I'll just put this here and back away slowly.

Warnings: Rated T for language and themes typical of canon. Un-betaed, all mistakes are mine.

Disclaimer: *whines, reaching desperately for rights*

-X-

Chapter 8

Shadows

Garcia bit back a curse as the power cut out again. She was starting to wonder if Hotch had made the right decision in bringing her with the team. It would have been hard to contact them, but at least she would have all her equipment.

She froze and tilted her head, listening. What is that? She stood up, slowly feeling her way to the door.

Garcia heard it again as she gripped the handle. It sounded like someone was laughing - no. It was higher than that, like a child's giggling. There shouldn't be any kids here, especially at this time of night. It's not as if this case wasn't already straight from a horror movie.

"If this is a joke, my vengeance will not be swift," she threatened under her breath, then raised her voice, "Hello? Emily? Derek? Guys?"

Bracing herself, she twisted the handle and pushed. The bullpen was empty, lit only by the pale moonlight casting long shadows around the room. The sudden lack of sound was not nearly as comforting as it might have been. What was it they said about nothing good happening after two a.m.?

The sudden sound of a door opening and closing before hurried footsteps came her way made Garcia duck back as a figure ran by. She couldn't see him well in the dim light, but judging by the height it was probably the younger Winchester - Sam. Another door opened but no one followed the man out the front.

Taking a breath she peeked around the door frame and saw a sliver of light from the hall leading to the interrogation rooms. There were no windows that way, so someone must have gone through the kennels' at the end and left the door open.

Something flickered in the corner of her eye and she whirled around to face - nothing. Just more shadows.

"Pull yourself together, Penelope," she scolded. Making her decision, Garcia slipped her high heels off and placed them beside her desk. She hesitated. This was a very bad idea.

Her stockinged feet made hardly a sound as she crept down the hall.

Before Garcia could touch the door, a hand landed on her shoulder. She whipped around with a startled scream and a raised hand. Morgan caught her wrist in a firm grip before she could make contact.

"Whoa there, Garcia," he said as her eyes widened and her breathing returned to normal, "Just me. Been working on that arm? You almost got me."

"Sorry. Ah! The Winchesters are -"

"Gone. We'll get 'em. You are staying here."

"Morgan," Reid called, coming out into the hall, "Didn't catch him?"

"Got out the back. What took you so long?"

Moonlight glinted on metal as Reid held up a hand. He smiled sheepishly.

"Handcuffs. He left the key, at least," his gaze shifted to the third agent, "Garcia? What are you doing back here?"

"I thought I heard -" The giggle came again, from back toward the bullpen. "That."

Morgan gestured for them to be quiet as he and Reid reached for their guns. Garcia followed them as they moved down the hall, careful not to make a sound even when the other doors rattled as they passed. Garcia would guess at electric or automatic locks, but that wouldn't explain how Morgan and Reid had gotten out, or the Winchesters.

Morgan carefully scanned the room, gun up and ready, but it was Garcia that spotted it. She gently nudged Reid to get his attention and pointed toward the window.

In one corner, just out of the light's reach, there was a small figure. Dark clothing and hair made them nearly blend into the shadows.

"Morgan," Reid whispered, nodding to the figure. It looked like a kid, so both men lowered their guns - though they hesitate to holster them. There was an odd tension in the air that made the hair on Garcia's arms stand on end.

"Hello?" Morgan called softly, trying not to startle the kid, "My name is Derek Morgan. How'd you get here this late? Are you lost?"

The kid started giggling again, sending a chill up Garcia's spine.

"Lost, lost~ Are you lost?" It - he? - cooed, shaking with another giggle. When he turned toward them they saw that the boy wasn't just wearing all black. He was as dark as the shadows themselves from head to foot and looked almost wispy around the edges. Bright red eyes seemed to glow as he smiled, showing off stark white pointed teeth.

The three took a step back in surprise.

