A/N: Hello! This is the piece I wrote for the Haiti compilation. Thanks to MsKathy for organizing the whole shebang, and thanks also to her for letting us post these to our profile a day early.
THANK YOU, READERS! You are the reason we're here.
This piece is a crossover with "Criminal Minds" and will probably make more sense if you watch the show. In any case, it is very, very silly.
Pretty, Pretty Criminal Minds
"I pity the fool who is prettier than I am." -Plato
J.J. briefed us on the case as we boarded the jet. "Twenty victims so far, all drained of blood. Victims evenly split between women and men, the women suffering from blown-out panties. Some of the men too, but only the well-groomed ones."
I blushed a little at her casual throwing around of the word panties. I cleared my throat and shifted to hide my growing erection. I'd never been comfortable with my sexuality, always awkward around girls, and all I ever wanted was a nice bathtub filled with bubbles, and maybe several books of Nietzsche in the original German. I liked to translate the German into Aramaic, then from Aramaic into Mandarin, and from Mandarin into French, back to German, and then finally into English. I'd once taken the quote "Ihr habt den Weg vom Wurme zum Menschen gemacht, und Vieles ist in euch noch Wurm. Einst wart ihr Affen, und auch jetzt ist der Mensch mehr Affe, als irgend ein Affe" ("You have evolved from worm to man, but much within you is still worm. Once you were apes, yet even now man is more of an ape than any of the apes") and turned it into "Find the worm in your pants, and you may still be able to have sex with the monkey." It was quite poetic in Mandarin, actually.
"Where are we headed?" I asked, opening a tiny snack pack of applesauce. Ah, the perqs of being FBI and flying in a private jet—we could take all the liquids and gels on board that we wanted. And, no, before you try to correct me and say I spelled "perk" wrong, a job "perq" is short for "perquisite," its first documented written use by John Jewel in 1567 when he wrote, "I leaue out the yeerely perquisites, that ye Pope made of his Elections, Preuentions, Dispensations, Pluralities, Trialities, Totquottes, Tolerations: for his Bulles, his Seales, his Signatures [etc.]." Very few use "perq" correctly, but I am a super genius. I am also exceptionally pretty and wear sweater vests.
I am Spencer Reid, also known as Vesty McTallguy. And I am awesome.
"Pacific Northwest," said J.J., answering the question I'd asked before I'd gotten sidetracked on the subject of my awesomeness. We buckled in and started going over the case file.
"So, the unsub … doesn't seem to stick to a particular ethnic group or gender," began Hotch. "What does this mean? And what would cause this kind of underpants blow-out?"
"Well, historically, underpants have been connected with religious themes, all the way back to references in the Garden of Eden in Genesis," I began. "It's about stolen innocence, the gaining of knowledge, the loss of Paradise." I paused to let the others absorb my incredibly deep observations.
Morgan scratched his head. "So … Garden of Eden … I'm thinking … apples?"
"Maybe," said Hotch. "Washington State is known for its apple production." He started pointing around the plane as he gave his assignments. "Morgan, find all the apple orchards within a twenty-mile radius of the killings. Reid, I need you to examine the blown-out underpants, try to get a feel for the victim's private regions. J.J., you'll need to set up a press conference with all the farmer's markets within the tri-county region. Prentiss!"
"Yes, Hotch?" she asked, sitting up straighter.
"I want you to go to the best salon in the area—get Garcia to check the Yelp listings for you—and get a more realistic dye job."
Prentiss slumped down in her seat.
"What about you, Hotch?" I asked.
"I need to get my motherboard replaced, and some of my diodes are rusty. I'm going to take a quick hop over to Microsoft for a tune-up."
Hotch had come out of the closet last year and admitted to us he was an android. It was nice that there were no more secrets in the BAU.
"Will you need a vehicle?" Prentiss asked.
"No, I'll just use my built-in jetpack."
We landed and got into our super hot black SUVs. We looked like badass motherfuckers, and, by golly, we were. And yes, badass motherfuckers say "by golly," by golly. We rolled into a small little town named for a utensil. The local authorities—well, authority to be more precise—it was just one dude … anyway, he briefed us, giving us the information we'd already gone over in the plane. This was a bit of a backwater town. No one in the FBI would have a pornstache like this guy had—so 70s. He was named for a large bird. Birds and utensils, Freud would have had a field day.
