Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior Fanfiction
Walk Away From The Sun
First Summary- When Gina demands answers about Mick's past war days, Cooper relives the memories in hopes that it will help all of them leave the past behind.
Warnings for blood, violence, cursing, mentions of torture, drug abuse, alcohol, and some themes that may be frightening to anyone under the age of sixteen. Those will be kept to a bare minimum when being described.
Pairings- Mick/Gina. Not quite together yet though. Only in the non-flashback chapters.
Rated Teen for now. It may go up depending on where the story leads.
Some spoilers for the first season. Major spoilers for Siblings, Evil Angel, One Thousand, Monster, and Demolition Lovers. This is my sixth story in my own series of the show. It plays directly off the ending of Demolition Lovers so you might want to read that first if you haven't already.
I own nothing involving the characters of Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior. Nor do I own any rights related to the music I mention in future chapters. The only characters I own are the ones I create. I am simply borrowing for my own entertainment.
I have never written about Iraq before in detail so I have to use Google to research the country and everything about it. What little bit I already know about it comes from TV shows and books. So if any of it is inaccurate, I apologize. Any grammar mistakes are my own. Please don't verbally kill me for a typo. This is also my first time writing in Cooper's perspective. Wish me luck!
Chapter 36 Life Starts Now
I told Gina LaSalle that a bullet started the chaos of seven years ago. A single piece of metal, smashed beyond recognition, still holding the memories of hell as if it happened yesterday. It wasn't a lie or the full truth. Somehow it fell into a between state. Yes, it was reasonable to think that if Mick hadn't been shot months before he was taken by Rais, then he wouldn't have been high on painkillers and wouldn't have flirted with Abigail Patel's coworkers in front of her. She wouldn't have had a mental breakdown and none of this would have happened. But that's a lot of speculation. It was really only prolonging the inevitable. Whether it happened in April and May of seven years ago, or sometime months later. Mick was going to flirt with someone else in the camp and Abigail was going to snap. There was no way to put it any more plain than that. What happened all those years ago was unavoidable, no matter how much I tried to tell myself otherwise.
The story came to an end with more holes than intended. I would have carried on if I had the necessary answers to do so. Unfortunately the only things I could tell her were the basics. Details I observed after returning to London three months later were unreliable to explain everything. If she wanted to know what happened to Liam in detail, specifically how he got addicted to drugs and wound up as a catatonic in a mental institution, then she had to ask Mick. To this day, I only know the aftermath of a drug overdose. I had watched a broken man fall to pieces, but after he was already cracked.
Gina would press for more answers, I was sure. But for the time being she seemed to be fixated on the story at hand. She was still contemplating everything, reading between the lines with such a puzzled expression. I could almost see the information spinning in her eyes as she leaned back on her sofa. One hand clutched a steaming cup of coffee in a vice grip just inches from her lips. Answers were scarce after I left for the states. She understood that, which was why she didn't question it immediately. The ending was currently being evaluated in silence. She tried to understand where Rais had gone into hiding. Where Abigail hid the bag of explosives. Why William would reject his own foster son in such a heartbreaking manner.
It was all fairly simple, at least in my mind. Rais has never been found. Neither has the bag of explosives Abigail brought into the country. Years have passed since the agencies in charge of the case labeled it to be hung in limbo. It is a cold case and probably will be for many more years to come. Six and a half years of searching, just Mick and I with our old records and more ridiculous theories than I cared to admit. Both of our contacts in the UK and US governments only went so far. I haven't given up on finding Rais or the explosives, but it was time to start moving forward with life. Mick needed to stop dwelling on the past and start living in the present. But that can't happen until he lets go. Until both of us let go of the case, life was at a stand still.
I chose to tell Gina this story because she can change that.
"Wow…" The younger profiler exclaimed, breathing through the steam of her coffee. She glanced at me beside her on the sofa, fingers tapping the ceramic cup as she pondered over what to say next.
