The Dead Zone
Author's Note: Hey y'all! Happy Halloween! I know it's been a while. Hope everyone is doing well. For those of you who read my HP stuff I am still working on it, I just have a case of writer's block that I am working through. Thank you for your patience. This is for the Halloween Horrors Challenge over on Chit Chat on Author's Corner. I hope you all enjoy! Oh, for those of you who are wondering I do not own Criminal Minds or any of the characters. Hope that clears that up.
David Rossi and Spencer Reid were driving along a back road on their way to their coworker and friend's Halloween party. Rossi had offered the day before to pick up Reid on his way. The older man was dressed as a pirate while Reid was dressed as Spock. They were talking quietly about the latest case they had worked when Reid suddenly shouted "Rossi, look out!"
Standing in the middle of the road was a young woman and child. Rossi jerked the wheel to the right, sending the car careening down the bank and into a tree. Rossi's head snapped forward as the airbag deployed, breaking his nose. Reid's head snapped forward and to the side, smashing into the passenger side window. A gash was torn on his right temple and began to bleed even as the airbag exploded out of the dash, hitting him in the face. Reid groaned quietly as he turned his head away from the window. His ears were ringing and nausea was rolling in his stomach.
"Reid, are you okay?" Rossi's voice was slightly muffled as he tilted his head back and was pinching the bridge of his nose to stop the blood flow.
Reid nodded but stopped when the world around him pitched to the side and started to spin. He cleared this throat and murmured softly "yeah. Yeah, I'm alright. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, Reid, I'm okay, just a broken nose. Nothing to worry about," Rossi replied before lapsing into silence.
Reid thought over the last several minutes as he listened to Rossi's wet breathing and his only slightly ragged breathing. Suddenly he sat up, brown eyes going wide as the cause of the accident finally caught up to his foggy mind.
"Rossi!" He exclaimed as he started to force his way out of the car. "The woman and child. Did we hit them?"
Reid stumbled as he pushed himself out of the door, the world swimming before his eyes. He could hear his friend cursing slightly as he came around to his side of the car.
"Calm down Reid," Rossi demanded as he placed a gentle hand on the younger man's shoulder. "I really think you have a concussion, so just take it easy. We'll go check. Just take it easy."
Together the two men made their way up the steep bank, slipping and stumbling several times before they made it to the top. They looked around but only saw an empty stretch of road. They exchanged a baffled look before splitting up to look for the potential causalities. Reid went back the way they came as Rossi went in the direction they were going. Reid stumbled several times over lose rocks and sticks. The world was still swimming before his eyes as he reached up to press gentle fingers to the flesh around the gash in his temple. He flinched slightly in pain. He could barely hear Rossi behind him over the ringing in his ears. H walked another several yards, scanning the ground for any sign of the woman or child, but saw nothing. He sighed, carefully turned his head both directions to look for oncoming traffic, and crossed the street to carefully search back up the way he came. He waited for Rossi to join him in the spot they careened off the road.
"Nothing?" He asked incredulously as the older man joined him.
"Nothing," Rossi confirmed. "You did see them too, right Reid?"
Reid nodded his head carefully, wincing as his right temple throbbed in response.
Dave sighed, ran a hand through his hair in frustration, then said "Okay. Let's go back to the car. You need to sit down and if they were here they aren't anymore. We wouldn't have missed them."
As Rossi started herding him back to the car he held out his cell phone and said "I don't have service, do you?"
Rossi dug out his own phone only to fine he didn't have service either. He shoved it back in his pocket as an answer. When they got back to the car Rossi guided Reid into the passenger seat and crouched in front of him. He dug around in the glove box to find his tiny pen light. The light of the full moon might have been enough to see to search for people by but it was not nearly enough to see a head wound. He shined it at his temple first. He reached up with his free left hand to gently grip Reid's chin and tilt his head to get a good look at the still bleeding wound. He talked softly to Reid when he saw his eyes becoming more and more unfocused. He had him track his finder with his eyes, only to find that he couldn't. His left pupil was bigger than his right. Rossi asked him several questions to check his cognitive recall, again, he didn't do well.
"Okay, Kiddo, lets move you to the backseat. You can't sleep but lets see if we can't make you more comfortable," Rossi said gently as he helped the younger man into the backseat.
Rossi held up Reid with one arm while he opened the door to the backseat with the other. He carefully lowered him onto the seat, got his long legs into the vehicle then shut the door. He hurried around to the other side and climbed inside. He studied the younger man for several moments before he gently wrapped an arm around Reid and pulled him into his side.
"No sleeping," Rossi muttered into the shaggy head resting against his collarbone.
"Not sleeping," Reid slurred as his brown eyes closed.
Rossi shook him slightly causing Reid to open his eyes again.
