Disclaimer: All names and trademarks recognised as "Criminal Minds" do not belong to me; I've just borrowed the characters for my own purposes.
Genre: Drama, General
Warnings: Reference to the season 4 opener 4x01 Mayhem
Word Count: 1,072 words
Summary: Garcia has to help Reid so he can save the lives of their fellow agents.
A/N Over on NFA (NCIS Fanfiction Addiction forums) we have just finished having an auction to raise money for Haiti, inspired by the LiveJournal one. This is for ChannelD with the prompt: Reid and Garcia, friendship pairing, "When the (computer) system crashes." Oh, and this is my first time writing Criminal Minds, so I apologise if it's not quite up to scratch. :)
Thanks to KayleighBough for being an awesome beta and looking over this for me.
Penelope Garcia was halfway through reorganising some files on her computer when the phone rang. She paused mid-stoke and picked up the receiver. "Welcome to the kingdom of wonder. Speak and ye shall receive," she greeted cheerfully.
"Garcia," the voice of Dr. Spencer Reid came over the phone line. He sounded harried and breathless, but before he could say another word Garcia cut in, saying,
"Dr. Reid! What can I do for my favourite lovey?"
"Garcia, now's not the time." Reid was forceful, rushed, and Garcia could detect a hint of something in his voice that she knew she didn't like.
"Reid," she said, getting down to business, "what's going on?"
Reid heaved a sighed. "We don't have much time. You know the bomb we're hunting down . . ."
Garcia nodded, even though Reid couldn't see her. The BAU team was working on a bomb threat in Los Angeles, trying to profile who made the threat and where the bomb was located. She hated cases like this; who knows what could go wrong.
"Um, well, we found it," Reid finished.
"Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like this," Garcia replied, a pit of dread growing in her stomach. The last time they'd encountered a bomb someone had died and Hotch had ended up in hospital; not to mention Derek and his ambulance stunt.
"It's in a high-tech storage container," Reid continued to explain, quickly and quietly. "Prentiss and Morgan went to check it out . . ." He paused. "But it was booby trapped."
Her breath caught in her throat. No, God please no. Don't let them . . . "Are they . . . are they," Garcia stammered.
"No," Reid replied quickly. "But they're stuck. The system locked them in with the bomb." His next words were strained and slightly panicked, "They're trapped, Garcia. And the bomb's set to go off in ten minutes."
"Oh my God," Garcia breathed, closing her eyes. This was not happening. This was not happening. This was . . .
"I need you to tell me how to hack the system," Reid cut in. "Rossi and Hotch are at the scene and JJ's trying to keep the press off our backs. I'm the only one with access to a computer. If we can get the container open, Prentiss and Morgan can evacuate and if there's time, the bomb squad can defuse it. Otherwise . . ." Reid didn't finish his sentence, but Garcia knew what he meant.
"Right, right." Garcia tried to focus. "First you need, um, you need . . ."
She couldn't concentrate. All she could think about was Derek and Emily trapped in a death trap. What if she couldn't . . .
"Garcia!" Reid yelled down the phone, panicked. "Concentrate! I need you to tell me what to do!"
She gave a curt nod. She was the only one who could possibly get into the system in time to save Emily and Morgan. It was up to her; she had to focus. "Right," Garcia started, snapping into action. "First you have to . . .
"I can't do this," Reid exclaimed to the desk phone's speaker. He was just about in, but he couldn't follow what Garcia was saying anymore. His hands were shaking and he tried to keep his eyes firmly on the centre of the screen, rather than on the little clock in the corner.
"Yes, yes you can," Garcia said firmly from Quantico. She sounded shaken up, but she was determined to get him through this. "You do not get to tell me that Emily and Morgan exploded into atoms. You do not. You hear me, Doctor Genius?"
Reid nodded and shakily went back to the screen. He risked a glance at the computer clock and saw that five minutes had passed. There would be no time for bomb squad to defuse the bomb; they'd have to run. Luckily the area had been cleared beforehand so there would be no civilian casualties.
"Are you listening to me?!" Garcia yelled down the phone. "Reid, concentrate! Emily and Morgan don't die today!"
"Right, they don't die," Reid repeated and blocked out any thoughts that didn't relate to the task at hand. He stood up to get a better angle of the screen and Garcia uttered another few instructions. Then . . .
"I'm in!" Reid said excitedly. "Just unlocking the doors and . . ." he trailed off and snatched up his cell phone, hitting speed dial one.
Hotch picked up on the first ring.
"I got in," he told his boss.
"I know," Hotch replied. The phone made weird noises and it was obvious that Hotch was running. Fast.
"Get out of there," Reid ordered frantically.
"That's what we're doing." Hotch ended the call without a goodbye and Reid sat down heavily. That was close, way too close. He just hoped that Hotch and the others could get out of the building in time.
"Reid?" Garcia said worryingly as she picked up the phone. "Please tell me they're okay?"
"Hello to you too, baby girl," Morgan said with a clear smile on his face. "Should I be jealous?"
Garcia breathed a huge sigh of relief. He was alive. They were all alive. Another crisis averted. "You scared the hell out of me," she accused. "You and Emily. Is Em alright?"
"I'm fine, Garcia," Prentiss' voice cut in, slightly more distant than Morgan's. "Other than being cooped up with him, I'm good."
"Hey!" Garcia heard Morgan exclaim. "Would you have rather been stuck with . . ." Garcia didn't hear the rest of the exchange because Morgan turned away from the phone.
Morgan was chuckling as he returned to his conversation with Garcia. "Sorry about that," he apologised.
"I'm just glad you're okay," Garcia replied, relieved beyond all belief.
"You don't have to remind me," Morgan responded, knowing just how close they'd all come to being caught in the explosion. "And thank you."
"Oh, don't thank me, sugar," Garcia said quickly, shaking her head. "Thank Dr. Reid. All I did was provide the instructions for awesomeness and it was hero boy there who saved the day."
"Not without you," Morgan pointed out. "I think we all owe you and Reid a drink."
Garcia grinned. "I'll hold you to that, mister." She paused. "Just come home safe," she added as an afterthought.
"We will, Penelope. We will."