Sorry for the lateness on this! I have but one excuse: standardised testing is a bitch in school:P
Not one of my best, and certainly shorter than most, please bare with me this chapter. It leads up to something interesting, I swear! Also, there is one section you might not understand so read the comments after the story for an explanation then.
Reviewers have been so kind! I have never been so flattered with some of the responses I've been getting! You all make my day! So, without further adieu...
Disclaimer: Me? Own? Pft.
"Knight moves in to take out the Queen. Checkmate in four moves," Reid declared.
No response. The board slowly changed however, and Reid looked upon this with a puzzled face.
"Hm. Using your knight to take out two pawns and directly block my proceeding. In turn, you sacrifice the knight, but your queen has the chance to escape and still protect the king." He bit the inside of his cheek, concentrating, "How strategic."
The board moved again, as Reid spoke lowly to his adversary, and five moves later, things were beginning to go as he predicted. It just had taken a few more turns that he initially thought.
A large grin spilt itself across Reid's face. It had been a long time since such a challenge had presented thyself. "Oh, you are a worthy opponent, sir," he admitted. "But, I'm afraid you'll have to do better than that." He spoke smugly, moving his rook in for the kill.
Something like laughter might have erupted from the spectre's mouth, for Reid soon found himself engrossed in triumphant laughter. "Haha. Yes, I am certain in a real medieval battle, your knight could have easily destroyed my rook strategy...oh? A rematch? Well...not like I have anything better to kill time." He smiled, chuckling, "Loser resets the board."
To the naked eyes and naive ears, it would have been an innocent misconstruing. Anyone seeing this, would assume it was all a carefully executed joke. Or even a fitful play, in a bout of loneliness. Certainly, most know of the horrible solitary and adverse mental effects being in such an institution causes. Stockholm syndrome, paranoia, sleeping disorders...
To anyone who didn't know any better, it would be nothing.
Except one by one, the pieces began to move back into place. Back into their original spots, some invisible force gathering them up and resetting the board for a rematch. It would be construed as normal - except there were no hands, no flesh; just air. Whatever Reid saw, no one else could.
"You want to switch colors?" he asked.
There was seemingly no reply, but Reid himself heard one anyway.
"Yeah," he agreed, nodding. "Black does suit me more, I guess. Now, shall we begin, Mr. Roderick Johansen?"
Jean looked away from the screen, shuddering. She was chilled, hairs on the back of her necks and arms stiff with fright. Only a month here, and she was felt ready to take off sick. When Dr. Fowlers had said he had an extra, special task for her which would give her a bonus in her paycheck, she had been thrilled. Even when they said she would be routinely oversee and dangerous patient who was only labeled as classified, she was still untethered.
When she asked Dr. Fowlers why this patient had to be watched so often and guarded so safely, all he had said in reply was that there was constant danger to the patient himself and others around him. That is why we watched from a recording camera in the room, rather than actually be there.
Now, she understood the grim knowing in his tone. God, she was so stupid to assume this would be easy. So stupid...
She can't look anymore. She turns away from the hands that aren't there, the flesh they wasn't supposed to be real. But the proof was all there, and she has half a mind to report it to the government and get out with her sanity in tact. Whatever humanity she has in her stops her. Because as she watches, she sees that poor, poor young man's pain, and truly, from the depths of her heart, she pities him.
But, this is just too much. Nurse Jean turns away, hand covering her mouth in aghast, and she emits a soft whimper of despair. Another nurse, an older, more experienced woman name Brandy who she befriend comes to her side and consoles her.
"It'll be alright," she assured, eyes tired. Nurse Brandy forces a smile, "It gets easier."
The comforting words only make her want to cry. As she watches, she imagines, and sometimes she can almost see the deathly figures that come again and again to haunt the young man's mind. Alas, her descriptions, horrible as they can sometimes be, must be nothing compared to the original.
And while her itty-bitty heart weeps for the unfortunate man, she cannot bring herself to get close enough to actually meet him and give her condolences. She doesn't want to end up like her, does she?
It is by the third day his friends come to visit him that Reid finally begins to feel some semblance of normalcy.
Prentiss and J.J. shuffled into the room with bags of Thai takeout and Starbucks. It's like a gift from Heaven itself.
"Coffee," he groans, his eyes lighting up like a child's. "Real food, thank God."
The two of them laugh, placing the food down in front of him. "What, the menu here is as bad as the service?" JJ jokes.
"You have no idea," Reid scoffs, rolling his eyes. For once, his appetite is here, thriving and thristing. He remembers just how long it has been since he has actually eaten.
He digs in unceremoniously, and they don't seem to mind, in fact, their elation is palpable. Guess he was finally starting to resemble his old self. Honestly? He felt better today. In preparation for their visit, he had showered and tried to look as presentable as possible. Shaving, for one, did a tremendous wonder on his face.
