Title: Put Out the Garbage
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Mind, I'm making no money from writing this
Author's note: English is not my first language, so please forgive my mistakes. A big thanks to my Beta!
No the title isn't a mistake but a play on words.
All facts are fictions and the statistics are purely made up.
Put out the garbage
"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster" Friedrich Nietzsche
"What? What are you talking about?" he asks, watching this person who claimed knowing him, standing on his doormat talking about things he didn't recall at all.
"You don't remember? Of course you don't... you're all the same aren't you? But trust me she remembers every second of it and your face is carved into her, it destroyed her and even now, after all those years, she's not completely healed. But you don't remember her, at all. It's unfair. You have all she wants and because of you she can't have it."
He doesn't understand. What the hell is going on? That crazy person is talking nonsense. And it's a tad bit worrisome that this person knows things about him he shouldn't. However too much is too much, he grabs the door to close it. And that's when he knows he's not going to make it. The person just injected him something on the hand and he's already falling on the floor, dizzy but conscious.
"It won't heal her, but at least she will be avenged and a bit more fairness will befall this world. But first things first, how about reminding you of what you truly are?"
He would have screamed if he had been able to as the person entered his home and closed the door. He knows that no one will come for him for at least a few hours. Only a miracle could save him.
It's the middle of the night when the phone rang, pulling him out of his dreams in the second. Dazed he reaches for his cell phone, at the left side of the bed, so he won't disturb Haley. Briefly he wonders if Jack woke up, but already he has flipped open the cell and speaks with a clouded voice:
"Hey, sorry to wake you Hotch, but we have a new case. We will meet in one hour at the plane, is that ok for you?"
"Yes," he replies, closing the phone on this word, knowing JJ didn't expect more.
He blinks a few times as his mind slowly catch up with him. He's a bit too used to storing information to process them later on. On auto-pilot he starts to get ready, his bag is already packed, like usual. One shower later and he's perfect suit and tie impeccable.
That's when he realizes he still believes Haley and Jack are with him. Nothing shows through his face but his heart receives a sharp sting. After all this time, he still refuses the truth. He can't blame her; she had the right to, especially since he chose his job instead of his family. But he had hoped she would understand; that she would keep her promise: to stay with him, support him even if his job took him away. She didn't.
He hadn't been the one to propose to her, she had, to prove him she was strong enough to live with a man always gone on missions. She had said she understood how important it was for him to save those people. But, as soon as she glimpsed an opportunity of living a normal life, she had jumped on it and couldn't stand to have it been rejected.
Hadn't she realized he wouldn't be the same man? If his life wasn't on the line, if he didn't save people from the horrid monsters hidden among them, he wouldn't be the same. He wouldn't feel the need to be there for each little second. He would be haunted with people he might have been able to save if he had been on the field, and god knew how many of those you saw on TV every day.
That's why, even if it hurt to know she and his son were far from him, he didn't waver as he grabbed his bag and hopped into his car. This was what he was, the core of his being. He did such a cruel job to get rid of as many monsters as he could so Haley and Jack would be as safe as he could make them.
They are all getting on the plane, looking more or less awake. All of them with a nice cup of fuming coffee and a file tucked under the arm. Reid, hair mussed, slumps down next to Hotch, as the team slowly takes place in the plane so they can discuss the case. Prentiss and Morgan sit together, in front of Hotch and Reid. Rossi and JJ takes two other seats, the closest available.
"It's the fourth murder already," starts JJ.
"What? Why didn't they call us earlier?" asks Morgan.
"Well it wasn't such an important case before this morning, their time," explains JJ, "you see it's quite a complicated mess. Five months ago, Mr. Dehi, a very influential business man was found dead, strangled, naked, into his garbage dump."
"Why wasn't the body been grinded by the Dustcart?" wonders Emily, her eyes not leaving the file in front of her.
"The body was on the top, clearly visible, so when they opened the garbage dump they couldn't miss him."
Emily nods, going back to reading. They would try to explain that later, it seems JJ had other things to explain first.
"Mr. Dehi's case was put away as unresolved, because they didn't have any clue. There had been no breaking and entering; nothing was out of place and no trace of fingerprints or anything. But the family didn't let go, and they contacted a private investigation agency. This is how that case got to us, the agency sent a detailed file about three other murders, two before Mr. Dehi and one after him."
