AN: This is my first Criminal Minds story. I would like to thank my beta reader MeGkAtHeRiNe for her help in editing and proofreading this chapter. Please review and tell me what you think. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do NOT in anyway shape or form own the characters or the show Criminal Minds
Chapter 1 – Into the Bullpen
Monday was the worst day of the week. Not because the weekend had ended, or their only time to relax had been cut short, but because being called into the BAU always meant someone else needed their help. Emily's boots clicked as she walked through the bullpen to see Reid reading the paper, Morgan and Rossi discussing their weekend activities over coffee and Hotch sitting at his desk upstairs. Stopping at her desk, she took a look at the sticky note on her computer monitor. It was another message from her mother. Taking it from the monitor, she scrunched it up in one hand and then threw it into the bin without a second glance.
Emily and her mother, Elizabeth, had never been particularly close; in fact, they had grown more distant as the years rolled on. Emily hated politics after all, and most of the time all her mother would discuss is the political correctness of something she said or did. It wasn't worth the time. Taking a glance around the room again, she saw JJ sitting at her desk, next to Hotch's office. Her head buried in her hands. Worried about her friend, Emily stood from her chair, made her way up the stairs and entered JJ's office with a knock. JJ lifted her head from her hands at the sound and looked to her raven haired friend. "Hey," she sighed with a small smile as Emily stepped into her office and took a seat opposite her desk. "You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," JJ replied before she closed one of the files on her desk. "There are just too many files; it's hard to choose which one to cover."
"But you did choose? That's why we are all here isn't it?" Emily inquired, a fine brow raised into her hairline.
"Yeah I picked one. I really don't know how we are going to work on this new one though, it seems pretty random."
"We'll see. How was your weekend?" Emily asked, trying to change the conversation into a more light-hearted one. "It was good. I took Henry to the park with Will. It was nice, and to have some time off where there wasn't any work. Then I show up today and my desk is covered in new cases."
"Looks like it's going to be a busy week then," Emily sighed, looking to another strategically placed file. "That it does, how was your weekend?" JJ asked.
"Fine," Emily replied quickly, too quickly for JJ's liking.
"Just fine?" JJ's right eyebrow rose when she asked the question.
"Yeah…" Emily sighed looking to the wooden tables varnish.
"Em, what's going on?"
"It's nothing," she tried to be reassuring, but it didn't work too well. "It's just… I didn't do anything with the time off. I sat at home, went for a run once or twice. But I didn't see anyone, go anywhere, I just stayed at home and drank a little wine here and there and watched a few old movies."
"Is that really so bad?" JJ asked with a smile, "I wish I could relax like that, but it's becoming harder and harder to do with Henry needing mum's attention all the time. Especially at night; Henry starts crying and Will sleeps really deeply, so he doesn't even hear him. So I have to get myself out of bed. It doesn't make it easy." Emily nodded to show that she understood. "Have you tried to meet someone? I mean to, you know, fill the void."
"Tried and failed. Besides, most of the guys that I've met are complete freaks; self obsessed jerks or just plain stupid." JJ laughed
"Are you sure they are actually like that or did you profile them that way?" Emily released a breath with a slight chuckle. "So what if I profile people? I am almost always right about guys. Most of them run a mile when they find out my job; catching serial killers is not really a turn on for guys."
"Yeah I guess that's true." JJ replied before standing to her feet and shuffling her folders together. "Well I think it's time to debrief everyone on the new case." Emily got the picture and stood to her feet before walking toward the door. "And Em…" JJ called. Emily stopped and turned to JJ. "I'm sure you'll find someone to help fill the void one day."
"Thanks for the optimism JJ," Emily replied before walking out of the office. JJ looked back to the files on her desk and before she knew it found herself standing in front of the BAU team at the conference room. They all sat in their usual seats. Emily and Derek to the left hand side of the table, Hotch, Rossi and Reid to the other. Each looking over the file in front of them, already creating a profile with each word they read. JJ turned on the television screen with the use of her remote control, when Garcia entered the room. "Sorry I'm late," she apologised. "Do you know how long the queue at the Coffee Shop was?" Garcia complained placing down two cardboard cup holders, each one filled with everyone's coffee order for the day. "Must be something about Monday," she sighed taking a seat next to Derek.
