AN: I had to repost, since I used a bad word in the summary. Have some other bad words.
There is no way to know there hadn't been a basement before.
When he'd had the dream as a kid, he hasn't the vaguest clue whether any basements were present. He can recall the shoes, the black and white sneakers, emerging from behind a wall. Small shoes. A child's shoes. The child had always been there.
But had there ever been a basement?
He was always alone before. That much he knows. The fact that the team are with him now, in his old dream, probably means something.
As to the meaning of the basement, he can wager a guess.
It starts above ground; on the jet, flying here, it had been a nondescript, darkened and unfurnished house. A long sterile corridor and a closed door. While the house and its gaping rooms are slung with black shadows, there is a rim of light at the bottom of the door.
Drawing ahead of the others, he slithers down the hallway towards it, dreamt and therefore not quite real fear shrinking his lungs. The light grows, breaths a mist across the floor, and he's there, his sidearm raised, the door opening at his touch.
He knows his way from here.
There are steps, dropping down into the belly of the house. Awake, he has long since come to loath going underground. The irrational behavior he exhibits when faced with it doesn't seem to lessen with time. He's largely managed to shake the sensitivity to light, the panicked fear of knives or blades of any kind that had plagued him for a time, but this, this intense reluctance to go beneath the surface of the earth, has remained with him more or less undiminished. Occasionally he's been forced to enter such spaces in the course of the job, and the only thing he's gotten better at is the ability to hide his fear.
There are many things he's gotten better at hiding.
The fear isn't with him in the dream. He descends without its weight pressing him, light feet on the basement steps.
But the child. The child has always been here. The child is a constant.
There is no sign of Adam Morrison, Christopher Early, Kyle Horowitz or any of the other fifteen who died at the hands of Michael Jones. No José Ruiz, no Evan Trudhomme, no Toby Hollander, and neither of the two as yet unnamed ones who are still in the ground somewhere, undiscovered. They still come to him, in other dreams. Other basements. Not this one. Here, there is only the child.
The basement itself is different. Nothing like the square space where his life was almost ended. Perhaps it's an accurate estimation of what that basement might have looked like before it was stripped bare and converted to a dungeon, but other than that it has nothing in common with it. It's cluttered and untidy, a place for storage and forgotten things. Broken things.
Like the child.
He's down. Staring at the little shoes reaching from of a dark corner. There are shadows here, unlike the white and barren cellars he's dreamt before. There are places to hide. Somebody's hidden the child in the cold and the dark.
But I'm here, Reid dreams. I can see him. I found him.
Even though no one found me.