Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds, Caldecott, Mississippi, or a coffee grinder.
A/N: I've noticed that no matter how serious a fandom I happen to be involved in, I can't seem to bring myself to write anything that might actually be construed as serious. Go figure.
He stumbled into the BAU bullpen, bypassing his desk and his friends calling his name, and made a beeline for the coffee counter. He reached for a cup on autopilot, long, slim fingers already outstretched to push the button for straight, black coffee. Not that it would remain straight for long, he mused to himself, stabbing at the red button. Was there such a thing as gay coffee?
Nothing happened. He pushed the button again. Nothing.
Spencer Reid properly opened his eyes for the first time that morning and blinked sharply. He glanced down, gaze drawn to the white piece of paper that had been fastened into a handmade sign.
Out of order.
"Oh, you've got to be kidding me," he groaned. Behind him, someone chuckled, and he turned to find Derek Morgan leaning in the doorway.
"I was trying to tell you, Pretty Boy. The machine's broken."
Reid glared at him. "Why?" he muttered. Morgan's grin grew. "How should I know? All I know is that we're due in the briefing room in fifteen."
Reid waved a hand at him vaguely, wondering distantly how he was going to get through the day without coffee.
Focus Reid, people's lives at stake here. Right. Briefing room. Going now. He pushed off the counter and followed Morgan up the stairs.
"A young woman has been kidnapped in Caldecott, Mississippi," JJ informed them briskly. With well-practiced movements, she passed out files and pinned a photograph up on the board. The BAU team lifted their eyes to face the victim. Auburn hair streaked with white flowed to her shoulders, framing pale skin and clear, emerald eyes. Her face was heavily made up, and there appeared to be a choker of some kind around her neck, suggesting a Goth style. She wasn't smiling, exactly, but she wasn't frowning either. Rather, the picture conveyed a sort of exasperated amusement with the person taking the picture.
"Anna Marie Darkholme has been missing now for sixteen hours. She is eighteen years old, which is probably why no one called it in for a while. We'll be meeting with the police chief in charge when we get there."
"Wheels up in thirty people," Hotch said as they all rose. "Let's find her."
Two hours later, they were striding into the sheriff's department of Caldecott. Hotch and Rossi turned to the office of the man himself, Prentiss, JJ, and Morgan headed for the white boards in the back room, and Reid turned to one of the officers who appeared to be struggling with his paperwork.
"Excuse me," he said politely. "But you all wouldn't happen to have any coffee on hand, would you?"
The other man grimaced at him. "Sorry, kid. The sheriff has this thing about coffee. Won't allow it in the office, barely tolerates it on duty."
Reid managed to conceal his horror at the idea of going hours more without any caffeine and nodded. "Sure. Okay then…" at loss suddenly, he glanced at the paperwork. "You split an infinitive there."
"What?" the officer frowned and looked down again, and Reid made his escape.
Morgan grinned at him when he entered the board room. "No coffee?"
"What kind of self-respecting officer of the law doesn't believe in coffee?" he said exasperatedly. JJ smiled at him and tapped her pen on his shoulder. "We'll get some when we're done here."
He gave her a longsuffering look. "By that time we'll want to be able to sleep! Twenty-four hours without coffee. There wasn't even any coffee on the jet!"
"How will you survive?" Prentiss joked. He shot her a half-hearted glare. "Yeah, yeah. What do we know so far about Anna Marie?"
Prentiss turned back to the boards. "Nothing we didn't know before. We've got a list of people we need to see, though. Morgan and I are going to go see the parents. JJ is getting in touch with the media-what little media there is in a town this size. Hotch and Rossi are running point here."
Reid nodded. "Guess I'm on victimology then."
Morgan pointed at him. "You got it, Pretty Boy." Grabbing his jacket, he gestured to Prentiss. "After you."
Reid waved them away, drawing into the files. "Yeah, yeah. Go, kick a door down for me." Morgan chuckled as he went out.
Morgan flipped his phone open with a snap and hit 3 to speed-dial Reid. Within seconds, the younger agent picked up.
"Reid, it's Morgan. Listen, I've got a possible suspect, a Cody Robbins. Apparently, he's an ex-boyfriend of our girl and he won't leave her alone. She's got a restraining order out and everything."
"Cody Robbins, Cody Robbins…." He could hear Reid rifling papers. "Yeah, he's here. I found the restraining order."
