Disclaimer: I do not own or make a profit off of criminal minds.
Alrighty friends, I am trying something completely different than the usual stories that I write. I have had this idea knocking around in my head for a while now and needed to see if it was worth writing. This story is totally set in an Alternate Universe, and one that is totally made up. I am winging some of the medieval terms and incorporating my own twist on ranks and such. The majority of the characters on the show will make an appearance. I have taken liberties with their ages and lifestyles. Also, one of the things you as a reader need to buy into is that Derek's race does not create a problem for the switch. For my story purposes he is still (as Garcia says) a chocolate god.
I am contemplating making this a slash. If I do it will be my first and I am quite nervous to take it there. For now you will not see those undertones, I will let you know what I decide.
The kingdom of Quantico was ruled by a fierce man. He had a heart of stone and his only interests were in increasing the coin in his coffers, expanding his boundries, and instilling fear in others. The king's name was William and his queen was Diana. Their marriage was an arranged one made to merge the kingdom of Quantico with Columbia.
The king was never really partial to his wife. She had an atmosphere of weakness that surrounded her and King William didn't tolerate feebleness in any form. Unfortunately, the king knew that it was his duty to create an heir to the kingdom with his wife, so he begrudgingly bedded her every night until she was with child.
One would have thought that the king would have been overjoyed to hear that he didn't have to have relations with his wife anymore, but instead he spent his time worrying over the gender of the child. He fervently hoped for a boy. For, the kingdom of Quantico did not recognize girls as possible heirs and the law demanded that a male must be born in order to inherit the rule. He couldn't let all of his hard work in making Quantico the most powerful land around go to waste on a female. So now after nine months of waiting, King William found himself pacing a path in the floor waiting to hear what his feeble wife had produced.
King William was not alone in his pacing. All the courtiers in the room could not give off a hint of relaxation without bringing down his wrath upon them. So courtiers, knights, and councilors joined King William by demonstrating their concern along with him. One knight in particular was mirroring King William's steps; it was his most trusted advisor and protector Sir Rossi.
Sir Rossi was a young man in his twenties that had grown up alongside King William. While William was being groomed to be the future ruler of the country, Rossi was taught to become a defender. Rossi easily flew through knight training, going from squire to full-fledged knight in record time. He always knew deep down that he would be someone who righted the wrongs throughout the kingdom and brought criminals to the king for justice. It was that go-getter attitude and his childhood friendship that allowed Rossi to rise so high so fast.
Out of nowhere Rossi's squire ran up to the pacing king, trembling with excitement over the news he brought. Bowing down low out of respect the young Aaron Hotchner said, "Sire, you must come quickly. Her majesty has delivered you a beautiful baby boy."
King William's eyes sparkled with success and walked past the messenger like he was a piece of lint on a tapestry, unimportant and not worth the time. He stormed down the hall and paid no heed to the bows and whispers of "Your Highness" as he made his way to his wife's chambers. Automatically the doors opened upon his approach and a guard announced his arrival to the cluster of women running around inside.
Immediately upon his entrance all the hustle and bustle in the room ceased and the ladies gave the king his due respect. Out of the back a blonde midwife made her way forward, Mother Strauss, and filled the king in on the details of the prince's birth.
"Sire, you have a beautiful baby boy waiting to meet you. Your wife is recovering quite nicely from the whole process and is currently sleeping with the babe in her arms. She was in labor for eight hours and is running a high fever. At the moment of birth she was not lucid, but with rest she will be up and about in the next few days. I know that she will be more than ready to return to your side after some time to heal," Lady Strauss explained as they made their way into the birthing chamber.
King William would have never admitted at that moment that he was excited to meet his first born child, but secretly he was. He did it! He produced an heir and secured the kingdom for the future generations. He would teach his son how to be a strong ruler. He will know to never back down from a fight and always be the challenger not the challenged. His son would be a fierce ruler who made sure his word is respected as the law and he would not spare the consequences for anyone who crosses him. Yes…his son would be a carbon copy of his father, feared throughout history for his intolerance of insolence.