My own fingers rolled the ruined bullet absentmindedly. I breathed a heavy sigh and shifted on the furniture piece to look down the nearby hallway. Gina's bedroom door was still closed, as was the guess room Mick occupied. The last time we checked on the sniper, he was sleeping restlessly in the guest bed. We had spent over an hour dragging him back to her apartment. He refused to get inside an elevator, so we had to help him down several flights of stairs. The cane was found, thrown against a wall in his bedroom with a rather large hole above it, and was used to steady him with Gina's assistance. When the time came to pay for a cab to drive us the few blocks down the road, he refused that too. It was easier to just go along with whatever his clouded mind played out, so instead of a thirty minute walk between buildings we spent over an hour. By the time we actually entered her home he was headed straight for the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later, after he was done coughing his lungs out in the toilet, Gina helped him into bed with promise to be back in a bit.
"That explains a lot." Gina mumbled, leaning forward to place the cup on the coffee table in front of us. "Rais was never found, was he? You guys are still looking for him."
I nodded hesitantly. "The case went cold years ago. I haven't looked at the old files in months and neither has he. There's no point in it if we have nothing to add."
"So what happened with Ellen, the way she played him for a fool, it was just like what Abigail did. That's why he can't handle what happened well. It reminds him what happened then."
A long moment of silence spread between us before I answered, "He really did love her, both Ellen and Abigail. But what they did was like adding gasoline to a fire…"
"And it only made things worse." She finished, dropping her tone as if ashamed to say the next few words. "He's been a wreck since she died. Since he killed her and his foster parents abandoned him."
"William and Lillian came back later that day to apologize, but their relationship with Mick has been strained since then. The only reason they still talk to each other is because Jenna calls every morning. She and Cassie used to keep them together."
"But Cassie's dead…"
"Which has only jabbed a stake between them even more. This entire year has done nothing but tear them apart." I responded, gripping the bullet.
Gina ran a hand through her hair, then propped her elbows on her knees. "I thought you were going to tell me what happened to Liam. Why he's in a mental institution."
"I don't have all the answers for that. Mick waited until Liam overdosed to call me back. He wanted my help in getting through to his brother. Unfortunately Liam was diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The rest of his team were diagnosed with the same thing, only in varying stages. Sometimes it wasn't as bad in them as it was in Liam. But I'm not a therapist and to be honest, I'm really not sure how to help someone in their position." I replied.
"They were all tested for it, right? I mean, Mick had to go through the same procedures…"
"Yes, he was tested for it just like the rest of them. I think he may have lied his way through it. According to the doctors, he showed signs of it but nothing definitive. They couldn't tell if it was temporary, caused by what Rais did or what he experienced as a child. He refused to stay for more than two sessions after the therapist asked him something involving his real parents. When I talked to Lillian about it and she told me what happened, I realized that Mick would never willingly talk about his past with anyone. Not unless he absolutely has to." I answered, stopping her in mid sentence.
She seemed to mull that over for a few minutes. Her gaze shifted between the television to the entrance of the hall. The urge to check on Mick was coming back. It was justifiable considering his current state. After everything I had just told her, she was probably more protective of him than he was of her. "What happens now? Does he continue living with me until he's mentally stable enough to find somewhere new?" She questioned, tapping her fingers on the cup again.
"I think that's the best thing for both of you for now. This past year has been hell and you both could use the company." I replied truthfully. The younger woman raised an eyebrow at the innuendos in the statement. I didn't mean for it to come out like that… "I don't mean as a couple. You two still work together and you're partners, so getting involved in anything other than just friends and coworkers would be risky…"
Gina forced a quick smile at my rambling and shook her head. "I get it, Coop." She mumbled. "We can't ask his opinion until morning. But I think he'll be willing to stay for a few more weeks. To be honest, I kind of like his company here. It's nice to have someone else around for a change."
I nodded in agreement, knowing full well what she meant. "I'll make some calls in the morning to get him to talk to someone. There's a friend of mine that's worked with people like him before."
