I read another CM story on here about the team on 9/11. That story combined with it being 12 years since the attack I got this story in my head. This will be slightly A/U. Rather then the show starting in 2005 for the purpose of this story everything goes back ten years. Everything on the show happend it just happened ten years earlier. Henry and Will are in the story and Henry is five in this story. This will be a three shot. i was going to try and have it all done today but didn't get it done.
I was 18 when 9/11 happened and even now 12 years later seeing the images of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and what happened with Flight 93 still breaks my heart. This story is dedicated to the 2,996 people who lost their lives that day.
I don't own Criminal Minds or the Characters. This story is my own and it is unbeta'd so all mistakes belong to me.
Tuesday September 11, 2001 – 6:30 am
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP….The alarm rang out over and over again. Morgan slapped the alarm clock groaning at the early hour. He had already snoozed the button one too many times and was now officially running late. He had to be at the airport in less than an hour if he was going to make his flight to LA.
Hotch had asked him yesterday if he could go to LA for a custodial interview. Serial killer Scott Marsden finally agreed to the VICAP interview. California wasn't a state that usually carried out the death penalty but when you rape and murder thirty women in less than a month, even the most liberal of states is willing to pull the plug on such a man. With the pending execution just days away time wasn't on their side to gain further knowledge into the mind of a serial killer.
As Morgan was turning on the hot water for a shower before he headed to the airport Aaron Hotchner had just stepped out of his shower and was standing in front of his closet trying to decide which suit to wear in that day. The team had no active cases and was taking the week to catch up on paper work from their most recent cases. Finally grabbing the suit that was closest to him, he looked over to the clock on the wall trying to figure how long he could let his son sleep before he had to wake him up for school. Maybe today would be the day he didn't go in an hour before the rest of the team, maybe he would take Jack out for a pancake breakfast before school.
Tap Tap Tap Tap…the sound of her feet hitting the ground echoed in JJ's ears. Even with a nearly five year old son her routine hadn't changed much over the years. When she was with the FBI there were times her morning routine was adjusted but now being with the State Department life for her and her little family was all about routine. She turned the last corner and saw their house come into view. She knew when she walked Will would be in the kitchen waiting for her with a fresh cup of coffee. They would have half an hour of quiet time together before they had to wake Henry up for his first day of school. She smiled as she opened the door to the house, she missed her BAU family but the stability the State department gave her was invaluable.
Emily sat down with a cup of coffee and turned on the morning news. The news casters were going on and on about the President traveling to Florida to read to children at an elementary school. The weather report came on just as she finished her breakfast, it was going to be another warm early fall day in the Capital. It was days like this that she wanted nothing more than to tell Hotch she couldn't come in, and spend the day out doors, rather than her nose in yet another file.
Reluctantly she turned the TV off and made her way to her bedroom. They had the weekend off she would have two glorious days to enjoy fall in the Nation's Capital. Her eye caught a framed picture of the team when JJ was still at the FBI. She suddenly had the idea to get the team and JJ's family together for a BBQ that weekend. She couldn't remember the last time she had seen her best friend.
With the clock slowly ticking forward she pushed thoughts of her friend to the back of her mind. It was just another Tuesday and she needed to get ready for work.
Morgan slammed the taxi door closed, cursing himself for oversleeping. It flight was going to leave in less than an hour and he still had to check in and get through security. He made his way to the American Airlines ticket counter hoping he wouldn't miss his flight, Hotch would be more then pissed if they didn't get his interview done.
Fortunately he got through the ticket counter easily and made his way to security his heart sinking as he saw the line. They would start boarding the plane any moment and if he didn't make it to the plane before they closed the boarding he wouldn't be on it.
"Henry! Look at me!" JJ was getting frustrated with her very excited son. JJ wanted to get as many pictures of Henry on his first day of school but the little boy just wanted to get to school.
"Mama too many pictures!" Henry protested.
"Ok just one more with Mommy and Daddy then!" JJ relented looking down at her watch. If she wasn't careful she would be late for work. She put the camera on a tripod and ran over to her son and fiancée.
"Ok say Cheese!" JJ had no problem smiling herself.
"CHEESE!" Henry over emphasized his words as he smiled as he parents bent down next to him. The camera clicked as it froze the small family in time, their smiles stretched from ear to ear.
"Alright little man, let's get you to school." Will handed Henry his new backpack full of everything he would need for Kindergarten.
