I was cruising around my writing folder, trying to find something to write on and maybe to post, seeing as how I've vanished on all of you lately :P And I found this. kind of old, kind of pointless, but it amused me and so I thought I'd post it while also taking a moment to let you guys know I am still here, I promise! I'm working really hard on coming back. Just when I think I can, something else crops up. I've been spending a lot of time in the hospital waiting room with a loved one that's ill, so writing has been hard. But I've got two days here that nothing is supposed to be going on (hopefully) and I'm really hoping to get some writing in and some things up for you all. So, don't think I've forgotten you all! I haven't! And I love the emails some of you sent to check on me, thank you :D
Officer Sam sat back in his chair, finally giving up on trying to talk to the kid in front of him. Instead, he settled in to watch. Short of snatching the files out of the kid's hands or climbing in front of him, it appeared he wasn't going to be paying attention any time soon. What a rude kid he thought to himself. He had to have heard Sam talking to him. Talking loudly at one point; almost yelling. But still this kid had bent forward with that shaggy hair shielding his face and continued to scan the folders.
What on earth was this kid doing? He was flipping pages in the folders like he was just barely skimming them. There was no way he actually retained any of the information that he saw. He moved the pages way too fast for that. But what the hell was he doing? Sam knew this was one of the FBI guys. An Agent. If he hadn't heard it from his Chief he wouldn't have believed it. He looked like, well, a kid! It was irritating as hell that this kid would sit here and ignore him just to skim papers. Just because he was an FBI agent didn't mean that he could be rude.
Annoyed all over again, Sam tried once more to get his attention. "Hey, kid. Hey!" He called out. Not even a flinch. "Hey, man, come on. I know you hear me. Answer me, would you?" Nothing. "You're really frustrating the hell out of me, you know. Just because you're an agent doesn't mean you get the right to act like a jerk." Again, nothing. God! If the Chief hadn't demanded he come ask this skinny little agent something, Sam would be so gone right now. Leaning forward, he decided to try one last time. "Hey! Hey, Agent! Come on, answer me! Hello? Hello!"
A deep laugh filled the small room. Looking up, Sam saw the dark skinned agent from earlier. What had been his name? Oh, Morgan. That was right. Agent Morgan.
Agent Morgan walked over, grinning at Sam. "You won't get his attention that way." He said with a chuckle. "Reid goes into the zone when he's working."
The zone, huh? Like, what, a rude zone? "I've been calling to him for almost ten minutes now." Sam knew his voice showed his annoyance but he couldn't help that. He was annoyed. He had work to do just like anyone else! Better things to do than sit here and try to get the attention of this kid. "Chief wants to know if the agent here" he jerked his thumb toward the kid "found anything that might have narrowed down our victim pool. I guess your boss told my boss to check with him."
Morgan grinned again and moved toward the kid—this Reid. He bent over, looking at the stack of files that were spread out. When he straightened back up, he met Sam's eyes in a steady gaze. This was one guy who had no problem with steady eye contact. "You probably won't get an answer out of him until he's done reading all these. Reid tends to go somewhere else when he reads. Don't worry, man. It isn't personal. He's not intentionally ignoring you or anything. That's just how he gets."
But Sam was stuck on one point of that statement. "When he reads? How can he be reading? He barely stops on any page."
To Sam's surprise, Agent Morgan laughed again. "Sorry, man." He said when he calmed back down. "We're all so used to one another that we forget sometimes that you guys don't know about us. Reid is our resident genius. He is reading that stuff, even if it doesn't look like it to us. He reads twenty thousand words a minute."
"What?" Seriously? Was this guy kidding him?
"Yeah, I know. Took some getting used to. After a while you just don't really think about it anymore. He's pretty much our smarty pants, so the things he does, they don't really surprise us too much anymore. We learned to expect the unexpected with him." Turning, Morgan put a hand on Reid's shoulder, calling out "Hey, Reid, you had anything to eat or drink since you came in here?"