The breath that King William had been holding in upon approaching his son was let out in a whoosh of disappointment. This boy was not beautiful, he was grotesque! The child was an almost corpselike shade of white and barely had any meat on his bones. The atrocity was abnormally small, like he had come out of the womb prematurely. No…this couldn't be the son of King William Reid.
"Is this a joke?" William said to the midwife. "This cannot be my son. He is small, sickly, and weak. This is not the offspring of a great monarch such as myself."
"Sire, I assure you that this is your son. Yes, he is a bit tiny, but he will grow into his body. He will make you proud one day. Give it time," Mother Strauss said trying to calm the king.
With a roar the king backhanded the woman and yelled, "What do you know? Take that monstrosity from my wife and have it brought to me discretely in my chambers. Make sure it is concealed from prying eyes, for no one is to see the child on its way. You are all confined to this chamber until you are told otherwise," the king declared as he left the room in a heated fury.
On his way back to his chambers he refused to speak to anyone. He stormed through the vultures that were waiting in his receiving room and gestured only to Sir Rossi to follow him into his private room. The doors closed with a resounding crash on the two gentlemen closing out the snooping eyes and open ears of the nosy courtiers dying for drama. Moments later via a hidden passage in the wall a meek young woman appeared. She bowed to the king and sat down the basket in front of him.
"Good. Make your way back to the queen's chambers and don't leave until you are told," The king instructed the slave.
"Rossi, I have need of your services immediately!" William said as soon as the girl left.
"What can I do for you Sire?" Rossi asked knowing the matter must be urgent.
"I need you to dispose of this child and find me a healthier one to take its place. It needs to be more worthy of being a prince. This child my wife bore me will never be an adequate monarch. I am ashamed to even call it mine!" the king professed to his most trusted friend.
"Sire, the baby can't be all that bad," Rossi said not believing what the king was asking him to do.
"Look at it Rossi!" the king cried as he ripped the blanket away from the child.
Rossi observed the young babe with much sorrow. It was true that the baby looked very weak and sick. He could see why his sovereign was so upset, but to go as far as to get rid of it? Rossi didn't think he could be a part of this.
"Your Majesty, allow the boy some time to grow and perhaps he will defy your expectations," Rossi implored the man hoping to get him to change his mind.
"And what if he doesn't? What if he dies in the next week because he isn't strong enough to survive in this world? No! I cannot go through that humiliation in front of my people. I am a strong king. It is the expectation that my child will be nothing less," the king responded having made up his mind long ago in the queen's chambers.
"What would you have me do with the boy, Sire?" Rossi asked. If he really was going to help King William make the switch he had to know what was to become of the child.
"Kill it," he simply said.
"Your Highness?" Rossi questioned incredulously.
"You heard me…dispose of it. The people can never know. If you move fast and exchange the babe for another more worthy perhaps people won't become suspicious," William plotted while staring down at the disappointing child.
"I don't know if I can do this. You are asking me to kill a baby of royal blood. The penalty for that is death."
"I'm the king and the only one who knows what you are about to do. I promise that you will not be charged with any crime. In fact, you will become more of a hero to me that you'll ever know," William stated.
Knowing that he had no choice in the matter really, Rossi nodded his head and accepted his fate. He was to kill a child and replace it with another. He was a monster. This was not the reason he had become a knight. It went against everything that he ever stood for. In that moment Rossi knew that if he went through with this he would never be able to show his face in the kingdom again. His personal shame and disgrace would haunt him ceaselessly. He also knew that if he did not do as the king asked he was as good as dead. So Rossi picked up the basket with the now covered babe and made his way to the secret passage.
"Your Highness, I need you to understand that what you are asking me to do is something that conflicts with my conscience on a deep level. I am not sure when you will hear from me again after this. But, I will make sure that this child is taken care of and a more suitable one is put in his place. Before I go though, I ask you…what will you do about all the servants and slaves that have already seen the prince? They will not be as easy as me to convince to go along with this charade. Also, think about all the courtiers you blew past on your way to this room. They know something is wrong. You'll have to come up with a convincing story to placate their curiosity," Rossi asked as he turned to walk away.
