do you think we would find out if we did?"

Detective Gordinski sneered at Hotch. "My men are not under investigation. Yours is."

"Your men are under investigation as of now. I am having my technical analyst go over each of their backgrounds. Be warned, I am duty bound to report anything that we find that may have gotten swept under the rug. We will find your killer, Detective. Just like we did the last time we were here." Hotch's voice was cold, icy with his determination.

"My men don't have criminal records. Yours does. What does that say about your 'team' Agent Hotchner."

"It says that I have the best possible men and women working with me. It means that they are honorable and most of all human. They have made mistakes, sure. We all have. But they have pulled themselves out of the quagmire they were stuck in and have become better for it."

"You have no idea…" Detective Gordinski trailed off as Hotch stood and left without another word.

Rossi caught Hotch outside the door. "That didn't go well, I take it?"

"We're on our own, Dave. In their minds, Derek has already been tried and convicted." Hotch began briskly walking down the stairs, as he pulled out his phone. "Garcia, it's Hotch. I got the info on Jackson Smyll. Now I need you to run a check on the entire Chicago Police Department. Pay close attention to the Bomb Squad. Gordinski wanted a war, now he's got one."

Penelope stared at Derek in shock. "Uh, yes, sir. I'll get right on that. What am I looking for?"

"Anything you can find. I want criminal histories, any IA investigations, plus copies of their jackets. I want to know what skeletons they might be hiding."


"Wow… The Chicago PD is made up of over 300 officers! This is going to take forever." Penelope groaned, slipping off her glasses and rubbing her nose.

"Baby Girl, relax. Just start with the bomb squad, then go from there. You might want to do Gordinski's unit next. After that just go alphabetically. Can I help?"

Penelope gave him a tired smile. "Yeah, when we get home, I want a back rub."

"Oh, I'll rub anything you want, sweetheart."

"You are such a tease!" She giggled, then turned her attention to the bleeping computer. "Oh, here's something interesting. Derek, call Hotch, he's gonna want to hear this."


"Is Jackson Smyll home?" Emily asked at the door of the penthouse apartment address Garcia had given them.

"Um, he's not home from work yet. What is this about?" a young girl answered, not moving from the door.

"We're from the FBI, and we have a few questions for him." Reid answered quietly.

"He should be home soon." The girl answered.

"What's your name?"

"I'm Jessi…"

"Jessica, how many times do I have to tell you not to answer the door!" A tall slender brunette pushed the girl out of the way. "Can I help you?"

"Ma'am, are you Michelle Ramirez?" Emily asked politely.

"Yes, who's asking?"

"My name is Emily Prentiss, this is Dr. Spencer Reid. We are from the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. We are in town investigating a bombing, and we have a few questions for Jackson Smyll."

"He's not here right now. He's at work."

"Could we wait inside for him, ma'am? We also have a few questions for you."

"I…My daughter is home right now. I don't want her upset."

"No, Ma'am. We will not say anything to upset your daughter. We just have a few questions that relate your position as city councilor."

"Oh, well, yes, come in, then."

Reid looked at Emily briefly as they shared a look of tension. This was obviously not going to go well.a