Outside of her office was loud – people walking by with their stiff shoes, occasionally stopping for a conversation – but inside JJ's workspace was only the shuffling of papers as she sifted through report after report. She had a small stack of the highest risk cases to her left, and a large stack of papers she had yet to through on her right.
JJ sighed, rubbing at the corner of her eye as she closed another folder, slipping it away from either pile. She took another folder from the unread file and began flipping through it, grimacing a little as she saw the photos attached. She paused as she continued reading, slowing down as she registered the bodies, the method of death.
Suddenly, she stood up and left her office, folder in hand. She strode past the people outside having conversations, and instead walked right through the bullpen, up to Reid's desk. Seeing her arrival out of the corner of his eye, Reid looked up and smiled at her.
"Hey," he said. "How's it going?" His eyes caught the folder in her hand and he raised an eyebrow. "A new case?"
"I don't think so. Not for us, at least," she said, moving to hold the folder out for Reid to grab. "I was hoping you could take a look at it, make sure I'm not just imagining things."
Reid understood what she was talking about, so he didn't waste any time in taking the folder and reading through it. Numerous bodies were piling up in Willows, California, and every single one was drained of blood. The victims all had numerous bite marks, sometimes even having bits of flesh torn off, with a set of teeth akin to some kind of animal. Most of the drained blood was nowhere to be found, and the small puddles that were at the scene appeared to have been smeared and licked up.
Reid read a little further before nodding. "Sounds like a vampire," he said quietly. JJ sighed softly.
"I thought so," she said, and it was hard to tell if she was more worried or relieved at that information.
Reid smiled reassuringly at her. "I'll give Bobby a call, see if he can't-" He was cut off by the sound of his phone ringing, so he fished it out of his pocket and flipped it open.
"Speak of the devil?" JJ asked with a chuckle, while Reid just shrugged. She left the folder with him and returned to her office as Reid answered his phone.
"Hey, bookworm," Dean's voice came from the other side of the phone. "I got a question for you."
"What is it?"
"How many monsters out there can turn people to stone or kill them with a glance?"
Reid furrowed his brow. "Well, the most prominent examples would be a gorgon, a basilisk, and a cockatrice."
"Can any of those fly? We got a witness to one of the deaths, and she says she saw something flying away."
"Then it would probably be a cockatrice. They're commonly depicted as a two-legged dragon with a rooster's head, and they certainly have functional wings."
"Awesome. Any idea how we can kill it?"
"The most certain way would be to turn its gaze upon itself by using a mirror, but there are also legends of it dying upon hearing a rooster crow. However, I came upon a reference in one of Bobby's books, and it looks like that simply irritates or weakens it. If you can acquire a weasel, it's also said that those are immune to the cockatrice's powers."
There was a small silence. "So we have to make it look in a mirror, yeah?"
"Awesome, thanks. I know Bobby's out on a hunt himself right now, so I totally appreciate this."
"It's not a problem," Reid reassured him. "And while I have you on the line, we got a case that looks like a hunting job."
"Where is it?"
"Willows, California. It looks like a coven of vampires."
Dean hummed softly. "We're not too far off. Once we get rid of this cockatrice thing, we'll swing by and clear that up."
"Thanks," Reid said, smiling even though Dean couldn't see him. "We really appreciate it."
"No problem," Dean said, and Reid could hear the grin in his voice. "You guys are one of us now."
They hung up and Reid tossed the folder in the small recycling bin under his desk. He sat back in his chair and let his eyes wander, strolling over the other members of his team sitting at their own desks. Garcia's door was open, and he could see Hotch through the window, and Morgan was looking at him with a raised eyebrow, so Reid just smiled and returned to his work.
They had never been a part of anything small, but now they were part of something so much bigger. They were connected to a community of hunters, helping save even more people than just their job at the BAU. Really, they were hunters themselves.
They were one of them.
And that's it, folks. I might end up making some more sequels to this series, but (if I do) I won't be focusing on them for a while. I have some other stories I want to pump out, so look forward to those! Hope you enjoyed the ride!