I have a lot of explaining to do, I know. It's a long story, so I'll give you the abridged version. So, here it goes:
Early in February, my laptop computer went a little nutty. The registry was corrupted by something that was downloaded into my system (Probably by something I downloaded while looking for adequate free anti-virus software). Anyway, my mouse stopped working. The cursor wouldn't move and my computer became an expensive desk decoration. So long story short, after talking to a friend, her dad and the IT guys at school, I gave it to my uncle who took it apart, put it back together, wiped it, re-installed all my programs and documents and things, added some of his own and basically made my baby good as new. In a few weeks, he's going to take it back, uninstall some of the things on it to free up my memory and make a backup disk for my stuff (I already have the USB 'My Passport' backup hard drive, but better to have more than one, right?) I just got it back last Sunday so and all's well that ends well!
So that's my story. At least I backed everything up, because I'd be so mad if I'd lost this last chapter. Just don't take my head off for waiting for so long. But this season... It's a great season so far; I'm just sad about Paget leaving... And what's with not having renewed Joe's and Matthew's contracts yet? Get on it, CBS!
I don't own Criminal Minds. If I did, Daniel Radcliffe, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch would all guest-star! And Clyde Easter would come back, because Sebastian is brilliant!
It's A Beautiful Day/Sky Falls, You Feel Like/It's A Beautiful Day/Don't Let It Get Away ~ U2 "Beautiful Day"
JJ was rewarded with over half a million dollars for damages caused to her and her family by George Foyet shortly after the whole ordeal. She received the money a few days after Foyet's death in a shoot-out just outside D.C, thanks to a certain lawyer and profiling consultant friend.
A month after Spencer had been released from the hospital, JJ announced that she was selling the duplex she had bought when she'd married Will. Spencer could no longer walk into the living room without starting to tremble in the fear that Foyet would still be there. The memories of his ordeal, coupled with JJ's memories of Will's death by Foyet's hand had caused them to decide the duplex was no longer safe enough to be called "home." JJ would still rent out the building, but she would never live there again.
After the news broke, Gideon admitted that since Derek was returning to his mother's custody after the Buford trial, he would move back into his original apartment in downtown DC, which he had never sold. The day after Gideon announced his departure from the duplex, a letter arrived requesting the presence of "Mr. Derek Morgan and Mr. Jason Gideon" at the Chicago Courthouse in two weeks for the trial of Carl Buford.
Derek Morgan now sat in a Chicago courtroom with Jason Gideon, his mother and sisters. They had arrived yesterday afternoon, where a tearful reunion between Derek and his family had occurred outside the airport. They had caught up over dinner at one of Derek's favorite restaurants and Derek had spent the night in his own room. The next morning over breakfast, Fran Morgan had announced that she was moving her family to DC and that they would move into the duplex recently vacated by Gideon and JJ.
Derek had been the last witness to present. The prosecutor was a friend of Aaron Hotchner's, Wesley Montoya. Derek had met with Wesley that morning. He was a friendly blonde-haired young man with a vague hint of Latino descent and he treated Derek like an adult and didn't spare Derek any of the details.
"Now Derek," Wesley began. "The reason I have you going last in this trial is because I feel that your insight into this case will convince the jury that Carl Buford is a dangerous man. It is your testimony that I want the jurors to hear right before they go to debate the final verdict for Carl Buford's sentence. Now, all I want you to do is tell them exactly what you saw. If the defense tries to trip you up, don't sweat it. We'll be on the side that the witness box is stationed so if you feel worried, try to send me a signal. I'll do what I can to make it so the defense isn't in your face. Okay?"
After that, the trial seemed to rush by in a blur. The first day was the official indictment and the defense's testimony. Derek felt like he had lost count of all the people who had come to the stand claiming that Carl was an outstanding citizen and had gone above and beyond the call of duty to help get boys like Derek off the streets and into good colleges.
The next day had been the prosecution's turn and each of the boys Derek had known from the Center came forward and told the court what Carl had done. The defense, sensing that their case could get away from them, had tried to make the boys admit that Carl had done them a favor, but they had all admitted that Carl's help had come with a price.