"Rossi, I understand that what I am asking of you is not easy. I will respect the time you need to come to terms with this. But know I would only ask this of you because I know I can trust you! As for those women in the Queen's chambers, they will all be disposed of too. I cannot have any loose lips revealing the truth we are trying to conceal. And I will come up with something sufficient to convince the courtiers that all is well. You know those people; they would believe that a cow patty was gold if someone painted it just right. Go now with my blessing. I know you will find me a worthy son," King William said as he turned to face the window.
Rossi took off on his mission with all the speed he could muster. At first he had convinced himself that he would do exactly what the king wanted and kill the boy. But his conscience kept nagging him with every step he took. He knew that he couldn't destroy an innocent life.
So instead of taking the baby out and snapping its neck he stopped off in the slave's quarter and visited the nicest woman that he knew, Jordan.
It is important to know that here in the kingdom of Quantico there were both slaves and servants to the King. They were two exclusive groups of people with very different lives. The servants were given the least degrading jobs, decent working hours, and payment for their services. On the other hand the slaves were expected to work from sunrise to deep into the night, they were paid nothing, and all the worst chores were theirs to do. Servants were seen working throughout the castle and slaves were stuck in the bowels. Most importantly, slaves were to have no contact with the Royal Highnesses and the courtiers. Due to these rules, if a slave stepped out of place they were severely punished or killed.
Rossi knew that he may be placing this child into a fate worse than death by giving him over to a slave but he couldn't bring himself to kill the boy.
"Jordan, I need you to take in this child. I found it out on the street discarded like trash. I couldn't leave it out there all alone; it would have been dead in hours. Can you please find a place for it in your household?" Rossi pleaded in desperation with the woman.
"Sir Rossi, how will I explain a new child? The overseers will not be happy that I have a new mouth to feed and babe to look after. And think about the life you are condemning him to," Jordan responded as she picked up the child already falling in love with it.
"I will speak to them and tell them that it is an order. They will listen to me and not give you any trouble. As for its future, it needs to be alive in order to have one. I know the child will do fine with you as its mother," Rossi explained confidently.
"Alright. I will help you out. He'll be lucky if he lasts a week anyways…he's so sickly. I will find someone to nurse him among the other mothers. We will all take care of him. Don't worry, we will raise him as one of our own," Jordan commented absentmindedly as she tended to the small child.
It took Rossi a few hours of searching the town to find a replacement prince. He knew that luck was on his side. For, he found a local midwife that had recently delivered a baby. The midwife told him that the woman that she had just tended to was severely ill and did not have long to live. Upon hearing this, Rossi immediately took off to the woman's house to see if he could strike a deal.
Calling the place the woman lived in a house was too generous, it was a hovel. The roof had multiple holes in the thatching and the boards were decayed from mold. Rossi cautiously entered the shack and quickly located the mother. She was lying on her bed, ignoring the crying baby in the basket next to her. She looked like death warmed over and Rossi knew that she did not have long in this world.
"Lady, lady…please wake up and talk to me," Rossi said gently as he shook her awake.
"Hmm?" was the only response he received.
"My lady, where is your husband?"
"Died out in the fields," she struggled to get out after a few minutes.
"I see a newborn baby here next to you. How are you going to take care of it?" Rossi asked the dying woman while he looked over the child. It was a strapping young boy of good health. His color and weight were right on target with the king's expectations.
"I can't," she moaned as tears started to flow down her eyes.
"Perhaps you would like me to take him away to have a better life? I promise he will be well taken care of and brought up like royalty," Rossi told her.
"You, you would do that?" she asked.
"Of course, that's why I'm here isn't it? Trust me. I will see that your baby leads a good life," Rossi responded to the woman that was fading fast.
She shed some tears of joy at the service this kind man was doing for her son. She was too ill to even question how he found them and why. She knew that this was the only chance that her child would have to lead a good life. She was determined that her last act in the world was ensuring her son's safety.
"Take him," she mumbled shutting her eyes for the last time.
"Thank you, my lady. What is his name?" Rossi inquired as he readied the child for travel.
BTW I know that I totally made William Reid more powerful than he looks/acts in the TV show. But I really wanted to make him come off as an arrogant bastard.
Are you interested in reading more?