The kid didn't look up but, surprise, he actually answered. "I can't stop right now. There's something here, Morgan…I just need to look at this and compare…." Reid put his file down and picked up another off the stack. "There's something that's right in front of me, I know it…"
"You need anything while I'm here, Reid?"
The young agent did look up then, briefly, to flash a shy smile at his fellow agent. "Coffee?" he asked hopefully even as his eyes went back to his papers. Morgan chuckled and ruffled his hair. "You got it, pretty boy."
Pretty boy? Ok, now that was a little weird. Sam raised an eyebrow as Morgan walked out of the room. So apparently this kid was treated pretty special because he was a genius. Enough so that one of the older, more experienced agents was fetching his coffee for him. As for the nickname pretty boy, well, Sam had no idea about that one. It seemed rather strange coming from the bigger man to the younger one. But who was he to judge how people worked together? He'd seen some interesting partner relationships with cops before. Sometimes working together for a while created jokes and nicknames and things between the two that no one else understood. Maybe this was just one of those things.
Looking over, Sam watched as Reid went back to reading. Maybe since Morgan had got through, this kid might hear Sam. He decided to give it a try. "Hey, Reid." He called out, remembering to use the name that Morgan had said. "You got a minute? Chief has a question he wants me to ask."
"I just need to know if you found anything to narrow down the victim pool."
Now, this was seriously annoying. Morgan had said the kid zoned out, but he'd just been answering the other agent. Why couldn't he bring himself to answer Sam? Or was he one of those egotistical guys who thinks that just because he's an agent and a real smart guy he doesn't have to deal with dumb local cops?
Beyond annoyed now, Sam got up and moved around the table. He was awfully tired of being ignored. "Hey, kid." He snapped out, reaching out to nudge Reid's shoulder. The reaction he got was not what he'd been expecting.
Reid flinched almost instantly, his head shooting up and his eyes going wide even as he was shoving his chair back away from the touch.
Surprised, Sam stared at him. "Wow, little jumpy there?" He remarked sarcastically. Normally he probably would have been a little nicer but this kid was seriously annoying him. He had a job to do and the last thing he wanted was to waste more time trying to get this kid to answer him. "Sorry to startle you. I've been trying to get your attention for over ten minutes."
"You, uh, you have?"
Wow, the kid stuttered too. Could he seem any younger?
Morgan's voice interrupted them before Sam could ask his question. "Have no fear, coffee is here." He announced, pushing open the door with his elbow. He walked straight over to Reid, who fumbled the file in his hand a little, tossing it onto the table finally and taking the proffered cup from Morgan.
The older agent looked at his friend with an eyebrow raised. "Why are you so far back from the table, Reid? You decide to play with the rolling chair?" he taunted. Instantly a blush flamed the kid's cheeks. "No." He insisted quickly. "I uh, I was reading and the uh, the officer here startled me a little."
Looking up with knowing eyes, Morgan looked at Sam. "Sorry. Should have warned you not to touch him, especially when he's thinking. Reid's not big on touching."
"But you touched him to get his attention." Sam said without stopping to think.
Reid looked up from his coffee, still blushing like a school girl. "Subconsciously my mind recognizes certain touches that I've become familiar with. It isn't uncommon for one of my team members to touch my shoulder or my head in order to bring my attention back to the present moment. Actually, there are studies that suggest…" His words were cut off when Morgan put a hand over his mouth. When it was removed, the blush was back, even stronger. "Sorry." He mumbled.
"No problem, kid. I just doubt Officer Sam here wants a lecture on subconscious thoughts and our physical reactions or whatever else you were going to ramble with. If it makes you feel better, you can tell me later and I promise to pretend to be interested." When Morgan saw he'd earned a grin, he ruffled Reid's hair once more. "Now drink your coffee and pay attention to Sam before he goes insane from you ignoring him."
And yet, somehow, Sam found himself yet again being ignored. Agent Reid's eyes went wide and traveled down to his coffee cup. For a single instant the kid stared at it. Then he was rolling back toward the table, making Sam and Morgan both have to step back before they got trampled.