Henry started running towards the car before he was stopped by JJ's voice, "Hey hey hey how about a hug for you Mom!"
JJ laughed as her little boy ran over to her and wrapped his arms around her neck. "I love you Momma!"
"I love you to little man." Her voice caught as she realized how fast her little boy was growing up.
Henry pulled back and saw the soft tears in her eyes, "Are you sad Momma?" he asked with concern.
"No buddy these are happy tears." She pulled him into another hug before Will loaded him into the car.
Garcia scrolled through the pictures on her computer screens, "Oh Jayje he is getting so big. I can't believe he's going to school already."
Garcia heard her friends soft laugh through her cell phone. "I know tell me about it. He was so excited we barely got him to sleep last night. He of course insisted on wearing the new outfit you bought him." Garcia listen to her friend missing seeing her every day.
There was a soft knock on the door just moments before the door swung open, "Did she send the pictures Garcia?" Reid couldn't wait to see the new pictures of his Godson.
Garcia was still listening to JJ gush about her son's first day of school adventure, she motioned to her computer screens and waved for him to join her.
"Is that JJ?" Reid asked as he sat next to the tech analyst. He watched as Garcia nodded her head, "Tell her I said Hi." Reid started looking through the pictures.
"Jayje Spencer says Hi." Garcia listened as her friend talked again. "Ok, yeah I'll see you soon." Garcia closed her phone before turning back to Reid.
"She had to go?" Reid asked knowing the answer.
"Yeah she just got to her office. Guess there's a big press conference in a few days she has to plan for." Garcia got quiet for a moment, "It's not the same without her you know, I miss her."
"Me to." Reid pause for a moment. It had been a little over a year since the Pentagon took their friend and they still couldn't wrap their minds around the fact that she wasn't going to walking in to the office with some new story about Henry. "Look at our Godson." Reid quickly changed the subject.
Garcia laughed, "He's going to be a lady killer one day."
Emily looked around the empty bullpen wondering where the rest of the team was. It was 8:30 everyone was supposed to be there. She saw Reid's bag on his desk and knew where the young doctor must be. She turned to leave the bullpen when she ran right into Dave Rossi.
"Sorry Rossi! I didn't know you were back there." Emily laughed with the older man. "Where is everyone?"
"I believe I heard Penelope and Spencer laughing in her office. Hotch should be in his office." Rossi looked over to his friend's office, not surprised to see the lights on.
Rossi looked down at his watch, "Right about now he should be on an airplane to Los Angeles."
"That's right the custodial interview. I still can't believe Marsden agreed to the interview. I guess he wants to make sure his story lasts after he's gone." Emily wondered.
"Who knows why some of these guys do what they do. If it helps stop another Marsden though it'll be worth it." Rossi made his way towards his office as Emily went to find Garcia and Reid.
Morgan sat back in his seat, grateful that the bureau had sprung for a first class seat. This was the next best thing to being on their jet. Once he finally got through airport security he had to run to the gate and had made it to the plane with just moments to spare.
"Can I get you something to drink sir?" The flight attendant asked him, drawing his attention away from the file he had been reading.
"Just a water please." He gave her his famous Derek Morgan smile.
"You an FBI agent?" The man sitting in the seat across from Derek asked after the flight attendant had brought their drinks.
"Excuse me?" Derek was confused as to how this man knew what he did for a living.
"You work for the FBI right?" The man asked again pointing to the cover of the file Morgan had been reading.
"Oh, yes I am." He finally answered.
"Never did trust the government or their lackeys. But I suppose it's a good sign they've got you on this flight. No way one this government let one of its people die in a crash now would they boy." Before Morgan had a chance to answer the old man the other passenger started going into every tired conspiracy story out there.
"Jennifer it's important that this press conference go the way we need it to. I want you to hand pick the reporters you can control to be in the audience. I don't need any surprise questions that won't benefit what we need to get out there." JJ's boss continued to rant on in her ear. From the second she had got off the phone with Penelope her she had been on the phone with him.
She had repeatedly asked him and the other people she worked with to call her JJ. It wasn't that she considered any of them her friend, she had just hoped that if they called her JJ it would make working here a little more bearable. The State Department though was nothing if not formal to her supervisors she was Jennifer to her subordinates she was Ms. Jareau.
After assuring the Director she would make sure this press conference would go on without a hitch she finally got him off the phone. She put the phone back on the handle and turned to a stack of files she had been working on for days, determined this was the day they would finally find their way to the completed stack. Without any warning every line on her work phone lit up as the phone starting calling out. Before she could answer the first line her cell phone started playing the familiar ringtone. She knew her day was about to get a whole lot more hectic.