I was in the evidence room with a box of ladies' underthings that had been removed from the crime scenes. The crotches were all missing, but they hadn't been cut or dissolved by some sort of acid. These had been blown out, as if with some kind of explosive. I wasn't quite sure why they hadn't sent Morgan—he had the bomb squad training. But I'd read a training manual, plus the teachings of Lao Tzu in the original Chinese, and the Chinese had invented gunpowder, so I felt pretty qualified in the absence of Morgan. Besides, I was pretty sure he was needed to kick down some doors, because somehow that helped solved the case. It always did.
"These panties …" I murmured, picking up a pair with the sterile tongs in my latex-free exam gloves. "Based on the fluid splattering, these were soiled while the victims were still alive."
"Well now, what does that mean?" asked Pornstache Big Bird from Utensiltown.
"They were still alive, don't you see?"
"I'm not following you."
"It means that the unsub must be doing something before he kills the victim that causes this kind of explosive flow." I touched the residue inside the … underpants. It was slick between my gloved fingers. It suddenly all clicked. "This is the … fluid of arousal! I think we're ready to make the profile."
Chief Bird sat with a mug of coffee and a clipboard. "Give me what you've got."
"You're looking for an incredibly handsome guy. The unsub is charming. He makes ladies, ahem, drippy, without even touching them."
"Well, what about the blood drainage?"
"It could be some sort of ritualistic killing, perhaps related to the Aztecs."
"Aztecs?" asked Pornstache McBirdyname. "We're in Washington State, not South America."
"Yes, but you see," I said with as much patience as I could muster, "the earth is shifting slightly every year from its original state as Pangea, so what is Washington State now may have been Aztec land millennia ago."
"Ooookay," said Chief McMustache. It was so hard being in these small towns. They just weren't prepared for my amazing intellect.
I called Morgan. "Did you find anything?"
"Just a whole goddamn bunch of apples. I kicked down a shit-ton of doors though."
I hung up the phone and snapped my fingers, turning to the Chief. "I need to see these bodies." Chief Duck drove me to the morgue, which was only the next building over. It also doubled as a health club.
All the bodies, regardless of age, gender, size, build, zodiac sign … had been drained of all blood, two small puncture marks on the necks. The women's … private areas were kind of a mess. "This is curious," I said. "See these marks around the, ahem, labia? It means that this was just a natural reaction. The unsub had nothing to do with this."
"Okay, what else can you tell me?"
"I need to go to the woods where these bodies were found."
"You got it."
It was another short drive to a heavily wooded area. "Eden," I muttered to myself. I shuffled along the leaves. "Loss of Paradise … Tree of Knowledge … an apple a day keeps the doctor away … doctor!" I was getting a feeling. "Who is the doctor in this town?" I asked, eyes glittering.
"Doctor? Carlisle Cullen, nice family man, genius doctor."
"I'm going to need to speak with him," I said, peering more deeply into the woods.
"All right," he said as he patted his pockets. "Oh dang it, I left my mustache wax in the cruiser. I'll catch up with you in a second."
"I'll be fine," I called after him. I drew out my gun and snuck from tree to tree, following the trail of bent branches, my feet in mismatched socks visible as I scuffled along the bed of leaves.
I examined one of the crime scenes that Chief Mustachioed Ostrich had thoughtfully cordoned off with yellow police tape—upon closer inspection, I saw the tape was handcrafted, possibly crocheted. Small towns, man. Based on the placement of the leaves, the unevenness of the terrain, I could see there hadn't been much of a struggle, and that the victims had been accosted by the unsub there, killed on the spot, and then left where they'd died. The crime scene photos showed the bodies had been posed before leaving—not a sign of remorse, but something else entirely. One body had her arms raised in a large V, another's were posed bent strangely at the elbows with stiff shoulders. Was the unsub trying to send us a message?
I heard some rustling and the snap of a tree branch, so I whipped out my gun (oh yeah, BAMF!) and took off running. I wasn't wearing my totally fetch FBI Kevlar vest, but I wasn't too nervous. I ran toward the sound and caught up with a beautiful woman in a clearing with titian hair.
"Ma'am, excuse me, ma'am?" I said. "You're not safe here."
"I'm not too concerned for my safety," drawled the woman, batting her eyelashes.
I felt a strange stirring in my loins, as once the great president and orator Abraham Lincoln had said, "I have a stovepipe hat in my britches."
"What's your name, handsome?" asked the utterly charming woman.
"Uh, um, S-spencer. Spencer Reid," I said, extending a gloved hand.