And even the spirits, impeccable timing and horrible omens they consist of, did not bother him at all today! The only visitor he had was one Roderick Johansen, and the only conflict they had was on the chess board. He was a polite and refined, well-educated aristrocrat and a damn good chess player. Shame, he died all the way back in 1945.
Nevertheless, it was simply in lesser terms, a whole-hearted good day. So good, in fact, he was anticipating the fall. It was the same whenever he got high, back when he was still addicted to the venom of the drugs. They made him feel so numb, for forgetful, so happy only because he could not feel a thing; but when it all wore off, he would crash, and everything would be worse than before.
All good things came to end. But just because today went bad, well...he was regaining some semblance of hope. At least, for some happiness. And at this point, it was all he could ever ask for. So, things go bad today? Well, maybe they'll get better tomorrow.
He doesn't know what has gotten into him today. He is being such a optimist, it's uncanny. Maybe Mr. Rodgers had possessed him or something...And when he bursts out laughing from the inside joke, he just has to tell JJ and Prentiss, and they too laugh out loud too.
Strange, he knows. His inner pessimist is still there, waiting. For right now, maybe the little voice telling him everything is wrong will just shut up and enjoy the coffee too. At least for a little while...
Mama was a kind soul, raised wrong, but sweet nonetheless. Like a flower trying it's hardest to bloom in the desert.
Her auburn hair like waves of silk tickled his nose. His head was burrowed into her shoulder, tired, baby eyes drooping.
She kissed his forehead then, so softly; like he was something precious. A gentle demeanor his dad could never possess.
"Time to lay down," she cooed, placing him in the playpen located directly in the center of the room.
She smiled down at him then, and it was the most loving image he has in his memories. "Sweet dreams, honey."
His eyes close slowly, but sleep was short in coming. The sound of crying awoke him sometime later, but he failed to open his eyes, wondering if it was only a dream. Soon after, the sounds stopped, and curiously he opened his eyes.
It was Mama, standing but a few feet away from his crib. Her back was turned, and he could not see what she was doing. Confused, his infant hands reached up to grab the secure bars of the playpen to help him sit up. Wanting to call out to her, he opened his mouth to cry-
A loud boom erupted through the room and he shrieked. Bursts of red, like the color from his paint set, flew from Mama's head. She fell then, first to her knees, and then to the side. Her pretty green eyes were closed. Her forehead was red and sticky. He didn't know what the object still grasped limply in her hand was, and wondered why it was so loud and made his head hurt.
He could maybe start to cry. But his dad would not be home for hours and his older sister was at school. No one would hear him, except the neighbors maybe on their left side, and then they would complain to Dad. Who would get all mean and cranky, and he did not want to be punished.
So, he sat up in his playpen and waited for his blood-soaked mommy to wake up and for the odd ringing in his ears to go away...
On the sixth day, unlucky number six, JJ came and visited with Morgan.
On her way to a bathroom break, she bumped into a nurse and accidentally knocked the papers she was carting out of the startled woman's hands.
"Oh, I'm sorry," she apologized and bent down to help the nurse retrieve her load.
"O-oh, it's fine," the nurse waved off, stuttering through her slightly forced laugh. JJ stood, puzzled, and handed a few of the papers to the nurse...Jean. Something more than the fall had startled her.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
Nurse Jean's eyes darted from her to the hallway in a mildly panicked gesture, "N-nothing. Sorry to waste your time, ma'am."
"Hang on," JJ persisted. "Is it my friend that bothers you? The one I come and visit? Spencer Reid?"
The nurse paled, biting her lip and clutching the papers to her chest like a vice. JJ knew she had hit the mark on this one. Now she wanted to know why.
"Why?" she demanded. "Why does he scare you so much?"
"Strange things..." Nurse Jean murmured in a strained voice, as if secretly betraying some deep, dark conspiracy. "...happen around him. Honestly I do not know him but I've seen things...heard rumors."
"Well, why don't you get to know him yourself? And then you'd see the truth," JJ relented.
But to her dismay, the nurse shook her head looking almost...frightened? "I can't."
"Things...happen to people who get close to him..." Nurse Jean rasped quietly.
"What are you talking about?" JJ questions in a harsh whisper.
Nurse Jean glances cautiously back and forth, as if expecting someone to pop out and rip her lips off for opening them. "Well, it's just...your friend had another psychiatrist when he first came here. At first, the progress was great. But she began to...change."
"Change?" JJ didn't understand. "What do you mean?"
Jean bit her lip, and shrugged. "I can't tell you much else. I'm sorry." She turned to leave, but JJ clasped her on the shoulder lightly.
She smiled, "Thanks. I know you went out on a limb here." The nurse nodded and smiled back.