"Look at him!" Emily gushed at the pictures of Henry that Penelope had on the computer screen. "When did JJ cut his hair?" The little boys long blonde hair had been cut short, one simple hair cut had changed him from the baby boy they remembered to the young boy they saw in front of him now.
"Will took him on Saturday for his first big boy haircut. JJ didn't want to cut it but Henry begged her for a cut like Daddy's. It took will all summer to convince her to cut it. It makes him look so grown up!" Penelope wined.
"I tried to convince him to keep it long like Uncle Spence but I think seeing all the boys at preschool with short hair he wanted to look like all the other boys." Reid chimed in.
"Oh my God!" Emily's voice changed from the light joking tone to one that stopped her teammate's cold.
"What is it Em?" Garcia looked at her friend concerned.
"Emily?" Reid asked when there was no response from the brunette.
Emily didn't say anything she just pointed to the TV screen they had all been ignoring.
Garcia gasped her hand flying over her mouth.
"Was Jack excited to go back to school today?" Rossi sat across from Hotch, after his brief encounter with Prentiss he had gone to the team leader's office. It was a quiet day in the office and for once they were able to sit and talk about everything but a case.
"Oh yeah. He's excited about going into fourth grade. Last week we went up to the school and met his teacher and he found out a bunch of his friends from last year are going to be in his class again. I thought about waking him up early and taking him to breakfast but let him sleep instead, he was so excited last night he didn't fall asleep until late." Hotch smiled thinking about his owns first day of school excitement, he knew the days of excitement over school wouldn't last much longer.
Without warning the door to Hotch's office flew open and Erin Strauss stood in front of the two men. "I need you two in the bullpen. Now!" as quick as she interrupted them she was out of the room heading down to the Agents standing in front of a TV screen in the bullpen.
Hotch and Rossi looked at each other utterly confused. They joined the other's in the bullpen standing next to a shell shocked Garcia who had only taken her eyes of the TV long enough to move from her lonely office to the bullpen.
Rossi turned to see what the fuss was about. He stood in horror as he watched the dark black smoke billowing from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. "Oh my God what happened?" Rossi was from New Jersey he remembered when those towers had been built they were as much apart of the New Jersey landscape as they were Manhattan's. His mind began thinking of all the people he knew who worked in the World Trade Center, and all the fireman he knew, not to mention the countless NYPD officers they had worked with over the years.
"An airplane crashed into the towers a few minutes ago." Emily looked down at her watch, it had been six minutes since the news cut from whatever story they were running to the towers on fire.
"An airplane?" Hotch's mind quickly dismissed that this was an accident, in his gut he knew the likelihood this wasn't planned were slim.
Reid nodded his head, "They're calling it an accident."
Rossi noticed the clear blue sky behind the towers, "An accident? How does a plane accidently fly into a building that high up? Did they say what kind of plane it was?" Rossi's mind, like Hotch's, had already dismissed an accident. They were profilers, FBI agents, they were trained to question everything.
"The probability of a plane crashing into a building that tall on a clear like this are…" No one was listening to Reid's rant, even he had no idea what it was he was saying, he was just trying to wrap his mind around what he was seeing.
"President Bush has been briefed on this morning's plane crash. At this time we have no reason to believe this is anything but an accident. Troops from neighboring communities have already been mobilized to assist the police and fire departments in Manhattan. At this time the President is visiting with school children in Florida he will offer comments as soon as he is available." JJ sat in her office answering question after question from the reporters on the other line. Moments after the plane had crashed into North tower her phone had been flooded with calls. She had quickly sent out a message to all the reporters she knew scheduling at phone conference for nine. She had already issued the State Departments statement and was now taking questions.
"He finally stopped talking?" The friendly flight attendant put a tray of food in front of Morgan while looking towards the older man that had finally taken a hint that Morgan was not going to engage in his hatred of the US Government.
Morgan laughed, "Yeah about five minutes ago he finally gave up and turned his attention to his computer."
"So are you really a FBI agent?" She asked incredulous.
"I am." He pulled his badge out of his back pocket and handed it to the young girl in front of him, all the while thinking this trip maybe better then he thought.
"Well Agent." She smiled down at him, obviously flirting with him, "If you need anything, my names Kelli, feel free to ask."