"Call Garcia and get everything you can on him, okay? We're gonna finish up here and be back in a few."
"Will do, Morgan." They hung up.
Was it late? It felt late. Reid pushed a lock of hair out of his face for the sixtieth time (yeah, really, sixty times that strand of hair had fallen over his eye-he'd counted), and huffed softly. Cody Robbins was sort of a piece of work. He didn't actually stalk Anna Marie, per se. He just showed up sometimes at the same café, or bookstore, and sometimes… sometimes things got ugly. She'd tell him to go away, he would call her something rude, and then he'd storm away. Only once had he ever tried to use violence to get her to comply.
The very next day, she went out and got the restraining order.
Reid rubbed his eyes. Six hours into the search and they had one suspect and no real idea where to find him. Garcia had told him that there were sixteen Cody Robbins' living in the same area of Mississippi, and that it would take a while to process all the parameters, due to a slight malfunction in machinery that she had had to take some poor soul to task over.
Anna Marie had now officially been missing for twenty-four hours.
The team gathered, a little discouraged, though carefully masking it for the benefit of the officers watching them. Hotch eyed them all, quickly and efficiently broke their unspoken "no profiling teammates" rule, and determined who was up for which jobs. Just as quickly, he began delegating.
"Alright, since we have no tech support as of yet, and we have not been able to get in touch with Robbins, I want Morgan and Reid to go to his parent's house to speak with them. They might not know where he is, but they could have useful information anyway. JJ, media. Keep them updated. Prentiss, you're with me and Rossi. We're going to go back over everything in this paperwork and make sure we have our man. He may be our only suspect, but he may not be our guy. Let's move, people."
Reid knew it was probably a horrible thought, but the idea of getting out of the office excited him, even if he was going to be searching for a kidnapped young lady. Maybe he'd finally get some coffee too.
"Reid, you head on out to the car. I'll be there in a second," Morgan called. Reid wave in acknowledgement and headed outside into the muggy evening air of Caldecott, Mississippi. He reached the SUV and pulled out the duplicate keys that Prentiss had passed him before they all split.
He was just unlocking the door when something hit the back of his head, hard, and his vision went black.
Spencer Reid could name at least six ways he never ever wanted to wake up again. To his father placing a note on the kitchen table before leaving and not being heard from for ten years; panting for breath, struggling not to scream, scenes from the nightmare flashing through his eidetic memory like a twisted slide-show; to worried faces hovering over him and the beeping of machines letting him know that something is wrong; to his mother telling him she hated him; with a hangover (one time is all it took); and, last but not least, to a raging headache, in a dark, damp underground chamber facing a beautiful young woman he was supposed to be rescuing.
Reid scowled. He really hated getting kidnapped by UnSubs. It always seemed to happen to him, and the rest of the team was always really ticked off after they rescued him. Morgan would be hovering for days.
Sighing, he decided to attempt to take stock of his surroundings instead of having a pity party. The uncomfortable part was-not that the whole thing wasn't uncomfortable-his surroundings included Anna Marie Darkholme. Who was staring at him.
Reid waved awkwardly. "Um, hello."
She blinked, then shifted into a crouch and moved over to where he was sprawled at the base of the dirt slide that led to a trapdoor that he assumed and knew from experience would be locked. She held out a hand to him and he shook it. "Anna Marie Darkholme," she informed him, Mississippi accent lulling softly.
"I know," he returned wryly. "I'm Dr. Spencer Reid, with the Federal Bureau of Investigations."
She looked nonplussed. "Seriously?"
He snorted. "Seriously." She shook her head, auburn and white tresses flipping around her face. "Man, if this is your rescue attempt…"
"I know, I know," he sighed. Glancing up at the ceiling, he said, "This always happens to me."
Anna Marie looked interested. "Really?" He nodded glumly. "Yes."
"Tell me about it." He ran a hand over his face and looked at her face clearly for the first time. "I assume you've tried to get out already?"
"Duh," she said, in a tone of voice that suggested she was offended he even had to ask. He nodded wearily. "I figured."
They looked at each other blankly for a minute. Then, Reid stirred a little and said, "So, tell me what happened?"
For another second, she just stared at him. Then, she began talking.