"How come they didn't make the link?" interrogates Hotch, eyes frowned.
"The body where found in different states or jurisdictions, no-one would have made the link if the agency hadn't pointed it out. It's the same MO: no breaking in, no trace, no witness, body naked and dumped in a garbage bin."
"But it's strange, the first two were women, then Dehi, then another woman... they don't have anything in common and they don't even have the same social background," points out Reid.
"All we know is that each one of them was drugged, it was administrated by an injection on the arm, but not with a syringe, more like with an air gun according to the legist. The drug used keeps them conscious but they can't move a muscle."
"Same drug than Frank used?" asks Reid, his voice calm but the frantic movement of his fingers betrays him.
It's a sensible subject, Frank escaped once, came back and he's the one that made Gideon leave. Spencer feels better about it, but everyone knows he missed his mentor, that he think in a strange way he should have been able to prevent him from leaving. The whole being abandoned by your father syndrome, one Gideon tried to smooth by leaving a letter. Spencer still has it... and the team can't forget, he waited for him an evening and a night in his office because they were supposed to have a chess game. Who in their right mind do that?
"Ketamine, a horse tranquilizer but used as a date rape drug, known as "stuck in a k-hole" in street lingo, it keeps the victim perfectly conscious," explains Reid, just in case someone forget, and for Rossi who wasn't there at the time.
"So we can't trace it. But that's all we know."
"That's not much," mumbles Morgan.
"Maybe we will learn more on the last crime scene," hopes JJ.
"So, what can we tell about our UNSUB for now?" asks Hotch, looking at his team.
They all lower the files and start throwing out idi eas, as they usually do.
"He's not feeling guilty since he dumps them naked and in the garbage, he obviously doesn't care," assures Morgan, tapping the pictures of the crime scenes.
"Why the garbage? And it's not to destroy the evidence, since the bodies were found."
"Was that on purpose? Do you think he wants them to be found? Then it might be a message."
"That would be strange, those people were normal, they don't strike people as being corrupted or anything, even the business man was close to the law and didn't do anything wrong," offers Prentiss.
"Since he uses Ketamine and strangles them, he wants to see the fear in his victim's eyes, so maybe he just gets rid of them when he's done, as you would with an old toy or something," proposes Reid, looking through the file even if he has memorized it already.
"Where were found the clothes?"
"With the victims, along with their own garbage, it seems the UNSUB took the rubbish out before leaving but they couldn't find anything in it."
"So it's not personal, he's getting off murder and strangling people. He chooses them for a particular reason since it's sexual," states Rossi.
"But which? They don't have anything in common; they don't even live in the same town."
"Ok so he's a sadist, he chooses his prey for a reason, he strangles so he needs control but he also use Ketamine so he might be weak physically, that tells us it's more likely to be a man," sum up Hotch.
"Yes in 67% of cases the crimes are made by men, and 51% of those men are sadist," recites Reid.
"We will have to land to know more, we should rest a bit" ends Rossi, cutting the discussion short.
When they arrive they immediately feel how unwelcome they are. Not such a surprise. The policemen are angry, but not only with them it seems. It's easy to guess why: they closed the case, even if it was the police of another state, it still was one of them, but a private I agency showed them it was a worthy one, so worthy the FBI had to be involved. They felt like dorks and were sure the BAU team saw them as such.
"Hello, I'm superintendent Reiner, the place there," he motions with his thumb to a room behind him, obviously an old meeting one, "has been cleaned up for you guys, make yourself at home and forgive the guys, we're all a little cranky."
"No worries, we're not here to steal this case from you-" starts Hotch but he's cut off immediately.
"It's not our case, you keep it, I'm showing you the crime scene, you investigate it, and when you're done you fly back to Quantico to deal with it. The murder doesn't target the same cities, so it's not our business."
So much for team work but at least it's clear and they won't cause problem. In a way, it's an FBI case indeed, since it's on different states, towns... With some luck the journalists won't have wind of it too soon, they will have time to settle and see if the UNSUB is one to catch by using the press.