"You need to keep your eyes open Spencer," Rossi demanded sternly.
Reid pried his eyes open and looked up at the older man.
"Stay awake," Rossi reiterated firmly. "I'm going to go look for the woman and child again. You stay here. Got it?"
Reid just nodded at the older man, too tired and dizzy to say anything. Rossi looked at Reid for another few seconds before he gently sat Reid against the back of the seat and disappeared out into the darkness. Reid tried to track him with his eyes but lost him fairly quickly. He sat in silence as he waited for the older man to come back.
Rossi headed away from the car and into the woods further thinking maybe the woman and child had made it into the woods. It didn't feel right to him to let it go until he knew if they were okay or not. Dave walked parallel to the road, scanning the area around him for any signs of the pair. There was nothing. He walked for about fifteen minutes before turning around and heading back to his young teammate and friend. He pulled the door open to see Reid with his eyes closed.
"Reid!" He all but barked at the young man.
Reid opened his eyes and garbled "I'm not asleep. Everything is spinning; making me even more nauseous."
Rossi reached out and brushed the shaggy hair back off his forehead as he whispered "I'm sorry Reid. I wish I could do more."
Reid just nodded as he said "I know. Did you find them? I thought… I thought I heard a child crying."
"No," Rossi answered slightly alarmed. "I didn't. What direction did you hear it from?"
Reid peered up at him and arched an eyebrow as if to ask 'are you kidding me?' Rossi huffed out a slight laugh.
"Yeah, I guess over the ringing in your ears that's probably a bit much to ask," Rossi admitted. "I'll go check the other way for a bit. Are you okay here on you own again?"
Reid waved a long fingered hand at him dismissively while he said "go ahead. I'm fine. If they are out there and hurt they need help. There isn't much here you can do for me."
"Okay Spencer. Sit here and try to stay awake, I know, I know, you know… I just had to say it," Rossi stated with a wry grin before setting out in the other direction.
Reid watched him go exasperated that he couldn't be out there with him. However he knew that it would be dangerous for both himself and the others. If he passed out Rossi would have to spend time looking for him rather than focusing on the missing civilians. Several minutes after Dave left Reid heard a twig snap somewhere off to his left. Reid snapped his head around toward the sound then moaned at the agony that flared through his head. He thought for several minutes he was finally going to lose the battle with his nausea, however he managed to fight it back again. Once he got himself back under control he carefully looked around, trying to find the source of the snapped twig. The wind picked up and he could have sworn he heard a child crying. It was driving him crazy to sit here and listen, to what he thought was a child in pain, and be unable to do anything about it. He was so focused on trying to find out where the sound was coming from that he didn't notice Rossi until he was right on top of him.
Rossi reached out to touch the younger man, trying to get his attention. He had called his name several times already but got no response. Reid finally noticed him when he grabbed his shoulder.
"Reid, are you with me?" He asked in concern.
Spencer nodded his head slightly which caused him to wince before he replied tightly "Dave, please tell me you found the kid. I swear I hear one crying. We have to find that kid."
"I know, Kid, I know. I heard him too but I can't find him. I had to come back and check on you. If you are okay I'm going to go back out," Rossi explained slowly.
Reid made an affirmative noise to show he had heard, understood and agreed. Rossi was getting ready to go back out when off in the distance they saw the figures of a woman and child standing between two trees. Mist was swirling around both of them, light of the moon illuminating the area around them. They just stood there before they both waved slightly and disappeared into the trees behind them.
"Dave, did you see that?" Reid whispered, shaken.
Rossi turned his attention to the young man beside him. He could feel him shaking from what he assumed to be a combination of cold and shock. He climbed in beside him and pulled him close once again.
"Yeah," he murmured into the shaggy hair resting on his shoulder. "But I'm still working on the believing."
"Doesn't make sense," Reid agreed faintly, slowly losing his grasp on consciousness.
Rossi started slightly as he felt his young friend go limp in his arms.
"Reid, Reid… Spencer! You've got to wake up. Wake Up!" Rossi got progressively louder until he was almost yelling at the young genius before he whispered "please wake up."
The next several hours were spent with Rossi holding Reid against himself, trying to keep him warm, and talking to him, encouraging him to stay awake the few times he woke back up. Rossi was telling the unconscious Reid about his family and childhood when he caught the faint sounds of people yelling his and Reid's names. He gently turned Reid's head so his ear was pressed against his shoulder then covered the other with his palm before yelling back.
"Morgan and Hotch are here, Spencer," He whispered fondly. "Everything is going to be okay. You are going to be okay."
Author's Note: Hey everyone, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the story. May the best of luck and my prayers go out to everyone else on the East Coast of the USA! I hope you all are safe, dry and warm. Until next time be happy, healthy and safe!