DISCLAIMER: I do not own Criminal Minds, or any other recognisable characters/programs. I am not making any money from this story.
A/N: So, trying something a little different. You may like it, you may not. But I've had this idea in my head for ages and it just won't go away! You should know that, since I was a little girl, I've always loved comic books like X-Men, Batman and Spiderman (still do if I'm honest!). As a teenager I was a little hooked on Mutant X and then a few years ago I lost my free time to 'Heroes'. So, you can probably guess where this is going, eh? Is that supernatural or sci-fi? I dunno...
I know that SUV's are typically 5 seaters, but for the purpose of this can we pretend they're 7 seaters? Ok, good good. Set anytime you fancy...
Heroes – Chapter One
The case in Montana had been tough, but had been solved. The town of Missoula in the West of the state had been dealing with a Sadist with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He'd been on a killing spree, taking the lives off six people, both men and women, before they had caught up with him.
It was one of those rare cases were Garcia had been with them. The UnSub – Randal Wilson – had a whole computer network set up in his basement with video's and a detailed account of what had happened to each of his victims. Garcia had been needed to break through the firewalls and extensive security systems he had installed.
They were on there way back to the airport to fly home. Hotch was driving through the windy roads of The Rocky's. Garcia had insisted they take the scenic route as she'd never seen the famous mountain range and likely never would again.
"I told you we should have just taken the main route." Morgan grumbled. It had started to rain and was showing no signs of letting up.
"Geez, Morgan," Garcia, who was sitting next to Morgan, nudged him with her elbow. "Where's you're sense of adventure?"
"Yea, Morgan." JJ said, sitting on the back row between Reid and Prentiss.
"And it is kinda beautiful," Prentiss added, "Even if it is raining."
"We're not far from the airport now, anyway." Hotch called from the front. Rossi was sleeping in the front passenger seat.
"Yea, well..." Morgan said, pointing at Rossi. "He doesn't seem to think it's so great."
"I think he brought one of his wives here on a honeymoon." Reid said, smiling and looking out of the window.
JJ, Garcia and Prentiss all laughed at this. Even Morgan smiled. Reid was about to say something else but before he could the car shook violently.
Nobody had time to react before the car skidded; the back end of the car spun round causing it to smash into rock that lined the road. As the car made contact, the front end of the vehicle left the road, and the entire SUV to flip onto its roof before skidding to a halt. Reid barely had time to register that the rest of the team were unconscious before he joined them in darkness.
Hotch woke slowly. Where was he? He was in a bed, but it wasn't a hospital bed. He opened his eyes to look around him. He was in a bed next to a wall. There was a door there, but it was closed. It was smooth and silver in colour. Hotch assumed it must be some sort of automatic door. He turned to look to his right when he noticed the six other beds in the room. Each bed had a member of the BAU team lying on it. There was a large screen on the wall at the far end of the room. The room itself had a wooden floor and cream walls. All the bedspreads were dark red in colour.
Hotch sat up and noticed his clothes had been changed. He was wearing dark blue jeans and a short sleeved black t-shirt. He looked down at his feet to see he was wearing black trainers, not to dissimilar to the one's Reid often wore. He looked around the team to see they were all dressed identically to him. All except Reid, who was wearing a long sleeved t-shirt. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed. What had happened?
He remembered being in the car, it had started raining. They'd crashed, that was it. He couldn't remember why though? Had a tyre blown? Had he hit something? He was still thinking about what to do, whether to check the team was OK or see if he could find a way out first when he heard a soft groan. He looked around to see who it was.
"Oh My God, my head." Prentiss groaned as she sat up on her bed at the far end of the room on the opposite side to Hotch. She looked around the room, then at Hotch. "Where the hell are we?"
Hotch was about to answer when Morgan woke on the bed to his right. "Jesus..." He swore, sitting up and running a hand over his face. "What the hell..."
Before he could finish though, Rossi and JJ woke up at the same time. Rossi's bed was across from Hotch. JJ was next to Rossi and the still unconscious Garcia was between JJ and Prentiss.
"Are we dead?" Rossi asked dryly, not sitting up.