"Ah was walkin' home from my friend Carol's house 'cause Ah spent the night when this guy jumped-an' Ah swear Ah ain't makin' this up-out of the bushes. Seriously, how clichéd is that? Bushes! Anyway, he grabbed me and hit me, an' Ah guess Ah blacked out, 'cause when Ah woke up, he was gone, an' Ah was sittin' here."
Reid nodded slowly. "Do you know him?"
She shook her head. "Ah've been tryin' to figure out who he might be, but Ah can't recall ever seein' him 'fore yesterday."
"Has he come back since you woke up?"
He nodded again, distractedly, trying to think of a way to phrase his next question. "Did he, ah-"
"No," she said firmly.
Relieved, he nodded again, aware that his head was bobbing like a chicken's but not sure what to do about it. "Okay, that's good." Really. Because he really did not want to have to deal with a rape victim. Not that he believed Anna Marie would ever allow anyone to touch her if she didn't want them to.
He groaned suddenly.
"What?" she asked, suddenly worried.
"I just realized," he said, "That we have no idea who grabbed us. We all thought that Cody Robbins was the kidnapper."
"Cody? Heck no. Ah could totally have taken Cody. This guy is huge."
"Yeah, well, my team has only one lead and that's obviously a bust. Which means-"
"We're gonna be here a while aren't we?" she interrupted. He nodded.
"Yeah. We are."
"Well, that's just freaking great. You know, as far as rescue attempts go, yours sucks."
"Yeah, I got that, thanks!"
"Ugh. Why do Ah have to get trapped with the one FBI agent that the whole universe wants to kidnap and beat up?"
"Well, you said it always happens!"
"That's a figure of speech!"
"Figure this speech!"
"Did you really just say-"
"Dang it, Hotch, I swear, when I get my hands on that little brat-"
"Are you talking about Reid, or Cody Robbins?" Hotch couldn't help but clarify. Morgan shot him a look that said his humor was not appreciated.
"I'm serious, Hotch. I left him alone for five minutes. Five minutes he's out of my sight, and the next thing I know, he's missing."
"Calm down, Morgan," Hotch ordered. "The last thing we need is for you to panic. We'll get him back. Both him and Anna Marie."
Morgan took a deep breath. "Okay, okay. Right. So. Robbins. Anybody know where he is?"
"Prentiss and Rossi are working on it."
"We've worked on it," Rossi called from the end of the hallway. "And I've got some bad news."
"Aw, what now?" Morgan complained. Rossi grimaced.
"Robbins isn't our man."
Cutting off Morgan's explosion with a quick hand movement, Hotch looked at Rossi. "Explain."
Rossi held up his cell phone. "Robbins has been out of town, staying with his cousin, for the past three days. Cousin swears the boy hasn't left his sight. No way he could've nabbed the girl."
Morgan looked about ready to cuss himself blue, so Hotch waved Prentiss over. "Look, you two, get back on victimology. Figure out who might want to kidnap Anna Marie Darkholme, and then find them."
Deciding that sitting around arguing wasn't going to help them get out any faster, Reid and Anna Marie were currently attempting to get the trapdoor open.
It wasn't going well.
"Kicking the door is only going to hurt your feet," Reid said pragmatically, for the sixth time. Anna shot him a glare and went back to using her boots as a battering ram. He shook his head and returned his gaze to the walls. Yeah, he was used to being ignored about that sort of thing. Morgan never listened to him either.
He yawned, then winced as the pull reacquainted him with his current headache. Pulled his sleeve up to check the time and glared at the watch face that informed him it was eleven o' clock. He'd been unconscious for… nearly six hours. He scowled. Great. At least he didn't have a concussion. That was good. He really hated concussions.
However, while he might not have had a concussion, he did have an angry, smart-mouthed eighteen year old girl as a roommate, and that was one area he had no expertise in.
"Joss," Anna Marie muttered from behind him. "Ah need some coffee."
"You're kidding me."
Morgan sat back and listened flabbergasted as Garcia informed them of exactly who had kidnapped Anna Marie Darkholme. The rest of the team gathered around him and they all strained to hear.
"Yeah," Garcia was saying. "His name is Bolivar Trask, can you believe that? Apparently he moved to Caldecott about a month ago and, for some reason, really has a problem with Anna Marie. It's a small town, you know, so everybody knows everybody, and the two of them ran across each other at the grocery store one day and, well, the rest is history."