"I'll be sure to do that Kelli." He watched as she walked back to the galley enjoying the view.
"That's JJ." Emily said absently as everyone's eyes were still locked on the TV screen. The newscaster had mentioned an interview with the State Department but they hadn't expected to her the familiar voice come through their TV screen.
The listened to the voice they had heard given countless press conferences. It was odd how her voice had calmed them even in the midst of what was going on.
Rossi stood back listening to their former liaison and watched as the tower burned. His anger rising with each passing moment as he thought of all the people who were in danger right then. He was the first one to notice the plane enter the frame. "No…no…"
JJ didn't hear the question from the reporter her eyes were locked on the muted Television in her office. She watched in horror as the second plane hit the South Tower.
Morgan gripped the arm rest of his seat. The plane was taking an unexpected sharp turn, he had been on enough plane rides to know that maneuver wasn't a part of the flight. The plane shook violently almost as if it was protesting.
"The Country is now on high alert. At this time they aren't asking any help from the FBI but the director expects everyone to be ready if needed. I know your hearts and minds are with those in New York. But I need your head's here. There is no question this was an attack on our country. It hasn't been said officially yet but we can assume this was a terrorist attack and we all know who is responsible." Strauss tried to keep the team focused.
JJ stood in front of the crowd of reporters after the second tower was hit a phone interview wasn't enough. The country needed a strong presence to assure them everything was being done to help the people trapped in the towers and to keep the rest of the country safe.
"As of 9:08 the FAA had ceased all flights leaving or coming into New York City. All flights that are scheduled to leave have been cancelled and those flights scheduled to land are being diverted. At 9:21 the New York Port Authority shut down all bridges and tunnels. The focus right now is getting the people in the towers out and home to their families. The Navy has already deployed two battleships to protect the harbor. Air force planes are already up and monitoring air travel around the Manhattan area. The President has been briefed and will issue a statement as soon as he is able to. That's all the information we have right now, I won't be answering any questions, and will update you as soon as we know anything." JJ stepped away from the microphones as the reporters shouted questions at her, she ignored all of them.
JJ sat back at her desk after giving directions to her assistant. This day was far from over and she didn't even know if she would be able to go home tonight, was seemed like a beautiful Tuesday morning had quickly turned into what was probably going to be the worst day the country had experienced in a long time. While her phone was quiet she quickly dialed Will's number.
"The planes that hit the towers both came from Boston." Hotch told his team members who, once the first plane crashed into the tower, had been concerned for Morgan who had left for LA not even an hour before the first attack. Their minds had told them it wasn't likely he had been on either of the flights but their hearts couldn't help but fear the worst.
"Oh thank God my chocolate god is ok." Penelope let out without even considering that everyone could hear her.
Rossi smiled at the technical analyst. He felt guilty smiling but knew the darkness couldn't consume them or they terrorist's plans would be successful. He already knew they were going to have to find a way to rebuild and move on and it was going to take people like Garcia to keep the light shining in this dark tunnel.
Will and his partner were sitting in their patrol car listening to the radio. If a car sped past them right now they probably wouldn't care. All they could focus on was the updates from the radio broadcasters. He heard the ringtone that he saved just for JJ, he knew when he heard her already tired voice on the most recent press conference she wasn't going to be home anytime soon. "Hey Cher." He waited to hear her sweet voice. "JJ?" The phone was full of static.
"Attention all units attention all units." The Dispatchers voice came over the radio, "we've just received reports that a plane has hit the Pentagon. At this time we have no further details and will advise further when we have more information. Metro PD out at 0939."
"Jennifer" Will let out as his partner started the car and headed in the direction of the Pentagon.
It was just a few moments later when Chief Strauss' phone went off notifying her of the attack on the Pentagon. She wanted to give the team the news before they saw it on the television.
She entered the bullpen and wasn't surprised to see everyone's eyes still glued to the TV. "Aaron." She called out to her subordinate. "Aaron." She said again.
Hotch looked over at her, the annoyance evident in his eyes. "Aaron could you turn off the TV please." She asked softly.
He nodded his head and walked over and turned off the TV much to everyone's protests. Strauss took a moment to compose her thoughts and fears as she approached the team. "The director just called me, just a few moments ago another plane crashed, this one hit the west side of the Pentagon."
"No!" Penelope's hand flew over her mouth. "JJ….JJ's office…it's…" she couldn't finish the thought, but they all knew that was the same side that their friend's office was on.