She glanced at me with a confused expression. I had just contradicted myself, but not in a bad way. Mick would never talk with a therapist willingly. Something about them getting inside his head scares him. But I was willing to overlook that. I was going to introduce him to a retired therapist, someone I've worked with too many times to count over the past fifteen years. She's a damned good profiler and knows how to deal with the egos of a sniper. If she could help him put things back into perspective, then Gina's assistance to make him feel more secure would be easier. It was a long shot and I didn't even know if it would work. But it was the best option I could think of. Mick needed Gina to help him get over Ellen. To put everything that had happened over the past year behind him.
"This friend of yours is a therapist? You know he's going to hate that."
"He will, that's a given. But it's for his own good. You said that you wanted to help him move on. This is the best way. Keep him here where it feels safe and just be there when he does want to talk. Trust me, you being here with him means a hell of a lot more than anything else." I replied.
Gina dropped her eyes to the floor as she sipped at the coffee. An expression of uneasiness crawled on her features, probably due to the subject at hand. Everyone else could see that she really did like Mick, and he liked her. They were both just too damned stubborn to admit it. While I didn't think that they should have been in any kind of relationship while still being partners at the FBI, it was really better for the both of them. They needed each other on a level that most people just couldn't understand.
After several uncomfortable minutes, I glanced at the wall clock near the kitchen doorway. It was getting late, just after one in the morning if she had it set correctly, so I should have been going home for the night. I didn't necessarily want to leave the two young agents alone. Gina was more than capable of protecting herself, but I had a nagging feeling that I should have stayed. I knew Mick would never do anything to intentionally hurt her, even if he was completely wasted on aged scotch. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that leaving them alone was a bad idea.
"It's getting late, I should get to bed. We have the rest of the week off so I think I'll spend the time keeping an eye on him." Gina broke the silence between us. She placed the coffee on the table and rose from the seat, stretching the kinks from her muscles. I stood from the couch at the same time and stopped fumbling with the ruined bullet. She glanced at it curiously, then looked towards the bags of personal belongs Mick carried with him from his own apartment. "That bullet caused all of this. If he hadn't been such a flirt…"
"That's the only thing I'm glad Rais changed. You think he's bad now, but he was ten times worse back then. If Rais hadn't changed that, Mick would have probably gotten himself killed by ex girlfriends and one night stands years ago." I interrupted quickly, then held out the bullet for her to take. "Rais didn't just change that part of him. He forced him to feel remorse. This bullet was kept because Mick couldn't feel remorse. When Abigail died, he refused to throw it away because he changed. It reminds him of just how bad he screwed up. In a way, Abigail's death turned him into a better person."
The younger profiler took it from my hand and studied it. Twisting the deformed metal between nimble fingers. Watching the light above flicker on miniature dark patches in fascination. "You want me to make sure he stays that way. Remorseful and normal." She said without looking away from the bullet.
I walked past her and towards the door. Despite my gut feeling to stay, I knew that I couldn't spend the night. There were phone calls to make in the morning, events to set up for the sniper, and I couldn't do that in her presence. "You've done a great job so far. Even if you don't know it. Just one more thing before I head out." I responded. She looked up from the bullet to give me a questioning glare. "Wait a few weeks before you ask about Liam. This entire ordeal has already stirred up the memories and it's not going to get better if we pry for more information. He'll tell you what happened in detail one day. Just make sure you're ready to listen when he's ready to talk."
Gina turned her attention down the hall to stare at the spare room door. "What if he won't talk about it?"
"Give him time, he will. He trusts you enough to take care of him when he's like this. It's only a matter of time before he comes to the same realization you have." I answered, pausing to watch her turn to me curiously. It would have been to point out the obvious. To tell her that she was blind to what was in front of her. But there was no need. She knew that she liked Mick a lot more than she let on. It was transparent by the way she looked and acted towards him. With any luck, Mick would see it too. Of course, that's assuming he hasn't already. I shook my head, determined to let her figure it out on her own, and grasped the knob of the apartment door. "Take care of him. I'll be back in the morning to check on you two."