JJ sat and swung her legs off the edge of the bed. "I don't think being dead would feel this crap." She said bluntly. She looked at the bed next to her to see Garcia still sleeping, and then glanced over at Reid's bed opposite Prentiss'. "How come there not awake yet?" She asked, concerned.
"I'm not sure," Hotch said. "I only woke up a few minutes before Prentiss."
"Yea," Prentiss said, "And you guys kinda followed on one after another."
"Where in God's name are we?" Garcia asked, waking up right on cue. "And what am I wearing?" She asked, sitting up and looking down at her plain attire.
Morgan shrugged. "You're guess is as good as mine, Baby Girl." He said, looking around the room. "What's through that door?" He asked, pointing to the door between Hotch's and Rossi's beds.
Hotch stood, turning back to look at the group. "Everyone ok?" He asked.
"My head hurts, but apart from that," JJ shrugged.
"Me too," Prentiss said. "Just a headache."
Morgan, Rossi and Garcia all clamed to feel fine. Hotch shot a worried glance in Reid's direction then turned his attention back to the door. "It's locked." He said after fiddling with it for a few moments. He sat back down on his bed.
Garcia stood and walked over to Reid's bed. She knelt down besides it. "Do you think he's ok?" She asked, not turning to look at the others. She smiled sadly as she ran a hand down his face. When her hand reached his cheek she stopped and gasped.
"Garcia?" Prentiss asked, who had the best view of what was happening as her bed was opposite Reid's. The tech didn't move, she just knelt there, eyes wide and mouth agape. "Garcia, what's wrong?" Prentiss asked, moving to kneel next to her.
Before anyone else could move, Reid's eyes opened. He sat bolt upright in the bed, so fast it knocked Garcia to the floor. He gasped loudly before closing his eyes.
Prentiss looked from Garcia to Reid, not sure what to do, or what had happened.
"Oh my God!" JJ said, hurrying over to Reid and placing a hand on his sleeved arm. She looked at Garcia, who seemed to be ok, just a little shocked, then back to Reid. "Reid? Are you ok?"
Reid nodded, but didn't open his eyes. He was breathing heavily and wincing slightly.
"Garcia?" Hotch asked, now standing behind Prentiss. Morgan had knelt down beside her and Rossi was standing behind JJ. Garcia nodded slowly.
"What the hell just happened?" Morgan asked, looking frantically form Reid to Garcia.
"I..." Garcia stuttered. "I don't know." She looked up at Reid as confused as the others. "Reid? Are you..." She cleared her throat. "Are you ok?" She didn't know what had happened. One minute she had been fine. The next she felt faint. Everything went fuzzy and for a second she though she was going to pass out. When Reid had sat up and she'd fallen backward, she had started to feel normal again practically instantly.
Reid nodded, opening his eyes slowly to look at her. "Where are we?" He asked, looking up at Hotch.
"We don't know." Hotch answered. "Are you two ok? What just happened?"
"I, erm..." Reid looked puzzled for a few seconds before turning to face Garcia. "Did you have a friend called Macy when you were little?" He asked.
Garcia's eyes widened in shock as she nodded.
Reid looked more confused than before. "You used to ride your bike with her? But one day your bike broke, and you were upset because you though you couldn't go out and play. But your Dad fixed your bike for you." He was staring off into the distance, seemingly at something no one else could see. "So you brought him a Pine Cone home that you found and painted it blue because that was his favourite colour." He looked at Garcia.
Garcia looked stunned. "How could you know that?" she asked, looking quickly around the team. "I don't think I've ever told anyone that."
"Reid?" Rossi asked. "How do you know that?"
Reid looked around the group. His eyes were full of fear and confusion. "I have no idea." He said, quietly.
JJ sat on the bed next to him. "It's ok, Reid." She said, brushing a strand of hair off his forehead. A millisecond later, JJ's eyes had gone wide the way Garcia's had moments before.
Reid closed his eyes tightly, biting his bottom lip. Morgan moved round to move JJ away but before he got there Reid had pushed her away. "Sorry," He gasped out as JJ hit the floor. "For pushing you."
