Disclaimer: Nope, don't own.
A one-year anniversary is pretty important, Rossi decides as he's sitting at the kitchen table, pen in hand as he tries to decide what to buy from the store. His ex wives had all found anniversaries to be important, forgetting them had caused at least one of his divorces. He'd tried with them but had ended up feeling so run down by it all that in the end, it probably would have been better if he had forgotten.
But this time he wants to be ready- he actually wants to put out the effort for this anniversary.
"What are you doing?" Derek wanders into the kitchen, bare feet silent across the floor and Dave doesn't jump but he nearly does.
"Grocery list." He says. He has three things written down and a series of random scribbles in the margin on the paper.
"We need eggs." The other man settles on the counter top, pouring himself a cup of coffee and inhaling deeply. Morning sunlight filters in through the window and Dave takes a moment to just watch and appreciate the half awake profiler, clad only in boxers and an old, grey t-shirt that may be from when Dave was in college.
He adds eggs to the list, thinks for a moment and adds a few more items.
"When are you going shopping?" Derek asks, hands curled around the mug protectively.
"We don't have to be at the BAU until eleven, I was going to go before work." The recipe he has in mind needs at least seven hours to cook; he can go to the store, get the ingredients he needs, put it in the oven and it'll be done by the time they get home. He already has a bottle of wine that will go well with it.
"You just don't want to be seen with me." Derek teases. Dave doesn't answer, grins a little and stands. He presses a quick kiss to the other man's forehead, laughs when Derek turns his head so their lips meet and indulges in an easy, early morning kiss.
"Brush your teeth." He says, pulling back and wrinkling his nose. Derek smirks and takes another large drink from his coffee. "I'll see you at work later."
"You can make it up to me, tonight." Derek calls after him and Dave turns to catch the sultry smile and wink before he grabs his keys, wallet and heads out of the door and into the bright morning sunlight.
At work they are Special Agents Morgan and Rossi but when they're at home it's a completely different matter. They don't technically live together but Derek's apartment is used less and less, there are twice as many clothes at Dave's, two toothbrushes and all of the Die Hard movies.
His first wife had dragged him out to see the first Die Hard movie when it had come out and it had be alright, but he'd sat there biting his tongue so as not to point out flaws in villains plans or holes in the plot. She hated it when he tried to talk during the movie.
Derek laughs and points out the plot holes before he can or points out where a villain went wrong in his plan and when he starts yelling at the screen for John to run faster, to shoot the bad guy and save the day- Dave joins in.
He juggles the grocery bags as he searches for his keys an hour later. The windows of the house are dark and Derek's car isn't in the drive so he knows his partner is probably already at work.
Dave checks his watch, makes sure he still has plenty of time and finally gives up, setting down one of the bags and snagging his keys from his jacket pocket.
He fits the key in the lock, looks up and catches the reflection of someone in the glass before something hard hits him from behind and pain explodes through him.
He stumbles, groceries dropping to the ground and sinks to his knees, black spots clouding his vision. The front door pushes open as he reaches out for something to grab onto, sending him sprawling onto his front steps.
He's grabbed suddenly, pulled backwards so he's half stumbling half dragged away from the front door. Dave tries to remember his training, tries to get his body to fight back but the world is spinning before his eyes and he has to squeeze them shut for a moment, trying to regain some semblance of control.
"I've got him." The voice sounds like it's coming from far away.
Dave forces his eyes open again, gets his feet beneath him and breaks free of the mans hold. Dizziness hits him suddenly and he stumbles, tries to protect himself, and tries to call for help. He gets a hand into his pocket, wrapped around his phone before the other man- hat pulled low over his eyes so all Dave can see is a crooked nose and square jaw- swings his arm, fist connecting with Dave's temple.
He crashes to the ground, pain shooting through his head, feels his head strike the pavement and then feels no more.
Dave opens his eyes. Above him loom dirty floorboards, the kind you would find in an old house. He'd lived in a house like that with his third wife. She hated it, complained about every noise the old house would make. There had been a window seat on the second floor where he had sat when they'd been fighting and would write. It was how he finished his first book.
He shifts slightly, feeling tense muscles in his back scream in protest, hands tied to the armrests and feet to the legs of the wooden chair.
He tries to move his head, wincing and closing his eyes at the pain that it causes.
"Wake up." The voice comes from the other side of the basement and Dave complies for the moment, opening his eyes and tilting his head.
His vision wavers for a moment before clearing. The floor of the basement is dirt and has a stale smell to it. In one corner is a set of wooden stairs, painted blue but the paint is chipping and peeling. He can't hear any noises coming from upstairs or outside. It feels like no one has been here in a long time.
"What do you want?" His voice sounds hoarse to his ears. Dave's eyes search the dim lighting and finally spot the man standing near to the stairs. He keeps his distance, baseball hat still in place like he doesn't want Dave to see him, memorize what he looks like.
"You wrote those books."
Dave's head is pounding in time with his heartbeat and black spots are swimming across his vision. He doesn't have the patience to bargain with this kid, because that's what he is- a kid. He can't tell how old he is by his voice, but he can tell he's young.