"Amanda," replied the bewitching stranger, placing her … surprisingly large hand in mine. "Charmed, I'm sure," she said.
I didn't normally act this way, certainly not while on the job, but I leaned in and kissed the back of her hand, the way I practiced kissing on my own hand while in my bathtub. Her hand was ice cold to my full and lip-balmed lips, and when I stiffened—I mean, in my body, not my stovepipe hat—she snatched her hand away. "I have circulation … issues," she drawled.
"I'm reminded of the opera La Bohème, when Rodolfo tells Mimì, 'Che gelida manina,'" I began, my voice cracking a little with nerves in the presence of such loveliness.
"I'm afraid I don't know much opera, Mr. Reid," said Amanda.
Was she coming on to me? "Well," I said, clearing my throat nervously, "perhaps I could take you on a road trip to Seattle Opera while I'm in town."
"That would be lovely," she said as she, I swear to God, sashayed away from me, sweeping her hips from side to side seductively. I watched her fine form grow smaller and smaller until it disappeared completely.
"What a woman," I said to myself as I returned to combing the crime scene. Soon Chief Pornstache was back by my side, but I told him I had already seen everything I needed to see. I reminded him that I wanted to talk to the doctor in town, so we walked back to the car.
"He lives just outside Forks," he said as we drove off. "People in town say strange things about his family, and I'm tired of it. He's a goddamned good doctor, and we sure as heck are lucky to have him here."
"I'll keep that in mind," I said, my mind flashing again to the beautiful Amanda I'd encountered in the woods.
Dr. Carlisle Cullen was soft-spoken and kind, his honey-amber eyes—colored contacts, I mentally noted, unusual vanity for the town doctor—twinkled with hidden mischief. "Allow me to introduce my family," he said. As if on cue, the most beautiful creatures came down the stairs, and I found myself thinking of the von Trapps.
"This is Esme, my wife, and our adopted children Alice and Edward Cullen, and our adopted twins, Rosalie and Jasper."
I looked closely at Jasper, who seemed a little twitchy. He was breathing hard, and I couldn't help noticing that he, like me, was exceptionally pretty. Was he wearing lip-gloss? He looked at me as if he knew me, and I felt a return of Lincoln's stovepipe britches hat. Whoa, I thought, I don't normally swing that way, if you know what I'm saying. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I hastily added.
The wiry brooding one—Edward—smirked a little while I was thinking, and I decided to ask Garcia to dig up dirt on him as soon as I was out of earshot.
The BAU team reconvened in the evening at the motel in the utensil town. "Report, guys," said Hotch, gleaming from his tune-up, his jaw no longer squeaking when he talked.
"I met this scrawny little punk outside the school," said Morgan. "Mike Newton? Didn't like the look of him. So I kicked him in the shins."
"Good, good," said Hotch. "Prentiss? Your hair still looks like shit."
Prentiss bit her lip and tried not to cry. Keyword: tried.
"Reid? Find anything useful?"
I gave the team the rundown of all that had happened: the blown-out underpants, the slick fluid, the labia, and the smirky emo guy at the doctor's house.
"Let's look at the victim's photos again," said Hotch. He began laying down the 8x10 photographs on the bedspread.
Suddenly something snapped into place in my head. I reordered the photographs. "He is sending a message, see? The unsub … look—we had the photos out of order. He's making the victims' bodies spell out Y-M-C-A. He's perhaps a fan of the Village People."
"Good work, Reid. All right, team," said Hotch. "To bed, all of you—we have a big day tomorrow."
I swiped my keycard and entered my motel room. Amanda was standing there. "Hello," she said casually, as if she made a habit of sneaking into the hotel rooms of strangers she'd just met in the woods.
"How did you find me?" I asked, my heart rate accelerating to chipmunk speed.
"I followed your scent," she laughed, and the stovepipe hat in my britches pulled me toward her.
My gut was telling me that she was dangerous, and possibly a stalker, but miniature Mr. Lincoln didn't care.
We met at the center of the room, our lips locking, and as I pulled away, my mouth tasted like her lip-gloss. Lip-gloss … something was beginning to click.
I looked at her, her smeared lip-gloss, her surprisingly large Adam's apple, her man hands.
"Jasper?" I asked.
"It's Amanda," she giggled, "at least when I'm wearing this wig. Kiss me again."
I drew my gun and had it trained on her head. "Hands in the air!"
"Like I just don't care?" she drawled, winking.