Finally, Derek's turn came. With Wesley's coaching, Derek made it through the first half of his testimony. Then the defense had come forward.
The defense attorney was a gaunt, older man named Tom Riddle. Derek noted that he was dressed like an undertaker and had a fake red carnation in the top pocket of his double-breasted suit. He grilled Derek like he had the other boys, but Derek remained firm with his testimony, contradicting every statement that Riddle made.
Finally, Riddle threw his hands up in the air, defeated and stalked off. Buford glared at Derek as he walked back to his seat.
Now, they were all sitting in the courtroom, waiting for the final verdict on Carl Buford's trial.
Derek's eyes snapped up to see the jury re-enter the courtroom and file into their box.
"Has the jury reached a verdict?"
"We have, your Honor."
"And how do you find the defendant?"
Derek held his breath.
"….We find the defendant, Carl Buford, guilty of all charges."
Derek breathed a sigh of relief. It was over. Carl was going to jail and would never hurt Derek or another boy again. Foyet was dead and would never hurt Spencer again. His family would be whole again. He'd be off the streets of Chicago.
But the best part was that Derek would still be able to talk to Spencer every day.
Spencer stood in the waiting room of Bennington, his hand grasping JJ's tightly as he looked at the woman sitting at the window. The woman, who was engrossed in the page of the journal she was writing, cocked her head suddenly, as if sensing the gaze of the little boy from across the room. She looked up, her jaw dropping open as she realized who was there.
"….Spencer?" She asked.
"Mommy!" the child shrieked, letting go of JJ's hand and racing to the woman, who had just enough time to set the journal aside and stand up before taking the boy in her arms. The power of his hug brought the woman to her knees, but it was clear that she didn't care. Her eyes widened with the sight of Spencer, and she held him, almost afraid that he would vanish if she didn't hold him tight enough.
"Oh, baby!" she cooed, setting his head on her chest and rocking him gently, her hand combing his hair back until she could plant a kiss on his forehead.
"I missed you," he whispered.
She nodded, glancing up at JJ, who watched calmly from far away. "I did, too," she replied, his hand gripped in her grasp. "And you must tell me of your adventures!"
"I had quite the adventure," Spencer began. "After… Tobias… hurt Daddy, I traveled to meet JJ and on my way I met Derek."
"A comrade!" Diana whispered in awe.
Spencer nodded. "He was nice; he calls me his brother now. And we are kind of like brothers. But I went to school and I helped JJ take care of Henry. I met Penelope and Kevin and they were the most amazing people. I met others, too, like Mandy and Adam, and even Prophet and Mick."
Diana smiled. "It appears that you have been gifted with many companions, my son," she murmured. JJ began to venture over, listening as Spencer delivered to his mother the tales of his adventures and escapades.
Spencer continued, "My teachers at school are amazing; they were a big help when I first got to D.C. And then I was taken by George Foyet; he was very mean, as you would expect, but then I was rescued by Emily and David… Twice! And then JJ adopted me!"
"I would imagine that the rouge would be defeated for hurting you," she replied, looking back up at JJ. Diana's grip on her son's hand loosened. "And I can think of no one better to care for my son in my stead, Miss -"
"Jennifer Jareau," JJ introduced.
"Doctor Diana Reid," Diana replied.
Both women shook hands.
"But I can assure you, Mrs. Reid," JJ added. "We will come to visit as often as we can; I want Spencer to have his mother in his life."
"Diana," she corrected. "Call me Diana, Ms. Jareau."
"JJ," she replied. "You can call me JJ, Diana."
"Thank you for my son, JJ."
Spencer sat in the backseat, nose buried in the book in front of him. From the front seat, JJ watched as he flipped the pages in quick succession, his fingers trailing down the page as he read and stored every sentence into his memory.
After the events of the George Foyet case, JJ had moved from the tiny duplex in the quiet middle-class neighborhood to an older, larger house a few streets over in the heart of D.C. JJ had honestly been surprised that she could afford the house, but thanks to the current housing market, and some of the reward money from the Foyet case, she could pay off the mortgage and live there with her growing family.