"You seem like a nice person," she admitted. JJ let her go, but not without one final question.
"But if you could, could you maybe just...give me a name? Please? And maybe an address?" Jean considered this, eyes her uncertainly. "Please...I really want to help my friend."
Jean sighed, hesitant, but ultimately willing to help her help Reid. "The rumors say her name is Margo Clover," she relayed. "And as for her address..." Her voice took on a grim hue, "She's a patient here now. Room 309, I think." She shrugged. "Hope you find what your looking for."
With that, she left. Leaving JJ with a hunch, and a need to visit Room 309.
It did not take long for Morgan, after JJ relaying her story, to adamantly conclude that they had to go and see this woman for themselves. He figured they could slip in easy enough, so long as they were discreet and no one was else was snooping around.
"What if we get caught?" JJ asked.
"We're FBI JJ, I'm sure we can make up some shit about it being in our jurisdiction." Morgan shrugged, grinning, "Besides, you're a media expert. You should be used to lying by now."
JJ's face cracked a smirk and she nodded curtly, and followed him into the stairway. The elevator would be much quicker to the third floor, but the stairs were less noticeable.
Room 309 looks like any other. Then again, so had Reid's when he first layed eyes on the plainly placed door. He wondered what this woman's case was, and how it connected to their friend.
Well, his mind decided, only one way to find out.
JJ knocked, politely inquiring, "Hello? Ms. Clover?"
There is a pregnant pause, before a muffled voice answers from the other side. "Who is there?"
Her voice is lucid and composed, as far as Morgan can tell. "Um...you don't know us, but we wish to speak with you. We're from the FBI. May we come in?"
Another long pause, and maybe, he thinks, she shouldn't have mentioned FBI. Perhaps they had freaked her out and now she would recoil and turn them away. And Morgan really would detest doing this the hard way.
"Yes," came the answer finally. Surprised, Morgan shrugged and followed the petite blond into the unknown quarters and all that inhabited them.
The lights were dimmed, and the room was neat. There was a bed, a desk with many journals and writing splattered across the top. A torn pillow tossed aside in the corner - and he doesn't want to know - but besides that, the bed is tidy. There is even a small couch directly across from a cozy looking TV set, where a middle-aged woman is sitting, sipping a cup of tea.
"Margo Clover?" She nods in affirmative.
"Well, it seems you know me," she says, taking a drink from her elegant cup. "But, I do not know your names."
"Oh." JJ smiled kindly, "I'm Agent Jareau, and this is Agent Morgan. Please to meet you."
"Quite." But her tone eludes, That might be debatable. Morgan can't help but kind of like the woman already.
"You used to a psychiatrist, right?" JJ asked, "I mean, what happened?"
That is when Margo's eyes darkened and abruptly, her entire appearance changed. Her demeanor went sour and her eyes twisted and torn within one another until her pure, green eyes were muddled puddles of fog. He had seen that exact stare before...
"Your FBI, no?" She scoffed, like she already guessed, "You must be Dr. Reid's teammates from the BAU."
"Yeah," Morgan confirmed. "You were...a friend of his once?"
Suddenly, Morgan is not so sure he'll like this woman anymore. Suddenly, all the elegance and refinement dissipates and recoils back into the depths of the wide intelligence she contained. And what was left was...almost vacant. Some emotion akin to anger, akin to aghast, akin to remorse - but is not quite either one.
Because all at once, it is like her whole demeanor changes. Such a drastic onslaught of change must be not so unheard of in mental health patients. But, with her...Morgan had seen that look before. He freaking knows it.
"That boy," she scowled, and Morgan wanted to be mad at her for the cold tone of voice she used, but then he noticed the slight quiver of fear in her eyes, "That boy is the devil's son."
To be continued...
Yeah, this chapters a little choppy and quite possibly not so good. The only part I really loved was the part in italics. Let me elaborate on that. It was a flashback from a future Unsubs past; as you can deduce, his mother's suicide. I'll tell you guys right off the back, I loved writing this guy and his back story. Hopefully, you'll all love him too(: And hopefully, next chapter will be better. I will shed some light onto Margo Clover's relationship with Reid and the connection there. Fear not, I will provail in overcoming my haphazard updating! So long as people remain so generous with their reviewing!
Yeah, this chapters a little choppy and quite possibly not so good. The only part I really loved was the part in italics.
Let me elaborate on that. It was a flashback from a future Unsubs past; as you can deduce, his mother's suicide. I'll tell you guys right off the back, I loved writing this guy and his back story. Hopefully, you'll all love him too(:
And hopefully, next chapter will be better. I will shed some light onto Margo Clover's relationship with Reid and the connection there. Fear not, I will provail in overcoming my haphazard updating! So long as people remain so generous with their reviewing!