"How did you find all of that?" JJ asked.
Garcia laughed. "Honey! I am the queen here! I can find what you ate for breakfast yesterday."
"I don't even know what I ate for breakfast yesterday," JJ whispered to Prentiss. The other woman chuckled. "Exactly."
"So, do you have an address for us, baby girl?" Morgan asked. Garcia giggled.
"Of course I do, you stud, you. Sending it to your GPS right now."
"You're a doll, Penelope."
"Just bring 'em back safe, Morgan," she answered.
Morgan and Prentiss crept around the side of Bolivar Trask's house with their vests on and their guns ready. Rossi and Hotch were actually knocking on the door.
"Mr. Trask? Mr. Trask, FBI, open up."
To their surprise, the door actually opened. "Yeah, whattaya want?" Trask grunted. Hotch recovered his stern look and said, "Mr. Trask we're investigating the kidnapping of Anna Marie Darkholme. Would you mind if we looked around inside your house?"
The man was clearly drunk. "Tha' lil snit?" he said, slurring a little. "Don't bother lookin' inna house. She'sssss… inna storm shelter, 'hind the house."
Turning away quickly, Rossi spoke into his comm. "Morgan, Anna Marie is in the storm shelter behind the house."
"Got it," Morgan replied. Rossi turned back to find Trask in handcuffs and Hotch asking about Reid.
"Where is the FBI agent you took?"
Trask waved vaguely in the same direction he'd indicated Anna to be in.
"They're together?" Rossi ventured a guess. Trask nodded.
"Why did you take him?" Rossi asked the question that had been bothering him. Trask shrugged and then passed out. Hotch and Rossi exchanged disgusted looks.
Morgan and Prentiss surveyed the dirt-encrusted trapdoor that led to the storm shelter. Exchanging shrugs, they moved forward. Morgan grasped the old padlock and then stepped away. Busting it open with one good kick, he removed the chain and then hauled at the nearly petrified wooden door.
Voices floated up, cutting off his attempted shout.
"You know what? Ah've just about had it with you."
"You've just about had it with me? Who says that?"
"I'm older than you!"
"You just love sayin' that don't you?"
"Reid!" Morgan finally called.
"Yeah?" came the disgruntled shout. A little nonplussed, Morgan looked over his shoulder at Prentiss, who shrugged. "Hey, uh, you two okay?"
With that, the two of them came into view. Dusty, hunched over, and glaring, but perfectly whole and alive. "We're fine," Anna Marie snapped. "Help me up."
Shocked into obedience, Morgan reached down and grabbed both of their hands, pulling them both up with barely a grunt. As soon as they were standing on solid ground, she turned to Reid and said, pointing to Morgan. "Now why couldn't Ah have gotten trapped with him? Ah bet he coulda gotten us outta there in no time!"
"Yeah, he'd probably kick the door off its hinges," Reid shot back sarcastically. "I'm so sorry you got stuck with the mediocre FBI agent. Next time, I'll make more of an effort not to get kidnapped!"
Morgan and Prentiss watched the argument like it was a tennis match, heads swinging back and forth to cover all the action. The two rescuees were trudging in the direction of the house, obviously having a goal in mind, and blithely ignoring the way they were both kind of leaning on each other as they bickered.
"You're so annoying," she muttered, barely loud enough for the agents who were trailing the pair to hear.
"You're more annoying," came Reid's not-so-stellar comeback. She snorted. He huffed. They shoved away from each other briefly before coming back and helping each other along.
They reached the house just as Hotch came out to wonder where they were. He stopped, a little taken aback as his youngest agent and their kidnap victim stumbled past him with barely a "Hi, Hotch," and a bemused Morgan and Prentiss bringing up the rear.
"The heck?" Hotch asked bluntly. Morgan shook his head.
"Truthfully, I have no idea."
They followed Anna and Reid into the house and found them in the kitchen, across from the handcuffed Bolivar Trask, who was still passed out at the table. Anna gave him a disinterested look and then turned back to what Reid was doing in his pantry. "You find it yet?"
"Just… gimme a… second," Reid huffed, finally backing out of the cupboard with his arms full. The agents watched, half amused and half confused as he placed his bounty on the counter and Anna Marie surveyed it like a general. "This everything?"
"Yup," he said, popping the P and looking pleased about it. "Sugar, coffee beans, creamer, the whole shebang."