"Of course, of course. I can't believe I missed it!" Reid exclaimed, rapidly sifting through piles. He continued to mutter to himself, though so low that Sam couldn't understand it. He turned, looking to Morgan for an explanation.
The other profiler shrugged and gave Sam half a grin. "Apparently we sparked something. Sorry, man. Just tell the Chief we'll let him know once we have something to nail down the potential victims with."
"I've got it!" Reid exclaimed loudly.
Sam looked over to see Reid reaching to the phone before him. He hit speaker and dialed out quickly. After only a single ring, a voice came over the speaker phone "Speak and be recognized, oh mortal one."
"Garcia, it's Reid."
"Well hello my handsome doctor. Come, tell the priestess what it is you wish."
Sam raised an eyebrow at the bubbly, flirtatious voice on the phone. Now, this woman sounded interesting. There were some weird people on this team…
"I need you to pull up the girls at the school for me." Reid said, looking through some of the files in front of him.
"Ok." The woman replied. "Got that. What next?"
"Put the parameters on there that we've already established. Ages thirteen to fifteen, brown hair."
"Now, narrow it down to girls who are taking a foreign language. Specifically French."
"Got it. We've got twenty."
Reid rose to his feet, pacing back and forth, his coffee cup held in one hand. "On a separate screen can you pull up our victims?"
There was the sound of keys and then "Easy enough. What next, boy genius?"
"I know all of them took French. But do you have a way to tell me if any of them participated in the same extracurricular activity that involves the French language and compare it to the twenty women you just found and see if anything matches up between them?"
Another pause, more keystrokes. Then, "Hot diggity dog, Dr. Reid, you really are brilliant. All the victims belonged to the same club outside of school, down at the rec center. It's an informal group. I only found it because they all referenced it on their Twitter accounts. Two girls from the twenty also attend this little gathering. It's just a French club, basically, where they practice their language and learn about its history. Sounds kind of boring to me."
"You're wonderful, Garcia." Reid exclaimed. "We need the names and all information on those girls. They may be our next potential victims. Also, can you look up any adults that might fit the profile who would be associated with the club or maybe even the rec center?"
"Oh, sugar, it's sweet that you think I haven't already sent it to everyone's tablets. Live long and prosper, my sci-fi doctor!"
There was a click and then the phone hung up. Morgan already had his tablet in his hand and was opening the information. He raised his eyes to Sam. "Call your Chief. Tell him we've narrowed down our potential victims."
Hours later everyone was gathered back at the station once again. Sam was sitting in a chair at his desk, looking at the group of profilers that were busy talking to one another nearby. He couldn't believe how quickly things had gone today! After Sam had gone to talk to the Chief, it seemed like the afternoon moved fast. They'd gone out and raided the French club in the middle of its meeting, arresting a man as their potential killer. Or, as these guys called him, their Unsub.
The guy was sitting in an interrogation room now, waiting to be grilled by one of the FBI guys. They were discussing strategy at the moment by their table at the side of the station. It was close enough that Sam could hear them as they talked, but some of the things they discussed went a little over his head.
The killer, John Byor, was apparently the perfect suspect. But they needed either proof or a confession. Sam hoped these guys could get that confession. Or that they might find something in the stuff from his house. They'd brought a box of what looked like books back to the station with them after they'd obtained their warrant and searched his house.
Sam looked over, seeing the two older agents were now gone. Hotch and Rossi, the others called them. Agents Prentiss and Morgan were standing by the box, pulling out book after book. They looked like simple spiral notebooks. The kid, Agent Reid, was sitting at the table. He had a slight look of disgust on his face as he stared at the books.
Something had Sam getting up and walking over to them. He watched Morgan and Prentiss lay the books out, discussing between each other what the dates on them were so they were in order. His eyes drifted back toward Agent Reid, who still was looking at the books in disgust.
"You ok there, Agent Reid?" He found himself asking. Now that they had their killer in custody, thanks to this kid's brilliant thinking earlier, Sam found himself no longer annoyed with the kid. How could he be annoyed at someone for doing something that, in the end, brought a killer in off the streets?
