This story is the longest one I have ever published... Just saying. 15 chapters! That is... Wow... I'm sorry to see it go... :'(
I hope you all enjoyed it; I know I had fun writing it! And I loved all your reviews! I seriously hope you check out some of my other stories and tell me what you think!
Once again, Criminal Minds isn't mine! I own a Tshirt with the team, and I have a copy of Season 5. AND I follow the cast on Twitter and Facebook, and admittedly reblog everthing MGG posts on Tumblr (And I regret nothing!). And yes, I MAY be posting this fic on Tumblr, too, if anyone is interested.
The pen is mightier than the sword. ~Benjamin Franklin
Eight Months Later
The elevator doors opened, revealing Spencer Reid clutching a cup of coffee and his leather satchel. He took a deep breath as he exited the elevator, adjusting the strap of his bag on his shoulder so it didn't lie over the scar from James Riley's hook.
After his death, news of James Riley and his crimes had spread far and wide. A serial killer hunting around Orlando, Florida who dressed like Captain Hook had become huge news. The fact that he had kidnapped his own nephew and an FBI agent only added to his fame; the case was going down in the history books as "The Never Land Murders," despite the FBI and the Orlando PD trying to subdue the stories and not give the reporters and the world a chance to give Riley the same name as Manson, or even the Boston Reaper.
Meanwhile, it had been eight months since Orlando. Eight months since he had last seen Johnny, since the younger man had asked him for permission to use the profiler's name in the book he was publishing. Since the case, the team had picked up a new member of the team; while Ashley Seaver wasn't an experienced agent, she was a fresh set of eyes, a young woman willing to prove herself in the field.
Then, four months ago, he had found an email in his inbox from Johnny's email. All it had said was Done!
Two weeks later, it was announced that one of the survivors of The Never Land Murders had written a book, and that it would be published shortly. Reid hadn't heard anything else, except for glowing advance reviews from The New York Times, The Philadelphia Enquirer, the Los Angeles Times and other major papers; Reid hadn't read them, feeling that he should read the book when it came to him instead of taking the word of a major newspaper.
Now, as he walked out and made his way toward the glass doors that led into the bullpen, he heard the sound of high heels tick-tacking on the tile floor. He turned toward the sound to see Garcia bustling toward him, dressed in a bright purple dress with a matching purple flower and necklace. Her shoes were also purple, with sparkling purple sequins shimmering on their surface.
"Morning, Sunshine!" she crowed, stretching up to give him a kiss; he quickly leaned down to receive it on the cheek. He straightened up to see her smiling at him.
"Hey, Garcia," he mumbled, grinning back at her.
She chuckled, grabbing his arm and leading him into the bullpen. "You know, Boy Wonder," she said. "I heard from a little birdie in the mail office named Robin that you got a great big package from someone."
Reid stared at her as she walked him toward his desk. "What package?" he asked. "Do you know who it's from?"
"I'm not telling, Baby Boy," Garcia admitted, "But once you see the postmark, I'm sure you will figure it out for yourself." With that, she gently nudged him toward his desk, gesturing toward it with her free hand.
Usually the desk was covered in the usual decorations, case files, books and loose papers with the occasional disposable cup of Starbucks coffee. Today, these things littered the surface as usual, but there was an addition in the form of a large brown cardboard box perched in the heart of the desk next to the computer.
Spencer eyed the large cardboard box that now sat on his desk. He looked down at the return address, grinning as he recognized the Orlando address.
"I know what this is," he whispered. Seaver looked confused.
"Wha-?" she began, but Reid ignored her, taking the scissors on his desk and ripping through the packing tape.
"Is that what I think it is?" Morgan asked, looking up at the sound of tape ripping. Prentiss came over from the kitchen, a cup of coffee in her hands.
"Oh my God," she whispered, eyes shining. "It is! It comes out today; I heard them talking about it on TV this morning!"
Reid opened the box to reveal four stacks of 15 books, all with the same image of a pirate ship on a calm ocean, with lights shining from the portholes. Behind the ship was an island, a dark shape to the reader, but only so the reader could imagine for themselves what the island looked like. In front of the ship was a smaller schooner with two figures sitting in it. One was rowing the small boat, while the other held a small lantern, appearing to be in the action of using it to light their way.
Reid picked up one sitting on the top with a yellow Post-it on the front; there were only two words written on the yellow paper stuck to the cover: "Spencer's Copy." He pulled it from the cover to reveal the title of the book blazing from the front in large golden letters, with the author's name in smaller, plainer print just below.
Hook or Me This Time!
Johnny D. Riley
Reid opened the inside flap to read the synopsis, the binding crackling as he began to read:
Peter Pan is Missing!
The Island of Never Land is in chaos. Peter has vanished without a trace, and the Lost Boys are frantic as they search for their leader, fearing the worst. Meanwhile, Captain Hook and his band of pirates are closing ranks on the island, hoping to overtake it with the absence of their enemy. Now the fate of Never Land rests on the shoulders of two boys: Daniel, who hasn't had the chance to grow up, and Spencer, who grew up sooner than he should have. Two unlikely heroes, one amazing adventure, and an unforgettable friendship.
Reid turned the page to the title page, where a note had been written:
"Spencer, this book was written because of you. Thank you for everything. And turn the page; you earned it. ~Johnny"
Reid turned the page to find the dedication page, where he read:
In memory of my brother Danny, who should have had the chance to read this book. And to Spencer… A hero, a friend and one of the bravest and smartest people I know. Thank you for your support and your name; without you, this story would never have been written. ~Johnny.
Spencer smiled as he turned the page again; for the rest of the day, that smile would never leave his face, as he began to read the story he had been a part of…
"Spencer Jones opened his eyes to find himself washed up on a pristine beach…"
Prentiss had also picked up a copy and was now reading the first chapter. "I love this story already," she whispered, glancing up to see the joyfully sparkling eyes of her teammate as he turned page after page… after page.
Do you know… why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories. ~James M. Barrie
A/N: **sobs** And that's the end of it.
Again, THANK YOU for reading, alerting and favoriting this story; I love you all so much!
Thank you to these people whose words of praise allowed me to keep this stor going: SayidRocks, zannabanana, RIPCURL. aus, The-Vampire-Act, lolyncut, RogueSquirrel, RavenParadox, SSAFunbar, TheOneThatIsAddidctedToHPFics, Noel Ardnek, 68luvcarter, KASEY64, Noel Ardnek, danicalif80, PinkHimeLacus, amomentintime3, pottyandweezlby89, Juliette Shane, Integer, HannahlovinCM, MKatM, Laurella,LionInAComa, ZuZu-Chan, cookiemonster328, Cause. A. Scene, GoddessSumizofVenus, shotforthesky, Prieva,darlene10104, Tinkerbell220, lastbloomand CJaMes12. If I missed a name, I apologize, and thank you so very much! :D
And thank you to last chapter's AWESOME reviewers! Reidemption, zannabanana, CJaMes12, 68luvcarter, the-vampire-act, Tinkerbell220, NoelArdnek, SayidRocks, SSAFunbar, Laurella, and danicalif80!
Laurella: Thank you! That was actually going to be my original ending, but then I really wanted to see how Johnny was coping, hence the idea for this chapter. I hope you liked it! :D
Thank you very much!