Wendy Flores was a retired therapist for the FBI. At fifty two years of age, she was still considered one of the best to handle overstressed agents. Technically she didn't work for the government anymore. A mishap with a suicidal agent six years ago ended her carrier on paper. But that didn't stop her. She was a strong willed woman, someone I respected as a fellow profiler, and knew how to deal with the human mind in a way I still don't understand. Our last case together, not on record because technically that could get me fired, was about five years ago. It happened before Mick came into the picture as an Interpol and FBI agent, so she had never met him. She owed me a favor after I stopped an unsub from shooting her. Now was the time to pay up.
I called her multiple numbers at around ten the next morning. There were too many to believe that I would find the correct one, but it didn't matter. If she had one still connected, she would get my message. Details as to why I needed her help were slim. I told her just enough to interest her, along with my cell phone number, and prayed she would get back to me within the next day. The only thing she needed to know at the moment was that I had a new case for her. An ex British Special Forces sniper who has had one hell of a bad year and isn't dealing with it well. That should have been enough to capture her attention.
After all, those were the kind of cases she thrived on. Mentally perplexing people made her job challenging, more interesting. She liked the thrill of learning something new about a person. Mick Rawson was certainly going to give her a run for her money. He is more complicated than most serial killers. If she didn't find him fascinating, nothing would.
While I waited for her to call with confirmation that she would take the case, I kept my promise to Gina. I arrived at her apartment building shortly after eleven. Beth's excuses to Prophet, Fickler, and Penelope only worked for the night. I appreciated the attempts to keep the situation hidden from them, but it wasn't working well enough. Making a mental note to return to the office after I was finished at the apartment, I pushed the thought away and knocked on Gina's apartment door loudly.
There was a distinct lack of music that drew my attention. For as long as I've known Mick, he always has music playing in the mornings. Most of the time I've seen him with the MP3 and headphones during a morning run. The fact that there was only silence told me that he probably wasn't in the best mood for excess noises.
Gina pulled the door open a minute later, standing aside quickly to let me in. She was obviously sleep deprived. I was willing to bet that she spent the night fussing over Mick. Her hair was still damp from her morning shower, tied back and dripping on the back of her gray and black patterned blouse. The skinny jeans were wrinkled and pulled up slightly, revealing hastily slid on white socks that were uneven. She hadn't tried to apply her normal regiment of makeup, so she couldn't hide the bags under her bright eyes that added to the weary posture. "Sorry, I didn't mean to keep you waiting. I just got out of the shower…" She started to ramble tiredly as I entered the home.
"It's okay, don't worry about it." I dismissed as I looked around the living room and open hallway for Mick. Gina closed the door quietly and sighed. "You okay?" I asked.
She nodded quickly and pointed a finger to the kitchen. "I'm fine, just tired. He woke up every forty five minutes from either a nightmare or to hack into the toilet. To be honest, I'm tempted to take him to get checked out by a real doctor."
I felt myself frown deeper in worry as I peeked into the kitchen. Mick sat at the dinning table, hunched over with his forehead on the cool wooden surface. A new set of clothes were half hidden by a thin blue blanket. Sock covered feet kicked under the table aimlessly, arms disappeared into the blanket to wrap around his stomach protectively. He looked worse than he had the night before. It was transparent by the several plates of untouched food pushed aside on the table that he had no desire to eat breakfast. I could understand Gina's worry easily enough.
"He won't eat or drink anything. I've been trying for the past hour but he just keeps saying that he doesn't feel like eating. That scotch he drank last night tore up his stomach." Gina explained, keeping her voice low as to avoid gathering his attention.
I nodded in agreement, then entered the kitchen to stand at the opposite side of the table. Mick didn't pull his head from his temporary pillow, but stiffened at the sound of my footsteps on tile. Gina followed my lead and sat in a chair next to him. She leaned forward and gently tried to pry him off the table. But he wouldn't budge. "Mick, are you alright?" I questioned, already knowing the answer. The purpose was to gain some recognition. To show him that I could be trusted. He wasn't entirely drunk like the night before, but he was going through the worst hangover he's ever had.
"I'm not hungry." He mumbled, accent thick.
"Okay, you don't have to eat. But you do have to talk to me." I replied, sitting in the kitchen chair to face him.