Reid looked up at him, blinking like he was disoriented. "Hm?" He murmured. Then, shaking his head, the disgusted look melted away from his face. "Oh, sorry, officer. I was lost in thought there. Did you ask me something?"
Something had Sam smiling at the kid. He really did kind of grow on a person once you got used to his little quirkiness. "Just asking if you were ok. And it's Sam, not officer. We're all on the same team here essentially."
"Oh, I'm fine. Thanks for asking, Sam."
"You just looked pretty disgusted with the books here. Not looking forward to hours of sorting?"
A wry grin curved Reid's lips. "I just hate this part sometimes." He looked back over to the books. "It's one thing to get in their heads and try to figure out how to stop them. It's another to read what they've done."
That surprised Sam. "You think he actually wrote out what he did in there?" he asked in disbelief. "Is this guy really that stupid?"
"Someone like him wouldn't be able to resist recording the details of his crimes. To him, this is a way to relive it over and over. This is why he doesn't take souvenirs. He's a prolific journalist. I guarantee that everything he did will be written in there. It's just going to depend on the type of detail and specifics for if we're going to be able to use it as evidence. We need to see if he names names, or puts specific locations, so that we can match them up to the actual crimes. There's always a chance he wrote ambiguously." After a pause, Reid let out a sigh and picked up one of the books. "Better get started on this."
Even having seen it earlier, it was still amazing for Sam to watch the kid read the books. He put his finger on the page, drawing it down in a straight line rather quickly before moving on to the next. Sam stood there, shaking his head in amazement. Imagine being able to read that fast! The kid must go through books like they were nothing. He noticed, though, that Reid still wore that disgusted book. His face looked kind of…tired. Remembering that Reid probably wouldn't hear him if he said anything, Sam turned to Morgan and Prentiss. "Your boy there looks a little green at the gills. He going to be ok?"
Morgan looked over at Reid, a pained expression on his face for a moment. "He hates when they write it out like that." He finally said. "Reading the details of what a guy does, it's hard. But Reid knows we need to know."
Sam just nodded and found himself, yet again, watching the kid read. "At least this'll close the case. Then you guys can go back home and forget all about it, at least as best as you can."
This time it was Prentiss who looked pained. Her eyes were on Reid when she muttered "We might. He won't."
"Excuse me?" Confused, Sam turned to look at the two agents again. It surprised him to see how worried and saddened they looked.
Sighing, Prentiss tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "Reid has an eidetic memory. He doesn't forget things he reads. Ever. He won't ever be able to forget what he reads in there. He can still recite, word for word, books he hasn't read since childhood."
"You mean…" Sam trailed off, wide eyes going to back to Reid. "He won't ever be able to forget what he's reading right now?" The thought was horrifying.
Morgan shook his head and sighed. "No, he won't. He remembers everything. Every word he's ever read is stored away in that brain of his. All he has to do is think about it and it calls it back up for him. I have a feeling this case will give him nightmares for a long time. If any of us could read it as fast as him, we'd do it for him to save him from having to remember this."
Jesus. That was just…that was horrible. "How on earth can he do this and not go insane?" Sam whispered. He didn't think he could deal with seeing the things these guys saw or read and be able to live with it permanently in his brain. At least he had the cushion of time dulling memories. "I couldn't live like that."
"You adjust." Reid never looked up from his reading when he said that. His voice had a slightly distant sound to it. "You watch out for things that trigger the memories and you learn to cope. You learn ways to dull it down for a while. Not to mention the fact that I have the best friends a person could ask for. No matter how down it gets me, they're always there for me."
Morgan moved toward him, ruffling his hair once again. "We always will be, pretty boy." He laid his hand on Reid's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. The young profiler didn't stop reading, but he raised a hand to rest it over Morgan's for a moment and some of the disgust slid off his face. There was a silent moment of communication between them before they let go. Looking at them, Sam found himself with a whole new respect for these people and the things they did. And he found himself relearning an old lesson he thought he'd learned a long time ago. Never judge a book by its cover.