"Would you like to play?" It asked, still speaking in that sickeningly sweet voice. When no one answered, its eyes narrowed and its voice turned sharp.

"We're going to play," It declared with a vicious grin. Before their eyes it melted into the shadows, completely disappearing, and its voice echoed from all around them. "Hide and seek. I'll be the demon!"

They stood frozen for a moment before Morgan finally broke the tense silence. "Garcia, Reid, get outside," he hesitated before continuing in the tone of one that could not believe the words coming out of his own mouth, "Stay in the open, away from the shadows. I'll get the others out."

The younger agents hesitated but raced for the door as soon as he'd disappeared down the hall. They were brought to an abrupt halt, however, when the shadow-boy materialised right in front of the door. Garcia was quick to get out of Reid's line of fire as he raised his gun.

"That's cheating," it hissed, seething. As they looked on in shock, the shadow-boy's body elongated and rearranged itself until they were faced with a giant snake rearing in front of them.

Reid fired twice but the bullets passed harmlessly through the creature as it struck. They flung themselves to the ground as it flew past, sinking into another shadow as easily as water.

Garcia scanned the room frantically and grabbed for Reid's arm. Between two windows, the creature rose up again - vaguely humanoid, but for the still huge fangs it displayed. Wisps of shadow coiled around it as it prepared to lunge again, taking on a more canine shape before it pounced.

The door opened with a snap and an iron pipe was swung through the creature's head. As it dissipated, Dean Winchester smirked and propped the pipe on his shoulder.

"So, who's afraid of the big bad wolf?"

... Garcia was pretty sure that no children in her care would ever be told stories of Little Red Riding Hood or the Three Little Pigs. Reid blinked, gripping his gun so tightly that his knuckles were white.

"Hey, kid, where's your friend?" Dean's question finally shook Reid out of his shock.

"How did - I should arrest you," he snapped, reaching desperately for some sense of normality.

"Bigger picture. Where is your friend?"

Before he could even decide whether or not to answer, they heard a gunshot from the interrogation rooms. After sharing a look the four of them took off running, the Winchesters in front with their makeshift weapons.

What they found was not Morgan being attacked by that thing, but that the man had managed to shoot the hinges off one of the doors. From the sound of banging on the other side, it hadn't helped. The door still wouldn't budge so much as an inch, as if something was holding it closed.

Garcia sighed in relief before she saw the shadows shift behind Morgan's back. Sam must have noticed, too, raising his pipe and moving forward.

"Derek, down!" she yelled and his trained reflexes saved him Sam's pipe was swung like a baseball bat just over his head. The thing disappeared like smoke with outraged shriek when the iron struck it.

Dean tossed a spare pipe to Morgan as the agent stood. Despite his surprise, he easily caught it.

"Hope you have a good arm," Sam said, setting to work on the last door with a set of lock picks, "You might still need it. The door might move now that it's gone."

"What the hell was that?"

"Boogeyman," Sam said matter-of-factly, not looking up from his task. "Hope no one's afraid of the dark."

-X-

Shorter than usual, but I think you've waited long enough. It would seem I've become the kind of author I never wanted to be: the ones that take so long to update. I'm sorry. But my first year of uni is over, I'm free(-ish), and we have finally reached the point in my story where I have a lot of notes to work off of.

On the other hand I have a whole shelf of books to read before I get stuck with text books again, a bunch of Tales of games to beat and I'll finally have time to play through KH1.5 and finish DDD... I got a busy summer ahead.

I actually have some notes this time:

(1)" I'll be the demon!" - In Japan they sometimes call the 'it' in hide-and-seek an 'oni', which is often translated as demon.

(2) The Boogeyman is a creature that appears in almost every culture around the world. They are often believed to be shape shifters, eat children (or their fear), target disobedient children, etc. I will post my more extensive notes at the end of the last chapter (I did way more research than I needed to, but it was interesting - so no regrets).

As always, reviews are welcome and appreciated.