"I see, well then let's get out as soon as we can," replies Hotch, skipping the presentation on purpose, "Morgan contact Garcia and see if she can find similar cases and try to profile the victims, JJ makes sure the press doesn't put their nose on this one, Prentiss, Reid, Rossi you go to the crime scene with me," he orders around.
He's glad to see everyone enter into action in the second. The policemen are relieved and suddenly more charming, helping the FBI as if they are guests. They know it's a big story and a hard one that might never be solved, if the FBI is responsible they won't have trouble, but they won't gain anything either. It suits them. Everyone is different.
The house is still closed with those yellow scrolls. Apart from that everything looks normal, so normal it's disturbing. It's a medium sized house with reddish bricks, plain. They enter, inside nothing is out of place, there is no traces of breaking in or struggles. The woman lived alone, had a nice job because her furniture is top quality and she liked the modern style. She seems to have a happy life, pictures of friends, of her doing random activities like equitation.
"So I'm a young promising woman, what makes me open my door?" asks Prentiss.
"Someone I know in 57% of the cases, a door-to-door salesman in 35%, someone with an injured pet in 8% but of course that's rounded up numbers for the bigger occurrences, because their are other cases like -"
"That won't be necessary Reid," snaps Rossi, crouching on the floor, touching the carpet there.
"I opened the door, let the person enter or spoke with him a bit, we don't really know when they are injected," thinks Hotch aloud; it's a way to let the team step in his logic.
"They are stung at the wrist or upper arm each time," provides Reid.
"Maybe when they offer a cup of tea?" wonders Prentiss, looking around to see anything that might let them know the UNSUB and the victims drank together.
Nothing. It's clear the person was alone: only one cup of now cold chocolate. If the murderer was invited in, they didn't have time for idle chat.
"So it's fast, enters and sedates the person. Then what? Strangle him directly? Maybe, after all the time of death was toward 2pm, the UNSUB doesn't have time."
"A friend that she expected at 3pm didn't manage to join her, she thought she had been forgotten, she said she looked inside by the window but the house seemed empty," pipes in the officer that brought them.
"Ok, so how do I get rid of the body in the middle of the day?" asks Rossi, playing with his ring as he concentrates.
"I put the garbage out," replies Reid, motioning to the big garbage dump, "it's easy, I drag the dump here, it's on caster, I open the lid, even if I'm quite tall people won't see me, all I have to do now is dump the body. I can even adjust the body all I want," he explains, mimicking everything.
"Even if people glimpse the UNSUB they will think nothing of it, just a random person taking care of the rubbish, for his friend or girlfriend that's easy. But something is weird," points out Hotch, "he sedates them, then strangles them, we said it's because he needs control, but if he's able to lift the bodies then he should be able to dominate them too."
"Maybe he's taking time with them? He doesn't strangle them immediately," proposes Prentiss.
"He might tell them why they were chosen," deadpans Rossi.
They are all silent because they can picture it very clearly. It's 2pm. Miss Argli hears the doorbell and rush to answer. She thinks it's her friend that came in advance, but she checks none the less, and sees someone that she can trust, a friend, a door-to-door salesman, anything that seems harmless. She opens and lets the person enter, a moment of inattention and she's sedated, a simple press of something against her wrist. She was facing the person, otherwise he couldn't have reach her at such a place so she sees him clearly as she collapses on the floor, eyes wide, heart frantic as she's robed of her control, every bit of it now in the UNSUB's hands.
He stares at her, pleased with his work and starts talking, telling her how the smallest of her actions made her a prey for him, how he's going to be enjoying it... then he puts something around her neck and starts squeezing, slowly, very slowly so he can savour each moments of it, see her panic, feel how her breaths his laboured and finally she can't breathe but she's still alive for some last delightful minutes, then her eyes glasses over and it's done. He strips her and goes in the kitchen, taking the trash bag and putting her clothes inside. He goes out, drag the garbage dump in front of the house, nothing unusual; he throws the trash bag in, then, just as carelessly, the lifeless body. He closes the lid, puts it back where the garbage men will take it and find her.
Hands in his pocket he goes back home or to work. It's as simple as that.
-To be continued-
Reviews would be greatly appreciated. This story is written especially for a friend but it's posted for you to enjoy, if you don't care about it, then I will simply stop posting it. First CM fic ever, and first time trying thriller too, so feedback is kinda needed.