JJ sat on the floor in shock. "What the hell?" She asked, although she knew it was rhetorical. Nobody knew what was happening.
"Do you know anything about JJ?" Prentiss asked, "Like you did Garcia?"
Reid nodded, opening his eyes, but not looking at anyone. He drew his legs up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. "When she was on the soccer team, she fell out with her best friend Jenna . She'd taken a dive to get a penalty and JJ confronted her about it."
JJ nodded. "Yea, she... that penalty won us the match." She said, looking down at the floor remembering the game.
"Ok, what the hell is happening?" Morgan asked. Before anyone could answer, the screen above Prentiss' and Reid beds flickered on.
The team turned to look at it. Sat at a desk was a dark haired man. He looked to be in his mid thirties. She smiled awkwardly at the team.
"What the hell is going on?" Morgan demanded before the man had a chance to speak.
The man raised his hands defensively. "Please, I'm sure you must have many questions." He said, "But let me explain and I'll answer all that I can." He said. He waited to be interrupted but he wasn't. "My name is Doctor Adam Buxton. I was a government scientist a while ago and I worked on a project called 'Soldier Boy'."
"Soldier Boy?" Rossi asked, glancing at the team then back at the screen.
Buxton nodded. "It was designed to try and create a stronger, undefeatable infantry." He explained.
"Wait," Prentiss interrupted. "What does this have to do with us?"
"Yea," Garcia added. "And what just happened with Reid?"
"I'll get to all that. Please." Buxton said. "I understand this is confusing for you but just let me finish." He sighed before continuing. "Soldier Boy was intended to create faster, stronger soldiers through genetic manipulation. Initial tests were successful but then the candidates began to have... unexpected reactions."
"Unexpected reactions?" Hotch asked, folding his arms. He wasn't sure what this had to do with him and his team but he didn't like it.
"They began to show certain abilities that we hadn't planned for. Abilities that mirrored their traits and their wants."
"Abilities?" JJ asked, looking around the group. "What the hell?"
"The project was cancelled in Forty-Two." Buxton added.
"Wait..." Reid said, "Nineteen Forty-Two?" Buxton nodded.
"You can't have been born then?" Rossi said, looking at the man on the screen. He was mid thirties, forty max.
Buxton nodded. "I was one of the chief scientists on the project." He smiled sadly. "Me and my partner, Erik Sanders. The abilities the candidates gained varied drastically..."
"What do you mean, 'abilities'?" Morgan asked, not feeling any better of less confused for what he was being told.
"You saw what happened when JJ and Penelope touched Spencer?"
"You know our names?" Garcia asked, sounding shocked.
"Of course I do." Buxton said, shaking his head. "But you all saw?"
They nodded, all looking at Reid who shifted uncomfortably under their gaze.
"Did none of you question why he alone was wearing long sleeves?" He waited for an answer but just received blank stares. "When I moved you all to your room, the same thing happened to me. I though it best."
"So I can't touch anyone?" Reid asked, his voice heavy with confusion and sadness.
Buxton nodded. "I'm sorry."
Reid went to speak but wasn't sure what to say. Garcia let out a small sob, JJ placed her hand reassuringly on his arm. Reid closed his eyes and sighed.
"So you're saying we can all do that?" Morgan asked. What the hell was happening? Was he in a coma after the crash? This was all just too weird.
"Not that exactly. But you can all do something." Buxton explained. "Two things, actually. One relating to who you are, one thing relating to what you always wanted."
"And that would be?" Prentiss asked. She still didn't really understand what was happening.
"I don't know." Buxton admitted. "But Spencer does."
"What?" All seven of the team asked in unison.
"I do?" Reid asked, looking around the team.
"When you touch people you absorb memories." Buxton said, looking directly at Reid. "I believe you're empathic."
"What the hell is that?" Rossi asked, not understanding how they had come to be in this situation.
"The ability to sense and alter peoples emotions, their feelings. In extreme cases, their memories." Buxton looked at Reid again.