"Good," she said satisfied. They began hunting for the coffee bean grinder.
Feeling like he should say something, Morgan tentatively cut in. "Uh, what are you two doing?"
Not answering him, Reid glanced over at Anna. "You know what the worst part of being kidnapped is?" he asked mildly.
"No, what?" she answered distractedly.
"The kidnappers never give you any coffee," he said, beaming as he finally managed to wrestle the grinder out into the open and pour the beans in.
Anna Marie was nodding. "Amen to that."
"And you know what else sucks?" he continued. "When you get rescued, they make you go to the hospital. And guess what?"
"What?" she said, tongue sticking out of the side of her mouth as she reached for coffee mugs. Reid stepped up behind her and easily pulled two off the top shelf. "Hospitals. Don't give you. Coffee."
"So," she said, stepping around him and taking one of the mugs. "We're making our own. Now."
"Is that okay with you, Morgan?" Reid snapped suddenly, turning on his friend and brandishing a coffee mug at him. "'Cause if it's not, you just say the word and we'll sit tight until the ambulances get here!"
Completely nonplussed, Morgan said the first thing that came to his head. "Wow, you get snarky when you get kidnapped."
"No," Reid shot back. "I get snarky when I haven't had a cup of coffee in forty-eight hours! Where's the freaking sugar?"
Anna handed it to him and finished preparing the coffee. She poured the water in and clicked on the button. "Coffee," she stated, pointing to the pot and daring Morgan to argue with her.
He chose not to, simply shaking his head and glancing to Hotch. Hotch decided that caffeinated kidnappees were the lesser evil, seeing as how he knew what Reid was like when he didn't get any coffee, and nodded his head. Morgan took that to mean he should let them be and instead began checking them for injuries.
As far as he could tell, Anna Marie was mostly tired, dirty, and ticked off, without a mark on her. Reid had a visible, slightly bloody knot on the back of his head, but other than that appeared fine.
Other than the glaring and the squinting and the attitude, oh-
"Want some asprin, Pretty Boy?" Morgan offered. Reid gave him a look, but this one was incredibly grateful. Prentiss headed out to the car to retrieve the bottle they kept in the glove compartment. Anna turned to Reid and smirked at him.
The coffee finished percolating, and Anna and Reid both reached for it at the same time. They glared at each other for a second before Reid graciously inclined his head and let go. "Ladies first."
"Be my guest, Pretty Boy," she replied sweetly, even as she poured herself a cup. She softened though, as he held out his own mug and she poured the hot liquid into it. "You know," she offered as she dumped half the carton of creamer into her cup. "You actually aren't that bad of a kidnap-buddy. You know, for being an FBI agent."
He gave her a little grin. "And you're one of the less hysterical kidnap victims I've come in contact with over the years."
She rolled her eyes a little. "Yeah, 'cause Ah bet that's been a long time, what with you bein' so ancient an' all." But it was good natured teasing.
The other agents watched in fond amusement as their kid played nice with his new friend.
"Figures he'd bond with someone over coffee," Rossi grumbled good-naturedly.
"Yeah," Hotch agreed, smiling as the two clinked mugs.
Morgan just grinned as the little Southern belle and the kid he'd started thinking of as his younger brother whispered between themselves. He probably wouldn't have been smiling if he knew what they were saying.
"So what's up with all the proud, parental looks over there?"
"I honestly have no idea. Morgan is a little strange though, so who knows what he's thinking…"
A/N: This. Took me. So. Flipping. Long. To write. Honestly, I feel really terrible that it took me that long. Like, three weeks, really.
So we all know that Reid isn't just the super-smart, often-snatched, yeah-I've-got-three-PhD's-what's-it-to-ya, FBI agent that everybody thinks of as "the kid." He's not always sweet, not always polite, and if you get in between him and his coffee, he can be downright mean. So… here he is. Not panicking, not hurt, just mad and uncaffeinated.
Additional, No-Longer-Spoiler Disclaimer: I do not own Anna Marie. She belongs to Marvel, though I have stripped her of some of the best things about her (namely Remy), for which I apologize. Oh, and I don't own Bolivar Trask. He also is Marvel's. I also do not own Cody Robbins (also Marvel's), who has put up with quite a lot in this fic: not getting the girl, being accused of kidnapping the girl, interrogation by Morgan…