I shook my head to knock my unclean thoughts from my brain. Half-heartedly, I said, "I will shoot you, Amanda. You're the unsub. You!"
Her mouth turned down adorably at the corners. Suddenly I felt calmness come over me, like that time Dawson Leery had drugged me in the barn during that stirring two-parter. "You won't hurt me, Dr. Reid."
"I … I never told you I was a doctor," I said, keeping my gun aimed at her head.
"I know everything about you, Spencer Reid."
"Oh, are you going to profile me? Try to beat me at my own game?"
Amanda chuckled. "There might be things I want to beat off, but I have no interest in games, Dr. Reid. I can hear your pulse racing. I know you can't keep your eyes off my inviting face."
"You are exceptionally pretty," I admitted. "Take the wig off," I commanded. "I want to see your real face. I want to see Jasper."
"Jasper's not here anymore," she said sadly. "Mind if I smoke?"
"Hands where I can see them!" I said, my hands shaking.
Slowly Amandasper took a cigarette and a lighter out of her brassiere, and I found I didn't have the will to squeeze the trigger.
Amandasper smoked lazily. "So I suppose you want to know why I did these things."
"You killed, Jas—Amanda. So many lives. Why?"
"I was hungry," she shrugged.
"Did you … turn the victims into chili and serve them to the entire parish during the search efforts?"
Amandasper stopped mid-puff. "That's just fucking sick. Do you think I'm some kind of monster?"
"Explain the underpants," I said, sweat beginning to bead on my forehead.
"I can't help the effect I have on the nether regions of my meals," she said, seductively blowing me a smoke ring.
Stovepipe Hat nodded vigorously, agreeing.
"What about making the victims spell out 'Y-M-C-A' over and over?"
"No, I was spelling out 'MACY,' where I like to get my clothes for cross-dressing. I couldn't figure out how to do an apostrophe or an S."
"You know I can't let you go, Amanda," I said.
"Can't you, Dr. Reid?"
I was mesmerized by her pretty, pretty eyes. "You … are exceptionally pretty," I said. "Do you ever wear sweater vests? Do you like taking baths?"
"Do you want me to wear your sweater vest, Dr. Reid?"
Those apparently were the magic words.
The next few hours were a blur of bathing, kissing, Adam's apple licking, and sweater vests. I kept my eyes off Amandasper's junk, all the while telling her the history of Greek warriors and their nubile adolescent boy companions. "Hush," she said, placing a cold finger on my lips. "Let's just savor our time together. Tomorrow, everything changes."
"Which of us is prettier?" I asked suddenly.
"Obviously, I am," said Amandasper.
"Of course you would say that, you narcissist," I said after my initial shock had worn off. "But you're wrong. I am prettier."
"No, I am."
"I'm afraid this relationship isn't going to work out," I said, feeling as cold as Amandasper's man-rod had felt in my ass a few moments prior. "I am always the pretty one."
"Pity, Dr. Reid," she said softly. "I could have loved you, you know."
I gazed into her eyes for several long moments before whispering, "I know."
"Well, I'm going to leave now. I'm making you feel docile and like you don't want to arrest me. I can do that because I'm an empath. So you're going to let me go, and you won't tell anyone about tonight."
It was hard to resist the waves of calm coming off of him. "But what about all those victims?"
She shrugged. "I fell off the wagon. Went on a bender. It won't happen again, Scout's honor."
"I shouldn't let you go," I said.
"But you can't resist me," she said, hitting me with an extra dose of mellow.
"I … can't," I admitted, struggling to keep my eyes open and my body upright.
"It's because I'm prettier," she said, leaping out the window.
"Freeze!" I said, the spell broken, but she was already long gone.
In the morning I shamefacedly told Hotch what had happened while we were at the motel's complimentary continental breakfast. Hotch was having a bowl of washers and screws. "I understand if you want me to turn in my badge," I said, ashamed.
Hotch chuckled mechanically, sounding remarkably like a Speak & Spell. "Reid, every one of us at the BAU has been dazzled at one time or another. It happens. Keep your badge. We need your pretty face on our team."
"I am the prettiest," I said.
"Damn straight you are."
We flew back to Quantico that afternoon. I spent most of the flight standing, as it hurt to sit down. I thought of Amandasper's eyes, her strong man-hands.
Shakespeare once wrote, "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun / She claims she is prettier than I am / But she also possesseth a penis."
So do we all, Bard. So do we all.