The sniper pushed himself to sit up and stare at me. An indent on his forehead, barely covered by the mess of dirty hair, suggested he had been in that position too long. Heavy eyes squinted through the abusing kitchen lighting. The lack of sweating was a good thing. It meant his fever broke sometime in the middle of the night. He appeared to be giving me a sour expression, but I realized that was caused by the massive headache. "Why?"
"Because we're your friends and we're worried about you."
"I'm fine. Not the first time with a hangover, Coop." He said, closing his eyes in exhaustion.
"That scotch you drank last night was poison. How old was it and where did you get it?" Gina asked demandingly.
Mick peeled one eye open to glare at her. "That's a long story, love." A brief smile traced his lips at the use of his nickname for her.
"This isn't funny. You're sick and I've got half a mind to drag your ass to a hospital. Now answer my questions or I'll call an ambulance."
He stiffened at the threat, or maybe it was sincere worry in her tone. Either one seemed to have the desire effect. Mick stared at her, wide eyed and gaping mouth, as he fought for an answer. "Liam stole it on my nineteenth birthday. Told me to hang onto it for a special occasion, like a wedding or something like that. It was already thirty years old when he got it…"
"So you decided to drink almost forty year old scotch. What if it really is poison? You could be dying."
"It's just a hangover, darling. Trust me, I've had enough of them to know." He tried to be reassuring, but the slur from the previous night hadn't loosened.
"Mick, I think her point is that you scared us. We thought you were losing it last night." I intervened.
The younger man knit his brow together in confusion and shook his head. "I'm fine guys. Really, there's no reason to worry."
"What do you remember about last night?" I wasn't going to believe any excuses, no matter how thick he portrayed them. He wasn't fine and the events of last night proved it. Gina and I watched him carefully as he dropped his eyes to the table. He was fighting to remember, to fill in the gaps that the alcohol had taken away. Would he ever truly remember everything? Probably not. For someone with a photographic memory, he seems to have too many holes when it comes to detail.
Mick looked between the two of us as if searching for the best answer. Then heaved a deep sigh and tugged the blanket tighter against the short sleeved gray tee shirt. "I went home last night with Prophet. He helped me put my stuff inside. When he was gone, I downed about a quarter of the scotch and took a shower. I couldn't get the damned toothpaste on the brush and I guess it pissed me off. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the sofa with the bottle, downing more shots. After a while it made my hand feel better…" He trailed off to remove his left hand from the blanket and stare at it intently. "I didn't feel it. Everything was so surreal, like I was watching from the outside of some glass room. I have to say, that was probably the weirdest night I've had in a while."
"Do you remember what we talked about last night?"
The sniper ground his jaw together at my words. Obviously he did remember more than he was acknowledging. "I remember enough…" He whispered, then leaned forward and narrowed his eyes in sudden anger. "You told her, didn't you? All those years of keeping that damned thing a secret, and you blew it in one night." He hissed, temporarily forgetting about Gina. "I thought I was the one wasted out of common sense. You promised to keep that between us."
"I forced him to tell me." Gina stated, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder to pull him back. He gave her a disbelieving expression, shaking his head. "You were a mess when I found you. I didn't understand why what Ellen did made you relive your military days, but I do now."
Dark eyes searched her face for a long moment, trying to find some kind of lie. "You asked him to tell you about Iraq? Because you thought there was a connection between then and now?" He questioned, drawing the words out in an attempt to clear his accent. His shoulders slumped as Gina nodded.
"I'm sorry. I know you don't like it when people talk behind your back, but it was for the best. You even added to it…"
"Best for who? I was fine." Mick interrupted sharply.
"Was being the operative word. What Abigail did all those years ago is the same thing that happened two weeks ago. You didn't get over it then and I doubt you'll get over it now. Not without some help." Gina countered.
The younger profiler swallowed thickly, alcohol muddle brain finally catching up with what we were implying. "I've been to more than enough of them this year. I would rather jump off a cliff than go see another."
"Wendy Flores, do you know anything about her?" I asked. When he shook his head and raised an eyebrow in curiosity, I continued. "She's an old friend from before I met you. I've already called and if she decides to take interest, you can't back out. She's very persistent when it comes to her patients."