She had also heard that Aaron Hotchner had recently accepted a raise in pay at the judicial office he worked at; when they had been driving back from the airport, JJ had seen the sign: Montgomery, Williams and Hotchner. She was pleased to find that they would be neighbors.
She opened the door to see Derek running out of her house, followed by a mid-sized yellow blur. As Spencer exited the vehicle, both Derek and the blur, which JJ realized was a new puppy, rand to greet him. She heard the two boys shouting happily and knew without a doubt that everything would be back to normal.
Henry toddled out, followed by Gideon, and JJ smiled, glad to be home.
One moment, Spencer was getting out of the car and walking across the lawn. The next, he had been knocked over by a slobbering mass of overexcited dog and Derek's voice was shouting in his ear.
"It's over! My case went through and the guy who hurt me is going to jail for a really long time," Derek sounded pleased. "What about you?"
Spencer sat up, attempting to push the dog away, but only succeeding in having the friendly canine lay down on top of him, grinning slightly. "My mom's settling into her hospital. It looks like she's going to be there for the rest of her life." He paused, biting his lip. "She gave JJ her blessing to adopt me, even though it's already gone through. We're planning to visit at least twice a year, for Christmas and Easter, maybe sometime during the summer too. I also want to start writing to her."
Derek grinned ruffling his hair. "Good to know."
Spencer looked at the dog. "Anything else?"
Derek grinned. "My mom bought the duplex! I'm staying here in D.C."
"Really?" Spencer shouted, moving to stand up. The dog moved, sitting calmly next to Spencer and nosing the younger boy's hand. Spencer began to unconsciously stroke the dog's sleek head.
Derek nodded. "We're gonna be neighbors!"
Spencer threw his arms around Derek in an embrace and Derek hugged him back, grinning.
"So Spence," he casually intoned. "You lawyer friend and Gideon bought me this dog here and I have no idea what to name him. Any ideas?"
Spencer looked down and watched as the dog grinned up at him, tail wagging lazily. The dog looked up at Spencer and the boy swore he could see the dog's eye wink at him.
"Well," Spencer considered. "I saw this movie on the plane back about this talking fox…. What would you think if he was named 'Clooney?'"
"Clooney," Derek mused. "I like it. Hey, Clooney!" The dog looked up.
"He likes it!" Spencer said, grinning.
"Good boy, Clooney!" Derek praised as the dog wove between the two boys and dashed away. They laughed, chasing him toward the house.
Spencer paused to look at the scene before him: Derek and Clooney running around the flower beds while JJ, Gideon and Henry stood at the front door, watching him and Derek. Out of the house came Penelope, Kevin, Emily, David, and Hotch with his son Jack.
"Hey Spence!" Derek called. "My mom made dinner! We're eating in the backyard! Better come get it before there's nothing left!"
Spencer turned, grinning. A truly natural grin that hadn't been seen since this whole Foyet thing started. He was with people who loved him, safe and happy.
He was home.
A/N: And... That's it! :'(
And if anyone is wondering, I made Clooney a Golden Retriever; they have wonderful dispositions, they're friendly, loyal, energetic, sporting, easy to train, and are great with children. Also, my Charlie was a Golden (My dog who passed away this past summer).
Also... I'm 21! I just turned last Wednesday, on the 21st! :D
Thanks to my wonderful and VERY patient reviewers Sirenia, Michi1207, Ginshi-Chan, MegalegU, MarianitaCullen, Doctor's Other Companion, Bubbles 975, United Profilers, Pipinheart, Spencer Reid is epic, Goddess-of-Genius, fireball1012, LenniluvsBrian, slavetotheink, HeavensDarkestRose, BurnedSpies, and Alligates! Thanks for putting up with me and my horrible computer problems!
Spencer Reid is epic: I can't believe it's over too! I actually almost wrote another chapter with a more detailed Clooney scene, but I got my computer back and added it here instead. And thanks for looking at my crossover! :D
LenniluvsBrian: I thought you would. And I do that too; if I can't find my little Simon in my bed before I fall asleep, I panic. He's my best sleeping buddy! Also, if you have any leftover pointy sticks... :D
So for old time's sake: Please review! **puppy dog eyes**