"Yeah, I did." Dave drops his head forwards, rolls his neck and tries to focus on coming up with a plan. "Why am I here?"
The kid shifts his weight awkwardly, shrugs and then turns his head suddenly towards the stairs. His entire body follows so he's now facing the stairs. Dave holds his breath and waits to see if someone else is going to appear.
"Why is he here?" The kid asks. "Yeah I read the books!" He yells, suddenly angry, but the anger passes just as quick before he's ducking his head; submitting. "He can fix us?"
Dave strains his ears, but he doesn't hear this other person the kid is speaking to.
"You're going to fix us." The kid says, suddenly right in front of him. When did that happen, he wonders blinking around a greying vision. He doesn't see the blow coming until it's too late and then he's already gone again.
In the space between unconsciousness and awake, Dave dreams.
In his dream he's back in their bed, the sheets and the body resting next to his warming him. Shadows are chased into the corners, hiding, as the early morning light casts a soft glow on the world.
Dave smiles, stretches and feels the last pulls of sleep slowly slip away. He's always been one to wake early, eager to use every last bit of daylight. Derek was always one to enjoy the night.
He rolls onto his side; head resting in his hand and just watches the other man, face relaxed in sleep, and a kind of peace on his features that never seemed attainable while awake.
He can't help himself- he reaches out, gently so as not to wake him, and traces the smooth skin from jaw to shoulder to hand and back again. Derek still stirs though, mumbles something incoherent and long lashes begin to flutter.
"Sorry, go back to sleep." Dave murmurs and Derek shifts once more before settling deeper into the pile of blankets he has accumulated throughout the night.
A light scratching starts up at the door and Dave sighs, sliding out of the bed and stumbling around in search of clothes, to let the dog out.
"Sorry, I'm sorry." He realizes he's mumbling, that words are slipping out and clenches his eyes, bites his tongue and takes a deep breath.
He opens his eyes as he exhales. He's still in the basement. But he's alone now.
Dave tugs at the ropes binding him but they just rub at his wrists, making them sore and pulling the ropes tighter.
There are no windows in the dirty, old basement, no way of telling what time it is. No way of telling how long he's been down there.
Above him floor boards creek and he listens hard but can only pick out one set of footsteps. Dust falls from above, marking the steps and he looks down so as not to end up with it in his eyes. The steps pause overhead and he holds his breath, not daring to make a sound lest the kid come back down.
He needs to be conscious to come up with a plan to escape.
He's not a victim in this, he's a capable profiler and if it's past eleven then he has an entire team looking for him as well.
He needs to think of the kid as an unsub- one with possible schizophrenia and with a need to be fixed. By him.
Dave takes a breath, then another and tries to centre his thoughts. But his head is spinning and thoughts of Derek keep creeping back in. It makes him want to laugh, something slightly hysterical, that his thoughts keep going back to the fact that his dinner plans are now ruined. Along with the groceries he had left lying on his front steps.
At first he thinks the ringing is in his ears but it stops as abruptly as it began and he realizes it's a phone. It takes him another moment to piece together that it sounds like his phone. Something like hope springs up in his chest but it tastes bitter.
The kid starts speaking, but Dave can't make out what's he's saying. It all blends together and he blinks hard, clearing his vision and tries to focus on it. He needs to know; it may be the key for getting him out of there.
The kids voice raises and it sounds like yelling but Dave still can't make anything out.
The floor boards creek overhead again and he realizes with dismay where they're headed right before the door at the top of the stairs swings open.
The kid comes running down the stairs, phone to his ear and missing the baseball cap this time and god- he doesn't look older than nineteen.
"I won't do it!" He yells into the phone. "If you come- if any of you come, I'll kill him!"
The kids pale face is stained red with something approaching rage as he shoves the phone against Dave's ear and snarls, "You tell them. Tell them I'll do it!"
And while the kid looks furious, his eyes keep darting across the room to something Dave cannot see and he has to believe that the kid still believes that he can fix him. That he won't kill him.
"Hello?" Dave clears his voice and tries to sound normal.
"Rossi?" Hotch answers back, relief evident in his voice. "Can he hear me?"
"No, don't come," Dave replies, darting a glance at the kid.
"Garcia is tracking the call now." Hotch says quietly. Dave can just make out the murmur of voices in the back; he wonders if they're at the BAU. "Do you know what he wants?"
"He says he'll kill me if I don't help him." Dave stares at the dirt floor under the kids feet and injects just enough fear into his voice that it seems real. "He read that I could help him."
"Okay." He can imagine Hotch nodding, Reid at his side and the team tense. "Stall him, tell him you can fix him. We'll find you."
Dave opens his mouth to ask about Derek to find someway to slip it into the conversation without letting the kid know but the phone is wrenched away from his ear and thrown at a nearby wall where it shatters. Dave closes his eyes, it's okay, he tells himself, Garcia is the best, and it was enough time.
"I wanted to look through his pictures and notes and stuff." The kid is telling the space near the stairs, eyes lowered and posture stiff. "And it just started ringing and I answered and it was them!"
"I'm sorry." The kid says and he sounds even younger.