"Actually Garcia, coffee is the most popular stimulant and four out of five Americans drink it. That calculates to four hundred million cups of coffee per day; so, it can't just be because it's a Monday," Garcia and the others watched as Reid smiled to himself because of his facts.
"Well if they all have a super genius like you working with them, I can see why they would need the coffee boost," Emily joked as Derek, JJ, Garcia, Rossi and Reid all laughed for a moment.
"I think it's time we were debriefed now," Hotch began, his voice deep and dark. By the look on his face, he was irritated with the banter but allowed it to occur anyway. "Sure," JJ replied turning to the others as a series of pictures appeared on the screen behind her. "A total of three young women from Seattle Washington Universities have been murdered. The first victim, Stacy Warner, was a 19 year old undergraduate who was studying biomedical science at Washington State University – West." An image appeared behind her to show what the young woman looked like. She was blonde, blue eyes, fair skin, beautiful to the eyes. "The second victim was Brooke Stevens, age 18. She was studying Business at South Pacific University. She entered university early on an academic scholarship," A new image appeared on screen, pushing the image of Stacy Warned into the top, left hand corner. Brooke had long brown hair, green eyes, fair skin although it was slightly darker than white. "The last victim was Elaine Ross, age 20, studying music at the Seattle University College of the Arts." The second picture of Brooke was placed next to the first in the top left as the final picture appeared. Elaine had short black hair in an edgy style with deep brown eyes, fair skin, shiny white teeth and was also a fairly attractive young woman. JJ flipped the page as the profilers began to find any clues that they could.
"Did any of them live on campus?" Emily inquired. JJ nodded her head and checked her notes before answering. "Stacy and Elaine both lived on campus, but Brooke lived with her parents."
"Anything else?" Hotch asked.
"Yeah, according to the forensic reports, each one of them was stabbed multiple times in the chest, stomach, arms and legs. However, there were no sign of sexual assault on any of the victims."
"That's horrible," Garcia sighed looking to the pictures of each girl after they were attacked. She stopped herself from walking out the door, and instead found the table to be very interesting all of a sudden. "We'll be travelling to Seattle as soon as possible to meet with Detective Rupert Adams, who will talk us through any other evidence."
"Where were they dumped?" Rossi asked, looking up from the files and into JJ's eyes.
"They were found on their respective campuses. Stacy was found inside the door at the biomedical facility, Brooke was found inside one of her classrooms and Elaine was strategically placed." JJ used her remote to flip to the next picture. "She was sitting at a piano, her blood staining the keys."
"He would have to have access to all the Universities to do that," Derek began.
"But the positioning of the bodies also indicates that he is evolving further. He is getting more and more creative, and gutsier each time. He went from leaving the body at the door, to entering a classroom, and then placing it inside one particular position," Reid explained.
"But he's not a sexual sadist," Emily added. "If he was, then they would have been sexually assaulted in some way."
"Unless he is getting off on watching the murders occur again and again," Hotch added. "Were there any videos found by the relatives?"
"No sir," JJ replied. "Detective Adams said there was no footage or photos sent to the families residences." Each profiler went back to the file they held.
"I think Reid was right," Emily interrupted the silence for a moment as the others all looked to her.
"About what?" Hotch asked.
"With the escalation of his attacks," Emily replied reading the file again. "Not only does he get more and more strategic, but the first attack happened in one week, then the other two occurred the week after. He is killing more than twice a week and if he's just started, that is a very quick and very unusual escalation."
"It's also very dangerous," Reid interchanged. "Usually if an Unsub escalates too quickly, they can devolve quickly too."
"The sooner we get on the jet, the sooner we can fully profile him. JJ, have you called Detective Adams and told him we are on the way?"
"Already done sir," JJ replied as Hotch stood and the others followed.
"Everyone be ready in twenty, looks like we are going to the University."
AN: Chapters 2 will be coming soon. Don't forget to review.