Morgan scowled. What the hell was this guy on about? If he could get his hands on him then he swore to any God that was listening he would wring his neck.
"Getting mad isn't going to help, Morgan. Calm down and be quiet." JJ said, turning to face him.
Morgan looked at her. "I... JJ I never said anything."
"You were threatening to wring his neck." JJ said, starting to look a little worried.
"No," Prentiss said, looking from Morgan to JJ. "He wasn't."
Morgan shook his head. "I was thinking about wringing his neck." He said, staring at her wide eyed.
"Well, I guess we just figured out a little of what you do." Buxton said, looking strangely pleased.
"What I do?" JJ exclaimed. "What does that even mean?"
"Look," Buxton continued. "I'm sorry for what I've had to do to you but you need to understand this. Sanders and I were working on the project when there was an accident. That's why the project got closed down. It left me and Sanders with abilities. Sanders went AWOL, took all the successful candidates with him. And they are bad news. He's been continuing the experiments underground, creating more people with abilities. He's bad news. I don't know what he has planned but I need your help to stop him."
"Wait..." Morgan said, shaking his head. "You tell us you've given us some freaky X-Men shizz and you expect us to just except it and help you?"
"The process only works on a few people." Buxton said. "I'm sorry, but if I'd explained all this to you before, would any of you have volunteered?"
"You can't just lock us away." Hotch said. "People will wonder where we are."
"Taken care of." Buxton said. "Everybody thinks you're all away on a prolonged assignment." He smiled sadly. "The door is unlocked. You'll find yourselves in a self contained unit. I need your help. I've been searching for people who this process would work on and who had good spirit. A spirit that wouldn't be corrupted by power."
"With great power, comes great responsibility." Morgan said.
"Did you just quote 'Spiderman'?" Reid asked, looking up at the older profiler.
"It seemed appropriate." Morgan answered, smiling despite their situation.
"You need to learn to use your abilities." Buxton said, ignoring the quotation.
"Wait," Prentiss said, "What can you do?"
Buxton looked a little taken aback by the question. "My cells regenerate." He said. "That's why I look like I haven't aged."
"And?" Rossi asked. "You said there were two things?"
Buxton shook his head. "Sanders and I only received one. We were an accident, not a candidate. We both got the same thing."
The team remained silent for a few moments before Buxton spoke again. "I know this is a lot of information to take in. I'll leave you now to talk and work out what comes next." He liked his lips as if thinking what to say. "I am genuinely sorry that I've put you through all this, but I need your help." With that the screen went blank.
The team were quiet and still for several moments. "So what do we do now?" Garcia asked.
"Seriously?" Morgan asked. "We're friggin' X-Men?"
"He, erm..." Prentiss cleared her throat and looked at Reid. "He said you'd know what we can do."
Reid shook his head. "I... I don't." He didn't know what to think, or do. Apparently he could tell the others what they could now do, but all he could think about was what had happened with Garcia and JJ. When they'd touched him his brain had filled with images from a life that was not his own. He could hear people talking like they were there with him. It all happened so fast but he knew exactly what he'd seen or heard afterwards. He sighed. So was that it? He couldn't touch anyone every again, or that would happen? He wasn't fond of physical contact but could a person go a whole lifetime without ever touching another person?
"You guys are buying this?" Morgan asked in disbelief.
"Morgan," Hotch said calmly. "As hard as I find this to believe, we all saw what happened when JJ and Garcia touched Reid."
Morgan sighed. Hotch was right. As unbelievable as the situation was, he couldn't deny what he'd seen. Or that JJ had seemingly known what he'd been thinking with out him saying a word. He nodded.
"Reid?" Rossi said, trying to encourage the younger man to talk.
"I..." Reid looked up at Rossi. "I don't know how to." He said simply.
"Sorry, Reid." Hotch said, his voice surprisingly gentle. "But we need you to try."
Reid nodded slowly and closed his eyes.
So, what do you think? A little far fetched I know but hey! Who cares, its fiction! :) Any idea's on what they can do? I've got it all planned out so feel free to guess. You already know one of Reid's and I'm pretty sure you can guess one of JJ's. Hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you though!