"I can help you." Dave says, shakes his head to clear his vision and focuses on the kid.
The room fades out and when it fades back in the kid is right in front of him, peering down at him with wide eyes, sandy hair falling into his face.
"He says he can help." The kid glances over his shoulder, then back at Dave. "It was your idea to grab him in the first place!"
The kid looks guilty and Dave knows he's not going to like this next part.
The fist hits him, knocks his head to the side and he's under even faster than before.
Some anniversary, he thinks without humour. It figures that even when he tries to make it work, nothing works out in the end. His ex wives had been perfect examples of that.
He wonders if Derek will be disappointed.
"Wake up." The kid grabs his chin and yanks his head up from where it had been resting on his chest and Dave doesn't fight it, blinks open his eyes and tries to focus on the face in front of him.
"This is all your fault!" The kid accuses, but there's no anger, just panic.
Dave tries to understand, understand the panic and the accusation but his mind is fuzzy and uncooperative.
He doesn't even notice that the ropes holding him have been cut until he's pulled up, half standing but mostly supported by the kid.
He's forced across the dirt floor, shoes dragging slightly, and to the stairs. The stairs look like a mountain to him.
"Come on!" The kid hisses and they start stumbling up the stairs. They make it to the top of the stairs but then Dave's legs refuse to cooperate any further and gravity takes over and it's either fall back down the paint chipped stairs or to the grey linoleum tiles of the kitchen.
Dave tips forwards and the kid wisely lets go before he's dragged with him. The linoleum is cool under his cheek and he takes a moment to wonder if it was white years ago.
"Come on- we have to go!" And some of the rage has returned, fuelled by the panic. A booted foot connects with his side and he curls in on the pain, tries to gather his thoughts and just breathe.
His head is spinning and thinking is an uphill battle.
But the foot swings out again, strikes his side and he swallows through the pain- it's nothing compared to getting shot- and grabs the kid's ankle, yanks, knocks him off balance and grabs his other leg. The kid crashes to the ground and Dave is ready to lunge, to fight for the upper hand when the door to the kitchen splinters and swings open with a loud bang.
The kid actually listens.
Dave lets out a breath, rests his cheek against the cool tile and works up the energy to move.
"Rossi!" He pushes himself up until he's seated, supported by a cabinet. Derek comes skidding to a halt next to him, crouching down and stops just before touching Dave. His beautiful dark eyes are wild with worry and fear and Dave knows what he must look like- he can feel the throbbing from the hits, the caked blood down the side of his face.
"I'm fine." He waves a hand to show that he clearly is all right, and tries not to let it show how much the kitchen is spinning before his eyes. "How long?"
Derek looks confused for a moment and Emily appears behind him. Dave looks around and realizes that the kid has already been taken away.
"How long?" He asks again because he doesn't want to hear that he's lost days.
Derek's eyes clear with understanding and he reaches out, gripping Dave's hand tight, like it's an anchor. It's all they're allowed with the police and FBI around. Not that their team doesn't already know.
"Five hours." Dave wants to laugh because if he'd had had time to put the dinner in the oven, they'd still have been able to make it home in time to have an anniversary dinner.
Something like hysteria may be creeping across his face because Derek squeezes his hand tighter and reaches his free hand out to rest briefly on the back of Dave's neck.
Hotch and Reid hovers in the door until an EMT arrives and takes over. His team refuses to leave, Derek refusing to release his hand as he's treated.
And he squeezes back and tries to pretend like that's all he needs to feel safe.
Dave is released with a mild concussion; orders to be watched and the best pain medication Garcia could get away with changing his prescription to.
They walk up the front steps, the groceries aren't there anymore but he can still see where the eggs split open when they fell.
The house is dark and silent and he cringes before he can help it. Derek turns the hall light on, locks the door and then goes to turn on every other light in the house.
"Emily picked Oscar up from the vet." Derek says coming back into the hall. "She's going to keep him at her apartment overnight."
Dave nods and they stand there for a moment, at an impasse. Then something breaks and Derek is crossing the space, grabbing him and pulling him as close as he can.
Dave's arms go around the other man, burying his face in the crook of Derek's neck and breathing, long and deep. He holds on as tight as he can, realizes he's shaking and hates himself a little for it. Hates the kid for making him feel unsafe in his own home.
"Shit, Dave." Derek whispers harsh, hot breath against his ear. "I thought- I just…"
"He got the jump on me." Dave clings.
"I know- I saw the door and…" Derek exhales and pulls back enough so that he can lead them away from the front door, as far away as they can get and to the bedroom. Dave allows himself to be stripped and coaxed into bed. He curls up under the blankets but doesn't relax until Derek slips in and wraps himself around him.
"I was trying to do something romantic." He admits, voice quiet. "For our anniversary."
Derek doesn't say anything just holds him tighter. The silence presses in on him.
"Let's just take the day off next year." Derek finally says, pressing a kiss to the nape of his neck.
Dave nods, threads their fingers together and lies awake staring at the wall for awhile. He can feel Derek's heavy stare on the back of his neck, when they're pressed this close together and takes comfort in it all.