Author's Note: Thank you Sue1313 for inspiring this new story (like I needed another multi-chapter epic in my mind!). Hope everyone enjoys…warning to my loyal readers, this one may be updated a bit slower than usual. I think I might have too many irons in my fire. Unfortunately, I just can't seem to write a standalone oneshot these days. As ever, I don't own Criminal Minds.
Coming to stop in front of where the small pregnant media analyst sat beside the hospital bed clutching Spencer Reid's slack hand, Rossi quietly said, "I know where he is."
Lifting tired eyes to meet David Rossi's unreadable face, JJ blankly asked, "Know where who is?"
"Gideon, Jennifer," Dave confessed. "I know where to find him."
Narrowing blue eyes snapping with fury, JJ cast a quick glance at Spencer Reid's closed eyes. Looking at Dave again, JJ hissed, "Outside! Now!" Following Dave from the room, JJ quickly closed the door as she slapped an angry hand against Dave's chest, shoving him into the wall. "How long, Rossi? How long have you known where he was?"
"I've always had a suspicion. I confirmed it last night. He's at a cabin on Harper's Mountain, Jen. But he isn't the same man that left here."
"You've seen him?" JJ asked angrily.
"Yeah, I have and-"
"What did you tell him? Why isn't he here?" JJ asked in quick angry succession.
"I just told you, JJ, he isn't the same man any of us knew," Dave said carefully.
"I don't give a damn who the hell he thinks he is now! He's needed here! Spence needs him here," JJ replied, tightening her lips. "You should have told us, Dave!"
"So you could do what, damn it! The man I saw is a shell, JJ. A shell! He wouldn't be any help to Reid the way he is now. The things that happened changed him. He's protecting you all in the best way he knows how! By staying away," Dave said softly.
"Trauma changes all of us! We deal and then we go on," JJ said over her shoulder, heading toward the door. "It's long past time Jason Gideon learned that!"
Grabbing for her , Dave gripped her forearm in a gentle, yet implacable hold. "Where do you think you're going?"
Snatching her arm away, JJ hissed, "Harper's Mountain. I'm going to drag Gideon's ass back here if it kills me!"
Slapping a hand against the door above her head, Dave prevented her from opening it. "Damn it, JJ. Listen to me! It's after midnight. It's dark and you can't tell me that you know those roads. You're five months pregnant for Christ sake! You can't go combing the countryside in your condition all alone."
Jerking around, JJ yelled, "Do not make the mistake of thinking that I'm going to allow you or any other self righteous man to tell me what I can or can't do. We're losing Reid, Rossi! As surely as I stand here, we're slowly watching him disappear. And there's only one man that I know that might have a small chance of breaking through to whatever world he's locked himself away in…and that's Gideon! I'm not gonna just stand around and hope that he eventually pulls his head out of his ass and decides to join the rest of the world! Not when he can help Spence. Now, get the hell out of my way, damn you!"
"No," Dave said, shaking his head. "If you're so determined to do this, I'm going with you. Hotch and the rest of the team are here. I'll drive you."
Seeing the set lines of his face, JJ shrugged. "Fine. I don't care. But I'm warning you, I'm doing whatever I need to do to bring that man down off the mountain, Rossi. So, unless you can help, just stay the hell out of my way!" JJ growled, flinging open the metal door to the ward.