At the word 'patients', he shook his head quickly. That seemed to be a horrible idea. One moment he was mumbling a 'no', the next he was pressing his forehead against the table top. "I don't care who she is. If she's a shrink, I'm not going." He hissed, voice muffled by the wood.
"Okay, if you want to be a stubborn ass about it..." Gina pried his head off the table by his shoulders and forced him to look at her. Fierce desperation shined in those eyes, something I had rarely seen from her. She wasn't going to let Mick wallow in his own pity. He needed help, from both her and someone who knew what to do with his type. If he wasn't going to help himself, then she was going to force it down his throat whether he liked it or not. "You've got a choice to make. Either listen to us and let us help you, or you can leave. I can't watch you fall apart like this though."
I could almost visibly see his heart sink in his chest at her words. They were too sincere, too raw, to mean anything other than the proposition she gave. He didn't want to leave her apartment or her, but he also didn't want to admit that he needed someone else. In his mind, it made him appear weak. Weakness was unacceptable. So he had to choose which of the two meant the most. His ego or a life with Gina LaSalle.
Mick mimicked a fish for a few seconds, mouth gaping as he tried to his voice. He glanced at me as if begging for me to change the subject. To do anything that would take Gina's hands off his shoulders and her own determined eyes away from him. But I couldn't do anything to change the situation. Even if I could, I wasn't sure I would have. He needed someone to smack some common sense into him every once in a while. Gina was the perfect person to do that. "Gina, love, there's no need…"
"It's a yes or no question. Do you want to stay here or leave and find your own place?" He ground his teeth harder, jaw clenched tight in frustration.
The ring of my cell phone broke the gut wrenching drama between us. I pulled it out of my jacket pocket, ignoring their glares at the interruption, and found a text waiting for me on the alerts menu. The words 'This is me paying my dept, Sam. Bring Mister Rawson to my office tomorrow afternoon around four. He sounds like a very interesting agent. I look forward to seeing both of you.' were bold in the white spacing. I read it again as I grinned. Then held it out for the two younger agents to read.
Mick and Gina scanned it several times, their matching expressions almost seemed amusing. Gina turned to her partner and asked, "So what's your answer? Yes or no?" She folded her arms over her chest, straightening in the seat to appear more demanding.
The sniper read the message once more, then threw his head back in defeat. "Fine, you're both right. I'm not getting out of this, so I might as well go along."
"That doesn't necessarily answer my question." Gina pressed.
Mick sighed deeply as he answered truthfully, "To be honest, love, I don't ever want to leave."
Note- Ta-da! Sorry it's so late. This one took longer to plan out than I expected. I think that's because I had like four different ideas for it and couldn't quite decide which one would fit.
Anyways, this is the last chapter, so it had to kind of tie everything up. But at the same time I left a lot open. There's a lot of dialog because it just turned out that way. I tried to change that, but it didn't fit. The first half takes place back in Gina's apartment after Cooper finished the story. That kind of ties it up for that end. We'll know more about Rais and the explosives next year when he makes his appearance in another story. Cooper basically tells Gina that he doesn't have all the answers as to what happened to Liam. He knows enough to tell her the basics and what he saw. But if she wants the full story then she needs to ask Mick. It was advised that she wait's a while to let things cool down before she decides to open that up.
On the second half, I introduced a new character. That was a last minute thing that I will carry into the next few stories. Wendy Flores sounds like an interesting character to play with. She gives some hints into Cooper's past, which will be used in a future story. I like the way she's described. If I play it right, then she could probably be one of my favorite personal character in the entire series so far. Gina's words to Mick were a bit harsh in this half, but they had to be. He wasn't going to go to a therapist willingly and she knew that. So she had to be tough to get him to see that it was necessary. I think the ending turned out better than expected. Gina's push for a true answer lead to a reveal that I can use in the next story.
So, I think that covers it. You know what to do. Reviews are loved. A big thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed my stuff so far. I'm glad you guys have enjoyed this story as much as I have.